1 Friday, 9 May 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case number IT-95-9-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Tubakovic, please make the solemn declaration.
10 WITNESS: MARKO TUBAKOVIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
13 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Before we start, since we are starting
15 now, we shall shift our break to 1100 hours.
16 Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. Good morning.
18 Examined by Mr. Lazarevic:
19 Q. Good morning, Mr. Tubakovic.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Tubakovic, could you please tell me if you
22 can hear me properly and if you're also receiving the translation.
23 A. Yes, I can hear you, and the translation is good.
24 Q. Thank you very much. Mr. Tubakovic, for the purposes of the
25 transcript, could you please tell us your full first and last name.
1 A. I am Marko Tubakovic.
2 Q. Thank you very much, sir. Mr. Tubakovic, as the Defence counsel
3 for Mr. Zaric, we are just going to introduce you to the Trial Chamber,
4 and after that, the other Defence counsels and the Prosecution will
5 cross-examine you.
6 You have already testified under Rule 71. You have given your
7 deposition in Belgrade.
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. On that occasion, you described certain episodes relating to
10 Mr. Zaric and also regarding certain -- a certain document which we have
11 called an information here, and that is document P127. Do you remember
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. So now I will let my colleagues cross-examine you. As far as the
15 warnings you have received about answering questions, you remember that,
16 don't you? So please, could you wait until the question is completed,
17 wait for a couple of seconds after you receive the translation in your
18 headphones, and then start to answer the question.
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honours. We will not examine the
21 witness in chief. We already had the answers that we wanted from this
22 witness during depositions in Belgrade.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. So the Prosecution. Because our
24 decision was that the Prosecution would start.
25 MR. RE: Can I clarify that? My understanding of the ruling, I've
1 been searching through the transcript was we put on a motion, the relief
2 sought was that the Trial Chamber call proprio motu the witness. The
3 relief was quite specific in the order, in the motion, sought that then
4 the Defence of Mr. Zaric be given a chance if they wished to elicit
5 further examination-in-chief, then the Defence and the Prosecution
6 cross-examine. I can't find it in the transcript the specific ruling.
7 Your Honour's ruling I thought was we grant the motion.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re. Yes. The Defence can start.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Maybe I can give the answer to Mr. Re.
11 Mr. Tubakovic was proposed as a witness on some particular events, and we
12 already have all the answers through Mr. Tubakovic. We have not any
13 intention to examine.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That is understood.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- Mr. Tubakovic. We understand the position of
16 the Prosecution, so we just waive right to examine him in chief.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, on behalf of Mr. Tadic's
19 Defence, we will not cross-examine this witness unless there is something
20 that arises from the questions from the Prosecution. But in view of what
21 he stated during his testimony in chief, while giving his deposition, we
22 do not have any questions for this witness.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic?
24 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Good morning, Your Honours.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Tubakovic. I am Mr. Pantelic,
2 the counsel for Blagoje Simic.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. Mr. Tubakovic, you responded to questions from my colleague
5 Mr. Pisarevic in Belgrade during the procedure when the depositions were
6 given, and you spoke about the information compiled by the command of the
7 2nd Posavina Brigade. You also talked about a meeting between
8 representatives of the civilian authorities of the Samac municipality and
9 members of the command.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Please, could you tell us, if you remember, it's been a long time
12 ago, but do you remember when this meeting was held, in view of the fact
13 that the information has the date the 12th of January, 1992 [as
14 interpreted], could you please tell us when this meeting took place.
15 A. This meeting took place three days after --
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... here in
17 the transcript that the date is 12th of January, 1992. This couldn't be a
18 correct date, definitely so. Maybe my colleague could pose the question
20 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I said the 1st of December, 1992.
22 A. Yes. The information was adopted in late November, around the 1st
23 of December, and the meeting of the inner circle of the command and the
24 structures of the political powers of Samac and Pelagicevo under formation
25 was held two or three days after it was adopted. I don't know the exact
1 date, but I think it was probably held by December 5th, at the latest. It
2 happened very quickly after the information was adopted, in early December
4 Q. Thank you. Also during your testimony you mentioned the persons
5 who were present at that meeting. What I would like to ask you now, and
6 in view of your previous statement and the fact that you mentioned that
7 Mr. Blagoje Simic was also among those present, could you please explain
8 to the Trial Chamber: What was Dr. Simic's position at that meeting? I
9 know that you perhaps cannot recall all the details and everything that
10 was discussed then, but as far as you can recall, can you please tell the
11 Trial Chamber: How did Mr. Simic behave at that meeting?
12 A. The majority of the criticism by the command for the formulation
13 of this information and the way it was formulated came from the chief of
14 the public security station, Stevan Todorovic, who was also present at
15 that meeting, and the president of the Executive Board of the Municipal
16 Assembly of Samac, Milan Simic. As far as I can recall right now, because
17 it did happen a long time ago, Dr. Blagoje, at the end, appealed for the
18 unity of the command of the Tactical Group and of the 2nd Posavina Brigade
19 and the political authorities. That is as much as I can remember, because
20 while receiving information about this document, the information, there
21 were different opinions expressed and different positions taken about the
22 events by the command and by the political structures. He tried to say -
23 I can't remember all the details - but he insisted on achieving some kind
24 of unity and of continuing in the implementation of certain activities.
25 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber, if you remember, of
1 course, whether he addressed those present from the positions of power and
2 from the position of his post, or whether he just did that as a person
3 giving his political assessment.
4 A. As far as I can recall, Dr. Simic was the president of the War
5 Presidency of the Assembly, or whatever it was called. But he addressed
6 those present in the way I described before. He didn't issue any kind of
7 ultimatum, nor did he come out very strongly towards the members of the
8 command in relation to the statements by some other people who were
9 present at that meeting, because, if I remember rightly, I know that there
10 were some statements made by some people that the command didn't know what
11 it was doing, and so on and so forth. As far as I can remember, Dr. Simic
12 definitely did not state anything like that.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, just bear with me for a second,
14 because my colleague just informed me that we have to check the transcript
15 in terms of interpretation. Thank you.
16 [Defence counsel confer]
17 MR. PANTELIC: It's okay. Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Tubakovic, could you please tell me, if you
19 remember, perhaps, in that period, whether criminal proceedings were
20 initiated against the volunteers Crni, Lugar, and the others before the
21 military Tribunal in Banja Luka. Do you have any information about that?
22 A. I know that before that, they - and I cannot remember exactly
23 when - I know that they were arrested. Whether that was then or later, or
24 whether there were any criminal proceedings initiated at all, to tell you
25 the truth, I really wasn't informed about this. Because after a while -
1 and again, I say this was a long time ago - we found out that they were
2 released; they were free. This is what I remember happening. Whether
3 there were any criminal proceedings and they were released or acquitted, I
4 really don't know. Perhaps there weren't any proceedings at all. It
5 wasn't in the command -- up to the command, or it wasn't our job to
6 receive any information relating to this matter.
7 Q. Very well. On page 230 of the transcript of the depositions that
8 were conducted in Belgrade, at the end of your testimony, the Prosecutor
9 asked you a whole series of questions relating to the alleged
10 participation of the civilian authorities in certain incidents, failings,
11 criminal acts, and so on. Since the Defence at the time could not object
12 to the manner of questioning because of the relevant instructions and
13 rulings by the Trial Chamber, one of their questions was --
14 MR. RE: I object to that. That's simply not the case. Mr. --
15 the Trial Chamber's rulings did not prevent other Defence objecting to my
16 submission to evidence being given. The ruling prevented them
17 cross-examining. It didn't prevent them putting an objection on the
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, and objections were being made by counsel.
20 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. In any case, Mr. Tubakovic, the Prosecutor, amongst other
22 questions, asked you whether this information that was compiled in the
23 brigade was actually out of concern about what the civilian authorities
24 were doing with the prisoners, this isolation, unfounded arrests, looting,
25 and so on. Since this is quite a broad term, would you agree with me if I
1 were to tell you that the police actually were in charge of the arrest and
2 detention procedures? Would you agree with me?
3 A. Yes. I completely agree with you, because I don't know who else
4 would be the executor of such matters if not the civilian police, which
5 was given the task of establishing law and order, conditionally speaking,
6 but it actually committed some acts with which the command did not agree,
7 and this is why it reacted by compiling this information document.
8 Q. Mr. Tubakovic, the Prosecutor then asked you if the concern of the
9 command regarding discrimination against members of other ethnic groups in
10 Samac was also the reason for compiling this document, and the Prosecutor
11 actually linked that with the civilian authorities. But I would like you
12 now to tell the Trial Chamber the following: When you were replying to
13 the questions by the Prosecution, and when the term "civilian authorities"
14 was used in the questions, what did you actually think of? Which
15 institution or which circle of officials did you mean when you confirmed
16 for the Prosecutor their claims? Could you please explain that to the
17 Trial Chamber.
18 A. I mostly meant the public security station or the police, the
19 civilian police, which actually implemented these activities that were
20 carried out, with which the command or the military did not agree, and
21 that is why, conditionally speaking, it lodged a protest by issuing this
22 information. Because I don't know who else could have carried out these
23 unlawful activities if not armed people. And in this case, they were not
24 members of the military but members of the police.
25 Q. And finally, Mr. Tubakovic, would you agree with me that in that
1 period, during the wartime period in Samac, that there were some
2 individual acts of looting, but there was no looting which was organised
3 by the political organs or by any other body? Would you agree with me?
4 A. I think that that is a realistic claim that there were -- I don't
5 think that it was the position of any institution or political authority
6 to commit looting. I think that this was something that was done by
7 individuals. But those who were supposed to prevent that perhaps did not
8 do that, but that again, in my opinion, is the police. I don't know, I'm
9 not informed about it, but I don't know that there was a position by any
10 of the institutions of authority or political organs to commit looting. I
11 don't think that something like that happened. But there were individual
12 instances of looting. It was widely known that there was looting, and
13 this was something that the police should have prevented, in my opinion.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I've finished with the
15 cross-examination of this witness. [Interpretation] Thank you,
16 Mr. Tubakovic. I have completed my examination.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. The Prosecution.
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Re:
19 Q. Mr. Tubakovic, good morning. I'm going to ask you a few
20 questions --
21 A. Good morning.
22 Q. -- following on from the questions we asked you in Belgrade and
23 the things Mr. Pantelic has just asked you about. You arrived here
24 yesterday; is that correct, from -- sorry, the day before, from Bosanski
25 Samac; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. -- you of course had a conference with Mr. Pisarevic and
5 Mr. Lazarevic, who called you; you spoke to them about coming to the Trial
6 Chamber and giving your evidence, didn't you?
7 A. Yes. Yes.
8 Q. And tell me: Last night, did you have a conference or talk to
9 Mr. Pantelic about your evidence or speak to him about what you might be
10 saying in court today?
11 A. Last night, Mr. Pisarevic, myself, and then Mr. Pantelic came
12 later, we sat down for a while. They told me how things will proceed here
13 generally, and yes, that is what we talked about.
14 Q. I just want to ask you specifically: Did you and Mr. Pantelic
15 discuss what you were going to talk about, that is, the evidence you gave
16 in Belgrade and the sorts of things that he was going to ask you about
17 when you came to court today?
18 A. We talked a little bit, but we didn't actually discuss any of
19 those questions which he put to me just now. That was not discussed.
20 Q. Did you talk about the areas, the sort of topics, not the specific
21 questions but the topics, such as the document you signed, the one you and
22 the other command members signed, which is the one in evidence here? Did
23 you talk about in general what you were going to talk about?
24 A. That is exactly what I said: Generally, there was talk about the
25 topics that he would ask me about, but not the specific things that he
1 asked me now. Generally, we discussed that he would put to me questions
2 relating to the information that we adopted, but not specifically the
3 questions that he put to me just now.
4 Q. Was one of the things he raised that looting was one of the things
5 you were -- he was going to be talking about, but not the specific
6 question, but the general area of looting?
7 A. We didn't mention looting at all last night. That was not
8 discussed at all.
9 Q. What about who was actually carrying out the arrest? Did you talk
10 about -- did you and Mr. Pantelic talk about, in any general sense, who
11 was actually carrying out the arrests in Samac, whether it was the police
12 or the military, in a general sense?
13 A. Yes, we did talk about that. That was discussed. There was a
14 kind of clarification regarding that topic.
15 Q. All right. And what about the meeting which occurred a few days
16 after you prepared the report, the meeting in Pelagicevo, which Dr. Simic
17 attended? Did -- I'm sorry.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. RE:
21 Q. I just want to ask you: Did you and Mr. Pantelic talk about in a
22 general sense what Dr. Simic said or what happened at that meeting?
23 A. He didn't ask me about what Dr. Simic said at that meeting.
24 Mr. Pantelic didn't ask me that. We discussed the looting [as
25 interpreted]. We spoke very briefly, perhaps two or three minutes, about
1 those topics. There wasn't really much talk about that.
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: We have some clarification here.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: The witness said we didn't discuss the looting and
5 here it says we did discuss the looting, on page 11, line --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I thought I heard that we didn't. It's the
7 recording which is wrong, I think.
8 MR. RE:
9 Q. I'll just clarify that with you. Did you say you discussed the
10 looting or didn't discuss the looting? There's something a little bit
11 unclear here?
12 A. We didn't discuss about the looting last night.
13 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Actually, it was quite clear on line 8 of page
14 11, where the witness specifically said that, that he didn't discuss that,
15 so it's already there on the record.
16 MR. RE: I was just clarifying the last answer for the record,
17 Your Honour.
18 Q. And a moment ago, when I asked you about arrests in general, you
19 said we did talk about that. That was discussed. There was a kind of
20 clarification regarding that topic. Just tell us in broad terms what the
21 clarification regarding the topic was that you discussed with Mr. Pantelic
22 last night.
23 A. The clarification was as follows: Mr. Pantelic asked me who were
24 the people who implemented those acts, and I said the same thing to him
25 that I told you just now. I said that that was the police. I don't know
1 who else it could have been. The police, the civilian police. This was
2 something that was discussed a little bit.
3 Q. Were you a deputy or a member of either the assembly elected in
4 October 1990 or the Serbian Samac Municipal Assembly?
5 A. I was a deputy in the multiparty assembly, one of the deputies. I
6 think there were 50 deputies in the assembly. The first multiparty
7 assembly in Samac. And I was one of them. The assembly was constituted,
8 as you said, I don't remember very well, but I think it was in late 1990.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, what about the Serbian Municipal Assembly, that
10 was the Samac one from February or March 1992? Were you a member of that
11 one, or a deputy?
12 A. Yes. As an elected deputy, elected at the multiparty elections
13 which were held, I think, in 1989 or 1990, I was elected a deputy. And
14 while the multiparty assembly was still functioning, I was a deputy in
15 it. I continued on as a deputy of the Serbian Assembly of Samac. That's
16 what it was called. I remember now. Yes, yes. I was a deputy there too,
17 because I just continued. There was a continuum.
18 Q. Were you -- did you run on the SDS platform when you were elected
19 to the 1990 -- sorry, in the 1990 elections?
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise. Maybe -- we have bad
21 interpretation. We just heard that there were elections from 1999 or
22 something. Could you please repeat the question.
23 MR. RE: I'll repeat the question for you.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I think just repeat the question.
25 MR. RE:
1 Q. When you ran for the assembly in the 1990 elections, did you run
2 on the SDS platform as a member of the SDS?
3 A. Yes. Yes. The SDS platform, yes, which I studied thoroughly at
4 that time, and this was my political option.
5 Q. Did you remain a member of the SDS throughout the war?
6 A. No.
7 Q. When did you leave the SDS?
8 A. Well, how shall I put it? When I think about it now, I was a
9 deputy and a member of the SDS. But when the war broke out and everything
10 that happened, happened, I came to understand that what was happening was
11 not in line with the SDS platform, and I had the impression that these
12 things were being implemented under cover of the SDS, so I simply withdrew
13 from that political structure. I don't know whether my answer was clear
14 enough, but I hope it was.
15 Q. Could you clarify -- could you maybe expand on that and clarify
16 sort of things that you say were being implemented under the cover of the
17 SDS? What do you mean by that? What sort of things?
18 A. Throughout 1989, 1990, up to the elections, the national feelings,
19 not only Serb national feelings - I think the Serbs were the last to
20 organise themselves - but there was also the Muslim and the Croatian
21 national feelings, so the vast majority of the population grouped to
22 themselves, so to speak. And at the multiparty elections, the national
23 parties won the vast majority of votes. However, due to the course of
24 events, because we are now discussing the SDS platform, and in that
25 platform and the regulations that were officially adopted, there was a
1 statement, or a provision, that any citizen could be a member of the SDS
2 who accepted the platform and the statute, regardless of their ethnicity.
