Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia>

Page 21814

1 Thursday, 5 June 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.

6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, with the Court's permission, I'll

7 continue the examination of B-024?

8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. According to my calculation, you've had about

9 two hours so far, a bit less. So if you could be as expeditious as

10 possible so that we can make sure that we get the cross-examination in

11 and, if possible, deal with the other witness today.

12 We will sit a bit later, but not beyond 2.00.

13 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.

14 JUDGE MAY: Witness B-024, as you're called here, you are, of

15 course, under a declaration, the same declaration that you gave before.

16 Yes.

17 WITNESS: WITNESS B-024 [Resumed]

18 [Witness answered through interpreter]

19 Examined by Mr. Groome: [Continued]

20 Q. Sir, we interrupted your testimony the week before last. You were

21 describing your relation between the Serb MUP and the RS MUP. Is there

22 anything we neglected or anything that you wish to add to that

23 relationship that we did not get to before we interrupted your testimony?

24 A. Well, as I said, I did work until the 20th of April, 1992 in MUP,

25 and I know that up until then relationships were quite correct and proper.

Page 21815

1 After that, I didn't work in the Ministry of the Interior any

2 more, so I really can't talk about the specifics of the relationships that

3 prevailed.

4 Q. Now, sir, during the course of this trial, a video was played. It

5 was Prosecution Exhibit 390, tab 18. It was a videotape of a Red Berets

6 celebration at Kula camp. Did you have an opportunity or by chance see

7 that video as it was broadcast in the proceedings of the Tribunal?

8 A. Yes. It was played on all sorts of television networks very

9 frequently.

10 Q. Did you recognise somebody in that video as somebody who was

11 present in Zvornik during the course of the takeover?

12 A. Well, of the well-known people from the footage, there was only

13 Lukovic, Legija. And as far as I know, he was captured before the Serb

14 forces took Zvornik. He was captured by the Territorial Defence, that is

15 to say, the Muslim forces.

16 Q. Aside from him and the obviously well-known people, was there

17 another person who you recognised as being present in -- that you

18 recognised from that video?

19 A. Of those present, there was just this other man, the one that gave

20 his name to the centre, and that is Radislav Kostic. And the centre is

21 named after him. As to the rest, during the takeover of Zvornik, I don't

22 remember that anybody else was there of those people.

23 MR. GROOME: If I might just correct for the record. It was tab 1

24 of Prosecution Exhibit 390.

25 Q. Now, I'd just ask you to briefly comment. Are you aware of a

Page 21816

1 person by the name of Captain Dragan, and what, if any, involvement did he

2 have in the events that took place in Zvornik?

3 A. I apologise. I've forgot. Yes, of course, I do know Captain

4 Dragan, and I do know that one of his units was in Zvornik with him and he

5 was there for about 30 days. They were put up at the hotel called

6 Vidikovac near Zvornik in a place called Divic.

7 Q. And can you approximate for us the period of time that

8 Captain Dragan was in Zvornik?

9 A. Well, as I remember, it may have been May or June 1992.

10 Q. Did you ever have a conversation with Mr. Grujic regarding

11 Captain Dragan's presence in Zvornik?

12 A. Yes, I did have a conversation with him. And Captain Dragan had

13 some programmes broadcast over the local radio station. This was common

14 knowledge. Everybody knew that he was there in Zvornik with part of his

15 unit.

16 Q. I'd like to now draw your attention to Kulagrad. Can you describe

17 what, if any, involvement or what, if any, Serb forces were involved in

18 the fighting at Kulagrad towards the middle of April of 1992.

19 A. Yes, I do know that. And it was common knowledge. I think the

20 unit was the 72nd Parachute Unit under the command of the then-Lieutenant

21 Colonel Mr. Stupar, which took part in taking control of Kulagrad sometime

22 towards the end of April 1992.

23 Q. Were there any other units involved besides that particular one?

24 A. As far as I know, all the rest were volunteer units and

25 Territorial Defence of Zvornik. I don't know that there were any other

Page 21817

1 units present.

2 Q. Are you aware of any of the events that took place in Celopek

3 around this period of time?

4 A. I don't know what events you're referring to.

5 Q. Events in the -- the cultural centre at Celopek.

6 A. Well, like most of the inhabitants of Zvornik, I too heard about

7 what was going on in Celopek through the stories told around town and the

8 information media started writing about this abroad too.

9 Q. A witness has mentioned in detail about what happened in Celopek.

10 Can I just ask you to summarise the types or kinds of crimes or events you

11 heard were occurring in Celopek. Just perhaps list them.

12 A. It was generally known that a group of men from Divic were being

13 incarcerated in Celopek. And according to the stories that went round

14 town and later on published in the information media, and there was also

15 court proceedings in Yugoslavia against the perpetrators, that these

16 people were subjected to terrible torture, killings, and so on.

17 Q. The media accounts, were they contemporaneous -- did they appear

18 in the summer of 1992 or did they appear sometime later?

19 A. They appeared later, several months later, and they appeared

20 abroad. News of that appeared abroad. And then it was the Yugoslav

21 papers such as Vreme that started writing about it too.

22 Q. I'd like to now draw your attention to the fighting around the

23 area of Divic. What, if any, JNA participation are you aware of in the

24 fighting around Divic?

25 A. As far as I know, I don't know that the JNA took part in the

Page 21818

1 attack on Divic. What I do know is that same team which took control of

2 Kulagrad, on that same day crossed over and attacked Divic as an

3 inhabited, built-up area.

4 Q. During the attack on Divic, was there any artillery fire from

5 Serbia?

6 A. During the attack on Divic, I heard some shooting from all sides.

7 And as far as I know, I don't know if it was artillery fire but there was

8 shooting from the hydroelectric powerplant in Mali Zvornik, and that's in

9 Serbia. Because, in fact, it's a settlement which is several hundred

10 metres away from the hydroelectric powerplant, about 100 metres away, in

11 fact. And this as a strategic target was an interesting one, I assume.

12 Q. Do you know who was responsible for the fire coming from Mali

13 Zvornik, the Serbian side of the border?

14 A. No, I don't know that. But unequivocally the fire was opened from

15 the Serbia side. But I wasn't there, so I don't know who opened fire

16 first, actually.

17 Q. I want to now draw your attention to events at the Karakaj

18 Technical School. Are you aware of the events leading up to and the

19 events which occurred at the Karakaj Technical School?

20 A. What I know is this, that several villages which were loyal to the

21 Serbian authorities surrendered to those authorities and that their

22 transport was organised from a place called Bijeli Potok. But before

23 that, the men were separated from the women and children, and the women

24 and children were taken off in the direction of Kalesija, up until a place

25 called Memelic [phoen], and the men were incarcerated in the technical

Page 21819

1 school in Karakaj. And very soon after that, rumours began to go round

2 Zvornik that they were actually killed.

3 Q. Now, I want to ask you to describe in a little greater detail,

4 when you said villages loyal to Serb authorities. What was the ethnic

5 make-up of these villages that you're saying were loyal to Serb

6 authorities?

7 A. Those villages were ethnically pure and inhabited by Muslims.

8 Q. Now, when you say "loyal to Serb authorities," is that to say that

9 they observed or subjected themselves to the new temporary government,

10 Serb government, that you described earlier in your testimony?

11 A. Yes. As far as I know, there were no military events in those

12 villages from the time that Serb -- the Serbs took control of Zvornik

13 until they left.

14 Q. Now, the fact that there were no military events in these

15 villages, was that something only you and a few people knew or was that

16 something widely known by the people present in Zvornik?

17 A. It was common knowledge in Zvornik.

18 Q. Returning to Karakaj Technical School, and putting rumour aside,

19 did you yourself ever go to the area or to the school itself during the

20 time that these men were held at that school?

21 A. The first day the people were brought there, I did go over there

22 to take two men there which had been appointed by the headquarters, that

23 is to say, the headquarters had sent them up for an exchange, a so-called

24 exchange. I was taking them there.

25 Q. Were you able to secure the release of a former colleague of yours

Page 21820

1 who had been detained at the Karakaj school?

2 A. I had a written order from the TO commander. I didn't actually

3 enter the school building, but I handed this over to the people that stood

4 guard in front of the school, and they took out my former colleague, along

5 with another man who was the president of the SDA in Djulici.

6 Q. Can you tell the Chamber what it was or what your observations

7 were about the conditions at the school at the time that you were there.

8 A. Well, I conveyed that to the TO commander. The conditions were

9 catastrophic. It was June. It was extremely hot. And you could see the

10 humidity coming out of the room as they opened the door to let the people

11 out. You could see that it was stifling inside and that it was all

12 steamed up.

13 Q. Aside from that particular occasion, did you ever return to the

14 school while men were being detained there?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Do you know a person by the name of General Subotic?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Drawing your attention to 1995, did you have a conversation with

19 General Subotic that related to the events or the people that had been

20 detained in Karakaj Technical School?

21 A. No, I never had a conversation with General Subotic about that

22 subject. I received information from a colleague, however, who was in the

23 Crisis Staff, that he had discussed those events with him.

24 Q. And what did your colleague describe to you as the conversation he

25 had with General Subotic?

Page 21821

1 A. Well, I came to see him privately, to have a cup of coffee with

2 him, and I just happened to come upon General Subotic there. We didn't

3 discuss any vital subjects. It was just a normal chitchat, private

4 chitchat. And when he left, the man told me that General Subotic had the

5 assignment given to him by the government at Pale to do everything in his

6 power to see that the mass graves around the municipality and Republika

7 Srpska be removed.

8 Q. And did you learn the location to where the mass graves were to be

9 moved to?

10 A. I didn't learn of the location, but later on talking to a

11 policeman -- as I say, later on he explained to me that they provided

12 security for very strange transport and that during the night a road was

13 shut off to traffic from Zvornik towards Crni Vrh.

14 Q. And can you describe for the Chamber's benefit where Crni Vrh is

15 in comparison to the centre of Zvornik.

16 A. Yes. Crni Vrh is approximately 15 to 20 kilometres -- 15

17 kilometres on the road to Tuzla.

18 Q. I want to now draw your attention to the issue of pensions. And

19 my question to you is: Can you describe what you know about whether

20 pensions were paid to non-Serbs after the takeover of Zvornik?

21 A. What I know is that pensions were not paid to the non-Serb

22 inhabitants after the 9th of April, 1992.

23 Q. And how do you know that?

24 A. Well, all the lists of salaries and pensions had to go to the

25 provisional -- the temporary government to be authorised and certified.

Page 21822

1 And I know that the Muslims on those lists did not get the go-ahead.

2 MR. GROOME: I'm going to ask that the witness be shown

3 Prosecution Exhibit 451, tab 1.

4 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you to take a look at this exhibit. It's a

5 multi-page exhibit. But if I could draw your attention to the -- the

6 piece of -- the document with "InvestBanka" on the top right-hand corner.

7 I believe it's the exhibit you're looking at now. And if I could ask you

8 to read the first full paragraph of that document.

9 A. Yes. What it says here: "We ask you to, for the purpose of

10 payments for April to the pensioners of Serb ethnicity who received their

11 pensions though InvestBank in Zvornik, allocate the amount of," and then

12 there's a large amount. It stresses here that the pensioners were of Serb

13 ethnicity.

14 Q. During your contacts with the Crisis Staff, did you ever see a

15 similar document authorising the payment of pensions to people of non-Serb

16 ethnicity?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. So you did see similar documents authorising the payment of

19 pensions to people of ethnicity other than Serb?

20 A. No. I saw there was a misunderstanding. I saw documents in which

21 the government, the provisional government, prohibited the payment to

22 workers, payment of sums of money to workers who were non-Serbs.

23 MR. GROOME: I'm finished with that exhibit. Thank you to the

24 usher.

25 Q. Can I now draw your attention to Kozluk. Are you aware of

Page 21823

1 the -- an occasion in which nearly the entire population of that village

2 left Kozluk?

3 A. Well, yes. That was at the beginning of the war, and I was still

4 the commander, the chief of the station. And we did visit Kozluk, which

5 was preparing for people to leave it. Everybody was on tractors and

6 trucks and the Gornji Sepak village, the Muslim village, joined in. I

7 would say there were roughly six or seven thousand people there, and I was

8 a member of the delegation, where the Muftija and Orthodox church leader

9 was there and we tried to convince those people not to leave Kozluk. And

10 at that time we succeeded and they did return to their homes. We made

11 lists of their requirements and assisted them as far as we were able to at

12 that particular point in time. And they did stay on living in Kozluk for

13 several months after that, in fact.

14 Q. Can I ask you to describe what events transpired between this

15 event you're talking about and the period of time or the day when they

16 eventually did leave en masse.

17 A. Well, what I know is this: I had telephone conversations with

18 some members from Kozluk, although I wasn't in the Crisis Staff or the

19 police any more. And they shade they had been ordered sometime at the

20 beginning of July 1992, I think it was, and that they had been pulled out

21 of Kozluk. They were simply told that that was the decision that had been

22 reached.

23 Q. What, if any, involvement did a person by the name of Peja have in

24 this event?

25 A. Well, I know that Peja was Arkan's deputy throughout Arkan's

Page 21824

1 operation -- the operations of Arkan's unit in Zvornik. Now, if you are

2 referring to Peja's part in pulling people out of Kozluk, I don't think he

3 was in Kozluk at that time because they left Zvornik between the 15th and

4 20th of April and the unit was no longer in Zvornik and the surrounding

5 territory.

6 Q. I want to now ask you to take a look at Prosecution Exhibit 451,

7 tab 14. It is a receipt. I'm going to ask you: Do you recognise what's

8 described in this receipt?

9 A. Yes. This is a receipt for the provisional government of the

10 Serbian Municipality of Zvornik for services of transport. And then it

11 gives the locations, Zvornik-Kozluk-Gornji Sepak, Petkovci-Kiseljak,

12 Zvornik-Bijeljina-Batkovic, Zvornik-Kozluk, Orahovac, Karakaj, et cetera.

13 And then the invoices, which were paid by the municipality to the

14 transport company, Drinatrans - that was its name - from Zvornik.

15 Q. Can I draw your attention to an entry of the 15th of July, 1992.

16 And the route that is described as Zvornik-Bijeljina-Batkovic. And it

17 says, "Four vehicles were used to transport 600 prisoners." Can you see

18 that entry?

19 A. Yes, I can. That was on the 15th of July, 1992.

20 Zvornik-Bijeljina-Batkovic was the route, four buses, 600 it says here,

21 transport for detainees.

