1 Monday, 1 July 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. Good afternoon, everybody.
6 May we hear the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T,
8 the Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the appearances, please. The OTP.
10 MS. KORNER: Joanna Korner, Nicholas Koumjian, assisted by Ruth
11 Karper, case manager.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And Defence.
13 MR. LUKIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and John
14 Ostojic for the Defence.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Before we turn to today's witness, I
16 have to inform the parties on the following -- it was my intention to have
17 a hearing also the 10th of July, but I was informed via the legal officer
18 that this would cause some problems with the Defence. And the Defence is
19 not in town at that day? Or can we hear the reason, please.
20 MR. LUKIC: One of the reasons is that the Defence is not in the
21 town on that day. Of course, it could be rescheduled, but at the same
22 time, we have scheduled a visit by the mother of Mr. Stakic with her son.
23 And we usually leave the apartment when the family of Mr. Stakic comes to
24 Den Haag, so it should be rescheduled twice.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If there are no objections by the OTP, I think
1 good cause is shown not to hear this case on this date.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we don't raise any matters.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then, as regards Friday, 19th of July,
4 unfortunately, we can't have a hearing this Friday because we have
5 hearings in four other cases before Trial Chamber II. This will be in
6 Obrenovic, Mrdja, Mrksic, and one other case. We'll send out the
7 scheduling order later. But unfortunately, it's not possible to have any
8 courtroom for these purposes before August 2. So therefore, we had to
9 arrange this.
10 As regards August 1 and August 2, until now under the provision,
11 provisional only, we try to find out what is possible to have the hearing
12 on both days in the morning, if necessary. But we'll hear about this
14 Finally, what about the motion on Rule 95. The Defence indicated
15 that they would be prepared to file a new motion by today. Is it already
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Good afternoon, Your Honour. John Ostojic, on
18 behalf of the Defence. I did review the transcript and the Court's
19 comments and consulted with Mr. Lukic, and this morning briefly with my
20 learned friend, Ms. Korner, we discussed that we have not completed the
21 motion in full, and we're waiting to get dates which are necessary from a
22 certain letter in connection with part of our motion. But we have
23 accepted what the Court said in connection with the VWS, and will act
24 accordingly. So we'll expect to have that filed no later than Wednesday
25 and present it to the Court on Wednesday.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. I would appreciate if it could be filed
2 and, in addition, be read out in the courtroom for expeditious decision on
3 this motion.
4 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. The report the parties received in
6 addition, the decision of the Appeals Chamber as regards the
7 identification, so there are any comments to make on this issue?
8 MS. KORNER: Such comments as I might have are not particularly
9 helpful, Your Honour. We have received the decision, in fact, I was going
10 to raise it with Your Honour today, as to how Your Honour wants us to
11 proceed from here on in. In other words, the actual mechanics of holding
12 this identification parade. As I understood it, at one stage, Your
13 Honours were suggesting that the identification parade should be held in
14 Court. I don't know whether that's still Your Honours' intention. Can I
15 point out to a number of practical difficulties in that.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think the burden of proof and the burden how
17 to conduct this de lege artis is with the OTP.
18 MS. KORNER: Absolutely, Your Honour. Can I put it this way: I
19 don't know what Your Honour's practice in Your Honour's jurisdiction is,
20 but certainly in our jurisdiction identification parades would be held in
21 police stations. That applies equally to -- not in a court. And the
22 people selected for the parade would be general members of the public. Now
23 that obviously isn't going to apply, for one thing, there's no police
24 station. Two, I'm not sure we can drag general members of the public
25 here. Also, the Defence would have the right to object to the people
1 selected. I mean, as a process, it's quite a long process. So that's why
2 I'm asking whether Your Honours want it done in Court in front of Your
3 Honours or whether Your Honours want it done outside the Court either in
4 the Detention Unit where arrangements will have to be made with those who
5 run the unit and arrangements will have to be made for, I think Your
6 Honour said, five -- four similar people to be brought there.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Four additional, yes.
8 Yes, we're working on the basis of the best possible evidence. And
9 of course, the best possible evidence would be to see the immediate
10 reaction of the witness immediately in front of us. And therefore, the
11 most favourable solution would be, without any doubt, to have five persons
12 sitting here in the courtroom. And I think it couldn't be too much a
13 problem -- I know the problems to recruit people from the street, as is
14 done usually in our home countries. But why not try to find these people
15 amongst the staff members of this Tribunal. I think this could be a
16 solution. But to be honest, I want to leave the utmost discretion, of
17 course, to the Prosecutor. And when selecting these persons, of course,
18 it's only fair to discuss this with the Defence in preparation whether or
19 not the Defence has any objections on the outcome of this selection. But
20 I think it would be fair if, for example, the OTP presents, let's say,
21 seven persons, and you agree on four persons together with the Defence.
22 This could be a solution, but I want to leave it absolutely to the parties
23 to decide this. But I believe it could be done, and it would facilitate
24 the proceedings directly in the courtroom.
25 MS. KORNER: So, I understand that Your Honour would prefer that
1 the identification takes place for the first time in the courtroom with
2 people who look similar to Dr. Stakic sitting somewhere.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Space enough, even in our shoebox.
4 MS. KORNER: I should point out that Dr. Stakic is -- perhaps not
5 the easiest person to find similarity to, given his beard and his hair
6 line, if I can put it that way. But we'll see what we can do.
7 Your Honour, the next point is I understand the matter Your Honour
8 said should there not only be an identification parade of what he looks
9 like now, but Your Honour wants the photo board as well.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It was the intention of the OTP to provide the
11 photo board, and what we said until now was that from our point of view,
12 there is no obstacle that in addition, the attempt is made to recognise a
13 person on the basis of a photo board. And you prepared this photo board.
14 There were, if I remember correctly, the Defence had some objections
15 against the one or other photograph shown on this board. But once again,
16 this has to be settled amongst the parties.
17 MS. KORNER: Yes. I just want to confirm. That's as he looked
18 like ten years ago when --
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right.
20 MS. KORNER: Yes. Well, Your Honour, we'll see what we can
21 arrange obviously. I think it's anticipated the witness will be called
22 towards the end of the month.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Of July.
24 MS. KORNER: Of July, yes.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. And this brings me to the final point:
1 What about the estimated length of the Prosecutor's case from your point
2 of view?
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we've reprepared a list of how long we
4 anticipate the remaining witnesses will take. Your Honour, it's our view
5 that the case will run roughly to mid-September, with the break. Perhaps
6 the beginning of the third week.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We may have this writing that we can follow
8 the --
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we've updated the estimates for those 65
10 ter if we can hand those in.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Excellent. Could the usher be so kind and give
12 one, first, for the Defence of course, and then to the Judges. Thank you.
13 Thank you for this preparation, because we have to find out when to
14 continue with the case.
15 MS. KORNER: Yes. I think we were -- our understanding was that
16 it would be recommenced on the 26th of August.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Immediately after the Court recess, indeed. And
18 then until mid-September. This was the common understanding. If nothing
19 happens in the meantime not foreseeable, probably there will be some
20 difficulties as regards interpretation after the summer break. But it's
21 not yet ripe for discussion.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, then may I return finally before the
23 witness comes in if I may, there was a discussion I think in the Status
24 Conference, a discussion about handwriting. And I think Your Honours were
25 going to return to the matter. I don't know whether -- in the sense that
1 we can't carry out a handwriting comparison unless we have samples of
2 handwriting to compare it with. And I think Mr. Koumjian raised this
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You received the two orders of this Chamber on
5 this issue?
6 MS. KORNER: No. We haven't seen any orders.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: They were filed. We have already received it in
8 return, so please, wait until --
9 MS. KORNER: I hadn't appreciated Your Honours had filed orders.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It was already --
11 MS. KORNER: It was filed --
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: On Friday.
13 MS. KORNER: On Friday. It hasn't reached us yet.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Probably we can come back later today to
15 this issue.
16 MS. KORNER: We'll attempt to get the orders.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Then we should proceed as soon as
18 possible with the cross-examination. Yes.
19 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, Your Honour. The reason why -- I
20 completely forgot, before the witness comes back, when he left last week,
21 he gave to VWS, who passed it on to us, a document. It is an original
22 of -- we did a draft translation. I think Your Honours were given a copy,
23 of a letter removing somebody --
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: From Celpak?
25 MS. KORNER: I'm so sorry.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it Celpak in the first line?
2 MS. KORNER: Yes, it is.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then we have it before us.
4 MS. KORNER: Yes. Your Honour. Your Honour, we gave it to the
5 Defence. Clearly because he's been giving evidence, nobody's spoken to
6 him about it. I don't know where it comes from, how he got it, or what
7 made him produce it. I'm just asking for Your Honours' assistance or
8 guidance as to how it should be dealt with, whether Your Honours would
9 wish me to reopen examination-in-chief with him to deal with this document
10 or --
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it would be the most appropriate way in
12 this party procedure, and just before we really start with the witness, I
13 wanted to ask the parties: When some issues will be discussed emanating
14 from the letter I read out during the last hearing, and all the question
15 in this context, let us know beforehand, and I think we have to go for
16 good reasons then in closed session again.
17 MS. KORNER: That's the letter that Your Honour read into the
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right.
20 MS. KORNER: About the assistance.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right.
22 MS. KORNER: Yes, well Your Honour, at the end of
23 cross-examination, I was going to raise various matters about the
24 cross-examination in any event, basically to say I'm not at all clear what
25 case, if any, is being put to this witness at the moment.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Only that we are clear, do you agree that we
2 just for a few minutes restart, on the basis of this document, with the
3 examination-in-chief? It's an interruption once again of your
4 cross-examination. Therefore, I have to ask you for your permission.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. That would be fine by us.
6 My only question is, I'm not sure if we have the document that counsel is
7 referring to. So if we may have an extra copy of it, we appreciate it.
8 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, what we've done is we've done a colour
9 copy for Your Honours and one for the Defence. Can I ask, perhaps, that
10 what is exhibited in this case, Your Honours of course and the Defence can
11 look at the original, but rather than making the original an exhibit, to
12 make one of the colour copies an exhibit because it will be needed for the
13 Brdjanin/Talic trial at a later stage. And once it becomes an exhibit
14 here, it becomes quite complicated.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right.
16 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In the meantime, when this document is
18 distributed, what about our request for colour copies?
19 MS. KORNER: Yes, I think we have got a number of colour copies
20 for Your Honours of the documents you requested.
21 Your Honour, we've copied sets of all the colour copies. One is
22 for Your Honours, one is for the registry, and one is for the Defence.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Excellent.
24 MS. KORNER: The colour copies, one for the Defence, one for the
25 registry, and one for the Judges. That's the first batch, Your Honour.
1 More are coming.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can we agree that we start a new binder
3 including these colour copies, and it's my understanding you tender this
4 into evidence. Any objections against the admission into evidence of
5 these colour copies? I think they have additional probative value to that
6 what we had in the past.
7 MS. KORNER: I just wonder whether they shouldn't be --
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Concentrated.
9 MS. KORNER: Whether they shouldn't be -- because they are already
10 exhibited all these document, whether they shouldn't become a version of
11 the actual exhibit numbers they've got.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We can do it this way, add these to the former
13 documents under -1. Right?
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes. No objection, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. The colour copies will be admitted
16 into evidence under the number of the exhibit already admitted into
17 evidence, only, in addition, -1 to the number they have already.
18 And then finally, it is your intention to tender the copy of the
19 document we have now before us in colour copy.
20 MS. KORNER: As an exhibit, yes.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections?
22 MR. OSTOJIC: No, Your Honour, not as a colour copy, no.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then the next available number will be, please.
24 THE REGISTRAR: So, this will be Exhibit S182.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence as S182B, and the draft
1 translation, S182A.
2 Anything else to be settled before we start? I can see nothing.
3 Then please, may the witness be brought in.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon. Good to see you back in
6 The Hague. Please be seated. I don't want to start without recalling
7 that of course, even there was a longer break, all that what you have to
8 say today and tomorrow, the same rules apply. And you are still acting
9 under your solemn declaration. Do you understand?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I do. And I
11 accept this, just as I did when I made the solemn declaration.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. As evidently out of the blue, a
13 document was tendered, we start for a short moment with the
14 examination-in-chief. Please, Ms. Korner.
15 WITNESS: MEVLUDIN SEJMENOVIC [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Examined by Ms. Korner: [Continued].
18 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, before you left, you handed to the victims and
19 witnesses service a document. Could you have a look, please, at this
21 A. Your Honour, this is the document I submitted through the
22 assistant. I sent it from the airport in Amsterdam. This is a decision
23 dismissing from work an employee who was not an ethnic Serb and who was an
24 ordinary worker. If the Court wishes, I can read out what is written in
25 the document. And if the Court wishes, I can also explain how I came into
1 possession of this document and why I submitted it to you in the way that
2 I did.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please do.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. This
5 document bears the heading "The Celpak Cellulose and Paper Factory, PO
6 Prijedor. Director of the sector for personnel, legal, and general
7 administration." The document bears the number 466. And the date, the
8 16th of October, 1992.
