Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 18814

1 Thursday, 1 May 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.

6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please call the case.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case number IT-95-9-T, the

8 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.

9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can the witness make the solemn declaration,

10 please.


12 [Witness answered through interpreter]

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

14 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

15 JUDGE MUMBA: Please sit down.

16 Yes, Mr. Pantelic.

17 MR. PANTELIC: Good morning, Your Honours.

18 Examined by Mr. Pantelic:

19 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. Mr. Simic, can you please

20 adjust your headphones. You'll hear better. Thank you very much.

21 Will you please introduce yourself for the record.

22 A. My name is Cedomir Simic, from Bosanski Samac.

23 Q. You are Dr. Blagoje Simic's brother, aren't you?

24 A. Yes, I am.

25 Q. Mr. Simic, today we shall be talking about the statement 92 bis,

Page 18815

1 as per the instructions of the Trial Chamber, certain paragraphs and

2 certain topics have to be discussed during your testimony before this

3 Trial Chamber. Since we're speaking the same language, for the benefit of

4 the interpreters, can you please make a short break after my question. In

5 that way, we shall have an accurate record of your statement.

6 Mr. Simic, you have given your detailed statement. You have

7 signed it in the presence of the representatives of the Tribunal.

8 However, for this case and for providing better information for this Trial

9 Chamber, could you please answer the following questions that I'm going to

10 put to you.

11 In 1992, you were a member of a political party. What party was

12 that?

13 A. I was a member of the socialist party. That was the SDP. The

14 president of that party was Nijaz Durakovic.

15 Q. That was at the level of Bosnian Herzegovina, and those were the

16 successors of the League of Communists; isn't that correct?

17 A. Yes, that is correct.

18 Q. Later on, in 1996, did you join another party?

19 A. Since this first party was frozen during 1992, I was not a member

20 of any party up to 1996 or early 1997, and then I joined the Serbian

21 Democratic Party.

22 Q. After that period, after 1997, generally speaking, did you join

23 any other party? If so, what party was that?

24 A. In 1998, I joined the ranks of Biljana Plavsic's party, i.e., the

25 party of the Serbian democratic alliance. A fraction of that party became

Page 18816

1 the democratic peoples alliance, and that is the party that I am a member

2 of to this very day.

3 Q. For a number of years, you were the CEO of the trading company

4 called Samcanka, and you held that same position in mid-April 1992; is

5 that correct?

6 A. I was the CEO from 1988, and the name of the company was Bosanka,

7 the Bosanka company. During 1992, the Bosanka company became the Samcanka

8 trading company. I continued serving as the CEO of that company.

9 Q. Currently you --

10 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, do not repeat what is in the

11 statement.

12 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.

13 JUDGE MUMBA: Because you are only taking up your time, and you

14 have one hour.

15 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour, for your instructions.

16 JUDGE MUMBA: This witness would have been very brief if you stuck

17 to what was required to testify on.

18 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. I'll take care about that.

19 Thank you.

20 Q. [Interpretation] Currently you are a member of the municipal

21 administration of Samac municipality?

22 A. Yes. I am the chief of the department for economy of the

23 municipality of Bosanski Samac.

24 Q. Mr. Simic, were you a member of the 4th Detachment in 1992?

25 A. Yes, I was.

Page 18817

1 Q. When were you mobilised?

2 A. I don't remember exactly, but I received my call-up papers

3 sometime in March 1992.

4 Q. Tell me: Where were you on the night between the 16th and the

5 17th of April, 1992?

6 A. During that night, I was at home.

7 Q. In the morning, in the early morning hours of that night, on the

8 17th of April, around 3.00 in the morning, there was an armed conflict in

9 Samac, and that is not disputable. What did you do at that moment? Did

10 you do anything?

11 A. As I said, I was at home that night, and it was only in the

12 morning, since the telephones didn't work, did I find out from the courier

13 that the forces of the 17th Tactical Group occupied certain points in the

14 town of Samac. That was a preventive measure on their part.

15 Q. When you say the 17th Tactical Group, who do you mean? How many

16 detachments were there in that Tactical Group, if you know?

17 A. I don't know how many troops were there, how many detachments were

18 there, but I know that this was a regular army and that there were also

19 volunteers from Serbia there.

20 Q. When the courier from the 4th Detachment came, what did you do?

21 A. I was told to stay at home. And since my area is densely

22 populated, other neighbours, other members of the detachment, were also

23 told to stay at home.

24 Q. Tell me: What happened next, over the next few days? Did

25 somebody come to fetch you? Were you told what you were supposed to do?

Page 18818

1 Can you tell us briefly what happened?

2 A. On the 18th of April, 1992, a police vehicle came with one

3 policeman in it. He came to fetch me, and the explanation was that I was

4 needed by the president of the Executive Board, Mr. Mirko Jovanovic, and

5 that I was to report to the agricultural combine. Together with this

6 policeman, I went to the agricultural combine and I found a large group of

7 deputies and businessmen there. And after a short conversation, the then

8 president of the Executive Board, Mirko Jovanovic, invited a number of

9 business people to follow him to the Municipal Assembly building. There

10 we discussed the ways to provide for the normalisation of life in the area

11 of the municipality as far as the institutions and the companies were

12 concerned, and the supply of the population with staple foods. This was

13 also discussed in the Municipal Assembly building.

14 Q. If you remember, can you please tell us: During that meeting with

15 the president of the Executive Board, Mr. Mirko Jovanovic, who else was

16 there? Who were the other business people, CEOs of various companies who

17 were there at that time?

18 A. I remember that in the office of the president of the Executive

19 Board, there was Milan Simic, Mirko Lukic. There were directors Juro

20 Krajinovic, the director of Velopromet; then Pero Vasiljevic, the CEO of

21 the department store; and I believe there was Stefan Tutnjevic from the

22 agricultural combine.

23 Q. Could you please slow down for the record. Let's just correct

24 some things in the record. Tell me. Juro Krajinovic was the CEO of what

25 company?

Page 18819

1 A. Velopromet. Of the three trading companies, Velopromet was a

2 wholesale company which supplied the other two trading companies with

3 goods.

4 Q. Mr. Juro Krajinovic is of what ethnic background?

5 A. He is a Croat and he had been the director of that company for two

6 or three years before the beginning of war operations.

7 Q. And another correction in the transcript, please. What was the

8 name of the director of the department store? Can you please pronounce

9 his name slowly for the record.

10 A. The director of the department store was Pero Vasiljevic [Realtime

11 transcript read in error missing word "Vasiljevic"].

12 Q. Although we have had a lot of testimonies speaking about the

13 atmosphere in Samac during those days, could you please tell us something

14 about the situation in your company that prevailed at that time. As far

15 as I understood, your company -- I apologise. My colleague has drawn my

16 attention to the fact that in your answer --

17 MR. PANTELIC: It's just for the record. It's page 6, line 11.

18 After the name Pero, it should be his family name Vasiljevic.

19 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic.

20 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.

21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I wonder, Mr. Simic, could you tell us what the

22 name of the agricultural combine was that you were asked to go to the

23 meeting at.

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The agricultural combine was the

25 industrial and agricultural combine of Bosanski Samac. That was its name

Page 18820

1 then and that is still its name.

2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.

3 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. So follow up on this question of the Honourable Judge Williams, in

5 the popular jargon, wasn't the abbreviation for that company PIK?

6 A. Yes. It was the industrial and agricultural combine.

7 Q. But in the every day conversations, people do not use the long

8 name. They call this company PIK, don't they, P-I-K?

9 A. Yes, that is correct.

10 Q. We've heard a lot of testimonies talking about the situation

11 during those days in Samac, fighting started, and we will not go over that

12 ground, because that is not the topic of your testimony. However, your

13 company was very specific. You had a number of retail shops in town. How

14 did the situation reflect on the activities of your company? What did you

15 do in order to bring the situation in your company to some sort of a

16 normal situation?

17 A. On the 18th and 19th of April, 1992, I had some conversation with

18 the president of the Executive Board, and we agreed that we should try our

19 utmost to provide the population with staple foods in order to provide for

20 the normal life in town. So all of our retail shops had to be open and

21 accessible to the population. They had to serve their needs.

22 We also agreed that certain measures should be taken in respect of

23 the state companies and institutions which operated in Samac, this with a

24 view to provide for the normal operation of these companies. The

25 Hranaprodukt company was given the most attention. This company is the

Page 18821

1 processing company for the processing of food and vegetables. And during

2 power cuts, all of their stocks were -- could perish. Also we agreed to

3 take certain measures in the industrial and agricultural combine, because

4 there was a certain number of head of cattle for which we had to provide

5 water and fodder. There were over 400 bulls which had to be fed. We also

6 talked about the Uniglas company, the factory for the processing of glass

7 panels for cars. The shelling had already started, and we saw that the

8 complete stock of that company came under threat. Therefore, we had to

9 take measures for these glass panels to be secured.

10 Q. Very well, then, Mr. Simic. Mr. Simic, you're an experienced

11 businessman. Let us try to draw a conclusion. A number of CEOs and

12 members of the Executive Boards took all the measures they could to

13 prevent possible damage from occurring and to save the property of all

14 those companies?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Next question, vital to our case, is the following: How many

17 retail shops were there within the framework of your company, in the Samac

18 territory?

19 A. Prior to the outbreak of war operations --

20 Q. Excuse me. I must interrupt you here. I'm talking about the

21 period after the war had broken out. How many of your retail shops were

22 still in operation? That's what I want to know.

23 A. In the territory of Samac municipality, after the outbreak of war

24 operations, I don't know the exact number, but about 45 retail shops in

25 that area.

Page 18822

1 Q. Immediately after the 17th of April, those retail shops, can you

2 please tell the Trial Chamber: What was the predominant nationality of

3 the employees in those retail shops, both the managers and the common

4 employees?

5 A. The entire company of Bosanka, and this includes the retail shops,

6 all three ethnic groups were represented: Serbs, Croats, and Muslims.

7 Q. Can you please tell me: What was the role of putting -- of

8 keeping the companies as efficient as possible, with a view to supplying

9 the civilian population of Samac municipality with staple goods? What was

10 the situation? What were the needs of the civilian population and how did

11 that function on a day-to-day basis?

12 A. After the outbreak of war operations, and after we talked to the

13 president of the Executive Board, we took all the measures available to us

14 to keep the shops open and to provide the citizens with staple goods.

15 There was a commission, an appointed commission, which went door to door,

16 activating workers and managers who were materially responsible for the

17 goods, for keeping the shops open, for providing citizens with the

18 necessary goods.

19 Q. Were citizens of all three ethnic backgrounds in the same position

20 in as far as their access to those shops? Were all three ethnic

21 backgrounds or nationalities allowed to use your shops, the shops owned by

22 your company?

23 A. I state this with full responsibility. As far as our retail shops

24 were concerned, our workers, our managers, no distinction was ever made

25 with respect to people's ethnic backgrounds. At that time, we really

Page 18823

1 cared about keeping our shops open and providing citizens with goods,

2 throughout the municipal territory.

3 Q. In your company, who was the chief of finances?

4 A. The chief of the financial sector in my company, throughout the

5 war and even now, is Jusufovic [as interpreted], B.A. in economics. He is

6 a Muslim by nationality.

7 MR. PANTELIC: Just for the record, Your Honour, it's page 10,

8 line 4. The complete name of the person mentioned by this witness is

9 Jusuf Jusufovic. Jusuf is the name and Jusufovic is the family name.

10 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.

11 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.

12 Q. [Interpretation] Can you please tell me: In your company, you

13 mentioned that there were all the different nationalities, but Mr. Sego

14 was also one of the managers. Can you please tell us which official

15 position he held?

16 A. Drago Sego, throughout the whole period under observation here,

17 was our cashier in the Bosanka company. Since 1988. Today he is a

18 retired employee of the same company.

19 Q. During 1992 and 1993, these closest colleagues of yours, closest

20 collaborators who had a lot of authority, one of them was a Croat and one

21 of them was a Muslim, kept working for your company without any difficulty

22 at all?

23 A. Yes, that's correct.

24 Q. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber: In 1991, 1992, and 1993,

25 the employees of your company, were they paid salaries in return for their

Page 18824

1 work?

2 A. All those employed by our company had work obligations or

3 assignments. I was the head of that company and the same applied to me

4 and to all the other employees. We had our book of rules concerning

5 awards given to employees. All employees were paid their regular salary,

6 their meals, and we provided all the other incentives that we could

7 throughout that period to our employees. No distinction was made on the

8 basis of someone's nationality.

9 Q. Throughout that period, were the contributions for the pension

10 fund and for the social insurance also paid to your workers?

11 A. Pursuant to the laws, all the contributions were being paid, the

12 supplements for the health insurance and for the pension fund of those

13 employees.

14 Q. You talked about the war assignment or the war obligation -- the

15 work assignment or the work obligation. Did you also have a work

16 obligation as the head of that company?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. The decision on the work assignment, did that go through the

19 office [as interpreted] of the Ministry of Defence in Samac, the local

20 office?

21 A. Yes.

22 MR. PANTELIC: Just for the record, instead of word "office" in

23 page 11, line 18, should be "detachment" of -- municipal detachment of

24 Ministry of Defence. Just for the clarification. Otherwise everything is

25 okay.

Page 18825

1 Q. [Interpretation] So all the employees, all the remaining

2 employees, had received decisions from the Ministry of Defence for their

3 work, the continuation of their activities?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. You personally, throughout 1992 and 1993 - and that's what we're

6 looking at now for the needs of this case - did you only have a work

7 obligation or did your daily activity cover something else too?

8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --

9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.

10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We have a problem because the channel

11 we're using to listen to the B/C/S translation, we are now receiving

12 French translation. I'm not sure about the witness, but we here do have a

13 technical problem and we're listening to the French translation on channel

14 6. So if you could please check this with the witness.

15 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. I'll repeat my question, and you, Mr. Simic, please tell me if

17 there is a problem in terms of the translation you're receiving.

18 A. Everything is perfectly fine.

19 Q. Very well. I'll go back to my previous question. In 1992 and

20 1993, aside from having been assigned your work obligation as the head of

21 the company, what were your other duties?

22 A. I had a military obligation too. I had a military obligation as a

23 soldier, and my assignment was to go to the line of defence, around

24 Grebnice.

25 Q. As far as I understand, that was the front line.

Page 18826

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. This strikes me as slightly strange, if I may say, but I have to

3 explain this to the Trial Chamber. You were the manager, the head of this

4 very important company. You had a work obligation, but at the same time

5 you had received a war assignment, and you had to risk your life on the

6 front line. Please, can you explain this?

