1 Monday, 19 May 2003
2 [Open Session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.13 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Can you 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. We were informed that there were technical
10 problems, but now that they have been resolved we can start.
11 Yes, Mr. Re.
12 MR. RE: May it please Your Honours. I have mentioned it to the
13 Chamber's legal officer. I apologise for not having the documents on
14 Friday, when I argued the admissibility of cross-examination of Mr. Zaric
15 on the -- what was contained in those Omri, that's the o-m-r-i
16 transcripts. Since then I have -- or it has been brought to my attention
17 there is a filing in this case which is relevant to Your Honour's
18 determination which is a filing on the 28th of May, 1997 entitled, "Report
19 on measures taken by the Prosecutor for the personal service of the
20 indictment and warrants of arrest." It's a 61A -- Rule 61A report back to
21 the Chamber of May 1997. It's at pages D403 to -- sorry, D400 to D403.
22 There were three relevant portions there, referring to publication of the
23 interview and the conversation with Mr. Pantelic who was then acting for
24 the accused as to service of the indictments. I have copies here for Your
25 Honours if you don't have them in court with the filings. I have also
1 found the Omri interview which was actually published on the 19th of
2 November, 1996, in the Balkan -- in an analytical brief, volume 1,
3 number -- number 1, number -- sorry, volume 1, number 46 --
4 JUDGE MUMBA: This is the same interview which the accused had
5 indicated that it should be shown to his counsel before publication?
6 MR. RE: It's part of the interview. It's a media interview.
7 It's not -- it's obviously not the transcript. That's not a media
8 interview. It is an interview on finding Mr. Zaric and some things he had
9 said in relation to the indictment and in relation to organised -- who
10 organised the mass isolation or ethnic cleansing of Bosanski Samac. So it
11 had -- parts of it had been published. Parts of Mr. Zaric's comments on
12 the interview and the allegations put to him have been published and were
13 published in 1996. So I think that's in answer to Her Honour Judge
14 Williams's specific question as to whether or not there was publication
15 and the extent of it. I have the article here if Your Honours wish to
16 see it for the purpose of your determination and how far the Prosecution
17 should be permitted, if at all, to go in cross-examining Mr. Zaric, as to
18 things he has said which are in the media. So if it's convenient, I can
19 hand up copies of the publication and spare copies of the filing of 28th
20 of May, 1997.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can you just wait.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Can I have --
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you wait, Mr. Pantelic?
25 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have the copies?
2 MR. RE: Yes, Your Honour. I'll hand up three copies of the
3 filing of 28th of May and three copies of the interview.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Good morning, Your Honours. If I just have a
6 brief opportunity to address the Chamber with regard to certain part of
7 submission of my learned friend Mr. Re. If you see, Your Honours, in the
8 document which was just provided to you, it's a report of our learned
9 colleague Ms. Nancy Paterson. At that time she was legal advisor for the
10 Office of the Prosecution. On page 400 - actually, this is page 4 of her
11 report that you have in front of you - speaking of alleged meeting on 20
12 of February 1997, it is very clear said in the report -- I will make a
13 quotation. "Nancy Paterson, legal officer of the OTP, had a meeting with
14 Borislav Pisarevic, co-defence counsel with Igor Pantelic for Miroslav
15 Tadic and Simo Zaric, in Bosanski Samac. At said meeting, Mr. Pisarevic
16 confirmed again that Mr. Tadic and Mr. Zaric have received copies of the
17 indictment," and so on and so forth.
18 Well, learning -- reading this particular portion, no one can
19 understand that there was a meeting between Ms. Paterson, myself, and my
20 learned friend Mr. Pisarevic. It's rather a description that my learned
21 friend Mr. Pisarevic acted at that time as a co-defence counsel with me,
22 in terms of his capacity. That's number one. Although all these issues
23 are not so relevant. My learned friend Mr. Pisarevic will add something
24 in support of our clarification of this situation.
25 So just for the record, Your Honour, I want to be -- that
1 everything would be clear. And in conclusion, I never was with
2 Ms. Paterson at that meeting on that date. Thank you.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. With
5 regard to this, I'd merely like to say the following: I am not aware that
6 Nancy Paterson was in Bosanski Samac in 1997, that she visited me there,
7 and that we discussed this subject. We possibly talked over the
8 telephone. And although we were aware of the indictments, but we never
9 received them. Perhaps we did, but from what I can recollect, it was from
10 the press that we photocopied the indictment, part of that indictment. So
11 that in 1997, the indictment was not served on Mr. Zaric or given to me or
12 any one of us. I'm certain about that. And as for the relevance, this
13 interview that the Prosecutor is talking about was done in November 1996.
14 So even if we had some information in 1997, because in 1995 we learnt that
15 there was an indictment. But I do not think that can affect the decision
16 of the court. So that now I really cannot say that I told Mrs. Nancy
17 Paterson that we had received the indictment. Yes, we knew it, but we
18 never received it in total. It was given us the first time by
19 Mr. Miroslav Tadic and Mr. Milan Simic were arrested at the SFOR base in
20 Dubrave next to Tuzla. It was then that OTP representatives delivered
21 the indictment to us for the first time. Thank you.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber will make its ruling after the
24 break. It would like to look at the submissions further.
25 You can continue with other areas of your cross-examination,
1 Mr. Re.
2 MR. RE: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Before you proceed, Mr. Pisarevic, we -- the Trial
4 Chamber has been informed that it hasn't been possible to have the Rule 92
5 statement of Mr. Nizam Ramusovic certified yet.
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honours. I believe that the Trial
7 Chamber is fully informed about all the measures that have been undertaken
8 in relation to the certification of Mr. Nizam Ramusovic's statement,
9 according to Rule 92 bis. We were informed by the registry that it is --
10 that the best possible way to do it is through the administration of the
11 United States, and I had close contacts with Mr. Weiner, being American
12 citizen and a lawyer from the United States, I furthermore sent a couple
13 of letters to the American Embassy, to their legal counsellor, asking for
14 some advice for help in organising that. What we find -- we find his
15 statement very important for our case, particularly having in mind the
16 positions that the Prosecution has expressed in their response to our
17 filings in our motions for judicial acquittal.
18 So we believe that there is still a possibility that someone from
19 the registry, just the way it happened on two occasions when they went to
20 Samac and did the certification of statements, someone from the registry,
21 the assigned officer of the registry could go to California and certify
22 his statement. Latest development regarding Mr. Ramusovic himself is that
23 Mr. Pisarevic spoke to him on Saturday and he is waiting for someone to
24 approach him for certifying this 92 bis statement. So whatever should be
25 decided by the registry, whether we could proceed with what we are doing
1 now and trying to get certification through the authorities of the United
2 States or the assigned officer from the registry should go there, whatever
3 they find appropriate, we are fine with this.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The position is that it has not been possible
5 to have the statement certified through the assistance of the Prosecution,
6 through their state department. So the Trial Chamber is asking the
7 registry to send a Presiding Officer to have the statement certified as we
8 approach the closing of the case.
9 We'll proceed, Mr. Re.
10 WITNESS: SIMO ZARIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 MR. RE: Could Mr. Zaric please be provided with copies of his
13 records of interview or statements to the OTP, Exhibits P141 and 142 ter.
14 And maybe if they could be left with him, because I will be referring to
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Re: [Continued]
17 Q. Mr. Zaric. Good morning, Mr. Zaric.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. Last week and the week before, you gave evidence of your second
20 trip to Belgrade. Now, you said that was in, I think, late May, didn't
22 A. Yes. On the 9th of May.
23 Q. All right. I just want to take you to, if you could possibly look
24 at P140 ter, which is the interview of the 1st of April, 1998, at page 76
25 and 77.
1 A. I don't have P140 in front of me. I have P141 and 142, but not
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Can the accused please be given P140.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. To be clear, I was required to provide the
5 accused with 141 and 142. Thank you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. I have it before me now.
7 MR. RE:
8 Q. If you could just turn, please, to pages 76 and 77.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Just read to yourself from about halfway down the page, from where
11 it says "Nancy," that's Ms. Paterson, saying: "So Mr. Tadic came in his
12 role as a member of the Crisis Staff." Just read to yourself down to the
13 bottom of the page. I'll just ask to make sure that you've found the
14 passage I'm referring to.
15 A. I have page 77 before me. Is that the page you're referring to?
16 Q. No. Please start on page 76, about a third of the way down.
17 There's a break and it says: "Nancy: So Mr. Tadic --"
18 A. Yes, I've found it now.
19 Q. If you could just read that to yourself down to the bottom of the
20 page, please.
21 A. Yes, I've read it.
22 Q. All right. You see at the bottom the last question, where
23 Ms. Paterson says: "Why did you go to Belgrade and not Radovan Antic? He
24 was head of the 4th Detachment." To which your answer is, over the page,
25 Mr. Zaric: "I was in charge of security and I was chief of this
1 department for national security. Therefore, I was appointed there by the
2 Crisis Staff, so I had to. I did not stay very long in this position and
3 they replaced me fairly rapidly."
4 Next question, Ms. Paterson: "All this happened somewhere around
5 the end of May; correct?" Answer, your answer: "Yes."
6 All I simply ask you is: You adhere to the answer that you gave
7 to the Prosecutor there, that the reason you went with the Crisis Staff
8 was because you were in charge of security and chief of this department of
9 national security, and that's why you went to Belgrade with them at the
10 end of May 1992?
11 A. No. That was only my comment, which was not finished in this
12 interview. I am deeply convinced that the real reason was a scenario that
13 had been prepared, not the fact that I was the chief for national
14 security, and that I was working in the area of security. I was just
15 beginning to comment on this for Mrs. Nancy.
16 Q. So you're saying that that's an incomplete answer, but at the time
17 you went there, you were the chief of the department of national security
18 and that was part of the scenario which the Crisis Staff was preparing, or
19 part of the scenario that had been prepared?
20 A. I wish to say that, as I have already testified here - and I will
21 repeat again - I had objections to my appointment, or rather, I was
22 commenting on my appointment as chief of national security. This was
23 purely a formal fact, because I never actually did anything in that
24 capacity, nor did I ever do any work or submit any reports either to the
25 Crisis Staff or to anybody else which might put me in a direct
1 relationship with the Crisis Staff. My reaction was that I had been
2 appointed, but the technological issues concerning the service had not
3 been resolved, and I went to Pale for consultations about this. At the
4 first session of the Crisis Staff, this item was taken off the agenda in a
5 manner in which I testified to here.
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. I'm just looking at the transcript, and I
7 believe that we have something here that doesn't make much sense. Maybe
8 Mr. Re can clarify this right now. On page 6, on question, on line 13,
9 Mr. Re asked Mr. Zaric: "Last week and the week before, you gave evidence
10 of your second trip to Belgrade. Now, you said that was in, I think, late
11 May, didn't you?" And the answer of Mr. Zaric was: "Yes, on the 9th of
12 May." So I just wanted to make sure that they are talking about one and
13 the same trip to Belgrade, because we know that there were two trips, and
14 Mr. Zaric here referred to his first trip on 9th of May, and I believe
15 that Mr. Re is asking about the second trip.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
17 MR. RE: I will clarify that.
18 Q. Mr. Zaric, you heard what Mr. Lazarevic just said. Clearly, I was
19 referring to the second trip, which was the one in late May, when you went
20 there with Mr. Simic and Mr. Todorovic and Mr. Tadic and met
21 Mr. Bogdanovic there, not the first trip in relation to Crkvina.
22 A. Well, then it's not the 9th of May; it's the meeting that was held
23 in late May.
24 Q. That's right. That's what I actually asked you and that's what I
25 directed your attention to. And the question was: Why did you go to
1 Belgrade and not Radovan Antic? He was the head of the 4th Detachment.
2 To which you answered: I was in charge of security and I was chief of
3 this department of national security, et cetera. And then the next
4 question which I read to you was: "All this happened somewhere around the
5 end of May; correct?" And you answered, yes. Are you completely clear
6 about what you're talking about there is the second trip to Belgrade,
7 aren't you?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All I'm asking you is: You adhere to the answer you gave to the
10 Prosecutor in the presence of your lawyer that the reason, even if it's an
11 incomplete answer, the reason that you went to Belgrade in late May
12 instead of Radovan Antic was that you were in charge of security and you
13 were chief of the department of national security and you were appointed
14 by the Crisis Staff and you had to go, as part of a scenario or for
15 whatever reason, and that was in late May?
16 A. No. I have to repeat to Their Honours that I simply tried to give
17 Mrs. Nancy Paterson a comment, which we did not enlarge upon in our
18 further interview. And my assumption as to why they put me in that
19 scenario was the fact that I was performing the duty of assistant
20 commander for security and they formally appointed me chief for national
21 security, where I had certain reserves from the beginning -- certain
22 reservations from the very beginning, but the fact that I went to Belgrade
23 had to show Mr. Simo Zaric and Mr. Tadic that I could see what sort of
24 contacts Mr. Todorovic had with some people in Belgrade, in very high
25 places, and in the period that followed, there was intense pressure on me
1 to continue keeping silent and not to resist or offer any resistance to
2 what was being done. On that occasion, Mrs. Nancy seemed not to be
3 interested in going further into this issue, which is why we did not say
4 what I have just told the Trial Chamber.
5 Q. No, no. Look, the question I'm directing your mind to is the
6 question and answer you gave, and I understand you wish to elaborate on
7 it, and that's fine, and you didn't give as full a version as you possibly
8 could have to Ms. Paterson. But what you said when she asked you a very
9 short, direct question, why did you go to Belgrade and not Radovan Antic,
10 you said: I was in charge of security and I was chief of this department
11 of national security. Therefore, I was appointed there by the Crisis
12 Staff, so I had to. You then said you didn't stay very long in the
13 position, and it was at the end of May. All I'm asking you is: You
14 adhere, don't you, to what you said to the Prosecutor, and you told her
15 the truth then, that the end of May you were in charge of security and was
16 chief of this department for national security, whether nominally or not.
17 I'm just saying you adhere to the truthful answer that you gave to the
18 Prosecutor, don't you, as to your title when you went to Belgrade?
19 A. Mr. Re, what I have just said in my previous answer, that's my
20 definite response. I have no other reply to give.
21 Q. Are you saying you meant something different to: I was chief of
22 this department for national security, when you told the Prosecutor, on
23 the 1st of April, 1998, that, as of the end of May you were "chief of this
24 department for national security"? Are you saying those plain, simple
25 words mean something else?
1 A. No. Those words meant nothing else but the fact that my,
2 conditionally speaking, posts that I held at the time were the basis for
3 my being taken there with them for me to see the entire scenario in
4 Belgrade, and then for me to be put under pressure at the local level. It
5 was in this context that I mentioned these words. But your esteemed
6 colleague Nancy Paterson was not interested in the rest of this story, and
7 that's why I'm putting it forward now, because I'm being given the chance
8 to explain why I thought there was this scenario.
9 Q. You're not being given the chance to explain. I was asking you
10 simply about your title at the time. So it will be much quicker for all
11 of us if you can just concentrate on that part of the question, and you
12 answered it before you started talking further. So please confine
13 yourself. You could have given me that answer ten minutes ago. Now,
14 Mr. Zaric, I want to move on to another area. Can you just turn the
15 interview over, please.
16 Mr. Zaric, last week I asked you some questions about Mr. Tihic,
17 and the radio interview with Mr. Tihic. As well as Mr. Tihic, of course,
18 you said was a person you had known for a long time and you described the
19 radio interview as part of the humiliation which was being perpetrated
20 against him. Remember that evidence? I think it was on Friday.
21 A. I don't know whether I used the word "humiliation," but I do
22 remember I said that it was part of the pressure being put on Mr. Tihic.
23 If I did use that word, I would like you to quote that part to me. But in
24 any case, I think that there was an improper scenario put in place for
25 Mr. Tihic to speak on the radio. As far as I heard, this was on the 19th,
1 but I also heard that he had already spoken on the 18th, so that this
2 statement of his was broadcast on several occasions by means of a tape and
3 certain technology used in Samac.
4 Q. Mr. Tihic's humiliation at the hands of the Serb -- the new Serb
5 authorities continued with the television interview, didn't it?
6 A. Yes. This was continued with pressure put on him. Whether this
7 amounts to humiliation, I wouldn't say that in this context. But in any
8 case, there was special psychological pressure put on him, because he had
9 arrived from detention to give an interview, and therefore I agree with
10 you that these were unfavourable circumstances for Mr. Tihic as the leader
11 of a party at the municipal level.
12 Q. Of course, this special psychological pressure on him continued
13 throughout the time he was in custody, didn't it, Mr. Zaric?
14 A. Yes, you're right. You're correct there. I share your opinion.
15 Q. And you wrote about Mr. Tihic's television interview in your book,
16 didn't you?
17 A. Yes. I wrote about that interview in my book. I was very
18 critical and I believe that I was very correct in the way I described it,
19 if that means anything.
20 Q. And to paraphrase, you described it as a staged inscripted
21 interview, didn't you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you have a copy of the --
24 MR. RE: Could Mr. Tihic [sic] be given that copy of the book
25 again, if my learned friends have it? I'm sorry, Mr. Zaric. Thank you.
1 Q. I think you'll find it on about page 251?
2 A. Yes. I have found page 251. If that's the part where there are
3 photographs in the -- on the top of the page and some text on the bottom
4 of the page.
5 Q. I apologise. Just give me one moment. I'll find my place.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re. It's Monday morning.
7 MR. RE: I'm getting there. I'm getting there.
8 Q. It's in the chapter entitled "slapdash state." And according to
9 the English version, it's around -- it's underneath the heading "2," which
10 is around page 251, with the photographs of Mr. Tihic, Mr. Nalic,
11 Mr. Hadzialijagic, and Mr. Nikolic, possibly the page before. Have you
12 found it?
13 A. Yes. Here it is. Just tell me what you want and then I'll find
14 my way around. When you tell me what you want me to comment on or to say.
15 Q. I just want you to have a look, from where it says, "The reportage
16 was organised by the Crisis Staff." That's the paragraph.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. All right. I just want to read a passage to you, and it goes like
19 this: "The reportage was organised by the Crisis Staff. Together with
20 the reporter and the cameraman, they decided what should be the most
21 important message of the events in Samac. A general frame was agreed on.
22 During the filming itself, military and political cliches increasingly
23 stifled the basic need to present the events themselves and the intentions
24 of the Muslims and Croats in a simple --"
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down, Mr. Re, please. Or could
1 we have the book on the ELMO, please.
2 MR. RE: I thought I provided the interpreters with a copy of this
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Maybe they haven't -- when did you provide? This
6 MR. RE: Friday. It was page 101 of the English. Does that
8 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry. I don't think we can find that page.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Maybe what you can do is slow down, read slowly.
