1 Tuesday, 2 December 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 WITNESS: Witness C-057 [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
10 Q. [No interpretation]
11 JUDGE MAY: We're not getting the English interpretation.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English booth now?
13 JUDGE MAY: Start again, if you would, Mr. Milosevic.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. 57, in paragraph 8 of your statement you say that your
16 commander, and I'm not going to mention his name because we're trying not
17 to have you identified, so your commander while your unit was staying at
18 this particular place where you were supposed to be before you went to
19 Erdut, your commander said that there were over 3.000 Croatian MUP members
20 there and that you were in for a serious clash; is that right?
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. However, you claim that that information was not correct and that
23 you were told this only to be intimidated. Is that right? Is that what
24 you feel today as well?
25 A. That's what I think. That's what I feel. 3.000 is an enormous
1 figure. It's more than an infantry brigade. I don't think that there
2 could have been that many MUP forces in that area.
3 Q. You think there couldn't have been that many forces, but tell me,
4 as a professional soldier, are soldiers' lives in war saved by warnings in
5 terms of numbers of the enemy and the necessity to exercise caution?
6 Perhaps this had to do with stepped-up caution, this information that your
7 commander had.
8 A. Quite possible. As I say, first and foremost, I am sure that it
9 wasn't that particular figure. It is quite certain -- quite possible,
10 rather, that he wanted to achieve the effect that you are talking about,
11 namely that people should exercise utmost caution in order to preserve
12 their lives. However, I'm saying that this had a different effect; people
13 were terrified.
14 Q. So tell me, how many of them were there, then, in your estimate?
15 Because you say there were 3.000 of them.
16 A. I think there were a couple of hundred of them. Three hundred, in
17 my assessment.
18 Q. All right. Since you explained awhile ago that it was quite
19 possible that such information was given to you in order to exercise
20 caution and to save soldiers' lives, at any rate, that information was not
21 given with ill intentions. I assume that it was in the interest of saving
22 people's lives.
23 A. I cannot be the judge of that, whether there were any ill
24 intentions, as you said. I don't know, but I just know that the effect
25 was very bad on the reserve force, very bad, and I said that to the
1 subordinates at the company meeting. I said precisely what you said just
2 now, sir, that people have to be cautious. I didn't say then, no, don't
3 worry this is impossible, et cetera. I said that this was the orders we
4 got from the superior command, and then the problems became even greater.
5 People were simply frightened, if you can understand that.
6 Q. I can understand that. But this information was not ill
7 intentioned, not in any way. It wasn't given in order to score propaganda
8 points but in order to step up caution.
9 A. I've already said from this distance, I cannot assess -- but,
10 well, let's put it that way, yes. There shouldn't be any ill intention
11 involved. I don't see any ill intention, but my comment had to do with
12 the effect that I referred to, namely that people were truly terrified and
14 Q. So you don't think there was any ill intention there.
15 In paragraph 10 you refer to a group of volunteers that arrived,
16 and among them you recognised an acquaintance of yours. I'm not going to
17 mention his name now because you are a protected witness. Is that right?
18 A. Yes, yes, that's right. That is paragraph 10, yes.
19 Q. You say that at that time, as far as you know, he was an official
20 of --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- the Serb Radical Party; is that right?
23 A. Yes, that's right. It's not that I am familiar with this. I
24 know. I quite simply know this.
25 Q. Okay. That's what you state here. And you say they were moving
1 towards Prigrevice where the centre was of some movement of theirs, from
2 where they were illegally transferred to Croatia. Is that right?
3 A. Yes, that's right. At that time I did not know any details about
4 this centre, but later on a great deal was written about this centre in
5 the newspapers. Interviews were given, et cetera. But at that time, I
6 knew about it only superficially on the basis of a few sentences I heard
7 from this man.
8 Q. I'm not talking about interviews. I'm just trying to get you to
9 confirm or deny the information I have, namely, according to the
10 information I have, the Serb Radical Party gave volunteers for the JNA and
11 later for the Territorial Defence. Did they join the JNA and the TO as
12 volunteers or did they have some formations of their own?
13 My information is that they gave volunteers to the JNA and the
14 Territorial Defence. Is that right or is that not right?
15 A. My information, as I mentioned, I think, in this paragraph 10, is
16 -- this is a quotation: "We are going to the other side before you to
17 help you, to prepare for your arrival." They did go. That's a fact.
18 First to Prigrevice and then to Borovo Selo. And they joined the
19 Territorial Defence there. That is a fact.
20 Q. A fact. That was at the very beginning of the conflict in Eastern
21 Slavonia; is that right?
22 A. Yes. That's what I said. That's the date. It was around the
23 month of July.
24 Q. All right. That means when they went there to join the
25 Territorial Defence they had nothing to do with the JNA or any authorities
1 in Serbia; is that right?
2 A. I think that can be seen from this paragraph 10, and on the basis
3 of some reactions here, they had nothing to do with us then. They had no
4 connections with us. I think that this can be seen from my statement. As
5 a matter of fact, I got into trouble because they stopped by.
6 Q. In paragraph 11 and paragraph 12, you say that on the 25th of
7 July, 1991, late in the evening, the area of Erdut, Daljske Planine, the
8 Marinovci farm, and the water plant building were heavily shelled; is that
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. On the basis of what you've said, it seems that these targets were
12 engaged for no reason whatsoever. I'm asking you this because you claim
13 that the radio and television, in connection with this attack, said that
14 this was response to numerous mortar fire provocations from these
15 positions, and it's my understanding that you are saying there was no such
16 mortar fire.
17 A. There wasn't any such mortar fire.
18 Q. On which date was your unit positioned for combat for that attack
20 A. You will have to clarify this question.
21 Q. On which date did you reach this particular combat position?
22 A. The 1st of July we arrived in the broader region. The beginning
23 of July, to be precise.
24 Q. You targeted, as you say, for no reason the Dalj heights and these
25 other targets.
1 A. The end of July.
2 Q. Oh, the end of July. And what you know from that moment when you
3 arrived until the moment of the attack, there were no operations from the
4 other side; is that right?
5 A. Yes, that's right. That's what I know.
6 Q. Do you offer the possibility that they were there before you came?
7 A. What do you mean?
8 Q. That JNA targets were engaged.
9 A. Well, my unit established the position there at the beginning of
11 Q. Before your unit came, was there any mortar fire coming from that
12 area and affecting that area there?
13 A. I don't know about that.
14 Q. But you don't know what happened before that. You cannot say
15 whether there was or wasn't any mortar fire before that; isn't that right?
16 A. I don't know. I really don't know anything about mortar fire
17 before or after that. I really don't.
18 Q. All right. When you say that you don't know, then you cannot
19 preclude the possibility of there having been fire before that. I don't
20 see why anybody would invent that kind of thing if it never happened,
21 because mortar fire is not something that can be a secret.
22 A. Well, that's precisely what I said. I would have had to know
23 about this. That is a very public thing.
24 Q. A very public thing. And that is what was said, that there was
25 mortar fire coming from there. I assume that nobody could have claimed
1 that it was coming from there if there wasn't any.
2 A. I claim that there wasn't any mortar fire.
3 JUDGE MAY: We're not going to go over this. You have heard what
4 the witness has said. Arguing with him is a waste of time.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. In paragraph 13, it says that on the 27th of July, you received a
8 written order from your command, and in it it says that upon reaching the
9 march objective, separate the warring sides on a particular line.
10 A. Yes. I think that we discussed that at the previous hearing. I
11 think that we discussed that order.
12 Q. We covered it completely. And there's no doubt that it contained
13 only that objective; isn't that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. To separate the warring sides.
16 A. That's what I stated here. It can be seen right here. That was
17 the official part that we studied.
18 Q. All right. Tell me, now, I'm not asking you to repeat everything
19 that we concluded last time, but we're talking about these two sides. Was
20 it the ZNG on one side and the Territorial Defence, the Serb Territorial
21 Defence on the other side?
22 A. Specifically the MUP of Croatia. I don't know whether the
23 National Guards Corps, the ZNG, was formed somewhat later, but usually we
24 used the term the members of the MUP of Croatia.
25 Q. And on the other side there were the local territorials?
1 A. The local population, the Serb population.
2 Q. Oh, the local population.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Was your objective to separate these two warring sides?
5 A. Yes, according to this order, that was the objective, to separate
6 the warring sides.
7 Q. This was a clearly stated military objective, why you entered the
9 A. Yes, on these orders. Yes. It is quite clear. You are quite
11 Q. (redacted) then stopped the column that you were moving in
12 before crossing the Danube, and he gave you final instructions to take
13 good care of yourself and the men and to carry out this objective.
14 A. I just have to ask you not to mention any names. Please. I have
15 the status of a protected witness. You've just mentioned the colonel's
16 name now.
17 Q. But he was not in your unit. That is why I think that he is
18 beyond --
19 A. I beg your pardon. He was the second person in my chain of
20 command in my brigade.
21 JUDGE MAY: Let's stop. Let's go into closed session.
22 [Private session]
12 Page 29845 – redacted – private session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. So this section can no doubt be dealt with in open court, because
1 you say that this machine-gun fire that we discussed did not come from the
2 positions of the MUP of Croatia but from the positions of the JNA. Is
3 that right, Mr. C-057?
4 A. I gave this statement after this event, but had I given it in
5 1992, 1993 -- I mean, whenever I talked about this, I was sure that the
6 gunfire was coming from the MUP positions in the forest. I was deeply
7 convinced of that. In this context, I never would have said otherwise had
8 this man not come. I did not socialise with him personally that much, but
9 he hinted that he wanted to talk to me about something that was bothering
10 him terribly, and then he told me about this. And it was only then that I
11 found out. So it was much later.
12 This man is alive and well, thank goodness. So if there is
13 anything controversial, I'm going to make an additional statement. I
14 don't see why he would make up a nebulous story. I believe that he did
15 not lie to me.
16 Well, this is the comment I made here anyway in paragraph 15.
17 Q. Mr. C-057, you yourself used the word "nebulous story" yourself a
18 minute ago, and the story consists of the following: That gunfire was
19 opened from JNA positions.
20 A. Yes, sir. Well, you can see it here. That's what is written
21 here, how it was opened.
22 Q. Did he give you some explanation? It is not possible that it
23 could have come from JNA positions. You were an officer then. Could
24 gunfire be opened from JNA positions against the JNA?
25 A. Well, you know at least what the possible is and what actual life
1 is. Very often we were given one kind of orders and other things
2 happened. We discussed it at the last sitting. This is a detail which
3 may be important for this Court, so if it is, I can give his details. I
4 do not think he lied. Knowing him, I don't think he lied. He's not that
5 kind of person.
6 Q. What did he tell you? Why was gunfire opened then? Did they
7 think that the enemy was there or did they target you intentionally?
8 A. No. He said that they shot at us intentionally. That's why this
9 is an interesting detail. I would not have mentioned it if it was
10 mistaken gunfire. That happens in any army. It also can happen in any
11 army, that there is friendly fire coming from the same positions.
12 And he talked to me then. He told me this story. It's not that
13 we particularly socialised before that. You know what it's like when
14 somebody first comes to see you. He came and brought some coffee, came
15 with his wife, we had a few drinks, and he said that he had a story to
16 tell me. And he told me this story and I looked at him the way you're
17 looking at me right now, but knowing the way the situation was then, it
18 wasn't that I was that surprised; anything was possible.
19 Q. You say that you destroyed, demolished, one Croatian house in
20 Erdut owned by an official of the HDZ. That's paragraph 16.
21 A. Yes. They called it secretary of the HDZ.
22 Q. And you say you did it on the orders of your commander; right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was that a verbal order that he gave you to demolish that house or
25 was it written order?
1 A. No. I think that a messenger on a motorbike brought me that
2 order, a verbal order, because the two of us were on the opposite ends of
3 that settlement, and I was given that order. This verbal order was
4 conveyed to me by a messenger on a motorbike.
5 Q. I'm not sure how to understand this, because I don't know about
6 this event. I'm only looking at your statement, and I would like to draw
7 your attention to paragraph 16 where you say that, "Immediately
8 afterwards, the order arrived from the command to the effect that not a
9 single house should be demolished." Is that so?
10 A. Yes, but it must have been --
11 Q. If I understand you correctly, that house was destroyed. The
12 command must have noticed it, and then the order came not to demolish any
13 more houses.
14 A. That's what it says in my statement. It might have been an
15 arbitrary order given by my commander which was immediately revoked by the
16 superior command.
17 Q. Did you intervene later? Did you discuss it with the superior
18 command? How come you destroyed that house? Because they gave you orders
19 not to destroy any houses.
20 A. No. After demolishing that one, I didn't destroy any other
21 houses. You don't discuss orders. The other order came very quickly
22 after I destroyed that one. So I stopped demolishing.
23 Q. In the next paragraph, 17, you say that you searched on that day a
24 facility of the MUP of Croatia which was part of the Erdut winery, and you
25 say that you found huge quantities of military equipment and a batch of
1 personal documents, IDs. Would that confirm what your superior officer
2 had told you at the outset, namely, that there is a large number of
3 members of the MUP of Croatia in Erdut?
4 A. It confirms the assumption I stated earlier, that there were about
5 a few hundred of them, because that was the holding capacity of that
7 Q. Did you find that weaponry?
8 A. I didn't find the weaponry, although we kept looking for it, my
9 partner and I who did the search. We wanted to find Kalashnikovs or of
10 Hungarian or Romanian make, but we only found parts of equipment. And I
11 said parts of what? Parts of the US Thomson submachine-gun and cleaning
12 kits for the Slovenian sub-machine-guns made by the Gorenje factory. And
13 we noted because it was curious that the Slovenians had started
14 manufacturing sub-machine-guns.
15 Q. I seem to remember something like that, that Gorenje did produce
16 some machine-guns.
17 In paragraph 18 it says that only about 10 per cent of the
18 population remained the village, of Serb ethnicity; otherwise, it was
19 abandoned, that village.
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. Those people that remained were mainly elderly people?
22 A. Yes, old people.
23 Q. And all Croat inhabitants had left the village; correct?
24 A. Most of them. There was this couple, this married couple that I
25 mentioned somewhere. They were younger people, relatively speaking.
1 Q. They stayed?
2 A. They left later or they went missing, I don't know.
3 Q. But you found, when you came, only 10 per cent of the population
4 in that village, whereas the other residents, mainly of Croat ethnicity,
5 had left. That was before you entered that village; correct?
6 A. Yes. Yes. The residents had left the village before we came in.
7 Q. The reason for that was that they were afraid of the impending
9 A. I think the shelling had an adverse effect, and they must have
10 been afraid. They had left, I suppose, because they were afraid.
11 Otherwise, they would have stayed. I'm only speaking about what we found
12 in that village on the day we captured it.
13 Q. But in any case, nobody expelled them from the village. They were
14 afraid of upcoming conflicts. You didn't drive them out.
15 A. We didn't drive anybody out. I'm describing the situation as we
16 found it.
17 Q. But I suppose -- do you know by any chance what was normally the
18 ratio of Croat and Serb population of that village? Because I suppose
19 some Serbs must have also left after the shelling.
20 A. I don't know whether it is really advisable for me to give such
21 estimates, but I believe the ratio was 70 to 30, or maybe 75 to 25 in
22 favour of the Croat population. And please, take this with a grain of
23 salt because this is a very rough estimate. I'm making this estimate
24 based on the size of the cemetery, not a census.
25 Q. I will take it with a grain of salt, but you as a soldier must
1 understand that if somebody is fleeing out of fear from shelling, which is
2 what you said yourself, I suppose that this fear must have been shared by
3 both parts of the population. Why would Serbs not be afraid of the
4 shelling? Why would they not flee?
5 A. I think it is very clear from my statement what happened. Very
6 few residents of that village stayed behind.
7 Q. Those people who stayed, if they were elderly, were those who
8 found it hard to run away.
9 A. They stayed to look after their houses.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I must ask you one question which
11 the witness might consider as identifying, Mr. May, but I want one thing
12 cleared up. Just one question.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Into private session.
14 [Private session]
12 Pages 29853 to 29856 – redacted – private session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. So in the village that we have been talking about, you say the
13 local Serbs had M-48 rifles and sub-machine-guns, M-53. Those were
14 weapons that the JNA was not using. So these were weapons of the
15 Territorial Defence; is that right?
16 A. Yes. These were weapons of the Territorial Defence. However, I
17 think it is a good thing to mention here that in the late 1980s, the
18 Federal Secretariat for National Defence issued an order that all the
19 depots of the Territorial Defence should be placed under JNA command. I
20 remember that very well. This was in the late 1980s. It was done in two
21 ways; either entire depots were taken from the -- by the JNA for
22 safeguarding, or weapons were simply taken out of these TO depots and put
23 into storage at JNA barracks. I'm sure that this order can be found.
24 Q. It had to do with all of Yugoslavia.
25 A. Yes. Later on I learned from the media -- I read an interview of
1 that Martin Spegelj, that former JNA general, and he also mentions that
2 order, and he says that there was some kind of a mistake, that a certain
3 number of rifles were simply forgotten, and they welcomed these rifles,
4 especially at the initial stage of the establishment of the National
5 Guards Corps. And I know of that order because this was in peacetime, and
6 I, as an officer, escorted some of these groups that transferred the
7 weapons from one place to another; explosives, weapons, et cetera.
