1 Tuesday, 1 April 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 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 Miroslav Tadic, Blagoje Simic and Simo Zaric. Thank
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic, you're continuing.
11 WITNESS: WITNESS DW8/3 [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examined by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
15 morning, sir. Good morning to the parties in the proceedings. I would
16 just like for a moment to move into private session so that I could ask
17 the witness two questions.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll move into private session.
19 [Private session]
13 Page 17824 – redacted – private session
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Yesterday, we talked -- sir, yesterday, we talked about your stay
22 at Batkovic, about the roll call, the procedure of people being called out
23 to go to the exchange, and now in a minute we will go on to the exchange
24 itself but before that I'm interested in one more topic. In Batkovic,
25 while you were there, were there any stories or talk amongst you detainees
1 about any money for exchanges that any money was required for people to go
2 to an exchange. Was there any talk about whether anybody was given money
3 or whether anybody gave money?
4 A. Of course, there was talk about that but I think it's impossible
5 amongst all of us, and I think there are about 600 or 700 of us for any of
6 us to be able to give anybody any money without anybody else seeing that.
7 Q. Did you hear and did any of your acquaintances, the people who
8 were with you at Batkovic, tell you personally that they gave somebody
9 money so that they could be included in the exchange?
10 A. No, nobody told me that.
11 Q. Did you hear from anyone the name of any person who was asked to
12 give money in order that they could go to be exchanged?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Could you please tell us, what happened regarding your exchange?
15 When were you called out? When did this take place? And then I will ask
16 you a couple of questions?
17 A. This was the 29th of January, 1993. We were called out and told
18 to pack. We packed and we went outside. They searched us, superficially.
19 There was a bus there from Bijeljina and we set off. We were met by a bus
20 at a certain place that was driving civilians from Samac. When we crossed
21 over --
22 Q. Just one moment. When you say Raca, what is Raca, what was that,
23 why did you mention that place? Why did you wait there?
24 A. This is the border, Raca is the border between Serbia and Bosnia.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. When we crossed over, they took us to Lipovac, we stopped on the
2 right side. We were standing on the right side, those people who were
3 detained and the civilians stopped on the left side. The exchange began.
4 There was a contingent of IFOR there. They were Russians. The exchange
5 began. From our bus, eight people left. Then eight people came from the
6 other side. People of Serb ethnicity.
7 Q. Just one moment, please. Did you see what happened to the
8 civilians? Did they go in groups of eight or did that happen in a
9 different way, the people who were in the other bus?
10 A. They crossed over in an organised manner, because those people
11 were not exchanged for anyone specifically. They just were going into
12 another country. And we continued -- I didn't see where the checkpoint
13 was from the place where I was standing. When it was my turn to go, I
14 told Mr. Tadic, who was standing next to the exit of the bus, I told him
15 that I do not want to go to the exchange.
16 Q. Before you got to Tadic, where were you standing?
17 A. I was in the bus.
18 Q. So you were leaving the bus in groups of eight; is that right?
19 A. Yes, eight by eight, eight people would leave the bus, eight
20 people would come from the other side.
21 Q. And those people who were leaving the bus, where were they going?
22 Were they going straight to the other bus or did they go to the
23 checkpoint? Were you able to see the checkpoint?
24 A. You couldn't see the checkpoint.
25 Q. Were they going in the direction of the checkpoint?
1 A. They were going in the direction of Zagreb.
2 Q. And where was Tadic standing?
3 A. He was standing outside next to the door of the bus. I went up to
4 him and I told him that I didn't want to go to the exchange, to be
5 exchanged. And he literally told me, "if you don't want to, you can stay
6 in the bus." I told him that I heard that I was supposed to go to the
7 line and report to the International Red Cross, that I should tell them if
8 I wanted to go then I should go, I guess Tadic said, "if you don't want to
9 go, stay on the bus, and if you want to go, then go."
10 Q. When you got to this place, was Miroslav Tadic there all the time
11 or did he go anywhere?
12 A. He was standing there the entire time, until the exchange was
14 Q. Do you remember was anybody else with him, perhaps from Samac, who
15 was working on the exchanges on that occasion?
16 A. Veljo Maslic was there, and Svetozar? I cannot remember his last
18 Q. Do you know his nickname?
19 A. He is a Montenegrin.
20 Q. Thank you. Sveta Vasovic, is it?
21 A. Yes, Vasovic.
22 Q. Sir, before you went to the exchange, did you hear in Batkovic
23 that anyone was looking for you or did you hear later that anybody was
24 requesting you to be exchanged?
4 Q. Just one moment, please.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could this part that the
6 witness has just talked about now be in private session? Because it
7 relates to the witness's brother. If we can just move into private
8 session so that I could explain for one moment?
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
10 [Private session]
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We are in public session.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Sir, while you were at Batkovic, did you get any information about
14 the people who did not want to go to the exchange, specifically did they
15 stay in Batkovic or did they go home? Did you find out about this
16 procedure while you were still at Batkovic?
17 A. Yes we knew in Batkovic that if you returned, if you didn't want
18 to go, then you would return home. There weren't too many of us who
19 returned. All of these others left.
20 Q. Do you perhaps remember the names of anybody who stayed, who
21 didn't wish to leave?
22 A. Yes. Hasanefendic, Safet, Mijo Radic and a young man, I know him
23 by sight but I don't know his name.
24 Q. What happened after that when you said that you did not want to
25 go? What happened later?
1 A. When we all got into the bus, they took us to this motel in Sid,
2 to dinner. At this motel, in the reception area, I was looking around and
3 I saw Mrs. Mirjana Tadic with another woman. She was familiar but I don't
4 remember who it was. She came up to me, greeted me, asked me how I was,
5 then I went to dinner. We had dinner. Then the major told everybody that
6 it will not be possible for all of us to go home that evening, that we had
7 to stay in Bijeljina, of course there were reactions. He said: "No, but
8 we must. Tomorrow you will go."
9 Q. This major that you mentioned, was that is a military major with a
10 rank of a major?
11 A. Yes, it was Major Simic.
12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Lukic, being that we all know
13 Simic is a very popular name in Bosnia-Herzegovina, this Major Simic, did
14 he have a first name and what was he a major with? Was he JNA, Army of
15 Republika Srpska, what have you?
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. You heard Judge Williams's question. You mentioned Major Simic's
18 name. Do you know anything more about this man? Do you know his name and
19 do you know which army he's in?
20 A. No, I don't know his name but as far as I heard, he was the
21 commander of the Semberija region.
22 Q. If I were to tell you and ask you whether this was a person by the
23 name of Major Jovika Savic? Is that that person? Do you know
24 Jovika Savic, Major is?
25 A. No, I don't.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: If I can assist my learned colleague because we
2 have some confusion here in the transcript. Page 9, line 23, it's Major,
3 Jovika. Major is his military rank and Jovika Savic this is the name that
4 we've heard on a number of occasions before this Tribunal, as in charge
5 for exchanges, military exchanges.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, it will be corrected.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. When you say that you were there together at dinner, in Sid, who
9 was there at that dinner? Who did you go to dinner with? Who entered
10 your bus during the exchange?
11 A. People of Serb ethnicity boarded the bus, and we sat next to each
12 other. We weren't thinking about who was who. We simply ate, then we
13 were taken to Bijeljina, spent the night there. In the morning, we were
14 given breakfast. The television came and taped us. We received a
15 questionnaire which we were supposed to fill in, which that man whom I
16 referred to as Simic, he explained it to us nicely. He said, "please,
17 write down everything that you are asked to write down. Don't be afraid
18 of anything. There won't be a hair missing from your head." From the
19 questions, as far as I can recall, they were asking where are you from,
20 who arrested you, who was guarding you, please freely put your names down
21 and I guarantee that no harm will come to you. We filled this out and
22 they even brought a doctor in, if anybody needed anything. And then when
23 all of this was over, we set out for Samac.
24 Q. And where did you go when you came to Samac?
25 A. I got out in the village of Crkvina. This is five kilometres away
1 from Samac. Because they were supposed to take the ethnic Serbs to Novi
2 Grad and Dubica. Veljo asked us, "do you want to come with us? And then
3 we can return you after that." And we said, "no, we will get out here and
4 we'll find some transportation and go home. We can also walk. I could
5 get home on foot. It's five kilometres." And then a policeman took us,
6 Dragan Stevic. He happened to come by.
7 Q. That's not that important for us. So, sir, I'm going to put just
8 a few more questions to you in relation to what we've been discussing.
9 Did anybody tell you, sir, that you had to go to be exchanged?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did anybody tell you that you shouldn't dare go back to your homes
12 in Samac, that there was no place for you there or something like that?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did anybody threaten you that you will get in harm's way if you
15 were to return in Samac?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Where was your daughter? Where were your wife and family then?
18 A. They were at home in Samac.
19 Q. Why did you go to Samac? What was your wish?
20 A. I was born there. Fourth generation in Samac. That's where my
21 family was. I mean, quite simply, I cannot leave Samac. I came back at
22 all costs because I love my town of Samac.
23 Q. Since then, have you been living in your Samac throughout?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you, Your Honours. I have no further questions from this
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Cross-examination?
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio:
5 Q. Witness, if you can answer my questions with a yes or a no, it
6 will help to speed things up and make this -- my questioning briefer.
7 Do you know a gentleman named Sabah Seric? Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. How well do you know him?
10 A. I know him well. He's a relative of mine.
11 Q. And was he in Batkovic?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. He was in Batkovic while you were in Batkovic?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. How long was he in Batkovic for?
16 A. I can't really say how long he was there exactly but I think it
17 was about a month and a half.
18 Q. Okay. About a month and a half. Now, you arrived in Batkovic on
19 the 27th of November, 1992?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you were exchanged in late January, the 29th, I think?
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: I think the correct position is that he was taken to
24 the exchange line because he wasn't exchanged.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, Your Honour is quite correct.
1 Q. I misled you there briefly. You were taken to the point of
2 exchange in late January?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And in your estimation, during the period of time between late
5 November and late January, Sabah Seric may have been in there with you for
6 about a month and a half at that time?
7 A. Something like that.
8 Q. And have you got any idea when Sabah Seric was born?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Have you got any idea about how old he was back then in 1993,
11 early 1993, late 1992, approximately how old he was?
12 A. I can't really say. I don't think I could answer that.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, were both you and your brother arrested in 1992?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Were you arrested simultaneously, both of you at the same time?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Who was arrested first?
18 A. My brother.
19 Q. And how long after his arrest were you arrested?
20 A. Approximately 40 days.
21 Q. Were you both arrested for the same reason, namely some allegation
22 that you were both firing guns or rifles from the area of your --
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just a moment, please.
24 I object. Could we please move into private session, as far as this
25 particular matter is concerned? In view of the facts that are being
1 referred to now in the questions?
2 MR. DI FAZIO: I have no objection to that.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, we can move into private session.
4 [Private session]
13 Page 17837 – redacted – private session
13 Page 17838 – redacted – private session
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
8 MR. DI FAZIO:
9 Q. You were arrested in late June -- late June, I believe?
10 A. Yes, the 27th of June.
11 Q. Thank you. And you were then kept in the SUP, the SUP building,
12 for five months?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And in the SUP building, you witnessed, did you not, daily
15 beatings and torture of the inmates?
16 A. During my time, there was very little. I don't know about before
17 that. Stories were going around but I don't know about before that
18 because we were not there.
19 Q. Okay. Just rest assured that I'm not asking you about any other
20 time other than the time when you were there. I'm asking you about your
21 five months. Now, were men beaten with truncheons, kicked with boots, hit
22 and struck with whatever object was available by police, paramilitaries,
23 and any other men who came into the SUP building freely in order to carry
24 out such beatings?
25 A. On the 29th of July, the last one happened but it wasn't the kind
1 of hitting that took place before that.
