1 Wednesday, 18 September 2002
2 [Deposition Hearings]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning to everybody. May we hear in what
7 case we take a deposition today, continuing.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T, the
9 Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Prosecutor.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian and
12 Ruth Karper for the Office of the Prosecutor.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the Defence.
14 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Branko Lukic,
15 John Ostojic, and Danilo Cirkovic for the Defence.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Any obstacles to proceed with the deposition
18 MR. LUKIC: No obstacles on our side, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we ask the usher to escort the witness into
20 the courtroom.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning, Mr. Vulliamy. May I ask, please
23 be seated.
24 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the Defence to start.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 WITNESS: EDWARD SEBASTIAN VULLIAMY [Resumed]
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Ostojic: [Continued]
4 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vulliamy.
5 A. Good morning.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: Would it be okay if I ask the Court if the ELMO may
7 be lowered, please, or directing the...
8 Thank you.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's okay?
10 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Vulliamy, proceeding with some of our discussions yesterday,
12 I'd like to clarify if I may some points in connection with both your
13 testimony here in this matter and in prior cases. Initially, though, I'd
14 like to ask you with respect to your book and articles and your reporting
15 that you conducted subsequent to August 5th, 1992, although you did
16 receive some fame and acclaim, if you will, for those reports, you also
17 received some criticism, outspoken criticism, about the coverage and the
18 effect, if you will, of your reporting.
19 Do you know that or acknowledge that?
20 A. I do.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: Well, objection, relevance whether someone
22 criticised him outside the Court.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Unfortunately, I also can't see any relevance
24 whether or not an author is criticised, which seems to be normal in this
1 MR. OSTOJIC: If I may just have some latitude on this,
2 Your Honour, I think the criticism goes to actually some foundational
3 facts that the author purports he has observed and has recorded subsequent
4 to that. Others, quite frankly, and we hope to present that within our
5 case, respectfully, to Mr. Vulliamy, have specifically outlined certain
6 criticisms of his opinions and as well as his impressions during his visit
7 to Trnopolje and Omarska in August of 1992.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then may I ask to try the Defence takes press
9 this criticism on the basis of facts relevant for the decision in our
11 MR. OSTOJIC: May I proceed, Your Honour. Thank you.
12 Q. Some of the criticism, if I may, respectfully, Mr. Vulliamy, and I
13 recognise that people do have differences of opinion from time to time,
14 have identified your reporting and your book as being one-sided,
15 unobjective, distorted, contrived, and misleading. You're familiar with
16 those. Correct?
17 A. Those words in particular are yours. There have been criticisms,
18 again, your word, to be sure.
19 Q. Let me ask you this: Are you familiar with Thomas Deichmann the
20 German journalist who has reviewed ad nauseum, I would say both the videos
21 and your work. Was he complimentary or critical of your work?
22 A. To answer your question --
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Excuse me, those were two questions. I would ask
24 counsel to ask the witness one question and allow him to answer the first
25 question before the second question is asked.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please proceed in this way.
2 THE WITNESS: Yes, to answer your first question, I am familiar
3 with Thomas Deichmann. I have not met him. I totally agree with your
4 word "ad nauseum." And what I think you said critical, most certainly.
5 MR. OSTOJIC:
6 Q. I just wanted to clarify a point. It's not my word critical. I
7 wanted to distinguish whether it was a criticism or a complimentary review
8 he did of your work both the reporting and articles of August 7th, 1992,
9 and subsequently your book "Seasons in Hell" of 1994.
10 Also, are you familiar with Oliver Hotensia [phoen] who wrote
11 extensively --
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I have to stop these line of questions. As
13 already indicated and based on the objection by the OTP, this is not
14 relevant to our case. We are not to make recommendations on books or
15 disqualification on books. We have to discuss the facts in our case.
16 Please, restrict your questions to this area.
17 MR. OSTOJIC:
18 Q. The criticisms, if you will, that were attributed to your writings
19 and works and reporting and/or coverage of your visits to Trnopolje
20 involve the issue of a barbed-wire fence, did it not?
21 A. Yes, and there has been --
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes. Objection, Mr. Vulliamy, if I could just
23 remind you again to pause not just for the interpreter but to allow me at
24 times to make an objection.
25 THE WITNESS: Forgive me.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour just ruled that the questions of
2 criticisms by outsiders is not the subject of testimony today. We have
3 not put into evidence the numerous very distinguished individuals that
4 have given acclaim to Mr. Vulliamy. That's not relevant to the case.
5 Your Honours decide on the credibility of the witness. And the last
6 question began immediately after your objection about the criticism. So
7 my objection is that counsel is disregarding your order.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: Respectfully, if I may, Your Honour, I understood
9 your order that if we are going to highlight any of the criticisms or any
10 of the opinions by other distinguished members of the press both
11 international and in Europe, specifically in Yugoslavia, that we should be
12 specific about it. Certainly, it wasn't an intent on our part to ignore
13 or to overlook the Court's ruling. Our issue then became specific, and I
14 was going to highlight one of many issues which were specific factually,
15 which we believe may have some relevance since those issues appear within
16 the indictment to ask this witness. We would be happy to move along. We
17 have three other areas to cover. However, I don't want to be precluded
18 later from presenting evidence on this since from time to time, the OTP
19 has requested that we put our case before the witness so that he could
20 come out and explain to us why this is this differing of opinion and
21 why -- and how is it possible that there would be a diametrically opposed
22 opinion on something that should be rather straightforward.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think we shouldn't confuse two aspects. No
24 doubt, it's the right for the Defence when presenting their case to
25 present other views and other authors on this same issue. But it's not to
1 discuss on the basis of other books and commentaries on the books -- on
2 the book we have in part before us the witness. And it is necessary that
3 you restrict yourself to the issues we had and the facts we have heard
4 during the examination-in-chief. And if you want, for example, you
5 started with barbed-wire fence, indeed, it's not interesting at all now in
6 the presence of this witness if everybody criticised on this point.
7 Please, if you feel that there is a problem, ask on this fence, and on
8 that what the witness has seen there and what the witness has experienced
9 there and what the witness has heard there. But not by introducing this
10 through the criticism, the alleged criticism, of third persons.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. May I proceed.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
13 MR. OSTOJIC:
14 Q. Mr. Vulliamy, during your visit on August 5th, 1992, did you at
15 any time interview any of the detainees or witnesses at Trnopolje camp in
16 order to determine when the so-called barbed-wire fence was erected?
17 A. No, I did not. The so-called barbed-wire fence was a barbed-wire
18 fence or a fence reinforced by barbed wire, but I observed that there two,
19 if you like, generations of barbed wire, the one fairly old and another
20 reinforced and new.
21 Q. Do you recall, sir, during the interview and taping of the
22 detainees at Trnopolje camp that certain individuals, and we will play the
23 tape in a moment, were leaning upon the fence with their hands on the
24 actual wire? Do you recall that?
25 A. I don't recall any particular scene of people leaning on the
1 fence, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did.
2 Q. A barbed-wire fence is supposedly placed there to prohibit people
3 from leaving. It has markings on the exact wire which would cause some
4 harm to an individual who tried to either climb over the fence or get
5 through the fence. Correct?
6 A. Correct. However, I now know, and I did not observe then, but I
7 now know that the fencing confining these prisoners was not reinforced by
8 barbed wire all the way around the compound. I think you're aware, sir,
9 but I will answer your questions, that this has been the case -- the
10 subject of litigation in my country and has been settled -- those
11 who -- well, those who repeated -- you mentioned Mr. Deichmann, who
12 repeated his points were defeated in court for libel. To answer you
13 question, I accept that a barbed-wire fence is not pleasant to lean on. If
14 they were leaning on a fence, as you say they were, perhaps it was not the
15 bit of the fence that had the barbed wire on it.
16 Q. Clarify for me what portions, and I know you testified about this
17 under oath on in a prior trial, isn't it true that it was on one side that
18 this barbed-wire fence has been erected?
19 A. As I recall, it was on at least one side, or one and possibly two.
20 I now that it was not all the way around the area, the fenced-off area or
21 compound in which those men were quite clearly confined.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: If we can ask the technical booth to run the tape
23 that we previously set up.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just for the record, do you know the number of the
25 tape we are going to play?
1 MR. OSTOJIC: I believe it's S -- if the Court registrar would be
2 kind enough...
3 THE REGISTRAR: It's S157.
4 [Videotape played]
5 MR. OSTOJIC:
6 Q. This, Mr. Vulliamy, I think as you testified in your direct is the
7 queue that you observed in front of the police station that you testified
8 to. Correct?
9 A. I can't tell from this picture which --
10 MR. OSTOJIC: Can we stop right here.
11 Q. Now, do you know what the purpose of videotaping this woman who
12 has a candle lit in front of her was?
13 A. No, I was not, as I think I said, running the ITN -- making any
14 decision about what ITN did or didn't film.
15 Q. Did you make any observations subsequent to your visit to Prijedor
16 on August 5th, 1992, to determine who this woman in particular was?
17 A. No, I didn't.
18 Q. Did you make or at any time learn that this is a woman of Serbian
19 descent who placed a candle on the road because her son had been killed
20 there by the name of Mrs. Lukic?
21 A. No I had not heard this.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: Can we please continue to run the tape.
23 [Videotape played]
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Fast forward a little, please.
25 Stop there, please.
1 Sorry, can we back up to the start of that meeting. Stop right
2 there. And then forward, please.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MR. OSTOJIC: Stop.
5 Q. Sir, at this point, there's an introduction made of Dr. Stakic as
6 being president of the Municipal Assembly. My question to you, having
7 been present there, at any time during this meeting, sir, was there any
8 indication or identification of anyone being a member of a "Crisis
10 A. I think that we covered this yesterday. There was a mention of
11 crisis -- I recall -- committee. I stand to be corrected staff. But no
12 one in -- no individual. It was used on the way -- as I recall, to the
13 best of my recollection, on the way up, but not in the room.
14 Q. That's my question. Specifically in the room, at any time, do
15 your notes or your memory reflect that there was any discussion about this
16 "crisis committee"?
17 A. Not to my recollection in the room, no. And from what I've
18 gathered from the notes, that at least the photocopied pages that we had
19 yesterday or whenever it was, no.
20 Q. Now, your numerous articles that you wrote identifying the
21 individuals in Prijedor indicate from time to time that Dr. Stakic was a
22 mayor. Do you know and did you subsequently learn that there is no such
23 position in the municipality of Prijedor in 1992, or even today, of a
24 title "mayor"?
25 A. Well, the word was used in the translations that I have recorded.
1 Q. Well, from your recollection, and being there at the time of the
2 events in which you're testifying to, were you ever introduced to
3 Dr. Stakic as being a mayor of the town of Prijedor?
4 A. In 1992, I recall -- I have noted president of, I think, the
5 committee, and I do recall the word "mayor," and of course he used it or
6 at least was translated of having used it at our later meeting.
7 Q. And that would be the meeting of February 1996?
8 A. Absolutely.
9 Q. It's that same meeting where you start by writing in your
10 aide-memoires that Colonel Arsic told you specifically that Dr. Stakic was
11 the person in charge of Omarska camp. Correct?
12 A. We've already been over this, and I stand by my account that he
13 was introduced to us as the senior official in the body whose authority we
14 would need to get into the camp.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: If we can continue to play the tape, please.
16 [Videotape played]
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Fast forward this portion.
18 Stop, please. Back up a little bit. Stop, please.
19 [Videotape played]
20 MR. OSTOJIC:
21 Q. Now you mentioned yesterday, and I want to know if it's depicted
22 on this tape that Dr. Kovacevic at one point exerting his influence at the
23 meeting and over individuals at the meeting simply instructed Dr. Stakic
24 to shut up so he could proceed at which point Dr. Stakic conceded, and
25 Dr. Kovacevic proceeded to talk. Correct?
1 A. Yes. Or as you put it, when you were defending Dr. Kovacevic, he
2 wanted to make sure he continued in order to finish what he was saying,
3 yes, he did shut him up.
4 Q. Tell me this, Mr. Vulliamy: You didn't agree with me four years
5 ago. Are you agreeing with me now that the gesture by Dr. Kovacevic was
6 simply a gesture of politeness or was it certainly a gesture of control?
7 Because I vividly remember debating with you that very issue, and you
8 disagreeing and insisting upon the fact that Dr. Kovacevic was the man in
9 control, and here is a vivid example of how he controlled not only the
10 meeting but all the individuals around him.
11 A. Well, I didn't --
12 Q. Which side or which story would you like this Court now to
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the Defence, as we do it usually, to
15 quote correctly your question at that time and the answer at that time.
16 MR. OSTOJIC: It's quite lengthy, Your Honour, but we have it in
17 the transcript.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I know, I can read myself. But it's
19 interesting, and we should really go into details if the Defence wants to
20 enter this terrain.
21 MR. OSTOJIC: Well, I'm limited in my time, Your Honour. I'd like
22 to move on to other points. If the Court looks at the record, it is
23 Mr. Vulliamy who offered this as some sort of conciliatory effort on his
24 part to say that there was an exchange. It's certainly not in issue since
25 we have his testimony that Dr. Kovacevic on numerous occasions that he has
1 written and testified was the person in control, that Dr. Kovacevic on
2 numerous occasions --
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You shouldn't put forward arguments. Please
4 give us -- indicate -- I'm quite sure you have the page number.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: The cross begins on page 903, Your Honour. Goes on
6 actually for approximately a day and a half. I can try to highlight for
7 the Court the area.
8 We could come back to it as my colleague Mr. Cirkovic will assist
9 us in finding if the Court doesn't mind.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please proceed.
11 MR. OSTOJIC:
12 Q. Mr. Vulliamy, let me ask you also, during the Kovacevic trial, you
13 were asked specifically on page 819, for the Court, whether you left
14 Prijedor immediately after your visit to Trnopolje camp, and you said,
15 yes, and that you went back to Belgrade. And then you were asked
16 specifically: "Did you ever return to Prijedor?" And your answer was:
17 "Yes, several years later, in 1996."
19 A. I have -- in terms of staying in Prijedor to hold meetings, yes,
20 indeed. But I think I've already testified and will -- apologies for
21 repeating myself, on the way to picking up the convoy of deportees went
22 through Prijedor in what would have been -- well, later on that month,
23 August 1992.
24 Q. So your testimony when you testified in Kovacevic, it was a
25 question that you didn't understand, and you simply said I returned to
1 Prijedor in 1996 when, in fact, you had returned to Prijedor less than
2 three weeks after your visit to the Trnopolje camp. Correct?
3 A. I answered the question with reference to when I went to Prijedor
4 to work in Prijedor, to conduct -- to be -- to stay in Prijedor for a
5 duration of time. When I went through Prijedor and I did go through
6 Prijedor in August 1992, it was not to Prijedor; it was through Prijedor.
7 But yes, I was physically in Prijedor.
8 Q. Let me ask you this, if I may: Your discussion on August 5th with
9 Colonel Arsic and Major Milutinovic involving the Manjaca camp, do you
10 know where Manjaca camp was located?
11 A. In the Prijedor area. I don't know exactly. It had been already
12 located in newspaper articles, but I don't know exactly where it is.
13 Q. My question is do you know in which municipality it was in?
14 A. I don't. I don't know which municipality it's in.
15 Q. Let me turn, if I may, briefly with the limited time that we have
16 to the February 1996 meeting --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slow down.
18 MR. OSTOJIC:
19 Q. -- That you had with Dr. Stakic, among others? Did Roger Cohen of
20 the New York Times also keep and maintain his own records of the notes
21 relating to the meeting between Dr. Stakic, yourself, and Mr. Cohen?
22 A. Well, I can't answer for whether he kept or retained them. But he
23 was taking notes, yes.
24 Q. But did you take the original papers from him subsequent to the
1 A. I didn't take any notes physically from him, no, but we compared
2 our notes afterwards, yes. I didn't take them, no.
3 Q. Do you know if he still has possession of those notes?
4 A. I have no idea, I'm afraid.
5 Q. Now, during your meeting with Dr. Stakic in February 1996, both
6 from your contemporaneous notes and your aide-memoires, did you at any
7 time discuss this concept of "Crisis Committee" with him? And if so,
8 please point it out in the record.
