1 Monday, 17 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.12 a.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning to everybody. May we hear first
6 the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the appearances, for the
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian, Ann
12 Sutherland, and Ruth Karper for the Prosecution.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Good morning, Your Honours. John Ostojic and Branko
15 Lukic and Danilo Cirkovic on behalf of Milomir Stakic.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
17 Before we start today, after having had a long break, let us hear,
18 what are the witnesses to be expected for this week.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, for this week, the Defence will be
20 calling Witness Number 70. And I'm informed, Your Honour, that there was
21 a holiday in the former Yugoslavia on Thursday and Friday, and when the
22 Court communicated with the Defence to request further witnesses, that it
23 was impossible for us to obtain transportation and/or the necessary
24 authorisations for them to be brought here.
25 In addition, if I may, with all due respect, Your Honour, the
1 Defence was under the misguided impression that two witnesses that the
2 Court was going to call would appear no later than Friday, February 24th.
3 So we anticipated in our scheduling that those witnesses would be called
4 early this week, specifically starting perhaps as early as Wednesday.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This, you are anticipating what I wanted to ask
6 the Defence. The Defence knew that we would have an entire week sitting
7 the entire day. And no doubt, it needs some justification for not calling
8 witnesses save one witness, we learned from the provisional proffer, that
9 will at least take us approximately two hours. Two hours of
10 examination-in-chief for one week, this, no doubt, is not sufficient. And
11 having reviewed the transcript, I can't find any basis for the Defence to
12 believe that there would be witnesses available, in this case, Chamber
14 From the outset, it was the Defence telling this Trial Chamber
15 that these two envisaged witnesses were not prepared to appear as
16 witnesses for the Defence. No doubt, we called them, and we called them
17 with a deadline. But there was no confirmation at all, not the slightest
18 hint, that these witnesses would come during this week.
19 So therefore, there is no sound basis for this. And there's no
20 sound basis to believe that these Chamber witnesses would come. In fact,
21 in this moment, we don't know what will happen, whether we have to
22 subpoena them, whether they will arrive subpoenaed or not. As you know,
23 this is not in our hands. But it's in your hand and it's your obligation
24 to call witnesses that we can hear the entire week. And therefore, we are
25 a little bit late because we had some deliberations beforehand. The
1 question is: If so, if there is no justification for your proceeding, if
2 it's necessary from the side of the Bench to take sanctions against the
3 Defence, sanctions that would range from a stern warning up to the request
4 to the Registrar to deduct parts of the fees of Defence counsel for
5 frivolous actions as seen by the Appeals Chamber in cases in the past as
6 an inherent power of the Chamber. So I would invite you to give
7 furthermore justification for not calling additional witnesses.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm not sure, Your Honour, if we can satisfy the
9 Court's request for further justification. However, we would like to
10 reply if we may in connection with the scenario that has presented itself
11 here this week. Unbeknownst to the Defence, we did not anticipate this
12 problem to occur. We contact the Victim and Witness Protection Unit to
13 coordinate and to get the witnesses there, based both on their schedule as
14 well as the immigration rules that are applicable. We are unable to at
15 this time to have any other witnesses other than Witness Number 70 as
16 previously stated. However, if permitted, I'd like to put in context and
17 address some of the Court's concerns.
18 Witnesses we believe for all sides are very difficult to ascertain
19 and to bring on short notice. It is based on information and belief,
20 although we hesitate to comment on this, the week prior to last, the OTP
21 in the Brdjanin case also had a similar problem where they had to suspend
22 a day, if not two, because of unavailability of witnesses. We agree and
23 acknowledge our obligations to present the witnesses. We continue to
24 assert and state for the Court that this will not interfere with the
25 previously agreed-upon deadline of the Defence case of March 21st, 2003.
1 It's something that we did not envision. It was not something that is
2 intentionally before us today.
3 We ask and appeal the Court not to enter sanctions. I think if
4 the Court reviews respectfully the schedule and the pace of the
5 proceedings, the Defence has been diligent in presenting the evidence that
6 it wishes to bring forth. We likewise have streamlined some of the
7 witnesses and our Defence case. We have converted some witnesses to Rule
8 92 bis witnesses.
9 We also, as we reported in the previously scheduled 65 ter
10 conference, that our list is getting pared down, and we expect and are
11 thankful for the week that we had to prepare with our experts, and will
12 provide the Court and the OTP with their reports on the deadline that the
13 Court imposed of March 3rd, 2003. We have also, based on the Court's
14 order, scheduled for the experts to proceed in the last ten days of the
15 schedule, namely, commenced on or about March 12th and concluding on or
16 about March 21st for our two experts. Prior to that time, we expect to
17 call the remaining eight to ten witnesses that the Defence has, and we
18 think we can conclude our case in ample time.
19 Again, we would only like to cite to the Court and reconfirm that
20 this is not an intentional attempt on our part to frustrate the process.
21 It is something that has come up on short notice and the unavailability of
22 our witnesses due to matters that we raised even as recent as ten days ago
23 in private session with the Court. Quite candidly, that issue continues
24 to raise its head, and witnesses are reluctant to even discuss things with
25 us, much less to appear in light of the discussions that we had with the
1 Court in private session. Mind you, the Defence would like to reiterate
2 their request to have the OTP cease and desist from contacting our
3 witnesses either those that are scheduled to appear or those that have
4 already testified before the Court. We understand the Court's ruling on
5 that. We think that inaction has now prompted the OTP to further contact
6 this witness. It has frustrated our purposes in bringing forth witnesses
7 not only this week but other witnesses that were scheduled to come
8 throughout the Defence case.
9 We again would just appeal to the Court that scheduling of
10 witnesses does not happen overnight. The Defence has worked diligently
11 and has brought forth as many witnesses as we could. Unfortunately, this
12 circumstance has arisen. The Defence apologises to the Court and to the
13 entire system if it has in some way inconvenienced that process. Thank
14 you, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Before I give the floor to the Prosecution, I
16 want to express the Bench's surprise that the question of calling
17 witnesses is called now a question of short notice and not knowing
18 beforehand. We discussed several times that, no doubt, it's for the
19 Defence to prepare in due time proper proffers for the incoming
20 witnesses. And as you have told us several times, it takes at least five
21 days in advance to call a witness taking into account that a witness would
22 need a "visum."
23 So in conclusion, this means that already two weeks ago, when
24 acting accurately, the Defence would and should have been able to give us
25 the list of the witnesses to come for this week. And as we indicated in
1 the scheduling order and as we indicated in the -- in open court, this
2 Trial Chamber is no longer prepared to continue with that what we would
3 call from objective point of view - I emphasise this - an obstruction of
4 the Court proceedings.
5 The parties should know that one case one day in court - I don't
6 want to give the exact figure - but some thousands of dollars. And there
7 is no right for any party to endanger these proceedings and thereby
8 endangering the work of the entire Tribunal because no doubt also the
9 other inmates of the Detention Unit have a right to have heard their case
10 in due time. Or even endangering the entire system of international
11 jurisdiction. I know that the Prosecution wants to answer, and we have
12 time enough during this week apparently and unfortunately to do this
13 sooner than expected in the absence of additional witnesses.
14 But how can we believe that in the future, this will not happen
15 again? And we will be confronted one week beforehand that no witness will
16 be available. So in fact, until now, we can't see any proper
17 justification. In the beginning, we learned from the Defence that the
18 Defence believed that there would be a videolink this week. It reads from
19 the transcript, and I reassured this, without any doubt that it takes two
20 to three weeks in advance to have these videolinks prepared. I'm
21 extremely grateful for the registry and especially Madam Dahuron that she
22 took the necessary measures, especially related to translations, that we
23 can have the videolink next week already. Without this exceptional
24 assistance given by the registry, this wouldn't have been possible for the
25 next week. But we don't know whether for the next week we can fill in the
1 entire week by video witnesses only.
2 Therefore, already now, my request to take care that at least one
3 additional witness is available for the next week from the side of the
4 Defence. 92 bis statements will be taken during even the weekend, and we
5 appreciate these efforts from the Defence and, in addition, from the
6 members of the -- or the people working for translation, for the registry,
7 and especially Madam Dahuron.
8 We will necessarily go once again through the list of witnesses
9 during this week. You have already seen in our scheduling order that the
10 Chamber, in order to facilitate and streamline the case, we went through
11 the remaining witnesses and came to a certain conclusion that a number of
12 witnesses from the perspective of the Bench in any event has to be heard
13 live. Our invitation for the Prosecution is to be prepared when going
14 through the witness list once again, to comment whether the Prosecution
15 from the outset can tell us that they are not prepared to hear a witness
16 under 92 bis and in order to avoid double workload, it would be
17 appropriate that we hear this as soon as possible.
