1 Tuesday, 15 April 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case number IT-95-9-T, the
7 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
9 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honours. I'd ask the registry officer
10 to notify Your Honours there are two matters I wish to raise before the
11 witness resumes his evidence.
12 The first is, I suppose, the two oral motions. The first is in
13 relation to evidence the Defence counsel, Mr. Pisarevic, led yesterday
14 from this witness. The second is in relation to an application I wish to
15 make to cross-examine him as to an inconsistency. I'll come to the second
16 one in a moment. The first one is --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Will you slow down, Mr. Re, please.
18 MR. RE: I apologise. I will slow down.
19 The first one is in the Prosecution's submission a fairly serious
20 matter relating to the date of the Crkvina massacre. Yesterday before the
21 Trial Chamber, counsel for Mr. Zaric, Mr. Pisarevic, at page 17 of the
22 LiveNote version led - when I said "led," I mean led in the most egregious
23 fashion - from the witness the following evidence: Mr. Nikolic, now we
24 shall move on to an event which happened in Crkvina on the 8th of May,
25 1992. The event in Crkvina is a crime which happened when 16 people were
1 killed in a warehouse. How did you learn about this event?
2 Over the page at page 18, I -- I didn't object at the time because
3 it was too late. Mr. Pisarevic had already -- already deliberately raised
4 the date of the 8th and had put it to the witness on the record about
5 something happened -- happening on the 8th of May.
6 At the following page I objected or sought clarification as to
7 when Mr. Nikolic -- or Mr. Zaric informed Mr. Nikolic of the -- of the
8 massacre. There was an exchange.
9 At the bottom of page 18, Mr. Zaric -- I'm sorry, Mr. Pisarevic
10 again said: Question: I told you we would be talking about the events of
11 the 8th.
12 Answer: On the 9th. Meaning Zaric told me on the 9th.
13 Mr. Zaric then led -- sorry, Mr. Pisarevic then led again, put
14 words in the witness's mouth. It was hopeless trying to object once the
15 witness had already been told what the answer was supposed to be.
16 Question: Yes. Tell us, when did Mr. Zaric inform you about the
17 time and when did you talk with Djordjevic and Radovanovic and Todorovic?
18 Answer: I think it was on the 9th, the 9th of May.
19 Question: And it was early in the morning. That's Mr. Pisarevic
20 putting words in the witness's mouth. No point in objecting because the
21 evidence is already given by Mr. Pisarevic.
22 Answer: He didn't get the answer he wanted. The answer was,"That
23 was in the morning before noon."
24 Now, the importance of this and what counsel did yesterday and in
25 the Prosecution's submission can only be deliberate and in response to
1 those two documents was to lead evidence which is contrary to the opening
2 statement and Mr. Zaric's own records of interview with the Prosecutor.
3 I take Your Honours to P140 -- 141 ter, at page 58 of the ter
4 version. When the Prosecutor, Ms. Paterson, said to Mr. Zaric, "I'd like
5 you to know --" she asked him, "I'd like to know what you know about the
6 killing of the men in Crkvina on the 7th of May, 1992. Do you know, for
7 example, why some of the men were being detained and transferred?"
8 Mr. Zaric's answer was, "The case in Crkvina was one of the worst
9 things that happened." And there's a fairly lengthy answer in which he
10 does not challenge the date but it goes on further. At page 60, he
11 describes, informing Mr. Nikolic, and he says, "Before 8.00 the next
12 morning, that is, the 9th -- sorry, the 8th. I was there to speak to the
13 security officer and Commander Nikolic." And goes on to say, describe how
14 he informed Nikolic on the morning of the 8th about the Crkvina massacre.
15 He then goes down the page to say, "I told you yesterday I spoke
16 to --" sorry, he spoke to Nikolic. "I was given approval. I was told I
17 could go the next day and speak to Colonel Maksimovic. He had been a
18 high-ranking officer in the SSNO of Yugoslavia," et cetera. Down a bit
19 further, "I told you yesterday I spoke to General Gligorovic and General
20 Vasiljevic also attended the meeting. All this happened on the 9th of
21 May." That's in Belgrade. And he refers back to the previous day, the
22 previous statement of Mr. Zaric to the Prosecutor, at P140 ter, when at
23 page 57, Mr. Zaric says, "In the beginning of May, it was the 9th of May,
24 I was in Belgrade. I went to the SSNO, the security service of the SSNO,"
25 et cetera. "The reason I went there was because of the tragic incident
1 that took place in Crkvina."
2 Mr. Zaric's own case, his own statement was that the massacre took
3 place on the 7th, he informed Mr. Nikolic on the morning of the 8th, and
4 he went to -- Nikolic told him to go to Belgrade on the 9th of May.
5 In Mr. Pisarevic's opening statement on the 24th of February, at
6 transcript page 15.705, Mr. Zaric -- Mr. Pisarevic said of Mr. Zaric's
7 records of interview or statements, "Upon his arrival, Zaric of his own
8 free will decided to give to statement to the Prosecutor and spoke with
9 the investigators on three occasions, not concealing anything and not
10 avoiding any subject, no matter what it was. As always, Mr. Zaric was
11 completely sincere, while providing the statements. These interviews have
12 been tendered into evidence in this case. Many facts that were not known
13 until then were in fact affirmed through the statement of Mr. Zaric, which
14 speaks best about the approach of Mr. Zaric to these proceedings right
15 from the very beginning. The aim of the Defence of Mr. Zaric is to bring
16 up each one of these untrue claims by witnesses of the Prosecution - this
17 is important - and to present evidence which would completely shed light
18 on each such episode and confirm all that Mr. Zaric stated in his
20 And to confirm all that Mr. Zaric stated in his interview of
21 course would be to not contest Mr. Zaric's own statement that the massacre
22 occurred on the 7th. Now, in fact, of course it goes further because
23 there was uncontested evidence given of the date of the massacre. It was
24 in closed session. I refer Your Honours to the page number T11 -- it's
25 transcript 11592 onwards. The cross-examination was in open session.
1 That's by Mr. Pisarevic at transcript pages 11.625 to 11.636 on the 30th
2 of July last year -- or sorry, the year before -- sorry, 2002. In that
3 cross-examination, Mr. Pisarevic, counsel for Mr. Zaric, did not in any
4 way challenge the date, the only date -- or the date which in the
5 circumstances of that evidence was clearly reliable and uncontested
6 evidence. There was no contest to the -- the date, no suggestion that the
7 date was mistaken or it occurred on another day. It wasn't, in fact,
8 until Mr. Nikolic or Mr. Zaric -- Mr. Pisarevic put words into
9 Mr. Nikolic's mouth yesterday that there seemed to be any shift in the
10 Defence case as to the date of the Crkvina massacre.
11 The leading, and the Prosecution says it was outrageous leading
12 in the circumstances by Mr. Pisarevic, had to have been intentional in the
13 light of the two orders, P174 and P175 tendered into evidence yesterday,
14 and the witness's evidence in relation to the dates and the subordination
15 of those paramilitaries to him. And that's quite important, of course, to
16 Mr. Nikolic because if those troops were subordinated to him on the 8th,
17 as his evidence was, and in the morning, he would have been responsible
18 for -- he would have been their superior officer in relation to any acts
19 that they had committed. He would have been under a duty under Article 21
20 of the Yugoslav code to punish people under his command and under his
21 effective control for acts that, according to Mr. Zaric's own statement in
22 evidence, Mr. Nikolic must have already knew -- would have already known
24 So my application in relation to that, having outlined the
25 circumstances which led Mr. Pisarevic to put that evidence into the
1 witness's mouth before the Trial Chamber, is that the Prosecution on an
2 oral motion seeks -- requests the Trial Chamber to direct Defence counsel
3 not to do that again, not to ask leading questions, especially in relation
4 to changes in their case, in relation to things which were before or
5 hitherto uncontested but contested in the most strange way possible by --
6 by a Defence counsel, lead counsel, suggesting another date to a witness
7 in the context -- the context is something which is quite contested. That
8 is my first application.
9 The second one relates to the cross-examination of Mr. Nikolic
10 himself and the evidence he has given. And it goes back to that same
12 The Prosecution applied or made an application in relation to the
13 evidence of, I think it was Mr. Omeranovic, to cross-examine the witness
14 on the redacted portions of his 92 bis statement, only on the basis of
15 prior inconsistent statement, not leading it as truth of the allegations
16 contained therein but only as to inconsistencies and the witness's credit.
17 Following Your Honours' oral ruling, the Prosecution filed a
18 motion either for redetermination in the light of considered legal --
19 written legal arguments or requests for certification under Rule 73(B).
20 That request was filed Friday week before last and is outstanding. Now,
21 the issue -- obviously the reason why the Prosecution filed it was because
22 we anticipated that the issue may reappear, and it has, before Your
23 Honours have ruled on our request for redetermination.
24 So I seek leave, Your Honours' leave, in the light of your
25 previous ruling, to cross-examine Mr. Nikolic in relation to matters
1 contained in paragraph -- in paragraph 42 -- or sorry, 44 of his redacted
2 92 bis statement, which was of course a statement which was a sworn
3 statement, as to when Mr. Zaric told him about the Crkvina massacre. It
4 contains an inconsistency between Mr. Zaric's record of interview and, of
5 course, the evidence the witness gave yesterday, which of course brings me
6 back to the whole point about Mr. Pisarevic suggesting not only a date but
7 a time, early in the morning, which is inconsistent with the sworn
8 statement of a witness whose statement he took and has actually brought to
9 court. But it was redacted for the purposes of admission into evidence.
10 These are very serious matters in my submission. So firstly, I
11 seek the Trial Chamber's direction of -- to Defence counsel. And
12 secondly, I seek leave to cross-examine as to the inconsistencies in
13 paragraph 44 only as to the witness's credit and only on a prior
14 inconsistent statement because he said -- because his evidence yesterday
15 was different to matters which are contained in a statement which was
16 sworn under 92 bis and has a declaration under 92 bis (B) appended to it.
17 Those are my two applications, Your Honours.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I address the
19 Court, please?
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
22 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, and thank you.
23 To begin with, I'd like to say that all this that my learned
24 friend spoke about could appear as the OTP sees it, but it is absolutely
25 not true. The witness's statement, which was certified as far back as
1 February and was already as far back as December 2002, in the part which
2 was stricken out, that is, paragraph 44, the witness testifies about this
3 date which he's aware. The existence of an order that the Prosecutor
4 refers to was disclosed to the Defence a day before the witness came to
5 testify. The Prosecution never disclosed this order to Mr. Zaric's
6 Defence. We simply did not know that the Prosecution had those orders in
7 their possession. And since I did not know that, I could not start
8 construing something in August, October, or a few months earlier.
9 So my question was asked because the witness said in his testimony
10 that it had happened on the 8th of May. True, Mr. Zaric said that it was
11 on the 7th at the time of his interview, but the Chamber should then
12 establish which date is correct. We also have testimonies of other
13 witnesses who said that it was on the 8th of May. I never had any
14 intention or any need at all to try to hint anything to the witness, to
15 lead him, to try to make him provide a specific answer. There is no
16 foundation to this Prosecution's claim. Above all, because the Prosecutor
17 is aware that this order was disclosed to the Defence a day before only,
18 and that was the first time that we ever saw it.
19 And I think that as regards to the witness, my learned friend can
20 examine him about all the facts. The witness has made a solemn
21 declaration and he should answer the questions. However, I believe the
22 Prosecutor is using too many words to explain something, and very often
23 what he explains here or trying to construe here looks more like a closing
24 argument than anything else. But there will be other time to go into what
25 is true and what is not true, what has been proven and what hasn't. Thank
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may. Just two
4 words. Just two words, please.
5 I'd like to suggest to the Chamber with regard to this date of the
6 massacre in Crkvina, of course the Trial Chamber will establish facts.
7 But this same OTP, which claims that it happened on the 7th of May, has
8 indicted Mr. Seselj and in his indictment - and he's also charged with the
9 massacre in Crkvina - it says the 8th of May, so that I merely wish to
10 draw attention to that fact that that is one of the claims of the
11 Prosecution. I merely wish to draw attention to that particular fact.
12 And as for the cross-examination which has to do with the drafted
13 statement made under 92 bis and the Trial Chamber at the time when I
14 examined Djordje Tubakovic and the Prosecution in relation to this said
15 in brief we never pronounced ourselves on that. But I will just mention
16 with reference to an earlier decision of the Trial Chamber that one cannot
17 measure the consistency against something that does not exist. It is
18 simply not possible, and I believe that the Trial Chamber should abide by
19 its earlier decision that something like that cannot be allowed.
20 MR. RE: Your Honours, can I briefly respond to just two matters
21 Mr. Pisarevic raised. The first one is he said just then the witness
22 referred to the date in paragraph 44. Yes, he did. But he said, "I
23 remember that on the night of 8th/9th May, 1992. Simo Zaric informed me
24 that a horrific crime had occurred." My point was that Mr. Pisarevic
25 yesterday tried to put words in his mouth that it occurred the next
2 The second point is in relation to disclosure of those two
3 orders. It wasn't the day before. It came about as a result of the
4 Prosecution doing its search in relation to Colonel Nikolic and the two
5 documents coming up there. We disclosed them on Thursday, the 9th of
6 August -- sorry, the 9th of April, which was the first opportunity we had
7 to disclose them to the Defence, having only found them on Wednesday. And
8 in any event, the witness testified yesterday that he knew these
9 documents, I think the words he used were off by heart. There's no
10 mention of those orders in his 92 bis statement anywhere. He says they
11 weren't subordinated to him. There's no mention of the fact that he used
12 these paramilitaries or -- sorry, or police, as he calls them, in any
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber will rise for 15 minutes to deal
16 with the oral motions.
17 --- Break taken at 9.23 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 9.45 a.m.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: On the oral motions raised by the Prosecution, the
20 Trial Chamber has observed that the first point on different dates given
21 at different stages of the proceedings, that on different dates of any
22 event that are given by the witnesses is normally a common feature in
23 criminal trials. It is a matter for evaluation of the evidence at the end
24 of the trial in order to determine the date, if it is material. If a
25 witness is misled or is led by counsel who puts a leading question to the
1 witness, that again raises the question of how much weight should be
2 attached to the evidence of the witness, who almost in all cases has
3 actually made a solemn declaration to tell the truth. In this case, the
4 Prosecution can still cross-examine the witness on the date if it is
5 material to them.
6 On the orders which are now exhibits P174 and P175, disclosed to
7 the Defence before the witness started to give evidence, if it was
8 material to the Defence, as they claim, that these orders -- these
9 exhibits were disclosed to them late, they should have raised an
10 objection. And depending on the factors, the Trial Chamber would have
11 been able to rule whether or not those exhibits could be put to the
12 witness. Of course, counsel at all times when examining a witness in
13 chief should avoid leading questions.
14 On the second oral motion, to use matters in paragraphs that are
15 struck out, even for credibility purposes, the Trial Chamber's stance
16 remains the same, that no such matters can be resurrected at any stage for
17 any purposes.
18 On the written motion on a similar matter raised by the
19 Prosecution, the Trial Chamber will give its ruling in due course.
20 So the proceedings will continue. The cross-examination can
21 continue. And the witness should be brought in.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re. You are cross-examining.
24 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honours.
25 WITNESS: STEVAN NIKOLIC [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Re: [Continued]
3 Q. Good morning, Mr. Nikolic. I will continue from yesterday.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. On the 17th of April, 1992, you issued orders for weapons to be
6 collected, and you gave evidence yesterday, in Bosanski Samac, didn't you?
7 A. Yes, I did, to a part of the 4th Detachment.
8 Q. You issued the orders to Mr. Antic and Mr. Savic, that's Jovo
9 Savic; is that correct?
10 A. I issued the order to Mr. Radovan Antic, and he was the commander.
11 Q. Mr. Antic delegated the supervision of the weapons collection to
12 Mr. Zaric and Mr. Tadic, didn't he?
13 A. That's right. And it goes by itself. To the security office,
14 that is, those whose -- who have it as part of their job description.
15 Q. And Mr. Antic issued those orders -- or sorry, delegated the
16 supervision to Mr. Zaric and Mr. Tadic on the 17th of April, 1992, didn't
18 A. Yes, on the 17th of April, after I tasked him with it.
19 Q. And on the 17th of April, 1992, Mr. Tadic and Mr. Zaric were both
20 involved in the supervision of the weapons collection, based upon your
21 order, in Bosanski Samac, weren't they?
22 A. In Bosanski Samac, yes.
23 Q. You gave evidence yesterday of the intelligence which you were
24 provided about the illegal arming which was occurring prior to the
25 takeover on the 17th of April. I'm just saying that to lead you back.
1 You remember that evidence, don't you?
2 A. I do, yes.
3 Q. Mr. Zaric, of course -- and your evidence was yesterday that you
4 tasked or delegated him with intelligence gathering or collection in the
5 region. Mr. Zaric was a trusted and reliable source of information to
6 you, wasn't he?
7 A. That was his job because of the place that he had in the 4th
9 Q. Some people do their jobs badly. What I'm suggesting to you is
10 that Mr. Zaric was a trusted and reliable gatherer or source of
11 information to you and others in the command who needed it, wasn't he?
12 A. The information provided by Mr. Zaric we forwarded to the command
13 of the 17th Corps, and there were people who were competent to establish
14 whether this information was accurate or not, half true or whatever.
15 Q. I'm asking you about your assessment of the quality of the
16 information that Mr. Zaric provided. As far as you're concerned, was his
17 information accurate, reliable, and trustworthy?
18 A. To my mind, yes, he was a trustworthy person. One could rely on
19 the information he provided.
20 Q. He had excellent contacts in the Samac municipality, didn't he?
21 A. Yes. He was a man of prestige. He knew the job from before and
22 he had good contacts.
23 Q. These contacts spread way beyond Samac, didn't they? They spread
24 even to Belgrade, where he had excellent contacts there as well.
25 A. He did.
1 Q. Which is, of course, one of the reasons why you sent him, as
2 opposed to anyone else, to Belgrade in relation to the Crkvina massacre,
3 wasn't it?
4 A. That's true.
5 Q. Mr. Zaric had provided reliable and accurate information to you
6 prior to the takeover in relation to the illegal arming of all of the
7 nationalist or national parties, hadn't he? SDS, HDZ, and SDA.
8 A. As of the moment when the 4th Detachment started to operate, he
9 supplied this information to my security assistant, Mr. Makso Simeunovic
11 Q. And on the information you had, all three parties were equally
12 guilty of illegally arming themselves before the takeover, weren't they?
13 A. According to the overview which we saw here yesterday, in the
14 territory of Bosanski Samac we didn't have any information that the SDS
15 was also procuring weapons. But I think that yes, there was information
16 that all the three parties were illegally arming themselves.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment. The witness's answer
18 has not been separated from the question. The witness's answer begins on
19 page 14, line 11.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think that should be corrected, to show that
21 the witness had answered the question, actually.
22 MR. RE:
23 Q. When you say there was information -- or sorry, I'll put that in
24 quotes. When you say there was "information that all the three parties
25 were arming themselves," you of course mean the HDZ, the SDA, and SDS,
1 don't you?
