1 Wednesday, 14 May 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good afternoon. Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Is it Mr. Lazarevic?
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Can the witness make the solemn declaration first.
13 WITNESS: JOVAN ERLETIC
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Please sit down.
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honours. Good afternoon. According to
19 the ruling of the Trial Chamber, I will just introduce the witness to the
20 Trial Chamber, and after that I believe that Mr. Pantelic will
21 cross-examine him, and then the Prosecution.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
23 Examined by Mr. Lazarevic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Erletic.
25 A. Good day.
1 Q. Tell me, please: Can you hear well? Can you hear through the
3 A. Yes, I can.
4 Q. Thank you very much. Sir, for the Trial Chamber, would you tell
5 us your full name.
6 A. My name is Jovan Erletic.
7 Q. Mr. Erletic, during the deposition hearings in Belgrade, you have
8 already testified. It is the decision of the Trial Chamber that your
9 cross-examination be continued here at the Tribunal in The Hague.
10 Therefore, I would like to remind you of everything you have been told
11 about the manner of testifying. Would you please pause between question
12 and answer. You will first be examined by Mr. Pantelic, and then the
13 Prosecutor will have the right to additional cross-examination. If
14 necessary, we, as the Defence of Mr. Zaric, who have called you as a
15 witness, will also have the right to examine you in case there is anything
16 we need to clarify after your cross-examination by the other Defence
17 counsel and the Prosecution?
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. That would be it, and I
20 believe that Mr. Pantelic will start now.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
22 MR. PANTELIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Erletic. We have already
25 met. We met in Belgrade. And we know each other indirectly through my
1 investigator, who had a brief interview with you in 2001. Is this
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Mr. Erletic, on page 194 of the transcript from Belgrade, you
5 mentioned that the meeting at the command, and we are now discussing the
6 document entitled "Information," that this meeting was attended by
7 officers of the East Bosnia Corps of the army of Republika Srpska. You
8 mentioned Colonel Jakovljevic, who was the security organ in the corps,
9 and Colonel Dosen, who was the assistant commander for morale and other
10 affairs in the corps. Do you remember this?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. For the record, would you tell us whether you remember Colonel
13 Jakovljevic's first name, for the sake of the record? If you can remember
15 A. No, I can't remember.
16 Q. Do you remember the first name of Colonel Dosen?
17 A. I only knew them by their last names.
18 Q. Do you know who the commander of the East Bosnia Corps at the time
19 was and what his rank was?
20 A. At that time, the commander was Novica Simic, and I think he had
21 the rank of lieutenant colonel.
22 Q. Very well. Tell me now, Mr. Erletic: Quite a few years have
23 elapsed. We all agree about that. But do you remember in the debate
24 between the representatives of the civilian authorities and the military
25 organs at that meeting, which was also attended by Blagoje Simic, how did
1 Dr. Simic behave? What was his standpoint? What impression did he make?
2 What do you know about this personally?
3 A. Yes, I can explain that. At that meeting, Dr. Simic behaved very
4 correctly, very properly. He was calm, quiet. And when there was a
5 heated debate, he tried to calm it down. That's what I can say about
7 Q. At that discussion, can you describe the behaviour of the other
8 participants? And I'm referring primarily to Stevan Todorovic, Milan
9 Simic, and Mr. Minic, from the MUP of Republika Srpska, the police
10 ministry of Republika Srpska. Were they also calm?
11 A. During my testimony in Belgrade, I said that I didn't know this
12 gentleman, the representative of the SUP. I don't even know his name. I
13 didn't even try to get acquainted with him, because of the way he
14 behaved. I think that everything that happened at that meeting, and the
15 debate was quite harsh, but this was by Stevan Todorovic and the
16 representative of the SUP, whom I don't know and whom I don't want to
18 Q. And just a few questions, Mr. Erletic, about the sequence of
19 events in that period of time. Are you aware of the fact that around the
20 second half of November or the end of November, Stevan Todorovic and Milan
21 Simic were arrested by members of the military police?
22 A. I know they were arrested, but it was not by the police of our
24 Q. After this event, because the information bears the date of the
25 1st of December, 1992, after this event, did any information follow, if I
1 might remind you, and this information contain something about the arrest.
2 Can we agree on that, that information followed?
3 A. As far as the time sequence goes, yes, it did.
4 Q. Do you know, further, that in December 1992 legal proceedings were
5 initiated before the military court in Banja Luka against Lugar and other
7 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Erletic.
9 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... questions
10 for this witness. Thank you.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Prosecution.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Re:
13 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Erletic. Can you hear me clearly?
14 A. Good day. Yes, I can hear you.
15 Q. You understand I'm going to ask you a few more questions about
16 your evidence?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In your depositions evidence in Belgrade, you said that you lived
19 in Pelagicevo. Can you just tell us briefly the period when you lived in
21 A. I lived in Pelagicevo from my date of birth, the 2nd of September,
22 1952 [as interpreted], and I was absent only in 1971 and 1972, when I
23 served in the JNA. Then from 1973 to 1976, and in mid-1977, I worked in
24 Samac, because that's where I worked. And from 1978 until today, I have
25 been living in Pelagicevo. Sabac, not Samac, but Sabac.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, and one more correction on line 5, page 22,
2 it's 1951. That's when the witness was born, in 1951, not 1952.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you for the corrections.
4 MR. RE:
5 Q. You gave evidence in Belgrade about your military service. What I
6 want to ask you about is your position in 1991 and up until April 1992, in
7 relation to the military. Were you in the reserve or were you in a
8 military unit between the beginning of 1991 and mid-April 1992?
9 A. In the second half of April 1992, as a reserve officer, I was
10 called up and appointed company leader of the military police in the
11 Tactical Group.
12 Q. Were you ever a member of the -- any of the detachments attached
13 to the 17th Tactical Group, that is, the 1st or 2nd or 3rd or 4th
14 Detachments of the 17th Tactical Group?
15 A. No, I did not belong to any detachment.
16 Q. Can you tell us the date in April 1992 when you were called up and
17 appointed a company leader of the military police in the Tactical Group?
18 A. I don't have a good head for dates, and this was ten years ago.
19 But I do know that it was in the second half of April, between the 20th
20 and the 25th.
21 Q. Were you in the reserve between January 1991 and the date you were
22 appointed to the military police in April 1992? And if so, did you engage
23 in training exercises in that 16-month period?
24 A. No, I did not engage in any kind of training exercises.
25 Q. Your evidence in -- I'm sorry. I'll just take you back to the
1 question. The question was: Were you in the reserve in those dates? And
2 I think in Belgrade you told us that you were in the reserve forces of the
3 state security detachment in Brcko. Does that jog your memory about your
4 military -- your personal military status in 1991 up until mid-April
5 1992? That's at page 197.
6 A. Yes, I remember well what I said, and I abide by what I said. As
7 a member of the reserves, if you understood me correctly, I was not
8 active, nor was I activated. I was simply part of the reserve force under
9 the state security service in Brcko.
10 Q. Were you ever activated to perform any work in the state security
11 work after the outbreak of the war? That's in April 1992.
12 A. No.
13 Q. What did your role as the -- as a commander in the military police
14 from mid-April 1992 involve, and until when did you perform that role?
15 Two questions there. What I'm asking you is: What did you do, and until
17 A. When I was appointed company leader in the military police, it was
18 a small unit I was in charge of, some 20 or so policemen, and I remained
19 at that post for a very brief period of time, until the JNA left. And
20 when the 2nd Posavina Brigade was formed, I was replaced.
21 Q. What I'm interested in is your role in military police. You said
22 it was attached to the 17th Tactical Group. Was it attached to the --
23 were you attached to the command under Colonel Nikolic of the 17th
24 Tactical Group?
25 A. As a military police commander, I did not belong to the command of
1 the 17th Tactical Group. It was the security officer who was my direct
2 superior who was part of the command, and the second superior was, of
3 course, the commander.
4 Q. Who was the person who you reported to, or who was your superior
5 when you were the commander for military police?
6 A. My superior was Maksim Simeunovic, and the commander was
7 Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic.
8 Q. Was this responsibility for military police in relation to the
9 entirety of the 17th Tactical Group or apart of it?
10 A. As far as I know, the command of the 17th Tactical Group had a
11 military police company under its command.
12 Q. What I'm trying to find out is exactly what you did and where you
13 fitted in and what the military police did. Can you briefly explain that
14 to the Trial Chamber.
15 A. Yes, I can explain. The headquarters was in Pelagicevo, and there
16 was a small number of policemen guarding the command headquarters and
17 parts of roads and the military depots.
18 Q. Military police entrusted with the investigations of -- the
19 investigation into alleged criminal activity by soldiers, aren't they, and
20 the disciplining of -- or the keeping of discipline in the military,
21 aren't they?
22 A. No. No. That was done by the security department.
23 Q. Were you involved in the moving of prisoners from the TO in
24 Bosanski Samac in late April 1992 and then transferred to JNA facilities
25 in Brcko?
1 A. No. The military police didn't do that.
2 Q. Were you a member of a political party in 1991, 1992, 1993?
3 A. Ever since I was born, I was never a member of any party, and I'm
4 still not a member of a party.
5 Q. Where were you on the night of the 16th and 17th of April, 1992?
6 A. On the night of the 16th and the 17th of April, 1992, I was at
7 home. It was at my home. It was my own personal house.
8 Q. Are you saying you were mobilised or called up after the Serbian
9 takeovers in Bosanski Samac municipality on the 16th and 17th of April,
11 A. I told you: As far as I remember, between the 20th and the 25th,
12 I was mobilised.
13 Q. What I'm asking you is: You said earlier that you were a little
14 bit unsure about dates and that's quite understandable so long ago. I'm
15 just trying to link it to an event. Was it before or after the takeover
16 that you were mobilised?
17 A. I had only heard that there was a takeover in Samac, and I was
18 mobilised afterwards.
19 Q. Were you involved in the collecting of weapons from people in the
20 municipality of Bosanski Samac after the takeover, the days immediately
21 after the takeover?
22 A. No. The military police did not do that.
23 Q. In the document which the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, of
24 which you were number 4, signed, on the 1st of December, 1992, that's
25 P127 --
1 MR. RE: Perhaps the witness could be shown the document, Your
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
4 MR. RE: It's P127. While it's coming, I'll ask the question:
5 Q. In this document -- you're familiar with the document, aren't you?
6 THE INTERPRETER: Witness is nodding.
7 MR. RE:
8 Q. You're nodding. Can you just answer verbally for us, please.
9 A. Yes, I am familiar with the document. And I talked about this
10 document in Belgrade while I gave my statement. But at the time, I was
11 not the commander of the military police. At the time, I worked in the
12 technical service, working for the 2nd Posavina Brigade. And since at the
13 time we did not have an assistant commander for the logistics, I was
14 carrying out his duty.
15 Q. Have you got the version in B/C/S there? I just want to take you
16 to the first page, Mr. Erletic. Do you have the version in your own
17 language there, Mr. Erletic?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. I just want to take you to the second paragraph, or the one that
20 starts: "First, it is a fact that the 17th Tactical Command played a
21 significant role." Can you see that paragraph? It should be about
22 halfway or a third to halfway along the front page. It will be on the
23 first page. I think you'll find it in the second paragraph, under
25 A. Very well. Very well.
1 Q. Have you -- can you just read that paragraph to yourself, the one
2 that starts: "First, it is a fact that the 17th Tactical Command." And
3 perhaps if you could also read the next paragraph, which also says
4 "second." If you could just read those to yourself for a moment, because
5 I just want to ask you a few questions about them. You're nodding. That
6 means you've read it to your self?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you remember in Belgrade I asked you about the report and your
9 answer was that all that was contained in that report is true? I just
10 want to ask you about something in the first paragraph, about the
11 significant role in the pre-war period. What can you tell the Trial
12 Chamber -- this is my question: What can you tell the Trial Chamber about
13 the significant role of the 17th Tactical Group in the pre-war period and
14 the first days of the war in the territorial organisation of the several
15 detachments in Samac municipality, the organised arming of the Serbian
16 people in particular, and the provision of proper combat tactics and
17 equipment for the armed struggle in the region? I just want you to
18 elaborate on that a little, if you can, to the Trial Chamber, and just
19 expand upon that significant role for us.
20 A. I remember very well that I told you, in Belgrade, that I was
21 never involved in politics. I never did anything that I wasn't supposed
22 to do. I only always did my job. I was an athlete and I was a hunter. I
23 never played any role in politics. I was never involved in politics. I
24 did not -- I was not interested in politics either, and I only did my job.
25 That is exactly what I told you in Belgrade.
1 I also remember telling you in Belgrade that everything that has
2 to do with my involvement and the work I was carrying out, I can explain
3 everything with regard to that. With regard to this information, however,
4 I said, loudly and clearly, that the information was signed, and I have
5 signed it as well, because at the command we had decided that these
6 actions were not good for the morale of soldiers, because we wanted to let
7 them know that the soldiers were not carrying out these actions, that it
8 was done by somebody else, and this is the reason why we had signed this
10 Q. All I want to know is if you can expand upon anything that's
11 written here, just from your knowledge of what you saw and one of the
12 signatories of this document. If you can't, that's perfectly okay. So I
13 just move to the second paragraph, where it refers to the arrival of a
14 group of so-called "Serbian commandos," led by Crni and Debeli, in a
15 helicopter. It says: "Nikolic and the 17th Tactical Group command
16 initially branded it as a `paramilitary group' and a `group of bandits and
17 mercenaries,' but after only five or six days they endorsed it and
18 explained it as a `legal elite unite of Serbian commandos' whose arrival
19 had been legalised through the official organs of government and the army,
20 both at the level of Samac municipality and at the highest level in Serbia
21 and Yugoslavia."
22 What I simply want to ask you, and if you don't know, that's fine,
23 but can you tell the Trial Chamber anything about, firstly, the arrival of
24 these Serbian commandos or the paramilitaries, and secondly, about Colonel
25 Nikolic and the 17th Tactical Group's command -- Tactical Group command's
1 endorsement of this group after a few days? You follow the two questions
2 that I -- that I'm asking you? Can you tell us anything else about the
3 paramilitaries, their arrival, or -- and/or the endorsement or their
4 endorsement by the command of the 17th Tactical Group and Colonel Nikolic?
