1 Thursday, 22 May 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome.
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, there are just a few preliminary matters
7 I would ask to address the Chamber in private session, if I may.
8 [Private session]
13 Pages 20991-21001 – redacted – private session
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
9 JUDGE MAY: I have one announcement to make about hearing times,
10 and we hope this won't cause inconvenience. It's become necessary to
11 rearrange dates in early June. We will sit, there will be a hearing day
12 on the 2nd, Monday the 2nd of June, but not Friday the 6th.
13 As I say, I hope that doesn't cause inconvenience.
14 MR. GROOME: It doesn't, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't. I'm glad to hear that. Thank you.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation I solemnly declare that I will speak
19 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
21 WITNESS: WITNESS B-161
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
24 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm not sure if the Chamber would want,
25 but I would offer to the Chamber, if the Chamber wants, for me to make any
1 inquiries from the witness about the matters we've just discussed
2 regarding the waiver.
3 JUDGE MAY: It may be more straightforward at the moment to deal
4 with the rest of the evidence and then you can reconsider that position.
5 Examined by Mr. Groome:
6 Q. Sir, I'd ask we begin your testimony by having you see tab 1 of a
7 new exhibit.
8 MR. GROOME: I'd ask if we could assign a number to this package
9 of 14 exhibits.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, Prosecutor's Exhibit 450.
11 MR. GROOME:
12 Q. Sir, I'd ask you to take a look at Prosecution Exhibit 450, tab 1,
13 and my question to you, I'd ask you to take a look at the B/C/S version
14 and ask you, is that your name on the top line of that exhibit?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And does that document accurately reflect your work and
17 professional experience?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. GROOME: I'm finished with that exhibit. Thank you. I'd ask
20 that that document be tendered under seal.
21 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you to help orient the Chamber to some of
22 the people you will testify regarding. I'm going to ask you if you know
23 certain people, and I will ask you to tell us in a sentence or two who
24 these people are. The first person I would ask you to describe for us is
25 a person by the name of Petar Mihajlovic. Do you know who he is? And if
1 so, tell us who he is.
2 A. Yes, I do know Mr. Petar Mihajlovic. He was an employee of the
3 Federal Secretariat for Internal Affairs.
4 Q. How about a person by the name of Zdravko Ljubinkovic?
5 A. Yes, I know Mr. Zdravko Ljubinkovic as well. He's a businessman
6 in Ljubljana.
7 Q. A person by the name of Predrag Jesuric.
8 A. Yes, I do know Mr. Predrag Jesuric. He was head of the SUP in
9 Bijeljina. I think he's still working there in the SUP of Bijeljina.
10 Q. The person by the name of Branko Popovic, also known as Marko
12 A. Yes, I met Mr. Marko Pavlovic as well at the beginning of the war
13 in Zvornik.
14 Q. And what position, if any, did he have in Zvornik?
15 A. At the time, he held the position of the commander of the
16 Territorial Defence of the municipality of Zvornik.
17 Q. By what name was he known in Zvornik during the spring of 1992?
18 A. He was known under the name of Marko Pavlovic.
19 Q. Did there come a time after that when you learnt that his real
20 name was Brano Popovic?
21 A. Yes. I learnt that his name was Branko Popovic and that he lives
22 in Sombor.
23 Q. Now I'll ask you about a person by the name of Aleksandar Sekanic.
24 A. Yes. He was Marko Pavlovic's assistant. He comes from the
25 village of Bilosevac in Bijeljina municipality.
1 Q. The next person I'd ask you about is Ratko Vidovic.
2 A. Yes. Mr. Ratko Vidovic is chief of the Department for Internal
3 Affairs in Mali Zvornik.
4 Q. A person by the name of Dragan Spasojevic.
5 A. Dragan Spasojevic was the chief of the traffic department in
6 Veliki Zvornik, municipality of Zvornik.
7 Q. Fadil Mujic.
8 A. Fadil Mujic was the chief of the crime service in the SUP of
9 Zvornik municipality.
10 Q. A person by the name of Rade Kostic.
11 A. Rade Kostic was a police commander in Beli Manastir.
12 Q. Did you ever see the car that Rade Kostic would drive in?
13 A. Yes. It was a jeep with "M" plates, meaning the Ministry of
14 Internal Affairs of Serbia.
15 Q. Can I ask you to describe what do you know about the relationship
16 between Rade Kostic and Marko Pavlovic.
17 A. Their relationship was such that they had a private conflict, and
18 Marko Pavlovic told me that Rade Kostic was looting in the territory of
19 Baranja, and he once brought an anonymous letter allegedly written by
20 citizens from the area. And Rade Kostic said that he had information that
21 Marko Pavlovic was looting in the territory of Eastern Bosnia and
23 Q. I want to ask you now about a person -- I want to ask you now
24 about a person by the name of Stevo Radic.
25 A. Stevo Radic was in the local authorities of Zvornik municipality,
1 in the municipal authorities.
2 Q. And now about a person by the name of Marko Pejic.
3 A. Marko Pejic was the deputy to the commander of paramilitary units
4 known as the Tigers.
5 Q. Now, during the course of your travels in Serbia
6 have occasion to see vehicles belonging to Arkan's Tigers?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. How is it that you were able to identify them as belonging to that
9 particular organisation?
10 A. Because they had the emblem of a Tiger on them.
11 Q. Are you familiar with where the headquarters of this organisation
13 A. Yes. It was in Ljutica Bogdan Street
14 stadium, in the house of Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan.
15 Q. Did you ever have occasion to see armed personnel outside that
17 A. Yes, I did. There were armed men guarding the house there.
18 Q. I want to now draw your attention to a person by the name -- I'm
19 sorry, before I leave Mr. Pejic; was he also known by another name?
20 A. His nickname was Peja.
21 Q. I'd like to now draw your attention to a person by the name of
22 Vojin Vukovic. Are you familiar with that person?
23 A. Yes. I heard him -- I saw him in passing maybe two times. He had
24 his own group of armed men.
25 Q. Do you know the name of that group?
1 A. Yellow Wasps, and they were in Zvornik. Their name was Yellow
3 Q. Now, Vojin Vukovic, was he also known by an alias or another name?
4 A. His nickname was Zuca, The Yellow One.
5 Q. Now, I want to draw your attention to some well known members of
6 the Serbian MUP, and I would ask you, can you describe for the Chamber who
7 was Obrad Stevanovic.
8 A. Obrad Stevanovic was the head of the police department in the
9 Secretariat of Internal Affairs, and later he became assistant minister.
10 Q. Radmilo Bogdanovic.
11 A. Radmilo Bogdanovic was the Minister of Internal Affairs in Serbia.
12 Q. Who became the Minister of Internal Affairs after Radmilo
14 A. After Radmilo Bogdanovic, Mr. Zoran Sokolovic became Minister of
15 Internal Affairs.
16 Q. And finally with respect to the Serbian MUP, I would ask you about
17 a person by the name of Mile Puzovic.
18 A. Mile Puzovic was the head of the Department for Frontier Affairs
19 and Foreigners, aliens.
20 Q. The last name that I would ask you to describe whether you know
21 this person is a person by the name of Tomica Raicevic.
22 A. Tomica Raicevic was an official in the government of the Republic
23 of Serbia.
24 Q. I'd like to now draw your attention to the relationship between
25 the federal MUP and the Bosnian Serb MUP. Were you aware of a
1 relationship between these two organisations?
2 MR. GROOME: I draw the Chamber's attention to paragraph 43.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I was familiar with that
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. Is that something you can describe for the Chamber at this point
7 in time?
8 A. The relationship was such that the federal MUP had the -- adopted
9 the position that it should assist the leadership in Republika Srpska.
10 They had a coordinator, and they frequently held meetings.
11 Q. I want to now ask you some questions or draw your attention to
12 Eastern Bosnia. During the spring and summer of 1992, did you have
13 occasion to travel frequently in the area of Eastern Bosnia
14 A. Yes. I travelled very frequently; every three or four days.
15 Q. Can you describe the municipalities which you frequented during
16 that period of time.
17 A. In Serbia, I frequented Ruma, Sremska Mitrovica, Sabac, Loznica,
18 Mali Zvornik, Ljubovija, Bajina Basta, Uzice. And in the Republic of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bijeljina and Zvornik.
20 Q. I want to draw your attention to Bijeljina. During the course of
21 your travels there, did you come to learn about Arkan's presence in that
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. Can you tell us the basis of how you learnt that information.
25 A. I came to see [redacted]who have houses at the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 entrance to Bijeljina in -- coming from the direction of Bogatic
2 municipality. When I arrived, I was told that the war had started in
3 Bijeljina the previous night.
4 I couldn't reach the centre of town. I stayed with my brothers
5 that evening. I heard reports that there were some troops close to
6 Bijeljina. When I went towards Serbia
7 on the road between the village of Popovi and the crossing at Drina across
8 which there was a raft, like a small ferry. And not far from the road I
9 noticed some men there, and I came across the army, and I asked them,
10 "Whose army are you?" And they said, "Can't you see that we are the
11 Serbian army?"
12 In front of the army a gentleman came who introduced himself as a
13 major by the name of Marko Pejic. I stayed there for a while and then I
14 went on to Belgrade.
15 Q. Sir, I would just remind you, in an effort to protect your
16 identity, it may not be necessary to mention the specific relationship
17 that you have, specific familiar relationship to some of these
18 non-essential people. I will be asking the Chamber to redact that
19 reference but remind you that, unless it's necessary, please don't express
20 these familial relationships.
21 MR. GROOME: I would also ask at this time that Prosecution tab 2
22 be placed in front of the witness. This is an exhibit that I anticipate
23 I will use during different times of his testimony. I would ask that it
24 be left on the desk in front of him.
25 Q. Sir, I want to ask you a few specific questions about your
1 observations in Bijeljina. The place where you met this Peja, can you
2 describe, was there any accommodation set up in that area?
3 A. Yes. There were quite a number of men there. There were tents.
4 There was a generator to produce electricity, and I saw two wounded men
5 sitting there. And he said that they were brave fighters who were
6 suffering and waiting patiently for a helicopter to transfer them to the
7 hospital in Belgrade.
8 Q. Sir, the tents that you saw there, based on your experience, what
9 capacity or how many people could be accommodated in the tents that you
10 observed at that location?
11 A. About a hundred men.
12 Q. And to be clear, the location where you made these observations,
13 what republic was that in?
14 A. In the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Between the Drina
15 River and the first settlement, called Popovi.
16 Q. Did it appear to you that the tents and the generator and the
17 other things that you saw there had been set up very recently or had been
18 there for some period of time?
19 A. It was night-time, and I really couldn't say. They were dug in a
20 little bit because the ground was not level, so certainly a couple of days
21 prior to this.
22 Q. Was there something about the car that you were driving on this
23 night that you believe allowed you to drive in and out of that location?
24 A. Yes. I had official registration plates, and that certainly
25 helped, because if I had had civilian registration plates, there would
1 have been problems for me.
2 Q. You've testified about seeing some wounded men there. Was any
3 statement made to you about what was going to happen or what was being
4 done for those wounded men?
5 A. Yes. I saw two wounded men, and their commander said that they
6 were brave, that they were suffering quietly and that they were waiting to
7 be transported by helicopter to Belgrade
8 Q. Prior to you leaving this scene, did any helicopter arrive at this
10 A. No, it didn't. It was night-time, about 2200 hours.
11 Q. Did there come a time later that you saw a picture of this Peja
12 who you've described in a helicopter?
13 A. Yes, I did, with a singer of light music. He was also wearing a
15 Q. The helicopter depicted in this photograph that you saw, was it a
16 private helicopter?
17 A. It was a military helicopter, a Gazelle.
18 Q. During this time period, how many times did you go into the centre
19 of Bijeljina?
20 A. I was in the centre of Bijeljina twice during that initial period.
21 Q. I'd ask that we talk about each one separately. Can you describe
22 for the Chamber your best recollection about your first visit. When was
23 the first visit you made to Bijeljina during this time period?
24 A. The first time I went was about three or four days later - I don't
25 know exactly - and I reached the centre. There were troops lined up which
1 were being reviewed by Mr. Zeljko Raznjatovic. I heard that in the youth
2 centre some people had come from the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
3 Fikret Abdic and Mrs. Biljana Plavsic, and that they were talking there at
4 the time. I stayed for a while. I didn't see them. I didn't see Mr.
5 Abdic or Biljana Plavsic. That was my first visit.
6 Q. I want to ask you a specific question about the people -- about
7 the soldiers that you say you saw lined up. Approximately how many, and
8 did they appear to be all under the command of Arkan?