2 A. I do, yes.
3 Q. Of course, the takeover was led or the takeover, according to your
4 evidence, was led by the Crisis Staff, which was led by the SDS, wasn't
6 A. The Crisis Staff, yes, led the takeover of power. Now, whether
7 the SDS ran the Crisis Staff, I cannot give you a reliable answer because
8 basically I wasn't interested in that.
9 Q. You knew that Dr. Simic was on -- was the president of the Crisis
10 Staff and a very prominent SDS member. You knew that, didn't you?
11 A. I knew it.
12 Q. You knew that Mr. Todorovic, the chief of police, was also on the
13 Crisis Staff and an SDS member, didn't you?
14 A. I knew that too.
15 Q. And Mr. Ninkovic, Bozo Ninkovic, likewise on the Crisis Staff and
16 an SDS member?
17 A. Bozo Ninkovic -- no, I mean, I cannot remember who that man is.
18 Q. What about Mirko Jovanovic? You knew that he was an SDS member
19 and on the Crisis Staff, didn't you?
20 A. I learned that too.
21 Q. And of course Dr. Simic -- your evidence was that Dr. Simic,
22 Mr. Jovanovic, and Mr. Todorovic, all three SDS members, came to the
23 meeting in relation to the arrival of the police, volunteers,
24 paramilitaries, call them what you will, from Serbia just after their
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. And of course they were the people who told you that the
3 paramilitaries were -- or these police, as you've described them, were
4 under their control, weren't they?
5 A. That is what Mr. Todorovic said primarily. And the rest didn't
6 deny it during the course of the conversation.
7 Q. Of course, police from the Serbian Republic of Krajina had no
8 business being in the municipality of Bosanski Samac in April 1992, did
9 they, sir? Especially not armed and in camouflage uniforms.
10 A. I've already answered yesterday that the explanation of my corps
11 commander was, after I had submitted my report, that there is a certain
12 agreement. I hadn't seen that agreement between Republika Srpska and
13 Republika Srpska Krajina on mutual assistance. And that it is on that
14 basis that this group was sent to Bosanski Samac and at the request of
15 Mr. Todorovic.
16 Q. One of the things that you, as the local JNA tactical -- 17th
17 Tactical Group commander was very concerned about was the illegal arming
18 and the potential for ethnic unrest or clashes in the period leading up to
19 the takeover; correct?
20 A. I took all measures to stop illegal arming. I worked within the
21 scope of my own possibilities.
22 Q. When you met Dr. Simic, Mr. Jovanovic, and Mr. Todorovic shortly
23 after the arrival of these police, as you call them, from the Republika
24 Srpska Krajina, neither -- they didn't hold an official position connected
25 to the policing of the democratically elected Municipality of Bosanski
1 Samac, did they?
2 A. They had police IDs. And now, whether they had any powers, no.
3 Q. I'm not talking about the police or paramilitaries who came. I'm
4 talking about Simic, Jovanovic, and Todorovic. Neither of those three had
5 any official capacity in relation to policing in the democratically
6 elected Municipality of Bosanski Samac, did they? That's as of about
7 April the 10th, 11th, 12th, 1992.
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. But you've already agreed they were all SDS members, and you were
10 concerned about illegal arming of the parties, and they were -- they said
11 that they had put these people under their command. A week later there
12 was a takeover, and you say by the police, as you call them, and the
13 Crisis Staff. My question is: You sent Mr. Zaric into the SUP after you
14 spoke to Mr. Todorovic to allow him to interrogate people in relation to
15 the illegal arming. That was your evidence yesterday. Now, the only
16 people held in that police station were Muslims and Croats, weren't they,
17 at that stage?
18 A. For the most part.
19 Q. Well, when you say "for the most part," how many Serbs were there?
20 A. I think there was a Serb or two there. I'm not sure.
21 Q. Okay. Your orders were to Zaric to go and interrogate, that is,
22 to interrogate the Muslims and Croats, wasn't it?
23 A. The order was not to interrogate the Muslims and Croats. The
24 order was to use his best judgement to see who would the best people be to
25 have information about illegal arming, and then he should talk to these
1 people and inform the command of the 17th Tactical Group about that. So
2 not at a single moment did I distinguish between people on ethnic,
3 religious, or racial grounds. This is shown by my own security detail.
4 One was a Serb, one was a Croat, and one was a Muslim.
5 Q. Thank you, sir. But you've already agreed that only Muslims and
6 Croats, bar possibly one or two Serbs, were actually held in the police
7 station, and the police station was the place where you told Mr. Zaric
8 by -- Mr. Todorovic to go and seek information, that is, interview or
9 interrogate people. Clearly he wasn't going to be interviewing any Serbs
10 in that police station, was he, Mr. Nikolic?
11 A. If there weren't any there, there was no reason for him to talk to
12 them. However, if there was a Serb, I mean, he would have had to talk to
13 everyone who could have possibly been involved in the illicit arming.
14 Q. That's exceedingly hypothetical in relation to the possibility of
15 a Serb being there and him speaking to that person.
16 You, of course, didn't issue him with any orders to interview
17 Serbs in Bosanski Samac who had been involved with illegal arming, did
19 A. I issued him an order to talk to everyone who he suspects of
20 having been involved in illegal arming. I did not distinguish on ethnic
21 grounds at all. And I explained yesterday. The reason for this was that
22 in the -- among the officers of the 17th Tactical Group, we realised that
23 there were people who were involved in illegal arming and that was a
24 tactic. We wanted to find out who was behind this.
25 Q. Well, let me just take you back to the question I was asking you.
1 You've already agreed that Jovanovic, Simic, and Todorovic were SDS
2 members and that there was information that the SDS had been involved in
3 illegally arming. What specific orders did you issue to Mr. Zaric to
4 interview SDS people in relation to illegal arming? And if you issued the
5 orders, where can we find a copy of these orders?
6 A. Let me start my answer from the end. Everything that was
7 commanded in Tactical Group 17 are official documents, and it stayed
8 behind at Tactical Group 17. All the documents can be found there, I
9 assume. There is no reason for them to be anywhere else.
10 As for this, I repeat once again, I did not tell Mr. Zaric to talk
11 to Muslims or to Serbs or to Croats. I told him to speak to persons who
12 he suspects of possibly having participated in the illegal arming.
13 Q. As far as you're aware, Mr. Zaric only interviewed or interrogated
14 people held prisoner in the SUP.
15 A. Yes, as far as I know.
16 Q. They were only Muslims and Croats; correct?
17 A. I don't know exactly. I did not go into the SUP. And I am not in
18 a position to establish who all the people detained were there. I just
19 know that later when we took over a number of prisoners and we transferred
20 them outside our area of responsibility, that they were Muslims and Croats
21 for the most part.
22 Q. Well, it's a fair conclusion to draw that the people you took from
23 there on the 26th of April just all happened to be Muslims and Croats,
24 that it was only Muslims and Croats being held there, isn't it,
25 Mr. Nikolic?
1 A. The first conclusion is quite correct. The people we transferred
2 were Muslims and Croats. And now, whether anybody stayed behind, that is
3 something I don't know. For example, Izet Izetbegovic stayed behind. He
4 was a Muslim. We did not succeed in transferring him to the other side in
5 that group. I assume that some other prisoners were left behind as well,
6 but I cannot corroborate that.
7 Q. Mr. Zaric, of course, provided you in the command with reports of
8 his interrogations or interviews, didn't he?
9 A. Yes. He submitted this report to the Chief of Security, and then
10 we together analysed this at the level of the staff, or rather, the
11 command of the tactical group. And then we sent this analysis to our
12 superior command.
13 Q. He sent them through Maksimovic, didn't he?
14 A. Yes, yes, he handed it over to Maksimovic. Yes. Yes. To Makso
15 Simeunovic, because he was Chief of Security. So this is the top
16 leadership of the command, and then we discussed it there, and then we
17 sent it on to our superior command.
18 Q. Because you discussed it, you were aware of the contents of all
19 the reports that Mr. Zaric submitted, and you were also interested in who
20 these people were who had been illegally arming, weren't you?
21 A. I was mostly aware of the reports. Although, according to our
22 rules, the security organ does have the right to use certain information
23 at his own discretion. So there's always the possibility that according
24 to one's official capacity or, rather, one's specific job, that
25 information can be provided along those lines.
1 Q. None of the reports that Mr. Zaric provided to you through
2 Mr. Maksimovic were in relation to Serbs, that is, the interview or
3 interrogation of Serbs in the police station or anywhere else, were they?
4 A. Well, interviews could not be conducted in that way with people
5 who were in positions of authority. Whereas, it was possible to interview
6 persons who were detained in that way.
7 Q. So is your answer that Mr. Zaric did not provide any reports of
8 interviews with any SDS or Serbs in relation to the illegal arming?
9 A. As far as I can remember, no, if this does not mean that perhaps
10 those who had taken over power and authority had not been illegally armed.
11 Q. You said Mr. Zaric was supposed to, as far as you were concerned,
12 conduct his investigations without any ethnic prejudice or any ethnic
13 bias, interview all parties concerned who may have been illegally arming
14 themselves. What I suggest to you: That if Mr. Zaric only provided you
15 with reports on the interrogations or interviews of Muslims and Croats, he
16 couldn't have been doing his job according to your orders, could he, sir?
17 A. Basically, yes. Although, I would not dare claim that in these
18 particular pieces of information that were sent, a Serb or two were not
19 mentioned. After all, one of the smugglers who was later sentenced was a
20 Serb who was a member of the JNA, and he did take part in this smuggling.
21 Q. In your experience -- I withdraw that.
22 The police and the JNA in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992, the
23 first half of 1992, before the takeover, were separate entities, weren't
24 they? The police had civilian duties; the military had military duties.
25 A. That's right. However, the police, objectively speaking, in every
1 conceivable way, specifically in Bosanski Samac, cooperated with groups
2 that were arming themselves, notably the HDZ and the SDA. Probably with
3 the others too.
4 Q. Sir, I wasn't asking you that, so please don't throw those three
5 things in. I'm talking about jurisdictional matters. The police had
6 quite separate legal jurisdictional duties to the military before the
7 takeover in Bosnia -- sorry, in Bosanski Samac in 1992, didn't they?
8 A. In principle, that's the way it was.
9 Q. The police, of course, were concerned with -- sorry, I withdraw
10 that. The role of the police, as in any normal society, was of civilian
11 law and order enforcement and protection, wasn't it?
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. The police in Bosanski Samac didn't wear camouflage uniforms in
14 the course of their normal duties, did they, sir, as the civilian police?
15 A. They did not wear camouflage uniforms.
16 Q. Nor, of course, did they paint their faces black; did they, sir,
17 in the normal course of their civilian police duties?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Of course they didn't wear patches or labels, such as white
20 eagles, did they, in the normal course of their civilian policing duties?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. Or patches of wolves or tigers. Police didn't wear those in the
23 course of their normal civilian policing duty, did they, sir?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. Police, of course, normal civilian police in Bosanski Samac in --
1 up till April 1992 didn't go on training missions with JNA or
2 paramilitaries subordinated to the JNA, did they, sir? It would have been
3 completely outside the normal policing duties, wouldn't it?
4 A. The police did not train with the JNA. The JNA trained on its
5 own, and the police --
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the end of the
8 MR. RE:
9 Q. Could you just repeat the last part of your sentence. You said
10 the JNA trained on its own and the police -- we just missed the last
11 part. Just please repeat the last part, from "and the police."
12 A. And the police carried out its own duties and its training
13 according to its own plan.
14 Q. The civilian police didn't have access to military helicopters
15 either, did they, sir? This is in April 1992.
16 A. No.
17 Q. And an 82-millimetre platoon or mortar platoon comprises about --
18 normally between four and six weapons and 15 to 20 men, doesn't it?
19 A. Roughly so.
20 Q. 128-mortar battery is normally between four and six men with four
21 to six or eight weapons, isn't it?
22 A. They had four to six weapons, according to the establishment.
23 Most often four. And the battery was supposed to have, say, about 40 men,
25 Q. And a 128-millimetre rocket launcher battery comprised about four
1 weapons and 20 to 25 men, didn't it?
2 A. Such a mortar battery does not exist in the JNA. If you're
3 talking about 128-millimetre calibres, that refers to multiple rocket
5 Q. That's what I'm referring to, the multiple rocket launchers. And
6 I'm suggesting that that is normally about four weapons and 20 to 25 men
7 in the battery. Do you agree with that?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. The platoon -- the things I've just referred to, the 82-millimetre
10 platoon, 128-millimetre mortar battery, and the rocket launcher battery,
11 are all, of course, artillery accompaniments to troops in battle, aren't
13 A. Yes, these are combat units. Artillery units have multiple rocket
14 launchers, and infantry units have mortars of 60 and 82 millimetres.
15 Q. And in an attack in which you divide the attacker -- the attacking
16 troops into columns, the mortar batteries and platoons support each of the
17 attacking columns, don't they, sir?
18 A. Invariably in attack and in defence artillery support is organised
19 among other forms of support. It is engaged or not engaged, depending on
20 the actual situation involved.
21 Q. And the column commander, if there are columns in an attack,
22 directs the mortar batteries and the mortar -- and the platoons where to
23 fire; correct?
24 A. That is not correct. Artillery support is commanded by the person
25 who is commanding the operation, or rather, these combat operations.
1 Commanders of columns or echelons can request fire against certain
2 targets, but they need not receive this kind of fire support.
3 Q. If battle plans -- if you draw up battle plans and they show that
4 the column is being supported by an 82-millimetre platoon or
5 128-millimetre mortar battery or 128-millimetre multiple round rocket
6 launcher battery, those are going into battle supporting the attacking
7 columns, aren't they, sir?
8 A. Yes. But their fire is organised on the basis of the approval
9 issued by the person who is commanding the combat operation. Not just
10 anybody can use this for engaging targets.
11 Q. The column commander, if these units are -- if these platoons or
12 batteries are supporting the column, can direct or does direct -- give
13 directions as to where the platoon or battery should direct their fire;
15 A. The commander of an echelon or column can engage independently,
16 that is to say, on the basis of his own decision, only that which is under
17 his direct command. If mortars of 60 millimetres or 82 millimetres are
18 under his direct command, then he can request fire from these particular
19 weapons and decide on that. As for bigger calibres, multiple rocket
20 launchers, they are never under the command of an echelon or column; they
21 are always under the command of the person who is in charge of the combat
22 operation, who commands it.
23 Q. The column commander can direct where they fire. The column
24 commander has to be experienced in warfare because of the consequences of
25 directing fire in the wrong direction. You'd agree with that, wouldn't
2 A. I would rephrase that a bit. The column commander can point out
3 the target and ask for that target to be engaged if fire had come from
4 that target, and the commander of the mortar unit or of the artillery unit
5 is professionally trained to target that particular objective and also to
6 destroy it if necessary.
7 Q. Sir, you wouldn't place police officers, that is, police officers
8 who deal with civilian structure of society in charge of columns which
9 have supporting platoons and mortar batteries in a battle, would you?
10 A. That is why I did not put them in charge of that. I explained
11 yesterday that a request for engaging police went through the organs of
12 the corps command to the civilian authorities. As for the engagement of
13 these people, commanders were those with certain experience. However,
14 artillery fire is not something that they are involved in.
15 Q. Crni and Lugar, according to your descriptions yesterday of the
16 people who arrived in Batkusa were - this is at page 8 of the transcript
17 yesterday - police officers who deal with civilian structure of society.
18 That's how you described Crni and Lugar and their colleagues yesterday.
19 Do you follow?
20 A. I described them as members of the police, partly members of the
21 Serb police, partly members of the police of the Republic of Srpska
22 Krajina, who were trained in the area around Ilok.
23 Q. Sir, the orders we -- I showed you yesterday and we put into -- to
24 evidence, dated the 7th of May, 1992, clearly put Crni as the commander --
25 sorry, Lugar as the commander of a column called Crni which had an
1 82-millimetre platoon and multiple rocket launcher battery supporting
2 him. That doesn't make sense in terms of your evidence that these people
3 were police officers. You wouldn't put a police officer in charge of a
4 column accompanied by an 82-millimetre platoon and multiple rocket
5 launcher, would you, sir, and send them into battle? It would be the
6 grossest dereliction of your command, wouldn't it, sir?
7 A. I would just like to clarify things. These people, Lugar and
8 Crni, they were in charge of ordering units -- commanding units such as
9 platoons or companies, and they were not able to command other units
10 because that was in the hands of the other people who were commanding
11 those operations.
12 With regards to requests to engage members of the police and
13 during the conversation I had with Mr. Todorovic, he insisted that if he
14 gives me members of the police, he wanted that his own men command those
15 members of the police, meaning the men who are commanders anyways. I had
16 nothing against it because those tasks they were doing were objectively,
17 if you will, infantry -- of infantry nature.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: We'll take our break and continue at 11.00 hours.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
22 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may, I would
23 just like to inform the Trial Chamber about some information. Mr. Simo
24 Zaric has to leave tomorrow and he has to go to a hospital, and he is not
25 going to be able to attend the proceedings. Since the Defence of
1 Mr. Zaric has also in store another witness who's been waiting for his
2 turn for nine days and it is Mr. Vaso Antic, and since Mr. Zaric is not
3 ready to waive his right to be present during his defence, I would like to
4 ask the Trial Chamber to see if it is possible to finish with the witness
5 Mr. Antic today, bearing in mind the fact that the Trial Chamber has given
6 a decision that Mr. Antic will be examined for an hour during the chief
7 examination and an hour for his cross-examination, meaning two hours in
9 I would like to request and ask the Trial Chamber to take the
10 necessary measures that the members of the OTP, bear in mind that you have
11 given them a certain delay or a certain time, and if that would be the
12 case, we would be able to finish today. If not, we would face the
13 following situation, that Mr. Antic will have to come back to The Hague.
14 This is all I wanted to inform the Trial Chamber. Thank you.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber has actually been
17 considering the time that was allotted for cross-examination and has
18 allowed the Prosecution to go over that by half an hour. And in view of
19 the importance of this witness, the Trial Chamber will allow the
20 Prosecution another half hour to wind up their cross-examination. As to
21 whether or not that will allow us to complete the other witness, that will
22 remain to be seen.
23 MR. RE:
24 Q. You heard that, Mr. Nikolic. I want you to give the shortest
25 possible answers to my questions which I will try to make as precise as
2 Yesterday -- I withdraw that.
3 The action in relation to the clearing of the corridor to Brcko,
4 that occurred on the 10th of May, didn't it? Yes or no, please.
5 A. It took place on the 8th of May, and on the 10th of May we
6 deblocked the road towards Modrica.
7 Q. That's in the area of -- was that in the area of Milosevac?
8 A. When we speak to the road going towards Brcko, we are talking
9 about the direction of Gorica.
10 Q. Vidovica, no?
11 A. No, no, no.
12 Q. All right.
13 A. No, not Vidovica. It's the direction that you take from Loncari
14 going to going towards Gorica going in the direction of Brcko. That's the
15 order -- there is a mistake in that order, if you recall.