10 MR. RE: "And the intentions of the Muslims and Croats in a
11 simple, clear, effective and convincing manner. When nationalist rhetoric
12 was thrown on top of everything as a crowning glory, the result
13 was`great,' but only to our own mind. And we had no sense of what looks
14 good on television, nor experience enough to approach the events from the
15 viewers' angle. In this kind of script it was decided beforehand who
16 would say what and what had to be shown. This helped kill spontaneity
17 even further. Everything was mixed up. The authors of the programme
18 yielded to the demands and cliches of the Crisis Staff, while the Crisis
19 Staff presumptuously got involved in writing and directing, which was why
20 the result was problematic. During the shooting, it turned out that the
21 central place in the programme was somehow given to intelligence, although
22 that had not been the intention. Intelligence agents do not get their
23 pictures taken, nor do they talk much, if at all. But my superior
24 commands's orders put me in a situation where I had to tell a story which
25 would unmask the Croat-Muslim coalition, its conspiracy against the Serbs,
1 its armament and preparations for war. Material that incriminated the
2 coalition and that had only been discovered a day earlier was thrust into
3 my hands in no particular order, and I barely had time to give it a
4 cursory glance (even though I had to talk about it and refer to it) so
5 that I could neither -- so sorry, I could be neither systematic or
6 entirely logical.
7 "My position was made especially unpleasant and emotionally tough
8 by the decision of the `writers and directors' to bring the detainees,
9 Tihic, Izetbegovic, Nalic, and Hadzialijagic, to the programme.
10 Sunglasses had to be found for Izetbegovic and Nalic in order to conceal
11 their bruises as much as possible. According to the script, they too
12 would be part of `my segment,' where we would, so to speak, confront
13 each other at a kind of round table, and they were asked to confess before
14 the cameras what they had planned and done against the Serbs.
15 Unfortunately, I was on more or less good terms with these men, and Tihic
16 was my friend. Our writers thought this was perfect, the best way to
17 illustrate the depths to which Bosnia and Herzegovina had sunk. Friend
18 facing friend, as investigator and criminal! That is why I was confused
19 and ill at ease, flustered in front of the camera. My throat was dry and
20 my words and thoughts popped up in no logical sequence."
21 I read that correctly to you, didn't I, Mr. Zaric?
22 A. I have to say, you read for a long time, and there are many words
23 and many things not properly translated from the B/C/S, as it stands
24 here. I don't know where you found those words, which are not here in the
25 book. I would now have to spend about ten minutes reading out page 250 in
1 order to convince the Chamber that the things said here were not what you
2 read out. I heard quite a few things which are not mentioned here at all,
3 and yet you uttered them. Whether it's a matter of translation or
4 something else, I can't go into that, but the essence was not brought into
5 question. There are, however, many words and sentences which are not in
6 here, and you said them.
7 Q. Well, I was reading from the official English translation provided
8 by the ICTY's interpreters of that passage in your book. I don't want you
9 to go into it too much, but is there anything I read out which changes the
10 meaning or the gist of what you read? And perhaps you could just
11 highlight whatever I read out that has somehow changed the meaning of what
12 you wrote.
13 A. No, it doesn't change the meaning. It's a critical description of
14 all this and the essence is the same, but there are many sentences and
15 words not mentioned in the B/C/S version.
16 Q. All I'm asking you: Are any of those -- bearing in mind that it's
17 an interpretation of my reading it out and not a translation, are there
18 any words I used which have changed the meaning or are important to you to
19 get across what the book actually says, that are different, any words that
20 I read out that are different to what you were reading in the book that
21 makes an important change to your meaning?
22 A. Yes. In the beginning, as you read it, you mentioned Mr. Tihic's
23 name, but in the beginning there is absolutely no mention of that man.
24 And there were also some other words which were put there. Now I'm not
25 all that focused to be able to associate the words that you uttered and
1 those which do not exist in this version. But now, if I were to read this
2 version, and this is the original, written in B/C/S, and then if I did
3 that, you would see that many things deviate from what you've just read.
4 Q. I didn't actually mention Mr. Tihic at the beginning, and I don't
5 know how that could have crept in. But what I'm asking you is: Was there
6 anything which to you was important?
7 A. For me, it is important that what I've said be interpreted and be
8 translated as I put it. The English version has turned things in a
9 different direction slightly. But I want to say that the critical
10 substance of my wish, which I wanted to present in this book, has not been
11 brought into question fully. That is, it has not gone beyond my
12 principled framework, and therefore I do not mind if we go on talking
13 about this subject if I keep this critical approach, as I have just
14 indicated to you to these matters.
15 Q. You've seen the first paragraph, where it says, about -- in the 1,
16 2, 3 -- I think fourth sentence: "When nationalist rhetoric was thrown on
17 top of everything." Do you see that?
18 A. Yes. Go on.
19 Q. Just so there's no difference in what we're saying to each other,
20 can you just read out that one sentence, please.
21 A. When, as icing on the cake, the national rhetoric was spread over
22 all it, it turned out "quite well." This word "quite well" is in inverted
23 commas and it is not by accident that I did it.
24 Q. Mr. Zaric --
25 A. -- but only following our line of thinking.
1 Q. Thank you. Okay. Well, I just want to ask you about that line.
2 The English interpretation -- I'm sorry, translation as opposed to
3 interpretation in inverted commas is great as opposed to quite well. But
4 I'm not going to make anything of that. But what I want to ask you is
5 simply this: What do you mean by "when nationalist rhetoric was --" my
6 translation says, "thrown on top of everything," but you said, "icing on
7 the cake or as a crowning glory, the result was quite -- looked quite well
8 or was great." What did you mean by the result looked quite well or great
9 to our own eyes or our own mind?
10 A. When some questions were put to people who participated in that TV
11 programme, and by this I primarily mean Mr. Tihic, Mr. Izetbegovic,
12 Mr. Nalic, and Mr. Hadzialijagic, to my mind, one could not but conclude
13 that some questions did not go in that direction; that is, they did not
14 bring into the forefront the Serb position of sorts. And then to --
15 followed by what would -- could be associated with those people who were
16 not Serbs. It was within that context that I wrote it.
17 Q. The questions and answers, as part of this nationalist rhetoric
18 put to -- I withdraw the question in that form. The questions put to
19 Mr. Tihic and the others as part of that nationalist rhetoric, and the
20 answers he gave, or they gave, were part of the humiliation that these men
21 were subjected to by this television interview, weren't they?
22 A. I wish to say that what they said in their interview was not a
23 lie. They uttered very many truths. But the question that arises in my
24 mind is under what circumstances and under what conditions did they tell
25 that story. Because if Mr. Tihic or any other of the participants said
1 and confirmed that before the war they had been arming themselves
2 illegally, had their paramilitary formations, and so on and so forth, then
3 that is something that I and others were aware of. The question only
4 arises whether, at the moment when people were put in front of the camera,
5 was a correct one, because they were telling the truth and yet had come
6 out of detention. And it is in that context that I think some kind of a
7 democratic relationship, because it was -- it was in the media, has not
8 been issued [phoen], because they did not say why they had armed, were
9 they afraid of somebody or whatever. So that other side and an
10 opportunity for them to say something else in front of the cameras.
11 Q. That's not what I'm asking you. Please. Please concentrate. I'm
12 going to ask it this way: These people as you knew had been detained,
13 hadn't they?
14 A. That's right. They had been detained.
15 Q. And they had been mistreated in detention, hadn't they? They had
16 been beaten, hadn't they?
17 A. You mean before they came to participate in the television
19 Q. Well, yes.
20 A. Yes. Yes, it happened at the time before that. But they were
21 not -- and I testified about it. But they were not beaten that day or
22 those who came from Brcko. I know that there was no ill-treatment there.
23 But during the previous period, from their detention onward, yes, they had
24 been subjected to ill-treatment. That is an indisputable fact.
25 Q. You of course refer to this in your book, where you say that --
1 well, in effect: They had been beaten so much that "sunglasses had to be
2 found for Izetbegovic and Nalic in order to conceal their bruises as much
3 as possible."
4 A. Yes, that's correct. But these bruises dated back to some earlier
5 beating, not beating that day. And I think that you don't think of that
6 same day either, that you also think that they had been exposed to some
7 torture before that. And the fact that these two gentlemen had glasses on
8 their heads, as said, so that these bruises would be less obvious, less
10 Q. Why, by your last answer, are you trying to minimise the beatings
11 or the effect of the beatings on these men, by saying it didn't occur on
12 the day? Why are you saying that?
13 A. No. I understood you to be saying that before they were brought
14 to the cameras, that they had been beaten. And I'm saying that that is
15 not in dispute, but that it had not happened on that day that they had
16 been exposed to mistreatment -- the previous days. And far be it from me
17 to refute the fact that they had been beaten earlier. Perhaps you
18 misunderstood me.
19 Q. No, I don't. But how does it matter, for the purposes of their
20 humiliation by their Serb captors, in front of the TV with this scripted
21 interview whether they had in fact been beaten that day or beaten on an
22 earlier day, yet had to have sunglasses put on them to conceal their
23 bruises? How does that matter, Mr. Zaric, in the context of what happened
24 to them? It doesn't, does it?
25 A. In principle, no, it doesn't, but that is how I understood your
1 question, and I merely tried to answer it somewhat more precisely. But if
2 you want me to speculate, then I agree with you: There is absolutely no
3 reason why I should bring into doubt that they had been under specific
4 circumstances and that they had been mistreated before that. I am not
5 trying to refute that or to challenge that.
6 Q. They were being used by the Serb authorities who had taken over
7 the town as a propaganda tool, weren't they, Mr. Zaric?
8 A. Well, Serb authorities, is a rather broad term, because I know
9 that that TV crew had arrived from Novi Sad. But now when I think of the
10 programme as a whole very correctly, I believe that it more or less did
11 contain that message which you mentioned in the end.
12 Q. Are you agreeing with what I just said to you, what I just asked
13 you? The question: They were being used by the Serb authorities, who had
14 taken over the town as a propaganda tool? Are you agreeing with that
15 question I just put to you?
16 A. Well, I have my opinion about that programme, and I'm not bringing
17 it into question. What was carried by Novi Sad television was carried for
18 the whole of Yugoslavia and the whole of Yugoslavia and the whole world,
19 so that programme, whether the Serb authorities in Samac of all places,
20 with all that powerful to direct it as they wanted so as to fit it into
21 their official policy or whether they wanted to see it in a broader
22 context, that is something I do not know and cannot give you a precise
23 opinion about that [as interpreted]. But whatever the case, to my mind,
24 this programme had a negative approach because I think it is not correct
25 and it is not all right for people to give interviews under such specific
1 conditions which are called prison camp, battery, and so on and so forth.
2 Q. You agreed earlier that the interview was staged and scripted, and
3 in your book, you said the reportage was organised by the Crisis Staff.
4 Your evidence has been, and in your statements, that the Crisis Staff took
5 over Bosanski Samac. Putting those things together, the Crisis Staff
6 organising this, bringing the detainees from custody, scripting the
7 interview, having prominent Muslims used in the context of nationalist
8 rhetoric, those Serb authorities were using them as a propaganda tool,
9 weren't they, Mr. Zaric?
10 A. I used the word and said it was directed or orchestrated by the
11 Crisis Staff, on the basis of information that I had and that I did not
12 question, that namely Stevan Todorovic, as a member of the Crisis Staff,
13 and that is what I think of him, through some connections of his, had
14 orchestrated their participation. And as for the interview itself, you
15 can see it here, because that tape is an exhibit. The journalist who
16 conducted the interview asked the questions himself. I do not believe
17 that he wasn't a man polished enough so as to be unable to ask questions
18 himself. But the whole programme, to my mind, acquired a rather negative
19 tone, a negative intonation.
20 Q. According to your book, you said that the Crisis Staff were the
21 "writers and directors." And it was their decision to bring the
22 detainees to the interview. That is, the Crisis Staff staged and scripted
23 this interview for their own purposes. Those purposes were to use these
24 men as a propaganda tool, weren't they? Could you please just focus on
25 that question. I've asked it several times and you've gone round and
1 round and round but haven't focused on it.
2 A. I know only too well who were the masterminds in the Crisis
3 Staff. I know that well. But I am not disputing the fact that you want
4 me to tell, namely, that Boro Simeunovic [as interpreted] and Ninkovic who
5 to my mind were the ideologues so were the masterminds together with
6 Stevan Todorovic that they wrote the script and they gave it to me and to
7 journalists who came to make that programme. That programme also includes
8 interviews with townsmen from Samac who also gave some positive
9 assessments as to what was going on in the territory of the town at that
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Correct here in transcript on page 23, line 22,
12 here it says that Simeunovic and there was one name missing here. That's
13 Ninkovic, what Mr. Zaric said. But he didn't say Simeunovic. The only
14 Simeunovic we have here is Mr. Makso Simeunovic, and he has nothing to do
15 with this interview. So he said Simeun Simic.
16 MR. PANTELIC: And Your Honour, if I may, on the same topic: I
17 don't believe that we heard that Mr. Zaric said that -- but I -- this is
18 line 21: "But I'm not disputing the fact that you want me to tell,"
19 et cetera, et cetera. It's rather ambiguous and imprecise. It was not
20 correctly interpreted what Mr. Zaric said. Reading this part of his
21 statement, for Mr. Zaric, it is not in dispute that someone from Crisis
22 Staff made all this scenario, questions, et cetera.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. I think I'll just ask through
24 Mr. Re that the answer be repeated slowly, so that we have all the names
1 MR. RE: I might ask it more simply.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
3 MR. RE:
4 Q. Mr. Zaric, this is a very, very simple question. Who wrote the
5 script you just referred to, just the names, please?
6 A. I do not know who wrote the script, but I'm telling you that I
7 know who were the brain fathers behind all this writing and certain things
8 in the Crisis Staff, and I mentioned the names of Mr. Simeun Simic and
9 Bozo Ninkovic. But I did not see the two of them making that script. Had
10 I seen them, I would have told you, because there is no reason for me to
11 hide it. All I can do is speculate and make assumptions and say: Well,
12 they sat down and talked it out, and so on and so forth. But whether that
13 is correct and whether such a statement will be relevant as a truth here
14 before the Trial Chamber.
15 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me. Good morning, Mr. Zaric. There is a
16 slight discrepancy between your two answers. In the first one you
17 mentioned also Mr. Stevan Todorovic, and in the latter answer you
18 mentioned only two persons, Mr. Simic and Mr. Ninkovic. What about
19 Mr. Todorovic? Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not think that Mr. Todorovic is
21 a brain father, if you understand what I mean. But nonetheless, he should
22 be included in that script. And I did not mean to keep him out of that
23 script. But he's not one of those people, as far as I know him. I've
24 never seen him sit down and write half a page of anything. He's simply
25 not that kind of man. I'm not trying to underestimate him, whether he
1 knows how to do it or not, but since I know those other two, I can say
2 that they were the ones who, in a certain way, and on behalf of the Crisis
3 Staff, they wrote, published certain things and had them carried by radio
4 and other media, which the Crisis Staff at the time used as its organs.
5 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you so much.
6 MR. RE:
7 Q. Mr. Zaric, in all of the circumstances which you have described in
8 your book as to the participation of the men having been brought from
9 detention, wearing sunglasses, a script written by the Crisis Staff for
10 Muslims to answer questions asked by Serbs, the participation of these men
11 in that interview could not be described as voluntary, could it?
12 A. Yes, I agree with you.
13 Q. And you knew that at the time when they were there being
14 interviewed, didn't you?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. Despite that, you chose to participate in the process, didn't you?
17 A. Mr. Re, in any war, there is a situation where a foot soldier or
18 an NCO does not choose what he will do. He simply carries out orders.
19 And I was very unhappy about it, and I'm telling you honestly about this,
20 but the question is whether Simo Zaric had been trusted. It was very
21 reluctantly that I took part in that programme, and I endeavoured as much
22 as I could to help create a more normal atmosphere, an atmosphere of
23 normalcy so that these people could say what they thought in a normal
24 atmosphere. And Mr. Tihic through Mr. Sarkanovic asked me to stay there
25 throughout so that nothing would happen to them. So that was the reason
1 why I was there, and I carried out the order of my superior commander and
2 I made a contribution to this television programme which is amongst the
3 exhibits here.
4 Q. This interview was one of the many acts of humiliation and
5 discrimination committed against the non-Serbs in Bosanski Samac by those
6 authorities in charge in April 1992, wasn't it?
7 A. You keep talking about the factor of humiliation. That is not in
8 question. But I would rather be ready to accept the fact that it was an
9 incorrect psychological pressure to which these people were exposed, who,
10 bearing in mind the circumstances they had come from detention and gave
11 their interview.
12 Q. This use of these men as a propaganda tool was designed to further
13 the Serb cause in Bosanski Samac, wasn't it, and in fact throughout
14 Yugoslavia, wasn't it?
15 A. Well, this kind of propaganda that you mention is something that I
16 gave least thought at the time when I was tasked to give my opinion about
17 the material that I referred to in the interview. And that there were
18 such television and other programmes, that there were hundreds of them in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is a well-known fact. But it does not mean,
20 however, that this interview did not take place in a very poor
21 psychological atmosphere. Of course, when it comes to non-Serbs.
22 Q. And of course, when it comes to non-Serbs, you participated in the
23 interview knowing that these detained Muslim captives were being used as a
24 propaganda tool by the Serb authorities in Bosanski Samac. There's no
25 other explanation for what was happening, was there -- is there?
1 A. Well, I put that conclusion down in my book in 1999. At that
2 moment, I wasn't thinking about that type of the script, who and what was
3 pursued by the person who brought that team. In that programme, all I did
4 was what I had been ordered by my superior, and I could see beyond any
5 doubt that those others participating in that programme were in much more
6 disadvantaged position than, for instance, I, who gave my part of the
8 Q. Your participation in that interview process assisted the Serb
9 authorities in their campaign of humiliation and propaganda against the
10 Muslims and non-Serbs in Bosanski Samac, didn't it?
11 A. Do you mean by this that I accepted such a script from the outset,
12 or is it the fact which I wish to present to the Trial Chamber that I had
13 been given the task by my superior to participate in that programme? Now
14 I'm clear too, Mr. Re, that that programme - and I wish it had never been
15 aired and that I had not participated in it, although I had no choice,
16 because I could not choose which order to obey and which not to obey. I
17 think that this was a propaganda, that its character was adverse, and I
18 stand by that. But I did not participate deliberately, that is, I did not
19 want to contribute to the humiliation, discrimination [phoen] or
20 degradation of anything that has to do with non-Serb population.
21 Q. But you accept the mere fact of your participation in that process
22 did advance the Serb campaign of humiliation and discrimination against
23 non-Serbs, don't you?
24 A. The broadcast was seen on television twice, and then it was never
25 aired again. Whether it made such a deep impression on people's memories.
1 Q. Can you answer the question, please. The question was: You
2 accept, don't you, that the mere fact of your participation in that
3 process did advance the Serb campaign of humiliation and discrimination
4 against non-Serbs, don't you?
5 A. Not for a single moment do I want to deny that a critical attitude
6 should be taken to that television broadcast. What conclusion will be
7 drawn in the end from my participation, I will not go into now. I do not
8 deny that the broadcast had negative connotations. My intention was
9 certainly not what you are talking about. There is no denying that I took
10 part, that I was drawn into it, but it did have negative effect and I do
11 not deny that. I was even more severe in my criticism of it in my book
12 than you are being now in your questions.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we take our break?
