1 Friday, 16 May 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case number IT-95-9-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic and Simo Zaric.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, the Prosecution is cross-examining.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, earlier in the week you
11 asked me to indicate whether or not the Prosecution wished to
12 cross-examine the expert witness, Dr. Svetlana Radovanovic, the
13 demographics expert called by the Defence. I've had an opportunity of
14 going through the report and I indicate that the Prosecution most
15 certainly does wish to cross-examine that expert.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. The Trial Chamber had already indicated
17 on the date she is expected to come, that is the 26th of May. So the
18 Prosecution will have the opportunity to cross-examine then. We will
19 continue with cross examination of Mr. Simo Zaric.
20 WITNESS: SIMO ZARIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Cross-examined by Mr. Re: [Continued]
23 MR. RE:
24 Q. Good morning, Mr. Zaric.
25 A. Good morning.
1 Q. Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Pantelic asked you some questions about
2 Milan Simic and Stevan Todorovic. The question was, "And Stevan Todorovic
3 had behind him his policemen and certain other personalities of dubious
4 character." To which you answered, "yes, I agree with you." And then he
5 asked you about a link between capital and armed force, that is, namely,
6 "Could you tell us if you know whether any criminal activities of these
7 two, that's Milan Simic and Stevan Todorovic, regarding smuggling of oil,
8 et cetera, cigarettes and whiskey during the war," and that was just
9 before the break, and your answer was, "Yes, I have information and I
10 agree with your assessment and I can give you more information, some
11 things that I know about, if you assess that this is relevant to speak
12 about." We went to the break then and we didn't really return to that
14 Can you elaborate now on that information about smuggling by
15 Mr. Todorovic and Mr. Milan Simic or others connected with them, please?
16 A. Yes. The first and the ugliest pictures after the hostilities
17 broke out in Bosanski Samac and what I was able to see with my own eyes,
18 these pictures were linked to mass transfer of goods in lorries, in
19 trailers, that came to -- in front of the public security station. There
20 they were given the supporting transfer documents by Mr. Todorovic.
21 Q. Just stop you there. Can you please tell us, I don't want you to
22 stop you telling us but can you just tell us when this was?
23 A. This started to happen already from the 19th, 20th, 21st,
24 immediately in the first few days after the hostilities broke out. The
25 first few days after the conflict broke out, the first couple of days
1 after the hostilities broke out in town. These lorries that were loaded
2 with goods, they first of all looted the department store, from where they
3 took out the best carpets, furniture and any other goods that were there.
4 And then all that was transported by lorries to Serbia. Some of the
5 information I heard later on from Mr. Savic and from Mr. Sarkanovic that
6 they also had seen this on several occasions and I have at least seen it
7 on two or three occasions, these lorries, they would stop, they wouldn't
8 linger, then they would go in the direction of Serbia. I also had the
9 information that until coordinators were established in companies in
10 Samac, goods were transported in a similar way from factories, like for
11 instance furniture from the Buducnost factory in Samac, then certain hot
12 water boilers from the Mebos factory, then some of the furniture from the
13 Uzarija factory. So this operation of mass transport of furniture was cut
14 off at the moment when the Crisis Staff appointed coordinators who were
15 able, to a greater or lesser extent, to prevent this. I cannot say for
16 sure what kind of supporting transfer documents were needed for this
17 transport when it went in an uncontrolled way to Serbia in these first few
18 days but it is undeniable that this picture was there plain to see in the
19 first few days of the war, until certain things came to be under some kind
20 of control, more or less. Second thing is that what was really
21 astonishing to me is that after a few days, possibly maximum ten to 15
22 days after the conflict broke out, I was informed by Mr. Cancarevic,
23 Mr. Milos Savic and some people who worked in the public security station
24 that in a special transport, all of the weapons that were collected in the
25 first few days during the operation of disarming of non-Serb population
1 and part of the Serb population who had acquired their weapons illegally,
2 all of these weapons went to Serbia overnight, and we never heard anything
3 about what happened to these weapons until late autumn when criminal
4 proceedings were initiated before the military tribunal in Banja Luka and
5 then, very timidly, there was some discussion about it, but as far as I
6 know, there were hundreds and hundreds of pieces of all kinds of weapons,
7 from military rifles, automatic rifles, semi-automatic rifles, pistols,
8 from legally and illegal hunting weapons, all of this went, all this was
9 transported to an unknown destination, rather it was -- the destination
10 was Serbia.
11 Q. Mr. Zaric, could we take this in two parts? Firstly, the
12 department stores and so on, and secondly, the looting, sorry, weapons.
13 So if I could just take you back to the first part and we'll come to the
14 weapons in a moment. I don't want to stop you, please understand that. I
15 just want to proceed in a more sequential manner.
16 We started off, I started off by asking you about the connection
17 between Mr. Todorovic and Mr. Milan Simic and you said you saw with your
18 own eyes some trucks outside the SUP. What did you see -- I withdraw
19 that. Did you see Mr. Milan Simic or Mr. Stevan Todorovic do anything in
20 relation to those trucks, and if so, what was it?
21 A. Stevan Todorovic, I saw him personally in front of the public
22 security station, when he was greeting these drivers who were driving the
23 lorries in the beginning of the war, and I heard that for certain type of
24 goods, I heard that, these are my operative information, this is my
25 intelligence, I didn't see that, and I thought that this would be an
1 interesting subject for certain services who -- that should have been
2 taking care of the criminal actions, apparently I heard that apart from
3 the supporting documents, these transfer documents, Mr. Milan Simic issued
4 certain documents in relation to some goods as if this was legitimate
5 transport of goods, but in fact, these goods according to my deep
6 conviction, this -- these goods, they did not go to this warehouse in
7 Pazova where later on it will be legally and legitimately -- goods will be
8 transported or kept for security reasons but precisely this -- these goods
9 went through this criminal route.
10 Q. You mentioned Mr. Todorovic and Mr. Milan Simic. What about other
11 members -- sorry, other people associated with the Crisis Staff or the
12 Executive Board? What was your information, if any, in relation to their
13 connection with what you saw?
14 A. To be honest, I know that Mr. Milan Simic, during these first days
15 of the war, was in the vicinity or he was close to the people from the
16 Crisis Staff but whether -- whether anyone in the Crisis Staff had asked
17 this question regarding the criminal activity and had given him
18 authorisation to do this, I really cannot make this claim. But I do know
19 that this was in relation to him and Mr. Todorovic initially, but I cannot
20 claim that the Crisis Staff or someone else, some other people from the
21 Crisis Staff, that they were standing by this criminal activity.
22 Q. You also spoke about the collection of weapons and their
23 transportation to Serbia. What was your information about who was
24 responsible for transporting them to Serbia? And also where they went?
25 A. As far as I was able to find out through my intelligence, the
1 special load of these weapons went through Bijeljina and Zvornik to the
2 border crossing of Sepek. I think that is the name. But what happened to
3 these weapons, I don't know. I know that the -- as far as I've heard,
4 that these lorries were escorted by the regular police of the public
5 security station so that reportedly these goods could pass more easily and
6 one of the specials also went, those specials that had come from Serbia.
7 As far as other intelligence is concerned, that this weapons were smuggled
8 for the area of Kosovo.
9 Q. In case I've missed this, can you just -- you've already said and
10 I apologise, but can you just tell us when that was?
11 A. This could have happened by the end of April, 1992.
12 Q. When you spoke to the Prosecutor or the Office of the Prosecutor
13 on the 2nd of April, 1998, and that's your interview, that's Exhibit P140,
14 P140 ter at page 94 to 95, I'm sorry, I said P140 in error, I meant P141,
15 you were asked about looting in the Odzak area and your -- the Prosecutor
16 said to you, "So this is the Samac Crisis Staff who was allowing this
17 looting to go on," to which you answered, "Yes, many things were taken
18 away, it was all organised by them. Many things were also hidden from me
19 and I don't know where things were taken but I know that many things were
20 taken then. And since then, the municipality of Vukosav Ilija has been
21 formed, now Serbs live, and the SDS ruled. And there has been a strong
22 polarisation conflict between them now, precisely because of all this
23 property that Crisis Staff had smuggled away somewhere. That is the
24 truth." The next question was, "Do you know if Blagoje Simic and
25 Stevan Todorovic personally benefited from any of this looting?" To which
1 you responded, "I cannot say for sure but compared to me, they have a much
2 better life-style. They could not possibly have made that kind of money
3 during this war."
4 Now, your response to the Prosecutor was that it was the Crisis
5 Staff who allowed the looting to continue and it was organised by them.
6 What I want you to tell us now is what are the things that the Crisis
7 Staff allowed to be taken away in this organised looting that you told the
8 Prosecutor about in June -- sorry, April, 1998. Just before you answer, I
9 just want to remind you of something else, that was in the third
10 interview, which was on the 3rd of June, which is P142 ter and the
11 question was, page 65, I'm sorry, I'm referring to P142, not P142 ter.
12 The question was, "Well, the witnesses that we have say that you were
13 giving out the looting assignments to people to go and steal things from
14 whom in Odzak." You answered, "I have to laugh. It's a lie. You have a
15 man before you, if you can only believe him a little, that I know that
16 Odzak was looted and the Crisis Staff is behind that. Try to get these
17 people here so... And you can only have a witness in me that would state
18 this and talk about the fact that this happened." The next question was
19 from the Prosecutor, "Well what do you know about the looting that
20 occurred in Odzak?"
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise, I cannot find this in document P142,
22 on page 65. Do we have the same document? I believe that the Trial
23 Chamber neither can find it.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Which version is this? Is it the version which also
25 has the B/C/S at the same time or is it the other version?
1 MR. RE: I'm reading only from the English version which is P142,
2 not P142 ter, that's the English-only version. Does that assist?
3 JUDGE MUMBA: No, because our page 65 doesn't have the paragraph
4 you're talking about.
5 MR. RE: Mr. Weiner will find it in the ter version.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Let's agree from now on which version so that we all
7 are on the same page.
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, if I remember correctly, and I
9 believe I have here 142 ter in front of me, this is the only one that has
10 both B/C/S and English.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: And I would like if we can arrange this with the
13 Prosecution to refer always to these documents in order to show this to
14 Mr. Zaric and in order to help us follow the document.
15 MR. RE: Of course. I apologise, I actually thought I was. But
16 it was a mistake I made. I can certainly come back to finding the ter
17 version fairly soon but I think, Mr. Zaric, you understand the question
18 I've asked you or do you want me to find it before we go on?
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe it is not a problem whether Mr. Zaric
20 understands the question. The question was not actually posed yet. It
21 was just a quotation but just to -- one suggestion. Maybe those P140, 141
22 and 142 ter should be in front of Mr. Zaric when you are already referring
23 to this. This would simplify all this.
24 MR. RE: Of course, I have no objection to Mr. Zaric having his
25 statements in front of him as we go.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, and that can be put in front of the --
2 MR. RE: All three of them. For the Trial Chamber's and my
3 learned friend's benefit, it's at page 137 and 138 of P142 ter. That's
4 the B/C/S and English version.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: So we're dealing with 1-- P142 ter first. And then
6 page 137 and 138.
7 MR. RE: Of P142 ter, that's right.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
9 MR. RE:
10 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you need to refer to them before you -- Mr. Zaric --
11 A. I don't have to read the text. I've understood more or less your
13 Q. Okay. Thank you. My question after reading that to you is: You
14 referred to looting organised by the Crisis Staff in Odzak. What I want
15 you to tell the Trial Chamber based upon your answers to the Prosecutor in
16 1998, what was the looting and how was it organised by the Crisis Staff?
17 A. Yes. I, in the examination-in-chief, when I was examined by
18 Mr. Pisarevic, and yesterday, I told the Trial Chamber how at this moment
19 I am thinking in respect of these matters. This does not mean that I am
20 trying to find a different context for the looting which, according to my
21 mind, it was plain to see, but when I was giving this interview in 1998,
22 and I have to say without saying it, without sufficient experience, I was
23 not thinking about individual responsibility, and addressing certain
24 occurrences and certain events regarding certain persons the way I see it
25 now. That is why in the examination-in-chief I said that there was
1 organised looting, that accomplices were also people from the command in
2 that looting and that it was the executive board of the Municipal Assembly
3 of Samac that was linked to that, where, in certain way, the associate for
4 this was the President of the civilian-military council in Odzak, Mr.
5 Savo Popovic, who, according to the nature of his work, mostly cooperated
6 with Mr. Milan Simic as the president of the executive board and this is
7 the reason why I wanted to stress this. However, as regards the looting
8 itself and the way I saw that, I can state that not a single lorry of
9 goods could have gotten out of the municipality of Odzak without the
10 accord for taking any kind of goods being given by the military command.
11 This did not mean that the goods couldn't be transported to
12 Bosanski Samac, that the goods could not have been transported in
13 direction of Banja Luka from where mostly these Krajina units had come,
14 that they couldn't have come -- they couldn't have gone individually
15 according to the requests of commands of the -- depending on the request
16 of certain people from the military command, so from the way I saw it,
17 some of the goods must have legitimately gone for the needs of the army
18 and the people, but the other part of the goods, and this is my deep
19 conviction, went regardless of those signatures, that were there, and
20 people -- regardless of the people who followed the transport of the
21 goods, and these goods did have a criminal route, even this was
22 signed -- even if this was signed by the president of military
23 administration and even if it was signed by Mr. Popovic, the president of
24 the military and civilian council.
25 Q. Mr. Zaric, when you spoke to the Prosecutor, your -- you did so in
1 the presence of your lawyer, Mr. Pisarevic, on both occasions in April and
2 June, 1998, and we can assume that he gave you some extensive advice about
3 the sorts of things that you would be asked, based upon what was in the
4 indictment, and the sorts of questions you would give, can't we?
5 A. To be quite honest, my counsel gave me full freedom to answer the
6 Prosecutor's questions and, for example, we did not discuss this topic,
7 nor did I think it was necessary to do so. When I said Crisis Staff at
8 that point in time, I was starting from the fact that Mirko Jovanovic was
9 the first president of the executive board of the municipal assembly and
10 he was an ex officio member of the Crisis Staff, at least that's what he
11 said. When he was replaced by Milan Simic as the president of the
12 executive board of the municipal assembly, I thought then that
13 automatically, Mr. Milan Simic was a member of the body called the Crisis
14 Staff, which was the narrowest body. Savo Popovic, who, ex officio, was
15 the president of the civilian-military council, was a member of the Crisis
16 Staff, and when I mentioned the word "Crisis Staff" I thought that these
17 people who in my view were directly connected to the departure of some of
18 the goods which I felt were being taken away in a criminal way, were
19 people connected to the Crisis Staff. That was the reason I attributed
20 this to the Crisis Staff, and to be quite honest, to this day I still fail
21 to understand the real way in which responsibility was divided between the
22 executive board and the Crisis Staff during the war.
23 Q. All right. Remember yesterday you said you would try and listen
24 to the question and answer the one which I asked? The question I asked
25 you was about your speaking to your lawyer and advice. It wasn't about
1 the other things. I want to ask you separately about those things. Would
2 you be able to please concentrate on the question?
3 A. Yes. Very well. I just felt it necessary to explain to the
4 Trial Chamber why I said what I did. I am not trying to avoid this topic,
5 not at all.
6 Q. Look, I'm not suggesting you are. There are some questions I want
7 to ask you. You can answer them and of course Mr. Lazarevic -- sorry,
8 Mr. Pisarevic will clear up anything that he thinks I've left uncovered or
9 requires explanation. Look, when Mr. -- sorry, when the Prosecutor
10 interviewed you, they asked you some fairly specific questions about
11 looting and both in April and in June, 1998, you knew, didn't you, who the
12 members of the Crisis Staff had been in 1992 and the War Presidency,
13 thereafter, 1992 and 1993?
14 A. Yes. I had my opinion as to who exactly were the members of the
15 Crisis Staff and who were the members of the War Presidency, but I never
16 saw any decisions appointing any one of them. However, because of the way
17 they behaved, because of the positions they held, because they often
18 associated at various meetings, that was the conclusion I drew.
19 Q. Your answers were very specific to the Prosecutor. It's at page
20 94 of the interview of April, 1998. The question, "so this is the Samac
21 Crisis Staff who was allowing this looting to go on?" Your answer was,
22 "yes, many things were taken away."
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: What is the evidence number?
24 MR. RE: P141, 141 ter, at page 94.
25 Q. That's the second interview on the 2nd of April.
1 A. I have found page 94.
2 Q. The first question from the top in italics, "so this is the Samac
3 Crisis Staff who is allowing this looting to go on?" To which your
4 answer, in the italics, is, "Yes, many things were taken away." Do you
5 see that there? I'm just asking if you see it first.
6 A. If -- no, I don't see exactly what you said, because here the
7 sentence begins as follows, "Yes, it was organised by them. Where it was
8 all taken off to be quite sincere, many things are concealed from me. Are
9 you -- is this the part of the text you want me to look at?
10 Q. Yes, the question preceding where it's gotten written, Nancy,
11 meaning Nancy Paterson, "so this is the Samac Crisis Staff who was
12 allowing this looting to go on?" To which your answer was, "Yes, many
13 things were taken away?"
14 A. Yes, yes, I found the text.
15 Q. If you just read down to the next question, again Nancy, "Do you
16 know if Blagoje Simic and Stevan Todorovic personally benefited from any
17 of this looting?" And your answer was, "I cannot say for sure but
18 compared to me, they have a much letter life-style. They could not
19 possibly have made that kind of money during the war" -- I'm sorry,
20 "during this war." And your answer is on the bottom of the page. You
21 see that there, don't you?
22 A. Yes, yes. I see this.
23 Q. What I'm just saying to you or asking you is that when asked you
24 gave a very specific answer nominating the Crisis Staff as being
25 responsible for it. You said they were -- you said it was all organised
1 by them and then, when the Prosecutor asked you about Mr. -- Dr. Simic and
2 Mr. Todorovic, your answer was, "I cannot say for sure," but you didn't
3 nominate anyone else but what you said was they have a much better
4 life-style which you would accept indicates that you're implying that they
5 benefited in a way that you didn't from looting?
6 A. Yes. Such a conclusion might be drawn. The Prosecutor did not
7 ask me about other people and I wasn't answering questions that were not
8 put to me at the time, and I replied that I was not asserting this, but
9 that Mr. Blagoje Simic and Stevan Todorovic had a better life-style than I
10 did, I said that because I was asked directly about these two and no one
11 else. That's why I said what I did. I have to admit that these are
12 people who before the war and during the war and probably even today are
13 better off than I was, and they were better off at the time.
14 Q. Well, the Prosecutor asked you about organised -- about looting in
15 Samac, you replied that it was organised by the Crisis Staff. You knew
16 who the Crisis Staff members were or the War Presidency members were, you
17 didn't nominate any, like Mr. Popovic or Mr. Milan Simic. All you said
18 was that it was the Crisis Staff or you agreed that it was the Crisis
19 Staff who had organised it.
20 A. Well, if the entire body is to be personified in one person,
21 that's the impression one can get. At the time I was not in my mind
22 separating Milan Simic or Stevan Todorovic or Savo Popovic from the Crisis
23 Staff. That is why, when giving an overall estimate, I mentioned the body
24 in which these people worked and in my view through them or with their
25 cooperation, certain criminal actions were being taken, were taking place,
1 which I saw, and that's why I gave the answer I did and I have not changed
2 my standpoint in this respect.
