International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 4927

1 Thursday, 20 June 2002

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22 [Open session]

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Confirmed. Please proceed.

24 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

25 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, I'd like to go back briefly, and very briefly if I

Page 4940

1 may, to your 2002 written statement that was given to the ICTY. In that

2 statement, as we yesterday discussed, and I'd be happy to give it to you

3 if you'd like, that again on the issue of reviewing numerous documents

4 relevant to the trial of Dr. Stakic, it says "numerous documents" we

5 talked about that yesterday. And I appreciate your answers on that.

6 What I want to know is what the word "relevant" means, and who

7 determined what documents, whether they were numerous or not, who

8 determined that the documents were relevant for Dr. Stakic and his case?

9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think I --

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me --

11 MS. KORNER: If necessary, I'll call the investigator who dealt

12 with it, but I can say straight away that the documents were given by the

13 investigator to the witness.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's the testimony of the witness now,

15 and not the one of the OTP. The witness may answer the question, please.

16 MS. KORNER: All right.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was shown a number

18 of documents during the interview preceding this trial. Everything that

19 was shown me then put in front of me from my own position it seemed

20 relevant. I wasn't the one to select the documents from the file. The

21 team of investigators approached me and told me: "Can you please look

22 through these documents." I did not select them as I saw fit. These

23 documents were just there. Why these documents are legally relevant,

24 perhaps you and Your Honours could say. At this moment, I really don't

25 know the legal relevance of what you've just asked me, but I respect your

Page 4941

1 profession and I tried to answer your question.

2 As far as the legal formulation and the legal relevance is

3 concerned, I think it's quite pointless to ask me about that. I agreed to

4 cooperate, and whatever was shown me, both here and there, is something

5 that I can form my opinion on the basis of and in terms of my own

6 experience, and that's all I can answer.

7 MR. OSTOJIC:

8 Q. Thank you for that. But my question doesn't relate to the

9 definition legally of the word "relevant." And I recognise you're not a

10 lawyer. Correct?

11 A. Correct.

12 Q. You've never studied law, in any capacity. Correct?

13 A. No.

14 Q. It's not right or it's correct that you never studied law in any

15 capacity?

16 A. I didn't study law.

17 Q. So I'm not asking for a legal definition of relevance. My point

18 is as follows, if I may, sir, you don't know, since you did not select the

19 documents, what is or is not relevant to the case of Dr. Milomir Stakic.

20 Would that be fair?

21 A. I looked through the documents that were shown me. If anyone

22 asked me if there was a link, a connecting thread, between those

23 documents, being an engineer and not a lawyer, what I could say is that

24 the connection is the SDS, the Crisis Staff, the area, and part of that

25 area. That's all I could say. But I don't think my own view is very

Page 4942

1 helpful in this matter. Documents did relate to the problems dealt with

2 by this Tribunal. That, I think, is obvious enough. What the relevance

3 is in this particular case, don't ask me to be a judge.

4 Q. Fair enough. We'll move on on the issue of relevance. I take it

5 from the statement that you signed, Miss Joanna Korner was present at that

6 interview as well. Correct?

7 A. I think so.

8 Q. You don't remember, or you're not sure?

9 A. I'm not sure. I signed the statement after the interview and

10 after I had looked through those documents. It's possible that she was

11 there, but I'm not sure really. It was a formal issue. I just had a

12 quick look, and I signed.

13 Q. Briefly, how long did your process of reviewing these documents

14 that were not selected by you, how long did it take?

15 A. How long? Two or three days on several separate occasions because

16 at a later stage, we did discuss a number of those documents. I asked

17 questions about some of the documents, some of the documents I had no

18 opinion on. Some I had held a view about in the earlier trials, and it's

19 possible I said something to the effect because some of the documents had

20 been used in the earlier trials. But I didn't see any relevance within

21 that procedure in taking up the pen and then numbering which in a

22 different situation I would have done, of course, the exact hours I spent

23 working on those documents. So in the future, I may be well advised to do

24 so, so we spare ourselves the effort and the time.

25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sejmenovic. If I may now turn to another issue,

Page 4943

1 please, briefly we discussed yesterday -- I'm going to try to walk through

2 the entire period from the elections of November 1990 up and through, and

3 obviously there's a relevant time period subsequent to that, but up and

4 until and through September of 1992 based on the testimony that you've

5 provided four or so sessions here. So my first issue, or I'm going to

6 cover two issues related to the pre-election period which is immediately

7 prior to 1990. Sir, I don't need and necessarily want you to go back too

8 far in history so we're limited to that period when the SDA, HDZ, and SDS

9 formed their parties. So closer to the period of November. Is that fair?

10 Yes?

11 A. Yes. I will try to help and answer all the questions that I can.

12 Q. Thank you. There was an interparty agreement between the three

13 majority parties: SDA, HDZ, and SDS, prior to the November 1990

14 elections. Correct?

15 A. Generally speaking at the Republic level, several talks were held

16 between the three parties; the presidents of the parties and the top-level

17 leaders. That was a generally known fact. There was also a general

18 agreement that if the elections were won, a coalition government would be

19 formed.

20 Q. And the agreement actually, to the best of your knowledge, was a

21 coalition between which parties?

22 A. We're talking now about the pre-election period, and several talks

23 were held between the leaders of the three parties. The so-called

24 national parties, the SDS, the SDA, and the HDZ. That was a generally

25 known fact, also published in the media and the newspapers as well as the

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Page 4945

1 electronic media.

2 Q. Was this agreement, the interparty agreement between those three

3 parties that you mentioned, was it ever reduced to writing or was it

4 simply an oral agreement?

5 A. I can't really remember whether there was anything in writing.

6 But I know that the agreement was very firm and that principles were set

7 down if the elections were won, how power would be distributed. I'm sure

8 you can check this in Sarajevo. I think that's a very simple thing to

9 check, whether there was anything in writing.

10 Q. Thank you. Can you share with us the sum and substance of that

11 firm agreement and those firm principles that you just described?

12 A. I can only speak now in a very general way about the essential

13 point of those negotiations, so the essence was once we succeeded in

14 toppling the communists or the left-wing bloc, power would be distributed

15 according to a very simple principle. All the national parties would

16 partake in power, equal representation in government bodies, and then the

17 rest depending on results at the local level. The party taking the

18 majority of votes would get the most representatives, and then the second

19 biggest party would get the second biggest number of representatives, and

20 that's how these positions were to be filled. At the republic level, and

21 also at the local level as we were instructed, to also include the

22 opposition wherever possible and to assign to the opposition parties the

23 lower-ranking positions wherever possible. In some places, they did

24 manage to implement this, and in some they didn't. In Prijedor, we tried

25 to have something like that, but we couldn't reach a more general

Page 4946

1 agreement with the other parties, specifically the SDS, maybe even the HDZ

2 but I can't remember now. That was the general platform that was later to

3 be put in place, at least initially during the first stage.

4 Q. Is it your position, sir, that the SDS violated this interparty

5 agreement prior to the November 1990 elections?

6 A. Which part of the agreement are you referring to? I have

7 enumerated several elements of this agreement.

8 Q. As to any elements that you've described for us, I would simply

9 like to know your position whether prior to the November 1990 elections,

10 whether or not the SDS violated any of those terms of the interparty

11 agreement, and then if you could share with us which ones.

12 A. At the republic level or at the municipal level?

13 Q. At both.

14 A. Prior to the elections, neither at the republic level nor at the

15 municipal level was it possible to violate the agreement because the

16 elections had not taken place yet, and there was no power to distribute.

17 So, confusion arose after the elections. There were negotiations between

18 the parties at the republic level about the distribution of the leading

19 positions, but this didn't last for a very long time, because they were

20 distributed quite quickly. In most of the municipalities, the process was

21 completed without any major complications. In some of the municipalities,

22 problems did occur later on, related to the distribution of power.

23 Speaking of this latest stage, we can say that yes, the SDS did indeed

24 violate the agreement. That is my view speaking from my position at that

25 time, my position as an SDA official. And also based on what I remember

Page 4947

1 we had offered the local branch of the SDS. So that's when they began to

2 disregard this joint agreement.

3 Q. Is it your testimony that you participated in the formation of the

4 municipal authority or government in the Prijedor Municipality after the

5 elections of November 1990?

6 A. The SDA did take part, yes.

7 Q. Did you, sir, participate?

8 A. I was not part of the executive power. I was physically present,

9 but I was not myself a candidate for executive power, nor did I devise any

10 new scheme for the division of power. There was an agreement, and all the

11 leading top positions were distributed quite quickly, but then the

12 remaining offices -- the distribution of the remaining offices became a

13 moot point.

14 Q. So you were present but you did not participate, correct, in the

15 participation with respect to the Prijedor government authority in the

16 municipality. Is that a fair way to say it?

17 A. There was the party, sir, and there were the party organs. On the

18 other hand, you had another party, and a third party which took part in

19 the negotiations. Before every negotiation, proposals were to be agreed

20 on, and after each and every one of the talks, regardless of the results,

21 favourable or less favourable, conclusions were presented at the -- to the

22 executive board. So, if someone was a member of the Executive Board of

23 the party, not necessarily the president or the vice-president but this

24 person was very well informed about what was going on, and what is

25 participation exactly? What does that mean? Sometimes you just raise

Page 4948

1 your hand. Sometimes you draw a proposal on behalf of others, and then

2 the others may have to determine it. It's a very relative concept. If I

3 was in the leadership of the party, there was not only one man there.

4 There was the presidency, the Executive Board, and the municipal board. I

5 did partake in the work of these organs, which means that I was kept well

6 informed. But not in the sense in which you could say that I was a member

7 of the negotiating team. And you may be right on this point because I

8 never went to the meeting of the three officials of the SDA and the SDS

9 where we would sit down and negotiate. I took part in no such meetings.

10 During the negotiations about this situation, how it really was on

11 the level of what was said, I couldn't tell. But those leaving a session

12 of the Executive Board, I know what their duty was and what they had to

13 come back with to the board and what they had to present. We had very

14 simple solutions, very simple, not much philosophy is needed to understand

15 that solution. "Gentlemen, no division of power has been implemented yet.

16 Please, let's carve it up in two halves, if you please. We'll have the

17 half we like or we'll just carve it up, so please have either of the two

18 halves." It was a very simple matter.

19 Q. Thank you. Thank you.

20 A. Please.

21 Q. So am I correct that you participated not directly, but

22 indirectly, as a member of the republic of the Chamber of Municipalities

23 of Prijedor and as the first vice-president of the SDA? Correct? Would

24 that be a fair generalization?

25 A. Yes, if you like. You can indeed define it in that way.

Page 4949

1 Q. Is it true, sir, that based on this interparty agreement, that the

2 SDA in Prijedor selected the foremost post in the municipality, that being

3 the president of the municipality assembly of Prijedor, Mr. Cehajic?

4 Correct?

5 A. On the basis of a pre-electoral agreement, the SDA received the

6 post of the president of municipality, so that was based on a

7 pre-electoral agreement. That was something agreed with the SDS, and that

8 was no request. It was a normal result of the -- a normal consequence of

9 the election result for the SDA to have the president of municipality, for

10 the SDS to have the president of the municipal government. That was never

11 disputed because it had been agreed in the pre-election period. Should

12 the SDS win the elections, they will have the president of the assembly.

