1 Thursday, 4 July 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.34 p.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. Good afternoon, everybody.
6 Could you please call the case.
7 Good afternoon. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T, the Prosecutor
8 versus Milomir Stakic.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the appearances, please. For
10 the OTP?
11 MS. KORNER: Joanna Korner assisted by Ruth Karper, case manager.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the Defence.
13 MR. LUKIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and
14 Mr. John Ostojic for the Defence.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Before we start, we are eager to know what will
16 be happening after we have heard our today's witness, probably today and
18 MS. KORNER: I don't suppose it would be proper for me to say I am
19 as eager to know as Your Honours are what's going to happen next. Your
20 Honour, a number of difficulties have arisen. First of all, Mr. Inayat,
21 not being aware that we were going to have this gap, is in fact not going
22 to be here tomorrow. We had hoped that the video of the interview
23 conducted with Dr. Stakic by the ITN news reporters would be available to
24 be played this afternoon. The transcript, however, will not be ready, I
25 understand, until 5.00. But it is possible that thereafter, we may be
1 able to deal with that. It's about 45 minutes long. Your Honour, other
2 than, that I'm afraid tomorrow we literally have no witnesses that we can
3 call. The only -- Your Honour mentioned investigators yesterday. The
4 only investigator outside Mr. Inayat who will be testifying is Mr. Nicolas
5 Sebire, to deal with exhumations because his report is not yet complete
6 because further information has been coming in. And that's why we
7 can't -- and indeed, the Defence I don't believe has got a report from
8 him. No, they haven't.
9 So Your Honour, I'm very sorry. Normally, we are normally sort of
10 having to send witnesses back. We've reached the stage now where we
11 literally haven't got any witnesses to call.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I'm afraid the Tribunal has reached a certain
13 stage where problems arise due to the incredible workload of all the
14 columns of this Tribunal. And it's easy to understand that things like
15 this, unfortunately, happen. And you may have seen from the fact that the
16 trial started a quarter later today, it's also for the Judges becoming an
17 enormous problem to deal with eight cases at the same time in a
18 responsible way. But we can't force the procedure in a not responsible
19 way, and therefore, I believe we have to accept it. And I don't believe
20 that there will be any objections by the Defence.
21 MR. LUKIC: No objections on our side, Your Honour.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, therefore, I think if -- I think maybe
23 I've underestimated slightly how much longer, looking at the statement, it
24 will take me to complete Mr. Atlija's evidence in chief. Looking at it, I
25 see that -- of course I completely forgot the most important part that he
1 had this conversation with Dr. Stakic -- allegedly had this conversation
2 with Dr. Stakic. So I think it will probably take another hour to finish
3 him in chief. Your Honour, the other matter is I'm going to ask him to
4 look at the video that Your Honours saw with Mr. Inayat, S58, I believe,
5 it has been produced as, of the area. He hasn't actually seen it before
6 either. But it may help because it shows just the very small portions,
7 about 2 or 3 minutes, if that, of the Brisevo area.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. We can, after a few minutes we need for
9 discussion of motions pending before us, we can then start. But please,
10 allow me to emphasise that what you can read on the scheduling order
11 distributed under today's date. I don't know whether you have received it
13 MS. KORNER: No, we haven't, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We, once again, as a kind of headline and
15 initial remarks, the Trial Chamber emphasises that we invite the parties,
16 nonetheless, that until now, there has been no agreement under Rule 62 ter
17 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence to try to come to a consensual
18 solution in this case. And we note the paramount value of a consensual
19 solution under the peacekeeping mission of this Tribunal. And we
20 reemphasise, therefore, that the Trial Chamber remains prepared to assist
21 the parties in any attempts to reach such a consensual solution, if they
22 so want. And only for the purposes of a complete trial, this new
23 scheduling order was needed. We discussed the dates yesterday. There
24 were only two minor changes. As regards the finalisation of the
25 Prosecutor's case, we had to substitute the 20th of September to the 19th
1 of September, due to the technical reason that the 20th of September is
2 already a courtroom maintenance day. And on the request of the Defence,
3 the Defence case should resume January 8, 2003.
4 Let me now turn, in a very open and frank way, to the request by
5 the Prosecutor for the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum. First of all,
6 we believe that within the Tribunal, it is not necessary to address one
7 other institution of this Tribunal with the threat of a subpoena. And
8 therefore, of course, I invite the parties for observations, we think it
9 should be not necessary, and therefore an order only would be adequate.
10 Then we have some doubts whether or not the Detention Unit is the correct
11 addressee. Of course, it's no judicial person. It might be, but I leave
12 it open for your observations, that the correct addressee is the
13 Registrar, represented in this case by the Scheveningen Detention Unit,
14 but the legal responsibility is vested with the Registrar possibly. I
15 leave it open for discussion.
16 As regards then the requested order itself, number 2 was not
17 contested at all. There were some observations. As regards number 1. We
18 will decide in detail these issues especially how far privileges in
19 balancing have a predominant value to that what is for good reason sought
20 by the Office of the Prosecutor. Nevertheless, it could be necessary, and
21 I invite you for comments, it could be necessary to build in a second
22 filter. As it reads now, the situation would be that the information
23 would be provided from the Detention Unit directly to the Prosecutor.
24 From our point of view, it could, worst case thinking, lead to the
25 situation that privileged information, especially on the strategy of the
1 Defence, would, by doing so, fall into the hands of the Prosecutor. This
2 is not envisaged by the Prosecutor, no doubt. But the question is: How
3 to have such a second filter? There is one possibility, and this is
4 suggested that the documents, first of all, are packed and sealed and then
5 unsealed in the presence of the Defence, the OTP, and an interpreter under
6 the guidance and the decision of a third person. We discussed in length
7 who could be this person, and we thought it's not possible to vest this
8 work to one of the Judges working on this case. And therefore, our
9 concrete question is whether or not the parties are prepared to accept
10 that one of the four other ad litem Judges, members of the Trial Chamber 2
11 are vested with this decision whether or not a certain document, if
12 disputed, falls under the categories where the limitations are applicable.
13 But as to the fact that the rules, of course, do not provide for this
14 situation, we would do this only with the consent of both parties, and
15 therefore we invite the parties commenting on this special issue whether
16 or not to vest this decisive function with another judge, an ad litem
17 judge of this Trial Chamber. I invite your commentaries.
18 MS. KORNER: No objections to any of that. My only hesitation is
19 in respect to who the order as opposed to a subpoena should be addressed.
20 I know that we addressed it to the Detention Unit basing it on an earlier
21 precedent. But if Your Honour is of the opinion, and which is shared by
22 the Registrar, that he is the person who would deliver this from the
23 Detention Unit, then we are perfectly content. Equally content to adopt
24 the suggestion made by Your Honour as to the documents. I was, in fact,
25 going to suggest that even the senior legal officer attached to the
1 Chamber would be an appropriate person if Your Honour felt that. But I'm
2 content that one of the other Judges should deal with it.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Defence.
4 MR. OSTOJIC: We have no objections to your proposal, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Then we'll hand down, as soon as
6 possible, a decision on this matter.
7 Anything else to be discussed before the witness appears? I can't
8 see anything. The usher, could you please bring in the witness.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You feel prepared for a second round of
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. We are extremely grateful. And may
14 the Prosecutor, please, start.
15 WITNESS: IVO ATLIJA [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Examined by Ms. Korner: [Continued]
18 Q. Mr. Atlija, yesterday you looked at a photograph of the area. I
19 want you now to have a look at a video that was shot last year, and to see
20 if you can help us by identifying relevant features. It may be -- I think
21 if we let you watch it --
22 MS. KORNER: As I say, Your Honour, it's very short.
23 Q. Through first, and then go back and pick out the features.
24 MS. KORNER: I wonder if the audiovisual unit could play, it has
25 been set up at the starting point until the screen goes blank. It's about
1 2 minutes' worth.
2 [Videotape played]
3 MS. KORNER: It has happened before, Your Honour, I'm sorry. We
4 give it to the audiovisual unit set up to where we want to start it, and
5 they take it back to the beginning.
6 I'm not sure what's happening now. I'm sorry. Your Honour, I'm
7 very sorry. It's my fault. I should have explained more carefully that I
8 wanted to start where I had set it up. Could you go back -- could the
9 audiovisual unit just run it back fast, and then I'll tell them where I
10 want to start. Thank you. Okay. Stop. Thank you. Now, could you run
11 it forward slowly.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MS. KORNER: All right. Thank you. Could we go back then to
14 where the we started just then. My apologies to the unit.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, could we go back to where I started the
17 video to where that bridge was. Could I also apologise to the unit
18 because they were given the Court exhibit rather than the copy I was
19 using. So it was my fault. So we go back to where that bridge was. Yes,
20 thank you.
21 Q. Just pausing there for a moment, do you recognise the bridge,
22 Mr. Atlija, at all?
23 A. This could be the bridge over the Sana at Ostra Luka.
24 Q. Could we move on, then, to the next bit, and I'll say "pause."
25 Stop there, please.
1 Do you recognise that?
2 A. I think this is the elementary school building in Ljubija. And
3 another building adjacent to the football pitch of the Rudar Ljubija
4 Football Club where the dressing rooms and the offices were.
5 Q. Could we move on, please. Could we pause for a moment. If you
6 could stay "stop" when you require it, first of all, again, tell us as
7 we've all seen, there's no sign, or very little, of where Brisevo was,
8 where the village actually was, and also if I can indicate when the attack
9 came, again, where it was coming from.
10 A. Okay. What we've just seen now -- excuse me. What we have just
11 seen were the remains of the iron ore mine, Ljubija, the so-called Tomeks
13 MS. KORNER: Could you run it back and say stop when you see it
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. We can see it in the middle
16 of the screen, left of the road, the road can be seen clearly here in this
18 MS. KORNER: Yes. If we can carry on.
19 Q. And Mr. Atlija, just say "stop" whenever you want to make a
21 A. Okay. Stop. This is a part of the Raljas village, the hill you
22 can see in the foreground. We call it Rivice Strane. That's when you go
23 through Ljubija to Raljas in the direction of Brisevo.
24 Q. I think we can see -- stop, please. I think we can see just one
25 house. How many houses were there before?
1 A. I can't say with any certainty, but more than one at any rate.
2 Q. Okay. Yes. Carry on.
3 A. Stop. What we're looking at now is a forest that goes down from
4 Brisevo toward the Serb village of Rasavci. One of the directions by
5 which the soldiers came was also from this forest.
6 Q. Yes.
7 MS. KORNER: Carry on.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. Can you please just rewind a
9 bit. Stop.
10 In the upper left corner of the screen, we can see a hill to which
11 we came when the shelling of the village of Brisevo first started. We
12 wanted to see where the shells were coming from. The altitude is about
13 490 metres. And on the right-hand side of the screen, it's not very
14 clear, you can see the forest which descends to the village of Ostra Luka,
15 which is another place the soldiers were coming from during that
17 MS. KORNER: All right. Yes, if we can move on.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. Here in the foreground, we
19 can see the remains of Andjelko Mlinar's and Nedo Mlinar's house. In the
20 background, a bit -- it's a bit blurred, but you can see the remains of
21 the remaining houses. They seem dots.