9 A. I can't remember.
10 Q. Would you like to have both your contemporaneous notes and your
11 aide-memoires to assist you?
12 A. I think it would be a good idea if the Court-- if I --
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Madam Registrar, could you please provide the
14 witness with I would think DP-5, DP-6, and DPD, I think it was 2, the
16 THE REGISTRAR: DPD-4, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay.
18 THE WITNESS: Sir, I think you'd like me to have the shorthand
19 notes of the meeting with Mr. Stakic in February 1996. Is that right?
20 MR. OSTOJIC:
21 Q. Both your aide-memoires as well as the contemporaneous notes that
22 you took.
23 A. Your Honours, sir, if you could hold on a second.
24 Q. That'd be the last five pages of that document.
25 A. Forgive me, sir. It's not actually here. I may need to... It
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 looks like that, and it has got "Stakic."
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would be DP-6.
3 THE WITNESS: Thank you. Sorry, Your Honours. Sorry, sir.
4 MR. OSTOJIC:
5 Q. I think, Mr. Vulliamy, there's a question pending. If you'd like,
6 I can restate it.
7 A. Could you kindly. Sorry.
8 Q. Of course. At any time within your contemporaneous notes or your
9 aide-memoires, do you indicate a discussion with Dr. Stakic about this
10 concept of "Crisis Committee"?
11 A. I don't know if it's in the notes or not. Do you want me to look
13 Q. I'd like you to, if you don't mind. You read them into the record
14 yesterday. Do you have a recollection of certain events that occurred in
15 February of 1996?
16 A. Yes, I recall reading them into the record. And to the best of my
17 recollection, I didn't talk about a Crisis Committee or Staff from these
19 Q. At any time during your meeting with Dr. Stakic in February of
20 1996, did you discuss with him the role of the police and military
21 vis-a-vis the detention centres?
22 A. I don't think so.
23 Q. Was that a decision that was predetermined on your part, or just
24 an area that you were not interested in?
25 A. Neither. It didn't come up.
1 Q. Did you at any time during your meeting with Dr. Stakic discuss
2 with him the police chief who you met who you wished to interview during
3 this same time period by the name of Simo Drljaca?
4 A. I don't think so. No, I don't think so.
5 Q. Did you at any time with Dr. Stakic ask for clarification as to
6 who may have been in control of Omarska or Trnopolje in light of, sir,
7 your articles, namely, the August 7th, 1992, article which is in the
8 record wherein you identify Dr. Kovacevic as the person being in control
9 and having authority to have people gain access to the certain camps, and
10 then your subsequent book in 1994? Did you ever ask Dr. Kovacevic to
11 clarify that issue for you, if there was any doubt about whether it was
12 Dr. Kovacevic or Dr. Stakic?
13 A. No. I was introduced to them as I think I've said as president
14 and vice-president of the same body and was, I think, -- and fairly
15 inferred that here was a chain of command.
16 Q. We'll discuss your inferences in light of the background that you
17 shared with us yesterday at the commencement of your cross-examination.
18 However, did you ever at any time discuss with Dr. Stakic the military
19 role of either Colonel Arsic or Major Milutinovic in the Prijedor area?
20 A. I don't recall any conversation with Dr. Stakic about either Major
21 Milutinovic or Colonel Arsic, no.
22 Q. Since you were in Bosnia in 1992 or in Prijedor, and in February
23 1996, did you, sir, as an objective foreign correspondent investigate at
24 any time the Serbian refugees that were being displaced or deported from
25 Central Bosnia and Croatia during that time period?
1 A. Oh, yes, indeed. I was one of the first journalists -- well,
2 actually, driving through the eastern part of what was then being called
3 Croatian-controlled Croatia, and the Krajina area which was under the
4 Croatian/Serbian control, and wrote one of the first articles observing a
5 significant military buildup, menacing military buildup by Croatian forces
6 in the Gospic area that seemed to suggest an impending offensive. And
7 wrote another article I might add extremely critical of the Croatian
8 forces soon after they got into the town of Knin setting large amounts of
9 Serbian refugees on the road.
10 Q. Did you at any time, sir, write an article or investigate whether
11 there were any Muslim camps which were holding Serbian citizens?
12 A. I'm sorry to all of you to repeat myself. I did go in search of
13 one that was mentioned by Professor Koljevic in Belgrade. I haven't seen
14 any documents since yesterday to give further details. But to the best of
15 my recollection, the place was called Tarcin. What I do remember is the
16 place was a tunnel in which people were supposedly being kept, and I
17 couldn't find any. That is not to say that I am saying now that there
18 were not such camps because I have since heard of the Celebici camp which
19 you mentioned yesterday.
20 Q. Did you hear of any camps in existence in 1992 since you were
21 actually in Sarajevo in August of 1992 that existed in Sarajevo which held
22 Serbian citizens?
23 A. Not in Sarajevo itself. I don't recall being told about them.
24 The ones that Professor Koljevic talked about were over on what I would
25 call the other side, further away from the capital. And forgive me for
1 repeating myself, but the one that he was most concerned about and
2 emphasised was the camp near Caplinja which I did visit.
3 Q. Did you, sir, at any time since you mentioned issues of hierarchy
4 and chain of command study or establish what the actual chain of command
5 was in Prijedor in August of 1992?
6 A. When I said chain of command, I was referring to the terms
7 president and vice-president or, as I will stand by, alternatively mayor
8 and deputy mayor seemed to mean much the same. And as in any political
9 authority, you have a president and a deputy. You have the man at the top
10 and the number two. And my country, there's a prime minister and a deputy
11 prime minister and so on.
12 Q. Let's take your country, if you will. In a city or a small town
13 within Britain, would there be any influence of a local politician,
14 whether he be the president or deputy or mayor, to have any influence over
15 a regional command structure such as a military colonel or major?
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The question is not relevant. Not admitted.
17 MR. OSTOJIC:
18 Q. Did you at any time, sir, during your investigation giving us your
19 opinion as to the hierarchy or chain of command did you ever study what
20 the military chain of command was in Prijedor in August of 1992?
21 A. I know any military by ranks. I did not -- Colonel Arsic was
22 introduced as the senior military presence in that area. If there was a
23 general in Prijedor above him, then my instincts would say that the
24 colonel was not in charge. But that's the military authorities. Again, I
25 repeat myself, my apologies. Dr. Stakic and Mr. Kovacevic and Mr. Drljaca
1 were introduced to us as and later by Colonel Arsic as the civilian
2 authorities in charge of the nonmilitary operations in the area.
3 Q. Did you, sir, at any time study or review or investigate the
4 police hierarchy or structure in Prijedor in 1992?
5 A. When you say study, investigate, and review, it would have been
6 certainly to my advantage to have been allowed to stay in the area a
7 little bit longer. But this was not possible. What I'm saying, once
8 again, in answer to your question is that we were introduced by Colonel
9 Arsic to the civilian authorities, those three gentlemen, as those on
10 whose authority we would go to Omarska if we were going to be allowed to
11 go. I apologise if I'm long-winded. But the short answer to your
12 question is I was not given the chance to study, investigate, or review
13 the command structure. I think some of the television pictures we saw in
14 Omarska the other day gave us a pretty good idea of what the atmosphere
15 was, and that's certainly what I recall. We were persona non grata in the
16 town. So, in-depth investigation was neither logistically possible nor, I
17 would imagine, possible anyway, nor welcome on their part.
18 Q. You shared with us subsequent to August 1992 you have become more
19 knowledgeable in the events of both the Prijedor municipality and the
20 detention centres at Omarska and Trnopolje, and I know that you testified
21 in the Tadic case about various issues that we covered. My question to
22 you is not limited to that one day and those three hours that you may have
23 spent in both the camps, did you subsequent to that, sir, do any analysis
24 to determine what the hierarchy, structure, was between the police,
25 namely, the MUP in the Prijedor municipality with the political
1 establishment that you've identified? Yes or no.
2 A. Well, it's a long question, and I can't answer it with one word.
3 I did become more knowledgeable of the events in the Prijedor
4 municipality. I was not able to go, as I think I've already said, I was
5 refused access to the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina as it was
6 then called. So I was not able to study, as you put, the specifics of the
7 command structure.
8 However, I was able to become more knowledgeable of what was going
9 on in the Prijedor municipality on the basis of meeting very large numbers
10 of survivors of the camps at Omarska and Trnopolje, bereaved relatives of
11 those who had perished in those camps, and other information I could glean
12 from the tens of thousands of people coming over the road I myself had
14 Q. For the record, we've basically found the portion where there was
15 a discussion on the gesture of Mr. Vulliamy and that appears on pages
16 1128. I am told that it proceeds for approximately 25 to 30 pages. I'm
17 not sure if the Court would like me to read that.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we first, please, we have bundles of papers
19 here before us. What date was it, please?
20 MR. OSTOJIC: July 17th, 1998.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Unfortunately the bundle I have in my hand
22 concludes the 15th of July. And then let me see the next bundle. Bundle
23 by bundle. Could you please repeat the page. Thank you.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: 1128, Your Honour. 1-1-2-8.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask exactly, what about this gesture that
1 seems to be public domain in this premises a discussion on this gesture?
2 MR. OSTOJIC: I think perhaps if we put the question to the
3 witness, but I'd be happy to give the Court a summary of what I recall and
4 have reviewed in connection with this gesture.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I would prefer to have it before me black and
6 white and not a summary.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: We've highlighted the cross-examination questions in
8 connection with the gesture --
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: For example, on page 1131, a gesture and how it
10 was interpreted.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: The following page, Your Honour, if I may, 1132,
12 there is a discussion by Mr. Vulliamy recollecting the gesture, and this
13 is a follow-up on questions put to him during questioning by Michael
14 Keegan on direct examination wherein he stated and confirmed, I believe,
15 both yesterday and today that he thought the gesture was to shut up
16 Dr. Stakic, and he uses those very words. And that appears on page 781 of
17 the direct examination transcript which I believe we covered yesterday
18 during our initial cross-examination.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right.
20 Please proceed on this basis.
21 MR. OSTOJIC:
22 Q. Mr. Vulliamy, did you at any time during your testimony both in
23 Kovacevic and here today and yesterday have any doubt that Dr. Kovacevic
24 was commanding and controlling the entire meeting and by virtue of his
25 gesture by raising his hand was indicating for Dr. Stakic to shut up?
1 A. I think he was raising his hand to get Dr. Stakic to shut up.
2 Q. And Dr. Stakic, although from time to time you've identified him
3 in some of your articles as being Dr. Kovacevic's boss, Dr. Stakic
4 certainly responded by doing what?
5 A. Stopped talking, even though he was Dr. Kovacevic's boss. He was
6 a man of fewer words than Dr. Kovacevic.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, based upon your ruling, or our
8 understanding of it, and retaining our right to have the complete video
9 played during the Defence case and calling the witnesses such as those
10 that we've identified Thomas Deichmann, Joan Phillips, Christopher
11 Bennett, and Mike Hume, we have no further questions for this witness at
12 this time.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I then ask the Prosecution, additional
14 questions, please.
15 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, briefly, Your Honour.
16 The video that was just played by the Defence this morning, if we
17 could back that up from the point it stopped a bit, I'd like to play what
18 I believe is the gesture that was just referred to.
19 Is it possible also to hand out the transcript - I don't know if
20 the Court has it - the transcript of that tape, 1402. One of our
21 deposition exhibits.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If it was video S157, so it should be -1, not
23 deposition exhibit. It was an original exhibit.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. Could this be backed up, and I'll tell
25 the booth when to stop.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask that we, in order to avoid double
2 discussing this issue here, stop only when the witness enters the room and
3 is welcomed. A little bit further back, please. So then start.
4 [Videotape played]
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: Could we stop the videotape.
6 Mr. Vulliamy, if you put on your headphones to channel 4, you
7 could hear the video, too.
8 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
9 MR. KOUMJIAN: We can proceed.
10 [Videotape played]
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Stop.
12 Re-examination by Mr. Koumjian:
13 Q. Mr. Vulliamy, did you just see the gesture by Dr. Kovacevic?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is that the gesture that you were speaking of in your testimony in
16 the Kovacevic trial?
17 A. Yes. That's what I was asked about.
18 Q. Just one other question: Do you recall early in that videotape,
19 someone standing up and pointing in the direction of where you and the our
20 journalists were?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Who was that?
23 A. Dr. Stakic.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'd now like to play video S187. But just while
25 that's getting ready, questions for you, just to introduce it.
1 Q. You were asked several times about various titles that were used,
2 president and mayor, by the Defence. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN: If we can now play S187, there's just a minute or
5 two of that I'd like to play.
6 I don't know if Your Honours -- I don't think the transcript is
7 necessary, but there is a transcript to this also.
8 [Videotape played]
9 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'm sorry. Sorry, stop the video.
10 MR. OSTOJIC: If I may interrupt -- (a), if we're going to have
11 the tape played and we're going to rely on the interpreter who was there
12 to interpret for us, that's one thing. But even in the prior tape, there
13 were things that Dr. Kovacevic said which I think are important which the
14 Defence are going to bring up in our Defence case that are not translated
15 such as the fact, as I'm sure the OTP knows from prior matters, that Dr.
16 Kovacevic says: "Despite the fact that you were given the authority to
17 come here and there's nothing we can do about that," et cetera, whatever
18 the implications may be of that, similarly here, when Dr. Stakic clearly
19 states he's the president of the Municipal Assembly, that should be
20 interpreted for the Court if it's in relation to the questions that are
21 being asked of these questions.
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: I agree a hundred per cent. I was indicating that
23 I forgot there was no translation on this tape. May the translation be
24 handed out.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: So we can begin at the beginning of the transcript,
2 if the tape could be backed up and we'll play it from the beginning again.
3 Q. First Mr. Vulliamy, are you familiar with a journalist who, I
4 believe, worked in Bosnia and was one of the reporters for the programme
6 A. I think the gentleman is by the name of Harriman [phoen] but I
7 know him actually from when I was in television, not from Bosnia.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. If everyone is ready and has a
9 transcript. Is the Defence ready?
10 MR. OSTOJIC: We are.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Play the video.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. That's all the tape I wanted to play.
14 Q. Mr. Vulliamy, were Dr. Stakic's words on that video consistent
15 with the information you received in 1992?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The Defence also asked you about information you learned about
18 Prijedor from other sources after August the 5th of 1992. And you told us
19 about your trip to Travnik. While in Travnik, did you see or hear of
20 other convoys of refugees from the municipality of Prijedor arriving in
21 that town?
22 A. Yes, they were coming in continuously. When I was working in and
23 returning to Travnik in 1992, into 1993 period, and indeed, trickles of
24 deportees were still coming over into Travnik, over the mountain into
25 Travnik when I returned yet again as late as 1995.
1 Q. You indicated that you arrived in Travnik on the 17th of August.
2 Do you recall approximately how long you stayed in Travnik?
3 A. Only one night because we needed to get to a telephone and to do
4 that, you had to drive all the way to the coast.
5 Q. At some time, were you in Travnik in 1992, and did you hear of any
6 stories of a convoy on a -- a few days after, approximately the 21st of
8 A. I returned to Travnik sometime -- pardon me, the late 20s of
9 August, if not the first week of September. I don't know the exact date.
10 And had heard and asked about the convoys and heard that on one night,
11 some - and the figures being quoted at the time were about 200 - people
12 had been murdered, massacred, on an exact same convoy as ours on the
13 mountain which by then I knew was Mount Vlasic.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. KOUMJIAN: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
17 Questioned by the Court:
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Just one very small detail, but I think it's
19 important to come back to this. May the usher please present exhibits S2
20 and S3 to the witness, and may the map surrounded by pictures be put on
21 the ELMO, first, this part. Thanks.
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, we actually found a much larger map.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We have prepared this specially because the
24 early days of this case, we had headlines indicating what the building is.
25 So we took the liberty to redact this.
1 Yes. If you could focus on the two photos on the upper left-hand
2 side, please, the photos, please.
3 Yes, closer, closer, if you could zoom this. Yes, that's fine.
4 Are you able, on the basis of these photos, of these stills, to
5 identify any of these buildings?
6 A. Your Honour, I'll do my very best. And Your Honours, they look
7 like many other buildings of their kind in --
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Maybe it's better if you look at the ELMO.