7 MR. WEINER: I'd object, Your Honour. Who is testifying here?

8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. The question -- the objection is

9 that the question was leading.

10 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. I do apologise.

11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, can you please tell the Trial

12 Chamber: How did this come about, you having both a work obligation and a

13 war, or rather, military assignment? Briefly, please.

14 A. No exceptions were made. All those who were of military age and

15 able-bodied had to go to the line of defence, and those who could keep

16 working in the companies kept on working. I had a work obligation in my

17 company, but I also had a war assignment, a military assignment.

18 Q. Tell us, please: What do you know about the fact that with the

19 hyperinflation galloping in 1992 and 1993, how were salaries paid to

20 people? How did that happen under those difficult circumstances in 1992

21 and 1993?

22 A. With hyperinflation, with war economy, while the existing

23 infrastructure was being destroyed and, on the other hand, with the

24 growing needs of the population throughout the period for staple foods,

25 for communal services, for medicines - we're talking about the health

Page 18827

1 centre and the hospital - pursuant to a request of the Executive Board, a

2 solution had to be found how to provide and supply the goods with

3 galloping hyperinflation by the hour, so to speak.

4 Q. We'll come to that later, but now I want to know about the

5 following: In view of the hyperinflation and the devaluation of salaries,

6 how did you compensate the workers for their salaries? Can you tell us

7 about that? What sort of remuneration did they get?

8 A. As far as I can remember, in view of their salary, the employees

9 were given the equivalent value in goods, goods that were necessary to

10 live on in those circumstances, and the same applied to myself.

11 Q. Another topic which is relevant for this case, at least the

12 Defence believe so, the concept of state-owned companies, or state-run

13 companies. In 1992 and 1993, what was the structure of the large

14 companies that you have spoken about and other companies in the Samac

15 area? I'm talking about the companies of considerable size.

16 A. The whole of the local economy, before the war, was based on

17 state-owned companies. Actually, socially owned enterprises and later

18 they became state-owned companies. So I repeat: All the local economy in

19 the Samac area was based on the socially owned enterprises.

20 Q. What was the role of Samac municipality in terms of appointing

21 managers and CEOs to these socially owned enterprises? Was there any kind

22 of relationship at work there?

23 A. Based on the war laws and on instructions by the relevant

24 ministries, the Executive Board appointed coordinators to these companies,

25 so that all the socially owned enterprises and companies had their own

Page 18828

1 coordinator or war manager.

2 Q. The next question following up, a follow-up question: Did the

3 Executive Board also appoint coordinators to privately owned companies, or

4 did this only apply to the socially owned enterprises and companies?

5 A. This only applied to the socially owned ones, as far as I

6 remember.

7 Q. Tell me briefly, please: The Ministry of Defence of Republika

8 Srpska, did they have provisions regulating the functioning of the economy

9 in terms of the needs of the Ministry of Defence in wartime? Can you tell

10 us anything about that?

11 A. As far as I remember, we had very strict war laws, wartime laws

12 and regulations, which applied to the economy, to production, to the

13 placement of goods, and to securing the needs of the population.

14 Q. Tell us about the activities of your own company pursuant to

15 requests of the military administration in Odzak. Were there any

16 obligations you had to meet there?

17 A. Based on the information that we had in the area of Odzak

18 municipality, people were returning there, and the Executive Board made a

19 request for us to open three shops, to open up three shops in the area,

20 general goods, to meet the needs of the population returning there and

21 supplying goods for the population only in the area of Odzak municipality

22 in that particular period.

23 Q. Please tell us: On the territory of the municipality of Samac -

24 and I'm speaking about the area which belonged to the Serb part - was

25 there a production? What was being produced in various companies and

Page 18829

1 firms, according to you?

2 A. After the normalisation of life in wartime, with regards to the

3 supplying of hospitals, with medicine and food staples for various

4 companies, we had to accomplish springtime sowing, and this usually

5 happens in April and in May. So we had to make sure that the sowing was

6 not postponed, because in that time, it means that when we talk about

7 various foods, we would not be able to produce it.

8 Q. Very well. Thank you. Is there a company which produces boilers

9 in Samac?

10 A. Let me tell you --

11 Q. No. Let us get to the point. Is there a company which produces

12 boilers?

13 A. Yes. The company is called Mebos and it produces boilers in

14 Samac.

15 Q. During the year of 1992 and 1993, was the production of boilers

16 made -- repeated in that company?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Were these products being sold?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Who was the intermediary? Who was making sure that the products

21 of that company were placed on the marketplace?

22 A. Well, the exchanges were necessary at the time, and the Executive

23 Board created a company in Stara Pazova, and Radul Smiljkovic became the

24 CEO of that company. He was from Serbia. That company was the

25 intermediary with regards to the placement of boilers on the marketplace

Page 18830

1 and other products.

2 Q. Stara Pazova is in Serbia; is that correct?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Please tell me: When products stemming from the municipality of

5 Samac, and when they were placed on the marketplace through that

6 intermediary, what did you need for the needs of the population? For

7 instance, if you sell boilers, what do you get in exchange?

8 A. When we were selling boilers in that particular case, the priority

9 was given to staple foods and consumer goods, as well as the medication

10 for pharmaceutical purposes, and other material needed for the production

11 of boilers.

12 Q. Aside from the production of boilers, in 1992, in 1993, in Samac,

13 was there any other type of production made?

14 A. Yes. The industry of furniture existed, and still exists today.

15 Buducnost is a company which produced upholstered furniture and various

16 different types of furniture, and that company was opened during the war,

17 and it is still open today.

18 Q. Since Samac was in an area which was predominantly an agricultural

19 area, can you tell us if those products were also being sold and exchanged

20 on the marketplace?

21 A. I would like to say that the fattened bulls were particularly

22 interesting, and they came from the combine of Samac. And Hranaprodukt,

23 there was a deep-freeze programme for various foods, and that was the

24 exchange that existed in Stara Pazova.

25 Q. Can you tell us: What kind of pharmaceutical products were made,

Page 18831

1 or what is that the hospitals needed and what did that company provide to

2 supply various hospitals for the needs of your area and of foreign

3 countries?

4 A. Our area is a risky area for a disease with -- in terms of --

5 Q. I'm sorry. I have to interrupt you because I will have to repeat

6 my question. I'm not satisfied with the translation of my question.

7 Please tell the court: What kind of medical supplies did that

8 company produce in Stara Pazova for the needs of Serbia, the area of

9 Serbia, and also for the needs of foreign countries.

10 MR. PANTELIC: I'll repeat my question in English, please.

11 Q. Could you tell the Chamber, please, for the hospital needs, which

12 kind of products, medical products, this company from Stara Pazova that

13 you mentioned import from Serbia and from foreign countries? Thank you.

14 A. We have a dialysis centre in Samac. We had made a particular

15 attention for the providing of haemodialysis for the life support of

16 people who needed dialysis. We were able to get various products in

17 medication from haemofarm Vrsac and they were producing dialysis

18 material. And we were able to get also various pharmaceutical products

19 which we were able to distribute to the medical centre.

20 Q. [Interpretation] Since the Executive Board gave you certain

21 instructions with regards to the war economy, could you please tell us if

22 Blagoje Simic was able to influence in a certain way the work of the

23 executive committee? Was he able, for instance, to give certain orders or

24 to make a difference in terms of the decisions that would be brought by

25 the Executive Board?

Page 18832

1 A. It was practically impossible that Dr. Blagoje Simic takes part in

2 the distribution of the needs of the municipality in terms of staple foods

3 to the distribution of the municipality, with regards to the medication

4 and other material. According to the laws of war, the Executive Board was

5 an institution --

6 MR. WEINER: I'd object at this point.


8 MR. WEINER: He's going to start discussing the laws of war?

9 There is no -- there's no indication of any background that he has as a

10 lawyer, that he's received any legal training. It's outside the scope of

11 his testimony.

12 MR. PANTELIC: No, no, no, Your Honour. It is not discussion of

13 the laws of war. It is simply a personal knowledge of a well-experienced

14 manager and a member of some Executive Board institutions, with his

15 personal knowledge what was the relation between the relevant ministries

16 on the governmental level and local level with Executive Board. His

17 personal knowledge as a well-experienced manager on that field.

18 Nothing -- we are not speaking about laws of war, we are not speaking

19 about legal issues. We are just speaking about his personal knowledge of

20 what and how this relation was actually -- and we hear that from many

21 witnesses here, from the same area.

22 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I have no objection if he's going to

23 speak from his experience. You know, he can say based on my experience in

24 Samac, this usually happened. However, he stated, on line 19, 1,

25 "according to the laws of war." If he's going to give a legal opinion,

Page 18833

1 we would object.

2 MR. PANTELIC: No, no, no. That's a matter of translation. I do

3 apologise to my learned friend. I never said -- and that's a nonsense,

4 absolute nonsense. Why should I use --

5 MR. WEINER: No. The witness said that.

6 MR. PANTELIC: That's a problem of translation. He said that in

7 fact it was economical regulation during the state of war. That's the

8 proper translation.

9 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we --

10 MR. PANTELIC: We shall clarify that, Your Honour.

11 JUDGE MUMBA: So he will stick to his experience; he will stick to

12 the facts.

13 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely.

14 Q. [Interpretation] We are talking about laws, regulations, which

15 were linked to the economy, which prevailed during the war, and I asked

16 you if Dr. Blagoje Simic was able to have any type of influence on the

17 work of the Executive Board and on the coordination, given his role as

18 president of the Crisis Staff. And please tell us from your own

19 experience, what do you know during 1992 and 1993? Would you please

20 briefly explain this to the Trial Chamber.

21 A. According to my own knowledge, the Executive Board was the organ

22 which was able to have -- they had at its disposal all the material needs,

23 and they were able to distribute that to the municipality.

24 Q. Thank you. How often did you used to see your brother during

25 those wartime years in 1992 and 1993?

Page 18834

1 A. Blagoje and myself, we are brothers. I am his older brother. I'm

2 11 years older than him. I have my own profession. I'm an agronomist.

3 He has his own profession. And we would see each other during family

4 meetings. More rarely in Samac, but more frequently in Kruskovo Polje,

5 which was our family house.

6 Q. As a brother, did Dr. Blagoje Simic ever complain to you about

7 some problems? Because, of course, you remember living in difficult

8 times. As brothers, would you exchange your points of view? Was he

9 complaining about something to you?

10 A. Well, we had our family discussions whenever we would meet, and we

11 would always meet with the rest of our family.

12 Q. Please tell us: Do you know if Dr. Blagoje Simic, as a president

13 of the Crisis Staff, did he order the arrest of some people or the

14 mistreatment of certain individuals on the territory of Samac, the

15 municipality of Samac?

16 A. I can confirm to you that my brother, Blagoje Simic, never ordered

17 that somebody gets killed. He never killed anyone. And he never carried

18 out any type of discrimination on the municipality of Bosanski Samac.

19 Q. And please tell us if during those first days after the outbreak

20 of the conflict, in the month of April of 1992, did you get a phone call

21 from the brother of Sulejman Tihic? And if he did call you, tell us why

22 did he call you. What did he want from you, and what transpired from that

23 conversation?

24 A. After the outbreak of the conflict, war conflict, Bato, the

25 brother of Sulejman Tihic, called me. I don't know his name. That's only

Page 18835

1 his nickname. And he asked me something about Blagoje Simic. I said that

2 I didn't know where Blagoje was, and that was really the fact. I didn't

3 know where Blagoje was.

4 Q. Did you suggest something to the brother of Sulejman Tihic at that

5 time?

6 A. He then asked me if Sulejman Tihic could come to my house, because

7 we were neighbours. I told him that I have nothing against that, but the

8 front line from the village of Prud was nearby, and the army would often

9 come there. He then changed his mind, and Sulejman and himself changed

10 their minds, so they did not come to my house.

11 MR. PANTELIC: I've finished my examination-in-chief for this

12 witness. Thank you.

13 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Before you actually sit down, I just have one

14 point of clarification.

15 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.

16 JUDGE WILLIAMS: On page 20, your question, Mr. Pantelic,

17 beginning on line 11 through to line 17, I don't believe you got an answer

18 to it. You had a couple of questions all linked together, and I don't

19 believe you got an answer to the question, which is as follows: You were

20 asking Mr. Simic if Dr. Blagoje Simic was able to have any type of

21 influence on the work of the Executive Board and the coordination, given

22 his role as president of the Crisis Staff? As far as I'm concerned, the

23 answer did not address that. Mr. Simic only addressed the second question

24 that you posed. So perhaps if Mr. Simic could answer that question, it

25 would be helpful.

Page 18836

1 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely. I'm very grateful for your

2 intervention, Your Honour.

3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, so the question was to the effect

4 whether Dr. Blagoje Simic had any type of influence through his position,

5 and was he able to coordinate the work of the Executive Board?

6 A. As far as I know, the Executive Board worked according to the

7 order that was given from the government at the time, and it was an

8 independent institution. It had at its disposal needs, supplies. And

9 when it comes to the economy, Blagoje Simic could not have had any direct

10 nor any indirect influence on the economy of the municipality of Samac.

11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

12 JUDGE MUMBA: Microphone.

13 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise. Just a last question with regard

14 to this issue.

15 Q. [Interpretation] Do you know if at the time the Executive Board

16 was reporting to the Crisis Staff, was it informing them what was going on

17 with regards to the humanitarian aspect, social aspects, and the economy?

18 A. As the coordinator, the president of the Executive Board was

19 calling us for meetings, and he would give us concrete tasks. So I do not

20 know if -- or rather, I don't know what was the link between the Executive

21 Board and the Crisis Staff, what was the relationship between the two.

22 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I've finished with

23 examination-in-chief of this witness. Thank you.

24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution?

25 MR. WEINER: I was going to wait and see if Defence counsel were

Page 18837

1 going to question. Mr. Lukic stood up.

2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I merely wanted to inform the Trial

3 Chamber that we, for our part, have no questions for Mr. Simic. Thank

4 you.

5 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.

