1 Monday, 24 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning, please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case number IT-95-9-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, we are starting with the response by the
10 Prosecution to the joint Defence motion for leave to assign a new military
12 MR. RE: The Defence have filed a joint motion seeking leave to
13 assign a new military expert witness pursuant to Rule 94 bis. I say at
14 the outset -- I won't be very long but I say at the outset the Prosecution
15 does not oppose a Defence request to call expert evidence on a relevant
16 topic, which is before the Trial Chamber, which requires the development
17 of expert expertise. The Defence motion seems to say that the motion --
18 the report or expert's report it filed earlier of Colonel Barasin's would
19 fall within the category which it is now trying to -- in which it is now
20 trying to call a Defence witness.
21 The Trial Chamber last year proprio moto rejected the filing of
22 Colonel Barasin's report, I think describing it as "unhelpful". An
23 objective reading of that report would indicate that it wasn't doing quite
24 what the Defence wanted it to do or indicates they are trying to do now,
25 that is to file objective expert testimony in relation to the conflict in
1 Bosanski Samac in 1992 and 1993, and expert evidence as to the role and
2 function of the military or militaries during the indictment period
3 relating to the conflicting parties. At this stage of the trial, the
4 Prosecutor still of course at the end of it has to prove that there was an
5 international armed conflict in relation to the Article 2 charge, which
6 only of course relates to the charge of unlawful deportation or
7 transfer -- sorry the unlawful transfer because deportation is of course a
8 charge under Article 5 which doesn't require an international armed
9 conflict. So it relates only to a very small portion of the entire
10 Prosecution case, that is the transfer of people not over the border into
11 Croatia but to other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time.
12 The test -- withdraw that. The Prosecutor filed a motion in 1998
13 for this Trial Chamber or the pre-Trial Chamber to take judicial notice of
14 the internationality of the conflict. The pre-Trial Chamber said it had
15 to be proved at trial. That was in 1999 and subsequent to that of course
16 it's been the Aleksovski judgement. I'll just hand up copies of the
17 relevant pages of the judgement to assist the Trial Chamber and my learned
18 friends as to the appropriate test.
19 If I can take Your Honours to page 52. The previous page said
20 what is the applicable law on this issue and the Appeals Chamber in
21 paragraph 125, about halfway down, set out what is important is whether
22 the subsequent case, the legal principle enunciated in the Tadic judgement
23 has to "overall control" may be applied in relation to the conflict
24 between the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina
25 and so on. Down the page, the same question arises from the facts of the
1 instant case, that is the level of control by a state --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please slow down while
4 MR. RE: That is the level of control by state or entity [Croatia
5 or the army of the -- I apologise, Your Honour, the hard copy of the
6 judgement I have of the next page is missing and I have handed up a
7 printout. Could I borrow one of the Defence ones for one moment?
8 Thank you, Mr. Usher.
9 The words I was using, Croatia or the army of the Republic of
10 Croatia, HV, or a military group, the HVO, that was engaged in an armed
11 conflict that was prima facie internal. It is therefore perfectly proper
12 in the instant case to record and rely upon the legal principle enunciated
13 in the Tadic judgement.
14 The Appeal's Chamber's conclusion was that it was Aleksovski
15 applying the Tadic principle was that it was the overall control test
16 which was the important one. I emphasise that is subsequent to the
17 earlier motion in this case. And of course, Your Honours have heard a
18 great deal of evidence, including of course in the Defence case, led from
19 the various Defence witnesses, of a conflict occurring between the
20 Republic of Croatia or forces under the control of the Republic of
21 Croatia, whether it be the HVO or the HV, that is the Republic of Croatia
22 army itself. In fact, as recently as Friday, we heard evidence from the
23 witness sitting here at the moment as to Croatian shelling and the
24 involvement of the troops of the Republika Srpska against troops from the
25 Republic of Croatia.
1 So I just say, I put that in -- put it into context. There has
2 been a lot of evidence in this case as to a conflict and shells going
3 backwards and forwards across the Sava River into Bosanski Samac and
4 fighting on the ground between the forces of the two armies and of course
5 there has also been reference to forces of the Bosnian federal -- the
6 Bosnian state army, the ABiH. So if the Defence are to present such
7 evidence, it has to be highly relevant and on the point, that is that
8 there was no international armed conflict at the relevant time between
9 the -- Croatia, Serbia, the Bosnian government, the HVO, or whatever other
10 forces not alleged to be involved in the international armed conflict
11 which the Defence apparently is saying did not occur during the indictment
13 That's the first point.
14 The second point is as to the scope outside of the
15 internationality question of the expertise or the evidence given on the
16 role of the military. Now, the Prosecution of course has no objection
17 to -- it couldn't -- to the Defence calling proper military expert of the
18 military expert -- evidence of the command and control within the JNA or
19 the Republika Srpska forces, the VRS, or any other army. It may be
20 helpful to the Trial Chamber and it is certainly something the Prosecution
21 would not object to. However we do take issue with the statement that
22 paragraph 4 of the Defence motion, that "authoritatively identifying a
23 conflict" and "international armed conflict" requires a great deal of
24 scholarship, expertise, and investigation. The Prosecution submission
25 will be in this particular case, the facts very much speak for themselves.
1 But if they are to produce another report, in our submission it
2 has to be confined to the relevant issues and it cannot stray into the
3 areas which Colonel Barasin's attempted report did, that is making many
4 assertions, conclusions, and statements which were not supported by
5 evidence or which did not show the facts or the underlying facts upon
6 which the conclusions were based, which is in great contrast to the expert
7 reports the Prosecution put in, those of Dr. Tabeau and Dr. Donia which
8 were academically rigorous studies, properly footnoted and properly
9 sourced, so the summary the Prosecution doesn't object to a proper
10 expert's report if it is so confined to the relevant issue, that is
11 whether or not it was international and command and control issues within
12 the JNA and the VRS. Those are my submissions.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Thank you very much.
15 The Trial Chamber will give its ruling in due course.
16 In the meantime, we proceed with the witness, Mr. Pantelic.
17 WITNESS: JOVO SAVIC [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 MR. PANTELIC: Good morning, yes.
20 Further cross-examination by Mr. Pantelic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Savic.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. We won't go for very long today. I hope you've had a rest over
25 the weekend. I just have a few more questions and then I'll finish.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have Exhibit P127, please, ter.
2 Q. [Interpretation] While the document is being looked for, this is
3 an information that you've signed, Prosecutor asked you on Friday, on page
4 45, whether in relation to this information you're stating that the Crisis
5 Staff was the one who organised the documents regarding the persecutions
6 and you said yes it was. Now, can you have a look at this information?
7 If you can find the place, whether it says anywhere that the Crisis Staff,
8 that is the War Presidency, was the one that was implementing the
9 documents of persecution against the non-Serb population? Can you please
10 find the place where it actually says that.
11 A. On which page?
12 Q. Well, I don't know. You have to find it. I'm saying that there
13 isn't such an information. You said to the Prosecutor that when you were
14 writing this information, you said that this was the -- done by the Crisis
15 Staff and the War Presidency, now what I'm saying is that I want you to
16 find out this in this information.
17 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, we have difficulty seeing one another
18 around this column that we have between us. Just as a matter of
19 clarification, it might well just be the translation, but I'm a little
20 confused as to page 6, lines -- well, 3 and 4, concerning the Crisis
21 Staff -- this is your question, Mr. Pantelic, where you are talking about
22 the Crisis Staff, then you say that is the War Presidency, and you go on
23 to talk about it implementing the documents of persecution. I'm sorry,
24 I'm not with you. I say it might be a matter of translation but what are
25 the documents of persecution against the non-Serb population? If you
1 could maybe clarify for me, please?
2 MR. PANTELIC: Certainly, Your Honour. I didn't say that in that
3 form so maybe it's a matter for translation. I will clarify it. I will
4 repeat my question.
5 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Savic, you said to the Prosecutor on
6 Friday, on page 45, when you were discussing this document, you said that
7 the Crisis Staff, and later on the War Presidency, practically implemented
8 a campaign of discrimination and terror against the non-Serb population.
9 Now, what I'm asking you here in this information that among other things
10 you signed, is there anywhere, can you find it anywhere, exactly the part
11 where it says -- which is relating to the Crisis Staff, that is the War
12 Presidency, that they were the one who is were implementing this? So I'm
13 not talking about the volunteers, I'm not talking the police, you were
14 explaining this. What I'm interested in directly is precisely this part.
16 A. On page 2, paragraph 2, it says, "From the beginning of the war,
17 to start with the Crisis Staff and later on the War Presidency of the
18 municipality of Bosanski Samac, came under the influence of a couple of
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, this is just an
22 information -- this is just an information which had a purpose, to point
23 to certain things, as I've explained, to some negative occurrences to some
24 things that the army wasn't in agreement with. But who was responsible
25 for the deportation, for people being relocated? I think it's the Crisis
1 Staff that's responsible for that. That's my opinion but I don't know
2 that. Perhaps it's somebody else. [Realtime transcript read in error
3 "Q."] Who else would be the most responsible for that part of the work
4 other than the Crisis Staff?
5 MR. PANTELIC:
6 Q. [Interpretation] So this is just your assumption, is it?
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise, it would probably occur as a problem
8 here in the transcript because last sentence that the witness said was who
9 else would be the most responsible for that part, and here it is recorded
10 as a question so this might suggest that it was a question posed by
11 Mr. Pantelic, so it should be corrected instead of Q in front.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, yes. It's a continuation of the answer of the
14 MR. PANTELIC:
15 Q. [Interpretation] So this wasn't heard when I asked you. This
16 is -- this was just your assumption?
17 A. Yes, it's my opinion, my assumption.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. PANTELIC: I'm finished with this document.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Further on, Mr. Re asked you regarding the
21 telegrams, that is a series of telegrams of the 17th Corps of the 2nd
22 Military District and so on, in those telegrams, you explained to him, and
23 to me, that the term of the Serb TO doesn't exist. This was just an
24 assumption of the commander Nikolic and Simo Zaric and so on and those
25 parts in those telegrams. Do you remember that?
1 A. Yes, I do. I said I remember that in Samac, there was no Serb TO,
2 no Serb TO in Samac. But I do recall that in Batkusa they were
3 established and they called themselves staff of the Samac municipality.
4 Q. I haven't asked the question yet. Just slow down.
5 A. Very well.
6 MR. PANTELIC: P21, please.
7 Q. [Interpretation] I have a few questions.
8 MR. PANTELIC: It would be convenient for the interpreters' booth
9 maybe we could have English version on the ELMO so that they can follow
10 and the B/C/S version in front of the witness. So it's up to our friends
11 from --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Thank you very much, the interpreters would
13 appreciate that.
14 MR. PANTELIC: I don't know if it would be familiar.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Maybe because the interpreters would like to have --
16 MR. RE: Your Honour, could Mr. Pantelic point me to the page in
17 the transcript where I referred to this document? I'm just having some
18 difficulty locating it.
19 MR. PANTELIC: It is -- Your Honour, the topic is the Serbian TO
20 in the events between -- in the night 16 to 17. I have in fact three
21 documents to discuss with this witness with regard to that issue because
22 there are some chronologically issues which should be clarified, the
23 previous statement of this witness. It's P21, P22, P23, and P19. In
24 fact, these are the four documents, military documents.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re is asking where in the page of the
1 transcript he referred to those matters in cross-examination.
2 MR. RE: Specifically this document, P23, I don't recall asking
3 the witness about this particular document. I'm just asking my learned
4 friend can point me to the page in the transcript where I did. I just
5 can't find it at the moment.
6 MR. PANTELIC: In fact, Your Honour, if I may clarify, sorry --
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic?
9 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour, in fact, I'm referring to the
10 topic in general terms. In order to clarify certain details in this
11 topic, I have to make reference to these four documents. So that is the
12 basis of the introduction or discussion of these documents with this
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
15 MR. RE: Your Honour --
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re? You're still --
17 MR. RE: Yes, I do object to that. I asked the witness about two
18 specific documents, there are obviously other documents in evidence. It
19 is unclear what Mr. Pantelic's purpose is. I showed the witness two
20 documents, that doesn't entitle him then to go on and ask the witness
21 about other unrelated documents written by other people perhaps referring
22 to the same events.
23 In my submission, there is no forensic purpose that can arise in
24 relation to these other documents because I didn't refer to them in
25 relation to affecting the interests of his client in re-cross-examination
1 as opposed to the chance he had in cross-examination. There is simply
2 nothing in the other documents which arose, in my submission, affecting
3 the interests of his client because I didn't refer to them.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: And you are talking about documents P21?
5 MR. RE: P23, the one which Mr. Pantelic is now referring to, and
6 the other one. I referred to two of the four. I took the witness through
7 two of the four. The other two I didn't.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: So you are objecting in relation to P23.
9 MR. RE: Yes.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: And P21?
11 MR. RE: Yes. I'm not sure about P21.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I mean, I don't know, maybe my learned
13 friend --
14 JUDGE MUMBA: No. Let me hear from Mr. Re first.
15 MR. PANTELIC: I'm sorry.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Which particular documents?
17 MR. RE: I took the witness to P19 and the document that Major
18 General Jankovic signed, which is -- excuse me. P23. So P23 and P19.
19 P19 and P23 were the two document I took the witness to, the one by
20 Jankovic and the one -- and the other one. I can't see it on the screen.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, my learned friend --
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Those are the two documents, P19 ter and P23 ter.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic?
25 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. My learned friend on Friday, it's at
1 page 51, line -- it's line 12 until 16, he asked this witness with regard
2 to the Croatian forces coming from Republic of Croatia, attempting an
3 infantry attack across the bridge. This witness said no, there was no
4 such forces. And furthermore, all the topics raised by the Prosecution
5 with this witness, with regard to the involvement of the elements of 17th
6 Tactical Group and with regard to the operation in the night between 16
7 and 17 April, was discussed quite detailed with this witness.