2 Q. I see. So you're telling the Chamber that in your five months in
3 the SUP building, you know of only one assault on an inmate on the 29th of
4 July? Is that -- am I correct in my understanding?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So you saw no sexual assaults, you saw no teeth being pulled, you
7 saw no blood on the walls, you heard no screams of men crying out from
8 torture, you didn't see Stevan Todorovic daily attacking and assaulting
9 inmates, you saw no such bloody tortured daily routines?
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, I have no problem with this question
11 but it has at least ten questions in this one. Perhaps he saw something
12 and some other things. Perhaps he saw blood but never saw anyone pulling
13 the teeth. This is unfair to the witness to pose such a question.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: I don't want to spend a lot of time going over
15 these details. I'm anxious to get this aspect of my cross-examination
16 completed as quickly as possible. The witness, I'm sure, is quite able to
17 differentiate between those matters. If he saw some of those things, and
18 didn't see others, I'm sure he can tell us. It's just a question of
19 efficiency. I don't need to go through each and every item individually.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think the witness can answer.
21 MR. DI FAZIO:
22 Q. So that basic scenario that I just described to you in my
23 question, you didn't see any of that?
24 A. No.
25 Q. And as far as you could ascertain, the men in the SUP who were
1 imprisoned there, they were all Croats and Muslims, weren't they?
2 A. Most were Muslims in the period while I was there, because Croats
3 were in the high school.
4 Q. Were you able to ascertain in the period of time that you were
5 held in the SUP, or indeed perhaps before you were taken to the SUP
6 building, that there were large-scale arrests of Croat and Muslim men?
7 A. No, because I worked in a company that is close to my home. I
8 would go from home to work and from work back home so I had no idea what
9 was going on in town, in this other part, and I didn't dare move about
10 because after all there was a war going on, there was a state of war.
11 Q. Thank you. Were men who were held in the SUP desperate to get out
12 of the SUP, as far as you can tell?
13 A. Some people said so. I did not talk about that. I did not even
14 think about an exchange. I mean, on that 27th of November, they took us
15 to Batkovic.
16 Q. What do you mean you didn't even think of an exchange?
17 A. Because I didn't want to go anywhere from Samac.
18 Q. Was the possibility of getting yourself out of the SUP via an
19 exchange discussed amongst prisoners?
20 A. Well, of course. Things like that would be discussed by people
21 who wanted to go. Of course there was such discussion.
22 Q. And did any of the men who were held in the SUP, that is, talking
23 about the period of time before you went to Batkovic, were any of the men
24 who were held in the SUP able to leave via an exchange?
25 A. In the period while I was there, as for the people who were
1 detained in the SUP, there was no exchange. It's only from Batkovic that
2 exchanges continued.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I think I -- we should have
10 that question and answer redacted. I asked it before I realised that it
11 may tend to identify the witness.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
14 Q. Did you see him on any other occasions apart from those two?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Between the time your brother was exchanged and your eventual
17 exchange, did you have any communications with your brother?
18 A. He let me know through the International Red Cross that he had
19 returned home.
20 Q. I see. And was your brother able to tell your relatives elsewhere
21 that he was back safely in Bosanski Samac?
22 A. No, but he probably could have sent a message through the
23 International Red Cross but I know for sure that he did not.
24 Q. On the day of your release from Batkovic, all that you were told,
25 up until you got to the point of exchange, was to get yourself together,
1 pack your belongings because you were being taken off to the exchange
3 A. We were told, after our names were called out, "pack up, you're
4 going to go for an exchange." That was it. There were no contacts with
6 Q. And you had not made any moves to seek an exchange?
7 A. I personally had not but I was hoping for it.
8 Q. Why were you hoping for it?
9 A. I could not get out of Batkovic in any other way, only through an
10 exchange, and crossing the border.
11 Q. Are you sure about that?
12 A. Everybody left that way, not only me.
13 Q. Okay. So you're not aware of any prisoners being simply released
14 from Batkovic and allowed to go back home?
15 A. I don't know about that.
16 Q. You never saw that happen in the period of time in which you were
17 in Batkovic?
18 A. No.
19 Q. You had not had an opportunity to speak to anyone who had been
20 taken to the exchange point and then declined to cross over?
21 A. I don't know anything about that.
22 Q. What I mean is you, in the time that you were in Batkovic, or
23 indeed even in the SUP, you hadn't had a chance to speak to any man who
24 had been taken to the exchange point and then declined to cross over into
25 Croatia, had decided that he didn't want to cross and come back? You'd
1 spoken to no such people, had you?
2 A. I don't know which period you mean.
3 Q. In the period of time that you were in the SUP and in Batkovic and
4 up until you were taken to the exchange point. In that period of time,
5 you never spoke to any man, woman, who was taken to the exchange point and
6 then returned back to Bosanski Samac?
7 A. I could not have been with them when I was detained. I could not
8 have talked to them either.
9 Q. Yes. I understand that. I understand that. And so therefore how
10 can you tell the Chamber that when you were in Batkovic, you knew that you
11 could go home from the exchange point if that's what you decided to do?
12 A. From my relative I received a message through the International
13 Red Cross to go to Orasje.
14 Q. This morning, witness, you testified that when you were in
15 Batkovic, you -- all of you men, you prisoners, knew that you could go
16 home, that you could go home back to your homes in Bosanski Samac, if you
17 didn't want to be exchanged at the exchange point. Now, how did you know
18 that? That's all I want to know.
19 A. Someone found out from -- from someone. I mean we talked amongst
20 ourselves and that's how we found out that it would be possible to return.
21 In the beginning it wasn't possible to return. This was in 1992.
22 Q. Did anyone at Batkovic ask the men after they had been assembled
23 on the bus which ones are going to go across at the exchange point and
24 which ones are going to go home?
25 A. Nobody asked who wanted to go or if they wanted to go, but simply
1 like I did myself, it was just enough to say that I did not wish to go
2 to -- to be exchanged.
3 Q. So these prisoners were never informed by Mr. Tadic on the bus
4 that now that they were being released from Batkovic, it was their choice
5 to cross or not?
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just one moment, please, could you
7 wait, please? I think that if we wanted to be fair to the witness, this
8 question by the Prosecution can only refer to the moment when he was in
9 the bus. This witness cannot say what was going on in the buses carrying
10 other people unless the question is whether he had heard anything about it
11 because the question here on page 22, line 21, was did anyone at Batkovic,
12 and then it continues. How can this witness know what the procedure was
13 at other exchanges? He can only be asked about his own exchange.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: I was asking about his own exchange.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. And on the bus, meaning the bus on which
16 the -- in which the witness was.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: That's right.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: So it's quite specific.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Okay.
20 Q. Witness, my question is this: Did Mr. Tadic or any other official
21 tell you while you were on the bus, "look, men, now that you have been
22 released, you can just go home to Bosanski Samac"?
23 A. Not in those words, nobody said anything to us, but we already
24 knew that and I already told you that I asked Mr. Tadic, I told him that I
25 didn't want to go, and he told me to stay on the bus.
1 Q. Fair enough, but that was at the exchange point. Now I'm talking
2 about the trip between Batkovic and the point of exchange. In that period
3 of time, no one mentioned anything to you about being at liberty to
5 A. The bus is big. I don't know what was talked about. He didn't go
6 from one person to another. But I don't know if he talked to any person
7 in particular.
8 Q. All right. Let's go to the exchange point itself, please. Your
9 evidence this morning was that you got up, out of the bus, got out of the
10 bus, Mr. Tadic was next to the door of the bus, and you told us twice this
11 morning, twice, that Mr. Tadic's words to you were: "If you don't want to
12 go, just stay on the bus," correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And that's what you did?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you stayed on the bus, and then the bus eventually after all
17 the exchange activities were finished, turned around and you started on
18 your journey back to Bosanski Samac?
19 A. First we returned to the motel in Sid for dinner.
20 Q. All right. But that basic procedure that I've just led you
21 through is what happened? You get off the bus. At the bus door Tadic
22 says to you, "if you don't want to go, stay on the bus." You get back on
23 the bus, you wait, then the bus turns around and starts its journey back
24 to Bosanski Samac?
25 A. I've already answered that question.
1 Q. Okay. Thank you. So you did not speak to the ICRC, the
2 International Committee of the Red Cross, nor did you speak to any
3 Croatian officials?
4 A. No.
5 Q. You did not tell anyone other than Mr. Tadic that it was your
6 decision not to cross over?
7 A. No.
8 Q. So your relatives wouldn't have received any message from the
9 Croatians, at least the Croatians who were at the exchange site, that it
10 was your desire not to cross?
11 MR. LUKIC: Objection. Objection.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Why?
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The witness is being asked to
14 speculate whether they received information from the other side. He
15 cannot know something like that unless he was conveyed that in a message.
16 He can be asked whether he received information whether any of them said
17 that he did not wish to go to the exchange.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll withdraw the question.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
20 MR. DI FAZIO:
21 Q. Did anyone ever tell you why it was necessary to drive you on a
22 bus to the exchange point if you didn't want to cross over? Did anyone
23 explain that?
24 A. We talked amongst ourselves about how we found out that you had to
25 go to the place of exchange.
1 Q. With respect, you haven't really answered my question. Did anyone
2 ever tell you why it was necessary to put you on a bus and take you to the
3 exchange point? Didn't anyone tell you, "look, Mr." -- "Look, witness,
4 just go back straight to Bosanski Samac, catch a bus, get a lift, you're
6 A. Nobody told me that I could go directly to Samac from Batkovic.
7 Q. You knew, didn't you, Witness, that this process of pulling you
8 out of a prison, taking you to the exchange point, was part of a desire to
9 get rid of you?
10 A. No. This was a normal exchange.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you very much. I have no further questions.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Re-examination?
13 Re-examined by Mr. Lukic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, we will discuss a little more the topics on
15 which you gave your answers to the Prosecutor. He asked you first about
16 your relative, Sabah Seric. Do you know when he went to the exchange?
17 You said that you did and you answered that question. My question refers
18 to these questions by the Prosecutor. Do you know whether Abdulah
19 Drljacic aka Drke was with you at Batkovic?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could you please tell us whether the two of them left in the same
22 exchange? Do you remember that he also left in the same period as Seric?
23 A. No, I don't remember.
24 Q. Very well. The Prosecutor also asked you about the beating and
25 mistreatment and about what you know while you were in the SUP.
1 Specifically for the period while you were there. It's clear already
2 before this Trial Chamber that you were there in the period from late June
3 until late November. You said that you were at the SUP all of the time?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. How many of you were there in that room? Were you in that one
6 room all the time?
7 A. I spent the entire period in one room.
8 Q. How many of you were in that room? Could you please tell us, in
9 that period generally?
10 A. At a certain point there were 25 of us. There were Croats also
11 there. Then they would take them away from us, they would separate the
12 Croats from the Muslims, they took the Croats to the school so that the
13 number dropped to about 19.
14 Q. In that period, during those five months while you were in that
15 room, or if you went out of that room, how many times did you personally
16 see beatings and mistreatment? You personally, during that period while
17 you were at the SUP?
18 A. Not one single time with my own eyes. I only heard that people
19 were moaning.
20 Q. Before the 29th of July, did you see anybody being taken out of
21 your room and returned all bloodied?
22 A. No.
23 Q. After the 29th of July, did you see anyone being taken from your
24 room, being beaten and being brought back bloodied to the room or -- and
25 did anyone ever tell you that they were beaten?
1 A. A neighbour of mine told me that, but there wasn't that much
2 beating. He simply got up and refused to clean the toilet and then he was
3 taken away, he was returned in five minutes. He had a couple of bruises
4 on his face.
