1 Friday, 2 May 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: 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: The Trial Chamber has decided that it's better to
10 complete this witness first and then go back to the submissions on the
11 documents as indicated earlier. So we continue with cross-examination, I
13 WITNESS: LAZAR MIRKIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Can the witness be given P124 again,
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio: [Continued]
18 Q. Now, Mr. Mirkic, I'd like you to have a look at point 13 in the
19 gazette, in fact, the same part of the document that I was asking you
20 about yesterday. It's dealing with a supposed meeting of the Executive
21 Board on the 14th of April, 1992. It contains the six conclusions. This
22 meeting -- the entry is dated the 14th of April, 1992, signed by Mirko
23 Jovanovic. Have you found it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In point 3, there's a reference to the assigning to the chief of
1 the public security station, who is Stevan Todorovic, the task of
2 immediately forming a special purposes unit of the MUP, attached to the
3 SJB, the public security station, in collaboration with the responsible
4 bodies of the military and civilian authorities. Do you see that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Who was in that body? How many members did it have?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. Do you know where it was housed, where it had its headquarters or
10 A. No.
11 Q. Was it ever discussed at Executive Board meetings?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Do you know of its existence?
14 A. Could you explain? The existence of what?
15 Q. This special purposes unit of the MUP, attached to the SJB, the
16 public security station, which is to collaborate with responsible bodies
17 of the military and civilian authorities. Are you aware of its existence?
18 A. No, I'm not.
19 Q. Did you ever attend any meetings of the Executive Board at which
20 Stevan Todorovic was present?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Are you aware of his ever having attended Executive Board
24 A. No, he was never with me at any of the Executive Board meetings.
25 Q. Did he ever send any subordinates to Executive Board meetings?
1 A. I can't remember. I knew very few of these people.
2 Q. You sent representatives occasionally to Executive Board meetings,
3 didn't you, representatives of the secretariat for the economy?
4 A. Yes. It was very often Milan Simic who attended Executive Board
6 Q. On your instructions?
7 A. It was according to a previous agreement. That's why he often
8 represented this secretariat. This was based on a verbal agreement with
9 President Jovanovic.
10 Q. So the situation with your membership of the Executive Board was
11 not only were you an unqualified economist, not having any knowledge of
12 the social and political scenario in the municipality, you actually didn't
13 attend many meetings of the Executive Board as well.
14 A. I did not attend many of the meetings of the Executive Board.
15 Q. What sort of work did you do?
16 A. Could you please be more precise in your question? What do you
18 Q. Well, let me ask you this: Did you have to undergo a period of
19 training in order to acquaint yourself with the political and social
20 conditions that applied in Bosanski Samac in April and May, so that -- in
21 order to be able to carry out these duties that had been thrust upon you?
22 A. No, I didn't have to go -- undergo anything, and my duties were of
23 day-to-day nature.
24 Q. I'm sorry. I may have asked this yesterday. I apologise if I'm
25 repeating myself. But did you actually attend any Executive Board
1 meetings in person?
2 A. I did.
3 Q. About how many did you attend?
4 A. Six or seven maybe, but I can't give you a precise answer.
5 Q. Now, on those occasions, were there any police representatives at
6 all that you can recall?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Mr. Mirkic, one of the decisions in that document that you have
9 before you - I needn't trouble you to find it in the document itself -
10 lists the decision made on the 28th of March, 1992, on the election of
11 various members of the Executive Council, or Executive Board, and you're
12 second on the list as secretary of the municipal secretariat for the
13 economy. One of the other appointees is a gentleman named Mico Ivanovic,
14 commander of the Territorial Defence municipal staff. Do you know that
16 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise. Maybe for the sake of fairness, it
17 is at page 7 of B/C/S version, which is in front of --
18 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm grateful to Mr. Pantelic for that. Thank you.
19 I didn't actually know the B/C/S page number and I was hoping to avoid
20 delay and I'm grateful to Mr. Pantelic.
21 Q. As Mr. Pantelic points out, Mr. Mirkic, you'll find it at page 7,
22 so you can read it for yourself. Can you turn to page 7?
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well, Mr. Pantelic. I think the counsel has
24 picked it up.
25 MR. DI FAZIO:
1 Q. All right. Now, you see this fellow's name about halfway down the
2 list, Mico Ivanovic, commander of the Territorial Defence. Do you know
3 this man?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And at the -- sorry?
6 A. Yes, I know this man.
7 Q. And you knew that he was a member of the Executive Board?
8 A. This decision was never implemented to the full.
9 Q. What parts of it weren't implemented? What do you mean by that?
10 A. Mirko Jovanovic, Lazar Mirkic, Mirko Lukic, and Dragomir
12 Q. What about them?
13 A. Those are the people who worked in the Executive Board and whom I
14 used to see there.
15 Q. I see. And is it the absence of the others on the six occasions
16 that you did attend meetings lead you to the conclusion that they were not
18 A. They were probably connected with the relevant state ministries.
19 Q. Let me ask you straight out: Obviously Todorovic is not one of
20 the people you say who worked in the Executive Board. Are you saying that
21 he was never a member of the Executive Board pursuant to this decision?
22 Is that your position?
23 A. I never saw him at Executive Board meetings.
24 Q. And is it that that makes you tell this Chamber that therefore he
25 was not a member of the Executive Board or is it something else?
1 A. I believe he was not a member of the Executive Board, because he
2 did not report about his work to the Executive Board.
3 Q. Right. And two of the people whose name you haven't mentioned as
4 working at the Executive Board, people who did not work or function at the
5 Executive Board, were Milos Bogdanovic and Bozo Ninkovic, and they're both
6 representatives of National Defence, as you can see in the document. Is
7 it the case, are you saying that National Defence had no representation on
8 the Executive Board? Never turned up, didn't attend meetings, didn't send
9 representatives, that sort of thing.
10 A. I believe that they did not have anything whatsoever to do with
11 the Executive Board. They also did not report to the Executive Board
12 about their work. They were not responsible to the Executive Board.
13 Q. What about the use of labour under the work obligation programme?
14 That was a matter that was dealt with by the Executive Board, wasn't it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And that was a matter that was under the jurisdiction or a matter
17 that was within the area of responsibility of National Defence, wasn't it?
18 A. What we asked from the National Defence was to -- as regards
19 persons who were required to be at certain places under their work
20 obligation, to relieve them of their duties in the army, i.e., in the
21 areas that this secretariat for National Defence was responsible for.
22 Q. And you required people to work pursuant to the work obligation in
23 all sorts of areas: On farms, factories, and so on. Is that right?
24 A. In companies. They were directors who came up with a possible
25 organisation and requirements for labour, and then they would turn to the
1 municipal secretariat for National Defence and they would ask for their
2 approval, to give them the people that they needed.
3 Q. And this was an ongoing phenomenon, wasn't it? The needs for
4 workers, the need for workers was continuing, constant demands?
5 A. Often times the situation changed. During season, companies would
6 require more people and then when they did not need as many workers, those
7 people would go back to the places from which they had been taken from.
8 Q. Thank you. Let's go back to the man I asked you about originally
9 in that list of elected members of the Executive Board, Mico Ivanovic.
10 Now, you say he didn't attend any meetings of the Executive Board. Did
11 you know him to be the commander of the Territorial Defence, municipal
12 staff, as it says in the document?
13 A. I didn't know what duties Mico discharged. I had known him, as he
14 was previously employed in Orasje, and that's how I got to know him.
15 Q. After the 16th and 17th of April, what precisely was the
16 Territorial Defence in Bosanski Samac, in the town of Bosanski Samac, TO
17 or Territorial Defence? Where was it, who was a member of it, who
18 commanded it, what did it do? And I'm talking about the period of time
19 after the 16th of April.
20 A. I really wouldn't be able to answer that question. I don't know.
21 I don't know absolutely anything about that.
22 Q. Thank you. The six or so meetings that you attended of the
23 Executive Board, they were held in the Municipal Assembly building in
24 Bosanski Samac, weren't they?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Which is -- let me withdraw that. Over what period of time did
2 you attend these six or so meetings?
3 A. Mostly in June and early July.
4 Q. Did you go to the Municipal Assembly or the offices of the
5 Executive Board on other occasions, but perhaps not for meetings but for
6 other business, to consult with your colleagues or whatever?
7 A. Maybe once or twice. I mostly did other things while I was
8 attending those meetings, so whatever other things I had to do, I would do
9 before or after the meeting.
10 Q. You mean things in Bosanski Samac, matters you had to attend to in
11 the town of Bosanski Samac?
12 A. No, not only in Bosanski Samac, but in the whole general area.
13 Q. All right. What I'm interested in is your visits to the offices
14 of the Executive Board in the municipal building. This is the situation,
15 as I understand it: You went there on about six or so occasions to attend
16 formal meetings, plus you may have gone there on two or so occasions for
17 other business, not being meetings. That's so, isn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. These were visits during the day?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The Municipal Assembly building is right next door to the SUP
22 building and not very far away at all from the TO building; that is so,
23 isn't it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you ever hear any sounds coming from the SUP building or the
1 TO building on your visits there to the Municipal Assembly building?
3 A. No.
4 Q. You didn't hear any screams, yells of tortured men, nothing like
6 A. I didn't hear that.
7 Q. Did you hear any choruses singing Chetnik songs? Did you ever
8 hear that?
9 A. I didn't.
10 Q. On those occasions that you did attend the municipal building, did
11 you ever see any of the defendants present, Mr. Blagoje Simic, Dr. Blagoje
12 Simic, Mr. Tadic, possibly Mr. Zaric?
13 A. No.
14 Q. How long did the meetings take at the Executive Board on those six
15 or so occasions that you attended them?
16 A. Those were mostly short meetings.
17 Q. All right. Do you have --
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be given his statement, his 92 bis
19 statement, please.
20 Q. All right. Can I ask you to look at paragraph 17, and in fact the
21 last sentence of that paragraph. Just re-read it. Okay. Now, you say
22 there that part of the population of Samac municipality, plus a large
23 number of Serbian refugees, were put up at Zasavica for security reasons;
25 A. Some of these people were indeed accommodated there.
1 Q. I'm sorry. I don't understand your answer. The way I read your
2 statement -- you tell me if I'm correct. That's what I want to know. The
3 way I read your statement, you were saying two groups of people were put
4 in Zasavica. Part of the population of Samac, one group; Serbian
5 refugees, a second group; and both groups were put there for security
6 reasons. Is that what in fact you were saying in your statement?
7 A. I don't have any reliable information as to who exactly was there,
8 but that was what rumour had, and that is that Serbian refugees from other
9 parts of Bosnia who were on their way towards Samac, and some of the local
10 population were put there for security reasons.
11 Q. Okay. So this part in your statement, in your Rule 92 bis
12 statement, is based on rumour; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Why did you include rumour in your statement? Why?
15 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour. That's a problem with the
16 interpretation, with the translation. This witness said that he heard
17 this fact from the other people, and wrong interpretation in terms of
18 rumour came to the earphones of my learned friend. So it's hearsay, to be
19 precise. It's hearsay. Thank you.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: That's my idea of rumour, but in any event, we
21 won't split hairs over --
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: -- Over --
24 MR. PANTELIC: No. To be honest, and to be fair with this
25 witness, he said that he heard this fact from the other persons. He never
1 mentioned rumours in B/C/S. So please be fair. Thank you.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: I understand what Mr. Pantelic is saying. I won't
3 use the word again.
4 Q. That part of your statement is based purely on what you heard from
5 other people?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What other people?
8 A. I can't specify what other people, but ...
9 Q. So you can't remember who you heard it from, you don't know with
10 what authority they spoke on the subject, you can't remember how many
11 people you spoke to about the subject, you can't remember when you spoke
12 to people about the subject, but you're quite happy to put it into your
13 statement. Correct?
14 A. In my earlier statements before this Tribunal, I did say that I
15 had spent very little time in Samac and that I only knew very few people
16 over there.
17 Q. I know. I heard that.
18 A. So it is for these reasons that I cannot be any more specific.
19 Q. Yes. I heard your evidence very clearly. You made that quite
20 clear, Mr. Mirkic, and it's precisely that, it's precisely that lack of
21 knowledge, your lack of knowledge, that should have prevented you from
22 putting in these -- such assertions; don't you agree?
23 A. I don't quite understand what you're asking me to say.
24 Q. All right. Let me ask you this: You mention in that part of your
25 statement part of the population of Samac municipality. Based on what you
1 heard from other people, what part of the population did you know or did
2 you understand had been taken to Zasavica? The population of Samac. I'm
3 not talking about the Serb refugees.
4 A. I am not familiar with the structure of that population. I don't
5 know who was there.
6 Q. You never heard that it was Croats who were taken to Zasavica?
7 You never heard that from your contacts that you've told us about?
8 A. There were members of all ethnic groups there, from what I heard.
9 Q. I'm talking about the part of the population of Samac
10 municipality. I'm quoting directly from your statement: "The part of the
11 population of Samac municipality." That part, do you have any information
12 as to their ethnicity?
13 A. In my statement, I stated that part of the population of Samac
14 municipality, as well as many refugees, were there, but I did not know
15 what their ethnicity was. I assume that members of all ethnic groups were
17 Q. I see. And you mention these people being put up in Zasavica for
18 security reasons. Now, what did you hear were the security reasons for
19 their accommodation in Zasavica?
20 A. Well, the fact that there was less shelling over there, because
21 Samac was being shelled on a daily basis.
22 Q. And that's something that you also heard from these undefined
23 people in Bosanski Samac?
24 A. I had occasion to see this for myself several times when I was
25 there, that Samac was indeed being shelled. I'm talking about the few
1 times that I was actually there. I fled from Samac myself, as fast as I
2 could, in fact.
3 Q. What I'm asking you is this -- what I'm asking you is this: In
4 paragraph 17, you say that these people were put up there for security
5 reasons, put up in Zasavica. Now, I'm not disputing that Samac was
6 shelled. I know about that. What I'm asking you is: Please tell the
7 Trial Chamber what you understood the security reasons to be.
8 A. Well, as I've said --
9 Q. All right. To be fair -- I'm sorry. I don't want to
10 misunderstand you. Are you saying that because you saw Bosanski Samac
11 being shelled, that you concluded that that's the reason people were taken
12 to Zasavica? Is that fair? So that they would be safer?
13 A. I didn't -- I was not the one who was in charge of security.
14 Someone else was in charge of that. Therefore, I can't give you a clear
16 Q. Well, if you can't give me a clear answer, why did you include it
17 in your statement? I mean, this is a statement that's going to be read by
18 these Judges and they have to draw factual conclusions. You've just told
19 us you can't be clear about why the people were taken to Zasavica, but in
20 your statement you're quite clear. You say for security reasons. Now,
21 why did you make that assertion if you can't be clear?
22 A. Probably I based my statement or assertion on ideas that I had,
23 that all the villages and the surroundings were much safer than the town
24 of Samac itself. So it was actually a loose remark that I included in my
1 Q. Right. And how many other loose remarks are there in the
2 statement that you're aware of?
3 A. Well, I didn't -- I didn't keep track.
4 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, in evidence, in answer to questions from
5 Mr. Pantelic, you said that there was no form of ethnic discrimination in
6 Bosanski Samac; quite the contrary. What did you mean by that?
7 A. I meant institutionalised discrimination, that kind of thing.
8 Now, as to whether there were individuals who committed certain acts, what
9 those acts were that they perhaps committed, now that's a different issue
10 altogether. What I had in mind, above all, was that no official
11 institution ever publicly favoured ethnic or any other kind of
12 discrimination among the population.
13 Q. You're aware, aren't you, that following April 16 and 17,
14 large-scale arrests of Croats and Muslims took place in Bosanski Samac?
15 You're aware of that, aren't you?
16 A. I'm not aware of that.
17 Q. I see. You didn't know that there were Croats and Muslims being
18 imprisoned in the SUP, in the TO building, in the high school gym, in the
19 primary school gym? You didn't know about that?
20 A. I really didn't know about that.
21 Q. Have you ever heard of it since, that phenomenon happening since
22 April -- or since 1992, in effect?
23 A. I did hear about it. People were talking about it, that that was
24 indeed what had happened. But at that time, I was really not aware of
1 Q. I see. You're aware that the Serbian municipality of Bosanski
2 Samac that was proclaimed or declared after the 16th of April only
3 permitted Serbian representatives, people of Serbian ethnicity, amongst
4 its ranks? You're aware of that, aren't you?
5 A. I believe there was an opening for other ethnic groups, citizens
6 of other ethnic groups to take part in the work of the authorities and in
7 the bodies of government, but I was not personally involved in the setting
8 up of these bodies, of these authorities. Therefore, I can't provide a
9 more specific answer.
10 Q. Thank you. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber what makes you
11 believe that there was an opening for other ethnic groups in the new
12 institutions of the Serbian municipality of Bosanski Samac? Why is it
13 that you say that?
14 A. I have based this statement on my personal views and
15 understanding. I never once heard that anyone had actually banned them
16 from taking part in the authorities in Samac.
17 Q. You're aware of names and -- names of streets, locations in
18 Bosanski Samac and the municipality itself being changed in order to
19 fit -- in order to remove names associated with the history of the Muslim
20 and ethnic communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
21 A. Not while I was there. No such thing happened while I was there.
22 Q. Are you aware of large numbers of Muslims and Croats leaving the
23 municipality of Bosanski Samac and the town of Bosanski Samac through a
24 programme called the Exchange Programme? Are you aware of that?
25 A. That was happening throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. This was something that -- excuse me. May I continue?
3 Q. Please do. I don't want to interrupt you.
4 A. And this was something that was generally accepted by all the
5 warring parties.