3 Q. Mr. Zaric, you have written a book, and you've been interviewed by
4 the media in relation to what happened, and you gave seven days of
5 testimony in examination-in-chief, and you worked for the intelligence
7 A. Excuse me, I am not hearing the interpretation.
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have something done?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear now but a short
11 while ago, I didn't hear anything when Mr. Re started asking his question.
12 MR. RE:
13 Q. Mr. Zaric --
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Is it all right with everybody now?
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] A short while, Mr. Tadic was trying to
16 signal to me that he couldn't hear. Perhaps someone from the technical
17 booth could check his headset.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have that tested? Can you hear now,
19 Mr. Tadic? Yes, can you hear now? A technician is coming. It's all
20 right now? Yes, we can proceed.
21 MR. RE:
22 Q. Mr. Zaric --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You worked for intelligence service for many years, you've written
25 a book, you've been interviewed by the media about what happened in
1 Bosanski Samac, and you testified in examination-in-chief for seven days.
2 Did you make notes at the time, when all these events occurred, from which
3 you referred to write your book, give your interviews, make your statement
4 to the Prosecutor and give your seven days of very detailed testimony
5 about the events?
6 A. I am, by nature, a person who always kept notes. However, during
7 my testimony, I was not in a position to make notes. I'm referring to
8 these past seven days. However, previously, I often wrote notes which I
9 used when making assessments, and writing parts of the book I wrote while
10 in detention here.
11 Q. Part of your work in intelligence of course involved making notes
12 and keeping records and keeping very careful records, didn't it?
13 A. Yes. But I have to say that it was not the practice for an
14 operative to take original notes home. This was not done in the former
15 Yugoslavia or anywhere else in the world. However, I did have some
16 material at home which I was able to use to refresh my memory of certain
17 events. An operative or a member of an intelligence service cannot keep
18 confidential archives at his home.
19 Q. Did you keep a diary during the war? 1991, 1992, 1993.
20 A. One might call it a diary. I did write quite a lot, and I have a
21 lot of material which might be termed a war diary or war notes and which I
22 used when arriving at certain standpoints.
23 Q. Was it a diary that you wrote in every day to record things that
24 had happened, important events?
25 A. As a rule, I tried to note the most important events of the day,
1 or the past few days, if things were not happening on a daily basis.
2 Q. And is it -- what sort of record is it? A notebook or an exercise
3 book? What did you keep -- what did you record these important events of
4 the day in?
5 A. I had work books sometimes. Sometimes small pads. And depending
6 on the topic. For example, I had a special notebook where I kept notes on
7 everything that happened at the command. If I was visiting certain units,
8 I had a special pad in which I wrote down what I heard and what I talked
9 about with people in the units I visited. If there were other topics to
10 write about, I had small notepads. So that there were different
11 notebooks, there was more than one, depending on the topic I was dealing
12 with at any given moment. I also had a special notepad for notes on
13 interviews with people who had been refugees and who were talking about
14 things that had happened to them. So there were a lot of notes in various
15 notepads which I kept at home and where I tried to enter the most
16 important information from these interviews, meetings and so on. This was
17 the method I used, more or less.
18 Q. What were the topic --
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise. There is something unclear here in
20 the record. I don't believe that Mr. Zaric said that he kept these pads
21 at home and here it says on page 17, line 14, because previously he said
22 you don't usually take these kind of notes at home.
23 MR. RE: I'll ask him to clarify it, then.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: No. What he said about note -- what he was not
25 allowed to keep at home was the work, the notes of an intelligence
1 officer, I think. Any way, you can ask him to clarify it.
2 MR. RE:
3 Q. Mr. Zaric, the notepads that we heard interpreted as you taking or
4 keeping at home, were they the ones you just referred to, not your
5 official ones but private ones in which you recorded important events,
6 meetings, people you'd spoken to and what was happening?
7 A. Yes. Precisely so. But if I was drawing up an official document
8 on the basis of these notes, I'm talking now about the pre-war situation,
9 when I was a member of the state security service, and if this was put
10 into an official statement or an official note on intelligence information
11 I had gathered, then I could not keep that document in my own archives but
12 had to submit it to the competent organ in Doboj where my superior was,
13 and to whom I was responsible. But I kept the working material with me.
14 Q. "I kept the working material with me." Can you just tell us what
15 that means? Which working material are you referring to? And whether you
16 mean at home?
17 A. I am speaking of the working material I kept during the war when I
18 was assistant commander, both of the 4th Detachment and later on when I
19 went to the brigade or when I took notes of what happened at the meeting,
20 for example, of the 17th of August, when I visited a unit, and spoke of
21 the reasons for the drop in morale, then I would take notes on this and
22 then I would use these notes to draw up an official document informing the
23 official command. The document was a summary. It was -- it contained the
24 most important information, but my notes were more extensive and they
25 contained details that were not necessary, that need not be included in
1 the document.
2 Q. Did that include assessments of people and their reactions to
3 things or their motives, the sort of things intelligence officers are
4 trained to put in background information or look for?
5 A. When I became assistant commander for morale, I was no longer an
6 intelligence officer. I was a morale officer. When I was in the 4th
7 Detachment, then I was assistant commander for intelligence and security
8 and then, when I drew up written information, whether it was an official
9 note or whether it was a statement, I submitted that to
10 Mr. Makso Simeunovic.
11 Q. What I was asking you was about the personal notes you kept which
12 you didn't submit and I'm asking that based upon your training in
13 intelligence, where you gather information about people and you might
14 write up something or make notes about your impressions or reactions or
15 what you thought a person's motives were. All I'm asking you is these
16 notes you made during the war, I'm sorry, between 1991, 1992 and 1993 the
17 notes that you made and kept at home and didn't submit, did they also
18 include things such as that, assessments of people's motives and why they
19 were saying things? Or your own conclusions?
20 A. In these work books and notebooks, I wrote down the conversations
21 as they took place, but my assessments, I included in the official
22 documents which I submitted. There is a difference here. If I was
23 talking to someone and they told me, for example, that there had been
24 criminal actions or that the soldiers were not satisfied with the food or
25 that the officers were not fulfilling their tasks, I didn't say to
1 the -- I didn't then, in the work book, give descriptions of whether I
2 thought the officer was acting properly or not. I didn't enter that in my
3 work books.
4 Q. All right. Well, what were the subject topics of each of these
5 notebooks, if you could just list them for us?
6 A. That's impossible. That's hundreds of topics, hundreds of topics.
7 I really cannot answer in this direction, but if I was speaking in a unit
8 or there were topics, what kind of food it was, whether the troops were
9 going to the front lines, to the positions, were there deserters, what
10 kind of problems did they have in the local communes, how did they see
11 these problems, what was the relationships to the families of those who
12 can be killed or injured, some had been asking questions regarding the
13 problems, is there a chance for shifts to be longer, so that they could
14 sow the wheat, there were hundreds of topics, Mr. Prosecutor, it was war.
15 I couldn't possibly give you a satisfactory answer to this question and I
16 can't possibly tell you that my memory is this strong for me to recall
17 every single topic that I dealt with in my work book.
18 Q. Is what you're saying that each thing had a -- or each area or
19 subject had its own separate notebook? And you kept hundreds of
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re, why are we going into this area of how
22 the accused was working, taking notes, keeping -- what's the purpose of
24 MR. RE: I can certainly make it relevant, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, what is it?
1 MR. RE: Well, can I ask him?
2 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no. I want to find out from you.
3 MR. RE: Well, I want to know where the notebooks are. I want to
4 know whether he referred to them in giving his evidence here, in writing
5 his book, in making his statement.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: You want to know whether he had his notebooks and he
7 was referring to them during the interviews?
8 MR. RE: No but if I could ask the question, I could probably get
9 the answer. I'm sure Mr. Zaric will inform us of whether he did refer to
11 JUDGE MUMBA: I hope we won't take too long on this.
12 MR. RE: We won't, Your Honour, if he answers it.
13 Q. You understand, Mr. Zaric, what I want to know is did you refer to
14 those notebooks -- I withdraw that. The notebooks, of course, had dates
15 in them, didn't it, dates of events?
16 A. In most cases, yes.
17 Q. Those notebooks, you recorded conversations with people such as
18 Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic? And Dr. Simic? Of important events?
19 A. In those work notes, work books, there were also such notes, if I
20 had had any such conversations, then I would write down what I heard
21 in -- during a conversation. That's true.
22 Q. Including the arrival of the paramilitaries, the Crkvina massacre,
23 murders in police custody, in the SUP? Those are the sort of details you
24 recorded in the notebooks?
25 A. Many things, Mr. Re. This person sitting here knows many things,
1 even if there were no work books.
2 Q. I'm just asking --
3 A. But I'll allow that some of the assessments --
4 Q. I'm just asking you whether you recorded the arrival of the
5 paramilitaries, the Crkvina massacre and murders in police custody in the
6 SUP in these notebooks you kept.
7 A. Presume that in a work book of mine, if I was going to meetings of
8 the local staff Crisis Staff at the local commune of Samac, it is certain
9 that I would write somewhere or that somebody would ask me, some of the
10 people, since one of the topics must have been the arrival of those
11 specials and probably something must have been written in those work books
12 on this subject, that is not to be denied. But later on, I investigated
13 this problem thoroughly and when I was working on this information, and
14 when I had the opportunity to have something behind me, that is when I
15 came to relatively respected position at the command of the brigade, then
16 that was not a problem for me to, while collecting the information, I
17 would get to the relevant dates and the relevant events that were written
18 in the information.
19 Q. Mr. Zaric, when you wrote your book, you referred to these
20 extensive notebooks, didn't you? And you used them as the basis for many
21 of the things you wrote in your book, events, conversations, dates, times,
23 A. In one part, I'd agree, and in one part, what I was interested in
24 and what perhaps I wasn't sufficiently certain of, my investigator had
25 investigated because I kept a correspondence with him and to be honest, I
1 was a little worried about this work book of mine because I knew that our
2 cells are checked from time to time so I thought that somebody would find
3 it, find this, and take away or bring into question these work books, and
4 these working material of mine, so when I received certain information,
5 then I would, but I have to tell the Trial Chamber how it came that I had
6 enough strength to write a book. Ten or 15 days, as far as I can
7 remember, I would write certain notes down, the main topics, and then I
8 would send that to my investigator in Belgrade, and then this was -- this
9 went to my associates who promised me that this book was -- would be
10 published and my only wish regarding this book is so that I wanted to
11 express that my pre-war and my war biography would be recorded and that
12 everything I'd lived through in the war I would point to the heavy part of
13 the truth that happened, which does not mean that at some point these
14 associates who helped me regarding the language and who also helped me
15 with the stylistic refinement of certain sentences because they noticed
16 that I was perhaps nervous and that I had trouble with formulating certain
17 sentences and there were certain things that I did not agree with, but
18 later on, when the book was published, it was too late for any kind of
19 intervention from me to make and I just have to tell the Trial Chamber
20 that I'm the kind of person who only speaking Ijekavica that is, Bosnian
21 mother tongue when there is no Ekavica dialect and this is not a dialect
22 which is used in Bosnia, but as it happened, my book was published as if I
23 was living in Belgrade. It was published in Ekavica and I was so angry
24 because of that, because this was done. The preface to this book which
25 was written by a member of the academy, Professor Nedeljkovic, it does not
1 correspond to what I am as a man, but I had no influence because these
2 associates of mine who helped me publish this book, they did not take into
3 consideration everything that tomorrow or the day after tomorrow would be
4 relevant for this Tribunal, and I believe that this book cannot be
5 considered, that it had been written regarding the laws of the Tribunal,
6 but I was trying to try out my ability to write something. There is a lot
7 of literal things, a lot of literary things, a lot of things that
8 are -- have some certain predispositions and certain suppositions, so I am
9 not running away from everything in this book which is in this book, it is
10 a mirror, it is my frame, I'm not ashamed of it but there are certain
11 omissions of a technical nature of any other nature, and Mr. Re -- Mr. Re,
12 if you wish to use this book to disqualify me and question my credibility,
13 I have nothing against that, but then I would like to -- you to refer to
14 each portion of the book so that you can question me on it.
15 Q. My question was a few minutes ago, did you refer to your notebooks
16 when you wrote your book? Did you use them as reference material for
17 times, dates, places, conversations? Please answer that one.
18 A. I used my memory to the best of my recollection, and some of the
19 material that I had on me, because this information regarding the 13
20 signatories that has been disclosed and I had that with me, and this
21 single information I could have written five books, not just one book.
22 Q. Well, did you refer to those -- did you refer to your notebooks,
23 the notes you made at the time, before giving your testimony over those
24 seven days?
25 A. I used everything that's gone through this case so far. No
1 Prosecution witnesses has gone without me speaking with my Defence lawyers
2 and discussing, analysing the testimony of all the witnesses and Defence
3 witnesses, and all the other witnesses. Mr. Re, I am very conscientious
4 regarding this. I don't want to be arrogant and without any false modesty
5 but I am working very hard on this and I have had a lot in front of me,
6 and there was not a problem for me to remember what happened in Crkvina,
7 how looting went on, what happened with Mico Djurdjevic, I lived with
8 these problems throughout the time here, throughout the unfortunate war
9 and to date. Everything that stayed in my head, in my mind, I cannot get
10 rid of it.
11 Q. I really don't want to interrupt you but I want to you focus us on
12 the question. The question was simply this: Did you refer to these
13 notebooks, the extensive notebooks you made at the time, before or during
14 your testimony over those seven days? Did you use them to refresh your
16 A. Why would I need to consult -- no, if I needed to consult, then I
17 would give the task to my investigator to find out whether there was
18 something in my work books, but these records, these work books, they were
19 not with me in The Hague, in the cell, here with me, in the cell where I
20 was, where I am.
21 Q. Do we take it from that that you did ask your investigator to
22 consult these books in relation to some details before you gave your
23 testimony? It's just a little bit unclear. I just want to know whether
24 you referred to them either through -- you said you had not got them with
25 you but did you get someone else to look at them to ascertain various
2 A. Can you specifically ask me as to what you mean? Which detail and
3 why would I need to ask my investigator?
4 Q. Your answer a moment ago was unclear. You said if I needed to
5 consult then I would give the task to my investigator to find out whether
6 there was something in my work books. Now I couldn't possibly know what
7 is in your mind or what you needed to ask your investigator to consult in
8 your work books. What I'm asking you is, did you ask your investigator to
9 consult those notebooks or work books -- what did you call them, work
10 books, to assist you in refreshing your memory on any aspect of your
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise. Maybe there is one misunderstanding
13 here, I believe, right at this point. Are you referring now to these
14 seven days, as it was mentioned previously, or during the writing of
15 Mr. Zaric's book? What are we talking about referring to those notes and
16 asking investigator to check out some datas, whether it was during his
17 book was written or in last seven days, because frankly I'm a bit confused
18 at this point.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: No. If you read the last sentence, he's talking
20 about in any aspect of your testimony. So he's talking about the evidence
21 that Mr. Zaric has given in the Trial Chamber.
22 MR. RE:
23 Q. Mr. Zaric, you heard the question, my question.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Well, is that -- what's the answer? Did you get your investigator
1 to consult those work books to assist you in giving your testimony here?
2 A. I repeated this sentence so many times, I don't know why you're
3 insisting I should repeat it again. What I wasn't certain about, when I
4 needed it, my investigator gave me the relevant data.
5 Q. Where are these work books?
6 A. They were returned to my investigator.
7 Q. They were returned to your investigator? Who had them to return
8 them to your investigator? Are you saying that the investigator gave them
9 to you, you looked at them and then sent them back to your investigator?
10 A. Part of those conversations, my investigators were here on a
11 couple of occasions, people I've spoken with, and this is uncontested.
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the name uttered by
13 Mr. Zaric.
14 A. They came here, they spoke to me, I spoke to them. And I also
15 agreed with them the concept of the book, and through my associates, that
16 I asked to do this, and I have to admit that my lawyers, neither
17 Mr. Pisarevic, nor Mr. Lazarevic, were not willing for me to do this. I'm
18 not saying that I was stubborn really in writing this book. I had the
19 best of intentions, but if you, as Prosecutors couldn't find any use for
20 it, then I don't know.
21 Q. I'm sorry, but this is terribly unclear to me. Are you saying
22 that the work that the investigators, your investigator brought the work
23 books to The Hague took them to you in the detention centre and you used
24 the work books to refresh your memory or take notes from to assist you in
25 your testimony? Is that what you're saying?
1 A. My investigator could have looked at these work materials, as to
2 what is there, and there were not many topics that I didn't know about, if
3 it was whether this was Zivko Dosen, whether it was Dragan Jakovljevic,
4 whether it was a name which I couldn't quite recall or whether it's
5 Mr. Jeremic, if this I couldn't quite recall, if I was asking for that
6 information, I didn't think that this was any big problem, for me, nor was
7 it presented by my investigator as being some conspiratorial, crucial
8 elements. It wasn't as if anybody said, "here we go, Simo Zaric has
9 decided to write something that he thought of." Mr. Re, I wrote a book to
10 the best of my recollection.
11 Q. You're not answering the question. The question is quite simple.
12 The question is: Did your investigators bring your work books to the
13 Hague, to the detention centre, for your use during your testimony?
14 A. No. They only looked at what's written in there and then they
15 would give me this information. If there was any clarification that I
16 needed or if I had any need to write to them, then I would write it down
17 and send it to them.
18 Q. Back to my earlier question, where are these work books now?
19 A. Why? Do you want to carry out a search?
20 Q. I don't want the precise location.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: No, Mr. Zaric, you can just answer the question.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's in a safe place.
23 MR. RE: All right.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Zaric, those work books would contain one of the best
25 sources of information as to what actually happened at Bosanski Samac
1 during 1992 and 1993, wouldn't they? Because you were recording them,
2 recording the major events in your work books, in hundreds of work books,
3 as you went.
4 A. No. Hundreds of -- not hundreds of work books but hundreds of
5 topics, not hundreds of work books.
6 Q. All right. Well, hundreds of topics in a number of work books,
7 but you were recording these things as you went on a daily basis. Now
8 they would contain, wouldn't they, one of the best sources of information
9 about what happened in Bosanski Samac during the war, 1992 and 1993,
10 wouldn't they, Mr. Zaric?
11 A. I always kept to a saying among our people, is that crazy person
12 remembers, a wise person writes things down. I was always trying to write
13 everything down so that I could remember, and of course what I needed was
14 there, and before I left for The Hague, and in my preparations I was going
15 over my notes, recalling what was in them but there wasn't very much that
16 I couldn't recall and if there was anything really necessary for me to
17 recall, then I did it in the way that I've already described to you.
18 Q. Do you know of any better source of recorded history in
19 Bosanski Samac as to what happened during the war than your work books?
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: This is speculation, I believe. How could he know
21 whether there is any better source?
22 MR. RE: He may know. He may know who wrote the definitive
23 history of Bosanski Samac based upon his work books. I don't know. I
24 wasn't there.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know about that. I know
1 that there are many people who wrote all kinds of things. They wrote
2 books, they wrote notes. Whether anyone was more pedantic than I was and
3 whether the source of information in different military institutions and
4 authorities, how it was kept, recorded, filed, I don't know about that. I
5 can only assume that others in a similar way worked just like me, whoever
6 wanted to be conscientious about their work, and there is also people who
7 just sat and listened and there are people who didn't dealt with this in
8 this way.
9 MR. RE:
10 Q. The book you wrote, the very last page of it says, "In Belgrade,
11 24 hours before my departure for The Hague." Do we take it from that that
12 you wrote the book, or finished it, in Belgrade, 24 hours before your
13 departure for The Hague?.
