1 Tuesday, 29 October 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes, Mr. Nice.
6 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we've only asked the witness to remain
7 outside because there is, I think, technically outstanding the issue of
8 the 92 bis application in respect of which the Chamber sought a further
9 filing from Mr. Kay. That's been provided. We haven't been in a position
10 to provide further written material in the time available. We have,
11 however, made available to you a draft of the proof of evidence of the
12 witness concerned, which reveals how, of course, his evidence --
13 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. We'll be handed it.
14 MR. NICE: I'm sorry that it hadn't found its way to Your Honours
15 yesterday. It was provided yesterday. It may be that the better course
16 would be to put this consideration back rather than delay evidence. But
17 our point arising from the draft proof of evidence is that, of course, all
18 the matters that relate to the accused are going to be dealt with by the
19 witness using the documents that we would prefer to be produced to you by
20 92 bis so that you can pre-read about the structure of the organisations
21 concerned, and I simply repeat our argument last week that if at the end
22 of the exercise it's found that anything admitted by 92 bis could or
23 should be the subject of further evidence, it will be possible to identify
24 it at that stage.
25 And I have to say that the written filing of the amici doesn't, in
1 our respectful submission, take the argument any further and doesn't
2 identify any reason why this material shouldn't be before you in written
3 form ahead of the witness coming to give evidence and it will save a great
4 deal of time if you do have the material. We have to bear in mind that
5 technically, and indeed in practice, Judges of this Chamber can't pre-read
6 material in the form of witness statements although they are in a position
7 to pre-read the summaries when they are provided in advance. And
8 therefore, there is --
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE KWON: Can I make two points?
11 MR. NICE: Yes.
12 JUDGE KWON: Because of limited time in the last session, I had a
13 very foolish question, but my concern was this: You didn't apply for the
14 92 bis, even if in bis form in case of C-037 or C-060, so what is the
15 criterion? The only concern is time again?
16 MR. NICE: One of the concerns is time. That, of course, is a
17 concern that we share with the Chamber and probably everybody else in the
18 institution. What we've been doing with the first series of witnesses in
19 this particular part of the case is tending to favour live evidence until
20 the overall structure of the case is before you from at least one witness,
21 and therefore we haven't in all cases been seeking out every little bit of
22 evidence that might go in by 92 bis. I think I actually forecast that we
23 might take this general approach at an earlier stage. If I didn't, then I
24 should have done.
25 We are now looking at all the forthcoming witnesses and looking in
1 detail at what part or parts of their evidence might be properly advanced
2 by 92 bis, and you'll be having a rolling series of motions dealing with
3 all forthcoming witnesses in much the same way as you did in the Kosovo
4 segment of the trial. And the priority given to time is much the same.
5 It's just that the practicalities have changed. We feel we've passed the
6 stage where it's desirable to take witnesses always in full and we've
7 reached the stage where we must use 92 bis wherever we properly can.
8 In this witness, the use of 92 bis would be rather different from
9 in the case of many other witnesses because he's really providing a
10 library of material to which he will himself turn wherever it's necessary.
11 It's a question of getting that library of material before you in the most
12 convenient way.
13 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Then can I make another point? Being a
14 little bit different from other Judges in the Tribunal, frankly, I'm not
15 well familiar with the history of Croatia and Western Krajinas, so if I
16 can hear the evidence live in the Court, I would find very useful, even if
17 Prosecution could lead the witness.
18 MR. NICE: That will probably --
19 JUDGE KWON: I'm speaking for myself.
20 MR. NICE: We quite understand that, and that evidence will in any
21 event come in some form or another from the evidence of the witness that
22 will be given live, because of course he'll be accounting for his own part
23 in these events as well as pointing to the part in these events of the
24 accused and he can only do that by giving a narrative history of the
25 events in summary form in any event.
1 As to Your Honour's earlier point, I'm asked by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff
2 to draw to your attention that the amount of public documents available
3 for this part of the case through this witness is radically different from
4 the amount of public documents that there were available for C-037 or
6 JUDGE MAY: We'll consider the matter now. I gather this witness
7 isn't due until the end of the week.
8 MR. NICE: At the earliest, no. Thursday, Friday. Can I, just
9 while I'm on my feet, say I believe there are outstanding issues for
10 resolution involving K38. It's our probably misunderstanding as to
11 whether it's from us that you want the next initiative or whether we are
12 awaiting a ruling from yourselves as to when that matter --
13 JUDGE MAY: Well, that matter is in hand.
14 MR. NICE: Thank you. The next witness is to be taken by
15 Mr. Groome, and I'll hand the floor to him.
16 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I have two applications prior to the
17 witness being called. The first is, after discussing it with the witness,
18 Prosecution is applying for a change in the protective measures. This
19 witness has been given a new domicile in another country, a member state,
20 has also been provided with identification papers of a different name. He
21 no longer feels it's necessary to have his name disclosed [sic] from the
22 public or his facial image distorted, and accordingly, the Prosecution at
23 this time would move to withdraw or vary the Chamber's previous order for
24 protective measures.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll grant that.
1 MR. GROOME: And the second matter, Your Honour, is that there are
2 several pieces of evidence that the Prosecution would seek to tender
3 through this witness that were not identified in the May submission of the
4 65 ter. Four of them are photographs that this witness provided to the
5 Office of the Prosecutor which were in turn provided to Mr. Milosevic in
6 May, attached to the statement, but they were not identified as potential
8 The second set of documents are -- involve the following: Two
9 pieces of personal identification issued to this witness, which he
10 produced; two lists of participants in international conferences of which
11 this witness will testify he was one of those participants; a photograph
12 of an arm patch; and an original military document given to this witness,
13 which was then in turn provided to the Office of the Prosecutor.
14 I'm suggesting at this stage, Your Honour -- or I'm requesting at
15 this stage if I may be permitted to show these exhibits to the witness and
16 make an application for their admission into evidence at the time -- at
17 the conclusion of the evidence in chief, when we will do this stock-taking
18 procedure and examine the admissibility of the exhibits.
19 JUDGE MAY: If there's any objection to admissibility, it can be
20 made at the time the witness deals with the exhibit. Otherwise, for
21 myself, I can see no reason why they shouldn't be admitted.
22 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, at this time the Prosecution calls Mr.
23 Slobodan Lazarevic.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness take the declaration.
1 WITNESS: SLOBODAN LAZAREVIC
2 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
3 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
5 Yes, Mr. Groome.
6 Examined by Mr. Groome:
7 Q. Sir, can you please tell us your name.
8 A. Slobodan Lazarevic.
9 Q. Can you tell us where you were born.
10 A. I was born in Belgrade.
11 Q. And did there come a time when you moved to Sarajevo?
12 A. Yes, in 1956.
13 Q. And was that -- while in Sarajevo, did you attend university
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. And what was your field of study?
17 A. Languages.
18 Q. And can you tell us what languages you consider yourself able to
19 speak fluently?
20 A. English and French.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please be asked to make
22 pauses between question and answer for the interpreters, thank you.
23 MR. GROOME: My apologies.
24 Q. Now, I want to draw your attention -- or can you describe for the
25 Chamber an organisation known as KOS.
1 A. It's a JNA military organisation with two streams; one deals with
2 internal security and one with external security.
3 Q. I'd ask you, if you can, to speak a little bit slower to assist
4 the interpreters in translating.
5 A. I do apologise.
6 Q. And how did you first become aware of this JNA military
7 organisation known as KOS?
8 A. In 1968, I was approached by one of the officers of the KOS to
9 start working for them.
10 Q. And can you tell us the name of the person who approached you?
11 A. Nikola Zimonja.
12 Q. And how did you meet Nikola Zimonja?
13 A. Through my father, who used to be a member of then known UDBA,
14 which grows into the state security.
15 Q. After your initial meeting with Mr. Zimonja, did you have an
16 ongoing relationship with him?
17 A. Yes, throughout my life.
18 Q. And can you describe for us the nature of your relationship with
19 Nikola Zimonja.
20 A. Mostly I had to deal with infiltration of different organisations.
21 For example, in 1968, I was tasked with infiltrating the student movement
22 in Sarajevo, and for example, planting the films on German tourists, for
23 example, or infiltrating the Serbian emigres in UK, Croatia, Australia,
24 and so on.
25 Q. Did you consider Nikola Zimonja to be your supervisor in KOS?
1 A. Yes, indeed.
2 Q. Can you give us an idea of the time that you spent in Australia,
3 working in the Croat emigre community in Sydney?
4 A. Well, briefly, I have tried to penetrate the organisations.
5 Unfortunately, I wasn't very successful. But I did spend 11 years in
7 Q. Did there come a time when you were asked to return to Yugoslavia?
8 A. Yes, back in 1993, prior to the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
9 Q. And who asked you to return to Yugoslavia?
10 A. Nikola Zimonja.
11 Q. Were you assigned to work in the -- work in connection with the
12 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo in 1984?
13 A. Yes. I have been assigned to be a personal assistant to director
14 of protocol of International Olympic Committee.
15 Q. And while you held this post, did you still consider yourself to
16 be a member of KOS?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In 1984, were you given another assignment by Mr. Zimonja?
19 A. Yes. I have been given assignment to go and join Agrokomerc in
20 Velika Kladusa.
21 Q. And who was in charge of that company?
22 A. Mr. Fikret Abdic.
23 Q. I'm going to ask now that a binder of exhibits containing 15 tabs
24 - I apologise - 14 tabs be assigned a number, and I would then ask that
25 the exhibit in the first tab be put on the overhead projector.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked Prosecutor's
2 Exhibit 348.
3 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm not sure if it's just my terminal,
4 but when I -- I apologise. It's now up on the screen.
5 I will be asking Mr. Lazarevic to describe a number of different
6 people, most of which are contained in this summary diagram. I'm going to
7 ask that it be left on the overhead projector during the course of his
8 explanation, and at the conclusion of his description of these people, I
9 will ask him to use this diagram to describe the relationships between the
10 various people.
11 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, I want to begin by asking you about two people
12 associated with the Republic of Serb Krajina army, and during the course
13 of your testimony, I will refer to them as the ARSK. The first person I
14 want to ask you about is General Mrksic. Are you familiar with General
16 A. Yes, I am.
17 Q. And can you describe for the Chamber who he is.
18 A. General Mrksic was a commanding officer of the 8th Operational
19 Group in RSK when I joined them in December 1991.
20 Q. Now, when you say the 8th Operational Group, do you mean of the
21 Yugoslav People's Army, the JNA?
22 A. Precisely, the JNA.
23 Q. Please continue.
24 A. I had an opportunity of meeting him again when he returned to
25 Krajina in 1995 as a commanding officer of the RSK army.
1 Q. Did you ever have a conversation with him regarding Vukovar
3 A. Yes, I have.
4 Q. Can you please summarise that conversation for the Chamber.
5 A. General Mrksic always believed that it was one of his very
6 important military victories during the conflict, and he viewed it as a
7 hospital being taken on the fourth floor by the Croatian forces and he had
8 given -- ordered those forces to be destroyed.
9 Q. And did he tell you who he gave that order to?
10 A. Yes, he did. Yes, he did.
11 Q. And who was that?
12 A. I think the gentleman was a major at the time, Sljivancanin.
13 Q. Did he tell you the words that he used when he gave Sljivancanin
14 the order regarding Vukovar hospital?
15 A. Yes. For the benefit of the Court, I will say that in English and
16 Serbian. The Serbian expression, [Interpretation] "Kill those shits."
17 [In English] My apologies to the Court. "Kill those shits."
18 Q. Now, are you familiar with a person by the name of Lieutenant
19 Colonel Mile Novakovic?
20 A. Yes, I am.
21 Q. Can you please describe who he is.
22 A. Mile Novakovic is also a JNA officer who spent a considerable time
23 in RSK, the various positions within the army structure.
24 Q. And was he part of a Serbian military delegation at a number of
25 international peace conferences?
1 A. Yes, he was.
2 Q. I want to now ask you about the 21st Corps. Can you tell us, was
3 that a component of the ARSK?
4 A. The 21st Corps came into being after the JNA withdrew from
5 Croatia. The 21st Corps actually held the responsibility in the area of
6 Kordun, therefore the name Kordun Corps as well.
7 Q. Are you familiar with the 39th Corps?
8 A. Yes, I am. It's also known as the Banija Corps. That would be
9 the eastern flank of the 21st Corps.
10 Q. And the 15th Corps?
11 A. 15 Corps was also known as the Lika Corps, and that would be the
12 western flank of the 21st Corps.
13 Q. And is it true that the 21st Corps, the 39th Corps, and the 15th
14 Corps are all corps within the ASRK?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Now, during the time period of the testimony you will give, did
17 the 21st Corps have three different command centres?
18 A. Yes. On three occasions we have changed our HQ. Original was set
19 in Topusko - that's in 1992 - on a little hill across from the compound of
20 the UN sector compound. We have moved that HQ to Petrova Gora, used to be
21 a JNA installation, and then from Petrova Gora to vicinity of Vojnic was
22 the third and the last displacement of the HQ.
23 Q. Can you approximate for us when the headquarters was moved to
24 Petrova Gora?
25 A. It would be early 1993.
1 Q. And can you approximate for us when it was moved to Vojnic?
2 A. In the same year, at a later stage, when the Serbian MUP moved
3 into Petrova Gora.
4 Q. Now, did there come a time when you as a member of KOS, JNA
5 military intelligence, were assigned to work as part of the 21st Corps in
6 the ARSK army?
7 A. Yes, indeed.
8 Q. And can you tell us when it was you were assigned to work there?
9 A. In February of 1992.
10 Q. And during your time with the ARSK, did you move to the different
11 command centres as the headquarters moved?
12 A. No, I have not. I kept my office in vicinity of the UN compound.
13 Q. And where was that?
14 A. In Topusko, to facilitate the meeting between myself and the
15 liaison officer of the UN.
16 Q. Can you describe who Colonel Bulat is for us.
17 A. Colonel Bulat is commanding officer, or used to be commanding
18 officer, of 21st Corps, Kordun Corps, and also my CO.
19 Q. Was he somebody that you had daily contact with?
20 A. Every single day.
21 Q. Are you aware of what contact, if any, he had with the General
22 Staff of the Yugoslav army during the time he was head of the 21st Corps?
23 A. He had contact on a daily basis, every morning, after the briefing
24 of his officers. He will also report directly to the General HQ in
1 Q. Do you know of any particular contacts that he had in the Yugoslav
2 People's Army?
3 A. I was present in the office when he made those calls on a number
4 of occasions.
5 Q. And do you know the name of the people or persons that he was
6 speaking to in Belgrade?
7 A. General Perisic.
8 Q. And is that Momcilo Perisic?
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. Based on your interaction with Colonel Bulat in the 21st Corps,
11 can you describe for us what authority he had to make decisions in his
12 area of responsibility, in the Kordun area?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slow down for the benefit of
15 A. Anything that had to deal with things of local importance;
16 movement of troops from one part of Kordun to another part of Kordun would
17 be his individual decision, he would not have to report to Belgrade.
18 Anything which would have wider implications to the things happening in
19 ARSK, he would have to consult Belgrade HQ and wait for approval.
20 Q. Can you give the Chamber some examples, specific examples, of
21 situations where Colonel Bulat would have to consult with General Perisic
22 before taking action in Republic of Serb Krajina?
23 A. For example, if attack was being contemplated against the 5th
24 Corps, which is generally known as the area of the Bihac pocket, and it
25 had to be in cooperation with other corps on the ground, whether they are
1 in ARSK or Republika Srpska, those are the situations where directive
2 would be gotten from the General HQ in Belgrade.
3 Q. Now, when you describe the 5th Corps, are you talking about the
4 5th Corps of the Bosnian army?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. Based upon your contacts and work in the 21st Corps, are you able
7 to describe whether or not Colonel Bulat spoke with Belgrade first or with
8 his nominal headquarters in Knin first?
9 A. It would really depend on the situation. As I have said before,
10 if the situation demanded cooperation of more than one corps, he would
11 speak to Belgrade first and then to Knin second. Anything of a local
12 character, he would report to Knin first.
13 Q. Now, I want to ask you about a component of the 21st --
14 [Technical difficulty]
15 MR. GROOME:
16 Q. I want to ask you about a component of the 21st Corps --
17 [Technical difficulty]
18 JUDGE MAY: We're getting the French coming through on the English
19 channel. Let's try again.
20 MR. GROOME:
21 Q. I want to ask you about a component of the 21st Corps. Are you
22 familiar with a unit called the anti-terrorist unit?
23 A. Yes, I am familiar with that.
24 Q. Can you describe for the Chamber what was the function of this
1 A. The function of this unit, which numbered around 40 to 45 young
2 men generally with very extensive criminal record, was to conduct
3 so-called "dirty jobs," "prijavi poslovi," within the AOR of the 21st
4 Corps. And I might add that every corps had one of those units, for the
5 same purpose.
6 Q. In the other corps, were these units also known as the
7 anti-terrorist unit?
8 A. They might have a different names, but the reasons for their
9 establishment was always the same.
10 Q. Now, you have described the members of this unit as having
11 criminal records. Were the members of this unit official soldiers within
12 the ARSK?
13 A. Yes, they have. They have been a part of the general army
15 Q. Now, you have used the term "dirty job." Can you please describe
16 for the Chamber the meaning of that term.
17 A. Well, all the task which your well-educated and normal JNA officer
18 would refuse to do would be assigned to those units known as
19 anti-terrorist units. Basically they are used to scare the people, they
20 are used to create disturbances, and they are not removed from killing
21 either Croats, Muslims, or even Serbs.
22 Q. Who was the commander of that unit?
23 A. Young man whose nickname was Paraga. His real name is Sinisa
24 Martic, and I believe he is no longer among living.
25 Q. Can you describe for us who Colonel Pero Ajdinovic is?
1 A. Colonel Pero Ajdinovic was a member of KOS also, but the one that
2 dealt with internal security, and he's the one that actually formed this
3 group originally, prior to establishment of the 21st Corps in the area.
4 Q. And can you tell us who Colonel Mlado Karan is?
5 A. Colonel Mlado Karan is also Serb KOS, internal security, who had
6 inherited the position from Colonel Ajdinovic when he returned to
7 Belgrade, and also to cover the command of the anti-terrorist unit.
8 Q. Now, when you refer to both of these men as being members of KOS,
9 are you referring to a different KOS unit in ARSK or are you referring to
10 the same KOS that you belonged to or belonged to in the Yugoslav People's
12 A. I refer to the one and the same, but I like to make perfectly
13 clear there are two strains within the corps, two lines, if you like; one
14 that deals with internal security of the country and another one which
15 deals with external security of the country, of which I was a member.
16 Q. And which branch of KOS did these two men belong to?
17 A. Internal security.
18 Q. Now, I want to draw your attention to the death of a person by the
19 name of Dmitar Obradovic. Are you familiar with the circumstances
20 surrounding his death?
21 A. Yes, I am. Mr. Obradovic was mayor of Vrginmost.
22 Q. And can you describe, before telling us the circumstances of his
23 death, can you explain to the Chamber who he was and what was his role in
24 the events of the Krajina in the summer of 1992?
25 A. I had the great pleasure of meeting Mr. Dmitar Obradovic on
1 various occasions in his meetings with ECMM and I always found him to be
2 extremely intelligent and in possession of a number of documents which
3 would prove whatever he was saying at the meeting. And his idea was
4 actually of co-habitat, meaning that the Serbs and Croats can live
5 together in Croatia as long as the Serbs accept a Croatian government as
7 Q. What was his ethnic background?
8 A. He was Serb.
9 Q. Was he opposed to the formation of the RSK?
10 A. In a sense, yes.
11 Q. And was he in favour of peaceful reconciliation with Croats?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What happened to Mayor Obradovic?
14 A. Mayor Obradovic was ambushed and killed.
15 Q. Did that occur within the confines or the area of responsibility
16 of the 21st Corps?
17 A. Yes. As a matter of fact, only about 200 yards away from the HQ.
18 Q. And was there an investigation into the circumstances surrounding
19 his death?
20 A. Yes. Three bodies have carried the investigation. One was
21 carried by the 21st Corps, one by the local police, and one by the UN
22 international police.
23 Q. And by virtue of your position in the 21st Corps, did you have
24 contact or were you involved within the investigation into his death?