18 In addition, we found that a number of witnesses appear to be
19 repetitive, especially character witnesses. I hope that on the basis of
20 the submissions of the Prosecution, we can agree that that what is
21 expected to hear from these witnesses is already not only in evidence, but
22 it is already proven and we don't have to go ahead with these character
24 And then at the same time, when lead counsel and chief of
25 prosecution - I think the acting representatives of the Prosecution could
1 this do even better having followed the entire case - could present their
2 contribution to speed up the case as foreseen in the statute. This would
3 mean to streamline the case by indicating what are the incidents they are
4 believing that based on that what we have heard until now can no longer be
5 proven. What are the charges the Prosecution may, under the impression of
6 that what we have heard until now, is prepared to drop in whole or in
8 I have to re-emphasise that already from a point of logic, you
9 can't proceed at the same time with the prosecution of Dr. Stakic as the
10 planner and the same time aider and abettor. We expect a clear word from
11 the side of the Prosecution whether it's really their -- still their case
12 that Dr. Stakic had the necessary intent required for charge 1. We expect
13 a clear word, what about the relation of charge 7 and 8. We expect a
14 clear word, what about the deprivation of fundamental rights as described
15 in the amended indictment. Is it really still the Prosecution's case that
16 they want to proceed on the basis of an infringement or deprivation of all
17 these fundamental rights by Dr. Stakic as we can read it from the fourth
18 amended indictment?
19 Why do I mention this at this point in time? Because there are
20 some truths in the contribution and submission by the Defence that when
21 the case is not streamlined, they have a broader approach or a broader
22 approach is necessary for them when interviewing witnesses during the
23 examination-in-chief. And we could speed up, no doubt, when what I would
24 call the duty and the obligation of the Prosecution they will finally tell
25 us what at the end of the day is their case, and that it's easier for the
1 Defence to know where are the weak points of their Defence, where do they
2 have to add the one or other point of evidence.
3 The word "evidence" in connection with the Prosecution brings me
4 to another point. We did not yet decide - we heard only the response - to
5 a motion to bar the documents S391, S392, and S393 from evidence. I think
6 it's necessary to discuss this in open court, and proprio motu, we would
7 like to add to the list of suddenly appearing documents the one document
8 presenting -- presented by the Prosecution having even no 65 ter number
9 but including a number of signatures, also allegedly the signature of
10 Dr. Stakic, his deputy presented during the presence of Witness Vila. We
11 need some explanation from the Prosecution why this late presenting the
12 document, why not including this in Mr. ten Camp's expertise. And we
13 would like what else will come in the future prolonging and endangering
14 this case as we have experienced in the past under the late disclosure of
15 the six statements of alleged members of the Crisis Staff of Prijedor.
16 Finally, then, when it's the question of maybe sanctions against
17 Defence counsel, I think it is not a question that time by time, Defence
18 counsel agrees that this case will be concluded as envisaged. You know
19 that we already once postponed the end of the Defence case already in July
20 last year. We have to make a clear distinction between the rights of the
21 accused and the duties and obligations of Defence counsel. In case
22 Defence counsel would not live up to their obligations in due time, this
23 Trial Chamber would not be able to conclude the case because no doubt
24 Dr. Stakic in person has his own right that all the witnesses he believes
25 can serve his own interests in defending himself have to be heard. And
1 therefore, a shorter case without having heard all the necessary witnesses
2 is no option at all. But let us now hear first of all, if you want to add
3 something from your point of view, and then the Prosecution, please.
4 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honour. I'll try to explain what
5 happened in the field during the last week, Wednesday, Thursday, and
6 Friday, when we tried to bring more witnesses for this week. First of
7 all, we encountered a problem with the Witness Number 001 who didn't have
8 a passport, and he was not able to get a passport during Thursday and
9 Friday because of the holidays in Bosnia.
10 Witness Number 006 was willing to come two weeks ago, but he
11 cannot come now before the 27th of February because he is a manager in his
12 company, and there is a final tax report in Bosnia due 27th of February,
13 so he cannot leave. We contacted again Witness Number 013 whom we report
14 that has throat cancer and the situation is still the same. So we are
15 trying to find a replacement. Witness 034 left for the US, and we
16 couldn't contact him at all. Witness 041, his brother died the last week,
17 so he was not able to travel. Witness 055, we couldn't locate at all.
18 Witness 083 still hasn't gotten his permission from his superiors
19 because he's a priest. 084 is a lady, and her husband is now objecting
20 her testimony because this lady spoke with Ms. Nada Markovska and learned
21 about her troubles with the Prosecution. So her husband is not allowing
22 her to testify now. And we couldn't locate Witness 089. So those are
23 basically the witnesses we planned to call aside from the witnesses who
24 would testify via videolink.
25 We also contacted Witness Number 058, the witness who was here
1 previously. He is still sick. I spoke with him. He said that he has to
2 take at least for another ten days the medications, and he told me that he
3 doesn't feel well. Our investigator is trying today also to provide at
4 least two additional witnesses if possible to arrange it with the Victims
5 and Witness Unit to have them on Thursday and Friday, but we cannot
6 promise it. And we also have to contact this investigator regarding our
7 92 bis motion.
8 So we are really trying our best - maybe it's not enough. And we
9 know that we two weeks ago, we should have organised this, but we were
10 really thinking at that time that we would have those two witnesses from
11 the Crisis Staff. And maybe that's our mistake that we didn't put enough
12 effort to bring the witnesses for this week. So we want to apologise once
13 again, and we want to tell you that we'll try again to have witnesses for
14 the Thursday and Friday. But again, it's not only up to us. It's up to
15 the Victims and Witness Unit who are helping -- really helping us a lot.
16 But it's also not only up to them; they have to ask the assistance of the
17 embassies. So sometimes it's time-consuming, but still we think that
18 we'll be able to bring somebody at least for Friday. Thank you.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I really appreciate your comments. And as
20 regards witnesses, maybe witnesses for Thursday and Friday, I want to
21 invite you to ask for the assistance of the Chamber if necessary when
22 there should be obstacles or impediments, be it in the Victims and
23 Witnesses Unit. I know they are doing whatever they can, but maybe we can
24 also be of assistance by contacting the one or other embassy.
25 And also, to make this quite clear, you may have seen this during
1 the last week, it is not only possible but it is necessary in these cases
2 to contact the Judges directly, and we are no longer prepared to follow
3 rules that are not written in, be it the statute, or be the Rules of
4 Procedure and Evidence not allowing for direct contacts with the Judges,
5 especially the Presiding Judge. We will ourself in principle when it's
6 urgent contact you directly, and this is true for both parties. And to
7 whom it may concern, whenever you want to have a dispute or not an
8 agreement with rulings of the Chamber, please do not contact and dispute
9 with legal officers of this Chamber, but please directly with the Chamber.
10 So now for the Prosecution, please.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, there's a number of issues that Your
12 Honour raised. First, in regards to the exhibits not on the 65 ter list
13 and the three exhibits in particular that were the subject of the Defence
14 motion, I believe Your Honours did get our written response which was
15 filed last Wednesday.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: That's true. But when discussing this, we would
17 like to hear in addition the comments on the --
18 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. As to all of these documents, Your
19 Honour, we have the same comment, and that is that the rules require us --
20 are very specific about what our disclosure obligations are. Rule 65 ter
21 states that the Prosecution is obligated to provide the Defence with a
22 copy of all exhibits it intends to use at the time that it files - and
23 this is filed at the time that the pre-trial brief is filed before the
24 case begins. Similarly, with symmetry, the Defence when they file their
25 pre-trial brief at the close of the Prosecution case, they also file a
1 list of documents they intend to use.
2 During the Prosecution case, the Defence may bring up documents
3 that obviously are not on its 65 ter list because it hadn't yet been
4 filed. We believe the Prosecution has a similar right and nothing in the
5 rules preclude us from presenting to a witness a document that we did not
6 intend to use at the time we filed the pre-trial brief, but which becomes
7 relevant. You have us have learned a tremendous amount about what
8 happened in Prijedor, and the issues in this case have focussed
9 tremendously since the pre-trial brief was filed.
10 For example, this issue of these three documents, the issue was
11 raised by the Defence witness that officers of non-Serbian ethnicity were
12 not -- were allowed to remain in the army and there was no policy against
13 that, and these documents specifically go to contradict that testimony.
14 The document that Your Honour raised this morning, I don't have it in
15 front of me, but as I recall, that was a document that was during the
16 testimony of Mr. Vila, it was brought out because Mr. Vila was one of the
18 At the time the pre-trial brief was filed, the Prosecution did not
19 know that Mr. Vila would testify for the Defence. The significance and
20 relevance of that document, it became more relevant when Mr. Vila
21 testified and it could be put to him and he could be asked if that was his
22 signature. We had no idea Mr. Vila was going to testify at that time.
23 The -- I don't recall now specifically what the document referred
24 to, but I don't believe it was the actual contents of the decision or the
25 list that was of significance; it was simply the signatures which have
1 become more significant during the trial. We also recognised at that time
2 the signature of Mr. Savanovic, that it was very similar to one of the
3 signatures signed "Za" that was in dispute regarding -- that has the typed
4 name of Dr. Stakic.