14 A. Where does it say that? Can you show it to me?
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that by a slight look at the original --
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re?
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, if I may have the floor?
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Maybe, I'm looking at the original of this book,
21 on the cover page, on the last page, there are words, "In Belgrade, 24
22 hours before I leave to The Hague," but it doesn't relate to the book when
23 it was written but to this very short text. It's a letter, a statement,
24 letter he wrote 24 hours before he surrendered and this is on the last
25 page so -- with a photograph of his wife and son, so it doesn't says that
1 the book was written and finally written 24 hours before he decided to
2 surrender himself.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re?
4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: If I could just interject, I was going to say it
5 was my recollection that Mr. Zaric surrendered to The Hague, he was here
6 and this book was published in 1999 when he was on provisional release or
7 something like that. If my understanding is correct. Is that so,
8 Mr. Zaric?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Not during provisional release
10 but you're right that the book was written in 1999 and it was promoted in
11 Belgrade. That's true, Your Honour, but not at that time. It was 19th of
12 April, 2000, that I was provisionally released. 19th of April, 2000.
13 MR. RE:
14 Q. The back cover of the book which Mr. Lazarevic or Mr. Pisarevic
15 has in his hand says, "all the details in my confession," meaning the
16 book, "are based on information that can be checked and proved. They are
17 real and true and will remain so after The Hague regardless of what my
18 fate may be."
19 It goes on a bit. And at the bottom it says, "In Belgrade, 24
20 hours before my departure for The Hague."
21 A. What's contestable here?
22 Q. Nothing. But you've appended -- I'm just saying that you've
23 appended to the back of the book a letter in which you say all the details
24 in it are based on information that can be checked and proved, real and
25 true, and remain so after The Hague, and you did so before you went to The
2 A. Yes. I wish to say to the Trial Chamber, the large part, the
3 majority of the documents that I mentioned here on the last page is been
4 authentically processed and given to the committee for investigation of
5 war crimes in Belgrade, and they handed that over to The Hague office of
6 the -- to the Belgrade office of the Hague Tribunal and on the basis of
7 these documents that my organ worked when I was a morale officer, it is on
8 the basis of these notes that people from Odzak and Orasje are being
9 prosecuted in courts regarding the events there but the authentic
10 documentation and I meant what my learned lawyer gave to this honourable
11 court and to the Prosecutor's Office, because that's what the agreement
12 was before the trial even began.
13 MR. RE: It's 10.30, Your Honour. Is it time for the break?
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I just want to say, Mr. Re, can we go back to
15 the indictment, the allegations, the evidence this witness has given?
16 Proceeding in this manner questioning behind how he wrote this book and
17 where his notes are and things like that, the Trial Chamber thinks are not
18 helpful. You've spent quite a lot of time on that.
19 MR. RE: Of course.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: We will take our break now.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
24 MR. RE:
25 Q. Mr. Zaric, we were speaking about your book just before the break,
1 and the letter which is written on the back in which you say that
2 everything in the book is real and true and was attached to the back of
3 the book, the published version. I just want to take you to something in
4 the book and it's where you refer at -- you refer to --
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise, this quotation is not correct. This
6 letter at the moment when this letter was written by Mr. Zaric but I don't
7 want to give testimony instead of him. The quotation was not right. It
8 is not in this book -- it is not in this letter, not one single word that
9 says everything that is in this book is correct. And maybe Mr. Zaric
10 could read out the last page of the book.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, why are we still continuing on this? Can we
12 please go back to the allegations against the accused?
13 MR. RE: That's exactly what I'm doing, Your Honour. I'm doing
14 that. I don't understand. I'm doing that. I was asking a question and
15 Mr. Lazarevic started testifying.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: The allegation inside the book?
17 MR. RE: Of course, the book is full of matters relevant to the
18 indictment. I just want to go into that.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lazarevic?
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, I will repeat my submission. Can
21 Mr. Zaric take a look at this? Is there is nothing referring to the book
22 in this letter. Mr. Re just said to Mr. Zaric, in this last page, in this
23 letter, you say that everything that is in the book is correct and true.
24 And this is not what is written here. So I'm just kindly asking him to
25 show this to Mr. Zaric and that he can read out what it says here. All
1 the details from my notebook, from this book or whatever, from my -- how
2 should I put it? It is not a statement. From my -- he used a very
3 particular version.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have the book given to Mr. Zaric himself and
5 maybe he can explain?
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes.
7 MR. RE:
8 Q. Mr. Zaric, I have an official translation of the back cover of
9 your book in my hands.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Why can't he read the relevant passage?
11 MR. RE: Mr. Lazarevic is contesting the translation. It won't be
12 in the --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: We have the interpreters.
14 MR. RE: That's right, but it won't be a translation; it will be
15 an interpretation. That's the difficulty. I have an official translation
16 here. All Mr. Zaric will do is read something which is inevitably going
17 to be different to the official translation. And Mr. Lazarevic appears to
18 be contesting for the first time the official translation of the back
19 page. Of course he can read it out. I'm just pointing out that there
20 will be a difference between what he says and is interpreted back to us
21 and what the translation says.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Let Mr. Zaric himself read that and explain what it
24 MR. RE: Sure.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The text is rather short. So I
1 would like to read it out in order for the Trial Chamber to have an
2 insight into it. "All the details from my confession are based on facts
3 which can be checked and proved. They are real and true, and will remain
4 such even after The Hague, independently of what my fate will be. They
5 are my strictest judge because they are the true truth, as said. The
6 judgement, whatever it may be, will be only the result of the attitude
7 toward that truth. Fortunately, the truth cannot be altered. But
8 unfortunately, it can be understood and interpreted in different ways. As
9 you read this, you too are part of the jury that will decide on the truth.
10 Hard and binding words can be covered as said only by a pure and honest
11 man. I have had to check the truth in The Hague, to certify the truth in
12 The Hague, in Belgrade, 24 hours before my departure for The Hague. In
13 the last part of the book, you will see that I have entered some
14 corrections by hand and this is what I tried to say in this book."
15 MR. RE:
16 Q. Can I ask how that's any different to what I read to the witness
17 before? There seems to be some contesting of the official translation
18 which appears to be almost identical to what Mr. Zaric read out?
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: No. The truth is, the question as you posed it
20 suggests that this is related to the book, that this letter is related to
21 this particular book. First of all, Mr. Zaric used a word --
22 MR. RE: I object. If you're going to clue the witness I object
23 to it.
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: I really don't want to give any testimony instead
25 of Mr. Zaric. Please just ask when this letter was written and for what
1 reason and in relation to what.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re? You're not going to continue the --
3 MR. RE: No, I don't want to. I don't understand what all that
4 was about.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Go ahead with the cross-examination.
6 MR. RE: It's all right, Madam usher, you may sit down, he
7 probably will need to refer to the book, if my learned friends don't mind
8 Mr. Zaric having your copy, we have other copies but if you're happy with
9 that, we can leave that one there with him.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: We will keep this for redirect.
11 MR. RE:
12 Q. Mr. Zaric, in your book I just want to take you to a passage, if
13 you can just pick up your book or maybe you remember. It's just toward
14 the end the last few pages where you're referring to an interview that you
15 had with a Croatian media outlet and there is a question and answer
16 process. So the last few pages. Around about, I think, page 266 to 267
17 of your book.
18 A. Yes? Please tell me what you want me to comment on.
19 Q. The first one is a question from the Croatian media outlet. What
20 you've done is you have -- I think it's about page 266, you have set out
21 the question and the answer, question and answer, question and answer,
22 based upon the transcript. Have you found it?
23 A. No. I have come to this part of the book where the journalist
24 from Serbia who worked for a Croatian newspaper was asking me questions,
25 just tell me what question interests you and what my answer was in the
2 Q. The first question, 243 of the English, Question: "Do you admit
3 that there was ethnic cleansing?"
4 A. Yes?
5 Q. Answer: "Of course there was. Take Odzak for example. Across
6 the river from Samac. Dozens of Odzak Serbs were killed, more than 800
7 were tortured in prisons and camps, many Serb women were raped. Not one
8 of the 6.000 Serbs who lived in the municipality remains there now. My
9 family used to live there too, but it's gone. The house where I was born
10 was among the first to be burned and demolished. I can give you hundreds
11 of such examples in Bosnia-Herzegovina or across the river in Croatia."
12 Next question: "I was asking you about ethnic cleansing in Samac!"
13 Answer: "I know very well what you wanted me to say, so yes, there was
14 but on both sides. I am not trying to establish an artificial symmetry
15 because I don't want anyone to answer for this, but as soon as it was
16 decided that separation would be ethnically based, and effected by means
17 of war, this kind of symmetry was inevitable. Does it matter at all who
18 started it? Or who started it with a little ethnic cleansing and later
19 did a little more -- or sorry, a little bit more ethnic cleansing, whether
20 it was done in order to settle old accounts or because the concepts chosen
21 could not be realised otherwise?"
22 I won't read the whole thing. It goes down to just before the
23 next question. I want to stress that if there are no Croats and Muslims
24 here, and no Serbs there, both are instances of ethnic cleansing. If
25 there is guilt here, there is guilt there, as well. Therefore no nation,
1 including the Serb nation, can let such things pass without a sense of
2 frustration and huge injustice if either side is amnestied in advance.
3 I've read correctly what you wrote in your book, based upon
4 questions and answers to a Serbian person or Serbian journalist working
5 for a Croatian newspaper, didn't I?
6 A. Yes. You have read my reply.
7 Q. And that's your view, isn't it, that there was ethnic cleansing in
8 Bosanski Samac and both sides were guilty of ethnic cleansing, Croats and
10 A. Yes. That's my conviction.
11 Q. Mr. Zaric, in your work in or as a member of the JNA reserve, or
12 the SDB reserve and your years of association with the security services,
13 you were aware of the structure of the security services and the JNA in
14 the former Yugoslavia, before April, 1992, weren't you?
15 A. Well, I don't know exactly what the structure of the security
16 service was in the JNA, but I know for certain that care was taken to make
17 sure that at the top, in the administration, and in key positions,
18 representatives of all ethnic groups making up Yugoslavia should be
20 Q. Before the withdrawal of the JNA or the formal withdrawal of the
21 JNA in May, 1992, the command structure went from the federal Presidency
22 of the SFRY downwards through the federal Secretary for National Defence,
23 didn't it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the federal Secretary for National Defence in -- at the end of
1 1991 and the beginning of 1992, was Colonel General Veljko Kadijevic,
2 wasn't it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And the chief of general staff reported directly to him, correct?
5 A. I don't know what the method of work was but I assume that's how
6 it should have been.
7 Q. At the level below the federal Secretary for National Defence,
8 that is at the beginning of 1992, Colonel General Kadijevic, there was the
9 deputy SSNO, the chief of general staff, the assistant to the SSNO, that's
10 the federal Secretary for National Defence, the head of intelligence, that
11 was Colonel General Aleksandar Vasiljevic and the chief of cabinet for the
12 federal Secretary of National Defence?
13 A. As far as I can remember, the federal Secretary for National
14 Defence was Colonel General Veljko Kadijevic, who was born in a mixed
15 marriage. His father was a Croat, his mother was Serb. His deputy was
16 Stane Brovet --
17 Q. Please, we are not interested in the ethnicity of the people
18 concerned. Please concentrate. I'm asking you about the structure. All
19 I'm saying is I read to you some positions, they were directly below
20 Kadijevic in the hierarchy, including of course Colonel General Aleksandar
21 Vasiljevic, the head of the UB or military intelligence?
22 A. Yes. But I want to say that it's very important that the deputy
23 was Stane Brovet, a Slovene, and that the chief of the general staff was
24 Mr. Blagoje Adzic, and that the chief of the administration for security
25 was Aco Vasiljevic. Those were the people I was aware of at the time.
1 Q. Thank you, and the JNA before it withdrew from Bosnia formally was
2 divided into five districts reporting to the -- or four military districts
3 or five districts in all, reporting to the federal Secretary for National
4 Defence, namely the 1st Military District, in Belgrade, the 3rd Military
5 District in Skopje, the 5th Military District in Zagreb, the Naval
6 Military District in Split, and the RVIPVO, which is the air force and
7 air defence which was led by Colonel General Zvonko Jurjevic. Those were
8 the five divisions of the JNA before the withdrawal from Bosnia, weren't
10 A. No. This was before the outbreak of the war on the territory of
11 the former Yugoslavia, and you forgot to mention that there was also the
12 2nd Military District with its headquarters in Sarajevo, but all this was
13 before the secession of Croatia and Slovenia from Yugoslavia. The
14 structure you are talking about is familiar to me from the time before the
15 secessionist policy of Slovenia and Croatia and I agree with you that that
16 is what it looked like more or less at the level of the Federal Republic
17 of Yugoslavia.
18 Q. The 1st Military District in Belgrade, that was at that time, 1991
19 and early 1992 was commanded by Colonel General Zivota Panic, correct?
20 A. It's possible. I don't know about him. But of course I have
21 heard of him. He was later the chief of the federal Secretary for
22 National Defence but I do know that the command of the 2nd Military
23 District in Bosnia-Herzegovina was Colonel General or Lieutenant General
24 Milutin Kukanjac. I know this because he was directly connected to Bosnia
25 and Herzegovina.
1 Q. The division of responsibility at that time was that the 1st
2 Military District in Belgrade was responsible for the part of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina where you were stationed. That is the end of 1991 and
4 up to May, 1992, when the JNA withdrew? And General Panic was the
5 commander between September 1991 and May, 1992?
6 A. No. I didn't understand you properly. Could you please repeat
7 your question? Because General Panic had nothing to do with us in Bosnia.
8 Q. The 1st Military District, its headquarters were in Belgrade, its
9 commander was General Panic from September 1991 to May 1992, the
10 17th Corps commanded by Major General Savo Jankovic who appointed you to
11 your position, was subordinated to General Panic in Belgrade, wasn't it?
12 A. No, no. You are not correct. If you want, I will give you a
13 precise explanation.
14 Q. Well, if the commander of the 17th Corps was not subordinated to
15 the 1st Military District, just tell us who he was subordinated to,
16 please, without a lengthy explanation, just the name of the division.
17 Sorry, the name of the district where it was headquartered.
18 A. The commander of the 17th Corps of the JNA headquartered in Tuzla
19 was General Savo Jankovic and he was subordinated to the command of the
20 2nd Military District headquartered in Sarajevo at whose head was
21 Lieutenant General Milutin Kukanjac.
22 Q. Now, the -- you were aware that the JNA in 1991 and 1992, formed
23 operational groups?
24 A. As far as I know, there were tactical groups but it is possible
25 that operational groups exist in the army. I know about tactical groups
1 and the 17th Tactical Group which was established for our area, including
2 the area of Bosanski Samac.
3 Q. Well, I suggest there were operational groups which were reporting
4 directly to the JNA general staff in Belgrade and they were the
5 Operational Group 1, in Western Slavonia, Operational Group 2 in Mostar,
6 Split, Dubrovnik, Operational Group 3 in Eastern Slavonia, Operational
7 Group 5 in Banija, Kordun and Lika.
8 A. To be quite honest, I have no idea about these operational groups
9 or the methods as to who and how they reported to. In the military,
10 Simo Zaric was assistant commander of the 4th Detachment which was part of
11 the 17th Tactical Group.
12 Q. There were operational groups in the Krajina area which included
13 special police units commanded by Commander Borjevic [phoen], weren't
15 A. I hear this last name for the first time here. I don't know how
16 operational groups or units were formed in the Krajina or elsewhere.
17 Q. I'm asking about your awareness as someone who worked in military
18 intelligence and appointed to that position by General Jankovic of the
19 special police units in the Krajina that were part of the JNA operational
21 A. General Jankovic had nothing to do with what was happening across
22 the River Sava in the Republic of Croatia, nor did he have anything to do
23 with what was happening on the territory of the Republic of Srpska
24 Krajina, where the Serbs for a while kept a certain area under control.
25 He was the commander of the 2nd Corps connected to Tuzla and the broader
1 region of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2 Q. Did you not understand my question? My question was directed at
3 your awareness. My question was: I'm asking you about your awareness
4 of -- as someone who worked in military intelligence and were appointed to
5 that position by General Jankovic, your awareness of special police units
6 in the Krajina that were part of the JNA operational groups, Banija,
7 Kordun. I want you to tell the Trial Chamber about your awareness of the
8 special police units in the Krajina.
9 A. Your Honours, there is no link whatsoever that I may have had with
10 this information, nor did I have any task when I was appointed and
11 proposed to work for a while as a person who would be gathering security
12 intelligence information in the area of Posavina, more precisely the three
13 municipalities where before the war I had been a chief of the state
14 security service. Now, my range and my information were only to do with
15 this micro location and if I had had any awareness, any knowledge in
16 relation to what Mr. Re is asking me I would gladly answer but really I
17 have absolutely no idea about it, nor was that my task, nor was that ever
18 a topic of conversation between me and Mr. Jankovic regarding this broad
20 Q. There is evidence before this Trial Chamber from Colonel Nikolic
21 and you've told the Trial Chamber about this information yourself, that
22 the paramilitaries were or he told you were police from the Krajina. Now,
23 are you saying based upon your last answer that as far as you're
24 concerned, Colonel Nikolic's information about where they came from was
25 wrong? And they weren't special police from the Krajina? Or from
1 somewhere else?
2 A. The information that these specials were kind of connection with
3 the police of the Republika Srpska Krajina, I received sometime in April
4 when they arrived in this area, so anything preceding this period, as to
5 their training, where it was, I had no idea about it, nor did Mr. Nikolic
6 have any idea about it so it's not contested. It's after I received this
7 information and when Mr. Nikolic had a conversation with them on the 12th
8 of April, in Donji Zabar, told us where they came from, and what they told
9 him. I do not contest this information but it has nothing to do with me
10 allegedly having any information about this preceding this event.
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: There is a small correction in the transcript but
12 it changes meaning of what Mr. Zaric said. On page 43 line 25, here it
13 says, "I had idea about it" and he said, "I had no idea about it, nor did
14 Mr. Nikolic."
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, we will accept that correction.
16 MR. RE:
17 Q. Mr. Nikolic said that he had seen their ID, they were bearing ID
18 as police from the SAO Krajina. Did you see any of the ID yourself?
19 A. No. I did not have an opportunity to see that. I heard this from
20 Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic and to be honest, I did not doubt that he had
21 reason, any reason, to make this up, and then tell us this.
22 Q. You've said that the 17th Corps was based in Tuzla. Now, Tuzla of
23 course had a majority Muslim population, didn't it?
24 A. No. I don't have a very precise statistical information. I know
25 there was no area in Bosnia-Herzegovina that was not multi-ethnic but how
1 varied the multi-ethnic structures were, I don't know, but I don't exclude
2 the possibility that Tuzla statistically speaking perhaps had, most
3 predominantly, Muslim population and then Serbs, but I cannot say for
4 sure. I'm not certain.
5 Q. The situation with the JNA in the second half of 1991 and 1992 and
6 you know this from your own position in military intelligence, was that
7 the JNA was experiencing severe difficulties because of the conflict
8 in -- raging across parts of the former Yugoslavia?
9 A. Yes. I agree with you.
10 Q. And you know from your own experience in military intelligence
11 that in July, 1990 -- I'm sorry, up until July, 1991, recruitment was done
12 at a republic level to the JNA? But in July, 1991, the JNA command in
13 Belgrade seized from the Sarajevo headquarters, all documentation relating
14 to conscription and the registers and put it into their own hands?
