Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 25824

1 Tuesday, 2 September 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome.

7 WITNESS: WITNESS B-1505 [Resumed]

8 [Witness answered through interpreter]

9 Examined by Mr. Groome: [Continued]

10 Q. Witness 1505, when we interrupted your testimony last week, you

11 were beginning to describe a column of Muslim civilians from the Visegrad

12 municipality that made their way into Visegrad town. Could I ask you to

13 resume at that point and please describe what you know about that column

14 of people that walked into Visegrad town.

15 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, just if I might interrupt the witness.

16 I see that the voice distortion has been set up. As you'll recall, the

17 witness agreed that it was no longer necessary and we could proceed

18 without voice distortion.

19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Perhaps the registry could deal with that,

20 please.

21 While we're dealing with that, Mr. Nice, we omitted yesterday to

22 regulate Exhibit 526.

23 MR. NICE: Yes. I had that in mind afterwards.

24 JUDGE MAY: So at a convenient time this morning or relatively

25 soon, we ought to do that.

Page 25825

1 MR. NICE: Or even this afternoon, maybe. But I think the

2 position is this: That all exhibits bar numbers 27 and 28 are referred to

3 in the witness's report. I'll check that. 27 and 28 were covered by him

4 in evidence without being specifically referred to as exhibits in order

5 that I could save time, but they were dealt with, they being the orders

6 for sitting in Belgrade rather than elsewhere, and I'd ask that they be

7 admitted as well on the basis that they've been effectively covered. But

8 I will check or have checked that literally every other of the exhibits is

9 covered in his report.

10 JUDGE MAY: Subject to your checking -- just one moment.

11 [Trial Chamber confers]

12 JUDGE MAY: Well, if you would check, Mr. Nice, to ensure that

13 there are -- there is nothing which wasn't referred to. Subject to that

14 checking and your reporting to us, all the exhibits will be admitted as

15 the binder stands.

16 MR. GROOME:

17 Q. Sir, could I please ask you to address that question now.

18 A. Very well. So when Captain Vuksavljevic, who was commander of the

19 dam, received orders from Colonel Ojdanic to the effect that he could move

20 towards Brstanica and get this column of civilians out, if I can put it

21 that way, he indeed did set out with two military trucks, and there were

22 about 30 soldiers there.

23 We came to Brstanica. A column was formed there. We were all in

24 a hurry so everything went very fast. Most people went on foot and some

25 took cars and everybody set out for town.

Page 25826

1 As we were approaching town, a lot of gunfire was heard in the

2 area that we were supposed to go through as we were moving towards town.

3 At that moment Captain Vuksavljevic said we should go on further and that

4 he would go in the direction from where the gunfire was coming from and

5 that he would see what this was all about and he would resolve the

6 problems that we might possibly have during our journey, and that's

7 exactly the way it was.

8 In this organised column led by these soldiers, people went to the

9 town football stadium.

10 Q. Sir, before I ask you about the football stadium, can you

11 approximate the number of people that were in this column?

12 A. In this column, there were approximately 400 persons. How can I

13 put this? It was mostly the local population from that area; women,

14 children, elderly people, and so on.

15 Q. And did the column cross the old Turkish bridge crossing the Drina

16 into Visegrad town?

17 A. Yes. Yes. They had to cross that bridge along that road.

18 Q. Now, the Chamber has heard evidence from a Serb journalist

19 regarding his observations regarding a column. My question to you is:

20 Are you aware of any other column that crossed the old Drina bridge into

21 Visegrad town aside from the one that you've testified about?

22 A. No. It was one and the same column.

23 Q. Was the entire column escorted to the football stadium in

24 Visegrad?

25 A. Yes.

Page 25827

1 Q. Aside from the column of people, were there other people in the

2 football stadium?

3 A. No. For the most part, it was people from the column.

4 Q. Can you please describe what happened in the football stadium.

5 A. At the football stadium, people positioned themselves in different

6 places. Most everybody was on one part of the stadium. In the other part

7 of the stadium there were soldiers. At that moment, an officer came. He

8 introduced himself to all present by way of a megaphone with words to this

9 effect: "I am Lieutenant Colonel Jovanovic and I am commander of this

10 town. So I am commanding this army that's here. We have the White Eagles

11 units within our ranks, and they are under my command too. And now you

12 will be going to certain places," and he enumerated all of them, and they

13 were all around town. He said they were safe because they were under army

14 control, and he said, among other things, that no resistance should be put

15 up to the army. In case a single bullet is fired from any house in any

16 village, he will level the house. If one soldier would be wounded in a

17 village, the entire village would be levelled --

18 Q. Sir --

19 A. -- to the ground, and that is how the meeting ended.

20 Q. Were the people who were gathered in the stadium, were they also

21 searched by soldiers present at the stadium?

22 A. Yes, yes. So before they left the stadium, that's also what he

23 explained over this microphone, the commander did. He established, I

24 think, four or five columns. There were two soldiers for each, and

25 everybody was searched for weapons or something of that nature.

Page 25828

1 Q. And what was the ethic make-up of the people gathered into the

2 stadium on that day?

3 A. There were only Bosniaks, Muslims there.

4 Q. And approximately how many people at its greatest amount of

5 Bosniaks or Muslims were gathered into the stadium during that time?

6 A. It is estimated that there were between 4.000 and 5.000 persons.

7 Q. And were all of those 4.000 or 5.000 people searched?

8 A. I think so. I think so. I did not wait for the very end of the

9 search, but generally speaking, everybody was supposed to be searched.

10 Q. And were all of those people told where and where they could not

11 go when they left the stadium?

12 A. Yes. The commander explained that very precisely, where people

13 were allowed to go and where they were not allowed to go.

14 Q. And were a large number of these people prohibited from returning

15 to their homes?

16 A. Yes. Yes.

17 Q. Now, after this, did there come a time when you were summoned to a

18 meeting in the Hotel Visegrad?

19 A. Yes. After the lieutenant colonel spoke to the people there, he

20 said to me, "You, you will report to me now down there now at the Visegrad

21 Hotel."

22 Q. And did you go to the Visegrad Hotel?

23 A. Yes. Yes. People started going to the places where they were

24 allowed to go, and I stopped by the hotel to report as ordered.

25 Q. And did you have to wait for some period in the hotel lobby?

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Page 25830

1 A. Yes, yes. When I got to the hotel, then I was told that I had to

2 wait for a while by the reception desk before the commander would receive

3 me, so I waited there for a while, right at that spot.

4 Q. While you were waiting there, were you able to tell where in the

5 hotel the lieutenant colonel was?

6 A. Yes. I knew where he was, in which room, but I waited at the

7 reception desk.

8 Q. Did there come a time when two people who came to see the

9 lieutenant colonel where he was in the hotel?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Can you please tell us who they were that came to see him?

12 A. As I was waiting by the reception desk, at one point in time

13 Biljana Plavsic came by. It is well known that she was vice-president of

14 Republika Srpska. And Branimir Savovic. He was president of the Serbian

15 Democratic Party for the municipality of Visegrad.

16 Q. And did they go in to see the lieutenant colonel?

17 A. Yes. They went to the room where I was supposed to be at a

18 meeting with the lieutenant colonel. Soon after that, I was told that I

19 could go and that I could come the following day because right then the

20 lieutenant colonel could not receive me.

21 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, at this time I'd ask that a video be

22 assigned a number. This is the video that I've put an extensive note in

23 the summary. The way I propose to deal with this is after the video is to

24 put on the split screen the two identical images for the witness and the

25 Chamber to see and be able to compare that image with Exhibit 506 which

Page 25831

1 was shown to B-127, if that's acceptable to the Chamber.

2 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

3 MR. GROOME:

4 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you to look at a video on the screen in

5 front of you.

6 MR. GROOME: And if I could ask the usher just to ensure that it

7 is set up for the Sanction display. There will be no sound.

8 Q. I will pause it in several spots just to give you an opportunity

9 to explain what it is that we are viewing.

10 MR. GROOME: If we could begin the video.

11 [Videotape played]

12 MR. GROOME:

13 Q. Sir, can you describe -- have you seen this video before?

14 A. This one? I don't know. I can't remember having seen this

15 particular one.

16 Q. Do you recognise the video now?

17 A. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

18 Q. And is this the area of Visegrad that we are looking at on this

19 video?

20 A. Yes, it is. Yes.

21 Q. The flag that we can see in this -- this portion of the video, do

22 you recognise that flag or can you comment on that flag?

23 A. Well, you see, the flag is not the flag of Yugoslavia, and it's

24 not the flag of the Yugoslav People's Army either. This is the kind of

25 flag that was carried by Serb paramilitary units.

Page 25832

1 Q. Please continue.

2 MR. GROOME: I would note for the Chamber the entire video is four

3 minutes.

4 JUDGE MAY: What?

5 MR. GROOME: The entire video is four minutes.

6 Q. Sir, while we're watching this video, did you yourself actually

7 drive the cameraman who shot this particular video during portions of this

8 video?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Can you please identify the portion that you are actually the

11 person driving the car.

12 A. Yes. Yes. When we come to that point, I'll signal it.

13 JUDGE MAY: It may be helpful if the witness tells us what we're

14 looking at now. Mr. Groome, if you could establish that.

15 MR. GROOME: Yes. Pause it there, please. We paused it at 1

16 minute, 50 seconds.

17 Q. Sir, can you please describe what we have seen now in the first

18 two minutes of the video.

19 A. Until now, for the most part it was the outskirts of town that was

20 filmed. The image before this one was from the direction of Uzice, the

21 town from the direction of the Uzice, and buildings can be seen, and we

22 could also see how these soldiers were coming. So for the most part, it

23 was the town and its outskirts that were filmed from the direction of

24 Uzice, facing Visegrad.

25 Q. And was this video shot at the time the JNA entered Visegrad or on

Page 25833

1 the day or days that the JNA entered Visegrad?

2 A. Yes. Yes. That's it. As the soldiers were coming. It was the

3 arrival of the soldiers that was filmed.

4 MR. GROOME: Please continue.

5 Q. And if you could describe what we're seeing.

6 A. Again, the part towards Visegrad. Now we see the outskirts of

7 town again viewed from a helicopter, recorded from a helicopter. This is

8 one of the bridges in Visegrad, the so-called new bridge. And in the very

9 background, the old Turkish bridge can be seen too.

10 Q. And that is the upper right-hand corner of the image; is that

11 correct?

12 A. Yes. Again a panorama of town from a helicopter. This car, we

13 see this car. This is the car that I drove, the one we can see now. This

14 is what I drove, the TV crew. And now we see the recording from the

15 helicopter again. The old bridge and the panorama of town. This is the

16 hydroelectric power plant in Visegrad. It's about two kilometres away

17 from the old bridge. Again the panorama. This is already the centre of

18 town. We can say that. Now we see those trucks, those military trucks

19 that were escorting the civilians who had come to town, the ones that we

20 were talking about.