5 So the rules only require the Prosecution to provide documents on
6 the 65 ter list that it intends to use. And we filed a list with over 800
7 documents. We didn't use them all. We made our best effort to determine
8 at that time what would be relevant. Some documents have become more
9 relevant since then particularly based upon the Defence case. During the
10 Defence case, items are going to come up that we did not anticipate at the
11 time we filed our pre-trial brief.
12 I can move on to another issue unless Your Honour has questions on
13 that. As to the 92 bis statements, we would be happy to go through them,
14 but I had a phone conversation with Mr. Ostojic last week, and he can
15 correct me if I misinterpreted him, but my understanding is that the 92
16 bis statements that the Defence proposes will all be of witnesses that we
17 do not have proffers for right now. These are new witnesses. So I called
18 him to see if we could go through the proffers of which witnesses to see
19 if the Prosecution would have an objection, and I believe he indicated
20 that these were being -- he was in process of doing them, but they would
21 all be new witnesses. But we would be happy to do that, and we are going
22 to take a very cooperative attitude with the Court and with the Defence to
23 try to get as many witnesses admitted by 92 bis as possible as long as
24 they fit the definition of 92 bis, which is the testimony does not go to
25 the acts or conduct of the accused. In that case, it's not a question of
1 discretion by the Prosecution or the Court that is not admissible under 92
2 bis. That's a prerequisite for the statement to come in.
3 As to the Prosecution streamlining the case --
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I just interrupt because this question
5 should be discussed, and I think it was once again quite clear, that in
6 our decision as from the 12th of February, we indicated that it would be
7 necessary to have a list of those witnesses where the Defence believes
8 that their testimony could be admitted under Rule 92 bis. And no doubt,
9 it's mandatory that they have the testimony has to fulfill all the
10 prerequisites under 92 bis, especially 92 bis(A). And therefore, we still
11 expect, and this is due in two hours, that a list of these witnesses
12 who -- a list of the witnesses whose statement the Defence intends to
13 introduce by way of Rule 92 bis, along with a detailed description of the
14 areas that will be covered by each witness in his or her Rule 92 bis
15 statement. And then it would be not within -- between the parties but in
16 open court to be discussed whether or not these witnesses, in fact, can be
17 heard under Rule 92 bis.
18 So as soon as possible and as soon as practicable, we have to
19 discuss this. I don't know whether the Defence is prepared to have this
20 document filed before 12.00.
21 MR. OSTOJIC: It will be filed at or around 12.00, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: As a kind of -- as an act of courtesy, we could
23 receive courtesy copies in advance. This would be of assistance for our
24 further proceedings that we as soon as possible can go through this list
25 and thereby have a common approach from the side of the Bench and then
1 let's hear also the submissions of the Prosecution. But no doubt, and I
2 was a little bit -- not only a little bit surprised, but maybe even
3 shocked to hear that these would be new witnesses, not on the list
4 already. Can you please comment on this.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: I can, I think, Your Honour. The 92 bis witnesses
6 after discussion on at least three occasions with the OTP will be those
7 allowed under the rules in our view that go specifically on three issues:
8 One issue relates to cumulative evidence which we believe has already been
9 brought forth both during the OTP case and the Defence case on some
10 issues. The second issue goes to character as the Court pointed out and
11 reputation of Dr. Stakic. Without having to call the witnesses live, we
12 believe that the 92 bis statements will satisfactorily give the Court and
13 Dr. Stakic ample evidence to clearly depict him and his character and
14 reputation at or around the time of the indictment. Third, we believe
15 goes unfortunately we're compelled, and I must stress this as attorneys,
16 to address the issue of mitigation. Under the rules, I believe it's our
17 duty, although perhaps in the general view of things inconsistent with how
18 the procedures personally I view that we bring forth some mitigation and
19 some testimony or 92 bis statements relating to mitigation.
20 The Defence under no circumstances wants this Court, and we
21 recognise that this Court sees this in the rules and does not take our
22 comments on the mitigation to suggest that we are conceding any points in
23 the indictment, and we will address that both in our oral arguments as
24 well as in our final brief. However, it's our duty as set forth in the
25 rules to bring forth such mitigation evidence which we believe we will be
1 able to bring forth by way of 92 bis.
2 Quite candidly, the witnesses, some if not the majority of them,
3 are new from the witness list, but not new to the OTP. They are in part
4 family members of Dr. Stakic. I specifically in my conversation with the
5 OTP identified some if not all of the witnesses that we expect will give
6 their 92 bis statements. We are prepared and will be prepared at noon or
7 soon after the break to give the Court and to discuss in detail each of
8 those 92 bis witnesses, and we believe and are confident that the Court
9 will accept them all as 92 bis witnesses.
10 Again, we've streamlined the number of witnesses from our initial
11 list because we believe the evidence warrants it and the case in its
12 current proceeding dictates that we streamline the case. We likewise
13 believe that the 92 bis witnesses should be accepted as set forth in our
14 motion. And for the three reasons identified in the rules, cumulative
15 evidence, reputation, character, and mitigation, just to summarise.
16 I would like also just to address the issue of our motion and the
17 response by the OTP on the documents that we consider to be improperly
18 offered during the Defence case. But I await the Court's instruction on
19 when you'd like me to discuss that issue.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think this can be done in the context of also
21 the Prosecution's submission to the question of streamlining and not
22 continuing to obstruct the ongoing case. Maybe when we have heard the
23 witness, and I learned from the so-called lead counsel of the Prosecution,
24 that she intends to appear together with the head of Prosecutions within
25 the OTP on Wednesday. I think this is then the appropriate point in time.
1 What we have to do now and maybe even today is to first to go
2 through your list you want to prepare, and then to go through the list,
3 the remaining list, of witnesses, whether or not the one or other can be
4 either struck from the list or can also be admitted under 92 bis. I think
5 this is mandatory that we can take the necessary provision, especially
6 Madam Dahuron for the preparation of the weekend. This has absolute
7 priority, and we should do this today.
8 Let's come back to the question of this late disclosure of -- or
9 presentation of documents once again later because there seems from the
10 side of the Prosecution a kind of misunderstanding. No doubt, these
11 proceedings here in the Tribunal are first of all those copied from
12 common-law systems, but we all are aware that there is a hybrid set of
13 Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and these gaps have to be filled from the
14 international point of view. And the Prosecution should be aware that the
15 Bench has to act in a more stronger and stricter way than in a mere
16 common-law system.
17 We have the right to put questions to the witnesses. We are under
18 the obligation to put questions to witnesses. We are under the obligation
19 to call witnesses. And it may be, as said by the Appeals Chamber in
20 Kupreskic, even be an error in law if we would not hear proprio motu the
21 one or other witness. Therefore, it's not the Prosecution being alone,
22 the one in this courtroom being in possession and having the own and only
23 right to dictate which parts of evidence can be presented here and there.
24 No doubt that those documents already from the perspective of the fourth
25 amended indictment - I'm discussing now the three documents - would have
1 been of importance, not only relevance. And especially we cannot disguise
2 our clear disappointment that the Prosecution failed when we discussed
3 what to include in Mr. ten Camp's expertise these important, maybe
4 important, document we only received during the testimony of Mr. Vila more
5 or less by chance. But we have to return to these issues later during
6 this week.
7 I interrupted the Prosecution when Mr. Koumjian just was to
8 discuss a question of how to streamline best the case.
9 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I intended to address the Court's
10 issue as to counts and modes of responsibility. Your Honour, the
11 Prosecution is not proceeding on any count or any mode of responsibility
12 that we do not believe we can prove to this Chamber by evidence and that
13 evidence has already been presented to prove these counts and these modes
14 of responsibility. We do not know how the Chamber will rule. We cannot
15 be assured about which mode of responsibility, which counts, the Court
16 will find proven beyond a reasonable doubt and obviously the Court cannot
17 give us that assurance. This mode of -- or this practice of filing
18 charges in the alternative or different counts has been approved in the
19 Tribunal. It was approved in this case when the indictment was confirmed,
20 when the indictment was challenged, and the indictment -- form of the
21 indictment was allowed. And in the 98 bis decision.
22 For example, let me go to counts 7 and 8. Counts 7 and 8 we
23 believe are clearly distinct in the law. Count 7 deals with deportation
24 over a national border which we know occurred in this case. Many of our
25 witnesses, particularly those early in the case, testified from the
1 Manjaca camp to being taken to Croatia, and I think we even have a
2 newspaper article where Dr. Stakic is quoted regarding these convoys.
3 Count 8 deals with the internal forcible transfer. There does seem to be
4 a distinction in the law between internal forcible transfer and
5 deportation. The way I understand the law, deportation under our statute
6 does not cover forcing someone over the border from what was the territory
7 of Republika Srpska to the territory controlled by Muslim or Croat
8 forces. And this happened. This is not an academic question. This
9 happened to thousands, thousand of people in Prijedor.
