1 Thursday, 20 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case number
8 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
12 WITNESS: JOVO SAVIC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Examined by Mr. Pisarevic: [Continued]
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Savic. Before we resume our
16 examination-in-chief, I would just like to ask you about the fact, related
17 to what you said about the meeting on the 20th, outside the Buducnost
18 factory, that a certain number of persons, citizens of Samac, of all
19 different ethnic groups decided to join the 4th Detachment.
20 THE INTERPRETER: May counsel please be asked to speak closer to
21 the microphone?
22 Mr. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Can you please explain to the Trial Chamber --
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Before we continue, Mr. Pisarevic, can you find a
25 way of standing closer to the microphone, because these complaints have
1 been repeated so many times.
2 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. What was the procedure like when citizens joined the 4th
4 Detachment? What sort of procedure did they go through?
5 A. After my speech and after Milos Bogdanovic's speech, those present
6 asked a number of questions regarding this procedure. They asked how they
7 could join the unit or how they could be given work assignments in other
8 places. Milos Bogdanovic, the head of the secretariat for defence,
9 explained the procedure to them, as follows: All those interested in
10 joining the unit, or any other place of work, must come to see him at his
11 office, that is, Milos Bogdanovic. And then he used a document that we
12 refer to as the military booklet, or rather, military ID. He would give
13 them their war assignment and send them to their respective units. Such
14 people, men of military age, conscripts, were the men we received, we from
15 the detachment, and we sent them on to lower-ranking units. There were a
16 number of persons who were not fit for military service and who expressed
17 their desire to have another kind of work assignment. The procedure for
18 those was the same except that in those cases the Ministry of Defence,
19 that is, the secretariat, would adopt a decision to send these people to
20 other work assignments, to the civilian protection or another place of
22 Q. Very well. Can we wrap this up, please. You couldn't come
23 straight to the army, or rather, to the unit, or receive a work assignment
24 without proper procedure, through the channel of the secretariat for
25 National Defence, headed by Milos Bogdanovic?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. We broke off yesterday when we talked about the moment when
3 Mr. Radovan Antic told you, the command, what had happened to him. What
4 happened after that? What sort of discussion did you have, members of the
5 command, and where did you go later, and when was that?
6 A. The day he told us about what had happened to him, in addition to
7 other things, Simo, myself, and other members of the command, realised
8 that he was in a situation where he couldn't say much. He wasn't able to
9 talk. He simply said: I no longer desire to remain commander under these
10 circumstances. That's what he said.
11 Simo, myself, and other members of the command tried to convince
12 him to stay in that position, in order to keep the team from splitting
13 up. And then the next day, I think it was the 22nd or the 23rd, but I'm
14 not sure, he said: Tomorrow the three of us would go to see the
15 commander, at Pelagicevo. I'll tell him all of this, and I'll tell him
16 that I'm no longer prepared or able to remain the commander.
17 Q. So where did you go? Did you go to the command of the 17th
18 Tactical Group of the JNA the next day?
19 A. The next day, Radovan, Simo, and I went to the command of the 17th
20 Tactical Group in Pelagicevo to see the commander.
21 Q. What did Mr. Antic tell the commander then? What did he inform
22 him about?
23 A. Mr. Antic informed the commander in detail about what had happened
24 to him. At first, the commander could not accept the treatment that Antic
25 had been given by the people who had done that, and he tried to persuade
1 him somehow to stay in his position, because, as he said, we were talking
2 about a man who knew his job, who knew the unit, who knew how to use the
3 unit, et cetera. Radovan would have none of that, and he told the
4 commander: Sir, I'm no longer ready, I'm no longer able, because of the
5 treatment I received on the hands of those paramilitary or para-something
6 people. I can no longer put up with this, and I'm no longer prepared to
7 put up with this, so I cannot stay in my position as commander.
8 Q. What was Commander Nikolic's decision then?
9 A. After this conversation, which didn't take too long, after trying
10 to persuade him to stay in his position, Nikolic told Savic: You'll take
11 over the command and you, Radovan, in view of your qualifications, will
12 help out. The fringe areas of the line of defence will be your
13 responsibility. It will be your responsibility to protect the people who
14 are there. You'll build bunkers and shelters. And this was something he
15 knew very well how to do.
16 Q. Very well. From that moment on, Radovan Antic, who had up to that
17 point been the commander of the 4th Detachment, ceased to be the commander
18 of the 4th Detachment, and you, Jovo Savic, were appointed the new
19 commander of the 4th Detachment?
20 A. Yes, exactly.
21 Q. Please tell me: Were there any other appointments, new
22 appointments to the command of the 4th Detachment?
23 A. Yes. Commander Nikolic told me the following: Savic, your deputy
24 will be Captain First Class Milan Stojancevic. Simo Zaric was to stay in
25 his position, and in order to avoid bringing completely new people in,
1 we'll keep it this way for the time being. But should I see that there's
2 need for further changes, you will be duly informed in a timely manner and
3 you will receive an order in writing.
4 Q. Thank you. Were there any other changes in the structure of the
5 command of the 4th Detachment?
6 A. Yes, there was another change. I remember that Mr. Tadic then
7 went to the civilian protection staff, to be their head, or commander, I'm
8 not sure what the term was. I think it was the head of civilian
9 protection. And he was replaced by Captain First Class, Mihajlo Topolovac
10 [as interpreted], nicknamed Pile. He was well known by that nickname.
11 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us, roughly -- excuse me. My
12 colleague is telling me something about the transcript. Mihajlo Topolovac
13 or Mihajlo Tobirac?
14 A. Mihajlo Tobirac, called Pile.
15 Q. How long did the command stay like that with those people working
16 there? You as the commander, Stojancevic as your deputy, Zaric as
17 assistant commander for security and Mihajlo Tobirac as assistant
18 commander for logistics?
19 A. The command stayed like that until the beginning of June. That's
20 I remained the commander for that period of time.
21 Q. Did you know about the event which occurred in Crkvina at the
22 beginning of May, and how did you find out about it, about the crime
23 committed by a man named Slobodan Miljkovic, also known as Lugar?
24 A. I think that was in the first half of May. Simo Zaric came to see
25 us at the command. He was agitated. What people in our area usually
1 refer to as beyond belief. It was beyond belief that a man's facial
2 features could be so distorted, and also the way he speaks. And he said
3 this, roughly: People, there's a problem that I can't face or accept as a
4 human being, as a member of the unit. 16 people have been killed in
5 Crkvina. That man over there, Lugar, he killed those people for no reason
6 at all. When he told us this, believe me, we were shocked and angry. Was
7 it possible for someone to commit a crime like that, we asked ourselves,
8 against people whose only fault was that they were Croats and Muslims?
9 Was it possible that -- this was a situation for us, as a consequence,
10 where we were thinking about how to face this, how to oppose this, but we
11 simply didn't know what to do. It was too much of a shock for us at the
13 Q. What did Mr. Zaric do then when he told you that?
14 A. Mr. Zaric and Mr. Antic actually Mr. Zaric and Mr. Antic used
15 their own channels to inform the Superior Command. They reported through
16 their own channels the occurrence in Crkvina. They explained what sort of
17 a crime that was. And Simo then told us that he would go immediately to
18 Pelagicevo, that he would have to go. I believe he talked to his then
19 superior, Makso Simeunovic, and then he was in touch with the commander.
20 They said that Simo Zaric should immediately go to Pelagicevo, and then he
22 Q. Are you familiar with the fact that Mr. Simo Zaric went to
23 Belgrade on Commander Nikolic's orders?
24 A. Yes, yes, I do know about that. Simo phoned from Pelagicevo, and
25 he said that he had been given the task to go urgently to Belgrade on
1 duty. It was a duty call. He phoned us and then after several days he
2 was back.
3 Q. Thank you. At that time, was any decision made on the
4 establishment of the army of Republika Srpska? Was any law passed? If
5 you know anything about that, please tell us what you know about the law
6 and when, roughly, it was passed.
7 A. In the first half of May, we heard that a law on the army of
8 Republika Srpska was in the pipeline and that people from Yugoslavia,
9 commanders from the area, would have to go to Serbia, or rather,
10 Yugoslavia, and on the 12th of May, a law was adopted, the law on the army
11 of Republika Srpska.
12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic.
13 Mr. Antic [sic], you said a couple of answers ago that you knew
14 that Mr. Zaric had been given the task to go urgently to Belgrade on duty.
15 Do you know what that duty was, what mandate he was given, in terms of
16 going to Belgrade?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Simo Zaric called me from
18 Pelagicevo, saying that he was ordered by the Tactical Group commander to
19 immediately go to Belgrade on official duty. What his tasks were, you
20 need to ask him, though.
21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: So I understand from that answer that even though
22 you were now his -- you were his -- one of his superiors in the 4th
23 Detachment, you were not given any details, you did not know.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. He wasn't obliged to inform me
25 of the details. He just called to say that he was leaving because he was
1 ordered to do so by the higher command.
2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
3 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. And did the Yugoslav People's Army withdraw its members from
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina, from the territory of the Samac municipality, and
6 if you know, tell us when did the members of the JNA leave the area of the
7 Samac municipality or the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and
9 A. Yes, I know. After the 12th of May, there were extensive
10 preparations for the departure of people, of the people from the JNA,
11 senior officers. There weren't too many of them in our area. For
12 example, at the Pelagicevo command, there were about four or five of them,
13 six at the most. They were getting ready, and I know for sure that on the
14 19th of May, there were no officers or lower-ranking officers from the JNA
15 at the Tactical Group any more. They had left for Yugoslavia.
16 Q. Since the JNA did not only include officers, were there any
17 soldiers of the JNA who were born in Serbia or Montenegro, who stayed on
18 the territory of the Samac municipality, or was this only pertaining to
19 the superior officers?
20 A. This referred only to the command staff. There were no soldiers
21 from Yugoslavia there from Serbia. There were only command staff.
22 Q. So if you can tell us: The soldiers of the 17th Tactical Group
23 were mostly people who were citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, i.e. who
24 were born in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. The command of the 17th Tactical Group, once they left, can we
2 agree that the 17th Tactical Group ceased to exist any more and
3 practically the 4th Detachment of the JNA also ceased to exist? What
4 happened after that in the implementation of the law of the army of
5 Republika Srpska? What were the units that were formed then in the area
6 of the Samac and Pelagicevo municipality?
7 A. In the army, we called that reformation. That's when the 2nd
8 Posavina Infantry Brigade came into being, and the units of the brigade
9 were subordinated. These were the former detachments, and they were now
10 named battalions. This procedure took a while. It wasn't easy, if I can
11 say, to reform a structure, to organise the records, to give people tasks
12 according to their specialties, and also to organise the commanding and
13 the soldier cadres. I would like to say that a number of people, until
14 the formation of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, were not assigned according to
15 their ability, to their specialty, to their profession, and so on, so this
16 was one way of correcting this, for example, if somebody was in the
17 artillery, they would be sent to a unit where there was an artillery
18 section, engineers would be sent to an engineering unit. If somebody was
19 in communications, and so on, they would be sent to the appropriate
20 places. This took a certain amount of time. And then we had a new
21 situation. We had battalions. We had lower-ranking units, and of course
22 the highest command was the command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade,
23 based in Pelagicevo.
24 Q. Please, was there also a change in the area of responsibility?
25 Was the 2nd Infantry Brigade much larger numbers-wise than the 17th
1 Tactical Group? What happened with the 4th Detachment? Was that the same
2 4th Detachment which existed up until that time? Were there any
3 differences there in the area of responsibility, in the numbers of
4 personnel, and so on?
5 A. I think -- or I know that the 2nd Posavina Brigade numbered for a
6 while about 5.600 people, but I'm not sure about the numerical strength,
7 when it was the Tactical Group. So I don't know whether there were more
8 people there or fewer people there, in this unit or -- as compared to the
9 previous unit. As far as the 4th Detachment is concerned, it was reformed
10 into the 5th Battalion, just like the other battalions form detachments,
11 they were all given specific numbers. So it was known exactly which was
12 the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd, the 4th, the 5th Battalion.
13 Q. The area of responsibility of the 5th Battalion?
14 A. The 5th Battalion's area of responsibility was expanded. One unit
15 from Tisina came under my command, under the command of the 5th Battalion,
16 and thereby their area of defence or area of responsibility, the area of
17 responsibility of my battalion, was expanded by some ten kilometres.
18 Q. If I understood you properly, the numerical strength of the
19 battalion was different.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The 5th Battalion no longer included, as it did in the 4th
22 Detachment, just citizens of the Samac municipality and town?
23 A. I said that there were some changes. The command staff, as well
24 as the soldiers. The situation with them was changed. At the time, the
25 5th Battalion numbered about 510 people. I'm not exactly sure about
1 that. This was a long time ago.
2 Q. Very well. I understand. So the command of the 5th Battalion was
3 in fact the command which was also the command of the 4th Detachment?
4 A. Yes, with some staff changes.
5 Q. Thank you. Did Mr. Zaric remain assistant commander for security
6 and intelligence?
7 A. Mr. Zaric continued to perform his duties. He was functionally
8 the assistant commander for intelligence and security, as well as for
9 morale, and he continued to perform those duties in the battalion.
10 Q. Thank you. And could you please tell us: Who was appointed
11 commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade?
12 A. The 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, because of the reformation of
13 the units and the command, and so on, had some difficulties as a result of
14 that. I know that in the beginning, an acquaintance of mine, Major Savic
15 also, but his first name is Alijovika, he was there for a very short
16 period of time, perhaps one day. And he left. He was a member of the
17 Yugoslav army. And he originates from Bosnia and Herzegovina, but he left
18 the command. I don't know what he was doing there.
19 Then there was a kind of vacuum, and for a while nobody was
20 commander. We, the commanders, only knew about this situation, and we did
21 not wish to pass this information on to the rest of the army, amongst the
22 soldiers, because of morale and so on.
23 Q. Very well. And then who was appointed commander?
24 A. Mihajlo Djurdjevic was appointed commander. He's from our area,
25 from the village of Tisina, the Samac municipality. He was an experienced
1 commanding officer, an experienced officer, with good organising
2 abilities, a man of quality. People respected him and appreciated him.
3 Q. Could you please tell me: What was the Superior Command of the
4 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade? What was its name? Where was it located?
5 A. The 2nd Posavina Brigade was resubordinated. Its Superior Command
6 was the East Bosnia Corps, which was located in Bijeljina. That's what it
7 was called at that time.
8 Q. So who could appoint the commander of the brigade?
9 A. The commander of the brigade is proposed by the corps command and
10 appointed by the General Staff. Have I been clear?