25 A. Yes, I have been, but more as an observer and helping hand in the
1 case there is some misunderstanding, language barrier or anything like
2 that. But I was present during the initial investigation of the murder.
3 Q. The investigation conducted by the 21st Corp, what conclusions did
4 they draw regarding how Mayor Obradovic had been killed?
5 A. The official statement was that the Croatian terrorists have
6 penetrated our border along the Kupa River, came to the vicinity of
7 Topusko and shot Mayor Obradovic.
8 Q. You said that's an official statement. Was there another finding
9 of the people who investigated his death from the 21st Corps?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And what was that?
12 A. It was done by the anti-terrorist group.
13 Q. Did there come a time when you heard members of the anti-terrorist
14 group discussing the killing of Mayor Obradovic?
15 A. As a matter of fact, yes. They have said to me on a number of
16 occasions that that was a very patriotic thing to do at the time.
17 Q. Now, at the time that Mayor Obradovic was killed, can you tell us
18 what was your title within the 21st Corps, and describe briefly your
20 A. I had a rank of lieutenant colonel and I was a liaison officer
21 between the 21st Corps and any international organisation on the ground;
22 UN or International Red Cross or ECMM, or anybody else, for that matter.
23 Even a journalist, if they would come, they would report to me first.
24 Q. And in connection with this killing, were you charged with the
25 duty of forwarding to the United Nations or informing the United Nations
1 the official finding that Mayor Obradovic had been killed by Croatian
3 A. Yes, I have. Actually, I have been given a letter of protest to
4 take to the HQ of the UN and hand it personally to the general -- General
5 Musa Bamayi, and he was a sector commander of sector north, which covered
6 precisely the same area as the 21st and the 35th Corps.
7 Q. At the time you handed over this letter of protest, did you know
8 its contents to be false?
9 A. I was well aware of it.
10 Q. I want to now direct your attention to the police in the Republic
11 of Serb Krajina. Can you please describe for us what you know about the
12 police structure of the Republic of Serb Krajina during the time you were
14 A. Well, in real terms of police force, it was established along the
15 same lines as any other police force in any other country, meaning they
16 had their many servants, they had their different departments, they had
17 their state security within the police department, which were directly
18 responsible to the state security of Serbia, they would have their police
19 stations, they would have their -- which are based generally on the same
20 area as the different sectors of the UN were deployed.
21 Q. Each of these sectors, did they have deputies responsible for the
23 A. Yes. They would have a deputy who was responsible directly to the
24 Ministry of Interior, who was Milan Martic at the time; also there would
25 be a chief of police stations who would be responsible to the deputy, the
1 deputy then in turn to Minister of Interior.
2 Q. Can you describe what the duties and responsibilities would be for
3 each of these deputies for each area.
4 A. Sorry. I'm not quite understanding the question.
5 Q. How many deputies were there for each area of responsibility?
6 A. To my knowledge, I know of four: That would be sector north,
7 sector south, sector west, and sector east.
8 Q. In each one of these individual sectors, how many deputies were
10 A. There would be one deputy who was responsible directly to the
11 Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Martic, but there would be a number of
12 police stations which would have their own chief of police within the
14 Q. This deputy, or the deputy for each sector, was that person
15 responsible for the activities of uniformed police officers?
16 A. Yes. Also for the civilian-dressed officers as well.
17 Q. Now, during your time in the Krajina, did you form an impression
18 regarding who was paying for the police in the Republic of Serb Krajina?
19 A. They have been paid from the same source as the army did.
20 Q. And how do you know that?
21 A. Well, on a number of occasions I was there when what we generally
22 term a money man would arrive from Belgrade with amount of money for
23 distribution where each of the commanders would get the names of the
24 people he's supposed to pay, go to the paymaster, collect the amount of
25 money for his unit, and then distribute this money to the members of the
2 Q. Would this same paymaster be responsible for dispersing money to
3 both police units and ARSK units?
4 A. To my knowledge, yes.
5 Q. Was there an event during which the paymaster was robbed on one
7 A. Yes, indeed. On evening of August 6th, 1995, during withdrawal of
8 the Serb forces from Krajina, the paymaster claimed that within the convoy
9 he was robbed of all the pays for everybody within the army and police.
10 Q. So after he claimed to have been robbed, were any police officers
11 paid that pay period?
12 A. No, nobody got paid.
13 Q. Can you describe for us who Milan Martic was, briefly.
14 A. Milan Martic is a man who had a rather dramatic success in a very
15 short period of time; from being a commander of a very small police
16 station in the middle of nowhere, around Knin, that numbered approximately
17 four men, to becoming president of the RSK.
18 Q. Prior to being station commander -- or I'm sorry. In between his
19 positions as station commander and president of the Republic of Serb
20 Krajina, did he hold other high-profile positions?
21 A. Yes. He was Minister of Internal Affairs prior to becoming
22 president of the Republic.
23 Q. I want to now ask you to describe for the Chamber what
24 relationship, if any, existed between the ARSK and the RSK police.
25 A. Can you repeat the question, please?
1 Q. I want you to describe, if you can, what was the relationship
2 between the army and the police in the RSK.
3 A. Well, at the very beginning, the army had the upper hand in
4 everything that was happening. When I'm talking about the beginning, I'm
5 talking about 1992. Later on, with the presence of the special forces
6 from Serbia, that power has gone into the hands of police.
7 Q. Now, are you familiar with the implications of the Vance plan on
8 the army in the RSK?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And can you describe for us what the Vance plan required regarding
11 the military.
12 A. Vance plan required total demilitarisation and demobile of all
13 units within the RSK. Us being co-signatories of the plan, what we did, we
14 changed the uniform overnight from military olive-green into the police
15 blue and within a very short period of time, I'd say within ten hours, we
16 have repainted all the military vehicles into the blue colour, being
17 representing the police.
18 Q. Did the Vance plan put any restriction on the size of the police
19 forces in the RSK?
20 A. Not that I was aware of.
21 Q. During this period of transformation, were you issued an
22 identification card describing you as a member of the RSK police?
23 A. Yes, I have been issued a card, and also I have been asked to
24 remove my uniform, military uniform, and start wearing civilian clothing
25 during this time.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And at the time you were issued an identification card for the RSK
2 police, were you still a member of the JNA KOS unit?
3 A. Absolutely. I mean, basically nothing has changed. We just
4 changed the colour of the uniform.
5 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, at this time I would ask that the
6 witness be shown Exhibit 348, tab 2. It's a photograph, and I'd ask that
7 be placed on the overhead projector.
8 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, do you recognise the photograph that's now on the
9 overhead projector?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. And do you recognise the people that are in that photograph?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Can you please, going left to right --
14 MR. GROOME: I'd ask the usher maybe to remain with the witness
15 for a minute.
16 Q. I'd ask you, moving from left to right, can you please identify
17 them to the Chamber.
18 A. The person I'm pointing right now, it's me. Next to me, standing,
19 is General Satish Nambiar, who was UN force commander for all of the area
20 of the UN. General -- actually, there is another colonel here, a Polish
21 colonel, but his name really escapes me, I can't remember. And here in
22 the corner, unfortunately it's not very bright lit on my monitor here, you
23 can see General Novakovic. Interesting part which I'd like to draw
24 attention to, this is the time when we have actually demob'd and changed
25 the uniforms into police. There is only shoulder patch you can see here
1 written "milicija" in Cyrillic.
2 Q. I'm going to ask you to take a pen and circle the shoulder patch
3 that you've just described as containing the words "police."
4 A. [Marks]
5 Q. And you've used the word "milicija." Can you please describe the
6 translation of that word for us.
7 A. It's "police."
8 Q. The handwriting on this photograph, is that your handwriting?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. GROOME: I'd now ask that Prosecution Exhibit 348, tab 3, be
12 placed on the overhead projector.
13 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, do you recognise what is depicted in Prosecution
14 Exhibit 348, tab 3?
15 A. Yes. This is my police ID.
16 Q. And was that issued to you at a time when you were a member of the
17 Yugoslav army?
18 A. That is correct.
19 MR. GROOME: When it's convenient, that can be removed from the
20 overhead projector.
21 Q. Now, Mr. Lazarevic, I'd like -- or ask you to describe for the
22 Chamber the command structure of these military people that are now
23 appearing in police uniforms.
24 A. I'm not following you.
25 Q. Did these former military people, did they fall into the command
1 structure of the police? In other words, did they then take their orders
2 from the local station commanders or did they have some separate command
3 structure to the police?
4 A. Well, they were never really a part of the police force as such,
5 because they retained their ranks in a commanding chain within the
6 military. What they did, they simply changed the uniform overnight, but
7 the chain of command remained the same, and that was the JNA chain of
9 Q. Now, were you familiar with an incident around March of 1992 when
10 a large number of these men were brought back to Belgrade for a particular
12 A. Well, March 1992 begins the withdrawal of the JNA as such back to
13 the -- back to Bosnia, and through Bosnia back to Serbia proper really. A
14 number of officers was left behind, and they are the regular JNA officers.
15 Also, the HQ in Belgrade would go through the files of every JNA
16 officer and by the place of birth, if the place of birth was in Krajina,
17 or RSK, they would be sent back to Krajina for the stint of duty the
18 length of six months, and then they had option either to return to
19 Belgrade or to continue their service in the field.
20 Q. In addition to what you've just described, was there a specific
21 event in which volunteers were asked to volunteer to go to Belgrade to
22 work on a specific project?
23 A. Yes, but it was the police force, not the JNA.
24 Q. Please describe what the police -- first let's clarify. What
25 police force are you going to speak about?
1 A. Regular police from the RSK.
2 Q. And can you describe what happened?
3 A. There was -- actually, there was an order issued from Belgrade,
4 order/request, if you like, that each of the sectors would send
5 approximately 100 uniformed police officers to Belgrade. For that
6 purpose, Belgrade has sent brand-new uniforms which are the same as the
7 proper Serbian police would wear. Totally new uniforms. And they were to
8 be transferred on the buses to Belgrade and to deal with demonstrators on
9 the street in Belgrade.
10 Q. And the demonstration, was that a demonstration against
11 Mr. Milosevic?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. And approximately how many altogether of these Republic of Serb
14 Krajina police were outfitted with Republic of Serbia police uniforms and
15 transported to Belgrade?
16 A. I know for the fact that the area of the 21st Corps, or area of
17 Kordun, had supplied 100 men for this particular task, and to my general
18 knowledge, each of the other sectors have given the same number. So I
19 would put the number to four to five hundred in total.
20 JUDGE MAY: Can you deal with the time that this happened,
21 Mr. Groome, please.
22 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
23 Q. Can you give us your best approximation or the actual date, if you
24 know, when this occurred?
25 A. Well, I don't know if the Court is aware of how many
1 demonstrations were there on Belgrade streets in this particular period of
2 time. This one that I'm talking about has taken place in late 1992.
3 Q. Now, were you aware of how the men were selected, how these 500
4 men -- 400 to 500 men were selected to go to Belgrade? What was that
5 process like?
6 A. The bigger, the better.
7 Q. Were you present when anything was said to the men to -- in the
8 section process?
9 A. Well, it was a kind of standing joke at the time, because they
10 were selecting really huge blokes, like you know, anything over six-two,
11 to assign them to Belgrade and deal with the demonstrators, and most of
12 them actually were joking, like, they're going to go over there and beat
13 the living daylights out of the anti-communist demonstrators.
14 Q. Now, the Republic of Serb Krajina police, did they also have a
15 state security division or a DB?
16 A. Yes. They had the head of this DB in RSK, in my sector, anyway,
17 was a gentleman by the name of Milos Pajic.
18 Q. Now, when you say that he was in charge of it, was he the person
19 who was named as the head of the RSK DB?
20 A. On paper, yes.
21 Q. Based on your experience, did you come to believe that somebody
22 else was in fact in charge of the RSK DB?
23 A. Absolutely.
24 Q. And who was that person?
25 A. Mr. Toso Pajic, who was to become Minister of Interior of RSK in
2 Q. And can you describe what, if any, relationship you had with Toso
4 A. I always found Mr. Pajic to be a very pleasant, well-educated, and
5 a kind of diplomatic person. I had to deal with him on a daily basis
6 during my stay in Krajina, simply because he was also named as a liaison
7 officer to the UN but like my police counterpart.
8 Q. And during your daily contacts with Mr. Pajic, did he discuss
9 what, if any, relationship he had with the DB of the Republic of Serbia in
11 A. On numerous occasions he stated that he actually works for Jovica
12 Stanisic, who was head of the state security in Serbia proper.
13 Q. Did he describe for you how often he was in contact with Jovica
15 A. Virtually, on a daily basis. On a few occasions, I was in his
16 office. He had a direct telephone line to Mr. Stanisic.
17 Q. Did he have a nickname or other name that he used when he referred
18 to Jovica Stanisic?
19 A. Yes. He considered him to be his "Daddy," and generally referred
20 to him always as "Daddy."
21 Q. During the course of your conversations with Toso Pajic, did he
22 also use a term to refer to Mr. Slobodan Milosevic?
23 A. Yes, he did.
24 Q. And what term was that?
25 A. "Boss."
1 Q. During the course of your relationship with Mr. Pajic, did he ever
2 describe for you his relationship with the Serbian DB?
3 A. What my understanding was, that Mr. Pajic was actually full time
4 employed by the DB in Serbia, because simply when we had returned to
5 Belgrade in August 1995, he just resumed his old office in Belgrade within
6 the DB structure.
7 MR. GROOME: I'd ask now that the witness be shown Prosecution
8 Exhibit 348, tab 4, and that it be placed on the overhead projector.
9 Q. Do you recognise, Mr. Lazarevic, what is depicted in that
11 A. Yes. The place is a hotel in Topusko, and the three persons
12 sitting there are, I'll go from left to right: That would be Mr. Toso
13 Pajic, when he was chief of police of Vojnic, so that would be very early
14 1992, I'd put it down around May to June of 1992. This Danish officer
15 here, I remember he was Danish, but he was in charge of IPTF, but I don't
16 remember the name. And there's me, liaison officer of the 21st Corps.
17 Q. And is that your handwriting on the exhibit?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 MR. GROOME: Thank you. That can be removed from the ...
20 Q. Do you know a person by the name of Djuro Skaljac?
21 A. Yes, I'm very familiar with Mr. Djuro Skaljac.
22 Q. Can you please describe for the Chamber who he is.
23 A. Djuro Skaljac is another police officer who was the second in
24 charge in Vojnic. He was assistant to Mr. Toso Pajic. At a later stage,
25 Mr. Skaljac has become a liaison police officer with Mr. Abdic in
2 Q. Now, I want to ask you about one political figure from the
3 Republic of Serb Krajina, and that is Mr. Goran Hadzic. Can you tell us
4 briefly who he was.
5 A. Mr. Hadzic was elected president of the RSK. I have attended
6 quite a few meetings within RSK and also outside the RSK, the
7 international meetings.
8 Q. Did Mr. Hadzic ever describe for you the nature of his
9 relationship with Mr. Slobodan Milosevic?
10 A. Well, I think if I describe to the Court a little incident that
11 happened probably will give the best picture of what he really felt.
12 During one of the meetings in Norway that we had with the Croatian side,
13 with the participation of the UN, of course, we had a little recess, we
14 were sitting in an office separate from the other delegations, and Mr.
15 Hadzic was sitting at another table, playing solitaire. Somebody knocked
16 on the door and two ambassadors walked in; it was American ambassador at
17 the time to Croatia, Mr. Galbraith, and a Canadian ambassador whose name I
18 cannot recall, and addressed him as --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Slow down, please, for the interpreters.
20 A. I do apologise. Ambassador Galbraith addressed Mr. Hadzic as "Mr.
21 President," which I translated to him as "Mr. President." Without lifting
22 his head from the cards, he turned around and told me, "Well, tell him I'm
23 not a president, I'm just a dispatcher." And I believe at that particular
24 point in time Mr. Hadzic actually realised that he's just dispatching
25 messages from somebody else to this meeting.
1 MR. GROOME:
2 Q. I want to now ask you about institutions, federal institutions in
3 the former Yugoslavia, and I want to ask you a little bit more about your
4 organisation, KOS, in the Yugoslav People's Army. Now, you described
5 yourself, Colonel Pero Ajdinovic, and Colonel Mlado Karan as all being
6 members of KOS assigned to work in the RSK; is that correct?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. During the course of your work with KOS, did you come to be
9 familiar with a term known as "black funds"?
10 A. Yes, I have. Actually, the Serbian expression for it is "crni
12 Q. Can you describe what this term "black funds" refers to?
13 A. It simply meant that you had a large amount of money at your
14 disposal for which you did not have to sign or explain how it has been
16 Q. Did you come to learn where much of this funding came from?
17 A. Very early in the 1960s and 1970s, those funds were provided by
18 the company by the name of Genex, General Export/Import, which everybody
19 knew that it was actually a DB front outside of Yugoslavia.
20 Q. And you're describing now this company as having this association
21 with the DB. Did, despite that fact, did this company also provide funds
22 which were used by members of KOS in the Yugoslav People's Army?
23 A. At certain locations, yes, specifically if it required a larger
24 amount of money.
25 Q. Can you describe for the Chamber the basis of your knowledge
1 regarding black funds and other -- these financial matters related to KOS.
2 A. Well, I'll take myself personally. I have never signed for any
3 receipt of the money from 1968 until 1995, and yet I have been financed on
4 a regular basis.
5 Q. The beginning of your testimony, you described a number of
6 overseas assignments that you had. Did you have access to what you're
7 terming black funds during those periods of time as well?
8 A. Yes. I would supply a request for a certain amount of money and
9 then I would pick up, without any questioning, the amount that I have
10 requested, without signing for it.
11 Q. Without going into any great detail, could you list for the
12 Chamber some types of specific expenses which would be -- which black
13 funds would be used for?
14 A. Well, usually to deal with the people from other countries.
15 Whether it's bribery, whether it's buying off documents, whether it's
16 buying off weapons; depending really on the situation.
17 Q. Can you describe -- did you also have access to more legitimate
18 sources of funding in the course of your work with KOS?
19 A. Oh, yes. Once I have arrived in the Kordun area, I have been
20 placed on a payroll of the RSK.
21 Q. And for monies that you received for legitimate activities, can
22 you describe the process for requesting and receiving those monies?
23 A. Yes. There would be an "X" amount of money with a receipt, which
24 was a formal receipt, which I would have to sign that I have received the
1 Q. If you made a request for some black funds to, let's say
2 hypothetically, buy some information, was it expected that you would then
3 produce that information shortly afterward?
4 A. Absolutely.
5 Q. Did you ever have occasion to discuss with Mr. Zimonja a request
6 that you had for a large amount of black funds?
7 A. Yes. One of the incidents that comes to mind was an offer to buy
8 a very extensive number of weapons and listening devices from Ukranian
10 Q. And what did he tell you regarding his ability to provide you with
11 those funds?
12 A. He said the amount within itself would not pose a problem for
13 them; however, that the army is not interested and that I should refer it
14 to the DB.
15 Q. And did the DB become involved in this proposed purchase of
16 weapons from the Ukranian battalion?
17 A. After being given permission by Colonel Zimonja to go and visit
18 Mr. Toso Pajic and to pass the offer to him, the phone call was made to
19 Mr. Stanisic in Belgrade, to which reply was that hold onto it for a
20 couple of days and he'll get back to Toso Pajic, and that was the last I
21 heard of it. Whether they bought it or not, I really don't know.
22 Q. My last question to you regarding black funds is: When you were
23 overseas, can you describe for us briefly how black funds would be sent to
25 A. It was rather a simple system and very workable. Within every
1 embassy, no matter where it is - the Yugoslav Embassy, that is - there was
2 always a little Yugoslav club adjacent to the embassy which would have a
3 security officer in there. You would go in there, introduce yourself,
4 show the passport and then ask are there any messages for you. I
5 remember, for example, the London one. There was a number of pigeon holes
6 with the letters of the alphabet and, "L" for Lazarevic, if they had
7 anything in there, they would give it to me.
8 On the other hand, if I had to forward any information or a
9 report, I would go there, place an envelope, seal it, and place it in this
10 "L" hole, and somebody would obviously, you know, send it where it was
11 supposed to go.