21 Q. And without identifying the person, as it may identify you, do you

22 know some of the people in this truck?

23 A. Yes. Yes. Exactly. I know some of these people here very well.

24 These are all details from town, various facilities in town.

25 Again we can see the old bridge.

Page 25834

1 MR. GROOME: We're just calling up the two images from 506 and

2 from this image.

3 Q. Sir, I'd ask you now to look at the two images on your screen and

4 ask you to confirm whether or not they're not the same. The image on the

5 left is from Prosecution Exhibit 506; the image on the right is from this

6 exhibit, this video. Are they not the same video footage?

7 A. It's not clear enough. I can't really say anything about this.

8 MR. GROOME: I will rely on the Chamber's -- I will rely on the

9 Chamber's assessment of the two.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not clear. It's not focused,

11 the image.

12 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, forgive me if I'm mistaken, I don't

13 believe we've assigned a number to this new video.

14 JUDGE MAY: The next number, please.

15 THE REGISTRAR: P527.

16 JUDGE MAY: We're not using P numbers here, for the registry. For

17 the Prosecution it's just the straight number, 527.

18 MR. GROOME: That concludes my examination, Your Honour.

19 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Groome, if you could remind me who was the Serb

20 journalist that gave evidence about the column that passed the Drina --

21 MR. GROOME: His name is Jovan Dulovic.

22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You drew my attention last time to

25 the fact that at the beginning, when starting my cross-examination, I

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Page 25836

1 should point out when I consider the witness to be lying. I thought that

2 was superfluous because I said about the whole indictment that it was

3 false, but following your suggestion, I would like to say at the very

4 outset that this witness, who is blaming the ethnic cleansing and what he

5 said about the role of the JNA is absolutely not true and I think it is

6 pure fabrication. And now we'll come to the details.

7 JUDGE MAY: Let me tell you something else. The reason that you

8 have to put, when you maintain the witness has not told the truth, has two

9 other bases. First, the witness should have the opportunity of dealing

10 with your allegations. You make serious allegations like that, the

11 witness should have the opportunity of answering. It's only fair that

12 they should.

13 Second, the Trial Chamber should know what issues are in dispute

14 and what are not. Merely to say you challenge everything is no answer.

15 If there are specific facts which you challenge, you should do so. Yes.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In my cross-examination, I will show

17 it. I am not challenging the fact that Witness 1505 is from Visegrad.

18 I'm not challenging the fact that he lived there. Certainly not. But I

19 am challenging the fact that allegedly the army engaged in ethnic

20 cleansing, and we will see even from this video footage that these are

21 things that have nothing to do with his testimony. But anyway, I think

22 you saw that for yourself.

23 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:

24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. 1505, is it true that you personally - not

25 anyone other than you but you yourself - regarding the sabotage group

Page 25837

1 which was -- consisted of Niha Dizdarevic, Faho Isic [phoen], Mufa

2 Muftasic [phoen], and Fikret Sacirevic who prepared explosive devices,

3 that you provided explosives for their activities in view of the position

4 you held --

5 JUDGE MAY: No. Let the witness deal with this. First of all,

6 the accused is suggesting there was a sabotage group, and he's mentioned

7 three names. And secondly, he is suggesting that you provided explosives

8 for them. Those are the two questions, and you should have the

9 opportunity to answer them.

10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May --

11 JUDGE MAY: No. Let him deal with it, Mr. Milosevic. You make

12 these allegations, he must have the opportunity to deal with it in a

13 fairly orderly way.

14 Yes. First of all, do you agree that there was a sabotage group

15 or not?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, I'm not aware of the

17 existence of such a sabotage group. Judging by the names, I know of one,

18 I never heard of two others, as regards the first part of the question.

19 As for the second part of the question, that I procured explosives

20 for them, that also is absolutely untrue.

21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, the witness said, like you

22 did, that I mentioned three names. I actually mentioned five names, and

23 you will probably be able to check that in the transcript.

24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters apologise, they didn't hear all

25 five.

Page 25838

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Before we move on to some other specifics, do you recall that on

3 the 19th of September, 1991, an act of sabotage was carried out at the

4 railway tunnel at Dobrun while simultaneously explosives were planted

5 under the viaduct on the Belgrade-Bar railroad. This was on the 19th of

6 September, 1991.

7 A. I have not heard of those events.

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 A. Yes.

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 A. That's right.

15 (redacted)

16 A. Yes, one could put it that way.

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

20 MR. GROOME: We're getting --

21 JUDGE MAY: We'll go into private session if you want to ask any

22 more of these questions.

23 Private session. We'll go into private session and see how we get

24 on, Mr. Milosevic.

25 [Private session]

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Page 25840

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15 [Open session]

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. 1505, is it true that after the multi-party

18 elections in Visegrad in 1990 pressures started and threats and physical

19 assaults on the Serbs, and even slogans to the effect that the Serbs

20 should be exterminated from Visegrad?

21 A. No. That is absolutely not true.

22 Q. Very well. Since it is absolutely not true, do you recall that

23 the Muslim extremists, the brother of the vice-president of the Party of

24 Democratic Action in Visegrad, the monument to Ivo Andric was destroyed on

25 the 1st of July, 1991, on liberation square in Visegrad?

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Page 25842

1 A. I am aware of that fact, of that event, but this was not directed

2 again the Serbs directly. It was an isolated event. And Ivo Andric

3 anyway wasn't a Serb. He was a Croat. If you mean that this was meant as

4 a threat to the Serbs.

5 Q. The Serbs consider him to be a Serb. If you consider him to be a

6 Croat, that's up to you. But what do you think was the motive for

7 destroying that monument, and that on the 1st of July, 1991? It was

8 broken with a hammer that was used in quarries normally. It was thrown

9 into the Drina, destroyed by a sledgehammer in fact. Isn't that right,

10 Mr. 1505?

11 A. When speaking about that event, this was not organised in any way

12 by the authorities or anyone else. It was purely one of those incidents.

13 Afterwards, criminal proceedings were instituted against the person who

14 did this. So this was nothing so special. You would see nowadays at a

15 football match people would break a chair or something else and then they

16 would be punished for it and that's the end of it.

17 Q. Very well. So breaking chairs at a football match and destroying

18 a monument in the centre of town to the only Nobel Prize winner from these

19 areas of the former Yugoslavia to you is the same thing.

20 A. Your Honours, this was an incident carried out by one or two

21 citizens. What they wanted to achieve, because this was a monument to a

22 well-known figure, they wanted to attract attention to themselves, and

23 that for doing this they were punished because of this incident. This was

24 an incident.

25 Q. So you're claiming that they were punished for this?

Page 25843

1 A. I know for certain that proceedings were instituted and conducted.

2 Now, how the whole thing ended, I can't be a hundred per cent sure.

3 Q. So you don't know that, do you?

4 A. Yes, I do know for sure that proceedings were conducted. An

5 investigation was carried out, and those men went to court. Now, how the

6 whole thing ended --

7 Q. I assume you know that too, or are you claiming you don't know?

8 A. I'm not quite sure. I don't know what the punishment was.

9 Q. Was anyone published for this?

10 A. Yes, yes. If there is a case in court, then they will find out --

11 Q. Yes. But that is a generalised view. But you don't really know

12 whether they were really punished or not.

13 A. I'm sure they were, but I don't know whether it was a fine or some

14 sort of a prison term or how high the fine was. I don't know.

15 Q. So it was an administrative complication or confusion. It was a

16 pecuniary fine?

17 A. No, no confusion, a normal court proceedings.

18 Q. Very well. And do you remember a leaflet in August 1991

19 distributed throughout Visegrad with 20 instructions as to what should be

20 done to the Serbs to expel them or destroy them? Among other things,

21 there was a message: "Do not allow your children to play with them.

22 Empty your garbage in front of their doors. Urinate in their entrances.

23 Mark their houses and apartments. Write graffiti with threats on their

24 homes and churches." 20 different instructions on a leaflet that was

25 distributed in August 1991. I assume that this is something that you

Page 25844

1 could not have missed.

2 A. Your Honour, I do apologise for this, but I have to say that this

3 is a lie and not what the gentleman said a moment ago. I never heard of

4 this in my whole life, and that had something like this happened, I should

5 have known about it. I must have known about it. This was all made up.

6 Everything that the gentleman has said has been fabricated.

7 Q. And are you aware of the event of the 13th of April, 1992, when

8 Murat Sabanovic, who also destroyed the monument to Ivo Andric, threatened

9 to destroy the hydro power plant in Visegrad, and when Alija Izetbegovic

10 sent him a message over the radio waves, "Don't, Murat, yet. It's not

11 time yet." Do you remember that?

12 A. I remember this was on the radio, so I just happened to hear it on

13 the radio, as did half of Bosnia-Herzegovina. As to whether Alija

14 Izetbegovic responded with such a message, I hear it for the first time.

15 Q. Very well. And when the time did come several days later, he

16 opened one of the gates at the dam and the water inflicted considerable

17 material damage and human casualties downstream along the Drina, precisely

18 in the area inhabited by Serbs; is that right? Or maybe you don't know

19 that either.

20 A. I know that very well, and I will respond, Your Honours. There

21 was material damage but not to such a large extent as one might think.

22 The water did cause damages but exclusively in this case the material

23 damage was inflicted on Bosniaks, on Muslims, because their houses were

24 close to the river. Not a single Serb suffered any material damage as a

25 result of this incident.

Page 25845

1 Q. So you're claiming that the water that flooded an area,

2 fortunately the dam was not blown up though he threatened to blow it up.

3 You know that, don't you? Do you know that?

4 A. Yes, I do know that.

5 Q. Is that the same Murat Sabanovic who broke up the monument to Ivo

6 Andric?

7 A. Yes, it is the same man.

8 Q. So the man who broke the monument is threatening to blow up the

9 dam, and then he doesn't do that, but he opens a gate and the water floods

10 an area downstream. And you claim that the water selectively caused

11 damage to the Muslims and not the Serbs.

12 A. Your Honours, may I clarify this? I am not claiming that the

13 water was selective in any sense, but it so happened that the houses along

14 the banks were Bosniak houses. This is a pure coincidence on the one

15 hand. And on the other, the lake which was north of Visegrad is of a

16 larger capacity than the lake above Visegrad. And the hydro power station

17 in Bajina Basta was emptied so there was absolutely no danger because the

18 lower lake, as we -- if we can call it that, was of greater capacity than

19 the one above.

20 As for destroying the dam, one might say that this is almost

21 ridiculous, that someone who hasn't got anything to destroyed a 40-metre

22 high dam.

23 Q. So according to you, this was no serious threat. It was more like

24 a joke, was it?

25 A. Unfortunately, sir, it was not a joke, but such a serious event.

Page 25846

1 He wasn't alone. There was this man, Murat Sabanovic, that you mentioned.

2 He lived close to the power station, maybe 500 metres away, and both he

3 and his neighbours went to the power station out of fear, and in a feeling

4 of agony they threatened, "If you capture us, we will blow up the hydro

5 power station." And it was quite clear to everyone that he couldn't even

6 destroy a bit of the power plant, never mind blow it up.