3 So it wasn't only for the Serbs. Nowhere in the platform was there any
4 ethnic intolerance, because had there been something like that, I would
5 not have opted for that party, if you understand me. However, this did
6 begin to emerge in practice later on, and when I recall all these events
7 now, it was very difficult to speak out publicly against the practices
8 that were being implemented. Because as the war went on, especially in
9 the autumn of 1992, when a certain number of so-called Specials, or
10 volunteers, arrived, who intimidated all of us, one could not fight for
11 democratic options in public, and that is why I silently withdrew. I did
12 not wish to be a participant in such activities.
13 Q. A moment ago you mentioned -- there was nothing in the platform
14 about ethnic intolerance. Are you saying one of your concerns, one of the
15 reasons you left the SDS, silently, was your concern of the ethnic
16 intolerance and the way they were implementing policies, hidden policies
17 of ethnic intolerance?
18 A. Precisely so, yes, but it wasn't just the SDS. The same thing
19 happened with the other national parties. The SDS was not a political
20 organisation creating ethnic intolerance. The SDA and the HDZ were
21 doing the same. That's a fact.
22 Q. And are you saying that your concern was you noticed or you saw
23 that all of the parties were promoting or were engaging in ethnic
24 intolerance, leading to ethnic cleansing of various areas of
1 A. Yes, precisely so.
2 Q. And that was something you experienced in Samac, the SDS's
3 involvement in ethnic cleansing in the Samac municipality, and was that
4 one of the reasons why you left the SDS in Samac?
5 A. Well, because of the overall course of events and all the negative
6 things that were happening, which -- well, this was mentioned as something
7 the SDS was doing. I simply withdrew because I didn't want to have
8 anything to do with that.
9 Q. I'm just asking you specifically about Samac and what you saw
10 there. I'm asking you: Is that something you saw, the ethnic cleansing
11 by the SDS in the Samac municipality, which was your home area? Was that
12 something you saw and concerned or distressed you, causing you to leave
13 the party?
14 A. Well, what is now called "ethnic cleansing" was not defined as
15 such at the time, and because of the ethnic intolerance that had already
16 been prevailing for a year or two and given rise to the war, due to
17 circumstances, wherever one ethnic option prevailed and set up its own
18 government, the others moved away. And so in Samac, it happened that the
19 Serb national option took over power, and then the Croats and the Muslims,
20 or the Bosniaks, as they call themselves now, they started leaving. As
21 far as I can remember, people could hardly wait to leave the territory.
22 Of course, with hindsight, it all looks very different now. I did not
23 understand at the time that the aim of what was happening was to
24 ethnically cleanse a certain territory. I wouldn't say that the SDS, as
25 an organised political structure of the time -- let me repeat: It never
1 officially adopted the position that ethnic cleansing should be carried
2 out. This was not the case. I think it was a tacit policy. I didn't
3 like it, and so I left the party.
4 Q. But that's exactly the effect of what happened in Samac, wasn't
5 it, as a result of SDS policies and the way they were pursued in that
6 area? It was ethnically cleansed of non-Serbs.
7 A. Well, very well. When we look at it now, from this point of time,
8 that's how it appears. There's nothing else I can add. But at the time,
9 it seemed to be something else. People wanted to go to their own ethnic
10 milieus. But now it's defined as ethnic cleansing.
11 Q. But sir, you know that a lot of people didn't leave voluntarily, a
12 lot of people were arrested, as you've already described, and locked up
13 and exchanged, and their exchange wasn't voluntary on their part and that
14 was one of the reasons why a lot of people left your municipality, wasn't
15 it, because they had no choice?
16 MR. LUKIC: Objection.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The witness is being asked to
19 speculate as to whether these people left voluntarily or not. He should
20 be asked whether he himself personally had knowledge, as a witness, as to
21 whether they were forced to leave or whether they left voluntarily.
22 Whether he has any direct knowledge of this. He should not be asked to
23 speculate as to why they left.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
25 MR. RE: In my submission, the witness can answer the question.
1 He's already given evidence about people leaving. I'm suggesting that
2 this was the reason. He can agree, he can disagree, or he can say
3 something else. I'm not asking him to speculate. If he knows, he knows;
4 if he doesn't know, he doesn't know.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The witness was living in the area and he can
6 give the answers according to the information that he had.
7 MR. RE:
8 Q. What I was asking you a moment ago, the question was: You are
9 aware that a lot of people didn't leave voluntarily. The document you
10 signed, you talked -- the document talks about the arrests of people, the
11 isolation of people, and people were locked up and exchanged, and that
12 process meant that they weren't leaving voluntarily.
13 A. Yes, I agree. I agree that these measures were taken and that
14 these people were mistreated, isolated, arrested, detained, locked up, and
15 so on. And this increased their wish to leave. And of course, under
16 pressure and wishing to escape from these misfortunes, they left. That is
18 Q. And from what you're saying, logically, that's what you, in
19 hindsight, now, describe as one -- describe as part of the ethnic
20 cleansing, isn't it, that process?
21 A. Well, I say that's the term used now, "ethnic cleansing," so we
22 have to accept it. But at the time, we never thought of that kind of
23 terminology. I never noticed it at the time. But I did see what was
24 happening and that people were leaving, yes.
25 Q. What I'm just seeking to clarify is, when you said you agreed that
1 people were mistreated, et cetera, and this increased their wish to leave,
2 and of course under pressure they -- and wishing to escape from these
3 misfortunes, they left, that's logical. What I'm suggesting is that was
4 the sort of thing that you're now describing with hindsight with the new
5 word of ethnic cleansing. What you just talked about was actually part of
6 the ethnic cleansing, the locking up and the isolation and getting people
7 to the point where they wished to leave or they had to leave, with
8 hindsight, that's the word which could have been used at the time but it
9 used now.
10 A. Yes, I agree.
11 Q. Mr. Tubakovic, you were a member of the 4th Detachment, were you?
12 A. No. I was never a member of the 4th Detachment.
13 Q. Your evidence, when you gave the deposition evidence in Belgrade,
14 was of your joining the VRS in May of 1992. What were you doing between
15 early April and mid-May?
16 A. I think I said this in Belgrade. I was, starting in October, I
17 think, 1991, as an officer of the JNA. I was assigned to the wartime
18 assignment of commander of the 2nd Detachment of the 17th Tactical Group,
19 and I remained in that post until the 19th of May, 1992, when, under the
20 decision issued by I think the assembly or the presidency of Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina, the federal government of the time, the JNA had to withdraw
22 from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the JNA left, or rather,
23 the officers who had been born in Serbia, Montenegro, and other republics
24 outside Bosnia-Herzegovina, left Bosnia and Herzegovina and only those
25 officers who remained took over the command, and these originated from the
1 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I was then a member of the command
2 of the 17th Tactical Group, which is renamed the 2nd Posavina Brigade, and
3 I was a member of the command of that brigade, starting from the 19th of
4 May, 1992 until the 7th of July, 1993, when I went to Bijeljina, to the
5 engineering regiment, and at the request of the command.
6 Q. Thank you for that. Specifically, where were you on the 16th and
7 17th of April, 1992, when Samac -- the town of Bosanski Samac was taken
9 A. The 16th and the 17th, whether I was at home in Samac or at my
10 command post -- I think I was at the command post, because I was a
11 commander of the 2nd Detachment. And if you're speaking of the night
12 between the 16th and the 17th, I was at home. But in the morning I went
13 to my command, in the early morning, at about 7.00 a.m. and my command
14 post was in Crkvina, the village of Crkvina.
15 Q. And what orders did you receive on the morning of the 17th, and
16 what did you and your detachment actually do on the morning or the day of
17 the 17th of April, 1992?
18 A. On the 17th, in the morning, I received an order that the entire
19 detachment should be called up, and this was done during the day,
20 mobilisation was carried out, and I was given the task to secure the right
21 bank of the River Bosna from the boundary of Modrica municipality to the
22 right bank of the River Bosna up to the territory belonging to the town of
23 Samac. So I was to secure the right bank of the River Bosna and control
24 the territory towards the villages of Hasici. These villages were in the
25 area of responsibility of my detachment. The right bank of the River
1 Bosna and, to the south, the villages of Gornji and Donji Hasici. That
2 was my assignment, and I carried it out successfully after the
4 Q. I just want a name here. Who gave you those orders?
5 A. The commander of the 17th Tactical Group, Lieutenant Colonel
6 Nikolic, gave me this command. I was directly subordinate to him. My
7 detachment was an integral part of that Tactical Group.
8 Q. I just want a one-word answer, if possible. Was it a written or
9 an oral order Colonel Nikolic gave you?
10 A. It was by telephone, by radio, and the command came from the 17th
11 Tactical Group, to mobilise the detachment and to deploy it along the line
12 I have already described.
13 Q. Did Colonel Nikolic tell you who had given him those orders or why
14 he was giving you those orders?
15 A. No. He had no reason to do that. He was my superior officer, so
16 he was not accountable to me. He just gave me the order.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: The answer is quite clear, but maybe, what we
19 heard as the translation of the question is: Why Colonel Nikolic received
20 such orders. This is what we heard as translation. This is what we
21 heard. But I believe that the answer of the witness was quite clear, that
22 he didn't discuss this with Colonel Nikolic.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: I don't see anything to repeat here. I think we can
25 MR. RE:
1 Q. This deployment along the banks of the River Bosna, was that
2 directly facing Croatia?
3 A. No. The River Bosna does not run along the border with the
4 Republic of Croatia. It's the River Sava that runs along the border with
5 the Republic of Croatia.
6 Q. I apologise. That was my mistake, sir. I'll move along. When
7 you -- sorry. Did Colonel Nikolic order you or your detachment to
8 participate in weapons searches in the areas in your area of
10 A. I think yes, but not on that day. In the area of responsibility
11 of my battalion, or rather, my detachment, on the bank of the River Bosna,
12 there was a small Croatian village called Zasavica, and as it was right by
13 the river, later on I was given the task to contact the representatives of
14 the Zasavica local commune, and this was two or three days after the 17th,
15 I can't remember the exact date. Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic told me to
16 talk to the representatives of the local commune, and if they had any
17 military weapons, that they should hand them over to the battalion
18 command. On several occasions, I talked to the representatives of the
19 local commune, and they agreed to do this. They had very few weapons, but
20 what they had, they handed over, yes.
21 Q. I'll just stop you for a moment. I've just got to check something
22 here. I'll just take you back to Crkvina, Mr. Tubakovic.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Your troops were along the banks near Zasavica. Were your troops
25 the 2nd Detachment, or any other troops actually stationed in Zasavica
1 from the 17th of April onwards?
2 A. In Zasavica, on the bank of the Bosna, near Zasavica, it was only
3 my units that were there. No other units. On that territory, it was I
4 alone, and no one else was given the task of securing the River Bosna.
5 Q. And how many people did you have securing the River Bosna? Just
6 the number if possible, please. How long did you stay there? Two things:
7 How many people and how long did you stay there?
8 A. Securing the River Bosna was a task that continued from then
9 onwards, without interruption. From the border of Modrica up to the edge
10 of the territory of Bosanski Samac. This was some three or four
11 kilometres along the River Bosna, and there were about a hundred
12 conscripts at any given time, and they, of course, changed. They were
13 relieved from time to time.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, in the report which the members of the Posavina
15 Brigade prepared, which is called P127 in these proceedings, you refer to
16 the arrival of a paramilitary group or Serbian commandos, in a helicopter.
17 It's all right. I'm just --
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: I have no problem, but maybe if you are referring
19 to the document, maybe the witness should have it before him.
20 MR. RE: Of course he should, but what I'm saying is just a very,
21 very general thing. Can the witness please be given the document.
22 Q. In the document you refer to the arrival of Serbian commandos and
23 paramilitaries. What I'm asking you, without needing to look at the
24 document, is simply this: Were any of those people deployed with your
25 detachment along the banks of the River Bosna at any time?
1 A. No, nobody was deployed from my detachment.
2 Q. I'm sorry. Your answer just was: Nobody was deployed from my
3 detachment. What I'm -- maybe that was a slight error in translation.
4 A. No, none of those para -- I understood the question to say whether
5 those who arrived, the paramilitary units, those who arrived from Serbia,
6 whether they were deployed in my detachment. No, none of them was
7 deployed in my detachment.
8 Q. Can I put it another way? Did your detachment ever work, ever do
9 any -- were you ever involved in any operations jointly with those
10 special -- with the -- what you've described as -- it's all right. I'm
11 not actually referring to the document. It's only general. You can --
12 Madam Usher, you can sit down.
13 The Serbian commandos or the paramilitary group, were any of --
14 did your group -- did your detachment ever involve -- ever engage in any
15 operations with them, at any time after their arrival?
16 A. No. My detachment did not.
17 Q. Was your detachment involved in the operation to clear the road to
18 Brcko on the 8th of - can I just finish the question - 8th of April, 1992?
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I can just make a
21 principled objection. This witness testified during the depositions in
22 Belgrade, and regarding his testimony in chief, and it is known what he
23 testified about while giving his deposition, I think the Prosecutor had
24 about an hour to ask him about these topics. The purpose of him arriving
25 here today is to allow the other Defence members to cross-examine him on
1 matters which arose out of the questions from his deposition.
2 Mr. Pantelic put certain questions to him, and now I understand that the
3 only task of the Prosecution is not to be given an additional hour to ask
4 about the things which were not put to the witness during the deposition
5 but to provide them with the opportunity to clarify things that arise from
6 the testimony now. I object to the Prosecution being given another chance
7 to put questions that they failed to put the first time. The Prosecutor
8 is putting new topics to the witness and things that arose throughout the
9 whole trial, and I think that it is not fair that the Prosecutor be
10 allowed to put new questions about topics which they did not put at the
11 proper time, are now being given the opportunity to open up new topics. I
12 think that they are being given additional time outside of the framework
13 of the deposition, and I don't think that that was the gist of the
14 decision of the Trial Chamber, and that was the original purpose was to
15 allow the Defence to put questions which might pertain to their clients.
16 MR. RE: Your Honours, the motion was quite specific. The motion
17 was to --
18 JUDGE MUMBA: No, Mr. Re. I think there is a misunderstanding
19 here by Mr. Lukic. This is not a continuation of the deposition process.
20 When the motion was put to the Trial Chamber, the gist was that this
21 witness -- or that this witness had -- it appeared that he had more
22 information or he was capable of giving more evidence on the issues in the
23 indictment, not necessarily what he stated at the deposition level. So
24 this is why the Trial Chamber ordered that he come, and if parties wish to
25 elicit whatever evidence they want to elicit from him, they could do so,
1 and that is why everybody was given the limited period of one hour to do
2 so. So it -- his evidence here is not to be limited to what was discussed
3 during the deposition process.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, for this
5 interpretation, and in that case, I cannot put my objection. Thank you
6 very much.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution can proceed.
8 MR. RE: Can I just check LiveNote to find out -- I can't remember
9 what my last question was, Your Honour. I've just got to check the
10 computer on the side.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
12 MR. RE: Thank you.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Tubakovic. My question was a moment ago: Was your
14 detachment or were you involved in the operation to clear the road to
15 Brcko on the 8th of May, 1992?
16 A. No. My detachment had the task that it had, and that task
17 remained in force.
18 Q. Similarly, you weren't involved, then, in the clearing of the road
19 to Modrica on the 10th of May, 1992?
20 A. No. No.
21 Q. It would be fair to say that the document which you have there,
22 P127, is critical of Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic. If you'd just go to the
23 first page, where it says -- perhaps it's the first page. It would be the
24 third paragraph, where it says: Second. Even while Tactical Group 17
25 existed and Lieutenant Nikolic was here.
1 Have you just found that portion?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What I'm saying: It's a fair conclusion that the command of the
4 2nd Posavina Brigade, of which you were one of the signatories of this
5 document, was critical of the role Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic had after
6 the arrival of these Serbian commandos or paramilitaries from Serbia. Or
7 I'm sorry, or from wherever they came.
8 A. The command was not critical towards Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic,
9 because he was the commander of the Tactical Group. We were somewhat
10 surprised with the departure of all the senior officers who came
11 originally from Serbia, by the fact that they left the command, but that
12 was their legal right. So I think, as far as I remember, we were critical
13 towards that. We noted that they had actually left suddenly, even though
14 we knew about that -- the term that the JNA, as an armed force, was being
15 dismantled that, that it wasn't functioning any more, and that is why they
16 left. We expressed a general small criticism because they left and they
17 didn't stay. That is what we did. But we didn't have any objections
18 against him as a commander, or against his work as a commander.