14 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber has a ruling on this issue of the
17 interviews and the plan by the Prosecution to use them. The Trial Chamber
18 has considered the submissions of the parties on the use of the interviews
19 of the 12th and 16th November 1996 by the accused Simo Zaric with Jan
20 Urban and Yvonne Badal of the Omri in Sarajevo. The Trial Chamber has
21 decided not to allow the Prosecution to refer to the said interviews, as
22 the circumstances of the interviews, notwithstanding their publication as
23 such, that their probative value is substantially outweighed by the need
24 it ensure a fair trial. So the Prosecution cannot refer to them.
25 You may proceed.
1 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 Q. Mr. Zaric, you've still got your book in front of you. Please
3 just turn to page 323. It's the second paragraph after the divider 2. Do
4 you see the first paragraph says: "When I had the indictment in my
5 hands." The next one says: "As for Blagoje Simic ..."
6 A. Yes. Yes. I see.
7 Q. Yes. Thank you. Last Thursday, Mr. Pantelic cross-examined you
8 and asked you about the participation of Mr. -- or Dr. Simic and what you
9 had seen of him in Bosanski Samac during the war. The second paragraph of
10 your book here, at page 235 of the English and 323 of the original says:
11 "As for Blagoje Simic and Stevan Todorovic, their functions and characters
12 say something about them. The former, Simic, was a hard-line politician,
13 fiercely nationalistic, the latter, that's Todorovic, a rigid man,
14 appointed chief of police in evil times and with insufficient training."
15 That's what you said in your book. I've quoted that correctly,
16 haven't I?
17 A. Yes. It says something similar. Not exactly the same, but about
18 the same, yes.
19 Q. What sort of things led you to conclude that Dr. Simic was a
20 hard-line politician and fiercely nationalistic? Was it the policies of
21 the Crisis Staff and their involvement in ethnic cleansing or was it
22 something else?
23 A. I couldn't connect this right away to ethnic cleansing. I think
24 that Mr. Blagoje Simic never concealed the fact that he was a Serb
25 nationalist. He didn't talk much. I was not in a situation to
1 participate in many meetings that he attended, but if I were to refer to
2 the assembly held on the 26th or the 16th - I can't remember exactly - of
3 December, 1992, when there was a certain debate concerning the information
4 we have mentioned, and as he was actually chairing that session, I saw him
5 as a person who responded very harshly, in my view, to anything that was
6 not totally in line with the official SDA policy, or the policy of the
7 authorities in the municipality. From this I drew a conclusion --
8 Q. -- SDA, you meant SDS, didn't you? It's translated as SDA. You
9 said SDS, didn't you?
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter made a mistake. The witness
11 said SDS.
12 MR. RE:
13 Q. Please continue. From this, I drew a conclusion -- just continue
14 the answer: From this, I drew a conclusion ...
15 A. I drew the conclusion that I knew Mr. Blagoje Simic only slightly
16 before the war. When the authorities in Samac were set up and when the
17 Crisis Staff and the Executive Board, who were the representatives of the
18 authorities in the narrowest sense of the word, showed what they were like
19 in practice, I think that Mr. Blagoje Simic was surrounded by people who
20 were seen more as Serbian nationalists than he was in public. I think
21 that he took on his duty at a very difficult point in time, and it may not
22 be proper for me to say this, but I think he was simply not up to the
23 job. And around him were people who were already seasoned politicians,
24 who, in my view, constantly held him in a checkmate position, and that is
25 why I have the impression that the responses of the Crisis Staff to
1 certain challenges could not have been done better when I look at who was
2 there with him and who the people were whom Blagoje, as the president of
3 the Crisis Staff, trusted. The line of fierce national and in some
4 individuals nationalistic policy was something I experienced in the way I
5 have described, thinking that he perhaps should have had the strength to
6 resist if he was under pressure from the demands of individuals
7 surrounding him. In my view, there was no doubt that some individuals,
8 like Milan Simic, Simeun Simic, Bozo Ninkovic, Stevan Todorovic, and so
9 on, did not hesitate to show what their policy was, and I disagreed with
10 it, in spite of the fact that it was wartime --
11 Q. Mr. Zaric, you've been going about five minutes on something which
12 you wrote very simply and if I might say so eloquently in your book. As
13 for Blagoje Simic, the former was a hard-line politician, fiercely
14 nationalistic. What I want ask you is: You've expressed an opinion based
15 upon a conclusion. Was it Dr. Simic's participation in a shadow or
16 parallel Serb government which took over the town and imposed
17 discriminatory, persecutory policies on the population and on Serb
18 population? Was that one of the things that lead you to conclude that he
19 was a hard-line politician and fiercely nationalistic?
20 MR. PANTELIC: I object, Your Honour, because term used by my
21 learned friend from Prosecution office, "shadow government," "parallel,"
22 et cetera, is absolutely inappropriate. I know that this is Prosecution
23 theory and Prosecution case, but Mr. Zaric is not a constitutional law
24 expert. He is not a legal expert, Your Honour. And we shall provide
25 enough evidences in our closing arguments that we cannot speak about the
1 shadow or parallel government, given the fact that the Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 was in a process of dissolution, starting at the mid-of October 1991,
3 where the constitutional principles were violated. So that's a matter for
4 submission, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic --
6 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: You've put it very well that you make those points
8 in your concluding arguments, and you had better do that. And please sit
9 down. There is nothing wrong with the question posed by the Prosecution.
10 These are matters that have been discussed with most of the witnesses, and
11 even with Mr. Simo Zaric himself. So he can answer that question.
12 MR. RE:
13 Q. Mr. Zaric, in your own evidence, you've described the Serbian
14 Samac municipality as a parallel government, sometime last week. What I'm
15 asking you is: Was it Dr. Simic's participation in this shadow or
16 parallel Serb government which took over the town and imposed
17 discriminatory, persecutory policies on the non-Serb population, was that
18 one of the things that led you to conclude that Dr. Simic was a hard-line
19 politician and fiercely nationalistic?
20 A. I have to make a distinction in my reply. The first part of your
21 question, relating to, as you say, a shadow government, although I'm no
22 legal expert, I have my political viewpoint on this, as an individual. I
23 was never in favour of ethnic grouping, and this is my standpoint which I
24 will never change.
25 Q. Can you answer the question now, please. I'm talking about
1 Dr. Simic and his participation. Was that one of the things that caused
2 you to conclude that he was fiercely hard-line politician and fiercely
3 nationalistic? So to save time, please just answer that question, and not
4 some other one that you want to answer, and please just concentrate on
5 that one.
6 A. I was just coming to this, to your question, that is. The
7 establishment of the Serbian municipality of Samac, according to the
8 information that became available in February, and the second session of
9 the assembly that was held in late March, was indubitably part of the
10 policy supported [Realtime transcript omitted the word "supported"] by
11 Dr. Blagoje Simic. This is deep conviction and that is something I
12 disagreed with and will never agree with. If Dr. Blagoje Simic's
13 participation in this kind of policy of organising a Serbian municipality
14 along ethnic lines is to be treated as a hard-line policy, then I agree
15 with this. I don't want to enter into constitutional or other issues than
16 topical on the territory of Republika Srpska.
17 The consequences of this policy, which later emerged, are
18 something quite different. I cannot claim here that I ever heard, in my
19 whole life, Blagoje Simic ordering any act of discrimination to be carried
20 out. In practice, however, I know that there were things that were
21 improper and inhumane in relation to the non-Serb population, and I feel
22 that there was discrimination, especially in the case of some individuals.
23 Which individuals contributed to bringing these people into this situation
24 where they were discriminated against, I think this can be personified
25 quite clearly as said.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Page 34, line 1, we heard that after the word
2 policy Mr. Zaric said supported, and then it continuing by -- with word by
3 Blagoje Simic, et cetera. Just for the sake of precision. Thank you.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: You've seen the point, Mr. Re, the line? That's
5 line 1.
6 MR. RE:
7 Q. The word --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Supported.
9 MR. RE: The word "supported" is missing from --
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. So you accept Mr. Pantelic's correction?
11 MR. RE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Pantelic.
12 Q. Mr. Zaric, you see, you've concluded that he was a hard-line
13 politician and fiercely nationalistic. And you've said a moment ago that
14 the consequences of this policy later emerged. The truth is that the
15 consequences of this policy of establishing a parallel government and
16 taking over the municipality in fact emerged on the 17th of April, 1992,
17 the date on which Muslims and Croats were rounded up -- the beginning --
18 the start -- the commencement day of the rounding up and arrest and
19 detention of Muslims and Croats in Bosanski Samac and your own evidence
20 has been of what you did by taking them to Brcko on the 26th of April. So
21 you'd accept that these consequences emerged very, very shortly after the
22 takeover, wouldn't you?
23 A. Yes, I agree with you.
24 Q. You also said a moment ago that it was Dr. Simic's participation
25 in a meeting, I think you said in December 1992, where he had a
1 particularly hard-line to those who opposed SDS policies. You're aware,
2 of course, of the SDS policy proclaimed in the six strategic objectives,
3 which is P5 in evidence here, one of which is establishing state borders,
4 separating the Serb people from the other two ethnic communities. Was it
5 his support for that particular SDS policy that led you to conclude that
6 he was a hard-line politician and fiercely nationalistic? And please
7 answer it as simply as you can.
8 A. I have to be sincere and say that the document on the strategic
9 goals adopted by the People's Assembly of Republika Srpska is something I
10 saw for the first time when it was disclosed here. Therefore, I could not
11 talk about the overall policy. I can talk about what happened in practice
12 on the ground, when the Serbian municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo under
13 formation was established. It then became evident that the Serbian
14 national factor dominated in politics, and generally. There was no action
15 by non-Serbs. Therefore, I feel that if new forces coming into power in a
16 multiparty system pretending to be democrats, then they should have given
17 the opportunity to others to take part in political life. This would have
18 been normal, that all people who live there could participate. That's how
19 I see things, Mr. Prosecutor.
20 Q. Right. A moment ago you agreed that -- or you had accepted that
21 the consequences you referred to earlier emerged very shortly after the
22 takeover, and I've referred to the rounding up of Muslims and Croats,
23 their arrest, and all the other things that happened, the isolation and so
24 on. Now, of course, you were aware of that, but by the very fact of your
25 intervention by taking prisoners to Brcko on the 26th of April, you were
1 aware of the emergence of those consequences of discriminatory behaviour
2 as of the 26th of April, weren't you?
3 A. The 26th of April? You mean when those people went to Brcko?
4 Q. That's correct.
5 A. Yes, absolutely. I was convinced that the non-Serbian population
6 of the municipality of Samac was being treated improperly.
7 Q. Well, it was more than improperly. They were being treated --
8 they were being discriminated against on ethnic grounds, weren't they?
9 A. You see, if there were elements for them to be detained in the
10 sense that all those who possessed illegal weapons and took part in
11 paramilitary formations and so on were to be locked up, there was no
12 reason for them not to be subject to proper proceedings and for them to be
13 subjected to beatings, branding, humiliation, and everything that these
14 people went through. What I want to say is: If Mr. Todorovic, as the
15 chief of the public security station and a member of the Crisis Staff,
16 brought people in and charged them, then there was no reason for them to
17 be mistreated and branded, which they were as a consequences of that.
18 Nobody can justify that, in any way.
19 Q. I'll just take you back to my question, and I'll demonstrate
20 something. Your own evidence has been of those prisoners singing Chetnik
21 songs. That was an act of humiliation and discrimination against
22 non-Serbs, wasn't it?
23 A. You are right. I agree with you.
24 Q. And my question was: The people in detention, that's the
25 non-Serbs, were being discriminated against on ethnic grounds by those who
1 were detaining them, weren't they? That's as of the 26th of April, 1992.
2 A. Yes, I agree.
3 Q. You were aware of their -- of this discrimination against them on
4 ethnic grounds - that's the prisoners in custody - as of that date, the
5 26th of April, 1992, weren't you? Based on a number of things: The
6 singing of Chetnik songs, the ethnicity of the people in custody, the
7 cursing of their balija mothers, and so on, and the insults directed
8 towards them by their captors. All of those things convinced you, as at
9 the 26th of April, 1992, that these prisoners were being discriminated
10 against on ethnic grounds, didn't they?
11 A. Not only the 26th. I saw such scenes from the very outset. I
12 think that such things happened even before, and I agree: In my view, the
13 measures that were taken were improper, they were discriminatory, and they
14 deserve condemnation.
15 Q. And was Dr. Simic's participation in this process, as the
16 president of the Crisis Staff, and your evidence is that the Crisis Staff
17 were responsible, in your view, with Todorovic, for the takeover of the
18 town with the paramilitaries, was it his participation in that process
19 which you have just said was commenced before the 26th of April that led
20 you to conclude in your book that he was a hard-line politician and
21 fiercely nationalistic?
22 A. You see, in my book which you keep referring to, I wrote only one
23 sentence about Dr. Blagoje Simic, because I didn't want to deal with other
24 people a lot, who are co-accused with me and brought here to The Hague
25 along with me. Although to be quite honest, I never imagined I would be
1 sitting in the dock together with Stevan Todorovic. But, well, that's
2 human destiny. What I can say is - and that's my opinion - regardless of
3 the fact that Mr. Todorovic, in the hierarchy, was connected to the
4 Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska, in my view, it was not
5 unknown that we in the town of Samac had three or four rooms in which
6 there were detainees, and I won't say that each and every member,
7 including Mr. Blagoje Simic of the Executive Board or the Crisis Staff
8 knew what went on there every night, but I think that the fact that people
9 were detained and that there were many people there who were exposed to
10 various kinds of suffering were known to them as a body. Therefore, from
11 the viewpoint of political responsibility, I cannot separate the name of
12 Dr. Blagoje Simic from the others, although I never saw or heard
13 Mr. Blagoje Simic ordering Mr. Todorovic to do things like locking people
14 up, raping them, beating them up, and so on and so forth.
15 Q. Your evidence was you believe that Dr. Simic had some
16 responsibility for the takeover, on ethnic grounds, of Bosanski Samac.
17 Your evidence was that Dr. Simic was the president of the Crisis Staff.
18 Your evidence is that Mr. Todorovic was a member of the Crisis Staff, and
19 he was responsible for the prisoners who were being subjected to the
20 grossest forms of humiliation and discrimination. What I'm asking you
21 is: Based upon what you know of Dr. Simic's participation in the entire
22 process, as the leader -- the president of the Crisis Staff, when all this
23 was occurring, is that one of the things that led you to conclude that he
24 was a "hard-line politician and fiercely nationalistic"? Now, could you
25 just concentrate on that part of the question, please.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, you have asked this question I don't know
2 how many times.
3 MR. RE: I know.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: And Mr. Simo Zaric has been answering and explaining
5 in his own way. Can we please move on.
6 MR. RE: If it please Your Honours.
7 Q. I want to ask you about the removal of the prisoners from Brcko --
8 sorry, from the TO in Bosanski Samac to Brcko. Your evidence was a list
9 was compiled, a list of people who were to be taken to Brcko. That was
10 your evidence, wasn't it?
11 A. It was, yes. The list that was compiled by the public security
12 station commander, Mr. Stevan Cancarevic [as interpreted], and Mr. Mihajlo
13 Topolovac, that day.
14 Q. The list, of course -- I withdraw that. The list of prisoners to
15 be taken was not the entirety of the prisoners being held in the TO, was
17 A. I didn't know that. Later on I found out that not everybody had
18 left. But at that time, I didn't know where people detained and who was
19 detained. When I entered, I thought that they were all there, and that
20 was the only facility. But other places, I never put my foot there, nor
21 was I aware of them.
22 Q. When you went to the TO, it was dark, wasn't it?
23 A. It was dark. There was only a candle burning in the middle of
24 that room, and in it - I found that out later - 56 people.
25 Q. Are you saying there was only one candle lighting the entire room
1 in which 56 people were held in?
2 A. That's right. That figure, 56, I heard from Mr. Safet
3 Hadzialijagic when I went to see them the next day in Brcko, and then he
4 told me --
5 Q. I'm asking you about the candle, what you saw. There was only one
6 candle; is that what you're saying?
7 A. Yes, there was one candle, more or less, in the middle of the
8 building, as said, which lit faces of people a little, but not enough to
9 be able to discern who was sitting where and who were those people, so
10 that it wasn't realistic to expect from me to register every single
11 individual there in such a short time under those conditions.
12 Q. And based on that, you of course couldn't see what injuries had
13 been inflicted on the 56 people who were in that room that you could only
14 see by candlelight, could you?
15 A. Well, those who were near the candle, one could see them, and that
16 is why I told you what I was able to see.
17 Q. The procedure was that someone read out names from a list, and
18 those people came forward, wasn't it?
19 A. Well, let me tell you. The technique employed, I don't quite
20 recollect, but I remember as they came and boarded the truck, that they
21 helped one another and that Mr. Topolovac called out the names, one, two,
22 three. I wasn't there all the time. At times I went out of the room and
23 came back -- I mean I went out of the yard, because I was afraid that that
24 other team might turn up and bring the whole election into question.
25 Q. The people whose names were on the list were allowed onto the
1 truck, weren't they?
2 A. The list of people was read out. Now, following the methodology
3 as I saw it, Mr. Topolovac was standing next to the truck. He was calling
4 out people. What he was noting down, I did not follow that. So that that
5 is what I could see at that moment.
6 Q. People whose names were read out were allowed onto the truck, but
7 not everyone's name was read out, because there were some people left
8 behind; correct?
9 A. I do not know that they were left behind. It was later on that I
10 learned that there were some people still there.
11 Q. How later on?
12 A. A few days later.
13 Q. Mr. Zaric, you told some people who were in the room that they
14 were not coming with you, didn't you? At the time, not days later.
15 A. No. I didn't say that to anyone. Where did you find that?
16 Q. You left behind a veterinarian; correct?
17 A. No.
18 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... did he come with you?
19 A. Yes. Yes. Dr. Ante, Dr. Keljacic, he was there. I remember
20 him. I remember Franjo Barukcic, Dragan Lukac, Sulejman Tihic. They all
21 went off. Not a single name of those I mentioned stayed behind, nor did I
22 know who stayed behind, nor did I see anybody stay there in that room,
23 because I did not go back to I don't know -- check it later on. It never
24 occurred to me. All I wanted to do was to have the operation finished,
25 over, as soon as possible.
1 Q. You told some people that they were political prisoners, didn't
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. None of the prisoners you transferred to Brcko that night were
5 prisoners of war, were they?
6 A. I don't understand. What was your question? Could you repeat it,
8 Q. None of the prisoners that you transferred to Brcko on the 26th of
9 April into military custody were prisoners of war, none of them were armed
10 combatants in uniform, were they, who had been captured in battle?
11 A. I think that this is a legal question. All I know is that many of
12 those who were there had weapons, and I know that some of them had come
13 out into the street with arms that morning. If you think that that
14 amounts to nothing, well, I don't know. I wouldn't go into that.
15 However, it is a fact that a vast number of them had come into possession
16 of illegal weapons through the paramilitary component. I have no doubts
17 about that. But I did not go into their nature, whether they were
18 prisoners of war, whether they were military captives. At that moment, I
19 didn't --
20 Q. Mr. Zaric, you're a long-time officer in the JNA, in the VRS. You
21 know what a prisoner of war is, don't you?