13 If the SDA came second, the president of the government would be an SDA

14 member. The elections took place, and the transition occurred. The place

15 of Marko Pavic was taken over by Muhamed Cehajic from the SDA, the

16 president of the municipal government was Marko Kovacevic. At that stage,

17 there were no problems really. There was a preelectoral agreement

18 concerning this issue, and after the elections, this agreement was simply

19 carried out.

20 The problems arose when the remaining positions of power had to be

21 distributed.

22 Q. And I think that's why my question said "based on the interparty

23 agreement" and that's what I'm basing it on essentially. In connection

24 with that, you mentioned a gentleman by the name of Marko Kovacevic. Is

25 it Milan Kovacevic or is it Marko Kovacevic who became the president of

Page 4950

1 the municipal government. Just so the record is clear, sir.

2 A. I never mentioned Marko Kovacevic. I only said the late

3 Dr. Kovacevic. And as far as Mr. Muhamed Cehajic from the SDA is

4 concerned, he took over the position of president of municipality from

5 Marko Pavic. The former president from the socialist system. It is quite

6 possible that this has been misinterpreted.

7 Q. It is quite possible, and that's why on the transcript it revealed

8 that, and that's why I just wanted to correct it so there would be no

9 confusion.

10 The primary post for the municipality of Prijedor in 1990 after

11 the elections was to select and the SDA selected its member. The second

12 most influential post was actually, as you just said, the president of the

13 government, and that was given to the SDS, and that was to Mr. -- the late

14 Dr. Milan Kovacevic. Correct?

15 A. That's correct. That's correct.

16 Q. There is no doubt that those two posts were the post influential

17 posts in the entirety of the Prijedor Municipality from the elections of

18 1990. Correct?

19 A. Yes, you could say that these were the two most prominent

20 positions in the municipality.

21 Q. And as this highest function or the most prominent positions in

22 the municipality, can you tell us, if you know, what the duties and

23 obligations were of the president of the Municipal Assembly, and then the

24 president, as you call it, of the government, namely Dr. Kovacevic?

25 A. I can't interpret these issues legally. Of course you will

Page 4951

1 understand that. But I know the essence of both of these positions. The

2 Municipal Assembly is the highest legislative body at all. It is chaired

3 by the president of the assembly. He also proposes the agenda and

4 convenes the session. People used to refer to him as the president of the

5 municipality. So that was the foremost function and the highest

6 legislative position in a municipality.

7 Are you ready? Because I haven't completed my answer. In

8 addition to the legislative power and the assembly as its highest body,

9 there was also executive power, so this is a general principle applying to

10 all levels and to most countries in the world. The head of the executive

11 power or municipal government, as we refer to it, was Mr. Kovacevic. His

12 position was the president of the Executive Board. His competence was to

13 convene sessions of the government, and the government consisted of the

14 most prominent men from all the different sections of society, culture,

15 economy, and so on. He was supposed to convene sessions of the government

16 to preside over these sessions, to work towards solutions, and, in a

17 practical sense, to virtually govern, or to propose laws or amendments to

18 laws to the assembly after which the assembly would convene and adopt a

19 decision, make amendments, or choose not to do so. So that was the

20 essence of these two positions.

21 Q. So when you say that the late Dr. Milan Kovacevic was the

22 president of the government, he was in actuality of the president of the

23 Executive Board of the Prijedor Municipality. Correct?

24 A. Yes. I tried to emphasise nominally it's called the president of

25 the Executive Board, but popularly referred to as the president of the

Page 4952

1 government.

2 Q. In that short period after the elections, can you tell us, the

3 late Mr. Cehajic as president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor, what

4 influence, if any, did he have on the republic level with respect to

5 republic institutions?

6 A. Concerning the communication between the different -- between the

7 local level and the republic institutions, occasionally at times, heads of

8 municipality were called to meetings, to attend meetings at the republic

9 level. I don't know which institutions called them, but I know that there

10 were a number of such cases. I would not know about the details, but I

11 know that, formally, heads of municipality did not compose any specific

12 body that regularly met at the republic level, but there were invitations

13 to meetings, so probably that came from the government level of the

14 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from some sectors of the government.

15 But I'm not qualified to speak about that because I simply do not know a

16 sufficient number of facts.

17 Q. Let me ask you this: You, being the republic representative for

18 the municipality of Prijedor in the Chamber of Municipalities after 1990,

19 to whom would the republic assemblymen turn to to discuss issues which may

20 or may not concern the Prijedor Municipality? Would they turn to the late

21 Dr. Cehajic, or would they turn to you?

22 A. I did not quite understand the question, I believe. Whom the

23 delegates from the republic level would go to speak to at the local

24 level? Was that your question?

25 Q. Not quite, but that's not a bad question. But my question is

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Page 4954

1 this: If there was an issue that the late Dr. Cehajic wanted to discuss

2 that involved a republic institution, let's take the military, for

3 instance, would he go to you first, or would he go directly to the

4 republic assembly to have that issue resolved?

5 A. Sir, he didn't need to address the republic assembly. If the

6 issue on the agenda involved the military at the level of the

7 municipality, there was the secretariat for the national defence. Its

8 command was located in Sarajevo. There could have been some intermediate

9 stages, but the final one was in Sarajevo. If public security was the

10 issue, then there was the ministry of the interior. If necessary, he was

11 able to address the minister of the interior. I'm now talking to you

12 about the normal way of proceeding.

13 In reality, I can tell you only about how I, as a deputy,

14 functioned within this municipality. It was my duty, my obligation, and I

15 made it clear to everyone, publicly, at the assembly sessions and on

16 various other occasions that if they had any problems or any initiatives,

17 any solutions for problems, in terms of passing new legislation, then I

18 would be conveying those to the level of the republic. And in that

19 capacity, I sometimes had contacts to that effect with Muharem [as

20 interpreted] Cehajic, even with the people from the SDS. So I was a

21 deputy who was obliged to convey certain problems, but only those which

22 required the application of the parliamentary procedure. I would have to

23 rely on some people who would prepare that for me, and then I would bring

24 it up at the session of the assembly, or wait for the opportune moment to

25 do that. And that is the way that I proceeded and worked.

Page 4955

1 As for the problems related to specific departments within the

2 municipal authority, such as the police, financial affairs, the economy,

3 the military, there was a regular structure in place. And it would have

4 been logical for a relevant chief or the head of the department or the

5 president of the municipality, depending on the level of the problem, to

6 use this avenue to solve these problems. He was able to contact the

7 minister of defence, the minister of the economy or whoever he needed to

8 speak to, depending on the issue. That was the practice that was applied.

9 I cannot really say that this was always followed in Prijedor. I wasn't

10 able to observe everything. But I had a general insight into how the

11 communication worked. And I always entertained this type of contacts, and

12 I still do, and I believe this would have been the normal procedure in

13 other countries as well.

14 Q. The position or organ that you mentioned, secretariat for the

15 national defence, was that a local, meaning Prijedor municipality, and I

16 know you mentioned it was Sarajevo, was it at the republic level or was it

17 at the federal level, this institution, the secretariat for national

18 defence?

19 A. The secretariat for the national defence operated at the local

20 level, but it existed also at the level of the republic. Before the

21 elections, it had existed at the federal level as well. So what you had

22 was the so-called SSNO, the federal secretariat for the national defence,

23 RSNO, that is, the republic secretariat for national defence, and locally

24 speaking, you had OSSNO, the municipal secretariat for the national

25 defence. They are part of one and the same hierarchy.

Page 4956

1 Q. So if the late Dr. Cehajic had a problem in 1990, with respect to

2 either a financial or economic issue or a military issue, since we talked

3 about that specifically, would he contact the local, republic, federal, or

4 which secretariat for the national defence would he be able to contact?

5 A. Well, he was able to contact the local level institution. And it

6 was his duty. He was the head of the local community, generally speaking.

7 It was his obligation to deal with the problems at the local level. If

8 the problems were of such nature that they exceeded the local

9 significance, then it was also possible for him to contact a higher level,

10 that is, the level of the republic. I say that it was possible for him to

11 contact, whether he did or didn't, I don't know unfortunately.

12 Q. And let me ask you: Did he have any powers, other than the power

13 and ability to make contact with the various hierarchial divisions of the

14 secretariat of the national defence that you described, other than to

15 contact them and to perhaps complain about an issue that is before him?

16 Did he have any powers whatsoever with respect to that issue?

17 A. Sir, I'm afraid that we do not understand each other. I wish to

18 reiterate certain things. The most important function of the president of

19 the Municipal Assembly was to govern the municipality. And all the

20 spheres of public life within the municipality. He was in charge of

21 nominating and appointing the cabinet. You asked me whether he had any

22 connections, any contacts with the higher level of authority, and I told

23 you, as far as I know, again, I'm not a lawyer, there was not a regular

24 channel of communication, that is, it was not an obligation of Cehajic to

25 submit his reports to a republic-level institution. That was not provided

Page 4957

1 for. But as a head of the municipality, he had the right to present

2 certain personal views at the assembly in Sarajevo. Whether he did that

3 or not, I don't know, but he definitely had the right to do so. However,

4 most often, if the problem was of a legislative nature, then he would

5 convey that problem to the deputies, who would then have the obligation to

6 present it to the parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo,

7 because it would be unnatural and improper for him to travel to Sarajevo

8 and to argue a problem in front of the assembly on his own. That was our

9 function.

10 If a problem involved a specific department, and if the head of

11 the department was not willing to implement a decision that had come out

12 from the level of the republic, then it was also possible for the

13 president of the municipality to contact both instances to see what it was

14 all about. That was the most logical way of proceeding.

15 Q. Let me ask you this: If the president of the municipality of

16 Prijedor, hypothetical question, after 1990, wanted to remove a military

17 unit who was perhaps performing military exercises in the area of

18 Prijedor, did the late Mr. Cehajic have any powers whatsoever to go to the

19 military and to tell them to: "Please leave the territory of which I am

20 president, namely the municipality of Prijedor?" Did he have any such

21 powers to do that?

22 A. I don't know that, sir. I would need to have a look at the rules

23 of procedure and the relevant statutes and to see what the relevant

24 competencies were to tell you whether he had that right or not. I don't

25 know.

Page 4958

1 Q. Help me with this: You were the deputy selected as the only

2 member on the republic level from the Chamber of Municipalities for the

3 municipality of Prijedor. Did you, sir, have that right?

4 A. The authority to order a military unit to relocate? There was a

5 legislative system in place which was very precise and clear, and which

6 provided for specific competencies and rights and duties. Please, allow

7 me, if you yourself are not able to do that, to try and obtain for you the

8 relevant statutory regulations. I'm sure that they exist in various

9 archives, and you will be able to see what it was all about. You're

10 asking me, who is by no means an expert in these issues, to tell you what

11 the procedure was. But as I said, I really don't know. I do not wish to

12 make any serious mistakes.

13 Q. I accept your offer, by the way, and look forward to that. But my

14 question is this to you, sir, yourself: Did you have an competencies that

15 you, yourself, were able to remove, order the removal and ask that a

16 military unit, after 1990, move out of the area where you were the

17 republic deputy representative in the Chamber of Municipalities for the

18 municipality of Prijedor? Did you have any of those competencies?

19 A. Sir, I was a deputy at the assembly of the republic, which means

20 that I was part of a legislative body. I was not a member of any

21 government, neither at the local nor at the republic level. I have

22 nothing -- that is, I had nothing to do with the executive power, the one

23 that is in charge of issuing orders and decisions. I, as a member of the

24 legislative power, do not have any such competencies. I am now talking

25 about my competencies as a deputy in the republic parliament.