7 Q. Do you remember, for instance, that in an interview, as you said a

8 moment ago that this person who destroyed the monument was not fully

9 responsible, that an interview on the 18th of February, 2000, to the

10 Sarajevo Oslobodjenje, Murat Sabanovic declared that the destruction of

11 the monument was ordered by Ejub Ganic and Omer Mehmet [phoen]. Do you

12 know that that is what he stated in the Sarajevo newspaper Oslobodjenje?

13 A. I am not aware of that statement.

14 Q. Very well. And do you know that that same Murat Sabanovic, with

15 his extremist group which included Ibrahim Demir, Zulja Subasic, Nusret

16 Velagic --

17 JUDGE MAY: Make sure there is no mistake about these names which

18 you reel off and then it's very difficult for the interpreters and indeed

19 everybody else. Now, we'll get the names and we'll ask the witness about

20 them.

21 Was Murat Sabanovic in an extremist group? Perhaps the witness

22 would answer that.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. There was no

24 extremist group, so this man couldn't have been a member of a group that

25 didn't exist.

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Page 25848

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. And do you know Demir Ibrahim, Zijad Subasic, and Nusret Velagic?

3 Are you familiar about those names?

4 A. Out of these three gentlemen that you mentioned, I know Nusret

5 Velagic as he was a waiter and that is how I know him.

6 Q. And do you know that Sabanovic, together with this group, which

7 included these persons that I have just slowly and carefully read out, as

8 early as 1990 would stop vehicles passing by from Serbia and harass the

9 passengers, ordinary tourists? And even buses carrying children and

10 elderly people who were travelling to visit some places of interest? Are

11 you aware of those incidents?

12 A. Let me be quite clear. I did not say that this group existed, and

13 I claim that it did not exist.

14 As for certain incidents, they probably did occur before and after

15 and always this happens among citizens.

16 Q. All right. Since you say that all of this happened before, later

17 and that there are always some kind of incidents among citizens, are you

18 aware of the arrest of Nermin Sisic, a criminal on the 14th of June, 1991,

19 which was used in order to cause clashes with the police and unrest in

20 general? May I jog your memory? This Murat and Alija Sabanovic broke

21 into the building of the Secretariat of the Interior in an attempt to

22 seize weapons, and they put forth a request that members of the police

23 force who were ethnic Serbs should be dismissed immediately. I'm even

24 giving you the date, the 14th of June, 1991. Do you recall that?

25 A. I know about that by chance, about this incident, as you called

Page 25849

1 it, although you said quite a few things that are false in this context.

2 I happen to know this young man who lived in my neighbourhood, and

3 I know that once he committed some kind of a violation, so of course he

4 was taken by the police. And as for all the rest, you just added it up of

5 your own free will. It's an insinuation.

6 Q. I have information about that, Mr. 1505. I was not in Visegrad

7 myself at that time, of course.

8 A. They did not inform you well.

9 Q. Is it correct that in the night between the 2nd and 3rd of August,

10 1991, the municipal -- from the Municipal Secretariat of National Defence

11 all documents of military conscripts were stolen, and Miralem Ibisevic,

12 and Mesic Tvrtkovic took part in that? Do you know about that?

13 A. This is the first time I hear of this particular case from you

14 right now.

15 Q. And do you know that in September 1991, when for no reason

16 whatsoever Milija Cebic, a Serb, was beaten up? He was then transferred

17 to hospital in Uzice.

18 A. I don't know.

19 Q. Oh, you don't know.

20 A. I don't know this man.

21 Q. You don't know about this particular incident?

22 A. Well, you say that there was an incident then. I don't know about

23 that. This is the first time I hear of it.

24 Q. And do you know that this same Murat Sabanovic on the 8th of

25 October, 1991, organised an armed attack on the police station in Visegrad

Page 25850

1 because they had arrested his brother Avdija, although this brother of his

2 was released on the very same day in the late afternoon?

3 A. Had something like that happened, I would have had to know about

4 it. It's ridiculous, Your Honours. I must say that what is being

5 presented here is practically ridiculous, that one man would attack a

6 police station that had about 240 policemen there.

7 Q. All right. And is it funny or ridiculous that Ranko Baranac, a

8 Serb, was killed in his village also towards the end of 1991, and Hasan

9 Sabanija shot him in the chest? He was a security worker in a Visegrad

10 company. This man was killed. Are you aware of that incident?

11 A. I happen to know about this incident because this Hasan is a

12 neighbour. He was a neighbour. And of course people know what happens to

13 their neighbours. It was not an interethnic conflict. They had a purely

14 personal relationship. Not to go into all of it here and now, it had to

15 do with women, and they fought ultimately. And this man you mentioned,

16 Hasan, was in prison because he committed this.

17 Q. Oh, this Hasan Sabanija killed Ranko Baranac; is that right? This

18 was towards the end of 1991. You know that?

19 A. I don't know the exact date. I do apologise, Your Honours. But

20 there was a fight. They fought. They were both at each others, and this

21 Hasan who survived was sent to prison. I know that for sure because he's

22 a neighbour.

23 Q. All right. So you know about the murder, but you just treat it as

24 some kind of a little squabble of theirs; right?

25 A. Yes. It was simply a conflict between two men.

Page 25851

1 Q. And is it correct that on the 24th of March, 1992 the workers of

2 SUP Visegrad left work because on the day before that armed Muslim groups

3 took over town, took over the police station too and started looting

4 property, taking away the property of Serbs, their cars, and so on and so

5 forth?

6 A. Your Honours, this is an inversion. The Serb policemen had left

7 the official institution where the police had been. I don't know whether

8 it was exactly on that date, but for a while it was the case but not for

9 the reasons the gentleman has just mentioned. It was explicitly ordered

10 to them by the Serb Democratic Party. That's why they did it.

11 Q. All right. Mr. 1505, this threat to destroy the dam in Visegrad,

12 which was not only a threat, water did flow but the dam was not blown up,

13 this happened on the 13th of April, 1992; isn't that right?

14 A. Could have been that date, somewhere around that date.

15 Q. So everything I'm saying happened before that. And then part of

16 the units of the Uzice Corps, on the 15th of April according to what you

17 said, came to Visegrad; is that right?

18 A. Well, there are several questions there. It was not caused by one

19 another.

20 Q. What was it caused by?

21 A. Well, you've confused me a bit now. I mean you have to --

22 JUDGE MAY: Let's start again. Ask your questions in an orderly

23 way so the witness can follow them and answer them.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. On the 13th of April, the dam was taken and the threat was made to

Page 25852

1 blow it up. In response to this provocation which was a serious threat

2 with unforeseen consequences, two days later, a unit of the Uzice Corps

3 came to --

4 JUDGE MAY: Stop there. Stop there and allow the witness to

5 answer the questions.

6 What is suggested is that the Uzice Corps or part of it came to

7 Visegrad on the 15th of April, two days after the threat. Is that

8 correct?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is correct.

10 JUDGE MAY: Very well. The second part of the question is this,

11 if you can answer it, you may not be able to: Did it arrive as a result

12 of the threat to the dam? Was that the reason or can't you say?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can give an answer to that

14 too. This was not the cause. This was not the reason why the Uzice Corps

15 came.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Tell me, please, since only a minute ago, as you mentioned Captain

18 Vuksavljevic, you sitting in this room here said that Captain Vuksavljevic

19 was commander of the unit that was protecting the dam; isn't that right?

20 A. Yes. Yes.

21 Q. And the other day when you started your testimony, you said that

22 Captain Vukosavljevic came to Visegrad and that's when the Uzice Corps

23 came, the 15th of April, that is. You said that yourself. And you said

24 just now that he commanded the force protecting the dam. Isn't it clear

25 why they came to Visegrad?

Page 25853

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Page 25854

1 A. Your Honours, it is correct that Captain Vuksavljevic was

2 commander of the dam. However, this was just a small part of the Uzice

3 Corps, a very small unit as compared to the number of soldiers in the

4 Uzice Corps.

5 Q. All right. Is it being disputed that the danger of destroying the

6 dam could have caused a catastrophe in the lower part of the Drina River?

7 A. Your Honours, I explained that a few minutes ago but I can repeat

8 that. If the dam were to break, either by way of a natural disaster or if

9 it were to be destroyed artificially since the lower lake had been

10 emptied, it certainly could not have jeopardised anything in the lower

11 part of the Drina. I think that that is a sufficient answer to that.

12 Q. All right. So you claim that the destruction of the dam in

13 Visegrad would not have caused any kind of major problems. Is that your

14 assertion, Mr. 1505?

15 JUDGE MAY: He's answered that question several times, so there's

16 no need for him to do it again. Let's move on.

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. We got the order right,

18 so let's just go back to one thing.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. In view of the work you did and in view of the activities you had,

21 you are aware of the broader political context. Is it correct that

22 tensions grew after the referendum on the independence of Bosnia that was

23 held without the Serbs? Is it correct that on the following day conflicts

24 started?

25 A. The referendum is a well-known thing. As for that in particular -

Page 25855

1 how should I put this? - changing things, I don't know. Well, perhaps the

2 question is not specific enough.

3 Q. Is it correct that immediately after the referendum the killings

4 of Serbs started?

5 A. That's not correct.

6 Q. The day after the referendum in Sarajevo people were killed as

7 they attended a wedding, a Serb wedding, and they were killed by the Green

8 Berets, and it is known who killed them too.

9 JUDGE MAY: That has nothing to do with the witness. You can ask

10 people, and you have done, who can give evidence about Sarajevo, about

11 these allegations.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. All right. But you know that in Visegrad the population of Serb

15 ethnicity did not take part in the referendum.

16 A. The referendum was organised at the level of all of

17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so it was not a municipal referendum. It was, rather,

18 a referendum of the entire Bosnia-Herzegovina. Some people voted in the

19 referendum, others did not, like any other country in the world.

20 Q. Oh, like in any other country in the world. Some voted and some

21 did not. It just so happened that the Serbs did not vote.

22 A. Do you really think that I'm responsible for the results of the

23 referendum?

24 Q. You are co-responsible because you held a high position, and you

25 certainly took part in it.

Page 25856

1 JUDGE MAY: Well, we're not getting anywhere with this line of

2 questioning.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. All right. Do you remember further on the rise in tensions, the

5 fighting in Sarajevo after that, the attacks at the military convoy in

6 Tuzla and so on, a series of events that caused a great deal of unrest and

7 considerable casualties among the Serbs at that time. Perhaps I can put

8 it that way. Do you remember that, Mr. 1505?

9 A. Well, you see, as for these events, like everybody else, I could

10 see some of it on television, so I mostly know from television what was

11 going on. But it's not true that these were events where Serbs were the

12 victims.

