1 Monday, 13 January 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.23 p.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. Good afternoon to everybody.
6 May we hear the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. Case Number IT-97-24-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the appearances, for the
10 Prosecution, please.
11 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, Joanna Korner, Nicholas Koumjian,
12 assisted by Ruth Karper, case manager. Good afternoon, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: For the Defence.
14 MR. LUKIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and Danilo
15 Cirkovic for the Defence.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
17 Before we start, we have no doubt to discuss the -- let's call it
18 last-minute request by the Defence we received late Friday evening. Let
19 me take the opportunity to tell the Defence that in future, we can't
20 accept such late requests, leaving no possibility at all for the Chamber
21 having heard the OTP to decide responsibly on these questions. You knew
22 beforehand, since the end of last year - I think it was the beginning of
23 December - that Mr. Sivac would be here this week. And therefore, I think
24 it has nothing to do a fair approach vis-a-vis the other party and the
25 Bench to come with such an important document on a last-minute basis.
1 But let us hear the remarks by the Prosecution, please.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, first of all may I explain the situation
3 in respect Mr. Sivac. He testified this morning and is still required to
4 return tomorrow for cross-examination, further cross-examination. I've
5 spoken to Defence counsel, Mr. Ackerman, and he has no objection if
6 Your Honours rule it right for Mr. Sivac to testify here this afternoon
7 even though he is effectively still testifying in the other case. And the
8 other matter is, we understand from him, that he is obliged by business
9 commits to leave by midday tomorrow. So if Your Honours do allow him to
10 testify, it should be this afternoon.
11 Your Honour, in respect of the proposed questions, Your Honour,
12 the first two are simply a repetition of his evidence. Three, four, and
13 five, Your Honour, really depend on what Your Honours' view is, in our
14 submission, of the following questions. Your Honour, they have already
15 put -- question six, they have already put to Mr. Sivac that he is wrong,
16 mistaken, lying about having seen Mr. Stakic as part of the delegation.
17 It is in our submission an improper form of question because it's nothing
18 more than a comment to say to the witness "What do you say to the fact
19 that Srdjo Srdic unequivocally and emphatically states that he never
20 visited the camps and further denies ever visiting Omarska Detention
21 Centre?" First of all, Srdjo Srdic hasn't said that to the Court; he said
22 that in interview with the Office of the Prosecutor. So it's in evidence
23 of what he told the Office of Prosecutor.
24 And secondly, and I know that Your Honours' have already made it
25 clear that you don't approve of this form of cross-examination,
1 cross-examination should be putting the case for the defendant plus facts.
2 It is not, as I say, proper to say "A witness says that you're wrong.
3 What do you say to that"? That's just inviting comment.
4 Your Honour, it is equally improper to put to him that Mr. Srdic
5 is a liar and cannot be trusted. That is a matter of opinion and not
6 proper. Question number eight, "Is it your position that Srdjo Srdic
7 would deny things and blame others only to save himself?" He is being
8 invited to comment upon the character of a person who is not yet in any
9 shape or form a witness. But as I say, Your Honour, all of these depend
10 on whether Your Honours think that question xis is a proper question, and
11 we say it is not. They have firmly put their case. Nobody can be in any
12 doubt about it, neither Your Honours nor the Office of the Prosecutor.
13 The proper way of dealing with it is to call Srdjo Srdic to testify that
14 Stakic never visited Omarska.
15 Your Honour, I utterly fail to understand of what relevance the
16 questions in respect of the Red Cross can be. Question number two is the
17 same objection as to question number six. "What do you say, sir, to the
18 fact that Srdjo Srdic contends that he always cautioned the Red Cross
19 representatives?" What is he supposed to say? I mean, it's a rhetorical
20 question, Your Honour. But two things: All he can say is "I don't know
21 one way or the other." Or if he did, that's not what happened. But in
22 any event, as I say, I maintain my objection that that's an improper form
23 of cross-examination.
24 Then the later ones about the Red Cross. Now, Your Honour, I'm at
25 somewhat of a difficulty here, and I forgot to check with Mr. Koumjian. I
1 don't know whether or not questions were already asked about the Red Cross
2 to Mr. Sivac. But unless it is alleged that this is brand-new information
3 that the Defence were unaware of before they received the interview of
4 Mr. Srdic, and these are all matters which have been put to Mr. Sivac when
5 he was here giving testimony originally and, Your Honour, because I'm
6 reminded that the interview took place in August, and he testified in
8 Your Honour, question number five under that second section: "It
9 is your position that Srdjo Srdic is also lying about the responsibility?"
10 Again, we raise the same objection. And then question number 8: "Do you
11 know if it's true or not that Srdjo Srdic personally profited from his
12 position at the Red Cross?" I'm sorry, Your Honour, I utterly fail to see
13 what conceivable relevance that has to any issue that Your Honours have to
14 decide in this case.
15 So, Your Honour, the upshot is this: We object to any form of
16 questioning that relates to it being put in the form that "Srdjo Srdic has
17 said this; what do you say about that," and anything which were matters
18 that were known to the Defence before and which they could have put at the
19 time when Mr. Sivac testified originally.
20 Your Honour, in respect of the second -- item c on this request,
21 it starts, "Sir, since your last testimony in July 2002, we have come to
22 learn that you suffer from various medical conditions." Your Honour,
23 firstly, I don't know whether that may be correct; it may not be correct.
24 Second, we've had no notice of any documentation in relation to his
25 medical condition. We certainly don't know what the answers to these
1 questions are. And third, if it is right, to what issue in the case is it
2 suggested these questions go?
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Defence may answer if they so want.
4 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. First of all, I would say
5 again that we wouldn't have to cross-examine Mr. Sivac again if the
6 Prosecution disclosed what they had to disclose to us in a timely manner.
7 Now --
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry, can you explain this sentence to me. The
9 hearing by the Prosecution took place in August, and we heard Mr. Sivac in
10 July. How can you come to this statement?
11 MR. LUKIC: If we had at that time the statements --
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We couldn't have the statement. The statement
13 was taken later.
14 MR. LUKIC: If we had the statements of these six persons
15 questioned by the OTP in March 2002, then we wouldn't have to be in this
16 situation. But --
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry. Aren't you aware that the testimony of
18 Mr. Srdic apparently was taken in August 2002?
19 MR. LUKIC: Sorry. Then -- I'm sorry, Your Honour. You are
20 right. I was thinking about the five other witnesses.
21 But your guideline to us was to question this witness, if he
22 appears again, only related to the statement of the witnesses, to the
23 statements of the witnesses - we know which six witnesses; I don't want to
24 mention their names. So we tried to restrain ourselves only to the
25 statements of those six witnesses. And specifically, we found very
1 interesting the statement of Mr. Srdjo Srdic who spoke differently than
2 Mr. Sivac is claiming. And we think that we have the right to impeach any
3 witness if it's not our witness. And maybe, this is our attempt to
4 impeach Mr. Srdic through Mr. Sivac.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. I think we shouldn't go into far
6 more details. We should find a pragmatic solution.
7 Mr. Sivac is present here today. And I think the only point with
8 some merits - we discussed it previously together, the Bench - is that
9 Mr. Srdic stated in this interview of August 2002 that he never visited
10 camps, which might be a contradiction to the statement of Mr. Sivac. But
11 at the same time, there seem to be slight, but I emphasise only slight,
12 discrepancies which are easy to understand after ten years with the
13 testimony of Madam Markovska last week. So instead of waiting until the
14 end of the case and maybe then during rejoinder or rebuttal or ex officio
15 by the Judges to come to final clarification on these points, I think it
16 would be the best to reopen the case, which of course, and the Defence has
17 to know this, gives another opportunity also to put additional questions
18 to this witness, and then to reopen the cross-examination, and then
19 we -- I think we have the best and most practical solution immediately
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can I make this absolutely clear, and
22 then Mr. Lukic can address you again. The only aspect on which you're
23 allowing further cross-examination of Mr. Sivac is on the basis that Srdic
24 says that Stakic never visited the camps?
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In principle, yes. Only to balance the right to
1 put questions to the witness, is that I learned by the senior legal
2 officer today that there would additional questions put to the witness by
3 you. This, of course, would give the possibility to the Defence from
4 their side to put other questions not limited to these in the framework of
5 an honourary cross-examination to the witness.
6 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour. We were only going to do it if
7 Your Honours allowed it to be recalled, but he has brought further
8 articles with him. But Your Honour, my concern is simply this: It is
9 perfectly proper to say to the witness, for example, "Do you know
10 Mr. Srdic? Do you know he's an honest man? Tell us what you know about
11 his reputation," and then to go on to say -- to repeat the
12 cross-examination, in other words, "Mr. Sivac, do you still stick to your
13 answer that Stakic visited Omarska?"
14 But, Your Honour, I do maintain my objection to the form of the
15 question. "What do you say to the fact that Srdjo Srdic unequivocally and
16 emphatically states that he never visited the camp?" One, we don't know
17 that's what Mr. Srdic may or may not say if he gives evidence; and two, it
18 is inviting the witness to comment. The proper way of putting a question
19 like this is you can certainly ask if there's any reason to believe
20 whether Mr. Srdic would lie or anything like that, but it is not to put
21 the question in that form.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I believe the Defence has understood the
23 message, and it will be rephrased in an appropriate way. And related to
24 the medical background, I think this was already covered; the points
25 related to Red Cross, I can't see the relevance to our concrete case. And
1 so it would be relatively limited. And I think it would be only fair that
2 the questions to Mr. Sivac would be put to him on the basis of, as we did
3 it last week with Madam Markovska, on the basis of this video. I think it
4 was S22. I'm not quite sure in the moment.
5 THE REGISTRAR: J22, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: J22, okay. J22. And then in addition, the
7 former -- I don't think it was a sketch at that time. I think it was
8 Exhibit S52-1, that we restart from that point where Mr. Sivac marked
9 where the delegation from his point of view and at that time his best
10 recollection, where the delegation arrived and where the prisoners were
11 lined up and where the delegation went into the offices. So then we can
12 at the same time have a clarification opposed to the testimony of Madam
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honour --
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We should proceed this way without further ado
16 because it's the most practical exercise.
17 MS. KORNER: There has to be further review for this reason. I'm
18 sorry. Mr. Sivac only finished testifying at 10 minutes to 2.00, so he
19 was taken off to have some lunch and he won't be here until 3.00.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We won't infringe his human rights.