22 Q. And do you know where those detainees specifically were

23 transported to?

24 A. I don't. All I can say is to comment on the basis of this

25 document.

Page 21825

1 Q. Now, I want to now draw your attention to what, if any, damage was

2 done to the mosques in the municipality of Zvornik. And my first question

3 to you is: During the actual takeover of Zvornik, were any of the mosques

4 destroyed?

5 A. As far as I know, up until the 20th of April I was there, not a

6 single mosque in the Zvornik municipality had been destroyed. But as a

7 citizen of Zvornik who worked there and resided there throughout, I do

8 know that all the mosques in Zvornik and the surrounding parts under the

9 control of the authorities, controlled by the Serbian Municipality of

10 Zvornik, in some time -- at some time in 1992 were for the most part

11 either destroyed or damaged.

12 Q. And can you describe what you know about the circumstances

13 surrounding the destruction of these mosques.

14 A. Well, as a citizen myself, all I could notice was that I went by

15 several days later and saw that a mine -- a mosque in Zvornik had been

16 mined, blown up, and that the glass windowpanes had been shattered on some

17 of the surrounding buildings. That's all I can tell you about that.

18 Q. And was the destruction of the mosque, was it some -- was it due

19 to spontaneous retaliation by citizens or was it organised by the

20 authorities in Zvornik?

21 A. I don't have any evidence of it being organised, but the only

22 thing I can say as an individual, as my opinion, it was in reaction to the

23 war and the events that were going on in Zvornik and throughout Bosnia.

24 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if I could go into closed session just

25 for my second-to-last question to the witness.

Page 21826

1 [Private session]

2 [redacted]

3 [redacted]

4 [redacted]

5 [redacted]

6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [redacted]

12 [redacted]

13 [redacted]

14 [redacted]

15 [redacted]

16 [redacted]

17 [Open session]

18 THE REGISTRAR: Okay. We're in open session.

19 MR. GROOME:

20 Q. And sir, my final question to you is: Have any promises been made

21 to you in exchange for your testimony before this Tribunal?

22 A. No.

23 MR. GROOME: Nothing further.

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

25 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:

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Page 21828

1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. B-024, you said that the attack on Zvornik

2 took place on the 8th of April, didn't you?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Tell me, please, with precision, as somehow I was not quite able

5 to follow, which units took part in that attack?

6 A. They were units of the Territorial Defence of Zvornik, assisted by

7 volunteers from various parts. I don't really know who they were. They

8 were coming from all over. And about 20 to 30 members of Arkan's unit,

9 under the command of his deputy at the time, Pejic.

10 Q. So no JNA units took part in that.

11 A. That is what I said at the beginning, that I was not aware of any

12 JNA units taking part in the attack on Zvornik on the 8th of April.

13 Q. So you're not aware of the presence of any police unit, for

14 instance, from Serbia?

15 A. No. There was no presence of the police from Serbia.

16 Q. So in those conflicts, there were units of the Zvornik Territorial

17 Defence participating and volunteers; is that right?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And this unit of Arkan's, the Serbian Volunteer Guard; is that

20 right?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Did the Muslim forces put up any resistance and what kind? What

23 did that conflict look like?

24 A. I personally was not involved at the front line because I was

25 injured. I was at headquarters. But I do know that the first conflict in

Page 21829

1 Zvornik resulted in the withdrawal of Serbs from Zvornik a month prior to

2 the outbreak of the conflict because of the tension, so there were very

3 few Serbs sleeping in Zvornik, so that Zvornik was more or less ethnically

4 pure that is, there were only Muslims there. And then they distributed

5 what weapons were left in the SUP for the reserve force and they had their

6 own Territorial Defence. The conflict didn't last long. One could hear

7 the shooting in the morning.

8 Q. Before you tell me how long the conflict lasted, but on the basis

9 of your own knowledge - you were in Zvornik at the time - the Muslim

10 forces, that is, the Territorial Defence, and the police, the Muslim part

11 of the Zvornik SUP held the whole of Zvornik under control, whereas the

12 Serbs had fled Zvornik in the meantime.

13 A. Yes, that is right.

14 Q. And do you have any idea as to where the most significant points

15 were at which Muslim forces were concentrated prior to the outbreak of the

16 conflict in Zvornik?

17 A. Yes, I do have an idea, in view of the job I did. They were at

18 Kulagrad, on the surrounding hills around Zvornik, and at the very

19 entrance to Zvornik at Vidakova Njiva.

20 Q. So would it be right to say that apart from the Serbian part, that

21 is, where the Serbian Municipality of Zvornik had been formed in a Serbian

22 settlement, the whole of Zvornik had been captured by Muslim forces and

23 under their control?

24 A. Yes, prior to the outbreak of the conflict. That is true. The

25 whole of the town of Zvornik was held by Muslim forces for several days.

Page 21830

1 Q. And do you have any idea of the strength of those Muslim forces

2 that held Zvornik at the time?

3 A. I don't know how to put it, but our estimate was that the forces

4 were significant. They were considerable. Because we had some

5 information as to the arming of the opposing side.

6 Q. Could you be more precise about that? How big?

7 A. All I know is that from the Zvornik SUP, about 500 pieces of

8 weapons had been distributed.

9 Q. When Serbs took Karakaj and left Zvornik, they distributed about

10 500 long barrels to the reserve force of their police, didn't they?

11 A. To the reserve force. And what makes it worse is to the criminals

12 that they rounded up in the street and distributed weapons to them, and

13 that is what frightened the Serbs and prompted them to leave Zvornik.

14 Q. And those criminals, when they were armed in Zvornik, what were

15 they doing in Zvornik to frighten the Serbs and prompt them to leave?

16 A. Well, this was about two or three days prior to the conflict.

17 They put on uniforms, and they were admitted overnight to the reserve

18 police force.

19 Q. Yes. But what were they doing in the streets?

20 A. They started checking entry and exit into and from Zvornik and

21 checking and questioning citizens.

22 Q. What do you mean "questioning citizens and controlling them"? Did

23 they arrest people?

24 A. I'm not aware that there were any arrests, but they simply took

25 over the job that was done by the regular police force.

Page 21831

1 Q. Apart from those 500 reserve members of the police, how many

2 members of the Territorial Defence did they have organised in Zvornik or

3 the units known as the Green Berets and the Patriotic League? I assume

4 you're aware of those units.

5 A. Yes, I knew and all of us in the staff knew that already in

6 October 1991, in the village of Godus, the Patriotic League had been

7 formed and they had certain quantities of weapons. We also knew that at

8 Kula a unit of theirs was stationed and somebody called Captain Hajro was

9 with them, who had deserted the Yugoslav People's Army. But I don't know

10 of how strong they were. And as we were in the minority in Zvornik, I

11 assume they were quite numerous, because according to the 1991 census 70

12 per cent of the population of Zvornik were Muslim.

13 Q. So you don't have an idea of the strength of the -- their

14 Territorial Defence that held Zvornik.

15 A. If you ask me to give you a number, I can't give you a number, but

16 it was significant and it could be measured in several thousand.

17 Q. Thank you. I think your explanation is quite sufficient.

18 Could you tell me, please, how long that battle for Zvornik

19 lasted.

20 A. The actual attack on Zvornik lasted from about 4.00 a.m. until

21 8.00 a.m., so about four hours.

22 Q. Since all of you knew about these things, because you said several

23 times during your testimony Zvornik is a small town, everyone knows

24 everyone else and everyone knows what's going on, tell me, how many Serb

25 fighters were killed in the battle for Zvornik?

Page 21832

1 A. You mean throughout the war or during that first day?

2 Q. During the fighting, the battle, how many Serb fighters were

3 killed?

4 A. During the war from 1992 to 1995, about 1.000 Serb combatants were

5 killed in Zvornik in all.

6 Q. Tell me, that day when the conflict broke out, the battle for

7 Zvornik, that was held by Muslim forces as you described, how many Serb

8 fighters were killed on that day?

9 A. I do not have precise records, but I think the Serbs had three or

10 four dead.

11 Q. And how many Muslim combatants were killed, members of their armed

12 forces?

13 A. According to what the civil defence said later on, I think about

14 20 persons were buried, whose bodies were found there after the battle.

15 Q. So we are talking about the 8th of April, aren't we?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Now, tell me, please: Immediately after the expulsion of the

18 Muslim forces from Zvornik, they blocked Zvornik, the Serb forces captured

19 Zvornik, these others withdrew. Then the municipal leadership, did it

20 take steps to prevent looting, rioting, and to restore the situation to

21 normal in town, to resume production, and generally to normalise life?

22 A. There were attempts by the Crisis Staff at the time. They did

23 everything they could to bring life back to normal. However, as the war

24 operations continued and there were more and more dead, it was more and

25 more difficult to keep things under control.

Page 21833

1 Q. Tell me, were measures taken to prevent looting, violence, and

2 other illegal acts, and did the municipal authorities take care of these

3 things or not?

4 A. As I was saying, there were attempts to do something as far as

5 that was possible; however, shortly forces organised themselves that were

6 stronger than the local police and the local TO, so that as far as I know

7 it was not possible to keep things really properly under control.

8 Q. So the events that you spoke about a moment ago, saying that

9 things got out of hand and there were various groups and later on you

10 speak of the destruction of mosques and so on, so this was something that

11 wasn't planned or organised but simply the consequence of the general

12 chaos that set in?

13 A. I saw that things were not developing in the direction that I

14 thought the struggle of the Serb people would take for equality, that the

15 things were getting out of control. I abandoned the staff and the police,

16 but I do know that the president of the Crisis Staff was slapped around

17 several times by various paramilitaries, that he was several times taken

18 to be executed, and that it is really hard to establish who had control in

19 Zvornik in the months of May, June, and July until that well-known

20 operation of arrest of paramilitaries.

21 Q. Very well. So what you just said a moment ago, towards the end of

22 your examination-in-chief, this was not an organised destruction of

23 mosques but a reaction to wartime events by various groups that were

24 present there at the time, armed citizens and so on.

25 A. I can say that as an individual, I did not attend any meeting at

Page 21834

1 which there was discussion of any plans or agreements to destroy any

2 places of worship. But also as a human being, I must say that all the

3 Muslim religious buildings were destroyed in 1992 when the town was under

4 Serb control.

5 Q. And across the way in Mali Zvornik, in which as you also know

6 there were some Muslims living?

7 A. Yes. I do know that in Zvornik municipality there is an ethnic

8 group of Muslims accounting for, I think, about 20 per cent of the

9 population of the municipality.

10 Q. So in the territory of Serbia, in Mali Zvornik municipality,

11 across the Drina, there is a mosque too. Yes, there is a mosque there,

12 which was never damaged.

13 A. Yes, I know that it was never damaged. I know that the police

14 guarded it at the beginning of the conflict, when the situation was most

15 critical.

16 Q. At the beginning of the conflict it was so, but also later on no

17 one touched the mosque, did they?

18 A. No, they didn't. That is true.

19 Q. Tell me, after Zvornik was captured, as we described a moment ago,

20 were there arrests of individual members of these Muslim paramilitary

21 formations, their taking into custody and so on?

22 A. As far as I know as a citizen, I think not. Most of their

23 military formations withdrew after the Serbs entered Zvornik. For a time,

24 they were at Kula. And after Kula was captured, some went towards Tuzla

25 and others towards Srebrenica.

Page 21835

1 Q. Very well. When the Crisis Staff was formed, I gathered from what

2 you were saying that the Crisis Staff was formed, your Crisis Staff in

3 Zvornik - I'm talking about that one - for -- in order to protect the Serb

4 people from possible attacks by Muslim forces; is that right?

5 A. Yes, that is right.

6 Q. And was there ever any discussion within that Crisis Staff that

7 Muslim villages needed to be attacked?

8 A. I said that in my testimony, that I was never present at any

9 meeting of the Crisis Staff at which it was said that a single Muslim

10 should be killed or a Muslim village attacked or cleansed. All we spoke

11 about was about the protection of the Serbs in those areas.

12 Q. Can we infer from that that, for instance, the attack on the

13 village known as Kulagrad was carried out exclusively because it was a

14 stronghold of Muslim forces in the immediate vicinity of Zvornik?

15 A. Is that right?

16 A. Those who are in Zvornik and who are familiar with the geography

17 of Zvornik, Kulagrad is actually a component part of Zvornik, it is a

18 height close to Zvornik which dominates over Zvornik. And it is not

19 possible to organise life normally in Zvornik under wartime conditions if

20 one doesn't have control of Kulagrad as well.

21 Q. Tell me, Dr. Muhamed Jelkic, who is a Muslim, was he a member of

22 some particular body in Zvornik? You mention him on page 9 of this tape 6

23 to 9 in your statement, in what I got as your transcript.

24 A. Yes, Muhamed Jelkic was a member of the Crisis Staff and a member

25 of the provisional government in the Municipality of Zvornik for a while

Page 21836

1 at the beginning of the war.

2 Q. Did he try and the very fact that he was a member of the Crisis

3 Staff and this provisional government, was that an expression of the

4 efforts made to normalise inter-ethnic relations and for the situation to

5 calm down, to make it possible for those who had fled town, civilians, to

6 come back, things like that?

7 A. That is precisely what the original idea was, and Muhamed Jelkic

8 had very good intentions and was very honest. But now that I've mentioned

9 the man here, I have to say that I did talk to him and he told me rather

10 soon that all of this was assuming different proportions and that he felt

11 as if he were a detainee, being a member of the Crisis Staff.

12 Q. Tell me, how many Muslims stayed in Zvornik?

13 A. Those who happened to be there. I mean, those who had not fled,

14 simply were in Zvornik. And I know that over the local radio calls were

15 issued to the population to the return to their workplaces and also to

16 protect their property. And I think that in the beginning of May in

17 Zvornik there were quite a few Muslims who had returned.

18 Q. Did anybody mistreat them there?

19 A. At that time, I had no such information. But later on, when I

20 talked to these people, I realised that there were such cases as well.

21 But that is what I learned subsequently.

22 Q. All right. But when one bears in mind the fact that the Muslim

23 population was called upon over the radio to return, to continue working,

24 et cetera, all of that was within the efforts to normalise the situation

25 in Zvornik; isn't that right?

Page 21837

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Can one say, then, at all that somebody was carrying out some kind

3 of ethnic cleansing there if at the same time everybody is being called

4 upon to return and to have the situation normalised?