9 Further, it says: "Pursuant to an order of the Crisis Staff of
10 the Prijedor Municipality number 001-023-49/92, of the 2nd of July, 1992,
11 I hereby issue the following decision on the termination of employment:
12 "One, to the worker Sulejmana Husnija Kuduzovic, working at the
13 post of first assistant --"
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters are not aware of this term.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- "preparation of acid. His
16 employment is terminated because of his participation in the armed
17 rebellion in the Municipality of Prijedor on the 2nd of July, 1992." Then
18 there follows an explanation of reasons, a statement of reasons. "By the
19 order of the Crisis Staff of the Municipality of Prijedor, number
20 01-023-49/92, of the 2nd of July, all organisations were ordered, if they
21 had employees who took part in the armed rebellion and who are now in one
22 of the refugee camps of Omarska or Keraterm, to terminate their
24 "Acting in accordance with the above-mentioned order, and pursuant
25 to the letter received from the public security station number 11-12-26,
1 of the 16th of July, 1992, on the register of such persons, the decision
2 mentioned in the disposition of this decision was reached."
3 And then, in the left hand bottom corner, it says: "Delivered to"
4 and there is a list of four addresses. "One, the above-named. Two, the
5 financial department for the payroll. Three, to EJ, who is the head of a
6 unit." I assume it's the energy unit, but I'm not sure. "And four: "To
7 the employment department." And the signature is that of the director of
8 the sector for legal, personnel and administrative affairs, Zeljko
9 Skondric, a graduate lawyer. And there is a handwritten signature over
10 the typed name, and the stamp of the Celpak factory. There is nothing on
11 the other side. There is only a handwritten telephone number on the other
13 The way I came into possession of this document is as follows:
14 When I testified before the Tribunal two years ago, I don't know the exact
15 date, a gentleman called (redacted) [Realtime transcript read in
16 error (redacted)] was also before the Tribunal. And on completing our
17 obligations to the Tribunal, just as we were setting out to go home, he
18 told me that he had this document with him, and that he had forgotten to
19 give it to the investigators. He asked me to do this. I took the piece
20 of paper from him. I didn't study it in detail. I only saw that it was a
21 decision on dismissal from work, and I forgot to hand over the document.
22 The document was in a pocket inside my leather bag. I remember that (redacted)
23 (redacted) then told me how he had received this document, but now I'm not
24 so sure about it any more. Either it was handed to his wife, who went to
25 the company, or to him personally. I'm not sure about that any more. But
1 this person exists, and this information can easily be checked. At the
2 airport in Amsterdam, while we were waiting for our flight, I put my plane
3 ticket and some other papers in this pocket inside my bag, and Mr. Greg,
4 who was the assistant accompanying us to the airport saw this. I felt
5 inside the pocket, and I discovered this piece of paper, and then I wrote
6 several sentences on a blank sheet of paper. And I asked Greg to deliver
7 this to the Tribunal if he could.
8 He was present when I was writing this note, and I gave this
9 document and the note into his hands and asked him to deliver it if
10 possible to see if it could be of use to the Court. But anyway, two years
11 ago, I undertook to do this, and I really forgot. So in this way, I have
12 carried out my promise to this gentleman, and I have done now what he
13 asked me to do when he gave me this document.
14 MS. KORNER:
15 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, that was when you were testifying in the Keraterm
16 case, was it?
17 A. Correct, correct, yes. In the Keraterm case, yes. I must have
18 got the dates mixed up. But in any case, I know that I found this
19 document in my bag. I know it had been in my bag for a long time, and I
20 had forgotten to fulfill my promise and hand it over to the Tribunal. I
21 was not given the name of a specific person to whom to give the document.
22 Mr. -- The gentleman who gave me this document only said: "Give it to the
23 Tribunal." And as I was already leaving, I did this in the way I have
24 just described.
25 Q. Yes, thank you, Mr. Sejmenovic.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think that's all I needed to --
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Just one question for clarification: On page
3 13, line 14 of our today's transcript, it reads: (redacted) Did I
4 understand you correctly that you received this document by (redacted)
5 as it reads on the document?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] (redacted).
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You received it from this (redacted)., as we
8 can read the name here.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I received it when he was
10 already on his way home and had packed his things some 10 minutes before
11 we left. He was putting his documents inside his bag, and it was then
12 that he asked me to hand this document over to somebody at the Tribunal.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the only thing I'm having a quick check
14 made of, if I can, is whether this was a protected witness.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
16 MS. KORNER: It may well be --
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: All the time I thought about the 30 minutes
18 rule --
19 MS. KORNER: Exactly.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: -- And therefore, to be on the safe side, let's
21 redact this name from the transcript. Probably we can come back to this
22 later. It was mentioned as I said, page 13, line 14. And then
23 unfortunately I myself quoted.
24 MS. KORNER: We've just had it confirmed, Your Honour, he was a
25 protected witness. If that could be --
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If that could be redacted immediately, starting
2 13:14, and then all the time this name is mentioned in the transcript,
4 Please, send the pages 13 to 15 to me, and I'll take care of this.
5 Thank you.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, if it's going out on public session in
7 the foyer, lobby, then it ought to be made sure it doesn't go out.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Thank you.
9 Before we start now the continuation of the cross-examination, let
10 me first express my gratitude that the Defence was prepared to have such
11 enormous break during cross-examination. I know it's not facilitating
12 your work, but we appreciate really that you consented. Thank you once
13 again. But now it's your turn.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Ostojic: [Continued]
16 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Sejmenovic.
17 A. Good afternoon.
18 Q. On the back of the exhibit you were reviewing, S128B, can you tell
19 me whose handwriting appears on that page?
20 A. I don't know. I didn't pay attention to it. I see that it is
21 handwriting, and that it's a telephone number. But I don't know. I
22 didn't pay special attention to it. I didn't even study the document in
23 detail when it was given to me. But when I found it in my bag at the
24 airport, I immediately asked the gentleman called Greg to hand it in.
25 Q. Do you know who this individual Osman is that's referred to there,
1 or can you read to us what it says? Because it's more than just a number.
2 There seems to be two numbers and two names, if you would be kind enough
3 to read that into the record for us.
4 A. Yes, yes. I can read it. On the back, there is a handwritten
5 name, Osman, followed by the number 811-407. It could be a telephone
6 number. Underneath it says Caus, and then the number 815-248. This is
7 what can be seen on the back of the document. But what this means, well,
8 the person who gave me this document would probably know if that was the
9 person who made these notes, or if somebody else did.
10 Q. So you would have no information as to whether this is the same
11 Osman that we were referencing during our cross-examination who was
12 involved with the Territorial Defence and/or the Kozarac police station.
14 A. I don't believe that's so, because that person is from a different
15 part of Prijedor. This man is from Gomjenica, or Cele, which is a
16 completely different part of Prijedor, separate from Kozarac. So I don't
17 think there's a connection, but I recommend that you contact this person,
18 and he will probably know what it's about.
19 Q. Sir, going back now to your direct and cross-examination of the
20 last couple weeks, we talked about briefly the announcement that was made
21 on or about April 30th, 1992, at the time of the takeover in Prijedor. I'm
22 trying to just focus you on that time. With respect to that, sir, in May
23 of 1996, you testified that the announcement over the radio, on page 912,
24 line 12 through 15, was as follows: "Radio Prijedor started to broadcast
25 its announcements straight away that morning saying the SDS undertook some
1 measures in order to debloc authority in Prijedor. The SDS members
2 appeared on broadcast very often during the day."
3 Similarly, sir, in your testimony sworn as it was in the Kovacevic
4 trial on page 419, lines 21 through 25, you were asked a similar question
5 regarding the announcements on the radio indicating who had been
6 responsible for the takeover. You answered in the affirmative, and you
7 continued to state: "They were quite open about it. They said that the
8 Serbian Democratic Party had taken over all power in the municipality, so
9 that the municipality could function normally again."
10 In your testimony here, sir, on pages 96 and 97, you told us that
11 you heard the announcement. And I understand that it has been several
12 years since that time, over ten. You told us that you heard the public
13 announcement of the Crisis Staff. In neither 1996, in your testimony in
14 May of 1996 in the Tadic case, or your testimony in July of 1998 in the
15 Kovacevic case did you ever, sir, mention that the Crisis Staff
16 participated or even existed at the time when these alleged announcements
17 were made over Radio Prijedor. And I'd like you to reconcile for us how
18 is it that today, or recently, are you able to recall after ten years that
19 in fact it wasn't as you stated earlier, but it was the Crisis Staff that
20 made those announcements? Can you reconcile that for me?
21 A. In the former -- previous trials, I was asked whether I had heard
22 an announcement over the radio. I listened to that announcement, perhaps
23 two or three times. I was not able to quote the content of the
24 announcement, but I remember some details quite clearly, even today.
25 Whether at the beginning of the announcement it was said that it was the
1 Crisis Staff making the announcement, that I'm not sure of. I can't
2 remember that. Several days ago, I was not asked specifically whether the
3 words "Crisis Staff" had been used. I can neither confirm nor deny this.
4 I can't remember. But the Crisis Staff was the authority that issued
5 communiques, and that is a fact.
6 I know that interpretations were given as to why this was done,
7 that some people's names were mispronounced, for example, Becir Medunjanin
8 from Kozarac was said to be called Becir Medunjani, which sounds like an
9 Albanian last name and first name. And this was done to create among the
10 Serbian population a feeling that this was parallel to what had been
11 happening in Kosovo. They referred to him as Becir Medunjani, and I did
12 pay attention to this. I noticed this. So I cannot confirm or deny who
13 formally issued the announcement.
14 Q. Well, sir, I'm not asking you here to give me your opinion. I'm
15 asking you as a fact witness, as a person identified by the OTP solely as
16 a fact witness. You tell me, sir, which is true? Was is it that the SDS
17 made the announcements or was it this Crisis Staff that you told us a
18 couple weeks ago that they made the announcements? Is it your testimony
19 in 1996 and 1998 that we should believe, and is it different, and how so,
20 from your testimony here today? And if you don't remember, simply tell
21 us --
22 A. No, no, it's not different. It's not different. There was only
23 one body in the municipality of Prijedor which was in power. There was
24 the Crisis Staff, and nothing else. There was nothing above the Crisis
25 Staff. The Crisis Staff was composed of the SDS leadership, the people
1 from the municipality from the SDS, and if I said an "SDS announcement," I
2 meant the people who were from the SDS. Who ordered this announcement to
3 be read, that, I don't know.
4 I do not remember whether at the beginning of the announcement it
5 was said that the SDS of Prijedor or the Crisis Staff were making this
6 announcement. That, I don't remember. But I'm talking about people who
7 belonged to a particular political party and who were appointed to certain
8 posts, and then took over power by military means. If you're asking me
9 about the legal issue of who made this announcement, I don't know. But I
10 know they were SDS people.
11 Q. Right. With respect to the name that you were just referencing,
12 Becir, I think, Medunjanin, do you know if that was identified by a
13 newspaper man, or who was actually distorting or misstating his name, if
14 you remember?
15 A. I don't remember who the person was, but the name was pronounced
16 as Becir Medunjani, on several occasions. This was done persistently.
17 Q. Let me ask you this, sir: On April or May 1st, 1992, the day
18 after the takeover, you shared with us that you went to the town of
19 Prijedor. At that time you said you saw that flags were hoisted, Serbian
20 flags. Did you notice, sir, at all whether or not the flags of the --
21 Yugoslavian flag was hoisted as well on those same federal and republic
22 local institutions? Isn't that true?
23 A. I saw two flags. I think I saw two flags in front of the
24 municipality. As for other buildings, I didn't see what kind of flags
25 there were. I didn't pass by the MUP building. I saw the MUP building at
1 a distance of about 80 metres, but I took another street. I went around
2 it, went to the party, and from the party, I went down the main street and
3 arrived at the municipality. As for the institutions, there was the MUP
4 building. I don't remember what I saw on the MUP building. I just
5 remember what I saw in front of it, from the corner from which I was
6 looking. It's possible there was a Yugoslav flag. I think there were two
7 flags in front of the municipality. But I don't remember that there was a
8 Yugoslav flag with a five-pointed star. I think there was no five-pointed
9 star on it. But I really don't remember that detail now.
10 Q. Let me understand, please, is it that you remember the Yugoslavian
11 flag or you don't remember the flag at all but you know that there were
12 two flags but yet you only remember the Serbian flag with the four Cs. Or
13 do you remember that there was a Yugoslavian flag without the five-pointed
14 star? Which one of the variations would you like us to believe?
15 A. I think it was a Yugoslav flag without a five-pointed star, and a
16 Serbian flag, but there was no flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That had
17 been taken down. And as far as I can recall at present, without --
18 without getting into the situation deeper, that's what I can remember. I
19 think there was the Yugoslav flag without a five-pointed star, and the
20 Serbian flag.
21 Q. Let me clarify another issue if I may, during your visits to and
22 from Trnopolje. You went into Trnopolje yourself, and then you left
23 Trnopolje, and then returned at a later time. Correct?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. How long were you there at the Trnopolje camp, physically? For
1 how many days, nights, or any way you can quantify it for us?