22 A. No. How would you -- I was some kind of an officer for a very
23 short time before that. I was always in the civilian service. I worked
24 in the public and state security. And as of January 1992, my official
25 duty was assistant commander for security. And war broke out three months
1 later. If you that I that is a long period of time, three months, then
2 I'll accept that.
3 Q. Mr. Zaric, you know the difference between a civilian and an armed
4 soldier, don't you, in uniform?
5 A. Well, not only those in uniforms need to be soldiers. It doesn't
6 say anywhere if he's offering resistance and he's ready to fight, he need
7 not wear a uniform.
8 Q. None of the people -- none of the people --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, I don't think we should go into discussing
10 whether these people were prisoners of war with Mr. Simo Zaric, because
11 the evidence is there as to how they were arrested and by whom, and the
12 circumstances are there. These are matters which can be matters of
13 conclusion after analysing the evidence.
14 MR. RE:
15 Q. Mr. Zaric, I'll move on from that. You said you told some people
16 that they were political prisoners. They were, of course, Muslim and
17 Croat political prisoners, weren't they?
18 A. That's right. I answered that question when Mr. Lukac, whom I had
19 not properly recognised because he was wearing a beard, not far from that
20 candle, he asked me and said --
21 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... answer yes. The question
22 was very simple.
23 A. Yes. Yes. But I have to explain why I said that, Mr. Prosecutor.
24 I didn't say it because I thought that political prisoners should be
25 detained and beaten there. If you want to charge me with something like
1 that and allow me to defend myself to say that it's not true, that it's a
2 fabrication, that it's a lie, whatever, it has nothing to do with me.
3 Q. All right. Mr. Zaric, I'll just take you back. These people you
4 described as political prisoners were Muslims and Croats, weren't they?
5 Yes or no.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Political prisoners, as far as you're concerned, and you have had
8 a long history in intelligence, are people detained for their political
9 views, aren't they?
10 A. Yes, basically that's right.
11 Q. Your view was that these particular people, who were Muslims and
12 Croats, were being detained for their political views, that is, they were
13 being discriminated against because of their political views as Muslims
14 and Croats, wasn't it?
15 A. At that point of time, I thought that because of their political
16 positions that I upheld before the detention, thinking that the democratic
17 tone advocated by people in the Serb Democratic Party would prevail, that
18 it would be stronger than the fact that those people were in prison.
19 Because I could not see why should a politician be pushed into prison and
20 placed at a disadvantage. And that is why I said it. I said I think that
21 with your politicians things will soon be over and you'll be released in
22 due time. I even made an optimistic assessment as for other people, and
23 those words I thought that the conscience of our people are those who
24 decided on the politics, on the fate of democracy that one of them would
25 say why should Sulejman Tihic be in prison now if yesterday he was a
1 political partner.
2 Q. My question was quite simple. Your view was that these particular
3 people you described as political prisoners, who were Muslims and Croats,
4 were being discriminated against because of their political views as
5 Muslims and Croats, wasn't it? You can answer that quite simply. Was
6 that your view?
7 A. Because of the political positions they had held beforehand, so I
8 didn't know much about their political views. The fact that somebody was
9 a member of the HDZ or the SDA meant nothing to me. I merely knew that
10 they held certain positions, that they were either members of the Main
11 Board of the HDZ or the SDA. But I don't know whether that is a criterion
12 to send somebody to prison. Not to my mind, and that is why I said what I
13 said then, and I still think the same.
14 Q. That's not a legitimate criteria to send people to prison, was it,
15 but that's what happened, that's what you saw, people being detained who
16 were Muslims and Croats, detained because of their ethnicity and political
17 view. That's what you saw, wasn't it?
18 A. Yes. I saw that, and it happened.
19 Q. Those people weren't people you wanted to further interrogate,
20 were they?
21 A. I didn't understand your question.
22 Q. The people you described as political prisoners were not the
23 people you wanted to interrogate further about illegal arming and so on,
24 were they?
25 A. The problem of illegal arming is one thing, and somebody -- the
1 views of somebody who held an important political position is another
2 matter. So if I interrogated somebody in relation to illegal arming is
3 one matter, and policy and these things I didn't really go into that.
4 Q. Some of the people who you were removing to Brcko you wished to
5 interrogate further in relation to the arming, didn't you?
6 A. I explained how these three interviews with Mr. Nalic and brothers
7 Bicic came about, and how --
8 Q. Can you please just answer for once the question. The question
9 this time was: Some of the people who you were removing to Brcko you
10 wished to further interrogate in relation to the illegal arming, didn't
12 A. I didn't, but it just so happened, so I did conduct those
13 interviews, and I am not denying that I did that. There is nothing
14 doubtful about that. And the way how I did it and how I explained it.
15 Q. That is, the people you moved from civilian or paramilitary
16 custody on the 26th of April into military custody you interrogated some
17 of them further into relation to the arming, didn't you?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And that was one of the reasons why you moved them into military
20 custody, apart from the humanitarian reasons, it enabled you to
21 interrogate them further in the sanctity of JNA facilities, didn't it?
22 A. No. That was not my intention. The conversation was spontaneous.
23 I went one day to see them, and after that I never saw them again.
24 Q. As a long-time employee of the ministry of internal affairs in the
25 Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, you were very familiar with
1 the laws on internal affairs, weren't you, and of course as you would have
2 been as a former police chief?
3 A. Well, I knew about -- I knew a decent amount of things to be able
4 to perform that duty. I mean, the chief of a public security station
5 needed to understand certain things, and I believe I was knowledgeable
6 about that part.
7 Q. You needed to be intimately familiar with the laws under which you
8 were operating the public security station, didn't you, Mr. Zaric?
9 There's a short answer to that.
10 A. Well, I didn't have to, but I did my best to know it. At the time
11 when I was the chief of the public security station, then that office was
12 more of a political nature.
13 Q. You were employed by the ministry of internal affairs, the MUP, in
14 1990 and 1991. You were familiar with the 1990 law on internal affairs in
15 the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, weren't you?
16 A. As regards the state security, I can talk about that, and at that
17 time I worked for the state security. If you want to learn something
18 about that, no problem.
19 Q. I'm simply talking about the law on internal affairs. As an
20 employee and a senior one, you were aware of and familiar with the 1990
21 law on internal affairs, weren't you?
22 A. What had to do with the state security service, yes. I didn't
23 work for the public security to be aware of the law of the interior, which
24 has to do with that part. But from a period in my life between 1975 to
25 1979, when I was SUP chief, I was aware of the basic concept underlying
1 the law on the internal affairs.
2 Q. The Republika Srpska established its own law on internal affairs
3 in February 1992, a month after the declaration or the proclamation of the
4 Republika Srpska, didn't it?
5 A. Yes. I heard about it. I mean, I heard that information.
6 Q. You heard that information. That was during the period when you
7 were working in the reserve for the SJB, wasn't it?
8 A. No. I was in the reserve of the state security service. I was
9 never in the reserve of the public security.
10 Q. I apologise. That was my error. The SDB. You were in the SDB
11 reserve at the time of the adoption of the Republika Srpska law on
12 internal affairs in February 1992, weren't you?
13 A. Yes, but the field of my work had to do with the state security of
14 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, not some kind of Ministry of the
15 Interior of Republika Srpska.
16 Q. It may not have, but at the time when you were in the SDB reserve
17 in January and February 1992, you were aware of the divisions within the
18 Bosnian government MUP, weren't you, on political grounds?
19 A. Why, of course. That is why I was fired.
20 Q. You were aware that the Republika Srpska established 13 ministries
21 in February 1992, including a ministry of internal affairs, weren't you?
22 A. Why, I don't know how many ministries they established, but no
23 doubt that one of the more important ministries was the one of the
24 interior, and I believe that the Ministry of the Interior, at that time,
25 in that government, became an official ministry, but that there were 13 of
1 them, I really don't know, because I never went into that.
2 Q. You were aware at the time of the establishment of the Serbian --
3 of the Serb MUP that Bosnian government MUP officials were leaving it to
4 work for the Serbian MUP, weren't you?
5 A. Only insofar as it had to do with the reserve part of the police,
6 as far as I know. But Serbs were not the only ones to do it. That's
7 quite true. That was the reserve police. And the active-duty police in
8 Samac remained part of the public security station to the very last
10 Q. You were also aware that the law proclaimed on internal affairs by
11 the Republika Srpska in February 1992 was almost identical to that of the
12 Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the 1990 law, weren't you?
13 Because that was the law in force in the Republika Srpska thereafter.
14 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I never read it. But I do not think
15 that those people could do something -- special, because the law on the
16 internal -- the laws on internal affairs across former Yugoslavia are very
17 similar. So that I think that the law on internal affairs of Republika
18 Srpska was very much like the law applicable at the level of the Republic
19 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, I am guessing. I never read it, but I
20 would agree with you.
21 Q. The old law divided Bosnia into nine CSBs or security centre
22 reasons. The new law divided them into five. Doboj was the centre for
23 the SAO of northern Bosnia, wasn't it? That is, the Bosanski Samac
24 police -- security -- sorry, public security station reported to Doboj,
25 didn't it, under the new law?
1 A. I don't know this structure under the new law. Before that, the
2 Security Services Centre in Doboj covered 11 municipalities, including the
3 municipality of Samac. I know that because I had worked in that region
4 for a long time, as the chief, and then in the state security sector. But
5 how was it done in this new organisational layout in Republika Srpska, how
6 did those authorities did it, well, I didn't do my homework in that regard
7 properly, so I'd rather not say something. If I knew it, I'd tell you
9 Q. The Republika Srpska ministry of internal affairs was divided just
10 like the Bosnian one, old one, into a public security service and a
11 national security service, although there had been a name change from
12 state security service, that's SDB, to national security service, SNB;
14 A. Yes. I learned that later on, because - I'll be brief - when they
15 said they were appointing me chief for national security, the term was
16 strange to me. So I asked if it was something like what I had done in the
17 state security service, and then they explained that, yes, it was similar
18 to that. Later on I heard that the national security service had been
19 established as part of the sector in the ministry, and yes, you are
20 correct. The other sector had to do with public security.
21 Q. The role of the state security division under the new law was to
22 gather information aimed at detecting and preventing activities of
23 individuals, groups, and organisations who conspire to violate the
24 constitutional order and state security of the Republika Srpska. That's
25 consistent with your understanding of the role of the new state security
1 division, isn't it?
2 A. What you have just said, that's what I did in the state security
3 service of Bosnia and Herzegovina. If that's what it says, then they
4 simply copied it. That was exactly how information was gathered. I never
5 gathered any information for the national security service of Republika
6 Srpska. But the job description was as you have read it out, as far as I
7 can remember, when I worked in the state security service of Bosnia and
9 Q. And state security for the Republika Srpska MUP in the war was
10 divided into three lines: Intelligence, counter-intelligence, and
11 technical operations, wasn't it?
12 A. Excuse me. I didn't get an interpretation of your question.
13 Q. The state security for the Republika Srpska MUP in the war was
14 divided into three lines - intelligence, counter-intelligence, and
15 technical operations - wasn't it?
16 A. I really don't know, because I didn't work in that sector. I can
17 only guess. But previously in the state security service of Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina, there was an intelligence part and a counter-intelligence
19 part. Those were segments that the service dealt with. And when my
20 counsel, Pisarevic, was examining me, I think I explained this in detail.
21 I don't know to what extent I can talk about the new organisation, because
22 I didn't have much to do with it.
23 Q. One of the things the new law provided was that the CSBs and SJBs
24 were to cease cooperating with the Bosnian ministry of internal affairs
25 and henceforth cooperate only with the Republika Srpska one. That's from
1 the 28th of February onwards. Correct?
2 A. I don't know if it was from that point in time. I really couldn't
3 say. But I know that when the war broke out and when there was complete
4 differentiation, I can only assume that in this entity of Republika
5 Srpska, things were done as you say, and that later on new centres -- new
6 public security centres and stations were set up and that the service was
7 set up a little bit differently in technical terms.
8 Q. The new MUP and its employees was well and truly established by
9 the date of the takeover in Bosanski Samac, wasn't it?
10 A. Are you referring to the 16th and 17th of April, 1992?
11 Q. Yes, I am.
12 A. I can say that that's how it should have been, but I'm not sure
13 how long it took. In view of the environment we were in, for Mr. Stevan
14 Todorovic, as chief of the public security station, to contact his
15 superiors in Doboj or the Ministry of the Interior in Pale.
16 Q. He was, of course, appointed on the 28th of March, 1992. He was
17 in place weeks before the takeover, as the head of the Serbian
18 municipality's public security station. You agree with that, don't you?
19 A. When I read the document that was before you, I can assume that's
20 how it was, but I know that no Serbian public security station was
21 operating in public or was talked about. I really don't know. If
22 Mr. Todorovic did something illegally, and he evidently did something that
23 was not done in public, then that's a different story. But what was
24 stated in public was that there was a public security station whose chief
25 was Dragan Lukac. That's what was known before the conflict broke out on
1 the 16th and 17th.
2 Q. Mr. Zaric, you knew, before the conflict, that Mr. Todorovic had
3 been appointed by the Samac Serbian municipality, or Municipal Assembly,
4 as its chief of the public security station, didn't you?
5 A. I heard people talking about that behind the scenes, and it seems
6 strange to me, but it was never actually officially announced in public,
7 until, of course, when I arrived here, I saw these Official Gazettes, and
8 then I saw that they had had sessions and made appointments, and now I can
9 see what a poor intelligence officer I was when I didn't know that.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ...
11 information that Mr. Todorovic has been appointed. Mr. Zaric used the
12 word: It was funny. It sounds funny to me. He didn't say strange to me.
13 He said funny. Because he was referring to Mr. Todorovic.
14 MR. RE: Funny, strange. It doesn't alter the meaning.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. You can proceed.
16 MR. RE:
17 Q. The SNB, that's the new state security service, cooperated and
18 worked closely with military intelligence during the war, didn't it?
19 You're aware of that because of your work in military intelligence?
20 A. I never had an opportunity to talk to anyone from the national
21 security service as assistant commander of the 4th Detachment for
22 security, which was in place until the 12th of May, when there was a
23 transformation in the army of Republika Srpska. Whether the national
24 security service cooperated with the Military Intelligence Service through
25 the war, I don't know, but I assume they did, because it would have been
1 normal for them to do so. However, I was not involved with that, so I
2 have no first-hand knowledge of it.
3 Q. And until the official withdrawal of the JNA on the 12th of May,
4 1992, the Republika Srpska MUP were the only armed forces which were
5 exclusively under the control of the Republika Srpska leadership, weren't
6 they? Because at that stage, the TOs were under JNA control.
7 A. I cannot confirm this fact because it's something I don't know.
8 If I refer to what was happening in Samac, the Serbian public security
9 service, which would be headed, after the 16th, by Mr. Stevan Todorovic,
10 this was something that was not felt in public opinion.
11 THE INTERPRETER: As said by the witness.
12 A. I cannot give you a precise answer. I was there. But as for
13 their activities, I knew only that members of the reserve police force in
14 Samac received the suggestion that they should not be in the regular
15 police force, and some of them left. And the police force in Samac
16 remained a part of the public security service until the last day.
17 MR. RE:
18 Q. Your evidence was of the public security station having a room
19 which the SDB used and which you used when you were in the reserve between
20 the 1st of October, 1991 and the beginning of April -- and sorry,
21 mid-April 1992. Did you have the key to that room?
22 A. The key was with the chief for defence preparations. His name was
23 Boro Cvijanovic. And he was an active employee of the SDB in Modrica.
24 And he had a deputy, Stanko Dujkovic, in Samac, who had the key to that
25 room. And the service used that room not from that period but for years
1 the SDB had had this room at its disposal for meetings of the reserve SDB
3 Q. The SDB had an office in the public security station, didn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you used that -- I'm sorry, the SNB, that's the successor,
6 continued to use that room after the takeover, didn't it?
7 A. I have no idea. No, that's got nothing to do with it. It's
8 really got nothing to do with it.
9 Q. The SNB had an office in the state security -- sorry, the public
10 security office after the takeover, didn't it? It worked from there.
11 A. No. That office was broken into and it was never again used for
12 that purpose.
13 Q. And where did the SNB work from after the takeover?
14 A. It didn't exist. It did not exist after the outbreak of
15 hostilities, the SDB in Bosanski Samac, I mean.
16 Q. I said SNB. That's the state security service. I'm sorry, the
17 national security service. Where did it work from in Bosanski Samac after
18 the takeover?
19 A. There was no service, no office. There were no employees. There
20 was nothing. I don't know where you found this information.
21 Q. Who was paying you?
22 A. Nobody. I did not receive any salary at all.
23 Q. Who was paying you when you were in the army on the command staff
24 of the 2nd Posavina Brigade? Who was paying your salary?
25 A. We received our salaries through the command, and I will not
1 repeat. It was so negligent that there's no need to talk about it.
2 Instead of money we were given goods and that's how we survived and we ate
3 from the mess where the soldiers ate, the privates.
4 Q. Did you swear an oath of loyalty to the Republika Srpska?
5 A. No. I took an oath to the JNA once in my life, and after that
6 never again to anyone.
7 Q. You were appointed the chief of national security by the Crisis
8 Staff on the 29th of April, 1992. That was at the same time that Stevan
9 Todorovic was the chief of public security, wasn't it?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. And those were the dual roles envisaged by the Republika Srpska
12 law on internal affairs, published in February 1992; correct?
13 A. No. No, you're not correct. The public security service is
14 organised according to municipalities. The national security service has
15 quite different methods of work. It's always organised according to
16 regions. And there was no national security employee attached to a
17 municipality. They were organised by regions, small regions, large
18 regions, and finally the ministry.
19 Q. In your capacity as chief of national security, you questioned
20 people, didn't you?
21 A. Not in that capacity.
22 Q. You were authorised to collect information and to question people,
23 weren't you?
24 A. All this had to do with my job as assistant commander for security
25 in the 4th Detachment, and later the 5th Infantry Battalion. Never did I
1 do any job for the national security service, nor did I ever submit any
2 report to anyone in this capacity. I have been repeating this like a
3 parrot for three days.
4 Q. All right. Let's go back to the statement you made to the
5 Prosecutor on the 2nd of June, 1998. That's P142 ter. I want you to
6 turn, please, to page 89 and 90.
7 A. I have found page 88. Did you see 88?
8 Q. Page 89, please.
9 A. 89. Yes, here it is before me.
10 Q. You'll see, about a third of the way down the page, it says:
11 "John" - that's the lawyer from the OTP - "Sir, would you please tell me
12 what your responsibilities as this new -- under your new position of chief
13 of national security was." Your answer was: "Since I was earlier chief
14 of the state security, when the new authorities were formed in the area of
15 Republika Srpska, and when Republika Srpska was proclaimed within Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina, that service, instead of being called the state security
17 service was called national security -- sorry, the service for national
19 The lawyer -- I've read that correctly, haven't I?
20 A. Yes. Yes, it's similar.
21 Q. The lawyer says: "Okay, Mr. Zaric. I understand all that. My
22 question was: What were your responsibilities? Please answer my
23 questions as briefly as you can!" Your answer was, over the page at page
24 90: "As chief of national security, considering the fact that it was war
25 is a question of collecting further data relevant for the defence of the
1 town in which I was. The facts relevant to the defence of the territory
2 which was under the command of the army of Republika Srpska. I had no
3 special authority other than collecting such data which is what I did in
4 conducting certain questionings, acquired certain data and knowledge which
5 pointed to the fact that the other side prepared similar things such as
6 the SDS party. But with no activity of my own or by no activity of my own
7 as chief of national security did I bring any personal hurt or bring
8 anyone into a situation, and when the first time I wanted to go and
9 coordinate the work of the service at the session of the Crisis Staff
10 which I attended, I was immediately demoted. It was the same moment when
11 the JNA left Samac on the 19th."
