1 Wednesday, 19 June 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.28 p.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. May we hear the case, please.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T,
7 the Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. The appearances for the OTP, please.
9 MS. KORNER: Joanna Korner, Ann Sutherland, assisted by the
10 temporarily absent Ruth Karper, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Correctly stated. Thank you. And for the
13 MR. LUKIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and
14 Mr. John Ostojic for the Defence.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Any obstacles to start immediately with the
16 examination-in-chief ongoing and we should have a break at 4.00 sharp.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I just very, very quickly mention,
19 may I quickly mention that -- at the end of the day, can I mention a
20 timing problem that has arisen as a result of the sitting arrangements
21 next week, at the end of the session. Yes, thank you.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's do it later.
23 MS. KORNER: Quite. At the end of the session.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The witness may be brought in, please.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 WITNESS: MEVLUDIN SEJMENOVIC [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Examined by Ms. Korner: [Continued]
4 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, we finished yesterday with you telling us about
5 the time that you were at the Municipal Assembly in Banja Luka and you had
6 this conversation with Srdjo Srdic. One thing I never asked you, can you
7 remember when this was, roughly if you can't remember the exact date?
8 A. That was in September 1992. I believe it was around
9 mid-September, maybe in the first half of September, but I couldn't say
10 for sure. However, I am certain that it was in September.
11 Q. Thank you. You told us about this conversation that you had with
12 Mr. Srdic when he was complaining about Mr. Karadzic and about the powers
13 that he had given to the municipalities. How did the conversation with
14 Mr. Srdic end?
15 A. As far as I could hear, Srdic spoke very loudly. He cursed, and
16 he yelled. He spoke to another group of people, and sometimes to
17 outsiders, people who were outside the group in which he was standing. He
18 was complaining also to Mr. Kupresanin. And during this whole time, he
19 was moving up and down the hall, but always remained close to us, who were
20 standing together in the group with Mr. Kupresanin.
21 Q. And you told us that you saw Dr. Stakic, and I think you said you
22 greeted him, or he greeted you. Was there any other conversation with
23 Dr. Stakic that day?
24 A. No. I noticed Mr. Stakic as he climbed up the stairs on his way
25 to where we were standing. He approached us, and from close range, he
1 noticed that I was standing there with Mr. Kupresanin. He approached me.
2 He shook my hand and then walked away towards the other group.
3 Q. All right. Now, after that day, did Mr. Kupresanin ask you to do
4 anything else? You already mentioned one of the things he wanted you to
5 do, was join in some negotiations. But was there anything else he asked
6 you to do?
7 A. That day, after the time we spent in the hall with those groups of
8 Serb politicians and soldiers, after about 20 minutes, after a brief
9 while, at any rate, Kupresanin took me to an office. I spent some time in
10 that office alone. And then after a while, Kupresanin returned with two
11 other persons. He criticised Karadzic and told the other people who were
12 there that Karadzic was mad, that as he said, and I'm quoting: "Myself
13 and Mevludin would be able to do a better job than Karadzic and all his
14 politicians put together."
15 Q. Did he actually -- either that day or at a later stage ask you to
16 intervene in any kind of negotiations?
17 A. Not on that day. But after a longer period of time, but I can't
18 say now whether it was after 15 days or after a month, he sent Mr. Emir, a
19 dentist from Banja Luka, to Bosanska Vrbanja, and to demand that I travel
20 with Kupresanin to Kotor Varos. And I was to convince the Bosniaks and
21 Muslims of Kotor Varos that is the non-Serb population, to surrender, and
22 to let themselves be evacuated from their municipal territory.
23 Q. Did you agree to do this?
24 A. No, I was not in a position to do so. And I told the doctor that
25 I could not do it and that I didn't believe that there would be a point in
1 doing that. I was aware of what that meant in my situation then, but
2 that's what I told him. And I never went to Kotor Varos.
3 Q. Now, did you remain in Vrbanja until January of 1993?
4 A. Yes. Until the 15th of January, 1993, as far as I can remember.
5 Q. And then did you leave the area?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. Now, I want you to look at a number of documents that you acquired
8 as a result of your release from Omarska. First of all, could you look at
9 a document dated the 19th of August, 1992.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, this was not, I think, a 65 ter
11 document. No, because they are the witness's own documents. But copies
12 were provided, but we have got more copies in case Your Honours can't find
13 them. They have the number --
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you can tell us the number.
15 MS. KORNER: The ERN number on the first document is 01903617.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We only can work on the basis of bundles, not on
17 these numbers. Does it have a number in -- We have potential Witness 45
18 volume 1, volume 2, volume 3. Where can we find it?
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm told it was handed in to Your
20 Honours the first day, and I see the Registrar nodding.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And it was in the first bundle?
22 MS. KORNER: Would Your Honours like us to hand up the extras that
23 we have got? I see they are being handed up now.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. We do have it. Thank you.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It was 65 ter number 811.
1 MS. KORNER: Right.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We have it also in the B/C/S.
3 MS. KORNER: Right.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If the OTP so wants.
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm quite surprised. But there you go.
6 In that case, if everybody has got it now --
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Probably it's better to present the B/C/S
8 document, because it's signed.
9 MS. KORNER: The witness has got the B/C/S one. Yes. I'm sorry,
10 yes, he has.
11 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, this is headed the "Serbian Republic Autonomous
12 Region of Krajina Assembly, Banja Luka, certificate permitting and
13 enabling Mevludin Sejmenovic freedom of movement throughout the territory
14 of the Serbian Republic. This certificate is issued as confirmation of
15 identity due to nonpossession of a personal document and may not be used
16 for other purposes. Banja Luka, 19th of August, 1992. And signed:
17 President Vojo Kupresanin."
18 First question, when did you get this document?
19 A. I got this document from Mr. Kupresanin at the Municipal Assembly
21 Q. Was that immediately after your release or at a later date?
22 A. I believe it was later, when I next came to the assembly.
23 Q. Okay. And you say it was given to you by him. It appears to be
24 signed. Had you seen his signature before?
25 A. I can't remember having seen his signature before, but I know that
1 he told me he would get the certificate issued for me, and he then gave it
2 to me.
3 Q. And finally on this document, what had happened to your personal
4 identity documents?
5 A. My personal documents, part of them I couldn't take with me from
6 my family house because the events had taken a very sudden turn. I kept
7 part of those on me. I had my MP ID, which every member of parliament
8 had, and I had my personal identification papers. I had thrown away my MP
9 card after Kozarac had been attacked and when I started hiding. But I did
10 keep my personal ID. I misplaced it once when at night, I entered an
11 abandoned house trying to find food that may have been left behind. And I
12 took whatever was inside my pocket out of my pocket, and I must have left
13 my personal ID there. In prison, in Prijedor and in the camps, I was
14 without any personal papers whatsoever.
15 Q. Yes. Thank you.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I ask that be admitted into evidence
17 as S --
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 153A and B in B/C/S. Any objections?
19 MR. OSTOJIC: Only as to the signature, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence under these numbers.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, Ms. Karper, who is in charge of the 65
22 ter numbers, did Your Honour say that this was 65 ter number 811?
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, Ms. Karper thinks that 811 is a
25 photograph. I was quite surprised when I heard this.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's not necessary to make any reference
3 to 65 ter.
4 MS. KORNER: We know. It's in the record.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
6 MS. KORNER:
7 Q. Next, Mr. Sejmenovic, could you look, please, at another document
8 which is headed "List of Released and Pardoned Persons," which has got,
9 for the reference, the ERN number 03006833. This is a document apparently
10 also stamped and signed by Mr. Kupresanin headed "Republika Srpska,
11 Autonomous Region of Krajina Assembly, Municipal Secretariat for National
12 Defence." It's date is the 7th of October, 1992, and it contains a list
13 of released and pardoned persons, your name being number 9 on the list.
14 And then says: "Pursuant to the decision of the Presidency of the
15 Republika Srpska on abolition of the 2nd of October, 1992, the above-named
16 persons were released from person. And according to the same decision,
17 they should be allowed to leave the territory of Republika Srpska through
18 the International Committee of the Red Cross in Banja Luka."
19 First, Mr. Sejmenovic, do you recognise the other names on the
20 list, the other nine persons?
21 A. I recognise some of these persons, and some I only heard of.
22 Q. Are these all people who were in Omarska with you, or the ones
23 that you do recognise?
24 A. Some of them were; some of the people listed here come from the
25 area of Kozarac.
1 Q. Right. And was there anything that was common to all these people
2 including yourself? In other words, a common factor that may relate to
3 why you were all released?
4 A. No. I can't see any link between these people, and if there was
5 one, I'm not aware of it. I only know that this is a list of persons who
6 were in the camps. I know that some of these persons were also in the
7 Manjaca camp, person number 8, Biscevic Nedim. I know that he was in the
8 Manjaca camp.
9 Q. Mr. Biscevic, what was his occupation?
10 A. He was a young man. I think he was a stomatology student. I know
11 that he was from Sanski Most. Dr. Emir, the dentist who came to Vrbanja,
12 who was friends with Mr. Kupresanin, also spoke about Nedim Biscevic. He
13 referred to no other persons from this list, but he did refer to Mr. Nedim
14 Biscevic as well as some other people who are not on this list.
15 Q. The other people you know on the list, which ones are there they?
16 A. For example, person number 2, Sakib Besic, an elderly man from
17 Kozarac. I had known him before the war. Bahrija Basic, also from the
18 Kozarac area. Number 9, myself.
19 Q. And Mr. Besic and Mr. Basic, what did they do? First of all, Mr.
20 Besic. You say he was an elderly man. Was he retired?
21 A. I'm not sure, but I think so.
22 Q. What about Mr. Basic? What did he do?
23 A. I don't know what he did.
24 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us how you came to be given this
1 A. I didn't know anything about this list or any other document
2 containing my name. In early December, that is, in early January 1993, at
3 night, a blond lady came to Vrbanja to my sister's house. I did not know
4 this lady. She was a young lady, and she brought this document with her.
5 She refused to introduce herself. After a while, my sister got frightened
6 because she didn't know what was happening. She said she couldn't say her
7 name, but she did say a couple of words from which we were able to
8 conclude that her intentions were good. She brought a document for me,
9 and she said that I should by all means go to the centre of Banja Luka the
10 following morning with this document to the Plan company. If on the way
11 to Banja Luka, I should be stopped by the police, she said I should by no
12 means allow them to find this document on me. I'd be better off eating it
13 than being caught out in possession of this document, she said. She said
14 as soon as I reached the Plan company, I should knock and ask for
15 Mr. Nino. And this gentleman would then explain everything else to me.
16 The following morning, I managed to reach the centre of Banja
17 Luka. I managed to enter the Plan company. I said I wanted to speak to a
18 gentleman named Nino. And then a man stood up. There was a group of
19 people sitting there, and brought me to a room where the two of us
20 remained alone. He then told me what the whole thing was about and that
21 my evacuation was underway.
