Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 27632

1 Thursday, 16 October 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [The witness entered court]

4 [The accused entered court]

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

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

7 WITNESS: WITNESS B-1445 [Resumed]

8 [Witness answered through interpreter]

9 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]

10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. 1445, is it true that precisely on the same

11 day when the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina was proclaimed that

12 fierce fighting broke out in Sarajevo and other places and that 14 people

13 were killed and over 100 wounded?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Do you remember that on the 3rd of May a column of the JNA was

16 attacked which was pulling out of the army command building in the centre

17 of town that had been taken control of?

18 A. I don't know because I wasn't in Sarajevo.

19 Q. But you heard about the event.

20 A. That was later.

21 Q. Well, do you know that these same groups of the Patriotic League,

22 that they attacked the military convoy in Tuzla on the 15th of May when 49

23 soldiers were killed?

24 A. I can't comment on that either because I wasn't in Tuzla.

25 Q. All right. Tell me this, then; do you know anything about the

Page 27633

1 arming of your forces from that period?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Well, you were a very respected functionary. I assume you know

4 that already in October 1991, almost six months prior to the beginning of

5 the armed struggle, that from Austria by plane to Sarajevo, a large

6 quantity of weapons were flown in.

7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.

8 JUDGE MAY: Here is the witness from Doboj, and you are making

9 these generalised points through him. He said he wasn't in Sarajevo, and

10 now we're going to go on to try these very general points about Austria

11 and Sarajevo.

12 I don't know what you think the purpose of cross-examination is

13 but it appears that you think it is to put as much detail as you can about

14 the Serb side, and I speak generally. Now, we've been going on this case

15 for nearly two years, and you must understand that witnesses can only

16 answer on matters of which they have direct knowledge. There is no point

17 arguing with the witness or wasting time asking the witness about things

18 about which he knows absolutely nothing.

19 You, as I have said many, many times, can call your evidence on

20 planes from Austria and the like. If it's relevant, you can call it, but

21 there's no point wasting time with the witness on it.

22 Now, just asking him something he can actually answer.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I cannot know in advance

24 whether the witness knows something or not. That's why I'm asking him.

25 And it is up to him to say that he really doesn't know anything about it.

Page 27634

1 JUDGE MAY: Well, we waste time with generalised questions. He's

2 already answered two questions. He wasn't in Tuzla; he wasn't in

3 Sarajevo. Shall we see if he knows anything about planes from Austria and

4 Sarajevo?

5 Do you know anything about that, Witness?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I assume I can ask him

8 questions about Bosnia-Herzegovina, because he was in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

9 They don't have to be concrete ones like planes.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. But anyway, do you know that already in January 1992, in Geneva,

12 that the principles of the constitutional set-up were adopted which were

13 proposed by the international intermediaries -- mediators?

14 JUDGE MAY: He's come from Doboj. You can ask him about Doboj.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, this witness ought to know

16 how the conflict came about. The conflicts did not break out because of

17 Doboj but because of the overall situation that prevailed in

18 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

19 JUDGE MAY: You can ask witnesses -- you've got witnesses coming

20 who can deal with the general position. This gentleman is dealing with a

21 particular municipality.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. Mr. 1445, you said yourself that in the municipality, you

25 functioned quite all right and that the representatives of the Serbs and

Page 27635

1 Muslims and Croats cooperated right up until the divergence of ways with

2 respect to the referendum and the issues posed there.

3 A. We did cooperate until the first parliamentary elections, because

4 we had a common goal, to overthrow the Communist Party or, rather, the

5 League of Communists of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

6 Q. And when you assumed power, then you quarrelled amongst yourselves;

7 is that right?

8 A. We didn't quarrel among ourselves. We went our separate ways

9 because of ideology of the SDS party, because right after the takeover of

10 power in Doboj, the SDS immediately, logically with acquiescence from its

11 republican mentors, started along a separatist road which was not in

12 conformity and in agreement with the other ethnic groups and parties in

13 the municipality.

14 Q. Who were these republican mentors of theirs?

15 A. Well, that was common knowledge. A higher organ, the republican

16 SDS led by Mr. Radovan Karadzic.

17 Q. Well, you had a republican SDA party led by Mr. Alija Izetbegovic,

18 didn't you?

19 A. Yes, but I don't think we can compare the role of Mr. Alija

20 Izetbegovic with the role of Mr. Radovan Karadzic. Alija Izetbegovic is

21 today a respected individual, which is visited by many international

22 individuals and representatives from various countries.

23 Q. Do you know that Alija Izetbegovic, and that's another matter, but

24 do you know that Alija Izetbegovic, once the agreement was signed at the

25 beginning of 1992 on the part of three national parties, Izetbegovic,

Page 27636

1 Karadzic, and Boban, withdrew his signature?

2 A. I can't comment on that because I wasn't a high-ranking

3 functionary either of the SDA or of state organs. I was just a republican

4 deputy and one of the functionaries of the Doboj municipalities.

5 Q. Very well. Now, in paragraph 10 you say that the strategy of the

6 SDS consisted of two phases and that before the elections in 1990, they

7 propagated propaganda, as you said, as a democratic party and after the

8 elections that they started a different kind of propaganda for a Greater

9 Serbia and used legends to win over the population and its sympathies, and

10 they organised this in every meeting and every village and regularly held

11 meetings. When did you ever hear that somebody mentioned any kind of

12 Greater Serbian goal? When did you hear about that and how can you say

13 that in your statement in point 10?

14 A. Well, that's nothing that is -- wasn't known. Even the

15 pre-electoral meetings in Doboj, Nikola Koljevic, one of the speakers and

16 Radovan Karadzic and others, not in the sense of saying that this is going

17 to be a Greater Serbia. They didn't actually say that, but we said that

18 we must have the Serb people living in one state. So if it is one state,

19 that means the territory in Bosnia-Herzegovina populated by Serbs and that

20 that -- they will be living in Serbia afterwards, that that would be

21 Serbia.

22 Q. Well, did the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia exist at the time?

23 Was it one state, one country?

24 A. Yes. Yes.

25 Q. And was everybody living in one country, the Serbs and the Muslims

Page 27637

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Page 27638

1 alike? There are many Muslims in Serbia, for instance. They all lived in

2 one country, one state, and that state was Yugoslavia.

3 A. I think I've answered that question, and I don't think we ought to

4 go back to it.

5 Q. Well, did you hear that any of them mentioned -- you mentioned the

6 meeting in Doboj. Did you hear anybody mention some kind of Greater

7 Serbia at all?

8 A. Well, it wasn't a question of Greater Serbia but from the context

9 of their speeches, that's what we concluded. And if we say that every

10 Serb and all Serbs must live in one state, one country, then it is logical

11 to deduce that the territory where they are living in Bosnia-Herzegovina,

12 where the Serbs live in Bosnia-Herzegovina means that they will live in

13 one state, whether it is Yugoslavia or whether you call it a Greater

14 Serbia.

15 Q. That was the future. I was talking about a reality where

16 everybody was living in one country, one state in Yugoslavia?

17 A. Well, that's your opinion.

18 Q. So it's only my opinion, is it, that everybody lived in

19 Yugoslavia, the Serbs and Muslims and Croats and Macedonians and Slovenes

20 and Montenegrins. That's my opinion, is it?

21 JUDGE MAY: This sounds like an argument, which we're not going to

22 get much further with. Let's move on.

23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. All right. Tell me this then: At those elections in 1990, who

25 had the largest number of deputies in the Municipal Assembly of Doboj, for

Page 27639

1 instance?

2 A. The Party of Democratic Action -- no, the SDS party, I'm sorry.

3 Q. So the Serbs in your municipality won the largest number of votes,

4 had the greatest number of deputies, and yet nonetheless, for the

5 president of the municipality, a Muslim was elected to the post. The post

6 was offered to a Muslim and the Muslim became the municipality president.

7 A. Yes, but along with a comment, if I may. The Party of Democratic

8 Action was the second party. That is to say, it got 27 deputy seats --

9 seats in the Assembly, but the SDP and the reformist forces, both of them

10 together as party, a democratic party, got a total of 26 seats. And

11 knowing that the majority of Muslims, that is, over 90 per cent voted for

12 those two parties, we did not want, because we used the Republican laws of

13 the day, the electoral laws of the day, we did not want to set up a

14 government within the space of two months; and pursuant to that law,

15 unless you establish a government within the space of two months, the

16 elections are repeated. And when we proposed this to the SDS, to have a

17 new round of elections, the SDS straight away agreed to give the post of

18 president to a member of the Democratic Action Party although it had a

19 different position in the electoral results. Came second.

20 Q. So the fact that the SDS offered a Muslim to occupy the role of

21 president of the municipality, you in fact forced them to do so. Is that

22 what you're saying? Is that it?

23 A. No, we didn't force them to do that. We just used positive legal

24 provisions because we quite certainly, in a repeated election, we would

25 have had 10 per cent more votes than the SDS would have had.

Page 27640

1 Q. All right. Well, we're not going to go into conjecture and

2 surmise as to what would happen at elections that never took place. But

3 tell me this, please: Immediately prior to these events in Doboj, is it

4 true that in the territory north of Doboj regular units from neighbouring

5 Croatia had entered as well as paramilitary formations that developed in

6 the municipality and the town itself, but from the territories of

7 neighbouring municipalities, Gracanica, Maglaj, Zavidovici, Zepa, and that

8 they were engaged actively against Doboj? Is that right?

9 A. No, it is not. I never received any such report and I probably

10 would have because the chief of the security centre was a member of the

11 SDS of Doboj.

12 Q. Very well. Now, tell me when these Muslim units were formed in

13 the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

14 A. There were no Muslim formations or units up until the attack on

15 Doboj. These formations were spontaneously formed, that is, units to

16 defend the territory, when we had fled from Doboj towards Tesanj.

17 Q. You used the word "fled" from Doboj. In May 1992; is that right?

18 A. The 3rd of May, 1992.

19 Q. Tell me, please, when was the Patriotic League formed?

20 A. The Patriotic League did not exist at all in Doboj municipality.

21 Q. I will show you a document of yours. I don't mean you personally

22 but of the Muslim side. The command of the 2nd Corps, strictly

23 confidential, 28th of November, 1992. The information has to do with an

24 incident, but one can see from it where the incident had occurred or,

25 rather, what had prompted it. It says: "On the 27th of November, 1992,

Page 27641

1 at 1600 hours, at the Tuzla hotel in Tuzla, the first anniversary was

2 observed of the Patriotic League of Bosnia and Herzegovina." That is in

3 November 1992, the first anniversary is being celebrated of the Patriotic

4 League, which means that you formed in November 1991.

5 How many months is that prior to the outbreak of the conflict? So

6 months before the beginning of the conflict you have the Patriotic League

7 and an organised army in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

8 A. You will have to ask those people from Tuzla, because I was never

9 a member of the Patriotic League nor did it exist at all in Doboj.

10 Q. Have you heard of Sefer Halilovic?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Was he the commander of the Main Staff at the time?

13 A. Would you repeat the question? Which period are you referring to?

14 Q. Was he commander of the Main Staff at the very beginning and in

15 the period that you're speaking about?

16 A. Yes. Yes.

17 Q. I have here his directive, dated the 25th of February, 1992. So

18 long before that. After that comes March, April, and then May. So it

19 means three months prior to any conflicts in Doboj. And he says: "Our

20 forces are organised into the Patriotic League of Bosnia-Herzegovina in

21 units ranging from a platoon to detachments and brigades numbering a total

22 of 120.000 men." And he writes this in a directive dated the 25th of

23 February. There were no conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

24 And then he says: "The beginning of combat operations will lead

25 to greater numbers of members of the MUP and the Yugoslav army and Muslim

Page 27642

1 people outside the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina joining so that the

2 effective strength will be about 150.000 men." He talks about detachments

3 and brigades as a reality already in February 1992. The Patriotic League

4 was founded in 1991.

5 Surely you -- it is not possible that you don't know anything

6 about that, Mr. 1445.

7 A. I don't know anything about that, sir. You will ask Mr. Sefer

8 Halilovic. I was never a member of any command and I was not aware of

9 these things nor did it interest me. I was concerned with the citizens of

10 Doboj municipality.

11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, could this be admitted into

12 evidence, this document of the command of the 2nd Corps referring to the

13 first anniversary of the Patriotic League? It speaks of an incident that

14 occurred at that event, but it is clear that the incident occurred during

15 the celebrations of the first anniversary of the Patriotic League.

16 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness see the document first and then we'll

17 have a look at it.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. Please, just look at the first sentence. The incident itself is

20 of no interest to me. This happened among your own participants at the

21 event.

22 JUDGE MAY: If the witness would look at it, confirm that it says

23 what the accused says it says. And if you have any comment, of course you

24 can make it.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have no comment to make. I see

Page 27643

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Page 27644

1 this for the first time, and I hear it for the first time of any kind of

2 incident or this meeting and this anniversary.

3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let us see it, please.

4 [Trial Chamber confers]

5 JUDGE MAY: We'll mark it for identification. Give it the next D

6 number, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit D195 marked for identification.

8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Since I have very little time, I will show you a few more

10 documents. Some are from the army of Republika Srpska, and some from the

11 staff of the Supreme Command of the armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia

12 and Herzegovina, that is, the opposing side. And I will only show you

13 those in which Doboj is mentioned.

14 For instance, this is a report on offensive operations from the

15 13th to the 19th of January, 1993, an infantry attack was carried out in

16 the area around Gradacac and Doboj and on the town of Doboj itself. Fire

17 was opened from 120-millimetre mortars from the region of Bukova. I

18 assume you know this because you were firing at Doboj. Then another one,

19 15th of January. Fire was opened on a broader area of Doboj and Gradacac.

20 Are you aware of these things?

21 A. I am not aware of them. I would like to intervene. I would like

22 to ask Mr. Milosevic not to claim that I know these things, because if he

23 wants to ask me something, then he should ask me rather than saying that I

24 know these things. I don't know them. I was not a soldier, and I

25 certainly was not involved in any combat, and nobody sent me reports about

Page 27645

1 battles around Doboj. You should ask other people about that who are

2 relevant for these things.

3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. B-1445, you must bear with the accused. We have

4 only a limited number of witnesses, as you know, here because of the

5 constraints of time. It so happens that you have come here to speak of

6 Doboj and, therefore, he's entitled to put matters about Doboj to you. If

7 you don't know the answer, of course just say so, but it may be that there

8 are other witnesses who could speak to these matters.

9 Do you want this exhibit produced, Mr. Milosevic, this report?

10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to quote from several

11 of them, and then I will offer all of them together and you will decide.

12 JUDGE MAY: No. You must do them one at a time, because otherwise

13 the thing will become disordered. Let the witness see this first

14 document.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just the passages highlighted. One

16 can see from the report that there was action against Doboj. Then on the

17 9th of January as well.

18 JUDGE MAY: No, wait a moment. One at a time. Just let the

19 witness have a look, and if he's got any comment, to make it.

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this document, we can't see who

21 is sending it nor which institution is involved. He mentions a military

22 unit, but I can't see it. There's nothing in the heading, just offensive

23 activities of Muslim forces in such-and-such a period. I can't comment on

24 it, nor do I know anything about it.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 27646

1 Q. I'm asking you about those events in Doboj.

2 A. How could I know? I wasn't living in Doboj at the time. I was

3 chased out of Doboj and was living in a neighbouring town.

4 Q. A neighbouring town from which fire was opened on Doboj. That was

5 the line from which fire was opened at Doboj. Do you know that?

6 A. Sir, when we fled over there and formed a Crisis Staff and a TO

7 staff, those were military units, and logically there was an exchange of

8 fire. But you should ask them, not me.

9 Q. Were you an official at the time when this was happening?

10 JUDGE MAY: We're going to deal with this -- we're going to deal

11 with this document first if you want it exhibited. Let us see it, please.

12 [Trial Chamber confers]

13 JUDGE MAY: We'll give it the next exhibit number, but we will

14 only mark it for identification having heard what the witness says about

15 it.

16 THE REGISTRAR: D196, Your Honour, marked for identification.

17 JUDGE MAY: And the Prosecution, of course, can see these

18 documents as they are produced.