13 Q. All right. All right. There is information about that. And do

14 you know, since you were in a position then to know, that the Presidency

15 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, though incomplete, on the 4th of April, 1992,

16 passed a decision to mobilise units of the Territorial Defence, the

17 police, and the civilian protection in spite of all warnings that a

18 peaceful settlement could be found only by way of an agreement among all

19 three peoples? Do you recall that?

20 A. I know that there were such orders. I don't know exactly what the

21 date was. It could hardly be the 4th of April, though. It was after the

22 attacks that started against the city itself, and that's when the

23 Presidency passed this decision, as far as I can remember. But of course

24 this is outside the scope of my powers.

25 Q. Yes, of course. But General Nambiar says that there were no

Page 25857

1 attacks on the town or shelling until the 3rd of May when --

2 JUDGE MAY: The witness can't possibly answer what General Nambiar

3 says. It has nothing to do with him.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Do you know that on the 12th of April, 1992, Izetbegovic issued

6 directives to the Main Staff of the Territorial Defence for an all-out

7 attack on JNA barracks?

8 A. I hear of such an order for the first time here and now.

9 Q. Very well. Tell me, please, since this is within this context,

10 the context we're discussing, you, in your statement - let me briefly

11 refer to this - you say that the vice-president of the Serbian Democratic

12 Party was Stanko Pecikoza. "I heard that he was killed by the SDS, that

13 is, by his own party because he helped the Muslims to leave town. He

14 helped me and my family to get out of Visegrad. He took a lot of families

15 out. He could do that because he was the vice-president of the party.

16 Not long after I was taken out by him, I heard that he was killed."

17 Is it possible that you are claim that the vice-president of the

18 Serbian Democratic Party was killed by his own party members because he

19 helped Muslims to leave town and he helped you and your family? And you

20 know that he was killed by the Serbian Democratic Party for the motives

21 that you have indicated?

22 A. I have nothing in particular to add or subtract from what I said

23 earlier on, and I said that I heard that that is how it was. Of course I

24 wasn't present there.

25 Q. I see. You heard about it. But doesn't what you claim here in

Page 25858

1 connection with the killing of the vice-president of the Serbian

2 Democratic Party and something else also, doesn't that mean that the

3 Muslims were voluntarily leaving the town with someone's assistance rather

4 than being expelled from town? Isn't that so, Mr. 1505?

5 A. No. It was very difficult to leave town, and you needed someone

6 who was influential or prestigious to take you out of town. No one was

7 leaving voluntarily.

8 Q. I know what you mean because I can read as well. Well doesn't

9 that mean that no one was expelling the Muslims from town, that it was

10 difficult to leave for the -- because of the security situation is one

11 thing, but doesn't this mean that no one was expelling the Muslims, wasn't

12 chasing them out?

13 A. Your Honours, what it was was that people paid a lot of money to

14 leave because their life wasn't worth a pfennig in town, a cent. They

15 were absolutely unprotected by the authorities. They were ignored by the

16 authorities. Anyone could kill a Bosniak in those days without being

17 called to account. And that is why it was difficult to leave town. That

18 is what I meant. It was difficult to find a connection whereby you would

19 leave town and save your life.

20 Q. Very well, Mr. 1505. The point of my question was that no one was

21 chasing the Muslims out of town. Is that clear at all?

22 A. In the first part, yes, but later on it was closed and one

23 couldn't leave voluntarily. Even those who wanted to couldn't. Actually,

24 everybody wanted to leave because they were not at all safe.

25 Q. Apart from the events around the dam, we established that on the

Page 25859

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Page 25860

1 13th they threatened to blow it up. On the 15th, units of the Uzice Corps

2 arrived. You mentioned shooting on the 4th of April, 1992 at Seval

3 Delibasic; is that right?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And you say that there was no investigation. Are you sure about

6 that?

7 A. The investigation boiled down to stating the facts and taking note

8 of them in the MUP or SUP offices and they didn't make an on-site

9 inspection.

10 Q. Very well. And you say that on the 5th of April, 1992 there was

11 more shooting in the village of Dobrun. Didn't it right that you don't

12 know who was shooting or at whom they were shooting, that there was

13 shooting in Dobrun?

14 A. As for who was doing the shooting, one cannot assert with

15 certainty, but who was being shot at, that is known. That is the fire was

16 opened at the settlement and the people living in it, and they were

17 exclusively Bosniak Muslims.

18 Q. Very well. In paragraphs 14 and 16 of you statement, you say that

19 fighting started everywhere around Visegrad. Mortar fire was directed

20 against various parts of Visegrad. We will come back to that context, but

21 tell me now, is it true that the people who were regulating positions were

22 wearing uniforms and civilian clothes and that that had nothing to do with

23 the JNA, what you were saying?

24 A. Yes, they were regulating military positions in the environs of

25 the town, that is true.

Page 25861

1 Q. And that has nothing to do with the JNA; is that right?

2 A. Well, it has some direct and indirect connection to the JNA,

3 because according to what I know, the JNA supervised and controlled this

4 to a high degree.

5 Q. How could it have done that when you say that they arrived on the

6 15th of April, 1992? How could it have supervised and controlled anything

7 before that? You saw them for the first time on the 15th of April, 1992,

8 after the threat was made to blow up the dam.

9 A. Again you are making an inversion of things. Units of the Uzice

10 Corps that were combat units, in large numbers and well equipped, they

11 arrived around the 15th. But before that, they need not have been a unit

12 to supervise and control and give instructions. These were small numbers

13 of people, two, three, five, ten men.

14 Q. Very well, these two, three, five or ten men, they were not JNA,

15 were they, Mr. 1505?

16 A. You see, if we hadn't noticed their vehicles and a helicopter

17 which only the army had, it would be difficult to say. But as they were

18 seen, then it can be said with certainty.

19 Q. On the video, we see a small helicopter, a Gazelle that only does

20 reconnoitering or transport an officer or a wounded man from one position

21 to another. It is not at all a combat aircraft. You showed it here.

22 A. Yes. In this case on the video footage it is a helicopter, but

23 you must admit the army has a large number of helicopters of different

24 types, and this is not the same one that I'm referring to. When I say

25 that helicopters were seen, I'm not referring to this video footage in

Page 25862

1 this particular case, but I'm referring to an earlier period, earlier on,

2 maybe a month or two before the event that the gentleman is asking about,

3 the event linked to the dam. Military vehicles were seen and military

4 helicopters that were landing at the place where military positions were

5 being regulated.

6 Q. Wait a moment. Did you see a single military helicopter active

7 anywhere, actually being active?

8 A. What period are you referring to?

9 Q. Any period, right up until the army arrived on the 15th of April,

10 did a military helicopter operate in any sense? What are you saying?

11 What are you telling us?

12 A. Before the 15th of April there were no actions by military

13 helicopters.

14 Q. And were there any actions from any military vehicle or by any

15 unit, et cetera?

16 A. There were no such actions that were visible.

17 Q. I see. There were no actions that were visible. Okay.

18 Talking about helicopters, let us finish with this video footage.

19 The helicopter is taking a cameraman filming the surroundings of Visegrad.

20 I didn't see anything more than that. And on one part of the footage one

21 can see quite clearly soldiers going along the road in a column, JNA

22 soldiers with helmets, going in formation order, regularly dressed, and

23 their distinguishing feature are the helmets on their heads. And then

24 quite separately, in a separate clip, you see men wearing -- carrying a

25 different flag and moving along some other road. That is all that could

Page 25863

1 be seen on your video recording; is that right, Mr. 1505? What else did

2 you show us?

3 A. I didn't show anything in particular apart from what was on the

4 footage.

5 Q. And what can be seen on this video footage that you consider to be

6 important? There is this group of soldiers that probably belong to the

7 Uzice Corps, if that's what you say, that they were there, that were

8 moving in formation order, wearing helmets and moving along the road,

9 securing the area. And then after that, you have some men carrying a

10 flag, and it is quite clear that they're not JNA - you can see by their

11 caps, by their clothing - carrying a flag along the road. Again there are

12 no actions, and so what if we're carrying a flag? What is all this about?

13 JUDGE MAY: It's not for the witness to answer the significance of

14 the evidence. It's for the Prosecution --

15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.

16 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry. It's not for the witness to answer the

17 significance of the evidence. It's for the Prosecution and, ultimately,

18 for the Trial Chamber. We've seen it. You can make any comments about it

19 you like, Mr. Milosevic.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. Mr. 1505, you showed, from a car that you say you were driving,

23 some shots of certain parts of Visegrad. And what is seen on those shots?

24 JUDGE MAY: You can ask the witness what he saw, but I've told you

25 that the significance of what is on the video is a matter entirely for us.

Page 25864

1 Now, what you can tell us, Mr. B-1505, is what you saw when you

2 were driving the car, if you like.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, it's not really a

4 very concrete question. With me was a crew from TV Belgrade with a camera

5 and this is a very exhaustive, long question. Could he be more specific?

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you can't answer, let's not waste time.

7 Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Go on to the next question.

8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Did the TV Belgrade crew ask you, as an inhabitant of Visegrad,

10 without specifying any further, that you drive them around Visegrad to

11 show them what things were like? Is that what happened?

12 A. Yes, they did ask someone to show them the way, where they were

13 going. And at the end, I was implicitly ordered to do it. However,

14 everything ended up well, luckily.

15 Q. What do you mean luckily or not? You take a crew of cameramen

16 into your car and drive them around town.

17 A. Yes. Under normal circumstances, that would be perfectly normal.

18 But after all, these were extraordinary circumstances. There were no

19 inhabitants in town, there were soldiers, paramilitaries roaming around,

20 so it was rather risky. But anyway, it all went well.

21 Q. Now, tell me, please, you say in paragraph 18 that you spoke to a

22 certain Savovic about ending the shooting because people were getting

23 killed and the SDS wanted the police to split. That is what you say in

24 point 18. Would you be kind enough to explain this for me.

25 A. Well, you see, the statement has a broader context, and to explain

Page 25865

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Page 25866

1 it I would have to cover a broader context. It is true that what you read

2 out is right.

3 Q. That is what I'm asking you to explain, please. You spoke to a

4 certain Savovic for the shooting to stop, and the SDS wanted the police to

5 split. That is what you say. What was the cause of this? What was going

6 on?

7 A. Your Honour, it wasn't just anyone. Savovic was president of the

8 Serbian Democratic Party for Visegrad and commander of the Serbian War

9 Presidency, and under his command there were various attacks from various

10 directions on the town. And it is for those reasons that we negotiated

11 with them the -- that they stop the shelling. And they asked that the

12 police be divided up, that they have separate offices of their own, et

13 cetera, and these various facilities, but that was not a cause and effect.