6 Cross-examined by Mr. Pisarevic:

7 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Simic. I will ask you a few

8 brief questions, referring mostly to your membership in the 4th

9 Detachment, or rather, the events on the 17th of April, 1992.

10 You said yourself that your house is in a densely populated area

11 of the town of Bosanski Samac. This district, this neighbourhood where

12 your house is, is it generally known as Sljivik?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Thank you. Did you know that among your neighbours, regardless of

15 their ethnic background, there was a number of members of the 4th

16 Detachment of the JNA?

17 A. Yes, I did know that.

18 Q. Did you know whether any of those members of the 4th Detachment in

19 any way whatsoever, on the 17th of April, took part in any kind of

20 military operation in the town of Samac, or did you see all of them in the

21 morning when you were there?

22 A. On the 17th of April, 1992, in the morning, about 5.00, a

23 messenger came and told us not to leave our homes for the time being.

24 Q. He told you, as in you or the others too?

25 A. He conveyed instructions and orders to me, because I was at home,

Page 18838

1 and I assume also to other neighbours, those, at least, who were members

2 of the 4th Detachment.

3 Q. Those neighbours of yours, were they at home too?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Did you know, because your house was near the front line, the line

6 of defence of the town of Samac, near the embankment, the members of the

7 4th Detachment, in the afternoon, did they deploy along the line of

8 defence, along the embankment on the Bosna River, the right bank?

9 A. There was a certain amount of commotion there. Some of them left

10 of their own volition for the embankment, because it was only 10 or 15

11 metres away from their homes. I didn't leave home before I received

12 orders telling me to do otherwise.

13 Q. If I understand you correctly, you did not leave your home on the

14 17th until, on the 18th, a police vehicle came to pick you up and it took

15 you to the PIK.

16 A. Yes, that's correct.

17 Q. Thank you. You have testified that you heard from the messenger

18 that military forces of the 17th Tactical Group had taken vital buildings

19 and facilities in the town of Bosanski Samac?

20 A. Yes.

21 MR. PANTELIC: The witness said that.

22 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I think the witness just confirmed

23 this.

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can you please repeat the question?

25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 18839

1 Q. If I heard you correctly, you said that on the 17th, in the

2 morning, a messenger or courier came and told you that forces of the 17th

3 Tactical Group had taken a number of facilities or buildings in the town

4 of Samac as some kind of pre-emptive action, together with the

5 volunteers. Is that what you said?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Did you actually hear this afterwards, the same thing, from the

8 commander of the 4th Detachment, from the deputy of the 4th Detachment or

9 from the commander of the 17th Tactical Group?

10 A. I had no occasion to hear this from any of the persons you have

11 just enumerated.

12 Q. Very well. Thank you. I have no further questions for this

13 witness.

14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution.

15 Cross-examined by Mr. Weiner:

16 Q. Good morning, Mr. Simic. My name is Phillip Weiner. I'm with the

17 Office of the Prosecutor. I'm going to be asking you some questions for

18 the next hour. Do you understand that?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Okay. Now, in your statement and in your testimony this morning,

21 sir, you didn't indicate that you had been involved in politics as early

22 as 1990. In 1990, you were a candidate for the Municipal Assembly; isn't

23 that true?

24 A. No.

25 MR. WEINER: May the witness please be shown Exhibit P8 ter. The

Page 18840

1 section in the back with all the candidates for the political office,

2 please.

3 Q. Sir, you testified that after the Communist Party, you joined the

4 Socialist Party. Would you please look at that list from the Official

5 Gazette, and you'll notice under number 16, it says "Cedomir Simic, Serb,

6 Bosanski Samac." Is that you?

7 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise. I don't have any objection for

8 this line of questioning, but for the sake of clarity, we would like to

9 have a B/C/S version of this Official Gazette, because otherwise it's

10 nothing. I mean, it's just a list. I don't know from where it comes.

11 Maybe I can check Official Gazette. Yes, thank you.

12 MR. WEINER: Actually, you could use mine.

13 JUDGE MUMBA: This is -- I thought this is a page -- part of

14 Exhibit P8, or what is it, Mr. Weiner?

15 MR. WEINER: Excuse me, Your Honour?

16 JUDGE MUMBA: I thought this was one of the pages of Exhibit P8.

17 MR. WEINER: Yes, it's one of the pages of Exhibit P8. It's just

18 a list of names.

19 MR. PANTELIC: Could I have a copy of my learned friend in B/C/S?

20 MR. WEINER: Why don't you take mine.

21 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, you don't have Exhibit P8? Because

22 it's one of the documents already admitted into evidence and you're

23 supposed to have that.

24 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, but I cannot locate the exact page in B/C/S

25 language, so that's a problem. Thank you. But thanks to my learned

Page 18841

1 friend, we have our B/C/S version. Thank you.

2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner. You can proceed.

3 MR. WEINER: Thank you, Your Honour.

4 Q. Sir, is that your name, Cedomir Simic, Serb, Bosanski Samac?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. So you were a candidate in 1990 for the Municipal Assembly, under

7 the Socialist Party?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And at that same time, your brother, the defendant Blagoje Simic,

10 ran on the SDS ticket; isn't that correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And he ran -- actually, his name was the first candidate listed on

13 the SDS ticket. He was given that honour, the first candidate listed;

14 isn't that correct?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And he was elected, and as you know, he later became a member of

17 the Crisis Staff, in fact its president.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And you also know that your cousin Simeon Simic was a candidate in

20 that election in 1990; isn't that correct?

21 A. I don't know about that.

22 Q. Let me refresh your recollection. One moment, please. I ask you

23 to look at the list of candidates, also in Exhibit P8, under the SSO

24 party, and you'll see the first name on that ballot, and the SSO party is

25 Simeon Simic and he's also listed like you and your brother as a Serb from

Page 18842

1 Bosanski Samac. Isn't that correct, sir?

2 A. I'm looking at this document now, but there's a lot that I still

3 haven't seen, so I can't say that I'm particularly updated.

4 Q. But do you see his name there as the number one candidate in the

5 SSO party, Simeon Simic, a Serb from Bosanski Samac?

6 A. Yes, I can see that now.

7 Q. And you're also aware, sir, that he was elected to the Assembly?

8 Do you recall that?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Well, sir, do you recall that he later became a member of the

11 Crisis Staff and served with your brother, the defendant Blagoje Simic?

12 A. I saw him on the premises of the Municipal Assembly, but as to

13 what he was doing there, I actually don't know.

14 Q. Well, after the Municipal Assembly was established in 1991, were

15 you aware that in 1992 he became a member of the Crisis Staff and served

16 with your brother, the defendant Blagoje Simic?

17 A. I repeat: I did see him in the Municipal Assembly building, but I

18 do not know what he was doing there.

19 Q. And when you say you saw him, do you mean 1992, in the spring or

20 early summer of 1992?

21 A. The beginning of summer 1992.

22 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, your cousin Milan Simic was not a candidate

23 in 1990, but you are aware that he became the president of the Executive

24 Board?

25 A. I'm aware of that, yes.

Page 18843

1 Q. And he also attended Crisis Staff meetings with your cousin Simeon

2 and your brother Blagoje; isn't that correct?

3 A. I don't know that.

4 Q. And your brother, the defendant Simic, has testified that Milan

5 Simic, your cousin, was related to Stevan Todorovic, the police chief?

6 Are you aware of that, sir?

7 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour. We have a clear ruling

8 with regard to the previous witness statement, including the defendant,

9 with regard to the questioning of the witness. So maybe we could follow

10 that rule. I mean, if my learned friend has some idea or line of

11 questioning, he can be very directly, what is the personal knowledge of

12 this witness with regard to such-and-such meetings and this or that

13 occasion. Otherwise it's not in accordance with the practice, Your

14 Honour.

15 MR. WEINER: I'm not confronting him. I'm just asking him about

16 his family tree.

17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. That's what I was -- I was

18 looking at the formation of the question itself. It wasn't a form of

19 impeachment.

20 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. I agree with you absolutely.

21 But on -- it's page 30, line 1, just the word "has testified" that Milan

22 Simic, et cetera, et cetera. So maybe we could be focused just on the

23 event or the particular isolated fact.

24 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, to keep things moving, I'll just

25 rephrase the question so we can just move along.

Page 18844



3 Q. Sir, Stevan Todorovic married Milan Simic's family, into the Simic

4 family; isn't that correct?

5 A. No.

6 Q. They were not in-laws? Your brother indicated that they were

7 in-laws. Do you recall any sort of wedding?

8 A. It's the other way around. Milan Simic married into Stevan

9 Todorovic's family, because he is his brother-in-law. Stevan Todorovic is

10 single, so he could not have married into anyone's family. So it's the

11 other way around, actually.

12 Q. So Milan Simic married -- based on Milan Simic's marriage, he and

13 Stevan Todorovic are now related; correct? Okay. And are you aware that

14 Stevan Todorovic, who is now related to the Simic family, also was

15 attending Crisis Staff meetings?

16 A. I did see Stevan Todorovic likewise in the town of Samac and on

17 the premises of the Municipal Assembly, but I do not know why he was

18 there, and I do not know that he attended any meetings of the Crisis

19 Staff.

20 Q. Now, do you know a man from Batkusa named Aco Jankovic? Aco?

21 A. Aco Jankovic.

22 Q. And he was also a relative of Milan Simic, your cousin Milan

23 Simic?

24 A. I do know Aco Jankovic, yes.

25 Q. And you also know that he was a cousin or a relative of Milan

Page 18845

1 Simic too, some sort of relative?

2 A. Well, yes, I know that he is some kind of relative of Milan

3 Simic's wife.

4 Q. And were you aware that Aco Jankovic was also present at one or

5 more Crisis Staff meetings and was assisting the Crisis Staff in some

6 manner?

7 A. I don't know that.

8 Q. Now, sir, we've discussed your brother; yourself; your cousins

9 Simeon, Milan, Stevan Todorovic, Aco Jankovic. Were there any other

10 members of your family involved in municipal government in Bosanski Samac?

11 A. No.

12 Q. So just those?

13 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour. I mean, it's not fair to

14 this witness. I can find how this witness is related to Aco Jankovic or

15 Stevan Todorovic. And by the way, just to help my --

16 JUDGE MUMBA: The witness has already explained, so -- the witness

17 has already explained, so there is no basis for your objection.

18 MR. WEINER: All right.

19 Q. Let's move on, sir. You testified that you were not a member of

20 the SDS party; isn't that correct?

21 A. I was not a member of the SDS until 1997.

22 Q. And back in 1991, 1992, you didn't attend any SDS meetings; isn't

23 that correct?

24 A. No, I didn't.

25 Q. And you never attended any SDS board meetings back at that same

Page 18846

1 time, municipal board meetings?

2 A. No.

3 Q. And you were never present with your brother, the defendant

4 Blagoje Simic, when he met or spoke with any SDS leaders, were you?

5 A. No.

6 Q. And you were never with your brother, you were never present with

7 your brother, when he met with other SDS members and they had certain

8 types of meetings or planning or strategy sessions?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Now, sir, were you aware that the SDS party was involved in the

11 establishment of the Serbian municipality of Samac?

12 A. Yes. My employees told me about it, my employees who were working

13 in the field, but I did not hear about this from Blagoje Simic.

14 Q. And you also knew, sir, that the SDS party was involved in the

15 establishment of the Crisis Staff in Bosanski Samac?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Were you aware that your brother, as SDS president, was involved

18 in the establishment of the Crisis Staff for the Serbian municipality of

19 Bosanski Samac?

20 A. No.

21 Q. And were you aware that your brother was elected Municipal

22 Assembly president on April 14th, at the initiative of the SDS party

23 municipal board?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Thank you. Now, you've testified today, and in your 92 bis

Page 18847

1 statement you've described the powers of the executive committee, or you

2 used the phrase executive committee, but we've been using Executive Board

3 here. And in fact, in paragraph 16 to 21, you describe the powers of the

4 executive committee.

5 MR. WEINER: If the witness would like to see his statement, it's

6 163/1 ter.

7 Q. Sir, could you look at that, and in paragraph 16 to 21, we've

8 redacted, which is they have removed paragraph 20 from your statement and

9 they have taken your testimony instead of paragraph 20. So paragraphs

10 basically 16 to 21 you describe the powers of the Executive Board, the

11 powers and functions of the Executive Board. Correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And you also mention the Executive Board in paragraphs 1, 10, and

14 15.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Approximately 40 per cent of the paragraphs contained in your

17 statement you mention the Executive Board. That's 8 of approximately 21,

18 37 per cent, 40 per cent. You mention the Executive Board. Isn't that

19 correct?

20 A. I have not tried to calculate the exact percentage, but I suppose

21 you must be right on that one.

22 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, sir, nowhere in that statement do you

23 mention that your brother, the defendant Blagoje Simic, served as the

24 president of the Crisis Staff and the War Presidency. Isn't that correct?

25 A. Yes.

Page 18848

1 Q. And sir, even though you mention the Executive Board in

2 approximately 37 per cent of the paragraphs in that report, in that

3 written statement, you don't mention the Crisis Staff or the War

4 Presidency, the two boards that your brother served as president, even

5 once, you don't mention the War Presidency or the Crisis Staff. Isn't

6 that correct?

7 A. The nature of my work or my tasks during wartime was to receive my

8 tasks from the Executive Board, and that's why I tried to clarify as most

9 as I could this particular segment of the work and tasks assigned by the

10 Executive Board.

11 Q. However, sir, you never mention the Crisis Staff or the War

12 Presidency even once in that written statement. Isn't that true?

13 A. I suppose it's true.

14 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, I'm wondering about this line of

15 questioning of the witness, because I was under the impression that he had

16 instructions on what matters to discuss in his Rule 92 bis statement, and

17 also in complying with the provisions of the Rule, to avoid the activities

18 and conduct of the accused, since he was -- he could have been acting as

19 president of those two institutions. Perhaps that's the reason why the

20 witness avoided discussing that at all.

21 MR. WEINER: I was going to ask him that next. However, Your

22 Honour, since he did discuss that and then there are other matters that

23 we're going to contest very soon, it's now time for a break, you'll see

24 why this is very relevant. We are going to contest some of the things he

25 said, indicating he's either lied or he's been mistaken in his statement

Page 18849

1 or his testimony.

2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Perhaps -- yes. The cross-examination can go

3 along those lines, but I just wanted to explain perhaps to be fair to the

4 witness.

5 MR. WEINER: I think it's time for the break, Your Honour.

6 JUDGE MUMBA: We shall take our break now.

7 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.

8 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.

9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.

