1 Tuesday, 6 May 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. Case number IT-95-9-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Before we proceed with the accused, the Trial
10 Chamber has got two matters to deal with. The first one is in connection
11 with the Prosecution motion filed on the 25th April, regarding Jovan
12 Erletic. The Trial Chamber has considered the matters raised by the
13 Prosecution and has decided that -- yes, and also considered the oral
14 submission by the Defence for Blagoje Simic, for the intention to
15 cross-examine this witness, and has decided that Jovan Erletic will attend
16 for purposes of cross-examination by the Defence of Blagoje Simic, and
17 they will be allowed one hour. And also by the Prosecution, who also will
18 be allowed one hour. But the Trial Chamber has observed that the
19 Prosecution had notice of this meeting and attendance by the accused
20 Blagoje Simic, and also attendance by Jovan Erletic of this meeting,
21 through the Exhibit P141, these are the interviews by Mr. Simo Zaric, on
22 page 56 of the English version, lines 17 and 18, shows that the meeting
23 was attended by the whole command, and when you look at what the whole
24 command means, that is the command that signed the document Exhibit P127,
25 and the name of Jovan Erletic is there.
1 Besides that piece of evidence, there is also evidence by Stevan
2 Todorovic given on the 26th of June last year, on transcript page 10065.
3 That piece of evidence also shows that Jovan Erletic attended the meeting,
4 besides the accused Blagoje Simic, so that the Prosecution had notice
5 that -- as to who attended that meeting and they could have raised
6 questions in cross-examination. But however, the Trial Chamber has
7 allowed that the witness will come, so they will have their opportunity.
8 The Trial Chamber itself, having looked at the evidence under the
9 deposition, does not wish to lead any further evidence from this witness.
10 The other matter is regarding the Prosecution's motion to
11 recross-examine the Defence expert General Richard Wilmot. The Trial
12 Chamber has looked at both -- re-examined the prior filing of the 24th of
13 April and also looked at the latest filing of the Prosecution of the 2nd
14 of May. The Trial Chamber has accepted that it was an oversight on the
15 part of the Prosecution, who failed to indicate that they wished to
16 cross-examine the expert. However, the Trial Chamber, in its ruling of
17 the 28th, did indicate that the whole transcript would be also admitted in
18 evidence, the transcript of the evidence of this witness, in the Stakic
19 case, will be admitted into evidence, and it has observed that the
20 cross-examination, as shown by the transcript, does cover the matters that
21 the Prosecution have raised in their filing of the 24th April, and the
22 Trial Chamber does not -- has not -- has decided that there is no need for
23 further cross-examination of this witness. So he will not be called for
25 We can now proceed with the evidence of Mr. Simo Zaric.
1 WITNESS: SIMO ZARIC [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
4 Examined by Mr. Pisarevic: [Continued]
5 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Zaric.
6 A. Good afternoon.
7 Q. Yesterday, before we adjourned, we spoke about the political and
8 security situation in the municipality of Samac in the year 1991 and 1992,
9 and the last thing you told us was that the chief of police in Bosanski
10 Samac was Mr. Niko Dragicevic, a Croat, who had replaced the former chief,
11 Radovan Antic. Do you remember that, we spoke about that?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Tell us, Mr. Zaric: During that period of time, that is, in 1991
14 and 1992, in addition to all the events that you already mentioned, were
15 there some other events and developments in Samac municipality or in its
16 vicinity? Are you aware of some things that happened in the summer of
17 1991, things that happened on the Sava River? Can you tell us if you know
18 what happened?
19 A. Yes. In July 1991, from the territory of the Republic of Croatia,
20 rifle shots were fired at a speed boat, whose owner was Pero Maksimovic
21 from Pisari village. In the speed boat was also Milan Stanic, a friend of
22 the owners. The speed boat had brought people to the Sava River to take a
23 swim. We call this part of the river the Kej, and during that incident,
24 Mr. Maksimovic was injured. Among the swimmers and among the citizens in
25 general, this caused a great deal of concern.
1 What happened in this case was that members of the security
2 station in Samac did not carry out an on-site investigation, nor did they
3 take any measure, despite the fact that Mr. Maksimovic had been seriously
4 injured and as such was transported to the hospital in Brcko.
5 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know who was the head of the criminal police at
6 that time in the police in Bosanski Samac?
7 A. The chief of the criminal police was Mr. Dragan Lukac. I must say
8 that at that time I was still actively performing my tasks in the
9 service. We had some information that this had been done by a group of
10 drunken lads who belonged to either the army of Croatia or to the ZNG
11 forces. However, we never managed to find more about that. We informed
12 the security services about that, but no measures were taken to carry out
13 an investigation according to the regulations. The Sava River was not a
14 border at the time. It had never been defined as such. To this very day,
15 the Sava River has not been defined as a border, although it lies between
16 the Republic of Croatia, as a state, and the Republic of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina on its other side.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. Can you tell us whether the perpetrators of
19 this crime were ever discovered.
20 A. I wouldn't know that.
21 Q. Are you familiar with an incident in which somebody was injured on
22 the Sana River bridge between Bosanski and Slavonski Samac?
23 A. Yes. This incident happened in late December of 1991, before the
24 new year. A citizen of Samac, whose last name -- whose name is Milos
25 Milic and his nickname was Komet, who was drunk, and he passed by the
1 checkpoint manned by the police on the bridge on the Bosnian side. He was
2 in his car and he started driving towards the Republic of Croatia. It was
3 night. No warning signs were given. The army or the police of the
4 Republic of Croatia shot at the car, injured Mr. Milic, and although the
5 car was on the Bosnian side of the bridge.
6 After that incident, representatives of the army and the police of
7 the Republic of Croatia crossed to that side and took him to the hospital
8 in Slavonski Brod, Slavonski Brod being in the Republic of Croatia.
9 Q. Just a moment, Mr. Zaric. A little while ago you said they
10 crossed to that side. Where did they cross to? Did they cross to the
11 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina? Is that what you meant when you said
12 "to that side"? Did you mean the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
13 A. Yes, that is precisely what I meant. The part of the bridge which
14 was secured by the police of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And on the
15 Bosnia-Herzegovinian side of the bridge, there were metal rods all the way
16 to the middle of that river, and it was reckoned that this part of the
17 bridge was under the control of the police of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
18 which guarded over that part of the bridge. The rest of the bridge, or in
19 the depth of that -- of the river and the part that goes towards the
20 Republic of Croatia was covered by mines, and the security was provided by
21 the police and the army of the Republic of Croatia.
22 Q. Mr. Zaric, you are testifying that Mr. Milic, in his car, was on
23 the territory of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, i.e. on the territory
24 of Bosanski Samac municipality?
25 A. Yes. I'm saying that because I know that. I had the opportunity
1 to see the minutes of the on-site inspection. The car was only some 20
2 metres away from the patrol. That was on the Bosnia-Herzegovinian side.
3 That's where the car stopped, once the driver had been injured. So
4 according to my explanation, the car was in that part of the bridge which
5 was guarded by the police of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 Q. Does that mean, Mr. Zaric, and do you testify that members of the
7 armed forces of the Republic of Croatia crossed to the territory of Bosnia
8 and Herzegovina without any authorisation and arrested a citizen of the
9 republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina? Is that your testimony?
10 A. Yes, precisely. That is what happened. Although the
11 representatives of the police of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who guarded the
12 bridge on that side, did not offer any -- or put up any resistance, nor
13 did they prevent the police and the army of the Republic of Croatia to put
14 that gentleman into their car and take him to Slavonski Brod, which is
15 about 70 kilometres away from that bridge. They took him to the hospital
16 in Slavonski Brod.
17 Q. Are you aware what happened with Mr. Milic? Are you aware of his
18 further lot?
19 A. I know that after that, there was a discussion between the police
20 of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the competent organs of the Republic of
21 Croatia, and once his injuries had been taken care of, Mr. Milic was
22 exchanged. He was returned to the territory of Bosanski Samac
23 municipality. I did not eyewitness that event, but the story had it that
24 his return was stipulated by a money deposit and the explanation was that
25 his hospital treatment had to be paid for. In any case, quite a lot of
1 money, foreign currency, had to be raised to pay for his return to Samac
3 Q. Thank you thank you very much. In the vicinity of Bosanski Samac,
4 were there any incidents involving the Yugoslav People's Army; to be more
5 precise, involving the barracks, the kegs, the ammunition depots? Do
6 you know anything about that?
7 A. I'm familiar with two cases. Both of them happened in autumn
8 1991. The JNA barracks in Brcko was attacked, and also the warehouse of
9 equipment and ammunition in Krepsic village was also attacked. That
10 village, the village of Krepsic, is midway between the municipality of
11 Bosanski Samac and the municipality of Brcko. This village, Krepsic, once
12 the 17th Tactical Brigade had been established, became the only ammunition
13 depot where this Tactical Group stored its materiel and technical
14 equipment and ammunition and weapons, all to serve the needs of the
15 Yugoslav People's Army. And if you will allow me, I'm also familiar with
16 a case, and I can tell you that in the attack on this warehouse in
17 Krepsic, which took place in October 1991, a certain Galic took part in.
18 His nickname is Gala and he is a native of the village of Hrvatska Tisina
19 in the territory of Bosanski Samac municipality. Based on our operative
20 work, he was apprehended and brought to the public security station in
21 Bosanski Samac, and under very suspicious circumstances, he managed to run
22 away from the public security station during the interrogation. I
23 received information from my sources according to which Mr. Gala was met
24 by Mr. Namik Suljic only a few streets away from the SJB. At that time he
25 was the commander of the reserve police station for the Bosanski Samac
1 municipality and some local communes which bordered
2 on Samac municipality, that is, on the town of Samac. And it was
3 Mr. Namik Suljic who transported him across the bridge to the Republic of
4 Croatia so that Mr. Galic, also known as Gala, was no longer accessible
5 either to the organs of the public security station or to any other organ,
6 for that matter, who might have wanted to carry out an investigation about
7 the incident that had happened.
8 Q. Were there any other attacks on the JNA garrisons?
9 A. I'm familiar with an incident that took place on the 23rd of
10 March. All the media carried the news of that attack, all the media in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and during that attack the paramilitaries of the
12 Republic of Croatia stormed into the barracks of the JNA in Derventa.
13 That barracks, the JNA barracks in Derventa, was placed under the control
14 of the HVO or, to be more precise, it was placed under the control of the
15 Croatian community of Bosanska Posavina, whose seat, according to our
16 information, was in Derventa, and the president of which was Mr. Iko
17 Stanic, whom I personally knew.
18 Q. Are you aware of any casualties during that incident while the
19 barracks in Derventa was taken?
20 A. Several army members were injured during that attack. Nobody was
21 killed, according to my information. However, immediately after that
22 incident, on the 26th or 27th of March, 1992, there was another incident.
23 The Croatian army and the Croatian forces stormed into Bosanski Brod, into
24 Sijekovac village. This is where a horrendous massacre of the Serbian
25 population took place.
1 Q. I don't know whether I heard you well. Did you say regular attack
2 or did you say the regular forces of the army of Croatia?
3 A. I said the regular forces of the army of Croatia. Those were the
4 forces of the HOS. That's what they called one part of their army, the
5 Croatian liberation forces those were. Those forces were headed by
6 Dobroslav Paraga. I must say that this incident which took place in
7 Sijekovac was covered very well by the media in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
8 and top leaders of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina went there in
9 order to calm down the situation, because that incident had caused panic
10 and fear among the people who resided in that area.
11 Q. Are you -- do you know which top leaders were those who visited
12 Sijekovac village and Bosanski Brod?
13 A. I know that the delegation was composed of Mrs. Biljana Plavsic,
14 who at the time discharged one of the top duties in the Serbian Democratic
15 Party and the presence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I know there was also
16 Mr. Fikret Abdic, who also had a very important position within the Party
17 of Democratic Action, and there was also Jure Pelivan, who at the time was
18 the president of the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I believe that
19 that delegation was at the highest state and political level, that is, the
20 delegation that visited Bosanski Brod.
21 Q. Mr. Jure Pelivan, what was his ethnic background?
22 A. He was a Croat.
23 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, did you participate in rescuing soldiers of
24 the JNA who, as there was a war going on in Croatia, fled to Bosnia and
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you tell us about this?
3 A. I was directly in charge of this rescue operation, to rescue these
4 young JNA soldiers. There were 42 of them in the group. They were on a
5 mountain called Dilj, which is in the Republic of Croatia, and on that
6 mountain and in that part of the territory, there was one of the
7 best-known communication centres of the JNA, covering the entire former
8 Yugoslavia. These were young soldiers who had been trained to operate
9 these means of communication and to secure the facility. In view of the
10 situation that had arisen and the breakout of war on the territory of the
11 Republic of Croatia, they had to leave that area, and for several days
12 this group of young men, with two squad leaders, went on foot, covering a
13 long route to the south of the mountain of Dilj, in the direction of the
14 River Sava, and what we know about their retreat was that I was called on
15 in the 17th Tactical Group, and Colonel Musulovic was also there, who at
16 that time was in the intelligence organ of the 17th Corps, and he said
17 that this was to be a complex operation, and he hoped that these young
18 soldiers would succeed in reaching the River Sava, but they had to be
19 received in a certain spot and then taken safely through the area of Odzak
20 municipality, Modrica municipality, and reach the JNA barracks which was
21 then in Brcko.