6 Q. Thank you for that, informing us of that. Now, can you tell us:
7 Are you aware of large numbers of Muslims and Croats leaving the
8 municipality of Bosanski Samac and the town of Bosanski Samac through a
9 programme called the Exchange Programme, or exchanges?
10 A. Some of them did indeed leave, but some of them stayed in Samac
11 until the very end.
12 Q. Did you ever see them being loaded onto buses carrying their
13 belongings in suitcases and so on? Did you ever see that?
14 A. No. I never personally witnessed any of these exchanges or people
15 getting ready to leave and be exchanged.
16 Q. Yes. Thank you for your assistance.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: I have no further questions.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Any re-examination, Mr. Pantelic?
19 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
20 Re-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mirkic, you were asked by the Prosecutor
22 about work obligations that people had, and in reply to that question, you
23 said there was a certain principle and that the whole thing was based on a
24 number of regulations. My question is: Which ethnic groups or
25 nationalities did the work obligation apply to?
1 A. This applied to the whole population, or rather, all those
2 individuals who had not been mobilised, drafted, into the ranks of the
4 Q. When you say the whole population, please state the ethnic groups
5 you have in mind, for the sake of the record.
6 A. Serbs, Croats, Muslims, and the others.
7 MR. PANTELIC: I don't have further questions for the witness.
8 [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Mirkic.
9 Questioned by the Court:
10 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes. Good morning, Mr. Mirkic. I just have a
11 couple of questions for you based on your testimony yesterday and this
12 morning. I'd like to know whether your appointment as secretary for
13 economy in the executive committee of Samac municipality was formalised by
14 a decision of the Crisis Staff.
15 A. Not by a decision of the Crisis Staff. It was a decision by the
16 Assembly, the Assembly held on the 28th of March, 1992. However, this
17 decision became effective after the 17th of April, came into effect after
18 the 17th of April, 1992.
19 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you for that. Secondly, you were asked a
20 few questions by the Prosecutor concerning paragraph 17 of your statement
21 concerning the village of Zasavica, and I'm wondering: Was the situation
22 in Zasavica ever discussed at the Executive Board meetings that you
24 A. No.
25 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thirdly, you mentioned, in response to the
1 Prosecutor, that your mentioning of Zasavica in paragraph 17 of your
2 statement, you said, was actually a loose remark. What I'm wondering is:
3 Why did you, in this remark, refer only to Zasavica and not to the other
4 villages in the surroundings of the town of Bosanski Samac which you
5 mention on page 13, line 22 and 23? Why did you single out Zasavica to
6 make this remark in paragraph 17?
7 A. The reason was probably the village was near the town of Samac,
8 and it was relatively safe, so people could be accommodated there, at
9 least for a brief period of time, until such time as the whole thing
10 stopped. We all hoped that it would stop soon, that the conflict would
11 soon be over.
12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you. And my last question concerns a
13 meeting that took place at Agroposavina on 12th of April, 1992.
14 Agroposavina was your workplace? Am I correct in thinking that?
15 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE WILLIAMS: So I'm wondering whether you were present at this
17 meeting at Donji Zabar, at Agroposavina, on 12th of April, 1992. Can you
18 recall being present at a meeting on that date?
19 A. Well, it's been a long time and I can't say the date rings any
20 bells. I can't recall that specific date, I'm afraid, or what meeting may
21 have been held on that day.
22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: If I said to you it was a meeting concerning a
23 number of men who had arrived by helicopter a little bit earlier in
24 Batkusa, would that refresh your memory? Can you recall a meeting that
25 took place at your workplace in Agroposavina and was attended by persons
1 from Bosanski Samac? If you can't recall it, you know, simply say you
2 can't recall it.
3 A. I believe that no such meetings were ever actually held at
4 Agroposavina. I did not take part in any such meeting. I was away on
5 business quite often, so it's possible that I was not even there on that
6 particular day.
7 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: I just want to seek clarification from you on the
9 terms that you have used in your statement, because in the other pieces of
10 evidence, the terms are different. When you talk of the executive
11 committee, is that the same thing as the Executive Board?
12 A. There may be a typo, because all we ever speak about is the
13 Executive Board.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. We are finished with your evidence.
15 Thank you very much for coming. You are now free to leave the courtroom.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, would it be appropriate time for me to
19 tender one of these redacted versions of the previous statements or we
20 shall proceed with the witness and at a later stage we shall deal with the
21 procedural matters?
22 JUDGE MUMBA: No. We are supposed to have submissions on the
23 exhibits tendered by Mr. Lukic and the Prosecution regarding the
24 International Red Cross agreements on exchanges.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Okay. Thank you very much, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours; good
3 morning to all participants. My understanding of the ruling of the Trial
4 Chamber is that we should briefly explain why both we ourselves and the
5 Office of the Prosecutor have tendered these documents into evidence. So
6 now the Trial Chamber would like to have our brief submissions. I will
7 try to keep it as brief as possible, speaking on behalf of Mr. Tadic's
9 Your Honours, the Office of the Prosecutor, when speaking about
10 the exchanges, has made several claims about things that we could see
11 summed up in the last questions that Mr. Di Fazio addressed to the
12 witness. The term he was using was the Exchange Programme, and he claims
13 this is one of the elements of persecution. In paragraph 2 of the
14 indictment, the Office of the Prosecutor claimed the same thing when
15 giving the general information concerning Mr. Tadic; these claims were
16 elaborated in the pre-trial brief item 25. Their views on these exchanges
17 were also elaborated when introducing exchange lists at the end of their
18 case, and the Prosecutor's understanding of these exchanges was also
19 indicated by the questions they asked numerous witnesses and the report of
20 the special envoy of the UN, Mr. Mazowiecki on ethnic cleansing. There
21 was word of exchanges taking place occasionally there also.
22 The documents that we have proposed and the documents tendered by
23 the Prosecutor seem to indicate something that seems to be an agreed
24 fact. Both parties obviously agree for these documents to be introduced,
25 but obviously both parties have their own different interpretation of
1 these documents. I must try hard not to go into that right now, not to go
2 into evaluating the actual evidence. So what I'm going to say is that
3 Mr. Tadic's Defence, if I may remind you, in our opening brief, promised
4 to prove that the exchanges were no invention of the Samac committee of
5 the town of Samac or of Miroslav Tadic. I said we would prove that these
6 exchanges were carried out in a number of different ways, but in the ways
7 that we have tried to prove and across a wider area, not only Posavina,
8 Republika Srpska, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, but rather, in the area of
9 the entire former Yugoslavia; and thirdly, that international institutions
10 actively participated in these exchanges, regardless if, as observers,
11 organisers, or supervisors. I think this has been agreed in this trial
12 that all the exchanges that took place in the UNPA zones, Dragalic and
13 Lipovac, were indeed witnessed tendered by representatives of the
14 UNPROFOR, and on the other hand that a large number of exchanges was being
15 attended by representatives of the international humanitarian
16 organisations, particularly the Red Cross.
17 The logic inherent in this, the Defence of Mr. Tadic, led us to
18 tender into evidence the documents that we offered at the end of our
19 case. I merely wish to point out that we informed the Prosecution about
20 these documents during reciprocal disclosure prior to the beginning of the
21 trial itself. We did disclose a number of documents during the
22 Prosecution case, but it was prior to the commencement of the trial that
23 the Prosecution already had all the documents that we were then tendering.
24 Briefly, in relation to document D190, agreement number 2, upon
25 the invitation of the International Red Cross, dated the 23rd of May,
1 1992, this agreement between the warring sides or parties, paragraph 2
2 refers to the work of the commission and the persons to work on the
3 exchanges and the lists of detained persons. Document D191/3, the
4 proposal by UNPROFOR for a reciprocal release of detainees, adopted prior
5 to the 9th of December, 1992, shows that the Defence is right in claiming
6 that UNPROFOR also had a notable role to play in these exchanges and in
7 liberating detained persons by way of this exchange programme.
8 Paragraph 3 says that the essence of the whole idea of the
9 exchanges is what is in paragraph 7 too, and something we have been trying
10 to prove before this Tribunal, that these exchanges were actually a
11 humanitarian and above all humane act. I will remind you that I said at
12 the beginning that Mr. Tadic's Defence will try to prove that these
13 exchanges were not part of restricting human rights, which is an
14 indispensable element of the actus reus, but rather that the exchanges
15 were a way to see these human rights implemented.
16 Following that, another document marked D192/3, conclusions, dated
17 16th December 1992, agreed between the Republic of Croatia and the Federal
18 Republic of Yugoslavia. These seem to indicate that further exchanges had
19 taken place between two institutions which are not directly involved in
20 our case, but this clearly indicates and proves right the assertion by the
21 Defence that the exchanges indeed took place throughout the former
22 Yugoslavia. And what I found particularly note worthy is that in this
23 agreement, again you have Lipovac and Dragalic as locations where the
24 exchanges were to be carried out, for the obvious reason that those were
25 the safest possible locations at that time.
1 Another document which we tendered into evidence which was marked
2 D193/3 is a document of the International Red Cross, describing the
3 procedure applied during the exchanges, document dated June 1993. In our
4 view, this shows the existence of the very procedure which existed in
5 relation to the lists of persons to be exchanged and the checking of those
6 lists, as proposed by the International Red Cross as early as June 1993.
7 In point of fact, it was precisely those principles that people actually
8 worked on the exchanges, both those from Samac and those that they were
9 cooperating with applied, and eventually document that was marked D194/3,
10 an extract from the Paris Peace Agreement, specifically Article 9, which
11 seems to me essential because it shows that civilians and military
12 personnel were mentioned as equal in that document concerning the
13 exchanges and that both these groups had the same right to be exchanged.
14 That's as far as our documents are concerned, the documents tendered by
16 As far as the documents tendered by the Office of the Prosecutor
17 are concerned, as I said, I have no general objections, because these
18 documents refer to the same issue. So personally, I believe that document
19 marked as P179, again guidelines provided by the International Red Cross,
20 dated 24th of March, 1993, I believe that these guidelines are almost
21 identical to the document that I spoke about now, D193, also containing
22 guidelines but from June 1993.
23 In relation to the document marked P178, the agreement between the
24 warring parties, dated the 13th of September and 1st of October, 1992, I
25 believe, as far as Article 3, paragraph 6 is concerned of this particular
1 document, and Article 9, this document again describes the exchanges, the
2 right of the people to take sides and the right of the people to choose
3 freedom of movement. I think this is merely a supplement to the same set
4 of documents that we shall address in our final brief more specifically.
5 Document P176 is in fact the first introductory part of another
6 document, an agreement, dated the 22nd of May, 1992, between the warring
7 parties, which is actually the first part of the document that we tendered
8 as document 190/3. I did have this document, and it's quite possible that
9 I served this document on the Prosecutor during reciprocal disclosure. I
10 think this is a relevant document because it speaks about the status of
11 detainees, and practically binds the signatories in terms of the Geneva
12 Conventions and the status of the civilian population and detainees. I
13 think this is a very relevant document, because it in no way refers to the
14 exchanges themselves as actually carried out. I think it's a legal point
15 now, a point of legal interpretation, whether this document is relevant
16 for my case. But as it is an integral part of a document that I have
17 tendered, I have no objection to this document being introduced, but I
18 think it is irrelevant for us and for what we're trying to prove.
19 Finally, the document that was marked P177, that's what we refer
20 to as agreement number 3, dated June 1992, an agreement between the
21 warring parties. Miroslav Tadic's Defence disclosed this document to the
22 Office of the Prosecutor, but after further verification and in terms of
23 our case, the case we're trying to prove through these documents, this
24 document has appeared to me irrelevant because it speaks about making it
25 possible for representatives of the International Red Cross to actually
1 provide assistance, which was their task. However, page 8 of this
2 document speaks about the separation of families and the need for the
3 International Red Cross to organise some sort of a search service,
4 searching for missing persons, everything that we've heard during
5 Mr. Tadic's defence when we spoke about the cooperation between the local
6 and the International Red Cross.
7 So there is no objection on our part for this document to be
8 tendered and accepted into evidence, but it strikes us as irrelevant for
9 our case.
10 Therefore, on the basis of all these documents, the Defence of
11 Mr. Miroslav Tadic believes that we have proven that the way the exchanges
12 took place and how the Samac committee worked can by no means be reduced
13 to what the Prosecution has claimed. On the contrary, the exchanges
14 carried out by the Samac commission and all the institutions it cooperated
15 with were carried out fully, in accordance with the principles -- the
16 international principles and the human rights. We shall try to use these
17 documents once again to show that this principle was indeed applied and
18 that the exchanges were carried out during the period of the indictment
19 throughout the former Yugoslavia; and secondly, that the international
20 organisations did take active part in observing, supervising, and
21 organising these exchanges, in assisting these exchanges, providing all
22 necessary assistance for the basic human rights and entitlements to be
23 implemented. I'm not sure whether a reply to this will be, but this for
24 the time being is our position, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Yes, the Prosecution. Yes, Mr. Re.
1 MR. RE: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. The Prosecution
2 understands fully Mr. Lukic's submission in relation to the relevance of
3 the documents he has tendered to his client's case, and we certainly don't
4 oppose them. Your Honours will recall the evidence you heard from the
5 local Red Cross representative, Mr. Maslic, and indeed Mr. Tadic himself,
6 as to the role of the ICRC in the exchanges as they have been called
7 before this Trial Chamber.
8 Mr. Maslic's evidence was of the International Red Cross brokering
9 and organising the first exchange in May 1992. That was evidence he gave
10 earlier, on January 11th, 12th -- sorry - 10th, 11th, and 14th of this
11 year. Mr. Tadic himself, in his re-examination by Mr. Lukic, at page
12 15.793, said: "All those who refused to be exchanged went home. That was
13 the results of the first exchange ever, ever," meaning back in May 1992,
14 "when the ICRC informed me" -- sorry - "informed us of this obligation
15 and we complied with it to the letter."
16 The Prosecution -- that's the end of the quote. The Prosecution
17 is anxious to ensure that the Trial Chamber has the complete picture in
18 relation to the ICRC's involvement, if at all, in the -- what has been
19 term euphemistically the exchange process. The Defence of Mr. Tadic has
20 tendered two documents which, if taken in isolation, give -- can be give a
21 misleading impression or picture of what the ICRC was actually doing
22 during the indictment period. As Your Honours, of course, are aware, the
23 effect of the Appeal Chamber's ruling prevented the Prosecution from
24 calling direct evidence from a former Red Cross casual employee. So the
25 Prosecution did not call any evidence during its case in relation to the
1 ICRC. However, these documents are all public documents which have become
2 relevant once the Defence has put them into evidence or has used the ICRC
3 as part of its case to justify the role of Mr. Tadic and the Exchange
4 Commission in a sense that it was complying at all times with the ICRC
5 guidelines. Agreements between the warring parties and international
6 humanitarian law.
7 The two documents which Mr. Lukic tendered, specific ICRC
8 documents, as I mentioned a moment ago, if taken together, would give a
9 misleading picture that the exchange process may have been something the
10 ICRC was condoning or participating in. However, you have to see the
11 other documents. The first document was D190/3, which is an agreement
12 or -- it's actually the setting up of the commission, but pursuant to an
13 agreement of the 22nd of May, 1992. Now, the parties to the agreement,
14 which is in P176, which the Prosecution tendered, are quite important,
15 because the parties are the representative of Mr. Izetbegovic, the
16 president of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina; a representative of
17 Mr. Karadzic, the president of the SDS; and a representative of the HVO,
18 or the Croatian Democratic Community, I'm sorry. Those, of course, were
19 the warring parties in the indictment period, in the indictment
20 geographical area. But more importantly, Your Honour has heard a lot of
21 evidence of the role of the SDS, of which, of course, Mr. Karadzic was the
22 leader during the indictment period, and he was in fact at the time of the
23 signing of these agreements and all subsequent ones the president of the
24 presidency of the Republika Srpska.
25 Your Honours have heard an abundance of evidence, most recently a
1 few days ago, from Mr. Mitar Mitrovic, the secretary of the Municipal
2 Assembly and the Crisis Staff, that the municipal bodies, the Serbian
3 Samac municipality, the Executive Council or Executive Board, and so on,
4 were bound to follow government policies, government decrees, government
5 regulations. This is an agreement, or these were a series of agreements
6 signed by a representative of the government. That's President Karadzic.
7 Whose decrees, regulations, and laws they were obliged to follow.
8 Now, the agreement of -- P176 is particularly relevant in response
9 to the Defence tender, because it's an agreement as to the civilian
10 population. Specifically, Article 2.3 on page 3 refers to -- in terms --
11 of course in terms of the 4th Geneva Convention. I'm not going to go into
12 the Geneva Conventions or anything, but it refers specifically to an
13 agreement between the parties and a special agreement that they are bound
14 to honour the provisions of Geneva 4, and specifically sets out in the
15 treatment -- "in the treatment of the civilian population, there should be
16 no adverse distinction founded on race, religion, or faith or any other
17 similar criteria and the displacement of the civilian population shall not
18 be ordered unless the security of the civilian is involved or imperative
19 military reasons so demand."
20 That's in Article 2.3 of the special agreement of that document.
21 And Your Honours must see P176 if Your Honours are to see D193, which
22 D190/3 is merely an agreement made pursuant to set up a commission made
23 pursuant to this initial agreement on the 22nd of May, 1992.