21 MS. KORNER: May I raise one further matter while we're waiting?
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that relates to what happened last
24 Friday with Mrs. Kovacevic, when -- and I was actually watching, although
25 I wasn't in court, when she arrived with this CD. Your Honour, I have to
1 tell Your Honour that no notification whatsoever was given to us in
2 advance that she was going to be producing effectively this series of
3 documents. Now, Your Honour, accepting, although I find it perhaps
4 difficult to believe that there wasn't some discussion about the nature of
5 those documents before, that she brought it with her for the first time
6 that day, she brought it at the request of Mr. Lukic, as she told
7 Your Honours. Mr. Lukic, nor Mr. Ostojic, ever told us that she had this,
8 that it was likely that it was going to be produced, or gave us any
9 opportunity to look at it before it was produced. Your Honour, the
10 Defence do have an obligation, as we did, to disclose the exhibits that
11 they intend to use. I fully accept that occasionally, witnesses arrive
12 with documents that the Defence haven't had a chance to see. But if that
13 happens, it's not just politeness; it's an absolute necessity that we're
14 told about it in advance because we may wish to object. Otherwise, what
15 happens is you have this unseemly and time-wasting argument in court.
16 And so, Your Honour, our request is very much this: That if there
17 is to be any document shown to a witness or produced to a witness which we
18 have not been supplied with, this must be done in advance of the Court
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Before I give you the floor, may I add that
21 maybe we have to discuss this in the framework of a 65 ter (i) meeting,
22 but it has also to be discussed in open court. What we experienced, not
23 only on Friday but related to the other witnesses as well, it comes very
24 close to that what we could call abuse of procedure because evidently, the
25 proffers provided to us had nothing or nearly nothing to do with that what
1 was the testimony of the witness. And I don't want to continue to be
2 compelled to put to a witness that it was the submission of the Defence
3 that the witness would or could give a statement, for example, on the role
4 of Dr. Stakic in the municipality between April and September 1992, and
5 the witness tells us: "No, nothing, impossible. I don't know anything
6 about this." So if we would work on this basis, we could forget about the
7 proffers, and this would not allow us at all to prepare a hearing. I can
8 leave it open whether or not that what was contributed by Witness
9 Kovacevic was in favour of the Defence; but indeed, it's true if it's only
10 a document, the document has to be shown, and it was shown in the past,
11 always before the hearing to the other party and the Bench. And when it's
12 even more complicated on the basis of a CD-ROM, then there has to be a
13 possibility that we can have a look on the relevance of this document,
14 this CD-ROM, beforehand.
15 And I don't know yet how to proceed in future that we don't have
16 any delay based on these shortcomings by the Defence. But we can't accept
17 this any longer. So is the Defence prepared to accept this and in future
18 to take care that all the relevant documents they want to put to a witness
19 or to introduce through a witness, that this is provided in due time; that
20 is, no later, as it was the rule during the Prosecution's case, two days
21 in advance of the hearing of a witness?
22 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, absolutely. We are really doing our
23 best. But, for example, for Witness Sivac, we received something on
24 Saturday, and we didn't have time to give to anybody from Saturday. On
25 top of that, our copier machine in the Defence room is not working. Our
1 computers in the Defence room are not working. Our printer in the Defence
2 room is not working. So our investigators are still in the field. We are
3 still collecting some evidence. And as you know, we submitted more than
4 400 documents for the translation. But it happens from time to time that
5 we collect something a day before. So just before this hearing, I kindly
6 asked your staff to copy something for us because our photocopier machine
7 is not working. So I apologise, and I kindly ask you to understand also
8 the conditions in which we work.
9 Regarding these proffers, we are aware that we have to improve the
10 substance of the proffers, but some of the proffers were made based on the
11 conversation of our investigators with the witness. So for the first
12 time, sometimes, we see the witness here, and that's what happened why the
13 protective measure was poorly explained by the Defence for the last
14 witness, who had the protective measure. And also that's the reason why
15 it happened that that witness knew nothing about the period which is
16 actually indicted in the fourth amended indictment.
17 We are aware of these mistakes of our side, and we will try during
18 this week and during the weekend to amend our proffers for the future
19 witnesses. And we appreciate the Chamber's patience. Thank you.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May I then just to continue -- there
21 might be other issues -- the witnesses of this week. There would be
22 number -- after Mr. Sivac, number 14, number 20, number 47, number 40, and
23 there is this witness who had been heard previously. And then 58.
24 MR. LUKIC: 58, Your Honour, was not coming. We were just
25 informed that he was not found. He contacted my investigators, but I
1 don't know what was the reason of not coming. He's not coming.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it will be limited to four witnesses this
4 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And --
6 MR. LUKIC: Hopefully we will be able to finish them, because
7 those are pretty -- they will give us pretty lengthy testimony.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But may I ask, when we have already discussed
9 this issue, both parties, and this is also a question of mea culpa, that
10 we should show a little bit more self-restraint and limit us to the
11 relevance of -- the relevant portions of the statement. So I'm afraid
12 also when I see the proffer of today's new witness, number 041 [sic], and
13 see that the direct examination will last approximately four to four and a
14 half hours, and at the same time, the testimony seems to be limited to
15 that period of time when Dr. Stakic was the director of the health centre
16 at the hospital, I wonder how it is possible to hear a witness on this
17 period of time not related to the fourth amended indictment for a period
18 of more than four hours.
19 MR. LUKIC: Although this witness was not directly connected with
20 Dr. Stakic at that time, she would give some testimony regarding the time
21 before, during, and after the indictment. So ...
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So in conclusion, let's try to concentrate on
23 the relevant issues, and maybe by doing so, being a little bit shorter as
24 we were the last week. And also, in the direction of the Prosecution, I
25 think it's - if not absolutely necessary and mandatory - to put to a
1 witness once again the entire case and come back to all the former
2 colleagues, and maybe this also could be a little bit shorter. It would
3 help us to proceed more expeditiously, because I emphasise this, and I
4 have to re-emphasise, there is no additional day possible. And we have to
5 finalise the hearing by the 21st of March.
6 Just to be on the safe side, may I ask the parties in case - I
7 don't hope this, that it will be the case - that my health condition does
8 not allow to continue during this week, could you agree that we continue
9 as we did in the past in the absence of Judge Fassi Fihri, that the
10 witnesses should not come back once again, that we take depositions by the
11 remaining Judges? Do you agree?
12 MS. KORNER: We do, Your Honour. Yes.
13 MR. LUKIC: We agree, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
15 Okay. Then another issue, please.
16 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. Another issue is that we had the
17 obligation according to the order of this Chamber to contact six
18 witnesses, and I would like and ask you kindly to go to the private
19 session. Because we'll be mentioning the names.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Private session, please, or closed session.
21 [Closed session]
12 Page 10242 – redacted – closed session
12 Page 10243 – redacted – closed session
12 Page 10244 – redacted – closed session
8 [Open session]
9 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, just two matters briefly: Just
10 regarding the document examiner, explaining to them exactly what the task
11 was quite complicated, because they were very concerned with exactly
12 what they were comparing to what. And Mr. Corin coordinated with them
13 regarding that. I understand that their report is not yet complete.
14 I'm not sure what date that is expected.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. But we can forget about this. We should
16 also take into account the deadline here for the Defence whether or not to
17 hear this witness.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, I believe they told him it would take a couple
19 months, and that was before the holiday break.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But the same deadline would be true here, say,
21 beginning of February. Otherwise, it would be too late. We can't
22 infringe the right of the Defence when it's another expert. Here, the
23 same time limits are applicable.
24 It's nice to see a bundle of documents in a language we do not
25 understand. We are far from the truth. And no doubt, Judge Vassylenko
1 will understand it.
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'd like to explain about this. But I'm not
3 proposing to offer all of these. As you may or may not recall, at the end
4 of Mr. Sivac's testimony, he referred to one article which he had in his
5 hotel room. Your Honour asked him to bring it back. We then went to the
6 videolink, he left, and we never did produce that article in his hotel
7 room. I asked him yesterday when I met with him if he had it. And to be
8 honest right now, I'm not sure which one that was. And he brought down
9 this group of Kozarski Vjesniks. Although I've handed out the whole
10 bundle, I believe some of these are already in evidence. Many of them
11 have been disclosed. I don't propose to use them all. I wanted mainly
12 the Court and the Defence counsel to have the opportunity to put to
13 Mr. Sivac any that they thought were relevant. I would just like to have
14 a moment to go through it. Perhaps Your Honour would allow a short break.
15 I'd like to go through it with one of my language people.
16 But the specific ones I wanted to ask about if his testimony is
17 reopened is a Kozarski Vjesnik article that dealt with - there is one in
18 here that deals with - it's after the takeover - radicals versus the
19 Muslims that were adopting the Gandhian way. It lists those individuals.
20 It has pictures of Mr. Mujadzic, for example, as one of the radicals, and
21 then it has pictures of those who were not in the Gandhian way, and it has
22 pictures, for example, of Dr. Sadikovic and Muhamed Cehajic among those
23 individuals. I think that that would be of some use.
24 There's also --
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think can't we do it this way, that we leave
1 it to the witness to tell us what from his point of view is really
2 important, that we don't have to reopen the entire case. As I indicated
3 earlier, the main purpose is to find out what about the discrepancies
4 between two slightly different testimonies opposed to this, the statement
5 of another witness heard by you in person in August last year. This
6 should be -- we should focus on this.
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't need to actually ask him any questions
8 other than did he bring these documents, and those will later be
9 translated, those the Defence select or Your Honours, and we will have the
10 translation of the document.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. So if the witness would be prepared, then
12 you are prepared to start immediately?
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes. I will only have a question about bringing
14 the documents, and then turn him over to the Defence.
15 I do have --
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, it's up to you, whether you want or not we
17 reopen the Prosecution's case for a moment, and therefore it could be you
18 starting with that what you heard yourself from another person in August
19 2002 on the basis of a video. And to have the same basis, I asked the
20 audio unit that the video may be prepared, and I mentioned already this as
21 an exhibit that we can immediately go medio in reas, and therefore start
22 with the remarks on a concrete exhibit given to us previously by Mr.
23 Sivac. This would be S52-1. If this also could be prepared at the same
24 time, we could see also in the beginning the video.
25 May I ask the usher to escort Mr. Sivac into the courtroom. Thank
2 The Defence received this medical record for Mr. --
3 MR. LUKIC: We brought that medical record.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But it was disclosed to you.
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: No, I don't have that medical record. And my
7 understanding, I wasn't quite clear, and I asked Ms. Korner, my
8 understanding that the Court had ruled there would be no questions about
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In principle, there's no due caution to go
11 into these details. So therefore, I was taken by surprise. My
13 Good afternoon, first of all. Thank you for coming once again.
14 And as it's new testimony, may we please hear once again your solemn
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. You may be seated. Let's hope that
19 it will be only a very short testimony. But we thought it would be more
20 appropriate not to run the risk that you would be called later by the one
21 or other side, or even by the Judges, and then to have to come another
22 time. And therefore, please understand that we took the opportunity and
23 we are more than happy that you agreed to be here today.