12 Now, Mr. Zaric, I read that correctly, didn't I?
13 A. Yes, quite.
14 Q. All right. When you were conducting interviews in the SUP, after
15 the 29th of April, 1992, and into May 1992, you were doing so when you
16 were the chief of national security for the Bosanski Samac Crisis Staff,
17 weren't you?
18 A. No.
19 Q. According to your answer here at page 90 or 91 on the copy you
20 have, you said: "I had no special authority other than collecting such
21 data which is what I did in conducting certain questionings, acquired
22 certain data and knowledge which appointed to the fact that the other side
23 prepared similar things such as the SDS party." Now, Mr. Zaric, you've
24 told us at length about interrogating or questioning people in relation to
25 illegal arming. What you're referring to there is what the other side
1 did. You're referring to the flip side of the SDS arming, the arming by
2 the other parties, aren't you?
3 A. Yes. They were arming too, the other side, in a similar way.
4 That's what I said. But what you are now trying to explain, when I said
5 that I was the chief of the national security service, I said the task was
6 to gather information important for the defence of the town, and I was on
7 the territory that the army of Republika Srpska was in charge of. But
8 nowhere does it say that I reported to the Crisis Staff. It was in the
9 army that I carried out questionings, on orders from my commander, and
10 held a few interviews with a few people, and did that quite
11 professionally, quite properly, and completed the task that had been
12 assigned to me, according to my orders. I had nothing to do with the
13 national security for the Crisis Staff. I only received a decision and at
14 the next session I was replaced. And I have already explained how this
15 came about. Because I challenged the legality of this decision and that
16 they could appoint me. This is in my interview. But either you don't
17 want to find it or you're not interested in that.
18 Q. No. It's just not what it says, Mr. Zaric. It says that you
19 conducted certain questionings, acquired certain data and knowledge,
20 pointing to the fact that the other side prepared similar things such as
21 the SDS party. You've said you did those things in your capacity as the
22 chief of national security. That's what it says, plainly and simply,
23 isn't it, Mr. Zaric?
24 A. No, that's not what it says. That's not how I interpret it. I
25 say that I was working under the leadership of the army of Republika
1 Srpska, and that was why I conducted interviews. I did nothing in the
2 capacity of chief of national security, and I did not imperil anyone or
3 bring them into a situation that was not good. If the service existed, it
4 had to have a head and tail. I said that this should be done properly, in
5 consultation with Pale. And I was replaced. They simply gave me a
6 document which I did not agree with. I worked only for the army of
7 Republika Srpska, under orders from my commander, and I did nothing else.
8 Q. If that's the case, how -- can you perhaps tell us how the Crisis
9 Staff could demote you, if you were only working for the VRS, after you
10 had gone there to try to coordinate the work of this national security
11 service to which they had appointed you? How could the Crisis Staff
12 demote you if you're working exclusively for the VRS?
13 A. No. They were not making use of me. They didn't replace me. I
14 never received any decision or anything else. It was their wish to say in
15 public that they wanted to dismiss me so that Simo was no longer a member
16 of national security, and I was not interested in that. I didn't care.
17 Because I never became a member of the national security service, because
18 only the minister of the interior can issue such a document, not the
19 Crisis Staff in Samac. And the fact that they dismissed me at such a
20 session in such a vulgar way, that's another matter. It has to do with
21 relations between me and some people in the Crisis Staff. And that is why
22 I used that word, saying that they had dismissed me. That is how it
24 JUDGE MUMBA: We'll take our break now.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, the Trial Chamber expects you to complete
3 your cross-examination today.
4 MR. RE: I'm doing my best, Your Honours. I really am.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Because you were allowed two days, and we had
6 started on Thursday, actually.
7 MR. RE: Yes. I understand.
8 Q. Mr. Zaric, I want to take you to the circumstances of your
9 appointment as chief of national security. Can you please turn to your
10 book, at page 251. You can see a photograph caption, there's photos, and
11 underneath there, there's a 2. Maybe it's the next page over. It starts:
12 "Towards the end of April, they asked me to come to the Crisis Staff."
13 Do you see that?
14 A. I do, yes.
15 Q. What it says is: "Towards the end of April, they asked me to come
16 to the Crisis Staff, with no spontaneity at all, the president, Blagoje
17 Simic, told me I had been appointed chief of national security. He
18 explained that I was well-qualified for the position and that it was `a
19 sign both of immense trust and of the need to coordinate in a new and
20 different manner the activities of the Serb state, the JNA, and the Serb
21 army, which must be created, for without it there could be no Serb
22 state.' I was taken aback. Where did that come from? I could not
23 accept it even if I had wanted to, for I had a post and duties in the JNA,
24 where my tasks were similar. Simic told me not to worry, for that had
25 already been taken care of. He said he had talked with Nikolic, who had
1 nothing against it. He went on to explain that it was a good solution,
2 because some things in connection with the 4th Detachment inevitably had
3 to be more clearly defined. The security structure was becoming more
4 fully rounded and the JNA's prerogatives were reduced. We have all been
5 mobilised anyway. We are all soldiers in our own way. The defence is
6 single and indivisible, and so it does not matter under whose command you
8 "You cannot counter a clever and cunning explanation with
9 disbelief, and it was not for me to say that I refused or that it was out
10 of the question, especially if Nikolic had given his approval. It is not
11 like him not to have at least given me a hint of this, nor do I believe
12 that they would lie so outrageously either. Most likely, things are
13 `somewhere in between,' but whatever the case may be, I have no choice
14 but to accept my appointment. As soon as I tried to define my new
15 position, it became clear to me that I was out in the cold without a clue,
16 with nothing to hold on to, in fact. Nikolic told me he had discussed
17 things with the Crisis Staff but that their request had been neither
18 concrete nor urgent. They had stopped by in passing and raised a couple
19 of issues quite casually, including that of the creation of a Serb army
20 and how to avoid overlap and misunderstandings with the JNA. In this
21 context, they also mentioned the inevitable transformation of the 4th
22 Detachment into an integral part of the Serb army. Nikolic told them he
23 was not competent to deal with such issues, so he forwarded everything to
24 his Superior Command and could not talk to me about it until an answer
25 arrived. He concluded by saying, `No matter how these things are set up,
1 it's a good thing that you'll be in the midst of things. It doesn't
2 matter. You can be both here and there until that gets off the ground.
3 You don't have a choice. Just make sure that you don't fall out with him
4 first thing. Adapt, train them to listen to you. There's no other way
5 with them.'"
6 Now, I read that correctly, didn't I?
7 A. You did.
8 Q. And that quite clearly shows that Nikolic approved of your
9 appointment as chief of national security while you were simultaneously
10 working in intelligence for him. He approved you working for the Crisis
11 Staff and for him at the same time?
12 A. We had a very short conversation on that subject, and he said that
13 they had talked to him in passing and that that was all. But my most
14 important conclusion was that in spite of everything, I refused to do it,
15 and that is the gist of it all.
16 Q. I'm sorry. Are you now saying that you refused to be the chief of
17 national security, you refused to accept the appointment and did not take
18 it up? Is that what you're now saying?
19 A. Absolutely, yes. That's what I'm saying. The moment I started
20 discussion with them to tell them what I meant by national security and
21 what I was asking for. And on page 253, it says there that's how we
22 started our marriage. It didn't take longer -- it didn't last longer than
23 20 days. We have not started a job or that what we started, we never
24 finished. They did not allow me as if some ill suited bride. They
25 wouldn't even let me to go to my people, in quotation marks, to Pale, to
1 Zoran Skipinja [phoen], who as far as I can remember was then an honest
2 man who was about to set up the Serb security service. And that is the
3 conclusion that one can draw from that whole sequence. So I did not
4 accept it all, and when I wanted to go, they wouldn't let me. So the
5 marriage between us was dissolved. Simo Zaric went back to his old job,
6 the one that I had been doing until that time in the detachment. And
7 that's all there is to it, Mr. Prosecutor, and that is the only truth that
8 I stand by. There is no other truth. And I apologise. Perhaps it's not
9 for me to say, but, Your Honours, that is why my book is of any value,
10 only if it is read from one cover to the other. Otherwise, taking out
11 excerpts, taking it out, I mean, it loses its value and one misses the
12 right conclusion what its purpose was. I don't know how it will be
13 treated in the end, but this was just a comment I wish to make.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zaric. We note that comment.
15 MR. RE:
16 Q. But in the context of your statement, P142 ter, at page 91, where
17 you said you conducted certain questionings and acquired certain data and
18 knowledge, I just want to ask you: What were the questionings you
19 conducted and the data you acquired when you were the chief of national
20 security, as you've indicated in your statement to the Prosecutor?
21 A. I wasn't working as chief of national security, and don't put
22 these words in my mouth.
23 Q. Can you go to your book, at about page 196.
24 A. Tell me what you want.
25 Q. It's below the photograph, referring to a meeting with Nikolic at
1 Pelagicevo in April 1992, before the takeover. The first paragraph I want
2 to refer you to says: "Going back to a very concrete issue ..." Page
4 A. Sorry. I didn't get you at all.
5 Q. About page 197, the paragraph starts: "Going back to a very
6 concrete issue which had brought us to Pelagicevo in the first place, we
7 wanted to know what kind of attitude to assume towards Izetbegovic's TO
8 staff, as we called it. Nikolic was quite firm. We are under JNA command
9 and remain directly subordinated to him."
10 A. I'm sorry. Which page did you say?
11 Q. 197.
12 A. Yes. Right. Fine. I've found it.
13 Q. What you're referring to there is a security briefing by Colonel
14 Nikolic at command headquarters in Pelagicevo, after the paramilitaries
15 arrived and before the takeover. Am I right in saying that?
16 A. Well, I don't know what kind of conclusion you are drawing from
18 Q. I'm just asking you: Is that the particular meeting we're
19 referring to, a briefing, security briefing, by Nikolic, at command
20 headquarters in Pelagicevo in April, before the takeover and after the
21 arrival of the paramilitaries?
22 A. Why, yes, but then when you read a book, you must start two or
23 three pages ahead and say that there were a few officers who voiced their
24 views and there were all sorts of comments. And you take out a sentence
25 and want me to say yes, and I really cannot answer in this way, because
1 you are trying to put together your own construct and I'm really unable to
2 do it that way. Because if I'm to know what meeting you're talking about,
3 I need to write two pages before and two pages after. How else can I know
4 what meeting it is and that it is a meeting, as you put it, before the
5 arrival of volunteers, and I don't know what did you say. I'd need time
6 to concentrate, to read it, and then --
7 Q. It would be quicker to read the book to satisfy yourself that
8 that's the meeting I'm referring to. If you go back a couple of pages and
9 just satisfy yourself that that's the meeting I'm referring to. I'm just
10 trying to place it in context, that's all.
11 A. Well, that is my difficulty. You put it in a context and I need
12 time to concentrate.
13 Yes, right. Now I don't know what it is you want. I've read a
14 little, but I really don't know what you want from me.
15 Q. I'm just asking you: Am I correct in saying it was the security
16 briefing by Nikolic at command headquarters in Pelagicevo, between the
17 arrival of the paramilitaries and the takeover? If I'm not correct,
18 please correct me as to which meeting it was. It's your book, Mr. Zaric.
19 A. Why, I don't know why you used the word briefing. It could have
20 been a meeting. And there is talk here about this meeting and what
21 another officer, Nikolic said. He voiced some of his thoughts and then we
22 addressed questions concerning Territorial Defence and some thoughts.
23 Because throughout here on this page, 197, I'm trying to paraphrase the
24 words of an officer who had made a specific comment, and the whole page
25 deals with that officer.
1 Q. I've asked you three times. I'm just asking you whether that was
2 when the meeting took place, not this other stuff. It's your book. You
3 wrote a book. You referred to a meeting. I'm just asking you if I'm
4 correct in saying that's when the meeting occurred. I'm giving you the
5 time to check your book, the pages before, to find out. Please do so and
6 just tell me whether that's correct or not.
7 A. The meeting mentioned here addresses the topic which was
8 mentioned, the Territorial Defence, and that is what we talked about. If
9 you mean that, that meeting took place and you could see what I had to say
10 about it, in the book, of course.
11 MR. RE: Your Honours, I am attempting to find out when the
12 meeting took place. It cannot be that difficult, surely. He wrote the
13 book. He's got it in front of him. He's just deliberately, in my
14 submission, not answering it.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Perhaps it would be clearer if you -- I'm not sure
16 whether you pointed out the actual passages referring to the meeting
17 discussed in the book.
18 MR. RE: I have. I have. It's that page. And he says he needs
19 to look at the pages immediately prior to find out which meeting I'm
20 referring to. I just want to find out whether it was in that time frame.
21 All I'm interested in at the moment is time frame.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a meeting which took place
23 before that meeting in the neighbourhood locality centre. That is what
24 you mean, the one that took place in the neighbourhood community centre in
25 the evening of the 16th, if that is the meeting that you had in mind.
1 MR. RE:
2 Q. Now, Mr. Zaric, I take you to what you say there, page 197, below
3 the first paragraph I referred you to, the next one: "Then he informed us
4 briefly about the security outlook, he being Nikolic. He said that the
5 Serbs would certainly not just sit and wait for Alija to establish his own
6 Territorial Defence and use it as the basis for building an army. They
7 would use every opportunity to throw a spanner in the works. In many
8 areas, the SDS -- I'm sorry, the SDS is making quick progress in
9 mobilising and organising the Serb masses, for they have no choice left.
10 They have been virtually outlawed and have no reason to wait. That is
11 why they are making energetic moves. As to what kind of moves the local
12 Serbs would `make,' that remains to be seen.
13 "I dared not ask him too directly what we could expect here, or
14 even more directly how the Serb question would be resolved in Posavina,
15 but approach the subject in a round about way. I said, meaning I, Simo
16 Zaric, said: Haven't Zvornik, Bijeljina, and Vlasenica been a lesson to
17 Izetbegovic not to oppose the Serbs? And which municipality is next?"
18 I read that correctly to you, didn't I, Mr. Zaric? That's page
19 141 of the English.
20 A. I can't find it.
21 MR. PANTELIC: It's page 198. It's not 197. It's 198.
22 MR. RE: Thank you, Mr. Pantelic.
23 Q. It's 198, Mr. Zaric.
24 A. Oh, and I've been... Yes. I've found it, on page 198. And you
25 gave me the wrong page, and therefore I couldn't concentrate and find it.
1 Q. I apologise. I thought when I said: Have you got that paragraph,
2 that you did in fact have it. Can you just read it to yourself and just
3 confirm that I've read it out correctly.
4 A. All that is on page 198. That is what you had in mind.
5 Q. Yes. The paragraph which I just read to you, commencing at:
6 "Then he informed us briefly about the security outlook..." And the
7 next paragraph: "I dared not ask him too directly what we could expect
8 here. Haven't Zvornik, Bijeljina, and Vlasenica been a lesson to
9 Izetbegovic not to oppose the Serbs? And which municipality is next?" I
10 read that out correctly, didn't I?
11 A. Yes, yes, you did. Fine.
12 Q. I want you to turn to about page 226. Now, there's a
13 photograph -- go several pages over until you come to a 2, which is the
14 second section.
15 A. Right. I've found it.
16 Q. Just above the 2, three paragraphs up, you'll see one that begins:
17 "Nikolic then warned Simic again..." And just to find the context, that
18 is Nikolic talking to Dr. Simic about the release or after the release of
19 the members of the 4th Detachment from custody.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. All right. What you say, that Nikolic said when you were there to
22 Simic was: "Nikolic" -- it's at page 166 of the English. "Nikolic then
23 warns Simic again and mentioned Todorovic. 2. `You'll have to pay for
24 anything these volunteers might do. You have no experience with such
25 scum. They will get out of hand and you'll have terrible trouble with
1 them. There have been dozens of such cases in Croatia. You've got to put
2 them under your command and control. If you can't do that, ask me for
3 help, but ask officially. I give you my word. I'll send them packing to
4 where they've come from. But I don't want to be seen as interfering in
5 civilian matters without the consent of the authorities.'"
6 I've read that correctly, didn't I?
7 A. You did.
8 Q. Now, that occurred, I think, was it on the 18th of April, 1992?
9 A. Yes. I guess so. I guess it could have been the date when Antic
10 and I interceded because of what happened. They arrested members of the
11 4th Detachment and we were at the commander's when he called.
12 Q. Now, that was a clear warning from Nikolic to Simic as to the
13 danger that these paramilitaries or volunteers posed to people in Bosanski
14 Samac, wasn't it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And it also shows that both you and Nikolic appreciated, as at
17 least of the 18th of April, how dangerous these people were, especially
18 when you go back to the context of the earlier quote about what they had
19 done in Bijeljina, Zvornik, and Vlasenica, doesn't it?
20 A. Mr. Nikolic was certainly in a better position than me to know
21 this. Excuse me. I gave my assessment on the basis of what I was able to
22 read in the media, and that's why I made a certain comment. How dangerous
23 they already were on the 18th, this was an assessment put forward by
24 Mr. Nikolic in the context that's to be found in the book. Because even
25 before Samac was taken, some moves they made on the territory of the
1 municipality indicated that these were very dangerous people.
2 Q. I want you to go over the page, where it says 2. You see the
3 division 2? The first, second, third -- fourth paragraph, starting: "If
4 Simic and Todorovic..." Have you found that? Four paragraphs in from 2.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All right. And what you say there, this is at page 167 of the
7 English, what page is it in the B/C/S? Can you just tell us the page
8 number? Is it page 227 or 228?
9 A. It says 231 in my copy.
10 Q. Okay. What it says is: "If Simic and Todorovic have in a way let
11 me know that `my days are over after all' I do not think that this was
12 really meant personally. What they wanted to tell me in their own way was
13 that from now on, Croats, Muslims, and even Yugoslavs would be treated
14 differently. This had been immediately clear to the Muslims and Croats,
15 for what could they have expected from the new authorities, since their
16 own people had been preparing to persecute and slaughter Serbs an eye for
17 an eye, a tooth for a tooth?"
18 I've read that correctly, haven't I?
19 A. Yes. Yes, you have.
20 Q. And from that, it's clear that it was your belief, in April 1992,
21 that Muslims and Croats could have been expected -- could have been
22 expecting persecution from the new Serb authorities in Bosanski Samac
23 because that's exactly what they had been preparing to do to the Serbs?