10 I recall many of the witnesses who testified about the trip to
11 Travnik trying to get them to shorten their answer and they wouldn't stop
12 talking about what that experience was like being on those convoys walking
13 across the front lines in the night seeing wheelchairs taken -- carried
14 over rocks going around mine fields. One person said stepping on a piece
15 of human flesh. This is not an academic question, and we believe that
16 it's a very important question for international law and for -- because it
17 happens not only in Bosnia, it happens brought the world. It has happened
18 throughout history. It happened in the Second World War, in the Soviet
19 Union, and in many other places, in the Ottoman empire. It's a very, very
20 important issue, and it happened in this case. And we believe there is no
21 reason for us to drop that -- and it would set a very bad precedent for us
22 to drop that count.
23 Furthermore, as for genocide, we believe that the evidence shows
24 that thousands of people were killed in a period from basically late May
25 through early August, to the end of August. So a period of basically
1 three months in a town that was pretty small. It was about 50.000
2 non-Serbs according to the Defence; that number is actually much smaller
3 because many had left. That's a huge percentage of people. We do not
4 believe that Dr. Stakic was unaware of going on. We think the evidence
5 shows that he had to be aware of what was going on and he actively
6 participated in that. We think the evidence shows that the only
7 reasonable conclusion is he did have the intent to destroy that group in
8 whole or in part.
9 Further, we understand the issue of the intent of genocide is a
10 very complicated legal issue. I could address that. To do justice, it
11 would probably take me more than an hour certainly to address the legal
12 aspects of joint criminal enterprise and the intents necessary for aiding
13 and abetting for joint criminal enterprise. I don't think the Court wants
14 to hear a final argument now. But I can say on behalf of every single
15 member of the team of the OTP on this case, we believe we've proven the
16 charges, and we're proceeding because we believe ethically we are required
17 to because this is what happened.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I appreciate your comments. Maybe in fact not
19 to have a kind of deadlock, it can be necessary that it might be seen as a
20 second 98 bis decision, we have to discuss as soon as possible and as we
21 said already earlier during the Defence case in the case of absence of a
22 witness, we should discuss legal issues. And therefore, I invite the
23 parties to be prepared to discuss these legal questions, especially the
24 question which is extremely difficult for the Defence, the question of
25 joint criminal enterprise, who were members of this joint criminal
1 enterprise. This brings us to the question of the testimony of
2 Ms. Plavsic, who apparently we didn't receive any response by counsel of
3 Madam Plavsic right now. But apparently what we have seen in the other
4 case Prosecutor versus Biljana Plavsic, there is a limited likelihood that
5 she will testify in this case.
6 And as stated earlier, before there is a final judgement in her
7 case, this Trial Chamber does not intend to compel a still-accused person
8 to testify. It would only be possible if a person is already convicted,
9 and then it would be another legal situation. Therefore, let's try to
10 proceed in the following order: Let us start today with Witness 070. Let
11 us hear what are the impediments to hear the witnesses maybe foreseen for
12 Thursday and Friday that we can overcome the maybe obstacles. Let us
13 today go through the list of the former witnesses and the new witnesses on
14 the basis of the statement given by the Defence later this day. Let us
15 then go through the offered documents by the Defence during the last
16 witness's testimony. We have not decided yet on their -- on the admission
17 into evidence of these documents. We have to do this, also taking into
18 account that we have to decide either on request or proprio motu whether
19 this witness has to come to The Hague a second time.
20 And then let's continue to discuss some legal issues, and I think
21 the Prosecution did understand very well that it's not the question here
22 related to -- especially to count 8, Mr. Koumjian addressed right now.
23 It's a question of general principles of criminal law, and you find in the
24 late decisions of this Tribunal a different approach to this open clause
25 of "other inhumane acts." And maybe based on judicial hints related to
1 this whether or not maybe is the distinction made in the past between
2 deportation and forcible transfer is not the correct approach. Maybe you
3 have seen, for example, that in the ICC statute, you have a different
4 approach where you would include forcible transfer in deportation and, of
5 course, this has to be discussed that the Defence is able to prepare their
6 Defence case.
7 So let's continue in this order. Are there any other submissions
8 by the parties in the moment? Please, Mr. Ostojic.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: If I may, Your Honour, thank you. We accept the
10 Court's invitation for assistance on this one issue and on all issues
11 obviously. It relates to the documents that the Defence submitted in
12 October or November of 2002. We submitted in our exhibit list the
13 specific articles and captioned -- identified specifically the article
14 which we wanted to have translated, and we thought there was ample time.
15 In January of this year, we were advised that we needed to
16 highlight each and every article so that there would be no confusion as to
17 which article would be translated. Although on the specific page, as the
18 Court has received, we believe, and the OTP, the article headline is
19 referred to, and clearly identified in the article. Nevertheless, we
20 would like the Court, if at all possible, to somehow give us assistance or
21 guidance as to how we can get that department here in the Tribunal to
22 expedite the translation of the documents that we've submitted. In part,
23 they have completed some relating to Kozarski Vjesnik. However, all the
24 documents are not done.
25 We do not have any recourse to speed the process and would accept
1 the Court's invitation to the extent possible if the Court can assist us
2 in expediting the translation of those documents. We also have a request
3 with respect - and it's an ongoing request - with respect to outstanding
4 Kozarski Vjesnik articles and publications in March, April, and May of
5 1992. That has not ever been forwarded to us, although our requests were
6 made. Other articles and periodicals were submitted to us, however those
7 remain outstanding.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: As mentioned previously, we would invite the
9 Defence to present those documents already translated, already in the
10 English translation related to the document tendered, the second-last
11 week, it's our intention to let those parts of those documents in B/C/S if
12 not yet identified by the Prosecution as already translated in another
13 case, that these would be read out as we did it previously from the booth,
14 and thereby we would have access to the documents and thereby we can rule
15 whether or not it's necessary to hear this witness a second time.
16 And finally, if you could please be so kind and give the legal
17 officer the name of the person you're in contact with related to the
18 question of translations. Thank you.
19 Any further submissions by the side of the Prosecution in the
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: No, Your Honour.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: We do have one other, I'm sorry, Your Honour.
23 Actually two others, if I may with the one I think appears logically.
24 Your Honour, our request with respect to Exhibit 375 which was admitted on
25 the last day of the OTP's case on September 27th, 2002, during that
1 session, which was in open session, there was a discussion with the Court
2 in connection with Exhibit S375A, and it was our understanding at that
3 time as reflected on page 8.923 of the transcript of September 27th, 2002,
4 that the B/C/S version of the article that purports to translate S375A
5 would be forthcoming to us. That request has not been fulfilled, and we
6 again orally would request the Court to compel the OTP to give us the
7 article in which they through lines 13 through 18 tell us that they will
8 certainly give us the B/C/S version of the document. Again, the page for
9 the Court's reference is 8.923.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's not necessary to compel the OTP.
11 The OTP will do this without any doubt it's on our to-do list.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I don't have the quote in front of me,
13 but we do not have a B/C/S version of this article. I thought I -- I
14 don't know what exactly -- what words exactly were used at that time. But
15 this is a translation from a service that translates articles. The
16 original would have been in B/C/S. I believe it's from the SRNA news
17 service if I recall. And this translation comes from a service that
18 monitors foreign broadcasts.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But if you could be so kind and revisit this
20 question, I think it would be helpful because, in fact, it is also on our
21 to-do list.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: And finally, if I may, Your Honour, just to
23 reiterate our request with respect to Kozarski Vjesnik, on February 24th
24 of 2000, the Defence requested that the articles relating to the issues
25 dated April through May of 1992 be presented to us. Whether the Defence
1 and the investigators checked with the institution which holds those
2 documents, we were informed that all copies were taken by SFOR in 1997.
3 There are none in existence, and we believe that it does go to the -- some
4 merits of the fourth amended indictment.
5 We can share with the Court the response by the Kozarski Vjesnik
6 where they say that this was -- all the copies were taken by SFOR in 1997,
7 and we would once again request that the OTP provide us with copies in
8 full of those articles for those pertinent periods of time.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Before I ask the OTP to answer, we would from
10 our perspective add one additional request to produce evidence under
11 Rule 98, and this would be please check if the quote is correct, the
12 Official Gazette of Serbian Republic 3/92 where one should be able to find
13 the constitution. And I think the OTP should have this document available
14 in English and in B/C/S as well. I think for the purposes of our case,
15 it's mandatory to have these legal documents at hand.
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just briefly, on the Kozarski Vjesniks, I
17 understand that when the Defence looked through what we had thought at the
18 time were all of the issues that we had, they indicated that they were
19 missing April and May. A second search was done. Ms. Karper reminds me,
20 and on the 6th of December, we gave them what we could find from April and
21 May. And I don't believe we have anything else. I'm hesitant to say that
22 because these articles are held in various parts of the OTP. It was
23 disclosures number 1233 to 1238.
24 I would also point out, I know often in Prijedor places like that
25 the answer when you first asked for documents is that they were taken by
1 SFOR. But I do recall the testimony was that the Soros foundation, one of
2 our witnesses pointed out, in Sarajevo does have copies of some Kozarski
3 Vjesniks. And in fact, some of the copies that were put in recently that
4 we had were obtained indirectly from the Soros foundation. So what we are
5 missing may be held there.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But nevertheless, I believe it's worthwhile once
7 again revisiting your database whether there are in the meantime
8 additional copies of Kozarski Vjesnik and, as mentioned, we would like to
9 have introduced the Official Gazette of the Serbian Republic 3/92 in order
10 to have the constitution.
