1 Wednesday, 22 January 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. And despite the outside
6 weather conditions, a very good morning to everybody. And may we hear the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case Number IT-97-24-T, the
9 Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the appearances for the
11 Prosecution, please.
12 MS. SUTHERLAND: Good morning, Your Honours. Ann Sutherland with
13 Ruth Karper for the Prosecution.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning.
15 MR. LUKIC: Good morning. Branko Lukic, John Ostojic, and Danilo
16 Cirkovic for the Defence.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. The ordinary question; any
18 protective measures necessary for Witness 71?
19 MR. LUKIC: No, Your Honour, no protective measures requested.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask immediately the usher to escort
21 Mr. Momir Pusac into the courtroom.
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, while the witness is being brought
23 in, is it possible for the Defence to provide the names or the numbers of
24 the witnesses who are going to be testifying next week?
25 MR. LUKIC: Yes, we'll provide the Prosecution, during the break,
1 with the names for the next week, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It would be excellent; also the Chamber would
3 know about the fate of next week.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The request related to --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the president, please.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Microphone not activated]
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters would like to note that the
9 microphone was switched off. Microphone, please.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning, Mr. Pusac. You can hear me in a
12 language you can understand?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you please so kind and give us 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. Please have your seat. And the
19 witness is yours, Mr. Lukic.
20 WITNESS: MOMIR PUSAC
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Examined by Mr. Lukic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Pusac.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. My name is Branko Lukic, and together with John Ostojic, I
1 represent the Defence team of Dr. Stakic before this Tribunal.
2 I should -- I ought to address you with the title of Dr. Pusac,
3 and not Mr. Pusac, in fact. So that's how we shall continue. I shall be
4 addressing you as Dr. Pusac from now on.
5 Would you be so kind as to give us your name and surname for the
6 record, please.
7 A. Momir Pusac.
8 Q. Could you tell us your father's name.
9 A. Velimir.
10 Q. And could you please tell us your date of birth.
11 A. The 11th of March, 1953.
12 Q. Where were you born?
13 A. In Omarska.
14 Q. And that is which municipality?
15 A. The municipality of Prijedor.
16 Q. Your place of residence?
17 A. Banja Luka.
18 Q. What are you by profession?
19 A. I'm a doctor.
20 Q. Could you tell us, please, Dr. Pusac, where you completed primary
22 A. In Omarska.
23 Q. And secondary school?
24 A. I started in Banja Luka, but unfortunately, because of the
25 earthquake there, I completed my secondary schooling in Sarajevo.
1 Q. And did you go to university? If so, where and when?
2 A. I attended the faculty of medicine and graduated from there in
4 Q. Which year did you graduate from the faculty of medicine in
6 A. In 1979.
7 Q. After graduation, where did you start working?
8 A. In Prijedor.
9 Q. What year was that?
10 A. 1979, after I had graduated. I had a stipend. I was a
11 scholarship holder from the health centre Prijedor.
12 Q. They didn't give you any leeway, a little break after your
13 studies? You had to start working straight away?
14 A. Well, perhaps I had a brief holiday of one month.
15 Q. And how long did you work in Prijedor before you left for your
16 regular military service?
17 A. In the autumn. I went to do my military service, regular military
18 service, in September.
19 Q. And how long did you do your service for?
20 A. Until 1980, the 2nd of August, in fact. And then I went back to
21 Prijedor to take up my work there for a certain period of time, and then I
22 worked in the health centre at Omarska.
23 Q. And how long did you work in Omarska as a doctor?
24 A. Until 1983. I think it was the 18th of April, 1983, in fact.
25 Q. And where did you go after that?
1 A. I went to the garrison medical centre in Banja Luka, and I
2 volunteered to work in the first aid department of the military as an
3 active-duty service there. And they took me in for that position. There
4 was a competition, a post was opened, I applied, and they took me in, and
5 I worked in the medical department of the garrison, attached to the
7 Q. What were the reasons you decided to go to work for the army?
8 A. Well, I hadn't solved my housing problem, and at that time, the
9 army could do a lot more for me in that sense. They could allocate flats,
10 and the possibility for going on to specialisation was greater. I wanted
11 to live in a larger town and ensure a livelihood for myself and my family,
12 a more comfortable life, and everything that I could do for them,
13 especially for my children. And there are far more opportunities in Banja
14 Luka than there were in Prijedor and Omarska.
15 Q. How long did you work for the army? How long did you stay working
17 A. Until the end of 2001, or rather the 28th of December, 2001.
18 Q. Could you tell us, please, how you saw the events that took place
19 in 1992 immediately prior to the month of April of that year.
20 A. I don't even like to recall those days. They were bad days for
21 any normal person, and the mere thought of having to recollect those days,
22 the days that preceded the war, and especially the war days, is a very bad
23 feeling to experience. We lived in a community, especially in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and especially in the town of Prijedor and in my town
25 of Omarska. We would meet each other, we would share the good and the
1 bad. All three ethnic groups, all three nationalities. And at that time,
2 I was not able to differentiate who was a Croat, who was a Muslim. We were
3 all one. They were all my roommates, at university and during my
4 schooling in Sarajevo and Banja Luka, and later on at university, Muslims
5 and Croats alike. I shared good and evil with them. When I say "evil,"
6 there was no evil, but I remember the earthquake. That was a natural
7 disaster, and we helped each other when the earthquake struck.
8 Of course, something that happened during that period of
9 communism, the one-party system, especially for us intellectuals, is
10 something that exerted some sort of pressure. It was a sort of burden to
11 us in a way. And we wanted to rid ourselves of that yoke, to live in a
12 multiparty system, in a democracy, in which people would be able to
13 express their views freely and in which they would be able to realise
14 together all the programmes and everything that was progressive.
15 And that is something that happened in the 1990s, in fact. But
16 unfortunately, what I can say now, here and now before this Honourable
17 Tribunal and Trial Chamber, is the following: When we were given the
18 possibility of seizing democracy and freedom, it is my view that we didn't
19 know how to use it properly right out at the start in the proper sense of
20 the word. We weren't able to seize it properly, and already at the very
21 outset, different parties appeared in all three ethnic groups, of course,
22 with their own wishes and desires. They wanted to see a different kind of
23 system. They thought that Yugoslavia was superfluous, that it would be
24 better to live separately, that each republic should be an independent
25 state. And up until that time, we had all lived together, and I
1 personally felt and expected, with the advent of democracy, that we would
2 strengthen Yugoslavia in the economic sense and in the democratic sense.
3 Unfortunately, something else happened, something quite different,
4 and that was that the desires of certain - how shall I put this? - the
5 desire of some people to step down from Yugoslavia, I'm sure they know
6 why, the people who wanted secession, and also there was the desire of a
7 certain section of the population to remain within Yugoslavia. And I
8 quite honestly say I belong to that section of the population. I wanted
9 to stay in the community we lived in because this community by its very
10 nature is stronger than separation and disunity and fragmentation, in
11 fact. So of course, one could feel a certain amount of fear on all sides;
12 those who wanted to step down and secede, as well as those who wished to
13 remain within Yugoslavia.
14 The psyche of the people began to change as well quite suddenly.
15 And until yesterday, we worked together, we drank coffee together, we took
16 our meals together. We would go to market together, we would have picnics
17 together. We would engage in cultural events, sports events. But quite
18 suddenly there was this about-turn, a change of face. We were no longer
19 motivated. We didn't have any desires for things of this kind. That's
20 how it started. Then there was insecurity, people began to think about
21 leaving the areas they lived in, especially those people and those ethnic
22 groups who were the minority in certain regions. So the Serbs left the
23 territories where the Muslims were the majority, or the Croats, and vice
24 versa. And that's how it was.
25 So there was a lack of security, there was uncertainty, there were
1 a lot of contradictions. And I myself am unable to explain how this
2 happened. When we were offered democracy in our own house, when we had
3 the chance of living together, suddenly a disease seemed to eat away at
4 us, and we seemed to be afraid of something or somebody was controlling us
5 and moving us towards a different kind of life, a different way of life.
6 So this is the sort of uncertainty that I myself felt. And to be quite
7 frank, I found it very difficult to contend with.
8 Perhaps it's a little strange, but this was even worse for me to
9 be able to contend with than the war. Let me explain why: During the
10 war, I didn't have much time to think, like many others. First of all,
11 you had to fight for your own personal integrity. You had to see to the
12 safety and security of your nearest and dearest, and do what you could,
13 anything that was possible in those difficult times.
14 Now, as to the period you're asking me about, there was enough
15 leeway and room to think, to give thought to all these matters. And so I
16 find it very difficult to think about those times, precisely because of
17 the psychology that reigned at the time. And we physicians tend to call
18 it a mass psychosis, if you like, if I can put it that way, this fear,
19 these phobias as to what was going to happen and what was in store for
20 people in the area.
21 Q. Well, thank you for that very detailed and extensive answer,
23 Let's now move on to another period, the period after the 30th of
24 April, and we're going to think about the period between the 30th of April
25 and the 30th of September. We're going to focus on that period of time
1 because that is the period we're interested in, the material time that
2 we're focussing on.
3 Where were you after the 30th of April, and what were you doing at
4 that time?
5 A. I was an active captain first class in the medical corps. That
6 was my rank at the time. I was a doctor. And when the war started, I was
7 in the medical health centre in Banja Luka. I worked as a doctor. I
8 carried out my regular duties. I was in charge of examining the
9 active-duty servicemen, their families, and pensioners, the retired
10 officers, those who were covered by the military health fund. And as the
11 war went on, I was transferred to the war unit, the so-called medical
12 battalion. The medical battalion is -- was, during that war, was one of
13 the largest medical mobile units, and I was the chief of the general first
14 medical aid in that medical battalion, and I was in charge of treating
15 those who were not seriously wounded. I was also in charge of organising
16 the transport of the wounding, the so-called triage or the assessment of
17 the wounded, and I would decide who were those who needed either surgical
18 help or psychiatric help or decontamination and similar things. And I was
19 also in charge of deciding who was to be transported into the nearest
20 military medical centres. Throughout the entire war, the medical
21 battalion was stationed in Banja Luka, in the military facilities there
22 belonging to the barracks. The name of the barracks at the time was
23 Dr. Mladen Stojanovic.
24 This is where the wounded and the sick were taken. And in that
25 garrison clinic, which had a department for internal diseases, a surgical
1 department, a neuropsychiatric department, a department for those who were
2 seriously wounded and for those who were slightly wounded, and this is
3 what mostly took place in Banja Luka.
4 Q. What was the region covered by your unit?
5 A. Within the command of the 1st Corps, there was this medical
6 battalion, and it covered the area of responsibility of the 1st Corps. To
7 put it that way, in the military terms, in professional terms of the
8 military. So this is the area or the territory in the town of Banja Luka
9 and the surrounding area of Banja Luka.
10 Q. Was that mostly Bosanska Krajina, by and large? Was that region
11 Bosanska Krajina?
12 A. Yes, it also embraced Prijedor, Bosanski Novi, Sanski Most.
13 Q. In addition to Banja Luka, did you also work during the war on the
15 A. Yes. We had mobile surgical teams belonging to the medical
16 battalion. This was necessary. And during the war, it proved very
17 useful. We had two surgical teams that were sent to various theatres of
18 war, but not close to the front lines. They would keep in the rear, some
19 18 to 20 kilometres away from the front lines, and this is where they
20 surgically treated the wounded and the sick. That was in Novi Grad,
21 Doboj, Teslic, Glamoc, Mrkonjic. Wherever there was a need, wherever
22 there were sick and wounded, we would send our surgical teams forward.
23 And I was one of the organisers of their work, meaning I was the one who
24 was in charge of sending those teams, for giving them all the necessary
25 medical supplies and medicines to take with them, and the rest that was
1 necessary for their work.
2 Q. Can you please explain to us the situation in Novi Grad, for
3 example, when you were a member of that forward team in Novi Grad. What
4 did it look like? Where did you work? Who were the ones who you
5 treated? Can you provide us with a little more detail?
6 A. We worked in the surgery of the Novi Grad health centre. That is,
7 in the facilities that were intended for health care. We had an x-ray
8 machine there, a laboratory; we had all the technical facilities necessary
9 to carry out such interventions. And in addition to that, we also could
10 keep the patients so to say hospitalised after they had been surgically
11 treated. And we treated all the wounded and all the sick from that area,
12 from that theatre of war, belonging to the units who were deployed in the
13 area. But also, this team and these people treated the civilian
14 population in the area.
15 I remember very well that there were not only Serbian population,
16 but also Muslim and Croat population who were treated and extended
17 medical, surgical, and any other aid that was necessary. If my memory
18 serves me well, we have not turned anybody down because of their
19 ethnicity, because they were of a different ethnicity. Doctors -- and as
20 far as I can remember, that did not exist. It never happened.
21 Q. During that time, you already belonged to the army of Republika
22 Srpska. Isn't that correct?
23 A. Yes. In May 1992, the Yugoslav People's Army withdrew from the
24 entire territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And us officers who originate
25 from that part of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina were given an
1 opportunity to either return to Yugoslavia with the Yugoslav People's Army
2 or to remain where we were at the time, in the then army of Republika
3 Srpska. I opted for the latter because this is the area that I belonged
4 to. My family lived in Banja Luka at the time. We had an apartment
5 there. And one of the reasons for which I joined the army was the
6 apartment that I was allocated by the army. And I started working on the
7 18th of April, and I got the apartment already in May. So that problem
8 was solved. My parents were there. So at the moment, there was nothing
9 that would tell me that I should withdraw with the army. I stayed there.
10 I stayed put where I was.
11 Q. Yesterday evening, you did a sketch for me, a rough sketch of the
12 military structure.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] So I would kindly ask the usher to put
14 the document in front of you. The document is in B/C/S only. The
15 document is not in English. We were afraid that maybe we wouldn't use the
16 proper terms and we left it to the interpreters to translate this scheme
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This document would be D50. Any objections? I
19 can't see any. So therefore, admitted into evidence, D50.
20 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I haven't got a translation, so I
21 don't know what it says.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, but as we did in the past, whatever the
23 probative value may be at the end of the day, it's for a better
24 understanding of the testimony of the witness before us today, it should
25 be admitted into evidence, D50B. And the translation can be found on the
1 transcript of today, page 12 following.
2 MR. LUKIC: [In English] Your Honour, we'll compose the translated
3 version after today's day, so we'll use this transcript and compose the
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But if it could be explained and read out at the
6 same time by the witness, we have it already on the transcript, and it
7 saves work.
8 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Pusac, can you please -- I don't know whether
10 you can see the document on your screen.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. But on the screen, you cannot point. You will have to take the
13 pointer on your right-hand side and point on the ELMO, on the paper. So
14 point to the things that you are referring to.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can you please go through this table and explain to us nonmilitary
17 persons what this is all about.