5 A. I cannot tell you anything about it, because at the time I was not
6 active and I was not within the command of the 17th Tactical Group
7 either. I had heard, however, from some people that they had arrived, as
8 you say, by helicopter, but I have not seen that myself. I noticed them
9 on the streets and in other places, but who organised this, who brought
10 them in, how it all happened, I really don't know, because I was not an
11 eyewitness and I can only tell you what I heard.
12 Q. You said you noticed them on the street. Did you notice them on
13 the street before you were called back into the military police between
14 April 20th and 25th?
15 A. Yes. That was before.
16 Q. And where did you see them when you noticed them on the streets?
17 A. Well, I saw them in Pelagicevo, Pelagicevo, where I lived, and
18 this is where the command was. Two hundred to three hundred metres away
19 from my family house in which I lived was the command, and this is where I
20 noticed them.
21 Q. Are you saying you noticed them at the command or somewhere else
22 in Pelagicevo?
23 A. I noticed them at the centre of Pelagicevo. That's about 150
24 metres away from the command.
25 Q. What were they doing in the centre of Pelagicevo?
1 A. In the centre of Pelagicevo, there was a cafe, and everybody liked
2 to gather in that cafe. I noticed them in front of the cafe, and also I
3 noticed them inside, sitting in the cafe.
4 Q. And what was it that led you to notice them?
5 A. I noticed them because they were not from our territory. They
6 were dressed differently. They were also made up in a different way.
7 Q. What were they wearing that was different, and what do you mean by
8 "made up in a different way"?
9 A. At the time, the JNA army wore the same outfits. It was beige.
10 That's what their uniforms were like. However, these men wore camouflage
11 uniforms, and this is what differentiated them from the others.
12 Q. How did you find out who they were?
13 A. Well, you know how it is when you're at a cafe. If you don't know
14 what goes on in a city, or especially in a village, you go to have a drink
15 at the cafe, and this is where you find out what goes on around you.
16 That's the best way to find out what is going on, the best source.
17 Q. And what did you find out about who these people were and why they
18 were there?
19 A. At the time, I found out that they had come from outside. They
20 had landed in a helicopter in Batkusa, and the helicopter landed on the
21 stadium. That's all what we knew, what people knew, what a simple man
22 could know at the time.
23 Q. Where were these people staying when you saw them in the centre of
25 A. You mean when they were staying as in spending their time?
1 Q. Where were they being accommodated, that is, sleeping and eating?
2 A. As far as I know, they were sleeping on the stadium in Obudovac.
3 Q. How many times do you remember seeing them in Pelagicevo or around
4 before you were called up into the military police again?
5 A. To be very honest with you, at the time, people were not really
6 moving about a lot. The communication was not great either. I only
7 noticed them because I was at the cafe and around the cafe. But they were
8 visible. We would see them every day, on a daily basis, one of them would
9 be seen.
10 Q. Were people saying -- people in Pelagicevo, where you were living,
11 were they saying anything about the conduct or behaviour of these
12 paramilitaries? That's before you were called up into the army.
13 A. I can tell you that people were not talking about them a lot, for
14 the simple reason that people were afraid of them, and this is why we were
15 even avoiding that topic.
16 Q. Also in the document, that's P127, on that same page, it refers to
17 the group playing "an indisputably positive role in the liberation of
18 Samac, as a part of the special battalion in fighting at Vidovica,
19 Kornica, Garevac, and Kladari." I apologise if my pronunciation is not
20 too good, "in the liberation of the corridor to Brcko and in other
22 Did you participate in any of those operations? That's Vidovica
23 or Brcko -- sorry, Kornica?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Also in the document, it refers to, over the page, where it says
1 "fifth," I'll just read it to you. If you can find the paragraph -- it
2 starts off with "fifth." It says "second, third, fourth, fifth." Every
3 paragraph has a different number. The second or third line says: "With
4 the blessing of those who had brought them in and those who had sent them
5 they engaged in unheard of looting of private and socially owned
6 property." What I simply ask you is this, in your own experience and as a
7 signatory to this document, what do you know or what did you see of the
8 looting by these Serbian commandos in the area?
9 A. At the time, I was working in the technical department, and I was
10 also the assistant commander for logistics [as interpreted]. From all the
11 units, men working in the logistics had to come and see me, to report to
12 me. They had to do so because we were issuing food, uniforms, and so on
13 and so forth. So from the areas they were coming from, they were bringing
14 information. They were saying: Such-and-such a person was beaten up.
15 Another person was beaten up. A vehicle was taken from a person, stolen.
16 There was looting, and so on and so forth. And this is what I heard in my
17 office from these men. However, during the meetings of the command of the
18 brigade, we heard other information coming from other areas, and this is
19 how we came to the conclusion that such actions were going on, and this is
20 why we drafted this information. I signed this information because I
21 heard from the men working with me, and also from other superiors at the
22 command who had seen these things. I personally did not see any of these
23 actions, because I was in my office and not on the field.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm terribly sorry to interrupt, Your
1 Honour. I just got an information from my client that he would need to
2 leave this courtroom for about 10 minutes, if you'd allow him to leave.
3 He wishes the proceedings to go on, however.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, he can leave.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: And one very small clarification for the
6 transcript, on page 16, line 8. Mr. Erletic had said I was acting
7 assistant commander for logistics, not assistant commander. Just this
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will accept that.
10 MR. RE:
11 Q. Just to clarify something from your answer, Mr. Erletic. You just
12 told us about soldiers coming to you and saying such-and-such a person was
13 beaten up, a vehicle was taken from a person, stolen, et cetera. In all
14 the things you just referred to a moment ago, you were referring, weren't
15 you, to your soldiers or troops telling you about what the paramilitaries
16 from Serbia were doing? I'm just trying to clarify your answer.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Mr. Pantelic asked you about the meeting which was between the
19 civilian authorities and the command of the 17th -- sorry, the 2nd
20 Posavina Brigade in relation to the document in front of you. You said
21 that Mr. Simic or Dr. Simic behaved correctly or behaved properly and
22 tried to calm it down. You're giving your evidence --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. -- over ten and a half years, almost ten and a half years since
25 the meeting occurred. You didn't take any notes of the meeting, did you,
1 or what was said there?
2 A. No.
3 Q. And when you're giving your evidence today, is it true that you --
4 or fair to say that you don't have a very, very good memory of who said
5 what at the meeting, but you're left with an impression of Dr. Simic being
6 calm and behaving correctly and other people being more aggressive, but
7 you can't really remember the precise words that anyone used?
8 A. I will clarify a little. I cannot recall exactly what people
9 said. That's true. But I can remember how Dr. Simic behaved. I can
10 remember that. And this is why. I'll explain. This person was the
11 representative of the police. When he was behaving aggressively and when
12 he threatened that he would put us in prison, I was the one who reacted.
13 I was the person who reacted, and perhaps in a vulgar way, I resisted
14 him. And I told him that he couldn't do this, that we wouldn't allow this
15 to happen, and so on. And before that, and before that, Mr. Simic was
16 calm, had a calm appearance. He tried to calm things down, and after that
17 as well, and that's precisely because -- I remember this because I was one
18 of the people who reacted a little more heatedly and spoke to this
19 gentleman who was the representative of the police. That is precisely
20 what I remember, and why I remember it.
21 Q. But you remember Dr. Simic as being a participant in the meeting,
22 that is, the document being discussed, different people from the two
23 groups, the civilian authorities and the military, discussing the contents
24 of the document and each putting their views forward, but Dr. Simic
25 expressed his views in a calmer way than other people?
1 A. My impression was, looking at the behaviour of Dr. Simic, that he
2 had come to be calm, to be calm, to overcome the problems so that there
3 shouldn't be any dangerous things happening, there shouldn't be any ill
4 effect. That was my impression of his behaviour. But the main culprits
5 why this discussion and argument happened between the command and them, in
6 my opinion, the culprits were Stevan Todorovic and the representative of
7 the police. This person that I did not meet and the person I never want
8 to meet.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Did not know, interpreter's correction, and the
10 person I never want to know.
11 MR. RE:
12 Q. What I'm asking you about is your impression is that Dr. Simic was
13 certainly aware of the report and its contents, and he, along with the
14 others, discussed it, but the arguments or the -- I'm sorry. I withdraw
15 the word "arguments," but the aggression came from other people?
16 A. If I've understood you correctly, and if you've understood me
17 correctly, this meeting I got the impression that Dr. Simic calmly, with a
18 cool head, came to the meeting in order to overcome the problems. That
19 was the sense of it. So that there would be no heated discussion that did
20 happen, so that this meeting wouldn't -- the people wouldn't leave this
21 meeting the way they did leave this meeting.
22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Re. I apologise for interrupting.
23 I wonder, just for the sake of clarity, Mr. Erletic: It says in the
24 transcript, on page 19, lines 4 to 6 - this is one of your answers - and
25 it says -- this is lines 4 to 6, as I say, page 19. You say: "In my
1 opinion, the culprits were Stevan Todorovic and the representative of the
2 police. This person that I did not meet and the person I never want to
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Okay. Judge Mumba has just said to me that the
6 interpreter then interprets what you've said and explains it. So
7 disregard the question. Thank you.
8 MR. RE:
9 Q. Do you remember whether Dr. Simic said something to the meeting
10 along the lines of being offended by the allegations made in this
11 document, very serious ones, about criminality by the Crisis Staff and the
12 War Presidency, of which he was the president?
13 A. I told you, and I'm trying to tell you everything I know to help
14 clarify this and find the real truth. I'm telling you again: I cannot
15 recall the details about what -- who said what exactly, because a lot of
16 time has elapsed. And this was not the field of my work at the time. But
17 I remember these details the way they occurred because I had perhaps been
18 one of the culprits why this meeting happened noisily, or more noisily
19 than it should have happened, because I intervened when the representative
20 of the police said that he would be putting people in prison and punishing
21 people. I was the one who resisted him, who opposed him. And probably
22 you will think that that was rather rude of me, but at the time I was in a
23 state to oppose him physically. That's the reason why I remember this
24 detail that I told you about now.
25 Q. Could I just ask you again about the impression of Dr. Simic's
1 awareness, I'm not meaning the exact words that were said, but I'm asking
2 you -- you certainly -- look, I suggest you had the impression because of
3 Dr. Simic's participation in the meeting that he had read the report and
4 was aware of the contents and the very serious allegations that the
5 command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade was making against the Crisis Staff
6 and the War Presidency.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour, on the basis that -- well,
8 it's maybe third or fourth time that my learned friend is calling this
9 witness to speculate. What was in the head of the -- of Dr. Simic,
10 whether he read that or not, whether he discussed or not. And this
11 witness several times give the answer. I don't know how long we shall
12 going to listen this one-way discussion. Thank you.
13 MR. RE: I've asked the question several times because I'm still
14 trying to get an answer to that part of the question and it's only based
15 upon the witness's impression, based on Dr. Simic's participation, whether
16 he gained that impression. That's all. And I haven't quite got the
17 answer. The witness can answer it any way, yes, no, I don't know, or
18 whatever. But he hasn't answered that specific part. That's why I've
19 asked it again.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: The witness has stated what happened, as far as he
21 can remember, regarding Dr. Simic's participation. But since you feel it
22 is an important part of your case, you can proceed and press the point.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. I do apologise to my learned
24 friend. Maybe that would be a proper suggestion, to formulate the
25 question: What is your personal knowledge about the topic that Mr. --
1 Dr. Simic discussed or whether he expressed himself that he knew something
2 about this information, in that line. Otherwise it's too general
3 questions that are driving us nowhere. Thank you.
4 MR. RE:
5 Q. Mr. Erletic, I'm asking you about your impression, based upon
6 yours and Dr. Simic's, and everyone else's participation in the meeting.
7 Did you get the impression that Dr. Simic had read and understood the
8 contents of the report? I'm not asking you for exact words, but just from
9 everything you saw at the meeting, is that the impression that you gained,
10 that he was familiar with the report, maybe from things he said or your
11 memory of it?
12 A. I cannot claim now whether Mr. Simic had read the report -- the
13 information. But what I do recall and what I do recall well, and if I can
14 remember that and make an assessment, I think that some of the individuals
15 who had come to the meeting had come -- when they were intoxicated
16 somewhat, and these were the representatives of the police, of the MUP, as
17 it was called then. While Mr. Simic at the meeting appeared calm. That's
18 how I saw him. He was normal, if I say that. He came to talk, to
19 negotiate, so that there would be an agreement out of the meeting, coming
20 out of the meeting. But in my opinion - and I am -- work in the catering
21 and I've been in catering for 25 years - the other two gentlemen who were
22 there, and one of them is Stevan Todorovic, and the other person's name I
23 don't know, and even if I did know his name, I wouldn't utter it, they
24 were intoxicated. So the meeting didn't take very long. There was an
25 argument between this gentleman and myself. That was the first thing that
1 happened, before any kind of discussion took place, the discussion that
2 should have happened and why the meeting was called in the first place.
3 Q. You don't remember Dr. Simic denying the contents of the report,
4 saying this isn't true, this didn't happen, this is rubbish?
5 A. I told you that I cannot remember the details, because that was
6 ten years ago from that. And I did not know that this would happen so
7 that I would try and remember who said what. I told you why I remember
8 that one detail. I remembered it because I was one of the participants.
9 Q. Are you aware, or did you participate in any joint actions with
10 the police or paramilitaries or the Serbian commandos and the JNA or VRS?
11 I mean military operations.
12 A. No.
13 MR. RE: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Any party wishing to ask questions arising out
15 of the cross-examination?
16 MR. PANTELIC: Just one question, Your Honour.
17 Re-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Erletic, now there was a lot of discussion
19 regarding this document and the atmosphere at the meeting, and I'd just
20 like you to make a clarification regarding this, please. Do you have any
21 personal knowledge what Stevan Todorovic and certain other policemen
22 under his command in Samac did in 1992 and 1993? Did you see anything
23 personally? Did you hear anything about what he did?