19 Yes. Do you want to produce another one, Mr. Milosevic?

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do, since the witness has

21 commented that these Serb reports do not have an indication of who is

22 sending them, I will give him Muslim reports on which one can see who is

23 sending them, where they are coming from. For instance, Republic of

24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Supreme Command Staff, strictly confidential, 02428/1,

25 to the president of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

Page 27647

1 the state on the battlefields of Bosnia-Herzegovina and I will quote only

2 from paragraph 4 because Doboj is mentioned. "The free territory of Doboj

3 and Tesanj was yesterday fiercely attacked with armoured mechanised units,

4 artillery and helicopter units." And then it says: "Our forces responded

5 readily and inflicted heavy losses on the aggressor, destroyed seven tanks

6 and three OTDs." So that is paragraph 4 alone. And the signatory is

7 Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command of the armed forces of the Republic

8 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sefer Halilovic.

9 So your units, and in this report which he's sending to

10 Izetbegovic, who is attending talks somewhere, says that they destroyed

11 seven tanks and three -- what he calls OTDs.

12 JUDGE MAY: What is the date of this report, please?

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The 22nd of March, 1993. There was

14 a war going on over there all the time, from the spring 1992 until 1995.

15 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness see this document if you want to

16 produce it.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This document has not been confirmed

18 or signed. Anyone could have written it. You can see for yourself. And

19 I comment -- I cannot comment on it. Even if it were authentic, then it

20 is a document of the Commander-in-Chief of the army of Bosnia and

21 Herzegovina to the president of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina

22 and not to me.

23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. I haven't asked you whether the document was addressed to you. I

25 am asking you in connection with the events that your commander calls the

Page 27648

1 Doboj theatre of war. Are you familiar with those events?

2 A. Sir, I am familiar with many events, but I don't know the dates

3 because the free territory of Doboj municipality was attacked throughout

4 the two-and-a-half-year period, from the 5th of May when an aggression on

5 Doboj was carried out. Our fighters over there defended that whole area,

6 and there were thousands of such attacks by Serb units. All I -- all --

7 the only people that can confirm it are the military commanders and people

8 who were in the military. I was in the civilian organs of authority of

9 Doboj municipality.

10 JUDGE MAY: Let us -- let us see the document, please.

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. You see the date and the number, and everything a document needs

13 to have.

14 A. Without a signature or a stamp.

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We will mark that for identification.

16 THE REGISTRAR: D197 marked for identification.

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. In the next document, Report on Combat Activities, it says:

19 "Operative Group 7 Doboj, state of ammunition is alarming," which

20 indicates that you had used up a great deal of ammunition firing at Serb

21 positions.

22 Is it true that throughout the period from May 1992 until 1995

23 there was an uninterrupted battle around Doboj? Fighting was going on

24 between the two sides. Isn't that beyond doubt, Mr. 1445?

25 A. The fighting continued, but the attacks were coming from the Serb

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Page 27650

1 side. Throughout the period, as I said a moment ago, from the 5th of May

2 1992 until the signing of the Dayton Accords, Serb forces were constantly

3 attacking the free territory of Doboj municipality.

4 And I have to make a comment. You need to know that the

5 international community enforced an embargo on weapons. And if the

6 gentleman says that we fired the ammunition, you didn't -- we didn't have

7 ammunition or weapons, and you provided the logistics for the Serb forces

8 in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

9 Q. How did you manage to destroy tanks and three armoured APCs and to

10 kill so many people? You probably did that without ammunition or weapons,

11 or using hunting rifles.

12 A. I don't know how we obtained ammunition, but certainly there was

13 some way of getting it. As far as I know, in those days there were two

14 elements of the army. The HVO was there, too, and they probably provided

15 some aid and ammunition, but I'm unable to comment on these things because

16 I wasn't a military commander, nor was I a member of the military.

17 Q. Don't you remember that Izetbegovic himself said, "We have managed

18 to procure 300.000 rifles and machine-guns, 20 million ammunition, 37.000

19 mines, 46.000 shells"? This was his own statement when he was talking

20 about the weapons that had been procured.

21 A. That is your statement. I never heard of any such statement by

22 Izetbegovic.

23 Q. It will be easy to confirm it. As you say that you were the ones

24 who were attacked, we have here a protest letter by the Serb side, and it

25 was written and signed and probably exists in the archives of UNPROFOR, to

Page 27651

1 the command of UNPROFOR in Kiseljak to Mr. -- or, rather, General Nambiar

2 personally, a protest it says, and then the document was signed by the

3 Chief of Staff of the army of Republika Srpska, Major General Manojlo

4 Milovanovic. Somebody signed for him but it does have a stamp. And it

5 states: "At the very outset in the border area of Gradacac, Doboj and

6 Teslic, the artillery opened fire from the region of Pojica, Tulovici,

7 Debelo Brdo, Matuzici and Alibegovici, and from the region of Demilic

8 Planja there was fire against armoured missiles."

9 So do you know about these events, events for which the Serb side

10 is protesting -- is lodging a protest with the commander of UNPROFOR?

11 A. No.

12 JUDGE MAY: What is the date, Mr. Milosevic?

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The 17th of January, 1993. You can

14 take a look at this document.

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And --

17 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. You have the 18th of January, as well, the next letter. Then the

20 19th of January, another one. So each of those letters --

21 JUDGE MAY: No, one at a time. We'll deal with these one at a

22 time. We'll begin with the 17th of January.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Here you are. Very well.

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I have taken a look at this

25 document. However, how can I be asked to comment about a protest to the

Page 27652

1 commander of UNPROFOR in Kiseljak, Mr. Nambiar, whereas I was living in

2 Tesanj and working in the civilian organs of power and authority? You

3 don't assume that Nambiar came to inform me about events of this kind?

4 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Produce -- don't interrupt. Produce the

5 document.

6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The letter is addressed to the

7 commander of UNPROFOR, but what I am saying relates to Doboj. It also

8 relates to other matters as well, and I have marked the sections relating

9 to Doboj.

10 JUDGE MAY: It will be marked for identification. It will get the

11 next number.

12 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit 198 marked for identification.

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. What are the -- what are the next exhibits you

14 have? The witness doesn't want to look at them, waste of time. Give them

15 to us. Yes, what is it?

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I have the 18th of

17 January, the 19th of January, also documents signed in the same way, and

18 they refer to continuous action against Doboj and Teslic from the

19 artillery and infantry weapons attacking Serb settlements. And then in

20 the next document, it goes on to --

21 JUDGE MAY: Let's just stop there. The 18th and the 19th, are

22 they similar protests to the one of the 17th or are they different sorts

23 of documents?

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] They're the same sorts of documents,

25 and they're all addressed to General Nambiar. They're all signed. When

Page 27653

1 we're talking about sorts of documents, by the Chief of Staff of the army

2 of Republika Srpska, but they do differ on some points, because here this

3 document speaks of artillery attacks on Serb settlements and artillery and

4 infantry attacks, and then in the next document it refers to Doboj, Teslic

5 and Gradacac, attacks by Muslim forces and then in the following one, once

6 again Doboj, Maslacik [phoen], and Teslic, and other places too. But

7 these are all letters of protest that were sent to General Nambiar, and he

8 was on the spot and was able to check this out and see for himself. So

9 this probably or most certainly this exists in the UNPROFOR archives and

10 you can take a look at them.

11 JUDGE MAY: Just -- just -- before the usher brings them, let us

12 make sure we have for the record what it is you're putting in. We've got

13 the 17th already. That is the -- I think that's got a number. Just one

14 moment. I think what we might do is put them all together in one exhibit.

15 So we've got the 17th, the 18th, and the 19th. Is that right,

16 Mr. Milosevic? 17th, 18th and 19th.

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, Mr. May.

18 JUDGE MAY: All right. Let's have a look.

19 [Trial Chamber confers]

20 JUDGE MAY: We'll add these further documents to the -- whatever

21 the last number was. 198. So they will form one bundle of protests.

22 Yes.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. I have to hurry up here. We have a report here referring to units

Page 27654

1 of regular armed forces of the Republic of Croatia which are engaged in

2 combat activities against the army of Republika Srpska on the territory of

3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and then we can see July 1992 in the region of

4 Bosanski Brod. And then further on, I don't have time to go through all

5 of this, I'm just going to read out an observation, the concluding

6 observation, and it lists the dates and mentions the names of the units in

7 the area of Republika Srpska on its territory. There are continuous

8 engagements of 15 brigades, regular armed forces of the Republic of

9 Croatia, the equivalent of about 30.000 men, about 270 artillery pieces

10 are used, over 76-millimetre calibre. The ones up to 76-millilitres are

11 not considered to be vital and about 75 armoured vehicles, tanks and

12 transporters, APCs. So that is what this piece of information contains.

13 And then --

14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The connection to Doboj?

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, that is in the northerly part

16 of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Do you know, Mr. 1445, about this period of time and anything

19 about the presence of regular Croatian forces in that territory?

20 A. No.

21 Q. You know nothing about it?

22 A. No, because I myself was in quite the opposite area, in the south.

23 I wasn't in the north, as you just said.

24 Q. Well, it was all over the region. Fifteen brigades, 30.000 men.

25 They weren't deployed in one spot. You have a whole area. Bosanski Brod,

Page 27655

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Page 27656

1 for example, is fairly close by, isn't it?

2 A. I said a moment ago that from the 5th of March, we went to the

3 southern side towards Tesanj. So I wasn't able to receive any information

4 about any number of soldiers or units either with regard to Brod, Derventa

5 or Modrica because in actual fact, it was in quite another section. So we

6 were completely cut off communication-wise. Between us were the forces of

7 Republika Srpska.

8 Q. Tell me, please, how many kilometres is it from the broader region

9 around Bosanski Brod to the place where you were at?

10 A. Well, about 85 kilometres.

11 Q. And there was -- there were great operations there and

12 concentration of forces and you don't know about that?

13 A. Well, I never lived there. I was never down there.

14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Are you going to take these

15 documents, Mr. May? They speak about very large numbers of men and units

16 on the territory of Republika Srpska, and it mentions the number of the --

17 the numbers of the brigades, their composition, their origin, and so on.

18 JUDGE MAY: Who is the -- who is the report from?

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The report is by the Main Staff of

20 the army of Republika Srpska.

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, pass it -- pass it up. Let us have a

22 look.

23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. I would now like to ask you, Mr. --

25 JUDGE MAY: You won't ask anything for the moment until we have

Page 27657

1 just finished this, look at this.

2 [Trial Chamber confers]

3 JUDGE MAY: We notice it's not signed or stamped or has anything

4 to indicate what it might be, but we'll mark it for identification. We'll

5 give it the next number.

6 THE REGISTRAR: D199, Your Honour, marked for identification.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's a report, not information.

8 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 [redacted]

11 [redacted]

12 [redacted]

13 JUDGE MAY: We'll go -- we'll go into private session.

14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We don't need to go --

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we do if we're going to talk about this sort of

16 thing.

17 [Private session]

18 [redacted]

19 [redacted]

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Page 27658

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16 [Open session]

17 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. So you're talking about the creation of the army of Republika

20 Srpska; is that right?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And saying that most of them had previously been in the JNA; is

23 that right?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And with regard to your army, were also most of the members

Page 27664

1 previously in the JNA?

2 A. We're talking about the period prior to the 5th of May, 1992.

3 Q. Mr. 1445, a moment ago we established, and this can be seen from

4 the documents and those need to prove it, you know it yourself, Sefer

5 Halilovic was commander of the Main Staff. Before that, he was a JNA

6 officer. Do you know that?

7 A. Sefer Halilovic was the first commander of the army of Bosnia and

8 Herzegovina, and this was after the 5th of May or, rather, the 3rd of May,

9 1992. So you have to distinguish between these two things. We're talking

10 about the attack on Doboj, events prior to that, and events after it.

11 That's what I'm talking about.

12 Q. So you're claiming that Sefer Halilovic was not the commander

13 prior to the 5th of May?

14 A. No.

15 Q. And this directive that I have and that was published even in his

16 book, a photocopy of it, is dated the 25th of February, 1992, and he says

17 there that -- how the forces were organised, that is, 120.000 men, the

18 Patriotic League, et cetera.

19 A. Sefer Halilovic was the first Chief of Staff of the army of Bosnia

20 and Herzegovina.

21 Q. Did he come from the JNA?

22 A. And the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was not formed before the

23 3rd of May 1992.

24 Q. I don't wish to argue with you, because the documents contain

25 dates far before the 3rd of May, 1992. But I asked you whether Sefer

Page 27665

1 Halilovic had come from the JNA?

2 A. Sefer Halilovic fled from the Yugoslav People's Army.

3 Q. Is Sefer Halilovic from Bosnia and Herzegovina perhaps?

4 A. Sefer Halilovic is a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

5 Q. Today, but he's from Serbia. He never even served in Bosnia and

6 Herzegovina; isn't that right?

7 A. He's a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Now, whether he came

8 from Serbia -- he's originally from Sandzak. Whether in those days he was

9 a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I don't know.

10 JUDGE MAY: Let us not argue about this particular point. No

11 doubt it can be cleared up.

12 Mr. Milosevic, you have one minute left.

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But you said an hour and ten

14 minutes.

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And we started at several minutes

17 after 9.00.

18 JUDGE MAY: Quite right. You're right. You've got another ten

19 minutes.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Then I'll cover

21 the new documents quickly.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. Let us just make sure about one thing. The commander of the Main

24 Staff, Sefer Halilovic, is from Serbia, from Prijepolje. He was defending

25 Bosnia from an aggressor, the commander of which is Ratko Mladic from

Page 27666

1 Kalinovik from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Doesn't that seem absurd to you?

2 JUDGE MAY: These are all general points. They aren't matters for

3 the witness at all. Now, let's move on to something else.

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. Yes. Let me just cover these exhibits which I received the day

7 before yesterday and not on the 13th as stated.

8 Please look at the additional statement of the witness, paragraph

9 5. You say: "I do not recognise the signature at the bottom of the

10 document as being Milan Ninkovic's. I knew Milan Ninkovic personally."

11 How then can this document be exhibited through you?

12 Then on the next page --

13 JUDGE MAY: One thing at a time. Let the witness have the

14 document. Which is the tab?

15 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 1, Your Honour, under seal.

16 JUDGE MAY: Tab 1. Thank you.

17 THE REGISTRAR: And that's Prosecution Exhibit 562.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Now, what is it you want the witness to look at?

19 Paragraph 5, yes.

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Paragraph 5. He says, the witness says and I quote him: "I do

22 not recognise the signature at the bottom of the document as being Milan

23 Ninkovic's signature." Yet he's identifying the document alleged by

24 signed by Ninkovic. So I'm just giving an example of the way in which

25 exhibits are being introduced and produced.

Page 27667

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Page 27668

1 JUDGE MAY: Now, wait a moment. Let the witness answer that. And

2 presumably we're talking, are we, about the documents at tab 4, is that

3 it?

4 JUDGE KWON: Yes.

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness see that.

6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But we don't have time for all this,

7 Mr. May. You will interrupt me.

8 JUDGE MAY: The only thing is that the witness must have a chance

9 to comment, you see, when you make a point.

10 Yes. Let the witness answer.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The signature is here where it says

12 for, so it's not Ninkovic who signed it but somebody else for him, his

13 secretary or somebody else. So in the document itself you see the word

14 "za," "for," which means that the signature is not of Milan Ninkovic but

15 somebody else's. It is written in the document. So I don't see anything

16 at issue here.

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 [redacted]

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Page 27669

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Page 27670

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24 [Open session]

25 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in -- we're now in open session.

Page 27671

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. In this additional statement of yours, you claim that you

3 recognised the voices of Momcilo Krajisnik and Radovan Karadzic because

4 you knew them. And then you say: "As regards Mr. Karadzic, I recognised

5 his accent though the sound in this conversation differs from the tone of

6 voice he used in the Assembly."

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. He speaks differently, yet you recognise him. How is that?

9 A. First of all, I listened to Mr. Karadzic several times as a member

10 of parliament. His accent can be recognised by anyone who hears him for

11 once. However, in this conversation with his close associate, he spoke so

12 quietly, and it was -- that is why I said there was a difference, whereas

13 when he speaks at the rostrum in the Assembly, he's arrogant, he

14 threatens, he hurls insults, et cetera.

15 Q. I assume those speeches in the Assembly were broadcast by

16 television and reported in the press. I don't remember him insulting

17 anyone in those speeches of his, at least the ones that we had access to

18 in Serbia from your news programmes.

19 A. If it is not insulting for you when he, as president of the SDS,

20 says in the Assembly that a whole nation will disappear if we don't agree

21 to live in Yugoslavia, then I don't know what an insult is in your

22 opinion.

