1 Monday, 12 May 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case number IT-95-9-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic. You're continuing.
10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
11 WITNESS: SIMO ZARIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examined by Mr. Pisarevic: [Continued]
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Zaric.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. Before we adjourned on Friday, we were talking about your visit in
17 Pelagicevo, and you told us that in the morning of the 9th of May, you
18 went to Commander Nikolic and that Toso Tutnjevic drove you there. After
19 that conversation, after this meeting with Commander Nikolic, did he give
20 you some orders?
21 A. He did.
22 Q. And what did Commander Nikolic order you to do?
23 A. Through the conversation that we had, Commander Nikolic said that
24 he would undertake to talk about the incident with Messrs. Crni and
25 Debeli, that he would also talk with Mr. Todorovic so that certain
1 measures could be taken, and he told me, as transpired from the
2 conversation, that it would be good if I went to Belgrade, call Makso
3 Simeunovic, colonel, who at that time was retired. But I'm talking about
4 Mr. Jugoslav Maksimovic, I'm sorry, colonel, who was retired, but who used
5 to work in the security administration of the army of Yugoslavia and to
6 try, through him, to convey the information to those most responsible in
7 the security administration of the army of Yugoslavia so as to remove this
8 problem from the agenda and see how it would be solved.
9 Q. Thank you. Did you -- and when did you go to Belgrade, if you
11 A. After the conversation in Pelagicevo, in the command of the 17th
12 Tactical Group, my driver, Toso Tutnjevic, and I returned to Samac. And
13 later on, I took my private car - at that time I had a Golf - so I got
14 into the car, put some of my -- of things there, because that was also an
15 opportunity to visit my relatives in Belgrade and to see them, and I had
16 agreed with the commander to stay a day longer so as to be able to see
17 them, because at that time exactly my wife was in a hospital at Bezanijska
18 Kosa because she was having a heart complaint. So that after I returned,
19 as soon as I packed a few things, I immediately got into the car and left
20 for Belgrade.
21 Q. You've already told us something about the meeting in the
22 headquarters regarding the events in Crkvina, but now I'd like to ask you
23 about some further details in this regard. First, can you tell us when
24 you arrived with Jugoslav Maksimovic at the headquarters, what was the
25 reaction of those present, when you told them about the crime in Crkvina?
1 A. To be quite honest, everybody was aghast, and nobody approved of
2 that act. Mr. Jugoslav Maksimovic first took me to General Gligorijevic's
3 office, and since I had testified about that during the previous days,
4 after that meeting, General Aleksandar Maksimovic, Aco, also came and was
5 present at this meeting. At that time, he was discharging the duty of the
6 chief of the security administration of the army of Yugoslavia. And I
7 deemed there is no need for me to repeat it once again.
8 Q. No, none whatsoever. Mr. Zaric, were you asked after these
9 meetings to put together an official memo about the conversations that you
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And that note, was it done?
13 A. The official note was written in one copy, and one only, and then
14 it was retyped in that office, and I have to be honest and say that -- to
15 those gentlemen, both Vasiljevic and General Gligorijevic, and even
16 Colonel Maksimovic himself, who was present, and that I told them and
17 asked them not to reveal my visit and to keep that note in a special way,
18 as a secret, because I was afraid of those people. I was afraid they
19 would take revenge on me and my family.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, maybe Mr. Zaric could clarify one
21 thing, because according to what it says here in the transcript, and I
22 listened very carefully to what he actually said, here he says on page 3,
23 line 13: "The official note was written in one copy, and the only, and
24 then it was retyped," which might suggest that some other copies have been
25 made. So maybe this can be clarified.
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Zaric, this note, will you tell us: How was it done
4 A. Technically, the secretary came into that office and to her
5 directly - as I'm talking now, loudly, and clearly, as I'm testifying
6 before this Trial Chamber - I dictated to her what I knew about the event
7 most directly.
8 Q. And when she took down your dictation, did you sign it then?
9 A. I signed that official note exactly on the 9th of May, 1992.
10 Q. Did you sign that one copy only?
11 A. I signed only one copy, and that had been agreed to do it in one
12 copy only, for purely security reasons.
13 Q. So no other copies were made and you did not sign anything else?
14 A. Nothing except that one single copy of the official note, which
15 took a page and a half.
16 Q. Very well. And when you returned from Belgrade, did you report to
17 Commander Nikolic about the results of your visit and tell him all that
18 had happened?
19 A. Towards Bosnia and Herzegovina, or rather, towards Samac and
20 Pelagicevo, I returned exactly on the 11th of May, in the morning hours.
21 From Belgrade, I directly went to the command of the 17th Tactical Group
22 and told Colonel Stevan Nikolic and the security officer, Makso
23 Simeunovic, how -- what was said during the meeting and what I had done
25 Q. Very well, Mr. Zaric. Let us move on to another subject, the
1 subject of isolation of a considerable number of citizens of Croat
2 ethnicity in Crkvina. How did you learn about that, that a significant
3 number of citizens of Croat ethnicity had been put in isolation in the
4 village of Crkvina?
5 A. I learnt it in two ways. One part of that scene, that is,
6 rounding up of people in trucks and taken to Crkvina, I saw with my own
7 eyes, because it took place in front of my building. And secondly, in the
8 public security station I had the opportunity on those days precisely to
9 see a decision taken by the Crisis Staff to isolate the Croat people.
10 That decision was in the office of the chief of the public security
11 station, Mr. Todorovic, who, now and then, at that time, came to those
12 premises, but one copy of that decision was also with people who worked in
13 the criminal investigation department, that is, Mr. Milos Savic and
14 Mr. Vlado Sarkanovic. So that what I saw with my own eyes, and when I saw
15 this decision about isolation, then I became quite clear how that act had
16 come about, to isolate people in the sense of the question that you asked
18 Q. Very well, Mr. Zaric. And according to your knowledge, who
19 rounded up women of Croat ethnicity in Bosanski Samac, and men too, and
20 neighbouring villages, and put them in the stadium in Crkvina?
21 A. All my knowledge concerning the event indicated that it was
22 exclusively within the jurisdiction of the police, the public security
23 station in Bosanski Samac, and I was, for instance, the eyewitness to a
24 case when the police came in a car, after that, that is, in a truck,
25 fetched up in front of the building, and when a teacher, called Ruza, was
1 already in the truck, and when Mrs. Jelena Kapetanovic boarded that truck,
2 and only a day or two later a police vehicle took away two Muslim women
3 too. So that at that moment, Croats were not the only ones who were going
4 to that so-called isolation.
5 Q. Thank you. Do you know who guarded, who looked after those people
6 and citizens in Crkvina?
7 A. I was not in Crkvina. I hadn't been to Crkvina. I had only heard
8 that there was a large group of isolated people there from neighbouring
9 Croat villages and the town of Samac, and I also had information that they
10 were being guarded by members of the public security station in Samac.
11 Q. To the best of your recollection, how long were people kept at the
12 stadium in the village of Crkvina?
13 A. It lasted about a couple of days. I really can't tell you how
14 many exactly. But very soon after that -- and what is very soon
15 afterward? Four or five days perhaps. And then the story went that
16 people from Crkvina, from the big youth club that we called that, returned
17 to their homes, and some men were isolated then in two gymnasiums. One
18 belonged to the elementary school in Bosanski Samac and the other one was
19 the gymnasium in the secondary school, again in Bosanski Samac. They are
20 about a hundred metres away as the crow flies.
21 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you ever go to this -- to either gymnasium of the
22 elementary or the secondary school?
23 A. No, I've never been there.
24 Q. Do you have any knowledge as to what went on there?
25 A. Nothing nice. From what I would hear, at certain points in time,
1 when it occurred to Specials or some drunk policemen, they were exposed to
2 ill-treatment, torture, degrading behaviour, and so on and so forth. And
3 part of that story was directly told me by Djuro Prgomet, who is my
4 friend, who is my daughter's father-in-law, who, for a while, was detained
5 and isolated in those same premises where Croats were isolated, and he's
6 also a Croat by origin.
7 Q. And what do you know, Mr. Zaric, about the village of Zasavica,
8 and who was accommodated there?
9 A. My -- the first time I learnt about the village of Zasavica was on
10 the 26th of May, 1992, when, right next to that village, on the bank of
11 the Bosna River, the first, I'd say, exchange of people of the population
12 between the municipalities of Bosanski Samac and Odzak.
13 Q. Mr. Zaric, we shall be talking about that exchange later on. But
14 do you know whether some persons were accommodated there in that village?
15 A. As far as I know, a more intensive arrival of non-Serb population
16 to that village took place in August 1992. After a case which has to do
17 with the flight of a large number of persons of Muslim ethnicity across
18 the Sava River to the territory of the Republic of Croatia.
19 Q. And who took relevant decisions, and who took those non-Serb
20 families to the village of Zasavica?
21 A. As far as I know, it was all organised by the public security
22 station in Bosanski Samac, headed by Mr. Stevan Todorovic. I know one
23 fact regarding Zasavica, and that is that before the hostilities started
24 in the territory of the Bosanski Samac municipality, a relatively large
25 part of that population, at the invitation of the Crisis Staff in the
1 municipality of Odzak, crossed the Bosna River into the territory of the
2 municipality of Odzak. Because as far as I know, Zasavica is a village
3 with 95 per cent of the Croat population. There were some 550 people who
4 lived in that neighbourhood community, and more than one half of the
5 population left the area before any incident.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. We shall leave now the village of Zasavica,
7 but we shall return to it, rest assured.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
9 MR. RE: There was something in my respectful submission left
10 unanswered by Mr. Zaric's answer. It's something which could normally be
11 objectionable. That's the answer: "As far as I know, it was all
12 organised by the public security station in Bosanski Samac, headed by
13 Mr. Stevan Todorovic." Mr. Zaric hasn't given the basis for his
14 knowledge, that is, how he knows it was Mr. Todorovic and what
15 Mr. Todorovic actually did. Otherwise the answer would have been
16 objectionable, but I didn't object because I thought he might explain it.
17 So I'd asked that my learned friend clarify it with his client because
18 it's appropriate to do so, in my submission, in the examination-in-chief.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic. That shouldn't be a problem.
20 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Zaric, you've understood what my learned friend wanted to
22 know. How is it that you know that it was done by the public security
23 station, headed by Stevan Todorovic? Did you see that, hear about that,
24 read about it?
25 A. What was done in August, the transfer and rounding up of the
1 population and the transfer to the territory of Zasavica, that was not
2 something I had the opportunity to see with my own eyes, but I did have
3 the opportunity to hear about it at those moments when, at that time, I
4 was returning from Odzak to the Samac territory. That was when I was told
5 that was done with the trucks, escorted by the police from the public
6 security station. So I heard that it had been done in that way, and I had
7 no opportunity to see that directly.
8 Q. And in August, when this was being done, was Stevan Todorovic the
9 chief of the public security station?
10 A. Yes, he was. Mr. Stevan Todorovic discharged the duty almost
11 until the end of the war.
12 Q. Mr. Zaric, you already said in your testimony that the army of
13 Republika Srpska was founded on the 12th of May, 1992 and that the army of
14 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia left the territory of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the 19th of May, 1992. What do you know regarding
16 the departure of members of the army of Yugoslavia? Who left, and where
17 did the officers and troops who left the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina
18 or, in this case, the municipality of Bosanski Samac, originate from?
19 A. I have to admit, quite frankly, that that decision about the
20 definitive pull-out of the Yugoslav People's Army on the 19th of May,
21 1992, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, was something that made me quite
22 unhappy, because I knew that that meant the final extinction of a country
23 which I loved. And I realised finally that with the departure of the
24 Yugoslav People's Army from this territory, we'd start living under
25 completely different conditions, and regrettably that is what happened. I
1 know that the decision ordered that all the troops, officers, and NCOs in
2 the Yugoslav People's Army who had been born in the territory of Serbia,
3 Montenegro, or possibly some other republic, and who had, until then, been
4 in the Yugoslav People's Army, had to leave the territory of Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina, and that is indeed what happened.
6 Q. Mr. Zaric, which military formations were formed in the army of
7 Republika Srpska on the territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac,
8 Pelagicevo, after the withdrawal of the JNA?
9 A. On the 12th of May, that is, on today's date in 1992, under a
10 decision of the Assembly of the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
11 the army of Republika Srpska was established. With the departure of the
12 JNA on the 19th of May, a military transformation occurred of the armed
13 forces which were on the territory of Republika Srpska. Instead of the
14 17th Tactical Group of the JNA, which up to that moment had been the
15 military defence component for the area of Bosanski Samac, among others,
16 the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade was established, and all the
17 detachments - and there were five infantry detachments at that time - were
18 renamed and reorganised to make up infantry battalions which were later,
19 of course, part of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade.
20 Q. In these newly established military formations of the army of
21 Republika Srpska, in the commands, in the battalions, the companies,
22 squads, and so on, did people who had been born in Bosnia and Herzegovina
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Do you know who was appointed commander of the 2nd Posavina
1 Infantry Brigade?
2 A. The commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade was Colonel
3 Mico Djurdjevic, who was born in a village called Tisina, which is not far
4 from the town of Samac and belongs to the municipality of Bosanski Samac.
5 So he was born on the territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac.
6 Q. When was Colonel Djurdjevic appointed commander of the 2nd
7 Posavina Infantry Brigade and can you tell us when this happened how old
8 he was and whether you know anything about him as a man and a soldier?
9 A. I couldn't tell you exactly how old he was, but it was between 50
10 and 60 years of age. And according to my estimation, he was a very
11 strong, courageous, stout-hearted officer, and a very calm, disciplined,
12 and moderate officer.
13 Q. Thank you. When Commander Djurdjevic was appointed commander of
14 the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, did he take any measures within the
15 sphere of his competence to improve the situation on the territory?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did he convene a meeting in Pelagicevo, the village where the
18 command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade was located?
19 A. A few days afterwards, that is, about five or six days after his
20 arrival, Colonel Djurdjevic was active on two fronts. As far as I was
21 able to observe, one of these fronts was organising the brigade command
22 and setting up the organisation of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade in
23 such a way that one could tell who was at the top and who was at the
24 bottom. And as for the second front I mentioned, I thought he worked very
25 well on collecting certain information in order to determine what the
1 situation of this unit was, what its state was, the unit that was now
2 called the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade.
3 About five days later, Colonel Mico Djurdjevic convened a meeting
4 of prominent persons, and this was held in a room in Pelagicevo. The
5 persons who attended the meeting included almost all the commanders of the
6 battalions, their assistants for security and moral guidance, all the
7 commanders of other independent units within the scope of the 2nd Posavina
8 Brigade, part of the new command that had already been inaugurated by him
9 within the 2nd Posavina Brigade, and the most responsible people from the
10 political life of the municipality of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo under
11 foundation. This was approximately the composition of the people who
12 attended that meeting.