2 A. I cannot quantify this precisely. I never have been able to. I
3 thought about it several times. I tried to remember the chronological
4 order of events. I like to do this for myself. But as I've already said,
5 I have lost my orientation in time, and sometimes two days seem to have
6 lasted much longer. Or five days seemed to pass by in a flash depending
7 on what you're experiencing at the time. What I can say with certainty is
8 that it was between three and five days that I spent in the camp of
9 Trnopolje. Whether it was five or three, I simply cannot tell you with
10 any precision.
11 Three, four, or five days.
12 Q. Well, which ever many days it was --
13 A. It's possible it was three days, but I'm not sure.
14 Q. Whichever way or however long it was, did you have an opportunity
15 while you were at the Trnopolje camp to observe the people who were within
16 that camp?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Were you able to, sir, see whether the people that were within
19 that Trnopolje camp, whether they were of mixed age and gender?
20 A. There were women, there were children, there were adult men. But
21 they were separated. They could not sleep together. They were separated.
22 That was the camp regime at the point when I arrived. 15 days before
23 that, the regime was quite different, and the people who were there told
24 me this, but then it was changed.
25 Q. Let's try to focus your testimony on what you know, what you
1 experienced, and what you observed. I'm sure my learned friend from the
2 other side will ask you about all the hearsay, all the hypothetical, and
3 all the other stuff you heard. For my purposes, I'm really interested in
4 what you saw and observed. While at Trnopolje, is it fair to say, sir,
5 that it was not a camp which had exclusively men of military age?
6 A. No, there were not exclusively men of military age. These men
7 were, however, in separate rooms, and they were grouped together. The
8 women were accommodated in different parts of the camp.
9 Q. Had anyone, sir, come to Trnopolje camp during the time that you
10 were there, was it open and obvious for them to see people of mixed age
11 and gender, meaning women, children, men, et cetera? Older and younger?
13 A. I have already answered this. There were people of all ages and
14 both sexes.
15 Q. I'm asking you, was it so open and so obvious that anyone who
16 would come there, whether it be a monitor or any other individual who
17 happened to come along Trnopolje camp, that it was easy --
18 A. No.
19 Q. No, it was not open and obvious?
20 A. No.
21 Q. How so?
22 A. No, no.
23 Q. How so?
24 A. No. From the camp, one could go out, if one had approval, with
25 approval. People would go to the sentry posts and get approval to go and
1 get food. That's one part of my answer. The next part of my answer is
2 that people were brought to the camp in buses from other parts of
3 Prijedor, from Puharska, from Rizvanovici, and some other places. Also,
4 some people were transferred from Keraterm to Trnopolje.
5 Q. I don't know if we're understanding each other, and it might be an
6 issue with the question that I posed to you. My question is very
7 straightforward, sir. The Trnopolje camp, and when I say open, I'm not
8 saying open for people to have access to come in and out. We'll discuss
9 that. If someone were to just happen upon the camp, was it obvious to
10 them merely to see that the camp contained people of mixed gender and age?
11 It was rather obvious, wasn't it? It didn't take you three days to figure
12 that out, did it?
13 A. Well, yes, one could see that there were both men and women there.
14 One could see that.
15 Q. Did you ever, sir --
16 A. At least, at the point in time when I was there.
17 Q. During the time that you were there, did the women leave the camp
18 and bring food back to others within the camp? Did you observe that at
20 A. It was mostly men who went to get food after getting approval. I
21 saw that. I saw several men getting permission to go to their houses and
22 bring back some flour or some potatoes. And I know that several men also
23 got permission to take a tractor or a truck and catch some stray cattle,
24 slaughter them, and bring them back to the camp in order to provide food
25 for the inmates. I think the person's name was Rega, but I'm not
1 completely sure. I think it was.
2 Q. Had you, sir, having lived near Trnopolje, had you been to this
3 facility prior to April of 1992, ever?
4 A. You mean the rooms inside the building? Yes, in some of them. So
5 I saw some of them before, but not others.
6 Q. How was the camp facilities different from the time that you
7 visited it prior to April 1992 and that which you experienced in June and
8 July of 1992? How was the structure different, if at all?
9 A. How was it different?
10 Q. If at all.
11 A. Do you mean the building construction or?
12 Q. Any physical attributes that you noted, sir, or observed in
13 connection with this Trnopolje facility prior to April 30th and that which
14 you experienced after or during June and July of 1992?
15 A. Well, there were several details. Around the facility and around
16 the stadium, there were armed soldiers and machine-gun nests. Then it was
17 also different because the desks and chairs had been taken out of the
18 school, and some men slept on the floor in the classrooms, at least in
19 some of the classrooms where I spent one night. In fact, I spent one
20 night in the corridor, but near the door of a classroom.
21 About the other buildings, I don't know. The building across the
22 road was a family house. At that time, it was the camp command. And the
23 family was not living in the house any more. Commander Kuruzovic,
24 commander Slavko, the soldiers and guards were there. There was another
25 house where soldiers slept. There was a house belonging to a person
1 called Hamdo, and this was also inhabited by soldiers, or at least
2 upstairs, there were soldiers. That's what I can say about it now.
3 Q. Is it true, sir, that the Trnopolje camp does not and did not have
4 either prior to April 1992 or after April of 1992, a barbed wire
5 surrounding the entire camp? Yes or no, sir.
6 A. Okay. The wire existed before April 1992. It existed if you look
7 from the Trnopolje/Kozarac Road, you see it was there where the farmhouse
8 was. And there was also another barbed wire. It was the sort of boundary
9 from the football stadium. There was an old wire which was slightly
10 damaged, but existed nevertheless. On the other two sides there was no
11 barbed wire, not before, not then.
12 Q. Is it fair to say, sir, because you didn't itemize it as one of
13 the descriptions that the wire that you described in connection with the
14 stadium or the other part of the Trnopolje facility, that, in fact, that
15 had not changed. It had been the same as you saw it prior to April 1992
16 as when you saw it in June and July of 1992. Correct? Same fence in the
17 same place?
18 A. Yes, but within the barbed wires, there was something else.
19 Instead of sandbags and other things, there were people.
20 Q. Right. Let me ask you this: Do you know, sir, prior to April of
21 1992 -- first strike that. How far do you live from Trnopolje camp? How
22 far did you live from Trnopolje camp in 1992?
23 A. In 1992, I used to live perhaps 200 metres from the building, 200,
24 250 metres from the Trafo building or the farmer's cooperative building.
25 Q. Do you know, sir, if at any time prior to April 1992, the
1 Trnopolje facility was used for any refugees, prior to April of 1992?
2 A. Before April 1992. I can't remember.
3 Q. How about right after the war in Croatia? Do you know if there
4 were any Serbian refugees that were housed in the Trnopolje camp?
5 A. Before April, sir, the community centre was operating. The
6 farmer's cooperative was working, the school was open.
7 Q. So you're saying that Serbian refugees were not, at any time, at
8 the Trnopolje facility. Correct?
9 A. Possibly. There may have been a number of them, a number of Serb
10 refugees did come to the area. It was not a large number, however, and it
11 was not something that could be visibly seen passing by.
12 Q. Thank you. If I can have the Court instruct the usher to show the
13 witness Exhibit S144B.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please do so.
15 MR. OSTOJIC:
16 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, we're going to change the topic a little bit here
17 now and ask a couple questions on mobilisation if you don't mind. I'm
18 going to give you this document and ask you a couple questions on that.
19 Sir, can you tell us whether or not this was a mandatory or
20 voluntary request for mobilisation?
21 A. As far as I can remember, after the census of citizens who were at
22 the disposal of the Territorial Defence, the TO decided to send calls and
23 to organise. The TO may have done this before that with the regular
24 members of the TO. I don't know. But later on, I know that on the basis
25 of voluntary situation, they were -- there was a callup in that stage. On
1 that list, there were people who were older, who were younger, who were
2 subject or not subject to military service.
3 Q. And we're speaking of the mobilisation that was issued on April
4 8th, 1992, correct, approximately three and a half weeks before the
5 takeover of Prijedor. Is that correct?
6 A. You mean the invitation, the call of the republican staff?
7 Q. Is S144 that call from the republican staff?
8 A. No, this is the TO of the BiH and the Kozarac TO. This republican
9 call should have gone through the municipal bodies, through the existing
10 municipal structure, but it was not impossible to implement it, given the
11 situation because some members were in favour and some were against.
12 But in Kozarac, the TO structure continued to exist, and at one
13 moment, it tried to organise mobilisation.
14 Q. And do you have an opinion, sir, as to whether or not it was
15 successful in organising that mobilisation, in light of the fact that we
16 showed you the document listing members of the Territorial Defence last
18 A. I could give you my own personal view, not on the basis of my own
19 insight into the documents. I can give you my own opinion, my own
20 impression. I believe that the process of mobilisation had started, but
21 was not completed because of the acceleration of events and because the
22 military attack on Kozarac began. I think the process of mobilisation and
23 of creating defensive forces was not fully complete before the attack on
24 Kozarac. In some parts, yes; in some parts, no.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: And now, Your Honour, if I can have the usher show
2 Mr. Sejmenovic Exhibit D7A and B, please.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please do so.
4 MR. OSTOJIC:
5 Q. My first question to you, sir, before you testified in this case
6 and gave your written statement on June 11th, 2002, was this document one
7 of the numerous and relevant documents the OTP asked you to review in
8 connection with your testimony in this matter?
9 A. No. I didn't -- I don't remember the Prosecution having shown me
10 that document.
11 Q. It only happened a couple weeks ago. You don't know that it
12 happened or you just can't remember that it happened?
13 A. No, allow me to go through the document, to skim through it, and
14 then I shall tell you.
15 No, I didn't see that document. I'm seeing it for the very first
16 time. It's a document I may have seen one or two pages of that document,
17 but I didn't see this particular document.
18 Q. Well, help me with this, Mr. Sejmenovic: Do you think or do you
19 have an opinion that if there's a document that has your name on it, that
20 it would be relevant, at least for you to review? Would you agree with me
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's not a problem for --
23 MS. KORNER: I don't think that's a question he can answer.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, it's a question you could ask the other
25 party, but not the witness, why. I think the answer --
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Fair enough.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay.
3 MR. OSTOJIC: Fair enough.
4 Q. Sir, if you look at the first page of this document on the B/C/S
5 version, if you will, which starts I believe on the top right-hand corner,
6 page 328. Do you see that?
7 A. I can see it.
8 Q. Now, the date of this document seems to be the 30th of April,
9 1992. Correct?
10 A. Yes. It says: "April 30th, 1992."
11 Q. If you could just take a look at that first page, sir, do you know
12 any of the individuals that are mentioned there such as Beco, Islam,
13 Melkic, Sivac, Nagib, Medic, Osman, Suljo, Kemo Fazlic? Do you recognise
14 any of these individuals?
15 A. I recognise some of them, Beco may have been Becir Medunjanin.
16 Islam, Islam Bahonjic perhaps.
17 Q. Let's not guess. Let's look at the lower part of that page where
18 it gives their first and last name, under the word delegation.
19 A. Right. Well, sir, you showed me the beginning of the document.
20 You should have told me to see the end of the page, too. We have the name
21 Fazlic --
22 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Sejmenovic. I'm only pointing to where you can
23 find that. It's not a criticism. Please don't take it as a criticism.
24 Do you know those individuals who are listed on that page?
25 A. I know Islam Bahonjic, Becir Medunjanin. I know Ilijaz Memic.
1 The name here is Ilko, but I suppose it's Ilijaz. Kemal Fazlic. I know
2 there was a person by that name in Kozarac. But I don't believe I know
3 him personally.
4 Q. Do you know what this document is, at least this first page that
5 you've had an opportunity to look at?
6 A. Well, may I first read it, and then tell you? I see that it is a
7 minutes, a record. It is written by hand. I don't know what it
8 addresses. Is it written by a body, whether it is a minutes from a
9 meeting? I don't know. I can only read what is written in it.
10 Q. Well, help me with this: On the first thing, Beco talks about a
11 main road issue. Do you have any idea what he's referring to, sir, in
12 that first paragraph? Or maybe you could read the first paragraph to us
13 if you would be kind enough, out loud.
14 A. It's not very legible, at least the first part. I'll try to read
15 it slowly. "Beco-Prijedor. Prijedor cannot help us at all. State of
16 mobility," well, this cannot be read. Then the word "population, not to
17 undertake measures aimed at provocation." This part is also illegible.
18 Then it says: "Which Miskovic stated in an angry voice." I think
19 that is what it says. Then "to establish contact with party in the
20 municipality, the state of the main road." It is not legible. You can
21 see for yourself. The copy is not legible.
22 Q. I have it, thank you. What main road issue, if you know, were
23 they discussing, sir, or the state of the main road? What is it that they
24 are discussing there, do you know?