9 A. There were about 200 soldiers, and they were all under his
10 command. They were well equipped, well dressed, wearing modern uniforms.
11 He too was in uniform. And he reviewed them, and they were preparing some
12 kind of a military review.
13 Q. This review that you are describing, was it more in the nature of
14 a simple roll call or was it more in the nature of some type of ceremonial
15 presentation of these troops?
16 A. Yes. It was a ceremonial presentation for somebody who was due to
17 come and inspect the troops.
18 Q. While you were present in Bijeljina this time, was there a
19 particular story with respect to Arkan that was being spoken about very
20 widely among the people of Bijeljina?
21 A. Yes. Everyone was talking about Arkan as a great soldier, how
22 capable his unit was. They spoke in the village that they were
23 unbelievably well trained and equipment.
24 Q. Was there a discussion about an event at that occurred between
25 Arkan and a commander of the garrison, the JNA garrison, in Bijeljina?
1 A. Yes. The story was that Mr. Arkan had entered the barracks and
2 slapped the garrison commander. He had a rather unusual surname. And
3 that he ordered that no troops could leave the barracks and come out of
4 the compound.
5 Q. Now, I want to draw your attention to your second visit to
6 Bijeljina. Can you approximate for us your -- when that was.
7 A. My second visit was a little later. Again, on the square there
8 was a review of troops being carried out by a man known as Mauzer. There
9 were about 500 soldiers lined up. There were also a large number of
10 citizens seeing the soldiers off, who got into the bus and went off in the
11 direction of Brcko.
12 Q. These people, these 500 that you're referring to, were they armed?
13 A. Yes. They were all armed, and they were also wearing military
14 wartime uniforms.
15 Q. Do you know what the purpose of these 500 was for going to Brcko?
16 A. They said that they were going to defend Brcko.
17 Q. Now, during this second visit, without telling us the identity or
18 the relationship to you of the person involved, were you asked to carry a
19 Muslim family out of Bijeljina?
20 A. Yes, I was.
21 Q. Why were you asked to do that?
22 A. [redacted].
23 Q. What was the family afraid of?
24 A. They were afraid -- actually, there were individual incidents
25 where people had been killed.
1 Q. What was the ethnicity of the people that you were asked to bring
2 out of Bijeljina?
3 A. They were Muslims.
4 Q. And did they fear being killed because they were Muslim?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How is it you were able to carry this family out of Bijeljina
7 without being stopped?
8 A. I had a vehicle with official licence plates, so I wasn't stopped.
9 Q. And where did you bring them to?
10 A. I took them to Belgrade.
11 Q. I want to now draw your attention to Zvornik. Did you go to the
12 municipality of Zvornik during this time period?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. Can you please describe for us when it was you first went to
15 Zvornik during this time period.
16 A. I went to Mali Zvornik first, and it was on the evening when the
17 war broke out, a part of Zvornik, and the settlement was called Karakaj,
18 in fact.
19 Q. And can you describe your observations of Karakaj at that time.
20 A. I noticed in Karakaj -- or, rather, I saw Mr. Marko Pejic once
21 again, and he was in a textile factory over there. And up on the first
22 floor there was a sort of production hall, and he had his headquarters
23 there. And there were lots of soldiers coming and going up in front.
24 They were going off somewhere else, I don't know where. And at the time
25 that I arrived, I heard a piece of information according to which Fadil
1 Mujic had been captured. And some people ran past me -- two soldiers, in
3 Q. Sorry to interrupt you, but could I ask you to move your chair a
4 little bit closer to the desk. Apparently they're having difficulty
5 picking up your voice on the microphone.
6 And, sir, let me ask you a few more specific questions before you
7 move on. Did you eventually learn how Peja came to be in Zvornik?
8 A. I was told that they were brought in by a gentleman from the local
9 authorities in Zvornik and they were paid, being paid for that.
10 Q. And who is the person who told you that they were being paid?
11 A. People from the local leadership of the Zvornik municipality told
12 me about that.
13 Q. I'd ask you to say their name or, if you're unable to, with the
14 Court's permission I would ask you to refer to them by Prosecution Exhibit
15 450, tab 2. Can you tell us the number next to the name of the person who
16 told you this information. Can you refer to the person who told you this
17 information by the number on tab 2.
18 A. Yes. He's under number 9 and number 12.
19 Q. Could I ask you to tell us specifically what number 9, the person
20 next to number 9, what he told you about the circumstances surrounding
21 Arkan or Peja coming to Zvornik.
22 A. This individual told me that they had personally gone to Bijeljina
23 and taken 400.000 German marks there, that that was the sum that the
24 commander of the Tigers had asked for, and that he handed over the money.
25 Later on, it was rumoured that he didn't give 400 but 250 and that he left
1 150 -- kept 150 for himself.
2 Q. Now, I want to ask you about the conditions at the border between
3 Serbia and Bosnia
4 were any checkpoints manned by members of the Serbian MUP?
5 A. On the Serbian side there weren't any. The checkpoints hadn't
6 been set up yet. However, there were some on the other side. On the
7 Bosnian side there were checkpoints.
8 Q. Who manned the checkpoints on the Bosnian side?
9 A. They were manned by some soldiers. And there were people wearing
10 police uniforms as well, as well as people from the various paramilitary
12 Q. You've identified three different groups. Would you clarify for
13 us, are you saying that these three groups were intermingled in this
14 function or they were manning separate checkpoints?
15 A. Each of them were separate. Some held the depth, some were at the
16 entrance, others in the rear. There were quite a few people who had been
17 mobilised there too wearing uniforms of the old JNA army, the reservists.
18 Q. Did there come a time when checkpoints were established on the
19 Serbian side of the border?
20 A. Yes. A little later on, the checkpoints were set up there too on
21 the side of Serbia. And the task was to prevent looting and passage with
22 long rifles and uniforms that did not belong to the state of Serbia.
23 Q. Did you ever have occasion to see paramilitaries on the Bosnian
24 side of these checkpoints, at these border controls, preparing themselves
25 to cross into the Serbian side?
1 A. Yes. They would strip and put on sports gear; trainers,
2 tracksuits. And I'm sure they did cross over at times. That's what was
3 rumoured. They were said to take -- be taking the war booty back into
5 Q. On the occasions that you saw them changing their clothes, did you
6 see what they did with their weapons?
7 A. I don't know where they left them. Probably with their units.
8 But they had short-barrelled weapons.
9 Sometimes what happened was that they would be searched, and then
10 the people conducting the search would find weapons in the boots of their
12 Q. Are you aware of any occasion on which some of these people who
13 weapons were discovered on in the boots of their cars were taken into
15 A. Yes, people were detained and their weapons confiscated.
16 Q. Would that have been a routine occurrence?
17 A. Yes, it would happen on a routine basis until permanent
18 checkpoints were established where the police and the army would join
19 together to prevent individuals crossing. If they would find somebody
20 wearing police uniforms, then it would be the military police who would
21 take them into custody. If not, then it would be the regular soldiers,
22 the regular army who would do this.
23 Q. Now, I want to draw your attention to this first time you were in
24 Zvornik, and in particular to the small metal bridge in Zvornik of the
25 several bridges or the two bridges there. Can I ask you to describe what
1 you observed on that bridge during your first visit.
2 A. Two bridges.
3 Q. Can I ask you to describe your observations about the smaller, the
4 iron bridge on your first visit to Zvornik during this time period.
5 A. I passed through Mali Zvornik, and getting off the bridge, a mass
6 of citizens had gathered together, mostly women and children. They were
7 in a panic. They were screaming. And I heard them saying, "They're
8 killing over there." And they would turn to the left and went -- go into
9 the settlement on the Serbian side.
10 Q. I want to ask you -- I want to ask you to look at the list, tab 2
11 of 450, Prosecution Exhibit 450, and draw your attention to the person
12 whose name is marked by the number 10. Did you make contact with this
13 person after your arrival in Zvornik?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. Can you describe for us what this person told you about what was
16 happening in Zvornik?
17 A. I called up on the phone the main boss - and I don't see his name
18 on the list here - and I talked to him. After several conversations,
19 because we were agreeing about something, the other gentleman under number
20 10 came on the line and said that he didn't know where his boss had gone
21 to, and he told me that Zvornik had been attacked and that Zvornik had
22 almost been emptied of its citizens, and that he was alone, left alone in
23 the building he worked in, and that he didn't know what was going on
25 He said that there were four soldiers that had been taken into
1 custody and were in detention. I asked who they were and he said, "Well,
2 I don't know who they are either. They have several different documents
3 on them, several different party membership cards." And I said, "Well,
4 what parties?" And he said, "Well, they have ID cards belonging to the
5 Radical Party." And then I told him once again that he should come over
6 to me and that I would guarantee that nothing would happen to him. And he
7 said to come over where, because the bridges were blocked. And I told him
8 to go to the hydroelectric power plant.
9 Q. Sir, did you agree to remain in close contact with this person
10 over the course of your time in Zvornik?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. During this initial period when you went to Zvornik, how long did
13 you stay there?
14 A. I stayed there two days and two nights.
15 Q. Did there come another time when you saw Peja during this trip to
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. Where was that?
19 A. The first time was when I saw him at his headquarters, and the
20 second time was several days later when he came to report that the town of
21 Zvornik was a free town.
22 Q. Are you familiar with the Alhos factory? That's A-l-h-o-s.
23 A. Yes, I am.
24 Q. And for what purpose was that factory used during this time
1 A. During that time period, it was where the command, the
2 headquarters of all those units was, all the units that were stationed in
4 Q. Did there come a time when you came to learn that number 10 on tab
5 2, that person, was arrested?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. Can you describe the circumstances under which you learnt that.
8 A. When I went up the stairs of this Alhos headquarters building, I
9 heard two soldiers running down the corridor, going past me, and saying
10 that Fadil Mujic had been captured. And I remembered where he had been,
11 so I went up to my car quickly, rushed after them. They drove fairly
12 quickly, and they came to the door. I was right behind them, and I said,
13 "Guys, this is Serbia, there is no war going on here. Go back to where
14 you came from." They looked at each other and in fact returned. They
15 didn't succeed in seeing Fadil.
16 I entered. I was a little angry with Fadil, actually, and took
17 him back to the hotel again where he waited for me, and the next day, I
18 took him to the place from which he went abroad from.
19 Q. Did there come a time when there was a discussion about what was
20 going on in Sepak?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. And can you summarise for us, what was the concern or what was
23 being said about what was occurring in Sepak?
24 A. Yes. Mr. Pavlovic told me that I should protect -- that I was
25 protecting Fadil and that his Sepak was armed to a great extent and that
1 it was only a question of time when they would attack the surrounding
2 villages. Fadil said to me - and I believed him - that that was not true
3 and that he had been there two days before and that he didn't believe in
4 anything of that kind.
5 I told Pavlovic this, and he suggested that if that was indeed so,
6 we should all go there together with Fadil and convince ourselves that
7 that was actually so.
8 So we went in the evening, and that is why we postponed taking
9 Fadil away. We postponed it by one day. We went there, but I myself
10 didn't enter the village because Fadil told me not to. Marko Pavlovic
11 went off, and so did Fadil and another friend of mine, and I myself and
12 another gentleman stayed, that is to say number 9 on this document, stayed
13 behind, did not enter the village.
14 When I convinced Marko -- actually, they had reached an agreement
15 that nobody would attack anybody and that they would hand over the weapons
16 they had, and I just heard about what happened later on, several days
18 Q. Sir --
19 A. And that is that those people had left all together to Loznica.
20 Q. Sepak, is that a village in the municipality of Zvornik?
21 A. Yes, it is a village in the municipality of Zvornik.
22 Q. Can I draw your attention now to Marko Pavlovic, and ask you, when
23 was the first time that you met Marko Pavlovic?
24 A. I met Marko Pavlovic for the first time the day after the war had
25 started. And he introduced himself and said that he was a native of the
1 area around Zvornik, the Sekovici municipality, and he showed me his ID
3 Q. Were you able to see where that ID card was issued?
4 A. The ID card was issued in the SUP of Sekovici.
5 Q. And what was the name on the ID card?
6 A. The name was Marko Pavlovic.
7 Q. Was this an ordinary civilian identification card or was it
8 belonging to any type of government organisation?
9 A. It was an ordinary ID card, the type that all citizens carry with
11 Q. After your first meeting with Marko Pavlovic, did he show you a
12 document which described his official capacity in the municipality of
14 A. Yes. Sometime later, he showed me a document saying that he had
15 been appointed chief of the Territorial Defence of Zvornik.