12 My request for funds would go absolutely the same way. I would
13 write down the request, explain why I need this amount of money, place in
14 envelope, put in the pigeon hole and maybe two days later come back and
15 collect the money.
16 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, I'd like to move from this topic and now ask you to
17 describe for us the relationship between the Yugoslav People's Army, the
18 ARSK - the army of the Republic of Serb Krajina - and whatever you are
19 able to describe for the Chamber regarding the VRS, the army of Republika
21 A. Personally, my experience has shown that we are not talking about
22 three different armies, we are talking about one and only army, and that's
23 the JNA. Whether the name was VRS - Vojska Republika Srpska - or RSK army
24 - Vojska Republika Srpska Krajina - was totally irrelevant in real terms,
25 because all the supplies and the finances would come from Yugoslavia,
1 Serbia, if you like.
2 Q. During your time at the 21st Corps, did you come to know how -- or
3 come to see supply convoys coming from the Yugoslav Armija in Serbia to
4 the area of the Krajina?
5 A. Yes, indeed. As frequent as at least once a month.
6 Q. And what was the name of the route that was taken?
7 A. Well, they would start from Belgrade, for example, and go through
8 Posavina corridor, which is also known as "Zila Kucavica" in Serbian
9 language, because that was the only corridor that connected the RSK with
10 Serbia proper. Commonly go through there and arrive to our territory, and
11 as it went through, to each of the command it would arrive to -- for
12 example, if the convoy arrives to the area of 39 Corps, it would release a
13 number of trucks by request of the 39th Corps, the rest of the convoy
14 would continue, come the 21st Corps, we would take a number of trucks
15 which were assigned to us, the rest of the convoy would continue to Lika
16 Corps. And along the way prior to coming to us, I assume they would also
17 release some of the trucks along Bosnian route.
18 Q. When you say the Bosnian route, can you be more specific about --
19 A. Meaning the supplies to the army of Republika Srpska.
20 Q. And how do you know that?
21 A. Well, the manifest which would -- well, I have to clarify
22 something to the Court here. Along all these major arteries, there was
23 always a number of checkpoints manned by the police and the military. One
24 of those checkpoints was in the vicinity of my post, which was very close
25 to the UN. The reason why I frequented that particular point was because
1 I didn't want too much of a harassment to the UN, so I tried to prevent
2 that. At one particular instance I was there when a convoy actually
3 arrived, they had a manifesto with them which showed that the convoy
4 started with 30 trucks but at the time when they arrived to this
5 particular checkpoint, they had probably around 15 trucks within the
6 convoy, which is natural to assume that the 15 had been left behind at
7 different stages of the route.
8 Q. Now, in your answer to a question a few minutes ago, you used the
9 word "Zila Kucavica." Can you please translate that for the Chamber.
10 A. Well, it's "jugular vein," really. If you cut that one off, the
11 life is gone. Given kind of a poetic description of this corridor, which
12 if you cut it off, the life would simply die in RSK.
13 Q. Based upon your observations of these convoys during your time
14 with the 21st Corps, are you able to estimate for the Chamber what
15 percentage of weapons used by the 21st Corps were supplied from the
16 Yugoslav army at that time?
17 A. To be very conservative, I would place that 80 per cent of the
18 weaponry was supplied from Yugoslavia.
19 Q. During your time in the 21st Corps, were you ever aware of joint
20 operations between the ARSK and the VRS, the army of the Republic of
22 A. Yes, on a number of occasions.
23 Q. You can you describe some of those for the Chamber now.
24 A. Usually during the attacks on the Bihac pocket against the 5th
25 Corps of the Bosnian army. The area of Bihac pocket was surrounded by the
1 five corps. Three of those corps were from RSK and two corps from Bosnia,
2 meaning Republika Srpska; 1st Krajina Corps and the 2nd Krajina Corps from
3 the VRS, 39th Corps, 21st Corps, and the 15th Corps from RSK army.
4 Q. Based upon your knowledge of standard operating procedure and your
5 actual experience in the 21st Corps, can you describe for the Chamber at
6 what level that type of coordination would have to be decided at.
7 A. It had to be decided at the level of the General HQ in Belgrade.
8 That was not a simple action. It required a lot of coordination and
10 Q. Were you present in 1995 at a parade in Slunj in which VRS
11 military equipment was displayed in a parade of which one of the
12 participants was the 21st Corps?
13 A. Yes. I attended that particular ceremony.
14 Q. I will ask you about that ceremony in greater detail later in your
15 testimony. Could I ask you to describe what significant pieces of
16 military equipment were present that you recognised as being from the VRS.
17 A. A large number of the rocket systems that came, including the
18 multi-rocket launchers, Luna rockets, were actually convoyed from Bosnia
19 or Republika Srpska into RSK for this specific purpose. They were brought
20 in in the morning and they left Krajina the same day, in the afternoon,
21 after the parade.
22 Q. I want to go back and ask you one more question regarding the
23 convoys. During your experience with these convoys, did it ever come to
24 your knowledge whether the manifests that you've described for us falsely
25 described the contents, the actual contents of the trucks?
1 A. Well, on a number of occasions when, for example, it would declare
2 as being humanitarian convoy. It would contain purely military elements
3 in it, like ammunition or additional automatic weapons and stuff like
5 Q. During your time serving with the 21st Corps, were there other
6 members of the Yugoslav army assigned to work there on a temporary basis?
7 A. Within the RSK?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. Well, apart from the JNA officers, not any particular units.
10 Q. Can you describe the approximate number of JNA officers that were
11 assigned to work in the ARSK on a temporary basis?
12 A. I would put it down to a full hundred per cent.
13 Q. So is it your testimony that all of the officers in the army of
14 the Republic of Srpska Krajina were actually active members of the
15 Yugoslav army?
16 A. Absolutely.
17 Q. And how long would be the average stay of one of these officers
18 before returning to the Yugoslav army?
19 A. The minimum was a six-months tour.
20 Q. During the course of your time at the 21st Corps, did you come to
21 know some of these officers?
22 A. Oh, yes, on a daily basis.
23 Q. And would it be fair to state that their places of residence were
24 from throughout Yugoslavia, not simply the Krajina?
25 A. Oh, yes. Mostly would be actually stationed in Belgrade
1 originally, but there were people from Krusevac, from Nis, Dragojevac; all
2 the places down further south in Serbia.
3 Q. Did these officers receive any enticements or extra benefits by
4 virtue of their service in the ARSK?
5 A. Apparently, yes.
6 Q. Well, can you tell us how you know? If you know what enticements
7 they received, how do you know it?
8 A. Well, let's start with being highly paid compared to the officers
9 of the RSK army, which were promoted by Knin, not to mention that all of
10 these people, officers, decided to stay longer than six months would be
11 virtually guaranteed to receive the key to an apartment upon their return
12 to Belgrade, or to wherever they came from.
13 MR. GROOME: I'm going to now ask that the witness be shown
14 Prosecution Exhibit 348, tab 5. I'd ask that the Serbian original be
15 placed on the overhead projector and be placed in such a way that Mr.
16 Lazarevic can see the signature on the second page.
17 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, I'd ask you to take a look at that document and ask
18 you: Do you recognise the signature of the person who signed that
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. And who do you recognise that signature to be?
22 A. Major General Mile Novakovic.
23 Q. And are you familiar with his signature?
24 A. I have seen it frequently enough.
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tapuskovic, yes.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to caution about one
2 thing. This document originates from 1994, and the Prosecutor has, all
3 the time until now, been talking about 1995, as well as about events from
4 1992, and later he did not continue to deal with documents related to the
5 Croatian indictment after 1991. We have been examining documents related
6 to events after 1992, including this one, which is from 1994.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
8 Go on.
9 MR. GROOME:
10 Q. Have you read this document?
11 A. Yes, I have.
12 Q. Can you please describe for the Chamber what this document is, and
13 describe its import to us.
14 A. This has to do with new recruits for the army from the RSK. A
15 number of young people, by the time they reach 19, because in Yugoslavia
16 we always had a compulsory national service, they would come of age when
17 they're supposed to do their national service. Now, this particular
18 document will give the number and the area from which these people are
19 supposed to come from and go to. The suggestion by the General HQ of
20 Belgrade was to keep them in the area simply for two reasons: One, we
21 need the manpower in uniform, with weapons. We can train them on the
22 ground in real combat situation and instead of having 18 months of
23 national service, we would cut it down to nine months, because it will
24 take like double time in value.
25 Q. And am I correct in stating that that document memorialises the
1 fact that a person would receive credit for their service in the ARSK
2 throughout Yugoslavia?
3 A. No, not from this document, no. But this is a general consensus.
4 It was always like that in wartime. Any time that you spend in war is
5 counted as double time towards your pension, or in this instance, towards
6 your national service.
7 Q. Thank you. I want to now ask you about the state security service
8 in the Republic of Serbia. You've already mentioned Mr. Stanisic. I want
9 to ask you: Were you aware -- become aware that Mr. Stanisic was present
10 in the RSK at any time you were there?
11 A. Yes. I think I had the opportunity to meet the gentleman on two
12 or three rather informal occasions in Knin.
13 Q. And were you aware that he was present in relation to a dispute
14 between Mr. Babic and Mr. Martic?
15 A. Yes, indeed, and I believe that particular meeting with
16 Mr. Stanisic came from Belgrade carrying specific message from
17 Mr. Slobodan Milosevic to Mr. Babic.
18 Q. And how do you know that?
19 A. From a general discussion with the people attending this
20 particular meeting.
21 Q. Now, in addition to the times that you met Mr. Stanisic informally
22 in the Krajina and this meeting that you've just described for us, did you
23 also become aware of other times that Mr. Stanisic was present in the
24 Krajina from your conversations with other officers?
25 A. Toso Pajic would be the one, for example, to tell me that "Daddy
1 was here yesterday" or "Daddy is planning to come next week" or something
2 like that. But since I was not a part of the police force, I never
3 attended those meetings, but I'm pretty certain that Mr. Stanisic did come
4 reasonably frequently to Krajina.
5 Q. As best you're able, can you approximate for the Chamber the first
6 time you became aware Mr. Stanisic was present in the Krajina? And tell
7 us the period of time -- or in other words, the last time that you were
8 aware he was present in the Krajina.
9 A. That would be very difficult for me to say. I know at the
10 beginning those visits were more frequent, I think probably due to
11 organisational problems than anything else. At a later stage,
12 Mr. Stanisic had his deputies, or his right hands, or whatever you want to
13 call them, who were actually present on a daily basis within the RSK.
14 Q. Now, when you say "the beginning," can you give us what time
15 period you're talking about?
16 A. I would place that early 1990 through 1991.
17 Q. Did there ever come a time when Mr. Toso Pajic showed you a
18 document from Mr. Stanisic regarding cooperation with Fikret Abdic?
19 A. Yes. It was a time when, for unknown reason to me, Fikret Abdic
20 and Belgrade have reconciled. And the letter which arrived from Belgrade,
21 not only through Stanisic, through Toso Pajic also, through the military
22 channels, was to establish a good neighbourly cooperation with Abdic's
23 forces, which were actually boarding with the 21st Corps area.
24 Q. Were you personally opposed to this cooperation?
25 A. Yes, I have. Not only me, but a number of officers were opposed
1 to it.
2 Q. Now, just to be clear: Fikret Abdic is a Bosnian, a Bosnian
3 Muslim, who at some point entered into an alliance with members of the
4 Serb Krajina; is that correct?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. Mr. Frenki Stamatovic, do you know that person?
7 A. Yes, I have met the gentleman also on a number of occasions.
8 Q. Can you please describe for the Chamber who he is.
9 A. Mr. Stamatovic was also, for some unknown reason to me -- it's
10 also spelled sometimes Simatovic and Stamatovic. I know him as
11 Stamatovic, some people know him as Simatovic, but it's one and the same
12 person, in any case. He was actually in possession of our former HQ in
13 Petrova Gora. That's when he formed his own HQ with the special forces of
14 the police from Serbia.
15 Q. Can you describe what knowledge you have about these special
17 A. Special forces were deployed in our area prior to establishment of
18 a new HQ on the Bosnian side, in the vicinity of Velika Kladusa,
19 code-named Pauk, meaning "spider."
20 Q. These special forces, did they wear a particular emblem to
21 identify themselves?
22 A. Yes, a very distinguished-looking emblem, different to the regular
23 RSK. It's an upside down sword with a Serbian flag beneath.
24 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the next exhibit I'd ask that the
25 witness be shown is a photograph of an insignia. I would ask that a new
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 number be assigned and that we designate it tab 1, as I expect that there
2 will be additional insignias introduced during the course of the trial.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked Prosecutor's
4 Exhibit 349.
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, I'd ask you to take at look at what is now on the
7 overhead and has been marked as Prosecution Exhibit 349, tab 1. Do you
8 recognise what is depicted in that photograph?
9 A. Yes. It's a shoulder patch on uniform of the special forces of
10 the police from Serbia deployed in RSK.
11 Q. And would members of this special forces unit attached to Frenki
12 Stamatovic uniformly wear this identifying patch?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. GROOME: I'm finished with that exhibit. Thank you.
15 Q. Are you familiar with a person by the name of Colonel Bozovic?
16 A. Yes. I have had the displeasure of meeting this gentleman only
17 once, but I have seen him frequently.
18 Q. Can you describe for us who he was and what unit he belonged to?
19 A. He belonged to unit from MUP Serbia, Ministry of Interior Affairs
20 of Serbia. His rank was colonel. A very short-tempered, very interesting
21 person. I have met him on a number of occasions within the HQ of the 21st
22 Corps in discussion with Colonel Bulat. Once when I had a meeting with
23 him personally, it did not end very happy.
24 Q. Can you approximate for us the period of time when you would see
25 him regularly in the 21st Corps?
1 A. From 1993 to 1995.
2 Q. And the times that you would see him, would he be wearing the
3 patch that you've just pointed to as Prosecution 349, tab 1?
4 A. Yes, and would also carry a rank of colonel on his shirt pocket.
5 Q. I want to now ask you about what, if any, knowledge you have
6 regarding Mr. Arkan. Do you know who Arkan is?
7 A. Mr. Zeljko Raznjatovic. Yes, I'm familiar with the person.
8 Q. And can you describe whether or not you actually met him, and
9 describe for us the circumstances of that meeting.
10 A. Well, it was early 1992, in Hotel Topusko. JNA officers had a
11 meeting how to alleviate the problems of the war, which, by signing all
12 these differences per agreement, came to resemble the normalcy, how to
13 improve the living standard in the area. During this particular meeting
14 in Hotel Topusko, Mr. Raznjatovic walked in with three or four of his
15 bodyguards and created a very unhealthy atmosphere by attacking these
16 officers, saying, "You should be going out and fighting instead of
17 planting trees." And you can tell, by looking at the faces of the people,
18 they were actually afraid of him.
19 Q. Were you aware of any connections that Arkan may have had with the
20 state security service of the Republic of Serbian MUP?
21 A. Yes. Well, Raznjatovic had a number of arrest warrants throughout
22 Europe that I was familiar with, and yet he was never arrested in
23 Yugoslavia, on request by the Interpol. So he was well protected in
25 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, that might be a good place to break, if
1 the Chamber is considering a break at 11.00.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll adjourn there.
3 Mr. Lazarevic, in this adjournment and any others there may be
4 during your evidence, please don't speak to anybody about your evidence
5 until it's over. That does include the members of the Prosecution.
6 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Would you be back, please, at half past.
8 THE WITNESS: I will do so.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.59 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.31 a.m.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome.
12 MR. GROOME:
13 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, we ended this morning's session with you describing
14 what you knew about Arkan. Are you able to describe for us what, if any,
15 relationship Arkan's group, Arkan's Tigers, had with the army of the
16 Republic of Serb Krajina?
17 A. Well, Arkan's forces were deployed in the Pauk HQ and were then
18 put with the MUP of Serbia and the members of the 21st Corps.
19 Q. I'm going to ask you a number of detailed questions about this
20 Pauk unit later in your testimony, but could you, in a sentence or two,
21 describe for the Chamber: What was Pauk?
22 A. Pauk was an HQ established on the Bosnian side which the 21st
23 Corps totally disclaimed as being part of us, which would allow for the
24 members of the 21st Corps actually to go and fight against Bosnian 5th
25 Corps on the Bosnian territory.
1 Q. Now, this Pauk unit, can you tell us what units were combined to
2 make this Pauk headquarters?
3 A. Yes. The members of the 21st Corps, officers and fighters; the
4 members of Abdic's own forces; the members of Arkan's Tigers; and the
5 members of the special police from Serbia.
6 Q. Now, during your observations or your knowledge of what occurred
7 in Pauk, did you see Arkan's Tigers and members of the 21st Corps
9 A. Oh, yes, indeed.
10 Q. I want to draw your attention to an incident in a bar. Were you
11 present in a bar when an incident arose with some of Arkan's Tigers?
12 A. Well, we're talking about a UN bar which was specifically for the
13 UN members. The duty officer of the UN HQ came to my hut, it was late at
14 night, like 1.00 or 2.00 in the morning, and told me that they have a
15 problem with some Serbian soldiers. Me thinking probably, you know, when
16 he says Serbian, meaning the RSK, I put a uniform on and brought in a
17 jeep, went into the bar to find four members of Arkan's forces in there
18 having drinks and taking cartons of cigarettes and refusing to pay for it.
19 Q. How did you know that they were members of Arkan's group?
20 A. By their uniform.
21 Q. And what did you do after arriving at this UN bar?
22 A. Well, the only possible thing I could do - because I couldn't deal
23 with them - so I went back to the nearest phone and called my own HQ and
24 asked for Colonel Bulat to be brought to the phone.
25 Q. Prior to calling Colonel Bulat, did you attempt to resolve the
1 situation by speaking to these members of Arkan's Tigers directly?
2 A. They're the kind of people you don't talk to.
3 Q. And were you able to contact Colonel Bulat?
4 A. Yes. Within about ten minutes they woke him up, he spoke to me
5 briefly. I told him what problem I had, or rather, what the UN had, and
6 he said to remain in vicinity and somebody will come there and fix it.
7 Q. I just remind you, if you could slow down the pace, as an aid to
8 the interpreters.
9 A. I do apologise again.
10 Q. After speaking to Colonel Bulat regarding this problem, what, if
11 anything, happened?
12 A. Well, about 30 minutes after I have concluded my conversation with
13 Colonel Bulat, a jeep arrived, and in the jeep was a Colonel Pejovic, who
14 was Arkan's colonel, with probably three or four members of his, I assume,
15 MPs. I briefly explained what happened, he walked into the bar. I was
16 following behind. He walked up to these four soldiers that were creating
17 this disturbance. They stood at attention, he slapped each one of them so
18 hard he actually brought them down to their knees. And the other MP just
19 picked him up and took him out of the bar. I have never seen him again.
20 Q. Based upon your observations regarding this incident, did you
21 conclude that Colonel Bulat had been in contact with Colonel Pejovic?
22 A. Yes. Actually, I came to understand he was in contact with Pauk
24 Q. Now --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Sorry. Do you mean to ask whether he was in
1 contact before he came to the bar?
2 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour. Perhaps I'll try to clear it up
3 with this question.
4 Q. The question I was asking you, Mr. Lazarevic, was: Do you know
5 how Colonel Bulat was able to have Colonel Pejovic and some other members
6 of Arkan's men come to the bar to deal with the situation?
7 A. There was a direct telephone line in Colonel Bulat's office with
9 Q. And Pauk was the joint command that you described for us that
10 included Arkan's men?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. Now, did there come a time that you were present with the RSK
13 Minister of Defence, Mr. Dusan Rakic, when you came to have a meeting, or
14 Rakic had a meeting with Arkan?
15 A. Yes. I was a personal escort to Minister of Defence at the time,
16 Admiral Rakic.
17 Q. And can you describe where this meeting was.
18 A. It took place in Erdut.
19 Q. And who else was present at this meeting?
20 A. I still believe that it was a chance meeting, because we were
21 driving through -- we had a meeting in the sector east with the sector
22 commander there, but as we were driving through Dalj, passing the petrol
23 station, and there was a diner within the petrol station, I believe
24 belonged to Mr. Raznjatovic, minister asked to stop the car because he saw
25 Arkan there and the gentleman by the nickname of Badza.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: What did your job as personal escort entail?