22 This operation was carried out on the 10th of October, 1991. I
23 would only like to say, very briefly, that these were the youngest
24 soldiers that the JNA had, and we managed to transport them by ordinary
25 boats and rubber dingys, and some young men even used parts of washing
1 machines, the drums of washing machines, to help them cross the river onto
2 our side, and through the means of communication that these sergeants had,
3 with a special team which had come to receive them, we knew where they
4 were going to cross over. The place where we met them in called Velika
5 Brusnica, and it is situated between the municipalities of Odzak and
6 Bosanski Brod, closer to Odzak than to Brod. But that's the area where
7 this happened. They were exhausted. Their feet were bleeding. I won't
8 go into details, but they took some refreshments and rested for an hour or
9 two on the spot where we met them, gave them something to eat, and then
10 they boarded vehicles, several Pinzgauers belonging to the JNA, and we set
11 out through the municipality of Odzak, passing through several villages
12 where there were HDZ patrols and checkpoints. But I have to say that
13 these checkpoints were also manned by reserve policemen from the area, and
14 fortunately many of them knew me, so that I was at the head of the column
15 in my car, and I introduced myself as the man who was to take a group of
16 vehicles and soldiers of the JNA to their destination and that this was
17 not an operation of any kind. Fortunately, we had no problems.
18 I wish to say that Mr. Miroslav Tadic took part in this operation
19 with me.
20 Q. Mr. Zaric, you said that these were young soldiers, the youngest
21 soldiers. Can you tell us how old they were?
22 A. They were all between 18 and 25, and the two sergeants I think
23 were only a few years older than they. As for their ethnic affiliation,
24 the young men we rescued there included Muslims, Serbs, Croats, Albanians,
25 and Macedonians. They belonged to all ethnic groups. For this reason,
1 I'm very proud and happy that we helped to prevent them falling into the
2 hands of forces who would certainly have liquidated them had they come
3 across them while they were retreating.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. Do you know of any incidents where people
5 wearing ZNG uniforms or Croatian army uniforms arrived from other
6 municipalities to the town of Samac, where they provoked people,
7 mistreated people, threatened people's safety, and so on? Can you tell us
8 something about this, please.
9 A. This happened all over Posavina, not only in Samac. But since
10 you're asking me about Samac, there were many such incidents. Many such
11 people passed through the town of Samac, both during the day and in the
12 evening. They would go to discos, where young people gathered, or to
13 cafes, where people spent time. In the area of Samac, there was a
14 especially active paramilitary group, and that was the HOS, H-O-S. This
15 was something that was very evident at the beginning. And later on, this
16 became the HVO. In the villages of Gornji and Donji Hasici and in the
17 village of Domaljevac, it was evident that these paramilitaries were
18 present there.
19 There was a group that, in March 1992, led by a man called Cavka,
20 arrived in the village of Prud, which is located across the River Bosna,
21 in the municipality of Odzak, and it belonged to the municipality of Samac
22 then. It was right next to my native village of Trnjak Zorice. This
23 group --
24 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me. There is some confusion about time.
25 I am now referring to the question -- it's page 12, line 3, and you can
1 have a look at it. And I'm asking you: Which time are you referring to?
2 What kind of group are you referring to? Please be a bit more precise.
3 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Zaric, you heard His Honour's question. You enumerated
5 several centres where the HOS was present. Can you tell us in what time
6 periods these events took place and when these groups appeared?
7 A. The first illegal establishment of the HOS, or the Croatian
8 liberation forces, in the villages of Gornji and Donji Hasici and
9 Domaljevac, was already evident in November and December 1991. This
10 coincided with the same organisation and the same paramilitary component
11 being formed in the municipalities of Modrica and Odzak. With reference
12 to this special group that was led by a man called Cavka, from the
13 Republic of Croatia, this group arrived in mid-March in the village of
14 Prud and entered the offices of the waterworks company from Odzak, which,
15 at the end of the village of Prud, had a large administration building
16 which was used for employees and inspectors who were in charge of
17 monitoring the dikes along the River Sava in the direction of Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina. This was a large building where there was also a large
19 sports facility, and there were rooms there where people could sleep.
20 Q. Mr. Zaric, you said that there were HOS forces in Odzak
21 municipality. Did HOS members go from there to Bosanski Samac and carry
22 out provocations and mistreatment of citizens of the town of Samac?
23 A. Yes. There has been testimony to this effect here, and I would
24 only like to say that in late December, the Calusic brothers and the
25 Djojic brothers, the Calusic being from the village of Portocani in Odzak
1 municipality, and the Djojici brothers being from the village of Balegovac
2 or Novo Selo, from the area of Odzak municipality. They purposely caused
3 an incident in the disco club in the Spomen Dom and they caused a fight in
4 the memorial centre. This special unit from Sarajevo protected the young
5 people, and later on there was a big fight between those forces and this
6 unit in the municipality of Odzak. The reason for this was that a part of
7 the special unit, led by Safet Besirovic and Ragib Hodzic, of whom I spoke
8 yesterday, was located in the Hotel Mera, in the municipality of Odzak.
9 The hotel was surrounded and blockaded by policemen with weapons, so there
10 was no bloodshed.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. Do you know of any incidents where members
12 of the Green Berets, who were located on the territory of the Republic of
13 Croatia, crossed over into the Republic of B and H, into Bosanski Samac,
14 and did certain things in connection with the police in Bosanski Samac?
15 A. According to our information, in the area of Slavonski Samac,
16 right next to the bridge over the river Sava, the Green Berets, together
17 with the Croatian army and police, turned up as early as the beginning of
18 March 1992, and sometime in early April there was an incident with two
19 active-duty policemen of the public security station in Samac, in the
20 presence of other colleagues from this special purposes unit guarding the
21 bridge where the members of the Green Berets crossed over to the Bosnian
22 side, and near a kiosk which provided refreshments and soft drinks for
23 people who had to stop their cars, and there they took prisoner two
24 policemen. One was called Simo Krunic and the other one was called
25 Svetozar Mitrovic.
1 They forced them to go a distance of some hundred metres from that
2 kiosk. They took their weapons away and then brought them back to the
3 checkpoint and the kiosk where the other colleagues were. And what caused
4 outrage was that the colleagues who were present there guarding the bridge
5 did not intervene to protect these two colleagues of theirs.
6 It was only on the following day when the problem escalated, and
7 this was also discussed at the Crisis Staff in Samac, in the local commune
8 I talked about, when Mr. Izet Izetbegovic and Dragan Lukac intervened, and
9 Dragan Lukac was performing a duty in the public security station. It was
10 only then that these pistols and equipment were returned. I remember this
11 incident very well.
12 Q. Was Alija Fitozovic involved in the return of the weapons?
13 A. Yes. Now you've reminded me. Alija Fitozovic,
14 Mr. Izo Izetbegovic and Mr. Dragan Lukac were involved.
15 Q. And did the chief of the public security station,
16 Mr. Vinko Dragicevic get involved in that?
17 A. I wouldn't know.
18 Q. Are you aware of a case, or were there any cases of sabotage,
19 blowing up certain facilities in Odzak municipality or in Modrica
20 municipality, in Orasje, and so on and so forth?
21 A. There were such cases. I can talk about the cases that I am
22 familiar with, which happened in Odzak municipality.
23 Q. Yes. I would kindly ask you to tell us about that.
24 A. One of the cases which happened on the 14th of January, 1992 was
25 in the Napredak cultural centre in Odzak which was the seat of the
1 Croatian Democratic Party. This business area and the cultural centre
2 were blown up. Tihomir Dujakovic [Realtime transcript read in error
3 "Dujkovic"], the son of Mato, a very good friend of mine from Odzak, was
4 killed during that incident. This lad was only 22 years old when he was
6 Q. Just a moment, Mr. Zaric. Was his name Tihomir Dujakovic or
7 Tihomir Dujkovic?
8 A. Tihomir Dujakovic, the son of Mato.
9 Q. There was a mistake in the transcript. Go on, please.
10 A. I remember very well that my colleagues from the service who
11 worked on this case told me that the main suspect was Nerfid Dzananovic,
12 who was also known as Ferid. He was charged with that crime when
13 Mr. Nerfid Dzananovic's house was searched, 15 kilos of the Vitezit
14 explosive was found. I would also like to say that many sabotage actions
15 which took part and in which explosives were used -- I don't want to
16 speculate who was behind those sabotage actions, but in any case, the
17 explosives used were Vitezit, the explosives which were manufactured in
18 Vitez. So this explosive was accessible to the JNA but also to all the
19 other military, paramilitary organisations which were very numerous at
20 that time in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia and so on
21 and so forth.
22 Q. Mr. Zaric, the person that you have just mentioned, Nerfid
23 Dzananovic, also known as Ferid from Odzak, is that the same person to
24 whom Alija Fitozovic gave 20 kilos of Vitezit explosives?
25 A. Yes, that is exactly that same person. He was the one in whose
1 house 15 kilos of explosives were found. That means five kilos less than
2 the original quantity that he had received. The incident itself, the
3 blowing up of the Napredak cultural centre which was the seat of the HDZ,
4 and the killing of that young man, were immediately attributed to members
5 of the JNA, i.e., to the Serb nationals. Once the investigation was
6 completed and once the perpetrators of the crime were elucidated, Mr.
7 Dzananovic, Nerfid was pinpointed as the perpetrator. This person is now
8 being indicted for war crimes committed in the territory of Odzak
9 municipality. This is what the media published a little while ago.
10 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Zaric.
11 MR. RE: Could I just ask that Mr. Pisarevic please refrain from
12 as much leading? There are some things which really aren't in dispute,
13 but the last question was really putting words in the witness's mouth. He
14 basically cross-examined his client. "Is that the same person to whom
15 Alija Fitozovic gave 20 kilos of explosives?" Those sorts of things are
16 matters on which he shouldn't lead.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic. I'm sure you understood the
18 point the Prosecution is making, and avoid leading questions.
19 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour. I have
20 understood. However, this exhibit has been presented under number D44,
21 and since we all could see this document, I didn't think this would be a
22 leading question, because this exhibit was presented before this Trial
23 Chamber in this trial. So I did not want to show this exhibit again to
24 Mr. Zaric. I wanted to speed things along. And it was my very honest
25 intention to speed things along. I didn't want to lead Mr. Zaric in my
1 examination-in-chief. I'm trying all the time not to pose any leading
3 MR. RE: I certainly take the point on that particular question.
4 I apologise if I was a little harsh there. But perhaps a reference to the
5 exhibit would assist in terms of everywhere -- where we're going. If
6 Mr. Pisarevic is going to refer to an exhibit specifically, even without
7 showing it to the witness, if he just said: P45, we'd all know exactly
8 and I wouldn't be objecting. That's all.
9 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Very well, then. In the future we
10 will try and identify the numbers of exhibits.
11 Q. Mr. Zaric, are you familiar with any other sabotage actions which
12 took place in Odzak municipality?
13 A. In early February, the summer house belonging to the commander of
14 the police station in Odzak, Mr. Milos Vranjes, was blown up. This
15 gentleman is a Serb, and at that time he was the deputy commander of the
16 police station in Bosanski Samac. Likewise, in mid-February, a petrol
17 station was blown up. The owner of that petrol station was a man called
18 Kahvedzic. That petrol station was in the centre of Odzak. I don't
19 know the full name of the owner of that petrol station, but I know that
20 this happened only a few days after the summer house of Mr. Vranjes had
21 been blown up.
22 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Zaric. Just one more question within
23 this area. Are you familiar with the cases in which mortar fire was
24 opened on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is, mortar fire
25 opened from the territory of the Republic of Croatia?
1 A. One of such incidents that I am familiar with and that I remember
2 very well took place on 16 September 1991. Fire was opened from the
3 village of Jankovac in the territory of Slavonski [Realtime transcript
4 read in error "Bosanski"] Brod municipality, and a mortar shell fell in
5 the brick factory in Vrinska village, which is between Odzak municipality
6 and Bosanski Brod municipality. The technical director of that factory,
7 Mr. Vojislav Goranovic, was killed. His wife was Ruza Cukic, a neighbour
8 of mine from Zorica. She is a Croat. I attended his funeral and I also
9 visited the spot of the accident in Vrinska village. I was sent on behalf
10 of the SDP from Doboj to carry out an on-site inspection. That is why I
11 remember the case very well, and that was one of the first cases which
12 raised concern among the population in this area.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just one small clarification for the transcript.