22 Q. All right. But do I understand this: That you never saw, you
23 were never given a copy of this particular document?
24 A. I did receive a copy of this document. I was given it by that
25 woman in early January and was told to hand it over to Mr. Neno the
1 following morning.
2 Q. I got you. All right. Thank you.
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may that be admitted as S154.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Before deciding, may I ask in addition, did you
5 receive a photocopy only, or was it stamped and signed, hand-signed, or
6 was it a copy of the signature?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember, it was the
8 original of this document that was given to me.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you could have a look, the OTP stated
10 immediately that apparently the document was signed by Mr. Kupresanin.
11 But is it correct, or is my impression correct, that the last name is in
12 an abbreviated form and only the first name is -- can be read in full,
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my copy at least, you can read
15 both his first and his last name, and two letters in Cyrillic are added
16 there, SR, which is short for "personally." Or what that means is signed
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Probably we have different documents. Could it
19 be please put on the ELMO.
20 Yes, if you have a look, please understand -- yes, I understand a
21 little bit to read Cyrillic, but the second part, it's Vojo. Right? The
22 second part of the signature.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Concerning the handwriting or the
24 signature, the second word is Vojo, and the first word reads "Kup" full
25 stop, which is short for his last name.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you see this signature before?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And you are sure that it's the signature.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think so, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
6 Objections by the Defence?
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Same as with the previous document, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I would appreciate if the original could be
9 shown to us of this document.
10 MS. KORNER: I'll check that, but I rather think that we only were
11 ever provided with a photocopy. I think the original Mr. Sejmenovic may
12 still have, but I'll check.
13 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, did you provide the OTP with the original original
14 or is it a copy? Sorry.
15 A. Please allow me to explain this. The document I was given, I gave
16 it to Mr. Granic, who then gave it to Mr. Beat Schweizer, the secretary of
17 the Geneva Committee of the International Red Cross. That document was
18 requested by Mr. Beat Schweizer, as well as another document. That was a
19 condition for him to organise my evacuation from Bosnia-Herzegovina
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. What I did have later on, I had a copy, and I gave a copy to the
23 Tribunal, if I can remember correctly.
24 MS. KORNER: That's what I thought, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification. We would
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 appreciate if we could have the -- I think we have the language in common
2 now, the most original document presented. And this is now admitted into
3 evidence as S154A in English and B in B/C/S. Thank you.
4 MS. KORNER:
5 Q. Can I ask you to look, you said you were asked for a second
6 document on the International Red Cross. Can you have a look, please, at
7 this document which is headed "Municipal Red Cross Organization, Banja
8 Luka," 03001520. Which, as I said, headed "Municipal Red Cross
9 Organisation, Banja Luka, Commission for Refugees, certificate," and then
10 a number, and then "by which Mevludin Sejmenovic from Trnopolje (near
11 Prijedor), with family members alone is cancelling his registration in
12 Banja Luka where he resided as a refugee during the period from the 19th
13 of August, 1992, until the 31st of December, 1992. The certificate is
14 issued to prove that the above-mentioned had a status of a refugee and it
15 cannot be used for other purposes."
16 It's then, "for Commissioner, Commissioner for Refugees" and then
17 there's a signature. Do you know whose signature that was?
18 A. I do not know whose signature this might be, but I did see the
19 gentleman who signed this. He was the head of the Banja Luka Red Cross.
20 Q. Was that the other document that the Red Cross needed you to have,
21 the International Red Cross, I should say?
22 A. No. The International Red Cross requested either a copy of my ID
23 or any other document with my photograph on it.
24 Q. All right. Well, then, can you have a look --
25 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, Your Honour. Can I ask that -- I'm sorry.
1 I should ask another question. Forgive me.
2 Q. How did you get this document, then?
3 A. You mean the document I'm now looking at?
4 Q. Yes, I do. Yeah.
5 A. This document was issued at the Red Cross in Banja Luka. And I
6 believe that this document, too, was a condition for Mr. Beat Schweizer to
7 prepare the documents for my evacuation.
8 Q. Right.
9 MS. KORNER: Then, Your Honour, may that be admitted as S155.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections?
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Inasmuch as the witness saw the individual sign it,
12 we have no objection, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence S155 A and B
15 MS. KORNER:
16 Q. And finally, could you have a look at this document which bears
17 the number 00396275 headed "Republika Srpska, Banja Luka" and date, the
18 12th of January, 1992.
19 Before we go any further, is this the document Mr. Beat Schweizer
20 needed for you to have?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. It's dated the 12th of January, 1992. Is that correct? I mean,
23 one can see it's typed that on the original.
24 A. Yes. That's how it has been typed out, but it wasn't actually
25 1992. It was 1993.
1 Q. And it's from the Security Services Centre, Banja Luka, or that's
2 what the heading is. "Re: Identification of a person, at your request.
3 You requested confirmation of the identity of the deputy in the former
4 assembly of BH, Mevludin Sejmenovic, from Trnopolje near Prijedor because
5 the above-mentioned is not in possession of any identification documents
6 apart from a photograph. I therefore confirm that the person on the
7 attached photograph is the above-named. The above-named was released from
8 Omarska prison at the request of the president of the Republika Srpska,
9 Dr. Radovan Karadzic." And then there's a seal, and again
10 Mr. Kupresanin's name and apparent signature.
11 Again, can we take it the original had a photograph of you
12 attached to it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. All right. And again, I think what has been provided -- you
15 better tell us. Mr. Sejmenovic, when you first came for the Tadic trial,
16 did you have the original of this document, or did you provide us with a
18 A. As far as I remember, it was a photocopy. The original of this
19 document is with Mr. Schweizer.
20 Q. Yes. Yes. Thank you.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may that be admitted.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: Same objection as to signature, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence S156A and B respectively.
24 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
25 Q. Now, Mr. Sejmenovic, I want in a moment, in the remaining time
1 left, to ask you to look at a few more documents. But I'd like you first
2 of all, if you would, to look at a video of a press conference and tell us
3 if you can identify people at the table.
4 [Videotape played]
5 MS. KORNER: We're going to pause right there.
6 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, do you recognise anybody in that still?
7 A. Yes. The person standing there wearing the army uniform is Mr. --
8 Dr., rather, Stakic.
9 Q. Before we move the video on, when you saw Dr. Stakic at the
10 meeting after your release in the Municipal Assembly, was he in uniform or
11 in plainclothes, if you can remember?
12 A. You mean the meeting in the Banja Luka municipality building?
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. He was wearing civilian clothing.
15 Q. Before your arrest and after the -- I'm sorry. Yes. Before you
16 originally went to Trnopolje and to the camp in Omarska and after the
17 takeover of Prijedor, did you see Dr. Stakic then, in that period after
18 the takeover?
19 A. After the takeover, I did not see Dr. Stakic, no.
20 Q. Okay. Before the takeover, when you saw Dr. Stakic in the
21 assembly or elsewhere, was he wearing -- did he ever wear a uniform?
22 A. Not usually, no, but I think I did see him in uniform once. But I
23 can't confirm that absolutely because most of the deputies at the last
24 meeting did wear uniforms. We didn't like them wearing uniforms, but they
25 said it was wartime and that they had been mobilised and that that was
1 quite usual.
2 Q. Okay.
3 MS. KORNER: All right. If we could go on playing the video,
4 please, then.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. Can you stop there, please.
6 I can see here, that is to say, the man in the background on the left, the
7 third man on the left-hand side is Colonel Arsic. And behind the fourth
8 person is Mr. Dragan Sidjak. You can't see him very well on that still,
9 but when you play the video further you'll be able to see him better.
10 MS. KORNER: All right. Let's go on playing the video and then
11 you can see.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MS. KORNER: Can we pause there.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You can stop there, yes. Going from
15 left to right we see Dr. Stakic. The next man is the late Dr. Kovacevic.
16 Then we have Colonel Arsic. Next to Colonel Arsic I think is Mr. Zeljaja,
17 but I'm not quite sure. May we see the rest of the tape, please.
18 MS. KORNER: Can we move the tape, yeah.
19 [Videotape played]
20 MS. KORNER:
21 Q. Do you recognise him, pausing for a moment?
22 A. No.
23 MS. KORNER: Go on, thank you.
24 A. No, I don't recognise him. I don't know who that is.
25 [Videotape played]
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Once again we see Dr. Stakic here,
2 Dr. Kovacevic, and Colonel Arsic.
3 MS. KORNER: I think we can just move the video on because I think
4 we see other people. Just move it on slightly.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I make a correction, please.
6 MS. KORNER: Yes.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the previous image, when I said
8 that I had noticed Mr. Dragan Sidjak, it wasn't Dragan Sidjak, it was
9 Mr. Savanovic and not Sidjak. I got it wrong.
10 MS. KORNER: Okay. I think we're going to see... Yes, I think
11 we've just seen the ITN news crew. Thank you very much. I think that's
12 all I need. Thank you.
13 Q. All right. Mr. Sejmenovic, I want to ask you now to deal again --
14 just get this out of the way -- with some matters. Can you tell us what
15 happened to your property in Trnopolje?
16 A. As far as I know, the house was looted straight away, although I
17 didn't have anything much of value in it. But I did have a rather large
18 library which my father had collected over several decades. And in those
19 first days, I heard that part of the books had been burned, the rest of
20 them had been thrown out, and then the Serbs turned up and the remaining
21 number of books were loaded up onto a tractor and taken off somewhere.
22 Q. Did anybody occupy your house?
23 A. I don't know which period you have in mind.
24 Q. Let's take the period after your arrest and before you finally
25 left the area completely, first of all. So between July 1992 and January
1 of 1993.
2 A. I don't know that anybody occupied my house. I think that the
3 house is -- was not in a state in which it could have been occupied or
5 Q. Were other people's houses taken over and occupied?
6 A. Yes. Some of them were, with the Serb population. Actually, I
7 did see some houses being occupied in the second half of July 1992, that
8 is to say, before I went to the Trnopolje camp.
9 Q. All right. I'd like you now, please, to look at a document that
10 has the 65 ter number 46.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Just to stay in order of the appearances, the
12 video should have the number 157. Objections?
13 MR. OSTOJIC: As long as, Your Honour, we get a copy of that
14 video. We don't have that particular video. We have other videos that
15 were provided to us. We would not have an objection to it, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: We could clarify that later with the OTP.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm sorry. I thought that we had
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We would appreciate as well. And if possible,
21 if there is existing transcript and possibly translated into English, the
23 MS. KORNER: Yes.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But until now, for today, admitted into evidence
25 as S157. And now we turn to the following document with a provisional
1 number 158. It was former 65 ter 46.
