1 Thursday, 9 May 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. And could you please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is Case Number
9 IT-97-24-T, the Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the appearances, please.
11 MR. WAIDYARATNE: For the Prosecution, Your Honour, Mr. Nicholas
12 Koumjian, case manager Ruth Karper, and I appear.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: For the Defence.
14 MR. LUKIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours, Branko Lukic with Mr.
15 John Ostojic and Danilo Cirkovic for the Defence.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And once again, a special welcome to our
17 witness, Mr. Murselovic. You may proceed with the cross-examination, and
18 the Chamber decided to ask you kindly not to step over your own time limit
19 set yesterday, half an hour. Thank you.
20 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 WITNESS: MUHAREM MURSELOVIC [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Lukic: [Continued].
24 Q. [Interpretation] Once again, good afternoon, Mr. Murselovic. I
25 hope I won't torture you for very long today. I hope we'll be able to wind
1 up quickly. Let me, without much further ado, start with the questions.
2 On page 34, line 5 of Monday's transcript, you say that the Crisis
3 Staff issued an ultimatum that all weapons should be surrendered, and that
4 the soldiers should surrender themselves to Serb authorities, the context
5 is the conflict in Hambarine. Can you tell us whether this was an
6 ultimatum or an announcement, and what would be the difference?
7 A. I think it was an ultimatum. An ultimatum that the perpetrators
8 of the incident, as they said, should be handed over. If they are not
9 handed over -- some of the names were mentioned -- they will suffer
10 consequences. This was read out on behalf the Crisis Staff. It was read
11 out several times throughout the afternoon that day.
12 Q. Before that, had there been any armed conflict after the takeover,
13 that is, between the takeover and the Hambarine conflict? Were there any
14 armed conflicts in the meantime?
15 A. In my previous statement, I mentioned the fact that there had been
16 a lot of incidents. And I explained them in some detail. I told you
17 where they happened and why they happened. This incident, however, became
18 an introduction to what was to follow, because a request had been made
19 that all the weapons should be surrendered to the Serb authorities, and
20 that the participants should be handed over to the Serb authorities. So
21 it is true that there had been incidents before, but they were in relation
22 to something completely different.
23 Q. Did this not constitute an attempt to resolve the conflict in a
24 peaceful way?
25 A. I don't know whether this was an attempt to find a peaceful
1 solution to the problem, but as I said, there had been many incidents in
2 the area before. Quite a few people had been killed, taken off the buses
3 and killed. Ordinary citizens who had nothing to do whatsoever with
4 incidents, so this kind of ultimatum was a classical example of ultimatum
5 which was designed to disarm the people and render them helpless. And it
6 was easy to figure out what would follow after the ultimatum, what would
7 happen to them. I must say that immediately after the ultimatum which
8 took place, I think, on the 22nd or the 23rd, a terrible -- well, I cannot
9 call it really a shelling, but artillery fire was opened from the
10 surrounding fills on the village of Hambarine, and one could clearly see
11 that the houses were being targeted indiscriminately. People panicked, of
12 course, because up until that time there had been no destruction of
13 property. The fire, as I said, was opened from all of the surrounding
14 hills. We could hear the shells coming, in particular, from the Serb
15 villages and the barracks. This shelling lasted I'm sure more than one
17 And I also know that there were a lot of civilian casualties in
18 the village.
19 Q. Let us now turn to your situation today, and let us try not to
20 compare it with 1992. Today, as the president of the Prijedor Municipal
21 Assembly, can you issue orders to the military?
22 A. I have no authority whatsoever to issue any orders. And of
23 course, including the military. I am a head of a parliament, and my
24 authority is strictly defined.
25 Q. On page 7 of your statement of the 14th of December, 1997, last
1 paragraph, you say the following: "About six weeks ago after the
2 September 1997 election, I was in Prijedor with Ibro Beglerbegovic and
3 Sead Cirkin. We wanted to discuss the results of the election. While we
4 were walking through Prijedor, we were approached by the son of Dr.
5 Kovacevic". Do you remember this?
6 A. Of course I remember this. I remember it was outside the
7 Mrakovica Cinema, in front of the house which belongs to the priest Ranko.
8 Q. Who else was with you apart from these two individuals? Was there
9 anyone else in addition to Mr. Beglerbegovic, Mr. Cirkin, and yourself?
10 A. Priest Ranko was with us, on that occasion. I cannot remember his
11 family name. He was very surprised. Our car was parked outside the
12 Prijedor Hotel, and we left the municipality on foot. And I saw priest
13 Ranko there. He's actually my neighbour, and we started an informal
14 conversation. I asked him: "You see, neighbour, we have built up this
15 temple." The area was really nicely done after the previous destruction.
16 And I said: "Do you know who financed most of this orthodox temple?" And
17 he said that I know that you gave a lot of money, too. And I said: "Do
18 you know who gave most of the money?" And he said: "I can't remember but
19 I have it written somewhere." And I said: "It was Mr. Asef Kapetanovic
20 who made the largest contribution," and there was a lot of talk around the
21 town that it was Mr. Asef Kapetanovic who contributed most to the
22 construction of the orthodox church. I must say that I put in some money,
23 too, but not half as much as Mr. Kapetanovic. And I said: "Well, dear
24 neighbour, why -- how come that you never mentioned that Bosniaks
25 participated in the construction of this temple?" And he said: "Well,
1 there was no opportunity for me to say this."
2 And then I said: "See, I will probably be coming to Prijedor more
3 often, and I would really be glad to hear you mention this fact." So we
4 remained engaged in conversation for a while. And at one point in time,
5 Dr. Beglerbegovic was approached by a young man whom I don't know and it
6 was from their conversation that I learned that the young man was the son
7 of Dr. Kovacevic. He simply wanted to speak to Dr. Beglerbegovic, to see
8 whether he would be willing to appear as a Defence witness for his father.
9 This, however, did not last very long. And we were soon joined by the
10 wife of Sead Alajbegovic. I don't remember her name, but I know that she
11 is a Serb. So this conversation finished after about 10 minutes, and we
12 went back to our car.
13 This is all I can tell you about this particular incident. Thank
15 Q. Mr. Cirkin was with you also. Is he a former JNA officer?
16 A. Yes, he is. He was an officer of the former JNA.
17 Q. Do you know that he organised people in Kozarac for armed combat?
18 A. Yes, I know. I heard that during the war. He joined the war at
19 one point in time, and I remember seeing him in Travnik a couple of times.
20 He was a member of the SDA, and at the time, was one of the leading
21 members of this party. He participated in a number of negotiations, and
22 me and Dr. Beglerbegovic were representing the Party for Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina. I know that he was an officer, and I know that he was
24 allegedly in Kozarac before the war.
25 Q. You told us that you are currently a member of the Party for
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Does the programme of this party envisage the solution of
4 Republika Srpska?
5 A. The objective of the programme of this party, as its name
6 suggests, is a struggle for the entire territory of Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina, to keep the entire territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina
8 together. It is the platform of this party that many things should be
9 regulated and resolved at the level of the Republic of Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina. Part of this programme is also the idea that Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina should constitute a single, unified, economic and political
12 space. The party is also in favour of strengthening the central state
13 bodies of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, because we believe this
14 division to be an unnatural consequence of the Dayton Accords. And the
15 situation does not seem to be tenable.
16 Let me illustrate this with an example: The town of Prijedor
17 remained in Republika Srpska. The town of Sanski Most and the town of
18 Kljuc remained within the federation. In the past, hundred years ago,
19 this constituted a single area, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Kljuc, and Bosanski
20 Novi, being part of one and the same region, which was called the Prijedor
21 district. The population of these towns are naturally linked with
22 Prijedor. Now, these links have been severed, and nothing functions
23 properly. The Party for Bosnia-Herzegovina advocates an establishment of
24 a number of regions which would constitute economic and political holds.
25 These regions should be multiethnic. A project has been designed to this
1 effect, a project called "the regionalisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina" which
2 has partly been implemented. There has never been a slogan that Republika
3 Srpska should be dissolved. We are in favour of dissolving both entities
4 as such, that is both the federation and Republika Srpska with the purpose
5 of strengthening the state institutions of the Republic of Bosnia and
7 Q. Didn't you testify here that you were opposed to the
8 centralisation which was conducted in the previous system in the past?
9 A. I don't know what you have in mind.
10 Q. You told us that attempts at one point in time were being made to
11 centralise the area in Banja Luka?
12 A. Well, that is still the fact.
13 Q. How come that you are in favour of one centralisation and against
14 another centralisation?
15 A. I can spend a lot of time discussing this issue. I'm sure you're
16 aware of these problems. Today, in Republika Srpska, attempts are made to
17 retain the situation as it is. There is still a number of graffiti all
18 around the town which read: "This is Serbia, stomp on Bosnia" and similar
19 slogans. If you pass through a number of towns in Republika Srpska, you
20 will come across some even very indecent graffiti, such as Serbia in my
21 heart, and Bosnia -- now I don't want to use the expression that is used
22 in this graffiti, but it describes a certain body part. So this kind of
23 graffiti can be seen all around Republika Srpska. There is constant
24 opposition to the regulations and laws which are designed to govern the
25 life on the entire territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I am in favour of a
1 body at the level of Bosnia-Herzegovina which would bring all these
2 institutions together. I am referring in particular to the bureau for
3 borders and similar organs.