23 Q. I don't know of that statement of his, just as you don't know

24 about Izetbegovic's that were published in the press. But let's look at

25 some other tabs.

Page 27672

1 There are various local communities, in most cases villages,

2 aren't they? A village constitutes a local commune. Isn't that right,

3 Mr. 1445?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And now people are spontaneously making decisions, and it says:

6 "With a view to fulfilling the freely expressed wish of the Serb people to

7 live within the SFRY as a community of free and equal peoples ..." As a

8 community of free and equal peoples.

9 JUDGE MAY: I note this for the record; it's tab 2.

10 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Tell me, Mr. 1445, because you speak of certain other

13 characteristics. Now, these people who are making decisions, virtually

14 expressing loyalty to the state in which they were living and in which

15 they had lived for all of 70 years, ever since Yugoslavia was formed, and

16 they describe Yugoslavia as a community of free and equal peoples. They

17 talk about the equality of peoples and loyalty to their country, and as

18 you are tendering this as an exhibit, this appears to be a crime to be

19 loyal to one's one country, to one's own nation.

20 JUDGE MAY: No. That isn't a matter for the witness. This is a

21 pure comment. Now you have now one minute left.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I don't have time to

23 cover these documents.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Why in your examination-in-chief you explained that you saw

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Page 27674

1 Karadzic at a rally and at a secret meeting? There was no secret meeting.

2 Under tab 5, it says, an announcement: On the 5th of February, 1992 at

3 12.00 at Doboj in the premises of the business bank - a public institution

4 - a meeting will be held of presidents of municipal boards of the SDS of

5 Bosnian Krajina and will be attended by Dr. Radovan Karadzic as president

6 of the party. Why are you describing it as a secret meeting when, in

7 addition, we have the newspaper which published the debate at that

8 meeting? Why did you describe that meeting in that way?

9 A. This announcement was addressed to municipal boards of the Serbian

10 Democratic Party, and that meeting was completely closed to the public.

11 It was only after the meeting that reports appear in the press for the

12 public. So at that point in time, it was a completely closed meeting, and

13 it was heavily secured. No one could go in or come out except the people

14 invited.

15 JUDGE MAY: No. You've had your time now.

16 Yes, Mr. Kay.

17 MR. KAY: No questions, Your Honour.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Ms. Pack, have you any questions.

19 MS. PACK: Very briefly, Your Honour

20 Re-examined by Ms. Pack:

21 Q. Witness, just referring back to -- if we could go into private

22 session very briefly, Your Honour.

23 [Private session]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

Page 27675

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17 [Open session]

18 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honour.

19 JUDGE MAY: Witness B-1445, that concludes your evidence. Thank

20 you for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are free to go. If you

21 would just wait one minute while the blinds are brought down.

22 [The witness withdrew]

23 JUDGE MAY: It's close to the time for the next break, so we'll

24 adjourn before we take the next break -- the next witness, but it may be

25 convenient to deal with the administrative matter which I mentioned

Page 27676

1 yesterday, which is in relation to Lord Owen, the length of examination

2 which the parties would ask for.

3 Yes, Mr. Groome.

4 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the Prosecution would request a period

5 of two hours with which to examine Lord Owen and would request that that

6 period be bifurcated so the Prosecution had 15 minutes to question him

7 after the accused questioned him. And the Prosecution would not be

8 opposing each of the parties have some period of time in reserve so that

9 we can clear up matters raised by the accused or the amici.

10 JUDGE MAY: So you want cross-examination and then a

11 re-cross-examination.

12 MR. GROOME: It would be an opportunity to ask questions.

13 Mr. Nice has asked if he could address you on this personally. It arises

14 from his experience in the Kordic case and wanted to address the Chamber

15 upon his return next week, but that is -- will be his position.

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

17 MR. GROOME: That it be bifurcated.

18 JUDGE MAY: We'll think about that. We need to make an order

19 soon, that's the problem, but we'll consider it. Thank you, Mr. Groome.

20 Mr. Nice -- Mr. Kay.

21 MR. KAY: Dealing first of all with the Prosecution request, in

22 our submission it wouldn't be appropriate for the Prosecution to have a

23 second bite of the cherry and after the other parties have questioned the

24 witness for them to then seek to put matters their way after the previous

25 questioning. This is a witness who is to be examined in front of the

Page 27677

1 Trial Chamber by all parties on equal terms. We all come to the Tribunal,

2 as it's written in the Statute, with an equality. To give the Prosecution

3 extra advantage, in our submission, would not be right, bearing in mind to

4 a great extent the reason why we're having this witness has been through

5 their own endeavours.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, what if you were also given a second bite?

7 MR. KAY: And then Mr. Nice would want a third bite, because they

8 never sit down, Your Honour, and that's been the history. I know Your

9 Honour has mentioned this several times during applications, saying,

10 "Don't you take no for an answer?" And we could go on and on. It might

11 be better if everyone just has their period and -- and are -- use their

12 efforts within that period.

13 JUDGE MAY: Do you have any time you want to put forward yourself?

14 MR. KAY: It would not be more than an hour.

15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic?

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, unfortunately because of

17 the enormous number of documents and the material that I receive, I

18 haven't had time to look at what has been served on me for Lord Owen's

19 testimony, so I have no proper idea about it. But I judge that one day

20 would be enough.

21 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll think about this and we'll draft an

22 appropriate order.

23 We'll adjourn now and sit again in 20 minutes.

24 --- Recess taken at 10.26 a.m.

25 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.

Page 27678

1 MR. AGHA: Your Honours, the Prosecution calls Witness Sead

2 Omeragic, and there are no protective measures for this witness. He will

3 be given by traditional 92 bis.

4 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness take the declaration.

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

6 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

7 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.

8 WITNESS: SEAD OMERAGIC

9 [Witness answered through interpreter]

10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Agha.

11 Examined by Mr. Agha:

12 Q. Witness, did you give a witness statement to the Office of the

13 Prosecution in August 2001?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And subsequently in July of this year, did you certify that

16 statement before the Registry of this Tribunal?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And is that statement before you and signed by yourself?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Thank you, Witness.

21 MR. AGHA: May I kindly ask the Court to allow an exhibit number

22 to be allotted.

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

24 THE REGISTRAR: 563, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE MAY: And that includes -- you're perhaps going to come on

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Page 27680

1 to deal with the article. That includes the article itself; is that

2 right?

3 MR. AGHA: The article itself isn't actually attached to the bis

4 but I would hope to present that separately and have a separate exhibit

5 number.

6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes. You're asking us to do that now.

7 MR. AGHA: Yes, please, Your Honour, if that's convenient.

8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We will a separate exhibit number for the

9 article.

10 THE REGISTRAR: 564, Your Honour.

11 MR. AGHA: Your Honours, since this is a 92 bis witness, I will

12 just read in essence a brief summary of the witness's testimony and then,

13 if I may with your permission, ask a few viva voce questions.

14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

15 MR. AGHA: Now, the witness has worked as a journalist since 1983.

16 On the 4th of April, 1992, the witness travelled from Sarajevo to

17 Bijeljina with Fikret Abdic and two others. On the 4th of April, the

18 witness wrote an article which was published in Slobodna Bosna on the 10th

19 of April, which has just been exhibited.

20 The witness stands by this article except for the reference in it

21 to Mauzer, which was a case of mistaken identity, and the reference to him

22 drinking Raki for two hours.

23 They drove by road in a convoy and were accompanied by Biljana

24 Plavsic and General Prascevic, whose vehicles were behind them. On the

25 way to Bijeljina, they passed Serb, Croatian, and Bosniak roadblocks.

Page 27681

1 As the convoy entered Bijeljina, the witness saw two mosques, both

2 of which were flying Serbian flags. He also heard Radio Bijeljina

3 announce that 25 bodies had been found in a garbage dump. The witness

4 became scared and announced that these were Bosniak bodies.

5 On arrival, they went to the JNA barracks where they found about

6 300 to 400 men, women, and children taking shelter. These people were

7 crying and surrounded Abdic, thinking that he would save them. The people

8 told him that they were not killers and were not to blame for anything.

9 Plavsic was present, standing about 50 metres away.

10 The witness then accompanied Abdic, Plavsic, and General Prascevic

11 to the municipal building, where they met with Arkan. The witness was

12 standing next to General Prascevic when Prascevic met Arkan, and the

13 witness formed the impression that Arkan was in fact Prascevic's main

14 commander. Plavsic was next to General Prascevic when he reported to

15 Arkan, and the witness saw Plavsic embrace and kiss Arkan.

16 The Generals Prascevic and Jankovic, who were both present, showed

17 great respect for Plavsic who appeared to have political power over them.

18 In front of Abdic and Arkan, Plavsic said that Arkan had saved Bijeljina

19 from the crimes which the Muslims had prepared against the Serbs.

20 The witness was told by a member of the TO that they had killed

21 "quite a lot of balijas." The witness saw Goran Hadzic arrive and go

22 into the municipal building and join the meeting with Arkan, Plavsic, and

23 Abdic. He was not allowed to attend the meeting. Abdic was the only

24 Muslim that attended.

25 B-1489, a Serbian journalist, was invited to attend.

Page 27682

1 There were two men with a camera from Sarajevo TV who Arkan had

2 not allowed to attend the meeting. One of Arkan's men with four others in

3 green uniforms removed the two men when they found that they were from

4 Sarajevo TV, declaring that it was "Alija's TV."

5 The witness also saw another man being ordered by one of Arkan's

6 men to be taken away when he was unable to produce his documents. The

7 witness then heard a shot.

8 Arkan's man then took out his pistol and pointed it at the

9 witness's head and told Prascevic's aid not to make him kill the witness

10 in front of his eyes. Arkan, however, came out of the meeting and made a

11 gesture with his finger to go away. Everyone left. The men with the old

12 JNA uniforms were obeying Arkan's man, and finally, the order of Arkan.

13 The witness then went on a tour of the town with Plavsic and

14 Arkan. The witness observed that the people in Bijeljina were very

15 distressed. Abdic made a speech to placate the Muslims, which Abdic

16 thought was being broadcast over the radio --

17 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please slow down, thank you.

18 MR. AGHA: Yes. My apologies.

19 -- but music was being played instead.

20 Outside the municipal hall, the witness heard Arkan say that he

21 was going to Bosanski Brod to deal with "that mother Armin Pohara" who at

22 that time was leader of the Croat and Bosniak resistance in Bosanski Brod.

23 Plavsic was close by and would have heard Arkan say this.

24 A woman approached the witness and told Abdic that they had killed

25 22 people in a basement and that they had tortured and killed a boxer and

Page 27683

1 that they had committed atrocities and it was a tragedy. Abdic simply

2 walked away.

3 The witness then left Bijeljina and went to Tuzla JNA headquarters

4 where he attended a meeting in the officers' dining-room. In the meeting

5 were Plavsic, Abdic, General Jankovic, Colonel Dubajic, General Prascevic,

6 and a couple of other lower-ranking JNA officers.

7 At the meeting, Plavsic declared that Arkan had saved Bijeljina

8 from crimes against the Serbs which the Muslims had prepared for Bajram.

9 The witness got into an argument with Plavsic and asked how could she say

10 such a thing. She had seen the situation in Bijeljina where the Muslims

11 had fled to the barracks and had even been told that 27 Muslims had been

12 killed there.

13 The witness told Plavsic that he was not happy with the way she

14 was dealing with things and that she was lying in front of the officers.

15 Plavsic told him that more Serbs had been killed and that Serbs were

16 always the ones in danger of attack.

17 At the meeting, the witness told Colonel Dubajic and the other

18 officers present that if they had an officer's honour, they would say that

19 atrocities were committed against Muslims in Bijeljina. Everyone then

20 became quiet, and the witness realised that he was in a dangerous

21 position.

22 The witness looked at General Jankovic who had a terrified,

23 astonished look in his eyes. After awhile, General Jankovic covered his

24 heads with his hands and admitted that many, many more Muslims had been

25 killed in Bijeljina than Serbs.

Page 27684

1 Now, this is the essence of the witness's statement, and with the

2 permission of the Court, I would like him just briefly to comment upon two

3 exhibits.

4 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

5 MR. AGHA:

6 Q. Now, the first exhibit is the one which was of the article and

7 given the exhibit number by Your Honours. Can we kindly show the witness

8 a copy of this article? It's Exhibit 564.

9 Witness, can you please tell the Chamber whether you wrote this

10 article and it is the basis of your statement?

11 A. Yes. This article is the basis for my statement.

12 Q. Thank you, Witness.

13 MR. AGHA: With the Court's permission, may I also briefly show a

14 video clip to the witness which has previously been tendered in Exhibit

15 425 as tab number 4?

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

17 MR. AGHA: And I would just kindly ask the witness.

18 Q. If you would please look at your screen and have a quick look at

19 the video clip and tell us the people in the clip, please.

20 [Videotape played]

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's it. I can see on the left

22 Mr. Andric, General Prascevic, and at the end myself, the witness.

23 MR. AGHA: Would you please continue the video.

24 [Videotape played]

25 MR. AGHA:

Page 27685

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Page 27686

1 Q. Can the witness tell us what he observed personally?

2 A. I observed at this point Arkan and Mrs. Plavsic, and that's when,

3 as you can see, they kissed. I was there.

4 Q. Thank you, Witness.

5 MR. AGHA: Now, if I may with the Court's permission, just ask a

6 couple of viva voce questions to the witness which came out of his

7 proofing.

8 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

9 MR. AGHA:

10 Q. Witness, at the time when you went to Bijeljina with General

11 Prascevic and General Jankovic, what positions of seniority were they

12 holding at that time?

13 A. As far as I know, General Prascevic, I assume, was the deputy in

14 the 2nd Army District of the commander General Kukanjac. And General

15 Jankovic was the commander of the Tuzla Corps.

16 Q. And at that time, they were very senior positions of authority; is

17 that correct?

18 A. Yes. They were extremely senior positions in the army, in the

19 JNA.

20 Q. Now, I understand from your statement that you also met a

21 journalist by the name of Mrkic. Can you kindly tell the Chamber if any

22 clearing-up operations were carried out prior to Mrs. Plavsic's visit?

23 A. Yes. In talking to people that I met with the soldiers, ordinary

24 people, I would learn various things by the way, including the fact that

25 before that, there were conflicts and that there were tens of people dead,

Page 27687

1 that everything took place out in the streets, and the streets -- that the

2 streets were later cleared of the blood from the corpses.

3 Q. And were the corpses also removed prior to the visit?

4 A. Yes, as far as I learnt.

5 Q. Now, Witness, you say in your statement you went to the JNA

6 barracks. Did General Jankovic tell you whether any other Muslims were

7 detained anywhere else, and if so, how many?

8 A. General Jankovic addressed Fikret Abdic and told him that in

9 addition to those several hundred refugees who were there in the barracks

10 where we were, there were another one an a half thousand refugees, mostly

11 Muslims, in Petkovaca.

12 Q. Now, Witness, when you were with Mrs. Plavsic, was there ever a

13 suggestion that the JNA should take over control of the town from Arkan

14 and the paramilitaries, and if there was, can you tell us who made the

15 suggestion and what the response was, please?

16 A. Precisely on the footage that we just saw when General Prascevic

17 is reporting in front of Arkan, that's when some strange things happened.

18 I would -- I thought this was quite strange requests, that Arkan should

19 leave the town to the Yugoslav People's Army, and he expressly refused to

20 do so, and as you said, he added that he would go to Bosanski Brod and

21 settle accounts there, and he swore with the army there, with Armin

22 Pohara.

23 Q. I apologise for cutting you off, Witness. Now, when Arkan

24 expressly refused to hand over control to the JNA, did he explain why?

25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, not the army there but

Page 27688

1 with Armin Pohara.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I remember, he said that

3 he had to deal with the situation in Bijeljina, and only afterwards to go

4 on to Bosanski Brod.

5 MR. AGHA:

6 Q. And what did you understand him to mean by dealing with the

7 situation in Bijeljina?

8 A. First of all, I asked myself how was it possible that the army who

9 was powerful and yet -- and a general is entreating and asking for

10 something, a man who had several hundred people behind him, asked to hand

11 over the town.

12 And second, I thought he had to deal with -- well, I couldn't

13 understand what this was about, what was supposed to be done to deal with

14 the situation in the town, perhaps to settle affairs politically speaking,

15 or I don't know how, to set things in order there.