18 A. Let me tell you immediately, I am a member of the medical corps,
19 and I am a medical colonel. I did not complete any military academies, so
20 I was a civilian when I joined the army. I graduated from the civilian
21 medical university and that's how I joined the army. So I do not have
22 such a broad knowledge in order to be able to present things to you in
23 military terms. But this is as much as I should understand, and in that
24 sense, I would like to inform you.
25 So this is a chain of command that I'm familiar with, and that is
1 shown clearly in this document.
2 Q. Now, what are you pointing to? You're pointing to the top box.
3 A. Yes, the Supreme Command, the Supreme Commander is the president
4 of state at the time, the president of the Republika Srpska, who issues
5 orders to the main staff, that is, the commander of the main staff. He
6 then issues orders to corps, to lower units in the corps command and units
7 and institutions who are directly reporting to the main staff.
8 Q. So these are two parallel squares.
9 A. Yes. Orders are given to the subordinate units, to the units and
10 institutions of the main staff. At the same time, the main staff can
11 issue orders to the corps commands. Corps commands issue orders to the
12 units on the strength of the respective corps. Those were brigades and
13 independent battalions.
14 This command issues orders to the units on the strength of the
15 respective brigades and independent battalions. And those units are
16 battalions and companies. So the command in this square issues orders
17 down the chain to battalions and companies which are subordinate units,
18 and then to platoons, squads, and finally, the orders reach troops as the
19 basic units in the army. So this is the vertical chain of issuing orders
20 that was in place during the war, and this is something that I'm familiar
22 Q. You were in the medical part of the 1st Krajina Corps.
23 A. Yes, I was in the medical battalion. And the medical battalion
24 was on the strength of the 1st Corps. However, the commander of the
25 medical battalion received orders from the assistant commander for the
1 rear or logistics of the 1st Corps. So the medical corps is a service in
2 the army, and it is not a branch of the army. So the medical corps is not
3 a military operational unit. It doesn't carry out any other tasks. The
4 only tasks it carries out belong to the area of providing medical care,
5 providing health care. And we received our orders not directly. It could
6 happen that orders were given by the corps commander, but mostly it was --
7 our orders from received from the assistant commander for the logistics.
8 Q. That person, in any case, was a military person, an officer?
9 A. I'm afraid I didn't understand your question.
10 Q. The assistant commander of the 1st Corps for logistics was an
11 officer, wasn't he?
12 A. Yes, he was.
13 Q. What was the name of your superior at the time? Do you remember?
14 A. Dr. Slobodan Vujicic.
15 Q. Was he an active serviceman? Was he an officer? Did he have a
17 A. Yes. He was an active serviceman, an officer, with the rank of
18 medical colonel.
19 Q. Tell us, please, the military units, were they divided according
20 to the municipalities, or did they cover several municipalities? Can you
21 tell us that? Do you know about that? So we're not talking about the
22 medical corps itself, but generally.
23 A. The medical corps was composed on the basis of several
24 municipalities, and I do know that other units were composed of three --
25 members from three or more municipalities. As far as I know, there were
1 no units from just one place bearing one name and being active for one
2 territory. They were always composed of servicemen from three or more
3 municipalities. Usually, the municipalities that were closest, close by.
4 Whereas the medical battalion, at the beginning of the war, in terms of
5 cadres, had members not only from the nearby communities but from all over
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina; from Sarajevo, from Mostar, and from Tuzla and so on.
7 So at the beginning of the war, at the very start, the composition
8 including servicemen not from one or several municipalities, but from a
9 large number of municipalities, because we needed surgeons, we needed
10 ophthalmologists, and so on, and that's where we found them; all over the
12 Q. And when we're talking about the combat units, then they were
13 usually composed and covered the territory of two or three municipalities;
14 composed of people from there. Is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the witness, before we leave this
17 document D50B, you were kind enough to describe the content of this
18 document, but could you please also be kind enough just read out what we
19 can see in the text of the boxes, for our better understanding from --
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Doctor, perhaps we can do it this way: Could you place a number
22 before each of the boxes, and then read them out. Place number 1, and
23 then read out what it says in box number 1. You need not go into
24 explanations, just read out what it says on the piece of paper. And
25 please leave it on the overhead projector, so we can see.
1 A. Box number 1 says: "Supreme Command." Then it says: "Supreme
2 Commander, the president of the state."
3 Number 2: "Main staff of the army. The main staff commander."
4 Number 3: "Corps commands."
5 Number 4: "Units and institutions of the main staff."
6 Number 5: "The commands of units from the corps, brigades, and
7 independent battalions."
8 Number 6: "The commands of units from the composition of the
9 brigades and independent battalions, battalions and companies."
10 Number 7: "Platoons."
11 Number 8: "Squads."
12 Number 9: "Troops or soldiers."
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And finally, would you please be so kind and
14 allocate your own position within this table.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Number 5.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you very much for this assistance.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. In box number 5, it says, "Independent battalion." Is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And is that where you were?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 What about the medical battalion to which you belonged at that
24 time? Was that the top level medical unit in Republika Srpska; and if so,
1 A. It was a military hospital, too. That's what it was called. It
2 was the military hospital of the main staff. However, in that area, the
3 Krajina area, the military medical institutions, apart from the medical
4 centre which was not able to provide the services that the battalion could
5 provide, there were no larger medical units, or rather, institutions.
6 Q. What about the corps command? Did the corps command command the
7 medical battalion via the assistant commander for logistics?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Apart from the first box which relates to the Supreme Command, and
10 when we get into the real meat or structure of the army itself, could you
11 tell us what the relationship is between the army and the civilian
12 authorities? And I'm thinking about the civilian authorities at municipal
13 level. Who issues orders to whom? How do you come into contact with
14 them? Through which ministries? Could you explain that to us a little,
16 A. The army was completely autonomous and independent. As far as I
17 know, all the units in the sense of control and command and the chain of
18 command is concerned, and in my own area, which I can speak about, we
19 would receive orders, all our orders, only from our direct superior, the
20 corps command; that is to say, the assistant commander for logistics,
21 especially in the Banja Luka Municipality, for example. There was never,
22 at least as far as I know, a document or -- nor do I remember that we
23 received orders from any civilian authority, or vice versa. We were not
24 in a situation in which we could order them anything. I worked as a
25 doctor myself, of course, so that organisation was within that sphere.
1 And I'm sure you're interested in hearing about the strengths of
2 the units and how we did that. That went through the Ministry of Defence.
3 So as the medical battalion, we would send in a request to the Ministry of
4 Defence for personnel, for cadres to be sent in to us. We would say we
5 need doctors of such and such a profile; neuropsychiatrists, surgeons, for
6 example, an orthopaedist, a vascular surgeon. We would say what we
7 required and then the Ministry of Defence, having received our requests
8 and having lists of conscripts and recruits, including doctors, would
9 gather together the necessary people of these professional profiles and
10 send them into the medical battalion. And that was the procedure
11 throughout the war.
12 Q. Now, with respect to manpower, could you contact the Municipal
13 Assembly directly yourself, the Municipal Assemblies of certain
15 A. No, that was not the procedure we followed, either officially, in
16 formal terms, or in practice. We could do nothing outside the procedure
17 prescribed by law. So as I say, and to the best of my knowledge, that
18 kind of thing was out of the question.
19 Q. I know that this was out of the question, as you say, and that you
20 are aware of that, but we have to clarify certain points for trial
21 purposes. So I would like to ask you whether you ever contacted the
22 Crisis Staff of any municipality when you needed cadres.
23 A. Well, this term "Crisis Staff," and the institution itself, the
24 concept itself, is not quite clear to me even to this day, the way in
25 which it existed and functioned. And I say quite honestly and frankly
1 that I do not remember -- and of course, this was absolutely prohibited by
2 law, and I don't ever remember a case where anybody intentionally or
3 unintentionally from the medical department of the army or the medical
4 battalion would contact the Crisis Staff for anything or vice versa; they
5 would not contact us, so I have no knowledge about that at all.
6 Q. And with respect to manpower and the professional people you
7 needed, could you contact the health centre or hospital for the doctors
8 you needed and medical staff?
9 A. The procedure was to contact the ministry and its departments. In
10 practice, what would happen was that the ministry, without looking at the
11 rationality and actual requirements of a particular medical institution,
12 would send us the important professionals, doctors, from a medical
13 institution. They would write a letter to that effect, to the medical
14 department, to say that something should be done for one doctor to be
15 replaced or sent back to the health institution where he had worked
16 previously because he was needed there. His services were needed there.
17 Of course, if a radiologist was irreplaceable and you had an x-ray in
18 Banja Luka and now suddenly the Ministry of Defence decided to send the
19 radiologist to the medical battalion, that meant that the health
20 institution and the x-ray machine would be left without its professional,
21 without the radiologist. So there would sometimes be two parallel
22 requests to the medical battalion and the institution, but this was not
23 obligatory procedure either by the medical battalion or the health
24 institution in question. So they did sometimes, medical institutions
25 would sometimes send in requests for us to return their physicians to
1 them. But as I say, the official formal procedure always went through the
2 department within the Ministry of Defence.
3 Q. We have just been talking about a case in which the health centre
4 sends in a request to the army. How was this done? Could they order the
5 army to send back the doctor who had been mobilised, or was this drafted
6 in the form of a request?
7 A. I don't know about other units. I don't know that anybody --
8 actually, these were tabled in the form of requests, drafted in the form
9 of requests. And they prevailed upon us to exercise an understanding for
10 their position. It was not an order because what would an army be if it
11 could receive orders from different sources? Who would weigh up the
12 orders, give greater weight to one order as opposed to another?
13 Q. You yourself worked in the medical and health department of the
14 army, if I can put it that way. Could you tell us, please, before the
15 war, did the army have a separate health system, medical system, apart
16 from the civilian system, beginning with the fund for medical assistance
17 and the institutions providing medical services themselves?
18 A. Yes. Both before the war and during the war, and even up until
19 quite recently in Republika Srpska, that was the situation. That is to
20 say, there was a military fund for medical insurance, for medical
21 insurees, so this medical fund ensured insurance for the active-duty army
22 personnel, the members -- the family members of the active-duty
23 servicemen, recruits, military pensioners, and members -- family members
24 of military pensioners, retired military personnel, and the reservists,
25 the reserve composition, the recruits when they were undergoing training,
1 and during the war when they were engaged in combat. All injuries
2 suffered, medical assistance was provided for by the medical departments
3 of the army, and they were insured by the medical army insurance fund.
4 Q. Did the army have its military police?
5 A. Of course it did, yes.
6 Q. Let us take the following example: You were involved in a traffic
7 accident as a military man. Did the civilian police force -- were the
8 civilian policemen able to carry out their job without the presence of a
9 military policeman?
10 A. No. Any incidents involving a military vehicle or an army member,
11 active-duty soldier or officer and the entire staff of the army, in fact,
12 all the members of an army, all the civilian police could do was to come
13 out on site. But the military police had to come on site to carry out
14 their scene of crime investigation. We had military courts. And after
15 the investigation had been conducted, the whole proceedings would have
16 been referred to the military court.
17 Q. So in addition to the independent provision of health care to the
18 military personnel, there was also the independent judiciary which carried
19 out procedures against the military servicemen?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. This included the military police, the military prosecutor's
22 office, and the military courts at various levels, various instance
23 courts. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 Let me now ask you something about the period prior to April 1992.
2 When you lived in Banja Luka, did you notice the arrival of refugees from
3 Slovenia, Croatia during the years 1991 and 1992?
4 A. Of course. Every citizen of Banja Luka could see that. Very
5 often, those were columns of people carrying all sorts of things. It was
6 an image across the world, and I remember that very well.
7 Q. At the beginning of 1992, did you, in the army, start feeling the
8 lack of the necessary medicines - antibiotics and similar things - and how
9 did the situation develop up to September 1992?
10 A. Of course we did. Although we had some stock at our disposal, the
11 stock dwindled and we were seized by panic because there is nothing worse
12 than when you, as you a doctor, see a wounded or sick person, he is
13 looking at you, and you have nothing to give him, you don't have
14 everything that is necessary for you to provide him with the adequate
15 help. We managed as we could. We cooperated with the International
16 National Committee of the Red Cross, with Medecins Sans Frontieres, and
17 personally, I maintained contact as the person in charge of medical
18 supplies, and especially the dressings, injections, syringes, and we
19 really could feel that, and we hoped that this unfortunate war would be
20 over quickly, in a month or two months. And as we were preparing for the
21 war and thinking about maybe amassing bigger stocks, none of us really
22 made a good assessment about the duration and the scope of the war. We
23 never foresaw the wounds that we were going to see. We were taken by
24 surprise, and we did as we could on a daily basis.
25 Q. When you said that you did what you could, you did what you could,
1 you mean you maintained the supplies to the extent you could. Did the
2 army have its logistics? What were the logistical services that you had?
3 A. We had a so-called basis for supplies, and we had medical
4 supplies. And when it comes to the medical supplies and medicines and
5 drugs, this base was our logistics, and it made an integral part of the
6 army. And as far as the existence of other logistical services is
7 concerned, we had the quartermaster supplies, the medical supply services.
8 And when I say quartermaster supplies, that implies the clothing, the
9 food. We also had technical service. We had our financial service, our
10 construction service.
11 Q. Were all of these services integral parts of the army?
12 A. Of course.
13 Q. Were these active units?
14 A. Of course. They were either units or institutions, but they were
15 military institutions or units.
16 Q. However, in addition to combat units and logistics units or
17 services, were there, to the best of your knowledge, after April of 1992,
18 any paramilitary units in the territory of Krajina? How much would you
19 know about that?
20 A. It is possible that there were paramilitary units. I don't know
21 the names and their size, the area where they were active, because this
22 was not something that I had to find out. But in any case, they were not
23 under the military command. I only know from conversations that wherever
24 their activities could be prevented, if they did something of nonmilitary
25 nature, that the army would intercept them and that the army would prevent
1 that. But I really am not familiar with that, I wouldn't be able to tell
2 you more about that.
3 Q. We were talking about the manpower and the replenishment of
4 military units. And for that, as a military unit, you would turn to the
5 Ministry of Defence whenever you needed technical equipment. But that was
6 more the case of the construction service, when they needed machinery.
7 A. As regards medical equipment and things that are necessary for the
8 medical corps, we would go to our superior command. And when it came to
9 the supplies of materiel and supplies, we would go to the command, not to
10 the Ministry of Defence or its departments. We would contact the Ministry
11 of Defence and its departments only when we needed personnel, when we need
13 Q. Did you have the right to, for example, commandeer part of the
14 hospital if you wanted to carry out your procedures there?
15 A. No, my unit couldn't do that. It did not have legal authority to
16 mobilise or commandeer parts of a space or somebody's offices. It was the
17 superior command who could do that. For example, we received an order
18 from our superior command, from the assistant commander for logistics, to
19 set up a surgical outpatients clinic in Novi Grad, in the health centre of
20 Novi Grad. That is when we would go to that institution, to the health
21 centre there, and we would meet with people who had already worked there.