22 Stop. In the upper right corner, you can see the remains of Janje
23 Lovric's house.
24 Stop. On the right-hand side, you can see the remains of the
25 church. If you look straight from the church, looking to the foreground,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 there is the road for the hamlet of Marijana. I think we can see one, and
2 then on the left-hand side of the screen, you can see a few more white
3 dots which could be the remains of other houses.
4 MS. KORNER:
5 Q. Before you move on, you told us how you were hiding whilst the
6 soldiers came in and you were able to overhear what was said by the
7 officers. Are we able to see roughly where you were hiding?
8 A. Could we just please rewind the image a bit, and then I'll show
9 you. Stop. You can't see the exact spot here, but if we go from the
10 remains of this house here, we can clearly see it, to the left down the
11 slope, we would reach the precise spot. You can't see it here in this
12 image, because it's behind the hill, and the house was on the other side
13 of the hill but not on the top, but rather in the valley behind it so you
14 can't see it in this film.
15 Q. If a helicopter had flown over before the attack and subsequent
16 destruction, would one have seen a number of houses in this shot?
17 A. Yes, indeed, a number of them.
18 Q. All right. If we just continue then, to the end again, please.
19 A. Stop. On the right-hand side, the slope goes down towards a
20 creek, and then goes up again, and then on that side, from Gornja Ravska
21 and Ljubija, then members of the 5th Kozara Brigade came. Of course they
22 didn't come in a single column. They were spread out, covering a large
23 area. They didn't walk one behind the other.
24 Q. We can continue to the end, then.
25 A. Stop. Stop. Here, we can see the centre of the village, but it's
1 very difficult to discern where each of the houses were because of the
2 orchards, and it was all in bloom when this was taken. So you can't see
3 that much. If you head straight from where we're looking at now, we would
4 reach the village of Stara Rijeka, Stari Majdan, and Sanski Most. And
5 that's another direction the soldiers kept coming from, the soldiers of
6 the 6th Krajina Brigade.
7 Q. So around the ruins of the church which is now all field and, as
8 you say, orchard, were there, in July of 1992, were there a number of
10 A. We can see a road leading from the church over the meadow to the
11 left side. The Kresic family house and another house whose owners' last
12 name was Mlinar was there. If we continue in the same direction, we would
13 reach the houses of Sime Atlija and Joso Atlija. And then if we continue
14 on, also Ante Atlija's house. If we head right from there, there were the
15 houses, two houses belonging to the Marijan family. And then further on,
16 the Ivandic family houses. But you can't see it in this film, not very
18 Q. No. All right.
19 A. Stop. In the upper right corner of the image, you can see one of
20 the houses. It's a white dot, a white sign. I think this house belonged
21 to Srecko Dimac.
22 Q. Yes. Carry on.
23 A. Stop. This is all right.
24 Q. I think we can see that was the church. Do you want to go back?
25 A. I would just like to add that here, you can see the remains of the
1 church and the house which belonged to Jozo Jakara. Perhaps I should also
2 add that he was killed just below the house. You can see that there was a
3 field, a meadow, below the house, and that's where his body was found.
4 Q. Yes. Yes. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. That's it.
5 Mr. Atlija, I want to deal now with what happened in the remaining
6 period before you left of. After the main attack was over, and you've
7 told us about the bodies that you were finding over the next few days or
8 weeks, were there still armed men, soldiers, coming to Brisevo?
9 A. Yes, they kept coming, armed soldiers kept coming in smaller
10 groups or individually.
11 Q. When they came to Brisevo, what were they -- what was their
12 purpose for the main part?
13 A. We didn't ask them why they had come. We saw they were looting,
14 and they set fire to the remaining houses.
15 Q. Where any further people from Brisevo killed during this period?
16 A. Ante Lovric, for instance, was killed then.
17 Q. What happened to him?
18 A. I didn't see it. I heard it from his son. Several soldiers came
19 from Ostra Luka and asked to buy a cow from him. He gave them the cow,
20 and he told them that he should take it with them to Ostra Luka, and his
21 sons then later found him in a woods between the villages of Brisevo and
22 Ostra Luka.
23 Q. Anyone else, apart from him?
24 A. I didn't see myself, but from witnesses in Ljubija, it was said
25 that someone by the name of Gavranovic was forced to crouch in the creek
1 of Ljubija, and then he was shot in the head.
2 Q. Before I deal with where you were, can I ask you this: What
3 happened to the women who remained in Brisevo?
4 A. After the operation, the women were brought into one house that
5 hadn't been burnt down. They were in a terrible state. Some of them
6 wished to kill themselves. They were screaming, sobbing. And they had
7 been raped and abused.
8 Q. Did you see any of the women who had been raped subsequently?
9 A. I did see some of them, but I didn't see any of those who had been
11 Q. Did you see the signs of any kind of injuries to any of the women?
12 A. I did.
13 Q. Appreciating that you weren't there, do you know the sort of level
14 of age or the rough ages of the women who were raped? I mean, were they
15 young, middle-aged, old, or all types?
16 A. They were of different ages. But as far as I knew, they were
17 women of about 40 or 50 years old. There were younger ones and older
18 ones, too.
19 Q. All right. Now, where did you, yourself, go after the attack?
20 A. Immediately after the attack, for a few days, we slept in the
21 forest. We didn't dare sleep in any of the houses, and the women and the
22 children slept in Ivica Dimac's house because it hadn't been burnt yet.
23 Q. And where did you go after you had slept in the forest?
24 A. Afterwards, we divided up, and for some time I slept in Ljubija in
25 Kukavica's house, a person by the name of Kukavica. He was an invalid.
1 And he was not suspicious to the Serb soldiers. Others lived in the homes
2 in Ljubija or in empty vacated houses.
3 Q. I want to ask you next about a conversation or conversations you
4 had with political and religious leaders. Do you recall a visit by Bishop
5 Komarica from Banja Luka to Stara Rijeka?
6 A. I remember that very well.
7 Q. Was he the head of the Catholic church for that particular area?
8 A. He was the archbishop of the Banja Luka area as far as I can
10 Q. When he visited, was he accompanied by Vojo Kupresanin?
11 A. Yes, Vojo Kupresanin was with them, and Mr. Rasula, a person
12 calling himself Nikola Gabelic. He said he was an official in the Banja
13 Luka HDZ. And Mr. Anicic, who said that he was a manager or a
14 representative of Caritas. I think his name was Miljenko Anicic.
15 Q. First of all, can I ask you about Kupresanin. Did you know at the
16 time who he was?
17 A. I didn't know who he was.
18 Q. Was that the first time that you saw him?
19 A. Yes, the first time.
20 Q. And what position did you understand that he held?
21 A. He said that he was a representative of the authorities, the
22 authorities of the Serb Autonomous Region of Krajina. Whether he was
23 president of that region or not, I cannot remember.
24 Q. Mr. Rasula, do you know who he was?
25 A. I didn't know, but he said he was the president of the Serb
1 Municipality of Sanski Most.
2 Q. And you've already told us that Mr. Gabelic said that he was a
3 member of the HDZ, I think you said, from Banja Luka.
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. And Mr. Anicic was a manager or representative of Caritas. Did
6 you know at the time --
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. What Caritas was?
9 A. I knew. I am a Catholic, and I knew.
10 Q. I suppose most people do know, but can you just tell the Court.
11 What was Caritas?
12 A. Caritas was a humanitarian organisation of the Catholic church.
13 Q. Now, how did you find out about this particular visit?
14 A. Purely accidentally, with Jure Dimac I went to Sanski Most because
15 my uncle had a house there and he had a telephone and I thought we might
16 be able to telephone from his house. And then we saw a column of vehicles
17 with police insignia, with red lights, and we saw someone wearing a
18 bishop's clothes, robes. And when the column stopped in front of the
19 church in Stara Rijeka, we decided to stay there, and we gave up our
20 intention to go to Sanski Most.
21 Q. All right. So there you are in Stara Rijeka. Was there, then, an
22 open meeting?
23 A. Yes. Several hundreds of people gathered, and an open meeting was
25 Q. All right. Let's deal with what was said. Who began speaking?
1 A. I think the first speaker was Mr. Kupresanin.
2 Q. And what did he say to the assembled company, the people there?
3 A. He first introduced himself, and then he said that at the request
4 of Bishop Komarica, he came with some people to find out what the
5 situation was in the Sanska [as interpreted] and Prijedor areas were, what
6 the relations between the Serbs and Croats were. He had heard about some
7 incidents, and he said that before that, he didn't know that Croats lived
8 in the area. And then he told us that we should not make war, but that we
9 shall all live together as had been before. And that everything would be
10 all right as soon as they established a Serb state in Bosnia and
12 Q. Did you speak up at this meeting at all?
13 A. I was one of the rare people who contradicted him. He said -- I
14 told them that we were persecuted in the woods and everywhere, and then
15 they expected us to live with them in peace. And we asked to be -- to let
16 us leave from there, that the killings should stop, that if they wanted
17 that territory, then they should keep it.
18 Q. Did you tell them, the dignitaries, that is, Kupresanin and the
19 like, what had happened in your area?
20 A. Well, I spoke in great detail about what had happened, and they
21 listened to me until the end, until I finished, and they didn't interrupt
23 Q. After you told them in detail what had happened, did Kupresanin
24 reply to you?
25 A. Kupresanin replied that such things occurred in wars, and that
1 unfortunately, that a renegade group had committed that, and that we
2 simply could not do anything about it and that he would see to it that we
3 wouldn't be persecuted any more, or wouldn't be killed any more, and he
4 would help us as much as he could.
5 Q. You told us earlier when you were describing who took part in the
6 attack, that Kupresanin had told you that it was the 6th Krajina Brigade.
7 Was it at this meeting he told you that, or at a later meeting?
8 A. He said it at that meeting, and he said that he would do
9 everything in respect of General Talic so that the situation would end.
10 Q. You told us that he said to you that it was a renegade group that
11 had committed this. First, a renegade group from the 6th Krajina Brigade?
12 A. Yes. He said that in that operation, that the operation, in fact,
13 was not directed against us, but against the Muslims in the area, and that
14 it had been carried out by the 6th Krajina Brigade and that all the
15 killings had been done by a renegade group.
16 Q. Did you ask him anything about that statement that he had just
17 made, that it was a renegade group?
18 A. I told him, how is it possible that one or two brigades should
19 become renegade groups, and then he -- this provoked him, and he told me
20 that I had better keep quiet.
21 Q. Did Bishop Komarica say anything during the course of this
23 A. Bishop Komarica also spoke at that meeting. He promised he would
24 do everything for us, that humanitarian aid would be given to us, that
25 food would be brought to us. He was very excited. He shouted at Vojo
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Kupresanin, and at the other people from the delegation. And I could
2 conclude from what he had said that he hadn't been aware of what was going
3 on earlier.
4 Q. Jumping ahead for a moment, do you know whether aid was provided
5 to the people of Brisevo?
6 A. Yes, on a number of occasions, aid was provided.
7 Q. By who?
8 A. Every time a truck would come with a driver escorted by Mr.
9 Anicic. I mentioned his name before.
10 Q. So it came from Caritas, the aid?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. Did you have any personal conversation with the bishop yourself
13 that day?
14 A. Yes, I had a talk with practically all the members of the
15 delegation, including the bishop.
16 Q. When the bishop left, was he alone in the vehicle in which he was?
17 A. No. He was not alone. He was accompanied by people who were
18 dressed in uniforms and with the JNA insignia on them.