16 Q. And finally, Witness, can you tell us if you learnt anything about

17 what was happening to any of the mosques in Bijeljina?

18 A. Well, it's like this: At the time, I saw two flags, we can call

19 them Serbian flags, up on two mosques in Bijeljina. While we were driving

20 through the town and moving towards the barracks, I said, "Look at that,

21 Mr. Abdic. They've hung up the flags." And some ten metres later, he

22 said, "No, they haven't hung up any flags. What are you talking about?"

23 The driver stopped, the driver driving us all stopped. Suddenly he had to

24 slam down the breaks, and he said, "Mr. President, take a look. You can

25 see two flags there. Yes, they have." And I had become accustomed to

Page 27689

1 Mr. Abdic's reactions of this kind. I think he was afraid. And at that

2 point in time, he was being filmed by some secret services so he was under

3 that impression and was afraid probably. And rumour had it - I learnt

4 this by talking to people, how it came about - that some of the mosques

5 were looted. That's what I heard, not more than that.

6 Q. Thank you, Witness.

7 Mr. AGHA: That would conclude the examination-in-chief. Thank

8 you, Your Honours.

9 JUDGE KWON: I have one thing to clear up. Can we go into private

10 session briefly.

11 [Private session]

12 [redacted]

13 [redacted]

14 [redacted]

15 [redacted]

16 [redacted]

17 [redacted]

18 [redacted]

19 [redacted]

20 [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

Page 27690

1 [redacted]

2 [redacted]

3 [Open session]

4 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

6 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:

7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Omeragic, you were a journalist of Slobodna

8 Bosna, the Fokus, Dnevni Avaz, Oslobodjenje, and Vecernje Novosti, all

9 those papers; isn't that right?

10 A. I worked less for Oslobodjenje and Vecernje Novosti, on very few

11 occasions, and I state that.

12 Q. Yes, but you're a war reporter from Slobodna Bosna and the Liljan

13 paper; is that right?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. As you collaborated with other papers, I assume you sent out some

16 of your articles to them from time to time. Did that date back to the war

17 in Bosnia, during that time or before that?

18 A. Somewhere from 1992 up until the 15th of January, 1993, I worked

19 for the paper Slobodna Bosna. After that, several journalists left

20 Sarajevo, which was under siege, for us to be able to report from parts of

21 Bosnia that were under the control of the army, not to stay in Sarajevo

22 only. So after that, some of us were engaged by the Liljan paper. That

23 was the only paper that was printed because there was no paper to print

24 the news on except for the paper Oslobodjenje.

25 Q. Very well. Now, with Fikret Abdic, you came to Bijeljina, and as

Page 27691

1 far as my information tells me, that was on the 6th of April, and you

2 reported on the events that took place on the 4th of April; is that right?

3 A. I can't quite remember the date exactly, but I do know that I was

4 in Bijeljina on the 4th of April. Now, as to the exact date, I really

5 can't say when I made a note of this and reported this.

6 Q. We have just heard in the explanations given that in your text you

7 reported something that did not take place. Is that right?

8 A. Yes. It was a mistake, a mistaken identity, actually, referring

9 to the man under the nickname of Mauzer.

10 Q. Yes. In your article, you say you met Ljubisa Savic, called

11 Mauzer, but you did not in fact meet that particular man. And in

12 paragraph 2 of your statement, you say that: "In the article I say I

13 mentioned Ljubisa Savic, known as Mauzer. I later saw photos of Mauzer

14 and realised that it wasn't Mauzer that I had met but one of Arkan's men."

15 A. Your Honours, may I be allowed to explain? During my stay in the

16 Bijeljina municipality building, I saw a man whom I was to recognise on

17 photographs later on as being Mauzer. It was Ljubisa Savic, who at the

18 time was wearing a JNA uniform, and I think that on the occasion, he had

19 some sort of privileged position in the eyes of Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan.

20 I remember that moment very well, and I can explain it to you. When, to a

21 soldier wearing a JNA uniform, whether it was the Territorial Defence or

22 something else, I don't know, or whether it was a regular army member,

23 dropped his rifle, Arkan went up to the man, and I think he slapped him

24 and said, "Pick up the rifle, and you're demobilised as of now."

25 I experienced something similar in front of the municipality

Page 27692

1 building. I remembered the face of that young man, and I was later to

2 learn that he was Ljubisa Savic, Mauzer. He kept playing with a knife, a

3 two-edged, two-bladed JNA knife. The knife dropped out of his hands at

4 one point, and as he saw the slapping of this soldier and the fact that he

5 had been demobilised on the spot, he became afraid, and he went all red in

6 the face. And I was standing next to him and noticed this face of his,

7 what it looked like, and I could never forget that face ever afterwards

8 because of this sudden fear that he showed on his face.

9 And later on in some papers, I saw that this was indeed Ljubisa

10 Savic. And the man whom I thought was Mauzer to begin with, that was in

11 fact Arkan's man who was wearing a black uniform and who had the various

12 insignia denoting the Tigers.

13 So much by way of explanation from me.

14 Q. You're actually confirming that you wrote that you met Mauzer, and

15 you have now explained that or, rather, 11 years later you said that it

16 wasn't correct. Is that the only thing that is not correct in this

17 article of yours?

18 A. Sir, I would like to explain that in 1996 or 1997, I saw the

19 photograph of Ljubisa Savic, who was said to be Mauzer, and it was then

20 that I recognised him. So not 12 years later but three or four years

21 later.

22 Q. Very well, but I am talking about your article, and it was only in

23 2001, when you were making your statement, you said that this was not

24 correct. Isn't that right?

25 A. Yes.

Page 27693

1 Q. You say that that man that you met with was actually Arkan's man.

2 How did you know that he was Arkan's man?

3 A. Well, on the basis of his uniform and the Tiger patch, the head of

4 a tiger with his jaws wide open. And they wore this on their left

5 sleeves.

6 Q. Very well. So it means that at the time you thought that Ljubisa

7 Savic, who is from Bijeljina, and I assume you knew that, that he too was

8 a member of Arkan's Tigers?

9 A. Ljubisa Savic was wearing an olive-grey uniform of the JNA

10 therefore.

11 Q. Yes. But when you wrote this article and mistook him for Arkan's

12 man, you considered him to be an Arkan Tiger, because you later on

13 established that he was wearing a Tiger uniform.

14 A. This was just a mistaken identity. I think there's nothing

15 questionable about it. I just thought that one person was somebody, after

16 which I saw a photograph and realised that he wasn't that person but

17 someone else.

18 Q. Very well. Apart from Fikret Abdic and Biljana Plavsic -- did

19 they travel together?

20 A. Yes, but in different cars.

21 Q. In different cars, but they came to Bijeljina together, didn't

22 they?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And you were in the car with Abdic?

25 A. Yes.

Page 27694

1 Q. And Plavsic's car was in the same column, I assume. There were

2 several cars constituting that column.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. You say that Biljana Plavsic was in a car behind yours; is that

5 right?

6 A. Yes, when we were going from Sarajevo, but at times they would

7 change. If there were assumed to be any barricades on the road or when we

8 were passing through places with a majority Serb population or Bosniak or

9 Croat population, they would change places; Fikret Abdic would be in the

10 first car, in the front car, and Mrs. Plavsic in the second. Or if we

11 were passing through areas that she might control, in a sense, then she

12 would go up front.

13 Q. But - very well - there's no doubt, however, that you did come

14 across obstacles, blockades, barricades, which, as you yourself describe,

15 some were held by Serbs, some by Croats, and some by Bosniaks. That is

16 what you said in your statement. So all the parties had some sort of

17 blockades and barricades.

18 A. It is a fact that as we were driving towards Bijeljina, there were

19 some just soldiers that we saw, but the first obstacles we came across

20 with piles of sandbags was in front of the entry to Bijeljina. And as we

21 returned, there may have been some hedgehog-shaped obstacles on the way

22 back, maybe in two places. Near Zenica, I think, and I don't remember

23 that we came across any others. But they were along the road, they didn't

24 cause any particular problem.

25 The first major obstacle on the road was in the form of a yellow

Page 27695

1 truck standing across the road and a large pile of sand and two smaller

2 piles of gravel.

3 Q. I understand what you are telling us. I'm just referring to

4 paragraph 4 in your statement when you say, "Roadblocks were erected on

5 the road to Bijeljina manned sometimes by Serbs and sometimes by Croats

6 and Bosniaks. What I'm saying is that there were obstacles manned by

7 various parties; isn't that right?

8 A. One could say that.

9 Q. Very well. And then you say that the curtains were closed. There

10 was no one. And then at times you would see somebody peeping at you from

11 behind the curtains. You noticed that the eyes were full of fear. The

12 events were the events of war, were they not?

13 A. Yes. Let me explain. At the very entrance to Bijeljina, while we

14 were driving, we slowed down at a certain point, and along the whole trip,

15 over a distance of some six or seven kilometres, every ten metres or so,

16 on both sides of the road, there were soldiers wearing JNA uniforms, and

17 they were looking away from the road, with their guns pointed.

18 Q. What you're trying to tell us is that they were securing the road,

19 because they had their backs turned to the road and they were looking at

20 either side of the road.

21 A. Well, that was probably the reason for the fear of the population.

22 Q. Yes, but as far as I understand it, two members of the Presidency

23 of Bosnia and Herzegovina are travelling, and most frequently in such

24 cases there is security with their backs turned to the road along which

25 the people they are securing are passing, and they are observing either

Page 27696

1 side of the road. They were securing Fikret Abdic and Biljana Plavsic or,

2 rather, all of you who were coming, but I assume that the security detail

3 was there because of the two members of the Presidency. Isn't that

4 normal?

5 A. Yes, though at the same time my impression was that it was a kind

6 of show of force, because after all, there were too many soldiers, every

7 ten metres or so, on either side of the road.

8 Q. The visit had been unannounced, I assume, and they thought because

9 of the events and the disturbances, the violence, the killings, they felt

10 it their duty to secure the route that would be taken by two members of

11 the Presidency on arriving to Bijeljina; isn't that so?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. As I don't see this in your article, though I did read through it

14 quickly, did you know what was going on before your arrival there? What

15 was happening in Bijeljina before you arrived?

16 A. No. We had no information. There were rumours that there were

17 disorders. We saw footage showing Arkan's troops firing at a building,

18 shooting at a building, and that was all.

19 Q. Were you able to hear, because as a reporter, I assume you

20 inquired into all events, that on the 31st of March, from the Istanbul

21 coffee bar fire was opened across the road to the Srbija coffee bar, and

22 an incident occurred provoked by the Muslim side. Are you aware of that?

23 A. I was only visiting the wounded, the people wounded from that

24 coffee bar who were in hospital. However, whatever question I asked or

25 any step I took, I was accompanied by one of Arkan's men, so I couldn't

Page 27697

1 really ask anything.

2 Q. And did you know that previously the Muslims had captured the town

3 and were distributing weapons in the premises of the SDA, and it was Alija

4 Saracevic who was distributing those weapons?

5 A. No, I know nothing about that.

6 Q. And do you know that they had set up sniper nests on the water

7 tower and the Zitopromet silo?

8 A. No. I know nothing about that.

9 Q. Didn't you inform yourself as to how these events had taken place

10 in Bijeljina?

11 A. You saw that I went to Bijeljina at the last moment, and I agreed

12 to go to Bijeljina because I heard that there was a problem over there

13 which I needed to explain, and I set off without any prior knowledge about

14 these things that you are referring to.

15 A. We have already reviewed the events in Bijeljina here, but as you

16 yourself were not present when they occurred, I won't ask you about them.

17 But tell me, when listening to Radio Bijeljina, you heard, as far as I can

18 see, that 25 bodies were found. On what grounds did you come to the

19 conclusion that they were Muslims?

20 A. First of all, I heard that. I have ears, and I heard very well

21 that these were 25 bodies found at the rubbish dump.

22 Q. Yes, but that is not my question, as to what you heard. If they

23 captured Bijeljina, they probably captured the radio station and all the

24 major facilities. The point of my question is on what grounds did you

25 come to the conclusion that they were Muslims?

Page 27698

1 A. I already had some experience with things like that as I had been

2 to some other theatres of war, and I know well that when I say that they

3 were Muslims, I assumed well that they would be the victims. They weren't

4 well-armed, and they were only just preparing for the war.

5 Q. Does that mean that you assumed that they were Muslims or did you

6 have any facts on the basis of which you could say that?

7 A. No. It wasn't my assumption.

8 Q. And since you say that they didn't have weapons, what did they

9 open fire with from the Istanbul coffee bar, and how did they manage to

10 set up sniper nests on the water tower, silo, and at the barricades in

11 Bijeljina?

12 A. I don't know, Mr. Milosevic. Somebody sets up a sniper nest or a

13 barricade, there must be victims of those numerous snipers and barricades

14 that were allegedly armed, but as far as I was able to see over there,

15 Radio Bijeljina announced that there were 41 victims, of which two were

16 Serbs and one an old Croat lady who was killed accidentally on her

17 balcony. So I don't know what those snipers were doing. Maybe they were

18 just watching.

19 Q. Well, they had blocked the town, according to the information I

20 have, but you say that you saw - and it says this in your article - you

21 saw a coffin with an old lady, Mirjana Ilic, who had been killed by a

22 stray bullet, and according to my information it was not a stray bullet

23 but that she was killed and killed by the Muslims. Did you hear anything

24 about that?

25 A. No. After subsequent inquiries, I was told that she would -- had

Page 27699

1 been killed by a stray bullet.

2 Q. So subsequent inquiries, yet you published this article straight

3 away.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And you learnt later that she had been killed by a stray bullet.

6 A. Let me tell you; while we were in that family -- with that family

7 and watching the body of that old lady, as far as I can remember, they

8 said that she had been killed by a stray bullet.

9 Q. So you reported that on the basis of what you were told at the

10 time.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Very well. You then went to the JNA barracks as a safe place;

13 isn't that right?

14 A. I don't understand the question.

15 Q. You went to the JNA barracks as a place which should have been

16 safe, I assume.

17 A. Mr. Abdic negotiated where he would go with Mrs. Plavsic, and I

18 was a person who thought to join in as an escort, and we found ourselves

19 in the barracks where the people had fled to to seek shelter, as I had

20 said.

21 Q. Let us specify. A moment ago, it was mentioned that there were,

22 according to my notes - I may be mistaken - that there were about 300

23 people there, is that right, in the barracks? That's what you said a

24 moment ago.

25 A. Yes. I said a moment ago - you can check - I said there were

Page 27700

1 several hundred people. It is impossible to tell the exact number, the

2 more so if you find yourself in such a crowd of people and you can't

3 review it or assess it. There were several hundred people who were in a

4 panic, people who were speaking with fear, with -- under stress.

5 Q. Yes, I understand that. I just wanted to make this point clear to

6 establish the facts. You say in paragraph 9 of your statement there were

7 about 700 or 800 people hiding in the barracks.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And they surrounded Fikret Abdic and said, "We're not killers.

10 We're not to blame for anything," et cetera. There were men and women and

11 small children and babies and old people.

12 A. Mostly women, elderly women, some younger women and children, and

13 maybe an elderly man or two.

14 Q. Were they mostly Muslims?

15 A. We couldn't really determine who was who, but I think it was a

16 mixed group.

17 Q. Is it quite clear that those people came to the JNA barracks to

18 seek shelter, to seek protection?

19 A. Yes, of course.

20 Q. And were they given protection over there? Were they protected?

21 A. They were over there. I can't say anything more than that, nor do

22 I know anything else, but they did go there to seek shelter.

23 Q. But I'm asking you whether they were protected there, because we

24 have heard claims here that the JNA was jeopardising those people. Could

25 you establish any such thing when you went there? They went there because

Page 27701

1 they felt safe and sought protection.

2 A. If I may answer. If I may explain. Because Arkan and his units

3 was attacking Bijeljina and establishing its own order, and they were

4 seeking protection from the regular army.

5 Q. All right. So you watched the meeting between Arkan and Biljana

6 Plavsic, and you explained the footage we were shown here, Plavsic kissing

7 Arkan. And from point 11 or paragraph 11 --

8 JUDGE MAY: Has the witness got a copy of his statement? Yes.

9 Mr. Omeragic, if you want to follow, you can, if you're referred to

10 particular paragraphs. Paragraph 11, apparently.