Page 4959

1 Q. Can you identify any individual post-1990 who had competencies,

2 whether at the legislative or the executive branch of the local level who

3 had the right and the power to ask that a federal institution remove

4 itself from the territory in which that local representative may have been

5 appointed or elected? Do you know of anyone?

6 A. As far as federal institutions are concerned, the only level

7 which, according to law, had authority to discuss the issues of a federal

8 nature was the republic level of Bosnia and Herzegovina, not any municipal

9 level. It's perfectly logical. There was the government of Bosnia and

10 Herzegovina, and if certain issues were not clear concerning the links

11 between the municipal and the republic government, republic and federal

12 level, they would discuss those issues. But you are now asking me about

13 people who were sitting at the local level in the municipality. The level

14 which we turned to was the level of the republic. A totally different

15 issue is the fact that some of the federal institutions had very

16 articulated departments at various lower levels, but the level of the

17 republic was the same as the level of a federal state. While it still

18 functioned, while there were links to that effect.

19 Q. Thank you. I'm going to move to a slightly different topic before

20 we break, and I understand that the break is in about approximately 15 or

21 so minutes.

22 And that issue involves weapons and armaments in part. We're

23 going to discuss it at length. I just have a couple issues regarding

24 pre-election weapons and armaments. So is it true, sir, that prior to the

25 election, meaning prior to November 1990, that it was decided to take

Page 4960

1 almost all, indeed, to withdraw almost all of the weapons and armaments

2 from the Territorial Defence, that is, the territorial units and to store

3 them in a central depot in Prijedor?

4 A. This problem didn't concern Prijedor exclusively. Prijedor was by

5 no means an exception. What I know was that prior to the elections, there

6 had been a major reorganisation of the Yugoslav army, the federal army,

7 and I know that the boundaries of the so-called military districts had

8 been changed. I know that it was from the federal level that an order had

9 been issued, the order that the weapons of the Territorial Defence should

10 be withdrawn from the relevant areas and handed over to the JNA, who would

11 then store it in their warehouses and take care of it.

12 It was a publicly discussed issue that we could learn about from

13 the media. Later, a large number of requests were made to that effect.

14 Some of the were complied with. As for the time when this decision to

15 withdraw the weapons was made, I don't know, I don't know the exact dates.

16 But I know that the issue was topical at the time.

17 Q. And you mentioned that this was a decision made at the federal

18 level pertaining to a federal institution, namely, the JNA. Correct?

19 A. The decision concerned the Territorial Defence. You asked me

20 about the Territorial Defence. So it was a federal decision which

21 concerned Territorial Defence departments in republics, in the republics.

22 And pursuant to this decision, the JNA was tasked with taking over the

23 weapons which belonged to the Territorial Defence. That decision was

24 implemented on the ground.

25 Q. And while the reorganisation of the Yugoslav People's Army was

Page 4961

1 underway, and that occurred when the Sarajevo army district was abolished.

2 Correct?

3 A. No, no. I'm trying to find the most simple way of explaining

4 this. The army was being reorganised, and this was written about by the

5 media. Before that, there had been a so-called Sarajevo military

6 district, I think, which covered the most -- the largest part of Bosnia

7 and Herzegovina and the command was located in Sarajevo. After this

8 reorganisation of the Yugoslav People's Army, the Sarajevo military

9 district was abolished, and this -- the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina was

10 divided between two different military districts, the Sarajevo -- two or

11 three different military districts. The Sarajevo military district no

12 longer existed, which does not mean that the military was no longer

13 present in Sarajevo. They were still there, as it was the case with all

14 other areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina, even to a greater extent than

15 before. However, command was no longer exerted from Sarajevo. I'm

16 talking about the units deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These units

17 were now being commanded from the command which was located in Podgorica

18 in Montenegro, which was part of the new plan. This was a very

19 contentious issue and a former generals from the partisan era were

20 involved in this. So this particular military district was divided in

21 several parts. One part thereof went to the Uzice Corps, I think, and the

22 Sarajevo military district no longer existed. But the presence of the

23 military in Sarajevo was even increased after this reorganisation. I

24 wanted to explain this because I wanted to avoid any confusion. It is

25 true that the military district was abolished, but the military was still

Page 4962

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Page 4963

1 strongly present there. And some argued that this reorganisation actually

2 went to the detriment of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and they later on proved

3 to be right, arguably.

4 Q. I'm not going to argue with you about that. All I want to know,

5 sir, and if you can answer this question, and I truly appreciate your

6 explanations, was it decided to take almost all, to withdraw almost all

7 the weapons and armaments from the Territorial Defence, that is, the

8 territorial units, and to store them in a central depot in Prijedor? Yes

9 or no?

10 A. A decision was made to that effect, a decision which was later

11 implemented. But I don't know exactly when. I don't want to speculate,

12 but I know that it was implemented. Later, when tensions mounted, people

13 from the relevant areas, from the ground, made such requests, that is,

14 that the weapons be returned to the Territorial Defence which entailed a

15 number of discussions.

16 Q. Where was the central depot in Prijedor located? Was it in the

17 town of Prijedor, or in the general municipality also called Prijedor?

18 A. I don't know where it was. I assume it was located in one of the

19 barracks under the control of the army, but I don't know. I've never been

20 there.

21 Q. If I can just read from your 1996 transcript, May 23rd, 1996,

22 specifically page 903, line 31 through 33, and then the passage

23 immediately following on page 904 of the May 23rd, 1996 passage, because I

24 have a couple questions on that that I'd like to cover if I can before our

25 next break.

Page 4964

1 It states on line 31: "Question: Was the TO in Prijedor armed in

2 1990 at the time of the elections?" "Answer: No." "Question: Where had

3 the arms gone?"

4 Following page, page 904: "Answer: The arms were withdrawn from

5 territorial units, that is, from neighbourhood communities before the

6 elections while the reorganisation of the Yugoslav People's Army was

7 underway, when the Sarajevo army district was abolished, it was used to

8 cover the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was decided then to take

9 almost all the -- to withdraw almost all the weaponry and armaments from

10 the Territorial Defence, that is, territorial units, and to store them in

11 a central depot in Prijedor."

12 On line 16, you do, sir, state also as you have today, that a

13 symbolic number of pieces were returned, and we will get to that issue

14 later. All I want to know with respect to that statement that I read now,

15 is it correct and accurate?

16 A. It is correct. The barracks was located in Prijedor, and the

17 weapons were the local communes were transported to the Prijedor barracks.

18 Where they were stored, in what depots or warehouses, the question should

19 not be addressed to me.

20 Q. Fair enough. Can you tell us, since you know about the

21 territorial units to some extent, how many territorial units had the

22 weapons been withdrawn from and placed in the central depot in Prijedor

23 prior to 1990, November 1990?

24 A. Prior to November 1990. Prior to that time, I did not have any

25 insight into the workings of the army, the Territorial Defence, the

Page 4965

1 municipality, or any other state organ. I was only informed on that

2 through the media. But one thing is sure: During that period of time the

3 Yugoslav army and the orders -- did implement the orders on the disarming

4 of the Territorial Defence. But I cannot speak about the details of this

5 order. I've never read it. I don't have it in front of me. But the fact

6 remains that the weapons were transported from the local communities where

7 they had been stored prior to that, elsewhere. Only a small number of

8 these -- of this weapon remained.

9 Later on, with the change of power, when we were able to inform

10 ourselves on the work of the local communes and the Territorial Defence

11 organisations, we were able to see, to realise, that the order had been

12 carried out, and that the majority of these weapons had been transported.

13 I can talk about the functioning of these organs after the elections, but

14 not before. If I had taken part in power before the elections, maybe I

15 wouldn't have participated in the elections, or maybe I would have been on

16 a different side.

17 Q. Sir, all I want to know is with respect to the arms, weapons and

18 armaments that you mention, both here today and in 1996, can you describe

19 for us what types of weapons and armaments from the various territorial

20 units were stored in the central depot in Prijedor?

21 A. No, sir, I cannot. I believe that I've already stated clearly

22 that I was not a member of the Territorial Defence, nor was I any kind of

23 commander at any level. How many pieces of weapons the Territorial

24 Defence had and in which local commune these weapons were, I don't know.

25 I know about the people who were members of the Territorial Defence who

Page 4966

1 told me that the weapons had been relocated, and they also told me what

2 kind of weapons remained. Later, when the weapons were returned, they

3 also spoke about the kinds of weapons -- the types of weapons that were

4 returned. So this is something that I can tell you about.

5 However, regarding the type of weapons that the Territorial

6 Defence had before, while the federal organs were still in place, I don't

7 know. But I believe that it should be possible to obtain documents to

8 that effect.

9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sejmenovic, for that answer.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Before we break, may I ask the

11 Defence, is there a consent, you heard before, that during the break, I

12 will be contacted by representative of the Office of the Prosecutor? Any

13 objections?

14 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, no, she is coming to Court, so the

15 Defence can hear what she is going to say.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In closed session.

17 MS. KORNER: At 4.30.

18 MR. OSTOJIC: At 4.30.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 4.30, okay. Then we can -- then let's have the

20 break until 4.30.

21 --- Recess taken at 4.00 p.m.

22 [Closed session]

23 --- On resuming at 4.48 p.m.

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 4967

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Page 4969

1 [Open session]

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we, as time is of essence, restart with the

3 cross-examination, please.

4 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.

5 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, just to finish a couple more questions with

6 respect to this central depot or barracks, as it has been identified, in

7 the Prijedor area, can you tell us- and again, I understand you don't know

8 prior to November 1990, but how about after November 1990, up until March

9 of 1992, if you will, who secured the central depot in Prijedor where

10 those weapons and armaments were held?

11 A. I know that there was a garrison of the JNA in Prijedor. It was

12 in the Urije area. It was a building, small barracks, and a number of

13 facilities around this. Any other military installations and where they

14 were inside that complex, any warehouse or hangars, I don't know. But

15 when you say the JNA, they are referring to the Zarko Zgonjanin barracks,

16 as far as their facilities and installations, especially military

17 installations are concerned, those were not public issues, and I do not

18 know the exact location of the warehouse.

19 It certainly was in Prijedor but whether in the Zarko Zgonjanin

20 barracks or in the adjacent facilities or in Urije, or in a different

21 place, I do not know that, nor was I particularly interested in that. It

22 was publicly said that weapons had been withdrawn and transferred to the

23 central warehouse and that it was under the supervision of the JNA. That

24 was also a generally known fact.

25 Q. Thank you. With respect to that, is it fair to state, sir, that

Page 4970

1 indeed the civilians, either the local, at the republic level or at the

2 federal level had no authority or responsibility in respect to securing

3 those barracks and military central depot in Prijedor. Would that be

4 fair?

5 A. That was a JNA facility run by the army, commanded by the army.

6 Only civilians were mobilised into the TO for the purpose of army drill,

7 military drills, only in such situations could they be within the

8 barracks. With which authorities exactly and with which duties, that was

9 completely up to the army.

10 Q. And similarly, sir, the police whether at the republic level, the

11 regional level, or the local level had absolutely no control and did not

12 secure any of the premises involving the central depot or barracks in

13 Prijedor from 1990, November, through approximately March of 1992.

14 Correct?

15 A. You're asking me whether the police secured these military

16 facilities. I don't know. I do know, however, that there was some form

17 of cooperation after the takeover between the military and the police.