8 Q. Since you say that this had to do with the defence of a village
9 that was predominantly Serb populated, can you say a bit more precisely
10 who they were defending themselves from?
11 A. The defence of the village was organised in the following way:
12 They did not allow MUP forces to enter.
13 Q. The MUP forces.
14 A. Yes, although there had been no skirmishes. The entire problem I
15 am aware of in this connection has to do with the following: They did not
16 allow ambulances to pass through that village as they were driving to
17 Osijek after our bombings. So then they had to transport their wounded
18 along the Drava and Danube rivers by boats to Osijek.
19 Q. I have to hurry because my time will run out. Tell me, please, in
20 Dalj - and you mentioned that in paragraph 24 - you found the members of
21 some volunteer unit; is that right?
22 A. Yes. Two.
23 Q. Two?
24 A. I think I found two. There at the entrance. They had come to get
25 some meat from a deep freezer or something like that. Never mind.
1 Q. You say that they were friendly to you and that they were under
2 the command of the Territorial Defence of Borovo Selo; is that right?
3 A. Yes, that's right. I spent about 10 or 15 minutes chatting to
4 them there. They came at the period when there was no electricity. So
5 since there were a lot of volunteers in Borovo Selo, they wanted to get
6 the meat out of the deep freezer so that it wouldn't go bad.
7 Q. Oh, so they came for the meat.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So these volunteers were not within the JNA at the time, and they
10 were not under the command of some JNA unit; is that right?
11 A. No. They were within the defence of Borovo Selo, part of the
12 defence of Borovo Selo.
13 Q. The Territorial Defence of Borovo Selo.
14 A. Yes, the Territorial Defence of Borovo Selo. Volunteers.
15 Q. Tell me, your own reservists, and there were some there no doubt,
16 I assume that you had some reservists in your unit as well, did they loot
17 any abandoned houses or any other facilities in the villages that you
18 passed through?
19 A. Yes, they did.
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter could not hear the question.
21 The witness also said that he could not hear the question.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. What do you mean? How did you allow them to do that?
24 A. Well, nobody allowed them to do that, nobody. It's not only I.
25 Other officers also did not allow this. They tried to ban it.
1 Q. Is it true that precisely for stopping such activities a military
2 police was brought in?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. When I say your reservists, your unit, did anybody steal anything,
5 any person who was within your unit?
6 A. Well, not somebody; I think a lot of people were involved in
8 Q. Were you in a position to arrest them, punish them?
9 A. No. No. I threatened to court-martial all of them, and I said
10 that I'd search the entire unit. And I said that if I found anything on
11 anyone, that I would certainly report that to the superior command. This
12 military police unit that came was composed of reservists, so when they
13 were supposed to search for these stolen goods, they warned them
14 beforehand. They'd say, for example, that tomorrow at 5.00 they would be
15 searched, so if they had anything that had been looted, they should hide
17 Q. I don't understand this. This is theft from abandoned facilities;
18 is that right?
19 A. Yes. They were looking for valuables.
20 Q. Theft from abandoned houses. So it's not that they were seizing
21 anything from people. They were -- they were taking this from abandoned
1 (redacted). Later on, I went along with the military
2 police unit to provide security for them because they were also breaking
3 and entering into houses because they believed that there could be members
4 of the MUP inside. And then the reservists came, and they took objects
5 that they thought they might need.
6 To the best of my ability and using all the powers I had then, I
7 fought against this, but these mechanisms were not in place. The military
8 police themselves would tell these people, "We're going to come and search
9 you, and you can hide your stolen goods." So they say, "See, you had no
10 need to accuse us of this kind of thing," and that was it.
11 Q. All right. I assume that since we've clarified that during the
12 first part, that you also cautioned your soldiers in terms of the Geneva
13 Conventions and how civilians should be treated and possible prisoners of
14 war. I imagine that was your duty.
15 A. Yes, according to orders, because I had to issue the same kind of
16 order. That was the logical sequence of events.
17 Q. When entering Aljmas - these are paragraphs 30 and 31 - again you
18 found a completely deserted village; is that right?
19 A. Yes. That can be seen from the statement. Tell me once again,
20 what is the paragraph?
21 Q. 30 and 31.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you say something why this village was completely deserted?
24 What were the reasons?
25 A. This was a Croatian village. The population had abandoned it
1 after our bombing in late July. They got onto boats and went to Osijek.
2 Q. And now in paragraph 32 you talk about some unit of a certain
3 Captain Kole. Is this again a volunteer unit or a paramilitary unit?
4 What is this? Because I see further on in your statement that a major -
5 and I am not going to mention his name, but I assume this is a JNA major -
6 you informed this major of their presence, and he said that they should be
7 arrested if they showed up again; is that right?
8 A. Yes. That was a self-established group, a self-styled group.
9 Q. A self-established group and a self-styled captain. This was not
10 a regular unit and he was not a proper captain?
11 A. Yes, these were four or five pals from Dalj, and they had some
12 uniforms sewn for them. There were never such uniforms before or later.
13 And they also made some berets in very striking colours.
14 Q. What colour?
15 A. Very intensive red or pink or something like that. Well,
16 whatever. But what was this all about? I asked my subordinates to patrol
17 the village, and then they told me that these people had arrived there.
18 Q. And then when you informed the major, the major said if they show
19 up again, arrest them.
20 A. Yes. I caught them, actually when my subordinates informed me
21 about this, I caught them with a vehicle. I mean, I am not going to lie
22 or anything, but they had a vehicle and they had bottles of gas inside.
23 And since they were rather arrogant, and I said, "What kind of captain are
24 you? Where are you from?" They said they were from the Territorial
25 Defence of Dalj and they needed this for their headquarters, and I said,
1 "Well, I'll inform my command about this." And I did inform this major,
2 but then he had already known about them. He actually laughed and he
3 said, "Oh, he's showed up again." And he said, "Well, I'm going to arrest
4 him if I see him again, and you arrest him if he shows up again," and
5 that's what he said.
6 Q. Thank you. I wanted you to clarify that, and thank you very much.
7 A. He never showed up again. Well, it's not that I threatened to
8 arrest him, but I did say that I would inform the superior command, and
9 that's where the story of the arrest came from.
10 Q. All right. And when Sarvas was taken, you say that a JNA aircraft
11 was gunned down. Who gunned it down?
12 A. The Croatian forces.
13 Q. And when you entered Sarvas, you found members of the local
14 Territorial Defence there who had already entered the village, and also
15 members of the engineering unit who were de-mining the area; is that
17 A. Yes, that is what it says in my statement.
18 Q. All right. So there were mines placed throughout the area by the
19 MUP forces?
20 A. Just a moment, please. At that time, I came across -- or, rather,
21 not I but a vehicle behind me got off the asphalt road and there was a
22 booby-trap there. Fortunately, no one was wounded, and also the vehicle
23 itself was not damaged, and that is why we had to get rid of the mines.
24 Q. Who took Sarvas?
25 A. We took Sarvas.
1 Q. In mid-October, as you say here in paragraph 37, your unit in
2 concert with other JNA units carried out an unsuccessful attack against
3 Borovo Naselje.
4 A. Borovo Naselje.
5 Q. One of your reservists got killed then.
7 Q. Was the attack unsuccessful because the enemy was stronger?
8 A. The enemy was not stronger. In my opinion, the attack was not
9 prepared properly and not planned properly. I did not take part in it,
10 but as far as I know, it was an ill-conceived attack and also the units
11 were not engaged properly, and that is why it failed.
12 Q. All right. In paragraph 38 -- I'm sorry. I've already asked you
13 this. We've gone through that, so let me try to cut things short.
14 JUDGE MAY: You've got five minutes left, Mr. Milosevic.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. I'm trying.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. In your statement, you refer to the death of General Bratic who
18 was then replaced by General Andrija Biorcevic; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. It was the corps commander who was killed?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you tell me how great the losses were sustained by the JNA in
23 all these clashes that were taking place in Eastern Slavonia?
24 A. Well, it depended on the unit involved. I've already said that
25 during the last session. From the 2nd until the 18th, I had 27 casualties
1 altogether, persons killed and wounded. So that meant 30 per cent losses
2 within my unit. These are losses that I think --
3 Q. These are very high losses. They would be considered very high
4 under any circumstances.
5 A. Losing a single man is too much, but this was a great loss, and I
6 made every effort.
7 Q. In paragraph 50, you actually say that you sustained major losses
8 because of strong mortar fire and fire coming from hand-held rocket
10 A. Just give me the paragraph, please.
11 Q. 50.
12 A. Well, let's not waste time over trying to find this paragraph.
13 There was strong gunfire coming in, anti-armour sniper fire, gunfire, very
15 Q. Mr. 57, let us just get one thing clear: You were up against a
16 very strong and well-equipped enemy. You are talking about strong
17 gunfire, firing coming from sniper rifles, hand-held rocket launchers and
18 so on.
19 A. I'm going to repeat once again: It's not that they were that
20 strong; they were well organised, and their gunfire was very precise. But
21 -- yes, well, I will agree. It was strong gunfire, yes. It's enough to
22 have two mortars that are properly engaged and then this means that there
23 will be great losses. I'm talking about the pontoon bridge.
24 Q. And later on you saw the local Serbs returning, those who had fled
25 from Luzac beforehand?
1 A. Yes, yes. I don't know which paragraph this is in, but I remember
2 that, yes.
3 Q. In paragraph 58, you say that as soon as they came back to the
4 village, they set up a prison for captured members of the MUP; is that
6 A. Yes. There were members of the MUP there, too, but I think that
7 their Croat neighbours who were not members of the MUP were imprisoned
9 Q. Did you tell anyone about what you found out? Did you take any
11 A. No. I held my positions, and my superior command was in that very
12 same village. The command followed me right into the village. I was not
13 at the village, I did not stay there, and the headquarters were only three
14 houses away from that prison.
15 Q. Please look at paragraph 60. Since you say that a certain
16 commander appeared.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I'm not going to mention his name now, because you cautioned us
19 against that awhile ago. And he asked what was going on and what the
20 targets were, and you said that he could shoot wherever he wanted to since
21 there were a great many targets. Is that what you said to him?
22 A. No. He said, "What is the most important target to be engaged?"
23 And since everything was targeted, everything was a target, and I told him
24 he could target whatever he wanted to.
25 Q. I understand that, but if I understood you correctly, you said
1 there were a great many targets. Therefore, there were many military
2 targets on the enemy side; is that right?
3 A. Let's be quite specific. These are factories. That position in
4 front of me consisted of factories, but they were used for opening fire
5 against us.
6 Q. So it was soldiers over there.
7 A. Well, if there is shooting coming from there, it's a military
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot hear the question.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I've stopped the microphone.
11 This must be your last question. You've gone over time as it is.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. That's quite
13 right. I've gone beyond the time.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. But could you just tell me one more thing, Mr. 57: When I say
16 "you," I'm not referring you to personally, I'm referring to members of
17 the JNA. So all of you targeted military targets only. You opened fire
18 at military targets only; is that right?
19 A. Everything we thought was a military target, that we assessed to
20 be a military target. It didn't always have to be a military target, but,
21 yes, I would agree with you.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Witness C-057, I should like to ask you for a
1 couple of clarifications.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, may I leave the courtroom
3 for a minute?
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Go on.
5 [Accused excused from the courtroom]
6 [The accused entered court]
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you once again.
9 Q. Witness, I should appreciate it if you would provide the Court
10 with some further explanations regarding those two orders dated the 1st
11 July and the 27th July, 1991, and the three paragraphs in your statement
12 that deal with these, tabs 4 and 5. I don't think it will be necessary
13 for you to consult them. If you need to, I will ask that they be shown to
15 Mrs. Uertz-Retzlaff, in the beginning of your
16 examination-in-chief, insisted that you explain the term used in the order
17 of the 1st of July, namely "internal enemy." Do you recollect that?
18 A. Yes. Please go on.
19 Q. I want to ask you this: At that moment on the 1st of July when
20 this marching order was given, was there an ongoing clash between the
21 Territorial Defence of Slovenia and the Yugoslav People's Army preceded by
22 the takeover of national borders with Austria and Italy?
23 A. The war in Slovenia was taking place at the time.
24 Q. It lasted for about ten days. If it started on the 25th or the
25 26th of June, it was still not in progress on that 1st of July.
1 A. Well, if it lasted ten days, it was ongoing at the time.
2 Q. It started four or five prior. Just answer my questions. In your
3 understanding as a soldier, this takeover of national borders, did it
4 constitute a breach of territorial integrity and sovereignty of our
5 country? Was that the reason for the response of the JNA, among other
7 A. The operation was mounted to take back the border.
8 Q. Thank you. But do you remember that on the 27th of June, that is
9 a few days before the 1st of July, Slovenia and Croatia, that is their
10 parliaments, proclaimed their independence, in breach of the federal
12 A. I think that it happened even earlier, in May, but my answer is
14 Q. So in this context, this term the "internal enemy" on which the
15 Prosecutor insisted, in the military sense and in every sense of the
16 Serbo-Croatian language meant the person who was violating the territorial
17 integrity of the country and its constitutional system?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And the oath that you gave meant precisely that you were to
20 protect the sovereignty and the constitutional order of the country from
21 external and internal enemies, like in this case.
22 A. Yes, correct.
23 Q. So if we proceed from this order of the 1st of July, 1991, under
24 tab 4, which order was geared at preventing inter-ethnic conflict.
25 A. Yes, I said so. There is no dispute about this.
1 Q. But it was precisely the moment when the most intensive
2 inter-ethnic conflict already existed in Slovenia and Croatia.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So these orders were worded nicely, but there was a totally
5 different verbal order. Is that what you said?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Does it mean then that although the order said "preventing
8 inter-ethnic conflict," the actual order was to provoke inter-ethnic
9 conflict, if I understood you correctly, because you said the verbal order
10 was different.
11 A. The order was not conceived in the way you seem to suggest. The
12 order was conceived as to suggest that all Croats are enemies, being
14 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tapuskovic, may I advise you to put a pause
15 between the answer and your question, and not to turn on your microphone
16 while the witness is speaking.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I understand. This is not the
18 first time you are warning me about this.
19 Q. Please look at the second order now, which is under tab 5. 6.3.
20 You discussed it as well. Point 6.3 is where it says that during action,
21 strictly respect the provisions of the Geneva Conventions.
22 Now, if you say that there was a written order like this, was
23 there also a verbal order on the 27th of July not to respect the Geneva
24 Conventions and the laws and customs of war? Was that really an order to
25 that effect?
1 A. Of course nobody gave such an order not to observe Geneva
3 Q. Thank you. Now, in this connection, please have a look at only
4 three paragraphs. First of all, 95. Have you found it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. It says here: "In response to a question by Investigator Dzuro
7 whether I knew about a case of an indictment being raised in Serbia in the
8 period from 1991 until today for war crimes against civilians committed in
9 Eastern Slavonia in 1991, 1992, I hereby reply that I have not heard of a
10 single such case." Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, please, find paragraph 85. Have you found it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. It says here, and I'm quoting your words again: "I included
15 everything mentioned above in my detailed written report which I concluded
16 with a comment that the events should be resolved positively as soon as
17 possible because they were a disgrace to the JNA." Is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. It goes on to say: "I made my report in one copy which I handed
20 in. I did not make a copy for myself so that I no longer have the text of
21 the report." Correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you added: "However, I still have the notebook." Correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, if we may go back to paragraph 58. In that paragraph, in the
1 middle, it says -- when you speak about an event involving ears being cut
2 off a Croat prisoner; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, absolutely correct.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Now, Your Honours, I would be
5 very grateful if we could go into private session for just a minute.
6 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. And now, Witness, in your last sentence, you said: "I did not
24 inform anyone of this." Is that correct?
25 A. That is not a completed sentence.
1 Q. Please rest assured that I will ask you about that as well. I'm
2 just asking you for the time being. You didn't inform anyone?
3 A. No, I didn't.
4 Q. So you knew both the name and surname of a person who perpetrated
5 something of this kind, and yet you did not inform anyone.
6 A. That's true, but my superiors were only a few steps away in the
7 same place where it all took place. I'm just describing something that
8 was perpetrated, a completed act.
9 Q. Very well. And then you say in paragraph 95 that you were not
10 aware of anyone being indicted of such crimes. How could anyone be
11 indicted if no one reports these crimes?
12 A. That's a very logical question. Nobody can be held responsible,
13 indeed, in that case.
14 Q. Can you answer the Judges?
15 A. What did you just say, Mr. --
16 Q. Can you explain to the Judges how come that you did not report a
17 terrible thing like this so that the person responsible could be brought
18 to justice?
19 A. Because that prison was located in the immediate vicinity of my
20 superior command.
21 Q. But in the paragraph 85, which I just quoted, you said you made a
22 detailed report on the disgrace inflicted on the JNA. How can you then
23 explain to the Judges that a horrific event like this was not made part of
24 that report?
25 A. I made my report on specific orders concerning specific events.
1 The event you just quoted in paragraph 58 is a totally different event.
2 Q. Could you now explain this second part of sentence: "I did not
3 inform anyone about it because I had already received instructions earlier
4 not to restrain them." Can you tell me how you did that, in private
6 A. I received those instructions indeed.
7 Q. But tell me from whom, the name and surname.
8 A. Whose name and surname?
9 Q. You said you received instructions not to rein in such occurrences
10 like these ears cut off.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Private session, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MAY: Private session.
13 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, I have about ten minutes.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let's finish this.