16 Q. Please, a moment ago, yes or no questions, please.
17 Now, what I'm just asking you: The fighting in the direction of
18 Modrica, was that in the area of Kladari?
19 A. Yes, that is approximately that area.
20 Q. Garovac?
21 A. Garovac, yes, well, I cannot really tell you exactly which
22 villages were around there.
23 Q. Modrica?
24 A. I can give you the whole direction, if you want me to.
25 Q. That's around Modrica. The fighting there occurred on the 10th,
1 is that right, the 10th of May?
2 A. That's correct. On the 10th of May, in the morning we started the
3 attack and the attack was over at about 10.00.
4 Q. All right. Now, were there any other attacks before you left
5 Bosnia in that particular area, the area referred to in that order which
6 you looked at yesterday?
7 A. There were other very serious combat operations around, Vidovica,
8 Kopanica, there were also other serious combats around the area of village
9 of Grebnice and also around the village of -- around, actually, Bosanski
10 Samac from the direction of the River Sava and Prud.
11 Q. The police that you used in the various actions were known as
12 members of a special battalion, weren't they? When you used them in
13 battle, they were called a special battalion; correct?
14 A. No. They were divided into groups, and you will see in the order
15 that you can see such-and-such a group with members of the special
16 battalion or special company, if you will.
17 Q. Mr. Zaric informed you of the Crkvina massacre and he went to
18 Belgrade the day after he informed you of that, didn't he?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. Yesterday you gave evidence that Mr. Todorovic and you had
21 both received orders - I'm quoting from the transcript at page 36 - "that
22 I could place at my disposal the forces that I needed." I want to ask
23 you: Who gave you these orders? I want you to answer it as precisely as
24 possible. Who gave you those orders? Firstly who. Then I'll come to
25 what the orders were. All right? In that order.
1 A. It was my command, the command of the 17th Corps. And for
2 Mr. Todorovic, he was supposed to get this message from the civilian
4 Q. Next question: When did you receive those orders that you could
5 place at the disposal any forces you needed? Just the date, please, as
6 best as you can do.
7 A. Approximately around the 5th or the 6th of May. Then on the 7th
8 of May, the planification began and also the preparing of documents began.
9 Q. Did you receive orders in writing; yes or no?
10 A. For the most part of the orders, they arrived through the fax, and
11 it was a coded -- coded orders. Those were coded orders. Whereas, the
12 other ones arrived by way of --
13 Q. That was a way of yes or no --
14 A. Oral orders.
15 Q. Sorry. That was a yes or no answer. Was it in writing? Answer:
16 Yes. What did the orders say?
17 A. Yes. In the orders we could read the following approximately,
18 that there was an agreement -- an agreement was reached, and that it was
19 possible to place all the necessary means in order to carry out the task
20 for the following reason: That the JNA didn't exist any more and the
21 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was formed and there was the army of the
22 federal -- the federal army existed, and we were orphans, if you will,
23 with regards to the army. So we had the Territorial Defence of the
24 Republika Srpska and the police of the Republika Srpska. And if you look
25 at the orders, you will see that I have gathered all the information that
1 I was able to gather in order to carry out this mission. And not -- it's
2 not a mission of clearing, but it was a task --
3 Q. Stop. My question was: What did the order say? It said there
4 was an agreement. Who -- I just want a simple answer. Who signed the
5 orders you received on the 5th or 6th of May, or the 7th? Who signed
6 them? That's all I want to know.
7 A. The orders that I received were signed by the commander of the
8 17th Army Corps.
9 Q. Who was that?
10 A. I believe that at the time it was Commander General Nedeljkovic.
11 Q. Thank you. And you said an agreement was reached, the order
12 referred to an agreement being reached. What did the order say about who
13 the agreement was between, the parties, please, the parties to the
14 agreement referred to in the order?
15 A. I understood your question. I will not try to go in depth. There
16 was an agreement reached between the members of the JNA on the one hand --
17 sorry, the VRS and the authorities of Republika Srpska, and through that
18 order it was agreed upon what I just told you of earlier.
19 Q. Your evidence yesterday was of soldiers assisting people to
20 leave -- sorry, moving prisoners from the Bosanski Samac TO to Brcko.
21 That was about the last few days of April 1992. And your evidence was
22 that Mr. Zaric told you of terrible things that had been happening to
23 those prisoners in the police station. Do you remember that evidence,
24 don't you? Just yes or no.
25 A. I remember.
1 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric had told you who the people -- I withdraw
2 that. Mr. Zaric had told you that it was the police, as you called them,
3 from Serbia who were committing these atrocities against the prisoners
4 with Mr. Todorovic's active encouragement, hadn't he? That's what
5 Mr. Zaric told you.
6 A. I would like to clarify. He told me that the police, with the
7 encouragement of Todorovic is mistreating the people and there were
8 already -- that there was even one man who was killed. But if you're
9 talking about the 24th of April, it happened on the 26th of April. Sorry.
10 Q. I'm interested in the information. Zaric told you that the
11 police, that is, the people from Serbia - that's what I'm calling the
12 police, because you're calling the police - were the ones that had been
13 mistreating the prisoner, didn't he? Before the 26th of April, didn't
15 A. No, he didn't tell me that those were men from Serbia. He told me
16 the police, as far as I remember. I cannot quote literally what was told
17 to me, but it was the police, and they belonged to those forces, and those
18 were probably the ones who participated in this.
19 Q. When you say "belonged to those forces," you mean the ones who
20 came in the helicopters from Krajina. They're the ones Mr. Zaric was
21 talking about, wasn't it -- weren't they?
22 A. Those men were part of the Serb police of the Municipality of
23 Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo, and those were those men.
24 Q. Thank you. Despite Mr. Zaric informing you of the murder and the
25 mistreatment and your own role in moving prisoners away from these men,
1 you used these very same men in combat on the 8th of May, didn't you,
2 Mr. Antic -- I'm sorry, Mr. Nikolic? I'm sorry.
3 A. I believe that it is very simple to explain the reasons for this.
4 Those men who were there, some of them had ranks, very important ranks,
5 and they participated in combat activities. And even that meant that they
6 had had experience, and up until that time there was no crime committed,
7 so I didn't have any reason to believe that one of them was a criminal,
8 and this is the reason why I put them in command.
9 With regards to the tactical group, we were looking for somebody
10 to command it. We didn't know who because the whole system was in a very
11 shabby state, and so we chose people with experience. Each of these men
12 were followed by the work of the command of the tactical group. So nobody
13 could commit any kind of activity without us controlling them. And during
14 those combat activities, I can confirm to you that no crime was committed
15 and nothing that was in violation of humanitarian rights.
16 Q. Sir, the question --
17 A. Human rights.
18 Q. I'm sorry, I just spoke over the interpreter. The question I was
19 asking you was: Zaric had told you and you knew yourself that these men
20 from Serbia had committed very, very serious crimes in the TO and the
21 police station, yet you still used these same men, that is, collectively,
22 in your battle. It's a simple yes or no. You used those men, didn't you?
23 A. Some of these men, yes, I used.
24 Q. Now, sir, did you make a report when Mr. Zaric informed you about
25 the Crkvina massacre; yes or no? That's all I want to know. Did you make
1 a report?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. A written report; yes or no?
4 A. Yes. A written report, yes.
5 Q. Have you referred to that report in preparing yourself to give
6 evidence here?
7 A. I don't have that report with me. I don't even have one single
8 document with me. When I changed function, I also gave all the
9 documents. The only documents that I saw were the documents that you
10 showed me here.
11 Q. Sir, again that was a no answer. The question was: Have you
12 referred to it? The answer is no. You see?
13 A. I'm sorry.
14 Q. That's all right. That's all right.
15 When was the first time that you had to recall the date of the 8th
16 of May in relation to these proceedings? When was the first time in
17 relation to following when it happened, did you -- following the 8th of
18 May, 1992 that you actually had to recall it for these proceedings? Was
19 it recently?
20 A. I remember that date because it's a specific date. I remember
21 that date. I remember the 26th. It was also an important date, and also
22 other dates which meant something to me. But I must say that there are a
23 lot of dates that I do not remember.
24 Q. Mr. Zaric in his statements to the Prosecutor, there were three
25 records of interview or statements to the -- interviews with the
1 Prosecutor in evidence -- agreed that the massacre took place on the 7th,
2 that he informed you on the morning of the 8th, and he went to Belgrade on
3 the 9th of May, 1992. That's what Mr. Zaric has said to the Prosecutor,
4 and it's in evidence. That's different to what you say, isn't it?
5 A. I told you that I was informed on the 8th in the afternoon -- or
6 rather, the 9th in the morning, and this is why I sent Mr. Zaric to
7 Belgrade that very day. It was on the 9th of May.
8 Q. Sir, you've given several different versions now. Can you please
9 tell the Trial Chamber again when Mr. Zaric informed you. Yesterday you
10 said it was before midday on the 9th. Earlier today you said that
11 Mr. Zaric went to Belgrade the next day. Now you've said, "I was informed
12 on the 8th in the afternoon -- or rather, the 9th in the morning, and this
13 is why I sent Mr. Zaric to Belgrade the same day. It was on the 9th of
14 May." Which is the correct version of when you were informed and when you
15 sent Mr. Zaric to Belgrade?
16 A. I believe that I got the information in the night between the 8th
17 and the 9th and that Zaric went to Belgrade on the 9th.
18 Q. So that's version number three, sir. The 9th -- the night of the
19 8th or 9th --
20 A. I cannot tell you exactly right now. Let's say maybe in the
21 morning on the 9th, and that's why Zaric went to Belgrade right after
23 Q. When Mr. Pisarevic suggested to you yesterday it was early in the
24 morning, you said no, it was before midday. You didn't say to him at the
25 time, I'm not sure about the time, Mr. Pisarevic, I just think it was the
1 morning. You didn't say that yesterday, did you?
2 A. I still don't know the right time. I'm just giving you an
3 approximation. I cannot really tell you that I got the information at
4 6.00 a.m. or at 9.00 a.m.
5 Q. You've got no reason to disbelieve what Mr. Zaric said in his
6 statements -- two statements to the Prosecution about the -- about when he
7 informed you and when he went to Belgrade, do you, sir?
8 A. That event, I recall it as I explained it to you. I don't know
9 what Mr. Zaric stated precisely.
10 Q. Perhaps you could help by telling the Trial Chamber where you were
11 when Mr. Zaric informed you.
12 A. I suppose that I was at my command post.
13 Q. When you say you supposed, is it that you've got no memory of it
14 and you just think that's where you must have been?
15 A. For the most part of my time, I was at the command post, and all
16 the informations would get to the command post in Pelagicevo. So this is
17 why I can say that it was probably in Pelagicevo.
18 Q. Are you telling the Trial Chamber you have no independent memory
19 now, 11 years later, of him actually telling you but you're just assuming
20 that because you were in command and a terrible thing happened and it was
21 Zaric who told you, it must have been at that command post but you can't
22 quite remember when it was? Is that what you're saying?
23 A. I would like to say that it is almost impossible that he may have
24 told me this just like that, orally. So an official place for all
25 official conversations took place at the command post.
1 Q. What I'm just asking you is: Is it true that -- is it the case
2 that you now have no independent memory and you're just assuming it must
3 have been at the command post? That's all I'm asking you. Your memory is
4 gone. You just remember Zaric told you, and you assume it must have been
5 at the command post because that's where you -- where you thought you
6 would have been?
7 A. I am almost sure that I was there, but it is quite possible that
8 after 11 or 12 years I could be wrong.
9 Q. All right. And you can't remember whether it was night or day
10 either, can you, when Mr. Zaric told you this?
11 A. I must admit that at that time I didn't get much sleep, so that I
12 can't really say whether it was night or day, and I think it is well nigh
13 impossible to give a precise answer to that question.
14 Q. Which of course leads you to the date. If you can't say where you
15 were or whether it was night or day, you've got the same difficulties in
16 remembering the precise date that he told you, don't you?
17 A. I don't. I mean, this date stuck in my memory. I mean, one
18 remembers something and one forgets other things.
19 Q. Mr. Zaric wrote a book about his war experiences. Have you read
20 his book?
21 A. Yes. I was given the book as a present. I've read it. Mr. Zaric
22 wrote this book expounding his point of view. That is how he saw things,
23 I guess. There are many things in it that I do not recall, and there are
24 also quite possibly many things that I might add to what he said in this
1 Q. He refers to you in the book, and he -- he wrote about the
2 transfer of prisoners from [as said] Brcko in that book, didn't he?
3 A. Well, so he did. Although, I told you yesterday that when the
4 prisoners were transferred from my area of responsibility to Brcko, they
5 simply ceased to be my concern because another unit and a different
6 command took over the care for them.
7 Q. Sir --
8 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me.
9 MR. RE: Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Mr. Re, but in your question it reads "from." It
11 should be "to."
12 MR. RE:
13 Q. Yes. I'm sorry, I correct that. I meant to Brcko. That is, from
14 the TO to Brcko. That's what I'm referring to.
15 A. Yes, I've got that.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, in his book -- it's page 176 of the English,
17 175/176 and I'm paraphrasing. He said it was for humanitarian reasons and
18 in addition it was to -- a further interrogation of the people -- or some
19 of the people who were suspects, and that was the removal of them from
20 civilian to military custody to enable further interrogation of them. And
21 that's -- that's correct, isn't it?
22 A. My chief objective was to take them over and take them out of
23 Bosanski Samac to prevent any terrorising of those people. Who later on
24 investigated those people, who accommodated them, and how, that is
25 something that I do not really know.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Re, the time is up.
2 MR. RE: I'm sorry, that wasn't quite half an hour, Your Honour.
3 We started at nine minutes past. That's --
4 JUDGE MUMBA: No. The time is up. That's all.
5 MR. RE: Oh, I'm sorry, Your Honour. I just wish to --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you just ask your last question, perhaps.
7 MR. RE: Yes. Thank you. The area I wish to ask him about is the
8 command of the paramilitaries. In matters in Mr. -- I could do that in
9 what I thought was the time remaining. This is the reason I'd done it
10 this way. In relation to Mr. Zaric's record of interview and P127 as
11 to --
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Please wind up, Mr. Re.
13 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Sir, I just want to ask you about control of the paramilitaries.
15 Mr. Zaric, in his record of -- or his statements to the Prosecutor - and
16 I'm referring to P140 ter at page 54 and page 55 - says that you,
17 Commander Nikolic -- he asked you, I'm sorry, what should be done about
18 the paramilitary groups, that's those police. And after a couple of days
19 you said that you were putting them under your command. That's in April,
20 a few days after they arrived. And he said, "I would like to tell you,
21 Prosecutor, the way I saw Mr. Nikolic until that very moment, I always saw
22 him as a great Yugoslav." Mr. Zaric in his record of interview with the
23 Prosecutor said that you said that you had put the paramilitaries under
24 your command. Is that true or untrue?
25 A. I never said anything like that. In my statement, I said who
1 received this group of paramilitaries, who fed them. Doesn't it look
2 unnatural to you? Somebody receives them, he gives them to drink and to
3 eat, and then I'm responsible for it? I mean, it makes no sense. I never
4 put that group under my command. And I engaged them on such occasions
5 when I was authorised to do so by my command, because the competencies of
6 the 17th Tactical Group did not include that. I had no right to do that,
7 as there was no state of war.
8 Q. On page 73 of P140 ter - that's his interview with the Prosecutor
9 on the 1st of April, 1998 - he said, in relation to Crni, who was very
10 close to Stevan Todorovic and the police, "At some point, he was also made
11 commander of the battalion and at some point his superior was Nikolic -
12 that's you - for a very short time before he left for Yugoslavia." That's
13 what Mr. Zaric said. He said that the -- Crni was under your command for
14 some point before you left Yugoslavia. Is that true or untrue?
15 A. That is not true. Crni was never under my command, and I was
16 never under his command. So that when I left, Crni organised a military
17 coup, removed the commander who had taken the duty over from me, and
18 assumed the command.
19 MR. RE: That's as far as I can go in that time. Although, I'd
20 just like to say for the record there were issues with the takeover and
21 the arrest which the Prosecution wished to explore but understands the
22 time limits and couldn't -- and also in relation to several miscellaneous
23 issues --
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re, the time was given to the Prosecution
25 to deal with the matters they thought were important. And inserting the
1 time, the Trial Chamber did look at the issues which this witness
3 MR. RE: Yes. There's just --
4 JUDGE MUMBA: We even extended the time because of the importance
5 of this witness, so there should be no more argument about this.
6 MR. RE: Your Honour, if Your Honours please, I'm not arguing. I
7 just wish to place on the record I also wished to ask him about Exhibit
8 P164, a comment in his video, and those were the matters which I would
9 have -- which the Prosecution would have asked but we couldn't within the
10 time limits -- we didn't think we could. But that's it.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. But you kept on repeating certain questions,
12 about details, especially on the armaments. So you used your time that
14 MR. RE: That's right. Your Honour, because it's in the -- P174,
15 175, in order to make the submission at the end I have to get certain
16 concessions from the witness and to save time, I didn't show him the
17 documents again. So that was the point of those questions. It will
18 become very apparent in the final trial brief.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The re-examination.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour, thank you.
21 Ms. Registrar, could we have Exhibit P174 and 175 in front of the
22 witness, please.
23 Further cross-examination by Mr. Pantelic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Colonel Nikolic, would you please put one of
25 these documents on the ELMO so that we could follow.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Mr. Usher, would you please put one of the
2 documents, no matter which, on the ELMO. [Interpretation] It doesn't
3 matter which.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Under item 1 -- if it is easier for you to turn
5 right and then read the document directly.
6 A. I can see this.
7 Q. Item 1 of this document, P174, there is a word, or rather, part of
8 the sentence, "TO company reinforced by Praga Platoon." Can you see
10 A. I do.
11 Q. 2, it says, "The company again reinforced by Praga Platoon." Can
12 you see that?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Under 3, in the same order, it says, "TO, company reinforced by
15 the anti-aircraft battery and armoured combat vehicle."
16 Under 3.4 it says, "TO company Kruskovo Polje." Do you see that?
17 A. I do.
18 Q. It means that TO units were also under your command when it came
19 to certain combat operations.
20 A. This means the following --
21 Q. Just say yes or no, because we have no time.
22 A. No, I can't answer it that way. This is very important. The JNA
23 no longer exists. There is the Army of Yugoslavia as of the 27th of
24 April. This is happening in May. So practically the TO defence is being
25 formed and is being expanded in the Republika Srpska.
1 Q. Mr. Nikolic, please, you've already told us that. And it's in the
2 transcript. I'm asking you simply: In the case of combat operations for
3 strategic or other reasons, you also had TO units and they were under your
4 command. It's simple, isn't it?
5 A. Yes, it is, because there are no other units. These are the only
6 ones in existence.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Mr. Usher, please put the other document, P175, to
8 the ELMO.
9 Q. [Interpretation] In this document the second sentence under 2.1 it
10 says, "With TO units from Plazulja and Vukovac [phoen]."
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. On page 2 of this document.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Number 2.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Under 2.9 it says, "Krepsic TO company will block
15 the part of Krepsic," and so on and so forth. Do you see that?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. And the same answer applies to this document, as in the former
19 A. Yes, it does, since there is -- since the JNA is no more or its
20 companies or its units. Then there is the TO. And that is basically my
22 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ...