18 But specifically, I'm not familiar with the form this cooperation took

19 because I did not witness this.

20 Q. So is it fair to say that not having witnessed it and telling us

21 that you don't know what form this cooperation, if any, took, you are

22 unable to share with us any information or any knowledge that you may have

23 with respect to any interlinkage between the military or the police. Is

24 that correct?

25 A. Which period are you referring to, sir? Please, if you could just

Page 4971

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Page 4972

1 specify.

2 Q. The exact period you gave me in your answer.

3 A. Are you talking about the period in 1992, from April on?

4 Q. I think that's the period you were referring to, sir, although my

5 questions were confined to a period prior to that, your answer, and I

6 think you shared with us, if I'm not correct, a period after that. So I'm

7 just following up on your answer.

8 A. No. I remember exactly you asked me about those relationships in

9 the period prior to the elections where the warehouses were, what was

10 returned, when whatever was returned was returned, so there was a

11 procedure. There were certain authorities. And then after the takeover,

12 at a later stage, after the takeover by the SDS, things began to change

13 thoroughly and began to look very different. If your question is whether

14 I entered the Zarko Zgonjanin barracks and whether I saw anything there, I

15 never entered those facilities, and I do not know who was there.

16 Q. Thank you. Now, it's clear now to me, I think.

17 Did you, as a member of the Chamber of Municipalities at the

18 republic level, representing Prijedor, were you under any mandate to

19 follow the instructions and policy of the SDA party of which you were a

20 member of?

21 A. Yes, sir. Parties established their policy before they enter

22 parliament, and then through the legal parliamentary procedure, they

23 implement this policy. And then once the party has established the

24 vectors of activity, we carry out the decisions of this parliament, that

25 is, of the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And that's exactly what

Page 4973

1 we did.

2 There is another set of questions. If talking about problems of

3 the local government, related to the municipal parliament, the

4 distribution of power, or other regulations to be harmonised at the

5 Municipal Assembly level, at the local level, then these local issues must

6 be discussed at the local assembly and must be implemented by the local

7 government.

8 Q. Earlier this afternoon, we discussed Mr. Cehajic a little bit.

9 And you shared with us what his duties and obligations, if you will, were,

10 subsequent to the election of November 1990. And I understand that as

11 president of the Municipal Assembly of the Prijedor municipality. Isn't

12 it true, sir, that in fact any power, if any, that Mr. Cehajic had can

13 only come through passage of legislation by the actual Municipal Assembly?

14 He did not have any power separate from that which can be derived or given

15 to him through passage of legislation within that Municipal Assembly. Is

16 that correct?

17 A. The position of the president of municipality and his competencies

18 are determined by the existing regulations down to the very last detail.

19 So there was no need to invent what he could do and what he couldn't. His

20 position, his function, was very clear. As well as that of the head of

21 the municipal government and of other municipal departments.

22 Q. So is it fair to say that if the late Mr. Cehajic wanted to remove

23 the military units that we were discussing as the hypothetical was, in the

24 Prijedor municipality, he could not and had absolutely no power whatsoever

25 to even attempt to remove that military unit without, first, placing it on

Page 4974

1 the agenda of the Municipal Assembly of the Prijedor Municipality; second,

2 having a vote, and he could only act upon whatever decision, either

3 consistent with his view as to whether the military unit can stay, or

4 adverse to his view, all he can do was implement that decision from the

5 Municipal Assembly. Correct?

6 A. Dear sir, I'm afraid I find myself compelled to repeat a number of

7 things. The position of the JNA is not -- was not a municipal local

8 issue. The position of the JNA, or parts of the JNA, is an issue dealt

9 with at the republic level, through the existing institutions. Should

10 there be a refusal to implement the authorities of the republic at the

11 local level, then it is the obligation of the president of the municipal

12 government or the president of the municipality to intervene with those

13 departments refusing to implement the decisions that had been adopted at

14 the republic level. Therefore, in no case was the issue of the JNA at the

15 local level a local issue. According to the then-existing legislation,

16 views were taken at the republic level regarding these issues. And then

17 through the ministries, orders were implemented, and views were adopted,

18 as concerned the local level. The violation of those decisions implied or

19 entailed a violation of the laws of the republic. Failure to comply with

20 these orders was failure to comply with the laws of the republic.

21 At the same time, the implementation of some other decisions not

22 adopted at the republic level meant for the local level to assume the

23 competencies of the state, which is also against the law.

24 MR. OSTOJIC: Just one moment, Your Honour.

25 Q. Was the military a republic institution or a federal institution?

Page 4975

1 A. The military was a federal institution, but the authorities to

2 command the army were evenly distributed throughout the republics,

3 according to the existing law, the influence on the JNA was diametrically

4 opposite. All the institutions in the republics had to be in a position

5 to effect the work and the activities of the JNA because that was the army

6 of all the republics, so it was a two-way street.

7 Q. And let's, if we may, or if we can, the other day you discussed

8 the atmosphere of change that occurred as a result of the SDA policy after

9 the November 1990 elections. Again, I'm generally summarising that issue,

10 so we want to discuss that to keep it in context.

11 A. Yes, I'm listening.

12 Q. With respect to that issue, do you have a position, sir, as to

13 whether or not the party of the SDA contributed, in any way whatsoever, to

14 this atmosphere of change after the November 1990 elections?

15 A. Which changes are you referring to, if you could just please

16 specify. You said the atmosphere of change, which atmosphere exactly are

17 you referring to?

18 Q. I'm referring, sir, to the same atmosphere of change that you

19 mentioned that resulted from purported SDS policy after November 1990

20 elections.

21 A. I understand. You mean the atmosphere between the SDA and the

22 SDS. So your question was whether we, in any way, contributed to that

23 atmosphere. As far as your question is concerned, a question you deal

24 with directly or indirectly, the SDA, in no way, complicated the

25 relationships in a wider context, that is, in Yugoslavia. We monitored

Page 4976

1 the events. And at first, we advocated the preservation of Yugoslavia.

2 It was a very delicate issue. Speaking of the pre-electoral period, we

3 also talked about Yugoslavia. I think I said something to the effect

4 yesterday.

5 But there was a general change in atmosphere when two of the

6 republics decided to secede. So that was one element contributing to this

7 change in atmosphere. And another very important element was the

8 propaganda in terms of media and in terms of military propaganda coming

9 from Serbia, and then later on the war in Croatia. What I'm talking about

10 here are very important facts, and it is in view of these facts that there

11 was the SDA in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the SDS. The situation

12 developed in such a way that, in a manner of speaking, the SDS forgot all

13 about Bosnia and Herzegovina and decided to take sides, which meant to

14 establish a state of their own that would remain within Yugoslavia. The

15 wider context, the more general context, clearly demonstrated that this

16 was not the best solution for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Negotiations were

17 held, discussions were held, different initiatives were offered, but to no

18 avail.

19 Q. You state on page 19 of your June 12th, 2002, transcript -- I'd be

20 happy to read the entire -- well, I will read it, from page 7 , your

21 answer, if I may. And I have a couple questions on that answer. Again,

22 line 7, page 19: "Answer: Many changes occurred. Compared to the

23 atmosphere which reigned before the elections and at the time of the

24 agreements on the possible coalitions prior to the elections, the main

25 focus of our party, and this is something that we have heard from other

Page 4977

1 political parties as well, was to defeat the communists. That was the

2 main objective of our political party, and we had full support to that

3 effect. And we endeavoured to take part in the process that had already

4 started in eastern Europe. However, immediately after the elections, we

5 were faced with the situation in which the SDS had completely different

6 plans. They were not satisfied with simply defeating the communists; they

7 started expressing certain aspirations which threatened to disrupt the

8 relations with other political parties."

9 My question to you, sir, is did the SDA, after the elections of

10 1990, have completely different plans than those that were announced in

11 the pre-election platform? The SDA.

12 A. Part of the elements of the pre-electoral campaign changed, which

13 was dictated by the circumstances, the war in Croatia, the transgression

14 of their constitutional competencies and authorities by the JNA, and the

15 departure from Yugoslavia of two of its republics. So the SDA no longer

16 thought this was Yugoslavia, but rather, that we were facing a situation

17 where the arrangement on Yugoslavia needed to be renegotiated. And as far

18 as I can remember, the SDA was ready to embark on that.

19 However, even at that point, in certain situations, it became

20 clear that the SDS had quite different ambitions. If you like, I can

21 provide a very specific example.

22 Q. I'm sure we're going to get to that. But again, it's the pleasure

23 of the Court and you. I don't want to interrupt you. I'll let you answer

24 it, I guess. Sorry, if you'd like to answer, you may, or if you'd like to

25 proceed.

Page 4978

1 A. Do you want to have a specific example?

2 Q. I'd love it, but perhaps if it's okay with you, we could wait

3 until we come to that point. Is that all right?

4 A. That's all right. I agree. Do as you see fit.

5 Q. Sir, I'm going to try to do what -- I've tried to establish a time

6 line or a timetable with the events following the election of November

7 1990. So hopefully, we're done with pre-election discussions here. And

8 just so that we have these timetables, I'm going to ask you, having been a

9 member of the republic assembly and the chamber of municipalities, I want

10 to know if you can help me understand and appreciate some of these dates..

11 We're going to come back to each section hopefully. All I want to do is

12 establish this timetable for the moment. But if necessary, and if you

13 would like, you can obviously answer the question in any manner that you

14 see fit.

15 You mentioned the change or circumstances dictating change

16 following the elections. Do you know, sir, if the circumstances one month

17 following the elections, namely, on December 22nd, 1990, that the Croatian

18 Assembly passed a new coalition or a new constitution for the Republic of

19 Croatia, which was the so-called Bozicni Ustav when the Croatians declared

20 themselves as the National State of Croatian People and set forth within

21 their constitution that the Serbs were to be considered not equal, as they

22 were prior, but simply as a minority class. My question to you, sir, is

23 were you aware that this event transpired on or about December 22nd, 1990?

24 A. Was I aware that this event transpired? Yes, the media covered

25 this, and that was after Croatia seceded from Yugoslavia. That was quite

Page 4979

1 evident. What exactly the constitution or its provisions said, I did not

2 look into that at that time. What I was interested in was Bosnia and

3 Herzegovina, as well as of course the local situation.

4 Q. Thank you. Just so the date's approximately correct, right,

5 December 22nd, 1990, to the best of your recollection? Right?

6 A. I'm not sure about the date. But as far as the wording is

7 concerned, I can't say anything for sure. I can't confirm or deny. The

8 fact is that Croatia did secede. First the League of Communists broke --

9 disintegrated, and Slovenia decided to secede and was followed by Croatia.

10 And the general standpoint of both Slovenia and Croatia and perhaps this

11 might be a useful piece of information for this Court, the general

12 standpoint regardless of the internal legislation was that both of these

13 republics were, at that point, prepared to discuss a new solution. And as

14 we all remember, no doubt, and perhaps you had come across materials to

15 this effect, both the president of Croatia and that of Bosnia and

16 Herzegovina and the president of Macedonia met on several occasions during

17 that period regardless of the developments in internal politics. So it

18 was a stage at which negotiations were underway, on a general level.