24 The floor is for the Prosecution, after we have now reopened the
25 Prosecution's case.
1 WITNESS: NUSRET SIVAC [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Examined by Mr. Koumjian:
4 Q. Mr. Sivac, yesterday I spoke to you, and you provided me with a
5 set of photocopies of Kozarski Vjesnik articles. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. And perhaps these originals that you provided could be handed back
8 to the witness. They have been photocopied.
9 Is it correct that you obtained these from another individual who
10 told you he had received them in Sarajevo. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, that's correct. This person's name is Emsud Ramolic.
12 He's the main editor of a newspaper published in Sanski Most called
13 Prijedorski Dnevnik.
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: Among that set of documents, first of all, in the
15 set that Your Honours have, I ask for Your Honours' assistance how you
16 want to handle this, because we don't think we want to translate all 28
17 pages. But there are 28 pages, it's possible either Your Honours or the
18 Defence may later request translations of some of these. I don't know if
19 you want us to mark the entire bundle as one document.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's the most appropriate way. I recall
21 after --
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: 49 pages. I'm sorry.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You stated, and in fact I had already forgotten
24 this, that at the end of the previous testimony, the witness told us that
25 he had in his hotel room some additional documents and clips of
1 newspapers, especially Kozarski Vjesnik. And if the witness could be so
2 kind and to indicate those to us which from his perspective are relevant
3 to that period of time, April to September 1992, related to Dr. Stakic in
4 Kozarski Vjesnik. On a short perusal, I already found two articles on
5 Dr. Stakic. And maybe you can limit this by just reading out these parts
6 and portions you believe that are relevant for our case. And only this be
7 admitted into evidence later on.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Are there any copies for the interpreters?
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think we can give two sets of copies for the
10 interpreters, please.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I begin? Are there any specific
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the interpreters, do they have --
14 THE INTERPRETER: We do have our own copies of the B/C/S version,
15 Your Honour. Thanks.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you could be so kind and indicate to what
17 article in Kozarski Vjesnik you want to guide us to, and that in order
18 that the interpreters know which article this is. And then please read
19 out this document that it need not be formally translated once again.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me tell you, there is a very
21 peculiar edition of the Kozarski Vjesnik paper here which is dated 29th of
22 May, 1992, which means precisely during the period while the ethnic
23 cleansing of Kozarac was underway.
24 The Crisis Staff of Prijedor Municipality, part of which was also
25 the secretariat for information, prepared the Serbian people, the Serbian
1 army, and the Serbian police for the carrying out of the ethnic cleansing
2 of the town of Prijedor. Just before the start of the ethnic cleansing of
3 Prijedor itself, in Kozarski Vjesnik, articles appeared that I had spoken
4 about which, in a very dirty way falsified the biographies of many very
5 prominent and well-respected citizens of Prijedor. And all the people
6 accused on the pages of this newspaper at that time left without a right
7 to defend themselves, to speak up for themselves were marked off to be
8 killed and were later to be killed at one of the camps, either Omarska or
10 As you see, the article is called Ratni Dnevnik war diary, the
11 secretariat for information. In all these articles, not a single article
12 is signed. We don't have the author's name. It is merely stated that the
13 articles were written by the secretariat for information. And if I may
14 elucidate, that secretariat, Milan Korijalic worked there, a former
15 journalist for a newspaper called Informacije, which was published by
16 the Ljubija iron ore mine. And all these articles were written I think by
17 the same hand and if I may say, the same head. They were conceived in the
18 Crisis Staff itself, and the so-called unit of the secretariat for
19 information headed by Milan Korijalic. Preparation to begin ethnic
20 cleansing. And I guarantee you that it was precisely these articles here,
21 criminal of a general nature, these articles were used to sling mud on the
22 reputation of Mirza Mujadzic. And then you have a pamphlet here, a war
23 commissioned by Zagreb, and then the next headline reads: "Kozarac
24 taken." I'm not sure what this means, who it is supposed to be taken by.
25 And then you have another article accusing the Muslims that they
1 were holding their own people hostage and that they tried to kill their
2 own people. That sort of thing. You see, this particular issue of
3 Kozarski Vjesnik can show you in quite graphic terms that whatever
4 happened in Prijedor a day or two -- one or two days after the 30th, the
5 30th is when, as I said, an attempt to liberate Prijedor from Slavko
6 Ecimovic and his group took place. But it was sham. And it had been
7 commissioned to serve as merely a good cause, a motive, for the Serbian
8 authorities in Prijedor to start their ethnic cleansing campaign in
9 Prijedor itself.
10 And that's exactly what happened.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN:
12 Q. There are a couple of specific articles I would like you to direct
13 your attention to. Can you find the issue dated 28th of May, and in the
14 upper right, there's the lily symbol appearing. If you look at what I'm
15 holding in my hand, this is what I'm ...
16 A. Just a moment, please.
17 Q. That is actually page 4 of the issue of the 28th of May.
18 A. 1992.
19 Q. Yes. Just so all Your Honours and Defence counsel sees the page
20 I'm looking at. This is page 4 of the 28th of May. Excuse me. It's
21 1993. It is dated 1993.
22 A. Yes, yes, I have it.
23 Q. In this issue dated 1993, can you just read the headline for us.
24 A. Well, the headline, this is one of the series of articles by Rade
25 Mutic and Zivko Ecim, and the headline is -- I'll try to be
1 specific -- "one year after the attack on Prijedor," and then it
2 continues, "Bosnia, Bosnia, Uber Alis." And the main headline: "What our
3 sovereign neighbours had in store for us." This is a pamphlet, Mr.
4 President, Your Honours, in which the blame for everything happening in
5 Prijedor day in and day out is shifted to Bosniaks, Muslims, and Croats.
6 Q. On this page 4, if you're looking at the same article I am, there
7 are eight photographs, two groups of four. Can you explain how the
8 article groups these eight individuals.
9 A. Well, you see, this strikes me as very interesting. The first
10 group, the group higher up on the page, there's a caption that reads:
11 "These are the advocates of the peaceful way of solving the Prijedor
12 crisis." And their names are: Professor Muhamed Cehajic, president of
13 municipality; Dedo Crnalic, well-respected businessman from Prijedor;
14 Nedzad Seric, president of the Prijedor court, and Mr. Camil Pezo, a
15 businessman and head of an organisation of labour based in Prijedor. Even
16 according to the journalists of Kozarski Vjesnik, they were considered to
17 be in favour of a peaceful solution. And yet, they were all to one killed
18 in the Omarska camp.
19 Whereas the so-called militant group, as they were described here,
20 those favouring the war option, included Dr. Mirza Mujadzic, Hilmo
21 Hopovac, Elvedin Rizvan, and Kemal Alagic, the wild one. They are still
22 alive. They live somewhere in Bosnia.
23 Q. Thank you. If you can turn to the next page, page 5, there's an
24 article that includes a number of signatures, 46 signatures. Can you read
25 the headline of that article.
1 A. "The pros and cons of Gandhi and resistance." What was debated at
2 the meeting of the democratic action party held in Hambarine on the 10th
3 of May.
4 Q. And this is regarding the meeting on the 10th of May, 1992, that
5 they are reporting on a year later. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, this was written one year later.
7 Q. And who is -- does the article explain was the leader of this
8 group that sought to pursue the Gandhian way?
9 A. Well, it's clear from the article that it's Dr. Eso Sadikovic. He
10 said our view is to keep peace, to keep peace as long as possible. That's
11 what Dr. Eso Sadikovic said. Ghandian resistance can be a double-edged
12 sword, Islam Bahonjic retorted.
13 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Sivac. There are some photographs that are very
14 dark on our copy and your copy, but the photograph on the left of these
15 three individuals, is that Dr. Eso Sadikovic?
16 A. Yes, yes, that's him. This is a photograph showing Dr. Eso
18 Q. I don't know if this has come into evidence in this case yet. Can
19 you tell us the ethnicity of the wife of Dr. Eso Sadikovic?
20 A. Dr. Eso Sadikovic's wife was a Serb. Her name was Zorica. And
21 originally, her family came from Serbia, from Valjevo, I think.
22 Q. Perhaps you can help me. There's an article in April 1992, I
23 believe it's the 3rd of April, 1992. If you could find that issue, and
24 there's a article discussing that the -- this is prior to the takeover,
25 that the Serbian authorities had appointed their own government. It may
1 be the 24th of April. I believe it's the 24th of April.
2 A. Yes, I have it.
3 Q. Can you tell me what date is that -- can you tell us the date of
4 that article, and the page. Perhaps if you put it on the ELMO and show us
5 which article you're referring to.
6 A. The article I'm talking about is dated 24th of April, 1992. The
7 headline is "the political scene in Prijedor" and the headline below is
8 "the elected government of the Serbian municipality."
9 Q. I don't know, perhaps someone may request this to be read word for
10 word. But this indicates that the Serbian authorities in Prijedor have
11 appointed their own government, correct, and names the individuals that
12 were appointed to various positions such as Milomir Stakic and Mico
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the witness to be kind enough to read
15 out this entire article.
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Elected government of the Serbian
18 municipality. The assembly of the Serbian municipality of Prijedor
19 adopted a decision to have the SDK of the Serbian municipality annexed by
20 the service of public administration, SDK, of the autonomous region in
21 Banja Luka. Last Thursday, on the 16th of April, at the 5th session of
22 the assembly of the Serbian municipality of Prijedor, several important
23 decisions were passed. First and foremost, we are referring to the
24 election of the government for the Serbian municipality of Prijedor, as
25 well as to the adoption of the decision on the SDK joining the Serbian
1 municipality of Prijedor and the SDK of the autonomous region of Bosanska
2 Krajina in Banja Luka.
3 "In addition to the president of the Serbian municipality of
4 Prijedor elected earlier, and the president of the Executive Board of the
5 Serbian municipality of Prijedor, Milomir Stakic, and Mico Kovacevic, the
6 following people were also elected members of the first government of this
7 municipality. Bosko Mandic, as the vice-president of the executive
8 committee; Ranko Travar, as the secretary for the economy; Boro Babic, as
9 the director of the revenue service; Slavko Budimir, secretary for
10 national defence; Svetozar Petrovic, secretary for general administration;
11 Radenko Banovic, director of the municipal land survey; Vojo Pavicic,
12 secretary for urban planning; Milovan Dragic, director of the communal
13 utilities; Rajko Mrsic, director of the firefighters societies; Simo
14 Drljaca, chief of the public security station; Slobodan Kuruzovic,
15 commander of the municipal staff of the TO, Territorial Defence; Slobodan
16 Goronjic, director of the SDK; Mico Kreca, president of the Court; Milenko
17 Tomic, public Prosecutor;, and Dusko Milojica, as the president of the
18 tort court.