10 MR. WEINER: Thank you.

11 Q. Good morning, sir. Good morning. Let's continue on. We were

12 talking about the Crisis Staff, the War Presidency, and the Executive

13 Board. Now, sir, were you aware that the highest organ of authority in

14 the Serbian municipality of Samac was the Assembly?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And you knew that the Crisis Staff had replaced the Assembly, so

17 it then became the highest organ of authority in the municipality. Were

18 you aware of that?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And sir, you also knew that the War Presidency, when it replaced

21 the Crisis Staff, it then became the highest organ of authority in the

22 Serbian municipality of Bosanski Samac?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And sir, were you aware that the Assembly in the Serbian

25 municipality of Samac was required to decide on the organisation and work

Page 18850

1 of the Executive Board? Were you aware of that? And that's according to

2 the Official Gazette of August 1994, which describes that period. Were

3 you aware of that, that the Assembly was required to decide on the

4 organisation and work of the Executive Board?

5 A. No.

6 Q. Sir, were you aware that the Crisis Staff, which replaced the

7 Serbian municipality, was required to exercise political control over the

8 work of the Executive Board, and that's also according to the Official

9 Gazette, which is P125 in this case? Were you aware of that, that the

10 Crisis Staff was required to exercise political control over the work of

11 the Executive Board?

12 A. No.

13 Q. And when you talk about the powers of the Executive Board, were

14 you aware that the Crisis Staff had the power to annul or cancel any

15 Executive Board decision if it was not in conformity with the

16 constitution, the regulations of the Republic or any Crisis Staff

17 decisions, they had the power to cancel or annul? Were you aware of those

18 powers of the Crisis Staff to annul or cancel decisions of the Executive

19 Board?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Sir, were you aware that the Crisis Staff appointed the president

22 and vice-president of the Executive Board?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And you knew that your cousin Milan Simic was appointed president

25 of the Executive Board by the Crisis Staff; you knew that?

Page 18851

1 A. I know he was appointed president of the Executive Board, but I

2 don't know by whom.

3 Q. So you weren't aware, sir, that the Crisis Staff appointed

4 Milan Simic the president of the Executive Board? In fact, your brother,

5 the defendant Blagoje Simic, signed that notice of appointment. You

6 didn't know that?

7 A. No, I did not analyse the procedure to appoint president of the

8 Executive Board.

9 Q. So when you discuss the powers of the Executive Board, you never

10 mention the powers of the Crisis Staff and War Presidency in relation to

11 the Executive Board and how the Executive Board answered to the Crisis

12 Staff and War Presidency. You never mentioned that in your 92 bis

13 statement.

14 A. I could not mention that in my statement because I was not

15 familiar with all that. The only contacts I had were with the president

16 of the Executive Board, when he invited coordinators to assign tasks to

17 them.

18 Q. So even though you mention the powers of the Executive Board, you

19 were not aware or you didn't understand or realise that it was

20 subordinated to the Crisis Staff or War Presidency?

21 A. What I understood was that the orders given to us by the president

22 of the Executive Board were to be carried out by us, and also that the

23 Executive Board acted in accordance with law and that it issued orders

24 based on the instructions of the governmental institutions and ministries.

25 Q. But you didn't know that it carried out the orders of the Crisis

Page 18852

1 Staff and the War Presidency, or do you include that in the governmental

2 institutions that it implements their instructions?

3 A. The basic task of the Executive Board, according to my

4 understanding, was to implement instructions of the ministries at the

5 level of the republican government.

6 Q. So you weren't aware of the local legislation or the local

7 statutes and laws and rules in relation to the Executive Board and the

8 Crisis Staff?

9 A. I had too many obligations, so I did not concern myself with

10 political decisions.

11 Q. So my question is, once again: You were not aware of the local

12 legislation or local statutes and laws and rules in relation to the

13 Executive Board and the Crisis Staff?

14 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour. Finally I must object,

15 because according to the legislation at that time, there was not local

16 laws. So my friend should be more specific with the questioning of this

17 witness. That's point number one.

18 Point number two: This witness is not a legal expert or

19 constitutional expert, so maybe we could go on the other topic.

20 JUDGE MUMBA: There is no basis for your objection, Mr. Pantelic.

21 The question as put by the Prosecution to the witness is perfectly all

22 right. The less interruption we have, the better.


24 Q. Sir, yes or no: You were not familiar with those laws,

25 regulations, statutes of the powers or the relationship between the

Page 18853

1 Executive Board and the Crisis Staff?

2 A. No, I was not.

3 Q. Thank you. Now, I'd like to refer you to paragraph 10 of your

4 written statement, 163/1. And in paragraph 10, you claim that the

5 Executive Board appointed you to serve as business coordinator?

6 MR. PANTELIC: I would kindly ask one copy for the witness.

7 MR. WEINER: Sorry. I thought he had it. Sorry about that.

8 [Trial Chamber confers with registrar]

9 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, the registry informs the Trial Chamber

10 that you haven't provided the statement of this witness with the paragraph

11 struck out. You haven't provided that to the registry or to the Trial

12 Chamber.

13 MR. PANTELIC: In that case, Your Honour, I have to check with my

14 case manager and during the break I will provide enough copies. So just

15 for the record, only paragraph 20 was struck out.


17 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.

18 JUDGE MUMBA: In the meantime, we'll use the old statement.

19 MR. WEINER: Thank you. And I won't refer to the redacted

20 paragraph or the redacted version of the -- the stricken paragraph, Your

21 Honour.


23 MR. WEINER: Paragraph 20.

24 Q. Now, sir, you were appointed -- you claim that the executive

25 committee appointed you to serve as business coordinator of Bosanka

Page 18854

1 retail. In fact, sir, you were appointed to your position by the Crisis

2 Staff; isn't that correct?

3 A. No.

4 Q. You were made the Crisis Staff coordinator of Bosanka retail;

5 isn't that correct?

6 A. I became coordinator for the work of Bosanka, and I was appointed

7 by the Executive Board.

8 Q. It was your job to organise the work and business transactions of

9 Bosanka, and those transactions had to be approved by the Crisis Staff of

10 the municipality of Samac; isn't that correct?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Isn't it a fact that your work -- in your work, you were

13 responsible to the Crisis Staff? Isn't that correct?

14 A. No, it is not.

15 MR. WEINER: With the help of the usher, I'd like to show this

16 document appointing him to his position by the Crisis Staff.

17 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have the reference of this document? Is

18 it exhibit? Is it a P exhibit or -- sorry?

19 MR. WEINER: You've had it for weeks. It's a new document.

20 MR. PANTELIC: For weeks?

21 MR. WEINER: Yes.

22 MR. PANTELIC: When did you find this document?

23 MR. WEINER: I found it approximately three weeks ago.

24 MR. PANTELIC: When was it disclosed to the --

25 MR. WEINER: Is he objecting to it or is he trying to --

Page 18855

1 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, that's an objection.

2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, he's objecting because --

3 MR. PANTELIC: It's objecting on the same basis as a couple of

4 days before, so I don't know what we are speaking here. Where is the

5 obligation of the disclosure on the Prosecution, where is the receipt that

6 it was disclosed years ago, from 1998 or maybe if my learned friend can

7 say from which period of time he's in possession of that. It's a matter

8 of principle. It's objection on the basis of principle, that we also

9 raised two or three days ago.

10 MR. WEINER: Your Honour --

11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner. We've had this problem before.

12 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour. The document which was produced a

13 few days ago was produced on the day the witness was going to testify.

14 They have had this document at least two weeks. They've had the

15 opportunity to show this document to the witness and to discuss this

16 document with the witness. This document had not been given much earlier

17 and it was not required to be given much earlier. This is not a Rule 68

18 or exculpatory evidence issue. It was not even relevant -- this document

19 was not relevant until the 92 bis statement was analysed.

20 Is there any infairness at this time? No. The defendant has had

21 this statement for approximately two weeks. He's had the opportunity, as

22 I said, to discuss it with the witness, to research the document. The

23 document comes from the Crisis Staff of Bosanski Samac. He had the

24 opportunity to show it to the witness, allow the witness to modify his

25 statement, and he had the chance to have the witness indicate that the

Page 18856

1 document was incorrect or question the authenticity of the document. This

2 statement should not be suppressed, for three reasons: Without this

3 document being admitted, Your Honour, false information, be it the result

4 of a mistake or a lie, will be allowed into evidence. This document also

5 raises questions as to the witness's credibility in relation to who hired

6 him and the powers of the executive committee, which he discusses -- which

7 he mentions and discusses in almost 40 per cent of the paragraphs in his

8 92 bis statement.

9 Finally, the Defence is asking for what you could discuss as

10 almost some sort of equitable relief. He is just talking about fairness.

11 Well, let's talk about fairness. Let's talk about fairness starting

12 today. In that 92 bis statement, there was no discussion of the 4th

13 Detachment. However, there was discussion, there was testimony this

14 morning about the 4th Detachment. In his 92 bis statement -- Your Honour,

15 he's gone well beyond his 92 bis statement.

16 JUDGE MUMBA: No, I don't think that is necessary. Let's deal

17 with this document. This document, as you say, merely deals with his

18 appointment by the Crisis Staff.

19 MR. WEINER: Correct. It has no -- it wouldn't have been relevant

20 but for his 92 bis statement. It is not an exculpatory document and he

21 doesn't have reciprocal discovery, even though we've treated him, the

22 Prosecution has treated the Defence of Blagoje Simic as if it has

23 reciprocal discovery, he's not entitled to reciprocal discovery. So he's

24 received the document two weeks. Once again, it wasn't relevant until his

25 92 bis statement was filed and analysed.

Page 18857

1 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, may I say something?

2 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, he doesn't have standing to object to

3 this issue. It doesn't concern his client. I'd object to any comment

4 from fellow defendants on this.

5 JUDGE MUMBA: No. Let's hear him. Maybe it has nothing to do

6 with this document, Mr. Lukic.

7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I must say that it does have to do

8 with this document. First of all, I don't know what this document is all

9 about, but what I heard from Mr. Weiner, it is about the Crisis Staff and

10 this is very relevant for the defence of my client. That's why I wanted

11 to say a few words. I'm really taken by surprise and I don't believe that

12 this does not concern my client unless the Prosecution wants to exclude

13 him from anything that has to do with the Crisis Staff.

14 My previous objections, my defence is according to the Rule 66 on

15 reciprocal disclosure and Miroslav Tadic's defence is over. We don't have

16 any new evidence. And I can't believe that new documents regarding the

17 Crisis Staff are now presented, now when Miroslav Tadic's Defence cannot

18 present any evidence that could dispute the facts that have now been

19 raised in the cross-examination. Earlier on I've already said the

20 Prosecution, if they've had such a document in their possession since 1996

21 or even earlier should have disclosed such documents to us.

22 If the Prosecution can now prove that the document is new, then I

23 think our Defence should be given the chance to say something about this

24 document, not necessarily to examine this witness but to prove the facts.

25 As far as I know, all the members of the Executive Board were heard before

Page 18858

1 this Tribunal, all the members of the Crisis Staff. My Defence, the

2 Defence of Miroslav Tadic, is over, and now we are confronted with a

3 document that could carry some weight, now at the end of the defence case.

4 We really cannot tolerate, Your Honours, the fact that there have

5 been several teams here in this courtroom and all of a sudden we have a

6 new document. I am the second defence counsel for Mr. Tadic, and I saw

7 all the documents before the trial, not before my case started but before

8 the trial, and I really can't allow to have a new piece of evidence now.

9 We are at the end of the Defence case and this is a relevant document and

10 we can't allow for this document to be presented now, at such a late

11 stage, unless the Prosecution can prove to us that it only arrived by that

12 document -- day or the day before yesterday.

13 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, his 92 bis statement was filed after the

14 completion of Mr. Tadic's case, so if he has any complaint, it's with

15 Mr. Pantelic, not with the Prosecution.

16 JUDGE MUMBA: No. What the Trial Chamber wishes to elicit from

17 the Prosecution is this: That is this document only going to deal with

18 the appointment of in witness?

19 MR. WEINER: Strictly dealing with the appointment of this

20 witness.

21 [Trial Chamber confers]

22 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber is of the view that the document

23 has probative value, and since it's restricted only to the appointment of

24 this witness, and nothing else, the Prosecution is allowed to have it

25 produced.

Page 18859

1 MR. WEINER: Thank you, Your Honour.

2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have the number, please.

3 [Trial Chamber confers with registrar]

4 THE REGISTRAR: The decision dated 25th of April, 1992, will be

5 treated as Exhibit P181 for the English and P181 ter for the B/C/S.

6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.

7 MR. WEINER: Thank you.

8 Q. Sir, let us look at the top of the document, the top of the

9 left -- top left portion. It says: "Serbian municipality of Bosanski

10 Samac Crisis Staff." Does it not say that, sir?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And it's dated the 25th of April, 1992?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And then it says, if you look at the next line: "Bearing in mind

15 the need for vital institutions and organisations to continue their work,

16 the Crisis Staff of the Serbian municipality of Bosanski Samac hereby

17 adopts a decision." And it appoints you as Crisis Staff coordinator for

18 the organisation of work and business transactions in Bosanka DD,

19 Velepromet DD, and Posavka DD; isn't that correct?

20 A. This is what it says here. I see in document for the first time.

21 Q. And it's signed on the bottom and stamped by the Crisis Staff,

22 appointing you.

23 A. I claim that I was never a member of the Crisis Staff.

24 Q. No. I'm not saying you were a member of the Crisis Staff, sir.

25 I'm saying the document is signed on the bottom, and it has the seal of

Page 18860

1 the Crisis Staff, this letter of appointment to you; isn't that correct?

2 A. I repeat: I've never seen this document before. This is the

3 first time I see this document.

4 Q. That's not my question. It's signed on the bottom and it has the

5 stamp of the Crisis Staff, of the Serbian municipality of Bosanski Samac;

6 isn't that correct?

7 A. I can see a signature, but I don't know whose signature it is. And

8 I also see the stamp of the Municipal Assembly of Samac.

9 Q. And this document appoints you to the position you described in

10 paragraph 21, doesn't it?

11 A. This is not the way I see it.

12 Q. Are you saying this isn't an appointment, sir, this document

13 doesn't appoint you as the coordinator of Bosanka DD?

14 A. I was appointed coordinator of Bosanka based on a document

15 produced by the Executive Board.

16 Q. Sir, I'd ask you to look at this document of appointment. Does it

17 say Executive Board anywhere on the document?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Is the name of the Executive Board president, Mirko Jovanovic or,

20 later, your cousin Milan Simic, on this document?