9 A. Yes, could I.
10 I can't say that I actually recognise the building but because of
11 where we are, if it's one of the buildings in the square complex around
12 Prijedor, then so be it. But I don't recall that view of that particular
13 building. I was never at any distance from the building that I suspect it
14 is, but I'm not going to say that I recognise that exact building
15 particularly. Sorry --
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No, no. Thank you for being so clear. And if
17 you can't identify it, you can't.
18 So may we then, please, play Exhibit DP-4, the videotape. It
19 should be queued at a special point.
20 In order not to lose time, let's turn first to another issue, and
21 may Madam Registrar please tell me if the video is ready, when the video
22 will be ready.
23 One other additional question, please, totally different issue:
24 You mentioned that you were accompanied on your tour first to Omarska and
25 then to Trnopolje by the same persons in that convoy. But we did not yet
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 discuss whom did you meet in Trnopolje? Did you meet there, as you did in
2 Omarska, persons you would, after your own assessment, regard as the
3 responsible persons for Trnopolje, to the best of your own recollection?
4 A. No, there was no -- to the best of my recollection, there was no
5 individual such as that as I remember very clearly as Mr. Meakic in
6 Omarska. There were quite clearly more senior or more junior guards
7 around the area in a variety of uniforms. But their seniority could only
8 be, as it were, inferred by their deportment rather than any official
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
11 The video is ready? No, it's not. Then a more general question:
12 We saw numerous videos, and one issue in this entire case and in other
13 cases is that it is alleged that numerous evidence may have been forged,
14 documents may have been forged, and there were also rumours that videos in
15 the past had been forged in order to support the one or the other side.
16 Amongst those videos you saw today, especially - and yesterday and
17 the day before - can you state that these videos reflect the reality, or
18 did you have the impression that there was some forgery, or were there
19 ever indications or allegations that these videos were forged?
20 A. Your Honour, may I address you on this. I have been more than
21 aware of, indeed, I have been -- I'm trying to find the right words for
22 the courtroom that are presentable.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Don't hesitate.
24 A. I've become all too familiar with the allegations that you're
25 talking about. They began with someone whose name has already been
1 mentioned, but I don't think it's appropriate for me to say --
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please, don't hesitate.
3 A. Okay. Well, they appeared first in a German magazine authored
4 by - and it's not me that's bringing up the name, it was the Defence - a
5 Mr. Deichmann. They accused principally ITN, but also myself, of forgery,
6 fabrication of all kinds. And there was -- well, not just criticism as
7 the Defence said, but quite a hullabaloo of what came to be, as at least I
8 saw it from my position, likewise ITN, a highly didactic and highly
9 motivated attempt to dilute, and to use a fairly highly charged word - but
10 I'm going to use it - to deny the severity of what was going on in those
11 camps and of what we did and what we more importantly did not see in those
12 camps which has been -- well, testified to me but not in the legal sense.
13 ITN chose to take legal action against the publication of these
14 allegations which were surrounded by all forms of public meetings and
15 picketing of my office and those of ITN. And there was a legal action for
16 libel over precisely this matter that Your Honour raises of forgery and
17 injudicious editing, and the case was settled unanimously by jury in the
18 High Court in London, in ITN's favour and against the publication which
19 had repeated the allegations of forgery and so on by -- well, ITN
20 specifically, but I was also implicated by a magazine by the name of
21 "Living Marxism". ITN won. They lost. But I fear the allegations
22 continue on the internet and elsewhere, and well, I find them repellant
23 in -- well, I find them deeply offensive. If I may add an opinion, and it
24 is an opinion in answer to your question, deeply offensive to myself and
25 ITN, but much more importantly to what was actually going on in those
1 camps. And it is quite frankly a language which cuts a raw nerve. And
2 yes, to answer your question, more briefly, I am more than aware of those
3 allegations. And I refute them utterly. ITN refutes them utterly because
4 I can speak for them because that's their footage you're asking about.
5 The footage is a fair representation of what was going on in Omarska.
6 Actually, if any, it was an unfairly positive, as I now know, rendering of
7 what was going on in the camp. And more important, I think in answer to
8 Your Honours and a Bench of Judges, the matter also has been settled by
9 the High Court in London.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. But let's concentrate on those clips we
11 saw during, as mentioned yesterday, the day before, and today, anything
12 you saw on the video which is not covered by your recollection.
13 A. Well, there were other film crews there from Bosnian Serb
14 television. I'm aware of other footage. I am aware that the purpose of
15 other footage is to try and give some idea that the men in that part of
16 the Trnopolje camp, that particular compound, were the - shall we
17 say - the rather -- the men in worse condition were being kept were in
18 some way free to come and go, or were not confined. It is certainly --
19 well, you know, established that they were confined, at least in this case
20 I mentioned before.
21 Is there other footage? Yes. Does the other footage that there
22 is a fence there that is not covered by barbed wire? Yes. I now know
23 that. At the time I was talking to people through a fence that did have
24 barbed wire.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Once again, to concentrate on this issue, you
1 saw numerous videos here in the courtroom, do they reflect that what you,
2 in fact, saw yourself?
3 A. Your Honour, pardon me for being verbose, yes apart from the
4 videos of Omarska, and I now know those to be unrepresentatively positive.
5 Trnopolje, yes. We saw fences with barbed wire and without barbed wire,
6 and I think that the videos that have been presented today are
7 representative of what I recall as being the conditions and situation in
8 the camp.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let us turn now to the video apparently ready
10 for being played. May I ask to start the video. A little bit back,
11 please. May it be winded back. Stop. Stop. And now proceed.
12 [Videotape played]
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Stop. Stop here, please.
14 Can you on the basis of this - now it's a still even - identify
15 the building?
16 A. I am -- in my answer, respectfully, Your Honour, I now heard it
17 labelled as Banja Luka on the film. To the best of my recollection, this
18 is Prijedor, and certainly there was a long line of women in Prijedor.
19 I'm going to answer your question by saying there was a long line of women
20 in Prijedor. I remember it. I interviewed them. As with the still
21 picture you showed me, I can't identify the actual building. If I wasn't
22 in this courtroom and someone showed me a picture of that building, I
23 would not say: "Oh, yes, that's a building in Prijedor." I'm afraid I
24 can't say I recognise the building. If there are two long lines of women,
25 one in Banja Luka and one in Prijedor, then I can only answer your
1 question, Your Honour, by saying there was a long line of women in
2 Prijedor which I know because I remember it very well and interviewed
3 them. And if there was another long line of women in Banja Luka, then,
4 Your Honour, I can only say there were two long lines of women. I can't
5 help more than that really.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's a fair answer.
7 May I ask, is there any additional questions? No, then let me
8 finally come to the point we discussed, especially this morning, even
9 gestures and reaction to gestures. In common-law system, the role of the
10 accused is normally not highlighted in the way and explored in a way
11 compared to civil-law system. Therefore, it's the Judges' interest to get
12 a deeper insight in the personality of an accused person. From your own
13 assessment, as far as we heard you met Dr. Stakic twice and you have met
14 numerous persons in other environments, you're a man of the word, how
15 would you describe the personality of Dr. Stakic, especially opposed to
16 others you met in the area and you met in Prijedor?
17 Please, if possible, based on facts, based on facts during your
18 meeting in 1992 and in 1996.
19 A. Your Honours, I'll only answer on the basis of fact because I
20 can't claim to know Dr. Stakic. There was one meeting as you know with
21 several people in the room. Sorry. And only one other meeting with fewer
22 people. Nor do I feel I have the right to psychoanalyse. But to help
23 you, Your Honour, with the group at the August 1992 meeting, he and
24 Colonel Arsic were certainly those more in control of themselves, more
25 restrained and in a way robust in their -- in their composure, whereas
1 Mr. Drljaca and Mr. Kovacevic were far more demonstrative as we've seen,
2 but that is also my recollection. As regards other figures in the Bosnian
3 Serb power hierarchy, if you like, I thought that - and this is my
4 impression, I add - that Dr. Stakic was, yes, in control of his feelings
5 and of his words, in a way that was menacing in a way, but not as --
6 as -- as physically menacing as some other people I had the dubious
7 fortune to meet.
8 In 1996, after the -- a fairy remarkable conversation with
9 Dr. Kovacevic, certainly my view that Dr. Stakic was a man more in control
10 of himself and of certainly the situation in that room than Dr. Kovacevic
11 had been in control of himself was confirmed, and both my colleague and
12 myself found the atmosphere in that room during that 1996, February 1996
13 meeting, with Dr. Stakic and his friend who I was then later told was some
14 sort of security or police officer, not a lawyer or a health official, to
15 be much more menacing and threatening. However, I would add that in terms
16 of the bellicosity, or the overt bellicosity of other people in the
17 Bosnian Serb structure that I had the chance to meet, and I didn't meet
18 many for reasons I've explained; I wasn't allowed on the territory, he was
19 certainly less of that overtly aggressive or rhetorical nature. If that
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If I may, you mentioned, and you noted it, and
22 you read it out on the basis of your own notes, you mentioned the father
23 and the grandfather of Dr. Stakic. Do you have the impression, based on
24 this, and probably it comes to your mind when discussing the issue of
25 father and grandfather, to what extent there was a basis for the
1 development of Dr. Stakic in a certain direction on historic events, on
2 what he experienced during his childhood?
3 A. Obviously I have to infer a little bit here, but I can also relate
4 specifically to what was said in that conversation with Dr. Stakic and
5 with that with Dr. Kovacevic and others. And I think it has been put on
6 the record that I found this family history extremely interesting. And I
7 think that for what it's worth, the experience of many Serbs in the Second
8 World War inevitably has stung a generation to which Dr. Stakic and
9 Dr. Kovacevic belongs. And I think Dr. Kovacevic -- sorry, this isn't to
10 answer your question about Dr. Stakic, but in general, he said he spent
11 some time as a child, whether he was born there or not, in a concentration
12 camp, in a death camp. And Dr. Stakic also said that his father had been
13 killed by the Croatian NDH Ustasha. And I think there's no doubt that
14 this horrific experience that that generation suffered did create, you
15 know, certainly a sensitivity or call it paranoia. And in the longer
16 cycle of history in that area, yet another sort of turn of the gyre or the
17 wheel because this toing and froing had been going on for some time
18 throughout history.
19 However, based on the many conversations I've had about what was
20 happening in the Prijedor area, while conceding from the basis of my
21 knowledge that there was -- there were some Muslim fighters in the area,
22 and also based on the knowledge of what happened during the whole history
23 of Yugoslavia and specifically Serbia and the Serbian -- I want to be
24 clear, can I in parenthesis, I mean Serbian nationalists, I do not mean
25 all Serbs. I think it's important to stress that for instance in
1 Sarajevo, when the call came to join Karadzic, some 90.000 effectively at
2 the beginning at least refused to do so, wanted nothing to do with this.
3 So I'm talking about a specific policy. So when I say the Serbian side, I
4 don't mean the Serbian people -- I'm convinced -- get to the point. I'm
5 convinced there's a notion of being stung by that experience for this
6 generation during the Second World War. Yes, there were a few Muslim
7 fighters in the Prijedor area for sure. That they were taking up arms in
8 resistance, something that had started off in Belgrade -- won't mention
9 any names -- and had come across the Drina River into Eastern Bosnia with
10 terrifying ferocity and was also breaking out in the Prijedor/Banja Luka
11 region with I now know to be terrifying ferocity, whether there's a
12 connection between that and the Second World War, perhaps as Dr. Kovacevic
13 himself said, perhaps this is something for the psychiatrists.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Finally, as to the fact that sometimes by, as
15 just putting an arrow in your notes, from this I understand that your
16 notes didn't cover the entire conversation, to the best of your
17 recollection, was there any discussion what brought Dr. Stakic to join the
18 SDS, and was ever discussed the issue of the Serbian Radical Party?
19 A. Serbian Radical Party, there was no conversation about any
20 difference between those two parties to the best of my recollection.
21 There is a note at the bottom of one of the pages I noticed about the
22 Socialist Party. But I don't recall any particular conversation about the
23 SDS or the Radical Party.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May I ask the parties, are there
25 additional questions emanating from the line of questions?
1 MR. OSTOJIC: No further questions, Your Honour.
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: No further questions.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. This concludes the taking deposition
4 of your testimony. And I have to thank you very much for, yes, it's now
5 the fourth time you are here in the courtroom. But I think it's important
6 for both parties, and I want especially to express my gratitude for this
7 fair way of putting questions to this witness knowing very well that
8 it's -- it might be a little bit difficult. You met before in another
9 case, and you had once again to dispute now from another point of view the
10 same areas. To conclude, it was really helpful, and it's for us to thank
11 you very much. This concludes the hearing.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And we reconvene for the purpose of the next
14 taking of a deposition at 11.30.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 --- Recess taken at 11.03 a.m.
17 [Closed session]
12 Page 8176 – redacted – closed session.
12 Page 8177 – redacted – closed session.
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It will take a minute before these blinds are
2 open. I don't know whether has introduced to you who is who in this
3 courtroom. You should know we have to your left-hand side Defence counsel
4 and Dr. Stakic. We have to your right-hand side the Office of the
5 Prosecutor, their counsel. Persons sitting behind are legal officers of
6 the Chamber. In front of us, you have the usher, legal officer of the
7 Chamber, and Madam Registrar. And today, we are sitting in this
8 composition as to the fact that unfortunately one of our Judges, normally
9 the Bench is composed of three Judges, one of our Judges is ill. He will
10 only be back on Monday. So just that you know who the persons are here in
11 the courtroom.
12 May I ask you, what is your actual profession? Where do you work?
13 A. I'm a lawyer. Currently, I work at the council for construction
14 of flats in Prijedor.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: For the entire testimony, when you say you are a
16 lawyer, it goes without saying, and you may know yourself, that in case
17 there might be a question you have the impression that the answer could be
18 a self-incriminating one, then you are not obliged to answer this
19 question. We have then to discuss whether or not your right to remain
20 silent on certain questions only is applicable. But I don't believe that
21 in your case, we will have any problems with this. You have heard already
22 in or have read in the invitation letter what it's all about, what will be
23 the line of questions. And therefore, let us please start to ask you to
24 tell us in context what was your professional development, your family
25 development until 1992?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I went to school in Prijedor where I completed my primary
2 education and my secondary education. I went on to study law at the
3 faculty of law in Sarajevo. Upon the completion of my studies, I worked
4 with the municipal organs, municipal administrative organs. I mostly
5 dealt with issues related to property and land ownership. Mostly urban
6 real estate envisaged for the construction of business premises in the
8 In the period between 1980 and 1990, I worked at the council for
9 the construction of the town. In 1991 and 1992, I worked as a secretary
10 of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor. Since 1993, I have again worked at
11 the council for the construction of the town. Fine.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In an ordinary setting of an ordinary criminal
13 court, I would never dare to ask this question. But for the purposes of
14 this case, it's relevant, and may I ask you, what is your ethnic and
15 religious background?
16 A. I'm a Serb by nationality, and I'm not a religious person. I'm an
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And I understand from your answer that you are
19 now still working for the construction of the town. Correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we immediately turn to that what you
22 mentioned. You said in 1991, 1992, I worked as a secretary of the
23 Municipal Assembly of Prijedor. Can you please tell us, once again, in
24 your own words and in context how it came to this development. Who
25 invited you to work there and you were assigned to certain persons, or you
1 worked in general in the Municipal Assembly? What was the scope of your
2 work as a secretary in this Municipal Assembly? Could you please tell us
3 in a detailed way what, from your point of view, are the most important
4 parts of your work and please start with the development bringing you in
5 1991 to this assembly.
6 A. In 1990, a law was passed to abolish the town construction
7 company. So I was forced to look for a different job. I received an
8 offer from an acquaintance, or perhaps it's better to say he phoned me to
9 tell me that the SDS who were entitled to the position -- to appoint a
10 person to the position of the secretary of the Municipal Assembly, that
11 is, they had the power to appoint a person qualified to hold such a post.