24 The next one, of course, is D -- sorry - P177. That's the 6th of
25 June agreement in Geneva. Again it's the same parties, and I do note, and
1 accept my learned friend Mr. Lukic's submissions as to the relevance of
2 this particular document, and I do concede it is the least relevant of the
3 ICRC documents. It has been tendered to complete the picture, so to
4 speak, of agreements 1, 2, 3, and 4, so that Your Honours have a complete
5 picture of the agreements between the warring parties and the application
6 to the civilian population in any particular municipality or any part of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina. There are two particularly relevant portions in it,
8 that's at page 8 and pages 9 of the agreement number 3 under the heading
9 number 4, IV, other ICRC activities page 8 Heading Access to Prisoners,
10 underlined "Access to Prisoners and Visitors to Places Detention Are a
11 Fundamental Part of the ICRC's Mandate. It is imperative that the ICRC
12 gain access to all places of detention under the control of all the
13 parties," it goes on: "ICRC delegates will have free access to all
14 persons captured and detained." And other the page general provisions 5
15 it mentions as one of the following places Odzak, which is of course one
16 of the municipalities, the subject of the indictment.
17 The next one is P178, which is a very important agreement, if Your
18 Honours are to see the complete picture in relation to Mr. Tadic's case of
19 the exchanges, and I understand of course Dr. Simic's and Mr. Zaric's case
20 as well. And this agreement is called the Geneva Agreement, what's known
21 as the Geneva Agreement. The agreement is headed -- now, this is very
22 important, the agreement is actually headed "Agreement on the Release and
23 Transfer of Prisoners." It's not headed release -- Agreement on the
24 Exchange of Prisoners. It's "Release and Transfer of Prisoners." And the
25 date is very important too. It's the 1st of October, 1992, which is
1 midway through the indictment period.
2 Again, the same representatives: Mr. Karadzic, the president of
3 the presidency of the Republika Srpska and the SDS, of course the
4 controlling body of the municipalities, including the one the subject of
5 this indictment. It doesn't talk about -- this agreement doesn't talk
6 about the exchange of prisoners. It doesn't contemplate the exchange of
7 prisoners. It contemplates only the release and transfer of prisoners.
8 Article 3 on page 2 is headed "Release of Prisoners." Subparagraph 1:
9 "All prisoners not accused of or sentenced to grave breaches of
10 international humanitarian law that is defined in the 4th Geneva
11 Convention," and the additional Protocol I, "will be unilaterally and
12 unconditionally released." II, "each party will release all prisoners it
13 is holding in any given place of detention as soon as the ICRC" -- sorry -
14 "requests on the basis of a specific plan of operation."
15 Article 9 on page 5, notification -- headed "Notification of
16 Releases Without ICRC Involvement," says: "In the event of any release,
17 transfer, repatriation or exchange of prisoners in which the ICRC takes no
18 part, the ICRC will be notified of all the prisoners concerned." That's
19 the only mention of -- that's the only mention of exchange in the whole
20 document. And it is only referring to it in a sense in which the ICRC is
21 not involved, because it does not contemplate the ICRC being involved in
22 exchanges. It is saying the parties agree to notify the ICRC if they have
23 "exchanged prisoners."
24 I won't take Your Honours to international humanitarian law and
25 the exchange of prisoners -- civilian prisoners on a one-to-one basis as
1 opposed to the permissible exchange of prisoners of war, because that's
2 not the situation which pertains to this indictment.
3 Your Honours will note in P178 it refers to some annexures. I
4 neglected, because -- to tender the annexures, I found them this morning
5 under a different ERN number. The annexures actually refer -- one of them
6 refers to the municipality of Bosanski Samac and the detention of
7 prisoners there. That's annexure A. The Prosecution overlooked the
8 reference to the annexures in that, and searching through the system this
9 morning, I located I annexures which had been filed in the system under a
10 different ERN number. It appears that the same document the Geneva
11 agreement has been submitted to the OTP's Evidence Unit on different
12 occasions under different ERN numbers and the one I tendered before did
13 not have the annexure. So I'll come back to that later and I've given a
14 copy to my learned friend this morning when I found the things.
15 Again, they're public documents and the Defence having had these
16 documents, it would cause them no prejudice, because they actually
17 referred to in P178. Which takes me to P179, and this is the first one,
18 dated the 24th of March, 1993, which actually refers to the guidelines for
19 the exchange of prisoners. And it's very important what the introduction
20 says, because if you only go to the document my learned friend Mr. Lukic
21 tendered, which was P193/3, which is a further set of guidelines and
22 principles and procedures for the ICRC involvement, one could get the
23 impression that it is something the ICRC has condoned or been involved in
24 for some period before. It is only -- because this document, of course,
25 doesn't mention the document of the 24th of March, 1993, which is why P179
1 is so important, and the date is important. It's nine months after the
2 first exchange in Bosanski Samac. That's the exchange Mr. Maslic
3 testified the ICRC actually brokered and organised. And it says in its
4 introduction: "In principle, all prisoners held by the parties in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina should be immediately and unilaterally released." And
6 refers under the auspices of the Geneva Convention -- the Geneva agreement
7 of the 1st of October. That's P178, and the London agreement of 27th of
8 August, 1992, which was the Vance-Owen Plan.
9 However, "as this obligation has not been fully carried out by the
10 parties, so as not to delay unnecessarily the release of prisoners,
11 international organisations may participate in prisoner exchanges if the
12 following rules are accepted. The aim of these is to humanise the
13 exchanges while attempting to limit their negative side effects."
14 And this is the really important part and why we are tendering
15 this document: "It must be noted that prisoner exchanges were not
16 foreseen by the above-mentioned agreements, and therefore remain the
17 exception to the rule."
18 That's on the 24th of March, 1993, the ICRC is saying prisoner
19 exchanges were not contemplated by the earlier agreements, which places it
20 well after the period in which Mr. Maslic and Mr. Tadic have testified
21 that the ICRC was participating in prisoner exchanges, and it defines
22 prisoners as "all civilians deprived of their liberty for reasons related
23 to the conflict, including those interned, detained, or subject to
24 assigned residence." Again, that relates directly back to the indictment
25 and the evidence which Defence witnesses have given of the reasons for
1 people being in Zasavica and these exchanges where civilians could line up
2 to leave, which is actually contrary to the agreements as set out between
3 the parties. And the rules applicable, one, "international organisations
4 will not initiate exchanges, will only participate or monitor them if
5 these rules are expected"; and 2, "international organisations will do
6 their ultimate most to ensure that persons other than prisoners will not
7 be exchanged and that persons are not arrested in view of the exchange."
8 The clear evidence in the Defence case of Mr. Tadic, Mr. Masic, and
9 others, is that civilians who were not detained, who were not subject to
10 confinement of their liberty were not interned or subject to assigned
11 residence were arriving for exchange, that's exchange of prisoners on one
12 to one -- exchange of people on a one-to-one basis, which this agreement
13 says will do their utmost to ensure that these people are not exchanged.
14 It's only prisoners.
15 So, Your Honours, in my submission, you have to see the full
16 picture to see it in the context of the Defence case, and the
17 Prosecution's response to the selective tendering of only two of the
18 relevant documents in that. In my submission, they are relevant of course
19 to the Defence case, but the Prosecution should be allowed to respond
20 during the Defence case to give the Defence a chance to respond to those
21 if necessary by the tendering of public documents will complete the full
22 picture of the ICRC's involvement and the international community's -- or
23 international organise organisation's attitude to the exchange process.
24 In my submission, these documents are highly relevant and highly probative
25 and necessary for the Trial Chamber's determination of the Defence case.
1 I make no submissions as to the relevance of the two documents D191/3 and
2 D192/3 which the Defence has tendered. The Prosecution considers them to
3 be of marginal relevance but if the Defence considers them necessary to
4 their case, we don't object to their tender and whatever use they wish to
5 make of them in their case or final submissions. Those are my
6 submissions, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much, and we've just reached about
8 our time for a break. We'll continue with our witnesses after the break.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can the witness make the solemn declaration.
13 WITNESS: BRANISLAV MARUSIC
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Please sit down.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Examined by Mr. Pantelic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Marusic. For the record, can
23 you please tell us your full name, the first name and the last name.
24 A. I'm Branislav Marusic. My first name is Branislav and my last
25 name is Marusic.
1 Q. Thank you. Since we speak the same language, after my question,
2 can you make a short pause. This will help the interpreters do their job,
3 and participants will be able to follow your words.
4 You are -- in paragraph 1 of your statement, according to
5 paragraph -- according to 92 bis, you gave us your personal data.
6 However, could you please tell us: In 1991, you were a member of the SDS;
7 isn't that so?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And in Gracanica you were the president of the municipal board of
10 that party of the SDS; isn't that so?
11 A. Yes, that is so.
12 Q. When did you stop being the president of the municipal board of
13 the SDS in Gracanica, if you can remember?
14 A. I believe that this was sometime in December of 1991.
15 Q. Who was your successor? Who became the president of the SDS
16 municipal board after you?
17 A. After me, the president of the municipal SDS board of Gracanica
18 was Mr. Djordje Ilic. I believe that he was in that post for a short
19 time, and he was followed by Mr. Bosko Dujkovic. But immediately after
20 me, it was Mr. Djordje Ilic who was the president of the SDS in Gracanica.
21 Q. Could you please tell the Chamber why you resigned from the post
22 of the president of the municipal board of the SDS.
23 A. Since I was also the president of the Executive Board of Gracanica
24 municipality and I had a very busy schedule, I simply did not have the
25 time to dedicate to party activities. Therefore, I resigned and asked to
1 be replaced by somebody who will have more time than me, and this
2 obviously left me more time for my work in the Executive Board of
3 Gracanica municipality.
4 Q. You left Gracanica because of some threats. I'm just quoting your
5 statement. Can you explain the nature of those threats?
6 A. I was in Gracanica until the end of April, as far as I can
7 remember. I believe I was there until 25th or 26th of April. Then I
8 received some very serious threats. I was told I had to move out because
9 my life was at stake. Then I took my children and my wife and I moved to
10 my family house in Karanovac, where my mother lives.
11 Q. Where did these threats come from? Can you tell us?
12 A. I believe that those threats came from the Green Berets, which
13 were paramilitary Muslim units, and these threats usually came during the
14 night or early hours of the morning.
15 Q. Very well, then. What did you do between May 1992 and the end of
16 the war?
17 A. After May 1992, when I discontinued my activities as the president
18 of the Executive Board in Gracanica municipality, I left for Karanovac
19 where I stayed for a certain time in my family house. After that, I was
20 mobilised and joined the army, that is, the Yugoslav People's Army, and
21 that is where I stayed until the end. I did not have any political
23 Q. Later on, did you become a member of the army of Republika
24 Srpska? You mentioned the Yugoslav People's Army, but that was --
25 A. Yes, that was at the beginning. Later on it became the army of
1 Republika Srpska.
2 Q. What was your position in the army?
3 A. I was a foot soldier.
4 Q. Very well, then. Let's go back to the period that you mentioned
5 in the statement and why we called you here to give your testimony. There
6 is a piece of evidence in the court files. It's an excerpt from the
7 minutes of the 1st Assembly of the North Bosnia SAO. We're going to come
8 to that later. Before that, I would like to ask you the following: What
9 were the motives for the foundation of the SAO? That was at the beginning
10 of 1991. What preceded the foundation of this autonomous province?
11 A. Everybody knows what was going on and what turbulences were in
12 places in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the main reason was, I believe it was
13 sometime at the end of November, that was the Assembly that took place in
15 Q. You mean the end of October, don't you?
16 A. Yes, I do. The end of October. There was an outvoting, and there
17 was a declaration about the separation of Bosnia-Herzegovina from the rest
18 of Yugoslavia, after which the Serbian deputies walked out of that
19 assembly, and it was believed that the vital interests of the Serbian
20 people came under threat at that time. After that, there was, so to say,
21 a Serbian politician started thinking as to how to protect the vital
22 Serbian interests, those deputies that had legitimacy as directed deputies
23 by the Serbian people.
24 Q. I apologise for the interruption. What do you know about, if you
25 know anything about, the way Croats organised themselves at that time?
1 A. I know that we were always forced to make some moves. The
2 Croatian community in Bosnia had already been established. There was a
3 community in Posavina and in other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a
4 similar thing was organised based on a provision of the constitution of
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a similar thing was organised as an alliance
6 of municipalities. And based on that, we came up -- some municipalities
7 came up with an initiative to establish an association of municipalities
8 in that part of Bosnia. I can't tell you exactly who were the initiators
9 of this initiative and which municipalities were involved. I was a
10 representative of one of those municipalities, municipality of Gracanica.
11 I don't know who the organisers at the local level were. I know that a
12 group of municipalities was involved, and that was a spontaneous meeting
13 which became or turned into the 1st Assembly. I can tell you that.
14 Q. You've mentioned also some provisions of the constitution or the
15 constitutional framework. Who was it who explained to you and other
16 representatives what those provisions were? Who was it who told you that
17 this was indeed envisaged by the constitution?
18 A. I hope you won't be surprised if I can't answer that. I am a
19 technical person. I am a civil engineer, and I always relied on the
20 professionalism of other people, and that's why I resorted to the opinion
21 of the lawyers who were members of the municipality staff, where they were
22 either presidents of executive boards or presidents of the municipal
23 assemblies. And that's how I learned that this decision did have a
24 foundation in the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 MR. WEINER: I'd object to that and move to strike.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
2 MR. WEINER: I'd object to his opinion as to whether or not the
3 Serbian Autonomous regions have a foundation within the constitution of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It's outside his knowledge. He's admitted it's
5 outside his knowledge and he indicates he received information from some
6 lawyers, unknown lawyers.
7 MR. PANTELIC: It's hearsay --
8 MR. WEINER: Of an opinion, legal opinion.
9 MR. PANTELIC: He's not discussing the legal issue. He's just
10 explaining he heard what was the basis from the other persons.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, which is not helpful, actually, Mr. Weiner.
12 The witness has explained about his own knowledge.
13 MR. PANTELIC: That he heard that.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Simply as that.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Very well, then, Mr. Marusic. According to these
17 minutes, I can see that Nikola Perisic, a lawyer, was appointed the
18 president of the Assembly of the North Bosnia SAO. Do you know that man?
19 A. Yes, I knew him. We had some previous meetings within the
20 framework of the intermunicipality cooperation. I know that he was a
21 lawyer and I believe that he had the proper information about the
22 organisation of this association.
23 Q. Did he occupy a post at that time, in 1991? You said you were the
24 president of the Executive Board. Was he also occupying some post? If
25 you know.
1 A. Mr. Nikola Perisic was the president of municipality in Teslic.
2 Q. Very well, then. Let's move on to the analysis of this document,
3 only briefly.
4 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous translation continues]... 10 ter,
5 please. I will repeat. This is Exhibit P10 ter, please.
6 Q. [Interpretation] If you could please just go through it quickly,
7 look at all the pages. I assume you remember this meeting. That was in
8 Doboj, wasn't it?
9 A. Yes. Yes, I remember, and I see that this is an excerpt from the
10 records of that meeting, but I have never seen it before.
11 Q. Do you recall that at that meeting, about 53 out of the total of
12 61 deputies were present?
13 A. Yes. I stated in my statement that there were between 50 and 60
14 deputies present there, but I see here that the exact number was 53, as
15 opposed to the total of 61 who were supposed to be there.
16 Q. Mr. Marusic, what was the fate of this institution eventually?
17 A. To put it briefly, this was a constitutive meeting of the Assembly
18 and the main bodies were elected. The president, two vice-presidents, and
19 the secretary of the assembly were appointed. After a while, I was
20 appointed president of the government by a group of municipalities, or
21 rather, their representatives and deputies. Northern Bosnia as an
22 autonomous region, practically existed only on paper. It couldn't start
23 operating in practical terms, nor was it involved in anything.
24 Q. Did this Assembly adopt any decision?
25 A. I don't remember any decision being adopted then.
1 Q. Did this assembly hold meetings or sessions?
2 A. As far as I remember, I don't think this assembly ever met again,
3 except maybe there was another meeting of several deputies and
4 representatives, the meeting where I was elected president of the
5 government, or rather, nominated. From that point on, I had no further
6 activities there, since I did not have a seat or headquarters. It was
7 supposed to be Doboj, but there were no premises or money to set up a
8 proper working government. And my activities in Gracanica kept unfolding,
9 because I was the president of the Executive Board there.
10 Q. Did you have enough personnel, or rather, people, to fill
11 positions in that government?
12 A. No. There weren't any adequate people or candidates, and there
13 was no money, above all.
14 Q. So you said that this never really began to function, that it was
15 merely on paper. But other areas, what about other areas and their
16 activity at the time, and what was their relationship to the Northern
17 Bosnia SAO? Can you please explain this to the Trial Chamber.
18 A. My information is that in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there were
19 regional organisations based on municipalities, and I believe there were
20 two or three other autonomous regions. I believe Semberija and Majevica.
21 Then there was also Krajina. And if I'm not mistaken, the Romanija
23 Q. Well, that's outside the scope of our case, so we'll not go any
24 further into that now.
25 The Krajina SAO and the Semberija and Majevica SAO were
1 practically the areas covering this area also?
2 A. Yes, in a way. I think the Doboj area was not covered by any of
3 these autonomous regions. Semberija and Majevica, I believe, I heard only
4 later that Samac had joined, based on what initiative I'm not sure,
5 whether initiative was provided by Samac or by someone from Semberija and
6 Majevica for Samac municipality to join. On the other hand, we have
7 Teslic, which was part of the autonomous region of Krajina.
8 Q. Tell me, please: Regarding the appointment or nomination, I mean
9 this one, do you know whether any decisions were actually -- or
10 certificates handed out to people nominated for certain positions? Was
11 this an official thing?
12 A. No. There was no official document handed out to anyone.
13 Q. Based on your experience and on your actually being there,
14 physically present, can you please tell the Trial Chamber: What was the
15 gist of this initiative to set up the Northern Bosnia SAO? What was the
16 intention behind that?