8 So we cannot see isolated, for example, one document which is P19,
9 which is a telegram between -- telegram sent by command of 17th corps to
10 the higher command, without knowing the special report of the superior
11 command sent only half -- one hour and a half before this document. So in
12 terms of clarification, we have in totality, I have -- analysis of various
13 documents, exhibits, in order to find the right solution and to finally
14 challenge, if I may say, even the credibility of this witness, because
15 with this stage, with these proceedings we can only find the two. Not to
16 mention in the previous proceedings, during re-examination, for example,
17 our learned friend, Ms. Reidy introduced on numerous occasions various
18 documents through the witnesses during re-examination.
19 So it won't be take long. I will just make a point in these four
20 documents which may assist this Trial Chamber in relation to the -- these
21 proceedings and specifically with regard to my client, because I will
22 emphasise again, the position of the Defence of Mr. Blagoje Simic is that
23 he is -- he was not a part of this military operation, by any means, and I
24 have to defend my client, I have to properly present his Defence, and
25 that's why, because this is a practically last military witness, fact
1 witness, from Samac. He was a former commander for the detachment -- from
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well, Mr. Pantelic, the Trial Chamber will
4 allow you to explore that possibility of the Defence for your client in
5 relation to -- I'm sure it's in relation to the role of the Crisis Staff
6 and the War Presidency.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Savic, you see before you an interim report
11 of the 17th of April of the command of the 2nd Military District, seated
12 in Sarajevo. This interim report was delivered to the operation centre of
13 the Main Staff of the armed forces of the SFRY. Is that correct?
14 A. I see this for the very first time. It's like -- yes, it is as
15 you say. It's probably that.
16 Q. Mr. Savic, whatever I ask you in relation to these documents I am
17 not asking you only whether you've seen these documents before but whether
18 this is what it says in the document and the Trial Chamber will assess
19 because this is the Prosecution document, they will see whether this is
21 A. This is what it says.
22 Q. Excellent. In this document, do you see anywhere mentioned Crisis
23 Staff of the Bosanski Samac municipality and Pelagicevo, that they have
24 taken over the municipality of Samac?
25 A. At the end of the day, it says there are indications that the
1 enemy could strike against, steps are being taken to prevent the attack
2 and disarm the remaining enemy forces. That's what it says. And civilian
3 authorities being established.
4 Q. In the first paragraph of this report, it says that the vital
5 facilities have been taken in the night of the 17th of April. Is this --
6 is this correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Further on, it says that because of many conflicts and incidents
9 that preceded the attempt of the Croatian forces to cross over the Sava
10 River, that that would be basis for the intervention. That's the second
11 sentence. Do you agree with the second sentence?
12 A. Let me just find the spot.
13 MR. RE: I object to this line of questioning. As I understand
14 it, Your Honour's ruling was confined to the Crisis Staff and things which
15 affected the interests of Mr. Pantelic's client. This is going through
16 line by line and asking whether the witness agrees with someone else's
18 MR. PANTELIC: Because, Your Honour, in response to a question of
19 my learned friend, this witness said there was not any action of the
20 Croatian forces across the bridge. That was his answer to the question of
21 my learned friend. And now we have another evidence with completely
22 different angle. So I just want to clarify it with the witness, is it
23 true or not, what was said in this report.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Perhaps to expedite matters, the witness can read on
25 his own and then you ask -- you put the question to him because the
1 documents are before the Trial Chamber. They are part of the evidence so
2 we can read instead of reading line by line.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Okay, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: But otherwise, you are within your rights to proceed
5 with the questioning of the witness.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
7 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Savic, as we read this document, which
8 was created on the basis of some reports from the field, tell me, on the
9 basis of your personal knowledge, were any attempts made by the Croatian
10 armed forces to cross the bridge on the Sava River?
11 A. The Croatian Army, from Croatia, I don't think that they made any
12 attempts to cross the bridge on the Sava. I don't know about that. But
13 the Croatian artillery did target the town of Samac. That's what I said.
14 But it was on the Bosna River on the bridge near Prud where they tried to
15 carry out an attack.
16 Q. So that is the next proposition, it has to do with Prud, so we've
17 clarified that. Now, on the basis of your very own knowledge, the
18 elements of the 17th Tactical Group and then of the Serb TO and the
19 militia, did they take the vital facilities in the town of Samac?
20 A. I don't know about the elements of the tactical group. If you're
21 referring to the 4th Detachment, I am sure, and I claim, that none of us
22 took any facilities. Later on, we tried to keep them by engaging men from
23 the detachment and that was that.
24 Q. Furthermore, what is your personal knowledge in this regard, that
25 isolated persons opened fire at the Serb forces and at citizens? Because
1 that is what this report also says. Were there any such situations after
2 the 17th?
3 A. I don't really understand your question. What does this mean,
4 "isolated persons"? What are you trying to say.
5 Q. That's what it says in this military document. You're an
6 officer. I don't know either. You explain this to us. What is your
7 understanding of this?
8 A. Well, my highest level was up to the TG and Ninkovic [as
9 interpreted] and contacts with him. But all the rest, higher levels, I
10 have no idea who wrote what and all that. I don't know.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic, I think we have a bit of
12 a confusion here in terms of the use of this word "isolated." Because the
13 English translation of the document that I have in front of me talks about
14 "individuals who opened fire on our forces and citizens have been
15 isolated." But in your question to Mr. Savic, in the translation, you're
16 talking about isolated persons doing the firing, which is not in keeping
17 with the document. I can't see the line off-hand now.
18 MR. PANTELIC: You mean page 15, line 14 and 15?
19 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Exactly right, yes, yes.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Maybe it's a matter of translation, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes. Because in your question as translated it
22 talks -- you're asking about isolated persons opening fire, which doesn't
23 make any sense.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely. Maybe that's a matter of translation.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. And just one small correction in the
1 transcript on page 15, line 23, here it says "and Ninkovic" and it's
2 referring to Colonel Nikolic.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Instead of Ninkovic the name should be Nikolic?
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: Precisely, Your Honour.
5 MR. PANTELIC:
6 Q. [Interpretation] You see, Mr. Savic, it says here persons who are
7 isolated and who opened fire against our citizens in town. Just tell me,
8 did this happen in Samac?
9 A. No.
10 Q. You say -- also it says here that there were cases that civilians
11 moved out, did that happen?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Further on it says here in the telegram that many members of the
14 former municipal leadership fled to the Republic of Croatia. Do you have
15 any personal knowledge about that?
16 A. No, I do not.
17 Q. Finally, Mr. Savic, you see the stamp down here on this document,
18 the date is the 17th of April, 1992. It says that it was sent at 1545
19 hours, is that not being contested?
20 A. I see that.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. Could we have now document P19, please?
22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: While that's being brought up, just going back to
23 this term "isolated," your question again on lines 20 and 21, again might
24 be a translation problem. But the way it reads, again, is not in keeping
25 with the document because your question to Mr. Savic is: "It says here
1 persons who are isolated and who opened fire against our citizens in
2 town." The document, on the other hand, which now has disappeared off the
3 screen in front of me talked about persons who opened fire against our
4 forces and citizens, and just doing this by memory now, and who have been
6 So they opened fire and then they were isolated. The way again it
7 reads now is these persons were isolated and then they opened fire. Which
8 is in contradistinction to what the actual document is saying.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely. So I will put this question on
10 English. Maybe that will be clarify the situation, or I clarify that with
11 the witness.
12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: No. I don't think you need to do that,
13 Mr. Pantelic, but just for the sake of the record I was just saying
14 that --
15 MR. PANTELIC: I agree with you.
16 JUDGE WILLIAMS: But we have the document. I don't think it
17 serves any purpose in --
18 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Maybe we could have the
19 English version on the ELMO for the benefit of the interpreters and then
20 the B/C/S version in front of the witness.
21 Q. [Interpretation] So in this document that was sent, you see the
22 stamp, it was at 1730 on the 17th of April?
23 A. Could you repeat your question? I didn't hear what you were
25 Q. Could you please look at the stamp down here. You can see that
1 this stamp was sent or received, received practically, on the 17th of
2 April, at 1730 hours. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. So after the previous document, right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. This is a document of the 17th Corps, informing the commander of
7 the 2nd Military District in Sarajevo, where Kukanjac is commander and
8 they inform him about the situation in the area. Is that right?
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. In that document, it also says that members of the TO and the MUP
11 of the Serb municipality took control of certain facilities. Is that
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Again, in this document, it says that forces from the Republic of
15 Croatia attempted an infantry attack across the bridge. Is that right?
16 A. That's what it says here but it's not correct.
17 Q. All right.
18 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have now, please, document P23, please?
19 Q. [Interpretation] In the meantime, until the document is found,
20 here was the 4th Detachment collect information from the area of
21 responsibility of your --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please slow down. This is
23 too fast.
24 MR. PANTELIC:
25 Q. [Interpretation] I'll repeat the question. You from the area of
1 responsibility of the 4th Detachment, you collect information and you send
2 it to the superior command or rather the 17th Tactical Group. Is that
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. The command of the --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, remember to pause and the witness
7 should also pause after listening to your question before beginning to
8 answer. The interpreters are having difficulties.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, I do apologise.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Savic, could you please pause a few seconds
11 after my question and then answer. The same goes for me. So my question
12 was the following: When the commander of the 17th Tactical Group collects
13 information from the ground, from all detachments, then it compiles some
14 kind of daily report of its own and then it sends it further on to the
15 corps. Is that right?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. When the 17th Corps from its own tactical groups, the operative
18 group 1 from the 17th Tactical Group, et cetera, collects all information,
19 then they send a daily report to the 2nd military district in Sarajevo.
20 Is that correct?
21 A. Most probably.
22 Q. What I'm interested in is the following: All information that
23 comes to the 17th Tactical Group, inter alia, includes information from
24 the 4th Detachment from the ground. Is that right?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. So why would anybody then, along these higher lines, forge or
2 change information because you have just said that you do not -- that you
3 do not --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please wait for the end of the
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: First of all, these datas have been faked, and if
7 they are fake who faked them and why fake them? This is nothing that this
8 witness could be aware about. He already said that his highest command
9 was 17th Tactical Group and anything further in this military here is
10 something unknown to him.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Pantelic, you did ask in fact the witness
12 earlier on that the 17th Tactical Group command collected information from
13 other detachments as well, so -- and the witness did explain his level of
14 knowledge. He was only dealing with the 4th Detachment. So that was only
15 one segment. So these reports from the higher command which was above him
16 cannot be explained by this witness.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Okay.
18 Q. [Interpretation] If your 17th Tactical Group informs the corps
19 about the following that in the zone of responsibility of the 4th
20 Detachment certain things are going on, who can this -- who can the 17th
21 Tactical Group get this information from if it's not the 4th Detachment?
22 In which way, just tell me that?
23 A. Now, how they do this, how they sent their reports, now the 17th
24 TG towards their superior command, how they reported, I have no idea.
25 They can write whatever they want. I really have no idea, but what went
1 from the field was correct information. I was in Samac and I know that we
2 reported about what was going on and so on and so forth. And now what
3 kind of report was received ultimately is something I have no idea about.
4 Q. Tell me, from the 4th Detachment, who sent reports from the field
5 to the 17th Tactical Group? Who was in charge of that?
6 A. The commander, his deputy, the assistant commander, the duty
7 officer, et cetera.
8 Q. Would you look at the document that's in front of you, on page 1,
9 this is the command of the 17th Corps, the 18th of April. In paragraph 3,
10 the Prosecutor asked you the same thing, that between the 17th and 18th of
11 April, that the Serb units of the TO and the police were carrying out
12 actions against the paramilitaries in Samac. Is that correct? Is that
13 correct on the basis of what you know from the field?
14 A. Operations against?
15 Q. Paramilitary formations.
16 A. I don't know about that.
17 Q. Do you know that on the 18th of April, by 11.00, the
18 above-mentioned forces took Samac in its entirety? Are you aware of that?
19 A. This is possible.
20 Q. Underneath that there is a paragraph where it says that the
21 command of TG 17 was ordered to secure the success attained and not to
22 take any other offensive measures. That is in keeping with what you said,
23 that you were given this task not to do anything.
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. As far as the higher command is concerned, this operation was a
1 success, wasn't it?
2 A. I explained this. I don't know what higher levels wrote to their
3 own even higher levels. I have no idea.
4 Q. Could you please look at page 2? There is a conclusion, that is
5 item 8, and then another sentence, "The corps units responded to
6 paramilitary group's activities, operational group 1" -- we are not
7 interested in that -- "and engaged in routing the paramilitary groups in
8 Bosanski Samac and establishing the civilian authorities [Tactical Group
9 17]." Is that what actually happened in Samac?
10 A. I don't know about that.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, when you are reading or explaining or
12 even asking the question, please do it slowly. Otherwise, the record
13 won't be correct.
14 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise again, Your Honour.
15 Q. [Interpretation] So my question was that the 17th Tactical Group
16 was engaged in routing paramilitary formations in Bosanski Samac and
17 establishing the civilian authority. And your answer on page 23, line 2,
18 it says -- your answer was that you don't know anything about that.
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have now Exhibit P24?
21 Q. [Interpretation] In this document, in this telegram, the command
22 of the 17th Corps again reports to the 2nd Military District on the 18th
23 of April, sometime at about 1740 hours -- in fact 1725 hours, and under
24 item 4, it says that "Serb forces of the Bosanski Samac TO together with
25 the MUP forces by 1100 hours they took control over the entire town." Is
1 this in accordance with your personal knowledge about what happened in
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Further on, below that, it says that "The tactical group commander
5 was ordered to secure the success that has been achieved and to abstain
6 from taking any special steps." Do you agree with that?
7 A. I don't know about that. I don't know what was ordered to the
8 commander of the T -- of TG 17, I don't know.
9 Q. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber how come you're saying now
10 that you agree with the statement that the forces of the Serb TO took part
11 in that, while throughout this time, both to the Prosecutor and to me,
12 you've been denying the existence of the Serb TO forces, although
13 Mr. Zaric says that -- said that in his interview? Now, what do you mean
14 when you said that you agreed that the Serb TO forces took part in this?