11 Q. And when did Colonel Djurdjevic, the commander, take up his duties
12 as commander in the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade?
13 A. As soon as he appeared, and this was -- I don't know exactly what
14 date. Perhaps the 22nd of May.
15 Q. Thank you. When he took up his duties as commander of the
16 brigade, what was the first thing that Commander Colonel Djurdjevic did?
17 A. Well, first of all, we heard this happy news that a man has come
18 with experience. I've already said that. He called us all together, one
19 day, the second or the third day after he arrived. He called all the
20 commanders together and assistant commanders of the battalions for
21 intelligence and security. We went to the command of the brigade to
22 attend that meeting.
23 Q. So you were there at that meeting, as the commander of the 5th
24 Battalion, and Mr. Zaric as assistant commander for security and
25 intelligence. Who else attended this meeting in Pelagicevo which was
1 scheduled and conducted by brigade commander Colonel Djurdjevic?
2 A. Besides us, the battalion commanders, and our assistant commanders
3 for security, the meeting was also attended by these people, guests, as he
4 introduced them. There was Mr. Blagoje Simic, Mr. Stevan Todorovic, and
5 there were also these representatives. I knew one of them.
6 Representatives of the Orasje municipality. No, excuse me. Pelagicevo
7 under formation. Milan Tanasic and another man was there with him, whom I
8 didn't know.
9 Q. Very well. You mentioned Mr. Blagoje Simic and Mr. Stevan
10 Todorovic. Who were they representing at that meeting?
11 A. The municipality of Samac.
12 Q. What did the commander say to you on that occasion, all of you who
13 were present at that meeting? I mean Commander Djurdjevic.
14 A. Commander Djurdjevic first of all greeted us. He welcomed his
15 guests. Before that, of course, he introduced himself, because some
16 people perhaps didn't know him. This was usual. Then he told us that he
17 was the commander there now, and even though he's new in this area, that
18 he is well-acquainted with the situation, aware of the problems and the
19 situation with the troops, that he knows the problems and the situation in
20 the entire zone of responsibility, knows that reformation was taking
21 place, that was still under way, also that he was very strict in relation
22 to people who were not militarily organised. He underlined the problem
23 with the paramilitaries, with people who were police officers one day,
24 were soldiers another day, and then the next day after that they even
25 didn't know what they were, and so on. He literally said the following:
1 Stevan Todorovic, you will either command that group of yours or allow me
2 to command them. If neither of these things is done in this way, then I
3 don't need them at all.
4 The commander then said that we should not relax discipline. We
5 must be very strict as soldiers, and disciplined, and we must do our job,
6 because he will not tolerate any wilful behaviour. And I remember that he
7 asked the representatives of the Pelagicevo municipality under formation,
8 and the people from Samac, for logistical support, so that the army would
9 be supplied in terms of receiving good food, and I know that Mr. Blagoje
10 earlier had taken steps. He or some associate of his, for the same
11 uniforms to be made up for the whole of the brigade. And I know that we
12 often mention Mr. Blagoje in this context, that he was helping people,
13 helping the units, and so on.
14 Q. Thank you. On this occasion, did he also set the condition that
15 civilian authorities should not interfere in the activities or the work of
16 the military?
17 A. Yes. He was very explicit in this. There can be no interference
18 in the command, with the command, or with the military. The civilian
19 authority could only assist, upon his requests, but should not interfere
20 in the command. The military has nothing to do with politics, and vice
22 Q. The army, members of the army, what was their reaction to
23 Commander Djurdjevic's, Colonel Djurdjevic's speech? And did the
24 representatives of the civilian bodies of government too, in their own
25 way, back Commander Djurdjevic in his intentions?
1 A. Yes. After the meeting, the commanders and the assistants for
2 security welcomed this with a great deal of relief. A burden fell off our
3 backs. It was then I understood that we would turn into a proper army and
4 that now was the right time to give it a shot. People from Samac and
5 Pelagicevo, from the civilian structures who were present there were
6 conspicuously satisfied. It was an interest we shared. The civilian
7 structures on the one hand and the army, the military structures, on the
9 Q. Can you tell us, please: What happened several days later, after
10 the meeting in Pelagicevo had been held?
11 A. I can't be very specific about the date, but I think about six or
12 seven days later, not after the meeting, but rather after Mico had been
13 appointed. We call him Mico, the colonel. I received a phone call. He
14 phoned me and he told me to wait for him at the command, me and Simo
15 should wait for him. He said: I'll come to see you. He asked: Where is
16 Simo [Realtime transcript read in error "seemy"]? And I said: He has a
17 day off today. He's not here. He said:
18 Get hold of him and wait for me, both of you, at your own command.
19 I waited for about two hours --
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, just one clarification in the
21 transcript, on page 15, line 15. Here it said "seemy." It's actually
22 Simo. He was referring to the defendant Zaric.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That will be corrected.
24 MR. RE: Could it also be corrected as to who "we" is. The
25 transcript says we call Mico the colonel. Who is the we who will called
1 Mico the colonel. I'm sorry, Mico.
2 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. We were about to clarify
3 that. I have noticed this.
4 Q. Please, when you speak, don't use names like Mico, Simo, please
5 state these person's full names. Mico, the colonel, who was that?
6 A. Mihajlo, also known as Mico. Both in town and village, this was
7 an endearing term we used to refer to him. It was a slip, it won't happen
9 Q. You don't have to apologise.
10 A. Mihajlo, called Mico.
11 Q. Was that the colonel who was the commander of the 2nd Posavina
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I think this will be set right. Told you and Simo. Which Simo?
15 Was that Simo Zaric you were talking about? You and Simo Zaric [Realtime
16 transcript read in error "Simo tzar"] waiting for the commander at the
17 battalion command?
18 A. I'll try to get this right.
19 Q. No. This isn't really a mistake but --
20 A. Yes. Simo, Simo, Simo Zaric.
21 Q. Very well.
22 A. Simo, yes, Simo.
23 Q. Yes. You don't have to apologise. You were waiting for the
24 commander. So what happened after that?
25 A. He said he would be there within two hours, but he didn't show
1 up. And then he phoned again and told me, Savic, because my name is Jovo
2 Savic: Do you know where the Crisis Staff is? I knew where they were,
3 because they were in the immediate vicinity. He said: Go there. You and
4 Simo Zaric and wait for me there. I will be there.
5 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. Just for clarity in
6 the transcript. On page 16, line 13. I don't think we really want
7 Mr. Simo Zaric referred to as a tzar. It says Simo tzar. Former Russian
8 royal family and I think we should for the sake of clarity not have
9 anything like that.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. The name was wrongly reflected in the transcript. It stated that
13 Simo was a tzar. We were actually talking about Simo Zaric?
14 A. Yes. We were talking about Simo.
15 Q. Were we talking about Simo Zaric or not? Please tell us.
16 A. Yes. We were talking about Simo Zaric. I call him Zare.
17 Q. Very well. You said he knew where the Crisis Staff was based,
18 where its headquarters was, because it was in your immediate vicinity.
19 Please tell us where exactly the Crisis Staff was and where did you go?
20 A. The headquarters of the Crisis Staff was at the heating plant. It
21 used to be the town's heating plant. It was a facility like that. So
22 those were the premises they were using at the time.
23 Q. Simo Zaric did not go with you at that time, did he?
24 A. No. Simo only showed up a little later, so I went on my own. I
25 met some people there, people I didn't know, but I did know a number of
1 people there, Cedo Milicevic, an acquaintance of mine. We come from the
2 same town. We had a cup of coffee together in his office waiting for the
3 colonel and for Simo Zaric.
4 Q. Will you please just repeat the name of the gentleman with whom
5 you had coffee.
6 A. Cedo Milicevic.
7 Q. Thank you. Before you set out to go to the heating plant, did you
8 leave a message behind for Mr. Zaric?
9 A. Yes. I told my duty officer and the duty communications officer
10 that should Simo Zaric call or show up, they should tell him to
11 immediately go to the Crisis Staff, because Colonel Mihajlo Djurdjevic
12 would be waiting for him there, and I would be waiting for him there too.
13 Q. Very well. Thank you. This place where you had coffee, was that
14 a restaurant? Was that an office? Where was this office? Can you please
16 A. The office was on the first floor. It was a small room. It was
17 more like a kitchenette. It was next to the meeting or conference hall.
18 It was in the same floor.
19 Q. From that room, you went straight into the conference room?
20 A. First there's the corridor, and then off the corridor there's a
21 door leading to the conference room, on the same floor.
22 Q. So, did Commander Djurdjevic arrive?
23 A. Yes, he showed up. I saw him coming from the room, because the
24 door was open. I stood up. I gave him a military salute. We've known
25 each before, we come from the same area. He asked me how I was doing, all
1 the pleasantries, and he said, let's go. I knocked on the door, we went
2 into the conference room. President Blagoje was there, Mr. Stiv was
3 there. There were chairs, so we sat down.
4 Q. Mr. Djurdjevic, the commander, was on his own. He was not
5 accompanied by anyone when you met?
6 A. Yes, he was alone.
7 Q. Can you recall any other persons who were in that room which you
8 and Commander Colonel Djurdjevic entered?
9 A. There weren't many people there in the room. Savo Popovic was
10 there, Aco Jankovic. I said already about Mr. Blagoje and Mr. Stiv.
11 Another two or three persons I didn't know where there too.
12 Q. Were there any armed people in the room? What about the people
13 you didn't know? Were they carrying weapons?
14 A. I believe that Aco Jankovic was carrying a handgun, but I'm not
15 sure. I can't be sure. I did see armed people in front of the door
16 outside the building, people I didn't know.
17 Q. Did you perhaps observe whether they were members of the so-called
18 Sareni unit?
19 A. I did not know many of those people over there, so I was sure that
20 they were indeed from that group.
21 Q. So how did the meeting go?
22 A. The meeting took off in the following way: Mr. Blagoje welcomed
23 us. The atmosphere was quiet and peaceful. We had a cup of coffee. We
24 had some chitchat before the meeting began, and then the meeting began,
25 the official part of the meeting, I should say. I can't recall all the
1 details, but I'll try to think back as hard as I can.
2 President Blagoje simply welcomed us. He acted as a true host.
3 He offered a brief introduction and then.
4 Q. Brief introduction. What exactly did Mr. Blagoje say in those
5 few brief introductory words?
6 A. I was just about to say that.
7 Q. Please go ahead.
8 A. He said: All right, soldiers. How are you doing? Mr. Colonel,
9 we have had word that the army was not happy with you, that people were
10 not happy, that they were complaining. We expected more and better from
11 you. It was all along those lines, and this went on for about ten
12 minutes. Then --
13 Q. Hold on, please. You used the expression "people." Did he say
14 "people" or "soldiers"?
15 A. He said "soldiers."
16 Q. Go ahead, please.
17 A. Mr. Stiv then took the floor and, in his usual way, voiced his
18 dissatisfaction. He didn't want to talk about any colonel or about any
19 senior officer who was prepared to do military work. But he said: We
20 have a different solution. We'll go about this in a different way. He
21 said I was in several units where the army was protesting, complaining.
22 This old man, what good is he to us? He's well over the hill, and we need
23 new, fresh forces. We need new people. He talked along these lines. And
24 Simo Zaric showed up in the meantime. He sat down next to me, and Simo
25 started speaking too, and Stiv was still talking, but Simo sort of gave me
1 the secret nudge, as we say. And then I winked back at him.
2 At one moment, Mr. Djurdjevic, in a very cool manner, in a slow
3 and measured voice, like a true commander, addressed Mr. Blagoje, and he
4 said that he, Stiv, Blagoje, and Colonel Djurdjevic, should stay together
5 in the office and that the others should disperse. President Blagoje
6 accepted that. He went along and he said: All right, gentlemen. This
7 part of the meeting is over. Please. And then Colonel Mihajlo Djurdjevic
8 turned to me and told me: Savic, you and Simo Zaric, wait for me
9 downstairs. And that's what happened.
10 Q. Very well. Did you notice that after a while Blagoje Simic,
11 Djurdjevic, and Stevan Todorovic were joined by Josko [phoen]?
12 A. Simo Zaric and I were walking down those corridors. We'd pop by
13 in an office to see our old acquaintance, Cedo Milicevic. And at one
14 point, Dragan Djordjevic, also known as Crni, appeared, and he went to the
15 conference room.
16 Q. He went to the room where the meeting was taking place?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What happened after that?
19 A. I believe after about half an hour, Mr. Stevan Todorovic, also
20 known as Stiv, came out. I could tell his voice among a thousand voices.
21 There was a bit of chitchat, and he looked at me and he said: My
22 congratulations. You have a new commander, Dragan Djordjevic, Crni. I
23 said: Thank you. And he didn't say goodbye to Simo. And then Simo and I
24 went back to our own command.
25 Q. How did you react to Stevan Todorovic congratulating you?
1 A. There was no reaction. I didn't have a chance to tell him what I
2 wanted to tell him, and that was: Stevan, my friend, this is no good.
3 Q. Very well. Thank you. Did Commander Djurdjevic come out too?
4 A. Yes, straight away. He took me by the hand and he said: Jovo
5 Savic, you and Simo go to - Simo Zaric - go back to the units, keep
6 working, keep the army together, watch over the army. Do your job, your
7 regular job. I have been dismissed, but don't worry. Better times will
8 come. Those were his exact words.
9 Q. You and Zaric went back to your own command. Thank you.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I have just one small correction. I
11 believe that it was not an accurate translation of what the witness said,
12 because here on page 22, line 3, it was translated here that the witness
13 said, "Stevan, my friend, this is no good," which could suggest that the
14 witness was friend with Stevan Todorovic, and this is not actually what
15 the witness said.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: In fact, the meaning of this sentence from the
17 witness is that the witness actually never said these words at all.
18 Because he said he didn't have a chance to say that.
19 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Were you and Stevan Todorovic friends before the war, during the
21 war? What relationship did you have?
22 A. Stevan Todorovic, called Stiv, as a high school student, was my
23 tenant. He lived at my place, in my house, as a tenant, so I know him
24 from those days. We were acquaintances. But we didn't socialise. We
25 would just greet each other, nothing more than that.
1 Q. Thank you. So who was appointed commander of the 2nd Posavina
2 Infantry Brigade of the army of Republika Srpska after Commander Colonel
3 Djurdjevic was replaced?
4 A. Dragan Djordjevic, called Crni, became the commander of the 2nd
5 Posavina Infantry Brigade. I didn't know that he was also given the rank
6 of lieutenant colonel. So there was some correspondence in which -- and
7 some documents in which he signed himself as Lieutenant Colonel Dragan
8 Djordjevic. And that's him, and I know also that his nickname is Crni.
9 Q. Did he really have that rank or was he given that rank when he was
10 appointed as commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade?