11 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. Yes. And in that paragraph, you say Arkan showed respect towards

14 her when they kissed, and she said to him, "My child." Well, she's much

15 older than him, so that wouldn't be anything unusual. Is that right,

16 Mr. Omeragic?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And then you go on to say that Plavsic said that Arkan had saved

19 Bijeljina from the crimes which the Muslims prepared and intended to

20 execute because before that they had blocked Bijeljina. Do you know about

21 that?

22 A. Yes, that's what she said.

23 Q. Well, did she say that for whatever reason or because it was

24 correct? She came there together with Abdic.

25 A. I don't know what was being prepared, but the preparations didn't

Page 27702

1 last long, because the next day after the first shots -- after the first

2 clashes, Arkan entered Bijeljina and started taking control. He started

3 bringing in his men and his order.

4 Q. Yes, but what you say in point 12 of your statement, "Plavsic said

5 on that occasion that they had saved the people from a crime, from the

6 crimes."

7 A. Well, I don't know what you mean, "Save the people from the

8 crimes." Let the victims speak.

9 Q. Well, I don't know, Mr. Omeragic. You are testifying on the basis

10 of your statement and not on the basis of the examination-in-chief. So I

11 don't know one way or another, and that's why I'm asking you with

12 reference to what it says in your statement, to clarify that particular

13 point, because this is what you say. And it is point 12, or if you

14 haven't got it, it's on page 3 of the statement, the one but last

15 paragraph. You say: "She stated that Arkan had saved Bijeljina from the

16 crimes that the Muslims had prepared and were to conduct against them.

17 She stated that he had saved the people from the crimes which the Muslims

18 were preparing against the Serbs. Fikret Abdic did not react or respond."

19 That is your statement.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. That means -- well, tell me if I've interrupted you. What were

22 you going to say?

23 A. Well, that's the whole point. Mrs. Plavsic said that Arkan had

24 saved the people from the crimes which the Muslims were preparing against

25 the Serbs. At the same time, we had 41 victims proclaimed over the radio,

Page 27703

1 so within those victims, 38 or 39 of them were non-Serbs, of the total

2 number.

3 Q. I don't have those facts and figures, but let's just focus on this

4 for a moment. She said what she said because she thought that it was

5 true, and now you add that Fikret Abdic did not respond, on the basis of

6 which one could conclude that he too considered that to be correct, what

7 you say --

8 JUDGE MAY: You can't make any such conclusion, and the witness

9 can't answer why Fikret Abdic did not respond, but go on.

10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm just taking note of what it says

11 here, Mr. May. And that is what the witness stated, or at least that's

12 what it says in his statement.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Now, is it true that to a journalist of the newspaper Politika

15 Biljana Plavsic said that Arkan had done what he should have done and that

16 he brought peace to Bijeljina? That's what it says in point 27, that he

17 prevented crimes from being committed, ill-deeds.

18 A. Yes, that's what I heard.

19 Q. I see. And Fikret Abdic, the leader of the Muslims, that is to

20 say, and as you know, a man who won the greatest number of votes on the

21 list in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the election there, and on the basis of that

22 he should have been president of the Presidency, didn't question that at

23 all. Was that how it was or not?

24 A. Mr. Fikret Abdic didn't question many things. It was -- he was

25 quite an individual, character. When he should have responded, he didn't

Page 27704

1 respond. And when he was supposed to say anything that would take more

2 courage, be more courageous or frank, he didn't make the effort to utter

3 any such things.

4 Q. Very well, Mr. Omeragic. I don't suppose you want to say that

5 Fikret Abdic could have had anything in his attitude to things which would

6 be contrary to Muslim interests?

7 A. Well, I'm not quite certain that Mr. Abdic was ready, was

8 prepared -- was unprepared to do anything against Muslim interests. I

9 think it's a long story there, and I think it would take us to a dead end

10 and an unnecessary discussion along those lines.

11 Q. Well, he was a member of the Presidency in the name of the

12 Muslims, and as you will recall, there were two declared Muslims, two

13 Croats, two Serbs, and one Yugoslav in the Presidency. Those two Muslims

14 were Izetbegovic and Abdic, or Abdic and Izetbegovic, because Abdic won

15 more votes than Izetbegovic; right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Tell me now, please, you wrote in your statement, in point 15:

18 "At one stage of the visit I approached one of the Territorial Defence

19 members and he did not know who I was, so I asked him, `Did you cut down

20 those balijas?' He thought that I was one of his men and he said words to

21 the effect, `Yes, we have killed quite a lot of them.'"

22 That's what you say in your statement.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Did that really happen?

25 A. Well, you have the list of victims.

Page 27705

1 Q. No, I'm not talking about the list of victims. Perhaps I didn't

2 read your article carefully enough. Where do you actually say that in

3 your article? Could you point out the passage, because I don't seem to be

4 able to find it myself.

5 A. It's in between the text, the grey portion. You mean the victims,

6 where it says "victims," that paragraph titled "The victims," after the

7 line.

8 Q. I'm not quite sure we're talking about the same thing. I'm asking

9 you to find this event in the text where you say, "Did you cut down those

10 balijas?" and he gave you the answer he gave you, or you're asking him as

11 a sort of provocation, in fact, because you're a Muslim. So you're asking

12 this Serb, "Did you cut down those balijas?" And his answer was,

13 "Yes," along those lines. As you say, "words to that effect." I wasn't

14 able to find that in your article.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Does it exist in your article?

17 A. No, not in the text.

18 Q. So how come such a major point which you state in your statement

19 you did not include into the text that you titled "The Bloody Bajram in

20 Bijeljina" and all the rest of it? How come such a cardinal point was

21 left out, when you asked someone, "Did you cut down those balijas," and he

22 said, "Yes, we killed quite a lot of them"? How come you didn't put that

23 in the article yet you put it in your statement in the year 2001? Did you

24 invent that event, Mr. Omeragic?

25 A. I'm just waiting for you to finish, to complete what you're

Page 27706

1 saying. I did not put into my text, into my article, even a tenth of what

2 went on, of all the events that occurred in Bijeljina, because a newspaper

3 article is always short, too short to include everything, to publish

4 everything, but I could tell you endless tales, go on for days telling you

5 about what I experienced.

6 Q. As concerns the quantitative, if I can say that, the quantitative

7 approach, your statement is roughly the length of your newspaper article.

8 I haven't counted the words, of course, but I don't suppose the article

9 has more worth than the statement. So how come such a cardinal fact that

10 you mention in your statement when you ask a soldier, "Did you cut down

11 those balijas," and he says, "Yes, many," how come you didn't include that

12 in your article?

13 A. I think that the statement is at least four times as long as my

14 newspaper article.

15 Q. So you considered this not to be essential, and that's why you

16 didn't include it into your article, this conversation.

17 A. Yes, perhaps, because there are no names or proof.

18 Q. All right. Tell me this, then, please: You say that there was a

19 journalist whose name was Golubovic, a journalist from TV Sarajevo,

20 Velibor Golubovic, and they were rough towards him and shoved him

21 downstairs. Is it true that Golubovic was the son-in-law of General

22 Kukanjac, the commander of the army district?

23 A. Yes. Mr. Golubovic, a journalist for RTV Sarajevo, was Kukanjac's

24 son-in-law.

25 Q. And they were rough towards him?

Page 27707

1 A. Yes. Arkan's man was.

2 Q. So they were -- they handled this man in a rough way, and he was

3 somebody who was close to a general of the JNA; is that it?

4 A. I can explain everything to you and can tell you that at the

5 moment when this colleague, Mr. Golubovic, said that he was a Television

6 Sarajevo journalist, that Arkan told two of his men, his escorts in black

7 uniform -- he was in black uniform and he said to his escorts in the

8 territorial green uniform, he said, "Take him away." And at that point

9 this man says, "Well, you're surely not going to kill me," or, "Please

10 don't kill me," something like that, and as you can see, he had some

11 assumptions too. And at the time Mrs. Biljana Plavsic's driver rushed up

12 and whispered something to Arkan's man, whispered in his ear, and I heard

13 him mention the name Kukanjac, but that wasn't enough for this man, and

14 Arkan's man also said worse things. He said, "Take him away."

15 Q. So from what you're telling us, they seem to have been in some

16 kind of conflict with the army.

17 A. Well, that's already been confirmed. That was confirmed in the

18 requests and entreaties to Arkan that the town should be left to the JNA

19 when he rejected this emphatically.

20 Q. So the army tried not to enter into this conflict but to control

21 the town and protect the population; is that it?

22 A. I don't think that anybody asked the JNA anything, but Arkan was

23 in command there and had the final say.

24 Q. Well, on the basis of what grounds are you able to say that the

25 general - I forget which general, whether it was Jankovic or Prascevic -

Page 27708

1 that he was reporting to Arkan. Did you ever hear him reporting to Arkan?

2 Did you hear him reporting to Arkan in any way?

3 A. I saw him going up to him. He took four steps forward -- you can

4 see that on the footage.

5 Q. All I saw on the footage was that a man in uniform was saluting

6 somebody else in uniform, which means saluting by bringing up his hand to

7 his cap. That is how they would salute each other on the street, one army

8 man to another. I have seen that many times, both as a pupil, a student,

9 and as a general citizen at large. When somebody meets somebody else,

10 they greet them in this way. It's not reporting of any kind, it's just a

11 greeting.

12 Did you hear him actually report to him?

13 A. Yes. He stood to attention.

14 Q. Where can you see on the footage that he stood to attention?

15 A. Yes, you can see it on the footage.

16 Q. That he stood to attention in front of Arkan, this general,

17 General Prascevic?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And what did he do, report to him?

20 A. He greeted him, reported to him, and I don't think you can see

21 Arkan on the footage.

22 Q. No, I can't.

23 A. On the footage.

24 Q. No you can only see Arkan afterwards, when they shake hands.

25 A. Yes, but Arkan is standing there leisurely and calmly and only

Page 27709

1 once General Prascevic had saluted, had greeted him --

2 Q. Well, you can't see that on the footage.

3 A. Well, you couldn't have, Mr. Milosevic.

4 Q. But if they greeted one another, does that mean that the general

5 reported to him?

6 A. That's what it looked like to me. It looked like him reporting.

7 Q. I see. It looked like it to you, but did you do your military

8 service?

9 A. Yes, I did.

10 Q. Well, so did I. So when you're reporting to someone, you have to

11 say something, you have to report something to the person you're reporting

12 to, whereas here they just greeted -- met each other and greeted each

13 other.

14 A. I don't think that's how it was. I stand by what I said. Arkan

15 was standing leisurely and calmly and waiting, and if you look at the

16 footage carefully, you will see Prascevic taking four steps forward,

17 standing to attention, reporting, and then carrying on.

18 Q. Yes, but Prascevic is approaching that spot where they were

19 standing. So he would have necessarily to take some steps forward?

20 JUDGE MAY: You've exhausted this topic. Let's move on to

21 something else.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think we have too. Yes, I agree.

23 We have exhausted it.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. But tell me, please -- I have to collect my thoughts and remember.

Page 27710

1 You mentioned a man called Predrag and describe how the two of us,

2 Arkan's -- how Arkan's soldiers took you by the arm and wanted to take you

3 somewhere, take you away. This is in point 20. And a man called Predrag

4 prevented this, and there was some kind of argument that took place.

5 That's in point 20.

6 So they didn't arrest you, actually, did they?

7 A. This is how it was.

8 Q. My question to you is: You were not arrested, were you?

9 A. I was not arrested.

10 Q. But they had intended to do that and then they gave it up?

11 A. They showed that when they took me under the arm and tried to take

12 me away, though I was told that I was some sort of an escort of Fikret

13 Abdic.

14 Q. And after that, nobody touched you?

15 A. It was just then that they wanted to take me away, but this young

16 man saved me. And this man in black uniform, an Arkan man, said he was

17 going to kill me, and they -- and then he said, "Don't let me kill him

18 here in front of you." And then he put this short barrel -- rather,

19 long-barrelled pistol, I can't remember that too well, actually. I think

20 it was handmade. He put this barrel on my head, to my temple. I could

21 feel it. He was threatening, and he was quarrelling with this other man.

22 Q. After that, nothing happened?

23 A. The door was opened, because we were making a lot of noise. Arkan

24 wouldn't let me go into the meeting. And the door opened, and Arkan

25 appeared. I can tell you, he just raised his finger like this and pointed

Page 27711

1 it over there in a different direction, and as the door was opened,

2 everyone was standing. These two men in green uniform who were listening

3 to Arkan took me by the arm, and Arkan indicated with his finger that they

4 should go. And they ran down the steps. Anyway they disappeared. Then

5 Arkan when he opened the door said, "What's all this noise?" They were

6 all standing there, and then he just moved his finger and these two

7 disappeared.

8 Q. I understand. You were not arrested. An incident occurred, but

9 nothing happened to you.

10 A. Thank God, no.

11 Q. You also mentioned in this short -- now, I don't know whether it

12 was in the summary or you actually said so, that you saw men wearing old

13 JNA uniforms, didn't you?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And these men in old JNA uniforms were not members of the JNA,

16 were they? They were local TO members.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Could you please tell me whether it is true that in Bijeljina, at

19 the time, Abdic made a speech? You were following that whole visit. Did

20 he speak on that occasion?

21 A. I wasn't present where Mr. Abdic spoke. It was at that meeting

22 which lasted about 35 minutes, not more than that, and I had no access

23 there because Arkan turned me back. When I was about to go in, he was

24 standing at the door deciding who would go and who wouldn't, and he

25 wouldn't let me go in only, as well as this Golubovic with his crew. I

Page 27712

1 think that one of the cameramen entered without a camera, but he wouldn't

2 let Golubovic in.

3 Q. My interest is not for Golubovic right now. In paragraph 24, you

4 say that, "I was told that Abdic's speech was broadcast and that it lasted

5 five to six minutes. That is what I heard, but I didn't hear it

6 broadcast."

7 Was Abdic's speech broadcast by the radio?

8 A. No, Mr. Milosevic, it was not broadcast.

9 Q. Let us make sure we understand one another. From paragraph 24, I

10 gathered that you were claiming that they didn't broadcast the telephone

11 conversations which Abdic had with people who were calling him directly on

12 an open phone in the studio and that was not broadcast.

13 A. I heard from one of the young men, guards, who were in uniform. I

14 took a transistor radio, I saw it when we were entering, and I put it next

15 to Mr. Abdic's driver. And I was looking for the music on the radio that

16 could be heard from the studio so as to hear what Mr. Abdic was saying and

17 talking to people who were calling in, and I was looking for that music

18 but I didn't hear anything. I didn't hear Mr. Abdic speaking with the

19 people at the other end of the line. This was not being broadcast.

20 Q. But the very fact that listeners were informed that Abdic is in

21 the studio, doesn't that confirm that he was speaking? It's another

22 matter whether they were broadcasting live his conversations with citizens

23 on the telephone, but surely the citizens must have heard him speaking to

24 be able to call up and ask him questions.

25 A. They need not necessarily be in the radio.

Page 27713

1 Q. How would they know? How would they call him up if they didn't

2 know that he was on the radio?

3 A. He was just there. The public didn't hear him. These complaints

4 or requests or disputes could not be heard on the radio, which means it

5 simply wasn't broadcast.

6 Q. So you're saying that Abdic did not speak in Bijeljina.

7 A. Not in public.

8 Q. So nothing of what Abdic said in Bijeljina was broadcast. Is that

9 what you are claiming?

10 A. Yes, I had a the transistor radio and didn't hear anything. While

11 I was listening, and I think I was listening for about half a hour, I

12 didn't hear him.

13 Q. But you were told that he spoke for about five or six minutes on

14 the radio and that this was broadcast. They told you that. This is

15 something you also heard?

16 A. He didn't speak at all over the radio.

17 Q. You say, "I was told that Abdic's speech was broadcast and that it

18 lasted five to six minutes." I'm reading the whole sentence for you. "I

19 was told that Abdic's speech was broadcast and that it lasted about six

20 minutes."

21 A. That is what I was told, but I didn't hear it.

22 Q. That is what it says in your statement. It's true that you say

23 that you didn't hear it, but you also say that you were told that it was

24 broadcast and that it lasted five or six minutes.