16 Re-examined by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff:
17 Q. Witness, in relation to Exhibit tab 5, the marching order of 27th
18 of July, 1991, both Mr. Milosevic and my colleague Mr. Tapuskovic referred
19 you to the sentence in paragraph 6.3, namely the strictly respected
20 provisions of the Geneva Conventions.
21 Did your superior command, before going into action, stress this
22 point in oral briefings?
23 A. No, nothing like that was emphasised. I received that order in
24 written form, and nothing was said verbally about it.
25 Q. You said here during your testimony, and also it is in your
1 written statement, that violations of the Geneva Conventions did occur.
2 Was the JNA command, including your superiors, aware of crimes being
4 A. Yes, of course they were aware.
5 Q. Did they take any steps to enforce the observation of the Geneva
7 A. Very few steps, if any.
8 Q. When discussing the newspaper article, tab 7, with Mr. Milosevic,
9 you referred to the Serb population being afraid. In your conversations
10 with the local Serb population, did they indicate to you that the Croatian
11 MUP had persecuted or mistreated them? I mean the Serbs.
12 A. No. They basically told me that they had no problems with the MUP
13 but they were terribly afraid of them. They had had negative experience
14 with such persons during the Independent State of Croatia, during the
15 Second World War, and they were afraid that this kind of thing would
16 happen again, but they did not have any specific problems, the local
17 Serbs. They had not been molested in any way, at least in the area that
18 I'm talking about.
19 Q. In relation to the diagram for the attack of Luzac, Mr. Milosevic
20 spoke with you about Arkan's unit being under the command of your
21 battalion. To engage Arkan and his men in this attack under the JNA
22 command, was this decision made by the battalion command or was this
23 decided within the joint command comprised of the corps and the brigade
25 A. No, this decision was made at a higher level. Corps command,
1 that's the level where the decision was passed on concerted action, et
3 Q. Mr. Milosevic mentioned Arkan and his people were blended into the
4 battalion. How would you, in military terms, qualify the relation between
5 Arkan and the battalion, and what was the relation between Arkan and the
6 Novi Sad Corps?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have an objection to the question
10 put by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff. It was not properly put. I commented upon the
11 diagram that the witness made and from which it can be seen that this unit
12 consists of the local Territorial Defence and this Serb Volunteer Guard of
13 Zeljko Raznjatovic Arkan. It was a company-level unit, and it consisted
14 of territorials and these volunteers. That is to say that he did not
15 blend into the unit -- or, rather, he did not interfere with the unit in
16 any way, but this unit was part of a larger --
17 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let us not waste time by going over the
18 argument again. The witness can answer the question, which was properly
19 put, to this extent: In military terms, how would he describe the
20 relationship between Arkan and the battalion?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Arkan was integrated into the
22 Tactical Group for attacks. It was his unit that was an integral part of
23 the Tactical Group for attacks.
24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
25 Q. Mr. Milosevic today -- in relation to Erdut and the mortar fires
1 coming from the Croatian side, you said that there was no mortar fire
2 coming from the Croatian side. My question would be, as Mr. Milosevic
3 suggested, it may have occurred before you arrived there with your unit.
4 Was your formation the first JNA unit that arrived there in that region on
5 the 1st of July?
6 A. Yes, that was the first unit of the JNA that concentrated in that
8 Q. Mr. Milosevic spoke with you about the inter-ethnic tolerance in
9 your unit at that time, and he proposed to you that the JNA, during your
10 service, had a Yugoslav orientation and did not display any discrimination
11 against any ethnicity, and you in your answer did not endorse this. Did
12 the JNA, during your participation in the events, protect the Croatian
13 population at any point in time?
14 A. No. I repeat that yet again. That has been discussed at this
15 session, and it was also discussed at the previous session. The oral
16 orders we received were that the Croat population were Ustashas, that even
17 the pets and animals were Ustashas. And I'm not the only officer who
18 received this order, there were at least five of us, and that was the
19 general position, regardless of this order that is insisted upon and that
20 I handed in. That was the position, that all these people were Ustashas
21 and that we should take care. I don't know how one measures the degree of
22 being an Ustasha, but I'm just telling you what the facts are.
23 Q. Did the JNA, during your time in Croatia, at any point in time
24 side with any party to the conflict? I mean, Serbs or Croats.
25 A. Well, the Serb side was closer to us theoretically and practically
1 because it was in favour of preserving Yugoslavia. The Serb side was our
2 ally. I don't know what to say to this.
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, these are my questions.
4 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Witness C-057, that concludes your
5 evidence. Thank you for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are now
6 free to go. If you'd wait a moment until the blinds come up.
7 Yes. We will adjourn now. Twenty minutes, please.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 --- Recess taken at 10.39 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE MAY: If the witness would take the declaration.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
14 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
16 WITNESS: SULEJMAN TIHIC
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Examined by Mr. Groome:
19 Q. Sir, could I ask you to begin your testimony by stating your full
20 name for the record.
21 A. Sulejman Tihic.
22 Q. And what is your current occupation?
23 A. Member of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 Q. I'm going to ask you --
25 MR. GROOME: Or if I could ask the Chamber for a number or number
1 to be assigned to a binder of exhibits, the binder containing 13
3 THE REGISTRAR: 608, Your Honour.
4 MR. GROOME: And if I might state for the record, tabs 1 and 2 of
5 the binder are prior statements of the witness. Tabs 3 through 10 are
6 attachments that were -- or documents that were attached to the original
7 statements. Tab 11 is a copy of the transcript of Mr. Tihic's previous
8 testimony in another case in the Tribunal, and the remaining exhibits, 12
9 and 13, are exhibits that were introduced during the course of those prior
11 Could I ask that the witness be shown tab 1, ask that he first be
12 shown an English copy of that statement.
13 Q. Mr. Tihic, I know that you do not read English, but could I ask
14 you to look through the pages of that document and ask you, do you
15 recognise your initials at the bottom of each of those pages?
16 A. Yes, I do recognise them.
17 Q. And did you have an opportunity to review the translation of that
18 statement into your own language?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I'd ask that you take a look at the English copy at tab 2, and ask
21 you again, are those your initials at the bottom of each of those pages?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. And did you have an opportunity to review the translation of that
24 statement into your own language?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the attachments that are included on tabs 3 through 10, did
2 you have an opportunity to review those and are those the attachments that
3 were made and referenced in your original statements?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, after having reviewed the statements and the attachments
6 attached thereto, are there any material inaccuracies to those statements
7 or any corrections that you need to draw the Chamber's attention to?
8 A. There are no special corrections. Perhaps there are some
9 imprecisions in certain places, errors that are insignificant in surnames,
10 but nothing essential.
11 Q. Now, after having reviewed them and now being a sworn witness, do
12 you verify the truth and accuracy of those two prior statements, aside
13 from these minor inconsistencies with respect, or minor inconsistencies
14 that you say are not of essential quality to your testimony here before
15 the Tribunal.
16 A. Yes, that is what I can say.
17 Q. And just so the record is clear, is the type of correction or
18 inconsistency that you're talking about things such as the misspelling of
19 the name of your neighbour of yours who does not feature in any
20 substantive way in your testimony?
21 A. Yes. For example, my neighbour whose last name is Pavlovic, his
22 name was not written correctly. It says Pisarevic. But from the context
23 of the entire statement, it could be seen that it is Pavlovic, because I
24 did not have a neighbour by the name of Pisarevic.
25 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, at this time I would tender tabs 1
1 through 10 of Exhibit 608 into evidence pursuant to Rule 89(F).
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
3 MR. GROOME: If I could read a brief summary of what is contained
4 both in those statements and in a portion of the transcript which has been
5 already admitted into evidence pursuant to a previous ruling of the Court.
6 The witness was the president of the SDA in Bosanski Samac at the
7 start of the war. He testifies about his arrest and detention at the
8 police building in Bosanski Samac and his interrogation and beating
9 suffered whilst there. He will also -- his testimony also includes a
10 description of the treatment of other detainees held at the Bosanski Samac
11 Territorial Defence building.
12 Approximately on the 26th or 27th of April, 1992, he testifies
13 about being taken to the JNA barracks in Brcko. He gives evidence about
14 his detention there and the presence of Arkan's soldiers and Red Berets in
15 Brcko at that time. He says that at the time it was clear to him that the
16 paramilitary forces were cooperating with the JNA and that even some JNA
17 soldiers appeared to be afraid of the paramilitary troops.
18 He gives evidence about an interview that he was required to give
19 to TV Novi Sad in Serbia. He testifies about the outbreak of the war in
20 Brcko and his transfer on the 1st or 2nd of May to the JNA barracks in
21 Bijeljina. He further testifies about interrogations and beatings by the
22 JNA soldiers there.
23 The witness was subsequently forcibly transported by helicopter to
24 Batajnica in Serbia where he was detained. He was guarded by JNA young
25 recruits. He testifies about his treatment there. He was subsequently
1 transported to Sremska Mitrovica prison in Serbia. He testifies about the
2 commander of the camp, a regular JNA soldier, and about beatings suffered
3 at the hands of soldiers there.
4 I will ask Mr. Tihic a few particular questions that are of
5 particular relevance to this case.
6 Q. Mr. Tihic, the Chamber has before it a very detailed account of
7 the events in Bosanski Samac. Can I ask you at this time to describe or
8 to list the names of the units of paramilitary or special forces that you
9 were aware of from Serbia that were present in the takeover of Bosanski
11 A. These are special units that were called the Red Berets, Arkan's
12 men, the Grey Wolves.
13 Q. Did you learn when the unit that you've described as the Red
14 Berets, did you learn when they first arrived in Bosanski Samac?
15 A. Well, before the attack on Bosanski Samac, perhaps ten or 15 days
16 prior to the attack, a client of mine came to see me, because I had been
17 working as a lawyer, and he said to me that the Red Berets were
18 transferred to Batkusa by helicopter and that they were making trouble, if
19 I can put it that way, in the village over there because they had beaten
20 up a patrol, a Serb patrol that was on guard duty vis-a-vis the
21 neighbouring Croat village, because they sat in a cafe with a Croat
22 patrol, and they socialised. They thought that this was not right, and
23 that's why they beat them up.
24 So then they complained about that, and also they were cutting the
25 hair of people who had long hair in the village. They were molesting
1 women, things like that.
2 Q. As best you're able, can you fix for the Chamber the date or the
3 approximate date upon which these Red Berets would have arrived by
4 helicopter in the municipality of Bosanski Samac.
5 A. If Samac was attacked on the 17th, then they were there ten or 15
6 days before that, so it was perhaps the beginning of April 1992.
7 These persons and similar persons appeared in town wearing
8 civilian clothes. We noticed that there were people who were speaking the
9 Ekavian dialect, who were not speaking Bosnian the way people talk in
11 Q. Now, at the beginning of April when the Red Berets would have
12 arrived in Bosanski Samac, prior to that, had there been any outbreak of
13 violence or any trouble in Bosanski Samac?
14 A. The Red Berets came to a village near Bosanski Samac, about ten
15 kilometres away from Bosanski Samac. The name of the village is Batkusa.
16 Well, the atmosphere in Bosanski Samac was the way it was. It's a town on
17 the border, and that was probably the only way out of Bosnia, across the
18 Sava river. There was tension but people lived normal lives to the extent
19 possible at that time. It's not that people were killed or wounded, but
20 there were verbal conflicts. And also there were some cases in which
21 mines were placed, but people did not suffer any injuries due to that.
22 Q. I'm going to ask you to look at the television screen before you,
23 and I'm going to ask that Exhibit 349, tab 4 -- and I would note that
24 that's a correction from the summary, the summary incorrectly notes this
25 exhibit as tab 5 -- it is 349, tab 4, that I would ask you to look at, and
1 I would ask you, do you recognise this patch?
2 A. Yes. Arkan's Tigers, that is the patch of those units.
3 Q. I now ask that the witness be shown Exhibit 349, tab 16. I'd ask
4 that be placed on the screen at the same time as the other exhibit.
5 Now, I want to draw your attention not to the entirety of this
6 patch but to the symbol the cross with the four Ss or reverse Cs, in the
7 left-hand corner. Did you ever see that insignia or that portion of this
8 insignia in Bosanski Samac?
9 A. Yes, I did see such insignia. It is well known because the
10 letters S, written in Cyrillic, are turned in the opposite direction,
11 quite different from all the others that were exhibited at that time. The
12 Ss are in the completely opposite direction as compared to all the others.
13 And one of them who had these patches said that the concord that no
14 longer existed between and among the Serbs was no longer there because the
15 Serbs were -- had turned their backs to each other, whereas now that they
16 changed the insignia, the Ss were facing each other, as it were, and that
17 is why Serbs would live in greater concord because they would face each
19 Q. President Tihic, the more typical symbol with the Ss, Cyrillic Ss,
20 is that reflected in the upper portion of the Arkanovci patch on the
21 left-hand side of the screen?
22 A. Yes, yes. This is an atypical patch. That's why I remembered it
23 in particular.
24 Q. Now, could I ask you to describe for the Chamber the interaction
25 between these units of the Red Berets, Arkanovci, and the other units from
1 Serbia. Could I ask you to describe their interaction with the local
2 military in Bosanski Samac.
3 A. Well, you see, those special units, the Specials, as we called
4 them, they were masters of that war, masters of life and death. The local
5 Serb units, and even the JNA units, were much more tolerant towards us.
6 They were willing to make allowances to let us go, but these people
7 wouldn't let them. Everybody was afraid of them. I know a couple of Serb
8 policemen who were beaten up just because they had been tolerant to us.
9 Even the local Serbs were afraid of them, and the troops were afraid of
10 them. And while I was in Bosanski Samac, they beat people. They were the
11 only ones who beat people.
12 Occasionally an extremist from among the Serbs would join them and
13 would gain more importance thereby. However, the majority of local Serbs
14 were embarrassed because of the position that we had been put in, at least
15 during the time that I spent in Bosanski Samac, the ten days. They beat
16 us so bad that the local commander from Bosanski Samac called the JNA and
17 asked him to pull us all out because we would die from the beatings
19 And one of these units of the JNA was afraid that the specials who
20 had gone on a mission somewhere would come back, in which case they
21 wouldn't be able to pull us out, and they were afraid of clashing with
22 them, at least as far as Bosanski Samac is concerned.
23 Q. Mr. Tihic, your -- both your statements and your prior testimony,
24 you give a very detailed description of the crimes that you were subjected
25 to, the many beatings and incarcerations that you suffered. Can I ask
1 you, did you learn the names of any of the people who committed these
2 crimes against you personally?
3 A. We knew their nicknames. We didn't know their full names. I know
4 in Bosanski Samac there were Lucky, Musa, Lugar, Beli, Zvezdan, and they
5 were the most vicious beaters.
6 Q. Did there --
7 A. They looted, robbed.
8 Q. Did there come a time when you learned the last name or the formal
9 name of this person that you've referred to as Zvezdan?
10 A. Yes, I learnt his name. When I got out of these concentration
11 camps in Serbia, I was in Rijeka and received a visit from my relative who
12 was free. He told me, I heard that you had been beaten by Zvezdan. His
13 name is actually Jovanovic. It seems that this relative of mine had known
14 this Zvezdan in Samac. That's how I learned his name.
15 Q. How did your relative from Bosanski Samac know this person Zvezdan
16 as Zvezdan Jovanovic? Can you describe the circumstances under which he
17 knew him.
18 A. At that time, they spent time together Bosanski Samac. My
19 relative said that Zvezdan used to bring him blank driver's licences and
20 he would type in names and details, because there were many stolen
21 vehicles and Zvezdan wanted to change the owner's name and register them.
22 Later, they sat together in cafes and Zvezdan told him, "I beat up your
23 relative quite a few times," meaning me.
24 Q. The cars that were stolen, were these cars that were taken from
25 the Muslim and Croat population during this -- the spring and summer of
1 1992 in Bosanski Samac?
2 A. Yes. All of them were taken away from Muslims and Croats, and the
3 names of the real owners would be replaced in these blank driver's
4 licences. My relative would receive instructions from Zvezdan which name
5 to type in.
6 Q. Mr. Tihic, I'm going to ask you to look at portion of videotape.
7 It's Exhibit 390, tab 1. I'm going to ask you to listen to the names of
8 the people that introduced themselves to the accused, Mr. Milosevic, and
9 then I'll ask you a question regarding whether you recognise the names of
10 any of these people. I'll ask that be played now.
11 [Videotape played]
12 MR. GROOME: Sir, is that the same name of the person who beat you
13 while you were in Bosanski Samac?
14 A. Yes, that's the name.
15 Q. As you sit here ten years later, are you confident in your ability
16 to recognise this person from this video, from the face?
17 A. I can hardly recognise him because this recording is not very
18 good. He seems to be wearing glasses here. Just by how tall he is, he
19 seems to be the same person, but it's difficult for me to say whether it's
20 really the same man. The name does correspond, but otherwise -- I don't
22 Q. Now, in your prior statement and your testimony, you refer to a
23 person by the name of Djordjevic, also known as Crni, and could I ask you
24 to describe to the Chamber what you know about his background, what you
25 came to know about his background and where he was from prior to the
1 activities that he engaged in in Bosanski Samac.
2 A. Earlier, as far as I know, he used to be a member of the federal
3 police in Belgrade. For a while, from what I heard, he was in retirement,
4 but when the war broke out, he joined the military, and he was the
5 commander of this unit that was stationed in Bosanski Samac. Crni was
6 their commander. I know that he even got married in Bosanski Samac, and
7 took over the property of his bride.