2 MS. KORNER: Yes. Would Your Honour forgive me; I just want to
3 check on something.
4 Your Honour, I'm just checking, but I think what has happened is,
5 and again it's my fault for not checking the B/C/S, we have got a number
6 of different copies of the same document attached in B/C/S. But it's only
7 the first one.
8 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, this is apparently a document, let's put it that
9 way, which goes as follows. It's: "Pursuant to Articles 3 and 7 of the
10 decision of the organisation and work of the Crisis Staff in the Prijedor
11 Municipality and the War presidency of the municipality reached the
12 following decision." There's a blank for the date.
13 "One, all the movable and immoveable property that belonged to
14 Muslims, Croats, and others, as well as to the Serbs who have left the
15 territory of the Prijedor Municipality or have not responded to the
16 general mobilisation callup on the territory of Prijedor Municipality is
17 hereby declared state property, or more specifically, municipal property.
18 Authorised municipal organs shall collect all information and register all
19 property referred to in Article 1 of this decision, and such property has
20 henceforth be at the disposal of the Prijedor Municipality."
21 Now, are you aware of this decision being implemented?
22 A. This decision, in the sense of being a document, I did not -- I
23 was not aware of that. But I think we heard about it on the radio, that
24 property would be taken away from all those people who were extremists and
25 those who were fighting against the Serb army. As far as what I myself
1 saw, I did see immoveable property being taken away, tractors taken away,
2 cars taken away. And later on, I did see organised looting of villages,
3 from which the inhabitants had left. When I say organised, I mean
4 organised in the proper sense of the word. That is to say duties were
5 assigned, groups of soldiers were set up who were in charge of looting
6 certain things and areas. And I was able to watch this process over a
7 period of several days.
8 How this was legally defined, I do not know.
9 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I appreciate there are
10 difficulties in the sense of the documents not signed or dated. All we
11 can do is that, Your Honour, it be admitted on the basis that the witness
12 is able to say certainly these activities took place.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please, objections to the record?
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour. We do object for the same basis
15 that the OTP states. And also it's one thing for the witness to testify
16 what he observed and it's another to put a document in and say whether it
17 was enforced or there were any rules or purported decisions on that issue.
18 So I think they are, quite frankly, two separate and distinct items.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. It is really necessary to have this
20 document. We have the witness statement and other witness statements.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we will call evidence, I take
22 Mr. Ostojic's point, as to where this document comes from. There are
23 other connected documents -- because I have a limited time --
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Quite. As stated in the beginning of the trial,
25 all decisions can be reversed. Just for the purpose that we know what the
1 witness discussed today, this document is admitted into evidence under
2 Number 158A in the English version, and the first part starting with
3 0006784, the following three pages in B/C/S are admitted into evidence
4 under 158B.
5 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Then I'd like just for a moment to ask you to please look at a
7 document which relates to Omarska. It bears the 65 ter number 361.
8 This is a document headed "from the public security station,
9 Prijedor," dated the 16th of September, 1992. And it relates to a
10 Catholic priest called Father Stipo Sosic. And it's clearly addressed to
11 the bishopric in Banja Luka. "In connection with your document of the
12 above number, we hereby inform you that based on a reasonable suspicion
13 that he took part in the organisation of armed rebellion against the
14 Serbian Republic and Serbian people. Father Stipo Sosic from Ljubija was
15 taken to the Omarska Investigation Centre on the 15th of June where he
16 remained until the investigation was completed on the 6th of August, 1992,
17 when together with other prisoners he was taken to Manjaca, which was in
18 the jurisdiction of the army of Republika Srpska."
19 And signed by Simo Drljaca. Can you tell us, were you ever aware
20 when you were in Omarska of a Catholic priest there named Father Sosic?
21 A. No, I was not aware of that. I did know that there were some
22 Croats, some inmates in the camp who were ethnic Croats, but -- and a
23 woman told of me some names. She mentioned some names. She was also a
24 Croat, and she was imprisoned in the Omarska camp. Her name was Jadranka
25 Cigelj. And she told me about Mr. Zdenko Halupa [phoen], for example, and
1 about some other people, but she didn't tell me that there was a Catholic
2 priest there from the camp.
3 Q. All I want to ask you, there was no Catholic priest in the glass
4 house with you when you were there?
5 A. No, there wasn't. There weren't many people there, and I would
6 have known if there had been a Catholic priest there.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm just asking the document be admitted
8 under whatever, provisionally or whatever, because obviously this witness
9 can't help on this, but on the basis Your Honour is admitting them?
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it really necessary to have this document?
11 MS. KORNER: I think it's quite important, Your Honour, to
12 establish that, held in Omarska, was a Catholic priest.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, but --
14 MS. KORNER: The only way at the moment we can --
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Normally it could be admitted, if it wouldn't go
16 through the witness before us. Objections from the other side?
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Just as it relates to the signature, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence, 159A, B respectively.
19 MS. KORNER: Thank you. Yes.
20 Q. Now finally, I think, Mr. Sejmenovic, I want you to look at a
21 document that bears the number -- 65 ter number 388. This is going to
22 take us a little time to look at.
23 Now, this is headed "the Serbian Democratic Party of Republika
24 Srpska, Prijedor Municipal Board," and it's dated December of 1992. And
25 it is said to be the"report on the work of the Prijedor SDS municipal
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 board in the period from 11th of September, 1991, to 26th of December,
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it is not signed, and can I anticipate
4 if Mr. Ostojic will allow me, the evidence that will be given by Mr.
5 Inayat so Your Honours will have it in mind, it was recovered from the SDS
6 office inside Prijedor, or the evidence will be, I anticipate.
7 Q. Now, I'm not going to read the whole part, but I'm going to read
8 what we submit are the relevant parts. It starts by saying: "The year
9 which we leave behind is certainly going to be remembered as one of the
10 most eventful in the short history of our rather recently established
11 party. The speed at which events unfolded, especially in the first part
12 of the year, the perils that threatened the Serbs, the war which was being
13 forced upon us, and the creation of the Republika Srpska, these
14 outstanding circumstances have defined the environment in which the
15 Prijedor municipal organisation of the SDS has functioned during this
17 And it then deals -- I'm going to summarise the next portion --
18 with the referendum and the plebiscite, the referendum for the
19 independence and the plebiscite, rather. And then it says -- I'm sorry,
20 it's the other way around. The plebiscite organised by the SDS and then
21 the referendum of independence. "Under the guise of the civic and
22 democratic action, the latter referendum was actually staged to deprive
23 the Serbs of their statehood and deny their right to self-determination"
24 and then going on to deal with the results, effectively.
25 In page 2, the paragraph which begins: "One of the most important
1 tasks undertaken in the beginning of the period covered in this report --
2 a task successfully accomplished in our opinion, was to do away with all
3 that was blocking the process of tri-partite distribution of offices
4 between the representatives of our party and those of the SDA and HDZ.
5 The initiative came from our party. We urged the overcoming of any
6 hindrance in the interests of all the residents of the Prijedor
7 Municipality and to work out solutions which might best ensure a normal
8 life for the region. To this end, the SDS appointed a negotiations
9 committee and soon managed to establish contact with the SDA
10 representatives, suggesting that together they try and find solutions that
11 can serve well the interests of both our peoples and the other residents
12 of our municipality.
13 "The negotiations started reasonably well in an atmosphere of
14 appreciation and tolerance, but just when we thought that a settlement
15 satisfactory for all was close, a boycott from the SDA cut them short, and
16 talks between the committees negotiating the distribution of departments
17 were suspended."
18 Now, pausing there, Mr. Sejmenovic, I didn't ask you about the
19 earlier negotiations. But do you agree with that, that a boycott from the
20 SDA cut short these negotiations? And if you could just limit your
21 answers just quite shortly, because as I say, we have got a limited amount
22 of time.
23 A. No. Absolutely not.
24 Q. You just very quickly, if you can in one sentence, summarise what
25 brought the negotiations to an end.
1 A. We tried everything. We tried offering a number of variants for
2 the division of power. We asked the SDS to divide up the remainder of
3 power, and to offer us one of the two halves, any of the two halves, but
4 the SDS refused to do that.
5 Q. Then it goes on complaining about the SDA. And goes on to say,
6 and I pick it up from this sentence: "Blind in their obedience to the
7 summit of the political power in their party whose orders they carried
8 out, they confronted the Yugoslav People's Army in an organised fashion
9 and tried to prevent it from doing its duty. They organised marches
10 against tanks, and compared military leaders with horses at rallies they
11 claimed were peace events."
12 Again, very shortly, Mr. Sejmenovic, did your party in Prijedor
13 confront the JNA and try and prevent it from doing its duty?
14 A. No, no.
15 Q. "Organising marches against tanks."
16 A. There were organised rallies against the war in Croatia throughout
17 Yugoslavia, even in Belgrade. In Sarajevo also, in Slovenia, in Croatia.
18 Of course, we had rallies in Prijedor, too.
19 Q. Then the report goes on that: "Mothers and other women were
20 manoeuvred into staging anti-army rallies at which SDA representatives
21 openly called their people to refuse compulsory military service or desert
22 from the JNA and to confront the army at that time, the sole safeguard of
23 peace in the former Bosnia and Herzegovina."
24 Did these rallies that you've spoken about, did that include
1 A. The rallies were attended by anyone who wanted to, whoever wanted
2 to join the protest against the war in Croatia attended the rallies.
3 Attendance was not kept. It was a public affair, so there may have been
4 all groups of population present at the rallies. Let me make this clear.
5 There were Serbs, too, attending the rallies, civilian-minded Serbs.
6 Q. Then this goes on, that sentence, the one I read: "They even
7 called people to join them in sealing off the barracks, which evolved into
8 an armed attack against the Prijedor barracks."
9 Do you know about an armed attack on the Prijedor barracks?
10 A. No, I don't. Nor do I know anything of the invitation to -- the
11 call to block the barracks.
12 Q. You were one of the leaders of the SDA in Prijedor. Did you ever
13 issue such a call?
14 A. No.
15 Q. And then the report goes on: "Unfortunately, these acts of
16 hostility were but a prelude to deplorable open confrontation and conflict
17 with the Army. All the above indicates that these activities were
18 deliberately launched to precipitate a war which unfortunately caused a
19 great loss of life, destroyed hard-earned property, and shattered trust
20 among the people.
21 "The SDS tried to warn the HDZ and the SDA many times through its
22 representatives in government and in party activities." I'll cut it off
23 there. Were the SDS issuing warnings to your party and to the HDZ?