4 Entities are still behaving as states, and in this post-war
5 period, there is a tendency to have Republika Srpska function as an
6 independent state with independent -- independently functioning state
7 bodies. They even had, at one point in time, a Ministry of Foreign
8 Affairs, as you know, whereas as far as the federation is concerned, there
9 has been a strong tendency to identify the federation with the Republic of
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina which is equally wrong. These two entities are
11 equal and are part of the state which is called the Republic of
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think we shouldn't go too much into these
14 details. It's easy to read in a judgment of the constitutional Court of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina where it is clearly stated what is a state and what is
16 not a state. Thank you.
17 MR. LUKIC: [In English] Thank you, Your Honours.
18 Q. [Interpretation] In Prijedor today, is there a multiparty --
19 multinational police in force?
20 A. The peace agreement was signed in December 1998. On behalf of
21 Republika Srpska, this framework agreement was signed by the president of
22 Republika Srpska at the time, Mr. Poplasan [phoen], prime minister Milorad
23 Dodik, and minister in the government of Republika Srpska, a person from
24 Prijedor. I don't know what his function was. On behalf of the UN, this
25 was signed by Elizabeth Wren [phoen], and the commissioner of the IPTF.
1 And it was stated and defined when and how the police of Republika Srpska
2 should be restructured and become a multinational police force.
3 This, according to the agreement, should have been completed in
4 the following way: 37 per cent Bosniaks in the police force in Prijedor,
5 because the agreement envisaged that it should reflect the results of the
6 1997 elections. And at the time, this was referred to -- according to
7 election results, the minority votes should also be reflected. So 37 per
8 cent. If it is multiplied by the number of policemen in Prijedor, then
9 this would be about 270 policemen of Bosniak ethnicity. So far, this
10 process is evolving very poorly.
11 I could speak at length about the obstruction on the part of the
12 Serb authorities in the slow implementation of this framework agreement.
13 Out of the 270 Bosniak policemen so far, in the police force, there is a
14 total of 25 now employed, which is not even 10 per cent and does not -- it
15 is not a satisfactory ratio provided -- which has been provided for in the
16 peace agreement. So I don't know how we will arrive at such a multiethnic
17 police force. And this part of the mission was not successful. Some
18 employment has been achieved, but ever since 1990, the process has been
19 very much obstructed. And in a more narrow body, with the UN people.
20 Q. I only have a few more questions. Can you please tell me, have
21 you ever been convicted of a crime?
22 A. No, I have never been convicted of a crime.
23 Q. Were you ever, in fact, convicted of false -- forging documents?
24 A. No. In 1995, I was indicted for not doing my job well, for
25 negligence as a leader, but then this was withdrawn.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Were you charged of forgery?
2 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Your Honour, I think this question was put to
3 the witness, and he had clearly answered saying that he was not convicted.
4 This is a repetition of the question. I'm not in the habit of disturbing
5 my learned friend, but I take this position now. Thank you.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 MR. LUKIC: [In English] Your Honours...
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Dismissed. Please continue.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. We have resolved the issue of 1997. Today, are there any
11 proceedings against you that are in progress?
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Previous translation continues]... An answer
13 to your question.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Can you answer the question? I'm asking the same question as I
16 have done previously.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm just refreshing his memory.
18 Q. So were you charged with forgery?
19 A. I haven't been convicted -- accused yet. I will try to make
20 things clear. It is a rather strange, ridiculous thing. It has to do
21 with issuing town planning conditions in -- which has to do with my own
22 property. And it appeared on the basis of the charges which was, in fact,
23 a very ridiculous act that I, myself, forged my own documents. And
24 regardless of that, of whether I forged this or not on my own plot of
25 land, on my own property, town planning conditions that mean absolutely
1 nothing. Town planning conditions represent a document, according to
2 which building is possible on a particular site. But I am the owner of
3 that site, and I received a building permit for a building which I'm
4 continuing to build, a building which I started building in early -- as
5 far back as 1990. So I have all the necessary papers. I received the
6 building permit, and I believe that this has already been resolved,
7 because I have the right to build a building on the basis of a design
8 provided for by the town planning institute.
9 Q. Are you owner of that land or are you only -- have the permit to
10 use it for a lasting period of time?
11 A. As you know, I have the right to use it in a lasting fashion.
12 THE INTERPRETER: There is a lot of overlapping. It is very
13 difficult to follow.
14 A. I must say that I received all the necessary papers for building
15 that establishment. I don't think I will have any problems in Prijedor
16 following this testimony.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. I would only like to have it put on record that in response to a
19 question on page 11, line 6, a question whether he is owner of that land
20 or only has the right of using the land, the witness answered that he was
21 only able to -- that he had the right to use this land in a lasting
22 fashion, permanently.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I clarify this
24 point. The entire land under -- in the socialist community and these laws
25 have not changed. The land in town has been nationalised, and no one,
1 absolutely no one, is owner of that land. In the villages, yes, they are
2 owners. But in the city as such, in the town as such, the land has been
3 nationalised and no one has the right to ownership but to use the land
4 permanently while a building exists on that plot of land. But the land
5 belongs to me in the sense that I'm able to use it, and I have the
6 advantage as user of the land and as user of the buildings on that land,
7 to have an advantage whereas -- in regard to any building activity.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. But you just receive an approval for building?
10 A. I have this approval.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Previous translation continues]... Any longer
12 questions on this issue. The witness before us is a witness and cannot be
13 regarded as an accused here. He answered very clearly on the question,
14 and this is an issue not to be resolved here.
15 MR. LUKIC: [In English] I have no more questions, Your Honour, and
16 this was just a line of questions challenging the credibility of this
17 witness. And I have finished for today. Thank you.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. What about re-examination conducted
19 by the Office of the Prosecutor?
20 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Re-examination will be very brief, Your Honour.
21 Re-examined by Mr. Waidyaratne:
22 Q. Mr. Murselovic, could you clearly state to the Court whether Mr.
23 Milomir Stakic was at any stage the president of the Municipal Assembly
24 before the war?
25 A. Mr. Milomir Stakic was never president of the assembly of the
1 municipality of Prijedor. He was elected vice-president of the Municipal
2 Assembly of Prijedor following the 1990 elections.
3 Q. And if I recall correctly, you said that Mr. Stakic was the
4 president of the all-Serbian municipality. Am I correct?
5 A. Yes. In February 1992, when the Serbian deputies, representatives
6 of the SDS party, well, they formed the Serbian assembly. And at that
7 assembly, they elected the Serbian assembly of Prijedor. And in that
8 assembly, Milomir Stakic was proclaimed president of the Serbian
9 municipality of Prijedor.
10 Q. Later on, after the takeover in April 1992, did Mr. Stakic become
11 the president of the Crisis Staff? That was your position; am I correct?
12 A. Yes. Mr. Milomir Stakic became president of the Crisis Staff, and
13 as such, he appeared in the press and signed all sorts of documents as
14 president of the Crisis Staff of the municipality of Prijedor.
15 Q. Now, were you aware, after the takeover, when the Crisis Staff was
16 functioning, whether they adopted the rules of procedure or the municipal
17 statute which was referred to you by the Defence yesterday, whether they
18 worked according to that or that they functioned according to those rules
19 and regulations?
20 A. I don't know what the rules of procedure were or their statute as
21 you say. I did not go to their assembly, nor was anyone invited apart
22 from members of the SDS. I don't know how they functioned as a Serbian
23 municipality of Prijedor. The Serbian municipality of Prijedor was a
24 ridiculous thing as far as I was concerned because there were Bosniaks and
25 Croats there, too, not only representatives of the SDS, but
1 representatives of all other political parties, because, for instance, in
2 the case of the Reform Party of Yugoslavia, the League of Communists, the
3 Democratic Socialist Alliance and so on, and my party as well, and the
4 youth party, the socialist youth, we all took part in the elections
5 together. There were Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks, all these people took
6 part in that.
7 Q. But when the Crisis Staff was functioning after the takeover, it
8 was the all-Serbian party which was in authority?
9 A. Absolutely. Only Serbs were represented there. Serbs from the
10 Serbian Democratic Party, the SDS.
11 Q. Now, very quickly, Mr. Murselovic, you referred to some names
12 yesterday when cross-examined by my -- by the learned counsel for the
13 Defence. You referred to a person by the name of Senada Ramadanovic. Do
14 you recall that?
15 A. Senadin Kapetanovic. He owned a pastry shop. His father was also
16 owner of a pastry shop, and he followed in his father's footsteps.
17 Q. Am I correct if I say -- to what ethnicity did he belong?
18 A. He was a Bosniak Muslim.
19 Q. Did he survive the conflict in 1992?
20 A. I never saw him since May 1992, and I assume that he did not
21 survive the camp because he never appeared in the last ten years. I know
22 his family, his mother, his wife, his children. His mother came back to
23 Prijedor. His wife and children, I think she is at present in Holland,
24 but he never reappeared.
25 Q. And another person, a name that you mentioned was Ziko Crnalic.
1 If I recall, he, too, did not survive the Omarska camp. Am I correct?
2 A. He did not survive the camp. He was killed at the entrance to
3 Manjaca. And the last time I told you about it. He was killed in my
4 jacket, and I saw him dead.
5 Q. Lastly, a lot of questions were put to you by the Defence with
6 regard to Mr. Cehajic as to when he was the president of the Municipal
7 Assembly. Is it correct that he was the president of the Municipal
8 Assembly at the time there were many political parties existing in
9 Prijedor and under the multiparty system?
10 A. Yes. Mr. Muhamed Cehajic was elected at the assembly after 1990.
11 And this was an assembly where there were eight political parties, and Mr.
12 Cehajic was elected as president of the assembly of Prijedor.
13 Q. Whereas Mr. Stakic, when he was the head of the Crisis Staff and
14 the head of his Serbian political party, how many political parties did
15 function during that time?