21 A. Not on this document.

22 Q. Rather, at the bottom of the document, it says "municipal Crisis

23 Staff," right above the signature.

24 A. The Crisis Staff of the Assembly, yes.

25 Q. And the decision, which is signed and stamped, of this document is

Page 18861

1 an appointment of you as the coordinator, the Crisis Staff coordinator of

2 the Bosanka company; isn't that correct?

3 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour. In fairness to witness, my

4 learned friend should make a proper quotation and reference of this

5 document. It's not only Bosanka company, what it says in this document.

6 It's three companies. So this witness --

7 MR. WEINER: That's fair.

8 MR. PANTELIC: -- clearly said in his statement, 92 bis statement,

9 that he was appointed only for Bosanka company or coordinator by the

10 Executive Board. It's paragraph 10. And if my learned friend would like

11 to clarify this issue, he should follow the rules, rules of fairness. If

12 in this document we have three companies, then we have to make a proper

13 quotation. And in addition, this witness, on numerous occasions, just ten

14 minutes ago, said that's the first time he saw this document. So I really

15 don't know what is the purpose of this examination, but I leave it to my

16 learned friend.

17 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, in his paragraph 10, if you want to look

18 at his 92 bis statement, he refers to the merger of the three companies,

19 and he's referred to it today as the Bosanka company and later it becomes

20 the Samcanka company.

21 MR. PANTELIC: No, no, no. He's speaking about his position of

22 coordinator for company Bosanka by the Executive Board, which, after a

23 year became known as another company. So --

24 MR. WEINER: Your Honour.

25 MR. PANTELIC: Just be precise, please.

Page 18862

1 MR. WEINER: That's just what my question was. He just said his

2 position as coordinator for the Bosanka company and that's what I just

3 said to him, to the witness.

4 MR. PANTELIC: Which is not a part of this document. That was the

5 basis of my objection, Your Honour.

6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. That is noted.

7 Mr. Weiner, can you go ahead.


9 Q. Sir, it indicates that you were appointed the coordinator of these

10 three companies, doesn't it, sir? It's a decision by the Crisis Staff

11 appointing you as coordinator of these three companies, which later

12 becomes the Samcanka, if I've pronounced it right, company.

13 A. I was appointed coordinator of a state-owned company called

14 Bosanka. When Samcanka was established, when that company was

15 established, I became the coordinator of the company Samcanka, and that

16 company was established --

17 Q. The question here is: This document is a decision appointing you

18 as Crisis Staff coordinator of Bosanka, Velepromet, and Posavanka, which

19 later becomes, as you've testified, Samcanka. Doesn't it appoint you as

20 Crisis Staff coordinator of those three companies, this document here?

21 A. According to the decision of the Executive Board, I was appointed

22 coordinator of the company called Bosanka.

23 Q. Sir, my question is: I want you to look at this document. This

24 document here in front of you is a decision appointing you as the Crisis

25 Staff coordinator of Bosanka, Velepromet, and Posavanka or Posavka, isn't

Page 18863

1 that true?

2 A. This is what it says here.

3 Q. Thank you. Let's move on. Thank you.

4 Sir, you mentioned in paragraph 21 of your statement that

5 organised and individual looting was prevented in Bosanski Samac.

6 A. According to my own personal knowledge, yes.

7 Q. Are you aware that we've had several witnesses testify in this

8 case concerning looting in this municipality and that testimony has not

9 been contested? Are you aware of that, sir?

10 MR. PANTELIC: Objection. Your Honour, number 1, we have a clear

11 ruling of this Honourable Trial Chamber with regard to the confrontment of

12 a witness with the previous testimonies of witnesses. Number 2, if my

13 learned friend can be more specific, saying on which occasion that was

14 testimony, which witness, and when it was not contested by the Defence.

15 Otherwise it's too general and it might be confusing for this witness.

16 Maybe my learned friend could be more specific. I'm not objecting to the

17 line of questioning. It's just --

18 MR. WEINER: I'd be happy to. Thank you, Counsel.

19 Q. Are you --

20 JUDGE MUMBA: There is no need for that, Mr. Pantelic. There is

21 only one point I wanted to be clear with you. Are you saying that that

22 evidence concerning looting is contested?

23 MR. PANTELIC: We, on many occasions, contested so-called

24 organised looting, which Prosecutor alleges against our clients, including

25 our witnesses, we gave the evidence that particular events during the

Page 18864

1 wartime, as looting by individuals.

2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Because here, in paragraph 21, we have to

3 separate. Because he says during the war organised and individual

4 looting, which can cause confusion. The Defence was -- Mr. Pantelic is

5 saying that the allegation on organised looting.

6 MR. WEINER: They haven't contested the fact that there was in

7 fact -- that there was looting. They've contested that their clients were

8 involved in it. And my question is strictly that we've had a lot of

9 evidence in relation to acts of looting, extensive organised acts of

10 looting occurring. On a few -- where the defendant Zaric makes a

11 statement implicating his client, I will confront the witness with that.

12 But strictly, all I'm saying is there's been extensive testimony here and

13 I can give the Court the cites.

14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. There is this testimony, especially from the

15 Prosecution witnesses, which is on record.

16 MR. WEINER: Yes.

17 Q. Now, my question to you, sir: Are you aware that several

18 witnesses have testified about extensive looting in the municipality of

19 Bosanski Samac, and that information was not contested by the defendants?

20 Are you aware of that, sir?

21 A. The fact that some witnesses came to testify to that effect, I

22 don't know about it. But with regards to the organised looting, I also

23 have no knowledge about it. I only know that there was the army. The

24 army went from one place to the other. And I can tell you that there was

25 an attempt to prevent individual theft and looting of some items and so on

Page 18865

1 and so forth.

2 Q. Are you aware that your brother, the defendant Blagoje Simic, has

3 testified of his knowledge of the theft of vehicles by Serbian volunteers

4 and paramilitaries? Were you aware of that, sir?

5 MR. WEINER: For counsel, it's at page 12.453 through 56.

6 A. I do not know.

7 Q. Were you aware that the defendant Blagoje Simic has testified

8 about the constant problem of military looting of private and socially

9 owned property, he testified about that at pages 12.327 through 331? Were

10 you aware of that, sir?

11 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, in order to be precise and fair to

12 this witness, it's a double-barrelled question, whether he's aware the

13 defendant said that or it occurred in the municipality of Samac? Let's be

14 clear, because otherwise it's not so clear in the transcript.

15 MR. WEINER: My question is clear. I'm asking him if he's aware

16 of the testimony.

17 A. No.

18 Q. Are you aware that the defendant Simo Zaric has given a statement

19 to the Office of the Prosecutor on April 2nd, 1998 - it's Exhibit 141

20 ter - describing extensive and organised looting occurring in Odzak? Were

21 you aware of that?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Are you aware that in that same interview with the Prosecutor's

24 office, the defendant Zaric implicated your brother, the defendant Blagoje

25 Simic, and Stevan Todorovic and the Crisis Staff in the looting of Odzak?

Page 18866

1 Were you aware of that?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Were you aware that Stevan Todorovic has admitted as part of his

4 plea of guilt of persecution to the non-Serb -- persecution of the

5 non-Serb population that he has admitted to the looting of non-Serb

6 dwellings, businesses, personal property, and livestock? Were you aware

7 of that, sir?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Finally, sir, were you aware that in a report signed by 13

10 officers of the command staff of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, it mentions

11 that in Bosanski Samac there was looting of shops and private houses, with

12 the assistance of the civilian and military authorities, and further notes

13 that the looting was organised? Were you aware of that, sir?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Now, sir, knowing that -- or now being aware of these complaints

16 about looting occurring in Bosanski Samac, these complaints by witnesses,

17 the defendant Zaric, the chief of police at the time, Stevan Todorovic,

18 who has admitted his involvement in it, by the military command of the 2nd

19 Posavina Brigade and by your brother, who describes looting of the

20 volunteers and army, do you wish to change your statement in paragraph 21

21 that looting was prevented in the municipality of Bosanski Samac?

22 A. What I know is that there was probably some theft of private

23 goods, but it was always prevented in the sense that we were always -- or

24 it was always attempted to prevent an organised looting. That was

25 prevented. What I know is when it comes to certain goods and items, those

Page 18867

1 were under the control, and it's the reserves that had the control over

2 it. And because I was the coordinator of the state-owned companies, and

3 since I was in charge of the goods belonging to those companies, I did not

4 get involved into this kind of theft of private goods.

5 Q. Sir, the question is: Recognising the statements of several

6 individuals concerning looting in Bosanski Samac, including the police

7 chief, who was responsible to stop looting, his admission that he was

8 involved in looting, do you wish to change your statement that looting was

9 prevented? Yes or no.

10 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, if you look at the answer of this

11 witness, he has explained his side of the story, so I don't see why you

12 should insist.


14 Q. You said that it was prevented, sir. The person who was

15 responsible for preventing looting is the police chief. However, do you

16 realise in Bosanski Samac the police chief has admitted to being involved

17 in extensive looting? Are you aware of that?

18 A. I've already stated that the looting and theft of goods was

19 prevented. Now, to what extent it was prevented, I don't know. I've put

20 this down in writing, saying that there had been some individual theft but

21 that there was always an attempt to prevent it.

22 Q. Sir, once again, the person responsible for preventing it has

23 admitted to being involved in the looting, Stevan Todorovic. Are you

24 aware of that, sir?

25 A. No.

Page 18868

1 Q. Let's go to one more topic, sir. You mention you're the older

2 brother to Blagoje Simic, the defendant in this case. And as his older

3 brother, did you ever advise him concerning his decisions and actions and

4 those of the Crisis Staff? Did you ever criticise to him at these family

5 gatherings actions of the Crisis Staff or War Presidency? Did you ever

6 advise him, as his older brother?

7 A. As an older brother, I did talk to my brother.

8 Q. And did you tell him, sir, that certain actions of the Crisis

9 Staff were wrong, or at least demonstrated poor judgement? Did you tell

10 him that, as his older brother?

11 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, I won't allow this type of questioning.

12 It isn't fair to the witness.


14 Q. All right, sir. Let's finish off with this. You worked with a

15 Mr. Jusufovic; isn't that correct, Jusuf Jusufovic?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And are you aware that he was related to a Lirija or a

18 Dr. Jusufovic, Lirija Jusufovic?

19 A. I don't know which Dr. Jusufovic you're talking about.

20 Q. A woman named Lirija. She worked at the medical centre. Were you

21 aware -- let's take it this way. Did you attend a wedding between -- did

22 you attend a wedding between Crni, the head of the paramilitaries, and

23 Lirija Jusufovic, or Dr. Lirija Jusufovic?

24 A. No.

25 Q. Are you aware that your brother attended that wedding, the

Page 18869

1 defendant Blagoje Simic, between Dr. Jusufovic and the head of the Serbian

2 paramilitaries or volunteers, named Crni, or nicknamed Crni?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Are you aware that your brother, the defendant Blagoje Simic,

5 served as Crni's best man, or kum, as you would say in your country, at

6 this wedding, the wedding of the head of the paramilitaries and Dr. Lirija

7 Jusufovic? Are you aware of that, sir?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Does that demonstrate to you poor judgement, where your brother

10 has served as best man in the wedding of the head of the paramilitaries?

11 Would you agree with me that it demonstrates poor judgement?

12 JUDGE MUMBA: No, Mr. Weiner. I will not allow that question.

13 It's not fair to the witness.

14 MR. WEINER: No further questions, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Re-examination.

16 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, could I just for a second approach my

17 client --


19 MR. PANTELIC: -- to get instructions, please. Thank you.

20 Thank you, Your Honour.

21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. You can go ahead.

22 MR. PANTELIC: It's absolutely new fact for me, this episode, so I

23 just consulted my client and he said that he never was --

24 MR. WEINER: Objection to that, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, no. You re-examine the witness,

Page 18870

1 Mr. Pantelic, please.

2 Re-examined by Mr. Pantelic:

3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, did your brother ever tell you that he

4 never was a best man at a wedding, or a kum? Did you ever talk about

5 this?

6 A. No. If I recall correctly, we never spoke about it.

7 Q. Very well. With regards to this relationship that the Prosecutor

8 attempted to establish, this family tie, let us clarify something for the

9 transcript. The municipality of Samac was composed of approximately

10 30.000 inhabitants, according to the census of 1990.

11 A. Yes. We were 33.000 inhabitants.

12 Q. Your family comes from a village called Kruskovo Polje, which is

13 part of the municipality of Samac; is that correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. How many inhabitants live at Kruskovo Polje, approximately?

16 A. Approximately 400 to 500 people.

17 Q. How would you describe the last name Simic? Is it a name that

18 is -- is it a familiar name? Is it a name that comes often in that area,

19 in Posavina?

20 A. Almost all local communes on the municipality have that name

21 Simic, and lots of municipalities of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well, and you

22 will find that name in lots of municipalities of Yugoslavia, that is,

23 Serbia and Montenegro.

24 Q. But we're talking about Simeon Simic now. Your father and the

25 father of Simeon Simic, are they family? Are they brothers?

Page 18871

1 A. No.

2 Q. Your grandfather and the grandfather of Simeon Simic, are they

3 brothers?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Your great-grandfather and the great-grandfather of Simeon Simic,

6 are they brothers?

7 A. No, but they were first cousins.

8 Q. So your great-grandfather and the great-grandfather of Simeon

9 Simic are some kind of relatives but they are not brothers?

10 A. No, they're not.

11 Q. I just wanted to clarify this for the transcript, because I wanted

12 the Prosecutor to understand these things.

13 Now let's talk about Milan Simic. Your father and the father of

14 Milan Simic, are they brothers?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Your grandfather and the grandfather of Milan Simic, are they

17 brothers?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Your great-grandfather and the great-grandfather of Milan Simic,

20 are they brothers?

21 A. No.

22 Q. And finally, was Milan Simic married in 1992 with a cousin of

23 Stevan Todorovic?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Just a moment, please. Were they -- in 1992, were they married

Page 18872

1 officially? Do you know that? Do you have this knowledge?

2 A. No, I do not have knowledge of the fact that they were officially

3 married.

4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic. If I can just interject

5 with one question for clarification. You've just asked the witness

6 Mr. Simic about the ancestry, shall we say, of Mr. Milan Simic and we see

7 now that the grandfathers and great-grandfathers weren't brothers. But I

8 wonder whether Mr. Simic could tell us as to his knowledge as to whether

9 there was a familial connection between Mr. Milan Simic and Dr. Blagoje

10 Simic, and obviously also the witness himself.

11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. I will do that.