24 A. I told you a moment ago: Where I was not -- what I did not take
25 part of, I cannot stand by. I heard things, what was happening,
1 kidnapping, smuggling, certain people were beaten up. I heard about that,
2 and I heard about that from those soldiers and the officers who were under
3 me and who came to me. Personally, I did not see anything anywhere. I
4 was not in the position to see anything, because I was sitting in an
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Erletic.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
9 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
10 Re-examined by Mr. Pisarevic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Erletic. I'm just going to
12 ask you a couple of questions. First of all, this is with respect to your
13 testimony here today. Can you tell me, please: Since when have you known
14 Simo Zaric?
15 A. I've known Simo Zaric since he came to the command of the 2nd
16 Posavina Brigade.
17 Q. And can you remember, Mr. Erletic, when that was?
18 A. I cannot tell you exactly, but I think this was in the second half
19 of 1992, approximately. I cannot tell you precisely, but perhaps
21 Q. Thank you. And do you know that the information that you and the
22 command adopted was prepared in October and November 1992?
23 A. I know that it was spoken at the command that this was being
24 prepared, that this was worked on, that units were visited, and so on.
25 Q. Thank you. And Mr. Erletic, when did you come to the post of the
1 commander of the company of military police, as you said, the end of
2 April, 1992, and this company was attached to the command of the 17th
3 Tactical Group, do you know whether the detachments that at the time were
4 part of the 17th Tactical Group, they had their own squads of military
6 A. As far as I know, they did not have.
7 Q. Thank you. And Mr. Erletic, you mention here that you were a
8 member of a squad for defence preparations, SDB, that is, detachment of
9 the state security service in Brcko. That is not contested; is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. That was a reserve squad of the state security service; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did you, as members of that squad, did you have any kind of
16 A. If I may clarify somewhat with respect to that squad. This squad
17 was a detachment of the state security service, and that was detachment in
18 Brcko. And it was a multi-ethnic squad. When shooting started, when all
19 this started happening, this squad was disbanded, so it didn't exist any
20 more. That's why I was deactivated.
21 Q. I was just going to ask you: Who were the members of the squad?
22 But since you've answered that this squad was a multi-ethnic squad, I was
23 interested in the methods of the work. You, while this squad was in
24 existence, did you have any meetings at detachment in Brcko?
25 A. Let me tell you: There were active people who were working. We
1 were just in the reserve force. So what does that mean? What does
2 reserve force mean? That means that in case there is an elementary
3 disaster, emergency situations, and our emergency situation precisely was
4 what happened, happened. And so that's how the squad was disbanded,
5 because it was multi-ethnic, and it ceased working, and it no longer
7 Q. Can you remember: Who was the chief at the detachment of the
8 state security service in Brcko?
9 A. As far as name and surname is concerned, I cannot remember. He
10 was a Muslim.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Your
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic? Nothing. No.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, Mr. Erletic, for giving evidence again
17 this time. We are finished with you. You may leave the courtroom.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, before the next witness enters the
21 court, do I have any limitations with regard to the examination-in-chief
22 of next witness? He was neither 92 nor 71 witness, so --
23 JUDGE MUMBA: This witness, it has been said before by the Trial
24 Chamber that he's replacing Mr. Krajisnik, do you remember?
25 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, I remember.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: So he's limited to what Mr. Krajisnik was supposed
2 to discuss and in particular variant A and B. So the limitation was 45
4 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. And the activities of SDS party. I gave the
5 proofing notes to my learned friend prior to his testimony, and also
6 yesterday I spoke with my learned friend Mr. Weiner. So in this scope, we
7 shall discuss the matter.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: I don't understand what you're saying. You gave the
9 summary --
10 MR. PANTELIC: Summary, yeah, proofing notes.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: To the Prosecution?
12 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. And I believe that my learned friend can
13 confirm that.
14 MR. WEINER: Yes. We spoke last night, and he provided extensive
15 summary notes. I appreciate it.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Yes, we can proceed. Can the witness be
17 brought in.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 Please make the solemn declaration.
20 WITNESS: STANKO PIVASEVIC
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
23 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Please sit down.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
3 Examined by Mr. Pantelic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness. Would you please
5 introduce yourself for the sake of the record and tell us your first and
6 last name.
7 A. My name is Stanko Pivasevic. I was born on the 31st of August,
8 1965. I live in Samac and I am a doctor by profession, a doctor of
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Pivasevic. Due to the manner of proceeding and the
11 work of the interpreters, as we speak the same language, I would like to
12 ask you to speak a little slower so the interpreters can keep up and so
13 that the record can be taken properly. So speak the way you speak when
14 you're speaking in the parliament of Republika Srpska, in a measured -- at
15 a measured pace. Thank you.
16 Dr. Pivasevic, you are also a member of the parliament of
17 Republika Srpska; is this correct?
18 A. Yes. I'm a member of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska.
19 I was elected to parliament at the last parliamentary elections, in
20 October 2002.
21 Q. And were you also a member of parliament before this period, or
22 rather, a deputy, in the National Assembly of Republika Srpska?
23 A. Yes. At the first multiparty elections held after the war, in
24 July 1996, I was elected to the parliament of Republika Srpska, and at the
25 extraordinary parliamentary elections in 1997, I was also elected to the
1 parliament of Republika Srpska.
2 Q. At present, you are the president of the municipal board of the
3 SDS in Samac; is this correct?
4 A. Yes. I was elected to this post in March 2002, after the internal
5 party elections that were held on the territory of the municipality of
6 Samac within the Serbian Democratic Party.
7 Q. You were one of the members of the steering committee for the
8 establishment of the SDS party in 1992; is this correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. This party, at the time, had a platform linked to the SDS party of
11 Dr. Jovan Raskovic from the Krajina; is this correct?
12 A. Yes. The SDS of the Krajina was established long before the
13 Serbian Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dr. Jovan Raskovic
14 was very popular with his Gandhi-like methods of political struggle and he
15 won a great many followers so that there was an initiative to establish
16 the same kind of party in Bosnia, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, following the
17 model of the SDS party established by Dr. Raskovic in the Krajina.
18 Q. Was Dr. Blagoje Simic also a member of the steering committee in
19 the summer of 1990? I'm referring to the steering committee for the
20 founding of the SDS at the municipal level.
21 A. In July 1990, after St. Peter's day, or rather, the 12th of July,
22 when the SDS of Bosnia and Herzegovina was established, several hundred
23 people rallied in Slatina, which is on the territory of the municipality
24 of Samac, wishing to establish the Serbian Democratic Party. Dr. Simic
25 was not a member of the steering committee at that time. I was to meet
1 him for the first time when the steering committee was established in his
2 native village of Kruskovo Polje. That is the steering committee of the
3 SDS for Kruskovo Polje. When Dr. Simic joined the Serbian Democratic
4 Party, this was the first time we met.
5 Later on, in 1990, on the 28th of August, the steering committee
6 of the SDS of the Samac municipality grew into the SDS at the founding --
7 or constituent assembly, which was held in the village of Obudovac,
8 belonging to the municipality of Samac and which was attended by 10.000
10 Q. And was this rally attended by anyone from the top leadership of
11 the SDS at the republican level?
12 A. Yes. Almost the entire leadership of the then SDS of Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina, headed by Dr. Radovan Karadzic, the then president of the SDS
14 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was there.
15 Q. Would you tell the court: At that time, in the political life of
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina, when municipal committees were being set up - not
17 only of the SDS but also the SDA and the HDZ - was it usual for
18 representatives of the highest party leadership to attend such rallies?
19 A. Yes. The HDZ and the SDA were established before the SDS in
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and they already had a well-developed political
21 life before the SDS was established. We were established later than the
22 other parties in the then Bosnia and Herzegovina. And as the elections
23 were approaching, which were to be held in December, we had a very short
24 time in which to organise the political party. Yes, it was usual for the
25 leaders of political parties, other political parties also, to attend
1 these rallies, the rallies where the parties were founded.
2 Q. Dr. Pivasevic, was -- did Dr. Karadzic visit Samac in 1991?
3 A. I don't remember Dr. Karadzic visiting after August, when he was
4 at Obudovac, at the SDS rally. I don't remember that he visited Samac
5 after that, until the beginning of 1995, when the National Assembly was
6 held. I think that in the intervening period, Dr. Karadzic did not visit
7 Bosanski Samac.
8 Q. Dr. Pivasevic, tell me, please: Talking about the parliamentary
9 elections for the parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1990, did you
10 participate in those elections as a candidate, you personally?
11 A. Yes. I personally, as a candidate, did take part in these
12 elections. I was at the head of the list for the municipal council for
13 the SDS, for the then two-Chamber parliament. There was a house of
14 municipalities and a house of citizens, and I was at the head of the list
15 for the house of for municipalities. And Mr. Mirko Jovanovic was at the
16 head of the list for house of citizens and the list for the local
17 parliament in Samac was headed by Dr. Blagoje Simic.
18 Q. Were you elected to the parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina at
19 those elections?
20 A. In the first round of elections --
21 Q. Dr. Pivasevic, just answer yes or no.
22 A. No.
23 Q. Was Mr. Mirko Jovanovic elected as a deputy in the BH parliament
24 in 1990?
25 A. No, not at that time.
1 Q. When was he elected, and how?
2 A. As Mr. Jovanovic was on the list for the house of citizens, I
3 think after the death of one of the deputies in the republican parliament,
4 he filled the empty place. I don't know when this happened precisely, but
5 I know that later on he did become a member of the assembly, taking the
6 place of the gentleman who died, whose name I can't remember now.
7 Q. Try to remember whether this was between 1991 and 1993 or 1994.
8 A. It was certainly in that period, but I can't tell you exactly
10 Q. Tell me: Was Stevan Todorovic one of the members of the steering
11 committee for the founding of the SDS in Samac in 1990?
12 A. No, he was not a member of the steering committee. Whether he was
13 a member of the party, I couldn't tell you, because the party had several
14 thousand members and it was hard to know every party member.
15 Q. In 1991 and 1992, up until April, you were a member of the
16 Municipal Board of the SDS; is this correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was Stevan Todorovic also a member of the Municipal Board of the
19 SDS with you? Can you remember that?
20 A. At that time, I did not attend all the meetings, but I think he
22 Q. Tell me: After the elections of 1990, who participated in the
23 government at the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina? Which parties?
24 A. After the elections of 1990, at the level of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina, as far as I can remember, the most votes were won by the SDS,
1 the SDA, and the HDZ, and they set up the government.
2 Q. Did this principle also apply to the local assembly?
3 A. Yes. The same principle applied to the local assembly, and now
4 I'm referring specifically to the municipality of Samac, where the SDS,
5 the HDZ, and the SDA divided power among them, or rather, they set up the
6 government at the local level, at the level of Samac municipality.
7 Q. Within the Municipal Board of the SDS of Samac, did you and your
8 colleagues - I mean the other members - before April 1992, did you draw up
9 some plans about the forcible takeover of power?
10 A. No.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, appropriate time for our break?
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, it is. We'll take our break now.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
14 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. You continue.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Pivasevic, before the break we spoke of the
19 establishment of the government at the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina and
20 at the local level, on the basis of the results of the elections of 1990.
21 Tell me, please: Was Dr. Blagoje Simic ever a deputy of the National
22 Assembly of Republika Srpska?
23 A. No. Dr. Simic was never a deputy of Republika Srpska. As I have
24 already said, at the first multiparty elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
25 1990, he was at the head of the list for the local parliament in Samac.
1 Q. Was Mr. Mirko Dragic ever a deputy of the National Assembly of
2 Republika Srpska? Just answer yes or no.
3 A. No.
4 Q. Tell us, Dr. Pivasevic: How would you describe the events in the
5 republican parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the 14th and 15th of
6 October, 1991? Very briefly, what happened then?
7 A. As I've already said, I was not elected at the elections and was
8 not a member of the assembly at that point of time. But what I know from
9 the media is that there was outvoting of the Serbian deputies in the
10 parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I think it was then, if my
11 memory serves me well, that the Serbian deputies left the assembly. They
12 walked out because of this outvoting, because I think that under
13 constitution at the time, there were three constituent nations and there
14 had to be consensus in order for certain decisions to be adopted.
15 Q. What decisions are you referring to? Are you referring to
16 decisions affecting the vital interests of the various peoples or other
18 A. The vital interests of the nations, the peoples. The then
19 structure was conceived in a way very similar to that of today. There
20 were constitutional mechanisms to protect the vital interests of any one
21 nation so that the other two nations could not make decisions detrimental
22 to the third constituent nations, and the three constituent nations then
23 and now were the Muslims, the Croats, and the Serbs.
24 Q. Could you please slow down a little bit, Dr. Pivasevic, please.
25 And tell me: What was the topic of debate at this republican parliament
1 session in October 1991? What was being adopted? What was being debated
2 at the time, and why did the Serbian deputies walk out?
3 A. I think that the topic of debate was Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a
4 sovereign state. It was really a long time ago, so I can't remember the
5 exact dates, but I think the topic was the sovereignty of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina. And I know that the response of the Serbian people in
7 November 1990 was to hold a referendum as to whether we wished to remain
8 in Yugoslavia as a sovereign state or not. I think that was the topic
9 discussed at the parliament session at that time.
10 Q. And the referendum, was it in 1990 or 1991?
11 A. It was in November 1990. I'm certain of that. I apologise. No.
12 It was 1991. I do apologise. It was a mistake. In 1991, in December --
13 in 1990, that was when the first multiparty elections were held, and the
14 referendum was in 1991.
15 Q. On the territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac, was the
16 referendum held in 1991, the referendum of the Serbian people?
17 A. Yes, as it was on the entire territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 The referendum was held in Bosanski Samac, and a vast number of Serbs
19 voted, but so did members of other ethnic groups, to a lesser extent. I'm
20 referring to the Croats and the Muslims.
21 Q. Dr. Pivasevic, do you know when the National Assembly of the
22 Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina was established, approximately?
23 A. I think it was in January 1992 that the assembly of the Serbian
24 people of Bosnia and Herzegovina was established. I think that was its
1 Q. Was the republic of the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina
2 promulgated at the same time?
3 A. Yes, I think it was, but I'm not certain.
4 Q. Tell me: The National Assembly of Republika Srpska, for short, we
5 know what we are referring to, did it enact any kind of recommendation as
6 to the establishment of Serbian municipalities? Do you know anything
7 about this? Just tell us whether you remember this or not.
8 A. Yes, I remember.
9 Q. Tell me, Dr. Pivasevic: Do you know anything about the fact that
10 in late February, or rather, on the 29th of February, the Serbian
11 municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo under formation was established? Yes
12 or no.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Dr. Pivasevic, do you know anything as to whether the constitution
15 of Republika Srpska was adopted in this period, and other legislation?