16 Q. I want to now draw your attention to Mr. Sekanic. You testified
17 earlier that he was Marko Pavlovic's assistant or deputy. Could you tell
18 us in a little more detail what his role and responsibilities were in
19 Zvornik at that time?
20 A. He was in command of a group of people who had been mobilised from
21 the surrounding parts. And on one occasion, my brother was actually
22 mobilised, so I went to see where he was, and I asked him who his
23 commander was, and he said the commander was in the field. The commander
24 came a little later and I said that my brother was not capable of doing
25 military service, he wasn't military fit, and he said, "Well, take him
1 home, then." And that's what I did. I took him home.
2 Q. Are you able to say whether it was before or after the end of May
4 A. It was sometime during that period. Perhaps the end of May or
5 beginning of June.
6 Q. Did you become aware that both Sekanic and Marko Pavlovic were
7 involved in the transportation of weapons?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you please describe what you know about that.
10 A. Sekanic told me that he was astounded at how Marko Pavlovic was
11 able to enter the barracks at any time at all; during the night or
13 Q. When he used the word "barracks," what did you take that to mean?
14 What type of barracks?
15 A. They were military barracks.
16 Q. And what quantity of weapons was he describing to you they were
17 able to get?
18 A. Well, they were taken in trucks, truckloads.
19 Q. Were there other people in Zvornik that were also involved in the
20 transporting of weapons?
21 A. Yes. The person under number 9.
22 Q. And anyone else?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Can you describe what you know about number 9's involvement in the
25 transportation of weapons.
1 A. He said that he had gone earlier, before the war began, and that
2 he was with another person. Let me just see if his name is on this list.
3 Q. I would ask you to only refer to them by number if it's essential
4 to protect your identity.
5 A. Yes. No, the person isn't on the list.
6 Q. Are you able to say their name in open session?
7 A. Yes. Well, you mentioned him at the beginning. It was Rade
8 Kostic, but I can't see his name here.
9 Q. And what was his involvement in this transportation of weapons?
10 A. Well, person number 9 said he had gone to see him over there and
11 that he gave him a truckload of that.
12 Q. Did there come a time when you spoke with somebody, a member of
13 the SPS party, with respect to what you saw in Zvornik?
14 A. Yes, there did.
15 Q. Who was it that you spoke to?
16 A. That person is number 2 on the list.
17 Q. Why did you choose number 2 on this list to go and tell about what
18 you had seen in Zvornik?
19 A. We were good friends.
20 Q. Did you ask him to convey your observations to anyone else?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. Can you please describe them.
23 A. He said that in the evening, Mr. Nikola Sainovic would come to see
24 him and that it would be a good idea if I came too, and that's what I did.
25 I went there that evening and was in the house of number 2.
1 Q. And did you inform Nikola Sainovic about your observations in
3 A. Yes, I did. I said that the civilians were under threat there
4 quite a lot and that some illogical things were going on generally down
6 Q. Your -- what was your ultimate intention behind speaking to these
7 two men about what you saw in Zvornik?
8 A. Well, I had expected them to convey this to the top leadership,
9 nothing else, so that they should know what was going on.
10 Q. Can you be more specific about who you mean by the top leadership?
11 A. I thought that the president would learn about it as well,
12 Milosevic, because they had occasion to tell him that.
13 Q. Can you give us your best recollection as to when you had this
14 conversation with Nikola Sainovic.
15 A. This was in April 1992, several days after the events in Zvornik.
16 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, would that be a convenient place to take
17 the morning break?
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MAY: Witness B-161, could you remember to not speak to
21 anybody about your evidence until it's over, and that does include the
22 members of the Prosecution team.
23 We will adjourn now for 20 minutes.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome.
2 MR. GROOME:
3 Q. Sir, I'd like to now draw your attention to several days after the
4 conflict broke out in Zvornik, and I want to draw your attention once
5 again to the Alhos factory. Did you attend --
6 JUDGE MAY: That's the textile factory, is it, that was referred
7 to, Alhos?
8 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
9 Q. Did you go to that place once again?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. Can you describe for the Chamber how it was you came to go to that
12 place and for what purpose.
13 A. I was going there, in that direction anyway, to see where my
14 relatives were, and someone from the local authorities told me that there
15 was a meeting in Alhos and that I should go there if I could. So I went
16 there. There were tables lined up in the conference hall up there.
17 Downstairs, there were some soldiers moving around, roughly platoon
18 strength, not more. I saw that the commander of one group was Zuco, the
19 commander of another someone called Pusula, and a third by one of those
20 mobilised people.
21 I went upstairs. There were people sitting around the tables, and
22 at one point a gentleman in uniform, the uniform of the army of
23 Yugoslavia, walked in. In front of him, Major Pejic reported to him that
24 the town of Zvornik had been liberated, and he said, "Major Marko Pejic
25 reporting," and this gentleman responded, "No, I'm sorry, Lieutenant
1 Colonel Marko Pejic." And he said, "I understand, Colonel." I may have
2 commented ironically, saying, "Colonel?" He gave me a glance and said,
3 "No, only one person here can be a colonel."
4 He was asked to stay. There were some refreshments and some
5 drinks, non-alcoholic drinks. He said that he didn't have time, that he
6 had a lot of work to do in the field. He didn't sit down. He stayed for
7 a couple of minutes, and then Mr. Pejic quickly went to pick up the
8 phone --
9 Q. Sir, if I can just interrupt you there and ask you some detailed
10 questions prior to this next area that you're about to talk about.
11 The last few sentences of your testimony, you're referring to a
12 person, you're saying "he," and "he had a lot of work to do." Who is the
13 "he" that you're referring to?
14 A. He was Colonel Milosevic.
15 Q. Now, approximately how many people altogether were at this
16 gathering or this meeting?
17 A. There were, I'm sure, at least 30 people. There were the
18 commanders of these various units, then there were some people from the
19 local leadership, then there was Colonel Milosevic with some four members
20 of his escort.
21 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you to tell us the names of people that you
22 recall being there. I'm going to ask you first to start with -- you say
23 commanders of various units. Can I ask you to tell us the names of the
24 commanders, if you know, or of the units that they commanded.
25 A. Yes. There were several commanders that I didn't know, but I do
1 know two of them. There was commander Vojin Vuckovic, then there was a
2 commander whose wartime rank was colonel. They said he was somebody
3 called Pusula, a local commander. And I didn't know any other commanders.
4 I only knew the people who had been mobilised. I knew many people that I
5 saw in front of Alhos.
6 Q. Sir, of the units that you didn't know the commanders, did you
7 know the name of the units themselves?
8 A. I don't know the names of those units, no.
9 Q. Now, with respect to the other people present, were there any
10 other people that -- present who were not paramilitary, not military, but
11 other people from the municipality? If you know their names, I'd ask you
12 to describe them for us.
13 A. Yes, there were people in civilian clothes. Mr. Brano Grujic was
14 there, Marko Pavlovic, Aco Sekanic, and some other people in civilian
15 dress from the municipality that I don't know. This was very brief.
16 Mr. Pejic said that in the evening, at 6:00
17 his promotion, and he invited all those present to come. I heard that in
18 the evening they did celebrate. I wasn't there. I left.
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Groome, we must take this rather more rapidly, if
20 we can, please.
21 Witness B-161, it's very helpful to have your recollection of what
22 occurred, but if you'd just concentrate on the questions which counsel
23 asks, since we have a great deal of detail to get through.
24 MR. GROOME:
25 Q. Just a few more detailed questions about this. When Colonel
1 Milosevic entered the room, did Pejic salute him?
2 A. Yes, he did. He saluted him and reported in line with military
4 Q. Now, Colonel Milosevic, did he return the salute?
5 A. Yes, he returned the salute as envisaged by regulations.
6 Q. And was it your understanding that by what Colonel Milosevic said
7 to Pejic he promoted him on that occasion from a Major to a Lieutenant
8 Colonel? Is that your understanding of what Colonel Milosevic did?
9 A. Yes, it was.
10 Q. Now, were you present when Pejic made a phone call directly after
11 this event?
12 A. Yes, I was.
13 Q. Who did he call?
14 A. He called Mr. Raznjatovic and said that Colonel Milosevic had
15 promoted him to the rank of lieutenant colonel. The other one responded -
16 there was a microphone attached to the telephone - "If the 'Komunjara' has
17 promoted you to lieutenant colonel, I am now promoting you to the rank of
18 colonel," and he said, "I understand," and he asked that the rank insignia
19 be attached to his uniform. There were a couple of ladies present as
21 Q. Was the phone on speaker phone? Were you able to hear Arkan
22 speaking on the phone or did Peja tell you about what he said afterwards?
23 A. Yes, everyone present could hear it because it was on the
24 microphone. Speaker, I'm sorry.
25 Q. Did there come a time when you became aware of members of Arkan's
1 men committing crimes in the hospital in Mali Zvornik or in Zvornik?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you obtain Arkan's phone number and call him and personally
4 inform him of what you had learned?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What was his response?
7 A. He shouted, and he said, "Shoot all those there." And I said,
8 "It's your army, not mine. Come and shoot them yourself."
9 Q. And what happened?
10 A. I met Arkan the next day, in the morning, on the road. They told
11 me that he had been there, that he had lined up his troops, that he had
12 sentenced two to death, and that he had driven them off with him. This
13 was the story told by citizens.
14 Q. Now, during the summer of 1992, did you have an opportunity to see
15 a person known as Captain Dragan in Zvornik?
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. How many times?
18 A. I saw him only once over there. There was an incident, and he was
19 involved in that incident.
20 Q. The incident that you're talking about, was it during the takeover
21 of the town or did it occur sometime after fighting had subsided in the
23 A. It was sometime after the fighting in town had stopped.
24 Q. Can I ask you, in a sentence or two, to summarise the event that
25 you witnessed having to do with Captain Dragan.
1 A. One day, in the early evening, the local radio broadcast the news
2 that terrorists had entered the town of Zvornik
3 disturbed. We were sitting in Mali Zvornik, and we saw citizens looking
4 in the direction of Zvornik, and we could hear bursts of fire across the
5 Drina River
6 a settlement downstream on both sides of the river and searching the
8 Q. Did you see -- did there come a time when there was a man standing
9 next at the edge of the riverbank, a Muslim man?
10 A. Yes. I saw a man stepping into the river and hiding and going
11 upstream slowly. Above him was a kind of embankment. People were
12 shooting, and at one point the man was hit and he fell into the river. He
13 was hit by the group of soldiers that were searching the area.
14 Q. Were you able to tell whether that man was armed?
15 A. No. It was a man in civilian clothes. It wasn't far away, maybe
16 150 to 200 metres away from us. The citizens were saying that they saw
17 another man that was wounded but who managed to swim across the river to
19 I got into a car and went across the river, across the pedestrian
20 bridge, and there I came across the column of men searching the area.
21 There were between 60 and 80 of them. They were in -- had war paint on
22 their faces. In front of them was an open jeep with the driver and
23 Captain Dragan sitting to his right. I stopped the car and said, "Mister
24 --" or, "Captain, don't do any more nonsense. It would be best for you
25 to leave as soon as possible." He just looked at me. I got into the car
1 and left.
2 Q. Did there also come a time when you had a conversation with Aco
3 Sekanic regarding an exercise that Captain Dragan was using -- in which he
4 was using captured Muslim prisoners?
5 A. Yes. He said, "That crazy captain has come and he took three
6 captured Muslims and said that he would release them, but actually he's
7 training his soldiers using them." After that, there was a meeting at
8 which it was requested that he leave the municipality of Zvornik. He had
9 a similar such meeting with General Mladic.
10 Q. Sir, I'm going to now ask that you be shown Prosecution Exhibit
11 450, tab 7. And I want to first draw your attention to the last page of
12 that document, and my question to you is: On the last page, do you
13 recognise any of the names on that last page?
14 A. Yes, I do know Mr. Mihajlovic.
15 Q. And what is his first name?
16 A. His first name is Petar.
17 Q. And what were his responsibilities during this period of time?
18 A. He was head of the department for borders, border crossings and
19 aliens in the Federal Secretariat for Internal Affairs.
20 Q. Was he involved in any activities with respect to the --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Mike, please.
22 MR. GROOME:
23 Q. Was he involved in any activities with respect to cooperation
24 between different police departments?
25 A. Yes. He said that he was coordinator for all the republics, that
1 he also visited Slovenia, all the republics of the former Yugoslavia
2 therefore, and that he had been appointed to that duty by his federal
3 minister, that is General Petar Gracanin.
4 Q. I want to draw your attention to the first page of this document.
5 And I would simply ask you to read the top endorsements on this document,
6 first the endorsement on the left-hand side and then the one on the
7 right-hand side.