13 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you attend the meeting?
14 A. Yes. Yes, I participated in the meeting.
15 Q. Do you know who was there on behalf of the civilian authorities of
16 the municipalities of Samac and Pelagicevo under formation?
17 A. I am certain that on behalf of Bosanski Samac municipality, the
18 meeting was attended by Mr. Blagoje Simic, as the president of the Crisis
19 Staff; by Mr. Milan Simic; Mr. Stevan Todorovic; maybe there was Mr. Milos
20 Bogdanovic, but I'm not sure; and Bozo Ninkovic. But the first three men
21 I mentioned were there. I'm certain of that. And on behalf of
22 Pelagicevo, there was Dusan Tanaskovic, Milan Milicic, and Mirko Dragic,
23 who then held two posts, one in the military and the other political,
24 because he was the president of the Serbian Democratic Party there.
25 Q. Thank you. What did Colonel Djurdjevic, the commander of the 2nd
1 Posavina Infantry Brigade, say at that meeting? If you can summarise it
2 briefly, just mention the topics he discussed, and what did he want from
3 the military and from the civilian authorities?
4 A. He drew attention to the gravity of the situation we were in after
5 the departure of the JNA from that area, and he used a saying to the
6 effect that we should rely on our own strength now, meaning that we were
7 now the local representatives of the Serbian people, whether we were in
8 the military or politicians, and that it was up to us to organise and take
9 over the territory and the defence of the Serbian people in that area. He
10 also drew attention --
11 Q. Just a moment, Mr. Zaric. We have a comment on the transcript.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: There is something here in the transcript that
13 Mr. Zaric didn't say, on page 13, line 9, 8 and 9, that "it was up to us
14 to organise and take over the territory." This is not the words that
15 Mr. Zaric said.
16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Zaric, did he say you should take over the territory or that
18 you should defend the territory?
19 A. He said: Whether we are speaking of the military or of
20 politicians, it is our task to organise ourselves in such a way as to
21 ensure a defence component so as to preserve the territory on which the
22 Serbian people live. That was the context of what he said.
23 Q. What else did Colonel Djurdjevic say at that meeting? Did he ask
24 that the civilian authorities should deal with civilian matters and the
25 military with military matters, or something like that?
1 A. Yes, precisely so. It became evident from what he was saying that
2 he had taken stock of the situation very well and he didn't want to
3 conceal this from any of us. He drew attention to the fact that there had
4 been kinds of behaviour that were not in accordance with military rules
5 and discipline, and that politicians had interfered in military matters,
6 and vice versa, and that this was intertwined. He was very explicit about
7 this, saying that, as commander, he would advocate exclusively that the
8 military do its job and take responsibility for the defence of the
9 territory, and that he would not allow any groups - and he referred
10 especially to the volunteers from Serbia - that he would not allow them to
11 act as they wanted, in line with the information he had. And he said it
12 had to be clear that what was with the army had to be under the control of
13 the military, and what was in the police had to be under the control of
14 the police, and everything else outside of that were paramilitaries and
15 parapolice and would not be allowed to remain on the territory. He said
16 he would not allow politics to interfere in the personnel policy of the
17 military, and he also said that the military could not psychologically
18 influence political standpoints and attitudes in that area. That would be
19 a summary of what he said in front of all of us.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Maybe the transcript was not quite accurate. Here
21 on page 14, lines 18 and 19, and 17 as well, "military could not
22 psychologically influence political standpoints." Could not -- well, what
23 Mr. Zaric was referring to is certain military pressure on politicians to
24 meet the demands of the army, and the way it is said now, some
25 psychological influence, doesn't sound quite clear.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: I mean, in actual fact it comes to the same thing.
2 It's the military influencing political standpoints that also could
3 include applying pressure on the political leaders.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Zaric, on that occasion, did Commander Djurdjevic say, or
6 rather, ask, that the volunteers should either be placed under the command
7 of the military or the police, or, if they refused that, that they could
8 go to Serbia over the Drina River?
9 A. Yes, precisely as you said. That's what he said, very decidedly,
10 and that's what he advocated at that meeting.
11 Q. Mr. Zaric, what did the other participants in the meeting say?
12 Did they support the commander? Did they oppose his intentions and
14 A. In the discussion, several battalion commanders took part, first
15 of all. As far as I can remember, the politicians did not take the floor,
16 but when the colonel was summarising what had taken place, as to whether
17 all of us present in the room agreed with what he had said and what I have
18 testified to, there was no one present at the meeting who raised any
19 objections to these firm and clear standpoints taken by Commander
20 Djurdjevic. On the basis of this, I and many others concluded that
21 unanimity had been achieved concerning the standpoints put forward by the
22 commander at that meeting.
23 Q. And how did the meeting end, the meeting with Colonel Djurdjevic,
24 the commander?
25 A. I would say that it ended in a good atmosphere, at least in my
1 view. Perhaps after the withdrawal of the JNA, for the first time there
2 was a sense of relief among most of us, and with that meeting we seemed to
3 have surmounted the psychological crisis we had been undergoing, that is,
4 our anxiety about what would happen in the future. So this meeting ended
5 well and had a very positive effect on all the participants.
6 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know what happened to Colonel Djurdjevic, the
7 commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, a few days after this
9 A. Yes, I do know. About seven days later, as regards Colonel
10 Djurdjevic and some relations, the situation went wrong. It turned
11 around. And the impression I had had of unity, when the meeting in
12 Pelagicevo ended, had in fact been only a pretense of support, and
13 afterwards commander Djurdjevic was replaced in circumstances that I think
14 are special.
15 Q. Very well. Do you know whether Commander Djurdjevic, before he
16 was replaced, attended a meeting, and where that meeting was held?
17 A. Yes, he was at a meeting. The meeting was organised in the
18 Toplana, in the heat-generating plant, where the headquarters of the
19 Bosanski Samac municipality Crisis Staff was.
20 Q. Do you know who invited Commander Djurdjevic to that meeting in
21 the heating plant where the headquarters of the Crisis Staff of the
22 Bosanski Samac municipality was?
23 A. In a conversation that I had later on with Mr. Djurdjevic, I
24 learnt that he had been invited to the Crisis Staff by Mr. Blagoje Simic
25 and Mr. Stevan Todorovic. I was one of the people who was present at part
1 of that meeting, and I witnessed a scenario that took place there.
2 Q. What part of the meeting were you present at, and who brought you
3 to the meeting?
4 A. I was brought to the meeting by my driver, Toso Tutnjevic, and I
5 had just been at the front lines, the defence lines of what was already
6 the 5th Battalion, in its area of responsibility, and I had received
7 information that I should report urgently to the Crisis Staff, where
8 Commander Djurdjevic was attending a meeting, and that the commander of
9 the 5th Infantry Battalion, Mr. Jovo Savic, had already gone to the
11 Q. Who ordered you to go to that meeting?
12 A. The duty communications officer in the 4th Detachment told me that
13 Commander Jovo Savic had sent word that I was to go to the meeting in the
14 Crisis Staff, urgently, and that the commander of the 2nd Posavina
15 Infantry Brigade, Colonel Mico Djurdjevic, was already there. On the
16 basis of this information, I went to the heating plant by car and came to
17 the meeting.
18 Q. Mr. Zaric, you used the expression "the 4th Detachment," and just
19 before you mentioned the 5th Battalion. What unit was it at that time?
20 A. It was the 5th Infantry Battalion, because after the new
21 establishment, that was the name it was given, after the 12th of May.
22 Q. Mr. Zaric, we have already explained this. If there is a slip of
23 the tongue, we will correct it. Don't worry about this.
24 And when you arrived at the meeting in the heating plant, where
25 the Crisis Staff was, who did you see there at the meeting? Who was
2 A. The office of the president of the Crisis Staff was full, full of
3 people. Apart from the commander, Mico Djurdjevic, as the commander of
4 the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, there was also my commander, the
5 commander of the 5th Infantry Battalion, Captain Jovo Savic. Of the
6 people from the Crisis Staff, there was Mr. Blagoje Simic, Mr. Stevan
7 Todorovic, Bozo Ninkovic, but I don't know whether at that point in time
8 he held any special post. Then there was Simeun Simic, and in my
9 estimation, about ten lads in military camouflage uniforms, with weapons.
10 They were all in the room.
11 Q. Mr. Zaric, can you recollect whether Savo Popovic also attended
12 the meeting?
13 A. It was possible that Mr. Popovic was there as well, but I'm not a
14 hundred per cent sure right now. It is possible, though, that he was
16 Q. Who chaired the meeting?
17 A. I wish to say that I came to the meeting, and there was a certain
18 atmosphere there. When I entered, I was assigned a small space with a
19 chair, and at the time the speaker was Mr. Stevan Todorovic, which doesn't
20 mean that he chaired the meeting as well. However, when I got into the
21 office, he was the one who was delivering the speech.
22 Q. And what transpired during the meeting, Mr. Zaric?
23 A. Mr. Todorovic, in his typical style, and in my opinion without any
24 respect for the others, turned to Colonel Mico Djurdjevic and said to him
25 that he had received information to the effect that the army, and
1 especially people from the special battalion, as it was called at the
2 time, were not pleased with the attitude that he took as commander, and
3 that he, as commander, was not trusted by the Serb population in the Samac
4 municipality, and should he fail to change his attitude, the Serb people
5 could pay dearly for that consequence, and that certain lack of unity
6 could come out of that in the area.
7 This is what I remember Mr. Todorovic saying.
8 Q. Mr. Zaric, you also mentioned that there were some men there who
9 were armed and wearing camouflage uniforms. Do you remember anybody in
10 that group, anybody in particular?
11 A. Yes, I do. I remember Mr. Aco Jankovic, for example, who was
12 quite rough and insolent at the meeting. I remember when he addressed
13 even the president of the Crisis Staff, and later on me as well, and
14 said: Why is it that somebody who doesn't have to wear a military
15 uniform - and at that time Mr. Blagoje Simic had a military jacket, a
16 camouflage type, and I had a similar one as well - and then he turned to
17 me and said: And people like Zaric, why would they need a military
18 uniform? So as I said, he was quite rough, and he made it known that
19 should Mr. Mico Djurdjevic continue acting in this manner, that the
20 volunteers, these major warriors, if I can call them that, would leave the
21 area, and that with them the area would be also deserted by those who
22 attended training with them, and that that could bring about negative
23 consequences among the troops and among the people.
24 I remember one of those people who took the floor. His name was
25 Aco Jankovic. And in addition to him, there was Cedo Lukic there as well,
1 who had attended special meeting. Then there was another lad from Gajevo,
2 whose name I cannot remember. Later on, he unfortunately was killed. I
3 think the name was Lukic. I think he attended the meeting as well.
4 So all in all, those were the men who had attended the training,
5 which prior to the war was kept secret by Mr. Todorovic and some other
6 people who had sent them there.
7 Q. And in this tense atmosphere, did Commander Djurdjevic give some
8 kind of a proposal to Mr. Blagoje Simic?
9 A. I don't wish to repeat myself, but I, and perhaps quite a large
10 number of people who had occasion to hear and to see what was the attitude
11 of Mr. Djurdjevic as commander, and I have to say that he's a very calm,
12 moderate person - he, having assessed the situation, said the following:
13 This is not an atmosphere in which such serious discussions can take
14 place. And then he suggested to Mr. Blagoje that all of us who were in
15 the room should leave it and to have Mr. Blagoje Simic, Stevan Todorovic,
16 and himself only remain in the room. And following that, this is exactly
17 what took place: All of us left the room, while the three of them
18 remained there in the office of the president of the Crisis Staff.
19 Q. Did somebody else enter the room subsequently, the office of the
20 president of the Crisis Staff, while the meeting, including Djurdjevic,
21 Simic, and Todorovic, still went on?
22 A. In the lower part of that building, which is called the heating
23 plant, there was a mini restaurant where some of us sat. Some of the
24 people were in front of the building. And after about an hour, perhaps
25 even less than that, after about an hour following our leaving the room, a
1 car came with Mr. Crni in it, and then he entered the room with those
2 three gentlemen in it.
3 Q. How long did that meeting in the office of the president of the
4 Crisis Staff go on for?
5 A. An hour at the most.
6 Q. What did you learn following the end of that meeting?
7 A. The first to come down the stairs was Mr. Stevan Todorovic, who
8 was in a very good mood and quite talkative. He came down to the mini
9 restaurant where all of us were sitting. He said: Everything is over.
10 Commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade is Crni. He didn't say
11 Dragan Djordjevic. He just said Crni. He said commander of the 2nd
12 Posavina Infantry Brigade is Crni. Everything has been agreed. There
13 will be no problems.
14 He came to Mr. Jovo Savic [as interpreted] and to me to
15 congratulate us on the appointment of the new commander, whereas I
16 considered this to be a slap in our face.
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just one word in transcript, page 21, line 14. He
18 came to Mr. Jovo Savic and to me. Mr. Zaric was referring to Todorovic.
19 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Zaric, did Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, truly become commander of
21 the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade?
22 A. Unfortunately, he did.
23 Q. What is your opinion about his military qualifications and skills
24 as commander of a brigade, and I mean Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, here?
25 A. He did not have the skills to command a unit of that size.
1 However, he was a brave soldier and he could have led a small sabotage
2 unit. I do not deny that.
3 Q. Did he have any military education? Did he hold a rank, a
4 military rank?
5 A. As far as I knew then, and as far as I learned later, he had no
6 qualifications whatsoever. He was an ordinary soldier. He had only
7 attended this special training based on which he received the status of
8 the instructor or inspector within the special police forces.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat the question.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Before the answer, the question was not recorded.
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Zaric, who was appointment chief of the 2nd Posavina Infantry
13 Brigade within the army of Republika Srpska?
14 A. When Colonel -- Lieutenant Colonel Dencic, who was acting
15 commander of the east Bosnia Corps, officially appointed Mr. Dragan
16 Djordjevic, Crni, commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, then
17 many of us learned for the first time that his actual name was Dragan
18 Djordjevic. Up until that time, we only knew him as Crni, which was his
19 nickname. When, after two or three days following this meeting at the
20 Crisis Staff, he received an official decision appointing him commander
21 and awarding him the rank of lieutenant colonel, which is something that
22 can happen anywhere in the world, therefore, then Dragan Djordjevic, Crni,
23 appointed Srecko Radovanovic chief of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade.
24 His nickname was Debeli. And he and Crni had come together with the other
25 Specials on the 11th of April, 1992.
1 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you remember who was appointed commander of the
2 military police company at the time?
3 A. Jovanovic, Zvjezdan, was appointed company commander of the
4 military police. He was one of the Specials that had come from Serbia.