19 Q. Did you ask the bishop who these people were?
20 A. Later on, during the second meeting, he said that he had been
21 given bodyguards by General Talic.
22 Q. All right. Now, we can move to the second meeting. But I forgot
23 to ask you this: Can you remember roughly when this meeting in Stara
24 Rijeka was?
25 A. I think it was in August 1992.
1 Q. The end or the beginning, if you can remember?
2 A. I think it must have been the beginning of August.
3 Q. Now, you said that there was a second meeting. How long after
4 this first one, roughly?
5 A. It must have been three weeks following the first meeting. At the
6 most a month after that first meeting.
7 Q. And where was that second meeting?
8 A. The second meeting was at the Ljubija church.
9 Q. And who came to that second meeting?
10 A. Then I saw the Bishop Komarica, Mr. Vojo Kupresanin, and I didn't
11 know the other members of the delegation.
12 Q. Did you speak to Mr. Kupresanin on that second occasion?
13 A. Yes, I did speak with him.
14 Q. Was that just a personal conversation between the two of you, or
15 again, was this in the context of the meeting?
16 A. Mr. Kupresanin invited me to the side and asked me if the
17 situation had improved at all. When I said it hadn't, then he had a
18 personal conversation with me.
19 Q. And what was that conversation about?
20 A. Well, about the general state of affairs there, and I asked him
21 again to help us to move out from there and to go just about anywhere.
22 Q. And what was his response when you asked for his help?
23 A. He promised he would help us to the greatest possible extent.
24 Q. And did he offer any particular help in itself?
25 A. He offered specific help. He told us that from that day on, that
1 we could telephone freely from the headquarters in Ljubija where Slobodan
2 and Djoko Taranjac were the most important people there. And then he
3 asked us to address Mr. Stakic, president of the Municipal Assembly of
4 Prijedor. Mr. Savanovic, too, was mentioned in that context, and if he
5 said if there were any problems that we should call him personally in
6 Banja Luka, and he gave us the phone number.
7 Q. Now, before I move to what you actually did do as a result of this
8 assistance offered, can I just ask you this: You told us that you asked
9 Bishop Komarica who the JNA uniformed men were, and he said they were
10 Talic's bodyguards on that occasion, did you also speak to him about help
11 as well?
12 A. Yes, I did talk about health [as interpreted] as well.
13 Q. I thought you said "help," not "health." Sorry.
14 A. That's right, help, help.
15 Q. I'm sorry, it came up on the screen as health. That's what I
16 heard through my earphones.
17 What was his reaction when you were asking him for help, other
18 than the aid from Caritas, did you ask him for any other sort of help?
19 A. Bishop Komarica was against us moving from there. He told us that
20 these were our homes of 700 years back, that we should preserve our
21 parish, to try to live there, to continue living there, and words to that
23 Q. And what did you say when he tried to persuade you to stay?
24 A. We told him, well, these homes are worthless if we will be killed
25 there. And people are what are important, the parish itself isn't
1 important. We can live anywhere else, even in Australia.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Kupresanin had told you to address Mr. Stakic, president
3 of the Municipal Assembly, and also he had mentioned a Mr. Savanovic. As
4 a result of that, what did you do?
5 A. After a few days, we went to the Prijedor Municipality.
6 Q. How many of you went?
7 A. There were three of us.
8 Q. Who were the other two people?
9 A. Zdenka Lovric. Now married, and her last name is Dimac. And Jure
11 Q. And when you went to the Prijedor Municipality, who did you see
13 A. At the entrance to the building, there was a porter who asked us
14 where we were going, and then he asked us to leave our weapons, if we had
15 any, with him. So he was the first person we met.
16 Q. And I'm sorry, this is the way it came out on the screen. By the
17 municipality, do you mean the municipality building?
18 A. That's right. At the entrance of the building, there was a
19 porter, a guard standing.
20 Q. And he asked if you had any -- to leave your weapons. Once you
21 got inside the building -- sorry. Did you ask to see anybody in
22 particular when you got there?
23 A. We said that we had to go to Mr. Stakic. He told us that if we
24 had any weapons, we should leave them with him, and then he let us in.
25 Q. Had you made an appointment to see Mr. Stakic in advance?
1 A. I think that the meeting had been arranged by phone, by the
2 brothers Taranjac.
3 Q. Did you get in to see Mr. Stakic, then?
4 A. They told us that we should go to the first floor of that
5 building. In front of the office, there was a table and a few chairs. We
6 were told to wait there, and then a woman came and she took us to an
7 office. And in that office, there was a gentleman we expected was
8 Mr. Stakic, because we had the meeting scheduled with him.
9 Q. Had you seen Mr. Stakic before, on television or in real life?
10 A. No, I had never seen him before.
11 Q. The man who was sitting there, did he tell you who he was?
12 A. I'm not sure whether he told us what his name was or what his post
14 Q. You said the man you expected to be was Mr. Stakic, that you had
15 expected to see there, was Mr. Stakic. Did you actually meet Mr. Stakic?
16 A. That gentleman who was sitting in the office, well, we had a
17 meeting with him, and I am convinced that it was Mr. Stakic.
18 Q. What convinces you of that? Did he tell you his name?
19 A. I cannot remember exactly whether he told us his name. But
20 through our conversation, the gentleman kindly listened to us, and then
21 said that he could only help us by helping us not to sleep in forests and
22 in houses that had been destroyed, but that we should move into abandoned
23 houses in Biscani. And that as far as moving was concerned, that he
24 couldn't help us there.
25 Q. All right. Okay. Can we then go back to the beginning of this
1 conversation. How did it begin? Did you speak, or did he speak?
2 A. He told us to sit down, and then he asked us what we came to see
3 him for and what we had to say.
4 Q. And so what did you tell him?
5 A. We said we were from Brisevo and sent to see him by
6 Mr. Kupresanin, that we would like to ask him to help us to move out, to
7 leave that area.
8 Q. And did you tell him where you wanted to go?
9 A. We said we had relatives in Germany, Croatia, Austria. It didn't
10 matter; the only thing that really mattered was to leave that area where
11 war was still raging.
12 Q. And what did he respond when you said you wanted help to leave the
14 A. He said he was not able to help us to leave the area because they
15 were being accused of ethnic cleansing already at that point and that the
16 only thing he could do for us was to put us up in those houses that were
17 still whole.
18 Q. Now, did he say anything to you about houses, whereabouts those
19 houses were?
20 A. I think the village of Biscani was mentioned, and we knew where
21 the village was, so there was no need for him to explain to us where those
22 houses were, because we knew the location of that village.
23 Q. Did he tell you what had happened in Biscani?
24 A. No, nothing specific really. He only told us that we could go
25 there and occupy the empty houses in Biscani.
1 Q. Did he mention your own town of Brisevo at all, or own village?
2 A. I can't remember that he did.
3 Q. Thank you. When he was offering you the houses in Biscani, did he
4 say why it will be a good idea for you to go and live there?
5 A. No, not in that sense, he didn't say anything. He only told us we
6 could go there because those houses were not that damaged, and that it was
7 better for us to stay in those houses without a roof over our heads or in
8 houses that had been destroyed.
9 Q. When you were telling him what had happened to you, how much
10 knowledge did the man you were talking to appear to have, as to what had
11 happened in Biscani and in Brisevo?
12 A. I find it difficult to say now, how much someone else knew, but I
13 think he must have known that Biscani had been vacated, as he made the
14 offer to us to go there and stay there. Had he not known that the village
15 was empty, probably he wouldn't have made the offer that he did for us to
16 move there.
17 Q. Did he show any knowledge from what he said, the words he used, of
18 what had actually taken place in Brisevo itself?
19 A. I think he must have known what had occurred there, and I think
20 the other officials in Prijedor Municipality and Sanski Most Municipality
21 must have known.
22 Q. Sorry. But was there anything that he said to you that showed a
23 knowledge of what had happened, the attacks or the burnings or anything
24 like that, not whether he must have known, or did he indicate it to you by
25 what he said?
1 A. He didn't ask about any details about the events in Brisevo. He
2 didn't inquire why we had no houses of our own to sleep in. So that sort
3 of led me to conclude that he must have known what had happened there.
4 Q. All right. Now, how did the meeting end then?
5 A. We said thanks and said that we were not inclined really to accept
6 his offer, and that we would keep on trying to leave the area.
7 Q. During the course of this meeting, was there anybody, any other
8 officials in the room with you?
9 A. I think not for the whole duration of the meeting, but I think
10 there was another gentleman who kept coming in and out. It all lasted for
11 a very short time.
12 Q. Now, you told the porter that you had an appointment to see
13 Mr. Stakic. Did the man who you spoke to ever say who he was?
14 A. Regrettably, I can't remember whether he spoke to us and told us
15 his name in the sense of saying "my name is Stakic" or anything like that.
16 Q. If the man had said "I am not Mr. Stakic," would you have done
17 anything about it?
18 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, this is the fourth time, really. My
19 learned friend is asking the same question. I think the witness answered
20 clearly that the gentleman on the opposite side of the table has never
21 mentioned his name.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I accept that, and that's why I'm
23 changing it slightly -- the question I asked is not the same question. So
24 I would ask that I get an answer to that, or I was starting to ask before
25 I was interrupted, or maybe I did ask. Yes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. If the man it said "I'm not Mr. Stakic," would you have done
2 anything about it?
3 A. Probably I would have asked him why he had agreed to see us in the
4 first place because our meeting was supposed to be with Mr. Stakic. But
5 he never told us that he was not Mr. Stakic. I can't remember him saying
6 that either.
7 Q. All right. Finally, then, did you, in fact, manage to leave the
8 area for Zagreb on the 17th of November of 1992?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Before you were able to leave, did you have to do anything in
11 terms of paperwork or payment?
12 A. We had to pay the electricity, phone, and other utility bills.
13 There was no phone in Brisevo, let me just make that clear. So we paid
14 for a number of things that we never used.
15 Q. Did you have to sign any documents before you left?
16 A. We were supposed to sign that we were leaving of our own free
17 will, and then also sign a certificate leaving our property at the
18 disposal of -- I can't remember whether it was called Republika Srpska or
19 the Autonomous Region of Serbian Krajina at that point. I can't say with
20 certainty now.
21 Q. And how did you actually leave, physically leave, the area?
22 A. I joined a convoy, an organised convoy, organised with the consent
23 of the Serb authorities but also with the assistance of the UNHCR and the
25 Q. And where did the convoy cross into -- out of Bosnia?
1 A. That was at the Bosanska Gradiska, Stara Gradiska border crossing.
2 That part of Croatia was then controlled by the UN, and it was called the
3 UNPA zone. But I don't know what it was marked.
4 Q. Before the convoy was allowed to leave, did any search take place,
5 in Gradiska, that is?
6 A. Before the bridge in Gradiska, all the men had been taken out. We
7 were told to take out our luggage, and then the luggage was searched. And
8 the pockets of the men were searched, too, but they never touched the
9 women and children.
10 Q. The search was conducted by whom?
11 A. Those were Serb soldiers, but there were also persons wearing the
12 blue police uniforms.
13 Q. What happened if people had money or valuables on them?
14 A. They took money from some people, but they didn't take anything
15 from me, for one.
16 Q. Yes.
17 MS. KORNER: Mr. Atlija, thank you very much, if you'd like to
18 wait there.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In fact, you don't have any other questions?
20 MS. KORNER: I don't have any other questions.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. What's the timeframe the Defence
22 needs for starting the cross-examination?