19 Q. That's not quite what I'm asking you. I just want you to look at
20 that paragraph, and it says -- the second sentence: "Nikolic and the 17th
21 Tactical Group command initially branded it as a `paramilitary group' and
22 a `group of bandits and mercenaries,' but after only five or six days,
23 they endorsed it and explained it as a `legal elite of Serbian commandos,'
24 whose arrival had been legalised through the official organs of government
25 and the army, both at the level of Samac municipality and at the highest
1 level in Serbia."
2 You see what I've just read out to you?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. Where you say there "they endorsed it and explained it," I just
5 want you to expand on what your understanding of their endorsement is in
6 this document. But please, as briefly as you can.
7 A. It states here that after a couple of days after their arrival,
8 five to six days, the same, and that is -- I assume that this refers to
9 the fact that probably Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic consulted his Superior
10 Command and received some kind of explanation that this was a group which
11 had come at the invitation of either the public security station of the
12 police, but did not come at the invitation of the military, and that this
13 is how I'm interpreting it now, that I -- that this group was being
14 accepted by the civilian -- the public security station and that the army
15 should not interfere in this in any way. This is how I am understanding
16 it now, as I am reading it. Five to six interpreted as the -- that would
17 be that. I assume that that is that.
18 Q. Are you -- were you aware of Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic using
19 these men under the command of Lugar and Crni for the -- for various
20 operations, and they being subordinated to his command?
21 A. No. No. They were not subordinated to his command. As far as I
22 know, this was not anywhere. They were not subordinated. They were not
23 part of the Tactical Group.
24 Q. No. I'm not suggesting they were part of the Tactical Group. But
25 what I'm saying: Are you aware -- and there's evidence before the Trial
1 Chamber of this, of Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic using them for various
2 operations. I'm just asking were you, as Major Tubakovic, aware that
3 Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic was using them in specific operations and
4 subordinating them to him for those specific operations? That's all I'm
5 asking. If you can't remember, that's perfectly okay.
6 A. I am not aware of him using them.
7 Q. In that document, these people are described as "Serbian
8 commandos" led by Crni and Debeli, or a paramilitary group. Where were
9 you told that they had come from and who they were?
10 A. Nobody explained anything to me or was obliged to do so, but I
11 heard, like everyone else, that this was a group that arrived from Serbia,
12 that they were Special Forces, some kind of Special Forces, and that they
13 would be under the authority of the police. That is what we heard. This
14 was the story that we got, and this is how things happened.
15 Q. Did you ever hear anything about them being part of the Krajina
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: There is something in the interpretation. When --
18 and it is just some sort of -- it is not actually a mistake in the
19 translation, but --
20 MR. RE: Please don't --
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- Krajina, we also have the Krajina Corps, and we
22 have -- and the way it was translated in B/C/S, it might suggest that it
23 was police in Krajina Corps or something like that. So maybe you should
24 use "Serbian Krajina in Croatia," Republic of Srpska Krajina.
25 MR. RE: I have limited time. I'm trying to get to the point
2 Q. My question is this. Did you ever hear anything about them being
3 police from Krajina, however interpreted?
4 A. No, I did not. I heard that they came from Serbia, but I don't
5 know who they belonged to. I didn't know it at the time either.
6 Q. You gave evidence in Belgrade, gave some deposition evidence,
7 specifically at page 224 of the depositions, where I asked you about the
8 document in the meeting, and I said: "What did Blagoje Simic say to the
9 meeting about the report?" It's not in there. It's in the transcript
10 of what you said in Belgrade. It was written down.
11 A. Yes. Yes.
12 Q. Your answer was: "It wasn't only Blagoje. All of them sought --
13 tried to negate what we had highlighted as negative practices, negative
14 trends within the zone of responsibility." I just want to ask you simply
15 this, and if you can answer it yes, please do so. You stand by the
16 evidence you gave when I asked you those questions in Belgrade, don't you?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you also stand by the question I asked you at page 225: "I
19 just want you to concentrate for a moment on Blagoje Simic. What do you
20 remember him saying at the meeting?" Answer -- this is your answer:
21 "Well, probably something along the lines of what the other people were
22 saying, that he didn't agree to us having done that. I cannot remember
23 details. I know that they were displeased at what we had written." All
24 I'm asking you again is: You stand by that question and answer that you
25 gave to me in Belgrade, don't you?
1 A. Yes, and also I am augmenting it with what I have just said,
2 because I remembered some other things, some other things I recalled, I
3 spoke about them, so I remembered more.
4 Q. Of course. That's completely normal, Mr. Tubakovic. And also, of
5 course, you stand by this question and answer. Question, page 225, the
6 next one: "Was their concern the fact that the military had written this
7 report about what the civilians were doing rather than it was what the
8 civilians were doing?" I'm saying was their concern the fact that you,
9 the military, had written this, do you live follow what I'm saying?
10 And your answer was: "Yes, yes, exactly. That was it precisely. We
11 gained the impression that they resented the fact that it was us analysing
12 the situation in this area, the situation among the population. They said
13 it's up to you. Yours is to take care of the army, of the military
14 issues, and it's up to see -- up to see what is happening amongst the
15 civilian population." That's it. Do you stand by that?
16 A. Yes. Yes. That's right.
17 Q. And this report you wrote, that's the one you have there, do you
18 remember ever talking to your brother Djordje Tubakovic about the report
19 or the fact that you had written the report, expressing the command's
20 concerns about the Crisis Staff or War Presidency and what was happening?
21 A. Yes. I talked to my brother when I returned from Belgrade. We
22 did have a conversation very soon afterwards. He asked me why did I go to
23 Belgrade. So I explained to him briefly what the topic of my testimony
24 was in Belgrade, and that was --
25 Q. Slight misunderstanding. I mean at the time you wrote the report
1 and the time surrounding the report, November, December 1992, January
2 1993, do you remember talking to him about the report or your concerns
3 about -- that is your, the Posavina --
4 A. No. No. No. I didn't discuss that with anyone, not with anyone,
5 for sure.
6 Q. And the War Presidency, or the Crisis Staff, were you aware of a
7 military representative being on the War Presidency or the Crisis Staff,
8 and if so, if you're aware of it, who was the representative of the
10 A. I don't know who the military representative was.
11 [Prosecution counsel confer]
12 MR. RE:
13 Q. There's just one final issue, one final question I wish to ask
14 you, a very short topic. I just want to -- you gave evidence earlier
15 about looting. You said something to Mr. Pantelic about it. I just want
16 to tell you what Mr. Zaric said in his interview to the Prosecutor on the
17 2nd of April, 1998. That's P141 and it's at page 94 of the ter version.
18 I'll just read you briefly what it says and ask you whether you agree with
19 it. The Prosecutor, that's Nancy said: "So this is the Samac Crisis Staff
20 who was allowing this looting to go on?" To which Mr. Zaric answered:
21 "Yes. Many things were taken away. It was all organised by them. Many
22 things were hidden from me. I don't know where things were taken, but I
23 know that many things were taken then."
24 That's what Mr. Zaric said in his interview to the Prosecutor in
25 1998. Do you agree with what he said there?
1 A. I don't know who organised the looting. I know that there was
2 looting. I saw that, just like any other citizens. I saw that there was
3 looting. Whether this was organised by anyone or whether this was
4 spontaneous looting, I don't know, whether to say that it was one or the
5 order. But I don't know that the Crisis Staff adopted a decision on
6 looting. Perhaps it did, but I don't know. But it was a fact that there
7 was looting. That is something that I agree with.
8 Q. That's the end of my cross-examination.
9 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Any matters arising that counsel wish to
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. I just wanted to
13 clarify something with the witness that arose from the questions and that
14 pertains to the defence of my client.
15 Re-examined by Mr. Lukic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Tubakovic, I'm Novak Lukic, counsel for
17 Mr. Tadic. I just have a couple of questions in response to the questions
18 asked you by the Prosecutor regarding the responsibility and the people
19 who were leaving Samac, and he said whether -- if somebody was exchanged,
20 and then later -- if somebody was arrested and then later was exchanged,
21 would they be forced to go? And you responded -- actually, in that
22 context, you mentioned the exchange. My first question is as follows:
23 Did -- were you, Mr. Tubakovic, present at any exchange at the very place
24 of the exchange?
25 A. No. I was not present there. This was not something that was
1 done by the military, so I didn't have such a task or the opportunity to
2 do that.
3 Q. Did you know when you were replying to the Prosecutor, did you
4 know that at the line where the exchange was carried out, all of those who
5 were brought for the exchange stated whether they wanted to cross over to
6 the other side or not? Did you know about that?
7 A. I did have some knowledge about that, and that is why I said that
8 people wanted to go, because the situation was such. Whether this desire
9 stemmed from some kind of compulsion or some desire, I don't know.
10 Q. My question is specific: Did you know whether people said, when
11 they were at the place of exchange, whether they wanted to go or not?
12 A. No, I don't know. I was never at the line of exchange.
13 Q. When you were responding to the Prosecutor, did you know, were you
14 aware of the fact that the people who were detained and who were taken to
15 an exchange but did not wish to go to the exchange, they could go home,
16 they could choose whether they could go home, they actually went back
17 home, they didn't go back to gaol? Did you know about that?
18 A. No, I don't know anything about that.
19 Q. If I were to tell you that we heard testimony here about how
20 people on the line, people who were detained in Samac and Batkovic were
21 able to say at the line that they did not want to go across and that they
22 were allowed to go back home and that they're living in Samac still today,
23 if I were to tell you that, would you reconsider your response to the
24 Prosecutor whether people considered whether they wanted to go voluntarily
25 or not?
1 A. Well, I didn't participate in that activity, so I accept what are
2 the facts.
3 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one small -- oh,
7 yes. Very well. I apologise.
8 Re-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Tubakovic, the Prosecutor asked you about
10 your party affiliation this morning. Could you please tell me: When you
11 became a soldier, did you continue to work in politics or did you stop?
12 A. No. I stopped with that. I wasn't thinking about politics, and I
13 began to carry out the tasks that were entrusted to me by the military.
14 Q. Do you know about the fact that in 1992 and 1993, the activities
15 of political parties in Republika Srpska were frozen?
16 A. Yes. I think that that was true. As far as I recall now --
17 MR. RE: I object. The purpose of Mr. Pantelic being permitted to
18 recross-examine is if there's anything that affected the interests of his
19 client from my cross-examination that he didn't cover himself earlier.
20 This is, in my respectful submission, outside the scope.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Well --
22 JUDGE MUMBA: If I recall, the Prosecution did ask questions
23 regarding the practices of the SDS and the witness did give answers as to
24 how he left the SDS, so I think it's quite related.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. It's absolutely correct, Your Honour. That
1 was also my understanding, and therefore I'm pursuing this line of
2 questions. Thank you.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Tubakovic, could you please tell me: Do you
4 have any personal knowledge about Dr. Blagoje Simic in the period from the
5 autumn of 1991 until the end of 1993 personally promoting ethnic
6 intolerance, ethnic hate, policies of expulsion, and so on? Do you know
7 anything like that about Dr. Blagoje Simic?
8 A. No. No. I don't have any such knowledge about him. In my
9 presence, that was something that I never heard, so I cannot have any
10 knowledge about it if I never heard anything like that.
11 Q. It is now time for a break, but we have time for one brief
12 question. Did you ever hear anybody say that Dr. Blagoje was supporting
13 such a policy?
14 A. No, I did not.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honours, appropriate time for our break?
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll take our break at this time and continue
17 at 11.30.
18 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.31 a.m.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: For the sake of clarity, we'll go back to our normal
21 break time. This time we shall continue for an hour, have a break at
22 12.30, resume at 12.50, up to 1345 hours, and then continue in the
23 afternoon at 1445.
24 Yes, Mr. Pantelic. You still have questions?
25 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour, I believe one or two, so I will
1 finish in a couple of minutes. Thank you.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Tubakovic, to the Prosecutor's question in
3 connection with the comments on this information in the part relating to
4 the JNA, I have a question to put to you. After the 19th of May, 1992,
5 were there any JNA officers in the 2nd Posavina Brigade who originated
6 from Serbia? I'm referring to them.
7 A. On the 19th of May, 1992, JNA officers who had been born outside
8 the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina left our command. As far as I can
9 remember, none of them remained.
10 Q. The military cadres, were they composed of local conscripts or
11 were there also conscripts from Serbia?
12 A. Both the officers and the privates who were born outside
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina were duty-bound to leave the territory of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina on that date, so that only the local population
16 Q. You mean from the Samac area?
17 A. Yes, the area of Samac, Pelagicevo, the territory of the area of
18 responsibility of the 2nd Posavina Brigade.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Tubakovic.
20 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... thank you,
21 Your Honours. Thank you.
22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes, Mr. Tubakovic. I just have a few questions,
23 four, to be exact
24 Questioned by the Court:
25 JUDGE WILLIAMS: First of all, this morning, page 8, lines 2 to 3
1 of the transcript, Mr. Pantelic asked you a question concerning the police
2 being in charge of arrests and detention, and on line 4 of page 8, you
3 agreed with that. You recall that, Mr. Tubakovic? Yes?
4 A. Of course. Of course I remember. I heard, I saw. I saw little,
5 but I heard a lot.
6 JUDGE WILLIAMS: So my question, actual question to you is: Do
7 you have any knowledge as to which body or institution, if you like, if
8 any, authorised the police to arrest and detain persons in Bosanski
10 A. I have already said that I didn't hear from anyone, nor did I see,
11 any official decision by any organ in connection with those tasks. I
12 assume that they did this on their own initiative. I can only assume
13 that. I can't be certain. Because had an organ of some sort issued such
14 decisions, I would probably have heard about it by now, but I'm not aware
15 of any such thing.
16 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Okay. Thank you for that answer. So my second
17 question is concerning something you said in your deposition, Rule 71
18 evidence, and you mentioned - and this is on page 219 of the transcript of
19 that testimony - you mentioned, in answer to a question by Mr. Pisarevic
20 concerning P127, the 13 signatories document, that -- sorry, page 218 of
21 that document, of the transcript, you mentioned that the report was not
22 to be mentioned, that mentioning that any such report existed was not part
23 of the plan, if you like - that's my word - of the members of the command.
24 So I'm wondering: If this document was to be kept confidential, what was
25 its purpose, if it was going to be kept as a confidential document?
1 A. I think that I explained this in Belgrade, but I'll try again.
2 The brigade command, on several occasions, discussed the negative
3 occurrences that were leading to a decline in the morale of the army of
4 Republika Srpska, and in the end, drew up the information, the document
5 you now have. This was adopted at a meeting of the command, and I have
6 just seen that it was, I think, on the 29th of November, 1992. The
7 members of the command adopted it unanimously, and their conclusion was
8 that the text of the document, of the information, should be for the
9 information of the members of the command, so that they could continue to
10 act in order to raise morale, in order to try to act, each within his own
11 sphere of competence within the 2nd Posavina Brigade, in order to remove
12 the negative phenomena mentioned in the document, in the information. The
13 information as such was to be archived in the command and not to be used
14 or even mentioned as existing. We were not supposed to go to the units
15 and say: Well, you know, we've conducted an analysis. We've collected
16 information and read out the document. The information was simply to be
17 used in order to improve the situation. How it came about that it was
18 leaked to the public, I have no idea. I assume the commander had to have
19 done it, because no other member of the command could have done that or
20 would have dared to do that, or wanted to do it. I assume that the
21 content of the information reached the structures of the civilian
22 government, and I assume it did so through the commander. It certainly
23 wasn't through me, and I assume it wasn't through any other member of the
24 command. I don't know whether I have been clear enough and whether I have
25 responded to your question. Was that what you wanted to learn?
1 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you. That clarified some things that were
2 in my mind. But one thing you mentioned here in that respect is that this
3 document was therefore an internal - that's my word, internal command
4 document - and a confidential document, as we know, and that it was then
5 the intention was simply to archive it. Now, what that sort of raises in
6 my mind is: How could the situation in Bosanski Samac, the tensions,
7 these negative tendencies that are mentioned in connection with the
8 civilian authorities and so on, how could the situation be ameliorated if
9 such a document was simply intended to be put in the archives of the
11 A. I will repeat: The document, as a piece of paper that had been
12 signed, was to be kept in the archives and was not to be used as such,
13 saying that the command adopted the document on such-and-such a date.