19 Q. My next date for this timetable that I'm trying to establish, and

20 to keep the atmosphere that we discussed prior to this line of questioning

21 into a clearer context for myself, December 23rd, 1990, the Republic of

22 Slovenia held a plebiscite. Did you hear about that?

23 A. I know that the procedure in Slovenia was very much like that in

24 Croatia. I can't remember the chronology, but what I've said before, and

25 if you keep on asking me this, I will just repeat what I know. Both

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Page 4981

1 Slovenia and Croatia changed their internal legislation and became

2 separate republics. That's separate from Yugoslavia. They participated

3 in negotiations on a new solution for Yugoslavia. At times, it seemed as

4 though the negotiations were to be successful, but the negotiations went

5 on. They continued, and these were the most important news reported by

6 all the media.

7 Q. December 26th, 1990. The Republic of Slovenia holds a referendum.

8 Are you familiar with whether or not that date, December 26th, 1990, is

9 accurate?

10 A. I don't know when exactly Slovenia was to hold a referendum. But

11 I know that it did secede from Yugoslavia. That's what I know.

12 Q. Do you know if it seceded from Yugoslavia in 1990 or in 1991, or

13 any other time that you may think?

14 A. I know that it was the first to secede, and then was followed by

15 Croatia. I think that was the chronology. Whether they continued to

16 participate in the federal institutions, they still tolerated the

17 existence and activities of the JNA in their territory and those were the

18 facts. I repeat, the negotiations continued as to the future and the new

19 solutions for Yugoslavia and to find a way out of the crisis.

20 Q. Can you tell me this, sir, when was the war in Slovenia?

21 A. When the war in Slovenia broke out, you mean?

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. I can't say for sure. I can't remember.

24 Q. Do you know, sir, when the war broke out in Croatia?

25 A. War in Croatia broke out about mid-1991. I'm not sure really, but

Page 4982

1 I think it was about that time.

2 Q. Now we're moving into 1991. So let's focus on that. On February

3 27th, 1991, as a member of the Chamber of Municipalities at the republic

4 level, do you recall, sir, whether the SDA party, in that month on that

5 day during that year, for the first time attempted to place an item on the

6 agenda which was to seek a discussion on the independence and sovereignty

7 and secession of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

8 A. What I can tell you is that I don't remember the exact dates of

9 these sessions, and I'm speaking quite sincerely now. But I know that

10 there was a whole number of questions connected to the breakup of

11 Yugoslavia which had to be placed on the parliament's agenda. There were

12 attempts to harmonise these different agendas. The SDS tried to dodge

13 these problems or tried to impose certain issues to be placed on the

14 agenda that were not acceptable for the other parties, the SDA, the HDZ,

15 and the socialists, the communists, the reformists, and so on.

16 The most serious problems occurred in the period I am talking

17 about. There was no consensus regarding the intervention by the JNA in

18 Slovenia. And there was no consensus about the use of force, about the

19 changes in the federal organs. I can't remember exactly, but I know that

20 there were changes in the federal organs at that time that were not

21 interpreted as constitutional in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is a legal

22 issue. And there were clear differences between the SDS, the viewpoints

23 of the SDS, and the viewpoints of the other parties. So when these issues

24 were concerned, mostly on one the side you had the SDS and the Serbian

25 Radical Party, and all the other parties in the parliament on the opposite

Page 4983

1 side. I remember that there were discussions concerning the federal

2 budget, the competencies of the army. I can't remember the details, but

3 it should be possible to find transcripts of these sessions and see what

4 exactly was discussed.

5 Q. Based upon your recollection, sir, isn't it true that less than

6 three months from the November 1990 election, that the SDA party proposed

7 that the item on the agenda at the republic assembly be added in order to

8 have a discussion of the secession, sovereignty, and independence of

9 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Within three months, do you remember that occurring?

10 A. Yes, but I can't remember exactly when. I repeat, because you've

11 asked me before. And another thing, how to define exactly what happened,

12 some said it was an attempt at secession. That was the SDS and Serbian

13 Radical Party view. That's not how the other parties in the

14 Bosnia-Herzegovina parliament perceived it. They tried to accept the

15 state of facts and see in its true light the -- what was going on.

16 Q. As you sit here, can you give us your best estimate of

17 approximately how soon after the November 1990 elections did the SDA party

18 make that proposition to seek the independence, sovereignty, and secession

19 of Bosnia-Herzegovina from the former Republic of Yugoslavia?

20 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm, but can I at this stage intervene.

21 Giving of evidence is not supposed to be a test of memory for the witness.

22 If counsel has documents he wants to put to the witness, showing the

23 dates, then he ought to do that.

24 MR. OSTOJIC: If I may reply.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.

Page 4984

1 MR. OSTOJIC: All I'm asking his witness for is his best

2 recollection of the events. When the Defence case proceeds, we will

3 present that evidence as concrete. I don't want to have the witness

4 testify on documents that we necessarily have at this time. If he doesn't

5 remember the date, and he can't give us an approximate date, then that's

6 all the witness has to tell me. I truly just wanted to go through the

7 timeline in a quicker order. But I'm reluctant to interrupt,

8 respectfully, the witness if he has something to add on this point,

9 although I plan to cover each point in some detail, not as exhaustive as

10 perhaps others would like. All I'm asking for is an approximate date to

11 the best of his recollection.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. If, in principle, the witness could answer

13 a little bit shorter, probably just yes or no when the questions of this

14 kind arise. On the other hand, it has to be understood that it's fair to

15 try to put all the developments in the former Yugoslavia in context, and

16 then, as I understood correctly, in the context of Prijedor. I think this

17 line of questioning, therefore, the submission -- the objection is

18 dismissed.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For the third time, I can tell you

20 the following: I don't remember on which date which decision was proposed

21 because there was a huge number of sessions. Sometimes we were sitting

22 for 10 or 15 days in a row, and it lasted for several months, and now

23 you're asking me to remember whether a specific decision was adopted on a

24 specific date. I would be really happy to be able to give you an answer,

25 but I was not in a position to follow the proceedings that closely. The

Page 4985

1 parliament was very often in session, and a huge number of issues were on

2 the agenda. So once again, if you want a simple answer, no, I don't

3 remember the date.

4 MR. OSTOJIC:

5 Q. Sir, do you know if, in September of 1991, there was a

6 mobilisation of men issued by the SFRY for the area and territory of

7 Bosnia and Herzegovina?

8 A. Are you referring to the Yugoslav People's Army? I don't remember

9 that.

10 Q. Do you recall, sir, whether or not there was a second mobilisation

11 call in November of 1991?

12 A. Sir, federal organs, therefore, including the JNA, whenever they

13 issued a mobilisation call, the federal command would address this call or

14 order to the leadership in the -- of the republic. The republic

15 leadership would then adopt a position on that and transmit the order to

16 lower levels of authority. When the BH leadership received an order from

17 a federal institution -- when the BH leadership received such an order

18 from a federal institution, I don't know.

19 Q. Do you remember if, at any time in November or thereabouts of

20 1991, a new coalition was formed between the party of the SDA and the

21 party of the HDZ?

22 A. No. No coalition between the SDA and HDZ was ever formed. If

23 that had been the case, I would have been aware of that.

24 Q. Did, sir, in fact, in November of 1991, the HDZ and the SDA vote

25 together to put the issue of sovereignty, independence, and secession of

Page 4986

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the agenda in the assembly?

2 A. That decision was voted by seven or eight political parties.

3 Therefore, by all parties with the exception of the SDS and the Serb

4 Radical Party. So the entire opposition, all of the left-wing parties

5 which included members of all ethnicities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, HDZ

6 and SDA, that is, without the SDS and the Serb Radical Party, which means

7 the rest of the parliament which had a sufficient number of deputies to

8 have a quorum to do that, and involved members, deputies, of all

9 ethnicities including Serbs. You limited your question only to the SDA

10 and the HDZ, but for the purposes of clarity, I'm telling you that other

11 political parties also participated in the adoption of this decision.

12 This decision was voted with the majority of votes with very few -- with

13 very few abstentions. It was almost a unanimous decision.

14 Q. And this happened around November of 1991, sir?

15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

16 MR. OSTOJIC: Pardon me.

17 Q. And this happened, sir, in approximately November of 1991?

18 A. It is possible that it was in that period.

19 Q. Do you remember, sir, when the assembly in the republic level

20 passed a memorandum on the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

21 A. I believe it was in early 1992. I'm not sure, either in late

22 February or early March 1992, but I'm not sure. I do not remember clearly

23 the date. But at any rate, it was in early 1992.

24 Q. A couple months before the incidents that occurred in April of

25 1992. Would that be a fair way to summarise it?

Page 4987

1 A. Chronologically speaking, yes.

2 Q. And that's all I'm trying to do is chronologically get these

3 dates. We'll discuss them hopefully at some length. Also in November

4 1991, sir, was an entity called a Conference on European Security and

5 Cooperation, namely the CESC present in the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina at

6 that time, November of 1991?

7 A. Yes. That is, European monitors were present at the parliament.

8 They attended the parliament session, mostly in twos, sometimes only one

9 would attend. But there would always be someone. I don't know what kind

10 of presence they had elsewhere on the ground, but I remember clearly that

11 they were present at the parliament sessions. We used to call them

12 monitors.

13 Q. And sir, I think during your direct examination, you were provided

14 a document which reflected a minutes of meetings from the Prijedor

15 Municipal Assembly from February 14th, 1992. And you were at that

16 meeting. Correct?

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you have please the document? I think it's

18 not possible for the witness to recollect the exact date of this document.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I didn't produce that

20 document.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's quite right. But on the basis of this

22 document, you shall answer a question. It's better to have the document

23 present for you.

24 MR. OSTOJIC: At this moment --

25 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.

Page 4988

1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, he wasn't present at the 14th of

2 February assembly. It was one of the documents he was going to look at

3 but it wasn't actually shown to him.

4 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, if I misspoke that it was shown, I know

5 at great length we discussed it. In any event I'll move on from that.

6 And if I may finish just this chronology, and -- I want to thank the

7 usher, I apologize. We'll get back to that, because it's -- I have some

8 questions on that meeting, sir.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Five more minutes, please.

10 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

11 Q. Sir, do you know if on February 29th, 1992, and March 1st, 1992,

12 approximately two months before the events that unfolded in the Prijedor

13 Municipality, that, in fact, a referendum on the independence of Bosnia

14 and Herzegovina was held?

15 A. The referendum was called before that -- I'm trying to remember

16 the date, but it escapes me. But you are right, it was called prior to

17 these events.

18 Q. On April 8th, 1992, sir, do you know if there was an order from

19 the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina regarding mobilisation which came

20 directly from the republic level, indicating the callup of mobilisation of

21 the Territorial Defence?

22 A. Yes, I do know that a callup of mobilisation of the Territorial

23 Defence took place.

24 Q. Yes, but do you know if it occurred on or about April 8th, 1992,

25 less than three weeks from the events that unfolded in Prijedor on April

Page 4989

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Page 4990

1 30th of 1992?

2 A. I know it did occur, and I know that in Prijedor, we talked to the

3 SDS and tried to implement the decision which was adopted at the republic

4 level. But I also know that at that time, it was already almost

5 impossible to talk to the SDS. They had already established the Serb

6 Municipality of Prijedor, as early as January.

7 Q. When, sir, did you find it difficult to address any issues with

8 the SDS? When was the time period at which you felt that the

9 communications between the SDA, and specifically yourself, had completely

10 broken down vis-a-vis the SDS?