19 "By a unanimous decision of the deputies, and also the deputies
20 from the so-called left bloc of the Serbian people took part in the vote,
21 a decision was adopted to have the SDK of the Serbian Municipality of
22 Prijedor." This is a bit unclear, I think. I think it says: "Before the
23 problem is dealt with -- before the crisis in the republic and
24 municipality is dealt with in a political way, enacted by the SDK of the
25 autonomous region of Bosanska Krajina." Signed Rade Mutic.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I take it that this article is tendered by
2 the OTP?
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections?
5 MR. LUKIC: We have the same objections as previously regarding
6 Kozarski Vjesnik.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Taking into account this, admitted as the next
8 available Prosecution document exhibit.
9 THE REGISTRAR: S387B, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: S387B admitted into evidence, and please may it
11 be marked that we find the translation on our today's transcript. Thank
13 Then please continue.
14 MR. KOUMJIAN:
15 Q. Could it be correct, then, Mr. Sivac, that this article indicates
16 that Mr. Drljaca was elected at the party meeting in Prijedor of the SDS,
17 and the article does not mention the minister of the interior?
18 A. Yes, correct. It's clear if you read the article.
19 Q. If we can just move to one other short article that I noticed. If
20 you can find the 28th of June, 1992, the front page. I would ask you to
21 look at that, when you find it. It has a picture of a baby being held in
22 the air.
23 A. Just a moment, please. Yes, I have it here.
24 Q. Is there an article there about Dr. Sikora, Zeljko Sikora, that
25 appears on the front page?
1 A. Yes. In the lower left corner, you have an article. The headline
2 is: "A monster doctor."
3 Q. And can you briefly summarise what the article alleges regarding
4 Mr. -- Dr. Sikora.
5 A. Well, some minutes ago, I said that Serbian political leaders,
6 while preparing the ethnic cleansing of Prijedor, and this is further
7 proof of that, kept falsifying the biographies of certain eminent citizens
8 of Prijedor, especially the intellectuals. And they were biding their
9 time so that they could kill these people when they arrested them. Again,
10 this is a very interesting article in which Dr. Zeljko Sikora is being
11 denigrated. He is Czech by origin, and his parents had arrived in
12 Prijedor a long, long time ago. He was a very humanitarian person, and a
13 doctor, a gynecologist. And for reasons unknown to me, but obviously
14 those who wrote this article knew very well what they were after, who
15 Zeljko Sikora was, and this was a method they choose to employ to mark him
16 off for the kill, which was later carried out in the Omarska camp.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask you once again to be kind enough to
18 read the entire article, because we want to refer, if necessary, to the
19 article as such. And please understand your comments on the article are
20 interesting, but the basis for our continuing discussion has to be, first
21 of all, the underlying document. And therefore, please read out this
22 article you just mentioned. Thank you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Teachers, priests, and doctors were
24 always particularly respected people in these areas, especially doctors.
25 As soon as you say the word "doctor," immediately you imagine an
1 extraordinary man who has devoted his life to sick people regardless of
2 their skin colour, ethnicity, or religion. But not all of them are like
3 that. There are doctors among them who have abused their white coat as a
4 disguise in order to do things which have nothing to do with the doctors'
5 ethics or any other kind of ethics. They used their white coat in order
6 to commit crimes. Even among us, there are a number of such people. A
7 doctor was arrested who, when interrogated, without a trace of remorse or
8 compunction, admitted to his crime, adding only that he was now sorry he
9 had started with his crimes too late.
10 "What he did was actually more than a crime. He castrated
11 new-born males of Serb parents. He caused women, Serb women, to abort,
12 and he sterilised them. Is a punishment conceivable that would be
13 sufficient to punish that kind of crime, an abominable crime to every
14 human being? Is it blood in that man's veins, or poison? Is there an end
15 at all to human irrationality, irrationality that wouldn't even leave
16 those newborn children, helpless infants in peace. His church will
17 probably forgive the crime he committed. It will probably suffice for him
18 to just kneel down in front of the confession booth."
19 MR. KOUMJIAN:
20 Q. Do you know the religion of Dr. Sikora, who you mentioned was of
21 Czech ethnicity?
22 A. Czech Catholic.
23 Q. Do you know if in Prijedor, Catholic Czechs were considered to be
24 aligned for some reason with Croats, or were equated with Croats?
25 A. Well, mostly all Catholics were considered Croats and Ustasha.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask, first, we are aware that as to the
2 fact this was a war edition of Kozarski Vjesnik, we don't have any
3 signature on the author. But how do you come to the conclusion that this
4 article is on Dr. Sikora? I didn't understand it. Maybe I was a little
5 bit confused.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. President, let me tell
7 you. In one of the later issues of Kozarski Vjesnik, I had it somewhere
8 then, but I couldn't find it. I mean, all of this was referring precisely
9 to Dr. Izdenko Sikora, the only gynecologist who was killed in the Omarska
10 camp. It was him.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. This, no doubt, makes sense. I
12 think it's now the right opportunity to have a break. This will allow our
13 witness, after this long day, to have another period of 30 minutes
14 recreation. It will allow the Prosecution to concentrate on the remaining
15 parts they want to introduce. This will allow Judge Vassylenko to
16 concentrate or focus on the one or other article identified right now.
17 And later on, we immediately will come back to the questions we had by the
18 Defence, no doubt.
19 The trial stays adjourned until 4.20. But may I not forget,
20 please, Defence, to also disclose the material given to the Bench and to
21 the Prosecution in the meantime. Thank you.
22 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 4.26 p.m.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. May I ask first the
25 Prosecution whether they want to introduce additional article, but we
1 should not forget to give the last child a name. This was the article
2 just read out. This would be the next exhibit number.
3 THE REGISTRAR: S388B.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections? We are aware there is no signature
5 at all.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have anything here.
7 MR. LUKIC: The same objections, plus there is no author of the
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We are aware. Admitted into evidence, S388B.
10 And once again, translation be found on the transcript.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. Your Honour, I'd now like to turn to
12 the issue dated the 29th of May, 1992. On the front page just for
13 Your Honours and Defence counsel is a picture of people walking in
14 Prijedor. And the articles in question would be the articles on page 2.
15 There appear to be one, two, three, four articles signed "Crisis Staff."
16 I leave it to Your Honours' discretion. The first, second, and third in
17 particular, the top ones, I believe need to be read in their entirety.
18 Either we could translate them or have the witness read them now.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I would really appreciate that we can ask
20 questions and that the witness, if he so wants, give additional comments
21 on these articles. If he once again can be so kind and read these
22 articles mentioned by the OTP. Thank you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The heading reads: "The Serbian
24 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Autonomous Region of Krajina,
25 municipality of Prijedor, Crisis Staff. And the title is press release.
1 On 22nd of May at 1900 hours, paramilitary formations from the territory
2 of the local commune Hambarine carried out an armed attack on the members
3 of the army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The attack
4 was carried out in the following manner: The vehicle which carried the
5 members of the military was stopped at the checkpoint manned by illegal
6 forces situated at the outskirts of Prijedorsko Polje. Having been
7 stopped, the members of the military were then taken out and disarmed.
8 "Later they were fired upon from several locations. On this
9 occasion, two members of the military were killed, and four others were
10 severely wounded. They are currently undergoing treatment at the Banja
11 Luka medical centre. The Crisis Staff hereby informs the public that
12 shortly after that, an evacuation of the killed and the wounded was
13 organised. However, members of the Muslim paramilitary formations did not
14 allow for the wounded to be taken out, but continued with the armed
15 operation. Since the evacuation of the members of the military was made
16 impossible, the command has reached -- issued an order to use force in
17 order to pull out the killed and the wounded members of the army.
18 "This military activity was intended to issue a warning. Its
19 purpose was not to provoke violence which shielded the perpetrators of
20 this crime. The Crisis Staff wishes to warn that from now on, they will
21 no longer be warning actions, but that they would engage in to direct
22 activity on -- it would directly attack the areas where perpetrators of
23 such acts and members of the paramilitary formations are in hiding. The
24 Crisis Staff is hereby ordering the population of the local commune of
25 Hambarine and other local communes in this area, that is, all residents of
1 Muslim and other nationalities, that today, Saturday, 23rd of May, until
2 12.00, they must surrender the perpetrators of this crime to the public
3 security station in Prijedor; in particular, Aziz Aliskovic and his group,
4 which was in a most -- which is the direct and immediate organiser of this
6 "With this crime, all deadlines and promises have been exhausted,
7 and the Crisis Staff can no longer guarantee the security of the residents
8 of the above-mentioned areas -- of the above-mentioned area. Signed,
9 Crisis Staff in Prijedor, on the 23rd of May, 1992."
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sivac. In the middle of the page, there is another
11 box that begins -- the article begins "Krizni Stab" and is again signed
12 and dated Prijedor, 23rd of May, 1992. Can you read that article.
13 A. "The Crisis Staff of the Prijedor Municipality, following its
14 meeting which was held today, sometime before 1500 hours, wishes to inform
15 the public of the following: Since we have heard nothing from the
16 residents of the Hambarine area, and since the attackers and the killers
17 of the soldiers who were members of the Serbian army of the Serbian
18 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina have not been surrendered, and since we
19 have noticed regrouping of the Muslim paramilitary formations and their
20 military activity targeted against members of the Serbian army of the
21 Republic of -- members of the army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina, the latter were forced to retaliate. The Crisis Staff
23 declares null and void the decision on the surrender of weapons reached on
24 the 27th of May, 1992, with the deadline expiring at 1500 hours. The
25 Crisis Staff is ordering an unconditional surrender of weapons and
1 military equipment immediately at the reception point in the barracks
2 Zarko Zgonjanin, not later than 1800 hours on the 23rd of May, 1992.
3 "When surrendering weapons at the vehicle which will carry the
4 illegally obtained weapons, it is necessary to put out a white flag, so
5 that the members of the security organs are able to act in accordance with
6 their authority and their orders.
7 "All citizens who comply with this order and the residential
8 areas from where the illegally obtained weapons will be returned shall be
9 guaranteed personal and legal security as well as the security to their
10 property. No legal measures will be taken against those persons who
11 returned the weapons by the specified deadline. Likewise, they will be
12 guaranteed safe return to their places of residence. Crisis Staff of the
13 Municipality of Prijedor, 23rd of May, 1992."
14 Q. Thank you. Can you now read the article in the box to the right,
15 also signed at the bottom "Crisis Staff."