14 However, the contents of the document were to be borne in mind by the
15 members of the command in their attempts to ameliorate the situation. We
16 were to go to the units, and we could say we know that such-and-such
17 things have happened, how can we improve the situation, how can we remove
18 the negative tendencies? We weren't to go and say: We have conducted an
19 analysis, collected information, we are acting on this basis. So we were
20 to use the information contained in the document, but not show the
21 document itself. That was what the conclusion of the command was.
22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you for that. And in fact my last question
23 concerns once again something you said in your deposition evidence, and
24 this is at the top of page 229. And you mention -- I'll just read the
25 sentence. It says: "The control and command system was, of course, from
1 the command of the brigade up to the command of the corps and the Main
2 Staff, but the civilian authorities could exert an influence on the army
3 via the commander because he succumbed to such."
4 And then it goes on and says: "Because formerly they were not
5 entitled to interfere in what were the terms of reference of the brigade
7 So I'm just interested in knowing what you meant by the words "but
8 the civilian authorities could exert an influence on the army via the
9 commander, because he succumbed to such."
10 A. Direct contacts with the civilian authorities, that was something
11 that every member of the command had in connection with his own sphere of
12 competence. The commander was the embodiment of the command, the
13 personification of the command, and he was in possession of the powers he
14 had. How he cooperated, in what area, and what talks he had with the
15 representatives of the authorities, that's something he knows. I don't
16 know that. I was simply a member of the command. It's possible, and I'm
17 speculating now, it's possible that, and I assume that the information
18 reached the civilian authorities through the commander. I can only assume
19 that. I can't be certain. He's the one who knows that. It wasn't done
20 through me. So I assume that in his conversations with individuals that
21 were in the civilian authorities, he adopted certain suggestions made to
22 him by those authorities, but he was not duty-bound to do so, because in
23 any military in the world, there is a chain of command that has nothing to
24 do with the civilian authorities. Whether he succumbed to them, as I
25 said, he probably did, probably. But I can't be certain, because I wasn't
1 there, so that I can't be certain. He may have accepted some suggestions
2 that he shouldn't have.
3 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I apologise. I said that was the last one, but I
4 have one now that just follows on from what you've said. To your
5 knowledge - and if you don't know, obviously just say that right away -
6 did the civilian authorities in the municipality of Bosanski Samac in any
7 way influence a decision of Lieutenant Commander Nikolic to instruct
8 Commander Antic and Mr. Zaric, as persons in the command of the 4th
9 Detachment, not to intervene directly in the situation of the takeover in
10 Bosanski Samac, but solely to be on the alert and take up defensive
11 positions, notably along the river embankments between the municipality
12 and Croatia?
13 A. I think that was the task of the 4th Detachment, and it had no
14 other tasks. Just as my task was to secure the River Bosna and nothing
15 else. In the same way, they were given this task. I don't know the
16 details of it, because I wasn't in that command.
17 JUDGE WILLIAMS: So the question simply put: To your knowledge,
18 did the civilian authorities, the Crisis Staff or any other part of the
19 authorities in Bosanski Samac, influence the decision of Colonel --
20 Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic to instruct the 4th Detachment in the way he
21 did? And as I said, if you don't know, simply say you don't know.
22 A. I think that they didn't, but it's better to say that I don't
24 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you very much for those answers and
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I notice from the transcript that before Judge
2 Williams started asking questions, I hadn't asked Mr. Pisarevic or
3 Mr. Lazarevic whether they wanted to clarify anything out of the
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: No, Your Honours. We didn't have any
6 re-examination. Otherwise, I would raise it.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. Thank you.
8 Thank you very much, Mr. Tubakovic. We have finished with you.
9 You may leave the courtroom.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 JUDGE MUMBA: We will continue with Mr. Simo Zaric.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 WITNESS: SIMO ZARIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours.
17 Examined by Mr. Pisarevic: [Continued]
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Zaric.
19 A. Good day.
20 Q. Is the technical equipment functioning?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Yesterday we were talking about the arrival of members of the
23 military police in a truck in Pinzgauers and so on, and you explained how
24 a military truck with a canvas cover entered the courtyard of the
25 Territorial Defence staff. Do you remember that that's the last topic we
1 talked about?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Tell us, please: What happened after this? Did you, Mr. Zaric,
4 then enter the courtyard and the premises of the Territorial Defence,
5 where detainees were held?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did anyone else enter the premises with you?
8 A. Mr. Makso Simeunovic did. He arrived with the vehicles and the
9 military police escort, and Mr. Mihajlo Topolovac came in likewise.
10 Q. Thank you. Did you enter the room where the detainees were, and
11 if you did, how did you do that?
12 A. I entered the room because the guard who was in charge of guarding
13 the facility opened a room, and this was the first and only time I entered
14 that room during the whole time of the war.
15 Q. When the guard opened the door to this room where the detainees
16 were held in the TO staff, what did you see? Can you tell us, please.
17 A. In my estimation, the room was perhaps some 50 square metres in
18 area. In the centre of that room there is a wooden pillar, a
19 weight-bearing pillar. On that wooden pillar there was a metal tin
20 containing sand, and there was a candle there which was lighted. At that
21 moment there were no electric lights in Bosanski Samac.
22 Q. And by the light of the candle, what did you see? How many people
23 were there? What was their condition? And what impression did this leave
24 on you?
25 A. For me, it was a terrible sight. I have to be quite sincere. The
1 room was relatively small for the number of people inside it. In my
2 estimation, there were between 40 and 50 people inside. I didn't count
3 them, but that's my opinion, as far as I could judge at that moment. I
4 would only like to say that the reflection of the candlelight from the
5 candle burning on the pillar in the middle of the room fell on the faces
6 of the people in the room, and what I could see were vague outlines. You
7 couldn't clearly see people's faces. And also what I was able to see was
8 so bad that I could hardly recognise those people. When I say that, I
9 mean that many of them were unshaved, many were deformed from beatings,
10 and even people standing quite close to me, I didn't recognise until they
11 spoke to me.
12 Q. Did you address those people, and how?
13 A. Yes, I did. This was a very unpleasant situation for me. Let me
14 just add, in relation to the conditions: There was a very unpleasant
15 odour in that room, and I couldn't understand how people could live in
16 those conditions. It smelt of sweat, of urine, and various other smells
17 were there. But it was something that was difficult to see, to look at,
18 and only the people who were in that room can describe how they felt
19 there. And I would also like to say something else about the conditions.
20 Q. Go ahead.
21 A. That wooden pillar, because I entered that room for the first
22 time, it came right to the top of the ceiling, and there were wooden beams
23 up there, and these were covered by planks, wooden planks. This means
24 that the room in which the detainees were held did not have a concrete
25 ceiling, so had a shell landed, by chance, on that room, because these
1 were ordinary planks, there would have been a terrible tragedy. So this
2 was what I saw, and I really want to tell the Chamber how it was.
3 Q. Thank you for this information. On the faces of those people, did
4 you observe fear or anything else?
5 A. I went in and I said: Good evening. I have to say that I was
6 surprised, really, and it's up to the Chamber and the other participants
7 whether they will believe me or not. They all got up as one and said, in
8 unison: Good evening. I could see that there was a negative sort of
9 discipline that had been drilled into them. So I assume when the Specials
10 or the policemen who wanted to take it out on them came in, that's how
11 they behaved. Because the moment I said "good evening," they all jumped
12 up, almost standing to attention, one could say, and said "good evening,"
13 in unison, as one man.
14 Q. And what did you tell them?
15 A. I remember my words very well. I said that I felt very
16 uncomfortable at finding them in such a state, but this time I would not
17 give a long speech. I need to tell you something quickly. Please relax
18 and stand normally. I say that because they were standing in a stiff
19 posture. I went on to say that within the military, it was agreed that
20 they be transferred to a safer place so that we could spare them these
21 conditions. And I said: Well, for the first time I am seeing where you
22 are and how the places where you are, and I told them that they were being
23 taken to a safer place, and I just said to them one thing: I would just
24 like you to respect one discipline that I will indicate to you. At that
25 point, from the depth of the room, a man called out whose voice I
1 recognised later. That was Mr. Dragan Lukac.
2 Q. And what did Mr. Dragan Lukac tell you then when he addressed you?
3 A. First he told me: Mr. Zaric, Grga Zubak is asking you to speak to
4 him. And I asked: And where is Grga? From the place where I was
5 standing near this pillar, he was perhaps about two metres to the right,
6 right next to the wall, and he was all bunched up, like a ball. He was in
7 a crouching position. I went up to him, and please believe me, I couldn't
8 recognise this person as Mr. Grga Zubak, because he was a completely
9 deformed person. I couldn't believe that a live person could look so bad.
10 Q. When you say that he was all deformed, do you mean that the shape
11 of his body was deformed?
12 A. Yes. His head was so swollen, it was bruised, black and blue. He
13 could hardly speak because of his mouth. His eyes were completely closed,
14 so that he just sensed me, because Mr. Grga recognised my voice and
15 probably signaled to the others. I went up to Mr. Grga. I knelt next to
16 him and I asked him: Grga, what do you want? The only two words that he
17 uttered then were: Only if I had some water. That was the only thing
18 that I could hear from him. And I must say that the stench from his
19 mouth, because I came up very close to him, was really terrible, because
20 he was all beaten up and bloodied. And I don't want to describe that
21 scene now, but I told the guard: Bring water to this man. And after
22 that, when I stood up, he asked me -- Mr. Dragan Lukac asked me again:
23 Mr. Zaric, what will happen to us?
24 Q. And Mr. Zaric, what did you reply to Dragan Lukac and the others
25 who were present there?
1 A. I told Mr. Lukac that I didn't have time for story telling but
2 that we were doing everything through the military to transfer you to a
3 safer place where you will be spared of all this abuse. At least, that's
4 what I'm hoping. And then I more or less said the following: As far as
5 you are concerned -- and then I saw the veterinarian standing next to
6 him. He's quite a large man, so I noticed him. And then without thinking
7 too much, I said: As far as you are concerned, and Dr. Ante, and also
8 there was a Dr. Miroslav Keljacic, a doctor from Samac who was also there,
9 and then Mr. Franjo Barukcic was standing right next to Grga. He was an
10 elderly man from Samac who was born from Prud, and Sulejman Tihic. As far
11 as all of you are concerned, I think that you are being treated as
12 political prisoners and that things -- your questions will be resolved as
13 soon as possible. And as far as all the others are concerned, I'm hoping
14 that you will be freed as soon as possible.
15 So these are the only things that I said at that point, before all
16 of these 50 or so people, if there were so many, along with the presence
17 of Mr. Simeunovic and Mr. Topolovac, who were standing right next to me.
18 Q. Mr. Zaric, could you please describe how the people were loaded up
19 onto the truck. Were they called out? And if their names were called
20 out, who was it who called out their names? How was it? What had
22 A. When I said that they all said thank you, in unison, and I said:
23 Now, Mr. Mihajlo Topolovac will read this list to you, and I am asking you
24 to get into the trucks as soon as possible so that we can leave here as
25 soon as possible. After I said those words, I stepped back out of that
1 room and I went almost to the end of the yard, towards the road, or
2 towards the street that runs along that building, while Mr. Mihajlo
3 Topolovac, and there was another police officer on duty with him, he was
4 standing next to the trucks, and as the people were entering them, he was
5 calling out their names and he was recording on a piece of paper that he
6 had with him, the list. He was noting the names of the people who were
7 entering the trucks.
8 Q. Mr. Zaric, you've said on two occasions that you were rushing and
9 that you didn't have time. Why were you hurrying in this way in order to
10 complete this task?
11 A. I said in my testimony yesterday that I had information that a
12 group of Special Forces, headed by Mr. Todorovic and some of his police
13 officers, were celebrating the Orthodox Easter in a cafe called Trile,
14 which is several kilometres away from Samac. And that operative
15 information was something that made me act immediately. It was my wish to
16 do this as soon as possible, because I was afraid that Mr. Todorovic
17 perhaps, or any of those other Special Forces who were prone to abusing
18 people, wouldn't appear at that point, and then the whole procedure would
19 be brought into question. That is why I wished to carry out this action
20 as soon as possible, because besides all that I had said, within half an
21 hour of everything, the trucks left for Brcko. That is how long the whole
22 thing took.
23 Q. So the people entered within half an hour. They were called out
24 by Topolovac. Do you have any information about whether anyone remained
25 in that room in the TO headquarters?
1 A. No. I didn't go back any more, nor did I see anyone in that
2 room. And just prior to the departure of the vehicles from the TO
3 building, Mr. Sulejman Tihic was brought, as well as Mr. Ibrahim Salkic,
4 who were at the premises of the public security station, and Safet
5 Hadzialijagic was amongst the last to enter the bus [as interpreted]
6 amongst all of those people. We called him Coner. He was one of the
7 people who were in detention with the other detainees.
8 Q. Just one moment, please. In transcript, it says they entered the
9 bus, but they actually entered --
10 A. They actually entered the truck.
11 Q. When you saw Safet Hadzialijagic, aka Coner, did you say anything
12 to him?
13 A. Yes. I said something -- I must say, I forgot to say something
14 when I said that I was going to say something to them about a certain type
15 of discipline. I'm talking about all the detainees. I informed them, and
16 I requested from them, that when they entered the vehicle, to be
17 well-behaved and quiet. In front of the vehicle and behind the vehicle,
18 there was a military police escort, and I didn't want any of them to
19 decide to run from the truck and to bring into question this whole
20 operation. And this person, Safet Hadzialijagic, aka Coner, when he
21 entered the truck amongst the last of the people, I told him: Coner,
22 please, what I asked you to do to prevent any problem from happening,
23 please, could you take care of that? Because you're amongst the older
24 people here.
25 I know that this Coner enjoyed a certain authority amongst the
1 people, and he told me: Simo, don't worry. There will be no problem.
2 That was our last conversation before the trucks set off for
4 Q. And when Coner also entered the truck, did the column set out for
6 A. Yes. One Pinzgauer was driving in front of the vehicles, in the
7 middle was the truck, and then behind the truck there was the second
8 Pinzgauer. And Mr. Makso Simeunovic was also there, but he had a special
9 vehicle and a separate driver. And he went together with them, towards
11 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you follow this column that went towards Brcko?
12 A. No. Once they left in front of the building of the TO, I
13 immediately said to Mr. Savo Cancarevic and Mihajlo Topolovac that I was
14 going, and if anybody were to look for me, they could ask for me at the
15 command. And that is why I left that place immediately, fearing that
16 these people would come back and make trouble for me.
17 Q. You said that these people wouldn't come back. Could you please
18 clarify. Who do you mean? Who wouldn't come back?
19 A. I meant the multicoloureds and Mr. Stevan Todorovic and some of
20 his police officers, who sometimes did the same things that he did.
21 Q. Did you call anybody on the telephone afterwards?
22 A. I immediately went to the command, and from the command of the 4th
23 Detachment, I called Captain Petrovic, in Brcko.
24 Q. And what did you talk about with the Captain, with Captain
1 A. I told Captain Petrovic that the people had left, that there were
2 no problems during departure, that Mr. Makso was with them, and that I
3 expected them to arrive there very quickly. And then I told him:
4 Petrovic, I really didn't know what state these people were in. I don't
5 know whether all of them were reach you alive. But I saw Grga Zubak,
6 amongst others. I also saw a man called Gibic or Delic, who was also in a
7 very sorry state. Could you please make sure that as soon as they get
8 there, they receive medical assistance, because they seem to me to be in a
9 terrible state.
10 Mr. Petrovic told me that he would do everything, and I asked him,
11 I told him that I would be at the command and when the people reached
12 Brcko, I asked him to tell me that they had arrived, to let me know.
13 Q. And did Mr. Petrovic call you?
14 A. Yes. Mr. Petrovic called me. It was almost 12.00. They were
15 supposed to travel for quite a while, because from Bosanski Samac to the
16 JNA barracks in Brcko, it's over 45 to 50 kilometres.
17 Q. Just one more fact that needs to be established. What was the
18 post of Mr. Petrovic at that time?
19 A. Mr. Petrovic was the intelligence and security officer at the JNA
20 barracks in Brcko, so he was the security officer.
21 Q. The next day, or one of the following days, did you go to the
22 Brcko barracks, Mr. Zaric?
23 A. Yes. The very next day I left for Brcko. And I would like to say
24 that when I arrived at the command, I told Commander Antic and deputy --
25 Captain Savic, how this action was carried out. And they knew that I was
1 working for several days already to do everything to remove those people
2 from Samac. And the next day, during the morning, I told Commander Antic
3 that I wished to go to Brcko to see how these people are, and I personally
4 wanted to show those people who had left, at least a little bit, that I
5 was concerned about them and worried about all the things that they had
6 been exposed to in Samac.