11 I can't see any other requests in the moment. This would mean
12 that the time is ripe for having the break. Immediately after the break,
13 we should hear the first witness. May I ask as usual, any protective
14 measures necessary for Witness 070?
15 MR. LUKIC: No protective measures, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then I would ask the usher to bring in the
17 witness before the Bench is arriving. The trial stays adjourned until
18 11.00 sharp.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
23 Good morning, Mr. Prastalo. Can you hear me in a language you
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May we then, please, hear your
2 solemn declaration. Would you please stand up.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
4 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You may be seated. The floor is for the
7 WITNESS: ZORAN PRASTALO
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Lukic, please.
10 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Examined by Mr. Lukic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Prastalo.
13 A. Good morning.
14 Q. My name is Branko Lukic, and together with John Ostojic, I
15 represent Dr. Stakic before this Tribunal. Will you please for the record
16 state your full name.
17 A. Zoran Prastalo.
18 Q. I know this is not a usual thing to ask, but I would like to
19 please ask you to make a brief pause every time you finished answering a
20 question so that the interpretation can catch up with you.
21 Furthermore, if it strikes you as strange that I should pause
22 after you've given your answer, this doesn't mean that I'm not satisfied
23 with your answer but I'm also waiting for the interpretation to catch up.
24 For the record, will you please state your father's name.
25 A. Boro.
1 Q. When were you born, Mr. Prastalo?
2 A. On the 25th of October, 1960.
3 Q. Where were you born?
4 A. Ljubija, Prijedor Municipality.
5 Q. Where do you reside today?
6 A. In Belgrade.
7 Q. Where did you reside in 1992 -- 1991 and 1992, can you please tell
9 A. In Ljubija and in Prijedor. Until 1991, I lived in Ljubija where
10 I was born and where I finished elementary school. I went to secondary
11 school in Prijedor. I worked for a while in Ljubija, and then for a while
12 in Prijedor. After that, I went to Belgrade.
13 Q. Where did your family reside, I mean your wife and children, in
15 A. In Belgrade.
16 Q. You were born and you grew up in Ljubija. Can you please tell us
17 about the ethnic makeup of Ljubija prior to the outbreak of the conflict.
18 A. Ljubija was a predominantly Muslim town. Serbs amounted to about
19 10 per cent of the total population of Ljubija, and Croats, around
20 8 per cent. It was a workers' town. We all lived there, and most of the
21 people had jobs which were somehow related to the iron ore mine.
22 Q. Did you have friends who belonged to all the different ethnic
24 A. Yes. I was working for an electric and technical company where we
25 had 70 per cent Muslim work force, between 10 and 15 per cent of the work
1 force were Croats, and between 10 and 15 per cent were Serbs. I practiced
2 sports actively, too, in my place of birth. I played football, and I
3 played for FC Ljubija where we had the same ratio more or less. There was
4 nothing you could do about that. It was just the makeup of the population
5 in the place where I lived. We lived there. We socialised with one
6 another. We worked together. We would visit each other for holidays,
7 religious holidays, Bajram. That's about it.
8 Q. In April of 1992, where were you working at that time?
9 A. In April of 1992 -- well, actually since 1990 -- between 1990 and
10 1992, I worked for the Hidroflex company, Prijedor. It was the first
11 privately-owned enterprise which opened in Prijedor. We produced a
12 high-pressure tubes and cables, hydraulic tubes and cables. When I worked
13 in Prijedor, I would travel back to Ljubija to my home. That's as far as
14 work is concerned. The Hidroflex company. I left the electrotechnical
15 combine where I had been working up until that point in 1990, and then I
16 joined this privately-owned enterprise.
17 Q. Your wife and children, did they visit in April or May?
18 A. Yes. My wife and children came to see my parents in Ljubija. On
19 that day, when I finished work, sometimes I would leave work late because
20 I did a lot of travelling all over the place. So I would come home
21 sometimes very late. That particular day, I returned home about 5.00 or
22 half past 5.00 in the afternoon.
23 In Donja Ljubija, we used to refer to the village as the railway
24 station, because that's what the bus stop was called. Two roads forked
25 there, one of the roads turns off left to the village of Ljubija, and then
1 the other road turns to Gornja Ljubija where I lived. I was stopped by
2 the police. They pulled my car over. And the policeman on duty was a
3 friend of mine. We used to play football together, Muhamed Odobasic from
4 Ljubija. He told me to get out of the car, and he wanted to see my
5 documents. I gave him my documents. I opened the trunk. He searched the
6 car, and he searched me, too.
7 A policeman, a traffic policeman from Prijedor named Sarajlic was
8 standing by watching, which struck me as slightly strange. I can't
9 remember his first name. I think it's Ismet, but I'm not sure. He just
10 stood there and watched. I knew both of the men. Ismet owned a cafe in
11 Donja Ljubija, a cafe that I visited quite frequently. As I said before,
12 there were both Serbs, Muslims, in Prijedor, and my family likewise -- in
13 my family, I had members of other ethnic groups also. My family is a
14 mixed one. So they told me, it's okay, you can leave.
15 I asked them what the whole thing was about. I thought that
16 something had happened, something else. And they said, No, but from now
17 on things are going to be slightly different and not the way they used to
18 be up until now. I didn't understand that, so I came home. I was feeling
19 not quite at peace, so I didn't believe anything like that could happen
20 since I was aware of the ethnic makeup. I took my wife and my children to
21 Prijedor, and then several months later, my wife left for Belgrade. I
22 continued working regularly. I would go to Ljubija, go back to Ljubija,
23 but I no longer returned home that late. I tried not to. And I didn't go
24 back that often. I had a flat, my sister's flat, that I could use to
25 sleep over, and I would normally take that opportunity.
1 Q. Can you please tell us when this event you told us about took
2 place exactly, if you could remember the date or approximately when it
4 A. That was just after the 1st of May. I think it was about the 10th
5 of May, because there was the 1st of May celebration, and I think the
6 event took place about the 10th of May. These were active-duty
7 policemen. My friend Muhamed Odobasic, we used to play football together
8 which made the whole thing even more curious for me. His sister and his
9 brother-in-law who were Muslims, they lived, they stayed at my place
11 If I may just add the following: My mother -- sister's
12 brother-in-law, she would baby sit their child when they were working.
13 And she was providing for both the food and the rent getting nothing or
14 asking nothing in return.
15 Q. Why did you get your wife and children and take them to Prijedor?
16 Did you feel unsafe?
17 A. I did feel unsafe. I tried to comfort myself saying that nothing
18 would come of it, but still, I had certain fears because the war in
19 Slavonia had already begun, and I was afraid that something bad would
20 happen to my family. And that was the sole reason why I decided to move
21 my children and my wife to Prijedor.
22 Q. Just for the sake of the transcript, were your wife and children
23 already living in Belgrade at that time, and then were visiting Ljubija?
24 A. Yes, yes. Let me just explain the following, why my wife and
25 children lived in Belgrade. In 1990, as I've said, I left a state or
1 socially-owned enterprise, and some of my friends and relatives approved
2 of this. But certain members of my family, because my father had worked
3 for 40 years at the iron ore mine, they were not great believers in
4 private initiative, but I was. So I joined the privately-owned company
5 because the conditions were better. And it was a challenge to work with
6 people who saw things more or less the way I did, and I don't think I made
7 a mistake.
8 In Prijedor since 1992 [as interpreted], it was impossible to
9 work, it was impossible to really earn money in the line of work that we
10 were in. It was very difficult to work. The market was not functioning
11 really well across the republic.
12 Q. My apologies. Just for the transcript, did you say in 1991 or
14 A. I'm sorry, I don't understand your question.
15 Q. When you said it was impossible to work due to the nonfunctioning
16 of the market.
17 A. 1991.
18 Q. Thank you. Please continue. This was only a correction for the
19 transcript, because the transcript reflected 1992, and I thought you had
20 said 1991.
21 A. In 1991, it was very difficult to work. I took my family to
22 Belgrade, moved my family to Belgrade, because I didn't own a flat. And I
23 was also thinking about that. I was afraid that the situation would go
24 wrong, and I thought I must see to it that I have a flat to live in and
25 put my family in. My son and my daughter were very small, very young.
1 And in Belgrade, I put my family up in a private flat that I had rented.
2 I stayed, and I kept on residing in Prijedor. I worked in Prijedor too.
3 Every two or three months, I would visit my family. We would speak to
4 each other on the phone. That was about it.
5 Q. You said it was almost impossible to work in Prijedor. Why do you
6 say that? Can you please explain.
7 A. When communists fell from power, I know that -- I personally know
8 that everyone was in favour of the communists leaving and of setting up
9 national parties of which I myself was never a supporter. I was never a
10 member of any party because no party was aware of the economic issues.
11 They were national parties. And it was my understanding that this just
12 wouldn't work, and I was proven right eventually.