16 A. Yes, I think it was adopted then.
17 Q. Do you know anything about the fact that it was then that the
18 government was established and certain ministries of Republika Srpska?
19 A. I don't know that.
20 Q. Later on in your political life, did you learn that at that time
21 ministries were established and the government of Republika Srpska was set
23 A. Please don't ask me about the time when this happened and how this
25 Q. Very well. Tell me now whether you know anything about the
1 Serbian Autonomous region of northern Bosnia.
2 A. I heard of the autonomous regions of Krajina, Majevica, Semberija,
3 Herzegovina, and also Northern Bosnia, but in practice, this never
4 actually functioned properly.
5 Q. Very well. Tell me, Dr. Pivasevic, what you know about how the
6 Croats organised themselves at that time. Did they also organise certain
7 communities? If you know.
8 A. I think that sometime in October or November, in the autumn of
9 1991, the Croatian community of Bosnian Posavina was organised. I don't
10 know the exact date, but I think it was in the autumn, in October or
11 November 1991.
12 Q. And as far as you know, if you do know, did this community also
13 cover the territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac?
14 A. Yes. Bosanski Samac is in the heart of Posavina, so this was
16 Q. Dr. Pivasevic, at the Municipal Board of the SDS in October 1991
17 until April 1992, did you discuss a certain instruction or a document
18 issued by the Main Board of the SDS about the establishment of crisis
19 staffs, the takeover of power, or anything like that? Was there any such
21 A. Not about crisis staffs, but we were preoccupied at the time with
22 the referendum. After January, I think it was in February, an Official
23 Gazette of the assembly of the Serbian people, which was then established,
24 published a recommendation on the establishment of Serbian assemblies at
25 lower levels, and then we discussed the Cutilheiro plan, which was topical
1 at the time, and the Main Board of the SDS, which was in charge of the
2 overall policy of the party, took this down to a lower level, and as far
3 as I know, we discussed the Cutilheiro plan and we supported the Main
4 Board of the party in accepting the Cutilheiro plan, as far as I can
6 Q. Did you have any contacts in connection with these topics with the
7 SDA and the HDZ at the local level? Was this discussed in inter-party
9 A. Well, you see, both the HDZ and the SDA accepted the Cutilheiro
10 plan. It was only when Mr. Izetbegovic returned from Lisbon that he
11 withdrew his signature accepting the plan, and we were in some sort of
12 coalition. I don't know. I didn't take part in these negotiations.
13 Because at the local level the HDZ, the SDA, and the SDS took part in the
14 government, there probably were daily contacts among all these people who
15 were in the government.
16 Q. In February or March 1992, you experienced an incident with
17 members of paramilitary units who were Croats in -- let me just check the
18 name of the village. I think it was Hasici?
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner.
20 MR. WEINER: Sorry to interrupt, Your Honour. At line 37, page
21 13 -- I'm sorry. Page 37, line 13, he was asked -- the witness was asked
22 a very specific question about what has been referred to as the variant A
23 and B. I didn't object because he didn't answer the question, then I
24 thought there would be a follow-up question or two in relation to that
25 initial question. It has not been answered. And I'd request that -- this
1 is his main purpose to be here, and I'd request that the witness answer it
2 or the question be asked again. Or let the witness say he has no
3 recollection and no knowledge of the issue or the matter.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Well, that was the purpose of my question, Your
5 Honour, and he said not about crisis staffs. So we all know that the main
6 topic in this alleged document is establishment of crisis staffs. So my
7 question was very precise and also his answer, not about crisis staffs.
8 But we were preoccupied with the other topics. What the witness can say
9 if the answer is negative, if there is no discussions and if there is not
10 any knowledge of that. I don't know how to -- maybe that's an issue for
11 my learned friend in cross-examination.
12 MR. WEINER: It's much more than crisis staffs. The question has
13 not been answered.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes. I think, Mr. Pantelic, the point that
16 Mr. Weiner raises, referring to your question on page 37, line 13 -- I
17 mean, you do ask the witness: "At the Municipal Board of the SDS, in
18 October 1991 until April 1992, did you discuss a certain instruction or a
19 document issued by the Main Board of the SDS about the establishment of
20 crisis staffs, the takeover of power, or anything like that? Was there
21 any such discussion?" Maybe you should be putting to the witness Exhibit
22 P3 and asking him whether he's ever seen it. Because obviously --
23 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, I agree, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE WILLIAMS: That's why this witness is here.
25 MR. PANTELIC: That we can -- by this way we can resolve the
1 matter. Of course, Your Honour. I do appreciate your suggestion.
2 So could we have Exhibit P3.
3 Q. [Interpretation] In the meantime, so that we don't waste any time,
4 Dr. Pivasevic: What happened to you personally sometime in February or
5 March 1992, and where?
6 A. Sometime in March 1992, I set off with a friend of mine. We went
7 to a restaurant. And the two of us, sometime at 9.00 or 10.00 in the
8 evening, between Hasici, where we were going through, we were stopped by
9 some armed persons. From the car I could see that they had HOS on their
11 Q. Was does that mean, HOS?
12 A. They mean Croatian armed forces. They stopped us. They searched
13 us. And among them I recognised one person from a neighbouring village.
14 And we had a -- we had words, and after about half an hour, they released
16 Q. Do you know that the -- the name of that person?
17 A. I think his last name was Blazanovic, and I think I heard that he
18 was killed in the war.
19 Q. What's his nationality?
20 A. Croatian.
21 Q. What was the colour of the uniform?
22 A. It was at night that it happened, and the only thing I saw was
23 that insignia on the sleeve, because he had his rifle next to the coat
24 driver's window and I saw that sleeve next to the window [as interpreted].
25 Q. Thank you. Dr. Pivasevic, could you please slow down.
1 Now you will be shown a document. Could you tell me -- first of
2 all, have a look at it. Just have a look at it carefully and slowly.
3 Take your time. Take the time you need.
4 MR. PANTELIC: I hope, Your Honours, that this time will be
5 deducted from my time limits.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, you can go and get what you want from
7 this witness.
8 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Dr. Pivasevic, have you ever seen this document before?
10 A. No. This is the first time I see this document.
11 Q. The contents of the document and the topics discussed in the
12 document, did you ever discuss those at the Municipal Board meetings of
13 Samac Municipal Board?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Doctor -- I'm sorry?
16 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic. I'm wondering if -- the
17 witness -- you've asked him whether he's ever seen the document before,
18 and he says: "No. This is the first time I see it." You've just put it
19 in front of him, or the usher has, two seconds ago, and now you're asking
20 him whether the contents of the document and the topics to be discussed
21 were ever discussed at the Municipal Board meetings, and he immediately
22 answers no, before having had a chance to look through eight pages.
23 MR. PANTELIC: My understanding, Your Honour, was that he already
24 did that. He was familiarising himself with the content of document, of
25 course not in every word and every point and comment, but in general, and
1 then the answer was made.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 MR. PANTELIC: Maybe I can proceed with the other questions.
4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: As long as the witness has had an opportunity,
5 because it seemed to be like a flash that it was put before him, and I'm
6 just wondering, even if one speed reads, there is eight pages' worth here.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Well, Your Honour, maybe we shall take additional
8 time now to discuss that with the witness. Maybe he can familiarise. But
9 shall I proceed with the questions with regard to the topics and then we
10 shall throw our conclusions with regard to the document? Finally my
11 learned friend will have his time for the cross-examination.
12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I think that's fine, Mr. Pantelic, as long as the
13 witness has in fact familiarised himself. That's just fine.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
15 Q. [Interpretation] So, Dr. Pivasevic, you've already answered a part
16 of my question, the question I asked earlier. At the local Municipal
17 Board of SDS Samac, was the alleged instruction discussed of the SDS that
18 came from the level of the republic, level of Republika Srpska, how the
19 Serb people should take over the power and, in a specific case, in Samac?
20 Did you discuss that or not?
21 A. No, no. This is the first time he see this document. This is the
22 first time I hear this topic, what you've told me. I'm answering
23 decisively: No, no, no.
24 Q. The following question: At the Municipal Board of the SDS, did
25 you discuss your cooperation, the SDS cooperation and the JNA cooperation
1 at the local level, at the Samac level?
2 A. No. JNA had its own hierarchy, its military structure. In
3 Belgrade they had their own organs.
4 Q. Yes, Dr. Pivasevic, but the local level of the municipal SDS in
5 Samac, Municipal Board of the SDS Samac, did you speak with the JNA in
6 Samac? Did you make joint plans about the takeover of power in Samac?
7 A. No.
8 Q. At the Municipal Board of the SDS, did you make any plans about
9 calling volunteers from Serbia who would take part in the takeover of
10 power in the municipality of Samac?
11 A. No. I don't know anything about that.
12 Q. Could you tell me: You were mobilised in the JNA sometime in
13 December or January, so that was December 1991 or January 1992; is that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can you tell me what was your unit that you were in? Where were
17 you mobilised? In which unit?
18 A. It was anti-tank company of a battalion that was commanded by
19 Captain Subotin.
20 Q. Was your unit part of the 17th Tactical Group?
21 A. Well, the 17th Tactical Group was present in that area. That was
22 the area of responsibility of that group, as far as I understand. But I
23 cannot tell you for sure, because I don't know much about the military
25 Q. And what happened on the 16th of April, 1992, to you,
2 A. On the 16th of April, 1992, sometime in the afternoon hours, there
3 was an active officer of the JNA who came to my unit. His name was
4 Spasoje Sekulic. And he alarmed my unit, that is, and in the evening
5 hours we went to a combat position. That was 600, 700 metres from the
6 bridge on the Sava River. And we were explained, we were told that there
7 were armed -- armoured units coming from the Republic of Croatia. They
8 were supposed to cross the bridge over the Sava River.
9 Q. Did you stay at this position in the night between the 16th and
10 the 17th of April, 1992? Can you tell the answer for the record?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What happened in the early morning hours, 3.00 or 4.00 in the
13 morning on the 17th of April, 1992, in the position where you were?
14 A. At my position specifically, nothing. We just heard -- we heard a
15 noise, because that was very nearby these -- I can't tell you which
16 exactly, which motor vehicles on the other side, but nobody crossed over
17 to that side, to the Bosnian side, and we -- there was no operations that
18 we engaged in.
19 Q. So you heard some noise on the Croatian side; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Your unit, what weapons did it have?
22 A. It had recoilless guns, recoilless cannons, anti-tank cannons.
23 Q. At that time, from the silos position, or thereabouts, was there
24 an exchange of fire between the sides?
25 A. I don't know much about weapons, but as far as the people told me
1 who were there, I think there was fire opened from the position of the
2 silos, with some guided missiles, precisely these armoured units that were
3 on the other side of the Sava River.
4 Q. Can you tell me: How long did you stay at that position by the
6 A. I cannot tell you exactly. Two or three days until police forces
7 arrived, and they had a checkpoint established on the bridge, and then we
8 were repositioned several kilometres towards Grebnice, in the area of the
9 village of Tursinovac.
10 Q. Was that a front line between the Croatian forces and the Serb
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What was your duty in that unit?
14 A. I was a soldier, a private in that unit. But because I was about
15 to graduate in medicine, and because I am slightly disabled because of my
16 vision, as you can see, I was mostly looking after the wounded and the
18 Q. I'm sorry. How long did you stay on that position on the front
20 A. Sometime until October 1992.
21 Q. Do you have any personal knowledge regarding the participation in
22 combat operations of the so-called assault battalion, or the intervention
23 battalion, at the time that you were there?
24 A. On one occasion when the positions of my unit were attacked, they
25 came to assist us to defend the positions that we held. I remember that
1 they came, that there were some people who came from some intervention
3 Q. Was there digging of trenches on the part of the front line where
4 you were?
5 A. Of course, there were trenches that were being dug. Every soldier
6 who didn't dig a trench was at risk of being killed or wounded. Where
7 would a soldier hide if not in a trench?
8 Q. Did you personally dig trenches?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. Your comrades, your fellow soldiers, did they also dig trenches?
11 A. Of course. Everybody dug trenches.
12 Q. Where you were at that position, did civilians come to dig
14 A. I don't remember that, not where I was in my position.
15 Q. Do you know about another position where this was happening?
16 A. I know that civilians were making bunkers and enforced positions
17 on the embankment near the Sava River. That's what I could see from the
19 Q. In October 1992, where were you transferred, or rather, where did
20 you start working?
21 A. I started working on a work obligation, in a hospital, working in
22 microbiology, and soon after that I went to Belgrade and I continued to
23 study medicine, because, as I told you, I was about to graduate in medical
25 Q. While you were working in the hospital, Dr. Pivasevic, was there
1 any medical personnel, or was there medical personnel of all three
2 nationalities, of all three ethnicities? And if there were, who can you
3 remember? Can you just give us some names?
4 A. The answer is yes, there were. But bringing people who were
5 wounded on the line, bringing to hospital, I met other people, my
6 colleagues, Dr. Rusmir Jusufovic; Dr. Mesud Nogic, who was in fact, I
7 think, a director of the medical centre; there was Dr. Ruza, a female
8 doctor, who was a paediatrist [as interpreted].
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the name of the
10 last doctor.
11 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment. Just a moment.
12 Q. The interpreters didn't manage to catch the very last name. Did
13 you say Dr. Harcinovic?
14 A. Damir.
15 Q. Very well. All of these colleagues, they are Muslims and Croats;
16 is that correct?
17 A. Yes. You told me -- you asked me about other ethnicities.
18 Q. You mentioned Dr. Stevic; is that correct? Did I hear you well?
19 A. Yes. Dr. Mladen Stevic. He's a Serb. He also worked there at
20 the health centre.
21 Q. What else do you know about Dr. Stevic? Did he only give medical
22 assistance in the hospital or did you go outside of the hospital and offer
23 medical assistance?
24 A. On one occasion when I brought a wounded person, Mladen wasn't
25 around, I asked, because it was customary at the time, that everybody
1 should be at their places of employment and I asked what happened to
2 Mladen and they told me he had gone to a secondary school centre to
3 examine some people.
4 Q. And who was at the secondary school centre?
5 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic. I'm just wondering: In
6 terms of the summary of what we were anticipating with Dr. Pivasevic, it
7 was variant A and B, in other words, P3, and/or the structure of the SDS.