22 We would show them that order, and we would agree on the use of the area,
23 but certainly not at the expense of their work, because there had already
24 been their services there, so we would reach an agreement on working
1 For example, in Novi Grad, at the time, they didn't have a
2 surgeon, so we agreed that in addition in providing for our wounded, we
3 would also provide surgical care for the civilian population. Not only
4 Novi Grad, but throughout the war, everywhere wherever we went, we relied
5 on the civilian institutions to complete the work that we started. So
6 they would be the ones who would take over from us.
7 Q. Before the war, during the war, or after the war, was it possible
8 that the president of a municipality would issue orders to you, or maybe
9 the president of the Executive Board or the president of the Crisis Staff
10 of a municipality? So was there such a possibility?
11 A. Absolutely not. Let me just tell you one thing: For example, the
12 Ministry of Health and the Minister of Health were not satisfied with the
13 regulations which prevented them from issuing orders or sending requests
14 to us for something to be carried out. To tell you the truth, they were
15 not very happy with that situation. Sometimes they were angry, even
16 jealous, and the way they saw it is that the Ministry of Health should be
17 in the position to issue orders to a smaller medical unit. For example,
18 if that unit took their epidemiologist, they thought that they should be
19 able to have that epidemiologist returned to them immediately. But they
20 couldn't do it, they couldn't do it before the war or throughout the war.
21 Now things are changing. Reforms are on the way of the medical services,
22 of the judiciary in Republika Srpska, so things are changing because
23 reforms are on the way.
24 Q. These changes were initiated after the signing of the Dayton
1 Can you please repeat your answer.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In your unit, were there people of non-Serbian ethnicity during
4 the war? And what was the composition of the families of active-duty
6 A. In the introduction, I told you that we were so mixed, and at the
7 same time, there was a strong integrity in among the people. And that
8 could be witnessed in the military structures. Almost every second
9 military family was a family with -- of a mixed marriage. So Serbs,
10 Muslims, they were all intermixed. And in the beginning, in the medical
11 battalion, there were Muslims, Croats, active officers. And during the
12 war, there were even those who stayed on. I can give you -- I can tell
13 you that at the beginning of the war, for example, there was Teofik
14 Kovacevic, I believe he was a major. There was Miroslav Bakovic. They
15 were active officers who were professionals and who were experts in the
16 organisation of medical service. They were experts on the deployment of
17 medical units. There was Mehmed, a Bosniak, a radiologist who lived in
18 Banja Luka throughout the war, and he is still there, living in Banja
19 Luka. There was also a friend of mine, Dr. Alija Kustric, an excellent
20 expert who was there up until almost the end of the war, and he worked in
21 the medical battalion.
22 In my building, there was a lady doctor, Amela Ceric, who lived
23 there throughout the war and still lives there. And she belongs to the
24 well-known Ceric family. And those are the people that come to mind
25 first. So the battalion was not a Serbian battalion during the war. In
1 amongst us doctors, there were always people of various ethnicities.
2 There were also nurses of different ethnicity.
3 Q. Did any of your colleagues abandon the ranks of the JNA after the
4 beginning of war in Croatia?
5 A. Of course. People were leaving. Some people were demobilised.
6 Q. Are you aware of the examples of your colleagues, once they left
7 the JNA, joining the Croatian army?
8 A. Yes, of course. I remember a specialist in internal medicine,
9 Dr. Redzepagic from Sarajevo, who was a member of the medical corps in
10 1991. He left us, together with the majority of doctors from Sarajevo of
11 Muslim ethnicity.
12 Q. Were they driven away or did they leave of their own accord?
13 A. They simply failed to show up for work. And this is what I was
14 talking about, the fear that people felt. And I can really not hold it
15 against the people for being afraid. Everybody wanted to stay closer to
16 their families during the war.
17 Q. During those war months, the spring and summer of 1992, in fact,
18 did you happen to hear of the existence of a body which was called the
19 Crisis Staff?
20 A. I did, but I never actually thought about what the Crisis Staff
21 actually was, who made it up, and so on. Because us officers, we were not
22 able to be a member of any political party or delve in politics at all,
23 any Executive Board or anything like that. And the Crisis Staff was
24 something that was not a military association, and in that sense, and also
25 because of my duties as a doctor, I must say that I don't know enough
1 about this body. I haven't got very much information about it nor do I
2 know whether -- that we cooperated or received any instructions from them.
3 Had we done so, I probably would have known more about it and could tell
4 you more about it.
5 Q. Do you know Dr. Stakic?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. Since when have you known him? How did you come to meet him?
8 Could you tell us a little bit about that, please, and about him.
9 A. Well, I first met my colleague from my native town. They were two
10 villages, actually two neighbouring villages that we both come from, and I
11 knew -- we knew each other as children. We're not too far apart in years
12 either. But perhaps my first recollections of him are when he started
13 working in Omarska, which is where I worked, too. And that was sometime
14 in the 1990s. Before that, I had heard my parents talking about him.
15 They said that another young man, a doctor -- had become a doctor,
16 graduated from the faculty of medicine and was working in Omarska, too.
17 And my father told me that he had been to see the doctor in question and
18 that he was pleasantly surprised. He said that he was my father and he
19 conveyed greetings from Dr. Pusac. And so when he met the doctor, he felt
20 that he was first and foremost a good man, a good professional. And
21 having heard all this from my father, I wanted to meet him and to talk to
22 him and to hear what was wrong with my father, what he thought after
23 having examined him.
24 So my contacts with the man - and I'm very happy to see him now
25 once again - were natural, quite natural. I was very pleased to see that
1 there were several of us from my own native region. He exuded a very
2 humane quality. He exuded a breadth of knowledge and understanding which
3 I myself would like to have, and it is only someone with human qualities
4 of this kind who can be a good doctor, too. He said he had professional
5 ambitions, he wanted to go forward in the medical field. At the time, I
6 wasn't able -- I couldn't have said that he would have actually engaged in
7 politics later on, but you know, we doctors do have this breadth of
8 outlook. And when I think back -- of course, I didn't think about it at
9 the time, I didn't give it much thought, but that is possible, too.
10 Because as I say, the democracy, the advent of democracy offered us
11 intellectuals different opportunities. We had rid ourselves of the
12 communist yoke, and we were able to fight for what we wanted for our
13 profession, for our professional training, for organising the health
14 service, to get closer to Europe. Because I don't think that, in the name
15 of us doctors, on our behalf, anybody could represent us better than
16 somebody from our own profession. We are better represented by doctors
17 than we would be by, say, civil engineers. So that was probably the
18 reason why Dr. -- why my colleague Mr. Milomir Stakic engaged in that type
19 of activity, too.
20 Q. Were you later on members of one particular body which was linked
21 to your work, the main board of the Red Cross?
22 A. Yes, I was a member of the main board of the Red Cross in the
23 regional section, Red Cross section. First of all, I was a member of the
24 presidency of the society of physicians. We had a society of physicians
25 of Republika Srpska, first of all. And my colleague, Dr. Stakic, was a
1 member of the presidency, too.
2 Q. Did you get to know him better then?
3 A. Yes, I got to know him even better during that period of time,
4 because he had engaged in certain activities in the municipality within
5 his profession. And this had an impact on me. I saw that somebody who
6 had all his professional duties to carry out, nevertheless had the desire
7 and succeeded in helping us activate this society, our society of
8 physicians, and to give it a name as an institution, so that it could be
9 of assistance to our colleagues, doctors in the different medical
10 institutions. So this was a professional association of physicians. We
11 didn't talk about politics or any -- engage in any party politics. We
12 discussed our own professional medical problems. And in that sense, the
13 profile and structure of a man of his calibre made an impact on me. I saw
14 it to be positive and something that was very necessary in our midst. And
15 we said that it would be a very good thing if he could come as often as
16 possible so that we could cooperate. I am the secretary-general even
17 today of the society of physicians of Republika Srpska, and as an
18 institution, we have a health or medical chamber, as we call it, and we
19 have engaged in the reform of the medical service which has taken great
20 strides forward and has grown closer to Europe. And my colleague, Dr.
21 Stakic, took the part in that work of that particular body.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Counsel.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The estimate of time you would need in addition?
24 MR. LUKIC: [In English] Half an hour, 45 minutes.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Fine. Thank you for this.
1 The trial stays adjourned until 11.00 sharp.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. And let us continue
6 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Pusac, may we continue?
8 A. Yes, we may.
9 Q. Let me go back a little. You were saying that you were pleased to
10 see Dr. Stakic today. I'm sure you don't mean you're pleased to see him
11 in these circumstances.
12 A. Of course not.
13 Q. Together with Dr. Stakic, you were a member of the society of
14 physicians of Republika Srpska, as you said. And you said that you got to
15 know him better working in that society.
16 A. Yes, I got to know more about my colleague, and I was able to
17 confirm the opinion I had of him when I met him for the first time. And
18 that is that he was a peaceful, quiet man with a breadth of vision. He
19 emanates humane qualities. And at the time, I saw that I had before me a
20 highly professional person who would go forward in his profession, who
21 would help people professionally and organisationally, promote the level
22 of health care and protection, and the health service in general. Medical
23 science as well. And that his presence, quite simply, was a pleasure to
24 see. It was nice to have him around. He would always make proposals at
25 meetings which were realistic. They were good proposals, well thought
2 And I saw that even in the conditions that prevailed in our
3 own country and in those wartime conditions, medical care could be
4 promoted so that we could help people and do what we had been
5 professionally trained to do. And that's the impression that stayed with
6 me. It was a very strong impression. He made a strong impression on me,
7 and I can rightly say, I think, that I don't think that man could even
8 think of doing something, let alone actually doing it, something which was
9 outside, not only a doctor's dignity, but human dignity as well. Outside
10 the realms of those dictates, and particularly not to one's own people.
11 And when I say "one's own people," I mean all the people that lived in the
12 area we lived and worked in, and as I say, there were Muslims and Croats
13 and Serbs all living there together. Because Bosnia-Herzegovina,
14 especially the Krajina region, was Yugoslavia in miniature. There were
15 strong bonds linking us together. That's how we were brought up. Our
16 roots were there in that territory. We were patriotically brought up, and
17 I don't know of anybody in that environment, in Omarska and in the region,
18 who had any other views at that time and did anything other than humane
19 acts to help one's fellow man, which is nice to experience.
20 Q. In talking to Dr. Stakic, did you ever happen to notice that he
21 had any prejudices of any kind? Did you ever note any prejudices towards
22 Muslims, Croats, or other non-Serbs?
23 A. No. Never. It never entered my head, let alone see anything that
24 have kind or hear from others that he had done anything of that kind.
25 Even today, I ask people I encounter what their opinion is of Dr. Stakic,
1 and they confirm my own views of him, the locals, the local inhabitants.
2 Q. Did you ever hear Dr. Stakic express any kind of hatred or
3 hostility towards the Muslims, Croats, and other non-Serbs?
4 A. No.
5 Q. From talking to Dr. Stakic, did you ever hear him express any
6 discriminatory views, vis-a-vis the Muslims, Croats, and other non-Serbs?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Once again, from talking to Dr. Stakic, were you able to conclude,
9 or rather, did you manage to gauge what Dr. Stakic thought about Croats,
10 Muslims, and other non-Serbs? Did you gain an impression of his views
11 about them?
12 A. Well, I can't define and assess something along the lines of what
13 he thought, especially not in any negative sense, no negative
14 connotations. I never heard any words or saw any pictures or read
15 anything that he might have said about those ethnic groups in prejudicial
16 terms, underestimating or undervaluing them in any way. Even in the
17 health centre of Omarska, for example, Dr. Ibro Beglerbegovic [Realtime
18 transcript read in error "Dr. Ibrobegovic"] was a Muslim, the doctor was a
19 Muslim, and I can say that he felt more Serb than the Serbs in the town of
20 Omarska because he had been accepted by all of us, by one and all. And he
21 accepted by us. And I know that this particular doctor, a Muslim doctor,
22 cooperated very well with Dr. Stakic and had a very positive view of Dr.
23 Stakic. So I have nothing which would prompt me in the opposite
25 Q. About this doctor, the Bosniak doctor, the name has been entered
1 into the transcript wrongly. Would you state the name of the doctor
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the name. Could
4 the doctor repeat the doctor's name, please.
5 A. Dr. Ibrahim Beglerbegovic. And the nickname we referred to him by
6 was "Ibro."
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Did you hear of Dr. Stakic's arrest? Did you hear when he was
9 arrested and transferred to The Hague? And could you tell us what you
10 thought and felt at the time. Could you tell us a bit about that.
11 A. I just couldn't believe it. I could never have imagined that this
12 kind of man with the kind of human characteristics that I have described
13 here as a colleague, a friend, a local man living in the same environment,
14 could have done anything to warrant being arrested. So that it was a
15 shock. It was a great shock. And when I learned of it, my first reaction
16 was one of disbelief. But when I learned that it was true, then I
17 thought, well, he's going before an Honourable Trial Chamber, an
18 Honourable Tribunal, perhaps they need him to provide information because
19 he knows more about the events that went on in Prijedor. And I thought
20 that his stay here, the time he spent here and that justice would prevail,
21 and I still can't come to terms with the idea that the man could have done
22 any bad things, thought any bad thoughts or ordered anything bad of the
23 kind of allegations that have been made and charges brought against him.
24 So it is my opinion -- or rather, I have no arguments, no
25 information, no facts or knowledge of him doing anything other than the
1 kind of work that I have described him as doing, being the man he was.
2 Q. You were talking about the population being ethnically mixed, and
3 especially the military personnel and their families. Did Serb officers,
4 members of the former JNA, and later on, the army of Republika Srpska
5 often marry members of other ethnic groups?
6 A. Of course. This was something that couldn't be avoided. Before
7 the war, it was absolutely normal and one didn't choose whom to fall in
8 love with. One could choose, but one didn't really pay attention. One
9 didn't think too much about what the person's -- the other person's name
10 was. The only concern was whether somebody was in love or not. And I
11 believe that this is still the case.
12 Q. Are you aware of the fact that the percentages of mixed marriages
13 in the social structure of the former Yugoslavia was the highest amongst
14 the officers of the former JNA?
15 A. I believe that this was the case, because this is a structure
16 which served and professionally worked all over the territory, across
17 Yugoslavia, from Slovenia to Macedonia. Its officers had an opportunity
18 to marry women of other ethnic groups. A Serbian would go to Bosnia,
19 would marry a Muslim girl, a Slovenian would go to Serbia and marry a
20 Serbian girl. And that was normal. It was the way people worked and the
21 way people lived. It was only natural that things like that should
23 Q. So officers would often be sent from one place to another to serve
24 in the army, and that occurred throughout their service in the army?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. To your mind, can one expect from the command personnel of an army
2 that is so ethnically mixed to plan a persecution of people on ethnic and
3 religious backgrounds?