5 Q. And this happened just once?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The Prosecutor asked you about what Tadic said when you went to
8 the exchange in that procedure, to the effect that if you don't want to
9 go, you can go home, and the Prosecutor said we already knew that. This
10 is what you told the Prosecutor. My first question is: Did you get
11 information from your brother and you've already told me that, whether he
12 said at the exchange that he did not wish to go, that he returned home and
13 that he is still living in Samac?
14 A. My wife told me the brother came back and I knew that he would
15 come back because we had agreed on that.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: I assume we are going to get a date and a time for
17 when that information was conveyed. Otherwise the evidence is of no use
18 to you, if Your Honours please.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. When did you get that information, that letter, that information
21 from your wife about what happened to your brother? You don't need to
22 tell us specifically.
23 A. Sometime before my exchange, because the messages took a very long
24 time to get to us.
25 Q. Did anybody of the guards perhaps tell you that if anybody did not
1 wish to be exchanged could return? Did anybody tell you something to that
2 effect perhaps?
3 MR. DI FAZIO: [Previous translation continues]...
4 Cross-examination, and the answer is wrapped up like a present for the
5 witness. He couldn't be more leading than that.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Did you find out from anyone else, any official, any other person,
9 other than the persons who were detained, receive any kind of information
10 about the exchange procedure?
11 A. No.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
14 Questioned by the Court:
15 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes, witness, I just have two small questions for
16 you. You just mentioned, this is page 27, line 16 and 17, concerning
17 beatings and mistreatment in the time you were incarcerated in the SUP,
18 and you say on these lines: "Not one single time with my own eyes. I
19 only heard that people were moaning."
20 My question to you, witness, is: When you say you heard that
21 people were moaning, did you hear this because other people told you about
22 it or did you hear the moaning with your own ears?
23 A. I heard the moaning with my own ears because this took place out
24 in the corridor near the door to the room where I was in.
25 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Okay. Thank you, that clarifies that. The
1 second question that I have concerns something mentioned in your
2 statement, in paragraph 16, where it is stated: "On 3rd December, 1992,
3 the International Red Cross came to Batkovic to make a list of us." And
4 what I'm wondering is when the International Red Cross came, do you recall
5 who the representative of the Red Cross was? And secondly, was that
6 person accompanied by anyone from Bosanski Samac?
7 A. I think that they were from France. There was nobody from
8 Bosanski Samac. There was a woman interpreter from Tuzla. She was of
9 Serb ethnicity.
10 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may be allowed to
12 put a question which arises from the questions of Her Honour
13 Judge Williams?
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you wait for Judge Lindholm as well?
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Oh, yes, yes, I apologise.
16 JUDGE LINDHOLM: By no means.
17 Sir, I have a couple of minor questions. As we have learned you
18 stayed at the SUP for around five months. That's a rather long time. And
19 I'm interested in how many times you were interrogated during that time.
20 In your written statement, in paragraphs 12 and 13, from those it appears
21 that you were interrogated by inspectors and you name Milos Savic and
22 Simo Bozic. How many times and how often were you interrogated during
23 those five months?
24 A. Only once.
25 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Just once, at the beginning, at the beginning?
1 A. Yes. Perhaps, after about 40 days. Perhaps.
2 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Well, so most of the time you were just detained
3 at the SUP?
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Did you, during that time, have any possibilities
6 to stay in contact with people outside the SUP?
7 A. No.
8 JUDGE LINDHOLM: So you were completely isolated there?
9 A. They didn't allow us to keep contacts. I don't know what the
10 reason was. We were in the rooms. Later, they would allow us to go out
11 into the yard to walk around a little bit. Then we would say, "perhaps
12 the corridor needs to be cleaned or the yard," so we would do that to keep
14 JUDGE LINDHOLM: If I understand you correctly, you didn't have
15 any possibilities to receive visitors either?
16 A. No.
17 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Okay. No further questions. Thank you.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic? You wanted to ask as a result of
19 the answers from the questions from the bench?
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I will ask just one question. Just
21 one question so I get it clear in my head.
22 Further examination by Mr. Lukic:
23 Q. What Judge Williams asked you about hearing the screaming with
24 your very own ears from the room where you were, did you hear this on
25 several occasions or does this refer just to that 27th of June?
1 A. This only refers to the 27th of July.
2 Q. Yes. Tell us what happened on that day so that we all know in the
4 A. Antesa succumbed to the beating.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
7 JUDGE LINDHOLM: One very short question, if you allow me. Were
8 you given any reasons for your transfer from the SUP in Bosanski Samac to
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was said that Batkovic was a
11 safer place because Samac was being shelled. Two detainees were killed by
12 the shells. Also another woman was killed in her own yard, not far from
13 the SUP. And this is why we were being taken to Batkovic.
14 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much for giving evidence to the
16 Tribunal. You are now through. You can leave the courtroom.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, while we wait for the next witness
20 if I may address the Trial Chamber for one issue?
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: That is related to -- it is related to one
23 of -- one of the witnesses for Mr. Zaric's Defence.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: If it can be on private session very briefly I
1 want -- it won't take long.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, can we move into private session?
3 [Private session]
13 Pages 17856-17859 – redacted – private session
1 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Please make the solemn declaration.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
6 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: MARKO KURESEVIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Please sit down.
10 Yes, Mr. Weiner?
11 MR. WEINER: Good morning, Your Honours.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Weiner:
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Kuresevic. My name is Phillip Weiner. I'm here
14 on behalf of the Prosecution and I'm going to be asking you some questions
15 this morning. All right? Sir, you indicated that you received a
16 mobilisation summons and I have to assume in late 1991, early, 1992?
17 A. After doing their military service, all men in the former
18 Yugoslavia, were deployed in the reserve force of the military. After I
19 did my military service, I was assigned to some kind of reconnaissance,
20 sabotage unit. In the beginning of 1992, I did not consider this to be
21 mobilisation. I only thought that I was being reassigned to another unit
22 which was called the 4th Detachment, but all right, let it be, let the 4th
23 Detachment be called mobilisation.
24 Q. You weren't sent to the TO, Territorial Defence, rather you were
25 sent to the 4th Detachment, isn't that correct, sir?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You became a member of that unit?
3 A. Yes. I was a member of that unit, and I was assigned commander of
4 a company.
5 Q. And you received a weapon? An automatic rifle, sir, as part of
6 your assignment to the 4th Detachment?
7 A. I was given weapons later when we went out for an exercise. That
8 is when we were issued weapons.
9 Q. And prior to that, you'd been a reserve, I believe, captain and
10 you were involved in reconnaissance -- in a reconnaissance and sabotage
12 A. No. I was not a reserve captain before. I had the lowest NCO
13 rank in the military and now be careful, rank in terms of establishment is
14 a special definition. I did not get an official rank but during the war,
15 I was deployed to a post where the rank of captain was required so then I
16 only got this rank of captain by way of establishment, but this was only
17 in 1993-94.
18 Q. Okay. Sorry, it wasn't clear in your statement. Now, sir, you
19 indicated that you attended the 4th Detachment meeting at memorial hall,
20 isn't that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And did you learn at that time or sometime later that Simo Zaric
23 was an assistant commander and that the defendant Miroslav Tadic was also
24 an assistant commander in the 4th Detachment?
25 A. I know that Simo Zaric was in the command. Now, who did what is
1 something that I don't know.
2 Q. And were you aware that Miroslav Tadic was also in the command?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Now --
5 A. People talked about that, but I was not duty-bound to know the
6 actual establishment of the command and I didn't.
7 Q. Now, sir, you were advised at that meeting of the objectives of
8 the 4th Detachment which was to defend the town against any or all
9 paramilitary groups, isn't that correct, sir?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you know, sir, that on the 17th of April, and the days that
12 followed, the 4th Detachment did not meet this objective?
13 A. Yes. The 4th Detachment -- I mean on the 17th of April, although
14 I was commander of a company, according to the establishment,
15 before -- well, let's say the war I did not know anything that was going
16 on, even on the 17th of April, my company or rather this group of people
17 that I was supposed to command did not have any activities.
18 Q. Okay. Well, let's take it step by step. You learned sometime
19 after the 17th of April, whether it's the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, that
20 Serbian forces had taken over the vital buildings and facilities in Samac?
21 A. I don't know what it means that a Serb vital buildings and
22 facilities were taken over by Serb buildings or did I misunderstand the
23 interpretation? This is the interpretation that I got actually that Serb
24 buildings took Serb facilities.
25 Q. Did you learn during the 17th or the week following that Serb
1 forces, the Serb police that Todorovic brought in, the Serb paramilitaries
2 or volunteers that came into Samac, had taken over the vital buildings and
3 facilities such as the municipal building, the police department, the TO,
4 the radio station, the silos?
5 A. I knew that practically war had started, and that there was some
6 kind of information and that things had changed. There was shooting in
7 town and now, as for these details, which facilities were under whose
8 control and in their entirety, that is something I don't know. I had a
9 special role. I was director of a company. So --
10 Q. Okay. Did you eventually learn that Serb forces had taken over
11 the town?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you learned that obviously the town of Samac had been taken
15 A. I learned that the town of Samac had had a government
16 administration instituted in it, that it had been changed in some way.
17 Q. That's right. That it was now a Serbian Municipality of Samac?
18 A. Yes, that's what they called it.
19 Q. That a -- that the elected government was no longer in power, the
20 government that was elected in 1990 was no longer in power?
21 A. The government that had been elected in 1990 functioned until just
22 before the war. I don't know. A month or two or three previously. I
23 don't know to which extent. I mean, I as director had some problems, a
24 bit of a problem, because this government was based on a coalition between
25 the Serbs, Croats and Muslims. Some of the assemblymen, some of the
1 people who were in government had left the government and it did not
2 really function properly.
3 Q. But after April 17th, that elected government was no longer in
4 power because there was now a new Serb municipality of Samac, isn't that
6 A. I think there were changes. I mean, I know there were changes.
7 Now, who participated in this, whether somebody from the old government
8 took part in the new government is something that I cannot guarantee.
9 Q. Well, sir, you were aware that there was now a Crisis Staff in
10 Bosanski Samac that was in control?
11 A. I knew, I had information that there was a Crisis Staff, but on
12 the whole, I didn't know what its role was and until the present day, I do
13 not know what it did or rather what all the things it did were.
14 Q. And sir, sometime after April 17th, you've learned that the SDS
15 president or the president of the SDS party, the defendant Blagoje Simic,
16 was now the Crisis Staff president?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, sir, you were a member of the SDP party, and as a member of
19 the SDP party and a Yugoslav, you didn't want a Serb-controlled or
20 SDS-controlled municipality of Samac, isn't that correct?
21 A. A political party strives for certain objectives or rather it has
22 certain objectives and it disagrees with other political parties in
23 several segments. One of these segments is this ethnic makeup or let us
24 put it this way, taking into consideration the entire population. But a
25 political party has its objectives, its plans, in the economy, in the
1 non-economic sector, in all areas and --
2 Q. But my question is: As a member, as a Yugoslav that believes in
3 multi-ethnicity, as a member of the SDP which was a multi-ethnic party,
4 you did not want a Serb-controlled or a SDS-controlled municipality, a
5 municipality controlled by one ethnic group, you didn't want that, isn't
6 that correct?
7 A. That is correct. I didn't want a municipality that would be under
8 the control of one ethnic group only, and I did not want only one ethnic
9 group to be in that municipality.
10 Q. Now, sir, let's go back to April 17th and the days that followed.
11 You know that the JNA and the 4th Detachment did not remove this new
12 Crisis Staff. You knew that?
13 A. I did not take part in that particular section. I did not take
14 part in that with the 4th Detachment and I don't know exactly who did
16 Q. No. Sir, my question is: The 4th Detachment and the JNA did not
17 remove this new Serbian Crisis Staff led by Dr. Blagoje Simic. They never
18 did that, isn't that correct?