23 Q. [Interpretation] When you replied -- when you gave your answer to
24 the Prosecutor, you several times used the words "civilian authorities"
25 "civilian powers," so on and so forth. Later on you were more definite
1 and said those were the authorities of Republika Srpska. It has to do
2 with the police. Do you remember that?
3 A. Yes, I do. Because Republika Srpska had been proclaimed. It had
4 its agencies. And I wasn't the one to say whether that was good and not
5 right or wrong. I was only performing the military part of the job.
6 Q. And when you mentioned civilian authorities, you mean the
7 authorities of Republika Srpska; is that right?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. And at that time you were aware that the Ministry of Police of
10 Republika Srpska had already been set up.
11 A. Yes, I knew that, on the basis of the -- pursuant to the decisions
12 of the Assembly of Republika Srpska, its agencies, and so on.
13 Q. And as an experienced soldier and an accomplished man who has come
14 out of the military academy, and so on and so forth, you are quite aware
15 that the municipal assembly had absolutely no jurisdiction over the
17 A. In this case, in Bosanski Samac the municipal assembly had
18 jurisdiction of the police and they commanded the police in point of
19 fact. As a matter of fact, I don't know. Perhaps somebody issued tasks
20 to them, but the police could not be ranked either with the TO or the JNA,
21 that is, the Army of Yugoslavia.
22 Q. But could it be ranked as somewhere in the hierarchy of the
23 Ministry of Police of Republika Srpska?
24 A. Well, since it was in this municipality, then it would be only
25 natural for it to be in the chain of command of the Ministry of Interior
1 of Republika Srpska.
2 Q. Until the 19th of May, 1992, you used in some combat operation
3 equally Lugar and Crni and Debeli, not only in this minor operation but
4 also in some other.
5 A. I used them in these two operations, clearing the roads. Except,
6 after the crime that happened, I didn't use Lugar on the 10th in the
7 operation conducted in the direction of Modrica. That I insisted that
8 some men who had already appeared in bad light be excluded.
9 Q. As of the 17th of April, 1992 -- from the 17th of April, until the
10 19th of May, 1992, apart from these two operations, you also used them in
11 other operations, didn't you?
12 A. One group only participated in an operation of a breakthrough, a
13 breakthrough the Croat -- Croatian forces between Vidovica and Kopanica,
14 and it was all done. At that time Stevan sent that group to help out, to
15 stop the break-through.
16 Q. Tell me, when was that?
17 A. I can't know the exact date.
18 Q. Was it before or after the massacre in Crkvina?
19 A. No, no, no. That was long before that. That was an incident
20 which happened before the road to Brcko and Modrica was cleared, long
21 before that.
22 Q. And after your return to Yugoslavia, that is, Serbia, that is,
23 after the 19th of May, 1992, did you initiate a criminal investigation
24 against Lugar with relevant bodies?
25 A. No, I did not do it because I had no authority to do that. The TO
1 of Republika Srpska had already been formed, and we from Yugoslavia were
2 merely guests there. But yesterday in my statement --
3 Q. We'll move on. All that you said, Mr. Nikolic, please rest
4 assured is all written down. Sorry I have to interrupt you, but we are
5 running short of time. Sorry.
6 Can you positively say that in 1992, from April to May 1992, there
7 was an agreement between the Republic of Serb Krajina and Republika Srpska
8 about their mutual assistance? Have you seen this agreement? Are you
9 aware of it, or are you just making surmises?
10 A. No. I did not get such agreements. General Sava Jankovic, my
11 superior, told me that there was such an agreement and the rest wasn't
12 really any of my business.
13 Q. Members of special units which we mentioned came from Kragujevac,
14 isn't it?
15 A. Several of them. Four or five were from Kragujevac. We
16 established that later on.
17 Q. And you come from Kragujevac too?
18 A. Yes, I come from Kragujevac.
19 Q. Did you conduct combat operations at Vidovica?
20 A. I've already said that.
21 Q. Yes or no?
22 A. Yes, that is between Kopanica and Vidovica. Not I personally, the
23 tactical group.
24 Q. And the tactical group under your command, did it conduct
25 operations at Kladari?
1 A. I am not sure where that is.
2 Q. Did you conduct operations in Garovac?
3 A. If these are villages on the way to Modrica, then that's that.
4 Then that is it. But otherwise, no.
5 Q. Do you know that when Dr. Blagoje Simic attended the meeting that
6 you described to us, that at that time he was the vice-president of the
7 Municipality of Bosanski Samac, elected in the elections of 1990? Were
8 you aware of that fact?
9 A. That is how he introduced himself. Otherwise, the discussion
10 wouldn't have made sense.
11 Q. Did you know that Mirko Jovanovic was the president of the
12 executive board of the Municipality of Bosanski Samac elected in the
13 elections of 1990?
14 A. Yes, I knew that, and he also introduced himself as such.
15 Q. In other words, they were their legal representatives of the
16 Municipality of Bosanski Samac at the time.
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. Since we yesterday discussed about the document related to the
19 paramilitary organisation in the area of the 17th Corps and that according
20 to that information there were no SDS formations in Samac. Today,
21 however, you told the Prosecutor that all the three political parties were
22 arming themselves. Are you also making conjectures about possible
23 armaments of the SDS, or is it that you have some facts there?
24 A. Well, the question was put to us by life [as interpreted]. And in
25 the municipality we could see that all, the first, the second, the third
1 political party were arming themselves. Whether it was not in Samac, I
2 suppose reason for it is that they all joined the 4th Detachment.
3 Q. So the SDS wasn't illegally arming itself in Samac.
4 A. We didn't have that information in Samac.
5 Q. When you were about to leave Samac to Belgrade on the 19th, to
6 whom did you transfer the duty?
7 A. Pursuant to the order of the corps commander, I handed over the
8 duty to Colonel Mico Djurdjevic, who was born in the village of Tisine
9 Mala, I think, that is, born in that particular area.
10 Q. In your reply to the Prosecutor you said that you knew that
11 Blagoje and Stiv and others were members of the SDS. Now, my question to
12 you is: Do you positively know that Stevan Todorovic was a member of the
13 SDS? Did you ever see his admission -- his application or his membership
14 card, or is it just a surmise?
15 A. No, I didn't see his application form. I didn't see anybody's
16 application form. But this was information that was supplied to me by
17 official agencies.
18 Q. Then do you have any personal knowledge about who allegedly sat
19 [Realtime transcript read in error "set"] on this -- on the Crisis Staff
20 of the municipality? Did you see a decision or something, an order or
21 something, or is it again a surmise on your part?
22 A. No, I didn't see any disposition or decision, nothing like that
23 was sent me. But from the behaviour of these people and from their
24 statements they made, it was quite clear that they were members of Crisis
25 Staff. Because if somebody says, "I'm a member of the Crisis Staff," then
1 that's what it means.
2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic. Just for the sake of
5 clarity, could you take a look at your question, page 49, beginning line
6 19, because there must be something missing. You said, "Do you have any
7 personal knowledge about who allegedly set on this?" I don't really
8 follow what you mean.
9 MR. PANTELIC: I will repeat the question. Actually, I personally
10 cannot remember what was the exact form. I will clarify that.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honour, the word should be "s-a-t."
12 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. So my question was whether you have any personal knowledge --
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Actually, it's -- the interpreter was saying
15 that the word should be "s-a-t," meaning who sat on the Crisis Staff,
16 meaning the members of the Crisis Staff.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Members of the Crisis Staff, yes. Thank you.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
19 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Tell me, Colonel Nikolic, at the time did you know that the Croat
21 municipality, Omerovac [phoen] -- Samac was -- had been founded?
22 A. Yesterday I said that there was hardly a place where a Crisis
23 Staff or a municipality of sorts had not been formed, whether Serb or
24 Croat or Muslim, it depended on the area.
25 Q. My question is specific.
1 A. Specifically, I know -- specifically, I know that the Crisis Staff
2 existed in Orasje, that a municipality of sorts was set up there, in
3 Domaljevac, and so on and so forth.
4 Q. We are talking about April 1992, aren't we?
5 A. That's right, about April.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I've finished with my
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
9 MR. RE: May it please Your Honours, there is a matter arising out
10 of what Mr. Pantelic asked, and I would ask leave for re-cross-examination
11 on one point. The question was at 48/13, did you know Mirko Jovanovic was
12 president of the executive board of the Municipality of Bosanski Samac
13 elected in the elections of 1990?
14 Answer: Yes, I knew that. And he also introduced himself as
16 Question: In other words, they were the legal representatives of
17 the Municipality of Bosanski Samac at the time.
18 Answer: Yes.
19 The witnesses -- I didn't cross-examine on this. There was no
20 reason to. The witness's statement in paragraph 31 refers to the meeting
21 and says that between Simic, Jovanovic, and the Bosanski Samac IO in
22 Donji Zabar, he says, "I was told in no uncertain terms I had no
23 jurisdiction over members of the Serbian police or members of the republic
24 of the Serbian Krajina MUP. They were under the jurisdiction of the
25 Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac. That's the Serbian Municipality
1 of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo in the process of formation and that the
2 Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo was in the process
3 of formation had the overall responsibility for their accommodation and
4 food and control over them. I knew I had no jurisdiction."
5 That's something I didn't cross-examine on because I knew I had no
6 reason to. Mr. Pantelic has raised something which is contrary to the
7 statement and the witness has given an answer which is contrary in my
8 submission to his statement, and I'd simply ask leave for a few moments
9 re-cross-examination on that point, as to which is the correction version.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I must object. Allow me to explain.
11 It is not in dispute in this case if we are -- if we make reference to the
12 statute of the former Bosanski Samac municipality, where there are
13 elections -- election results and it is not in dispute. We have -- we
14 heard that from Mr. Izetbegovic, from Mr. Tihic, and many other witnesses
15 who were duly elected officials among all three ethnic groups in Samac on
16 the basis of elections in 1990, and we know that at that time
17 Mr. Mato Nujic, a Croat, was the president, chairman of the municipal
18 assembly, and the vice-president was Dr. Blagoje Simic, as well as the
19 president of the executive board was Mr. Mirko Jovanovic, and the
20 vice-president was Mr. Izet Izetbegovic.
21 And in addition, my learned friend asked this witness in his
22 cross-examination, who was present at that meeting, whether that was
23 Dr. Simic, Mr. Jovanovic and Mr. Todorovic. The witness said yes, as I
24 mentioned before. But we didn't clarify in which capacity were -- that
25 was the basis for my questioning, although I -- as I said, this is not in
1 dispute the official function of these people. So as a matter of
2 principle, I object to the request of my learned friend. Thank you.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber will allow the Prosecution to ask
5 the witness just one question so that he can clarify which is the right --
6 which is the correct version, according to the witness.
7 Further cross-examination by Mr. Re:
8 Q. You heard the exchange, Mr. Nikolic. A moment ago -- I'm going to
9 ask you a very long question. A moment ago Mr. Pantelic suggested to you
10 that Mr. Jovanovic, Dr. Simic, and Mr. Todorovic were -- I'm sorry, that
11 Mr. -- I'll start again. I'm sorry. He asked you, "Did you know that
12 Mirko Jovanovic was president of the executive board of the elected
13 Municipality of Bosanski Samac, and you said you knew that and he
14 introduced himself to me as that.
15 Mr. Pantelic then said --
16 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise. Just for the sake of transcript
17 and clarity. We have two elected executive board presidents, and it's the
18 same person, Mr. Mirko Jovanovic was elected in Serbia. So in order to be
19 precise, just make a reference that he was elected in 1990 -- on the
20 elections 1990, because we have elections also in 1992. It's a legal
21 question. We shall discuss that in our closing arguments. So when you
22 make a reference of Mr. Mirko Jovanovic in capacity of president of
23 executive board, democratically elected or whatever you want to use, just
24 mention that it was in 1990. Otherwise, it should be a confusing area.
25 MR. RE: I'm going to quote the exact question back to the
1 witness. The question and answers, and I'm going to quote his --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. And the witness -- yes. And the witness
3 should be allowed to say which time -- which period he's referring -- his
4 answer refers to.
5 MR. RE: Yes.
6 Q. As I say, it's going to be a long question, so bear with me. If
7 you need me to repeat anything, just stop me.
8 Mr. Pantelic asked you, question: Do you know that when Dr. Simic
9 attended that meeting that you described to us at the time he was the
10 vice-president of the Municipality of Bosanski Samac elected in the
11 elections of 1990? Were you aware of that fact.
12 You answered: That is how he introduced himself. Otherwise, the
13 discussion wouldn't have knead sense.
14 Question: Did you know that Mirko Jovanovic was the president
15 of the executive board of the Municipality of Bosanski Samac elected in
16 the elections of 1990?
17 Answer: Yes, I know that, and he also introduced himself as
19 Question, that's Mr. Pantelic: In other words, they were their
20 legal representatives of the Municipality of Bosanski Samac at the time?
21 Answer: That's right.
22 Those are the questions and answers a few moments ago. In your
23 statement, which is in evidence here, referring to the meeting you said,
24 in relation to the meeting at Donji Zabar, at which you gave evidence of
25 Mr. Simic -- Dr. Simic, Mr. Jovanovic, and Mr. Todorovic attending -- or
1 Mr. Jovanovic attending, "I was then told in no uncertain terms that I had
2 no jurisdiction over members of the Serbian police or members of the
3 Republic of Serbian Krajina MUP, that they were under the jurisdiction of
4 the Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo in the process
5 of formation and that the Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac and
6 Pelagicevo in the process of formation had the overall responsibility for
7 their accommodation and food and control over them. I knew that I had no
8 jurisdiction over them, but still I wanted to know why they had come and
9 have some information on their objectives and tasks." That's what your
10 statement said. That's what the questions and answers were.
11 My question following is: How do you reconcile saying that Simic
12 and Jovanovic were there in their capacity as elected representatives when
13 in your statement you're implying that they are there in the capacity
14 relating to the Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac, the unelected
15 one? How do you reconcile the two versions?
16 A. If we are talking about a meeting which was held on the 12th of
17 April, that is the time when Mr. Blagoje Simic was the vice-president of
18 the municipality, legally elected, when Mirko Jovanovic was the president
19 of the executive board, and there's no dispute about that.
20 If we are talking about the jurisdiction which took place later by
21 Mr. Todorovic, I was told actually that some preparations were going on,
22 that some municipality -- that a Serb Municipality of Bosanski Samac was
23 about to be put in place, and that -- and that they had the jurisdiction
24 over these things, and that that is how it would be when the changes took
25 effect. I cannot reproduce the whole discussion, but it is quite clear
1 that on the 12th, at that particular moment, there were lawful
2 representatives of the elected authorities.
3 MR. PANTELIC: It is not recorded and translated properly what the
4 witness said, so I just want to ask him to repeat a part when he spoke
5 about what Todorovic said to him at that time, because this very important
6 part is not in the transcript. Thank you.
7 MR. RE: What I don't quite understand, Your Honours, is the
8 statement says it was at that meeting. The witness's answer is a little
9 bit unclear as to whether it was then or later, because the statement is
10 fairly clear on that. And I was asking him to reconcile the capacity at
11 which Simic, Jovanovic attended that meeting with the statement that the
12 Serbian municipality had jurisdiction. I'm not quite sure that's the
13 answer. There seems to be something a little bit strange --
14 JUDGE MUMBA: No. The witness in his answer did mention a date,
15 so he's discussing the attendance of those people on -- he mentioned the
16 meeting on the 12th of April, 1992.
17 MR. RE: Yes. The contradiction is between the statement, talking
18 about the Serbian municipality, and the evidence that they attended in
19 their capacity as the elected representatives. That was -- that was what
20 my question was directed towards. And I'm not sure the answer clarifies
21 it. But I was only allowed one question, so I don't think I can --
22 JUDGE MUMBA: No. But that is a matter for submission, isn't it,
23 if there is a contradiction in what he has just said and what he said in
24 his 92 bis statement. Because in his answer, he has given a date, and
25 that is material.
1 MR. RE: Could the witness be asked in what capacity -- it's not
2 quite clear from the answer -- in what capacity Dr. Simic, Mr. Jovanovic,
3 and Mr. Todorovic, who was there, attended that meeting? That's as far as
4 I want to go, in what capacity he now says they attended the meeting.
5 Could I ask that question?
6 MR. PANTELIC: If I may, Your Honour, prior -- I don't have a
7 problem with that. But please, could my learned friend can clarify that
8 with the witness, what he said when he mentioned Todorovic in his last
9 answer, because I said due to some problems in the interpretation we
10 didn't -- we heard that in B/C/S language but we didn't hear that very
11 important issue. I don't want to -- to coach the witness. That's why I'm
12 not going over what he said. I don't know. It's very important thing.
13 It's not in the record.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Let's do it this way: Can the witness tell the
15 Trial Chamber or repeat his evidence as to what Mr. Todorovic told him,
16 the point Mr. Pantelic says is not in the transcript.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour. This is
18 the core of the matter. This was a meeting that was held on the 12th of
19 April. I said that after this unit landed, I invited Todorovic to this
20 meeting and Mijak, commander of the 1st Detachment. In addition to them,
21 Mr. Blagoje Simic came and Mr. Mirko Jovanovic came and some other people
22 too. I said that in my statement yesterday. So that is not in dispute.
23 I knew -- I knew -- and that is how they introduced themselves, but I also
24 knew that, that Mr. Simic was vice-president of the municipality. I knew
25 that Mirko Jovanovic was president of the executive board. I knew that
1 Todorovic at that moment in the 1st Detachment carried out the duties of
2 Assistant Commander for Security and Intelligence matters and that Mijak
3 was carrying out the duty of commander of that detachment. There were
4 some other persons there, too, and of course there was Mr. Radovanovic and
5 Mr. Djordjevic, that is, Crni and Debeli.
6 There is no denial. I asked -- I knew what their positions were,
7 and I asked whether they came in that capacity, and they said yes. Also
8 yesterday I said that Mr. Todorovic did most of the talking. And inter
9 alia, he said that he was the one who invited these people, that he would
10 be the one who would be the head of MUP, that is to say, of the future
11 Serb Municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo in the process of formation,
12 that they were under his jurisdiction, that he would take care of them,
13 that he would accommodate them, that held support logistically and that I
14 had nothing to do with that. So this shows that there was already an
15 idea, a moment, a time when there would be a Serbian municipality created.
16 And then, on the other hand, these are the legal representatives of the
17 authorities, if I managed to explain it.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you very much. I think that has been
19 cleared by the witness.
20 Any re-examination, Mr. Pisarevic?
21 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Re-examined by Mr. Pisarevic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Nikolic, I'm just going to put a few
24 questions to you. You said when you testified here that you met Mr. Zaric
25 towards the end of October 1991. Can you tell the Trial Chamber here when
1 your contacts with Mr. Zaric became more regular, more direct, et cetera.
2 A. Yes. Yesterday in my statement I said that I met Mr. Zaric in
3 October, that I met him on purpose with certain instructions and some
4 information about his work and his merits and so on. These contacts were
5 relatively few. They were intensified when the detachment was first
6 established and when the 4th Detachment was finally established on the 5th
7 of January, 1992.