14 On page 18, line 24, village of Jankovac here it says Bosanski Brod
15 municipality, actually it's Slavonski Brod municipality, because it's in
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you for the correction.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Zaric, now we will move on to the incident in Bosanski Samac
20 during which Mr. Mesic, Mr. Ramusovic, and Mr. Vitomir were seriously
21 injured. You said you were in the health centre and you saw them being
22 taken to the hospital. Did you visit any of these injured people?
23 A. Yes. On that very same day, that is, on the following day, I
24 visited Mr. Ramusovic's wife and children. I put them in my car and I
25 went to visit him in the hospital in Brcko. He was rather seriously
1 injured. One bullet, a dumdum bullet, went through his neck, and the
2 other bullet went through his shoulder. In a conversation with the
3 doctors, they told me that he was only lucky that his larynx was not
4 pierced and that he stood a good chance of surviving. Mr. Danilo
5 Vitomir was injured in the spine that's why he was urgently transferred to
6 Belgrade. And Mr. Mersad Mesic, given the nature of his wounds, was
7 transferred to the hospital in Tuzla. The doctors there fought for his
8 life; however, after a certain time, he died of his wounds. He couldn't
9 be saved.
10 Q. Was there a meeting that put that incident on the topic of -- as
11 the topic of the agenda, a meeting of the Crisis Staff of Bosanski Samac
12 municipality, and did you yourself attend that meeting?
13 A. Yes. Immediately after this incident, maybe a day or two later -
14 I believe it was two days after the incident - there was a meeting in the
15 local commune, and the meeting was attended by the same people who had
16 attended the meetings of this Crisis Staff regularly. And all the
17 Ramusovic brothers were also there, and the only person who wasn't there
18 was Nizam Ramusovic, Tota, who was at the hospital at the time. He was
19 the only Ramusovic brother who wasn't there. I must say that the
20 discussion at that meeting of the Crisis Staff was rather grave. On the
21 one side, there were three Ramusovici brothers sitting. They were members
22 of the 4th Detachment. And they supported the 4th Detachment as a JNA
23 unit, and they were its members. On the other side, there was another
24 Ramusovic brother, Izet Ramusovic, also known as Dasa, who took sides with
25 Mr. Tihic. This did not have to mean anything, but in any case, there was
1 a very strong argument between the brothers, on the one side, and the
2 other brother on the other side. And when I'm talking about the three
3 brothers who were in the 4th Detachment, I have in mind Naser. One of the
4 brothers who was a Captain and the commander of one squad. I also have in
5 mind Ismet, who was a member of the 4th Detachment and later on worked as
6 a member of the civilian protection. And there was another brother whom
7 we called Gulja. That was his nickname. But I must say at this point in
8 time I can't remember his name.
9 Q. If you will allow me, I will help you. Is his name Ramiz?
10 A. Yes, precisely. Ramiz. Their rage was targeted at the Party of
11 Democratic Action, and Mr. Tihic. They believed that their brother
12 perished only because he was a member of the 4th Detachment. And they
13 referred to the document that a day or two days before that had been
14 publicised as an enemy leaflet which featured those Muslims who were
15 members of the 4th Detachment.
16 Q. When you mention the document, did you mean the leaflet?
17 A. Yes, the leaflet, the leaflet that I spoke about yesterday. I
18 only know that the Ramusovic, Izet Ramusovic, also known as Dasa, his
19 comment about the brother who was fighting for his life in the hospital at
20 the time, because I had the opportunity to see him, his comment at this
21 meeting was: He looked for devil and he met the devil. Simply, this was
22 very -- those were very ugly words that a brother used about his brother.
23 But the fact is that such words came out of his mouth during that meeting.
24 Naser, who, together with me, went to visit his brother in the
25 hospital, when I took his wife there, Naser said the message from your
1 sick brother is that he doesn't want to see you, and he renounces you as
2 his brother. Unfortunately, all these were very heavy words, and all the
3 present members of the Crisis Staff who participated in this discussion
4 condemned the incident. And since amongst other, Vinko Dragicevic also
5 attended the meeting, and there were also presidents and members of the
6 council, and Safet Hadzialijagic, Pop chaired this meeting. There were
7 also leaders of political parties. They all condemned the incident and
8 they asked for the perpetrators of this crime to be found. Dragicevic was
9 very open at the meeting and said that the two reserve policemen who had
10 fired, and by that he meant Izetbegovic and Srna, he said that they had
11 left the area of Samac and that they had fled to Croatia.
12 Q. Thank you. You used the name Tota. Is Tota the nickname of Nizam
13 Ramusovic, who was wounded?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Mr. Zaric, we shall now move on to discuss some other topics, so I
16 would like to ask you now, in view of the fact that you worked on
17 intelligence and security tasks, what do you know about the activities of
18 the party of democratic action in the period from 1991 to 1992? Try to
19 explain this as briefly as possible and give the Chamber a brief
20 description of this.
21 A. I could say that the Party of Democratic Action, by what it said
22 in public, tried to present itself as a modern national democratic party.
23 However, the real background of the activities of this party, in a
24 negative context, was linked to paramilitary organisation and arming which
25 began in late 1991 and continued until the conflict broke out in April
2 Q. Mr. Zaric, tell us what you know about the arming of the Party of
3 Democratic Action and its members. Where did they get weapons from, how,
4 through which channels?
5 A. In Bosnia and Herzegovina at that time, it was not unknown for
6 people involved in security and intelligence work that there was a
7 patriotic league, led by Mr. Sefer Halilovic. Its main task was to carry
8 out large-scale arming of members of the Party of Democratic Action,
9 because they considered that the Muslim people were under threat from the
10 Serbian people, and on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they had
11 nine regional centres of the Patriotic League, one of which was in Doboj.
12 This was the regional centre of the Patriotic League which was closest to
13 Bosanski Samac, and in addition to these nine regional centres, there
14 were two other centres of the Patriotic League, one connected to Sandzak
15 and one connected to Kosovo. And these were located in Serbia, or the
16 then in Yugoslavia.
17 What I know is, on the basis of conversations with my colleagues
18 in the service, that Mr. Sefer Halilovic, with his instructors, often
19 visited Doboj, held certain meetings, and these meetings were also
20 attended by representatives of the Party of Democratic Action, who
21 received instructions and training, especially training in using sabotage
22 equipment and explosives. Mr. Izo Izetbegovic attended such a meeting in
23 Doboj, and so did Alija Fitozovic. Not because Mr. Fitozovic confirmed
24 this here but because my service and my intelligence information already
25 showed that they were arming illegally; however, one characteristic of
1 this process in Samac, that is, the arming of the Party of Democratic
2 Action, thanks to the double role played by Mr. Alija Fitozovic, was that
3 they relied far more on the area of Slavonski Brod and Croatia and
4 Slavonski Samac than they did on the area of Doboj.
5 Q. Mr. Zaric, tell us how you became aware of these facts.
6 A. I learned these facts due to the fact that through my network of
7 collaborators I received reliable information to this effect, and I know
8 that a prominent name in all this, connected with the Patriotic League,
9 someone who visited Bosanski Samac, was Mr. Memic, Senaid. He was
10 representing the Party of Democratic Action or, to put it more precisely,
11 the Patriotic League, and he was the chief link in the import of illegal
12 weapons through Croatia across the bridge on the River Sava, near Bosanski
13 Samac, and the transfer of these weapons to the heart of Bosnia and
15 On one occasion when Mr. Senaid Memic arrived in Samac, we covered
16 his activity. He was in the restaurant called Tropikal [phoen], together
17 with Mr. Sulejman Tihic, together with Alija Fitozovic, Izo Izetbegovic,
18 and Grga Zubak. On this occasion, another person came with Mr. Memic, and
19 this was Bakir Alispahic, whom I knew from before as a colleague from the
20 state security service, but on this occasion he was performing one of the
21 most responsible posts. He was the head of the AID in the Ministry of the
22 Interior of Bosnia and Herzegovina. His role was to work on the illegal
23 arming of the Party of Democratic Action and the paramilitary units
24 organised by that party on the entire territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 Q. Did the Samac branch of the SDA ever receive from Mr. Senaid
1 Memic any weapons?
2 A. According to the information I received, they also received
3 personal weapons, and these weapons were brought in in a white Golf.
4 There were over 30 automatic rifles, and the appropriate amount of
5 ammunition, and all this was handed over to Mr. Izo Izetbegovic.
6 Mr. Sulejman Tihic knew all about these weapons, as the president of the
7 Party of Democratic Action in Samac, and Mr. Alija Fitozovic likewise knew
8 about this. He was in charge of the military component of the SDA in
10 Q. Are you familiar with the way in which the Party of Democratic
11 Action armed itself from the Republic of Croatia and who was in charge of
12 that activity?
13 A. Alija Fitozovic was in charge of that. He played a dual role or a
14 double role, in political sense. He was a member of the SDA and he was
15 also a member of the Croatian Democratic Union. He could move freely
16 about. He could move freely between Bosanski Samac and Slavonski Brod, or
17 Slavonski Samac, in the Republic of Croatia. All the links that he had
18 were on that part of that territory. Mr. Vinko Dragicevic, who was the
19 head of the public security service at that time, was one of those people
20 who organised and assigned the unit that could provide security for the
21 river on the Sava, so as to be conducive to an easy distribution of the
22 weapons across that river, across that bridge, into Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 We had information available to us according to which one evening, when a
24 lorry full of arms was supposed to be transferred from the Republic of
25 Croatia to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this lorry broke down
1 and Senaid Memic was escorting this lorry. He asked for the intervention
2 on Mr. Tihic Fitozovic and Izo Izetbegovic. These people, in a part of
3 the city called Sarevska Pivovara [phoen], transferred the load from the
4 first lorry into the van of the veterinary station in Bosanski Samac. The
5 driver of that van was Smail Smailovic, also known as Kriger and in that
6 van they transferred the weapons somewhere into the interior of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina. We learned about that several hours too late. That's
8 where we were not able to intercept this action.
9 Q. Were you familiar with any activities of the SDA in Samac
10 municipality in terms of their military organisation or any other sort of
12 A. I must say that I had reliable information according to which the
13 SDA members were arming themselves, that Mr. Fitozovic was behind that
14 activity. One of the meetings held on the 19th of March, in Prud, and
15 which was attended by Mr. Fitozovic, amongst the other people, when there
16 were talks about the joint Crisis Staff and the establishment of the 104th
17 Samac Brigade, it became absolutely clear to me that there was an illegal
18 organisation, an establishment of paramilitary formations of the SDA. But
19 to be honest before this Trial Chamber, I have to say that I never had the
20 truth and insight into the documents about the way this was organised.
21 Actually, I only saw these documents after the outbreak of the conflicts,
22 when these documents were located in the public security station in Samac.
23 Q. Mr. Zaric, were there any patrols organised by the SDA? Was that
24 discussed at the Crisis Staff of the local commune?
25 A. Yes, there were patrols. I believe that in my testimony
1 yesterday, I said that as of 17 February, upon the proposal of
2 Mr. Besirovic, who spent more time in the SDA office than in the public
3 security station, where his duty was, so upon the proposal of
4 Mr. Besirovic, citizens patrols were organised in the town. He said that
5 it was something similar that rural communities did, and Mr. Fitic [as
6 interpreted], at one of the meetings of the local commune Crisis Staff,
7 asked for the permission for such patrols of the SDA to become legitimate
8 to perform some of the tasks and duties, all with a view to protecting
9 facilities belonging to Muslims in the town.
10 I'm well aware of the fact that these patrols existed, despite the
11 fact that all of us, including me, said that it would be better to deal
12 with that through the patrols of the reserve police, comprising all the
13 three ethnic groups, rather than to deal with that through citizens
14 patrols. Despite that, they made a decision and their patrols started
15 functioning in that way. They started moving through the town and they
16 also designated two sort of checkpoints, one by the Mebos factory, and the
17 other point was at the veterinary station on the other side of the town,
18 on the west end, that is, on the eastern side of the town of Samac.
19 Q. Mr. Zaric, are these two entrances into the city of Samac where at
20 certain point the SDA had also put up barricades?
21 A. Precisely. These are the two main entrances. They did not cover
22 the bridge on the Bosna River because that's where village -- the village
23 of Prud was, and they were pretty well linked up with that village. And I
24 know that some of the weapons that arrived for the Party of Democratic
25 Action went to Prud and was stored in the Posavina company, headed by
1 Mr. Cavka, who came there with his unit, paramilitary unit, from the
2 Republic of Croatia.
3 Q. Mr. Zaric, you mentioned the reserve police of the security
4 station in Samac. Do you have any information about the ethnic
5 composition of that reserve police force, and who was it who proposed
6 people for the strength of the reserve police? Do you maybe know what the
7 criteria were for somebody to be proposed as a member of the reserve
9 A. The reserve police station in Samac covered the town of Samac and
10 several closest local communes bordering on the town itself. By that I
11 mean Prud, Pisari, Skaric, Zasavica, Srpska Tisina. So I'm talking about
12 the closest neighbourhoods. And this was all covered by one reserve
13 police station. Its national composition should have reflected the
14 national composition of ethnic groups in the town and in the area around
15 the town covered by that reserve police station.