2 THE WITNESS: Well, I was to translate for the Minister of Defence
3 in his meeting with UN sector commander of sector east.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. Now, this meeting, you've mentioned a person by the name of Badza,
7 Arkan, and Minister Rakic. Was there anybody else present?
8 A. A number of Arkan's men were in the restaurant, obviously.
9 Q. This person you've referred to as Badza, do you know his real
11 A. I believe it's -- he was a high-ranking police official from
12 Serbia, and his name was Stojkovic or Stojilkovic or something like that.
13 Q. Now, before I continue with your testimony, I'm going to ask that
14 you return to the exhibit that is on the overhead, Prosecution Exhibit
15 348, tab 1. And if I could -- while we view on our monitors, I'm going to
16 ask you to take the pointer. I'm going to ask you to describe now the
17 relationships between the different people that you've testified about.
18 And before I do that, I want to ask you about this exhibit. Is
19 this exhibit based upon a sketch that you drew describing the
20 relationships between the people named in this diagram?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. I'd ask you to begin with the green box on the right marked
23 "JNA/VJ." Could you please describe for us the different relationships
24 between the people.
25 A. The green box has a heading of JNA or VJ because the Yugoslav army
1 changed its name to Vojska Jugoslavije later on. At the General HQ Main
2 Staff, you have General Momcilo Perisic. And then you have your KOS
3 command, you have two strains; one to the left is internal security, or
4 the sector north RSK, Colonel Petar Surla and Colonel Mlado Karan. On the
5 right-hand side, you have external security of the KOS, Colonel Nikola
6 Zimonja. Following down, you go to General HQ in Knin, with General
7 Celeketic and General Mile Mrksic connecting straight to the 21st Corps at
8 which head is the commanding officer Colonel Cedo Bulat, and then you have
9 me, C-001 here, being a liaison officer to Colonel Bulat.
10 Q. Now, you say connecting to Colonel Bulat. What does the line
11 connecting to Colonel Bulat indicate?
12 A. There's a line that goes on both ends. If you follow to the left,
13 you go straight to General HQ, and to the right goes to the internal
14 security. And from internal security to actual General HQ.
15 Q. Now, just so the record is clear, C-001, was that the code-name
16 that you believed you would be testifying under here today?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So any reference to C-001 is really a reference to yourself; is
19 that correct?
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. Now, underneath your C-001, there are three names that are
22 bracketed and that there's a line connecting them. Can you please
23 describe what that line represents.
24 A. That's the infamous anti-terrorist unit at which head was Colonel
25 Pero Ajdinovic. Below that, you have the name of Sinisa Martic, with the
1 nickname Paraga, and one of the fighters, Jovo Vojinovic, who became my
2 personal friend during this time. And you can see the line going straight
3 up to the internal security of KOS.
4 Q. And what does the fact that the box for the 21st Corps, that fits
5 wholly within the box for the JNA/VJ. What does that indicate?
6 A. It indicates it's one and the same.
7 Q. I'd ask you now move to the blue box to your left, marked "SDB
8 Serbia." Can you please describe the relationships depicted in that part
9 of the diagram.
10 A. At the head of the SDB Serbia at the time was Mr. Stanisic,
11 Jovica. His direct assistants were Frenki, also known as Simatovic or
12 Stamatovic, followed by Colonel Ulemek, or Legija, and Colonel Bozovic.
13 And then within the circle you also see Mr. Toso Pajic was the chief of
14 police and liaison officer of the RSK, and his direct line goes to the SDB
15 Serbia Mr. Stanisic, and RSK MUP, Minister of Internal Affairs, also Milos
16 Pajic, head of state security. And all connected directly to Jovica
18 Q. Now, the centre of the diagram is a yellow box with the word "Pauk
19 HQ Bosnia." Can you please describe what the lines connecting that box to
20 other parts of the diagram indicate.
21 A. Well, the yellow box you could also see is directly connected to
22 the 21st Corps, also to the Arkan's forces, which represented by Colonel
23 Pejovic and Captain Sarac, and again directly to Colonel Bozovic, Colonel
24 Ulemek, Stamatovic Frenki and Jovica Stanisic along the line there. At
25 the head of the HQ in Pauk is Major General Mile Novakovic, Fikret Abdic's
1 forces, 21st Corps under Novakovic. So actually, when you look at it,
2 it's all well connected.
3 Q. Thank you. I'm finished with that particular exhibit.
4 Now, Mr. Lazarevic, during the time that you spent in the 21st
5 Corps, did you become aware of a policy regarding the Croat population in
6 the area of responsibility in the Kordun area?
7 A. As a matter of fact, when I came to the area of the 21st Corps,
8 which, as I said before, was the December 1991, most of the Croats were no
9 longer in the area. There were some isolated pockets and small villages
10 that still had some inhabitants, mostly elderly and sick. Talking to the
11 other members of the corps and from my first-hand knowledge of the things
12 there, the policy was to get as many Croats as possible out of the
14 Q. Was there a difference of opinion between certain elements, Serb
15 elements there, regarding how this should best be accomplished?
16 A. In my meetings with Colonel Ajdinovic and Colonel Zimonja, for
17 example, when we discussed this as being a problem, there were two
18 different approaches to the problem. One was a more violent one, which
19 was suggested by Colonel Ajdinovic, and that was just, you know, eliminate
20 them, kill them all and be done with it. Colonel Zimonja was for a more
21 diplomatic approach: Have them leave the area under protection of JNA.
22 Q. And both of these men, with this difference of opinion, were both
23 members of Yugoslav army KOS division?
24 A. Yes, sir. Two different strains, though.
25 Q. When Ajdinovic advocated this killing of Croats, was he referring
1 to Croat soldiers or was he referring to the Croat civilian population?
2 A. Saying "Croats" meant to me anything that is Croat, whether
3 civilian or military. What you have to take into consideration, there
4 were no military elements within the RSK or the Croatian army, there were
5 only civilians remaining behind, so if he said Croats, he meant the
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, let him explain his reference to two
8 different strains, the two colonels --
9 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- of the JNA but of different strains.
11 MR. GROOME:
12 Q. Can you remind us about the two different elements of KOS and
13 describe that again for us.
14 A. Colonel Ajdinovic representing the internal security, dealing with
15 internal security matters of the country; and Colonel Zimonja dealing with
16 external elements, meaning emigres, people like that, outside of the
18 Q. Can you give us an example of a typical task that would be
19 assigned to the external branch and a typical task that would be assigned
20 to the internal branch, to help us understand the distinction between the
22 A. Well, the external part, which is also known as the intelligence
23 part of the KOS, was dealing with the potential threat against Yugoslavia
24 outside of Yugoslavia; whether it's in Canada, Australia, Great Britain,
25 or whatever, in the world. Ajdinovic's side, or internal security, as the
1 name implies itself, any danger to Yugoslavia within the border of
3 Q. You've described at the beginning of your testimony certain work
4 that you performed in Great Britain and in Australia. Would members of
5 Ajdinovic's branch be assigned to those types of tasks?
6 A. Certainly not.
7 Q. Now, during these discussions regarding what to do about the Croat
8 population, were there ever any representatives of the Serbian DB present,
9 such as Toso Pajic or others who you've described earlier in your
11 A. Well, it was considered to be a general problem for the sector
12 that we were in, so you had police members present there, also the members
13 of the DB, namely, Mr. Toso Pajic and Djuro Skaljac would be attending
14 those meetings.
15 Q. Can you characterise for us their approach to this problem of the
16 remaining Croat population?
17 A. Well, both of them were people from the area, so they were deadly
18 against using of force because, I don't know, maybe they anticipated in
19 the future they would live with them again as neighbours or whatever the
20 case might be, so they didn't want anything really, really bad to happen
21 to these people.
22 Q. Now, did part of this policy also include the suggestion that some
23 Croats be permitted to remain in the area?
24 A. Generally, there were three reasons why those people were still in
25 the area. First, and the most important as far as the 21st Corps was
1 concerned, was the public relation part of it, meaning if any of the
2 foreign organisations like ECMM or International Red Cross wanted proof
3 that the Croats were still living in the area, they not had all been
4 exiled, not all been killed, I would take him, with the other members of
5 the delegation, to those villages and show them the living people there.
6 That would be one reason.
7 The second reason, that was to deal with the internal security.
8 If things were too calm, internal security had, of course, had a reason
9 where and how to create the problem which would escalate into breakage of
10 ceasefire agreement, for example.
11 And the third one, last but not least, it was always a source of
12 the civilians for exchange with the Croatian side for the Serbian
14 Q. I'll ask you to tell us a bit more about the second reason. And
15 you've testified that the presence of these people were essential in order
16 to escalate into a breakage of a ceasefire agreement. Can you please
17 describe in greater detail what you mean.
18 A. Well, I have personally attended 27 meetings with the Croatian
19 military side in Turanj crossing area, which is a point between Karlovac
20 and Vojnic, where we have signed a ceasefire agreement which most of them
21 would be broken before the ink got dry on the document. If I were to put
22 the ratio of those things, probably 4:1 Serbs versus Croats. So for every
23 four broken, one would be a Croatian broken one. Having people along the
24 Kupa River -- I know whether the Court is aware, the Kupa River is a
25 natural border between the RSK and Croatia. It's a heavily mined area,
1 virtually impossible to penetrate. So those villagers living there, as I
2 said they would be used -- in one particular instance, an elderly couple
3 was murdered, really, on the pretext that they were giving signals to the
4 Croatian forces across the river by a small candlelight in the window.
5 Q. Were you called upon to go to the scene where this elderly couple
6 had been killed?
7 A. Yes, because the complaint came through ECMM and I had to lead a
8 number of ECMM members to the area and that was the first time I went
9 there myself. We observed the position of the window, the vicinity of the
10 possible observant from the other side, from the Croatian military side,
11 and it was really impossible for anybody to see a candlelight in the
12 window at a distance of two kilometres
13 Q. Did there come a time when you came to learn who was responsible
14 for the murder of this elderly couple?
15 A. Yes. A gentleman by the name -- and I use "gentleman" very freely
16 in this context, Jovica Vojinovic.
17 Q. And what unit did he belong to?
18 A. To the unit led by the Colonel Ajdinovic, known as anti-terrorist
20 Q. And how did you come to learn that this man was responsible for
21 the murder of this elderly couple?
22 A. We became kind of friends after a while. Mr. Vojinovic had a wife
23 who was a Croatian national living in Karlovac and he always pleaded with
24 me to try to get her exchanged so she can come and live with him in RSK,
25 which eventually I succeeded in doing. So he always felt that he owes me
1 a lot and he always presented him -- presented me to his friends as being
2 somebody very important in that respect, that I can help them with their
3 families. So they kind of liked me, they get close to me, and this is
4 when I would hear all these different stories or things being admitted
5 personally by some of the members of the anti-terrorist unit.
6 Q. And in case it's not clear from the record, what was the ethnicity
7 of this elderly couple?
8 A. They were Croatians.
9 Q. And did he tell you what his -- did he tell you whether he was
10 involved in the murder of this couple?
11 A. Well, he claimed that he personally threw them into the well.
12 Q. Now, prior to asking you about a number of events, I'm going to
13 ask that a map be placed on the overhead projector. It is page 20 of the
14 map book that the Chamber has. This particular copy I would tender into
15 evidence, under the regime that was established by the Chamber last week,
16 as 336.SL, the initials of the witness. This copy does have some markings
17 that he has made on it that I believe will be of assistance to the Chamber
18 as he testifies about certain events.
19 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry. I'm not sure I'm with the suggestion of
20 how we deal with this. It's in the map book, which we have.
21 MR. GROOME: This is a photocopy of page 20 from the map book.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. What are you proposing? How are you proposing
23 we exhibit it?
24 MR. GROOME: That it be given the number 336, which is the map
25 book, ".SL" to indicate it's a copy of the map book that this witness has
1 marked on.
2 JUDGE MAY: I don't know if that's the most convenient way of
3 dealing with it. It may be more simpler to give these various additions
4 to 336 numbers. I don't know if we've given -- I don't remember us
5 dealing with this before.
6 MR. GROOME: We didn't deal with it regarding maps, but we did
7 deal with this issue regarding I believe it was a photograph, and I had
8 suggested to the Chamber that I would be asking different witnesses to
9 mark up copies of the same photograph, and this was the regime that was
11 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll do that.
12 MR. GROOME:
13 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, I'd ask you to take a look at a copy of page 20 of
14 336, and I would ask you to first point out the original headquarters of
15 the 21st Corps, Topusko.
16 A. Well, that tiny little dot there is Topusko.
17 Q. And where was the location of the office of the liaison officer of
18 the 21st Corps?
19 A. On the top of the hill just above the hotel in Topusko.
20 Q. I'd ask you to indicate for us where Vojnic is, the third and last
21 headquarters for the 21st Corps.
22 A. Just here.
23 Q. And you have marked that in your handwriting on that photocopy of
24 the document?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. Can you please show us where the Serbian MUP headquarters was
3 A. Located in Petrova Gora, which is here, and also they had their --
4 part of their HQ inside Bosnia, where the Pauk was, which is about here.
5 It was like a split command between these two points.
6 Q. And I will ask you later in your testimony about a parade held on
7 St. Vidovdan Day, June 28th of 1995. Can you indicate on the map where
8 that parade or celebration was held?
9 A. In the town of Slunj, just here.
10 Q. And have you marked that in your own handwriting on this copy of
11 the map?
12 A. Yes, I did, sir.
13 Q. Now, you've told us about the Kupa River. Is that river visible
14 on this map?
15 A. Unfortunately, it did not come through, but the line should go
16 approximately like this.
17 Q. And is that the line --
18 A. This particular line, as I stated before, it was a kind of natural
19 frontier between Croatia and the RSK, and our side of the Kupa River was
20 heavily mined. And then you had a few of these little villages.
21 Unfortunately, on this map they're not marked. But they're between
22 Popovic Brdo, which is here, all the way down to Gornji Sjenicak, Sjenicak
23 Lasinjski, and there's a number of small villages in between.
24 Q. Of the locations that you have marked on Prosecution Exhibit
25 336.SL, which of these are in Croatia?
1 A. Can you repeat the question, please?
2 Q. Of the locations that you have marked, can you tell us which ones
3 are actually in Croatia?
4 A. All except Pauk.
5 Q. And where is Pauk located?
6 A. Right here.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. GROOME: I'm finished with that exhibit.
9 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, the first event that I want to draw your attention
10 to is in 1990, and it is regarding a log barricade. Did you ever have
11 occasion to be present at a log barricade?
12 A. Yes, I have. Out of curiosity more than anything else.
13 Q. Can you describe for us approximately where this barricade was
15 A. It was in one of the roads leading to Knin area. It was back in
16 1990. I took a car and drove down with my wife. As I said, I wanted to
17 see for myself what is it all about. I came to a number of felled trees
18 positioned on a road that you actually had to drive like in a zigzag sort
19 of thing, you can't go straight through, and there were a number of people
20 standing at those barricades. They were not dressed in uniforms; however,
21 they were armed, they had automatic weapon with them. Along both sides of
22 the road there were a number of cars and trucks parked, which I had
23 observed that some of them had Belgrade number plates on them, and also
24 some of the trucks had JNA number plates on them. Me being a Serbian, I
25 stopped there and I talked to the people and it was painfully clear that
1 those people actually come from Belgrade by the accent and by the general
2 lack of knowledge of the area.
3 Q. Was the barricade that you witnessed, or you stopped at, was that
4 part of what was purported to be a spontaneous event popularly known as
5 "the log revolution"?
6 A. That's what it appears to be. How spontaneous, I don't know.
7 Q. After -- let me ask this question first: Did you speak to some of
8 the men manning the log barricades?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. And did you speak to them about where they were from?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Can you give us some idea of the percentage of people at the
13 barricade that you stopped at were local, from the area, and how many were
14 from outside the area?
15 A. I would safely place that percentage at around 75 to 80 per cent
16 outside the area, meaning either from Belgrade or elsewhere.
17 Q. Now, after visiting this particular barricade, did you have a
18 conversation with Colonel Zimonja about the log barricade?
19 A. Yes, I had, and he laughed the whole thing off, saying that the
20 most of the people manning the barricades are actually from Belgrade, they
21 were engaged over there. And according to Colonel Zimonja, they were paid
22 100 Deutschmarks a day for tending those barricades.
23 Q. Now, during this period of time in 1990, were you -- or did you
24 form a company that engaged the services of Serbian interpreters?
25 A. I have formed a company, was the only employee within it, so no
1 other interpreters within the company.
2 Q. And can you please describe for the Chamber the circumstances
3 under which you formed this company.
4 A. It's a kind of long story, involved Mr. Abdic as well.
5 Q. Well, from where did you receive the financial backing to form
6 this company?
7 A. Part of it came from the black funds of Colonel Zimonja.
8 Q. And what was the name of this company?
9 A. YUIntra. It was kind of made from Yugoslavia Interpreting and
10 Translating, YUIntra.
11 Q. And perhaps at this stage, would you just give us an idea of what
12 was the purpose of setting up this company generally, and we can ask more
13 specific questions later, if necessary.
14 A. Well, Colonel Zimonja believed I had a bona fide reason for
15 staying in the region after losing the job with Agrokomerc. They needed
16 me there. So the only thing -- I mean, Agrokomerc was the only employer
17 in the area, so to stay there, there was a need to form something that
18 would keep me there. So the company was the simplest solution.
19 Q. And was the purpose of your remaining in the area to continue your
20 work with KOS?
21 A. Absolutely.
22 Q. Now, I want to draw your attention now to the early summer of 1991
23 and ask you whether during that time period Colonel Zimonja asked you to
24 attend a meeting in Vojnic.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you first begin by telling us who else attended that meeting.
2 A. A message came through a civilian person for me to go straight to
3 Vojnic. Vojnic is only about 15 to 17 kilometres away from Velika
4 Kladusa, where I was at the time. When I arrived there, the meeting was
5 held at a local police station, in the office of Mr. Toso Pajic. The
6 other persons which I remember distinctly were Djuro Skaljac, Colonel
7 Ajdinovic, Colonel Zimonja, and probably another two or three police
8 officers which I don't really remember their names.
9 Q. The police officers whose names you cannot remember, were they
10 local police officers or from outside the area?
11 A. They were not local police officers.
12 Q. Were you able to tell whether they were from somewhere in the
13 Krajina or from some other part of Yugoslavia?
14 A. Actually, they have never taken place in the discussion, they
15 never talked, they were just there observing, I guess.
16 Q. Now, can you tell us, in general terms, what was the topic of
17 discussion at this meeting?
18 A. Well, I was to describe the general situation in Velika Kladusa
19 area, because the JNA contemplated an attack on a town called Cetingrad,
20 which is just outside of the Bosnian border on the Croatian side, probably
21 about two to three kilometres.
22 Q. What was occurring in Cetingrad at this time? Was there armed
23 conflict going on there at the time?
24 A. Not at the time, no. But there was a very strong presence of
25 Croatian emigres from Sweden organising the HDZ, the political, and some
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 paramilitary, according to the intelligence report given by Colonel
3 Q. Were different proposals for an attack on Cetingrad discussed at
4 this meeting?
5 A. Yes. There were two suggestions, and both of these suggestions
6 were forwarded to General HQ in Belgrade to make a final decision. One
7 proposed by Colonel Ajdinovic was to encircle the whole town, and then use
8 the artillery, saturation bombing, and then just come in with a force and
9 clean out the city. That was one.
10 The other one, proposed by Colonel Zimonja, who was more
11 interested in intelligence part of it, he wanted to leave a little
12 corridor open between Cetingrad and Velika Kladusa for people to be able
13 to leave the area prior or even during the artillery attack.
14 Q. Prior to this discussion about Cetingrad, were there any actual
15 incidents, that you are aware of, of paramilitary fighting coming out of
16 the town of Cetingrad?
17 A. No, not prior to the JNA attack.
18 Q. When was it that the JNA -- or did the JNA attack Cetingrad, and
19 when was that?
20 A. Eventually, they did. It was in October. I was in Kladusa with
21 other people from Kladusa, observing the actual -- you know, the lights in
22 the sky from the artillery shelling, and immediately after the attack has
23 started, the influx of refugees from the Croatian city of Cetingrad
24 started arriving to the Bosnian city of Velika Kladusa.