7 Q. How did you get to Brcko?
8 A. I went to Brcko with Toso Tutnjevic, my driver. He was my
9 permanent driver. He drove me and others. But he mostly drove me about,
10 because I was the most active member of the command in the operative
12 Q. And who did you go to see in Brcko? Who did you meet in the Brcko
14 A. When I came to Brcko, I first went to see Captain Petrovic, the
15 colleague, and another man who was working in the security, Jovo Arsenic
16 was working together with my colleague Petrovic in the intelligence and
17 security organ of the barracks in Brcko. I wish to say that before I left
18 for Brcko, Mr. Fadil Topcagic was also in front of the command, and he
19 expressed a wish to go to Brcko and asked if there would be any obstacles
20 to his going, because many of his closest friends and family were detained
21 in the Territorial Defence, or had been detained in the Territorial
22 Defence. And I said that as far as I was concerned, there was no
23 obstacle. He then asked me if Lazar Stanisic, also known as Ziga, could
24 also go with me [as interpreted], and whether they could buy some food,
25 some cigarettes, and so on, and take this to those people.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that Mr. Zaric will clarify this through
2 his next answers, but here it says: "He then asked me," on page 53, line
3 24, "if Lazar Stanisic, also known as Ziga, could also go with me."
4 Actually, it should read "with him," because he also went with Fadil
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you for the correction.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said to Mr. Topcagic that there
8 was no problem, that they could go, because I knew how Mr. Lazar Stanisic,
9 up to that moment, had behaved towards those people and what his opinion
10 was. So I said there was no obstacle to their going. And they went in a
11 white van to buy food in the town, and Toso Tutnjevic, my driver, and I
12 went to the JNA barracks in Brcko directly.
13 On arrival, I first went to see Captain Petrovic.
14 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Zaric, on that occasion, did you see, with Captain Petrovic,
16 what the conditions were for those people?
17 A. Yes. As soon as I arrived, Captain Petrovic told me that the
18 people had been accommodated. He said: Grga is still alive. He was
19 immediately given medical assistance. He and all the other detainees. He
20 said the three of us will go now, meaning Jovo Arsenic, the man I
21 mentioned, will go there to the place where those people are accommodated,
22 to see them. The three of us, a few minutes later, went to the room where
23 the people from Samac were accommodated.
24 Q. Mr. Zaric, can you describe the facility and the rooms where the
25 detainees from Samac were accommodated?
1 A. Of course I can. This was a room which, in my opinion, or
2 according to my first impression, had been used as a warehouse for some
3 sort of equipment, because there were two or three windows - I can't
4 remember exactly how many - with bars that were inside the room. The bars
5 were not on the outside wall, but they were inside, on the inside wall.
6 And the rooms were quite large, airy, in comparison with what I had seen
7 in Samac. The people were sitting on mattresses, as we called them. They
8 were actually mats which had been given them to use. Some were sitting on
9 them, some were lying down. And in these two rooms, they were in much
10 better circumstances than what I had seen in Samac.
11 Q. Had they been able to wash and shave?
12 A. Yes. They had all washed, and quite a number of them had shaved.
13 And those who hadn't shaved maybe hadn't had time to do so, or maybe they
14 wanted to grow beards. But they looked much fresher at that moment,
15 because they had been allowed, or at least that's what Petrovic told me,
16 to go out, to wash, to use water. They could use the toilet normally.
17 And when I arrived, there were two military policemen outside. Those were
18 policemen with white belts, standing outside the building. They were
19 under the control of the military police of the JNA barracks in Brcko.
20 Q. On that day, did you see Mr. Fadil Topcagic and Lazar Stanisic in
21 the Brcko barracks?
22 A. No, I didn't, but I heard that they had gone there. And when I
23 was talking to Petrovic afterwards, I heard that they had arrived and
24 brought something and that a colleague had gone so that they could hand
25 over that food. But I wasn't with them at the moment when they were
1 handing over the cigarettes and sandwiches, gear and other things they had
2 brought for the detainees.
3 Q. Mr. Zaric, on that day, was Mr. Milan Simic in your presence at
4 any moment in that barracks?
5 A. Milan Simic? No. Milan Simic wasn't there at all, not on that
6 day, nor did I ever see him in the barracks in Brcko.
7 Q. Did Milan Simic ever go to the barracks in Brcko with you?
8 A. No, never.
9 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I understand
10 correctly, we are to have a break now.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, and continue at 12.50 hours.
12 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
15 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Zaric, before the break we were saying that you were in the
17 JNA barracks in Brcko with Mr. -- or rather, with Captain Petrovic. While
18 you were with Captain Petrovic in Brcko, did anything else happen?
19 A. Yes. I would like to say that when Captain Petrovic, Mr. Jovo
20 Arsenic, and I entered the rooms I have described for the first time, I
21 shook hands with all the detainees who were there and greeted them. There
22 were two large rooms where they were accommodated, and a third smaller
23 room, where there were Mr. Tihic, Mr. Lukac, and Grga Zubak. This was a
24 smaller room, smaller than the other two big ones, but not really small,
25 and there was a special military mattress there on which Mr. Grga was
2 In my conversation with them, I said, jokingly: Oh, there are
3 quite a few of you here. And that was the first time that Safet
4 Hadzialijagic said: There are over 50 of us here from Samac. And that
5 was the first time that I learned how many people had arrived by truck
6 that night, 56 people, who arrived from Bosanski Samac to the JNA
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: Only one small correction. On page 57, line 5,
9 the number is 56. This is what Mr. Zaric said.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The latter time it was 56, yes.
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. And what happened then?
13 A. Then people spontaneously began to talk, and I stayed there for
14 more than half an hour. Mr. Petrovic and Mr. Jovo Arsenic were with me.
15 I remember, for example, Dr. Anto, the veterinarian I have mentioned, said
16 to me: Simo, why did you push me among the politicians last night? You
17 know that I'm in the HDZ, and Tudjman is in my heart. And this caused
18 laughter among the detainees, because it might have been unimaginable for
19 him to say that in some other circumstances. But what I'm trying to say
20 is that the atmosphere was very relaxed when the vet, Dr. Anto, said that.
21 In the corridor, I stopped briefly with Mr. Osman Jasarevic, also
22 known as Roma, and I said: Well, how are things? And he said: The way
23 they have to be. And I said: What will I say to the aunt? I was
24 referring to his aunt, his mother's sister, who had worked with me for a
25 long time in the same company, so we knew each other. And he said: Just
1 say hello to her. And that was the brief chat I had with Mr. Osman
3 And when we entered the room where Mr. Dragan Lukac, Mr. Tihic,
4 and the Grga Zubak were, where they were together in that room, then
5 Mr. Petrovic said, jokingly, to Mr. Tihic: Tihic, tell me honestly, did
6 you have anything to do with those barricades in Samac? And before
7 Mr. Tihic replied, I said: He's got nothing to do with those barricades.
8 Mr. Petrovic replied to that: If Zaric believes you, then very
10 That's what we said, quite spontaneously.
11 Q. What he said, does it mean let it be, like that?
12 A. Yes. He used a word that is rarely used, and it's used only in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It's a word used mostly by the Muslim population.
14 And to add something else: Mr. Lukac then asked Petrovic whether there
15 were any problems, because the three of them were not in those two big
16 rooms where all the other detainees were. So he asked whether there were
17 any obstacles for them to join the others, because they would feel more
18 comfortable that way. They would be able to talk to people. And right
19 away, Captain Petrovic said: There was no obstacle to that. And he said
20 to the policemen: When we leave, let those men immediately go and join
21 the others in the other two rooms. And later on I heard that that's what
22 happened and that Mr. Tihic, Mr. Lukac, and Mr. Grga Zubak joined the
23 other detainees in those other two rooms.
24 And one thing more. At that moment, Grga Zubak had his eyes half
25 open, so his condition was slightly better. He was able to talk to me
1 briefly, and he said just: Simo, you know I'm not to blame for anything.
2 And I said: Grga, don't worry. Just be patient a little bit. Get
3 better. And that's all I talked about with Mr. Petrovic and those three
5 Q. Very well, Mr. Zaric.
6 A. And let me add just something else. In a conversation with
7 Mr. Omer Nalic, who was also there, we chatted a bit, because we had been
8 quite good friends before the war. We often spent time together. And I
9 said: Omer, if I stay here a bit longer, we'll have a cup of coffee
10 together. That was my message to him. Then Mr. Petrovic, Jovo Arsenic,
11 and I went back to the office where they were working in the Brcko
13 Q. Very well. And tell us: Did you have coffee that day with
14 Mr. Nalic?
15 A. Yes. I said since I'm not rushing that much, it would be good if
16 Omer came and if we had coffee together. And then Jovo Arsenic went right
17 away, as well as one of the military policemen, and Mr. Omer came later
18 and he sat with us for about 45 to 50 minutes, for sure. And we were
19 having coffee and we were all talking together: Myself, Mr. Arsenic, and
20 Mr. Momcilo Petrovic, this Captain, as well as Mr. Nalic.
21 Q. And on that occasion, Mr. Zaric, did you take any statement from
22 Mr. Nalic?
23 A. That was not my intention, to tell you the truth. But when we
24 began our conversation and we touched upon certain topics relating to the
25 illegal arming of the SDA in Samac, and also about the involvement of
1 certain persons in that, then Jovo Arsenic said then: This is the best
2 opportunity for Omer to give a statement so that there would be no need to
3 discuss this with him at a later date. And Omer at that point said that
4 there wouldn't be any problem to do that. Whatever was necessary, he was
5 at our disposal. And in the spontaneous conversation, notes were made of
6 the talks that we had with him. He signed it on one side, and then on the
7 other side I initialed it, indicating that this interview with him was
8 carried out.
9 Q. And when you were talking with Mr. Nalic, was any force or threat
10 used against him?
11 A. No. No threats. We were having quite a pleasant conversation,
12 that is, my experience of it, because we were drinking coffee, he was
13 smoking cigarettes and talking with us in a normal way. There were no
14 problems at all. And I said finally: Omer, would there be a problem for
15 us now to take your statement and for you to sign it? He said no, there
16 would be no problems. He would stand by that, and he signed it, and that
17 is how it was. I'm not able to delve into how he personally felt but it
18 was my feeling that he signed that without any problems.
19 MR. PISAREVIC: [No interpretation]
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please speak up.
21 A. Yes. The statement was given to Mr. Nalic. He read it alone by
22 himself. He read it right through. He said there were no problems. Then
23 he signed it, and after he signed it, I said: If you can put your
24 signature down here, I can do that as well, and that's how it happened.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please speak into the
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, you are too far from the microphone.
3 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Q. When you were compiling this statement, did you write down only
5 what Mr. Nalic told you?
6 A. Only what Mr. Nalic told us, in a spontaneous conversation in
7 front of everybody. Nothing was added or there was nothing else in that
8 statement other than what he himself told us.
9 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, did you conduct any interviews with
10 Mr. Hasan Bicic?
11 A. That day I had two more interviews only. One of them was with
12 Hasan Bicic and the other interview was with his brother, Muhamed Bicic.
13 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Could Mr. Zaric be shown Exhibit
15 Q. While the exhibit is being found, Mr. Zaric: Were you aware of
16 the activities of Mr. Hasan Bicic on the 17th of April, 1992?
17 A. Yes. I already had information about how he was one of the people
18 amongst the members of the armed formations of the SDA that were in town,
19 that he was in several places, that he was armed, he as well as his
20 brother and some other people. So I had this information because I saw
21 this from the statements and the interviews that he had already had at the
22 public security station in Samac.
23 Q. Could you please look at the statement. This is Mr. Hasan Bicic's
25 A. This is the statement of Mr. Muhamed, I think.
1 Q. I said D8/4. D8/4 is the statement of Hasan Bicic, while D9/4 is
2 the statement of Muhamed Bicic.
3 Look at the document, please, just to familiarise yourself. You
4 can take it from the ELMO.
5 A. Yes. Now I remember this quite well.
6 Q. Mr. Zaric, is this the statement you took from Mr. Hasan Bicic?
7 A. Yes, that is precisely the statement.
8 Q. In that statement, did you write down what Mr. Hasan Bicic told
10 A. Yes, only what he told me. And I must say that the atmosphere
11 during the conversation with Mr. Bicic was very pleasant.
12 Q. Were any threats used, or force against him?
13 A. No, not at all.
14 Q. Mr. Zaric, as you mentioned a little while ago, you said that you
15 knew about certain activities of Hasan Bicic during the 17th of April,
16 before you took this statement.
17 A. Yes, that is true.
18 Q. But you didn't put down this information that you had in the
20 A. I put down only what Mr. Hasan said to me. Mr. Jovo Arsenic was
21 next to me, while Mr. Bicic was giving us this statement. So I put down
22 just what he told me. I didn't really ask any questions, nor did I
23 broaden the scope of our interview.
24 Q. And did Mr. Bicic sign this statement without any threats or
1 A. Yes, he did that without any problems.
2 Q. Thank you. I don't need the document any longer.
3 You already said that you also had an interview with Mr. Muhamed
5 A. Yes. That is Mr. Hasan's brother.
6 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Could Mr. Zaric be given Exhibit
7 D9/4, please.
8 MR. RE: Your Honours, while that's being done, could I again ask
9 that my friend Mr. Pisarevic not lead on these sorts of issues? There's a
10 few questions which he's led. There are ways of asking what are the
11 circumstances of the taking of the statement, did he sign it, what
12 happened? He's put words in the witness's mouth a few times. That's all
13 I ask.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I am sure Mr. Pisarevic will remember not to
15 do that again.
16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Of course, Your Honour. I'm
17 trying, but it's possible that some questions like that were put, but I
18 will really try to avoid that.
19 Q. Mr. Zaric, will you please familiarise yourself with the
21 A. I remember this statement quite well.
22 Q. Is that the statement that you compiled during the interview with
23 Mr. Bicic?
24 A. Yes. That is the statement, based on the interview that I
25 conducted. Mr. Jovo Arsenic was present with me also. And after the
1 statement was completed, I signed it, and the same statement was signed
2 also by Mr. Muhamed Bicic, without any problems. He familiarised himself
3 with the statement, in detail, and he didn't have any remarks about the
4 text. And I would like to say that the statement was given in normal
5 circumstances, without any coercion.
6 Q. Were you familiar with --
7 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me. Just a moment. Who printed this
8 document out? Did you, Mr. Zaric, do it, or somebody else?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This document was typed by
10 Mr. Jovo Arsenic, who was one of the staff members there at the premises
11 of the JNA barracks.
12 JUDGE LINDHOLM: But it takes some time to print out such a
13 document. What did you do while it was printed out?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] While the document was being
15 printed, I dictated the statement which Mr. Bicic was listening to, and
16 Mr. Arsenic was typing it. So Mr. Bicic would say something, I would
17 dictate the sentence, and then Mr. Arsenic would type it out. And the
18 same procedure was used for Mr. Hasan, as well as for Mr. Nalic. I would
19 say a sentence out loud and the other person was listening, and then
20 typing out what I would say.
21 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you very much.
22 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Were you aware of the fact that Mr. Muhamed Bicic was doing any
24 actions on the 17th of April, 1992?
25 A. Yes. This information I was familiar with, but this was not put
1 into the statement. The statement contains only what Muhamed Bicic said
2 during the interview at the barracks.
3 Q. What did you know that Muhamed Bicic was doing on the 17th of
4 April, 1992?
5 A. My information was such that he was one of the members of the
6 militarily organised unit of Muslims in town, that he was seen at several
7 places in the centre of town, near the mosque, near the department store,
8 in the Djure Djakovica Street, so that this information was -- and of
9 course, he was armed, and then he came back with those weapons and many
10 neighbours saw him. But this piece of information was not exploited, nor
11 did we mention anything about this during our interview in Brcko.
12 Q. Was any coercion used in the case of Mr. Muhamed Bicic, any
13 threats or any force?
14 A. No threats and no force was used. I was dictating the statement
15 out loud, and besides that, he also read the statement in full afterwards
16 and then put his signature on the document.
17 Q. What did you actually put into the statement?
18 A. Authentically what Mr. Muhamed Bicic stated during the interview.
19 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, over the next few days, were you interested
20 in the circumstances and the conditions in which the detainees from Samac
21 were kept at the Brcko barracks?
22 A. Yes. I would call Mr. Petrovic every day. Sometimes I would
23 speak to him, sometimes I would speak with Mr. Jovo Arsenic. This person
24 that I mentioned before. And besides this, on the 27th and on the 28th,
25 Mr. Topcagic went to Brcko privately with his van, and he took them a lot
1 of underwear and a lot of other things, so I was able to hear from him
2 about the conditions for the prisoners. But every day I would ask about
3 their circumstances.