5 Q. Mr. Zaric, following these changes within the command of the 2nd
6 Posavina Infantry Brigade, was commander of the 5th Battalion within this
7 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade also replaced? And now I'm talking of Jovo
9 A. Yes. I remember that event very clearly. After the arrival of
10 Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, as commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry
11 Brigade, Captain Jovo Savic was replaced. He used to be commander of the
12 5th Infantry Battalion. And he was -- the person who replaced him was
13 Mr. Radovic, whom I considered a military dissident. And at the time I
14 was collecting information that would lead to him being disciplined, due
15 to some of the acts he had committed.
16 Q. Did Mr. Mladen Radovic have any rank, officer's rank, or was he a
17 non-commissioned officer?
18 A. I believe that he was a sergeant at the time.
19 Q. Mr. Zaric, and who removed Mr. Jovo Savic, Captain Jovo Savic,
20 from his post as commander of the 5th Infantry Battalion and replaced him
21 with Mladen Radovic?
22 A. The decision replacing the old commander and appointing the new
23 commander was the decision passed by Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, commander of
24 the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, and Captain Savic was the one who
25 relayed to me certain details regarding that. After he was replaced, he
1 told me about what had happened in the premises of the department store,
2 which is where Mr. Savic went pursuant to summons from Mr. Stevan
3 Todorovic and where Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, was present as well.
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, shortly thereafter, did you travel to
6 A. Yes. Shortly after these events I went there.
7 Q. Who asked you to go to Belgrade, Mr. Zaric?
8 A. Mr. Blagoje Simic asked me to go to Belgrade. It was a telephone
9 call that came in the evening hours.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel and the accused please break
11 between question and answer.
12 A. He told me that I should be in Belgrade the following day, due to
13 certain tasks and things that needed to be done. When he spoke with me on
14 the phone, he didn't give me the reasons. I told him that I didn't mind
15 going there because I considered that to be an opportunity to visit my
16 family as well. That was my thinking.
17 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Zaric, who else went to Belgrade with you, and how did you
19 travel there? What transportation means did you use?
20 A. When Blagoje told me that I was to go to Belgrade, I asked him
21 what were the arrangements, when we were to leave, and so on. Since
22 Mr. Blagoje Simic and I lived in the same building but not in the same
23 parts of the building, he told me that sometime around 6.00 I should be in
24 front of the building and that the car would come to fetch us. That's
25 exactly how it was. It was Blagoje who went to Belgrade with me. We were
1 driven in a police car by Mr. Stevan Todorovic and Mr. Miroslav Tadic came
2 with us as well.
3 Q. Was there somebody awaiting you in Belgrade?
4 A. Yes. In Belgrade, by a building which was considered to be a
5 government building of the Republika Srpska in Belgrade, in front of the
6 building we were met by Mr. Milos Bogdanovic, who at the time was
7 municipal secretary for National Defence in Bosanski Samac municipality.
8 In the car with him was his wife and two children.
9 Q. When you met with Milos Bogdanovic, was there a verbal conflict
10 that broke out there and then; and if so, please tell us who was involved.
11 A. We did not stay long there in front of that building, as
12 Mr. Todorovic had told us that we should leave as soon as possible in
13 order to attend a meeting at the republic Ministry of the Interior of
14 Serbia, because there were some people there that he had and that we had
15 to see. Therefore, he just suggested for Milos Bogdanovic to transfer
16 from the car in which he was to the car in which all of us were.
17 Therefore, Milos joined us, whereas his wife and children remained at the
18 parking place, waiting there for him, because Milos believed that he would
19 be able to join his family shortly.
20 In the car, as we were driving towards the centre of Belgrade,
21 Milos Bogdanovic put a question to Mr. Todorovic in front of all of us.
22 He said: Stevo, what were your orders all about, the orders on arresting
23 people in Gorice? Yesterday I barely managed to pass, and were it not for
24 Debeli - and by this he referred to Srecko Radovanovic, who at the time
25 was chief of staff - therefore, were it not for him, I would not have been
1 able to go to Belgrade. You had ordered to your policemen at the
2 checkpoint in Gorice to arrest me.
3 I saw Mr. Simo Zaric, Miroslav Tadic, Jovo Savic, Fadil Topcagic,
4 and Savo Popovic on that list of yours of men to be arrested. Those were
5 approximately the names of people who, pursuant to Stevan Todorovic's
6 order, should have been arrested.
7 Q. And what happened after that?
8 A. Stevo said that this was some kind of a pre-emptive message and
9 that he did not consider it to be terribly important. However, I have to
10 say that when I heard about this in the car, when I heard that my name was
11 on the list of people to be arrested, a very fierce verbal conflict broke
12 out between myself and Mr. Todorovic, and in that altercation and
13 argument, while we were arguing, we arrived into the yard of the Republic
14 Ministry of the Interior of Serbia.
15 Q. And how did that conflict calm down, the conflict involving you
16 and Bogdanovic, on one side, and Stevan Todorovic on the other side?
17 A. Only owing to Mr. Blagoje Simic. He said something along these
18 lines: If we are unable to calm down, and if we are unable to overcome
19 this arguments, then we should get back into the car and return to Samac
20 immediately. That's what Blagoje said in the yard of that building, once
21 we got there.
22 I have to say that after that, we calmed down a little bit,
23 because we had arrived in front of the building and we were to attend a
24 meeting that seemed to have been organised by Mr. Stevan Todorovic.
25 Q. Did you have a meeting in the building of the Ministry of the
1 Interior of Serbia?
2 A. Mr. Todorovic was the only one who left the car while it was
3 parked in the yard of that building. The four of us remained in the car.
4 He went to the reception desk and talked to the duty person and was told
5 that Mr. Frenki was not there and that we could not attend the meeting
6 that he had planned, but should rather go to see Mr. Andjelko Maslic, who
7 at the time had a post in the federal government of Yugoslavia.
8 Q. And did you go to see Mr. Andjelko Maslic?
9 A. Yes, we did. We went in a car to the new Belgrade area, where the
10 building of the federal government was at the time. Mr. Andjelko Maslic
11 is somebody who was originally from our area, from the area of Bosanski
12 Samac municipality, and he was the last secretary of the presidency of the
13 federal Yugoslavia.
14 Q. Mr. Zaric, did all of you go to see Mr. Andjelko Maslic?
15 A. Yes, all of us.
16 Q. What did you talk about with Mr. Andjelko Maslic on that occasion
17 when you visited him?
18 A. As far as I can remember, there were several current topics to be
19 discussed with Mr. Andjelko Maslic. The most important topic, as far as I
20 can remember, dealt with the fate of certain requests, concerning which
21 the Crisis Staff of Samac wrote to the federal government, and it had to
22 do with the fate of Serbs that had been arrested and detained in Odzak
23 municipality. We spoke to Mr. Andjelko Maslic whether anything else could
24 be done regarding that, whether any other contacts could be used to do
25 something about the fate of those detained people. And the other topic
1 that we discussed was the fate of a large number of refugees from the
2 territory of Samac municipality who, according to our information, were
3 stationed in two or three areas, locations, around Belgrade. I know that
4 a large number of refugees of all nationalities from Samac were housed
5 around Bezanijska Kosa, another group near Pancevo, and there was a third
6 location where they were housed. I also remember well that Mr. Blagoje,
7 just like all of us, insisted and pleaded with Mr. Maslic to see what he
8 could do to assist, through the Red Cross and other institutions, to see
9 what he could do for the people from our area.
10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that it is
11 time for our break now.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We shall take our break.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Before we proceed, the Trial Chamber would like to
16 address the Prosecution. The demographer's report was filed on the 8th of
17 May, and the Trial Chamber wanted to find out from the Prosecution when
18 they will be able to reply, to indicate whether they want the expert for
19 cross-examination. We were thinking that maybe you would be able to reply
20 by Friday this week.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: I don't think that should be a problem at all, if
22 Your Honours please, and I'm quite happy to put in a reply by Friday.
23 That should be no problem at all.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We can have the reply orally, unless there are
25 some other details you wish to put in.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: I'd be very grateful if we could do that. That
2 would save a lot of time.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll -- perhaps Friday morning or afternoon,
5 depending on whether we have morning or afternoon sessions, I'll --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think by morning so that --
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Very well. I'll make it clear on Friday. Thank
9 JUDGE MUMBA: If the Prosecution indicates that they would like to
10 cross-examine, the Trial Chamber was thinking that - this was addressed to
11 the Defence, especially Mr. Lukic, who appears to be in touch with this
12 expert - that she should attend court on the 26th of May, that is, in two
13 weeks' time.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do not think this will
15 cause any problems. Independently of the Prosecution's request and
16 decision of the Trial Chamber, I have already asked the Victims and
17 Witnesses Unit to prepare the visa for Mrs. Radovanovic, and I think that
18 it will be granted. At the time I was discussing with her the schedule in
19 principle, she said that she could come in May any time, except that she
20 would need to know two or three days earlier because of her other
21 commitments. So if we accept that it will be the 26th of May, that will
22 be fine, and I can, if it is so decided, I shall inform her to reserve
23 that particular time and she'll come. There will be no problems.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think it would be better to inform her of
25 that date right away, and then subject to confirmation as to which
1 position the Prosecution will take by Friday, so that she can clear her
2 diary. Thank you.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, by all means. That is
4 the best option. So I'll let her know today, and as far as she is
5 concerned, there will be no problem whatsoever.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, you can continue.
7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Zaric, before the break we were talking about the meeting at
9 Mr. Andjelko Maslic's. So how did this meeting with Mr. Andjelko Maslic
11 A. Well, I'd say that it ended in a completely normal atmosphere
12 among people who knew one another and who had to discuss two or three
13 serious subjects. But to my mind, it ended very correctly.
14 Q. Fine. Did you go to any other meeting after the meeting with
15 Mr. Andjelko Maslic ended?
16 A. I did.
17 Q. And where did you go, and who else went with you?
18 A. After the meeting, we went to Zemun, which is a part of Belgrade,
19 to the main building of the command of the air force and AAD of
20 Yugoslavia. And when we set off from the platform in front of that
21 building which housed government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
22 and where we had been at the meeting with Mr. Andjelko Maslic, Stevan
23 Todorovic, whether in jest or deliberately, said, in front of everybody:
24 Now I'm taking you to my central office. That was his interjection, his
25 comment. And after ten minutes or so, because it wasn't far away, we
1 fetched up in front of this building of the command of the AF and AAD of
3 Q. Mr. Zaric, who received you there in that building of the AF and
4 AAD command?
5 A. In the office to which we went upstairs, after, of course, the
6 procedure of reporting at the reception desk, we were welcomed -- well,
7 they -- he was introduced as General Gajic. General Bajic --
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises.
9 A. -- was at the time Chief of Staff of the AF, AAD of Yugoslavia, so
10 I'm referring to General Bajic. There was also with him Colonel -- his
11 name escapes me right now, even though it is very familiar. But I'll
12 remember it as I testify. And Mr. Todorovic greeted them, particularly
13 cordially and warm-heartedly, and from this I concluded that they had
14 known each other from before. Then we entered a large conference room,
15 with a large conference table with several chairs. In that room there
16 were already two men in police uniforms, and they merely introduced
17 themselves, saying they were coming from the federal secretariat of the
18 interior. That was that I do not remember their names, but as we shook
19 hands, Colonel Jeremic -- now it's come to me, I'm sorry. I have just
20 remember, it was Colonel Jeremic who was the PR man for a man in the
21 security department of the special service of the AF, AAD of Yugoslavia.
22 We entered this room, all five of us. We had -- we partook of
23 coffee there, and a spontaneous discussion started after that.
24 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Zaric, before that, had you ever met General Bajic and
1 Colonel Jeremic?
2 A. No. I never met them, nor, to be quite honest, had I ever heard
3 of them before.
4 Q. What was discussed at that meeting?
5 A. Well, at first there was the usual atmosphere. Stevan Todorovic
6 perhaps took the lead and made some general assessments about the state of
7 things on the front line in the area of Bosanski Samac, and during the
8 meeting, after that atmosphere, a man turned up and everybody received him
9 with a certain respect and stood up. He was wearing civilian clothes and
10 he merely introduced himself as Frenki.
11 Q. Did you ever learn the real name of that person, and what post did
12 he hold?
13 A. I learned that only after I arrived here in The Hague. That is,
14 before that, I had no idea. And when he introduced himself as Frenki and
15 said he came from the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia, that was the
16 only identification we heard about him at that meeting.
17 Q. But later on did you find out what his name was?
18 A. Yes. He's called Simatovic.
19 Q. Mr. Zaric, at that meeting, was there any mention of Dragan
20 Djordjevic, called Crni, and who raised that topic on that occasion?
21 A. Yes. Dragan Djordjevic did come up in the discussion. I think
22 that it was after Mr. Frenki arrived it became the chief topic at the
23 meeting and the chief topic of the discussion conducted then. Mr. Blagoje
24 Simic, during those discussion, when the term came to talk about Dragan
25 Djordjevic, Crni, said, more or less, that this was an individual who
1 enjoyed outstanding trust of the combatants in the area of Samac, that he
2 was a brave guy, and that that was the impression he left amongst the
4 After him, Stevan Todorovic made charisma out of Mr. Dragan
5 Djordjevic, Crni, as said.
6 Q. Will you please explain what you mean by this.
7 A. Well, he approximately said that new time gives birth to new
8 heroes and that he, simply put -- for the Serbian Bosnian people he had
9 become an idol, that he had become a hero, and that it had become
10 inconceivable to wage any further struggle without him and that that was
11 one of the chief reasons why he had been appointed and was currently
12 performing the duty of the commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade
13 in Samac. And among other things, he said how valiant he was, how brave
14 he was, how intrepid he was, and he said that he had to all intents and
15 purposes become the idol of the Serbian people and that the struggle could
16 not be fought without him. That was about that.
17 Q. Did Mr. Simatovic say anything on that occasion concerning the
18 abilities and qualifications of Mr. Dragan Djordjevic, Crni?
19 A. He did, very briefly. Mr. Frenki Simatovic commented on those
20 thoughts that we had heard before, and I remember well when Mr. Frenki
21 said, approximately this: I think that Crni is not a man of a calibre
22 allowing him to lead a brigade. He does not possess those abilities. His
23 level is such that he could lead perhaps a unit of a sabotage nature. But,
24 he said, if it is your decision to have him as a brigade commander, then
25 you need another team of people in the command of the brigade who are
1 qualified -- who are properly qualified, because Crni can't even read
2 maps. And I remember that very well indeed.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. How long, as this meeting went on, did
4 General Bajic talk over the telephone with somebody?
5 A. Yes. General Bajic, after all this talk and requests put forward
6 by Mr. Todorovic, and invitation to all of us present there to voice our
7 official opinions as to what we thought about Mr. Crni, and as we were
8 doing that, I think that Mr. Miroslav Tadic was the only one who wasn't in
9 the room with us there as we were discussing this, because as we were
10 discussing it, Mr. Miroslav Tadic left the room for a moment to meet a
11 high-ranking officer in the AF and AAD Yugoslavia who was a relative of
12 his and who was a pilot in the air force of Yugoslavia and was born in
13 Novi Grad. And I know that Miroslav Tadic at some point went out of the
14 room, and then Milos Bogdanovic presumably assessed the situation - I
15 don't know how - and said that he had nothing against Crni being the
16 brigade commander. And to be quite honest, it was fortunate for me that
17 before me Mr. Frenki took the floor and said what he said. That is what
18 I've just told you about. And when Mr. Todorovic insisted, said: Let's
19 hear what Mr. Zaric has to say about Mr. Crni. Your Honours, at that
20 moment, I assessed my position, and I wish to say that all I said was: In
21 view of the thoughts expressed by Mr. Frenki, that is, that Crni was not
22 up to the job and so on, that I agreed with that appraisal, but that in
23 principle I had nothing against Mr. Crni discharging that duty.