8 Q. Did I understand you correctly? Did you say 2002 or 1992?
9 A. I'm sorry, it's 1992.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters kindly ask that Mr. Pisarevic speak
11 into the microphone.
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Also --
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, please speak close to the
15 microphone. And also remember to pause.
16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. You mentioned yesterday that on one occasion Colonel Djurdjevic
18 was at a meeting representing the 4th Detachment. Can you remember which
19 meeting this was and when it was held, something more specific about this
20 meeting? Can you remember that?
21 A. I think this meeting was somewhere around the end of April -- no,
22 the end of March, the beginning of April. This was a meeting that was
23 held, including the representatives of different political parties from
24 several municipalities, Modrica, Gradacac, Orasje, Bosanski Samac, and so
25 on. This meeting -- or rather, I was invited to this meeting by
1 Mr. Blagoje Simic. I said that I thought I had no place there but that I
2 would send a representative if that can be helpful or can make a
3 contribution, since Mr. Mico Djurdjevic was from that area, he said, "I'd
4 like to go to see what was going on, to familiarise myself with the
5 situation and perhaps we can have some more serious information as to what
6 can be expected," and that is how I sent Mr. Djurdjevic.
7 Q. Thank you. Also, you mentioned that you contacted Blagoje Simic.
8 Did you also have contacts with Mr. Tihic and Mato Nujic?
9 A. During my testimony yesterday, I said -- perhaps I used an
10 inappropriate expression. I do apologise to the Honourable Trial Chamber
11 when I said that they were all chasing me like devils, that they were all
12 saying that they wanted to talk to me about something. So I claimed that
13 there was not a single person who wanted to talk to me and that I did not
14 find the time within 24 hours to receive him and talk to him. I talked to
15 Mr. Sulejman Tihic too. I remember that conversation from Obudovac, where
16 he and Mr. Izo Izetbegovic were present. We talked, as usual, about all
17 sorts of things, starting with politics and I don't know what all, and I
18 said that the key thing at that moment was to find solutions that would
19 not contribute to a deterioration of inter-ethnic relations. I was very
20 pleased with what Mr. Tihic said. I think his reproach was very
21 reasonable, and I expected him to act in a way which would help prevent
23 Q. Thank you. We'll go back to another question now. The following
24 has been suggested to me, and I didn't hear you properly: On whose behalf
25 did Mr. Djurdjevic go to this meeting, on behalf of the 17th Tactical
1 Group or the 4th Detachment?
2 A. The 17th Tactical Group, because Mr. Djurdjevic was my assistant
3 commander for engineering.
4 Q. Thank you. Did you have any contacts with Lugar, Crni, Debeli
5 after you left Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to say, after the 19th of May,
7 A. I did not have any contacts with them. I must say to the
8 Honourable Trial Chamber that I should not be misunderstood. Mr. Pantelic
9 put the question this way, that they are from Kragujevac and that I am
10 from Kragujevac. I did not know a single one of them. I came to
11 Kragujevac in 1998 [as interpreted]. I was posted there. I was in the
12 guards units. And I literally spent all my time either in the field or in
13 a state of combat readiness. I did not know a single one of these
14 persons. I did not know what they were doing and I did not have any
15 contacts with them after the 19th of May. I went to command the 152nd
16 Mixed Brigade in Cuprija and that is where I did my job.
17 Q. I certainly would have asked you that. But now that you've
18 answered, I just don't find this clear: Did I hear you properly? Did you
19 come to Kragujevac in 1998 or 1988?
20 A. 1988, yes.
21 Q. Thank you. You were asked here about the contacts and connections
22 Mr. Zaric had in Belgrade. Do you know - and I think that you've already
23 said this - that it was Jugoslav Maksimovic, a colonel there?
24 A. Yes, that's right. The Prosecutor asked me who was my connection
25 and who was Zaric's connection and I said that Colonel Jugoslav Maksimovic
1 was his connection and my connection and he was one of the top people in
2 the military security service.
3 Q. And Mr. Zaric went precisely to Jugoslav Maksimovic as a security
5 A. Yes, that's right. Mr. Zaric went and conveyed all of this to
6 him, Mr. Maksimovic brought the key people from the Security
7 Administration to this meeting, including the head of the administration
8 General Aleksandar Vasiljevic. And as concerns what happened in Crkvina,
9 an official note was compiled at the security administration, and that is
10 why I feel so bad when people ask me what I could have done, what more I
11 could have done. I don't see what I could have done in addition to all of
13 Q. Thank you. You were also asked about illegal arming during the
14 course of 1992. Did you take any measures in order to prevent illegal
15 arming in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 A. Well, you see, all the organs of security and intelligence were
17 engaged inter alia on one of the priority tasks, and that is precisely the
18 prevention of illegal weapons and ammunitions being brought in. There was
19 an agreement between Delimustafic, Minister of the Interior, and the head
20 of the Security Administration, General Vasiljevic. This agreement was
21 made to place joint checkpoints of the military police and the civilian
22 police in order to prevent all of this. It is in this connection that I
23 went to talk to Vinko Dragicevic who was head of MUP. We could not reach
24 any agreement.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. If necessary I can explain what happened.
2 Q. Thank you. You have already spoken about this. This is in your
3 statement. So I just wanted to ask you: So did you place these
5 A. I placed a checkpoint at a better place, if I can put it that way,
6 better than the place where the police of Bosanski Samac had placed its
7 checkpoints. So I got hold of all illegal deliveries. When they
8 understood that regardless of whatever they were doing these deliveries
9 came into my hands, nevertheless, then they came to see me and they said,
10 "Oh, we want our checkpoint to be there too," and I said, "There is no
11 dispute about that --"
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re.
13 MR. RE: I object, Your Honour. I didn't ask anything about
14 checkpoints. I asked about information about illegal arming leading to
15 the interrogation of people who were imprisoned afterwards. That was as
16 far as I went. That was the extent of my cross-examination. It doesn't
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic, the Prosecution -- the
19 Prosecution is right. There was no discussion on checkpoints.
20 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. It's not
21 specifically checkpoints, but what was said was what the colonel as the
22 commander did in order to prevent illegal arming. So the placement of
23 checkpoints is one of the things that was done in order to stop illegal
24 import of weapons, military weapons, into Bosnia-Herzegovina. And now I'm
25 going to ask about the collection of information. This is going to be my
1 last question, at any rate.
2 Q. Both you and Mr. Makso Simeunovic, what were you guided by when
3 you sent Mr. Zaric, or rather, when you ordered Mr. Zaric to go to the
4 police station and to conduct interviews with certain persons that he
5 deemed necessary? What did you want to establish in this way?
6 A. Since it had already been established that at the police station
7 there was a certain number of detainees from conversations from Todorovic
8 it was said to me that these were people who were involved in smuggling
9 and other illegal activities. If that was so, then I said it would be a
10 good thing if Zaric went. Perhaps he is going to learn something from
11 them that we are also interested too and these are the kind of people that
12 they have there. And we were only actually interested in knowing whether
13 there were some people there who took part in the illegal arming and
14 transfer of military equipment from Croatia to the territory of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was our main task.
16 Q. Were you interested in which officers of the JNA were included in
18 A. Yes, I've already said this, that on the basis of the information
19 that we had sent and not only we, all members of the 17th Corps were
20 engaged in this particular work, and on this basis some people were later
21 indicted for having taken part in illegal arming. Actually, it was easy
22 to establish this. We knew where each rifle had left. When you find this
23 rifle elsewhere and then you see who sold this person that rifle and then
24 the matter is resolved.
25 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
1 Questioned by the Court:
2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes, Mr. Nikolic, just a couple of questions.
3 The first relates to something that you mentioned to the Prosecutor. It's
4 page 58, lines 13 to 15, where concerning the meeting on April the 12th,
5 1992 you state, I quote: "So this shows that there was already an idea,
6 a moment, a time when there would be a Serbian municipality created." And
7 what I'm wondering is: At that time, can you recall whether based on the
8 conversation with the persons at the meeting and based on the arrival of
9 the two helicopters with the armed men, do you recall whether you
10 anticipated an imminent takeover of Bosanski Samac, if you recall?
11 A. I have understood this question. On the basis of the behaviour
12 and the statements and the way in which Mr. Todorovic spoke, I had in a
13 way taken this to be a suggestion that there were some changes that were
14 in the making and that he would be this new chief of police and that this
15 group is his concern and that he would think about that. That is why I
16 made the kind of statement I made a while ago, because I felt that
17 something was in the making. I felt that something was going on. I don't
18 know if I've been clear.
19 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes, I thank you. And did you -- did you report
20 on this meeting and these thoughts that you had, that you've just
21 mentioned, up the JNA chain of command to your -- you know, your immediate
23 A. I have understood the question. Every day from Tactical Group 17
24 a regular combat report went, a regular operative report went, until the
25 combat operations started. And when the combat operations started, then a
1 regular combat report, in which I, inter alia, was supposed to mention
2 under one particular item what I had done a particular day, who I had
3 talked to, what I had done, and I was duty-bound to give an assessment of
4 my own. My assessment was more or less as follows: That in the entire
5 territory, regardless of whether it was covered by Croats, regardless of
6 whether it was covered by Muslims or Serbs, there is a tendency - and I
7 already said that in my previous statement - that is to say, that they
8 were all making Crisis Staffs and they all had this tendency of making
9 their mini municipalities, et cetera, and that is how I put it to my
10 commander. That's what I wrote in my report to him.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And lastly, Mr. Nikolic: In your -- in your
12 statement, you mention that -- in paragraph 34 that after Mr. Antic or
13 Mr. Zaric met with you on the 17th of April, 1992, that you issued orders
14 that the 4th Detachment wasn't to get involved in the situation in
15 Bosanski Samac town and so on. And I would just like to have a clear
16 picture. Why did you issue that order that they should not get involved?
17 A. I have understood the question. You see, if I were to get
18 involved in everything that was going on in ethnic communities, in
19 existing municipalities, then the work of the 17th Operative Group would
20 be reduced to coup d'etats, mini coups, vis-a-vis one government or
21 another government. We were ordered to avoid this at any cost. What kind
22 of government would be set up was not our problem, our problem was that we
23 should do our part of the job, namely the three tasks that I refer to. If
24 there is a conflict that, we should try to prevent it, to separate the
25 sides, et cetera. And that is why I did not want to bring the detachment
1 into a situation that would make them deal with internal matters of
2 government. And since the detachment had a mixed composition,
3 you can imagine what this would have led to. Then I would have
4 practically been the one who had started an inter-ethnic conflict in
5 Bosanski Samac. That is why I wanted the detachment to remain on the
6 sidelines and to carry out only the assignments that they were supposed to
7 carry out. After all, that is what was suggested to me by my commander.
8 And in these many talks that we had, there was a general position that we
9 should not interfere into what was being done by politics and that we
10 should carry out our military tasks.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.
12 A. Thank you.
13 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you. I have a very short question to you,
14 Mr. Nikolic: Mr. Radovan Antic gave evidence here before this Chamber a
15 month ago about what you told him and Mr. Zaric in the morning of the 17th
16 of April, 1992 about a phone call you had received from Dr. Blagoje Simic
17 in the very early morning hours of the 17th of April, 1992. Mr. Antic's
18 statement differs, if my memory serves me well, in certain respects from
19 what you told us yesterday. So now I'm kindly asking you: Could you be
20 so kind, to the best of your recollection, to tell us once more what
21 Dr. Blagoje Simic in fact told you about what had happened in Bosanski
22 Samac in the -- during the night 16th and 17th of April?
23 A. I have understood. Dr. Blagoje Simic called me and said that a
24 Crisis Staff had been established that represents the Serb Municipalities
25 of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo in the process of formation, and that
1 certain actions and measures were taken in order to take over authority in
2 Bosanski Samac, and that this process was already underway and that
3 literally it had been almost brought to an end. When Mr. Antic and
4 Mr. Zaric came to see me, they were quite worked up. I don't know if this
5 is the right expression. And they wanted to see what the position of the
6 detachment was. They wanted to get involved in some way. And I said that
7 I thought that the best solution was that we obey what the corps commander
8 said and that we should not get involved in this, believing that there
9 would probably be other places too where somebody would take over in one
10 way or the other, and then this would involve the military in government
11 affairs. And I literally insisted on fleeing from any kind of meddling in
13 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you. Thank you very much.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. I have a question, Your Honour,
16 on the basis --
17 JUDGE MUMBA: No. You had the opportunity.
18 MR. PANTELIC: I have, according to the rules, Your Honour. May I
19 respectfully remind you that after the questions of the Bench --
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. But what has been raised which hasn't been
21 raised before. In connection with what?
22 MR. PANTELIC: Just one question, with regard to my client, Your
23 Honour, on the basis of discrepancies -- alleged discrepancies between the
24 statement of Mr. Antic that His Honour Judge Lindholm just mentioned and
25 this witness.
1 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Perhaps I can clarify -- this matter in a very
2 short manner.
3 If I -- my memory serves me well, Mr. Radovan Antic said here in
4 this room nothing else about what Mr. Blagoje Simic had said to
5 Mr. Nikolic than Mr. Blagoje Simic told him over the phone that the Crisis
6 Staff had decided to take over authority in Bosanski Samac. That's the
7 difference. It's -- now when I heard it again from Mr. Nikolic, I think
8 there is no real discrepancy. It was just two different ways of telling
9 about the same thing. Thank you.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Just one question, Your Honour, very shortly.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
13 Further cross-examination by Mr. Pantelic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Colonel Nikolic, my client, Dr. Blagoje Simic,
15 claims that on that morning at 3.00 a.m. he did not call you at your
16 headquarters and also that telephones in Samac were not operating. Do you
17 agree with that position; yes or no?
18 A. I do not agree with that position.
19 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. I've finished with the questions, Your
21 JUDGE MUMBA: [Microphone not activated] Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
22 I think we are now finished with your evidence. You may leave the
24 Yes. We shall now take our break. And I notice that we've gone
25 over, so we shall resume at 12.55.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 --- Recess taken at 12.36 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can the witness make the solemn declaration.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
7 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 WITNESS: VASO ANTIC
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Please sit down.
11 Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honour, I would
13 like to ask the usher to distribute these redacted versions of the
14 statement of Mr. Antic.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Examined by Mr. Pisarevic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Antic, during the proofing for your testimony
18 today, we have already spoken about this technical part of your testimony.
19 I would like to ask you, therefore, to remember what we said so that your
20 testimony can be taken down as best possible.
21 You know very well that you gave a statement. Your statement is
22 certified. It is in the hands of the Trial Chamber and other participants
23 in the case. And it was decided that you will testify here under items
24 15, 19, 24, and 25.
25 For the record, kindly state your full name.
1 A. My name is Vaso Antic.
2 Q. Thank you. In your statement, you've described the events of the
3 17th of April, 1992. You've also talked about the events that took place
4 on the 11th of April, 1992. I would like to ask you a question regarding
5 a phone call. Did anybody call you on the telephone on the 18th of April,
6 1992 early in the afternoon?
7 A. Thank you. Would you like me to stand up?
8 Q. No, no. You can remain seated.
9 A. Thank you. On the 18th of July [as interpreted], I got a phone
10 call around 12.00, between 1200 hours and 1300 hours. I heard the voice
11 tell me, "This is the Crisis Staff. You have a mission and you must carry
12 out an order of the Crisis Staff. You have to make sure that the Radio
13 Bosanski Samac becomes operational." I then proceeded to ask a few
14 questions, but I was not given the permission to ask these questions.
15 They told me that I must carry out my task, I should not ask any
16 questions, but I nevertheless wanted to know who was on the other side of
17 the line and who had ordered that, who is the representative of the Crisis
18 Staff on the telephone. And I was told, "You know who is the president of
19 the Crisis Staff, and the Crisis Staff ordered the following," and it was
20 the president of the Crisis Staff, Mr. Blagoje Simic. That very moment I
21 decided to go to the radio station. The radio station was approximately
22 from 300 to 400 metres from my apartment. There were shots that could be
23 heard in the city. But I decided to walk to the radio station. I did not
24 have my car with me. My wife took the car. She brought the children to
25 Gajovi was the village where I was born and this is where I had my house
1 and this is where my wife went with my children and that's why she took
2 the car.
3 Q. Just a moment, please.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please -- if Your Honours please,
5 in the English transcript, line 6, this is supposed to have happened on
6 the 18th of July, according to this witness. I wonder if that's a mistake
7 in the transcript.
8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would like to thank
9 my learned colleague. This is why I stopped the witness because I was
10 just about to ask him that question.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm terribly sorry. It is true. It
12 was the month of April. Yes, it was the 18th of April.
13 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. So the event you described to us a few moments ago took place in
15 April, it was the 18th of April, 1992?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. Then you proceeded to go to Radio Samac. Where were they? Where
18 was Radio Samac, in what building?
19 A. The office of Radio Samac was in the memorial centre called
20 Trifunovic Uco. I got to the radio station and I saw that everything had
21 been overturned in the radio station, going from the archives, the records
22 that were in a certain area, all the drawers were full of archive material
23 and everything was overturned. Nobody explained to me why this material
24 was overturned, but through my experience I knew how to turn on the radio.
25 I knew how to do it. I wanted to know if the transmitter was
1 operational. And when I turned on the radio, I found out that the ultra
2 short waves were operational and that it can cover only a very small area
3 of the city, whereas the transmitter that was on a elementary school had
4 been burnt down and that's why it was no longer operational.
5 Q. Did you indeed turn on Radio Samac and were you able to broadcast
7 A. I was the only one at Radio Samac, the only person working, the
8 only staff member. And in fact, at the memorial centre I found about 15
9 soldiers in uniform, and I asked them, "Why is the situation such as it
10 is?" I told them that I had turned on the radio station and then I
11 broadcasted some music. Sometime later on --
12 Q. Just slow down, please. Right. So then you turned on the radio
13 and you were able to play some music?
14 Up until the moment you arrived there, was Radio Samac operational
15 and was it operational on the 17th and on the 18th of April, the day when
16 you arrived?
17 A. I was the director and I was the responsible editor of the radio
18 station. The last broadcast of a programme took place on the 16th of
19 April. And because of the situation in the city, nobody came to work.
20 That's why the radio was not at all working up until the 18th, up until
21 the moment when I got there in the early hours of the afternoon.
22 Q. After that 18th -- after the 18th, rather, did you continue going
23 to work at Radio Samac?
24 A. Yes. After the 18th, when the programme became operational, when
25 I was able to start it, it was actually a temporary programme. I didn't
1 have the necessary staff. I could not broadcast the normal programme, and
2 this is why it was sort of a temporary solution.
3 Q. Did you call people who had been working prior to that date at the
4 radio station? Did you call some journalists? Did you call some people?