15 A. I'll repeat. The Serb TO forces in Samac, in the 4th Detachment,
16 did not exist. They did not exist. The 4th Detachment did not take part.
17 Q. Just a moment. I have to interrupt. You've been saying that TO
18 forces did not exist. We have been listening to you for two days and now
19 you agree with me that TO forces of Bosanski Samac, Serb TO forces and MUP
20 forces, by 1100 hours, they have taken over the entire town. You just
21 confirmed that two minutes ago. Again I'm asking you: What is the truth,
22 Mr. Savic?
23 A. My information is --
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that this question of Mr. Pantelic,
25 although I don't have a problem with it, it's a bit premature. First of
1 all we have to establish what is the understanding of this witness of the
2 term "Serbian TO" and then ask him this question, otherwise we really
3 don't know what we are talking about here.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour --
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, perhaps the witness can explain.
6 MR. PANTELIC:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Can you please explain, what are, for you,
8 Serbian forces? Serb forces?
9 A. Serb TO forces, according to what I know, they are members of a
10 unit that was established, I believe, in Batkusa and they were led by Mico
11 Ivanovic, also known as Mijak. And according to my assessment, I believe
12 that these are these force that had come together with these men, shall I
13 call them volunteers, MUP people, they came to Samac on that day. And so
14 they established what does it say here, and they have taken over the
15 entire town, that's what it says in this report. That's what I know.
16 Q. Specifically, is this your knowledge or is this your opinion? Is
17 this your assumption? Because precisely this is what you mentioned in
18 your answer.
19 A. A couple of days later --
20 Q. No, no. Just very briefly, is this your personal knowledge or is
21 this your assumption Mr. Savic?
22 A. My personal knowledge.
23 Q. Was the first detachment as part of the 17th Tactical Group?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Who was the commander of that detachment?
1 A. First of all, it was Mico Ivanovic, also known as Mijak, and after
2 that was Savo Bosic.
3 Q. And 1st Detachment was part of the 17th Tactical Group; is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Prosecutor asked you on page 51 on Friday whether on 17th of April
7 there were forces came from Croatia across the bridge, Croatian forces,
8 and you answered that there were no such forces. Tell me, what did you do
9 on the 17th of April, around 3.00 in the morning, you personally?
10 A. I had just got up at that time.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: The witness has already explained that so many
12 times, Mr. Pantelic.
13 MR. PANTELIC: The point is, Your Honour, I finished with this
14 issue absolutely, the point is that --
15 Q. [Interpretation] I'll just ask you this question: If you were
16 sleeping at 3.00 in the morning, how come that you don't -- you know there
17 were no Croatian forces that were about to attack Samac, as it says in all
18 the telegrams of the 17th Tactical Group and the 17th corps and all the
19 other telegrams? If you were asleep, how do you know that there were no
20 Croatian forces about to attack? Can you explain this to the Trial
21 Chamber? Because the whole detachment was asleep. Can you explain how do
22 you know?
23 A. I've already explained that. I came to the command in about a
24 quarter of an hour.
25 Q. Just a moment. Before 3.00 a.m. while were you asleep, how do you
1 know, on the basis of what do you claim, that it was not possible that
2 there was an attack that was going to be launched across the bridge on the
3 Sava River from Croatia? Could you please explain.
4 A. Could you repeat the question.
5 Q. Mr. Savic, you're asleep, it's 3.00 a.m. 17th of April, 1992. I'm
6 asking you, while you were asleep, how do you know that Croatian forces
7 are not amassing on the other side, across the Sava River, and are about
8 to attack? Because -- that's what I'm asking you because it's all of
9 these telegrams of serious generals, that's what it says. So I'm asking
10 you: How do you know there were no Croatian forces that were about to
11 attack Samac?
12 A. We had an information about the movement of forces from the
13 Republic of Croatia, about their amassment, in a certain direction. We
14 had this information and we received some information from the tactical
15 group and also some intelligence from our local citizens. And as I said,
16 that the attack on the 17th was not an infantry attack from Croatia or any
17 other except the artillery shelling of the town of Samac, and that is what
19 Q. So you cannot state with certainty what happened before 3.00 a.m.
20 A. I have no idea. What I heard at the command -- that's what I
21 heard at the command.
22 Q. Of course, you were asleep, you couldn't have known. You were
23 asked by the Prosecutor on page 43, about the fact that the JNA was
24 practically inactive and that that's how it allowed a new regime to be
25 established based on discriminatory basis. Your answer was we knew about
1 that. Now what I'm asking you, the Serb municipality of Bosanski Samac
2 and Pelagicevo in establishing, according to your knowledge, according to
3 your information, your personal attitude, is this also a discriminatory --
4 ethnically-discriminatory establishment, institution?
5 A. In my opinion, it is.
6 Q. Were you a part of that Serb municipality and you are still today?
7 A. Yes, I am. That's where I am, yes.
8 Q. Is this a municipality a part of Republika Srpska?
9 A. It is.
10 Q. Why in your opinion the Serb municipality of Bosanski Samac and
11 Pelagicevo is that an ethnically-discriminatory establishment?
12 MR. RE: I object. Is my learned friend Mr. Pantelic referring
13 to -- I think the witness's answer was referring to April 1992. This
14 latest question appears to be directed to the situation today, which is
15 irrelevant for the purposes of cross-examination and the indictment.
16 MR. PANTELIC: No, no. My question was directed to the period
17 1992, the Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo, strictly
18 on that period.
19 Q. [Interpretation] I'm asking you a question. Large number of
20 delegates founded the Serb municipality. Why is it, in your opinion, that
21 it is a discriminatory institution?
22 A. Because many people of other ethnicities left Bosanski Samac, as
23 some people say they have been expelled, and you've mentioned another
24 term, isolated, detained, that's the reason why I think this.
25 Q. This institution, this municipality, did they do that or was it
1 some other factors?
2 A. I think a different organs of municipality, not the municipality
3 but organs of authority. First of all, I mean MUP or SUP, the police.
4 Q. Well, that is a matter for debate. Now, Mr. Savic, can you tell
5 me something else. Why did you deny throughout this time -- what was your
6 motive for denying all the fact from these tell grams of the 17th Tactical
7 Group and the higher commands?
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: Why have you denied? This kind of question, I
10 don't really think is appropriate. The witness is testifying here. He's
11 not denying or approving or doing whatever. He's giving his testimony.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Because, Your Honour, after this question, I would
13 like to put on the record that all the testimony of this witness should be
14 stricken because he's absolutely unreliable witness and that was the
15 position of the Defence, due to the fact and the answers and
16 contradictions that he made so --
17 Q. [Interpretation] Now, Mr. Savic, I'm asking you --
18 MR. RE: The Prosecution objects very strongly to this gratuitous
19 attack upon a witness who is giving evidence and is being asked to comment
20 upon other people's documents, that's as high as it can possibly get. The
21 witness can agree or disagree. I would ask Mr. Pantelic to withdraw his
22 last comment. It's unbecoming for counsel in these proceedings.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Actually, there is no basis for the comments of
24 Mr. Pantelic against this witness.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Of course, Your Honour, that would be a matter for
1 the final evaluation of the testimony of this witness during the procedure
2 of rendering of judgement. So my last question to this witness is --
3 Q. [Interpretation] Can you please tell me, Mr. Savic, why did you
4 lie to this Trial Chamber in relation to the fact that the elements of the
5 17th Tactical Group took part in the attack on Samac?
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: I object. I object to this question very
7 strongly. First of all, the way the question is posed, why did you lie,
8 suggests that the witness was actually lying. First of all, I don't
9 believe that this is what the witness was doing here, and --
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic, if a witness gives you an answer
11 which contradicts your instructions, it does not necessarily mean that the
12 witness is telling lies and that's not the proper way of putting it to the
13 witness. And you are finished, so please sit down.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I finished. Thank you.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lazarevic? Or is it Mr. Pisarevic for
17 Re-examined by Mr. Pisarevic:
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
19 Q. Good morning, Mr. Savic.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. I'd like to ask the Trial Chamber to draw the attention of
22 Mr. Pantelic, Defence counsel of Mr. Blagoje Simic, about the way that he
23 is talking to the witnesses, especially we witnessed here Mr. Pantelic
24 asking questions in an unprofessional way, being very rude to the
25 witnesses of Mr. Simo Zaric, that is that the witnesses for the Defence of
1 Mr. Simo Zaric is bringing here to testify. This was seen a moment ago,
2 although a couple of times his attention was drawn to this. However, I am
3 grateful to the Trial Chamber for protecting the witnesses from such
5 Mr. Savic, are you aware of the fact that at the assembly of the
6 Serb municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo in establishing, there was an --
7 even just one deputy of other ethnicity except for Serb ethnicity?
8 A. I don't think there was.
9 Q. Another question that I'm going to ask you: Are you aware of the
10 fact that for the Staff Commander of the TO of Bosanski Samac and
11 Pelagicevo under formation, Mico Ivanovic, also known as Mijak, was
13 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
14 Q. Is this your personal knowledge?
15 A. Yes. Mico told me about this later. He told me this himself.
16 Q. When you were speaking about the existence of the HDZ units and
17 SDA units, armed units, you mentioned at one point that there were also
18 some units that were armed of the SDS, there were some armed men who were
19 members of the SDS. You started telling us something about some men and
20 you said you had some personal knowledge. Can you please just clarify
21 this very briefly.
22 A. Yes. When I started to talk about this, one of you interrupted
23 me, and what I know is that in the villages, there was a group of young
24 men who had undergone some training. And I know from my village, four or
25 five of them, they were members of the SDS party, and they were members of
1 the staff that we spoke about earlier, this unit that was led by Mico
3 Q. Can you tell us the names of these men that you know for sure were
4 members of this unit?
5 A. Yes, I know these young men because they were from my village.
6 There were a lot younger than I am. I know them all. Zeljko Djuric;
7 Petar Lukic; Cedo Lukic; Caslav, Ilic; Milos Savic, also known as Mrki,
8 he's a relative of mine. So there were four or five of them -- in fact
9 five, five that I know of.
10 Q. Thank you. That is just from your village?
11 A. That's just from my village.
12 Q. Do you have the information that there were young men from other
14 A. My information is that there were young men from every village,
15 depending on the number of inhabitants.
16 Q. Thank you very much. Here you were shown telegrams sent by
17 military units and as I have noticed, these were mostly telegrams of the
18 17th Corps of the JNA, and telegrams of the 2nd Military District that
19 were sent to the Main Staff. Did anyone show you here that some report
20 went from the 17th Tactical Group, addressed to the 17th Corps of the JNA?
21 A. Reports that I had a look at here, I will repeat, this is the
22 first time that I see them here, this is the first time I've heard of
23 them. In parts of these reports I only disagreed with some details,
24 because I did not have any influence as to how the command of the 17th
25 Tactical Group would write this report in what content and how it will go
1 to a higher command.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, can you just identify which reports
3 you're dealing with here for the record to make sense. Is it the same
4 ones discussed, P19, P21, P23?
5 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] P19, P21, and P23.
8 Q. Two words are used here, telegrams and reports. What is this,
9 this that you have been shown, namely Exhibits P19, P21, and P23? Are
10 these telegrams or are these reports?
11 A. These are reports.
12 Q. As far as I could see, it seemed obvious that these reports were
13 written by some kind of duty officers, not by the unit commander?
14 A. Yes, I noticed that too.
15 Q. Could the witness please be shown these exhibits, P19 ter, P21 and
16 P23 ter?
17 MR. RE: This isn't an objection but there was also P24 in there
18 as well, there were actually four documents which Mr. Pantelic referred
20 MR. PISAREVIC:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Please take a look at P19. What does it say
22 here? Who sent this, who wrote this telegram or this report the way
23 you've been putting it?
24 A. This is written by the commander of the 17th Corps, and it is
25 signed by the leader of the duty team, Colonel Pedisic.
1 Q. Who writes this telegram, this Mr. Pedisic or the commander of the
2 17th Corps?
3 A. This is compiled by the duty officer who signed it, but in the
4 upper left-hand corner, it says in whose name in which this is written but
5 it is signed by the signatory.
6 Q. So this is the commander of the 17th Corps that's sending this.
7 Now I'm asking you the following: What it says here in this text, is this
8 compiled by the gentleman who signed it and does he do it on his own
9 without any consultations, without any approval from his commander, and so
10 on and so forth?
11 A. Well, I'll tell you. I had no insight in how they worked, how
12 could I? But the person who signed the text compiled it. That's the way
13 it should have been, that is the person who was supposed to stand behind
14 this text, the gentleman who signed it.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: I think, Mr. Pisarevic, these are matters outside
16 the knowledge of this witness because he was not one of the persons
17 compiling these reports or telegrams, as you want to refer to them.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Q. Just tell me when was this telegram sent, at what time?
20 A. 1700 hours -- is it 1730? I can't read it very well. It's not
21 very legible.
22 Q. It was sent to the 2nd army district of the JNA as we've already
23 put it. Thank you. Could we just have a look at it now? Could we look
24 at document P23 ter now? Who is it addressed to, who was sending this,
25 and to whom?
1 A. Command of the 17th Corps is sending this to the command of the
2 2nd Military District, to the operations officer on duty.
3 Q. At what time?
4 A. If I can see this properly, 1945.
5 Q. Who signed this?
6 A. Am I supposed to answer this? I mean, I couldn't hear things very
7 well. So it is commander General Savo Jankovic, Major General Savo
9 Q. So this is a report, isn't it? When it is signed by the commander
10 of the unit.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could we agree that when telegrams are sent, they are signed by
13 duty officers, operations officers, in units? Is that correct?
14 A. If the commander is not there, then it is done by the duty
15 officer, but then if the commander is there, then he approves or he says
16 well, you sign it and send it on. That's the way it was where we were.
17 Q. Now, let's take a look at this third document, P23. I'm sorry,
18 P21, sorry. This is the commander of the 2nd Military District to the
19 general staff of the army of Yugoslavia?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Who signed this?