5 A. I've already said that this cannot be explained in one sentence

6 only. The original idea was -- the original idea that we believed in was

7 that people should come back and the situation should go back to normal.

8 However, as the war progressed, more and more people were losing their

9 lives and paramilitary formations were getting stronger and stronger.

10 Quite simply there was no control any longer and it wasn't safe for these

11 people to stay in Zvornik after their return.

12 Q. Please explain this to me, because I really am not aware of the

13 situation in Zvornik itself. All these formations, didn't they -- I mean,

14 weren't they rather quickly put under the control of the Army of Republika

15 Srpska somehow, or were there formations that were formations of the Army

16 of Republika Srpska but that did not accept the command of the Army of

17 Republika Srpska? What was the situation?

18 A. I think this is the key question. Formally, perhaps, but if you

19 look at the substance -- I mean, my own assessment is and most people from

20 Zvornik will tell you that from the beginning of May until July

21 practically there was no government and authority there. It is

22 practically the paramilitaries that ruled.

23 Q. Can I just ask you to speak up a little bit, please, when you

24 answer your questions, because I find it difficult to understand what

25 you're saying, but I have understood what you've said so far.

Page 21838

1 Tell me, since you mentioned this meeting between Stevo Radic -

2 this is on page 13, tape 6 to 9 - you mention the meeting between

3 Stevo Radic and Zuca in the house of Dr. Vidovic; is that right?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Were you present at that meeting?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Tell me, please: I didn't find this clear, and it was my

8 understanding that you were not present.

9 A. I wasn't.

10 Q. How do you know that at this meeting they discussed the takeover

11 of power in Zvornik?

12 A. The paramilitaries had the objective of taking over power in

13 Zvornik. And I think that they had already made all the necessary

14 assignments, who should take which particular office. They invited Radic

15 to this meeting too.

16 Q. Who was Radic, please?

17 A. Radic was a member of the Crisis Staff, and he was in charge of

18 the economy in the Crisis Staff.

19 Q. And the man you refer to as Zuca, he's the one who was later

20 arrested and tried?

21 A. Yes, he was arrested and tried before a court of law in Sabac.

22 Q. Sabac is in Serbia; right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. That's the man who was killing people at that cultural centre in

25 Celopek; is that right?

Page 21839

1 A. I was never present there. I just heard the testimony of

2 witnesses. But I never was there.

3 Q. All right. On page 1, tape 7 to 9 --

4 A. May I -- Your Honour, may I just finish this?

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. Please go ahead.

8 A. Yes. In relation to Celopek, they called Radic and they suggested

9 this to him, but he did not accept this. And he was beaten up by them

10 there, Radic was. And then something strange happened. Dr. Vidovic was

11 killed in his apartment in Mali Zvornik.

12 Q. Tell me, since you referred to the killings of some persons in

13 Djulici; is that right?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Who committed these killings?

16 A. I know that people were transported to the technical school centre

17 in Karakaj and that they were separated from the women and children, but I

18 personally do not know who ordered these killings and who actually

19 committed them.

20 Q. What about this technical school in Karakaj?

21 A. I said that I was there in front, the first day when they were

22 brought there, and it was the police and the TO of the municipality of

23 Zvornik.

24 Q. Together, the TO and the police of Zvornik held Karakaj together?

25 A. Yes, this school.

Page 21840

1 Q. The school where the people were detained?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Tell me, please: How did Brano Grujic react? You mention him as

4 president of the municipality at the time. Was he at that time president

5 of the municipality?

6 A. Yes, Grujic was president of the municipality at the time.

7 Afterwards, when it became clear that these people were missing, in a

8 private conversation a year or two ago I asked him about that particular

9 case and he swore to me that he knew nothing about this and that this was

10 done without his knowledge and that he had no information about this and

11 he did not take part in any of this, neither the ordering of the killing

12 or the killing itself.

13 Q. All right. But on the basis of the knowledge you had then, not

14 only on the basis of this conversation you had two or three years ago, the

15 one that you referred to just now, what happened obviously did not happen

16 under the control of the president of the municipality of Zvornik and your

17 Crisis Staff and this provisional government of yours. Is that right or

18 is that not right?

19 A. Mr. Milosevic, at that time I was not on the Crisis Staff or in

20 the government. At that time, I was director of a company. And I can

21 only say what I heard from people with whom I had contacts. I don't have

22 any reliable or valid information about this.

23 Q. All right. But do you have any information about your Crisis

24 Staff and generally speaking the authorities that had been organised there

25 after the takeover of Zvornik? Did they play any role in this, in any

Page 21841

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13 English transcripts.

14

15

16

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18

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22

23

24

25

Page 21842

1 crime that had been committed there against these detained persons?

2 A. I have no information of this kind.

3 Q. You mentioned the units of Captain Dragan. A witness here before

4 you said that he came only with two or three men, that he was involved

5 only in the training of the local Territorial Defence. Did you see this

6 unit of his? Did he have a unit or did he not have a unit? I wish we

7 could clarify that. According to the information I have, he did not have

8 a unit at all. He was engaged in training.

9 JUDGE MAY: If you can keep your questions short, it will be much

10 easier for the witness to answer.

11 What the accused is putting is that Captain Dragan didn't have a

12 unit and that he came with just a few men. Can you assist us to that?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is generally known. He

14 came with two or three instructors and he gathered a unit out of the local

15 people that he had taken over from the TO. He was supposed to train them.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. You said on page 3 in this statement of yours that it is well

18 known that the JNA supported the struggle of the Serb people in

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that right?

20 A. Yes, that's what I said.

21 Q. I would like us to be very specific about this now. This support,

22 is it directly linked to a common value, so to speak, that both had one

23 and the same objective, that is to say, to preserve Yugoslavia?

24 A. Yes, that's correct.

25 Q. These Muslim forces, were they hostile towards the JNA?

Page 21843

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. The Muslim leadership, did they order the Muslims not to respond

3 to JNA call-ups?

4 A. Yes, that is generally known.

5 Q. So this has to do with working for the preservation of Yugoslavia,

6 as concerns the JNA and as concerns the Serb population; isn't that right?

7 A. Yes. I've already said that the key point was the international

8 recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was the main problem for the army

9 and for the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

10 Q. This was said by Lord Carrington and other national

11 representatives. As you often say here, the way you put it, this is a

12 generally-known thing. But tell me now, please: On page 19, in the 12th

13 paragraph, you refer to a certain Ratko Vidovic, who had been sent from

14 Serbia; is that right?

15 A. I don't know exactly which contact this was, but Ratko Vidovic was

16 not sent from anywhere. He was commander and then chief of police in

17 Mali Zvornik throughout the war.

18 Q. I'm glad that we've cleared this up. So he had not been sent by

19 anyone and he did not have any assignments there. He was simply a

20 policeman there in the neighbouring municipality.

21 A. Yes, before the war and during the war.

22 Q. He did not hold any other particular office, especially not on the

23 other side of the Drina.

24 A. No, he was just in charge of his own work.

25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not hear the question.

Page 21844

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Tell me, as regards the municipal leadership of Zvornik, this

3 newly-established government, Crisis Staff, et cetera, who did they report

4 to about their work, the municipal leadership?

5 A. According to the plan, Plan A and Plan B, we belonged to the

6 municipality that was in the B version. We reported to the Crisis Staff,

7 which was then in Sarajevo, the Crisis Staff of the Serb Democratic Party.

8 Q. I would like to be very specific about this, because slowly we are

9 going to paint an entire picture of all of this. I'm not only referring

10 to your testimony but to others as well. So you directly reported to the

11 Crisis Staff in Sarajevo. You did not go through the Crisis Staff of this

12 Autonomous Region and so on and so forth. You directly reported to

13 Sarajevo, your municipality did; right?

14 A. Yes. Because at that time, there weren't any Crisis Staffs of

15 autonomous regions. They came into existence only later, just before the

16 war broke out. So practically by then all communications with Sarajevo

17 had been severed.

18 Q. All right. Were you in the Crisis Staff for a while?

19 A. Yes. I've already said that. I was in the Crisis Staff from its

20 establishment until the 12th of April, 1992.

21 Q. Were you in charge of the Crisis Staff for a while?

22 A. No, I was never in charge of the Crisis Staff.

23 Q. On page 38, in paragraph 11, you say that you had a video cassette

24 on which there is footage from a village which is called Godus, where the

25 Patriotic League had been formed or, rather, this extremist military

Page 21845

1 organisation.

2 Is that right?

3 A. Yes, that is right. These video materials were also shown on

4 Bosnian television, and now on that particular site there is a monument

5 that was built in memory of this event that took place in October in 1991.

6 Q. How many people were there in full combat gear and when did this

7 happen?

8 A. This was in October 1991. And there was about a company there,

9 about 100 people under full combat gear with radio communications, with

10 all necessary equipment.

11 Q. You said 1991.

12 A. Yes, October 1991.

13 Q. At that time, there were no conflicts.

14 A. In the municipality of Zvornik and in all of Bosnia, there were no

15 conflicts at the time.

16 Q. In all of Bosnia-Herzegovina, there were no conflicts at the time.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. In October 1991, this Patriotic League, judging by all of this,

19 was a paramilitary formation, wasn't it?

20 A. Yes, that's right.

21 Q. Tell me, knowledge of this nature, namely, things that had to do

22 with the preparation and arming of these military -- of these Muslim

23 formations, did they affect you? And when I say "did they affect you,"

24 I'm not referring to only you yourself but I am referring to you, the

25 people of Zvornik. Did it cause concern among you? Did you start

Page 21846

1 organising yourselves in order to defend yourselves and so on?

2 A. Yes. I already said this. After having found out about this, we

3 went and asked for assistance.

4 Q. Was that the reason why you sought help from Arkan, for instance,

5 the Serb Volunteer Guard?

6 A. At that time, I did not know Arkan. I was not aware of the

7 existence of the Serb Volunteer Guard. But we did address our request for

8 help to Serbia, and afterwards we did get in touch with Arkan too.

9 Q. Since you said during the examination-in-chief that you took his

10 unit over the Drina and came to Zvornik with them, I'm just interested in

11 one particular piece of information. You saw all of them. You said that

12 there were about 20 of them; right?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Are you sure about that?

15 A. I'm not sure. It was about 10 or 12 years ago. But I said it was

16 between 20 or 30 men.

17 Q. It's important to establish that because there were witnesses here

18 who said that there were many more of them. And I have information that

19 is similar to what you have said. I have information that there were 24

20 of them.

21 A. Mr. Milosevic, they were put up at the hotel in Radanj, which can

22 take a total of 30 men.

23 Q. It wasn't only them who were there probably.

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Very well. So we've managed to clear that point up, that Arkan

Page 21847

1 with 20 men launched an aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now, that

2 is something that is being claimed here.

3 And tell me this, please: On page 43, you say that it was

4 rumoured around Zvornik that you in fact brought Arkan into Zvornik.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. I'm reading all this from your statement.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And then you go on to say that you did not oppose the rumours, you

9 let people think what they wanted, that you were friends, and so on.

10 A. In 1992, when the war began in Zvornik, it was a good thing for

11 people to think that Arkan was your friend. I never denied it, but

12 actually I saw him in Bijeljina for the first time and heard of his

13 existence only one day previously.

14 Q. All right. Fine. Now, tell me this, please --

15 THE INTERPRETER: We cannot hear the accused.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. There was a meeting between Grujic, Radic, Pavlovic in Mali

18 Zvornik, with the Muslim representatives. That's right, isn't it? That's

19 what you say on page 44, I think.

20 A. Yes. I spoke about that last time. There's a videotape. And I

21 apologise, Your Honours, when I enumerated the names. Stevo Radic did not

22 attend the meeting. It was Mijatovic, Grujic, myself and Stevo Ivanovic

23 on the Serb side. And on the Muslim side there was -- there were their

24 own representatives. And Marko Pavlovic did not attend that particular

25 meeting.

Page 21848

1 Q. He did not?

2 A. No, he did not.

3 Q. All right. But the five of you did. There were the five of you

4 from the top echelons of the Serbian Municipality of Zvornik; right?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. How many representatives were there on the Muslim side, of the

7 Muslim authorities?

8 A. There were also about five of them; it was parity on a parity

9 basis. If there was the mayor on one side, there was the mayor on the

10 other. If there was the chief of police on one side, there was the chief

11 on the other, a parity balance.

12 Q. So people on the Muslim side were the same in rank as the people

13 on your side, the Serb side; right?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And what was goal of the meeting? As far as I understand it, the

16 object of the meeting was to reduce tensions generally and to quell the

17 situation and to solve the problems in Zvornik in a peaceful way. Was

18 that the purpose of the meeting, or was there some other purpose?

19 A. Yes, you have defined the main points of the meeting. Those were

20 the points exactly, yes.

21 Q. And tell me this, please: Why did the meeting not succeed?

22 A. Well, we did reach an agreement. And I would say that the meeting

23 was successful. But two days later it was not successful because we

24 followed the situation, each of us in our own field, and two days later

25 another meeting was organised, because among others we had decided to

Page 21849

1 maintain constant communication and we decided to send the president of

2 the then-municipality, the executive board, Mr. Mijatovic and Ivanovic to

3 the meeting, and they also sent their president of the municipality.

4 Q. He was Mijatovic, was he?

5 A. Yes, Mijatovic was in the B version that we had set up before the

6 war parallelly with the municipality.

7 Q. All right. Tell me this now, please: You say in referring to

8 Pavlovic that he had links with politicians and generals. Could you tell

9 us with which politicians and which generals?

10 A. I said that he had good relationships with the army. As to the

11 politicians, I really don't know what his relationships with them were.

12 But I do know that he did have relationships with Mr. Panic. I think he

13 was at the time the head of the army, of the Yugoslav People's Army.

14 Q. Well, from the statement -- or rather, your live testimony here,

15 you said that he had some relations with the commander of the Tuzla Corps.

16 A. Yes. I know that he spent some time in Tuzla often. I know that

17 he was in company with General Savo Jankovic, he was the commander of the

18 Tuzla Corps at the time.

19 Q. And your area of responsibility was at the Tuzla Corps?

20 A. Yes. According to the JNA division, we came under the Tuzla

21 Corps.

22 Q. And Pavlovic was commander of the Territorial Defence of your

23 locality; right?

24 A. Yes. But I spoke about the contacts that he had prior to the

25 conflict, while he was not commander of the TO yet.