8 That's what you informed us. I'm just wondering why we're hearing from
9 this witness about digging trenches and the composition of the medical
10 centre, which we've already heard quite a bit about already.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I'm ready to go to another topic, but,
12 as I said, I provided weeks ago to my learned friend a summary of topics,
13 and then it was a more detailed version of proofing notes that I provided
14 yesterday. So all these topics I believe are included. Maybe I can hear
15 from my learned friend. But I don't have any problem to go to another
17 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, based on the outline, it looks like
18 we're coming to the end. So I have no objection, as long as we're getting
20 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you.
21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes. I was about to say: Fine, Mr. Pantelic, if
22 that's the case.
23 MR. PANTELIC:
24 Q. Dr. Pivasevic, the previous question was: And who were these
25 people who were at the secondary school centre? Can you tell us: What
1 kind of people were there?
2 A. At that time, I heard that there were people who were imprisoned,
3 who had been armed, in whose houses police had found weapons.
4 Q. And what is their ethnicity? Do you know?
5 A. Muslims and Croats.
6 Q. Can you tell me: In the course of 1992, SDS, as a party, did they
7 carry out their function? What do you know about it? I mean, were there
8 any party activities?
9 A. No. There was a freeze on the activity of all the political
11 Q. On the basis of which decision was the activity of all political
12 parties frozen? Was this a municipal decision or was this a decision that
13 came from a higher level?
14 A. To tell you the truth, I have no information regarding this. I
15 only know that at that time, in the beginning, and in the course of 1992,
16 I know that the party activity was non-existent; it wasn't functioning.
17 Q. Can you tell me, Dr. Pivasevic: Do you have any personal
18 knowledge whether Dr. Blagoje Simic, during the period before middle of
19 April of 1992, was he involved in sending some young men to training, to
20 military training, somewhere in Serbia?
21 A. No, I have no knowledge of that.
22 Q. At the meetings of the Municipal Board of the SDS, was the topic
23 of sending young men or young candidates for military equipment [as
24 interpreted] discussed?
25 A. No, not as far as I know.
1 MR. WEINER: One second.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
4 MR. WEINER: His previous answer, they asked him whether Blagoje
5 Simic was involved in sending some young men to training. He said: I
6 have no knowledge of that. Does he mean he doesn't know whether or not he
7 did it or that he did not do that? It's vague, the answer. He could be
8 meaning that: I have no knowledge of him ever sending it because he
9 didn't do it, or is he saying: I don't know anything about this topic?
10 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure the witness can clarify his answer.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The answer is no. No, I have no
12 knowledge of that.
13 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Can you tell me, Dr. Pivasevic, whether --
15 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Sorry. Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic, but the answer
16 of the witness is exactly the same as the one that Mr. Weiner was seeking
17 clarification of, in that he says: "No, I have no knowledge of that."
18 Could you perhaps, with the witness, clarify as to the way Mr. Weiner
19 perhaps suggested?
20 MR. WEINER: Meaning he has no knowledge of people being -- he has
21 no knowledge of the topic or that Simic -- the defendant Simic did not do
23 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Dr. Pivasevic, it's very simple: As far as you know, did
25 Dr. Blagoje Simic send young men from the territory of the municipality of
1 Samac to military training in Serbia? Yes or no.
2 A. No.
3 Q. Next question: Do you have any knowledge whether, from the
4 municipality of Samac, some young men went to military training in Serbia?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Next question: On the level of the SDS Municipal Board of Samac,
7 was it ever discussed or established a party armed unit of the SDS?
8 A. No.
9 Q. The level of the Municipal Board of the Samac SDS, was ever an
10 option discussed of bringing volunteers from Serbia?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Can you tell me, according to your personal knowledge: Did
13 Dr. Blagoje Simic, in party contacts, as well as in informal contacts,
14 ever speak in favour of ethnic discrimination in Samac?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did you ever hear from anyone in Samac, from your environment,
17 that somebody was talking about Dr. Blagoje Simic as being a propogandist
18 for ethnic discrimination in Samac?
19 A. No.
20 Q. In the end, Dr. Pivasevic, can you tell us: What was the method
21 of work of Dr. Simic at these meetings, party meetings and contacts with
22 people? Do you have any personal knowledge? Can you tell the Trial
23 Chamber about that? What was his behaviour? What was the way he spoke to
24 people and had contacts with people?
25 A. As far as I was able to know, Dr. Simic, he was always tolerant,
1 he was always finding the right -- he was balancing between the people, if
2 you can understand what I'm saying. And in the pre-electoral campaign,
3 when we were discussing and deciding who were the people who would be
4 heading certain lists and who would be included in certain lists.
5 Q. Dr. Pivasevic, in the political programme of the SDS, in their
6 manifesto, is there anywhere a topic which is related dealing with ethnic
7 discrimination or annulment of human rights of other nations or other
9 A. The answer is no. Among other things, the programme, the
10 manifesto of the SDS was public. It was in all the media. It could be
11 found in written form, electronic form. And the answer is no.
12 Q. Which party -- to which party belongs the joint representative of
13 the Serbian people?
14 A. Mr. Borislav Parov, a member of the SDS party.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I've finished with the
16 examination of this witness.
17 [Interpretation] And now the Prosecutor will cross-examine you,
18 Dr. Pivasevic, and perhaps later on I will ask some more questions. Thank
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
21 MR. WEINER: Unless Defence counsel have any questions.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I may ask. No. They don't have.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Weiner:
24 Q. Good afternoon, Doctor. My name is Phillip Weiner. I'm a
25 Prosecutor with the Office of the Prosecutor here, and I'm going to be
1 asking you some questions.
2 Now, about an hour ago you mentioned that you became a member of
3 the SDS party, which was initially established by a Jovan Raskovic. You
4 described as a Gandhi-like figure. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And were you aware that just before his death, in the spring/early
7 summer of 1992, Mr. Raskovic made the following statements about the SDS
8 party: "I am responsible for the preparations of this war, even if these
9 weren't military preparations. If I hadn't caused these emotional
10 tensions in the Serbian people, it wouldn't have happened. My party and I
11 have inflamed Serbian nationalism, not only in Croatia but also all over
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Without our influence, it wouldn't have been possible
13 for the Serbian Democratic Party or for Mr. Karadzic to come to power in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina. We have pushed this thing and have given it an
15 identity. I have repeated again and again to these people that it's
16 something that comes from heaven, not from earth."
17 Were you aware that the founder of your SDS party made this
18 statement, sir?
19 A. No. I have not read that statement of Dr. Raskovic. But I did
20 say that his methods were Gandhi-like because he always sat down, he
21 always wanted to listen, to discuss, and he initiated lots of meetings
22 with Franjo Tudjman in Zagreb. And as you know, with the arrival of the
23 HDZ, the Serbs were outvoted and expelled as a constitutive member. And
24 because of his ways and the way he wanted to discuss, I mentioned that he
25 was a Gandhi-like figure because he was always promoting peace and
2 Q. And in that statement, he indicated his dismay with Dr. Radovan
3 Karadzic, who he used to describe as his protege; isn't that correct?
4 Isn't that correct, sir?
5 A. Well, you see, as I said, I have not read that statement made by
6 Dr. Raskovic. However, Dr. Raskovic was a psychiatrist and he knew how to
7 give interviews, and very often his interviews were very intellectual. I
8 cannot interpret this statement in a way you read it to me. I would have
9 to read the whole interview in order for me to give you any answers.
10 Q. All right. Let's continue on. You testified that you were a
11 founding member of the SDS in Samac, or in that founding steering
12 committee, and that you've remained in the party some approximately 13
13 years now?
14 A. Sometime in the month of July 1990, several hundred people got
15 together in Slatina --
16 Q. No, no, no?
17 A. -- and they formed --
18 Q. You've been in the SDS for approximately 13 years now. You've
19 remained in the party, 12 years, 13 years, in that range?
20 A. From 1992 -- in 1992, the work of the party was frozen. In 1993,
21 I was -- I joined university. In 1994, when I graduated, I spent a few
22 months in Brcko and I was an intern there. And after that, I was
23 mobilised in the army. I was not active in the SDS up until the spring of
24 1996, after the Dayton Peace Accord and after the end of the war I got
25 involved again in politics, and after the multiparty elections I was
2 Q. You've remained, sir, in the party even though three of its key
3 leaders or its three key leaders have all been indicted by the court here
4 for genocide; isn't that true?
5 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour. Maybe it might be a bit
6 confusing to this witness.
7 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, this is a member of parliament, a
8 doctor. He can answer simple questions.
9 MR. PANTELIC: No. Just a moment, my learned friend. I'm not
10 objecting to your -- the subject of your question. No. Please. First of
11 all, it's too vague. What does it mean, three key figures, three key
12 leaders, sorry? Do we have a name? And then I believe that this Tribunal
13 cannot indict anyone. It can be only Office of the Prosecutor. So let's
14 be precise.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure there's no objection to giving the witness
16 the names.
17 MR. WEINER: Sure.
18 Q. Biljana Plavsic, Momcilo Krajisnik, and Radovan Karadzic have all
19 been indicted for genocide, the three key leaders of the SDS. You've
20 remained in that party even though its three key leaders have been
21 indicted; isn't that correct, sir?
22 A. Is everything okay with the interpretation, with the headphones?
23 Q. Can you hear?
24 A. Yes, I can hear you. Yes, yes, yes. Very well. I can hear you.
25 Q. So you have remained in the party even though the three key
1 leaders of the SDS, Biljana Plavsic, Momcilo Krajisnik, and Radovan
2 Karadzic, have all been indicted for genocide; isn't that correct, sir?
3 A. They were indicted, but they were not found guilty, as far as I
4 know. And it's a very large party. After the elections, it won almost
5 200,000 votes.
6 Q. Sir, were you aware that one of the three key leaders of the SDS
7 party, Biljana Plavsic, has pled guilty to the crime of persecution in
8 this courthouse?
9 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour. Maybe we could establish,
10 first of all, whether, at the time of the indictment, when the indictment
11 was issued, Biljana Plavsic was a member of SDS. Maybe that should be
12 your first question, to establish the knowledge of this witness with that
13 regard. Or maybe my learned friend can rephrase the question, saying:
14 Well, at the time -- well, he was indicted I don't know in which year, but
15 on that time he was -- 1992 or 1993, she was a top leader of SDS, in this
16 relation. Because otherwise it's too large, too general, too vague, I
17 believe. Thank you.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic is referring to the period of the
19 indictment that is end of 1991 up to end of 1993.
20 MR. WEINER:
21 Q. Were you aware, sir, that one of the key leaders of the SDS party,
22 the president or the key leader of the SDS party, from 1990 to 1992,
23 Biljana Plavsic, has pled guilty in this court that during that time
24 period, during the war period, that she committed persecution against the
25 non-Serb community? Were you aware of that?
1 A. As far as I know -- can you hear me?
2 Q. Yes, sir.
3 A. As far as I know, Mrs. Plavsic was a member of the presidency, and
4 she was a candidate for the SDS. I also know that Mrs. Plavsic pled
5 guilty before this Tribunal, but that is her own affair. It is her own
7 Q. Well, sir, were you aware that Mrs. Plavsic has admitted that she
8 and other SDS leaders orchestrated a policy of persecution against the
9 non-Serbian population of Bosnia, and she did that during 1991 and 1992?
10 Were you aware of that, that she has admitted that?
11 A. From the media, I found out that Mrs. Plavsic pled some sort of
12 guiltiness or I don't know really to what she pled guilty, because I work
13 a lot and I wasn't able to follow everything, but I know that she got 10
14 to 11 years of imprisonment for that.
15 Q. Sir, we'll get back to Mrs. Plavsic in a minute. You joined the
16 SDS and you've remained in the SDS apparently because you've agreed in its
17 policies; is that correct?
18 A. I joined the SDS at the very beginning, when the party was formed
19 in 1990. Then Mrs. Plavsic was candidated as a member of the presidency.
20 She was a woman who was a professor. She came from a very well-known
21 Serbian family. And it is quite normal that everywhere in the world,
22 people who are such -- so highly educated and come from such good
23 families, candidate themselves at such positions. The SDS promoted
24 peaceful solutions, and a peaceful living of the three constitutive
25 peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Muslims, Croats, and Serbs. And the SDS
1 never promoted in its programme and it never had as its goal to promote a
2 discriminatory or genocidal politick.
3 Q. Were you aware that it was a policy of the SDS to enforce ethnic
4 separation by force? Were you aware of that, sir, that that was a policy
5 in 1991 and 1992 in Bosnia?
6 A. No, I am not aware of that, that anybody talked about any force.
7 MR. WEINER: May the witness be shown Exhibit P164, please.
8 Q. Sir, I'd like to direct your attention to paragraphs 10 and 11.
9 Now, paragraph 10, Biljana Plavsic, one of the three major leaders of the
10 SDS at the time, states: "The SDS, in paragraph 10, and the Bosnian Serb
11 leadership, were committed to a primary goal that all Serbs in the former
12 Yugoslavia would remain in a common state. One method of achieving this
13 goal was by separating the ethnic communities in BH. By October 1991, the
14 Bosnian Serb leadership, including Mrs. Plavsic, knew and intended that
15 the separation of the ethnic communities would include the permanent
16 removal of ethnic populations, either by agreement or by force, and
17 further knew that any forcible removal of non-Serbs from Serbian-claimed
18 territory would involve a discriminatory campaign of persecution. The
19 intention to separate the ethnic communities by force, which included the
20 knowledge that forcible, permanent removal of non-Serbs from
21 Serbian-claimed territories would include a discriminatory campaign of
22 persecution is herein after referred to as the object of ethnic separation
23 by force."
24 And just the first sentence of the next paragraph: "In 1991 and
25 the months following --" I'm sorry, "In October 1991 and the months
1 following, the SDS intensified efforts to ensure that the objective of
2 ethnic separation by force would be achieved in the event that a
3 negotiated solution did not occur."
4 Sir, were you aware of the SDS policy of ethnic separation by
6 A. No, I am not aware of this. I only mentioned Cutilheiro's plan,
7 which was adopted by the SDS. But if I know correctly, the HDZ and the
8 SDA also accepted the Cutilheiro plan, which related to the separation or
9 cantonisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. Sir, would you agree with me that Biljana Plavsic, one of the
11 three leaders of the SDS party, who was working closely with Radovan
12 Karadzic and Momcilo Krajisnik, was better informed about SDS policies
13 than you were in Bosanski Samac at the time?