19 A. No, they didn't.
20 Q. You also know that the 4th Detachment and the JNA did not
21 reinstate the former democratically elected government?
22 A. I know that.
23 Q. And you also know that the JNA and the 4th Detachment did not put
24 an end to this new Serb municipality which had been formed or established?
25 A. I've already answered that question.
1 Q. And you also know that the JNA and the 4th Detachment did not
2 remove those Serbian paramilitaries or volunteers in camouflage uniforms
3 that came into the municipality?
4 A. Yes. I know that too. They did not lock them up.
5 Q. But you know instead the 4th Detachment or certain units of the
6 4th Detachment were sent to guard the river banks, to protect the
7 municipality, the Serbian municipality, against attack, not your unit but
8 other units were sent to guard the river banks. Were you aware of that?
9 A. Yes. I think before the war, I went to Croatia and vehicles from
10 my company always went to Croatia and this is how I understood it, that
11 there is a possibility of an attack coming from Croatia because there had
12 already been bunkers there and the military was there already and now what
13 units took part in this, which segments of the 4th Detachment took part in
14 this is something that I don't know. Other people know about that better.
15 Q. But your unit wasn't even activated. They didn't call you and ask
16 you to go and protect the river banks, protect any buildings, protect the
17 Serbian community?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And do you agree that by the 4th Detachment's lack of response to
20 this Serbian takeover, it ensured its survival?
21 A. I don't understand this. What does it mean? Whose survival?
22 Q. By protecting the river banks and protecting against an attack the
23 4th Detachment ensured the survival of this new Serbian municipality?
24 A. I think that the 4th Detachment protected the town from attacks
25 coming from the Croatian side, from the side of the Republic of Croatia,
1 and it protected the town from attacks from any units in Bosnia, on the
2 Croatian territory in Prud, units had already been established, also in
3 Orasje, there were units that had been formed in Gradacac, I knew all of
4 that because people who worked in my company talked about this. And the
5 night before the war, I was returning from Obudovac, and at a crossroads,
6 near Samac, I was stopped by the police that had Croatian insignia.
7 Q. But sir, by protecting the river banks and protecting against
8 attack, the 4th Detachment defended this new Serbian municipality against
9 any attack, isn't that correct?
10 A. I think that it was defending the whole population in that
11 municipality. The task of the 4th Detachment was not to defend the
13 Q. My question was by defending the river banks they were defending
14 the new municipality, the Serbian Municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo
15 under formation, isn't that correct?
16 A. Sir, the 4th Detachment was defending the territory of the
17 municipality. That was the objective. Its objective was not to defend
18 Blagoje or Mato or Anto or anybody who was in the government there.
19 Q. But sir, you have to agree, and you've testified, the 4th
20 Detachment did not respond to the Serbian takeover of Samac. They did not
21 remove the new Crisis Staff and they did not remove the paramilitaries.
22 That was your testimony, isn't that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, sir, you know who Milan Simic is?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you know that at sometime in May, Milan Simic became president
2 of the executive board in Samac?
3 A. When he became the president of the executive board, I don't know,
4 but I know that he was president of the executive board.
5 Q. And you're also aware that he has pled guilty in this Court to
6 torturing non-Serb prisoners in the primary school at Samac. Are you
7 aware of that, sir?
8 A. If he tortured the non-Serb population in Samac, and if he stated
9 that, then that must be so.
10 Q. Okay.
11 A. And if he admitted his guilt.
12 Q. Yes, sir. He has admitted his guilt, and as part of his admission
13 n paragraph 30 of the 4th amended indictment which is referred to on page
14 5 of the sentencing judgement, he states, "Bosnia and Herzegovina declared
15 its independence from Yugoslavia on 29 February, 1992. Long before this,
16 however, the SDS and the JNA had been making plans for the probability of
17 a war which included the creation of separate Serb-controlled
18 municipalities throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina."
19 Were you aware, sir, of these SDS and JNA plans?
20 A. I didn't know that. Neither was I supposed to know that. And I
21 don't believe that such plans existed.
22 Q. Sir, were you aware of the coordination and the cooperation
23 between the SDS, the Serb leaders and the JNA prior to and during the war?
24 A. Please, could you repeat your question?
25 Q. Sir, were you aware of the cooperation and coordination of
1 activities between the SDS, the JNA and the Serb leaders in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina prior to the war and during the war?
3 A. I don't know what kind of contacts they were. I was doing my job.
4 My job was the economy. In the political sense, I contacted with the
5 representatives of the HDZ, the SDS and the SDA. All three parties were
6 politically oriented, let's put it that way, against our party.
7 Q. Now, sir, you're familiar with the person named Biljana Plavsic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you know she was an SDS and Serb leader in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
10 A member of the Presidency?
11 A. I know that there was a leadership of the SDS.
12 Q. Okay. And do you agree that Biljana Plavsic was in a better
13 position than you as one of the leaders and as a president of the SDS to
14 be aware of any relationship between the SDS and the JNA? Would you agree
15 with me about that?
16 A. She probably knew, not probably but she certainly knew those
17 relationships much better than I did.
18 Q. And are you aware as part of her plea to persecution of the
19 non-Serb population in Bosnia-Herzegovina, she has admitted to
20 collaboration between the JNA and the SDS and the Serb leaders of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that those three groups collaborated to persecute the
22 non-Serb population? Are you aware of her admission to that?
23 A. I know that she admitted to the guilt -- to being guilty as for
24 what she's charged with but exactly to what, I don't know but I know that
25 she was sentenced for the things that she had committed.
1 Q. Now, the fact that Biljana Plavsic, a national Serb and SDS leader
2 has admitted to collaboration between the JNA and SDS and a local Serb
3 leader, Milan Simic has admitted to collaboration between the SDS and the
4 JNA, isn't that consistent with what you saw in Bosanski Samac where the
5 4th Detachment and the JNA took no action to remove the Serb
6 paramilitaries, to overthrow this new Crisis Staff which appointed itself?
7 Isn't that consistent, sir?
8 A. This question -- it's not possible to answer it with a yes or no.
9 If it really was the way that you are presenting it to me, then I would be
10 completely wrong for being in Samac. I was in Samac during the war, not
11 because I wanted to remove the non-Serb population, and I participated in
12 the war, but I didn't participate in that war because I wanted to expel
13 any population and to have non-Serb -- the population leave the -- this
14 land. I participated in the war in order to defend my family, to defend
15 my territory, my wife, who is a Croat, to defend my two daughters-in-law
16 who are Croats. That's why.
17 Q. Well, sir, you're aware, or are you aware that Biljana Plavsic has
18 indicated that she -- that the SDS -- I'm sorry, that the SDS, the Serb
19 leaders, and the JNA collaborated to remove the non-Serb population from
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Are you aware of her admission to that? And she's
21 pled guilty to that. Are you aware of that, sir?
22 A. Sir, I believe that I do not seem a bit crazy to you. I'm an
23 intellectual who understands certain questions very well and I've already
24 responded to that question. There is it no need for you to repeat it.
25 Q. Well, sir, the fact that these people said these things, isn't
1 that consistent with the inaction of the JNA? You were never called up,
2 sir, to remove the Serb forces that had come into the community and taken
3 it over. You were never called up to remove the new Crisis Staff.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Krgovic?
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection. This is the third or
6 fourth time that the Prosecutor, as part of the same topic, is asking
7 practically the same question, whether the witness knew about the
8 collaboration between the SDS and the JNA, but the witness has responded
9 that he doesn't know anything about that and that he cannot say anything
10 about that but we have already spent half an hour on this topic and the
11 witness is constantly repeating the same answers while the Prosecutor is
12 constantly putting practically identical questions to him.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will repeat what I've already said
14 in response to the question of the Prosecutor. Mr. Prosecutor, sir, I've
15 told you that I, as a member of a unit of the JNA, was in Samac in order
16 to defend the citizens of Samac from attacks from the outside, from
17 attacks from Croatia.
18 MR. WEINER:
19 Q. You were never called up to defend them, though, you weren't even
20 activated on the 17th, 18th, 19th or 20th, isn't that correct, sir?
21 A. If it's possible to do that without the index finger, please don't
22 threaten me.
23 Q. I'm not -- sir, I'm not threatening you. I want you to answer my
24 question, sir. And my question is as follows: You were not activated --
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner, the witness did understand that to
1 be a threat but just avoid doing it. Just ask the questions while you are
2 standing in your place.
3 MR. WEINER: Okay. It was no threat, Your Honour. Believe me, it
4 was no threat.
5 Q. Sir, you were not called up --
6 A. But I understood it as a threat. In my area, when somebody makes
7 this gesture, then it can be very dangerous. Please don't do that.
8 Q. I'm sorry if it upset you, sir.
9 But I'd like you to answer my questions. We have limited amount
10 of time and I'd like you to answer the question that you're asked and my
11 question to you is: You were not --
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner can I just assure the witness,
13 Mr. Kuresevic, it's unfortunate that that did happen but do understand
14 that you are very, very free where you are sitting to answer the questions
15 of the Prosecutor as you understand them and as you know the facts, so do
16 not feel threatened at all. The questions may go ahead.
17 MR. WEINER:
18 Q. You were not activated to take any action, you or the members of
19 your command, were not activated to take any action --
20 A. Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Okay. You were not activated and asked to take any action on
22 April 17th, 18th or 19th, either yourself or any members of your command
23 to remove the Serb paramilitaries, to remove the Serb Crisis Staff, which
24 had had taken power or any one who had taken over the town of
25 Bosanski Samac, isn't that correct, sir?
1 A. Mr. Prosecutor, sir, I'm explaining to you for the fourth time the
2 same thing, and that is we were called to defend Samac, to defend the
3 town, and to defend the citizens of the town, and this is the function
4 that we were performing. That was our function.
5 Q. That was not my question, sir. My question was on the 17th, 18th
6 or 19th, you weren't sent to the river banks, weren't sent to guard any
7 building, you weren't sent out to do anything, either you or members of
8 your command. Or were you? Tell me if you --
9 A. Just one second. I said that this was my unit. That unit is a
10 company of 30 men or 22 men. I, as a commander of that company, was not
11 directed to such tasks, probably I was told from the command that I had
12 other obligations.
13 Q. And, sir, the fact that you didn't -- you weren't ordered to take
14 any action to overthrow the -- that government that had -- that had
15 inserted itself into power, to remove the Serbian paramilitaries, that is
16 consistent with Milan Simic's testimony -- I'm sorry, Milan Simic's
17 statement, and Biljana Plavsic's statement that there was a plan between
18 the SDS and the JNA. Isn't that correct?
19 A. Sir, I was ordered to go to the company where I worked and in that
20 company --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Before the witness continues, Mr. Vukovic?
22 MR. VUKOVIC: [Interpretation] I think the Prosecutor is trying to
23 confuse the witness because there are a lot of questions here. The
24 Prosecutor first should ask the witness whether he knew whether Milan
25 Simic was part of the local SDS, whether he knew whether Biljana Plavsic
1 was in the Presidency, whether he knew how the authorities in government
2 were elected and then only after putting such questions could he ask him
3 these other questions.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Vukovic, at the beginning of the Prosecution's
5 questions referring to Mr. Milan Simic and Mrs. Biljana Plavsic, the
6 Prosecution did state who these people were. So the witness does
7 understand who these people were and what they had said, according to the
8 questions of the Prosecutor. So the Prosecutor can go ahead.
9 MR. WEINER:
10 Q. Sir, once again, were you sent to your company, you were not given
11 orders to overthrow the new government, you were not given orders to
12 remove the Serb volunteers or paramilitaries, that is consistent with
13 Milan Simic's admission and Biljana Plavsic's admission that there was a
14 plan between the JNA and the SDS to establish Serb municipalities. Isn't
15 that consistent with that? I'm not asking you what you've done. Just
16 isn't that consistent?