25 A. I cannot be sure. I know that the Banja Luka/Prijedor Road was
1 referred to a highway, sometimes do not consider to be a main road. But
2 if the records are correct, if it is something from a meeting, that it may
3 refer to that road, the Prijedor/Kozarac Road or the Prijedor/Banja Luka
4 Road. I cannot give you an exact answer to that question.
5 Q. Help me with this: Do you know what they are talking about when
6 they state "not to undertake actions with the aim of provoking?" Did you
7 ever have any discussions with these individuals about an issue of
8 provocation by the Muslims against the Serbs?
9 A. Just the general attitude. Much energy was invested in this. And
10 theoretically, one could not give occasion, a motivation, for the Serb
11 Army to attack. We knew it practice that it provoked but then blamed the
12 other side and began attacking. And that's why we had to be additionally
14 Q. Let me just ask you this: From April 30th through May 22nd, 1992,
15 which is the date I think we've earmarked as the incident occurring on
16 Hambarine, and then the attack, if you dispute that, just share it with
17 us, but we have that as an approximation, but during that time period,
18 sir, were there any attacks by the military to any Bosnian Muslim village
19 or territory during that time period, from April 30th through May 22nd,
21 A. There were attacks in other parts of Bosnia. We heard about those
22 events on television, in Zvornik, in Bijeljina, in Bosanski Novi. We
23 listened to this information and it was always the Serb side. The Banja
24 Luka television kept saying that the Serb army had been attacked and that
25 it was compelled to respond by bringing units to Bosnian towns. And in
1 Croatia, and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was the civilians or the other side
2 that attacked the Serb army, and then the attack began. This was a rule.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Or an attack by the military
4 or the police or civilians on any Bosnian Muslim communities or homes from
5 the period of April 30th, 1992, up to including and May 22nd, 1992?
6 A. I don't know that. I know that in Trnopolje, they were firing at
7 non-Serb from the Ribnjak area, at non-Serb homes. This happened on
8 several occasions, even before the takeover. Well, I can give you
9 specific names of the peoples who owned these homes. I can --
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, sorry to interrupt, can I just have
11 clarification because I'm not clear from the question that was asked, was
12 the question were there any attacks anywhere in Bosnia or just limited to
14 MR. OSTOJIC: It was certainly limited to Prijedor.
15 MS. KORNER: I'm grateful. Because it wasn't clear from the way
16 the question came up.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: The second one I think was, but the first one he
18 answered in a little more broad sense, not to direct --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I heard the question,
20 that whether anywhere in Bosnia in those days there were attacks, and I
21 answered that question.
22 MR. OSTOJIC:
23 Q. You're correct. We're not debating that.
24 A. Now you are claiming that there was no such question, that you
25 hadn't asked that question. Then perhaps there may have been a
1 translation problem.
2 MS. KORNER: [Previous translation continues]... That was the
3 question. Is it the question of the question -- I'm sorry, it is the
4 witness's knowledge that he's seeking or whether there were actually
5 attacks elsewhere? Because there's a difference between the two.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: We know there's a difference because we've heard his
7 testimony ad nauseum about the difference between the two. If counsel has
8 an objection, state it, give a basis, and if I feel it's appropriate
9 before the Court rules, I'll restate my question. If I disagree, the
10 Court will rule, and depending on the ruling I'll either restate it or ask
11 a different question.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stands adjourned until ten minutes
13 past 4.00. Probably the parties can then in the meantime agree on the
14 question. Thank you.
15 --- Recess taken at 3.39 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 4.16 p.m.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, just before cross-examination continues,
19 we've seen the orders. Would Your Honour grant some time either at the
20 end of today or tomorrow afternoon before the hearing so that I can raise
21 two matters that arise.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
23 MS. KORNER: Whichever --
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We'll come back to this.
25 MS. KORNER: Yes.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could the witness please --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could the witness please expect the questions of
5 the Defence counsel before answering. Thank you.
6 MR. OSTOJIC:
7 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, prior to the break, you mentioned that you did
8 hear of some instances in the Bosnia-Herzegovina area in connection with
9 massacres, provocation, et cetera. And my question truly was initially
10 confined to the Prijedor area, but you answered in the general. And since
11 you answer that way, I just have a follow-up. Since you did hear about
12 these instances of either attacks, or however we want to categorise them,
13 did you sir at any time hear about the massacre or the killings at
14 Sijekovac or Kupres? Did you hear about that?
15 A. You asked me whether I heard and whether there were any attacks by
16 the army on the population anywhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After
17 that, you said you hadn't asked me that. And I wanted to say that you
18 had. I answered you that I heard about this from the media. We had
19 reports from the Sarajevo television. We could watch it sometimes, and we
20 could listen to Radio Sarajevo all the time. At the same time, we had
21 information from the same events from the Banja Luka television. There
22 were clashes between the JNA and the population in Kupres, in Sarajevo, in
23 Tuzla. But you asked me about army attacks on the non-Serbian population,
24 and that's what my reply was about.
25 Q. Thank you. So you did hear about Kupres. Did you hear about
1 Sijekovac? The incidents involving that, or the massacre that occurred in
2 Sijekovac. Did you know about that?
3 A. I have heard of Sijekovac, but I can't remember exactly what
4 happened. I know there were a lot of news reports on the events on
5 Kupres, the attempted exercises by the Yugoslav Army which turned into
6 something else. There were armed conflicts, but I don't know any details
7 about this.
8 Q. Let me confine my question, then, sir, with respect to the
9 Prijedor municipality, is it true that there were no attacks by the
10 military or police on any Muslim homes or territories within the Prijedor
11 municipality from April 30th, 1992, up until the incident that we've
12 exhaustively discussed at times, May 22nd, 1992?
13 A. There was some shooting.
14 Q. I'm not asking you about there were some shootings. Did you hear,
15 sir, of the policeman that was shot, the Serbian policeman that was shot
16 on May 2nd, 1992, in the Prijedor Municipality?
17 A. I think you have already asked me. This I know that there were
18 some information on the radio about this, but I don't know the details.
19 Q. Do you know of any details as to who the person was that shot the
20 Serbian policeman? Do you recall the details regarding that?
21 A. No, no. I've already said that I don't know any details about
23 Q. Let me go back to Document Defence Exhibit 7A and B. And we're
24 still on this first page which has the date on the top centre of the 30th
25 of April, 1992. Sir, do you know what this delegation was that was formed
1 and that met on or about April 30th, 1992?
2 A. No. I can't give you a precise answer to this. I know that there
3 were several delegations in that period, and that we tried to send
4 delegations to Prijedor and to Banja Luka, to try to talk to the
5 government of the autonomous region and agree on peace in the area. And
6 also, with a representatives of the authorities in Prijedor. So I can't
7 be sure about this delegation. Perhaps it was this delegation that went
8 to negotiate in Prijedor, but from what it says here, I really can't tell
9 you what this is about.
10 Q. Turning to the next page on your document, which has on the top
11 right-hand corner page 346, and for our purposes, on the English version,
12 it starts on the bottom of the first page, 377, sir, that's a document
13 that is dated the 2nd of May, 1992. Correct?
14 A. Correct, it says here the 2nd of May, 1992.
15 Q. Do you know who the individual is by the name of Nagib who appears
16 after the third item on the agenda, "miscellaneous," is referred to? Do
17 you know who that individual is?
18 A. I don't know who Nagib is.
19 Q. It states here, sir, at least from the English translation, and
20 I'd invite you to read the Serbian one that "a lot of --" I mean the B/C/S
21 one. "A lot of our people carry out attacks of provocation, Fazlic and
22 Hasan, and Didin yesterday fired in order to provoke." And it goes on to
23 say: "The police should immediately take such people to the police
24 station and disarm them."
25 You told us many times during your testimony that you were and
1 would have been informed of certain instances that occurred in the
2 Prijedor Municipality. Were you, sir, at time informed that "a lot of our
3 people carry out attacks of provocation"? Were you informed of that at
4 any time, sir?
5 A. Sir, I'm listening to the interpretation of what you're saying,
6 and looking at the original text, and in the interpretation, the meaning
7 is quite different. I will read, and perhaps we will have a better
8 interpretation the other way around into English. It says here: --
9 Q. Doesn't it say Puno, sir? Does it say Puno?
10 A. Puno, okay, okay.
11 Q. Hold on. I'd only ask you if you ask the B/C/S version, instead
12 of interpreting it --
13 A. I quote, I quote. I quote: "A lot of our people are carrying out
14 provocations." You said "are carrying out provocative attacks, which is
15 something quite different. Further it says: "Fazlic and Hasan Didin
16 yesterday fired shots on their own initiative as the police arrests and
17 disarms these immediately." I can tell you at that time, anywhere it was
18 forbidden to fire shots anywhere, whether in front of your own house or
19 anywhere else. There were no front lines, no military formations on the
20 ground, and it was simply not possible to carry out provocative attacks,
21 which is what you said. I am trying to clarify for Their Honours and for
22 you what this is about. There was a firm decision that any attempts to
23 fire shots should be punished, whether this took place in a cafe, in the
24 street, in front of one's house, or anywhere else.
25 Q. Were you aware, sir, that acts of provocation were being committed
1 by people such as Fazlic, Hasan, and Didin?
2 A. I know that in the town, in Kozarac, that some people were
3 arrested, and the police confiscated weapons from some people because they
4 fired shots in cafes or in front of their houses when they were drunk, and
5 the police punished this wherever they could. I know about this
6 phenomenon. This did not occur frequently. It was not widespread. But
7 any kind of shooting was immediately punished.
8 Q. Did you, sir, partake in any of the hearings or investigation that
9 led to the punishment of these individuals who were carrying out acts of
10 provocation? Were you intimately involved in that at all?
11 A. I attended several meetings, and I have already mentioned this, in
12 Kozarac. We know what the duty of the police was, and we know what the
13 police were supposed to do. I also know that some people were arrested
14 and disarmed. These people were drunk. I was not an eyewitness, but if a
15 police chief arrived and said, "in front of the cafe, we did this and
16 that," I had no reason not to believe him.
17 Q. Do you know the individual who is identified on this date as
18 Suljo, and below I think you'll find his last name, I believe, Kozarusa.
19 Do you know Suljo Kozarusa?
20 A. I don't know that Kozarusa is a last name.
21 Q. It could mean that he's Suljo from Kozarusa. Correct?
22 A. It could mean that, yes. That Suljo is from Kozarusa, but I can't
23 remember who that person might be, Suljo from Kozarusa.
24 Q. Do you have any understanding of what the discussion regarding the
25 BH TO insignia was, and why there would be a misunderstanding with the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 A. At party meetings, and the meetings of the municipal functionaries
3 who were not allowed to work in the municipal organs, there were many
4 discussions as to what standpoint we should take, how we should try to
5 solve this problem and protect the population from an attack by the
6 Serbian Army. Many options were discussed. If the Court is interested in
7 this, I can speak of it in greater detail. There were many proposals that
8 all these functionaries should meet outside the territory, and that the
9 municipal organs should be set up somewhere else. There were also
10 proposals that none of this should be done, but that we should simply
11 retain the status quo. There were also proposals that regardless of the
12 negotiations, because there was an evident threat, we should start
13 preparing to defend the population. There were also crazy proposals such
14 as writing a letter to the United Nations because we had no connections
15 with Sarajevo and so on and so forth. So there was a whole range of
16 proposals, but ultimately it all boiled down to the fact that the existing
17 institutions should be put at the service of organising the defence, and
18 that all potential should be directed at trying to reach an agreement with
19 the Serbian side, that delegations should be sent to Banja Luka and to
20 Prijedor. We used people's personal connections with Serbian
21 functionaries in Prijedor and Banja Luka. Every means was explored to try
22 to establish contact. That was the process that was taking place.
23 There were also proposals that a new municipality should be
24 established, but this was not adopted. It remained just a proposal. There
25 were also many discussions as to how the Territorial Defence should be
1 organised and extended because technically, the capacity was nonexistent.
2 The headquarters of the Territorial Defence and all the records were in
3 Prijedor. So how could we organise a Territorial Defence without
4 provoking an attack? Simply by organising it. This was a very complex
5 situation, and we were looking for the best way to protect the population
6 and to avoid giving a pretext to the Serbian side for an attack. This
7 whole process was going on at the time.
8 Another thing, at the time there were Serbs from Kozarac who were
9 members of these groups that discussed these matters. They were from
10 Trnopolje, from Kozarusa, I think there were also some from Gornji
11 Jakupovici. So it was not an ethnically pure or single -- it was not a
12 group coming from a -- coming from a single ethnic group. So some of
13 these Serbs were included in the delegations I'm speaking about.