24 A. The SDS did issue warnings, considering the fact that we were not
25 supporting the war in Croatia or the mobilisation carried out by the
1 Yugoslav army, they said that effectively we were siding with the enemy,
2 or siding with the Ustasha, as they said, and that we wanted war in
3 Prijedor. There were no arguments to support this, and we denied this in
4 all our discussions. But there were always accusations against us in
5 Prijedor that we were not willing to defend Prijedor and that we were
6 warmongering. They also told us that we had no idea what war was all
7 about, what the destruction of war was all about. And the whole -- they
8 proposed that the whole SDA leadership should get on to a bus with the SDS
9 officials and the army officials and go to Croatia to see there for
10 themselves what destroyed houses looked like.
11 That, too, was pointless because we could see it all on TV. We
12 were scared of all these things. The Serbs were not scared because they
13 had a whole brigade behind them, a brigade with lots of war experience.
14 They were in full control of all the positions of power, and our situation
15 was simply as it was. They said that we were preparing for war against
16 the Serbs, so no dialogue was possible. We tried to explain ourselves,
17 but it was already obvious that those explanations were to no avail.
18 Q. Yes. All right. Thank you, Mr. Sejmenovic. If we can move on,
19 the document then at the bottom of the page in our translation talks about
20 people leaving, or rather this is the way the sentence began: "We found
21 it particularly hard to accept that the SDA could be -- play such a
22 perfidious role, negotiating with us on the one hand purportedly to seek a
23 way out of the crisis, and on the other hand, behind our backs, as it
24 were, because this was discovered only when documents were captured, they
25 were preparing the Muslim people for a war against Serbs and placing their
1 trust in a coalition with the Croats. The fact of the organised departure
2 of Muslims from the Prijedor Municipality during the first four months of
3 this year clearly show how serious their preparations were. As reported
4 in the Autotransport records, 140 buses carrying 9.280 passengers left for
5 Zagreb or Munich, via Croatia, in February or March or April 1992. It's
6 quite clear who the passengers must have been. At that time the Serbs
7 from Krajina did not travel either to Croatia or through Croatia."
8 A simple question, and if you could keep your answer short,
9 Mr. Sejmenovic, the leaving of Muslims and Croats of the Prijedor area in
10 this period of 1992, was that as is stated here because the Muslims were
11 preparing for -- and the Croats -- were preparing for war against the
13 A. No. Some people did try in January and February to leave Prijedor
14 because it was obvious that a large military force was grouping in
15 Prijedor, and that the town might be attacked. Even as early as March, it
16 was no longer possible because the Serbs in the Omarska and Banja Luka
17 areas started to return passengers who were trying to leave by bus. In
18 April, it was completely out of the question. For the whole time these
19 accusations were made against people who were trying to travel to the
20 effect that the Muslims and Croats were preparing for war and therefore
21 sending their families out of the area. I must emphasise another thing:
22 A lot of men from the Prijedor area, years before and also during that
23 period, worked in a number of western countries, Germany, France,
24 Switzerland. Some of those people tried to get their families over to
25 come to where they were staying. And some of the families were trying to
1 reach their relatives in those western countries. But it was not in large
2 numbers, as this document states, and we do know for sure that even as
3 early as March, it was impossible to travel outside the area. And this
4 movement of people had nothing whatsoever to do with war preparations.
5 Q. Thank you. All right. Just finishing that part: "These
6 statistics came from the records of a single carrier. If we consider how
7 busy the private transport business and travel agents were at the time, we
8 can safely double the figures. The family of Mirza Mujadzic, SDA leader
9 and master ideologist, and key organiser of the jihad assault troops was
10 among the first to travel."
11 It then goes on. Perhaps we should deal with that. "What was in
12 fact an operation to clear the field, which the Muslims undertook to
13 remove to safety those not fit to fight so that those who remained could
14 charge against the Serbs with full force, was to be ascribed to the Serbs
15 as another campaign of ethnic cleansing once the Muslims were utterly
16 defeated in the battle. Those who remained started preparing for war in
17 earnest. In March 1992, intelligence coming in from our activists in the
18 field indicated that machine-gun nests were being set up in
19 Muslim-populated villages, (Kozarusa and Kozarac). The later discovery of
20 dugouts and concrete bunkers, extremely well stocked with huge quantities
21 of food, medicine, and other medical supplies, proved that the
22 preparations had indeed been going on for a much longer time."
23 Very short, because you've told us about Kozarac, were you aware
24 of people preparing bunkers stocked with quantities of foods and medicine?
25 A. As it reads in this document, in March 1993, there was no such
2 Q. March 1992.
3 A. Yes, that's in the previous sentence.
4 Q. Yes. Okay.
5 All right. Then they go on about the further activities taken by
6 the SDS, and there is in fact one more document I need you to look at. So
7 I need you now to move fast through this one. It goes on to deal, the
8 next page, with the SDA never recognising "the aspiration of the Prijedor
9 Serbs to remain in the Autonomous Region of Krajina, where Banja Luka was
10 its natural centre." And then going on, deals with the takeover on the
11 30th of April. Then it deals with the Kozarac activities again. And then
12 it states at the top of page 6 in the translation that "Prijedor became
13 part of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. The attempt on the part of
14 Muslim extremists to regain power in Prijedor by use of weapons failed
15 when is was successfully averted by the rapid reaction of the Serbian
16 Republic army. At this point it should be stressed that there were no
17 Serbian paramilitary units active in the Prijedor Municipality area. All
18 groups that were set up with the goal of protecting the people from the
19 imminent threat posed by Islamic extremists, were integrated into the
20 Republika Srpska Army under a single command. They continued to defend
21 our new republic, carrying official insignia and acting under a single
23 Very briefly, Mr. Sejmenovic, during the period when you were
24 hiding out, were you aware of activities of non-JNA/VRS military units,
25 sometimes called paramilitary?
1 A. Yes, I was. And we could see it.
2 Q. Any units that you're able to identify in particular, or name?
3 A. On one occasion, I saw soldiers carrying the SAO Krajina insignia,
4 or Martic's police, as they were referred to at that moment. Those were
5 soldiers who were arrived from the Srpska Krajina, the Serbian state in
6 Croatia. That was until March 1992. So part of those units took part in
7 the ethnic cleansing and the crimes that occurred in Trnopolje. There
8 were regular JNA soldiers, too. There were police officers from Prijedor,
9 who were soldiers. They were wearing soldier -- military uniforms. There
10 were civilians, too, whom neighbours recognised, those civilians wore
11 military uniforms or parts of military uniforms. That was a mixture of
12 everything, how they defined themselves as different units or not, I
13 couldn't say.
14 Q. Thank you. All right. Then if we deal with the next two
15 paragraphs: "When the war began in our area, party work was suspended by
16 order of the central office of the SDS in Pale. A Crisis Staff was
17 established in place of the Assembly and, at a later date, a war
18 presidency. Their memberships did not include either the president of the
19 SDS municipal board or people's deputies. During the time of war and
20 cessation of party activities, there were no contacts with central office
21 of the party or the state leadership of the Serbian Republic. The
22 municipal officials who enjoyed the trust of the SDS were left, for the
23 most part, to their own devices in making decisions and seeking solutions
24 without the benefit of any guidelines or general directions from the
25 leaders of the Serbian Republic. Communication was not established until
1 September 1992."
2 And then it goes on to deal with the -- what has been happening
3 since July. Right. And it deals then thereafter with work of the organs
4 and the bodies of the -- I'm not sure what it stands for. Oh, the SDS,
5 the Prijedor SDS. Then talks about municipal board and so on and so
6 forth. And one goes to the bottom of page 8 of the translation, just
7 noting this: "It should be noted the municipal board enacted all
8 directives that come from the SDS main board and the SDS regional board in
9 the Autonomous Region of Krajina."
10 Yes, thank you. That's all I want to ask you about that document.
11 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may that be admitted into evidence as
12 S --
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think we should postpone the decision on the
14 formal admission into evidence until we have heard Mr. Inayat.
15 Provisional, this document, former 65 ter 388 has the Exhibit Number 160.
16 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 And then the final document that I want this witness to look at,
18 and that will then conclude his evidence in chief, is -- I'm sorry. I
19 just lost my note at the moment. I'm sorry, Your Honour. I did have a
20 number, and I just lost it.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could the usher be so kind and return this
22 document in the meantime.
23 MS. KORNER: I think it's 231, Your Honour. I'm sorry.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 2?
25 MS. KORNER: 231. 65 ter number is -- no, it's not. Your Honour,
1 it's the "Instructions to the local Crisis Staffs" document.
2 It has already been admitted, Your Honour, as S62.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Would this be S62?
4 MS. KORNER: I don't know. I'm told that it may be.
5 THE REGISTRAR: For the booth, it's 65 ter 201.
6 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much. Yes, that rings a definite bell
7 with me. Okay. Thank you. If the witness could just have a look at
9 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, this is a document headed "Instructions on the
10 Establishment, Composition, and Tasks of the Local Crisis Staffs in the
11 Prijedor Municipality," and it's dated "Prijedor, June 1992."
12 The general provisions state, in Item Number 2: "The local Crisis
13 Staffs are to be set up for the territory of two or more local communes as
14 temporary organs of civilian authority in that territory with all the
15 powers of the regularly elected organs.
16 "In addition to the ex officio members, primarily persons who were
17 completely loyal and committed to the policy and direction taken by the
18 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Autonomous Region
19 of Krajina and enjoy great respect and trust in their own communities
20 while possessing the creative abilities and determination necessary for
21 such complex and responsible tasks shall be considered for appointments to
22 the local Crisis Staff."
23 Now --
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I want to interrupt you. The document has been
25 read out in the entirety.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MS. KORNER: Yes. Your Honour, I realise that. I'm just pointing
2 out to the witness so the witness knows what I'm referring to.
3 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, was there before this - this is the setting up; I
4 think you've had a chance to look at this document - of what was called
5 Crisis Staff in local communes. And we can see there listed, in fact, the
6 various places and where it was to be set up. That's in Item 5. I'm
7 sorry, 5 1), 2), 3), 4), 5), 6), 7), 8), and 9).
8 Were there local communes that existed before these type of Crisis
9 Staff which had a management organisation like this?
10 A. Yes. The municipal area was always divided into local communes.
11 Q. And we see set out in paragraph 2: "Rights and duties of the
12 local Crisis Staff: To exercise and coordinate authority in the local
13 territory, to maintain effective protection and defence, control security,
14 maintain constant synchronisation," et cetera, et cetera.
15 Did those local commune, the leadership or whatever it was called,
16 have the powers to do this?
17 A. Pursuant to the existing laws, the local communes were set up in
18 such a way as to function in both war and peacetime. In peacetime, there
19 was the TO with regional commands across the local communes. There was
20 also the civil protection. As far as the remaining functions were
21 concerned, they were all organised at higher levels.
22 Q. All right. Then I want you to look, please - this is on page 4 of
23 our translation - at the seventh paragraph under the "Rights and Duties."
24 "The local Crisis Staffs are to monitor and assess the situation in this
25 region from the operational and political standpoint and take timely and
1 suitable measures accordingly.