12 No one ever talked to me on behalf of the party, absolutely not. I did
13 not even attend the session itself, the session of the assembly, at which
14 the appointments were made public, the appointment for the post of the
16 A number of colleagues of mine asked me why I hadn't come, I
17 hadn't attended the session. I said no one had invited me in the first
18 place. Still, I did take up the offer. It was difficult to find a job in
19 any of the other companies still around. My opinion was that the job of
20 secretary was not a very attractive job for a lawyer because what the job
21 was really about was hard work where the secretary runs a very complicated
22 service with only a handful of people to assist him, and the job of those
23 people was to technically prepare the sessions of the assembly. And what
24 that meant was when a session was announced, the agenda would be prepared
25 as well as the items that would be discussed during the session. A
1 technical service made copies of all these things using the technology at
2 its disposal, put all these things in envelopes, and delivered the
3 envelopes with the materials to the deputies.
4 So the technical part of the service's activity was run, managed,
5 by the secretary. And the job was to record the work of the assembly.
6 And thereafter, to organise for a transcript of the session's work by a
7 typist and to make copies of the decisions adopted at meetings, at
8 sessions, to put a stamp on them, and then further these decisions to the
9 municipal bodies which were then to process these decisions or
11 In practical terms, there were no legal problems entailed or any
12 need for legal experts, whatever certain people seemed to think about it
13 back in those times. My task was to ask for the transcript, to insist
14 that the job was done in a timely fashion, and that was all I was supposed
15 to do.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To the best of your own recollection, when did
17 you start your work as a secretary of the Municipal Assembly?
18 A. I was the secretary of the Municipal Assembly -- in order to
19 answer your question, not only in respect of one ethnicity only, but in
20 respect of all the ethnicities, that is, all of the deputies, all the
21 people who participated in the work of the assembly. I started working on
22 the 4th of January, 1991, I think.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May it be the 7th of January?
24 May I please ask for exhibit Document S262. I wouldn't know
25 myself when was assigned in 1992, but it was on or about -- the beginning
1 of January 1992?
2 A. 1991, 1991.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You mentioned that you, no doubt, worked for the
4 entire Municipal Assembly. Were you assigned to one or more individual
6 A. I did not have contacts with individuals on an individual basis,
7 but I did have contacts with deputies generally speaking regardless of
8 their function or office. As for the -- and in respect of the technical
9 aspects of the work, those matters that were related to the work of the
10 Municipal Assembly sessions. Other than that, I did not socialise with
11 the deputies. I didn't go out for a drink or a coffee with them. I
12 didn't have any personal or private contacts with the deputies either. I
13 led an ordinary family life, just as I had prior to that period of time.
14 That is, I socialised with my old friends.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you could give us a little bit more insight
16 of your work, I myself worked for a period of time also as a lawyer in the
17 framework of a parliament. And I know what it is to exercise this more or
18 less technical work in this area.
19 Did you participate in meetings in the general -- in the assembly
20 of the municipality?
21 A. By all means. During the Municipal Assembly sessions, I would
22 often -- I would normally sit next to the president and the deputy
23 president of the Municipal Assembly in accordance with the usual
24 procedure. It was a formal thing. And if necessary, if an explanation
25 was needed, the seating arrangement was such that I was in a position to
1 do it rapidly, to do it at the same time.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you have any assistance, and you were
3 subordinate to whom, please?
4 A. I was not subordinate to anyone. I was the person in charge, the
5 person who had been appointed by the assembly. I was responsible to the
6 assembly as a whole. And it was my responsibility to fulfill and to carry
7 out the technical aspect of the work that was necessary to be done for the
8 municipality. As for the drafting of the decisions, no, I was not
9 duty-bound to attend any such meetings because that fell within the scope
10 of the responsibilities of the municipal organs who were each in charge of
11 their department. So they were in charge of preparing their relevant
12 decisions. They would send the drafts of those decisions to the executive
13 committee, and the executive committee is an executive body of the
14 Municipal Assembly which was composed of various professionals and
15 representatives of various departments of the municipality who would then
16 discuss the relevant proposals.
17 If they decided that the matter should be discussed at the
18 assembly, then a relevant proposal in terms of agenda would be presented
19 and prepared for the assembly session. I did not have the authority to
20 influence in any way the work of this executive body because it was the
21 task of the leading person of the municipal organ of this administration
22 to explain the reasons for any particular decision, why such decisions
23 should be adopted.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Once again, did you have any personal assistants
25 in order to help you with this entire work you just mentioned?
1 A. As I have already indicated, when it was necessary to carry out
2 the technical preparations for the assembly session which was a difficult
3 work to do, the people from the technical services of the Municipal
4 Assembly would prepare the working material; that is, they would take the
5 material which had been prepared by the people from the executive body.
6 And then they would prepare the draft agenda. But their work was mostly
7 technical. They were in charge of copying the relevant material and
8 distributing it to the deputies. They would put the documents in
9 envelopes, and then send those materials to the deputies. They would also
10 attend the assembly session. And after the session, they would carry out
11 the work that had to be done upon the conclusion of the session.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When you arrived at the Municipal Assembly the
13 first working day, who welcomed you in the Municipal Assembly? Can you
14 recall it?
15 A. Not that any welcome was expressed to me by the president of the
16 Municipal Assembly or the president of the executive council. I was
17 simply informed that I had been appointed to the position of the
18 secretary, although I had had no prior discussions with anyone as to
19 whether I would accept the job or not. The reason I accepted the job was
20 because I was unemployed at the time. It was a reasonable solution for me
21 at the time. I went to the office which was earmarked for the secretary
22 of the Municipal Assembly, and I had the relevant decision on my
23 appointment. And I also received the salary for the secretary of the
24 Municipal Assembly. It may sound a bit strange, but that's how things
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I don't believe it sounds strange. It sounds
2 just normal, and one can understand that you felt pity as a lawyer to have
3 to work as a secretary. But you mentioned just your office. Could the
4 usher please be so kind and show the witness Exhibit S2 and S3.
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: We can offer to the Court if you find it helpful,
6 we have a much larger blowup, but it is labelled, of the --
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think for the reasons given earlier, yes, if
8 you can show once again the two photos.
9 Can you identify these two buildings?
10 A. As far as I can see, this is the building housing the Municipal
11 Assembly, the one on the lower portion of the screen. And I can also see
12 the entrance to the building. The one above also resembles this building,
13 but the main entrance is somewhat less visible. But this is the building
14 of the Municipal Assembly.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: On my screen, I hardly can see the pictures. If
16 you could have a look on the stills on the ELMO, please, and try once
17 again to recognise what these buildings are on this apparatus at your
18 left-hand side.
19 A. This is the building in question, the one that I'm indicating just
20 now. The building that I am now showing is the building housing the
21 Municipal Assembly.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the upper building, on the top of this page,
23 the other still? Is this the same building from the other side, or...?
24 Could you please assist us. Unfortunately, we are not able to ever be in
25 Prijedor, and therefore it's necessary.
1 A. Well, it doesn't look like the building in question. I mean, it
2 does, but I cannot see the entrance. There are trees in front of it which
3 somehow don't -- I don't know. Maybe it's on the other side. It is
4 possible that this is also the building in question, but I am not sure
5 because I can see a street with trees. But the park which is outside the
6 building, that is in front of the entrance of the building, is not very
7 visible. It looks like the same building but the photograph must have
8 been taken from a different angle.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. We have to come back to this later.
10 Thank you.
11 Can you please tell us your office, was it on the ground floor or
12 first floor? Where was it located?
13 A. My office was located on the first floor on the northern side of
14 the building.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who was the president of the Municipal Assembly
16 at the time you arrived?
17 A. Mr. Cehajic.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And his deputy?
19 A. Mr. Stakic.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And can you tell us now on the basis of that
21 what happened in 1991 the development. You attended a meeting. There
22 were some conclusions. How was this preceded? You already mentioned in
23 part the work. When there was a decision made by the Municipal Assembly,
24 who was in charge? Who was responsible, first, for the transcript, and
25 then later for the formal presentation of the document?
1 A. I think I have already explained the formal procedure. The
2 minutes had to be processed, the minutes of the sessions had to be put in
3 a written form and distributed. Also, the decision or a decision or a
4 conclusion, depending on what was on the agenda, had to be made in
5 accordance with the minutes. This was all signed by the president of the
6 Municipal Assembly. That was his duty. The typing of the minutes and the
7 typing of the decisions in the form they were adopted by the assembly in
8 the original form was also done by typists.
9 Once this document was signed, seals were placed on it, on the
10 minutes and on the decisions themselves. And these documents were later
11 sent to the relevant addressees, that is, to the individuals or bodies who
12 were in charge of implementing those decisions.
13 Let me give you an example: If, for example, the decision in
14 question was the responsibility of the tax department, then it was the tax
15 administration who initially -- who would initially draft and propose this
16 decision. Then the decision was discussed by the executive body, and then
17 if the discussions were positive, they would be sent to the assembly.
18 When the assembly adopts the decision, then it becomes officially adopted
19 by the assembly. Then it was typed, signed, and sealed, and sent back to
20 the tax administration so that they can act upon it. If the decision, for
21 example, involved the modalities of tax collection.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. You mentioned the documents were
23 signed by the president. In case of the absence of the president, who was
24 in charge? Who had to signed the documents then?
25 A. To the best of my recollection, this matter was stipulated in the
1 statute of the municipality; but partly also in the rules of procedure.
2 But mostly, it was regulated by the statute of the municipality. If it
3 was a prolonged absence, then the deputy president of the assembly would
4 become in charge of this, in the absence of the president. However, this
5 did not happen in 1991 as far as I can remember.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I recall very well about 20 years ago or so to a
7 certain extent a similar position, and it was sometimes very difficult for
8 me to find the person responsible for the signature. And was it also for
9 you to find this person in order to get finally the necessary signature?
10 A. Well, usually we didn't have problems because regardless of the
11 fact that the relevant decision did not reach its destination, the
12 administrative clerks, that is, the clerks in charge of the department
13 that had prepared the relevant material, would already start acting on it.
14 So they could always wait 10 or 15 days for this decision to be officially
15 signed. But they knew in advance what it was all about, and if necessary,
16 prior to sending out the relevant ensuing documents, they would wait for
17 the decision to be formally signed. So it was not always necessary to
18 look for the signatory of the decision right away. We didn't have to get
19 him as soon as possible all the time.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it is your testimony that there were, as I
21 understand it, several copies of these decisions, correct? To be sent out
22 to the deputies?
23 A. I'm afraid you misunderstood me. I gave you the example of a tax
24 matters' decision which concerned practically speaking only the relevant
25 department, that is, the tax administration. Then there would be only one
1 example of the decision which would be part of the working material and
2 would be copied -- the necessary number of this decision would be copied,
3 and the number corresponded to the number of the deputies. And once the
4 work of the session was completed, that is, immediately after the end of
5 the session, only two or three copies would be made because some copies
6 would be sent to the files. And one copy would be sent to the body in
7 charge. They could, then, make additional number of copies for their use.
8 But apart from that, everything that was debated and decided upon
9 at the assembly was also published in the official paper. So all of the
10 interested parties had always -- always had the opportunity to get a copy
11 of the relevant document and also to be informed of the matter. That is,
12 the public, the citizens in general, had the right to be informed through
13 the official paper, the Official Gazette, that is.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Just in case the president wouldn't have been
15 there, and the document would have to be signed by a deputy or somebody
16 else, or the special procedure, would this deputy sign with his own name
17 or on behalf of the president?
18 A. I don't think I can tell you about that because I don't remember.
19 I did not have any such direct contacts. I mean, I was not in charge of
20 taking such documents to the signatory. Those were usually done by
21 various clerks. According to the statute, the president could do such a
22 thing -- the deputy president could do such a thing if he wanted. But
23 what happened really later, I don't know. I don't think it fell within
24 the scope of my duties, and I don't think it was important for me to know
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You emphasised earlier that this never happened
2 in 1991. Did it happen in 1992, or why did you --
3 A. As far as I remember.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. So was there another development in 1992?
5 I want to restrict this question now to the beginning of 1992.
6 A. In 1992, concerning our work, the procedure remained similar.
7 Only if you're referring to the period, whatever it was called, the crisis
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You would fix which date with that what you call
10 "the crisis period"? Would it be correct that there was a kind of
11 change, on or about the 30th of April?
12 A. As far as the assembly is concerned, it continued to function as
13 an executive organ. Administration bodies also continued to operate. The
14 procedure of drafting and adopting --
15 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honour.
16 A. -- Of --
17 MR. LUKIC: I think that it's crucial for this testimony because
18 the translation shows that the Municipal Assembly continued to work -- to
19 function as an executive organ. It's not what the witness said. So if
20 you can try to clarify this, please.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: My question was: Would it be correct that there
22 was a kind of change, on or about the 30th of April? And it reads on the
23 transcript: "As far as the assembly is concerned, it continued to
24 function as an executive organ." Is this your testimony?
25 A. No. From the 1st of January, 1992, throughout January, the
1 assembly continued to operate just like it had operated in the period
2 preceding that. Perhaps it was in April. I can't remember clearly.
3 Sometime in April and May. I can't tell you the date exactly, but at some
4 point, the Crisis Staff took over the role of the assembly. That's what
5 the name of the body was.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Before we come to the Crisis Staff, was there a
7 change in the presidency in the Municipal Assembly as such?
8 A. Yes, there was a change in the sense that the president of the
9 assembly as is clear from the decisions and the Official Gazette, this
10 is -- should be easy to check who the president or the vice-president were
11 at that time.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you be so kind and tell us, to the best of
13 your own recollection, and give us the names.
14 A. Mr. Stakic was the president of the assembly, Milomir Stakic. And
15 his deputy, vice-president, Dragan Savanovic.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then I don't -- because I don't know what
17 happened at that time, I therefore want to ask you once again to tell us
18 in context what happened then on or about the 30th of April 1992, and the
19 development then. You mentioned the word "Crisis Staff." Can you then
20 tell us in context what happened, were there new organs? Was there a new
21 division or distribution of labour? Were there additional organs in
22 Prijedor? And please, tell us the entire development, your own experience
23 until the end of your work in the Municipal Assembly, in context, please.
24 A. Sometime between April and May, the change of the president of the
25 assembly and the president of the municipality took place. How should I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 call it? Perhaps I can't find a fitting description now. At any rate,
2 Mr. Stakic took over the position of Mr. Cehajic. What preceded this,
3 because it is a generally known fact that there had been problems
4 concerning the collaboration for the sake of everyone, I'm referring to
5 those who had elected the assembly.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please, could you continue. You mentioned now
7 the change in the presidency. Was there an ongoing work of the assembly,
8 work -- working as usual, we'll say, that you said seated, as you
9 mentioned beforehand, beside the president in the assembly?
10 A. The assembly itself continued to exist, but its members were
11 different. That means that this assembly was no longer composed of
12 deputies of the SDA and the HDZ, as far as I can remember. The assembly
13 continued to operate in the same or similar way as before until the Crisis
14 Staff took over the functions of the assembly. The Crisis Staff, as we
15 used to call it, a "mini assembly" that was put together according to a
16 decision by the Crisis Staff. Until the beginning of 1991, this was
17 referred to in the statute as "war presidency."
18 MR. LUKIC: I'm again, sorry --
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: On the transcript it reads "1991." I
20 think -- may it be correct that you want to say 1992?
21 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, sorry, but I have to make another
22 objection concerning --
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
24 MR. LUKIC: -- Translation.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, please.
1 MR. LUKIC: Because it says that there were -- that "the Crisis
2 Staff is" -- I'm sorry. It says that it was a mini assembly that was put
3 together according to a decision by the Crisis Staff. It's line 11, 12,
4 13. But the witness didn't say "the decision by the Crisis Staff." One
5 body cannot compose itself. So if you can clarify this with the witness.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry. I think time for clarification is when
7 it's for you to put questions to the witness. Until then, we have to
8 rely --
9 MR. LUKIC: But it's a translation problem; it's not a problem
10 with the witness.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we ask the booth, was there anything
12 misunderstood, or possibly misunderstood?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honour, we have problems understanding this
14 witness sometimes, so we are really not sure. This is what we heard, but
15 it may not be correct.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We just heard that it's difficult for our
17 interpreters sometimes to follow you. Maybe it's better to come closer to
18 the microphone.