5 A. That very moment I called the Crisis Staff and I wanted to know if
6 these people were who supposed to work with me could come back to the
7 radio station, because I said I could not work alone. They told me, "Yes,
8 that is possible." And that very moment I was told to get in touch with
9 Stevan Todorovic and Mr. Simeunovic, if I recall correctly, and this is
10 how I got in touch with them. I was told that I can call the people for
11 whom I think they can help with regards to the editing of a regular
13 Q. Who did you call?
14 A. I called Ljubomir Cordasevic. He was a journalist. He had worked
15 previously as a foreign correspondent with the radio station. Then I
16 called Miroslav Vujic [phoen] and then Angelina Vasovic and Stojan
18 Q. Thank you. Did you have any technicians at the radio station at
19 the time?
20 A. I immediately called the people -- I told you that I had had a
21 technician earlier -- I had a technician who was Croatian from Prud and he
22 was not able to come, and then I remembered that he had worked -- that
23 somebody else had worked earlier at the radio station, Pasaga Tihic.
24 He was a good technician. I had asked him can I hire him, would he come
25 and work as a technician. And Stevan Todorovic said to me that "You can
1 hire that man," but he said, "You are responsible for him." I then said,
2 "I cannot be responsible for anybody." And then he told me, "Well, you
3 can drive him every morning to the SUP or the MUP and in the evening you
4 have to bring him in so he can report to the MUP," and I agreed to it,
5 that I would bring him twice a day and that I would bring him to the MUP
6 but that -- and this is the only way he could come and work as a
7 technician at the radio station.
8 Q. Indeed, did Pasaga Tihic come to Radio Samac?
9 A. Pasaga Tihic came immediately to the radio station. I remember I
10 called him at home and they told me that Pasaga is not at home, that he
11 was actually in prison. Pasaga came to work. I didn't go and get him,
12 but he came personally, and I told him exactly what the situation was at
13 the radio. I told him that the middle range -- the middle waves were not
14 working but that the short waves were working for that area. And I asked
15 him if he was able to do something so that the middle range waves or
16 transmitter becomes operational. He said yes. He went to fix it. He
17 stayed there for about half a day, and he fixed the transmitter and it was
18 able to work again.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Antic. That's all we want to know with regards to
20 the arrival of Mr. Tihic at the radio station. And you covered that
21 actually extensively in your statement.
22 Tell us, do you remember if when we talk about Radio Samac at the
23 beginning of May, did you get some video cassettes?
24 A. Yes, we did. And I remember this. I was on the field when I
25 arrived, and when I arrived, the news reader gave me a video cassette and
1 she told me that two police officers had brought this video cassette.
2 Right away I called the police chief, Stevan Todorovic, and I wanted to
3 know what this cassette was all about. He told me that it had to -- that
4 I had to broadcast those -- actually, I should transfer these cassettes,
5 this video cassettes, onto a regular TV, a regular tape, rather, so I
6 asked my technician if it was possible just to transfer the portion, the
7 speaking portion, when we hear the voice on that video cassette, if we can
8 transfer that onto a regular cassette. Pasaga told me that yes, it was
9 possible. He did it immediately, and he did broadcast the contents of
10 this video or TV cassette.
11 Q. Do you remember what this cassette contained?
12 A. It's very difficult for me to remember the exact content. I
13 remember the names and the people who spoke on that cassette, and I also
14 remembered that it was a programme from Novi -- Radio or TV, rather, Novi
15 Sad and it was broadcast earlier on TV Novi Sad. I also remember that
16 Safet Hadzialijagic, Coner, Izet Izetbegovic also spoke on that cassette,
17 as well as Simo Zaric, officer of the army Stevan Nikolic. And I also --
18 and also some other people, I don't remember their names. But I know and
19 I can remember some details. I don't really remember all the details, but
20 I can tell you the following: I remember that there was a speech made by
21 Stevan Nikolic and he was calling soldiers to answer the call-up, and I
22 remember that Simo Zaric said that they were able to find the trace of the
23 arming of the Muslims.
24 Q. Very well. Thank you. Do you remember if on that cassette there
25 was an interview between Mr. Tihic and Mr. Alijagic?
1 A. Yes.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Omer Nalic. Rather, interpreter's
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Omer Nalic also gave a speech
5 there, but I don't remember the exact content of the speech.
6 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Pasaga Tihic, therefore, transferred that onto a regular cassette,
8 audio cassette, from a video cassette. Did you broadcast that programme?
9 A. Yes. We broadcasted that programme five to six times, not on the
10 same day but at various moments and on different days.
11 Q. Those people were not present at the time when you were
12 broadcasting this cassette.
13 A. No, they were not present, meaning that we did broadcast this
14 programme without their presence.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Antic. Tell us, please, did you go to work every
17 A. Yes. For the most part, yes.
18 Q. Without you and without your permission, it was impossible to
19 broadcast any programme; right?
20 A. May I please clarify?
21 Q. Yes, certainly.
22 A. I was still the director of the radio station, the main editor,
23 but I must say the following - and this is important - I was, therefore,
24 the editor-in-chief, and Stevan Todorovic was the president of the
25 executive committee of the radio, and Simeon Simic and both of them told
1 me that I cannot broadcast absolutely anything without their approval,
2 especially not if there was an important interview.
3 Then they told me -- they gave me some names and they said that
4 those names should not have access to the radio station. I remember
5 Zarko Krstanovic, that was one of the names, Pero Vasiljevic, Simo Zaric,
6 said that these people should not come to the radio station. And I really
7 had to carry out that order.
8 Q. Please tell me if, as of the 16th of April, 1992 and up until all
9 that period during which you were the editor-in-chief, did Simo Zaric
10 participate personally in any programme broadcasted by Radio Bosanski
12 A. It is my duty to remember, and I do, of course. During that
13 period, during those six months when I was the editor-in-chief, because I
14 was dismissed afterwards, Simo Zaric never -- was never present at the
15 radio station. If you will allow me, I would just like to add one more
16 sentence: During my work, during those six months, I really tried hard to
17 tell the truth to this unfortunate people, but I had horrendous problems
18 because of it and this is one of the reasons why I could not decide to do
19 anything that was not allowed for me to do during that period.
20 Q. Very well. Thank you. Please tell us, how did you -- how did
21 they explain to you the fact that they had forbid Mr. -- these people
22 to -- how did they explain why was Mr. Zaric prohibited from appearing on
23 the radio station?
24 A. Well, I knew rather well Stevan Todorovic and Simeon Simic, so I
25 did ask them why are you not allowing some people to speak on the radio,
1 not because of them but because I wanted to know that. And I was told,
2 "No, we shall not admit any Commies or balija relatives, those related to
3 balijas, to speak on the radio."
4 Q. And that word "Commies," was that the term used for people who
5 were communists or what?
6 A. Yes. This is a pejorative term which is used to this day. This
7 was a pejorative term for people who were prominent members of the League
8 of Communists and who held certain offices before the war, and it was even
9 said, "Well, we've had enough of Zarics, so let us take rest."
10 Q. And what does it mean "balija relatives"? What is that supposed
11 to mean?
12 A. Well, I suppose because Simo Zaric's wife is of Muslim ethnicity.
13 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. If you could take a
14 look at page 79, line 4. I don't quite understand the quotation, "Well,
15 we've had enough of Zarics, so let us take rest." It must be a
16 translation problem, I think. Could you clarify what it means or what
17 it's supposed to mean?
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Antic, you've heard the question of Her Honour Judge Williams.
20 Was it said Zarics -- "we've had enough of Zarics. Let them have a rest"
21 or "let him have a rest"? Was it singular or plural?
22 A. No, I think we've had enough of them so let them have a rest.
23 Q. You mean the Zarics take a breath?
24 A. Yes, the Zarics take a breath.
25 Q. Did Simo Zaric ever read out names of people who should be
2 A. Well, how could he do that if he had no access?
3 Q. Does that mean that Simo Zaric could not read anything on air,
4 that he could not threaten any Muslims or Croats in Samac with arrests or
6 A. No. While I was editor-in-chief, during those five or six months
7 while I was there, no, he never once did that.
8 Q. Was there a programme devoted to Serbs arrested -- captured in
10 A. During that time - and I must again refer to the period when I was
11 there - I do not recall any such programme, and I would remember it had
12 there been any special programme devoted to that on Radio Samac.
13 Q. Were there any news programmes?
14 A. Well, perhaps there could have been something on the news about
15 it, but there were no special programmes about it.
16 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Antic.
17 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Cross-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Antic. I am lawyer Pantelic
23 and I am counsel for Dr. Blagoje Simic.
24 Mr. Antic, as a journalist of long-standing and as the editor of
25 Radio Samac and a man who is well abreast of things that go on, will you
1 tell us, please, tell us if Radovan Karadzic came to Samac in December
3 A. I was there all the time, that is the town where I was born. I
4 was there throughout. And I'll tell you something about it later. But I
5 affirm positively that at that time Radovan Karadzic did not come. I
6 remember, however, and I wanted to attend a meeting where Mr. Alija
7 Izetbegovic came to a meeting, the meeting that I wanted to attend. But
8 at that time it wasn't public.
9 Q. Am I getting your meeting right? Does this mean that from October
10 1991 to April 1992 Radovan Karadzic did not visit Samac?
11 A. He didn't, except without my knowledge. But I affirm only what I
13 Q. You will agree with me that a visit by one of the leaders in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina would not -- could not have passed unnoticed in such a
15 small town; wouldn't you say so?
16 A. Well, I would have surely. I did my best to keep abreast of all
17 the meetings, desirous of informing the public objectively, because I was
18 writing for an independent newspaper who were willing to publish my
19 articles, and I'm quite sure that I would have covered that event had I
20 known about it.
21 Q. Do you know anything about the staff council having its seat in
22 the heating plant?
23 A. Yes, I know that. The Crisis Staff had its seat in the heating
24 plant. But I wouldn't know at what time.
25 Q. Right. Because we are pressed for time, will you please try to
1 answer yes or no, and if we need any more detailed answer, then I'll tell
2 you so.
3 A. Yes, fine.
4 Q. Do you know where the seat of the executive board of the
5 Municipality of Samac was?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. And where was that?
8 A. In the municipal -- in the building of the municipal hall of the
9 present municipality.
10 Q. Did you visit the executive council within the framework of your
12 A. Yes, I did, because we had to apply for all the resources that we
13 needed from the president of the executive board, Mr. Milan Simic.
14 Q. And did you communicate with Dr. Blagoje Simic personally in
15 whatever regard, concerning your work, of course?
16 A. Yes, in the early days. But when we were told that everything
17 that had to do with the radio, that we had to address it with Stevan
18 Todorovic, then I did it with them and then I did it through them except
19 when I wanted to make an interview with Dr. Blagoje.
20 Q. And did Dr. Blagoje Simic use the waves, Radio Samac, to address
21 some discriminatory messages against the non-Serb population?
22 A. No, and I claim this with responsibility, and I can say that
23 because I was really endeavouring to inform the public objectively. I
24 need to add two or three sentences about a programme that I had introduced
25 without anyone's knowledge. It was called "Missing and lost," and I never
1 received any comments, any negative comments about that, because I was
2 trying to bring together families which had been separated for whatever
4 Q. Did you use the waves, Radio Samac, to broadcast orders about the
5 compulsory white ribbons that the non-Serb population of Samac was to
7 A. No. Radio Samac never aired such information.
8 Q. Did you broadcast on Radio Samac any proclamation about the
9 prohibition of the assembly of more than two or three Croats or Muslims in
11 A. No. But I did read something about that on chestnut trees. On
12 the trunks there would be such prohibitions, prohibiting the assembly of
13 larger groups. But radio never aired such prohibition.
14 Q. Mr. Antic, I presume you are aware that Simo Zaric wrote a book on
15 The Hague crucifix, aren't you?
16 A. Yes, I am.
17 Q. I will read out to you a part of it which deals with Day D, as he
18 called it, the 17th of April, 1992. So will you please now tell me what
19 you think about.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
21 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, many things are
22 being taken out of the context. Can this fragment be put before the
23 witness and have the witness read it and then if somebody wants to ask
24 questions, then let him only then ask the questions about what the book
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters are also asking that the
2 relevant passage be put on the ELMO.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, in order to speed up proceedings, I
4 will simply read the passage and then the witness can say whether he's
5 agreed or not. I mean --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, you can read it -- read it slowly.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you.
8 Q. [Interpretation] Simo Zaric says that he had written -- that he
9 wrote the proclamation of the 4th Detachment on the 17th of April. Do you
10 remember that?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. Proclamation to the citizenry --
13 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... 220 of his
14 book, B/C/S version.
15 Q. [Interpretation] "Proclamation to the citizenry, which I wrote
16 that morning, pursuant to the order of our command on the assessment of
17 the new authorities was a complete failure, even worse than that. It was
18 read on the radio only once and prohibited immediately.
19 "Briefly pointing out at the duty of the citizens to hand over the
20 weapons and to know what had happened overnight, how, and `what the actual
21 situation had set in' that the Serb power had been introduced in Samac. I
22 went `too far,' anticipating an impossible further evolution of
23 inter-ethnic relations."
24 That is an accurate assessment of the events, that which Zaric
25 says. Do you recall that?
1 A. I do.
2 Q. So on the 17th of April, the proclamation of the 4th Detachment
3 was read out in Samac, isn't it?
4 A. I don't remember the date.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have Exhibit D28/4, please.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, for that last passage of
7 evidence to make sense to you, the -- Mr. Pantelic should have specified -
8 and I think he was trying to specify this - that the proclamation was read
9 out in Samac by Mr. Zaric. That's what I understood his question to be.
10 And with respect, he hasn't got an answer to his question. The witness
11 says he doesn't remember the date. But if I'm correct in what the
12 question was intended to be, he hasn't got an answer to the question
14 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Antic, tell us, was this proclamation that was read out by
16 Mr. Simo Zaric? You do not remember that, or was it the 4th Detachment
17 proclamation? Tell us what you remember. You have the proclamation in
18 front of you. So that could jog your memory, perhaps.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honours, could we have this document on the
20 ELMO, please.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The proclamation was read out by the
22 announcer, but I really do not remember the date.
23 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. But you have no reasons to doubt what Mr. Simo Zaric says in his
25 book, don't you?
1 A. No, I don't.
2 Q. Mr. Antic, in your statement, 92 bis in paragraph 4 you say that
3 until 1995 you worked as a journalist and that then, that is, in 1995,
4 Stevan Todorovic, the president of the administrative board notified you
5 that you were no longer working there. Isn't that so? Or you can look at
6 your statement.
7 A. No, there's no need for that. I know it by heart, as far as I can
9 Q. What can you tell us about that?
10 A. Immediately after the end of the war, when the Dayton Accords were
12 Q. Let us cut it shorter.
13 A. Please, I didn't finish.
14 Q. A very simple matter. In 1995, as a journalist you were told that
15 you no longer worked in Samac; yes or no?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... a part of
18 paragraph 4 is beyond the indictment. There is not any relevance to these
19 proceedings. I respectfully move this Trial Chamber to strike out this
20 part, which is the end --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Which paragraph?
22 MR. PANTELIC: This is paragraph 4 of the statement of this
23 witness. And last three sentences should be struck out, beginning with
24 the words, "That day Stevan Todorovic called me," et cetera, et cetera,
25 because there is not any relevance to the proceedings. It's beyond the
1 time frame of the indictment.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: That will be taken care of when assessing the
3 evidence. We don't need to strike out.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. It's just for the record. Thank you
5 very much.
6 Can I -- just to have a second, please.
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Mr. Usher, thank you. I've finished with
9 this do you mean. Thank you very much.
10 My learned friend just -- he was kind to inform me. Thank you for
11 your assistance.
12 Q. [Interpretation] My client, Dr. Blagoje Simic, sent me the
13 following instruction: He says that the Crisis Staff did not order to
14 activate the radio and to read proclamations but that it was done by Simo
15 Zaric and the 4th Detachment. Do you agree with that?
16 A. No. Most emphatically, no.
17 Q. The next position of my client is that Simo Zaric in 1992,
18 especially in those early months, was very much present at Radio Samac,
19 always commenting on things. Do you agree with that?
20 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I've finished with the
21 cross-examination of this witness.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: The Prosecution, any cross-examination?
23 MR. DI FAZIO: I certainly do have some, if Your Honours please.
24 Might I just enquire as to what you see happening with respect to
25 our schedule and timetable over the next few days, and in particular today
1 and tomorrow. The only reason I ask is this: I'm given to understand
2 that there are no further witnesses beyond this particular witness.
3 If we've got time to finish this witness this afternoon, certainly
4 I'd be happy and willing to embark on my cross-examination now. However,
5 if there is a -- the prospect of resuming this after the long break, then
6 in my submission no useful purpose could be served by my launching five
7 minutes into my cross-examination, and I'd like to do that after the long
8 break. So I'm in Your Honours' hands. I'm comply with whatever you
9 want. But I respectfully suggest that if there's going to be a long
10 break, let me start after the long break. We're only going to lose
11 five -- five minutes.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I just suggest
13 something in relation to what the Prosecution just said? It is also in
14 the interest of our clients who find this most difficult to wait for more
15 than an hour and a half. Since the Trial Chamber ruled that the
16 cross-examination could go on for an hour and a half, it would be useful
17 if the Prosecutor would tell us whether that would be the time limit. I
18 think that all the participants would agree if just a short break would be
19 made or if we would just continue, because that is what they find the most
20 difficult at all. Perhaps the Prosecutor could tell us whether he would
21 stick to this time frame allotted to him by the Trial Chamber so the Trial
22 Chamber could rule and this would not be to the detriment of our clients'
24 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll be sticking to whatever --
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE MUMBA: I thought according to the ruling the Prosecutor had
2 one hour.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: That's what I understand, yes.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Let me find out from the registry assistant.
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll continue in the afternoon, hopefully at
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Fine. Thank you, Your Honours. I'm happy with
11 that. Thank you.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio:
13 Q. Mr. Antic, you were a member of the 4th Detachment, you were a
14 private in the 4th Detachment, and you joined the 4th Detachment in early
15 1992; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You joined the 4th Detachment following orders to mobilise and --
18 not mobilise, to report for duty.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. On the 18th of April, 1992 you received instructions to go to the
21 radio station and start getting it into working order.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You know, don't you, that the 4th Detachment was mobilised on the
24 17th of April and that it received orders to take up positions on the
25 Bosna and the Sava River and also to start the collection of weaponry held
1 by citizens?
2 A. I don't know anything about that, because I never specifically
3 determined my duties in the 4th Detachment because I was involved in my
4 work as a journalist. But I was a member of the 4th Detachment.
5 Q. Yes, you were a member of the 4th Detachment. You were duty-bound
6 to follow the orders of your commander, and you weren't a member of the
7 4th Detachment just for fun, were you?
8 A. Yes. But indeed nobody called me up for any kind of exercises or
9 anything at the 4th Detachment. I know, as a matter of fact, that Radovan
10 Antic was commander of the 4th Detachment but I was never called up.
11 Although, I had been issued a weapon earlier.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Is this an appropriate time, if Your Honours
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. And the proceedings will continue at 14.15.
15 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.45 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 2.15 p.m.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio, you can continue.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
19 Q. Mr. Antic, you were issued with a high-powered automatic weapon as
20 part of your membership -- as a result of your membership of the 4th
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were you given a uniform?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did you attend training?