8 Q. Sir --
9 A. He commanded that unit, yes.
10 Q. Again, your prior testimony and statement go into great detail
11 about what happened to you in both Brcko and Bijeljina. If I could now
12 draw your attention to the period of time when you were taken from Bosnia
13 and forcibly transported into Serbia. Can I ask you to describe for the
14 Chamber how it was you were taken from Bosnia into Serbia and when that
16 A. From the military barracks of the JNA in Brcko, we were
17 transferred to the Spanac barracks in Bijeljina. I think it was on the
18 2nd or the 3rd of May, 1992. And two or three days after we arrived, they
19 came and called out a couple of names. They blindfolded us and directed
20 us to leave the building where we were put up.
21 We walked in the direction of a helicopter. We were put into that
22 helicopter, and inside there were already three men from Samac;
23 Izetbegovic, Izet Izetbegovic, Dr. Keracic, and a third man.
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the name.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And in the middle of the helicopter
1 there was a coffin holding the body of a fighter who had gotten killed.
2 There was one of Arkan's men and one major wearing civilian clothes. We
3 were tied to each other, in fact handcuffed to each other. The helicopter
4 took off. I know we flew over two rivers.
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. My apologies for interrupting you but the interpreters were not
7 able to catch the third name, the name that you mentioned after
8 Mr. Izetbegovic. Can I ask you to repeat the name of the third individual
9 who was taken into the helicopter.
10 A. The people who were already in the helicopter were Izet
11 Izetbegovic, Dr. Miroslav Keracic, and Anto Dragicevic. They were already
12 inside. And the men who came with me from Grga Zubak, Anto Lucic, Anto
13 Simovic, Dragan Lukac, Sead Mujkanovic. I think there were six of us.
14 Q. Just what relationship if any was there between Izet Izetbegovic
15 and Alija Izetbegovic?
16 A. Izet Izetbegovic and Alija Izetbegovic were sons of brothers.
17 Q. Now, I interrupted you when you were describing the manner in
18 which you were restrained in the helicopter. Can I ask you to describe
19 for the Chamber again how it was that you were restrained while you were
20 in that helicopter.
21 A. In the middle of that helicopter lay the coffin of that dead
22 soldier. On the left and on the right of the coffin the nine of us sat,
23 handcuffed to each other. Behind us was one Arkan's man and on the other
24 was the major in civilian clothes.
25 On the way, the Arkan's man wanted to throw us out of the
1 helicopter, but this major - and I know that he was a major because he
2 later interrogated us in Batajnica - would not allow that. We flew over
3 two rivers before we landed at an airfield. I think it was Batajnica. It
4 was Batajnica.
5 Q. Were you handcuffed in any way?
6 A. We were all handcuffed. Handcuffed to each other. It was enough
7 to push only one of us out the door and we would all fly out of the
8 helicopter. I had one-half of the handcuff tied to my hand and the other
9 half of the handcuff was tied to the next person.
10 Q. Now, the person who you're describing as a member of the Arkanovci
11 in this helicopter, how was it that you knew that he was a member of
12 Arkan's Tigers?
13 A. I knew by his patch and the black cap they wore, the knit cap.
14 They wore all the emblems.
15 Q. Did -- was he handcuffed or restrained in any way while he was on
16 that helicopter?
17 A. He was the person who was guarding us. He was in charge of our
18 security, if you can put it that way.
19 Q. And the helicopter, were you able to identify from what
20 organisation or unit the helicopter came from?
21 A. Well, you see, when we were going into the helicopter, we were
22 blindfolded, and from under the blindfold you could discern that it was a
23 JNA helicopter, but which unit it belonged to we couldn't really tell
24 because we had to keep our heads down, and we had to keep our heads down
25 even while we were inside. We were not allowed to look left or right or
1 up. We just had to keep our heads down all the time. I can't tell which
2 unit the helicopter belonged to, but it was a JNA helicopter.
3 Q. Now, again your statement and your testimony go into great detail
4 about your treatment in Batajnica and subsequently in Sremska Mitrovica
5 prison, including attempts to force you to participate in the taping of a
6 propaganda film.
7 The final question I have for you this morning is: During your
8 incarceration, did you have a conversation with a JNA soldier by the name
9 of Aco Ilic?
10 A. Yes. That was a decent kind of soldier. He was originally from
11 Loznica. He said so himself. He had many friends among Bosnians. He
12 helped us in Batajnica as much as he could. He would bring us biscuits,
13 once he even brought beer. And while he was on guard, nobody was allowed
14 to beat us.
15 I know that sometime towards the end he left, but before that he
16 came to say goodbye and he said he was going to the front line in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was towards the end of our stay in Batajnica.
18 Q. And did he say whether he was receiving any additional benefits or
19 additional pay for volunteering to go to the front line in Bosnia?
20 A. You see, besides from -- besides Aco Ilic, there were other guards
21 who volunteered to go to Bosnia, and they said that they would be
22 receiving the same salaries they were receiving in Serbia, but they would
23 receive also an additional bonus for going to Bosnia. They would get a
24 higher salary, like professional soldiers.
25 Q. Now, sir, during the period of your incarceration, the JNA
1 formally withdrew from Bosnia around the 19th and 20th of May. Are you
2 able to say whether the conversation that you had with Mr. Ilic or any of
3 the other men was before or after the formal withdrawal of the JNA from
5 A. I think it was after that, two or three days prior to our transfer
6 to Sremska Mitrovica, which was on the 27th of May. I know this also
7 because it was a time when Bosnia and Herzegovina was admitted into the
8 United Nations. This happened after the recognition, and it was later
9 declared that the JNA was going to withdraw from Bosnia. And we were
10 admitted into the UN on the 22nd of May, I believe.
11 Q. When were you ultimately released from your imprisonment in
13 A. On the 14th of August. There was a large exchange in a place
14 called Nemetin under an agreement between Premier of Yugoslavia Panic and
15 Gregoric. We were part of that large exchange. We were exchanged
16 together with Croat prisoners mainly from Vukovar.
17 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Mr. Tihic. I have no further questions.
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, it's for you to cross-examine the
19 witness. We've considered how long you should have in the light of the
20 length of the Prosecution examination, and we conclude an hour -- one
21 hour, three-quarters.
22 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] I will try to manage within that time,
24 Mr. Tihic. I'm not sure I will, though.
25 Mr. Tihic, in your statement, in the very beginning you say that,
1 in addition to other statements, you made a statement just after you were
2 exchanged in 1992. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes. One of the documents that I made here were drawings of the
4 rooms where I was imprisoned.
5 Q. No, I mean what it says in the second paragraph: "I brought with
6 me a document that I wrote after I was released from the camp in Serbia,
7 and I'm giving you a copy. I felt that I was forgetting things so I wrote
8 down names and events from my memory. That document covers events from
9 before the election in 1990 up until the time I got out of the camp in
10 1992." That's what my question relates to.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You said that you felt you were forgetting things, so you noted
13 down events and names. I suppose it covers the period from 1990 to 1992.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you still have that document today? Do you have it with you?
16 Could I see it, perhaps, since as you say you've submitted it and I
17 haven't received it.
18 A. Yes, I still have it today, and I submitted it in the trial of the
19 Samac group. I simply wanted to note down the kind of details that tend
20 to fade in memory, such as names, the sequence of events. I tried to
21 write down the chronology of all that I had suffered in the several camps
22 I've been to.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I should like to have that
24 document when it is convenient.
25 JUDGE MAY: We will make an inquiry about it. Yes, Mr. Groome.
1 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm looking for that document now, and
2 as soon as we identify it, we'll notify the Court.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Tihic, at the time of the events that you are testifying
6 about, you discharged important functions within the SDA party in your
7 municipality; is that right?
8 A. I volunteered as president of the SDA party and president of the
9 Municipal Board.
10 Q. All right. But president of the party is probably the most
11 prominent personality in the party and in your municipality.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you've been in the SDA since it was established?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. From the information available to me, you were an MP in the
16 Assembly of Republika Srpska from 1996 to 2002.
17 A. Right.
18 Q. And in 2001, the High Representative of the international
19 community appointed you member of the parliamentary commission for
20 constitutional issues; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And then you were elected president of the SDA.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. From my information, when you were elected, you made a speech to
25 the public and the MPs present and party members, saying that your party
1 would work for the implementation of the provisions of the Dayton
3 A. I said I would work on the implementation of Annex 4 to the Dayton
4 Accords, and these accords have a total of ten annexes.
5 Q. What is it that's so particular about Annex 4?
6 A. It envisages strengthening the institutions of Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina as a state and making them more efficient as well as creating
8 a unified economic space.
9 Q. I know what you mean, but do you mean a change of status of
10 Republika Srpska?
11 A. Among other things, I believe that the entity called nowadays
12 Republika Srpska cannot be named after one nation only because Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina is a multinational state.
14 Q. The way Republika Srpska is named is up to the people of Republika
15 Srpska to decide.
16 A. That should be decided in keeping with the constitution, and all
17 peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina should be asked about it, should have a
18 say, and there should be a consensus.
19 JUDGE MAY: This is a current debate. It has nothing to do with
20 the indictment, and as far as I can see, nothing to do with this trial.
21 So we'll go on to something else which has to do with this trial.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. With what you call "this
23 trial," there is probably a connection of what Mr. Tihic just said, the
24 need for consensus among peoples.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 29897 to 29908.
1 Q. In the past decade since the war, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been
2 a state where political decision-making has been based precisely upon
3 agreement among Croats, Serbs, and Muslims, and even personnel decisions
4 were taken with a view to the need for equal representation.
5 A. Precisely. Bosnia and Herzegovina should be a state of all the
6 three peoples. That's the kind of Bosnia I always worked for.
7 Q. Is it beyond dispute that problems in Bosnia started precisely
8 when a decision was made ignoring Serbian people for Bosnia to leave
10 A. No, that's not what the problems started. Problems, in my
11 opinion, started because the JNA got involved in Bosnian affairs. In
12 other words, an aggression was mounted against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Serbs,
13 Croats and Muslims in Bosnia would never wage war against each other if
14 there had been no outside interference, if there had not been involvement
15 of special units from all sides. We as neighbours would never fight each
17 Q. All right, Mr. Tihic. If Croats from Croatia and Serbs from
18 Serbia caused all that, how come that there had been no conflicts before
19 the collapse of that famous Cutileiro plan which had been signed at first
20 by Alija Izetbegovic, who then withdrew his signature, whereas Serbs and
21 Croats accepted this plan with the proviso that Bosnia should be
22 cantonised? Is that correct, Mr. Tihic?
23 A. No, that's not correct.
24 Q. All right. These are factual issues. I don't have to dwell on
25 this any longer. Let us go back to the events that you are testifying
1 about and your statement too.
2 Is it correct that in 1990, among the newly established political
3 parties - I'm referring to the SDA, the SDS, and the HDZ - in the
4 territory of your municipality some kind of political agreement was
5 reached, or, rather, you cooperated in order to topple the communists; is
6 that right?
7 A. Well, this was a parliamentary majority that elected the
9 Q. Isn't it uncontested that the division of public offices within
10 the municipality once you won the election, I'm referring to these three
11 parties, was based precisely on the agreement among the three parties?
12 You refer to that in paragraph 4 of your statement.
13 A. Changes only took place in public offices, namely in economic
14 companies changes were not carried out because there were these other
16 Q. As far as I know, you had also been a member of the League of
17 Communists of Yugoslavia. Is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. For how long were you a member of the League of Communists of
21 A. I was a member from the fourth grade of high school.
22 Q. So as soon as you became of age, you became a member. As early as
23 possible; is that right? And then until 1990, all the time?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you say that you became a member of the League of Communists
1 of Yugoslavia in fourth grade of high school, and then in paragraph 4 you
2 say that you were not a member of the League of Communists out of
3 conviction but, rather, because that was the way in which you could pursue
4 your professional interests in the best way.
5 A. Well, you see in the League of Communists, practically all
6 educated people were within the ranks of the League of Communists. The
7 ideas advocated by the League of Communists were progressive, acceptable.
8 They spoke of justice, equality among people. So why would I not be in
9 the League of Communists at that time?
10 Q. That's not the question I'm putting to you, why you would not be a
11 member of the League of Communists but what you said a few minutes ago
12 here was that you became a member of the League of Communists while you
13 were still in high school, and here you say, "I was a member of the --
14 member of the League of Communists before the war because it was
15 impossible to work as a judge or lawyer if you were not."
16 A. Well, that's right too, because especially in the provinces, it
17 was very difficult to be a judge or a prosecutor. I mean, you could not
18 be head of a shop if you were not a member of the League of Communists.
19 Q. Well, I'm not aware of that, that you could not do anything if you
20 were not a member of the League of Communists, because then all employees
21 would have been members of the League of Communists, especially lawyers.
22 I do not know of most lawyers being members of the League of Communists of
23 Yugoslavia. Perhaps in Bosanski Samac, so then you would be an exception,
24 Mr. Tihic.
25 A. Well, formally you could be a judge of the Constitutional Court
1 without being a member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia but --
2 Q. You said you could not work as a lawyer.
3 A. No, that does not mean that a lawyer could not -- become a lawyer
4 without being a member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. Perhaps
5 that is imprecise.
6 Q. Well, that's why I'm asking you this because this is inaccurate;
7 isn't that right?
8 A. Well, for the most part, lawyers were not members of the League of
10 Q. But then you wrote something -- then you wrote something that is
11 not true. But let us go on.
12 Is it correct that during 1991 you were also a member of the
13 National Security Council of the SDA? Is that right? You referred to
14 that in paragraph 2 of your statement.
15 A. I was a member of the Main Board of the SDA.
16 Q. I'm asking you whether you were a member of the National Security
17 Council of the Party of Democratic Action.
18 A. I was not. As far as I know, such a council didn't even exist as
19 a body, as a permanent body.
20 Q. All right. You became a member of the National Council of the SDA
21 for all of the former Yugoslavia?
22 A. You probably mean the Main Board of the SDA. Perhaps the
23 translation is not right.
24 Q. Is it correct that together with this Izet Izetbegovic who was
25 mentioned here who is therefore the nephew -- or, no, the cousin of Alija
1 Izetbegovic; is that right? That together with him, on behalf of the
2 Muslims of Bosanski Samac, you attended a meeting at Mount Igman towards
3 the end of 1991?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What happened at that meeting? Is that when this National
6 Security Council of the SDA was established?
7 A. It's not that it was founded then. Various current political
8 issues were discussed at that meeting, and towards the end of the meeting
9 some members voiced their concern over the arming of the Serbs by the JNA.
10 It was also indicated that Croats were receiving weapons from Croatia and
11 that we Muslims had no weapons, and that in a way, we had remained
12 disarmed because previously the JNA had taken the weapons of the
13 Territorial Defence, and these two ethnic groups had weapons.
14 Q. All right. That was in 1991, and is it true that at that meeting
15 regional and municipal Crisis Staffs were first established?
16 A. I don't know whether it was formally done at that meeting, but
17 these Crisis Staffs were being established after that.
18 Q. Is it beyond any doubt that the leadership of the SDA that you
19 belonged to already then at the end of 1991 quite clearly opted in favour
20 of a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina?
21 A. That's not correct. We wanted to preserve Yugoslavia as a
22 community of equal and equitable peoples, and President Izetbegovic
23 advocated that. However, other forces prevailed, and he could not
24 succeed. Because we knew what a war in Bosnia-Herzegovina could mean.
25 Q. Isn't it certain that the Serbs advocated the preservation of
1 Yugoslavia? Is that at least beyond doubt?
2 A. Well, it's not, because all other peoples wanted Yugoslavia as a
3 community of equitable peoples, whereas Serbs, or, rather, the policy that
4 then represented the Serbs wanted a Yugoslavia in which the Serbs would be
5 more equitable, to say the least, in relation to others.
6 Q. Well, Mr. Izetbegovic -- or Mr. Tihic, don't you know that in the
7 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was established in April 1992, when
8 you seceded and when you were internationally recognised, that that is
9 precisely where citizens were equal and equitable and that throughout that
10 decade there had been no ethnic discrimination whatsoever. And as a
11 matter of fact, 70.000 Muslims fled as refugees to Serbia to seek shelter
13 A. I don't know about that, and least of all do I know that they were
14 equal. I mean, Muslims were taken out of trains and killed in this
15 "equitable Yugoslavia" as you say. So the other day in Serbia, the
16 perpetrators were tried, and these Muslims were taken off a train and
17 killed. So that's that equality for you.
18 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic -- Mr. Tihic, those people who were taken out were
19 taken out of the train in Bosnia-Herzegovina, not in Serbia, and you know
20 that full well. And you also know full well how the authorities reacted
21 to that.
22 A. Well, this is how they reacted.
23 Q. It did not happen in Serbia, it happened in the territory of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. After all, that is a fact that cannot be brought into
1 A. Well, if we're supposed to discuss this --
2 Q. I'm not discussing the train.
3 JUDGE MAY: No, we're not going to discuss this. It seems a
4 complete waste of time to have this sort of argument. Now, we'll hear
5 evidence. If you've got some questions for the witness which he can deal
6 with without argument, we'll listen to them, but otherwise we'll move on.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Tihic, I shall ask you to give answers that are as brief as
9 possible to my questions.