12 Q. [Interpretation] This being said, could you please explain to

13 Judge Williams what is the family connection? Because in Serbia we're all

14 in a way cousins in some kind of way.

15 A. It's an old family. They came to that area of Bosnia and

16 Herzegovina 150 years ago. And since that family grew and all the Simic

17 come from that family, so everything I said so far is true in the sense

18 that we all have the same last name, but those families are connected, but

19 it's a family connection that is quite distant.

20 JUDGE WILLIAMS: So you can't with any, therefore, accuracy say

21 that Mr. Milan Simic and Dr. Blagoje Simic were cousins or anything of

22 that description? You simply say there's some connection, traceable way

23 back, but you can't exactly define it; is that the case?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to our own terminology in

25 Bosnia and Herzegovina, we call each other cousins. That is to say,

Page 18873

1 everybody who within one same family bears the same last name is a

2 cousin. Now, when you go back four to five generations, then we can see

3 that their great-grandfathers were not brothers.

4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you for your attention to that.

5 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. To conclude: The Simic are something like the Smith family in

7 Great Britain, for instance?

8 MR. WEINER: I object.

9 MR. PANTELIC: I withdraw.

10 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, can you get on with your examination.

11 We have other witnesses.


13 Q. [Interpretation] Only one question pertaining to this line of

14 questioning that the Prosecutor opened with regards to the candidates.

15 Simeon Simic was the first on the list of the party called SSO. It's the

16 abbreviation for the Association of Youth, Socialist Youth; is that

17 correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Later on, this association became the Liberal Party, headed by a

20 Muslim called Rasim Kadic; is that correct?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Do you know if Milan Simic was to get married at the very

23 beginning of 1993, but he did not get married because he had an accident?

24 Do you know of that?

25 MR. WEINER: I object. It's outside the scope of

Page 18874

1 cross-examination.

2 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Tell me, Mr. Simic: You're not a lawyer and you do not have any

4 particular knowledge about the constitution?

5 A. No.

6 Q. When you were answering a question of the Prosecutor with regards

7 to the Municipal Assembly being the highest authority or highest organ,

8 did you think of it in the legislative way?

9 A. Yes, in the legislative way, and in a more narrow meaning it is

10 the Executive Board.

11 Q. And my very last question. If you know, please tell us and tell

12 the Trial Chamber: What was the procedure when the decisions were adopted

13 within the Executive Board? Were they passing some kind of drafts and

14 then the drafts were adopted after being proposed to the Crisis Staff? If

15 you know, please tell us?

16 MR. WEINER: I'd object again. This is outside the scope of

17 cross-examination.

18 MR. PANTELIC: It is within the scope, Your Honour, with all due

19 respect, because we have discussed Exhibit P181. My learned friend raised

20 the issue, relations between Executive Board and Crisis Staff. So --

21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I will allow it.

22 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.

23 Q. [Interpretation] I will reiterate my question. So according to

24 your knowledge and according to your experience, can you tell us if the

25 organs of the Executive Board prepare a draft to propose it to the

Page 18875

1 Executive Board and was that the case during the wartime presidency?

2 A. I told you what I knew about the Executive Board and what my

3 experience was. I was in charge of the goods and distributing the goods

4 and the needs of the municipalities, but I was not involved in whatever

5 else the Executive Board had to do.

6 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I've finished.

7 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes, Mr. Simic. I just have one question. You

8 mentioned, on page 47, lines 7 and 8, in response to a question by the

9 Prosecutor, that -- well, I'll quote. You said: "I was appointed

10 coordinator of Bosanka, based on a document produced by the Executive

11 Board." And I'm just wondering: Was this document put into your hands?

12 Do you still retain it in your personal records? Because clearly we

13 haven't got such a document in front of us. We only have the document

14 that was produced by the Prosecutor, Exhibit P181. So I'm just interested

15 in learning a little bit more about the document that you say was produced

16 by the Executive Board appointing you coordinator of Bosanka, if you have

17 some more information on that.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's been 11 years since, and

19 I have forgotten a lot of things. However, all the documents in my

20 possession, in my private archive, are related to the Executive Board.

21 And I think I should have the document we're talking about somewhere, the

22 document on my appointment by the president of the Executive Board.

23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.

24 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much, Mr. Simic. We are finished

25 with your evidence. You may leave the courtroom.

Page 18876

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

2 [The witness withdrew]

3 [The witness entered court]

4 JUDGE MUMBA: Can the witness make the solemn declaration, please.


6 [Witness answered through interpreter]

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

9 JUDGE MUMBA: Please sit down.

10 Examined by Mr. Pantelic:

11 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Will you please state your name

12 for the record, please.

13 A. Lazar Mirkic.

14 Q. Mr. Mirkic, good afternoon. I have a number of questions for you

15 related to the Rule 92 bis procedure and statement you gave. One section

16 of a paragraph must be gone through here in live testimony, and it is in

17 this context that I will ask you a number of questions. As we speak the

18 same language, please, after my question make a short pause, for the

19 benefit of the interpreters interpreting your testimony into the official

20 languages of the Tribunal and to keep the transcript accurate, please.

21 Mr. Mirkic, your personal information, family information,

22 information concerning your profession, are included in paragraph 1 of

23 your statement, but I must ask you the following question: In 1992, were

24 you a member of any party?

25 A. No.

Page 18877

1 Q. In 1992, among businessmen in the circles in which you moved,

2 because you were a manager, did you hold any official positions or posts?

3 What were your positions in those circles? What were your ratings? How

4 did your business partners work with you? Did you have any problems or

5 was it smooth for all those involved?

6 A. In the system that we had of the economy, I enjoyed some degree of

7 notable success, and I was rated as a very successful manager. I was held

8 in high esteem by both the people I worked with and with common citizens.

9 Q. Did you also work with international companies or foreign

10 companies?

11 A. Yes, a great deal. Mostly with Italy, Greece, what used to be

12 Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and we exported lamb meat to Kuwait.

13 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Mirkic, are you now a member of any political

14 party?

15 A. Yell.

16 Q. Which one?

17 A. The Serbian Democratic Party.

18 Q. Since when?

19 A. Since June 1996.

20 Q. In 1992, you were the manager of Agroposavina based in Donji

21 Zabar; is that correct?

22 A. Yes, and I had been in 1995 all the way to late 1997.

23 Q. Now you're the owner and manager of a private company called

24 Agreks?

25 A. I am the owner of the Agreks company. I am not the manager,

Page 18878

1 however.

2 MR. PANTELIC: Would you just bear with me for a second to check

3 the transcript. Just a correction for the transcript. On page 64, line

4 14, the witness said in 1992 he was a manager of Agroposavina company

5 based in Donji Zabar. Thank you.

6 Q. [Interpretation] Your company, Agreks, is in international trade,

7 domestic trade, that sort of thing?

8 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, can we go to what is relevant for this

9 case, please, and these are the matters concerning the relationship

10 between the Executive Board, the Crisis Staff, the War Presidency --

11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.

12 JUDGE MUMBA: And also the relationship with the army

13 institutions. That is what is relevant in this case and that is what the

14 focus of this witness should be.

15 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. I'll do that. Absolutely.

16 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, please: Where were you when war

17 conflict broke out on the 16th and 17th of April, 1992, you personally?

18 What was your location?

19 A. I was in Donji Zabar and in Pelagicevo.

20 Q. Where was your family?

21 A. In Pelagicevo.

22 Q. Where did you reside with your family prior to that period of

23 time?

24 A. In Orasje.

25 Q. When did you leave Orasje?

Page 18879

1 A. I believe it was the 26th of September, 1991.

2 Q. What was the reason for you and your family to leave Orasje?

3 A. Just across the River Sava there was war in Croatia, and I think

4 it was on that day that the bridge over the River Sava was destroyed,

5 linking Bosnia and Herzegovina to Croatia. This was an unpleasant thing

6 for the citizens.

7 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Mirkic. What was the reason that

8 you and your family left for Pelagicevo? Just briefly, please.

9 A. Safety, personal safety.

10 Q. Had you received any threats in Orasje, you and your family?

11 A. There had been telephone calls to our home.

12 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, I think the Trial Chamber has given

13 you instructions as to what the focus should be of this witness.

14 Otherwise, we shall declare the witness finished, as far as you're

15 concerned, and then we'll allow cross-examination.

16 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.

17 JUDGE MUMBA: Because you're going completely outside what the

18 witness is to discuss.

19 MR. PANTELIC: Because I just want to go to the moment of his

20 appointment as --

21 JUDGE MUMBA: No, that's not necessary. Just deal with the

22 matters that I directed you to.

23 MR. PANTELIC: Okay.

24 Q. [Interpretation] So it's an agreed fact from your statement and

25 from the documents we have before us now that you were appointed secretary

Page 18880

1 for the economy, a member of the Executive Board of the Serbian

2 municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo that was on a meeting held on the

3 28th of March, 1992. My question is the following: Since when have you

4 worked in the economy of the Pelagicevo and Samac municipalities, in terms

5 of dates?

6 A. After the conflict broke out in the night between the 16th and the

7 17th of April, I remained in the Pelagicevo and Zabar area. I made

8 certain efforts for the security in our company to function properly, the

9 company of which I was manager. Because a large number of employees had

10 been mobilised, drafted into the army, and other employees, those of

11 Muslim and Croatian ethnicity, remained at their homes. So we agreed that

12 they would work in that area where we had farms, milking cows, and an

13 engine shed, we believed that the conflict would soon come to an end and

14 that we could keep on doing our daily business as usual.

15 Q. What was the basis for your appointment as secretary for the

16 economy? More specifically, had there been a decision on a work

17 assignment or had there been a different document appointing you to that

18 position?

19 A. All men of military age and all able-bodied men had their war

20 assignments and there had to be military decision assigning them to a

21 certain post, a post assigned to them by their war assignments or by

22 another document.

23 Q. Specifically, what was yours? Did you receive a decision to that

24 effect?

25 A. No. I received no decision at that time, and I think at that time

Page 18881

1 there were many people like me who received no decisions in writing. From

2 the army, we did, yes.

3 Q. In the area that you were covering, the Pelagicevo municipality,

4 which was part of the newly created Samac and Pelagicevo municipalities,

5 can you please explain to the Trial Chamber, as secretary for the economy

6 of this newly created municipality, what were your tasks? Did you have

7 anyone assisting you, as secretary, and you personally, as of the 18th of

8 April, what were your tasks and duties?

9 A. My assistants were Milan Simic, for the industry. There was an

10 oral agreement for him to stay in the town of Samac and to cover our

11 activities there. Aleksa Stakic from Pelagicevo was my assistant for

12 agriculture, and I usually coordinated their work, the work of those two,

13 in those moments when we could actually communicate.

14 Q. Can you please describe for the Trial Chamber your activities

15 following the 18th of April in the area where you worked?

16 A. It is known that the conflict broke out just before the spring

17 sowing, and this had to be secured throughout the area for the season. We

18 had to secure the materials, the raw materials. We were running out of

19 those. We had to secure manpower to carry out this task. We had to

20 secure the equipment and the machines necessary for that. We had to

21 secure the sowing in those families where most members of the family had

22 been mobilised, leaving at home people who were not as physically able to

23 do such hard work. We also got the civilian protection involved on that,

24 which included people who were not military conscripts or people liable

25 for military service. We often provided the mechanical equipment so that

Page 18882

1 the sowing could be done in spring season.

2 Q. In the first days of war, what steps did you take as secretary for

3 the economy to secure normal supplies for the civilian population, in your

4 own area of work? Which measures did you take, if any?

5 A. One of the most important measures was to protect from -- to

6 preserve from destruction our own reserves, what we had in stock, what we

7 had across companies, co-ops and other buildings and facilities. This was

8 absolutely imperative, for us to preserve this so that we could do the

9 sowing. And on the other hand, it enabled us to supply all the necessary

10 goods, those necessary for survival of the population under those

11 difficult circumstances. When there was shelling on a daily basis, people

12 were getting killed every day, sometimes even several people a day, many

13 things had to be preserved. We had to go so far as to start the

14 production of coffins for dead bodies.

15 Q. Very well. What I want to know is about the sector of work or

16 area of work that you covered, that you were in charge of. Did you secure

17 supplies for the whole civilian population or only for some ethnic groups,

18 as opposed to others? Please tell the Trial Chamber first of all about

19 the different ethnic groups living in the area, and what was your

20 relationship to the civilian population as a whole? Was there any

21 discrimination on the basis of ethnic background?

22 A. There was no form of ethnic discrimination; quite the contrary. I

23 think it was the other ethnic groups that were quite well served, I should

24 say, and profusely supplied with staple foods and consumer goods, because

25 they were mostly based in the town of Samac itself. Serbs lived in the

Page 18883

1 surrounding villages also. And then it was easier to get food items for

2 personal hygiene, that kind of thing.

3 Q. In Pelagicevo, which was your area in terms of the economy, were

4 there any Muslims and Croats there?

5 A. No. That was a Serb village.

6 Q. Yes, but I mean the general area. I don't mean the village itself

7 only. I'm referring to Obudovac and the surroundings.

8 A. All of those were Serb villages.

9 Q. In your company, in Agroposavina, did you have employees of other

10 nationalities?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Did they continue to work after the conflict broke out?

13 A. Most of the Croats and Muslims working there remained in the

14 company, in a unit, a work unit that was based in Orasje, and this unit

15 was part of our company. That was an agreement that they had with me,

16 that they would remain there and carry out certain tasks, because we had a

17 farm there where we milked cows. There was an engine shed there where we

18 kept machines and a place where we kept fodder.

19 Q. Can you please clarify this: Orasje, is it in the territory of

20 Republika Srpska or is it in the Croatian Muslim Federation?

21 A. It's in the territories of the Muslim Croatian Federation.

22 Q. In 1992, was this Croatian-controlled territory?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. What was your activity with the Executive Board about? Please

25 explain this to the Trial Chamber. How often did you go to meetings?

Page 18884

1 What was discussed at those meetings? Which steps did you take as a

2 member of the Executive Board in charge of the economy?

3 A. I didn't go to Samac very often. I didn't go to the Executive

4 Board in Samac very often, because that area was covered by another man

5 who was in charge of organising the economy there. I went when I was

6 especially called by the president of the Executive Board, Mirko

7 Jovanovic, personally, initially, and later it was Mr. Simic. Those were

8 mostly brief meetings.

9 Q. When you say "Mr. Simic," for the sake of precision, which seem

10 are you referring to? Because there are quite many of them.