23 MR. LUKIC: We just can have a break, Your Honour, and we'll be
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stands adjourned until 4.30.
1 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 4.32 p.m.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. The Defence may start the
5 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Lukic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Hello. Good afternoon.
8 A. Good afternoon.
9 Q. We both speak B/C/S as the language is called here, Bosnian,
10 Croatian, Serbian, so this may cause a bit of trouble because our
11 questions and answers may overlap at times. So, I would please ask you if
12 you can just make a pause after my question, you can see it on your screen
13 when the interpretation is completed, so that no additional trouble is
14 caused to the interpretation service.
15 A. There will be no problems.
16 Q. Thank you. I will follow the line of questioning pursued by the
17 Prosecution yesterday, and of course I will not go into as much detail as
18 my colleague yesterday. Of course, I will not ask you anything about the
19 events that must have caused you great pain, and we shall not go into any
20 particulars surrounding the graves or the unfortunate events when your
21 father was killed. I will only ask you to please assist us in clarifying
22 a number of issues that we think you could help us with, in order to
23 further clarify these issues.
24 On page 9 -- let me just inform you, please, it is for the sake of
25 the transcript that we must always give the number of page and the line
1 where you made a certain statement. Please do not be confused by this.
2 On page 9, line 21 of the transcript, you were speaking about the repeater
3 being taken. Before the taking of the repeater, could you follow the
4 programmes of both the Zagreb and the Sarajevo studios?
5 A. Yes, we could.
6 Q. Before the repeater was taken, was there any propaganda in those
8 A. Yes, there was, but in my opinion, to a far smaller extent.
9 Q. Thank you. On page 12, line 4, you spoke about the fact that most
10 of the armed people who moved about were Serbs. Are you familiar with the
11 fact that in the Prijedor municipal area, a mobilisation had been carried
12 out in September and November of 1991?
13 A. Yes, I'm familiar with that, because I was called up myself.
14 Q. Did you respond to the callup?
15 A. No, I didn't.
16 Q. Do you know that there was an additional mobilisation in 1992?
17 A. I do not know anything about any such details.
18 Q. Thank you. I'm only asking you to answer what you can.
19 Those mobilisations, were the majority of the people who did
20 respond to these callups Serbs?
21 A. Yes, as far as I know.
22 Q. The majority of those people you saw who were armed, were they
23 wearing military uniforms?
24 A. Yes, most of them.
25 Q. During that period, do you know if the JNA was the legitimate
1 military power in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
2 A. I can't say precisely until which date exactly the JNA indeed was
3 the legitimate military power in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I don't know the
4 exact date.
5 Q. Was the JNA a legitimate power prior to the takeover on the 30th
6 of April, 1992?
7 A. I think so.
8 Q. On page 13, line 21, you spoke about the need to be in possession
9 of permits to move about. In order to be able to move about freely at all
10 around the Prijedor municipal territory. Do you know whether Serb
11 civilians also needed to have -- needed to be in possession of these
12 permits in order to be able to move about freely, especially men of
13 military age and men capable of military service?
14 A. I don't know that. I only know that we non-Serbs had to have
15 these permits in order to move about.
16 Q. Thank you. Do you know if those Serbs who were fit for military
17 service were allowed to leave the Autonomous Region of Krajina?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Thank you. On page 14, the beginning of the page, you spoke about
20 Milan Mutic, who moved into your flat in Prijedor. After the war, did you
21 ask for this flat to be returned to you?
22 A. The procedure is underway, and it's all in the hands of my
24 Q. Do you know that people were also moving into flats abandoned by
25 Serbs, which had been owned by Serbs?
1 A. I don't know, but my flat had not been abandoned.
2 Q. Does that mean that someone was actually living in your flat?
3 A. If I left to go to my parents' house, that did not necessarily
4 mean that I had left my own flat for good, never to return.
5 Q. Thank you. On the same page, page 14, line 18, you spoke about
6 May 1992 when the refugees came from Hambarine in great numbers to your
7 village. Do you know, because you have yourself said that they stayed for
8 several days, whether after that period, some of them did eventually
9 return to Hambarine?
10 A. As far as I know, some of them went back to Hambarine, and the
11 others dispersed. And most of them I think went to Stari Majdan.
12 Q. Page 15, you spoke about a conflict at the checkpoint in Hambarine
13 and the request for Aziz Aliskovic to surrender and some other people
14 alongside with him. Do you know if Aziz Aliskovic actually surrendered?
15 A. I do know that he did not surrender, because I saw his dead body
16 brought to Ljubija later on. He was killed later on at some point.
17 Q. As concerns the conflict at the checkpoint, do you really know
18 what happened there, or only from accounts by other people?
19 A. Only from the accounts of other people, because I did not witness
20 this myself.
21 Q. On page 17, line 4, you spoke again about the group of refugees
22 from Hambarine. You said that most of those people were women, children,
23 the elderly, but that there were also some young men among them.
24 A. Yes, that is indeed what I said.
25 Q. Do you know where the other men from Hambarine were at that time?
1 A. There was no way for me to know where the other inhabitants of
2 Hambarine were at that time.
3 Q. Did those women and all the men there tell you where the other men
5 A. They said that some of them had tried to put up resistance, but
6 they failed, and they dispersed and ran to several different places.
7 Q. Do you know whether those men later retreated to the Kurevo
9 A. I heard stories later on that there were such men indeed who hid
10 in the Kurevo forest.
11 Q. Mr. Atlija, do you know that the Autonomous Region of Krajina for
12 a while was completely cut off from Yugoslavia, and have you heard about
13 fighting for the corridor?
14 A. I heard about those fights, but I can't accept the fact that some
15 Autonomous Region of Krajina was ever cut off from any state. The
16 recognised state at that point was Yugoslavia, as far as I can remember,
17 and to the best of my knowledge, no autonomous regions had ever been
19 Q. We're not speaking about the legal aspect. I'm talking about the
20 physical area that was then referred to as the "Autonomous Region of
21 Krajina" but you have answered my question. Thank you.
22 A. Yes, I did hear on the radio several times about the fighting
23 going on for the corridor.
24 Q. Are you familiar with the fact that at one moment in Bosnia, there
25 was a situation where everyone fought everyone else? For example, when in
1 Herzegovina, Serbs fought Croats, and at the same time the Muslims, for
2 example, attacked the Croats in the Travnik region?
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm going to ask how that's relevant,
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sustained.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. You mentioned that next to your village, there were also other
8 settlements where the pop -- where the Croatian population was in the
9 majority or totally Croatian.
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. As far as I can remember, you mentioned Ravska and Zune, and
12 Gornja Ljubija. Were these -- had these places been destroyed like your
13 own village, or did they have another fate?
14 A. They were destroyed to a far lesser extent, and there were far
15 fewer casualties.
16 Q. Can you tell us now, and you mentioned this today on page 18, line
17 4 of today's transcript, how often did the Caritas trucks with
18 humanitarian aid come to your village?
19 A. Once -- twice or three times.
20 Q. In the transcript, it says "once, twice, or three." Can we agree
21 that you said two or three times?
22 A. I can agree that there may be a misunderstanding. The trucks
23 coming -- did not always come to Brisevo. Sometimes they came to Stara
24 Rijeka. So this may have caused a misunderstanding.
25 Q. Mr. Atlija, I have just completed my cross-examination, and I hope
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that you didn't have any problems in providing answers. Thank you.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for providing these answers.
3 Nevertheless, in the beginning, I have one question.
4 Questioned by the Court:
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever see photos of some of the persons
6 you met, for example, the bishop, the archbishop, people from Caritas or
7 other people you saw during the meeting, on television or in newspapers?
8 A. I saw on television, in the papers the bishop, Mr. Komarica, and
9 perhaps Mr. Miljenko Anicic.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And what about the other persons you mentioned
11 during your examination, Mr. Kuruzovic, for example, or others.
12 MS. KORNER: It was Kupresanin, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry, Kupresanin, Vojo. I'm thinking first
14 names. Kupresanin, sorry.
15 A. Later on I didn't see them any more, because I went to Germany. I
16 had many private problems, and I was not very concerned by that topic.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever see Dr. Stakic again?
18 A. As regards Mr. Stakic, I heard about him, but I saw him the first
19 time yesterday when I entered the courtroom.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When you entered the courtroom, were you
21 immediately sure that this was the person you have met in the municipality
22 building in Prijedor?
23 A. I think it is that person, but I must say that it is very
24 difficult after a period of ten years to be truly sure of someone who
25 had -- I had only seen once in my life.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. I know this from my own experience. It's
2 extremely difficult, but sometimes one reflects, for example, in the
3 evening. Something may have changed with the face one saw or, yeah, the
4 impression one had from a person. No doubt, it's a totally different
5 environment whether you are here in this courtroom or in Prijedor. No
6 doubt about this. Did you try to find out, has something changed?
7 A. Yes, I kept thinking about this and whether the person had
8 introduced himself when we went to his office. I remember very well that
9 he was wearing civilian clothes, and I was struck by that because at the
10 time, most people wore military clothes.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Dr. Stakic, of course, you are not obliged to do
12 so, but in consultation with your Defence counsel, if you so want, may you
13 please stand up.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: If we can just have a minute to caucus, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
16 [Defence counsel and the accused confer]
17 MR. OSTOJIC: If the Court can just, please, restate the question,
18 and we'll proceed accordingly.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The question is if Dr. Stakic would be so kind
20 just to stand up.
21 Could you please be so kind and, if you so want, approach
22 Dr. Stakic and try to look in his eyes and try to find out whether you can
23 today, by the one or other reason, identify Dr. Stakic.
24 Dr. Stakic, you may be seated, please.
25 What is your impression, please tell us?
1 A. I think I had met Mr. Stakic in the building of the municipality
2 of Prijedor.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When you say "Mr. Stakic," then it's the person
4 you just approached here in the courtroom?
5 A. Yes, I refer to that person.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you, Mr. Atlija. Any more questions?
7 Judge Fassi Fihri? No. Judge Vassylenko.
8 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Yes, I have some. Mr. Atlija, you said in your
9 written statement of October, year 2000, page 4, English version, during
10 the election campaign of 1990, the media started to inflame the situation
11 by inciting Serbs through propaganda against non-Serbs. Serbs had
12 complete control over the media in our region namely, Prijedor and Banja
13 Luka. Can you be more specific about the persons who were engaged or
14 involved in this propaganda activity? Had you seen them on the TV
15 screens? Have you heard them on the radio, or have you read the
16 newspapers, and can you single out the particular persons engaged in
18 A. As far as I know, there was a journalist of Radio Prijedor and of
19 the Kozara Vjesnik, Milan Mutic, not the person who moved into my
20 apartment. But the names of the others, I cannot recall.
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: On page 13 of your written statement, you
22 mentioned the existence of the Serb Radical Party of Seselj, and refer to
23 Nikola Marinovic as one of the officials of this party. Do you know other
24 officials of this party in Prijedor Municipality, at that time, of course?
25 Or active members of this party?
1 A. I don't know the names of the officials. There were some people
2 who were in the central repair shop and who boasted that they were members
3 of the Serbian Radical Party. They had their insignia, their marks, and
4 their propaganda material with them.