14 A. It is perfectly logical that a president or member of the
15 presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina has a better knowledge than just a
16 regular member of the Municipal Assembly who at the time was a student,
17 such as myself, and I'm saying once again that I'm not aware of this at
19 Q. Fine. Let's move on to another SDS leader, Radovan Karadzic.
20 Were you aware that Mr. Radovan Karadzic spoke at the 16th assembly of the
21 people of the Republika Srpska, which was held on May 12th, 1992, and he
22 spoke about the strategic goal of ethnic separation, and he made a very
23 short statement: "The Serbian side in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the presidency,
24 the government, the council for national security, which we've set up,
25 have formulated strategic priorities, that is to say, strategic goals for
1 the Serbian people. The first such goal is the separation from the other
2 two national communities, separation of states, separation from those who
3 are our enemies and who have used every opportunity, especially in this
4 century, to attack us and who would continue with such practices if we
5 were to continue to stay together in the same state."
6 Were you aware of Mr. Karadzic's statement concerning ethnic
7 separation at that People's Assembly?
8 A. You're mentioning the 16th of May. In the month of May in 1992, I
9 was in my unit, on the front line. I was taking care of the wounded.
10 When I got home, we had no electricity, no water. I lived in abnormal
11 conditions. How did you want me to get this type of information? I
12 wasn't even reading the media, I wasn't reading the newspapers, because
13 that wasn't in existence. And this is quite new to me. I was not able to
14 get information at that time. We got no information, and I didn't have
15 any opportunity to see this or to hear it anywhere.
16 Q. Sir, were you aware - maybe you learned this later - a written
17 decision was issued as a result of that meeting by another SDS leader,
18 Momcilo Krajisnik, which was signed on the 12th of May, 1992. It was a
19 decision on strategic objectives of the Serbian people in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, with the first objective being the separation of the
21 Serbian people from the other two ethnic communities. A copy of that is
22 an exhibit in this case. Were you aware of that, sir?
23 A. No, I was not aware of it.
24 Q. Now, sir, let's take a step back. Again we'll go back to
25 Mr. Karadzic, to February 25th, 1992, to the eight session of the assembly
1 of the Serbian people. And at that time, Karadzic warns: "Once the party
2 has adopted a policy, anything else is treason. Anything outside the
3 adopted policy is treason. Assisting the enemy cannot be tolerated,
4 giving him a way out and confusing the people while being a member of that
5 party of the assembly and the party organs. That cannot be. I will not
6 allow it. I will signal to the people: People, this man is a traitor.
7 That is what I will do in the future."
8 Were you aware of Karadzic's statement that anyone who violates
9 party policy or disagrees or takes actions outside of party policy will be
10 deemed a traitor? Were you aware of that statement by Mr. Karadzic?
11 A. No, I was not aware of that statement by Mr. Karadzic. But in the
12 world it is customary that if somebody is not in agreement with policies
13 and the programme of a certain party, that such a person would be
14 sanctioned or would be excluded from such a political party, and really,
15 this is the first time I hear such a statement.
16 Q. Sir, since we've heard -- I'm sorry. Let me take that back. Sir,
17 since the non-Serb population of Bosanski Samac had practically
18 disappeared, and this all occurred after this SDS policy of ethnic
19 separation, which was just discussed here, by Karadzic, Krajisnik, and
20 Plavsic, would you agree with me, sir, that the policy of those SDS
21 leaders was implemented in Samac?
22 A. I do not understand your question. What do you mean by that?
23 Could you please repeat your question.
24 Q. I've just told you, and I've quoted statements from the SDS
25 leaders of a policy of ethnic separation, and right after that policy is
1 established, the non-Serb population of Samac practically disappears from
2 the community of Samac, just as envisioned in that policy. Would you
3 agree, since we know that to be a fact, would you agree, sir, that that
4 policy was implemented in Bosanski Samac?
5 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, objection, objection.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Why, Mr. Pantelic?
7 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour. First of all, could my
8 learned friend explain to this witness: What is the term "disappeared"?
9 Physical sense or in a spiritual sense.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: No, Mr. Pantelic. That is clear. There's no reason
11 why he should explain.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Especially, Your Honour --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: There is nothing wrong with the question. Let the
14 proceedings go on, Mr. Pantelic. Please sit down.
15 A. I do not understand what you mean by "disappeared." Because in
16 the former territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac, one part of
17 the population created the municipality of Bosanski Samac. Croats live on
18 that territory. And we are talking about Domaljevac, Bazik, the territory
19 around Grebnice, Prud. And here we are talking about a majority of the
20 Croatian population. Another part of the Croatian population spent the
21 whole war in Samac and some other Muslims also were members of the army of
22 the Republika Srpska, and they still live to this date on those
23 territories. It is true that I have heard that some people detained a
24 certain amount of people and the police detained them because they had
25 found weapons in their houses. But there was a very small difference now
1 with regards to voters in respect to the pre-war period. But during the
2 war, there was a migration, Croatian migration, Serbian migration, and
3 people were living in a state of psychosis and they were bringing their
4 families to Serbia, to Croatia, they were leaving the territory. And I
5 must say that during the war some several hundreds of Serbs also left
6 because they were afraid of the multi-ethnic war, and so some people
7 brought their families in Croatia, the people in Serbia. So this
8 psychosis that existed in the pre-war period existed also during the
9 war and it is just something that was felt in the air. And this is why
10 there was a natural migration of people going in different places, and in
11 fact because of the fear, people were leaving, Serbs were leaving, Croats
12 were leaving, and the Muslims were leaving.
13 Q. So sir, it's your opinion that this is nothing more than a
14 coincidence that there is a change in the population after the policy, the
15 SDS policy to separate the ethnic communities was established, and after
16 the Serbs seized power? It's nothing more than some sort of a coincidence
17 that there was a policy to separate the ethnic groups and that the
18 population, a certain amount of the population of the non-Serb community
19 is no longer in Samac?
20 A. The plans and the goals of the SDS were never tied to any
21 discriminatory policies on the basis of ethnic discrimination. As far as
22 I know, in Samac, before the war and during the war, as well as after the
23 war, Serbs, Croats, and Muslims lived together. And even today you have a
24 policy through which hundreds of thousands of people [as interpreted] have
25 left the municipality of Samac because just people wanted to go and find a
1 better living. It is perfectly normal that everybody tries to flee an
2 area which is being under attack.
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... here on
4 page 63, line 20, where it says: "Policy through which hundreds of
5 thousands of people have left the municipality." Obviously the witness
6 said hundreds of people, not hundreds of thousands. Before the war, there
7 were not even 100.000 people at all.
8 MR. PANTELIC: And I do apologise to my learned friend and to
9 the --
10 JUDGE MUMBA: First of all, the correction by Mr. Lazarevic is
12 Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you very much.
14 Intervention to the transcript. It's page 63, line 22 and 23. This
15 witness, Dr. Pivasevic, very clearly said that the -- it's perfectly
16 normal that everybody tries to flee an area during the wartime period.
17 Dr. Pivasevic didn't say that this part of sentence which is, I'm quoting,
18 on line 21: "Which is being under attack." It's a very big difference.
19 So it's just a correction in the transcript.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: I think Mr. Weiner can deal with that with the
23 witness, as to what he exactly said.
24 MR. WEINER:
25 Q. Sir, was your statement that people leave -- will flee an area
1 which is being under attack? Did you say during a wartime period, people
2 will flee an area during a wartime period? Was that your statement to the
4 A. I don't quite know how it was interpreted, but I said very
5 clearly: An area that's devastated by war.
6 Q. But sir, were you aware that there was an exchange process, and
7 over 1.000 people left Bosanski Samac through an exchange process?
8 A. I did hear about the exchanges, but I don't know anything
9 specific. I don't know any details.
10 Q. And you indicated at one point that it had nothing to do with any
11 SDS policy, because there was no SDS discriminatory policy, but you also
12 will agree with me, sir, that of the three major SDS leaders - Plavsic,
13 Krajisnik, and Karadzic, one has pled guilty to persecution, one is going
14 on trial for genocide and a third one is a fugitive from justice? Isn't
15 that correct? Fugitive from justice being charged with war crimes?
16 A. I said about Mrs. Plavsic that every statement she made and her
17 plea are her own personal business. I have already answered this
18 question. What Mrs. Plavsic said need not be correct. As for the other
19 two people from the SDS, they are only indicted. As far as I know, to be
20 indicted does not mean to be guilty necessarily. I'm no legal expert, but
21 as far as I know, they have not been convicted.
22 Q. And you also know that Mr. Karadzic is a fugitive from justice, he
23 hasn't turned himself in to stand trial, he's wanted for war crimes? As
24 the whole world knows that he's wanted.
25 A. I know from the media that Dr. Karadzic has been indicted and that
1 he has not surrendered. Had he done so, the media would most probably
2 have reported about it.
3 Q. Now, sir, you indicated that there was no relationship between the
4 JNA, the Yugoslavian National Army and the SDS. Once again, were you
5 aware that Biljana Plavsic as part of her plea has discussed the
6 relationship between the JNA and the SDS and indicated that the SDS
7 collaborated with the JNA to arm members of the SDS and arm the Serbian
8 population of Bosnia? Were you aware of that, sir?
9 A. I was not aware of that. I knew that the policy of the SDS, ever
10 since its founding, was to advocate the preservation of Yugoslavia as a
11 federal community and to support the JNA, as the only legitimate armed
12 force on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. This was the policy from
13 the beginning, from the founding of the SDS. The struggle to preserve a
14 federal Yugoslavia. Of course --
15 Q. Sir, my question is: Were you aware of Biljana Plavsic's
16 admission that the SDS collaborated with the JNA in arming large segments
17 of the Bosnian population? Were you aware of that? It could be yes, it
18 could be no.
19 A. No. I have to admit that I did not follow the trial of
20 Mrs. Plavsic.
21 Q. Now, sir, let us move on. Do you know who Milan Simic is? He was
22 a defendant in this case. Do you know who he was, from Bosanski Samac?
23 A. Yes, I do know Milan Simic. But I only got to know him in 1994 or
24 1995, I think. I heard that he was the president of the Executive Board,
25 but I did not know Mr. Milan Simic at that time.
1 Q. And sir, were you aware that he has pled guilty in this case to
2 torturing five non-Serbs in the primary school in Samac? He's pled guilty
3 to that. Were you aware of that, sir?
4 A. I did hear some details in town, talking to people, but, to be
5 quite honest, what he pled guilty to, I don't know. I don't follow trials
6 from The Hague very closely, because I have other obligations.
7 Q. Sir, were you aware that as part of his plea to the 4th amended
8 indictment, he admitted to paragraph 30, and that's according to the
9 sentencing judgement, on page 5, he's admitted to paragraph 30, which
10 states: "Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its independence from Yugoslavia
11 on 29 February 1992. Long before this, however, the SDS and the JNA had
12 been making plans for the probability of a war, which included the
13 creation of separate Serb-controlled municipalities throughout
15 Were you aware of Milan Simic's admission in relation to the SDS
16 and the JNA?
17 A. I don't know about the admission of Mr. Simic, but the date that
18 you mentioned was the date of the referendum of the other two constituent
19 peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, the Muslims and Croats, about the
20 independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I think that somebody from the
21 European structures put this as a precondition, that a referendum had to
22 be held and that a two-thirds majority had to be obtained in order for
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina to be recognised. In my view, this referendum was
24 not legitimate.
25 Q. My question doesn't regard the legitimacy of the referendum.
1 That's up to the badinter commission. My question is: Were you aware
2 that Milan Simic has admitted complicity between the JNA and the SDS that
3 they were making plans -- let me read the statement again: "Milan Simic
4 has admitted that the SDS and the JNA had been making plans for the
5 probability of a war, which included the creation of separate
6 Serb-controlled municipalities throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina."
7 Are you aware that the former president of the Executive Board of
8 the Serbian municipality of Bosanski Samac made that statement?
9 A. No, I'm not aware of that. As I said, because of my obligations,
10 I do not follow the trials here.
11 Q. Okay. Were you aware, sir, or have you ever heard of Major
12 General Milan Gvero, commander of the 1st Krajina Corps, and were you
13 aware that on September 23rd, 1993, he addressed the People's Assembly of
14 the Republika Srpska and he credited the SDS for working with the JNA and
15 others to arm the Serbian people of Bosnia? Were you aware of the Major
16 General's statement to the People's Assembly of the Republika Srpska?
17 That's the 34th session.
18 A. I have heard of General Gvero, but I did not follow the
19 proceedings of the assembly at that time, for various reasons. And I'm
20 not aware of this statement. In that period of time, I was not active in
21 political life. I spent that time studying, and I spent most of my time
22 in Belgrade, taking exams. And if I did read the newspapers from time to
23 time, 11 years later, after all those exams and after doing my specialist
24 training, I am not able to remember these statements made by various
25 generals and politicians. Even today the newspapers are full of
1 statements made by various people, but one can't remember them all.
2 Q. But would you agree with me, sir, that the Major General was in a
3 far better position than yourself to discuss the work of the JNA and the
5 A. I agree that he was in a far better position, that he was better
6 informed, and I don't know what he meant by this. I would have to see the
7 entire text of his statement in order to make some sort of judgement about
9 Q. Now, sir, do you know who Simo Zaric is, a defendant in this case?
10 A. Yes. I met Mr. Zaric as a boy, because Mr. Zaric played football,
11 or rather, soccer, together with my father, in a soccer team where my
12 father played. He was a sports worker. And I knew him as a man who was
13 interested in folklore, in matters characteristic for our local community.
14 I once treated his mother-in-law, and I think he once brought his son to
15 me for a check-up.
16 Q. Now, were you aware that Mr. Zaric was an intelligence officer in
17 the 4th Detachment and for years had been involved in intelligence,
18 working for state security?
19 A. Well, you see, I would see Mr. Zaric in a soldier's uniform during
20 the war, but what he actually did in specific terms, I couldn't tell you.
21 There were many soldiers around. Each one had his own tasks. So I
22 couldn't go into those details.