11 A. Milan Simic. And the president of the Executive Board was very

12 considerate in terms of my obligations back in the company, because we had

13 bioproduction, and there were frequent power failures. We had problems

14 with power failures. We had 1.052 head of cattle, and the lack of fodder

15 had to be made good. It took superhuman efforts to deliver all our

16 products to the market in this period of hyperinflation. It required

17 superhuman efforts to preserve all of this and to preserve the real value

18 of what we had. This was absolutely imperative for me.

19 Q. Mr. Mirkic, tell me, please: During your work with the Executive

20 Board, what was the hierarchy of the Executive Board like? Which

21 regulations did they apply? Can you please explain the link between the

22 Executive Board and the government of Republika Srpska at that time, as

23 far as you're familiar with it and as far as the economy is concerned.

24 A. It was a vertical connection up to the relevant ministries, the

25 government's ministries, the government of Republika Srpska, and vice

Page 18885

1 versa. There was frequent coordination. Mostly it went through the

2 president or chairman of the Executive Board, who then provided us with

3 instructions on what we should do and how we should work.

4 Q. Mr. Mirkic, as far as the link to the army was concerned, what

5 were the regulations there, and what were the obligations of different

6 people in the economy or companies, and the Executive Board itself to the

7 army?

8 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, this evidence is rapidly

9 becoming incomprehensible in my submission. Page 71, line 13, there are

10 three separate questions in the question. In the answer, there's

11 reference to a vertical connection up to relevant ministries, frequent

12 coordination. Vertical connection between what and whom? What

13 ministries? "Frequent coordination," what does that mean? "Mostly it

14 went through the president or chairman of the Executive Board." That

15 doesn't mean anything. The next question that you have following that is

16 a link to the army, what the regulations, what the obligations of

17 different people in the economy or companies, and the Executive Board

18 itself to the army. If the witness gives an answer to that question, you

19 won't know what he's answering, because it's just so utterly imprecise.

20 Now, you want this evidence to have meaning, you've got to have a

21 little more precision than all of that, in my submission, otherwise it's

22 just -- you don't know what he's talking about.

23 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Maybe it's a matter of

24 translation. But I will try to clarify that as much as possible, just for

25 the information of my learned friend, he can find the very precise answer

Page 18886

1 that the ministries in question, that's page 71, line 18 and 19, the

2 ministries in question actually was the part of the government of

3 Republika Srpska. So it's very clear about which ministries we are

4 speaking. But I will clarify again that with the witness. No problem.

5 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Mirkic, tell me, please: You spoke about

6 the vertical line connecting the Executive Board with the relevant

7 ministries. On the basis of which provisions or regulations, tell us,

8 please, if you know, did that link connecting them exist? More

9 specifically, were those informal connections or did organs of the

10 ministries adopt any enactments or anything? Tell us, if you know.

11 A. I could tell you about the ministry of the economy -- of

12 agriculture. Mr. Mlivoje Nadedin was the minister in the joint government

13 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and he was later minister with the republican

14 government of Republika Srpska. We kept in touch with him and we

15 consulted him on a number of issues. We requested his assistance in

16 certain wartime situations. I was not in charge of any other links or

17 connections, nor was I in charge of establishing contact.

18 Q. Very well. Certain ministries adopt certain enactments; is that

19 so? You are a person working in the field of the economy, a well-known

20 person, so what would these enactments be, those passed by the relevant

21 ministries?

22 A. Provisions, decisions.

23 Q. In 1992, you at the Executive Board, did you carry out or

24 implement those provisions or decisions by the government in the field of

25 economy?

Page 18887

1 A. Yes, we did, yes.

2 Q. Further, we're talking about the army. This is wartime we're

3 talking about. So what is the role of the economy in wartime, wartime

4 economy? Can you please explain this to the Trial Chamber.

5 A. It was a simple question we businessmen were facing: How will the

6 economy survive the war? And we did the best we could. We worked to the

7 best of our ability. It was preservation work. We wanted to preserve the

8 companies, the employees, our personnel.

9 Q. And what were the obligations of the economy towards the Ministry

10 of Defence? What were the obligations of the economy and the companies

11 towards the army of Republika Srpska? Can you please explain that? And

12 what were these obligations really based on?

13 A. I don't think I can provide a specific answer to this one, save

14 for what I know. I know that the company sold some items to the army,

15 beef, and we charged them for this. This didn't come free of charge.

16 It's only to be expected in such a time that logistical supplies were set

17 up, that the army was assisted and that they were given some items

18 necessary for their proper functioning. All the more so because the army

19 was made up of volunteers, of locals who had been mobilised. All of them

20 were neighbours, friends, brothers, relatives, people we knew. It would

21 have been impossible for us not to secure sufficient food for them. We

22 did whatever we could.

23 Q. This obligation, did it comprise providing the military with

24 accommodation, with food, with supplies, supplying their uniforms even?

25 A. Mostly it was about food and some uniforms.

Page 18888

1 Q. What were your obligations, you as a businessman and as secretary

2 for the economy, towards the republican commodity reserves in wartime?

3 A. Later on I heard that a prescription had been published for all

4 goods found, collected, to become the property of the republican commodity

5 reserves. I myself did not work on these tasks, and I can't really tell

6 you anything very specific about this question of yours.

7 MR. PANTELIC: Appropriate time for a break.

8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, we'll take our break.

9 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.

10 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.

11 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.

12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.

13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.

14 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mirkic, before the break we were talking

15 about the authorities and the relationship between the Executive Board and

16 other bodies, primarily ministries. Please tell me: Do you have any

17 personal knowledge of the way decisions were drafted in the Executive

18 Board when it came to different areas that had to be covered by that

19 body? Did you have expert services, technical services? What were the

20 discussions like? Could you please explain that to the Trial Chamber.

21 A. We didn't have very big technical services. A lot of things were

22 done in a haste, day in, day out, according to the situation. So we were

23 reactive rather than proactive. There were very few things that we could

24 really plan for a longer-term period.

25 Q. Do you have any knowledge about the fact that some decisions were

Page 18889

1 drafted by the secretariat and then proposed to the Executive Board for

2 adoption?

3 A. Yes. Some certainly were. Mostly those that concerned various

4 sectors.

5 Q. You were a member of the Executive Board, that is, the secretary

6 for economics, up to the end of July 1992; isn't that correct?

7 A. Yes, that is correct.

8 Q. Who replaced you in the Executive Board of Samac municipality as

9 the secretary for economy, if you know?

10 A. Yes, I do know. It was Mr. Slobodan Simic [as interpreted].

11 Q. Could you please repeat his last name?

12 A. It is not Simic, but Sijencic.

13 Q. How often during the period while you held that post and later on,

14 in 1992, 1993, did you have contacts, personal contacts, with Dr. Blagoje

15 Simic? Can you remember?

16 A. I had very few contacts with him, save for one occasion when

17 Dr. Blagoje Simic visited the area where I resided and worked. He wanted

18 to gather information on the functioning of the civilian protection. And

19 then the two of us together visited the office in my native village, in

20 Covic Polje, which was under a big threat because it was on the line of

21 fire. It was a very poor village. And we wanted to know how people

22 managed, how they manage to survive, what they needed, what they

23 required. And then Dr. Simic asked the civilian protection to be of

24 assistance to the poorest segment of the population, primarily those who

25 had lost members of their family to the war and returnees. Later on we

Page 18890

1 would only come across each other on one or two occasions, but we didn't

2 have any close contacts.

3 Q. What was the situation with refugees in your area where you

4 resided? If there were refugees, how did you deal with their problems?

5 A. Refugees would come to my company. They would come from Orasje

6 and from Serbian villages in Odzak municipality, and maybe from some other

7 places from one side or another. We had a furniture store, and women and

8 children were accommodated there. They would be given tea or milk for

9 children, and other necessities, and then they would find their own way to

10 go elsewhere, where they would find more permanent accommodation and wait

11 for the war to be over, for the conflict to come to an end.

12 Q. Mr. Mirkic, in those contacts with Dr. Blagoje Simic, what were

13 his comments and what was his attitude towards other ethnic groups,

14 non-Serbs? Did he show any sort of intolerance? What were his comments?

15 A. I never heard anything that would -- that could be characterised

16 as discrimination of other ethnic groups. I really never hear Blagoje

17 advocating any sort of discrimination.

18 Q. And finally, tell me, if you know: What was the relationship

19 between the civilian authorities and the army and the police? In other

20 words, was the civilian government in the position to issue orders to the

21 military and to the police?

22 A. We had absolutely no contacts with the structures in the police

23 and in the army. There is no way we could influence the command

24 structures or any events involving the military or the police. The

25 situation was the following: The Executive Board did have no authority

Page 18891

1 whatsoever to control the work of the police. The police was linked to

2 the minister of the interior and his associates, and the ministry as a

3 whole. So I claim with full responsibility that we did not have any

4 control over the work of the police or any influence on their work.

5 Q. And as regards the army of Republika Srpska, the army structures,

6 what was the situation there?

7 A. My previous answer could also apply to this question. It would be

8 much the same.

9 Q. Employees working in the companies in the region where you were in

10 charge of the coordination of the economy, did the employees receive

11 salaries in 1992 and 1993?

12 A. Yes, they did.

13 Q. Were there contributions paid as well, the pension contribution

14 and the medical insurance?

15 A. Yes, they were paid, but when we couldn't do it in due time, then

16 we would pay the back contributions. That was the principle, and I

17 believe that one could check that in the files, in the municipal files,

18 and one could verify whether all these contributions were paid. But

19 generally speaking, there was the principle that we honoured, and that was

20 to pay the contributions, because for that matter, our activities were

21 funded from the funds.

22 Q. Was there a selective approach or did that apply to all the three

23 ethnic backgrounds?

24 A. There was no selective approach. All the employees enjoy the same

25 rights and had the same obligations towards their workplace. So we never

Page 18892

1 talked about or received any instruction to the effect of somebody being

2 privileged in any sense.

3 Q. And finally, during 1992 and 1993, was the economic situation

4 normal or was there inflation? If there was, how was the issue of

5 salaries dealt with?

6 A. I believe that it will be inconceivable for all those who come

7 from other economic systems, but let me tell you that there was such a

8 high rate of inflation that when you were clinching a certain business

9 deal, we would also negotiate the price and the terms of payments in

10 hours.

11 Q. Why in hours?

12 A. Because the new rate of exchange was established every half an

13 hour. So that within the matter of hours, certain goods would lose 50 per

14 cent of their value.

15 Q. So how did you deal with the issue of salaries? Did you pay them

16 in kind or did you resort to any other means?

17 A. Yes, we would give them staple foods, flour, salt, washing

18 powder. And it is correct to say that employees preferred to be paid in

19 kind than to be paid in cash, because money was losing its value very

20 fast, and everybody needed food, and food kept its constant value.

21 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous translation continues]...

22 JUDGE MUMBA: Any other counsel?

23 MR. KRGOVIC: We have no questions for this witness, Your Honour.

24 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic.

25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] No, we don't have any questions.

Page 18893

1 JUDGE MUMBA: The Prosecution?

2 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio:

3 Q. Mr. Mirkic, my name is Mr. Di Fazio. I have a few questions for

4 you on behalf of the Prosecution. I want to ask you about your

5 appointment to the Executive Board, and you described that process in

6 paragraph 8 of your statement, and you say that in late March or early

7 April, Mirko Jovanovic called you --

8 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise to my learned friend. Could we have

9 a copy in B/C/S language, for the sake --

10 MR. DI FAZIO: I didn't realize. Yes. Could the witness be given

11 his statement.

12 MR. PANTELIC: D174/1.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll manage. Thank you.

14 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.

15 Q. You say that, in your statement, paragraph 8, that Mirko Jovanovic

16 called you and asked you to join the Executive Board. Up until that point

17 in time, had you had any idea that this request was going to be made, or

18 did it come as a surprise to you?

19 A. It came as an utter surprise.

20 Q. At the time, where were you residing?

21 A. I was residing with my in-laws in Pelagicevo. That is where my

22 child went to school.

23 Q. And you were busily engaged in carrying on your occupation as the

24 manager of a company?

25 A. Yes.

Page 18894

1 Q. You have no formal economic qualifications, do you?

2 A. I'm an engineer. I have a degree in agriculture.

3 Q. Right. Fine. That's what I understood. So you've got

4 qualifications as an engineer and you have a degree in agriculture, and

5 you have experience as a businessman running a company, but you have no

6 formal economic qualifications, do you, the study of economics?

7 A. That is correct. I managed the company since 1985, in a very

8 successful way.

9 Q. I don't doubt that, but your experience in business is confined to

10 running a company. Correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Furthermore, you didn't have any particular knowledge of the

13 situation in Bosanski Samac, in the town and in the municipality?

14 A. No, I didn't.

15 Q. Did you point out these matters to Mr. Jovanovic when he contacted

16 you and made the request that you join the Executive Board?

17 A. Yes, I did tell him that. But a compromise was reached, according

18 to which Mr. Milan Simic would be my assistant, who would be in charge of

19 industry. He has a degree in economics and he also had experience to

20 carry out those tasks.

21 Q. Was that agreement reached on the occasion that you were first

22 contacted or was that sorted out later, after your acceptance of the post?

23 A. I believe that later on, at the session of the Assembly which was

24 held on the 28th of March, I was proposed to be a member of the cabinet,

25 and then since my positions were contrary to his, he reassured me. He

Page 18895

1 told me everything would be okay, that everything would be covered very

2 well, that he would give me qualified assistants, and that my role was to

3 use my authority to satisfy the population that things would be run

4 smoothly, because people placed a lot of trust in me and my work.

5 Q. So the sequence was that Mirko Jovanovic contacted you first,

6 asking you to join the Executive Board; subsequently, in late March, your

7 appointment was formally adopted by the Municipal Assembly, the Serbian

8 Municipal Assembly?

9 A. No. It was a bit different. The Assembly session was first. It

10 took place on the 28th of March. Later on I was informed by Mirko what

11 had taken place at the session. He told me that I had been proposed as a

12 member of his cabinet. And then the rest of my previous answer applies to

13 this question.

14 Q. Thank you. That's what I thought from reading your statement. So

15 you were proposed and appointed as director of municipal public revenues

16 administration -- sorry. My apologies. My apologies. You were proposed

17 and appointed as secretary of the municipal secretariat for the economy,

18 without even having been spoken to about that possibility, about that

19 position?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. You didn't attend the session held on the 28th of March, 1992,

22 where that appointment was made?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Were you surprised? Were you surprised when you learnt of your

25 appointment?