16 A. At that time, only one political party functioned, the Serbian
17 Democratic Party, because they believed that only that party could lead
18 the people.
19 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour. That concludes the
20 re-examination. Thank you.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
22 Questioned by the Court:
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Murselovic, yesterday and today there were
24 numerous questions on the role as it was under the statute of several
25 persons. Let us just for a minute forget about statute law and so on.
1 When looking back, which persons would you regard as most powerful persons
2 in Prijedor after that what you called the takeover?
3 A. I must say that the most powerful persons were the members of the
4 Crisis Staff of the Prijedor municipality and the president of this Crisis
5 Staff was Mr. Milomir Stakic. And it was from that period onwards, that
6 is, from the takeover on and during the month of May, we considered him to
7 be the most responsible individual, because he made a lot of public
8 appearances over the radio and in the media, and also because he was the
9 president of the Prijedor Crisis Staff.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can you give us some other names of persons in
11 power in the Crisis Staff?
12 A. I can mention Dr. Kovacevic, Slavko Budimir, who was the secretary
13 of the secretariat for national defence; Simo Drljaca, the chief of
14 police. Then there was Mr. Kuruzovic, Slobodan Kuruzovic, who was
15 involved with the Territorial Defence. He was the one who asked that the
16 weapons be surrendered. We knew him from the media. So out of these
17 people who appeared there within the Crisis Staff, as an executive body,
18 they would have been the most responsible individuals. But I should not
19 forget Mr. Srdjo Srdic, for example, who was a deputy to the assembly of
20 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina once. But these five or six
21 individuals were persons who in my opinion -- yes, there were also the
22 people who were members of the military leadership such as Mr. Radmilo
23 Zeljaja, the commander of the garrison, and the town of Kozarac was at one
24 point in time renamed and called Radmilovo, because of the merits of
25 Radmilo Zeljaja. But I'm not sure about that. This is what we heard
1 while in detention in the camp and while we were aware as refugees. I
2 actually never saw these people such as Radmilo Zeljaja and other military
3 men and I actually didn't know much about them.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What about Mr. Arsic?
5 A. Mr. Arsic was also with this military structure. What kind of
6 role he had there, I don't know. But both Mr. Arsic and Zeljaja were
7 mentioned as individuals responsible in this sphere because they were
8 commanders of the brigades which were established at one point in time in
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: There is now a short videoclip prepared. If you
11 could be so kind to look careful on this video if you could identify one
12 or the other person. And if so, then please ask for a stop or rewind,
13 whatever is necessary. It is videoclip we saw already. It was Exhibit
14 Number --
15 MR. KOUMJIAN: S10, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: S10. Okay, thank you.
17 [Videotape played]
18 A. I cannot see very clearly, but I think that this person here --
19 the image is very blurred, I'm afraid. I don't know Mr. Arsic. I cannot
20 recognise him.
21 You can go on with the tape.
22 [Videotape played]
23 A. I think that this was Mr. Stakic a moment ago standing to one side
24 of the speaker. I believe that this is him. Actually, this is the first
25 time that I'm watching this tape.
1 The lady here who also spoke, I don't know her.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Thank you for this video.
3 Do you know for sure where this video was taken? Could you
4 identify the environment?
5 A. Well, as they said, it was taken in a village, but I don't know
6 the area.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Coming back to members of the Crisis Staff, you
8 mentioned the name of Mr. Drljaca. Can you please explain in short -- in
9 your statement of 1997, page 3, English version, fifth paragraph, you just
10 said: "He became the chief of the police." Can you please tell us, who
11 is responsible therefore that he became the head of the police?
12 A. The Serb municipality of Prijedor was responsible for that,
13 because they appointed him to this post sometime in February. Up until
14 then, he was a lawyer who worked at the centre for elementary education
15 and had nothing to do with the police as far as I know, had no connections
16 with the police.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In your statement of 2002, English version page
18 3, paragraph 7, you said: "He was foreseen to be head of the police in
19 the Serb municipality."
20 A. Yes.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was there a development from being head of the
22 police and then head of the police in the Serb municipality, or why did
23 you make the distinction?
24 A. Because once the multiparty system came into existence, that is,
25 after the elections, it was agreed that the chief of police should be Mr.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Hasan Talundzic, which he was. After the proclamation of the Serbian
2 municipality of Prijedor sometime in February 1992, Mr. Drljaca was
3 appointed the head of the police of the Serbian municipality. He was
4 appointed to this post by the Serbian municipality of Prijedor. At the
5 same time, Mr. Milomir Stakic was promoted and became the president of the
6 Serbian municipality of Prijedor, of the Serbian Municipal Assembly of
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Once again, leave aside the statute, can one say
9 that Dr. Stakic was the boss of this head of police?
10 A. I think one can, because Mr. Stakic was also the president of the
11 Crisis Staff, and the chief of police was a member of the Crisis Staff
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To whom was Dr. Stakic subordinate, from your
14 point of view?
15 A. I don't know to whom he was subordinated. As far as I know, in
16 Prijedor -- actually, I don't know to whom he would have been subordinated
17 in Prijedor because after the takeover, there was neither de facto or de
18 jure authority or individual who would be above Mr. Stakic.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You recall this in your testimony here and the
20 basis of this formed your statement of 1997, English version, paragraph 1
21 on page 4. You ask for the future of your small business, and then, I
22 quote: "He, Dr. Stakic, promised me to find out in Banja Luka and inform
23 me through his secretary Mika. Mika is still working there, and I was
24 never informed whether the small business continued with work."
25 Why do you believe or do you know Dr. Stakic had to go to Banja
2 A. Mica.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I'm sorry. I don't understand. This is the
4 secretary. But what is -- we are still in the context, who is superior
5 and who is subordinate. Was there a special role that, for example, one
6 could get the impression that orders would be obtained from Banja Luka?
7 A. Well, as far as I understood when Mr. Stakic told me: "I don't
8 know what is going to happen, I don't know whether you will be working at
9 all. But now, I'm going to go to Banja Luka now at 10.00 to get some
10 information there. And I will then inform you." According to what we
11 knew, which was logical, the body in question in Banja Luka was the Crisis
12 Staff of the Autonomous Region of Bosnian Krajina. And there are
13 documents that I had the opportunity to see. I actually have these
14 documents, which indicate that the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region
15 was sending reports -- sending documents to Prijedor and cooperating with
16 the Crisis Staff in Prijedor. However, at the time, I was not aware of
17 the way it functioned and how it worked. And Mr. Stakic said that he was
18 going there to get some information, to get some instruction in Banja
19 Luka. At least, this is what I understood him to mean.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You mentioned documents. Do you have still
21 these documents in your office, your apartment, or somewhere else? You
22 shouldn't tell us where it is --
23 A. No. I mean, I have a document of this kind here on me.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Today, here?
25 A. Yes, I have these documents. I have them here with me.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you would be so kind, and with the assistance
2 of the usher, present this document on the ELMO.
3 Can you please read out this document.
4 A. In the upper corner, we read: "Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina. Autonomous Region of Krajina. Banja Luka Crisis Staff.
6 Number: 03-531/92. June the 12th -- I'm sorry, June 22nd, 1992.
7 "To be delivered immediately to the president of the municipal
8 Crisis Staff: At this session held on the 22nd of June, 1992, the Crisis
9 Staff of the Autonomous Region of Banja Luka reached the following
10 decision: All leading positions, and the positions which are likely to
11 receive important information, for the purpose of guarding public and
12 state property at all locations which are important for the functioning of
13 the local economy may be filled only by Serbian personnel, Serbian staff.
14 This concerns all publicly owned companies.
15 Share holding companies, state institutions, and public companies,
16 ministries of the interior of the army of Serbian Republic of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Likewise, employees of Serb nationality who have not
18 confirmed this in a plebiscite and are not yet clear as to the idealogy,
19 that the only representative of the Serbian people is the Serb Democratic
20 Party cannot be in these positions.
21 Paragraph 2: The deadline for the implementation of the decision
22 stated in Paragraph 1 of this decision is Friday."
23 I think that the date reads 26th of June, 1992, until 1500 hours.
24 By that time, the presidents of the municipal Crisis Staffs are required
25 to submit relevant reports to this Crisis Staff. Failure to comply with
1 the above decision entails automatic dismissal of officials in charge.
2 "Paragraph 4: This decision shall take effect, and there's a text
3 that I cannot read. And shall be published in the official gazette of the
4 autonomous region of Krajina.
5 "President Radislav Brdjanin."
6 And in the upper corner here, you can read in Latin script:
7 "Decision implemented."
8 This can be found on the same page, but there is -- this copy I
9 have it at home, and this is just a photocopy, so it's on two pages. On
10 this other page, we read the following text: "The Serbian Republic of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina Autonomous Region of Krajina, municipality of Prijedor
12 Number 02-111-236/92. Date: 23rd of June, 2000 [sic]" At the session of
13 the Prijedor Crisis Staff held on the 23rd of June, 1992, it was decided
14 that we submit to you the decision of the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous
15 Region of Krajina for the purposes of its implementation. Attachment:
16 Decision. Signed: President of Crisis Staff, Milomir, Dr. Stakic."
17 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just for the Court's information, I believe at
18 least the first page, this is an exhibit that has already been translated.
19 I have to check whether it's identical. I think we have the other one
20 translated also, so at the break we can bring those down.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: How shall we proceed with the document? To be
22 on the safe side, I regard it as necessary, at least, to have copies of
23 both documents and those be brought to the registry to have these as
24 exhibits, as formal exhibits.