4 A. This is not naturally possible, because it is like in one family,
5 as if one family were to design a plan according to which ones would
6 destroy the others, and nobody would know about the other plan. How would
7 it be possible for a large family such was Bosnia and Herzegovina that a
8 plan was designed without the wives, the children knowing about that plan,
9 that people of different ethnic groups living in the same family wouldn't
10 know about that plan? Such a thing could not exist in terms of any such
11 plan being designed. And what I claim is that this is something
12 impossible, and it was something that was absolutely unknown to me.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the Defence, please, to refrain from
14 those hypothetical questions and more general questions. The answer given
15 by the witness maybe will be related to the period of time and the area of
16 former Yugoslavia, but of course, this can't be answered in general
17 because, unfortunately, history has shown during the last centuries that
18 even when he had ethnically mixed societies, this was, unfortunately,
19 never an obstacle for starting war and armed conflicts. Thank you.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. We were also talking about paramilitary formations. Do you know
22 anything about the killing of Zoran Karlica?
23 A. I heard about that in 1992. Banja Luka is a bit away from
24 Prijedor. I heard that that had happened, but the details of that event,
25 I don't know. I don't know anything about that.
1 Q. Do you know what the reaction of his unit was when their commander
2 was killed?
3 A. I heard that some people thought that this killing could have been
4 avoided, that they were unhappy with the military unit that they belonged
5 to, and that's when they decided to leave that unit. They disobeyed the
6 military orders. Whether they became members of a paramilitary unit or
7 not, I wouldn't be able to tell you.
8 MR. LUKIC: [In English] I would like the usher now to show the
9 witness the document we submitted today, number 00861611. It's in B/C/S.
10 And the English version is 00938569.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would be provisionally marked as D51.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Dr. Pusac, we did not have a chance to look at this document, so
14 I'm not going to ask you about its contents. Maybe the Honourable Chamber
15 or the OTP will want to know something about the contents. But what I'm
16 interested in is the heading of this document. We see here that it says,
17 "Military secret, strictly confidential." Below that: "Coded. To be
18 delivered immediately." Can you please tell us who is the sender of this
19 report? When, and to whom?
20 A. It was the command of the 1st Krajina Corps that sent this report
21 on the 13th of June, 1992, at 1700 hours. And it was sent to the main
22 staff of the army of Republika Srpska.
23 Q. At the time, it was the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. And what is the title of this document?
1 A. "Regular combat report."
2 Q. Could it happen that such a document, such a report, a regular
3 combat report marked as a military secret, strictly confidential, so could
4 it happen that such a document was sent to a civilian body?
5 A. No. According to the chain of command, this could only be sent to
6 the superior command, but also to a subordinate command, according to the
7 hierarchy or the vertical line that I explained at the beginning.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We don't need this document any more.
9 We are finished with it.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections?
11 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence, D51A and B respectively.
13 MR. LUKIC: [In English] I would like to have the usher now to show
14 the witness another document which we also received from the Prosecution.
15 Q. [Interpretation] The previous document was reporting --
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please wait until we have the document. Thank
18 Provisionally marked D52.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. This document was received by the Defence from the OTP, and the
21 English version is numbered 03005262. And the B/C/S version is 00820936.
22 Doctor, again, we have not had an opportunity to look at this
23 document carefully, but would you please tell us what this document is
24 about. What can you read in the heading? Who is the author of this
25 document? Who put it together? And what is ordered by this document?
1 A. This is an order by the commander of the main staff of the army of
2 Republika Srpska, again strictly confidential. And the date is the 3rd of
3 July, 1992. Its title is: "Changes in the organisation and establishment
4 of the army of Republika Srpska."
5 Q. What is ordered by this document?
6 A. It is ordered to the army of Republika Srpska to carry out the
7 following organisation and establishment changes. And then (a), form in
8 the 1st Krajina Corps, so the order refers to the 1st Krajina Corps.
9 Q. Was it possible for such a document or any document of similar
10 sort to be delivered to the civilian bodies of authority in the Municipal
11 Assembly of Prijedor?
12 A. As far as I know, that was not possible.
13 Q. Can you please find page 11 in this document. And can you please
14 read the first paragraph. In the English version --
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Page 4.
16 MR. LUKIC: [In English] Page 4, at the beginning. The beginning
17 of the page. Sorry, it's the third page, bottom of the page, under (c):
18 "Changes of the mobilisation" - under 1 - "in the 1st Krajina Corps.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then to be continued on the next page.
21 MR. LUKIC: Yes, that's right, Your Honour.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Can you please read on page 11, under (c).
23 A. "Changes to the basic mobilisation plan." Under 1: "In the 1st
24 Krajina Corps, (a) the 5th Kozara Light Infantry Brigade is assigned
25 Prijedor as peacetime location and mobilisation point instead of Banja
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 10914 to 10917.
1 Luka. Other elements of the basic mobilisation plan remain the same."
2 Q. Thank you. Was it possible that when a location of a military
3 unit was assigned, that civilian bodies of authority took part in that, or
4 was it exclusively in the military purview?
5 A. It was in the purview of the relevant department of the Ministry
6 of Defence.
7 Q. Thank you. We don't need this document any longer for the time
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry. Didn't we want also to read out (d)?
10 MR. LUKIC: [In English] I just wanted to emphasise Prijedor
11 region, but if Your Honours want, we can proceed --
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The only question is when I read Kozara there,
13 is it also related to Prijedor, or it may be a name of a similar town or
15 MR. LUKIC: We can ask Dr. Pusac. Maybe he knows.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Doctor, could you read out the next paragraph
17 under (d), please, because the Kozara link was mentioned.
18 A. "Changes to establishment in the 1st communications Battalion of
19 the 1st Krajina Corps. At the following station, re: Communication nodes
20 to the battalion established in Kozara consisting of four noncommissioned
21 officers and 13 soldiers; Svinjar, consisting of four noncommissioned
22 officers and 13 soldiers; Vlasic consisting of four noncommissioned
23 officers and 13 soldiers." This is perhaps linked to the communication
24 point. Quite possibly it was Kozara, but this isn't my profession, so
25 actually I can't explain that any further to you. What we can see here is
1 that we are talking about the 1st Krajina Corps.
2 Q. The Krajina Corps to which you belonged. Right?
3 A. Yes. There might have been a Kozara node or communications point.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And when we read "Vlasic," is it related to such
5 a communication point at Mount Vlasic?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Possibly, but I can't say for sure
7 because that is not the area of my own expertise.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
10 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence, D52A and B
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. While we're on the subject of Mount Vlasic, I don't know how far
15 you yourself know, but do you happen to know that it was on this mountain
16 that fighting took place throughout the war, and that parts of the
17 mountain would come under the control of one side or the other?
18 A. Well, yes.
19 Q. Thank you. In the proffer to this Honourable Trial Chamber, I
20 stated that in the Krajina region, you yourself were there until June
21 1992. However, as we received your medical documents only yesterday, and
22 looking at those documents, could you tell us until when you were in the
23 Krajina region and the time you spent undergoing medical treatment.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I should now like to call upon the
25 usher to show the medical documents to the Court.
1 Q. Let me ask you, first of all, when you were talking to me, you
2 thought that you had actually left the region at the end of June. But
3 looking through your medical documents, you saw that you were actually
4 there for the whole of the month of July. So would you show us the
5 document that we can refer to when talking about the actual time you left
6 the region in 1992. Where did you go?
7 A. Yes, it was at the end of July. I didn't remember the month
8 correctly, because it was 1992. So ten or 11 years ago, but I do know
9 that I was ill. And then I didn't quite remember, when you asked me about
10 the events in Prijedor, when this actually took place. I wasn't able to
11 link up what I knew about the events going on and where I was at the time.
12 But of course, I did remember that I was ill, but I failed to remember the
13 exact date.
14 So at the end of July, after the 20th of July, I felt some
15 changes. I had trouble with my hearing and system of balance, my
16 equilibrium, and I went to the military medical centre, the outpatients
17 department there, and the ear, eye, and throat doctor took a look at me.
18 But my state deteriorated. And on the 14th of August, the ambulance took
19 me to the medical military academy. This was an emergency, and I had to
20 stay there for one month, undergoing treatment. I was on sick leave
21 several months after that outside my unit, probably up to the month of
22 October. So I wasn't an active-duty physician at the time I was on sick
23 leave because I had these health problems. And that is why I did not
24 remember -- I couldn't have any recollection of what was going on during
25 that period of time.
1 Q. Can you see the document on the overhead projector? That's the
2 document you're referring to. Is that correct? Dr. Pusac, is that the
3 document? Can you see the document on the overhead projector?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You're shaking your head, and that can't be recorded in the
6 transcript, so could you give us an audible answer, please.
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. Could you read it out to us, please, so that Their Honours know
9 what it's about. You can read from the document or from the screen,
10 whichever you prefer.
11 A. Well, it is a discharge sheet from the clinic for ear, nose, and
12 throat, of the medical military academy in Belgrade, Pusac Momir. I was
13 captain first class at that time from Banja Luka. The date I was admitted
14 is the 14th of August, 1992. And the diagnosis was hypacusis acuta of the
15 auris dexter.
16 Q. That is the diagnosis in Latin, is it?
17 A. Yes, it is. But in Serbian, in simple layman's language, it means
18 that the circulation in one artery had been disturbed. The artery that is
19 used for hearing. So it enables us to hear. And the circulation in that
20 artery had stopped, had been interrupted, which meant that I was hard of
21 hearing. And this led to an upset in my body's equilibrium. It is a very
22 serious condition and very unpleasant for the person suffering from it.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you want to tender this document?
24 MR. LUKIC: [In English] Yes, Your Honour, we would like to tender
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I hear the submissions by the Prosecution.
2 MS. SUTHERLAND: No objection, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Chamber has briefly discussed this. And I
4 think what is relevant for our case is the mere fact that you were only --
5 that you would have been in hospital during this period of time you
6 mentioned, and you gave us the other data. But it seems to be necessary
7 today to protect the personal data, especially health data, and when
8 admitting such a document into evidence, there's always the risk that such
9 a document on your personal data will fall into wrong hands. And
10 therefore, the Trial Chamber does not admit this document into evidence.
11 MR. LUKIC: Thank you. Your Honour, we just wanted to show, when
12 this gentleman is cross-examined, so that everybody knows that he wasn't
13 in the area in this period of time. And we agree that it's not crucial as
14 evidence in this case.
15 Q. [Interpretation] As a military man, of course, a doctor by
16 profession, did you know or were you aware of the existence of any
17 paramilitary formations, paramilitary units, in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Did
18 you know of the existence of the Patriotic League, the Croatian Defence
19 Council, two cases in point?
20 A. Well, I did hear of their existence. But this -- I was never in a
21 position to learn any more about them or have any contacts with them, with
22 formations of this kind.
23 Q. Did you hear -- have you heard of the fighting and the entry of
24 regular forces of the Republic of Croatia into Bosanski Brod at the
25 beginning of March 1992?
1 A. Yes, I did hear about that. And that's round about the time that
2 the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina started, in fact. It was sometime in March
4 Q. And did you hear about the slaughter in Sijekovac also in March?
5 A. Yes, I did. I would have to have heard because the information
6 media publicised it. It was in all the papers and in the media, so quite
7 logically, I knew about it, I was able to come by that information.
8 Q. Thank you, Dr. Pusac. That concludes my examination-in-chief. You
9 will now be asked questions by my learned colleague of the Prosecution.
10 And after that, Their Honours will have the opportunity of asking you
11 their own questions. Thank you.
12 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, the Prosecution wishes to make an
13 application to defer the cross-examination of this witness. I discussed
14 this with the Defence in the break and said that I was going to make the
15 application and suggested that they call the next witness in chief and
16 we'll cross-examine both witnesses tomorrow, but that's not possible for
17 the next witness.
18 The reason I'm asking is because there are a number of issues that
19 the witness testified about today which weren't in the original proffer
20 and we only received the amended proffer yesterday. And it also has
21 caused a problem because of the Brdjanin case and the Stakic case being
22 heard at the same time. And Ms. Korner raised the issue and asked that we
23 only sit in the mornings this week because of the problem.
24 So what I'm suggesting --
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We can cut the story short. The next witness
1 will be available as of 1.30. That's the brand-new information I
3 MR. OSTOJIC: It's impossible, Your Honour. The Defence is not
4 prepared to proceed with the witness because, in anticipation of what we
5 learned yesterday, we expected this witness to go on most if not the
6 entire day today, so we did not meet with our witness to prepare our
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I interrupt. At the end of the day
9 yesterday - you can read it from the transcript - we asked the parties to
10 be prepared to start with the second witness as of today. So let's see
11 how we can proceed. It may be a possibility for the next minutes to
12 proceed with questions by the Judges and then defer the cross-examination,
13 say, either by the end of tomorrow or on Friday.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: If I can just explain, Your Honour, or at least make
15 an offer of proof for our position. We, in scheduling the witnesses,
16 would have prepared the witness last night, instead prepared this witness
17 at the request of the OTP. Naturally, both witnesses are here. They are
18 generally ready to proceed. If the Witness number 72 is going to testify
19 today, I would have spent time preparing her last night. Given the
20 situation that we have two witnesses remaining and three days left,
21 counting today, again, with all due respect to the Court, we are moving
22 the case along. The urgency -- although the OTP has requested, and we
23 don't have an objection to them getting a little more time, our witness
24 will be prepared to proceed tomorrow morning at 9.00. That's our
25 scheduling. I know representations were made last night. Generally, they
1 are prepared. We would like, however, to do our job as efficiently and
2 professionally as we can. So we would ask the Court, respectfully, to
3 proceed with that witness tomorrow morning. We can conclude, I think,
4 both witnesses no later than Friday afternoon, if necessary.
5 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, can I please add something? The
6 reason why we're not prepared is because of the change in the order of
7 witnesses. Witness number 58 was supposed to be testifying today, which
8 was a very lengthy witness.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So taking into account the submissions by the
11 parties yesterday, taking into account that it was well-known and
12 established already yesterday that Witness number 58 would not be
13 available today, taking into account that it was on the request by the
14 Prosecution to hear this witness today and not tomorrow, we have to
15 proceed as planned. And we have to regard the Prosecution as one unit.
16 And therefore, it is necessary and it's mandatory to proceed. Maybe, if
17 need may be, the Trial Chamber would be prepared to start with their line
18 of questions, if the Defence so agrees, before the cross-examination. But
19 the cross-examination has to take place today. And then we start with the
20 next witness tomorrow.
21 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour. The Prosecution agrees that
22 the cross-examination can start today. But in the Rule 65 ter conference
23 last Thursday, Your Honours did say that if we received an amended proffer
24 late, then we could have additional time to prepare for cross-examination.