11 A. I explained already how ranks are awarded in the army. This is a
12 procedure that takes some time for a person to be a lieutenant colonel,
13 and I know this very well. He needs to spend a certain amount of time in
14 a lower rank. He needs to be a major, then a lieutenant colonel. In
15 order to do that, he needs to be in that duty for at least four years,
16 with a very positive grade or assessment from his superior officer. So I
17 don't know how Lieutenant Colonel Djordjevic, called Crni, received this
18 rank. In my opinion, this was not legal. I didn't know that he was
19 really a lieutenant colonel.
20 Q. Do you have information about who appointed him commander of the
21 2nd Posavina Brigade?
22 A. The information was that someone, some superior officer, Dencic,
23 or something like that - I don't know - did that.
24 Q. Who was appointed chief of the 2nd Posavina Brigade?
25 A. Chief of the brigade was another man, a volunteer from Serbia,
1 called Debeli. His name was Srecko Radovanovic, called Debeli.
2 Q. And was Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, also a volunteer from Serbia? Do
3 you know who was the commander of the military police unit in the 2nd
4 Posavina Brigade?
5 A. Just one moment, please. The military police unit was commanded
6 by a man that I didn't know. He was a volunteer. Zlatan -- I don't
7 remember his last name.
8 Q. If I were to help you and tell you that, according to our
9 information, his name was Zvjezdan, what would you say?
10 A. Zvjezdan. Yes, that's right. Nobody knew any other name, just
11 Zvjezdan. We didn't know his last name. When I would see that man, he
12 was quite a hefty person, bulky.
13 Q. Very well. With the new command in the 2nd Posavina Brigade --
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, your question wasn't answered. You
15 asked the witness whether Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, was also a volunteer
16 from Serbia. There is no answer to that question.
17 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, he did answer that
18 question. Perhaps this was not recorded down in the transcript.
19 Q. Was Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, also a volunteer?
20 A. Yes. Yes, he was.
21 Q. Well, yes. This wasn't recorded, so it needs to be in the
23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me. Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. Before you
24 just move on to this part of your questioning. I wonder whether, Mr.
25 Antic [sic], as a military man yourself, you have some knowledge how
1 Commander Djurdjevic could be dismissed at this meeting in the conference
2 room where the people who were present were Dr. Blagoje Simic, Mr. Stevan
3 Todorovic. Where was their authority to dismiss him because you've said
4 earlier that the civilian authorities didn't interfere with the military,
5 and vice versa. So I'm just wondering how, in this meeting, in this
6 conference room, which later the new lieutenant colonel, otherwise known
7 as Crni, went into, could have produced this result. And I think the
8 Trial Chamber would be interested in hearing a little bit more about that.
9 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. You understood Her Honour Judge Williams's question. Just one
11 thing. This has happened another time. Mr. Savic has for the second time
12 been addressed as Mr. Antic. I think these are slight problems with our
13 last names. But this witness's name is Jovo Savic, and this is just for
14 the transcript.
15 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I apologise, Mr. Savic. Not that I muddled you
16 up. Slip of the tongue.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No problem, Your Honour. I will
18 tell you that I don't know who was at that point authorised to replace
19 Colonel Djurdjevic and to appoint Dragan Djordjevic, called Crni, to that
20 post. I don't know who was authorised to do that, and I don't know who it
21 was that replaced him. I know that he was at the meeting and that after
22 that, Djordjevic, Dragan, called Crni, was appointed commander. I don't
23 know. I don't know who appointed him.
24 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Okay. Thank you.
25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You said you were the -- we said that you were the commander of
2 the 5th Battalion, so that practically the commander of the 2nd Infantry
3 Brigade, Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, was your superior officer.
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. What happened to you after that, to you as the commander of the
6 4th -- no, I mean the 5th Battalion of the army of Republika Srpska?
7 Could you please tell the Trial Chamber.
8 A. Since I cannot remember the dates all that well - many years have
9 passed since then - sometime in early June I was carrying out my every day
10 regular duties. Stevan Todorovic, called Stiv, called me on the
11 telephone, asked me what I was doing and where is Roda. And I will
12 explain who Roda is. Roda is a younger man, Mladen Radovic, aka Roda,
13 he was my driver. When he asked me: Where is Roda, I answered well, yes,
14 he's here, close by. Stevan Todorovic then said: Why don't you come to
15 my -- to where I am right away. He was at the department store at the
16 time. That's where his office was. It was the Posavka department store
17 in Bosanski Samac. Your commander is waiting for you here. Of course, my
18 driver turned the engine on in the vehicle. We got into the car and we
19 went to the department store and went upstairs to the chief of the public
20 security station, Stevan Todorovic's office. The commander was present
21 there, Djordjevic. I greeted him. We sat down. We probably had
22 something to drink, coffee, juice, or a drink. And Dragan Djordjevic
23 asked me what was this man, Roda, doing? And he referred to him as "my
24 Roda." I said that he was a good driver, a quiet man, drove and
25 maintained the vehicle. He was steady, reliable, and so on.
1 Then Lieutenant Djordjevic, called Crni, my commander, addressed
2 my driver, called Roda, and said: Would you like to be a commander man?
3 And I was at a loss. I was surprised. I thought that he was joking. I
4 could tell by the driver that he -- he shrugged his shoulders, as we say,
5 as if he were accepting that. And that was the end of the story.
6 Then Crni, Lieutenant Colonel Djordjevic, said: Roda, you and me
7 are going to the Pelagicevo command, and you, Savic, go to the unit. I
8 must say also that this man, Lieutenant Colonel Djordjevic, when he talks,
9 he talks very quickly. Sometimes it's difficult to understand him. It's
10 unintelligible. So the way I understood it was that I was being replaced
11 from my post and that I was being replaced by my driver, called Roda.
12 I went to my command. There were two company commanders there,
13 Vlado Sisic and another one, I think his name was Dzemal. Maybe it wasn't
14 him. Maybe it was someone else, but it doesn't matter. We sat down, and
15 one of the commanders asked me this, Vlado Sisic. He said: Commander,
16 you seem to be in a bad mood. I tried to pretend as if nothing had
17 happened, and so on, but it didn't really work. Then I called together
18 the company commanders and told them, and I told them not to worry too
19 much. I was still going to stay there. But I would be just a general
20 affairs officer or a clerk, and I would be managing the general affairs
21 and so on.
22 Q. So you were replaced, and you went to the post of general affairs
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. Who became the commander of the 5th Battalion of the army of
1 Republika Srpska?
2 A. The commander of the 5th Battalion, the battalion that I headed up
3 until then, became, on that same day, Mladen Radovic, called Roda.
4 Q. Since Radovic Mladen was under your command, you probably know
5 whether he had any rank of a reserve military officer or did he have any
6 military education or training or anything like that? Tell us briefly.
7 A. No, he didn't have any rank, either of an officer or a
8 non-commissioned officer.
9 Q. So he was just a regular soldier. Thank you.
10 So how long did you stay in the 5th Battalion of the army of
11 Republika Srpska carrying out these general duties in the battalion?
12 A. I stayed in the 5th Battalion until the 1st of September, 1992.
13 Q. Which unit were you transferred to on the 1st of September, 1992,
14 and what changes took place, generally, in the 2nd Posavina Brigade of the
15 army of Republika Srpska?
16 A. I received the order that I was being transferred to the command
17 of the brigade, of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, to carry out duties of clerk
18 in the training and operative -- operations department, and that I should
19 report for duty on the 5th of September. When I came to the brigade
20 command and reported there, in accordance with this order, I was seen by
21 captain -- First Class Captain Jondic, Vojin, who introduced me to the
22 major, Mile Beronja, who became the commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry
23 Brigade. So he introduced me to him.
24 Q. What was the commander of Captain Beronja?
25 A. Mile Beronja.
1 Q. And what happened with the hitherto commander, Dragan Djordjevic,
2 Crni? How was he replaced? How was it that a new commander was appointed
3 in the person of Captain Mile Beronja?
4 A. I don't know when this happened, but I know that Crni and the
5 group that was around him went away. They were arrested. I don't know
6 what happened to them.
7 Q. Thank you. Now we have the following situation. There is a new
8 command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade. Can you tell us, if you
9 know, when Mr. Simo Zaric came to that brigade and what post in the
10 command of the brigade was he occupying?
11 A. I think Simo Zaric came together with me on the 5th of September,
12 and I know for sure that Simo Zaric was appointed assistant commander for
13 morale and legal affairs in the brigade command, morale, information, and
14 legal affairs. That is the name of his post.
15 Q. If I remember well, that body was called the department for
16 morale, legal, and religious affairs. If my memory serves me right.
17 Could you please tell us what that body was called.
18 A. I apologise, yes. I really apologise. The body or the
19 department, headed by Simo Zaric, as assistant commander, was called the
20 department for morale, religious, and legal affairs. The information part
21 was actually something that applied to the battalion. So I apologise.
22 Q. Yes, it's all right.
23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me. This may be just a question of
24 translation, but I'm wondering why an assistant commander in a military
25 infantry brigade would be in charge of religious affairs. I wonder
1 whether you could just briefly say what you know about that.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
3 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Please answer the question by Judge Williams.
5 A. I'll tell you. In addition to working with morale, religious
6 affairs implied the following: Whenever there were burials, and
7 unfortunately there were quite many, religious ceremonies, the last rites,
8 the speeches, all of this was part of the job description. Simo Zaric was
9 not a priest. He was merely an administrator linking up all these
10 different areas of activity related to a person's burial.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Can you tell us, please: The command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade,
14 how many members did it have? What did it consist of?
15 A. At the brigade command, we were 13 members all together. We had a
16 commander, chief of staff, personnel, operations section, security,
17 morale, and logistics. These were the different subsections that made up
18 the command of the brigade.
19 Q. Very well. Thank you. Tell me, please: From which military unit
20 did Commander Major Mile Beronja come? I want to know about the corps.
21 I'm not really interested in the official unit.
22 A. He came from the 1st Corps.
23 Q. Was that the 1st Krajina Corps?
24 A. Yes, that's exactly what its name was.
25 Q. The brigade command, at its meetings, did they discuss the state
1 of morale of brigade members? Did they discuss the reasons for such a
2 situation? Did it take any decisions as to what to do in that respect?
3 A. Each of the bodies, or rather, subsections that I've mentioned
4 earlier had the duty, very often in writing, to right the situation in
5 their own area, that is the situation in the unit, not in the command,
6 throughout the units. Among other things, Simo Zaric, as assistant
7 commander for morale, was duty-bound to send an official report once a
8 month to the corps command, the then East Bosnian Corps. In order for
9 this monthly report to be written, you need several days. You visit the
10 subordinated units, you visit the soldiers on the front lines, you try to
11 get an insight into what people are doing, how they feel, the way they
12 think, and a number of other activities too.
13 Sometimes, and even more frequently than that, not only Simo
14 Zaric, but other people from the command, once they're ordered to, would
15 go and visit the units, would visit defence lines and talk to people,
16 depending on the area and who was controlling the unit, in order to get an
17 idea of the situation.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
19 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. In late September, at the brigade command meeting of the 2nd
21 Posavina Infantry Brigade, was there a conclusion to draw up a report
22 concerning morale and the reasons for this situation? Who from the
23 command was in charge of preparing, of drafting this more comprehensive
24 report on morale?
25 A. Whenever he came back from visiting the unit, Simo Zaric had the
1 duty to inform the commander, and there were daily meetings of the
2 different command bodies, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the
3 evening. And people would come from the different ethnic groups and they
4 would report. Simo Zaric got the task from Commander Major Mile Beronja
5 to write a report for our internal use. Some sections of this report he
6 was told to forward, or rather, the whole report, to the East Bosnian
7 Corps. I think there was a colonel and I think his name was Dosen, but
8 really, I don't remember.
9 Q. So did the command discuss this information as contained in the
10 report written by Mr. Zaric?
11 A. Yes. Yes. On several occasions when this report was being
12 drafted, we had briefings, and one of us members would make amendments or
13 additions to the report. We tried to be helpful. Simo was in charge.
14 That was his job. I can even say that 90 per cent of the information
15 contained therein was information that he had obtained. It was, after
16 all, his duty. At brigade command level, this report was debated for a
17 long time, and eventually, at the end of November, I think perhaps on the
18 27th, but I don't have a very good head for dates --
19 Q. It doesn't matter.
20 A. We unanimously adopted this report.
21 Q. Take your time, please. The brigade command considered this
22 report, reviewed this report. Was everyone in attendance, all the members
23 of the command?
24 A. Yes, everyone, all the members of the command were in attendance.
25 Q. Were any representatives from the East Bosnian Corps present at
1 that meeting when this report was adopted?
2 A. Two colonels were there. I may go wrong there. I'm not sure
3 about their last names, but again, I think it was Dosen and Jakovljevic.
4 I may be wrong there, but I believe it was the two of them, from the East
5 Bosnian Corps, at that particular meeting where we adopted the report.
6 Q. You had this debate, and this report. How was it adopted? The
7 way documents are usually adopted? Was there voting? Was it a unanimous
9 A. No one voted against this report. It was a unanimous decision.
10 As soon as you signed, I know that --
11 Q. Was it then that all members of the command decided to sign the
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Members of the command, did they all sign it at the same time?
15 A. On the same day, at the same meeting, when it was adopted.
16 Q. Did you sign it too?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think this might
19 be a convenient time to break, because I would like the report to be shown
20 to the witness now.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll take our break and continue at 1100
23 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your
2 Honours. May the witness please be shown Exhibit Number P127.
3 Q. Mr. Savic, can you please have a look at this document,
4 familiarise yourself with it.
5 A. I am familiar with this document. This is the one.
6 Q. Have you ever seen this document before, and if so, when?
7 A. When it was being written and when it was adopted.
8 Q. So this is the document, the report, which you adopted at the
9 command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry brigade?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Would you now please look at the last page of this document. Do
12 you see the signatures there? Tell me, please, and read out whose name is
13 under number 7 of this list. Whose signature is it?
14 A. Number 7, Captain First Class, Jovo Savic, administrator for
15 operations and training, and that is me. That's my signature.
16 Q. Do you know whether the signatures of other members of the command
17 that we can see here are indeed their signatures?
18 A. This certainly looks identical to their signatures. I know most
19 of their signatures, and of course I know the people. That's it.
20 Q. I do not wish to discuss this document, but we have ascertained
21 that this is indeed the document. And under number 7 we see your
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] We will not be needing this
1 document now.
2 Q. What happened after the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade
3 adopted this report? Was there a meeting? When? How? Who was present?