24 A. Yes. That's the assessment I put forward. Although I have to
25 admit when I go back to the beginning of the page and see what event is
1 referred to here, when I was very angry, due to arrests of volunteers, and
2 I had a verbal exchange with Mr. Todorovic and Mr. Simic, and they were
3 very cynical in their replies to me. So that this passage which refers to
4 Simic and Todorovic, I think it refers to Milan Simic and not to Blagoje
5 Simic, because it was they I had a vehement quarrel with in this
6 connection, and they said that my time was past. These were the words
7 they often used. I never had such a vehement quarrel with Blagoje, so I
8 think that this quotation does not -- is not quite correct and I wouldn't
9 want to have this associated with Mr. Blagoje Simic, if this is not it.
10 But that was my view of the situation.
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: If we can clarify a bit this answer, because here
12 it says: "Due to arrests of volunteers," and frankly, I'm not quite sure
13 what Mr. Zaric was referring. Maybe Mr. Re can clarify. Arrests of
14 certain people in Bosanski Samac done by the volunteers or his arrest
16 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure Mr. Zaric can clarify that.
17 MR. RE:
18 Q. You were referring, Mr. Zaric, to the arrest of members of the 4th
19 Detachment, weren't you?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. And the fact that Todorovic and Simic interceded to have them
22 released from - that's Blagoje Simic - interceded to have them released
23 from custody. That's what you were referring to, wasn't it?
24 A. Nikolic interceded through them to have them released, and I had
25 direct contacts in the agricultural complex. When we had a vehement
1 quarrel about this and these words to discredit me saying that my time was
2 passed were spoken by Mr. Milan Simic and Stevan Todorovic. Commander
3 Nikolic had a telephone conversation with Simic and Todorovic in order to
4 have the members of the 4th Detachment released from detention, those who
5 were detained.
6 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me, Mr. Re. I think the confusion to
7 which Mr. Lazarevic was referring is on page 72, line 16 -- no, 15. The
8 expression -- or let's start: "When I was very angry due to the arrests
9 of volunteers." Did it mean arrest -- did you mean, Mr. Zaric, arrest of
10 volunteers or the arrests carried out by the volunteers?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was angry because members of the
12 4th Detachment were arrested by the volunteers and by members of the
13 police force. You are correct.
14 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Exactly. Thank you very much.
15 MR. RE:
16 Q. But several pages earlier, Mr. Zaric, at page 226, if you just
17 look for the words -- a paragraph about three paragraphs past the
18 photographs, maybe 227, it starts: "At Hranaprodukt, where they had their
19 headquarters ..." It will be past page 226. It's maybe 227.
20 MR. PANTELIC: It's 228.
21 MR. RE: Thank you.
22 Q. 228, Mr. Zaric.
23 A. It's page 228.
24 Q. Thank you. That's 164 in the English, and it says: "At
25 Hranaprodukt, where they had their headquarters, I found Blagoje Simic and
1 Stevan Todorovic and some of their collaborators. I told them what had
2 happened, trying to keep all emotion out of the story, not to let them
3 know how I felt but to leave the impression of someone who was not afraid,
4 who will not crawl into a hole, to show that I was not just anyone. This
5 could not be brushed aside just like that. What they said to me by way of
6 explanation was neither condemnation nor excuse." And then you go on to a
7 conversation that you had between Todorovic and Blagoje Simic. And if you
8 read then, you see it's after that that Nikolic -- that you went to see
9 Antic and Nikolic. Nikolic picked up the phone and called Simic, that's
10 Blagoje Simic, and had that conversation we referred to a few moments ago,
11 where he said: "You'll have to pay for anything these volunteers do. You
12 have no experience with such scum."
13 Clearly what you're referring to, in the context of this, that's
14 the arrest of the members of the 4th Detachment, is the conversation
15 between Blagoje Simic and Stevan Todorovic, isn't it?
16 A. I wish to say -- it says Hranaprodukt here by mistake. There was
17 never a Crisis Staff headquarters in Hranaprodukt. It was in the
18 agricultural complex. And there is a typing error here. The fact that I
19 mentioned Blagoje Simic and Stevan Todorovic with some associates of
20 theirs, while Mr. Milan Simic was among those associates, and when the
21 quarrel broke out, my quarrel was with Mr. Milan Simic and Blagoje [as
22 interpreted]. Commander Nikolic, when Antic and I went to see him, as far
23 as we could see, had a telephone conversation with Todorovic and Blagoje
24 Simic, and he told them that the members of the 4th Detachment should be
25 released from detention. And then I went and carried out that task. I
1 had a vehement quarrel with Mr. Milan Simic and Mr. Stevan Todorovic about
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: Maybe it was a slip of the tongue or something,
4 but because here in -- we have two sentences with some contradictory
5 statements. First it says: "My quarrel was with Mr. Milan Simic and
6 Blagoje." And on the last sentence, it says: "I had a quarrel with
7 Mr. Milan Simic and Mr. Stevan Todorovic about this." So maybe my
8 colleague could clarify that.
9 JUDGE LINDHOLM: I think, if I may intervene, I think it's quite
10 obvious that on page 75, line 9, the last word should not be Blagoje, but
11 Todorovic. It doesn't need any clarification.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re. You've seen the --
13 MR. RE: I have, yes.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
15 MR. RE:
16 Q. Mr. Zaric, by July 1992, you were no longer chief of national
17 security and you were back in the military, weren't you?
18 A. Throughout this time, I was assistant commander for security of
19 the 5th Infantry Battalion, up to the 20th of July, 1992.
20 Q. Who was your successor as chief of national security at the public
21 security station after you left the position in May 1992?
22 A. I don't know. I know that quite late in the autumn, I think, a
23 gentleman called Ratko Mihajlovic was appointed. But I wasn't interested
24 in that area any more.
25 Q. In July 1992, the Crisis Staff appointed you to the position of
1 deputy or assistant to the president of the war council for security
2 matters of Odzak municipality, didn't they?
3 A. I was appointed assistant president of the civilian military
4 council in Odzak. I was not the deputy. And it was only for security
5 matters. That's what was said at the very outset, when I started off in
6 the direction of Odzak.
7 Q. What were the Crisis Staff's or War Presidency's powers to appoint
8 you to that particular position, Mr. Zaric?
9 A. They didn't appoint me. A meeting was held in the president's
10 office, and I never received a document. I had my wartime assignment for
11 that month, and it was a purely military assignment, at the military
12 command, because everything I did in Odzak I did for the military security
13 and collected information for the military security, except for the first
14 few days when I participated in the taking of the inventory of property,
15 which I mentioned here.
16 Q. In the position of deputy to the president of the war council for
17 security matters in Odzak municipality, you reported directly to the
18 Crisis Staff in Bosanski Samac, didn't you?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Sir, your lawyers filed with the Prosecution a document called
21 joint statement of admissions by the parties in matters which are not in
22 dispute. It was filed on the 27th of April, 2001, several months before
23 this trial began. And I take Your Honours to paragraph 94, which is the
24 paragraph about you, Mr. Zaric. And it says: "On 29th of April, 1992,
25 Simo Zaric was appointed chief of national security service for Bosanski
1 Samac by the Serb Crisis Staff." It goes on: "After the Serb takeover of
2 Odzak in July 1992, Simo Zaric, that's you, was appointed by the Bosanski
3 Samac Crisis Staff to be the deputy to the president of the war council
4 for security matters of the Odzak municipality. In the position of deputy
5 to the president of the war council for security matters of the Odzak
6 municipality, Simo Zaric reported directly to the Serb Crisis Staff in
7 Bosanski Samac."
8 It goes on: "On the 1st of September, 1992, Simo Zaric was
9 appointed `assistant commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade for morale and
10 information' of the Bosnian Serb army. Simo Zaric remained member of the
11 Bosnian Serb army until 1995."
12 Now, Mr. Zaric, that's a document your lawyers agreed to before
13 the trial commenced, which states clearly that you were appointed by the
14 Crisis Staff to that position, and in that position you reported directly
15 to the Crisis Staff in Bosanski Samac. You instructed your lawyers that
16 that was the case, didn't you? What I mean by that is you told your
17 lawyers that you were appointed to that position by the Crisis Staff, and
18 in that position you reported to the Crisis Staff. That's what you told
19 your lawyers, wasn't it?
20 A. No. No. I don't know. This is a legal matter. And let my
21 Defence respond to it as they think they should. But I want to tell Their
22 Honours: When a request was made that a certain number of people from
23 Odzak municipality who had been born there should go to the area of Odzak
24 and set up a civilian military council --
25 Q. I'll come to that. I'm asking you only about this document at the
1 moment. This document was prepared. All the lawyers prepared it. They
2 agreed on the facts. What I'm asking you is: Did you tell your lawyer,
3 who approved this document, that you had been, A, appointed by the Crisis
4 Staff to the position I named; and B, reported to the Crisis Staff? Or
5 have your lawyers all got this horribly wrong? Or a third alternative:
6 Have you changed your version? You told them that and now you've changed
8 A. You see, I understood that I was appointed by the Crisis Staff
9 because this happened in the office of the president of the Crisis Staff.
10 I did not get any document. And there was never mention of a deputy, but
11 only the assistant of the president of the civilian military council. The
12 word "war" was not used. And when a proposal was put forward that I
13 should be the president of that civilian council, then it was Savo Popovic
14 who was to be appointed to that place, because he was a member of the
15 staff. I went to Odzak, and as someone who was in charge of security, who
16 had been assigned that task by the military administration, I received my
17 instructions from their security officer for the military administration
18 as to what I should do, what information I should collect, and report to
19 him. That's what I did for a month. Not a single report of any kind did
20 I submit to the Crisis Staff, and that is why I do not consider myself to
21 have been responsible in any way to the Crisis Staff. I was responsible
22 and reported to the security officer of the military administration.
23 Q. I'm just asking you whether you have any explanation for the fact
24 that the -- the facts your lawyers agreed to were that the Crisis Staff --
25 sorry, A, the Crisis Staff appointed you; and B, you reported to them.
1 Do you have any explanation for why your lawyers approved those two facts
2 going into this document? That's all I'm asking you. Please just
3 concentrate on that.
4 A. If they accepted the fact because I said it was in the office of
5 the Crisis Staff, and because I said how I had been sent there, then I
6 cannot change that. That's how I experienced it. But what I did in Odzak
7 during that month, intelligence work, security work, collecting
8 information, you were able to see the three notes I drew up after
9 interviewing a certain number of people, and of course there were many
10 other notes that the court, this court, was not interested in. But I did
11 not report to the Crisis Staff, and everything that had to be done for the
12 civilian military council in Odzak, the Crisis Staff of the Executive
13 Board in Bosanski Samac had to do with Savo Popovic, who was the president
14 of that council and the official authorities in Samac. And I had no
15 personal relations or official relations with the Crisis Staff in Samac.
16 Q. Well, rather than belabour the question, I'll move on to another
17 one, but I just note that you haven't answered the second part, which is
18 how the part about your reporting back to the Crisis Staff came to be in
19 the document. But as you choose not to answer it, I will move on.
20 You were acting under orders of the Crisis Staff when you were the
21 deputy or assistant for war or civilian matters for security, however it's
22 termed, in Odzak, weren't you?
23 A. No. If I had been responsible to them, I would have reported to
24 them. I would have had to submit a report. I would have had to do
25 something in relation to the Crisis Staff. What did I do in relation to
1 the Crisis Staff?
2 Q. Because if you were under orders from the Crisis Staff, that would
3 entail reporting back to them, wouldn't it?
4 A. If I had been, yes, then I would have had to report to them. But
5 since I didn't, I didn't. I reported to the security officer, Gojko
6 Mackic, who was the security officer of the military administration in the
7 entire area of responsibility of Odzak, where I worked and collected
8 information. And this security information was never given to the Crisis
10 Q. The short answer to that would have been yes, wouldn't it? Now,
11 let's move on.
12 Being under orders from the Crisis Staff would entail reporting
13 back to them and doing their work for them in Odzak, wouldn't it?
14 A. I really don't understand what you're getting at. I did not work
15 based on the orders of the Crisis Staff. You are trying to press it upon
16 me, but I'm saying I didn't.
17 Q. I'm getting to what you said at page 136 of P142 ter, Mr. Zaric.
18 Please turn to that. That's the interview with the Prosecutor on the 3rd
19 of June, 1998.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, it's time for us to break off.
21 MR. RE: May it please the court.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: We'll continue this afternoon I think in courtroom
23 1. Yes.
24 --- Recess taken at 1.46 p.m.
25 --- Upon resuming at 2.18 p.m.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re. Continue.
2 MR. RE: What I was taking you to before the break, Mr. Zaric, was
3 a quote -- I'm sorry, was your answer at page 136 of P142. Maybe if you
4 read the page before, it may help to put it into context. The page -- do
5 you have it there, that's page 135 and 136 of P142 ter, which is the
6 interview on the 3rd of June, 1998?
7 A. Sorry. Which page did you say?
8 Q. The page 135 and 136 of P142 ter, the interview of the 3rd of
9 June, 1998.
10 A. Right.
11 Q. If I can take you to page 135, where it starts, a third of the way
12 through, the lawyer, John, Mr. Misilic [phoen], says: "No. But you see,
13 here you are again working for the Crisis Staff. Can you understand how
14 people think that you are part of the Crisis Staff?" Your answer is:
15 "Absolutely. I believe you can also get the impression that I cannot
16 avoid doing certain things, because that way I would be arrested or I
17 would be expelled or something would happen. But in doing all of these
18 things that I was tasked with, to be humane and... That's why I'm
19 convinced that you cannot bring a witness other than one that would come
20 and lie."
21 To which the lawyer says: "Well, it's one thing, Mr. Zaric, for
22 you to say, `I did these things because I was ordered to do them, and if I
23 didn't do them, I would be harmed or exchanged,' but you are telling us
24 that you did not do these things at all."
25 Now, your answer to all this, to put it in perspective is, you
1 said: "If I was the assistant for civilian matters and for security and
2 collected data and information of what was happening in the camps and what
3 happened during the war, where do you see my responsibility? What's my
4 problem? Where do you see my responsibility in that? Regardless of the
5 fact that I was on orders from the Crisis Staff that sent me there."
6 A. There is no word "order" anywhere. That was simply added.
7 Q. Can you just read the statement in B/C/S to me, the last sentence
8 from your question -- from your answer, sorry. Or better still, can you
9 read the whole of your answer, which is the third paragraph on page 136.
10 And just read it slowly so that it can be interpreted for us.
11 A. Yes. No. Let me tell you. If I was an assistant for civilian
12 affairs, for security, and collected information and intelligence about
13 what had happened over there in the camps and what had gone there during
14 the war, then what's my problem? Where do you find my responsibility
15 there? Although or regardless of the fact that I had received it from the
16 Crisis Staff and that it had sent me there.
17 Q. When you say received it from the Crisis Staff, you mean the
18 direction from the Crisis Staff to go there and collect information on
19 what was happening in the camps and data, wasn't it?
20 A. Yes. That is what I said. And I had got it from the Crisis
21 Staff. So where's my responsibility? If I did that part of my work
22 honestly and correctly. That's what I meant.
23 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise. Maybe we could find out from
24 Mr. Zaric if my learned friend be so kind, of which camps we are speaking.
25 Where? Because simply just looking this part of statement, it's not so
1 clear. Maybe it might be of assistance for the Trial Chamber.
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. And also one part of Mr. Zaric's statement
3 was not correctly translated. He said: Even if I had got it from the
4 Crisis Staff. These were his exact words, the way he just answered.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re.
6 MR. RE: Your Honours, well, maybe we could clarify that.
7 Q. When you say what was happening in the camps, what camps had the
8 Crisis Staff sent you to gather information and collect data on,
9 Mr. Zaric?
10 A. It did not send me to any camps, but working in the territory of
11 the Odzak municipality and while talking with people, with Serbs, those
12 that I found there, I checked and collected information as to how they had
13 fared in those camps whilst they were in Odzak, and there is a chapter in
14 my book which contains the details about that investigation, and there is
15 no need for me to go into that part of history before the Trial Chamber
16 here. So it is about what the Serbs went through in the camps in the
17 territory and municipality of Odzak at the time when the HVO forces had
18 this part of the territory under their control. And this information was
19 submitted to the international committee, and I'm sure that it can also be
20 found in the office of the Tribunal, or rather, your Prosecutor's office.
21 Q. You had responsibilities in the position, as you've described it
22 there, as the assistant for civilian matters and for security to gather
23 information on what was occurring in Odzak, didn't you?
24 A. Yes, and that's what I did. And every information and every piece
25 of intelligence I received, I transmitted to the chief of the military
1 security administration body, Mr. Gojko Mackic.
2 Q. Crimes allegedly being committed by military personnel are
3 security matters, aren't they?
4 A. Which army do you have in mind?
5 Q. The one you happened to be working for in July, August, and
6 September 1992.
7 A. I didn't understand. I really don't understand what you are
8 trying to say.
9 Q. Crimes being -- crimes -- I withdraw that. Military personnel
10 committing crimes is a disciplinary and morale and security issue, isn't
12 A. Crimes committed are crimes, are criminal offences.
13 Q. They are matters which affects discipline, morale, and security in
14 a military brigade, aren't they?
15 A. Absolutely.
16 Q. And they're matters you would have been interested in, as the
17 assistant commander for intelligence, reconnaissance, morale, and
18 information; correct?
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Excuse me. What period are we talking about?
20 Because I haven't realised that we left the topic of Odzak. Are we
21 talking about 2nd Posavina Brigade or ...
22 MR. RE:
23 Q. In your position on the command staff, as the assistant commander
24 for morale and information, crimes committed by military personnel were
25 matters of concern to you within your duties, weren't they?
1 A. Well, I could write such an information and then forward it. Of
2 course it should -- such a problem should be in the information and then
3 forwarded to the command and the commander should then forward it to
4 security, so that everybody could do his part of the job. If the military
5 did it. If you mean the period of time when I was with the 4th
6 Detachment, I don't know which period of time you are now talking about.
7 If you could be more precise. Because only then shall I be able to give a
8 precise answer. You're asking me in general, I was deputy and assistant
9 commander after the 1st of September and I really don't know what period
10 of time you're asking me about.
11 Q. When you were the deputy of the president -- to the president of
12 the war council for security matters, as you've said in your statement
13 P141 ter, page 91 --
14 A. Assistant.
15 Q. Assistant or deputy. It doesn't matter that much. It's just a
16 word. When you were in that position, in Odzak, crimes committed by --
17 allegedly committed by military personnel were matters within your domain,
18 being in charge of security matters, weren't they?
19 A. I was engaged in the collection of that information, and that was
20 the only way for some people who have returned to the area from the camps
21 to have interviews with them, and hear those distressing stories. Part of
22 the Serbs who stayed after the HVO forces left, to talk with them and hear
23 how they had fared in that area. And I wrote authentic and merely
24 official notes and submitted them to my superior, and at the end of such
25 note, I would always suggest that further information be gathered on the
1 ground so that charges could be filed against the perpetrators of such
2 severe crimes to relevant authorities, and that includes the Tribunal.
3 Q. All right. And you'd agree, of course, that crimes committed by
4 military personnel against civilians fall within the categories you've
5 just described, wouldn't you? But without a lengthy answer, please.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. That would, of course, include the crime of rape, allegedly
8 committed by military personnel against civilians in Odzak, wouldn't it?
9 A. Correct. And I remember proceedings against them at the national
10 court of Bosnia-Herzegovina, definitely.