13 As far as Prijedor Municipality, my municipality, is concerned, we
14 had the Municipal Assembly set up. And there was a lot of obstruction.
15 And I myself experienced some obstruction, too. Land was -- there was a
16 claim for land to be bought up so that the first privately-owned factory
17 could be built. Dragan Popovic was the investigator and Hidroflex was the
18 company and I worked for him and. And we were, in a manner of speaking,
19 partners. Dragan Popovic was a Croat.
20 Some people from the municipality simply wouldn't talk to us. I
21 can go as far as to say that they lied to us. I'm talking now about
22 deputies, deputies of the SDA, because they believed that Dragan Popovic
23 was a Serb by nationality when, in fact, he was a Croat. His father's
24 name is Ilija, and his mother's name is Milica. This person now lives
25 both in Rijeka -- works in Rijeka and lives in Prijedor. I tried to reach
1 the president of the municipality on a number of occasions; however,
2 either the president was busy or he was away or he was in a meeting so
3 that I had no way of getting in touch with the president of the
4 municipality. I never spoke about this to the president.
5 I did speak to several people who were deputies, I had been told.
6 One of them was either from Trnopolje or from Kozarusa - I can't
7 remember - but he was not really in a position to help me. On that
8 occasion, I was outraged, and I insisted that someone from the
9 municipality see me. The vice-president of the Municipal Assembly was
10 Dr. Milomir Stakic at that time. I had heard of him, but I had never seen
11 up to that point. He agreed to see me. I spoke to him about my problem.
12 The main problem was for the request to go straight to the Municipal
13 Assembly because neither the president of the municipality nor the
14 Executive Board could deal with that. It just simply had to be put on the
15 agenda so that there could be a discussion and votes whether land should
16 be sold to this privately-owned company who declared itself ready to buy
17 this land.
18 Mr. Stakic, and I could hardly believe it, agreed to see us. He
19 talked to us, but he couldn't promise anything. He said he would see what
20 he could do. He said he welcomed our initiative. We explained what we
21 were after. We had all the plans. And after a while, this did finally
22 reach the Municipal Assembly, our request. And at a session of the
23 Municipal Assembly, it was decided that the land should be given to us, so
24 we managed to obtain it. However, when we had to receive the decision
25 from the Municipal Assembly, once they found out, they simply voted in an
1 ignorant manner only to get it over with. I'm not sure what item on the
2 agenda it was. I think the 40th or the 41st item of the agenda so that
3 the deputies voted in favour. But I don't think they were focussed enough
4 to know what they were voting.
5 The next day, however, the president of the municipality started
6 an initiative to stop the whole thing, and he asked that the decision not
7 be granted us. To cut the long story short, we did get this decision from
8 the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly through the usual and
9 regular channels. And after that, in record time, I dare say, within 90
10 days, we built a factory which is still there which had Serbs, Muslims,
11 and Croats as its employees. I could give you names if you would like me
12 to. Qualified people were leaving state-owned or socially-owned
13 companies. One of them was Senad, who was a technical production
14 director. In our company, there was Jasna Cehic, head of finances. I
15 myself was the deputy of the owner, a partner you might say. So there
16 were all different structures working together in that enterprise.
17 Q. Can you please tell us until when you stayed in that enterprise.
18 What happened? Did you ever go to Croatia during the war to see
19 Mr. Dragan Popovic, the owner?
20 A. Times were hard, as I said, so it was difficult to travel. I
21 tried to do what I could. I kept on working. I tried to keep things as
22 they were when Mr. Popovic left the whole thing to us. He left, but it's
23 important to point out that he was working on the building of another
24 factory in Rijeka in Croatia. So in 1990 and 1991, he started building
25 the factory in Rijeka, which is still there.
1 We had a plan, and we had a shop in Zagreb, like a branch office,
2 and in Sisak in Croatia, another one. And before, that we had one in Dvor
3 na Uni. I did meet him several times. I would simply inform him of the
4 way the enterprise was going, what we were up to. I met him in Hungary
5 several times, too. His own investment was a financial failure. He
6 overinvested in a manner of speaking, so he had nothing left to live on
7 because he had invested too much of his own money. So he ran out of money
8 to keep his family.
9 I left through Republika Srpska, Serbia, Hungary, and Slovenia,
10 and through Ilirska Bistrica, I entered Croatia. I brought him his own
11 money which we had made by selling the goods produced by the factory. We
12 bought our raw materials mostly from Germany. I travelled to Germany to
13 buy them there, and so on.
14 At the factory, we had quite a lot of money in stock put on the
15 side, between 2 and 3 million German mark, which had to be preserved. We
16 had to keep producing. We had to keep giving people their salaries. We
17 paid people their salaries regularly, and we paid the tax, too, to the
18 state. That's about it.
19 Since I was speaking about the enterprise, perhaps I should
20 finish. I may leave the time frame we are talking about, but there was
21 something else that was important that happened, too. While I was still
22 down there, I enjoyed the support of the illegally-elected government. I
23 hadn't requested anything. The only thing I had requested was to keep on
24 working normally. When there was a changeover in Prijedor when one
25 government left and one government arrived, and now I am speaking about
1 the Serbian government, I ran into significant problems because the new
2 government - and I am convinced of what I'm saying - was much more radical
3 than the previous one.
4 Certain decisions of the Executive Board -- pursuant to certain
5 decisions of the Executive Board, they came to take my property away.
6 They said it was the property of the Municipal Assembly, and there was
7 nothing I could do about it, whether I had all the documents, whether I
8 was aware of that. So I kept struggling as much as I could. Through the
9 media, through Radio Prijedor and the local newspaper, Kozarski Vjesnik,
10 this went on for about five months.
11 Q. Let me interrupt you. When the attack of the Serb radical
12 government started against you to take the factory from you, when did that
14 A. That started already when they were not in power. I socialised
15 with a lot of people, with Croats, Muslims, and others. I can tell you
16 more about it later on. I socialised with everybody, with the opposition
17 as well as they call themselves. They would tell me why these people are
18 in power. I knew some of these people. I went to school with some of
19 them. And they simply told me this is Ustasha property, and we are going
20 to take it. This has to be Serbian, and the Serbian flag has to be put up
21 on your factory. They really did what they threatened to do, but they did
22 it only for seven years --
23 THE INTERPRETER: They took over the factory for seven days, the
24 interpreter's correction.
25 A. For seven days. I didn't leave the factory for seven days. When
1 they took power, they started doing this, starting with September of that
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. What year was that?
5 A. That was September 1992. And when they took power, they realised
6 their ideas. They first sent a messenger from the Municipal Assembly with
7 a decision. I didn't want to take the decision because to my mind, that
8 decision was illegal, and the decision was that we should move out from
9 the factory and hand over our private company to the Municipal Assembly of
10 Prijedor. And as I've already said, this was one of the first private
11 factories in the whole area.
12 After that, another decision followed which was issued by the
13 Executive Board to the police, and then the police handed that decision
14 over to me. Again, I didn't want to take it. I didn't want to leave the
15 factory, and the only ally I had were the media. I didn't fear for my
16 life. I didn't fear for the life of my family because my family was in
17 Belgrade. The only thing that I had was the factory, and if that was
18 taken away -- if that had been taken away from me, they would have taken
19 everything from me. And it lasted for some four or five months.
20 Finally, I had word that Mr. Popovic, and I agreed that we should
21 accept another private company in Prijedor together with Hidroflex. So we
22 merged with this other company. We managed to do that. It took seven to
23 eight months of struggle after which we managed to keep our factory.
24 Let me just tell you something more about this company, give you
25 some indicators of its work. In that company, to this very day, the owner
1 is still the same, and it is still the same private owner who has a
2 company in Rijeka and another one in Sisak. At that time, we worked
3 together. We did not pay too much attention to territories. He has a
4 company in Bihac. We did business with Karlovac, Bihac, Belgrade. We
5 were not interested in territory; the only thing we were interested in was
6 business and business success.
7 Q. Can you please clarify one thing. Who impersonated that group
8 which started to take your company already in September 1992? Who was
9 that who epitomised that group?
10 A. There were a few people who wanted power. I always believed that
11 they were not capable. They were not fit to be in power, because they
12 never did anything for our town or for themselves. The only thing that
13 they managed to do for themselves was to appoint their own directors of
14 various companies. Whatever they could plunder, they plundered. I can
15 say that openly. They appointed a person in the position of director of
17 After some time, it turned out that it was known publicly that
18 some 450.000 to 500.000 German marks had been embezzled. The hardest
19 moment for our town when these -- this money should have been used to
20 purchase petrol that was badly needed for sowing. Some companies were
21 confiscated by the mere fact that people who were appointed in top
22 positions were not skilled and qualified to discharge those duties. So
23 besides the difficult situation that prevailed in the economy, the
24 situation was even aggravated by the appointment of people who were not
25 fit to be in the top positions.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I just stop you for a moment. I think it
2 would be helpful for all of us in order not to come back to this area if
3 you would (redacted)
17 [Private session]
12 Page 12104 – redacted – private session
12 Page 12105 – redacted – private session
12 Page 12106 – redacted – private session
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Confirmed.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Prastalo, I would also like to clarify some things with you.