25 And as Your Honours have heard this morning, a number of issues were
1 raised by this witness which were new to us. We received the amended
2 proffer yesterday. So we would just ask for some time to prepare the
3 documents that we want to put to this witness.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Trial Chamber will take the opportunity to
5 compare this morning's transcript with the proffer, because to be honest,
6 personally, I did not see these major discrepancies between the proffer we
7 received in due time opposed to that what we heard from you, Dr. Pusac,
9 Therefore, it's hereby decided the cross-examination will take
10 place this afternoon. And if on request of the Prosecution, the Judges
11 should start with their line of questions, we are prepared to do so.
12 The trial stays adjourned until 1.30.
13 --- Luncheon recess taken at 11.58 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 1.41 p.m.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. May I ask the Prosecution,
16 what is now your choice? Let the Judges start, or do you want to start?
17 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honours; I'm happy to proceed.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Then the floor is yours.
19 If you could please close the door.
20 Cross-examined by Ms. Sutherland:
21 MS. SUTHERLAND: Usher, could you just move the -- so I have a
22 line of sight. Thank you.
23 Q. Dr. Pusac, you mentioned in your evidence earlier this morning
24 Zoran Karlica. Do you believe that he's a paramilitary?
25 A. No -- or rather, I don't know. I was just responding to the
1 question. When asked whether I had heard about the killing of Karlica, I
2 said I had heard about it, but I really don't know who he belonged to.
3 Q. So you're not aware that he was active in operations in Western
4 Slavonia in 1991 and 1992?
5 A. No, I was not aware of that.
6 Q. Or that Zoran Karlica's unit was part of the 43rd Brigade?
7 A. I assume he was in the 43rd, but I don't have that piece of
8 information. It wasn't my area of expertise. I wasn't interested in
9 things like that, so I can't say for sure whether he was a member of the
10 unit or was not.
11 Q. Are you aware that Veljko Milenkovic, who was the commander of the
12 paramilitary group the Wolves of Bihac [phoen], are you aware that he
13 fought with units of the 1st Krajina Corps?
14 A. I heard that he was a fighter and that he had taken part in the
15 war, but what formation or unit he belonged to himself, I really can't
16 say. I don't know. If you ask me about the medical corps, perhaps I
17 could give you an answer. But I really don't know the answer to questions
18 like that.
19 Q. You said in your evidence earlier that paramilitaries were not
20 under the military command.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please quote the page of the
22 transcript, that we have it for sure.
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: Forgive me, Your Honour. It's page 24.
24 Q. Do you still stand by this assertion, that paramilitaries were not
25 under military command?
1 A. I don't have any official information about that. I personally
2 don't know, am not aware that they were. I really can't say. I don't
3 know. As far as I know, in the military command, you had the
4 active-military units. They came under the military command. And with
5 respect to the medical corps, I don't know that there was a paramilitary
6 medical corps or that it was under our command, higher up the chain of
7 command or down the line. So once again, it's not my area. I really
8 can't answer.
9 Q. That's exactly my point. And just so that we're clear, you don't
10 know whether paramilitary units came under the military command. Isn't
11 that correct?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 You stated -- for Their Honours' and the Defence's benefit, page
15 11 of the transcript this morning -- that in May 1992, the Yugoslav
16 People's Army, i.e., the JNA, withdrew from the entire territory of
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. It's true that officers who originated from Bosnia-Herzegovina
20 went back there, but it's not true that the JNA withdrew from the entire
21 territory. In fact, the units that existed in the 5th Corps were simply
22 renamed within the 1st Krajina Corps. Isn't that correct?
23 A. As far as I know from those times, the active units of the
24 Yugoslav People's Army, with all the equipment and military materiel, and
25 all the medical equipment, withdrew. Now, to what extent and how many
1 units remained, what percentage stayed on and what percentage withdrew, I
2 really don't know. I can't give you facts and figures about that. But I
3 do know officially that I personally had the possibility of going back to
4 Yugoslavia and to continue my duties there working in the Yugoslav army.
5 Q. But it's true that the JNA didn't withdraw the equipment, but it
6 was kept there, and in fact it was simply a transformation and not a
8 A. As far as I know, part of the equipment was withdrawn. And I'm
9 sure that another portion remained where it was, the equipment that
10 belonged to that territory originally and which had taken part and was
11 used in security during peacetime, to provide security for the facilities
12 that were jointly built. So the fact is that that kind of military
13 materiel and equipment remained. But what is also certain is that part of
14 the equipment and the manpower left and went to Yugoslavia, especially the
15 part of the air force, the larger planes. That's what I can say as well
16 even a layman, just a citizen.
17 Q. I want to now move to another topic. The military command, except
18 perhaps in a military dictatorship, received instructions from political
19 authorities. Isn't that correct?
20 A. The military command receives instructions from the competent
21 authorised command at the highest level; the superior command or Supreme
22 Command. And I didn't hear of an insight into the Supreme Command to know
23 if any influences was wielded on it. But the instructions, orders, came
24 down to us from our superiors; from the superior command to the
25 subordinate command. And reports went back from the subordinate command
1 up towards the superior command.
2 Q. It's true that there was a hierarchy within the military command,
3 but it's not true, as you stated this morning on page 18 of the
4 transcript, that the army was completely autonomous and independent. The
5 army works on behalf of the political structures; does it not?
6 A. The army executes the tasks and orders of the superior command. I
7 was never able to see a document involving a political party or whether a
8 political party or the president of a municipality or Executive Board or
9 anything of that kind issue orders to the army, telling the army what it
10 should do. I've never seen a document of that kind. I've never held one
11 in my hands, nor did anybody issue any orders to me orally. And I don't
12 know that others received orders from those sources either.
13 Q. We'll get to the documents in a moment, Doctor.
14 It's important for military and civilians to cooperate at all
15 levels. Do you agree with that?
16 A. Well, it's like this: If we're talking about health, the medical
17 department, the medical corps, of course we did cooperate because it would
18 be impossible to take some injured or sick person somewhere without
19 contacting people from the civilian medical institutions. So in that
20 sense, there would be a certain amount of cooperation. And so in that
21 sense, we did cooperate.
22 Q. And other units besides the medical corps, it's important for them
23 to cooperate with the civilians?
24 A. Well, you ought to ask people from those structures that. If
25 we're talking about a quartermaster service or something like that, the
1 services generally did have to cooperate in one way or another in order to
2 be able to reach certain areas, reach certain facilities, come by certain
3 equipment. So that would be logical in that sense. Now, whether they
4 cooperated in the sense of joint operation or implementing an order of any
5 kind, I don't have any information about that.
6 Q. We'll go --
7 A. I don't know, perhaps.
8 Q. Who was the commander of the 1st Krajina Corps in May 1992?
9 A. I think it was General Talic, but once again, I can't say for
10 sure. Before him, it was General Uzelac. Now whether it was General
11 Talic, whether he had replaced him, I don't know but that's what I can
12 tell you on that score.
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could the witness be shown Prosecution Exhibit
15 Q. Sir, could you read that document to yourself.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 MS. SUTHERLAND:
18 Q. Doctor, could you read that document to yourself.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: And, Usher, here are copies of the document for
20 the Defence and the Trial Chamber.
21 Q. Doctor, have you read the document?
22 A. Yes. In part.
23 Q. That's a document dated the 21st of May, 1992, from the commander,
24 Major-General Momir Talic, sent to the commander chief of staff. Is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And it deals with the general mobilisation of the Serbian Republic
3 of Bosnia-Herzegovina army, and it's an order. Can I ask you to read
4 paragraph 1, please.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you read it out loud.
7 A. "Immediately establish direct contact with municipal and military
8 and territorial organs on the ground offering expert and materiel support
9 for the mobilisation process."
10 Q. And could you also read paragraph 8(iv).
11 A. "Establish the closest possible cooperation with the people and
12 legal authorities within their zones of responsibility. Before sending
13 individuals or units into combat operations, always organise at least one
14 session of target practice at an improvised firing range. Prepare
15 small-scale combat operations to start with to ensure a degree of success
16 in the first combat operation."
17 Q. So General Talic, who was the commander of the corps of which you
18 were a member, obviously thinks it's important to have military and
19 civilian cooperation, does he not?
20 A. Yes. Cooperation, and most probably when it says "municipal"
21 here, they mean the departments for National Defence, and they were in
22 charge of the mobilisation process. And it is these departments in the
23 Ministry of Defence which were located on the territory of the
24 municipality itself.
25 I apologise --
1 Q. [Previous interpretation continues]..."immediately establish
2 direct contact with municipal and military and territorial organs on the
3 ground." You're just reading into that that they are referring to
4 departments of the National Defence.
5 Sir, can you look at paragraph 6, please, and can you read it.
6 A. "6. Explain to conscripts as they arrive the goals of our
7 struggle and brief them on their duties and rights. Do not enlist any
8 hesitant persons or suspicious persons into the units."
9 Q. This is referring to political objectives, is it not?
10 A. Well, you can interpret it that way, but I said this morning, and
11 I claim again here and now, that the command never issued orders to
12 civilian authorities, nor did the process take place vice versa. But when
13 a unit spent some time in a certain area, it received commands from within
14 the army. And as they were on the territory of a given municipality,
15 there had to be some form of cooperation, obviously.
16 Q. Yes. Cooperation between the military and the defence.
17 Can you go to the distribution on the last page of the document.
18 And it states there that as part of the distribution was the Prijedor
19 Regional Command. Does it also list your unit, the 5th Medical Battalion?
20 A. Yes, it does.
21 Q. Thank you. I've finished with that document.
22 Doctor, you testified earlier this morning - at page 25 of the
23 transcript - that before the war, during the war, or after the war, it was
24 not possible that the president of a municipality would issue orders to
25 the medical corps or the president of the Executive Board or the president
1 of the Crisis Staff of a municipality. You said there was absolutely no
2 such possibility. You've also mentioned a number of times that you
3 weren't aware of any documents. Was it possible to issue orders,
4 decisions, and conclusions -- I'm sorry. I'll start that again: Was it
5 possible for the municipal authorities, either a president of a
6 municipality, a president of an Executive Board, or the president of the
7 Crisis Staff, to issue orders, decisions, and conclusions to other units
8 of the 1st Krajina Corps?
9 A. Within the medical corps that I'm talking about, and the medical
10 battalion, I didn't see such a document, and I was not aware that either
11 us or our command were issued any orders by any civilian structures.
12 Q. I want to show you some -- a document.
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: Can the witness be shown Exhibit S116.
14 Q. You're not aware, though, of other units receiving orders,
15 conclusions, or decisions from the municipal authorities, are you?
16 A. I was not a member of any of these units; how could I know it?
17 Only if I showed any interest before anybody, and if that person told me
18 something. But I didn't hear any such stories.
19 Q. You weren't in a position to know.
20 Sir, if you could read that document, and let me know when you've
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the usher, please, to present on the
23 ELMO the English version in a way that we also can read the end of the
24 document. A little bit further. Thank you.
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I apologise we don't have copies of
1 this document before you. I spoke too soon.
2 Usher. Thank you.
3 Q. Sir, have you finished that document, reading that document?
4 A. Yes, mostly.
5 Q. Doesn't that -- this is a document, Exhibit S116, is a summary of
6 conclusions adopted by the Prijedor Municipality executive committee,
7 relating to the public security service and regional command from 29 April
8 to 17 August, 1992. Within that document, there are a number of
9 decisions, orders, and conclusions which deal directly -- which directly
10 involve military issues, are there not?
11 A. I see this document for the first time, and I already said that I
12 wasn't there all the time. And thirdly, this is not an order. This is
13 just an overview of conclusions adopted by the Crisis Staff, for which I
14 already said that I don't know who they were, what their role was in terms
15 of command. We don't have a single order - and here I'm speaking on
16 behalf of the medical corps - from the Crisis Staff, any order to carry
17 out within the medical unit. I really don't have any such order.
18 Q. Can I take you to conclusion number 02-111-171/92. Isn't that a
19 conclusion of the Prijedor Municipality executive committee, assigning the
20 duty of providing security for the Trnopolje camp to the regional command?
21 It's dated the 10th of June, 1992.
22 If I can take you to another one. The order number 02-111-315 --
23 MR. LUKIC: Sorry, it's not possible to follow this way. If the
24 number in front of the paragraph could be shown because we don't know
25 where this number is. The page number and the paragraph number.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's far more easy -- the page number
2 may be confusing, but the paragraphs are numbered. If you could make
3 reference to the paragraphs as such, it would facilitate, no doubt.
4 MS. SUTHERLAND: I agree, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you start with the first summary or the
6 second summary --
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, the first one was dated the 10th of June, and
8 it was conclusion number 171. And I'm just --
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's start in the order, as we can see it on
10 the English version, the second summary, orders from 29 May to 24 July. I
11 think you're making reference to this only. And please then indicate
12 whether you want to comment or put questions to the witness on paragraph
13 1, 2, or whatsoever.
14 MS. SUTHERLAND: I do apologise, Your Honour. I think I have the
15 wrong exhibit number.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask Madam Registrar to crosscheck whether
17 S116, as we have it before us, was previously 65 ter number 298.
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, Ms. Karper is checking the ERN
19 number of the document.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Madam Registrar, your results, please?
21 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, it is 65 ter 298.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So then, I think as to the fact that there are
23 several summaries, let's go through the entire document summary by
24 summary. Do you want to make reference to the first summary of
25 conclusions from 29 April to 17 August?
1 MS. SUTHERLAND: Would you just give me a moment, Your Honour.
2 I'm sorry, Your Honour. And I apologise to the witness. Could
3 the witness be shown Exhibit S250. And we will come back to Exhibit S116
4 in a moment.
5 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, could we be shown the document first before
6 it's shown to the witness. Thanks.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND:
8 Q. So, Doctor, that is a rather lengthy document --
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Stop, stop, stop. We don't have the English
10 version on the ELMO, and we should also be able to follow. Okay. Please
11 proceed. And I take it this is now the previously admitted Exhibit S250A
12 on the ELMO, and B before the witness.
13 MS. SUTHERLAND:
14 Q. Sir, this document is dated sometime in late July 1992. The date
15 seems to be the 24th, or it could be another date. In any event, it's
16 addressed to the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor, and the subject is
17 "Confirmation of decisions within the competence of the Municipal Assembly
18 adopted by the Crisis Staff." And this document contains or lists a
19 number of decisions, conclusions, and orders issued by the Prijedor Crisis
20 Staff between the 29th of May and the 24th of July, 1992. If I can take
21 you to the conclusion passed on the 10th of June which, for the usher's
22 benefit, is under part 9, and conclusion number 2, which is the conclusion
23 I referred you to earlier in the wrong document. And that is
24 02-111-171/92. That's a conclusion assigning the duty of providing
25 security for the Trnopolje camp to the regional command.
1 I now want to take you to another order issued on the 17th of
2 June, 1992. And for the usher's benefit, that's under part number 13.
3 And order number 1, which is 02-111-215/92, is an order for the formation
4 of a single intervention platoon.
5 If I can take you to order number 4 that's listed there, which is
6 order number 02-111-218/92, that is an order concerning the obligation to
7 report on the procurement of military equipment.