25 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Yes, Your Honour.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can leave this to you if it be of
2 any assistance.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can the usher hand this document, please, first
4 of all to the Office of the Prosecutor, and the Office of the Prosecutor
5 may provide us after the break with copies, and then we will discuss the
6 question of admission into evidence.
7 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Very well, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you have any --
9 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just to explain to the Court, I think there's a --
10 some major procedures that -- regarding the evidence unit for anything
11 like this. It has to be IIFed and ERNed as I understand it. We can check
12 at the break. I don't think we have one identical with the writing on the
13 top, but I'll check. If we have it already IIFed and ERNed, I suggest we
14 just use the copy that we have; otherwise it will take some time to have
15 this processed through the evidence unit.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's necessary because there are
17 numerous questions on the authenticity of such documents, and therefore we
18 should be on the safe side that this is a document presented by us by the
19 witness today. There should be no doubt at all.
20 May I ask, do you have any other documents of this kind from
21 former times, from 1992?
22 A. No, I don't. I obtained this document after the war.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can you explain to us the circumstances by which
24 you obtained this document.
25 A. An acquaintance of mine of Serb ethnic background brought this to
1 me asking: "Have you ever seen a document like this"? Actually, "have
2 you ever seen this document?" And I said yes. Actually, I didn't have
3 this document but I said that I had seen it. And then he left it with me.
4 He said: "I don't need it. I made a copy of this document. I'm leaving
5 this to you." So I kept it.
6 I remember having made several copies of this document which I
7 then gave to some of my friends.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Some other relatively small questions to this
9 issue: In your statement in 1997, English version, page 3, paragraph 5,
10 the last sentence. You said there, referring to posters displayed, quote:
11 "It was signed by Stakic on behalf of the SDS."
12 A. I didn't understand this question very well. I didn't hear it.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So I have to repeat slowly. I start with the
14 third-last sentence: "It was announced in Radio Prijedor that the Serbs
15 had to take over because politics of the SDA had led to bad economical
16 situation in Prijedor. Something similar was written on posters displayed
17 all over the municipality. It was signed by Stakic on behalf the SDS."
18 A. I don't exactly remember now who signed it, whether it was the
19 Crisis Staff or Dr. Stakic. Well, it happened quite a while ago, and I'm
20 not sure -- I am hesitant about whether it was signed by Stakic. But
21 Stakic was president of the Crisis Staff. And as such, he appeared in the
22 press. He explained that announcement in the press. As you said, he
23 spoke about why this was done through the mass media. And as being the
24 most responsible person, and he explained this through the mass media why
25 this was done. In view of all this, I felt that being president of the
1 Crisis Staff, that his responsibility was the greatest. I cannot
2 sincerely tell you whether it was signed by the Crisis Staff or Milomir
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification.
5 Then just to continue, the next sentence reads as follows: "After
6 the takeover, the curfew was implemented."
7 Could you tell us, do you know by whom the curfew was implemented?
8 A. All the explanations, all contacts with the mass media was in the
9 hands of the Crisis Staff, which via the radio explained that the Crisis
10 Staff had introduced the curfew, and stated how long the curfew lasted and
11 also that no one was allowed to appear in the streets during that time.
12 I never appeared in the streets then. I don't know who was in the
13 streets at the time. It was stated in the announcement who was able and
14 who was allowed to be in the street, the police. But the normal citizens
15 could not.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And a similar question, when
17 describing on Monday the separation of non-Serbs at the Balkan Hotel in
18 Prijedor, you said at a certain point that they ordered the Croats and
19 Muslims to line up and separate from the Serbs. Who is "they"?
20 A. The Serbian soldiers who, in fact, brought us there. The Serbian
21 policemen to be more specific, the reservist Serbian policemen who took us
22 there in a certain sense. I told you who brought me there, that a
23 neighbour took me from my home. His name was Ranko Vujasinovic. And
24 there were about five or six -- I cannot remember the exact number -- of
25 Serbian policemen who ordered us to line up and to separate because there
1 were women there also, elderly people. And he said that Muslims and
2 Bosniaks should separate. And we got up, and he took us to the exit and
3 put us in the bus.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Once again, a question far away from judicial
5 questions: Looking now back, certainly you have put yourself the
6 question, whom do you regard being responsible for what happened to you
7 and the others in Omarska/Manjaca?
8 A. Whom I feel to be responsible. Well, above all, the leadership of
9 the SDS, in particular, all the leading persons of that party. And those
10 who, once they took over power, those who implemented directly and were
11 responsible for all that happened following that, the establishment of the
12 camps, the ethnic cleansing. And if I were to single out individuals,
13 this was not something that could have been done by only a few people.
14 But there are people who headed the whole process. And they
15 included Mr. Drljaca, Mr. Stakic, Mr. Kovacevic, and Mr. Kuruzovic, and
16 Mr. Srdjo Srdic, and all those who in some way were involved in the
17 process and who were members of the Crisis Staff. I frequently wonder how
18 this could have happened, how these people whom we knew and who were with
19 us, who went to school with us, to high school with us, whom we associated
20 with, how they could have done something like that. That is to say,
21 arrest people without any grounds, abuse them, kill them. In Prijedor,
22 there are villages where entire families had been killed. We have a book
23 of persons -- of missing persons, and 3.270 -- less than 3.300 people.
24 And I frequently wonder who were these people who could have killed women
25 and children, people of over 80 and 90 were killed.
1 I cannot find the answer why this happened. Then another question
2 is the one that relates to prominent people in Prijedor. I cannot
3 understand why all the more prominent doctors, Bosniak doctors, had to be
4 killed, why Dr. Mahmuljin and Dr. Sadikovic and Dr. Pasic and Dr. Begic,
5 why they had to be killed. Professor Cehajic. Professor Crnkic.
6 Professor Mujagic, Sicer had to be killed. Why all the jurists, the
7 lawyers had to be killed. The president of the Court, Mr. Seric,
8 Kerenovic, Staric. The prominent craftsmen amongst whom Mr. Crnalic Dedo,
9 Crnalic Ziko who was with his son, Zdenkic, in the restaurant business. I
10 will probably die before I know why these people were killed.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: A totally different question: You knew Dr.
12 Stakic before the so-called takeover and after the so-called takeover.
13 And probably even later you met him again. Probably you can later on tell
14 us a little bit about this. But was there any change, significant change,
15 in the personality of Dr. Stakic you were aware of?
16 A. I met Dr. Stakic for the first time in early 1990 when the
17 assembly was being established. I used to see him in the assembly. I saw
18 him in the municipality. I saw him after the takeover of power when I
19 encountered him in Mr. Cehajic's office as president of the municipality
20 and of the Crisis Staff. I don't think Mr. Stakic changed much. Perhaps
21 he had some more hair on his head ten years ago. He was fairly bald even
22 at the time. Perhaps he was slimmer then.
23 But generally speaking, he didn't change much, except perhaps that
24 he lost some more hair. Well, we have all changed in a span of ten years.
25 Many things change in that period of time.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What about the personality? Did you regard him
2 as a calm person, or especially sharp person? Have you ever met a person
3 being, for example, the client of Dr. Stakic? Have you heard about his
4 work before? What person was this in relation, yeah, to others you know?
5 You said you met him in the street, in your restaurant.
6 A. Well, I never really heard of him as a doctor from his patients.
7 He was a young doctor, and he was not employed in the town of Prijedor. I
8 think that he worked in a dwelling called Omarska about 20 kilometres, 25
9 kilometres, between Prijedor and Banja Luka.
10 Personally, I can say that when he was elected president of the
11 assembly, I can say that he was a young doctor, modest. He seemed rather
12 subdued. And he did not speak often at the assembly, and I don't remember
13 whether he took the floor often or whether there was any manner that he
14 was especially one could identify with him.
15 But until the takeover of April 30th, until then, I thought of him
16 as a modest, young physician. I could not imagine that he could have been
17 the one to become president of the Crisis Staff, and then under his
18 supervision, to have all those things happen. I considered him to be a
19 rather modest person who was rather inconspicuous.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Once again, far from all legal terms, do you
21 regard Dr. Stakic as responsible for that what happened in Omarska,
22 Keraterm, Manjaca?
23 A. I believe him to be very responsible. I say this personally. Not
24 only Dr. Stakic, but also other people. But I considered him to be
25 amongst the most responsible.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In this context, you mentioned -- and this was
2 not referred during the -- your statement here -- the name of Suljo Ganic.
3 A. Yes. He was the father of my school friend Alija Ganic, along
4 with Safet Ramadanovic. And as I found out later on -- actually, I did
5 see him dead. He was also in Mujo's room. And in the toilet, he had --
6 he suffered from a stroke or a heart attack. I'm not quite sure.
7 Nevertheless, he died there, and he was dead. And he was in our presence.
8 And we took him out. Someone took him out from our room. And a similar
9 case, Mr. Safet Ramadanovic experienced a similar fate. And he, too, was
10 taken out of our room. He had died. And as far as we learned later on,
11 they were the only two who were taken to Prijedor and buried at the local
12 cemetery there. And then the propaganda and Serb press wrote that they
13 were the only two persons who died of a natural death in Omarska which, in
14 fact, made us laugh. But these were people who were singled out, that
15 they were taken from Omarska, and that they had died a natural death.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In your statement of yesterday, you mentioned a
17 person that was now, in 2002, 2001, a guest of yours. And you said, I
18 quote -- unfortunately I have not a pagination. But at 16.58, you said, I
19 quote: "And unfortunately, as a Croat, he survived Manjaca, Omarska, and
20 now he lives in Rijeka. Otherwise, he is married to a Serbian woman." Do
21 you know the name of this person and the address? We can do it in private
23 Private session, please.
24 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the Prosecutor please during the break
20 to show the documents to the Defence that then later on, the documents
21 given by Mr. Murselovic can be submitted to the registry.