8 A. "The Federal Secretariat for Internal Affairs, third management,
9 state security service, Belgrade, 23 March 1992, strictly confidential,
10 Saradnja cooperation," number so-and-so. "Recent information and
11 observations with regard to the security situation in the Bihac region."
12 Q. Sir --
13 A. Shall I read on?
14 Q. No. The Chamber will be able to read that later on. I want to
15 now draw your attention to the Karakaj Technical School
16 that place and can you tell us where it is?
17 A. Yes, I do know the place. I have quite a number of friends there.
18 The locality is just close to Zvornik. The school is on the right-hand
19 side from the direction of Bijeljina towards Zvornik. I later learnt --
20 Q. Sir, that's what I want to draw your attention to. Did there come
21 a time after 1992 that you learnt about something that occurred in the
22 confines of that school?
23 A. Yes. I learnt that there were many people detained there and that
24 they had all been killed and buried in a mass grave somewhere nearby.
25 Q. Who told you this information?
1 A. I heard this information from citizens, from friends from that
2 locality. And later on, I was given more details by the president of the
3 municipality, Mr. Brano Grujic.
4 Q. Can you tell us approximately how many people Brano Grujic told
5 you were killed in that school?
6 A. He told me that more than 700 men had been detained there, 740.
7 They weren't killed there. They were taken away from that place and
8 killed somewhere else, and that it wasn't upon his orders but that one of
9 his associates had given the order. Let me see now. He's under number
11 Q. And that's number 13 of tab 2. Did he tell you who actually
12 committed the crimes?
13 A. He told me that the crime had been committed by a group of Yellow
14 Wasps. There was a group from Pivarski and Niski that I didn't know, and
15 that these men had been prepared for an exchange for Serbs from Tuzla.
16 Q. Did he indicate to you whether or not a person -- the person
17 indicated under number 6 on tab 2, whether he had any involvement in the
18 events at Karakaj?
19 A. Yes, certainly.
20 Q. Please describe what involvement this person had.
21 A. That person coordinated all those paramilitary units, and he
22 complained to us about those units, but we saw that he was closely
23 connected to them. And when the time came to arrest one of the leaders of
24 those paramilitary units under pressure of citizens who were saying that
25 they were committing grave crimes against all ethnicities.
1 Q. Sir, I want to now draw your attention to a different area, and I
2 want to begin by asking you, do you know a person by the name of Branko
4 A. Yes, I do. He's listed as number 18.
5 Q. Can I ask you, do you know this person personally?
6 A. Yes, I know him well.
7 Q. Can you, in a sentence, describe what role or position he had
8 during this time period.
9 A. He was the vice-president of the government of Republika Srpska in
10 charge of economic affairs. And he was a prominent member of the SDS
12 Q. Did he ever have a discussion with you with respect to bills that
13 he paid for members of the RS leadership in Belgrade
14 A. Yes. He said that those bills had cost him $1.2 million.
15 Q. Did he tell you who he paid those bills for and the circumstances
16 surrounding the payment of those bills?
17 A. He said that he paid the bills for the entire leadership of
18 Republika Srpska at the Intercontinental Hotel, that those were bills that
19 they had incurred and that he was surprised that the drivers had made more
20 telephone calls than the leaders.
21 Q. Can you tell us the names of the leaders who he indicated were --
22 these bills were for.
23 A. According to what he said, there was Mr. Radovan Karadzic,
24 Mr. Momcilo Krajisnik, the Prime Minister Lukic, some deputies, and their
25 assistants, like drivers and bodyguards.
1 Q. Did he indicate to you what was the purpose of their stays in
3 A. He didn't say what the purpose was, but it was to consult with the
4 leadership of the state of Yugoslavia
5 Q. And did he indicate to you what period of time this occurred?
6 A. This occurred before the beginning of the war and at the very
7 beginning and for the next two years.
8 Q. Did he describe for you the relationship between Mr. Krajisnik and
9 Mr. Karadzic?
10 A. Yes. He often spoke about that relationship. He said he didn't
11 understand why Karadzic had so much trust in Krajisnik, because in his
12 opinion, Krajisnik was a man who was not working well for his own people.
13 Q. Did he describe the relationship between Mr. Krajisnik and
14 Mr. Jovica Stanisic of the Serbian MUP?
15 A. No, he didn't go into any detailed explanations of that
17 Q. Did he describe anything with respect to the appointment of the
18 criminal service bureau, the CSB, chiefs in the Podrinje area?
19 A. I don't know which chief you're referring to, of what location.
20 Q. Do you recall Mr. Ostojic saying anything with respect to these
22 A. Yes. He was dissatisfied with the appointment of the head of the
23 MUP of Republika Srpska and other chiefs of security centres, saying that
24 they were mostly Krajisnik's men and that it wasn't in order that Mr.
25 Karadzic had more trust in Mr. Krajisnik than in anyone else.
1 Q. I want to now draw your attention to mid-July of 1995 and ask you,
2 were you once again in the Zvornik area at that time?
3 A. Yes, I was. I was in that area.
4 Q. Were you in a village in the area during which time you saw a
5 group of people?
6 A. Yes, I was.
7 Q. Can you tell us how large the group of people were and where
8 precisely they were, without -- not necessarily telling us the name of the
9 exact village.
10 A. There were up to 50 women and children there in front who were in
11 front of a school playground. The playground was full of buses and
12 soldiers of some kind who also had their faces painted in African colours.
13 I stopped for a moment there and received some information, upon
14 which I left and went to the command of the army of Republika Srpska in
16 Q. Before you left the village, did you ask the people or did they
17 tell you what was going on in that area?
18 A. They told me that they were killing people from Srebrenica there,
19 and bursts of fire could be heard frequently.
20 Q. Were you yourself able to hear the gunfire?
21 A. Yes. I too heard the gunfire. It was about 100 metres from the
23 Q. I interrupted you when you said -- you were beginning to say you
24 went to report this to someone. Can you tell us precisely who it was you
25 reported this observation to.
1 A. I went there with a friend of mine, and I was looking for the head
2 or the chief of that army by name, or anyone among the leaders. The man
3 on duty told me that none of the leading people were there but that he
4 expected somebody to come shortly.
5 After awhile, a man did appear, a lower-ranked officer. He was
6 cursing, and he said, "What are these Serbs like when they refuse to
7 kill?" that he had to do it. And I said, "How could you do any such
8 thing?" And he was surprised and -- as if he expected me to know that Mr.
9 Beara had given such an order. I heard the name for the first time. I
10 didn't know his first name. Then I retorted something rather roughly, and
11 then I left.
12 Q. Can you tell us precisely what this person said about who ordered
13 him to do what?
14 A. He said that Beara had ordered that 6.900 people had to disappear
15 within five days, from Zvornik southwards towards Bijeljina.
16 Q. Can you describe how that person looked, was there anything
17 unusual about his physical appearance?
18 A. Yes, He didn't have a cap on his head. He was wearing a soldier's
19 shirt of some sort. He was all covered in soot, black from... He said:
20 "I had to pick up a weapon myself and shoot." He looked somewhat
21 disturbed, as though he was in haste.
22 I asked what his name was. I was told the first name. I
23 later learnt the surname as well.
24 Q. What was his name?
25 A. His name was Drago. Later, I heard that he was Nikolic.
1 Q. You said earlier, or the transcript records you as saying that the
2 -- bodies had to travel from Zvornik to Bijeljina. Did the transcript
3 record your answer correctly?
4 A. For the bodies to go from Zvornik to Bijeljina? That doesn't
5 sound right to me. Maybe in the direction of Bijeljina, not as far as
7 Q. Can I ask you, just for the sake of clarity, can you please say
8 again what it was that this person who you later learnt to be Nikolic,
9 what exactly it was that he said to you.
10 A. Nikolic said that between Zvornik and southward towards Bijeljina,
11 6.900 men needed to be killed within five days. They were transporting
12 live men to various villages and killing them. They did not enter the
13 territory of Bijeljina
14 Q. Now, I'd like to draw your attention --
15 JUDGE MAY: Can I clarify this account. Who was it who told you,
16 first of all, in the village or wherever it was that they were shooting
17 people from Srebrenica? Who told you that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The locals told me, who were
19 protesting and who disapproved. A woman was protesting, and then this
20 soldier headed towards her with a rifle in his hand. They said that they
21 had brought several busloads there and that they were killing them behind
22 the school.
23 JUDGE MAY: And then you went to the command. Is this right?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE MAY: And there you met this officer.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE MAY: And he was Nikolic; is that right?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE MAY: And he told you that somebody called Beara had given
5 this order?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, he did.
7 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
8 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, may we go into private session for a
9 brief moment to ask one question related to this?
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 [Private session]
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
12 MR. GROOME:
13 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you now to draw your attention to the years
14 1994 and 1995. During this time period, did you also have occasion to
15 travel frequently in the area of Western Serbia
16 A. Yes, that's right, I did.
17 Q. During your travels in those areas, did you become familiar with
18 convoys that would cross the border?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. Can I ask you first to tell us approximately how many different
21 times did you personally see convoys crossing the border, either from
22 Serbia to Bosnia
23 Srpska, or Srpska to Serbia.
24 A. Well, I saw that at least 50 times.
25 Q. Can you characterise the convoy for the Chamber? For example,
1 tell us approximately how many vehicles would be in a convoy on any
2 typical observation, and what types of vehicles they would be.
3 A. They were large trucks, and during one night about 80 trucks would
4 cross the bridge, from 30 to 80. The crossings were made at several
5 bridges, and when fuel was being transported, they had to have the canvas
6 awnings across the trucks. There were different loads. There were logs
7 being transported, people said that wheat was being carried too. So there
8 were different truckloads of different goods.
9 Q. Can you describe the licence plates of these vehicles? Did they
10 identify the particular country or republic that they came from?
11 A. The licence plates were from the Republika Srpska, all the towns
12 there, and also from the Republic of Serbia.
13 Q. Based upon your observations of these convoys and your
14 conversations with other people who saw these convoys, are you able to
15 estimate for the Chamber with what frequency these convoys went across
16 between the two countries?
17 A. Sometimes every evening, sometimes every other evening or every
18 two or three days, and I think it was a very profitable convoy. Certain
19 leaders from the MUP on both sides would make a lot of money, and so would
20 certain politicians, local ones.
21 Q. Was there an area or a particular location in Serbia
22 Zvornik that was used as a staging area for these convoys?
23 A. They would come in loaded up, then they would wait there on -- in
24 a parking lot in front of the Ravnaja factory, a quarry there, and that's
25 where they used the raw materials for that limestone factory. And the
1 place itself was referred to as "the quarry."
2 Q. And did you on -- did you ever see vehicles waiting there, waiting
3 to cross the Drina?
4 A. Yes. I saw that on several occasions. And when the news was
5 bandied about that everybody was making a profit and earning things, there
6 was a commission set up in Republika Srpska, and one member of the
7 commission said that each driver had to pay a thousand marks in order to
8 be given a turn in crossing. And this bypassed all the rules that had
9 been established for the passage of those convoys.
10 I asked -- I apologise, but let me just say I asked who the money
11 was going to, and they said, "To the MUP over there." And I said, "Well
12 how much did you take in tonight?" And he said, "263.000 German marks in
13 just one night." So each driver, in addition to all the other papers, had
14 to have a thousand German marks with him to be allowed to cross on any
15 particular evening.
16 Q. On the occasions where you personally saw convoys cross the
17 border, can you please describe what border controls, if any, were on the
18 Serbian side of the border.
19 A. On the Serbian side, a leader from the administration for border
20 crossings would always turn up, the border crossings and aliens
21 department. And from the Bosnian side, there would also be a commission
22 from a team set up for the convoys and one staff member from their MUP.
23 Q. Were there any particular people that you recognised being present
24 at the border crossing during the time that you saw a convoy crossing?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Can you please tell us their names.
2 A. I would see quite often there the chief, Mr. Puzovic, and his
3 assistant, Mr. Boro Peric, and sometimes their inspectors.
4 MR. GROOME: I'm going to ask that the witness now be shown
5 Prosecution Exhibit 450, tab -- I'm sorry. This is a photocopy of
6 Prosecution Exhibit 336, Your Honours, pages 28 and 29 from the map.
7 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask that you take a look at this document and
8 ask you, do you recognise the marks made on this map?
9 MR. GROOME: Could I ask the usher, please, to place it on the
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do recognise the border
12 crossings. On the first one, I saw Mr. Jesuric in front of the convoy,
13 preparing --
14 Q. Sir, can I ask you, was it you who made the markings on this map?
15 A. Yes, it was me.
16 Q. I'm going to ask that it be placed on the table to your left. The
17 usher will help you with that. I'm going to ask that you take the pointer
18 that's in front of you. What do your marks on this map indicate?