23 Q. Sir, Mr. Zaric has provided a statement to the Office of the
24 Prosecutor, and in that statement, which is P140 ter, at 28 to 30, at
25 pages 28 to 30, he has stated to an investigator or actually to some
1 prosecutors that the SDS was illegally arming its members. Were you aware
2 of that, sir, that Mr. Zaric has given a statement indicating that the SDS
3 was illegally arming its own members?
4 A. I've already repeated several times that because of my medical
5 duties, I do not follow the trials in the Hague, and I simply am not aware
6 of these statements. I'm not referring just to this trial, but any trial
8 Q. Well, sir, since you know Mr. Zaric, are you aware of any reason
9 why Mr. Zaric would lie about a statement that the SDS in Samac was
10 illegally arming its members? Are you aware of any reason which would
11 cause him to lie about that?
12 A. I really can't go into something that I personally have not
13 heard. It would not be proper for me to say anything about statements
14 made by other people.
15 Q. All right. Let's move on. Do you know a man by the name of Mico
16 Ivanovic, who was a board member of the SDS in Samac?
17 A. Yes. I know Mr. Ivanovic and I know he was one of the people in
18 the steering committee for the establishment of the SDS.
19 Q. In fact, he was on the SDS party ticket in 1990 and was elected to
20 the assembly in that same year; isn't that correct?
21 A. He could only have been elected an assemblyman, not a deputy. A
22 deputy is a member of the republican parliament. So that Mirko Jovanovic
23 could only have been elected to the local parliament. I don't remember
24 how many members we had exactly, but we were the largest political party
25 along with the HDZ [as interpreted].
1 Q. Yes. That's what I'm -- excuse me?
2 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise. His answer is absolutely not
3 correctly translated, so I ask my learned friend and the witness to
4 actually witness to repeat slowly his answer. Because it is page 70, line
5 17 and 21. It's a mess. Mirko Jovanovic for the local parliament. He
6 spoke that Mirko Jovanovic was for the republic parliament of B and H. So
7 it is a complete mess. So I kindly ask.
8 MR. WEINER: I can fix it.
9 Q. Sir isn't it true that Mirko Jovanovic was elected to the
10 Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Samac in 1990, the Municipal Assembly, not
11 the regional or national level, Mico Ivanovic?
12 A. Yes. Yes. I allow for that possibility that he was elected to
13 the local assembly. I don't know the names of all the people who were
14 elected and who became members of the local assembly, because I never
15 attended any of their sessions. There is a municipal Official Gazette
16 listing the people elected to the Municipal Assembly.
17 Q. Yes. And it's in evidence here at P8 and his name is on it as
18 being elected.
19 MR. WEINER: It's time for a break, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We shall take our break now and continue at
22 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 6.06 p.m.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
25 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Winding up?
2 MR. WEINER: I had about another 20 minutes to go, Your Honour.
3 I'll try and move it fast.
4 Q. Good morning -- I'm sorry. Good afternoon, Dr. Pivasevic. When
5 we left we were talking about Mico Ivanovic, who was a member of the
6 steering committee of the SDS. Were you aware that as commander of the
7 1st Detachment, he and Stevan Todorovic met the paramilitaries or the
8 Serbian volunteers when they arrived in Batkusa on JNA helicopters? Were
9 you aware of that SDS leader being there with Stevan Todorovic to meet
11 A. Mico Ivanovic was a member of the Municipal Assembly. I do not
12 know who or where met those people, or rather the Municipal Board.
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter corrects herself.
14 A. I don't know who met those people, or where, and I don't know
15 whether Dr. Simic was there or not.
16 MR. WEINER:
17 Q. Well, on the following day, after their arrival, the defendant
18 Blagoje Simic, the SDS president, and Mirko Jovanovic, who -- an SDS
19 member who you later said became a deputy to parliament, or a
20 representative to parliament, met with the paramilitary leaders on or
21 about April 12, 1992. Were you aware of that, sir?
22 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise to my learned friend. Please, what
23 exactly my learned friend want to make reference, that Mirko Jovanovic was
24 a deputy or a representative? Because these are two different terms. So
25 please be precise. Thank you.
1 MR. WEINER:
2 Q. Mirko Jovanovic, who you indicated was a -- later became -- I
3 believe you used the term a representative to parliament or did you use
4 the term "a deputy to parliament"?
5 A. Mirko Jovanovic became a deputy in the republican assembly of
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Mico Ivanovic was an assemblyman in the
7 Municipal Assembly of Samac.
8 Q. Thank you. So on the following day, on or about April 12th, were
9 you aware that on or about April 12th, 1992, the SDS president, Blagoje
10 Simic, and Mirko Jovanovic, an SDS member and later deputy in the
11 republican assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina, met with the paramilitary
12 leaders? Were you aware of that? There's been testimony about that in
13 this case.
14 A. I really don't know this. I don't know what happened on 12th
15 April last month, let alone so many years ago. I don't know. I didn't
16 hear anything about it.
17 Q. All right, sir. Sir, having heard this information, the
18 information from Biljana Plavsic about the relationship between the JNA
19 and the SDS, similar testimony or similar statements from Major General
20 Gvero, the statement of Milan Simic about SDS and JNA plans, the
21 testimony -- the statement of Simo Zaric relating to arming of SDS
22 members, do you wish to change your testimony that the SDS had no ties to
23 the JNA, after hearing all those quotes?
24 A. As far as I know, the SDS did not have any ties with the JNA.
25 Q. As far as you know, strictly based on your knowledge, personal
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, there was some discussion concerning some local men that were
4 sent to training, paramilitary training, and it said Serbia, but I believe
5 the town was Ilok, which is in the Serbian Krajina of Croatia; is that
6 correct? Ilok is in Serbian Krajina? Were you aware that some local men
7 were sent for training to Ilok?
8 A. I have heard about Ilok. It was in Croatia, yes, in the Serbian
9 Krajina. And as for men being sent for training in Ilok, I don't know
11 Q. Do you know a man by the name of Aco Jankovic?
12 A. Yes. The name is familiar to me. He's the son of a man whom I'm
14 Q. Now, were you aware that Aco Jankovic is related to the Simic
15 family, that he's a relative of Milan Simic's wife? If you're aware.
16 Yes, no. Are you aware that Aco Jankovic is related to the Simic family?
17 A. Yes, I am aware of it. I know that Milan's wife, whom I met later
18 through Milan's mother, who is coming to me for treatment, that a daughter
19 of this uncle Pero Jankovic is related to Aco.
20 Q. Were you aware that Aco Jankovic led the local men to Ilok for
21 training? Were you aware of that, sir?
22 A. I'm really not aware of this. These are military matters,
23 training and such things are outside my domain.
24 Q. Sir, is it fair to say that you weren't present for any
25 conversations between Blagoje Simic and Aco Jankovic, Milos Bogdanovic,
1 Stevan Todorovic, or any JNA leaders? Were you present for all
2 conversations between Blagoje Simic and those persons?
3 A. How could I have been present? Blagoje Simic was the
4 vice-president of the Municipal Assembly, and I had no post at that time.
5 I did not accompany him and go around with him so that I might be able to
6 hear who he was meeting and what they were talking about.
7 Q. So sir, if you weren't present for any of the defendant Blagoje
8 Simic's conversations between those people, you can't tell us what, if
9 any, conversations he had in relation to persons being sent to Ilok?
10 MR. PANTELIC: Objection. Calling for speculation.
11 MR. WEINER: It's obvious if he wasn't present for the
12 conversations, he can't state what occurred in them.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner. Proceed.
14 MR. WEINER:
15 Q. Basically, sir, if you weren't present for any of those
16 conversations, you cannot tell us what, if any, conversation, or what, if
17 any, discussion they had relating to persons being sent to Ilok?
18 A. I told you: I didn't know.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, earlier today you were shown a document which we
20 referred to as the variant A and B document, which concerns certain
21 directions that the municipalities are to take, and you indicated that you
22 saw that document, which we called P3, this is a similar document, P145A,
23 that you saw that document for the first time when it was handed to you.
24 Is that correct? Did you see that document for the first time an hour and
25 a half ago today?
1 A. Yes, it's correct. I saw it an hour and a half ago.
2 Q. So you never had the opportunity to study that document and read
3 each and every paragraph of it, or in those few seconds were you able to
4 read each and every paragraph and sentence of that document?
5 A. In essence, I glanced through the document and I saw the topics
6 written about in this document, and I know that I never read anything
7 about such topics, which is why I said that this was the first time I had
8 seen it.
9 Q. Well, again, sir, were you aware that this was a secret document
10 sent to local municipal leaders, certain local municipal leaders, by the
11 SDS leadership?
12 A. I'm not familiar with the document, so of course I cannot know
13 whether it is confidential or public, the document itself is not familiar
14 to me.
15 Q. Sir, were you aware that Biljana Plavsic, as part of the factual
16 basis for her plea, has stated that the SDS issued certain instructions to
17 SDS municipal leaders and the municipal staffs implemented those
18 directives? That's paragraph 12 of P164. Were you aware that she made
19 that statement?
20 A. I'm not aware of it. The only document I know about is the
21 Official Gazette. I think from February 1992, where the assembly of the
22 Serbian people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was established in
23 January, said something about the establishment of Serbian assemblies. It
24 is well known that the Serbian assembly was actually a response to the
25 violation of the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where one of the
1 constituent peoples was outvoted. I don't consider that the document
2 published in an Official Gazette is a secret or illegitimate document.
3 Q. Sir, then let's go to that January assembly. That's the sixth
4 session, the assembly of the Serbian people of the 26th of January, 1992.
5 At that assembly, a delegate named Cizmovic declared that the tasks set
6 in the instructions of 19 December 1991, the tasks set in the instructions
7 of 19 December 1991 should be carried out. And as we all know, the
8 variant A and B document was dated 19 December 1991 and it was a set of
9 directives and instructions. Were you aware of that statement being made
10 at the sixth session of the assembly of the Serbian people by a delegate?
11 A. I really don't know Mr. Cizmovic, and I really don't remember
12 following this session in January 1992.
13 Q. Well, sir, would you agree with me that since you were tied up --
14 since you were involved in medical school, you were getting ready to go to
15 the army, you were involved in local politics in Bosanski Samac, that
16 there were a lot of things, because you were so busy, there were a lot of
17 things or a lot of acts and activities of the SDS that were occurring that
18 you don't know about? You're not aware of all of the different assembly
19 statements and speeches. Would you agree that there were a lot of
20 activities that occurred among the SDS leaders and members that you just
21 don't have any knowledge of?
22 A. It's very difficult to answer a question as to what happened
23 somewhere where I was not. I really cannot give you a valid answer to
25 Q. Well, sir, let's go to Bosanski Samac. We know that a Serbian
1 assembly was convened and proclaimed in late February of 1992. Were you
2 aware that that was required under variant A and B, under paragraph 4 of
3 variant A and B, that a Serbian assembly should be convened and
4 proclaimed? Were you aware of that when you quickly looked at the variant
5 A and B document? I think you said you glanced at the document. Were you
6 aware that that was a requirement?
7 A. Can you hear me?
8 Q. Yes, I can, sir. Were you aware that that was a requirement, that
9 a Serbian assembly should be convened and proclaimed in the -- it was
10 required by the variant A and B document?
11 A. Variant A and B, I don't know anything about that. I heard that
12 the Serb municipality had been set up, Samac and Pelagicevo, and that it
13 has been established by a legitimate assemblymen. I was not present,
14 because I was not in the town itself. I wasn't communicating to people.
15 Q. Another quick question: You said it was established by legitimate
16 assemblymen. The assembly in that Samac assembly was composed of SDS
17 officials and Serbian municipal leaders. Were you aware that that was
18 required by the variant A and B document, variant B, paragraph 14 --
19 paragraph 4, I'm sorry. Were you aware that that was a requirement, SDS
20 officials and Serbian municipal leaders would become members of the
22 A. I really don't know. I told you that it was only once in my life
23 when I became a deputy and the assembly of Republika Srpska, I was only
24 present at one session of the local assembly.
25 Q. I have several others to ask you. At that first assembly meeting
1 Ilija Ristic was elected president of the Serbian municipality of Samac.
2 He was elected at the first meeting. Were you aware that the election of
3 president at the first meeting of the Municipal Assembly was required by
4 variant B, by the variant A and B document? You can say yes or no.
5 A. I cannot say yes or no because the question has been asked like
6 that. I cannot answer with a yes or no. I heard that Mr. Ristic had been
7 elected as the president of the Serbian assembly. And as far as variants
8 A and B, I'm telling you for the umpteenth time, this is the first time
9 today that I saw some instructions of what you call variant A and B. So I
10 cannot answer this question. I cannot answer with a yes or no regarding
11 something I don't know anything about.
12 Q. You can also answer with I don't know which is fine. Sir, plans
13 were made for the formation of a Serbian municipal government including
14 composition and powers of the assembly, the election of municipal
15 officials, election and voting plans. Those were all made at that first
16 meeting. Were you aware that such activity was required by the variant A
17 and B document, paragraph 5, by variant -- of variant B? You can say yes,
18 you can say no, or you can say I don't know?
19 A. I don't know. I really do not know.
20 Q. Another meeting was held of that Serbian assembly in March of
21 1992, where a municipal Executive Board and other municipal officials were
22 appointed. And you'll notice that on page 12 in the -- in Exhibit P124.
23 And which is the Official Gazette. Now, sir, did you know that the
24 election of Executive Board members and other municipal officials or the
25 appointment of Executive Board members and other municipal officials was
1 required by variant -- by the variant A and B document, variant B, second
2 phase, paragraph 1?
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic.
4 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise. Maybe if there is some reference
5 to certain exhibit maybe it would be fair for the witness to have this
6 particular evidence in front of him.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
8 MR. WEINER: He could have P124 and P3 or 145A. They're both the
10 Q. If you go to page 12 in Exhibit 124. In the B/C/S, it should be
11 decision on the election of members of the Executive Council, Article 1,
12 and it's the first article under 28 March 1992. Eleven persons were
13 elected to the Executive Board. Were you aware that such action was
14 required under the variant A and B document, B, second phase of variant B,
15 second one?
16 A. I don't know that the Executive Board was elected or their
17 content. It was impossible for me to read this report, because when it
18 was issued, I was in Brcko, working as a -- following the ending of my
19 medical school, working as a junior doctor.