22 We have a break now until 4.20.
23 --- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.22 p.m.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. Let's stay, first of all, in
1 open session.
2 A totally different question is the following: Was there any
3 special financial society you were aware of the only possibility to make
4 any kind of financial transactions, especially in Prijedor? Does it ring
5 a bell?
6 A. Before the war, the only institution which did the so-called
7 financial transactions was the service of social -- social accountancy
8 service, the SDK. All money transactions were done through the SDK. And
9 the payments were done towards the accounts of the Socialist Republic of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I don't know which month it was, either March or
11 April, but a decision was made at the time that the payments should be
12 made and the Giro account numbers were changed to the budget of the
13 autonomous region of Banja Luka. This was prior to the takeover of
14 authority by Serbs. And I think that as far as my company's concerned, I
15 think I only made one payment, maybe in April or May. Actually I'm not
16 sure whether I made any single payment to that account. But I know that
17 all Giro account numbers were changed, and that a request was made that
18 the institution for financial transactions of Bosnia and Herzegovina be
19 dissolved and that all payments should be made through Banja Luka.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
21 May we now go, for a moment, in private session, please.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in private session.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
24 [Private session]
12 Page 2882 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 2883 – redacted – private session.
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are now in open session.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
3 In your statement during the cross-examination yesterday, you
4 mentioned Simo Miskovic and he was the president of the SDS and seeing him
5 regularly in Prijedor today. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Any other persons you regard -- it's the wrong
8 question. Any persons you regard as responsible for that what happened in
9 Prijedor in former times living now still or again in Prijedor? And could
10 you quote some names?
11 A. Yes, I can. (redacted) is in Prijedor. I believe he's
12 now working as a deputy head master of an elementary school. I see from
13 time to time quite a few interrogators from Omarska, (redacted) or (redacted) as
14 we used to call him, who used to be the chief of the crime department. I
15 also see (redacted), who is now working at the national park and was
16 one of the interrogators in Omarska. I also see from time to time the
17 people who interrogated myself. I mentioned the name of (redacted)
18 (redacted) for instance. There are still quite a few people, people who
19 participated in to a certain extent in the events in Prijedor and who are
20 still living in Prijedor, but are not active members of the Serb
21 Democratic Party, for example, nor are they active in the political life
22 in Prijedor in general.
23 For instance, two or three months ago, several police officers who
24 have some kind of war history, war background, such as Tomcic have
25 recently been removed from the police force.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you believe that the one or other person
2 you mentioned before in the one or the other context would be available as
3 witnesses for this Tribunal? Did you discuss the question whether or not
4 to come as a witness to The Hague with other persons in Prijedor?
5 A. As far as Bosniak are concerned, Muslims, that is, many of them
6 have appeared before this Tribunal as witnesses in a number of cases,
7 including (redacted) [Realtime transcript read in error
8 (redacted), and the number of others. (redacted).
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry, it's necessary for the protection of
10 persons to go once again in private session and redact the names just
11 quoted from the transcript.
12 A. Very well.
12 Pages 2887 to 2888 – redacted – private session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
21 A. So we formed a coalition, this Party for Private Initiative, and
22 the former Socialist Youth Alliance. I received a sufficient number of
23 votes as a Bosniak and as a representative of this party, and a young
24 gentleman, a Serb from Ljubija, he also obtained a sufficient number of
25 votes in the election. So the two of us were actually representatives of
1 this movement. We always sat next to each other at the sessions.
2 Unfortunately, I cannot remember his name. He no longer lives in
3 Prijedor. I don't know what happened to him during the war. I know that
4 he was a Serb from Ljubija.
5 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] So the two of you were the
6 representatives of this movement in the assembly?
7 A. Yes. Well, let me clarify: I represented my party, and he
8 represented the Socialist Youth Alliance. But we participated in the
9 election together. We were together on the lists, and he and I, we
10 obtained a sufficient number of votes at the election.
11 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] You told the Chamber that you
12 had been accused on several occasions of having persecuted Serb children.
13 We're not quite clear on that. Was that in a school? What was the
14 context of this accusation of persecution of Serb children?
15 A. I told you about what happened in the camp. We were being accused
16 of all kinds of things in the camp, of hating Serbs, of wanting to kill
17 Serb children. They did this at free will. They used abusive language in
18 respect of us. They cursed our Muslim mothers. They called us names,
19 which was all part of the attempt to humiliate this one person who used to
20 work at the school when I worked there as well. The person who beat me,
21 Mr. Marmat, when I told him that this was not true and that he should
22 check it with his sister, he actually did it. And his sister, whose name
23 was Borka, apparently clearly told him that this was not true. This young
24 woman, this lady, still lives in Prijedor and she works at the Prijedor
25 municipality. I often see her these days, and we are on very good terms.
1 We have very friendly contacts.
2 But let me just emphasise that in my small, private company, I had
3 both Bosniak, Muslim, and Serb employees. Out of 13 or 14 employees of my
4 company, the ratio was always 50/50. That was the principle that I
5 respected in my work. I had, after all, guests from all ethnic
6 communities, and it was perfectly normal to have employees from various
7 ethnic groups. And even today, a lot of these people, Serbs, who used to
8 work in my company still live in Prijedor, and I'm on very good terms with
9 them. Let me mention Ms. Dragana Babic, Ms. Biljana, who now owns a
10 private shop, a private restaurant actually, which is called Balkan
11 Express, who always greets me very friendly even from a 10-metre distance
12 because she used to work for me for about 10 or 15 years. Then Rasa
13 Radovan, who is now working as the secretary at the local tennis club. So
14 I'm telling you these names because all those allegations were malicious
15 and the idea was just to humiliate me and to have me beaten.
16 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] One more question: You told
17 the Chamber that Dr. Stakic had received you in his office of the
18 president of the Municipal Assembly, that he physically occupied this
19 office when he received you. How did he behave towards you?
20 A. His behaviour towards me was very correct. He received me. I
21 enter his office. I was not alone. I was accompanied by a Croat whose
22 name was Andrea Pavic, and then Mr. Huso Hadzic, and also a secretary from
23 our party, Mr. Simatovic, who is a Serb. He was very friendly. Well, not
24 friendly; it is -- he was in a hurry, I think. And I asked him: "What is
25 all this supposed to mean?" But I could see immediately that he had
1 changed office, that he had moved to the office of the president. You
2 know, we, the insiders know which office belongs to the president and
3 which one to the vice-president. So this was a surprise for me. But he,
4 as I said, agreed to see me. He received me, and I asked him whether we
5 were supposed to continue with our work and what it was all supposed to
6 mean. And I said: "You wrote in your announcement that the SDA was
7 leading this town into economic disaster and a state of confusion. I want
8 to know what's happening with other political parties, what will happen
9 with private businesses? Will people continue to be employed? Will there
10 be fuel? Will there be goods? Will it be possible to buy things in the
11 future?" And he said: "Well, I don't know what's going to happen. The
12 situation is not good."
13 And he also said: "It is now close to 10.00. I am going to Banja
14 Luka where I hope to obtain all the necessary information, and I'll get
15 back to you." That was on the 3rd or the 4th. I'm not sure about the
16 exact date, but it was two or three days after the takeover. Of course,
17 he never got back to me, nor did I ever see him again.
18 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] You told us on several
19 occasions -- actually, you alluded to your party, so your party is the
21 A. No. My party at the time was the Private Initiative Party. I
22 must emphasise that I was never a member of the Party for Democratic
23 Action, the SDA. And generally speaking, I'm of the opinion that parties
24 should not be one-nation parties, that people can live together and can
25 have their interests represented together in a multiparty system, in a
1 multiethnic system. And I believe, as I believed at the time, that
2 one-nation parties will bring us no good because after all, we were a
3 mixed community. I had a very small company, a very small business. Half
4 of my employees were Serbs and half were Muslims. So it was my duty -- I
5 felt it as my duty, as my obligation, not to join any national party
6 because by doing so, I would be offending my employees. And I must also
7 tell you that representatives of all political parties visited my
8 restaurant and they were always well treated, well served, pay their bills
10 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] You're now president of the
11 Municipal Assembly in Prijedor?
12 A. That is correct. I am the president of the local Prijedor
14 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] Can you tell us how you
15 managed to be appointed to this office? Was it through an election?
16 A. Yes. In 1997, after the election, after the second multiparty
17 election, but the first election which took place after the war, at the
18 beginning of 1998, since it was necessary to have the leaders installed in
19 their offices and to have a multiethnic leadership within the
20 municipality, this whole process was supervised by OSCE, the European
21 Organisation for Cooperation and Security. We called it OSC. And
22 negotiations were conducted in the presence of the OSC who were
23 representing the international community. There were regulations which
24 requested us to have all political parties participate in the government
25 since at the time we, Bosniaks, had about 37 per cent of votes as a result
1 of the election, we made an alliance, a coalition. All of such parties,
2 all Bosniak parties, including my party, the SDA, the liberal party, and
3 another party which I cannot remember at the moment which was based in
4 federation but had its branches throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina also of
5 liberal province. We wanted to create a Bosniak front together.