5 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: While testifying before the Croatian
6 Information Centre in January of 1993, you said that the president
7 of - it's page 12, English version - "the president of Prijedor
8 Municipality Stakic and his deputy Savanovic ordered us to move to Biscani
9 to cover up the massacre they had committed in that Muslim village."
10 Can you be more specific about who ordered, in what form you were
11 ordered to move to Biscani to cover the massacre?
12 A. From the talk we had with Mr. Stakic, we concluded that the only
13 reason why we were sent to Biscani, and why we were not allowed to move
14 out of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was that they wished to conceal the crimes
15 that happened in that village. I would like to mention that at that time,
16 the representative of the United Nations was supposed to come to the area.
17 He engaged in human rights. I think his name was Mazowiecki. I believe
18 that the two things might have been connected.
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you, Mr. Atlija. I have no more
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I then ask the parties if there are any
22 questions emanating from the questions of the Bench.
23 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I think it's more for the Defence,
24 but can I mention this: I notice that there was no cross-examination at
25 all on the content of the meeting that they had at the municipal building.
1 I was going to ask whether there was any dispute, because as I say, that
2 ought to be put. But I concluded that because it was fair for the Defence
3 to address you at any later stage on the basis that it was not shown that
4 this was Mr. Stakic. But in the light of what's now happened, I don't
5 know whether Your Honours might feel it would be helpful to know whether
6 there is any dispute about that conversation.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's the right of the accused, and
8 therefore also of the Defence counsel, to remain silent on this issue, if
9 they so want. Of course, it's your right to put questions if you so want
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Respectfully, Your Honour, it's not a matter of a
12 right to remain silent. It's a matter of taking the direct testimony that
13 was offered by this witness and examining it in its entirety. If counsel
14 is unsatisfied with the answers she obtained, it's not our job or the
15 Court's job or anyone's job to rehabilitate the witness or to extract
16 other questions. The gentleman gave us what he believes was his best
17 recollection. We should not be even discussing this in front of the
18 witness, number one. Number two, we should not be discussing positions of
19 the parties after each witness, as the OTP now has consistently done on
20 the last three witnesses.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask you that we discuss these issues in
22 the absence of the witness. And in addition, I don't want to allow you to
23 use verbs like "rehabilitate" a witness. This is not the appropriate
24 language. I think we have to be all grateful that the witness before us
25 tries the best of his own knowledge to tell us what he has experienced in
1 the past. And it was extremely difficult for this witness, and therefore
2 we should be grateful. And we are.
3 Let's please discuss this in the absence of the witness. If you
4 have any further questions to the witness, please do it now.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: We do not, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Then this concludes --
7 MS. KORNER: Just a moment, Your Honour, I think it maybe as well
8 as the witness is asked to withdraw to the witness room. I take Mr.
9 Ostojic's point about discussing this matter in front of the witnesses.
10 But I don't think, with the greatest of respect to Mr. Ostojic, and that's
11 because of the jurisdiction --
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I don't think we should continue discussing this
14 MS. KORNER: No, no, I'm simply going to say, we need to discuss
15 this, and it may be the witness will have to come back.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Atlija, I'm awfully sorry for this, but
17 could you please be so kind and be prepared to come back, if necessary,
18 after our next break. And it is not necessary, then already now, I want
19 to express my gratitude that you have been here and give us your
20 testimony. You're excused, but please wait until you get the information
21 that it's not necessary for you to come back. Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So I interrupted first Mr. Ostojic. And
25 therefore, Mr. Ostojic has the floor.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Obviously, if the Defence
2 wished to attack the credibility of this witness, we would have done so.
3 We accepted what the witness said. We find it quite offensive that the
4 OTP, after every witness when they call seemingly most recently that they
5 want to have, in essence, a summary session as to whether the witness was
6 a plus or a minus witness for them, and or a plus or a minus witness with
7 certain elements within the counts of the fourth amended indictment. It's
8 not appropriate for us to respond at this time. We will have our
9 opportunity, as we, under the rules of this Tribunal, have to call
10 witnesses who are either present at the meeting, witnesses who knew about
11 the meeting, if we wish to contest that. We're under absolutely no
12 obligation to tell the OTP now, and when I said "rehabilitation", Your
13 Honour, quite frankly it wasn't a disrespect to the witness. That's why
14 we didn't challenge him about his recollection of the events. It's the
15 OTP who's concerned about it and the OTP who seem to be unsatisfied with
16 what the witness said, both in his statement and then on the witness stand
17 under oath, and was unsatisfied and hoped that more could be extracted
18 from that. The witness said what we think were rather benign and perhaps
19 even helpful things during his testimony for the Defence, and that's why
20 we choose to question him only in the limited fashion that we did. But I
21 will not, unless the Court instructs us obviously, have a discussion with
22 the OTP after each and every witness, after each and every
23 cross-examination, if a witness was in favour of one point or not. That's
24 for the Judges to decide, after hopefully hearing our arguments on those
25 issues from both parties. I would gladly debate it with the OTP, but I
1 don't think it's either a requirement nor is it necessary at this point.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. I just have to emphasise that when
3 we are using words such as "rehabilitation," then for us, it may be sound
4 different than to a witness before us, being not acquainted with our
5 language. And therefore, in the presence of the witness, I wanted, and I
6 had to, avoid any kind of misunderstanding.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour is absolutely right, because the word
8 "rehabilitates" suggested that the witness had in some way been reduced
9 from being a credible witness. Now, Your Honour, this is a discussion,
10 let's put it as its lowest, that we have had particularly with those who
11 practice in the American jurisdiction. The American jurisdictions do not
12 insist that the terms of Rule 90 [H] (ii) are followed. Mr. Ostojic is
13 deliberately, in my view, deflecting what is a simply straightforward
14 concept into the OTP's apparent, as it were, wish to try and get round
15 answers given or the like. The rule says very clearly: "In the
16 cross-examination of a witness who is able to give evidence relevant to
17 the case for the cross-examining party, counsel shall put to that witness
18 the nature of the case of the party for whom that counsel appears, which
19 is in contradiction of the evidence given by the witness."
20 Now, in normal circumstances, Your Honour, I would, of course,
21 accept that if there's no cross-examination to suggest that something
22 different was said or that something different happened, it was accepted.
23 But because I know, because I have had this discussion endlessly with
24 other counsel in other cases in this Tribunal, that is not the practice in
25 some jurisdictions. In order to ensure that everybody is, as it were,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 singing from the same hymn sheet, I have now raised it twice in this
2 Court. In this particular case, evidence was given by this witness of a
3 conversation with a person at the highest who didn't say he was
4 Mr. Stakic, and I accept that. However, after Your Honours intervened and
5 asked him to look at Dr. Stakic, he said: "Yes, I think that's the man I
6 saw." In that event, Your Honour, all I wanted to know was whether, given
7 we had moved slightly from that position, otherwise it would have been
8 open to the Defence to say at the end of the day: "There's no proof that
9 the man that they talked to this was Dr. Stakic, and that's why we didn't
10 need to cross-examine, but in fact, our case on that is different. We're
11 going to say, either through the evidence of Dr. Stakic or somebody else
12 who was there, that that's now how the conversation went." If that's the
13 case, they have an obligation, which the Appeals Chamber has made
14 absolutely plain, to put to the witness there and then, and not wait until
15 the Defence case for it suddenly to emerge that not "you're lying," but
16 "can we put it to you, Mr. Atlija, your recollection of that conversation
17 is wrong." That's all that I'm saying.
18 If, however, it's accepted that that conversation with Dr. Stakic
19 happened in that way, then, of course, they don't have to put it. And
20 that's the only point that I'm making. And I hope that's now clear to
21 Mr. Ostojic and to Your Honours.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Of course I will, and I have to refrain, from
23 commenting on this. One point for me seems to be quite clear: If the
24 accused and the Defence counsel don't do anything else than representing
25 Dr. Stakic and therefore, exercising the rights of Dr. Stakic, if they
1 decide to remain silent, not to cross-examine, sometimes for good reason,
2 in one case, for the good reason of the protection of a witness, then this
3 has to be accepted, and we can draw inferences only from that what we can
4 read from the transcript. And we can't say that by not cross-examining a
5 witness, everything is no longer contested what the witness has said. It
6 is of course the good right of the Defence to establish their case and,
7 thereby, questioning whether each and every word a witness has said was
8 indeed correct. And I don't think we should go into further discussion of
9 this question.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm very sorry. Of course, I haven't
11 made it clear either, then. Of course not each and every word that a
12 witness said may be agreed. But on vital matters, Your Honour, I do
13 submit that here we do have a clear Appeals Chamber ruling that, for
14 example, on a conversation or an act that is specific or material, if at a
15 later stage in the Defence case, evidence will be called either through
16 the defendant -- the accused himself or through other evidence, there is
17 an obligation, a duty, under the rules for that to be put to the witness
18 which it concerns while that witness is here. Your Honour, on that one,
19 it may be a departure from other jurisdictions, but the Appeals Chamber
20 last month said that must happen. And for obvious and good reason. It
21 does not -- it is not an abrogation. They dealt with that in terms.
22 "It's not an abrogation of the accused's right of silence or the
23 accused/client confidentiality between the accused and his lawyers to have
24 to put to a witness if his evidence on a material matter is not accepted."
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please understand that I continue saying that I
1 am not prepared to discuss these legal issues, especially not when you try
2 to discuss my own words in the Kunarac decision.
3 MS. KORNER: I wasn't aware that I was discussing Your Honour's
4 own words in the Kunarac decision.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think there was only one judgement in the last
6 month from the Appeals Chamber. Right?
7 MS. KORNER: No, Your Honour. I'm talking about the decision on
8 this rule that came down. I said the last month, it may now be longer.
9 In the Brdjanin/Talic case.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I'm aware of this. And even in the light of
11 this what you are referring now to, I think the opinions have been
12 exchanged, and it's for the Judges at the end of the day, after having
13 heard both cases, to decide on this issue.
14 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, Your Honour. It's my fault, then. I
15 wasn't aware that issue had come up in the Kunarac appeal.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I was surprised to hear. If you didn't want to
17 mention questions on errors of fact or fact-finding in Kunarac, then it's
18 fine. If you want to -- because you said "a decision of the Appeals
19 Chamber in the last month," and I therefore you immediate reference to the
20 Kunarac judgement.
21 MS. KORNER: I wasn't, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Now you made it quite clear that you make
23 reference to Brdjanin/Talic. And I'm aware of this decision there. But
24 nevertheless, you can't bring Judges in the middle of a case to a decision
25 on this matter.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm sorry, and I hope Your Honour will
2 forgive me. I don't mean to -- but it's such an important principle,
3 this. Your Honour, I know that the judgement came out when this case has
4 already started. But the Trial Chambers and counsel who practice before
5 them are bound by the decisions of the Appeals Chamber, because if they
6 are not, then the Appeals Chamber might just as well not deliver
7 decisions. And this is such a fundamental principle of such importance
8 because the main reason, Your Honour I don't want to rehearse it, the main
9 reason is that what has been happening historically was the Defence case
10 would start, and suddenly all kinds of matters, material matters would be
11 challenged in the Defence case, which had never been put to the witnesses
12 in the Prosecution case. And that's the real matter of importance.