Page 21850

1 THE INTERPRETER: We did not hear the question of the accused.

2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. And you then appointed him TO commander; is that right?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And then he maintained intensive contacts, as far as I was able to

6 understand. Was it logical that in the area of responsibility of the JNA

7 corps the command of the Territorial Defence of one -- a particular place

8 in the area of responsibility should have contacts with the command of the

9 corresponding units of the JNA?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. You say that you had very bad relations with Pavlovic, you were on

12 bad terms with him.

13 A. I was on good terms with him until the 10th of 15th of April.

14 After that, it's not that our relations were bad, but we had very -- we

15 had contact on very rare occasions.

16 Q. Yes. I wanted to clear that up, because on page 49 I saw that you

17 said that you were on bad terms with him. But I assume that you didn't

18 say that in that way specifically. You've now explained to us. Is that

19 right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. You said you were on good terms first and then when you no longer

22 did the job you did, there was no need to have any contact with him.

23 That's about it, isn't it?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Now, tell me this, please: On page 50, you state the names of

Page 21851

1 four individuals, Marko Pavlovic, Brane Grujic, Rade Peric, and

2 Marinko Vasilic. Those are the names of the people. Who are they? Who

3 are these people?

4 A. Brane Grujic was the president of the municipality and Crisis

5 Staff, the provisional government, in fact. Marko Pavlovic was the

6 commander of the TO for a time. Marinko Vasilic was a man who was in the

7 police force. He was my assistant. And afterwards, he performed other

8 functions. He feels commander, chief, and so on. And Rade Peric for a

9 time in 1992, up until February 1993, held the post of the president of

10 the executive board of the Municipal Assembly of Zvornik.

11 Q. So these four men that you list, you list by virtue of their

12 offices, the positions they occupied; right?

13 A. Yes, probably in that context.

14 Q. Well, I'm asking you this because I understood from what is

15 written here that you treat them as individuals who had to have been

16 informed with everything that went on and that they were possibly

17 responsible for any crimes, if any crimes were committed, that that's how

18 you referred to them.

19 A. Well, no, Mr. Milosevic. But when you -- only when we speak of

20 the chief of police. In 1992, five or six people performed that function,

21 held that post. So there was a lot of rotation, as happened with the

22 other posts and positions as well.

23 Q. All right. But may I understand it in this way, that you

24 enumerate these people as being the most high responsible, holding the

25 most high responsible posts?

Page 21852

1 A. Yes, they held top posts.

2 Q. But you don't actually link them to any crimes that were commit

3 there had. You just name them as people who were in the top echelons,

4 that held the main posts.

5 A. Yes, that is absolutely correct. I do not correct connect them to

6 any events that took place.

7 Q. Well, if you were enumerating, you would have to include your name

8 on that list too?

9 A. Yes. At a given point in time, I held responsible posts and did

10 mention myself during my testimony. At a certain point in time, I was TO

11 commander, chief of police in Zvornik, et cetera.

12 Q. So what they knew, you had to know by virtue of office.

13 A. Yes. Up until the 20th of April, while I was in the Crisis Staff.

14 Q. That's why I wanted to clear this point up. I don't know if any

15 of these people will be coming into the court here, so I assume that the

16 knowledge they had was knowledge you shared too, so that we can clarify

17 certain points, I hope, in the most authentic way possible. So

18 those -- that is my line of thinking, and I'm trying to clear all this up.

19 You said that a division took place, and at one point you said

20 that negotiations were held, and you mentioned negotiations in particular

21 between the Muslims, Serbs, and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Do you

22 remember that? Do you remember having mentioned that?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Now, please, these divisions which you planned and which you knew

25 about --

Page 21853

1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. What I understood was that they in fact followed on from what was

4 being negotiated between the parties at the level of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

5 That's right, isn't it?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Do you know - and I assume that you must know, because you held a

8 high function - that those divisions were then in a way defined and

9 specified by the Cutileiro Plan, signed by all three parties?

10 A. Yes, I do know that the question was defined, that is to say, the

11 position of Serbs in Bosnia was defined on the basis of that plan, and

12 that a certain division had been agreed upon.

13 Q. Right, I see. And you do know that all three sides signed the

14 plan?

15 A. Yes, I do know that.

16 Q. And are you aware of the fact that after that Alija Izetbegovic

17 withdrew his signature?

18 A. Yes, I'm aware of that too. I know that he said that the plan

19 would not hold true.

20 Q. Now, tell me, as somebody who delved in politics in a way and

21 occupied a high-ranking post, was it like this: Negotiations were held at

22 the level of Bosnia-Herzegovina, an agreement and plan was reached, and in

23 conformity with that plan certain divisions are made, after that

24 Izetbegovic withdraws his signature and the divisions remain? Is that how

25 it was?

Page 21854

1 A. Yes. I think that after this plan was refuted by Izetbegovic,

2 that the problems arose and the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina could no

3 longer be controlled.

4 Q. And to follow on from that, the -- instead of agreement following

5 on from that plan, what happened was conflict and clashes; is that right?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Fine. That's fine. I think we've clearly shown that to be the

8 case.

9 Now, tell me this - and I'm just going to quote you on this point

10 here, and I'm sure you'll recall having said it. I made a note of it

11 while you were testifying several days ago - you were talking about the

12 distribution of weapons, the issuance of weapons. "The Crisis Staff

13 issued and distributed weapons to Serb villages according to an assessment

14 of the degree to which these villages were threatened." Is that what you

15 said?

16 A. Yes, that's exactly what I said.

17 Q. Can we then take it -- may we observe that these villages were in

18 jeopardy, were threatened? Because your basic criteria for distributing

19 weapons, according to what you yourself said, was your evaluation as to

20 how far the Serb villages were threatened. So the villages were indeed

21 threatened.

22 A. Our information was that the Muslim side was arming itself. And

23 you must understand our positions. In Zvornik we made up under 39 per

24 cent of the population, and we felt ourselves to be under threat,

25 security-wise and safety-wise.

Page 21855

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Page 21856

1 Q. But as far as I understand it from your explanations, in view of

2 the different degree of jeopardy for the different villages, how far

3 different villages were threatened, you evaluated the degree to which they

4 were actually threatened.

5 A. Yes. There were Serb villages who were in a purely Muslim

6 encirclement.

7 Q. And I'm sure you had information as to how far the other side were

8 arming themselves and how far the Patriotic League was being formed and

9 armed in 1991. Did all these factors -- were all these factors taken into

10 consideration when you evaluated how far a village was threatened?

11 A. Yes, that's precisely how we did it.

12 Q. I think you even said -- well, not to say "even said." I just

13 want to focus on a detail in your testimony. When you distributed the

14 weapons according to the degree to which villages were under threat - and

15 we have established that they were indeed under threat - you said that you

16 kept records; is that right?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And all the people that were issued weapons would sign for it;

19 right?

20 A. Yes, right.

21 Q. So there was no random distribution of weapons or - how shall I

22 put this - secret, clandestine activities. Everybody would sign for the

23 weapon he received. And this -- the purpose of receiving weapons was to

24 defend the villages under threat.

25 A. Yes, the people would sign for it. All this was done according

Page 21857

1 to -- in an organised fashion and planned fashion.

2 Q. Referring to the media, you said that there was a war in Croatia,

3 the media were divided, each routed for its own side. That's right, isn't

4 it?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Now, as we're talking about your own region - and you know

7 everything about that area, because you lived in it - was there anything

8 on the subject of Zvornik which was published by the media that was false

9 in any way, a lie in any way? Did the media publish any lies about

10 Zvornik?

11 A. No, I have no information to that effect.

12 Q. You even said that Zvornik wasn't -- that the media didn't focus

13 on Zvornik at all until the conflict broke out.

14 A. Yes, I think that's right. I don't think the media paid any

15 attention to Zvornik until the conflict broke out.

16 Q. I should now like you to assist me, to help me clarify a

17 particular point. It is exhibit -- the exhibit that was presented here.

18 It is Exhibit -- and it is linked to the meeting -- it refers to the

19 meeting you spoke about of the SDS in Sarajevo, at the Holiday Inn hotel

20 on the 19th and 20th of December, 1991. Do you remember that?

21 A. Yes, I do. I attended that meeting.

22 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness have Exhibit 434, tab 3.

23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. Have you found it? You have. All right. Fine.

25 At the meeting, the entire leadership of the SDS attended.

Page 21858

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. As far as I understood it, you were given these instructions

3 pertaining to the organisation and activities of the Serb people in

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina under extraordinary situations, in an emergency

5 situation.

6 A. Yes. This was distributed to the leaders of the board of the SDS.

7 Q. The SDS being the Serbian Democratic Party; right?

8 A. Yes, that's right.

9 Q. Now, in tab 4 we have the conclusions. So you were at the meeting

10 on the 19th and 20th of December held at the Holiday Inn hotel. That's

11 right, isn't it?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And already on the 22nd of December, as it says in this document,

14 in tab 4, "The Serbian Democratic Party of Bosnia-Herzegovina, municipal

15 board of Zvornik," that's what it says, you make the following

16 conclusions, conclusions by which you implement the instructions given

17 you; is that right?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Now, let's have a look at all this. As these instructions, this

20 set of instructions, are in exhibit here, and they were presented a number

21 of times and referred to a number of times, without - how shall I put

22 it - without entering into its contents, actually, into the substance of

23 the document itself. There is reference to Variant B -- Variant A and

24 Variant B. And as you were absent for a few days, this gave me time to

25 read through the document from start to finish.

Page 21859

1 JUDGE MAY: I think we'd better return to this after the

2 adjournment. It's now time to take the break.

3 We'll adjourn now, 20 minutes.

4 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.

5 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you have if you want it an hour and a

7 quarter more with this witness, if you require it.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I continue?

9 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. Witness B-024, tell me, please, since you certainly read very

12 carefully those instructions even then: As far as I'm able to see,

13 reading through it, there's virtually no difference between what it says

14 for Variant A and for Variant B. Most of the points are repeated in both

15 versions, isn't that so?

16 A. Yes, that is right. The Variant B was envisaged for

17 municipalities in which the Serbs were in a minority. And in Variant A,

18 the Serbs already had power; whereas, in Variant B they didn't have power

19 because they were in the minority. That is the major difference.

20 Q. That is the point. But let us go back to the territory of the

21 whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In those days, the Assembly of Bosnia

22 and Herzegovina was mostly in the hands of these three national parties,

23 the SDA, the SDS, and the HDZ. And representatives of the SDS had a

24 little over one-third of deputy seats; isn't that right?

25 A. Yes.

Page 21860

1 Q. And the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina was composed on a

2 parity basis of Muslim, Serbs, and Croats; isn't that right?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And the president of the Presidency was a Muslim.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. He was Alija Izetbegovic, wasn't he?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And he became that because Fikret Abdic, who won more votes than

9 he did, ceded his position to him though the prior agreement had been that

10 the person who won most votes would become president.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And in view of the customary principle of equality of all three

13 nations, the president of the whole assembly consisting of both Muslims,

14 Croats, and Serb, was a Serb, wasn't he, Momcilo Krajisnik?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And when the division occurred, then Momcilo Krajisnik remained

17 president but only president of the Assembly of Republika Srpska; isn't

18 that right?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And after the proclamation of independence, without the

21 participation of the Serb people in that referendum, the Serb

22 representatives from the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina were

23 virtually eliminated; isn't that so?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Now when we look at the differences between Variant A and B,

Page 21861

1 Variant A refers to those municipalities in which the Serbs have a

2 majority, which means they have a majority in the municipal assembly and

3 in which Serb representatives do have a hold on power. They are in power.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. I would like to ask you then to read the second level of this

6 Variant A, which has to do with municipalities with a Serb majority, and

7 point 8 of this second level, that is, the municipalities in which Serbs

8 are in power, Variant A I'm talking about, and it says: "In taking all

9 these measures, attention should be paid to ensuring respect for the

10 national and other rights of members of all nationalities and engage them

11 later in government bodies which will be established by the Assembly of

12 the Serb People in the municipality." Is that what it says?

13 A. Yes, precisely so.

14 Q. So where the Serbs are in power and where after the proclamation

15 of independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina they come into power, there is

16 emphasis on the need to respect the rights of nations; whereas, in the

17 municipalities where the Serbs are not in power, efforts were made in some

18 way to rally together and protect the Serb part of the population; is that

19 right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And there is only one other difference, where in the second level

22 it says: "The branch offices of the SDK are obliged to prevent an outflow

23 of cash and securities from the vaults under their control at banks, post

24 offices, and other financial organisations, as well as to speed up the

25 daily monitoring of the payment system in their own area." This is point

Page 21862

1 4. So the instruction is to prevent wasting of cash and withdrawal,

2 outflows of cash and securities. So I haven't been able to identify any

3 other difference between Variant A and B because everything else, like

4 protecting people, children, pregnant women, the sick, the disabled, et

5 cetera, these things apply to both Variant A and Variant B. So can we

6 draw the conclusion that the key difference in Variant A, which refers to

7 municipalities in which the Serbs are in power, is the emphasis that the

8 government which is already in their hands must pay attention, and I

9 quote, "To ensuring respect for the national and other rights of members

10 of all nationalities and their late engagement in government bodies."

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Since you were in possession of these instructions for much longer

13 than I was, you analysed it and implemented it, did you notice any other

14 difference between Variant A and B?

15 A. In my view too, the only difference in Variant B is that the Serbs

16 where they are in a minority, to try to rally and to try and link up with

17 any larger Serb territories with a view to protecting the population.

18 Q. Thank you. Is it true -- or rather, it is common knowledge, I

19 would say, that Bosnia and Herzegovina was internationally recognised on

20 the 6th of April.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Is it true that that was when a soldier was killed?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. So the killing of a soldier coincided with the recognition on the

25 6th of April.

Page 21863

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. But this was a symbolic date, because the 6th of April is the day

3 when Hitler attacked Yugoslavia in 1941; isn't that right?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. The Serbs did not recognise the independence of Bosnia, and then

6 they formed a provisional government; isn't that right?

7 A. We had our own referendum of the Serb people, at which we declared

8 that we would not accept such an international recognition of Bosnia and

9 Herzegovina, and we did not take part in the referendum organised by the

10 Muslims and Croats for independence.

11 Q. Let us not go into constitution and legal matters now, because

12 even though I do believe that you are familiar with these things, you are

13 not an expert in that field. Was it the practice and was the legal

14 situation in B and H throughout the period prior to this to show maximum

15 respect for members of all three nations, or rather, for decisions to be

16 taken by consensus of all three nations in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

17 A. Yes, that was the practice. And in my personal opinion, that was

18 the only solution had it remained as it was before.