11 A. There was a certain level of communication up until the end of

12 April, 1992, that is, until the takeover. There was communication on

13 several occasions even after that. Now, if you're asking me about the

14 time period when the communications became difficult, I think we have to

15 go back to the period of time when the power was being divided and when

16 first disagreements occurred.

17 Later, the attitude of the SDS towards the republic institutions

18 became very complicated because the SDS did not take over some of the

19 municipal -- did not manage to take over some of the municipal departments

20 and was accusing the SDA because of that.

21 Q. Just one last question before the break: What time did this

22 happen that you felt it was impossible for the communications to proceed?

23 What time period? 1991, 1992? And if you can tell us -- if you don't

24 recall, please share that with us as well -- when in 1992?

25 A. I told you, immediately after the elections, the communication was

Page 4991

1 good. The top positions were divided in a regular fashion. However, in

2 the following period, when other positions were being distributed, the

3 situation became exacerbated. When orders came from the republic level,

4 the SDS officials obstructed the implementation of these orders. That,

5 too, created difficulties. A rift occurred, and when the federal army

6 attempted to mobilise the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the

7 leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina had a different attitude -- they were

8 against the war in Croatia, whereas the SDS was in favour of the war in

9 Croatia -- that added further to the disagreements. I'm talking about

10 1991.

11 When aspirations became apparent for the regionalisation, the

12 problems got worse. When the SDS proclaimed 70 per cent of the territory

13 of the Prijedor Municipality as Serb, then the communication became

14 virtually impossible. In view of the circumstances, it was clear that

15 attempts were being made to implement something that had already been

16 implemented and carried out in certain other areas. It all culminated in

17 the takeover by the SDS through military means which rendered all the

18 communications impossible. The SDS adopted a peremptory position towards

19 all others and towards us.

20 Q. Thank you, sir.

21 A. Thank you, too.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stands adjourned until 5 minutes past

23 6.00.

24 --- Recess taken at 5.47 p.m.

25 --- On resuming at 6.09 p.m.

Page 4992

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.

2 Please continue.

3 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

4 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, if I may continue with some more questions on this

5 time line, April 30th, 1992, the takeover of Prijedor occurred. Correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. May 1st, 1992, the day after the takeover, you came to Prijedor

8 and actually you met with fellow members of the SDA party in your party

9 headquarters or offices. Correct?

10 A. With some of the members of the party.

11 Q. Right. May 15th through the 16th -- strike that. Mid-May 1992,

12 approximately, according to your testimony that you provided, you and

13 representatives of the SDA had a meeting with the SDS party. Correct?

14 A. Correct. Sometime in mid-May. I cannot be more precise. Several

15 days before that or after, but it was at that time that we had this

16 meeting.

17 Q. And sometime in May 1992, you also had a meeting with various

18 members of the SDA in Kozarac. Correct?

19 A. At the beginning of May.

20 Q. Thank you for that clarification.

21 May --

22 A. Excuse me. And the last -- after the last meeting with the SDS in

23 Prijedor, we had one more meeting in Kozarac.

24 Q. So a few meetings in the month of May 1992, correct, or several?

25 It's not important really.

Page 4993

1 A. Well, there was a party meeting in early May in Kozarac, and the

2 meeting that you're asking me about, after the ultimatum that was issued

3 in Prijedor, was not a party meeting. It was a meeting of all local

4 communes from that area, including the police, the Territorial Defence,

5 representatives of the party, the local government office, and the

6 citizens who wished to attend the meeting.

7 Q. Thank you. Just for purposes of the timeline again, May 22nd,

8 1992, there was an incident at Hambarine, approximately. Correct?

9 A. Thereabouts.

10 Q. May 23rd, 1992, there was an announcement from the military

11 regarding a military convoy passing through Banja Luka, through Kozarac,

12 to Prijedor, an announcement that requested that the checkpoints which

13 were established there by the various citizens of those communities be set

14 back or removed 100 metres. Do you know anything approximately about that

15 date, May 23rd, 1992, and this announcement that was made by the military?

16 A. There was an announcement immediately before the attack. I heard

17 about it, but I'm not familiar with the text of the announcement. But I

18 know that it was to that effect that you described, that the military

19 would pass, that no obstructions should be made.

20 Q. And May 24th, 1992, there was this incident in Kozarac that we're

21 going to get back to, just trying to establish the timeline, correct, the

22 attack, if you will, on the convoy, and then the attack on the town itself

23 of Kozarac or the area?

24 A. That was the information which was provided by the military over

25 the radio. Whether that was really the case, I don't know. All I know

Page 4994

1 was that the army officially said that there had been attempts to prevent

2 the military from passing, and that fire was opened on the soldiers. That

3 was announced on the Serbian radio.

4 Q. And on May 30th, 1992, sir, there was an attack on the town of

5 Prijedor. Correct? Are you aware of that?

6 A. I am aware of the attack, but I don't know the exact date. I

7 assume it was on the 30th. You know this better than I do. At any rate,

8 it occurred several days after Kozarac had been burned down.

9 Q. And one of the reasons is that in fact you, sir, from May 24th,

10 1992, up until the end of August or early September 1992 were actually on

11 the run, in hiding, trying to save your own life as a result of the

12 incident that occurred at Kozarac on or about May 24th, 1992. Correct?

13 A. Sir, you're talking about an incident. Which incident? Excuse

14 me, let me finish. It was not an incident. Everything was burnt down and

15 torched. Thousands of people were detained, and you're talking about an

16 "incident." Are you referring to the incident which was -- which

17 involved the military who were stopped at the checkpoint, or the attack

18 which involved a large number of forces, of troops? Maybe we do not

19 understand each other. Maybe there has been misinterpretation or...

20 Q. I think we do understand each other. I may have used an

21 inappropriate word, and I didn't expect you to read into that word. Let

22 me just try to restate the question, please. I'm not minimising what

23 occurred by calling it an incident, I'm just trying to neutralise or use a

24 neutral word so that we wouldn't exchange in a debate as to what had

25 occurred. We'll have time for that. Approximately from May 24th, 1992

Page 4995

1 through end of August, early September, 1992, as you described, you were

2 essentially a man on the run; you were going in to Trnopolje, you left

3 Trnopolje, you went back into Trnopolje, then you were moved to Omarska,

4 and then everything else that you described after that. Essentially,

5 that's why you don't know what specifically had occurred vis-a-vis the

6 attack on Prijedor on May 30th, 1992. Correct? Would that be a fair

7 generalization?

8 A. As regards the attack which, as you said, occurred on the 30th of

9 May, the attack on Prijedor, I know about this attack from what I heard

10 over the Serb radio and the local commune radio, which functioned for a

11 while. From Trnopolje, we could observe the fire. We could hear

12 detonation, and we could see house in the village of Hambarine on fire.

13 We could also see the smoke coming from the direction of the Prijedor town

14 for several days after. All of the information that I have concerning

15 this was what -- is what I was able to hear from the radio, from the

16 reports of the Crisis Staff, or from what I was able to observe from my

17 vantage point. As for my stay in that area, I said that I spent two

18 months there, from approximately 24th of May up until the end of July, not

19 September.

20 At the end of July, I surrendered. I have explained the

21 circumstances of that surrender, and was taken to the prison in Prijedor.

22 Thereafter, I was taken to the prison in Omarska. I did not go to

23 Omarska. I was taken to Omarska. There's a difference between the two.

24 Q. And I agree with you, and I think my question said that you were

25 taken to Omarska. But I agree.

Page 4996

1 All I'm trying to do is establish dates. And the next date that

2 comes to mined for me, at least, is this meeting that you had with

3 Mr. Kupresanin in Banja Luka which was approximately, according to your

4 testimony, sometime in September of 1992. Correct?

5 A. Yes, I believe it occurred sometime in September. Whether it was

6 in the first half of the month or in the second, I don't know. But I

7 believe that it was in September.

8 Q. Now, sir, is it fair to state that from May 24th or thereabouts,

9 1992, until about September 1992, during that entire period, you simply

10 did not know what position Dr. Milomir Stakic held, if any, and in fact

11 you knew nothing about it and simply had no knowledge of that? Is that

12 accurate?

13 A. What I knew for sure was that Mr. Stakic was a very important

14 figure in the SDS. He had been appointed to a high-ranking position in

15 the municipality as a prominent member of the SDS. I also knew that he

16 held some function in the Serbian assembly, which was established sometime

17 in January, I think. That is, in a parallel, ethnically pure, assembly of

18 Prijedor. This is what I heard. I also heard his name being mentioned in

19 the radio announcements which were broadcast at the beginning of the

20 attack and during the days that followed. Of course, it is true that

21 there were no longer any contacts with the SDS. It is also true that I

22 could see certain things happening on the ground. I also talked to people

23 who had heard things over the radio. But I did not have any direct

24 insight as to the work of the government in Prijedor. However, I was

25 familiar with the consequences of the orders issued by this government and

Page 4997

1 the consequences of the work of this government and this authority on the

2 ground. As for Mr. Stakic's function in, say, August or beginning of

3 September, I didn't know that. When I saw him in Banja Luka, he was, for

4 sure, occupying an important function. Otherwise, he could not have been

5 there. This meeting was attended by high-ranking civilian politicians,

6 military commanders, and I knew that he was an important figure in

7 Prijedor.

8 As I have already indicated, I had the opportunity to hear

9 criticism by Mr. Srdic, who was not addressing me but other people, and

10 who made mention of Mr. Stakic at that time.

11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

12 MR. OSTOJIC:

13 Q. Thank you. We'll have an opportunity to discuss that at length

14 hopefully. Sir, on May 28th, 2001, during your testimony in the Sikirica

15 trial, page 3982, line 1, you were asked the following question: "Can you

16 help me about this: There was an occasion when you saw together two

17 politicians from Prijedor, a Mr. Srdic and a Mr. Stakic. Do you recall

18 that?" Answer: "Yes, I recall that, true." Question: Line 5, "and can

19 you tell us what, as far as you know, posts did those two men hold at the

20 time when you heard this conversation," September of 1992, as you've

21 described, answer by you, sir, at line 7: "I don't know that. No. I

22 didn't know that. How the positions, how the posts were assigned in the

23 Serb Democratic Party, or the structure of the Serb municipality

24 established in the way that it was established, and knew nothing about it

25 as of the 25th -- rather, the 24th May, 1992. I simply had no knowledge

Page 4998

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13 English transcripts.

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Page 4999

1 of that. But the fact itself that they turned up there when at the same

2 time when Karadzic came to Banja Luka and when the foreign negotiator came

3 there, that very fact speaks -- tells us that they did hold some posts,

4 but what posts, what offices, I don't know."

5 The period I'm interested in is from May 24th up until the time

6 this meeting in Banja Luka that you were brought to, September 1992, you

7 had absolutely no knowledge of what post Dr. Milomir Stakic held, not only

8 for September and August, but you had no knowledge of what posts he held,

9 if any, from May, end of May, June, July, August, and September. Isn't

10 that correct?

11 A. Sir, I have already answered this question, and I have used the

12 same -- I have answered in the same way as you have just read. I said

13 that I had heard about these names, I knew that Mr. Stakic was an official

14 with the Serbian assembly, and I know that he was with the Crisis Staff at

15 the time of the takeover. What happened afterwards, whether there were

16 any changes within these bodies, I don't know. I first heard about him as

17 the president in Banja Luka on that occasion at that place, when Mr. Srdic

18 said those words, when he accused him. And once again, I abide by what I

19 said. These are facts.