6 And as such, in this coalition, we obtained 37 per cent of the
7 votes. As a result of the division of power following the elections, we
8 got the post of the president of the Municipal Assembly, the
9 vice-president of the Executive Board, and the secretariat for general
10 administration and social services, as it was called at the time. So
11 these posts went to us. This entire process was monitored by OSC, and the
12 whole assembly had to vote on this. There were 65 deputies in the
13 assembly at the time, and we tried, with some people from the SDA who
14 were, after all, the most powerful fraction of this Bosniak alliance, to
15 cooperate. But this didn't work because of the opposition of Serb
17 But at any rate, I was finally elected, as a Bosniak, to the
18 office of the president of the Municipal Assembly. Two more Bosniaks are
19 also elected, but they were not deputies to the assembly. We appointed
20 them to the Executive Board as professional staff. At the time, this
21 Executive Board still functioned. However, at the 2000 election, we were
22 together again. We had a coalition once again, but we obtained 21 to 22
23 per cent of votes. There was another Bosniak party, also multiethnic
24 party, which was with us, the SDP, or the reformed League of Communists
25 now called "SDP." Only one of their deputies obtained enough number of
1 votes, and we had seven deputies. But the assembly had only 31 deputies.
2 Pursuant to an order of the OSC, who wanted to have this number of
3 deputies increased, a new law on local government was passed, and a clear
4 distinction was made between the parliament and the executive authority.
5 And it was from a local Serbian party, SNSD, the president of this
6 political party is Mr. Dodik, a famous politician who at the time was the
7 president of the government, the prime minister, that Mr. Nada Sevo was
8 elected mayor. And since the rules provide that in cases of one ethnic
9 group obtaining more than 20 per cent of the votes, they have to have one
10 of these two most important functions, and that is how I was eventually
11 elected president of the local parliament, that is the president of the
12 Municipal Assembly of Prijedor.
13 Other officials, other public servants, were subsequently elected,
14 that is, the secretary of the assembly, the deputy or the vice-president,
15 and the secretary of the secretariat. All political parties participated
16 in the division of power this time so that the office of the
17 vice-president went to the SDS. And representatives of minor political
18 parties also got certain departments. So the idea was that everybody
19 should participate in local government, and this is still the case today.
20 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for
21 clearing up these points.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Before giving the floor to Judge Vassylenko, I
23 just want one clarification. You answered to a question of Judge Fassi
24 Fihri about your meeting with Dr. Stakic in the office there. You said, I
25 quote: "You wrote in your announcement that the SDA was leading this
1 town" and so on. To which document do you refer here? Did you see this
2 document? Was it signed by Dr. Stakic when you say "your announcement"?
3 Could you please explain a little bit this document.
4 A. Well, it was an announcement made public, announcements were
5 actually posted throughout the town, and the local radio stations kept
6 repeating the contents of the document every half an hour or so. And it
7 was stated in the document that the SDS had overtaken power from the SDA,
8 because it could no longer watch the SDA leading the municipality to an
9 economic and political chaos. And for that reason, they took over power,
10 and it was clearly stated that this was done by the SDS, and the paper was
11 signed by the Crisis Staff of the municipality of Prijedor. I don't think
12 the signature of Stakic was there; but since Stakic spoke about the -- and
13 explained the announcement in the press and on the radio stations, it was
14 only natural that he was president of the Crisis Staff of Prijedor. No
15 one doubted that.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Once again, you said: "You wrote in your
17 announcement at that point in time." Was this rejected by Dr. Stakic,
18 that you said "you wrote in your announcement..."
19 A. No, he didn't reject that at all. He said: "We did this," and
20 then he mentioned that the power had been seized without any violence,
21 they said, and without any bullets fired. And at any rate, he -- one
22 could sense from the talks one had with him that he was -- stood behind
23 the announcement and that he had moved to the office of the president of
24 the assembly. He felt like the president, and he was also elected
25 president of the Serb assembly of Prijedor. There was no question about
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 it. He said: "I don't know -- I cannot tell you anything. I will go to
2 Banja Luka. I will find out, and I will let you know." These were his
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this additional clarification.
5 Judge Vassylenko.
6 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you, Mr. President. I have some
7 questions to the witness. Mr. Murselovic, during today's
8 cross-examination, you referred to a list of more than 3.000 persons who
9 disappeared during the conflict. What is the status of this list? Who is
10 included in this list? Is this the number of people who disappeared in
11 the whole municipality or only in Prijedor? This number of people
12 disappeared being the prisoners of concentration camps or in conflict in
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't know if the witness --
15 A. That number --
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't know if this will assist the Court, but I
17 will tell the Court that we have the book, and we also have statements
18 from the authors of the book about how it was compiled, just for the
19 Court's information for future reference. And it actually would probably
20 be part of our demographic expert's report.
21 I also add that I understand it's being revised, and we expect a
22 revised copy in a few weeks.
23 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: But I am interested, what is the status of this
24 book? Who is compiling this book?
25 A. The book was compiled by non-governmental associations of the
1 Prijedor municipality, that was following the war within the federation,
2 closely cooperating with the state commission for searching for missing
3 people. On that list, all those who had disappeared, whose fate was
4 unknown, were listed. People, men, women, children, Croats, and Bosniaks
5 exclusively, who disappeared, all traces of whom were lost and who were
6 registered with the state commission and who were searched -- for whom one
7 searched. These people, Bosniaks, who were killed in fighting or as
8 members of the Bosnian army, they are not in that list. They are included
9 in that list. Only those about whose place of burial one did not know
10 were on the list. And that list, that book, had 3.227 numbers, and the
11 process of adding new names is continuing because there are still families
12 who are searching for their members, for those people, and they do not
13 know what happened to them. The situation was nightmarish and confused.
14 Might I also add that so far, from that list, about 40 per cent of
15 the persons have been identified and exhumed in a mass grave called
16 Jakorina Kosa which is not far from the iron ore mine of Ljubija. In that
17 mass grave, 374 bodies were exhumed, or 384. I believe it was 374 bodies
18 were exhumed. Unfortunately, this was a secondary grave site, meaning
19 that the bodies had been transferred from another grave site. And when
20 the bodies were thrown into that hole, into that pit, they were thrown
21 into the pit, and the remains of the use of dynamite could still be seen
22 there on that grave site. Now, when the bodies were taken out, the grave
23 was, in fact, closed by using dynamite. But the commission has its own
24 principles, its own knowledge on the basis of which it's still searching
25 for the missing persons. And this was the most massive grave site near
1 Prijedor. It was very difficult to identify so many people. We were
2 given the order to wait for the DNA analysis, not to rush the funerals.
3 We asked from the state commission for missing people, because the
4 international community asked that DNA analysis should be made from family
5 members. And I must say that the bodies were in a bad state, and one
6 could identify on the basis of clothing, of documents. This was only done
7 for 20 per cent, because all these people were bundled in blankets, and
8 now these bodies still stand. They have not been buried yet. They are in
9 the Sejkovaca Hall in Sanski Most. And the anthropological process of
10 identification are still in progress.
11 It is very difficult to identify the bodies. The bodies have been
12 mixed up. Some of them have missing limbs, because they were loaded on to
13 dredgers. So it will be difficult to identify them. But the portion of
14 persons who have been identified, they are on the list of missing persons.
15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Do you have a list of persons who were killed
16 or died in the concentration camps or as a result of shelling of peaceful
17 villages and towns?
18 A. On that list of missing persons, and in the book, all persons who
19 had not been buried and about whom one does not know where the burial site
20 is, all these people have been listed there so that many people having
21 disappeared from Omarska are in the book. And we found many -- several
22 mass graves. When I say "we," I mean the commission searching for missing
23 persons which cooperates with The Hague Tribunal and the UN mission. We
24 found quite a number of people from the mass graves about whom we know had
25 spent time in Omarska. They have been found in a mass grave in
1 Podvarcaska near Gornji Kamengrad from a mass grave, which was, in fact, a
2 pit 27 metres deep. Bodies had been thrown into it. Many people have
3 been identified, people from that mass grave.
4 Then from another mass grave, which is -- which has fewer people
5 in it. This mass grave was found in the area of the Serbian part of
6 Bosanska Krupa. This is also another inaccessible pit which was covered
7 by garbage and closed up. It was, in fact, a cave. And nevertheless, the
8 bodies have been exhumed. And quite a lot of people have been identified,
9 and they are in that book, too.
10 The book is still being worked on, and names of missing persons
11 are added to it. For some of them now, we know that some of them have
12 been exhumed and buried. Between 1.600 and 1.700 people have been
13 exhumed. About 1.300, 1.400 have been identified, and they are all within
14 the book of missing persons. I must say that many people were easily
15 identified at the beginning. Those who were dug up in front of their
16 homes. They were discovered when our people began to return to Hambarine,
17 Carakovo, Biscani, and this whole area of the left bank of the Sana River
18 in Kozarac. Because the family saw what happened. They knew where the
19 dead bodies remained when they were running away. They were buried in
20 shallow graves because there was not much time. And these people were
21 easily identified. They usually had documents on them. But the process
22 of identification in the mass graves, especially in the secondary mass
23 graves, is a very difficult identification process and can only be done by
24 DNA analysis.
25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: When did you for the first time became aware of
1 the existence of camps and detention centres in Prijedor municipality?
2 A. Well, I saw this for the first time when I was arrested on May
3 30th and when I was taken to the Omarska camp. Then, I saw that
4 everything had been carefully prepared. The people that I saw there, like
5 Nezir Krak, for instance, well, he will often tell me that he had come on
6 the 27th of May, and he told me: "Mursel, you should celebrate May 27th
7 as your birthday, because you were -- they searched for you here on the
8 27th when we came to Omarska. They searched for you. They searched for
9 Senad Ramadanovic. Someone called Cuka. I think his name was his
10 Muhamed. He owned a pizza place, I think his name was Izetagic.
11 They looked for Ilijaz Music, who was a professor. And he told me
12 you should celebrate that day because some had gone that day, and you were
13 not among them." I was released after my first arrest, and I was in
15 And then I realised that everything was very carefully prepared in
16 the camp, that there were guards around them, very well distributed around
17 the camp. The next day, they would bring us a little bit of bread. The
18 first few days, there was nothing to eat. And I must say that I saw the
19 people who would bring the food to the camp, who work in the social
20 restaurant of the iron ore mine of Ljubija. I used to know a person who I
21 saw with my very own eyes, her name was Mara. She was, in fact, head
22 waitress in one of those restaurants. I knew her because she was a
23 colleague of mine in the restaurant business. Of course, I did not say
24 hello to her. But food was well organised. It came on a daily basis. I
25 explained what the -- what kind of food was served, but I must say it was
1 very well organised before I came on May 30th.