25 A. Someone may have told me that. I listened for about 25 minutes or

Page 27714

1 half an hour. I saw Mr. Abdic in the studio. I was across the way from

2 him. He -- glass separated us, and I could hear him and see him speaking

3 on the phone with citizens calling him up, but at the same time, I heard

4 the music which should have been the backdrop to his conversations there

5 in the breaks until a line is established. I just heard the music. I

6 didn't hear Mr. Abdic's voice. So I wasn't sure whether he was given any

7 time to speak or not.

8 Q. Since you were with Abdic all the time, it would appear that he

9 didn't see what you claim you saw. What did he say as his position, his

10 observation or his condemnation of something that had happened if things

11 happened in the way you portray them?

12 A. Absolutely nothing. Mr. Abdic even had a kind of argument with me

13 on the way back. I asked Mr. Abdic, "What are you going to say?" He just

14 waved his hand and there was an argument. In the short time I was with

15 Mr. Abdic, I realised only one thing, and that is that either that he

16 sought to be quite impersonal or that was part of his nature, his

17 character, not to react even when it was necessary or when it was

18 unnecessary. He was just a man walking around seeking peace, saying that

19 he was a peace advocate, at the same time saying nothing for the public.

20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, I'm going to interrupt you. You've got

21 three minutes left.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I haven't managed to

23 develop your habit to keep watching the clock.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Tell me, Mr. Omeragic, why in your statement you don't mention

Page 27715

1 this passive attitude by Abdic which is very strange. He is a member of

2 the Presidency. He came there and he's not reacting to something that

3 happened there, according to what you claim. Why did you not write

4 anything about such a position which was absolutely specific if it was the

5 way you put it?

6 A. Let us say that I considered this to be his strategy that I didn't

7 want to interfere with, allegedly seeking peace with Mrs. Plavsic. This

8 time I went with them because I couldn't pass otherwise, but on other

9 occasions I went to Bosanski Brod, Derventa and other places where they

10 tried, only tried, to talk about peace and to act as some sort of

11 mediators. So I believed that this was part of his strategy that I didn't

12 want to interfere with as a journalist.

13 Q. You described the meeting in the JNA barracks in Tuzla where

14 Plavsic said, once again, that Arkan had saved Bijeljina of the crime --

15 of a crime against the Serbs and that you responded roughly by saying,

16 "How could you say something like that when you saw what the situation was

17 like over there?" Is that right?

18 A. Yes, I did react.

19 Q. You saw the hospitals, you saw the Muslims who had fled and sought

20 shelter in the barracks.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And Plavsic said, "No. More Serbs were killed." Is that right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And what eventually did you conclude? Is it what you wrote here

25 in the frame in your article?

Page 27716

1 And how did you find that out, what you wrote here? You are

2 saying that you informed them in Tuzla that a crime had been committed

3 against the Muslims in Bijeljina. Now, tell me, did you explain to them

4 how you learnt about that for them to believe you?

5 A. I'm sorry. I don't understand the question. Who had to believe

6 me?

7 Q. You say that you spoke out at this meeting in Tuzla, that there

8 had been crimes against the Muslims in Bijeljina, when Plavsic retorted,

9 "No, there were more Serbs killed." Did you inform them about what you

10 had learnt?

11 A. I didn't inform Mrs. Plavsic about anything, or Mr. Abdic, because

12 I am not in such a position as to be able to do that. I was a man looking

13 at things with my own eyes and coming to my own conclusions. Later on,

14 these proved to be correct when the later report of Vlado Mrkic brought

15 over a list of victims.

16 Q. Very well. But my question a moment ago about the meeting with

17 the JNA in Tuzla and about what Plavsic said and what you said, how you

18 responded, this whole story in paragraph 29 of your statement, you didn't

19 report any of that in your article.

20 A. It is true that I didn't write anything about that in that

21 article, but I'm telling you again not ten articles would have been

22 sufficient to cover everything.

23 JUDGE MAY: This must be your last question.

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, if it is my last

25 question.

Page 27717

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. You say that you went to Bosanski Brod, that it was held by the

3 HVO and that the town had already been destroyed. You say that in

4 paragraph 32. Who destroyed Bosanski Brod?

5 A. Mr. Milosevic, according to what I know, in Lijeska, in the

6 north-eastern part of Bosanski Brod municipality, a territory had been

7 formed with ethnically pure Serb inhabitants. It was known as the Serb

8 Brod. And as far as I know, the main person there was Mile Radovanovic,

9 who used to be a taxi driver in Brod.

10 Q. I'm asking you about the one but last paragraph of your statement

11 you say, "Some two, three, or four days after that, Abdic and Franjo Boras

12 --" Franjo Boras is a Croat, isn't he?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. "-- visited Bosanski Brod. I visited at the same time. It was

15 possible for me to get there alone. Boras and Abdic entered the

16 municipality building together, and the town was under HVO control. The

17 town was already destroyed and damaged." Which means you arrived in

18 Bosanski Brod, it was under the control of the Croatian forces, and it was

19 already destroyed and damaged. Who destroyed and damaged Bosanski Brod?

20 A. While I was there, there was from Lijeska, from the Serb part, and

21 these probably retaliated, as far as I was able to see, so they fired

22 their artillery shells in that direction too.

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kay.

24 MR. KAY: Yes, I do have questions of the witness.

25 Questioned by Mr. Kay:

Page 27718

1 Q. Witness, how many times did Arkan and Biljana Plavsic kiss on this

2 occasion in Bijeljina?

3 A. I think three times as far as I was able to see on the clip and as

4 far as I can remember.

5 Q. Can we look at your article which has been exhibited in the trial,

6 Exhibit 564. I'm just going to go through the stages of the article. You

7 describe in general terms at the beginning about the visit to Bijeljina

8 and your impression of it. You described Fikret Abdic going to the

9 barracks and then the summons to municipality hall where Mrs. Plavsic is

10 waiting and you're about to meet with Arkan. You describe Abdic going to

11 municipality hall, and then after the meeting you describe going around

12 houses to speak to people with Arkan being there.

13 I'm on page 3 now, and you describe the hospital. And on page 4

14 in the English, you describe then going to Radio Bijeljina where Fikret

15 Abdic is to talk to the Muslim listeners.

16 And then on the last page, you describe Biljana Plavsic,

17 General Prascevic, General Jankovic, and Arkan in the park. You describe

18 Plavsic being interviewed by Ekspres Politika, and she kisses Arkan

19 good-bye. What kiss have we been watching in this courtroom, a kiss of

20 greeting and approval or a kiss good-bye to Arkan?

21 A. We saw the kiss upon arrival, upon their first meeting.

22 Q. In this article you mention nothing about a kiss on arrival. The

23 only kiss you mention is a kiss good-bye?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Was there a kiss on arrival?

Page 27719

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Why didn't you mention it in your article?

3 A. I think it's just due to forgetfulness, but I was there. You

4 could see that on the footage. I saw that.

5 Q. What you describe in your article is an army where a corporal had

6 more authority than two broken-down generals?

7 JUDGE MAY: Well, isn't this just a matter of argument.

8 MR. KAY: It's going to be what the situation is in Bijeljina

9 rather than a matter of argument. The article plainly deals with the

10 situation where people are sheltering at the barracks.

11 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

12 MR. KAY: And that's the point of it.

13 Q. When you went to the barracks, you described people sheltering in

14 the JNA barracks; is that right?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. What you describe is a situation in Bijeljina where Arkan had

17 control of that town.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Was he being asked to leave that town?

20 A. More precisely put, to leave the town to the JNA, to hand it over

21 to the JNA.

22 Q. He was being told to go.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And from what you saw, he had with him forces who were in support

25 of him, and he had control of that town.

Page 27720

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. At that moment in Bijeljina, power was with Arkan?

3 A. Yes.

4 MR. KAY: Thank you. No further questions.

5 MR. AGHA: If I may just ask the witness a couple of questions.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

7 Re-examined by Mr. Agha:

8 Q. Now, we've just established that according to you, Arkan was in

9 fact in control of that town, and you had gone along there to see what had

10 been happening in Bijeljina, and you witnessed the very senior general who

11 you mentioned, Prascevic of the 2nd Military District. Now, when he came

12 to Bijeljina, did he come with tanks and artillery in order to expel Arkan

13 who had attacked the town?

14 A. No. They arrived in ordinary cars.

15 Q. In actual fact, what you witnessed was the deputy general of the

16 2nd Military District of the People's Army salute and greet the man who

17 had just attacked Bijeljina and other Yugoslav citizens; is that correct?

18 MR. KAY: It's really for the witness to say what he witnessed

19 rather than for the advocate to tell him what he witnessed, which I think

20 is what was happening here.

21 MR. AGHA: I apologise to my learned friend.

22 JUDGE MAY: No need to apologise to him or anybody. Yes.

23 MR. AGHA:

24 Q. Could you kindly answer the question, please, witness, what you

25 saw?

Page 27721

1 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps you could rephrase it. Rephrase it, please,

2 Mr. Agha.

3 MR. AGHA:

4 Q. Witness, rather than fighting off Arkan, how did the general of

5 the 2nd Military District approach him when he met him in Bijeljina?

6 A. Well, as far as can be seen from that clip, General Prascevic came

7 almost like some sort of a neutral negotiator, as some sort of accidental

8 figure in a town which was absolutely ruled by Zeljko Raznjatovic.

9 Q. And then he left?

10 A. Yes. They went back in the third car, the one you could see us

11 coming in. They went back together to Sarajevo, General Prascevic, Fikret

12 Abdic and Mrs. Plavsic.

13 Q. One final question is that the accused and my learned friend has

14 placed quite a lot of emphasis on what you did and what you did not say in

15 your statement before the investigators as opposed to what you said in

16 your newspaper article. And the suggestion was that perhaps many things

17 had been left out of your statement which you had mentioned in your

18 article which were important and as to why they weren't mentioned. But if

19 I may draw your attention to your actual article, I think that there are

20 many important matters mentioned in your article, such as massacres of the

21 population, the cleaning out of this place by Arkan,, which are also not

22 in your statement which can be regarded as very important. Is that

23 correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. So it's quite correct to say that because you witnessed so many

Page 27722

1 things of significance they couldn't possibly all be mentioned in a short

2 newspaper article.

3 A. Yes.

4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Agha, if ever there was a leading question, it was

5 that one. You suggest the answer to the witness. He just says yes. Let

6 him answer.

7 Yes, Mr. Omeragic, you should have the last word.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I'm talking about these things,

9 everything I was saying in answer to Mr. Milosevic and you, at one point

10 when I returned from Bijeljina, I was in a desperate situation because of

11 everything I had seen but also because I feared that whatever I had seen

12 in Bijeljina would be mirrored in other places of Bosnia and Herzegovina

13 in even worse form. And at the time, I was so lost that even things that

14 appeared to you to be of key significance were omitted, and the kiss of

15 death that is repeatedly referred to between Mrs. Plavsic and Arkan, I

16 didn't mention that, you see, and now it is in the focus of attention.

17 So I returned from Bijeljina as a man who I must say was met with

18 shells, because the first shells started falling in Sarajevo that day.

19 And when I was about to write the text on the 6th, the first shells had

20 already fallen and the first casualties. So this kind of distractedness

21 contributed to my leaving out some important things regarding my visit to

22 Bijeljina from my article because of this all coinciding and because the

23 tragedy started of which I was a part for three and a half years.

24 MR. AGHA: Thank you, Your Honour. No further questions.

25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Omeragic, that concludes your evidence. Thank you

Page 27723

1 for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are now free to go.

2 We will adjourn now for 20 minutes.

3 [The witness withdrew]

4 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.

5 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.

6 [The witness entered court]

7 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

10 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much. If you'd like to take a seat.

11 WITNESS: WITNESS B-1453

12 [Witness answered through interpreter]

13 JUDGE MAY: Now, Ms. Pack, I understand that you would wish to try

14 and get through this witness today. Obviously that will be desirable. We

15 can sit on until 2.00 or thereabouts, but since the accused must have his

16 hour, the only way I should think it's going to be done is for you to

17 forego your time at the beginning. You may want to consider that in the

18 interests of trying to finish the witness. We can read the summary.

19 MS. PACK: I'm grateful, Your Honour. I won't read the summary

20 out in that case. If I may, I will ask that the first two -- the two

21 statements for this Witness B-1453, and the exhibits are tabs 3, 4, and 5

22 be admitted into evidence pursuant to 89(F). I will ask the witness to

23 deal with them, but I ask that because they were the subject of a 92 bis

24 (B) application that was granted by the Chamber.

25 JUDGE MAY: But the formalities haven't been concluded under 92

Page 27724

1 bis. Is that the position?

2 MS. PACK: That's absolutely right, Your Honour.

3 JUDGE MAY: So you're asking us merely to deal with it now under

4 89(F). The witness must, of course, go through the necessary procedure to

5 clarify, ratify, authenticate the document and declare it's true, yes.

6 MS. PACK: I'll ask him to do that.

7 Examined by Ms. Pack:

8 Q. Witness --

9 MS. PACK: Could the witness please be handed tab 2, please, his

10 statement at tab 2 of the bundle. And that's the English version. The

11 front page of the English version, please, the cover page.

12 Q. Witness, look at the cover page, please. Your details are

13 identified -- your name is identified on the cover page of that statement?

14 Just your name?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Can you see your signature at the bottom of at that page?

17 A. I see it.

18 Q. And go through to the end of that statement and look, please, at

19 your signature at the end of that statement.

20 A. Yes, the signature is mine.

21 Q. And have you initialled the bottom of each page of that

22 English-language statement?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. It's dated the 23rd of January, 1997. Witness, have you since

25 read a B/C/S version of that statement?

Page 27725

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Witness, subject to two corrections which we'll come to, are the

3 contents of that statement true and correct to the best of your knowledge

4 and belief?

5 A. Yes, it is truthful.

6 MS. PACK: Can the witness please be shown the B/C/S version of

7 that statement. It just follows on from the English at the same tab, tab

8 2.

9 Q. Witness, I'd ask you to look at the cover page. Is there

10 something you want to correct there on the cover page, just briefly?

11 A. Have I to correct the word "Bosniak." I'm a Bosnian. I was born

12 in Bosnia, so I'm a Bosnian, not a Bosniak.

13 Q. Thank you. Please turn to paragraph 19. Witness, is there

14 anything in that paragraph you would like to correct?

15 A. In this paragraph, I would like to correct the surname Milicic.

16 The commander's surname was Milincic, with an "N". Because there's

17 another man who was called Milicic who was there. This is with an "N."

18 Q. Thank you, Witness.

19 MS. PACK: Could the witness please be shown tab 1 of the bundle,

20 the cover page of the English version of his witness statement dated 18th

21 of April, 2002.

22 Q. Witness, again please look at the cover page. Can you see your

23 signature on that page at the bottom?

24 A. I see it. It is my signature, yes.

25 Q. And your signature on the next three pages of that statement?

Page 27726

1 A. Yes, it is my signature.

2 Q. Look, please, at the next document, which is the B/C/S version of

3 the statement. Witness, have you had a chance, since being in The Hague,

4 to read the B/C/S version of your statement dated the 18th of April, 2002?

5 A. I have had an opportunity of reading it.

6 Q. And are the contents of that statement true and correct to the

7 best of your knowledge and belief?

8 A. It is true and correct. I gave the statement.

9 Q. Witness, when you made that statement, did you pass over to

10 investigator from the OTP three documents?

11 A. Yes, I did give those documents.

12 MS. PACK: Those documents, Your Honour, appear at paragraphs --

13 sorry, at tabs 3, 4, and 5. I would ask then that those two statements

14 and those three tabbed exhibit tabs be admitted into evidence pursuant to

15 89(F).

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, next exhibit number, please.

17 THE REGISTRAR: 565, Your Honour.

18 MS. PACK: Thank you.

19 Q. Witness, turn, please, to tab 6 of the binder in front of you.

20 MS. PACK: Can the witness be shown tab 6.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

22 MS. PACK:

23 Q. Look -- look, please, at that document. Can you tell us, please -

24 it is dated the 7th of May, 1992 - who it is from?

25 A. This document is from the chief of the Bijeljina public security

Page 27727

1 station, Predrag Jesuric, addressed to the minister of the Republic of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina with respect to the establishment of the police and

3 carrying out assignments in Brcko, et cetera.

4 Q. Do you recognise the signature?

5 A. I do recognise the signature of Jesuric, because he was my

6 superior directly. I know him personally, and I recognise his signature.

7 Q. Look, please, at the third paragraph of that document, starting,

8 "Pursuant to the decision ..."