11 Q. You agree, of course, that rape committed by soldiers against
12 civilians is a very serious crime, especially if committed by occupying
13 soldiers, wouldn't you?
14 A. Absolutely.
15 Q. And it's a serious security and criminal issue which requires
16 proper investigation and reporting; correct?
17 A. Yes, if such information can be gathered. That is the worst part
18 of the investigation. You know women who have some horrible experience
19 are very seldom prepared to speak about it.
20 Q. When you were working from the Hotel Odzak, there were complaints
21 made to you that women had been -- Muslim women had been raped in Odzak,
22 weren't there?
23 A. There was only one case, and I undertook measures.
24 Q. There was more than one case. You received complaints that a
25 number of women were raped at the hotel at which you were working, didn't
2 A. No, I did not hear about several; I heard about the complaints of
3 that one woman, one young woman who happens to be related to my wife, and
4 she complained to me, and I told Mr. Mackic about that and he conducted an
5 interview with them during the breakfast when you were there and he said:
6 If such a similar incident happened anywhere, that is, that some of
7 the soldiers forced them to go to bed with them or something, to let him
8 know about it. And then he used his channels of command to inform the
9 military administration. And as far as I know, after that intervention, I
10 did not hear again about any other case of sexual assault. Of course,
11 that does not mean that it didn't happen without me knowing about it, or
12 perhaps that it was impossible to find out about that.
13 Q. I take you to your statement to the Prosecutor on the 2nd of
14 April, 1998. Can you please look at P141 ter at page 96, Mr. Zaric.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. All right. Just look about two-thirds of the way down the page,
17 where it says "Nancy," meaning Ms. Paterson, and she says: "We also heard
18 that a number of women were raped at the hotel in Odzak, and they were
19 taken there for forced labour. Do you know anything about those
20 allegations?" Now, your response wasn't that there was only one person.
21 You replied that earlier, just up the page, the previous answer. Your
22 response to that, Mr. Zaric, was: "I also heard the same, but to be
23 honest, I don't know. That kind of thing occurred also in my family, but
24 persons who had gone through that do not want to talk about it, especially
25 the women in a position where they were in a relationship or mothers that
1 they wouldn't want their children to know. So it's very hard to assess to
2 which extent it happened, because most women do not want to talk about
4 What you said to the Prosecutor when she asked you was that you
5 had heard that a number of women were raped at the hotel in Odzak. That's
6 what you said there. What I want to ask you is: What did you do when
7 these complaints were made to you that a number of women had been raped at
8 the hotel where you were working from? What did you, Simo Zaric, in
9 charge of security in Odzak, do about it?
10 A. I heard this story, and when I told Mrs. Nancy, that is, I was
11 being concrete. There have been rumours, but I'm talking about a specific
12 case. When I interceded. I cannot act upon hearsay. When I receive the
13 information, I reacted, and my reaction was of a productive nature,
14 because Mr. Mackic immediately conducted interviews with those women and
15 informed those in charge of such matters at the level of the military
16 administration. And then I also explained how difficult it was to come by
17 such information and explained what it is that had happened to Serb women
18 from those fiery horses and all the rest of it that they had to go through
19 and are reluctant to talk about it.
20 Q. So what you're saying is you did nothing to investigate complaints
21 of a number of women being raped in the hotel from which you were working
22 in Odzak? Put it in the "too hard" basket, did you?
23 A. Well, you can ask me provocative things. I accept that. But what
24 I wish to tell you is that I did not investigate that area, and when I
25 learned something, my reaction was quick, was expedient, and submitted to
1 the right place. During the month of my stay in the territory of Odzak, I
2 visited, while not every village, I went to see what was the situation, I
3 took stock of it, I took certain notes, I spoke with people in the -- on
4 the ground, and so on and so forth, and I spent least of my time there in
5 Odzak to consider that situation. And when I received that kind of
6 information, that my reaction was expedient, correct, professional, and
7 whatever you care to call it.
8 Q. So you didn't send any reports on these rapes or your
9 investigation of them to the Crisis Staff or to your military superiors,
10 or Mr. Popovic, did you? It's a yes-or-no question, this one.
11 A. I told Mr. Mackic about it.
12 Q. You didn't send any to the Crisis Staff or Mr. Popovic, did you?
13 A. No. I didn't. I was under no obligation to do that. My duty
14 when I came there was to transmit all the intelligence information that I
15 had to the office responsible for security in the military administration,
16 and then he goes to the command, reports, and says what it is for that
17 level. And at these administration meetings, you have Mr. Popovic
18 present, not Mr. Simo Zaric. I was never at such meetings. I was the man
19 who worked on the ground, who collected certain information as to what
20 went on in that area and I took stock of the situation. I went to see my
21 burnt-down village and --
22 Q. Please. My question was: You didn't send it to Mr. Popovic.
23 You're now going off somewhere else again. Now, move on from rapes.
24 When you were in charge of security in Odzak, other serious crimes
25 were committed, weren't they, namely, looting, forced labour, and forcing
1 people, Muslims and Croats, to work in trench-digging on the front line.
2 Those crimes were committed while you were in charge of security in Odzak,
3 weren't they?
4 A. No. Nobody ever dug any trenches whilst I was in the territory of
5 Odzak, nor was there any reason for it. That kind of -- that area was
6 under the control of the 1st Krajina Corps, and no Muslim in the territory
7 of Odzak went to dig trenches during that month that I was there, to my
8 knowledge. Secondly, I was a man who collected intelligence. I made
9 notes and submitted them to my superior. It was not my duty, nor did I
10 have any authority to take some measures as Simo Zaric. But I had to, and
11 that is what I did, write down what you've learned, turn it to a document,
12 and submit it to your superior commander. I was not more than a month
14 Q. Mr. Zaric, I asked you about trench-digging, forced labour, and
15 looting. You've answered trench digging. Serious crimes of forced labour
16 and looting occurred when you were in Odzak as the security chief, or in
17 charge of security, didn't they?
18 A. I was not the chief. What sort of a chief was I? Don't attribute
19 these posts to me which I never held.
20 Q. I withdraw the word "chief." I'm sorry. This was a short way,
21 because I'm getting a little bit frustrated by the length of your answers
22 to very, very simple questions. I withdraw the word chief. Assistant
23 commander for security. When you were there, serious crimes of looting
24 and forced labour were committed, weren't they?
25 A. I have expressed my opinion about looting, and I did not deny that
1 there were people who failed to meet their work obligations. But what
2 kind of responsibility are you attributing to me? I have nothing to do
3 with this. Work obligation was under the direct authority of the Ministry
4 of National Defence of the municipality of Samac. You had Mr. Bozo
5 Ninkovic, who was directly in charge of sending those people there.
6 Whether that was illegal or not, let this Chamber decide, but I have
7 nothing to do with it. I saw those people working in the streets,
8 cleaning, washing, and so on.
9 Q. You too gave them assignments, didn't you, some of the people
10 working -- who came to Odzak to do their what you call work obligation?
11 A. Never, to one single person, did I give assignments. I will
12 accept any responsibility -- I would accept responsibility had I ever sent
13 someone to do work, but that is not true. All you have is lies told by
14 certain witnesses. If that's what you mean, you can hold it against me,
15 but they were lies.
16 Q. Your colleague and friend Vladimir Sarkanovic gave evidence about
17 what was happening at the SUP. Do you recall that evidence?
18 A. Yes. I remember, but would you please refresh my memory as to
19 what parts you mean?
20 Q. I certainly will.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe we will have a problem with this. I
22 mean, we already have a ruling by the Trial Chamber regarding the use of
23 other witness's statement in potentially -- another witness.
24 MR. RE: This is just absurd. I'm not -- it's absurd. I've only
25 got half an hour left. You're standing up and making an objection about
1 nothing. I'm not intending to impeach someone. Why do you object before
2 you hear the question?
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: Maybe I got wrong impression. Maybe I got wrong
4 impression. But you have just -- starting quoting something that one
5 witness said before this Tribunal to another witness. And it was not
6 practiced, at least not in these proceedings.
7 MR. RE: I'm not --
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: And we already have this --
9 MR. RE: A, I'm not attempting to impeach anyone; and B, it's
10 between witnesses. Can I proceed?
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re. You've said that you're not intending
13 to use it for impeachment purposes.
14 MR. RE: Certainly not, no.
15 Q. Mr. Zaric, your friend and colleague Mr. Sarkanovic gave evidence,
16 it's at page 16599, to the effect that -- this is the question. I asked
17 him: "Everyone working in the police station was part of the terrible
18 system, whether they wanted to be there or not, weren't they?" And he
19 answered: "Yes, that's right." I then asked him: "It was obvious to
20 you, as an educated man with a law degree and many years in the police an
21 awareness of laws that there was a system of persecution being developed
22 against the non-Serbs in Bosanski Samac?"
23 "Yes, you can say that."
24 Now, your friend Mr. Sarkanovic has said in this court that there
25 was a system of persecution being developed against the non-Serbs and that
1 everyone working from the police station was aware of it. You too,
2 Mr. Zaric, were working from the police station in terms of interrogating
3 people in that period in May 1992, and you too were aware of the system of
4 persecution, weren't you?
5 A. I was not working for the police station, but I was aware of that
6 fact. But I wasn't working for the police station. I was working as the
7 assistant commander for security, connected to the 4th Detachment or the
8 5th Infantry Battalion, as it was after the transformation.
9 Q. Your position was, as both the chief of national security and the
10 assistant commander for security connected to the 4th Detachment, was that
11 you only interrogated the most important people, wasn't it?
12 A. No.
13 Q. You were the most senior person who was interrogating people from
14 the police station, weren't you?
15 A. I have no idea about that. That's not true. This is an
16 obstruction of yours.
17 THE INTERPRETER: As said by the witness.
18 A. You can say that, but it's not true.
19 MR. RE:
20 Q. The interrogations you conducted were -- I withdraw that.
21 Interrogations conducted in the SUP in May -- April and May 1992 were
22 conducted by both military and civilian interrogators, weren't they, that
23 is you, the military, Mr. Sarkanovic and Cancarevic from the civilian
25 A. Mr. Sarkanovic and Mr. Savic were there from the civilian
1 authorities. I don't know about Cancarevic. He may have been there too.
2 You are mentioning this name for the first time as an investigator. In
3 Bosanski Samac I only had an interview with Mr. Tihic and in Brcko I had
4 three interviews with Mr. Nalic and the two Bicic brothers. All my
5 official interviews boiled down to those four names. The official notes
6 and the statements I took have been shown here, and I'm glad that some of
7 the witnesses were here and they said how I behaved during the interview.
8 Q. As an experienced former chief of public security station, you
9 knew, as of April and May 1992, that the prisoners in the SUP and the TO
10 were in no fit physical or psychological condition to be interrogated,
11 didn't you?
12 A. Not all. I can say that they were in a difficult situation, but I
13 told you of an authentic case when Mr. Tihic was beaten up. When I
14 interviewed him and came back, I said Mr. Tihic, I suggest that we not
15 talk, because I saw that the man was beating, that he had been beaten up,
16 and he begged me to stay and complete the interview, because he said:
17 I'll be back and they will beat me again. And that was the only reason I
18 stayed there with him. It never occurred to me to make use of their
19 unequal position to extort some sort of evidence and to fit into some
20 sort of scenario of something you call planned and so on. This cannot be
21 attributed to me.
22 Q. You only interrogated non-Serbs, didn't you, Mr. Zaric?
23 A. This is correct.
24 Q. And you submitted reports on your interrogations to your military
25 superiors, didn't you?
1 A. Yes. I sent all my reports to my superior, Captain Makso
3 Q. At that stage, when you were sending the reports, the military,
4 that is, the JNA, and the paramilitaries and the Crisis Staff were in
5 control of Bosanski Samac, weren't they?
6 A. You are making a connection I will never agree with, nor can agree
7 with, of course. You want to put the JNA on the same level as the
8 volunteers who committed crimes or the Crisis Staff, which imposed a
9 certain policy we did not agree with. These three things cannot go
10 together, Mr. Prosecutor, at least as far as I'm concerned.
11 Q. Who are you suggesting controlled Bosanski Samac at the time you
12 submitted your reports to your military superiors, given that the JNA was
13 controlling the banks of the town, had tanks there, soldiers on the
14 streets, the Crisis Staff had proclaimed a state of emergency and seized
15 control of all the civilian administration, soldiers were guarding the
16 vital facilities. Who do you say was in control of Bosanski Samac at that
17 time if it wasn't the JNA, Crisis Staff, and paramilitaries?
18 A. If I refer to the fact that there was war, I know for certain that
19 members of the 4th Detachment, as part of the JNA, had the task to be on
20 the front defence lines, so that the enemies from Croatia and the HVO from
21 the surrounding area would be prevented from entering into town. The
22 civilian authorities in the town were the Crisis Staff and the Executive
23 Board, and as for control of the town in the sense of law and order, that
24 was done by the police.
25 Q. Mr. Zaric, on the 16th and 17th of April, 1992, paramilitary
1 forces -- Serbian paramilitary forces took control of Bosanski Samac's
2 vital facilities in the middle of the night, didn't they?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And these were the same Serbian paramilitary forces of the types
5 that you were aware had taken control of Zvornik, Bijeljina, and
6 Vlasenica, in the preceding weeks in Bosanski Brod, weren't they?
7 A. No. There were no Serb forces in Bosanski Brod. They were the
8 forces of the regular army of Croatia. I don't know whether the people
9 who came to Samac had been in Bijeljina and Zvornik before that. I really
10 don't know that. I can't say that. But I do know that they came from
11 training in the area of Ilok, which belonged, as far as territory goes, to
12 the Republic of Srpska Krajina.
13 Q. Before the takeover there had been a democratically elected
14 government, hadn't there, of mixed ethnicity?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The Serb paramilitary forces, Serbian paramilitary forces, could
17 be seen as infantry shock troops, couldn't they?
18 A. Some 30 of them? Well, if they can be called that, I don't mind.
19 They were always on the move, so they can be seen as a sort of infantry
20 component. During the war, I never saw them using artillery weapons or
21 something of that sort, so one might say that they had an infantry
23 Q. Shock troops are those that go forward and seize something ahead
24 of the larger force, aren't they?
25 A. I'm not a military strategist, to be quite honest. I know that if
1 we exclude the act of the takeover of Samac, and I have been very clear
2 about my opinion of that, later on, the police and the special units they
3 set up went to all the places where the HVO was trying to pierce the front
4 line to break through, and I know that six of them were killed and were
5 sent off in coffins to Serbia.
6 Q. A mere few hours after the Serbian paramilitary forces took
7 control and seized the vital facilities in Bosanski Samac, the JNA --
8 sorry, and started collecting weapons from the citizens, the JNA completed
9 the task, didn't they, of collecting weapons from the citizens?
10 A. I don't understand what you mean by "a mere few hours." Yes, I
11 agree with that. The 4th Detachment had part of that task, and we did
12 that in the fourth quarter of the town of Samac, in that local commune.
13 Q. The Crisis Staff proclaimed a state of emergency and took control
14 of the administration imposing Serb-only rule, didn't they?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And this Serb-only government took persecutory measures, as you've
17 outlined in the 13 signatories, P127, against the non-Serbs, starting from
18 day one, didn't it?
19 A. One part of the non-Serb population only in relation to them can
20 we speak of the extreme measure you call persecution. I'm referring to
21 those who, in my view, were taken prisoner, who were put into an unequal
22 position, and so on. All the others who left through the Red Cross, and
23 in other ways, I do understand that it was not purely due to their own
24 wish, but we couldn't call that persecution. Because as far as I know, at
25 the very beginning of the war, over 30.000 Croats were not in the part
1 that was held by the JNA [as interpreted]. This was all outside Samac.
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that the number that we have here in the
3 transcript is not the one that Mr. Zaric mentioned. On page --
4 MR. RE:
5 Q. What did you say, Mr. Zaric. I'll clear it up. What did you say,
6 Mr. Zaric, if not 30.000?
7 A. No. I said that over 10.000 Croats in the first days --
8 Q. Thank you. You said 10, not 30. That's all I want to know. We
9 move along from there.
10 A. I didn't say 30.000.
11 Q. We've established that. I'm moving on. Now, Mr. Zaric,
12 Mr. Pantelic, a few days ago, last week, talked about a military coup or a
13 putsch. That was in effect what had happened in Bosanski Samac,
14 non-elected military armed forces had seized control of the town and
15 municipality from the democratically elected government. It was nothing
16 more than a military coup, was it?
17 A. I don't know how you can compare that. You're comparing a
18 military putsch in relation to the information of the 13? Are you putting
19 that on the same level?
20 Q. No. The takeover of the town, the vital facilities, by armed
21 forces seizing power and putting in place a new Serb-only government.
22 That was a military coup, or a putsch, wasn't it?
23 A. No. No. I wouldn't call it a military coup. It was simply a
24 takeover of power.
25 Q. By military means, by arms, wasn't it, against a democratically
1 elected government?
2 A. Well, I don't know what name will be given to it here, but what I
3 knew of the takeover of the town of Samac, well, I've said that and I
4 abide by what I said. If you feel that this is a military coup, you can
5 defend your opinion, but that's not what I saw. That's not how I saw it.
6 Q. Forcible takeover? You'd agree with that? I think you already
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re. This is what I was about to say, that
9 we've been through this with Mr. Simo Zaric before. I'm wondering about
10 going over it again.
11 MR. RE: I'm trying to finish, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but you don't have to repeat what you've gone
13 over with Mr. Zaric before.
14 MR. RE: I do accept that.
15 Q. Mr. Zaric, the JNA's -- sorry. What the JNA did in collecting
16 weapons and doing nothing to seize control from the paramilitaries or
17 prevent them consolidating power allowed the Crisis Staff to take control,
18 didn't it?
19 A. Such a conclusion can be drawn if one does not accept the fact as
20 to what the task of the 4th Detachment was and how we carried it out.
21 When I say that, it means that on the 17th, acting on orders from our
22 commander, we went to the peripheral parts of town and took those areas
23 where we had reason to expect the enemy to come and take over Samac, the
24 municipality of Samac was the only one not under HVO control in the area.
25 But I would not be sitting here had they taken control.
1 Q. Knowing of the takeover, the discriminatory takeover on ethnic
2 grounds, you participated in supervising the collection of weapons the
3 following day, didn't you?
4 A. I carried out the task assigned to me. I did not think about the
5 thesis you are trying to advocate here. I thought it was logical that
6 someone should not be shooting at us from behind our backs while we were
7 on the combat lines, and we were watching out for the enemy, for an enemy
8 attack from the direction we were expecting an attack from. That is how I
9 acted on the front line. And wherever the 4th Detachment took part in the
10 collection of weapons, we did this in a very proper manner, a very correct
11 manner, without any incidents and without irritating the local population.
12 Q. Knowing that Serbian paramilitary forces had taken over the town
13 and were installing a Serb-only government, knowing that, you participated
14 by -- sorry, you, the following day, participated by supervising the
15 collection of weapons throughout the town, didn't you?