19 A. This first one up here is the border crossing -- the first mark
20 denotes -- this circle and the Red Cross denotes the border crossing
21 between Serbia and Republika Srpska, and the place is Sremska Raca, the
22 actual crossing.
23 This second one is another border crossing between the Republic of
24 Serbia and Republika Srpska, and the border crossing is called Pavlovica
25 Cuprija at the Dadovica place, municipality Dadovica, in front of the
1 village of Popovi.
2 And then the third location is the border crossing at a place
3 between Veliki and Mali Zvornik, on the bridge there. And throughout the
4 war and -- it was assigned for -- as a footpath, and it still is.
5 Otherwise, it was used for regular general traffic.
6 Q. Sir, the three marks that you've made on this map, are they all
7 locations where you personally saw convoys crossing between Serbia
8 Republika Srpska?
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I would ask, for the last few questions
11 I have for the witness, that we go into private session, and this is with
12 respect to my earlier request before the witness entered the Chamber.
13 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
14 [Private session]
13 Page 21050 – redacted – private session
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I hope that with my
1 questions I'm not going to disclose the witness's identity. That is
2 something I do not wish to do. I do not wish to be doing that, because
3 the witness is a secret witness, if I can put it that way.
4 JUDGE MAY: If you think there's any --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't want us to keep going into
6 closed session.
7 JUDGE MAY: No, of course. But if you think there is an area in
8 which there is a danger of that happening, then we'll deal with that in
9 private session. But if you can avoid it by not asking questions which
10 are liable to do that, then we can stay in open session.
11 And I should tell the witness, if there is some question which you
12 think might have that effect, then of course you can ask to go into
13 private session yourself.
14 Yes. Let's make a start.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Well, let's start off then with Bijeljina. I'll
17 have some questions later on which I think you'll wish to hear in private
18 session due to the witness's identity, but let's start off with Bijeljina.
19 And this will not establish his identity but to a certain extent --
20 actually, you were a resident of that region, the region you're talking
21 about, or, rather, you're a Serb for Bosnia
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You worked in Serbia, did you?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So when we're talking about Bijeljina, who brought the Serb
1 volunteer guards of Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, to Bijeljina in the first
3 A. Well, people said that this was done by the local leadership of
4 the Bijeljina municipality.
5 Q. And is Mauzer one of those local leaders?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And the rest of the people from the local leadership; is that
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Some witnesses mentioned here some people from the leadership of
11 Republika Srpska and not the local leadership. Do you know anything about
13 A. No, I don't know anything about that. The only thing that was
14 mentioned was the name of Mr. Jesuric.
15 Q. Who?
16 A. Mr. Jesuric, the chief of MUP of Bijeljina.
17 Q. Let's be more specific. Jesuric, the chief of MUP of Bijeljina,
18 is mentioned, right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And Mauzer as well?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. He's also from Bijeljina, is he?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was Mauzer the founder of that paramilitary unit which was called,
25 as far as I -- as far as was said here, the Serbian National Guard; right?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, could I just ask the Court to remind the
3 witness that if he talks while Mr. Milosevic's mike is on, his voice will
4 go out and be broadcast without protection.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Could you bear that in mind, Witness B-161.
6 Watch his microphone. Wait until it's turned off.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I hope we'll find our way
8 around that, yes.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Do you have any knowledge whatsoever, Mr. 161 -- what's the
11 problem now?
12 Do you have any knowledge whatsoever that anybody from the
13 authorities of Serbia - so not only the Ministry of the Interior but
14 anybody else from the government of Serbia
15 arrival of Arkan in Bijeljina?
16 A. No, I do not.
17 Q. I assume on the basis of all the elements and references that you
18 have in view of your knowledge of the situation and you are origins, that
19 you are very well-informed about the situation and state of affairs in
20 that locality; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So the Serbian Volunteer Guards of Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, was
23 brought in by the local leadership, the man that you say was in the SUP of
24 Bijeljina, Jesuric, I think, as well as Mauzer, and the local politicians;
25 right? I heard you say that they had given some money; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. How many men arrived? Did you ever learn about that at the time,
3 from Arkan's unit? How many men did Arkan's unit number? Apart from the
4 ones who were locals from Bijeljina itself. Arkan's unit, the volunteers
5 that he rallied together in Serbia, how many of them were there?
6 A. I heard exactly 186 was the number.
7 Q. Well, some other figures were mentioned here, but you heard --
8 A. Eighty-six. I apologise. 86 not 186.
9 Q. So from Serbia or do you mean the ones who were from
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina as well among them?
11 A. From Serbia. The unit which came up once, altogether.
12 Q. In a piece.
13 A. Yes, right.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 86.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. As we had mention here that the attack from Bijeljina was actually
17 a Serbian aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina, which means this arrival
18 of the 86 volunteers, was in fact that aggression on Bosnia-Herzegovina;
19 is that it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. At the invitation of the local leadership from Bijeljina. Very
22 well. You say in your statement that Mauzer too was in Arkan's
23 headquarters. And as you know the situation very well, explain to me,
24 please, how this relationship worked. Mauzer was the founder of the
25 Serbian National Guards. He was in Arkan's headquarters. Does that mean
1 that he himself alone -- was alone in Arkan's headquarters or were other
2 members of that national -- Serbian National Guard of his that he set up
3 there, that he set up in the area, were any of those members there
4 together with the volunteers brought in by Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan? Can
5 you clarify that and explain that to me, please.
6 A. Yes. At the headquarters, there were members of the leadership of
7 the SDS, the local SDS leadership.
8 Q. And was Mauzer a member of the SDS at the time?
9 A. Yes, he was.
10 Q. And later on he was a member of the Democratic Party, wasn't he?
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. And what was he in the Democratic Party? What role did he play?
13 A. He was one of the principal members in the Main Board.
14 Q. In Belgrade for the Main Board or for Bosnia-Herzegovina? What?
15 What do you mean? Was that it?
16 A. Not in Belgrade. He was in Bijeljina. He was the top man in
18 Q. Right. I see. Was he at the head of the Democratic Party?
19 A. Yes, he was at its head.
20 Q. And who else out of the SDS leadership was with Arkan and Mauzer
21 at the time in Bijeljina?
22 A. There were the local politicians.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. You say -- but not in the testimony but reading your statement,
1 you say that in that staff there were interrogations of certain persons
2 who were later killed and thrown into the Drina River. Was this an error
3 in the statement? Because you didn't mention it now. Or do you have any
4 specific knowledge about this?
5 A. Yes, there were interrogations and killings of those people.
6 There were members of the Bijeljina police who interrogated those people.
7 Q. And tell me, please, how many people were interrogated and killed
8 in those headquarters, according to what you know?
9 A. My information is about 50 people.
10 Q. Do you know with precision how long the war in Bijeljina went on
12 A. For about three days.
13 Q. Do you know how many people were killed on both sides in Bijeljina
14 during that war?
15 A. I don't know. There are rumours about figures ranging from a few
16 hundred to only a couple of individuals or, rather, from a couple of
17 individuals to several hundred.
18 Q. So you don't know.
19 A. No, I don't know the exact number.
20 Q. But we had some documents here, but you probably were not aware of
21 them. You have no idea as to how many people were killed, both Serbs,
22 Muslim, men and women, in those events in Bijeljina.
23 A. I said about close to 50 all in all were killed.
24 Q. A moment ago, you said that in those headquarters 50 people were
25 reported to have been killed.
1 A. Yes, but in the town only some about six people were killed.
2 Q. I see. So they were captured, taken to the headquarters,
3 interrogated, and killed. How do you know that?
4 A. It was told by people who were in the headquarters.
5 Q. Very well. But do you know that Bijeljina was actually an
6 environment, I would call it, in which Muslims were not persecuted,
7 judging by all the information I have received? Can you confirm that or
8 deny it? Were relationships good between the Serbs and Muslims there,
9 that Muslims were not victimised in Bijeljina?
10 A. At first some were, and later on, a camp was formed at Batkovici
11 where they were taken, and what happened there, I don't know.
12 Q. But how did that conflict in Bijeljina start? Do you know
13 anything about those activities of the Green Berets, the Patriotic League,
14 the barricades that were erected in Bijeljina, the taking of control by
15 Bijeljina by the Green Berets and the Patriotic League, that is, the
16 blocking of Bijeljina and the beginning of the conflict? Do you know
17 anything about it? Could you tell us your version of what you know about
18 the beginning of the conflict in Bijeljina.
19 A. Yes. Several days before the conflict, the media and the press
20 were very loud in emphasising ethnic divisions. And then an incident
21 occurred in a coffee bar in which a Muslim with a horse went by and threw
22 in a grenade, after which Arkan's group came and the war began.
23 Q. So that Muslim is Alija Gusalic, isn't he, the one who testified
25 A. I don't know. I don't know him. I've heard about him.
1 Q. You know nothing about the barricades in Bijeljina and the
2 blocking of Bijeljina by Muslim paramilitary units.
3 A. Yes. At first there were barricades. Where Muslim settlements
4 were, there were erected by Muslims. In the Serb settlements, they were
5 erected by Serbs, and it was not possible to move around at all.
6 Q. And who started the conflict in Bijeljina?
7 A. Probably both ethnic groups.
8 Q. That's a highly diplomatic answer. I'm asking you about what you
9 know. As to what is probable, let's leave that aside.
10 A. What I know is that when I arrived, I couldn't reach the centre,
11 that it was not possible to enter Bijeljina from Zvornik because there
12 were Muslim barricades erected in settlements inhabited by Muslims. On
13 the other side, there were places where Serbs had erected barricades, and
14 the immediate cause was the incident in the coffee bar when the man threw
15 in the grenades and inter-ethnic tensions heightened increasingly.
16 Q. Very well. And did you see, since you referred to these
17 interrogations in those headquarters and people being killed, were you
18 present at any one of those interrogations? Did you see anyone being
19 killed there?
20 A. No. I couldn't reach that place, but I had many friends who told
21 me about these things. And I know that some people have not been traced
22 to this day. I had a friend, a Muslim, who was in the police, and he went
23 there and never returned. He told a high-ranking position.
24 Q. But you did not attend any of those interrogations. You didn't
25 see anyone being killed, but you heard about it from people who were
1 recounting these events.
2 A. Yes, that is true. But I couldn't reach that place. Not just me,
3 but no civilian could.
4 Q. I'm just talking about your testimony. You're not testifying
5 about something that you know from your own knowledge but on the basis of
6 what you heard.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And did you see any bodies floating down the Drina
9 A. During the war, I did.
10 Q. But I'm asking you in connection with this statement of yours,
11 because you say that in those days, as people were killed in these
12 headquarters, that you saw the bodies near Zvornik.
13 A. If they were killed in the headquarters in Bijeljina, the bodies
14 couldn't be in Zvornik but only Bijeljina. I was both in Bijeljina and in
16 Q. Well, did you see any bodies in the area of Bijeljina floating
17 down the river?
18 A. Yes, some individual ones.
19 Q. When?
20 A. Both at the beginning of the war and during the war.
21 Q. And during those three days of fighting in Bijeljina, did you see
22 any bodies then?
23 A. No, I didn't see any then, but I heard that they had been buried
24 close to the Drina.
25 Q. I see. You heard that they had been buried. But then they
1 couldn't float down the river if they were buried.
2 A. Of course not. But it is known, for instance, where a guard of a
3 gravel mine reported finding some dead bodies, and then people went and
4 buried them.
5 Q. You went to Bijeljina for the first time when the three-day war in
6 Bijeljina was over, or two-and-a-half-day war.
7 A. The first day -- time was the day after the war started.
8 Q. I noted down during your testimony that you said that the first
9 time you went was when Fikret Abdic and Biljana Plavsic arrived. You
10 mentioned Fikret Abdic.
11 A. That was the second time.
12 Q. I noted down he went to Bijeljina the first time when Abdic came
13 to Bijeljina. Is that right or not?
14 A. The first time --
15 Q. I don't mean the first time in your life, because that's where you
16 come from. Who knows how many times you went there. But I was saying
17 that now in your testimony you said that you went there for the first time
18 on the day Abdic came to Bijeljina; is that right?
19 A. We're talking about the centre of Bijeljina. That was the first
20 time I could reach the centre of Bijeljina, when Abdic and Biljana Plavsic
22 Q. I'm sorry. Something's wrong with the microphones. I'm just
23 trying to verify what I noted down.
24 JUDGE MAY: No. You have it down wrong if you have that. What
25 the witness described was a visit one evening when the war had started, it
1 seems the very evening of it, and he described meeting soldiers. He
2 didn't go into that. And then he said he visited on two other occasions.