20 Q. Thank you. Going back now, and thank you for that chronology. For

21 my purposes, I'd like to end the chronology there, although there's other

22 events obviously that transpired that are very important and indeed

23 critical for both yourself and others. But for my purposes, I'm going to

24 move on to different area. Okay?

25 A. Please.

Page 5000

1 Q. Thank you. Sir, you were shown a document that -- during your

2 direct examination which was three pages, on the last page, it was Number

3 106, which was for the Territorial Defence of the area of Kozarac in which

4 your name appeared. Correct? Do you remember that?

5 A. Yes I do. I remember parts of this document.

6 Q. If I got your testimony correctly, you were also shown that by the

7 investigator during or prior to the time in which you signed your written

8 statement, that three-page document. That was one of the things that the

9 investigator shared with you. Correct?

10 A. Yes, correct. I saw the document.

11 Q. Did the investigator or whomever was there, did they show you the

12 complete list or any additional lists of the people who were mobilised in

13 the area of Kozarac in 1992, or is it your testimony that you were only

14 shown this three-page document in connection with that particular issue?

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I beg your pardon. May I interrupt. We

16 discussed Document S106, or what other document?

17 MR. OSTOJIC: From my recollection, I believe it's 106, Your

18 Honour. I don't have it --

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Because I have 106 before me. It's only two

20 pages.

21 MR. OSTOJIC: Then it's not 106, Your Honour. It's a three-page

22 document. We'll get to it. I'm just trying to put a context in. I

23 apologise. It's a three-page document which we'll address in short order,

24 hopefully.

25 MS. KORNER: S143.

Page 5001

1 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, counsel.

2 May we have, Your Honour, the usher show that document to the

3 witness.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.

5 MR. OSTOJIC:

6 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, just indicate to me when you've had an opportunity

7 to sufficiently review the document. Thank you.

8 A. I was shown this document in the Tadic case, as far as I can

9 recall. But also in the Kovacevic case, and several days before this

10 testimony, during the proofing. I think that there were more pages, but I

11 didn't pay much attention to that because this document had already been

12 produced in some other cases before the Tribunal. I didn't have any

13 specific questions.

14 Q. Well, how many more pages do you think there were?

15 A. I don't know. I didn't look at it for a long time. There were

16 other papers there as well. I just recognise the document, and that was

17 that. I think I said that the document had already been produced in other

18 cases. There were some other documents stacked on the same pile.

19 Q. Do you know, sir, how many citizens from the area of Kozarac were

20 actually members of the Territorial Defence in March or April of 1992?

21 A. No, I don't know that.

22 Q. Do you know if it was more or less than a thousand?

23 A. Are you referring to the Territorial Defence before the war, or

24 the extended Territorial Defence as it was in May 1992?

25 Q. The period that involves Exhibit S143, which your name appears on,

Page 5002

1 what period was that?

2 A. So that would be sometime in May, May 1992. This is a portion of

3 the list of the expanded Territorial Defence. What the total of the names

4 on the list was, including all of the villages and all of the relevant

5 local communes, if that record is made or was made for the entire area of

6 Kozarac, I don't know. The portion which concerns my village is correct.

7 Q. All I'm interested to know is do you know how many people were

8 members of the Territorial Defence from the area of Kozarac, on or about

9 the time period of May 1992?

10 A. I don't know how many people made themselves available to the

11 Territorial Defence, nor what kind of weapons they had. But the fact is

12 that people were called up if they wanted to join the Territorial Defence

13 or not, and to state what kind of weapons they had, if any. So one should

14 compile this type of list for every village, and it would be easy to

15 calculate the total.

16 Q. And I've just done that actually, so thank you. Bear with me,

17 though.

18 MR. OSTOJIC: If I can have the Court instruct the usher to pass a

19 document which was previously disclosed to the Defence under I believe 65

20 ter Number 629.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I don't believe we have it with us.

22 MR. OSTOJIC: I have extra copies, if the Court wants.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

24 MR. OSTOJIC:

25 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, can you just let me know when you've had an

Page 5003

1 opportunity to review that document, and then I'll proceed with my

2 questioning.

3 A. You can ask straight away.

4 Q. Do you recognise the document, sir?

5 A. Yes, I do. This is a list of persons who placed themselves at the

6 disposal of the TO with weapons, if any.

7 Q. Was this a list --

8 A. Signed personally. I am familiar with the part of the list that I

9 signed. The other parts, I didn't have an opportunity to look through the

10 other parts of this document. It's possible, though, that I've seen a

11 page or two, but not -- I have not looked through the document in its

12 entirety.

13 Q. Do you know, sir, if that's a complete list of the list of

14 mobilisation, as it's identified as being?

15 A. This is a list of persons who placed themselves at the disposal of

16 the TO. How many of these persons were mobilised, I really couldn't say.

17 I can't provide an accurate answer. I can only provide a partial answer.

18 As far as my own local area is concerned, half of the persons from the

19 Trnopolje Cesta list, which is also the section of the document that I

20 myself signed did not receive the callup, nor was there time for the

21 mobilisation to take place. And it was not possible to set up a unit with

22 these men in the time given. I'm speaking about a large number of people

23 from this list called "Trnopolje Locality Cesta".

24 Q. So it's not complete. Is that fair?

25 A. I don't think we've understood each other. Concerning my local

Page 5004

1 commune or my part of the local commune, yes, the list is complete. But

2 this is not a list of all mobilised persons. That's what I'm trying to

3 say. This is a list of persons who said: "Okay, we'll defend. I place

4 myself at the disposal of the TO. I have no weapon or I have a weapon."

5 Then they added which sort of weapon exactly. And then they signed.

6 These lists were to be used by the TO as a foundation, as some sort of

7 basis for setting up TO units. There are people in this list who signed

8 up and said they had weapons, but these people are aged 60 or 65. So

9 these lists are not identical to TO units, but only contain persons who

10 registered and expressed their willingness, if necessary, to join the TO

11 and defend their own villages.

12 This is not a list of the TO units. That's one thing I can say

13 for sure. And also, I can ascertain, at least as far as my area is

14 concerned, that these people were never organised as units. Perhaps they

15 could have been, but there wasn't enough time and it just wasn't possible.

16 I'm talking about the people on the Trnopolje Cesta list. Part of them

17 were organised and functioned during the first day of attack but then

18 broke down.

19 Q. Thank you. Explain to me if you can or describe for me what the

20 formal list of the territorial units looked like, what did that list look

21 like?

22 A. I don't know, sir, as I've already said. I was not part of the

23 structures commanding the TO or organising the TO. As any other citizen

24 in the situation that occurred, I placed myself -- I declared myself

25 available, and that's all I know. I also know, and you have asked me,

Page 5005

1 I'll provide you with a specific example. Trnopolje Cesta.

2 Q. Can you direct us to the page, please, that you're looking at.

3 A. [No Interpretation]

4 Q. Thank you.

5 A. Just a moment, please. Trnopolje Cesta, page 2, page A5 [as

6 interpreted].

7 Q. May we have the page again, sir.

8 A. A15, in the upper right corner. Here, for example, you have a

9 gentleman called Duracak, Redzep. He's an elderly gentleman. He's not a

10 man of military age. He's liable for mobilisation.

11 Q. If I can just -- and sir, I apologise for interrupting. All I

12 want to do is ask you a couple of questions about the document, and then

13 we'll discuss you at length, if you don't mind.

14 A. Please, go ahead.

15 Q. On the 3rd page of this document, A/1/2, there seems to be a stamp

16 on the right-hand side of that document. Correct?

17 A. Yes, that's correct. Kozarac TO staff, TO Bosnia and Herzegovina,

18 TO staff Kozarac. And then handwritten a list of 28 persons.

19 Q. Just for the record, if you could read the first line that starts

20 with the word "stab" and then interpret that line slowly for us, and then

21 the second sentence and then the third line, please, on that document

22 you're looking at, A/1/2.

23 A. "TO staff Kozarac." This is on most of the pages.

24 Q. And then the next line after that, TOBH, what is that?

25 A. That's a stamp. "Bosnia and Herzegovina TO,"" TO staff Kozarac".

Page 5006

1 Q. And then "STOKozara" what does that stand for?

2 A. That's S-T-O, that's "TO staff Kozarac".

3 Q. I can direct your attention to page A/1/29, please, which I

4 believe is the 29th page, if you just follow chronologically.

5 A. I found the page. A/1/29.

6 Q. Thank you. On the right side of that, there seems to be a word

7 "Stanicki Vod." Do you know what that means?

8 A. Not Stanicki. Sanitetski, it's medical. Sanitetski Vod,

9 Medicinski Vod, which is medical platoon or medical unit. It's a unit

10 providing medical assistance.

11 Q. Is this list that we have here also one that included a

12 military -- I'm sorry, a medical unit as reflected on A/1/29? A medical

13 platoon, if you will?

14 A. We've just established that. According to what is written here,

15 and I can't see the TO staff Kozarac stamp here. So, on this page, there

16 is no stamp. As far as I can see, it's all the same handwriting. Someone

17 listed 13 people here and added "medical platoon." So this may have been

18 added to this list from a different list where people were ordered

19 according to numbers.

20 Q. And this, as far as you can see, sir, from the pages that are

21 reflected there, up through and including page A/1/101 is for the

22 Territorial Defence of the area of Kozarac. Correct?

23 A. You said A/1/101.

24 Q. Everything including up to the last page, which is A/1/101.

25 A. Sir, according to the structure of the TO, it was organised on the

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Page 5008

1 basis of parts of local communes, then the next level were local communes,

2 and the headquarters were in the biggest local communes or in a town

3 commune where there was a local office. In this case, in Kozarac. So all

4 structures of the TO in this area, throughout the local communes in this

5 area, had their files and their superior authority first in Kozarac and

6 then in Prijedor. Accordingly, this is the TO staff Kozarac, but with

7 competencies for the TO also in Kozarusa, Trnopolje, Jakupovici, and all

8 other villages and local communes in that area.

9 Q. Thank you.

10 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, if I may ask that this exhibit be

11 introduced into evidence as the next Defence exhibit. I apologise. I

12 don't recall the number.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections?

14 MS. KORNER: No, Your Honour. We provided it.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This had, as I was informed a previous 65 ter

16 number. It was only disclosed under this number. Then it is admitted

17 into evidence as D11B. And please, on the list of exhibits may be marked

18 that the pages A/1/5 to A/1/6 are identical, and following A/1/7 are

19 identical with S143.

20 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you for that clarification, Your Honour.

21 Thank you.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please proceed.

23 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.

24 Q. Sir, do you know who -- and we can spend a few minutes now since

25 we have approximately 10 or so minutes left, if you can tell me who Halil

Page 5009

1 Seferovic is?

2 A. Halid Seferovic. I can't remember who he is.

3 Q. Do you know, sir, to the best of your recollection if Mr. Halid

4 Seferovic was ever a member of the Territorial Defence in Bosnia and

5 Herzegovina?

6 A. I can't remember that name. I can't remember the person by that

7 name.

8 Q. How about the name of Sefer Halilovic, do you know anyone by that

9 name?

10 A. Not that close after all. Maybe about 180 degrees at best. Yes,

11 I had heard of Sefer Halilovic. I know he was the first commander of the

12 BH Army.

13 Q. When did he become the first commander of the BH Army?

14 A. Immediately after the BH Army was first established. I can't

15 remember the exact month when that occurred.