19 Q. So by a referendum in which the Serbs did not participate, do you

20 feel that the Serbs assessed that their rights had been infringed upon

21 rightly?

22 A. That is what we believed, and 99 per cent of the Serbs did not

23 support that option.

24 Q. And now, at least when we are talking about a political approach

25 on the part of all parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the International

Page 21864

1 Community, isn't the main principle the equality of all three ethnicities?

2 A. Yes, according to our constitution and according to the government

3 measures. Yes.

4 Q. So with the outbreak of the war and after the end of -- prior to

5 the outbreak of the war and after the end of the war, the equality of all

6 three nations is respected and decisions need to be taken by consensus.

7 A. Yes, that is the principle applied today too.

8 Q. But when the war broke out, that principle was not observed at the

9 expense of the Serb people; isn't that right?

10 A. That was our assessment at the time.

11 Q. On the 6th of April, independence was recognised; Bosnia was

12 recognised, soldiers killed. And this happened on the 8th of April, what

13 happened in Zvornik, didn't it?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And what happened in Zvornik, was it a consequence of these

16 events?

17 A. I said in my testimony that a consequence of was the international

18 recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the killing of the soldier was

19 pouring oil on the flames of the situation as it was already at the time.

20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. You mentioned in your oral testimony, according to my notes, that

23 after the outbreak of the conflict in Zvornik volunteers started arriving

24 from Serbia; is that right?

25 A. Yes.

Page 21865

1 JUDGE MAY: Why is it -- just one moment. Let me see if I

2 understand this. Why was it necessary for the Serbs to take Zvornik

3 municipality? Why was that seen as a necessary action? Can you help us

4 with that?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It wasn't considered a necessary

6 action. I didn't see that there was any plan to take Zvornik

7 municipality. In accordance with Plan B, we withdrew to territory in

8 which the Serbs had a majority, that is, around Karakaj and down the Drina

9 River. However, in Mali Zvornik, we tried twice to agree with the

10 Bosniaks on some sort of a status quo and to see what the solution would

11 be for the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but with the arrival of Arkan

12 and the slapping around of members of the Crisis Staff, he started

13 slapping us around and asked us, "Who gave you the authority to negotiate

14 with them, to sell out Serb land? This is Serbian." And he ordered an

15 attack on Zvornik to be prepared.

16 JUDGE MAY: So you effectively blame the paramilitaries and Arkan

17 in particular for what happened in the municipality; is that right?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am saying here and claiming that

19 while I was a member of the Crisis Staff we never mentioned the

20 possibility of attacking Zvornik militarily because the Muslim population

21 accounted for about 75 or 76 per cent of the population according to the

22 1991 census, but we were all beaten, we were all lined up, and we were

23 ordered. Actually, other men took over control over the staff. At least,

24 that was my understanding, and that is why I left it. We were no longer

25 in control. We had to stand at attention when Arkan walked in or his

Page 21866

1 deputy Pejic and we were in a subordinate position.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]

3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. But you brought Arkan to Zvornik.

6 A. No, I didn't bring him. I physically got in touch with him. I

7 was the first one to get in touch with him from the Crisis Staff.

8 Q. And that was in Bijeljina.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And as you yourself said, you brought him to Zvornik.

11 A. No. His unit with Pejic was accommodated in Radanj and then he

12 came to Zvornik later.

13 Q. So he came later. But you brought the unit with Pejic at its head

14 and put them up in Radanj; is that right? And at the time, you were a

15 member of the Crisis Staff.

16 A. Yes, I was a member of the Crisis Staff at the time.

17 Q. You were chief of police?

18 A. No, I was commander of the police station.

19 Q. I see. Well, that is more or less the same thing.

20 A. No, it isn't. It's a big difference, Mr. Milosevic. Chief of

21 police is one thing, and commander of the police station is another.

22 Q. Very well. Explain to me now, please, why on the basis of what

23 you said - and I took note of it somewhere - that they said, "In the event

24 of an outbreak of conflict, they were there to assist the Serb people."

25 This was said by Arkan or Pejic; I'm not sure which. I took note of it

Page 21867

1 here.

2 A. Pejic.

3 Q. I see. The person you met. So he represented that unit.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And he said that should a conflict occur, they were there to

6 assist the Serb people in Zvornik. That is what he said, isn't it?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Then how do you then explain that they provoked the attack on

9 Zvornik?

10 A. I'm telling you this. You can invite somebody to your house as a

11 guest and they take -- abuse your hospitality and take over control and

12 command.

13 Q. As far as I can see from my notes, as Mr. Groome put a question to

14 you as to how long Arkan was in Zvornik, and you said he was there twice

15 for one or two hours each time. Is that right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And then later on, when he left, then others took over command.

18 What command could he have had over Zvornik if he was there twice for an

19 hour or two each time? And I quoted you as saying that this one, this

20 Pejic said that they were there to assist the Serb people should a

21 conflict arise.

22 A. There must be some confusion. When I said that Arkan was in

23 command, I meant while his unit was there. I'm testifying that throughout

24 the stay -- his stay in Zvornik, whether it was he or Pejic, but his unit,

25 while they were in Zvornik no one had any say about anything from little

Page 21868

1 things to big things in Zvornik.

2 Q. Only 20 men?

3 A. Yes, he had 20-odd men. But the problem is that at the beginning,

4 all those volunteer units who had spent time at various theatres of war

5 all over Croatia and elsewhere placed themselves under his control.

6 Q. All right. You said that the volunteers started coming in after

7 the conflict broke out.

8 A. No, I said that a group of volunteers started coming in, starting

9 on the 6th of April, immediately when the incidents broke out and when we

10 went out to Karakaj. But most arrived a day before the attack and on the

11 actual day of the attack on Zvornik.

12 Q. Yes. But when you were asked about the number, you said -- I

13 wrote this down -- that "There were over 100 volunteers from Serbia." Is

14 that right?

15 A. Yes. There were certainly more than 100 of them.

16 Q. So about 100 volunteers from Serbia. And what about the

17 Territorial Defence of Zvornik? How many people were there then and the

18 police?

19 A. Well, we had about 30 to 40 Serb policemen who were there at the

20 police station. We had about 200 men from the Territorial Defence.

21 Because the rest were deployed in their own villages, and they had also

22 been surrounded. However, you have to know that at that time we did not

23 know what a war was and what kind of an experience this was; whereas,

24 almost 90 per cent of those people had already had the experience of war

25 from Croatia and they knew about all these variants and about the

Page 21869

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Page 21870

1 psychological effects of warfare and so on and so forth, whereas we were

2 taken aback at the time.

3 Q. All right. I just wanted to clarify these facts. So about 100

4 volunteers came to help you, and then it turned out that these volunteers

5 who had come to help you to defend yourselves, and as you said yourself in

6 case a conflict broke out to help the Serb people, that they actually

7 caused the conflict, and that without their presence this conflict never

8 would have occurred. Is that what you're claiming?

9 A. I'm saying that the Crisis Staff tried all the time to work out an

10 agreement with the SDA, that it was politically in charge of Zvornik and

11 had Zvornik under its control. And I never attended a meeting of the

12 Crisis Staff where people said that Zvornik should be attacked or taken

13 over militarily. And I claim that when Arkan came, the Crisis Staff was

14 beaten up, slapped around. He talked about it publicly several times,

15 about ten times on TV, in the media, and he said that Zvornik had to be

16 attacked.

17 Q. He beat you up? He slapped you around?

18 A. Yes, me inter alia.

19 Q. So Arkan is the one who caused the war in Zvornik? Is that what

20 you're trying to say?

21 A. I'm not trying to say that without Arkan there wouldn't have been

22 a war in Zvornik. I'm saying that the direct order issuing authority for

23 the attack on Zvornik was him.

24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 21871

1 Q. Are you saying that there would not have been a war in Zvornik

2 without him? What you did, at the level of Zvornik, when you were

3 endeavouring to work out a solution with the Muslim side.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Is that the same thing that the leadership did within

6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Serb side, were they trying to work out a solution

7 with the Muslim side?

8 A. Your Honour, I testified here about the things I know and the

9 things I saw, and this is a hypothetical question. What would have

10 happened if the order to attack Zvornik had not been issued?

11 JUDGE MAY: If you're asked a question you can't give the answer

12 to, just say so.

13 Yes.

14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. So you followed these instructions that we commented upon a while

16 ago. You establish a Territorial Defence. You distribute weapons to Serb

17 villages depending on their degree of endangerment. And you establish the

18 Serb authorities. You have the Serb police, and so on and so forth. And

19 all of this is beyond all these events that occurred. And then about 20

20 men come in, 20 men that you brought in from Bijeljina, 20 of Arkan's men,

21 and then they're the ones who caused the conflict in Zvornik. Is that

22 your testimony?

23 A. Mr. Milosevic, according to Variant B, we did what had been

24 envisaged. We withdrew to the territory where the Serbs had a majority.

25 We separated our government authorities, and this Variant B, there is no

Page 21872

1 mention of us taking over towns where the Muslims were a majority. So I

2 am saying what I know because I was present there. In the Crisis Staff we

3 never had any discussions about taking over Zvornik militarily.

4 Q. But you do claim that Arkan with 20 men would have taken it over.

5 You said a while ago that there were 500 reserve policemen.

6 JUDGE MAY: I think he's given his answers about this. And

7 there's a limit to what he can be asked.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. All right.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. I wrote this down here, that you said the first morning at the

11 staff you were in slippers, you said, because you had been wounded. The

12 TO units and the volunteers took over Zvornik and put it under Serb

13 control. Is that right?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Where were you wounded?

16 A. Two days before that, at the staff, a member of the Crisis Staff

17 dropped the detonator from a hand grenade and just this one little part

18 and that's how I was wounded.

19 Q. And when was the provisional government established in Zvornik?

20 A. I don't know exactly when this happened, but after the Crisis

21 Staff they appeared as the highest-ranking civilian authority. So it was

22 the provisional government.

23 Q. Tell me, please: You said -- actually, we clarified a while ago

24 that in this conflict in Zvornik the JNA did not participate at all. But

25 then later on you talk about Captain Obrenovic from the JNA. And in these

Page 21873

1 tabs we saw that he was receiving a salary as a member of the Territorial

2 Defence of the Municipal Assembly of Zvornik. So is this a representative

3 of the Army of Republika Srpska who had been a member of the JNA before,

4 or are we talking about a JNA unit that was present there?

5 A. Obrenovic changed various ranks, from captain to lieutenant

6 colonel. He came to the area of Zvornik as a JNA unit before the conflict

7 broke out, perhaps a few months prior to that. He was there throughout.

8 And I know because he comes from Rogatica, which is in Republika Srpska.

9 When the Army of Republika Srpska was established, he transferred into the

10 regular Army of Republika Srpska. I know that he received a salary from

11 the JNA and also from the Army of Republika Srpska.

12 Q. Let's clarify this, then. Captain Obrenovic is a man from

13 Republika Srpska who, as you say, a few months before that had been in the

14 JNA while the JNA was in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a regular

15 army; is that right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Later on, when the JNA withdrew, a number of officers, soldiers

18 stayed behind, those who originally came from Republika Srpska, the Army

19 of Republika Srpska was established and he was an officer of the Army of

20 Republika Srpska; is that right?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And towards the end of May 1992, you say the Zvornik Brigade was

23 established of the Army of Republika Srpska.

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. You said that the commanders changed, and only towards the end of

Page 21874

1 1992 this command was stabilised; is that right?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. All right. And why was this Marko Pavlovic arrested, who was

4 commander of the TO? I wrote this down here. You said he was arrested by

5 the special unit of the police of Republika Srpska in July 1992.

6 A. Yes, he was arrested in this particular operation, when quite a

7 few volunteers were captured. I don't know why he was arrested, but I

8 know that he did spend some time in detention in Bijeljina, and after that

9 I read in the papers that he had been released.

10 Q. As for the presence of volunteers, in the questions that were put

11 to you here a unit of the Territorial Defence from Loznica is mentioned;

12 is that right?

13 A. Probably. I don't know which segment you're looking at right now,

14 but I don't really find this very clear. I don't understand.

15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. There were volunteers from Loznica, but this was not a TO unit

18 from Loznica. These were volunteers from Loznica.

19 A. Yes. That is beyond any dispute. There was no unit from Loznica.

20 There were volunteers from Loznica.

21 Q. Thank you very much. That is what I wanted us to clarify in order

22 to prevent any kind of manipulation.

23 Again, you talk about Karisik. Karisik was chief of the military

24 police or chief of police?

25 A. No. He was head of the special police of the MUP of Republika

Page 21875

1 Srpska.

2 Q. [Microphone not activated]

3 A. Yes, in 1992.

4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not hear the question.

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. And now I have information here that their task was to arrest

7 members of various paramilitary units that were disturbing the peace in

8 town or that were involved in any kind of crime.

9 A. Correct.

10 Q. So from the top echelons of Republika Srpska this unit had to be

11 commanded or at least it had to be the top of the Ministry of the Interior

12 that had to issue orders to them. Their task was to arrest those who were

13 creating unrest in town or committing crimes.

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Were they actually doing this?

16 A. Yes, I think this is well known that towards the end of July they

17 did arrest about 20 people in Zvornik, including Marko Pavlovic.

18 Q. It was stressed several times here that Biljana Plavsic came

19 there. Is that right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. You said before and after the conflict broke out.

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. She came in her capacity as member of the Presidency of

24 Bosnia-Herzegovina or vice-president of the presidency of Republika

25 Srpska, was that right?

Page 21876

1 A. There was no Republika Srpska presidency at the time. She was

2 then a member of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

3 Q. The only reason why she came there was to familiarise herself with

4 the situation there.

5 A. Yes, in the area, at local level.

6 Q. She tried to work in favour of calming the situation down; right?

7 A. Well, the situation did not calm down. The leadership of

8 Republika Srpska and we at local level had already started carrying out

9 this plan, and we did not recognise Bosnia-Herzegovina as it was

10 recognised internationally and under the conditions under which it had

11 been recognised.