25 Q. And was it clear to you, by the nature of the attack, which one of
1 the alternatives or proposals had been adopted for the attack?
2 A. It was rather obvious that the suggestion of General -- I'm sorry,
3 Colonel Zimonja was accepted, because there was a corridor open for these
4 people to leave through.
5 Q. Now, based upon standard operating procedure and your experience
6 of the 21st Corps, at what level would the decision have been taken
7 regarding which proposal to implement?
8 A. It would have to be on the level of General HQ in Belgrade. We
9 also have to remember, at the time it was still official JNA as a force on
10 the ground.
11 Q. Now, I want to draw your attention to December of 1991 and ask you
12 whether you were assigned to a specific task regarding two brothers by the
13 name of Brajdic.
14 A. Yes, I have. I have -- as I said, I attended a number of meetings
15 in Vojnic in that particular period. Quite frequently, actually. On one
16 of these meetings, since the influx of the Croatian in Velika Kladusa was
17 worrying, it was suggested that some of these more prominent figures on
18 the Muslim and the Croatian side should be eliminated, and possibly in one
20 Q. And were you ever assigned to eliminate any of these people?
21 A. The task was given to me as knowing the area, being there, and two
22 JNA officers. One was a rank of captain, another was the rank of
24 Q. And who gave you this assignment?
25 A. Colonel Ajdinovic.
1 Q. And what specifically was your assignment?
2 A. Well, there's a little coffee-come-restaurant, if you like, in
3 Kladusa called King, and it was to happen on Christmas Eve, on the 25th of
4 December, when all these people would be there, celebrating prior to going
5 to the midnight mass, I guess. And we were to approach from three sides,
6 park the car in the vicinity, approach the restaurant from three sides and
7 open fire from automatic weapon to everybody inside.
8 Q. Did you carry out this assignment?
9 A. No, I did not.
10 Q. And why not?
11 A. Four or five days prior to the attack, these two officers came to
12 Velika Kladusa fully dressed in JNA uniform, and as I was sitting in one
13 of the coffee bars with a number of prominent Muslims from the local area,
14 they came to me. They were drunk and they were carrying on about me being
15 a great Serb and everybody should respect me for it, and all this will be
16 part of Serbia, and generally they made it very uncomfortable for me. So
17 I refused to deal with them any further after that. I didn't take them to
18 be serious at all.
19 Q. Now, at this particular time, you are still wearing the uniform
20 and officially associated with the Yugoslav People's Army; is that
22 A. No, that is not correct. I'm a civilian at the time.
23 Q. Did there come a time, upon the direction of Zimonja, that you
24 joined the ARSK, the army of Republika Srpska?
25 A. Yes. That came on the 22nd of December.
1 Q. In what year?
2 A. 1991.
3 Q. During your time as a member of the ARSK, did you receive a
5 A. Well, it was more -- in ARSK, yes, I have received a salary. But
6 there are some additional funds involved as well.
7 Q. Can you tell us the different sources of funds that you received
8 during your tenure with the 21st -- the ARSK army.
9 A. It was a general salary given to all the officers and the soldiers
10 of the 21st Corps through the paymaster, and also I have received
11 additional funds directly from Colonel Zimonja for which I have never
12 signed for. In the first instance, yes, I would sign like any other
13 regular officer drawing his salary and signing for it.
14 Q. In early 1992, did you have a conversation with Colonel Zimonja
15 regarding the fact that the JNA would be pulling out of Croatia and moving
16 troops from Croatia into Bosnia?
17 A. Well, it was a generally known thing that it is going to happen
18 prior to the arrival of the UN forces on the ground. The general
19 conversation that we had at the time was how to organise people who are
20 leaving behind, who are not leaving with the JNA. Personally, what am I
21 supposed to do there, what is expected from me?
22 Q. And did he discuss with you what was expected of you?
23 A. Yes. Actually, his task given to me was to go to the Samarica HQ,
24 which was the HQ of the 8th Operational Group of JNA, led by General
25 Mrksic, and to report to him as his liaison officer for the ECMM.
1 Q. And did you do that?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. And approximately how many times did you work as an interpreter
4 for Mrksic?
5 A. I would put between February, March, April, probably 20 or 30
7 Q. Now, continuing in 1992, did there come a time when you were
8 instructed by Colonel Zimonja to attempt to recruit UN and ECMM staff for
9 intelligence purposes?
10 A. That was part of a daily routine really.
11 Q. Can you please describe what your understanding of your assignment
13 A. Well, to establish a kind of relationship where it would be easy
14 for me to obtain necessary information, military side of it, through the
15 UN HQ. That would involve, for example, a radio room, personnel with
16 usually after the rank of sergeant, military observers, sometimes not to
17 report what they had seen already, different battalion commanders. Well,
18 really, I mean, anybody who was available.
19 Q. Can you briefly describe for us the process that you would
20 undertake to recruit somebody working for the UN or ECMM.
21 A. It would be necessary for me to spend a considerable time with
22 that. It wouldn't happen in a day. I would have to get to know them for
23 two or three weeks, get as close to them as I possibly can, being really
24 friendly, doing all the favours they ask for, approving everything they
25 need, providing escorts for them in the sense of security, so they really
1 felt that I'm a part of the team, I'm really helping them out. And at the
2 same time, trying to find the weakest points in each of the members, which
3 can be used for either purpose of a blackmail at some later stage or to
4 exploit at any given time.
5 I have to tell the Court that some of these people actually
6 readily accepted to work with the Serbian side, some from purely
7 ideological points, they believed in the Serbian cause; some of them for
8 the reason of money; some of them for different reasons. I'm not saying
9 everybody was, you know, possible to buy, but some have been.
10 Q. Now, did you also receive instruction from Colonel Zimonja to
11 report and track the activities of ECMM monitors?
12 A. Oh, yes. It was a daily task for me. If there were -- see, at
13 the very beginning, the ECMM were not allowed to sleep over in RSK. They
14 would be escorted in the evening across to and back to Croatia, back to
15 Zagreb, and they would return the next morning. But eventually the green
16 light was for them to stay within the area and I would move in a hotel
17 where they were and I would be there virtually 24 hours with them.
18 Q. And what was the purpose of you monitoring ECMM personnel?
19 A. Well, control the movements of the ECMM, meaning more or less they
20 would like to have full independence of movement, which they never really
21 had, because they either would have a military escort or a police escort
22 with them if they're going into the field. I would be there in the sense
23 of monitoring who they talked to, who they stopped, where they stopped,
24 who made telephone calls on their mobile phone in the vehicle they had.
25 So generally, it was just to monitor whatever they do and report, daily.
1 Q. Would you characterise your work during this period as
2 facilitation or obstruction of their mission?
3 A. As a sword with two very distinct differences. I was to
4 facilitate as far as allowing them to move freely so I can find out who
5 they get in touch with, and yet make it as difficult as possible for them
6 to see everything they want to see. So there is a part of obstruction and
7 part of facilitating. So it kind of worked hand-in-hand.
8 Q. Can you give us a specific example of how you would obstruct the
9 work of an ECMM?
10 A. Let's assume that in the evening they would inform me they need to
11 go to certain specific area the following morning. That is their routine.
12 And during the night, if we didn't want them to go there, we would create
13 a little incident in the vicinity of the place and when they would turn in
14 the following morning and say Can we go there? We would say, No, we can't
15 go there because there is this major ceasefire being broken during the
16 night there and that is out of limit area right now. Things like that.
17 Q. And the incident that you -- that would be created, who would
18 create it, who would execute it?
19 A. Well, there was one unit who was responsible for all disturbances
20 there, and that was the anti-terrorist unit.
21 Q. Did there come a time during this period that you had a
22 conversation with Colonel Bulat regarding this obstruction of the work of
23 the ECMM?
24 A. Yes. It was very clearly and very specific that they should not
25 be allowed to carry their task, whatever their task was.
1 Q. And did he indicate to you at whose direction this task of
2 obstruction came from?
3 A. Well, the obstruction was actually more demanded by Toso Pajic
4 than it was by Colonel Bulat. He was more concerned by the state security
5 than the military itself. All our units were deployed well away from the
6 road, so ECMM driving along the road couldn't see much to report to the
7 Croatian side, yet from a security point of view, the DB was more
8 concerned about who they talked to and who they're dealing with. So it
9 was actually the both sides -- I mean, the DB and the military were
10 concerned about freedom of movement, which is guaranteed to the ECMM and
11 yet it was obstructed by us.
12 Q. Did Toso Pajic indicate at whose direction he was implementing
13 this obstruction?
14 A. By Jovica Stanisic.
15 MR. GROOME: I'd ask now that Prosecution Exhibit 348, tab 6, be
16 placed on the overhead projector.
17 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, I'd ask you to look at this picture and tell us:
18 Do you recognise the people depicted in it? Can you please describe if
19 you recognise the people who are in the picture?
20 A. Well, the gentleman with the profile over here, I really can't
21 remember who he was, and I can't see it on the photograph. The gentleman
22 next to him is Colonel Tarbuk, Slobodan, he was the commanding officer of
23 the 39th Corps. The gentleman next to him in the blue beret is Brigadier
24 General Musa Bamayi of Nigeria, who served as a sector commander of the
25 UN. Next to him is chief of staff of the 21st Corps, Colonel Cedo
1 Radovanovic. Then we have Toso Pajic. On his shoulder, you can see the
2 police patch there. And then me as liaison officer. That was one of the
3 meetings within the UN building.
4 Q. And is that your handwriting?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 MR. GROOME: I'm finished with that exhibit. Thank you.
7 Q. Now, also in 1992, were you given the task of recruiting
8 interpreters that would be used by international organisations working in
9 the Krajina?
10 A. It was obvious at the time once the UN moved into the area there
11 will be a number of job openings for the local populace, from interpreters
12 down to the dishwasher or cleaners, whatever the case might be. And it
13 was of interest to us to monitor those working for the UN for the benefit
14 of gathering intelligence through them.
15 Q. And from whom did you receive this instruction?
16 A. Again it was a joint operation of the state security and
17 intelligence part of the military.
18 Q. And can you tell us the names of the people who specifically
19 communicated to you?
20 A. Colonel Nikola Zimonja and Mr. Toso Pajic.
21 Q. And can you describe how you carried out this assignment.
22 A. In official form, a letter was forwarded to the UN HQ in Topusko,
23 saying that if they advertise for the positions there and they have people
24 showing interest for them, they have to be cleared by police to prevent
25 the criminal element of being employed within the UN. So they would like
1 to have our own background check of the people. What we really wanted to
2 know is who is expected to work there so we can get in touch with them
4 Q. And did the United Nations comply with this request to provide the
6 A. Unwillingly, yes.
7 Q. And what happened after you were provided with the names of these
9 A. I would have a little briefing with them, addressing their inner
10 patriotic thoughts about what they are actually doing, they are doing it
11 for the benefit of their own country, gathering information about military
12 movements, about Croat movements. Because it was no secret that the
13 military observers which would be travelling along the border or the DMZ,
14 the demilitarised zone between Croatia and RSK, would observe also the
15 movements of the troops on the other side. Coming back to the UN HQ in
16 Topusko, they would write their reports and if any of our people could get
17 their hands on that report, great.
18 Q. Did some of these people take UN reports and provide them to you?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. If one of these interpreters that you approached refused to
21 cooperate in the manner you've described, what would happen?
22 A. He would be discredited and not be permitted to work for the UN.
23 Q. Can you describe for the Chamber what percentage of these
24 interpreters do you have first-hand knowledge and first-hand experience
1 A. Within the area of the 21st Corps?
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. 35 to 40, at least.
4 Q. And is that all of the interpreters or were there other
5 interpreters that you did not have contact with?
6 A. Within the 21st area Corps, there were no other interpreters.
7 They had to go through me.
8 Q. And of those 35 to 40 interpreters, how many were working for you
9 gathering intelligence?
10 A. All of them.
11 Q. What would you do with the intelligence information and documents,
12 if provided, that you received from these interpreters?
13 A. Let me first try to describe very briefly what interpreter's job
14 was there. They would attend the meetings between the local politician,
15 for example, local Red Cross, the UN, and I would have all these other
16 interpreters attending those meetings because I couldn't personally be
17 there. I can't be physically in all those places. So I would have them
18 go and come back and report to me about what was discussed at the meeting,
19 what decisions were made, if any was made, and then I would compile all
20 these reports in one major report which was sent to my HQ. I would do
21 those in triplicate, really, because one was going to Colonel Zimonja, one
22 was going to the HQ Colonel Bulat, and one was going to Toso Pajic.
23 Q. So a copy of your report was going to KOS in Belgrade; is that
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. One of the copies went to Toso Pajic, who you've testified was
2 working for the Serbian DB?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. And then the last one went to Colonel Bulat, who was in charge of
5 the 21st Corps; is that correct?
6 A. And it was his area of operation.
7 Q. I want to now move to 1993. Did you have occasion to attend a
8 number of international conferences designed to try to come to some
9 agreement regarding peace in the Krajina?
10 A. Yes. I have personally attended four of those.
11 Q. Prior to -- or during your attendance at these international
12 conferences, were you still an active member of KOS?
13 A. Yes, and active member of the RSK army. I mean, I was part of the
15 Q. Prior to leaving for these conferences --
16 A. I do apologise.
17 Q. Please have water or ...
18 A. It's okay. Thank you.
19 Q. Prior to leaving for these conferences, were you issued any false
20 identification documents?
21 A. Yes. I have been issued with three passports. All three would
22 indicate that I was not -- two would indicate I was not born in Belgrade
23 but born in Knin, and one would be an original one with place of birth and
24 date of birth and everything else.
25 MR. GROOME: At this time, Your Honour, I would ask that the
1 witness be shown Prosecution Exhibit 348, tab 7.
2 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, before it is placed on the overhead projector, I'd
3 ask you to leaf through the several pages of this exhibit.
4 A. Do you want me to speak about them as I go through?
5 Q. I would ask you to select the page where it indicates where you
6 were born, and that is the page that I would ask be placed on the overhead
7 projector. And I would ask you to indicate for us, using the pointer,
8 where it indicates your place of birth.
9 A. 26th of February, 1947, Knin.
10 Q. And is that false information regarding your place of birth?
11 A. Yes. This passport was issued to me on the 21st of June, 1993.
12 You can see that on the bottom of the page, where I'm pointing now. The
13 purpose of this passport was to attend international meetings and prevent
14 anybody asking why is a person from Belgrade attending a meeting that
15 deals with the Krajina? So this shows a passport that says you were born
16 in Knin so you have full right to be there.
17 Q. Who gave you this passport?
18 A. Both of these passports, this one and the other one -- this one
19 here, for example, which is -- if I can show that. This one here is
20 passport of service. I had two passports. One was a diplomatic passport
21 and the other one was a civilian passport.
22 Q. And that document is also Prosecution Exhibit 348, tab 7.
23 A. And both of these passports, actually three passports, were issued
24 to me in Belgrade.
25 Q. And who actually gave you, physically handed you the passport?
1 A. Secretary of then President Hadzic.
2 MR. GROOME: I'd now ask that Prosecution Exhibit 348, tab 8, be
3 placed upon the overhead projector.
4 Q. Do you recognise the people depicted in this photograph?
5 A. Some of them, yes. Actually, I recognise all of them, but I
6 remember only the names of some of them.
7 Q. And the handwriting that is on this photograph, is that your own?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. I'd ask you to go from left to right and indicate who the people
10 are depicted in this photograph.
11 A. The first chubby, bald guy, that's me. Next is Admiral Dusan
12 Rakic. He was then Minister of Defence of the RSK. The gentleman at the
13 back, I know he was to do something with security of President Hadzic,
14 same as this guy here. And that's President Hadzic, and that's his
15 secretary, private secretary. She is the one who gave us the passport and
16 the money while we were there. Anyway, this photograph is taken in Norway
17 during one of those supposedly secret meetings between the Serbian,
18 Croatian, and the UN. And this large gentleman here, I also can't
19 remember who he was really. I don't think it's somebody important. I
20 don't remember.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. GROOME: I'm finished with the exhibit.
23 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, prior to talking about specific conferences that
24 you attended, I want to ask you to describe in general terms the
25 procedures involved prior to attending one of these conferences. And can
1 you describe for the Chamber how it -- you would come to learn that you
2 were going to be going on one of these conferences?
3 A. Let me begin with the request for a conference would usually come
4 through the UN. The Croatian side would place a request to the UN Zagreb
5 HQ, which in turn would inform the sector HQ of the UN in the sector which
6 I was in if the meeting had to do something with the area of the 21st
7 Corps. That would go the same for the 39th. On a general level, if it
8 was to do with -- on the level of the government, then the Knin would be
9 informed about the request by the Croatian side that they are willing to
10 have a meeting.
11 We would then proceed in arranging the delegation, the military
12 and the civilian. We would request an agenda to be given to us in advance
13 about what are we going to discuss during this meeting, usually under the
14 pretext we need to get prepared for those meetings by knowing what's on
15 the schedule of discussion.
16 Q. Who would this request be made to? This request for an agenda,
17 who would this request be directed to?
18 A. To the UN.
19 Q. And would the UN comply with this request and provide a proposed
21 A. Yes. There's nothing strange in asking for an agenda in advance
23 Q. Please continue with your description.
24 A. Once all these little details were sorted out, it was expected
25 from us, as a delegation, to be at least 48 hours prior to departure to
1 wherever we're going, to be in Belgrade. We would usually be placed in
2 Hotel Mladost, which is in the central part of Belgrade, in any case,
3 which was always considered to be a home away from home for anybody coming
4 from RSK, because I had never seen anybody paying any bills in this hotel
5 if he had an RSK ID with him.
6 They would have a series of meetings there. The head of
7 delegation would go to Mr. Milosevic's cabinet for the instructions. The
8 head of military would go to a military, to the HQ, for the instructions,
9 because already, as I said, we had the agenda in advance. So these people
10 would go, they would be advised how to and what to do during the meeting.
11 They would come back, refer to us, tell us what is requested from the rest
12 of the delegation.
13 Myself personally would have a meeting with Colonel Zimonja, which
14 he would give me a specific assignment during the meeting, whether it
15 happened in Austria or Switzerland or Norway.
16 Q. After these members of the delegation received their individual
17 briefings, would there be a joint meeting held in the Hotel Mladost?
18 A. Yes, in the conference room.
19 Q. And who would attend these meetings?
20 A. All the members of the delegation.
21 Q. And what would be discussed at these meetings?
22 A. Whatever they were briefed, whether in cabinet of Mr. Milosevic or
23 the General HQ.
24 Q. Now, were these informal meetings or were they chaired by someone?
25 A. They were usually chaired by whoever was head of the delegation at
1 the time.
2 Q. And do you know if minutes were taken of these meetings?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And what was done -- do you know what happened -- or first let me
5 ask you: What kind of minutes were taken? Was somebody writing down
6 verbatim what was said or was somebody simply writing down notes?
7 A. Just a short reminder what we discussed, what we agreed upon,
8 which we eventually sent to Knin, what the general consensus of the
9 delegation is.
10 Q. And would these minutes be sent anywhere else that you're aware
12 A. I'm not aware of.
13 Q. Over the course of the delegations that you attended, and can you
14 tell us how many altogether you attended?
15 A. I attended four; two in Geneva, one in Austria, and one in Norway.
16 Q. Did a general pattern of instruction to the delegates emerge over
17 the course of these four peace conferences that you attended?
18 A. Very much so. They all look alike. The idea was not to agree on
19 anything. That was very simple to follow.
20 Q. Now, after this meeting in Hotel Mladost, how would the delegate
21 -- members of the delegation travel to wherever it was they were
22 travelling? Would they travel together or separately?
23 A. No. We would travel together by the UN flight; the UN would
24 provide a plane for us.
25 Q. And in the different locations of where the conference was held,
1 would the delegation remain together?
2 A. At all times.
3 Q. Now, during the course of these conferences, were members of the
4 delegation required to keep regular contact with Belgrade?