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, I think if I may, the Defence has
14 reviewed the materials and the rules, and I think we are hopefully capable
15 enough to withstand anything that the OTP will throw. But I find it odd
16 that on one hand they want us to challenge everything, but why doesn't
17 Ms. Korner challenge this witness when he says that he saw Mr. Stakic, and
18 he was the president of the Municipal Assembly. Why doesn't she call him
19 a liar and say it's not true that he was only president, that he was the
20 head of the National Defence Council, he was the head of the Crisis Staff,
21 et cetera, et cetera. Or is she withdrawing all those allegations in the
22 fourth amended complaint. Why we are even having this discussion is
23 beyond reason for me quite frankly. The Defence has prepared our cross.
24 Quite frankly I think we were cut off from questions that were direct to
25 the witness because we wanted to not be as confrontational to the witness
1 on certain points. And without a basis, Your Honour, as I hope you have
2 all seen, we do not simply go to a witness and test their veracity by
3 simply telling them that they are being untruthful or simply as the OTP
4 has said, lying. What we have tried to do is find inconsistencies in
5 their prior testimony as well as in their prior statements. And I think
6 we have accomplished that. The OTP should, in turn, now if they want to
7 act in good faith, take their witnesses and show the Court and the Defence
8 that they are going to amend their indictment and reduce some of the far
9 and overreaching allegations that they have set forth in that indictment
10 by their very own witnesses. And the OTP would like to share with us what
11 is it in that conversation that they claim is vital or important, to what
12 elements will it go to, let them read the decisional authority regarding
13 deportation and what the elements are, and how what this gentleman said
14 under oath on the stand, how they may or may not fit within the counts
15 concerning deportation. Thank you, Your Honour.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm sorry, but this is what I'm talking
17 about. This is right off the point, the very simple point I'm making.
18 What has the indictment got to do with this? What does all of this got to
19 do with the point I'm making? Apart from the fact, we can't cross-examine
20 our own witnesses.
21 MR. OSTOJIC: I think they have, quite frankly, Your Honour, and I
22 think they have more than we have.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I'm not prepared to let this debate continue.
24 I'm quite sure both parties even if we are all from different
25 jurisdictions, and we all are acquainted with different systems, we know
1 about the basic rules, the rules in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence
2 before us, the jurisprudence of the Strassbourg Court and other
3 authorities relevant for our decisions, and we are aware of the
4 jurisprudence of the Appeals Chamber, and I think none of the parties
5 should try to challenge that the other party is not aware of these
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I will have one -- can I just very
8 briefly have one last point. Your Honour, I don't know. That's a matter
9 of comment and argument at the end of the day as to whether this
10 conversation, as related by the witness is of assistance to the
11 Prosecution or the Defence, or indeed Your Honours --
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's for the Judges. And I hereby end
13 this dispute.
14 Are there any other contributions? I heard that there would be a
15 videotape to be played by the OTP. Is it correct? Is it prepared?
16 MS. KORNER: It's not ready, I'm told. Is that right?
17 Mr. Koumjian is here to deal with this, Your Honour.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN: My understanding is it's ready now. It has to be
19 picked up. It just was prepared about 5 minutes ago, as far as a copy
20 being made. I just want to make sure that the Defence has no objections
21 to us playing it at the present time. This is a video that we disclosed
22 about six weeks ago, after the trial started, that we obtained a day or
23 two before we disclosed it to the Defence. It's an interview with
24 Dr. Stakic. It's about 47, 48 minutes long. And the transcript was just
25 prepared, the English transcript today. So today, we obtained the English
1 transcript. We could play that today, tomorrow. But we do not have any
2 other witnesses for this week. Just wanted Your Honours to know that.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let me first check --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry. Let me first come back. We have still a
6 witness waiting outside. There was a possibility now for both parties to
7 rethink whether or not there are additional questions to the witness. May
8 I ask first the OTP, any additional questions?
9 MS. KORNER: No, Your Honour. Only the point that I just made --
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the Defence.
11 MR. LUKIC: [In English] We don't have any further questions, Your
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Could the usher please tell the
14 witness that he's excused. And once again, with our gratitude.
15 I think in order -- it's also as understood correctly, the
16 interest of the parties not to have an additional hearing tomorrow, it
17 would be appropriate to have a break of half an hour now, and then follow
18 the video provided by the OTP. I can see nodding from both sides. Then
19 we proceed as foreseen.
20 The trial stands adjourned until 6.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 5.28 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 6.05 p.m.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. May we please proceed. The
24 OTP has prepared a video, and we are grateful to have received a
25 translation transcript of interview.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, Your Honour. We do have a videotape. I'm
2 prepared to make -- if Your Honours would like, briefly describe where we
3 got it from, but I think it's rather self-authenticating. It's an
4 interview with the accused I would ask that the tape, the B/C/S and the
5 English transcript, be marked as exhibits for the next number in order.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we please have the next number.
7 THE REGISTRAR: The videotape will be Exhibit S187, and the
8 transcript S187-1.
9 MR. KOUMJIAN: And I would just like to briefly explain the
10 circumstances of the videotape, if the Defence doesn't have an objection
11 to that. I wrote a letter to Channel 4 of British television asking for
12 outtakes, that is, items of the interview that were not broadcast. Part
13 of this interview was broadcast publicly, and has appeared in other
14 videos, perhaps even in this Court. But we asked for the entire tape of
15 the interview. That's what we obtained, after this trial had already
16 started. The transcript that I asked for, in the interview you'll see
17 that the report asks questions in English, apparently has an interpreter
18 sitting next to him. The interpreter then interprets that question into
19 B/C/S, and Dr. Stakic answers in B/C/S, and the interpreter whispers the
20 answer in English to the reporter. So in the audiotape you will not hear
21 the English and will need to have an English translation simultaneous to
22 the tape. I would also ask that the English booth, at any time if they
23 need to catch up, that they just indicate stop so that the tape could be
24 stopped, if that's necessary.
25 The transcript that you have, that I asked for, when it indicates
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 "reporter," I asked that that actually be what the interpreter is saying
2 to Dr. Stakic, because I think the key question is the question that he
3 understood, So, "reporter" is what the B/C/S interpreter asked Dr. Stakic
4 and then the "Stakic" is Dr. Stakic's answers. We're prepared now to play
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we please ask, the date when was this
7 videotape taken, and where?
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't have that information. I think from the
9 context, because you'll see late in the interview, there's a reference to
10 something that happened recently in December, that this was the end of
11 1992, beginning of 1993. I believe December or January, December 1992 or
12 January 1993.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May it please be started.
14 [Videotape played]
15 THE INTERPRETER: "Dr. Milomir Stakic, president of the Prijedor
16 Municipal Assembly.
17 "Reporter: What is the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor?
18 "Stakic: It is the highest legislative organ in the territory of
19 Prijedor municipality.
20 "Reporter: Is that something like the mayor of Prijedor?
21 "Stakic:, yes, precisely that.
22 "Reporter: What responsibilities, obligations, do you have?
23 "Stakic: My obligations are to implement the decisions that are
24 adopted by that organ, the Municipal Assembly. According to the rules of
25 procedure, I convene the Municipal Assembly, draft the agenda, which can,
1 again, at the intervention of a certain number of deputies in the assembly
2 be changed, expanded, and so on. Essentially, I implement the decisions
3 of the Municipal Assembly, and put my signature on those decisions.
4 "Reporter: And how long have you been in this post?
5 "Stakic: I have been in that post for six months, seven months
6 already, even longer. Longer.
7 "Reporter: And before that?
8 "Stakic: I was the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly.
9 "Reporter: Before that you were the vice-president of the
11 "Stakic: Yes.
12 "Reporter: What is the situation like today in Prijedor?
13 "Stakic: Considering the war in, in our territories, the
14 territories of the former Bosnia and Herzegovina, the situation in
15 Prijedor and in the territory of the Prijedor Municipality itself, is
16 quite good. Quite good considering the war. With the exception of
17 individual cases or smaller groups of saboteurs and those who crop up,
18 extremists left behind in the forests of Kozara and on the slopes of
19 Grmec, we have no other problems as far as the war is concerned. A good
20 number of our people are in the Army of Republika Srpska, defending the
21 territory of Republika Srpska. However, Prijedor as a municipality, is
22 surrounded by the municipalities of Gradiska, Dubica, Krupa, Sanski Most,
23 and Banja Luka, where it is also peaceful, where the situation is
24 satisfactory, so that in our territory, we do not have those large-scale
25 war conflicts and occurrences. However, the problems are of a different
1 nature. There is no heating, which you can see yourselves. There are
2 shortages of medicines, food, and other consumer goods in the shops.
3 Electricity. We are fortunate today. The supply is a little better, and
4 so we can even film this. And numerous other problems that accompany all
5 these occurrences, because the shortage of electricity, petroleum, and
6 petrol products prevents the economy from operating so that we are
7 operating at only 10 to 15 per cent of the capacities and trying to
8 survive with that.
9 "Reporter: What is most difficult to get here that people need?
10 "Stakic: At present, the biggest problem is mazout. I am just
11 coming from a meeting with all the directors of firms, both private and
12 socially owned ones, in the Prijedor Municipality area where we succeeded
13 in finding some sort of solution to finance the purchasing of mazout,
14 however, our only way out to the world it through the Federal Republic of
15 Yugoslavia, and there is an embargo on transit through Yugoslavia. So
16 even though we have paid for and signed contracts for quantities in
17 certain European countries, we cannot get them. And I was forced to ask
18 the UN High Commissariat for Refugees and the High Commissariat of the Red
19 Cross to try to use their influence among responsible persons in the
20 European Community and the United Nations to procure a paper, a
21 certificate, for the import of this mazout. We will pay for it, but we
22 need it to heat hospitals, schools, and children's nurseries. We have
23 given private apartments and other facilities a lower priority and will
24 cope in other ways.
25 "Reporter: Thank you. There have been reports in the British
1 press about the centres of Omarska and Trnopolje and places like that. Do
2 the authorities in Prijedor have any control, or have they had any control
3 over places like that?
4 "Stakic: These places, such as Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje,
5 were a necessity in a given moment and were formed according to a decision
6 of the civilian authorities in Prijedor.
7 "Reporter: So those three camps, or how are they -- ?
8 "Stakic: Reception centres.
9 "Reporter: -- Reception centres were formed according to the
10 decision of your civilian authorities?
11 "Stakic: Yes, yes. As I have said, this was a necessity at the
12 given moment when there was no longer any possibility to resolve the
13 question of relations and the division of power through agreement, by
14 peaceful means, and when extremists from the ranks of the SDA and the HDZ
15 party, but mostly the SDA, which won here and which at one point lost
16 control and started using force, murdering members of the army and the
17 police. We had to set up such centres. Omarska was an investigation
18 centre where, in a way, a triage was done where 40-odd trained people, who
19 had previously worked as military investigators, or civilian
20 investigators, from the public security station.
21 "Reporter: So Omarska was an investigation centre, you say?
22 "Stakic: Yes.
23 "Reporter: You had 40 trained people, you say, from the army and
24 the police?
25 "Stakic: Inspectors, inspectors, crime inspectors, who did the
1 questioning. While Trnopolje was something quite different. Those people
2 had fled from the ravages of war, from the invasion of those extremists
3 who pushed their own civilians, women and children, in front of weapons
4 and tried with them to breakthrough, to pull out across Kozara. They are
5 even known to have fired at their own column of refugees in Kozara and so
6 on. And we simply received them down there in Trnopolje in order to
7 supply them with food, for them to get international aid, for transport to
8 be organised for them to places where they wished to go, and to protect
9 them from both the Muslim extremists and from revanchism by members of the
10 other peoples who had lost their closest kin, their dearest, to prevent
11 these revanchist relations and further bloodshed among innocent civilians.