17 A. I've already answered to this three times or four or five. I
18 don't know that. I told you I cannot know what Biljana, Simic and what
19 Biljana Plavsic and Milan Simic did. I know what we did and what I did.
20 Q. Sir my question is not whether or not you agree with what
21 Biljana Plavsic said, not whether or not you agree with what Milan Simic
22 said but the information that I read out to you that Biljana Plavsic said
23 and that Milan Simic said, that they had coordinated with the JNA, that
24 they had collaborated with the JNA, isn't that consistent with your not
25 receiving orders to take over the town because according to them, there
1 has long been a plan to establish Serb municipalities and that they
2 coordinated with the JNA, the SDS, the Serb leaders. Isn't that
3 consistent with what happened in Samac? Because you weren't given the
4 orders, "remove these paramilitaries". You weren't given the orders,
5 "remove this government that just appointed itself". Isn't that
6 consistent with what they said, not whether you agree with it or not but
7 isn't that consistent with what Simic said and Plavsic said?
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, the witness has been through this
9 question and he has said what he can say.
10 MR. WEINER: But he's not answering it, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: That's the point. Can we move on? He won't give
12 you the answer you want. He has understood the questions and he has given
13 his answers and we've been on this for quite sometime now.
14 MR. WEINER: If he's not going to answer it the Court should
15 answer it. That's why he's here. He's not here to give political
17 JUDGE MUMBA: I don't think he's giving political speeches he's
18 explaining the way he understood things to be.
19 MR. WEINER: But he's not answering the question.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: On the other hand, these are the sorts of
21 conclusions the Prosecution will be able to draw.
22 MR. WEINER: I disagree, but if that's the Court's view I will
23 move on, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, please do move on.
25 MR. WEINER:
1 Q. Sir, you served as a director in the Master company or Master
2 enterprise, isn't that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And was that a state-owned transport and trade enterprise?
5 A. Yes, for transport, for transport and trade.
6 Q. Now, after April 17th, and this new Serb municipality was
7 established and a new Crisis Staff was established by Blagoje Simic, the
8 defendant in this case, you had to deal with them, you had to take orders
9 from them, isn't that correct, since you were a state-owned company?
10 A. I didn't receive orders; as a director, I had certain authority.
11 If there were any changes, these changes were -- in these changes, the
12 directors as a rule do not cooperate directly with the leadership of the
13 municipality, but they communicate and have contact with people who are in
14 charge of such jobs in this period. A person who had contacts with me was
15 the man who was in charge of the economy.
16 Q. So you had to deal with the Crisis Staff and the executive board
17 and particularly Milan Simic, the new Samac authorities, isn't that
18 correct, sir?
19 A. In the beginning, it wasn't Mr. Milan Simic. I didn't have any
20 contacts with the Crisis Staff because this -- because there was no need
21 for that. There was a different way. As a rule, directors, if necessary,
22 communicate with the executive authorities, with the executive board, or
23 with the person who does not necessarily have to be a member of the
24 executive board but is in charge of the economy.
25 Q. Well, let me refresh your recollection. Let me show you a letter
1 you received from the Crisis Staff.
2 MR. WEINER: I'd like to show the witness a letter with ERN number
3 0061-3077. We just found this in a second letter yesterday as we were
4 doing some research on this witness. We've provided them to Defence
5 counsel and one of these two documents is referred to within the witness's
6 statement, and we've requested English translations. I'll have the
7 witness read it out to us, if the Court pleases.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Vukovic?
9 MR. VUKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we've only received
10 this today at the break. It's evident that the Prosecution has had this
11 document for a long time. We don't know how they received it, where did
12 they get it from and when and we need to check this document before it's
13 shown to the witness. So we object to having this document shown to the
14 witness today.
15 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, the witness has already been shown the
16 document by counsel. I gave it to counsel earlier. He has shown the
17 documents, both documents to the witness, without any objection from us.
18 And the witness is familiar with both documents, for the record.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours?
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic?
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If I can just tell the Court about a
22 different aspect of this problem, yes, we were given this document during
23 the break. Mr. Krgovic talked to the witness about this document so that
24 is not the problem. The problem is of a different nature. We received a
25 list of documents from the Prosecution that they have in relation to all
1 of the defences. This is a document that is signed by the main accused
2 but it also concerns the other co-accused. Especially during the period
3 that my client also was a member of the Crisis Staff. This document was
4 not disclosed to us even though we are in the process of reciprocal
5 disclosure. There are rules, for example, if the Prosecution has certain
6 documents, they are to put them on the table. If we have certain
7 documents, we are to put those documents on the table. I cannot believe
8 that this document was discovered yesterday by the Prosecution in their
9 documentation. I'm asking whether will such a document appear in relation
10 to Mr. Tadic which the Prosecution had in its possession before? Perhaps
11 there will be a document relating to Mr. Simic who has finished with his
12 testimony. Questions relating to this document can be put to the witness.
13 There is no problem with that. But in this way, I'm not -- I'm sure
14 that the Prosecution was in possession of this document before so I think,
15 since this will only get an ID number we will give you our position on
16 this document but we believe that this is not the proper way to introduce
17 such documents.
18 MR. WEINER: Your Honour?
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner?
20 MR. WEINER: I found these sometime around 5.00 last night. I
21 had -- I had someone read a summary of them because I can't read B/C/S. I
22 served them on Defence counsel this morning. They showed them to
23 their -- they showed them to this witness and I was told that there was no
24 objection and I find it very odd that 50 minutes later, in the middle of
25 testimony, that suddenly there is an objection. However, these are not
1 exculpatory documents, these are referred to -- the second document is
2 referred to within the statement of the witness, and I'm just asking for
3 ID because I have no English translation at the time and I was going to
4 have him read it out because I don't have a full English translation.
5 I've just got a summary last night of what they pertain to. The second
6 one pertains to his being fired or removed by the Crisis Staff, which he
7 indicates he was removed by the executive board. It was the Crisis Staff
8 that removed him on the date that he indicates he was in fact removed in
9 his statement and he was removed by written notice. That's the actual
10 written notice. That's the next document. This document here concerns
11 some orders he's receiving by the Crisis Staff on May 20th and I'm just
12 showing the relationship between this new Crisis Staff and his
13 organisation and himself.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: I just want to be clear. This document with ERN
15 number 0061-3077 is not the order dismissing him from office.
16 MR. WEINER: No it's not.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber is of the view that this document
19 cannot be discussed with the witness for the simple reason that it's late
20 in the day, the two accused persons have already given their evidence, and
21 we are of the view that it would prejudice their Defence to have this
22 document produced at this stage.
23 MR. WEINER: Does that include the next document, too, which is
24 referred to in his statement? The notice that he's being fired? Because
25 the statement is incorrect. He's got to clarify his statement.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: No, the one referred to in his statement because he
2 discusses it, in which paragraph is it?
3 MR. WEINER: It's in paragraph 14. He says, "I was dismissed from
4 the post of director of Master by the executive committee on 3 June,
5 1992." He was dismissed by the Crisis Staff.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, that one can be referred to the witness because
7 it was discussed by him.
8 MR. WEINER: All right, Your Honour, I'll move on, however both
9 defendants are still here and they can both be recalled to testify
10 concerning that one document, if there was any prejudice.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, there has to be an order in the proceedings,
12 Mr. Weiner, and the Prosecution must search for their documents with due
14 MR. WEINER:
15 Q. Now, sir, you were removed from your position as director of the
16 Master company, isn't that correct?
17 A. I was not removed from the position of director. I was replaced.
18 Q. And prior to that, you received a telephone call from Milan Simic?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you got into some sort of argument or quarrel with him on the
21 telephone, isn't that correct?
22 A. It's not an argument. It was a conversation. Practically, there
23 were two interpretations of one and the same procedure, namely Milan Simic
24 claimed that I am engaged in some type of work in an unauthorised manner
25 or rather that the goods that were in Master are goods that I'm selling
1 without any authorization. However previously I had received
2 authorisation. However, that authorisation was mostly verbal, oral. The
3 president of the executive board called in the directors of companies, the
4 directors of state-owned companies, to a meeting --
5 Q. Sir, my question is: You got into an argument. Didn't you tell
6 him that he could not dismiss you by force? Didn't you tell him that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And after that argument with Milan Simic who was president of the
9 executive board, and your telling him you couldn't be dismissed by force,
10 you received a notice on June 3rd from the Crisis Staff dismissing you
11 from your position as director of the Master company, isn't that correct?
12 Signed by the defendant Blagoje Simic.
13 A. Sir, Milan Simic called me to come to the municipality. After the
14 telephone call, I went to the municipality and at the municipality I tried
15 to explain to him the misunderstanding that existed. He told me that it
16 was his assessment that my behaviour was not in keeping with the position
17 of the executive board and that I should therefore leave the company. I
18 tried to explain to him that my behaviour was in keeping with the
19 instructions that I had had until then. He did not accept that. He said
20 to me that I was no longer the director of Master.
21 Q. And you received a document on or about June 3rd, 1992, removing
22 you as the director of Master, isn't that correct?
23 A. I think that on that day, Milan Simic -- I mean I did not get any
24 letter. He familiarised me with the fact that I was no longer a director.
25 He said that the executive board would pass a decision of its own
1 appointing a new director.
2 Q. Sir, wasn't a decision issued by the Crisis Staff removing or
3 replacing you as director of Master?
4 A. I don't know about that. Milan Simic made me aware of this and he
5 was president of the executive board.
6 Q. All right. Sir, I'd like to show you a document with the ERN
7 number 00612706. A Crisis Staff -- a Serb municipality of Bosanski Samac
8 Crisis Staff document signed by the defendant Blagoje Simic. Sir, could
9 you help us out and could you read that document starting right from the
10 top? Could you read it into the record, please?
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Could the interpreters be given a copy?
12 MR. WEINER: They have already been given copies, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The Serb Republic of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina, the SAO Semberija and Majevica, the Serb" -- I beg your
16 pardon -- "the Serb municipality of Bosanski Samac. The Crisis Staff.
17 Number 161-10/92, date the 3rd of July, 1992. The Crisis Staff of the
18 Serb municipality of Bosanski Samac on the basis of Article 3 of the
19 decision on the introduction of a state of war in the territory of the
20 municipality has passed a decision on relieving of duty the director of DD
21 Master from Bosanski Samac. Marko Kuresevic of Bosanski Samac is being
22 relieved of the duty of DP Master. This decision is passed because of the
23 unauthorised trade in goods of the mentioned person against the explicit
24 bans imposed by the organs of authority of the Serb municipality of
25 Bosanski Samac and without appropriate approval from the executive board.
1 This decision shall enter into force on the day it is passed. Copies:
2 The mentioned person, the executive board, the archives of the Crisis
3 Staff, president of the Crisis Staff, signed Dr. Blagoje Simic."
4 MR. WEINER:
5 Q. So sir, after speaking to Milan Simic, you --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Before we proceed, I just want to be clear in my
7 mind of the date. Is it 3rd July or 3rd June, 1992 because the
8 interpretation was 3rd July, is that correct?
9 MR. WEINER:
10 Q. Sir what is the date at the top of the document? Is it --
11 A. It says the 3rd of July here.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
13 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
14 Q. So after your conversation with Milan Simic, sir, a letter is
15 issued by the Crisis Staff?
16 A. Just a moment, please. Could this screen be turned off? Because
17 it -- I find it very disconcerting. It's bad for my eyes.
18 Q. Is it all right? Good. Now after speaking to Milan Simic, this
19 decision was issued, isn't that correct?
20 A. He gave me this decision.
21 Q. So Milan Simic of the executive board told you you were going to
22 be replaced and then you received a decision from Blagoje Simic replacing
24 A. No. No. I got this decision from Milan Simic. After this
25 conversation he gave me this piece of paper.