3 On the first of those occasions, that was the time that he was told that
4 Mrs. Plavsic and Fikret Abdic were there. Now, that was his evidence.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. If that is what it says
6 in the transcript, Mr. May, there's no need for me to ask him any more
7 questions about that.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. But will you please explain to me now, you say that on the day
10 when Biljana Plavsic visited Bijeljina, as well as Fikret Abdic, they were
11 also in Bijeljina -- let's not say first or second time, it doesn't matter
12 -- that you went there for personal reasons, is that right, as you
13 mention the fact that you went to the house of your relatives, et cetera.
14 You went there for private reasons, didn't you? You didn't go there
15 officially, but you happened to be there; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You say that you then learnt or saw that a large number of
18 citizens were trying to cross the bridge and go to Serbia
19 A. Yes. Not across the bridge. There was no bridge there at the
20 time. There was a ferry.
21 Q. I see, a ferry. But many people were trying to cross the river to
22 go to Serbia; is that right? And I assume you mean both Serbs and
23 Muslims, don't you, when you say that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And do you know, in view of everything that you learnt about
1 during your practice and career, how many tens of thousands of Muslims had
2 fled to Serbia from the beginning of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. Yes, I do know that.
4 Q. Those Muslims who fled to Serbia
5 and Herzegovina, did they encounter any kind of problems in Serbia because
6 they were Muslims?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Were they treated in an identical manner as refugees from other
9 areas who were Serbs?
10 A. Yes. They even came to see me personally, to my office.
11 Q. But in view of everything that you did, and you were very
12 well-informed, do you know of any case of a Muslim being mistreated in
13 Serbia throughout the duration of the war in Bosnia?
14 A. The official authorities never did that.
15 Q. Would it be more correct to say that the official authorities did
16 their best to protect each and every citizen?
17 A. Yes. Yes.
18 Q. So the behaviour of our police was in conformity with such
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Is it then clear, in view of the fact that such large numbers of
22 people - I'm talking about dozens of thousands of Muslims fleeing to
23 Serbia - doesn't that show that there was a civil war in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina which they're trying to flee from to an area where
25 there is no war?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. There were Serbs and Muslims on the other side too, but no war.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I think you mentioned a case, and I think it wasn't mentioned in
5 private session, that you accompanied a vehicle, you stopped it, you
6 chased away those people, the people who had crossed the bridge, a couple
7 of them, and told them, "This is Serbia
8 lost, go back where you came from." Is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Was that the normal way the police reacted in Serbia
11 A. It is. The police in Serbia had the task of preventing all
12 incidents, any incident from occurring.
13 Q. Will you tell me, please -- but let me just find my notes. You
14 spoke about the fact that when those conflicts started, there were
15 checkpoints held by various paramilitary groups, whether they were
16 Mauzer's or, I don't know, those Yellow Wasps or whoever, or some TO
17 people. But in any event, these were on the Bosnian side, weren't they?
18 And then you explained that somewhat later, such checkpoints were erected
19 also on the territory of the Republic of Serbia; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And they were manned by the police.
22 JUDGE MAY: It's now time for the adjournment. The witness agreed
23 with that last question.
24 We will adjourn now for 20 minutes
25 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, Mr. Groome over there asked
4 us to discuss a procedural matter in private session. I just wanted to
5 ask a question in that regard, so may I have just a minute, please, in --
6 if possible.
7 [Private session]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. 161 -- Mr. 161, we left off discussing the checkpoints that
5 were established at the time at the crossings into the territory of
6 Serbia, and Mr. Groome asked you a question -- asked you questions with
7 respect to the treatment of the people who crossed over into Serbia
8 those checkpoints. Your explanation was that our police functioned, as
9 you said, in a routine manner. It did not allow anybody to carry over any
10 weapons, and you yourself stated that the people who wished to cross over
11 into Serbia would change their clothing and put on tracksuits and cross
12 the checkpoints dressed in that fashion; isn't that right?
13 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Yes. My microphone wasn't switched off. That's why you didn't
17 answer, Witness, but that's so, isn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You were then asked whether they were routinely searched and
20 weapons taken away from them if any were found, whether they were taken
21 into custody, that is to say those people who made any transgressions of
22 this kind, and your answer was yes; is that right?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. Therefore, to the best of your knowledge and from what I can see
25 from your statement, the assignment was to take care that there was no
1 violence employed with -- not to convey all the violence and conflicts
2 from that territory into the territory of Serbia; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You also said in open session, as far as I understood it, that you
5 had a vehicle with official licence plates; is that right? So that that
6 doesn't disclose your identity.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You used that vehicle, that type of vehicle, when you were in
9 Bijeljina and Zvornik and in other places too on the territory of the
10 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That's right, isn't it?
11 A. Yes, because a border had not been established yet.
12 Q. All right. But did we take note, with respect to the questions
13 that I asked you that -- did you say that on the territory of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, on all those occasions you were there exclusively in a
15 private capacity?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Tell me this now, please: For example, during those days spent in
18 Bijeljina, and you said you were there on the second day of the war and
19 then again when Abdic and Plavsic were there and so on, you were also
20 using vehicles with official licence plates, weren't you?
21 A. Yes, up until the entrance to Bijeljina.
22 Q. Yes, that's right. So had any of the Muslim citizens, not you
23 yourself but a vehicle with official licence plates from the Republic of
24 Serbia saw you - and I'm sure many people saw you because you drove along
25 the road quite openly, you didn't use any secret passages - were they able
1 to conclude from that that somebody from the police force of the Republic
2 of Serbia was present; right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. On the other hand, you didn't have absolutely any part to play in
5 what was going on there.
6 A. Right. Yes.
7 Q. So was anybody present from the police of the Republic of Serbia
8 who did have any role to play there in those events?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Thank you very much. I should now like to clarify another point
11 which refers to the mention that was made of the meeting in Topcider.
12 That was also in open session, I assume.
13 Tell me, please, in your statement - and it's on page 4, paragraph
14 5 - you say that the meeting was held at the army headquarters, and that
15 is indeed where the 1st Army has its headquarters, in Topcider, at the
16 beginning of 1991. There seems to be a mistake here in this.
17 A. Yes, there was an official meeting in the course of 1991.
18 Q. So you say in the course of 1991; right? The Territorial Defence
19 in the area of responsibility of the 1st Army -- and it was responsible to
20 the command of the 1st Army, the JNA, was it not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What, then, is irregular, if I can put it that way, if the
23 commander of the TO defence headquarters and staff goes to attend a
24 meeting at the army command to whom that Territorial Defence is
25 subordinated and in whose area of responsibility it is?
1 A. Nothing, and I'm not raising that question. I'm just telling a
2 piece of truth, that there was a meeting held there.
3 Q. Well, that's why I'm referring to it, because what is suggested
4 here is that that took place after the events which were to follow in
5 Bijeljina and Zvornik, and from this we can see -- from the statement we
6 can see, and you have just confirmed it, that this took place before those
7 events or, rather, before any clashes or conflicts took place; isn't that
9 A. Yes, that's right. There was one meeting before the events when
10 the decision was made that Serbs outside Serbia
11 assistance. And later on, Marko Pavlovic went there once again and
12 attended some sort of meeting with General Mandaric. And those were his
13 comments. He commented about that.
14 Q. All right. Now, in 1991, there were no conflicts in
16 A. Not in Bosnia, but generally I said Serbs outside Serbia in
17 general, to provide them with assistance outside Serbia
18 Q. All right. Tell me, what was this meeting all about? What
19 specific meeting was it?
20 A. The leadership of the army was there and so was the political
22 Q. From Zvornik?
23 A. No, no, not from Zvornik, from the whole country, those who were
24 present. The leadership from Serbia and some Serbs from other republics
1 Q. Who was there from Serbia, please, attending the meeting at the
2 1st Army command?
3 A. The officers. And it was rumoured that there was a large meeting
4 of top-level officers and some other people from the political circles.
5 Q. From where?
6 A. From the political circles.
7 Q. Did you say police?
8 A. No, from the political circles.
9 Q. Well, that's what I'm interested in. Which politicians were
11 A. I don't know. All that was said was that a meeting was held at
12 federal level and that a decision was made that all Serbs outside Serbia
13 should be given a certain amount of assistance.
14 Q. So do you say some representative of some federal organ was there?
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. Well, my question was: Who was there from Serbia
17 anybody there from Serbia, from the leadership of Serbia?
18 A. Well, I don't know about the leadership of Serbia
19 anybody represented it.
20 Q. All right. You yourself were not present at the meeting, as far
21 as I understand it.
22 A. No. No, I wouldn't be there.
23 Q. Well, who told you about the contents of the meeting?
24 A. I heard that from some politicians.
25 Q. Which politicians?
1 A. Well, I was told by Mr. Raicevic that the meeting was held and
2 that the position taken by the leadership from the federal organs was that
3 the Serbs outside Serbia should be helped, were to be helped.
4 Q. All right. In your statement, you go on to speak about the fact
5 that the rights of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 threat, or you used the term "allegedly threatened." So I'm asking you
7 now, were they allegedly threatened or were they de facto threatened?
8 A. The political situation was such that they were in jeopardy,
9 certain rights of theirs where the majority population were Muslims.
10 Where the Muslims were in the minority, they said that their Muslim rights
11 had been jeopardised.
12 Q. Well, is it true and correct that what led up to these tensions
13 with respect to the threatening of rights, that this took place after the
14 referendum that was held about the independence and autonomy of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina at which the Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina did
16 not take part? Is that right?
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. And you yourself, as somebody from the area, from the region, did
19 you -- how did you feel the mood of the day? Did you gain the impression,
20 this same impression, that it was illegal to make a decision of this kind
21 without one of the three constituent nations taking part? Was that your
23 A. Yes, it was.
24 Q. So what you say that their rights were allegedly threatened, that
25 is not true, but their rights were actually threatened; is that right?
1 A. Yes. But I don't think that a conflict should ever have broken
2 out and the whole situation solved by a war but it should have been solved
4 Q. Yes. But do you know -- are you aware of the fact that it was
5 precisely the leadership of the Serbs in Bosnia
6 a war and that they engaged in negotiations and that a plan had even been
7 reached, which was called the Cutileiro plan, signed by the
8 representatives of all three nations, all three ethnic groups, before the
9 war broke out, before any conflict broke out whatsoever, in fact?
10 A. Yes, there were different variants and options, but I'm not a man
11 of politics myself so I can't really say.
12 Q. Well, I'm not going to ask you, then, about something you're not
13 familiar with.
14 Moving on. Let me just take a moment to consult my notes.
15 You speak about the events -- an event that took place at a place
16 called Sepak. Is that a locality, a village near Zvornik? Is that right?
17 A. It's 20 kilometres before you reach Zvornik, yes.
18 Q. The question was -- or, rather, the problem that was created was
19 that there were some armed people there or, rather, that there was a
20 substantial quantity of arms in that region; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. From what you yourself said, it would emerge that Fadil -- I
23 forgot to write down his surname -- Mujkic, was it?
24 A. It was Mujic.
25 Q. Right. Fadil Mujic. He was a policeman in the SUP of Zvornik,
1 was he not?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And Marko Pavlovic, he was the commander of the Territorial
4 Defence in Zvornik; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So there was one Muslim and one Serb. A Muslim who was a
7 policeman and a Serb who was the TO defence commander. And they entered
8 Sepak and ordered that those weapons be surrendered so that a conflict
9 should be avoided; right?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. Then you go on to say that they did indeed hand over the weapons.
12 A. Yes, several days later.
13 Q. How many weapons did they hand over? Do you have any idea or did
14 you have any information about the quantity?
15 A. What was said was about 60 long rifles, hunting rifles, arched and
16 non-arched barrels, and a machine-gun was found too.
17 Q. So 60 long barrels and a machine-gun. In a village with how many
18 inhabitants, roughly?
19 A. Well, roughly 2.000. About 600 houses, three to four members per
20 house, per household.
21 Q. So 60 long barrels and a machine-gun. And then, after that, you
22 go on to say that most of those people went to Loznica; right?
23 A. Yes. They crossed into Loznica in an organised fashion.
24 Q. Did anybody force them to leave? Were they Muslims? They were
25 Muslims, weren't they?
1 A. Yes. The village is 100 per cent Muslim.
2 Q. So did anybody force them to go to Loznica or did they go of their
3 own free will? Did they decide to cross into Serbia
4 will to get away from the conflicts and the war?
5 A. The Territorial Defence commander, Marko Pavlovic, decided about
6 this with them.