Page 18896

1 A. Well, yes, I was. I was not very familiar with Samac and its

2 economy. The only part I was familiar with was agriculture. But I was

3 reassured by him. He said that agriculture is the core business activity

4 of our municipalities. He said I had the necessary experience to perform

5 these duties correctly.

6 Q. In addition to not being consulted about the position, in addition

7 to that, you were being asked to join a body that was being set up

8 parallel to the already existing and democratically elected organs in

9 Bosanski Samac, weren't you? Or to put it another way, you knew that

10 there was already an existing Municipal Assembly democratically collected

11 in 1990, with all its attendant bodies, its own Executive Board, and so

12 on. What you were being asked to do was to join a parallel, if you want

13 to describe it that way, Executive Board. Did they ask you if you

14 approved of that?

15 A. That particular session of the Serbian Assembly of Samac

16 municipality which was held in March 1992 carried the legitimacy of the

17 previous elections, because it was composed of the elected deputies who

18 were elected in 1990. They were all Serbs and representatives of all

19 parties. Following the same line of logic, the Executive Board also was

20 given the same legitimacy of that Assembly. The fact that it was not

21 operational at the moment when it was appointed doesn't make a

22 difference. It was said that both the Executive Board and the Assembly

23 would start working at the moment when Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina,

24 that is, the Serbian community, would be put into an unequal position with

25 regard to other ethnic groups.

Page 18897

1 Q. Is that what was going through your mind at the time, that you

2 decided to accept the position? Is that your reasoning? Was that your

3 reasoning? Did you take that into account, what you've just told us?

4 A. I have taken that into account. I had taken it into account. And

5 I believed and I was convinced that another solution would be found and

6 that we would never have to behave like an independent Serbian organ. I

7 was sure that we would find a solution, especially because the

8 international community got involved in the process of talks which took

9 place at the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including all the

10 constitutive people which made or comprised the peoples of Bosnia and

11 Herzegovina. I believed in this. But unfortunately, after a few

12 attempts, it did not work out and we found ourselves precisely where we

13 were.

14 Q. It goes without saying, of course, that in April -- sorry - in

15 March and April of 1992, people in -- there were three ethnic groups

16 living in Bosanski Samac, weren't there: The Croats, the Muslims, and the

17 Serbs? Correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. This new body, the Executive Board, would be taking -- for it to

20 make any sense, would be taking decisions, affecting the lives of all the

21 people living in Bosanski Samac and the municipality of Bosanski Samac.

22 Correct?

23 A. Yes. That's the way it was.

24 Q. You would be participating in those decisions and those processes

25 if you accepted your appointment. Correct?

Page 18898

1 A. Yes, with the exception that my duties were strictly confined to

2 my own sector, and I believe that I was competent to behave adequately in

3 given situations [as interpreted].

4 Q. Thank you. The body in which you were a member was going to start

5 taking decisions which would affect the lives of Croats and Muslims, would

6 it not?

7 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise. Just in order to -- for the sake

8 of clarity of the transcript. In page 84, line 22, after the full stop,

9 actually, the other part which was not recorded of the statement of this

10 witness, given the situation and in order to satisfy all people, all

11 nations, and all community in Samac.

12 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm sure that Mr. Pantelic heard correctly, and I

13 accept that, and perhaps we can proceed now.

14 Q. So the new Executive Board was going to take -- of which you were

15 a member, had accepted membership, was going to take decisions, take

16 actions that were going to affect the lives of all three -- members of all

17 three ethnic groups. That's so, isn't it?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And you accept, don't you, that the municipal -- the new Serbian

20 Municipal Assembly, and later its incarnation as the Crisis Staff and the

21 War Presidency, represented only Serbian people, don't you?

22 A. I believe not.

23 Q. You knew, didn't you, that the Municipal Assembly only had

24 appointed as deputies members of Serb -- members of the SDS and other

25 parties who were of Serbian ethnicity? You knew that, didn't you?

Page 18899

1 A. I did not know who was making the Assembly, who was part of it. I

2 believe that it was an open possibility for all ethnicities to

3 participate, but I believe and I suppose the majority was Serb, of Serb

4 nationality. Now, I don't know who was -- who were the members of the

5 Assembly. I do not know the exact ethnic structure.

6 Q. You knew that the formal title of this new governmental body that

7 was being announced in March and April of 1992 was the Municipal Assembly

8 of the Serbian people of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo Under Formation;

9 you knew that, didn't you?

10 A. No, I did not know that. At the time, I did not know this. I saw

11 it, however, later on, in some headlines.

12 Q. Before or after your acceptance of your position in the Executive

13 Board did you find out?

14 A. After the acceptance, when the executive committee began its

15 work. It may have been towards the middle of the month of May or perhaps

16 end of May.

17 Q. And you knew in March and April of 1992 that the Assembly of the

18 Serbian people of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo was to consist of deputies

19 of the Serbian Democratic Party of Bosanski Samac, Gradacac, Orasje, and

20 Odzak; you knew that, didn't you?

21 A. I think that this is not how it was specifically said. I believe

22 that it was deputies of all ethnic groups and others who wished to be part

23 of the Assembly. And I found that out later on because I did not take

24 part in the works.

25 Q. Before you -- if that be so, did you ever question the need of

Page 18900

1 this particular Serbian municipality was, given the existence of an

2 already democratically elected Municipal Assembly?

3 A. It is a known fact that there was a polarisation on the basis of

4 ethnicities, and this took place much earlier in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in

5 other municipalities, as well as other areas. I believe that the Serbs

6 were always behind other ethnic groups which lived in Bosnia and

7 Herzegovina [as interpreted].

8 Q. That was your belief in 1992, and it's your belief now?

9 A. In 1992, I did not have any precise knowledge of this, and later

10 on I found out and I was able to read in the media, and I saw that the

11 Croats also had their organisation, Croatian and Bosnian Posavina. They

12 had their organs in their areas, in their localities. They had organised

13 themselves in a similar fashion. They had their own municipal organs.

14 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic.

15 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. I do apologise to my

16 learned friend. It's page 87, line 1. This witness said exactly the

17 following: After the word "Herzegovina," he said in the sense of

18 organisation." Because otherwise if we are reading this sentence, it

19 might be somehow doubtful.

20 MR. DI FAZIO: I accept what Mr. Pantelic says. Thank you.

21 Q. You've given evidence that you joined the SDS in 1996.

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. By that time, 1996, you had had a good opportunity to observe its

24 policies in action, to understand its policies, and you had no trouble or

25 difficulty in joining the party, given that background knowledge, did you?

Page 18901

1 A. What do you think of exactly? Could you please be more precise?

2 I'm not sure if I understood your question.

3 Q. I'm sorry. Fair enough. I think my question was somewhat

4 imprecise. I'll approach it another way.

5 By 1996, you had seen the SDS at work for a period of at least six

6 years. That is so, isn't it?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. You had seen it at work at both a national level and on a

9 municipal level, and in particular in Bosanski Samac?

10 A. Yes, aside from one period of time when the work of all the

11 parties was frozen.

12 Q. Thank you. And having seen its policies being carried into

13 operation, you were pleased with those policies, considered them proper

14 and just policies, and so you joined the party?

15 A. I was not in charge of that. I was not governed by that, rather.

16 And I believe that through the Dayton Accord through which the war in

17 Bosnia-Herzegovina ended, I had the impression that the Dayton Accord

18 proved that policy, but I did not get involved into the analysis of its

19 work. I was governed by reputation of that party and the Serbian people

20 had voted in majority for that party, and I thought that people for sure

21 could not make a mistake. And maybe I was governed by that fact mainly.

22 In terms of going more in depth with regards to the analysis of politics,

23 I didn't do that.

24 Q. Okay. But let's get back to your appointment. In March of 1992,

25 you had no formal economic qualifications, you didn't know what the

Page 18902

1 political and economic situation was in Bosanski Samac, you had made no

2 moves to join any of the organs or institutions of this new Serbian

3 municipality. In those circumstances, the real reason that Jovanovic

4 contacted you and asked you to accept a position in the Executive Board

5 was that you sympathised with the policies of the SDS, you sympathised

6 with the process that you could see unfolding in front of your eyes in

7 March and April of 1992; that is so, isn't it?

8 A. I believe that I already answered that question, but I will try to

9 be a little bit more clear. Mr. Jovanovic proposed my name as an expert

10 for our circumstances, and I believe that I was an expert for the economy,

11 especially when it comes to agriculture. With regards to politics, I was

12 not very much involved in politics. I was an apolitical person. I was

13 not even following whatever was going on in the world of politics. I

14 wasn't following the events which took place in the city in which I

15 lived. I was extremely busy in my company. And I really did not have

16 time to get involved in other activities.

17 Q. Why didn't you just refuse?

18 A. For the simple reason that it was not asked of me to join

19 immediately and to start working immediately, because I believed that it

20 was only a temporary situation and that it would never be necessary to

21 function, and to refuse it would have meant that I did not want to

22 cooperate with the people, with my friends with whom I had been

23 cooperating up until then. We were always good friends. So this is what

24 I thought. And my answer to your question is simply that I never thought

25 that I ever had to really do that work.

Page 18903

1 Q. What did you think you had to do?

2 A. I thought that I was only going to do my own job. I believed in

3 peace. I believed that in Bosnia there was going to be no war.

4 Q. All right. The Executive Board of which you became a member was

5 in fact a functioning, operational body in April, May, June, July, and

6 throughout the remainder of the year, wasn't it? When I say that, I mean

7 it carried out -- it held meetings, members participated in deliberations

8 and discussions, and so on.

9 A. There were no meetings up until, I believe, the 18th of April.

10 Afterwards, I heard that there had been one meeting, not only of the

11 Executive Board but also of other structures, people who were worried with

12 regards to the agricultural situation in the agricultural combine in

13 Samac, and I suppose that these people were also in an extraordinary

14 situation and they were trying to find a solution as to how to do

15 something intelligent and how to resolve the problem, and I think that

16 this is what they discussed.

17 Q. All I'm driving at is, it's a very simple thing: This Executive

18 Board was a functioning organ in April, May, June, July, and throughout

19 the remainder of that year, 1992. From time to time it held meetings.

20 You may not have been there, but from time to time it held meetings, it

21 took decisions, discussed policy. That's so, isn't it?

22 A. Policies were not discussed, but everything else was discussed.

23 Q. Thank you.

24 A. We were discussing our situation.

25 Q. Yes. Yes. And presumably trying to find problems -- sorry -

Page 18904

1 solutions to the problems that you faced.

2 THE INTERPRETER: Witness inaudible.

3 MR. DI FAZIO: I heard the witness say "da," and I assume that --

4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can you repeat the answer?

5 THE WITNESS: I would like to ask Mr. Di Fazio to ask the question

6 again, because --


8 Q. No. All I'm saying is: The Executive Board was trying to find

9 solutions to the problems faced -- that you faced, and you answered yes.

10 That is so, isn't it?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Now, in the time that the Executive Board was up and running as a

13 functioning body, was Bozo Ninkovic participating in meetings from time to

14 time, participating in its processes? And I'm talking about April, May,

15 June, July.

16 A. I can't remember Bozo Ninkovic.

17 Q. Do you mean you don't know --

18 A. I can't remember that he actually took part.

19 Q. Other members of the Executive Board took part in its

20 deliberations, its proceedings?

21 A. Few members of the Executive Board, rather few, really, took part

22 in the work. In addition to the president or chairman of the Executive

23 Board, there was always Mirko Lukic, most often, that is, not always. If

24 I wasn't there, one of my deputies would attend, most usually Milan Simic,

25 and there was a man whose name I didn't know. He was in charge of

Page 18905

1 property and land surveying. He hailed from Slatina, I think.

2 Q. So individual members of the Executive Board could send their

3 deputies to meetings of the board; is that correct?

4 A. Yes, that's correct.

5 Q. Thank you.

6 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be given Exhibit P124, please, I

7 suppose 124 ter, the gazette.

8 Q. This document that you have before you is the Official Gazette of

9 the Samac municipality, published in early -- sorry - mid-1994, and it

10 sets out the decisions and some of the legislation adopted by the

11 municipal -- Serbian Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Samac. Can you please

12 go to paragraph 13 of the gazette, and it's at the bottom of that

13 section. It's dated the 14th of April, 1992, and apparently it's got the

14 president of the Executive Council's name, Mirko Jovanovic, after it. Do

15 you see that section, 13? It deals with the steps to form the municipal

16 Crisis Staff. Do you see that?

17 A. Page 11?

18 Q. It's number 02/13 of 92 and it's dated 14th of April, 1992, and

19 next to it is the name Mirko Jovanovic. Do you have that?

20 A. Signed by.

21 Q. Yes, yes, signed by.

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And you see it refers to a meeting taken -- that occurred on the

24 14th of April. And on the 14th of April, the Executive Council of the

25 Serbian municipality passed the following conclusions. Do you see that

Page 18906

1 preamble to -- and then all the six conclusions are set out. Do you see

2 that?

3 A. Yes. Yes.

4 Q. Okay. All right. Now, were you at that meeting on the 14th of

5 April, when the Executive Board passed those conclusions?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Do you know about that meeting on the 14th of April, when the

8 Executive Board passed those conclusions?

9 A. No, I do not know about it, and I assume that the members of the

10 Executive Board, if such a meeting was indeed held, were the same ones who

11 were members of the multiparty Executive Board. This strikes me as

12 slightly illogical, I mean that the Executive Board should set up a body

13 superior to itself. This all strikes me as very dubious, that this might

14 have been done precisely in this manner.

15 Q. You don't accept that there was a meeting on the 14th of April at

16 which the Executive Council of the Serbian municipality of Bosanski Samac,

17 at its sixth session, passed all those conclusions? You don't accept

18 that, or at least you have serious doubts about that?

19 A. I don't know that. I don't know about this meeting, so I can't

20 say anything about this meeting.

21 Q. Do you know when the Crisis Staff was formed?

22 A. I assume after the 17th of April that the Crisis Staff was

23 established, after the 17th of April, because I do know that there was an

24 intention for the Assembly to continue its work. However, that proved

25 impossible, on account of most of the deputies having been mobilised into

Page 18907

1 the ranks of the army and the police, or elsewhere, and they had to reach

2 some kind of solution. They reached this solution.

3 Q. Thank you.

4 MR. DI FAZIO: It's time, I think, if Your Honours please.

5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll adjourn now.

6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

7 1.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,

8 the 2nd day of May, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.