16 A. This is not correct, for that reason. Across the Bosna, from the
17 village of Prud, was a paramilitary formation from Croatia which had
18 arrived with Mr. Cavka, and we thought he might enter the town from that
19 direction. The weapons we collected on the outskirts was that reason,
20 because there were a lot of people in the town with various standpoints
21 who are members of different military and paramilitary structures. And it
22 was very dangerous not to take some security measures and protect our
23 soldiers on the defence line. In my view, this act of protection of the
24 soldiers on the line was legitimate and any army in any country of the
25 world would have done the same.
1 Q. The JNA acted in coordination with the paramilitaries after the
2 morning of the 17th of April, 1992, in consolidating power in Bosanski
3 Samac, by stationing tanks, putting soldiers on the streets, and guarding
4 the facilities that the paramilitaries had taken over and installed the
5 Crisis Staff in, didn't they?
6 A. This is not correct, sir, because a real war broke out on the
7 following day. Samac was a real hell. We were shelled from every
8 direction. Shells fell relentlessly on our town every day. We had to
9 fight. We had an open enemy who did not conceal his intentions. It never
10 occurred to me to sit and wait to see what destiny had in store for me.
11 But I did not do anything bad against the other people who stayed with us,
12 be assured of that. But Samac was shelled every day. We were attacked
13 from every direction. 138 people were killed in the town. These were
14 civilian victims.
15 Q. The thousands of heavily armed members of the 17th Tactical Group,
16 or 17th Corps, with their heavy weapons and artillery, did nothing to
17 assist the democratically elected government restore itself to power, did
19 A. This democratic government you are talking about set up their own
20 municipalities. They went to their own areas and they were no longer a
21 part of our area, except for one part, which refers to people from the SDA
22 who were detained. Because right away the Croatian municipality of
23 Domaljevac, as part of Samac, was set up, and all the Croatian villages
24 joined it, and Prud fell under Odzak, which was held by the HVO forces.
25 So the presidents of the former municipalities and the Executive Board and
1 the legitimate government, that was their democratic option, and they did
2 something similar. Bosnia was a great evil, and responsibility cannot be
3 attributed to only one nation. But we Serbs do bear part of the
4 responsibility, and this is not contentious. Let those who are
5 responsible answer for it, but you cannot say that the entire Serbian
6 people are to blame for this.
7 Q. I don't think I actually did, but are you saying -- do we take it
8 from your last answer that the things you've referred to justify military
9 takeover on ethnic grounds, ethnic cleansing and persecution?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Because --
12 A. You cannot attribute that to me. You can only say that. But this
13 cannot be part of my being.
14 Q. Because knowing, as you have told us, of the system which had been
15 put in place after the 17th of April, 1992, that's the discriminatory
16 system, you, Mr. Zaric, participated in it by interrogating prisoners in
17 the SUP and at Brcko, prisoners of the Serb discriminatory authorities,
18 didn't you?
19 A. Yes. I interrogated people. I learned from those interviews how
20 they were -- how they had been getting ready as our enemies. I undertook
21 no repressive measures against them. I conducted correct interviews and I
22 learned how the paramilitary HDZ and SDA formations had been getting ready
23 to take over their part of authority in that part of Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 who seemed to me too little for everybody at the time, and until that time
25 I thought it was just the right size and the dearest place of all, of
1 course, with Yugoslavia.
2 Q. This persecutory system in which you participated required people
3 to interrogate the prisoners, didn't it?
4 A. Nobody can tell me, ever, that I did something as extremist as
5 persecution. Mr. Re, please. My daughter and my grandchildren live in
6 Croatia to this day, so I should be like a criminal, like a grandfather
7 and a father to persecute those Croats that my daughter married or -- and
8 so on and so forth, so I should be -- I'd be a monster, not a man.
9 Secondly, my political views and my options are so clear in that regard
10 that I -- that from the very first day I've been fighting against that
11 injustice. I had strength enough in 1992 to write the information when I
12 wasn't aware that a conflict would break out [as interpreted]. That was a
13 courage tantamount to death but I wasn't afraid of it. And I said it
14 served you as a foundation so you could conduct a case against the Samac
15 group and now you're trying to impute to me that I engaged in some kind of
16 persecutions. So that means that there can be no Serb who is honest and
17 who took an honest and correct position towards the war. I think I
18 belonged into the -- into -- amongst those people who had a very correct
19 attitude towards it all in those distressing times.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: We have something here in the transcript which is
21 not what Mr. Zaric said, on page 23.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: He said: I had strength enough in 1992 to write
24 the information. When I wasn't aware, here it says that the conflict
25 would break out. He said when I wasn't aware that this Tribunal would be
1 established. This is what Mr. Zaric said.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure Mr. Zaric has heard that. Do you agree
3 that that's what you said?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree. Yes, precisely, Madam
5 President. That is what I said.
6 MR. RE:
7 Q. Mr. Zaric, different people in this persecutory system had
8 different roles to perform, didn't they?
9 A. I know my own.
10 Q. I take it that's a yes. The Crisis Staff had its role to perform
11 in issuing edicts, persecutory edicts, and in working with Mr. Todorovic
12 and the paramilitaries to have hundreds of Muslims and Croats arrested;
14 A. Well, now, I don't know if it's up to me to pass judgements after
15 so many statements by witnesses on the same subject.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, actually, Mr. Re. I was about to say that you
17 are simply going through what we've been through. This witness -- the
18 accused has also been through these, and I'm wondering why --
19 MR. RE: I'm just trying to get to a certain point.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, then get to the point.
21 MR. RE:
22 Q. Mr. Zaric, the point I'm making here, so that there's no
23 confusion, is everybody in that system had a different role to play, and
24 once people were arrested on discriminatory grounds and detained, the
25 system of persecution required trained interrogators to interview
1 detainees. You'd agree with that, wouldn't you?
2 A. No, I don't agree with you. They were interrogated when
3 [indiscernible] wanted to and they also beat them. And when I
4 interrogated them, I treated them correctly and professionally, and there
5 is a big difference between the two.
6 Q. What I'm saying --
7 A. A huge difference.
8 Q. What I'm suggesting is that by interrogating these people who had
9 been arrested on discriminatory grounds and detained based upon their
10 ethnicity, you, Mr. Zaric, were participating in the system and
11 contributing to it?
12 A. No. Never in that context. No. I carried out an order and I did
13 a part of the job, and the information I came by indicates a very high
14 degree of responsibility of those that I interrogated, both politically
15 and in any other sense. But it wasn't my task further on. My task was to
16 conduct the interview, and what I did, I did correctly.
17 Q. And further, by accepting the position as chief of national
18 security for the Crisis Staff and interrogating people in that capacity,
19 and by travelling to Belgrade with the Crisis Staff in that capacity, you
20 were contributing to the system of persecution and participating in it.
21 A. Only you can invent a thing like that and say, nobody else.
22 Q. And similarly, by accepting the position, your appointment by the
23 same persecutory Crisis Staff, to the deputy to the war council or
24 assistant to the war council in Odzak and continuing the work of the
25 Crisis Staff, that persecutory body, you too were participating in and
1 contributing to the persecution against the non-Serbs?
2 A. No. I cannot but admire your obstructions.
3 THE INTERPRETER: As said by the witness.
4 MR. RE:
5 Q. The Tadic judgement, paragraph 110, says: "The JNA, and in
6 particular, its air force, actively cooperated with and assisted the
7 paramilitary units in 1991 and 1992 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
8 liberally supplied them with arms and equipment."
9 That's what a Trial Chamber of this Tribunal has found. That's
10 what happened in Bosanski Samac, isn't it?
11 A. No. It happened in Prijedor, as far as I know, Tadic comes from
12 Prijedor. If that's the gentleman that you mean when you say "Tadic,"
13 because I'm aware of this Tadic who is with me, but he has not been
14 sentenced yet.
15 Q. That's a different Tadic, and it refers to a general statement of
16 the whole situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1991 and 1992. Does that
17 assist? It's not talking specifically about Prijedor. It's the general,
18 saying this is what the JNA air force did. It armed the paramilitaries
19 and actively cooperated with them and liberally supplied them with arms
20 and equipment. And that's exactly what happened in Bosanski Samac, wasn't
22 A. I don't know what happened elsewhere, but what happened in the
23 territory of the Bosanski Samac municipality, or, more correctly, in the
24 town of Samac, such an association of the Yugoslav People's Army with
25 paramilitary formations has absolutely no common connotations.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, the Trial Chamber is of the view that you
3 have nothing new to work on or to ask Mr. Simo Zaric. You have covered
4 everything, that's why you are now going through what you have been
5 through before.
6 MR. RE: Can I just check with my colleagues to make sure that
7 they feel that I haven't left any stone unturned at the moment.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I hope they won't support repetition.
9 MR. RE: I'm sure they won't.
10 [Prosecution counsel confer]
11 MR. RE: Your Honours.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
13 MR. RE: Your Honours and my colleagues are ad idem on this
14 issue. I have no further questions.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I have a minute to
17 consult my client?
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] With your leave. Thank you. Very
21 MR. PANTELIC: And Your Honour, may I have the same opportunity,
22 in order to save the time?
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, officially now, Your
3 Honours. I have only one question for Mr. Zaric.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Lukic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Zaric, this morning, whilst you were
6 answering questions of the Prosecution - I don't have the transcript in
7 front of me, but I noted down - the Prosecutor was showing you a part of
8 book referring to Mr. Blagoje Simic, saying that you had mentioned him,
9 and your answer to the Prosecutor was that Blagoje Simic was surrounded by
10 well-known players who already have become well known nationalists, and
11 you mentioned Blagoje Simic, Stevan Todorovic, Simeun Simic, Bozo
12 Ninkovic. You even said that these are individuals who had already had
13 national and even -- who had embraced national or nationalistic policy.
14 That was roughly your answer to the Prosecutor. And with regard to my
15 client, because we know he was a member of the Crisis Staff for a while.
16 And you spoke about the Crisis Staff. Would you say that Miroslav Tadic
17 was one of those men who were Serb nationalists and who had been described
18 as such and who also were in the company of Mr. Blagoje Simic in that
20 A. No. Mr. Tadic could not be called a part of that circle. That's
21 for certain.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have
23 nothing further to ask.
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
1 A. Good afternoon.
2 Q. To sum Prosecution's questions related to the arrest of Sulejman
3 Tihic and other front men of the SDA in Samac, you said that the grounds
4 for their arrest was the fact that they were Muslims and also their
5 political affiliation. Do you remember that, when the Prosecutor asked
6 you about that? Do you remember that?
7 A. Yes, something to that effect. I do remember.
8 Q. And in any event, you were also talking about some other documents
9 that had been found in the police station, and I'm referring to the
10 military organisation of the SDA, their staff, and so on and so forth.
11 Now, it does not seem quite logical to me now, regardless of what
12 Todorovic and his men did. My question is as follows: It does not seem
13 quite logical to me, if we know that there was this document, this plan,
14 and you personally were aware of some wrongful activities even before
15 mid-April 1992. What is the reason, then? What is the ground for their
16 arrest? Since you gave two answers which are contradictory, will you
17 please opt for a more specific one, and more objective, please.
18 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I know that in the police station,
19 especially Mr. Todorovic, and I could even say in part some inspectors,
20 when it came to this subject, their starting point was the fact that the
21 war plan prepared by the SDA served as a ground to take people in. And in
22 the beginning I didn't know it, I found it out later, I must say that I
23 wasn't even aware that Mr. Tihic owned illegal weapons, but later on it
24 was unmasked. And they always claimed that that was the chief reason why
25 he had been brought in. But in this other context, when I spoke, I meant
1 goodwill which was shown. I remember this interview as if it happened
2 yesterday. But Mr. Blagoje Simic was quite ready for Mr. Tihic and me and
3 Mr. Todorovic to get together and to discuss Mr. Tihic's release. Because
4 until the day before, Mr. Tihic was Mr. Simic's first political partner,
5 because they shared the government. They were in coalition with the SDA.
6 And now I tried to bring in some democratic trends to my assistants and I
7 thought that his position as a politician played a decisive role that that
8 was why he was there and I thought that Mr. Simic's prestige should
9 perhaps prevail and that Mr. Tihic and others holding those political
10 views could be released from the prison. It is along those lines that I
11 was thinking at that time.
12 Q. Be that as it may, Mr. Zaric, they were at the garrison in Brcko,
13 isn't it?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. And after that, they went to the military airfield in Batajnica;
16 is that correct?
17 A. From what I know, they went to Bijeljina, and it was after that
18 that I -- that information reached me that they had gone to Batajnica, and
19 you're right there.
20 Q. I assume that it was some high-ranking security structures who did
21 that, because they must have had some reason to conduct further interviews
22 with them in Batajnica. Don't you think so?
23 A. I can't go into that, but I have to remind you of that major,
24 Major Nikola, who used to come with Mr. Stevan. He came from the security
25 bodies of the AFAAD [phoen]. Whether he was trying to manipulate
1 something or was trying truly to get some statements from this or some
2 others who were taken by helicopter through the territory of Serbia.
3 Whether they deserved such treatment, whether they had to go, I'd rather
4 not go into that. But it is a fact that the high-ranking instances of the
5 military security from that wing of the Yugoslav People's Army which I
6 called the air force and the anti-aircraft defence had a hand in the
7 transfer of those people from the territory of Samac or more correctly
8 from the territory of Republika Srpska at the time to the territory of
9 Yugoslavia or Batajnica, as you have concretely mentioned.
10 Q. Will you please slow down, because there is interpretation going
12 A. I apologise.
13 Q. So let us conclude. You mentioned a certain Major Nikola, and he
14 came from the security service of the air force, who was in Stevan
15 Todorovic's office in April 1992, who followed what was going on there and
16 then did something. Is that correct what I'm saying?
17 A. Yes, yes, yes. And he was pulling some strings there, and that is
18 why I'm drawing my conclusions, but I think they are quite grounded.
19 Q. Did you ever hear that in those -- in this communication with the
20 security service of the AFAAD, with this Major Nikola that Dr. Simic was
21 playing any role in all that? Because I think that you are quite well
23 A. No, I really didn't hear about any link between them. I never had
24 an opportunity there. I never sat with them together, nor did I overhear
25 what they talked about. That Nikola never left the station and he was
1 always in the company with Mr. Todorovic, with Mr. Crni, and Mr. Srecko
2 Radovanovic. That was that team which, conditionally speaking, was
3 solving the fate that you asked me about, I mean of those people.
4 Q. Today there was also talk about a programme, or rather, an
5 interview for the TV television.
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. If you remember, Colonel Nikolic, in his testimony here, explained
8 how they had first come to see him and that he had then sent them on to
9 you to make that programme, that is, that was his -- in this way he
10 ordered you to take part in this programme. Do you remember that?
11 A. Yes. He said that he had already had a talk with them and that I
12 should get ready. I didn't have much time, but in that little time that I
13 had, I got ready and gave my part of the interview.
14 Q. Not to listen to this tape again, will you please try to clarify
15 something. When you participated in that programme, did you and other
16 participants have a script, have something from which you would be reading
17 questions and answers? Did any of the participants, and I mean you,
18 Mr. Tihic, Mr. Coner, I believe, Nalic, and all the others, did any one of
19 you have a script prepared in advance? I'm talking physically. Did you
20 have any notes as to what they should be answering?
21 A. Well, I tried to tell that to the Prosecutor. There were no notes
22 whatsoever. The journalist called Minja, I don't know his last name, was
23 asking questions directly to each one of the participants in that
24 interview. There was nothing predirected. I didn't see any questions
25 which had been preset. And when I participated -- when I participated in
1 the interview, then I merely used documentation from the war plan of the
2 SDA in order to show that there was a prepared war option, and so on and
3 so forth. So there was no script. There was no scenario. This
4 journalist didn't have it and he did it just professionally, like any
5 other journalist who is interviewing somebody.
6 Q. And my next question in this relation: Did Blagoje Simic
7 personally, and do you have any knowledge about that, did he participate
8 in the organisation of that programme, its preparation, or in any other
9 concrete way? I'm talking about him personally, not about others.
10 A. I do not know that. I know that on the eve of that they were
11 together with Mr. Todorovic and walked around the town, but I have
12 absolutely no information that they had been to the Crisis Staff or had
13 any conversations with Mr. Blagoje Simic. I really do not have such
14 information in my possession.
15 Q. When you say "they," you mean journalists of the TV television?
16 A. Yes, that is precisely whom I have in mind.
17 Q. And let me ask you about another thing. Now we are talking about
18 the [indiscernible], about the chain of command in the police of Republika
19 Srpska. You already told us and that is not in dispute that there was a
20 regional centre in Doboj was Superior [indiscernible] before the corridor
21 was set up because Samac was rounded then but it was the regional centre
22 in Bijeljina was in charge of them. I'm talking about the Ministry of the
23 Interior of Republika Srpska. Am I right?
24 A. Yes, you are.
25 Q. Very well. I was just waiting for the transcript. Now,
1 Mr. Zaric, in view of the well-known details concerning the wrongful
2 conduct of Stevan Todorovic and his policemen, those volunteers and so on,
3 at that time, did you - and when I say you, I don't mean you personally, I
4 mean your colleagues from the 17th Tactical Group, that is Simeunovic and
5 others, those who were above you, did they report about Todorovic's
6 omissions and crimes? Did you report about them to the relevant bodies in
7 the Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska? Because I'm sure you
8 will agree with me that the security bodies and the civilians do cooperate
9 up to a certain degree. Now, do you have any knowledge that the Superior
10 Command drew the attention to the omissions in the police work of Stevan
11 Todorovic and his policemen? If you know that, will you please tell us.
12 Were there any interventions? Was there anything said?
13 A. Well, I think that should be the route to take. They should be --
14 done. But I do not know in what direction this information was sent later
15 on. But to me it sounds quite logical for the Superior Command, that is,
16 the first command superior to me, that is the 17th Tactical Group, it was
17 to inform the 17th Corps or the BK [phoen] Corps in Bijeljina, and quite
18 sure that if we are to prevent crimes then the civilian and the military
19 security need to cooperate and since they were talking and I'm referring
20 to my structure, since they had detailed information because I really
21 wrote very detailed reports as to what was going on in Samac, so therefore
22 they could take their chains of command to report to relevant authorities
23 in the ministry and then to my mouth. It would be logical for them to
24 take certain steps, of course unless there were people in the ministry,
25 such as Ostoja Minic, who was in the meeting, but you can't expect such
1 people to do anything, because he was the same as Stevan Todorovic.
2 Q. But it seems to me, even though it goes beyond the indictment, but
3 because of some perhaps -- it might be perhaps of some indirect relevance.
4 Do you know if minister Tomo Kovac, at some point, perhaps in 1994, 1995,
5 perhaps did something in this regard and dismissed Stevan Todorovic? Do
6 you remember any such activities of the Ministry of the Interior? Of
7 course, if you know anything about it, if not, you don't.
8 A. No, I don't know. I know that he was dismissed and we all
9 breathed with relief then and we all asked ourselves question: Well, did
10 it have to take so long for somebody to see what was happening and do
11 something about it?
12 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, time for our adjournment or break
14 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no. This is the end of the session today.
15 MR. PANTELIC: This is the end of the session. Thank you.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: So we'll continue tomorrow.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.45 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 20th day of
19 May 2003, at 9.00 a.m.