10 Do you know that on the 13th of January, 1991, in Bosanski Brod a
11 meeting was held of the representatives of the HDZ of Northern Bosnia
12 where a commission was elected with the task of talking in Slavonski Brod
13 to the Ministers of Defence and the Interior Martin Spegelj and Josi
14 Bojlkovic [phoen] about the arming of Bosanska Posavina?
15 A. I don't know about that.
16 Q. Do you know that the leadership of the SDA of Sarajevo on the 11th
17 of July, 1991 sent to the municipal representatives of the SDA a document
18 called Instructions for Sending Candidates to the Educational Centre of
19 the MUP of the Republic of Croatia, which was signed by Secretary Hasan
21 A. I'm not aware of that.
22 Q. You did not receive that?
23 A. No, I didn't.
24 Q. And do you remember, as the then-president of the SDA for Bosanski
25 Samac, that on the 9th of August, 1991 - 1991, I underline - the
1 headquarters of the SDA sent instructions regarding mobilisation, military
2 exercises, and stating the following: That these matters have to do with
3 their party affiliation within the municipal Secretariats of National
4 Defence, not the federal administration. B, that they insist on the
5 decision of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina dated the 7th of August
6 that recruits from the BH can serve their military term only in
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia; and thirdly, that call-up papers can be
8 addressed only by municipal authorities, not by military organs. Do you
9 recall that and is that correct?
10 A. I don't remember that it was the SDA that sent this document. I
11 think that this was either a decision of the Presidency not to go and do
12 one's military service. I think it was the Presidency of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina that decided that.
14 Q. Do you remember that in August the same year the arms smuggling
15 channel was cut off, the arms that were illegally transported from Croatia
16 to Bosnia for the SDA?
17 A. Where was that?
18 Q. Your area.
19 A. I don't remember that.
20 Q. All right. And do you remember that in October 1991, the first
21 Serb refugees started arriving from Croatia, and they were taken care of
22 by a special commission in Bosanski Samac?
23 A. I remember that. I remember that. From Slunj and other areas.
24 Q. And is it correct that on the 27th of November, 1991, from -- the
25 Croatian side stopped traffic on the bridge on the Sava River spanning the
1 two river banks, Bosanski Samac and Croatia?
2 A. Possibly. Traffic would be stopped from time to time.
3 Q. All right. Do you remember that on that occasion the Crisis Staff
4 from Slavonski Brod informed the president of the Municipal Assembly in
5 Bosanski Samac that the reason for stopping traffic was the fact that JNA
6 units and Chetnik gangs were concentrating there? I am quoting that
7 document. Continued quotation: On the Bosnian side and that the bridge
8 was mined.
9 A. I'm not sure.
10 Q. You're not sure?
11 A. I don't know that this kind of document was sent. I know that
12 traffic was stopped and I knew that there were these remarks regarding the
13 concentration of troops because they were afraid that these troops would
14 cross over to Croatia, but as for a concrete document, letter, I don't
15 know about that.
16 Q. All right. But towards the end of November 1991, did a series of
17 sabotage and diversion actions where the transmission lines were blown up
18 in Lugovi and also Alija Fitozovic, your colleague and party comrade, had
19 stashed away a lot of Vitezit 20, a well-known explosive, and also a
20 diagram for carrying out those actions?
21 A. I know that the transmission lines were blown up, but I don't know
22 who did this.
23 Q. You don't know that Fitozovic had the explosives, your colleague
25 A. I know that some explosives were found in Alija Fitozovic's house.
1 Q. All right. Is it correct that on the 9th of December 1991 there
2 was a diversion using the same kind of explosives in Hranaprodukt?
3 A. I don't know how this sabotage took place, but I did know about an
4 explosion at the Hranaprodukt company and I don't know who did that. The
5 perpetrators were never found in any one of these cases. We thought it
6 was done by the JNA, they thought somebody else was doing that, and that
7 is how mutual accusations were levelled.
8 Q. All right. On the 23rd of December, was there yet another act of
9 sabotage, again near Podlugovi number 182 -- no, not Podlugovi but again a
10 transmission line. I meant Lugovi. This was a slip of the tongue.
11 A. Yes, Lugovi. There were sabotage acts of this kind; seven, eight,
12 ten, I don't know if it was twice at Lugovi or only once but it's
14 Q. On the 24th of December -- the one I referred to just now was on
15 the 223rd, but on the 24th of December your party colleague Alija
16 Fitozovic, who was also an SDA official; is that right?
17 A. He was a member of the Executive Board, the municipal Executive
19 Q. Yes. From the Crisis Staff of Slavonski Brod he received an ID
20 allowing him safe passage through checkpoints; is that right?
21 A. I'm not aware of him getting this kind of document.
22 Q. Is it true that on the 26th of December the poles of the
23 transmission -- on the transmission lines between Tuzla and Djakovo were
24 mined and also the shop of a Serb, Janja Zubak, in Bosanski Samac?
25 A. I don't know about the transmission lines and Janja Zubak is not a
1 Serb. She's a Croat and her husband, Grga Zubak, was imprisoned with me.
2 Q. Was her kiosk blown up?
3 A. Yes, her kiosk was right by the MUP, the police building.
4 Q. Is it correct that on the 10th of January, 1992, a new hand-over
5 of explosives took place between Alija Fitozovic and Nefrid Dzananovic
6 from Odjaci [phoen] and that a certificate to that effect was found in
7 Fitozovic's apartment?
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. You don't know about that?
10 A. I don't know.
11 Q. And do you know that in January 1992, a large quantity of weapons
12 was obtained from Croatia? Do you know about that?
13 A. January 1992?
14 Q. Yes, January 1992.
15 A. No.
16 Q. A large quantity of arms from Croatia.
17 A. I don't know about that. I know that in April, just before the
18 attack on Samac, something did come from Croatia, but January I don't
20 Q. Oh, I see. Before the attack on Samac, arms came from Croatia?
21 A. Yes. Fifty automatic rifles. And that was given to the
22 Territorial Defence Staff. And these weapons were mostly taken away when
23 Samac was attacked.
24 Q. Oh, they were seized?
25 A. Yes, because they were the TO staff.
1 Q. And now you're talking about April, but I am dwelling on January.
2 The 27th of January, that is the holiday of St. Sava, the chapel at the
3 Orthodox cemetery in Bosanski Samac was blown up. Do you remember that?
4 A. I know that it was blown up, the chapel, but I don't know whether
5 it was on the 27th of January.
6 Q. Well, the -- well, Saint Sava's day was chosen because that is a
7 big Serb holiday.
8 A. I did not know that it was exactly on that holiday but I know that
9 it was damaged to an extent, it wasn't totally destroyed.
10 Q. Explosives were placed there.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And do you know that on the 5th of February, 1992, the bridge on
13 the Sava River also had explosives placed on it and was partly damaged?
14 A. Well, partly damaged, yes, but I don't know whether it was on the
15 5th of February, possibly so.
16 Q. Do you know that on the 8th of February from the village of Donji
17 Hasici a mortar attack was launched against the neighbouring Serb village
18 of Skaric? This was on the same day when your associates Izet Izetbegovic
19 and Alija Fitozovic brought ammunition and hand grenades and anti-tank
20 mines from Slavonski Brod. Do you remember that?
21 A. I do not know about this shelling of Skaric from Hasici. Well,
22 you see, all these explosions that took place, there were different
23 versions in this regard who the perpetrators were. We thought that this
24 done by the JNA and by the Serb side in order to create a state of
1 Q. And do you know anything about what I referred to just now in the
2 second part of my question, about bringing in ammunition by Fitozovic and
3 Izetbegovic, ammunition, hand grenades, anti-tank mines and so on,
4 precisely then when this shelling of Skaric took place?
5 A. I don't know whether it happened on that day, but I know they
6 brought a case of ammunition, two hand grenades and I believe one
7 anti-tank mine from Croatia. I was informed of it. I didn't see it
9 Q. But you were informed of that quantity you are talking about, not
10 a greater quantity; just one case of ammunition.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Very well. Do you know who Rifat Atic is, nicknamed Rajec, owner
13 of the Molar [phoen] coffee bar?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you know that the 2nd of March he took over a delivery of a
16 large quantity of ammunition from Slavonski Brod and that ammunition was
17 intended for SDA units in Samac?
18 A. I think you're talking about the same thing, actually, the same
19 shipment. Atic brought this one case.
20 Q. No, the first thing happened on the 8th of February and the second
21 case was on the 2nd of March, and it was 10.000 pieces, not just one case.
22 A. I know there was one delivery only, whether it was Atic or
23 Fitozovic who brought it.
24 Q. I know that a receipt, 1342, was found on one of them on the 2nd
25 of March, issued on the 2nd of March.
1 A. I know that there was only one consignment. Whether it was
2 Izetbegovic or Fitozovic.
3 Q. Do you know that in the night between the 12th and 13th of March a
4 delivery was made on two trucks secured by Namic Sulic [phoen], commander
5 of the police from Samac?
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. Do you remember the meeting of the 19th of March in the Prud
8 village, attended by Stjepan Bozanovic, nicknamed Braco, special envoy of
9 the HDZ from Croatia; Mato Nujic, Filip Evic, Izet Izetbegovic, Vinko
10 Dragicevic, Alija Fitozovic, and this Marko Bozanovic and yourself; is
11 that true?
12 A. Yes. I remember that meeting, I came towards the end only. That
13 meeting fell through because I personally didn't want to agree, and Marko
14 Bozanovic didn't agree either, with the establishment of a Crisis Staff
15 where only Croats and Muslims would be included. I wanted a Crisis Staff
16 where Serbs would be included as well. That's why this meeting fell
18 Q. Isn't it true that a Crisis Staff was set up then and a single
19 army command where Bozanovic was the commander and Fitozovic was his
21 A. No, it wasn't set up then because I didn't want to agree with a
22 Crisis Staff without Serbs.
23 Q. So this was only a proposal that you didn't accept because you
24 were against it?
25 A. I was explicitly and strongly against it, and Marko Bozanovic
1 supported me.
2 Q. All right. But how was the nucleus then formed of the 104th
3 Brigade of the HVO? Because my information was that this meeting was the
4 beginning of that brigade.
5 A. I don't know how the brigade was set up. I was in the camp at the
7 Q. All right. But do you remember that on the 25th of March, 1992,
8 on the railway in Samac, explosives were found, the railroad had been
10 A. I don't remember.
11 Q. And do you remember that at that time on the 25th of March, Fuad
12 Jasenica, Jogo, an activist of the SDA from Samac, brought from Croatia a
13 large shipment of automatic rifles including ammunition and two launchers?
14 A. That's what I mentioned as a case from April when 50 automatic
15 rifles were brought from Croatia.
16 Q. There are two shipments, the beginning of March and the 25th of
17 March. The paper found on Atic was dated the 2nd of March. He brought it
18 across the border on the 25th of March, and we are talking about two
19 different consignments and you know only about one of them.
20 A. I know about the case of Jasenica. That weaponry was brought to
21 the headquarters of the Territorial Defence and surrendered to them, and I
22 know that Atic, Fitozovic, and whoever it was with them brought some
23 weapons from Slavonski Brod.
24 Q. Very well. You became president of the Crisis Staff in March; is
25 that true?
1 A. It was a Crisis Staff that was set up within the party of the SDA,
2 and all presidents of municipal boards were presidents of Crisis Staff.
3 Q. All right. There were Izet Izetbegovic, Fitozovic, Nalic, and
4 Hadzialijagic in addition to you.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is it true at the same time that a municipal military staff was
7 set up, headed precisely by Alija Izetbegovic, Fitozovic, Rifat Atic,
8 Fakija Baptic [phoen], et cetera?
9 A. This Crisis Staff had a section that dealt precisely with security
10 and organisation of defence because, in the municipality of Bosanski
11 Samac, Muslims accounted for only 7 per cent of the population, and we
12 were concentrated in the town itself. We were concerned because we were
13 cut off from the rest of Bosnia at a time when Serbs and Croats were
14 getting very well armed, Serbs by the JNA and Croats by Croatia. We found
15 ourselves in the middle, and we were thinking about what to do. We tried
16 to organise ourselves and provide for some sort of security although it
17 couldn't be compared to the capacities of the Serbs and Croats because
18 they were much more numerous in municipalities and they enjoyed the
19 support of their respective states, so that our efforts were really
21 Q. All right, Mr. Tihic. Since you say that Serbs enjoyed the
22 support of the JNA and Croats of the Croatian state, is it true that then
23 in 1991 there was a boycott of the JNA and refusal to receive call-up
24 papers and Muslims en masse refused to be mobilised into the Territorial
1 A. That's true. In response to an appeal made by the president,
2 Alija Izetbegovic, not to respond to call-up, young men really refused
3 because, among other things, they were afraid of being sent to front lines
4 in Croatia.
5 Q. Isn't it clear that you excluded yourself from the JNA and then
6 said that JNA didn't want you? You refused call-up papers yourselves. If
7 you had stayed in the JNA, you wouldn't have taken any action against
8 yourselves. Isn't that obvious?
9 A. There were mostly Serbs in the JNA.
10 Q. There were all ethnicities represented in the command.
11 A. You know that soldiers were mostly Serb, and they were commanded
12 by Serbs.
13 Q. You know that the composition of the commanding staff was
14 proportional to the composition of the population.
15 A. I don't think it was that proportional.
16 Q. We need not discuss concrete data because it is available to
18 Is it also true that one of the main objectives of those Crisis
19 Staffs of the SDA was to arm your Muslim units in the municipalities where
20 these Crisis Staffs existed? Is that true or not?
21 A. I can only tell you about Bosanski Samac. There were no serious
22 units. They did not exist, and we were not able to arm them, because we
23 accounted for only 8 per cent of the total population of the municipality.
24 Q. All right. But we did note a moment ago, and we agreed, that
25 there were at least some activities geared at arming, although you
1 accounted for only 7 per cent.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Very well. Are you aware of any aggressive actions taken against
4 army officers, barracks, their families, military facilities at the time
5 in your area, a locality you were very familiar with regardless of whether
6 it was strictly within the administrative borders of your municipality?
7 A. I know about Bosanski Samac and the surrounding area. There were
8 no officers there, there were no barracks, there were no such actions
10 Q. Very well. In your statement you mentioned the 4th Detachment,
11 and you call it detachment of the JNA. You claim that it was an integral
12 part of the 17th Tactical Group commanded by Colonel Nikolic; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Tell me first, on what basis do you claim that this 4th Detachment
15 was part of the JNA? Could it have been the Territorial Defence?
16 A. It certainly wasn't, because Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic came and
17 informed us in the municipality that they were part of the JNA and that
18 similar units exist in other municipalities. We were opposed to that and
19 we said that under the constitution, such units can only be part of the
20 Territorial Defence, but he wouldn't hear of it and he established the 4th
22 A. That's precisely what I'm trying to say. Is it true that it was a
23 unit of the Territorial Defence that included both Serbs, Croats, and
24 Muslims, this 4th Detachment?
25 A. It was a JNA unit. It was not under the headquarters of the
1 Territorial Defence, it was part of the JNA.
2 JUDGE MAY: This is a good moment to adjourn. We will adjourn now
3 for 20 minutes.
4 President Tihic, may I give you the warning we give all witnesses,
5 not to speak to anybody about your evidence until it's over. Could you be
6 back, please, in 20 minutes.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.22 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll go on until 2.00, which should give us
10 time to finish the evidence of this witness.
11 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. So, let us clarify about this 4th Detachment. You yourself,
14 Mr. Tihic, in paragraph 7 of your statement, speak about two of your
15 fellow townsmen, and I'm quoting you. You say: "They organised the 4th
16 Detachment of the JNA in Samac by recruiting civilians who had weapons.
17 80 per cent of the members were Serbs, but there were also some Muslims
18 and Croats." Is that true?
19 A. The 4th Detachment was organised by the JNA, the barracks in
20 Brcko, and they were formally and in reality under their competence, and
21 they provided them with weapons.
22 Q. I understand that, but I'm quoting you here. You wrote about your
23 fellow townsmen, that they organised the 4th Detachment in Bosanski Samac
24 by recruiting civilians who had weapons. And you say 80 per cent were
25 Serbs and the rest were Muslims and Croats, and you said yourself that
1 Muslims accounted for only 7 per cent of the population. Is that correct
2 or not?
3 A. The detachment was made up of people who were local residents of
4 Bosanski Samac.
5 Q. And you say in paragraph 10: "Nikolic did not have legal
6 authority to establish the 4th Detachment because only the republican
7 authorities had competencies to do something like that." So who was it;
9 A. Nikolic organised the 4th Detachment.
10 Q. So what you say, that "they" organised it is not correct.
11 A. You must have taken this out of context. The entirety of my
12 statement must indicate that it was the JNA, Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic,
13 who organised the 4th Detachment.
14 Q. Look at paragraph 7. In the middle of that paragraph, after
15 mentioning all these names and their positions, you say: "They organised
16 the 4th Detachment of the JNA within the town of Bosanski Samac by
17 recruiting civilians with weapons. 80 per cent of the members were Serbs
18 but there were also some Muslims and Croats." And I'm quoting you
19 verbatim. That is what you stated.
20 A. I'm telling you, the entirety of my statement says that it was
21 organised by the JNA, by Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic, and the JNA provided
22 their weapons. That is the truth.