17 A. If you allow: After my involvement as president of the government
18 who was supposed to set up a functional government and to do something
19 about it, I released -- I gave an interview to Sarajevo TV the next day,
20 and the government, the republican government that was then in place
21 conveyed my statement. I'll repeat this for you. The intention of
22 setting up groups or associations of municipalities was only aimed at
23 preservation, cultural preservation, economic preservation, above all, and
24 in this specific case, what I said about the republican assembly, there
25 was a lot of outvoting and Serbian deputies walked out. To live in that
1 area in an organised manner and for life to be brought back to normal.
2 The intention was not to separate or set aside anyone, Muslims, Croats, or
3 Serbs, and I said this publicly on TV, that this association could hold
4 everyone, all the people, and that no one should try to force their way
5 into it. This was merely for preservation and protection of vital
6 interests, a number of vital interests, economic interests, cultural
7 interests. Of course, there was a certain amount of political involvement
8 at that time too.
9 Q. Who prepared the materials for the work of this assembly? Because
10 I see that there was discussion of materials, right?
11 A. I've never seen those materials. I'm not sure which materials
12 you're talking about. But I think it was all at that meeting, and that
13 assembly meeting, where certain commissions or committees were set up, and
14 they gave -- well, what I think, what I read here, that the secretary was
15 in charge of drawing up an agenda, and no other document or anything like
16 that, in terms of documents, ever came to me.
17 Q. Without going into further detail, but we're discussing this
18 excerpt from the minutes, there were 53 deputies present. If you turn the
19 page, and if you see that Mr. Nikola Perisic was elected with 32 votes,
20 you are, after all, a man who was involved in politics. You know about
21 majority vote and that kind of thing. You will agree that he was elected
22 by a majority vote?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And I assume that this principle of majority or quorum was also
25 applied in the work of the Executive Board, where you worked, and in other
1 political bodies. Was this a principle generally applied?
2 A. Yes, precisely.
3 Q. However, if you look just below that, Milovan Milosevic [phoen] or
4 Blagoje Simic, neither of them had garnered the necessary number of
5 votes. What would be your conclusion on the basis of that, as someone who
6 was an insider?
7 MR. WEINER: I'd object to that.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner. That's leading, Mr. Pantelic. You are
9 giving evidence.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. I do apologise. I'm asking only about his
11 knowledge of the principles of voting and what his conclusion might be,
12 simple as that. I will rephrase.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. You should rephrase your question, yes.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, thank you.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Therefore -- I apologise for this interruption,
16 Mr. Marusic. In view of your experience in political bodies, in municipal
17 bodies, tell me, please: When you look at these numbers, at these stats,
18 the results of voting, what would be your conclusion, based on these
20 A. Well, given what the result was of this vote, it is clear that it
21 was the will of the deputies to assign a certain number of votes to each
22 of the candidates, and they were not influenced by anyone. Those who were
23 there and the proposed candidates, what was given here I believe is
24 faithfully conveyed and is a faithful reflection of what really happened
25 at the assembly meeting.
1 Q. But these two signatories did not have the majority?
2 MR. WEINER: I'd object.
3 A. No, they didn't.
4 MR. WEINER: I'd object again.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. Why don't you ask the witness to
6 tell what transpired?
7 MR. PANTELIC: I just try to speed up things, to find out --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: No, but you don't have to give evidence.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Tell us, please: Based on these results, what
11 was the conclusion? What transpired?
12 A. What transpired is that certain deputies - I don't know whether it
13 was because they didn't know who those people were or they just simply
14 didn't vote, these two candidates who were there. However, what happened
15 at the assembly meeting, that's what the result of the vote was, so I
16 can't see what else I should add.
17 Q. When you add up the three groups of votes, 32, 17, and 3,
18 respectively, what do you get? What's the result? If you compare to what
19 you can see on page 1, what can you state about that? What's your
20 conclusion, if you add up all the votes which you see here and the number
21 of those present?
22 A. 17, 14 -- well, I think this is 54 votes, if I'm not mistaken.
23 Q. I was never very good at maths, but my calculation shows 32, 17,
24 and 3, which adds up to 52.
25 A. Yes, that's right. 52. I'm sorry. Yes, yes, yes, 52 votes. And
1 the conclusion was that the number of those present, the total of those
2 present, was 53.
3 Q. Thank you very much.
4 A. 53.
5 Q. Do you have any knowledge if the political parties operated in
7 A. I don't think I understood your question. I'm sorry.
8 Q. Very well. In 1992, throughout 1992, did -- was the work of the
9 political parties done?
10 A. Were political parties actually active? Is that what you mean?
11 Q. Yes, that's precisely what I mean.
12 A. Yes, there were.
13 Q. Do you know anything about the work of the political parties being
14 frozen in that period?
15 A. I believe it was up to April or May, and then the activity of all
16 political parties -- the activities of all political parties were frozen
17 in 1992.
18 Q. What was your personal political view about that period, well,
19 ever since that period and up to this very day?
20 A. After the activities of the political parties were frozen, I was
21 no longer involved in politics after that. I never went back to politics,
22 and, well, the kind of time that that was, well, you know, it was
23 impossible to work in any normal kind of way.
24 Q. Are you a member of any party nowadays?
25 A. No, I'm not.
1 Q. Do you have any personal information as to whether Mr. Blagoje
2 Simic, following this meeting, this session, ever had any specific tasks
3 or duties within the framework of the Northern Bosnia SAO?
4 A. To the best of my knowledge, Dr. Blagoje Simic had no specific
5 tasks in Northern Bosnia, aside from his formal appointment as
6 vice-president. Nothing else that I know of.
7 Q. Can you tell us, please: How often did you actually see
8 Dr. Blagoje Simic? How often have you seen him since, or how often did
9 you see him between that period in April and May 1993? Just try to cover
10 that period approximately.
11 A. I think in 1991, maybe in 1992, at the beginning of 1992, we did
12 meet two or three times. We had some talks and there were some meetings.
13 Q. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber about your contact in that
14 period. Dr. Blagoje Simic, did he display any particular views concerning
15 ethnic intolerance? Did he voice any extremist political views against
16 other ethnic groups?
17 A. I had known Mr. Blagoje Simic from before, from the former
18 government when I held an official position in Gracanica municipality and
19 he in Samac. We had some economic cooperation. There was a certain
20 amount of activity. And then the hard times came for everyone in Bosnia
21 and Herzegovina. But I never once noticed or observed that Dr. Blagoje
22 Simic ever displayed any signs of intolerance or discrimination against
23 other ethnic groups. Not a single sign, in any way, or in any area in
24 which we cooperated.
25 Q. Did you hear from any of the people you met that Blagoje Simic
1 displayed any kind of intolerant or discriminatory behaviour?
2 MR. WEINER: I object again.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
4 MR. WEINER: Counsel is testifying.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: It's a leading question.
8 MR. PANTELIC: I agree, yes. I do apologise.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Please tell the Trial Chamber: In your contact
10 with other people, people you were meeting, did they talk about Blagoje
12 A. I have no knowledge of that, and I assert that the people I used
13 to meet later on in the following period, after I -- when I had no more
14 contact with Dr. Blagoje Simic, I had no inkling of any sort of - what
15 should I call it - intolerance of other ethnic groups or any other
16 activity indicating anything that was not normal.
17 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Marusic.
18 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous translation continues]... Finished with
19 this witness. Thank you.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Any other questions? I see none. Can the
21 Prosecution cross-examine, please.
22 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Weiner:
24 Q. Good morning, Mr. Marusic. My name is Phillip Weiner and I'm
25 going to ask you questions.
1 MR. WEINER: You can leave that document there. We might be
2 referring to it. Thank you very much.
3 Q. Let's go right to that meeting in Doboj on the 4th of November,
4 1991. At that meeting there was an election and you remember the
5 elections that occurred from memory as opposed to that document; isn't
6 that true? Isn't that --
7 A. I remember that those elections took place, but I cannot or I
8 couldn't remember all these figures, and I could not remember the number
9 of delegates that were present. I hope you understand that quite some
10 time has elapsed since then. What I stated in my statement could also be
11 erroneous from time to time, but I think that before -- I think that I
12 said from 50 to 60 delegates, whereas now I see from this document that
13 there must have been approximately 53.
14 Q. All right. That doesn't make a difference. The question I have
15 for you is: You remember that Nikola Perisic was elected president of the
16 SAO of Northern Bosnia?
17 A. Yes. Mr. Nikola Perisic was elected for president of the SAO
19 Q. And then after that they had election of the vice-presidents;
20 isn't that correct?
21 A. Yes, that is true. During that same assembly, on that same day
22 when it was convened, the president was elected, the vice-president was
23 elected, as well as the secretary.
24 Q. And the two vice-presidents that were elected were Milovan
25 Bjelosevic of Derventa and the defendant Blagoje Simic of Bosanski Samac;
1 isn't that correct?
2 A. Yes. Mr. Milovan Bjelosevic was one of the vice-presidents that
3 was elected and Dr. Blagoje Simic was the second vice-president.
4 Q. And you knowing Dr. Blagoje Simic, did you congratulate him after
5 being elected vice-president, if you recall?
6 A. Yes, absolutely, as well as I congratulated the president and the
7 second vice-president. I did congratulate everybody.
8 Q. Now, you were elected at that meeting or at a later meeting as
9 president or Prime Minister of the SAO, or the person responsible to get
10 the government functioning. Was it at that meeting or at a later meeting?
11 A. No, not at that meeting. I cannot recall the exact date at the
12 present moment, but I believe that it must have been a month later, or
13 maybe 20 days after that meeting. I do not remember the date,
14 unfortunately. However, I was elected. I was appointed and elected as
15 the Prime Minister of SAO Northern Bosnia.
16 Q. Okay. And was Dr. Blagoje Simic at that meeting when you were
17 elected as Prime Minister, if you recall?
18 A. I do not recall if Mr. Blagoje Simic was there at the time. Maybe
19 there was somebody from the municipality of Samac. But on that day, I do
20 not recall if Mr. Blagoje Simic was there.
21 Q. Now, after you became Prime Minister and had to establish a
22 government, did you ever speak to the defendant Blagoje Simic about his
23 role as vice-president or plans for the -- plans or thoughts or ideas for
24 this government?
25 A. I never spoke to Dr. Blagoje Simic, nor about his position as the
1 vice-president, nor did we discuss any plans with regards to the
2 programmes or the planning of my future government. During that session,
3 I didn't even know most of those delegates. I just very briefly exposed
4 my programme and my plans pertaining -- my work in that government, and I
5 explained what I thought I should do as a Prime Minister of SAO Northern
6 Bosnia autonomous region.
7 Q. My question doesn't concern at that meeting. Any time after did
8 you pick up the telephone and call either the president Nikola Perisic or
9 the two vice-presidents and talk to them about plans for the region, talk
10 to them about the roles that they had as president and vice-presidents?
11 Did you ever do that any time after your election, a week later, two weeks
12 later, a month later?
13 A. Yes, I did have a few discussions with Mr. Perisic, as the
14 president of the Municipal Assembly. I deemed that it was necessary to
15 consult most of municipalities that became part of the SAO Northern
16 Bosnia. I wanted to know which people were to do certain positions or
17 should be candidated or nominated for certain positions with respect to
18 their professions, so that we can see what were the best positions for
19 them. And as of that day, Mr. Perisic was practically, as the number-one
20 person in the assembly, to consult most of these municipalities as to
21 nominate a certain number of people.
22 Q. And did you ever speak to vice-president Simic about any of these
23 plans or ideas?
24 A. With the vice-president, Mr. Simic, I never spoke about the
25 composition of the government. I stated earlier that Mr. Perisic was in
1 charge to get in touch with all the municipalities and to submit to me the
2 list of certain people who would be working in the government. So I do
3 claim that Mr. Blagoje was not involved in the work of the government, and
4 I did not consult him with regards to that.
5 Q. So you never spoke to him concerning any work after he was, in
6 your terms, formally elected vice-president? You never did, but
7 Mr. Perisic did?
8 A. I cannot claim this. Mr. Perisic could confirm it to you
9 probably, because he got in touch with the officials of the municipality
10 and he was the one who was to appoint or to nominate certain people who
11 would be working in the government of the SAO Northern Bosnia.
12 Q. Now, the other matter I want to talk to you: You gave your
13 opinion as to the views or activities of Blagoje Simic. After the war
14 started, you eventually moved to Doboj, the municipality of Doboj; isn't
15 that correct?
16 A. That is correct. Up until the beginning of the war, I was the
17 president of the Executive Board of the municipality of Gracanica, which
18 is part of the Federation, which was constituted after the Dayton Accord.
19 And then I started living in Doboj. I was living in the apartment of my
20 uncle, and I had reported to the Red Cross as a refugee.
21 Q. And Doboj was a distance from Samac, about 50 kilometres or more?
22 A good distance, would you say?
23 A. I think that it's between 50 to 80 kilometres. That's the
24 distance from Doboj.
25 Q. And during 1992 or, let's say, from April 17th on of 1992 and
1 during 1993, you were travelling on a regular basis to Samac, were you?
2 A. No. I never travelled to Samac. I don't know where did you get
3 this. I was a refugee and I spent my time in Doboj. And excuse me if I
4 may add: I was never involved with politics any more. I was never
5 involved in politics, I was never involved in establishing the government,
6 and I was not involved in questions regarding the SAO Northern Bosnia.
7 Q. All right. So sir, is it -- you never -- you had never travelled
8 during those almost two years to Samac. Is it fair to say, then, that you
9 were not closely following the day-to-day activities of the Crisis Staff
10 and War Presidency in Samac while you were living in Doboj in 1992 and
11 1993? Is that fair to say?
12 A. Yes, it is quite fair to say that I had not seen Mr. Blagoje
13 Simic. I was not following the work of the organs that were active in the
14 municipality of Samac, nor was I following the work of other organs of
15 other municipalities. I was simply outside of politics, aside from the
16 fact that of course, as an observer and as a man, I had some knowledge
17 which I was able to get from some sources which I would say whether -- I
18 don't know if I -- those sources were the media, whether it was the radio
19 or the television, but I was able to get information from the media.
20 Q. Okay. Let's just continue. I'll ask you some questions and you
21 can just answer yes or no. Would you also agree it's fair to say that you
22 weren't following closely the day-to-day activities of the defendant
23 Blagoje Simic in Samac in 1992 and 1993?
24 A. I had some problems with the interpretation. Would you please
25 repeat your question.
1 Q. Sure, sir. So is it fair to say, would you agree with me that in
2 1992 and 1993, you weren't following the day-to-day activities of the
3 defendant Blagoje Simic?
4 A. I should say that after the month of May, I did not follow the
5 day-to-day activities of Dr. Blagoje Simic, but up until that date, during
6 the time while I was an active member of the Executive Board in Gracanica,
7 I was mandated by the government of Northern Bosnia, I should say that at
8 the time I knew what Mr. Blagoje Simic was doing and I had stated this in
9 my statement.
10 Q. All right. I just want to ask you questions about certain
11 periods. So once again, is it fair to say, sir, that you weren't
12 following, from May on of 1992, let's say from the end of April on of 1992
13 you weren't following the day-to-day activities, happenings, occurrences,
14 actions, in Bosanski Samac? Isn't that fair to say too?
15 A. Yes, that is fair to say, aside from the fact that I was following
16 the media. I was hearing what was going on in that area on the
17 television, on the radio, and I know that the municipality of Samac was
18 surrounded and that later the events that took place which were linked to
19 the autonomous region of Semberija and Majevica, and that the municipality
20 of Samac was very active within that organisation of municipalities.
21 Q. Since you received only limited news about Samac, were you aware
22 that the Crisis Staff in Bosanski Samac had established a charitable
23 foundation and named it after a Serbian paramilitary, nicknamed Vuk? Were
24 you aware of that?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Sir, were you aware in early May of a mass murder in Crkvina,
2 which is a small village outside of the town of Samac, where 16 non-Serb
3 civilians were killed and it was committed by the same Serbian
4 paramilitaries? Were you aware of that in May of 1992?
5 A. No. This is the first time I hear this.
6 Q. Sir, were you aware that the defendant Blagoje Simic issued a
7 letter on behalf -- issued a letter of appreciation and a letter of
8 commendation to the town of Vranje on behalf of the leader of the Serbian
9 paramilitaries that was serving in Samac? Were you aware of that, sir?
10 A. No. I was not able to find that information anywhere, nor through
11 the television or through the media.
12 Q. Sir, were you aware that a decision was issued by the Crisis Staff
13 in May of 1992 to isolate all persons of Croat nationality? Were you
14 aware of that, sir?
15 A. No, absolutely not. If the news was not broadcast over the radio
16 or the television, I was not able to find that out, and I didn't have any
17 other sources which would inform me of these facts.
18 Q. Let's continue. Were you aware that hundreds of non-Serb
19 civilians, including men, women, children, and elderly, were isolated at
20 facilities in Samac? Were you aware of that, sir?
21 A. No, I didn't know that.
22 Q. And not being a regular visitor to Samac in 1992, you were not
23 aware of the conditions in the prison camps and detention facilities
24 there; isn't that correct?
25 A. Well, to be very honest with you, I must tell you that the events
1 that transpired later were not getting to me. I was not able to find out
2 about them. I was not particularly interested in it either, since the
3 body -- where it used to be mandatory was not operational any more. I had
4 no other contacts and there was no need for me to go to Samac. And there
5 was no need for me to try to find out what was going on in Samac either.
6 Now, if this happened, if this took place in Samac, I don't know. I don't
7 know who was behind it.