15 A. I don't know for certain the exact information but I know that
16 according to the Presidency decision of the Federal Republic of
17 Yugoslavia, there was a decision that was issued to dislocate, carry out
18 dislocation of weapons from the warehouse of the Territorial Defence, and
19 to take the military records, as you call them, and to place them as part
20 of the Ministry of Defence files because it was then defined as being a
21 state of emergency, and a possibility of the possession of weapons by the
22 Territorial Defence and their dispersion could bring about the break-up
23 the joint force as it was known to be in the JNA. I don't know whether
24 this information that you gave in July, I don't know whether that is so,
25 but I know that there was a Presidency decision going in that direction
1 passed by the Presidency and by the Supreme Commander of the Federal
2 Republic of Yugoslavia.
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... Transcript, I
4 don't know suggest anything but it's still July 1991 and Mr. Zaric was
5 referring to Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which was established later.
6 So maybe there is a need for some clarification, what was the name of the
7 state at that time.
8 MR. RE:
9 Q. Mr. Zaric, you were referring to the SFRY, not the FRY, weren't
10 you, in July --
11 A. I was thinking of the federal Federative Republic of Yugoslavia
12 because in 1991, there was no complete secession of Slovenia and Croatia
13 from Yugoslavia, so I remember that those decisions were legitimate, they
14 were brought by the Presidency of the SFRJ. I don't know whether that was
15 at the end of the 1991 or not. I am not completely certain of this data.
16 I don't know when this decision was issued.
17 Q. All right. Now, the situation in the JNA in Bosnia between July,
18 1991 and May 1992, when the JNA formally left the territory of Bosnia, was
19 that after the general command in Belgrade took control of recruiting, it
20 was mainly Serbs who were being recruited to the JNA in Bosnia, wasn't it?
21 A. No. That's not true.
22 Q. Well, the information I've just suggested to you is coming from a
23 judgement of this Tribunal. It's called the Tadic judgement. It's at
24 paragraph 106 of that judgement. The Trial Chamber has found that, a
25 Trial Chamber of this Tribunal has found that to be the case. What do you
1 say about the ethnic composition of the JNA after July, 1991?
2 A. I am aware that it was precisely in July-August, 1991, it was the
3 President of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina that publicly, all
4 military conscripts were called up, Muslims and Croats, not to respond to
5 the mobilisation, and this is probably what decided the fact, and brought
6 about the polarisation so that as days went by and months as well, what
7 happened was that the Yugoslav People's Army had increasingly more Serbs,
8 while Croats and Muslims were making, establishing their own paramilitary
9 formations, and did not wish to respond to the calls of the Yugoslav
10 People's Army which at the time was the dominant force also in
12 Q. The Tadic judgement says, and you can disagree if you like, I'll
13 put this as a proposition to you, that by early 1992, this is paragraph
14 108, Serbs who had formerly been 40 per cent of the JNA were 90 per cent
15 of the JNA. You'd agree with that, wouldn't you?
16 A. Yes. That's possible. Because those others did not wish to join
17 Yugoslav People's Army, but then the question is where were these others?
18 I agree that perhaps at the time Yugoslav People's Army had in its ranks
19 90 per cent of Serbs and possibly 10 or so per cent of Croats and Muslims
20 who lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 Q. And the result of the withdrawal of Muslims and Croats from the
22 JNA in Bosnia in 1991 and 1992 meant that the JNA was experiencing a
23 severe manpower shortage, wasn't it? It was running short of troops.
24 A. No. This polarisation started as a result of a terrible religious
25 polarisation which was carried out by the leaders of national,
1 nationalistic parties, and at that time, Yugoslav People's Army in this
2 area did not have a shortage of soldiers, it was not preparing for war.
3 If it had a task, it was to prevent the multi-ethnic conflict erupting in
4 the area.
5 Q. My question was more directed towards the shortage of troops
6 within the JNA. You'd accept, wouldn't you, and this is again coming from
7 the Tadic judgement at paragraph 110, and based upon your own experience
8 in the JNA at the time, that by early 1992, the JNA was experiencing a
9 severe manpower shortage, wasn't it?
10 A. No, no. I would not agree with you on that subject.
11 Q. All right. Well, if it wasn't experiencing severe manpower
12 shortage, the deficit of -- caused by the Muslims and Croats no longer
13 being in the JNA was filled by Serbs taking their place, wasn't it?
14 A. Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina responded to the mobilisation call of
15 the Yugoslav People's Army for a simple reason that the majority of the
16 Serbs, including myself, we lived for Bosnia-Herzegovina, as an
17 administrative unit, should remain part of Yugoslavia and Yugoslav
18 People's Army was the base of the defence component.
19 Q. You know that in the second half of 1991, the JNA formed TO units
20 in Serb-populated villages in Bosnia-Herzegovina and supplied them with
21 weapons and uniforms, don't you? And that's in the Tadic judgement at
22 page -- paragraph 106.
23 A. I hear this for the first time. I did not read Mr. Tadic's
24 judgement. The Yugoslav People's Army never did, nor was it up to them,
25 to establish some kind of Territorial Defence. They had their own units
1 that were part of their force but it was after the establishment of
2 Republika Srpska as a state entity, it was through their government and
3 certain organs, that the decision was adopted regarding the establishment
4 and constitution of the Territorial Defence for this entity, but Yugoslav
5 People's Army never established a Territorial Defence. This is the first
6 time I hear about this.
7 Q. The result of the Muslims and Croats leaving the JNA and the Serb
8 mobilisation was that the JNA started to place increasing reliance upon
9 paramilitary units, didn't it? And again I'm referring to the Tadic
10 judgement and your own observations of your work in military intelligence
11 in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1991 and 1992.
12 A. No. That's not true. And if we are speaking about Samac and if
13 there were 20 or 30 of those paramilitaries and there were several
14 thousand of us in a unit, that's an insignificant per cent. I wouldn't
15 say that was a rule but there were plenty of us from the 17th Tactical
16 Group for the zone of responsibility that we were in charge of.
17 Q. I'm talking about, for example, Zvornik and Bijeljina. In the
18 first week of April, 1992, and you'd know from your work in military
19 intelligence that Zvornik was taken over by paramilitaries, Arkan's men
20 and Seselj's men on the 31st of March and the 1st of April, 1992?
21 A. Some information in respect of what happened there, I found out
22 later, and I read a lot in the newspapers that there were many similar
23 scenarios as the one that happened in Samac but I also know that in March,
24 1992, from Croatia, there was a paramilitary formation with Cavka. They
25 came to the Odzak municipality and they did the very same thing in that
1 area and all of the organised defence structures, part of the Muslim and
2 Croatian peoples, they organised themselves as paramilitary formation.
3 Q. Mr. Zaric, you're not seriously saying you didn't know at the time
4 that Arkan and Seselj's men had taken over Zvornik? That's in the first
5 few days of April, 1992. You're not seriously saying that, are you?
6 A. The media followed the situation in particular and I was able to
7 see certain scenes on TV, and it was also later on I found out something
8 directly from people and I know that these kind of forces were involved in
9 the war conflicts in Bijeljina area and in the Zvornik area, but at the
10 time, I did not know what was going on there. Later on, I have -- had had
11 some information regarding this.
12 Q. Mr. Zaric, you knew, in early April, 1992, that paramilitary units
13 had seized control of Zvornik, didn't you? You couldn't not have known in
14 military intelligence in a very -- a matter of 70 kilometres or so away.
15 A. 150 kilometres from Samac but I really did not know what was going
16 on in Zvornik. But regarding the media, I was able to see what was going
17 on in Bijeljina because that's where Mrs. Biljana Plavsic was with a very
18 similar delegation as it was in Bosanski Brod between the 25th and 26th of
19 March, 1992.
20 Q. That's where Mrs. Plavsic was and that's where Arkan went and
21 that's where she greeted him with a kiss, you see that in the media?
22 A. Yes, we all saw that on TV. I'm not contesting that.
23 Q. Of course Arkan was a paramilitary leader, wasn't he?
24 A. He had his own unit, and the behaviour of that unit, I think, is
25 well known. I had the opportunity to hear and read about what happened
1 not just in Bijeljina but elsewhere, in other areas, where his unit, units
2 went, how much they were paramilitary units or not, I wouldn't go into
3 that but I know that where these units went, there were certain
4 significant problems.
5 Q. You knew at the time that is in April, early April, 1992, that
6 Arkan's paramilitary unit had taken over, Bijeljina, didn't you? You knew
7 that from the media and from your own intelligence work.
8 A. Yes. I was aware of that information, that they managed to
9 contain the situation, and that after that, there was peace for a period
10 in Bijeljina, but where it went afterwards, to which areas, I wouldn't
12 Q. And you know that in both towns, not so far from Bosanski Samac,
13 the JNA did not prevent Arkan or Seselj taking control of those two towns,
14 the JNA did not prevent the paramilitary units from taking control of
15 those towns, and you knew that at the time, didn't you?
16 A. Yes. I know that Yugoslav People's Army at the time had a
17 conflict with Arkan in the Bijeljina area. I know that Arkan beat up the
18 commander of the barracks in Bijeljina. He is now Colonel Marsalo
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that the rank of the officer was
21 general. That's what Mr. Zaric said.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He's now a general. At the time he
23 was a colonel.
24 MR. RE: Will Your Honours just excuse me for one moment? I'm
25 just looking for something I've mislaid.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
2 [Prosecution counsel confer]
3 MR. RE:
4 Q. You know, Mr. Zaric, and you know from the media and your own
5 intelligence work at the time, that the JNA assisted Arkan in Zvornik by
6 shelling when the paramilitary units went in, don't you?
7 A. I don't know that. And I don't know how I would know that and why
8 are you linking me to the area which was 150 kilometres away from me? If
9 you want me to tell you what I read in newspaper articles, I don't know
10 how important that is for this Trial Chamber.
11 Q. When these paramilitary units arrived in Bosanski Samac -- sorry,
12 in Pelagicevo -- Batkusa on about the 11th of April, 1992, it was after
13 the takeover of Bijeljina and Zvornik by similar paramilitary units,
14 wasn't it?
15 A. Yes. That happened after that, but I have the information what
16 happened in Bijeljina before Arkan came to Bijeljina but I don't think
17 that is something that is important for us to discuss before this Trial
19 Q. You, and all the other members of your command, were aware that
20 the paramilitaries had taken over towns in Bosanski Samac before they
21 arrived in Batkusa, weren't you?
22 A. I know that.
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: There is a problem -- I believe here there is
24 something in the transcript that is maybe that the question was not
25 properly recorded. Here it says you and all the other members of your
1 command, were aware that the paramilitaries had taken over towns in
2 Bosanski Samac before they arrived in Batkusa. This is what it says. It
3 was the transcript says so it's most probably not properly recorded.
4 MR. RE: If there is any ambiguity, what I meant was members of
5 Serbian paramilitary units, not the ones who arrived in Batkusa, not those
6 particular ones but members of similar Serbian paramilitary units, had
7 already taken over towns in Bosanski Samac -- sorry, in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I think your answer was, referring to your
9 interpretation of my question, was you knew that.
10 A. I know that Bijeljina happened before Samac, but I also know that
11 before Arkan's arrival, the Green Berets turned up there and caused an
12 incident and that the Public Security Service was not able to deal with
13 it, and that several young men of Serb nationality were killed in those
14 conflicts, and that's probably when Mr. Arkan came and did what he did,
15 and then Bijeljina was put under some sort of control. Arkan withdrew and
16 Bijeljina never experienced any further war.
17 Q. But of course this was the same Arkan who committed summary
18 executions of a large number of Muslims within a week of arriving there,
19 wasn't it?
20 A. Yes. I learned this information from the media.
21 Q. That information was well known at the time the paramilitaries
22 arrived in Batkusa, wasn't it?
23 A. I don't know how well known it was, but I know what I saw in the
24 media, and I said that I was able to see on television the arrival of
25 Mrs. Plavsic and her exchange of kisses with Arkan and information also
1 arrived that the situation there was under control. As for the number of
2 dead, I learned that later, that information was not given out right away.
3 I do not exclude the possibility that what was published in the newspapers
4 was not correct, and that several lads of Muslim ethnicity were killed
5 after Arkan came to Bijeljina.
6 Q. Well, it was 20 on the 9th of April, 1992. Does that jog your
7 memory? 20 Bosnian Muslim and Croat men and boys who were detained by
8 Arkan's men in Zvornik. Does that date assist you? It was the 9th of
9 April, 1992.
10 A. It was not possible for us to get information of that kind so
11 quickly in Samac as to know how many people were killed in Bijeljina or in
12 Zvornik. It was two days later that these people came to us. The
13 information was not so precise, nor did anyone try to broadcast this sort
14 of information in public. So I had no idea how many people exactly were
15 killed, either in Zvornik or in Bijeljina.
16 Q. The situation was that you and the other members of the 4th
17 Detachment command and military intelligence within the 17th Tactical
18 Group were aware that paramilitary -- Serbian paramilitary groups were
19 taking over towns and committing atrocities before the takeover in
20 Bosanski Samac on the 16th and 17th of April, 1992?
21 A. I understand, Mr. Re, what direction you're going in but it was
22 not possible for us to have this information at that time. If this
23 happened as you say on the 9th of April, and these people came to us two
24 days later, do you think somebody ran to us right away to tell us this and
25 this happened, so many people were killed? How could I know about certain
1 massacres and certain incidents that happened hundreds of kilometres away?
2 This was simply impossible. It can't be understood in this way. It did
3 not go through the Internet.
4 Q. Your command and the members of military intelligence in the 17th
5 Tactical Group were aware, including yourself, of the takeovers by
6 paramilitaries in other towns in Bosnia before the takeover in
7 Bosanski Samac? You can't deny that, can you?
8 A. I know about Bijeljina, I didn't hear about Zvornik. I know about
9 Bosanski Brod because that was after the Croats took over. I know about
10 Odzak and areas that were closer to us and the surroundings of Samac but
11 as to what happened on other territories, I learned that in the course of
12 the war and I read quite a lot about it after the war. At that time,
13 however, there was no way I could have known this. I know what happened
14 in the immediate vicinity. This is the information I feel at home with
15 and that you can ask me about as much as you like.
16 Q. So you're saying the information from -- about the takeover of
17 Zvornik on the 31st of March and the 1st of April and Bijeljina a week
18 later, by paramilitary groups within the JNA's area of responsibility
19 didn't filter through to the 17th Tactical Group's --
20 A. I'm not hearing the interpretation, Mr. Re, I apologise. I can't
21 hear you.
22 Q. Are you getting it now? Is everyone clearly getting it?
23 A. I don't know who knew what at a that level but as for me, as the
24 assistant commander of the detachment in Samac, I did not have this
25 information at my disposal. Whether someone at the level of the 17th
1 Corps had that information, well, that's possible, but it did not filter
2 down to the level of Simo Zaric, who was assistant commander at the level
3 of the 4th Detachment. There were no hostilities of that kind and that
4 complexity in our neck of the woods at the time.
5 Q. Mr. Zaric, your evidence to the Trial Chamber last week was that
6 General Jankovic personally appointed you to gather intelligence and
7 report to Maksimovic, Nikolic, and if necessary him, about what was
8 happening on the ground. Now, the evidence has been that Nikolic informed
9 his command, that is, Jankovic, that the paramilitaries had arrived. Are
10 you seriously telling the Trial Chamber that Nikolic, Jankovic,
11 Maksimovic, none of them said to you, "Look, Zaric, we've had takeovers in
12 other towns by paramilitary units from Serbia, Zvornik, Bijeljina,
13 Bosanski Brod. Some have landed in our area. You better keep an eye on
14 them." Nothing like that happened? No mention of these takeovers by
15 paramilitaries very similar to those who arrived in the Bosanski Samac
17 A. Mr. Re, I cannot accept what you say. I was the assistant
18 commander of a detachment. It was my task to gather basic information in
19 that area and hand it over to my immediate superior whose name was
20 Makso Simeunovic. I had only one or two contacts. My first contact with
21 General Jankovic, he did not appoint me but it was agreed on during the
22 conversation that I was to perform intelligence tasks and that before the
23 war, I was to collect information for the 17th Tactical Group and I was
24 not the one who went and submitted reports to General Jankovic directly.
25 My level of work was to report only to my immediate superior of the
1 information I passed on to him, what he passed on further to the 17th
2 Corps, I never entered into that. As for feedback of the kind that you
3 are talking about, it never reached me. I heard about this from the media
4 more than it was a topic of conversation in the way that you are trying to
5 get me to confirm. I cannot confirm this because I did not know it.
6 Q. So you're basically saying that no one in the command of the 17th
7 Tactical Group or the 17th Corps passed on any information to you that you
8 should look out for these paramilitaries because they might be attempting
9 a takeover like they had in other towns? Just no discussion of that at
10 all, no mention of Serbian paramilitaries and taking over towns and being
11 dangerous men? Nothing? Is that what you're saying?
12 A. When I submitted my intelligence information as to what was going
13 on in the area, I gave so much exhaustive information during my
14 examination-in-chief, and this was information I had at my disposal that I
15 submitted to my immediate superior. What the methods were of distributing
16 information from the 17th Tactical Group upwards, I cannot say that,
17 because I was not a participant in that, and no one gave me feedback
18 except that I was told that I should continue gathering information and
19 submitted it. That's what my superior told me and that's what I did in a
20 disciplined manner.
21 Q. So what you're saying is completely suggestive of the fact that
22 the local JNA command, Nikolic, Jankovic, et cetera, weren't concerned
23 about the arrival of the paramilitaries, if they didn't pass on
24 information to you that these similar groups had taken over other towns?
25 That's the only conclusion you can draw from that, isn't it?
1 A. I agree with you that perhaps they were deeply concerned about
2 these issues. They were serious people and I don't believe that this sort
3 of information bypassed people in the top leadership of the JNA. I don't
4 know what they talked about among themselves but I do agree with you that
5 it is realistic to assume that they would have been concerned about the
6 situation in their area of responsibility.
7 Q. Well, when the Prosecutor asked you in the interview on the 1st of
8 April, which is P140 ter, at page 53, the question, Nancy, "wasn't it a
9 fact that these paramilitary groups you referred to were under the command
10 of the JNA before the attack?" And your answer was, "You'll have to ask
11 Mr. Nikolic."
12 A. That's what I said, yes.
13 Q. And you said that because you know that they were under JNA
14 command but you just didn't want to put it in the record of the interview.
15 A. That's your conclusion.
16 Q. Well, I'm asking you to comment on it. I'm suggesting that's the
17 reason why you said that. You didn't say they weren't. You said you'll
18 have to ask Mr. Nikolic, it's a rather cryptic answer to a fairly straight
19 question, isn't it?
20 A. Yes. In both of my interviews, I explained the reasons why I
21 thought so. That one sentence doesn't mean anything because Mr. Nikolic
22 told us at one point, when we told him that we thought this was a gang
23 doing certain things, he initially agreed with that, and then he said that
24 he would do his best to find out what this was all about and to put it
25 under control as far as was possible. To what extent Mr. Nikolic put this
1 under his control or not, well, that's why I said to Madam Nancy Paterson
2 if that's important, ask Mr. Nikolic, and he was -- he testified before
3 this Trial Chamber.