1 A. No.
2 Q. You knew that the commander of the 4th Detachment was Mr. Radovan
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you know him well enough to speak to on a personal and social
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. You knew that on the 16th -- on the night of the 16th and 17th,
9 the town came under attack and armed paramilitaries took over government
10 in the town. You knew that, didn't you?
11 A. No, no.
12 Q. Very well. You knew that on the night of the 16th and 17th the
13 town had come under attack from paramilitaries, didn't you?
14 A. No.
15 Q. You knew that on the night of the 16th and 17th there had been the
16 sound of explosions and gunfire, didn't you?
17 A. Yes, I had heard explosions and also gunshots.
18 Q. You knew that this was completely out of the ordinary, didn't
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. It's said -- I withdraw that. It seemed to you, did it not, that
22 the town was under attack?
23 A. I didn't really know that the town was under attack. I had heard
24 that there was an exchange of fire, but I didn't really know what was
25 going on.
1 Q. It seemed to you that the town might be under attack and at the
2 very, very least a serious situation was developing in the town; that's
3 correct, isn't it?
4 A. No.
5 Q. You --
6 A. The situation was unusual, but I didn't really think that it would
7 be under attack.
8 Q. Did you make --
9 A. That the town could ever be under attack.
10 Q. As the 17th wore on, during the day you became aware of all of
11 these things, didn't you?
12 A. I didn't understand your question.
13 Q. As the 17th wore on, you became aware that the town had been under
14 attack and that a very serious situation was developing in the town.
15 A. I knew that something unusual was going on, but that the city was
16 under attack or that an extraordinary situation was in place, I did not
17 understand that at the time.
18 Q. You spent the night with your neighbours in a corridor calming
19 each other down, didn't you, the night of the 16th and 17th?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. That at the very least, surely, indicates that an unusual and
22 dangerous situation was developing.
23 A. That is correct, yes.
24 Q. All right. Did you not consider in those circumstances that it
25 was your duty to report to the 4th Detachment, or at the very least
1 contact the 4th Detachment to see if your services as a member of the 4th
2 Detachment were required?
3 A. No. Nobody called me, and I did not report myself to the 4th
5 Q. Are you telling the Trial Chamber that between the 16th -- well,
6 indeed from the 16th -- the night of the 16th and 17th onwards you never
7 received any communication from the command of the 4th Detachment
8 regarding mobilisation?
9 A. No. Absolutely no communication whatsoever, no one called me, no
10 one gave me an order. I was absolutely isolated, kept isolated from the
11 events that were going on in the 4th Detachment.
12 Q. Do you know --
13 THE INTERPRETER: From the 4th Detachment. I'm sorry.
14 MR. DI FAZIO:
15 Q. Do you know why you were kept isolated?
16 A. Believe me that I really do not know and I never asked either. I
17 suppose that the reason for this was that because I was a news person and
18 that's why.
19 Q. Yes. Yes, I understand your reasoning, Mr. Antic. In fact, you
20 were aware, weren't you, that other members of the 4th Detachment were
21 responding to mobilisation orders taking up positions on the Sava and the
22 Bosna and also collecting weapons?
23 A. I did not know where they were deployed, but I did know that they
24 had answered the call-up to join the 4th Detachment.
25 Q. I'm sorry, there may be a problem with the way your answer was
1 translated. Do you mean to say that they had answered the mobilisation
2 call to spring into action? Is that what you meant?
3 A. No.
4 Q. On the 17th, on the 18th, on the 19th of April, 1992, did you
5 personally become aware of the 4th Detachment mobilising, taking up
6 positions on the Bosna and Sava River, and participating in the collection
7 of weapons? Did you become aware --
8 A. No. No, I did not become aware of it because I went to the radio
9 station on the 18th, and this is where I spent my time.
10 Q. I see. Did you ever walk on down to the Sava or the Bosna and
11 have a walk along the river at any time in those three days?
12 A. No, I didn't dare, because there was an exchange of fire.
13 Q. Did you know that the 4th Detachment was involved in the exchange
14 of fire?
15 A. No, I did not know that.
16 Q. Did any members of the 4th Detachment come to your home or the
17 home of your neighbours looking for weapons? Did you see any of that, at
18 your home or your apartment building or indeed in your street or indeed in
19 your neighbourhood?
20 A. No. I believed [as interpreted] downtown in a building on the
21 fourth floor, and during those days that you are mentioning I never
22 noticed anybody coming to collect weapons. Nobody came to my door,
24 Q. In the days following the outbreak of hostilities in Bosanski
25 Samac, did it ever occur to you to go and see your commanders and ask them
1 if you had any role to fulfil as a member of the 4th Detachment, any
2 activity that perhaps you should undertake with your automatic weapon that
3 had been issued to you?
4 A. No. It never even occurred to me to go and see what was happening
5 over there because nobody called me, and aside from that, I was a member
6 of the 4th Detachment but I was not engaged in it.
7 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber what -- what it means to be a member of the
8 4th Detachment but not engaged in it. Can you explain that for them,
10 A. If they had ever called me, I would have surely answered the call
11 or the call-up because I know that the 4th Detachment was such a unit in
12 which members of all ethnicities were involved.
13 Q. Tell me this: Do you agree that there was an outbreak of
14 hostilities, there was fighting going on in Bosanski Samac in the days and
15 weeks following?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. Good. Thank you. And tell me, did the 4th Detachment have any
18 role to play -- to play in that?
19 A. Since I was not an active member of the 4th Detachment during that
20 period of time, I believe that the 4th Detachment had the task to
21 alleviate tensions, to make sure that there is no conflict, armed
22 conflict. That's according to my own belief.
23 Q. Yes. I put to you, Mr. Antic, that you're not telling the truth
24 and that the fact of the matter is that you know very well that there was
25 a mobilisation order, that there was an order to seize weapons, and that
1 there was an order requiring members of the 4th Detachment to take up
2 positions on the Sava and the Bosna and that you were exempted from those
3 requirements by your work at the radio station.
4 A. Sir --
5 Q. At the radio station. It was your work at the radio station that
6 saved you from having to participate in those actions of the 4th
8 A. I suppose so. But let me tell you, Mr. Prosecutor, I have always
9 tried -- I always tried to tell the truth and I certainly wouldn't lie
10 here in front of this very Honourable Trial Chamber. All my life I wrote
11 the truth. I was five times brought before the courts and I always won my
12 case. I had problems during the war because I always told the truth. I
13 just want to tell you that I can only make a mistake, but I will never say
14 intentionally something that is not true.
15 Q. And I put to you that your exemption from these activities that
16 were undertaken by the 4th Detachment was well known to the command of the
17 4th Detachment and that they were instrumental in exempting you so you
18 could go and work in this civilian authority, namely the information
19 service and the radio station.
20 A. I can only suppose that that's the case.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you. Pasaga Tihic, he had in fact stopped working at
22 the radio station about a year before and at the time was working in a
23 company called elektrodistribucija, am I correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. When you got to the radio station, you already had -- there were
1 already employees who were working there, including Mr. Cordasevic?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Wasn't Cordasevic a reporter at the -- at the radio station?
4 A. He was a reporter, but he came only when I called him, because I
5 was the first one to get there and he was the first one I called and he
6 came immediately to the radio station.
7 Q. Thank you. What I meant was that you -- prior to the 16th, you
8 had already a staff in existence working.
9 A. No.
10 Q. All right. Okay. We'll leave that topic and move on to the
11 employment of -- the use of Pasaga Tihic's services.
12 First of all, on the 18th of April, Dr. Blagoje Simic called you
13 and instructed you to get the radio station up and operating. Am I
15 A. No. Stevan Todorovic was the one who gave me the instructions,
16 according to the orders of Blagoje Simic.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for a moment.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. DI FAZIO:
20 Q. Isn't it the case that on the 18th of April you were telephoned by
21 Blagoje Simic, president of the Crisis Staff, and told that the radio had
22 to be put back in order and must start broadcasting programmes?
23 A. That is correct. But I said already that it was his order but
24 carried out through other people; that is to say, Todorovic and Simeon
1 Q. Forget about what happened later. I'm only interested in the
2 telephone call. It was the voice of Dr. Blagoje Simic. He was on the
3 other end of the telephone, and he gave you the instructions to get the
4 radio station up and running.
5 A. At the beginning of my testimony I already said that a voice
6 called me from the Crisis Staff. That person did not introduce himself,
7 and even when I asked him who it was, he didn't want to tell me who it
8 was, but he said that Dr. Blagoje Simic, the president of the Crisis
9 Staff, ordered that the radio station should be up and operational.
10 Q. Have you ever told anyone, particularly towards the end of last
11 year, that it was Dr. Blagoje Simic who telephoned you and told you that
12 the radio had to be put back in order and start broadcasting programmes?
13 Have you ever told anyone that?
14 A. I don't remember having ever told that to anyone, but I said that
15 through an intermediary, through a person, he had ordered that the radio
16 station should be put back in order.
17 Q. When was the first time that you were asked to recall the
18 telephone call that got you to go and repair the radio station?
19 A. On the 18th of April, between 1200 hours and 1300 hours.
20 Q. No. When -- when were you asked by anyone to cast your mind back,
21 to think about the events of 1992 and explain what happened as far as this
22 phone call on the 18th is concerned?
23 A. I would kindly ask you to repeat your question.
24 Q. Okay.
25 [Prosecution counsel confer]
1 MR. DI FAZIO:
2 Q. Do you know who it was who telephoned you on the 18th? Do you
3 know who it was on the other end of the line?
4 A. I suppose that it was Simeon Simic, but I'm not certain of this.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for a moment,
6 please, while I confer with my colleague.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
9 [Prosecution counsel confer]
10 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I'm well aware of the
11 ruling that you have now made absolutely clear on two occasions, and I
12 don't intend to revisit that. I understand that perfectly well, and I've
13 heard you again this morning.
14 However, I propose to attempt to refresh this witness's memory by
15 showing him a portion of the paragraphs that we -- that we know are not --
16 not contained. That, of course, is done with a view to refreshing his
17 memory. It is not done with a view to attacking credit. So I thought I'd
18 make that clear that that's my proposal, and I seek a -- a ruling from you
19 as to whether or not I am permitted to do so because of the -- for obvious
20 reasons. So that's the purpose, merely to show it to him to refresh
21 memory, not to attack credit.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE MUMBA: No, Mr. Di Fazio. The Trial Chamber will not allow
24 that because --
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: -- it still remains that paragraphs which are struck
2 off cannot be resurrected in any other way.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Very well. Thank you, Your Honours, for providing
4 that guidance.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: As you are still cross-examining, you can put it to
6 the witness, because from the point of view of your cross-examination it
7 seems to be -- it seems that there is a contradiction.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Within the evidence of the witness.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Well, I'll -- thank you.
11 Q. Have you ever told Mr. Pisarevic that it was the president of the
12 Crisis Staff, Blagoje Simic, who contacted you by phone and gave
13 instructions for the resurrection of the radio station?
14 A. I don't know how to explain to this Honourable Trial Chamber this
15 event. I just wish to say the following: Dr. Blagoje Simic had ordered
16 directly that the radio be put back in order, but not him directly.
17 Through his employees.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. Through his associates.
20 Q. All right. Thank you. How do you know that it was the order of
21 Blagoje Simic that initiated this -- that initiated this repair job at the
22 radio station?
23 A. I will repeat my answer that I already gave previously. The phone
24 call said that the Crisis Staff or Dr. Blagoje Simic gave me those
25 instructions. I don't know how else to explain this to you.
1 Q. All right. Okay. Now, at about the time of this telephone
2 conversation, Pasaga Tihic was in custody, wasn't he?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. How did you know that?
5 A. I didn't know it, actually. I was not particularly interested in
6 it either. I only found out about it when I got to the radio station that
7 Pasaga Tihic was in custody, but only when I got to the radio station.
8 Q. How did you find out at the radio station that Pasaga Tihic was in
10 A. I already said that I came there and I wanted some associates,
11 people who would work there. I needed a technician, somebody who would be
12 able to operate the radio. I already said that the technician was a Croat
13 from the village of Prud. I couldn't reach him. But then I recall that
14 Pasaga used to work at the radio station a year before that or a year and
15 a half before that. I'm not sure. I knew that Pasaga was an excellent
16 technician and this is why I called him, because I knew that the mid-wave
17 transmitter was not operational and this is why I asked Stevan Todorovic
18 to release him so that he can come and help me operate the radio station.
19 Q. Now, as part of the process of getting Pasaga Tihic released, did
20 you speak to Blagoje Simic?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Isn't it the case that since you didn't have any technicians, you
23 told Blagoje Simic, who in turn told you to speak to Stevan Todorovic,
24 because he had arrested Pasaga Tihic?
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. All right. So the sequence was Blagoje Simic first, he tells you
2 that Pasaga Tihic is in custody, and he puts you on to Stevan Todorovic.
3 Then you speak to Todorovic, and Tihic is then released and comes and
4 works at the radio station. That's the sequence, isn't it?
5 A. I cannot recall the exact sequence of events, but I believe that
6 that was the right sequence.
7 Q. All right. Thank you. And you would have had to telephone
8 Blagoje Simic at the Crisis Staff in order to get to him and raise this
9 issue of Pasaga Tihic coming to work at the radio station.
10 A. I already said earlier that I got the information that all the
11 contacts in future should be carried out through and with the people from
12 the Crisis Staff, Simeunovic and Todorovic.
13 Q. And who gave you that information?
14 A. Simeon Simic.
15 Q. At the time that he was a member of the Crisis Staff and at a time
16 when you knew he was a member of the Crisis Staff.
17 A. Well, I think that at that time he was a member of the Crisis
19 Q. All right. The result was that Pasaga Tihic was brought to you at
20 the radio station in the custody of two policemen.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And thereafter, you had to take him to report to the police
23 station on a twice-daily basis?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And Todorovic kept a close eye on his work at the radio station,
1 didn't he?
2 A. Yes. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. Were you continuing at the radio station in -- as part of your
4 normal duties, the normal work that you had done prior to the 16th of
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So you got a salary?
8 A. I did.
9 Q. How much was Pasaga Tihic paid?
10 A. He got something, but I can't remember how much. I can't remember
11 how much I got either by way of a salary.
12 Q. Okay. One of the reasons Pasaga Tihic was able to stay on at the
13 radio station was the fact that he was training another man, Goran Bosic
14 or Bosic. I'm not sure how you pronounce it.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And he was stringing out that training process, wasn't he, so he
17 didn't have to go into custody?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. How did the training process come to an end?
20 A. This is the way it was: The training took about a month, perhaps
21 a bit more than a month. And then Stevan Todorovic called me nervously,
22 asking me whether this training process had been finished by then, and I
23 said that it had and Goran Bosic took over as technician and then they
24 came yet again and took Pasaga Tihic.
25 Q. You knew that the training process coming to an end could consign
1 Goran Bosic -- or Bosic to whatever fate Todorovic had in store for him?
2 A. I tried to keep both technicians at the radio.
3 Q. Sorry, I misled you. My question should have been: You knew that
4 the training process coming to an end would consign Pasaga Tihic to
5 whatever fate Todorovic had in store for him?
6 A. Well, to tell you quite honestly, that was not my job. I wanted
7 to have two technicians at the radio, as I had had before. I needed both
8 Goran Bosic and Pasaga Tihic. However, I was not asked about this.
9 Q. Simo Zaric was a man who was well known in the community in 1992;
10 am I correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. He often gave public speeches?
13 A. Before.
14 Q. That's right. And he often was on the radio talking about the 4th
15 Detachment, wasn't he? In fact, on one occasion, at least, he spoke on
16 radio with Nikolic, didn't he, Colonel Nikolic?
17 A. I don't remember that. I really don't remember that.
18 Q. You were working at the radio station in early 1992 though,
19 weren't you?
20 A. Yes, I was.
21 Q. So you --
22 A. 1992, yes. Yes. Not the beginning, though, but throughout.
23 Before 1992 and after 1992.
24 Q. And during 1992?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. All right. You knew, didn't you, that Simo Zaric was the
2 assistant commander in the 4th Detachment for intelligence,
3 reconnaissance, morale, and information?
4 A. I knew, but I really did not know which position he actually
5 held. I really didn't know.
6 Q. He was the public face of the 4th Detachment, wasn't he? He was
7 the man who spoke on behalf of the 4th Detachment publicly most often.
8 A. Not on the radio.
9 Q. He was the man -- he was the public face of the 4th Detachment.
10 He was the man who spoke on behalf of the 4th Detachment publicly in
11 places other than the radio.
12 A. I don't know about that either, really, because I did not have
13 contact with the 4th Detachment, although I was a member.
14 Q. Are you suggesting that he was never on the radio speaking about
15 the 4th Detachment?
16 A. As far as I can remember - and I was on the radio all the time -
17 he really wasn't, except for that tape when they all appeared together on
18 TV Novi Sad.
19 Q. You say, don't you, that one of the reasons Simo Zaric didn't come
20 to the radio to speak was that he was banned by Todorovic? Is that a fair
21 assessment of your position?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. When was this ban placed?
24 A. Soon when the radio station's programme began. But I can't
25 remember the date.
1 Q. Fair enough. It's a long time ago. But was it in a matter of
2 days after the 16th, or are we talking weeks after the 16th or months?
3 A. A few weeks after the 16th.
4 Q. So for a few weeks initially Simo Zaric was not banned and could
5 gain access to the radio station.
6 A. He could, but he was not present.
7 Q. Your position is that he never once spoke on the radio, no one in
8 Bosanski Samac ever heard his voice after the 16th of April on any
9 occasion or on any topic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And as far as you're aware, he never made any moves to try and get
12 to speak on the radio. He didn't contact you or Simeon Simic or
13 Cordasevic or anyone else to try and get radio time?
14 A. Simo Zaric did not address me, and I don't know about others.
15 Q. Yes, but you're not aware of him ever having contacted anyone with
16 a view to getting radio time?
17 A. I really don't know about that.
18 Q. How did Todorovic inform the radio station of the ban on
19 Mr. Zaric?
20 A. He informed me personally.
21 Q. Did he give --
22 A. As a matter of fact, he made a threat that if that were to happen,
23 that he'd hand me over to the Ustashas. I have to say that.
24 Q. Did you explain to him that Mr. Zaric hadn't been seen near the
25 radio station, had never contacted anyone with a view to getting radio
2 A. I did not explain.
3 Q. Did Todorovic just come out of the blue and say to you that Zaric
4 was banned?
5 A. Mr. Todorovic would barge into the radio any time during the day
6 or night. He would make threats, and he would be the one creating the
7 radio programme.
8 Q. It was the duty of the radio to inform the public, inform the
9 citizens of Bosanski Samac and the municipality, of important developments
10 in the town, important developments that the civilian administration was
11 working on, and also on military matters.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. That included reporting on the activity of the 4th Detachment.
14 A. Everything that came and everything that came as an order is what
15 we broadcast.
16 Q. You broadcast, didn't you, on activities of the 4th Detachment and
17 its later incarnation as the 5th Battalion in the Army of the Republika
19 A. I do not remember that anything special was broadcast from the 4th
20 Detachment, that any kind of need was expressed for that or that anything
21 like that had been asked for.