8 If I can take you to a conclusion passed on the 23rd of June. For
9 the usher's benefit, that's under part number 14, conclusion number 6,
10 which is numbered 01-111-241/92, that's a conclusion directed to the
11 regional command to ensure uniformity of the Serbian army insignia.
12 Does this document show you that there were a number of
13 conclusions, decisions, and orders sent from the Prijedor Crisis Staff to
14 the regional command and others concerning military matters?
15 A. You have provided me with too much material, too many facts. So I
16 find it difficult to find my way around all this. I would like you to ask
17 me question and read out one order which relates not to a proposal of
18 conclusions but an order sent to the corps command or the command of a
19 military active unit. For example, the 143rd or any other unit, because
20 like this, I just can't find my way around.
21 Q. Sir, I've just read you four conclusions and orders out of that
22 document which directly involve military issues. And these are orders and
23 conclusions issued by the Prijedor Crisis Staff, are they not?
24 A. Will you give me the exact number and page of what you just said,
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Take your time, and let's do it step by step.
2 MS. SUTHERLAND:
3 Q. Sir, on page 6 in the document in your language -- have you got
4 page 6?
5 A. Yes, I have page 6, and I'm reading it. But I'd like to ask you
6 to tell me, please, what point you are referring to on this page. What
7 does your question refer to?
8 Q. If you can go to part 9, enactments passed on the 10th of June,
9 1992. And the second -- paragraph 2 is the conclusion 171 that we have
10 referred to above. That states there that it's assigning the duty of
11 providing security for the Trnopolje camp to the regional command. This
12 is a conclusion issued by the Prijedor Crisis Staff. So the Prijedor
13 Crisis Staff --
14 A. Well, this -- this is a political document and a conclusion. It
15 is not an order, so we don't seem to be understanding each other.
16 Q. The conclusion is assigning the duty of providing security to the
17 Trnopolje camp to the regional command, is it not?
18 A. The difference, in my opinion, is this - although I'm not a
19 lawyer, I'm not well-versed in those things - but there's a big difference
20 between conclusion and order. A conclusion doesn't imply implementation,
21 execution. I don't see the consequences if this is not put into practice,
22 whereas an order does; an order must be carried out. So in that sense, I
23 cannot agree with you.
24 Q. But they are still telling the regional command what to do. They
25 are telling the regional command to provide the security.
1 A. As a suggestion, as a proposal. But not as an order.
2 Q. I'll move on. You wanted me to take you specifically to these
3 conclusions and orders. The next one I mentioned was order number 215.
4 You will find that on page 8 in the document in your language. And that
5 is under -- that is number 18, right at the bottom of the page, under part
6 number 13.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And that is an order concerning the formation of a single
9 intervention platoon. Now, you just said a moment ago there was a
10 difference between conclusions and orders.
11 A. In this order, I do not see --
12 Q. In this order, the Prijedor Crisis Staff is ordering the formation
13 of a single intervention platoon. Do you agree with that?
14 A. What it says here is correct, but it is not correct that in an
15 active-military unit of the army of Republika Srpska, the Crisis Staff
16 issued orders to form an intervention platoon. I don't know that that was
17 ever so.
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could the witness be shown this document. And it
19 could be marked provisionally S3 --
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 92.
21 MS. SUTHERLAND: 92. Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But first, please, to the Defence.
23 THE REGISTRAR: It is S391, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry, my mistake.
25 MS. SUTHERLAND:
1 Q. Sir, could you look at that document and read it. It is somewhat
2 illegible, parts of it are somewhat illegible. And if the English
3 translation could be placed on the ELMO.
4 For your benefit, I will read the document in full, because as I
5 said, parts of it are illegible.
6 MR. LUKIC: We are not clear how the date could be translated as
7 well because it's not visible on this document, in the B/C/S version.
8 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, Ms. Karper is requesting the
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The best possible copy or original or
11 whatsoever. We can read "datum 17." And then it's left for a guessing
12 game. But I think we can see from the number that it's a number dated of
14 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, this document -- this -- no, I take
15 that back.
16 Q. Sir, the document is headed "Serbian Republic of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Autonomous Region of Krajina, Municipality of Prijedor
18 Crisis Staff. Number 02-111-215/92. Date: 17 June 1992."
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And at this point in time, we have to add that
20 the witness has before himself a copy where one evidently can't read the
21 month. But please continue.
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. "Pursuant to Article 3 and 7 of the decision on the organisation
24 and work of the Crisis Staff of the Prijedor Municipality at its meeting
25 of 17 June 1992, the Prijedor Crisis Staff discussed the report on the
1 security situation in the area of the municipality and issued the
2 following order:
3 "1. The Prijedor public security station and the Prijedor
4 regional command are ordered to form a joint intervention squad within two
5 days and each of them is to assign 20 members to the squad. Its main task
6 should be the prevention of looting and other criminal activities in the
7 area of the municipality, as well as of the movements of all unregistered
8 vehicles and vehicles driven by the army and police members who are not in
9 possession of properly authorised travel orders.
10 "2. Squad members are to be selected from the existing ranks of
11 the army and the police by the regional command and the public security
13 "3. The Municipal Crisis Staff is to give approval for the
14 selected squad members.
15 "4. The regional command and the public security station are
16 obliged to submit a report about the activities of the intervention squad
17 and their results to the Municipal Crisis Staff within seven days.
18 "5. This order takes effect on the day of its issuance."
19 The signature block on the document is President of the Crisis
20 Staff, Dr. Milomir Stakic, Prijedor Municipal Assembly -- I'm sorry,
21 that's the stamp.
22 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour --
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Before we go -- enter into a dispute on this, I
24 think we should agree that --
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, can I just finish reading the
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No, there was an intervention, and therefore
3 it's just fair --
4 MS. SUTHERLAND: Sorry.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: -- to answer this objection. And I think it
6 follows that apparently it's only typed, "Dr. Milomir Stakic," and then we
7 have the same signature we had several times, but it reads "Za." And
8 maybe the witness can or cannot of assistance to identify the signature.
9 And then we have only in a legible form the left-hand side where we can
10 read "Copies to."
11 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Copies to, 1, public security station; 2,
12 Prijedor regional command; and 3, files.
13 Q. Doctor, doesn't this document -- you wanted to see the actual
14 order. Doesn't this document show you that the Prijedor Crisis Staff
15 ordered the SJB and the Prijedor regional command to form a joint
16 intervention squad within two days? So the Prijedor Crisis Staff are
17 ordering the regional command to do something, the military.
18 A. First of all, let me say that at that time, I was living in Banja
19 Luka, and I don't know about the military institution -- a military
20 institution which was called the regional command. I know that before the
21 war, there was a garrison command or something of that kind in Prijedor.
22 So I don't know -- of course I can't claim that it didn't exist, but I
23 don't know this regional command.
24 And secondly, this is quite certainly something that is outside
25 the law on control and command in the army. And I'm -- whenever I say
1 anything, I refer to that law, the law that made it impossible for an
2 order to be received from civilian authorities and to be effective over
3 the army. So this is not something that I knew happened, or happened
4 frequently, and that these orders were exercised, implemented. And I must
5 say quite frankly and honestly before this Tribunal that that is what I
6 know and as far as I know. And that is what I base my claims on.
7 Q. Yes. That you weren't in the Prijedor Municipality at the time;
8 you were in Banja Luka. And therefore, you don't know what was happening
9 between the military and the civilian authorities.
10 A. I don't know specific cases and events. I don't know about this
11 particular event either. But on the basis of the military knowledge that
12 I do have, working in the medical corps and what I was able to learn from
13 the medical corps about the army as a whole, I claim and state that it was
14 not possible, according to the provisions and the laws, for the civilian
15 authorities to issue any orders to the army or vice versa.
16 Q. Paragraph 3 of this order then says: "Once the squad members have
17 been selected, that the municipal Crisis Staff has to give their
19 A. [No audible response]
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It reads on the transcript that your answer is
21 not audible. Could you please repeat your answer.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Number three, you say. Point three
23 of this order. Is that right?
24 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The answer is the same as to the
1 previous question: I have no knowledge and am not aware of a document of
2 this kind, and to the best of my knowledge and on the basis of what I know
3 within the medical corps and outside the medical corps, there was never a
4 situation of this kind, that is to say, in which we would receive orders
5 from a civilian authority and were required to carry those orders out.
6 That is to the best of my knowledge.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I wish to tender that document.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections, or may I first ask the -- before we
9 discuss this.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I'm awfully sorry.
12 Can we get the best possible original in the course of this
13 afternoon's hearing?
14 MS. SUTHERLAND: We believe so, Your Honour. We haven't had a
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let us postpone the decision on this issue.
17 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, this document has already been admitted
18 as S79.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: But we would like to see the original.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Stop. Step by step, please. May I ask Madam
22 Registrar, please, to crosscheck whether it's in fact the same document.
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, the B/C/S version has a different
24 ERN number.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So may I then ask Ms. Karper to find out, we had
1 a collection of the best possible originals or copies, and some in colour
2 copies. If we could have the best possible one, the best readable one.
3 Thank you. Here we are.
4 And this is, in fact, S79. We have it before us, and may it first
5 be shown... From our point of view, it's apparently an identical copy of
6 the same document. May this document first be shown to the Defence, then
7 to the Prosecution, and then to the witness, please.
8 Based on this, all the problems we had in the past will
9 immediately be resolved.
10 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, we will cancel the request for the
11 original of the other document.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Just for the purpose of clarification, it
13 clearly reads the 17th of June 1992 in the beginning. At the same time,
14 also for clarification, the name Dr. Milomir Stakic is found on the
15 document only in a typed version, and then we have this typical "Za" with
16 any additional signature.
17 May I ask the witness, did you ever come across with this
18 signature? Do you know who signed this document?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This is the first time I see
20 this document and, obviously, the signature on it.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So we withdraw that this document is
22 provisionally marked as S391, because apparently the better and best
23 possible version is the already-admitted Exhibit S79.
24 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
25 Q. Doctor, as you've said, all you know is what is supposed to --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
2 MS. SUTHERLAND:
3 Q. Doctor, as you've said, all you know is what is supposed to
4 happen; you don't know what actually happened because you weren't in a
5 position to know. Isn't that right?
6 A. What do you mean when you say "what happened"? What are you
7 referring to when you say "you don't know what happened"?
8 Q. What actually happened between the civilian authorities and the
9 military in the Prijedor Municipality.
10 A. Based on the documents that you have just shown me and my
11 first-hand knowledge, it is obvious that I didn't know what was happening,
12 the conflicts. The fact is, and I continue claiming that, that we didn't
13 have any orders that we would carry out, and the medical corps was partly
14 covering Prijedor as well.
15 Q. You didn't see any orders.
16 A. No.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Before you move to another topic, I think it's
18 appropriate to have a break now. Or is there a question following?
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour. We can have a break now.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until 10 minutes past
22 --- Recess taken at 2.49 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 3.13 p.m.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. And Ms. Sutherland, please
1 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Doctor, are you aware of a policy to remove non-Serb officers in
3 positions of authority from the VRS?
4 A. No, I don't know of any such thing. And to be honest, I really
5 did not pursue politics while I was in the army. And officers, for that
6 matter, could not pursue politics or engage in politics.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could the witness be shown a document, please,
8 dated the 7th of June, 1992. The ERN number in B/C/S is 00423657. The
9 Defence have been provided with a copy of this document.
10 If that could be provisionally marked S391, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We will do so.
12 MS. SUTHERLAND:
13 Q. Sir, could you read that document and advise me when you have read
15 MR. OSTOJIC: Pardon me, Your Honour. While the witness is
16 reviewing the document, can we have the 65 ter number for the document.
17 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, there is no Rule 65 ter number.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then it should be reflected on the transcript
19 that the ERN number is 03031763, the English version; and the B/C/S
20 version, 00423657 and the following page.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have had a look at the document.
22 MS. SUTHERLAND:
23 Q. Doctor, this is dated the 7th of June 1992, Sanski Most. And it's
24 conclusions adopted at a subregional meeting of political representatives
25 of the municipalities of Bihac, Bosanski Petrovac, Srpska Krupa, Sanski
1 Most, Prijedor, Bosanski Novi, and Kljuc. And it was sent to the Crisis
2 Staff of the Autonomous Region of Banja Luka, the leadership of the
3 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo, and the 1st Krajina
4 Corps in Banja Luka.
5 Could you please read aloud paragraph 4.
6 A. "We demand that the 1st Krajina Corps in Banja Luka, and
7 particularly General Momir Talic of the 1st Krajina Corps, purge the 1st
8 Krajina Corps of Muslims and Croats. We believe that they cannot fight
9 against their own people and that they are now involved in intelligence
10 and other activities in the 1st Krajina Corps that are of interest to
11 Ustasha forces and members of the so-called Alija's Territorial Defence.
12 Deadline for completion: Seven days."
13 Q. I would now like you to look at another document, and then I will
14 ask you some questions in relation to these documents --
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In order that we don't forget, what about
16 objections by the Defence related to the document provisionally marked
18 MR. LUKIC: We object to the authenticity, because there is no
19 signature at all, but we will ask this witness several questions regarding
20 this document as well.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So therefore, as we did it previously, this
22 document will be admitted into evidence as S391A for the English version
23 and B for the B/C/S version.
24 Please continue.
25 MS. SUTHERLAND:
1 Q. Sir, just before we move off that document, there are seven
2 conclusions stated in that document, and there is a stamp at the bottom of
3 the document. Is that correct?
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's for the parties and for the members
5 of the Bench to evaluate this. Thank you.
6 You want to continue with the new document?
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, if that could be marked provisionally S392.
8 And that's a document dated the 9th of June, Your Honour, and the ERN
9 number in the B/C/S version is 00949887, and the English translation is
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No 65 ter number for this case. Correct?
12 MS. SUTHERLAND: That's correct, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
14 MS. SUTHERLAND:
15 Q. Sir, that is a document dated the 9th of June, 1992, from the
16 assistant commander for morale -- for moral guidance and legal affairs,
17 Colonel Milutin Vukelic from the 1st Krajina Corps, and it's a report on
18 the Autonomous Region of Krajina Crisis Staff decision, and it's submitted
19 to the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina army main staff and the
20 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency.
21 Could you please read the document aloud.
22 A. "Decision of the Crisis Staff of the Krajina Autonomous Region to
23 the main staff of the army and the Presidency of the Socialist Republic of
25 "At yesterday's session of the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous
1 Region of Bosanska Krajina, one of the issues that was discussed was the
2 general personnel policy in the army and the 1st Krajina Corps.