8 Q. So basically, you weren't aware, from May of 1992 on, what was
9 happening in Bosanski Samac as to day-to-day activities, as well as the
10 activities of the Crisis Staff and the War Presidency; you had no
11 awareness of any activities?
12 A. No. We had no contacts whatsoever at the time.
13 Q. And similarly, you had no information as to the activities of
14 Dr. Blagoje Simic, the defendant in this case, during that same period;
15 isn't that correct?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Re-examination?
19 MR. PANTELIC: No. No, Your Honour. Thank you.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much for giving evidence to the Trial
21 Chamber. We are now finished. You are free to leave the courtroom.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Please stand up and make the solemn declaration.
25 WITNESS: SIMO JOVANOVIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
3 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Please sit down.
5 Yes, Mr. Pantelic. Just for the particulars. Yes --
6 MR. PANTELIC: I will rather do that, Your Honour, but I think
7 there is rulings of this Trial Chamber that only cross-examination.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but just for the record, his particulars.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. In the moment, I was
10 so happy to get the opportunity, but it seems that I was not happy, lucky
12 Examined by Mr. Pantelic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Jovanovic. Could you please
14 state your name for the record.
15 A. My name is Simo Jovanovic. My father's name is Stevo, my mother's
16 name is Ana.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have Exhibit D173/1 for this witness, just
18 to verify.
19 Q. [Interpretation] You were born on 5th April 1962, and all the
20 personal data in your statement are correct; is that so?
21 A. Yes, that is so.
22 Q. You were a member of the army of Republika Srpska. You were a
23 member of the special detachment. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. Do you have any additional education or qualifications? Did you
1 attend any courses in the area of security or military doctrines?
2 A. Yes. In 1993 I attended a security and intelligence course in
4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic. Just for the sake of
5 clarity. On page 57, line 16, the witness -- sorry - your question was:
6 "You were a member of the special detachment." Is "detachment" the right
7 word or should it be "battalion"? I'm just -- if you could just clarify
8 so that we get the right word in English.
9 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. We're talking about a special battalion?
11 A. Yes. In other words -- it is a special battalion.
12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Okay. Thank you.
13 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. At that course that you attended for security and intelligence
15 services, were you familiarised with some procedures and regulations that
16 rule the work of the army and the police? Was that one part of your
18 A. Yes, of course it was.
19 Q. So you have some personal knowledge about the functioning of the
20 hierarchy in the military security?
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: I think that is sufficient.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Cross-examination can proceed. Are there any
25 counsel that wish to ask this witness any questions?
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Pisarevic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Jovanovic. I'm going to ask
4 you a few questions that arise from your statement. As the two of us
5 speak the same language, please hear me out first, make a pause, and then
6 start answering my question.
7 Here I have your statement that you gave according to 92 bis Rule,
8 and as I can see here, you stated that you served in the JNA in 1972 and
9 1973, in Pristina. Tell me, please: After the compulsory military
10 service, or during the service, did you acquire a rank of a reserve
12 A. No, I didn't acquire any ranks. I wasn't awarded any ranks.
13 Q. During the period between 1983 and 1992, were you awarded any
14 reserve officer's rank?
15 A. No. I was proposed by the command, but I was never actually
16 awarded a promotion by my Superior Command.
17 Q. Tell me: In what part of the military did you serve when you were
18 in the JNA?
19 A. I was a member of an infantry unit first. That's where I did my
20 training. And after that I went to Kicevo, where I was additionally
21 trained to be a driver.
22 Q. Here in your statement you also spoke about your life. You said
23 that you were a profession footballer and that you were a member of the
24 Jedinstvo football club from Brcko. How long did you spend playing
25 football in Brcko?
1 A. That was between 1985 and the outbreak of conflicts in the
2 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the meantime, I spent one year
3 playing football for the Samac-based Borac.
4 Q. While you were playing football, and while you had your
5 professional obligations as a football player, were you officially a
6 permanent resident of Brcko and recorded as such by the police?
7 A. No, I was not a resident, a permanent resident of Brcko. My
8 native place was some 20 kilometres away from Brcko, so I commuted every
9 day when I had to go to Brcko to play football or to do my training.
10 Q. You also said, in paragraph 4 of your statement, that on the 10th
11 of October, 1991, you were mobilised as a member of the Territorial
12 Defence in Obudovac and that you were mobilised by the secretariat for
13 National Defence in Samac. Can you please clarify that. As far as I
14 know, the Territorial Defence, as a segment of the armed forces of the
15 then Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, did not exist at that
16 time. Where were you actually mobilised? What actually happened? What
17 call-up papers did you actually receive?
18 A. Yes, it does say here that I was mobilised into the Territorial
19 Defence. However, this is a mistake. I was mobilised into a JNA unit
20 which was stationed in Obudovac. This is a mistake in the way my
21 statement was recorded. It was not the Territorial Defence. It was the
23 Q. Thank you very much. Tell me: What was the name of that unit
24 that you were assigned to?
25 A. I can't remember its exact name. It's been a long time ago. It
1 was 10 or 11 years ago. I know that the commander of that unit was Mr. --
2 Captain, rather, Subotin. And it was a JNA unit. And I can't provide you
3 with any more detail.
4 Q. Very well, then. When you mentioned Captain Subotin, do you mean
5 Captain Marko Subotin?
6 A. Yes, that is who I mean, Marko Subotin.
7 Q. Very well, then. And here also you stated that you were assigned
8 to the command of the military police. What exactly was your assignment
9 when you were mobilised into that unit? What did you do in that unit?
10 Can you please be more specific.
11 A. I don't understand your question. What do you mean by that? Can
12 you repeat?
13 Q. What were your duties and tasks? What was your detachment? So
14 what did you do?
15 A. Now I understand. When I was mobilised by the secretariat of
16 National Defence, I reported to the command, to Captain Marko Subotin and
17 he told me to go to the military police detachment, which was stationed in
18 Obudovac. Our tasks at that time were to provide security for the command
19 post and to provide security for the commander. We would also accompany
20 the commander when he went to certain meetings.
21 Q. Very well, then. Thank you. If I understood you well, you
22 provided the security for the command post of the unit under the command
23 of Captain Marko Subotin and also to accompany or escort Captain Marko
24 Subotin as the commander of that unit. You were his official escorts as
25 he moved about the territory of Samac municipality and generally across
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Did I understand you well?
2 A. Yes, you did understand me well. That was not in every single
3 case, but as per commander's orders.
4 Q. Very well, then. You stated here that at one point in time, you
5 became the deputy of the commander. Were you talking about the detachment
6 of the military police? A platoon of the military police? What kind of
7 an establishment was that with the command in Obudovac?
8 A. As I've said, this was a detachment, and I became the -- or a
9 squad. I became the deputy when the 17th Tactical Group was established.
10 I don't remember whether that was in late January or early February,
11 1992. I only know that I was the commander of that squad, which then
12 became a platoon, and the commander of the detachment of the military
13 police was Mr. Jovan Erletic and his state was in Pelagicevo.
14 Q. After that, with your company, you remained in Obudovac and you
15 were under the immediate command of Captain Marko Subotin?
16 A. At that time, when we became a company, that is, when I -- when my
17 platoon joined the military company -- military police company, our
18 immediate commander was Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic, and the orders that I
19 received, I received mostly via Captain Marko Subotin and the commander of
20 the military police, obviously. But mostly those orders were received via
21 Captain Marko Subotin.
22 Q. And you have not answered part of my question that was raised to
23 the place where you were stationed: Did you continue being stationed in
24 the command post of the commander, that is, Captain Marko Subotin in
1 A. Yes. We were stationed in Obudovac, and when necessary and as per
2 commander Nikolic's orders we would be sent elsewhere to perform tasks.
3 In February 1992, one part of my military police went to provide security
4 for the tank brigade. I don't know on what axis, but I know that their
5 passage had to be secured towards Brod. I was not there, so I can't give
6 you any detail. And I know that their commander was Nikolic.
7 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, a little while ago you said that you received your
8 orders exclusively from the commander of the military police company and
9 that you mostly received orders via your commander, Mr. -- Captain Marko
10 Subotin. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, it is. Let me just explain to the Trial -- to the Honourable
12 Chamber. There was a lack of communication, and the military police
13 particularly did not have enough means of communication, so the
14 communication went from Pelagicevo via Obudovac, and I don't see anything
15 disputable in there.
16 Q. Did you receive orders from the commander of the 17th Tactical
17 Group, Nikolic?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Would it be correct to say that between you, as the commander of a
20 platoon and the commander Nikolic, there were other command structures as
21 the commander of the military police company, your command, the deputy
22 commander for security, and so on and so forth? So they were people in
23 between, there were structures between you, as the company commander, and
24 the commander of the 17th Tactical Group?
25 A. Yes. There were at the time such structures, because that's the
1 way things functioned at the time.
2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. I'd just like to get a
3 clarification from Mr. Jovanovic.
4 Mr. Jovanovic, you stated, on page 62, lines 9 and 10, in an
5 answer to a question from Mr. Pisarevic, and I'll quote. You say: "Our
6 immediate commander was Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic." And then you went on
7 and said that you received orders mostly via Captain Marko Subotin. Now,
8 later, on page 63, lines 7 and 8, Mr. Pisarevic asked you: "Did you
9 receive orders from the commander of the 17th Tactical Group, Nikolic?"
10 And your answer is no. So I wonder whether you can clarify those two
12 In the first instance, you mention Nikolic, and then you say you
13 received orders mostly via an obvious subordinate to Nikolic, Captain
14 Marko Subotin. But now in the second response, you simply say no, you
15 didn't get any orders from Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic. So if you could
16 just try and clarify what seems to be a bit of an inconsistency there
17 between the two answers, if I'm reading them correctly.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe I've understood your
19 question. As I said a while ago, the chain of command, according to the
20 chain of command, I was directly subordinated to Lieutenant Colonel
21 Nikolic. However, the orders that came from the command of the 17th
22 Tactical Group came via lower-ranking units and subordinate commanders,
23 through Captain Marko Subotin. As for the use of police forces, Marko
24 Subotin coordinated this with, I suppose, Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic.
25 JUDGE WILLIAMS: So were any of the orders that you received
1 emanating from Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic being passed through Captain
2 Marko Subotin, as a conduit of the order? So were the orders coming from
3 the top, being relayed to this Captain, and maybe others, and then
4 eventually coming to you through this chain of command?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely. In order for me to
6 receive my tasks, I should go to Pelagicevo every day, travel there, and
7 Pelagicevo is not near Obudovac. So we used protected communications to
8 forward information that was essential at the time.
9 JUDGE WILLIAMS: So therefore, your response to the second
10 question that I mentioned from Mr. Pisarevic: Did you receive orders from
11 the command of the 17th Tactical Group, Nikolic? And you said no.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but through Captain Marko
14 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Okay. Thank you very much. That puts it in a
15 clear perspective now.
16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, let us try to, well, clarify this. Your commander,
18 Marko Subotin, could he give you orders, and was he actually issuing
19 orders to you?
20 A. I'm not sure about whether he could --
21 Q. Yes, but did he actually?
22 A. Well, the orders at that time were only to provide security for
23 the command building, to go here, go there, report to the command of the
24 17th Tactical Group, and that was that.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: [Previous translation continues]... of the assistant
1 registrar, please. You can proceed, Mr. Pisarevic.
2 [Trial Chamber confers with registrar]
3 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. The commander of the military police company, did he give you
6 A. Yes, on several occasions, he did.
7 Q. Did your commander, Marko Subotin, while issuing regular orders,
8 tell you -- well, here. This is an order which came straight from the
9 commander of the 17th Tactical Group, Stevan Nikolic?
10 A. Yes, he did say that.
11 Q. When was that?
12 A. As I said a while ago in my testimony, at one point in time
13 Captain Marko Subotin called me and said that he had received orders from
14 Lieutenant Colonel Stevan Nikolic, for me to take part of my unit and
15 report to Pelagicevo for a reinforced squad to be set up there and that we
16 should go there and carry out the task, as ordered by Lieutenant Colonel
18 Q. Was that the only time?
19 A. No. At some point in the month of March, he called me again and
20 sent me to report to the command post at Pelagicevo; more specifically, to
21 Captain first class, I believe, Makso Simeunovic. There was a task that
22 needed carrying out in the area of the zone of responsibility of the 17th
23 Tactical Group or something like that.
24 Q. Mr. Makso Simeunovic, what was he? What did he do, the person you
25 were supposed to report to at the 17th Tactical Group?
1 A. Mr. Simeunovic was the chief of security of the 17th Tactical
3 Q. Were you ever in a position to see a written order issued to you
4 by Mr. Stevan Nikolic, the commander of the 17th Tactical Group?
5 A. No, I never was.
6 Q. Thank you. Can you look at item 5 of your statement, please. I
7 assume there is a slight imprecision there, but we need to clarify this.
8 You said, towards the end of April 1992, at the proposal of Marko Subotin,
9 from the command of the 17th TG, from the command of the Tactical Group.
10 So what I understand is that here you are asserting that Marko Subotin was
11 actually a member of the command of the 17th Tactical Group. To the best
12 of your knowledge and recollection, Marko Subotin, was he a member of the
13 command of the 17th Tactical Group or not?
14 A. Frankly, I don't remember.
15 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now, Mr. Jovanovic, if you could please
16 find paragraph 13 of your statement, on page 5. It reads as follows:
17 "Also they were told that upon arrival and upon occupying their positions,
18 they should establish communications with the other forces and units of
19 the 17th Tactical Group, units that would also be deployed in the same
20 area, and that activities should be coordinated with the 4th Detachment,
21 which was already in the area."
22 That's your statement. I have a number of questions related to
23 this. When you arrived in the customs-free zone, whom did you find there?
24 A. When I reached the main buildings of the customs-free zone - that
25 was my original destination - I found a JNA unit there, Yugoslav People's
1 Army unit, from, I believe, anti-armour company from Srpska Tisina, and a
2 number of other soldiers were there whom I didn't know, several. I did
3 recognise a number of people who were there, because we are from the same
5 Q. Very well, Mr. Jovanovic. In your statement, you said: "I
6 believe they were members of the TO, or Territorial Defence." Again, what
7 do you mean by "TO"? Do you mean this, whatever you called it, company or
8 unit, anti-armour, from the village of Tisina?
9 A. No, but there's a mistake there. These were JNA members.
10 Q. You said that you also found a number of persons wearing
11 camouflage uniforms. Did you recognise those persons who were wearing
12 camouflage uniforms?
13 A. No, I didn't.
14 Q. Finally, you said: "And then they retreated to the town, back to
15 their units." Can you tell us, please: Who was it that retreated back
16 into town or to their units to carry out other tasks when you came? Are
17 we talking about the persons who were wearing camouflage uniforms or are
18 we talking about JNA members?
19 A. I stayed in the positions where I found them, and I set up the
20 communications equipment there. And they headed all together down the
21 railroad track leading to the town, or rather, leading towards the road
22 leading into the town. We know very well that when there, once you reach
23 the road, you can head straight into town or you can head back into
24 Tisina, the village of Tisina, but they told me expressly that they were
25 headed back into town.
1 Q. Here, quite obviously, we have two separate groups of persons.
2 Which was the group telling you that they would head back into town?
3 A. It was in the morning, and the weather was bad. I remember quite
4 clearly. I can't tell you precisely which group, but I know they went
5 together --
6 Q. You can't say, just tell us you can't say. It's no problem at
8 A. I simply don't remember. It was dark there and there was no
9 electricity there. There was nothing there.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please --
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. Pisarevic, I was just going to say to
12 Mr. Jovanovic: If the translation is correct, and you said now twice,
13 "They headed all together down the railroad track leading to the town,"
14 does "they headed all together" mean members of the two groups, the JNA
15 and the men in the camouflage uniforms, or not? We seem to have some
16 confusion in some of the answers here. So maybe if you could clarify what
17 you mean by when you said "they headed all together down the railroad
18 track leading to the town."
19 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, and as a supplement to what
20 Your Honour has just raised now, there's -- the witness started to say:
21 "It was the morning, the weather was bad. I remember quite clearly. It's
22 not clear in the transcript. He then says precisely which group, but I
23 know they went together, and then he was cut off by Mr. Pisarevic. So
24 again, there's a second reference to them, two groups going together. And
25 I suggest that that also arises from Your Honour's question
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honours. It seems
2 that this is a good time for a break, so perhaps we should resume after
3 the break.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: We'll take our break and continue at 12.50 hours.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.54 p.m.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will have to wait for the accused persons,
8 since they didn't consent to our proceeding in their absence. We just
9 take it that they should be on their way.
10 [The accused entered court]
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We see that everybody is here now. We can
13 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, before the break you were asked to explain how is
15 it that these people left, those members, as you called them, members
16 wearing camouflage uniforms, members of that particular detachment,
17 anti-armoured detachment, company, rather. If you cannot remember how it
18 all took place, please tell us that you don't remember; or if you do tell
19 us, did they leave together? You said they went down the railroad tracks?
20 A. Yes, they did say that they went down the railroad track, but I
21 don't recall anything else.
22 Q. Very well. Thank you. Do you know where is it that they went?
23 A. No, I don't know.
24 Q. Thank you. You and that squad that arrived to that duty-free
25 zone, or custom-free zone, did you ever receive some kind of an order to
1 go into the city of Samac?
2 A. No. I never received the order to go into Samac.
3 Q. Did you ever enter into Samac with your squad?
4 A. No, not with my squad, and I don't really know what you're asking
5 me. The question is not very clear.
6 Q. I'm asking you about the 16th and 17th. During those two days,
7 did you and your squad enter the city of Samac on the 17th and on the
9 A. No, because I was not in that position, and I did not receive that
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic.