1 Q. My question is Milan Simic gave you this piece of paper which is
2 signed by Dr. Blagoje Simic on behalf of the Crisis Staff?
3 A. I don't know whose signature this is.
4 Q. Whose name is listed on there?
5 A. Simic, DR Blagoje.
6 Q. And above that it says Crisis Staff president, doesn't it?
7 A. Yes, that's what it says here.
8 Q. And you knew that Milan Simic, Blagoje Simic, Stevan Todorovic,
9 who also is going to come into this equation very shortly, all worked
10 together in the government, in the new civilian government of
11 Bosanski Samac?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And also after you received this document, and you're told you're
14 going to be replaced, you get arrested by Stevan Todorovic in relation to
15 this situation?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Why don't you tell us what happened? Because you indicate in your
18 statement that you got arrested by Stevan Todorovic.
19 A. I did not state that Stevan Todorovic had arrested me.
20 Q. I'm sorry, you got arrested by the police at Stevan Todorovic's
21 orders or request, right after this incident?
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the document please be placed
23 before this witness? And could it be read? Because in the statement, in
24 the B/C/S, the text is somewhat different from what the Prosecutor said
25 just now. Could it just be put before the witness, please, his statement?
1 JUDGE MUMBA: The B/C/S copy, yes.
2 MR. LUKIC: The 92 bis statement.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: The Rule 92 bis statement.
4 MR. WEINER: It's 121/3.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Perhaps to move much faster the witness can be
6 directed to the relevant paragraph, Mr. Weiner.
7 MR. WEINER: Paragraph 14, please. I'll read it in English, you
8 tell me if it's the same in B/C/S. "I was dismissed from the post of
9 director of Master by the executive committee on 3 June, 1992. I was
10 called by Milan Simic who told me that I was no longer employed as of the
11 following day. I protested and said that he could not dismiss me by force
12 but I was soon arrested and spent six days in prison. All of this was
13 organised by Stevan Todorovic." Is that what yours says or is it
14 different in B/C/S?
15 A. You asked me whether Stevan Todorovic arrested me and I said that
16 Stevan Todorovic did not arrest me. I said, I stated, that I received
17 information that this had been organised by Stevan Todorovic. To organise
18 and to arrest are two different things.
19 Q. Thank you, and I corrected that right after. Now, you were
20 arrested --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Before we proceed, could we have this document
22 marked for identification purposes, please?
23 THE REGISTRAR: This will be document D172ID. Thank you.
24 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
25 THE REGISTRAR: I apologise, P172ID.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I was wondering. It's a Prosecution --
2 MR. WEINER:
3 Q. Now, sir --
4 JUDGE LINDHOLM: While we are on this topic and dealing with
5 paragraph 14, just for clarification, both in the B/C/S version and in the
6 English translation, we have found -- we find the date the 3rd of June,
7 1992 and the letter coming from the Crisis Staff and which our witness
8 here said was handed over to him by Milan Simic is dated the 3rd of July.
9 MR. WEINER: Yes, it's wrong. His dismissal from his post by the
10 executive come is wrong and it's -- I don't know. The letter indicates
11 3rd of July and this says 3rd of June. That could also be wrong too.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: The witness is there. He can explain. Just ask
14 MR. WEINER:
15 Q. Okay, sir, your statement says you were dismissed on the 3rd of
16 June. The decision from the Crisis Staff is the 3rd of July. What date
17 do you recall being dismissed?
18 A. The 3rd of June.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, shortly after this, you were arrested and
20 you were held for six days. Were you told that that arrest was in
21 relation to this removal or replacement?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Were you told -- were you given any reason why you arrested at
24 Stevan Todorovic's orders, right after this incident?
25 A. They did not tell me that they had arrested me at
1 Stevan Todorovic's orders but I said that I received this information
2 later that Stevan Todorovic had organised this. However, I was never
3 given any reasons for my arrest.
4 Q. Now, sir, were you aware that at the time the Crisis Staff
5 dismissed you, Miroslav Tadic was a member of the Crisis Staff?
6 A. Sir, I was not replaced by the Crisis Staff. I was replaced by
7 Milan Simic and do not repeat what I did not say.
8 Q. Sir, my question to you, sir?
9 A. Please.
10 Q. We have this document from the Crisis Staff dismissing you. My
11 question is were you aware that Miroslav Tadic was a member of the Crisis
12 Staff? That's my question, sir.
13 A. I know that Miroslav Tadic was in the civilian Defence.
14 Q. Were you also aware that he was a member of the Crisis Staff from
15 April on? April of 1992 on. If you're not, that's fine. Just were you
17 A. No, no.
18 Q. Mr. Tadic has admitted in a statement to the Office of the
19 Prosecutor that he was a member of the Crisis Staff. Do you have any
20 reason to doubt the validity of his statement to the Office of the
21 Prosecutor that he was a member of the Crisis Staff?
22 A. I have no reason.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, you should be winding up. Actually I
24 allowed you a few minutes because of our discussion at the bench.
25 MR. WEINER: All right.
1 Q. Sir, you indicated that you lived in a residential building in the
2 town of Samac?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And that the tenants were ethnically mixed in that building?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And that you've denied distributing white arm bands or ribbons to
7 the non-Serb tenants? You've made that denial in paragraph 11 of your
9 A. Could you please repeat that? I did not understand this because
10 two interpreters were working and I didn't find it very clear.
11 Q. You have denied giving out any white arm bands to the non-Serbs in
12 your building.
13 A. In my building, no arm bands were ever given out to anyone. In my
14 statement, I wrote, and stated that in my building, there was a shelter.
15 Q. Okay. I'll get to that. I'll get to that shortly but you
16 indicated that you never issued white arm bands or white ribbons, isn't
17 that correct? Correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, sir, in your building, which was a newer building, you set up
20 a shelter in the basement, isn't that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you put together a list or a roster of persons who entered and
23 exited that shelter at times of shelling, isn't that correct?
24 A. It was not a single list, a single roster. People simply wrote
25 down their names of people who were coming into the shelter and leaving
1 the shelter.
2 Q. Okay. So in addition to this sign-in sheet as this shelter that
3 you had in your building you also gave out white badges for people to use
4 when they entered the shelter, didn't you?
5 A. Yes. On every badge, it said, "Shelter, S-35."
6 Q. You didn't have anybody monitoring at the door indicating you can
7 only enter with this white badge, did you?
8 A. These white badges of the shelter did not serve that purpose for
9 somebody being allowed to enter the shelter or to leave it. Everybody was
10 allowed to enter the shelter. The only objective was to prevent someone
11 who had a grenade or some other kind of weapon from entering the shelter.
12 We didn't want something like that to happen in the shelter. We wanted
13 people who were in the shelter to be able to recognise each other. The
14 shelter is quite big. It's a cellar, and there was only proper light in
15 the cellar that I used, and at that time we managed to somehow organise
16 lighting throughout the area.
17 Q. So there was no sign on the door saying, "Admission by white badge
19 A. No. There were only signs on the building stating that shelter
20 S-35 was there.
21 Q. So these white badges would prevent anyone from coming in with a
22 weapon or a hand grenade?
23 A. No, not from coming in. Anybody could come into the shelter.
24 MR. WEINER: Thank you, no further questions, sir.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Re-examination?
1 Re-examined by Mr. Krgovic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Kuresevic. I'm going to put
3 a few questions to you in relation to the answers that you gave to the
4 Prosecutor. And in relation to the questions that he had put to you.
5 The Prosecutor asked you at the beginning of the examination
6 whether you were aware of the fact that the Serb municipality of Samac had
7 taken power from the democratic government that had been elected before
8 the 16th and 17th of April, 1992. You then said that this was not a
9 takeover. You said that government was being instituted and you said that
10 the municipal authorities did not function the best possible way. Since
11 you were a member of the SDP, that is to say of a party that was a
12 parliamentary party in the municipality and as far as I know you are
13 president of the municipal committee of your party?
14 A. I am now.
15 Q. Could you tell me whether at that point, at that time, the
16 municipal assembly met?
17 A. Which period?
18 Q. Just before the 16th and 17th of April.
19 A. As far as I know, the assembly, as a rule, met once a month, and
20 at that time, I don't know. Now it meets once a month but at that time as
21 far as I know, the assembly was not meeting because part of the
22 assemblymen who were from the Muslim population and others who were from
23 the Croat population had already established some kind of government in
24 their territory and they did not come. Such an assembly meeting could not
25 be convened because there could not be a quorum.
1 Q. Do you know whether the assembly adopted any decisions in that
3 A. If the assembly does not meet, it cannot pass any decisions.
4 Q. You also said to the Prosecutor, when you spoke about the
5 difficulties in the economy, you said that there were problems in
6 communicating with the executive board and other organs. How did they
8 A. In no way whatsoever.
9 MR. WEINER: Objection. I never asked him about any problems in
10 the economy. I never discussed the economy in my cross-examination. And
11 he raised very quickly his -- that he dealt with the executive board. I
12 never got into executive board. I never -- I'm sorry, the issues of his
13 relationship with the economy in any parts of his company in responding to
14 it. In fact when I started that, this Court stopped me because I was
15 going to get into some of that with that document and show the
16 relationship with the different agencies so if I'm prevented from going
17 into it, counsel should be prevented from going into it too. Either that
18 or if he gets into this issue now on redirect can I now. Try and tender
19 that document at that point?
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, yes, you have explained sufficiently.
21 This wasn't part of your cross-examination. Let's hear from Mr. Krgovic.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it wasn't my intention
23 but since the witness mentioned that the municipal authorities were not
24 functioning, my question was: Was the executive board functioning? My
25 question related to the assembly as part of the municipal government, that
1 the Prosecutor discussed. I didn't want to go into any more details about
2 what this relationship was. Since he mentioned in a reply to the
3 Prosecutor that he had contacts with the executive board, I just wanted to
4 know about these contacts with the executive board.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, as long as you don't discuss the economy with
6 that question.
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation].
8 Q. Mr. Kuresevic, could you please tell us, did the executive board
9 function before the 16th and 17th of April in the municipality of
10 Bosanski Samac?
11 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, my discussion with him was the executive
12 board, what concerned that document and concerned Milan Simic and after
13 the takeover by the new Serb municipality and the Crisis Staff. I did not
14 discuss at any point the executive board prior to April 17th. That's a
15 totally new subject. In fact I never questioned him prior to the 17th
16 other than there was a government and he's now gone into the whole history
17 of the assembly prior to April 17th. This is now outside of the scope of
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I see the point Mr. Weiner is making. It's
20 related to the period of questioning. And as he says, his questions
21 related to the period after the takeover.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I withdraw the question. I think
23 the witness provided a sufficient answer.
24 Q. Mr. Kuresevic, the Prosecutor presented you with the agreement of
25 Milan Simic and the Prosecution between Biljana Plavsic and the
1 Prosecutor's Office about the admission of guilt and the judgements which
2 were reached based on these plea agreements. I would like to ask you
3 about the cooperation between the JNA and the SDS. You answered the
4 Prosecutor regarding these questions. Now I would like to ask you whether
5 you as a member of the 4th Detachment, a member of the JNA, do you have
6 any direct knowledge about cooperation with the SDS?
7 A. I think I explained that as well. The 4th Detachment was a
8 military structure and to the extent that -- I don't know such details.
9 To the extent that political parties usually cooperated and talked with
10 the military, that was the extent of the cooperation of our military
11 command with them. I personally didn't have such a need, and that's it.
12 Q. As commander of a company in the 4th Detachment, did you or your
13 commander receive any orders or instructions from the SDS?
14 A. I don't believe so. I mean, I wasn't the commander as company
15 commander. I didn't receive any instructions from the SDS. As a rule,
16 the army never receives orders or instructions from a political party,
17 from one political party.