4 Q. Thank you. Did you have an opportunity to see again any of the
5 people who were detained at the Brcko barracks?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. On which occasion was this?
8 A. This was on the 29th of April, 1992, in the premises of the public
9 security station, when a TV crew from Television Novi Sad taped an
10 interview with some members, amongst whom were several people who had been
11 in Brcko.
12 Q. Can you remember and tell Their Honours who these people were who
13 were brought from Brcko to give an interview to Television Novi Sad in the
14 police station in Samac?
15 A. As far as I know, the people brought from Brcko were Mr. Sulejman
16 Tihic, Omer Nalic, Safet Hadzialijagic, also known as Coner. I think that
17 those three arrived in Samac from Brcko and gave an interview to Novi Sad
19 Q. Mr. Zaric, we'll now discuss that interview a little. Did you
20 participate, or rather, did you give an interview to Novi Sad Television?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. How did it come about that it was you, of all people, who gave an
23 interview to Television Novi Sad on the 29th of April, 1992?
24 A. Sometime in the morning of the 29th of April, 1992, the duty
25 officer said he had Commander Nikolic on the line and that he wanted to
1 speak to me. I spoke to the commander over the communications equipment.
2 Q. And what did you talk about with Mr. Nikolic, the commander of the
3 17th Tactical Group?
4 A. Commander Nikolic said to me that on that day a television crew
5 from Novi Sad Television would be arriving in Samac, that they had been in
6 the command of the 17th Tactical Group the day before, and that he had
7 given them an interview, and he told me to prepare. And when talking to
8 these people, to say something about the documentation connected to the
9 war plan of the Party of Democratic Action and the HDZ, in connection with
10 their preparations for an attack or for an armed struggle on the territory
11 of Bosanski Samac. I was to do this because, after seeing the material
12 and the official notes, which I had become familiar with, I took it to the
13 command of the 17th Tactical Group, several days later, as far as I know,
14 so that Commander Nikolic knew that I had the information about this plan
15 and these activities undertaken by the paramilitary formations.
16 Q. How did you understand this conversation of yours with Commander
17 Nikolic about your participation in the interview?
18 A. He told me that he knew I didn't have much time but that I should
19 stick to the documents quite strictly and express my opinion about them.
20 I saw this as an order from my commander to contribute to this
21 conversation, so that as soon as I received this task, I looked at the
22 documents again in order to refresh my memory.
23 Q. And where was this interview taped?
24 A. The interview was taped in the public security station, on the
25 second floor, in the office used by the chief of the public security
1 station, Mr. Stevan Todorovic.
2 Q. And who called you to come to the police station to give an
4 A. I was called by the duty officer from the public security station,
5 who said that the television crew from Novi Sad had arrived and that they
6 were expecting me to turn up, and he had been told this by the police
7 commander. The police commander had told him to contact me. The police
8 commander at the time was Mr. Savo Cancarevic.
9 Q. And when you arrived in the police station, where did you go and
10 who did you meet?
11 A. I went to the police station, and upstairs, I went to the office I
12 had been told to go to, and in Mr. Todorovic's office, I found a
13 journalist, who I think introduced himself as Minja. There was also a
14 cameraman who was there with his equipment. And in Mr. Todorovic's
15 office, there was, besides Stevan Todorovic, also Dragan Todorovic, also
16 known as Crni [as interpreted]. That's the situation I found when I
17 entered that room.
18 Q. And how did this interview proceed? Who put questions to you?
19 A. After I was introduced to Mr. Minja, he said he had been to see
20 my commander, that the commander had told him about me, and I said that I
21 had come. And he said he wanted to talk to me about the materials we had
22 at our disposal in connection with the war plans of the Party of
23 Democratic Action and the HDZ, in connection with preparations for an
24 armed struggle in the municipality of Bosanski Samac.
25 Q. After this conversation, did he tell you what you were to do then?
1 A. Yes. I said: All right. No problem. I've brought the documents
2 with me. When you're ready, here I am. And he said: Can we start right
3 away? And I said: Yes, of course. There was a large conference table
4 there, and the journalist was sitting on one side and I was sitting at the
5 table on the other side, with the documentation in front of me. The
6 cameraman was filming all this from a corner, and in quite another part of
7 the office, Mr. Todorovic and Crni were sitting on two chairs, and they
8 were only observing me while I was putting forward this information.
9 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. Just on the matter of
10 the person otherwise known as Crni: We need to have a correction in the
11 transcript, on page 68, line 13, because it says, "Dragan Todorovic, also
12 known as Crni." So we don't want anyone to get confused there.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Microphone, Mr. Pisarevic.
15 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Zaric, in that room where the interview was conducted, apart
17 from you, the journalist from TV Novi Sad, and the cameraman from TV Novi
18 Sad, while you were being interviewed, who else was present in that room?
19 A. Mr. Stevan Todorovic, as the chief of the public security station,
20 and Dragan Djordjevic, also known as Crni, one of the leaders of the
21 Specials who had arrived in Bosanski Samac from Serbia.
22 Q. Mr. Zaric, will you please describe the course of the interview
23 between you and the journalist from TV Novi Sad. Did he put questions to
24 you? Did you answer? Did you show the documents? Tell us what this
25 looked like.
1 A. It was typical kind of interview. He was putting questions, I was
2 answering. Sometimes my replies were brief, sometimes they were
3 lengthier, depending on my use of a certain document in order to clarify
4 some of my opinions and standpoints in connection with the war plans and
5 the role of these armed paramilitary formations on the territory of
7 Q. How long did this interview last, approximately?
8 A. My interview was maybe half an hour long, at the most,
10 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you remember who was interviewed after you by the
11 journalist from TV Novi Sad?
12 A. I can't recall the exact order, but I know that after me, Mr.
13 Tihic, Mr. Omer Nalic, Mr. Safet Hadzialijagic, also known as Coner, Mr.
14 Izet Izetbegovic, also known as Izo; and Mr. Nizam Ramusovic, aka Tota,
15 one of the members of the 4th Detachment who was wounded in that incident
16 that we have mentioned quite a few times here.
17 Q. And how was the interview conducted with the other participants
18 you have just enumerated, for example, with Mr. Sulejman Tihic?
19 A. Let me just say: When I completed my part of the interview, I
20 went into the next two rooms, and I could see Mr. Vlado Sarkanovic, who
21 told me that Tihic and some other people from Brcko were in the next room,
22 and he said Tihic asked you to stick around. He doesn't want you to
23 leave. He's afraid. And I said: No problem. I'll stay in the police
24 station for as long as the TV crew is here, bearing in mind this request.
25 Although had somebody wanted to do something, I don't know whether I would
1 have been in a situation to oppose it, but he felt safer with me around.
2 So that's why I remained on the premises of the public security station,
3 and I was there for a while, while Mr. Tihic was being interviewed by the
4 journalist from Novi Sad Television.
5 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you go to the police station in Bosanski Samac to
6 give that interview? I mean when you did, did you know that there would
7 be other people interviewed?
8 A. No, I didn't know who would be interviewed or who would be there.
9 I was the first one to be interviewed, and then I heard that Tihic and the
10 others were there, but I had no idea who would be interviewed on that day,
11 who else would be interviewed.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric.
13 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Is it now time for a break?
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll adjourn now.
15 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.45 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 2.46 p.m.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Zaric, were you present during the interview by the TV Novi
20 Sad journalist with Mr. Tihic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Who else was in the room?
23 A. Mr. Todorovic was present the entire time, and at one point,
24 Mr. Crni came to the door. He said something to Mr. Tihic and then went
25 back out.
1 Q. Mr. Zaric, can you tell us why you were there? Why were you
3 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Sorry. Excuse me. Just before you move on, I
4 was just waiting to see whether you were going to ask Mr. Zaric: What did
5 Crni say to Mr. Tihic?
6 Mr. Zaric, you just said that he came to the door, he said
7 something to Mr. Tihic, and then went back out. Do you recall or do you
8 know what he said?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I remember. The camera had to
10 stop rolling because he wasn't really paying too much attention to that,
11 the camera had to stop, and he told Mr. Tihic: When this is over, we need
12 to see each other so that I can see what these spies of yours are
13 reporting, so that we are being hit by these guys from Croatia. Something
14 to the effect that Mr. Tihic should know that some of his people from
15 Samac were passing on information so that Samac would be shelled. He said
16 something that had the effect of confusing Mr. Tihic. It confused me, it
17 confused [Realtime transcript read in error "accused"] the cameraman, as
18 well as the reporter. But I assume that this was just a sort of scenario
19 between Mr. Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, and Mr. Todorovic.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: A small correction in the transcript. On page 72,
21 line 14, it confused the cameraman, not accused the cameraman.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That will be corrected.
23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And just one other question on that, Mr. Zaric:
24 When you say that you assumed that this was just a sort of scenario
25 between Crni and Mr. Stevan Todorovic, what do you mean by that exactly?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I mean is I remember one detail
2 when I commented on some of my own stands, when I was expressing them to
3 the reporter at one point when I was giving my own assessment about the
4 situation in Samac. At one point while Mr. Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, and
5 Stevan Todorovic were in the room, Todorovic, the chief of the public
6 security station, they said: Take care also to commend our men also. Of
7 course, I didn't show at that point any fear in front of the camera, but
8 later I had that remark of his in mind. I'm not trying to justify any of
9 the assessments I made then in that interview, but I felt that they wanted
10 that interview that was being conducted to be in accordance with some kind
11 of scenario that they wanted us to pay attention to the Serb national
12 structure, and also to speak in favour of the Serbian point of view. And
13 this is what I meant when I said the screenplay, the scenario. This is
14 what I wanted to back up by an example of my own.
15 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Okay. Thank you.
16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. And after this appearance by Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, did the
18 interview continue?
19 A. Yes. The interview with Mr. Tihic was resumed, and I can just say
20 that the representative of Novi Sad Television asked Mr. Tihic and the
21 other participants in the interview, and I would say that he did this in a
22 professional way: Do you wish to give this interview freely, and what you
23 are saying, are you stating of this of your own free will? And all of
24 them, more or less, responded affirmatively to those questions, that they
25 were providing the interview of their own free will and that there were no
1 problems. But I can assume, and that is my opinion, how they felt as
2 people who were brought from prison, brought in front of the camera, and
3 how they felt when they had to say that everything was all right.
4 Q. Thank you. And could you please tell us: Why did you stay in
5 that room?
6 A. The only reason why I stayed was because of Mr. Tihic's request,
7 so that there would be no problems, just in case there were problems. I
8 believe that my presence would, to a certain extent, prevent any excesses
9 from taking place, because they were in Samac before they had suffered
10 much, and now they were in the area of Brcko, and that was the only reason
11 why I found myself in that situation and remained in the room while the
12 interviews were being conducted.
13 Q. Were you present during the interviews given by Mr. Nalic,
14 Mr. Hadzialijagic, Mr. Izet Izetbegovic, Mr. Ramusovic, Nizam?
15 A. The entire time while these people were giving their interviews, I
16 was in that room.
17 Q. The people who gave these interviews, did they go back to Brcko;
18 and if so, how did they do that? Could you please tell us what you did so
19 that they would safely go back to Brcko.
20 A. After the interview with the reporter were completed, they were in
21 one room, and they came from Brcko with a military vehicle, escorted by
22 several military policemen. And in conversation with Vlado Sarkanovic,
23 who was there, and with Milos Savic, Mr. Fadil Topcagic was also there
24 later, we only said that it would be good for them to go back as soon as
25 possible. And Mr. Tihic himself, as well as Mr. Nalic and
1 Mr. Hadzialijagic, sensed this atmosphere, and they said that it would be
2 the best thing for them to leave the premises of the public security
4 Q. And did they go back to Brcko?
5 A. Yes, very quickly after that they sat in -- they entered this
6 police vehicle, this Land Rover [as interpreted], and they went to Brcko.
7 Afterwards, I spoke with Mr. Petrovic and received the information that
8 they came back safely and that there were no problems.
9 Q. Mr. Zaric, when you mentioned this Land Rover now, the transcript
10 said that this was a police vehicle. Was this a police vehicle or a
11 military vehicle?
12 A. No. This was a military vehicle. It was a Pinzgauer vehicle.
13 It's a smaller vehicle that can fit seven to eight soldiers or police
14 officers inside. And when I say police officers, I mean military police
15 officers. This is a military vehicle.
16 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, in this interview, you already mentioned
17 that you used certain documents about the military organising and the
18 illegal arming of the Party for Democratic Action.
19 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] So I would now ask for the witness
20 to be shown Exhibit D14/4. This is a list of self-organised citizens.
21 Q. Mr. Zaric, could you please look at this document.
22 A. I'm familiar with this document.
23 Q. Is this one of the documents that you used while conducting the
25 A. Yes. This was one of the documents I used in the interview.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown
3 document D25/4.
4 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Mr. Counsel, which document are you now referring
5 to? The one brought ahead of Mr. Zaric or the one you are now bringing in
6 front of him?
7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] This is the document about the
8 military organising of a unit of Muslims from Bosanski Samac.
9 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I think there's a confusion, because it says
10 D14/4 on line 16, and then on line 24 it says D25/4.
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps it would be clearer if the
12 witness could be given document D25/4. The document -- the second
13 document is marked D25/4, and that is this first document, where it says
14 "the engineering sabotage platoon." The first -- the document was
15 separated. The first three pages were marked as document D26/4 --
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, we are talking about document D25/4,
17 and this is the second time that same thing happens. This document was
18 tendered into evidence, but not in its entirety. First three pages were
19 marked for ID.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: And the rest were fully admitted into evidence.
22 So this is document D25/4, with first three pages which are marked only
23 for identification. And that is the first document that we are discussing
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Zaric, could you please look at this document.
3 A. Yes, very well.
4 Q. Is that one of the documents that you used during the interview?
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Pardon. With whom?
7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] The interview that Mr. Zaric gave
8 to the reporter of TV Novi Sad.
9 Q. The document can stay in front of you.
10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown
11 document D26/4 now. That is the document about mobilisation, the
12 mobilisation of the unit, the military unit of members of the Muslim
13 ethnic group.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've looked at the material.
15 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Did you use this document as well, Mr. Zaric, and did you show
17 this document while you were giving the interview to the reporter of TV
18 Novi Sad?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Could you please tell us now, Mr. Zaric, if you know: Who
21 discovered these documents?
22 A. I saw these documents for the first time at the criminal
23 investigations department. Mr. Milos Savic showed them to me, and Vlado
24 Sarkanovic, who were working at the public security station at the time,
25 and they told me that the complete documentation was found by Mr. Milan
1 Jekic, who was carrying out the function of deputy commander of the public
2 security station, and that he found the documents in one of the rooms in
3 the lower part of the public security station which he was using for his
4 own needs at the time the commander of the reserve police forces of Samac,
5 Mr. Namik Suljic.
6 Q. You used all three of these documents when you were giving the
7 interview to TV Novi Sad; isn't that right?
8 A. Yes, I used all of these documents.
9 Q. When did Milos Savic and Mr. Vlado Sarkanovic show you these
10 documents for the first time at the public security station at the
11 criminal investigations department, were these documents all bound
12 together as one set?
13 A. Yes, they were bound together as one set.
14 Q. Do you know if anybody added anything to these documents or did
15 anything or worked on these documents in any way?
16 A. As far as I could see initially, some names were added to these
17 documents, such as Pop, Coner, and so on. But as far as I remember, all
18 these documents, all these war plans, were -- they were not bound in a
19 cover or anything, but they were on the table of the chief of the crime
20 investigations department, on his desk.
21 Q. Did you see the first three pages of those documents?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. That is, D25/4, did you see that?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I don't need these documents any
1 more, but I would like to note that in view of the fact that in the course
2 of investigative -- in the course of these proceedings, witnesses who have
3 testified before the Trial Chamber before also discussed these documents,
4 and they are Stevan Todorovic, on the 19th of June, 2002; on the 13th of
5 March, Witness Vlado Sarkanovic discussed the document; and that this
6 topic was covered by Witness Milan Jekic, under testimonies under Rule 71,
7 in Belgrade; and that today, Mr. Zaric testified about these documents. I
8 would repeat the request of the Defence, that the first three pages of
9 document D25/4 have the marking ID removed and that they be admitted into
10 the evidence in this case.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: What is the position of the Prosecution?