5 A. Only if they encountered a problem.
6 Q. Can you explain to us in general terms how this contact was
8 A. Well, in any of these meetings, whether it was held in Vienna or
9 in Switzerland, we would have a separate room for adjournment during the
10 meetings. At any given time during the meeting, we could ask for a
11 recess. Let's say that the Croatian side had put a proposal about
12 something and we're not prepared to give an answer immediately. We would
13 say okay we've got to draw back, into our own little office over there, we
14 will discuss amongst ourselves for a while, we'll come back to you and
15 give you an answer. At the time which we were using in the office would
16 be to get in touch with Belgrade, we were assured that the lines,
17 telephone lines in the office were secure line, meaning nobody can
18 overhear our conversation. And then the contact would be established with
19 Belgrade, saying, well, this is what we have encountered, this is the
20 request, what are we going to do about it? In some instances, the answer
21 was just refuse. Simple as that. But if we're cornered, we run out of
22 excuses, what do we do then? Well, then sign but make a stipulation that
23 it has to be confirmed or approved by the General Assembly once you get
24 back to RSK.
25 Q. During these breaks in the conference when phone calls would be
1 made to Belgrade, would you be present in the room?
2 A. I would be in the same room where all of us are.
3 Q. Would you be able to hear at least the -- your side of the
4 telephone conversation?
5 A. Oh, yes. I mean, they're not big rooms. They might be, I don't
6 know, two metres by three metres. And you would have, like, ten, fifteen
7 people sitting around the table.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please slow down for the
9 benefit of the interpreters.
10 MR. GROOME: My apologies.
11 THE WITNESS: My apologies.
12 MR. GROOME:
13 Q. Over the course of the four conferences, were there some people in
14 Belgrade that were regularly contacted?
15 A. On the level of Mr. Milosevic's cabinet, yes.
16 Q. Can you please go through the name of each person who was
17 regularly contacted and tell us who it would be that would contact that
18 particular person.
19 A. At the meetings which were attended by the then President Hadzic,
20 my understanding, he was speaking to Mr. Lilic at times, to some other
21 unknown people from the cabinet of Mr. Milosevic that I really don't
22 know. Anything to deal with the state security would be directed to
23 Jovica Stanisic. Anything to do with the military part would be directed
24 to General Perisic.
25 Q. Please continue.
1 A. It all really depends upon the situation. I'm not talking that
2 every meeting involved all these people to be phoned but if the event was
3 purely military, then during our break we would call General Perisic and
4 discuss the problem if there is a problem, or Stanisic or whoever. But
5 mostly it was a political problem, so it was discussion with the cabinet.
6 Q. Can you describe for us what types of problems for which Mr.
7 Stanisic would be contacted and discussion had?
8 A. Well, at one stage it was suggested by the Croatian side that we
9 should have a model village which would have Serbs and Croats put together
10 in this village under the auspices of the UN and to prove to the world
11 that they can live together as they did before.
12 Q. Now, you've mentioned that Mr. Lilic was one of the people that
13 was contacted. Is this the then-president of the Federal Republic of
14 Yugoslavia, Zoran Lilic?
15 A. Yes, but he was referred as a postman.
16 Q. Who referred to Mr. Lilic as a postman?
17 A. Mr. Hadzic and Mr. Toso Pajic.
18 Q. And do you know why Mr. Lilic was referred to as a postman?
19 A. Carrying the messages from Mr. Milosevic.
20 Q. Did they or you believe that he was making any decisions himself
21 regarding the situation at the peace conference?
22 A. I don't believe that Mr. Lilic made any decision in his entire
24 Q. Now, if an agreement was to be communicated to the United Nations
25 or to the other side, was there a caveat to making an agreement or binding
1 the Serb side?
2 A. I was always very clear before even the meeting started that no
3 decision will be made by the end of the meeting. Even if there is one, we
4 shouldn't go away with it.
5 Q. Could you explain for us the rationale, if you know, underneath
6 this policy of not committing or making any agreement at these peace
8 A. Even officers are just people, so we would sit after the meeting,
9 or even during the meeting or during the break and talk about it
10 ourselves, and it was very obvious to us that Belgrade has no intention of
11 settling the matter between the RSK and Croatia. As long as there is a
12 problem over there, it will take the public view away from what is
13 happening to Yugoslavia at the same time, meaning the great political
14 unrest, the economic problems and so on. So as long as you have this
15 brethren fighting for their bare survival in Croatia, the public eye would
16 be on the RSK. So the idea was as long as we have a problem over there,
17 people will look over there. So we don't want resolution of the problem.
18 Q. Was there any policy regarding an attempt to appear cooperative
19 despite this reluctance to commit to anything?
20 A. Oh, yes. We were always very friendly at those meetings. We
21 always seemed to agree on everything. But once we left the meeting, it
22 would become painfully obvious we did not agree on anything, because there
23 would be a call for another meeting and another meeting and another
25 MR. GROOME: I want to ask now that the witness be shown
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Prosecution Exhibit 348, tab 10. And I apologise. We're taking it a
2 little about out of order. But I'd ask that the first page of that
3 document be placed on the overhead projector.
4 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, I'd ask you to take a look at that document and ask
5 you: Do you recognise what that document is?
6 A. Yes. This is a list of delegations from the UN and the Serb
7 delegation and the Croatian delegation attending one of the meetings on
8 the 16th of June, 1993, in Geneva.
9 Q. And are you listed as one of the participants of that meeting?
10 A. Right down at the bottom of the page you can see "Mr. Slobodan
11 Lazarevic, interpreter." Part of the military. I have to also stress
12 there is another page to this document - I don't know whether you people
13 have it or not - which would list the civilian part of the Serb delegation
14 and the civilian part of the UN and the civilian part of the Croatian
16 So this one here would actually be a military, because if you look
17 at the top, from the UNPROFOR, you will find out that the force commander;
18 the chief military observer General Bo Pellnas; Bjorne Hesselberg,
19 Brigadier General, a very fine officer. He was a commanding officer of
20 the sector north of the UN. And then Major General Petar Stipetic, and
21 us; Colonel Kosta Novakovic, who was head of delegation. I also might add
22 that he's a part of KOS of internal security. Colonel Milos Krnjeta, who
23 is a part of KOS but of intelligence part, meaning external security.
24 Colonel Nikola Krosnjar who was a part of the information centre of some
25 description. And then me, down at the bottom of the list.
1 Q. So that the record is clear, there's Colonel Kosta Novakovic is
2 not the same Mile Novakovic you referred to earlier in your testimony.
3 A. No, no. They're two different persons. One is a general and one
4 is a colonel.
5 Q. And at the time of this delegation, Colonel Novakovic, Colonel
6 Krnjeta and yourself were all members of some branch of KOS of the
7 Yugoslav army?
8 A. Very much so.
9 Q. Mr. Krosnjar, you said that he worked for -- or Colonel Krosnjar,
10 worked for an information centre. Which army?
11 A. RSK, officially.
12 Q. Did you -- or do you know from personal knowledge that he was
13 really a member of some other organisation than the ARSK?
14 A. I think this is the first time and the last time I ever met
15 Colonel Nikola Krosnjar, so I can't really saying anything about him. The
16 other two I got to know pretty well. Colonel Kosta Novakovic, I know him
17 quite well; and Colonel Milos Krnjeta also.
18 MR. GROOME: At this time I'd ask that that exhibit be taken away
19 and that Prosecution Exhibit 348, tab 11, be placed on the overhead
21 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, I'd ask you to take a look at this exhibit and ask
22 you to tell us whether you recognise what this exhibit is.
23 A. Also one of the lists of the delegation, and I can see familiar
24 names here.
25 Q. I ask you first to tell us the date of this particular delegation.
1 A. 20th of July, 1993. I believe this is the first meeting in
2 Geneva. It was very short and very brief. Or second. Okay, let's say
3 second. And I'll tell you why; because it's a larger delegation. The
4 first one last only one afternoon, the meeting itself, so it has to be
6 Q. Can I ask you to read down the names of the Serb delegation and
7 please tell us, if you know, what unit or units they belonged to.
8 A. Start from the top. You have Colonel Kosta Novakovic, who is the
9 head of delegation in this instance, and he is a member of the KOS
10 internal security. Then you have Milos Krnjeta, also colonel, who was
11 depicted as his assistant, but he's a member of the intelligence part,
12 meaning the external security. Then I have Nikola Krosnjar. He is a head
13 liaison officer, which is news to me, to be perfectly honest. Colonel
14 Cedo Radovanovic was a chief of staff of Kordun Corps at the time.
15 Q. Before you move on, Colonel Krosnjar, do you know anything about
16 what unit he was assigned to or his background?
17 A. All I know that he came from Knin. I really have no idea what he
18 was doing in Knin.
19 Q. Okay. Please continue.
20 A. As I said, Colonel Cedo Radovanovic is chief of staff of the
21 Kordun Corps, 21st Corps. He was just an ordinary JNA guy. I mean, he
22 did not belong to KOS whatsoever. There are officers who never belonged
23 to KOS.
24 Q. But at this particular time, in 1993, is he a member of the
25 Yugoslav army or the army of the Republic of Serb Krajina?
1 A. All these members of delegations are a part of the RSK army
2 officially, and yet they all actually JNA officer or probably at that time
4 Q. Please continue down the list.
5 A. There's a lawyer, which I don't really remember, something to do
6 with the legal department. Then another barrister, Mr. Petkovic, and I
7 believe he had something to do with energy, he was a Minister of Energy or
8 something like that within the RSK because one of the point of agenda was
9 to discuss the problem of the turbines, power station. Then it's me down
10 at the bottom, interpreter and liaison officer, sector north.
11 MR. GROOME: I'm finished with that exhibit.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is that a reference to you as a professor?
13 THE WITNESS: Yes.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: And that's factual?
15 THE WITNESS: No, it's not, sir. Somebody told me it looks good
16 on paper.
17 MR. GROOME:
18 Q. Did you have anything to do with the creation of this document?
19 A. This document? No.
20 Q. Yes. I'm going to now ask that Prosecution Exhibit 348, tab 9, be
21 placed on the overhead projector before the witness.
22 Mr. Lazarevic, I want to ask you now just to comment on each
23 specific conference that you attended. When was the first conference that
24 you attended?
25 A. June 16, 1993, in Geneva.
1 Q. And can you describe what preparation was involved prior to the
2 conference, and if it's in the nature -- if it's the same as your general
3 comments earlier, please just indicate that it was. No need to repeat.
4 A. It's general: Come 48 hours in advance, get the instructions, go
5 to meeting, come back, don't resolve anything. That's -- sorry. That is
6 as brief as I can get.
7 Q. What topics were discussed at that conference?
8 A. I believe the first meeting was very brief one, was actually
9 probably one that would originate the next one. I believe we stayed in
10 Geneva only about three hours and this one had to discuss the ceasefire
11 agreements, why they need the DMZ because the units, the troops of the
12 both sides in the conflict were still too close to each other.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: From whom did you get the instructions?
14 THE WITNESS: From the military part in Belgrade, from the head of
15 delegation who went to the General HQ to discuss this.
16 MR. GROOME:
17 Q. The next column in this summary table indicates a number of
18 people. Are these the names of the people that you can recall as being
19 present at the Geneva conference on the 16th of June, 1993?
20 A. I believe this is to be corrected. Goran Hadzic heading the
21 delegation from the Croatian government, military personnel from both
23 Q. And during the course of this particular negotiation, was there
24 regular phone contact with Belgrade to receive instructions and to keep
25 them informed?
1 A. Yes, indeed.
2 Q. After returning from this conference, what, if any,
3 post-conference activities were engaged in?
4 A. Goran Hadzic would have a press conference on arrival to Surcin
5 airport. Each other member of the delegation would go straight back to
6 the hotel to be debriefed about the meeting. Myself, personally, would
7 have a meeting, a separate meeting, with Colonel Zimonja and debriefed by
8 Colonel Zimonja of whatever happened during the meeting.
9 Q. And do you know who would be responsible for the debriefing of the
10 individual members of the delegation?
11 A. Depending on the part of the delegation. If it's a civilian
12 delegation, they would be debriefed by the civilian part, meaning
13 Mr. Milosevic's cabinet. If it's a military part, it would be general HQ.
14 If it's the part of the state security, it would be by the DB.
15 Q. Now, when was the next conference that you went and attended?
16 A. That was very soon after. It was July 1993, 16 July 1993.
17 Q. And aside from what you described for us as general preparations,
18 was there anything unique about the preparations for this conference?
19 A. No. The modus operandi was the same.
20 Q. And what were the topics that were discussed at this conference?
21 A. Well, it was general topics again about, you know, ceasefire being
22 broken here and there, how to make sure it doesn't happen again, how to
23 establish the wider DMZ, the demilitarised zone, how far to pull back. We
24 have found ourselves in this particular meeting in a very strange
25 position. The Croatian military has demanded the 21st Corps to put all
1 its artillery weapon to the distance of 25 kilometres from the DMZ, which
2 we couldn't possibly accept because that would put us 15 kilometres inside
3 Bosnia. Our sector was a very narrow sector. I don't think the width was
4 more than 16, 17 kilometre. So if the other side proposes to pull the
5 force 25 kilometres away, it puts us in another country. So that was one
6 of the nice reasons to refuse something like that. I mean, it physically
7 was impossible anyway.
8 Q. I draw your attention to the next column in that summary table.
9 Does that accurately reflect the members of the delegation, or the members
10 of the participants in that conference, as best as you can recall?
11 A. Yes. Yes, indeed. The thing about this delegation, they grew to
12 be bigger and bigger as each next meeting evolved.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Who met the expenses for each delegation?
14 THE WITNESS: I believe Belgrade paid for the lot, because we were
15 given money in Belgrade in dollars.
16 MR. GROOME:
17 Q. The money that you received in Belgrade, would you have to sign
18 for that money?
19 A. No.
20 Q. During the course of that conference, was the communication
21 between the delegation and Belgrade maintained as you have described?
22 A. Yes. Nothing really changed. The procedure was always the same:
23 Arrive 24 hours prior to the conference, get briefed, establish how you're
24 going to -- when you get there, how you're going to behave, what you're
25 going to say, come back, end of story.
1 Q. And after the conference, what activities took place?
2 A. Again, Mr. Hadzic would have his press conference. For some
3 reason, he liked them. The rest of us, we would go straight to the hotel,
4 waiting to be debriefed. The following day, if we were all done with our
5 debriefing, we'll take our separate ways back to RSK.
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm between conferences now. Is that a
7 convenient place to break?
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Before we break, Mr. Lazarevic, let me take you
9 back to an earlier part of your testimony today, where you said you and, I
10 believe, two others had received instructions to get rid of some Croats
11 and some Muslims, and you had planned to do this when they were seated in
12 a bar, I think.
13 THE WITNESS: On the eve of the 25th.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Evening of the 25th. You did not carry it out
15 because you lost confidence in your two colleagues because, among other
16 reasons, they were drunk.
17 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, the main reason is for it is I have
18 never killed prior to that day or after that day in my life, so that was
19 the main reason of my trying to find a way to get out of this assignment.
20 Even today I'm not sure how serious were the people giving instructions
21 about assignment or not, but I didn't feel confident in carrying it out.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: But I think you anticipated my next question,
23 which would be: But for the loss of confidence, would you have carried
24 out the attack?
25 THE WITNESS: I would find a reason not to carry it in the end.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
2 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now. Half past 2.00, please. We'll
3 continue then.
4 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.02 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Groome, we have to finish today at 20 to
3 4.00 because one of our number has a hearing after this. If you could get
4 through the witness -- I don't complain about the speed at all, but the
5 further we can get the better, obviously.
6 MR. GROOME: I'll do my best, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, we left off with you describing what occurred in
8 the conference in Geneva on the 16th of July, 1993. I now direct your
9 attention to the next conference that you attended. Can you please tell
10 us when and where that conference was.
11 A. The third meeting was between the 20th and 22nd of July, 1993, in
13 Q. And where was that? Oh, I'm sorry. With respect to the
14 preparation for that conference, was it similar, or anything unique about
15 the preparation for that conference?
16 A. Absolutely identical to the two previous ones.
17 Q. And can you tell us what were the topics for discussion at that
19 A. It was in general the same topic we discussed before: The
20 demilitarised zone, the displaced people, possibility of working on those
21 model villages.
22 Q. Was Goran Hadzic at that conference?
23 A. Yes, he was.
24 Q. The communications with Belgrade, were they maintained during this
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And after the conference, can you describe what, if any,
3 activities were engaged in?
4 A. We would fly back to Belgrade and each of us would be debriefed
5 after our arrival.
6 Q. I want to now draw your attention to the next conference. Can you
7 tell us when and where that was.
8 A. That was carried out on the 12th of September, 1993, in Norway. I
9 really don't know the location. It's supposed to be like a very, very
10 secret meeting, even though, after the meeting was concluded, there were
11 approximately 250 reporters waiting for us. So it wasn't all that secret
13 Q. Now, the preparation for this particular conference in Norway, did
14 you attend the preconference meeting on this occasion?
15 A. Yes. In Belgrade, Hotel Mladost.
16 Q. Did you attend any briefing with Zimonja prior to this conference?
17 A. Yes, I have, and I have been given a specific task for this last
18 meeting that I attended.
19 Q. And can you describe for us what that specific task was.
20 A. One member of our delegation was considered to be a security risk,
21 and that member is Admiral Dusan Rakic, so I was tasked with being very
22 close to him throughout the meeting, on all days, and to follow who is he
23 meeting outside of the official part of the meeting with, on the Croatian
25 Q. And why was he judged to be a security risk?
1 A. His family still lived in Zagreb at the time, his wife and his two
2 sons who were just about the army age.
3 Q. Now, in terms of preparation, did you learn that it was part of
4 the preparation for the Norway conference that Hadzic and Rakic had met
5 with Mr. Milosevic prior to the departure of the delegation?
6 A. That was my understanding from discussion with them.
7 Q. Can you explain what it was they told you that indicated to you
8 that they had a meeting with Mr. Milosevic.
9 A. Well, they claimed they had been talking to the boss and the boss
10 told them do such and such and such, gave them explicit orders about
11 actually not completing anything during the meeting.
12 Q. What was the topic for discussion or negotiation in this
13 particular conference?
14 A. I remember it, and the main topic of discussion was some kind of
15 autonomy within Croatia for the RSK.
16 Q. And I want to direct you to the fourth column on the exhibit.
17 Does that -- do those names there represent the names of the people that
18 you can recall as being present at that conference?
19 A. Yes, indeed, sir.
20 Q. During the preparations for the Norway conference, was there any
21 reference made to this being a shopping trip?
22 A. It was a standing joke among the delegation members, because they
23 hardly had changed from the original delegation. The number only
24 increased. We were given sufficient funds to actually do the shopping,
25 and to my amazement the place we were was like a Sunday and they had
1 engaged the mayor of this little city in Norway to open a little shopping
2 centre for the members of the delegation to go in and buy stuff.
3 Q. Now, during the course of the negotiations in Norway, was there
4 regular communication with Belgrade?
5 A. Throughout the day.
6 Q. And can you recall for us any of the people, the names of the
7 people who were being contacted in Belgrade throughout the day?
8 A. I believe that Mr. Goran Hadzic had contacted cabinet of Mr.
9 Milosevic. Whether he spoke directly to Mr. Milosevic or not I don't
10 really know, but he did speak to the cabinet.
11 Q. And who -- please continue.
12 A. Also the military side of the delegation has spoken to the General
13 HQ in Belgrade concerning some military matters.
14 Q. Do you know who in the military headquarters was contacted?
15 A. It was General Perisic.
16 Q. Do you know if on this occasion Jovica Stanisic was contacted by
18 A. I believe that is the case.
19 Q. And you believe that based on what?
20 A. On being in the room when those calls were placed.
21 Q. Now, upon your return from Norway, were you debriefed, as you had
22 been in the past?
23 A. Yes, I have. This debriefing took a bit longer than the previous
25 Q. And approximately how long did it take?
1 A. Two days.
2 Q. And were other members of the delegation debriefed at that time as
4 A. Yes, sir.
5 Q. Did there come a time during the course of the negotiations in
6 Norway when Krnjeta made a statement to the delegation regarding this
7 pilot village of -- this interethnic pilot village?