16 I know that that was one of the largest reserve police stations
17 that it numbered over a hundred people. But I believe that the public
18 security station and the people who organised in the establishment of the
19 reserve police station had serious difficulties in establishing the
20 reserve police force.
21 Immediately before the outbreak of conflict, as early as March, it
22 was felt that the reserve police station did not reflect the ethnic
23 composition of the population that it covered.
24 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Zaric.
25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I believe that it is the time for
1 a break. We will continue after the break.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will take our break now.
3 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 4.16 p.m.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
6 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Q. Mr. Zaric, before the break, we started talking about bringing up
8 to manpower levels the police station in Bosanski Samac, and you said that
9 in March or in April the ethnic composition of the members of the reserve
10 police station did not correspond to the composition of the population on
11 the territory covered by this reserve police station. If you know, tell
12 us: What was the ethnic composition of the reserve police force in April
13 and in late March?
14 A. I'm not sure. I can't give you precise information. But one
15 should bear in mind that in the town of Samac, Muslims were the most
16 numerous ethnic group, followed by Serbs, and only then by Croats, who
17 were the third most numerous ethnic group. As there was clearly a
18 coalition between the SDA and the HDZ, they tried, in connection with the
19 reserve police station of Samac and its surrounding area, to have the
20 greatest number of reserve policemen from the Muslim and Croatian
21 communities. It should also be kept in mind, however, that in addition to
22 this reserve police station in Samac, there were three other reserve
23 police stations in the municipality of Samac, and one of these had its
24 seat in Domaljevac and numbered 50 reserve policemen, and there were 90
25 per cent Croats and 5 per cent Serbs in this reserve police station in
1 Domaljevac. It covered three Croatian villages and one Serbian village.
2 There was another large reserve police station in Obudovac,
3 covering the villages of Obudovac 1 and 2. When I say "1" and "2," I mean
4 that in view of its size, Obudovac had two local communes, Obudovac 1 and
5 Obudovac 2. This reserve police station numbered 50 members, and the
6 ethnic composition was that, for the most part, these were exclusively
7 Serbs, except for the fact that the deputy commander in Obudovac at the
8 time was a Muslim, I mean commander of the reserve police station.
9 The third reserve police station, with 45 members, had its
10 headquarters in Gornja Slatina, and it covered Gornja Slatina, central
11 Slatina, Grebnice, which had a mixed population, Croatian and Serb, and
12 about 50 per cent of the men in this reserve police station were from the
13 Serb ethnic group, and 50 per cent were from the Croatian ethnic group.
14 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me for interrupting the questioning,
15 Mr. Pisarevic. Perhaps I wasn't observant enough. But the concept of
16 reserve police station, could you kindly explain that. Police station, I
17 understand, but what do you mean by "reserve police station"? Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I was chief of the public
19 security station, from 1975 to 1979, there was already a reserve police
20 force, and almost an identical number of members existed at that time as
21 well as before the war broke out. Reserve police stations were in fact --
22 consisted, in fact, of men liable for military service, who were assigned
23 by the municipal secretariat for National Defence to be reserve policemen
24 in the reserve police station, and their task was to help in cases of
25 emergency, to maintain law and order, and to help in dealing with any
1 extraordinary situations. So when reserve policemen were called up, they
2 had these same powers in carrying out their tasks and duties as
3 active-duty policemen, who were professionals and who were employed in
4 public security stations.
5 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you.
6 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Zaric, now that we have touched on this issue, in the previous
8 period of time, in the 1980s and in the 1970s, how were persons recruited,
9 that is, how were citizens recruited to the reserve police force?
10 A. With a lot more responsibility, with clearer criteria as to who
11 could be a member of the reserve police force. I'm referring to the time
12 when I was the chief of the public security station. After the multiparty
13 elections, however, the national parties had a direct influence on the
14 selection of members of the reserve police force, and they exerted a
15 direct influence on who could become a member of the reserve police
17 Q. This direct influence of the parties, did it lead to a
18 deterioration in the criteria as to who could become a reserve policeman
19 and what conditions these people had to fulfil?
20 A. Absolutely. Unfortunately, I have to say that later on I noticed,
21 in all three sides among the reserve police force, people who, under
22 normal circumstances, would never have joined the reserve police force.
23 There were certain criteria that had to be met: Whether they had a
24 criminal record, for example, whether they had passed a medical
25 examination, whether they were healthy people, what characteristics they
1 had received during their military service in the JNA, and whether they
2 had gone through the appropriate training. And it was only then that they
3 could become reserve police force. In my attempt to explain to His Honour
4 Judge Lindholm what it meant to be in the reserve police force, I said
5 that in cases of emergency, these reserve policemen carried out all the
6 tasks that an active-duty trained policeman would carry out. However,
7 these new men were not nearly up to the standard that had been maintained
8 at the time when the criteria were actually implemented.
9 Q. When the reserve police force was brought up to manpower level,
10 was this done in a non-selective manner, and were these people who had
11 criminal records, people who were apt to drink, to break law and order?
12 A. Yes. There were many people of this sort. It seems to me that an
13 important criterion was whether they supported one or other of the
14 national parties. So it's no wonder that in the reserve police force one
15 could come across people who were liable to perform criminal acts or to
16 get drunk, and so on. However, this unusual situation led to these
17 criteria being set aside. What mattered were the numbers and the
18 readiness of these people to carry out the tasks that were given to them
19 in these new reserve police stations.
20 Q. When you say "they," are you referring to the parties that exerted
22 A. I'm referring to the national parties in the municipal parliament
23 which were in power at the time.
24 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, we will now move on and I will ask you to
25 tell us what you know about the activities of the political party of the
1 Croatian Democratic Union during 1991 and 1992, before the outbreak of
2 hostilities in the municipality of Bosanski Samac.
3 A. Political activity, in a negative context, by the HDZ in this area
4 began in early August 1991 and continued. I remember well the 15th of
5 August, 1991. This is the feast of the assumption of our lady. It's a
6 Catholic religious holiday. And on that occasion, hundreds and hundreds
7 of limousines and cars with a chequerboard flag, the flag of the Republic
8 of Croatia, passed through the town of Samac and went off in the direction
9 of Novo Selo, which is in Odzak municipality. One of the largest rallies
10 in Posavina was held there, and one of the speakers at that rally was
11 Davorin Perinovic, who was then the president of the HDZ of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina. There was also Sahim Pasic, from Foca, who was in the
13 leadership of the Party of Democratic Action of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 Then there was Mr. Seks, who was one of the leaders or founders of the
15 HDZ in the Republic of Croatia. And there was Mr. Kljajic, who was also
16 one of the founders of the Croatian Democratic Union in the area of
17 Slavonia, on the edge of the Republic of Croatia, which is closest to the
18 Posavina area on this side of the river and which belongs to the territory
19 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The service covered that rally.
20 I wish only to say that it was terrible, listening to the
21 recordings of what was said at that meeting, at that rally. The problem
22 was not that the flags of the HDZ and the SDA were tied together,
23 symbolising the coalition. There were hundreds of chequerboard flags and
24 flags with the iconography of the Party of Democratic Action, and these
25 flags were tied together. The problem, however, lay more in the fact that
1 a generation of the living spoke through a generation of the dead.
2 Davorin Perinovic, Mr. Seks, and many others who participated at this
3 enormous rally, which was held in the Odzak municipality, not by accident
4 but by design, they glorified the Ustasha movement, which, during World
5 War II, when the independent state of Croatia existed as a quisling
6 creation of fascist Germany, carried out one of the darkest activities in
7 the area of
9 I don't want to go into history, but the 9th of May, 1945 is
10 considered to be a day of victory over fascism, and Odzak and the Ustasha
11 movement, which was active in Posavina at the time, was defeated on the
12 27th of May, due to the order issued by President Tito to break down their
13 resistance on that day.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: This is the very point. The witness Mr. Zaric
15 pointed out he doesn't want to go into history. Then he goes into
16 history. Can we just have the facts as to what transpired at that rally,
17 which is -- which happened during the material time that we are discussing
18 in this case, briefly, please.
19 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour. I was
20 just going to interrupt Mr. Zaric. However, according to the messages
21 heard at that rally were very important, because they largely contributed
22 to the situation becoming more complex and tensions increasing in the part
23 of Posavina covering the areas of Bosanski Brod, Odzak, Derventa, Modrica,
24 and Orasje municipalities. Within that context, we deem that this rally
25 played a significant role and had undesirable outcome.
1 Q. However, Mr. Zaric, after this rally, what activities were taken
2 by the Croatian Democratic Union in Bosanski Samac and in Odzak?
3 A. A similar rally -- rather, similar rallies, with the same contents
4 and the same iconography, took place in Domaljevac, in Samac municipality,
5 and in Tramosnica, in Gradacac municipality. Anto Kovacevic spoke at
6 those rallies, and he's now one of the MPs in the Croatian parliament.
7 After these rallies, there was a sudden establishment of HOS in
8 this area. That was a sign, in village Potocari, in villages Potocari,
9 Vrbovac [phoen], there was training and the first units of HOS were
10 established in October 1991. And such a situation was repeated in the
11 area of Samac. When I mentioned Hasic and Domaljevac. And something very
12 significant happened in the village of Prud. I would like to say that in
13 Prud, on 19 March, 1992, there was a crucial meeting which determined
14 certain political and other developments in Samac municipality.
15 Q. Mr. Zaric, we'll come to that meeting, but before that, I would
16 like to know about some other activities. During that period of time, was
17 there a significant departure of young Croats to the front lines in
19 A. Yes. That is an indisputable fact. From the territory of Odzak,
20 Samac, and Orasje and Bosanski Brod municipalities, a large number of
21 young Croats, proponents or members of the HDZ, started leaving for the
22 Republic of Croatia to fight alongside the Croatian army and
23 paramilitaries in those parts where there were conflicts between Croats
24 and Serbs. Very often these young men would return to this area, and that
25 was one of the ways for the illegal and mass-scale armament of the HDZ and
1 the paramilitary units that arose from that origin, that were created by
2 the HDZ.
3 JUDGE LINDHOLM: On page 35, line 14, Mr. Zaric said: "A large
4 number of," and so on. What do you mean by the conception of "a large
5 number"? Is it two, three, fifty, one hundred, or a thousand?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I said --
7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. His Honour meant young men of Croat ethnicity who left for
9 Croatia. This is exactly what I was going to ask the witness.
10 JUDGE LINDHOLM: But I want a more precise number of -- a large
11 number is something between null and --
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 Q. Mr. Zaric, I believe you have understood His Honour. Could you
14 please reply.
15 A. I must be honest and say that I wouldn't be able to provide you
16 with an exact number. But there were hundreds of young men who left the
17 area, who went to Croatia. And when I say "hundreds," this is a realistic
18 figure. But let me refrain from speculating and say that between 400 and
19 500 young men left from Bosanski Brod to Orasje and found themselves in
20 the ranks of the HOS and found themselves in the Republic of Croatia
21 fighting in the war there.
22 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Zaric. At that time, were some crisis
23 staffs established in the local communes or villages with the
24 predominantly Croatian population?
25 A. During that time, preceding the crisis, it was very popular for
1 every local commune to have its own Crisis Staff of some sort, to have
2 some sort of a defence, and these crisis staffs were established in
3 municipalities but also in local communes. The local communes were tasked
4 to organise night patrols, and even some checkpoints at certain places.
5 Q. Were there such patrols? Were there such checkpoints in the
6 villages with Croatian population?
7 A. Yes. It was a large-scale occurrence, and there was hardly a
8 single village without a checkpoint, without patrols who moved about,
9 especially during the night hours, and their checkpoints were recognisable
10 because at the entrances to the villages there were sandbags or there were
11 bunkers, especially created for that purpose.
12 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you personally have the opportunity to pass through
13 these checkpoints, and what was the procedure like at those checkpoints?
14 Who were the people manning those checkpoints, and how did they treat
15 you? What can you tell us about that?
16 A. I had such an opportunity. I moved around Samac and Odzak quite a
17 lot and I would come across those checkpoints. I had some very unpleasant
18 experiences in Prud, at the checkpoints which were organised as of March.
19 These are the checkpoints that I had to go through every day when I
20 visited my mother, when I visited my farm. At the beginning, these
21 checkpoints were organised by the civilians, by the citizens of Prud, whom
22 I knew. However, when Mr. Cavka arrived with his group - that was in
23 mid-March - the situation at those control points or checkpoints changed.
24 All of a sudden there were black uniforms. All of a sudden there were men
25 who were not natives of Prud. They were stationed in the business centre
1 in Prud, in the water management facilities.