14 Q. Thank you. My question is, I don't have an understanding of the
15 insignia and how it can avoid or how there could be a misunderstanding
16 with the army. On that quote, from Suljo from Kozarusa, my question to
17 you, sir, is which army is he referring to, and what is the
18 misunderstanding that he's having with the insignia that the BH TO was
20 A. Suljo Kozarusa, I quote: "We reject for now the insignia of the
21 Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to avoid
22 disagreements with the army." At that time, that is, on the 2nd of May,
23 1992, the Yugoslav army still officially existed in this area. And this
24 is in line with what I have been saying. We wanted to avoid the fact that
25 we were organising to prevent it from provoking the army, so one of the
1 proposals was to reject the insignia of the Territorial Defence of Bosnia
2 and Herzegovina. But things were happening very fast. There were no
3 uniforms; there was nothing. I know that people asked the civilian
4 protection to give them clothing which could be adapted for the
5 Territorial Defence. And of course, there were no insignia. But this was
6 a standpoint because the Yugoslav army still existed at the time and did
7 not recognise the Territorial Defence in Kozarac, but only the Territorial
8 Defence that had placed itself under their command in Prijedor.
9 Q. You state, sir, that there were no uniforms, but doesn't Suljo
10 several lines down also tell us that "you're getting the uniforms on
11 Monday," several days later?
12 A. Yes. I have just explained part of this. The regular Territorial
13 Defence numbered a very small number of men. We extended it. I don't
14 know the exact number, but it was perhaps 2 or 3.000 men. I don't know
15 the exact number because I wasn't part of it. I know that at the
16 meetings, we discussed the problem of how to clothe these men. Otherwise,
17 they would be in T-shirts, jackets if there was an attack. So then they
18 asked the firefighters to give them their reserve uniforms, and then the
19 civilian protection, which had blue overalls, and also blue workers'
20 overalls from a company. And it was agreed that these should be dyed so
21 that the greatest number of possible people would have uniforms.
22 Preparations for this was made but whether this was actually carried out,
23 I don't know. I know that these uniforms never arrived in the area of
24 Trnopolje where I was.
25 Q. Do you know the gentleman by the name of Kenjar and the last name
1 starting with the letter "S?" Do you know the individual identified on
2 May 2nd, 1992, as Kenjar with the last name "S"? Or it could be actually
3 his last name is Kenjar and his first name starts with the letter "S".
4 A. Kenjar, it must be Sakib Kenjar from Kamicani, probably. I
5 remember a person called Sakib Kenjar.
6 Q. Do you know what his role was on or about April and May of 1992 in
7 either Kozara or in the Prijedor Municipality?
8 A. He was in the municipal board of the SDA, and I think for a time,
9 he was the treasurer or the secretary. I'm not sure. But in any case, he
10 was on the municipal board and of the local board of the Kamicani SDA. He
11 was a member of the Executive Board for a time, I just remembered.
12 Q. It states here in part that Mr. Kenjar states in --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Can you slow down a bit, please.
14 MR. OSTOJIC:
15 Q. -- "Some guys are provoking too much." Do you see that?
16 A. Yes, I see that. "Some guys in Kozarac are provoking too much."
17 Q. Who? Do you know?
18 A. I don't know, but I assume he's referring to the same people as
19 the previous person you asked me about, Nagib or whatever his name is.
20 Q. Also whatever on that date, Beco Medunjanin, he states that they
21 were preparing the units possibly or maybe for inspection. Do you see
22 that? He's the second one after Nagib, under Suljo.
23 A. Beco says here: "I checked about Muharem, and it was Enes Grcin
24 who fired shots. Improve organisation so as not to overburden the men."
25 The issue of insignia, let's wait a little and prepare the units. Maybe
1 for the inspection."
2 Q. Can you tell me what -- can you tell me again who this Beco was,
3 what his function or capacity was on or about May 2nd, 1992?
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MR. OSTOJIC:
6 Q. Sorry, I have to restate the question, Mr. Sejmenovic. Can you
7 tell me who this Beco was and what his function and capacity was on or
8 about May 2nd, 1992?
9 A. He was the secretary of the secretariat of defence. So he was --
10 he held a post in the municipality of Prijedor.
11 Q. Do you, sir, have any idea what units he was talking about when he
12 said he "should prepare the units for inspection"?
13 A. In the units of the Territorial Defence, well, that was his
14 department. He was in charge of the Territorial Defence and carrying out
15 the mobilisation. That was his function before the war.
16 Q. And who was to conduct the inspection?
17 A. The commanders of the Territorial Defence, if there was an
19 Q. On the next page of this same date, yours page 345; for the
20 English translation, it appears on page 325 on the top right-hand corner,
21 there's an Avdo who makes a statement regarding - somewhat illegible -
22 regarding the receiving of two machine-guns and two automatic rifles. Do
23 you see that, sir?
24 A. Yes, yes, I do.
25 Q. Do you know or can you make out from whom did Avdo receive these
1 two machine-guns and two automatic rifles?
2 A. I don't know. Maybe from other local communes, or maybe they were
3 bought from Serbs. But in any case, it was according to the Territorial
4 Defence establishment.
5 Q. Suljo on May 2nd, 1992, states: "If Kozarusa does not receive
6 help, it will surrender all the checkpoints." Do you see that?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. How many checkpoints were there in Kozarusa on or about May 2nd,
10 A. I don't know. I don't know what the Territorial Defence was
11 planning or how it functioned. I don't know that. There was not a single
12 public checkpoint. But as for possible preparations for an attack, that's
13 something else. Those were the regular plans of the Territorial Defence
14 which is how it was supposed to function under certain circumstances. But
15 I don't know that.
16 Q. Now, below that, Beco, the same individual we discussed earlier,
17 that's the secretary of the secretariat I believe as you described him,
18 he's discussing what seems to be or at least translated for us,
19 Mr. Sejmenovic, the republic Crisis Staff. Do you see that, sir?
20 A. Yes, I do. This is a Crisis Staff organised by area, by zone. It
21 was organised according to zones. So that it was the zone Crisis Staff.
22 Q. That's what the RKS stands for, correct?
23 A. Yes, yes. Because that was the term that the TO used. In the way
24 it functioned, it was split up into zones.
25 Q. Down how many zones were or who the members of these regional or
1 zone Crisis Staffs were, on or about May 2nd, 1992?
2 A. I don't know. You should ask someone from the TO, who was part of
3 the TO then.
4 Q. In any event, you were familiar that that Crisis Staff existed for
5 some time prior to May 2nd, 1992. Correct?
6 A. Sir, there was a Territorial Defence. It existed. It was ordered
7 by the republican staff of the TO to begin preparing for defence. How
8 they were acceded, well, there is a procedure. And I really do not know
9 the details. I know the term, the organisational term, that it should be
10 organised on the basis of zones. How many zones there were, how they were
11 linked up, I really do not know. I would tell you gladly if I knew.
12 Q. Maybe you could help me with this detail, why would Beco propose
13 that money be given for gas so that Alic and Koza can move a lot, and
14 because they have been using their own gas, in essence, petrol, during
15 some of their work?
16 A. Don't know. Really.
17 Q. Do you know if this Koza that he's referring to here, do you know
18 if that's actually the individual who we've referenced before as Kole or
19 Kolina's group, who happened to be the leader of a paramilitary group that
20 was operating and located in the Prijedor Municipality on or about April
21 through July of 1992?
22 A. Kole, if you're referring to him, he was in the TO. Alic, there
23 was also an Alic in the Territorial Defence. Well, the term "paramilitary
24 formation," it is a relative term. It is a paramilitary formation for the
25 Serbs. And for us, it was Territorial Defence. And it was a regular
1 formation for us. Therefore, to make things clear...
2 Q. Now, if you turn, sir, on the next page, 344 of your B/C/S
3 version, on the centre of that page, there's a meeting that's held prior
4 to May 10th, 1992. Do you see that, sir?
5 A. May 10th, 1992.
6 Q. Right above that. Do you see that?
7 A. Under what number? Are you referring to number 4?
8 Q. The whole section there that appears on page 344, prior to the
9 date of May 10th, 1992.
10 A. Okay. Meaning, a meeting was held. Conclusions were brought. And
11 in the meanwhile, a discussion went on in respect of any other business.
12 Any other business included a discussion on four items, four conclusions
13 were adopted. One, tomorrow to set up a zone Crisis Staff [Methods of
14 work of the RKS.] Two, there was no fuel for the fire brigade, the fire
15 brigade had no fuel, no gasoline. Three, Bahonja: The staff must have
16 the exact number of men and the methods of work. Problem: Here we can
17 swear that this supraparty, body, and that we should act along those
18 lines. What is reaches going on air and into the city, and then in other
19 forms as well. The aim is to preserve everyone's life."
20 Q. Okay. Go ahead. Please proceed.
21 A. Four, Kemo: "Please exclude me from further work. My health is
22 not well, is not good enough and I have a family problem." And then it
23 goes on to say: "Not accepted."
24 Q. Thank you. Now, directing your attention following this on page
25 343, which is the continuation of the May 10th, 1992, meeting, can you
1 read for us, please, the first and second full sentence on that page which
2 seems to be missing from the English translation, Your Honour. So we're
3 going to ask the witness to read that. Starting with the word --
4 A. "The question of weapons in the case of citizens that are not
5 giving them up and are not working, Suljo: On Monday, the military police
6 will be clothed." He's probably referring to the military police or the
7 war police.
8 Q. I'm sorry, sir. Are you on page 343?
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, I apologise.
11 Q. Are you, sir, on page 343 of the B/C/S text?
12 A. I've found the page 343 now.
13 Q. It follows from the May 10th, 1992, meeting, and I would ask you
14 to read the first two full sentences. I think the first word starts with
15 "treba" or "treba vidjeti". If you can read that for us.
16 A. My apologies. I will read slowly because it is not very legible.
17 Some parts are easily read. "We must see the degree of sincerity of the
18 other side. We have made the greatest amount of concessions. We have
19 disobeyed the republic, because we said that we would counter this in a
20 democratic fashion."
21 Q. Do you know what the reference to that is, sir?
22 A. I cannot be quite sure, but I believe that what is being said,
23 that we did not organise TOs on the basis of the republic staff from
24 Sarajevo's orders. But we put this off given the circumstances we were
25 in. We tried to prolong this time, to wait and to try to have talks with
1 the Serb authorities. Perhaps this is referring to the fact the TO
2 insignia were not put on -- given to provocations. It can mean many
3 things. I'm not quite sure which.
4 Q. You're at the meeting, weren't you? If you look a little further
5 down the page, it identifies a person by the name of Sejmenovic. Do you
6 remember as you sit here, sir, being at a meeting with these people and
7 having these discussions?
8 A. Yes. On the basis of what I have read so far and what you have
9 asked me about so far and skimmed through, it seems to me that this refers
10 to some of the meetings that I attended, given the context of these
11 minutes. It seems to me that these were those meetings, although these
12 meetings were quite similar amongst each other, and it's difficult to
13 distinguish between the one or the second or third meeting. This name
14 here I think, Sejmenovic, that this refers to me.
15 Q. With respect to that, sir, do you know who kept these minutes? Do
16 you know if it was a Serb, a Muslim, or a Croat who kept the minutes of
17 these meetings?
18 A. I don't know exactly. At these meetings were predominantly people
19 of non-Serb ethnicity, but there were Serbs also, but who kept records, I
20 really cannot remember. I can note that the person was not very literate
21 from what I can see how the records were kept. But I don't know who it
23 Q. I have a couple questions about different parts of this page on
24 the B/C/S version 343. And I'm going to ask you to read it if I may
25 because your name does appear on it, and then I'd like to see what it is
1 you say in response to that. Can you first please read the remainder of
2 that page as you've already started.
3 A. What I had allegedly -- the part saying Sejmenovic and the colon?
4 Q. No, immediately before that, please.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I just interrupt for a moment.
6 Mr. Sejmenovic, I have to recall, first of all, and you said this in the
7 beginning, that it's in principle your duty to answer all the questions,
8 and you do it under the solemn declaration. On the other hand, I don't
9 know what will happen now under the cross-examination. But just to be on
10 the safe side in this case, in your safe side, in your interests, I have
11 to recall that it is, of course, also your right not to answer those
12 questions where you have reasonable grounds to believe that this could be
13 amount to self-incrimination. Do you understand this admonition?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand what you're
15 saying, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's just in your own interest. So please
18 MR. OSTOJIC:
19 Q. So sir, you read for us on page 343 the first two sentences of
20 that page. I'm just asking you to proceed and read the entire page up
21 until and including what has been attributed as comments made by you,
22 relating to approximately May 10th, 1992 as best as we can see.
23 A. So -- shall I read out what I said?
24 Q. No. If you can just continue with --
25 A. To continue, all right. Thank you.
1 "So we decided to dissipate the Republic because we said that we
2 would oppose in a democratic way." Well, this I can't read very well.
3 Two words I cannot read. "One, restriction in these concessions exist.
4 They are not giving 12 policemen to walk around Kozarac without insignia.
5 "One concession, this is only one concession, and they are not
6 giving it to us. As regards Lisbon, they are giving nothing. Some
7 officers from Banja Luka, from the Banja Luka Corps, do not wish to
8 remain. And there has been a rift. It is positive that the impression
9 gained was that we were not prepared, but they themselves were in fear.