2 "8, the local Crisis Staffs are to report to the local Prijedor
3 Municipality Crisis Staff and keep it regularly informed on the situation
4 and problems in the field and in their work."
5 Did the local communes that you have been talking about report to
6 the Prijedor Municipal Assembly before this period of time, when it still
8 A. Not about these issues.
9 Q. So this was something new that was being -- the instructions that
10 were being given?
11 A. At the local level, so Crisis Staffs at the local levels had
12 authority that local commune organs never had.
13 Q. Had you come across Crisis Staffs at the local level before this
14 period of time?
15 A. No. We did hear about them being set up in a number of places,
16 but we didn't encounter them directly. At least not in my local commune.
17 Formally we were never told "Now we have established a Crisis Staff." But
18 you could notice that there were several institutions where a parallel
19 system of power was being set up, and jobs were being carried out that we
20 were not officially aware of in the local commune.
21 Q. Yes. Sorry. What I mean is before -- had you ever come across
22 this concept of a Crisis Staff at a local level before this period in
24 A. No. There was no such thing. It was not a legal possibility, not
25 even at the municipal level. In case of war, there would be the Security
1 Council, but not a Crisis Staff. So this sort of institution appeared for
2 the first time in these newly established Serb bodies.
3 Q. And then just very quickly, two more questions, the paragraph 11:
4 "The local Crisis Staffs are to carry out other work in accordance with
5 the decisions and other documents passed by the Assembly, the Presidency,
6 the Government of the Serbian Republic of BH, competent organs of the
7 Autonomous Region of Krajina, and the Prijedor Municipality Crisis Staff."
8 And then it shows the ex officio members of staff and all the
9 functions of.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm not going to go through this as it
11 has been read out already.
12 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, when the things were operating normally and
13 Prijedor Municipality had a Municipal Assembly, who was in charge of the
14 Municipal Assembly?
15 A. When the elections for the Municipal Assembly were held, the local
16 electoral units were actually the local communes so that the Municipal
17 Assembly had balanced representation from the local communes. It wasn't
18 possible that a given local commune should not have a representative in
19 the assembly, only if it was very, very small. But most often, this was
20 not the case. Usually there would be a balance. There used to be a
21 council of local communes also, not at that time, but the representation
22 of local communes was regulated according to the electoral system.
23 Q. Yes. I'm sorry, Mr. Sejmenovic. Leave aside the document for the
24 moment. That's it. I've dealt with the local communes.
25 What I'm anxious to establish, or what I'd like to establish,
1 before you complete your evidence in chief is this: We've seen here, and
2 you've looked at a number of documents over the last period of time, the
3 Crisis Staff in Prijedor itself now issuing instructions to the communes.
4 You've told us that many of the documents of the Crisis Staff you looked
5 at, similar, was operating similar powers to those that were operated by
6 the Municipal Assembly. Who at the time of the Municipal Assembly was the
7 person who had the most power in the Municipal Assembly?
8 A. The president of the Municipal Assembly did, the person with the
9 greatest powers. And then the president of the municipal government, that
10 is, the president of the executive committee of the Municipal Assembly.
11 These were the two crucial positions.
12 MS. KORNER: Yes, thank you, Mr. Sejmenovic.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I thank you. The first question is, of course,
14 is the Defence prepared to start the cross-examination when we have a
15 break of about one hour now?
16 MR. OSTOJIC: I believe we are, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then the trial stands adjourned until 5.00
19 --- Recess taken at 4.01 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 5.04 p.m.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. We may continue with a very
22 short Status Conference. It was announced that the OTP wanted to address
23 the one or other issue when starting. I saw it in the beginning of the
24 transcript of today.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm so sorry. I didn't realise it was
1 going to be a status conference. Your Honour, it concerns the Witness
2 Charles McLeod. I think Your Honour was told that he is a businessman and
3 we have had difficulty in arranging him to be here. He is going to be
4 testifying in the Brdjanin/Talic case on Friday. He may not be finished
5 in that case until the Monday, and I was unaware that this case is sitting
6 on Monday morning and not Monday afternoon. The idea was he would finish
7 testifying in the Brdjanin/Talic case, and then come directly into this
8 Court and testify in this Court. He clearly can't testify on Monday, I
9 understand, even if Mr. Sejmenovic goes on to Monday. He'll finish on
10 Monday and I could have started with the next witness while he's still in
11 testimony in the Brdjanin/Talic case. He has to leave, he informed us,
12 and as I say, he's giving a huge presentation on Wednesday morning, so he
13 has to finish on Tuesday.
14 I don't anticipate he will be any length of time, whatever the 65
15 ter says on this occasion will be about correct in chief. But what we're
16 wondering is if on the Monday, because Your Honour has also got a slightly
17 more limited time space on the Monday and the Tuesday, I think, whether it
18 would be possible simply for -- Mr. Koumjian is going to make the same
19 application in the Brdjanin/Talic case -- whether it would be possible on
20 the Monday for Stakic to sit in the afternoon and Brdjanin/Talic in the
21 morning, so we can finish Mr. McLeod on Monday morning.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Comments from the side of the Defence?
23 MR. OSTOJIC: We do not object to any reasonable accommodation,
24 Your Honour.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would, in fact, mean that possible I don't
1 know how long it will take you with your cross-examination, that you would
2 be prepared to have a break within the cross-examination. Is that right?
3 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, if that's acceptable to the Court, the OTP, and
4 the rules, that would be acceptable to us. And the witness, of course.
5 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry. Your Honour, what I hoped from what we
6 gathered talking to Mr. Ostojic, that Mr. Sejmenovic will be finished on
7 Monday morning -- Monday in the session. We'll start Mr. McLeod, and
8 there's the whole of the Tuesday session. So Mr. Sejmenovic wouldn't need
9 be held over.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: From our point of view, there is no obstacle, if
11 only it can be resolved during this day that we can schedule this, and
12 then, yes.
13 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: As proposed, sit on Monday in the afternoon,
15 then he would have the entire afternoon, not abbreviated as scheduled.
16 But on Tuesday, it's indispensable we can only sit in the morning.
17 MS. KORNER: Yes, that's fine, Your Honour. There's no problem
18 with that.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think for the flexibility for both parties.
20 And as it is, Status Conference, I didn't do this a long period of time.
21 Let me turn to Dr. Stakic and ask whether there are any health problems,
22 any problems related to the Detention Unit.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you for asking, Your Honour,
24 and for your concern. I have no problems for the time being. Thank you.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please understand that I don't repeat it hearing
1 by hearing, but when there is a problem, please tell us immediately.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I've understood that. And once
3 again, thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And if the OTP could let us know
5 whether there's agreement on the exchange on Monday no later than 7.00
6 this afternoon, it would be fine.
7 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This concludes this Status Conference. And we
9 proceed with our hearing. And the witness may be brought in, please.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, while Mr. Sejmenovic comes in, can I,
11 first of all, deal with the video. It was, in fact, a 65 ter disclosure.
12 It had the number 799.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Wait a minute. 799, you say.
14 MS. KORNER: In fact, there is an English translation already
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In English?
17 MS. KORNER: In English and in the Bosnian language.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This will go under 157A and 157B.
19 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If it could be distributed by the usher, please.
21 MS. KORNER: And we'll hand out all the...
22 And Your Honour, I'm told, the Defence accepted they were supplied
23 with a copy of this video. Second, Your Honour, we've got the original of
24 the document that Your Honour admitted as S154.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please, first of all, to the Defence.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: In addition, Your Honour, to the document that's
2 being provided, there's another, a declaration attached. I'm not sure
3 whether that should go with it at this time. So we should maybe tender it
4 back. If the intention is --
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's a declaration of Mr. Inayat. I
6 don't think it needs to go into the...
7 MR. OSTOJIC: I'll just hand both back to the usher. Thank you.
8 MS. KORNER: If I could have the -- I don't think the
9 certification from Mr. Inayat needs to be...
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this. And I think it's -- it
11 would be helpful also in the future when we apply this best evidence
12 doctrine, and having in doubt, this document available immediately. Thank
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Before we begin, Your Honour, I do have a question
15 with respect to S157A and B, which is the draft transcript of the video
16 previously identified. I only have a question on it. Is this the
17 transcript of the videotape in its entirety, or are these just portions of
18 that videotape?
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This question goes to the OTP.
20 MS. KORNER: It is a transcript of the whole of the video. I
21 stopped playing it because I just wanted the identification. But it is a
22 transcript of everything that's on that video. I don't know whether Your
23 Honour wants to play the video all over again and we can see it.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I have some problems with the document. It's
25 composito mixtum of English and B/C/S. Right?
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour.
2 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, we gave all our copies away. Could I just
3 borrow the registry's for a moment.
4 I'm sorry. What it is it's a transcript of what is said, and
5 we've got the -- what is actually said in the B/C/S, and then what the
6 interpreter said, because it was the ITN journalist interviewing. But
7 it's actually everything that's said, but I see what Your Honour means.
8 It's not a translation of the exact B/C/S.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So therefore --
10 MS. KORNER: We can arrange that if Your Honour wants that.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: As it was our policy in the past, we can't call
12 it A and B. It should go under -1, because it's not in English and in
13 B/C/S. And we would indeed appreciate, first of all, to have both
14 versions, and in addition, a declaration whether it's really, as is said
15 on page 4 at the end, "end of recording." It's really in full.
16 MS. KORNER: Yes. Your Honour, what we'll do is have it confirmed
17 by Monday that this is a proper transcript, and also we'll get a
18 translation done of what's actually said in B/C/S.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then for today, it's a document ending with -1.
20 And please delete A and B.
21 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I thank you.
23 The Defence may start the cross-examination.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Ostojic:
1 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Sejmenovic. My name is John Ostojic, and
2 along with Mr. Branko Lukic, we represent Dr. Milomir Stakic. This
3 afternoon, I will be asking you a series of questions, and I want to thank
4 you in advance for cooperating and giving us answers to those questions.
5 Can you hear me okay?
6 A. Yes, I can. Go ahead, please. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 The first issue that I'd like to clarify, sir, is we understand
9 from your testimony that the democratic multiparty elections in Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina were held in November of 1990. Correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What I'd like to ask you, sir, you testified in the Tadic case in
13 May of 1996. Correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And as we all saw, you testified last week on June 12th, 2002, in
16 this matter. Correct?
17 A. Correct. And you were present.
18 Q. Thank you for noticing. Sir, I'm confused about one point: In
19 the Tadic trial, six years after the events that are related to the
20 Prijedor area in 1992, approximately six years ago from your testimony in
21 this matter, you were asked a question as to whether or not you won
22 elective office in Prijedor in 1990. And for the record, and for Your
23 Honours, it's page 892 of the May 23rd, 1996, transcript.
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it may not matter much, but by my
25 addition, 1996 was four years and not six years after the events.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: My question was actually six years after the
2 elections. I misspoke. It's not six years after the events in Prijedor,
3 but actually six years after the elections. Perhaps I should restart.