19 You said earlier when you discussed -- may I ask the same question
20 once again. It was on the development 1991, 1992, the development from
21 the Municipal Assembly to Crisis Staff, and then you mentioned the word
22 "mini assembly." Could you please once again in the context tell us this
24 A. The statute of the assembly, and I'm also referring to the statute
25 that was used in 1991 and continued to be used and applied, this statute
1 contained a chapter which said that in cases where extraordinary
2 circumstances arose, so the assembly could not meet regularly, the role of
3 the assembly would be assumed by the war presidency. This provision was
4 amended. There was an amendment to the statute concerning that particular
5 part of the statute.
6 There was a decision by the assembly which said that that was the
7 Crisis Staff. The composition of the Crisis Staff was envisaged,
8 regulated, by this decision on amendments to the statute as well as the
9 competencies of the Crisis Staff. Within the scope of its competencies
10 were the same things that had been dealt with in the period preceding
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Before going into any further details,
13 especially of your own work, could you please go on telling what happened
14 after this, yes, transferral of the competencies to the Crisis Staff.
15 What happened then? What was important for you and from your perspective
16 in the Municipal Assembly? Please tell us in context, until you finalised
17 your work with this Municipal Assembly.
18 A. During that period, I think it was the month of May, that's the
19 date that the decision bears, the decision on amendments to the statute,
20 the function of the assembly was taken over by the Crisis Staff. And it
21 performed this function on the premises of the Municipal Assembly, the
22 administration. That way it was possible to perform this function with
23 less people, and those were representatives of administration bodies. The
24 Crisis Staff decided on proposals of administration bodies for decisions,
25 conclusions, and solutions to be made. Perhaps the difference lay in the
1 fact that draft decisions, proposals for decisions, were not drawn up in
2 the form of work material, working material, and forwarded to the members
3 of the staff. At least at the beginning, that's how it was.
4 Rather, officials and decision-making officials of the municipal
5 bodies provided verbal, oral, explanations at the -- during the sessions
6 of the staff which was recorded. There was a record made of that, and the
7 minutes were taken by hand. It was not -- the sessions were not tape
8 recorded, and no shorthand version of the meetings were made. Of course,
9 copies were made of this record, as I've said had been done also before.
10 First it was typewritten, and then it was copied, and then it was further
11 processed in the sense that these decisions were processed individually.
12 And that was then distributed through the same channels as before. First,
13 delivery to the relevant organs; then the stamping; and then the signing.
14 All these jobs were within the competence of the administration
15 bodies. I'll give you an example. The administration body in charge of
16 education and health, we're talking about primary and secondary schools,
17 when the director of this body was appointed, proposals would be given by
18 the officials of that particular body. The Crisis Staff would discuss the
19 proposal and proclaim its position concerning the appointment of the
20 director. And then a decision was drafted concerning the appointment of
21 director. This decision would then be forwarded to the school in question
22 which had its own secretary, its own services, who would then forward this
23 decision to all the relevant places where the decision needed to be
25 The same applied to the tax bodies, urban planning, traffic, and
1 so on -- transport, and so on and so forth.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You mentioned the word "Crisis Staff" several
3 times. Were you aware of the notion of "crisis committee" as well?
4 A. No.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But once again, let's try to go through your
6 work and how it continued. We are still with April, May 1992. Can you
7 please tell us how long did you work for -- on behalf or for the Municipal
9 A. Until February 1993.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And what happened in the meantime, say, from
11 April, May 1992 until February 1993? Can you please, once again in
12 context, try to give us some insight on the development in the Municipal
13 Assembly at that time?
14 A. The amendment to the statute that I have referred to, the part of
15 it that refers to the Crisis Staff, among other things contained a list of
16 persons who were members of the Crisis Staff. In my capacity as secretary
17 of the assembly, I was not a member of this Crisis Staff. The technical
18 aspect of the job of the Crisis Staff was performed by qualified people
19 who were the technical service of the assembly. Why? Because, as I've
20 already said, the role of the assembly was taken over by the Staff. I
21 didn't even attend any sessions of the Crisis Staff except for a number of
22 occasions when I was invited. That is -- I can't remember which sessions
23 I did attend and which I did not.
24 To the best of my recollection, I think it was in June, there was
25 a session of the regular assembly.
1 MR. LUKIC: I object, Your Honour, again on the translation. The
2 witness didn't say "June" but "July".
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask, did you want to say June or July? On
4 the transcript --
5 A. July, July. Yes, as far as I can remember, it was July.
6 The regular assembly, perhaps it could have been convened at an
7 earlier stage, but the need arose, so it was convened in July. Aside from
8 the other issues discussed, it also verified the jobs, the tasks, that had
9 been performed by the Crisis Staff during its operation. What I want to
10 say is that the assembly confirmed the decisions, conclusions, adopted by
11 the Crisis Staff. That is what I refer to as the "mini assembly."
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right. But when there was a session of the big
13 assembly opposed to the as you call it mini assembly, you once again
14 attended this assembly meeting in order to assist the president. Correct?
15 A. In that session, I can't remember attending that session. But I
16 suppose so. Perhaps I have forgotten. Yes, I suppose I was to attend
17 that meeting in my capacity as secretary of the assembly. But I'm not
18 sure whether I did attend or not. I can't remember.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We'll come back to these details later. Just to
20 follow up, what happened then later? Were there regular meetings of the
21 Municipal Assembly, following July?
22 A. The assembly continued to operate according to need during the
23 period of my presence there. In 1993, I left the assembly and returned to
24 my previous employer. I think it was late March -- early March or late
25 February, I'm talking about the last session I attended.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was there, once again, another change in the
2 presidency during this period of time?
3 A. There was a change. The change took place exactly when I left the
4 assembly. I think that's when the change took place, the change of the
5 secretary. I do not know whether at that session in early March or late
6 February, whether that's when the new president was appointed or any other
7 appointments or perhaps, should I say vice-president of the assembly.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can you give us the names of the new president
9 and vice-president.
10 A. As far as I can remember, Dusan Kurnoga was the president.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And what were the reasons for this change, to
12 the best of your recollection?
13 A. The reasons were probably internal reasons within the assembly,
14 reasons among the deputies. Those must have been the reasons that led to
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So that there is no misunderstanding, it was a
17 change in the presidency from Dr. Stakic to Dusan Kurnoga. Correct?
18 A. Yes, as far as I can remember, that's correct. And Radanovic
19 became the vice-president. His nickname was Cigo. I can't remember his
20 first name now.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. We have to make a break now. For
22 your better understanding, it's necessary to have this break in order to
23 facilitate especially the life of our interpreters, and we'll have a break
24 until 2.30. Thank you.
25 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.05 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.34 p.m.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon. Please be seated.
3 Mr. Baltic, before the break, we learned that you left the same
4 time when Dr. Karadzic was substituted by another president, and we had
5 also another vice-president. You quoted the names.
6 Can you give us the reasons for this change, please.
7 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, sorry. It might confuse the witness.
8 You said Dr. Karadzic.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry. Thank you for this. Dr. Stakic, of
11 A. My departure and the time when I left the assembly has nothing to
12 do with Mr. Stakic or Mr. Karadzic, as you said. Just an aside. The
13 reason of my departure was purely private and personal nature. At the
14 beginning, I believe I emphasised the fact that the work of a secretary of
15 this kind did not really suit me as a lawyer by profession because I
16 couldn't prove myself as a lawyer by doing this type of work. I'm not
17 saying that it was humiliating, nothing of that sort; it was just a
18 temporary solution for me. In view of the fact that there were problems
19 in the work of the deputies, it was very difficult to listen to them and
20 to follow and monitor their work. I had already thought of trying to find
21 another job; however, circumstances being as they were, this was very
23 These conflicts lasted for a while, for at least several months.
24 I'm -- it's not really conflicts -- there were disagreements, differences
25 amongst the deputies. But most of these differences were of a personal
1 nature. Let me tell you what I'm referring to. Certain people had
2 influential positions, held influential offices, and through the
3 performance of their work, they were able to exert certain amount of
4 influence over the way the resources were spent, in particular I'm
5 referring to the humanitarian aid which was not a negligible issue, after
6 all. There were attempts on the part of certain people to obstruct the
7 work, generally speaking. And that is the reason why certain individuals
8 wanted the top official to be replaced by a different set of individuals.
9 Again, it was all the issue of personal interests. On one, two, or
10 perhaps more occasions, it proved -- it turned out that it was no longer
11 possible for the assembly to continue functioning normally. And that was
12 the reason why I wanted to abandon my position there. I no longer wanted
13 to listen to their useless discussions.
14 This happened at the time when certain individuals decided to
15 abandon their positions. I personally wanted to get rid of that because
16 it was a very thankless position in terms of cooperation with both
17 factions. To my regret, I was returned to my original employer which at
18 the time was just another bankrupt company. Others were given opportunity
19 to find something better. I did not wish to beg anyone for anything and I
20 returned, as I said, to my original company where I used to work.
21 So that would more or less constitute the reason for my departure,
22 my personal dissatisfaction, lack of understanding amongst the deputies,
23 and the employees of the assembly generally speaking and so on and so
24 forth. My departure, once again, had nothing to do with the fact that one
25 set of individuals were leaving and others were coming to take their
1 places. And this new set did not carry on in the same manner.
2 I believe that this is enough as an explanation as to how my
3 departure coincided with the departure of certain deputies and officials.
4 People thought that I was sitting on the fence, but I was really neither
5 here nor there. And I found myself left to my devices. I had to fend for
6 myself as best I could. I believe that this has provided you with a
7 sufficient explanation.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You just mentioned "individuals were leaving."
9 To be concrete and to give these individuals names, can you tell us
10 something about the reasons why Dr. Stakic left? Did he leave
11 voluntarily, or was he dismissed?
12 A. Yes, I can tell you that the conflict, that is, a
13 misunderstanding, that occurred between Mr. Stakic and an elderly
14 gentleman there, an elderly deputy, senior deputy, to the assembly, Srdjo
15 Garaca [phoen]. Srdjo Garaca [phoen] insisted that Stakic should no
16 longer be the president for the materialistic reasons. There were no
17 other reasons whatsoever. It all had to do with the way the resources,
18 including the humanitarian aid, were distributed and allocated. The
19 situation lasted for a while. I cannot tell you exactly how long, but I'm
20 sure it was long enough. The work of the assembly was blocked. The
21 assembly was in a deadlock. I remember that there was a break for lunch,
22 like the one we had here today, and following this lunch break, Mr. Stakic
23 resigned. As I said, the reasons were purely personal. I'm sure that
24 there were probably people who thought -- who believed that after this
25 change had taken place, they would be able to exert more influence over
1 the course of the events to serve their interests. I was sickened by all
2 this. And I realised that I should no longer be part of that, part of all
3 this nonsense. And that was enough for me to say goodbye to the assembly.
4 As to who other individuals were, well, it soon turned out who
5 they were. There was Momcilo Radanovic, deputy president of the assembly,
6 and others. But I really tried not to think about it for a while, and
7 after all, it was ten years ago, and I managed to forget a certain number
8 of things including probably the important ones. As I said, it was Cigo
9 Radanovic who became the deputy president after the change, and Dusan
10 Kurnoga became the president after Mr. Stakic. Of course this entailed
11 obviously the president of the executive and the deputy president of the
12 executive board. So this is how it happened. I left, and moreover, I
13 stopped following the work of the assembly in general because it was no
14 longer of any use to me. It only -- it could have only caused me
15 additional headaches.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Easy to understand. Can we please try once
17 again to clarify some notions we addressed this morning already. Please
18 correct me if I misunderstood you. First, there was a Municipal Assembly.
19 Then we had a Crisis Staff. Then you told us about a meeting of the
20 Municipal Assembly confirming or endorsing some decisions of the Crisis
21 Staff. Were there held any more meetings of the Crisis Staff after this
22 meeting, once again, of the Municipal Assembly?
23 A. If I understand your question correctly, you want to know whether
24 after the process of confirmation of all of the decisions adopted by the
25 Crisis Staff during the period of time when the Crisis Staff was in charge
1 of adopting such decisions, whether after that period of time the Crisis
2 Staff continued with its work. Well, it could no longer operate. It was
3 no longer legal because according to the statute, in times when Municipal
4 Assembly was not able to convene, then the Crisis Staff would become
5 operational. However, once the conditions are met for the assembly to
6 convene and work, then the Crisis Staff no longer functioned. So that's
7 how the Municipal Assembly convened on -- I don't remember the exact date,
8 but it was in the month of July. And it was presented with the work of
9 the Crisis Staff. Everything was there on paper, all of the decisions and
10 the conclusions that had been adopted by the Crisis Staff. All these were
11 analysed and discussed by the Municipal Assembly and eventually
12 confirmed -- rather, adopted by the assembly as something legal and
13 legitimate. So I believe this is clear.
14 After this session of the assembly, it was no longer -- I mean, it
15 was not possible for two organs of this kind to function simultaneously.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then just once again, for clarification, what
17 was the function and when did it actually act of the so-called war
19 A. I'm afraid that this is the third time that I'm trying to make
20 myself clear. The war presidency or the Crisis Staff we can call it, it's
21 one and the same body with two different titles, so that body performed
22 the work which would have normally been performed by the Municipal
23 Assembly. The Municipal Assembly was left with the work of various
24 administrative bodies, various departments. They also dealt with various
25 private initiatives, proposals given by the citizens and so on and so
1 forth. Let me give you an example. There was a problem with the
2 distribution of fuel at the time. Because in those days, it was possible
3 for certain individuals to come to the petrol station and take as much
4 fuel as they wanted without paying for it. And of course, this irritated
5 the population, so there was a private proposal, private initiative of
6 that kind, which was presented to the assembly. And it was decided that
7 the distribution of petrol -- of oil and oil products could not be done
8 everywhere. And this was the responsibility of the organ in charge of
9 economy and finances. So this was dealt with by that particular
10 department. And the person in charge of this department was authorised to
11 give specific permissions as to the quantity of fuel that could be issued
12 to such and such individuals or companies.
13 So those were the very specific problems that were dealt with very
14 specific departments of the Municipal Assembly. This was just one example
15 which I believe illustrates sufficiently enough the kind of work that was
16 performed by other organs. They didn't do anything that would have fallen
17 outside the scope of their normal duties.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You will understand that --
19 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honour, objection to the translation.
20 Page 66 line 2 and line 10, I don't know why, but the witness said "Crisis
21 Staff" and it's translated "Municipal Assembly". The first time
22 "assembly" and the second time "Municipal Assembly". Could you clarify
23 this with the witness please?
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you could give me the line please, once
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. LUKIC: Page 66, line 2, and line 10.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, I just wanted to ask you about -- you
3 mentioned that "this irritated the population, so there was a private
4 proposal, private initiative, of that kind which was presented to the
5 assembly". Is it correct that it was presented to the assembly?
6 A. If I may explain, this was general knowledge. I mean, we all knew
7 that these things happened. And if something was so publicly known, then
8 of course the issue became known to the department in charge. So it was
9 perfectly normal for the person who was in charge of that specific
10 department, for instance, in this case, the person in charge of economy
11 and finances, to become aware of that. So a solution needed to be found.
12 I don't know whether he personally or in cooperation with his associates
13 was in a position to propose, to make an adequate proposal to the
14 executive body which then forwarded the issue to the Crisis Staff. The
15 issue -- the idea, of course, in this case was to put a stop to this
16 practice which eventually resulted in an adequate decision that this
17 distribution of oil products could only take place at one particular
18 location. A relevant document was also produced which was signed by the
19 person in charge of these affairs.
20 So eventually there was only one distribution point for oil and
21 oil products in the area. The idea was to avoid having various kinds of
22 individuals going to the petrol station and obtaining fuel for their
23 personal needs. I believe that was the idea behind this practice. I
24 believe this is clear now.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Before coming to the second question by the
1 Defence counsel as regards interpretation, you will understand that I'm
2 eager to know who were these certain individuals who had the possibility
3 to come to petrol stations and "take as much fuel as they wanted to
4 without paying for it."
5 A. Who were they? It's difficult for me at this point to remember
6 who these specific individuals were. But for instance if someone was
7 driving someone, a municipal official or someone else in charge, they
8 would go to the petrol station, and then they said: "Well, I need fuel
9 for this person." And they would present him with a piece of paper, and
10 then sign this paper. I mean, I would have never taken such
11 responsibility of taking fuel without appropriate papers. So a
12 regulations had to be passed, a regulation had to be adopted to avoid this
13 type of behaviour in the future.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did this possibility of a very special kind of
15 self-service exist already before the 30th of April, 1992?