7 Q. Did he exert any pressure on them for them to leave the locality
8 or did they ask to find a safe haven in Serbia
9 A. I don't know. I wasn't there myself.
10 Q. Very well. When talking about this Marko Pavlovic, he has another
11 name, as far as I see. Where is that man from? He lives in Sombor, but I
12 don't know where he is originally from. There are many people from
13 various areas living in various towns. Where is that Marko Pavlovic from?
14 A. It was established that he has a flat in Sombor and that his
15 family is there.
16 Q. You too, like a person from a Bosnia
17 Serbia. Is he a man from Bosnia or is he from someplace in Serbia?
18 A. He said that his people had settled there earlier from Lika.
19 Q. And he had an ID card issued in the Secretariat of Internal
20 Affairs in Sehovici, and that is on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina
21 isn't it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And this was an ordinary ID card that every citizen has?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And did he show you a decision whereby he was appointed commander
1 of the TO of Zvornik?
2 A. Yes, he did, a little later.
3 Q. And who is this man that you say was called Sekanic? What is he?
4 A. He was a reserve officer of the army of Yugoslavia
5 those areas.
6 Q. So he too was a man from Bosnia and Herzegovina
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What was his position and role? Because you say that he went to
9 Topcider with Popovic to attend that meeting. Was he Popovic's deputy?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. After these events in Zvornik, you say you informed Tomica
12 Raicevic about it.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You went to see him because you knew him personally?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So it was on the basis of a private or friendly relationship?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So you inform him about problems over there, and in fact,
19 immediately after that, checkpoints were erected, refugees are taken care
20 of, and efforts are being made not to have those problems spread to
21 Serbia; is that right? Was that the sequence of events, more or less?
22 A. Yes, it was.
23 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to know what -- a little about what
24 happened to you in the textile factory in Zvornik. You were there again
25 on private business I assume, and you learnt that there was a meeting in
1 the Alhos factory.
2 A. Yes. I wanted to see where my relatives were.
3 Q. And they told you there was a meeting in Alhos, and you went there
4 and attended that meeting?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, tell me, please, since you speak about a JNA colonel who came
7 there, was he a JNA colonel or a colonel of the army of Republika Srpska?
8 A. He was a JNA colonel who had his headquarters at Kucevo.
9 Q. Was this during the time while the JNA was still in the territory
10 of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
11 A. Yes. He was said to be the commander of the Drina
12 Q. Fine. So you said that he promoted this Marko Pejic to the rank
13 of lieutenant colonel.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I assume, in view of the work you were engaged in, that you know
16 that a colonel, even if he is a corps commander in the JNA, if it was the
17 JNA, nor in the army of Yugoslavia later, does not have the authority to
18 promote someone to a higher officer rank.
19 A. Yes, but that is what he did. A lot of people witnessed this.
20 Q. I understand that, but I'm asking you on the basis of your
21 knowledge of the rules. Do you -- are you familiar with the rules
22 according to which that is impossible in the army? In a regular army, it
23 is not possible for a colonel to promote a major to the rank of lieutenant
25 A. Yes. He can only make such a proposal.
1 Q. A senior officer can always make a proposal to the competent
2 command for something, but he cannot do something that he's not authorised
3 to do. Isn't that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Then you go on to say that attending that meeting were
6 representatives of all the political bodies of Zvornik municipality; is
7 that right? The president of the municipality, the commander of the TO,
8 his deputy, and various other leaders of volunteer or paramilitary units
9 and the Territorial Defence units, et cetera; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And among them you've mentioned the Yellow Wasps, that they too
12 were present.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Tell me, please, are you aware, according to information I have,
15 that those same Yellow Wasps were arrested in a joint operation by the
16 police from Serbia and the police of Republika Srpska?
17 A. Yes. I'm very well aware of it.
18 Q. Therefore, not only did the police of Serbia
19 activities by that group but also the police of Republika Srpska
20 cooperated with them in order to take them into custody and bring them to
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. Do you have direct knowledge about that?
24 A. Yes, I do, and I gave a proposal to that effect.
25 Q. So there's no dispute that they were both arrested and put on
2 A. Yes. Some were put on trial; some were later released in
3 Republika Srpska.
4 Q. Now, whether someone was later on released, that is another
5 matter. I'm talking about what happened in Serbia
6 heard about certain crimes committed by Arkan's volunteer guards in the
7 hospital in Zvornik. What kind of crimes are you referring to?
8 A. Yes. I heard that they entered there, that they mistreated
9 nurses, Muslim nurses, and a doctor was also present, Dr. Muhamed Jelkic,
10 who was the director of the hospital.
11 Q. What did you do? Did you do anything?
12 A. I found Mr. Raznjatovic's telephone number, and I called him up
13 myself and told him that his army on the territory of Zvornik municipality
14 was committing crimes, and I said that they had provoked a major incident
15 at the hospital.
16 Q. That is this incident, isn't it?
17 A. There was mistreatment of medical staff. There was rape. At
18 least, that was what people said.
19 Q. Of Muslims. Of the medical staff? Mistreatment of the medical
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And what was his reaction?
23 A. He condemned it. And that same night --
24 Q. Did he tell you to do anything about it?
25 A. I introduced myself to him. I told him who I was, and then he
1 said, "Shoot them all if that's what they're doing." And I said that they
2 were not my army nor was it my territory. And I heard that he came, that
3 he read out a death sentence to two of the participants, and that he
4 eliminated them from the battlefield.
5 Q. So that was all that you did, because it wasn't your territory or
6 your competence to do anything in that area. You called up the competent
7 person, and that person reacted by sentencing two of his soldiers to
8 death. Is that all you know about it?
9 A. Yes. He lined up the troops, and in the presence of the local
10 leadership and the citizens, he read out their death sentences.
11 Q. Tell me now, please, regarding Captain Dragan, as I didn't have
12 any information about his presence in Zvornik. You saw him after the
13 fighting had stopped in town; is that right?
14 A. Yes. He had stuck up posters saying that he had come as an
15 instructor, and he called on the citizens, the able-bodied citizens of
16 Republika Srpska to join his training courses.
17 Q. And does it follow from what you are saying that he didn't have a
18 unit of his own in which he could participate in the fighting, but he came
19 as an instructor to train future members of the army of Republika Srpska
20 or Territorial Defence units, what was then called the SAO Semberija,
21 Majevica, and so on?
22 A. Yes. He came with a couple of other instructors.
23 Q. So he didn't have a unit, just a couple of instructors.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So he didn't participate in the fighting or the conflicts in
2 A. No, he didn't.
3 Q. And then you go on to say, "One day, the local radio --" I assume
4 you're referring to Zvornik radio, aren't you? "-- broadcast the news that
5 terrorists had arrived at Zvornik."
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And the next day you were looking across the Drina
8 Serbian side. You were at Mali Zvornik, weren't you?
9 A. The same day that the news was broadcast on the radio.
10 Q. So you're looking across the Drina
11 see a group of men in uniform, with weapons, searching the banks.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And then you saw them kill a man who was in hiding in the water at
14 the bottom of the riverbank. Mr. Groome asked you whether the man was
15 armed, and you said he wasn't armed.
16 A. No. He was in civilian clothes.
17 Q. I'm not asking you whether he was in civilian clothes or in
18 uniform. What did that man look like? How deep was he in the water?
19 A. To above his knees.
20 Q. Sorry. The microphone is not switched.
21 Would you allow for the possibility that he might have had a
22 weapon that he may have held or dropped into the water to the riverbed?
23 A. One couldn't see that he had a weapon. He was hiding.
24 Q. But I heard here through your explanations that this was a
25 captured man, a man who had been taken into custody and who was used as a
1 live target for training. This is something quite monstrous. Where did
2 you get such information from?
3 A. I got that information later, maybe even a month later, from
4 Mr. Sekanic.
5 Q. I see, from Sekanic who was deputy commander of the Territorial
6 Defence. Is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Are you quite sure that that is the incident that is being
9 referred to when this man was killed? Was he a captive who was forced to
10 go into the river for someone to practice shooting?
11 A. Yes. He said that three men were taken and driven off to be used
12 for that kind of training.
13 Q. Did Sekanic tell you that those three men were killed?
14 A. No, he didn't say that. He just commented on Captain Dragan's
15 training of this kind, that there had been some activity already and that
16 he had to leave Zvornik.
17 Q. This is a very serious accusation. When you say "such training,"
18 that means that training should be done, that target practice should be
19 done using live men as targets. Was that the gist of what you heard as a
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Were you able to check out that report in any way in view of the
23 work you did? I don't believe that you could have been indifferent to
24 such a report.
25 A. I wasn't indifferent. That's why I reacted. That is why I went
1 to the territory of Veliki Zvornik and cautioned the person who was doing
2 this, saying that he was committing a terrible crime.
3 Q. And tell me, please, did you inform anyone in the Ministry of
4 Internal Affairs of Serbia about such a drastic event?
5 A. No. I didn't speak much about that because I had instructions to
6 spend as little time close to the Drina as possible.
7 Q. If those were your instructions, that doesn't include your duty to
8 inform somebody about such a crime. And even if you were anywhere near
9 the Drina and you personally witnessed it, you should have reported it.
10 Did you inform anyone from the police of Republika Srpska?
11 A. No. It wasn't really functioning well in those days. I did
12 later, when the Yellow Wasps were arrested.
13 Q. When the Yellow Wasps were arrested it functioned, but there must
14 have been some police force in Zvornik.
15 Q. But this was something you couldn't tell anyone. It was dangerous
16 to tell anyone any such thing.
17 Q. I see. You say that General Mladic reacted. You said there was
18 some talk with General Mladic; is that right?
19 A. Yes, that's right. After some time had elapsed, perhaps a month
20 later, when he came to visit Zvornik.
21 Q. Who talked to Mladic? Who informed Mladic about the event?
22 A. I don't know. Probably somebody from that department, the
23 department for military matters in charge of Zvornik. From the
24 Territorial Defence, I mean.
25 Q. Well, he visited Zvornik when the event took place and that he was
2 A. That was in the middle of the summer of 1992.
3 Q. Well, at any rate, he was in command of the army throughout the
4 territory at the time.
5 A. Yes, I'm sure he was.
6 Q. And what was his reaction when he heard this piece of information?
7 A. I don't know. I didn't see him.
8 Q. But you mentioned this in your testimony. You say he was
9 informed, that General Mladic was informed and now you say one month after
10 the event when he came to visit Zvornik, that that's when he was informed.
11 So I assume that they told him what his reaction was when he learnt of
13 A. It was sharp. He condemned the incident and an argument broke out
14 between him and Captain Dragan.
15 Q. All right. Now, judging by all the things you know about General
16 Mladic, did General Mladic forbid all types of non-military behaviour
17 towards civilians, prisoners of war and, generally speaking, was he a
18 commander who endeavoured in every way possible to see that the rules of
19 warfare were respected? To the best of your knowledge, as somebody from
20 the region, as somebody who is well able to assess what was going on,
21 would you say that was true? Do you know about that?
22 A. Yes. Orders of that kind did come from General Mladic, to the
23 effect that everybody should be placed under the command of the army of
24 Republika Srpska.
25 Q. And that no unlawful acts towards the civilian population or the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 POWs were allowed. Was that the position taken by General Mladic and his
3 A. Yes, that's right, there were.
4 Q. You also mention a man named Petar Mihajlovic, coordinator of the
5 Federal Ministry of the Interior. And a little bit before that, or,
6 rather, at the very beginning you said that the federal SUP took the
7 position to help the SUP of Republika Srpska, that that's what it decided
8 to do; isn't that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Right. You say yes. Now, Petar Mihajlovic, the man you mention
11 as being the coordinator of the federal MUP, what was the period of time
12 that you remember having contacts with him? You mention him in connection
13 with what period of time?
14 A. 1991 and 1992, and throughout the whole of the war in those
16 Q. But do you happen to know that it was precisely the Federal
17 Ministry of the Interior that had the task of coordinating with the
18 Ministries of the Interior or, rather, the Republican Secretariats for
19 Internal Affairs?
20 A. Yes, of course, certainly.
21 Q. According to the best of your knowledge and what you're testifying
22 to, was that a legal responsibility at that time? Because in tab 7, you
23 provide with us a document which is written by the state security service
24 of the Federal Secretariat for Internal Affairs, the third department or
25 management. That is in tab 7. And it says: "Strictly confidential" at
1 the top, then it has the Saradnja or cooperation action. And the title is
2 "Recent information and observations with regard to the security
3 situation in the Bihac region."
4 And then you go on -- it goes on to give us some general
5 information, general knowledge about the region. And that is the period
6 of time which you linked to the work of this man Petar Mihajlovic who was
7 the coordinator; is that right?