4 Please tell us, if you know.
5 A. One day, Commander Mile Beronja told us that we would have a
6 meeting on that day and that we would have visitors. The meeting was held
7 in a room. We used to call it the restaurant. In addition to the members
8 of the command, other persons were present, persons from Samac, Mr.
9 Blagoje Simic, Mr. Bozo Ninkovic, Mr. Milan Simic, maybe some other
10 persons too, but I can't remember.
11 Q. At that meeting, did Stevan Todorovic, also known as Stiv, attend
12 that meeting too?
13 A. Yes. I forgot about him. And there was another person too.
14 Stevan Todorovic was there, and another man who said he was from the SUP,
15 or from the MUP. He was some sort of chief or head. I think his name was
16 Minic, if I remember correctly.
17 Q. This person from MUP, what is the MUP? That's the Ministry of the
18 Interior; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What was discussed at that meeting? What happened at that
22 A. At the meeting, the report was discussed, the report written by
23 the command, or rather, members of the command who wrote it. A certain
24 amount of discontent was voiced by a number of people, especially those
25 who were visitors, and then I remember that Stevan Todorovic was the most
1 vociferous one. He was saying: What are you really after? Who do you
2 think you are? This just isn't right. You want to get people to
3 quarrel. You want to get people to clash with the army. And so on and so
4 forth. It was a very heated debate.
5 At one point, this person from the SUP, from the Ministry of the
6 Interior, threatened the members of the command. He said that there would
7 be acts of repression, that there would be criminal reports against
8 people, that people would be punished. It was all about that.
9 Q. Who took part in this discussion on behalf of the command? Could
10 all members of the command take the floor? Specifically, I want to know
11 if Commander Beronja then allowed Mr. Simo Zaric to take part in this
13 A. I remember that Simo Zaric wanted to speak, but Commander Mile
14 Beronja said: No. Sit down. Simo didn't say a word.
15 Q. How was the meeting concluded?
16 A. In a rather unusual way, I'll say. There was almost a punch-up.
17 A member of ours, a member of the command who was one of the signatories
18 of the report, his name was Jovan Erletic. At one point he sprang to his
19 feet and faced Minic, saying, from the Ministry of the Interior, he said:
20 Who are you to be telling us all this? Who do you want? And then they
21 almost started fighting.
22 Q. So let me get this right. At this meeting, there were no
23 conclusions that were adopted from both sides?
24 A. No, not as far as I know.
25 Q. What happened later with Mr. Zaric, and what happened to him
1 later, as a member of the command in the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade of
2 the army of Republika Srpska?
3 A. After that, Simo Zaric was returned to one of the units as a
4 regular soldier. He was degraded, as we say. He was assistant commander
5 and then he became just a regular soldier.
6 Q. After how long did you say? After how much time?
7 A. Well, I don't know. Perhaps a couple of days passed.
8 Q. Very well. Thank you. I would like to go back now to an event
9 that exposed you and Mr. Zaric to certain contacts with the members of
10 these volunteers. Do you remember the situation when the corridor in the
11 village of Kornica was closed, or the village of Gornja Slatina? Who
12 closed it, and what did you and Mr. Zaric experience when you were going
13 to your work at the command in Pelagicevo, to the 2nd Posavina Brigade?
14 A. The commander, Beronja, sent us to Samac. I remember it was
15 autumn. It was a little bit misty or foggy. And we were going in the
16 direction of Samac. At one checkpoint of the civilian police in Crkvina,
17 we were stopped by a policeman, an acquaintance of ours. Both Simo and I
18 knew him. His name was Djordje.
19 Q. You don't have to give us the name.
20 A. And he said the following to us: The two of you, be careful.
21 Lugar and his team are looking for you. And this was something that would
22 send shivers down to your bones, to be in such a situation. Simo and I
23 continued on our way to Samac. We drove quickly, and we were thinking in
24 the car, and just talking about what to do and where to go. He suggested
25 that we go to his apartment, and I suggested that we go to my house.
1 Still, we decided to go to his apartment, but in front of the building
2 where he lives, we saw a Golf vehicle. One man in this vehicle with a
3 hood on his head. We thought that this was somebody who was waiting for
4 us, so very quickly we turned into a small street, put the car in the
5 garage, and as fast as we were able to, we went into his apartment.
6 Q. What do you mean when you say "Lugar and his team"? What did you
7 mean by that? Could you explain that?
8 A. Lugar had this group of people around him who were similar to
9 him. These were volunteers. We call them Sareni, specials. This is what
10 they call themselves. That is who I meant.
11 Q. Please, when, in which month, if you can remember the approximate
12 dates? When was this corridor closed? When did this take place?
13 A. I think that this was in November. That's what I think.
14 Q. Do you know how Lugar came to be in this area, Lugar and this
15 group of his? Under whose command were they?
16 A. They were under Stiv's command. I thought that they had already
17 left, gone somewhere, because I wouldn't see them in Pelagicevo. Perhaps
18 some of them would stop by at Pelagicevo. But we didn't really have any
19 contacts. They were under Stiv's command.
20 Q. What did this policeman tell you so that you and Mr. Zaric got so
21 worried and were getting ready to hide and so on?
22 A. Well, Lugar is a man who, as we say, will stop at nothing. He
23 doesn't care. He can beat a man, kick him, impose his will on him. In
24 other words, this was a man who had something happening in his head.
25 Sometimes it seemed to me as if he had gone mad.
1 Q. Please, did this police officer tell you something to make you so
2 worried about your lives? I mean, you said you had gone to hide.
3 A. As soon as he mentioned the words "Lugar and his team," that was
4 enough to mean run and hide.
5 Q. Were you afraid for your lives?
6 A. Yes, we were afraid down to our very bones.
7 Q. And what happened then?
8 A. Simo and I spent the whole night taking turns, keeping watch. One
9 slept for a while, while the other was awake. After this person that we
10 saw in the Golf, the man in the hood, sometime after midnight, this
11 vehicle went away, and we got up -- now it was quite foggy, and we were
12 thinking what to do now. We didn't have any communications with our
13 Superior Command so that we could inform them of the situation that we
14 were in. We decided to take the same road back.
15 When we approached Kornica, immediately in the vicinity of this
16 checkpoint, we realised that we had made a mistake in going back, because
17 we had picked up somebody on the way, a man, a civilian. And we were
18 stopped by one of the police officers. Lugar approached us and said: You
19 can see the birds are now in a package. This is what he said to us. And
20 the package was actually Simo and myself. He didn't know this third man.
21 He asked us: Where are you going, gentlemen? Simo Zaric replied: To
22 work. And he continued with his question: What work? What kind of work?
23 What kind of a brigade is this? There were all of these additional
24 questions. And then from the right side, a member approached. I was his
25 uncle, and he happened to be in this team. He said: Uncle, what are you
1 doing here? And probably when Lugar heard this exchange of ours, he said
2 the following: You can go to that sorry command of yours. I will come to
3 see you. I don't want to see any one of you run.
4 Simo and I went to our workplace. We knew where Colonel Novica
5 Simic was. I'm not sure whether he was a general at that point. Anyway,
6 we dropped by to see him and briefly explained to Mr. Novica Simic what
7 was happening at Kornica.
8 Q. Just one moment, please. Mr. Novica Simic, what was his duty at
9 that time?
10 A. He was the commander of the East Bosnia Corps, but at the time, he
11 happened to be in Donji Zabar, in a facility called Agroposavina. That
12 was his forward command post.
13 Q. And what did he say once you had informed him of the situation?
14 A. He said the following: Men, you go back to your unit command.
15 I'm sick and tired of them as well. I'm thinking of the volunteers. I
16 have already taken certain steps to get rid of that gang. I have started
17 the armoured battalion moving. I have prepared the artillery in order to
18 cover them.
19 Then I said: Colonel, sir, very close to that checkpoint where we
20 were stopped is the house of my wife's parents and my two children. And
21 the colonel said the following thing: Savic, get your wife and children
22 out of there, in any way that you can, and tell your family to leave that
24 We went to our command and we informed our commander, Beronja,
25 about what was happening, and he said: You two have to be careful. Watch
1 out for those fools, and they're really not a good lot. You have to watch
2 yourself. And this is how the whole story ended.
3 Q. You use this term "to cover them by artillery." Could you please
4 clearly explain for the transcript and for the Trial Chamber exactly what
5 you mean by that term.
6 A. Yes, I will explain. This is a slang term. To cover by artillery
7 means to actually cover a certain area by artillery fire, a certain area
8 that is covered by that fire.
9 Q. Does that mean that the commander, Simic, was planning to hit that
10 checkpoint by artillery fire, the checkpoint that was closing the
11 corridor, and open fire at all the people who happened to be at that
13 A. Yes, that is probably what he meant to do, I mean, if he said
15 Q. Were you ever in a situation to attend, as part of an official
16 delegation of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, any municipal ceremonies or fetes,
17 and if so, did you have any meetings with anyone, and if you did, what
18 were these contacts? What was the content of such contacts? What
19 happened during these occasions?
20 Q. Of course, when we were celebrating our army holidays, it was in
21 our practice always to have people from the Samac municipality attend.
22 They would also invite us back, also to their celebrations. I remember on
23 one occasion, two or three of us were invited to, I think -- no, I don't
24 think, I know that Beronja, Major Beronja was there, the Chief of Staff,
25 Milan Josic was there. He was a captain. And myself. We went to this
1 hotel for the celebration of the -- to mark the town holiday. I don't
2 remember exactly what the occasion was. But this lunch was not as
3 pleasant as we expected it to be. It was spoiled for us by Stiv, who
4 tried to tell us that we were not welcome, that we were Commis, that the
5 4th Detachment was an Ustasha detachment. What are you thinking? I think
6 that he was in a semi-intoxicated state, but regardless of that, I know
7 him well, since he was a young man, so.
8 Q. What did he say that you were Commis?
9 A. Yes. He said that we were Commis, that we were no Serbs.
10 Q. Thank you. And do you know the date that was celebrated as the
11 day of the Samac municipality, its holiday? Do you know?
12 A. Yes, I do. It's the 17th of April.
13 Q. Thank you very much. I have a couple more questions. You are an
14 officer. Could you please tell us when a soldier can refuse to implement
15 an order issued by his superior? In which circumstances?
16 A. A soldier can refuse to implement an order from his superior only
17 in case -- in the event that such an order would border on or constitute a
18 criminal act or would result in some adverse consequences for people or
19 materiel equipment, and so on.
20 Q. We've received information from you so far that the 4th Detachment
21 received three orders from the commander of the 17th Tactical Group in the
22 course of the 17th of April, 1992. This is the order on the detachment's
23 mobilisation. In your opinion, does this order constitute a criminal act?
24 A. No.
25 Q. The second order, to take up defensive lines on the Bosanski Samac
1 embankment, is that something that would constitute a criminal act?
2 A. No. No.
3 MR. RE: I object.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
5 MR. RE: I appreciate the answer was given before I could jump in
6 and object, but the witness has just given two answers which he's been
7 asked to express a legal opinion. It's one thing for the witness to give
8 a view and his experience as an officer. It's quite another for him to
9 express an opinion for which he has not been qualified before this
10 Tribunal to do so. So I object to answers as to whether things were legal
11 or not, as opposed to what was done.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
13 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence cannot
14 agree with this approach or this standpoint of the Prosecution. If a
15 soldier is asked to differentiate between a criminal act, what runs
16 against certain interests, or has the choice not to commit a criminal act,
17 each man, each soldier, has enough civic education in order to be able to
18 differentiate between orders that constitute a criminal act and the ones
19 that do not. They don't have to be legal experts. This is prescribed
20 under the law and is contained in international conventions. How could he
21 refuse to do something if he's not aware that something constitutes a
22 criminal act? This is an individual opinion of each member of the JNA,
23 starting down from a regular soldier all the way up to superior officers.
24 I'm asking him whether, in his opinion, not in accordance with legal
25 practice or laws. I'm asking him whether he, as an average citizen, can
1 differentiate between orders which could constitute a criminal act or be
2 counter to international conventions, and those which do not. Why would
3 it state that at all, then, in the law, that a soldier has the right to
4 refuse an order if he considers it to be a criminal act?
5 MR. RE: Your Honours, I don't object to -- to clarify, I don't
6 object to him giving an opinion as to whether he thought it did. I'm
7 objecting to him saying it was or it wasn't. I hope that clarifies my
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. From your explanation, Mr. Pisarevic, the
11 Trial Chamber will allow the question, because he -- the witness, as a
12 soldier, and having been acting in that capacity during the events that
13 are being discussed, then he can give his opinion.
14 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. A third question: The collection of military weapons from
16 citizens of Bosanski Samac, did that in your opinion constitute a criminal
18 A. No.
19 Q. Just another question, please: How did Simo Zaric end up as a
20 regular soldier, and which fronts throughout the Republic of Srpska and
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina did he go to, as far as you know?
22 A. In my opinion, Simo Zaric was responsible officer. He was a
23 conscientious officer. He is well qualified to deal with a number of
24 issues. He was a senior officer. As to where he spent his time and on
25 what front lines, you should ask him.
1 Q. Are you aware that he was at Majevica?
2 A. Yes, that sounds likely.
3 Q. Glamoc?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. Bihac?
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. Krupe?
8 A. Krupe. Yes, yes, he was there.
9 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this concludes my
10 examination-in-chief. Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Any other counsel.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] We have no questions for this
13 witness, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Ms. Usher, could I have your assistance in the
16 meantime, please. I have a copy of a certain part of the judgement for
17 the interpreters' booth, so they can follow the translation, please.
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Savic.
20 A. Good afternoon.
21 Q. My name is Pantelic. I defend Mr. Blagoje Simic. I will ask you
22 a number of questions.
23 Tell me, please, Mr. Savic: Are you a member of any political
25 A. No.
1 Q. In 1992, were you a member of any party?
2 A. No.
3 Q. As an educated man, as an officer, as a citizen of Samac, I'm sure
4 you will know from personal experience about which option the SDA and the
5 HDZ were advocating in Samac as concerns the status of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
6 the then Yugoslavia. What did they push for?
7 A. These political issues I can only think in terms of what would
8 have been, if something else had been the case, what the party platforms
9 were, I don't know.
10 Q. Please don't speculate. I'm asking you, as a man who has an
11 average amount of information, specifically: The SDA and the HDZ, did
12 they then advocate an independent Bosnia-Herzegovina? Do you know this
13 from the media or from conversations?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was the SDS in favour of remaining within Yugoslavia?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. In November 1991, was there a plebiscite of the Serbian people?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was the subject of that plebiscite remaining within Yugoslavia?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Tell me, please: On the basis of your personal knowledge, on the
22 basis of these views of the SDS, would you characterise the party as
23 nationalistic or rather as national?