24 The words I uttered were the result of my assessment of the
25 situation rather than my private opinion and appraisal of his
1 capabilities. But it is up to the Honourable Court to make the final
3 Q. Mr. Zaric, you have been talking now about things that I had
4 already prepared about that, but you didn't answer the question that I
5 asked you, and that was whether General Bajic, during that meeting, talked
6 with somebody over the telephone.
7 A. Yes. After this discussion that I've told you about, General
8 Bajic said: Right now I'm going to call General Mladic. Now did he say
9 my class? When he says "class," then in the Yugoslav People's Army and
10 perhaps in other armies of the world, this usually means people belonging
11 to a particular generation when they graduate from the military academy.
12 So he stood up, opened the door, left the room, and there one of the
13 officers, because there was a small office in front of this one, an
14 officer provided a connection for him and he had a conversation with
15 General Ratko Mladic so clearly that we could roughly hear what General
16 Bajic was saying. We don't know what General Mladic was saying, but we
17 know the approximate words which General Bajic uttered.
18 Q. And did you conclude from these words that General Bajic was
19 talking with General Ratko Mladic?
20 A. Yes, absolutely.
21 Q. And as he was talking with General Mladic, what kind of a
22 conversation was it? Could you learn something from the manner in which
23 you were listening to this conversation?
24 A. Well, you see, when General Bajic let Mladic know that there was
25 some kind of a delegation of representatives from Samac and that we were
1 allegedly supporting Mr. Crni, and so on, then General Mladic said
2 something and replied. And after that, I remember well General Bajic
3 saying: I know that Mladic, but he was appointed by Dencic. As if
4 Lieutenant or Colonel Dencic who was discharging the duty had appointed
5 Crni as the commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade. And then a
6 conversation ensued. Right. So that's the situation. Let them see how
7 he will turn out to be. And that was the end of the talk and the
8 conversation between General Bajic and General Mladic.
9 Q. And then General Bajic returned to the room. Did he say anything?
10 A. Yes, he did. So help me. My classmate seems to be angry. But,
11 he said, or at least that is how I understood it, he should now take you
12 to task. And this word, "take you to task," means to tell him some -- to
13 criticise him, to say something daring. That is how I understood -- that
14 is how I saw this word, "take to task," to Blagoje Simic.
15 Q. And did Blagoje Simic go and take over the connection?
16 A. Yes. Blagoje Simic went. He greeted General Mladic. They did
17 not talk long. Blagoje was explaining some attitude concerning Mr. Crni,
18 that is, that he was enjoying this courage amongst the soldiers, as said.
19 And General Mladic replied something, and later on Blagoje Simic told us
20 what was General Mladic's reaction within that context. And he said:
21 Right, General. We shall bear this in mind, as we are about to do. Thank
22 you. It was only two or three sentences which we could overhear through
23 this open door, and Mr. Blagoje, I have to say, returned to this office
24 rather flushed. One could see that this conversation with Ratko Mladic
25 didn't make him particularly happy, that he was quite upset about it, I'd
2 Q. And what did Blagoje Simic tell you after all that? What was the
3 conversation between him and General Mladic about?
4 A. Well, simply, and in a nutshell, Blagoje said that General Mladic
5 had said to him: Mr. President, you are the municipal mayor, mobilise the
6 people to feed the army, take care of other things which have to do with
7 the people, and don't meddle with the army and their personnel policy
8 there. At least that is what I understood to have been the message, as
9 Blagoje put it to us. And I also remember when Blagoje told him that he
10 had been appointed by Colonel Dencic, that he had not been appointed by
11 the Crisis Staff. So that would be this story in a nutshell.
12 Q. And how long did this meeting take? How long did you stay there?
13 A. Well, not particularly long, because people had other
14 commitments. And after this whole story, I don't know if we had that one
15 coffee or more, or did we finish our discussions then and left this
16 building of the AF and AAD. Whatever the case, we did not stay there much
18 Q. Did you have any other meetings with official representatives of
19 the government of Serbia or the army or somebody?
20 A. No, nobody else. I know well that we only went back to that first
21 building that we had gone to when we had arrived in the morning, and in
22 that car, Mr. Milos Bogdanovic's wife and his two children were still
23 sitting in that car. It was already in the afternoon hours. So that
24 Milos Bogdanovic stayed on with his family, and Mr. Blagoje,
25 Mr. Todorovic, Mr. Miroslav Tadic, and I returned to Samac.
1 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, now we shall move on to the subject of
2 exchanges. What can you tell us about the exchange of the 26th of May,
3 1992, near the village of Zasavica, by the Bosna River, which you have
4 already mentioned in your testimony? How did you find out about that
6 A. A day or two before that exchange, there was a lot of talk in the
7 town of Samac about it, and it just happened that I learnt that such an
8 exchange was afoot and that representatives of the International Red Cross
9 were involved in it, and I think that the first information about that
10 exchange I received in a spontaneous conversation with Mr. Tadic. But
11 some other people also knew about that exchange, so that it was not
12 difficult to learn that this exchange was being organised by the
13 International Red Cross.
14 Q. Were you present during the exchange? Will you tell us: Where
15 were you?
16 A. Yes, I was present at the exchange. It took place at the
17 outskirts of the village of Zasavica, on the bank of the Bosna, which
18 separates the municipalities of Samac and Odzak. On that occasion, from
19 what I could see, there were many people, I'd say, who, either out of
20 curiosity or because somebody from the other side was coming to them, were
21 onlookers at that exchange, and the vehicles which brought persons to be
22 exchanged had taken a side road; that is, they didn't come through the
23 village of Zasavica. They just took a side road, fetched up some three or
24 four hundred metres away, not far from the bank of the Bosna River.
25 Q. Why were you there, and in what capacity were you there?
1 A. I had received information that the exchange which the Red Cross
2 was in charge of would involve members of my family and relatives arriving
3 from the municipality of Odzak, and this was the main reason I was among
4 those present there.
5 Q. Did you have any assignment in that exchange?
6 A. No. I was simply an onlooker, someone waiting for his own
7 relatives to be exchanged.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think there is an
10 error in the transcript, page 38, line 23. Mr. Zaric said the information
11 that the Red Cross had at its disposal. It says here: "Which the Red
12 Cross was in charge of." He said that the information that was at the
13 disposal of the Red Cross was that his relatives would be arriving. So
14 could this be clarified, please.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. How did you, Mr. Zaric, get the information that some relatives of
18 yours would be exchanged in this exchange organised by the International
19 Red Cross? Who did you get the information from?
20 A. I personally got this information in the Red Cross, because I went
21 there when I heard that they were coming. I went to their offices. And
22 one of the women there showed me the list, and I saw a large number of my
23 relatives and friends, all of them elderly, that would be coming.
24 Q. Mr. Zaric, when you went to the Red Cross, did you go to the
25 municipal Red Cross of Bosanski Samac municipality?
1 A. Yes. That was the municipal Red Cross that had its headquarters
2 in the pensioners' club.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re.
5 MR. RE: Yes, Your Honours. In relation to the question before,
6 at line 14: How did you, Mr. Zaric, get the information that some
7 relatives of yours would be exchanged in this exchange organised by the
8 International Red Cross, with respect, there's been no evidence from this
9 witness that it was in fact organised by the International Red Cross. A
10 few moments ago, Mr. Zaric said it was easy to learn that it had been. In
11 my submission, if he's going to say that and try to assert that it's an
12 established fact, that it was in fact organised by the International Red
13 Cross, that's the ICRC, Mr. Zaric has to tell the Trial Chamber the source
14 of his information that enables him to so conclude.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic. You've heard what Mr. Re has
17 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I have heard what my learned
18 friend has said.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, on page 38, line 5, Mr. Zaric was
20 giving his answer, "exchange was afoot and the representatives of the
21 International Red Cross were involved in it." I found it in the
22 transcript, so this is not quite accurate what Mr. Re just said.
23 Mr. Zaric actually did mention International Red Cross as the organiser of
24 this exchange, on page 38, line 5 and 6.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but I thought that the Prosecution would still
1 want to know how he came to know that the International Red Cross were
2 involved at all. The question still remains.
3 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Zaric, how did you learn that there would be an exchange and
5 that this exchange was being organised and carried out by the
6 International Red Cross?
7 A. I said that one of the people who gave me this information was
8 Mr. Miroslav Tadic, from whom I heard that the International Red Cross was
9 getting involved and that there would be an exchange and that certain
10 talks had been held with the local Red Cross in Bosanski Samac. This is
11 the information I received, and about two days before this information [as
12 interpreted], this was generally known. And on the 26th, in the morning,
13 I went to the Red Cross, and from one of the women - I think it was
14 Mrs. Petkovic or perhaps Mrs. Jovanovic, who were working there - I got a
15 list. I saw the list drawn up by the local Red Cross of people arriving
16 from the municipality of Odzak to the municipality of Bosanski Samac.
17 This is why I decided to be present at the exchange.
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues]... For the
19 transcript on page 41, line 8. Mr. Zaric actually said: "About two days
20 before this exchange," not this information, "this was generally known."
21 It was generally known two days before the exchange actually happened.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That will be corrected.
23 MR. RE: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. I renew my objection to
24 Mr. Zaric saying that he knew that the International Red Cross had
25 organised the exchange. The explanation he has just given in response to
1 my learned friend's question: How did you know it was organised, was
2 Mr. Tadic had told me that the ICRC was "getting involved." And there's a
3 large difference between organising and getting involved. And unless
4 Mr. Zaric can give a better basis for his knowledge, for his conclusion of
5 "organised," I object to that evidence going in.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: I think from Mr. Zaric's point of view, besides
7 informing the Trial Chamber that he was given that information by
8 Mr. Miroslav Tadic, he hasn't said anything further.
9 Yes, you can continue, Mr. Pisarevic.
10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. When you arrived in the area where the exchange was to be carried
12 out, that is, in the vicinity of the River Bosna, where were you standing,
13 and who were you with, when you reached that spot?
14 A. I stood there with a group of citizens, perhaps 20 or 30 metres
15 away from the trucks, when the trucks arrived with a police escort. And
16 among these citizens, there were people from Trnjak, Donja Dubica, Novi
17 Grad, who either lived in the Bosanski Samac municipality or had arrived
18 there before the war, and they wanted to show that they cared about their
19 people. So there was quite a large group of citizens there looking on and
20 observing the course of the exchange.
21 Q. This group of people whom you have just described, this was the
22 group you were standing with, if I understood you correctly, 20 metres
23 away from the trucks, in which the persons participating in the exchange
25 A. Precisely so.
1 Q. You have just said that this group of people, which included you,
2 was some 20 or 30 metres away from the trucks where the people to be
3 exchanged were. How far were you from the bank of the River Bosna, where
4 the exchange actually took place?
5 A. Three hundred to four hundred metres, in my estimation, because
6 there was a winding path leading to that spot and we couldn't see, but the
7 bank was some 300 to 400 metres away from the spot where we were standing.
8 Q. Mr. Zaric, was Teodor Tutnjevic among that group?
9 A. It's possible, but I'm not sure. I can't remember now. It's
10 possible that he was.
11 Q. Did you, Mr. Zaric, come to the village of Zasavica together with
12 Teodor Tutnjevic?
13 A. Yes. I remember that he drove me there, so he was there.
14 Q. I assume that you were able to see the trucks. Could you explain
15 what the procedure was for the exchange? Who was beside the trucks? How
16 did events unfold?
17 A. There were policemen from the public security station next to the
18 trucks, and when the people got off the trucks, their names were read out
19 by a representative of the ICRC, next to whom, I remember well, was one of
20 the policemen. The representative of the ICRC could not read the names
21 properly because the local names are difficult to pronounce, and the
22 policeman who was observing the representative [Realtime transcript read
23 in error "president"] of the ICRC reading out the names, after five or six
24 names, he would, if the representative of the ICRC calling out the names
25 had mispronounced the name, then the policeman would correct it.
1 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me. Just for clarification: It says on
2 page 43, line 19 that it was the president of the International Committee
3 of the Red Cross who was reading out the names. I think maybe we should
4 check with Mr. Zaric to see who actually it was.
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter said "representative."
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That's what I heard, representative. It's
7 just the way it is typed. So it was representative, actually. So just
8 proceed with your evidence.
9 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Zaric, is it right?
11 A. I said "representative."
12 Q. Very well. And when the group was formed, where did it go?
13 A. When a group of five or six people was formed, one of the
14 policemen would lead those people down the path, in the direction of the
15 River Bosna, where the exchange was carried out. In the meantime, we
16 observing the situation were informed that on the bank of the River Bosna
17 there was a woman who was also a representative of the ICRC, and another
18 representative, as far as I knew, there were three of them all together,
19 who were registering certain things and directly conducting the exchange.
20 Q. Mr. Zaric, from the spot where you were standing, were you able to
21 see that woman and those other representatives carrying out the exchange
22 on the bank of the River Bosna?
23 A. No. From the spot where we were standing, we couldn't, or at
24 least I couldn't see that.
25 Q. On that occasion while you were there, in one of the groups of
1 people to be exchanged, was there someone who approached you and asked you
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Tell us who it was and how this happened.
5 A. I was approached by Mr. Andrija Petric, a man who knew me, and I
6 have to say that I also knew Mr. Petric from before, and probably in
7 passing, when he was supposed to go down toward the River Bosna, he said
8 he wanted to see me. And these people said to me that Andrija Petric
9 wanted to see me and tell me something, and of course I approached Andrija
10 to see him and to see what he wanted from me.
11 Q. And what did Mr. Andrija Petric ask you to do?
12 A. Andrija only said that he did not want to go to the other side,
13 that his wife and children were remaining on this side, and it so happened
14 that Andrija Petric was married to a woman whose mother was born in
15 Trnjak, where I come from, where I was born, and I said to Mr. Petric,
16 when he got to the banks of the River Bosna, where the representatives of
17 the ICRC were, that he should tell them that he did not want to cross over
18 to the other side. There was nothing else I could do to help him. And he
19 said to me: Is there anyone still there? Is there somebody else there?