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Can you tell us, please, if that -- what that -- what that

11 paragraph describes and if what that paragraph describes is familiar to

12 you.

13 A. It describes the fact that police units were set up to go to Brcko

14 to look after the property, both public and private property, and I was

15 among the units sent to Brcko. But we weren't able to carry out our

16 assignment because we were prevented from doing so by others.

17 Q. Who are the others you were prevented from doing your task by?

18 A. We were prevented by the ones from the Territorial Defence, the

19 Chetniks, so-called Chetniks, who looted en masse. We didn't enter into a

20 conflict with them, we just stood by and watched and saw what they were

21 doing.

22 MS. PACK: Those matters, Your Honour, are dealt with in the first

23 statement at paragraph 42.

24 Q. Couple of points of clarification. If you could just go to tab 1,

25 please, of the binder and look at the B/C/S version of your witness

Page 27728

1 statement, paragraph 7.

2 Witness, you describe in paragraph 7 having seen convoys coming

3 from Serbia carrying military equipment. Tell us, please, when you saw

4 those convoys.

5 A. I saw those convoys in April and May, and I personally accompanied

6 them with our official vehicles from Serbia to Majevica, Zvornik, and

7 their destinations.

8 Q. That's April and May, 1992, is it?

9 A. Yes. 1992, yes.

10 Q. How many times did you see these convoys?

11 A. I saw the convoys that I accompanied. I accompanied them ten

12 times during those two months, at least ten times. I saw them go across

13 the bridge, rail bridge across the Sava River. I was there at a

14 checkpoint, and I would see daily between two or three convoys, trains,

15 actually, transporting these goods.

16 Q. I'm not asking you about the trains, I'm asking you about the

17 convoys. How many times did you escort convoys from Serbia, coming from

18 Serbia?

19 A. I personally escorted those convoys at least ten times, the ones

20 coming from Serbia across the bridge.

21 Q. And how many trucks or vehicles made up those convoys?

22 A. Usually they would be made up of between 10 to 20 vehicles, I

23 would say. I didn't count, but I would judge it to be at that figure.

24 They were heavy-duty trucks.

25 Q. And tell us, please, the locations where those convoys were going.

Page 27729

1 A. When I escorted them, I would escort them sometimes towards

2 Majevica up there, a village by Triboj [phoen], that is where the line

3 ends. That's where the battlefield was. So I went that far and when I

4 went to Brcko, I would go as far as Brezovo Polje which is the final point

5 after which you come to the battlefield and then to Zvornik up to Sepak on

6 the bridge at Sepak. I accompanied them there and then us police would

7 return and they were deployed elsewhere. I don't know about that.

8 Q. This was all in the course of your duties as a traffic policeman?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. You describe in paragraph 7 seeing trains carrying military

11 equipment. Please tell us when you saw those trains, which months?

12 A. I saw all that also in April and May because I worked at the

13 checkpoint at Sremska Raca and there is a railway line coming from Serbia

14 passing that way and they were transporting tanks by trains. I saw the

15 tanks and I saw the heavy weapons to Bijeljina, because the railway line

16 ends there.

17 Q. How many trains did you see pass, how often?

18 A. When I worked, I would work for at least 12 hours in one go, so

19 during my shifts, two to three convoys carrying equipment of this kind,

20 two to three vehicles.

21 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Pack, I think your time is up if we're to finish

22 this.

23 MS. PACK: That was my last question.

24 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

25 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:

Page 27730

1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. 1453, is it true that in Bijeljina some

2 barricades had been erected?

3 A. It is correct that the barricades were erected. Ordinary,

4 actually, checkpoints, roadblocks. They would put a tree trunk or a

5 vehicle or something to block the road in town.

6 Q. I see, in town. Now, is it true that that was organised by the

7 Party of Democratic Action?

8 A. That was organised by the people for them to be able to have an

9 overview of who was coming into town and leaving town.

10 Q. When you say organised by the people, and I said the Party of

11 Democratic Action, was it in fact organised by the Muslims?

12 A. Yes, yes, the Muslims organised it.

13 Q. All right. So the roadblocks were organised in Bijeljina by the

14 Muslims?

15 A. The Muslims lived there.

16 Q. Is it true that at the head of the Party of Democratic Action was

17 Seval Begic at the time?

18 A. Seval Begic, yes, that's right.

19 Q. Is it also true and correct that next to him occupying a high

20 post, one of the organisers of those roadblocks, was Alija Saracevic?

21 A. Alija Saracevic did occupy a post, yes.

22 Q. So the Muslims blocked the entire centre of town; is that right?

23 A. I can't say that the whole centre of town was blocked off. They

24 put up roadblocks in individual parts of town to exercise control, as I

25 said a moment ago.

Page 27731

1 Q. All right. And do you remember that at that time the Muslims took

2 weapons out of mosques and that they took control of the town in the

3 evening?

4 A. No. Nobody had any weapons, nor did they take weapons out of

5 mosques, especially not out of mosques. Well, they couldn't have taken

6 control of the town when it was Arkan's men who had control of the town.

7 Q. I'm talking about before that.

8 A. No, nobody occupied town because it was Arkan who occupied it.

9 These were just roadblocks for control purposes and supervision.

10 Q. All right. So the town was blocked but not taken control of.

11 That's your explanation?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And do you remember the snipers' nests in the water tower,

14 Zitopromet, the silos, et cetera?

15 A. There were no Snipers' nests anywhere. Arkan's men just invented

16 that so that they could feel free to shoot.

17 Q. And how come Stojan Stojanovic was wounded by these snipers who

18 had opened fire? I'm sure you will remember that?

19 A. I don't know about Stojan Stojanovic or that he was wounded. I

20 don't know anything about that.

21 Q. And do you know that this operation undertaken by the operations

22 in Bijeljina was premature, judging by their plan or rather with respect

23 to the plan devised by the Party of Democratic Action to start on the

24 first day of the Bajram holiday, the 4th and 5th of April, most probably,

25 to launch the operation?

Page 27732

1 A. I was never a member of any party so I don't know about this.

2 Nobody informed me. I was in the police.

3 Q. Well, these roadblocks and the barricade at Bijeljina set up by

4 the Muslims, this upset the plans, premature plans?

5 A. I don't know anything about that. The roadblocks were set up

6 because somebody threw a bomb, a hand-grenade into a coffee bar and some

7 ten people were injured. So this was a reaction to that and that's why

8 the roadblocks and barricades were set up, not for any other kind of

9 operation.

10 Q. And do you happen to know that at the time the Muslim leadership

11 considered and Izetbegovic considered that by simultaneous drives

12 throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina could they be assured of success?

13 A. I don't know about that, I wasn't a member of the SDA party. I

14 just did police work, policing, nothing else, so I don't know anything

15 about that.

16 Q. All right. Now when we're speaking about the roadblocks and the

17 blockades of Bijeljina, is it true that the Muslims at that time in the

18 centre of town erected these barricades and held the hospital, the

19 municipality building, the electrical supplies building, they had control

20 of all that?

21 A. No. The barricades were not in the centre of town. They were in

22 the suburbs when you come in from the villages so they could control who

23 was coming in.

24 Q. I'm talking about the Municipal Assembly building which was also

25 taken -- and also the electrical -- electricity board building that was

Page 27733

1 taken over?

2 A. I was personally in the electricity board building there providing

3 security. Nobody overtook that building or the Municipal Assembly

4 building. The roadblocks and barricades why just out on the streets.

5 Q. And do you know on that same night the 31st of March, a warehouse

6 was looted at the barracks and that weapons were handed out publicly to

7 the Muslims?

8 A. The barracks and warehouse was in Pecine, not in town. So there

9 wasn't a barracks or a warehouse of the barracks there nor was -- were

10 weapons publicly distributed to people in town.

11 Q. What about the park? Was a bunker erected there?

12 A. There was never a bunker in Bijeljina.

13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please be asked to slow down.

14 Thank you.

15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. Now, that blockade at Bijeljina which you describe yourself and

17 say that this was done by the Muslims, erected by the Muslims, that that

18 caused and triggered off the conflict in Bijeljina, not by an attack of

19 the Serbs?

20 A. No. This wasn't a barricade. It was just an ordinary roadblock.

21 They were ordinary roadblocks such as checkpoints to control the comings

22 and goings to see that people weren't bringing in weapons. They weren't

23 blockades in the proper sense of the word at all.

24 Q. All right. Because you say there was nothing at the silo,

25 firearms were found at the silo and I assume you ought to know that. You

Page 27734

1 were a policeman.

2 A. No, I don't know about that. No weapons were found there. They

3 just collected up the hunting rifles that had been registered with

4 licenses.

5 Q. On the 31st of March did a number of Albanians arrive in

6 Bijeljina?

7 A. No. All the Albanians were killed in Bijeljina who were there,

8 the locals.

9 Q. I never saw that in any piece of information.

10 A. There's a photograph about four Albanians being killed in front of

11 a butcher's shop.

12 Q. Tell me, is it true that the Muslims expected help from Tuzla

13 which never arrived?

14 A. I don't know whether they were expecting any assistance, but they

15 couldn't have expected it if you know Bijeljina. Bijeljina was surrounded

16 by Serb villages on all sides, 20 to 30 kilometres in depth. They're all

17 Serbian villages all around it.

18 Q. All right. It was surrounded by Serb villages you say, and it was

19 blocked by the Muslims, is that it?

20 A. Only the town.

21 Q. The town of Bijeljina itself. That's what I'm talking about.

22 A. There were just roadblocks.

23 Q. All right. Now, on that same day, the 4th of April, did anybody

24 call the JNA into Bijeljina and declare a general mobilisation on that

25 same day?

Page 27735

1 A. I don't understand your question. Who called whom? Who called

2 for a general mobilisation?

3 Q. Izetbegovic?

4 A. I don't know.

5 Q. You don't remember?

6 A. On the 4th of April everything was over in Bijeljina. It was

7 quiet on the 4th of April because it was Bajram. It was a calm day,

8 nothing special was going on. Everything was over by then.

9 Q. All right. Do you know anything about the identification of the

10 people killed when everything was over, anything was finished?

11 A. It was publicly proclaimed that 41 persons were killed in the

12 conflicts and there is a list published by Radio Bijeljina and there was a

13 list published in the papers, the list of those people killed. And these

14 were all ordinary civilians, two children I think were killed, two women,

15 an invalid, and many other citizens, young men, all civilians. None of

16 them were in uniforms, nor was there a war on of any kind.

17 Q. Do you know the exact number of casualties in Bijeljina during

18 those conflicts?

19 A. All I know is the -- what was published via broadcast via Radio

20 Bijeljina and that was 41 and there was a list that appeared in the

21 Semberija newspaper, as it was called. Now, how many people were actually

22 killed, I can't say. I don't know.

23 Q. So you only know what was published in those local newspapers, is

24 that it?

25 A. Yes.

Page 27736

1 Q. Well, how many of them were Serbs? How many were Muslims?

2 A. Of the 41 killed, there was one Serb, a man called Mica. He was a

3 little simple and -- just happened to be there. And then there was

4 another man called Milo Kurjak, Veljko Lukic, Kurjak's brother, and there

5 was a Croatian lady, I think her name was Milka Lazarevic. That's as far

6 as I, know.

7 Q. All right. Very well. We had different names put forward here.

8 I'm not asking you to remember all the names of all the victims at the

9 time. But do you know that in another settlement called Gvozderic,

10 Muslims clashed amongst themselves and that there were casualties there

11 too?

12 A. I know the Gvozdevic settlement, and there was no clash among the

13 Muslims themselves in Bijeljina and there were no casualties either, no.

14 Q. All right. And do you know that during the process of calming

15 down the situation in town the Muslims brought in over 500 long-barrels?

16 A. No, they didn't have those weapons. The Muslims didn't have any

17 weapons. They just had the hunting rifles. If you call those

18 long-barrels, then that is possible. There were quite a few hunters in

19 the area, so they had carbines and hunting weapons that they had licenses

20 to carry.

21 Q. All right. Now, you as a policeman should have known the number

22 of long-barrels there were, that over 500 rifles were handed over?

23 A. I don't know about that.

24 Q. All right. Now, the two incidents that you talk about which came

25 prior to the erection of the roadblocks, were there in fact attacks on two

Page 27737

1 cafes called the Istanbul and the Srbija cafe.

2 A. There was a bomb, a hand-grenade thrown into the Istanbul cafe,

3 and the next night there was a clash between young people in the Istanbul

4 cafe and the Srbija cafe. That was the other night.

5 Q. All right. Now, is it true that with these incidents both in the

6 Srbija cafe and in the other cafe, the Istanbul cafe, and generally

7 speaking what was going on, that nobody had anything to do with that

8 incident outside Bijeljina?

9 A. I don't know what you mean outside Bijeljina. I don't understand

10 what you're saying.

11 Q. Was there anybody who was not from Bijeljina that took part in

12 those incidents in those two cafes, the Srbija and Istanbul cafes, taking

13 part there and everything that came prior to the conflict?

14 A. I don't think that it was anybody outside Bijeljina when those

15 incidents took place. I knew this young man who threw the hand-grenade at

16 the Istanbul cafe and that I know the next night there was another

17 incident between the Srbija and Istanbul cafe.

18 Q. All right. This young man from Borovo he was arrested straight

19 away.

20 A. He was taken to the police station. Now, what actually happened

21 to him after that, I don't know.

22 Q. Very well, as you talk about Mirko Blagojevic as one of the

23 organisers of the conflicts in Bijeljina. Is he a man from Bijeljina?

24 A. Yes, he is a native of Bijeljina, born there.

25 Q. And you describe him as wearing a black fur cap. He wasn't a

Page 27738

1 wearing a JNA uniform?

2 A. No. He was a representative of the Radical Party and of the

3 so-called Chetniks. He publicly declared himself to be a Chetnik and wore

4 such a uniform.

5 Q. I just wanted to clear up, and I apologise to the interpreters

6 because of the time constraints. I'm trying to fit in with them.

7 You say that he was a member of the Serbian Radical Party, but

8 that's in Bijeljina, isn't he?

9 A. Yes, he was president of that party.

10 Q. In Bijeljina?

11 A. Yes, in Bijeljina.

12 Q. And did he report to anyone or was he in every respect independent

13 over there, autonomous? Do you have any knowledge that he had any links

14 with anyone outside Bijeljina?

15 A. It's a branch of Seselj's Radical Party in Serbia. He had

16 contacts with Seselj, and he was accountable only to him for his conduct

17 and for that party.

18 Q. You say that you saw Seselj and Blagojevic and that they behaved

19 as friends. They didn't behave as a superior and a subordinate but only

20 as friends. That's what you say in paragraph number 13 of your statement.

21 A. Yes. I saw them frequently walking around town, and I saw him in

22 this coffee bar Srbija. I would see them there frequently, and I knew

23 that Seselj was in the Radical Party and that Blagojevic was his -- the

24 leader of the branch office.

25 Q. Just quoting what you said.

Page 27739

1 A. Yes, yes, that's true.

2 Q. Now, tell me, is it true that long before all these events the JNA

3 had left Bijeljina?

4 A. No one left Bijeljina before those events.

5 Q. Well, who was there from the JNA? There was the barracks and

6 there was the commander and the officers in Bijeljina. There was their

7 barracks and the weapons were held by the JNA. But there were few men

8 there.

9 A. Yes, few soldiers.

10 Q. Now, tell me, is it true that the Serbian Volunteer Guard was not

11 led by Blagojevic, to whom you attribute all this, but Ljubisa Savic known

12 as Mauzer; is that right?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And what party was he a member of?

15 A. I don't know which party he was a member of. I just know that he

16 led the Serbian Volunteer Guards.

17 Q. In paragraph 32 of your statement, you say that Arkanovci were

18 wearing weapons manufactured in Zastava. You know that virtually all of

19 the weapons of the police and the army were manufactured in Zastava. You

20 as a policeman also probably had a weapon manufactured in Zastava.

21 A. Yes, I did. I had an automatic rifle and pistol from Zastava.

22 Everything was made in Zastava.

23 Q. Well, that was the only factory of infantry weapons as far as I

24 know in the former Yugoslavia. And you say that you saw Arkan in

25 Bijeljina. Did you see him talking to a Muslim and eating baklavas

Page 27740

1 together on Bajram?

2 A. Yes I saw him with Ferid Zecevic who had a coffee bar. They were

3 walking around town. They went to the mahala, as we call it, and to

4 represent himself as a good man because it is customary to make baklavas

5 on Bajram and they were trying these baklavas and eating them, and I

6 personally saw him passing by on the street with Zecevic.