24 A. I would describe the party as a national party of the Serbian
1 Q. Mr. Savic, Blagoje Simic, prior to the 16th of April, 1992, did he
2 have any contact with the command of the 4th Detachment? Did he make
3 plans concerning an armed takeover in Samac? What do you know about that?
4 A. No, I don't know of any such thing.
5 Q. What's your personal knowledge of the following: The municipal
6 SDS of Samac, were they hatching any plans with the 4th Detachment and
7 with the 17th Tactical Group concerning an armed takeover of power or
8 planning a coup to remove the government then in place?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Mr. Savic, at that time - I'm talking about April 1992 - was there
11 any such entity as Republika Srpska in existence, or rather, the Republic
12 of the Serbian people within Bosnia and Herzegovina?
13 A. Can you please repeat the question?
14 Q. Yes, gladly. In April 1992, did the Republika Srpska already
15 exist, or Republic of the Serbian people within Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 A. Yes, it did.
17 Q. Tell me, please, in connection with Samac municipality, Bosanski
18 Samac: From the 17th of April, 1992 onwards, you were a military
19 commander. You know what was happening. Samac municipality, in terms of
20 its territory, did it have the same borders as prior to the 17th of April,
22 A. No.
23 Q. Mr. Savic, please tell me: Do you have any knowledge as to how,
24 at that point, and now, what part of the municipality of Samac before the
25 war under Croat control is called? Do you know the name of that
1 particular section of Bosanski Samac municipality?
2 A. I know of a village which was part of Samac municipality,
3 Domaljevac. It's no longer part of Samac municipality. They call
4 themselves also Bosanski Samac municipality. I know that Prud is no
5 longer part of the municipality, Grebnice. A small part of it did remain
6 on our side, so to speak. Kazi [as interpreted] is no longer with us.
7 That sort of thing. Those villages.
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just for the record. The name of the village
9 mentioned on page 48, line 7, is Bazik, B-A-Z-I-K.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It will be corrected.
11 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Very well. Tell me, Mr. Savic: The SDS in Samac, did they have
13 their own armed unit?
14 A. I don't know about Samac, but in the village, I do know. We knew
15 about the parties arming themselves. We did know about that, the SDS too.
16 Q. More specifically, was there an armed unit or formation in the
17 sense of command? What's your personal information concerning that, the
18 HDZ and the SDA, what sort of armed units did they have?
19 A. In Samac, the SDS did not have any units.
20 Q. Tell me, please: Do you have any personal information regarding
21 the following: How did the SDA and the HDZ organise themselves in Samac?
22 A. They did have their own units. Now, what kind of units exactly,
23 what the formations were, which levels of manpower, I don't know, but they
24 did have their own units.
25 Q. I assume you had information on whether they had certain weapons
1 or not.
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. What's the basis for that information?
4 A. Of course, I've given you the example of members of the SDA
5 opening fire on a vehicle. I talked about that yesterday.
6 Q. Yes, but in addition to that.
7 A. I've seen individual members walking about town, observing,
8 patrolling, armed people, people who were not part of my detachment.
9 Q. You mentioned that the SDS allegedly had an armed unit in one of
10 the villages. Which village was that? Do you know, or is this only an
11 assumption of yours? Do you have any specific information regarding that?
12 A. I know that there were quite a number of people in the villages
13 who had party affiliations, the SDS, more specifically. They were given
14 weapons. Who gave them weapons and when exactly, I really have no idea,
15 but I know about the organisation.
16 Q. More specifically, do you know if there was an SDS armed formation
17 with a commander heading it? Because it was the area of responsibility of
18 the 17th Tactical Group. Where and who was the commander of that alleged
19 SDS armed group, armed unit, in the village?
20 A. I know a man who was in Batkusa, Mico Banovic, called Mijak. I
21 know that he was a member of the SDS and that he was a commander. But
22 whether that was how he arrived to his position as commander, he was a
23 reserve officer. He was Captain First Class and he was a commander of a
24 unit in Batkusa. That much I know.
25 Q. Is it the 1st Detachment of the 17th Tactical Group where this
1 Mijak was commander?
2 A. Can you please repeat? Yes. Yes. It was the 1st Detachment but
3 I must say that the 1st Detachment had its own command in Slatina, and
4 they split up into two groups and Mijak was the commander of that
5 detachment, but only for a brief while. I know that.
6 Q. In addition to the 1st and the 4th Detachment that were parts of
7 the 17th Tactical Group, there were three or four other detachments in a
8 were part of the Tactical Group, weren't there?
9 A. I think there were five of them all total, but I'm not sure. Yes,
11 Q. These detachments were headed by JNA officers, weren't they?
12 A. Yes, reserve officers.
13 Q. And the detachments were headed by officers who were from
14 different political environments, weren't they?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. Mr. Savic, you are, after all, a reserve officer. You hold a
17 military rank. During your education, during your military practice, did
18 you have any courses or any programmes concerning the application of
19 international law of war, international humanitarian law, and the Geneva
20 Conventions? Are you familiar with that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I will read out to you now two articles from Additional Protocol I
23 of the Geneva Conventions. So tell me, please: You needn't necessarily
24 remember this, but I'd just like to hear whether you agree with the things
25 I'm about to read out to you?
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: I mean, what is the importance, what is the
2 relevance of such testimony, whether he agrees or not with the text of
3 Geneva Conventions? They are as they are. I mean, what -- what is the
4 meaning of this? Does the witness agrees with the text of Geneva
5 Convention or not? I really don't see --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Well, Your Honour, can I explain what is the basis?
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. In fact, what I'm interested in is that to
10 see personal knowledge of this witness with regard to the notion of
11 command responsibility. In this particular articles of Geneva Conventions
12 are dealing with specific issue command responsibility. Because we have
13 facts in dispute here: Who is in charge within the zone of responsibility
14 of one military unit? Whether to some extent are civilian authorities or
15 military authorities. Since this witness was a commander of one of the
16 quite important units with a zone of responsibility in Samac municipality,
17 I think, especially because he's a reserve officer and he knows the
18 provisions of Geneva Conventions, I'd like to clarify certain issues of
19 command responsibility and his personal knowledge about that.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, this witness hasn't come to court as
21 an expert. He may have military background and all that, but he's here as
22 a fact witness. You can ask him what was happening on the ground. We are
23 interested in the facts. Who was dealing with what. This was a period
24 when so many things were changing, and institutions were being formed so
25 rapidly, as you've heard even the evidence of this witness.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. So he can tell us as to facts what was
3 happening, who was dealing with what.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Okay. Yes.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Savic, in accordance with the JNA
6 doctrine, we'll agree that this was about the principle of subordination
7 and singleness of command, wasn't it?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. In the area of responsibility of the 17th Tactical Group, tell me,
10 please: The command, or rather, the commander, Lieutenant Colonel Stevan
11 Nikolic, while he was there, while he was in the area, was he practically
12 responsible for the whole area of responsibility and for all the
13 detachments under his command?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. And of course, it's beyond dispute that his Superior Command was
16 at that point based in Tuzla. It was the Tuzla Corps, commanded by
17 General Savo Jankovic, I think.
18 A. Yes, I think so.
19 Q. Above that corps was the 2nd army, commanded by General Kukanjac.
20 A. I don't really know. I wasn't in active service at that point.
21 Q. Please tell us how this functioned. While Lieutenant Colonel
22 Nikolic was the commander of the 17th Tactical Group, in their area of
23 responsibility, were his orders complied with?
24 A. Only his orders were complied with, no one else's.
25 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic, could he initiate proceedings before
1 military investigative organs if anyone happened to disobey his orders
2 while he was the commander of the 17th Tactical Group?
3 A. He had every authority and every right to do so.
4 Q. Tell me: Commander Nikolic, did he initiate any proceedings at
5 that time? Did you know anything about that?
6 A. No. I have no information regarding that, but I heard about some
7 proceedings that he had initiated.
8 Q. Do you know what sort of proceedings those were that he initiated?
9 A. I'm no lawyer myself, so I don't know about these disciplinary
10 measures, but there was something about that.
11 Q. Very well. In November, or rather, December 1992 - we're talking
12 about the 2nd Posavina Brigade - there was an incident where a scout was
13 killed in the area of responsibility of the 2nd Posavina Brigade. Do you
14 remember that?
15 A. It's possible. I remember that someone killed someone else. I
16 remember that. First name, last name, I don't know. I think the person
17 was a scout.
18 Q. And what do you know? Was there a reasonable doubt or grounds to
19 believe that this was committed by the volunteers from Serbia?
20 A. Yes. This is what the stories said that were circulating, but I
21 really don't know about that.
22 Q. Do you have information about whether, after this event, whether
23 any proceedings were conducted at the military court in Banja Luka against
24 these perpetrators?
25 A. There were stories that some people were arrested, that they were
1 in detention or arrested in Banja Luka, but more than that, I don't know.
2 Q. Very well. Could you please tell me: Do you remember, in October
3 or November 1992, whether you received from the Main Staff of the army of
4 Republika Srpska, since at the time you were in the command of the 2nd
5 Posavina Brigade, did you perhaps receive any instructions or guidelines
6 for the criminal prosecution of members of the army of Republika Srpska
7 who committed a criminal act? Do you remember receiving such
9 A. No, I don't remember. I was really just a clerk for operations
10 and training. This is something that perhaps legal staff would know.
11 This is something that they would be aware of.
12 Q. And who were in the legal staff in the army?
13 A. Well, we did have legal staff. One of them was a lawyer,
14 Mrs. Ana Dragicevic, and the other one I don't know.
15 Q. Was she an officer or was she a civilian employed in the military?
16 A. She was a civilian employed in the military.
17 Q. But in any case, based on this doctrine that we have discussed,
18 any eventual proceedings would be initiated by the commander, i.e., Major
19 Beronja; is that right?
20 A. Yes, that should have been the case, if something like that was
22 Q. Just as you, when you were commander of the 4th Detachment of the
23 17th Tactical Group, were responsible for something that happened in your
24 area of responsibility, and you would be the one who would be submitting a
25 criminal report?
1 A. No. I would inform my Superior Command about that, and they were
2 the ones who had the adequate staff in their section. I would be the one
3 just to pass on a proposal.
4 Q. So practically, whenever you, as the commander of the 4th
5 Detachment, received information about a criminal act being committed or
6 some violation, you would inform your higher command, i.e., the 17th
7 Tactical Group, which would then in turn take the legal steps, the
8 criminal report, court, or whatever other proceedings were necessary; is
9 that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Was Dr. Blagoje Simic ever a member of the 4th Detachment?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Did he ever interfere in the work of the 4th Detachment?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did Dr. Blagoje Simic ever send any kind of document, order,
16 instruction, to the 4th Detachment for it to do something?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Could you please tell me when it was formed on the 17th, 18th, and
19 19th of April, in mid-April, did the Crisis Staff of the Serbian
20 municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo under formation interfere in the work
21 and the area of responsibility of the 4th Detachment?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Could you please tell me whether you, as the 4th Detachment, or
24 you as one of the more prominent people in the 4th Detachment, when the
25 detachment was formed, enjoyed the support of the socio-political
1 community or the municipality, ruled by the SDA, SDS, and the HDZ? Did
2 they then provide support for the formation of the 4th Detachment at the
4 MR. RE: I withdraw my objection. I'm sorry.
5 A. No political or any other support was necessary in the forming of
6 the unit. Simply, this was carried out by the Ministry of Defence, or the
7 municipal secretariat for the defence, referring to the staffing and all
8 the other issues, and I've already talked about how this was actually
9 carried out in our area.
10 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Yes. That is very clear to me. I would just like to ask you one
12 more thing. Can we agree that the 4th Detachment was formed based on the
13 principle of voluntary accession, and that those who wished to join
14 volunteered; there was no compulsion to do that?
15 A. Yes, that's right. Those who wished to join were given a war
16 assignment, and they remained here in the territory and were given an
18 Q. So practically --
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour. I believe that the answer of
20 the witness was not properly recorded. He was speaking -- he spoke about
21 first reporting to the ministry and then I don't see this in his answer,
22 here on page 56, line 17. That's those who were to join the Detachment
23 first reported to the Ministry of Defence and then they were sent to the
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. But we did have that explanation in
1 examination-in-chief, and I think that is sufficient.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, it's sufficient, of course.
3 Q. [Interpretation] So can we agree that the principle that applied
4 in the 4th Detachment regarding its membership was the principle of
5 voluntary membership? Is that right?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. And the number varied, but the strength of the detachment ranged
8 from 400 to 450 men; is that right?
9 A. [No interpretation]
10 Q. Your answer was not recorded. Could you please repeat that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And regarding the weapons, there were semi-automatic rifles,
13 automatic rifles, mortars, and so on. You've said that earlier.
14 A. No. There were no mortars. I did not have any artillery
15 equipment in Samac, just infantry weapons.
16 Q. Were there any bazookas, Zoljas, or rocket launchers?
17 A. This was issued later, depending on the type of combat activity,
18 the type of attacks, and so on.
19 Q. Since the formation of the detachment, I assume that you also
20 carried out certain kinds of training in military skills, as well as in
21 the application of military law, war law, and so on. Did you do that as
22 part of the training?
23 A. Sir, when the war broke out, unfortunately, we did not have enough
24 time to carry out training. However, in contacts with the men, with the
25 officers, it was explained to them that any soldier who had completed
1 training in the JNA had learned the most elementary things and applied
2 them in conditions of war.
3 Q. Yes, yes. I understand. I'm asking you about the period before
4 the outbreak of the war, so this was in 1991 and early 1992, when you had
5 military training. Did you discuss topics of wartime law and topics like
7 A. Yes. Pre- -- in the pre-war period, we did discuss such training.
8 For example, I was deployed in Derventa.
9 Q. I'm interested in the 4th Detachment.
10 A. Yes. We did have target practice.
11 Q. Other than target practice in the 4th Detachment, you also studied
12 international wartime law and the regulations from the JNA?
13 A. We -- even though this is a military topic, we didn't have the
14 conditions, we didn't have the time to do that, and we didn't have experts
15 who would be able to take us through that kind of training, but each
16 soldier who had served their regular duty did learn things about these
18 Q. The components of the Yugoslav People's Army at the time were the
19 army and the TO; is that right?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. And the TO units were under the command of the military unit which
22 would be operating in the relevant area? I'm saying that there was no
23 parallel command, that there was one command for the army and another
24 command for the TO. Could you explain that?
25 A. In Samac there was the municipal TO staff, and it had its own
1 commander and its own organs of command.
2 Q. Who was the commander responsible to, to Colonel Nikolic or
3 somebody else?