4 Q. Of course, if you turn the page over, you'll see what you went on
5 to say, that's at page 54, when the Prosecutor went on to say, "you know
6 nothing about that," I won't read the part on page 53, I'll go to the top
7 of page 54, the part that starts, I'll just wait until you find it, "I
8 would like to say that on the first day." Maybe it's on page 55. It's
9 page 54. And it's -- it's in Bosnian, about a third of the way down the
11 A. Yes. I have page 54 before me.
12 Q. All right. Just read along with me. Your answer to the question
13 or part of your answer to the question, "you know nothing about that,"
14 after you've explained about the arrival, the top of that page, you say,
15 "I would like to say that on the first day, information came that these
16 people, this group of people, drank heavily, that they also stopped buses,
17 that they robbed people. I personally asked Commander Nikolic what should
18 be done about this. He said that his perception... I said how come that
19 these people who arrived were such people? He said that his perception
20 was that this was some kind of a gang and he would take care of them."
21 What you then said, Mr. Zaric, was, "and after a couple of days, that
22 changed and he said that he was putting them under his command.
23 "Now, I would like to tell you, Mrs. Nancy, that the way I saw
24 Mr. Nikolic, until that very moment, I always saw him as a great Yugoslav,
25 and when that happened, and the arrival of that group, then I saw that he
1 couldn't possibly keep them under his control."
2 A. Everything here is correct. Yes. As far as I'm concerned. And I
3 abide by what I said.
4 Q. That is that Nikolic told you he was putting them under his
5 command several days after they arrived and before the takeover of
6 Bosanski Samac?
7 A. No. I didn't say under command. I said under control. And these
8 are two quite different things. He said he would try to put this under
9 control. This does not mean that he was supposed to command them. He
10 explained what his idea was. He invited them for an interview. He wanted
11 to see them. He informed his superior command and received certain
12 instructions and orders as to how he should treat them. Let's not repeat
13 Mr. Nikolic's testimony before this Trial Chamber.
14 Q. Maybe there is some problem with the translation of this document.
15 The official translation was done years ago and it has never been objected
16 to by your counsel or anyone else. Your counsel has never objected to the
17 words which are in the English, "And after a couple of days, that changed
18 and he said that he was putting them under his command." That's what it
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, and here on B/C/S it says that he will put
21 them "under his control and that we shouldn't not worry about it." This
22 is what we are reading in B/C/S, on page 54 of this document.
23 MR. RE: Well, I --
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: Of course Mr. Zaric can read this out in B/C/S.
25 MR. RE: I press the Prosecution's position that this document has
1 been in evidence for a long time, the Defence have had it for a long time
2 and it's formed part of the exhibit in this case and no one has ever
3 challenged that translation of what is a very important aspect of both
4 cases, one would think, until this second. Is the Defence asking for it
5 to be retranslated?
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Except to note that, Mr. Re, the same paragraph on
7 page 54, when you continue reading it, the accused continues to say, "now
8 I would like to tell you, Mrs. Nancy," if you begin from there, the end it
9 shows that, "I saw that he couldn't possibly keep them under his control."
10 MR. RE: I read that to Mr. Zaric, there are two concepts there,
11 Your Honour. One is command and one is control. Your Honours know about
12 de facto and de jure issues in the military.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: As a matter of fact this is not the first time
15 that this very same part of the --
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic?
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, if I may suggest one word, Your Honour, I
18 believe that it was during cross-examination of one of the witnesses,
19 frankly I -- my memory is not that good, but I believe that it was
20 Mr. Weiner who cross-examined one of the witnesses and this very same
21 problem appeared at that moment because I objected again because I always
22 quoted Mr. Zaric interview as keeping things under control, and what I
23 believe would be the easiest way is to just show it and ask Mr. Zaric to
24 read out in B/C/S what he actually said, and in B/C/S it says there are
25 two actually sentences mentioning what Mr. Nikolic said to them, whether
1 it's under command or under control, and in B/C/S n both sentences, it is
2 said under control, to keep things under control. While looking here and
3 at English version, it is true that it says, under his command, on
4 sentence one and on the other one, under control. So this is basically
5 what it is. But I believe that Mr. Zaric was speaking in B/C/S and giving
6 answers in B/C/S.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: But is the B/C/S word different, one for command and
8 one for control?
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just like in English, control and command are two
10 different things.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes, but is the -- unfortunately I've only got
12 the English one in front of me but is the word that is used the same word
13 or are there two words used in the B/C/S version?
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, these are two words, "komanda" and
15 "kontrola," very similar to the English in B/C/S. And of course in
16 B/C/S, Mr. Zaric used both times words "control" both times, in both
17 sentences, "kontrola."
18 MR. RE: I'm no expert but I can clearly see "komandi" and
19 "kontrolom" in that paragraph below, the 7th line from the bottom,
20 "Nikolic je nama rekao u komandi tada maltene da." And in the last line,
21 "Drzi pod svojom kontrolom." There is of course an audio of this
22 interview, if there is any doubt as to what Mr. Zaric actually said.
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: I hope so but the Prosecution is the one that
24 provided us with the copies of the interview and the translation.
25 Mr. Zaric can simply read out what is in B/C/S.
1 [Defence counsel confer].
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may be of
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zaric?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I assert that the tape can be
6 reviewed and I assert that I used the word "control" on both -- in both
7 sentences. I never said put under his command. I have been able to look
8 at the or listen to the audio tape and to see the B/C/S transcript. In
9 both cases, I used the word "control". I never said he was putting him
10 under his command. That is my definitive reply to this so we need not
11 waste time on it.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, would and we can ask the registry to give us
13 the correct interpretation. They will use the audiotapes.
14 MR. RE: I'm sure we can clarify that.
15 Q. But in your -- just hang on for one moment. In the interview of
16 June, 1998 at page 22, that's P142 ter -- have you found it? Halfway down
17 the page, "So who is responsible for the takeover of Samac?"
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. Olga says "the Crisis Staff and the SDS. The SDS were
20 responsible," apparently translating your words; is that correct, that
21 Olga has just used your words, "the Crisis Staff and the SDS, the
22 authorities were responsible?" Just asking you if Olga has just repeated
23 what you said in the line before.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. John, a lawyer, repeats, "The Crisis Staff was responsible," and
1 Olga repeats it and you answer or Olga answers for you, she says, "that is
2 my deep conviction and I think the part of the responsibility can also be
3 taken by the command of the 17th Tactical Group. I am talking about
4 Mr. Nikolic. But what happened later showed that as soon as the Yugoslav
5 People's Army left the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, only a few
6 days after the war began, that SDS components of the war option prepared
7 in its own way." Not once --
8 A. I don't know what you want from me.
9 Q. I just want you to read it. Having read it, not once but twice
10 you referred to Mr. Nikolic in the context of responsibility for the
12 A. Yes. And do you want me to comment on what I said?
13 Q. Maybe not now.
14 MR. RE: It's 12.30. Is that the time for the break?
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will take our break and continue at 1250
17 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re. You continue.
20 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 Q. Mr. Zaric, I was asking you before the break about the -- your
22 references to Mr. Nikolic or Colonel Nikolic as he then was, Lieutenant
23 Colonel Nikolic, in the context of your attributing some responsibility to
24 him for the takeover. Now, when you said, "That is my deep conviction and
25 I think that part of the responsibility had also be taken by the command
1 of the 17th Tactical Group, I'm talking about Mr. Nikolic," that is at
2 page 23 of P142, which I read to you before and you read yourself, what
3 you're saying there is that you regarded Nikolic and the 17th Tactical
4 Group as being responsible for the takeover in the same way that the
5 paramilitaries were, don't you? That's what those words mean.
6 A. I'm going to tell you what my words mean.
7 Q. You're going to tell me they mean something else, are you?
8 A. Absolutely.
9 Q. Okay. Okay, then. What do the words "I think part of the
10 responsibility can also be taken by the command of the 17th Tactical Group
11 and I'm talking about Mr. Nikolic" mean, if not what they say?
12 A. I said that it could be attributed to them. That's how I said it.
13 That word is not too strict in that sense but when I said that, my
14 starting point was that as far as we were concerned, Mr. Nikolic told us
15 that he would make certain efforts in order to place this group under his
16 control and so on, and even today my conviction is, although I believe
17 Mr. Nikolic to be a very conscientious officer, whether he on his side had
18 done everything that he could to place this group that had said that
19 belonged to the police but whether, in according to the position that he
20 had as the commander of the 17th Tactical Group, whether he did enough in
21 order to place this group under his control, it is within this context
22 that I looked at. Perhaps that's a cursory assessment but that's how I
23 felt it, and that's the reason why I said that Mr. Nikolic would have this
24 part of some kind of responsibility but whether he was able to do anything
25 or not, I'm just assuming that somehow through his position, he was able
1 to come to more precise data who these people were, perhaps to make more
2 of an effort to either place them more under more of a control or
3 something else. That's what I said. But I'm not putting this on the same
4 level as the specials who were taking over the town. I'm not placing them
5 on the same level as the 17th Tactical Group or units of the Yugoslav
6 People's Army.
7 Q. Mr. Zaric, thank you for the explanation. I just want to take you
8 to P127, which is the 13 signatories document which of course is
9 reproduced in full in your book and which you told the Trial Chamber last
10 week that you had spent several months gathering information and
11 intelligence on the document before you prepared it.
12 MR. RE: Could the witness perhaps be shown P127, please?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never said anywhere that I was
14 working on this for several months.
15 MR. RE:
16 Q. I think your evidence was that you took several months to gather
17 the information necessary to --
18 JUDGE MUMBA: I think Mr. Re the evidence is on record. Just
20 MR. RE:
21 Q. Mr. Zaric, I take you to the third paragraph on the first page,
22 the one that starts, "Second." "Second, even while the tactical group or
23 TG17 existed and Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic was here, a group of so-called
24 'Serbian commandos' led by Crni and Debeli arrived in this area in a
25 military helicopter. Nikolic and the 17th Tactical Group command
1 initially branded it as a 'paramilitary group' and a 'group of bandits and
2 mercenaries,' but after only five or six days, they endorsed it and
3 explained it as a 'legal elite unit of Serbian commandos' whose arrival
4 had been legalised through the official organs of government and the army
5 both at the level of Samac municipality and at the highest level in Serbia
6 and Yugoslavia."
7 Now that document was of course -- sorry, you prepared that
8 document relatively contemporaneously compared to when you gave your
9 statements to the Prosecutor some six years later. You agree with that?
10 A. I didn't understand you very well.
11 Q. This document is far more contemporaneous than the records, sorry,
12 the statements you gave to the Prosecutor in 1998. This document is dated
13 1st of December, 1992 and relates to events occurring in the preceding
14 eight months and it's based upon information you gathered over some
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What you've said there, about Nikolic endorsing -- Nikolic and the
18 17th Tactical Group command endorsing this group, five or six days after
19 they arrived and that, of course, is before the takeover -- is quite
20 consistent with what you said in your statements about Nikolic having some
21 responsibility for the takeover, isn't it?
22 A. There is a certain connection, but you must allow me to give you
23 my opinion in relation to this. It's very important when you read this
24 text in B/C/S what is inside the quotation marks and it's very important
25 how the information dealt with a certain problem. I have precisely, in
1 this part of paragraph 2 that you are referring to, said that it is not
2 contested that initially this group, the command of the 17th Tactical
3 Group, was treated by the Commander Nikolic as a gang of gangsters and
4 mercenaries. What I quoted was exactly what the commander had said, but
5 it is also true that few days later, after Commander Nikolic received the
6 information that this was a special unit, that it was linked to the
7 authorities in some structures in Yugoslavia, then as far as I was
8 concerned, at the time when this information was written, it was not to be
9 denied that I should put this inside this information because if he was
10 claiming that this team was a special unit and that he had even seen some
11 IDs while we had found out in the meantime where they had come from and
12 where they had trained, and I had already had the information through
13 which structure they have arrived here, then of course, I think it's
14 logical that such a critical assessment was given in this document.
15 That's how I see this.
16 Q. But that's not what I'm asking you, Mr. Zaric, with respect. I'm
17 asking you about your statement there, which -- the document you drafted
18 and which everyone who has come to court that you've brought to court has
19 testified was true and correct, and they signed it after a discussion, and
20 they agreed with its contents, I'm asking you about the comment there, or
21 your words, "But after only five or six days, they endorsed it." That is
22 Nikolic and the 17th Tactical Group command, before the takeover, endorsed
23 these paramilitaries.
24 Now, that only suggests that they were acting with the JNA, if
25 they were endorsed by the 17th Tactical Group command, doesn't it? I mean
1 there is no other explanation you can give for what you've written there,
2 is there?
3 A. No. The only thing here is the fact that the commander had said
4 that this group had a legitimate character on the basis of his interview
5 with them, and that's why it's -- this assessment is between the quotation
6 marks, that this has been verified and interpreted as, and then there are
7 quotation marks as a legal, elite unit of Serb specials. That's what the
8 commander had said that he had accepted as a fact because that's what he
9 had been told. And what's very important afterwards, to be known, is that
10 after these words, it says, "Whose arrival has been legalised through
11 official organs of authority and army, not only on the level of the Samac
12 municipality but also on the highest level in Serbia and Yugoslavia." And
13 when this part was said, that's what I meant this to say, including people
14 working on this information. If the commander of the 17th Corps [Realtime
15 transcript read in error "Tactical Group"] Mr. Savo Jankovic, after the
16 information that the group arrived, had said, "don't touch them, the army
17 has nothing to do with that," if this information Savo Jankovic received
18 from somebody from the army of Serbia, Yugoslavia, then I thought that the
19 army had allowed this team, this group, to act as a special police unit.
20 That's my explanation.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: Small correction. When referring to Mr. Savo
22 Jankovic, here on page 69, line 8, and 9, if the commander of the 17th
23 Corps, Mr. Savo Jankovic is how it should be read, here is says, "If the
24 commander of the 17th Tactical Group, Mr. Savo Jankovic." He was the
25 commander of the 17th Corps.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, it's obvious that that was a mistake.
2 MR. RE:
3 Q. But this is of course -- this endorsement which you have referred
4 to there only five or six days after their arrival, that is before the
5 takeover, you're saying in this document that Nikolic and the command of
6 the 17th Tactical Group were endorsing a group of paramilitaries, formerly
7 called paramilitaries but then a legal elite of Serbian commandos, days
8 after Serbian paramilitaries had taken over Zvornik, Bijeljina,
9 Bosanski Brod and committed atrocities. That's what you're saying, isn't
11 A. No. That's what you're saying. I'm not saying that.
12 Q. Well, but it goes further, Mr. Zaric, and that is when you were
13 interviewed --
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise. This is maybe my understanding
15 but --
16 MR. RE: Is this an objection?
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, actually it is an objection.
18 MR. RE: I'll sit down.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: When quoting Mr. Zaric this you keep saying that
20 was all before the takeover and now I was looking at all this, and it was
21 not in dispute that the paramilitaries arrived on 11th. So six to seven
22 days later --
23 MR. RE: I really object. You stop this. You stop this now.
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: All right, this is my objection.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, don't be agitated. The document is clear.
1 It says five or six days.
2 MR. RE: That's right, the witness can answer it. Mr. Lazarevic
3 cannot keep interjecting and cluing the witness, pointing out things. The
4 witness has in front of him, it's his document, he can explain anything
5 and he hasn't contradicted what I've said. If Mr. Lazarevic wishes to do
6 so, he does it in closing submissions or re-examination. If I say
7 something -- if I put a proposition to the witness, the witness can answer
8 it, unless there is something objectionable about the question or the
9 form. This happens all the time.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: I have no problem. I've left this question once,
11 I left the question twice. The third time I reacted is because I have a
12 belief that you are trying to confuse my client with these questions and
13 this is what it is.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lazarevic, the Trial Chamber doesn't think so,
15 because Mr. Simo Zaric is discussing things within his knowledge, and
16 matters which he has given -- already given evidence on. So let's have
17 some order so that the Prosecution can continue cross-examination.
18 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise to my learned friend and to the
19 Trial Chamber, just a maybe it might be of certain importance to clarify
20 transcript. Page 70, line between 9 and 12, I think the portion of
21 question and answer should be split just for the record. Thank you.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Which question and answer?
23 MR. PANTELIC: The first portion when my learned friend Mr. Re
24 said, "I'll sit down," during the objection of my learned friend Lazarevic
25 and then Mr. Lazarevic starts to speak.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: M'hm.
2 MR. PANTELIC: So we have only one sentence between line 9 and 12,
3 which is unclear part of transcript.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: I don't think it matters a lot. Let's proceed.
5 MR. RE:
6 Q. Mr. Zaric, you take it further about Mr. Nikolic having command of
7 the paramilitary units. In your record of interview or your statement on
8 the 1st of April, that's P140 ter, at page 73, do you have that one there,
9 P140 ter at page 73?
10 A. No, no, that's not this part.
11 Q. Mr. Lazarevic was just motioning to me it was actually page 73. I
12 was reading the English on page 73. I apologise but the question, the
13 question is on page 73, the question "Nancy." The difficulty is they're
14 both mixed in the same paragraph in this version. "Nancy: Okay, let me
15 just ask a few questions to clarify some things. Did you ever learn
16 anything about Crni and his background to understand why he was getting
17 all the special attention and treatment?" You see that question there?
18 A. No, no, no. It has not been found. We can't find that. I mean,
19 the usher didn't tell me -- didn't give me this part. I don't know where
20 to find it. I don't know which document --
21 Q. Perhaps I can assist.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: P140 ter.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have a page in front of me, page
24 73, but now you'll have to remind me.
25 Q. Middle of the page, don't turn the page.
1 A. Very well.
2 Q. Nancy -- the paragraph is mixed English and B/C/S the first half
3 is English the second half is B/C/S. Okay. Says Nancy, "Let me just ask
4 you" --
5 A. Can you tell me -- yes, yes, "Only a few questions in order to
6 clarify," yes, I found this part.
7 Q. All right. Now, your answer about why Crni was singled out to be
8 so important was, "I knew very little about him. All these people who
9 came from elsewhere, they all just had nicknames and it was like a month
10 and then when they said that he became brigade commander then he realised
11 his name was -- that his name was Dragan Djurdjevic. Up until then he
12 only knew he was Crni. He was always very, very close to
13 Mr. Stevan Todorovic and the Serbian police. This is the point I wish to
14 direct your attention to. At some point he was also made commander of the
15 battalion and at some point, his superior was also Nikolic for a very
16 short time before he left for Yugoslavia."
17 Now, what -- you've read that and I've read it correctly to you,
18 haven't I?
19 A. Yes, yes, you have read it well.
20 Q. What you've said there again is a reference to Nikolic having
21 command at some point over the paramilitary, Crni. There is no other
22 interpretation, I suggest, to what is said there, that Nikolic was his
23 commander or superior at some point, is there?
24 A. At that time, when I was giving this answer, Mrs. Nancy wasn't
25 interested in elaborating on this as you're interested but when I linked
1 Mr. Nikolic to Mr. Dragan Djurdjevic, also known as Crni, the only thing I
2 meant was that in that part where he was a member of a special unit in a
3 special battalion, in certain situations he was subordinate to Nikolic, if
4 the Special Battalion was tasked with certain operations and there has
5 been testimony to this effect here, and regarding this category of this
6 relationship, that's what I meant. Not in a sense that Commander Nikolic
7 was exclusively superior to Crni but only certain operations that the
8 Special Battalion was carrying out, with the public security station. I
9 don't know what they were attached to to start with.
10 Q. I don't need Mr. Usher to stand there any more. If you just leave
11 those there? Thank you.