3 "It was stated that within the units of the 1st Krajina Corps,
4 14th logistics base, and the units of the airforce and anti-aircraft
5 defence in Banja Luka garrison, there are 67 officers of Muslim or Croat
6 nationality. An ultimatum was issued requesting removal of these persons
7 from vital and command posts by 15 June 1992, or they will take over the
8 control of the armed forces. We consider their demand to be justified,
9 but it is impossible to find adequate professional replacements among the
10 reserve staff, and active officers of Bosnia-Herzegovina origin are not
11 arriving from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Such action would also
12 significantly weaken above-named units from which it has been requested
13 that staff be purged. We are aware of a certain degree of danger, and we
14 are excluding such persons from the more important decision-making
15 processes. Our recommendation is to accelerate the process of sending
16 active soldiers of BH origin over from FR Yugoslavia. The 1st Krajina
17 Corps command should make the decision as to which staff members from the
18 ranks of Muslims and Croats may still be temporarily kept and at what
20 "It would also be essential to take a position on what should be
21 done with those who have not demonstrated any hostile activity so far, but
22 who must be removed from key posts.
23 "Milutin Vukelic, Colonel, assistant commander for moral guidance
24 and legal affairs."
25 Q. The first document that we looked at, S391, shows that the
1 civilian authorities in the subregional group of municipalities were
2 requesting the Crisis Staff to cleanse the army of non-Serbs. The second
3 document, the one we have just looked at, S392, then also discusses the
4 issue that was discussed at the Autonomous Region of Krajina Crisis Staff,
5 talking about purging staff from the 1st Krajina Corps, does it not?
6 A. I still maintain that this is a political document, so it was a
7 request of the politics for things to be done in the army. The army
8 responds in the way it did, but the army was never part of the Autonomous
9 Region of Krajina or any other municipality territory, so they could not
10 issue orders to the army. Obviously, nobody could forbid anybody to
11 deliver such documents, and given the fact that this document indeed
12 arrived, that could not have been forbidden. And they reacted as they
13 did. And I continue maintaining the same position that, as far as I know,
14 the politicians did try to realise their interests via the army. Whether
15 they succeeded or not, and whether they had the legal right to do so or
16 not, it is up to others to establish.
17 I am not in the position to be familiar with that matter. I do
18 not know the documents of this time dating back to that period. And
19 therefore, I'm not in a position to say anything more about that.
20 Q. As you know, in theory is one thing, and in practice is another.
21 A. In medical science, practice is sometimes stronger than its
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could the witness be shown the next document,
24 which could be provisionally marked S -- we want to deal with the last
25 document, Your Honour. I'm sorry.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections?
2 MR. LUKIC: Can we reserve our right on this document, Your
3 Honour? Because it says that it is done under cipher, and it seems that
4 it's typed. So it's not clear whether it's -- on top. It said that it's
5 coded and to be delivered immediately, but it doesn't seem, as the next
6 document, you would see how it came through the machine.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: First of all, to the best of my recollection, we
8 had already several documents that were, where we could read "coded." And
9 we had already one expert on telecommunication. And emanating from this,
10 I want to come back to our general decision from March or April 2002,
11 admitting into evidence means, first of all, that the witness has
12 testified. It was part of the hearing. And that we can come back and
13 later on decide on the probative value of this document.
14 Therefore, admitted into evidence as S392A, B respectively. And
15 I'll emphasise on the same document, it is always possible if good reason
16 will be shown that we reconsider this decision and may even quash our
18 Please proceed.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Could the witness be shown the final document, provisionally if it
21 could be marked S393. The B/C/S ERN number is 00820950, and the English
22 translation is 03001521. And the document is dated the 9th of June, 1992.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I am not able to provisionally mark this
24 document because I don't know what it's all about. We have in B/C/S one
25 typed document and one in handwriting. So before marking this document,
1 please proceed.
2 MS. SUTHERLAND: I think the English translation is to 00820950,
3 and the page that's attached to it I will leave for the moment, and that
4 is 00820951.
5 Q. Sir, this is a document dated the 9th of June, 1992, which is the
6 same date as the previous exhibit we just looked at. And it's sent from
7 the commander of the army of the Serbian Republic, Colonel General Ratko
8 Mladic. It is sent to the command of the 1st Krajina Corps in relation to
9 their reference, Document strictly confidential number 488-3 of the 9th of
10 June, 1992, which is a reference to Exhibit S392.
11 Could you please read the next paragraph aloud.
12 A. To the "Command of the 1st Krajina Corps. Officers of Muslim or
13 Croatian nationality must be sent on leave immediately. Take action at
14 once to refer them to the army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in
15 order to resolve their status in the service."
16 Q. Thank you. The three exhibits that you have just read, S391,
17 S392, and S393 --
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: There's not yet an S393. May I ask you also to
19 have a look on the following page in handwriting. Maybe you, as a doctor,
20 well acquainted with illegible handwriting, can see what is written on
21 this page.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's difficult, I must say.
23 It's not only doctors who have this kind of handwriting. I do apologise,
24 but I'm afraid I cannot read this handwriting.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So for this reason, wouldn't it be appropriate
1 to withdraw the handwritten document, because it also already reads in the
2 English version that this page apparently is illegible.
3 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour. I'm sorry. I apologise for
4 not making myself clearer. A moment ago I said I would leave that page
5 and I was only seeking to tender the typewritten translation and the B/C/S
6 ERN number 00820950.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I hear the objections by the Defence.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour. Just for clarification, is there
9 also no 65 ter number for this document as well, just so that we're clear?
10 MS. SUTHERLAND: That's correct. And I have also been advised
11 that 00820951 is actually on the back of the original document. But that
12 text hasn't been translated.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And apparently, it's not possible either to read
14 or then to translate it. So therefore, we discuss only the two documents
15 before us.
16 MR. OSTOJIC: With respect to the same document, Your Honour, we
17 would object to the authenticity of the document as well as the signature.
18 But I would like to add in sum and substance, briefly, that with respect
19 to the three documents, the Defence is contemplating filing a separate
20 application in connection with those documents that we will bring in
21 written form to the Court next week. So we explicitly and expressly
22 reserve our right to do so since the Court has also said that these
23 documents are provisionally marked, but I just wanted the record to be
24 clear on that. Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To be extremely concrete, in the moment, this
1 document is provisionally marked 393. I've heard your objections. I told
2 you that no doubt your right to challenge the decision later on, if you
3 demonstrate reasons for this. But for the moment, as to the fact that the
4 witness has testified based on this, this document is admitted into
5 evidence as S393A and B respectively.
6 Please continue.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: And Your Honour, that's both the B/C/S pages --
8 Your Honour, just to be clear, the B/C/S includes the two pages, because
9 the handwritten page is actually on the back of the typewritten page.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We can't proceed this way. In case the
11 Prosecution finds a possibility to find a person who can read this
12 document, then no doubt we can admit this into evidence, but just
13 illegible parts of a document can't be admitted into evidence, even though
14 we are aware, and it's reflected on the transcript, that apparently on the
15 back side of Document S393B, it is your submission that there is something
16 to be found in handwriting, and it's for you to find out whether we can
17 read it later and to provide us with the entire original and the best
18 possible original to be found.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour. I just wanted to do that
20 really more for completeness than anything, but we will get the original
21 from the vault.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
23 MS. SUTHERLAND:
24 Q. Doctor, the three documents that you've just read, isn't it clear
25 from that that the civilian authorities in the group of the -- the
1 subregional group of municipalities sent a request on the 7th of June,
2 1992, to the Autonomous Region of Krajina Crisis Staff and the leadership
3 of the Serb Republic, requesting them to cleanse from the corps Muslims
4 and Croats? Two days later, the 1st Krajina Corps then sends a document
5 to the main staff, inter alia, stating that although they agreed with the
6 instruction, it would be difficult to implement, and they were seeking
7 guidance, instruction from the Autonomous Region Crisis Staff. And then
8 on the same day, you have the order signed by Ratko Mladic that all
9 superiors of Muslim and Croat nationality were to be sent on leave
10 immediately and action was to be taken to refer them to the army of the
11 FRY where their status would be resolved.
12 And so this document makes it clear that the political figures do
13 have their policies implemented.
14 A. Yes, political figures did try, like in any other society and
15 during the war as well, to influence certain events. Where they
16 succeeded, where politics succeeded, well, these were acts. But this is a
17 military order, and I can say that I have never seen this document before.
18 This is the first time. So to me, as a physician, what this document
19 contains, and the political request made differs greatly. There is a
20 great difference between the two. And it is up to the Trial Chamber and
21 others to assess and evaluate the reactions of the commander and the
22 response by the command with respect to the requests made and the
23 influence and efforts made to exert influence on the part of the political
25 Q. And those documents show that the policy to remove non-Serb
1 officers of -- non-Serb officers in positions of authority from the VRS is
2 based purely on ethnic grounds. You would agree with that?
3 A. If you were to ask me not as an officer but as a man and a doctor
4 if some of these officers, whether they were Muslims or Croats, if they
5 were really temporarily removed from the war zone in Yugoslavia - and
6 there were cases of that kind - and if they lived there and retired there,
7 then I'm thinking, as an ordinary man, that would be a much better thing
8 than some crimes perpetrated against them. And that was also something
9 that happened. So I think that we should assess that in this light.
10 I do not consider, however, that politics should have reacted in
11 this way, which triggered off another reaction. But I leave it to the
12 Court and others to decide what was to be done and how else this problem
13 could have been solved in that general euphoria of war in which various
14 cliques and ethnic groups wielded their influence, in which all partisan
15 sides were seeking to wield their influence, different policies and
16 politics. And so this is food for thought. We can think about this order
17 in greater depth, the order issued by General Mladic, and place it in that
19 Q. Do I take it from your answer that your answer to my question was
20 yes, that these documents show that the policy to remove non-Serb officers
21 in positions of authority from the VRS was based purely on ethnic grounds?
22 A. As far as I know, these people were not to say removed, but
23 certain command duties, the men were replaced with persons that were not
24 Muslim or other ethnic groups, that maybe they were not up to the task and
25 duties imposed upon them. So that I really can't say that I agree with
1 you, and that that was -- that the reason for their removal was ethnic
3 Q. Doctor, the first document dated the 7th of June clearly is a
4 request to cleanse the corps from Muslims and Croats. The second
5 document, dated the 9th of June, talks about a decision to replace 67
6 non-Serb officers. Mladic's decision clearly, dated the 9th of June, the
7 same as the previous document, states that all superiors of Muslim and
8 Croat nationality were to be sent on leave.
9 My question again: These three documents clearly show that the
10 policy to remove officers was based on ethnic grounds.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think the question was already answered by the
12 witness on page 80, line 10, following when he stated that it would be
13 better "if they were really temporarily removed from the war zone in
14 Yugoslavia - and there were cases of that kind - and if they lived there
15 and retired there, then I'm thinking as an ordinary man, that would be a
16 much better thing than some crimes perpetrated against them."
17 And from this, I take that you have experienced examples that
18 crimes were committed against those persons. Correct? Please answer,
19 that it's reflected on the transcript, not only nodding. Could you please
20 be so kind.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely so.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We learned this morning that after your
2 graduation, you started working in Prijedor on or about 1979. Correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's extremely difficult to work with the
5 correct terms in this Tribunal because the terminology is different. In
6 one country, you use this term; in another country, that term. Therefore,
7 my question would be: Whom did you regard as the political leader of
8 Prijedor in general?
9 A. In 1979, when I started working in Prijedor, there was a
10 one-party, single-party system, and that was communism. The communist
11 party. And we knew where the leadership lay, and we knew who was at the
12 head of communism. We were united in that sense. And my leader at that
13 time was Tito.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Wasn't there a, let's call it, subleader in the
15 area of Prijedor already at that time?
16 A. You're asking me about 1979, are you?
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In fact.
18 A. The old politicians of the day, dating back to those times; Drasko
19 Popovic, Nikola Stojanovic to name a few. Younger politicians of my own
20 age, I don't remember those. I don't remember any younger politicians
21 whom I could refer to as being my political leaders.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then let's go immediately one step further:
23 1990, 1991, who was at that time the political leader in Prijedor?
24 A. In 1990, as far as I recall, there were general elections. And in
25 Prijedor, the party that won the elections with a slight majority was the
1 SDA. That is to say, the Muslim party. But according to some of the
2 electoral results, this was almost equal to the SDS party, whereas the
3 Croatian party received far fewer votes. So that I personally in the
4 sense of leadership, a political leader, I can't actually remember anybody
5 that stood out as a political leader. And as I say, at that time, I was
6 living in Banja Luka, actually.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you by chance, even though I know that you
8 lived in Banja Luka, knew Mr. Cehajic?
9 A. I knew Mr. Cehajic's wife very well. She was Dr. Milka. And she
10 taught me, because I spent the first days of my internship working under
11 her. She was a very good professional, very good doctor, and a humanist.
12 I didn't know him personally, although I heard about him through her.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever, after 1992, have a meeting with
14 Madam Cehajic?
15 A. No. I didn't see her.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you know about the fate of the late
17 Mr. Cehajic?
18 A. Yes, I heard about it. I heard that -- I heard what had happened
19 to him in 1992, unfortunately.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And do you know the reasons why this happened to
22 A. I really don't know. I don't know the details of the event.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever meet Dr. Stakic after 1992?
24 A. I think we met, as I said earlier on, sometime in 1994 in the
25 Presidency, or rather at the meetings of the physicians -- the society of
1 physicians of Republika Srpska.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you at that time also discuss political
4 A. No, I don't remember discussing political issues. We discussed
5 our own society, our own association, because we felt the need for the
6 society to function, to actually be active in all regions, not just to
7 exist as dead letter on paper, so in the municipalities, and our
8 discussions went along those lines.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May I ask the usher to present to
10 the witness Document D50B.
11 Was there at that time a Minister of Defence? And where in this
12 hierarchy would you allocate the Minister of Defence?
13 A. Well, on the first rung of the ladder, in the supreme council, the
14 Defence Minister is on that body. And by virtue of office, he should take
15 part in the Supreme Command as well. But as far as I know, the Supreme
16 Commander is independent and autonomous in making decisions. And usually,
17 it is embodied in the person of the president of the Republic, president
18 of the country, state.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So would it be correct to put the Minister of
20 Defence in box 1 of your own sketch?
21 A. Well, he should be there. But I really don't know exactly whether
22 he would be or not.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Some minutes ago, you stated that you are not
24 aware of the notion of a Prijedor regional command and referred, to the
25 best of your recollection, to Prijedor garrison command. Where in this
1 hierarchy would we find the Prijedor garrison command?
2 A. In number 6. No, I apologise. Number 5.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And could you please explain for us,
4 having not served in the military, what is your understanding of a
5 garrison command? How many persons are there? Who is the leader of such
6 a garrison command?
7 A. The garrison command is an institution which should technically,
8 in the sense of manpower, serve the active component in the town, that is
9 to say, military pensioners. It should authorise and authenticate health
10 documents. And there's usually an army club attached to the garrison,
11 where cultural events take place in the military sense. But I'm talking
12 about peacetime. In times of war -- that's why I say that was how it was
13 before the war.