4 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Sejmenovic. Sir, my question to you is this:
5 In 1996, on May 23rd, you were asked a question on line five: "Question:
6 In the 1990 election, did you win elective office?" Answer, same page,
7 892, line 6, answer: "Answer: During the election campaign, that is,
8 during our primary election, I was elected the first president of the
9 Party for Democratic Action in the Municipality of Prijedor, and in the
10 elections I won a seat in the assembly of the Republic of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina as the chamber of municipalities the as representative of the
12 Prijedor Municipality."
13 Last week, sir, on page 14 of the transcript of June 12th, 2002,
14 you were asked on line 9 by Ms. Joanna Korner: "Question, during the
15 election campaign in 1990, were you elected the first president of the SDA
16 in the municipality of Prijedor?" Answer: "I was elected the first
17 vice-president." Line 11.
18 My question to you, sir, is having given both testimonies under
19 oath, can you tell us which is true? Were you elected the first president
20 as you said in 1996 in the Tadic trial, or were you elected the first
21 vice-president, as you told us last week?
22 A. Sir, quite obviously there is a mistake in your documents from the
23 Tadic trial. You have the tape of the testimony. On that occasion, I
24 said I was elected as the first vice-president, and in our municipality
25 that was a generally known fact. Therefore, I never said that I was
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 elected the first president, because there is no such institution of first
2 president. All there is is the president of the party and the first
3 vice-president, second vice-president, et cetera.
4 Q. Respectfully, Ms. Joanna Korner also asked on line 9, and possibly
5 because she had the same documents that I did, page 14: "During the
6 election campaign in 1990, were you elected the first president of the SDA
7 in the municipality of Prijedor?" All my question to you, sir, without
8 debating whether the documents we have are correct or accurate, which one
9 was it? Is the testimony in 1996 true or the testimony in --
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you please add the answer of the witness
11 in the following line.
12 MR. OSTOJIC: I did earlier, Your Honour. On page 14 of that same
13 question, line 11, I was elected the first vice-president."
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wish to repeat. I never said in
16 Court that I was elected the first president, both in the Tadic trial and
17 later on. I always said that I was elected to the post of the first
18 vice-president. Therefore, there is a mistake in the records quite
19 obviously. And I say that under oath, and you have the tape, the
20 audiotape of what I said.
21 MR. OSTOJIC:
22 Q. I'm not sure if I have it. I won't debate it with you. That's
23 why I'm clarifying the issue with you. I just want to know which one it
24 was. That's all. Thank you, sir.
25 A. You're welcome.
1 Q. Sir, with respect to your position as first vice-president of the
2 SDA in 1990, can you tell us when you were removed, replaced, or
3 discharged from that position as first vice-president of the SDA?
4 A. When I was replaced from that post, that took place, I think, in
5 1996, but I'm not quite sure. After the war at any rate, after the period
6 that we're discussing.
7 Q. So if a witness who happened to have been also a first
8 vice-president of the SDA during the time in which you were in November of
9 1990, if he were to suggest to this Court that both you and he were
10 replaced as the first vice-presidents of the SDA in November of 1991, he
11 would be wrong or inaccurate. Correct?
12 A. That is not correct. Throughout that time, I held the post of
13 first vice-president. And I remember that very well.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: If I may, Your Honour, just go into private session
15 to ask about the name of the individual, although I do not believe that he
16 had a pseudonym, I just want for all purposes of caution not to ask him to
17 identify the individual now.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Private session, please.
19 [Private session]
12 Page 4892 – redacted – private session.
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Confirmed. Please continue.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sejmenovic. With respect to the SDA, from 1990,
7 were you also a member of the Executive Board?
8 A. From 1990, I was a member of the Executive Board, yes.
9 Q. And from when to when were you a member of the SDA Executive
11 A. I can't give you the exact dates. I don't remember when the
12 elections within the party took place exactly. But I don't think I was a
13 member of the Executive Board later on, after that. But by virtue of my
14 function as a member of the republican parliament, I did attend the
15 meetings of the Executive Board of our party.
16 Q. I understand that, and we'll get to it. Thank you. Do you recall
17 at all if you remained a member of the SDA Executive Board at any time
18 prior to April 1992, or any time from January to April 1992?
19 A. I think I was, before that period. That is to say, before being
20 elected in the party, the first regular elections in the party.
21 Q. My question perhaps was inaccurate. Please, just a little
22 clarification on that. The elections for the party were November 1990.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. The same time that the multiparty elections for Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina were. Correct? Approximately.
2 A. Approximately at that time, yes. But they were elections which
3 were held from the initiative boards and from the structures of the
4 initiative boards of the party. Later on, the first, as we called them,
5 the first normal, regular elections took place within the party itself,
6 and that is where certain changes took place.
7 Q. Help me with this, if you can: Do you know the reasons why you
8 were removed from the Executive Board of the SDA?
9 A. At these elections, the first regular elections within the party,
10 some people nominated me as a candidate for the party president. I did
11 not think that I should assume that position, and I did not agree with
12 this nomination. Besides, some people wanted to put me on the list, but I
13 gave up my own nomination publicly at that session. So officially, I was
14 not a candidate. It is possible that during the voting, some people did
15 vote me. I remember that some people contested that, against my own free
16 will. Eventually, I just kept my position as a delegate, but if I
17 remember correctly, I was no longer a member of the Executive Board. But
18 I can't state that with absolute certainty because my memory is finite,
19 after all.
20 Q. Thank you. If I can move on to another topic that's related to
21 your testimony, you briefly shared with us the issue of pre-election
22 negotiations between the SDA and the SDS. Do you recall generally that
24 A. Before the elections, are you referring to the period before the
25 elections, the contacts with the SDS? Yes, I did speak about that.
1 Q. Thank you. Just wanted to put it in context. With respect to
2 those pre-election negotiations, did you have any meetings with
3 representatives from the SDS in connection with establishing a joint party
4 platform or parties platform for the upcoming elections in November of
6 A. We had several contacts, all with the same aim.
7 Q. Can you tell me what that aim was, sir?
8 A. Our ambition and our proposal to the steering committee of the
9 SDS, I'm talking about the steering bodies on the basis of which parties
10 were later registered. Our ambition and our intention and our request was
11 to create a common election platform, a joint election platform. We
12 proposed to have mass rallies together as a group of parties, an
13 association of parties. We proposed to come forward jointly in terms of
14 marketing also. We had several discussions on this, both in groups and
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 MR. OSTOJIC:
18 Q. And were the common or joint platforms agreed upon between the SDA
19 and the SDS prior to November of 1990?
20 A. The SDS refused any intense form of cooperation in that respect.
21 They refused to have joint rallies in the pre-election period. At first,
22 this was generally accepted, and we did hold a number of joint meetings
23 with our voters, those of the SDA and the SDS. I know of at least two
24 cases, one of which I took part in myself. But after these first two
25 joint events, the SDS gave up. The SDS kept on saying publicly that we
1 needed to have some sort of cooperation, and our proposal to at least do
2 our marketing jointly was accepted by the SDS. The only thing that was
3 accepted was the idea that the SDA, the SDS, and the HDZ should have a
4 common pre-election poster in order to show the voters that everybody was
5 working for the same changes in the same direction and in order to prevent
6 people from galvanizing and to show that we were sharing the same
7 political platform and it was possible to reach an agreement, even in the
8 pre-election period. Eventually, this part of our agreement was partly
9 carried out, but not in full.
10 Q. Can you tell me what the platform of the SDA was prior to November
11 of 1990, sir.
12 A. Our platform prior to November, that is, before the 1990
13 elections, was to topple communism and to democratise the society in
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina. We wanted democratic changes to take place in
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina. We wanted a multiparty system in place. This we
16 saw as our most important goal. Even emotionally, that was the goal we
17 worked towards. It was our top priority. We offered cooperation and
18 requested cooperation from all other noncommunist parties, nonradical
19 parties, and parties that were not of radical nationalistic orientation.
20 Q. Is it true, sir, that, in fact, it was also the platform of the
21 SDS prior to November 1990, and it was that platform that you just
22 described that you earlier spoke of as being the "common joint platform"
23 between the parties. Correct?
24 A. Verbally, yes. But not in any practical sense.
25 Q. Help me with this: My question earlier was whether, or if you can
1 share with us, what the SDA platform was, not what the joint common
2 platform was. I'd like to know prior to 1990, what was the SDA platform
3 in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 A. I've already answered, that what the SDA platform was.
5 Q. Can you tell me if at any time prior to November 1990 elections,
6 whether the SDA ever contemplated seeking sovereignty or independence for
7 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
8 A. No. At that time, I wasn't familiar with any such thing, nor have
9 I ever heard anything about that. That sort of initiative first came up,
10 or such statements, only after the events -- only after events took place
11 at the federal level, after the other republics decided to opt for
12 independence. That's when the issue was first raised. And the SDA saw as
13 its priority task to fight for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 Q. We'll get to that, hopefully, a little later. But just so the
15 record is clear, that separation by other republics who were part of the
16 former Yugoslavia occurred actually sometime from November through
17 December of 1991. Correct, one year after the elections? Right?
18 A. As I've already said, concerning Yugoslavia, both in our platform
19 and on the common poster that I've referred to, bearing in mind the
20 motives of the SDS and bearing in mind the possibility that the SDA
21 proposed to have some form of Yugoslavia preserved in this common
22 pre-election poster, we had the name "Yugoslavia" written on it. We did
23 not rule out that possibility because a possibility is what we are talking
24 about. But we did not know which course events would take. What became
25 obvious at a later stage, the SDA did not want Bosnia and Herzegovina to
1 become part of Serbia and Montenegro.
2 Q. We'll get to all those issues later, sir. My only question is:
3 Is it fair to state that at any time prior to November 1990, the SDA party
4 never voiced privately or publicly any desire to separate, become
5 independent, or to create a sovereign country within Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina? Is that accurate?
7 A. The president of the SDA at that time proposed a way to save, to
8 preserve, Yugoslavia together with the president of Macedonia. And here,
9 he was a spokesman of SDA policies. And there were several initiatives at
10 that point to save, preserve, Yugoslavia. Later developments went in a
11 completely opposite direction. If you wish to ask me whether within the
12 SDA, for no reason at all someone said "let's go and fight against
13 Yugoslavia, let's go and secede" I have never heard anything like that
14 said. And I am not familiar that anyone was representing that view in the
16 Q. Sir, I'm not arguing with you. All I wanted to -- and I think
17 you've answered the question, so I'm going to move on to the issue of
18 posters that you discussed. We'll get to 1991. With respect to 1990, I
19 think your evidence is clear that no one from the SDA, correct me if I am
20 wrong, sought either publicly or privately the independence or sovereignty
21 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 1990, we're talking about.