16 A. Well, those were very difficult times. They were difficult
17 because the economy was already functioning under very difficult
18 circumstances. Expenses had to be cut down in view of the general
19 circumstances. The whole economy had to be rationalised, and this was the
20 idea behind this decision as well. After that, things functioned normally
21 more or less.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: My question was, was there a change before the,
23 as we call it here in the courtroom unanimously "the takeover" and after
24 the takeover as regards -- you gave on your own initiative these examples,
25 and therefore I wanted to come back to this example. Was this a new
1 problem, this self-service, after the takeover?
2 A. If I understand you correctly, it was not my initiative. It was a
3 generally known fact that we were short of all sorts of supplies, not
4 merely oil and oil products. It was in all the different areas that
5 serious work needed to be done to stop this trend. And even earlier,
6 there were such cases where fuel was allocated according to the purposes
7 it was to be used for. I remember the case of agriculture. It was said
8 that priority needed to be given as far as the use of fuel was concerned
9 to those dealing with agriculture, and there had to be some sort of
10 monitoring and control. And that in certain other areas where it turned
11 out that more fuel was being used up than seemed necessary, it was said
12 that vehicles should be used less. And what it boiled down to eventually
13 was that those who wanted could be allocated a certain amount of petrol.
14 And if I space this out, my use of fuel over a certain period, after that
15 I was no longer able to obtain any more petrol. They would just put a
16 lock on my car and I had to move about in whichever way I could.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Once again, and please answer with yes or no:
18 Was this problem of self-service by certain individuals, as you called it,
19 a problem, a special or specific problem, for the period of time after the
20 30th of April? Yes or no.
21 A. The problem was present before also. But it wasn't stopped.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's leave it at this point in time with this
23 answer. We may come back to this on the basis of maybe a document. So we
24 were on our avenue to clarify some notions. And I think we succeeded to a
25 certain extent.
1 Was the Prijedor Municipal Assembly at any point in time renamed?
2 A. As far as I know, it was always called the Municipal Assembly.
3 Only the period that we referred to, it was the Crisis Staff that made
4 decisions on behalf of the Municipal Assembly. And we explained what
5 exactly this Crisis Staff was and how it worked.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you ever heard about a Serbian Republic of
7 Krajina, Autonomous Region, Prijedor Municipal Assembly?
8 A. Municipal Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Prijedor as far as
9 I know never existed. As far as the autonomous republic, I think that's
10 what you said, of Krajina, yes, I did hear about that, but let me put it
11 this way: I'm not sure it affected the work of the assembly in any way
12 because I think the assembly always occupied itself with the jobs entailed
13 in the current laws. And it was always trying to deal with the problems
14 on hand of the -- that the administrative bodies had to deal with. It
15 tried to stick to the laws that had been in place before. If there were
16 any problems with taxes and with tax collection, what was the most
17 interesting municipal organ for this was the organ dealing with the
18 collection of taxes. There were problems at that point, and we were
19 trying to improve, to find new ways to improve the functioning of this, of
20 the collection of taxes, for the collection to be carried out. We were
21 looking for a possibility to collect the taxes due by citizens, and some
22 citizens were simply evading this.
23 So it was requested to have a decision on how exactly to collect.
24 There were a number of very drastic cases where this needed doing.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I just interrupt you. You may know, your
1 time and also our time is limited, and I would kindly ask you to
2 concentrate on the questions. And I just had asked you whether you ever
3 heard about a Serbian Republic Krajina, autonomous region.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm very sorry. I think it's the way
5 Your Honour is putting it. It's actually the Serbian Republic of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Autonomous Region of Krajina.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry. Sorry. I am quoting from a document. I
8 have a document, Serbian Republic Krajina, Autonomous Region, Prijedor
9 Municipal Assembly. Maybe it's the wrong translation. To facilitate
10 this, and to avoid any misunderstandings, may the usher please present
11 Exhibit S262 on the ELMO.
12 Can we please zoom to the top of the page. Higher, higher. That
13 we can read -- yes. Now it's fine. If you could please have a look on
14 the apparatus beside you, can you see the document?
15 A. Yes, I do. Dated the 8th of September, 1992, upper left corner,
16 it reads: "Serbian Republic, Autonomous Region of Krajina, Municipal
17 Assembly of Prijedor, committee for appointments and nominations. Number
18 01-11-333/92. Date: The 8th of September, 1992."
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you ever seen such or similar documents?
20 A. No. I've had no opportunity to see exactly this sort of document,
21 but I can't say that the concept of the Autonomous Region of Krajina is
22 unfamiliar to me. In my opinion, it was neither a republic nor could it
23 pass regulations the way a republic could -- regulations that could be
24 binding for anyone. And I don't know how they would have been binding for
25 the municipal organs since the municipal organs were guided by material
1 provisions from their own field, sphere of competence. So as a republic,
2 it seems impossible that there would be enough time to deal with all the
3 legal issues in all the different spheres of life and to provide guidance
4 and regulations and to have these as prescriptions that -- provisions,
5 legal provisions that would be above any other legal provisions. So I do
6 not have any precise insight into the way it worked, but I cannot claim
7 that I have never heard the name "Autonomous Region of Krajina" used, no.
8 I don't know who the leader of this Autonomous Region of Krajina was.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can we move to the end of the text, please.
10 What can we read there?
11 A. Here, in the lower right corner, it reads: "President of the
12 committee, Dragan Savanovic" personally. This was during the period of
13 the assembly's work. He was the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly.
14 How he got to sign this, I have no idea. In the upper left corner where
15 it says "Prijedor" and then "subject: opinion concerning the appointment
16 of officials," someone is requesting something. I really don't know what
17 this is about.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Help us, please, with this: Following the name
19 on the bottom line, we find SR in Cyrillic with two dots. What does this
20 mean, "SR"?
21 A. That means "personally," in his own hand. This abbreviation is
22 used when documents are published in the Official Gazette. So you don't
23 publish their acts that had actually been signed but only those which had
24 gone through the procedure and those that had gone down in the minutes.
25 So only that is published in the Official Gazette. Where this came from,
1 I really can't tell you because if it was in the Municipal Assembly, then
2 it is clear that a decision like this must have, in the lower right
3 corner, the president of the assembly and not the vice-president. And
4 this is the president of the committee. So I think this doesn't even
5 deserve to be published in the Official Gazette. This is just a document
6 which I have no idea how it -- where it came from. Maybe it came from
7 Dragan Savanovic directly. If he was in charge of education, if he had
8 his tasks in that field, whether this is how he went about his business, I
9 don't know how. Maybe he was convinced that this was the way to do it and
10 he never -- it never occurred to him to consult anyone.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. When we are just with this SR, may I
12 kindly ask the usher to put on the ELMO another document -- no, I'll give
13 it to you. Leave it on the ELMO, this document. Just one other document
14 with the ERN number 0014153. It's included in the list of colour copies.
15 And may this be, please, put on the ELMO so that we can see the signature.
16 Could you please help us with this. Here, we don't see SR, but
17 something different. Could you please -- I can't read it on my screen.
18 What you can see and identify. Possibly also in this case it's more
19 helpful to look on the document on the apparatus beside you.
20 A. Can you blow this up for me, please. I can't see anything.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So please, turn around to the apparatus, and
22 indicate there --
23 A. If you can...
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I'm only interested now in this SR or however it
25 reads. "Za." What's the meaning of this as opposed to SR?
1 A. This is not really clearly legible. But in the first line, the
2 first word I don't even know what it means, and underneath, it reads
3 "Municipal Assembly." Whether the word above that is president, I have
4 no idea. It's not very clear. And as for this, Milomir Stakic, well,
5 okay, could be. This could indeed be his name and surname during his
6 stint as a president. And then someone wrote "za" here which means that
7 someone else signed on behalf of him. And now how someone could have
8 signed in his name on behalf of him with no permission, no authorisation,
9 perhaps if he wasn't there. So if there is a vice-president standing in
10 for the president during prolonged absences, perhaps that can be the case.
11 But if the president is just gone for a short while and this other person,
12 the vice-president, seizes the opportunity saying "I'm the vice-president,
13 I can go about this any way I like," and just sign the document and the
14 lower-ranking official puts a stamp on it because he has to, he is made
15 to, and then it's supposed to be a binding document. But this here, we
16 should see -- study exactly how it was done, whether it was done during a
17 prolonged absence of the president so he was nowhere to be found to sign
18 this document. I really don't know. That's my opinion.
19 And as far as the word "za," meaning for, that means for the
20 president signed by the vice-president. Whether this is his signature or
21 not, Savanovic's signature, I don't know. I can't see who signed this.
22 What it says is: "Za, Dr. Milomir Stakic." For Dr. Milomir Stakic, and
23 then a signature. I don't know. I couldn't really say. It seems rather
24 illegible. You can't see it clearly. I don't know this person who signed
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I don't want to go into details of this concrete
2 signature. Just opposed to this za, that we are clear and in line with
3 what we are discussing.
4 May we now turn, please, to the previous document which was signed
5 "SR." And then turn to page 2, if you could, please, read page 2.
6 Please, also once again on the apparatus, it will be easier for you to
7 read. It's not readable, I'm afraid.
8 Can you see your own name?
9 A. Kreca [phoen], I can't see my name here.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can you read the headline, please.
11 A. "List of officials nominated by the Municipal Assembly on the 16th
12 of April, 1992, and nominated by other relevant authorities -- appointed
13 by other relevant authorities."
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we now turn to the next page, please.
15 A. Yes. I see my name under number 1, my first and last name, and
16 this is related to, as you can see, the list of officials appointed by the
17 Municipal Assembly. And then number 1, Dr. Milomir Stakic, Kovacevic,
18 Savanovic, Baltic as the secretary of the Municipal Assembly, the 7th of
19 January, 1992.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then, at the end, what does it -- no, no.
21 In the same line, one can read: "Baltic" and then secretary. Correct?
22 And then --
23 A. "Baltic, Dusan, secretary of the Municipal Assembly. Appointed on
24 the 7th of January, 1992 for a period of up to four years." I think
25 that's clear.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This should be a clarification opposed to the
2 English translation we have available.
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't know that his translation is better.
4 Theirs is --
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No, I think we should listen what the witness
6 has to tell us. And I think this is a more reliable source, and if there
7 is a translation problem, we have to come back to this, only that we know
8 that there is a problem.
9 Now, we can see 7 January, 1992. For a period up to four years,
10 as you mentioned. Now, let's turn to page 1 of the same document once
11 again. Can't we see here that this was a document dated 8 September,
12 1992? And how is it possible to have an appointment at this point in time
13 for January 1992?
14 A. I understand. I can't explain this, nor am I familiar with this,
15 that after a certain period of time has elapsed, the date. I can see
16 here, the 8th of September, 1992. It reads: "Serbian Republic," that is,
17 Serbian Democratic Party, BH, municipal board of Prijedor, Prijedor. And
18 again, this has nothing to do with me because I am not a member of the
19 SDS. It's possible that this was the case, but how, I really couldn't
21 The 8th of September, 1992.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To the best of your recollection, was there --
23 A. This document --
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I only heard "this document." Please proceed.
25 A. Your observation is quite correct. I can't explain to myself how
1 in this period, in September 1992, there was a document like this to be
2 signed here underneath. In the lower left corner, it says: "President of
3 the committee." I am not familiar that there were any proposals
4 concerning myself, nor did I attend any meeting, if we're talking about
5 SDS meetings, because I never attended those and I was not a member. But
6 I can say that I always worked as secretary, and I can't comment why there
7 was a very vivid flow of different people in the positions of president
8 and vice-president of the assembly. If someone else proposed me for any
9 of those positions, that was without informing me. I was just a simple
10 official the same as 250 other people who were going about their jobs.
11 They were clerks. And no one let those positions because the president
12 and -- the positions and president and vice-president were changed.
13 There were 250 or 300 working in the municipal administration, we
14 couldn't just say,"okay, we'll quit work today and" allow ourselves to be
15 thrown out into the street and just go and look for a different job.
16 People in those positions, in the positions of clerks, no one asks them
17 anything. They were not influential. I could see this in my own case. I
18 was just a simple clerk. I had several people who did this type of work
19 with me, the work of a clerk. And how politics affected this, we really
20 didn't go very deep in a that.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I just wanted to clarify on the basis of this
22 document whether or not either in September 1992 or in January 1992, there
23 was some change as to the working conditions or the employer? Did you, to
24 the best of your recollection, remember any such change, be it in
25 September or January?
1 A. In September, in my opinion, it would have been impossible that
2 anything like that should have occurred. I have no information to that
3 effect. As far as January is concerned, on the basis of my presence
4 there, it was not a body of administration. Dragan Savanovic was supposed
5 to sign this, but not as the vice-president of the assembly but as an SDS
6 member which was completely unrelated to the work of the administrative
7 organs. His position in the SDS would not have entitled him to work in
8 any sense with administrative bodies. So it strikes me as strange I see
9 my own name written here, but I was secretary between January 1991 and
10 March 1993, and I have already given you my reasons why I accepted this
11 position and why I left eventually.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The purpose of this line of questions was indeed
13 whether or not there was a change and whether, and please answer this last
14 question on this issue, you got a new contract in 1992 substituting an
15 earlier contract.
16 A. I never got any contract. My employment as a secretary began in
17 January 1991. And throughout that period of time, I was the secretary of
18 the Municipal Assembly. As for the changes of the president and the
19 vice-president, as you can see I recorded -- I never received any formal
20 decision, any signed decision, to that effect. I don't know whether it
21 exists. I would like to see it.
22 Throughout those months, January, February, and up until the end
23 of 1992, I performed the duties of the secretary, as I explained. I mean,
24 I described the role of the secretary.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Previous translation continues]... May we now
1 turn once again to another issue.
2 In the Municipal Assembly, was there any kind of dress code?
3 A. As far as I know, I always wore civilian -- a civilian suit. I
4 didn't have any weapon, nor did I have any uniform. I was dressed the
5 same way as I'm dressed today except that I had probably a different
6 colour suit. I don't remember what colour it was. But it was a civilian
7 suit. And this is how I dressed for work. I didn't live very far from my
8 place of work, some three or four hundred metres away. Sometimes I would
9 go by car, my personal car. But most of the time, I went to work on foot.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You mentioned earlier as to the fact that you
11 were not a member of the Crisis Staff, you attended in general not these
12 meetings. But here and then, you had access to these meetings. Did you
13 see the persons present there in uniform?
14 A. While I was there, no, I don't remember seeing anyone wearing a
15 uniform. It may have happened at the times when certain individual
16 officials did wear a uniform. But not in their official civilian
17 capacity. They didn't wear uniform when they went to work. Whether they
18 wore a uniform outside the municipality, that's their business. Or if
19 they went to a different municipality, I don't know. I didn't have an
20 opportunity to see that.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's try to be more concrete. Who were the
22 members of the Crisis Staff?
23 A. I don't think that it is in dispute. You probably have documents
24 which specifically enumerate people who were by virtue of their function
25 members of the Crisis Staff. I think that that was the president of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Municipal Assembly, the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly, and all
2 leaders or individuals in charge of specific departments. This regulation
3 was in place even before the war, and I believe that such a regulation
4 applies even today. It probably -- the body in question has a probably
5 different name. It's no longer a Crisis Staff, but I think that those
6 would have been the people who by virtue of their functions were members
7 of the Crisis Staff. At least, this is how it was in 1991.
8 At that time, the body was called the war presidency, and, well,
9 we didn't like the name of the body because it sounded too socialist or
10 communist, and that's why we changed the name. But we also got the idea
11 from the neighbouring countries, from Croatia, for instance. Where the
12 idea came from originally, I don't know. Why the body was eventually
13 called the Crisis Staff, I don't know.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But let's concentrate on those persons you call
15 until now only individuals. There are, in this procedure, contested
16 documents and noncontested documents. And therefore, it's to a certain
17 extent important to know from you, to the best of your recollection, who
18 in person were actually members of the Crisis Staff?