12 MR. WEINER: Good afternoon, Your Honour. The position of the
13 Prosecution is the same as it's been throughout the case. The person who
14 drafted this document testified last year about this whole pile of
15 documents. He admitted to what he did, his plan, the reason for drafting
16 them, and he testified that the first three pages were falsified, and he
17 testified about all the rest of these, which allowed most of these to be
18 admitted. And when he indicated that they were falsified, he explained
19 why they were falsified. Up to this point, the evidence has been the
20 same. These documents were seized from one of three different places,
21 that they wound up in the police station, and at some time later, that
22 they're found. There is no change in the evidence today as it was a year
23 ago, other than Alija Fitozovic's testimony, which he says: I put these
24 documents together. The first three pages of this document have been
25 falsified. Other than that, I've put everything else together. And
1 because of that, the testimony as to falsification of the documents, they
2 have been -- the first three pages have been left as an ID. There is
3 nothing new today, there is nothing new in Milan Jekic's statement in
4 Belgrade, there was nothing new in Todorovic's statement. Todorovic
5 didn't know if he had seen the document from anywhere from two to four to
6 five days, could even have been a week after they had been seized. So
7 we're back at the same situation that we were a year ago, and repetition
8 doesn't make them admissible. Repetition of the same information. We're
9 still at the information from the person who drafted it, who said: I've
10 drafted all of it, but the first three pages, those were falsified. And
11 unless they can come up with some information to establish authenticity,
12 other than people who -- through hearsay learned that they somehow were
13 found, that they were seized, and that they had seen them several days
14 after being found, or several days later, we're still at the same position
15 as we were a year ago. So we would oppose this. Thank you.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: If I may reply to my colleague, very briefly. We
17 do believe that there is a very significant development in this case
18 regarding these first three pages of document D25/4. First of all, it is
19 undisputed that in the statement of Mr. Milan Jekic, which was taken in
20 Belgrade under Rule 71, it is in his statement that he was the one who
21 actually found these documents and about the place where these documents
22 have been found. So from -- as the person who actually found the
23 documents, we have a chain of custody of these documents from that very
25 Secondly, Mr. Alija Fitozovic didn't say, if I can remember
1 correctly, that he himself faked these three pages. He said that he
2 drafted the document but that some parts of these pages are not the one
3 that he drafted and that he assumes that they are faked. After that, we
4 have testimony of Mr. Sarkanovic, who identified these documents and the
5 ones that were used by him and other investigators in the SUP who actually
6 presented these documents, and finally, we have now statement of
7 Mr. Zaric, who also recognised these documents as the one that he received
8 from Mr. Savic and Mr. Sarkanovic in the SUP. So we do have a chain of
9 custody from the person who actually found these documents in SUP, up
10 until this moment, when they were tendered into evidence of this
11 Tribunal. And I would like to have the same standards of this Tribunal as
12 for the document that we are referring as documents A and B. Let them be
13 introduced into evidence, these first three pages, and the Trial Chamber
14 will of course decide what weight would it give to these first three pages
15 of the document. Because obviously, Alija Fitozovic has a very good
16 reason to say the first three pages were faked, and we are all -- the
17 Defence is all aware of what reason could it be. I don't want to argue
18 this. I will save our arguments for our final brief, why Mr. Fitozovic
19 said a thing like that. But if the Trial Chamber decides other way, we
20 would like to reserve our right for some additional graphological
21 expertise of these three pages, and that possibly could be -- we thought
22 this would be enough, giving a full chain of custody for these documents,
23 we thought that would be enough for admittance of these documents into
24 evidence. But if not, then we have to find some other way to introduce
25 them into evidence with some expertise.
1 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, could I respond to one thing very
2 briefly, less than 30 seconds.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
4 MR. WEINER: There is no full chain of custody. The person who
5 found it did not know how those documents got there, did not know who
6 drafted those documents, did not know who typed them. It's a partial
7 chain of custody. It's from the time that they get there on. So we're
8 still without authenticity. Thank you.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: But Mr. Weiner, is it not significant that the
10 larger part of the document of this group of documents were accepted by
11 Alija Fitozovic and it's only three first three that have been disputed?
12 MR. WEINER: And I think it is significant, because you have the
13 person who was the author of them who said that he was the one who drafted
14 them and put them together, and he allowed this stuff to come in by saying
15 this stuff is mine. This stuff are just forgeries, these three pages.
16 And it's almost a declaration against interest. He's admitting that he
17 put all this stuff together. He admitted that he put together the plans
18 of where the different power plants and power stations were in case they
19 decided during wartime to bomb them. He made some major admissions. But
20 he's saying, I did that stuff, I did that stuff, but this stuff is not
21 mine. And I think that's very strong evidence that this is not from his
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I add something to
24 this? I don't want to repeat anything that was already said, but this
25 concerns all the Defence teams. Mr. Fitozovic did admit to some documents
1 that put him in a direct connection with the TO and the police and the SDA
2 offices at the time, and that's the letter to the republican TO. But what
3 I think is of fundamental importance here, I wish to add to what
4 Mr. Lazarevic said. It is just a question of whom the Chamber will decide
5 to believe. We know how this document was found and how, in the police
6 station, this document could have a link with Mr. Fitozovic. But whether
7 the Chamber will believe Mr. Fitozovic or Mr. Zaric, it's up to the Trial
8 Chamber. But we have demonstrated a very strong, direct line. That is
9 why I think that we have indicated through our evidence a clear line as to
10 how these documents reached the Trial Chamber and whether the Chamber will
11 believe Fitozovic or Zaric and the other witnesses who claim the opposite,
12 only the Chamber can decide.
13 MR. PANTELIC: And Your Honour, if I may just have a few words on
14 behalf of defence of Dr. Simic.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
16 MR. PANTELIC: I fully -- I'm in full accordance with the previous
17 words of my learned friends. Unless it is not disputed fact for the
18 Prosecution that the SDA and HDZ in Samac were arming themselves and
19 preparing for takeover and all other facts, then we could maybe discuss on
20 the other positions. If it's not the case on the side of Prosecution, in
21 accordance with previous practice, I just would like to respectfully
22 remind this Trial Chamber, we've got a lengthy and detailed discussions
23 and submissions with regard to the so-called -- document so-called variant
24 A and B, and as far as my recollection serves me, I think that this
25 Honourable Trial Chamber took the position that by the end of the trial,
1 during the process of rendering of judgement, the weight will be -- the
2 weight of that evidence will be discussed. So I think the same should
3 apply for this particular case. Thank you, Your Honour.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber will admit them. It's a
6 matter of weight. And also, it will depend on how the evidence will be
7 analysed, as documents indicating whatever the evidence will indicate or
8 authored by whoever the evidence will indicate. So they will be admitted
9 into evidence for the time being.
10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] May we have a number, or shall we
11 keep the same number, D25/4, instead of an ID number, for the first three
13 [Trial Chamber confers with registrar]
14 JUDGE MUMBA: It will be D25/4. It will be a complete document,
15 that's all. So it will retain the same number.
16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Zaric, you mentioned that on that day, the 29th of April, Novi
18 Sad Television also interviewed Mr. Izet Izetbegovic.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you know from where Izet Izetbegovic was brought to give that
22 A. I don't know. I only saw him in the office in front of the office
23 of the chief of the public security station. But where he was
24 accommodated and where he was brought from, I don't know.
25 Q. Very well. Do you know where he was taken after he gave the
2 A. I don't know that either.
3 Q. Thank you. Were you present, Mr. Zaric, in the police station
4 when Mr. Izet Izetbegovic talked over the telephone with Alija Izetbegovic
5 [as interpreted], the then president of the presidency of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina from the police station?
7 A. No. I saw Mr. Izet Izetbegovic in the public security station on
8 one occasion only, and that was when he was interviewed. I did not have
9 other opportunities to see him there.
10 Q. Thank you. Do you know what happened later to Izet Izetbegovic?
11 A. Later I did learn certain things that Mr. Izetbegovic was taken to
12 Belgrade by helicopter.
13 Q. Did you hear later that he had been exchanged?
14 A. Yes, I did, but all this was information that reached me later.
15 Q. Very well. Mr. Zaric, we will now move on to a different topic.
16 Mr. Zaric, when you were appointed head for national security of the
17 Bosanski Samac municipality -- before we go on to discuss this, could
18 Mr. Zaric be shown Exhibit P81.
19 A. I apologise to the Chamber, but I need to say something more about
20 these detainees, if the Chamber will allow me.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zaric, you can go ahead.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I only wish to say that on the 1st
23 of May, 1992, I received a telephone call from Mr. Petrovic, the captain
24 who was performing the duty of the OB organ in the Brcko barracks of the
25 JNA. He told me that war had broken out in Brcko and that the bridge over
1 the River Gunja, or rather, over the River Sava, had been destroyed
2 during the night. And this was the bridge between Brcko and a place
3 called Gunja, which is on the opposite bank, that is, in the Republic of
4 Croatia. He said that the situation in Brcko was almost out of control
5 and that he had talked to Makso Simeunovic and Commander Nikolic, telling
6 them that these people who had been brought in from Samac and who were in
7 the JNA barracks could no longer be safe there.
8 Then I said to Mr. Petrovic: What can be done with these people
9 without bringing them back to this hell in Samac? Because in Samac,
10 people are being killed every day. The situation is out of control and I
11 don't know what can happen to them if they're brought back.
12 Mr. Petrovic told me he had already made certain efforts in
13 agreement with Commander Nikolic and Makso, and that he had called a
14 barracks commander in Bijeljina and asked him to have these people taken
15 to the barracks in Bijeljina, the JNA barracks which were then not
16 affected by war, because there were no war operations going on in
17 Bijeljina at the time. I said: Do whatever you can, but don't send them
18 to Samac, to this hell. And in the afternoon, Mr. Petrovic informed me
19 that he had succeeded in having all the detainees from Samac transferred
20 to the barracks in Brcko [as interpreted] and that they were safe.
21 Q. Very well, Mr. Zaric. Now that you have broached this topic --
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I'm wondering about -- yes, line 13.
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: Page 86, line -- it's here line -- barracks in
24 Bijeljina, actually. They were transferred to Bijeljina. It was not in
25 dispute. Not in Brcko.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It will be corrected.
2 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Do you remember whether these detainees who were taken from Brcko
4 to Bijeljina were ever returned to Bosanski Samac?
5 A. Yes. Afterwards I received information, in mid-May, that a
6 certain number of detainees from Bijeljina had been brought back to
7 Bosanski Samac and accommodated in the primary school in Bosanski Samac
8 or, more precisely, in the gym of the primary school in Bosanski Samac,
9 and the detainees who had arrived -- it was from then that we learned that
10 some of the people who had been with them had been transferred by
11 helicopter to another place, and we later on learned that they had been
12 taken to Serbia.
13 Q. Did you learn afterwards who were the people who were transferred
14 and where they were transferred to?
15 A. We learned later on that among those who had gone to Batajnica was
16 Mr. Tihic, Mr. Lukac, Sejo Mujkanovic, one of the policemen, Dr.
17 Miroslav --
18 Q. You mean Kedacic?
19 A. Yes, Kedacic. Then there was Franjo Barukcic. These are the
20 names I remember, but I can't remember all of them. And I know that
21 afterwards Mr. Izo Izetbegovic also went. You've already asked me about
23 Q. Yes. You've already said that. Have you looked at this document,
24 P81, which is a decision on your appointment as chief for national
25 security of the municipality of Samac? Is this the document?
1 A. Yes, this is the document.
2 Q. When were you first told about this, and when was this document
3 handed to you?
4 A. I'm not sure if it was on the same day. Whether it was on the
5 29th or the 30th, when I received a phone call from the Crisis Staff. It
6 was Mitar Mitrovic, the secretary of the Crisis Staff, and he said I
7 should come to the Crisis Staff because I was needed there. I went to the
8 Crisis Staff.
9 Q. And when you arrived, did you report to the secretary of the
10 Crisis Staff, Mitar Mitrovic?
11 A. Yes, I did. And then he told me that the Crisis Staff had reached
12 a decision and issued a document appointing me chief of the national
13 security service in a state of emergency. I looked at the document and
14 asked Mr. Blagoje Simic, the president of the Crisis Staff, to receive me.
15 Q. Mr. Zaric, before this decision was adopted, did anybody consult
16 you or ask you if you wanted to accept such a post, and so on and so
18 A. Nobody asked me anything. I was called to come, and then this
19 decision was just handed to me, like I said.
20 Q. Was it possible for you to meet Mr. Blagoje Simic?
21 A. Yes. We had that conversation, myself and Mr. Simic, that very
23 Q. And what did you tell Mr. Blagoje Simic?
24 A. I asked Blagoje: What happened? How did it come about that I am
25 appointed chief for national security, without anybody discussing that
1 with me first? Mr. Blagoje Simic told me that there was an initiative at
2 one of the most recent meetings of the Crisis Staff about the need to
3 appoint a chief for national security, and that at the proposal of some
4 people, my name was put forward, and that he personally, as the president
5 of the Crisis Staff, didn't have anything against that, and that is why
6 this decision was issued. He said that he was led by my previous
7 experience, by the fact that I worked in the state security service before
8 the war broke out.
9 Q. Is it possible that at the municipal level, someone is appointed
10 chief for national security? Could you please explain this procedure, the
11 structure of this service, a little bit. This national security, is that
12 the former state security? How do you understand that term?
13 A. This was the actual topic that I discussed with Mr. Blagoje. I
14 told him first that I don't understand, that this is a completely new
15 title for me, national security service, and I asked him if that had
16 anything to do with the state security service and the method of work of
17 the service where I worked until 1991. Then this decision is illegal.
18 The municipal body, any municipal body, cannot appoint me as chief of
19 national security because this was directly in the hierarchy of the state
20 security sector, which, in the organisational sense, is part of the
21 ministry of the internal affairs of Republika Srpska. And I told
22 Mr. Blagoje that I would like if the Crisis Staff found that appropriate,
23 to go and see Mr. Slobodan Skripinja, about whom I knew at the time, that
24 he was performing the function of the main chief of the service at the
25 level of Republika Srpska, at the ministry of internal affairs. That is
1 why I wanted to go and discuss this question with him there, instead of
2 being appointed by a municipal body, and I wanted to see how to organise
3 this service, because one person could not represent the whole service.
4 Q. So, Mr. Zaric, you asked --
5 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Pardon. Excuse me. If I may put a question to
6 the accused Mr. Blagoje Simic. What do you answer to this, what has been
7 said by Mr. Zaric?
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE MUMBA: No. He cannot answer.
10 Can Mr. Pisarevic just continue with the evidence of your client.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Pisarevic.
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. When you acquainted Mr. Blagoje Simic with this problem and told
14 him that this couldn't be done in this way, what did Mr. Blagoje Simic
15 tell you about that?
16 A. Mr. Blagoje Simic told me that he had the best intentions with
17 this decisions, but that he would take into account my remarks, and he
18 said that at the first next scheduled meeting, or at one of the following
19 Crisis Staff meetings, he would put the question of me going to Pale and
20 conducting this conversation and then report back to him about that, and
21 that is how we ended our conversation on the topic of this decision which
22 I had received.
23 Q. Thank you. Did you ever begin to carry out the duties of chief
24 for national security, based on this decision that you were given?
25 A. No, never. I never started to perform this job, nor did I ever
1 think of doing so.
2 Q. Did you find out, or were you present at the next meeting of the
3 Crisis Staff? Did you find out whether this was an item that was
4 discussed on the agenda, and were you present?
5 A. After seven or ten days, at the most - I can't remember exactly -
6 there was a meeting of the Crisis Staff, to which I was invited, and one
7 of the items on the agenda, under various, was the proposal for Mr. Zaric
8 to go to Pale in order to agree on how to organise this national service.
9 This is what I'm thinking. One of the items of the agenda, under
10 miscellaneous, was the departure of Mr. Zaric to Pale in order to consult
11 about how to organise the national security service. That was more or
12 less how it was formulated on the agenda when I came to the meeting.
13 Q. Did you only attend when this item of the agenda was discussed, or
14 were you present for the whole meeting of the Crisis Staff?
15 A. I came in as the session was already in progress, and as soon as I
16 came inside, then this item of the agenda was brought to the table for
17 discussion. So I didn't attend the meeting to hear what was going on
18 before or after this item.
19 Q. And what was the discussion of the Crisis Staff? Was this
20 decision invalidated or withdrawn?
21 A. I have to say that when Mr. Blagoje Simic brought this item to the
22 agenda, the first person to speak was Mr. Stevan Todorovic, who was at the
23 meeting, and I can say that I remember very well that besides him,
24 Mr. Milos Bogdanovic was also present at the meeting, Bozo Ninkovic also,
25 Simeon Simic, Milan Simic, Savo Popovic, Mitar Mitrovic. So it was a
1 Crisis Staff meeting with many of its members present. That's what I
2 would say.