12 Mr. Jovanovic, you said before the break, in response to a
13 question from Mr. Pisarevic, and this is on page 68, lines 11 to 15, you
14 said that they were on the railway tracks and so on. And you went on to
15 say: "But they told me expressly that they were headed back into town."
16 And just now you've been asked a question, on page 70, lines 10 and
17 following, or line 13, Mr. Pisarevic says to you: "Do you know where that
18 is they went?" And you said: "No, I don't know." So which is the
19 correct answer? The one before we took the break or this one? Again we
20 need some clarity for the transcript there on that question.
21 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it could be a
22 translation problem. What I wanted to ask is: Did you see where they
23 went. I wanted to know if the witness has any direct knowledge as to
24 where they went. I wanted to know if he knows if they went into town.
25 And if I understood him correctly, the witness said that he did not see
1 them going into town; not that he didn't know, but that he didn't see
2 them. But I will clarify this with the witness.
3 JUDGE WILLIAMS: You see, I think it was the way the question
4 was. You asked him, at least in the English: Do you know? And he said:
5 No, I don't. So it wasn't a question of eyesight in the question as posed
6 in the transcript.
7 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me for interrupting you, but I thought we
8 were talking about the town of Samac, and now we are talking about a city
9 of Gracenac. Where are we?
10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is in the city of
11 Samac, as far as I know. I think there's a mistake in the transcript. It
12 is not the city of Gracenac; rather, the city of Samac. We are in Samac.
13 JUDGE LINDHOLM: I hope so.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: I was mystified as well, with respect, if Your
15 Honours please. Can we assume that every reference in the last minute or
16 two or three minutes to Samac has been a mistake and that in fact the
17 transcript should reflect Samac?
18 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Yes.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Can we assume that? Because I assume that's
20 correct, because the witness has never spoken about Samac at all.
21 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, we are talking about the city of Samac; is that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Please tell us: Did you see if those men who left you, did they
1 go to the city of Samac? Yes or no.
2 A. I already said that it was in the early morning hours. It was
3 raining, and the rain was mixed with snow. It was also dark. And they
4 left along the railroad tracks, and those tracks lead into the city. Now,
5 where it is they went after the crossroad, I really don't know, because I
6 didn't see them.
7 Q. Thank you. When you arrived to that duty-free zone, in the
8 morning hours of the 17th and during that day, did you coordinate or did
9 you communicate with the command post of the 4th Detachment and did you
10 also get in touch with members of the 4th Detachment?
11 A. No, not that day. I didn't see anybody from the 4th Detachment.
12 My only contact was through the transmission lines, communication lines,
13 was -- that I was able to get in touch with Aco Jankovic up there.
14 MR. PANTELIC: And the last part of the answer was: Aco Jankovic,
15 who was at the top of silo.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
17 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, please tell us only -- or rather, give us only
19 answers to my question, and my following question is to the effect whereas
20 if you know who replaced you and your company on that -- at that position,
21 and after how many days were you replaced?
22 A. My squad was replaced by the members of the 4th Detachment. I
23 think that it was around the 20th or around the 21st. I cannot remember,
24 because many years have gone since.
25 Q. Thank you. Mr. Jovanovic, do you know: What were the tasks of
1 the 4th Detachment, and which were the lines of defence that the members
2 of the 4th Detachment occupied?
3 A. I do not know this.
4 Q. Did you ever hear from anyone that the members of the 4th
5 Detachment, in any way, shape, or form, took part in the occupation of the
6 city of Samac?
7 A. I really don't know this, because I was where I was.
8 Q. Thank you. Do you know this fact: Do you know when the army of
9 the Republika Srpska was established?
10 A. I do not recall the date.
11 Q. Can you confirm the fact that Colonel Djurdjevic was, for a short
12 period of time, the commander of the 2nd Posavinska Brigade and Infantry,
13 Posavinska Brigade?
14 A. I knew that at the time there was a new commander who had arrived,
15 a certain colonel, but I don't know who. I don't know how long he was
16 there and I don't know how he got to be there.
17 Q. Do you know if, at the end of the month of May, a commander was
18 appointed for the 2nd Infantry Posavinska Brigade, a commander by the name
19 of Dragan Djurdjevic?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you know: Where were you deployed? In what military
23 A. At the time, I was deployed in the unit which was an intervention
24 team, and they were to go where we had to block the line.
25 Q. Thank you very much. Tell us: Who was the commander of this
1 intervention platoon?
2 A. For what period of time?
3 Q. The period going from the end of the month of May up until the
4 time it existed, June, July, or August. I don't know if it was still
5 active in August.
6 A. It was Captain Josic.
7 Q. Was it Mr. Milan Josic who was the Captain from Obudovac?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Were you ever, during that period of time, deployed in the
10 military police, or did you work in the security organ of the 2nd Posavina
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Please tell me: Did you work in the military police or did you
14 work in the security organ?
15 A. For a short period of time, I worked at the military police; and
16 at the time, it was -- it had its command post in Pelagicevo. And very
17 quickly I got transferred into the organ of security.
18 Q. Who was the assistant deputy of the commander for information and
19 intelligence when you started working in the organ of security?
20 A. It was Captain Jez, Zdravko Jez.
21 Q. Are you aware of the fact that Captain Jez was soon removed and
22 arrested after that?
23 A. Yes, I'm aware of that fact.
24 Q. What were you when Captain Jez was assistant commander for
25 security and intelligence?
1 A. At that time, I discharged the duties of an intelligence officer
2 in the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, the Trial Chamber is wondering,
4 especially the last few questions, how they help the defence of your
5 client. And you've had what is considered to be sufficient time. Some of
6 the questions you're asking are actually in the statement --
7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: -- of the witness.
9 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, but I had to mention Mr. Jez,
10 who is not mentioned, because this helps my client's defence because in
11 the information of the 13 signatories, as we call it here, this event is
12 mentioned, and that is why I wanted to check that with Mr. Jovanovic, who
13 was there. Thank you very much. I have no further questions, Your
15 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I just think for the record, in the English
16 version here, 76, line 3, presumably it should read 13 signatories, not 13
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It should be signatories, yes. Yes. We can
19 proceed with the Prosecution.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: We shall continue sitting until we finish with this
22 witness. We intend to proceed at 1415 so that he can finish his evidence
23 and leave.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Do you mean go beyond 1415 or just adjourn briefly
25 at that stage?
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Adjourn briefly then start again at 1415.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm mindful of that and I'll speed it up as much as
3 I can, if Your Honours please.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio:
5 Q. You joined the SDS when? I'm sorry. I didn't hear your answer.
6 When did you join the SDS?
7 A. I don't remember the date, but at the time I was not engaged
8 anywhere and I joined, I believe that it was in 1990 or thereabouts.
9 Q. Yes. In Obudovac. But you can't recall when, when in 1990?
10 A. Yes, in Obudovac, but I can't remember the date.
11 Q. And you remained a member of the SDS?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You saw the SDS carrying out its policies in Bosanski Samac
14 throughout 1992, 1993, 1994, and in the years thereafter. Correct?
15 A. As far as I remember, I know that the work of the party was frozen
16 during 1992 and 1993.
17 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise to my learned friend. In order not
18 to confuse the witness, maybe my learned friend can be more specific. In
19 which kind of policies? Official programme, statute of the SDS, meetings,
20 rallies, or something else? I mean, otherwise term "policies" is very,
21 very broad term, and I think it might confuse this witness. Thank you.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: With respect, it isn't, and I don't wish to waste
23 much time on the topic. "Policies" is a clear word. It's understood in
24 many languages and countries.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio. Carry on.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
2 Q. You saw nothing in the implementation of SDS policies between 1992
3 and recent times that have caused you any misgivings about it?
4 A. Let me tell you: From the time I joined the army, both the 17th
5 Tactical Group, the JNA, and the army of Republika Srpska, I did not
6 engage in any politics. I just carried out orders of my Superior
7 Command. I was not at all interested in politics at that time.
8 Q. All right. Thank you. Let's turn to your statement. You have it
9 there before you. And I'd like you to look at paragraph 13. There you're
10 talking about events on the night of the 16th of April, prior to your
11 going to Bosanski Samac in the middle of the night, and you say that one
12 of the tasks that you were given was to go up and take your position on
13 the Sava and that you were told, told, to establish communication with
14 other forces and units of the 17th Tactical Group and coordinate your
15 activity with the 4th Detachment that was already there. Do you see that
16 passage in about midway through paragraph 13?
17 A. Yes, I can see that.
18 Q. Thank you. All right. Now, in order to establish communication
19 with other forces and units of the 17th Tactical Group, you had to know
20 what other forces and units of the 17th Tactical Group were there. So
21 tell the Trial Chamber what other forces and units of the 17th Tactical
22 Group were operating in Bosanski Samac on the night of the 16th and 17th
23 of April.
24 A. As far as I know, in Samac there was the civilian police and - how
25 should I put it - some dozen or so guys who came from Serbia, as
1 volunteers. They were in the town of Samac. There were some 15 of them
2 or so.
3 Q. I see. So officers of the JNA, the command of the 17th Tactical
4 Group, instructed you, prior to going to Bosanski Samac, to establish
5 communications with police and paramilitaries who had come from Serbia.
6 That was a specific instruction that you received prior to your going to
7 the Sava to take up your position. Correct?
8 A. No. I did not receive any instructions as to the effect to link
9 up with those units, but with the units of the JNA, and my contacts, the
10 contacts that I established, were with some units that were active in that
11 area. But those were JNA units.
12 Q. My question to you a few moments ago was that -- I asked you to
13 tell the Trial Chamber what forces and units of the 17th Tactical Group
14 were operating in Bosanski Samac on the night of the 16th and 17th. You
15 replied: "In Samac, there was the civilian police and the dozen or so
16 guys from Serbia." Were you not implying that they were part of the 17th
17 Tactical Group or part of the armed forces that you had to establish
18 contact with in Bosanski Samac?
19 A. No.
20 Q. All right. Okay. Fine. Well, you tell the Chamber what you were
21 informed about, what you were told you were to do with respect to these 15
22 or so guys from Serbia and the civilian police. What were your orders
23 that you received in respect of those two groups on the night of the 16th?
24 A. As far as Samac is concerned, I did not receive any orders or
25 anything like that in order for me to link up with them. The only order I
1 received was to link up with the anti-armour battalion and with the 4th
2 Detachment, because the 4th Detachment was in the town of Samac and its
3 command post was in town itself. As for the other groups, I did not have
4 anything whatsoever to do with them, the civilian police did their job,
5 and the army did their job.
6 Q. Very well. Then tell the Trial Chamber of the JNA units that you
7 were ordered to link up with. Which JNA units were you ordered to link up
8 with, apart from the 4th Detachment, of course?
9 A. With the anti-armour unit from Srpska Tisina, which was deployed
10 in that area.
11 Q. Was that the only other unit, apart from the 4th Detachment?
12 A. I'm afraid I didn't understand your question.
13 Q. You've mentioned that you had orders to link up with other JNA
14 units. You've mentioned two: 4th Detachment and this anti-armour unit,
15 anti-armour unit, two formations. Did you have orders to communicate with
16 any other units or formations of the JNA?
17 A. No. I'm talking -- I'm saying that I did receive an order to stop
18 the Croatian forces which were about to cross over to the territory of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina. The army at that time was in charge. That is, I
20 was in charge of going to the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina to prevent
21 the Croatian forces from entering the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
22 Q. I understand that. That's no problem. But I think you
23 misunderstand me. I'm talking about the night of the 16th, before you
24 would even go to the Sava. You've told us that you received orders to
25 link up with JNA forces in Bosanski Samac, and we know of two groupings:
1 The 4th Detachment and the anti-armour unit. On the night of the 16th,
2 did you receive orders to link up with any other JNA units apart from
3 those two?
4 A. No, I did not receive such an order.
5 Q. Okay. So we're clear now. Your orders were clear: Link up with
6 two units, 4th Detachment, anti-armour unit, and that's it?
7 A. Yes, that's it.
8 Q. Good. And were you given the means to be able to link up with
10 A. What means do you have in mind?
11 Q. I don't have in mind any means. I'm asking you. Were you given
12 the means, for example, radio, smoke signals? How were you going to link
13 up with them?
14 A. As I've already said at the beginning of my testimony, on the
15 bridge I was met by the anti-armour company, which was supposed to be on
16 my right as you're looking from the direction of Bosnia-Herzegovina
17 towards Croatia. And on the left-hand side --
18 Q. Can I stop you? I'll ask you about this later, but all I want to
19 know is what means were you provided to link up with these other
20 formations, or was it a case of your order simply being: Go to the Sava
21 and you'll be met by the 4th Detachment and the anti-armour unit?
22 A. My order was clear, and it said that I would be met there by one
23 unit, and that was the anti-armour company, and that they would give me
24 the communications equipment that they had at their disposal at that
25 time. When we came physically in contact, they gave me a Motorola.
1 That's the name of this piece of equipment, and it worked on one frequency
2 only, and it was the only way I could establish contact with Aco Jankovic,
3 who was on the silo, behind my back, and he was the only person that I
4 could establish contact with.
5 Q. Now, this anti-armour company, was it part of the 4th Detachment
6 or was it completely separate, as far as you could understand, from the
7 4th Detachment?
8 A. As far as I know, it was a separate unit. It was not part of the
9 4th Detachment.
10 Q. All right. We'll return to that in a moment. But if you go to
11 paragraph 13, you say that part of your task was to "coordinate our
12 activity with the 4th Detachment, which was already there." What specific
13 orders or instructions did you have in order to coordinate your activities
14 with the 4th Detachment?
15 A. The more specific orders were as follows: Since the 4th
16 Detachment and its command and troops were in the town of Samac, I was
17 supposed to link up from the bridge on the left-hand side and the shift
18 that I was to receive on the bridge, because I couldn't stay there a long
19 time, I was told that the 4th Detachment would send their troops, they
20 would give us food, cigarettes and everything that my unit might require.
21 That's what the commander Subotin told me and ordered me to do.
22 Q. And no doubt about it, you were informed of this on the night of
23 the 16th, before you set off for Bosanski Samac, before you arrived at the
24 River Sava?
25 A. Yes. Around midnight. Yes, around midnight, on the night between
1 the 16th and the 17th.
2 Q. All right. Okay. And did your commander, whoever was giving you
3 these orders or instructions, tell you of anyone in particular that you
4 should communicate with or liaise with in the 4th Detachment upon your
5 arrival at the banks of the Sava?
6 A. No, he didn't.
7 Q. Okay. I just want to ask you some brief questions about your
8 journey to Bosanski Samac. And again, it relates to paragraph 13. You
9 say in the paragraph that "the town of Bosanski Samac was practically
10 already blocked," and you give descriptions of the directions in which it
11 was blocked. And you also say, I quote: "It could be said to have been
12 completely blocked and surrounded." That's in paragraph 13. Tell the
13 Trial Chamber how you made it through the Croatian lines to enter Bosanski
14 Samac if it was completely blocked and surrounded.
15 A. When I left Obudovac, as I was leaving it, actually, I was told to
16 move through the Serbian-held territory, because the main road from
17 Obudovac and to Bosanski Samac was taken by the Croatian troops, and one
18 could see them already at the beginning of the main Samac-Orasje [phoen]
19 road . And the proposal was to go towards -- through Gornja Slatina,
20 Kruskovac [phoen] and to exit in Crkvina, and from Crkvina towards the
21 bridge. Those were all territories held by Serbs. The second part of
22 Hasici, which was inhabited by the Croatian population, and between Lugovi
23 and Kruskovo Polje, there was an anti-aircraft cannon, and it would have
24 been very dangerous to move through there in a military truck.
25 Q. Thank you. Thank you. And you've provided already some detail in
1 your statement about that. However, I'm interested in this: In paragraph
2 13, you assert that Bosanski Samac could be said to be completely -- these
3 are your words - completely blocked and surrounded. Completely blocked
4 and surrounded. Now, how did you get into the town if the town is
5 completely blocked and surrounded by Croatian forces?
6 A. But what I have just mentioned is far from the town. On one side
7 it is about 5 to 6 kilometres from the town, and on the other side some 7
8 to 8 kilometres from the town. But the town itself was not blocked.
9 Rather, at that time, Croats, wherever they were, they installed their
10 forces there.
11 Q. When you arrived in Bosanski Samac, did you see any evidence of
12 civilians fleeing, weapons being fired, battles being fought, firefights
13 in the street, exchanges of fire over the Sava, anything like that?
14 A. No, I didn't see that. But I heard things like that. Around 3.00
15 or somewhat later, I could hear sporadic shooting.
16 Q. I'll get into that later. Don't worry. But all I'm asking you is
17 about your initial arrival. It's the case, isn't it, that you saw nothing
18 of those matters that I mentioned when you first arrived in Bosanski
19 Samac? That's the case, isn't it?
20 A. No, I didn't see anything. I just saw columns of vehicles, but
21 that meant nothing to me.
22 Q. In fact, the population was asleep in their beds in the middle of
23 the night, for the most part, as far as you could tell, unaware that they
24 were completely blocked and surrounded by Croatian forces; is that so?
25 A. Well, I don't know whether they were asleep. I wasn't there, was
2 Q. All right. That's fair enough. Thank you. You arrived and
3 eventually made your way to the duty-free zone, and there you met two
4 groups of soldiers: Camouflage -- soldiers in camouflage uniform and
5 members of this anti-armour unit that you've spoken of. Correct?
6 A. Yes, that is correct.
7 Q. Was it apparent to you that they were both members of two distinct
8 military units?
9 A. I don't know whether they were different. They were there
11 Q. Right. So there's no way that you could arrive at any conclusion
12 that the men in camouflage were not part of the anti-armour brigade?