22 A. As I've said, this didn't happen at the time the SDA was
23 established. So when the steering committees were still the essence of
24 the whole process, it didn't happen at that time.
25 Q. Thank you. We'll get to the time when it happened a little later.
1 But right now, that was the point of the question.
2 With respect to the posters that were being created prior to the
3 elections of November 1990, you participated, I believe your testimony
4 was, in at least one meeting, but correct me if I am wrong, in connection
5 with this joint platform or an attempt to make a coalition between the
6 three parties, the HDZ, SDA, and SDS. Were those meetings that were
7 attended by leaders of each of those three representative political
9 A. I myself attended one meeting. That's if we're talking about the
10 joint electoral meetings. Another meeting was attended by a local
11 official, Franke [phoen], not from the municipal level. I think from the
12 area of Cele or Gomjenica. His name was Mesic Muhamed. He managed to
13 organise, at his own local level, a joint meeting of the leaders of the
14 SDS and the SDA. And also, an opportunity to address Serb voters. Of
15 course, they were also invited to meetings where voters of other
16 nationalities, that's Bosniak, Muslim nationalities, were addressed.
17 Q. Can you tell me if, during the meeting in which you participated,
18 involving the issue of the posters who were present on behalf the SDS?
19 A. At the meeting where we spoke about the final version of the
20 poster, this meeting was held in a hotel in Prijedor immediately following
21 the meeting of the municipal board of the SDS, or the steering committee
22 of the SDS. So that meeting had already been underway. We were told to
23 come at a certain time. I came with two assistants. We brought proposals
24 for the poster, and we had a discussion. There were many people in the
25 room, because there had been a meeting in that room previously. I know
1 that the president, Srdjo Srdic, did not attend that meeting, but
2 Dr. Kovacevic was there. So was Dragan Savanovic. Other people were
3 there, too. But I can't remember who.
4 Q. Sir, isn't it true that Dr. Milomir Stakic was not at that
6 A. I can't remember. I can neither confirm nor deny this.
7 Q. Let me switch to another -- if I may switch to another topic, sir.
8 Now we're moving to the election of 1990. You shared with us testimony on
9 June 12th, 2002, that you were elected as a member of the Chamber of
10 Municipalities for the Prijedor municipality. Correct?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. On page 17 of your transcript on line 4, question was asked as
13 follows: "The Marko Pavic was another candidate who seemed to be a
14 candidate for a number of people. There was no candidate there for the
15 SDS party." Answer, commencing on line 7 of page 17 of Wednesday, June
16 12th, 2002 transcript as follows: "The SDS party did not have a candidate
17 for this chamber. At least, in the Prijedor municipality. And they
18 decided to support Marko Pavic, who was a candidate of the coalition of
19 left-wing parties which were descendants of the former League of
21 I'll continue to read the rest of it for the Court and for the
22 record. Continuing with the quote: "There was never made public as a
23 formal position of the party; however, the fact remains that the party did
24 not offer its candidate for this seat. And the fact that Marko Pavic
25 received this number of votes proves that the SDS has chosen him as their
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 candidate. And in the first round, nobody won the necessary per cent.
2 That was the reason why we had a second round. And I won a sufficient
3 number of votes during that second round and received a seat in the
4 republic parliament." End quote at line 17.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The necessary 51 per cent.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I thought that was the
7 line. "The necessary 51 per cent." There's no dispute about that. With
8 the Court's permission, the usher to hand Exhibit S131A -- I think it's
9 page 39 of the document.
10 Q. While they are looking for that, Mr. Sejmenovic, I'm going to ask
11 you a question in connection with your testimony that I just read, or
12 parts of it obviously, and this document S131. So if you would be kind
13 enough to tell me when you've had an opportunity to review that, and what
14 I'm looking for is, specifically, that page 39 relating to the chamber of
15 municipalities' election results for the Prijedor municipality.
16 MR. OSTOJIC: If I may, Your Honour, I think we used the English
17 version on page 39, but he's welcome to look at either one.
18 A. Yes, I've found it.
19 Q. Just so that we're following along, there's a paragraph numbered
20 74, which is in capital letters, states "the constituency of the
21 municipality of Prijedor." Correct?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. Then it goes on to indicate the number of voters that were
24 registered and the actual number of voters that cast ballots. Correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Now, this Marko Pavic that is mentioned that election for the
2 municipality of Prijedor, he was with what party?
3 A. Here it reads that he was a candidate of the League of Communists
4 of the -- the Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Socialist
5 Youth Association, Democratic Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
6 Association of Democratic Forces for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Party
7 of Private Initiative for Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the bloc that I
8 was referring to.
9 Q. Now, in your testimony as I earlier stated, last Wednesday, June
10 12th, you stated on line 7: "The SDS party did not have a candidate for
11 this chamber, at least in the Prijedor municipality, and they decided to
12 support Marko Pavic." My question to you, sir, immediately underneath
13 Marko Pavic's name and immediately above your name on subparagraph 3, is
14 there a list of a candidate who appears for the seat of the chamber of
15 municipalities for the municipality of Prijedor relating to the November
16 of 1990 elections?
17 A. "Number 2, it reads Stojan Vracar, a Serb, from Nisevici,
18 candidate of the Serbian Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
19 That's how this reads. But Stojan Vracar was a member of the radical
20 party, of the Serbian Radical Party.
21 Q. Is it your testimony, sir, that this document, then, is
22 inaccurate? Wrong?
23 A. I am merely contending that it is common knowledge that Stojan
24 Vracar was an official of the Serbian Radical Party in Prijedor. That's
25 what I contend.
1 Q. Help me with this then: Is this document correct and accurate?
2 A. The document may be accurate only in as far as the Serbian
3 Democratic Party had an agreement with the Serbian Radical Party to borrow
4 their candidate. The document can only be accurate in that sense.
5 Officially, the SDS nominated a person from a different party as
6 their own candidate.
7 Q. Whatever the case may be, whether the SDS took a candidate from
8 another party or proposed a candidate from within their party, your
9 testimony under oath to this Trial Chamber on June 12th, 2002, plainly
10 stated that the SDS did not have a candidate for this party. Now, you
11 tell me, sir, which is accurate?
12 A. The SDS did not have a candidate from their own ranks, not from
13 their own members. Stojan Vracar was one of the founding members and one
14 of the officials of the Serbian Radical Party. I am certain about that,
15 and that's what I have always stated.
16 Q. Let's look at how the first election and the results of that
17 election. There were three -- regardless of who the person is. There
18 were three people who participated in that election. According to this
19 document, SDP party representative, an SDS party representative, again,
20 respectfully, understanding your testimony that you just shared with us,
21 and yourself, sir, from the SDA. Correct?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. It states here that you are from Sarajevo. Is that wrong also?
24 Does that mean, sir, that you are a candidate from the headquarters of the
25 SDA in Sarajevo?
1 A. No. That's not what this says. This doesn't say that I'm from
2 Sarajevo. This only gives my name, my last name, candidate of the SDA in
3 Sarajevo. So the party was registered in Sarajevo for the whole of Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina.
5 Q. That's what I wanted to ask you. SDA Sarajevo is an indication
6 that that's the central headquarters or the place of the party
7 registration, in Sarajevo. Correct?
8 A. The party was registered and founded in Sarajevo. However, it was
9 registered locally also in all municipalities where branches of the party
10 were set up.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Marko Pavic received, on the first round of the
12 elections, 17.271 votes. Correct?
13 A. I can't remember the precise numbers, but I suppose that's right,
15 Q. As you're sitting here today, is there any reason that you have
16 that you would doubt the numbers that are printed in the document that's
17 been offered by the Office of the Prosecution for this Tribunal to
18 understand, digest, and accept?
19 A. No, but typos do occur here and there in these documents. So I
20 can't say whether there are any typos here or not, typing errors. You
21 asked me about the SDA Sarajevo. In all the other news here, you can see
22 the SDA without the Sarajevo part. I've just checked some other
23 municipalities now, candidate of the SDA, but without the addition
24 "Sarajevo." Here it does says "Sarajevo." Whoever typed this, what they
25 added and whatnot, it is not up to me to ascertain that.
1 Q. As you sit here, sir, do you know how many votes you received in
2 November of 1990? Maybe that will help with the line of questioning that
3 I'm asking.
4 A. In the first round of the elections.
5 Q. Right.
6 A. Here it says 21.073 votes, but I didn't memorize that. It would
7 have been pointless obviously for me to memorize exactly how many people
8 had voted. I knew I couldn't go through to the next round, so we had to
9 repeat this.
10 Q. I wouldn't expect you to remember that, sir. But my question is
11 for the purposes of our discussion on this issue, can we agree to rely at
12 least on these numbers, or would you rather not?
13 A. I think the figures are accurate. This is an official gazette. I
14 can't see why anyone would make up figures.
15 Q. Let me ask you this question: You testified under oath last
16 Wednesday, June 12th, 2002 that at the runoff elections, the SDS party
17 supported the other candidate, Mr. Marko Pavic. Correct?
18 A. I said, according to the results, we had the impression that the
19 SDS had backed another candidate. It was common knowledge in Prijedor
20 that the SDS had not nominated any other candidate for that position.
21 There was only Stojan Vracar, official of the Serbian Radical Party on the
22 list. How this nomination reached the republic committee, we didn't know.
23 But on the ground, we all knew that. And candidates were officially
24 presented both on the radio and in newspaper interviews. That's how
25 Stojan Vracar was presented, too. He never said "I'm a member of the
2 Q. Can you tell us to the best of your recollection, with respect to
3 Mr. Stojan Vracar, as it's stated here, he received 16.957 votes. Do you
4 think, sir, that the votes came from party membership representative from
5 the SDA party, the SDP party, or the SDS party?
6 A. Came to whom, from where? Who do you mean? We have three
7 candidates here.
8 Q. Of the votes that were cast, the 55.000-plus votes that were cast,
9 the votes that Mr. Stojan Vracar got 16.900 plus votes, who were his
10 constituents? Exclusively the radical party? The SDS party? Or any
11 other number of parties that you can identify?
12 A. The electorate, the voters voted. I didn't ask them. We had the
13 results, and that was it. And it was a secret ballot in every sense of
14 the word.
15 Q. How do you, sir, then tell this Court that, as a result of the
16 runoff, when you received an additional approximately 3.000 votes and the
17 candidate that you ran against also received approximately or received
18 approximately an additional 4.000 votes, Marko Pavic, how can you tell
19 this Court, on line 12 page 17: "And the fact that Marko Pavic received
20 this number of votes proves that the SDS has chosen him as their
21 candidate"? In fact, sir, isn't it true that if you add the votes that
22 you received and the votes that Mr. Marko Pavic received in the second
23 runoff, fewer people voted than they did in the first election?