20 Because he thought that the man whose name -- who had called out their
21 names was doing what he was doing and that would be the end of it as far
22 as the procedure went.
23 Q. Did you explain to Mr. Petric what your status was there?
24 A. Yes. I said to him: Andrija, I don't decide about anything here,
25 but my advice to you is, because I had heard from what the people there
1 were saying that there was a small table there, a sort of camp table, on
2 which there was a piece of paper, and that the representatives of the ICRC
3 were there and that people were being asked as to whether they wanted to
4 go or not. So I said to him: Tell the representatives of the ICRC who
5 were there that you don't want to go, and I think everything will be all
7 That was my suggestion to Mr. Petric.
8 Q. Do you have any information as to whether Mr. Petric was exchanged
9 on that occasion or whether he stayed behind?
10 A. No. Mr. Petric did not go on that occasion, nor was he ever
11 exchanged later on. He accepted my suggestion, and he was taken back to
12 Samac afterwards. And I think he continued to live in Samac afterwards,
13 and he testified to this here.
14 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know that after this, Andrija Petric was
15 released and allowed to go home?
16 A. Yes. He was allowed to go home and he spent the whole time with
17 his family. Of course, I know that the building in which he resided was
18 hit by a shell and he had to move somewhere else, but I know he remained
19 in Samac with his family throughout all this time.
20 Q. Mr. Zaric, can you tell us who, if anyone, of your family members
21 arrived in that exchange from the territory of Odzak? Can you enumerate
22 some names, if you can remember them.
23 A. Among these names was my close relative, Savo Borojevic. There
24 was also Svetozar Savic, my uncle. There was also Obrad Cajic, a relative
25 of mine. There was Milan Arsenic, my uncle. And if I were to look at the
1 exhibit, I might remember, but perhaps it's not so relevant now.
2 Q. When these relatives of yours arrived, what did you and Toso
3 Tutnjevic do?
4 A. Toso and I took my relative, Savo Borojevic and some others in the
5 car and we went with them.
6 Q. Where did you go?
7 A. We went to Tekstilac, which is a canteen where the Red Cross, the
8 local one from Samac, had organised the reception, so to say, of these
9 people who had arrived from Odzak municipality to be exchanged.
10 Q. Mr. Zaric, were you present at the exchange of the 4th of July,
11 1992, in Lipovac?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Tell us, please, why you were present at this exchange which was
14 held on the 4th of July, 1992, in Lipovac.
15 A. There were two very important reasons. One was because it so
16 happened that I was seeing off friends of mine who were going to be
17 exchanged, especially the Prgomet family, where my daughter Natasa is
18 married to one of their family members, and some other friends related to
19 that family. The second reason was that I had information that a large
20 number of my nearest and dearest, my friends and relatives, would be
21 arriving from Odzak.
22 Q. Did the Prgomet family ask you to see them off?
23 A. Yes, they did. My friend, so I call him, Djuro Prgomet, asked me
24 if I could go with them to the place of exchange because there were about
25 30 relatives of his and his wife's on the list who had applied to the Red
1 Cross, wishing to go to the territory of the Republic of Croatia, and they
2 were afraid that something might happen and he would feel safer if I was
3 with them. Of course, it never occurred to me to refuse my friend's
4 request, and before this decision that he made to be exchanged, he had
5 experienced some unpleasantness. He had been arrested by the police in
6 Samac because he was a Croat. He had been detained in the school. Two
7 men were killed in front of his eyes, and he was afraid, and that was why
8 he wanted very much to leave the area with his family.
9 Q. When you say "friend," let's clarify this for the sake of the
10 transcript. Whenever you use the word "friend, Djuro Prgomet," what in
11 fact do you mean by this term "friend"?
12 A. My daughter Natasa is married to his son. In our area, the
13 parents of children who marry each other are referred to as friends.
14 They're a special kind of friend. Djuro Prgomet is the father of my
15 son-in-law, who married my daughter Natasa.
16 Q. Can you describe how you travelled from the house of
17 Djuro Prgomet, your son-in-law's father, to the place of exchange?
18 A. I think that the number of people who were exchanged on both sides
19 was such that it was one of the largest exchanges, if not the largest,
20 between the municipalities of Bosanski Samac and Odzak at the time. On
21 that day, the 4th of July, I and my driver came to my friend's house, or
22 rather, my relative's house. I helped them take their belongings and go
23 to the playing field in front of the secondary school, where buses were
24 prepared to take people to the exchange; not only them, but afterwards
25 Toso went and collected the rest of the family, because, as I say, there
1 were over 30 family members who had applied in the Red Cross, and some of
2 them arrived on foot, but some of them had belongings to carry, so Toso
3 went and drove them
4 Q. So they got on the buses, and then how did the exchange proceed?
5 A. They went through Bosanski Samac via Loncari, Brcko, Bijeljina,
6 Race on the bank of the Sava, which divides Bosnia-Herzegovina from Serbia
7 in that area, and then, when they crossed over to Serbia, they went in the
8 direction of the town of Sid. And nearby is the village of Lipovac, where
9 the international forces of UNPROFOR were stationed and where, on the 5th
10 of July, the exchange took place.
11 Q. That convoy of buses that was involved in the exchange, was it
12 subjected to any checks at various checkpoints? Were there any problems
13 while crossing through those checkpoints?
14 A. Yes, there were checkpoints. There weren't any major problems.
15 The largest problem occurred at the Gorica checkpoint. The entire convoy
16 was stopped there. I wish to say that on that occasion I went in my own
17 private car, a Golf, and when the buses were stopped, I went out of my car
18 and approached the spot to see what was it all about. One of the alleged
19 commanders of that police patrol attacked fiercely, verbally, Mr. Miroslav
20 Tadic, as well as people who were organisers of the exchange, because in
21 one of the buses there was Mr. Grga Zubak, and the policemen believed that
22 he shouldn't have been there because allegedly one could get a large
23 number of people in exchange for him. So it was a tense situation that
24 went on for several minutes, until he calmed down and let the convoy
1 Mr. Tadic and he had a fierce verbal duel before he finally
2 conceded and let the convoy go on.
3 Q. Did Grga Zubak remain on the bus?
4 A. Yes, he did. He remained in the convoy, and I remember well that
5 he also came to Sid where another unpleasant incident regarding him took
6 place. Some people arrived there, and I can tell you now that it was
7 pre-arranged by somebody else. How come Serbs from Vukovar knew that
8 Grga Zubak was on that bus? They wanted to get him off the bus, and
9 thanks to Mr. Tadic, Veljo Maslic, and Svetozar Vasovic, somebody else
10 intervened and these three gentlemen that I mentioned were the official
11 organisers of the exchange, and everybody knew that Grga Zubak was to be
13 Q. And was Grga Zubak finally exchanged on that occasion?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you, Mr. Zaric, have any official assignment in that exchange
16 that took place on the 4th of July of 1992?
17 A. None whatsoever, except what I mentioned in the beginning of my
18 testimony, when I explained how it came about that I was present there
19 during that exchange, because I was seeing some people off, some people
20 that were very dear to me, and at the same time I was greeting some
21 relatives of mine arriving from Odzak municipality.
22 Q. Were you ever a member of the exchange committee in Bosanski Samac
23 municipality, Mr. Zaric?
24 A. No, never.
25 Q. Were you a member of the municipal Red Cross, Mr. Zaric?
1 A. No, I was not.
2 Q. Let us now return, Mr. Zaric, to the end of May, 1992. I wish to
3 analyse with you two conversations that you had via the centre for
4 information and with the people in Odzak municipality.
5 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we will be
6 mentioning a protected witness, and therefore I suggest that we now turn
7 into private session.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Let's move to private session.
9 [Private session]
12 Pages 19495 to 19511 – redacted – private session.
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
14 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Zaric, let us now move on and talk about late July 1992. It
16 was not challenged that you then became an advisor in Odzak. So would you
17 please first tell us --
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that Mr. Pisarevic has to pose the
19 question again, because his question was not: It was not challenged that
20 you then became an advisor in Odzak. This is how -- what the record says,
21 and maybe we should go through this again.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: I don't seem to understand the interjection, but can
23 we proceed, Mr. Pisarevic.
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, the question of Mr. Pisarevic was that
25 Mr. Zaric became deputy of the president of civilian war council in Odzak,
1 and here it says advisor in Odzak. It's not accurate.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Oh, I see. It's the translation. Can the question
3 be repeated, please.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Zaric, you assumed the duty in Odzak as deputy president of
6 the civilian war council in Odzak; is that correct?
7 A. I was assistant, not deputy, an assistant to the president of the
8 civil war council. The president had several assistants, and that's how
9 we experienced this body. Nobody was officially his deputy.
10 Q. Thank you. First tell us: When was the municipality and town of
11 Odzak put under the control of the army of Republika Srpska?
12 A. I think it was in mid-July, around the 15th of July, when the
13 forces of the 1st Krajina Corps took the municipality of Odzak under their
15 Q. Do you remember the name of this military operation?
16 A. It was entitled "Corridor."
17 Q. Thank you. Do you know which military formation of the army of
18 Republika Srpska took part in Operation Corridor?
19 A. These were mostly units from the 1st Krajina Corps. As far as I
20 can recall, headed by the then commander, General Omer Talic [as
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter corrects herself. Momir Talic.
23 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Do you know whether the 2nd Posavina Brigade took part in this
1 A. No. The 2nd Posavina Brigade did not take part in the operations
2 around Odzak.
3 Q. Do you know that after Odzak was put under the control of the army
4 of Republika Srpska, in the Odzak municipality, and therefore in the town
5 of Odzak, a military administration was introduced?
6 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
7 Q. Can you explain to us what this meant in practice and what you
8 understand by the term "military administration"?
9 A. By the term "military administration," I understand a hierarchy of
10 authority in the area, and the word "military administration" in this
11 context means that the chief power was in the hands of the military
12 administration, headed by the superior officer in charge of that area of
13 responsibility where the military administration was introduced.
14 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, do you know how it came about that the
15 civilian war council was established for the municipality of Odzak?
16 A. To the best of my recollection, this was perhaps a few days after
17 the 1st Krajina Corps took control of the territory of Odzak, and a
18 meeting was held in the office of the Crisis Staff in Samac, to which I
19 was also invited. Mr. Blagoje Simic was there, as the president of the
20 Crisis Staff; Milan Simic was there; Savo Popovic; Mr. Bozo Ninkovic, who
21 at that time was already the chief of the department of the ministry of
22 National Defence; and there was also a group of people who were born on
23 the territory of Odzak municipality, some of whom had lived there before,
24 and others had lived there in the municipality of Samac, but they
25 originated from the municipality of Odzak.
1 Q. And what was said to you at that meeting? Why were you invited
3 A. As far as I can remember, Mr. Blagoje Simic, as the president of
4 the Crisis Staff, informed us that a military person from the area of
5 Odzak municipality had been to see him. I think this man's name was also
6 Simic. And he was in charge of certain civilian affairs in the Krajina
7 Corps or in that military administration - I'm not sure which - but
8 Mr. Blagoje said that they had come to meet Mr. Simic and that a military
9 administration had been introduced there. But because Samac was the
10 municipality closest to Odzak and most of the Serbian people from Odzak
11 municipality had become refugees in Samac and been given refugee status,
12 all this gave me to understand that there was concern about the
13 municipality of Odzak, political or humane concern, by the institutions in
14 Samac. And then Mr. Blagoje said that they were asking the Crisis Staff
15 to try and trace a number of people who had been born in the municipality
16 of Odzak or had resided there, or residing in this area, and who might
17 perhaps assist the civilian war council in order to establish normal life
18 there, because there were no other people living in that area at that
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that there is some misunderstanding
21 about what Mr. Zaric has just said. On page 72, when he was talking about
22 people who were born in the municipality of Odzak or had resided there, or
23 resided in this area, and who might perhaps assist the civilian war
24 council in order to establish normal life there. He was referring to the
25 military organs, not civilian war council. It wasn't established yet,
1 obviously, at that point. He was referring to military administration
2 that was already established.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Perhaps Mr. Zaric can go over that.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Zaric, could you please slow down and explain and answer this
6 question as to the purpose of gathering these people together, whom they
7 were supposed to assist, and so on.
8 A. Mr. Blagoje Simic informed us that this military person had asked
9 him to have a civilian military body established, composed of people who
10 had been born on the territory of the municipality of Odzak, regardless of
11 whether they had been residing there or whether they were residing
12 somewhere in the municipality of Samac, and the purpose of this was that
13 the military administration, which had already been established there,
14 should be assisted in establishing normal civilian life in the area.
15 That's what I understood at that meeting.
16 Q. Thank you. And was this civilian war council in Odzak established
18 A. Some people who were present at the meeting came up with
19 suggestions. For example, Miso Pavic, from Novi Grad; and Andrija
20 Jovanovic from Donja Dubica; and Mr. Milosevic from Donja Dubica, and a
21 certain Goranovic from Trnjak. Spontaneously a suggestion was put forward
22 that the president of this civilian war council should be me. Mr. Blagoje
23 Simic responded to this by saying that he understood the suggestions of
24 these people and that he personally was not opposed to this, but in view
25 of some official connotations --
1 THE INTERPRETER: As said by the witness.
2 A. -- Mr. Savo Popovic should be appointed to that post because he
3 was a member of the Crisis Staff and could therefore establish direct
4 communication with the Executive Board and the organs on the territory of
5 Samac municipality. I was neither in the government, nor was I a member
6 of the Crisis Staff.
7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Very well, Mr. Zaric.
9 A. Of course, I did not respond to what he said, and I said as far as
10 I was concerned there was no problem. It was agreed, however, that
11 Mr. Zaric should go there and help, as far as he was able to.
12 Q. And what was your post in late July 1992?
13 A. At that time I was assistant commander of the 5th Infantry
14 Battalion for intelligence and security and moral guidance.
15 Q. Mr. Zaric, at that meeting did you become part of that civilian
16 war council for the municipality of Odzak?
17 A. A general suggestion was made at that meeting by some of the
18 participants, and the entire civilian war council was not nominated at
19 that meeting. This was worked out later on in the course of practical
20 work in the field. But a certain number of members were appointed at that
21 time, and I was one of them.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, during his testimony, Mr. Zaric, of
23 course, in a number of occasions, mentioned this body that he was a member
24 of, and he used to refer to it as civilian military council, not civilian
25 war council. Word "war" was never mentioned. So maybe these words should
1 be used further in the transcript, and this is actually the very same
3 JUDGE MUMBA: This body, this civilian military council, this is
4 the same body which was headed by Savo Popovic, wasn't it?
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: Precisely, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. So we use the term "civilian military
7 council," then.