10 And therefore, they are in a hurry to present an ultimatum." Something
11 along those lines. That is what is written, I think.
12 Shall I go on reading? "Kemo F.: What would have happened if we
13 hadn't gone yesterday? They would have held a meeting. And they would
14 have probably carried out the action. But then we got five days, five
15 extra days.
16 "Hankic: You're proceeding from the fact that you're protecting
17 the region of Banja Luka, the president of which is Mirza. As regards
18 Mirza" -- this, I cannot read. It's illegible. "We will be saved if the
19 entire area is -- rises. They know that they are ruling. Mirza does not
20 allow authority to be divided. Their authority must be respected. They
21 will come by force and accept authority and will remain in Kozarac.
22 "Ilijaz: Not to interrupt." This is something I cannot read.
23 It's not legible. "Sivac: The main staff of the BH TO exists in
24 Prijedor, and Kozarac is member of that staff in Prijedor." "Husein: I
25 would be happy, I suppose, if this were true. If someone were to come to
1 disarm the police today, I wonder where the command is."
2 "Sejmenovic: There was a public call to the army officers to
3 abandon the ranks of the JNA. These people linked up," and it seems that
4 it says "and now they are contacting amongst themselves and doing their
5 job. No one is contesting the work of the negotiating group, and it
6 should be continued."
7 Q. I know there's more, sir, but I want to ask you a couple
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MR. OSTOJIC:
11 Q. I know there's more from, sir, and we are going to discuss that.
12 I'd like just at this point ask you a couple questions. On the first
13 paragraph it discusses the Lisbon talks. Were you familiar on or about
14 May of 1992 what the negotiations were at Lisbon?
15 A. I don't know about the details. I think that these were
16 negotiations conducted by the Sarajevo officials under the sponsorship of
17 the international community. There were negotiations to resolve the
18 crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 Q. Why does this individual -- to the best of your knowledge, since
20 apparently you were at the meeting, why does this individual believe that
21 it is positive that the other side presumably "thinks we are unprepared"?
22 Do you have any idea what they were referencing there?
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. Could it be that they were telling the people who were at this
25 meeting that "we're fooling the other side into thinking we're unprepared,
1 but in reality we are prepared. We have our TO set up. We have all our
2 weapons and armaments. We even have our uniforms that were brought in."
3 Could it be that at all, sir, that there was a greater state of
4 preparedness than that as you've previously described?
5 A. I don't know, sir. I know that there was a tremendous fear
6 prevailing then. I know that much. And one tried at every cost to avoid
7 clashes. And one tried, if the Serb army were to attack, that those parts
8 of the TO should avoid a massacre. And we also hoped that at the state
9 level or the state itself, or the international community would come up
10 with a solution because this seemed possible and probably on the basis of
11 the news we heard. What exactly happened during those negotiations, I do
12 not know. I know that we had in -- before us a force and an experience
13 that held us in fear. What this person had in mind when he said that, I
14 really do not know.
15 Q. Do you know the individual who appears a couple names before you,
16 Mr. Hankic? Do you know who that is?
17 A. I don't know who Mr. Hankic is. You already asked me. If I saw
18 the person, I might recognise him, but the surname means nothing to me.
19 Q. When he's referencing "Mirza" there, do you know which Mirza he's
21 A. Mirza Mujadzic, president of the party. This is reflected in the
22 sentence, and it is obvious.
23 Q. I thought so, too. But I didn't want to be presumptuous. It
24 states there that "Mirza did not allow the powers to be divided." Do you
25 see that, sir?
1 A. Yes, I can see that.
2 Q. My question to you is it true, as Mr. Hankic said, that Mirza, the
3 leader of the SDA at that time "refused to allow the powers to be divided
4 in the Prijedor Municipality"? You were at the meeting. Did you speak up
5 later and say: "It's not true, Mirza did not disallow us to divide the
6 powers, in fact, he always was willing and cooperative and made all sorts
7 of concessions to the SDS, regarding these offices or powers?"
8 A. Sir, this is not records from a party meeting. There were people
9 from different parties there and of different ethnicities. I believe that
10 there were members of other ethnic groups also there. And everyone was
11 entitled to say his piece, to say that if someone was working well or not
12 working well. I cannot go into all of this. This is what this person
13 thought, and this is what he said, if we are to believe the records. And
14 this is what the person believed. The aim of this was not to discuss
15 things that you are asking me about.
16 Q. I'm just curious to see if I can refresh your recollection of
17 this. But your comment there, it talks about resignations of officers, et
18 cetera, from the former JNA or from the JNA. Do you recall making that
19 statement, sir?
20 A. I remember that the leadership of BH, its presidency composed of
21 all ethnicities, called, invited the officers of the JNA to place
22 themselves on the side of BH. If that is what you are referring to. And
23 a number of officers were designated and obeyed this. And this was the
24 position and call of the authorities of BH, and this is a well-known
1 Q. Let me ask you: The number of officers who designated or obeyed
2 this, were they Serbian or were they Muslim ethnicity who followed the
3 order of the federal institution which they belonged, namely, the JNA, or
4 do you know?
5 A. There were Serb officers, Croat officers, and Muslim officers. And
6 later on, there was a general -- one of them became a general during the
8 Q. You mention here the presidency which was composed of all
9 ethnicities. The presidency you're referring to is the presidency of the
10 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Correct?
11 A. Yes. Yes.
12 Q. Help us because you mention that: When did Alija Izetbegovic
13 declare that he was -- declared it a War Presidency. Do you know?
14 A. I do not know that.
15 Q. As you sit here, sir, being a member of the parliament
16 representing the Prijedor Municipality, you have no idea when the leader
17 of your party, the SDA, who was president at that time decided to call a
18 War Presidency? You have no idea when it happened? In 1991, 1992, 1993?
19 Is that what you're telling us?
20 A. While I was in the BH parliament, this was not proclaimed. I
21 believe in March or February or March 1992, I was in Sarajevo for the last
22 time at a parliament session. And it hadn't been proclaimed then. So in
23 the period while I could go to Sarajevo and attend the meetings there, as
24 far as I can remember, this was not proclaimed.
25 Q. And thank you for clarifying that you left in February or March of
1 1992, the parliament. But did you hear from the radio, because I know you
2 shared a lot about what you heard from the SDS side and a lot of what you
3 heard on the radio and the television, I suppose. Did you hear at any
4 time any proclamation or any announcement or declaration that Alija
5 Izetbegovic is creating a War Presidency, prior to April of 1992? Did you
6 ever hear that?
7 A. I remember that it was proclaimed, but I don't remember when.
8 Something -- I think that something like that was heard, but I don't
9 remember when.
10 Q. Thank you. Back to the JNA and the officers who left the JNA, is
11 it --
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry. May we have a break of half an hour now.
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for your understanding.
15 The trial stands adjourned until 5.45.
16 --- Recess taken at 5.14 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 5.48 p.m.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sejmenovic. Quickly, a question on the material
22 that was provided under your name on this document on page 343. Is it
23 true, sir, that the officers from the JNA who left and came to Kozarac
24 were, in fact, a gentleman by the name of Sead Cirkin, correct, who was a
25 captain? Was he one of those officers?
1 A. Correct, Sead Cirkin was there.
2 Q. And he was one of those officers that you were referencing in the
3 comments that are attributed to you on page 343 of Exhibit D7A and B
5 A. Probably. Sead Cirkin was in the JNA. He was in the war in
6 Croatia, and when that war was over, he came home because he is from
7 Kozarusa, as far as I can remember. He was wounded in the leg in the war
8 in Croatia. And he went to recuperate in Kozarusa. His leg was all
9 bandaged up. I was probably referring to Cirkin, although there were very
10 few active-duty JNA officers in Kozarac. I don't know the exact number,
11 but probably two or three.
12 Q. Do you know if another one was one by the name of Selimbegovic,
13 who was a former JNA officer who quit and then joined ranks in Kozarac?
14 A. I don't know what the other two were called. I know about Cirkin,
15 and I know that he was in the town of Kozarac itself. How he fitted into
16 the whole picture, I don't know. I don't know the details.
17 Q. If I may just continue with document, Exhibit D7B and A
18 respectively, I may just highlight some of it in the interests of time, if
19 I can direct your attention to the very next page, page 342, and the
20 gentleman identified as Beco, I'd like to know because it's not
21 translated, or I don't have it, what it is exactly that he says there.
22 Again, that's on the B/C/S version, page 342, top right corner.
23 A. "Beco: Tomorrow, we have to know from --"
24 Q. I need to interrupt. I'm sorry, Mr. Sejmenovic. My question
25 really relates to the very last entry by this gentleman, Beco, towards the
1 bottom of the page. You're welcome to read the whole thing, but my
2 question is only with respect to that.
3 A. "As long as the people have weapons, they will not recognise the
4 authorities." That's what it says here.
5 Q. Do you have any idea, sir, having been at this meeting since it
6 follows the comments being attributed to you on the previous page, what
7 Beco was referring to when he made that statement?
8 A. I don't know. I can't say exactly what he was referring to.
9 Q. If we can go to the next page, sir, page 341 of the B/C/S text, if
10 you can just identify for me the date, and then I'll ask you some
11 questions on that.
12 A. The date here is very unclear. It says 4, 3, and 5, 1992. So I
13 really don't know what date it is. Is it the 4th of May, 1992? Don't
15 Q. Right. Maybe you could help me: Do you know of these meetings
16 that you can see here, the various people similar to the people in the
17 meeting in which you attended, do you know if, in fact, they met at any
18 time as early as March 4th, 1992?
19 A. No, no. No, I don't know.
20 Q. There's also a 5 written above the 3. Would it be fair to say
21 that indeed, this is a meeting that occurred on or about May 4th, 1992?
23 A. It's possible, but I'm not sure. Because the date is not stated
24 clearly, so I don't know that.
25 Q. And paragraph 3 of that, and for the Court and for the record, I
1 believe the English translation appears on the English text with --
2 bearing the number 323 on the top right-hand corner.
3 Can you read paragraph 3 for us from that page.
4 A. It says here under 3: "Report on the stay of members of the KS
5 TO, and the SUP, and the proposal for a checkpoint on the main road."
6 Q. Do you know, sir, what checkpoint they are referring to there?
7 A. I don't know what this date is exactly. I know that in early May,
8 the Serbian army set up a checkpoint and brought a tank on to the main
9 road. Whether it refers to that, I don't know. I simply can't answer
10 this. I know that they talked about this, that the representatives of
11 Kozarac asked for that tank to be removed because it was facing the
12 direction of Kozarac. And some talks about this were held. And later on,
13 an order came from Prijedor for the tank to withdraw. However, I can't
14 say anything specific about this because I'm not sure what it's about.
15 Q. Below that, I think if you see the reference to Mr. Cirkin, that
16 he should take over the RKS, do you see that there?
17 A. In the middle of the page or near the bottom?
18 Q. Right in the middle of the page where there seems to be a question
19 mark in the B/C/S text. See the question mark on the left-hand side?
20 A. Medunjanin: I propose, if Cirkin is accepted, that he should take
21 over the RKS.
22 Q. Do you know, sir, if Mr. Cirkin agreed and that he did take over
23 the RKS, or "S" as you say?
24 A. I don't know that.
25 Q. If you can follow on that same page, 341, the very last entry, it
1 seems to be comments attributed to Mr. Cirkin.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: And for the Court, I think the text appears on the
3 following page, page 322.
4 Q. Can you read what it says there, sir.
5 A. It says here: "Cirkin: To get to work, call on all R. officers."
6 Q. Do you know what the "R. officers" stands for? Reserve officers,
7 could it be?
8 A. Possible. Possible.
9 Q. Who does Mr. Cirkin refer to as R. officers? Do you think at that
10 time, having left the JNA, does he mean the JNA officers or officers from
11 a different entity?
12 A. Don't know that.
13 Q. On the following page of that document, sir, page 340 on the B/C/S
14 text, there seems to be a conclusion. And it appears on 322 of the
15 English text. Can you tell me what the conclusion reads, sir?
16 A. "Conclusion: For Hamdija Kahrimanovic to be coopted in the
17 Kozarac Territorial Defence staff."
18 Q. Do you know who this individual is?
19 A. I've heard about Hamdija Kahrimanovic, but I don't know him
21 Q. On the top of that page, 340, there seems to be another individual
22 whose name I can't make out. Sujo. Do you see that under numeric number
23 2, or Sujo?
24 A. I don't know. It's possible that it's Suljo, or maybe Sudo.
25 Q. That individual seems to be proposing four men to form an
1 information group, Memic, Saric, Mujagic, and Jasin Fazlic? Is that what
2 it seems to indicate there?
3 A. And Bahonjic.
4 Q. Sorry, that wasn't translated. Thank you. Was this the same
5 Jasin Fazlic who was identified earlier in the minutes or in this document
6 D7A who was accused of provoking or carrying out acts of provocation with
7 Hasan and Didin? Do you know if that's the same Fazlic?
8 A. I don't know. I don't know that.
9 Q. If I can direct your attention, sir, to the next page, and we'll
10 get to, I think, where you made some comments. But on page 339, can you
11 read for me, sir, what seems to be written under the name of Pasic, which
12 is towards the second half of the document?