23 Q. They recruited civilians who had weapons.
24 A. No. They distributed weapons to civilians. And everybody knows
25 where it was done; in the factory at Tekstilac. These people were invited
1 to come there and they distributed the weapons to them.
2 Q. These two don't fit, together but never mind. In paragraph 9, you
3 say that Lieutenant Colonel, or Colonel Nikolic, I'm not sure about this,
4 it doesn't matter anyway, at a time when the JNA were still in Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina, he would come to Bosanski Samac, talking to people about
6 security and telling them to organise the defence of the town. However,
7 the majority did not want the JNA to be involved in the work of the TO.
8 Is that correct?
9 A. It's true that Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic came. He would attend
10 sessions of the Security Council and the local community and he did not
11 want to cooperate with the Territorial Defence. That is true. He wanted
12 the JNA to take over all security affairs in the municipality without
13 involving the TO, which we were opposed to.
14 Q. But I'm quoting again from your paragraph 9: "He came to meetings
15 discussing security, telling people to organise the defence of the town
16 with the army, but most of the people at the security meeting did not want
17 the army involved with the Territorial Defence." This is completely
18 opposite to what you are saying now.
19 A. Well, that's not true. The Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic and the
20 entire JNA at the time ignored the TO. They didn't want any part of them,
21 and that's why they disarmed them.
22 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if I may interrupt. Your Honour, I'm
23 now in possession of the statement, the English and the B/C/S version.
24 These are personal memoirs of the witness. They were first disclosed to
25 the accused on 21st of March, 2003. I have additional copies here to
1 provide him. In fairness, I would point out the name of the witness isn't
2 prominent on the document but it is mentioned in the footer, but it may
3 not have been obvious that this was this particular witness's statement.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the accused have one copy, the witness have
5 another. And have you got a copy for us, please?
6 MR. GROOME: I'll have those produced now, Your Honour.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. This is very voluminous
8 material, as far as I can see, but I suppose Mr. Groome made a slip of the
9 tongue when he said that it was discovered in 1993. I suppose he meant it
10 was discovered in 2003.
11 MR. GROOME: Yes. It was disclosed on the 3rd of -- I'm sorry,
12 the 21st of March, 2003.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But not indicating the name of the
14 witness. I really don't know how to find my way in this sea of papers,
15 especially when names of witnesses are not indicated. But now I have no
16 time to deal with this.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. All right. Tell me, Mr. Tihic, since you say that the majority
19 was against involving the JNA in the work of the TO, what majority are you
20 talking about? Do you mean Muslims from the territory of Bosanski Samac?
22 A. I said that we wanted the JNA and the TO to cooperate, as
23 envisaged by the legislation and the constitution. We were opposed to
24 having the JNA as the sole guarantor of our security. Croats and Muslims
25 were both against it.
1 Q. When you say he talked about organising the defence of the town
2 with the army but most of the people at the security meeting did not want
3 the army involved with the Territorial Defence, this is pretty unequivocal
4 in your statement. You say that you mean Muslims and Croats now.
5 A. I mean Muslims, Croats, and others who were against having the JNA
6 as the sole guarantor of security.
7 Q. Why would the JNA ask to be the only guarantor if Lieutenant
8 Colonel Nikolic came to these meetings and asked you to jointly organise
9 the defence of the town?
10 A. That's not what he asked.
11 Q. But that's what you wrote here.
12 A. I don't know how it really worked, but I'm telling you what
14 Q. I'm telling you what you wrote. He told the people that they
15 should organise the defence of the town with the army. That's what it
16 says in your statement. Regardless -- all right. When you talk about
17 Nikolic's appeal --
18 JUDGE MAY: Were you going to say something, Mr. Tihic, or not?
19 If not --
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. All right. In this connection regarding the defence of the town,
22 from whom was the town supposed to defend itself and the surrounding area
23 as well?
24 A. There were various misgivings on various parts. The Serbs who
25 were in town were afraid that the KOS people might come from the other
1 side of the river, from the Croatian side, while we the Muslims who were
2 the majority in town were afraid that the JNA, the Serb Territorial
3 Defence could take over the town and repeat the scenario that had already
4 taken place in Bijeljina and upstream along the Drina River.
5 Q. I'm asking you about the words of Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic about
6 the defence of the town. I suppose it did not mean defending the town
7 from some Serbs who were supposed to attack it. From whom did he ask you
8 to defend the town?
9 A. Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic in his public speeches tried to rise
10 above it all and treat equally both Serb forces and Croatian forces. As a
11 representative of the JNA, he was supposed to defend us from both. That's
12 what he said.
13 Q. Is it true what you say in paragraph 17, namely that members of
14 the 4th Detachment patrolled only by night in the areas of the Bosna River
15 and the Sava River, because that's the side from which they expected an
17 A. I mentioned that before. They feared an attack from the other
18 side, from some Croatian village across the river.
19 Q. So this expected attack was supposed to come from Croatia?
20 A. They feared that an attack might come from that side.
21 Q. Now, in paragraph 13, speak about the self-defence of the Muslims.
22 You say that it was not organised by professional soldiers, and it was
23 meant only to fend off attacks from outside, and the problem was that the
24 JNA had taken away all the weaponry a year before.
25 A. That's true. We had some city guards who could not be very
1 efficient in defending us, but they could give a warning to people, like
2 an attack is coming.
3 Q. So you are saying that Muslims in Bosanski Samac were not armed.
4 A. They were insufficiently, inadequately armed, compared to the
5 others who had everything.
6 Q. All right, Mr. Tihic. In paragraph 14, you say that about a month
7 before the 17th of April when, as you say, a conflict occurred in Bosanski
8 Samac, you and the SDA organised guards and patrols; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And I suppose they were unarmed because you say yourself that you
11 did not have any weapons.
12 A. By that time, the MUP was already divided. Serbs manned police
13 stations in Serb villages and Croats in Croat villages. We had guards at
14 entry points into the town, and the guards had some weapons when they rode
15 in vehicles, but they didn't display them.
16 Q. So they had weapons.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And this conclusion you drew about the possible attack of Serbs
19 against the town is based on the fact that every weekend complete Serb
20 families left the town, and they explained it to their neighbours by
21 saying that they feared an attack.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So the fact is that Serb families were afraid from a -- of an
24 attack from Croatia, and based on that you draw a conclusion that they --
25 that there could have been a Serb attack.
1 A. Yes. Every Thursday or Friday, Serbs would leave the town, but
2 they were saying that the JNA would attack -- the Serbs would attack, not
4 Q. But you decided to put up guards and patrols because Serb families
5 had left the town fearing a Serb attack?
6 A. No, we were not afraid of the local Serbs, we were afraid of those
7 special units that were coming from Serbia. We were afraid of the JNA.
8 We would never wage war with the local Serbs.
9 Q. Well, in your statement you mentioned only precisely local Serbs.
10 A. As leaving the town, not as a possible source of attack.
11 Q. You also mentioned them as setting up this 4th Detachment.
12 A. I mentioned the 4th Detachment and many people who used to be in
13 the 4th Detachment were later disenchanted because they could see where it
14 was going. These Specials were coming into town.
15 Q. We'll come to that later. Just tell me now, in this annex to your
16 statement, there are excerpts from interviews which you say in paragraph
17 62 and 63 were given under duress, and you were told prior to those
18 interviews that you should say that nobody had beaten you and the police
19 were treating you well.
20 A. In Bosanski Samac, when I was interviewed by the Novi Sad TV
21 station, if that's what you mean.
22 Q. Tell me now, so you were told to say that nobody beat you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you never said that.
25 A. There was a break during the questioning, and then there was this
1 break and then Stevan Todorovic said to me I would be asked whether I had
2 been beaten and I should answer that I was not beaten.
3 Q. All right. Let's leave that aside now, that they asked you to say
4 that you were not beaten. Is it correct what you said then about the
5 arming of Muslims in Bosanski Samac? Let me be quite specific: Is it
6 true that Alija Fitozovic, on behalf of the Municipal Board of the SDA,
7 had direct contact with Slavonski Brod from where he obtained weapons from
8 members of the SDA? This is in line 20 of your interview, on page
10 A. I don't know whether he had permanent contacts. I doubt that he
11 had permanent contacts, but he went from time to time.
12 Q. And obtained weapons?
13 A. Obtained the ammunition I referred to.
14 Q. And is the other claim right, also on page 624 in lines 22 and 23,
15 that in these activities he was assisted by a certain Rifat Atic,
16 nicknamed Ice, and Izet Izetbegovic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Oh, so that's correct too.
19 A. Yes, it's these three men.
20 Q. You stated then that the question of arming within the SDA
21 constantly burdened your meetings at lower levels and higher levels; is
22 that right?
23 A. Yes. People simply felt threatened, frightened. Nobody had any
24 weapons whereas others did. Present, we're going to get killed, we're
25 going to get slaughtered, and you have no weapons, and you haven't got any
1 money, and you simply don't know what to do.
2 Q. Mr. Tihic, is it true that precisely as president you told Alija
3 Fitozovic and Izet Izetbegovic to take care of arming and that the two of
4 them had all contacts in that respect as well as coordination with the top
5 echelons of the party?
6 A. Yes, I did ask them to take care of security.
7 Q. Is it right that with regard to arming, Izet Izetbegovic contacted
8 a person who you knew then as Senaid [phoen], and this was Senaid Memic
9 [phoen]. This is 0089265. Is that right?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. Is it correct what you said then, that the first quantity of arms
12 delivered to Bosanski Samac contained 30 automatic rifles and five
13 pistols? On page 625.
14 A. You mean what was obtained from Memic.
15 Q. Yes. These weapons were brought from Croatia.
16 A. Memic, Senaid Memic, the person you mentioned just now.
17 Q. All right. And soon after that, another delivery followed,
18 including 50 automatic rifles and two mortars; is that right?
19 A. Yes. This was on the very eve of the attack on Samac. This was
20 placed at the Territorial Defence depot.
21 Q. I'm just mentioning what was involved. And today you claim in
22 your statement -- you said awhile ago you didn't have any weapons. All of
23 this was delivered at the beginning of 1992, January, February; right? So
24 all of four months prior to what happened in April; is that right?
25 A. Well, March, April, or perhaps even February, I don't know.
1 Q. All right. And we heard from you that as for the reported attack
2 of Serbs on town, you found out about this in mid-March, a month prior to
3 the attack.
4 A. Well, that's what people said, but we didn't know exactly when the
5 town would be attacked.
6 Q. Even before that it is not contested that you obtained weapons as
7 early as the beginning of the year and that you were preparing for
8 something, attack or defence. What? Which one of the two?
9 A. Defence, what else? There were so few of us there. We simply
10 tried to survive, if possible. There were only 8 per cent of us.
11 Q. Is it correct that Izetbegovic and Fitozovic obtained different
12 calibres of ammunition, a large number of explosives? This is what you
13 said during your interview.
14 A. You keep repeating one and the same thing, you see. I mean,
15 you've talked about this ammunition and these grenades so many times.
16 Yes, it's correct.
17 Q. But the dates are different. Also 100 kilogrammes of explosives
18 that was intended to carry out various actions in the territory of the
19 municipality; is that what you stated?
20 A. I don't know exactly if there were 100 kilogrammes. Possibly. I
21 never saw this. And I think that this entire quantity was taken away from
22 Fitozovic afterwards.
23 Q. Well, a certain quantity was found, as it says here on ERN 623 in
24 lines 10 to 21, in the house of Alija Fitozovic and the other one at the
25 SDA, or rather, the Islamic Community's presence; is that correct?
1 A. I think it only could have been found in the house of Alija
2 Fitozovic, not at SDA premises. That's not correct.
3 Q. Well, I'm reading what it says here on this page that ends with
4 number 623.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please be asked to read the
6 numbers slowly, interpreter's note.
7 JUDGE MAY: You've heard that. You're asked to read out numbers
8 more slowly for the interpreters.
9 Would the legal officer come up, please.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 00892623. That is the page number.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. So please look at this document according to which Mr. Fitozovic
13 obtained explosives from Slavonski Brod, 100 kilogrammes were found in his
14 apartment, or, rather, part of it was found in his apartment and another
15 part at the SDA premises, or, rather, the premises of the Islamic
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters again note that they do not have
18 the document.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that it could not have
20 been found at the premises of the Islamic Community, only at his
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I just read out what it says here.
24 A. All right.
25 Q. Is it correct that on the same occasion when explosives were
1 found, that also a schematic of the transmission lines that had already
2 been blown up was found in his possession, as well as a schematic of those
3 that were about to be blown up?
4 A. I don't know about that.
5 Q. Oh, you don't know about that.
6 A. Well, he worked for the power company, so perhaps he had these
7 different diagrams.
8 Q. All right. I would now like to remind you of the fact that
9 towards the very end of this interview with the journalist you were asked
10 whether there was the possibility of the Serbs and Muslims continuing to
11 live together normally, whether you had any advice to give to either one
12 of the two ethnic groups. I assume that you remember that. I will jog
13 your memory in terms of what you answered.
14 You said --
15 JUDGE MAY: Let's see, first of all, whether the witness remembers
16 what you're claiming or asking him about.
17 Do you remember this, Mr. Tihic?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember. I remember that.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. This is what you answered, I am quoting you: "I am so pleased
23 that you're asking me this. Had you asked me this before all these
24 events, perhaps the answer would have been similar, but at any rate, all
25 those who pursue the policy of the party should experience certain things
1 directly and see what all the consequences of this suffering are and then
2 it would be far easier for them to reach some kind of agreement. We in
3 Bosnia think along those lines, that we have to live together. There will
4 be these three republics, or I don't know, these three cantons or whatever
5 it is called in formal terms, but yet again we will have to cooperate. We
6 live in a Bosnian Yugoslav territory. These borders that will exist among
7 cantons, that will exist among states, will, probably after five or ten
8 years, be put down altogether. So why are we killing each other over
9 that? I believe that any Bosnia, regardless of whether it is independent,
10 sovereign, international recognised, is not worth any sacrifices and
11 victims. So all of those who represent the Muslim people in that way
12 would have to bear this in mind, because if an ethnic group that accounts
13 for one-third of the population of Bosnia cannot be taken slave, and it is
14 not all right to enslave anyone regardless of whether they are one fifth
15 or whatever. If somebody wants to be a Serbian Republic of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, go ahead, but nobody can be forced to do anything."
17 Is that what you said?
18 A. Yes, that is what I said. And you know under which circumstances
19 this statement was taken.
20 Q. Well, all right. Nobody probably suggested to you to give this
21 kind of broader political explanation regarding the territory of
22 Yugoslavia, that it was pointless to get killed for some kind of
23 independent Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 A. Well, that's for sure as far as this unified area of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Yugoslavia, the European Union, well, that's for sure,
1 with borders disappearing and co-existence in spite of differences.
2 Q. Well, that is what the former Yugoslavia was.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you decided to secede from it and to create these borders.
5 Isn't that right, Mr. Tihic?
6 A. No, that's not right. And we could have a long discussion about
7 that now but we strove for Yugoslavia, for a community of equal peoples.
8 Unfortunately, the Serbs and Croats, especially the politicians who
9 represented the Serb people, did not wish to have that. They wanted to
10 have a domination of the Serbs, and that led to the disintegration of
11 Yugoslavia, which is where we all felt comfortable.
12 Q. Yugoslavia was the best solution for all the Yugoslav peoples;
13 isn't that right, Mr. Tihic?
14 A. Yes, that's right, it was the best solution, but regrettably, they
15 could not keep it. It's not only the Bosniaks who could have preserved
16 Yugoslavia, you see.
17 Q. All right, Mr. Tihic. This is your own position. Nobody imposed
18 it upon you what I quoted to you just now.
19 A. Well, you see, statements that are taken in police stations where
20 you're beaten, where they do all these things to you, and then before this
21 statement Crni comes to you and says, "You are going to go and make a
22 statement and then you're going to say that you are giving instructions
23 how someone is going to shoot from Slavonia," whatever, so consciously or
24 unconsciously, you try to gear your statement towards the person who is
25 compelling you to make it.
1 Q. All right, Mr. Tihic.
2 A. Well, you should be in that position and then you will see what
3 kind of freedom you have in terms of giving a statement. There is no
4 freedom there whatsoever.
5 Q. In paragraph 17, you see that about 20 days prior to the attack,
6 the alleged attack on Bosanski Samac, in front of the coffee bar of Rifat
7 Atic, members of the 4th Detachment, one Serb and two Muslims, shot in the
8 air and that on that occasion two persons were wounded. Is that what you
10 A. They shot in the direction of the coffee bar, and that's when the
11 police came up. Thinking that they were shooting at them, they responded,
12 they returned fire.
13 Q. Is it correct that these two persons that you refer to were
14 Muslims, Nijaz Ramusovic, nicknamed Tota, and a certain Mersad, were
15 precisely members of the 4th Detachment?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And fire was opened at them for no reason whatsoever.
18 A. Well, there was a reason, because they were the first to shoot,
19 you see. They were the first to shoot. And then the police responded and
20 the two of them were wounded.
21 Q. Well, they were members of the 4th Detachment, although they are
23 A. They were members of the 4th Detachment, and this was the police.
24 Q. All right. You know very well and I assume they both Ramusovic
25 and this Mersud --
1 A. Mersad.
2 Q. All right. I don't know the exact name, so of course you can
3 correct me. According to the information I received, they did not open
4 fire. They were ambushed because they were members of this 4th
6 A. That's not right. That's not right.
7 Q. I see.
8 A. They did the shooting, and it was after their shooting that the
9 police shot at them.