20 Q. Okay. If we further look at those persons elected, a police
21 chief, and as two deputies, as well as a TO chief, a Territorial Defence
22 chief, were appointed at that meeting, in that same list. Were you aware
23 that this was required under variant B, paragraph 8?
24 A. No. I don't know anything about that document, variant A, variant
25 B, so I don't -- I can't know this either, theoretically. There is no
1 possibility that I would be able to know anything about this.
2 Q. I'll just do a few more, sir. A Crisis Staff was established in
3 Samac in April of 1992. The president of the SDS was named president of
4 that Crisis Staff. Were you aware that both of those were requirements
5 under variant A and B document, the establishment of a Crisis Staff and
6 that the SDS president must be the Crisis Staff president? Were you aware
7 of both of those directives under the variant A and B document?
8 A. Several days after the war clashes started, I found out that
9 Dr. Simic was the president of the Crisis Staff. I also found out that
10 Simeun Simic was of the executive as well as Savo Popovic. These were the
11 people that I knew. There was a paper which was like a bulletin or a
12 newsletter that was published and this was done by Mr. Simic. I mean by
13 Mr. Simeun.
14 Q. Were you also aware that the defendant Blagoje Simic was named
15 president of the assembly at the initiative of the SDS board, that the SDS
16 municipal board, and that is stated right here in the municipal gazette,
17 page 21. Were you aware of that, that the SDS municipal board came up
18 with the initiative that he should become president?
19 A. Do you mean regarding the president of the Crisis Staff? Could
20 you please repeat the question. I do not understand the question.
21 Q. According to the Official Gazette of Bosanski Samac, or the
22 Serbian municipality of Samac, it indicates that the defendant Blagoje
23 Simic was named president of the assembly at the initiative of the SDS
24 municipal board. Were you aware of that? And that's on page 21,
25 conclusions of April 14th, 1992, conclusion number 5.
1 A. I really don't know. I don't know anything about this. I know
2 that Blagoje was the vice-president of the assembly following the party
4 Q. Finally, sir: Orders were issued to the police chief, to
5 immediately establish a special police unit that will work with military
6 and civilian authorities. Were you aware that those orders given to the
7 police chief were required by the variant A and B document in phase 1 of
8 the document, paragraphs 5 and 8, and in phase 2 of the document,
9 paragraph 2? Were you aware of that?
10 A. No.
11 MR. WEINER: One moment, Your Honour.
12 [Prosecution counsel confer]
13 MR. WEINER:
14 Q. Sir, I'd like to read you one final quotation and finish today.
15 It's a statement at that same May 12th, 1992 session of the People's
16 Assembly of the Republika Srpska, and it's from Miroslav Vjestica and I
17 left this one for last because he was named as an appointment in Bosanska
18 Krupa, pursuant to variant A and you probably know him because he was
19 deputy prime minister for internal affairs army, police and justice. He
20 was deputy president of the RS assembly. Do you know who I'm talking
21 about, sir?
22 A. I know that Mr. Vjestica, during the first assembly of the
23 People's Assembly, after the Dayton Agreement, he was the vice-president
24 of the People's Assembly. He was the deputy of Mr. Dragan Kalinic. But
25 what this is about, I don't know.
1 Q. Well, sir, at that same meeting where the first objective of
2 separating the ethnicities was discussed and agreed upon, he got up and
3 said: "On the right bank of the Una River there are no more Muslims in
4 the Serbian municipality of Bosanska Krupa. All of the enclaves that were
5 there, Rapusa, Veliki Vrbovik, Ostroznica, Babic, Muslim Jasenica and
6 Zavir, we have evacuated them so that there will be none there for the
7 duration of the war operations. Will they have a place to return to? I
8 think it is unlikely after our president told us the happy news that the
9 right bank of the Una was the border."
10 Were you aware of this quote by Mr. Vjestica, where he spoke
11 happily about the removal of all Muslims from the area of Bosanska Krupa,
12 and this was at the Republika Srpska assembly on May 12th, 1992, and this
13 was the president of Bosanska Krupa SDS Municipal Board who, under variant
14 B, became a member of the municipality of the War Presidency?
15 A. I don't know about that, for the simple reason that I've explained
16 to you: We were not able to watch television at the time. There was no
17 electricity. There were war clashes. I don't know where I was then, on
18 the 12th. To tell you the truth, I didn't know even that the assembly was
19 having a session then. There was no way or a mechanism for me to find out
20 about that.
21 Q. No further questions, sir. Thank you very much.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Re-examination.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, thank you.
24 Re-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Pivasevic, could you please have a look at
1 this second document, this variant A and B, if you have it in front of
3 A. Could you please repeat the question.
4 Q. Do you have in front of you just the Official Gazette or do you
5 also have the other document in front of you?
6 A. I just have the Official Gazette in front of me.
7 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... P145 or P3.
8 It's the same document, basically.
9 MR. WEINER: 145A or P3.
10 MR. PANTELIC: 145A, yes. Thank you. Thank you, my friend.
11 Q. [Interpretation] In the meantime, the Prosecutor asked you about
12 the weapons and all the theories that he's developing. Can you tell me:
13 Do you have any knowledge that the JNA had distributed weapons in the
14 period before the middle of April 1992 in the town of Samac itself to the
15 members of the -- to Muslims and Croats and Serbs through all various
16 instances, specifically the 4th Detachment? Do you have any knowledge
17 about that?
18 A. I don't have any knowledge about that, because the JNA asked
19 people to mobilise themselves. They were called for -- there was a call
20 for mobilisation [Realtime transcript read in error "mobile scomblaigs"]
21 predominantly of the Serbs but also of Muslims and Croats.
22 Q. Where you fought, did you have fellow soldiers who were also
23 Muslims and Croats?
24 A. Do you mean in the same unit?
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. In the unit itself where I was, no, but in the larger formation,
2 in the unit, in the battalion, yes.
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: Some small clarification of the answer that was
4 given by the witness.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: On page 84 line 12 and 13 there was a call
7 obviously for mobilisation predominantly of the Serbs but also of Muslims
8 and Croats. The witness said that there was a general call for
9 mobilisation and the response was most by Serbs but also -- and I believe
10 that this significantly changes the meaning of the witness's answer.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Maybe the witness can repeat his answer so
12 that it's clear.
13 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Dr. Pivasevic, just slowly, could you repeat your answer to my
15 question. My question -- just a moment.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Mobilisation by the JNA.
17 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. So my question was in relation to the 4th Detachment itself, as a
19 part of the JNA, and I asked you whether you had any knowledge that
20 members of the 4th Detachment, Serbs, Muslims, Croats, on the basis of a
21 call for mobilisation, were issued with weapons. Now, could you please
22 give a slow answer to that question again.
23 A. I was formationally not a member of the 4th Detachment, but when
24 the war started, I saw that, because we were relatively near each other on
25 the positions in that detachment there were Muslims, Croats and Serbs.
1 Q. Were they armed?
2 A. Well, I haven't heard anyone going to the combat position at the
3 front line without any weapons.
4 Q. So I conclude that they were armed. You agree with me?
5 A. I'm talking about the third or the fourth day of war, when I saw
6 these units of the 4th Detachment that were there somewhere in the
7 direction of Grebnice. They were next to us on the front line, on the
9 Q. Very well. Could you please look at a document that you were
10 asked about by the Prosecutor, the alleged document. I don't know how to
11 call it. We spent a lot of time here regarding this document. Could you
12 please read the title of this document?
13 A. "Instructions for the organisation activity of organs of the
14 Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina in extraordinary circumstances
15 Sarajevo 19th of December, 1991."
16 Q. Could you please turn to the last page of the document. What does
17 it say there?
18 A. It's very difficult to read, but at the end it says the Crisis
19 Staff of the SDS.
20 Q. Is there a seal?
21 A. There's no seal and there is no signature.
22 Q. You personally, did you have any knowledge about a body? Because
23 we're speaking about the Main Board. The top of the party, did you ever
24 hear, ever since you became a member of the SDS, that there was a Crisis
25 Staff of the SDS on the level of the Main Board of the SDS?
1 A. I became a member of the Main Board in 1998.
2 Q. Just a moment. Slow down. Slow down, please. Dr. Pivasevic,
3 it's a very simple question. Let's not expand on that. We don't have
4 much time. From 1998 until you became -- 1990, when you became a member
5 of the SDS, did you ever hear that there was such a body, Crisis Staff of
6 the SDS at the level of the Main Board of the SDS?
7 A. No. No.
8 Q. Now, could you please carefully look at the Official Gazette which
9 is in front of you. Look at each page and tell us whether anywhere, in
10 any part of that document, the Official Gazette, you have this title that
11 you have just read of this document, the variant A and B document, which
12 is instructions for the organisation and activity, et cetera, et cetera.
13 Could you please have a look at the entire Official Gazette and tell me if
14 anywhere there is any decision which is referring to this document.
15 A. As far as I can see, this title is not to be found anywhere here.
16 Q. Further on, could you please describe to the Trial Chamber, when
17 any act is coming from the Main Board of the SDS to the Municipal Board,
18 do you receive papers, instructions, documents, without a seal, without a
19 signature, without a reference, a log number, in your experience?
20 A. From 1990, when -- since I've been a member, I haven't seen such
21 an occurrence.
22 Q. While you were a member of the Municipal Board, in the period from
23 1990 onwards, did you ever see a document, an SDS document, coming from
24 above, that -- coming to the Municipal Board without a seal, without a
25 signature, and so on? Have you ever personally seen such a document?
1 A. I very rarely have seen any documents, but particularly any
2 documents without a seal and signature.
3 Q. The Prosecutor asked you a question with regard to that Cizmovic.
4 Did you know that he was a deputy of the SPO at the time? You have heard
5 of that I presume.
6 A. Well, to tell you honestly --
7 Q. Just answer with a yes or no.
8 A. No, I don't know.
9 Q. Please tell us: With regard to the discussion relating to
10 Cutilheiro plan and Lisbon Agreement --
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the rest of the
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. --
14 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. I will repeat the question. Yes.
15 Q. [Interpretation] My question was the following: Did the SDS,
16 after the Lisbon Agreement, support all the peaceful international plans,
17 including the Dayton Agreement?
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
19 MR. WEINER: Number one, it's very leading. Number two, I did not
20 raise the Lisbon agreement or the Cutilheiro plan. However, he did
21 mention it, and if you remember, I stopped him in mid-sentence or
22 midstream, when he started to go on about this, because it was not in
23 response to any question which I raised. And it's also number 3, it's
24 outside, because I didn't raise anything about international plans,
25 including the Dayton Agreement, which is beyond the jurisdiction of this
1 indictment. Dayton plan 1995.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, my learned friend actually asked this
3 witness with regard to the position of SDS, of the policy of SDS, so the
4 part of my clarification of the policy of SDS is also peace initiatives
5 and activities of SDS. According to the personal knowledge of this
6 witness. Because he said "policy." Were you aware of the policies?
7 There are many meanings of policies. I'm referring to peace policies.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: If that is the question, then that's okay.
9 MR. PANTELIC: That is the question, Your Honour --
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Then that is different from the --
11 MR. PANTELIC: -- elaborate my position as Defence counsel as
12 Defence for Dr. Blagoje Simic, et cetera, et cetera.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: No. Because that was different from the question to
14 which Mr. Weiner had objected. He's now only asking the witness as to the
15 policies of the SDS with regard to peace initiatives.
16 MR. WEINER: That's fair. I'll withdraw, as long as it's not
17 leading and it's a general question.
18 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Very briefly, Dr. Pivasevic: Do you know what the SDS did
20 after -- or what were the activities of the SDS with regard to the Lisbon
21 Agreement and the Cutilheiro plan?
22 A. Yes. They adopted the Cutilheiro plan, and I also know that the
23 SDS at the time did not take part of the forums of the SDS but through the
24 media I also know that they had a certain position taken with regard to
25 the Dayton Agreement and it was adopted [as interpreted].
1 Q. And in the end, it is not my last question. I do have a few more
2 questions for you. But my learned friend Mr. Weiner asked you a question
3 about General Gvero. He even quoted to you, or actually, he related to
4 you his words. Do you know if General Gvero was a member of the SKPU,
5 that party. It's the League of the Communist Movement for Yugoslavia. Do
6 you know that?
7 A. I really don't know this.
8 Q. Do you know, are you aware of the fact that that party was not
9 very favourable with regard to the SDS?
10 MR. WEINER: I object.
11 MR. PANTELIC: I withdraw.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Pivasevic, are you aware of the fact that at
13 the head of this party was Mrs. Mira Markovic, and that the Main Board
14 was made by the generals of the JNA? Do you know? Are you aware of that?
15 MR. WEINER: Exactly who is testifying at this point. I object.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Okay. I will rephrase. I will rephrase.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, what is your personal knowledge of
18 the -- of who was in the presidency of the League of the Communists for
19 the Movement of Yugoslavia?
20 A. I have heard about General Mirkovic, who was a general and he was
21 retired at the time.
22 Q. Mrs. Mira Markovic was there as well?
23 A. I really can't recall.
24 MR. WEINER: As a matter of clarification, Mira Markovic or
25 Mrs. Mira Markovic, is that the wife of Slobodan Milosevic.
1 MR. PANTELIC: I just want to ask maybe --
2 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Pivasevic, Mira Markovic was -- or is she the
3 wife of Mr. Slobodan Milosevic? Do you know that fact? Yes or no. I'm
4 just asking you if Mrs. Mira Markovic is the wife of Mr. Milosevic.
5 Listen to me. Do not look at the screen?
6 A. Yes, I do know that Mrs. Mira Markovic is the wife of Mr. Slobodan
7 Milosevic and that she was the president of the Jul in Serbia. She was
8 the director, if you will. She was at the head of it.
9 Q. Did you know that that party had a name SK [phoen] movement for
10 Yugoslavia before that?
11 A. No, I'm really not aware of that.
12 MR. PANTELIC: I've finished with the examination of this witness.
13 [Interpretation] Thank you, Dr. Pivasevic.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Anybody wishes to ask the witness questions? No?
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, Dr. Pivasevic. We are finished with
17 you. You may leave the courtroom.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE MUMBA: We'll adjourn now and continue our proceedings
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.53 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 15th day of
25 May 2003, at 2.15 p.m.