18 Q. Then you responded to a question about your arrest and you said
19 that -- you said who organised your arrest. Who actually arrested you?
20 Which body? Which police?
21 A. The military police.
22 Q. And where were you taken to?
23 A. I was in the prison in Pelagicevo. It was a prison where there
24 were two rooms that were linked together and they were practically Serbs
25 and Croats and Muslims there all together.
1 Q. When you say the military police, you mean the military police of
2 Republika Srpska?
3 A. Military police.
4 Q. At that point, was there -- did the Army of Republika Srpska
5 exist? This is June.
6 A. Yes. That's what it says. Yes. Probably this relates to how I
7 got the idea that Stevan Todorovic could have organised something like
8 that, where I got this information from. It's in that period. At the
9 command, there was some bad people. The military police had some bad
10 people who were its members, and according to my deep feelings and
11 conviction, they were not a real, proper army.
12 Q. Did you have any contacts with Stevan Todorovic before this
13 arrest? Did he bring you into the police station?
14 A. Yes. Before my arrest, Stevan Todorovic met me in passing one
15 day. I was driving in my car towards the medical centre and he was coming
16 from the medical centre. He flashed his lights indicating that I should
17 stop and I stopped. He told me that I should go with him for a talk
18 because there were some problems, there were some objections, remarks,
19 about my conduct. I said, "when would you like to talk?" And he said,
20 "whenever you can." And I said, "well, I have to take this sick person
21 to the hospital and I will come right back." So I did go back. I went to
22 the police station. Do I need to tell this story, these details?
23 Q. Did you have a conflict with Stevan Todorovic and those people who
24 were there, only that?
25 A. Yes, I did have a disagreement with them. The people who were
1 around him were pointing a rifle at my forehead, placed a pistol in my
2 mouth. They said I was a Commie, that I sang the song, Tito Party, and so
3 on. Mainly all those people who were around him were not known to me.
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Kuresevic. It's not
5 necessary for to you go on. Your Honours, I have no further questions for
6 this witness.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, Mr. Kuresevic, for giving evidence to the
8 Trial Chamber. We are finished with you. You may leave the courtroom.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 JUDGE MUMBA: I think we can take our break now and have the next
11 witness after the break at 12.50 hours.
12 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.50 p.m.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We are proceeding with the next witness. The
15 Trial Chamber is informed that Mr. Lukic wishes to address the Chamber.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes. I have prepared now, in
17 accordance with your instructions a completely redacted statement by
18 Mr. Tubakovic. This is D184/3ID but Your Honours in your instruction for
19 this witness, you said that he would testify for 40 minutes viva voce and
20 40 minutes would be given for the cross-examination and you said that he
21 would testify in that part in closed session, in view of the fact that
22 these paragraphs that I will question him on refer to a protected witness.
23 I would suggest that in that part where I question the witness, he
24 testifies in private session, because it refers -- it relates to the
25 paragraphs which refer to a protected witness, so perhaps we could move to
1 a completely closed session. Because your instruction, Your Honour
2 Judge Mumba, I don't know what the day was when you decided on that
3 testimony, but on page 86 of the working transcript, it says, let me just
4 find it, you said -- this is page 87, line 9, [In English] "Give viva voce
5 testimony in closed session for 40 minutes, dealing with the matters
6 raised in those paragraphs which are struck off."
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because it seems to be the case that this
8 statement was admitted, was going to be under seal.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: So it's understood it will be closed session -- I
11 mean it will be private session for the witness, yes.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes. That's what I meant.
13 Thank you.
14 MR. RE: My understanding was that it was under seal that the
15 extent that it named a witness who gave testimony in closed session, only
16 that part of it was. The balance of it wasn't. I think there were only a
17 couple of lines there which actually mentioned someone.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think let's be clear about this.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The paragraphs are redacted now. And
20 if he testifies in a private session, then perhaps I believe that there
21 will be no reason for his statement to be under seal, although I'm not
22 sure whether the identity of the space can be determined based on the
23 other paragraphs. Perhaps because of the building.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: No. As much as possible, proceedings should be in
25 open session. So the statement as redacted will be open, it will be in
1 the public domain, and the paragraphs on which he's supposed to -- his
2 testimony will be in private session because of the concerns regarding the
3 events discussed in those paragraphs that were struck out. So we can
5 MR. RE: I'm sorry. Could we clarify but when Your Honour said
6 private session is that only for the testimony in relation to a closed
7 session witness, otherwise it's not in private session? I won't be
8 asking --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm waiting for the interpretation. It's open
10 session, the redacted statement is in the -- is a public one. However,
11 the viva voce testimony of the witness will be held in private session
12 because of the intertwine with matters discussing witnesses who are
14 MR. RE: When it comes to cross-examination, I may not even refer
15 to that particular witness.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, if you don't, then it will be public.
17 MR. RE: Maybe my learned friend, Mr. Lukic, could approach it on
18 that basis as well.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic? The witness can be brought in.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I am questioning the
21 witness on this topic any way and when I start on that topic I will ask
22 for a private session, and then after that, when I am finished we can
23 continue in open session.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Please make the solemn declaration.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
2 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: DJORDJE TUBAKOVIC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Please sit down.
6 Examined by Mr. Lukic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
8 A. Good afternoon.
9 Q. Mr. Tubakovic, for the transcript, could you please tell us your
10 name, your first name and your last name?
11 A. I am Djordje Tubakovic.
12 Q. Mr. Tubakovic, I have already explained to you when you were
13 preparing to testify that your written statement, which you signed on the
14 18th of February of this year, has already been admitted into evidence and
15 that certain parts of that statement have been redacted, and I am going to
16 be questioning you on those parts, the parts which refer to a certain
17 incident about which you have already spoken in writing. And that is why
18 I would like to move to a private session while we are talking about that
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
21 [Private session]
13 Pages 17899-17906 – redacted – private session
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We are now in open session. Thank you.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Tubakovic, the Trial Chamber is aware of your statement and so
22 is the Office of the Prosecutor, that you started working yet again, if I
23 can put it that way, in the Secretariat for National Defence, from April
24 1992 and that you worked there until 1993 when you moved to Pelagicevo?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Before the war, you worked at the Secretariat for National Defence
2 in Samac, didn't you?
3 A. Yes. I retired in 1990.
4 Q. All of that is in your statement so we are not going to go into
5 all the details.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Lukic please be asked to speak into
7 the microphone? The interpreters can't hear him.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic, can you move nearer the microphone?
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Before the war, was there a so-called communication centre
11 attached to the Secretariat for Defence before the war?
12 A. Yes, in the same building.
13 Q. Tell us, while you worked in the Secretariat so now we are
14 interested in the period from the end of April, and the period after that
15 while you were there, I mean, do you know whether Miroslav Tadic came
16 there and why?
17 A. Well, yes. He came to the communications centre and he spoke to
18 people there from Odzak. He talked about the exchange of these civilians
19 who had been detained in Odzak.
20 Q. Do you know any details related to these conversations, what did
21 they discuss specifically, who did he talk to?
22 A. I heard that this was Miro [as interpreted] Matanovic on the other
23 side from Odzak talking to him, and I think Marko Bozanovic too. I think
24 he was also there on that line.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: One second, if we can have one small correction in
1 the transcript here on page 86, line 19 it says Miro Matanovic and it was
2 Mijo, because there is also other persons with this name Matanovic. So
3 just avoid any confusion.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It should be Mijo Matanovic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have finished, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Cross-examination, the Prosecution?
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Re:
8 Q. Mr. Tubakovic, my name is David Re. I'm with the Prosecution. I'm
9 going to ask you some questions about your testimony, and your statement.
10 You understand that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And can you hear me quite clearly?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In your statement which is in evidence here, you speak quite
15 highly of Mr. Miroslav Tadic who is seated in this Court. You've known
16 him for a long time. Is he a friend of yours?
17 A. Yes. We've known each other for a long time and we were good
18 friends, and I believe that we shall be so in the future too.
19 Q. Are you related to him?
20 A. No.
21 Q. How about the defendant or the accused Mr. Simo Zaric? Do you
22 know Mr. Zaric?
23 A. I know him, yes, of course.
24 Q. How long have you known him for?
25 A. Well, I've known him shorter than I've known Mr. Tadic because he
1 came to Samac later.
2 Q. Like Mr. Tadic, is he a friend of yours?
3 A. Well, Mr. Zaric is my neighbour, we live in the same building,
4 except that his is the fourth entrance and mine is the second. We did not
5 actually visit each other very much but we were on good terms.
6 Q. What about the third accused over there, Dr. Blagoje Simic? How
7 long have you known him for?
8 A. Well, I've known him since he turned 18 and when he was supposed
9 to do his military service. Of course he went to do his military service
10 after completing his university studies.
11 Q. Are you a friend of his?
12 A. Well, not a personal friend but we are neighbours. He and
13 Mr. Simic live in the same building that I live in. We all know each
14 other. Everybody in Samac knows me and I know everybody in Samac.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: Maybe my colleague can clarify because here on
16 page 88, line 9 he said he and Mr. Simic live in the same building and he
17 was referring to Mr. Simic so it's not quite clear.
18 MR. RE:
19 Q. A moment ago, Mr. Tubakovic, you said that he and Mr. Simic live
20 in the same building. Do you mean that Mr. Zaric and Mr. Simic live in
21 the same building?
22 A. Mr. Zaric, Mr. Simic, and I live in the same building. I live at
23 the second entrance, Zaric at the fourth entrance, and Mr. Simic at the
24 seventh entrance. The building has eight entrances.
25 Q. All right. Now, were you a patient of Dr. Simic's in
1 Bosanski Samac? Or any members of your family a patient of his?
2 A. Well, possibly but I can't remember.
3 Q. Were you a customer of Mr. Tadic's cafe, Cafe AS?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What about Mr. Milan Simic, who is an accused who has pleaded
6 guilty in this Court? Do you know him and are you a friend of his?
7 A. He's my friend least of all, but I do know him.
8 Q. When you say friend least of all, do you mean that he's a
9 long-term acquaintance?
10 A. Well, I know his father better, because he worked in the same
11 institution practically as I did, namely the municipality. I know Milan
13 Q. All right. What about Stevan Todorovic? Do you know him as well?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is he a friend of yours?
16 A. He was my friend least of all. We just said hello to each other.
17 Q. Are you related to Marko Tubakovic, who was in the JNA and VRS in
19 A. Marko Tubakovic and I are brothers. He is two years younger than
20 I am.
21 Q. He of course is one of the gentlemen who signed that report in
22 December, 1992, about the activities in Bosanski Samac committed by the
23 paramilitaries and the Crisis Staff, isn't he?
24 A. I don't know about that.
25 Q. Were you a member of a political party in 1992 and 1993?
1 A. No. I am not, even nowadays.
2 Q. Have you ever been a member of the SDS, sir?
3 A. No. I was a member of the League of Communists, and when that
4 organisation ceased to function, then I was no longer a member of any
6 Q. Did your brother Marko Tubakovic never tell you that he had -- he
7 and 12 other members of the military command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade
8 had prepared a report in December, 1992, in relation to the activities of
9 the Crisis Staff, War Presidency, and the paramilitaries?
10 A. No.
11 MR. VUKOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour, because the
12 witness already said that he did not know anything about this.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: He was being asked whether his brother had told him
14 anything about it. So the question is okay.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. He did not say this to me.
16 MR. RE:
17 Q. So are you telling the Trial Chamber that until this day, you're
18 unaware that he and Mr. Simo Zaric seated over there signed a report
19 prepared by 11 others, members of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, severely
20 criticising murders, looting, assaults, isolation of Croats, and Muslims,
21 and the activities of the paramilitaries and the Crisis Staff in
22 Bosanski Samac in 1992? Are you telling the Trial Chamber that until this
23 moment, you were unaware of that document or the fact that your brother
24 co-signed that -- a lengthy report on those matters?