24 A. I didn't calculate that. I didn't add it up. If you want me to
25 do so, I can do so now.
1 Q. You received 51 per cent of vote, did you not?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You received 24.000 votes. Correct?
4 A. Somewhere thereabouts, yes.
5 Q. Who got the other 49.17 per cent of the votes?
6 A. Mr. Marko Pavic did, the opposing candidate. There was no other
7 choice. There was the second runoff, there were two candidates who had
8 the most number of votes in the first round, and then the voting took
9 place, and we had the result that we see.
10 Q. Thank you, sir.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's necessary to have at least a very short
12 break, until 6.20.
13 --- Recess taken at 6.04 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 6.22 p.m.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honours, lead counsel Ms. Korner will be
17 absent for a few minutes. She is in Courtroom I in the Brdjanin/Talic
18 trial, trying to resolve this issue of timing on Monday.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Nevertheless, we may proceed with
20 the cross-examination.
21 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sejmenovic. Moving along from Document S131A and
23 B, I'd like to ask you a series of questions now. So we can actually put
24 that document away. I don't think we'll need it for the next series of
1 MR. OSTOJIC: I'd ask the Court to ask the usher to kindly remove
2 it. Thank you.
3 Q. As you stated, sir, you won the election runoff in November of
4 1990 and became a member of the chamber of municipalities from the
5 Prijedor Municipality. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Upon being an elected member, were you required to take an oath of
9 A. Yes, all members of parliament took an oath of office.
10 Q. Help me with this, Mr. Sejmenovic: Did you take an oath of
11 office? I'm not right now interested in the other members. All I want to
12 know is if you did, yes or no.
13 A. Nobody took the oath individually. 240 members of parliament took
14 the oath at the same time. That's what I'm saying.
15 Q. I'd like to know whether you took the oath of office, following
16 your election in November 1990.
17 A. As I've already said, just like all the rest, I took the oath of
18 office together with all the others.
19 Q. I'm not disputing that the other people took the office, but I'm
20 just curious to know what you know and to share with us your experiences.
21 So limit your answers, if you will, to the question that I am asking in
22 connection with you, personally.
23 A. I've already answered your question. I did take the oath of
25 Q. Can you tell us, please, whether or not the oath of office sought
1 that you express loyalty to the former Yugoslavia and the constitutions
2 and laws under which the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina were a part in
3 November of 1990?
4 A. I can't remember the actual text of the oath itself, the wording.
5 Q. Thank you. If I may, I'd like now, sir, to direct your attention
6 to your June 11th, 2002, written witness statement given to the ICTY.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: And if I may ask the Court if the usher can just
8 take the document for verification of signature, I want to just have a
9 complete record and show it to the witness.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please do so.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, did you have an opportunity to review the document
13 dated June 11, 2002, which is a witness statement given by you before the
15 A. Your Honour, I have before me the English version. May I please
16 have the B/C/S version.
17 Q. I do have the B/C/S version, Your Honour, but it goes to the
18 signature just that's reflected. But I'd be happy to give it to the
19 usher, if she would be kind enough to help us here.
20 A. I have looked through the statement, yes.
21 Q. Does your name, sir, appear anywhere on the B/C/S version of this
22 statement dated May 29th and June 11th, 2002?
23 A. Yes, my name is mentioned, and I gave the statement.
24 Q. Thank you. My question was inartful. I apologise. Does your
25 signature appear on the B/C/S version of that document dated May 29th and
1 June 11th, 2002?
2 A. My signature does not exist on the B/C/S version. You'll find my
3 signature on the English version.
4 Q. And that's truly all I'm trying to establish. Is that your
5 signature that appears on page 1 of the English translation of your
6 statement May 29th and June 11th, 2002?
7 A. Yes, that is my signature.
8 Q. And those are your initials that appear on pages 2, 3, and 4 of
9 that document. Correct?
10 A. Yes, that's right. They are my initials.
11 Q. And again on page 5, your signature appears, correct, with the
12 date of 11th of June, 2002? Correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. With respect to this document, sir, it states on page 2, paragraph
15 2, line 2. For the convenience of the record I suppose and the Court,
16 obviously, I'll read the paragraph in its entirety: "Between the 28th and
17 30th May, 2002, I attended the office of the Prosecutor of the ICTY in The
18 Hague. There, I viewed numerous documents relevant to the trial of
19 Milomir Stakic. I also viewed a video which featured myself in an
20 interview given in 1992 when I was detained in Omarska camp. In relation
21 to my knowledge of Milomir Stakic and events relevant to him in 1992, I
22 can state the following..."
23 Focussing our attention just for the moment on this paragraph,
24 number 2 on page 2, and specifically the second sentence of that paragraph
25 it states again: "There, I viewed numerous documents relevant to the
1 trial of Milomir Stakic." Can you describe for us, sir, what those
2 numerous documents were that you reviewed two weeks prior to your
3 testimony here today or this week?
4 A. Your Honours, I did not make my own notes with respect to the
5 documents that were shown me. Part of those documents I saw here. They
6 were placed at my disposal to look through them and to give my comments in
7 the course of this trial. I do not have a record of the documents that
8 were -- which they were, but I know that some documents from the Crisis
9 Staff in Prijedor were shown me as well as a police report, a party
10 report, et cetera. I did not endeavour to remember them, nor did I keep
11 records of the documents. But I did see the documents while during the
12 procedure preparing witnesses for trial. I saw that in the office of the
13 OTP and the investigating team. And I recognise some of the documents
14 here in court when they were presented in the form of material.
15 Q. Can you tell us, sir, if you remember, approximately two weeks
16 ago, whether or not you reviewed the fourth amended revised indictment, as
17 it relates to Dr. Stakic?
18 A. No. No. No.
19 Q. Did you, sir, review any of the transcripts of witnesses who
20 testified before this Court prior to your testimony?
21 A. No, no.
22 Q. Did you review any such summaries of those witnesses?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did you review any ICTY written statements from other witnesses
25 other than the statement that you have shared with us today?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. No, no.
2 Q. I know your testimony dealt a lot with the SDS party, and we'll
3 talk about that in short order. Did you, in preparation for your
4 testimony for this matter, review any documents relating to the SDA party,
5 whether it be the Executive Board or its regular party membership meetings
6 from the period of November 1990 up and through April of 1992?
7 A. No, sir, I did not review any documents whatsoever. I received an
8 invitation to appear in court, and I received it at a late date. I had
9 very -- a very short period of time to come. I spent last week here, the
10 preparations lasted for several days. Then I went back. I tried to get
11 through the business that I had to leave behind, and I was told once again
12 that I had to come here, and it was not a timely invitation. And I came
13 here, and worked for some time with the investigator. I neither had time
14 nor, to tell you the truth, am I used to this kind of thing, or would I be
15 interested in reviewing documents of that kind. This is an additional
16 burden on me, in addition to all my general daily affairs and business.
17 And I have to invest great effort to respond to the matters you're
18 interested in here.
19 Q. And I understand, sir, and we appreciate your patience, especially
20 as it relates to my questions. So to follow up, is it then incorrect that
21 indeed, as it states on page 2, paragraph 2, sentence 2 of your statement
22 which you signed: "There, I viewed numerous documents relevant to the
23 trial of Milomir Stakic"?
24 A. This is correct, but I cannot tell you the number. That's what I
25 was referring to. So the Prosecutor did show me a certain number of
1 documents which I reviewed.
2 Q. And I understand that, and thank you for that. I want to see if
3 the documents -- strike that. I would like to know if you reviewed any
4 documents relating to the Municipal Assembly minutes prior to April of
6 A. I think that I was shown a particular minutes, but I didn't look
7 through it in any great detail because I didn't have any questions that
8 arose thereof. So I just looked through it for the purposes of informing
9 myself, and I looked at some sections in no particular order or just
10 glancing here and there.
11 Q. Did the office of the Prosecutor, by chance, have you review the
12 Territorial Defence list of weapons and members from the Kozara or
13 Trnopolje area?
14 A. The Prosecutor showed me parts of those lists, and they were shown
15 me in the Tadic and Kovacevic cases.
16 Q. And that was a three-page document which has your name and
17 signature, which appears on the third page under line item 106. Correct?
18 That's the document you're referring to?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Fair enough. Did they share with you or show you, meaning the
21 office of the Prosecutor, minutes of meetings held by the Territorial
22 Defence members of Kozara during the year of 1992?
23 A. I can't remember having been shown anything like that.
24 Q. Do you remember being shown, sir, a military report compiled on 17
25 November, 1993, in the Bosnia-Herzegovina embassy in Zagreb? Did you
1 review that report at all?
2 A. No, that was not shown me.
3 Q. Do you know who a gentleman by the name of Senad Kubat is?
4 A. I know Senad Kubat. He was one of the SDA officials in Bosanska
5 Gradiska Municipality. And for a while in 1993, 1994, I'm not sure, he
6 was an official either of the consulate of Bosnia and Herzegovina in
7 Zagreb or in a related department. I don't know what the department was
8 in a legal sense, but I know he worked there briefly, as far as I know.
9 Q. Can you share with us how well you knew him?
10 A. I knew him by sight.
11 Q. Can you tell us whether -- or can you give an opinion as to
12 Mr. Senad Kubat's veracity, truthfulness, honesty, and integrity? Would
13 you know anything about those things with respect to Mr. Kubat?
14 A. I can't answer that question. He was just a common man. He liked
15 to drink sometimes, to have a drop too many even. That may have been a
16 slightly bad thing about him. It was like that for a while. I don't know
17 whether he stopped later on. We did not socialise privately, so I can't
18 speak about his essence as a man.
19 Q. Thank you. Do you know a gentleman or -- strike that. Did you
20 review a report or any documents from a person by the name of Jusuf Ramic?
21 A. No. I am not familiar.
22 Q. That was my second question. Did you know him?
23 A. Jusuf Ramic, no, not as far as I can remember now.
24 Q. --
25 A. At least at this point in time I can't remember. I must have seen
1 a thousand people, but had he been a prominent figure in this whole
2 process, I probably could remember. But I can't remember him at this
4 Q. Thank you, sir.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, at this time, I'd like with the Court's
6 permission, to go into closed session pursuant to a discussion that the
7 OTP and I had in connection with this next topic. And maybe we could
8 share with you in closed session, and the Court can decide whichever...
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections?
10 MS. KORNER: No, Your Honour. If it's the topic we discussed, no
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please, closed session.
13 [Closed session]
12 Pages 4918 to 4925 – redacted – closed session.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
6 7.03 p.m., to be reconvened on
7 Thursday, the 20th day of June, 2002,
8 at 2.15 p.m.