13 A. "Pasic: I agree with the discussion and with the comrades. We
14 are under occupation. The occupation authorities are imposing their
15 control over us." Then there is something that's illegible. And in the
16 next row, it says: "To accept it." And then another illegible word.
17 "Time or war. The establishing of a municipality is nothing." I can't
18 read the first word here, but then it goes on to say: "As for these
19 insignia," and then this is also illegible. And they say that "this is an
20 order from BL. It seems that they are willing to give up their symbols if
21 we go for a war, many will die. But a municipality is not the solution.
22 They claim that the army will not get involved. We must try" and it's
23 possible it says here "to try to gain time to engage in tactics."
24 Q. On the next page, sir, page 338 --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Apologise.
2 Q. On the next page, sir, page 338, I'd like you to read the text
3 where your name appears with comments attributed to you.
4 MR. OSTOJIC: And I believe, Your Honour, that appears on page 319
5 of the English text.
6 Q. Can you start from the beginning of the page, sir.
7 A. It says here: "Sejmenovic:" --
8 Q. Can you read the paragraph right before that as well for us. I
9 apologise for interrupting you.
10 A. "If someone attacks me," and this part is illegible, an illegible
11 word, "I will," well, it looks like "scratch him with my ring," but I'm
12 not sure about this at all. "They" and then there is another illegible
13 word, "that in Kozarac there are thousands of weapons. In Svrakino Selo
14 near Sarajevo, they had agreed about everything, and they had handed them
15 in. They collected them and took them to Serbia. First, it's the police,
16 then it's the turn of the Territorial Defence, and then of the citizenry.
17 "The children in school are saying that Kozarac will pay for the
18 communities." Then it says: "Sejmenovic:"
19 Q. Before you read what you read here, Mr. Sejmenovic,.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 MR. OSTOJIC:
22 Q. Thank you. Before you read what is attributed to you, at any time,
23 sir, having been at this meeting or do you recall ever a discussion that
24 there were thousands of weapons that were being discussed?
25 A. I don't remember that. I don't remember, and also this part is
1 illegible. I don't know who some of these sentences refer to.
2 Q. Do you recall at all whether there was a discussion in early May
3 that the children were still attending school, even after the takeover, as
4 seems to be the indication by whoever made this comment? Do you remember
5 that discussion?
6 A. The children went to school for another week at most after the
7 takeover of power. I've already talked about that. In Prijedor, it was
8 still possible to go on, somehow, up to mid-May. I don't remember now --
9 I don't remember anything more about it now.
10 Q. Help me with this: In 1992, when did the grammar schools close
11 for the summer, do you remember?
12 A. I don't remember exactly.
13 Q. Can you just proceed and please read the comments that are
14 attributed to you, sir, on that page 338.
15 A. "Sejmenovic: I can see two options. Without insignia or with
16 insignia on the police. But the question arises of the safety of people.
17 Who will defend them after the disarming if we hand over our weapons?"
18 Then there are two illegible words. And two illegible words. And then it
19 says: "Many will suffer if we" -- something illegible --" time, we have
20 to invest everything. I'm not in favour of leaving people without
21 protection. Rather, I am in favour of at least trying to defend
23 Q. Do you, sir, remember making -- I think that's the end of the
24 comments attributed to you. Correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do you, sir, remember making these statements and actually telling
2 the people that you would rather you tried to defend yourselves?
3 A. I don't remember that.
4 Q. Did you at any time, sir, take the position of the items that are
5 raised in the comments that are attributed to you on page 338?
6 A. It's possible that I took part in some discussions, but this was
7 an area I did not participate in actively, because I was neither a member
8 of the police, nor of the Territorial Defence, so that I rarely took the
9 floor at these meetings. And I was not part of the structures that were
10 dealing with these issues directly.
11 Q. Having reviewed this document, can you tell us which structure
12 this was, whether it was the structure of the police or the structure of
13 the Territorial Defence or a combination of both?
14 A. I think there were both, people from the municipalities, the
15 Territorial Defence, the police, the party. I was present as the deputy
16 at the republic level.
17 Q. Lower on that page 338, there's a Bahonjic, who is also
18 essentially quoted, or commented about things that he said. Could you
19 read that to me. It's on the same page that your name appears, apparently
20 at the same meeting in which you attended. Can you read that for us,
22 A. It says here: "Bahonjic: If Kozarac intends to hand over their
23 weapons, let them do so. The people from" probably "Jakupovici," and then
24 the next part is illegible.
25 Q. Does it look like "ce ubite" [sic]?
1 A. "With both, or with eyes," and then let Kozarac -- doesn't say
2 anything further.
3 Q. I'm sorry, sir, I interrupted you. After the area or the town
4 that they referenced, Jakupovici, what does it say? Can you read that for
5 us? That the people from Jakupovici will what?
6 A. It says here, at least that's what it looks like to me, "kill"
7 either POV or PAR, but the copy is not completely legible. And then it
8 says either "with O-B-A" or with O-K-A, meaning both or eyes, and then it
9 says: "Let Kozarac."
10 Q. Do you recall in a meeting in which you were present whether
11 Mr. Bahonjic actually made that statement regarding the people from
13 A. I don't remember that.
14 Q. Do you know, sir, if the incident that occurred on May 24th, 1994,
15 at the main road leading from Banja Luka to Prijedor whether there was an
16 incident in the town that's located near the town that's referenced by
17 Mr. Bahonjic?
18 A. According to the information on the radio, we heard about two
19 incidents, one in Kozarusa and one in Jakupovici. In Jakupovici on the
20 road. Jakupovici is a very broad area. There is upper or Gornji
21 Jakupovici or lower or Donja Jakupovici. A group of hamlets on one side
22 and a group of hamlets on the other side of the Prijedor/Kozarac/Banja
23 Luka Road. The incident where they allegedly attempted to stop some
24 tanks, that's what I think happened, this took place in Jakupovici,
25 according to the information we heard on the radio or from the Territorial
1 Defence, and this happened on the road in Jakupovici. Whether it refers
2 to this or not, I don't know.
3 Q. And as you sit here having been at the meeting, you have no
4 recollection of that discussion at all. Correct?
5 A. Sir, these are minutes from a meeting. The meeting went on.
6 There were discussions, and the person taking the minutes summarised what
7 was said in a few sentences. I don't remember every detail. There were
8 several meetings and they are all very similar to each other. Similar
9 topics were discussed. I could tell you but I can't improvise. I
10 remember some things that were said, and I don't remember others.
11 Q. The military convoy that was attacked on May 24th, 1992, at the
12 checkpoint at Jakupovici, did it strike you as being odd that there was a
13 discussion at a meeting where Mr. Bahonjic actually described what the
14 citizens would do from that area if they had to surrender their arms?
15 A. I can't confirm. This sentence is not clear to me. I don't
16 remember anyone saying that someone should be killed because they are or
17 are not handing in their weapons. I don't remember that.
18 Q. If I may just try to quickly get through this document at the very
19 least, on page 336 of the B/C/S text, towards the bottom of that text,
20 sir, Beco again is quoted or words are attributed to this Beco. Can you
21 read to us what at the bottom or near the bottom of that page Beco had
22 apparently said at this meeting, which, I believe, if you turn to the page
23 prior would have been on May 5th, 1992.
24 A. Yes. On the previous page, it does say the 5th of May, 1992. And
25 Beco says here: "The SDS is conducting negotiations exclusively with the
1 SDA, and not with the local commune. I propose that we wait for
2 tomorrow's meeting of the SDA and to see what their standpoint is." And
3 finally: "To hold a meeting of all the citizens and let them express
4 their views."
5 Q. So does this, sir, at all refresh your recollection as to whether
6 there were many and, in fact, multiple meetings that the SDS called and
7 had with the SDA during the time immediately after the takeover on April
8 30th, 1992, and it was not, sir, as you claim the only meeting on May 1st,
9 and then the subsequent meeting in mid-May 1992?
10 A. I was at the last meeting with the SDS, and I spoke about that
11 here. As for this meeting, the one Beco is referring to here, I think
12 this refers to an SDA meeting at which standpoints were to be reached
13 which were then to be discussed with the SDS. One such meeting was held
14 at Hambarine, and that might have been in the first week of May or
15 thereabouts. I remember at that time individuals tried to establish
16 contact, and it's possible that a meeting was formally held with the SDS
17 at that time. But I was not a member of any delegation as far as these
18 meetings are concerned. What I do know is that I was tasked with being
19 present at one such meeting.
20 Q. And if I can direct your attention, sir, to the next page, page
21 335, and the centre of the page seems to bear a date of May 6th, 1992.
22 Would you be able to read the second and third entries that are made on
23 that date.
24 A. Number 2: "The replacement of the existing members of the KS".
25 Q. What does that mean, "KS"? Means Crisis Staff, right? We
1 interpreted it several times here --
2 A. It could mean Crisis Staff. It could also mean the staff command.
3 I'm not sure about that.
4 Q. And the next paragraph, please.
5 A. "To go to a meeting with an announcement --" I can't read this
6 word here. It's illegible to me. But underneath, it says: "Conclusions
7 or conclusion" or something similar. And then possibly "proposals," but
8 I'm not sure. And then, under number 4, it says: "Other business".
9 Q. Sir, tell me if you, during that time period in question,
10 approximately May 6th, 1992, were you advocating that the citizens refuse
11 to surrender the arms? Or were you in favour of them surrendering the
13 A. I didn't have a firm standpoint on that because I did not have
14 complete information about the capacity and the possibilities of the
15 Territorial Defence and everything else. What was clear to me was that in
16 other areas, non-Serb areas had come under attack, regardless of whether
17 they were armed or not. And my standpoint was that we should simply try
18 everything, negotiate, send delegations, not provide any pretexts to them.
19 But personally, I was afraid that we would be attacked regardless of what
20 we did.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. As for the details, I don't remember enough to go into details.
23 Q. I understand that. That's why I'm going to direct your attention
24 to page 333 where your name appears on the bottom of the page, and it
25 continues with comments that are attributed to you on page 332, and maybe
1 this will help refresh your recollection as to what your position was on
2 or about May 6th, 1992, in connection with the arms. If you could read it
3 out loud, because I don't know that we have the --
4 A. "Sejmenovic: Some areas will be resolved through agreements."
5 Then there is an illegible word. And then it says -- no, this other word
6 is also illegible. Then it says: "We will not give up our weapons. There
7 are no guarantees for the people from their government."
8 Q. Does that, sir, refresh your recollection as to what your position
9 was on or about May 6th, 1992?
10 A. I don't know. I can't be quite sure.
11 Q. As you sit here, sir, do you have any recollection whatsoever of
12 ever having taken the position that's reflected on the comments attributed
13 to you? Or you just don't remember?
14 A. I have already said, I simply don't remember. I see the text. I
15 see what has been put down as the summary of what people said. But I
16 cannot remember what standpoint I advocated.
17 Q. Do you recall as you sit here, sir, what areas were going to be
18 resolved by or through agreements, as it is attributed -- I think it would
19 be fair, if you just look, you're welcome to look at the entire document.
20 Immediately before that, there's a discussion of the Lisbon Agreement, I'm
21 not sure if you're referencing that, but perhaps you could help us out
22 with that.
23 A. Unfortunately, I cannot remember. I know that this process was
24 underway, that there were delegations in Banja Luka. But what this was
25 about, I can't recall at present.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Now, I'm going to ask if the Court would please have
2 the usher show you Exhibit SK46A and B. Really, just B, the B/C/S
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please do so.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. And just so the record is
6 clear, that's a document from Dr. Donia. I think we identified them as
7 the "SK" documents.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But just let me take the opportunity, just for
11 clarification, the Judges have discussed the issue of possible time
12 limits. Of course, it's free for the Defence to decide how to use the
13 time, but the time is not unlimited. And therefore, we decided to impose
14 a time limit to finalise the cross-examination no later than tomorrow at
15 the end of the hearing.
16 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, we have an idea from Defence Exhibit 7A and B what
18 seems to be your thought process or at least your feelings in May of 1992.
19 Now, SK46B, if you look at that, and I direct your attention to page 2 of
20 that which has the ERN number 00633866, I believe. And this is a document
21 that's already in evidence, and there's a comment attributed to Dr. Stakic
22 on or about May 9th, 1992. Can you read for me, sir, where it says there
23 where in fact Dr. Stakic, on that date, apparently said: "Peace must be
24 maintained at all costs."
25 Do you see that written there, sir?
1 A. Yes, I see it says here: "Milomir Stakic - from the 30th of
2 April, 1992" and then in the Municipality of Prijedor here, from the
3 constitution of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is implemented, and
4 the because in accordance with the constitution. Where new laws have not
5 been enacted, the old ones will be implemented. The next month or two are
6 the most critical until the funds that have now been established are
7 replenished. Peace has to be maintained at all costs, and the economy has
8 to be revived. Committee of five members with Savanovic at its head has
9 been established to receive the soldiers coming back from the front.