12 Q. And do you know who invited this unit, Arkan's unit, the Serb

13 Volunteer Guard? Who asked them to come to Bijeljina. From Bijeljina

14 they came to Zvornik.

15 A. I don't know. The first time I heard of Arkan's unit was when the

16 Oslobodjenje daily newspaper wrote about it. I remember that on the front

17 page there was a photograph from Bijeljina and a headline saying "Arkan

18 killing and looting," something to that effect. But I don't know who

19 brought him to Bijeljina, actually.

20 Q. Was he killing and looting though?

21 A. I really don't know what happened in Bijeljina. I was in

22 Bijeljina only for an hour, and I was on the premises of the cultural

23 centre, so I really don't know.

24 Q. You don't know anything about what happened in Bijeljina and about

25 the way they came there? You only know about their number and how they

Page 21877

1 actually arrived in Hotel Radanj?

2 A. Yes. Everything I know about Bijeljina is what I read about in

3 the newspapers or what I heard about from other people, but I personally

4 do not have any knowledge about this.

5 Q. You said that later your company had and put at the disposal of

6 the Army of Republika Srpska, as you had put it yourself, two or three

7 trucks. Your company was engaged for these priority needs of the Army of

8 Republika Srpska.

9 A. Yes. This was a state-owned company, a socially-owned company,

10 where I was general manager.

11 Q. Do you know what these trucks transported?

12 A. I never went on these trucks, and I don't know what they

13 transported. I only heard the comments of the drivers. They said that

14 they were transporting things that were required by the TO.

15 Q. Was it food, blankets, wheat, flour, sugar, oil, other things that

16 were coming in by way of assistance, aid?

17 A. This is indirect. I'm saying what I heard about from others. But

18 they were transporting food, footwear, clothing, and military equipment,

19 anything they were ordered to transport.

20 Q. You say that this was regular procedure. Civilian trucks and also

21 customs procedure was followed. It wasn't that customs duty was paid, but

22 customs recorded all of this.

23 A. Yes, for tax purposes.

24 Q. In view of these customs records, do you know about what kind of

25 goods were involved?

Page 21878

1 A. We, as the actual forwarders, did not get this from the customs

2 offices. This was done for the purposes of the TO. So we only got the

3 commercial documents involved. However, from the moment when the truck

4 was engaged until it returned, I as general manager and my co-workers did

5 not have any control over these vehicles, nor did we have any insight into

6 what they were actually transporting.

7 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. B-024: When did you become a member of the

8 Serb Democratic Party?

9 A. Well, I became a member of the Serb Democratic Party in 1991,

10 sometime in the summer of 1991.

11 Q. In the summer of 1991.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. I assume that you voluntarily joined the SDS.

14 A. Yes, quite voluntarily.

15 Q. Tell me, what was the reason for your joining this party? There

16 were other parties too, in addition to the SDA. I understand that you

17 would not have joined the SDA, and I imagine there was no HDZ in Zvornik.

18 A. No, there was a negligible number of Croats in Zvornik.

19 Q. Yes. So what was the reason for your decision to join this

20 political party?

21 A. Well, quite simply, national parties were established in

22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and this led to a total polarisation among the people.

23 And in fact, 95 per cent of the Serbs joined the SDA -- no, I'm sorry, the

24 SDS and 95 per cent of the Muslims to the SDA and the Croats had an even

25 larger percentage in this respect.

Page 21879

1 Q. I imagine that when you acceded to this political party you

2 actually agreed with its objectives and those of its president,

3 Radovan Karadzic?

4 A. Yes, but then Radovan Karadzic at that time was an unknown person.

5 The key point was for us to remain together with Serbia. This part of the

6 Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina had as the key programme of the party not to

7 allow Yugoslavia to break up, and we wanted to go on living together with

8 Serbia.

9 Q. Tell me now: Since you were shown various payrolls here - I don't

10 want to waste any time in this respect. You were already given all of

11 this, these different tabs - payrolls of members of the TO of Zvornik. You

12 remember that? We don't have to get them out; right?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. These were in fact people who were employed in the Zvornik

15 municipality, weren't they?

16 A. Yes, they were those employees and the Territorial Defence and the

17 police were also given their salaries from there.

18 THE INTERPRETER: We didn't hear the question. The interpreters

19 apologise.

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They received it from the budget of

21 the provisional government.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. And tell me, how did the provisional leadership come by the funds

24 and money they needed for their budget for paying out the salaries and all

25 the other expenditure?

Page 21880

1 A. Well, there were two ways in which this was done. The

2 municipality had its regular incomes and revenues. I don't want to go

3 into the details of where this came from. And the other way is that there

4 were taxes that the municipality imposed on companies, and they would have

5 to pay a certain amount of money to -- for the budget from its incomes and

6 revenues in order to finance this.

7 Q. All right. And if one were to add up all this, these were the

8 usual -- this was the usual way in which this was done, through taxation

9 and so on, the moneys accrued in this way and which were customary in

10 peacetime as well.

11 A. Yes, that's right.

12 Q. Did anybody from the territory of your municipality, somebody who

13 was a member of the municipal organs, bodies, Territorial Defence, or

14 anything of that kind, were they paid by a state organ from the Republic

15 of Serbia at all?

16 A. No, not to my knowledge. As far as I know, nobody was paid from

17 Serbia.

18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. And is it --

21 JUDGE MAY: Your microphone isn't on. Yes. Start again.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. And is it true, apart from these taxes, the taxation that you

24 mentioned, many economic legal entities from the Zvornik area, did they

25 contribute besides what they were legally bound to do, in view of the

Page 21881

1 general, social needs and circumstances in those times of crisis in

2 Zvornik? Did they contribute at all?

3 A. Yes, that is true. And the whole of the economy, we could say,

4 served the function of war.

5 Q. All of them, to all intents and purposes; isn't that right?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. On page 13 of the transcript, you said that the various Zvornik

8 enterprises, Metalka, et cetera, helped out. You only quoted that by way

9 of an example, because all the economic enterprises helped.

10 A. Yes, that's quite right. There were no exceptions. Each gave as

11 much as they were able to.

12 Q. So let's put that right then. I understood you to say that the

13 money was used to finance some wartime expenditures of the municipality.

14 It wasn't wartime expenditures. It was the overall expenditures of the

15 municipality; is that right?

16 A. Yes, that's absolutely correct. For all expenditures, overall

17 expenditures. Of course, during the war, the war expenditure amounted to

18 the highest amounts.

19 Q. Well, wouldn't you say that the highest amount was paid out by way

20 of salaries for the territorials?

21 A. Yes, that's quite true.

22 Q. All right. And do you consider, since you had an insight into

23 what was going on, that the money that was collected by the municipality

24 was used for set purposes, pursuant to the law and rules and regulations

25 and the decisions that you yourselves made?

Page 21882

1 A. There were different controls that were -- and checks that were

2 conducted, and it was never abused. The local authorities, of course,

3 would pinpoint the priority areas to be financed.

4 Q. So the municipality paid from those funds various volunteer units

5 too, or rather, volunteers, regardless whether they were units or not, but

6 let's say volunteers.

7 A. At that time the volunteers were very welcome, because we were in

8 the minority, so it was our position that we should treat volunteers just

9 like any other regular soldier in the TO, that they be given equal

10 treatment.

11 Q. I'd like you to clear one point up: In your statement - I think

12 it was on page 9; yes, it was - you said that the official policy of

13 Serbia stood behind Arkan. Where did you get that from? How come you get

14 that idea, and did you really say what it says in the statement?

15 A. Yes, I did. I also added that that was my personal impression, in

16 view of the fact that he came to Zvornik for the first time wearing -- or

17 rather, in a police vehicle. He came officially, passing through official

18 checkpoints, across the bridge. So that's the impression I gained.

19 Q. So this was just your personal impression. And if I recall

20 correctly, I think you said that the police vehicle had the license plates

21 denoting the federal SUP; is that right?

22 A. As I worked in the police force, I could distinguish between the

23 license plates and numbers. We had different numbers for each individual

24 republic. And the Federal SUP would have 9 as the initial digit. And he

25 arrived in a Golf which belonged to the Federal SUP, and the license

Page 21883

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Page 21884

1 plates began with the number 9.

2 Q. All right. And apart from the fact that this was your impression,

3 gained on the basis of the license plates of the Federal SUP on the Golf

4 vehicle, Volkswagen Golf vehicle, which brought Arkan to Zvornik, were you

5 able to gain this impression from anything else, in any other way, by any

6 kind of support on the part of the representative of any state organ of

7 Serbia, for example?

8 A. I've already said that during my testimony, that apart from the

9 fact that there was a lot of media coverage by certain papers, I have no

10 official knowledge about his contacts with certain individuals, and I know

11 that Kostic always spoke in negative terms about him and his human side.

12 Q. Well, the man you've just mentioned I believe was in the organs of

13 Serbia. Was he a member of Serb organs?

14 A. Yes. He told me that he was an employee of that institution, but

15 my contacts with him were of a private nature. I would never go to see

16 him in his office. We would either meet at my home or his home.

17 Q. All right. In view of the position that you held, do you happen

18 to recall that it was precisely the leadership of the republic of Serbia

19 which categorically strove to ensure that any kind of unit or volunteers

20 had to be placed under the command of the JNA and that was the only armed

21 force that we considered to be the legal and legitimate armed force? Do

22 you remember that?

23 A. If one were to watch television at the time and read the paper,

24 then one would know that that was the official position taken by the

25 authorities in Serbia. I was one of the people that did watch television

Page 21885

1 and read the papers.

2 Q. And let me add to this. I'm sure you'll remember that the JNA was

3 accused for the fact that -- of the support it enjoyed by the leadership

4 of Serbia as an integrative part of Yugoslavia.

5 A. Yes, but bear in mind that I'm talk about the situation in the

6 field, on the ground. I know what the official policy was. But of course

7 when it was translated into practice, things didn't always follow that

8 pattern.

9 Q. And tell me this: What were your assignments and duties in the

10 Crisis Staff?

11 A. I was the commander of the police station. That was my task.

12 Because all these were delineated in the Crisis Staff. The Crisis Staff

13 came into being following on from Variant A and B, and it stipulated which

14 officials would be part of the Crisis Staff. As the commander of the

15 police station, I became a member of the Crisis Staff.

16 Q. Brano Grujic was the president at that time, wasn't he?

17 A. Brano Grujic was the president of the Crisis Staff, yes, at the

18 beginning of the war.

19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the accused repeat the question, please.

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Do you consider that he can --

22 JUDGE MAY: You're asked to repeat the question.

23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. I asked whether you were on good terms with Mr. Grujic.

25 A. Yes.

Page 21886

1 Q. Do you consider that he performed his duties in a proper and

2 correct manner?

3 A. As far as I know, while I was in the Crisis Staff, yes, I do think

4 his conduct was proper.

5 Q. Tell me, please: Did you consider that the establishment of the

6 Crisis Staff was indispensable in view of the overall situation in those

7 areas, in the region?

8 A. Yes, all of us in Zvornik agreed that it was absolutely necessary

9 to establish a Crisis Staff, and not only in Zvornik. It was established

10 in all the municipalities of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

11 Q. On page 7, points 4 to 9, under number 6 you state that it was the

12 general position taken -- official position taken by the leadership of the

13 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and with you too that on the

14 territory which was under Serb control the Muslims must be accepted as

15 being citizens of equality -- on a footing of equality like the Serb

16 population. Is that right?

17 A. Yes. And in that statement, under point A, I mention Plan A and

18 Plan B.

19 Q. Tell me, please, but very briefly: What was your attitude and

20 position towards the disruption -- to the disruption of Yugoslavia or the

21 disintegration of Yugoslavia? Because I don't want it to be a leading

22 question.

23 JUDGE MAY: What's the relevance of this? You've asked

24 him -- you've asked him about what was happening in the municipality.

25 You've asked him about his political views. What is the relevance of his

Page 21887

1 attitude towards the disruption of Yugoslavia? He said, as I understood

2 it, that he wanted all the Serbs -- wanted to live with the Serbs in

3 Serbia.

4 Is that right?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm talking about Yugoslavia,

8 Mr. May, not about Serbia.

9 JUDGE MAY: Well, what is --

10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So when I say --

11 JUDGE MAY: What's the relevance of it?

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. When I say "you," when I use the V, the second person plural, I'm

14 not thinking about him personally. I'm referring to the population of

15 that region. And I'm asking you -- I'm asking him whether it is clear

16 that the -- practically the entire population was in favour of preserving

17 Yugoslavia over there.

18 A. Yes, that is unequivocally correct, without a doubt.

19 JUDGE MAY: Let's clarify that. The entire population or the

20 entire Serb population?

21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Serb population.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Serb population.

23 JUDGE MAY: All right.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. All right. And is it true that quite a lot of the Muslim

Page 21888

1 inhabitants were also in favour of preserving Yugoslavia? Would that be

2 true too?

3 A. I am aware that a portion of the Muslims, a smaller portion, were

4 in favour of preserving Yugoslavia.

5 Q. So this break-up or disintegration came from the leadership, not

6 the people, when we're talking about the Muslims; is that right? Would

7 that be right?

8 JUDGE MAY: I don't think that's a matter for this witness. It

9 may be a matter we'll have to decide in due course.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. Very well. Tell me now in general terms, but briefly, please:

12 Did the Serbs in Zvornik prepare themselves for a defence or for an

13 aggression of some kind?

14 A. I've said this on a number of occasions here, exclusively for

15 defence purposes.

16 Q. Now, tell me this, please - and I just have a few questions

17 related to something that you spoke about this morning in part - on page

18 52, in fact, of this statement of yours you say that Grujic told you that

19 General Subotic had come to Zvornik with the task of destroying mass

20 graves. Is that right?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Now, please tell me first, who is General Subotic?

23 A. Well, I didn't know him personally. I met him at Grujic's house.

24 He's a man I know who for a time performed the function of the Minister of

25 Defence in Republika Srpska.

Page 21889

1 Q. Minister or deputy minister?

2 A. I think he was the Minister of Defence of Republika Srpska.

3 Q. And tell me, please: Was anybody else present when Grujic told

4 you this?

5 A. No. You don't talk about things like that in a large company.

6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. All right. Did these mass graves exist at all, the mass graves

9 that Subotic was supposed to remove or liquidate, judging by what you

10 said?

11 A. From the knowledge I have so far and the information media, quite

12 obviously some did exist. Some have been. Some were uncovered and proved

13 to have existed.