13 A. I said that I had arrived and I saw that group. There were a few
14 of them there. I don't know who they were. In any case, they were
16 Q. Okay. As far as you could tell, one group of soldiers, some in
17 camouflage, others not?
18 A. Yes, correct. Some wore JNA uniforms and the others wore other
19 types of uniforms, or a different type of uniform.
20 Q. The others who wore the different types of uniform, did they speak
21 with Serbian accents?
22 A. Since I communicated with a person whom I knew personally, we just
23 greeted each other using our customary greeting: Good luck. And that's
24 all the communication I had with them.
25 Q. All right. And that person gave you a Motorola and instructed you
1 to use that for the purposes of communication with other units in the
2 area, other JNA units in the area; is that so?
3 A. No. That Motorola worked on one frequency only. I did not know
4 of any other. And this was my only connection with the silo, with the
5 person who was there on the silo.
6 Q. So tell the Chamber who informed you of the soldiers being on top
7 of the silos.
8 A. I'm afraid I don't understand your question.
9 Q. How did you find out that there were soldiers -- or there was
10 someone on top of the silo?
11 A. I found out from soldiers who gave me that piece of communication
12 equipment, and they told me that my only communication at that moment was
13 with the man who was on top of the silo. We established contact, we
14 checked the communication lines, and the communication lines worked, and
15 that's all.
16 Q. Okay. Did they explain to you who the man on the silo was from --
17 who he was, rather, and which military unit of the JNA he was from?
18 A. Yes. They told me who he was. I knew the man personally. And
19 everything was clear to me.
20 Q. That's the man Aco Jankovic, from the 1st Detachment?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. Had you been informed, prior to going to the Sava, taking up your
23 positions, that the 1st Detachment was also going to be conducting
24 operations that night? Did you expect them to be there?
25 A. Before I left Obudovac, I was told that our forces, our army, the
1 JNA, should take up the silos and that we should also establish
2 communication with them. They were supposed to take up the silos, but I
3 don't know which -- I didn't know, rather, at the time which unit that
5 Q. Were you informed that the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Detachments would be
6 conducting operations in Bosanski Samac that night?
7 A. No, I wasn't informed. I was only told about the anti-armour
8 company. And as I've already told you, I was not informed what units or
9 what troops were going to be there.
10 Q. Okay. You describe in your statement some exchanges of fire that
11 took place on the night of the 16th and 17th. Essentially, you describe
12 two exchanges, firstly a mortar attack on the vicinity of your positions
13 and the silos; and secondly, an exchange of fire with small -- light arms,
14 I assume, over the bridge towards the Sava. Correct?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm sorry. Is now the time that we break, Your
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, and we'll continue at 1415 hours.
19 --- Recess taken at 1.44 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 2.17 p.m.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio, you continue.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Q. On the night of the 16th and 17th, how -- how far were your
24 positions on the Sava from the SUP building in Bosanski Samac?
25 A. Well, as the crow flies, between 300 and 400 metres.
1 Q. Did you hear the sound of any explosions or armed or small arms
2 fire from the vicinity of the police station?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you know that that was the paramilitaries taking control of
5 the police station, don't you?
6 A. No. I was not aware of that. I heard sounds of shooting but I
7 didn't know who that was.
8 Q. Okay. You subsequently found out, though, didn't you?
9 A. I found out that there had been a shootout outside the police
10 station, that there were armed clashes. I can't remember who exactly was
11 involved in these clashes.
12 Q. Were the -- you know that a Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac
13 was established and started governing Bosanski Samac, the municipality,
14 from about the 17th onwards?
15 A. At that time, I was on the line and I was not aware of what was
16 happening in the town, or who had taken over power.
17 Q. But you subsequently found out, didn't you?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you knew, and I suggest to you, at the time, that this Serbian
20 municipality had been -- had declared itself sometime earlier in March at
21 least of 1992.
22 A. I'm not aware of that. I was a soldier. I didn't know about
23 these things.
24 Q. Did you know that there were Serbian police, there was a Serbian
25 police force, headed by Stevan Todorovic, in existence on the night of the
1 16th and 17th of April?
2 A. I didn't know at the time but subsequently while I was at the
3 bridge, I did find out, yes.
4 Q. They were -- the Serbian police headed by Stevan Todorovic were
5 cooperating with members of the JNA carrying out their operations in
6 Bosanski Samac that night of the 16th and 17th, weren't they?
7 A. I didn't know and this had nothing to do with my unit.
8 Q. You saw no evidence of the Serbian police conducting any sort of
9 military operations on the night of the 16th and 17th? Nothing at all?
10 A. No. The night of the 16th and the 17th, no, nothing at all but I
11 did see things on the 18th.
12 Q. What did you see on the 18th?
13 A. I saw the Serb police, they were all over town. I was passing by
14 with another soldier from my unit and I was on my way to the command of
15 the 4th Detachment and that's when I found out about the whole thing.
16 Q. Earlier this morning -- earlier today, you mentioned that your
17 unit was not a member of the -- was not described, cannot be described, as
18 part of a TO. You recall that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were you aware of any Serbian TO forces operating in
21 Bosanski Samac on the night of the 16th and 17th?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Were you aware of the existence of any Serbian TO forces on the
24 night of the 16th and 17th?
25 A. No, no. I wasn't.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown P19, P21 and P23, please?
2 Q. Witness, I'd like to take you through the -- some parts of these
3 documents but as swiftly as possible and I'd ask for the assistance of the
4 usher if I may, first of all, P19, can you have a look at that document,
5 please? I hope you have the ter version, the B/C/S? All right? Now take
6 it from me, I don't need to you look at all of the document but take it
7 from me that's from the 17th Corps headquarters, dated the 17th of April,
8 to the 2nd Military District command and it's describing events in
9 Bosanski Samac on the night of the 17th. And it says members of the
10 Territorial Defence and MUP of the Serb municipality of Bosanski Samac
11 clashed with members of Alija Izetbegovic's Territorial Defence and so on.
12 And it says members of the Territorial Defence and MUP took control of the
13 police station, silo tower and so on. Do you see that? It's the first
14 paragraph. Okay? Now, --
15 A. Yes, yes, I see that.
16 Q. It's this term, Territorial Defence, that I'm interested in. This
17 document refers to Territorial Defence. Have you got any idea what
18 formation it might be referring to when it refers to Territorial Defence
19 of the Serb municipality?
20 A. No. I really have no idea.
21 Q. Thank you. Would you now look at P21? That's from the 2nd
22 Military District command dated the 17th of April to the operational
23 centre of the general staff of the SFRY -- RJ armed forces. Again,
24 describing the events in Bosanski Samac. Midway through the second
25 paragraph, it again refers to "forces of tactical group 17, units of the
1 Serb Territorial Defence, and police," and police, "participated in
2 actions during the takeover of vital facilities in Bosanski Samac." Do
3 you see that? It's about halfway through the paragraph.
4 A. Yes, I see that.
5 Q. Okay. Now again I suppose you can shed no light on what that Serb
6 Territorial Defence is a reference to?
7 A. I really can't tell.
8 Q. Okay. But you didn't see or hear of any police participation in
9 actions involving -- for the takeover of vital facilities?
10 A. No. All I saw of the police was outside in the street, and I saw
11 them bringing people in and carrying some weaponry but I saw this in
12 passing merely.
13 Q. Thank you. I've -- given the witness's evidence I have no further
14 need to refer to any other documents in that group.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown P79?
16 Q. Again, I don't need to take you through this document chapter and
17 verse, I'm interested mainly in the second paragraph. There is another
18 reference here once again to this body called the Territorial Defence of
19 the Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac, and it goes on to say that
20 they routed paramilitary forces. Now, again, I take it from your previous
21 evidence you couldn't tell us what that means because you've never heard
22 of any Territorial Defence of the Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac,
24 A. I really don't know. I'm not familiar with this document and I'm
25 not aware of any Territorial Defence.
1 Q. Okay. Obviously you're aware of the Serbian Crisis Staff that was
2 established very soon after the night of the 16th and 17th, if not before?
3 A. I only learned about that on the 18th.
4 Q. All right. Okay. Did you ever hear of it, that is the Crisis
5 Staff, assuming the leadership of armed forces and taking over the Serbian
6 municipality -- the municipality of Bosanski Samac? Did you ever hear
7 from anyone, see or hear anything that indicated that it had done so?
8 A. No.
9 Q. All right. Thanks for that. I've finished with that, Ms. Usher.
10 Thanks for your assistance. I've finished with that document.
11 The -- in your statement you describe the Rapid Reaction Battalion
12 at paragraph 6 of your statement. It's fair to say, isn't it, that that
13 rapid reaction battalion went under various names, including Strike
14 Battalion, Intervention Battalion, and Special Battalion, all of those
15 different names all refer essentially to the one military unit, correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And that's the battalion that included in it men such as Lugar and
18 Crni, Tralja, Laki, people like that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In paragraph 6, you say that that battalion was formed in mid-May
21 of 1992. Could it have been earlier? That is, could it have been formed
23 A. I think it was in that period of time but it's been a long time so
24 I can't recall precisely but I do believe that it was in that period.
25 Q. What I'm trying to get is some -- a little more precision if we're
1 capable. You say it was in that period. Do you mean around mid-May, the
2 15th of May or thereabouts?
3 A. Around the 15th of May, give or take a day or two.
4 Q. All right. Okay.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness please be shown Exhibit P74?
6 Q. Okay. Now, I'll take you to the bits that I'm interested in of
7 this document, okay? Look at paragraph 3, do you see that? Okay? That
8 paragraph says that the Special Battalion is located in Obudovac. That's
9 correct, isn't it? I'm sorry, witness, you have to nod so you give an
10 audible answer because it has to be recorded. I take it you meant you
11 agreed with me the Special Battalion was located in Obudovac?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All right.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. And the Crisis Staff helped it out, didn't it, by providing
16 meals from time to time, it says here, at least once a week, right?
17 A. If I may just clarify this, I have never seen this document, but
18 this Special or Strike Battalion, as you called it, had been set up for
19 familiar reasons, but all those who were members of it were locals and who
20 were people from the local communes across Samac municipality. The Samac
21 and Pelagicevo municipality under creation. This Special Battalion, all
22 those lads like to think of themselves as some kinds of specialists or
23 Special Forces but they were just ordinary people. As far as the Special
24 Battalion is concerned, what I can tell you is that about 80 per cent of
25 us were -- had rural backgrounds, ours was an agricultural area so we got
1 our food back home. The -- there was no order or decision. People were
2 not being told to bring us food but they simply did so. Of their own
3 accord. So even this document, the Crisis Staff, I remember that
4 something or other was adopted at some point but people brought food to us
5 of their own accord.
6 Q. Okay.
7 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Di Fazio, I just think there was
8 some of a little slip of the tongue here because you said that the Crisis
9 Staff in the singular, this is page 93, lines 89, you said "and the Crisis
10 Staff helped it out, didn't it? Meaning the Special Battalion by
11 providing meals from time to time. It says here at least once a week,
12 right." Well actually paragraph 2 is talking about the direction to the
13 crisis staffs in the plural of the local communes and it's talking about
14 the obligation to organise army lunch meals for TO members at least once a
15 week. It's paragraph 3 that returns to the Obudovac Special Battalion and
16 army lunch meals at least once a month so you seem to have melded the two
17 paragraphs together.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: I may have. If Your Honours please, the document
19 speaks for itself. With respect, if you wish me to go into that topic I
21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Not necessarily, but I just wanted to point out
22 that there was somewhat of a misreading of it into the transcript.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: I accept that. Of course, I accept that Your
24 Honour is quite correct.
25 Q. Now I'm not interested in the food. Okay? I'm not interested in
1 the food issue. But this Special Battalion that's being referred to is
2 that Special Battalion that those Serbian paramilitaries were members of,
3 Laki, Tralja, Crni, Debeli, Lugar, correct?
4 A. Yes, they were.
5 Q. Okay. Now, you see at the top of the document, it says that the
6 Crisis Staff had a session on the 6th of May, 1992. Presumably therefore
7 the Special Battalion existed before the 6th of May, 1992, otherwise the
8 document doesn't make any sense, correct?
9 A. Well, yes. It's been a very long time so it's difficult for me to
10 recall but I really don't know.
11 Q. But you accept my reasoning, as a matter of possibility, if this
12 document is to make sense, the Special Battalion must have existed on or
13 before the 6th of May, 1992, right?
14 A. Well, we have the document here with that date.
15 Q. Okay. You've got no quarrel, have you, with the proposition that
16 this Special Battalion may well have existed before mid-May, as you
17 recall, and have existed on or before the 6th of May, 1992? Right?
18 A. As I said, I really don't remember. It may have been on the 5th
19 or on the 6th but it's been such a long time I can't recall the exact
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Ms. Usher. I've finished with the
23 Q. You know of the massacre of Crkvina in which 15 or so Croats were
24 killed? Murdered by Lugar in a small wheat factory? Lugar and other
25 paramilitaries? You know of that, don't you?
1 A. Yes, yes, I do.
2 Q. That took place on or about the 7th of May? 7th of May, 1992? In
4 A. I can't recall the exact date. I know that it did occur.
5 Q. That Special Battalion was part of the JNA, wasn't it?
6 A. Yes. Well, just a minute, please. I can't remember -- well, yes,
7 yes, yes, the 17th, yes.
8 Q. There is no doubt about it, is there, it was part of the JNA,
9 right? You were in it, you knew that it was part of the JNA, correct?
10 A. That's correct, in view of the fact that the commander of that
11 Special Battalion was Crni from that unit.
12 Q. That's absolutely right. And so Lugar was a member of a JNA unit
13 at the time that he slaughtered those people in the warehouse, correct?
14 A. They were part of the Special Battalion and the Special Battalion
15 was under the command of the JNA.
16 Q. And so Lugar was a member of the JNA at the time that he
17 slaughtered those people in Crkvina, correct?
18 A. Well, if we say that they were members of the battalion, and the
19 JNA, then it follows, I assume, that he was.
20 Q. And under the command of Colonel Nikolic, correct?
21 A. At that time, the commander was Nikolic.
22 Q. And it was known in the ranks of the Special Battalion that Lugar
23 had carried out this act? It was a matter notoriously well known, wasn't
24 it? Amongst yourselves and throughout the community in Bosanski Samac and
25 the municipality.
1 A. We heard about that two or three days later because we were
2 stationed in Obudovac and it was only two or three days later what we
3 heard about what had happened at Crkvina.
4 Q. And it was also a matter that was notoriously well known that
5 Lugar had acted together with other members of the Special Battalion in
6 carrying out that massacre?
7 A. According to my information, I only knew about Lugar. I didn't
8 know about the rest of them taking part.
9 Q. Did you -- you may not have known specific identities but you knew
10 didn't you that members, some members, of the Special Battalion had
11 participated in that act? I mean in addition to Lugar.
12 A. No, no, I was not aware of that. I only heard about him
13 specifically. I heard that after his best friend had been killed, he came
14 over there and he killed those people.
15 Q. Did your commanders in the Special Battalion do anything to
16 discipline him, so to speak?
17 A. Well, as far as I know, no, they didn't. Not those in the Special
19 Q. Did you have occasion to fight alongside him in actions later in
20 the year?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you have any misgivings about fighting alongside a mass
24 A. No. We were not standing next to each other. This was in
25 Grebnice when the line broke down and he took one of his units to the left
1 and I turned off to the right, so we didn't have any difficulty with that.
2 Q. Okay. All right. We'll leave the topic of Lugar.
3 I'd like to show you, please, another document, and this will be
4 my last topic.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness please be shown Exhibit P127?
6 Q. This is a long document, witness, and I'm not going to ask you
7 about every bit of it, you'll be glad to hear. But just to acquaint you
8 with it, if you look at the top lefthand corner of the first page you'll
9 see it's from the command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade dated
10 December, 1992. You see that? Could you just answer yes or no?
11 A. Yes, yes, I see that.
12 Q. Okay. And another feature that I direct your attention to is at
13 the end of the document. You see it's got 13 people who signed it, all of
14 them military men. Do you see that?
15 A. Yes, I see that.
16 Q. And so that I can assist you to the portions of the document that
17 I'm interested in, if you just look at the first page, you'll see that for
18 the document is divided into paragraphs, it starts off first and then has
19 some text, and second, do you see that? The word is actually written in.
20 And then third and so on and so forth, okay? So I'll be able to point you
21 to the bits I'm interested in. All right.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry, would Your Honours just bear with me for a
23 moment, please?
24 [Prosecution counsel confer]
25 MR. DI FAZIO:
1 Q. Yes, go to the second paragraph, please. Second paragraph, about
2 halfway through the document. There, the authors of the document are
3 talking about the Serbian commandos, the specials who arrived in
4 Bosanski Samac, and it says that they played an indisputably positive role
5 in the liberation of Samac. From what you know, living in the area and
6 having -- and being in the armed forces, do you agree with that
7 assessment? They did play an indisputably positive role in the liberation
8 of Samac?
9 A. As concerns your assertion, I really can't quite agree.
10 Q. All right.
11 A. But I know that they fought alongside me on certain missions and
12 they were exceptionally good and brave fighters. Several of them were
13 either wounded or killed.
14 Q. Okay. Towards the end of the second paragraph, the authors talk
15 about the negative role of this group, the Special Battalion. Evident,
16 and that it was -- and that negative role was evident in looting, banditry
17 and all types of crimes. Now, did you see any looting, banditry and all
18 types of crimes being committed by members of your Special Battalion?
19 A. Individually, yes, but there was nothing organised like that going
20 on. Even some of my fighters did bits of that.