8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. When you became part of the civilian military council, what tasks
10 were you given and what were your duties in this civilian military
12 A. Very soon after this, we went to the municipality of Odzak, and in
13 a room in the hotel which had a sliding door and which was used as a
14 dining-room, and when the sliding door was opened, it was partitioned off
15 so that a smaller room was created. This was the first office used by the
16 civilian military council in the hotel in Odzak.
17 Q. Mr. Zaric, when you arrived in Odzak, was the first session of the
18 civilian military council held?
19 A. Yes. It was held in the room I have just described.
20 Q. Mr. Zaric, can you remember who presided at that session and who
21 was present?
22 A. The session was chaired by Colonel Novica Simic, who was then the
23 commander of the Operative Group, which had the status of a military
24 administration. And in my view, he was practically the military governor
25 at that moment. Apart from him, from the military there was the chief of
1 staff of the Operative Group, Major Mile Deronja; there was Mr. Mackic,
2 who was the assistant for intelligence and security in the Operative Group
3 and the military administration; then there was Colonel Dujanin, who was
4 performing the duty of the assistant commander for the rear in the area;
5 and among those of us who were from the civilian military council, there
6 were about 10 or 15 of us approximately, there was Savo Popovic, of
7 course, as the president of the civilian military council; there was
8 Rajkica or Rajko Dragic, there was Mr. Jovanovic, Mr. Milosevic,
9 Mr. Nedic, Mr. Pavic, Mr. -- I think his name was -- I don't know what it
10 was. A man who was in charge of health care. But at any rate, those were
11 some of the people who I remember well as being members of that civilian
12 military council.
13 Q. At the first session of the civilian military council in Odzak,
14 which was attended by the commander, Colonel Simic, what did Colonel Simic
15 say? What was the relationship between the military administration and
16 the civilian military council?
17 A. As far as I can remember, Colonel Simic said that on the territory
18 of Odzak municipality, in the whole area of responsibility, a military
19 administration had been introduced, and even further afield, because it
20 also covered part of the territorial which was then under the control of
21 these forces but which gravitated toward the municipality of Bosanski
22 Brod. He said that he was pleased that we were all there, that he saw in
23 us people who could help in the municipality of Odzak to create, as soon
24 as possible, the conditions for the return of the refugees who had left
25 Odzak while it was controlled by HVO forces.
1 He pointed out that a military administration is rarely introduced
2 but that this time it was a necessity and that it required a lot of
3 discipline, order, work, and obedience, or words to that effect. And he
4 said that it was up to the civilian military council now to nominate
5 commissioners in the local communes, where we were expecting the return of
6 refugees, to appoint commissioners in some companies in the town of Odzak,
7 where all the industry of Odzak was concentrated, and also to appoint
8 commissioners in other social institutions, in the health care system, the
9 educational system, the utilities company, and so on and so forth.
10 Q. And did the civilian military council assign tasks and appoint
11 commissioners for certain areas of activity or certain towns and
12 villages? Was this done?
13 A. Yes, this was done. And all the proposals we put forward at that
14 time, for example, who could be the commissioner in a company such as
15 Energoinvest, Elkroj, so on, or in the town of Odzak. Each such decision
16 was signed, apart from Mr. Todorovic, also by the commander of the
17 military administration.
18 Q. Which Todorovic did you mean?
19 A. I meant Popovic, Mr. Popovic, the president of the civilian
20 military council. So that each decision was signed by the command of the
21 military administration, and it also bore the stamp of the military
22 administration, appointing certain people to certain duties.
23 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, is it now time for a
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will continue at 1445 hours.
1 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.45 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 2.46 p.m.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Mr. Zaric, before our break, we spoke about the appointment of
6 various commissioners, and you told us that each of the appointments made
7 by the civilian military council was further confirmed by the commander,
8 who was at the helm of the military administration. Is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What was your post within the civilian military council, and what
11 were your duties and tasks?
12 A. I was assistant to the president of the civilian military council
13 for security matters. That was the simplest way of defining it. Whereas
14 the essence of my task in the hierarchy had to do with Mr. Gojko Mackic,
15 who was the security officer of the military administration in Odzak. I
16 received tasks and assignments directly from him, and I reported directly
17 to him, so to speak, or rather, everything that I found out that had to do
18 with the security, I conveyed to him personally.
19 Q. Thank you very much. When you said that you reported directly to
20 him, do you mean that you submitted certain reports to him about your
22 A. Yes, I did submit reports to him about my work, about what I had
23 learned while working in the field; and if I made any official notes,
24 memos, or conducted any official interviews with the persons while working
25 in Odzak municipality, then I would transmit to him the written material
1 concerning that.
2 Q. You mentioned that you conducted certain informative interviews in
3 Odzak municipality and also compiled official notes.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I would like the usher to help me
5 with the document, which has our internal marking PDB 8/4. If one copy
6 could be placed on the ELMO, please, or rather, if one copy could be put
7 in front of Mr. Zaric.
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly ask that one copy be
9 placed on the ELMO as well.
10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Zaric, please take a look at this document.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: The interpreters requested that one copy be placed
13 on the ELMO.
14 THE INTERPRETER: It has been, Your Honour. Yes, we have it.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Have you looked at it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is that an official note on the informative interview conducted
20 with Drago Rakic?
21 A. Yes, it is, an official note on informative interview conducted
22 with Drago Rakic.
23 Q. Now please take a look at the last page of the document. Is the
24 signature of the person conducting the interview, or rather, drafting up
25 the official note, your signature?
1 A. Yes, it is my signature.
2 Q. Could you please read to us what it says above your signature.
3 A. Above my signature it says: "Assistant to the president of the
4 military council for security matters," and then underneath it says:
5 "Simo Zaric," and you can see that I personally signed it.
6 Q. Was that your official title, the one that you've just read to us?
7 A. Yes, that's exactly what my official post was. And now that we're
8 dealing with the term "official note," I would like to explain that it's
9 not a typical statement, but rather an official note. And if you can take
10 a look at the last sentence, which is right above my signature, it says
11 there: "I suggest that the intelligence security organ for the area of
12 Trnjak conduct an additional clarifying interview with Rakic and suggest
13 further operative measures. This is what I suggested concerning Rakic and
14 then the rest was up to the people who were within the military
15 administration in Odzak.
16 Q. When you drafted this official note, what did you do with it
18 A. I gave this official note to Mr. Gojko Mackic, who was the chief
19 security officer for the entire area of responsibility within the military
20 administration in Odzak municipality. In the area of Trnjak, which I
21 mention here, there was a part of the unit of Laktasi Brigade, where there
22 was kept in Jez for a time a security officer. Therefore, I suggested
23 that that security officer should conduct further clarifying interview,
24 because Mr. Rakic returned back to his home and lived in the area of
25 responsibility of that unit.
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I don't need that document any
2 more. Thank you. Could we please be given a number for this document.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I just wanted to be clear with you,
4 Mr. Pisarevic. You wanted this document in as an example of the type of
5 work Mr. Simo Zaric used to perform at that time?
6 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Including what he did at the time.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Any objection from the Prosecution?
8 MR. WEINER: No objection, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have the number, please.
10 THE REGISTRAR: This will be treated as Exhibit D52/4 and D52/4
11 ter for the B/C/S.
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
13 introduce additional two documents which are identical, and all of the
14 questions that had been put so far with respect to the previous document
15 would also apply to these two documents. So perhaps we could just put
16 this before Mr. Zaric to see if this is indeed his signature. These
17 documents have internal number PDB 9/4 and PDB 10/4.
18 Q. Mr. Zaric, have you looked at this document?
19 A. Yes, I have. This is a document drafted by me. This is my
20 signature at the end of the document. And there is also a proposal to
21 undertake certain measures.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
23 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. This document is an official note that you drafted after
25 conducting an informative interview with Rajko Vujkovic?
1 A. Yes, that's right. This is an official note which I compiled
2 while conducting the interview with Rajko Vukovic. I would like to say
3 that when it comes to methodology in compiling this official note, that
4 what is most important to me is the content of the official note and how I
5 conveyed to the security officer.
6 Q. Mr. Zaric, all right. That is the most important thing for you.
7 But now we are focusing on what was your job during that time while you
8 were in Odzak, for one month, and the question speaks for itself about
9 your work.
10 A. Yes, absolutely. I agree with that.
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown,
12 please, document PDB 10/4.
13 Q. Mr. Zaric, please take a look. Please put it on the ELMO. Have
14 you -- did you compile this document, Mr. Zaric?
15 A. Yes, I did. This is an official note following my conducting an
16 interview, informative interview, with Borislav Rakic. At the end of this
17 document there is my signature.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I won't be needing these documents
20 any more. Thank you.
21 Could these documents be marked, please, as exhibits. Could they
22 be admitted into evidence, please, and be given numbers.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have the numbers? I take it the
24 Prosecution holds the same stand.
25 MR. WEINER: Yes, we've got the same documents.
1 THE REGISTRAR: The official note dated 31st of July, 1992, will
2 be Exhibit D53/4 and ter for the B/C/S. The official note dated 3rd of
3 August, 1992, will be Exhibit D54/4 and ter for the B/C/S.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Zaric, we have seen here three official notes. Did you
6 compile any other similar official notes?
7 A. Yes, a great number of them. And when I say "a great number," I
8 mean tens of them, dozens of them. And they focused on the issues that
9 were covered in the official notes that we have seen here. Some of my
10 interviews were conducted with some of the residents of Odzak municipality
11 who happened to be either in the camps or happened to stay in Odzak
12 municipality. They experienced certain things. And then, together with
13 the rest of the documentation I could get a hold of, I would turn that and
14 this documentation to the security officer. I know for a fact that some
15 of the documents were sent to the committee for investigating war crimes
16 in Belgrade, which was then transmitted to the International Tribunal in
17 The Hague.
18 Q. Thank you. As regards all of the official notes compiled by you,
19 did you compile them and treat them in the same way as these three that we
20 have analysed here, or rather, who did you send this to?
21 A. The methodology was the same. I would compile up an official
22 note, then I would submit it to Mr. Gojko Mackic. During that one month
23 while I stayed in Odzak municipality, he was the chief security officer of
24 the military administration for the entire area of responsibility in
1 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you submit any kind of reports to the Crisis Staff
2 of Bosanski Samac municipality? Or rather, at that time, that was the War
4 A. No. I did not have such a duty, neither did anybody assign that
5 duty to me, nor did I ever submit any kind of written reports to the
6 Crisis Staff in Samac.
7 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you receive any orders from the War Presidency of
8 Bosanski Samac municipality?
9 A. No, I did not receive any orders. There is something peculiar
10 there with respect to all other members of the civilian military council.
11 The office of the Ministry of Defence of Bosanski Samac assigned me to a
12 unit which had a number within that military administration. Therefore,
13 that month that I spent there is recorded in my records as me being there
14 as a member of the military administration and working as a security
15 officer in that area.
16 Q. Mr. Zaric, while you discharged these duties in the municipality
17 of Odzak and in the town itself, did you have some kind of an office? Did
18 you have a working space; and if so, where was it?
19 A. My working space was a desk in a corner of the large room that was
20 created by closing the sliding door when the sessions of the civilian
21 military council were held. In the evening hours, or whenever I had any
22 time available, I would go to that desk and type up written material.
23 Therefore, I did not have adequate working conditions which are required
24 or were required by the nature of my work. However, such were the
25 circumstances in the beginning.
1 Q. Mr. Zaric, what kind of technical equipment was at your disposal
2 in the beginning?
3 A. I had nothing but a typing machine, some paper, pens, and an old
4 briefcase that I used to carry around with me and that was used as
5 evidence here.
6 Q. Mr. Zaric --
7 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Sorry. Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. Just for the
8 sake of clarity, I'd like to just ask Mr. Zaric one question.
9 Mr. Zaric, you mentioned here the old briefcase, and it's stated
10 here, quoting you, that "I used to carry around with me and that was used
11 as evidence here." I'd just like to point out that when we looked at a
12 briefcase here and the Judges examined it here on the Bench, it was not
13 the actual briefcase that you were using then, but rather the briefcase
14 that you bring into Court every day. Am I correct? We didn't see the
15 actual old briefcase. What was put before us was the briefcase that you
16 bring into Court every day, and we looked at that as an example of the
17 type of briefcase that you were using then, and I believe a photocopy was
18 made of it off the ELMO. Is that correct?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, you're not correct. That
20 briefcase which was photographed here is the very same briefcase that I
21 had before the war. It is at least 20 years old, and that was the only
22 briefcase I used, both during the events in Samac and while I was in Odzak
23 discharging this task. I don't think there's anything contentious here. I
24 still carry that very briefcase today. I bring my papers in it when I
25 come here to the courtroom.
1 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I realise that, Mr. Zaric, and we see it every
2 day. It was just that my recollection - I stand to be corrected - my
3 recollection was that we were looking at that briefcase just as an example
4 of the same type. But if you say that it is the same one that you were
5 using and have used for 20 years, that's fine.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's precisely right, Your
7 Honour. This is the briefcase that I've been using for over 20 years.
8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Zaric, you said that the civilian military council, upon
10 approval of the commander of the military administration, appointed
11 commissioners for certain economic subjects and for certain inhabited
12 places. Can you please tell us: Who was appointed by the civilian
13 military council and the military administration commissioner in the town
14 of Odzak?
15 A. In the town of Odzak, Mr. Dusko Gavric was appointed
16 commissioner. I remember some other commissioners in various local
17 communes. For example, in Donja Dubica, Minic, Aco, was appointed
18 commissioner. In Trnjak, it was Ljubo Goranovic. In Svilaj, it was
19 Mr. Rakic. In Novi Grad, it was Drago Nedic. So I remember some people
20 from that time who acted both as commissioners in local communes, and I
21 remember that Mr. Gavric was commissioner in the town of Odzak.
22 Q. Can you remember who was appointed commissioner in certain
23 economic subjects, in certain companies?
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, I think, if I recall correctly, we
25 heard most of this evidence from Mr. Savo Popovic, and I don't think that
1 we're interested in repeating it. I think Mr. Zaric can stick to what
2 role he played at that time. I think we had enough covered as to how the
3 administration was run there, from Mr. Savo Popovic.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. We will
5 not dwell on that any more.
6 Q. Mr. Zaric, when you came to Odzak for the first time, what did you
7 see there, or rather, what was the situation like in town?
8 A. The town was not in a particularly good situation. Several large
9 residential buildings had burnt down. For example, in a new settlement
10 called Hanka, which was not far from the gym hall and secondary school in
11 Odzak, one of the largest residential buildings in downtown Odzak, not far
12 from the market, had also burnt down, and there were a number of houses
13 that were either torched or mined. And there was a large number of
14 buildings that were not damaged by shelling or anything else. So I
15 believe that the situation as I found it indicated that there had been
16 military operations going on, that a lot of damage was created by the
17 withdrawal of the HVO, and that a lot of buildings were damaged. That was
18 the situation in the Odzak area at the time.