5 You said that this group started already in September, but when was it
6 that the thing was followed through? Was it in 1992 in September or
7 sometime later?
8 A. No, the whole thing was never really followed through. Nothing
9 happened after that day. They tried to do something already in September
10 and things started developing sometime before new year's or in January.
11 It lasted -- everything lasted for a long time. And it -- to my mind, it
12 lasted -- it felt like a century. I didn't go to town. I kept a very low
13 profile. I was afraid because this was not my personal property. I
14 wanted to protect it and to keep it. So when I said that they tried to do
15 something, they started in September, and then the pressure continued more
16 actively after November and lasted for seven or eight months, like I've
17 said before.
18 I can't remember exactly the dates. I only know that -- I can't
19 even say exactly whether my media campaign lasted for five or six months,
20 but this can be verified. It was the first time that somebody put up
21 fight against these people. There were different titles in the media. I
22 tried to give as good as I got, but that can all be verified in the
23 media. That will be that.
24 Q. Just another thing that I would like to clarify if I may, these
25 efforts to take over the factory, did they in any way involve Dr. Stakic?
1 A. No, I've already said that Dr. Stakic received me in his office.
2 I didn't originally want to see Dr. Stakic. I wanted to see Mr. Cehajic.
3 My attempts failed on some dozen occasions. Mr. Cehajic never saw me. It
4 was his secretary who would always make excuses for Dr. Cehajic. She
5 would say well, he's not here. He is in a meeting. He is with a
7 After all these failed attempts, I went to see Dr. Stakic who at
8 the time was the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly. He didn't make
9 any promises to me. He just told me what the procedure was, and I knew
10 what the procedure was. I knew exactly that the whole matter had to be
11 put on the agenda and that deputies should be asked to vote either for or
13 I presented the problem to Dr. Stakic, and I also told him that
14 Mr. Popovic was a Croat. He did not see that as a problem. He helped me
15 as much as he could to have this issue put on the agenda of the session of
16 the Municipal Assembly. He was the only one who was happy to see us. I
17 did not have anybody else's support. He was the first one who gave us any
18 sort of support. And from then on, we started to -- I can't say exactly
19 socialise, but from that time I started respecting this person who showed
20 respect for a private initiative, who was ready to fight for our cause,
21 and eventually we managed to build this factory and start operating.
22 With Dr. Stakic, we didn't have any problems. We only had
23 problems after we got the decision because Mr. Cehajic exerted influence
24 on his people who were supposed to physically issue the decision. As for
25 Dr. Stakic, he received us. He didn't make any promises, but he helped us
1 with putting this issue on the agenda of a session of the Municipal
2 Assembly. And finally it was at this session of the Municipal Assembly
3 that it was voted in favour of this land, this building land being sold to
5 Q. Just another question before the break: Despite the disapproval
6 of Dr. Cehajic who was the president of the Municipal Assembly of
7 Prijedor, you eventually got the decision?
8 A. I didn't understand your question, sir.
9 Q. I apologise. The question was not clear, I understand. What I'm
10 saying is that even despite Dr. Cehajic's disapproval for this land to be
11 sold to you - and Dr. Cehajic at the time was the president of the
12 Municipal Assembly of Prijedor - eventually this was approved, this
13 purchase of the land was approved?
14 A. Yes, it was approved. We had to -- we had a certain delay in
15 obtaining the decision. Once they realised that the land had been sold to
16 Mr. Popovic, they stalled a little. It lasted some ten days for us to
17 receive the decision. There was another meeting of the Executive Board
18 that had to finally approve for the decision to be issued to us. But all
19 this was due to the fact that everybody in Prijedor believed that
20 Dragan Popovic was a Serb by ethnic background.
21 MR. LUKIC: Would it be a convenient time, Your Honour?
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until 1.30, but we
23 would appreciate to receive the copies via the legal officer. Thank you.
24 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.01 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 1.34 p.m.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. Mr. Lukic, please.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Prastalo, can we continue now, please.
4 A. Yes, by all means.
5 Q. I will ask you something about the period between the 30th of
6 April and the 30th of September, 1992. We have already referred to this
7 period among others. You spoke about the period of time surrounding the
8 10th of May, 1992, when you were stopped at a checkpoint in Ljubija. Do
9 you know if the police station in Ljubija at one moment split off from the
10 public security station in Prijedor?
11 A. Yes, I do know that. The incident that I spoke about also
12 indicated this. I know that the main advocates of that were the people
13 I've already spoken about, Aliskovic, who was also an active-duty
14 policeman who caused the unfortunate incidents at the checkpoint that had
15 been set up. Those were all active-duty policemen, not reserve
16 policemen. Those were active-duty policemen.
17 This was all done at the behest of Mr. Sarajlic because he was the
18 most experienced, so to speak, among them. He only lived in Ljubija, but
19 he worked in Prijedor. He was chief of a patrol of the traffic police,
20 active-duty again.
21 Q. You referred to Mr. Aliskovic.
22 A. Yes. I know the man personally. I knew the other two also.
23 Unfortunately, I couldn't bring myself to believe that all this would
24 happen. They were all my friends from my former life in a manner of
25 speaking, people I would see every day. Mr. Odobasic even played football
1 with me. Part of his family lives in my house, so I just couldn't believe
2 it. I've always been an optimist. I always believed that no such thing
3 could ever happen. But everything that had gone on before, everything
4 that I could see, pointed in that direction that these things would indeed
6 I was left alone believing that it couldn't happen, and those
7 specific people, I just didn't think them capable of anything like that.
8 I could give you a couple of other friends of mine that I stayed with
9 until the very last minute, even the man who headed the attack on
10 Prijedor, just two or three months before that, he was with me. I didn't
11 go to Ljubija that often. He owned a cafe there. We spent time together
12 in the cafe in the evening. We socialised, we played cards. The whole of
13 the town knows it. This same man still lives in Ljubija, and it is public
14 knowledge that he had taken part in an attack on Prijedor. I heard that
15 there was a trial, that he was tried, but that he was released or set
16 free. We are no longer in a position to socialise, but he still sees
17 members of my family, father, mother, brother.
18 Q. Can you tell us who you're talking about?
19 A. Mr. Kanal Alagic -- Mr. Kemal Alagic who headed a group of
20 people. He went to -- Ljubija is a mining village, and it's a mountain
21 village. He went to a forest, the Kurevo forest. I suppose they were
22 training people up there. They were organising this group of theirs. But
23 again, I couldn't bring myself to believe that this would happen until the
24 attack actually took place. But then all the worst suspicions were proven
25 true up there in some operations carried out by the police and the army.
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 12113 to 12121.
1 I knew friends from the police, friends of mine from the police who were
2 killed there. Milan Cuk and I think another seven or eight young men
3 belonging to Mr. Alagic's group.
4 Q. In addition to working in an enterprise owned by Mr. Dragan
5 Popovic, did you also during the war own your own petrol station?
6 A. For a period of time, as I said, once we had managed to save the
7 factory, I had an agreement with another company Dakomerc [phoen] where I
8 came to work as a partner. We rented a petrol station, and we kept that
9 petrol station for five years.
10 Q. Your petrol station, could one obtain petrol in return for
12 A. No, it was strictly privately owned, the petrol station. And as
13 I've said before, I was not in favour of any such deals. I was not in
14 favour of giving people petrol in exchange for certificates or vouchers.
15 We only did favours occasionally to the medical centre when there was
16 something urgent, when there was an urgency. We always had petrol. We
17 had oil derivatives. I was in charge of procuring those. Everything was
18 done by the book.
19 Sometimes people would get fuel, but they had no money to pay.
20 But this didn't happen very often. It was always for money, people were
21 paying money. We didn't resell anything. Those were prices fixed by the
22 state, and I'm sure that the police have their own records about all of
23 these things.
24 Q. Was there a petrol station in the town of Prijedor where you could
25 obtain petrol in exchange for vouchers?
1 A. Yes, that was the Energopetrol petrol station on the Banjacka Road
2 where vouchers could be used to obtain petrol. It was a state-owned
3 petrol station. That was the only place -- that was a place as far as I
4 know where you could get petrol for vouchers.
5 Q. Just for the sake of clarifying the transcript, can you please
6 tell us again where this petrol station was, the Energopetrol petrol
8 A. It was on the Prijedor/Banja Luka Road about 150 metres before you
9 turn off to head for the town itself. It was on the Banja Luka/Novi Grad
10 or Banja Luka/Prijedor Road around 100 metres from the junction where you
11 turn off to head for the town itself. A hundred or a hundred fifty
12 perhaps. This was an Energopetrol petrol station.
13 Q. Do you know where these vouchers were obtained in exchange for
14 which certain organisations could obtain petrol at these petrol stations?
15 A. As I said, for a while, I lived in Prijedor. I heard that there
16 was a Crisis Staff and that they were distributing vouchers for petrol,
17 for flour. I don't know about cigarettes, but I know that this Crisis
18 Staff was distributing vouchers. I never used any of those myself. I
19 didn't need any. Neither for myself nor for my family.