2 At the end of 1991, towards my village, native village, Trnjak,
3 which is the -- next to my village, Prud, on the north, towards the Sava
4 River, bunkers were dug in the maize fields. It was terrible to see those
5 bunkers and those trenches. Both me and my native -- my villagers, were
6 all concerned, because Trnjak was the village encircled from all sides by
7 Serbian [as interpreted] villages on the north and on the east was the
8 River Sava in the Republic of Croatia. That's why our delegation from the
9 village of Trnjak, and I was a member of that delegation, towards the end
10 of 1991, held a joint meeting with the representatives of the local
11 commune of Prud. Our goal was to remedy the situation and solve the
13 One of the Prosecution witnesses before this Trial Chamber spoke
14 about that, and he said that he had attended that meeting when we had
15 discussed that problem. The only thing that he denied, the only thing
16 that he didn't know, allegedly, was that these bunkers had been erected.
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Correction in the transcript, on page 38, line 1.
18 It should read Croatian villages. This is -- village of Trnjak was
19 encircled from all sides by Croatian villages. This is what the witness
20 said, not Serbian villages.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you for the correction.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When this issue was put on the
23 agenda of the joint meeting of the delegations of Prud and Trnjak, the
24 officials from the Prud local commune told our delegation. There was a
25 group of rogue men, members of the ZNG, who were on the front line in
1 Croatia, who did that, and they were not able to control them. We told
2 them: If you can't control them, then the citizens of Prud, the villagers
3 of Prud, should fill in these trenches so as to stop scaring people. But
4 instead of that, more trenches were dug, so eventually Trnjak was
5 encircled from all sides.
6 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Are you aware of the fact that villagers of Trnjak had problems
8 when they were passing through the checkpoints in Prud village?
9 A. Yes. That happened very often, and not only to villagers of
10 Trnjak but also to the villagers of Donja Dubica, which is also a Serbian
11 village. And not only because those were Serbian villages, but also
12 because there was a tradition according to which the majority of citizens
13 from the territory of Odzak, regardless of their ethnic composition,
14 mostly came for their supplies to Samac. Samac was the best-supplied
15 trading centre. At the time when the checkpoints were put up, when
16 patrols started patrolling around, all the traffic was blocked and the
17 Serbian population were prevented from passing through to go to Bosanski
18 Samac. As this was a constant occurrence, and all we had to do was to
19 fight fire that started getting bigger by the day.
20 Q. Now we will move on from the HDZ and its activities. I would now
21 like to ask you the following: Which were the joint activities carried
22 out by the HDZ and the SDA on the territory of Bosanski Samac and Odzak?
23 A. Let me just provide you with one detail about a very specific case
24 that I'm familiar with. When I was on my way home, that was in March, I
25 was stopped in the centre of Prud. Some unknown people approached me.
1 With them was only one citizen of Prud, whom I recognised. They asked me
2 to stop my car, to pull over. They wanted to inspect my car. I passed on
3 that way every afternoon. I would go to Trnjak every day. The situation
4 was irritating. I asked them why they did that and who gave them power to
5 inspect my vehicle in such a way. Marko Pepic, from Prud, simply told
6 me: This is our order from the headquarters in Derventa. This is our
7 order from Mr. Iko Stanic. I did not want to argue with them, but I told
8 them that this was a huge blow to our neighbourly relations. I continued,
9 I proceeded towards my village, but every time I passed through Prud I
10 encountered the same problem. And as far as your general question is
11 concerned, about certain joint activities, I must go back to the 19th of
12 March, 1992, to the meeting that was held at the Posavina. In Prud, in
13 the building that was covered, as far as I was concerned, by a reliable
14 source of mine.
15 Q. What kind of a meeting took place on the 19th of March in Prud?
16 A. This was a meeting attended by the representatives of the HDZ and
17 the SDA, at the highest political level, from the territory of Samac
18 municipality. One of the key figures at that meeting, one of the most
19 important guests, was Stjepan Blazanovic, also known as Braco. He was one
20 of the instructors of the Croatian army, earmarked especially for the
21 Croatian community of Bosanska Posavina.
22 Q. Do you know where Mr. Stjepan Blazanovic resided at that time?
23 A. He resided in Slavonski Brod. That is where his workplace was.
24 But before that, he worked as a teacher in Bosanski Samac. His wife was a
25 dentist in Bosanski Samac. But long before the war, they left for
1 Slavonski Brod and they resided there. It is from there that he arrived
2 as an instructor.
3 Q. Slavonski Brod is in the Republic of Croatia?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was he an instructor of the Croatian army or the Croatian police?
6 A. He was an instructor of the Croatian army.
7 Q. Thank you. Can you remember: Who was it on behalf of the
8 municipal board of the HDZ of Bosanski Samac municipality who attended the
10 A. As far as I can recall, on the basis of information I received
11 from a live source who attended the meeting, the representative of the HDZ
12 was Mr. Filip Evic.
13 Q. Who was Mr. Filip Evic? What was his post?
14 A. He was the president of the HDZ of the municipality of Bosanski
15 Samac, and then there was Mr. Mato Nujic, who at the time performed the
16 duty of president of the Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Samac. Then there
17 was Mato Madjarovic, from Domaljevac, who at the time held one of the key
18 posts in the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Samac.
19 Then there was also Slavko Matic, who was the secretary of the HDZ in the
20 Bosanski Samac municipality. There was also Mr. Vinko Dragicevic, who was
21 chief of the public security station. There was Mijo Mijic, from
22 Grebnice, who was one of the members of the Main Board, the main municipal
23 board of the HDZ of Bosanski Samac. There was also Mr. Franjo Barukcic,
24 from Prud, who was also one of the leaders of the HDZ of the municipality
25 of Bosanski Samac.
1 Q. Just a moment. When you said Franjo Barukcic, do you mean Franjo
2 Barukcic from Prud?
3 A. He was born in Prud, but he resided in Bosanski Samac.
4 Q. Thank you. Did anyone else attend? Do you know whether the
5 meeting was attended by Marko Bozanovic?
6 A. Yes. Marko Bozanovic was there at the time. He was a member of
7 the main municipal board of the HDZ, and he was also the director of the
8 agricultural complex in Bosanski Samac.
9 Q. Was Mr. Grga Zubak at the meeting?
10 A. Yes, he was.
11 Q. Can you remember who represented the city council of the Party of
12 Democratic Action at the meeting?
13 A. The city council of the Party of Democratic Action was represented
14 by Mr. Sulejman Tihic, who was also the president of the municipal board
15 of the SDA of Samac. There was Mr. Izo Izetbegovic, who at the time was
16 the vice-president of the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly of
17 Samac and had been the president of the SDA board before Mr. Tihic. And
18 there was also Mr. Alija Fitozovic, as one of the leaders of the SDA from
19 Bosanski Samac.
20 Q. Thank you. Do you know what was on the agenda at that meeting
21 that was held in Prud on the 19th of March?
22 A. What I can say --
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, I think rather than discuss what was
24 on the agenda, it would be much more helpful to inform the proceedings as
25 to what was actually discussed.
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, of course.
2 Q. What was discussed at that meeting, Mr. Zaric?
3 A. The topics that were discussed were the formation of a military
4 unit of the Croatian Defence Council for the municipality of Samac, and
5 also the establishment of a joint Crisis Staff for the municipality of
6 Samac, by these two national structures. Mr. Braco - I'm referring to
7 Stjepan Blazanovic, also known as Braco, who arrived from Slavonski Brod
8 as an instructor of the Croatian army - said it was high time that such a
9 military unit be established, and at that meeting in Prud, a decision was
10 made to establish the 104th Bosanski Samac Brigade of the HVO.
11 At that meeting, the conclusion was reached that the commander of
12 the 104th Samac Brigade of the HVO should be Mr. Marko Bozanovic and that
13 the chief of staff of that brigade would be Mr. Alija Fitozovic.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. And as for --
16 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Page 42, line 23, Mr. Zaric is talking about a
17 joint Crisis Staff for the municipality of Samac. Could I have some
18 clarification of that concept? Because it's quite -- I don't, so to say,
19 catch what you are meaning.
20 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Would you please explain to His Honour.
22 A. Yes. I have understood the question. I just wanted to say that
23 this second decision, which was very important at the meeting, was the
24 establishment of a joint Crisis Staff. When I say "joint," I mean a
25 Crisis Staff exclusively set up by representatives of the HDZ and the
1 SDA. So this joint Crisis Staff did not include the Serb people.
2 Q. Was a president of the Crisis Staff elected at the time?
3 A. Yes. The president of the Crisis Staff was elected, and this was
4 Mr. Filip Evic, who also held the post of president of the municipal board
5 of the HDZ, and his deputy was Mr. Tihic Sulejman. Mr. Tihic Sulejman was
6 appointed his deputy, and he represented the city council of the SDA for
7 Bosanski Samac. Of course, in addition to these two, others were
8 appointed to the Crisis Staff, and these were Marko Bozanovic, whom I have
9 already mentioned, Alija Fitozovic, Slavko Matic, Mijo Mijic, Mato
10 Madzarevic, Mato Nujic, Franjo Barukcic, Grga Zubak. I think that's as
11 far as my memory goes at the moment. I think that most of those present
12 became members of the Crisis Staff.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric.
14 A. And with your leave, I've just remembered something that is very
15 important and relevant for this meeting. There was a secret name for that
16 meeting, and it was Konak. I never tried to find out why, but the room
17 and that big building they were in was always used for members of the
18 water management company to come there, because this building was used for
19 recreation, and this secret code-name Konak, which means lodgings, meant
20 that organisation of the Crisis Staff, the decision to establish the 104th
21 Brigade of the HVO, and so on, that in connection with all this, the
22 secret code-name of Konak should be used.
23 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know of any other activities of the Crisis Staff
24 which was established, and the joint activities of the Party of Democratic
25 Action and the Croatian Democratic Union, which established some
1 institutions and so on?
2 A. When, at the level of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a decision was made to
3 establish a new Territorial Defence, and as far as I can remember, the
4 media published this decision around the 8th or 9th of April, 1992. I
5 can't be very precise about the date, but I remember this piece of
6 information well that the existing Territorial Defence was being
7 abolished and a new TO of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
8 established. It was this Crisis Staff which was established in Prud which
9 initiated and held certain meetings in order to establish a new
10 Territorial Defence staff and select a new leadership for the Territorial
11 Defence staff.
12 Q. Could you just tell us whether the new leaders were selected? And
13 we'll discuss it later.
14 A. Yes, new leaders were elected, a new commander, a new chief of
16 Q. And who was selected as the commander?
17 A. Marko Bozanovic, who was a captain first class, I think, and the
18 new chief of staff was Mr. Alija Fitozovic. The decision was made at a
19 meeting of the joint Crisis Staff in the village of Grebnice, which is
20 about five or six kilometres away from Samac, around the 12th or the 13th
21 of April, 1992.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. We will now move on to a completely
23 different topic. What do you know about the activities of the Serbian
24 Democratic Party on the territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac?
25 In your intelligence work, what did you learn about the activities of the
1 Serbian Democratic Party in 1991 and 1992?
2 A. The Serbian Democratic Party, on the area of Bosanski Samac
3 municipality, and I would say further afield, followed part of the policy
4 of its headquarters in Sarajevo. When I say this, I have to mention a
5 fact which contributed to this polarisation, that is, that on the 14th of
6 April [as interpreted], the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina held a
7 session at which a decision was made, as far as I can recall, to the
8 effect that Bosnia and Herzegovina should be declared an independent state
9 and that it should not remain within Yugoslavia. This decision was
10 supported by MPs from the HDZ and the SDA --
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... I heard
12 that Mr. Zaric was mentioning the 14th of October, not 14th of April, as
13 it is here in the transcript on page 45, line 24. It's year 1991.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It will be corrected. So it should be 14th
15 October, 1991.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This decision was opposed by the
17 deputies of the Serbian Democratic Party and other deputies from the Serb
18 people who were participating in the parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
19 so there was a process of outvoting. I'm not a lawyer, so I don't want to
20 go into this constitutional category. But there is one fact I do know.
21 At the time, there was a rule in force at the level of the
22 parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina that decisions should be made not by
23 a majority vote but by consensus. Therefore, this outvoting contributed
24 to the fact that an assembly of the Serbian people of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina was set up, and this was reflected in the entire political
1 mood prevailing at the time, and this was also evident in Bosanski Samac
2 and Posavina, and all the parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina inhabited by
4 MR. RE: I note that the answer given is not at all responsive to
5 the question. The question was: What did you learn through your
6 intelligence activities, I think, about the activities of the SDS? And
7 the witness has just given an answer about basically public, publicly
8 known materials, the activities of the Bosnian parliament. The witness
9 please be directed to answer the question that he was asked, or maybe
10 Mr. Pisarevic can clear that up.
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly. I didn't want to
12 interrupt Mr. Zaric while he was speaking. But it's true that the
13 question that was asked was: What was being done or what the activities
14 were on the territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac.
15 Q. What you have just spoken about is public knowledge. All these
16 decisions, policies, and standpoints. What was the behaviour and what
17 were the activities of the Municipal Board, so to say, or the members of
18 the Serbian Democratic Party? What do you know about this?