16 A. "Crisis Staff has obtained information to the effect that the
17 members of the Muslim paramilitary formations Becir Medunjanin, Mirza
18 Mujadzic, and a few other former active officers of the JNA, commanders of
19 the Green Berets in Kozarac, order the setting on fire of the column of
20 the Muslim people from the area of Kozarac and the surrounding areas on
21 the Kozara mountain. This shocking news is yet another proof that the
22 so-called leaders of the Muslim people are not only politically
23 irresponsible, not only obsessed by its own interest, but they have also
24 overstepped the last limit, the last line which divided them, which set
25 them apart from -- which divided them from inhuman criminal behaviour. We
1 hope that these events in Kotlovaca will be a clear sign to those who
2 have so far not understood that their leaders are not leading them -- are
3 leading them into death. The military of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina are trying -- are doing their best to put out the fire
5 around the column of people in Kotlovaca, and to help the innocent
6 people to save their lives. We hope that this tragic event will not serve
7 as a motive for those who have so far attacked us, to attack us once again
8 and to represent, to interpret, the crimes of the Muslim leaders as crimes
9 committed by Serbian people. The Crisis Staff hereby promises that they
10 will do their best in order to help these unfortunate people. In
11 Prijedor, 26th of May, 1992."
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We have to mark these three articles.
13 Objections, as usual, on the same basis? Thank you.
14 And the next exhibit numbers would be S388C, D, and E.
15 THE REGISTRAR: It will be S389-1, -2,-3B.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This will be perhaps easier. 389-1, 2, and 3,
17 in the order appearing in the transcript.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN:
19 Q. I'm sorry because my language abilities are extremely limited,
20 sir, I believe the article you just read would have been in the lower
21 right just above the name Mile Mutic. Perhaps we could put it on the ELMO
22 and you could point to what you just read, if you could put it on the
23 machine to your right.
24 A. I have read this article.
25 Q. Now, if you could read the article above it dated the 24th of May,
1 1992, that actually was the one I was referring to.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would be, then, -4.
3 MR. KOUMJIAN:
4 Q. If you could read, sir, the article in this box, the article dated
5 the 24th of May, 1992.
6 A. The 24th of May, 1992. Let me just find it. What article do you
7 have in mind?
8 Q. Perhaps the usher can help. On the same page, the centre box on
9 the right-hand side. It again begins "Crisis Staff, Prijedor."
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Just on the ELMO, if you can point to it on the
11 ELMO so that also Madam Registrar can follow what now will be -4.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: Perhaps if the usher could point to this article
13 and show it to the witness. This one here.
14 Q. On the ELMO, perhaps, so we are sure that everything is talking
15 about the same article. The usher or the witness could point to the
17 A. That's the one here.
18 Q. Yes, yes, correct.
19 Yes, please read that. Thank you.
20 A. "Prijedor municipal Crisis Staff, at its meeting held this
21 morning, reviewed the situation on the territory of the Prijedor
22 Municipality and concluded that after yesterday's action carried out by
23 the army, with the purpose of disarming Muslim paramilitary formations in
24 the Hambarine local community, the situation calmed down during the
25 evening hours of the day. The Crisis Staff assessed the action to have
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 been carried out successfully. During the fighting, there were no
2 casualties sustained by the army. One member of the army was wounded;
3 however, thanks to a rapid intervention of the medical corps, he was given
4 adequate assistance and sent to the Banja Luka medical centre for further
6 "In yesterday's action, the military used a small part of its
7 capabilities. The Crisis Staff and the command of the region will
8 continue the action of disarming of the members of the paramilitary
9 formation until it is completed. We wish to warn that the order of
10 deblocking all of the roads on the territory of the Prijedor municipality
11 must be complied with, in particular, so far as it concerns the portions
12 of the Banja Luka main road in the area between Kozarac and Omarska local
14 "Yesterday, several individuals who were involved in organising
15 and distribution of weapons were taken to the public security station in
16 Prijedor, including Muhamed Cehajic. The Crisis Staff wishes to inform
17 the public that during the night, there was intermittent shooting in the
18 outskirts of the local -- in the town itself and the surrounding local
19 communes. During the night, there were attempts by Muslim paramilitary
20 formations to initiate new conflicts, and the army and the police of the
21 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina retaliated -- responded to
22 every provocation strongly. In the area of Surkovac, concentration of
23 individuals dressed in uniforms of the army of Republic of Croatia,
24 references to the members of the Croatian national guard, was observed.
25 There has been movement of population from one part of the municipality to
1 the other. Having reviewed the overall situation and the security
2 situation in the territory of the municipality, the Crisis Staff wishes to
3 emphasise once again the need for the residents of the local communes,
4 where part of the paramilitary formations are located, take all the
5 measures in order to disarm them, and that the municipality organs be
6 handed over all illegally obtained weapons.
7 "The Crisis Staff wishes to inform the public that a meeting with
8 representatives of these local communes have been agreed upon; however, we
9 also wish to inform you that there are no negotiations regarding the
10 action of surrendering of weapons. The only thing that can be negotiated
11 are deadlines and current problems relating to these -- to this activity.
12 The order on disarming should be -- must be complied with until its
13 completion. Prijedor, 24th of May, 1992."
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This article, would that be taken into account
15 the objections by the Defence, S389-4. Admitted into evidence.
16 MR. LUKIC: Same objections, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN:
19 Q. Just to complete this important series, could you read the last
20 article. I believe you have not read the one dated the 25th of May, 1992,
21 which appears in the next line down in the centre. Again, signed Crisis
22 Staff, dated Prijedor, 24 -- 25th May, 1992.
23 A. I don't have that one.
24 Sir, I do understand what you want me to do, but I would just like
25 to briefly comment on this. This press release by the Crisis Staff offers
1 an excellent explanation. I was just giving you the tape where you can
2 see actually the local commune citizens turning over their weapons at the
3 barrier. This footage was recorded by Rade Mutic, and Zivko --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't get the last name.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Who were regarding from Prijedor at
6 that time. So should you need it, you can use this evidence in this
8 MR. KOUMJIAN:
9 Q. Sir, you were referring to Zivko Ecim, and that is the tape that
10 you provided us when you were here in July was played in court.
11 Now if you can --
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now if you can please read the Crisis Staff article dated the 25th
14 of May, 1992.
15 A. "Following the attacks on Zarko Zgonjanin barracks from the
16 Puharska village two days ago and yesterday, an attack during which the
17 army did not return fire, the Crisis Staff of Prijedor Municipality would
18 like to inform the public of the following: The participants in this
19 attack are well-known. They are former police officer Senad Grozdanic,
20 and Said Grozdanic, and Hamdija Balic with his group. At the same time as
21 the barracks, the facilities of the electrodistribution company were
22 attacked as well as several police checkpoints. At the same time, there
23 was an ongoing attack by the Muslim paramilitary units -- by the Muslim
24 paramilitary units in the villages of Kozarac and Kevljani, which clearly
25 indicates that there was a coordinated effort, an attack, by the Green
1 Berets, and the perpetrators and the organisers of the attack on the
2 barracks at the request of the citizens of Puharska were erected this
3 morning and they are currently being investigated. The citizens of
4 Puharska confirmed on that occasion that they wished to testify before
5 the relevant organs to the effect that the army did not return fire when
6 Grozdanic and his group attacked, and the reason they failed to return
7 fire was the former good neighbourly relations that they used to have.
8 "The army adopted the few that over the following period, it can
9 no longer tolerate such attacks, but will instead return fire. The 26th
10 of May, 1992, Crisis Staff."
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: For Your Honour, the videotape the witness referred
13 to earlier, if you recall when he was here, we only played the interview
14 of Dr. Stakic, but we later played a 15-minute excerpt of that, and that's
15 S240-1. That included people surrendering weapons.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right. Now this concrete article, I can take it
17 that we have the same objections as previously by the Defence. Admitted
18 into evidence, S389-5.
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Now, if everyone could get out the issue dated the
20 24th of July, the first page, it includes a military review and an officer
21 walking along in a salute. While that's being -- everyone's getting that,
22 Mr. Sivac, just to remind us all, when you testified here last summer, you
23 told us about a day in July, late July, when 12 buses of men from the Brdo
24 region arrived in the Omarska camp.
25 Q. Do you recall discussing those buses and the men from Brdo coming
1 into the Omarska camp?
2 A. Yes, roughly, I do.
3 Q. I'm just asking you, I haven't had a translation of this article
4 but just the headline. Can you read the headlines of this article,
5 everything that appears in bold print above the photograph.
6 A. "Muslim extremists in the Rizvanovici fired on the army again.
7 Soldier Slave Panic killed." That's the main heading. "In the immediate
8 vicinity of the mosque in Rizvanovici on Sunday, soldier Slave, son of
9 Zivka Panic, from Mis Glava was killed. The army is preparing a cleansing
11 Q. Do you recognise the soldier saluting or the officer or soldier
12 saluting in that photograph?
13 A. As far as I can see, this is Vladimir Arsic.
14 Q. And if the Defence or Your Honours want to look at it, the copy
15 that the witness has is a much better copy of the photograph. And that
16 could be passed.
17 MR. KOUMJIAN: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Then may I just start and guide you
19 to your former testimony. Maybe the one or other slight discrepancy with
20 testimonies of other persons. Therefore, please, that you know what it's
21 all about, may the witness please be shown Exhibit S15-2-1, and may it be
22 put on the ELMO.
23 Do you recall that during your last testimony in summer, you were
24 asked about the visit of a delegation to Omarska. In all likelihood, in
25 the middle of July, 1992.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I do.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And do you remember that you were kind enough at
3 that time to mark some special points and areas on the picture?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do recall that.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And may I ask now that, sometimes for the one or
6 other witness, this artificial rebuilding may be misleading. As to the
7 fact that we have better video footage, may I ask the video unit just to
8 start and play a video.
9 [Videotape played]
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Stop. Please rewind. Stop.
11 Can you identify the building?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I can clearly see it.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we turn once again to the picture we have on
14 the ELMO.
15 Can you recall the point from where the --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry. The area from where the persons or the
18 delegations entered this area?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this section here. It's
20 roughly speaking the northern part, the northern part of the camp, the
21 mine. This is the main gate roughly speaking. This may have been a bit
22 too rough a description, but between this corner here and the flags is
23 where the delegation passed. And they halted here.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you recall where their cars stayed when they
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think here, around this section
2 I'm pointing at. This model strikes me as a bit unnatural. It's
3 unnatural. However, here, in this section. Below -- well, actually
4 behind, but as far as I can remember, just behind the flag poles
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And to the best of your recollections, all the
7 cars stayed there, or some cars entered the area?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Cars drove in carrying only Simo
9 Drljaca and Dusan Jankovic. Then there was an armoured personnel carrier
10 at the head of the column of vehicles driving in. And they halted just
11 behind the delegation, the delegation consisting of Zeljko Meakic and the
12 camp personnel. The rest of them stayed here. This was a little bit less
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So could you please point once again to the area
15 where you stood at that time, when the delegation arrived.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was standing, as I said, here, to
17 the left and to the side of this fountain from which water is spouting.