3 After this item was placed for discussion, the first person to ask
4 to speak was Stevan Todorovic. First he attacked the Crisis Staff a
5 little bit about how it was possible for such a decision to be adopted
6 without his participation. I didn't have any idea that Mr. Todorovic was
7 not present when this decision was adopted and when the Crisis Staff was
8 discussing or making this decision. Then he focused in his discussion by
9 addressing those present. He was sitting opposite me, and he said that he
10 was deeply disappointed in the reflex and in the political sense of the
11 people from the Crisis Staff and that they could name such a person to
12 such a post, a person such as Simo Zaric.
13 You know very well -- so I'm continuing Mr. Todorovic's story.
14 You know very well that Mr. Simo Zaric, until yesterday, arrested people
15 from the SDS, that the Serbian people do not have any confidence in him,
16 in this municipality, he has no authority, and I think that you adopted a
17 decision which makes no sense at all.
18 It's not important what I replied to Mr. Todorovic then, but I
19 have to say that Mr. Milos Bogdanovic and the president himself, Blagoje
20 Simic, calmed the situation down. I just said to President Simic that I
21 do not want to attend any more meetings of the Crisis Staff, nor do I want
22 my name to be mentioned in any kind of context or any function or any
23 decision of the Crisis Staff which it would need to adopt regarding this
25 Q. Mr. Zaric, was this service formed after this, and was anybody
1 appointed as chief of national security in the municipality?
2 A. I heard that later the decision was implemented, but in accordance
3 with the methodology that I mentioned, and that was legal, through the
4 appropriate department of the ministry of internal affairs of Republika
6 Q. And when did this happen?
7 A. I don't know, but I know that Mr. Ratko Mihajlovic was later
8 appointed as chief of national security, and there were two or three other
9 people who were performing that function. So that's how that service was
10 covered. I didn't interfere any more, and I wasn't interested in who
11 proposed him, but later I heard that the decision on his appointment came
12 from the relevant department of the ministry of internal affairs of
13 Republika Srpska.
14 Q. When this decision existed, so from the 29th of April, so for
15 those ten days or so when the decision was in force, what did you
16 practically do?
17 A. I was carrying out the duties of assistant commander of the 4th
18 Detachment for intelligence and security and for moral affairs. This is
19 the same job that I was performing up until then.
20 Q. Mr. Zaric, during May 1992, did you participate in the drafting of
21 a list of Serbs who remained in the village of Trnjak after the outbreak
22 of hostilities?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could you please tell us what you did about that list, who gave
25 you that task, how did this come about?
1 A. I think that there is no need for me to give any explanation,
2 because this Honourable Trial Chamber has heard what happened to the
3 Serbs, the Serbian people, after the 19th, when the forces of the HVO took
4 power in that region. A large number of citizens of Serb ethnicity from
5 my village, the village of Trnjak, where I was born, experienced the same
6 fate as the citizens of Nova Dubica, Donji Grad, Lipik, Svilaj, and
7 practically those places inhabited by Serbs, which means that some were
8 taken to camps, others were taken to isolation in Novi Grad and isolation
9 in Trnjak. The question was initiated to actually compile a list of
10 people who were in those villages so that we would approximately know how
11 many people were placed in camps and isolation in the region of the Odzak
12 municipality. This question was initiated by the Red Cross, and a working
13 group was formed - that's how I would call it - in which Mr. Bozo Ninkovic
14 participated, who was born in Donja Dubica. That's the neighbouring
15 village, the village next to mine. And Mr. Miroslav Tadic, who is from
16 the biggest Serbian village in the region of the Odzak municipality, and
17 that is Novi Grad, and of course myself, and I am from Trnjak. We were
18 given the task, according to what we remember and from conversations with
19 people from that area, to make a list, an accurate list, as much as that
20 was possible, of the people who lived in those villages.
21 Q. And did you make that list, according to what the people from
22 Trnjak remembered?
23 A. Yes, I made that list, because I went to Trnjak often, so I
24 remembered a lot, and I used many of the inhabitants of Trnjak, whom I
25 spoke about. They helped me. I made a list of 302 persons, and I handed
1 this list to the Red Cross of the Bosanski Samac municipality so that they
2 could process it further and work on it with the International Red Cross
3 and so on.
4 Q. You said that there were how many people on the list?
5 A. I said that there were 332 persons on the list.
6 Q. Very well. Thank you.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps it would be good
8 for Mr. Zaric just to clarify. He said after the 19th. Perhaps he should
9 tell us the month. Maybe that is not disputable, but it's still better
10 for it to be in the transcript.
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Zaric, you heard Mr. Lukic's suggestion.
13 A. The forces of the HVO, comprising of Croat and Muslim forces in
14 the territory of the Odzak municipality, took over entire control over the
15 municipality on the 19th of April, 1992.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. Mr. Zaric, I would now like to move on and
17 talk about an event that took place in the village of Crkvina, in fact,
18 the crime that occurred in the village of Crkvina. Could you tell us:
19 When you learned of the crime that had occurred in Crkvina, when the crime
20 happened, who told you about it, where, and who was with you at that point
21 in time?
22 A. I remember well.
23 Q. Could you please slow down a little bit.
24 A. The crime happened in the village of Crkvina in the night between
25 the 8th and the 9th of May, 1992. On that day, in the evening, I was with
1 my driver, Toso Tutnjevic. First in the command of the 17th Tactical
2 Group, in Mr. Makso Simeunovic's office, having talks with him to transmit
3 the usual sort of information, and then we dropped in to see a friend of
4 mine, Rado Lukic, in Obudovac, and we stayed a little after midnight.
5 After that, we set out via Gornja Slatina and Crkvina in the direction of
6 Bosanski Samac. This was more or less our regular route when going to
7 Pelagicevo and back.
8 At the crossroads in Crkvina, we were stopped by a policeman whose
9 name is a Sasa Maslic, and he was born in Bosanski Samac, but he was
10 working as a policeman at that crossroads, conducting some sort of check.
11 When he saw that Toso and I were in the car, and Sasa knew me very well,
12 he said the following: Uncle Simo, a terrible crime has taken place in
13 Crkvina. That man Lugar, from Serbia, has killed 16 people in the
14 cooperative warehouse not far from the club. Sasa Maslic seemed very
15 excited, frightened, upset, and I said: What's the situation now? What's
16 happening? And he said that Lugar had given orders to some people that
17 certain vehicles should be provided at once and some sort of equipment,
18 and that these people should be taken in the direction of the River Bosna,
19 which is about two or three kilometres away as the crow flies, some sort
20 of crane. I asked Sasa Maslic: Has the police been here? Does anyone
21 know anything about this? Sasa said that the commander of the police in
22 Crkvina, Ranko Popovic, who was guarding that warehouse, when he heard
23 that Lugar was coming, drunk as he was, Lugar, he told the policeman to
24 take cover and not to give the key to anyone, not to let anyone in.
25 That's what I heard.
1 Q. Mr. Zaric, just a moment. You said those persons. Did you mean
2 those who were killed?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And we have another little problem. You said that Ranko Popovic
5 was guarding that warehouse. Was that the warehouse where the people were
6 detained and where the crime took place?
7 A. Precisely so. Ranko Popovic was the person tasked by the police
8 station to guard the warehouse where those people were detained.
9 Q. Very well. Did you receive any other information from Sasa
11 A. Yes. He told me he had noticed that several hours before he had
12 seen Mr. Blagoje Simic, the president of the Crisis Staff, passing by and
13 that he assumed he was still there in Crkvina, or maybe he had gone to
14 Kruskovo Polje to visit his parents, because there's a road leading to
15 Kruskovo Polje from there, where he had his family.
16 Q. When you say he was going to the command, what command was that?
17 A. The command of the 2nd Detachment, and the commander was Marko
18 Tubakovic, the gentleman who testified here today.
19 Q. Mr. Zaric, where was the command of the 2nd Detachment?
20 A. The command of the 2nd Detachment was in Gornja Crkvina, in the
21 hamlet of Starcevici. That's what it's called, probably because some
22 families by that name live in that area.
23 Q. How far was this command from the centre of the village where this
24 warehouse was, the warehouse was in the centre of the village; is that
1 A. Yes. It was perhaps 50 or 70 metres away from the main road.
2 Q. And what was the distance between the place where the crime took
3 place and the headquarters of the command in the hamlet of Starcevici in
5 A. In my estimation, to reach that place by car, you need to drive
6 two or two and a half kilometres. It's at least two kilometres, I think.
7 Q. Did you and Toso Tutnjevic go to the command of the 2nd Detachment
8 in Crkvina?
9 A. Yes, I did. I went to the command. When we arrived near the
10 command, we were stopped by a guard who was guarding the command. He knew
11 me by sight. And I asked if Mr. Blagoje was in the command, and he said
12 he was there. And I said I needed to go there, so he escorted me as far
13 as the command, which was some hundred metres away, down a path from the
14 place where he had met us.
15 Q. And when you got to the house where the command was, did you enter
16 the command?
17 A. Yes, I did. I greeted the people inside. This was in a private
18 house, a family house, and there was a big living room there. There were
19 some mattresses lying around, and some people were sleeping, some were
20 dozing, and Mr. Blagoje was with a group of people from the command and
21 they were talking. In my estimation, this was at around 1.00 or 2.00
22 a.m., approximately.
23 Q. Can you remember, Mr. Zaric, who else was there besides Blagoje
24 Simic in that command?
25 A. There was the commander, Marko Tubakovic, as far as I can
1 remember; there was Mirko Vasiljevic; there was Rade Gunjevic, Joco Micic,
2 Cvijetin Maslic. These were people I knew. There was a certain Cedo, who
3 was in charge of radio communications, and I know him because he later
4 worked in the post office in Crkvina. So those were the people whom I
5 know for certain were then with Mr. Blagoje Simic.
6 Q. And who did you address then, and how, when you entered the
8 A. When I entered the command and said "good evening, how are you,"
9 they said "very well." I asked: Any news? And they said no. This was
10 what we usually said when we saw each other. And then I realised that
11 they really had no idea as to what had happened in their village, only
12 about two kilometres away. So I said: Blagoje, I have to tell you
13 something. Can you come outside?
14 Q. Did you and Mr. Blagoje Simic go out of that room?
15 A. Yes. Mr. Blagoje and I went out in front of the building, and
16 then I said to him: Blagoje, do you know what that fool Lugar has done in
17 Crkvina? Mr. Simic said to me, quite surprised: No. What did he do?
18 Well, I said, he killed people. I've just come from the crossroads, where
19 I heard that he'd killed 16 people.
20 Q. And how did Mr. Blagoje Simic receive this information? How did
21 he react?
22 A. Blagoje said: Curse them. What are they doing to us? What are
23 they doing to us? He was amazed. That's how Mr. Blagoje Simic reacted
24 when I told him what had happened.
25 Q. And did you agree on what steps you would take? Did you exchange
1 any ideas about this?
2 A. I said to Blagoje: This is the last straw. I'm going to inform
3 my commander about this, to tell them what has happened. And Blagoje
4 said: Well, I'm going right away to the Crisis Staff to do something
5 about this. And that was all we said. I went to inform the command, and
6 he said he was going to inform the Crisis Staff.
7 Q. And after these words, did you separate?
8 A. Yes. We parted ways. But I did go back into the office with
9 Blagoje for only a few minutes, and I said to the people that a crime had
10 happened. I told them what had happened and they were all amazed. I
11 said: I have things to do. Goodbye. Blagoje remained there with them.
12 I left. I don't know when Blagoje set out in the direction of Samac,
13 because I didn't see.
14 Q. Did you and Toso Tutnjevic then drive to the command in Samac, and
15 what route did you take?
16 A. Yes. We went by way of Pisari, taking a short cut. We passed by
17 a farm, and very soon we arrived in the command of the 4th Detachment.
18 Q. Who did you find in the command of the 4th Detachment?
19 A. I found Commander Antic and Savic [as interpreted]. They were
20 both asleep, but there was a duty officer, Nikolic, and also the
21 communications officer, and they were both awake.
22 Q. Mr. Zaric, my colleagues tell me that it says here that Antic and
23 Savic were both commanders. Who was the commander in May?
24 A. It was Mr. Jovo Savic in May.
25 Q. Did you find someone else there?
1 A. Yes, Mr. Antic.
2 Q. Who was not the commander then?
3 A. No. This was a slip of the tongue. But on that evening, he was
4 in the command of the 4th Detachment.
5 Q. Of course. And did you tell Jovo Savic, Radovan Antic, and the
6 others what had happened?
7 A. Yes. I told them right away. They were all flabbergasted. Sasa
8 Maslic in Crkvina had told me the names of some of the people who had been
9 killed in Crkvina, and those were people I respected and liked, and others
10 knew their names as well. They were our fellow citizens from the town of
11 Samac, whom we knew.
12 Q. All right, Mr. Zaric. Can you mention for the Trial Chamber the
13 people from Samac whom you know and who were killed in Crkvina on the 8th
14 of May, 1992.
15 A. One of my best friends, Mr. Josip Orsolic, a schoolmate of mine,
16 who was previously the chief of the public security station in Bosanski
17 Samac. My son Mirel and his son Latko [phoen] went to school together so
18 this was a long standing friendship. Ivo Tuzlak was also killed, who
19 worked in the secretariat for National Defence of the municipality of
20 Samac. A man called Hurtic a neighbour, who lived not far from the house
21 where my wife was born, whom I knew personally. A man called Agatic, whom
22 I also knew. And there were some people from Hasici, and I learned later
23 that there were also some people from outside the municipality of Samac.
24 Q. Very well. Mr. Zaric, did you invite anyone from the command, or
25 did you call anyone from the command of the 4th Detachment to tell them
1 what had happened in Crkvina that evening?
2 A. Yes. I informed, over the radio, and in Pelagicevo. It was
3 Mr. Makso Simeunovic who responded to the call. He was the first one who
4 picked up the telephone, and I told him, very briefly - I mean Mr. Makso
5 Simeunovic - what had happened, and I said that the Commander Nikolic
6 should be informed urgently and that we should see what could be done
7 about this gang.
8 Q. Did Makso Simeunovic tell you something at that moment?
9 A. He said: Well, the commander just happens to be right here beside
10 me. He's awake, so why don't you tell Mr. Nikolic directly.
11 Q. And did Mr. Nikolic, the commander of the 17th Tactical Group,
12 speak on the phone?
13 A. Yes. Yes. Lieutenant Colonel Stevan Nikolic picked up the
14 receiver and I told him very briefly what had happened, and I said that we
15 should take all possible measures because this was really the last straw.
16 And he said to me: Please collect as much information as you can and come
17 and see me in the command as early as possible tomorrow morning.
18 Q. And did you, Mr. Zaric, go to the command of the 17th Tactical
19 Group in Pelagicevo on the following morning?
20 A. Yes, at 8.00 I was already reporting in the command of the 17th
21 Tactical Group.
22 Q. How did you go from Samac to Pelagicevo? What means of transport
23 did you use? And did anyone go to the command in Pelagicevo with you?
24 A. I went with Mr. Toso Tutnjevic. He drove me there. And together
25 we arrived in the command of the 17th Tactical Group. I wish to add that
1 as Sasa Maslic had told me that when this crime was committed, there was
2 Mr. Lugar, and I heard later that Tralja was are was there, and Stanisic,
3 also known as Ziga, and two girls, so before I went to Pelagicevo, I
4 stopped off in Slatina and found Mr. Lazar Stanisic and heard more details
5 from him directly, which helped me to tell about the event that had
6 happened in Crkvina, to tell my commander, Nikolic, about it, in greater
8 Q. And what did you and Commander Nikolic talk about when you
9 reported to him in the command of the 17th Tactical Group in the morning?
10 What was the date?
11 A. It was the 9th of May, today, in fact.
12 Q. So what did you talk about with Commander Nikolic?
13 A. I informed him of everything I knew at that moment, that 16 men
14 had been killed, that in Crkvina there were over 50 people who had been
15 taken to that warehouse, that the warehouse had been guarded by the
16 police, that Lugar ordered that the door be broken down and that he had
17 killed those men. I told him very briefly what had happened. I said that
18 he gave the order to have the people dragged off and buried somewhere near
19 the River Bosna, which is about two or three kilometres away from the
20 scene of the crime.
21 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, is it time to finish
22 for today?
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We have come to the end of our proceedings for
24 today. We'll adjourn.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.15 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Monday, the 12th day of
2 May 2003, at 9.00 a.m.