14 These were different things. He was earlier on in the Serbian Democratic

15 Party when they made these requests.

16 Q. Wait a moment, please. Now, look at your statement.

17 A. I can't find it. It's not marked. Paragraph 18.

18 Q. Well, the 18th paragraph in order. It is on page 4, the last

19 paragraph. I will read it out to you: "I talked to Savovic about

20 stopping the shooting because people were dying. The SDS had asked for

21 the division of the police."

22 And I draw your attention to the next sentence without leaving

23 anything out: "They had asked for this about ten days before the shooting

24 started." So they asked for the division of the police ten days before

25 the shooting started; is that right? And I quote: "Also, about 12 Serbs

Page 25867

1 in uniform had been captured by the regular police force in Babin Potok;

2 this was once the shooting started in Visegrad. Some of these captured

3 Serbs were wearing the regular police uniforms and some had camouflage

4 uniforms. I know this because later I released them and saw them."

5 Will you please explain this. You mentioned the other day when

6 you were testifying that these 12 Serb policemen were released after the

7 JNA had arrived. They were liberated after the JNA arrived.

8 A. Do I need to answer that question? If it's a question, yes, I can

9 answer it.

10 Q. Yes, please do.

11 A. I didn't understand you had finished your question. So the

12 sequence of events is correct. These people were released. The date of

13 their release was after the JNA arrived.

14 Q. So you're telling us --

15 JUDGE MAY: Before we move on, it's time now for the break. We'll

16 adjourn for 20 minutes and resume cross-examination then when you will

17 have 20 minutes more, Mr. Milosevic. Yes. Yes, you've had well over --

18 you've had over an hour already. Yes.

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is not a 92 bis witness,

20 Mr. May.

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It is a transcript witness. Yes. We will

22 adjourn, 20 minutes.

23 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.

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

25 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

Page 25868

1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot hear anything. We're

2 sorry.

3 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Get your microphone on. Yes.

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, this witness said himself a

5 short while ago that as far as events that I'm asking him about, he would

6 have had to know about them because he was there, and I have a

7 considerable number of questions for him, and that's why I'm asking you

8 for more time so that I could put these questions to him.

9 JUDGE MAY: We will consider -- at the moment, 20 minutes. We

10 will consider how you take your time and whether it's being properly

11 spent, but just go on.

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. So when the JNA came, it liberated these 12 captive Serb

14 policemen. Is that right, Witness 1505?

15 A. That's not the way it was. It wasn't the JNA who freed them. The

16 legal authorities were still in place, and they reached a decision to

17 release these people.

18 Q. All right. Why were these 12 Serb policemen taken captive? Was

19 that also done by these legal authorities?

20 A. These 12 Serb policemen were taken prisoner because they were

21 outside the regular units of the police, or outside the regular units of

22 the Territorial Defence, and they were, therefore, taken prisoner by the

23 units of the Territorial Defence legally.

24 Q. All right. So they were taken prisoner by the units of the

25 Territorial Defence. You're trying to say Muslim units.

Page 25869

1 A. No, they were not only Muslim units. In these units there was a

2 still -- there was still a mixed composition.

3 Q. You say in paragraph 27 that there were no weapons on the Muslim

4 side which could be used by someone to open fire. So how did these

5 unarmed units then take these people prisoner in the first place?

6 A. The police and the Territorial Defence had a certain number of

7 infantry weapons. That is what they were equipped with regularly.

8 Q. All right. Is it correct, then, that the army issued an order

9 that all weapons should be taken away and that then, when the army came,

10 the action of disarming paramilitary formations started? Is that right or

11 is that not right, Mr. 1505?

12 A. It's not that the army was disarming some paramilitary formations.

13 The only paramilitary formations were, in fact, on the side of the army.

14 The army disarmed regular units. They took away the weapons that people

15 had had in peacetime, that is to say, hunting weapons, personal weapons,

16 et cetera.

17 Q. All right. Before that, you said yourself that there had been

18 shooting; isn't that right?

19 A. Before that there had been shooting from the surrounding hills,

20 mostly aimed at town or the villages.

21 Q. All right. When you described that second meeting of yours, the

22 one that you came to, you say that officers who talked there in front of

23 you were saying that the right bank of the Drina was clear, that the left

24 bank should be inspected, that it should be seen what was there. So was

25 that an activity that was aimed at taking weapons away and alleviating the

Page 25870

1 situation in Visegrad?

2 A. Your Honours, by your leave, I'm going to give a broader answer.

3 This is a meeting with Colonel Ojdanic at the military barracks.

4 I was supposed to come to this meeting from a different part of

5 town, and then indeed considerable gunfire could be heard from the other

6 side. I telephoned to the dam to -- I phoned Lieutenant Colonel

7 Vukosavljevic but there is such heavy gunfire on the right side that I

8 don't dare come. And he said, "All right. It's going to stop now." And

9 soon after that the shooting started [as interpreted] and I went there.

10 Not much is required on that score to conclude what is to be concluded

11 about the people who were shooting from the right bank to the left bank.

12 Q. All right. Now, why do you link up the word "clear" with some

13 kind of ethnic cleansing? "Clear" here means safe.

14 A. When this word "clear" was used, then there is no doubt that this

15 meant there was no Bosniak Muslim population left there. It can also be

16 interpreted in this other way, that it was safe, but knowing that all the

17 people from that area had withdrawn before the Yugoslav People's Army and

18 crossed over to other places, then the word "clear" means that there was

19 no more Bosniak Muslim population there.

20 Q. Doesn't that mean that there are no armed formations left there?

21 It doesn't refer to the population. Are you trying to say that the JNA

22 was conducting ethnic cleansing in the area of Visegrad?

23 A. What you can mean by that is up to you, but I know and I claim

24 that where the army came, people would leave the area. Nobody would stay

25 behind. If somebody would stay behind - I know a few such cases of people

Page 25871

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Page 25872

1 who stayed behind - they lost their lives.

2 Q. Wait a minute. I'm asking you about this particular event now.

3 You said yourself that Ojdanic had promised to protect to the entire

4 civilian population. Isn't that right?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And then the next day, when talking to Captain Vukosavljevic, whom

7 you mention, Vukosavljevic with his unit went to that village which is 5

8 or 6 kilometres from the centre of town in order to escort them to town

9 because they were in peril there because of the armed operations. Is that

10 right or is that not right?

11 A. You put quite a few things right, although these people were not

12 in peril because of armed operations, because nobody had opposed the

13 arrival of the JNA, so nobody shot at them. On the other hand, Your

14 Honours, if we look at the map a bit more precisely, then you will see the

15 place where these people were grouped, they were not grouped in a

16 voluntary basis -- on a voluntary basis. They were simply corralled

17 there, if I can put it that way. The only road from there led to town.

18 On the other side was the Drina or mountains, impenetrable mountains. So

19 the only road from there was to town. It's not -- it was no accident that

20 they were there, that they were corralled there. This was done on the

21 basis of a plan.

22 Q. All right, Mr. 1505, on the basis of what you've been saying, it

23 was my understanding that you personally went with Captain Vukosavljevic

24 in order to make sure that these people are safely transferred to town; is

25 that right?

Page 25873

1 A. Yes, yes, I went with Captain Vukosavljevic.

2 Q. All right. So that was your request for the army to help so that

3 these people would safely arrive in town?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. So if the army went to protect these people, the assumption is

6 that the army was not shooting at these people, the army did not go there

7 to protect them from the army itself.

8 A. Your Honours, again by your leave, a bit of an extensive answer.

9 It is true that we requested the army to protect people because I

10 explained a short while ago the situation that they were in. It was a

11 situation with no way out. They could not go there, anywhere. There was

12 no road leaving -- leading anywhere. People were panic-stricken because

13 they realised that on the north was the Drina. On the other side was the

14 impenetrable mountain. Their only possible salvation could have been if

15 the army were to take them to town somehow and put them under their

16 protection, if I can put it that way, because there was no other choice.

17 Q. All right. Did the army protect these people? Precisely what

18 you asked for, that the army should go and make sure that these people

19 could safely get to town and be under their protection. Didn't the army

20 protect them?

21 A. Yes. At that moment, the army did protect them, and they did

22 their job properly.

23 Q. So they were not carrying out ethnic cleansing. They were

24 protecting civilians.

25 Tell me now, please, in paragraph 28 you say that you from the TO

Page 25874

1 were in contact with the authorities in Sarajevo and that you received

2 instructions only from Sarajevo about what was going on. Is that right?

3 A. I was not in the Territorial Defence. That is a bit of a

4 mistake. Instructions did come from Sarajevo. So it was the decisions of

5 the Presidency that were being carried out and of the legal government

6 that then existed in Sarajevo.

7 Q. All right. So you say that they were carrying out instructions of

8 the government from Sarajevo. Is it correct then that a decision was

9 passed concerning the blockade of JNA barracks?

10 A. I did not hear of such an order. It never came to Visegrad.

11 Q. Do you know that it was precisely the effect of these decisions

12 that the military equipment of the JNA could not be withdrawn from various

13 garrisons in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

14 A. I've already said that I did not see such a decision. I was not

15 in that kind of position so as to receive such instructions or things like

16 that.

17 Q. Did you hear at all about various attacks against the JNA in

18 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

19 A. Everything I know about that is primarily from the media.

20 Everybody could have heard that, of course.

21 Q. All right. Do you know anything about significant arms deliveries

22 carried out for the Muslim forces as far as back as October 1991, almost

23 six months prior to the outbreak of the armed conflict, a large quantity

24 of automatic rifles and other weapons? There is even a study of Jacques

25 Merlinot published in Paris in 1993. This is a French author.

Page 25875

1 A. I'm really not in a position to know such things. What I know out

2 of all of this is that there weren't any special Muslim units. I know

3 about legal units, the police, the Territorial Defence. This was under

4 the command and the authority of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

5 Q. All right. Since this was under the command of the Presidency, do

6 you remember that it was precisely this Presidency that at the beginning

7 of April passed a decree to abolish the republican TO headquarters and

8 organise a TO staff of Bosnia-Herzegovina and that this same decree

9 relieved of duty Lieutenant Colonel Drago Vukosavljevic who was commander

10 until then and appointed Hasanefendic commander from thereon? All of this

11 was the beginning of April.

12 A. Well, yes, but I was not in such a position. How should I put

13 this? I could not have known about things like that. I had personal

14 obligations of my own, et cetera, et cetera.

15 Q. Is it being disputed that from the beginning of April when

16 Hasanefendic -- well, as a matter of fact, he even says in his own book

17 that from the first days when the statehood was renewed, the Republic of

18 Bosnia-Herzegovina establishes its own unit. So after 1878 and 1941, it

19 is the first time that Bosnia has its own army again. This was already on

20 the 8th of April?

21 JUDGE MAY: You know, this is where we waste time and you take up

22 your 20 minutes.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Let's not waste any

24 time. I think I have not spent this time in vain.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 25876

1 Q. Do you know anything about weapon deliveries to the Muslim side

2 when a Boeing 747 flew in from Iran via Slovenia and to Croatia?