22 A. The senior commanding officer, the duty team, Colonel Nikola
24 Q. Can we agree that the commander of the 2nd military district of
25 the Yugoslav People's Army was General Kukanjac?
1 A. Yes, I knew that.
2 Q. Can you just tell me at what time this report was sent.
3 A. 1545. It's not really legible. Maybe it's 1845, it's a poor
5 Q. On the 17th, right?
6 A. On the 17th of April.
7 Q. Did you notice that the report of the 2nd Military District was
8 sent before the 17th Corps sent the 2nd Military District its report on
9 how they viewed what happened on the 17th of April, 1992?
10 A. Possibly.
11 Q. Please take a look at it.
12 A. 17th Corps, 17, 26, 2nd District, 1545. I can't see the date
13 here. It seems to me that this report went first, I mean the one that we
14 just discussed -- I mean it can be seen according to the dates involved,
15 and then on the 18th, this report went from the command of the 17th Corps
16 so, yes.
17 Q. So reports did not go along the following lines that first they
18 had to come from the lowest ranking units and then to the higher ranking
19 units. It would happen that through other sources, they would obtain some
20 information and then send their reports. The only source was not the
21 report of the lower ranking units, the detachments, et cetera, in order to
22 have the higher ranking units compile their own reports, can we agree with
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In response to attorney Pantelic's question, you said on page 71,
1 dated the 20th of March, he asked you about a RUP 2 or RUP 12, and you
2 said that you were not an expert for this kind of technical equipment and
3 signals equipment, but I am going to ask you the following -- I'm going to
4 ask you two things actually. One is the following: Through this
5 equipment that was in the command of the 4th Detachment, did you maintain
6 communication throughout, for about a month, and after what happened in
7 Bosanski Samac, I mean you were commander for a longer period of time. So
8 is it through this equipment that you communicated with the command of the
9 17th Tactical Group?
10 A. Yes. This particular piece of equipment. Now what its name is is
11 something I don't really know.
12 Q. When this reorganisation took place and when the Army of Republika
13 Srpska was established, for a while you were commander of the 5th
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And your superior command was the 2nd Posavina Brigade, whose
17 command was in Pelagicevo. You as commander of the 5th battalion on the
18 basis of this very same radio equipment, did you maintain communications,
19 radio communications, with the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade of the
20 Army of Republika Srpska whose command was in Pelagicevo?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. Also, you were asked by Mr. Pantelic on pages 50
23 through 54, 55, of the transcript dated the 20th of March, you were asked
24 about reports being submitted to the brigade from the detachment. What
25 were the organs that were in charge of this and so on and so forth. Tell
1 me, do you know that in the brigade, at higher levels, this is done by the
2 security organ and the military police?
3 A. Yes, that's right. That was their part of the job.
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I believe that the question of
5 Mr. Pisarevic was not properly translated. He was not referring to
6 reports here on page 37, line 14, he was talking about criminal charges.
7 So this makes sense probably --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, perhaps the counsel can.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note that the word "report" was
10 used. Could it kindly be clarified.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, please clarify your question.
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. You did understand that I asked you about criminal reports being
14 filed in the sense of criminal charges?
15 A. Yes, criminal charges.
16 Q. So can we agree, then, that the organs or rather the assistant
17 commander for morale for religious and legal affairs in the brigade was
18 not in charge of filing these criminal charges that he had a completely
19 different line of work?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. Mr. Pantelic also asked you, on page 66, lines 4 through 7, of the
22 transcript of the 20th of March, who from the command ordered and whether
23 you ordered Dusanic, Djordje, nicknamed Dzaltara, on the night of the 17th
24 April, to switch off the telephones at the telephone exchange at the PTT
25 in Bosanski Samac, and your answer was that you did not do that. And then
1 you started saying something about something that you knew or rather that
2 you knew Mr. Dusanic. Do you know Mr. Dusanic?
3 A. Of course I do.
4 Q. Please continue. Please finish what you were trying to say about
5 Mr. Djordje Dusanic, nicknamed Dzaltara, that Mr. Pantelic asked you
7 A. I wanted to say then that Djordje Dusanic [Realtime transcript
8 read in error "jury gentleman"], nicknamed Dzaltara, would not know how to
9 switch off his very own telephone at home let alone mess around with this
10 at home -- at the telephone exchange. I mean, he worked at the PTT but he
11 worked there as a watchman in the security there. So this man was not
12 capable of doing that and nobody from the 4th Detachment ever gave him any
13 orders of that kind.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: Maybe, I don't know maybe this needs
15 clarification, on page 38, line 21, the "jury gentleman" nicknamed doesn't
16 make much sense the way it is recorded in the transcript.
17 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Can I put the question to you? I asked you about Mr. Djordje
19 Dusanic, nicknamed Dzaltara. Is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. He's not a member of any kind of jury?
22 A. What?
23 Q. What did he do?
24 A. He was some kind of a watchman, a guard, something like that.
25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think it is time
1 for a break. Perhaps this would be a convenient moment.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, we will take our break and continue at 1100.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
6 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Savic, on page 27 and 28 of the transcript, you were asked by
8 the Prosecutor about the patrols of the 4th Detachment, about the
9 strength, about the tasks. Now I'd like to ask you a few questions in
10 relation to the patrols. The 4th Detachment of the JNA, until when did it
11 have patrols in the town of Bosanski Samac?
12 A. Until the 17th of April.
13 Q. These patrols, did they only patrol at night?
14 A. Yes, mostly at night.
15 Q. Are you aware of the fact that as of the 17th of April, 1992,
16 there was a reconnaissance squad that was put in operation and what its
17 task was?
18 A. Yes. After the area of defence was taken over by the 4th
19 Detachment, this squad, according to the command -- the order of commander
20 Antic was put into operation and its task was to follow the movements of
21 the forces of the opponent, its amassment, and to report about that to the
22 command of the detachment.
23 Q. I have one other question to ask you in relation to this. On the
24 17th of April, 1992, did you know anything about the presence of armed
25 members of Muslims and its unit, and their unit, in the town of Samac
1 where they were, where they were located and so on? What do you know
2 about that?
3 A. In the command of the detachment, we were very worried about the
4 very poor recall of the people who were called to come and join the
5 detachment but during the day we received calls from citizens, from
6 inhabitants, that in the area of park, of the market, there were men,
7 armed men, who were in positions there as they knew each other, these were
8 SDA members, and according to some information, about 100 people were so
9 deployed or positioned in groups around the town.
10 Q. And the last question that I have for you today is the following:
11 In relation to the Prosecutor's question asked on pages 45 through to 48,
12 you explained that liberation, you were even shown a document, that is
13 information P127. You explained what the word "liberation" means in a
14 military sense. Can you tell us, do you know if the term "liberation" was
15 the word that was used generally in all the reports of the Republika
16 Srpska army, in all the official reports, and it was to be used widely in
17 all these reports?
18 A. Yes. I am aware of that. I know that. And any information, any
19 communication, information in the press, on TV, this is the term that
20 entered our language, "the liberation."
21 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honour, I have no
22 further questions. Thank you.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much, Mr. Jovo Savic for giving
24 evidence to the Trial Chamber. We are now finished with your evidence.
25 You may leave the courtroom.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, before the next witness is
4 brought in.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Can I just provide you with the proper English
7 translation now of P168? Which at the moment is only an ID document
8 because of the lack of official translation. I gave you a draft
9 translation. The official translation is now available and so the
10 document can fully go into evidence. It's P168. I have sufficient copies
11 here. Thank you.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have the number confirmed?
13 THE REGISTRAR: It will be treated as Exhibit P168 and P168 ter
14 for the B/C/S. Thank you.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic?
16 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. On Friday, I informed the Trial
17 Chamber with regard to the status of the rest of the 92 bis statements
18 which should be translated. So this morning I've been informed from the
19 Registry that during the second break, they will be in position to tell me
20 with a higher certainty at what stage are these translations now, so
21 accordingly, I will immediately inform the Trial Chamber. I believe that
22 it could be solved today.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well then. Can we have the next witness?
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please make the solemn declaration.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. I solemnly declare
2 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: DUSAN GAVRIC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Please sit down.
6 Yes, Mr. Lazarevic?
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Examined by Mr. Lazarevic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Gavric.
10 A. Good morning.
11 Q. Bearing in mind your condition, I'd like to ask you if you can
12 hear me well or you don't understand my question, could you please let me
13 know straight away so that we have no difficulties or unclear things in
14 relation to the transcript. Can you tell me if you can hear me well?
15 A. For the time being, I do.
16 Q. Thank you very much. So that we don't overlap we've already
17 spoken about this, when I finish my question, could you please wait a
18 couple of seconds before answering the question so that there is no
19 overlapping for the record? You will see before you the LiveNote and when
20 the little dot at the end stops, then you can answer.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. For the record, can you please give me your full name and last
24 A. Dusan Gavric.
25 Q. Can you just wait for the question. Can you just go slowly before
1 you give the answer? Thank you.
2 Mr. Gavric, can you tell me when were you born?
3 A. In 1946, on the 13th of September.
4 Q. Can you tell me your place of birth.
5 A. The village of Donja Dubica, municipality of Odzak.
6 Q. Where are you living now?
7 A. I am now living in Samac.
8 Q. Can you tell me about your schooling, where and when you completed
9 your schools.
10 A. I completed higher school for the organisation of labour in the
11 city of Zagreb and that was in the academic year of 1971-72.
12 Q. Are you married?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you have children?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can you now tell me, what is your occupation?
17 A. I'm an engineer of organisation of labour.
18 Q. Can you tell me what is your ethnicity.
19 A. I'm a Serb.
20 Q. Did you serve in the Yugoslav People's Army?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Where was that and when?
23 A. It was in Ribnica near Kocevje in Slovenia, Kocevje in Slovenia.
24 Q. During your service in the Yugoslav People's Army, did you obtain
25 any rank or any post?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Now I'd like to ask you a couple of questions in relation to your
3 political activity. Can you tell me if you were a member of the League of
4 Communists of Yugoslavia and if you were, when and until when?
5 A. Yes. I was a member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia in
6 the period between 1968 to 1990.
7 Q. After 1990, were you a member of any other political party?
8 A. No.
9 Q. And now, you are not a member of any political party?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Sir, before the 19th of April, 1992, can you tell me where did you
13 A. I lived in the town of Odzak, municipality of Odzak.
14 Q. Did you have a house in Odzak?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Were you employed in Odzak?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you tell me what work did you do in Odzak until the 19th of
19 April, 1992?
20 A. I was working in agricultural company Posavina in Odzak. I worked
21 in the following -- I was a manager of the work unit of mechanisation and
22 then for a while I was manager of a working unit, social standard, and
23 then until April, 1992, I worked as an internal controller.
24 Q. Sir, I'll ask you a small number of questions and I'd like us to
25 go through this as quickly as possible but I think it will be very useful
1 to hear from you some information considering that you have lived in Odzak
2 for a long time. In 1990, and that has been uncontested so far,
3 multi-party elections were held. Can you tell me, in the town of Odzak,
4 who won these elections in 1990?
5 A. In the town of Odzak?
6 Q. I'm sorry, I meant the municipality of Odzak.
7 A. The municipality of Odzak, it was the party of Croatian Democratic
8 Union that won with a large majority. After that came the Party of
9 Democratic Action, and then the Serbian democratic party. While the other
10 parties, like the SDP or the other parties, they had relatively small
11 number of votes.
12 Q. The HDZ, did it have more than a half of votes or did it have an
13 absolute majority in the municipality of Odzak?
14 A. Yes. It had absolute majority.
15 Q. Tell me, in the elections of 1990 and after the results you've
16 just referred to were achieved, who was appointed president of the
17 municipal assembly of Odzak?
18 A. The President of the municipal assembly of Odzak was Mr. Stjepan
19 Ivankovic, otherwise president of the HDZ.
20 Q. Who was appointed Chief of Police?
21 A. Mr. Stjepan Mikic was appointed Chief of Police. He was a member
22 of the main board or rather the municipal board of the HDZ and he was an
23 ethnic Croat.
24 Q. I'm interested in one more office, and that is the President of
25 the executive board of the municipal assembly of Odzak.
1 A. The President of the executive board of municipal assembly of
2 Odzak was also an ethnic Croat, Jakov Terzic, member of the main board of
3 the HDZ of the municipality of Odzak.
4 Q. On the basis of your answers, I believe that we can conclude that
5 all key positions in the municipality of Odzak were in the hands of ethnic
6 Croats, members of the HDZ. Is this the right thing to say?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. As for other national parties that you referred to, can you tell
9 us who was president of the SDA in Odzak?
10 A. It was Mr. Sead Delic.
11 Q. In the newly-established government, after the elections of 1990,
12 did this Mr. Sead Delic have a particular office?
13 A. Yes. He was one of the heads of secretariat, I don't know exactly
14 which one, within the municipal authorities.
15 Q. Tell me now, what about the Serbian democratic party? Who was its
16 president in the municipality of Odzak?
17 A. The President of the SDS of the municipality of Odzak was
18 Mr. Dragomir Tesanovic.
19 Q. After the elections of 1991, did he come to hold an office in the
20 newly-established government?
21 A. Yes. He was head of the land survey office.
22 Q. Thank you. In addition to that, but it doesn't really relate to
23 this particular subject, I want to put a few questions to you pertaining
24 to local communes in the territory of the municipality of Odzak and their
25 ethnic composition. Can you tell us about the territory of the
1 municipality of Odzak? How many local communes were predominantly
2 populated by Croats?
3 A. There were nine local communes.
4 Q. Let's just clarify this. What does this mean in practice? I mean
5 what is a local commune? Is that a village?
6 A. As a rule, these were settlements but not only. For example, the
7 town of Odzak consisted of three local communes, so it's not a rule
9 Q. All right. Can you enumerate them for us? What were the local
10 communes in Odzak that were predominantly populated by Croats?