12 This all lasted -- Omarska and Keraterm -- for two or three
13 months. Trnopolje, until around mid-September, when it was officially
14 closed. However, politics is again getting entangled in all that. The
15 people from Trnopolje were transferred, let me tell you, under the
16 organisation of the International Red Cross to Karlovac from where they
17 could look for a way to get to third European countries. But the
18 organised part of the SDA that remained in the Prijedor Municipality area
19 called on the remaining Muslim population to come to Trnopolje again,
20 because it now represented a step towards departing for Europe.
21 Fortunately, and with great help from the International Red Cross, which
22 saw that 95 per cent of those who were in Trnopolje now, those who came
23 later, had their family homes, their apartments, and told them that
24 assistance was conditional on their return to their homes. We managed
25 to -- to organise transport for them and take them to their homes and
2 "Reporter: So the people who were in Trnopolje sometime in early
3 December are now at home?
4 "Stakic: Yes.
5 "Reporter: Are they mostly Muslims or Croats? Who are they?
6 "Stakic: They are mostly Muslims. There are a few Croats,
7 because most Croats live in the town area, in the Ljubija area, in their
8 homes. Most -- A certain number have even responded to the callup to the
9 regular Army of Republika Srpska. They are working, their family members
10 are working, in firms to the extent to which we are working at all, and
11 there have been fewer problems with them. Now, these people have also
12 returned to their homes. The International Red Cross visited me
13 yesterday, and they are in the territory of the municipality today to
14 visit them in their homes so that we can jointly send them certain
15 assistance, that which is their due naturally.
16 "Reporter: Will those Muslims stay here?
17 "Stakic: Those who wish to. A good number of them wish to leave
18 this area, and surprisingly, practically no one -- or better said, perhaps
19 only 1 per cent - wish to go to Alija's so-called independent state, or
20 rather, the territory that is under the control of the Muslim forces.
21 This means that around 99 per cent, or practically 100 per cent, wish to
22 go to Europe. To what extent this is politics is less -- the economic
23 factor is also important here because they know and they hear that up
24 there, they will get some aid in marks, or pounds, or shillings, and so
25 on. They get aid in food.
1 "Reporter: Let me ask you some more questions about
2 interrogations. What was the purpose of the investigations in Omarska?
3 "Stakic: The purpose of the investigations was to identify the
4 most extreme people from the ranks of the SDA and the Muslim population
5 who armed the Muslims, who were the instigators and perpetrators of the
6 entire armed operation of attacks on members of the regular army and
7 police. Because we have never, at any point, not even to this very day,
8 declared war on the entire Muslim people or a struggle for the
9 extermination of that people, but only a struggle against the extremists
10 among that people, those who did not want to coexistence here, who wanted
11 a unitary state with absolute rights for the Muslim people, and with
12 prepared programmes for the extermination of the Serbian people from these
13 areas. You can find documentation on that in the investigation material
14 from that investigation centre at Omarska which was later transferred to
15 Manjaca, and with the corps security of this --
16 "Reporter: And what happened, then, to the people whom you
17 discovered were responsible?
18 "Stakic: Those most responsible, around 1.350 of them, were
19 transferred to Manjaca, once the military prison at Manjaca was formed.
20 The rest were released, allowed to go home. Some of them later went, with
21 regular documentation and certificates from third countries. We gave
22 them -- enabled them to get all the documents and to leave the territory
23 of Prijedor Municipality and Republika Srpska safely, while some of them,
24 believe me, still live in the territory of Prijedor Municipality today.
25 "Reporter: There have been press reports in the west about
1 mistreatment of people at Omarska. Are you familiar with these reports?
2 "Stakic: I'm not familiar with the kind of reports being referred
3 to. I know about some that, for example - and that is also why I asked
4 you in the beginning for objectiveness, just for objectiveness and not for
5 bias - where a man of 50 kilograms, who is by nature of such constitution,
6 is filmed while standing next to him is a man of 130 kilograms, and the
7 colleague from television did not want to film the latter in order to show
8 the former as not having anything to eat and as not eating. I am a doctor
9 by profession, and theoretically, someone of 100 kilograms could not have
10 come down to 50 in a month and a half or two, even if he had had nothing
11 to eat. Even if he had been on a hunger strike or not been given any food
12 at all.
13 "Reporter: That was shown on television?
14 "Stakic: Yes, it was filmed. I did not get a chance to see it
15 because I often do not get a chance to watch even our own television.
16 "Reporter: He will tell you what the western press said, and you
17 can explain to us what it is about. There have been reports in the
18 western press and on television -- there have been reports in the western
19 press and on television that people were beaten at Omarska.
20 "Stakic: The entire -- representatives of the press and
21 television were absolutely allowed to be present in all these centres and
22 to film and to have interviews. Therefore, they could have filmed that
23 and seen that. I do not have such information. Even if anyone was
24 injured or wounded, that was in the course of battle, and that was the
25 condition that he was brought in up there. That is one thing. However, I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 do not have any information about maltreatment and physical violence in
2 the centres themselves. Our view, the official view of the authorities,
3 was that there must not be any maltreatment, because after all, that was
4 an investigation centre.
5 "Reporter: There have also been reports in the western press and
6 on television based on statements by refugees from these parts that people
7 were killed at Omarska.
8 "Stakic: You have all the data about the number of people who
9 died in these centres, in the public security station. That, too, has
10 happened. And the corpses or the bodies of the dead were sent to their
11 families at their request so they could bury them properly.
12 "Reporter: I'm sorry, I didn't understand that.
13 "Stakic: There were cases, because I was informed, informed by
14 the chief of the service which -- under whose supervision everything
15 proceeded, cases of death which are -- have medical documentation about
16 death, and not about murder.
17 "Reporter: At Omarska?
18 "Stakic: Yes.
19 "Reporter: Do you know how many people that was?
20 "Stakic: I cannot say exactly. It is not a large number.
21 "Reporter: Not many, you say?
22 "Stakic: No.
23 "Reporter: Are you aware that the United States State Department
24 has submitted to the United Nations reports about killings and
25 maltreatment at Omarska?
1 "Stakic: I do not have any such information. I mean, I'm not
2 aware of that.
3 "Reporter: How would you explain to the people in England, to the
4 audience in England, what happened here over the last six months?
5 "Stakic: First of all, I would like to greet viewers in England.
6 For us here, the reports of the London press and television, and
7 especially official London, are a kind of measure of the balance of powers
8 in the world and the situation in the world. However, it is difficult to
9 explain from here what is actually happening here to the people who live
10 in England and on the island, who are an integral part of Europe, but who
11 are nevertheless a little separated from Europe and are quite far from the
12 Balkans. Those of us who have lived here for centuries, I mean the Serbs
13 and the other peoples, I also mean the Muslims, who were created
14 artificially, who were against the Serbs in the two previous wars while
15 the Serbs were on the side of the allies both times, and this was from the
16 very beginning. In other words, not at the very end of the war. What
17 should have been done actually -- a little more time should have been
18 devoted to getting to know the spirit and mentality of this people. Both
19 times, in both world wars, previous wars, we Serbs with our
20 broadmindedness forgave everything, all the crimes that were committed by
21 the Ustashas, mobilised from among the Croatian people and the Muslim
22 people, where we suffered more by their hand than on the hands of fascist
23 Germany, where on Kozara alone, 14.000 children were killed.
24 "Reporter: Where were they killed?
25 "Stakic: In Jasenovac, but the Kozara children in the Jasenovac
1 camp, the concentration camp. And to forgive all that, to agree to live
2 in a new state called democratic by the communists, and Josip Broz, only
3 to have the HDZ appear again with the same symbols that the Ustashas had
4 in 1941, to have the SDA appear and tie its flag in a knot and make a war
5 coalition, the Serbian people could not pass over that because, after all,
6 it was a period of less than 50 years. Fortunately, I do not remember it,
7 but my grandfather died in that war, his brother, my cousin, and many
9 Quite simply, I have had the opportunity to spend time in Western
10 Europe. We are a part of Europe only territorially, and even Serbia,
11 which had its own state as far back as the middle ages and its tradition,
12 its culture, its religion, was never, not for a single moment, Greater
13 Serbia. The Serbs have never live together in one state. Out of a human
14 broadmindedness, pan-southern Slavism, we created Yugoslavia so that all
15 the southern Slavs could live in a single state. However, this did not
16 suit someone else. And when Yugoslavia's breakup again, the secession of
17 Slovenia, Croatia, but that part of Croatia where the Croatian people are
18 in a majority, the world should have known, and even the English public
19 and people, that Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is a Yugoslavia in
20 miniature, would suffer the same fate. And not to dwell too much on that,
21 that is now a matter of being familiar with history and, and the times and
22 the territories that we are living in here.
23 "Reporter: Five years ago, could you have imagined that the
24 situation would develop like this, the way it is today?
25 "Stakic: No, I couldn't. And not only because there were no
1 signs of it, but because of my personal upbringing and views. I am
2 against war, against force. I am in favour of reaching an agreement.
3 There were signs of this here back in the 1970s, in 1968, 1972, since the
4 Maspok movement, called Maspok, the mass nationalist movement in Croatia
5 and so on. However, the focus was on resolving economic problems with the
6 help of that national community, that we would overcome that. There was
7 another current among the Muslims as well.
8 "Reporter: Could you please say something, your first and last
9 name only.
10 "Stakic: Okay.
11 "Reporter: On the way here, we drove past Kozarac, and from what
12 we know, there was a big battle in Kozarac. What happened there?
13 "Stakic: That is precisely where that Muslim extremism escalated.
14 Because Kozarac, with its surroundings, had around 20.000 Muslims. And in
15 Kozarac itself, which has between 10 and 12.000, we found original lists
16 with 3 and a half thousand, or to be more precise, 3.791 members of the
17 illegal Muslim Territorial Defence, the number of each gun, and the date
18 on which they were issued, and other light and medium heavy weapons. We
19 had indications that this existed before.
20 However, the fact and the moment when they came out to the
21 Prijedor/Banja Luka main road and blocked around 10 kilometres of the road
22 at the entrance to and exit from their territory, and all local access
23 roads, the army -- actually, we made a decision that the army and the
24 police go up there and lift the blockade of that road and that they
25 withdraw at least 100 metres from the road into the depth of their
1 territory, that nobody would enter deeper into their territory there. But
2 that road not only links these two towns, but even broader, these regions.
3 And at the approach of the first police and military vehicle, they opened
4 fire without warning. After that, clashes followed, and all that happened
6 You also saw a large number of destroyed houses and so on.
7 Slowly, life is returning to normal up here, too. We have some people who
8 were up there, who barely managed to survive, who took refuge, and who
9 have now returned. We have a small number of people, refugees from the
10 rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina who fled, and so we offered them
11 accommodation. There are some Croats. There are Ukrainians and
12 Ruthenians, who do not mind anything, either these new authorities or the
13 politics, and who stayed up there to live in their houses. A lot of them
14 have also had their family homes destroyed, and I, as the mayor, and with
15 my executive authority, we are trying to compensate them for this, either
16 with another house or an apartment to secure a roof over their heads. We
17 have managed to repair both the electric power network and the waterworks
18 to such an extent that they may have electricity along with the same power
19 cuts, of course, as the other citizens of Prijedor Municipality.