4 A. He had his own Superior Command, municipal staffs and republican
5 staffs. Republic -- municipal staffs, area staffs, and republican
6 staffs. This would be some kind of hierarchy in the TO. But I didn't
7 work in the TO staff. I worked in the secretariat for National Defence.
8 Q. And in any case, the TO units would coordinate their activities
9 with the appropriate military or army unit that was in that territory; is
10 that right?
11 A. Probably.
12 Q. Very well. Could you please tell me, regarding events on the
13 night of the 16th and 17th of April: You said that according to you, the
14 16th was a normal day, just like any other; it wasn't different from any
15 other day. Is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. But on that day, in the evening, around 11.00, you discussed
18 certain tensions and problems in Samac at the command of the 4th
20 A. It's probably that we did. We had these discussions every day.
21 It could have happened in the afternoon, in the morning. I don't remember
22 the exact time when this happened.
23 Q. Specifically, I'm interested to know whether Simo Zaric came back
24 from a meeting of the Crisis Staff, of the local commune, on the 16th, and
25 he was pretty upset, and you had a meeting. And did he inform you about
1 what was happening? Now I'm talking about the 16th of April.
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't understand what the
3 witness said.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Can --
5 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Could you please tell me --
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Can the witness please repeat his answer.
8 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Yes. Yes. Could you please come closer to the microphone. Could
10 you bring your chair closer, please.
11 A. I said I do not remember.
12 Q. But at the 4th Detachment command, I assume you did have data
13 available about certain activities on the Croat and Muslim side, that they
14 were arming and that an attack against Samac was being prepared in that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Around this time, the 4th Detachment received an ultimatum from
18 the newly founded TO staff to join the TO, practically, of Bosanski Samac.
19 MR. RE: I object. As I understand it, there's no evidence before
20 the Trial Chamber of there being "an ultimatum."
21 MR. PANTELIC: I will rephrase that, of course. Maybe it was my
22 slip of the tongue, because I am in defence case, so we have --
23 JUDGE MUMBA: And Mr. Pantelic, while you're asking this witness
24 questions, please always remember that the armed conflict is admitted by
25 both sides. It's not contentious.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Yes, Your Honour. I do -- I do agree with
2 that. But the issue here is whether the certain plans of Muslim Croatian
3 side was at that time actual, and what was the response of 4th Detachment
4 and other military units with regard to these alleged plans, of course.
5 So I want to clarify just this relation. Because subsection --
6 subparagraph 1 of count 1 in the indictment claims that my client, as well
7 as the other accused, are charged with the forcible takeover. So I just
8 want to clarify whether it was a military operation with regard to the
9 preventing incursions of the other side on the territory of Samac or it
10 was, as my learned friend from Prosecution stated, that it was forcible
11 takeover. Simple as that. I will just clarify that, very, very briefly.
12 Thank you.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please tell me if you have any personal
14 knowledge, so we can continue, about there being a request for the 4th
15 Detachment to be placed under the command of the Samac TO at the time. Do
16 you have any information about that?
17 A. No, I don't have any information about that.
18 Q. Could you tell me: What were the intelligence sources for you in
19 the 4th Detachment about certain intentions - let me put it that way - of
20 the other side, the enemy side? Did you discuss about what was being
21 prepared at the command? Specifically, I will remind you: Sijekovac,
22 Brod had taken place [as interpreted], and Samac at the time was in a kind
23 of encirclement.
24 MR. RE: Perhaps question by question, Your Honour. The first
25 question was, what were your intelligence sources?
1 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. So specifically, the command of the 4th Detachment, did you
3 discuss, based on certain intelligence data, about the security situation,
4 and if you did discuss such topics, where did these sources -- what were
5 the sources for this, and so on?
6 A. I can say that our men in the 4th Detachment were deployed very
7 close to the Republic of Croatia, along the Sava River and the Bosna
8 River, in the direction of Prud. We didn't need any other intelligence
9 work, because we were very close. We knew what the movements of the units
10 were. We had a very small unit which monitored and was carrying out
11 reconnaissance and was suggesting the measures to be taken and reporting
12 back. So there wasn't any kind of intelligence body that dealt with
13 this. Of course, we also received intelligence data at the command, which
14 was processed by Mr. Simo Zaric, and he also proposed the measures to be
15 undertaken. I must say that this was a long time ago. I have forgotten
16 many things. But whatever I remember, I will tell you.
17 Q. Very well. That's exactly why I wish to remind you now of what
18 Simo Zaric states in his book "Crucified in The Hague." Perhaps this will
19 refresh your memory. He says that at the command of the 17th Tactical
20 Group there were clear outlines of a scenario of a Croat/Muslim coalition
21 attack on Samac at the time. He says that many people even in the 4th
22 Detachment were involved in defending, preparing for the town's defence in
23 a timely manner. Specifically, do you agree with this view expressed by
24 Simo Zaric?
25 A. Yes, I do. We did have a small unit that was involved in such
2 Q. Can you tell me, please: Do you know that, in late April, I
3 believe, Simo Zaric put in an appearance, it was a TV show, a programme
4 by Novi Sad TV. They talked about the situation in Samac. Did you see
5 the programme?
6 A. No. I merely heard of it, but I never even talked to him about
7 it. I really don't know.
8 Q. Be that as it may, this programme was tendered into evidence, this
9 TV show. I will not run this for you now, in order to save time. I'll
10 just read out a section of Simo Zaric's statement from that TV show,
11 because it has been tendered into evidence here. He was asked the
12 following question by the journalist, what was going on in Samac, that
13 sort of thing, and Simo Zaric answered: "Yes, that's true. And we have
14 information that the Crisis Staff, the legally established Crisis Staff,
15 by members of the SDA and the HDZ, had the dirtiest possible intentions
16 towards this people. I can point out to you that we know that they were
17 supposed to perform an operation between the 16th and the 17th, or between
18 the 17th and the 18th of April, which means that this was consistent with
19 our anticipation of the situation, and on the basis of the documents that
20 we have, they were supposed to prepare all the plans and continue their
21 operation to turn this town into a huge tragedy within only 48 hours."
22 Since he was your assistant for intelligence and security, I
23 suppose you would agree with what he said.
24 A. If you repeated this about six times in a row, perhaps I could
25 agree, but I know that Simo probably got this information through his own
1 channels in different ways, because he was involved in that kind of thing
2 before. So I'm not sure whether I should agree or disagree. This
3 sentence is a rather longish one.
4 Q. But the essence of this is about the plans of the SDA and the HDZ,
5 and about a possible attack; do you agree with that?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. Very well. Finally, in connection with the information we've just
8 discussed: On the basis of all this information, did you practically, on
9 the 16th of April, in the evening, prepare, as a serious military unit, to
10 defend against a possible attack? What did you do? Which steps did you
12 A. I'll repeat this to you. The 16th of April was just like the 15th
13 or the 25th of March. No difference. There were no specific preparations
14 on that day.
15 Q. Precisely, Mr. Savic. But look at it this way: You have
16 information that a possible attack on Samac is being prepared, and you've
17 just testified to that effect --
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ...
19 information. He was just agreeing with my colleague that Simo Zaric could
20 have had some informations through his lines.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: [Microphone not activated] Yes, Mr. Pantelic. What
22 Mr. Lazarevic has pointed out to you --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: What Mr. Lazarevic appointed out to you is what the
25 witness said in answer to whether or not he had information.
1 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 Q. At any rate, Mr. Savic, tell us: You said that you at the command
3 discussed the security situation and possible attacks on Samac. My
4 question is: Which steps did you take? Did you reinforce your patrols?
5 Did you issue any orders? What did you do, as a serious military command,
6 on the basis of this really serious information?
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: We already have the answer to that. The witness
8 said nothing was done on 16th of April it was on ordinary day. This is
9 exactly what the witness said. Asking him again did you make -- he said
10 they didn't do anything, then they didn't do anything.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. You heard what Mr. Lazarevic has
12 said. If you're talking about the 16th, the witness has already answered
14 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Okay.
15 Q. [Interpretation] So is it your submission that all members of the
16 4th Detachment, on that day, 16th, 17th of April, went home, and to all
17 intents and purposes remained inactive or in bed?
18 A. In addition to the patrols --
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Before the witness answers, you've included the
20 17th. Did you mean only the 16th?
21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Or you included both days, 16th and 17th.
23 MR. PANTELIC: In fact, 16 is what I'm interested in now.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
25 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Meaning on the 16th he had patrols about town?
2 A. Yes, just like any other day.
3 Q. Very well. Tell me: Who issued the order at 2.00 in the morning
4 on the 17th of April, 1992, so who issued the order to Djordje Dusanovic,
5 member of the 4th Detachment, to cut the phone lines at the post office?
6 Do you have any knowledge of that?
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: I object. First of all, there was nothing in the
8 testimony of this witness, nor in any testimony we heard before this
9 Tribunal, that there was such an order. Well, actually, there was some
10 mentioning, but a completely different name, in completely different
11 situation. So I really don't understand how the witness can answer that.
12 MR. PANTELIC: His personal knowledge, Your Honour. Maybe he
13 knows, he doesn't know.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: First of all, he had to ask the witness whether he
15 knows anything, that there was an order.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Such an order, yes.
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: And then if he knows, then who issued the order.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Because the question was combined. If you
19 split it. Otherwise, if you split it, then the witness can answer whether
20 there was an order, and if there was an order, who issued it.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. I'll do that, Your Honour. By all means.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, Mr. Savic: Did you or anyone else from
23 the command give the order to cut the phone lines at 2.00 in the morning
24 on the 17th of April, 1992?
25 A. No. No. My phone lines were down too, so I wouldn't have --
1 Q. This is really something I want to know more about. This is
2 interesting. So the phone lines were down; correct?
3 A. For a while.
4 Q. For how long?
5 A. They worked on and off. In the morning, the phone lines were
6 down, and then for two hours it was functioning, and then the lines were
7 down again. If someone had ordered that, I really don't know. I don't
8 think anyone could have ordered that.
9 Q. Tell me: Do you have any information regarding the fact as to
10 which members of the 4th Detachment exactly occupied the memorial centre
11 in Samac in the night between the 17th and -- the 16th and the 17th of
13 A. The memorial centre, no. The memorial centre and the radio
14 station were taken by the volunteers. Now, if any of the members or any
15 of the patrol members were at the memorial centre, that is possible, but
16 usually the members of the patrol were persons who worked there.
17 Q. In the 4th Detachment, were any orders given for the Silo to be
18 taken as one of the vital facilities, key facilities in the town?
19 A. No, no such orders.
20 Q. At any rate, on the 17th of April, you, the 4th Detachment part of
21 the 17th Tactical Group, acted in cooperation and in coordination with the
22 volunteers from Serbia and with the Serbian police, weren't you?
23 A. In cooperation with the Serbian police and the volunteers, no, by
24 no means, never.
25 Q. Well, then I'm slightly confused by the fact that Simo Zaric, in
1 his book - and he was your assistant and intelligence officer - when
2 speaking about the 17th of April, he said that cooperation with the police
3 and volunteers was necessary for the defence of the town and that it
4 should be coordinated through the command of the 17th Tactical Group. Was
5 there any reason for Simo Zaric, in his book, not to tell the truth
6 concerning coordination?
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... page
8 number and the exact quotation.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Page 212.
10 Q. [Interpretation] I've just read it. He said: "Cooperation with
11 the police and the volunteers is necessary for the defence of the town and
12 will be coordinated through the command of the 17th Tactical Group." If
13 it's Simo Zaric saying this, and --
14 A. If Simo Zaric was the one who said that, it wasn't me saying that.
15 Q. Yes, but do you agree?
16 A. What should I tell you? Ask him. I don't know.
17 Q. Just a question. Do you agree or not?
18 A. Cooperation and coordination. I don't agree with the
19 volunteers --
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 A. -- because we had nothing to do with them.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: This book you are quoting from has never been placed
25 before on record, has it?
1 MR. PANTELIC: Not yet, Your Honour. Maybe -- maybe --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have it, since --
3 MR. PANTELIC: -- our learned friends can help us with that,
4 because they are in possession of this book. Whether it was translated or
5 not, I'm not so sure, but during the break maybe I can clarify that with
6 them, because it's quite a large book.
7 MR. RE: If Mr. Pantelic is referring to Mr. Zaric's book
8 "Crucified in The Hague" first edition 1999, the Prosecution does in fact
9 have a copy of it and translated and we are more than happy to tender it
10 into evidence when we have copies. I assume Mr. Pantelic has a copy there
11 himself which he could show to the witness if necessary.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because if it's being referred to in evidence,
13 then it had better be tabled.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Maybe, as my learned friend just mentioned,
15 they will be willing to tender into evidence. In fact, I've finished with
16 this small portion and these events, so I will not explore deeply the
17 issue from this book.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. But we still require it to be on record.
19 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Perhaps the Prosecution have said they have copies,
21 it can be tendered later.
22 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, at a later stage.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. All right.
24 MR. RE: Your Honour, it's quite lengthy, several hundred pages.
25 We'll have to have copies made. I don't know whether we could have it
1 done this afternoon.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: No. What I was asking about: You have it
4 MR. RE: Yes.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: That's why I said at a later stage, since you're not
6 ready for copies.
7 MR. RE: If it please the court.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I do apologise. I'm feeling terribly,
10 I have a serious flu, hopefully not Hong Kong type, but I have to get my
11 medicine. Could we have an early -- to break now? Because I have to get
12 this medicine, please.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. We shall take an early break and resume
14 our proceedings at 12.45.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.24 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We shall continue our proceedings under Rule
19 15 bis, paragraph A, as Judge Lindholm is not able to be with us.
20 Mr. Pantelic.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. [Interpretation] So, before the break, Mr. Savic, we spoke about
23 the events related to the key buildings and facilities in Samac. Tell me,
24 please, now that we've been talking about the type of radio station RUP 2:
25 What is its range? Do you know?
1 A. I'm not a communications officer myself. Maybe it was RUP 12.
2 But really, I'm not an expert. I'm sorry. That's communications. It was
3 a piece of communications equipment. What its range was, I don't know.
4 Q. I'm simply asking you because experts say that RUP 2 has a range
5 of -- between one and a half and two kilometres. That's why I didn't
6 understand you were referring to that type of equipment.
7 A. Please believe me, I have no idea the number, the range. I was
8 not a communications officer. That was down to them to know that.
9 Q. Tell me: The 17th Tactical Group was involved in certain military
10 defensive operations from the 17th of April onwards, because the enemies
11 were attacking. Do you know that the air force was also involved in the
12 Samac theatre of war? Did the air force also give support to the 17th
13 Tactical Group?
14 A. Not in Samac. I know that for a fact.
15 Q. Can you tell us, however, since you're an experienced officer:
16 Did the commander of the 17th Tactical Group have the possibility at his
17 disposal to call in the air force?