19 Q. Upon your arrival, did you find any civilian population in Odzak,
20 the town and the municipality?
21 A. No, no population whatsoever, except a small number of Serbs who
22 were hiding in forests, or elsewhere, during the pull-out of the HVO
23 forces. Those were the only residents we found when we arrived in Odzak
25 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know whether, in Odzak municipality, in town,
1 there were any civilians of Croat and Muslim ethnicity at the time of your
3 A. When I arrived there, I did not find any Croats or Muslims there,
4 nor did anybody say that there were any residents who were of that ethnic
6 Q. Mr. Zaric, prior to your arrival in Odzak, was a detachment of
7 civilian police from Samac already deployed there in Odzak?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you remember who was the commander of that detachment of
10 police from Bosanski Samac?
11 A. Commander of that police detachment was Mirko Pavic, who prior to
12 that used to work as a policeman. He was a professional policeman in
13 Bosanski Samac. Mr. Mirko Pavic was born in Novi Grad in Odzak
14 municipality, and that was perhaps one of the reasons for his appointment
15 for a time as commander of the police station in Odzak.
16 Q. Do you recall perhaps how many civilian policemen and which
17 civilian policemen were in that particular police unit from Bosanski Samac
18 sent to Odzak?
19 A. I couldn't really remember most of their names, but I know well
20 last names of some men. And even Mr. Gavric was in the early days a
21 policeman, the one who became a commissioner later on. So one was
22 Ugljesic; one was Rakic, who came from Novi Grad; there was one Milojevic,
23 from Donja Dubica; Kovacevic, from Novi Grad. I remember those guys, but
24 there were also some others whom I did not know all that well.
25 Q. Were there any checkpoints at places, at accesses to the area of
1 the military administration?
2 A. No. To be quite honest, during the war, in a small area, I've
3 never seen more checkpoints in a smaller area of the municipality than in
4 the municipality of Odzak.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: Problem in the transcript. The answer was not no,
6 as recorded on page 88, line 18. Mr. Zaric started his sentence with:
7 "Never," and then he continued saying that never in one -- in a smaller
8 place were more checkpoints. And here is recorded "no." So actually it
9 is an opposite answer that Mr. Zaric gave.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can that be -- can you go over that so that we
11 get the correct answer.
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you understand what the problem is? Will you
14 please answer the question.
15 A. To make it clear, there was a very large number of checkpoints in
16 the municipality of Odzak. Every unit which made part of the military
17 administration had its own checkpoint and some sort of its area of
18 responsibility. So that it was a psychological burden in the early days
19 to have to go through all those checkpoints. If one went from Odzak to
20 Novi Grad, or to Trnjak, which was my birth place, one had to go through
21 no less than 10 or 15, all sorts of different checkpoints.
22 Q. And who was at those checkpoints? Who manned them?
23 A. At those checkpoints, in the depth of the territory, were the
24 members of the units. At times, they had belts and looked like military
25 police, and in places there were ordinary soldiers without those white
1 belts. So that you enter an area, you come across a checkpoint, and they
2 were authorised to stop you, to check you, and everybody had to produce a
3 relevant paper showing that he was permitted to move in that direction.
4 Q. Did you and other members of that civilian military council, or
5 persons in general who came to the area of the military administration in
6 Odzak, was everybody bound to have a permit to enter -- to gain access?
7 A. Oh, yes, down to the last one. You couldn't move about without
8 those permits. We were members of that body, and it just so happened that
9 I was a man who was frequently on the ground, in the field, yet I couldn't
10 go anywhere without being stopped, and I had to show my pass that I had
11 been issued by the military administration so that I could move around the
12 area of responsibility, the territory of the Odzak municipality.
13 Q. Will you please explain the procedure. What did it look like?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Will the counsel and the witness please break
15 between question and answer.
16 A. Well, the soldier stops you at the checkpoint, for me and my
17 driver, I was driven at the time by Mr. Tutnjevic and asked to see our
18 IDs. And then I show a pass which says that Mr. Simo Zaric is authorised
19 to move around the area of responsibility in the territory of the
20 municipality of Odzak.
21 Q. Will you slow down, Mr. Zaric, please.
22 Mr. Zaric, who was responsible to take care of the infrastructure
23 and normalisation of living conditions in the town of Odzak?
24 A. All this aspect of life that was being made to suit more normal
25 civilisational conditions was the responsibility of Mr. Dusan Gavric, who
1 assigned a team of people that he would cooperate with so that he could
2 perform all the jobs that had to do with infrastructure and everything
3 else which was indispensable for a normal life.
4 Q. Mr. Zaric, did citizens who were under labour obligation come to
6 A. Yes, they did.
7 Q. Do you know of what ethnic group did they belong to, those
8 citizens who came to Odzak under labour obligation?
9 A. Those citizens came from the territory of the municipality of
10 Bosanski Samac and were by and large Muslims and Croats, from the
11 territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac.
12 Q. Do you know which means of transportation, in what way did they
13 get from Bosanski Samac to Odzak?
14 A. As far as I know, at times they took buses, but more often than
15 not they would be brought in by trucks.
16 Q. Did they have any escort?
17 A. Yes. That was mandatory, in addition to a driver, there would
18 always be a policeman from the public security station, invariably, either
19 when they came by bus or when they came by truck.
20 Q. And what was the procedure for people under labour obligation to
21 make these people take these means of transportation to come to Odzak?
22 Where did they go to?
23 A. From what I could see and hear, because that was not my field,
24 they would fetch up in front of the police station's building more often
25 than not, in Odzak, I mean, and it is more or less in the centre of the
1 town, about three to four hundred metres away from the hotel and the
2 military administration command.
3 Q. Do you know who was there to receive them, or who would be there
4 to receive them?
5 A. They would be received there by the commissioner from Odzak, and
6 they would fetch up in front of the public security station, and then,
7 from there, they were assigned to various tasks and jobs which the
8 commissioner had agreed with the president of the civilian military
9 council or the military administration, depending on what had to be done
10 or what had most urgently to be settled at that particular moment in the
11 territory of the town of Odzak.
12 Q. Mr. Zaric, to the best of your recollection, who issued tasks to
13 those people who were under labour obligation, to the best of your
15 A. As far as I can remember, it was Mr. Gavric, the commissioner.
16 Q. Thank you. And you, Mr. Zaric, were those people who were under
17 labour obligation under any kind of your jurisdiction or not?
18 A. No. I absolutely had no authority over those people, nor was I in
19 a position to issue any orders to these people, that is, to do whatever.
20 It went beyond my tasks and beyond the needs of my service.
21 Q. Fine. And, Mr. Zaric, during your stay in Odzak, did you have an
22 opportunity to see those people who were under labour obligation?
23 A. Yes. I saw -- I would see them as I would walk down a street, and
24 people worked. And now it depends. Some swept streets, some mended
25 roofs. I saw women sweeping streets or putting the hotel in order, or who
1 worked in the kitchen, so that at times that segment of the work happened
2 before my eyes, and that is where I would see them.
3 Q. Did you ever control the work of people under labour obligation?
4 A. No, I never did that. There was no need for me to do that. And
5 in that hotel that I'm mentioning, there was a joint kitchen, a canteen,
6 for everybody who had their meals there. So that on several occasions, I
7 had the opportunity to sit together with them, and I deliberately at times
8 moved -- changed tables so as to be with everybody. For a while, it was
9 merely concerning personal relations and so on and so forth. But I know
10 they had the same meals as we did, that is, as other people who had some
11 other commitments and tasks in the territory of the municipality.
12 Q. Mr. Zaric, within the framework of your jurisdiction, were you in
13 a position to protect some of the people under labour obligation in
14 Odzak? I, in particular, mean women, persons of the female gender.
15 A. Once I had the opportunity, as I was working in that room in
16 Odzak, I was approached by a young woman. She happened to be related to
17 my wife. And she complained to me of the vulgar behaviour of a soldier
18 from Krajina who insisted that she should go with him to some special
19 room, and so on and so forth.
20 Q. So what did you do when you heard it from her?
21 A. As soon as I heard about it, I notified Mr. Mackic, and I know
22 well that Mr. Mackic took certain steps, and I think later on he talked
23 with all those women, once when they were at lunch there, and said: If
24 you have problems of this kind, to let him know immediately. And after
25 his admonition, I think that a similar intervention never happened again,
1 and I do not think that anyone ever asked assistance because something
2 like that was happening to her. But I -- yes, but this incident stuck in
3 my memory because I personally interceded with Mr. Mackic.
4 Q. Mr. Zaric, are you aware that property was taken away from Odzak?
5 A. Yes, I am.
6 Q. Will you please tell us: What was the procedure? If somebody
7 wanted to take some property from the territory of Odzak, or rather, from
8 the territory controlled by that military administration?
9 A. I know well what people in the military administration told us at
10 a meeting we had concerning property, that it could not be taken out of
11 the area without relevant certificates which could only be issued by the
12 military administration. However, what I could see in practice, and what
13 I could learn in practice, is that there was a big gap between what was
14 theoretically advocated and verbally advocated and the manifestations this
15 phenomenon took in practice.
16 Q. Fine, Mr. Zaric. Will you please tell me: If somebody wants to
17 take out some movable property, who is it that one has to apply to for the
18 authorisation to take out this movable property from the municipality of
19 Odzak? What was the procedure to follow?
20 A. The procedure was: If it was necessary to take out some goods
21 from the territory of Odzak, then one had to have the authorisation issued
22 by the military administration, that is, without the signature or whether
23 the assistant commander for the logistics, which was part of the military
24 administration, or another authorised person, authorised by the commander
25 of the military administration, that is, and that the application could
1 then be submitted. And if it had to do with the civilian sector, then
2 such an application could be made by Mr. Savo Popovic, on behalf of the
3 civilian military council. If some of the goods -- if some merchandise
4 was to be taken to some other area or if somebody needed to take something
5 private from an area, again, one had to have the authorisation of the
6 relevant military administration. So without this document, and that was
7 a rule which had -- which had been made public, nobody should have been
8 allowed to take anything out without having it put on record and without
9 knowing the destination of that merchandise.
10 Q. If I understand you well, no merchandise and no property could
11 leave the territory of the municipality of Odzak without the knowledge of
12 the military administration.
13 A. That's right. That is how I understood that. And I believe that
14 certain documents which I saw by accident always bore the signature of the
15 person authorised by the military administration.
16 Q. Can you tell us: How was the control performed? That is, that
17 all the merchandise or all the movable property was accompanied by
18 appropriate documentation, how could that be checked?
19 A. Well, I have to say something in all honesty. I'm not defending
20 the position of Odzak or something that went on only in the municipality
21 of Samac or Odzak. During this unfortunate war -- this unfortunate war
22 was particularly characteristic of the general criminalisation which was
23 related both to people and the army. What happened in Odzak, even though
24 there was a military administration there. For instance, I received
25 information from some policemen that at the checkpoint, some of the
1 merchandise, some of the goods, with a signature of authority had left in
2 the direction of Krajina and so on and so forth.
3 Q. Mr. Zaric, will you please answer just this one question: What
4 were the measures which -- what were the measures attempted to be put in
5 order in order to enforce the decision? And we shall discuss criminal
6 removable property at some other time.
7 A. Well, it was these checkpoints which were at all the main exits
8 from Odzak. One led towards the municipality of Modrica, another one into
9 the depth of the municipality at the time of the pontoon bridge across the
10 River Bosna, one went in the direction of Samac, and the third one went
11 through Novi Grad, towards the municipality of Brod. So these were the
12 three exits, and one couldn't leave the municipality of Odzak without
13 coming across those checkpoints, at which one could check whether there
14 was documentation accompanying all the merchandise, all the movables that
15 were being taken out of the area.
16 Q. Now tell me: In your opinion, were the movables taken out
17 disregarding the procedure prescribed for the municipality of Odzak and
18 from the territory of the military administration?
19 A. I'd say yes. It did happen, and one couldn't keep it all under
20 control. I cannot say that it happened tacitly, but it looked to me as if
21 somebody tolerated a part of such phenomena.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, this answer doesn't help us at all.
23 Actually, I think it's as a result of your own question, where you asked
24 the witness whether in his opinion. What you should be asking him is what
25 actually happened, what did he see, if anything, regarding this -- the
1 property movements.
2 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Well, that was what I was driving
3 at with my question, but perhaps I wasn't precise enough.
4 Q. Mr. Zaric, what it is that you know, what did you see, that is,
5 and what information did you receive while you stayed and worked in Odzak
6 about illegal, wrongful, illicit removal of property from the territory of
7 Odzak, that is, the town of Odzak? What do you know, if you know anything
8 about it? Will you tell the Chamber.
9 A. To begin with, I will say that when we made our first steps as the
10 civilian military council, one of our first tasks was -- and I think we
11 did it very properly indeed - we made a register of all the property found
12 in companies and private business outlets in the territory of the town and
13 municipality of Odzak.
14 Q. Mr. Zaric, will you please make a pause.
15 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Could D49/4 be shown to the
16 witness. That is the register of property in the municipality of Odzak.
17 Q. Mr. Zaric, will you please have a look at the document. Leaf
18 through it to see what it's about, and especially I want you to look at
19 the last page to see who signed the document.
20 Have you had a look?
21 A. Yes, I have. It is the document that I was talking about. Well,
22 it says here "the military council." It's some initial terminology,
23 insufficient for those early days, and it was signed by Rajko Dervenic,
24 who was assistant president of the civilian council for economic affairs
25 for the municipality of Odzak. That was the definition of the office he
1 held in this civilian military council.
2 Q. Mr. Zaric, as a member of that commission which made a census of
3 all the property that we see in this document?
4 A. Well, it just happened that I participated in this census during
5 the first two days, and I was at the Borovo [Realtime transcript read in
6 error "Boro"] Factory and the Elkroj factory, and the report and the
7 census we submitted together, and it had been incorporated in this one
9 Q. Could you please repeat the name of this factory, Borovo -- what
10 was it? Because it's misspelled in the transcript.
11 A. It is under Roman VIII on page 5 of the Bijic [phoen] version,
12 Borovo Odzak - Odzak, that is one company, and the other one is a company
13 which is under Roman VII, it is called Elkroj Odzak 2.
14 Q. So you are referring to two companies in which you personally
15 participated in the census in the taking of the stock?
16 A. Yes, together with some other people who were with me in that
18 Q. Right. We don't need this document any longer. Please proceed.
19 A. It transpires quite clearly from the document that some economic
20 facilities were unscathed and undamaged at the time when the territory of
21 Odzak was taken over by Serb forces, or rather, by the 1st Krajina Corps
22 and introduction of the military administration.
23 Q. Mr. Zaric, what was the purpose of this document?
24 A. Well, its purpose was to take stock of the situation and to try to
25 see whether prerequisites could be provided for the re-activation of
1 normal business life in the territory of the municipality of Odzak. That
2 was the chief purpose.