10 General mobilisation is obligatory, and the Serbs are required to respond
11 to the callup."
12 Q. Thank you. Sir, your position, on or about May of 1992, was not
13 one of peace; it was one to arm the citizens. Correct?
14 A. No.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think there's some limitation.
16 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I saw Your Honour looking at me.
17 Can I stand up. First of all, there was no question as far as I saw. The
18 witness was asked to read the document, and then a comment is effectively
19 being made. But secondly, I was going to say if the Defence case is that
20 this witness actually was responsible for arming the Muslim population or
21 in some way was involved, then it's something that should be put to him so
22 Your Honours can see how he deals with it.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's only fair, and I would ask the
24 Defence to refrain from comments as they were made in the last question.
25 MR. OSTOJIC:
1 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, on the page that your name appears last on -- I'm
2 done with SK46A and B, sir. Directing your attention, sir, to Exhibit D7A
3 and B, specifically pages 332 and 333, again, sir, you don't know or do
4 you have any recollection of whether these agreements that you reference
5 involved the Lisbon agreements that are referenced merely six lines above
7 A. Is this page 332?
8 Q. 333, sir.
9 A. I apologise.
10 I don't remember. And I can't explain with any certainty what
11 this was about. This may have been an interpretation of the news report
12 we listened to about this event, but I cannot recall enough to be able to
13 speak about it now.
14 Q. Following your comments or the comments that are attributed to you
15 and turning to page 332, there is an individual by the name of Suljo who
16 makes a comment, after others spoke, during the same meeting apparently in
17 which you were in attendance. Can you tell us what he says in that
19 A. "Suljo: We must buy time also on the issue of insignia. But if
20 weapons have to be returned, then there will be a war."
21 Q. Having been at that meeting, sir, do you remember the individual
22 named Suljo making that statement that's attributed to him?
23 A. I can't remember these details.
24 Q. Would you be kind enough for me, sir, to just flip through the
25 balance of the pages before you in the B/C/S text and tell me if your name
1 appears anywhere else on these entries?
2 A. I can't see my name being mentioned, but I'll go through it again.
3 Q. I don't either, Mr. Sejmenovic --
4 A. I haven't found it.
5 Q. Okay.
6 In July of 1998 in your testimony in the Kovacevic case, you
7 discussed an issue regarding a TV relay at Kozarac. Do you remember
8 generally when and if a TV relay at Kozarac and Lisina was actually
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please be so kind and as it is custom
11 in this courtroom tell us where you are quoting from? Wednesday, 8 July,
13 MR. OSTOJIC: I wasn't quoting, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You're making reference to testimony in the
15 Kovacevic case.
16 MR. OSTOJIC: Page 373, lines 1 through 10, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Yes. Please proceed.
18 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm not quoting from that transcript, sir.
19 Q. I just want to understand and have an appreciation of the
20 information you have in connection with the TV relay station. Can you
21 tell me when it was that that TV relay station at Kozarac and Lisina was
23 A. I can't remember precisely, but it was in the second half of 1991.
24 Because I know that there was a discussion on this in the parliament of
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you with precision.
1 Q. Can you tell me who seized the TV relay station and from whom?
2 A. What we heard at the time was that some farmers who were near the
3 relay station, who had their farms up there saw, some people in camouflage
4 uniforms carrying weapons who carried out an intervention at the relay
5 station, and the personnel who had been employed there were chased out.
6 And some other persons were brought in. We learned about this event when
7 the TV broadcast was interrupted. So it was evident. Several days later,
8 maybe a day later, I'm not sure any more, the signal of Belgrade
9 television was suddenly received. And after that, Banja Luka.
10 Q. Do you know, sir, who controlled that TV relay station prior to
11 the attempt to seize it by these unidentified men in camouflage uniform?
12 A. There was information that this was done by the army, but the army
13 did not wear camouflage uniforms at the time. Camouflage uniforms were
14 seen, and this interpretation came from eyewitnesses. Who controlled it
15 previously, I don't know because I was never up there. All I know is that
16 up to that point, we saw broadcasts of Sarajevo television, and sometimes
17 Belgrade or Zagreb television. But from that point on, the TV broadcasts
18 were completely different.
19 Q. Do you know why anyone would want to seize a TV relay station?
20 A. I didn't understand your question.
21 Q. I'll try to restate it. Is there anything near the TV relay
22 station that was in existence in 1991, anything near or around the area
23 where this TV relay station was?
24 A. What are you referring to when you say "something" or "anything"?
25 It's a mountain.
1 Q. I'll be more specific. Thank you. I understand that it's on the
2 mountain, but was there any barracks there or any military armaments that
3 were being kept near or around the area of the TV relay station, sir?
4 A. Near the TV relay station, there was nothing. The relay station
5 was at Lisina. I think that's the name of the peak. And that's part of
6 the mountain of Kozara. Going along the top of Kozara from Lisina towards
7 Mrakovica, JNA barracks and military installations were quite some
8 distance. They were at Mrakovica. I don't think there was anything in
9 the vicinity, not as far as I know.
10 Q. Were there any, to the best of your knowledge - and I know your
11 limited experience in the military - do you know if there were any
12 military installations near or around the TV relay station in 1991?
13 A. I didn't have any information to the effect that there were any
14 military installations near the TV relay station. I know there were some
15 at Benkovac, and I had some sort of information that near Benkovac, there
16 were other military installations, and allegedly helicopters were able to
17 land there. But none of this was near Lisina, according to the
18 information I had. The JNA sometimes had facilities that people didn't
19 know about, so it's possible that something did exist there, but this is
20 the first time I've heard of anything like that.
21 Q. Thank you. And let me just turn the topic, since we only have
22 about 15 minutes left, on an issue that I'd like to address. You
23 gave a video or you gave a statement that was videotaped that we saw
24 during your direct examination. Correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. With respect to that, sir, I'm a little confused on a couple
2 points. Once you mentioned a Mr. Mutic, I think. And then you mention a
3 Dragan Bozanic. Can you tell me, sir, were you interviewed on more than
4 one occasion?
5 A. Mutic interviewed me twice, and after that, Bozanic interviewed me
6 once. Mutic was from the local TV station and the Krajina television, and
7 Bozanic was doing it on behalf of Serbian television.
8 Q. And how far apart was it in terms of time when you gave the first,
9 second, and third interview?
10 A. Mutic interviewed me once, and after a day or two, a day or two
11 later, I'm not sure exactly. And then three or four days after that, some
12 foreign journalists arrived accompanied by Bozanic, who then conducted the
13 third interview with me.
14 Q. Now, you mentioned that the interviews that were given by
15 Mr. Mutic or conducted by Mr. Mutic, you were given some instructions,
16 correct, as what to say?
17 A. Yes. He gave me those instructions.
18 Q. Is it fair to say that Mr. Dragan Bozanic did not give you any
19 such instructions?
20 A. No. Bozanic came in, in a hurry, in the room where I was, and put
21 questions, the questions we saw on the tape. He didn't say to me: "You
22 have to answer like this or like that." Simply, he interviewed me and I
23 answered in the way you heard me do, based on the experience I had with
24 the journalist Mutic and in accordance with the situation I was in.
25 Q. So at the time that Dragan Bozanic interviewed you, he didn't ask
1 you to answer in any manner; he didn't instruct you how to answer. And
2 during the time that he interviewed you, there were also foreign
3 journalists at the camp and other foreign individuals, if you will.
5 A. No. There were no foreign journalists in the room, only
6 journalists of Crna, the Serbian television, and several camp guards who
7 had entered the room and were watching me as I was answering the
9 Q. We saw some of your interview, or possibly even all of it, with
10 respect to Mr. Bozanic. Do you know whether there is in existence the
11 interviews that you allegedly gave where you read from a written
12 transcript which was given to you by Mr. Mutic? Did you ever see any such
13 video footage of that?
14 A. No. No.
15 Q. When was the first time, sir, that you retracted the comments that
16 you made on this video by the interview that was made by
17 Mr. Dragan Bozanic, who did not instruct you on what to say? When was the
18 first time that you retracted those comments?
19 A. I have already been asked this question here. I answered that,
20 and I repeat it now. I don't know what you mean by "retracted." If you
21 would explain this to me, I will then tell you whether I did that or not.
22 Q. All right. If I'm permitted, I'd like to try at least. Sir, if
23 you make a comment, and you don't agree with the comment, later, you would
24 advise someone, "I did not agree to make that comment," or I'm going to
25 retract or disavow myself of the statements I made on TV.
1 A. Now I understand. Now, I understand.
2 Q. If I can just -- my question to you, sir: When from August 1992,
3 when was the first time that you retracted or disavowed the comments that
4 you made while being interviewed by Mr. Dragan Bozanic?
5 A. Yes, I understand you now. I said in my statement that I was
6 forced to answer in the way I did, and I did that for the first time in
7 1993. I said that to a person who was represented a UN commission. I
8 think it was chaired by a gentleman called Cherif Bassiouni or something
9 like that. And a lady came to talk to me in Zagreb. Her name was Ferial
10 Karaci [phoen] or Garaci [phoen]. She was from the UN commission. I made
11 a statement about this. And it's possible that during my interview with
12 her, which lasted for several hours, I think that was the first time I
13 said that.
14 It's possible I also said that to the representatives of the
15 embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I'm not sure which came first in
16 chronological order, but I think it was the UN commission that came
17 first. I'm speaking of my interview with them. I don't remember,
18 however, whether this was taken down in writing or not.
19 Q. Well, as you sit here, you don't know whether it was or not.
21 A. I'm sure it happened, but I'm not sure whether it was taken down
22 in writing.
23 Q. Do you remember giving testimony on July 14th, 1998, at pages 713
24 through 714, where an identical question was asked of you in connection
25 with your retraction or disavowing or contradiction from the statements
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 you made to now claiming that they were given under duress and being asked
2 when was it the first time that you disavowed yourself from those
3 comments? It states, if I may --
4 A. Thank you. I repeat. I remember that this question was put to me
5 and I was very confused by it because retracting a statement means, to me,
6 saying that I did not say that. That's why I was confused when that
7 question was put to me. You, unlike your colleague who asked me that
8 question, you have explained this to me, which is why I can answer you
9 precisely now.
10 Q. Well, just to paraphrase, and you tell me if it's right or wrong,
11 I'm just trying to get an understanding, on July 14th, 1998, when asked
12 hen you actually retracted that statement, on line 4 through, I believe,
13 14 on page 714 of that date, you state, sir, "Answer: During the
14 conversation which I had about my stay in the camp, I believe that this
15 conversation was conducted with one of the investigators of The Hague
16 Tribunal. It was the first time then that I talked about these events,
17 and this is when I spoke about it, about this interview and about the
19 It goes on to state: "Question, if you could remember perhaps the
20 month or a session and what year that you spoke to representatives of the
21 Tribunal and that you took back this statement." "Answer: In 1995, I
22 believe in late 1995, but I'm not sure. It could have even been early
24 Just so I understand, Mr. Sejmenovic, is it your testimony that
25 you retracted this statement in 1993 or sometime in 1995 or 1996?
1 A. As for representatives of the Tribunal, my first contact with them
2 was when I said it was. In 1993, there was no Tribunal. In Zagreb, there
3 was an office of that UN commission, and there was a lady whose name I
4 have told you, and then I was interviewed. We spoke in the consulate of
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zagreb. The address was Novakova [phoen]
6 Street. I think it was Number 9. This was not with Tribunal
8 My first conversation with Tribunal investigators was detailed, at
9 least as far as the things they asked me. They didn't ask me about
10 everything, and I told them this then. But if you say: "When was the
11 first time in general that I retracted this, regardless of whether it was
12 the Tribunal or somebody else?" Then it would be this UN commission, and
13 I still have the visiting card of the person who interviewed me. Not only
14 me, she interviewed a number of people who were arriving in Zagreb at the
15 time. But nothing happened after these interviews. Nobody called me or
16 asked me about anything. Then the Tribunal investigators came, and that
17 was when I had the formal interview with them.
18 Q. Thank you. I think I understand.
19 Sir, I'm going to ask you, and I should probably tell the Court
20 I'm going to move to a totally different area in connection with the
21 minutes of the extraordinary session of Prijedor Municipal Assembly held
22 on the 14th of February, 1992. Mr. Sejmenovic was present apparently at
23 the meeting. I don't know if the Court wants me to start with the
24 questioning now or if it would be an appropriate time. I know we have
25 five, six minutes left.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: After the impression of today's discussion of
2 one document, I'm afraid we would sit here until 10.00. So therefore, I
3 think it's more appropriate to start this issue, this new issue, tomorrow.
4 The trial stays adjourned until tomorrow, 2.15.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
6 6.55 p.m., to be reconvened on
7 Tuesday, the 2nd day of July, 2002,
8 at 2.15 p.m.