18 A. The commander of the 17th Tactical Group would not have had the
19 authority, the mandate, to do that. Maybe if he tried asking for help,
20 somewhere higher up the chain of command, but I don't know if he did.
21 Q. Very well. Do you have any information regarding the fact that
22 the staff of General Kukanjac, in Sarajevo, was informed that the 17th
23 Tactical Group, in the night between the 16th and 17th of April, took part
24 actively in the operations that took place in Samac? Do you have any
25 information regarding that?
1 A. I have no idea.
2 Q. You told my learned colleague Mr. Pisarevic some things about the
3 proclamation by the 4th Detachment. You just commented on the heading and
4 the signature. And I would like to talk about that in more detail with
5 you, please.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Exhibit D28/4, please, ter. [Interpretation] I
7 don't know. [In English] This document on the ELMO and then so that the
8 other co-accused could follow.
9 Q. [Interpretation] If it's not a problem for you, Mr. Savic, I don't
10 know whether you are able to see it on the screen. If you find it a
11 little difficult, then perhaps you can read it directly from the ELMO when
12 I ask you questions relating to the document.
13 On page 2, the first paragraph that talks about the detachment
14 calling on all honourable people to join and to respect the decrees of its
15 command on the organisation of life and work and the preservation of peace
16 and order in Bosanski Samac, as a member of the command or the deputy
17 commander of the 4th Detachment actively participated in drawing up this
18 document; is this true?
19 A. It's partially true.
20 Q. I didn't understand you. Did you say partially true?
21 A. Partially true.
22 Q. Could you please explain that. What do you mean, partially, that
23 you participated partially?
24 A. In the following way: Radovan Antic, the commander, and his
25 deputy, or assistant, Simo Zaric, tried, and the command accepted this, in
1 this way to try to secure the situation, to return things to a normal
2 framework, to try to get people to join the army. This is what happened.
3 Q. But you wholly agree with this proclamation. This is what I'm
4 interested in.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. One of the objectives of this proclamation is to explain to the
7 citizens of Samac that law and order in Samac would be preserved and that
8 they will be re-established. Is that right?
9 A. This was an attempt to establish law and order, an attempt. One
10 of the ways we thought that this would be the way to do so.
11 Q. You also wished to strengthen the 4th Detachment and you called on
12 people to join the 4th Detachment, to become its members and to receive
13 weapons legally; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Please tell me: How do you interpret this paragraph directly
16 below, on page 2, where it says that the detachment will have no mercy for
17 provocators who are assisted by international fascism and who are now
18 calling for fratricide and so on? First, please tell me: What would the
19 detachment do, what kind of steps would it take against these provocators?
20 A. Our options were weak. This was just a plan of wishes in an
21 attempt to improve the situation in the town and to make the life of the
22 citizens easier. That's all. I'm not a literary critic so that I could
23 give you assessment or qualifications in the political sense or anything
24 like that.
25 Q. You said that, when asked by my colleague Mr. Pisarevic, that you
1 had certain orders, the collection of arms, and so on, and the other
2 activities, deployment on the embankment and so on. Please tell me: As
3 part of your plans, the military plans to calm the situation, did you also
4 work to isolate those persons who possessed weapons or could have been
5 possible provocators in relation to the positions of the 4th Detachment?
6 A. There was no such plans, nor did we do anything like that, except
7 for the collection of weapons. This was carried out. But as far as
8 isolation is concerned, this was not undertaken at all.
9 Q. In any case, you, as an experienced officer, when you found out
10 that there were armed elements who were jeopardising the security of the
11 detachment and of civilians, would such a measure be justified in those
13 A. It was for us to inform the higher command, and they would be the
14 ones to resolve these problems. Other than the ordered activities and
15 measures, we had no other authority to carry anything out.
16 Q. But my question was: Would this be a justified measure if you had
17 knowledge that there were people who were in possession of weapons? This
18 is what I'm asking you. Would this be a justified measure?
19 A. Yes, perhaps it would be. Yes, I think that it would be.
20 Q. Would a justified measure also be that those people who had
21 certain plans or possessed weapons give statements, that statements be
22 taken from these people in a legal manner?
23 A. Yes, in any case, this would be justified.
24 Q. And if there were founded suspicions, would it then be appropriate
25 for those people to be processed before the authorised courts? Would that
1 be justified?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... question,
4 but it is not quite clear to me whether he was referring, the witness, as
5 a member of the detachment or this is just his general opinion about these
6 situation if appear certain situation it would be an appropriate measure.
7 Would that measure be undertaken, but the 4th Detachment or someone else.
8 This is not quite clear the line of questioning and the answers that the
9 witness gave was. Was it related to the detachment or just generally?
10 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honours --
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It appears to just have been general
12 questions, because there was no particularisation [Realtime transcript
13 read in error "particular authorisation"] as to whether or not you were
14 asking the witness in his capacity as a member of the 4th Detachment.
15 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Savic, you, as a reserve officer and a man of certain
17 experience, all of these things that we were saying about would these be
18 justified measures, also in the case of the 4th Detachment, which was a
19 legitimate military unit?
20 A. Well, please, could you please repeat the question? I'm not sure
21 if I understood it properly. So will you please repeat it.
22 Q. Yes, of course. Can we agree that the 4th Detachment, as a
23 regular unit of the JNA and part of the 17th Tactical Group, in accordance
24 with the standards, military standards, was obliged, in case of armed
25 rebellion or anything like that, had the legal option, as well as the
1 possibility to take statements from such persons and initiate criminal
2 proceedings and process these people before the responsible courts?
3 MR. RE: My objection, Your Honours, is to Mr. Pantelic seeking a
4 legal opinion from someone who is clearly not legally qualified to give an
5 opinion as to the legal - what's the word - basis for 4th Detachment
6 taking any measures against people in those circumstances. He can say
7 what the 4th Detachment did, but not offer the Chamber legal advice.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Well, I was -- my question was just limited to his
9 personal knowledge in capacity of the Captain First Class and then deputy
10 commander, with regard to the -- these general notions, specifically
11 related to the military legislation, not more. Not as a high expert.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Still more grounded down as to what actually
14 MR. PANTELIC: That's correct, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Before he answers, I note that my intervention was
16 not properly recorded. I didn't say no particular authorisation. I said
17 no particularisation. The witness can go ahead and answer.
18 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. We're talking about the 4th Detachment, and based on your military
20 knowledge and experience, would these be justified procedures and actions
21 to in some way prevent the danger from certain groups which were armed and
22 could inflict some harm?
23 A. Weapons were already taken from such groups, and in Samac, I have
24 no information that any of them were left once the weapons were collected.
25 But what do I think in the event that there was some such groups?
1 Perhaps, yes. Only to inform the Superior Command, nothing more than
3 Q. As far as this proclamation, the 4th Detachment stood by it and
4 never had any reason to abandon it partially or in its entirety; is that
6 A. I can tell you that - and I know this now, and I knew it earlier
7 also - that this could not be implemented. I wasn't in the situation and
8 I didn't have the possibility of translating it into action. If we did
9 have the opportunity, had we been able to really do something to prevent
10 the conflict from breaking out, well, that would have been something
11 good. But this was a kind of attempt and nothing more than that, to help
12 the people, and this is what I was talking about at the beginning.
13 Q. How would you describe the 4th Detachment, as far as its numerical
14 strength and arming? Was this a small unit or did it have a certain
15 weight? How would you describe it?
16 A. The 4th Detachment, first of all, was of mixed composition, and it
17 operated --
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you just hold on? This question has been amply
19 answered in examination-in-chief by the witness. He explained about the
20 4th Detachment, its various units, numbers, and things like that. Please
21 let's not repeat examination-in-chief.
22 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. In terms of numbers and units
23 it's okay but I just want to elicit from this witness his personal
24 position with regard to the -- in military sense, of power of this 4th
25 Detachment. Because actually he said prior to that that 4th Detachment
1 was some kind of, you know, unit without any particular power or to
2 prevent or to organise. So that was the basis for my --
3 JUDGE MUMBA: That's what I'm saying, that he has already
5 MR. PANTELIC: Okay, Your Honour.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Regarding the 4th Detachment, you explained to my
7 learned friend, Mr. Pisarevic, already the weapons that it had in terms of
8 numbers. But please tell me: On page 1 of this proclamation, the first
9 paragraph -- as the 4th Detachment, you had taken upon yourself the
10 responsibility for freedom, peace, order, work, and normal life and the
11 dignity of every man in Samac. Could you please explain to the Trial
12 Chamber, Mr. Savic?
13 A. This sentence --
14 Q. No. The question is coming now. Why a detachment with 400
15 members, who are well armed with automatic and semi-automatic rifles, was
16 unable to implement the first part of this proclamation? Can you explain
17 that to the Trial Chamber?
18 A. I've already explained that, but I will repeat myself. The 4th
19 Detachment, according to its manpower and the way they were coming to the
20 detachment, it was first of all 20 and then 40 and then a hundred people.
21 So this was a process that was ongoing. The people kept arriving. Some
22 of them were out in the field, and so on. We didn't have the option, and
23 I will say it again. This was just a wish. It was just a wish, nothing
25 Q. When you, as deputy commander of the detachment, noticed that
1 there was looting, that there were certain abuses and certain criminal
2 acts being perpetrated, did you personally inform your Superior Command,
3 the command of the 17th Tactical Group?
4 A. I personally did not, because I wasn't the commander. Once I
5 became the commander, it was my duty to report back to them. In those
6 initial few days, it was Radovan Antic who was in command.
7 Q. When you became the commander of the 4th Detachment, there were no
8 such occurrences in Samac?
9 A. There were plenty of such occurrences.
10 Q. And did you inform your Superior Command?
11 A. Yes, of course.
12 Q. And what did the Superior Command do in this regard?
13 A. At meetings, Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic informed us that, together
14 with the MUP of Samac, there was an agreement, there were attempts to
15 prevent that, to reduce the number of such occurrences, that this wasn't
16 going to lead to anything. This is something that Lieutenant Colonel
17 Nikolic informed us about.
18 Q. So nothing was done?
19 A. I don't know that. I, nor the army, did not deal with such
21 Q. But during the time that you were commander of the 4th Detachment,
22 what was going on in the area of the detachment's responsibility? Was
23 everything normal or was it chaos?
24 A. I was only concerned about having the army in its proper place.
25 What was happening in town was in the jurisdiction of the MUP. These were
1 my orders.
2 Q. Very well. The last paragraph on the first page of this
3 proclamation states -- what did you say? My colleagues tell me that in
4 the previous answer -- who was at the head of the MUP?
5 A. Stevan Todorovic, called Stiv.
6 Q. Very well. Mr. Savic, the last paragraph on page 1, that this
7 whole situation engendered practically an armed all peoples' detachment as
8 an expression of the power of all the people. So in a way, you informed
9 the public that the 4th Detachment, by difficult and honourable fighting,
10 established control over all vital points and facilities in town. What
11 are all of these key facilities? Could you please tell us what they are.
12 A. I know about the key facilities in the town, because I spent many
13 years there, as far as security for those buildings and institutions.
14 Security was provided by people who worked there in those companies,
15 mainly elderly people, retirees. They tried to preserve that. I think
16 even if a military unit had been in place, it would have been very
17 difficult to prevent that. But the military were not in a position to
18 engage in that, because we were supposed to occupy the defence lines of
19 the town itself. That was our remit and those were our orders, and that's
20 exactly what we did.
21 Q. But you did tell me a moment ago that everything in this public
22 announcement proclamation is true. Why are you now denying this
23 particular section? Can you please explain that.
24 A. I didn't say that everything was true. I said this was merely an
25 attempt, and I would say it's rather a waste of energy, eventually turned
1 out to be. We didn't have the power, we didn't have the resources to do
2 this. We merely wished to help the citizens of Samac, and that was all,
3 and that was also all that I said.
4 Q. But I'm asking you, in connection with this particular paragraph,
5 Mr. Savic -- you can read it yourself: The 4th Detachment established
6 control over all vital points and key institutions in the town. Please
7 explain what's unclear about this, it's only logical that you would have
8 the same position as does the armed force. I'm asking you about which
9 facilities those were that you had placed under control. That's all I'm
10 asking you. Because that's what the public announcement states. I have
11 no reason to doubt that.
12 A. I'm telling you about this announcement and what I thought it was.
13 Q. So this is not true?
14 A. We had no power, no ability, and no conditions to secure this. We
15 left it to the civil authorities, and they were supposed to do that.
16 Q. This announcement, when this announcement was being drawn up, did
17 you at the command of the 4th Detachment discuss any participation of the
18 SDS and Blagoje Simic in these aims set forth by the 4th Detachment?
19 A. We read the announcement in times of war. It was a cursory
20 reading. Commander Radovan Antic decided that Simo should distribute this
21 announcement, copies of this announcement, to Radio Samac, and that it
22 should be broadcast.
23 Q. In your capacity as commander of the 4th Detachment, in the
24 meantime, you tried to preserve some law and order in the area of
25 responsibility of the 4th Detachment?
1 A. Yes, precisely.
2 Q. Did you try to create havoc in the area of responsibility of the
3 4th Detachment?
4 A. No. No. We operated on the fringes of the area, carrying out
5 military operations. We suffered casualties every single day. We were
6 under fire. But we had to preserve those lines of defence. As far as law
7 and order in the town itself, that was the responsibility of the organs of
9 Q. Which specific steps did you take when Lugar attacked your
10 commanders? You at the command, which steps did you take to punish this
12 A. We merely informed Commander Nikolic, and nothing else. And then
13 he took steps, in coordination with organs of government. He asked
14 Radovan to stay on and everything else. But I've told you about that
15 already, didn't I?
16 Q. Tell me: Did you also report volunteers who had been arresting
17 members of the 4th Detachment? Did you report them to the Superior
19 A. Whatever we found out about, we reported everything.
20 Q. Tell me, then: What was the reason for you not to arrest the
21 Crisis Staff of the Serbian municipality in its entirety, Samac and
22 Pelagicevo? Did you not have that kind of order from Colonel Nikolic?
23 A. No, we didn't.
24 Q. Did you know that a group of volunteers, after the corridor was
25 broken through by the 1st Krajina Corps, that the group of volunteers,
1 Crni, Lugar, and the other people, were arrested by the 1st Krajina Corps?
2 A. Whether arrested or not, yeah, but they were arrested. I did hear
3 about that.