19 A. This is the third or the fourth time that I have to repeat myself.
20 I don't know how come the matter is still unclear, that is, that the
21 members of the war presidency or the Crisis Staff were people who occupied
22 certain positions. The same rule applied during the period preceding
23 1990. But before that time, the regulation was never applied in practice,
24 that is, that the function of the assembly was taken over in extraordinary
25 circumstances, that is, if the deputies were unable to meet, if the
1 assembly was unable to convene, then this regulation would be applied.
2 That is, those who were able to convene would convene and would debate the
3 same matters which would have normally been debated by the Municipal
4 Assembly. So that group of people -- that staff would be then in charge
5 of that.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Previous translation continues]... Call the
7 Crisis Staff mini assembly. The only thing I wanted to hear from you are
8 what are the names of this mini assembly, participants in this mini
9 assembly you called the Crisis Staff, only the names without any
10 additional comments.
11 A. You should look at the decision on the establishment of the -- on
12 the functioning of the Crisis Staff.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to repeat the
14 first sentence of his answer.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to interrupt you, I asked you to the best
16 of your recollection, what are the names of the members of the Crisis
17 Staff. We are not interested in contested or not contested documents. We
18 are interested in what you experienced in 1992. And I'm quite sure you
19 know the names of these persons.
20 A. As I have already said, it was the people who had certain
21 functions who were members of the Crisis Staff. Therefore, the president
22 of the assembly, who at the time was Dr. Milomir Stakic; his deputy was
23 Dragan Savanovic; the president of the executive board, Kovacevic; his
24 deputy, Mr. Mandic; secretary for economic affairs, Mr. Travar. I don't
25 know who were the members of other organs. And also the persons in charge
1 of other departments. I don't know, for instance, who the person in
2 charge of town planning and land survey was. I don't know who those
3 people were at the time. I don't know who was the person in charge of the
4 revenue administration. There were many changes going on at the time. So
5 that's why I cannot remember who those people were. But it would have
6 been also the person in charge of the defence, which was also a municipal
7 body. That is, the body for national defence. That was that. And the
8 police, of course, which is also one of the municipal organs.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone for Judge
11 Schomburg, please.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Once again, because the interpreters didn't get
13 my question because my microphone wasn't on, could you please add the
14 names to the representative of the national defence and the police.
15 A. As far as the police is concerned, I think that it was
16 Mr. Drljaca. And as for the defence, it was Mr. Budimir. I'm not quite
17 sure, but I think that those were the ones because there were very
18 frequent changes in certain departments. So I'm not quite sure, but I --
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Once again the question is not whether you
20 attended a meeting, but have you ever been in a room when there was a
21 meeting of the Crisis Staff? Yes or no.
22 A. I would from time to time find myself in a room of that kind, but
23 I don't know what meetings those were. So I cannot remember at the moment
24 what it was. But again, those people who were in charge of specific
25 municipal organs, and we know exactly which organs these are, and it
1 should not be difficult to find the relevant information, that is, to find
2 out who was in charge of which specific municipal body. Because if I say
3 that so and so was a member, I may be wrong.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Previous translation continues]... That during
5 this period of time, it was not the case that, as it was earlier and how
6 it was later, than when there was such a meeting, you sat beside the
7 president of the Municipal Assembly.
8 A. I'm afraid I don't understand your question. Can you repeat it,
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Of course, I will. You mentioned earlier that
11 in a regular meeting of the Municipal Assembly, in your function as
12 secretary, you were seated beside the president. My question is now:
13 When there is a meeting, when there was a meeting of a Crisis Staff, did
14 it never happen that you were seated beside Dr. Stakic acting in his
15 capacity as president of the Municipal Assembly and at the same time
16 member of the Crisis Staff?
17 A. I have explained on several occasions that while I was the
18 secretary of the Municipal Assembly, while the assembly was still working,
19 that it was my duty to attend the assembly as provided for in the statute.
20 As for the decision on the Crisis Staff, I was not a member of the Crisis
21 Staff, nor did I have the obligation to attend the meetings of the Crisis
22 Staff. I didn't say that I didn't attend some of the meetings when
23 certain issues were being debated and decided upon because after all, it
24 was not my obligation to attend, nor was it important. But furthermore,
25 now I cannot remember what meeting it was, the one that I attended, but I
1 know that the sessions were recorded by the recording secretary who had to
2 attend such meetings. And that record, those minutes, would be typed out.
3 And after the minutes were typed out, then the individual decisions were
4 dealt with. Because at the bottom of each such document, each of the
5 minutes, you can see the name of the recording secretary. That is, who
6 took the minutes.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right. You mentioned that you attended one
8 meeting. Once again, the question: The people participating in this
9 meeting, did one or more of them wear uniforms at that point in time?
10 A. Let me repeat: At those meetings which I attended, those very
11 rare meetings, I cannot remember anyone wearing a uniform. If someone was
12 a member of the Crisis Staff, and that could be someone who, according to
13 the statute and until 1990, that was always a representative of the
14 military. That is, the person who was in charge of the military affairs
15 on behalf of the municipality, the person who is in charge, for instance,
16 of keeping adequate records concerning the military affairs. The records
17 of future conscripts, for instance. That was always the case, as it is
18 still today.
19 As to whether anyone ever wore a uniform at a meeting, it is
20 possible, but at this point, I really don't know, I cannot answer your
21 question. I don't remember seeing anyone. I mean, if the individual in
22 question was the representative of the military or the barracks, that is,
23 then he would probably wear a uniform if this was indeed his official
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did I understand you correctly this morning that
1 your office was located at the first floor of the building? It was the
2 same floor --
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: -- Where Dr. Stakic had his office. Correct?
5 A. On the same floor, but on the other side, maybe 10 metres away in
6 the opposite direction, that is, on the opposite side.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In your function as secretary, had you often to
8 go to the office of Dr. Stakic?
9 A. Never, except when I was invited. As I have already said, it was
10 never my custom to have coffee with anyone, neither during the work nor
11 after the work.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it can facilitate if --
13 A. What I'm trying to say is --
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: -- If you answer more directly. So on the basis
15 of your answer, you said: "Except when I was invited." Had you been
16 invited once or several times to his office?
17 A. As far as I remember, in 1991, up until February 1992, I was
18 sometimes invited --
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's please concentrate on the --
20 A. No, I was not. I was not invited because there was no need for us
21 to discuss the meetings in any way. I already explained to you that the
22 session of the Crisis Staff was convened in such a way that the president
23 or his deputy or their secretary, the lady secretary who was also working
24 on the switchboard, and I presume it was -- in most of the cases her who
25 issued the invitations for the people to attend the meeting because she
1 was working with the telephone. So those people would meet and then
2 decide on the issues that were on the agenda.
3 There were no legally unclear situations that any further
4 clarifications were needed. As I said, it was all very technical. There
5 were no written proposals of decisions who would be forwarded to the
6 interested parties by the technical service. But it was in this other
7 manner, I mean, I assume that it was the secretary who called people by
8 the phone, then they would attend the meeting. They would expose the
9 issue orally, and relevant notes or minutes were also taken.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I interrupt you. I think we should really
11 concentrate, and I think you understand my questions, on the question and
12 give us a short and precise answer.
13 My next question would be who occupied or sat in the office
14 opposed to the office of Dr. Stakic on the same corridor?
15 A. The offices of the president and the vice-president were on the
16 same side, on the south side of the building. Between these two offices,
17 there was the room occupied by the secretary, that is, the person who
18 communicated by telephone with both of them, and also with external users,
19 that is, citizens.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you ever seen the president or the
21 vice-president in these premises with uniform, wearing a uniform?
22 A. I said a moment ago that I never entered these premises if I was
23 not invited. And neither officially nor privately.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever see one of these persons in the
25 building, the municipal -- in the building of the Municipal Assembly in
2 A. Yes, I indicated a moment ago that one of the members of the
3 Crisis Staff was also the representative of the local barracks. I don't
4 know exactly what his name was, but that was his regular uniform.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I asked you quite clearly with respect to
6 Dr. Stakic and the vice-president. Did you ever see these two persons in
8 A. In their office, I cannot remember having seen them.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I asked you, in the building.
10 A. In the building. In the building. I cannot remember having seen
11 them in uniform because there was no need for anyone to don a uniform if
12 they were involved in their civilian work. Whether something of the kind
13 happened in the afternoon or when I was not there or if people went
14 outside the building, that is possible. But as I said, during that period
15 of time, during that crisis period, I did my best to see that the work is
16 done appropriately. I spent most of the time in my office, and after that
17 I would go home because I did not have a habit of frequenting cafes. I
18 led a normal family life.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Probably you can rethink during the next break
20 your answer. And I have to remind you that you are under solemn
22 But before we have the break, let me finally turn to the notions
23 where I started the line of questions. May I ask the usher to bring the
24 following document with the ERN number 00633803 on the ELMO, please. This
25 is 65 ter number 271.
1 Could you please be so kind and read out this document, because
2 it's extremely difficult for us with our limited knowledge --
3 A. "Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Autonomous Region of
4 Krajina, Prijedor Municipality. Technical services of the Municipal
5 Assembly. 30th of June, 1992, Simo Drljaca, public security station.
6 "The Crisis Staff of Prijedor Municipality has tasked these
7 services to draft the information on the implementation of these
8 conclusions, orders, decisions, and conclusions, reached and passed at its
9 sessions. In order for the technical services to draft this information,
10 it requested on writing on the 23rd of June, 1992, data concerning the
11 implementation of the said conclusions of the Crisis Staff of which you
12 are responsible and which were forwarded to you in a timely manner.
13 "As, however, you have to this day not delivered the information
14 required, you should do it by the 1st of July, 1992, so that the services
15 could carry out their duty.
16 "Secretary of the Municipal Assembly," then my first and last
17 name. If I can just keep this here for a moment longer, I would like to
18 see the upper part of the document again because there's a stamp here.
19 And it reads: "Secretary of the Municipal Assembly, Dusan Baltic." If I
20 can, please, just have the upper part again. Technical services.
21 You can raise it a little bit so I can see the text.
22 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is reading the text again.
23 A. Requested by who? The services, I don't know. On the 23rd of
24 June, 1992, to forward this information in writing, so I don't understand
25 this conclusion here with my name, my first and last name underneath. But
1 yes, I could say that in July, if this is about the drafting of all
2 conclusions, what the assembly, that is, the Crisis Staff, as I have said
3 before, did, that was verified in July which means verification. That in
4 that document, there should be a survey of all conclusions, decisions
5 passed by the Crisis Staff, and then that is forwarded to the assembly so
6 the assembly can review that.
7 And then the assembly should either say: "We confirm this" or "we
8 don't." But the technical services never monitored the implementations of
9 these decisions, absolutely never. If there was something decided and
10 regulated by a decision, technical services never monitored the
11 implementation of any such decisions. This could only be monitored by
12 those who it applied to. Whether this was a municipal organ, when a
13 decision applied to a municipal organ as we have stated before, because
14 proposals of conclusions and decisions were passed by municipal bodies.
15 And when those were passed, those organs would receive these decisions and
16 they worked on their implementation. So they were the only bodies who
17 were in a position to provide an explanation concerning the implementation
18 or nonimplementation. So every municipal organ was supposed to --
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Baltic. We will
20 come to this decision, indeed, we are aware of this, later.
21 Showing you this document, I only wanted to ask you whether you
22 would agree that from this document, we can infer that you yourself acted
23 under the headline "Serbian Republic Bosnia-Herzegovina, Autonomous Region
24 of Krajina, Prijedor Municipality, Municipal Assembly professional" -- or
25 as you said "technical services". Is this correct?
1 A. Again, I must repeat. As we're talking about the 30th of June,
2 1992, at that time, the assembly -- regular, now I can't say now whether
3 they had a session or not. But as far as I can remember they could meet
4 regularly and work regularly. And this is demonstrated by the document on
5 the verification and confirmation of all decisions taken by the Crisis
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to turn on the
8 microphone, at the very least.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We have to have the break now. And we will have
10 time enough to come to this document later. My only really very last
11 question is do you contest the authenticity of this document you have
12 before you?
13 A. I do pose this question, because I don't understand what the
14 purpose is and who is requesting what from whom? On the basis of this, it
15 would seem that the technical services were requiring from -- I have no
16 idea. I don't understand this text or the date, for that matter.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We are not interested in the text. We are
18 interested in the question: Did you sign this document? Yes or no.
19 A. I can't remember this document. All I can see is my name typed
20 there, secretary of the assembly, Dusan Baltic. And then the signature
21 which looks very much like mine. But truth to tell, this seems very
22 dubious to me.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It will probably assist you in thinking back to
24 some of your answers whether you have to make a correction or not. We
25 have a break now until 20 minutes to 5.00, and then proceed until 5.00.
1 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, excuse me. In our schedule, we have
2 today's hearing until 4.00, and I have some commitments with the newly
3 established bar association at 4.30.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This is true, I'm afraid, for all of us that we
5 have some commitments. But priority has to be given that all the parties
6 have the possibilities to put questions to the witness before us. And I
7 hope that I can conclude the line of questions today, and only this allows
8 us to hopefully to conclude tomorrow. As you all know on Friday, there is
9 no possibility, because no courtroom is available. And therefore, all
10 participants were kind enough, as I just learned, that we can proceed
11 until 5.30. And as to the enormous amount of costs connected with this
12 procedure, we have to proceed this way. The deposition taking stays
13 adjourned until 4.40.
14 --- Recess taken at 4.11 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 4.41 p.m.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
17 Mr. Baltic, let us now please turn to a more technical question.
18 You already indicated what was your duty as secretary. But now we want to
19 turn to the question, documents of the Prijedor Municipality. No doubt,
20 they were published. Can you tell us a little bit about the procedure of
21 publishing documents and who was responsible for sending documents to or
22 for the purpose of publication to either the Official Gazette or, as one
23 can see sometimes, Kozarski Vjesnik or Glas? Who was responsible for
24 sending out the documents for publication?
25 A. The distribution of documents, regardless of whether these
1 documents were adopted by the assembly or the Crisis Staff, was the
2 responsibility of the technical services; that's, the employees of the
3 technical services. This entailed having copies made of the minutes,
4 transcribing the minutes, and then drafting individual documents. This
5 was done by employees, typists, simple clerks and legal officers. Legal
6 officers were in charge of -- when copying from the minutes to the
7 decision, to check whether everything matched. As far as the stamping and
8 the signing of the documents was concerned, then usually simple clerks
9 were used to deliver these documents for stamping and signing. As far as
10 the publishing of these documents is concerned, during the period of the
11 operation of the assembly, as I've said before, every document that was
12 adopted was published in the Official Gazette formally --
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let us now turn to this very technical issue.
14 May the usher present on the ELMO Exhibit Number S69, just one example.
15 May we please see it in a way that we can see the entire document.
16 And please, Mr. Baltic, would you please be so kind, and once again, we
17 are not interested in the content of this document, but turn to the top of
18 the page, what we can read at the top of the page on the left-hand side?
19 A. Yes, I can see it.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you please be so kind and read it.
21 A. Reference is made on one of the orders in the upper left corner
22 you have Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Autonomous Region of
23 Krajina, Prijedor Municipality, number and date, the 6th of June, 1992,
24 pursuant to article 7 on the decision on the organisation and work of the
25 Crisis Staff.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then at the bottom, the signature.
2 A. Past the order, signature, president of the Crisis Staff,
3 Dr. Milomir Stakic.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can you recognise the signature of Dr. Stakic?
5 A. I'm not familiar with his signature, but it may as well be his.
6 There is a number of documents that were signed before, so I don't think
7 that's a problem. In the upper left corner, you see that pursuant to
8 Article 7 of the decision on the Crisis Staff, with all its areas of
9 competence listed it, it reads that on the basis of Article 7 --
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry, we don't want to address the content.
11 Just go once again to the signature. A minute before, you mentioned that
12 there is a number of documents that were signed before. What do you want
13 to express by saying this?
14 A. I've explained that all decisions adopted by the assembly and
15 later the Crisis Staff had to be signed by the president of the assembly
16 or the Crisis Staff. And in his prolonged absence, and if the need arose
17 to sign a document, it would have been signed by the vice-president of the
18 assembly, but only during prolonged absences. Aside from that, all
19 decisions were published in July, all the decisions adopted by the Crisis
20 Staff, no matter if it was referred to as "conclusion," "decision." There
21 was a list of these decisions. They were debated by the assembly and
22 confirmed, accepted by the assembly, which made them official decisions.