14 Q. Well, I'm not talking about the information media. I'm asking

15 about you personally. You were in Zvornik throughout, and you say that

16 Grujic told you that Subotic had arrived to destroy this. A moment ago we

17 noted that you would have had to have known what they knew. So did these

18 mass graves exist in Zvornik or did they not? Did you know about these

19 mass graves or did you not?

20 A. Mr. Milosevic, up until --

21 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer in his own way.

22 Yes.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was there until the 20th of April,

24 in the Crisis Staff, that is. And I can say with full responsibility that

25 no mass graves existed until that time. After that, I didn't work in the

Page 21890

1 police. I wasn't a member of the Crisis Staff after that. And I can only

2 say what was rumoured and the stories that were told. I have no personal

3 knowledge about the existence of these mass graves.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. So you have no knowledge at all about the fact that they existed?

6 A. I said I have an awareness of this from the information media and

7 from what was generally known, but I personally do not have any knowledge

8 of that.

9 Q. Well, I'm asking you personally, because you're testifying here

10 now. Now, what the information media say, anybody can read that.

11 You were asked by Mr. Groome who you recognised from the tape.

12 You said that it was played extensively on television programmes dating

13 back to 1997, the celebration. That's what I'm talking about, the

14 specials operations units in Kula. Is that right?

15 A. You remember that?

16 Q. And you said that you recognised Lukovic, Legija; is that right?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And you also said that you recognised Captain Dragan; right?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. So these were the two men that you recognised.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Now, is it true that when it comes to Lukovic, Legija, because he

23 asked you about who you recognised in Zvornik, that at the time he was a

24 member of the Serbian Volunteer Guards of Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan?

25 A. Yes, that's right.

Page 21891

1 Q. He had nothing to do with the police of the Republic of Serbia.

2 A. That's right. In 1992, I do know that he had no links with the

3 police.

4 Q. And with respect to Captain Dragan, we noted that he didn't have a

5 unit of any kind over there but came with two or three men who were

6 instructors to assist in the training of the territorial men, engaged in

7 Territorial Defence. Is that right?

8 A. Yes, that's right.

9 Q. Now, explain this to me, please, what you were asked by

10 Mr. Groome: He asked you about the attack on Divic. Is it true that the

11 JNA did not take part in the attack on Divic?

12 A. As far as I know, that is true.

13 Q. Did any unit from Serbia take part in the attack on Divic?

14 A. I don't know which unit. But I do know that from Mali Zvornik and

15 this part of Serbia, from the side of Serbia fire was opened towards

16 Divic. And there is still evidence of bullet shots. But which were the

17 units opening fire, I really don't know.

18 Q. You said somebody from the hydro powerplant?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. So that's what you mean when you say from Serbia?

21 A. Yes, the hydro powerplant is in Serbia.

22 Q. Yes, I understand. But it's on the Drina, isn't it? The dam, as

23 far as I know, is between two banks of the river, isn't it?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. When talking very briefly about this event in Celopek, without

Page 21892

1 going into all the details of those events, is it true that the

2 perpetrators were arrested not only by the police in Yugoslavia but in

3 cooperation with the police of Republika Srpska?

4 A. Yes, that is generally known.

5 Q. So the police from Serbia and the police of Republika Srpska

6 arrested that group together?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. I wish to underline this, because you must have known this, first

9 of all. And secondly, it is being attributed to the police of Republika

10 Srpska, but the police of Republika Srpska took part in their arrest and

11 not in the event, to make this quite clear.

12 A. Yes, that's right.

13 Q. Now, tell me, this event in connection with Karakaj, it's not

14 clear to me. According to information I have, the people who were

15 detained there were driven off for some sort of an exchange from there.

16 Even a witness a few days ago, speaking about the detainees held in

17 Pilica - is the name in the nominative Pilice or Pilica - that they were

18 driven off for an exchange afterwards. Can you tell me anything about

19 what actually happened there, as far as you know, according to your own

20 knowledge, aside from the rumours? Do you have any personal knowledge

21 about that?

22 A. This morning, answering a similar question, I said that the people

23 had surrendered. The men were separated from the women and children. The

24 women and children were sent to Kalesija. The men were rounded up in the

25 school in Karakaj. Two men were driven off to be exchanged. And they

Page 21893

1 took with them a list to Tuzla, to hand in to the staff in Tuzla, to try

2 and exchange. And I know that those two men, Aga Lupic is one name, and

3 another one, Alijic, the president of the SDA. They left and took this

4 list of people who were left behind at the school in Karakaj.

5 Q. So if I understand you correctly, two men from this group were

6 sent to Tuzla to the authorities under Muslim control; is that right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. To take with them a list and propose an exchange for the detained

9 Serbs held by the Muslim authorities; is that right?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Now, explain to me, please: Do you know anything about those

12 people being killed? I don't mean those two men who went to Tuzla with

13 the list, but these others who were left behind.

14 A. I have no direct knowledge. I know that the people were in

15 custody at the school in Karakaj. What happened later on, I don't know.

16 But only what everyone knows from the press, that the people were killed

17 and that some were found in mass graves as bodies -- or rather, dead

18 bodies were found.

19 Q. So you have no personal knowledge. All the personal knowledge you

20 have is what you already told me in answer to one of my questions, when

21 you said that Karakaj was under the control of the Zvornik police and the

22 Territorial Defence of Zvornik; is that right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And did you make inquiries later on, among them to learn whether

25 those people had been exchanged, how many had been killed, how many had

Page 21894

1 been exchanged, and so on? Do you have any idea about that?

2 A. I told you that I personally do not know what happened. But the

3 original story was that they were taken to be exchanged at Batkovic.

4 After that -- very shortly after that, there was rumours in Zvornik that

5 those people had been killed.

6 Q. I want to make it quite clear. You referred to Kozluk. Was

7 anyone killed in Kozluk?

8 A. I have no information that anyone was killed there.

9 Q. Who ordered the people to leave Kozluk? I assume that you know

10 that a list of citizens of Kozluk was sent, that is, people who wanted to

11 move out, and that they moved out through Serbia and those who entered

12 Serbia, left Serbia and went to third places. Did anyone force them? Did

13 they leave because of the danger that threatened them? Who organised it?

14 Who ordered it? Did anyone force them out by force?

15 A. This happened in July. I was not a member of the Crisis Staff by

16 then, and I really don't know the details. I know that in April we

17 persuaded them not to move out of Kozluk. We provided some basic

18 requirements that they needed, like healthcare, food, et cetera. As to

19 what happened later on, I know as much as everyone else from stories that

20 went round town.

21 Q. I wonder if you could try and assist me in clearing up another

22 question that you mentioned this morning. That was mentioned only in

23 passing. Mr. Groome was asking you something in connection with the

24 report of the Drinatrans about a transport. And then you say

25 Zvornik-Bijeljina-Batkovic on the 15th of July 600 detainees. And from

Page 21895

1 the information I have, this Batkovic was a centre for exchange and the

2 Red Cross was continuously present there.

3 A. I never went to Batkovic, but I heard the same report as you did.

4 Q. And the people who went to Batkovic, were they going to be

5 exchanged or did perhaps somebody liquidate those people?

6 A. I don't know that, except that I was able to reach the -- read the

7 invoice, and one can see the figures. But I don't know what lies behind

8 that invoice.

9 Q. So all you know about Batkovic is what I mentioned just now,

10 nothing more than that.

11 A. No, nothing more.

12 Q. So let us look at a few other exhibits that I would like to ask

13 you to clarify. For instance, this one, 13. Here the Basic Investment

14 Bank in Belgrade, InvestBanka and then it says request for financial funds

15 for the payment of April salaries, et cetera. This is the Serbian

16 Municipality of Zvornik which sent this request?

17 JUDGE MAY: -- To pensions.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. What it says here: "Basic economic investment bank in Belgrade

20 has nothing to do with Belgrade because it is the business outlet in

21 Tuzla." That's right. So it's a bank in Tuzla which was part of the

22 system of a Yugoslav bank which had business branches all over Yugoslavia,

23 didn't it?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Branch offices all over Yugoslavia.

Page 21896

1 A. Right.

2 Q. Therefore, that bank covered the region of Tuzla and it was

3 through it that pensions were paid.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And this was a local institution, wasn't it?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Very well. Let me just see a few other documents.

8 I think this is tab 6, a list for payments of members of the TO of

9 the Serbian Municipality of Zvornik for the month of May 1992.

10 Again -- but I think we've cleared that up, and we know now that this was

11 your own local institution making payments.

12 I had a few other notes, but I must admit I don't find my way

13 easily in these tabs.

14 I wanted to ask you to explain, because this question refers to a

15 period while you were still in office. What is this order? It is under

16 tab -- I'll tell you in a minute -- number 9. It's an order on

17 determining places for funerals and methods of burying persons killed in

18 the war in the town of Zvornik and its environs, that is, within the

19 territory of Zvornik municipality. Can you see that?

20 JUDGE MAY: Have you got that, Witness? You have it. Yes.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. Then it says, under point 1, that "Muslims should be buried at the

23 Muslim cemetery in Kazambasca." That was a Muslim cemetery, wasn't it?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. "Except for those whose bodies families take over in due time and

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Page 21898

1 who wish to bury them somewhere else"; isn't that right?

2 And then in point 2, at the Serb cemetery in Karakaj, "The killed

3 should be buried that are known to be Serbs." Is that right?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. "Except for those whose bodies are taken over by their families in

6 due time who wish to bury them somewhere else."

7 And then it also says that a commission should examine, identify,

8 record, and select the various bodies, and this is an order which I

9 assume -- it says "The provisional government of the Serbian Municipality

10 of Zvornik."

11 JUDGE MAY: We don't -- we don't, in fact, have this document, do

12 we? Unless it's part of something --

13 MR. KAY: It's the right-hand side of the B/C/S version we have.

14 We've had translated the left-hand side of the page, if you turn over the

15 page in tab 9, go to the B/C/S version, it's the right-hand side.

16 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, we only translated the left-hand side,

17 because that was the portion we intended to rely on.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

19 MR. GROOME: Now that Mr. Milosevic has raised it, I've asked

20 Ms. Wee to get a translation of the other side of the page.

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes, without a doubt.

22 Now, you've got five minutes left, Mr. Milosevic.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No problem. I just wanted to clear

24 this point up as well, Mr. May. Regardless of the fact that I see that it

25 hasn't been translated.

Page 21899

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. The date here is the 21st of April, which means two

3 weeks -- almost two weeks after the outbreak of the conflict. So when

4 some sort of order was being restored in Zvornik. So my question to you,

5 Mr. B-024, is: This decision of the provisional government, does it

6 testify to a non-discriminatory attitude, or rather completely

7 equal-handed attitude towards people killed in the conflict, both Serbs

8 and Muslims, during the conflict starting on the 8th of April? And in

9 view of the position that you held at the time, could you comment on this?

10 A. This is an order published in the Official Gazette of Zvornik

11 Municipality, and it is generally known. It came into effect the day

12 after I left the Crisis Staff, which I left on the 12th of April. But it

13 is obvious that it is as you say, an attempt to restore some sort of

14 order.

15 Q. Tell me also, please: Apart from what you said, you were chief of

16 police, did you have any other positions in Zvornik during this time, that

17 is, from the beginning of 1992 onwards, until the end of the war that

18 you're testifying about, the end being 1995?

19 A. Yes. In 1992, from April, until the beginning of 1993, I was

20 manager of Autotransport. Then I was president of the executive board of

21 the municipality.

22 Q. When were you president of the government, local government?

23 A. From the end of February until the beginning of September 1993.

24 Q. So virtually you were the town mayor of Zvornik in 1993/1994?

25 A. No, no. Only in 1993. From February 1993 until September. It is

Page 21900

1 really the second by significance in the civilian authorities; the first

2 being the president of the assembly, and the second being the president of

3 the executive council or board.

4 Q. So you were the main figure of the executive branch of the

5 authorities of Zvornik.

6 A. Yes, that is right.

7 Q. Tell me, in those days, how were members of other ethnic groups

8 treated, primarily Muslims in the municipality?

9 A. The situation was such, Mr. Milosevic, in 1993 that there were no

10 Muslims in Zvornik, only those who might have been detained.

11 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry. We didn't hear the question.

12 THE WITNESS: You could count on the figures of one hand some

13 mixed marriages. Because in our town there was total ethnic separation

14 between May and June 1992.

15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. And where did the Muslims from Zvornik go?

17 A. Mostly towards Tuzla and the internal part of the Federation;

18 whereas, many refugees came from Tuzla and Zenica. There was a complete

19 change of ethnic structure, a major migration of the population. So.

20 Q. So refugees were coming from, where did you say, Zenica?

21 A. Tuzla and the whole region.

22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. I'm sorry, we can't --

23 JUDGE MAY: You'll have to get your microphone on. Make sure it's

24 on. Yes, I know there's a difficulty with it. Just make sure the

25 microphone is on. Have a pause between question and answer.

Page 21901

1 Now, you've got -- you've got two minutes left for this.

2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. B-024: How many Serbs from Central Bosnia

4 and the Tuzla region settled in Zvornik in those days and in 1993 when you

5 headed the executive branch? I assume you had a clear idea about that.

6 A. Between 10 and 15 thousand people.

7 Q. 15 thousand people? And why did they come there?

8 A. Because they had no conditions to live in Central Bosnia and

9 because of fear of the war and the war operations.

10 Q. For the same reason for which Muslims had left Zvornik; is that

11 right?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Is there any difference regarding those reasons?

14 A. I don't see any difference.

15 Q. You don't see them.

16 A. I don't.

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. May. That completes

18 my cross-examination of this witness.

19 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kay. Do you have some questions?

20 MR. KAY: Just a few questions, Your Honour.

21 JUDGE MAY: Well, it's time for adjournment. It may be convenient

22 afterwards.

23 MR. KAY: It's actually only one matter. It won't take very long

24 at all.

25 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

Page 21902

1 MR. KAY: It'll just package the witness in that way.

2 Questioned by Mr. Kay:

3 Q. Witness, if I can ask you about the pre-conflict time in Zvornik.

4 I'm looking at a statement of yours, and you describe in that statement as

5 the situation being very tense and the city was divided into ethnic

6 groups. Is that right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Was that because people were aware generally of the issue that

9 Bosnia may be declared an independent state?

10 A. Mostly because of that reason, and also because of the very bad

11 experiences from previous wars.