12 The -- did you take part yourself in any of these special
13 operations in which the paramilitary units were subordinated to
14 Colonel Nikolic?
15 A. No. I personally did not participate in that.
16 Q. But in preparing the 13 signatories, that is P127 and spending all
17 the time you did in researching the information for this very important
18 document, you became aware and included in this report that, "The Special
19 Battalion" - I'm just quoting from it which you can see in front of you
20 there in the third paragraph - "played an indisputably positive role in
21 the liberation of Samac as part of the Special Battalion in fighting in
22 Vidovica, Kornice, Garevac, Kladari in the liberation of the corridor to
23 Brcko and in other operations." That's the information you had when you
24 prepared your report that these paramilitaries had worked with the JNA on
25 those special operations, wasn't it?
1 A. This conclusion can be drawn, but I only wish to say, and I'm not
2 trying to evade what it says here, but I have to say that I personally put
3 a lot of effort into having the information adopted within the context in
4 which I believed it should be used so that all the qualifications used in
5 this document doesn't mean that it was Simo Zaric's desire that that's the
6 qualification that should be used. However, I stood behind the assessment
7 because it was far less important to me than the content of the rest of
8 the information.
9 Q. Mr. Zaric, I don't quite understand your answer. I've just simply
10 asking you this was the information you had, namely that the
11 paramilitaries, as part of the Special Battalion, had taken part in
12 operations in those places I just named, with JNA troops. That was your
13 information, wasn't it, and that's why you put it in this report?
14 A. Some people insisted that it should be included in the information
15 and I was not in a position to change this. I didn't really want them
16 mentioned, especially in any kind of positive context, but when this
17 information was drawn up, and debated, there were people who insisted on
18 this. They insisted that the liberation of Samac and the part of the
19 corridor which was under attack from Brcko, Modrica, around Vidovica and
20 so on where these special purpose units took part in the fighting, that
21 they should be given this sort of recognition, which is why this sentence
22 was included in the information. If you were to ask me whether I agreed
23 that this should be in the information, I was not trying to praise this
24 team, although I would like to tell Their Honours that out of the 20 or so
25 specials that arrived, six of them were killed in our area, which is
1 almost 20 per cent of their number, which arrived in this area, and so the
2 people in the command wanted to recognise the fact that people had died
3 for the struggle and that they had some sort of patriotic feelings because
4 not all the specials were bandits like Lugar and others who committed
5 crimes. I wouldn't agree that each and every one of them who arrived bore
6 this characteristic.
7 Q. That's not what I'm asking you. Please concentrate. What I'm
8 asking you is about the fact that they participated, I'm not interested
9 whether it was positive or who insisted it go in there, your information
10 was that these specials, Lugar, Crni, Debeli, them and their men, had
11 participated in those operations, wasn't it?
12 A. Yes. And they were then resubordinated to the command of the 17th
13 Tactical Group, as far as I was able to learn later on. Only in these
14 operations were they resubordinated to the command of the 17th Tactical
15 Group. After that, they regained their former status.
16 Q. Are you able to say how many operations these men were used in,
17 subordinated to Nikolic?
18 A. I don't know the exact number. I wasn't a commander of the 17th
19 Tactical Group.
20 Q. Now, I think you were saying a moment ago it was others who
21 insisted that the information be put in the report. Is that right? Is
22 that the sense of what you were saying that it was others not you who
23 wanted that information in the report? I don't want a long answer but is
24 that the gist of what you were saying?
25 A. Others insisted that they be ascribed a great merit for the
1 liberation of Samac and I personally did not agree with this. As to their
2 participation in certain operations, as a resubordinated unit, I think
3 that the commander of the 17th Tactical Group was in charge of that, and
4 he was the only one who was in charge of it.
5 Q. You still have your book there in front of you?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. If you turn to I think it's about page 297 to 298, it's just near
8 the photo caption at page 298, the few paragraphs above the photo caption?
9 A. Yes. Tell me how the paragraph begins and I'll try to find my
11 Q. It's the fourth paragraph after 2, so it's on page 298. It
12 starts, "In brief, we analysed certain events and phenomena which
13 demoralised soldiers and weakened the unit's combat efficiency and
14 readiness, as we say in military terminology."
15 A. I can't find these exact words but does it mean anything to you if
16 I start reading, "In brief, we carried out an analysis of certain events
17 and phenomena"? Am I near the place where you want me to read?
18 Q. That's the paragraph. It's that one and the next one. Just read
19 those two to yourself, please.
20 A. Yes. I've read it.
21 Q. You see the paragraph there, after you've referred to their
22 arrival and the way they were treated as a "quite legitimate Serb elite
23 unit of specially trained men," you go on to say "but we did not begrudge
24 them the recognition they deserved. Their significant role in the Defence
25 of Samac, in the fighting at Vidovica, Kornice, Garevac, Kladari, and in
1 the opening of the corridor. We also talked about the contribution of
2 'local special units' but things that were inexcusable in the behaviour
3 of the volunteers, plunder, robbery, crime, the crime at Crkvina, were
4 called by their real names and attributed to key persons in positions of
5 responsibility." Now, what you've said in that book there is in relation
6 to the report, isn't it, just yes or no? That's yes? You're nodding,
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You see, what you've said there is we did not begrudge them the
10 recognition they deserved, their significant role in defence of Samac and
11 the fighting at Vidovica, et cetera. You haven't said there, "I
12 reluctantly included a reference to these people, I didn't want to do it,
13 other people insisted on it, I thought their bad outweighed their good."
14 You haven't said that in your book. What you have said is you're not
15 begrudging them the recognition they deserve.
16 A. There was no need for me to justify myself in the way you want me
17 to. I tried to reproduce in the most honest way what the information
18 contained, and out of respect for the people who signed this information,
19 at the end I also mentioned the names of all the people who signed this
20 information. This is on page 300. Therefore, at that moment, I was
21 dealing with what the information says, not what Simo Zaric himself
22 thought, and it was proper on my part to say, "We did not pass over what
23 had to be conceded to them, an important role in the defence of Samac, in
24 battles at Vidovica, Kornice, Garevac, Kladari and in establishing the
25 corridor." I was simply saying what was in the information in paragraph
1 2. In the book I didn't want to make excuses for myself saying this was
2 not my opinion, but the opinion of 13 signatories. I tried to show the
3 public what the purpose of the information was, and as the author of the
4 book, what did the author want to say? Simo Zaric only wanted to transmit
5 in an authentic manner what was contained in the information, not passing
6 over anything.
7 Q. You also talked about the paramilitaries in an interview you gave
8 to Omri on the 16th of November, 1996. That's Omri, the Croatian, sorry,
9 the Czech media, you gave two interviews to Omri, one was in the presence
10 of Mr. Pisarevic on the 12th of November, and the second was in your own
11 office which was next to your food store in Bosanski Samac on the 16th of
12 November, 1996.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, and I object of using these documents in the
14 course of cross-examination of Mr. Zaric. First of all, just to assure
15 the Trial Chamber we have received them and they have been disclosed to
16 us. But I want this document to have the same treatment as were
17 interviews of Mr. Miroslav Tadic to the investigators of the Prosecution
18 before he actually received his indictment. In November, 1996, Mr. Zaric
19 hasn't received his indictment yet. He was not aware of the content of
20 the indictment. It seems from what we received from the Prosecution, that
21 it was done for ICTY, as it states here, that it was done for some
22 purposes of the ICTY by some persons. Frankly, I don't know what this
23 version means OMRI Sarajevo, what this is, but obviously if we take a look
24 at one of these documents, it says that, and I'm quoting right now, that a
25 lawyer of Mr. Zaric, meaning, of course, Mr. Pisarevic, "who then ended
1 the talk and asking us to hand -- to be handed over our report or article
2 for final approval before publishing. Such an approval was never given."
3 So at the moment, when certain persons and one of them was
4 obviously a qualified in some investigations, interviewed Mr. Simo Zaric,
5 he was not aware of the full content of the indictment. He was not aware
6 even of the names of all the crimes he was charged for. He was not
7 informed on his rights that this can be used against him, and finally, his
8 attorney, who was present at the moment, asked for final approval for
9 publishing this documents. And such an approval was never given. And
10 just one thing that I would like to add, here it says exclusively for
11 Bill Stuebner, I don't know who this gentleman is, and ICTY only. It was
12 obviously done for ICTY. So I would like to ask for dismissal --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: I don't understand the part where you are saying it
14 was obviously done for ICTY only. What are you saying?
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: Neither do I, Your Honour, because this is the
16 document that we received as an interview of Mr. Zaric given to some
17 persons which I never found out who these persons belonged to, and here,
18 on these documents, it says, "Exclusively for Bill Stuebner and ICTY
19 only." That -- suggesting that this interview or document or whatever it
20 is, was done for ICTY.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: M'hm.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: So according to the ruling of this Trial Chamber
23 in relation to the interviews that Mr. Tadic gave to the investigators of
24 the OTP, and also the Prosecution asked for admission of these interviews
25 and the ruling of the Trial Chamber was that it won't be tendered into
1 evidence, it won't be used against Mr. Tadic because he was not aware of
2 all the indictments that were against him, the contents of the indictment,
3 or his rights and particularly that this might be used against him.
4 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour?
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic?
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I wish to say something on behalf of
7 the Defence of my client, because the content in these papers, not to say
8 documents, also refer to my Defence so I would like to put forward the
9 standpoint of the Defence of Mr. Tadic in connection with the documents
10 that the Prosecution is now using. I don't know whether they wish to
11 tender them into evidence. I will only say very briefly that what it says
12 in this so-called interview, the questions in it are directly related to
13 the counts in the indictment, and I think that here, the right to defence
14 has been violated in an even more flagrant manner than in the case of Mr.
15 Tadic, because questions directly related to the counts, the questions are
16 directly related to the counts, and Mr. Zaric at the time did not even
17 have the first indictment which was sent to him by fax and especially not
18 the second one, which includes persecution. In Rule 95, it says that
19 evidence collected in -- by methods that cast serious doubt on their
20 reliability, on its reliability or if its admission is antithetical to and
21 would seriously damage the integrity of the proceedings, it shall not be
22 admissible so I think that the Prosecution should tell us how they came by
23 these documents and why the accused is being shown this interview, which
24 he gave while he was being misled or when he was in error, didn't
25 understand what was going on, so I think that it is very clear, I think
1 that Rule 89 authorises the Trial Chamber not to permit the integrity of
2 the proceedings to be brought into question so I think we should now find
3 out how this interview was made and I think that according to 89(D), the
4 Chamber may exclude this evidence. Thank you.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re?
6 MR. RE: I wouldn't suggest my learned friends are deliberately
7 misleading the Trial Chamber but we are apparently looking at completely
8 different documents, if those are the submissions from Mr. Lukic and
9 Mr. Lazarevic. They are two documents we have which the Defence has too.
10 They are transcripts of interviews between two journalists from OMRI which
11 is called the Open Media Research Institute. It is a Balkan publishing
12 institute which used to publish a daily digest on events in the Balkans.
13 After the indictments were published and no one had turned themselves in
14 to the Tribunal, the journalists, namely -- whose names are clearly in the
15 front of the -- Mr. Pisarevic knows because he was there, Mr. Jan-- I'm
16 not sure if it's Jan, a woman, or Jan, a man, Jan or Jan Urban and Yvonne
17 Badal, B-a-d-a-l, interviewed Mr. Zaric in Bosanski Samac. They went
18 looking for people who had been indicted. They were trying to prove how
19 easy it was to find people who had been indicted in the Balkans and they
20 even wrote a story about it in which they said since October 29, when the
21 Boston Globe found four indicted war criminals working in the Prijedor or
22 Omarska Police Station, more evidence has surfaced suggesting that not
23 only does the Republika Srpska government openly protect war criminals but
24 also that it is IFOR's deliberate policy for now not to arrest them. They
25 then refer to going to saying two international police took photos and
1 video footage of the workplace and houses of at least two indicted war
2 criminals, I don't mean that -- presumption of innocence, of course. I'm
3 just reading from the document, Simo Zaric and Miroslav Tadic. Zaric
4 himself told OMRI, "I went through IFOR checkpoints hundreds of times."
5 It's an interview between two journalists of a Czech-based publishing
6 outfit, as I understand it, a non-profit one. The first one occurred on
7 the 12th of November, 1996, place: Office of his lawyer in Bosanski
8 Samac, that is Mr. Pisarevic. Present: Jan or Jan Urban, Yvonne Badal,
9 lawyer Borislav X named to be confirmed, they then confirmed it,
10 Simo Zaric and a person called NN, in brackets, RS army, personal friend
11 of Zaric. They then reinterviewed Mr. Zaric four days later, in his own
12 office place, Zaric's private office beside his food store in Bosanski
13 Samac, date November the 16th, 1996, present, Jan Urban, Yvonne Badal,
14 Simo Zaric and NN. The only person missing at that time was
15 Mr. Pisarevic. And the reasons are there. They wanted to speak to
16 Mr. Zaric in the absence of his lawyer, for reasons which are unnecessary
17 to go into. And they asked him questions about the indictment and about
18 what had happened in Bosanski Samac during the war. And his view of the
19 indictments against the other people, and I wasn't intending to go
20 anywhere near that, and they asked him about certain events that occurred
21 in Bosanski Samac.
22 Now, at some point, the interviewers decided to do their public
23 duty, as they probably thought it was, seeing that no one had turned
24 themselves in and here we have Mr. Zaric in the presence of his lawyer,
25 being interviewed about this very matter, about the fact that he is going
1 through IFOR checkpoints all the time, and they faxed these two interviews
2 to the ICTY and that is why it has written on the top, "Exclusively for
3 Bill Stuebner and ICTY only." It said, "Upon Bill's request and in order
4 not to complicate any further meetings between ICTY and lawyer Pisarevic
5 on Croatian territory, we will refrain from mentioning ICTY-lawyer
6 contacts in our articles." It has nothing at all to do with the ICTY and
7 in fact it has in large letters, your typical embargo, media embargo, "Not
8 for public use before November 19," which is the OMRI publishing date. It
9 is simply an interview between Mr. Zaric and two journalists which he
10 freely gave in the same way that he wrote a book after his indictment and
11 in his book spoke to Croatian or Serbian journalists from Croatian media,
12 and whether or not Mr. Pisarevic checked it or thought that he had some
13 right of embargo over its contents before it was published is irrelevant.
14 And the first one, the second one, clearly said at the bottom, we
15 explained that we were going to do a shorter piece in OMRI's WWW and a
16 longer one in either the New York Times or the Washington Post. He,
17 Mr. Zaric, thought for quite sometime and asked us not to. So as a
18 result, they didn't publish it, but they transmitted the record of
19 interview or the record of the interview to the ICTY. I wish to ask
20 Mr. Zaric some questions on these long-disclosed documents as to some of
21 the things he said to these two journalists. Now --
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but from what you have said, Mr. Zaric had said
23 that they shouldn't publish the interview.
24 MR. RE: In the New York Times or the Washington Post.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Is that exactly what he said or was it publishing
1 generally or in particular to those two and the implication would be that
2 he wouldn't mind it published to anybody else other than those two
3 newspapers? Is that clear.
4 MR. RE: That's not what it says. It says, "We explained we were
5 going to do a shorter piece in OMRI's WWW" - obviously their Internet
6 site - "and a longer one in either the New York Times and Washington Post
7 he thought for quite sometime and then asked us not to." That refers
8 to -- they do different things, daily reports and opinion pieces they
9 published. What they did publish was a piece in the -- it's called an
10 analytical brief, in which they explained how they managed to find him.
11 In my submission, I mean it has nothing to do with the ICTY at all. It's
12 in the nature of an explanation Mr. Zaric has given of events at the time
13 when questioned, when aware that he had been indicted and the interviewers
14 refer to the indictment and - the first one of course - in the presence of
15 his lawyer who has been advising him for many, many years. It's not an
16 investigative statement. It has no analogy at all to the Tadic record of
17 interview which was the ICTY interviewing Mr. Tadic after he telephoned
18 the ICTY offering to talk to them. We understand that the indictment
19 wasn't properly faxed through and Your Honours's judgement there. This is
20 an entirely different document, category. It's something that someone has
21 said to the media and it gets published. It's like a the book. It's like
22 the Croatian one that Mr. Pisarevic was objecting to in his book which his
23 book says he objected to. It's just a normal statement which someone has
24 made which may or may not be --
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Because the background from what you've explained,
1 it was after the indictment was published and then these reporters or
2 journalists went looking for the indictees. And then they found them and
3 started talking to them and after that they faxed the interview, one of
4 the places was to the ICTY.
5 MR. RE: That's right. It's not improperly or illegally obtained.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: But he wasn't told that they would fax it to the
7 ICTY. Like he was asked about publication on the other -- in the other
8 aspect where he said no.
9 MR. RE: Is there any difference in my submission between talking
10 to journalists and not expecting journalists to publish something on the
11 Internet or in the New York Times?
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Because this was not an ordinary interview. These
13 people had the indictment and from what you've said, they were looking for
14 the indictees.
15 MR. RE: That's right and they had Mr. Pisarevic as well. They
16 conducted the interview, the first one, in the presence of his lawyer.
17 And in fact, the first is a transcript of the lawyer, Mr. Pisarevic,
18 starting off by saying, "Let me begin with the more general picture, we
19 are in contact with the ICTY," et cetera, et cetera. And there is a lot
20 of objections by Mr. Pisarevic in this particular document. It's in the
21 presence of his lawyer who is aware of the indictment.
22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I just have one small question. You were saying
23 that Mr. Zaric refused to have publication of a smaller piece. I think
24 those were the words you used a smaller piece in the New York Times and
25 the Washington Post. Do I infer from that correctly that there was
1 another piece that was actually published based on these same interviews?
2 MR. RE: The only thing I can find in my own search on the
3 Internet of the OMRI site was an article analytical brief number 481. It
4 didn't have a date on it in which they referred to speaking to Mr. Zaric.
5 I don't intend to interpret it. I only say what it actually says there.
6 But there is certainly nothing of that nature in the first interview which
7 was conducted in Mr. Pisarevic who I think has a conflict of interest if
8 he wishes to -- because he's a witness to these matters. There is
9 certainly nothing in the second or first record of interview, first
10 interview with the journalists in relation to non-publication.
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that this is not quite correct. I
12 apologise. I will give the floor but because it is in English.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Excuse me, I didn't realise that we have run over
14 our time because of the support we asked for from the interpreters
15 and -- Mr. Pisarevic, you wanted to make submissions?
16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, but I can do it after the
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Let's take our break.
19 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, could we have five minutes more our
21 JUDGE MUMBA: I think eight minutes more because that's what we've
22 gone over.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
24 --- Recess taken at 1.53 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 2.26 p.m.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic?
2 MR. RE: Your Honours, before Mr. Pisarevic speaks, could I just
3 say, in case there is any misunderstanding, first of all the Prosecution
4 doesn't intend to tender those documents, all we would be doing would be
5 asking Mr. Zaric if this is what he said and if it's true. That's normal.
6 We don't have an audio of those documents, or any way of independently
7 verifying the truth except for Mr. Pisarevic who is standing over there
8 which leads me to my second point, that in the Prosecution he's
9 submission, Mr. Pisarevic, I reluctantly say this, has a conflict of
10 interest in making submissions on this point for this reason, that if Your
11 Honours were to admit testimony in relation to the -- or allow
12 cross-examination, he was a witness to what was said and if his client
13 were to deny it, he could be a witness in the proceedings so in my
14 submission, he has a potential conflict, if not an actual one, in
15 intervening in the proceedings, which is why we have co-counsel.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: At the beginning, in your own submission, you did
17 say that the interview was in the presence of his lawyer, so I'm expecting
18 that he's making whatever submission is going to make, it's as to what the
19 occasion was. Not what was said, because we haven't yet jumped to the
20 stage whether or not what was said can be cited in this Trial Chamber.