14 Now, after the war, a brigade was set up, the 143rd Brigade. Now,
15 whether that command was within the brigade composition or not, or whether
16 it was the regional command of Prijedor was something else again. I
17 really can't say. I don't know.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you know anybody in person in the Prijedor
19 garrison command?
20 A. I knew Dr. Zeljko Macura, who was a doctor there, and he was chief
21 of the medical corps. He was not an active-duty serviceman. I remember
22 him from the medical corps.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you know Mr. Arsic?
24 A. Yes, I heard of Mr. Arsic.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And would he be part of this Prijedor garrison
1 command, or even the commander of this garrison command? Sorry for asking
2 you these questions on ranks in the military hierarchy, but we really need
3 to know this.
4 A. For a while, he was the commander of the 143rd. Whether he was --
5 I've already told you that I'm not familiar with the fact whether the
6 command was in the composition of the unit. So I don't know whether he
7 was in the garrison command and in the regional command in the way this is
8 mentioned in the document. But I know that he was in that unit.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Whom would you regard as your colleague or
10 subordinate on the level of Prijedor, responsible for taking care of all
11 the health problems of this garrison command?
12 A. It was Dr. Macura. I cooperated with him, and he was in that
13 unit. That was one of the largest units in Prijedor, although it was not
14 in the composition of the Prijedor area. Its manpower was from other
15 municipalities; from Novi Grad, Sanski Most, and Prijedor.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did Dr. Macura ever report to you on certain
17 problems emanating from the number of wounded persons caused by incidents,
18 be it in Prijedor, be it in Kozarac, be it in Hambarine, be it Omarska, be
19 it in Keraterm, or wheresoever? Was this once an issue that he felt
20 necessary to report to you, that they had enormous problems?
21 A. Let me clarify this. In the corps command, there was also a chief
22 of the command corps of that corps. It was Colonel Dikic, Branko Dikic.
23 All the reports on medical issues from all the units, including the
24 medical corps of Dr. Macura, arrived at the desk of the chief of medical
25 corps in the 1st Corps, and in my medical battalion, which was a
1 stationary institution, and it was not an operational unit in the same
2 sense as the medical units in the brigade and lower-ranking units. That
3 is where I was.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification.
5 Before I turn to a number of documents, isn't it true that in
6 wartimes, in extraordinary times, it was necessary that those powers,
7 normally divided for good reason, had to cooperate more closely than in
9 A. Yes, precisely. But when it came to medical issues and medical
10 corps, we cooperated because we had to do that. We had to cooperate in
11 our work. We couldn't treat all the wounded and sick only in our
12 institution. We had to rely on civilian institutions, and we had to
13 cooperate in our profession.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May I ask the usher to present to
15 the witness Document S180B. And could you please start with page number
16 76, item number 115.
17 May I ask in the meantime, did you ever read Official Gazettes, or
18 was this more or less boring for you?
19 A. Mostly boring. Only when I had to.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please have a look on this document. And could
21 you please read out item number 115.
22 A. Should I read it this aloud? "It is hereby suggested to the
23 regional command of Prijedor that in cooperation with the" -- this is
24 something I can't see too well.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It starts on the top of the page 115.
1 A. "Pursuant to Article 3 and Article 70 -" I can't read the second
2 number - "of the decision on the organisation and work of the Prijedor
3 Municipality, the Crisis Staff of Prijedor Municipality at its session
4 held on the 23rd of June, 1992, issues the following conclusion: It is
5 hereby suggested that the regional command of Prijedor should, in
6 cooperation with the higher command, coordinate and regulate the unique
7 insignia of the army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 "Second, this conclusion shall come into effect on the day of its
10 President of the Crisis Staff, Milan Kovacevic."
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you know Mr. Kovacevic?
12 A. Dr. Kovacevic, yes. I knew him from our university days.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you hear also about his political career?
14 A. Yes, I did. He was the president of the Executive Board of
15 Prijedor Municipality in 1992. That's what I heard.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And now, to the contents of this conclusion, you
17 made a clear distinction between conclusion and order, and we perfectly
18 understood this.
19 What is your understanding, that a Crisis Staff in Prijedor come
20 to the conclusion to have unified insignia for the army? Could you
21 comment on this, please.
22 A. My comment could be the following: Political structures and
23 institutions tried to influence the unified insignia. Whether this was
24 implemented, whether this was carried through, and whether this was
25 according to military regulations, I cannot tell you.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So maybe it's helpful to come back to a more
2 fundamental document. The same Official Gazette, the same exhibit number,
3 S180, if you could please read out item number 18. This is on, English
4 version, the second page, for the assistance of the usher.
5 The decision that reads: "Decision on the organisation and work
6 of Prijedor Municipal Crisis Staff."
7 Could you please be so kind and read out the first half part of
8 Article 6.
9 A. "In the implementation of its function within the area of defence
10 activities, the Crisis Staff will do the following things particularly: It
11 will coordinate the work and activities of the participants in the general
12 people's defence. It will consider the issues of mobilisation,
13 development, and the replenishment of the armed forces and other
14 structures, and initiate with other competent municipal bodies cooperation
15 with the former structures based on --"
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. This is enough. What's your comment
17 on this in a decision taken by Prijedor Municipal Crisis Staff discussing
18 the reinforcement of the armed forces?
19 A. The Official Gazette that I see in front of you, I never read
20 before. That's first. And secondly, during the war, when I did my job,
21 this is not something that I would think about.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you then could proceed in the same document,
23 item 18, Article 9, please. If you could be so kind and read aloud
24 Article 9.
25 A. "Crisis Staff maintains permanent coordination and cooperation
1 with the army of the Serbian Republic -- Bosnian Republic. And it engages
2 in the civilian protection via the officials and officers of these
3 institutions and bodies through the Executive Board of the municipality
4 and with all the other economic and social subjects in the area of the
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask you for comments on this article. On
7 the cooperation between the Crisis Staff and the army of the Serbian
8 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and other organs.
9 A. Yes, I can see this is a political platform of the Crisis Staff.
10 But there's no single military document. And not just military documents,
11 but instructions. I have not come across anything similar to this. I
12 have not come across something like this that existed and was implemented
13 in the military bodies and commands.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we then turn in the same Official Gazette,
15 the same exhibit number, to item number 20. If you could read this aloud,
17 A. "Pursuant to Article 7 of the decision on the organisation and
18 work of the Crisis Staff of Prijedor Municipality at the session held on
19 5th of June, 1992, the Crisis Staff of Prijedor Municipality issues the
20 following order: It is hereby forbidden every unauthorised shooting from
21 fire weapons in the territory of Prijedor Municipality.
22 "Second, the consistent implementation of this order will be
23 under the authority of the police and the public security organs of
24 Prijedor, which will take the legally prescribed actions against
25 the -- all those who violate this order.
1 "This order shall come into effect immediately."
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you agree that this is an order directed,
3 amongst others, to the military police? An order by the Crisis Staff, and
4 as it is reflected in the Official Gazette, by Dr. Milomir Stakic,
5 president of the Crisis Staff?
6 A. Yes, I've read it. This is obvious. But the question I raise
7 here is whether this decision was valid before the military bodies, before
8 the military prosecution at that time in our parts.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we then proceed to page number 42 in the
10 English version. It's item 30, 3-0. Due to the short time, I want to
11 direct you immediately under the word "Order," paragraph 2.
12 A. "Hereby the command of the Prijedor garrison and the public
13 security station are hereby duty-bound to establish the needs to engage
14 the materiel equipment and deliver to the municipal secretariat for
15 national defence in order to legalise the fact that technical equipment
16 and materiel have been taken by the military and the police in keeping
17 with their actual needs."
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Would it be correct to draw the
19 inference from this order directed to the Prijedor garrison command that
20 this is, in fact, maybe the attempt only, but it reflects an order
21 directed to box number 5 in the sketch you have drawn?
22 A. The brigades? I can't remember.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Prijedor garrison command. Just some
24 minutes ago, you told us that you would allocate the Prijedor garrison
25 command in box 5. So therefore, would this document reflect an order
1 vis-a-vis this fifth box in your sketch on Exhibit Number D50B?
2 A. Possibly, as an attempt to realise the interests that politics or
3 certain circles from the Crisis Staff had. But it was an attempt, an
4 endeavour on their part.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we then turn to item number 48. This is on
6 the English version on page number 51. Would you please read aloud this
8 A. "Pursuant to Articles 3 and 7 of the decision on the organisation
9 and work of the Crisis Staff of Prijedor Municipality, the Crisis Staff of
10 Prijedor Municipality, at a session held on the 17th of June 1992 and in
11 connection with information on the security situation on the territory of
12 Prijedor Municipality, makes the -- issues the following order:
13 "It orders the public security station of Prijedor and the
14 regional command of Prijedor, within a space of two days, to form a
15 uniform intervention platoon -- a united intervention platoon with 20
16 members, the basic task of which will be to prevent looting and other
17 criminal undertakings on the territory of the municipality, and the
18 movement of all unregistered vehicles and vehicles carrying members of the
19 army and police force without travel permits, without regularly issued
20 travel permits.
21 "The composition of the platoon from the previous item will be
22 made up of the regional command and the public security station. These
23 are duty-bound within the space of -- a space of seven days to report back
24 to the Crisis Staff in the municipality in writing on the activities and
25 results of the work of the intervention platoon.
1 "This order comes into effect on the day it was issued."
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What would be your comment on this order?
3 A. The same as before.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And if you could, please, repeat. Is this an
5 order directed to the Prijedor regional command?
6 A. Yes, and that's what it says here, to the Regional Command of
7 Prijedor, whereas I said that as far as -- I said how far I was familiar
8 with the regional command as a body. That's what I was talking about.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Related to this document, I was able to
10 understand the content of the document, but if you move forward to item
11 number 55, here I really want -- need your assistance in understanding
12 this document. If you could read it aloud first, please.
13 A. "At the session held on the 29th of May, 1992, at 16.30 hours, the
14 Crisis Staff of Prijedor makes the following provision:
15 "1. It relieves of duty the commander of the Serbian territorial
16 defence, Major Slobodan Kuruzovic. This comes into effect on the 29th of
17 May, 1992. And he shall be placed under the command of the regional
19 "This decision comes into effect immediately. And the Crisis
20 Staff of Prijedor Municipality and the command of the region shall see
21 that it is implemented."
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What does it mean here "placed under the command
23 of the command of the region"?
24 A. The Territorial Defence existed in peacetime, as far as I
25 understand, and this was a reserve component. In certain municipalities,
1 the Territorial Defence had its departments, and their task in peacetime
2 was to call the reservists up for training, at intervals. And with the
3 war, or rather in 1992 - I don't know the exact date - the units of the
4 Territorial Defence as a Territorial Defence ceased to exist. Now,
5 whether the Crisis Staff could have replaced and subordinated this to the
6 region, I don't know. I can't say.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And then finally, item number 101.
8 English, page number 70.
9 A. "Pursuant to Articles 3 and 7 of the decision pertaining to the
10 organisation and work of the Crisis Staff of Prijedor Municipality, the
11 Crisis Staff of Prijedor Municipality at its session held on the 12th of
12 June, 1992, adopts the following conclusion:
13 "1. That it be suggested to the autonomous province of Krajina to
14 set up a Crisis Staff which would be made up of all the presidents of the
15 Municipal Assemblies and the hitherto staff be transformed into a Crisis
16 Staff of Banja Luka municipality.
17 "2. The autonomous province of Krajina is called upon to set up
18 the urgent formation of a government for the autonomous province of
19 Krajina and the autonomous province of Krajina is requested to provide
20 explanations as to the conclusions made by the Crisis Staff, which refers
21 to the pensioning off of workers who have served 30 and 35 -- who have
22 done 30 and 35 years of service. This conclusion comes into effect on the
23 day it was passed."
24 This is slightly illegible. Perhaps I read something incorrectly.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Your comments on this document.
1 A. This document is a sort of political platform, if I can call it
2 that. It is derived from the political platform and interests of the
3 political parties. As far as I know, I don't remember actually that
4 anything of this kind was set up in Banja Luka, or that we were under the
5 influence of the Crisis Staff, that is to say the army in Banja Luka, and
6 especially my own medical corps. I don't recall being under their
7 influence at all.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Unfortunately, I missed one item,
9 and this was 97. If you could have a look on this as well, and read it
10 aloud. English, page number 69.
11 A. "At its session held on the 29th of May, 1992, the Crisis Staff of
12 Prijedor Municipality adopts the following conclusion: With the formation
13 of the army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the need ceases
14 to exist for the existence of the Serbian TO, which shall become part of
15 the composition and come under the command of the region. This conclusion
16 comes into effect immediately. And the Crisis Staff of Prijedor
17 Municipality, along with the regional command, will see that it is put
18 into practice."
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: From your point of view, what does this
20 conclusion reflect, being yourself in your capacity as a physician, member
21 of the army, would know about the results on the formation on the army of
22 the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Can you tell us something
23 about this development apparently concluded by the formation of this army
24 of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
25 A. I'm sorry, but I did not understand your question.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: My question was, leaving aside the text of this
2 document, had the formation of the army of the Serbian Republic of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina any impact on your individual work and the entire
4 structure and the hierarchy of the army?
5 A. If you mean professionally and professional advancement, and the
6 training of medical corps staff in Republika Srpska, during the war, in
7 wartime, it wasn't at a very high level, I have to admit. And we didn't
8 have the material resources or the time, because of our daily duties and
9 obligations, to devote more work to training. We had to work with the
10 sick and wounded. So that there was not much progress made in the sense
11 of training and education for our staff members.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The last question from my side for today, coming
13 now back to your initial testimony, where on your own sketch would you
14 allocate the army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
15 A. Your Honour, did you mean this particular diagram?
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right.
17 A. The army of Republika Srpska ranged from the main staff right down
18 to the troops, the soldiers. So to all intents and purposes, all these
19 commands of the individual units comprised the army of Republika Srpska.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And why was it so that apparently following this
21 conclusion, it was -- it seemed to be appropriate that the Serbian TO
22 shall be incorporated into the structure of the region and placed under
23 its command? Where would you put the Serbian Territorial Defence in the
24 hierarchy of your own sketch?
25 A. I don't know. I can't answer that question.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
2 I think in all likelihood, the Defence will have a number of
3 questions, and also the Judges will have a number of questions. With a
4 view to the watch, it's absolutely necessary to have a break, and I think
5 we have to continue a longer period of time tomorrow.
6 May I, therefore, ask you, please be so kind and not contact any
7 of the parties - no representative of the Prosecution, no representative
8 of the Defence - until we resume; and the same is true, please don't
9 contact any other witnesses you might by chance meet here, there, and
10 everywhere in The Hague. It often happens, unfortunately. But please be
11 so kind, in order to establish a fair trial, that you don't speak with
12 these persons. I thank you for today's long testimony and hope to meet
13 you tomorrow once again in a fresh condition. Thank you.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until tomorrow, 9.00.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
17 at 4.42 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday
18 the 23rd day of January, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.