11 A. The part called Bijele Bare, 90 per cent of the population was
13 Q. You said that there were nine of them. Give me the other ones.
14 A. Could you repeat that question?
15 Q. So, in which local communes was the predominant population Croat?
16 A. You mean individually speaking?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. The village of Ada, the village of Novo Selo, the village of
19 Gornja Dubica, the village of Vojskova.
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand this, the
21 last two. The interpreter did not understand.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
23 MR. LAZAREVIC:
24 Q. Just a moment, please. Very slowly, the last village that is in
25 the transcript was Gornja Dubica. So you said Ada, Novo Selo, Gornja
1 Dubica. Could you please proceed now?
2 A. Vojskova, Osicac, Donji Svilaj, Vrbovac, Potocani, and Crna Vas.
3 Q. Thank you. You mentioned the local commune of Trnjak Zorice.
4 What was the situation like there?
5 A. Excuse me, in addition to Trnjak Zorice, where there was a mixed
6 population, both Croats and Serbs, we had three other local communes where
7 there was a mixed population of Croats and Serbs. That was the village of
8 Gornji Svilaj, then the town of Odzak, and part of Donja Dubica, the
9 so-called Papucija [phoen] was within it. And in Donja Dubica,
10 practically in the centre of town - oh, it's not a town, it's a village -
11 there were at least some 20 houses belonging to ethnic Croats.
12 Q. Thank you very much. Just could you speak a little bit slower?
13 So we mentioned Croat local communes. We mentioned mixed local communes.
14 Tell me now, were there any local communes where the Serbs were the
15 majority population?
16 A. Yes. These are the following local communes: Joseva, Mirnica,
17 Novi Grad...
18 Q. Very well. If you cannot remember everything, it's not that much
19 of a problem. Let me just ask you one more thing. In the territory of
20 the municipality of Odzak, where did the Muslims live?
21 A. The Muslims only lived in the town of Odzak.
22 Q. Now I would briefly like to move on to the town of Odzak itself.
23 Tell me, to the best of your knowledge, as regards numbers, what was the
24 population pattern like in the town of Odzak itself? How many Serbs were
25 there? How many Croats? How many Muslims? To the best of your
2 A. As far as I know, the ethnic composition of the town of Odzak was
3 as follows: There were about 6 and a half thousand Muslims; there were
4 about 1500 Croats; Serbs accounted for about 560.
5 Q. Thank you. We can conclude on the basis of this that in the town
6 of Odzak, obviously, the major part of the population were Muslims?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. I think that we have had a picture of the municipality
9 of Odzak painted for us, and now I would like to move on to a subject that
10 has to do with the municipality of Odzak.
11 Please, have you heard of the Croat Community of Bosanska
12 Posavina? If so, tell us who you've heard this from and what did you
13 actually hear? What is your information in this regard?
14 A. Yes. I have heard about this. Sometime in the month of December,
15 was it the 13th or 14th of December, I was with a Muslim friend.
16 Q. Can you give us the name of this friend of yours and what position
17 did he hold?
18 A. Yes. I was following the little dot. Yes. His name was Enver
19 Delic. He worked as an inspector in the crime investigation service of
20 the SUP in Odzak.
21 Q. Tell us, what is it that you heard sometime on the 13th or 14th of
22 December? I'm sorry, is this 1991? Are you referring to 1991?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Tell us now, what is this that you heard in relation to the Croat
25 Community of Bosanska Posavina?
1 A. Enver was having coffee at my home and he told me that on the 12th
2 of December, 1991, in Odzak, a meeting was held of the representatives of
3 the HDZ party from the area of the municipality, or rather the
4 municipalities of Brcko; Orasje; Samac, Bosanski Samac; Gradacac; Modrica;
5 Tesanj; Teslic; Derventa; and Bosanski Brod. On that day, they proclaimed
6 the Croat Community of Bosanska Posavina.
7 Q. Thank you, sir. You can speak a bit faster. Please don't
8 misunderstand me, just a tiny little bit faster.
9 A. All right.
10 Q. What was your understanding of this? What was this actually?
11 What was this Croat Community of Bosanska Posavina? What was your own
12 conclusion in this regard?
13 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, this witness's conclusions
14 are irrelevant. I've got no objection to Mr. Lazarevic getting this
15 witness to tell you what he knows of this organisational body, but it
16 should be confined to that, what he knows about it, what his source of
17 information was, not his own conclusions. Because then you don't know on
18 what it's based.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic?
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, my question was mainly targeted to
21 the personal experience of the witness and the way he felt, being a Serb,
22 in Odzak, what -- how did he react and what was his reaction on this
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, that's irrelevant. He should just tell you
25 what's going on as far as this body is concerned.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic can ask him what his -- what the
2 witness's reaction was when he was informed about what was going on.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Very well, Your Honours.
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Gavric, you heard my question. How did you react to this news
6 that the Croatian Community of Bosnian Posavina was established? What was
7 your feeling?
8 A. My first conclusion was, and bearing in mind the activities so far
9 or until then in the municipality of Odzak, and considering that the
10 Croatian people in the municipality of Odzak is the majority population, I
11 saw that, I felt it, as an attempt to create a kind of Croatian territory
12 within Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the territories of the municipalities
13 that attended that meeting on the 12th of December in Odzak.
14 Q. Thank you very much. Following the establishment of the Croatian
15 Community of Bosnian Posavina, did something change in the localities
16 populated by Croats? Were there some changes in everyday life, in the
17 behaviour of people?
18 A. Yes, just very briefly, I have to stress that in the villages
19 populated by Croats, it was a daily occurrence that convoys of cars were
20 passing, or were driving with Croatian flags, that is with the Croatian
21 chequerboard, with loud music on the radio in the cars, and they -- there
22 were songs that could be heard, and these were songs of nationalistic
23 content, and these convoys of vehicles went also through Serb villages and
24 the town of Odzak.
25 Furthermore, in the Croatian villages, according to what I know,
1 particularly as of January 1992, practically on one house out of ten
2 houses, there was a flag with the Croatian chequerboard, there were large
3 posters and framed pictures of Franjo Tudjman, Ban Jelacic, Ante Pavlic
4 and others.
5 Q. Thank you very much. I think we have a pretty clear picture of
6 what the situation was like in the Croatian villages. But it seems that
7 in the transcript, it isn't completely clear. You said Ante Pavlic,
8 didn't you?
9 A. Yes, leader Ante Pavlic.
10 Q. Can you just tell us who was Ante Pavlic, just to give a clear
11 picture to the Trial Chamber. Can you tell us why was that important, the
12 pictures of Ante Pavlic?
13 A. Ante Pavlic was the leader of the Croatian Ustasha state. He was
14 a close collaborator of Adolph Hitler.
15 Q. I think that's enough. We don't want to go into details. Can you
16 tell us now, what happened to the Serb villages at that time in the
17 territory of Odzak?
18 A. Well, in the Serb villages, throughout the time, as I said in one
19 of my previous answers, after these daily convoys with the Croatian flag
20 and so on, there was a feeling of tangible tension.
21 Q. Can you tell me about the situation in the town of Odzak and then
22 we can go on to the other events that followed? What was it like in the
23 town of Odzak where you lived?
24 A. Well, the actual situation in the town of Odzak, what it appeared
25 to be like, was normal until January, let us say until January 1992, when
1 various incidents took place, caused or provoked by Croatian extremists,
2 and I can list them if necessary.
3 Q. Yes. Very, very briefly, if you can just list the incidents that
4 took place, that you personally know of, and things that you have seen for
5 yourself in Odzak sometime after January or starting from January 1992?
6 A. I personally know that on the 15th of January, on the tower of the
7 Catholic church in Odzak, a machine-gun was set up.
8 Q. Did you see this?
9 A. Yes, I did. I saw the barrel. A neighbour of mine, a Muslim,
10 told me because his house is right next to the Catholic church.
11 Q. Thank you. Were there any other things that happened in Odzak and
12 that could not be understood as a normal, peaceful living?
13 A. Yes. Sometime in end of January, perhaps beginning of February, I
14 don't remember exactly, in Odzak, in the hotel, there was a group of
15 specials from the republican MUP in Sarajevo, and they were guarding the
16 bridge on the Sava River in Bosanski Samac, and they -- their
17 accommodation was in the hotel in Odzak. Beginning of February, end of
18 January, they were attacked with hand grenades, with three hand grenades,
19 they were attacked by the Croatian extremists, and their base was in the
20 coffee bar opposite the hotel.
21 Q. Just a moment. So these were special units from Sarajevo MUP that
22 were guarding the bridge in Bosanski Samac?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And they slept in the hotel in Odzak?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you very much. You can tell us if there is another incident
2 that you think is important, but also very briefly, please.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Madam Registrar, please send some information that
4 we are being disturbed by the banging.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Gavric, you can answer. We hope that this noise will stop.
7 A. Just a moment. I'd like to ask the interpreter to repeat the
8 question. Slowly.
9 Q. Were there any other incidents, any events, that you think are
10 important, that you wish to mention that happened during that time in
12 A. As far as I know, I'm sorry -- also in February, a person of Serb
13 ethnicity, a Serb, was killed. He also worked in Odzak. He was involved
14 in karate. He was a very peaceful, quiet man. I don't recall his name
15 because he was not originally from Odzak but from outside.
16 Q. Can you tell us very briefly.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lazarevic, you're going into the details of what
18 was happening in Odzak, matters which do not help the defence of your
19 client at all.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: When you look at your summaries for this witness,
22 all those are not included. He is supposed to be discussing the position
23 of Mr. Simo Zaric in Odzak from July until late August. Please stick to
24 your summaries and also stick to the matters which help the defence of
25 your client. I remember earlier on in the trial dealing with this. We
1 are not interested in what other people did. We are interested in what
2 the indictment says the accused did. So if your defending your client,
3 you stick to what will help the defence of your client.
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: Oh yes, Your Honour, I am fully aware of my
5 submission that was sent to the Trial Chamber, during proofing with this
6 witness. I made some proofing notes and I gave them to the Prosecution in
7 respect to some new information that I received from this witness during
8 proofing. I will --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, even if you've given to the Prosecution, that
10 does not give you the right to deal with matters which don't affect the
11 defence of your client because this is a waste of time.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour. I understand your ruling. If I
13 could go just briefly to one more topic in respect to the Crisis Staff
14 established in Odzak and then I will move to the events on 17th of April,
15 if you allow me just one thing in respect to Odzak because it is related
16 to my case because allegedly there were some negotiations between Crisis
17 Staff of Odzak and Samac and other -- it is -- I believe that it is
18 related to the defence of my client.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Sir, I think that we have discussed the subject of Odzak enough.
22 Can you just tell me if you know whether there was a Crisis Staff that was
23 established in Odzak, who established it? Do you know when that was and
24 who the -- its members were? If you can tell that to the Trial Chamber?
25 A. Yes. The Crisis Staff, yes, it was established, it could have
1 happened at the end of March, possibly beginning of April, 1992. I also
2 heard this information from Mr. Delic, whom I mentioned earlier. He told
3 me that the Crisis Staff was established, which has about 22 members, that
4 its members were party members of HDZ and SDA, without the participation
5 of SDS.
6 Q. Thank you very much. And your direct knowledge, your personal
7 direct knowledge, with regard to the existence of the Crisis Staff in
8 Odzak, can you tell us when that happened? When was it the first time
9 that you officially heard, you had the opportunity to hear, that there was
10 such a thing as a Crisis Staff in Odzak?
11 A. In terms of its information, announcement, the first time I heard
12 personally was on Saturday, 18th of April, through our local radio station
13 in Odzak, in -- sometime in the afternoon.
14 Q. Thank you very much. Can we just now clarify some things? Can
15 you tell us whether army appeared in Odzak? Have you seen any troops?
16 Who did they belong to? When was that?
17 A. This is how it was: On the 16th of April, I think it was a
18 Thursday, I personally saw people dressed in multi-coloured uniforms, in
19 front of a cafe in the hotel -- opposite the hotel, opposite the hotel.
20 That is at the entrance to the hotel. These people were in multi-coloured
21 uniforms. On the left sleeve they had insignia with the letters ZNG, that
22 means National Guard Corps from the Republic of Croatia, and on their
23 caps, on their -- on their caps, they had the badge of the chequerboard.
24 Q. So the very first time you saw them?
25 A. That was on the 16th of April.
1 Q. Tell me, on the 17th of April, you were in Odzak?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you notice something unusual on that 17th in relation to the
4 number of people who were in Odzak? Was something going on on this 17th?
5 A. Yes. This is what was going on: My house is practically right by
6 the road that leads from Odzak to Bosanski and Slavonski Brod. There was
7 a big convoy of cars there from the early morning hours, all day, in the
8 direction of Bosanski Brod or rather Slavonski Brod. Then at my next-door
9 neighbour's, who was a Muslim, I noticed quite a few civilians, women,
10 children and men, who were staying in the houses or in the yard.
11 Q. Where were these people coming from on the 17th? Where were they
12 coming from as they came to Odzak?
13 A. I did not understand the question or rather I did not hear it.
14 Q. Where did these people come from, to Odzak, on the 17th of April,
16 A. I asked my neighbours, Nihad Terzic is my next door neighbour, I
17 said to him, Nihad, where are these people from? And he said, "They are
18 all from Samac. They are leaving Samac."
19 Q. Thank you very much. I asked you about the Crisis Staff of Odzak,
20 and you said that it had 22 persons on it. Can you, to the best of your
21 recollection, list the names of some of the persons who were on the Crisis
22 Staff in Odzak?
23 A. Yes. According to what I heard from Enver Delic, I can say some
24 names now but not all of them because this was a long time ago. I know,
25 according to what Enver said, that Stjepan Ivankovic was a member, Stjepan
1 Ivankovic, Stjepan Mikic, Anto Savic, Sead Delic, and others. I don't
2 want to give the names of the wrong people now. I simply can't remember.
3 Q. All right. Tell me, on the 18th of April, in Odzak, what
5 A. On the 18th of April, I have to mention that I did not go to work
6 all of that week. For the most part I was in my home, in my yard, or in
7 my garden. In the afternoon, around 4.00 p.m., I noticed or rather I saw,
8 I didn't notice, I saw, my Muslim neighbours, especially women, who
9 started to clean the basement premises in the apartment building that is
10 right next to my house. Then they brought water, bedding, then around
11 5.00 p.m. a truck came and brought a lot of sand and empty jute sacks.