21 MR. RE: Of course I understand that but the difficulty is the
22 Prosecution perceives it is that Mr. Pisarevic could be a witness to what
23 was said and in the interests of perception of no conflict, it would be
24 preferable if his co-counsel were to deal with this matter, if necessary,
25 on instructions from Mr. Pisarevic. Because otherwise, Mr. Pisarevic
1 could be making submissions on it and something could arise later
2 depending upon Your Honour's decision. That's all.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: I will first find out what Mr. Pisarevic wants to
4 deal with.
5 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I am not
6 going to go into the contents of the interview. I just want to say the
7 following: That is that this interview, which is reportedly as it says
8 here, they were -- these interviews were made up -- were made but we never
9 saw them. When these gentlemen came, they did not come with a person
10 unknown, as it says here, NN, friend of Simo Zaric, officer of Republika
11 Srpska, but it was the owner of Alternativa Publishing Company from Doboj
12 by the last name of Stankovic so it was not an officer of the Republika
13 Srpska who was present. That was the first thing. The second thing on
14 that occasion which I said I just warned them, cautioned them, that we
15 were already in contact with the Tribunal and the only condition was, as I
16 said, please everything that you write down, I want to have a look at,
17 precisely in order to protect the interests of my client so that it's not
18 published something that my client didn't say. So that then it can be
19 used in some proceedings before the Tribunal because it's already at that
20 time in 1996, it was an obvious decision of Mr. Zaric's to surrender to
21 the Tribunal in 1996 and in 1996 we did get into contact with the
22 Prosecutor's Office. We did that. But in -- these journalists never told
23 us in any way that anything could be said that they would be forwarding it
24 to the Prosecutor's Office or to the Tribunal. So now, I do not wish, I
25 can't say, about what Mr. Zaric said because that was seven years ago, I
1 can't even remember what responses Mr. Zaric gave but at the time, --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: At the time you were sitting there in your capacity
3 as his legal adviser.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honour. I sat there
5 because it was my office.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: So you sat there as a friend of Mr. Simo Zaric?
7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Then you can't participate because, as Mr. Re had
9 indicated, you might end up being a witness because I just wanted to make
10 sure, to find out whether you were actually acting as his legal adviser at
11 that time, when the interview was taking place.
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at the time, I had
13 informed the Prosecutor's Office when I was in contact with them, I
14 informed them that I would be a Defence lawyer for Mr. Zaric but I didn't
15 think it was necessary when speaking to the journalists who were coming to
16 take an interview that I would need to be there present as a Defence
17 lawyer that a person being interviewed with would need a defence lawyer
18 when speaking to a journalist. That's what this is about and because of
19 this suspicion and because of my caution I told them, "gentlemen, before
20 you publish anything whatsoever, out of this interview with Mr. Zaric, I'd
21 like to have a look at it, so that Mr. Zaric's position before this
22 Tribunal is not jeopardised." And let me just add that at that moment,
23 still, we did not have the indictment of The Hague Tribunal. It had not
24 been given to us. There was only what was in the announcement, a public
25 announcement regarding certain deportations but we have never seen this
1 and we certainly were not able to authorise this, and I don't think that
2 this is proper and it's bringing into question the position of Mr. Zaric
3 and the position of his Defence if such reported conversations are taken
4 into consideration what people are reporting as having been said. Thank
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Anything else?
7 MR. RE: The only thing I would add, if Your Honours would allow
8 me, that in the Prosecution's submission, it's no different from a
9 statement made by anyone to another witness, which is recorded, whether it
10 be -- I mean a classical one might be a jail informer or your mother, your
11 father or anyone who is -- who has potentially heard something. So it's
12 just in my submission it's just a version a witness has given that the
13 Prosecution happens to have obtained at some later point. Now that we've
14 heard that it wasn't given under legal advice and it was just in the
15 presence of Mr. Pisarevic apparently as a friend rather than legal
16 adviser, no matter what the document actually says, that's what
17 Mr. Pisarevic now says, in my submission, that takes away any suggestion
18 that a lawyer was advising him not to say something. There is certainly
19 no suggestion anywhere in the documents that Mr. Zaric who was speaking
20 freely to journalists was not authorising them to do anything with it.
21 Those are the Prosecution's submissions and the Prosecution would only ask
22 him about the contents, not attempt to tender them.
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, if I may just add two words to this,
24 looking through these documents with this interview, it was obvious that
25 those persons, whether they were journalists, and here I found out
1 one -- I found interesting piece of information, when they are talking
2 about themselves, and when one of them says that he was a trained
3 psychologist with experience, obviously assessing Mr. Zaric's behaviour,
4 questions were directly related to the indictment. At that point of
5 proceedings against Mr. Zaric, in 1996, only the first indictment
6 was -- well, not known in detail to Mr. Zaric but according to this first
7 indictment, Mr. Zaric was charged for deportation, not for persecution,
8 and all these questions that I'm looking at are strictly related to the
9 indictment and not just on the deportation but as well as the persecution,
10 so it was obvious that these persons interviewing Mr. Zaric on very
11 specific terms in the situation when he wasn't aware of the full content
12 of the indictment. Secondly, Mr. Zaric and it can be seen from this
13 document, and I believe that Mr. Re already said it, asked those persons
14 not to disclose anything that was said to anyone, and obviously, this
15 document was disclosed to ICTY, which says here, we believe that his right
16 would be severely violated by tendering this into evidence. Although
17 Mr. Re said he doesn't want to tender this document into evidence but as
18 well as using these documents in the cross-examination of Mr. Zaric and I
19 am again -- and I am again referring to the position of this Honourable
20 Trial Chamber regarding the interviews of Mr. Miroslav Tadic. I believe
21 that there is a very much similarity between these two situations.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber has decided that -- Mr. Lukic,
23 we'll never come to an end. Anything new?
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Just one sentence, please, as a
25 response to Mr. Re. I don't understand the position saying that he does
1 not want to tender the document just to ask questions. Considering that
2 this is the type of a document which is an interview, just by reading out
3 of this interview, this is tendering it into evidence through the back
4 door. So, if this is how the document is going to be tendered into
5 evidence, if he reads it. I don't think it should be accepted just like
6 in Tadic's case, that this should not be read out at all. Thank you. I'm
7 sorry I've taken this time.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: It's all right. The Trial Chamber will decide on
9 this matter on Monday. We need to look at the transcript in detail, or
10 the submissions. So, Mr. Re, you can continue cross-examination on other
11 matters and other areas.
12 MR. RE: May it assist the Court would it assist if Your Honours
13 had the documents only for your purposes of your determination as to
14 whether they are admissible?
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
16 MR. RE: Okay. I will just get some copies together.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours?
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
19 MR. RE: There are three copies for the Court's use.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: We will use them only for determining the question.
21 Mr. Zaric, I hear you wanted to say something.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just wanted to say a couple of
23 sentences, if I may be of assistance in relation to this Tribunal, with
24 this problem, and you can then make your decision as you see fit. The
25 first interview that I had with these gentlemen, journalists, with the
1 presence of Milovan Stankovic who was really the director of the
2 publishing agency, Alternativa we only started to talk in lawyer
3 Pisarevic's office. The first meeting happened in the office of
4 Mr. Pisarevic, and Mr. Pisarevic told them in very strict terms that he
5 had nothing against this -- that they -- what they write, should be then
6 forwarded to him and then he should give approval. From that office,
7 without Mr. Pisarevic, we then went to my business premises, in a
8 completely different part of town. There we conducted an interview on one
9 occasion and on another occasion again, one of these journalists came,
10 there was one young girl who came with a dog, and my wife was also there,
11 and we were having a conversation regarding the subject, and when they
12 asked me whether this could be published, I said in no uncertain terms,
13 that I did not wish this to be published without me and my lawyer seeing
14 this. So I think that that's -- that's completely clear.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: Here it says that Mr. Zaric allegedly said this,
16 "I said in no uncertain terms." This is not what he actually said.
17 Maybe he could repeat just this.
18 THE INTERPRETER: The English booth respectfully submits that this
19 is exactly what Mr. Zaric said.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said very clearly I did not wish
21 anything from this interview to be published in any newspaper without my
22 lawyer authorising it and looking -- authorising and looking at it.
23 That's what I said.
24 JUDGE WILLIAMS: From the point of view of the interpretation, the
25 English as it was interpreted, "in no uncertain terms," does have the same
1 meaning as what Mr. Zaric has just repeated.
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, the meaning is the same but I just -- I
3 apologise if I interfered to this, but I just wanted the exact words that
4 Mr. Zaric used.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, let's proceed.
6 MR. RE:
7 Q. Well, we'll move on to something else, Mr. Zaric. Mr. Tihic, who
8 of course was a long-time associate of yours, you would agree, was treated
9 very, very badly after he was arrested and taken into detention, wouldn't
11 A. I agree with you.
12 Q. The treatment he received, you would say, having seen some of it
13 yourself, was designed to humiliate him, wasn't it?
14 A. Absolutely.
15 Q. And it was clear to you that from the way he as a Muslim was being
16 treated by the Serbs who had imprisoned him and were beating him and were
17 subjecting him to humiliation, it was clear to you that they were doing so
18 because he was a Muslim, wasn't it?
19 A. I'd say for him that precisely because he had a high political
20 function within the SDA, I think that the attitude towards him, merciless
21 attitude towards him is because of the political role that he had in the
22 municipality, in this pre-war period, and the fact is that he was a
23 Muslim. So obviously these two things can perhaps be linked but I would
24 say that it was mostly this other thing.
25 Q. You gave evidence last week on Thursday, the 8th of May, about a
1 radio broadcast in which you heard -- excuse me for a moment -- in which
2 you heard Mr. Tihic speak over the radio. You remember that evidence last
3 week? Don't repeat it. I'm just asking you if you remember the evidence.
4 A. Yes. I remember more or less, that I testified to this effect,
5 and I know that that's what I said here.
6 Q. All right. You described that in your book, didn't you? At about
7 page --
8 A. Possibly. If you wish to refer me back to that part of the book,
9 I did speak about what was done to Mr. Tihic in the book.
10 Q. All right. I will refer you to it, if you can just hang on for a
11 moment. If you look at page 226, about maybe three or four pages on,
12 you'll see there is a number 2, then there is a number 3. It's in the
13 third section behind number 3.
14 A. Yes. I found this number 3. It is on page 232 in B/C/S version,
15 if I found it well, what you want me to have a look at?
16 Q. What you experienced and what you described here is the broadcast
17 of Serb propaganda by the Serb civilian authorities using Mr. Tihic, isn't
18 it? I don't want to you read it out. That's just the general
19 proposition. I'll come to the specific in a moment.
20 A. Yes, yes. I found it. Yes, I found it. And it's what I said in
21 my book, yes.
22 Q. What you've said, what you've described is the use of the Serb
23 civilian authorities to -- the use -- sorry, their use of Mr. Tihic as a
24 Muslim to broadcast propaganda in the town of Bosanski Samac, which of
25 course you'd agree was part of his humiliation?
1 A. Yes. Precisely so, that this was part of this preplanned
3 Q. What you say is, "Perhaps the most decisive factor was the
4 commander's choice of a good example" -- that's in relation to
5 Nikolic -- "when he asked me if I had seen what they understand by
6 propaganda and how they forced Sulejman Tihic to 'sing' over the radio.
7 All right, I said, I've heard of that. I'll do what you're asking me to
8 do. You go on, the business with Tihic was really worthy of being
9 included in anthology. They had brought this man, president of the SDA,
10 and forced him to say publicly that he, too, thought the Muslims should
11 accept Serb government and the Serb authorities. That this was a great
12 thing for Muslims and that it was perfectly natural for things to then
13 gradually calm down in the town and so on and so forth. Wonderful stuff
14 you would have said, except that that man's voice -- sorry, that the man's
15 voice clearly indicated that he was speaking unwillingly and under duress.
16 After all, what kind of an SDA president could be praising Serb
17 authorities, unless he had a gun barrel pressed into his back? In a word,
18 even the simple folk understood what this was all about. It could not be
19 used as a spectacular declaration of convincing fact. Rather, the
20 interpretation could have been along the lines of 'things are really bad,
21 even when Tihic is forced to say such things.'" The last bit was in a
22 quote. "If that had been the aim, then that message was crystal clear,
23 and Tihic was on the list of people I was supposed to interrogate."
24 That's what you said in your book about hearing Mr. Tihic on the radio
25 being used as a tool of Serb propaganda before you interviewed him, isn't
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. It's quite clear to you that when you heard Mr. Tihic on the
4 radio, that they were using -- the Serb authorities were using him in
5 their persecution which you agreed was occurring in Bosanski Samac. They
6 were using Mr. Tihic as a tool in their persecution of the non-Serbs?
7 A. I described this as a very hypocritical act, the way a preplanned
8 propaganda worked, which was not correct, and I'm not denying this. I
9 still believe this to this day.
10 Q. Well, that doesn't quite answer the question I asked you, which
11 was that it was clear to you, when you heard Mr. Tihic on the radio, that
12 the Serb authorities were using him in their persecution of non-Serbs
13 which you agreed yesterday was occurring in Bosanski Samac at the time, it
14 was clear to you that they were using Mr. Tihic as a tool in their
15 persecution of non-Serbs, wasn't it?
16 A. At that time, I couldn't think about such hard -- that there would
17 be such hard consequences of that, the persecution, and that you can give
18 such a qualification immediately, in the beginning. These were the first
19 few unfortunate days of war. I couldn't have known, I couldn't have
20 assumed or thought that this war would have such consequences, with such
21 events happening. At that time I couldn't say that immediately to start
22 with I would have been able to speak about a preplanned persecutions as a
23 category which then through the war may have had this connotation in some
24 of its elements.
25 Q. At the time you heard Mr. Tihic on the radio, as you described him
1 being forced to -- forced to "sing" at that time you knew that the Serb
2 authorities and the Serb police had already arrested many, many, many
3 Muslims and Croats and detained them, including members of your 4th
4 Detachment. You knew that at the time you heard him on the radio, didn't
6 A. If in your opinion many, many, many, 30, 40 people, is a lot, that
7 I have seen, then I would say yes, I agree with you, that's how many
8 people were in prison.
9 Q. Can you please turn to about page 251 of your book? You'll find a
10 quotation of poetry, "What have you done, Radovan, my brother"? If you
11 can just find that, that piece of poetry?
12 A. Of course. It's on 255th page of the B/C/S version.
13 Q. All right. Just I want to take you to just below the poetry,
14 you've quoted some poetry, when you say, "What have you done, Radovan, my
15 brother," is that a reference to Radovan Karadzic?
16 A. No. And it says there in verse that he was not on my mind when I
17 wrote this.
18 Q. I see. "I do not call upon that Radovan who sits up high in
19 Pale." The next paragraph, just have a look at the next paragraph, it
20 says, "All this long introduction," that's following the poetry, "is meant
21 to bring us to a monstrous event that happened on the afternoon of 7th of
22 May, 1992. The news that there had been a crime in the village of Crkvina
23 spread through the town like wildfire. I found out about it on my return
24 from Pelagicevo. It was late at night. We were stopped by the patrol at
25 the police checkpoint at the intersection in Crkvina." Now, that's what
1 you've written in your book published in 1999, isn't it, Mr. Zaric?
2 A. Yes, it says that in the book. But it's not truthful information.
3 Q. All right. Just go to a few paragraphs down, where you say, "Of
4 the men in our command, I called Antic first." Have you found that one?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. It says, "Of the men in our command I called Antic first. When I
7 told him briefly what I had learned, he was appalled. Then I phoned
8 Maksimovic and then Commander Nikolic in Pelagicevo. He, meaning Nikolic,
9 told me curtly to come and report at 8.00 in the morning. I spent the
10 rest of the night collecting information to make sure that my report in
11 the morning was as detailed as possible. Nikolic would no doubt have
12 received something from the police too. But what will he have since they
13 will not even dare arrest them and detain them, as witness the fact that
14 although the crime was committed during the day, news of it was still
15 spreading by word of mouth only." That's what you've said there, isn't
17 A. Yes, that's what it says in the book.
18 Q. And in the book, if you go over to, I think it's, page 258, you'll
19 see the number 4. I think it means the fourth section.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Just above 4 there is a paragraph that says, "In Crkvina, the
22 people were all indignant. They denounced the crime and demanded that the
23 authorities take the remaining detainees away from the village at once.
24 Todorovic did so immediately. The witnesses, 32 detainees, were returned
25 to Samac and placed with another 300 or so Muslims and Croats kept in
1 isolation whose own sense of uncertainty they compounded by telling them
2 of what had happened in Crkvina. When, fortunately, they were all
3 released a little later, they spread to the world a truth about which
4 Samac could not have kept quiet even if it had tried.", now I've read that
5 correctly and that's what you said or wrote in your book?
6 A. I can't find that passage, but I don't doubt that you have read it
7 correctly. I'm trying to find it but I'm not having much luck. I can see
8 number 4 but...
9 Q. There is a photograph on page 258, then there are two, three
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The paragraph I read to you was the third one from the photograph
13 which said, "In Crkvina, the people were indignant" and it's immediately
14 above the section 4.
15 A. Yes, yes. It says, "The people in Crkvina" - literally, it
16 says - "leapt to their feet, meaning they were outraged. That's the
17 beginning of the passage. Yes. I found that part.
18 Q. What is of interest is where were these 300 or so Muslims and
19 Croats who were being kept in isolation that you refer to there?
20 A. Yes. This number is mentioned here, and the part who, as far as I
21 know in early May, to the 10th of May, were in the building of the
22 Territorial Defence, and I don't know whether they were also kept
23 somewhere else, but I do know that a certain number of people were
24 isolated and detained.
25 Q. All right. So where you refer to isolation there, you're not
1 referring to Zasavica but you're referring to a detention centre in the
2 sense of the TO or the SUP or the schools? I'm just trying to clarify
3 what you mean by isolation rather than detention or imprisonment. Because
4 there is a difference, you appreciate?
5 A. The book dealt with isolation, which is a general term, all people
6 who were in a certain way deprived of their liberty were isolated. So no
7 distinction was drawn between the people in Crkvina, Zasavica, in the
8 schools and so on. The book did not deal with this distinction. So that
9 I treated isolation simply as something that meant that people were
10 deprived of a certain liberty.
11 Q. And the fact that you've referred to them as Muslims and Croats is
12 again in the context of their isolation which occurred only on ethnic
13 grounds, isn't it?
14 A. Yes. Muslims and Croats were 99 per cent of those in detention
15 and isolation.
16 Q. If you just go down to see where it says 4, that's the very next
17 paragraph, the one that starts, "On the 9th of May," can you see that one?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. What it says is "on the 9th of May, on 9 May, the day when
20 we used to commemorate proudly the day of victory over fascism, I
21 travelled to Belgrade on Commander Nikolic's orders. I had been entrusted
22 with the extremely sensitive task of getting in touch with people who have
23 would have to face the fact that somebody's collusion and flirting with
24 the volunteers had degenerated from 'assistance to brothers in trouble,'
25 to killings and crime. My task was to tell them what had happened as
1 accurately as possible to describe the behaviour of the volunteers and to
2 say that sooner or later someone will have to be held responsible for
3 this. Nikolic had order me to 'push my way' as high up as possible and
4 seek for help wherever it might be available. If necessary, I was to pay
5 a visit to some of my own and Nikolic's people at the air force command.