3 Lord Owen writes about this in his Balkan Odyssey. This was in the summer

4 of 1992 when this delivery took place?

5 A. Mr. Milosevic, obviously you have more time than I do. You read

6 more books than I have. I really haven't read this.

7 Q. You don't know anything about these weapons? I'm not asking you

8 about whether you read any books. I'm asking you about whether you know

9 about the arms supplies and all of this that happened after the events

10 that we're talking about.

11 A. Well, see, at the very outset you said that my entire statement is

12 false, so I don't see why you would believe me if I told you something

13 about that now.

14 Q. I'm telling you that what you're saying about ethnic commencing is

15 false, and about your meeting too, because practically what you said later

16 refuted the former, because the army had protected you. It did not

17 ethnically cleanse anybody.

18 So do you know that the fifth round of the BH conference took

19 place on the 17th of March in Sarajevo and that Izetbegovic, Karadzic, and

20 Boban, leaders of the nationalist parties had signed a declaration about

21 the constitutional order of Bosnia-Herzegovina? This is known as the

22 Cutileiro plan named after Cutileiro, a Portuguese diplomat.

23 A. I'm going to respond to your first question first, whether the

24 army protected people or, as you say, conducted ethnic cleansing.

25 Q. You said that.

Page 25877

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Page 25878

1 A. I did not say that explicitly anywhere in my statement. But the

2 facts are as follows, and it is for the Honourable Court to decide further

3 on the basis of these facts. It is a fact that I attended these meetings.

4 It is a fact that after the takeover of power in town the army dismissed

5 the legal authorities that were in place until then and that they

6 installed a new government that included Serbs only, and it is a fact that

7 all weapons that were possessed legally by Bosniaks, Muslims, were taken

8 away and used to arm Serbs. And these are facts that are incontestable,

9 and I leave all conclusions to the Honourable Trial Chamber.

10 Q. You know yourself that this is not correct, that the army was

11 disarming paramilitary formations in the area of Visegrad, and afterwards

12 it withdrew in accordance with the agreement that it should leave the

13 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina already in the month of May 1992.

14 A. Well, you see the only paramilitary formations were the ones that

15 were organised by the Serb Democratic Party. There weren't any others.

16 Q. You claim that in Visegrad there were no Muslim formations, armed,

17 that controlled Visegrad and committed a series of crimes.

18 A. Yes. You put it well. There weren't any, as you say, armed

19 Muslim groups, that's for sure. Also, it is certain that they had not

20 committed any crimes.

21 And what was the third thing?

22 Q. Well, as you are saying that there weren't any, I have quite a

23 number of documents on me about crimes in Visegrad committed by your side.

24 By way of example only, here is a report compiled by the basic public

25 prosecutor's office of Visegrad in March 1993, and it encompasses

Page 25879

1 everything that happened up until then or, rather, a part of what was

2 happening that they were able to ascertain. This is a report by the

3 public prosecutor submitted as early as the 17th of March, and it says,

4 among others, that as early as 1991, Islamic fundamentalists engaged in

5 terrorist attacks; as early as 1990, crimes committed by Muslim formations

6 in Visegrad; et cetera, et cetera.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Will you please, Mr. May, exhibit

8 this document, because it is a report on genocide and war crimes against

9 members of the Serb people in the municipality of Visegrad in 1991 and

10 1992, and it is addressed to the public prosecutor's office by the basic

11 public prosecutor in Visegrad. It consists of 18 pages and is signed by

12 the public prosecutor, Drasko Lazar.

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness see the document, first of all,

14 and then we'll consider what to do with it.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this document is so

16 lengthy that I don't have time to look into its contents, but one can see

17 that the document was compiled in the Kikinda Hotel at Pale by the public

18 prosecutor's office in Sokolac. The date is the 17th of March --

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Mr. 1505 --

21 JUDGE MAY: Don't interrupt. Let us try and get what -- who wrote

22 this? Is it the Serb side who wrote it?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was just going to say that it was

24 on the 17th of March, 1993, written at a time when the Serbian Democratic

25 Party was exclusively in power and unilaterally and tendentiously, so I do

Page 25880

1 not consider this to be a credible document.

2 JUDGE MAY: Now -- just a moment. Now tell us who wrote it, would

3 you, please. Who is it signed by?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The public prosecutor, Drasko Lazar,

5 and it can be seen here that this is a state document of the Centre for

6 Investigating War Crimes against Serbs, Pale, Hotel Kikinda, Public

7 Prosecutor's Office in Sokolac, and it has in brackets, "Dated Public

8 Prosecutor's Office, Visegrad."

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. That is exactly what I was going to draw your attention to, Mr.

11 1505. It is the basic public prosecutor's office of Visegrad, and these

12 persons that you mention are the people whose addresses are indicated to

13 whom this was sent. They are not the authors of the document. The author

14 of the document is the public prosecutor's office Visegrad, signed by the

15 public prosecutor. Isn't that so, Mr. 1505?

16 A. Yes, that is so. But while you were talking, I looked here. It

17 says "Destruction of the monument to Ivo Andric," and this was an

18 introduction to the dark era that was denounced throughout the world, et

19 cetera. You consider this to be a crime against the Serb people because

20 some citizen over there destroyed a monument. And I saw this here.

21 Q. But it's not just the monument that's discussed on 18 pages.

22 JUDGE MAY: The difficulty is it's produced by one side, and

23 therefore the question is what value does it have as evidence.

24 Mr. Groome can you help us about this? Is this a document you

25 know about?

Page 25881

1 MR. GROOME: It is not, Your Honour, a document that we have

2 seen. For the very reason that the Chamber has just stated, we have not

3 sought to introduce any such similar documents generated by purely Muslim

4 prosecutors. This prosecutor at the time, it seems from what I can hear,

5 that this document was created, Visegrad at that stage, had it been

6 completely ethnically cleansed, all the members of the Muslim community

7 that held posts in the prosecution office and the court office had long

8 since gone. If it's going to be tendered, I would request that the

9 prosecutor himself or somebody with direct knowledge about how the

10 document came to be created, it be produced through that person so I might

11 have an opportunity to question them about how it was produced.

12 JUDGE MAY: This isn't a document which is produced by some

13 impartial judicial body. It's produced during a war situation by one

14 side, starting with this attack on the monument that we've heard so much

15 about.

16 MR. GROOME: That would be our position, Your Honour, and there

17 are voluminous equally apparently authentic and authoritative documents

18 that would stand in direct contradiction to this and other similar

19 documents, and that's why the Prosecution has not and will not be seeking

20 to introduce any such documents, because of their --

21 JUDGE MAY: So there are -- if we let this in, there are documents

22 which you would seek to introduce on the other side; is that right?

23 MR. GROOME: The Prosecution would not seek to introduce them,

24 Your Honour, because they just are inherently unreliable.

25 JUDGE MAY: But point I'm making is if we let this in, you would

Page 25882

1 say or you could say, "Well, we'll let in all the Muslim documents too."

2 This is the point I'm seeking to make.

3 MR. GROOME: In theory, yes, Your Honour.

4 JUDGE MAY: Where will the end of it be?

5 MR. GROOME: It would be the Prosecution's position that it would

6 take us -- or the Chamber, make the Chamber's task more difficult and it

7 would take us further from the truth rather than closer to ascertaining

8 the truth of the facts in Visegrad or in fact any municipality in Bosnia.

9 JUDGE MAY: The point is here were two sides engaged in combat --

10 conflict. Both, as we now know, make substantial allegations against the

11 other and effectively say, "We blame you." And the issue we have to face

12 is whether we let in every document which every side produces without any

13 authentication or whether we wait for evidence to be given.

14 I mean, you take the very proper line that you're not going to put

15 in the Muslim documents, but if we let this in, we would presumably be

16 open to an application to let in all the Muslim documents about Visegrad.

17 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. The events described in this

18 document - and I have not had a chance to read this - if they are true,

19 and there may be some facts that may be true in this document, but in

20 order for the Prosecution to be able to work with this document, the

21 person who put this information would have to be here. I think these

22 documents are inherently suspect. Introducing them -- the thought of

23 introducing them should be proceeded with with extreme caution and it

24 would be the Prosecution's position that absent the prosecutor or the

25 investigators who gathered this information coming here to produce that

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Page 25884

1 document and being available for questioning about how the document was

2 created, that the Chamber should not permit this document to be tendered

3 into evidence.

4 JUDGE MAY: Both sides - both sides, and I'm using this term

5 advisedly - both sides could have an interest, it could be said, in such

6 documents in presenting untruths as propaganda.

7 MR. GROOME: That's correct, Your Honour.

8 JUDGE MAY: And so it's valueless.

9 MR. GROOME: That's correct.

10 JUDGE MAY: Well, we'll consider the position.

11 [Trial Chamber confers]

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.

13 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment.

14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just an observation, if I may.

15 [Trial Chamber confers]

16 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will admit the document. Judge May dissents.

17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, and I am going to explain my dissent. The danger

18 in this case is being overwhelmed by partial documents, documents which

19 may not have a single word of truth in them. The proper way to introduce

20 such documents, as the Prosecution says, is for the witness to be called.

21 And it may be, Mr. Groome, you would like to consider your position with

22 regard to the documents produced by the Muslims.

23 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.

24 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Next exhibit number for the Defence.

25 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D178.

Page 25885

1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, before I continue, may I

2 make an observation in connection with what Mr. Groome said. This is not

3 a document of any party. It is a document of the public prosecutor's

4 office in Visegrad.

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, at which --

6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The fact that it was signed by a

7 Serb doesn't mean that it is automatically disqualified. It is an

8 official document of the public prosecutor's office in Visegrad.

9 JUDGE MAY: And I thought it was a document which was complaining

10 of the genocide to the Serb people. Is that right? Is that a sign of its

11 partiality or not?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Surely one needs to assess whether

13 what it says is true or not rather than whether it is partial on the basis

14 of who signed it, a Serb or a Muslim. This is an official document of the

15 public prosecutor's office in Visegrad.

16 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It cannot be disqualified purely on

18 that basis.

19 JUDGE MAY: Let's stop the argument. It's admitted as Exhibit

20 D178. Now, you've had your time, and we've spent some time on the

21 document. We'll consider whether you should have more time or not.

22 [Trial Chamber confers]

23 JUDGE MAY: You've got ten minutes more, Mr. Milosevic.

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's not enough, Mr. May, but it has

25 become regular practice.

Page 25886

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Mr. 1505, you mention a meeting with the JNA at the barracks near

3 the dam. Is it true that in the barracks there were many refugees, that

4 is, people who went there to seek protection from the JNA. Is that right?

5 A. Yes, it is true that in the barracks there were a large number of

6 civilians who lived near the barracks, and I already said earlier on, Your

7 Honours, that people were in such fear and in a hopeless situation that

8 they felt safer there than being out in the open, to put it that way.