18 It's impossible to tell me now, for me to tell now how many metres
19 exactly, but I was standing here in this section, roughly speaking. It
20 must be this section over here, maybe these letters are a bit thicker than
21 I originally remembered. So a bit to the left.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it was impossible for you to see and identify
23 what happened on the other side of the building or at the front side of
24 the same building. Correct?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, this is the front side of
1 the building as far as I remember.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, of course. You are right. With "the front
3 side," I wanted to express the other side, to the right-hand side. Yes,
4 please -- not this area. Of course, you're right.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, this. Yes.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And just to the other side of the building, if
7 you go to the other side, opposed to this side of the building.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Indicates]
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Further on. You were not able to see what
10 happened in that area?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Only as far as the corner of the
12 garage. That's as far as I could see. Behind it, I couldn't see
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So, yes, may I once again -- I know you already
15 told us where the inmates were compelled to line up and sing Chetnik songs
16 at that time. Could you please once again indicate the area where they
17 stood and where there were lined up.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as I've already said in my
19 first testimony, since 8.00 in the morning Milorad Tadic, Brk, would have
20 us line up. But in the morning he would keep changing our disposition
21 until he found the best one, the best line up. He would line us up here
22 in this section. Then the inmates from the garage would be brought here,
23 and then eventually they would remain. But when the delegation arrived,
24 at one moment he moved us over here, and I barely managed to see that
25 another group of inmates from the white house were also lined up here in
1 front. Finally, there was only this position. And it was in this
2 position that we saw the police delegation from Prijedor and Banja Luka
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And can you please tell us once
5 again where the delegation passed these inmates standing there lined up
6 and singing Chetnik songs?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After reporting to -- after Zeljko
8 Meakic reported to Radislav Brdjanin, the commander of the camp, he stood
9 here. And behind him were standing the remaining members of the
11 Zeljko Meakic, he was right here. This is where he was standing.
12 And Mr. Radoslav Brdjanin was standing in front of everyone else, just
13 behind Zeljko Meakic there was Simo Drljaca and the other people from the
14 police, from the Prijedor police, together with the shift leaders and a
15 number of guards. After they reported to Radislav Brdjanin, Radislav
16 Brdjanin with part of the delegation went this way. And then midway to
17 their destination, they halted, and he tried to say something. I couldn't
18 hear anything because people were bellowing; there was a lot of noise. We
19 had to sing all those songs and keep shouting Serbia, Serbia. And then
20 accompanied by part of the delegation, he came here and took the entrance
21 to the administrative building.
22 A minor group of people I didn't recognise was led by Srdjo Srdic
23 and Simo Miskovic. They headed this way. It was around here, well, the
24 last ones were always at the back of the -- that group of mine from Mujo's
25 room, there was the old Dedo Crnalic. He managed to reach the end of the
1 gauntlet, and he raised his arm. He wanted to tell Srdjo Srdic and Simo
2 Miskovic something. He was trying to tell them something. They paused
3 briefly. They waved to him, and just behind Srdjo Srdic and Simo
4 Miskovic, Milomir Stakic passed by, together with Milan Andzic, and a
5 couple of other people I didn't know, probably from Omarska. And then
6 they headed this way.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: As regards time, was it at the same time or did
8 the persons mentioned by you right now, did they arrive a little bit later
9 or a little bit earlier?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, no. It was -- let me tell you
11 how it was. The delegation headed this way, and the other group where
12 Milomir Stakic was, they headed down this way. So they parted ways here.
13 They split up into two groups. I'm not sure what the reason was.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So once again, from that, it already emanates
15 that it was and it's your testimony that without any doubt, you saw at
16 that time both Milomir Stakic and Srdjo Srdic when this -- when the
17 delegation arrived. Correct?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I still say the same.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I wanted to be on the safe side. Just one final
20 question from my side: Do you by chance know a Ms. Nada Markovska?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do, closely.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can you explain this a little bit to us.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, please allow me to
24 just add a comment about Mr. Srdjo Srdic, if you will. Mr. Srdjo Srdic, I
25 say, "Mr.," although it's a bit difficult for me, but I'm trying to do it
1 out of respect for this Court. He had been a dentist in Prijedor for a
2 very long time. He was even -- he was as close to me -- he was almost a
3 member of my family. We were on visiting terms. We used to drink
4 together. He used to come and see my father. Srdjo Srdic showed up in
5 Omarska on a white suit on that particular day. I know that someone who
6 was standing behind me was sort of shoving me in the back, but we had to
7 keep singing. So I didn't react. But when we entered the room, Bajrisa
8 Zeljo told me: "You saw Srdjo Srdic wearing a white suit as though he was
9 a conducter of the Viennes philharmonic orchestra." That's how he arrived
10 in Omarska. That was a comment, along those lines. You know even in
11 those sad days, we did have a number of anecdotes and jokes even.
12 Let me clarify this: You asked me about Nada Markovska, I used to
13 work with her in the security services for a long time. Her maiden name
14 was Babic. She was married to Milorad Markovska who was my school mate
15 and we were the same age. He was a well-known alcoholic, and he used to
16 lazy about all the time. For a while, she used to work as a secretary for
17 the SUP secretary, Stojan Panic, and later she was transferred to the
18 crime squad. And in 1992, she was in the crime squad. She worked as the
19 secretary of the head of the crime squad, Ranko Mijic. She was a very
20 reticent person. She worked for the SUP. She had two children, and she
21 kept struggling with her husband who was an alcoholic. And he always
22 refused to find work. She didn't go out to the centre very often, and she
23 had a very reticent life.
24 I did clash with her verbally once after the Serb takeover in
25 Prijedor. We happened to bump into each other in the centre on a Sunday.
1 I was standing there, and she told me: "What sort of a man are you?
2 We're not cannibals, we Serbs, you know. We don't eat people." "What
3 happened, I asked her?" You told Medisja Sahovic was still working in
4 the SUP after the Serbs had taken over. No one could make him sign an
5 oath of loyalty to the Serb authorities. Everything he was being asked to
6 do was under duress. But that he should think about it. And then he told
7 Nada Markovska about this, and she used this opportunity to criticise me
8 and to tell me that Serbs were no cannibals, and that I should be careful
9 about what I was telling people. The only thing I did was I simply
10 advised my friend to sign or not sign an oath of loyalty to the Serb
11 authorities, to do as he chose. But everything that was done was done
12 under duress. And very soon, I told him then this would cease to be
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever see or meet Nada Markovska in
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the morning, when it was
17 possible, when guards took us out, we saw this special bus carrying
18 interrogators -- come to the camp, and we also saw Nada Markovska, Nevenka
19 Sikman, Dara Lujic who were all administrative workers working for the
20 security service, we saw them coming to the camp together with the
21 investigators and going to the administration building, going upstairs in
22 the administration building. I also saw them once when we were lined up
23 in front of the room where I was detained. And on one occasion, we were
24 being beaten and made to lay face down on the floor. At one point, I
25 managed to stand up, and I saw Nada Markovska smoking a cigarette in the
1 company of Slavica Lakic. They were playing Chetnik music very loud from
2 this room. The windows were open, and they were standing at the window.
3 They were watching us, which was also a form of provocation in respect of
4 us who at the moment were lying down face down.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever meet Nada Markovska later, and did
6 you maybe discuss testimony here in The Hague together with her?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, never. That was the first
8 time. But I have to tell you something quite interesting. There's very
9 little news concerning your trial, I mean, the trial against Dr. Stakic.
10 I was informed that I would be testifying in the case -- in the Brdjanin
11 case, and the Deutche Welle radio station broadcast a very brief comment
12 on these proceedings. And they mentioned the fact that Nada Markovska had
13 spoken -- had testified in this case. As far as I remember, the reporter,
14 the journalist of Deutche Welle quoted her as saying that she had never
15 seen Stakic in the camp, that she had never seen a single killing in the
16 camp, and that she had only seen occasional beatings which were done by
17 members of some special forces from Banja Luka.
18 Your Honours, Mr. President, I guarantee you with my life, which
19 may sound banal, that if --
20 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry. Could the witness be asked to repeat
21 the last sentence. We didn't understand it.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] She had never seen Milomir Stakic
23 before the war.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The interpreters didn't understand your answer.
25 Could you please repeat the entire answer once again. It reads on the
1 transcript: "I guarantee you with my life, which may sound banal that if
2 --" and then it stops unfortunately. Could you please repeat.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. If you had organised a
4 lineup, as you did in my case, for the purposes of identifying Mr. Milomir
5 Stakic, and you had brought in several people including Mr. Milomir Stakic
6 into this courtroom, she would have never identified him. She would have
7 never guessed who he was.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Now it's the time for
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Lukic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Sivac.
12 A. Good afternoon.
13 Q. We see each other again.
14 A. Mr. Lukic, there's no way I can run away from you, or from fate,
15 it seems.
16 Q. Well, it's neither your fault or my fault. And it's not the fault
17 of Their Honours either. It's the circumstances, I guess.
18 Let me begin with the documents that you were shown by the
19 Prosecutor earlier on today. As far as I understand, you yourself brought
20 these documents today or yesterday?
21 A. Well, you know, you always find something in my briefcase.
22 Q. First of all, let me -- tell us, please, when you -- when it was
23 that you obtained these documents?
24 A. Sometime in September last year. Some of it I obtained in
25 September, and some of it I had found even earlier.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown
2 Exhibit S389.
3 Q. Five small portions are marked here, all of which were read by you
4 to the Court. However, the main headline in respect of all these texts
5 reads as follows: "Press release." Is that so?
6 A. Yes. I mean, it's not the main title; it's part of this war
8 Q. War diary, does it refer to the press release? Is it part of the
9 press release of the Crisis Staff?
10 A. Yes, it contains all of the press releases of the Crisis Staff,
11 and all of these articles are signed "Crisis Staff."
12 Q. Do you think that the headline "war diary" was given by the
13 journalists, the editor of the paper, or the Crisis Staff?
14 A. Well, I guess it was given by the editor, and I think I mentioned
15 the fact that -- I mentioned who the editor in chief was at that time, and
16 it was perhaps also upon his recommendation. Milenko Rajlic, who was the
17 right hand of Milomir Stakic, the accused in this case, who had prepared
18 all of these press releases and other people from members of the Crisis
19 Staff. These press releases and these pamphlets were sent to the editor,
20 and they published them.
21 Q. The term "press release," does that mean that the document in
22 question is an order?
23 A. Well, at that time, yes.
24 Q. To whom were these orders issued, since you say they were orders?
25 A. They were issued to all people living in the territory of the
1 Prijedor Municipality.
2 Q. Is it normal for a press release to address the public in general,
3 to address all citizens living in a given area?
4 A. Yes. I guess that's why it's called "press release" or "public
6 Q. Tell us, please, when, according to you, the Crisis Staff of the
7 Prijedor Municipality was established?
8 A. I believe you asked that question several times, Mr. Lukic.
9 Officially, I believe, it was established sometime in May. But let me
10 tell you, I think that the Crisis Staff had been established long time
11 before, but that fact was not made public for a while.