2 And I remained there until August 5th and 6th when I was
3 transferred to Manjaca.
4 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Do you know how many camps existed in Prijedor
5 municipality, and what was their capacity, let us say?
6 A. Well, from what I heard from people who were coming, I found out
7 that there was a camp called Keraterm, because some people from Keraterm
8 were brought to Omarska. I was brought directly to Omarska. And I hadn't
9 been in any other of the camps in the area of Prijedor with the exception
10 of my trip to Manjaca, which is in the municipality of Banja Luka.
11 So that I cannot say what the number of -- how many other camps
12 there were. I know about Keraterm, Omarska. I don't know how many people
13 there were in Keraterm. In Omarska, we knew what the number was there,
14 because we counted the groups of 30 that would come and go. And usually,
15 according to our own assessments and my own assessment, there may have
16 been about 3.000 people there. It was of course impossible to count them
17 all because people were scattered around in different places. But the
18 average number was about 3.000. I don't think that anyone really knew
19 what the exact number of prisoners were, because people were called and
20 searched, looked for, who were not even in Omarska. So that they didn't
21 keep very strict records about this.
22 The guards called names at random, names of people whom they
23 supposed were in Omarska, along with those who -- about whom they knew who
24 had been interrogated and their presence was known.
25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: When did arrests and consequent detention of
1 Muslims start en masse in Prijedor municipality? Do you have some
2 knowledge about this?
3 A. As far as I know, arrests en masse and people being returned home
4 from work were going on throughout May 1992. And people told me that on
5 the 26th and the 27th of May, they were detained in Omarska. I arrived on
6 the 30th, which means that people had been brought there before. I don't
7 know exactly when detention in Keraterm started, but I know that on the
8 30th, both on the 30th and the 27th, as people told me that they were
9 in -- that they arrived in Omarska from Keraterm.
10 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: What -- in your opinion, what municipal board
11 or officials ordered and organised arrests and detention of the people?
12 A. It's difficult for me to say. Besides, I think I have mentioned
13 quite a few times during my testimony that the overall control over the
14 town, the entire situation, both in terms of security, politics, and the
15 military issues, was exerted by the Prijedor Crisis Staff. The Yugoslav
16 People's Army was by all means involved. A civilian portion of Defence
17 Forces was also mobilised, together with the police into the Serb army.
18 But they were the main actors as far as taking people in custody,
19 detaining them in camps is concerned. I think that the Prijedor Crisis
20 Staff had overall control of the situation. They constituted a body that
21 had the authority.
22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: You have been detained in Omarska for -- since
23 the end of May until the beginning of August. Did Dr. Stakic or other
24 members of the Crisis Staff ever visit Omarska camp?
25 A. I never saw Dr. Stakic in Omarska. But I cannot say whether he
1 came to Omarska or not. I didn't see him. As far as other members of the
2 Crisis Staff are concerned, I don't know. I remember someone say that Mr.
3 Drljaca used to come. I didn't see him either. But I must tell you
4 something: I didn't try hard to make myself visible. I tried to remain
5 as invisible as possible, because the situation was such that it was so
6 easy to disappear overnight. So I remember seeing some people -- for
7 example, I saw in the morning when the inspectors would come, I remember
8 seeing some people from Banja Luka. And I remember seeing Mr.
9 Dragosavljevic, the currently president of the Court who used to be a
10 judge in Prijedor. These individuals were in charge of these proceedings.
11 But after 30 days of my stay in Omarska -- actually, it was only after 30
12 days of my stay in Omarska, I was taken for interrogation. During this
13 period of time I tried to hide as much as possible because I could see
14 that it was very easy to get killed.
15 I remember an incident which was widely talked about when a
16 detainee was eating a piece of dry bread, and then Serbs told him, "enjoy
17 your meal." His name was Hadzalic. And he said thank you, bujrum. And
18 this expression,"bujrum," is commonly used in Bosnia in this context. It
19 is a Bosniak expression, and it actually means please feel free to join
20 me. I believe it is of Turkish origin. And they said: "Are you telling
21 us bujrum?" And then they opened fire and killed him on the spot. It
22 happened on the pista. So of course, in few of such situation, I didn't
23 feel like saying hello to anyone. I tried to observe as little as
24 possible, but of course, I ended up by observing quite a few things.
25 It was not very smart generally speaking to speak up or to say
1 anything. I remember a case of a butcher -- actually, a son of a butcher
2 who lived in Partizanska Street. He knew one of the guards, and he said
3 "hello" to him. He addressed him by his name, and he was taken out by
4 other guards and killed on the spot. I think his name was Mejo. It was
5 much more advisable to hide and to make one's self invisible, and that is
6 what I did.
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Earlier this year, to be precise, on 13th of
8 January, you testified, English version, written testimony, page 3,
9 paragraph 3: "As far as I know, there were no sessions of the assembly
10 after the Serbs took over. After the takeover, all power was exercised by
11 the Crisis Staff. There were press articles saying that Stakic was the
12 head of the Crisis Staff. There was considerable information about the
13 role and importance of Crisis Staff to the public."
14 May I ask you to be more specific in regard of your assertion that
15 all powers was exercised by the Crisis Staff? What had happened with the
16 other municipal bodies? And what were the concrete powers or prerogatives
17 of the Crisis Staff? Do you have any knowledge about this?
18 A. When the SDS took over, and the power was taken over, the way I
19 described you with about 1.000 soldiers, people under arms who had
20 completely blocked the town overnight, they set up checkpoints. And
21 outside all public buildings and companies, Serb soldiers were posted. As
22 for the high-rise buildings, snipers were placed on top of every
23 skyscraper, and one could plainly observe that. Serb soldiers walked
24 around the town, very often drunk and behaving improperly. All of the
25 Bosniak and Croat leaders of local companies and institutions were turned
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 back from work. Some people, and some -- in some institutions, as far as
2 I know, did go to work. But these people, according to their opinion,
3 were harmless. They were not very important figures in the town. And
4 according to their opinion, they were loyal to the Serb state.
5 Then the curfew was introduced, which created an abnormal
6 situation for the people around the town. Nothing functioned at the time,
7 as far as I know. I don't know what the situation was in local companies,
8 but many of them were closed. I was arrested for the first time some 20
9 days after that. Then I was arrested on the second occasion. Many
10 incidents started taking place in the territory of the Prijedor
12 And well, Your Honours, I owe you an answer. You asked me about
13 the number of the missing persons in the municipality of Prijedor. These
14 people -- this number concerns the entire area of the municipality of
15 Prijedor. Rakovcani, Rizvanovici, Carakovo and so on and so forth. This
16 is what I could tell you generally speaking about the situation in the
17 town of Prijedor in May 1992.
18 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: In your statement I just quoted, you referred
19 to "the considerable information about the role and importance of the
20 Crisis Staff." Can you share with us your knowledge about concrete
21 sources of such information?
22 A. A concrete source of information was the local newspaper, Kozarski
23 Vjesnik, and the local radio station. Some of the information was quite
24 funny, you know, after all of the incidents that had taken place in April
25 and May. I think that very often they were asking for incidents. They
1 wanted to have a good reason for incidents. And then I remember an
2 article which was published one day in Kozarski with the title "Prijedor,
3 a peaceful city." So I thought it was pretty ridiculous. Anyway, we
4 obtained all local information from the paper Kozarski Vjesnik, and the
5 local radio station, which is still operating in Prijedor.
6 They broadcast regularly their news blocks, and the paper was
7 published in the evening, Friday -- Thursday evening.
8 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And the last question: What is your opinion?
9 Due to what personal merits, qualities, activities, Dr. Stakic was elected
10 as vice-president of Prijedor municipality before the takeover, and then
11 became the president of Serbian assembly which was created by Serbs in
12 Prijedor? And after that, he became the president of the Crisis Staff in
13 Prijedor, after the takeover.
14 A. After the first multiparty election, two most powerful political
15 parties were the SDS and the SDA. Mr. Milomir Stakic was a rather
16 prominent member of theirs, because he was relative young at the time and
17 he was a physician. He worked in Omarska as a doctor. He worked in a
18 place where his party obtained majority of votes. So it was perfectly
19 normal for him, so young and educated, to be assessed by the party as the
20 most agile of their members. He's from Prijedor, where the party obtained
21 a lot of votes. And as such, he was nominated and proposed as a candidate
22 by the SDS to the post of the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly.
23 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: I have no more questions.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too. Thank you, too,
25 Your Honours.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I believe it's only fair to give the
2 possibilities for additional questions to the parties.
3 The Defence? And if there are any questions, we should have a
4 break before.
5 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honours, we would like to use that right
6 when we have it.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What about the Office of the Prosecutor?
8 MR. WAIDYARATNE: One question, Your Honour. Just a
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good. Then let us have a break. But before,
11 let us resolve the last technical question as regards the document handed
12 over by the witness. It is necessary to know, is this one document or are
13 these two documents? They were fixed to each other. Did you ever have
14 the document with the front and back side and make copies from this --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it's only one document, and you, as a
17 witness, stand for this, that this is the front and the back side of the
18 same document?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then this document has the number 404B. Any
21 objections against the admission into evidence?