22 Q. So there was radio silence, so to speak, on the activities of the
23 detachment that had been set up to defend the town; is that what you're
24 saying? The very military unit that is charged with responsibility of
25 protecting the town, no one heard anything about its activities over the
1 radio in the weeks following the takeover?
2 A. I cannot make any comments on what I don't know. I don't go into
3 the reasons and I'm not aware of the reasons. I am not competent to say
4 why it is this way rather than that way.
5 Q. Does that mean that there was nothing over the radio in the weeks
6 following the 16th of April of what the 4th Detachment was doing?
7 A. No.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown D28/4.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Does the Prosecution have a copy of the exhibit?
10 MR. DI FAZIO: We do. I think we can --
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That can be shown to the witness, yes.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: -- lend a copy. Thanks.
13 Q. Mr. Antic, that -- that's a statement prepared on behalf of the
14 4th Detachment. You're familiar with that, aren't you?
15 A. I am not aware of this.
16 Q. You said earlier this morning, I believe -- do you recall the
17 statement now?
18 A. I said that there was an announcement, but I said that I did not
19 remember its contents. That's what I said earlier on.
20 Q. Okay. Fair enough. But that's -- I suggest to you that that's
21 the statement.
22 And in fact, that statement was read out several times over the
23 radio, was it not?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Mr. Zaric was interviewed by officers of the OTP on April the 2nd,
1 1998 and in the course of discussing events in Bosanski Samac said that
2 the statement was read out three times over the radio. Does that refresh
3 your memory?
4 A. I told you that I really do not remember the contents. I also
5 said that this statement was on the radio once.
6 Q. All right. You know that the 4th Detachment collected weapons in
7 Bosanski Samac on the 17th and 18th of April, 1992, collected weapons from
8 the citizenry?
9 A. I've already said that I really don't know that either.
10 Q. All right. Over 30.000 people live in Bosanski Samac, don't
11 they -- then lived in Bosanski Samac?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And there are lots and lots of apartments in buildings and lots of
14 houses standing by themselves on blocks of land.
15 A. 30.000 was the population of the entire municipality. The town
16 itself had a population of about 6.000.
17 Q. And you know that lots of proclamations and orders were read out
18 over the radio in the days immediately following the 16th and 17th of
19 April. For example, the state of emergency, curfew, and so on.
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. And you would agree that if the 4th Detachment was to go about the
22 task of collecting weapons, orders for that or information about that over
23 the radio would have facilitated their task?
24 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] In relation to this question,
2 because it leads the witness to speculation. How can he know whether this
3 would have facilitated their task or not?
4 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll withdraw it. I'll withdraw it.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
6 MR. DI FAZIO:
7 Q. The radio station -- the radio station was called Radio Samac
8 before the 16th of April.
9 A. Radio Bosanski Samac.
10 Q. What was it called after the 16th and 17th of April?
11 A. Then it was called Radio Bosanski Samac too. Later on the usual
12 way of putting it was Radio Samac.
13 Q. Now, you say that Todorovic was responsible for censoring of
14 news. You agree with that, don't you?
15 A. [No audible response]
16 Q. Don't just nod your head --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. No. I need your -- sorry, I wasn't being rude. I need your voice
19 so that it's recorded and so it goes onto the transcript. That's the only
20 reason I make the -- I want an actual answer.
21 A. I said yes.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, the massacre of 15 or 16 Croats at Crkvina was a
23 matter that was extremely well known throughout the town; am I correct?
24 A. I don't know how many people were in town, but I know that I heard
25 about that piece of news a month and a half later.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown his statement. Do you
2 have your statement there? He's got it. Thank you.
3 Q. Could you look at paragraphs -- paragraph 26 of your statement.
4 Paragraph 26, third sentence, "It was absolutely no secret that a crime
5 was committed in Crkvina in which 16 prisoners were killed, nor that there
6 were Croats imprisoned in the secondary school and the TO building." So
7 in your own words, it was absolutely no secret. You agree with that,
8 don't you?
9 A. I don't understand what you mean. What do you mean it was no
11 Q. I mean that it was extremely well known that 16 or so Croats had
12 been slaughtered in a warehouse at Crkvina, 6 or 7 kilometres just outside
13 of Bosanski Samac. It was well known in the town, it was known to you,
14 and it was well known in the town almost immediately after the event.
15 That's a correct scenario, isn't it?
16 A. I don't know how well known it was almost immediately after the
17 event. I found out about it a month and a half later, perhaps a month
18 later or a month and a half later. That's really the way it was. I have
19 no reason to tell you anything but the way it was.
20 Q. All right. So a month later. And a month later it was well known
21 throughout the town that the slaughter had happened.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So there was absolutely no point in keeping it from the people; it
24 was already well known throughout the town.
25 Now, given that situation and given your evidence just before the
1 break that you were endeavouring to inform the public objectively, did you
2 not consider it appropriate to report upon this particular massacre?
3 A. I was the editor-in-chief at that time, but I found out very
4 late. You know that there is no more perishable goods than news. If it
5 is not carried the next day, then it's no use.
6 Q. Oh, I see. So Crkvina was -- the massacre of 16 people at Crkvina
7 was old news a month later; is that your position?
8 A. I am trying to say that really so much time had gone by that I had
9 assumed that everybody had heard about that, and that kind of news is
10 carried immediately, as soon as something like that happens. Not only
11 that, but any other piece of news, for that matter.
12 Q. Did you or anyone at the radio station propose, at least, running
13 some sort of story on this massacre, discuss the possibility?
14 A. No.
15 Q. So no one was able to stop you from printing any story. It wasn't
16 even discussed -- sorry, not printing any story. Broadcasting any story
17 on the massacre. It wasn't even discussed. That possibility wasn't even
19 A. Again, I wish to say that after a month or after a month and a
20 half - I don't know exactly - I heard about that particular piece of news,
21 I personally. There was no point. Even if somebody had proposed
22 something like that or if I had wanted to do it, there was no point after
23 a month and a half.
24 Q. Okay. Thank you. You knew of the phenomenon of the exchanges
25 that were going on, the exchanges that were presided over by Mr. Miroslav
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you report on those?
4 A. Only in the news.
5 Q. Did you go down and have a look at the exchanges?
6 A. No, not as a rule.
7 Q. Does that mean that you went and looked at some of the exchanges,
8 at least?
9 A. I did, yes.
10 Q. Did you go to an exchange at a place called Sid on or about the
11 4th or 5th of July, 1992?
12 A. No. No, I really wasn't there.
13 Q. At the exchanges that you did go to, from what you could see, was
14 it your assessment that the people were being exchanged -- that the people
15 who were being exchanged had no choice in the matter?
16 A. Well, these are questions which I can't really answer, and I have
17 no reason to comment on them, because I publish what I hear and what I see
18 and I do not go into any details, and that is a political issue.
19 Q. Thank you. Just answer my question though. Is it your assessment
20 that the people who were being exchanged had no choice in the matter?
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think, Your Honours, that the first
23 question was really speculative, and the witness already said that he
24 couldn't answer that question and then he was asked the same thing once
25 again, and it can be only his opinion whether he heard somebody say
1 something or not, rather than whether in his assessment these people had
2 any choice, because that is calling for speculation on his part.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: No speculation is being called for. A very
4 specific thing is being called for, his assessment. That's what's being
5 called for. That's what the question suits, and it's that that I am
7 JUDGE MUMBA: That is at the exchanges, if any, which he
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. He said he went to -- he went to some, and my
10 question relates to the ones that he went to. I'm not asking him to
11 speculate as to other exchanges at which he was not present.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. But his -- he can only give his assessment
13 perhaps if -- he can't give his assessment because that amounts to opinion
14 in accordance with what Mr. Lukic said. Did he hear anybody say anything
15 about it? Did he ask the people who were being exchanged?
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. At the exchanges that you attended, did you see or hear anything
18 that led you to the conclusion that people had no choice in their
20 A. No. That is not my job.
21 Q. You were reporting on news during 1992, weren't you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. Did you ever hear broadcast over the radio some piece
24 of news or story to the effect that the paramilitaries Crni, Lugar, Laki,
25 and others had been born in Bosanski Samac?
1 A. No.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I have no further questions.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Pantelic.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: I hope you are not repeating what you had asked
7 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely not. Just a clarification of a couple
8 of topics. Thank you.
9 Further cross-examination by Mr. Pantelic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Antic, Simeon Simic told you that Simeon
11 Simic and Todorovic would in future be in charge for the coordination in
12 Radio Samac and so on and so forth, isn't it?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. And with reference to the sound engineer Pasaga Tihic. So if
15 Stevan Todorovic was the chief of police and Pasaga Tihic was detained at
16 his place, did you communicate with him, asking him to allow him to be
17 incorporated in the work of Radio Samac? Did you do that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. As an experienced -- as a seasoned journalist, would you please
20 give us a brief assessment of the structure and work of Radio Samac in
21 peacetime and in wartime. Is there a difference? And if there is, will
22 you please explain it to us. In a nutshell what would it be?
23 A. Well, the difference is that in -- that you have peacetime
24 programming and wartime programming. And in wartime programming, I always
25 aspired to introduce something to provide the reporting for all peoples
1 and to cover objectively insofar as possible and to report objectively,
2 insofar as it was possible at that time.
3 Of course, there were certain limitations. I've already told you
4 why and how. And every news item had to be signed prior to the airing.
5 Q. Thank you. And my last question: Since you were a member of the
6 4th Detachment, were you there as a professional, as a journalist, who
7 would be responsible for propaganda in the 4th Detachment, because of your
8 professionalism? Was that your special assignment?
9 A. No, not as a special assignment.
10 Q. But basically that was your chief job, as a man who's a
12 A. Well, there were -- there was responsibility for all areas, not
13 for any specific detachment.
14 Q. But whatever, you promoted the objectives of the 4th Detachment,
15 didn't you? I mean, the Yugoslav-hood and --
16 A. Oh, that, yes. That, yes.
17 Q. And at that time the SRK [as interpreted], movement for
18 Yugoslavia, headed by General Mrkovic [phoen] and others, that was a
19 topical party at the time which promoted Yugoslav-hood, a movement for
21 A. There was a lot of talk about it.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Antic.
23 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... Page 116,
24 line 10, instead of the abbreviation SRK, it should be SK-PJ, movement
25 for Yugoslavia. That was the part of my question. Thank you.
1 [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Antic.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
3 Re-examined by Mr. Pisarevic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Antic, can you tell me, if you remember, who
5 was the director of Radio Samac before the 17th of April, 1992?
6 A. Before the 17th of April?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. Mato Krajinovic.
9 Q. And how did Mato Krajinovic come to be the director of Radio
11 A. I wouldn't know that.
12 Q. Was Mato Krajinovic a Croat?
13 A. Yes, he was.
14 Q. And when you went to that Radio Samac, were you put under labour
15 [Realtime transcript read in error "legal"] obligation, were you issued
16 with a decision?
17 A. Yes, I was, by the ministry -- by the department of the ministry,
18 I can't remember what it was called. I had a decision in writing that I
19 was being assigned to that job.
20 Q. And did that decision --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
22 MR. PANTELIC: My learned friend, Mr. Pisarevic, on page 117, line
23 6 asked: Were you put under work obligation, and in transcript there is a
24 word "legal," so it should be corrected. Instead of "legal" it should be
25 "work obligation." Thank you.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That will be corrected. In fact, that's what
2 I -- what I heard, that it was work obligation.
3 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. Before you move on, I
4 wonder, Mr. Antic, whether you know what happened to your predecessor,
5 Mato Krajinovic, the Croatian -- the Croat that you mentioned. Why -- do
6 you know why he ceased to head up Radio Bosanski Samac at the time that
7 you were put into that position?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for your question. I
9 really had no information about the whereabouts of Mato Krajinovic and why
10 didn't he come to the station. I had no information whatsoever.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Okay. Thank you.
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Can we agree if I say that you were issued with the decision on
14 the labour obligation, that is, work obligation, of the Ministry of
15 National Defence Department of Bosanski Samac?
16 A. Yes, that's quite right. Ministry for National Defence department
17 in Bosanski Samac.
18 Q. Please, you were shown the statement, the proclamation of the 4th
19 Detachment, and you told us today that that proclamation was read out by a
20 presenter. Isn't it?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Can you remember whether the prohibition of access to Radio Samac
23 for Mr. Zaric that was issued by Mr. Todorovic to you came after that
24 proclamation was broadcast?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And I have one question more: Your radio station where you were
2 the editor-in-chief, was it a free radio station, or was it a radio which
3 was subjected to the censorship by the authorities?
4 A. It was a radio station which was subject to the censorship by the
6 Q. Thank you very much.
7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
8 Questioned by the Court:
9 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes, Mr. Antic, I just have one small question
10 for you. Earlier on this afternoon, on page 83, lines 5 through 7 of the
11 transcript, you were responding to a question put to you concerning any
12 proclamation about the prohibition of the assembly of more than two or
13 three Muslims or Croats in Samac. And you responded on lines 5 to 7 by
14 saying that nothing had been broadcast to your knowledge but that you did
15 read something about that on chestnut trees, that on the trunks there'd be
16 such prohibitions, et cetera. And my question to you is: When you saw
17 these pieces of paper on the chestnut trees, were they - how can I put
18 it - official pieces of paper? Were they typed? Was there a stamp? Was
19 there maybe a signature? Do you recall anything about what these posters
20 looked like?
21 A. They were typewritten, but I can't remember whether there were any
22 signatures or stamps on them. I really don't.
23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Mr. Antic, I have a futile question but anyhow.
1 As to active duty in the army, including the 4th Detachment, what was the
2 upper age limit?
3 A. I really don't know about others. I know that I was 55 at the
4 time, so I suppose you can draw your own conclusions what was the age
6 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, Mr. Antic. We are finished with your
8 evidence. You may leave the courtroom.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 JUDGE MUMBA: We've been informed that there are no witnesses. I
11 just wanted to find out from Mr. Pantelic what the status is regarding his
13 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, yes, thank you. I've been informed
14 that in the next couple of days all witnesses will be in possession of new
15 Bosnian passports, and thereafter in a couple of days they will obtain
16 visa through Witness and Victims Unit, so they will be ready to come here
17 the first working day, which is the 28th of April, I believe. And the
18 court officer is fully informed through various channels, including the
19 main channel, which is Victims and Witness Unit two witnesses for your
20 information -- probably you were informed, but I can tell you that two
21 witnesses were yesterday on the border between Bosnia and Serbia, waiting
22 for the final approval of the Dutch embassy in Belgrade through Dutch
23 Ministry for Foreign Affairs. But unfortunately due to some
24 administrative problems they didn't obtain that approval and they were
25 back by the transportation unit of Victims and Witnesses Unit to Samac.
1 So they were on the way to The Hague, but unfortunately due to some
2 reasons beyond our control they were not able to come.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Thank you for the information.
4 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if there are no other
6 issues to discuss, I'd like to say only two words for the record. I know
7 that the interpreters must also be tired, but I think it is very
8 important. It has to do with our demographic expert analysis. As you
9 know, our demographic expert has arrived and is really cooperating well
10 with the Prosecutor's Office, and what is most important for us, they will
11 complete their work by tomorrow noon. I've just talked to them.
12 However, there is a problem which I believe is of technical nature
13 and I will try to explain it, although I am a layman, and why does it
14 matter? Namely, as they are searching, they are not allowed to record any
15 of this material. And of course you understand this, because this
16 material we understand is classified and the -- and international
17 organisations and governments have allowed them to search through them.
18 But when they complete their work, they will then have to work, as I
19 presume the OTP did, they have to use a particular computer programme.
20 However, this computer programme which will serve as a basis for their
21 expert opinion is the only document, the only evidence to show how they
22 came by those results.
23 I have already informed Mr. Di Fazio that we are suggesting to
24 them that that programme which they are not allowed to tape - and the OTP
25 knows it - that in case that there is cross-examination or the
1 verification of the conclusions of our experts, we think that this
2 programme should be recorded and then filed with the registry, because
3 that will be the only way in which our witness will be able to document
4 his results. I've already explained it to Mr. Di Fazio, and he has agreed
5 in principle.
6 So when they finish with their analysis tomorrow afternoon, then
7 that programme which they are using as a basis which underpins their
8 investigation, all this should be stored with the registry so that if
9 necessary it -- this programme could be used in the possible
10 cross-examination later on so that our expert could refer simply to it to
11 show what he had done. That is, it will serve as evidence, as proof,
12 which allowed him to draw his expert conclusions. So what we are asking
13 is that this document, this programme which is on -- on a disk, on a
14 floppy disk, that it be stored with the registry so that it could be used
15 later if need be and so that the witness could refer to it again if
16 necessary in his testimony. I've already told Mr. Di Fazio, and he's
17 agreed, but I wanted to raise this because if this programme is destroyed
18 later on and he cannot use it in his testimony, in case of necessity then
19 we shall be in trouble. So that is my proposal, for this floppy disk to
20 be kept with the registry.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: I just want to confirm with the Prosecution that
22 is -- that has been discussed and agreed.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, that's been discussed and agreed. And it's a
24 good idea that the evidence -- that that particular disk be preserved
25 somewhere safe. And I have no problem with that at all. The only thing
1 I'm -- and I'm also quite happy for it to be kept with the registry. In
2 fact, from the Prosecution's point of view that's probably a good solution
3 to the situation. I assume that there'll be no problem from registry from
4 that. And if that's all okay, then as soon as the disk has been finished
5 with, I'll take it and I'll hand it to an official at the registry and ask
6 them to keep it at hand until the end of the trial so that we -- we can --
7 it's available to be used if and when needed.
8 MR. PANTELIC: And if I may add, Your Honour, with regard to the
9 same issue, this disk should be sealed in some kind of bag, according to
10 the standard of keeping the evidence, signed by the people who are in
11 charge, stamped or whatever. I don't know what the standard is, but I'm
12 sure that the registry will take care about that, that it will be proper
13 in accordance with the legal standards. Thank you.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Of course. They always do that with any piece of
15 evidence that is required for -- in any of the proceedings.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, we've got one last matter, just very
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
20 MR. WEINER: One quick -- one last matter which will be very
22 The Prosecution was given until tomorrow to respond to
23 Mr. Pantelic's attempt to proffer a large number of documents, a report
24 plus a large number of documents from a General or Colonel Wilmont, a
25 military expert. Since we were initially given a group of -- we were
1 initially given the report then we received one group of documents and
2 then after we were given this date tomorrow we received another group of
3 documents. We've compiled now three binders of documents which are right
4 over here and in addition we've obtained the transcripts he's testified
5 for two days in the Stakic case and we need another week to review
6 everything before we can make a decision. We're requesting an additional
7 week from the Court or that we report on the first day of the --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber was informed and they --
9 with regard also, there are also other matters which the Trial Chamber
10 wants to deal with. And we shall sit on Thursday at 9.00 hours.
11 MR. WEINER: Okay.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 MR. WEINER: Yes. On the request of the Prosecution regarding the
14 Wilmont opinion, that is fine. The Trial Chamber is prepared to give them
15 one week.
16 We shall rise now, and we will sit on Thursday at 9.00 hours.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
18 at 3.38 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
19 the 17th day of April, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.