20 "Reporter: And where are the Muslims who used to live in Kozarac?
21 "Stakic: Well, Trnopolje was mainly filled with Muslims from
22 Kozarac. A good part of those extremists were from Kozarac and they went
23 to Trnopolje. The 1500 and some men who were moved with the help of the
24 International Red Cross to Karlovac were mostly from Kozarac, then comes
25 the reuniting of families in keeping with the Geneva Convention and their
1 families follow them and join them and so on. The rest, because their
2 family homes had been destroyed, were accommodated either in the territory
3 of Prijedor Municipality or went, were transferred to -- some did go to
4 central Bosnia, those who expressed this wish. We organised buses and a
5 train for them, and this was for free just that they go, so that there
6 should be no casualties. So that genocide that we have already been
7 blamed for in Europe should not occur. It is better that they leave and
8 tomorrow, when the war ends and depending on the agreement at the level of
9 the newly formed states, which I am convinced will be created in this
10 territory, those among them who want to return here will be able to do so.
11 "Reporter: What would you say to the Muslims who fled from
12 Kozarac and who are now in Europe?
13 "Stakic: To wait for the war. They are on one hand fortunate
14 because they have avoid the ravages of war and all these shortages and
15 poverty that we have. And regardless of how this is resolved, I mean at
16 the level, up there at the higher level, the interstate or intercantonal
17 level, however Bosnia and Herzegovina is finally divided, we in Prijedor
18 will respect all agreements.
19 "Reporter: Do you think they will come back?
20 "Stakic: I don't know. But depending on their wish, if they wish
21 to return, they will be enabled to do so.
22 "Reporter: There has been a lot of talk in the western press
23 about something called ethnic cleansing. What is your response to that?
24 "Stakic: It is not -- not good for, for me as the president of
25 Prijedor Municipality to name the municipalities of Bugojno, Vitez,
1 Travnik, and Zenica. Some are controlled by the HVO, the Croatian defence
2 council, and others by the Muslims forces. Serbian citizens who have been
3 expelled brutally from their houses and apartments with bundles in their
4 hands are coming to me from these territories and nobody in the west
5 mentions that as ethnic cleansing. While in Prijedor, where we are
6 struggling to -- merely to secure the papers for them and a accident
7 departure at their personal wish and request, that is being called ethnic
9 Secondly, a certain number of Muslims are still in Prijedor.
10 There are those who are employed, I mean, in the public services sector
11 and the economy, even though it is operating at 10 to 15 per cent of its
12 full capacity which you can see for yourself. Feel free to take a walk
13 through the enterprises. And I think that that remark is not
14 well-intentioned. I have already said at the beginning that most of them
15 are leaving now partly for political reasons, but more for economic
16 reasons, because we are currently all endangered here. I once had a
17 salary equivalent to a thousand German marks. Now, as the mayor, I have
18 sixty marks. And I am a subtenant, and my wife is unemployed and so on.
19 So that these -- not only the Muslims are endangered here. And let me
20 tell you, too, that nearly all your questions about -- except for the
21 general ones, what is happening in Prijedor and what it is like -- mainly
22 show an interest in the Muslim part of the population. We also have a
23 Croatian part. A good number of whom have responded to the callup, to the
24 Army of Republika Srpska, and to the police and who have accepted the
25 authorities, and we have had seven and a half thousand refugees since a
1 year and a half ago who fled from Slovenia and Croatia, mostly from
2 Croatia, and more than 10.000 refugees in Prijedor from Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina, the part that is under the control of Croatian and Muslims
5 "Reporter: Are the High Commissariat for refugees and the
6 International Red Cross giving you the help that you need to resettle
7 these people, the refugees from other parts of Bosnia and Yugoslavia?
8 "Stakic: Both these institutions are giving us aid. Now, whether
9 it is what is needed, let me say immediately that it is not. I told the
10 representatives of both institutions this, because our needs are much
11 greater. However, these two institutions are really helping us at this
12 moment. And thanks to the fact that they have deigned to come to the
13 municipality at all, to meet the representatives of the authorities,
14 approximately two months ago, that cooperation is much better, and that
15 aid, to the satisfaction of both sides, I apologise for speaking on their
16 behalf as well, is now being monitored much more efficiently, how it is
17 distributed, how much is coming in and so on. And I am using this
18 opportunity to thank both organisations for their help and their will to
19 help. Or as their representatives say, they are willing to help and are
20 themselves aware that they are not in a position to resolve all our
21 problems. But for the moment, we are satisfied with that, with their will
22 and their presence. And this goes back, as I have said, over the past few
23 months, even though we've had refugees in the territory of Prijedor
24 Municipality for the last year and a half.
25 "Reporter: What do the Serbian refugees, their children and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 women, what do they need most for the coming winter?
2 "Stakic: We have some refugees here, a smaller part, from the
3 Velika Kladusa municipality, the Cazin region, who managed to pull out
4 through the Knin Krajina and to bring a part of their assets with them,
5 from furniture to food and so on. But the majority is from the rest of
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and they literally came with bundles in their
7 hand. And they need everything. But their most essential need is for
8 stoves, ordinary stoves for heating. We can provide firewood for them.
9 There is firewood. They need food. They need clothing and footwear,
10 especially for children, I mean, and they need medicines. They are most
11 essential, but they literally need everything.
12 "Reporter: How have the people in Prijedor received the refugees
13 who have come here?
14 "Stakic: They receive them with all that - perhaps this is a
15 little boastful - with all that Krajina hospitality, and they are helping
16 as much as they are able to help at this moment, with surplus food,
17 surplus clothing, by giving them a bed to sleep in, a place to spend the
18 night for a few days, and even longer until we accommodate them in
19 dormitories and schools. And sometimes we even put them up in ruined
20 houses and help them to recover and survive this winter.
21 "Reporter: Are you a busy man?
22 "Stakic: Very busy. I work as much as 16, 18, even 20 hours a
23 day. And being 30 years old, I think that in the past six months to a
24 year, I have aged more than five years. I feel so tired and...
25 "Reporter: Do you think of the future?
1 "Stakic: My own or that of the state? The state.
2 "Reporter: How do you see things in Prijedor in five or ten years
3 from now?
4 "Stakic: Well, all the same, Prijedor is participating in this
5 war, and a part of its people are participating in the war even though
6 here there is no war currently in the territory itself. And I personally
7 think that reinforcing the corridor, our link with the Republic of
8 Yugoslavia itself, which is our only way out into the world for the time
9 being, because we are blocked from all other sides, I think that that in
10 itself will bring the war to an end, regardless of the fact that there
11 will be sabotage, killings, and breakthrough attempts and attacks along
12 the lines of separation. I would like to stress here that, in my opinion,
13 and I am a small man from a small municipality, especially looking at
14 Europe and the world, the international factor can play an important role.
15 I think that from the beginning, the entire concept of influence on
16 everything that is happening in Yugoslavia was a little crooked. But it
17 is never too late to correct that. An equally objective view needs to be
18 taken of all the participants in the war here. If Croatia were publicly
19 to admit that it has so many brigades and so many troops engaged in Bosnia
20 and Herzegovina, nobody in the world would condemn that. But they condemn
21 Serbia, on whose borders with Bosnia and Herzegovina there are both border
22 guards and members of international organisations. And they see that
23 there are no members of the Serbian army, I mean, the Army of the Federal
24 Republic of Yugoslavia in these parts. But it is still being accused and
25 penalized and so on. Still, I think that if the war stops and if these
1 areas here are allowed to do business and cooperate economically with the
2 rest of Europe and the world, without Alija's signature and to have more
3 regular electricity supplies, we will very soon come to a position to
4 resolve our problems, our problems of survival for ourselves.
5 "Reporter: Thank you very much. I'd like to ask you two things:
6 First, is there anything that we have not talked about that you would like
7 to tell viewers in England?
8 "Stakic: Well, I would like --
9 "Reporter: Let me ask the question. What is it that you would
10 like to tell people in England?
11 "Stakic: Besides having already greeted them, I personally still
12 count on the objectivity of the English population, the English people,
13 which I have already mentioned, and simply that any report in the
14 newspapers and on television is not enough in itself to understand the
15 people of an area requires knowledge of a little of the history of that --
16 these people. And what is most pressing for us at this moment is that aid
17 in food and medicines and the influence, as much as possible, of public
18 opinion in England on these international organisations, to lift the
19 blockade of these parts. What I mean to say is that so that our economic
20 organisations can do business and cooperate with firms and economic
21 organisations in Europe and the world normally, as all the others do,
22 without an embargo, without pressure. Because we are now asked strictly
23 to have the consent of Alija's government in order to be able to export or
24 import certain goods. And you know that we are at present enemies.
25 Whether we want to admit it or not, we are on two warring sides, on two
1 sides of the front.
2 "Reporter: Thank you very much."
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: That concludes the tape, Your Honours. Just for
4 Your Honours' information, tomorrow we will have an additional copy
5 available to the Chamber if the Chamber would like it. And when I
6 requested an English translation, I also requested a French translation.
7 That was due yesterday, but I haven't received it yet. As soon as it
8 comes in, I will provide the French translation to the Chamber also.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this. May I ask, are there any
10 objections? There were tendered both exhibits, the video and the English
12 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, the only issue that we have at this
13 time is if we can be, or if the OTP can assist us, with the date of the
14 interview. I know that they have given us a range of December or January
15 approximately. And perhaps the correspondence that was written to the
16 Channel 4 British television may be of some assistance to us. But other
17 than that, we do not have an objection.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So then first of all, let me just admit into
19 evidence the video as S187, and the transcript in English, S187-1.
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: We also provided a B/C/S transcript, so maybe 187 A
21 and B. Does Your Honour wish to use that?
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The French transcript, we have not yet started
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: The B/C/S.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: B/C/S, okay. This would then be, please.
1 THE REGISTRAR: The B/C/S transcript will be S187-1B; and the
2 French one, 187-1C.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this. Finally, may we hear, what
4 about the witness of Monday, the witness to come? Any proofing notes, any
5 exhibit lists?
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: I think the proofing notes were provided
7 previously, because this was a witness who was scheduled earlier. But I'm
8 not sure about that.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please give us, first of all, the
10 number, the degree of protection, that we are prepared.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: It's 65 ter number 43, 4-3.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 4-3. Yes. May we ask you that in case --
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just for the Court's -- the witness actually,
14 because the witness was here previously and a representative from the
15 office, Mr. Waidyaratne, spoke to her previously, he actually won't have
16 any chance to speak to her before she testifies. But he may have
17 previously provided proofing notes. I don't recall that myself, whether
18 he did or not.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you could please be so kind and check, and in
20 case there is any additional information also on exhibits, please inform
22 Any other observations by the parties? This seems not to be the
23 case. Case manager OTP gives us a hint.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: The message I received is that Ms. Korner
25 suggests -- asked the Court if the Court wants to read documents tomorrow.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think if there is no necessity seen by the
2 parties - from our side, there is no such one - then unfortunately we
3 have to state that as to the lack of evidence provided by the OTP, we
4 can't have a hearing tomorrow. And the trial stands, therefore, adjourned
5 until Monday, 9.00. This concludes the 47th day of the hearing.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
7 7.02 p.m., to be reconvened on
8 Monday, the 8th day of July, 2002,
9 at 9.00 a.m.