16 Q. Can you tell us approximately what month and what year that

17 occurred, sir? Was it in April of 1992, if I may be of assistance?

18 A. April 1992, no. The BH Army, as far as I can remember, was not

19 established in April of 1992.

20 Q. Then tell me when was it established.

21 A. I think a couple of months later. We're talking about the BH

22 Army. There was the BH TO.

23 Q. And when did that commence to exist?

24 A. The BH TO, I think 40 or 50 years ago when Tito won the war with

25 his partisans, he established the republics of Yugoslavia. He established

Page 5010

1 the army, the TO. So the TO had always been there, and it had commands at

2 the level of all republics.

3 Q. Thank you. When did the Patriotic League become formed, sir?

4 A. The Patriotic League, as a movement, I believe that the need to

5 establish a patriotic movement was discussed in 1991. I can't remember

6 the exact month, but I know that the BH Presidency provided an initiative

7 for patriotic elements to join forces on the intellectual level. And with

8 all their powers and capacities to advocate Bosnia and Herzegovina. I

9 think formally there was an attempt to found the Patriotic League later

10 on, but it was never really established as a full-fledged player. The

11 situation just took a different turn. So the existing TO grew to such an

12 extent that it could easily be transformed into a BH army. This was

13 indeed done at a later date. I can't remember exactly when, but I suppose

14 it was in the second half of 1992.

15 Q. After June of --

16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

17 MR. OSTOJIC:

18 Q. After June of 1992, would that be your best estimate? Sometime

19 after June of 1992?

20 A. I can't say really. About mid-1992, maybe it was even in the

21 first half of 1992. I'm really not sure. But probably you should be able

22 to find out about this.

23 Q. Just going back to Sefer Halilovic, was he the head of the

24 Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992?

25 A. I don't know. As far as I know, Mr. -- Just a minute. Let me

Page 5011

1 recall his name. Karkin was the head of the TO. I think his name was

2 Karkin. Whether there had been someone else in that position before, or

3 after, I really don't know, but I know the TO was there. And I think

4 Karkin was its head, but I'm not entirely concern about this. It's quite

5 possible that at some point before the BH Army was established, Sefer had

6 indeed taken part in the TO, but I never considered these issues very

7 deeply, so I can't say anything much about that.

8 Q. Did you ever have an opportunity to read a book or papers written

9 by Mr. Sefer Halilovic?

10 A. After he retired, he's a general who decided to enter politics, to

11 go into politics. And as a politician, he had a party, and he published a

12 book in which he provided his own interpretations of the war. I did not

13 read this book, and I don't know about the theories in that book. I heard

14 comments. Some people approved of the book, and some people criticised of

15 it, but it very much depended on which of the sides involved was providing

16 its opinion on the book.

17 Q. As you sit here, sir, do you have any information or knowledge as

18 to how many weapons or armaments Mr. Sefer Halilovic was in control of as

19 the head of the Territorial Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina? In 1992,

20 specifically April of 1992?

21 A. I've answered this, sir, and in quite some detail as far as

22 concerns the TO. But I can't go into that because I simply don't know,

23 especially not the level you're asking me about.

24 Q. Let me ask you this, if I may: Do you know if in March of 1992,

25 the SDA party had established its own Crisis Staff? Do you know if it

Page 5012

1 existed at that time?

2 A. March 1992?

3 Q. Yes.

4 A. In Prijedor.

5 Q. Correct.

6 A. March 1992. There wasn't a Crisis Staff. There were some ideas

7 about one being set up, but these ideas never came to fruition, at least

8 as far as I know. If there was anything happening at the local level, I

9 really don't know. But in March 1992, we were functioning within legal

10 institutions and officials were just simply doing their job.

11 Q. With respect to this Crisis Staff, is it fair to say, then, that

12 you heard of the term "Crisis Staff" not just through what you testified

13 to, but also in connection with the SDA party? They were either thinking

14 about forming it or actually had formed it in some of the local communes.

15 Correct?

16 A. Sir, had a Crisis Staff of the SDA been founded in Prijedor, I

17 would have been the second person to become a member of that Crisis Staff.

18 There was no possibility of setting up such a Crisis Staff without me

19 learning about it. The thing is very simple really.

20 Q. Just quickly on a couple of other issues if I can just try to

21 squeeze them in, with respect to the armaments and weapons in Prijedor in

22 1992, do you know if there was a group of men from the SDA leadership who

23 were actively soliciting funds, locally and abroad, in order to purchase

24 arms and weapons?

25 A. Was there an organised group soliciting funds, and please, can you

Page 5013

1 just specify which period you are referring to? Because this is very

2 important. It's a very broad subject, much discussed. So please, if you

3 can specify the period whenever you're asking a question, please do so.

4 Q. In April and May of 1992, sir, did a group of men from the SDA

5 party actively solicit funds, locally and abroad, for the purchase of --

6 for the purpose of purchasing arms and armaments?

7 A. I'm not familiar with the existence of any such formal group by

8 party orders. Please, if you would just --

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. -- Let me finish. There was discussion about finding solutions to

11 the situation. The area was blocked. There were no medicines. There was

12 nothing available. A large number of people placed themselves at the

13 disposal of the TO. There was a large number of Serbs who offered to sell

14 weapons, Serbs from Omarska and from Prijedor. As I heard, even some

15 Serbs from the barracks. There were proposals to borrow money so that

16 people could buy weapons. It was only natural under the circumstances,

17 which I'm sure you're quite familiar with. If there was any formal

18 obligation concerning whatever persons to put together a fund for

19 buying -- for purchasing weapons, I think the word "fund" is really

20 ridiculous in this context because we had no institutions to use, nor was

21 the money flow open at the time. We asked for assistance, or aid, not

22 only from abroad, but we also appealled for political assistance in order

23 to lift the blockade, both at the republic level as well as at the

24 international level and wherever else we could. There is a human

25 dimension to this entire situation. Take my example. I placed myself at

Page 5014

1 the disposal of the TO. I had no weapon. I was terrified by the very

2 idea that the military could just dash into my house in the middle of the

3 night and kill my mother in front of me without me having a weapon to

4 defend her. I wanted to defend my country, my mother, my sisters. It was

5 the most natural need in a situation where we were just simply

6 hermetically closed off and compelled to defend ourselves. People

7 considered different models, different scenarios, but we never managed to

8 organise what we had begun or to convince the SDS that they had no reason

9 really to treat us the way they did.

10 Today you spoke about an incident committed against the army on

11 the 23rd in Kozarac, when the army fired their weapons, or -- excuse me --

12 on the 24th. There was no incident on the 23rd. But at least 300

13 soldiers had been inserted from the Ribnjak direction into Trnopolje and

14 into the Serb villages surrounding in the process half of Trnopolje. But

15 there was no incident really. So there was a process underway which, in

16 essence, we could only observe, we could pray to God and pray to the Serbs

17 to have mercy and not to kill people for no reason at all. And again, I

18 must be sincere with you. We really hoped that all that was happening at

19 the political level, at the federal level, and at the international level

20 would help to turn the events around.

21 There was the decision by the federal army eventually that they

22 would withdraw from Bosnia and Herzegovina. We hoped that this would

23 eventually come true, this news was encouraging for us. But no changes

24 took place, and the JNA just continued to do what it had been doing up to

25 that point. And in this sort of situation, you asked me about people

Page 5015

1 putting together funds. If people had been able to give birth physically

2 to weapons, they would have. We had blacksmiths, who shod horses, make

3 weapons for the first time in their lives. We had all these people

4 involved to try to look for barrels, to try to forge, literally make

5 weapons, to get gun powder from the hunters and to improvise some sort of

6 weaponry. We just sat by and waited.

7 I must return to this now. I had, I think, a need and a moral

8 obligation, if I'm abusing your patience, please forgive me. Can we just

9 return to the previous question. There was a number of ideas, people

10 said: "Come on, let's link up somehow. We must see what's happening. We

11 must see what's in the making. We're not being treated any differently

12 from how the other towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina were being treated.

13 There's bound to be a massacre." People were searching for a solution,

14 but they couldn't find one, and there was nothing to be done. We were

15 just left to our own devices.

16 Let me tell you another thing: If there was any serious form of

17 organisation, of structure, or any considerable amount of weapons

18 available, what kind of army would have been able to just wipe off the

19 whole area within 24 hours? It was celebrated as a great historic

20 achievement. We triumphed over tens of thousands of extremists in such a

21 short time. Your Honour, please forgive me. I know that it's not

22 desirable in Court. I did get slightly emotional. But also in the light

23 of what we were speaking about, I just want today clarify a couple of my

24 own answers. And after all, naturally, regardless of all that has

25 happened, I do not want in the least for anyone to be convicted more than

Page 5016

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Page 5017

1 is their just share, not a single bit more, and I stand behind these

2 words. They are a principle for me in my life. But please don't ask me

3 to judge matters I'm not qualified to judge or events that I did not

4 witness. Then please, ask me "what's your opinion, why did this happen"

5 but ask no further than that. Please. Thank you for your understanding.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. I think you made quite clear what

7 you wanted to express. And unfortunately, we have to break for today,

8 until Monday, 10.00. And may we please hear what is now to be expected on

9 Monday morning.

10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I was going to ask if Mr. Sejmenovic

11 could be given an indication of how many longer cross-examination will be.

12 Because he was expecting to leave today. He wasn't aware that the Court

13 wasn't sitting on Friday, I don't think, because nobody has been able to

14 speak to him.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was the information available one month ago.

16 MS. KORNER: I know, Your Honour. But clearly we thought it would

17 be finished. Otherwise, Your Honour, what is intended on Monday is that

18 Mr. Sejmenovic will continue. The other witness will be testifying in the

19 other case still. So at the moment, things are up in the air. The only

20 problem will arise is if that witness cannot give his evidence in here on

21 Tuesday and be finished on Tuesday. That's the problem that will arise.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it's the understanding, we commence on Monday

23 morning with the continuing cross-examination, and then I understand that

24 the Defence is prepared to have a break in order to facilitate proceedings

25 to allow the other witness to come in immediately, and then have this

Page 5018

1 witness Tuesday.

2 MS. KORNER: Yes.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And from my perspective, I think it will be

4 necessary to continue with the cross-examination Wednesday. Right?

5 MR. OSTOJIC: I believe so, Your Honour. We'll try our best, but

6 I believe so.

7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I know part of this is the difficulty of

8 the other witness. But really I think, maybe we ought to ask

9 Mr. Sejmenovic, I think it would be very unfair to keep Mr. Sejmenovic

10 here until Wednesday. I really would hope that, as Your Honours indicated

11 on a number of occasions to me, the Defence could get to the point and

12 they could finish Mr. Sejmenovic on Monday.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But I think we have to balance. Four days and

14 90 minutes, and on the other hand, there were several points, several very

15 important points, and I think the witness knows about his own importance

16 for the case. And therefore, I would ask for your understanding that it

17 may be necessary that you stay here until Wednesday. And I appreciate

18 that you do so. And let's proceed this way, anticipating that it may be,

19 emphasise, may be necessary, that we continue with the cross-examination

20 on Wednesday.

21 So let's call it a day now. And on Monday, 10.00, we resume.

22 Thank you.

23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

24 7.10 p.m., to be reconvened on

25 Monday, the 24th day of June, 2002,

Page 5019

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