6 I was also ordered to ask to be received at the MUP of the Republic of
7 Serbia, for it was suspected that in those first days, there may have been
8 among the volunteers some of their own members who had been 'dismissed'
9 and 'deprived of their ranks'. It is true that when they went back, when
10 they soon went back, but one of them was still in Samac. We had no
11 evidence to show whether the ones who had gone back were connected with
12 the service or whether their task had been only to 'unload' the volunteers
13 in Samac and connect them with Serb structures." I've just read
14 accurately from your book what you said about your trip to Belgrade on the
15 9th of May, 1992, haven't I?
16 A. That's what it says, yes.
17 Q. Now, I just want to ask you about this passage here, where you
18 said, "the collusion and flirting with the volunteers had degenerated from
19 'assistance to brothers in trouble' to killings and crime." Do you mean
20 by "assistance to brothers in trouble," the assistance that these
21 volunteers had given to the Serbs in the liberation of Samac on the 16th
22 and 17th of April, 1992?
23 A. This book of mine, Your Honours, has a fundamental message at the
24 beginning, and the person who wants to understand the book has to read it
25 from cover to cover. I have nothing against Mr. Re referring to certain
1 things in the book, although I had the impression that it was your ruling
2 we should not comment on the book. The reason I'm saying this is that in
3 the book, the event in Crkvina is mentioned, but it is described in a way
4 that befits a novel by some associates of mine who were helping me write
5 the book, and it doesn't resemble my interview given in 1998 to OTP
6 investigators. The people polishing certain parts of this book wanted to
7 portray me as a hero of sorts, which is why there are certain statements
8 in this book that I disagree with. When the 7th of May is mentioned here,
9 this is something I never mentioned in my interview to the investigators
10 in 1998. This was pushed on me by Mrs. Nancy Paterson, and that can be
11 found on a certain page, because I never said that. One of the
12 associates, however, who helped in the writing of this book is a man from
13 Crkvina. Later on, I told him he had put too much of his own subjective
14 approach to this book but I didn't want to enter into that because it was
15 more important for me that the book should show that Lugar had perpetrated
16 the horrible crime that the whole world condemned, and I did not want to
17 go into details in that book, the kind of details that the Prosecutor is
18 now interested in. Secondly, my meeting with Mr. Blagoje Simic and the
19 command is not portrayed properly in this book. It looks here as if they
20 knew I was coming. The people who were writing this book wanted to put in
21 some positive tendencies with regard to the milieu in which this happened.
22 Nobody thought of the sort of epilogue this book would have. I repeat,
23 this book does not have the weight of a legal document. What was the
24 author's intention? I am not trying to evade any qualifications set forth
25 here, but I must tell you in what manner some of my associates twisted
1 some matters.
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Zaric
3 said. On page 104, line 6, here it stands, "it looks here as if they knew
4 I was coming." And what Mr. Zaric says, "it looks here that they knew
5 about the massacre even before I came." This is what he said.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have the interview I gave to the
7 investigators, the authentic interview, and I stand by it, and I don't
8 know why this book now, which contains many failings which I would like to
9 correct now, although I am proud of it, but I was unable to intervene from
10 here when it was published and change things, but what matters to me is
11 that I drew attention to certain things that happened and I think that
12 this is the greatness of my honesty, and as for certain details, my
13 associates wanted to put in some things that would make it resemble a
14 novel or poetry or something like that. However, if the Trial Chamber
15 insists on my commenting on parts of the book, I ask that I be given a
16 chance to explain why some things were described in the way they have
17 been, because it's a fact that others have also contributed to this book.
18 I'm not however ashamed of this book. I'm proud of it.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I just wanted to say to Mr. Zaric that if
20 there is any needs for commenting or explaining anything, the Prosecutor
21 will ask you to do so.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 MR. RE:
24 Q. Well, I know you know what I'm going to say now and I'm just going
25 to take you back to the question I actually asked you, which was in
1 relation to that line, "assistance to brothers in trouble." Just -- I
2 just want to look at the question I asked you. Just hang on. What I
3 asked you a moment ago, was the reference to brothers in trouble or
4 "assistance to brothers in trouble," do you mean by that assistance to
5 brothers -- sorry, the assistance given, that these volunteers had given
6 to the Serbs in the liberation of Samac on the 16th and 17th of April,
7 1992? That was the question I asked. I'm asking whether that's a fair
8 interpretation of what is in your book there. That's the passage on about
9 page 256, just below the heading 4.
10 A. Would you please be patient with me while I read it?
11 Yes. I understand your question. I was not referring to the
12 event you are now drawing attention to. The reason it's in quotation
13 marks is that when they arrived, they said they had come as patriots
14 because they wanted to help, because we were brothers in trouble. That is
15 why, ironically, I quoted this. It could be understood to refer to the
16 takeover of Samac, to Crkvina, and to other things that some of these
17 people did in ways that were not humane or moral.
18 Q. Did they tell you, these specials or volunteers, that they had
19 come to help as patriots, brothers in trouble? Is that what they told
21 A. That was the day when they were pushing the pistol barrel into my
22 mouth. That's when they told me why they had come and what their
23 intentions were. If you remember my testimony they said that they had
24 come on behalf of the radicals but that they weren't interested in
25 politics. They were judging me as a man who was allegedly a leader of the
1 communists and they said, "We have come as patriots to help you," and that
2 is why I felt the need to put this in in quotation marks because if they
3 were there as brothers helping brothers in trouble, then they should not
4 have committed murders and such things. So I think that I was very -- I
5 did this very properly and very courageously putting this in.
6 Q. All right. Well, perhaps you could tell us what -- who the
7 brothers were and what the trouble -- what sort of trouble the brothers
8 were in which caused these people to come.
9 A. All this refers to the specials. We are now talking about the
10 specials. The group of men who arrived in that helicopter. Nobody else
11 on the territory of Samac except for them had come from outside, so to
12 say. All the rest of us were local people with the exception of this group
13 which burdened us with these unfortunate events in this area.
14 Q. No. Your quotes says "assistance to brothers in trouble," meaning
15 they were assisting brothers who were in trouble. All I want you to tell
16 us is who were the brothers they were assisting and what sort of trouble
17 were these brothers in?
18 A. You understand this quite well. You are trying to make me say
19 something I can't say. Anyone who reads this part of the text can
20 understand it very well and will not try to extract from me something I
21 have already said. If need be, I can read to Their Honours exactly what
22 it says here.
23 Q. Well, I'm just -- are you going to answer the question, who the
24 brothers were and what trouble the brothers were in? If you can't answer
25 it, fine, I just want to know. It's in your book, you've put it there,
1 you've told us you're proud of it and it's a courageous thing to write. I
2 just want to know who the brothers you're referring to are and what sort
3 of trouble these brothers were in. It's your book. You wrote it.
4 A. I described the problem very well in the book. It's on page 259
5 of the B/C/S version. There is nothing I can add to this. When I
6 mentioned the brothers in trouble under quotation marks, I was quoting
7 what they told me when they were pushing the pistol barrel into my mouth,
8 pretending to be patriots who had come to help the Serbs living on the
9 territory of Samac. If someone is in trouble, and needs help, I said in
10 very certain terms that if someone was there to help us, they should not
11 have committed looting, murders and so on and so forth. I am repeating
12 this for the third time. Perhaps I am not concentrated enough or perhaps
13 you are trying to extract something from me something I can't say or maybe
14 I really don't know how to answer your question any better.
15 Q. I'll move along. Now, the trip to Belgrade, on the 9th of May,
16 1992, was your understanding, wasn't it, that you were being selected to
17 go to Belgrade and speak to the head of military intelligence, who was at
18 the level of the command staff of the JNA to explain the situation about
19 how these people, these paramilitaries, were out of control, wasn't it?
20 A. No. I did not know who I was to talk to in the security
21 administration. My first address was Colonel Jugoslav Maksimovic who was
22 a retired colonel and who had previously been employed in the security
23 administration. He was born in the municipality of Samac, in the village
24 of Obudovac. I knew him from before and it was he whom I rang up and
25 agreed that he should receive me and that together we should go to the
1 security administration to pass this on. I did not expect to be received
2 at the highest level and I am very pleased that I succeeded in relaying
3 this to the chief of the security administration and his deputy.
4 Q. What you said in your book, if necessary, I was to pay a visit to
5 some of my own. Now -- and Nikolic's people at the air force command.
6 What you meant by "my own" was military intelligence people, wasn't it?
7 A. No.
8 Q. What did you bean by my own and Nikolic's people at the air force
9 command? Who were yours and Nikolic's people at the air force command,
10 Mr. Zaric?
11 A. In the command of the air force and anti-aircraft defence I only
12 knew that Mr. Ilija Tadic was working there. He was born in Novi Grad and
13 I knew his brother Jovo because together we had worked in the state
14 security service and I also knew the parents of Ilija Tadic, who was one
15 of the pilots in the air force of Yugoslavia, but as regards Nikolic, that
16 these were Nikolic's people, there is an error in the book here, and I
17 don't remember at all that Nikolic had anyone in that structure, and I was
18 not worried by this because I know that Mr. Nikolic sent me through Jugo
19 to see if I could reach the most responsible people in the security
20 administration. When I mentioned Tadic to him, he said no problem, I can
21 go to Ilija Tadic if to no one else.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just for the clarity of the transcript, Mr. Zaric
23 mentioned Jugo just a couple of times just to have a full name of this
24 person in the transcript.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is Colonel Jugoslav Maksimovic,
1 and everybody referred to him by his nickname, Jugo. If sometimes I
2 mention him I'll try to avoid using nicknames but if I do say
3 Colonel Jugo, I'm referring to Mr. Jugoslav Maksimovic, a retired colonel.
4 MR. RE:
5 Q. You didn't go to the naval military command to seek assistance,
6 did you?
7 A. No. I went with Mr. Jugoslav Maksimovic, first to his apartment
8 in Belgrade, and then he rang up Mr. Gligorijevic and Mr. Gligorijevic
9 said we should come over. That was on the 9th, maybe around 1300 hours or
10 mid-day. I had just arrived in Belgrade.
11 Q. It's a very simple question. You didn't go to naval, the naval
12 people, did you?
13 A. There is no navy there. There is only the air force and
14 anti-aircraft defence of Yugoslavia. It has nothing whatsoever to do with
15 the navy. I don't know where you found this.
16 Q. That's right. You didn't go to any of the other command
17 structures that I read to you first thing this morning on that highest
18 level of the command of the JNA in -- or the VJ, or the JNA as it then
19 was, in May 1992, did you?
20 A. One of the most important and largest institutions within the JNA
21 was security, and I went to the top of that administration. It was one of
22 the highest levels making up the top of the JNA, if that means anything to
24 Q. It does. You went to one of the command structures of the JNA, on
25 that list I read to you this morning, there were two of them that you went
1 to see. The UB and the air force and anti-- or the -- what do you call
2 it -- anti-aircraft defence. Those were the two you went to, weren't
3 they? On the top level of the command structure. One below the federal
4 Secretary for Defence.
5 A. I don't recall what you told me this morning. Can you remind me
6 what you told me this morning that you mentioned these two structures?
7 I'm sorry.
8 Q. Yes, I can. Just to remind you, the four or sorry, the five
9 command structures, one below the federal secretary, who was then or had
10 been General Kadijevic, was the deputy, the chief of general staff, the
11 assistants to the secretary, the head of the UB, that's General Vasiljevic
12 and the chief of cabinet of the SSNO. I'm sorry, if I said the air force
13 command it was one below, but reporting directly to the federal secretary.
14 What you did was you went to the top of the JNA command structure. The
15 command structure immediately below the federal secretary. The head of
16 the UB reported only to the federal secretary. And that's where you went.
17 Wasn't it?
18 A. I don't know who he answered to, whether it was to the chief of
19 general staff or he was answerable to the Secretary for National Defence.
20 I'm not sure I can give you a precise answer but I know that
21 Mr. Aleksandar Vasiljevic carried out the duty of the chief of security
22 administration of the federal Secretariat for National Defence and it was
23 on this basis that I believe him to be a very important person in the top
24 leadership of the Yugoslav People's Army at the time.
25 Q. That's right. And the other one was the air force command or the
1 air force and air defence, the RVIPVO commanded by General Jurjevic. That
2 was the same level as the 1st, 3rd, 5th Naval Districts. It was at the
3 same level, also reporting directly to the federal Secretary for National
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise. I really have a problem to
6 understand what Mr. Re is now quoting. What naval districts?
7 MR. RE: Naval Military District, 1st Military District, 3rd
8 Military District, 5th Military District, Naval Military District in
9 Split. The Yugoslavs had a Navy, I understand, based in Split.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise. I don't want to be misunderstood but
11 I really have a problem. Either Mr. Re is having some confusion about
12 certain things or maybe I have confusion but are you suggesting here that
13 Mr. Zaric went both in UB and the anti-aircraft command on that occasion?
14 Is that what you're trying to say to Mr. Zaric? Because we are missing
15 here something. On the 9th of May when he went to Belgrade, and this is
16 not in dispute, I believe, are you suggesting that Mr. Zaric went both
17 first to UB with Colonel Maksimovic and then again to the aircraft
18 command? Is that what you are -- because there is the way I understood it
19 and this is what we are receiving in B/C/S.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Maybe you can just repeat your question more slowly.
21 MR. RE: Okay. In case there is any misunderstanding you went to
22 the UB and also the RVIPVO, didn't you? That's where you were ordered to
24 A. No, never. I was never then at the RVPVO of Yugoslavia. I don't
25 know where you found this information, this data.
1 Q. All right, if you didn't go there, your book says that you were
2 ordered to pay a visit to some people or your own people and Nikolic's
3 people at the air force command. Now, in your statements, you said you
4 believed that the paramilitaries were sent by air force command and their
5 link was Todorovic. You remember that?
6 A. Yes, of course I said that. I don't know why you're linking these
7 two up now.
8 Q. Because in your book, in your statement, that's P142 ter at page
9 96, you refer to the document you saw, allegedly signed by
10 Mirko Jovanovic, and that your belief was that the air force command had
11 sent the paramilitaries there through their link with Todorovic and in
12 your book you're saying that Nikolic ordered you to go and see people at
13 the air force command. You understand?
14 A. You want to make it look like something else, an obstruction. I
15 want to testify in front of this Trial Chamber the way I think I should be
16 defending myself.
17 Q. Well, you're certainly entitled to do that and I'm not trying to
18 stop you telling your story, but what I'm trying to do is to show you a
19 link between what you've said in your book and the belief, as you've
20 expressed in your statement to the Prosecutor. Your belief was that the
21 air force, and anti-air force defence had sent the paramilitaries in their
22 helicopters and in your book, you said that Nikolic had ordered you to
23 "push my way as high up as possible and seek for help wherever it might
24 be available. If necessary I was to pay a visit to some of my own and
25 Nikolic's people at the air force command. I was also ordered to ask to
1 be received at the MUP of the Republic of Serbia." You see, when you put
2 the two together, I suggest that you and Nikolic knew that these
3 paramilitaries had arrived in JNA helicopters supplied by air force
4 command and that they were people working with the Serbian MUP in
5 cooperation with the JNA. I'm saying that's the only interpretation when
6 you put these things together.
7 A. You're making things up, Mr. Prosecutor. You're really creating
8 an obstruction and I want to ask the Trial Chamber to give me a chance to
9 testify. You can say whatever you like but what you said has nothing to
10 do with the truth whatsoever. These are your conclusions.
11 Q. All right. It was your belief, as expressed in your statement,
12 that they had arrived in JNA helicopters, helicopters under the control of
13 the air force and air force defence and that Todorovic was the link. That
14 was your belief as expressed in your statement, wasn't it?
15 A. Yes. And to your learned colleagues, Prosecutor, I gave a
16 statement in interviews, on many pages, very correctly, you're constantly
17 going back to the book and I've told you that there are certain gaps in
18 the book and through these gaps you're trying to create an obstruction and
19 you're pushing me into something which has nothing to do with me.
20 Q. I'm just suggesting to you that what your book says that Nikolic
21 ordered you to push your way to the top and speak to people in the air
22 force command is entirely consistent with what you've said in your
23 statement that it was your belief that these paramilitaries came via the
24 air force command and Todorovic. You see the link there? That someone
25 might get from reading the two together?
1 A. You can only reach such a conclusion, such a conclusion can be
2 reached only by someone like you making an obstruction.
3 Your Honours, would you allow me to read one sentence in this part
4 and the Trial Chamber can make a decision how correct it is? And how much
5 the Prosecutor is trying to direct me into a direction that I cannot go
7 I'm speaking and quoting what I was ordered to do by Commander
8 Nikolic. He instructed me to "get through to the highest possible level
9 and ask for assistance from whoever I knew and if need be, to even visit
10 some of mine and Nikolic's people at the command of the air force." I was
11 ordered to ask to be received at the republican MUP of Serbia because
12 there were certain indications that in the first few days, among the
13 volunteers, there were several of those who had been 'dismissed members'
14 who very quickly returned however. But one such is still in Samac. Your
15 Honours, this is what it says in the book. This is my vocabulary, the
16 vocabulary of Simo Zaric that's how it's expressed. When I received the
17 instructions, the task go to the highest level, to the top and inform
18 people about this crime, and I managed fortunately to get through
19 Jugoslav Maksimovic on the 9th of May, 1992, I managed to visit the
20 administration -- security administration and to conduct an interview with
21 Mr. Aco Vasiljevic who was the chief of that administration and with
22 General Vasiljevic who was his deputy, in the presence of Mr. Jugoslav
23 Maksimovic and my entire mission ended there because I thought this was
24 completely sufficient and I didn't need to go anywhere else any more. If
25 I hadn't managed to find this connection, this link, this step up, I would
1 have gone to Mr. Ilija Tadic, to RVPVO whom I knew as a colonel of
2 Yugoslav People's Army in that field but when I'm speaking about the
3 ministry I could have gone to some friends, to the ministry, some people I
5 JUDGE MUMBA: I think your answer is complete because you told us
6 what you did and what actually happened. So we don't want you to start
7 speculating that you hadn't done this or -- the answer is complete.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: Could I have just a small correction to the
10 transcript? Here it says an interview with Mr. Aco Vasiljevic who was the
11 chief of administration and with General Vasiljevic, who was his deputy.
12 Obviously Mr. Zaric was referring to General Gligorijevic who was the
13 deputy. We already have this name.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. General Gligorijevic was the
15 deputy of the chief of the administration.
16 MR. RE:
17 Q. Your view at the time and that of the command of the 4th
18 Detachment and the 17th Tactical Group was that these paramilitaries were
19 out of control, wasn't it? And something had to be done? Please try to
20 answer briefly.
21 A. Well, of course, what they did in Crkvina is absolutely inhumane.
22 If you thought that I shouldn't have done anything, then I don't know,
24 Q. But what I'm asking you about is the reason you went to Belgrade,
25 of all places, Belgrade. The only reason that Nikolic ordered you to go
1 to Belgrade was because you thought the only people who could control
2 these paramilitaries were the JNA command, isn't it?
3 A. Absolutely. I thought that one should go to a certain level and
4 tell people what's happening and who had come to us, and I even thought
5 that it was the right address to go to. And I said what the debate had
6 been and what happened at the meeting, and what information I managed to
7 get hold of and told you the Prosecutors as to what was the information so
8 that you could extract your evidence from that.
9 MR. RE: Are we breaking at quarter to 4 today, Your Honours?
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We shall adjourn now.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
12 3.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
13 the 19th day of May, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.