19 A. As far as I know, in November, the Serbian Democratic Party,
20 following instructions, organised a plebiscite on the territory of
21 Bosanski Samac for the Serbian people to vote for Bosnia and Herzegovina
22 remaining within Yugoslavia. As far as I know, the Municipal Board of the
23 SDA [as interpreted] carried out certain activities in this direction, and
24 as far as I know, this support was obtained, mostly, of course, from the
25 Serb population in Bosanski Samac, that Bosnia and Herzegovina should
1 remain within Yugoslavia, not excluding the possibility that a small
2 number of people from the Muslim and perhaps the Croatian ethnic
3 communities perhaps also voted in the same way that the Serbs did.
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: Small correction for the transcript. On page 47,
5 line 16, it says: "SDA," and Mr. Zaric was referring to the SDS all the
7 MR. RE: Can I again raise my earlier objection? The question
8 which Mr. Pisarevic asked Mr. Zaric was not answered. The question was:
9 "What do you know about the activities of the SDS on the territory of
10 the municipality of Bosanski Samac in your intelligence work? What did
11 you learn about the activities?" Again, the witness has only given
12 answers about a publicly known and publicly organised referendum which was
13 held in Bosnia. That's not the result of intelligence organisation. It's
14 just not responsive.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: If there was nothing else linked through
16 intelligence services, other than what was in the public activity arena,
17 then you had better say so.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. I believe that you have understood the objections by the
20 Prosecutor and the instruction by the President of the Trial Chamber. So
21 my question is: Did you learn something through your intelligence work
22 about the activities of the Serbian Democratic Party in the territory of
23 Bosanski Samac municipality? If yes, can you tell us what did you learn;
24 if no, if you don't have any knowledge about these activities, say so.
25 A. I wanted to tackle first thing first. Whether something is
1 intelligence or is a public knowledge, I wouldn't go into that. However,
2 after this referendum, there were other activities on the part of the
3 Serbian Democratic Party. There was the establishment of independent,
4 autonomous regions, there was already in February the establishment of the
5 Serbian municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo under foundation. In March
6 there was the election of the top leadership, the parallel leadership, as
7 opposed to the legitimate organs of power which existed in Bosanski
8 Samac. I know that the Serbian Democratic Party had the influence on the
9 recruitment of the reserve policemen in the context that I've already
10 spoken about here.
11 I must also say, not to defend, but when we're talking about the
12 illegal armament of the Serbian Democratic Party, I must say that it was
13 on a much smaller scale in comparison with the other two groups, for one
14 fact, for the fact that the Serbian people officially supported the
15 Yugoslav People's Army as the only defence component, and it would -- and
16 they did not have any other ideological or political position. This was
17 just the way the Serbian people thought, irrespective of their political
19 Another thing that I wanted to mention was that some of the
20 illegal arms that arrived in this territory arrived through the young man
21 who went to Croatia, and we know that a lot less Serbian people went to
22 Croatia. Some did, and they went to Knin. When they returned, they did
23 bring weapons, the illegal weapons, but their numbers were much smaller
24 than the numbers of Croats who went to Croatia.
25 Q. What do you know about the establishment of the Serbian
1 municipality of Samac, Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo under foundation?
2 A. This question was not given that much attention in the media,
3 although Radio Samac did mention it, and it was mentioned at some
4 political gatherings that I didn't attend. So it was known that the
5 Serbian municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo were established and that
6 they were composed of some villages from the territory of the municipality
7 of Samac, the municipality of Odzak, Orasje, and Gradacac, because
8 Pelagicevo at that time belonged to Gradacac municipality.
9 I know that -- and I know that that decision, in political terms,
10 among the other two parties and among the people who fostered different
11 political views, stroke a very negative chord. They were of the opinion
12 that such a move and that such a decision of the Serbian Democratic Party
13 and the establishment of the Serbian municipality of Samac was against the
14 positions of the SDA and the HDZ because they fought for the unitarian
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 Q. Are you aware of the fact that there were -- that the elections of
17 this assembly, the bodies of this assembly took place?
18 A. Yes, I heard that. I know that the body's work established and I
19 know that the first president of the assembly of the Serbian municipality
20 of Samac and Pelagicevo was Ilija Ristic. And as far as the election of
21 the Executive Board is concerned, I know that Mirko Jovanovic, who was the
22 legitimate president of the legal authorities of the municipality of Samac
23 and its parliament at that time was later on elected as the president of
24 the Executive Board of the newly elected Serbian municipality of Samac and
1 Q. Let us clarify. Mr. Mirko Jovanovic was the president of the
2 Executive Board [Realtime transcript omitted the words "president of the
3 Executive Board"] of the Municipal Assembly of Samac in which all the
4 political parties had their seats, but he was also the president of the
5 Executive Board of the Serbian municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo, all
6 at the same time?
7 A. Yes, that's the way I understood it, and in practice that's the
8 way I saw it.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that something was misunderstood here.
10 Maybe my colleague could go again through this question with Mr. Zaric.
11 Because if I understood correctly what Mr. Zaric said, he said Mr.
12 Jovanovic, Mirko Jovanovic, was the president of the Executive Board of
13 the Municipal Assembly of Samac, as well as of the Executive Board of the
14 Serbian municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo. This is how I understood
15 the question, and here it said that Mr. Mirko Jovanovic is the president
16 of the assembly of Bosanski Samac at that time. So maybe we could go
17 through this again.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I think it's better for Mr. Simo Zaric to
19 explain clearly who was who.
20 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Zaric, can you please explain the role of Mr. Mirko Jovanovic
22 in the Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Samac, pursuant to the elections
23 which took place in 1990. What was his role?
24 A. Mirko Jovanovic was, after the first multiparty elections, on
25 behalf of the Serbian Democratic Party, was elected the president of the
1 Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly of Samac.
2 Q. What was Mr. Mirko Jovanovic's role in the Serbian municipality of
3 Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo?
4 A. At that assembly, he was elected as president of the Executive
5 Board of the new Serbian municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 A. In practical terms, he had -- this was a parallel political
8 institution with regard to the political institution that I spoke about,
9 which was legally elected in the first multiparty elections.
10 Q. Do you know who the members of the Executive Board of the Serbian
11 municipality of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo were?
12 A. I did not see the decision on the appointment of these people, but
13 I know that the members of the Executive Board were Lazar Mirkic. I know
14 that Milan Simic was one of the members, there was also Mirko Lukic,
15 Stevan Todorovic, Mico Ivanovic, Mijak. I believe -- I can't remember
16 exactly, but I am talking from my perception, from the stories I heard
17 about them being members of the new government of the municipality of
18 Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo.
19 Q. Do you know what post was Mr. Stevan Todorovic elected to?
20 A. Mr. Stevan Todorovic was appointed as the chief of the public
21 security station of the Serbian municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo.
22 Q. What about Mr. Mico Ivanovic? What post was he appointed to?
23 A. He was appointed to the post of the commander of the municipal
24 staff of the Territorial Defence of the Serbian municipality of Samac and
1 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me. Page 52, line 11, answer: "Mr.
2 Stevan Todorovic was appointed as the chief of the public security
3 station," and so on. My question is: Can Mr. Zaric tell us who or which
4 organ appointed him?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, and I wish to
6 provide you with a correct answer, I believe that this was at the assembly
7 which was held in the month of March, and this assembly elected the
8 Executive Board and its members, and therefore it was that same assembly,
9 the assembly of the Serbian people, of the Serbian municipalities of Samac
10 and Pelagicevo, was the one that appointed the Executive Board and
11 assigned posts to some people. And pursuant to that decision, Mr. Stevan
12 Todorovic was elected the chief of the public security station.
13 JUDGE LINDHOLM: If you allow me: I'm a bit confused about time
14 and who appointed whom. Can you recall, to the best of your recollection,
15 when Mr. Todorovic was appointed to the position of the chief of the
16 security station? Was it in March or in April? And by whom?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stevan Todorovic was elected at the
18 session of the Assembly which was held in late March, either on the 28th
19 or on the 29th of March. I can't remember exactly. He was elected by the
20 legal assembly which had been established by the Serbian Democratic
21 Party. That means that he was elected by the Assembly of the Serbian
22 people of Samac and Pelagicevo municipalities. The assembly session that
23 was held in Obudovac. This is the information that was available to me
24 and that the media carried at that time.
25 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you.
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. And what about the other members of the Executive Board? Were
3 they also elected at that session of the Assembly which was held, as you
4 said, either on the 28th or on the 29th of March, 1992? Actually, you
5 didn't mention the year, did you?
6 A. It was on the 28th of March, 1992, and at that session, the
7 Executive Board was elected and all the members of the Executive Board
8 were elected by that session of the Assembly which was active at that time
9 and which was called in the village of Obudovac.
10 Q. Mr. Zaric, when the Territorial Defence of Republika Srpska was
11 established, do you know when that was? When was it established?
12 A. I'm not sure I can give you a precise date, but I know one fact:
13 When the state of emergency was declared by the presidency of Republika
14 Srpska, that was on the 15th of April, 1992, it introduced the Territorial
15 Defence as the armed force that was to be put in the defence of the
16 Serbian people. As far as I can remember from what was published, I
17 believe that it was on the 15th of April, 1992.
18 Q. Do you know that the presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia
19 and Herzegovina at that time also mobilised the Territorial Defence?
20 A. Since the decision of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina declared a state of emergency, a decision on mobilisation was
22 also adopted, in order to create the Territorial Defence as the only armed
23 force that existed at that time.
24 Q. Do you know, Mr. Zaric, whether there was a Territorial Defence
25 unit in the municipality of Samac, that is, the Territorial Defence of the
1 Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
2 A. Starting not only from the fact that I know that Mr. Mico Ivanovic
3 was appointed commander of the TO at that assembly, but I also know that
4 on the territory of the municipality of Samac, a Territorial Defence did
5 exist. But like many other detachments in the 17th Tactical Group, there
6 was no activity to be noticed. But I know that some companies were
7 established in the local communes. These, however, were not within the
8 composition of the 17th Tactical Group or the JNA.
9 Q. So you are testifying that on the territory of Bosanski Samac,
10 there was an organised Territorial Defence, as one segment, and that in
11 addition, there was the JNA also?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. How do you know this, that a Territorial Defence existed in the
14 municipality of Samac?
15 A. I had an opportunity to talk about this with Mr. Ivanovic. In a
16 later period, when Mr. Mijak was a member of the command of the 2nd
17 Posavina Brigade, along with me, that is, he worked in the command,
18 Mr. Mijak told me he had been appointed commander and that there were
19 certain small Territorial Defence units in some local communes which were
20 not part of the 17th Tactical Group; that he, when the conflict broke out,
21 was in a situation where he had to really become the commander of the
22 Territorial Defence. That's what I learned from the man who carried out
23 this duty. But what extent the Territorial Defence actually functioned is
24 something I could not really say.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. Just for the sake of
2 clarity of the transcript: Mr. Zaric, in this last answer you've referred
3 to Mr. Ivanovic. But in the transcript, it goes on and then talks about a
4 Mr. Mijak, M-i-j-a-k. Am I correct in assuming that that's Mr. Mico, Mr.
5 Mico Ivanovic, it's not a separate man, spelled M-i-j-a-k? Perhaps you
6 could just clarify with Mr. Zaric, Mr. Pisarevic, that we're talking about
7 one and not two different people here.
8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Zaric, when, during your testimony, you mentioned Ivanovic
10 Mijak, then you talk about Mico Ivanovic, is this one and the same
11 person? Are you referring to a single person? Is the person you are
12 talking about called Mico Ivanovic, nicknamed Mijak?
13 A. Precisely so. This is Mico Ivanovic, also known as Mijak.
14 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. It's just the way it
15 came out here. Later down the road it might be unclear to us. But you've
16 clarified that, I think.
17 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] A moment, Your Honour.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. When talking about the Territorial Defence, what Territorial
21 Defence were you referring to? It's not quite clear in the transcript.
22 A. I'm referring to the Serbian Territorial Defence on the territory
23 of the Republic of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. So I'm referring to
24 the Serbian TO.
25 Q. The Territorial Defence of the Republic of Serbian Bosnia and
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. As far as you know, until when did the TO of Republika Srpska
4 exist in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
5 A. It existed until the 12th of May, 1992, when the Peoples's
6 Assembly of Republika Srpska issued a decision on the establishment of the
7 army of Republika Srpska. By that decision, the Serbian Territorial
8 Defence was abolished and all units and staffs belonging to the TO were
9 also abolished, and a single defence component was established under the
10 name of the Army of Republika Srpska.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll take our break now and continue at 1800
13 --- Recess taken at 5.42 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 6.02 p.m.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic. You continue.
16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
17 Q. Mr. Zaric, we will now talk about an event. Would you, if you
18 know anything about this, tell us about the arrival of members of the
19 Serbian police and a group of specials in the village of Batkusa. What do
20 you know about this event?
21 A. I know that around the 11th of April, or on the 11th of April,
22 1992, in the village of Batkusa, a group of special purpose soldiers
23 arrived in two military helicopters of the JNA.