7 Q. So he didn't have a hostile attitude toward the Muslims?

8 A. Just then he didn't. But he finished what he wanted to first. He

9 killed the Muslims and then he portrayed himself as a peacemaker.

10 Q. And in paragraph 36, you say that this Ferid was a member of the

11 Handzar Division.

12 A. That is what it was reported in the press about Ferid, that he was

13 a member of the Handzar Division, which he never was. He had a private

14 coffee bar of his own.

15 Q. Is it well known, as you mention it, not me, that this is a

16 well-known Muslim division from the Second World War which committed a

17 large-scale massacre of the population in the area?

18 A. I didn't mention that it had massacred anyone. I just said that

19 it used to be called a Handzar Division, but I don't know anything really

20 about it. I didn't say that.

21 Q. And what was Zecevic doing when you saw him with Arkan, Ferid

22 Zecevic, this Muslim?

23 A. He had his own coffee bar or restaurant.

24 Q. Is it true that when Arkan left and when these local members of

25 this unit of Mauzer's held power over there, that Zecevic was taken to

Page 27741

1 prison?

2 A. Yes, he was taken to the Batkovic camp where he was beaten up,

3 taken to hospital, where he died.

4 Q. Tell me, is it beyond dispute that those were acts committed by

5 those local people who were then over there and who held power?

6 A. You mean what happened to Zecevic in Batkovic.

7 Q. Yes, what happened to Zecevic.

8 A. What happened to Zecevic was in the camp in Batkovici. Now, who

9 held it, I don't know.

10 Q. Who held that in Batkovici? Was it again a local person?

11 A. I don't know who held the camp. It existed in Batkovici.

12 Q. You say here -- this is paragraph 39 if we count them from the

13 beginning. You say there was no war in Bijeljina because the Muslims did

14 not put up any real resistance.

15 A. There was no war in Bijeljina. There was no resistance. There

16 was just barricades and no one resisted those barricades, in fact.

17 Q. But you worked as a traffic policeman in Bijeljina.

18 A. Towards the end, yes, as a traffic policeman.

19 Q. And then, in paragraph 44, you refer to certain incidents that

20 occurred in Bijeljina. The incidents that you mention, were they

21 exclusively among the citizens of Bijeljina?

22 A. Those two incidents that occurred in Bijeljina were between those

23 two coffee bars and the citizens. I don't know which others you're

24 referring to. Those are the two that I mentioned.

25 Q. This Mirko Blagojevic that you mention did not take part in any

Page 27742

1 takeover of power in Bijeljina.

2 A. At the beginning he did not. When Arkan's men arrived in

3 Bijeljina, he did not participate.

4 Q. Yes, well, that's what we're talking about.

5 A. They paid Arkan to come and finish the business in Bijeljina. A

6 member of the Crisis Staff told me that.

7 Q. So let's clear that up once and for all. They were hired by the

8 local people there who paid them to come to assist them to deblock

9 Bijeljina.

10 A. That's what they said, yes.

11 Q. Very well. Thank you. That's very important for us to clear up.

12 No one sent them there, they were paid for that.

13 A. I don't know whether anyone sent them. They came to Bijeljina to

14 liberate it from somebody.

15 Q. And it was blocked, you yourself said, by the Muslims.

16 A. I didn't say Bijeljina was blocked, I said there were barricades

17 there.

18 Q. Yes, yes, fine, barricades. There were barricades there.

19 And do you know anything at all about any armed actions by various

20 paramilitary units against the Serb population in the area in which you

21 were present?

22 A. Which paramilitaries are you referring to?

23 Q. Muslim and Croatian in relation to the Serbs.

24 A. In the area in which I moved, there were no paramilitaries. It

25 was all Serb-held territory. I was working in the Serbian police. There

Page 27743

1 was no possibility for paramilitary organisations to be formed there.

2 Q. Did you have any knowledge about this shelling of Bosanska Dubica

3 on the 13th of September, 1991?

4 A. No, no.

5 Q. Did you hear anything about what was happening in the territory of

6 Bosanski Brod and did it have an influence over your area, also toward the

7 end of 1991? Then Bosanski Samac also in 1991.

8 A. I heard about these events on the media, but nothing was happening

9 in our part of the country.

10 Q. It didn't lead to any disturbances, but you heard that the victims

11 in those events were Serbs.

12 A. I heard from the media on the radio. It's not anything I

13 personally gained knowledge about.

14 Q. And is it true that the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina did

15 not take the necessary measures to oppose or resist the conflicts that had

16 started in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

17 A. I don't know. I was an ordinary policeman. I was not a

18 politician. I was not at all involved in politics.

19 Q. In that case, I won't ask you about those events.

20 Just a few more things. You say that Arkan was in Brcko and that

21 you personally saw him in Brcko. Why did he go to Brcko?

22 A. I didn't ask him why he went there. I saw him in Brcko with his

23 unit.

24 Q. Did anything happen in Brcko? Did you hear of any massacres of

25 Serbs before Arkan's arrival there?

Page 27744

1 A. I didn't hear about it. I was among the Serb troops and no one

2 was telling me anything about the Muslims having done anything in Brcko,

3 any massacre or anything like that.

4 Q. Do you remember, for instance, April 1993, the 108th Brigade of

5 the BH army, under the command of Ramiz Pljakic, when in Brcko, the

6 village of Biljiste? You went there? Everyone was captured. All the

7 captured soldiers of the VRS were tortured and, after that, all killed.

8 A. [redacted].

9 Q. I see. You had already left. And in 1992, between June and

10 December, were you in that area and do you know anything about a large

11 number of attacks on Serb civilians, looting of property, torching of

12 houses, churches, taking people to camps and so on?

13 A. [redacted].

14 Q. But this started at the beginning of June. You know nothing about

15 it?

16 A. No.

17 Q. And do you know where Bosanska Bijela is, for instance?

18 A. No.

19 Q. But that is also close to Brcko. There was an attack on the Serb

20 population on the 11th of June over there.

21 A. I am not aware of it.

22 Q. You mention, in paragraph 54, Goran Jelisic. Is it true that you

23 saw him when he came when a Muslim threw a hand grenade at three Serb

24 policemen who were playing chess and that he killed them?

25 A. I didn't see him then. [redacted]

Page 27745

1 [redacted]

2 [redacted]

3 [redacted]

4 [redacted]

5 [redacted]

6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 You say in tab 2 -- you were asked about this by Ms. Pack. I'm

12 referring to paragraph 7. You were on duty as a traffic policeman on the

13 border between Serbia and Bosnia, in Sremska Raca, and you were receiving

14 orders from the commander of the public security station in Bijeljina to

15 escort the convoys, and you say that they were carrying --

16 MS. PACK: I think this should be tab 1, actually.

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. -- ammunition and weapons.

19 In my pile it is tab 2. Maybe it is a mistake in the way it's

20 been bound together for me. But it doesn't change anything because I

21 assume we understand what we're talking about.

22 A moment ago, you were saying that there were several trucks that

23 you escorted. How do you know that they contained weapons, equipment, and

24 ammunition?

25 A. I knew -- know because there were -- barrels could be seen from

Page 27746

1 the lorries and you could see boxes with ammunition. So what else could

2 it be but military equipment?

3 Q. Though you didn't see it.

4 A. Yes, I did see some things. Not everything. I could see what was

5 visible.

6 Q. Very well. I had here several documents relating to you

7 personally. You quite regularly and without any difficulties, as I can

8 see, worked in the police force even after all these incidents. Can you

9 tell me whether there was any discrimination towards you because you were

10 a Muslim?

11 A. While I was working, there was none.

12 Q. Tell me, until when did you continue working? Because that is

13 your answer.

14 A. I worked until the 15th of June, 1992.

15 Q. So after all those events in Bijeljina, you worked as a police

16 officer in the public security centre in Bijeljina.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And there was no discrimination towards you?

19 A. The only thing was that us Muslims were not sent to work with the

20 Arkan's men. They would designate, in a patrol, Serbs to go with the

21 Arkan men. I didn't consider this to be any discrimination, though.

22 Q. All right. And tell me how many Muslims there were then apart

23 from you in the public security station of Bijeljina.

24 A. You mean in the entire station or in my traffic department?

25 Q. Well, tell me both if you know. If not, give me the figure you

Page 27747

1 know about.

2 A. In my traffic police station, there were 12 Muslims, as far as I

3 remember. And in the other, general police station, there were about 25

4 Muslims; so that the total number could be 30 to 40 Muslims at the most.

5 Q. How many policemen in all were there in the public security

6 station?

7 A. When it was peaceful before the conflicts began, there were about

8 120 policemen.

9 Q. All right. Now, take a look at the tab I received subsequently,

10 tab 6 it is, I think. And you mentioned a moment ago that, together with

11 other policemen, you went to do the tasks you were given, and it says here

12 that Brcko -- that to Brcko were sent -- I'm afraid this is a rather poor

13 photocopy so I can't read all the words. The reserve police force from

14 Bijeljina was sent to Brcko as well as from Bijenik, and another name. I

15 can't read the name of this last place because it's rather illegible.

16 A. Lopare.

17 Q. All right, Lopare. So from Bijeljina, which means you, Ugljevik

18 and Lopare exclusively with the object of protecting public and private

19 property, to provide security for the facilities and buildings and to try

20 to normalise life in the area outside the war operations; is that right?

21 Were those your assignments?

22 A. Yes, that's right. That's what we were told to do, but we weren't

23 able to carry that out.

24 Q. Tell me, please, it says here, according to reports from Brcko,

25 the police are carrying out that role, that assignment.

Page 27748

1 A. We weren't able to carry that assignment out because of the

2 paramilitary formations that were there and the Bijeljina Chetniks,

3 because they went around publicly looting, taking military trucks and

4 cigarettes, everything else from the department store, but we were told

5 not to get involved. So we just stood by and watched them doing all this.

6 Q. That means that this piece of paper sent to the Ministry of the

7 Interior, it is being sent to the Ministry of the Interior of Republika

8 Srpska; is that right?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And it is being sent by the head of the Bijeljina public security

11 station; right?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. So that means that this report being sent out from the Ministry of

14 the Interior from Bijeljina presents the situation in Bijeljina

15 incorrectly.

16 A. Incorrectly, yes, a false report.

17 Q. This means that the Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska

18 had incorrect information, according to what you claim.

19 A. That is how it was. I was present there.

20 Q. All right, then. Now, do you have a single example that you can

21 quote that after you phoned up and said there was no war in Brcko, have

22 you got a single example of - what shall I call it? - injustice,

23 mistreatment or discrimination that took place of the Muslim population in

24 that area?

25 A. I didn't say there wasn't a war in Brcko; there wasn't a war in

Page 27749

1 Bijeljina.

2 Q. Yes, I meant Bijeljina. Was there any mistreatment,

3 discrimination or injustice vis-a-vis the Muslim population in the area?

4 A. Yes, there was a lot of mistreatment. Not only injustice but

5 killings too. It was over by the fourth day. On the fifth day, police

6 patrols were set up with Arkan's men and a Serb. They went from house to

7 house, had lists of suspects, took people off and many of them

8 disappeared. The Biselic [phoen] family was completely killed, the woman

9 and two children and one of the sons, and they had been taking some

10 footage of this. They saw that allegedly their son had taken part in some

11 of the barricades. And when they went to take their son to custody, they

12 asked why they were doing so, and the whole family was killed, and this

13 was general knowledge. Everybody knew about that. But when they compared

14 the videotapes, it wasn't that same young man who was up at the

15 barricades. That man is still alive. So they killed this other one.

16 And that's what happened. They went from house to house,

17 searching for the people they were to eliminate. There was a man called

18 Romanija Ciric [phoen] - Romanija was actually his surname - and Arkan's

19 men took him away. They said that this man Romanija had wounded one of

20 Arkan's men and he retaliated. But this was an accident, and they took

21 weapons from Muslims.

22 So that's what they did. All this was done in peacetime, when

23 everything was over, actually.

24 Q. All right. Now tell me this: You told me about the number of

25 policemen who were Muslims and who continued working in the police force.

Page 27750

1 How many would you say, to the best of your knowledge, were there, were

2 Muslims in the army of Republika Srpska from your region, that is to say

3 in the Bijeljina area and further afield?

4 A. At that time, there were no Muslims in the army of Republika

5 Srpska. None of the Muslims were active there. Later on, they mobilised

6 the Muslims into the army of Republika Srpska. You had to go. You were

7 mobilised and you had to go.

8 Q. Are you claiming that the Muslims who were in the army of

9 Republika Srpska were forced to the call-up?

10 A. Yes. As soon as you received your call-up, you had to respond.

11 Q. All right. Was there any difference in the attitude towards Serbs

12 and Muslims at that time?

13 A. I don't know, I wasn't in the army. I was in the Serb police

14 force, I can't speak for the army.

15 Q. Yes, but in the section you were in, the police section, you

16 yourself say there was no discrimination. Now, did you hear of any case

17 of discrimination in the army, for example, in the relationship between

18 Serbs and Muslims? And I'm talking about the army of Republika Srpska.

19 A. I heard took they took them to Majevica to dig trenches up at the

20 frontline and the others were towards the back, and when they came to take

21 up their positions many died in those trenches because they were shot at,

22 these Muslims were shot at because the others thought it was the army of

23 Republika Srpska.

24 Q. All right. Thank you. I have in further questions.

25 MR. KAY: No questions.

Page 27751

1 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Pack.

2 MS. PACK: One very quick question.

3 Re-examined by Ms. Pack:

4 Q. At paragraph 52 of your statement, Witness. I'll just ask you a

5 question on that. You left the police force on the 15th of June because

6 all Muslims were sent away and not allowed to perform duty as police; is

7 that right? That's your first statement, tab 2.

8 A. Yes, that's right.

9 MS. PACK: No further questions, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE MAY: Witness B-1453, that concludes your evidence. Thank

11 you for coming to the International Tribunal. You are now free to go.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for inviting me here to

13 testify.

14 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps you would just like to wait a moment until we

15 put the blinds down. Yes, we'll do that, and we will adjourn now until

16 next Tuesday.

17 MS. PACK: Your Honour, might I just raise one matter before you

18 rise. We had hoped to conclude the testimony of two further 92 bis

19 witnesses today --

20 JUDGE MAY: Shall we just wait until those blinds are down? Let's

21 wait until the noise has stopped.

22 JUDGE MAY: Yes, if the witness would like to leave.

23 [The witness withdrew]

24 JUDGE MAY: We've just been handed a new list of witnesses.

25 That's next week's, I guess.

Page 27752

1 MS. PACK: That's right, Your Honour. And just to inform the

2 Chamber that B-1780 now won't be testifying as was scheduled. B-1122 will

3 start on Tuesday, followed by C-028. B-1780 has had to go home because we

4 couldn't hear him today.

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Just a moment. You won't be -- you won't be

6 calling B-1780 or you will be calling him later?

7 MS. PACK: We will be calling him later. We will be re-scheduling

8 him.

9 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Now --

10 [Trial Chamber confers]

11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. There is one name on this list I see which

12 hasn't been approved.

13 MR. KAY: If that's Riviere, that's going to be the subject of a

14 motion -- well, a response by the amici which I'll be able to finish

15 tomorrow.

16 JUDGE MAY: If you would, please, so we can consider it.

17 MR. KAY: Yes.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Now was there something else you wanted to

19 raise?

20 MS. PACK: No. That was it, Your Honour.

21 JUDGE MAY: Well, we'll deal with that application in relation to

22 Mr. Riviere when we've got the response from the amici.

23 Yes.

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Have I understood it correctly,

25 Mr. May, that the order will be as it is here on this list, with the

Page 27753

1 exception of 1780, who is going to be called later? That's the only

2 amendment; right?

3 MS. PACK: Your Honour, yes. That's the only change. B-1780 has

4 in fact been moved over to the following week. You will see he appears on

5 the second page of that witness list.

6 JUDGE MAY: And the rest of the order is as it appears but there

7 is one additional name which will be subject to argument.

8 MS. PACK: Yes, Your Honour.

9 JUDGE KWON: And B-1116 disappeared?

10 MS. PACK: Yes, Your Honour.

11 JUDGE MAY: We will adjourn now. Tuesday morning.

12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.53 p.m.,

13 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 21st day of

14 October, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.

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