23 But this document, this order, for example, I'm not familiar with the
24 content, but why should it be referred to as an order? That strikes me as
25 strange. What sort of order? What is it about? I don't know what its
1 content might be.
2 There were a number of cases dealing with the use of weapons,
3 expropriation of other people's property. The police failing to secure
4 the safety of citizens and property. In such cases, there could have been
5 but I don't know why an order. It may just have been a conclusion, on
6 behalf of an organ within who's field of competence that would have lain.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to stop you once again at this point of
8 time as I mentioned before, we are not interested in the content of this
9 special document. May the usher please leave this document with
10 Mr. Baltic. And from Official Gazette Number 2 of 1992, page 39 to 40,
11 the decision there mentioned as number 24.
12 Is this the print in the Official Gazette of the document you just
13 saw a minute before?
14 A. I must say, as I pointed out in a general sense, all decisions,
15 all acts adopted by the Crisis Staff were supposed to be published in the
16 Official Gazette. So it would have been normal for this one to be
17 published there, too. Whether this in fact was the case, it may have been
18 the case that those who prepared the Official Gazette for print did not
19 include everything they were supposed to because they were supposed to
20 extract this from the minutes and then control whole lists. And you have
21 my signature, too, in the Official Gazette. There's always secretary of
22 the assembly, president, this and that, because he was the one who was in
23 charge of -- and as far as publishing is concerned, you have my name
24 there. But mostly, preparation for print was done by one of the legal
25 officers from the technical services to make sure that nothing was
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Baltic.
3 Could you please compare, on the next page, the number of the
4 decision with the document you still have before you. On the next page,
5 you can find...
6 What is there? Is it the same number, 02-111-140/ -- I think it
7 should read 92, Prijedor, 6th of January, 1998. Is this the same
9 A. I don't know. I'm looking now at this document dated the 8th of
10 June, 1992. And which is the document I should compare this document to?
11 This is an order pertaining to whom I don't know.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please compare both documents you have before
14 A. I've had a look. One of these decisions applies to a school, and
15 the other applies to the regional Crisis Staffs.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do both documents have the same number?
17 A. No. One of them has the number 02-111-140/92. And the other
18 bears the number 02-111-136/92. So these are two different numbers. You
19 can tell by just looking at the numbers.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. And if you could be so kind and have a
21 look on the first page now of the Official Gazette, can you find this
22 concrete number on this page? I think it was -- yes, the first page in
23 the Official Gazette before you.
24 A. If this is from the Official Gazette, I can see -- this is page
25 39, and this is the continuation of that page, page 40. Official Gazette,
1 2/92, same number of the Official Gazette which means that they were both
2 published in the same issue of the Official Gazette. It was said that it
3 was those who made the text of the Official Gazette were supposed to list
4 all the decisions from the minutes in the Official Gazette. Omissions may
5 have been made but should have been corrected in the course of normal
7 If so much detail was gone into, but I don't think much attention
8 was paid to these details in the Official Gazette. Again, I say, because
9 each of these decisions individually were forwarded to those whom they
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. If you, once again, have a look on the
12 Official Gazette, you will find always "Predsjednik Kriznog Staba, Dr.
13 Milomir Stakic, SR". What can you conclude from this?
14 A. I can conclude what I've said already. In each Official Gazette,
15 the procedure was the same. All the individual decisions published in the
16 Official Gazette were not signed but merely it read the person, the
17 official, the president of the Municipal Assembly who, by the statute, had
18 the authority to run the assembly and therefore his signature had to be
19 there, and his title, too. You can see this at the bottom of the page of
20 each and every of these documents.
21 This was regulated by the statute and by the decision on the
22 operation of the Crisis Staff.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you ever heard about an incident that one
24 or several decisions were published in the Official Gazette without the
25 underlying document authorising this publication?
1 A. Well, to begin with, I think there was never a need to publish any
2 authorisation for publication. This sprang forth from the obligations
3 inherent in the statute. For all the problems debated at the assembly to
4 be illustrated in the Official Gazette, to it was published regularly,
5 again, I say, through the simple clerks, the lower-ranking clerks and the
6 mid-level clerks. And it should not have been possible for the same
7 decision to be published twice. I'm not familiar with any such cases of
8 this occurring.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did it ever happen that a decision was published
10 without any underlying document? Yes or no.
11 A. I don't know that, but such a thing should not have happened
12 because everything is recorded in the minutes. Everything that is
13 contained in the minutes should normally appear in the Official Gazette.
14 If something else is published, then, obviously, it is a mistake. I don't
15 know of any such cases, although it is possible. But I don't know how it
16 would have been possible. We never carried out any specific control of
17 the accuracy of the published decisions, decisions published in the
18 Official Gazette, to see if they can be compared to what is contained in
19 the minutes because that would require additional amount of work. I would
20 have to sit down and compare the published decisions with the ones
21 contained in the minutes.
22 Later, if it is established that something was not published, then
23 someone should be held accountable and see who it was who published such a
24 document in the Official Gazette. But again, I have never heard of any
25 such case, though I do not exclude the possibility.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May I ask you to have a look on
2 another document, on -- with the ERN number P0040716. Can we concentrate
3 once again on the signature and the stamp. Here it appears to be a
4 different stamp. Can you please explain what stamp this is.
5 A. As far as I can see, we can read here "Republika Srpska, Municipal
6 Assembly, Prijedor." This should be the seal, the seal of the
7 municipality. As you can see from other decisions, I am sure that there
8 are other such decisions that bear the same seal.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you seen this seal before?
10 A. Normally, yes. But I cannot make out this one, but I mean, this
11 should be the stamp in question, the official one.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
13 And may I ask the usher to present one other document, ERN number
14 P0050275, to be put on the ELMO. Do you recognise this stamp?
15 A. I don't know. As for the signature -- I mean, you're asking me
16 about the stamp. This one is unclear to me. It doesn't look like the
17 stamp -- like the one that I have just seen a moment before. It is not a
18 very good reproduction of the stamp; it is true. But it doesn't look like
19 the previous one.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can you try to read what one can read in the
22 A. Well, I'm trying to, but I cannot see, for instance, the upper
23 title. Because the right side of the stamp is totally blurred. I mean,
24 the ink is blurred. If I am to compare it with the first one, maybe I
25 would be able to make it out, the one that I saw before.
1 No, I cannot read this one definitely. I cannot make out a single
2 word on the stamp. It's unclear.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So maybe it helps when we show you another stamp
4 similar -- please, leave it with the witness, and then a stamp on the
5 document ERN number P0012669.
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: For the record, that's S105.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
8 I thought it was sufficient, we all have this file of colour
9 copies referencing before us, and it just starts with the list of ERN
10 number and is followed by the exhibit number.
11 A. From the stamp, I can see that it dates from a previous period of
12 time. It is the stamp of the Socialist Republic of BH. At least, that's
13 what's written on one side of the stamp in very small letters. But
14 inside -- within the circle of the stamp. The Socialist Republic of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And underneath, the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor,
16 and Prijedor.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Thank you. And then finally in our
18 collection of stamps, Document P0038527.
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: That is S174.
20 A. May I have a look at the stamp here, please. Good. I see the
22 Yes, yes, I can see this stamp. This is -- I mean, I don't think
23 that it is the same. It is a completely different stamp compared to the
24 previous two that we looked at, on the document of the 3rd of June, 1992,
25 and the 8th of May, 1992.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you please be so kind and read out to the
2 record what you can read in the stamp.
3 A. The wording is clearly legible. We can all see it. "The Serbian
4 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbian Assembly of Prijedor
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. This concludes the list of stamps.
7 And now, finally, let us turn to the document you mentioned, or maybe the
8 document you mentioned already before. This is Exhibit Number S115.
9 Please take care. That's the original.
10 First of all, did you yourself prepare this document?
11 A. This was not my job, although at the bottom we can read:
12 "Secretary of the Municipal Assembly, Dusan Baltic." If we go back to
13 what we said before, that everything that was -- or was supposed to be
14 published in the Official Gazette, then here we only have a list of the
15 decisions that were adopted. Here, you have the relevant numbers and the
16 dates. This can perhaps refer to the minutes, and we should have a look
17 at the relevant minutes to see if these decisions are indeed contained in
18 the minutes. And on the basis of the minutes, one can see what the
19 chronological order was and that these decisions were indeed adopted. But
20 I'm sure that I never did anything of this kind, nor at the Official
21 Gazette. This was done by the people who took these decisions to the
22 Official Gazette. We were only in charge of the document which is
23 described in here, that is, the information. It is possible that the
24 technical services did this, pursuant to somebody's request. I don't know
25 who is indicated here as the addressee. The title is: "Information on
1 the implementation of conclusions." What is meant by this, I don't know.
2 It was impossible for the technical services to compile this. It was
3 impossible for them to see whether these conclusions had indeed been
4 implemented by the relevant organs. The technical services were in no
5 position to obtain such information. I don't know why it says technical
6 services here because technical services are not in charge of monitoring
7 the implementation of the conclusions because the implementation of not
8 only conclusions but also decisions, administrative decisions, they always
9 state the organ of the person who is in charge of monitoring such
10 implementation. It was not the job of the technical services to monitor
11 that. They were not able to monitor any such implementation of
12 conclusions. So this can only be understood only to the extent whether
13 the technical services had actually distributed such documents. That was
14 the only thing that could have been written and dealt with by the
15 technical services. Technical services could only ensure that something
16 was forwarded. But the technical services could not have insight in the
17 implementation itself.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This is indeed enough explanation. If you could
19 please be so kind and try to explain how come we can find your name under
20 this document.
21 A. Well, I said a moment ago that if in this so-called information,
22 the relevant conclusions or the relevant decisions are stated, that is,
23 the ones that the Crisis Staff of the Prijedor Municipality -- I mean, I
24 didn't read the contents of this information. But as for the very title
25 of the information, that is, the information on the implementation of the
1 conclusions of the Crisis Staff of the Prijedor Municipality, that's all I
2 can read. So the only thing that could have been stated was what was
3 adopted at various sessions. And what was published in the Official
4 Gazette. Whether those conclusions and decisions were really implemented,
5 I don't know.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry, once again to interrupt, my question was
7 do you have an explanation why we can find your name under this document?
8 A. We read here "technical services" of the Municipal Assembly, and
9 we can also read who the author of the information is. This was done by
10 the people who were in charge of this job. I cannot see my signature
11 here. It is possible that my signature is somewhere else, but I cannot
12 see from this that I signed this document. But once again, the technical
13 services did not have any insight as to the actual implementation of the
14 conclusions and the decisions. But this is, you know, arguable.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone's off.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Baltic, Mr. Baltic, I asked you on purpose
17 this morning whether or not had you had assistants providing and preparing
18 documents for you. Could it have been that members of your staff, if any,
19 prepared this document for you and then it was signed on behalf of you or
20 signed by you de facto? Because there must be a reason that there is here
21 this document. One can say here as regards this document, it's signed by
22 you, but it bears your name under the document which one would normally
23 call a signature and the person doing so being held responsible for that
24 what you can read about.
25 A. As regards the preparation of all decisions that were on the
1 agenda at the sessions of the Crisis Staff, the employees of the
2 administrative bodies took part in such preparation. But I said that at
3 the period -- during the period of time when the Crisis Staff functioned,
4 since not all of the employees of administrative bodies came to work, only
5 a limited necessary number of people came to work. If something had to be
6 done, it was those people who were in charge of that. But in most of the
7 cases, we did not have any written material in advance. Only on
8 individual occasions, probably with the consultations with their
9 superiors, the employees of the administrative organs would prepare such
10 material. This was orally discussed at the session of the Crisis Staff,
11 and the relevant information would be entered into the minutes in an
12 abridged form.
13 As for the wording of the very text of this decision, the
14 employees of the administrative bodies were the ones who were in charge of
15 this wording. Because it would have been impossible for them to be
16 involved in each and every aspect of the problems because it involved a
17 considerable amount of legal work. Something was discussed, orally
18 debated, and then it was put in a written form in the relevant decision.
19 The employees of the administrative bodies did not actually participate in
20 this work.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this explanation. I think on this
22 document, we got enough information from your side. But as you mentioned
23 correctly before, we should draw our attention to the minutes of the
24 Prijedor Municipal Assembly. And I have here before me a sample which
25 will be immediately given to you, Document Exhibit S259. If you could
1 have, please, a look on the first page and the last page.
2 May it please be put on the ELMO. First page. If you could be so
3 kind and read out the headline, say, the first three paragraphs.
4 A. "Abridged minutes of the session of the Municipal Assembly of
5 Prijedor held on the 27th of August, 1992 in the conference hall of RZR
6 Ljubija. The session was chaired by Dr. Milomir Stakic, president of the
7 Municipal Assembly. The session was attended by 72 deputies. Therefore,
8 the debates held were valid and appropriate decisions could be reached.
9 Before the adoption of the agenda, deputy so and so reminded the chairman
10 that before the beginning of the work of the assembly, appropriate emblems
11 of the Serbian Republic should be ensured."
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And please, now, it's only limited
13 time, let's turn to the last page, please. And please explain --
14 A. Yes, I've had a look at it.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. And then try to explain the order of
16 signatures and your own observations as regards these signatures you can
17 see there.
18 A. Since these are the minutes relating to the period of time which I
19 could not precisely situate, I think that these minutes are actually the
20 minutes of one of the confirmation or verification sessions of the
21 decisions that had been adopted by the Crisis Staff. So this was
22 all -- probably also published outside the Municipal Assembly, that is, in
23 the Official Gazette. And that is why you read here: "SR Milomir
24 Stakic." And then here, whether it was pursuant to someone's request.
25 And in all of the Official Gazettes, if you have a closer look at it, you
1 will see that the name of the secretary of the Municipal Assembly is
2 always stated. There is a signature here. I cannot see whether it is
3 mine, but it is not really important because this is something that would
4 have been also published in the Official Gazette. This is merely the
5 order of what had been presented during the procedure of verification or
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you sign these kinds of documents in your
8 capacity as secretary?
9 A. That was not necessary because no decisions are signed in the
10 Official Gazette. It's not clear here -- oh, no. This is a copy because
11 we can read here the sentence: "The accuracy of the copy is certified
12 by..." So this was copied from the Official Gazette, and it was done by
13 the technical services. And then the name of the individual in charge is
14 stated, and in this case this was me. So this is just a copy. But it
15 further confirms what I have already indicated. This had previously been
16 published. It had already been contained and certified in the minutes.
17 But the two were compared, and the person -- there was an official who was
18 in charge of comparing these two and who is responsible for the accuracy
19 of the copy. I'm sure we could locate such a person, but this was
20 normally published --
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You took the responsibility for the
22 authenticity. Correct?
23 A. That should have been the case, yes. Well, but if we can trust
24 our own employees then of course, we're not going to read every single
25 paper because that would take me forever, if I am to compare and verify
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 all of these documents.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So your testimony is it was prepared by staff
3 members, and then you took the responsibility by signing these kinds of
4 documents, and especially the document before you?
5 A. From this copy -- I mean, I don't know why this was done in this
6 manner because everything you can see here should be contained in the
7 minutes, and I think that we would see this if we were to compare this
8 document with the minutes. However, it is not customary for this
9 procedure to be applied because if all deputies are to receive a copy of
10 the minutes at the following session, they would -- they are able to see
11 what happened at the previous session, and they are also able to point out
12 to errors or omissions. Whether in this case there were omissions and
13 then a request was made subsequently for a copy to be done, I don't know.
14 I cannot remember this specific instance.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry. My final question for today: Is it
16 indeed your testimony, as you stated on page 105, line 2: "The accuracy
17 of the copy is certified by... So this was copied from the Official
18 Gazette, and it was done by the technical services. And the name of the
19 individual in charge is stated, and in this case, this was me."
20 So is it really your testimony that this was once again copied or
21 once again written from the Official Gazette, first published in the
22 Official Gazette, and then prepared in this way? I think you should think
23 about this question until tomorrow.
24 The hearing on the deposition to be taken stays adjourned until
25 tomorrow, 9.30.
1 --- Whereupon the Depositions Hearing adjourned
2 at 5.32 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
3 the 19th day of September, 2002, at 9.30 a.m.