8 A. At one stage, Colonel Krnjeta suggested that we should accept a
9 proposal in forming of this pilot village and at any given time Krnjeta
10 would engage the anti-terrorist unit and maybe shoot a couple of Croats
11 and a couple of Serbs in the village, irrelevant who, but create a
12 psychosis of fear so that nobody actually would come back to this
13 particular village. That would be the end of the project.
14 Q. You just used the term "psychosis of fear." Was that a term that
15 was used when Krnjeta addressed the members of the delegation?
16 A. I think I just quoted Colonel Krnjeta when I said "psychosis of
18 Q. So it was your understanding that any commitment to this village
19 was premised on the ability to, once the delegation returned, that this
20 psychosis of fear could be created back in the area, undoing the
22 A. That was made very clear during our meeting in the office.
23 Q. Was that discussion held at the same time when there was regular
24 communication with Belgrade?
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. Now, for this particular negotiation, was Goran Hadzic assigned an
3 A. I believe the gentleman's advisor had the same name as Mr.
4 Slobodan Milosevic; also Milosevic.
5 Q. Do you recall his first name?
6 A. Either Miso or Savo. I'm not really certain. But I'd say Miso
8 Q. Was this the first time that this other Milosevic came to one of
9 the conferences that you were present on?
10 A. No. The same person attended two meetings previously in Geneva
11 and he was assigned to us as a host to these meetings.
12 Q. Do you know anything about this person; where he's from or what
13 institution he worked for?
14 A. Absolutely nothing, but there was guesswork going around the room
15 among the delegates that he's probably brother of Mr. Slobodan Milosevic.
16 By appearance of the man, it didn't look like President Milosevic at all.
17 Q. Did there come a time during the Norway negotiation that this
18 other Milosevic made a reference or a comment about a phone conversation
19 that he may have had with Mr. Milosevic here in Court?
20 A. Yes, he did.
21 Q. Can you tell us what it was he said?
22 A. Well, at the time, he said whatever we do, to keep one thing in
23 mind, and that is at the conclusion of the meeting, nothing should be
24 resolved, that we should come back without a resolution.
25 Q. And how did he -- or what word did he use that you understood to
1 mean that he was referring to Mr. Slobodan Milosevic, here in the Court?
2 A. Up to that point in time, everybody, when they referred to Mr.
3 Slobodan Milosevic, referred to him as the boss or in the full name. But
4 the people who were closest to him, as far as we were concerned within the
5 delegation, he was referred to as the boss.
6 Q. And did this other Milosevic, the advisor, use that phrase when
7 recounting this instruction?
8 A. Actually, he used a very short version of the name, saying
10 Q. Now, after returning from Norway, did you become aware or observe
11 any activities which appeared to you to be attempts to undermine some of
12 the progress made during the peace negotiations?
13 A. Well, I can only talk about the area of the 21st Corps. Yes,
14 there were quite a few incidents happening very fast, one after the other,
15 which would create fear within the population, and at the same time stop
16 any possible further negotiation with the Croatian side.
17 Q. I'm going to ask you to describe some of these, and I'd just
18 remind you to please slow down the pace for the interpreters.
19 A. Okay. The ones that come to mind would be mining of the railway
20 line. It was supposed to be our very first trip of the train after the
21 beginning of the conflict. The train did hit the anti-tank mine. A lot
22 of people got killed and injured in the process, and it was blamed on a
23 Croatian terrorist.
24 Q. Now, with respect to this particular incident, can you please
25 assist us by being more specific about the place and the approximate time
1 or date when this occurred.
2 A. I know it was wintertime. I know it was between Glina and Vojnic.
3 That is the railway which used to connect Karlovac and I assume Petrinja.
4 I'm not very familiar with the area. But it was the railway line that
5 existed prior to the conflict, and it stopped being in use once the
6 conflict had started in the area, and that was supposed to be the first
7 time that the plane -- the train had been put in operation. That was the
8 first and last time.
9 Q. Do you know who was responsible for the planting of the mine on
10 the railroad tracks?
11 A. Well, later on, I did find out. At the time, I was again called
12 to go to see Colonel Bulat at his headquarters, but I would be given a
13 formal letter of complaint to be taken to the sector commander of the
14 sector north.
15 Q. And you said that later you found out who was responsible. Can
16 you begin by telling us how it was you found out who was responsible.
17 A. Well, it more or less came to me it was a simple deduction. The
18 place where the anti-tank mine was placed, how far it is from possible
19 penetration of the Croatian side, how possible for Croatian terrorists
20 would be to get in, how quickly we have deployed our forces in the area to
21 search the immediate area where the mine was planted. All those things
22 didn't produce any result. Now, considering it was wintertime, we have
23 come to considerable area which had no footprints or anything in the snow
24 which would make it perfectly clear that nothing came from that side, so
25 it had to be from within.
1 Q. Is there another incident which you're aware of around this time
3 A. Yes. There was also supposed to be a friendly soccer match
4 between the local population and the UN, in Glina, and somebody has mined
5 all of the soccer pitch, placing those little round anti-infantry mines
6 which are not really supposed to kill but to maim, to take your foot away,
7 and it was discovered just prior to the beginning of the match. Of
8 course, the match was postponed. It was never played again.
9 Q. Did you come to learn who planted those anti-personnel mines on
10 the soccer pitch?
11 A. Again, I come to the same conclusion, and it was confirmed later
12 on by the people who actually have done it themselves.
13 Q. And who were those people?
14 A. That would be anti-terrorist group from the Banija Corps in this
15 particular instance.
16 Q. And how did you learn that it was that particular anti-terrorist
17 group for the Banija Corps?
18 A. These two groups, one which was assigned in our own corps, in 21st
19 Corps, and the one which was in the Banija Corps, were actually friends
20 before the war. The same aged kids. The average was probably about 21,
21 22. And they had a meeting place which was a bar, just kind of halfway
22 between Kordun and Banija, where they would meet almost on a daily basis
23 and exchange information.
24 Q. And did you have any conversation or have a conversation with any
25 members of this unit?
1 A. Yes, I had.
2 Q. And what was it that was said to you that indicated that they were
3 responsible for planting these mines in the soccer pitch?
4 A. Well, they said it was told to them -- or issued an order to them
5 but also it was made absolutely certain to them that nobody would be hurt
6 by it, meaning that it will be discovered in time. But they were asked to
7 do it during the night. Actually what they did is just went around with a
8 basket and tossed them around in the grass. They have little round, green
9 in colour.
10 Q. Were you asked or instructed to file a complaint regarding this
12 A. Yes, indeed.
13 Q. And what was the nature of the complaint?
14 A. Again, we claimed that the penetration of the Croatian or, as the
15 term was used at the time, "Ustasha" elements had penetrated our border,
16 went deep inside and planted those mines. And we actually blamed the
17 military observers of the UN who were deployed along the frontier, they
18 haven't seen anything.
19 Q. Is there one last incident regarding a water tower?
20 A. Yes. Again, it was a mine planted -- a number of mines, actually,
21 planted around the water tower, and one of the villagers taking his
22 livestock to graze in the vicinity actually stepped on one and got killed.
23 Q. And what was the ethnicity of the man who was killed?
24 A. That was a Serbian man.
25 Q. Did you come to learn who planted the mines around the water
2 A. This time it was our own anti-terrorist unit from the 21st Corps.
3 Q. And how did you learn that fact?
4 A. From a personal discussion with the leader of this little unit,
5 with Paraga.
6 Q. And on this occasion, were you instructed to file a complaint with
7 the United Nations?
8 A. Yes. Before I even discovered what happened, I mean who committed
9 these things, I would be called in to the HQ by Colonel Bulat, given the
10 letter of complaint, and I would drive immediately to the UN compound and
11 hand it to the sector commander there. It was beginning to be a joke
12 between the sector commander and myself because he didn't believe that our
13 forces would permit such easy access to the terrorists from the other
15 Q. This particular complaint, did it make an allegation as to who was
16 responsible for the planting of the mine at the water tower?
17 A. An official complaint?
18 Q. The complaint that you were instructed to give the United Nations.
19 A. Yes; officially it was blamed on the Croatian side.
20 Q. Now, you were present in this area at the times of these events.
21 Did these events have the desired effect in creating what you've
22 previously testified to as a psychosis of fear?
23 A. Yes, very much so. Because I have to point out that during all
24 these meetings, the situation was very relaxed in RSK. The meetings are
25 ongoing, something is happening over there, we have really demobilised a
1 considerable number of soldiers, sent them home to do their field work or
2 whatever they do. And then after each of these incidents, we would
3 mobilise everybody because, you know, you have to look for these units of
4 the Croatian terrorists that have penetrated the borders, you have to
5 search for them in the forest; so everybody would be back in uniform, back
6 on duty.
7 Q. I want to now draw your attention to a later period after that.
8 Were you called upon to participate in a plan to expel 75 elderly Croat
9 villagers in the area of your responsibility?
10 A. Yes, I have taken a personal part in it.
11 Q. Can you please describe, first of all, the planning involved in
12 the operation.
13 A. Well, somebody came up with the bright idea how to get rid of the
14 remaining Croatian population in the area, and that is to approach the UN
15 and International Red Cross and ask them if they can assist us to have
16 them transferred to Karlovac hospital because we are unable within the
17 area to give them proper medical attention. So the whole idea was put
18 forth to the UN as being a humanitarian convoy.
19 Q. Approximately how many people are involved in this plan? I mean
20 the targeted people to be moved to Karlovac.
21 A. Approximately around 75, but the people involved in it would be
22 the members of the 21st Corps, the police in the area of the Kordun Corps,
23 International Red Cross, the military observers, the UN. So there was a
24 lot of people involved in actually implementing the idea.
25 Q. And would it be fair to say that these Croats were elderly people?
1 A. Yes. I don't think anyone was younger than 70.
2 Q. Based on your experience and standard operating procedure, what
3 level would have to become involved to agree on and implement a plan of
4 this nature?
5 A. A plan of this nature involving all these international bodies
6 would have to be -- green lights would have to be given by Belgrade.
7 Q. Did the plan go forward?
8 A. Yes, it did.
9 Q. And can you describe your participation in the actual execution of
10 that plan.
11 A. My part was to get in touch with all these international bodies
12 and give them the details of the plan, together with what we expect them
13 to do, what kind of assistance we need from them. The general framework
14 of the whole thing was a humanitarian convoy going from RSK, carrying
15 Croatian nationals into Croatia for medical attention. The thing that we
16 did not tell them, and that was the idea that they will not come back.
17 Q. Was there a planning meeting held to discuss the specifics of this
19 A. I have virtually come to the tail end of the planning itself, when
20 it was -- when it came to the point that the international structures have
21 to be informed about it, that's when they used me as a liaison officer, me
22 and Mr. Toso Pajic, to deal with international police.
23 Q. Did you have a conversation with Mr. Toso Pajic regarding this
25 A. Yes, indeed.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Did he indicate to you whether or not Mr. Jovica Stanisic was
2 involved in the planning of this event?
3 A. Well, he also had information like that Daddy is informed about
4 these things that are happening here, without in so much as saying, Yes, I
5 talked to him today or yesterday. But he referred, as he was discussing
6 this matter prior.
7 Q. Colonel Bulat, did you have a conversation with Colonel Bulat
8 regarding this operation?
9 A. Yes, because he was the one who was giving me instructions about
11 Q. Did he indicate to you what, if any, contact he had with General
12 Perisic regarding this matter?
13 A. Yes. Again, on all levels in this operation, the people in
14 Belgrade were informed, from the civilian down to military down to the
15 state security.
16 Q. And just finally on this matter: Was this operation executed in a
17 manner that was satisfactory to the people who planned it?
18 A. Yes, to the both sides. The UN was very impressed because they
19 were under the impression they were helping out a humanitarian thing. My
20 own side was also very happy because they got rid of these 75 civilians
21 which they had no use for really. So it all ended up, you know, everybody
22 being happy except those Croats.
23 Q. Was this plan replicated in other instances around the same time,
24 in other areas that you're aware of?
25 A. I'm not aware of any other instances.
1 Q. I want to now ask you to describe in a little greater detail the
2 institution of Pauk, or Spider. When did you first become aware of this
3 joint command?
4 A. It was late 1993, when there was a sudden influx of these
5 uniformed men, uniforms I had never encountered before. Talking to them
6 in our own language, it was obvious they're not from the area. Also it
7 was obvious they're not a paramilitary unit as far as we're concerned
8 because they were given a free passageway, and also they were given our
9 old HQ in Petrova Gora.
10 Q. And who was the commander of the Pauk command?
11 A. General Mile Novakovic.
12 Q. Now, you've testified earlier that the 21st Corps was involved,
13 members of the special forces of the Serbian MUP, Arkan's Tigers, and
14 Fikret Abdic's men.
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. Were there any other units at any time that you were aware of were
17 involved with this Pauk command?
18 A. Yes. Some of the units of the 39th Corps, some of the units of
19 the 15th Corps, some of the units of the 1st and the 2nd Krajina Corps in
20 the Republika Srpska. That usually would happen when they had a
21 coordinated attack on the 5th Corps.
22 Q. So to be clear, the 39th and 15th Corps are corps of the ARSK?
23 A. Correct, sir.
24 Q. And the 1st and 2nd Krajina Corps are both corps of the VRS or
25 army of Republika Srpska?
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. Now, in your role as liaison officer, were you ever called upon to
3 answer questions regarding Pauk and were you ever given instructions on
4 how you should respond to inquiries about Pauk?
5 A. Yes. I have been called frequently by the sector commander,
6 General Hesselberg, who was then commander of sector north. One
7 particular instance he called me in his office. When I arrived, he tossed
8 a little service booklet at me across the table and it had to do with
9 artillery piece. I have looked at this military booklet and it had to do
10 with JNA weaponry. General Hesselberg claimed that that was given to him
11 by members of the 5th Corps. That was a piece of artillery they have
12 taken away from Abdic's forces during the recent combat. I said it was
13 probably a piece of artillery left behind by JNA. When he asked me to
14 open this little booklet to the service page of it, unfortunately there
15 was a stamp of the Nis Corps, which is approximately, I don't know, 1.200
16 to 1.300 miles away, and this specific piece of artillery was serviced
17 there about a month prior to being captured in the area of the 5th Corps.
18 Q. And the Nis Corps would be based in the city of Nis in Serbia; is
19 that correct?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. And can you please establish a time frame for when General
22 Hesselberg confronted you with these service records?
23 A. Very late 1993.
24 Q. And officially, you've told us that the service record indicated
25 service within a month --
1 A. Prior to the capture of this piece of artillery.
2 Q. Officially, how much time had elapsed between the JNA's official
3 withdrawal from this area?
4 A. Over two years.
5 MR. GROOME: I'm going to now ask that the witness be shown
6 Prosecution Exhibit 348, tab 12. I ask that the original Serbian copy be
7 placed on the overhead projector.
8 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, you've testified at great length about Colonel
9 Bulat. During the course of your duties, did you become familiar with his
11 A. Yes. I have seen many orders signed by himself.
12 Q. Have you had an opportunity to review carefully this document
13 marked as Prosecution Exhibit 348, tab 12?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you recognise the signature on the bottom of that page?
16 A. That is Colonel Bulat's signature all right. But this is when he
17 was chief of staff of Pauk, not during his commanding of the 21st Corps.
18 Q. Can you please describe for the Chamber the significance of this
19 document and summarise its contents.
20 A. Very briefly, this document was done in a number of copies which
21 were to be sent to the 21st Corps, 39th Corps, Tactical Group 2, Tactical
22 Group 3, command of Pauk, and artillery of the 21st Corps plus to the
23 command of the Western Bosnia, which are actually Abdic's forces. The
24 order itself, what it contains within itself is to supply information
25 about the inventory of the weapons and ammunition within all these
2 Q. I want to draw your attention to the first paragraph after item 6,
3 and I want to ask you: Is there a reference to MUP units in the document?
4 A. Yes. The last paragraph would read that during the regular
5 inventory taking would also include the units of the MUP, the Ministry of
6 the Interior, and also the units of the Republika Srpska, meaning the
7 Bosnian -- Serb -- Republika Srpska, the Serbian side in Bosnian conflict.
8 MR. GROOME: Thank you. I'm finished with that exhibit.
9 Q. Now, during the course of your duties, did you have occasion to
10 actually visit Pauk headquarters?
11 A. Yes, I have, and actually, I had a permanent pass given to me by
12 Colonel Bulat. That was the only way that I actually can go to Pauk.
13 Q. And what was the purpose of your visits to the Pauk headquarters?
14 A. The very first visit was related to the request by the General
15 Pieters. He was a Belgian general stationed in Zagreb. I don't really
16 know what his function was within the UN, but at one stage he insisted on
17 meeting with General Novakovic, and me being liaison officer in 21st
18 Corps, I was asked to inform General Novakovic about this meeting. I went
19 back to my own HQ, talked to Colonel Bulat and he said why don't you go,
20 you know, to Pauk command and let him know yourself, and then you can
21 bring him back.
22 Q. I want to ask you now to --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Would it be possible to slow down.
24 MR. GROOME: Apologies again.
25 THE WITNESS: Sorry.
1 MR. GROOME:
2 Q. I want to ask you now to speak in greater detail regarding the
3 make-up of the forces in Pauk. Can you estimate for us the number of
4 soldiers from the 21st Corps that were assigned to work in the Pauk joint
6 A. I believe that the members of the 21st Corps were numbered about
7 400 strong. I would place MUP to about 200, in Arkan's to about 100. And
8 I have no knowledge of how many of Abdic's forces were there.
9 Q. Now, when you say MUP contributed approximately 200 --
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. -- was this the MUP of the RSK or the Serbian MUP?
12 A. That was actually the special force of police from Serbia proper,
13 headed by Colonel Bozovic, Colonel Ulemek, also known as Legija -
14 apparently he was a former Legionnaire - and Frenki Stamatovic. Frenki
15 Stamatovic held the command in Petrova Gora while the others were across
16 the border in Bosnia.
17 Q. The members of the 21st Corps, did they wear any insignia or other
18 identifying mark that they were from the 21st Corps when they were serving
19 in the Pauk headquarters?
20 A. They have been asked to remove them.
21 Q. Why was that?
22 A. Well, we did not really want international community to know that
23 the members of the 21st Corps are actually involved in a Muslim versus
24 Muslim conflict on the other side of the border.
25 Q. Was there a policy that you were aware of regarding what would
1 happen in the event that a member of the 21st Corps would either be
2 captured or killed during operations conducted under Pauk?
3 A. The order was very simple. If I were to be called by the UN HQ
4 and -- for this reason: Maybe the 5th Corps is holding a number of
5 prisoners who claim to belong to the 21st Corps, I would deny the fact.
6 And instruction given to me was to tell them they were either deserters or
7 volunteers who have voluntarily crossed the border and joined the forces
8 of Fikret Abdic.
9 Q. Can you describe for us what was the command relationship between
10 Fikret Abdic's men and the Serbian members of Pauk? Did one command the
12 A. I believe that Abdic's forces were actually under the command of
13 the MUP from Serbia.
14 Q. While you were -- or in the aspects of Pauk that you were exposed
15 to, did you ever see Novakovic give any orders to any of the units of the
16 Serbian special forces?
17 A. No, I have not.
18 Q. How about with respect to Arkan's Tigers?
19 A. Again, the same answer: No, I have not. My belief was that he
20 couldn't even command them if he wanted to.
21 Q. With respect to the Serbian MUP and Arkan's Tigers, did they wear
22 any identifying insignia that identified them as members of those two
23 respective groups?
24 A. My information was very clear in that respect. If they were to be
25 engaged in combat, all the recognisable patches should be removed during
1 the combat. However, once they would cross again into the RSK, they would
2 wear their own patches on the shoulder, which was the upright sword with
3 the Serbian flag. Because on occasion I've seen them coming in for
5 Q. I want to now show you a document that has been previously marked
6 for identification, and that is Prosecution 347, tab 5. And I want to
7 show you a particular excerpt from that, and the number at the top of the
8 page is 02094552 and 53.
9 MR. GROOME: I would ask that the witness be shown the original
10 Serbian copy.
11 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, I'd ask you to take a look at this document and
12 tell us: Do you recognise what it is?