25 A. Well, let me tell you, I really did not hear about this particular
1 information because I wasn't interested in it. Let me also say that until
2 the present day, actually I heard that my brother was in Belgrade and why
3 he went to Belgrade, rather.
4 Q. A moment ago you said you weren't interested in that information.
5 Are you saying that you weren't interested in what the military was doing,
6 the military activities in the Bosanski Samac area in 1992? Is that your
7 evidence, sir?
8 A. I say that I know what I did, as far as the military is concerned.
9 As for this information that the command wrote, that is something I really
10 was not interested in because it did not fall within the area of my own
12 Q. Well, you had a specific role in relation to the formation of the
13 2nd Posavina Brigade, sir, didn't you?
14 A. Yes. I carried out the mobilisation of military conscripts for
15 that brigade. On the basis of the allotments we were given, we sent
16 soldiers to units. This was the job of the particular organ or authority
17 where I had spent my entire career or rather where I ended my career.
18 Q. Mr. Tubakovic, you worked on forming a Special Battalion in Samac
19 which was with other units from which grew the 2nd Posavina Brigade and
20 you worked on that task until February of 1993, didn't you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And of course in working on those tasks, that is, the formation of
23 a Special Battalion which was going to be part of the 2nd Posavina
24 Brigade, you would have had to have contact with the command of the 2nd
25 Posavina brigade, including your brother, wouldn't you, sir?
1 A. I did not have any contact with my brother. He was involved in
2 operational work. So --
3 Q. I'll go back to my question. My question concerned the command of
4 the 2nd Posavina Brigade. Take your brother out. In doing your job in
5 1993 in forming a Special Battalion which was to be part of the 2nd
6 Posavina brigade, you had to have contact or you had contact with the
7 command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, didn't you, sir?
8 A. The establishment of a Special Battalion or rather the 2nd
9 Posavina Brigade went through lower level units. So the command, the real
10 command, did not really go into the response of mobilised persons which
11 was my job.
12 Q. I'm sorry, sir, are you saying that in doing your job, forming a
13 Special Battalion that was to be part of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, you had
14 no contact with members of the command, plural, of the 2nd Posavina
15 Brigade? That's all I'm asking you.
16 A. No. No. I had contact with the command of that Special
18 Q. All right. Now the Special Battalion that was formed of Serbs; is
19 that correct?
20 A. This Special Battalion was formed out of all units or rather
21 members of previously established units, in which there were people of
22 other ethnic backgrounds as well.
23 Q. What percentage, sir? You formed the battalion. What percentage
24 were non-Serbs in this Special Battalion you formed between April, 1992
25 and February, 1993?
1 A. Very little.
2 Q. Are we talking 1, 2, 3 per cent perhaps? That small?
3 A. That small.
4 Q. And who was the commander of this Special Battalion, sir?
5 A. The commander was Milan Josic.
6 Q. Was he from Serbia or was he a local?
7 A. He was a local man from Obudovac, the municipality of Samac.
8 Q. This Special Battalion, did it contain any members of the Serbian
9 specials or paramilitaries who came into the town just before the 17th of
10 April, 1992?
11 A. These specials were not there. This was an army setup from units
12 in the territory of our municipality.
13 Q. These were units which were in the 4th Detachment or the JNA prior
14 to May, 1992; is that correct?
15 A. These are members of all other units which had been established in
16 peace time in the territory of the municipality of Samac.
17 Q. That's yes, is it? The JNA and 4th Detachment?
18 A. These who were in the previous units, the previous wartime units,
19 that means before the war, that was the Yugoslav People's Army.
20 Q. And as part of your job of what you say in your statement as
21 specifically working on manning a Special Battalion that was formed from
22 conscripts domiciled in Samac and other units being formed and growing
23 into the 2nd Posavina Brigade -- do you have a copy of your statement
24 then, sir? Can he please be provided with a copy of his statement, then?
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would just like to ask for the B/C/S
1 version of the document to be placed before the witness. P184.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And that he then be shown the relevant
5 MR. RE:
6 Q. Sir, please turn to paragraph 18 of your statement. I don't want
7 to you read it. I just want you to have it there in case we need to refer
8 to it. Paragraph 18. Now, sir, I want to ask you a question, please. My
9 question is, as part of your job in specifically working on manning this
10 Special Battalion which was formed from conscripts in the Samac
11 municipality, did you have to arrange for things such as weapons,
12 equipment, uniforms and those things?
13 A. No. We were obliged only to bring people to the assembly point.
14 Q. Your evidence, to be quite clear on this, is that these people
15 from the former JNA were transformed into the 2nd Posavina Brigade which
16 was part of the VRS?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And once it was transformed into the 2nd Posavina Brigade?
19 A. Just one moment, please. All reserves of the Yugoslav People's
20 Army, which were filled by my municipality, these were all the reserve
21 forces, this was not the active component of the JNA. These were the
22 reserves so when the war broke out we mobilised those people. They were
23 civilians who were performing their own work, so --
24 Q. When the war broke out, were they mobilised into the JNA or into
25 the VRS, sir? You said you started working there on the 28th of April.
1 What were they mobilised into?
2 A. Into the Serbian army primarily.
3 Q. As of the 28th of April, 1992, they were being mobilised into the
4 Serbian army, were they?
5 A. Yes. But there were other ethnic groups within that army.
6 Q. I know you've already said that, but I'm not asking you about
7 that. And when they were mobilised into the Serbian army from the 28th of
8 April, 1992, they were of course given JNA weapons, equipment, and
9 uniforms, and housed in JNA barracks when necessary, weren't they?
10 A. They were not placed in the barracks at the time because there was
11 no military barracks in the municipality of Samac at the time. They were
12 brought to the assembly point and they were given their clothing and
13 weapons but I wasn't present on that occasion.
14 Q. You were aware that they were given JNA weapons, equipment and
15 uniforms, weren't they? Because there was no where else they could have
16 got them from on the 28th -- from the 28th of April, 1992, was there?
17 A. Of course not.
18 Q. Now, sir, in your statement you also refer to telephones working
19 or not working. The situation was, in 1992, after the military takeover
20 in Samac on the 17th of April, that there were some telephones working in
21 the municipality, specifically there were telephones working in the SUP,
22 civilian protection, the municipal building and the Crisis Staff, weren't
23 there, sir?
24 A. When the war broke out, the telephones functioned everywhere in
25 the first couple of days. They were not cut off. There was no need for
1 that. We had electricity. Later, when the telephone service was cut, my
2 municipal secretariat didn't have phone service. We had to use radios.
3 Q. Sir, in your --
4 A. To communicate.
5 Q. In your statement you said, "the telephones were out of operation
6 for all citizens and it is out of the question that lines were cut
7 selectively." That's in paragraph 23. I'm suggesting to you there were
8 some telephones working when in the time you say all the telephones
9 weren't working specifically in the SUP, the Crisis Staff, the municipal
10 building and the civilian protection. If you don't know, just say you
11 don't know.
12 A. I don't know. I don't know if they had them there. I didn't have
13 them. I had to go to Bijeljina in order to deal with my own affairs
14 because there was no phone service.
15 Q. Now you say you don't know, will you correct your statement where
16 you said it was out of operation for all citizens? Now that you've
17 admitted to the Trial Chamber that you just don't know? Will you now
18 correct your statement?
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Objection. I object to a question put
20 in this way. In his statement, the witness clearly said that this
21 referred to telephones for citizens, for physical persons. He did not
22 talk about phones at social or legal entities, and that is why, that is
23 why he said that according to his knowledge, there were no phones for
24 everybody equally but he was thinking only of physical persons.
25 MR. RE: I object. My learned friend again is cluing a witness,
1 putting -- telling the witness the basis of the objection and it's
2 actually incorrect. The statement says: "There were no telephone lines
3 for a long time and I know that myself because I wanted to send a fax in
4 connection with the work myself. I had to go to Bijeljina and send it
5 from then. The telephones were out of operation for all citizens, and it
6 is out of the question the lines were cut selectively." I object on two
7 bases. One my learned friend telling the witness what he was thinking,
8 and secondly, misquoting the statement. The statement clearly says that
9 telephone lines were not working in Samac, and he in his work had to go
10 somewhere else. It's fairy outrageous in my submission.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic?
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it's about the opposite
13 actually, through questions like there, the Prosecution is trying to
14 impose an answer to the witness compared to what he said in his statement.
15 If the Prosecutor wishes to did such a question of the witness he first
16 should ask him whether he knew whether citizens had their phones switched
17 off. The question of whether the telephones were working in certain
18 places is something that the Prosecution is using to confuse the witness.
19 And in such a way, is trying to get him to change his statement. The
20 witness quite clearly said whose telephones were cut. The witness clearly
21 said something in his statement and now the Prosecution is trying to get
22 him to say something else and is twisting his words, not checking what he
23 actually meant when he said that in his statement.
24 MR. RE: The witness can answer whether he knows or doesn't know
25 whether his statement is wrong but I wish to place on the record the
1 Prosecution's objection to the objections we get all the time on the basis
2 that we are "attempting to confuse" witnesses. The Prosecution has no
3 desire to confuse witnesses. We want clear evidence, whether it is in
4 favour of our case or contrary to our case. We want what they say to be
5 clear. We have no forensic purpose whatsoever in attempting to confuse
6 witnesses. That would be the amateur hour for advocacy as far as the
7 Prosecution is concerned. Those continual objections appear to be
8 designed to prevent the Prosecution from putting matters which are in its
9 case. There is no objection I know of known to the law of confusing the
10 witness. In cross-examination, we are entitled to put to the witnesses
11 our case and to put to the witness a conflict between his previous
12 statement and what he's given in evidence. So we object strongly to this
13 continual objection of "confusing". It is not happening.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: In some cases, it does happen that the witness --
15 matters are put to the witness which are not clear by the Prosecution.
16 Sometimes questions are loaded but in this particular case, the witness,
17 the question by the Prosecution was quite clear and the witness, who is
18 supposed to know what was happening at the relevant time and who has also
19 given evidence through his statement, should be able to answer and clarify
20 what he meant to say in his statement. Because the statement does say
21 that the telephones were out of operation for all citizens. Prior to that
22 he does explain how he himself had a problem getting the services he
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, all of us in these
25 proceedings, which have been following the proceedings so far know what's
1 happened with the telephones in Samac. This is something that should be
2 of interest to the Prosecution and to the Trial Chamber, and he said that.
3 When we are talking about selective cuts, in this way, however, the
4 Prosecution is trying to get the witness to back down from what he said.
5 The Prosecutor should be interested whether phones were selectively cut to
6 Muslims and Croats. If this is what he's interested in, why doesn't he
7 ask the witness? Instead of trying to get the witness to change his
8 statement. This is the misleading of the witness. Here we are interested
9 in specific facts which are relevant to these proceedings. This is what
10 the witness said in his statement, what the Prosecution stated during
11 their case in chief, and this is something that they are not actually
12 putting to the witness.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic, I think it's a difference in the style of
14 cross-examination because in spite of what a witness may state, if the
15 Prosecution or the opposing party have instructions to the contrary, they
16 have the right to put the contrary instructions to the particular witness
17 and it's up to the witness to give an answer according to what he knows.
18 If he knows as a factual statement as to what he stated, he cannot change
19 his answer and agree with the Prosecution. He can still insist on what is
20 stated in his evidence. So the Prosecution is entitled to put a statement
21 contrary to what the witness has said in his statement so that the witness
22 can answer according to what he knows. He may change his testimony and
23 that is part of the process of cross-examination. It's also to test
24 whether or not the witness is telling the truth, in which case he will be
25 consistent. If he is not, then he's prone to change his testimony.
1 We will adjourn now and continue our proceedings tomorrow.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
3 1.52 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
4 the 2nd day of April, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.