10 Q. And do you know that those who shot at them, who wounded them,
11 were Adis Izetbegovic and Sead Srna, members of the reserve police force?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So those two members of the reserve police force shot at these two
14 Muslims. Both sides were Muslims.
15 A. Yes, both were Muslims. And these two policemen were on duty.
16 Q. All right, but this Adis Izetbegovic is also a relative of Alija
18 A. He is Izet Izetbegovic's son and therefore a distant relative of
19 President Izetbegovic.
20 Q. In addition to the mentioned Muslims, you certainly know the names
21 of Fadil Topcagic, Avdo Duhic [phoen] Fikret Sajakovic [phoen], Kadir
22 Korolic, Fehir Kapetanovic, Alija Palesovic [phoen], Sali Sadinovic
23 [phoen], Ibro Ibrolic [phoen], Aslo Bajaktarevic [phoen] Ramo
24 Bajaktarevic [phoen], Dzemal Jasenica [phoen] --
25 JUDGE MAY: You can't reel off a whole series of names like that.
1 He won't be able to possibly answer. What is the question? In what
2 connection should he know these names?
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. The connection is that these Muslims who shot at those two Muslims
5 who were members of the 4th Detachment that took care of the safety and
6 security of the municipality, that they had proclaimed them traitors,
7 Chetnik vojvodas, things like that; is that right, Mr. Tihic?
8 A. The persons whose names you read out were members of the 4th
9 Detachment, the 4th Detachment of the JNA.
10 Q. And these men who shot at these people, did they proclaim them to
11 be traitors and Chetnik vojvodas?
12 A. Well, not probably those two who did the shooting, but these
13 people who were in the 4th Detachment were labelled that way, that they
14 were collaborators of the JNA, that they were Chetnik vojvodas. Well, it
15 depended on the position that various people held.
16 Q. All right. I did not even read out the entire list because
17 Mr. May interrupted me, but I assume that you know all these people by
18 name and that they were all members of the 4th Detachment, and they were
19 labelled as being traitors because they cooperated with the JNA. Is that
21 A. I know most of them, and that is how the public viewed them.
22 Q. Do you remember that on the 12th of April, 1992, Alija Izetbegovic
23 ordered an all-out attack against JNA barracks in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
24 A. I'm not aware of that.
25 Q. Is it correct that on the 13th of April, a day later, the
1 president of the Municipal Assembly, Mato Nujic, issued an order to the TO
2 staff of the municipality to establish a unit?
3 A. Yes, that's in accordance with the law, to establish a unit of the
4 Territorial Defence.
5 Q. All right. Do you remember that on the 16th of April, commander
6 of the TO staff, Marko Bozanovic, informed the republican staff in
7 Sarajevo that on the 15th of April in Bosanski Samac, a Municipal Staff
8 was established with about 1.800 military conscripts, Croats and Muslims
10 A. I don't think they were only Muslims and Croats. I think there
11 were Serbs there too and whether that was the figure, what he exactly
12 wrote in the letter, I don't know. I assume that he simply provided
13 information about the establishment of the staff, how many soldiers were
14 involved and what the ethnic composition was. But at any rate, among them
15 there were Serbs. To a lesser extent, but at any rate, they accounted for
16 the proportionate number in the municipality.
17 Q. Well, Mr. Tihic, is it true that on the 16th and 17th of April,
18 Croatian armed formations attempted to cross the river across the Sava
19 River -- the bridge across the Sava River and launch an attack on Bosanski
20 Samac together with those Croat units?
21 A. Not correct.
22 Q. Three persons were killed in these attacks. Please refresh your
23 memory. The 16th and the 17th of April.
24 A. No. On these dates, Specials from Serbia attacked. The JNA and
25 the Serbian Territorial Defence. It was they who attacked Samac.
1 Q. Where did you take these Specials from Serbia from?
2 A. They landed in JNA helicopters from Batkusa.
3 Q. Was it a JNA unit?
4 A. I don't know. They were Red Berets, and the JNA brought them
6 Q. But from what you know, the JNA brought them.
7 A. Yes. A client who came to see me in my office told me that. The
8 JNA brought Red Berets.
9 Q. You know nothing about those people killed in the attack when
10 Croatian armed formations tried to cross the bridge?
11 A. Armed formations from Croatia did not try to cross the bridge, and
12 when Samac was attacked, from what I know, these members of the special
13 units killed one Serb person by mistake. Only one person was killed.
14 Maybe even three. I'm not sure.
15 Q. But you know they were killed by mistake, not during the attack.
16 Is it true that on the 18th of April, a new attack was launched --
17 JUDGE MAY: He knows no such thing. You continually assist your
18 view of something or other. What we're hearing is not your view but the
19 witness's account. That is what matters, not your views. So we'll get on
20 better if you ask your question, accept the answer for the time being, and
21 then move on and not continually answer with the -- argue with the
22 witnesses and make tendentious points. Now, let's hurry up. Time is
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May --
25 JUDGE MAY: No, don't argue. Stop arguing. Just get on with it.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's precisely what I'm doing, but
2 you don't seem to be paying attention to the fact that I'm asking
3 questions about different dates. First I asked about the 16th and the
4 17th, and he said it was not true, then I asked him about the 18th.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was in the camp on the 18th. I
6 didn't know what was going on.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Do you know about an attack on a column of women and children from
9 Trnje in the direction of Prud?
10 A. When was that?
11 Q. On the 19th of April.
12 A. No, I was in detained in the camp then.
13 JUDGE MAY: You heard his answer; he was in the camp. You should
14 pay attention to it and we'll get on more quickly.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. I will follow
16 the days as well.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Do you know anything at all, Mr. Tihic, about the fact that from
19 Croatia 108th, 124th and 139th Brigade of the ZNG were transferred across
20 the river?
21 A. I don't know, but I would know if it happened.
22 Q. You didn't know about this first thing I asked because you were in
23 the camp. You should know about the second thing.
24 A. I would have known if so many brigades had crossed over and came
25 -- come to Samac.
1 Q. Did you find anything about it after you were detained in the
3 A. No.
4 Q. You don't know about the presence of these brigades in this area?
5 A. I know they were in Orasje, Derventa, Brod.
6 Q. All that is in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Are they
7 all armed forces of the Republic of Croatia?
8 A. These units, as you said, were units of the HVO, of the Croats in
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 Q. And you know nothing about any units of the Republic of Croatia
11 present in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
12 A. In that period, no.
13 Q. Very well. Now let us come back to this 4th Detachment. These
14 Muslims that I enumerated to you and you confirmed they were considered as
15 traitors and so on, were they members of the TO or the JNA?
16 A. They were members of the JNA, because the 4th Detachment was
17 formally, legally, and in reality part of the JNA.
18 Q. So despite this order not to join the JNA, they were members of
19 the JNA rather than the Territorial Defence. Very well, Mr. Tihic.
20 In paragraph 16, you say that on the 16th of April, a joint
21 meeting was held of all presidents of parties so as to decide who would
22 defend which part of the city in the event of attack by Croatian armed
23 forces probably coming from the other side of the Sava River.
24 A. No, not in the event of attack by Croatian forces. We were just
25 talking about possible attacks. They could have come from the Serbian
1 side, from the JNA, or the Croatian side, and the 4th Detachment was
2 afraid from -- afraid of an attack from the Croatian side, so we told
3 them, you patrol the bank of the Sava River. We, on the other hand, were
4 afraid of an attack from Serbian villages, and we said we would patrol the
5 other side.
6 Q. You say: "The night before Samac was attacked Bozanovic,
7 Fitizovic, Zaric, and the presidents of all parties held a meeting to
8 decide who would defend which part of the city in case of an attack.
9 Muslims and Croats did not think that Croatian armed forces were going to
10 attack, but the Serbs thought it might happen."
11 A. Yes, that's true. We were all there, and that was our discussion.
12 Q. And you said a moment ago that already in mid-March you knew that
13 Serbs would attack Bosanski Samac. And now you hold this meeting and you
14 don't know anything for sure and you are bargaining and guessing where an
15 attack might come from and how to defend the town.
16 A. You see, Mr. Milosevic, we simply assumed there could be various
17 options, but we also believed at the same time that it would not happen,
18 and Serbs, Muslims, and Croats, all of us sat down together. And if those
19 Specials and the JNA had not come, we would never have started fighting.
20 Q. Didn't you say a moment ago that Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic - and
21 I'm using the terms you used - tried to rise above it all and to treat the
22 Croat, the Serb, and the Muslim sides equally?
23 A. Well, that's what he said, but in reality he distributed weapons
24 only to the Serbs.
25 Q. Very well. Is it true that even before the 17th of April there
1 were constant armed provocations by members of the 108th and 129th Brigade
2 of the Croatian armed forces?
3 A. I don't know about that. It did not take place in Samac.
4 Q. Is it true Mato Nujic, president of the Municipal Assembly, and
5 Mato Matarevic [phoen] told you personally about the joint plan in the
6 event of an attack by the ZNG, the HOS, the Croatian armed forces, and the
7 HVO against Bosanski Samac?
8 A. No. I wasn't told about it nor would I have ever agreed to it.
9 Q. You quote in another paragraph, 22, that Arkan attacked the police
10 station in Bosanski Samac.
11 A. You know what, we called all these Specials by one name. We
12 didn't distinguish between Arkan's men, the Grey Wolves, or other units.
13 But it's true that Specials, member of special units, attacked the police
15 Q. All right. But you mention Arkan, but according to my information
16 that was gathered by my associates, Arkan was never present in Bosanski
18 A. I meant his units.
19 Q. What units are you talking about? He only had a small group of
20 volunteers, he didn't have any units.
21 A. Well, that's how they held themselves out, Arkan's men. How large
22 the unit was, I don't know.
23 Q. All right. Tell me, during all these events, did you ever see
24 Arkan anywhere in Samac?
25 A. No, I didn't.
1 Q. I understand that you saw and you know that there was a number of
2 volunteers who were active in Samac, but I don't know on what basis you
3 link them with Arkan or the Red Berets, so could you please explain.
4 A. You see, as far as the Red Berets are concerned, I already
5 explained how they arrived in Samac on JNA helicopters, and they wore
6 appropriate patches and insignia. And I know Arkan's men because they
7 were in the camp, they beat us, they forced us to sing songs.
8 Q. In Samac?
9 A. Yes, in Samac. And they forced us to sing songs about Arkan's
10 Tigers. I don't know how many there were. You couldn't talk normally to
11 them, you couldn't look them in the eyes. You had to keep your head down,
12 you were beaten all the time, you had to sing songs about Arkan's Tigers.
13 Whether they were five or 50, I have no idea.
14 Q. Well, that's the reason why I'm asking, because according to the
15 information gathered for me by my associates, Arkan had never been in
16 Bosanski Samac. But let us go on through your testimony.
17 Soon after these events in April, you were arrested, and you were
18 detained in the police station in Samac after these events on the 18th of
20 A. In the headquarters of the TO.
21 Q. So it was the headquarters of the TO?
22 A. It was in the same street. The police station faced the
23 headquarters of the TO and I was detained at different times in both
25 Q. In paragraph 29, the same afternoon, over the local radio you made
1 an appeal to Muslims to stop fighting, and after that, one soldier told
2 you you were free to go home.
3 A. You know what actually happened then.
4 Q. I'm only asking you about what is written in paragraph 29.
5 A. It's true that I gave a statement. I was interrogated by this
6 member of a special unit from Serbia who used the Ekavian dialect, who
7 made me make that statement on the radio and to appeal on Muslims,
8 although they never shot on anybody, they only shot in the air, to spread
9 fear around town, and I had to say what he told me to say. I don't know
10 what his name was, Bailji [phoen] or something. He was from Serbia. He
11 interrogated me and he asked me to say this on the radio.
12 Q. While you are speaking about volunteers, do you, Mr. Tihic, have
13 any idea how many volunteers from Serbia, from the area of Raska or
14 Sandzak, how many thousands were in the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
15 A. I don't think that there were any -- in fact, I don't think there
16 were any from Sandzak directly. There were some people who had moved from
17 Sandzak to Bosnia-Herzegovina and resided there for a while, but if you're
18 talking about people who came directly from Sandzak to join the defence of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was hardly possible because that part of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina was under occupation. It was not possible to go
22 Q. So you claim there were no volunteers from Sandzak in the army of
24 A. No, no particular volunteers who were registered as such or had
25 their own unit.
1 Q. I'm not talking about a special unit. Were they present in your
3 A. It would have been difficult for them to come to Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina in the first place. If there were any, there could not have
5 been many.
6 Q. Even the commander of your Main Staff was Sefer Halilovic.
7 A. Well, he first was employed by the JNA, then came to Bosnia from
9 Q. Do you know where he comes from? Is he from Serbia, from
10 Prijepolje? Did he ever live in Bosnia?
11 A. He may be originally from Sandzak.
12 Q. Did he do his military service in Gjakove?
13 A. As far as I know, yes.
14 Q. So he didn't even do his military service in Bosnia.
15 A. I don't know.
16 Q. Let us move on. Now, this second part of the question you didn't
17 really answer. After that statement, after that appeal you made over the
18 radio, the soldier told you you were free to go home.
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. However, when you heard the shooting outside the building, you did
21 not want to go out, because you were afraid of getting shot, and they
22 could say that you got shot while trying to escape.
23 A. Yes, because when they were taking me to the police station,
24 Stevan Todorovic whispered something into the ear of this policeman,
25 something that I thought might have been, "Liquidate him." So when they
1 told me to go, they were standing behind me with automatic weapons, and I
2 thought it was the perfect occasion to kill me.
3 Q. I'm only quoting you. You said in principle it was on a voluntary
4 basis that you asked to return to the police station.
5 A. Yes, because I didn't want to get killed.
6 Q. But what you say is, "In principle, I did it on a voluntary
7 basis." But if they were the kind of people that you say they were,
8 doesn't it occur to you they could have killed you in the police station,
9 if they had wanted to, or in any other place if they had wanted to?
10 A. Yes. They also could have killed me in the police station.
11 Q. Doesn't that prove, Mr. Tihic, that they didn't want to kill you?
12 A. No, it doesn't prove that, because, you see, I had only arrived at
13 the police station and they took me immediately to the Samac radio
14 station. I didn't know what was going on at the time in the police
15 station, that there were 50 people already detained who were being beaten
16 and tortured. I thought the police station was safe and that's why I
17 wanted to stay there.
18 Q. All right, you explained that. You spent ten days in the police
19 station in Samac. Is that correct, Mr. Tihic? Is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I didn't hear you the first time. And then you say that in that
22 interview you had given to the journalist from the Borba newspaper you
23 were beaten by some people who were not local Serbs but members of
24 paramilitary units.
25 A. That's what they wrote, members of paramilitary units. They were
1 members of special units from Serbia.
2 Q. Were they paramilitary units or not, Mr. Tihic?
3 A. They could not have been paramilitary units with the kind of
4 weapons they had and the kind of uniforms they wore. In my opinion, they
5 were special units.
6 Q. It is -- in your opinion, were they part of the local TO?
7 A. No, they were independent; they acted on their own, they didn't
8 listen to anybody. They had some sort of command elsewhere.
9 Q. If they didn't listen to anybody, then they could not have been
10 part of the regular forces.
11 A. But they had the support of the regular forces in terms of weapons
12 and everything else.
13 Q. All right, Mr. Tihic. Although you claim in your statement that
14 both in Batajnica and in Sremska Mitrovica you were beaten and mistreated
15 by members of the JNA, which I must confess sounds very improbable to me,
16 you said in your interview given to the Borba newspaper --
17 JUDGE MAY: If you're going to suggest that, the witness must have
18 a chance to answer.
19 The accused says it sounds improbable to him that you were beaten
20 by members of the JNA in Batajnica and Sremska Mitrovica, Mr. Tihic. Do
21 you want to answer that? Were you beaten by members of that organisation
22 or not?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I was beaten by members of the
25 Mr. Milosevic, I found that incredible too, that children,
1 soldiers were beating me just because my name was Sulejman. Regular
2 soldiers. Believe me, I was not the only person there. There were so
3 many of us. And also reservists were there too and regular soldiers.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. All right, Mr. Tihic. You say in your interview to Borba:
6 "Instead of a few hours, they kept me in prison for ten days. I don't
7 have to point out to you specifically what I went through there. They
8 beat me, they threatened me." I'm quoting your interview to Borba, a
9 Belgrade daily newspaper, and this newspaper published what you said. So
10 you say: "They beat me, they threatened me, but I must say that these
11 were not local Serbs but members of some Serb paramilitary units that had
12 quite simply occupied this area. The local Serbs in Bosanski Samac and in
13 Brcko even provided me with food and tried to console me, saying
14 everything would end well."
15 And now this is the point: "But only when they handed me over to
16 the JNA I knew for sure that my life had been saved."
17 Are these your words?
18 A. Yes, these are my words.
19 Q. So only when they handed you over to the JNA you were certain that
20 your life had been saved.
21 A. At that time, I still believed -- we still believed in the JNA,
22 because, out there, anybody could come and kill you, just like that,
23 without being held responsible. And when you were with the JNA, then at
24 least your name was registered. And when we were in Brcko with the JNA,
25 the JNA did not let them beat us.