24 Q. How do you know this, Mr. Zaric?
25 A. I heard this from my commander, Radovan Antic, on the following
1 day after their arrival, because Commander Antic was in the village and he
2 told me about the arrival of this special purpose unit and the
3 helicopters. And I had another source also, my wife Fatima, who, in the
4 evening on the 11th was returning from Obudovac by car, and she saw these
5 people in camouflage uniforms, so she told me about this. Therefore, this
6 piece of information is reliable, and I believe it was on the 11th of
7 April, 1992.
8 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic.
9 Mr. Zaric, you mention both Commander Antic and your wife
10 Mrs. Zaric relayed this information to you, but you don't say whether they
11 also told you that the helicopters were JNA helicopters. Your answer
12 seems to refer solely to the people who had arrived. I would be
13 interested to know how you got the information. Was it from Mr. Antic and
14 Mrs. Zaric also concerning the insignia on the two helicopters?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That these were helicopters
16 belonging to the JNA, this is something I learned from Commander Antic.
17 He told me this. He said he had information to this effect. He was born
18 in Batkusa and lived there. He resided there, and he often went back
19 there to visit. And he learned this from the local inhabitants, who told
20 him that the specials arrived in JNA helicopters. In the evening of the
21 11th, my wife, Fatima, driving in her car, only had occasion to see, by
22 the roadside, armed specials in camouflage uniforms, with painted faces
23 and hats on. She didn't know anything about the helicopters. I learned
24 about the helicopters from Commander Antic.
25 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. What else, if anything, did Commander Antic tell you about this?
3 A. What the commander told us was that they had arrived in Batkusa,
4 that they had landed on the soccer field belonging to the Hijdox [phoen]
5 soccer club of Batkusa, that they had been received by Mr. Todorovic, who
6 at the time, it seems, was performing two duties. He was the chief of the
7 public security station, or [as interpreted] the assistant commander of
8 the 1st Detachment for security and intelligence tasks, and also by Mr.
9 Mico Ivanovic, also known as Mijak [as interpreted].
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, there is just one word here that I
11 believe changes the meaning of the whole sentence. Mr. Zaric, when he was
12 talking about Witness Todorovic, said he was the chief of the public
13 security station, as well as the assistant, should read, instead "or the
14 assistant," because he was talking about Mr. Todorovic performing two
15 duties at the same time.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you for the correction.
17 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And I think there's just also one other thing, in
18 the same paragraph, line 24 of page 58, the sentence concerning
19 Mr. Todorovic's two positions concludes with the words: "And also by Mr.
20 Mico Ivanovic, also known as Mijak." That really doesn't make sense the
21 way it is printed there in the sentence. Is the implication, Mr. Zaric,
22 that you heard about this from Mr. Ivanovic as well as Mr. Antic, or does
23 it mean something completely different? Maybe you could help us with
25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Did you understand the question?
2 A. Yes. I think my answer was very precise, so it's obviously an
3 error in interpretation. The information I received from Commander Antic
4 was that these specials were met in Batkusa on the soccer field by
5 Mr. Stevan Todorovic, who at that time was the assistant commander for
6 intelligence and security tasks of the 1st Detachment, and his commander
7 was Mico Ivanovic, also known as Mijak. And Mr. Todorovic's other duty
8 was that he was appointed chief of the public security station at the
9 session of the 28th of March, which is why I mentioned his two duties.
10 This information that these men were met by Mr. Todorovic and by
11 Mr. Mico Ivanovic, also known as Mijak, is information I received from my
12 commander, Radovan Antic.
13 Q. So to clarify: Mico Ivanovic, also known as Mijak, was the
14 commander of the 1st Detachment, and his command was in Batkusa; is this
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me for interrupting, but I guess that you,
18 Mr. Pisarevic, will return to the topic. But if not, I want to know
19 whether Mr. Zaric is familiar with the background of those specials,
20 volunteers, or whatever they are called; why and by whom they were
21 arriving in the municipality of Bosanski Samac. Thank you.
22 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly, Your Honour. We
23 will come to these questions.
24 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you.
25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Did Mr. Mico Ivanovic, at that moment when he met these specials
2 in Batkusa, also perform two duties?
3 A. Yes. Yes, he performed two duties. At the time, he was the
4 commander of the 1st Detachment, and he was also the commander of the
5 municipal staff of the Territorial Defence.
6 Q. Thank you. After learning all this, what steps did you take to
7 obtain information about what was going on? Did you have any contacts
8 with Commander Nikolic? What did you talk about with him?
9 A. When I learned that this team of so-called specials had arrived by
10 helicopter, a day or two after this, rumour started going around about
11 their activities on the ground, which upset people in the municipality and
12 in the town of Samac itself. As a person who was a member of the 4th
13 Detachment, I had to learn what kind of unit this was, because very soon
14 we received information that they were stopping people, stopping buses,
15 stealing money from people in the buses, and I wanted to be informed about
16 this, primarily because on the 12th, in the evening, this issue was raised
17 at the session of the Samac Crisis Staff, the local Crisis Staff. People
18 asked us what sort of men these were, what kind of specials they were, who
19 had arrived by helicopter, and so on and so forth.
20 At this meeting, I said I had no reliable information but that I
21 would do everything in my power to find out what sort of people these were
22 and that I would inform the Crisis Staff about this, and this is what I
24 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me once again, because there are
25 concepts. Page 61 and line 8, the witness, Mr. Zaric, is talking about --
1 talking about Samac Crisis Staff, the local Crisis Staff. Because this is
2 confusing me. That organ, can you explain what you mean by "the Crisis
3 Staff" at that time, at that time?
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Zaric, the problem lies in the fact that sometimes you do not
6 finish your sentence to the end. What Crisis Staff? So far we have used
7 the term the local -- the Crisis Staff of the local commune of Samac.
8 When you only say "the Samac Crisis Staff," omitting the word "local
9 commune," this creates confusion. Could you please clarify this for His
10 Honour. What Crisis Staff did you have in mind? What Crisis Staff
11 existed at that time? What Crisis Staff discussed the issue of the
12 specials on the 12th of April, 1992?
13 A. This is the local Crisis Staff in the town of Samac, the local
14 Crisis Staff in the town of Samac, that was.
15 Q. Mr. Zaric, this Crisis Staff of the local commune of Samac, did it
16 have any authority over other parts of the municipality or the rest of the
17 territory of the municipality of Samac, or was it just a body covering the
18 town of Samac itself?
19 A. This Crisis Staff of the local commune of Samac was exclusively in
20 charge of the town of Samac, of that local commune of Samac. The specific
21 feature of this local Crisis Staff, the Crisis Staff of the local commune
22 of Samac, was the fact that very often its meetings were attended by the
23 highest and most responsible people from the political life of the
24 municipality, this for the fact that the town of Samac was the
25 administrative and political centre for the entire municipality and
1 because of that it differed from some other crisis staffs of other local
2 communes which were not that important.
3 Q. Let's be a bit more precise. The conclusions and the decisions
4 passed at the meetings of this Crisis Staff of that local commune, could
5 they be applied to other local communes, to other parts of the territory
6 of and the municipality of Samac?
7 A. No. This Crisis Staff was only in charge of putting forth some
8 proposals and suggestions which were relative to the local commune of the
9 town of Samac itself, and only of that local commune.
10 JUDGE LINDHOLM: I'm not satisfied by the answers, because as far
11 as we are concerned, the Crisis Staff which we have been talking about so
12 far was formed on the 15th of April, 1992, and now we are talking about
13 some other Crisis Staff. And in order to avoid confusion, I would like to
14 have these concepts cleared. What kind of Crisis Staff is Mr. Zaric now
15 talking about in March and prior to those dates, and the Crisis Staff
16 which we have been talking about prior to listening to Mr. Zaric?
17 MR. RE: Perhaps if Mr. Zaric told us who the members of this
18 commune Crisis Staff were, it may assist in distinguishing the two.
19 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And also perhaps, Mr. Zaric, you could tell us
20 again where they met, because if I remember correctly, were they not
21 meeting in the memorial centre, the community centre, the local commune
22 centre? So if we clarify that as well, that will probably help the Trial
23 Chamber on this one.
24 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] We'll try and clarify this
1 Q. Mr. Zaric, can you please remember: How many local communes were
2 there on the territory of Samac municipality?
3 A. There were 26 local communes.
4 Q. The local commune of the town of Samac was one of those 26 local
5 communes that composed the municipality of Bosanski Samac; correct?
6 A. Yes, that is correct.
7 Q. When we are talking about the Crisis Staff of the local commune of
8 Samac, this Crisis Staff existed only for that one local commune, for the
9 local commune of Samac; isn't that correct?
10 A. Yes, that is correct, and that body called itself Crisis Staff and
11 it was linked only to the local commune of Samac. All its meetings were
12 held in the pensioners' home that we have mentioned many times here, and
13 this is also the building that housed the local self-government of the
14 municipality of Samac. I have never talked about the Crisis Staff that
15 applied to the level of the entire municipality. Whenever I mentioned the
16 Crisis Staff so far, this was the Crisis Staff of the local commune of the
17 town of Samac.
18 Q. Whatever decisions this Crisis Staff may have issued, and it had
19 another name - it was also called the coordination body - so whatever
20 recommendations it could issue or conclusions it could reach, this all
21 could only be applied in the local commune of the town of Samac?
22 A. Exactly.
23 Q. So this could not be applied in any other of the remaining 25
24 local communes on the territory of Samac; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that is correct.
1 Q. Likewise, every of the remaining 25 local communes that made up
2 the municipality of Samac could establish their own Crisis Staff; isn't
3 that correct?
4 A. Yes, that is correct. Every local commune could, and indeed had,
5 its only Crisis Staff.
6 Q. When you say the Crisis Staff, do you mean a body like an advisory
7 body of the local commune?
8 A. At that time, the word "Crisis Staff of the local commune" was
9 very popular, and that's why I'm using this same term. Every local
10 commune had a Crisis Staff which was composed of the most responsible
11 people from the local administration of that particular local commune.
12 Q. And one more thing, if you could tell us: Who were the members of
13 the coordination body or the Crisis Staff of the local commune of the town
14 of Samac? Who were its members? Who were its active members?
15 A. The members of this coordination body, or the Crisis Staff of the
16 local commune of Samac, were representatives of the advisory body of the
17 local commune of the town of Samac, headed by Safet Hadzialijagic, also
18 known as Pop, who was also the president of that advisory body or council
19 of the local commune; also its members were representatives of the
20 political parties that existed both in the town of Samac, as well as the
21 leaders of the political parties at the level of the municipality, and I
22 was also invited to the meetings of the Crisis Staff by this body, whether
23 you want to call it a coordination body or the Crisis Staff. Whenever I
24 was necessary to attend on behalf of the 4th Detachment. Whenever they
25 invited me, I would respond to the invitation and I would attend the
1 meetings of the Crisis Staff of the local commune of the town of Samac.
2 Q. The members of this council or the advisory body of the local
3 commune, could they be only the people who resided on the territory of the
4 town of Samac?
5 A. In principle, the majority of these people were from the town of
6 Samac itself, but these meetings were sometimes attended by the leaders of
7 the political parties at the level of the municipality. And having said
8 that, I would like to say that sometimes Filip Evic, the president of the
9 HDZ, also attended these meetings, but he resided in Hasic. However,
10 sometimes he would attend the meetings of the local coordination body in
11 the town of Samac.
12 Q. Mr. Zaric, I asked you whether the members of the council of the
13 local commune of Samac could only be those people who resided on the
14 territory of the town of Samac.
15 A. Yes, only them, and nobody else.
16 Q. So nobody else could be the member of the council of the local
17 commune of Samac if they resided in the local commune of Hasic Kornica,
18 Pisari, Slatina, and so on and so forth?
19 A. No, they couldn't. Only those people who resided on the territory
20 of the local commune of Samac could be the members of the council of the
21 local commune of Samac.
22 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me once again, but I think we are, so to
23 say, in the mist. You are talking about the Crisis Staff and council of
24 the local commune of Samac. Could you be so kind, Counsel, to clarify
25 these conceptions as to who is who, and who decided about what, and so
1 on. Because I'm really out in the mist and confused by what Mr. Zaric is
2 telling us.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: I think, Mr. Pisarevic, it would be much clearer if
4 you explain what the various terms -- what various terms were used to
5 describe this local commune Crisis Staff, and thereafter, let's stick to
6 one term.
7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour.
8 Q. The local commune of Samac, in other words, the town of Samac, in
9 the municipality of Samac, there are about 24 or 25 villages, and there's
10 also the town of Samac, the urban settlement of Samac. This urban
11 settlement of Samac has its local administration which is called the
12 assembly of the local commune of the town of Samac. This assembly of the
13 local commune of the town of Samac has its executive body. This is the
14 council of the local commune of the town of Samac.
15 JUDGE LINDHOLM: But why are you talking about the Crisis Staff?
16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I'll come to that in a minute.