21 Q. Okay. Turn over the page and go to the fifth paragraph.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry, before I take you to the fifth paragraph,
23 how did you and the command of the Special Battalion respond to what
24 you've described as the -- to the episodes of looting and banditry that
25 you saw?
1 A. Banditry, no, I didn't see any banditry, and small-scale looting
2 would be reported to the commander, but that was on a very small scale,
3 insignificant items like cigarettes, socks, tennis shoes. As for the
4 rest, I was really not aware of anything else.
5 Q. So you know for sure, you can tell this Trial Chamber for sure
6 that these occasional acts of looting were reported properly to the
7 command of the Special Battalion, these reports were duly acted upon and
8 the matter dealt with? Correct?
9 A. I really don't know about the rest but I know that when that
10 occurred, I filed a report, and some of the stolen goods were seized,
11 cigarettes, socks, small things like that, and we sent these things back
12 to the civilian staff building at Obudovac. I think there are documents
13 testifying to this effect.
14 Q. I see. And tell me, is there any particular reason why you didn't
15 report the slaughter of 15 or 16 people in Crkvina in the way that you
16 reported these minor acts of looting?
17 A. I see no reason for me to go and report that. I did tell you
18 already that I only heard about this two or three days later.
19 Q. Okay. Let's go to the fifth paragraph, then, the one that I just
20 directed your attention to. Just have a read, please, of the first half,
21 the first half, of the fifth paragraph, up until you get to the point
22 where it talks about massive arrests and isolation of Croats and Muslims.
23 Have you had a chance to read the -- that part of the fifth paragraph?
24 A. Well, I've read through it but I know nothing about what it says
25 so I can't comment on that.
1 Q. I see. So it goes a bit further than your description of isolated
2 acts or occasional acts, because it describes unheard-of looting
3 being -- and property being systematically transferred to Serbia.
4 You -- you're not aware of any such activity being based upon -- being
5 conducted by your fellow members of the Special Battalion?
6 A. I was really not aware of anything like that.
7 Q. In your statement, you describe how you -- you fought at various
8 locations around the Republika Srpska and how the front line was fluid and
9 that Croatian forces would occasionally make breaks, penetrate the lines,
10 and so you were called from location to location. You recall that in your
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you ever see, as part of the Special Battalion, any action in
14 Orasje, later in 1992, around, I think around October?
15 A. Not in Orasje.
16 Q. Did you ever engage in military action with the Special Battalion
17 or elements of the Special Battalion close to Orasje, in the latter part
18 of 1992?
19 A. The whole line stretching between Samac and Brcko was the line
20 between Orasje and Serb-populated villages. As I mentioned in my
21 statement, the lines towards them or towards us were being moved there on
22 several occasions. So we used stop-gap measures to stop the lines up, the
23 lines that had been broken up. This happened in Grebnica, in Vucilovac,
24 all the villages that we had held but there was the line, the separation
25 line between the villages.
1 Q. All right. Thanks. Can I ask you, please, to look at the 9th
3 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise to my learned friend for the sake of
4 clarity this witness mentioned several villages which we don't have in
5 transcript so I would kindly ask if witness can repeat the names of these
6 villages slowly for the interpreter so that we could have a clear
7 transcript. Thank you.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Okay.
9 Q. I think you heard Mr. Pantelic. Could you just repeat again the
10 names of the villages?
11 A. Grebnice. Lebnica. Vucilovac.
12 Q. Is that it?
13 A. Yes, yes, that's it.
14 Q. Okay. Thanks. Now, would you please go to paragraph 9? In the
15 English version it's around page 4 but I think you'll find it fairly
16 easily, the 9th paragraph. Okay. Now, I just want to you look at the
17 second half of that paragraph. You see that it describes the civilian
18 authorities instructed by the Presidency and some government members
19 deciding to engage volunteers from Serbia initially under the control of
20 Debeli and later Crni. Do you see that bit?
21 A. Yes, I see.
22 Q. Good. It refers to a fee for fighting the war, allegedly set at
23 50.000 deutschmarks per man, providing Orasje was conquered and in
24 addition, ample war booty. Were you aware of any such deal?
25 A. It's the first time I hear about this now.
1 Q. Thanks. Go to the signatories of the document, please. Do you
2 know Lieutenant Colonel Mile Beronja?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Is he a competent military officer in your estimation?
5 A. It's not up to me to decide whether he is competent or not.
6 Q. Well, we are not talking about -- you're not back in 1992. It's
7 here, so feel safe. I'm asking you, in your estimation, was he a
8 competent brigade commander?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you know Simo Zaric, don't you, Lieutenant Simo Zaric,
11 assistant commander for --
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Incidentally, do you know him personally?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you would know therefore of his long experience in security
16 matters? You know that he was in the --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In the intelligence and security services of the former
19 Yugoslavia? You know that, don't you?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. And you know that he was in his former career also a Chief of
22 Police in Bosanski Samac? You know that, don't you?
23 A. Yes, I do know that as well.
24 Q. And he is an astute and competent man, isn't he, competent in
25 carrying out his duties?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. He's the sort of man who is not likely to get his intelligence
3 wrong, is he?
4 A. I suppose not, but I don't know what else to tell you.
5 Q. And just one last question: The Milan Maksimovic, chief of
6 intelligence and security organ, do you know him?
7 A. Yes. He was my superior.
8 Q. All right. He was a competent operator, a competent soldier,
9 reasonably good at his job as chief of intelligence and security organ?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you very much. No further questions.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Re-examination?
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour, thank you.
14 Re-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Jovanovic, the Prosecutor just asked you a
16 few moments ago a question regarding these 13 signatures. In your
17 statement you've stated that you were arrested on behalf of the eastern
18 Bosnian corps. Do you remember this?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. That was an incident involving some scouts from the Krajina Corps?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Tell me, what do you know about this information? When we talk
23 about that period of time, I suppose that this is when you got arrested as
24 well? It was at the end of that year, 1992?
25 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, this is a totally knew
1 topic, totally new. I didn't go near that topic.
2 MR. PANTELIC: It's related to P127, Your Honour, with all due
3 respect. This topic is related to P127. So I'm going to explore this
4 issue with this witness.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: In what way is it related?
6 MR. PANTELIC: I'm just going to ask this. You will see.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Because the Prosecution didn't raise that in their
9 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour, the Prosecution is not aware of
10 many facts. The Defence is aware of the Defence case so it will help and
11 support Defence case. The Prosecution has its case. We have our case so
12 it's related, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but there are rules to be complied with
14 adducing evidence from witnesses so you have to comply with that. This is
16 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour but we have to interpret these
17 rules in broader manner, of course. I will ask the question.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, please, if I recall correctly, this
19 happened at the end of 1992; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What do you know personally of the motives of the author of this
22 information within the 2nd Posavina Brigade? Please explain the Trial
23 Chamber what was the relationship between the civilian and the military
24 authorities, and tell us, if you know?
25 A. I see this information for the first time in my life now. With
1 regards to the officers that signed, I know them personally, all of them.
2 When we talk about the civilian authorities and the military authorities,
3 at the time, I really couldn't tell you about them. I don't know anything
4 about it.
5 Q. Very well. Do you know if there was an attempt to convene, to
6 reconvene a special session of the assembly at the time?
7 A. I only heard about it later on, a few days later, I heard that
8 there had been an attempt to reconvene an assembly but I don't know who
9 was attempting to do so and when either.
10 Q. Do you know by chance if later on the brigade reacted to this
11 information and how, how did the command of the brigade react to this
12 information later on?
13 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please I renew my objection. I
14 thought we might see how it was going to be related, how the -- this
15 re-examination was going to clarify something that I raised. I raised one
16 confined aspect of P127, one very confined aspect and that is the issue of
17 looting by the Special Battalion. I raised no other issue in respect of
18 that document. If Mr. Pantelic think that is simply because I referred to
19 P127 that opens up the field in respect of any questions on any aspect of
20 P127, then he is mistaken. It's that aspect that I raised and only that
21 aspect that is permitted to be clarified in re-examination, namely
22 looting. And in my submission, he is now going well beyond that
23 particular topic. Simply because I referred to a document doesn't mean
24 that you have open slather on that document. Re-examination means
25 clarification of a topic that the cross-examiner left obscure.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I simply ask this witness what is his
2 personal knowledge of the events after this particular information, and he
3 said, when I asked him, do you have personal knowledge, he said yes, it is
4 not in the transcript but he said yes. So I just want to have a brief
5 answer from this witness what is his personal knowledge of the events
6 surrounding this information in December 1992.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic, the Trial Chamber is of the view
9 that you restrict your re-examination to what was raised by the
10 Prosecution in cross-examination and also, when you are asking questions,
11 you better be specific. If you talk about information, you better specify
12 what information you are asking about.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, certainly, Your Honour, thank you.
14 Q. [Interpretation] The information that is before you, bearing
15 number P127, you have commented some bits and pieces of that information
16 with the Prosecutor. What I would like to know, in the month of December,
17 1992, what did you know concerning the fate of that information and the
18 reaction of the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade with regard to that
19 information and please tell us if you know?
20 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is an objection
21 for the simple reason is that this information was adopted by the command
22 of the 2nd Posavina Brigade so I do not understand the question. After
23 the first of December, what was the reaction of the command of the
24 brigade? Whereas it is the command of the brigade which adopted this
1 MR. PANTELIC: Maybe we could have the answer of the witness,
2 Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: No. We can't allow that question as stated before.
4 You are going outside the cross-examination, Mr. Pantelic. And you're
5 wasting time.
6 MR. PANTELIC:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Jovanovic, how many soldiers were -- you've
8 given an answer to a question asked by the Prosecutor. You've told us
9 that those were young men from Pelagicevo and Samac. How many members
10 were there? How many soldiers?
11 A. Altogether, from 80 to 100 and then it grew up to 200 and 300 men
12 but to be very precise, I can tell you that through this intervention unit
13 or whichever way we call it here, lots of men have gone through this
14 Special Battalion because lots of men have lost their life and also lots
15 of people were wounded.
16 Q. How many Serb volunteers was there, in terms of members of that
18 A. Approximately 15.
19 Q. Was there a Dutch man as well?
20 A. Yes, there was one, yes, there was a Dutch man.
21 Q. Did he die?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Is there some kind of a monument erected in his name in your neck
24 of the woods?
25 A. I really don't know.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: [Previous translation continues] ... All this.
2 MR. PANTELIC: To show --
3 JUDGE MUMBA: You're abusing the time allowed.
4 MR. PANTELIC: To explain.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: You better sit down.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Just a last question, Your Honour.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Please, tell me the following, when the
8 Prosecutor asked you about this death in Crkvina, this person that got
9 killed, please tell us, in what area of responsibility is Crkvina? It
10 belongs to which detachment?
11 A. It was in the area of the 2nd Detachment.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. I have no further re-examination.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much, Mr. Jovanovic. We are finished
14 with your evidence. You may leave the courtroom.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic, you had some statements you
17 wanted to submit.
18 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour, thank you very much.
19 Ms. Usher, can I have your assistance, please?
20 This is a statement of Mr. Mirkic Lazar. It's D174/1 ter,
21 redacted version.
22 Then we have a statement of Mr. Simo -- Mr. Jovanovic --
23 Mr. Jovanovic Simo, this is D173/1 ter.
24 And then we have -- this is a statement of Mr. Marusic Branislav,
25 and the Exhibit number is D176/1 ter.
1 And finally I have a statement of Mr. Simic, Cedomir, redacted
2 version, this is D163/1 ter.
3 Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber has been informed that
5 Mr. Simo Zaric will be ready to start giving his evidence on Monday
6 because the other witness who was expected hasn't -- is not going to
7 arrive tomorrow. Is that so, Mr. Pisarevic?
8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is not exactly
9 the case. I shall try to inform you of what had happened. The witness
10 could not come for the simple reason that the Dutch embassy in Belgrade is
11 not open for five days so the witness can only be here and will be able to
12 come and testify before this Honourable Trial Chamber on the 9th of May.
13 With regards to Mr. Simo Zaric, Mr. Zaric is not capable to testify on
14 Monday for the following reason: And I believe that the Trial Chamber is
15 aware of this fact. Mr. Zaric was operated not long ago and he was in
16 hospital and his defenders, his counsels, his attorneys were not able to
17 consult Mr. Zaric in the last 20 days. We only saw each other for three
18 hours in the last 20 days and today we had planned to see him but because
19 we had added this extra session we were not able to go and see him so we
20 had requested, we asked the Registry and the authorities of the prison, we
21 asked them to allow us to be able to see him over the weekend, Saturday
22 and Sunday. We have requested to go and see Mr. Zaric in the detention
23 unit where he will be this weekend, and we wanted to prepare. Since we
24 have lost touch, and in the past 20 days lots of things have happened, we
25 have heard new testimonies, we have heard new elements from various
1 witnesses, and we wished to inform our client of all this and we wished
2 also to get his instructions. I received the information from the
3 Registry that it was absolutely not possible for the Defence counsel of
4 Mr. Zaric to go and see him over the weekend, that is Saturday and Sunday.
5 The Defence of Mr. Zaric has no choice but to ask this Honourable Trial
6 Chamber to allow Mr. Zaric to testify on Tuesday so that we could use the
7 day of Monday, or we could partially spend the day of Monday with the
8 preparation of the Defence of Mr. Zaric, especially in light of these new
9 elements that have arisen in front of this Trial Chamber. We are in a
10 very precarious position. We have heard new witnesses over these few
11 days. We could not allow Mr. Zaric to testify without us having spoken to
12 him and without having received instructions from him. This is why I
13 would like to kindly ask the Trial Chamber, given this situation, his
14 operation, his illness, and all the other elements, and not to mention
15 that Mr. Zaric was sitting here with pain -- in pain, and I can tell you
16 that it was only on Monday that the stitches were removed from his wound,
17 I would like to tell you that we would kindly request an extra day so that
18 on Tuesday, we could be ready and Mr. Zaric could be ready to testify. We
19 are, however, prepared in the case that new witnesses arise such as
20 Mr. Tubakovic or Mr. Ergovic [phoen], it would be possible, perhaps, to
21 interrupt the testimony of Mr. Zaric to allow these other witnesses to be
22 heard. We are ready to do everything we can so that this case advances.
23 We really tried to have Mr. Zaric testify on Monday but it is absolutely
24 indispensable for to us meet with him so that we can inform him of all
25 these new developments. That is all, thank you.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, the Trial Chamber has been informed
2 by the Victims and Witnesses Unit that, in fact, the visa for
3 Mr. Tubakovic was issued in time but that your investigator delayed in
4 collecting it. That is why he has been unable to travel. So it has
5 nothing to do with the closure of the Dutch embassy. Secondly, on
6 Mr. Zaric you've been his Defence counsel ever since this case started,
7 Mr. Pisarevic, and you've been discussing his Defence and he's been
8 attending court, and the witnesses that have been heard after his surgery
9 are witnesses whose statements were already before the Trial Chamber.
10 There is nothing really new that you can -- anybody can speak of. You've
11 been able to cross-examine all the witnesses. Of course with the
12 instructions from your client on the nature of his Defence. You know the
13 rules of the Detention Unit all along. And they have been exceptionally
14 accommodating because they have allowed to you see your client tonight
15 from 1800 hours to 1945 hours to prepare him.
16 And that in the view of the Trial Chamber, in view of the length
17 of time that you've been with your client, that you've been discussing his
18 Defence, that you've been able to cross-examine all the witnesses, is
19 sufficient time for you to prepare your client. So he should be able to
20 start giving evidence on Monday.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I do apologise, I have just one
22 suggestion, if you want to hear me. Maybe we could sit on Monday
23 afternoon so that my learned friend can have morning for additional
24 conference, just a suggestion, according to the possibility. I'm not
25 pushing anything. Since we have only two trials at these days within the
1 Tribunal, maybe, if it's possible, thank you.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio?
3 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, if I can also assist on
4 this topic.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: If Monday afternoon, if the option just suggested
7 by Mr. Pantelic is not open to the Chamber, open to us, so that Defence
8 counsel have got Monday morning to go and speak to Mr. Zaric, then I can
9 indicate that the Prosecution would have no objection for Mr. Zaric to
10 start his evidence on Monday and for Defence counsel to confer with him on
11 Monday afternoon, after he's started his evidence. He will only be part
12 way or a short way into his evidence by that stage in any event so we
13 would consent to contact between Mr. Zaric and his counsel on Monday
14 afternoon, not beyond that, but Monday afternoon, for this to be attended
15 to, for those matters to be attended to, if that's of any assistance.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you very much to the Prosecution. The
18 Trial Chamber is of the view that that is possible because on Monday we
19 are sitting in the morning so tonight's time should be used, besides
20 everything that I've said that there has been ample time to prepare the
21 Defence for Mr. Simo Zaric, so that we can start on Monday morning and
22 thereafter, in the afternoon, you will have enough time to meet with your
23 client and discuss the further steps of his Defence case. The rest of the
24 week, I think Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, we are sitting in the
25 afternoon, thereafter Friday again we go back to the morning session.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: And sorry, in addition, if Tuesday morning is free,
2 again, he won't be too far into his evidence and having conferred with my
3 colleague, Mr. Weiner, the Prosecution states its position that it would
4 not object to further contact as well on Tuesday morning so that should
5 provide even more time. By that stage, I think any problems will be
6 ironed out and we can revert to the normal procedures regarding contact
7 between client and counsel during testimony.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That is very fair from the Prosecution, and
9 that should be taken advantage of by Mr. Pisarevic, and his client.
10 So we will sit on Monday as scheduled, and the Defence of Mr.
11 Simo Zaric or Mr. Simo Zaric himself will start giving evidence. There is
12 nothing else to discuss so we shall adjourn.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
14 3.29 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
15 the 5th day of May, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.