3 Q. And what do you know about it? Were these facilities preserved
4 and all these assets that you registered, that you recorded, or rather,
5 Mr. Rajko, when you did this in the beginning, when the civilian military
6 council came to Odzak?
7 A. Well, some of these assets, yes, have been preserved, and others
8 had been taken away in different ways, I'd say using both civilian and
9 military channels, from the municipality of Odzak. I can give you a few
10 characteristic examples on the basis of which the Chamber could see how I
11 perceived and experienced this problem.
12 When referring to the Elkroj factory and the Borovo factory, I
13 know that with some documentation, the machinery from that factory, the
14 machines from that factory were taken by trucks to the factory of Utva in
15 the territory of the Bosanski Samac municipality. I happened to see those
16 machines in that warehouse with my own eyes. So they had been transferred
17 from those factories and brought over there. And what was the lot of
18 these machines after that, and where they went on, that I do not know.
19 Perhaps some bodies will go into that at some stage.
20 The second question: I've told you about my orchard in Trnjak.
21 At that time, the fruit trees had been felled. But this orchard was
22 fenced off with a metal fence. Hundreds of heads -- when I say "heads," I
23 mean livestock, all sorts of, from the youngest calves to yearlings to
24 cows, and on, they had all been put into this compound, into my orchard.
25 And the first time I got to that village, those commissioners had
1 practically got together this livestock which was wandering around, they
2 had rounded up all this cattle and put it in that orchard. And the cattle
3 stayed there for a while, they fed it, and ate it, and after that they
4 gave back to the troops and the rest of the cattle I know was transferred
5 with the consent of the military administration. Some of it was taken to
6 the municipality of Samac with their authorisation. And then the
7 Executive Board of the municipality of Samac then distributed it to
8 different farms, and so on and so forth. So that is what I know.
9 I also know that one of the most expensive machines at the Strolit
10 factory had been taken away upon the order of the social military
11 administration, that is, the military administration which was duty-bound
12 until after that, yet they allowed that a very expensive machine go to
13 Jelsingrad and I heard that it had been installed there to meet the needs
14 of some other factory over there. And in Donja Dubica the troops from
15 Krajina savaged and destroyed a completely new telephone exchange which
16 had been put up in Donja Dubica. So when I mentioned a word, when I said
17 there was organised, as I called it, plunder, that is what I had in mind.
18 To my mind, it wasn't sufficient to have a document that some merchandise
19 could be taken out if it was being alienated from a particular source or
20 political account community, and yet we are getting ready to introduce in
21 that area a new civilised life and bring in our people who were refugees
22 at the time. So that was my very rigorous attitude to this subject and I
23 did not spare either side when I say this.
24 But again, what went to Samac again could not go there without
25 somebody having initialed and approved such a thing. When I say
1 "someone," I mean somebody in the military administration.
2 Q. Just a moment ago you mentioned the one side and the other side.
3 What did you mean by that?
4 A. I mean the military, if they were alienating and taking away some
5 goods or if a truck arrived in front of the Samac Executive Board driving
6 that livestock, or if machines were removed, I was then referring to the
7 Executive Board, representing the authorities in Samac. And of course the
8 question arises as to what the fate of the machines and the equipment was.
9 Q. So when you say "both sides," one side, according to you, is the
10 civilian authority and the other one is the military?
11 A. Yes, absolutely.
12 Q. Mr. Zaric, while you were in Odzak, did you spend the nights
14 A. No, I didn't spend the nights in Odzak. I often stayed in Odzak
15 throughout the day. But every evening I went back to Bosanski Samac with
16 Mr. Tutnjevic and slept either in my own flat or, depending on the
17 security situation, somewhere else.
18 Q. Did you and Mr. Toso go from Samac to Odzak and come back every
20 A. Yes. It wasn't a long drive, because when the platoon bridge --
21 the pontoon bridge was set up near the village of Pisari, over the River
22 Sava, we could go between Samac and Odzak in about 15 minutes. It's only
23 15 kilometres away.
24 Q. Mr. Zaric, while you were in Odzak municipality and in the town of
25 Odzak, was your sister Jelena there, and what did she do in Odzak?
1 A. Yes. One of my sisters who had lived in Odzak before the war was
2 Jelena, and when the civilian military council started its work, she acted
3 as a secretary in the civilian military council, and she was actually the
4 technical secretary of Mr. Savo Popovic for the issuing of documents,
5 certificates, or any other documents within his competence. And later on,
6 Jelena went to work in the local Red Cross on the territory of Odzak
7 municipality, and she worked there as a clerk.
8 Q. Mr. Zaric, while you were in Odzak, did you ever appropriate any
9 property belonging to somebody else from Odzak, thus gaining possessions,
10 material possessions, property, profiting by this?
11 A. I like to refer to sayings, and I'm now referring to one which
12 means that I never took anything, nor did it ever occur to me to do such a
14 Q. Mr. Zaric, while you were in Odzak for about a month or so, was
15 Savo Popovic the president of the civilian military council throughout
16 this time?
17 A. Yes, he was, and when I left around the 25th of August, he stayed
18 on. I left Odzak as soon as the new commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade
19 was appointed. I was called back and practically a few days before the
20 end of August I left Odzak.
21 Q. Did Mr. Toso Tutnjevic stay with you until the 25th of August?
22 Did you leave Odzak together?
23 A. Yes, we left Odzak together. And on the 25th of August, I was
24 called to the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade because in Pelagicevo a
25 new commander had been appointed.
1 Q. We'll come to that, Mr. Zaric. But tell me now: After this
2 period of time, that is, after the 25th of August, 1992, did you go to the
3 territory of Odzak municipality and to the town of Odzak?
4 A. Yes, I did, mostly to my native village of Trnjak, where normal
5 conditions were created. I went to try to repair some things so that my
6 mother could return. She was a refugee. And I also went to Odzak to
7 visit my sister Jelena, who was the only one of my sisters living there,
8 because the property of my other sisters had been completely destroyed and
9 they were never actually able to return to the territory of Odzak
11 Q. To conclude: While you were in Odzak, what was your status? Were
12 you a member of the military or were you a person with a work obligation?
13 A. I had the status of a military person. I was attached to the
14 military command of the military administration, and I wish I had the
15 document now, because I can't recall the number. But from the 25th of
16 July to the 30th of August, my booklet says that I was a member of the
17 Operative Group, which had its number. So that I was exclusively a member
18 of the military. That's how I was treated. Although I have described how
19 I came to Odzak and what I did there.
20 Q. And, Mr. Zaric, where did you go after the 25th of August, 1992,
21 when, as you say, you left the territory of Odzak municipality and the
22 territory of the Odzak military administration? Could you just wait a
24 [Defence counsel confer]
25 A. I was informed that I was to report to the command of the 2nd
1 Posavina Brigade in Pelagicevo on the 25th of August. I received this
2 information through the duty officer in the communication centre, in the
3 5th Infantry Battalion. He rang me up in the evening and said that he had
4 received this information. So that with my driver, Mr. Tutnjevic, instead
5 of going to Odzak, in the morning I went to Pelagicevo to report to the
6 command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade.
7 Q. And what did they say to you there? To what duty did they assign
9 A. The new commander told me - and that was Major Mile Beronja, who
10 only a day or two before was appointed by the commander of the East
11 Bosnian Corps to be the commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade.
12 He told me I was appointed assistant commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade
13 for moral guidance, religious, and legal matters. That was the title
14 according to the establishment.
15 Q. Mr. Zaric, when was this order issued by Commander Mile Beronja?
16 A. The conversation with me was conducted in the presence of
17 Commander Beronja and the Chief of Staff, Jondic, Vojislav, a captain
18 first class, who was then performing the duty of Chief of Staff of the 2nd
19 Posavina Brigade. I was told that I was to prepare for my transfer and
20 the decision on my appointment to this duty was formally to begin on the
21 1st of September, 1992, when I began to live and work in the 2nd Posavina
22 Brigade in Pelagicevo.
23 Q. When you said "to live," what did you mean by that?
24 A. Because for a time I resided, whenever it was necessary, in a
25 building we had there, where, when you had completed your task and night
1 fell, Mr. Tutnjevic was my driver and I had a room where we could stay,
2 because the command required me to be present there in the command and on
3 the ground. This was quite a different kind of duty, far more responsible
4 than others I had performed before that.
5 Q. Does that mean that you spent most of your time now in the village
6 of Pelagicevo?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. Can you now briefly try to explain: What was the sphere of
9 competence of the organ for moral guidance, religious, and legal matters?
10 What were the tasks of this organ in a brigade such as the 2nd Posavina
11 Infantry Brigade?
12 A. First I wish to say: Unfortunately, before I was appointed to
13 that duty, there was no one else. I had no predecessor to hand over to me
14 documents and suchlike. But the chief duty was to maintain direct contact
15 with the units on the ground, understand the mood of the soldiers,
16 understand their material and social status, to help the families of
17 wounded soldiers or soldiers who had been killed, take care of funerals,
18 deal with their status. So this was a social card --
19 THE INTERPRETER: As said --
20 A. -- going directly from the command to the soldiers in the brigade.
21 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. As assistant commander for morale, religious, and legal affairs,
23 to whom were you subordinate, Mr. Zaric?
24 A. I was directly subordinated to the commander of the 2nd Posavina
25 Brigade, Commander Beronja, according to the chain of command. And
1 according to the chain of subordination, my superior at that time was
2 Zivko Dosen who was the assistant commander of the East Bosnia Corps. He
3 was a colonel and he was also in charge of morale, religious, and legal
5 Q. Mr. Zaric, to whom did you report on your work or the work of the
6 organ you were in charge of?
7 A. I had to give detailed reports according to a certain procedure to
8 the assistant commander of the East Bosnia Corps for morale, religious,
9 and legal matters, but the reports I sent and the documents could never be
10 dispatched unless they were signed, not just by me but also by the
11 commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade. This was the regular
12 procedure that had to be implemented according to the regulations that
13 were then in force.
14 Q. Mr. Zaric, as assistant commander for morale, religious, and legal
15 affairs, who gave you your orders and the instructions for the work of
16 this organ?
17 A. It was again in two ways: From the assistant commander of the
18 East Bosnia Corps for morale and religious affairs, while part of my tasks
19 directly stemmed from what came from the commander or the command, if the
20 command adopted certain conclusions, and in the nature of the work, they
21 were directly connected with what I and my men were to do, because I
22 didn't work alone. I had a team of men working in my organ.
23 Q. Thank you. Did you, at the same time, have the status of a member
24 of the command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade of the army of
25 Republika Srpska?
1 A. Yes. I had the status of a member of the command, and according
2 to importance, I was the third most responsible man, according to the
3 hierarchy in the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade. At the top was the
4 commander, then there was the Chief of Staff, and the third man would be
5 the assistant for morale, and then I won't enumerate anymore.
6 Q. No. No, don't. But if you can remember, please tell us: How
7 many members did the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade have?
8 A. I think the command had about 15 members, including the
9 headquarters command, and those in charge of civilian affairs. But when
10 we started, it had 13 members, at the time I was transferred there.
11 Q. Mr. Zaric, you have already said that the commander of the 2nd
12 Posavina Infantry Brigade was Major Mile Beronja. You have not told us,
13 however, so far, who was the commander of the East Bosnia Corps of the
14 army of Republika Srpska.
15 A. At that time, when I was transferred to the duty of assistant
16 commander, the duty of commander of the East Bosnia Corps was performed by
17 Colonel Novica Simic, and that was the colonel who was the first commander
18 of the military administration in Odzak, who stayed there for a very brief
19 period of time. And after him, a new colonel was appointed. I can't
20 remember his name, but I know that they were changed very quickly. But
21 Novica Simic was a colonel, was the commander of the East Bosnia Corps.
22 Q. You have described the situation in the brigade that you found as
23 regards morale, religious, and legal affairs. Tell us, please: What did
24 you do when you first arrived in order to make sure that this body
25 fulfilled its tasks?
1 A. In view of the level of responsibility that was given to me, I
2 first studied the rules and regulations governing the work of the
3 assistant commander for morale, religious, and legal affairs. And then I
4 studied the methodology and the procedures as to how reports should be
5 drawn up on the morale situation and all other relevant issues, and
6 submitted to my command, and that was the command of the East Bosnia
7 Corps, and within that, the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade.
8 Q. I will now put a few questions to you to try and clarify the chain
9 of command in the army. The lower-level units, such as battalions, for
10 example, did they also have their organ for morale, religious, and legal
11 affairs, and did they have their assistant commanders for these tasks?
12 A. Yes. Every infantry battalion, and later on there were seven
13 infantry battalions and not only five in the brigade, after the
14 reorganisation. And there were independent units, engineering units,
15 artillery units, and so on. Each of these units and each infantry
16 battalion, under the rulings and regulations, had a post in its command of
17 assistant commander for morale, religious, and legal affairs.
18 Q. And you, as the assistants commander for morale, religious, and
19 legal affairs, what was your relationship with the assistant commanders
20 for these same matters in the battalions and independent companies and so
22 A. To put it very simply, what the assistant commander for religious
23 and legal affairs and morale was for me at the level of the East Bosnia
24 Corps, on a smaller scale, I represented the same thing for all these
25 other assistant commanders in all the other units of the 2nd Posavina
1 Infantry Brigade. I cooperated with them, and it was their duty to submit
2 reports to me as to the situation regarding morale, religious, and legal
3 affairs in their units.
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, when you took up the post of assistant
5 commander for morale, religious, and legal affairs, did you draw up a
6 report on the situation that you had found as to morale in the 2nd
7 Posavina Infantry Brigade?
8 A. Every month, reports had to be written and submitted to the
9 Superior Command. On my arrival, some 10 or 15 days later, I actively
10 toured all the units, desiring to take stock of the situation, as fully as
11 possible, in order to draw up a full report and submit this to my command,
12 the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, and also, of course, to the command of
13 the East Bosnia Corps, and this is what I did.
14 Q. This first report of yours which you drew up, was it considered in
15 the command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade in Pelagicevo?
16 A. Yes. Every one of my reports was considered, and so was this one.
17 Q. And when the command acquainted itself with your first report as
18 to the morale situation in the brigade and the morale of the organs for
19 morale, religious, and legal affairs, what did the command decide? What
20 did it decide should be done, in view of the situation that you discovered
21 on your arrival, in order to improve the situation?
22 A. In view of the fact that I was perhaps slightly too critical in my
23 description of the situation, I was told to review the situation in detail
24 in each unit and draw attention to all those elements that were leading to
25 a decline in morale among the soldiers, and as reflected in the rear, on
1 the population living in the area of responsibility of the 2nd Posavina
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think it is time to
5 conclude for the day.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We shall adjourn and continue our proceedings
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.15 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 13th day of
10 May 2003, at 9.00 a.m.