12 Q. In this statement as well, you describe in fact four or five

13 soldiers being killed in a place called Sapna, within Zvornik

14 municipality, on the day of the declaration of statehood. Is that right,

15 the number, four or five soldiers?

16 A. That is the same information that I have, four to five soldiers.

17 Q. And which soldiers were they?

18 A. They were soldiers of the then-regular Yugoslav People's Army.

19 Q. Thank you.

20 MR. KAY: No further questions.

21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Groome, can you deal with this in a few moments,

22 or do you want longer?

23 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I do have about a dozen questions.

24 Perhaps after the break, if that's convenient for the Court.

25 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now, 20 minutes.

Page 21903

1 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.

2 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.

3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome.

4 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, so the record is clear, during the

5 cross-examination and I believe the examination by the amici, a document

6 referred to as a statement -- has been referred to. In case of this

7 witness, there has been no formal statement. What has been referred to is

8 an interview conducted pursuant to Rule 42 and 43; a copy of it was

9 disclosed. So it's a videotaped and transcribed interview.

10 Your Honour, if I may, there was, I believe, a mistake in the

11 transcript from the 23rd of May regarding the spelling of a name, although

12 technically not part of re-examination. I'd seek leave just to ask the

13 witness to spell the name so that can be corrected.

14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

15 Re-examined by Mr. Groome:

16 Q. B-024, on the first day you testified, you were asked a question

17 regarding who headed the special police unit that arrested Marko Pavlovic

18 and others. And you told us the first name of the question was Milenko.

19 Can I ask you to repeat the last name, the family name of that person.

20 Were you unable to hear me?

21 JUDGE MAY: Let's try again.

22 MR. GROOME:

23 Q. Can you hear me now?

24 A. Yes. It's probably -- yes, I can hear you, yes.

25 It's probably Milenko Mijic, who was chief of police at the

Page 21904

1 beginning of the war in Zvornik.

2 Q. Can I ask you to spell his name.

3 THE INTERPRETER: M-i-j-i-c, says the interpreter.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] M-i-j-i-c, Mijic. Milenko is

5 spelled, M-i-l-e-n-k-o.

6 MR. GROOME:

7 Q. Now, at the end of the cross-examination, Mr. Milosevic has asked

8 you about the period of time during which Muslims had control of the town.

9 And you have referred to that period of time as several days. Can I ask

10 you to describe as -- with as much precision as you can that period of

11 time.

12 A. Well, it can only be from the 5th of April, 1992 until the 8th of

13 April, 1992.

14 Q. And I believe you said during that brief period of time that they

15 assumed police functions and they also -- that there were no arrests

16 during that period of time; is that correct?

17 A. Yes, that's what I said.

18 Q. Now, on the 6th of April, the police of Zvornik split in two. I

19 believe you testified earlier that the Serb portion of the police

20 separated and started a parallel police department elsewhere in Zvornik.

21 Is that correct?

22 A. Yes, in accordance with Plan B we established a police station in

23 the territory where there was a Serb majority population and that was in

24 Karakaj.

25 Q. Now, during this three-day period when Muslims controlled the town

Page 21905

1 of Zvornik, were there any summary executions of Serbs or any Serbs

2 forcibly deported from the municipality of Zvornik, to your knowledge?

3 A. I don't have any such knowledge.

4 Q. And I believe you testified in response to a question that

5 Mr. Milosevic put to you that the takeover of Zvornik, the retaking of

6 Zvornik or placing it in Serb control, took approximately four hours; is

7 that correct?

8 A. Yes. I meant that the military operation took from

9 morning -- from the early morning hours, from 4.00 a.m., until 8.00 a.m.

10 That is my estimate.

11 Q. Now, you testified in response to a question by Mr. Milosevic that

12 paramilitaries slapped around members of the Crisis Staff. My question to

13 you is: Were these local paramilitaries or were these the paramilitaries

14 that you referred to as being from Serbia?

15 A. I've already said. It was Arkan and Pejic, people who were from

16 Serbia.

17 Q. Now, with respect to the destruction of mosques, how many mosques

18 all together were destroyed in Zvornik?

19 A. Well, I know that in Zvornik there were three mosques. And during

20 1992, they were destroyed. I don't know exactly about the surrounding

21 area. In the surrounding area, there were many more, but I wouldn't know

22 the exact number.

23 Q. Now, after the first mosque was destroyed, was there any

24 discussion in the Crisis Staff or any attempt to guard the other remaining

25 mosques as Mr. Milosevic has pointed out, the mosque in Mali Zvornik was

Page 21906

1 guarded?

2 A. While I was a member of the Crisis Staff, not a single mosque was

3 destroyed. And now, how the Crisis Staff reacted after that, that is

4 something I really don't know about. But the evident result in the area

5 was that they did not manage to protect a single one.

6 Q. Now, the accused asked you a question with respect to

7 Marko Pavlovic and his relationship with people outside of Zvornik. I

8 want to read you a portion of your answer and then ask you to explain it.

9 You said - and I'm quoting - "I said that he had good relationships with

10 the army, as to the politicians, I really don't know what his

11 relationships were with them. But I do know that he did have

12 relationships with Mr. Panic. I think he was at the time the head of the

13 army of the Yugoslav People's Army."

14 Can I ask you to explain what you know about the relationship

15 between Marko Pavlovic and Mr. Panic, who you believed was the head of the

16 Yugoslav People's Army.

17 A. I don't know exactly what their interrelations were, but I know

18 that Pavlovic said several times in front of the members of the Crisis

19 Staff that he had Panic on line, so to speak, and that he could rely on

20 him for logistics support. In all fairness, I was never present during

21 such conversations, but he said this several times in front of the members

22 of the Crisis Staff, that he could contact for the purposes of logistics

23 support, even General Panic, who was then the chief of staff, the number

24 one man in the Yugoslav People's Army.

25 Q. The times that he made this reference, was it before the takeover,

Page 21907

1 after the takeover, or both?

2 A. This was mentioned in the period between the 8th until the 20th of

3 April, in that period.

4 Q. Now, the accused asked you about the relationship between the

5 Zvornik Municipal Crisis Staff and the Regional Crisis Staff, then the

6 main SDS board in Pale. And I believe you said that during a period of

7 time the Municipal Crisis Staff did not have good communications with

8 either the regional -- at the regional level or the republican level. Can

9 I ask you to specify what period of time did that condition exist.

10 A. Well, some things are a bit confused here. The Crisis Staff, I

11 think, existed from the 22nd of December, 1991 onwards; whereas, the

12 Crisis Staff existed in a somewhat changed composition from when the

13 conflict broke out. We had contacts with the Regional Crisis Staff in SAO

14 Semberija and Majevica, but this region was established perhaps just

15 before the war broke out, say, the beginning of April or end of March

16 1992, and until then in accordance with these instructions as concerns all

17 information that is relevant to estimates of the security situation, it

18 was our duty to inform the central Crisis Staff that was then at

19 headquarters in Sarajevo, in the building where the Serb Democratic Party

20 for Bosnia and Herzegovina was.

21 Q. Can I ask you: In a response to a question by the accused, you

22 said at some point it appeared those communications were difficult or even

23 interrupted. Can I ask you to specify during what period of time, if any,

24 the communications with the republican-level staff was interrupted or

25 difficult.

Page 21908

1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.

2 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have an objection. The question

4 is not appropriate, because the witness said that contacts were impeded

5 with the Crisis Staff of the SAO Semberija and Majevica, not with the

6 republican Crisis Staff.

7 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is true that they were more

9 difficult with the Regional Crisis Staff, but also with the republican

10 Crisis Staff, because once the conflict broke out, part of the leadership

11 remained in Sarajevo, such as Plavsic, Koljevic, et cetera. Others

12 remained in Pale. Others went to Belgrade. So there was general

13 disarray. And as far as I know, from when the conflict broke out in

14 Zvornik until the 20th, while I was there contacts were indeed impeded

15 with the republican Crisis Staff and the Regional Crisis Staff.

16 MR. GROOME:

17 Q. And was it during this period of impeded communication with the

18 republican level Crisis Staff that Mrs. Plavsic made a personal visit to

19 Zvornik to assess the situation?

20 A. Yes, that is correct. I said that Mrs. Plavsic came to Zvornik

21 twice and that she was expressing interest in the political and security

22 situation in Zvornik. And we did give her information. We told her

23 whatever we could.

24 Q. Now, the accused asked several -- or a series of questions

25 regarding where the Crisis Staff was able to obtain the money to pay the

Page 21909

1 Territorial Defence forces as well as meet some other obligations in

2 running this parallel government. In response to one of his questions,

3 you made the following statement. You identified two sources of revenue;

4 one was taxes. And the other one you said, "I don't want to go into

5 detail where is this came from."

6 My question to you is: We've heard from a number of witnesses who

7 have described signing their property over to municipalities, including

8 the municipality of Zvornik. Was any of the personal or real property

9 that Muslims signed over to the government of Zvornik, was any of that

10 property converted to funds and thereby used by the temporary government

11 of Zvornik?

12 A. Your Honour, I said that there were two sources of financing. One

13 was the regular one, the way in which a budget is composed anyway. And

14 the rest was additional taxation upon economic entities that were state

15 owned. And then they were taxed according to their commercial power, so

16 to speak. I did not say that I did not wish to discuss some sources of

17 financing. I'm willing to discuss all sources of financing.

18 As regards this Muslim property that was referred to here, I am

19 not aware of this, and I claim with full responsibility that while I was a

20 member of the Crisis Staff none of them signed over any of their property

21 to the Crisis Staff and to the Municipality. But it is true that their

22 immovables, like apartments, houses, cafes, are things that they could not

23 take along with them. They stayed in Zvornik. And the provincial

24 government and the Crisis Staff did dispose of this property. That is

25 true.

Page 21910

1 Q. I want to now draw your attention to a series of questions the

2 accused asked you regarding Prosecution Exhibit 451, tab 9. And he read

3 you an order of the Crisis Staff regarding how Muslims should be buried

4 and where they should be buried. And my question to you is: Would the

5 burial of Muslims in mass graves in and around Zvornik, would that have

6 been a violation of the order from the Crisis Staff that the accused read

7 to you?

8 A. Yes. This is a document that is dated the 21st of April. And I

9 can just read what this document says, because I did not take part in the

10 drafting of this document and I am not aware of this. Obviously this is

11 an order of the Crisis Staff as to how burials should be taking place. I

12 mean, it cannot even be seen fully. It is only partly shown in this

13 document. However, not going by this document would mean violating orders

14 of the provisional government.

15 Q. You've testified extensively about the implementation of this

16 Variant A and B plan. And my question to you is: Were all steps of the

17 plan implemented to the best of the abilities of the Crisis Staff and the

18 temporary government?

19 A. I think the answer is yes. Whatever could be done by the Crisis

20 Staff is what the Crisis Staff did. You saw the plan. It is rather

21 general. It depends on how people interpret it. But we as the Crisis

22 Staff made an effort to implement it as much as possible.

23 Q. Now, the accused put to you the -- or read to you number 8

24 of -- of that plan. And I'll just read the portion that I'm interested in

25 asking you to comment on. And the portion is this, and I quote: "In

Page 21911

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Page 21912

1 taking all these measure, attention should be paid to ensuring respect for

2 the national and other rights of members of all nationalities." And it

3 goes on to talk about engaging them in later government bodies.

4 My question to you is: If the plan was implemented, and that

5 number 8 is part of the plan, how was it possible then for us, or as

6 you've described, for the pensions of non-Serbs to be withheld?

7 A. I've already said: There is one plan, and it is adopted at the

8 level of the state at this moment and it applies to all. In the area

9 concerned, the situation was somewhat different. Once the war started,

10 once people started getting killed, et cetera, and the government became

11 very rigorous, and finally the payment of pensions to persons who were not

12 ethnic Serbs was forbidden.

13 Q. Now, the accused also pointed out to you that there was no

14 specific reference to ethnic cleansing in the plan, I want to draw your

15 attention to the second level, number 7, of Plan B, the plan that was

16 implemented -- or you've testified was implemented in Zvornik. I want to

17 read you the first sentence and ask you to explain your understanding of

18 this instruction.

19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Groome, while the witness is looking at that, I'm

20 looking at the clock. We have another witness to fit in this morning, so

21 perhaps you'd bear that in mind.

22 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. I just have two more questions

23 after this.

24 Q. The first sentence reads: "The crisis headquarters is responsible

25 for special forms of defence organisation in the areas where Serbs are not

Page 21913

1 in a majority." Can you please explain to the Chamber your understanding

2 of what special forms of defence organisation were.

3 A. Well, I spoke about that a bit already. It means that where the

4 Serbs are a minority, they should organise themselves and defend

5 themselves. And if there is a Serb territory nearby, that they should

6 establish territorial links with it.

7 Q. Now, with respect to Arkan appearing in -- in Zvornik, was the

8 decision to bring Arkan to Zvornik a decision made in the Crisis Staff

9 which you then implemented by going to Bijeljina, or was the decision

10 taken elsewhere, which was implemented by the Crisis Staff on Zvornik?

11 A. No. We didn't even know. We simply asked for assistance then.

12 And my friend at the time, an employee of the MUP of Serbia, told me that

13 I should call Arkan and that according to plan he would come to Zvornik.

14 Q. So Arkan's appearance in Zvornik was after you made a request to

15 the MUP of Serbia for assistance in Zvornik?

16 A. No. We were not in the MUP. We were at the assembly committee.

17 Q. But the person you conveyed your request to was a member of the

18 MUP of Serbia.

19 A. Yes. It is through him that I received information that after

20 Bijeljina, Arkan would come to Zvornik.

21 MR. GROOME: No further questions.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, in relation to these

23 questions, I would like to put a few questions.

24 JUDGE MAY: No. You've had your opportunity. You know the rules.

25 Witness B-024, thank you for coming to the Tribunal. Thank you

Page 21914

1 for coming back to finish your evidence. It's now concluded, and you are

2 free to go.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

4 [The witness withdrew]

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We have to recall Witness B-1098; is that right?

6 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. While the witness is being brought

7 in, may we ask to go into closed session just to --

8 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

9 MR. GROOME: -- Say something?

10 [Private session]

11 [redacted]

12 [redacted]

13 [redacted]

14 [redacted]

15 [redacted]

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17 [redacted]

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Page 21915

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Page 21942

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5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

6 at 2.00 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,

7 the 10th day of June, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.

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