4 Q. Do you have any personal knowledge of the fact that Dr. Blagoje
5 Simic and Savo Popovic, as representatives of the civilian authorities,
6 contacted the bodies in the 1st Krajina Corps in order to inform them
7 about certain illegal occurrences and in order to appeal to the army to
8 help, to suppress this? Did you know about that?
9 A. No, I didn't.
10 Q. Did you know that Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic, on account of all
11 the crimes committed by Lugar, ever initiated any proceedings against him
12 before military organs? You were a commander of one of his detachments.
13 At meetings, at the command meetings, did you receive any such
14 information? Did you learn about that?
15 A. No, I didn't know of anything like that. Maybe proceedings were
16 initiated, but not that I know of.
17 Q. You commented on this document relating to the 13 signatories, the
18 command members of the brigade. This is the document -- this is the
19 report you discussed with my colleague Mr. Pisarevic.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Ms. Usher, could we have P127, please. I do
22 Q. [Interpretation] We're about to be shown this document, but
23 meanwhile, did you have any personal knowledge as to when this document
24 was discussed or reviewed, and when was it made public, in a manner of
25 speaking? Were there any initiatives within the framework of the brigade
1 to convene an interim meeting of the Municipal Assembly of Samac?
2 A. Frankly, I can't remember. I can't remember. Maybe there was
3 something like that, but not that I can remember.
4 Q. Will you agree with me if I say, if I put it to you that the
5 motive for the writing of this report was the desire of a certain
6 structure within the 2nd Posavina Brigade to carry out a coup against the
7 civilian bodies of authority and to take over power? Would you agree with
9 A. No, I wouldn't.
10 Q. Shall we then agree that the signatories of this document, or
11 rather, this report, wanted to draw other people's attention to certain
12 other illegal activities that were going on and to have proceedings
13 initiated against its perpetrators?
14 A. I do agree with that, yes.
15 Q. Very well, then. I assume that, on page 5 of this document, this
16 is halfway down the page. I'll read it to you. We've discussed this
17 before. This is about the killing of the scout. We spoke about this a
18 while ago. It's part of the report. You see this section where he says:
19 "The responsibility of Crni and his people surrounding the arrest,
20 maltreatment, and killing of a scout from the 1st Krajina Brigade is
21 being investigated because there are proceedings under way against these
22 same people." And then further on it states, towards the bottom of the
23 same paragraph: "After all, the media are already publishing news about
24 this incident, so you can monitor the developments through the media."
25 Will you agree with me that this report influenced the relevant
1 military organs to initiate proceedings against certain persons suspected
2 of having committed certain crimes?
3 A. Maybe so, but I don't know that.
4 Q. The assistant for legal affairs in the brigade, would he have been
5 in charge of filing charges?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Down towards the bottom of the page 5, the report also contains
8 the following information. There is an admission that Crni and his people
9 were, for the first time arrested, and that he had compromised his
10 reputation and his position, and so on and so forth, towards the bottom of
11 the page. So at that meeting at the brigade command -- that's the last
12 sentence, Mr. Savic, and we knew exactly what he and the likes of him
13 would happen to them when they were first arrested. More specifically,
14 what I wish to tell you is: At that meeting, you knew that for the first
15 time Crni and his people had been arrested. You did know that, didn't
17 A. Yes, we did. We had heard about that.
18 Q. What I'm asking you now is: Who was it that arrested him? The
19 civilian police or organs of military security?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. Very well. On page 3 of this report, the first paragraph. They
22 are speaking about the crime committed by Lugar at Crkvina. "Both the
23 Yugoslav and world media covered this, and the crime was attributed to
24 Serbian fighters from our municipality," the document states, "whereby a
25 large share of collective blame is assumed which will only be clarified
1 and accounted for after the war."
2 Mr. Savic, if there were proceedings that had been initiated
3 against Lugar and his group for -- because of the killing of the scout and
4 other robberies or whatever it was that had happened there, tell me: What
5 was the reason for proceedings not to be initiated before the court in
6 Banja Luka in relation to the murder in Crkvina?
7 A. I really don't know. I have no idea.
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... quite
9 obvious from his previous answer. How could he know why Lugar wasn't
10 arrested, or arrested, or who arrested him, and why the procedure did take
11 place or not?
12 MR. PANTELIC: He signed this document, Your Honour. He signed.
13 He was in the command, in the high command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade.
14 So I just want to know his -- what he personally did at that time in that
15 capacity, as a member of command of 2nd Posavina Brigade, with regard to
16 the information that he shared with the other members of the command.
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. And that's all right. But we must have in
18 mind that when Lugar did the crime in Crkvina, 2nd Posavina Brigade
19 haven't even existed. So in this capacity, how could he know something
20 like that?
21 MR. PANTELIC: Because -- I will ask a few questions and I will
22 establish how it might be possible.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, you are simply going around and around
24 about this issue, wasting time.
25 MR. PANTELIC: I will go directly to the issue, yes.
1 Q. [Interpretation] So you've already told me, Mr. Savic, that before
2 the military court in Banja Luka, proceedings had been initiated for the
3 murder of this scout. You did hear about that, didn't you? That's what
4 the discussion in this report is based on.
5 A. I said that I had no idea whether anyone was sentenced, whether
6 any proceedings had been initiated. I really don't know. Maybe so, but I
7 don't know. I should go through the report thoroughly again in order to
8 perhaps recall something. But I didn't know about arrests, who arrested
9 whom and where and what and why. I really have no idea about that.
10 Q. I fully understand you. However, there are proceedings under way
11 against this group of volunteers before the military court in Banja Luka,
12 and I just read this out to you from this report. I'm asking you:
13 Regardless of the fact whether they were part of the army of Republika
14 Srpska at that point, and you will agree with me that war crimes -- that
15 no statute of limitation applies to war crimes. You do agree with that?
16 A. The first part of what you said, yes, I do agree. But the second
17 part, Lugar and his team, they were not part of the army. These are two
18 different issues. I think that's quite a difference there.
19 Q. Let's keep it simple. No statute of limitation for war crimes?
20 A. I do understand that perfectly.
21 Q. The 13 signatories of this report, you all knew that Lugar was the
22 perpetrator of the crime in Crkvina, and you knew very well that Lugar was
23 being prosecuted by the military court in Banja Luka for the murder of the
24 scout. Tell me, please, I'm asking you personally, you personally,
25 Mr. Savic: Why did you not inform the military prosecutor about the fact
1 that you had information on the basis of this report that Lugar had
2 committed the crime in Crkvina, you personally? Or maybe you did inform
3 the military prosecutor.
4 A. Sir, I don't know who informed or failed to inform. That was not
5 part of my remit. It was not in my job description. I was merely a clerk
6 in my department, and I had no authority, no power and no need to do
7 that. Now, as to who actually did it, I really don't know.
8 Q. So you personally, although you knew about it, failed to inform
9 the relevant military prosecutor about this?
10 A. No. This had nothing to do with me. It's as simple as that.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, I think the witness has explained
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, please, in connection with the
15 volunteers who arrived in Batkusa: Can we then agree that they, their
16 arrival had been organised by the JNA and that they were shipped there in
17 JNA military helicopters?
18 A. Who the helicopters belonged to, I have no idea, whether the JNA
19 took part, I don't know. I only know that those people were not part of
20 my unit.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: In fact, in examination-in-chief, the witness had
22 explained this. In fact, I remember Judge Williams's question about them
23 using JNA helicopters.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. The next question is related to
25 this previous one.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Savic, those volunteers, you saw them about
2 town, didn't you? Which part of Serbia? Which town were they from? Do
3 you know that?
4 A. I didn't even know their names. How on earth should I know where
5 they came from? They kept using nicknames. I did speak about that
6 yesterday, if I remember correctly. I really don't know.
7 Q. Where was Stevan Nikolic from? Which town in Serbia?
8 A. I may go wrong on this one, but I think around Kragujevac,
9 Krusevac, that area. I think Kragujevac.
10 Q. When was the assault battalion established, whose first commander
11 was Josic, I believe, wasn't he? When was that?
12 A. I don't know when, but I know that Josic was the commander of the
13 Assault Battalion. But I was not a member of the brigade at that time. I
14 wasn't in Samac. I don't know the details surrounding this.
15 Q. Was his assistant or deputy Colonel Popovic, known as Pop?
16 A. I think so. I believe so, yes.
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... small
18 misunderstanding in transcript. Here on page 89, line 13, I believe that
19 the rank of this gentleman, Popovic, was not properly translated. He
20 wasn't actually a colonel.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: So what is the correct rank?
22 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Who was the deputy of Josic? What was his rank?
24 A. That was Lieutenant Bogdanovic. Excuse me Bogdan Popovic, called
25 Pop. He was a lieutenant.
1 Q. Did you ever see, personally, any order of the Crisis Staff to
2 volunteers in the sense of carrying out a military operation or anything
3 like that?
4 A. No, never.
5 Q. And did you ever see any orders by the commander of the 17th
6 Tactical Group to volunteers, in connection with combat operations?
7 A. No.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Ms. Usher. I've finished with this
9 document, with P127.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Today you spoke about a meeting at the heating
11 plant, related to the appointment of Djurdjevic, the dismissal, and so on
12 and so forth. Tell me, please: Well, yes, to make it more
13 accurate. We're talking about the meeting at the heating plant where
14 allegedly Djurdjevic was dismissed, or removed, replaced. That's what I'm
15 talking about. Tell me, please: Did you know that Colonel Djurdjevic had
16 been appointed by a Superior Command by Colonel Dencic, as commander of
17 the 1st Posavina Brigade, based in Brcko thereafter? Did you know
18 anything about that?
19 A. I know that Colonel Djurdjevic did go to Brcko and that he was
20 commander of the 1st Posavina Brigade. Now, on whose orders, I'm not
21 sure. The command, I suppose.
22 Q. And you will agree with me when I say that due to the principle of
23 subordination, when a Superior Command adopts a decision or issues an
24 order, there's no discussing that, is there?
25 A. That's for sure.
1 Q. Furthermore, did you know that, according to the regulations valid
2 for the army of Republika Srpska at that time, the regulations in force,
3 the appointment of brigade commanders is the responsibility of the
4 Minister of Defence? Did you know that?
5 A. Yes, but no, it wasn't the Minister of Defence who actually
6 appointed them. The corps would nominate candidates and then the list
7 would be sent to the General Staff, and then from then on, whether it was
8 forwarded to the minister or not, I really don't know. But the proposal
9 could have gone from the brigade directly to the General Staff or the
10 minister, up the chain of command, in a manner of speaking.
11 Q. At any rate, those were the superior bodies, the Superior Command,
12 the ministry. We do agree on that, don't we?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you personally know whether there is any paper, document,
15 decision, in writing, by the Crisis Staff, concerning the removal of
16 Colonel Djurdjevic? Do you know anything about that?
17 A. No, I know absolutely nothing about that.
18 Q. Do you know, in view of the fact that the 4th Detachment was set
19 up in the beginning of January 1992, do you know that the presidency of
20 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia adopted a decision to place all
21 volunteer units under the command of the relevant military commands? Were
22 you aware of this decision?
23 A. No, I wasn't.
24 MR. RE: Could this be clarified, please? My learned friend
25 Mr. Pantelic has just referred to a decision of the presidency of the
1 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, but without saying when, so I think it's
2 quite relevant to the question asked.
3 MR. PANTELIC: In fact, I mentioned that, but probably it was not
4 in the transcript. I will clarify that. I said that this order -- that
5 this order was issued in December 1991, just for the record.
6 Your Honour, could I have just a few moments to reorganise my
7 questions? Because I'm very near to the close of my cross-examination.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can you do it quickly.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Just a few seconds, please.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Savic. Did you know that security
11 bodies or organs across military units have the authority and the right to
12 prevent a civilian person caught while committing a crime from fleeing
13 such crimes as envisaged punishment of 15 or more years? Did you know
14 about these measures as applied in the army?
15 A. No, I didn't. I think you should ask them about that.
16 Q. I'm asking you, as an officer, as a commander of a detachment.
17 Your security assistant was a qualified person in that sense. It's in
18 that context that I'm asking you.
19 A. I'll tell you: Simo did not have the authority to arrest anyone,
20 to prosecute anyone. He only had the authority to report to his Superior
21 Command, and that was that.
22 Q. Fine. You spoke about the crime in Crkvina and how after that,
23 Simo Zaric went to Belgrade, travelled to Belgrade, on official duty. Can
24 you please tell us why it wasn't his superior, Mr. Simeunovic, his direct
25 superior, who travelled to Belgrade? Because you were talking about
1 reporting to the Superior Command always.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic --
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... first my
4 colleague should establish whether this witness has personal knowledge
5 about why this man or not the other man went to Belgrade, and then ask
6 him --
7 JUDGE MUMBA: The question doesn't simply make sense, because the
8 witness did explain this in examination-in-chief. The question doesn't
9 make sense. That's all.
10 MR. PANTELIC: I will clarify that. Maybe I was not so precise.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, please, Mr. Savic: It is an agreed fact
12 that Maksim Simeunovic was the Superior Commander of Simo Zaric, I'm
13 talking about the Tactical Group.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I'm asking you personally as the commander of the 4th Detachment,
16 did you know the reason why Maksim Simeunovic was not the one who went to
17 Belgrade to speak to the security organs there but rather Simo Zaric. Did
18 Simo Zaric ever provide an explanation for that? Did you talk about this?
19 A. How in the world am I supposed to know who should go to Belgrade,
20 whether Simo or Maksim Simeunovic? Whoever the commander says should go
21 will go. Simo Zaric only phoned and said, informed me about that. That
22 was all his duty was about. That's all he had to do. He told me:
23 Commander, I'm going to Belgrade. I have received orders to go to
24 Belgrade. I'll be back in a couple of days. And he was indeed back in a
25 couple of days and that was that.
1 Q. If I put it to you, finally, that you, as the commander of the 4th
2 Detachment, were responsible for prosecuting the perpetrators of the crime
3 at Crkvina, will you agree with me?
4 A. They had nothing in the world to do with me. It was outside my
5 area of responsibility, to begin with. I had nothing to do with that.
6 Q. I'm not saying that you did have anything to do with that, but
7 would you agree with my statement, my submission, that your responsibility
8 was to start or initiate proceedings before military organs?
9 A. How should I be doing that? That wasn't part of my job.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I've finished with the
11 cross-examination of this witness. [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
12 Mr. Savic.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
16 MR. RE: It appears there's only two minutes left, Your Honour.
17 Would it be appropriate to start tomorrow rather than attempt something
18 today and not get very far at all?
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Then the cross-examination will start
20 tomorrow. We shall adjourn.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.42 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Friday, the 21st day of
23 March 2003, at 9.00 a.m.