17 This was under the normal circumstances, what I have just explained.
18 Since the situation was getting more complex, the council of the local
19 commune decided that its membership should be expanded and that some new
20 people should become its members, people such as representatives of the
21 town board of the SDA, the local board of the SDP, the local board of the
22 Radical Party, the local board of the reformist forces, and then the
23 local -- the council was not composed of only seven members but rather of
24 twelve members. And then the term "Crisis Staff" became popular.
25 However, at the session of the council, it was said that this would be a
1 coordination body. Mr. Zaric opted for a very awkward term. And this was
2 all in February 1992. And from now on, we are going to use the term "the
3 coordination body of the local commune of the town of Samac," in order to
4 avoid this being mixed up with any other body, with crisis staffs as such.
5 Q. Mr. Zaric, from now on, whenever you refer to this body, you will
6 call it "the coordination body of the local commune of the town of
8 Mr. Zaric, you've promised the coordination body of the local
9 commune of the town of Samac that you would check the details, that you
10 would find out who these people were, what were their goals, and why they
11 had arrived in the JNA helicopters in Batkusa village. What did you do in
12 order to obtain the information, and after that, did you brief the
13 coordination body of the local commune of the town of Samac on what you
14 had found out?
15 A. Yes. On the 13th of April, together with Commander Antic, I went
16 to the command in Pelagicevo, and on that occasion I spoke directly to
17 Commander Nikolic, and also to Mr. Maksim Simeunovic, my first superior,
18 who was the chief of the intelligence and security organ of the 17th
19 Tactical Group. Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Makso Simeunovic informed us that the
20 group that had arrived was a special purpose group of the police,
21 belonging to the Republic of Serbian Krajina, which arrived in one of the
22 helicopters, while the group that arrived in the other helicopter was a
23 group of lads from the municipality of Samac originally and who had been
24 sent by certain persons or organs for special training, which was carried
25 out in the municipality of Ilok, in Eastern Slavonia, on the territory of
1 the Republic of Croatia, but which at the time was under the control of
2 Serb forces.
3 Q. When you say "Serb forces," do you mean to say that they were
4 under the control of forces of the Serbian Krajina?
5 A. Yes, the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
6 Q. In the Republic of Croatia?
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me for interrupting you once again. There
9 is apparently a mistake on page 68, line 6: "On the 13th of April." It
10 must be the 16th or the 17th, because otherwise it doesn't match with
11 what we have heard before listening to Mr. Zaric. And in addition, I want
12 to know when, at what time of the day, between the 16th and 17th, did you
13 meet Mr. Stevan Nikolic.
14 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honour
15 Lindholm, we're talking about the 13th of April of 1992, because the
16 specials landed, according to the testimonies we've heard so far, on the
17 11th of April, 1992. Mr. Zaric, true, did go to the command of the 17th
18 also, but we will come to that, because that is another topic not related
19 to the arrival of this special purposes unit. Maybe this is giving rise
20 to confusion.
21 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Yes.
22 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Zaric, please continue. What did the commander tell you when
24 you went to see him, and what did Makso Simeunovic tell you? What
25 information did they give you?
1 A. Makso Simeunovic said that on the 11th of April he had been there
2 to meet the helicopters when they brought these specials to Batkusa, that
3 he saw them and he explained what kind of people these were [as
4 interpreted]. Mr. Nikolic --
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: One small misunderstanding of Mr. Zaric's words.
6 He said: I wouldn't like to say to meet the helicopters, but here it says
7 that Mr. Makso Simeunovic said that on the 11th of April he had been there
8 to meet the helicopters, suggesting that he was present to meet the person
9 in the helicopter. This is exactly not what Mr. Zaric said.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Perhaps that can be clarified.
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Zaric, tell us what Mr. Makso Simeunovic told you.
13 A. Mr. Simeunovic said that on the 11th he had received information
14 that certain visitors would be arriving in Batkusa and that he should go,
15 and this was a coded message to him from one of his collaborators. When
16 he arrived there at a certain time, precisely at that moment, first one
17 helicopter landed, and the specials got off. They ran out with weapons
18 and demonstrated a drill of theirs, in front of the citizens, because
19 there were also citizens of Batkusa who were present there. And then they
20 set off across the soccer field, in the direction of a youth centre which
21 was not far away from the soccer field.
22 Soon after that, the second helicopter landed and another team
23 arrived, among whom he recognised a certain number of men from the
24 territory of the municipality of Samac.
25 Afterwards, together with the group that was there, he went to the
1 youth centre and he observed a very cordial meeting between the leaders of
2 the group that had arrived and Mr. Todorovic.
3 Q. At what time of day did you and Mr. Antic, on the 13th of April,
4 1992, go to the command of the 17th Tactical Group in Pelagicevo to see
5 Commander Nikolic and the chief of security, Makso Simeunovic? What time
6 was it?
7 A. Well, it could have been about 11.00.
8 Q. So about 11.00 on the 13th of April?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What did Commander Nikolic tell you on that occasion? What sort
11 of men were these? Who had arrived?
12 A. Mr. Nikolic told us that the day before he had had an official
13 meeting in Donji Zabar, on the premises of the company Agro Posavina, with
14 representatives of these units that had arrived, and their leaders, at
15 least at the time, were people we knew only by nickname, Crni and Debeli,
16 and that among others, Mr. Blagoje Simic, Stevan Todorovic, and some
17 others whose names I can't remember were present, and that he had been
18 told that they introduced themselves and said that they were policemen of
19 the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
20 The other part of the unit were local men who had gone for
21 training, but neither he nor Mr. Nikolic, as the commander of the 17th
22 Tactical Group, knew about them.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I have been told that I should
25 conclude with my examination-in-chief now.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because there's a matter the Trial Chamber
2 wants to deal with.
3 This is regarding the motion by the Prosecution dated 28th April
4 on Rule 71 depositions. The Trial Chamber was waiting for the response
5 from the Defence counsel on this one, and the information was given
6 through the legal officer. But then when the other motion was discussed,
7 we didn't get the response of the Defence counsel. So we wanted to find
8 out whether there is anything they wish to say or they have nothing to
10 Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. If my understanding
12 is correct, we have to give our response on Prosecution motion dated April
13 28th, under the title "Motion reference to admission into evidence of Rule
14 71 depositions."
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. First of all, just for the record, in
17 response to our learned friend's motion, in paragraph 4 of the motion,
18 page 3, there is expression that on 17th of April, 2003, the Trial
19 Chamber -- I made a quote of this motion "without specific objection from
20 the accused." And then in paragraph 6 of the same motion, the expression
21 used by the Prosecution that "the accused did not object to the admission
22 of the depositions into evidence." At least it's not fair and correct,
23 since the Defence acted fully in accordance and upon the ruling of this
24 Honourable Trial Chamber. And needless to say that prior to the process
25 of deposition under the Rule 71 of the Rules, Defence raised a substantial
1 issue and submissions with that regard. The arguments by the Defence were
2 denied by this Honourable Trial Chamber. Then the Defence filed a request
3 for the certification under the Rule 73. This request was also denied by
4 this Honourable Trial Chamber. So in conclusion, my learned friend will
5 add their submissions speaking on behalf of my client: In conclusion,
6 we -- Defence for Dr. Blagoje Simic has nothing to add to our previous
7 submissions with that particular regard. Everything was raised in our
8 oral submissions, as well as in our request for certification. And
9 frankly, we can only speculate the reasons why our learned friend raised
10 that issue, but there is nothing new for the Defence with that regard. We
11 are compiling and we are absolutely concur with the previous rulings of
12 this Honourable Trial Chamber. Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Actually, before you speak, Mr. Lukic:
14 Mr. Pantelic, I have a question as to whether we are in fact looking at
15 the same motion.
16 MR. PANTELIC: That's --
17 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I know dated the 28th of April, 2003. I'm
18 interested, though, in knowing what the Defence position is on the relief
19 sought in the Prosecution's motion, which can be found on page 3.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Under the paragraph 7, I believe.
21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Under paragraph 7, where, as you can see, it
22 says that they request the Trial Chamber ascertain from an accused who
23 did not call a witness whose deposition has been admitted into evidence
24 whether he wants to cross-examine that person.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. We already gave our answers in
1 our oral submissions in our request for certification. So I don't want to
2 repeat. So Defence stands with all previous submissions in oral
3 submission, prior to deposition process, and in our request for
4 certification. Nothing new, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE WILLIAMS: So yesterday, then, when you responded concerning
6 the motion by the Prosecution to allow for Mr. Erletic to be brought here
7 for cross-examination, Mr. Lukic said no, on behalf of his client,
8 Mr. Tadic, but you said yes, on behalf of your client, Dr. Blagoje Simic.
9 So what I just want to get clear is: In this more general motion, which
10 is with respect to all of the Rule 71 deposition witnesses, your position
11 is that you don't want to ask for any of them to be brought for
13 MR. PANTELIC: With all due respect, Your Honour, it is not the
14 case. As I said, I am standing fully with my previous oral submissions
15 and my request for the certification, and I have to respect the order by
16 this Honourable Trial Chamber. So everything has been done. It's
17 something absolutely -- I don't know how to understand this motion. Is it
18 a kind of reconsideration of your previous ruling or whatever? I mean, as
19 I said, we are standing fully in accordance with our previous submissions,
20 oral submissions and our written request for certification, simple as
21 that. Thank you.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do not wish to repeat
24 what Mr. Pantelic said, but I will try to explain in other words.
25 However, I fully support the position of Mr. Pantelic. It is simply not
1 clear to me what the Prosecution now wants from the Defence that the
2 Defence has not already stated. If we have to say again whether we agree
3 to cross-examination in general of all the witnesses whose depositions
4 were taken, we have already explained our standpoint and the Trial Chamber
5 has already issued its decision. These two cases concerning Mr. Marko
6 Tubakovic and Mr. Erletic, I have already replied as to whether I or the
7 Defence of Mr. Tadic will cross-examine. As for the cross-examination of
8 other deposition witnesses, there is nothing I can add to what has already
9 been said. I simply feel that we have put forward our position and that
10 we have nothing further to add.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
12 Mr. Lazarevic.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: On behalf of Mr. Zaric's Defence, I would like to
14 say that we share the same position in this case as Mr. Tadic and Mr.
15 Blagoje Simic Defence. We already filed a joint motion asking for
16 certification about a ruling the Trial Chamber made. We have nothing new
17 to add to this motion. And we also supported the oral submission of
18 Mr. Lukic when this topic was raised before this Trial Chamber. So there
19 is nothing new that we could add to these submissions. So we are sharing
20 the same position as all other Defences in this case.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
22 MR. RE: Could the Prosecution briefly respond to this, Your
23 Honour? It seems like there's some real misunderstanding on the part of
24 the Defence as to the purpose in our filing this motion and what --
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Before we allow you to speak --
1 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber is of the view that the motion by
4 the Prosecution is quite clear, and it doesn't think that there is any
5 need for the Prosecution to reply.
6 MR. RE: Your Honour, if I don't reply, could I ask an inquiry --
7 I'm not quite sure as to what the Defence is saying. It seems to be
8 contradictory, and I think Judge Williams has appointed that out, on the
9 one hand they wish to cross-examine Mr. Tubakovic and Mr. Erletic. We
10 are asking whether they wish to cross-examine any other witnesses whose
11 evidence has been admitted into evidence. The answers, with respect to my
12 friends, is unclear and could I ask the Trial Chamber to ask them again so
13 it's completely clear: Do they wish to cross-examine any witnesses whose
14 evidence have been admitted into evidence, or are they waiving or saying
15 they do not wish to cross-examine? That's what the motion is asking.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber will consider what the
18 parties have said and will make our ruling in due course.
19 Mr. Pisarevic, for purposes of planning, we wanted to find out how
20 long you think Mr. Zaric still has to complete the evidence in chief.
21 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] At least five days, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: You mean -- because today is the second day, so you
23 mean you need another three days?
24 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I need another
25 five days.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: What is he going to discuss? It's just his defence
2 in the -- in his efforts to meet his allegations in the indictment.
3 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. But Mr. Zaric's
4 interview contains about 300 pages. When planning the defence of
5 Mr. Zaric, everything that he was asked about by the investigators and
6 everything he said in his interview, and also the time period covered by
7 the indictment and the mention of Mr. Zaric in various situations, in view
8 of all this, I don't want to limit the time for Mr. Zaric to testify about
9 everything that touches upon his activities in the relevant period of
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, the point is that: Yes, we've looked
13 at the interviews. Some of the matters are not relevant to the indictment
14 and some of the matters are completely outside the allegations in the
15 indictment. So what the Trial Chamber is asking is that he should limit
16 his defence to indictment against him, the particulars and the allegations
17 in the indictment against him, not necessarily everything that was raised
18 during the interrogations with the Prosecutor, or indeed every detail of
19 everything else covered in that material time. It's just the defence
20 that -- the evidence supporting his defence that the Trial Chamber is
21 interested in. So perhaps you may consider that approach.
22 We shall adjourn now.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 7th day of
25 May 2003, at 2.15 p.m.