22 MR. WAIDYARATNE: No, Your Honour.
23 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, we do have objections. Authenticity.
24 You know that it's altered, and that we can speak about it after the break
25 as well.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay.
2 MR. LUKIC: We have this document without this addition in our
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then it's probably another document. We have
5 only, once again for clarification, it has to be regarded as a document
6 handed over during testimony by the witness present here. And therefore,
7 it is, as such, admitted into evidence as 44B.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: I have a suggestion regarding the document. I know
9 that the rules require a translation, although there was a translation
10 when it was read. We have basically the same document without the writing
11 in the upper right. And I would suggest that the original that we have
12 and the translation come into evidence as 4A or 4 --
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No. We should proceed strictly separate and
14 take care that we don't confuse the documents. If it's -- let's say a
15 similar document, then this should go as 45A and 45B.
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: That's fine, yes. Again, the only difference I saw
17 was the writing in the upper right. And this was -- my case manager gave
18 me the 65 ter number somewhere.
19 This is 65 ter 249. And just for the record, the English ERN --
20 it's a two-page document -- begins 00916505; the B/C/S ERN number stamped
21 on it is 0063-3170.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections?
23 MR. LUKIC: I would like to receive an explanation from the
24 Prosecution whether it's one sheet document as the witness said or two
25 separate documents.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: I cannot give a clear answer because what I have is
2 what's printed out, and it's printed out on two sheets. The original
3 would be in the evidence unit.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Therefore, it's a question of evaluation of
5 evidence. And this new one, therefore, should go -- Madam Registrar,
6 please take care. The first one, decision, goes in the B/C/S version as
7 45B, and in the English version as 45A. But due to the fact that the
8 additional document probably is another one forming not part of the same
9 document, and this has to be discussed, this document, where at least in
10 machine writing you can read at the end of the document "Milomir, Dr.
11 Stakic," and the number ends with 171, this goes in B/C/S as 46B; and in
12 English, 46A.
13 So I believe now a break is well deserved, and we start at 6.15.
14 --- Recess taken at 5.52 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 6.15 p.m.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
17 Mr. Murselovic, we know it is very hard for you to go through such
18 an examination through three days and still important questions at a
19 quarter past 6.00. But nevertheless, I would ask you to answer the
20 following question: Having thought about it carefully, the document you
21 gave us in a photocopy, what you saw, as you said, as one document with a
22 front side and a back side, was this also a photocopy, or was this an
23 original, with an original signature on it, or some handwriting on it?
24 A. The document that I received was a single-paper document. On one
25 side, the document of the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina
1 Krajina; and on the other side, it was the response of the Crisis Staff to
2 the municipality of Prijedor. I also received that as a copy. But when I
3 photocopied, the photocopy machine can only photocopy one side, and then
4 on another sheet of paper, the other side. I have that document, which on
5 one side, is the document from the Banja Luka Crisis Staff; and on the
6 other side of the same sheet of paper, on the same sheet of paper, the
7 front and the back of the page. I didn't really pay attention to this. I
8 think it was a photocopy. We had to send it out to many companies, to
9 many institutions, many organisations in Prijedor. We had to send it out
10 to about 50 or 60 different addresses.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who, in this case, is "we"?
12 A. I don't understand.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You said "we had to send this document out to
14 about 50 or 60 addresses."
15 A. I apologise. One had to send the document to many different
16 addresses to Prijedor so that perhaps one copy reached one of the
17 companies where I, too, received the document.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification. And then can
19 you remember the document you had in your hand, were there -- was there a
20 stamp on the document on one side or on both sides? And can you remember
21 the colour of such a stamp?
22 A. The stamps were on both sides of the paper. And as it was a
23 photocopy, it was all black and white. I don't know how the original
24 document appeared, how it looked, whether the stamp was in a different
25 colour. I received it as a photocopy, and it was in white and black.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And we can identify on the top of the page a
2 name. You mentioned the name before. Was this also part of the
3 photocopy, or was this name handwritten on this special copy you had, and
4 do you know this person?
5 A. I received the document on which it was said "decision
6 implemented." And I know the person in question.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Who is the person?
8 We go into private session.
9 [Private session].
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
3 Then the Defence may proceed.
4 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, by this line of questions, you have
5 shortened our questions, so we'll have only a few. Thank you.
6 Further cross-examined by Mr. Lukic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] I promised that I would not question you any more
8 today. I have only a few very brief questions to put to you. Because of
9 translation from English and into B/C/S, some things require further
10 clarification. If you could explain to us what you had in mind when you
11 said that Milomir Stakic was a very correct person when you met him after
12 the takeover.
13 A. Well, to say -- I would like to say that he received me in that
14 situation. It would not be correct to say that he refused to receive me
15 and that he was rude or arrogant vis-a-vis me. He received me, together
16 with my associates I said who were with me. This lasted only 15 minutes.
17 We didn't even have time to have a cup of coffee. And by the very fact
18 that he received me in that situation, I believe this to have been a very
19 correct move on his part. He probably had other business to attend to.
20 He said that he was in a rush to reach Banja Luka, and I have nothing more
21 to add.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 You said that you never saw Stakic in Omarska, and that you only
24 heard from others that Simo Drljaca had come. You heard that from others
25 and you never actually saw him yourself?
1 A. Mr. Stakic, although he is from Omarska, I think he is from
2 Maricka, he used to work in Omarska and live in Omarska. I don't know
3 whether he actually did come. I never saw him.
4 Q. Your restaurant, was it operational following the takeover?
5 A. Well, I said that one of the restaurants, I had sold it in August.
6 And I stopped working in 1991. As regards the snack bar, until my arrest,
7 it worked only partly.
8 Q. Last question: You said that the missing persons who have been
9 listed in the book, that this applies to the whole territory of the
10 municipality of Prijedor?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Does this relate to the entire war period?
13 A. In 99 per cent of the cases, these were people who went missing in
14 1992 following the ethnic cleansing which was particularly widespread in
15 1992. There remained a certain number of Bosniaks, 4 or 5.000, who were
16 also cleansed -- actually, expelled in the summer of 1995. In 95 per cent
17 of the cases, the people who are on those pictures and the date of -- when
18 they went missing is the date that has been clearly marked in the book.
19 And in 95 per cent of the cases, these were people who had disappeared in
20 1992; in most cases, in the summer of 1992.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Prosecution, please.
24 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Further examined by Mr. Waidyaratne:
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Mr. Murselovic, you spoke about the elections in 1997 and in 2000
2 and thereafter; that is, after the Dayton peace agreements and other
3 agreements. Did the agreements provide means for those who fled or had to
4 leave Prijedor and who now live in other countries or in other
5 municipalities to vote in these elections?
6 A. Many people -- because this was organised by the OSC, many people
7 voted in absentia, which meant that many people voted outside their place
8 of residence of the time. In 1997, the number -- the number of Bosniaks
9 who voted in absentia was almost 100 per cent. This was in 1997. In the
10 year 2000, we did our very best to have several polling stations in the
11 municipality of Prijedor.
12 I must clarify some points. In 1997, those who insisted on coming
13 to vote in Prijedor, voting was organised in Alisici between Sanski Most
14 and Prijedor. There, a maximum of 150 or 200 people voted. But in the
15 year 2000, we formed two voting places. Since the Serbian political
16 parties reproached us for getting votes from bags [as interpreted], that
17 this was organised by the international community. Because of this, we
18 wished to have some polling stations in Prijedor itself, and we required
19 people that had returned, then, to vote in their particular settlement, in
20 their village. There was a voting place in Kozarac and another one in
21 Hambarine. Not very many people from Prijedor voted then. About a
22 thousand people voted all in all, compared to the number of Bosniaks who
23 lived there before the one [as interpreted] and those who had the right to
24 vote. This was a very insignificant number. But it was in our political
25 interest to have people vote, to vote in their place of residence and to
1 return to those places.
2 In the year -- this year, when we shall organise the elections in
3 October, general elections will be held then. We will do our very best to
4 have as many people vote in the territory -- on the territory of their own
5 local community, to have as many people to register in their place of
6 residence in Prijedor. And this is a continuing process, to increase the
7 number of returnees and the number of voters. However, I must say that
8 even then, when the OSC was organising elections, people could vote in
9 absentia. The headquarters were in Vienna; and by mail, the voters
10 received voting lists, and they could vote in absentia.
11 We hope that this year, regardless of the fact that for the first
12 time the electoral commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina is organising the
13 elections, we expect very many people to vote in absentia, although this
14 has not been regulated in great detail because for the very first time,
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina is organising elections. So we don't know how
16 things will turn out.
17 Q. Please bear with me, Mr. Murselovic. The document that you handed
18 over today to the Court - you may explain this - could you tell as to when
19 you received, when you got the document from this other person? Do you
20 recall when?
21 A. I cannot remember the day. I received the document in the course
22 of this year.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I can see no other questions.
1 Mr. Murselovic, I have to thank you indeed very much for your
2 comprehensive insight you gave us in the development of Prijedor from 1990
3 until today in our effort to come as close as possible to the truth in
4 our, not only mandate to be a criminal court, but also in our mandate to
5 perform a peacekeeping mission here in The Hague. I thank you very much.
6 And thereby, we adjourn and resume for the 17th session on Monday,
7 the 13th of May, 9.00.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
11 6.35 p.m., to be reconvened on
12 Monday, the 13th day of May, 2002,
13 at 9.00 a.m.