9 Q. Well, it says here on page 7, second paragraph, which is very

10 brief: "Over there in the barracks there were many refugees. People who

11 went there seeking protection from the JNA that was normally stationed

12 there."

13 Were they given protection there?

14 A. They were really in the barracks and it was a regular barracks and

15 there were regular troops there from earlier on, and no one mistreated

16 them over there, that is true.

17 Q. And you also say that Ojdanic said he didn't know who was

18 responsible for the shooting, that he himself cannot order a cease-fire

19 because the army is not participating in it. Is it true that Ojdanic

20 requested that the municipal authorities ensure law and order in town to

21 avoid the army having to ensure law and order?

22 A. That was just a statement Ojdanic made, but I'm quite certain he

23 knew who was shooting, where they were shooting from, and that this was in

24 collaboration with the JNA, and it was absurd to ask the regular police to

25 keep law and order in town when the army, in fact, had destroyed, to put

Page 25887

1 it that way.

2 Q. What do you mean the army destroyed law and order when they had

3 come to protect the dam and to protect the civilians? And you yourself

4 said that they did protect the civilians. And the group that

5 Vukosavljevic was in command of was securing the dam. So how then did the

6 army provoke disturbance of the law and order which had already been

7 disturbed prior to that?

8 A. Yes, normal life was upset, but with the arrival of the JNA, as

9 they came, the population withdrew. Generally speaking, they did not

10 trust the Yugoslav People's Army because it was already uni-national and

11 obviously biased in favour of the Serb side. And that was the reason why

12 the people had left town. Then the regular authorities, the civilian part

13 of the authorities, withdrew in the face of the JNA arriving. If there

14 had been a degree of trust, they wouldn't have withdrawn. So when the

15 army arrived and took up positions, it appointed a new civilian authority

16 consisting exclusively of people of Serb ethnicity.

17 Q. In paragraph 64, you say that you asked Ojdanic whether the army

18 would protect the population or would it watch silently the massacre of

19 the civilian population. That is what you say you asked Ojdanic.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And Ojdanic replied that the army would protect the population;

22 isn't that right?

23 A. Yes. I asked Ojdanic this, and I've already explained, Your

24 Honour, the hopeless situation the population was in, and the only hope

25 was for the JNA to protect them from the paramilitaries who were also

Page 25888

1 under their command. And Lieutenant Colonel Jovanovic said this

2 explicitly, but a drowning man will hold onto a straw. And we did indeed

3 ask the army to do that within the context of the hopeless circumstances

4 we were in, for people to be taken into town to the inhabited area.

5 Q. So the army did protect the civilians, as you requested.

6 A. Yes. In that period of time and under those circumstances, they

7 did help the people to be protected. But I believe that there was a plan

8 for a large-scale massacre in that area. This first was a positive move,

9 but I already said earlier on what they had done -- what they did

10 afterwards.

11 Q. So the JNA was defending and protecting the civilians. And this

12 was a time when the JNA had still not fully withdrawn from Bosnia and

13 Herzegovina. One could say these were the last days of the JNA's sojourn

14 in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that right?

15 A. The JNA later pulled out of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is the

16 Uzice Corps pulled out, but we cannot agree in the statement that they

17 generally protected civilians. I already said that they disarmed the

18 legal units of the police, the Territorial Defence, that they appointed a

19 new municipal government consisting exclusively of Serbs, that in that

20 period of time people were arrested, mistreated, searched for weapons. So

21 these were only Bosniaks and Muslims that were the subject of these

22 measures. So I don't agree with your statement that the army protected

23 the civilians generally speaking, and especially not that it gave them

24 equal treatment. It was exclusively biased in favour of the Serbian side,

25 absolutely biased.

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Page 25890

1 Q. This is the only example that you personally are testifying about,

2 and this example is showing the opposite. You asked Colonel Ojdanic to

3 protect civilians; the army provided that protection. And the rest that

4 you're saying, you're speaking in general terms, these are things you're

5 not testifying about.

6 JUDGE MAY: You're simply arguing with the witness now and it's

7 not taking the matter any further. Now, you've got two minutes left.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Do you know that the Yugoslav People's Army was there, and it was

11 not a warring party in Bosnia-Herzegovina? They were stationed in

12 military barracks until the 4th of May, 1992, when the Presidency of

13 Yugoslavia reached a decision to have the army and all Yugoslav citizens

14 withdrawn from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Are you aware of that?

15 A. I am aware of that decision, but I do not agree with you that the

16 army was in barracks only. I've already documented that to you by way of

17 this example that we are interested in, specifically the Uzice Corps.

18 Q. All right. I think we explained why it was there. Now let's go

19 back to your column. What did you say? How many people were in this

20 column?

21 A. Well, Your Honours, the column set out from Brstanica, but more

22 and more people from villages along the way joined the column, so I

23 imagine the stadium was reached by 4.000 to 5.000 persons.

24 Q. You say in the last paragraph on page 14: "The civilians told us

25 to wait for a while so that they could gather some more civilians from the

Page 25891

1 neighbouring villages. They were already ready and an additional 1.000

2 persons joined the column." Is that right?

3 A. Yes. These are free estimates, and it is also a free estimate

4 that, as I said, about 4.000 to 5.000 people in total reached the stadium.

5 Q. They all reached the stadium safely?

6 A. In that column everybody arrived safely.

7 Q. You refer to a large number of soldiers in Visegrad and then you

8 refer to Biljana Plavsic's arrival. Was that an effort made to alleviate

9 the situation in Visegrad?

10 A. Well, I cannot comment upon that, what Lieutenant Colonel

11 Jovanovic and Biljana Plavsic talked about. But the situation that

12 evolved later did not move in a favourable direction. So you can infer on

13 that basis what they talked about.

14 Q. I inferred conclusions from your statement.

15 JUDGE MAY: This is your last question, Mr. Milosevic.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Mr. 1505, I draw your attention to the following, that in

18 paragraph 105, you say or, rather, it seems clear the JNA rather quickly

19 organised normal life in Visegrad, that they wanted companies to start

20 working again. All of this is written in your paragraph 105, that they

21 proposed to you to persuade civilians to go back to various companies to

22 work and also to work on their farms again, that on television you asked

23 civilians to return, that Muslims and Serbs slowly started going back to

24 work.

25 So that is what you say in your very own statement. Is that right

Page 25892

1 or is that not right? That is in paragraphs 105, 106, 108, all of this

2 that I've referred to just now. Is that right or is that not right,

3 Mr. 1505?

4 A. This question was taken out of context and it would, therefore,

5 require a bit of a broader answer. With the permission of the Honourable

6 Trial Chamber, I could do that in some 20 to 30 seconds. I could explain

7 if it is important.

8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You can clarify it. It will be the last answer

9 you give to the accused.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. So it is correct that

11 the army relatively quickly took control of the situation. They took over

12 power in general. Relatively soon they appointed a new government, a new

13 municipal government that consisted of ethnic Serbs only. Then they

14 organised training of ethnic Serbs, and they were trained using weapons.

15 So they did everything during that month that they spent there in order to

16 give an absolute advantage to the Serbs through government, through

17 weapons, through formations, et cetera. So when they left, they left

18 behind weapons that were needed there. Whereas on the other side, if I

19 can put it that way, the Bosniak Muslim population remained totally

20 unprotected in that area, in that municipality that we're talking about

21 now.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, please --

23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we have gone on long enough. You've

24 had the best part of two hours with this witness.

25 Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.

Page 25893

1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

2 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:

3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, could you please make an effort to

4 give just yes or no answers to my questions, because I am mainly going to

5 be dealing with events that took place over these few days, and this has

6 to do with things that you've already talked about. Could you please look

7 at page 14 of your statement, the one that you gave to the OTP earlier on,

8 the second paragraph.

9 During the examination-in-chief you said that you know about

10 Ojdanic's order, that this column of civilians should be taken out of

11 town; is that right?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. In the second paragraph on this page you say that Vukosavljevic

14 said that he had received an approval to get the civilians out of

15 Brstanica. He knew that there were 4.000 to 5.000 civilians in that area.

16 They were trapped there, and he said that he had approval to take them out

17 and up, meaning towards the town. Is that right?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Two paragraphs down. In the middle of that paragraph you say:

20 "Vukosavljevic and I got out of the car. The two of us went among the

21 people," and then you say that you said -- you say: "I told them that the

22 army had come to take them to town and that nothing would happen to them.

23 I told them that they would be escorted to town." Is that right?

24 A. Yes. Yes.

25 Q. Two paragraphs down you talk about the search, and I'm not going

Page 25894

1 to repeat that because you were already asked about this. And then on

2 page 16, in paragraph 2 -- actually, in the second paragraph from the

3 bottom you talk about those four columns. Every column is supposed to

4 have a few soldiers to control them. That's what Jovanovic ordered. He

5 said that people should pass by soldiers and that after the search they

6 could go freely. He said that everybody who had weapons had to say so and

7 that after the search, everybody could go home. Is that right?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And now page 17, and I think that this is the core of the matter.

10 You say that people asked to go home; is that right? It's at the top of

11 that page.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. "Jovanovic said that people could go to places that were under the

14 control of the army. He said that he could not guarantee what would

15 happen if people went to other places." Is that right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. "I remember that Jovanovic was very precise --" or, rather, "He

18 mentioned the villages where people could go because they were safe." Is

19 that right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. He gave the example of the village of Musici, that he could not

22 guarantee the safe return of people there. Is that right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And finally, he said or, rather, you stated: "The civilians then

25 started leaving the stadium, walking or driving back. The army did not

Page 25895

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Page 25896

1 escort them back." Is that right?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Yesterday you said when the use of that expression was concerned,

7 "clear," that you were afraid that perhaps the village you lived in was

8 exposed to dramatic things, but your family was intact. Did you hear of

9 anybody losing their lives in Crnca?

10 A. I beg your pardon? In which period?

11 Q. First at that moment when you had the conversation with the

12 officers, the ones that you listened to, and then the following day your

13 family was alive. Did you hear of anyone having lost their lives in

14 Crnca?

15 A. During those days nobody got hurt.

16 MR. GROOME: I just remind Mr. Tapuskovic please not to say the

17 name of the village. I'd ask that the name of the village be redacted.

18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon. I'm really

19 sorry.

20 Q. And now after all of that, you said on page 19, paragraph 2, I

21 mean the second paragraph from the back, so after all these things that

22 happened, after everything that happened with people, that everybody could

23 go wherever they wanted to go, not -- and that they were not prevented

24 from doing so, you say here: "The JNA managed relatively quickly to

25 organise some kind of normal life relatively quickly in Visegrad. The

Page 25897

1 first thing was -- the first thing they wanted was for the companies to

2 started working again. Among others, I started working. I went back," et

3 cetera."

4 And a few paragraphs down you said: "After law and order were

5 restored, Muslims and Serbs started going back to work slowly." Is that

6 right?