1 Q. Your life had been saved, Mr. Tihic.
2 A. But I'm just telling you what the atmosphere was like, the members
3 of these special units and everything.
4 Q. Well, this reflected your position, which was a realistic
5 position. Only when you were handed over to the JNA, you knew that your
6 life had been saved; is that right?
7 Now, speaking of the prison and the conditions in Sremska
8 Mitrovica, you say: "We read that this prison and other prisons are being
9 called concentration camps, but there is not even a C here from camp.
10 It's not as if we were living at home with our families, but things can't
11 be better in times like these. After all, my friends and I are not real
12 prisoners here. We are hostages. We are being treated better than we
13 thought we'd be treated, but nobody can be happy if they are behind such
14 walls." Are these your words, Mr. Tihic?
15 A. I don't know whether these are my words, but we were beaten in
16 Mitrovica after breakfast, after lunch, and after dinner, every single
17 time. I was never beaten more in my life than in Mitrovica. And also,
18 our lives were threatened. But perhaps my life was in greater danger
19 elsewhere, but I was never beaten as much as I was beaten in Mitrovica.
20 You know, in three or four months the JNA was transformed to such a great
21 extent. The JNA in Brcko that did not allow us to be beaten to the JNA in
22 Mitrovica where they beat us, where they forced us to sing Chetnik songs
23 and all these things, all these things were so bad.
24 Q. You were there as a prisoner under the control of the JNA in
25 Sremska Mitrovica; is that right?
1 A. Yes, yes. It was a camp, a concentration camp within the prison,
2 the former prison.
3 Q. Yes. That was, as you say, something that was under JNA control,
4 but then you say here that there is not even the initial C of the word
5 camp there let alone it being a full-fledged camp.
6 A. That's not true. Read my statement. When the warden of the camp
7 took me out and said that I would be interviewed by Sky News, that I would
8 be interviewed for Borba and he wanted us to say that nobody beat us, that
9 it was clean and tidy, that we could go out for walks, that we had
10 sufficient food. And of course if you want to be exchanged, that's what
11 you have to say. And of course I had to say that.
12 Q. All right. At one point in your statement, you corroborate the
13 claims made in that interview, and in other parts of the statement you say
14 that you were interviewed under duress, and you say that you were beaten
15 in Sremska Mitrovica.
16 A. Yes, I was beaten. Everybody was beaten.
17 Q. You say that you gave this interview on the 12th -- 12th or 13th
18 August, 1993 by the BBC.
19 A. I think it was Sky News.
20 Q. All right. But already on the 13th of August this interview was
21 published in the Belgrade daily Borba. That's quite clear.
22 A. Well, this was about two or three days before I was to be
24 Q. In this same paragraph, you say that the new warden, a JNA
25 lieutenant, told you to say that they had not beaten you, that meals and
1 walks and medical assistance were invariably provided, and that you could
2 say that Arkan's men beat you in the prison in Bosanski Samac and that you
3 should say to the Red Cross that you do not wish to return to Bosnia but
4 that you wish to remain in Serbia.
5 A. Yes. I asked him, "Well, can I say that I was beaten in Bosnia?"
6 And he said, "Well, whichever way you want. You can say it, but you know
7 I would not advise you to do that. Your sister lives in Rijeka. You know
8 they can come to Rijeka too."
9 Q. Well, I do have this interview of yours, Mr. Tihic. Since you
10 said that he told you all of these things concerning meals, walks, medical
11 care, show me a place in your interview where you refer to these meals,
12 walks, medical care, or show me where you say in this interview that you
13 wished to remain in Serbia and things like that. Everything that you said
14 that he ordered you to state is not contained in your interview. So you
15 did not state any of this, and you claim that he ordered you to state that
16 and that, under duress, you stated what he ordered you to state.
17 In this interview, there is no such thing.
18 A. We did have to state that and now it's a different story whether
19 somebody actually wrote this down or published it or televised it, but
20 that is what we were told to do, and that is what we said.
21 Q. All right, Mr. Tihic. Well, didn't you speak actually contrary to
22 these alleged instructions given by this lieutenant? Didn't you state the
23 opposite in the interview, that you were dying to go back home to your
24 family, and that you're appealing to the authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina
25 that they should not forget you?
1 A. That's what they asked us to do too. I even had to write a letter
2 to President Izetbegovic to tell him to release some soldiers so that they
3 would release us from the prison in Mitrovica and in Morina in Montenegro.
4 Q. So what are you being asked to say, that you wanted to stay in
6 A. Yes, that's what we were asked.
7 Q. Or that you should ask to go back home to your family, which is
8 what the interview says. What were you asked to do? You cannot have
10 A. They asked me to state that I want to stay in Serbia, that I do
11 not wish to go to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 Q. But you did not state that.
13 A. I did not.
14 Q. And they told you to state that you had sufficient food and that
15 you went out for walks and that you had medical care, and they did not ask
16 you that you wanted to return to Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that's what you
18 A. That's what I stated, and I also said what I said about the
19 hygiene and walks, et cetera.
20 Q. Can you show us this in the interview, where it says so?
21 A. I don't know whether it was written down in the interview but
22 that's what they asked me. That's what they were afraid of the most, you
23 see, that we should not talk about the beatings, and of course you would
24 be crazy to talk about the beatings because after the journalists left,
25 you had to stay with them.
1 Q. Well, I am saying the exact opposite. This is 00516378 and
2 00516379. Those are the ERN numbers. Please bear that in mind. Thank
3 you, Mr. Tihic. No further questions.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you very
5 much, but it seems to me that we have a problem here. It is true that
6 that document that was referred to a moment ago by Mr. Groome had been
7 disclosed in March without the indication of the name, and we found out
8 only today the name of the person who provided the document, namely his
9 notes. So in practical terms, Mr. Milosevic was unable until today to
10 review this document and see if he had anything to challenge regarding the
11 document. I believe it is my duty to point this out, and I believe he
12 should be given the opportunity to review this document maybe tomorrow.
13 JUDGE MAY: You know, time is against us in all this. This
14 document was disclosed. What we can do is this: He will have the
15 opportunity to review the document. If there is some substantial matter
16 which would require further cross-examination, we may have to ask the
17 witness to come back, but I think it would be better if we could finish
18 the witness's evidence today rather than waste further time on it.
19 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if I may make a suggestion. The
20 witness's plane leaves tomorrow afternoon. Could I ask that Mr. Milosevic
21 be required to read that material this evening and advise the Court
22 tomorrow morning first thing if he -- if there is a substantial matter,
23 and perhaps it could be dealt with while Mr. Tihic is still in the country
24 on this occasion.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes.
1 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Tihic, first of all, I should like to ask you
3 to explain to the Honourable Judges a couple of things from your statement
4 from February 1995. I don't think Mr. Milosevic dealt with it.
5 Would you please look at paragraph 4 of that statement. Have you
6 found this? It is tab 2.
7 You say here in paragraph 4: "Before the 1990 elections, the SDS,
8 SDA, and HDZ had good relations. We all wanted to take away power from
9 the communists." Is that correct?
10 A. Yes. We wanted to assume power from them.
11 Q. As you said a moment ago, and as it says in your first statement,
12 you were a member of the League of Communists until 1989, and then just a
13 year later you worked for toppling the communists.
14 A. Well, all these new parties were mainly made up of former members
15 of the League of Communists.
16 Q. All right. You also say that you supported one another. But
17 regarding the future of Yugoslavia, there were always differences in the
18 approaches of the SDS on one hand and HDZ and SDA, that is, Croats and
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you added then: "The SDS and the HDZ believed in a
22 confederation supporting independent republics while the SDS wanted a
23 strong federation and a whole Yugoslavia."
24 You said a moment ago that the best solution for Muslims was
25 Yugoslavia, where everybody felt comfortable. How do you explain then
1 that already in 1990 your party supported independence for the republics?
2 A. We wanted either some sort of federation or stronger
3 confederation. In 1990, we were still far from any discussions or
4 declarations of independence. We were talking about some sort of loose
6 Q. But I did quote you a moment ago, and I'm asking you to explain to
7 the Judges. When you were giving this statement, did you also adjust your
8 views, as stated here, which seem to be contrary to what you said today?
9 In other words, even then when you thought that Yugoslavia was the best
10 solution, did you have to adjust that opinion because you were giving this
11 statement to the investigators of this Tribunal?
12 A. No. Even today whenever you are giving a statement, you are asked
13 to be concise. You are asked not to go into details, and you cannot
14 really state all your views in full. These are broad political issues
15 that are presented here only briefly. If you give me an opportunity to
16 explain how I saw the possibility for independent republics, what kind of
17 federation, et cetera, et cetera, I could do that. I thought then and I
18 think now that Yugoslavia should be a union of equitable peoples.
19 Q. Now, look at paragraph 2 of this much broader statement.
20 Twenty-two, paragraph 22, from year 1994. You said somewhere in the
21 middle of that paragraph -- but before I quote you, I have to say that a
22 moment ago, you particularly emphasised that if the JNA had not
23 interfered, none of what happened would have happened.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you say in the middle of this paragraph,: "Safet
1 Hadzialijagic, nicknamed Pop, member of the SDA, came to see me and said
2 that the JNA should offer to be a buffer zone between Arkan's men and the
3 townspeople, but I was opposed to that." Is that correct?
4 A. Safet Hadzialijagic called me on the phone and presented this
6 Q. And you were against it.
7 A. Well, by that time Samac had already been attacked and I told him
8 I had to think about it.
9 Q. But then you say here that Ibrahim Salkic came, said that Nikolic
10 had called him, and said that the JNA was prepared to give guarantees if
11 weapons were surrendered.
12 A. Well, if you had to choose between the JNA or Arkan's men, JNA
13 seems better if you are already under attack and people are being killed.
14 Q. Now, look at paragraph 54. You say here: "In the course of the
15 evening on the 26th or the 27th of April, at approximately 10.00 p.m., two
16 lorries came to pick up about 50 of us who were supposed to be taken to
17 Brcko. There were no Arkan's men in the street." And you go on to say:
18 "The prisoners were afraid that Arkan's soldiers would appear all of a
19 sudden and prevent the JNA from taking them to Brcko."
20 Does that mean that JNA was actually protecting these prisoners
21 precisely from something that could have happened if the JNA had not been
22 there? Is that what you meant?
23 A. In this specific case, we were so badly beaten by those Specials
24 that we were hardly breathing. And when the JNA came at Zaric's request,
25 they actually saved us; otherwise, we would have been killed.
1 Q. Then in paragraph 56 you say: "The army doctor gave me an
2 injection and put something on his face to make him recover consciousness.
3 While we were imprisoned at Brcko we received medical treatment, and the
4 JNA mainly protected us."
5 A. That is true.
6 Q. Just one more topic. You speak of Sremska Mitrovica as a
7 concentration camp. You were a lawyer and a judge in those times and you
8 know full well that this prison in Sremska Mitrovica is actually a prison
9 for the detention of criminals, and it holds at all times several thousand
10 -- several thousands of people who were convicted of crimes.
11 A. It was established during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and part of
12 it was a concentration camp. One part which was fenced in and separate.
13 Q. And you say that the Red Cross came to visit you only on the 22nd
14 of June. Prior to that date, did anyone beat you?
15 A. Yes, they did, regularly, every day.
16 Q. Just two minor topics. Paragraph 103. When they were taking you
17 back in that convoy of 1.500 prisoners, you were stopped in Serbian
18 villages and they allowed villagers, you state here, to get into buses and
19 beat you.
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. And then you say the convoy was accompanied by a large number of
22 press representatives, at some point even the Red Cross was present, and
23 the UNPROFOR men who told you to keep your heads down lest you be hit by a
24 sniper. Is it possible that it all happened in the presence of the
25 UNPROFOR, the Red Cross and everyone else, and the press, that they
1 allowed villagers to get into buses and beat you?
2 A. Let me tell you: The journalists came only to the venue of
3 exchange in Nemetin. As for this road, which was over 100 kilometres long
4 across Vojvodina, there were no journalists there. But even in Nemetin,
5 where there were journalists and the Red Cross representatives, they still
6 beat us. And one major approached this Montenegrin man who was on the bus
7 and told him, "What are you doing, you dumb fool? We didn't beat them for
8 several days so that they wouldn't look black and blue."
9 Q. Just one more question. If you were not a lawyer, I wouldn't be
10 asking you this, but since you are, I have to ask you this: You said in
11 paragraph 106: "A full month after all of this happened, when I came home
12 I was afraid to fall asleep. I went to see a doctor for three broken ribs
13 and my four front teeth that had been broken."
14 Please, since you were an attorney by occupation, did you get an
15 X-ray of those broken ribs, and especially did you take a photo of those
16 four missing teeth, and did you turn these photographs over to the
18 A. Yes. When I came to see the doctor, X-rays were made.
19 Q. No. I'm asking you do you have a medical document, a certificate,
20 for these broken ribs and missing teeth?
21 A. I think I submitted them when I testified in the Samac trial.
22 There were X-rays or perhaps doctor's findings.
23 Q. Are these teeth still missing?
24 A. They were broken, and I had fillings done.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 Re-examined by Mr. Groome:
2 Q. Mr. Tihic, Mr. Milosevic has expressed some doubt about the
3 statement that you made to the television reporters from Novi Sad. I want
4 to ask you about your treatment briefly before you had given that
5 statement on Novi Sad television, and if you're able to answer the
6 questions simply by yes or no, that may save us a bit of time.
7 Prior to giving that statement to Novi Sad, so that the Court can
8 better understand your state of mind, had you had a gun, pistol, placed in
9 your mouth? I'm referring to paragraph 44 of your statement.
10 A. Just before I made my statement, no one put a pistol in my mouth,
11 but Djordjevic did threaten me, and he asked that I be brought down there
12 and that I should be careful about what I say. And Stevan Todorovic also
13 threatened me and asked me to say that I was never beaten. And all of
14 this happened in front of the journalist who heard all of this. What kind
15 of journalist is that?
16 Q. I'm not talking about the time immediately prior to the statement
17 but in your treatment leading up to the time you gave the statement. Can
18 you -- as a result of your beatings --
19 A. Yes, yes. There were beatings, there was mistreatment, there were
20 threats to shoot with that white pistol with nickel put against my temple
21 and then also putting a pistol in my mouth and threatening to shoot. Of
22 course I was afraid. All these same people were there again, and I was in
23 that kind of atmosphere, and that's when I was supposed to give a
24 statement. And they threatened me, and --
25 Q. Prior to this time, as a result of the beatings, had you sustained
1 injuries to your kidneys, as described in paragraph 54 of your statement?
2 A. Yes. I had sustained these injuries. I urinated blood. And the
3 late commander of the police station in Samac, even when these Specials
4 were not there, he would bring in a doctor to see me, or they'd bring me
5 lemonade or whatever, because the two of us had known each other for a
6 long time, and we lived in the same town.
7 Q. Now, in your description of your treatment by the JNA, it appears
8 that different members of the JNA treated you differently at different
9 times and in different places. I want to now focus on your treatment by
10 the JNA while you were in Serbia in the period between May and August.
11 During that period of time, did you witness prisoners being beaten
12 by JNA personnel using brass knuckles?
13 A. Yes, I did see them using brass knuckles. They were beating them
14 with that, a group that came in from Bosanski Brod. And usually the
15 prisoner would sit on the floor, handcuffed, and they would hit him on the
16 back, on the head. Aljo even died. He could no longer take it. He
17 started urinating, he didn't know what he was saying.
18 Q. Were some of the men forced to perform sexual acts upon each other
19 by members of the JNA?
20 A. Yes, yes, they were. There were situations like that too. They
21 made an American have sex with a soldier from Croatia, Zdravko.
22 Q. Sir, during the two-and-a-half-month period that you were
23 incarcerated in Serbia in the custody of the JNA, were you ever charged
24 with a crime?
25 A. Never. I was never formally interviewed. I never signed a
1 statement. Once this major from Batajnica took me for an interrogation,
2 but there was never a record of that. Also, there were never any charges
3 brought against me, nothing.
4 MR. GROOME: Nothing further.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tihic, that concludes your evidence, at least as
6 far as today is concerned. Would you be kind enough to have yourself
7 available, to be available tomorrow morning in case there are some more
8 questions. But if not, thank you for coming to the Tribunal, that does
9 conclude your evidence apart from the matter which I have mentioned, and
10 therefore, you're free to go, but if you would be available tomorrow
12 One administrative matter I'm going to deal with --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 JUDGE MAY: -- and it's this: We will admit, under Rule 89(F),
15 the statement of Mr. Dean Manning.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, may I raise a brief procedural matter?
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
19 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, with respect to the testimony or
20 anticipated testimony of General Clark. Pursuant to the Chamber's order,
21 the amici and the accused will notify the American government either
22 through the Office of the Prosecutor or directly whether they wish to ask
23 additional questions or go into additional topics on their examination.
24 I have a query from the American government this morning, saying
25 that they have not heard from either the accused or the amici. It may
1 take several days to process such request and they are asking me to convey
2 or just remind all the parties concerned that it will in fact take a few
3 days and if there are requests coming, if they can be notified of such.
4 MR. KAY: We're aware of that. It's just, with the volume of
5 work, it's been impossible to get so far ahead.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, with that in mind, perhaps you would
7 concentrate on it. Thank you.
8 Very well. We will adjourn now. Nine o'clock testimony morning.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.08 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 3rd day of
11 December, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.