12 Q. Why was it not made public, whereas the establishment of the
13 Serbian Municipality -- the assembly of the Serbian Municipality of
14 Prijedor and the executive council were made public? Why wasn't that fact
15 made public as well?
16 A. Well, a lot of these things were made public before; but at that
17 time, there was a lot of tension, the atmosphere was such that it
18 eventually led to the takeover. And the reason why they did not mention
19 the fact that the Crisis Staff had been established was because it would
20 have sounded very militant. It would immediately remind the general
21 public of the state of war, which later on turned to be true. You are
22 very well aware of this. When such a decision is made, when the state of
23 war is proclaimed, all valid laws and enactments are declared null and
24 void. And legal decisions are adopted on an ad hoc basis, which can be
25 seen from these press releases.
1 Q. Was the state of war ever proclaimed?
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Previous interpretation continues] ... it's
3 better that you have a longer period in time without any interruption to
4 have the break now for the next 20 minutes, until 10 minutes to 6.00. And
5 then you have the time until 7.00.
6 MR. LUKIC: [In English] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 --- Recess taken at 5.30 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 5.57 p.m.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. And Mr. Lukic, the floor is
11 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. [Interpretation] I know you're tired, Mr. Sivac. You have been
13 testifying for the whole day. However, when we stopped, when we
14 interrupted for the break, I asked you if you knew whether the martial law
15 was proclaimed ever.
16 A. As far as I can remember, as concerns the Autonomous Region of
17 Bosanska Krajina, I did read a public announcement once which claimed that
18 martial law had been proclaimed. I think it was signed by Radoslav
19 Brdjanin on behalf of the Crisis Staff of the Krajina region. Now, as
20 Prijedor, after the takeover, formally joined the autonomous region of
21 Banja Luka or Bosanska Krajina, that implied that the same situation
22 applied to Prijedor Municipality too.
23 Q. So you wouldn't agree with me if I told you that martial law was
24 only proclaimed in late 1995?
25 A. I really don't know, believe me. Last time I told you that I
1 didn't know much about the legislation, and why retroactively,
2 that means, and why Crisis Staffs had been set up to begin with. You know
3 as well as I do that a Crisis Staff had been set up for the Bosanska
4 Krajina region, I'm talking about the Crisis Staff in Prijedor.
5 Q. Were there ever cases in the former Yugoslavia when Crisis Staffs
6 were set up due to floods?
7 A. That's precisely the problem, Mr. Lukic. We, as a people, and I
8 would like to explain this to the Trial Chamber, very often used the word
9 "staff." Just "staff," like that, without clarifying it. And I'm going
10 to try to explain this now. In the former Yugoslavia, we would set up a
11 staff every time there was a harvest, every time there was some sort of
12 natural calamity. In different situations, different groups of people had
13 different tasks and usually they would call themselves a "staff."
14 However, Mr. Lukic, what we are discussing here is a Crisis Staff. A
15 Crisis Staff, at least I believe so, has a totally different meaning.
16 Q. This pile of documents that you've brought here today contains a
17 certain document. It's a copy of the Kozarski Vjesnik issue dated the
18 22nd of May, 1992. Page 3.
19 A. The 22nd of May? Can you please show me this. It's easier for me
20 to read if I use the large copies.
21 This reads the 6th of August.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could it be, please, put on the ELMO.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will try and look for it.
24 The 22nd of May, are you referring to this?
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. No, this is what it looks like, page 3.
2 A. Yes, I've got it. 22nd of May, page 3.
3 Q. In the upper right corner, you have an article. The headline is:
4 "The first session of the Municipal Assembly under the new
5 circumstances." And then the headline continues: "For a more efficient
6 work of the assembly amid war ..." Do you know whether the Municipal
7 Assembly and the Crisis Staff operated at the same time?
8 A. Well, no, as soon as you set up a Crisis Staff, the work of the
9 Municipal Assembly was suspended. I think that's only logical. When a
10 Crisis Staff is set up, new circumstances are created, and the Crisis
11 Staff automatically becomes the biggest body, operative body, in a certain
12 area, in a certain community. And then all decisions of any relevance for
13 that community are made by the Crisis Staff. You can't convene a
14 Municipal Assembly due to extraordinary circumstances, as it says here.
15 It's very difficult to get everyone assembled in one place, all the
16 deputies, and then the procedural matters adopting certain laws and
18 Q. Would you please be so kind and muster some strength to read
19 through this part, about the council.
20 A. It's the one I'm showing you, the one we're talking about. "The
21 first session of the Municipal Assembly under the newly created
22 circumstances," that's the caption.
23 "For more efficient work of the assembly amid war. For the first
24 time in -- since the new situation came about, the deputies of the
25 Municipal Assembly of Prijedor came together on Wednesday in order to
1 review a number of questions related to normalising life amid the threat
2 of war. As the president of the assembly, Milomir Stakic said at the
3 beginning of the session: "The war circumstances under which the highest
4 government in the municipality was forced to operate call for greater
5 efficiency by all bodies of the assembly and the assembly itself, but at
6 the same time also a higher level of responsibility of the deputies
7 themselves in making more responsible and better-founded decisions."
8 "As expected, the deputies paid the most attention to decisions
9 on the organisation and operation of the Crisis Staff of Prijedor
10 Municipality. The task of the Crisis Staff is to work on coordinating the
11 functions of government to defend the municipal territory, to defend the
12 safety and security of citizens and property, to uphold bodies of
13 government and organise all other areas of life and work.
14 "By coordinating all of the above, the staff makes it possible
15 for the executive committee of the municipality to be a body of legal and
16 executive power and to function as such, as well as to run and organise
17 all the different areas of life. It is seen as particularly important for
18 the Crisis Staff to deal with issues from the purview of the Municipal
19 Assembly, if the assembly is unable to meet. However, the Crisis Staff
20 must send to the Municipal Assembly and show the Municipal Assembly all
21 such decisions as soon as the assembly can meet."
22 Q. And then further down, you have particular decisions concerning
24 A. Yes, signed by Ostoja Kresar.
25 Q. Why is it that you believe that this decision was published on the
1 22nd of May, 1992?
2 A. Believe me, I really have no idea.
3 Q. Could the reason be that the Crisis Staff was, indeed -- had
4 indeed been set up only several days earlier? Here it reads "Wednesday"
5 and Kozarski Vjesnik usually appears on Fridays.
6 A. Yes, but let me tell you again, I still claim that the Crisis
7 Staff had been set up long before, but it was only made public on as you
8 can see here the 22nd of May. That's as far as I can see.
9 Q. Was any other body aside from the Crisis Staff founded, set up, in
10 secrecy, or was that the only secret body?
11 A. Well, the security services, as I said before, as long ago as
12 1991, they began setting up the security services. And we know from my
13 last testimony who worked on setting up a parallel police force in the
15 Q. But that was published in the media?
16 A. No, no. It was never published in the media, as I read just a
17 moment ago --
18 Q. But didn't you just a moment ago read that piece where it says
19 that Simo Drljaca was appointed?
20 A. No, no, but that was only in May --
21 Q. I'm saying April. That was when the takeover took place.
22 A. Yes, that's right. It was precisely during that period when the
23 takeover took place.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Indiscernible]
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. So before the takeover, the setting up of the security services
2 was made public, only the Crisis Staff was kept secret?
3 A. I've already given you the reason.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 As time goes by, you're getting ever more certain that you
6 actually did see Dr. Stakic in Omarska?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can you please tell us what he was wearing on that particular day,
9 plainclothes, uniform?
10 A. Plainclothes, civilian clothes.
11 Q. What exactly did that civilian dress consist of?
12 A. As far as I can remember, he was wearing a blue shirt,
13 short-sleeved. Was it white, perhaps? I can't remember.
14 Q. Do you remember if he wore a hat or glasses perhaps?
15 A. No, I don't remember. No, he didn't wear anything.
16 Q. How well did you actually know Mr. Srdjo Srdic?
17 A. I had known Srdjo Srdic for a very long time. He was my father's
18 friend too. He used to come to my house to see my father.
19 Q. And you're absolutely certain that Srdjo Srdic was with the
20 delegation on that day in Omarska?
21 A. Yes, I am.
22 Q. Can you describe what Srdjo Srdic was wearing?
23 A. As I already pointed out, he was wearing a white suit. And a
24 colleague of mine, Haj Bajic, when he entered Buha and Mujo's room, he
25 told me: "You see Srdjo Srdic over there, he's like the conducter of the
1 Viennes philharmonic orchestra, and he's in a camp visiting us."
2 Q. Was Mr. Srdic wearing a hat or glasses?
3 A. No, not as far as I remember. Srdjo Srdic never wore glasses or a
4 hat, for that matter.
5 Q. How would you describe the personality of Srdjo Srdic?
6 A. Srdjo's biography can easily be divided into two parts: He was a
7 famous dentist in Prijedor. He was an actor with an amateur troupe until
8 I think 1984 or 1985, perhaps even earlier. He was prone to drink, and he
9 was -- he would easily fly into a rage when he was drunk. And later on,
10 as he used to say himself, that was before his cardiac arrest and his
11 health problems, he stopped drinking.
12 And he completely devoted himself to religion. He often went to
13 the orthodox church in Prijedor, although prior to that, he had been a
14 member of the communist league of Yugoslavia for a very long time. I
15 think he was even the president of the local branch at the health centre,
16 the medical centre in Prijedor. That's where he worked. In those years,
17 just before the first democratic elections, he made no secret of being a
18 Serb and a person who liked Serbs. He made no secret of the fact that he
19 had become a nationalist, even if he spent his whole life in Prijedor
20 living alongside with Muslims. It is my submission here that Srdjo Srdic
21 was one of the leaders of the Prijedor Serbs. He was never in the
22 foreground, because he was an elderly person, and his health wasn't very
23 good. He was closely related to -- his wife Milena was a close relative
24 of Radovan Karadzic. That was his second wife, that was very important.
25 Srdjo Srdic's second wife, Milena, she was from Montenegro originally.
1 In the days preceding the first democratic elections, as well as
2 after that, whenever Radovan Karadzic came to Prijedor, he never stayed at
3 a hotel or in any of the public places. Every time he came to Prijedor,
4 he would stay with Srdjo Srdic and his relative Milena.
5 Do you need any further explanations? Do you want me to tell you
6 how many children he has? Because if that's what it takes, I can tell you
7 everything. Srdjo Srdic's son, Misa, married to a Muslim, he's the same
8 age as I am. We were schoolmates at secondary school. Srdjo Srdic did
9 not want to know about his son. He rejected him. And then this son had a
10 step-father, Matija Jakija who was a jeweler from Prijedor; he was a Jew
11 originally from Macedonia. And he married Srdjo's first wife, and the
12 son, Misa.