8 A. Yes. Yes, I do know that that was all legal. It was legal, yes.
9 Q. Well, that's precisely why I'm asking you this. As somebody who
10 knew about these affairs, are you aware of the fact that this is
11 intelligence information?
12 A. Yes. That's what I'm claiming myself. That's what I say too.
13 Q. So this is March 1992 that we're talking about, all these
14 observations and information.
15 A. Yes. He worked in legal affairs. He did legal jobs. What he was
16 doing was legal.
17 Q. We hear something about explosive devices stolen from the TO
18 warehouses, the 27th of July Barracks in Bihac, et cetera, some hand-held
19 launchers and so on. Something in the vicinity of Bihac airport, some
20 things going on there. But anyway, it was an intelligence report, nothing
21 other than that; isn't that right?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. Now, tell me this, please: What the president of the municipality
24 at the time, of Zvornik - his name was Brano Grujic - what he said and
25 told you about the killing in the school building, in the schoolhouse.
1 And that was precisely a part of his efforts, was it, to uncover the
2 perpetrators, to arrest them and hand them over to the courts; right?
3 A. Yes. He said that these people had been detained there and that
4 they were to serve as an exchange for Serbs from Tuzla
5 back from the field on one occasion, he asked whether the people had food
6 and water over there, and one of his associates told him that there was no
7 need any more because they weren't there any more. And he understood what
8 they had done and that that had been done without his knowledge.
9 Q. Did he also insist upon the fact that those people, these Yellow
10 Wasps or whoever, should be arrested?
11 A. He always complained about the paramilitaries, and he had problems
12 with them too. And he asked for assistance. He asked to be given
13 assistance for him be to deal with those people and expel them from
15 Q. Now, I want to clarify just one point because you know about all
16 this going on there. Is it true that these paramilitary formations were
17 made up of criminals, looters and the like, and not any patriots of any
18 kind, if I can put it that way, who went there for patriotic reasons to
19 set up units of that kind? Isn't that so?
20 A. Yes. Quite certainly that is correct.
21 Q. Is it also clear that the people who wanted to protect their own
22 nation joined up the ranks of the Republika Srpska army and were subjected
23 to regular military discipline? They didn't go around setting up
24 paramilitary formations or units of any kind; isn't that right?
25 A. Yes, but some paramilitary formations did mobilise certain men
1 too, people who didn't know whether it was a legal army or not. Ordinary
2 young men, locals from the area who were decent people.
3 Q. Well, that's not the first time that criminals force decent
4 citizens into things like that. Are you aware of the fact that, for
5 instance, in that Zvornik you mention Brano Grujic, the president of the
6 municipality whom you knew yourself. And I don't know him, I don't know
7 himself myself, but you mentioned him and you mentioned the commander of
8 the Territorial Defence and others. So is it true that all of them
9 together -- when I say all of them, I mean the authorities, the local
10 authorities in Zvornik -- did their best to incapacitate those
12 A. Yes, that's right. However, some of them were prone to support
14 Q. You mean the people in the Territorial Defence?
15 A. Yes, there were some people there too who made a lot of money out
16 of it.
17 Q. All right. You spoke about -- about this money-making. And
18 before I go on to my next question, let's clear up something in that
19 regard. Mr. Groome asked you about the convoys that crossed between
20 Serbia and the Republika Srpska, and you said that for the most part what
21 was being transported was timber, logs, that is to say for construction
22 purposes, to make planks and beams and construction material out of it.
23 Fuel, wheat, those were other truckloads you mentioned, and everything
24 else that was necessary for the normal running of daily life. So it was a
25 trade; right?
1 A. Yes. Different types of goods were traded.
2 Q. And in peacetime this is the normal passage of goods, following
3 those routes?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So what I'm interested in that regard and what I would like us to
6 clear up is the following: You say that the drivers of those trucks,
7 regardless of whether they owned the property or were just truck drivers,
8 that they represented these companies hauling the goods or the private
9 owners, the proprietors of those logs, timber, wheat, et cetera, whatever,
10 and that they had to give bribes of 1.000 marks to take their line and
11 cross the Drina River
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And who did they give those bribes to?
14 A. There was a commission set up, waiting on one bank, one side, all
15 the people that they themselves designated, and that's who the money was
16 given to without any trace of it.
17 Q. What embankment were these people on; on the embankment on the
18 Serbian said or on the BH side or, rather, the Republika Srpska side?
19 A. According to my information, it was on the Bosnia-Herzegovina side
20 that the money was taken.
21 Q. Well, as you said that this went via the MUP, when you say "MUP,"
22 you mean the MUP of Republika Srpska, right?
23 A. There was a list that was compiled by the MUP of Serbia and by the
24 MUP, that they controlled these licence plates together.
25 Q. Well, licence plates are another matter, but who took the money,
1 the bribes given for the passage of the trucks?
2 A. People from Republika Srpska who said that the money was needed
3 for the purposes of war.
4 Q. I'm not interested in that question further but I wanted to
5 clarify that point.
6 Now, the next point, please. You spoke about something that is
7 the most -- worst. I'm not going to mention the name of the village. You
8 mentioned it in private session, but you said that you saw about 50 women
9 and children standing in front of a schoolyard when you were passing by
10 precisely in the village that you gave us during private session, and you
11 said that was in mid-July 1993; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Explain this to me now, please: Are you sure that it was mid-July
14 1993, that that was the date?
15 A. 1945 -- 1995, not 1993.
16 Q. You said mid-July, so I don't understand. You said there were some
17 people from Srebrenica.
18 A. It was a mistake. It was 1995. Perhaps I misspoke if you wrote
19 it down as being that.
20 JUDGE MAY: No, I think not. I have it as mid-July 1995. That's
21 what you said.
22 That's what the witness said, Mr. Milosevic.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Okay, Mr. May. Very well.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. And you further state that an officer appeared whose name was --
1 was this in private session perhaps? It wasn't, I don't think. The name
2 of the officer, was that in private or open session?
3 His name was Drago Nikolic. And you said that he told you that
4 the person who issued that order was a commander of theirs whose name was
5 Beara; is that right?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. So who is that commander whose name is Beara?
8 A. Well, that's the first time I heard of that particular surname. I
9 don't know who he was.
10 Q. Well, you heard it for the first time, but I'm sure you learnt who
11 it was, who it could have been, later on.
12 A. Later on, I learnt that he was the deputy head for security of the
13 Main Staff of Republika Srpska.
14 Q. The deputy head for security, you say?
15 A. Of the army of Republika Srpska.
16 Q. Ah, I see, the army of Republika Srpska. And this man here
17 Nikolic told you that this person Beara had ordered that 6.900 people be
18 killed; is that it? Is that what you claim?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. And did you see anybody else on that occasion except for this
21 lower-ranking officer? What rank did this lower-ranking officer in fact
23 A. He was a lieutenant of some kind.
24 Q. Tell me now, please, once you learnt or, rather, when he told you
25 or ordered, this man Beara, once this man Beara ordered these people to be
1 killed, did you inform anybody of that?
2 A. I didn't have anybody to inform.
3 Q. Well, you could have informed these people in the nearest
4 municipality, the command there, the headquarters there, or anybody else.
5 What's the biggest town there? The village you mention, it's in the
6 Zvornik municipality, isn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Well, did you inform anybody, for example, the authorities in the
9 Zvornik municipality about this?
10 A. No. Nobody was present. They were all off somewhere in the
12 Q. And did you stay in Bosnia-Herzegovina or, rather, the territory
13 outside Serbia when all this went on, as you say, in mid-July?
14 A. Only that afternoon, for that one afternoon.
15 Q. So you didn't inform anybody?
16 A. Well, a gentleman from the service from the territory of Serbia
17 was with me.
18 Q. Who was with you from Serbia? Who did you say was with you from
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I answer that
21 question in private session?
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Private session.
23 [Private session]
13 Pages 21094-21098 – redacted – private session
13 [Open session]
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I continue with a couple more
15 questions, please?
16 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
17 JUDGE MAY: No. We'll come back to it in due course.
18 Let me just deal with the witness. Mr. B-161, we're going to
19 adjourn your evidence now, and we will ask you to come back at a
20 convenient date, but as soon as reasonably practicable, to conclude your
21 cross-examination and deal with any other matters which may arise.
22 We're going to deal with something else. You are free to go but
23 after we've dealt with the other matter briefly.
24 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the Court was prepared to -- and the
25 accused no doubt was prepared to deal with the next witness, B-024 and
1 Professor Kristan tomorrow. For various reasons, it would be helpful if
2 we could reverse the order of those two.
3 I know that Mr. Kay has raised a paper which I've seen a courtesy
4 copy, for which I am grateful, dealing with the position of Kristan, but
5 before we come to make mention to that, amongst the reasons why it would
6 be desirable to reverse the order is this: B-024 is likely to take all of
7 tomorrow or, indeed, judging by today's evidence, possibly more than that
8 because there won't be any other of his evidence. Kristan has to return
9 to Slovenia on Monday evening and cannot stay until Tuesday.
10 So it's, amongst other things, very desirable that he be concluded
11 and doesn't become the third witness this week part heard to another day.
12 If we take him tomorrow, we be sure of finishing him tomorrow or on
13 Monday, and then we can move back to witnesses who can be heard without
15 There are some exhibits yet to be served in respect of Kristan,
16 although, of course, his report has been served substantially in advance
17 and is well-known to the accused and to the amici.
18 There's a document of observations that follows on,
19 unsurprisingly, from a remark in questioning by Mr. Tapuskovic yesterday
20 which is challenging the independence of Kristan as a witness. The
21 closing submissions seem to be that he should be dealt with as an ordinary
22 witness, vulnerable to cross-examination as a witness rather than being
23 disadvantaged by being called on any special basis.
24 I'm not quite sure, and no doubt Mr. Kay can explain, if he has
25 time today, what that means, but I don't take it as an objection to the
1 evidence being given root and branch, nor to its being capable of being
2 dealt with tomorrow.
3 MR. KAY: I filed a motion today dealing with the status of
4 Dr. Kristan as being an expert witness, as he was a judge of the
5 Constitutional Court of Yugoslavia
6 dealing with the issues concerning the autonomous provinces of Kosovo and
8 Having considered the matter, I took the view that there was a
9 conflict of interest that was capable of being considered concerning his
10 status as an expert witness or whether he was an ordinary witness and a
11 witness in the case rather than a witness who offers guidance and
12 instruction to the Trial Chamber as an expert does.
13 JUDGE MAY: That motion or observations, of course, hasn't reached
14 us yet. If it could be expedited, we would be grateful.
15 The issue then will be, which we will have to resolve - we will
16 see what you say - we will have to resolve whether he's an expert.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: I was going to say that the issue that you raise
18 is one of conflict of interest, not expertise.
19 MR. KAY: Yes, that's right. There is no issue that he -- the
20 material that he gives is capable of forming the evidence before the
21 Court. It's his status as a witness.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will have to see the motion.
23 MR. KAY: Yes.
24 JUDGE MAY: We will take him tomorrow.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes, yes.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please. I think that it's really
3 not in order for the order of witnesses to be changed today for tomorrow,
4 especially if we bear in mind that we're interrupting this witness's
5 testimony unexpectedly or, rather, I see that Mr. Groome did plan to
6 interrupt him today, but I didn't know that. I was informed today as you
7 were that this witness's testimony would be interrupted. And now we're
8 not even moving on to the following witness but to a third witness who
9 already has to testify tomorrow and for me to cross-examine him tomorrow.
10 I think such a chaos really should not be allowed. But if you are
11 deciding to interrupt this witness now and resume him later, I don't care
12 about that, but please don't accept the intercepting of another witness
13 tomorrow instead of the witness that was planned, because that really
14 makes it very difficult. I don't even have time to read everything. I
15 don't have any time anyway to read any of these piles of documents that I
16 receive, but this chaos, interruption of witnesses and then resumption of
17 witnesses and then not the next witness in order but the one after that, I
18 really think that is quite unacceptable.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE MAY: Very well. The majority of the Trial Chamber feel we
21 should finish this witness tomorrow. Would you come back, Mr. B-161,
22 would you come back tomorrow morning at 9:00
23 accused his 20 minutes. No more. You've got 20 minutes. We will then
24 hear Mr. Kristan, at least in chief, and we will review the position -- or
25 we'll hear the objections and we will then review the position as to
1 whether we should continue with the cross-examination.
2 Mr. Milosevic, you may have to cross-examine Mr. Kristan tomorrow,
3 so prepare yourself as best you can.
4 Mr. B-161, would you come back, then, please, tomorrow.
5 Very well. We're going to adjourn now.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.00 p.m.
7 to be reconvened on Friday, the 23rd day of May,
8 2003, at 9.00 a.m.