7 A. Yes, that is a fact.

8 Q. After that, in your statement you did not mention anywhere that

9 the army was distributing weapons, for example, or that anything out of

10 the ordinary was happening. You have said: "I think that the Uzice Corps

11 started withdrawing --" this is on page 21 -- "on the 19th of May. And

12 then finally it withdrew on the 20th and 21st of May, 1992." Is that

13 right?

14 A. Well, it's a lengthy statement. I can't know it by heart, but

15 certainly it does include this part that refers to the army training the

16 Serb population. They recruited them. People I know very well went

17 there, they told me about it, they explained this to me: "I cannot go to

18 work tomorrow because I'm going for training, to the military training

19 ground," and so on.

20 Q. All right, and that's what you said today but you did not mention

21 it before. You said that the army restored order, and you said that

22 nothing out of the ordinary happened until they withdrew on the 20th and

23 21st of May. So how do you explain this now, what you said today, that

24 the army was, as a matter of fact, arming people?

25 A. Well, you see, I gave this statement in response to questions put

Page 25898

1 to me by some people. I gave this statement, and it cannot contain the

2 totality of all events. And now when you put additional questions, then I

3 can explain this.

4 So what happened, everything that happened could not have been

5 compressed into 25 pages or whatever.

6 Q. Thank you. I would like to conclude with the following: This is

7 a statement that you gave in previous proceedings. This transcript is

8 here and we're talking about page 176. But I would like to ask you

9 something else before that. You said that you know about one loss of

10 life, and that is Pecikoza specifically, a Serb; is that right?

11 A. I know several, but the question specifically pertained to that

12 man.

13 Q. Well, Mr. Domazet, Defence counsel in that case, asked you about

14 how many victims you knew in that period, and you said that you knew

15 specifically about one woman whom you mentioned. One woman; is that

16 right? That she lost her life in certain events during those days, but I

17 don't know whether you are aware of the circumstances under which she lost

18 her life.

19 A. You see, I don't know what period you're referring to. Are you

20 referring to the period when the army came and took over town?

21 Q. I'm talking only about the period that you are talking about, the

22 clearing of villages, abandoned houses. I am referring only and

23 exclusively to that period of time because that's what you're testifying

24 about.

25 A. Yes. Well, I know that then at that time in a village called

Page 25899

1 Zilici, two persons lost their lives, a man and his wife. They were

2 almost 70 years old. Because they had not left. Everybody else had left,

3 but they stayed behind, and they were killed. Then also on the other

4 hand, I know of three men, I believe, in Gornja Crnca, and - how should I

5 put this? - they stayed behind while the other inhabitants withdrew and

6 they were killed too.

7 Q. Do you know who they were killed by? Does this loss of life of

8 these persons have anything to do with JNA activities? When you were

9 questioned in the case that you testified in previously, you did not

10 mention that. You said some people were killed but I'm not sure how many

11 and I don't know how. That's what you said there; isn't that right?

12 A. Well, to be quite frank, I cannot remember exactly off-the-cuff

13 all these details, but perhaps there wasn't a direct question that was put

14 then. How should I put this? This is an expanded answer.

15 What I said to you now is something I know for sure, and I know

16 they were killed for sure by the Yugoslav People's Army, that is to say

17 this Uzice Corps.

18 Q. You did not say that last time when you were questioned. You

19 said, as a matter of fact, that you were not sure. Could you explain

20 that? And this is my last question.

21 A. I can explain that. Probably the question was not spelled out in

22 such concrete terms. What I said now is a fact. It is something I know

23 undeniably.

24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you.

25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Groome, is the Ojdanic we're dealing with the

Page 25900

1 colonel? Is he connected -- is he the same man as the Ojdanic who later

2 featured as the chief of the General Staff?

3 MR. GROOME: It is, Your Honour.

4 JUDGE MAY: It's the same man.

5 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. It may be confusing. There are

6 two people, Ojdanic and Jovanovic, both featuring prominently in Visegrad

7 during this time period.

8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Have you any questions?

9 Re-examined by Mr. Groome:

10 Q. Sir, I'd like to just clear up a few matters. You testified on

11 cross-examination about some shooting and how it prevented you from going

12 to a meeting with Ojdanic and that you made a phone call to Vukosavljevic.

13 My question to you is: After you made the phone call, the shooting -- the

14 record records you as saying that the shooting started. Is that your

15 testimony? What happened after you made the phone call to Vukosavljevic?

16 A. I called up Vukosavljevic and said that I had to go to a meeting

17 convened by another colonel but that I was unable to do so because of the

18 heavy shooting. And then he said clearly, "All right. Don't worry, this

19 will stop soon." And that is what happened; it stopped and then I went to

20 the barracks, to the meeting.

21 Q. Now, the document that's now been marked as Defence Exhibit 178

22 that was put to you, at the time that that was created in March of 1993,

23 do you know how many members of the Bosniak Muslim community were still

24 members of either the police force, the courts in Visegrad, or the public

25 prosecutor's office in Visegrad?

Page 25901

1 A. I know that there wasn't a single one in any of those

2 institutions, for sure. Even there were no ordinary inhabitants, not to

3 mention people employed in one of these institutions.

4 Q. Prior to the events you've described here today, would it be fair

5 to say that those institutions were comprised of members of both ethnic

6 communities?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. For the purposes of my next question, I'm going to ask you to

9 assume that everything Mr. Milosevic put to you regarding events against

10 Serbs that increased ethnic tension are true. I'm going to ask you to

11 consider that with your observations of the Serb paramilitaries that you

12 believed threatened the Bosniaks or Muslims. Accepting all of that as

13 true, based upon your experience as a military officer, do you have an

14 opinion whether the size of the deployment of the Uzice Corps into

15 Visegrad was sufficient to have ended all threats to all ethnicities and

16 have properly secured the municipality of Visegrad? Was that possible

17 with the deployment that you saw by the Uzice Corps?

18 A. Yes. Absolutely, yes. The number of troops that arrived could

19 absolutely calm the situation and restore order in a very short period of

20 time.

21 Q. And could that have been done without having to remove the Muslim

22 population from an entire side of the Drina River?

23 A. Of course it could have been done.

24 Q. And finally, Mr. Milosevic has suggested to you that Bosniaks or

25 Muslims were not forced to leave Visegrad. Can you give the Chamber some

Page 25902

1 idea of the size of the Muslim population prior to the events you've

2 described and then after the events you've described, and even to this day

3 if you are able.

4 Q. I can, Your Honours. Before these events, I think there were

5 between 13 and 14.000 Bosniak Muslims living in Visegrad. After a certain

6 period of time, or five or six months later, there was no one. At the

7 beginning of 1993 there wasn't a single Muslim in Visegrad. Today I don't

8 know the exact figure, but about a thousand and a half Muslims, Bosniaks,

9 are living in Visegrad.

10 MR. GROOME: No further questions.

11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Witness B-1505, that concludes your evidence.

12 Thank you for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are

13 free to go. If you'd just like to wait until the blinds come down.

14 [The witness withdrew]

15 JUDGE MAY: While we're waiting for the next witness, Mr. Groome,

16 perhaps you could help us with this: There was a witness about whom there

17 was discussion at the time of Racak. That's not your part of the case,

18 but you'll probably know about it. Mr. Nice is here. A Captain Braddock

19 Scott. There was talk about him, and I need to know what the latest

20 position is about him. I think it was suggested that the Trial Chamber

21 might like to call him as a material witness on Racak.

22 MR. NICE: Yes. Are we in closed session or open session?

23 JUDGE MAY: We're in open session.

24 MR. NICE: I believe the next witness is in --

25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, but I just want to deal with this.

Page 25903

1 MR. NICE: Yes. I'm just trying to recall whether his name was

2 given in public session or not. That's why I ask. I'm not quite sure.

3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. As usual, yes.

4 MR. NICE: The position, I think, is that we initially wanted to

5 call him. There were problems with his being called. We eventually

6 decided that although the particular procedural problems with his being

7 called could be overcome or had been overcome, he didn't make, as it were,

8 the cut given the time limitations on us. He didn't particularly qualify

9 as a witness we would have to call. However, along the way, His Honour

10 Judge Robinson had made a request that a witness of a particular category

11 within Racak might be available, His Honour having expressed some concern

12 about some of the other evidence, I think. I'll retrieve the detail later

13 if it helps.

14 It was our judgement that this witness fell into the category of

15 witnesses that His Honour wanted to hear from and I think His Honour

16 expressed the view that he wasn't in that category. But nevertheless,

17 that was one of the issues. So it was in light of the desire of the

18 Chamber to hear from such a witness or His Honour Judge Robinson's desire

19 to hear from such a witness that we suggested that even if we didn't have

20 time to call him, he would be a witness you would like to hear from.

21 Of course, in saying that, he falls into what has been the second

22 part of our witness list now for quite a long time, namely witnesses who

23 in a world of limitless time we would like to call but whom we can see we

24 won't have time to call ourselves but whose existence and whose evidential

25 potential we draw to your attention should you decide yourselves that they

Page 25904

1 are the witnesses of the type you want to hear.

2 JUDGE MAY: Well, perhaps you would consider the position about

3 that witness and let us know.

4 MR. NICE: I think it's unlikely we're going to change our

5 decision as to whether he meets the priority that imposes itself on us.

6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Well, we'll consider the position then.

7 MR. NICE: Thank you.

8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll deal with the next witness.

9 MR. GROOME: Could we go into closed session, Your Honour, before

10 I announce the witness?

11 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment.

12 [Closed session]

13 [redacted]

14 [redacted]

15 [redacted]

16 [redacted]

17 [redacted]

18 [redacted]

19 [redacted]

20 [redacted]

21 [Open session]

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I understand that the next

23 witness enjoyed protection of face and voice and identity and everything

24 else, and then at the request of Mr. Nice, he was given something that

25 seems to me is without precedent, for the public not even to know the

Page 25905

1 contents of his testimony, which points to the conclusion that from that

2 part of Republika Srpska that he's testifying about, many people would be

3 able to ascertain that he was not telling the truth and might react to

4 this. And I hear hearing the witness in such circumstances, especially an

5 anonymous person that no one had heard of with such protective measures

6 and going so far as closing his testimony to the public is contrary to the

7 principle of justice and fairness.

8 JUDGE MAY: The reason the ruling was given was as was said, the

9 exceptional circumstances of the case and the fact that the witness had

10 been subjected to threats.

11 Now, it is the duty of this Court, as far as is possible, to

12 protect its witnesses in the interests of justice from such behaviour. If

13 we were allowed -- if we were to allow people to get away with threatening

14 the witnesses so that they did not appear, the interests of justice would

15 be the victim and nobody else.

16 Now, that is the reason that we have given that ruling. I make

17 that plain again.

18 Yes, we'll have the witness, please.

19 [Closed session]

20 [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

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9 [redacted]

10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,

11 to be followed by a Pre-Defence Conference. The

12 hearing will reconvene on Wednesday, the 3rd day of

13 September, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.

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