13 Srdjo Srdic married a Montenegrin woman whose husband, during the
14 1950s, was some sort of an inform bureau agent in Yugoslavia, but then he
15 was convicted as such, and he was sent to do time in Goli Otok. His
16 last name was Suvarac. When Milena married Srdjo she brought her son from
17 her first marriage. His name was Dragan Suvarac.
18 Q. Fair enough, thank you.
19 Was it conspicuous or was it true that Srdjo Srdic displayed
20 hatred toward Muslims?
21 A. In the last period, yes, very much so.
22 Q. Mr. Sivac, when I say "in the last period," which period are we
23 referring to exactly?
24 A. Just before the war broke out, in 1990 or thereabouts. I know
25 that he didn't uphold Muslims in very high esteem. I know because once I
1 was in a restaurant, the owner was a Serb, Drago Braco Stupar. We used to
2 go there together sometimes and Srdjo Srdic would also come there.
3 Because just across the way from the restaurant was the only orthodox
4 church in Prijedor. And a number of his friends who were there, and I was
5 there, too, once, they asked him, "Srdjo, how did you end up in all
6 this? You spent your whole life socialising with Muslims." And his reply
7 was: "Yes, the fact which I know with very much regret."
8 Q. What exactly did he regret?
9 A. He regretted having spent the whole of his life with Muslims.
10 Q. The Omarska camp, was the Red Cross ever there?
11 A. No, never.
12 Q. Does that mean that the Red Cross never brought food or medicines
13 or clothes to the inmates?
14 A. Mr. Lukic, please, I'm a serious person. Don't make me laugh
16 Q. So we'll take it for not true, just in case anyone should claim
17 that it was the case.
18 A. Yes, I think we understand each other fairly well.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please show Mr. Sivac
20 the document that we brought today.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I do have an objection --
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I just interrupt. Even without any
23 objections by the Prosecution, ex officio, the Trial Chamber doesn't
24 regard it appropriate to go into details of the intense fear and the
25 health conditions of the witness. And we can't see any relevance based on
1 these documents. And I already guided the Defence before not to touch
2 this issue. There was time enough to discuss this in the absence of the
3 witness, and I extremely regret that we have to discuss this now in the
4 presence of the witness. But may I please hear in addition the submission
5 by the OTP.
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just briefly, for the same reasons and also the
7 fact that this is apparently private material that was obtained from
8 unknown sources. But the main reason is no offer has been made of proof
9 of why it's relevant, and Your Honour previously ruled and there was no
10 offer of proof from the Defence at that time.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If the condition of the eyesight or
12 mental state is not important for the recognition of another person, then
13 we can also agree that our evidence is not important for this case.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You start making it more difficult then. I
15 think it's also for the Defence to treat a witness in the appropriate
16 way. And you questioned already the eyesight of the witness earlier, and
17 it was discussed sufficiently. But going now one step further without
18 giving any reason for this, I think you're clearly overstepping. And may
19 I ask, how it is possible, under the rules protecting private data, that
20 you come into the possession of this private data on the witness before
22 MR. LUKIC: [In English] Because I can get it, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry?
24 MR. LUKIC: Because I can get this data. Because in my country, I
25 can seek it, request it, and I can get it.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This data is related to a period of time
2 ending, if I see it correctly, somewhere in 1989. So is it correct that
3 they are not complete?
4 MR. LUKIC: This is what we could get with our limited resources,
5 Your Honour.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 1999.
7 MR. LUKIC: It starts in 1980, ends in 1989.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it really the case of the Defence that the
9 mental state of the witness before us is an obstacle to the reliability of
10 his testimony? Yes or no?
11 MR. LUKIC: We think that at that time, when he -- this witness
12 allegedly recognised Dr. Stakic, that it could influence his capability to
13 recognise if he didn't use proper medications, if he is not treated
14 properly in a medical sense. Yes.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Submission by the Prosecution, please.
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, as Your Honours know, we were handed this
17 document today. The source of the document is still not identified.
18 Counsel indicated he can legally obtain this, and yet we have no
19 information that these medical records were obtained in a legal manner, no
20 order from a judge or court or authorisation for their release. And
21 simply, still counsel has never made in their written question to the
22 Court -- Ms. Sutherland is handing me a note private session, but I think
23 we've already gone far enough that there's no need at this point -- there
24 has simply never been although the Defence was given a chance by Your
25 Honour to put it in writing any offer of proof that the Defence had any
1 relevant information affecting this witness's credibility. The testimony
2 is clear. This witness had, when he saw Dr. Stakic in the camp, had been
3 detained under horrific conditions, seeing his friends killed in front of
4 him. And undoubtedly, like everyone else in the Omarska camp, was under
5 severe mental stress. That's not disputed by the Prosecution. No
6 relevance from these records from the 1980s has been shown.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's try to take, once again, a pragmatic
8 approach. May I ask you in a very neutral way, and I apologise for doing
9 so. You have seen the source why I proceed this way.
10 Do you ever had the impression that there was a special health
11 condition or a problem with your sight, and maybe glasses, that could be
12 an obstacle, and that would have been an obstacle at that period in time,
13 in 1992, for making clear and undisputable observations about what
14 happened before your detention, during your detention, and after your
15 detention in Omarska? Once again, sorry to have to ask you this question.
16 But please, let us know.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President. I could see very
18 well, and I needed glasses only for reading, for reading small print. It
19 is true that in everyday life, I often wore sunglasses because my eyes are
20 very sensitive to sunlight which is a kind of occupational disease due to
21 my profession, that is. But my eyesight is perfectly normal. Only when I
22 was reading something did I need glasses.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever have any special health problems?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I never had anything in
25 particular, apart from certain problems that I had as a result of my work
1 for the security service. I often work at night, so my normal biorhythm
2 was often disrupted. I often had problems with my sleep. As for any
3 other health problems, I don't think that I had anything in particular,
4 apart from the usual problems that everybody has from now and then.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Does the Defence really want to proceed with
6 their line of questions based on these photocopies we received today? You
7 may discuss this issue with your client.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, may I be allowed to
9 say something very brief.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This material, has it been provided
12 by the Prijedor medical centre?
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Nobody knows, and I'm more than surprised
14 because it's not only under national legislation, but also under European
15 conventions forbidden without any consent given by a judge to deliver
16 these very sensitive data to third persons. And I'm more than surprised
17 that we received this here in court. And even not knowing what is the
18 source of this -- of these documents, but I don't want to go into details
19 of these legal problems. I only wanted to express my extreme surprise.
20 But the Defence never should say that they had not the possibility
21 to put questions to the witness. And therefore, I'll ask you, and please,
22 if you so want, discuss it together with your client, is it really your
23 case that you want to proceed on that what you started?
24 MR. LUKIC: [In English] I would like first to explain Your Honour,
25 we are talking about Bosnia where foreign troops come and confiscate
1 complete documentation from some institutions. Why would somebody be
2 surprised if we have a few papers?
3 Secondly, to maintain good spirit of this trial, we will not
4 continue with this line of questions.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you feel that there's any kind of prejudice,
6 please tell us.
7 MR. LUKIC: If Your Honours think that there is something
8 confidential, we might go to a private or closed session.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So we go into closed session. And then, please,
10 tell us the relevance and the aim of your line of questions, and then we
11 will rule on this, whether the questions are admitted or not.
12 [Closed session]
8 Pages 10298 to 10305 – redacted – closed session
9 [Open session]
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Will you please tell us which direction were you facing when the
12 delegation arrived in Omarska?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please repeat the answer,
15 A. I think I was facing east.
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I would object to further questions
17 that were already covered or could have been covered in the initial
19 MR. LUKIC: [In English] But today, we had extra questions from the
20 Prosecution for a few hours. It's not said that we can only ask questions
21 submitted in written form because of their line of questions.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You covered this area already previously, and
23 now you come back to this area out of context by this.
24 MR. LUKIC: Because the witness just mentioned -- can we have this
25 discussion without having his headphones in his ears? He can understand,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 so my explanation would be pointless.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We don't make now any artificial exercises. If
3 you have any -- I think once again, the Defence should know that there are
4 rules, and they have to obey the rules. And there shouldn't be any abuse
5 of their rights. And we are very close to this once again. So please,
6 what I want to avoid is that the witness before us has to be called once
7 again, and therefore unfortunately I have to allow the question. But
8 please limit it to the absolute necessary.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Was the visit before noon?
11 A. I said in my first testimony that it was around noon. I can't
12 give you the exact time. The specialty of the guards in the camp was to
13 take people a -- watches away and you know that well.
14 Q. Were you wearing sunglasses then?
15 A. No, Mr. Lukic, I definitely wasn't. I think your questions are no
16 longer fair, and this is something that I have to point out with the
17 Court's permission.
18 Q. I apologise if you got that impression, because that was never my
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We have no further questions,
21 Your Honours. Thank you very much, Mr. Sivac, and please forgive me again
22 if we offended you in any way.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please, very short.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just one.
25 Further Examination by Mr. Koumjian:
1 Q. On the front page of some of the Kozarski Vjesniks that you
2 brought, there appears to be a stamp "Soros media centre." Can you
3 explain that?
4 A. Soros Foundation, the open society.
5 Q. Do you know where your friend got these Kozarski Vjesniks from?
6 A. I traced it down to someone from Prijedor who had access to all
7 issues of Kozarski Vjesnik. So this person probably sold this -- sold a
8 number of copies to the Soros library in Sarajevo, the library of the
9 open society in Sarajevo.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: I have no further questions, Your Honour. I do
11 think we did not mark the one last headline from the 24 July, 1992,
12 article, with the picture of Colonel Arsic reviewing troops. I think
13 perhaps if that could be marked. I believe the next number would be
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To be on the safe side, may I hear the
16 comments. Is it correct, the number?
17 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections?
19 MR. LUKIC: The same objections as previously.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence as S390B.
21 MR. LUKIC: On the other side, Your Honour, we have to propose the
22 document we used from the same Kozarski Vjesnik to be admitted in
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, that's correct. This would be D?
25 THE REGISTRAR: D45B, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I can't see any objections. Admitted, D45B.
2 MR. LUKIC: Luckily, it's 7.00, so no time for you to punish me.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please understand that I don't answer.
4 This concludes today's hearing. I understand the witness
5 scheduled for today will be here tomorrow at 2.15. Correct?
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I have -- I'll take it with Judge
7 Agius, this is a problem with this document now and whether it has to be
8 disclosed in the other case.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I'm awfully sorry that this happened. But once
10 again, I don't want to comment on this and whether it's appropriate to act
11 this way by the Defence.
12 So this concludes today's session. And the trial stays adjourned
13 until tomorrow.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.07 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 14th day
17 of January, 2003, at 2.15 p.m.