12 The men then started filling the sacks with sand and putting them on the
13 windows that provided daylight in the basement.
14 Q. Thank you very much. Let's not dwell on this subject for too
15 long. Tell us, was there some information on the 18th in relation to the
16 evacuation of citizens of the town of Odzak?
17 A. Yes. I found out from my Muslim neighbour who lived in that
18 building that there was an order, and that it was being repeated on the
19 local radio station in Odzak, and also that it was going through the
20 streets of Odzak by way of this messenger service.
21 Q. Just a minute, please. Did you hear this on the radio, you
23 A. I heard it in the evening, sometime around 8.30 p.m., that
24 evacuation is compulsory of women and children of all ethnic backgrounds
25 from the town of Odzak, to the Republic of Croatia, because during the
1 night between Saturday and Sunday, the bombing of the town of Odzak is
2 expected by aircraft of the Yugoslav People's Army.
3 Q. Can you pause at this point so that I could put a few questions to
4 you in this regard? So, the evacuation of women and children of all
5 ethnic backgrounds was ordered and they were supposed to be evacuated to
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Tell me how was this supposed to be carried out? What were the
9 instructions that were given over the radio?
10 A. The evacuation -- I mean the evacuation was organised by the
11 Crisis Staff, by buses, the Centrotrans bus company from Odzak. Every
12 street got at least one bus respectively, with the name and surname of the
13 driver who would be driving that particular bus. The only thing was that
14 the buses were waiting in their garages and the sign was being awaited as
15 to when they should start carrying out their task, namely evacuating the
16 women and children from the town of Odzak.
17 Q. Thank you very much. I just have a few questions to put to you in
18 this regard. How did the population of Odzak react on the basis of what
19 you could see? These women and children, did they get ready? Did they
21 A. Let me say straight away, they did not leave. They were getting
22 ready, because they had bags that were probably full of their clothes or
23 food or whatever, I don't know, they were put out and specifically in my
24 street, they were there lined up by the fences, and that is where the bags
25 were when I heard the Crisis Staff -- I mean I don't know exactly. It was
1 at 8.30 p.m., but I don't know how long those bags stayed there in view of
2 what happened afterwards.
3 Q. Sir, at the time you lived with your wife, your mother, and your
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did they get ready to evacuate to Croatia?
7 A. I asked a neighbour, another Muslim, whether it had to be that
8 way, did Serbs, Croats, Muslims, women and children, have to go? And he
9 said that they had to. And then I said, and what if I don't let them?
10 And then he answered, "Do not play with your own life. You can all get in
11 deep trouble." So I had this brief meeting with my family members at
12 home, and then we decided that if they had to go, and if people in uniform
13 came, then they should go to Croatia and then if this did not have to be
14 so then they would remain in Odzak. I buried a briefcase with all sorts
15 of documents related to the house and then the diplomas and also my wife's
16 university diploma, well not really university a post-secondary school, I
17 buried all of this imperceptibly in the garden. And I said, If you return
18 and I'm not there, the briefcase with the documents is right over here.
19 Q. Thank you. Was Odzak bombed that night by the JNA, by the JNA air
21 A. No.
22 Q. That day there was no evacuation of women and children to Croatia,
24 A. No. Can I go on answering?
25 Q. Well, please do if you think --
1 A. Well, at 2100 hours, the siren, the air alert siren went off and
2 we all went to the basement of that apartment building, we stayed there
3 until 6.00 a.m. when the siren went off again meaning that the air alert
4 was over.
5 Q. Thank you very much. On the 19th of April, you left Odzak?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is that right?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. Tell me, very briefly, your departure from Odzak, were there any
10 checkpoints? Were there military people there? Where did you go?
11 A. I was getting ready to leave Odzak even earlier. However, the
12 town of Odzak -- or rather leaving Odzaci [phoen] towards Modrica and
13 towards the hills, I mean that exit meant -- I mean from April, there were
14 checkpoints there, from the 5th of April. At the checkpoints, in addition
15 to civilians, there would be at least two persons in uniform, in the
16 uniforms of the reserve police force, and then there were also uniformed
17 persons, other uniformed persons, with insignia of the Patriotic League,
18 that is to say they were Muslims, and there were also persons in uniform
19 with ZNG insignia.
20 So it was not easy to leave Odzak. You could leave if you knew
21 someone but some individuals were sent back to Odzak, and since I became
22 aware of the fact that I could no longer stay on in Odzak, for the sake of
23 my own safety and that of my family, I decided on Sunday, the 19th of
24 April, that on that day, I would try to leave for the first time, and the
25 last time, the town of Odzak, that is. I said to my family, be ready.
1 Once I decided once I'm fed up, we go.
2 Q. Well, we don't really have to go into every little detail of every
3 individual hour what was going on. So you left Odzak but which way did
4 you go? Through which exit?
5 A. I left Odzak at 1330 hours, the family and I, in the car, if I
6 understood your question correctly.
7 Q. That's right. Now, where did you set out when you got out of
8 Odzak itself?
9 A. My plan was to go to Banja Luka, where my wife had relatives. At
10 the exit out of Odzak, at the checkpoint, there was no one there except
11 for two reserve policemen. However, in a place by the bridge on the river
12 of Jakesica or rather the brook of Jakesica, I saw at least 300 to 400
13 persons who were wearing uniforms. I have to mention another thing. Just
14 before Jakesica, I was taken over by a Mercedes, a passenger vehicle, and
15 it went towards the bridge. I mean that vehicle crossed the bridge, but
16 then when I came to these people who were at the bridge, they split up, in
17 the direction of Modrica. I passed by these soldiers and --
18 Q. Thank you very much. Tell us now, so you were heading to Banja
19 Luka, but you stopped on the way. Tell us where did you stop? How come
20 you stayed there and how long did you stay there?
21 A. When I passed the checkpoint or rather the entrance into the Serb
22 villages Vranjak I stopped at the village of Kozuhe to smoke a cigarette
23 and to come to, both my family and I, because we couldn't believe that we
24 had gotten out of Odzak. I turned on the radio, the car radio, this was
25 exactly at 2.00, 1400 hours, because I needed about half an hour for
1 that. The local radio, Radio Prnjavor, because I was going to Banja Luka
2 via Doboj, was informing passengers travellers, rather, that they should
3 not go towards Banja Luka at that moment because in the village of Lisnja,
4 that is behind Prnjavor towards Banja Luka, the Muslims had set up a road
5 block there.
6 Q. Thank you very much. Just a moment. The village where you
7 stopped, what's the name of that village?
8 A. Kozuhe near Doboj.
9 Q. In order to speed things up, I hope that my colleagues the
10 Prosecutors won't mind if I put a few leading questions to you. If I lead
11 you through this. You stayed in that village in the house of a man you
12 knew, and you did not even go to Banja Luka. Is that right?
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. Can you just tell me in terms of time, how long you stayed in that
15 village of Kozuhe?
16 A. I stayed in the village of Kozuhe -- I mean I'm sorry, I was in
17 the village of Kozuhe from the 17th of July -- no, the 19th of April, from
18 the 19th of April, 1992, until the 17th of July, 1992.
19 Q. Thank you very much. Just one question. During that time while
20 you were in Odzak until you left Odzak, can you tell me if you perhaps saw
21 any unit or members of JNA units in Odzak or in the villages around Odzak?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Before the war broke out in this area, that is before April, in
24 Odzak, there were no JNA units. Is that correct?
25 A. Yeah, yeah, that's right, there were no units.
1 Q. Thank you very much. Apart from yourself, who were with your
2 family in the village of Kozuhe, were there any other Serbs from Odzak who
3 had fled and were in that village or in other surrounding villages?
4 A. Yes. Apart from me, there were another five people who were in
5 the village of Koprivne, that's another village, then in the village of
6 Okucani and in the village of Vranjak.
7 Q. Thank you very much. Now, can you tell me what happened on the
8 17th of July, 1992, which made you leave the village of Kozuhe?
9 A. On the 16th, in the evening hours, we received certain
10 information, an information from some people who were in Odzak, reliable
11 information, that Odzak had been liberated by the Army of Republika
12 Srpska, and because the local telephone network worked and I had telephone
13 numbers, so we decided to hitch a lift, six of us, and either to get to
14 our house or to get to one of the flats.
15 Q. So you five or six refugees from Odzak set off. You decided to go
16 and look at -- to see your houses or your flats, since you heard that the
17 Serb army had come in to Odzak, can you tell us what happened once you
18 arrived in Odzak?
19 A. Well, we walked -- we went different ways, we took a -- hitched a
20 lift with a lorry. We got to a checkpoint, a military checkpoint, there
21 was a military police of the Army of Republika Srpska.
22 Q. Just a moment. You got to the military checkpoint where there was
23 the military police of the Army of Republika Srpska. Can you tell us, do
24 you know which unit this was, that was there in Odzak?
25 A. They had the insignia of the 1st Krajina Corps on their sleeve,
1 and I also heard.
2 Q. Thank you very much. So you arrived at the checkpoint. What
3 happened then?
4 A. So the military policemen asked for our IDs. We showed our ID
5 cards. They saw that they were citizens of Odzak and then we were told
6 that -- that that was in relation to the town of Odzak, that there was
7 military administration in the town of Odzak, that we cannot go around the
8 town without permits, and that we should go to the police station in Odzak
9 until the status is resolved. So basically he warned us. He said that we
10 should go to the SUP in Odzak, which is what we did.
11 Q. Thank you very much. The police station is located in the city --
12 in the town centre?
13 A. Yes, yes, and the municipality as well. Everything is in the
15 Q. Can you tell me, from the military checkpoint until you arrived at
16 the police station in the centre, what did you see? What was your first
17 impression when you returned to Odzak again?
18 A. Well, as far as my impression was, well, I was very happy but I
19 saw something unusual. It was a deserted town with a lot of troops.
20 Q. Did you see any civilians except for you five or six of you who
21 were there?
22 A. From the checkpoint until the SUP, we did not see a civilian.
23 Q. Can you tell me, you arrived at the SUP and what happened then?
24 A. In front of the SUP, there was a gentleman, Mr. Mirko Pavic, he
25 was in uniform of the civilian police and I knew him, I knew him
1 personally because he comes from Novi Grad and I know that before the war,
2 he worked in the police station in Samac. So we greeted each other, we
3 talked to each other, we chatted, asked each other questions and Mirko
4 asked me straight away, because there was one of our party who was from
5 the village of Gornji Svilaj.
6 So he said, Fellows, this is military administration here, we
7 don't have any permits, no permits to allow you movement. Also, there is
8 the -- there is curfew, that is in place, until 6.00 in the morning. So
9 the best thing would be if here at the police station, you stay until this
10 matter is resolved. But those of us who are from Odzak, we asked, Well,
11 can we at least take it into our own hands and go on our own
12 responsibility and go and see our houses? He said, Well, this wasn't
13 something to be recommended but we could go but we would have to be very
14 careful and that if a soldier stopped you, you would have to stop -- stop,
15 and you would have to put your arms in the air, and then you have to speak
16 to the soldier and say the reason why you're walking. And that's how it
18 I went to my house. I visited my house. My house had been broken
19 into. There was a window that had been broken, a window pane, there was
20 some plastic for -- that was put on the window. I looked at the balcony,
21 and there was a Serb woman that appeared and her husband, and another Serb
22 appeared. And I was surprised to see them.
23 Q. Just a moment, just a moment. So what you said is that in the
24 neighbouring building, three people arrived or appeared, there was a
25 woman, her husband, and another Serb?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Were they civilians?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you see anyone else from among the civilians apart from these
5 three that you saw and that you mentioned in the town of Odzak?
6 A. No, not then, not later.
7 Q. Can you tell me, if these three people spoke to you, can you tell
8 us what they said to you and what was -- what had been happening in Odzak?
9 A. What was said was the following, that they had been unable to
10 leave, this married couple, they had a vehicle, a small Fiat vehicle, that
11 had broken down unfortunately and on Sunday on the 19th they were going to
12 leave but they couldn't so they stayed. And then this other man, he
13 stayed because he couldn't leave Odzak. That's at least what he told me.
14 They stayed in the apartment and this other Serb was with them, although
15 he had an apartment somewhere else, although he was by himself. Both
16 these two Serb men had been taken to either the police station or the
17 military command, they were detained, they were interrogated on a daily
18 basis, they were accused, at least that's what they told me, they were
19 accused by the military administration, by the civilian authorities, that
20 they were spies, and they were also beaten.
21 Q. Thank you very much.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: It's time for our usual break at the moment.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will take our break at continue at 1250
25 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic?
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gavric, now I'm not specifically interested
5 in the fate of these two Serbs who stayed in Odzak. What I'm more
6 interested in is how this occurred that they had stayed in Odzak after the
7 Serb army operation started. How did it happen that they stayed behind in
9 A. According to what they told me, the Serbian army when they came to
10 the place called Jakesnica, Jakes, what happens was that immediately after
11 that, it was 13-14th or 14-15, I'm not quite sure of the date, but from
12 Odzak, started the evacuation of civilian population, of Croats and
13 Muslims. They stayed behind in Odzak with the intention of waiting for
14 the Army of Republika Srpska, because the last people after civilians
15 are -- is the regular Croatian Army that left Odzak, there was a last
16 remaining group, the so-called Vatreni Konji, these were fire horses,
17 those were men in uniform that were checking who of the Muslim and
18 Croatian civilians had stayed behind in Odzak most probably. But when
19 they saw, when the so-called fire horses stayed behind, they hid in a
20 pantry which had no windows and they had blocked the door with a bar, with
21 a wooden bar, and they stayed in that pantry until the 16th. And on the
22 16th, they heard the door open and because the woman's bag had stayed on
23 the table. This person who had looked at the ID card that was in the
24 handbag said, Oh, this is a Serb apartment.