13 A. It looks like a war diary on a day-to-day.
14 Q. I want to direct your attention to certain entries and ask for
15 your comment. I want to direct your attention to the entry for 1510
17 A. 1510?
18 Q. Yes. I'd ask you to, at this stage, work from the English version
19 if we've made an error and not included the page from this original
20 Serbian. On the entry from 1510, is there a reference to your
21 organisation, the 21st Corps?
22 A. Yes. "To order the commander of the 21st artillery detachment to
23 open fire."
24 Q. Drawing your attention to the entry under 1540 hours, is there a
25 reference to Bozovic?
1 A. Yes. It states very clearly that Bozovic is requesting fire to
2 the following sectors, and all the sectors mentioned are on the Bosnian
4 Q. Would it be considered ordinary or customary for a member of MUP,
5 of a police department, to direct the fire, artillery fire, of a military
7 A. Not unless he had full permission from Belgrade.
8 Q. Is there anything in that log to indicate that Bozovic was
9 questioned regarding his authority to call for such fire?
10 A. None that I can see.
11 Q. I want to draw your attention to an entry of 1730 hours and ask
12 you: Does that reference Legija, a person you've mentioned in your
13 testimony here today?
14 A. Yes. It very clearly states that Legija was leading the 2nd
15 Battalion in the operation and then made analysis of the combat for the
17 Q. And who was he to work with regarding that direction?
18 A. It does say a joint meeting, so it's natural to assume it's a
19 joint meeting with representatives of all the commands there.
20 Q. And is there also a reference in that entry to the replenishment
21 of Legija's supplies?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Would that be considered unusual, for a military unit to be giving
24 supplies to a police unit from another country?
25 A. Under normal circumstances, it would be absolutely impossible, but
1 we were not living under normal circumstances at the time.
2 Q. I want to draw your attention to just two more entries, one at
3 1915 hours, and does that indicate or list the supplies that were provided
4 to Bozovic?
5 A. It's a very long list here really, but one that I can notice
6 immediately that Bozovic was given two 60-millimetre mortars and
7 82-millimetre mortars from the 21st Corps.
8 Q. Is there any other Bozovic that you're aware of other than the
9 Bozovic you've testified about from the Serbian MUP special forces?
10 A. No. That is not a very familiar name in the area.
11 Q. And the final entry I would seek your comment on is the entry of
12 2145 hours, and is there reference there to the insertion of a special
13 unit of MUP?
14 A. That refers to the 39th Corps, if we are looking at the same page.
15 Q. I would draw your attention to the last paragraph in that entry.
16 Oh, yes. 1615, special unit of the MUP, Ministry of Interior. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. GROOME: I'm finished with that exhibit. I'd now ask that the
19 witness be shown Prosecution Exhibit 348, tab 13.
20 Q. I'd ask you to take a look at this document and ask you: Do you
21 recognise what it is?
22 A. Yes, I do. It's a visitors log. I probably signed it myself on a
23 couple of occasions.
24 Q. And it's for people visiting what location?
25 A. That is for people visiting the command of Pauk.
1 Q. Do you recognise some of the names on that log?
2 A. I think the most prominent one would be Abdic Fikret on this list.
3 Q. I'd ask you to take a quick look at the two pages that I've
4 provided you and ask you: Do you see Mr. Abdic's name on that list more
5 than once?
6 A. Yes. There's an entry for the May 18th, 1995, Thursday. Abdic
7 Fikret again. Well, actually, I know quite a few people here because
8 they're all from Velika Kladusa.
9 Q. And are they people that you knew to be members of the Pauk
11 A. Some of them, yes. Not all of them. These are actually visitors
12 to the Pauk command. On the right-hand side of the document actually you
13 can see who they went to see, so the people listed on the right-hand side
14 would be the members of the command, and the left-hand side are the
16 MR. GROOME: Thank you. I'm finished with that particular
18 Q. I want to now ask you to describe in greater detail the location
19 of the Serbian MUP headquarters that were part of the overall Pauk
21 A. There's one that was placed in Petrova Gora. It was a former JNA
22 military installation with some high-tech -- it's actually monitoring
23 telephone calls in Zagreb and stuff like that. It was a building which
24 was two storey high above the ground and it had seven storeys below the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And where was the other -- was there another Serbian MUP
2 headquarters as part of the joint command, other than Petrova Gora?
3 A. In Pauk. The remainder of the command was in Pauk, in Bosnia.
4 Q. And how far away from the Croatian-Bosnian border was this second
6 A. Well, the Petrova Gora is probably around five to six kilometres
7 away from the border, and the Pauk command is probably around 800 metres
8 inside the border.
9 Q. During the times that you were at Petrova Gora, can you describe
10 for us what, if any, armed people, armed troops, you saw using that
11 facility or guarding that facility?
12 A. One could go to Pauk or to Petrova Gora only by invitation once it
13 was taken over by the MUP Serbia. So only one time I went there I know
14 that the perimeter of it was consisting of the members of MUP Serbia and
15 Arkan's Tigers.
16 Q. I'm going to put some names to you and ask you whether you ever
17 saw any of these people present at Petrova Gora. A person by the name of
19 A. Frankov Kolu [phoen], belongs to Arkan's Tigers.
20 Q. How about a Captain Sarac?
21 A. Second in command to Mr. Pejovic, Colonel Pejovic.
22 Q. You've testified earlier about Colonel Bozovic. Did you ever see
23 him at this location?
24 A. Not in Petrova Gora, but I met him in Velika Kladusa itself.
25 Q. Now, can you describe for us what, if any, knowledge you have
1 regarding the types of weaponry that the Pauk command had under its
3 A. Well, they had a far superior weapon than we had which was issued
4 to us by the JNA. Most of their weaponry was either Heckler or Koch,
5 which was very hard to get in Yugoslavia at the time, so I assume they
6 must have bought it from outside of Yugoslavia. The size of weaponry
7 would either consist of Sexhauer [phoen], which is another weapon which is
8 not produced in Yugoslavia. I know that we within the 21st Corps had all
9 locally produced weaponry, but apparently the MUP Serbia had far superior
10 weaponry than we did.
11 Q. Did Pauk have any tanks or armoured vehicles under its control?
12 A. Not that I know of.
13 Q. Were you familiar with where the stores for Pauk were kept?
14 A. Well, they would come for their supplies back into the RSK.
15 Q. Where was that in relation to your office?
16 A. Well, not to my office, but in relation to my house, it was across
17 the road.
18 Q. And would you see units coming and going to be supplied from that
20 A. On a very regular basis. Very early in the morning, between 8.00
21 and 9.00, they would be parked there. During the night, the trucks would
22 deliver the supplies, and in the morning, they would be there to pick them
24 Q. The trucks that supplied the warehouse, can you tell us what, if
25 anything, about the type of vehicle and who owned the vehicle?
1 A. The military type trucks with VJ number plates on them.
2 Q. And can you tell us some of the units that you saw coming to the
3 stores to receive stores from this location.
4 A. I've only seen Arkan's units coming to collect the stores over
5 there. Whether they were collecting for somebody else in Pauk, I don't
6 know, but they have taken much more than they needed for the numbers that
7 they had.
8 Q. I want to now draw your attention to St. Vidovdan Day, the 28th of
9 June, 1995, and ask you whether you were present at a celebration of that
11 A. Was that a question to me?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. I'm sorry. Yes, I was present there. It was a big parade.
14 Q. And for those of us who are not familiar with the Serbian Orthodox
15 calendar, can you briefly describe the significance of St. Vidovdan Day?
16 A. I have to be very honest, I'm not a very religious person but I
17 believe it had something to do with the Kosovo battle.
18 Q. Would it be fair to say that it is one of the more significant
19 days on the Serbian Orthodox calendar?
20 A. It would be a very important date for them.
21 Q. Can you describe for us what occurred at that celebration
22 generally, or briefly.
23 A. Well, it was -- since it was televised live, it was to produce a
24 parade which would show to both the Croatian side and the Bosnian side how
25 well we're equipped with weaponry, including the rocket systems, taking
1 into consideration that Asaj [phoen] was only 28 kilometres, as the crow
2 flies, away from us, that would be a very serious threat to Zagreb itself.
3 So it was all planned of creating this, you know, we're big and strong.
4 Q. After arriving here in Holland, were you given the opportunity to
5 look at a videotape that depicted the celebration that you were present
7 A. Yes, I have.
8 Q. And can you tell us approximately how long was this celebration
10 A. I believe it took something like four to five hours.
11 MR. GROOME: I'd ask now that the witness be shown what has been
12 previously marked as Prosecution Exhibit 347, tab 7. I'd ask that the
13 witness be shown, it's a video cassette tape.
14 Q. And I'd ask you to look at the label on that video cassette tape.
15 A. Yes. I have marked it in my own handwriting that this is a tape
16 that I have seen.
17 Q. And what date is on that?
18 A. October 21st, 2002.
19 Q. Is that the date you viewed that videotape?
20 A. That is the date I viewed this tape, yes.
21 Q. And did you view -- did you mark "C-001" and the date on that
22 videotape label as it was taken out of the video recorder?
23 A. Yes, I did, right down at the bottom of the label.
24 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, just a point of clarification: The
25 Prosecution will be seeking to introduce the entire tape, although it does
1 not believe it's necessary for the Chamber to view it at this stage. But
2 the witness has viewed the tape and has identified the entire two-hour
3 tape as being a fair depiction of that. So we would be seeking to
4 introduce the entire tape. I will be asking a short excerpt to be
5 presented here in Court.
6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll admit that. The registrar will give it the
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the videotape in its entirety will
10 be tab 7, and the excerpt, which was originally tendered and admitted on
11 the 22nd of October, will be tab 7A, which is an excerpt of this video.
12 MR. GROOME: Tab 7A has been cued up in the video booth, and at
13 this time I would ask the director to play that video excerpt.
14 Q. And Mr. Lazarevic, I would ask you, as the video is playing, if
15 you would please narrate for the Chamber what it is that's taking place on
16 the video.
17 [Videotape played]
18 THE WITNESS: Well, this is during the parade itself. You can see
19 president of the Republic of RSK at the time, Mr. Milan Martic, inspecting
20 the troops. There's Red Berets here, supposed to be a special unit. Only
21 this picture, if you can freeze frame, you can see actually the members of
22 the --
23 MR. GROOME: I will be showing you some frozen stills from this
24 video. If we can just let the video run and please continue to narrate.
25 THE WITNESS: Fine with me. Okay. He's going back to the podium
1 and now the procession will start. That's General Mrksic behind him, just
2 about to salute everybody there, President Martic. And now the actual
3 parade has started.
4 MR. GROOME:
5 Q. Can you describe anything that is unusual --
6 A. Well, on this particular photograph here you see Captain Dragan,
7 who was one of the paramilitary leaders at the very beginning, 1991, 1990,
8 and then he went back to Belgrade, and this is the first time I've seen
9 him after 1991.
10 Q. I'd ask you to comment on the licence plates that you see.
11 A. The truck that just went through had letter "Z" in Cyrillic,
12 meaning it belongs to the 21st Corps. Each corps had a letter assigned to
14 Q. What kind of equipment are we looking at?
15 A. The multi-rocket launcher right now, and you can see the "Z" and I
16 can't see the numbering but it's there. And again, one of our own. But
17 if you look at the rocket system, those are the ones that came from the
18 Republika Srpska, from the army over there. And yet on all those vehicles
19 you don't see any number plates because they were removed prior to taking
20 part in the procession.
21 The Luna rocket is there. Terrible, obsolete weapon. At ten
22 kilometres, they miss the target by 500 metres. That's why it makes it
23 more dangerous. A number of journalists there filming the whole parade.
24 I think it's only fair to say that all these weapons was removed
25 after the parade and sent back to Bosnia, to Republika Srpska. Also we
1 didn't have an air force really, so ...
2 Q. Why were the number plates removed from the vehicles from
3 Republika Srpska?
4 A. Well, this podium here was actually a three-part podium, and on
5 the left-hand side from President Martic over there would be the foreign
6 dignitaries, like members of the ECMM, members of the UN, and those people
7 probably used their cameras and film it and analyse it later on and could
8 see the number plates and that would be proof of the origin. If you
9 didn't have any number plates you couldn't place them. You had to take it
10 at face value and say yes.
11 Now, there's an interesting photograph here. General Mile
12 Novakovic and introducing President Martic to the Pauk command there. The
13 first two persons over there were Colonel Bozovic and, after that, Colonel
14 Ulemek, known as Legija. These gentlemen here, they're all Bosnians.
15 When I say "Bosnians," I mean members of Fikret Abdic's forces.
16 That is part of the Pauk command being introduced to President
18 And General Mrksic right now.
19 MR. GROOME: Okay.
20 Q. I'm going to show you some stills from that excerpt we just saw so
21 that you can be more precise in your identifications of the people
22 present, and I would ask you to take a look at this photograph.
23 MR. GROOME: And I would ask that it be marked as Prosecution
24 Exhibit 347, tab 7.1, which is what it was given the other day when it was
25 shown to witness C-020, but we also include ".SL" to indicate that this
1 witness has marked the exhibit.
2 A. On this photograph here with the back turned is President Mile
3 Martic there. General Mrksic is to his left, also with his back turned,
4 saluting Colonel Bozovic and Colonel Legija, or Colonel Ulemek, Legija was
5 his nickname. So you have Martic, Ulemek, Bozovic, Mrksic.
6 Q. And that is your handwriting indicating the names of these people?
7 A. Yes, sir.
8 Q. I'd ask that you be shown Prosecution Exhibit 347, tab 7.3.SL. Is
9 that your handwriting on this photograph?
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. Can you please indicate who is in this photograph.
12 A. Facing in the middle of the photograph is President Mile Martic.
13 Behind him is General Mile Mrksic. Behind, you can only see the face of
14 General Novakovic, and here in the corner is General -- sorry, Colonel
15 Kosta Novakovic. But this time he was running the military information
16 centre in Knin. That's Kosta Novakovic.
17 MR. GROOME: I ask that the witness be shown Prosecution Exhibit
18 347, tab 7.4.SL.
19 Q. Is that your handwriting on this photograph?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. Can you please describe who is depicted in this photograph.
22 A. President Mile Martic, General Mile Novakovic, and you have on the
23 top of the photograph, you have Djuro Skaljac, who was second in command
24 of the police in Vojnic, directly under Toso Pajic and later became
25 liaison officer in Pauk. Actually, on this photograph, you can see the ID
1 hanging from his shirt up front. That would refer to Pauk command. And
2 with his back turned to us is General Mile Mrksic.
3 MR. GROOME: I ask that the witness now be shown Prosecution
4 Exhibit 347, tab 7.5.SL.
5 Q. And can you tell us who is depicted in this photograph?
6 A. Captain Dragan.
7 Q. Now --
8 MR. GROOME: I'm finished with that exhibit. Thank you.
9 Q. Did there come a time when you were appointed to be a member of a
10 three-person commission for the exchange of bodies?
11 A. As a matter of fact, I was a member of the commission from the
12 very beginning in 1992, but it grew up into a real commission on the level
13 of the RSK and it was run from Knin by a gentleman called Savo Strbac.
14 Q. Did there come a time when you were called upon to become involved
15 in a proposed exchange of bodies, of soldiers from the Banija Corps that
16 were lost in the Bihac pocket, that were killed in the Bihac pocket?
17 A. Yes, sir.
18 Q. And how many men were killed belonging to the Banija Corps of the
19 ARSK in the Bihac pocket?
20 A. 100 was offered for exchange.
21 Q. And can you help fix this in time. When was this?
22 A. That would be in 1994. It was very cold, so I'd say early 1994.
23 Q. Can you describe what you did to facilitate the exchange or the
24 retrieval of these hundred bodies.
25 A. Mine was actually to first originate a meeting with the members of
1 the 5th Corps, a similar commission on their side and their own liaison
2 officer so we can start implementing this exchange because the families --
3 they wanted their dead fathers or sons or brothers or whatever they had
4 there. And the problem was actually that we did not have that many bodies
5 from the other side belonging to the 5th Corps, so it was given to me to
6 get as many bodies as I can, irrelevant of the area where they were taken
7 and to bring them back into the area of the 39th Corps and exchange them
8 for these hundred members of the 39th Corps.
9 Q. And can you describe for us how it was that you went about this
11 A. Well, I virtually knocked on every door given the opportunity. I
12 originally went to the 21st Corps, to my own CO, asking him for advice,
13 what is the next thing to do. He told me to go and see Toso Pajic because
14 there are some dead bodies kind of buried around. I went to see Toso
15 Pajic and he referred me to Djuro Skaljac, his second in command. We then
16 picked up, I believe, two prisoners - they were both Croatian nationals -
17 took me outside of Vojnic to a little deserted place by the river there
18 and pointed out to the area when these two Croatian nationals should start
19 digging. They dig out -- they did dig out four bodies. The problem that
20 I had with them, first they were in a high state of decomposition, so it
21 was not something that happened recently in a combat situation. Obviously
22 they were there for a considerable number of months. And the second even
23 more worrying thing was that all four bodies had their hands tied with
24 wire up front, which would suggest they were executed, that they did not
25 actually die in a combat situation. But being pressed for the bodies,
1 nevertheless I took those four, removed the wire, and put them in the body
3 Q. Did you obtain another 90 bodies from other graves in the area?
4 A. Yes, sir, but those are the known gravesites of the real combat
5 members of the 5th Corps that were killed in recent actions.
6 Q. Now, even with this 90 plus four bodies, did you still need to
7 identify or secure six other additional bodies for the exchange?
8 A. General agreement between the 5th Corps and the 39th Corps was one
9 for one, meaning as many as we offered, that's how many we're going to
10 get, one for one sort of a thing. So it was still six short.
11 Q. And did you go -- did you at some point -- or at some point were
12 you directed to speak to one of Arkan's Tigers regarding securing six more
14 A. Yes. I was directed to go there by Colonel Karan Mlado, who was
15 internal security officer for the 21st Corps, and he usually would have
16 information where the people were held as prisoners or people being shot
17 or something like that. So he directed me to go to Pauk command and speak
18 to Colonel Bozovic and Colonel Pejovic. One was the MUP Serbia -- Bozovic
19 was MUP Serbia, and Pejovic was Arkan's Tigers. See if they can assist.
20 Q. What happened when you spoke to Pejovic?
21 A. I spoke first to Bozovic and Bozovic told me if you need dead.
22 You go and fight and bring your own dead. So that was a very brief
23 meeting. He wouldn't help us in this matter no matter how much I pleaded
24 with him. I wasn't doing this for myself; you know, for the families.
25 Then I was sent then to go to separate like a little subcommand, if you
1 like, where Colonel Pejovic was, and then he sent me to his second in
2 command, Captain Sarac, who calmly said he doesn't have any dead bodies
3 however he does have six live ones and I can have them if I need them
4 badly enough.
5 Q. What did you do?
6 A. The whole commission just turned around and walked away. We drove
7 back and then we were told to come back the following morning.
8 Q. And did you go back to Captain Sarac the next morning?
9 A. We went back to the Pauk command which told us there are bodies
10 ready for us, as Captain Sarac commanded. We went there and there were
11 six dead bodies lined up which appeared to be very freshly killed.
12 Q. When you say "freshly killed," did it appear to you that they had
13 been killed in the period since you last left the Pauk command?
14 A. I would say they were killed about an hour before we came the
15 second time.
16 Q. What happened then?
17 A. Again, these bodies now were too fresh compared to all the other
18 bodies to be taken straight for the exchange, so I have advised my command
19 about it. They told me to take the bodies back to the Vojnic nevertheless
20 and place them in a fridge and then conduct the exchange late at night the
21 same day.
22 Q. And did you do that?
23 A. Yes, we did, but with the five that I picked up, I had only 99.
24 So when we came to the place where the meeting was set up with the 5th
25 Corps, they brought big trucks. We lined them up along the road, 99 on
1 our side, they took one, put it back on the truck and they left 99 on the
2 road. So it was 99 for 99.
3 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm about to go into an entirely
4 different area.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm just mindful of the time before
7 embarking on a new area.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I think that would be a convenient moment. How
9 much longer do you anticipate?
10 MR. GROOME: I would expect approximately 40 minutes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
12 We'll adjourn now. Mr. Lazarevic, would you please be back
13 tomorrow morning at 9.00 --
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MAY: -- to continue your evidence. Thank you.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.40
17 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 30th day of
18 October 2002, at 9.00 a.m.