25 Q. Thank you, thank you very much. What I'm interested in is the
1 first part of your answer, which is that if I understood you correctly,
2 there was an organised evacuation of civilians and when this evacuation
3 was completed, it was then that the members of the Croatian Army, that is
4 of the HVO and the fire horses, again checked if all civilians had
6 A. Yes, that's what I've been told by these Serbs.
7 Q. And some Serbs, those three that you saw, they managed to stay in
8 Odzak by hiding. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you very much. So while you were there those first few days
11 in Odzak, did someone else appear from among the civilians, from any
12 different shelters or any other places?
13 A. Yes. By -- until the end of July, there were 13 families, 13
14 Milosevic families that had lived in Bijele Bare, it's a local commune
15 near Odzak, attached to Odzak.
16 Q. Thank you very much. Just one question, these 13 members of the
17 Milosevic family, what is their ethnicity? What are they?
18 A. Serbs.
19 Q. Did anyone else appear?
20 A. Yes. A family Ninic, husband and wife; then Jozo Gracarevic
21 [phone], Jozo Gracarevic, I am mentioning the name so that I can recall
22 that. Then there was Mile Rocelo [phoen] With his wife. Then there was a
23 man called Rade Dervic. There were a couple of families, if I have to
24 recall all of them now --
25 Q. Well, if you can just answer my next question, then we don't have
1 to go into details, so all of these civilians who appeared during those
2 first few days that left some shelters, what is their ethnicity, of all of
3 those civilians?
4 A. They are Serbs, both men and women.
5 Q. Did any Croats or Muslims appear?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Thank you very much. So you told me that you looked at your
8 house, that it had been broken into, robbed?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You then returned to the police station?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you tell me now, during those first few days, what did life in
13 Odzak look like? What did you do? What was happening?
14 A. On the very same day, a question was raised because there was the
15 commandment of the squad, who -- and there was a question raised as to
16 where we would sleep. And I don't know with whom Mirko spoke to do with
17 the organs of the military administration, whether we, six of us, would be
18 sleeping in a hotel, but we had to go in an organised way. We would have
19 to be there before 10.00, and then once we spent the night we would then
20 in groups organised would have to get to the SUP.
21 So on the 17th of July we slept there, and then on the 18th of
22 July throughout the day, we stayed in front of the SUP -- we came to the
23 SUP building in civilian clothes. On the 19th, Mirko Pavic waited for us,
24 met us, and said that he was given approval because there was -- civilian
25 police was lacking, we could be engaged as civilian police in the Odzak
2 Q. Just a moment. So Mirko Pavic said that those six of you who had
3 come to Odzak, that you could become engaged in the police?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you receive a uniform?
6 A. He said there were no uniforms, go to the warehouse. If there
7 is - because it was summer, if there is a -- if you find a pair of
8 trousers or a jacket that fits you, just put them on. So basically we
9 found uniforms but they were not complete uniforms, for instance, there
10 would be a trousers belonging to a winter uniform, then there would be a
11 jacket belonging to a summer uniform, shoes --
12 Q. Can you tell me, were you issued weapons?
13 A. No.
14 Q. So how long did you stay there to work as a policeman in the
15 station in Odzak?
16 A. As far as I recall, I think to the maximum of eight days, and I
17 was there in that found -- uniform found in the warehouse. I worked at
18 the police department in Odzak.
19 Q. Very well. So during those eight days, what did you do as a
20 policeman in Odzak?
21 A. Nothing. Because the freedom of movement wasn't resolved, there
22 was military administration, as I've said, and the military administration
23 had not been resolved as to how civilians would move around the town.
24 There were no official documents, permits, and so on. So Mirko said,
25 People, we are not going to go anywhere until our status is resolved so
1 that we don't have some kind of accident, because there is no documents,
2 there is no papers, you don't have a paper -- any documents to say that
3 I'm a member of the police station, it's Mirko who had the list. So we
4 went in an organised fashion to the -- because there was no -- not enough
5 place for all of us to sleep in the police station, we would go to sleep
6 in the hotel. So our biggest worry, biggest concern was water supply,
7 because the water net or the supply network didn't work, and -- and as far
8 as some taps, there were not very many in town and we couldn't get to some
9 of them and there was a problem of the --
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the witness's
12 A. -- Those few days we didn't receive from the army.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Just a moment, the interpreters didn't manage to catch everything
15 so can you please continue your answer? You were talking about the taps.
16 You said that one tap worked and that the others were --
17 A. Those were in those streets, downtown, in Mahalas, as Muslims
18 said. There was one tap and there were a lot of people going for that one
19 tap, and then further problem was bread. Fortunately there was this woman
20 that I had mentioned, the one who had a husband, the one that I met in the
21 house. And I told Mirko, I'm going to go there and ask this woman to bake
22 some bread, and that's what happened. For two or three days this woman
23 would bake some bread, I would go and fetch the bread, and this is what we
24 would eat. We would eat that or chickens or whatever we would manage to
25 catch so that's -- that was our nourishment.
1 Q. Thank you very much. You said there was a problem with water
2 supply, that it was also difficult to come by food. Tell me, was there
3 any electricity?
4 A. No.
5 Q. What was it like generally speaking? Was there any destruction in
6 town as a consequence of the war?
7 A. No. There wasn't anything visible. I did not see anything major
8 at that point. Even then I couldn't see anything, let alone later when I
9 could walk around town normally.
10 Q. So the town was not destroyed?
11 A. No.
12 Q. But the services that were supposed to provide for normal living
13 in town, that is to say the power supply, the water works, et cetera, they
14 were not operating?
15 A. They could not operate, because how could this be done in Odzak?
16 Q. Thank you. So these first few days, you said that you were at the
17 police, that you didn't do anything?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Tell me, what happened then and how come you stopped being a
20 member of the police?
21 A. Well, I don't know exactly, between the 25th of July and the end
22 of July, in the afternoon hours, in the building of the former Territorial
23 Defence, it is right by the SUP building, I noticed a group of uniformed
24 men leaving the building, and among them I recognised Mr. Simo Zaric, then
25 the late Rajko Dervenic. He was wearing civilian clothing. Then I knew
1 Mr. Savo Popovic by sight and some other people.
2 Since this is about 20 metres away from us, we who came to Odzak,
3 we said hello to Simo, Savo, Rajko -- I mean we met Savo and said hello to
4 Simo and Rajko, and there were some other people there in civilian
5 clothes. Nothing was said to us, but then the next day, Mirko Pavic said
6 to me, Ah, yesterday the military administration established some kind of
7 a civilian military council whose president is Mr. Savo Popovic. It has
8 11 members, and I congratulate you because this military council appointed
9 you commissioner for the local commune of Odzak and please go to Mr. Savo
10 so that he will tell you what you're supposed to do.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Since we are on this very important subject
12 now, let us just put a few questions with regard to that. So you received
13 information that the military administration established a civilian
14 military council?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Yes. And you said that it had 11 members?
17 A. Yes, around 11 members.
18 Q. Now, for the Trial Chamber to get the complete picture, you were
19 not appointed member of the civilian military council?
20 A. No, no, no. The civilian military council appointed me
21 commissioner for the local commune of Odzak.
22 Q. Thank you very much. So you were appointed by the civilian
23 military council?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Very well. Let us just deal with this civilian military council
1 briefly. You said that it had 11 members, you mentioned some of them,
2 Savo Popovic, Simo Zaric, Rajko Dervenic. Can you tell us who the other
3 people there were, to the best of your recollection, who the other members
5 A. I remember Mico Pavic, a Serb, a salesperson from Novi Grad.
6 Q. Just a moment --
7 A. Mico Pavic.
8 Q. Just a moment, please, let's clarify one thing because there is a
9 similar name and surname. Mico Pavic is not the Mirko Pavic who was in
10 the police, those are two different men?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. Thank you very much. Could you please continue now.
13 A. Then there was Bogdan Dragojlovic. Then Jovanovic, Jovanovic from
14 Donja Dubica. I can't remember his first name. His sister's name is
15 Marica though. Then there was Luka Mlinarevic from the village of
16 Mirnica. Then there was Milenko Koic from the village of Joseva.
17 Q. Take it slowly, please, because we seem to be losing this. We
18 lose the names in the transcript, you see. And since this is very
19 important for us to have these names, tell me, after this gentleman from
20 Dubica, whose sister is Marica?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Tell us slowly what the names of the rest of them are.
23 A. Luka Mlinarevic, the village of Mirnica. Then Milenko Koic, the
24 village of Joseva. Bogdan Dragojlovic, did his name already, the village
25 of Novi Grad? I can't remember any more because the members changed
2 Q. Thank you very much. This will be sufficient. So the military
3 council appointed you as commissioner of the local commune of Odzak? What
4 did that mean in territorial terms, the local commune of Odzak?
5 A. Well, in fact, it continued to live like the other local communes
6 in the territory of the municipality -- the former municipality of Odzak,
7 like Dubica and the other local communes. It did not have the status of a
8 municipality any more; it only had the status of a local commune under
9 military administration in which there was a civilian-military council.
10 Q. Thank you very much. Was anybody else appointed, any other
11 commissioners? Except for you.
12 A. Yes. Let me just mention this. In addition to myself, all the
13 other commissioners were appointed in villages where there was a Serb
14 population then. Novi Grad, Gornji Svilaj, Donja Dubica, Trnjak Zorice,
15 Joseva, Mirnica, that is when all these commissioners were appointed, on
16 that day. Not only I --
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio?
18 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm sorry I didn't want to interrupt the witness's
19 answer. It's just when he says that the commissioners were appointed in
20 villages where there was a Serb population then, it's just not absolutely
21 clear whether he was saying pre-April of 1992 or as things had developed
22 in the municipality following the conflict.
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, to be honest, if my learned colleague
24 followed the testimony of this witness, these places that he mentioned
25 were pre-war populated by Serbs mainly, these are local communes that were
1 populated by Serb population before the war. So it makes sense but I will
2 clarify that.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: I had heard that and I think that's probably what
4 the witness was saying, but the way it was translated it wasn't absolutely
5 clear. That's the only matter that I raised.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, perhaps Mr. Lazarevic can clarify that.
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Just one thing, Mr. Gavric, a small clarification, these
9 commissioners who were appointed in the local communes as you said, these
10 local communes, are they the local communes where before the war there was
11 a majority Serb population in the territory of the municipality of Odzak?
12 A. Yes, yes, yes.
13 Q. Thank you very much. Except for local communes, were there some
14 other commissioners as well?
15 A. Yes. The executive organ of the military administration or rather
16 this civilian-military council appointed commissioners for all the
17 companies in the town of Odzak, and a commissioner for the farm in Novi
18 Grad. Also commissioners were appointed for education, then for the Red
19 Cross, a birth and death registry clerk was appointed. I already
20 mentioned the one for health. So that's it.
21 Q. Thank you. I believe you have explained the situation to us. So
22 in addition to the territories of local communes, commissioners were
23 appointed for certain segments of social life and also for the companies
24 that were in Odzak; is that correct, roughly?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, at this point I would like to tender
2 one document into evidence.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes?
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: This document is already given a copy of the
5 document to the Prosecution on Friday, so they are aware of it. It's a
6 survey of the condition of business facilities in Odzak municipality dated
7 July 25th, 1992.
8 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gavric, please take a look at this document
9 carefully. Please take a look at all the pages, and then I'm just going
10 to put a few questions in relation to this document.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you very much. Could you please put it next to you now on
13 that projector next to you so that our clients would know what this is
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that they do not have this
17 MR. LAZAREVIC:
18 Q. Sir, could you please tell me, have you seen this document before?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Tell us when, under which circumstances, and how come?
21 A. I saw this document sometime -- I mean towards the end of July.
22 Q. I beg your pardon. Are we talking about 1992? That's what
23 matters really?
24 A. Ah, yes. This document was shown to me by the late Rajko
25 Dervenic. He showed it to me as a friend. He asked me about my opinion.
1 He said, I've been given this task by the military administration, or
2 rather that I and the members of the civilian-military council should make
3 a survey of the condition of the companies in Odzak. So I did this
4 together with them. I mean, since I did not tour the companies then, I
5 saw this, and I saw this rather, which I saw now with his signature,
6 that's the document signed by the late Rajko Dervenic. I don't know what
7 else to say. So I saw it, Rajko showed it to me, the lake Rajko
8 Dervenic. He compiled this with a group that consisted of the
9 civilian-military council because they obviously had duties according to
10 various areas.
11 Q. Thank you very much. The date --
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Just a matter of clarification, I'm not objecting,
13 if Your Honours please. The witness said that he was asked his opinion by
14 his friend, and who said that he had been given the -- this task by the
15 military administration to do a survey, and the witness said, so I did
16 this together with them. Is the witness saying that he conducted the
17 survey together with this civilian council? I think it's important for
18 you to know just precisely what the civilian council was doing and its
19 method and the way it operated, in the town.
20 The way the witness's answer comes out, it seems to imply that he
21 liaised with them or actually did things with them in carrying out the
22 survey as opposed to, for example, to simply reporting to them. It's
23 important for you to know what he was doing in -- I submit.
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, I will clarify this and I am grateful to my
25 colleague for this intervention because I really cannot follow the
1 transcript at the same time while examining the witness.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Tell us just one thing: Did you personally take
3 part in compiling this document in making this survey on the condition of
4 business facilities in Odzak?
5 A. Sir, could you put this question to me again? Because I heard
6 this interpreter through the headphones at the same time.
7 Q. I'll repeat it straight away. Did you personally take part in
8 assessing the situation in the business facilities and in compiling this
10 A. No, no.
11 Q. So your knowledge regarding this document, apart from the fact
12 that you saw it, was what your friend Rajko Dervenic told you about, that
13 he had compiled this with some other people?
14 A. Yes. Perhaps I should mention that Rajko showed it to me. I mean
15 the document had already been finished and it was the finished document,
16 the typed out document, that he showed me. And he said, Well, look, this
17 is what the situation is in our economy in Odzak. That was all that had
18 to do with that.
19 Q. Thank you very much. Just one other detail in relation to this
20 document. So the document is dated the 25th of July, 1992, that means
21 that the situation of these companies in the territory of the Odzak
22 municipality had already been surveyed and recorded before this document
23 was compiled. Is that what you said?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you very much.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: I move to admit it fully into evidence.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have the number?
3 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D49/4 and ter for the B/C/S.
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Gavric, let us come back now to you. You told us how you
6 found out you were appointed as commissioner for the local commune of
7 Odzak. Can you tell us what your tasks were, who assigned them to you,
8 and you as a commissioner for the local commune of Odzak, everything that
9 you were supposed to do?
10 A. I've already explained in my testimony how I found out that I was
11 appointed commissioner. I went to Savo Popovic's office, which was in the
12 TO staff, and he told me officially that I was appointed as commissioner
13 of the Odzak local commune by the military administration, that is by the
14 executive organ of the civilian organ of the military administration of
15 the military council, and that my priority task and that the other tasks
16 will be determined later, but the priority task was to carry out repairs
17 to the water supply network. That is that the well, the water supply
18 well, should be repaired, that is the generator should be repaired, that
19 is supplying it with electricity.
20 Furthermore, that the pumps that -- these are pumps of the
21 Hungarian type with certain balls, and that these pumps should be repaired
22 that were part of the network so that the town would have a water supply.
23 When he told me that this was priority task, because the town was full of
24 troops, he told me that once this is repaired, that I would have to make
25 sure that there is a bacteriological and chemical analysis of the water at
1 least twice a week. That was the very first task I was given by Mr. Savo
2 Popovic, so this is repairing and putting into function the water supply
3 network in Odzak.
4 Later on, I had some other tasks of course.
5 Q. We'll talk about this later. But before the war, you also worked
6 in a water supply company; is that correct?
7 A. Yes. I worked in the water supply company in Odzak.
8 Q. Can you tell me now, you became commissioner. You were given
9 tasks to repair the water supply, but of course you were not able to do
10 this by yourself. Were you given men, in which way, when?
11 A. Let me tell you straight away, when Savo told me about this
12 problem of the water supply and told me that this was a priority task, I
13 said, Savo, I have nobody to do this with. There is nobody who can do
14 this because you need an electrician, you need an expert, you need a
15 plumber who is an expert, and then you have to lower these pumps into the
16 well, so basically you have to start the generator and the pumps. You
17 have to make them work. And he told me, the workforce is not your
18 problem. The next day, tomorrow, you will get repairmen, workmen who are
19 qualified to repair the generator and the water supply network. That's
20 what I was told.
21 Q. Can you tell me, the next day, these people who were promised to
22 you, did they arrive?
23 A. Yes. Savo came to work early and he said, "Today you will get
24 four repairmen who will be working on repairing the water supply
25 network." And Mirko said, because the station had to be cleaned and some
1 other works -- work had to be done, "Can you see what you can do regarding
2 this?" So he said, immediately in the morning, I would get four
3 repairmen, four plumbers, to work on repairing the water supply network,
4 that is the generator and everything else.
5 Q. These four repairmen, did they arrive?
6 A. Yes. Four repairmen arrived in a lorry. Together with them came
7 the lorry driver, and another co-driver. I didn't know who he was. He
8 turned out this was Stojan Blagojevic, who was their security, and they
9 came together.
10 Q. So they came in a lorry from Samac, these repairmen that you asked
11 for, they came from Blagojevic and with another driver. Where did they
12 come to? Where did they drive to?
13 A. In front of the SUP building, where my office was, as well as the
14 office of -- of the military council.
15 Q. Can you tell me, did you know these people from before?
16 A. No, no, no.
17 Q. However, did you then meet them? Who were these people? What
18 were their names?
19 A. Well, let me tell you, I didn't meet them individually, but I knew
20 their last names. I mean, I knew their nicknames. I heard that these
21 were Muslims from Samac, repairmen, plumbers, who were supposed to stay in
22 Odzak and work on the water supply network.
23 Q. Can you tell us these nicknames?
24 A. There was a Franc. He's -- I know he is of Hungarian ethnicity.
25 That was his first name. Then there was a Muslim, Ziga, a short man.
1 That's what they called him, Ziga. Then there was a very large man with a
2 mustache, a blond. He was probably about 120 plus kilos. He was called
3 Dasa. And there were some others but I can't remember the nickname.
4 Q. Thank you very much. So this was this group that came to repair
5 the water supply network in Odzak. Did they work? Who was giving them
6 tasks? Who was telling them what assignments to carry out?
7 A. Well, I have to stress something. When I noticed that these were
8 Muslims from Samac, because I then talked to Mirko Pavic, because they
9 were supposed to walk around, move around, Odzak, is that they should
10 always be escorted by civilian policemen from Odzak and he should be with
11 them at all times and also escort them to lunch, wherever lunch would be.
12 So this is just to stress --
13 Q. Let's clarify something. You said that when you saw that these
14 were Muslims, and that Odzak was full of troops, what was the motive --
15 what was the motive to assign a policeman to this group while they were
17 A. Well, that's for their own safety, because we couldn't issue any
18 kind of permit, any kind of freedom-of-movement permit, document, because
19 that had not come into force yet. Even I had not received a permit for
20 movement around the town of Odzak.
21 Q. Well, but can you tell me what's the reason?
22 A. Well, for their personal safety, just in case something happened,
23 to avoid a situation where a soldier would arrive and meet them and
24 mistreat them.
25 Q. Thank you very much. I think this is now clear. Can you just
1 tell me, in relation to what they would do on a certain day on the water
2 supply network, what were the specific tasks for that day, for the
3 following day, who was the one giving them assignments?
4 A. Well, once we agreed this, the four of them and myself
5 and the civilian military policeman, we then went to the water supply
6 network, and I told them, "You see, men, this is what has to be done."
7 And again, first they had a look at everything, and then they -- they
8 managed to get the generator to start operating. Once that was switched
9 on and that was functioning, then that's when they connected the pumps.
10 That was the part of their expert work. They first switched on one pump
11 and it was working, and then they switched off the other.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: We don't need these details.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: No, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: What is of interest is that they worked, if so they
15 did, for how long, whether they were paid and -- the salient features
16 according to the case against the accused.
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour. I'm really trying to stick to
18 the relevant facts.
19 Q. [Interpretation] So, sir, because you did not answer my question,
20 the question that I asked, can you please tell me who was giving them
21 assignments as to what to do?
22 A. In Odzak, working on the water supply, I did.
23 Q. Thank you very much. Can you tell me, first of all, how long did
24 they work for? Did they work every day? How long was their work
25 assignment in Odzak? How long did they stay in Odzak in order to work?
1 A. Well, their working day was from the time they arrived from Samac,
2 so sometimes they arrived at 9.00, sometimes they arrived at 8.30, their
3 working hours were until 4.00 in the afternoon.
4 Q. Thank you very much.
5 A. And then they would --
6 Q. Just a moment. Just a moment. I'll ask you short questions so
7 that we would get the answers that we need in these proceedings. Where
8 did these people eat?
9 A. When the organised meals started for all of us, including the
10 civilians from the military administration, we were given approval that
11 all of us could eat in the hotel. So we all ate in the hotel, even some
12 from the command staff, and then there were -- the troops had their own
13 kitchens. In the hotel, we ate, those of us who lived in Odzak and the
14 people who were on work obligation coming from Samac.
15 Q. Very well. Thank you. So you all ate together in the hotel?
16 A. Yes. Even we would get coffee and juice. So whatever I was
17 given, they were given.
18 Q. Just please can you follow my question so that we don't expand too
19 much? Was there any difference between what you were eating and what
20 these people who were brought from Samac were eating?
21 A. Absolutely nothing, absolutely no difference.
22 Q. You all ate the same food in the same place?
23 A. We all ate the same food in the same place. In fact, we even ate
24 at the same table. That was completely normal.
25 Q. Thank you very much. Do you have any information whether these
1 people who worked in Odzak, and I mean the people who came from Samac for
2 their work obligation, to Odzak, did they receive money in terms of
3 remuneration for their work they did in Odzak?
4 A. In Odzak, they did not, because nobody could pay them, but whether
5 they received any remuneration in Samac, I don't know anything about that.
6 Q. Thank you very much. Can you tell me now, how long did this
7 repair of the water network last in Odzak?
8 A. Well, the first task that was given, which was to start the water
9 supply, that lasted a couple of days, two to three days, until that
10 started operating. By then, work was continuous, that is the water supply
11 network had been damaged in the entire town, because of the tank movement
12 and the heavy vehicles, there were pipes that were broken.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gavric. Can you just tell us how long did it take,
14 was it one month, two months, these people, how long were they there?
15 A. I think that lasted until mid-October, this group kept coming in
16 1992, until beginning of October, until the beginning of October 1992.
17 Q. Thank you very much. Now, one question in relation to the water
18 supply network and the work that was done. Did you on any occasion send
19 some of the -- these repairmen who were there to Novi Grad to a cattle
20 form to repair something that was broken?
21 A. Yes, I don't recall the date. I think it was in August. I'm not
22 sure, I can't remember. That was a long time ago. I received a message
23 by courier from the commissioner of the cattle farm in Odzak, Milosevic,
24 Mihajlo, that he immediately needed a plumber to carry out some repair,
25 because he was unable to give water to his cattle that was on the farm,
1 because there were hundreds and hundreds of cattle, it was a very large
2 farm, and because he knew that in Odzak I had these plumbers, he asked me
3 send one good plumber who knew his job.
4 So I called -- in fact I went to the water supply network, where
5 they were, and I asked, Who among you is the best plumber? Because I did
6 not know who was the best -- so this Dasa said I am, so he had more
7 experience, What do I have to do? So I said that he would have to go to
8 this cattle farm there was a problem and there repair would have to be
9 carried out because the cattle were unable to get the water.
10 Q. Just a moment. Can you tell us because there is no name in the
11 transcript, who was the person who said who was the best?
12 A. This Dasa, this large man with the mustache, I can't remember his
13 name, his nickname was Dasa, he said that he was the best.
14 Q. This was just for the purpose of the record. Please continue.
15 A. Well, he said but I have no tools, I need some tools. So that I
16 could carry out these repairs. So I said where are your tools? He said,
17 The tools were in Samac. So in agreement with Mirko Pavic, and together
18 with the policeman Jacimovic, this person took the car, put Dasa in the
19 car, they went to Samac, then to Novi Grad to carry out the repairs, and
20 when they repaired this thing, then Dasa was brought back to Odzak
21 together with Jacimovic who returned as well.
22 Q. Thank you very much. Tell us now, let's leave the water supply
23 system aside, what was the other work that you were in charge of as
24 commissioner for the local commune of Odzak? What did Savo Popovic tell
25 you? What else were you supposed to do?
1 A. As it is well known, there were commissioners in various
3 Q. Could you please speak slower.
4 A. As far as my line of work was concerned, the further tasks I got
5 were the following: To do a health screening of the population in Odzak,
6 because for the most part they were elderly people and women, because
7 people said that there were some health -- some people with health
8 problems there, heart patients, people with asthma, et cetera, so I
9 carried out this screening. And as I said, there were two heart patients,
10 there were two people with asthma and some other illnesses. We made this
11 list and then we went to the military doctor who worked at the hospital in
12 Odzak at the health centre there. He was very nice, and we agreed that we
13 would bring these people in individually.
14 Q. Mr. Gavric, please, let's not go into too much detail here. Can
15 you just enumerate these tasks that you were involved in as commissioner?
16 A. Well, I can. So it was health. Then also the pensions for
17 pensioners who were receiving pensions and before the war broke out. So I
18 took their last pension cheques, et cetera, and then I was in charge of
19 this procedure. I started sending these to where they were supposed to be
20 sent, and then these people actually started getting their pensions
21 again. Then I also worked on opening store for different goods, so that
22 this would start operating as soon as possible. Then also, I worked on
23 opening the green market, although there weren't all that many inhabitants
24 left but I had the green market cleaned up and also I organised a
1 Q. All right. What about the school year? Did you do anything in
2 terms of schooling?
3 A. The commissioner for education carried out preparations for
4 starting the schools again but there were very few children in Odzak, so
5 schools didn't really start working until 1993.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I'm not objecting to this
7 evidence at all, but it is necessary for you to know when these activities
8 were conducted by this witness. I think it's probably early on in the
9 piece after he returned to Odzak, but I know from notes provided to me by
10 Defence counsel that he remained in Odzak until 1995. And it's important
11 for to you know when these activities were being conducted for the return
12 to normalisation of civilian life. In particular if they were within the
13 indictment period but also if they were soon after his return to Odzak.
14 If all of this is occurring in 1995, it's of no use to us so we have to be
15 clear just a time period on this activity.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Gavric, I assume that this will be our last question for
18 today. You have heard my colleague, the Prosecutor, what he is interested
19 in. So let us just place this within a time frame work. When did you do
20 all of these jobs, in which time period?
21 A. You mean all of it?
22 Q. I mean in terms of time.
23 A. Well, this is the way it was. When the military council appointed
24 me towards the end of July, at the commissioner in the -- I was
25 commissioner for the local commune of Odzak until the end of March, 1993.
1 Q. Thank you. I think that this has fully clarified the entire
2 situation for us.
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: Now it's 1345.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes we will rise and continue our proceedings.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, just a second. During the break I was
6 advised by Ms. Registrar to address the Chamber. It's fairly briefly,
7 it's Exhibit P22. I noticed during the reviewing this exhibits that B/C/S
8 version has a small stamp with the time of -- and date of the sending of
9 this telegram, and in English version, we don't have that. So
10 Ms. Registrar was kind to give me this advice to address the Chamber and
11 maybe the interpreters in due course can clarify -- can rectify this
12 translation, just for the sake of the accuracy and list of exhibits.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Of the document.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: And you haven't got any information, Mr. Pantelic,
16 about your 92 bis --
17 MR. PANTELIC: Unfortunately not -- from the Registry they
18 informed me that maybe now we shall get something and I will inform
19 accordingly the Court officer with regard to these statements, yes.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: The Court will rise.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
22 1.47 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
23 the 25th day of March, 2003, at 2.15 p.m.