20 Q. Can you please tell us where this Crisis Staff was based?
21 A. Yes, that was near where I lived. It was a Slovene company which
22 held the premises prior to this newly-arisen situation. They were storing
23 forest produce and fruits like mushrooms and forest fruits. I think the
24 manager of the company was Boro -- I can't remember the last name. But I
25 know the man's first name was Boro. I used to know him. It was a Slovene
1 company. And that's the building, the premises, where the Crisis Staff
2 was based.
3 Q. Do you know what sort of a Crisis Staff that was and who sat on
4 this Crisis Staff? Do you know that?
5 A. Well, yeah. People would go there for flour, sugar, cigarettes,
6 petrol vouchers. There were always people milling around there. I would
7 often see Mr. Slobodan Kuruzovic there. I think he was the head of that
8 Crisis Staff. Now, what else they were doing, I don't know. I just know
9 that for these vouchers and for flour and cigarettes, you had to go there
10 to get them.
11 MR. LUKIC: Would the usher be so kind and show the witness the
12 Exhibit Number S180, please. It's on page 38, item number 22.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Item number 22, I know you've probably never seen
14 this document before, but I would like to ask you the following. And I
15 can read, and then if you would please just follow.
16 "At its meeting of the 5th of June, 1992, Prijedor municipal
17 Crisis Staff pursuant to Article 7 of the decision on the organisation and
18 work of Prijedor municipal Crisis Staff issued the following order:
19 "The Serbian Territorial Defence Crisis Staff of Prijedor
20 Municipality, which was dissolved by virtue of conclusion number
21 02-111-110/92 dated 29th of May, 1992, reached by Prijedor municipal
22 Crisis Staff is hereby prohibited from issuing fuel receipts. All unused
23 fuel receipts and the stamp are to be returned immediately to Prijedor
24 Municipal Crisis Staff."
25 This Crisis Staff that you were talking about, is it the same
1 Crisis Staff the Serbian Territorial Defence Crisis Staff?
2 A. I don't know, but I can tell you something else. In all these --
3 most of these institutions, companies, and enterprises, all communities
4 had some Crisis Staffs. As far as I know, this referred to -- I'm talking
5 about Crisis Staffs across companies. For example, in Ljubija, we kept
6 watch over the dam. There were guards, organised guards watching the
7 dam. Over there, we had an artificial pond belonging to the iron ore
8 mines. And there was a lot of quicksand there, and if the dam had burst,
9 about 15 villages would have been wiped off the face of the earth.
10 So I think that's more or less what you asked me about. I know
11 that there was a Crisis Staff because I lived nearby. I know that people
12 came there for petrol vouchers and that they could get petrol from the
13 Energopetrol station. I know that people went there to obtain cigarettes
14 and other provisions.
15 Q. Very well. Thank you.
16 As an employee of Mr. Popovic's company and as the owner of a
17 petrol station, did you -- were you in possession of a permit to move
18 about freely?
19 A. I was not the owner. We were only leasing the petrol station.
20 And now I'll answer the other question. Yes, I was in possession of such
21 permit to move about. I obtained the permit personally from the SUP, the
22 Secretariat of the Interior, from Mr. Simo Drljaca. It was from him that
23 I obtained the permits to move about freely and to leave the country since
24 I travelled abroad a lot to get oil derivatives. So I would usually be
25 away for two or three days, and then I would be back at different
1 intervals of time, 2.00 in the morning, 1.00 in the afternoon,
2 constantly. So I was convinced that I needed to be in possession of a
3 permit. I requested one, and I got it.
4 Q. Were you in possession of a permit to move about during the
6 A. Yes. As I said before, I did. The curfew in Prijedor was
7 introduced at a certain point in time, and that was later. I can't
8 remember exactly. I may be wrong as far as the date's concerned. But I
9 think that was after the attack below Hambarine. Mr. Aliskovic and his
10 group. A curfew was introduced between 10.00 in the evening -- from 10.00
11 in the evening to 6.00 in the morning. And yes, I did have the permit you
12 asked me about. This permit was also issued by the SUP, the secretariat
13 of the interior.
14 Q. Therefore, you were not mobilised during that period of time?
15 A. No, no, I wasn't mobilised. I had a work obligation assigned not
16 only to me, but to other people, to all the working people, all working
17 people had a work obligation. But I'm not sure that all those who had a
18 work obligation were given a permit to move about freely during curfew.
19 But I did.
20 Q. You say you obtained your permit to move about freely from
21 Mr. Simo Drljaca.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you know Mr. Drljaca and how well?
24 A. I did know him, but not well. I knew him just as well as I needed
25 to know him. I know that he was the chief of the police centre. I know
1 that he made the decisions, so I didn't need to go any further than that
2 because it wouldn't have worked. I spoke to him, and I got what I had
3 asked for. That's all.
4 Q. Was it easy to work with Mr. Drljaca? Will you please describe
5 for us the kind of personality, the kind of person that he was.
6 A. Let me tell you one thing under those difficult circumstances,
7 especially for me: I was a working person. It was hard to ask anyone for
8 anything, let alone those special permits to move about freely. I didn't
9 know what such a thing could have led other people to think or to
11 The times were hard, and Mr. Drljaca, at least that's what
12 believed he was like, he was uncontested. He wouldn't ask anyone else.
13 He was in charge of calling the shots. And if I had spoken to any of the
14 other services, I would have gotten nowhere. He dealt with these things
15 personally, and I got my permit from him. But he wasn't really very fond
16 of doing things by the book or according to protocol. He made himself
17 solely responsible for calling the shots. For example, if I had known
18 someone who was close to him, probably I couldn't have obtained the permit
19 in any other way except talking to him, going to talk to him myself. And
20 I did believe that I did need those permits.
21 Q. Were you in the town of Prijedor when the town was attacked on the
22 30th of May, 1992?
23 A. Yes. I was in possession of a permit, and I was not mobilised, as
24 I've said. And people were talking, you know, you see one of my relatives
25 was mobilised and this man is walking around quite free to do what he
1 likes. So the times were hard and people could be suspicious or envious.
2 But yes, I was in town the whole time. The petrol station -- the
3 occasional pub or cafe, I lived alone unfortunately, so I took my meals in
4 restaurants. Sometimes I would go and see my mother and father, so I was
6 Unfortunately I was sleeping when the first attack started, but
7 then immediately I woke up and one hour later I was standing outside.
8 Movement was limited, but I was in possession of a permit that entitled me
9 to move about anywhere, issued legally to me by the MUP. I went to all
10 those places later on.
11 I had a friend also, he is alive, but unfortunately he has now a
12 severe handicap. Mr. Goran Dragojevic, who was an ambulance driver, he
13 was headed out to give assistance to some people who had been wounded, but
14 then he was mowed down under the fly-over there on his way to the SUP and
15 the Ministry of the Interior. I think it was on the 20th early. I don't
16 think he will ever fully recover from that. It's impossible. The wounds
17 were too serious. But I know, as I say, I had another friend, I went
18 around the whole place.
19 There was fire burning near the Municipal Assembly building in the
20 park where the museum was. That was the biggest fire. I'm not talking
21 about the Stari Grad right now. I'm talking about the attack on the MUP
22 building and the Municipal Assembly building. There was a museum there.
23 Unfortunately, a lot of ammunition was found there, too, that had probably
24 been brought there before. So the whole thing had been in preparation for
25 at least several days. But again, as I say, I could never bring myself to
1 believe it. If anyone had told me, I wouldn't have believed them.
2 I know that in the Mladost sports hall, the leaders saw to it that
3 people would be put up there, fed, and given room to sleep, a roof over
4 their head, women and children, too. I know that some of the people who
5 had at that point stayed at the Mladost hall later took part on the attack
6 in Prijedor. I have just referred to a man who went from Ljubija who led
7 a group from Ljubija consisting of between two and three hundred people.
8 That's the estimate of how many there were. I know two or three people
9 from that group. I know Kemal Alagic, their commander, personally. In
10 Prijedor, I know a man who was a private entrepreneur like myself.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to repeat the
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Can you please just repeat the name of the person.
15 A. Slavko Ecimovic. Slavko Ecimovic, Kemal Alagic, these were people
16 who led the attack on our town. There were casualties. And the Stari
17 Grad, the old town, a place of historical importance with old buildings,
18 was set fire to and razed to the ground. They crossed the River Sana, and
19 that's where the fighting took place, and near the museum, too, there was
20 fighting -- or rather, from the museum in the direction of the MUP
21 building and the municipal building.
22 Q. After these events, what was the situation like in Ljubija?
23 A. Let me tell you: Ljubija is a town for itself and there are a lot
24 of things going on in Ljubija. I went there to see what my parents were
25 doing, and there are Muslims, there are Croats, there are Serbs living
1 together. And they asked me what was going on in Prijedor as if I had
2 come from a different state. In Ljubija, everything was closer. Not many
3 shops or bars in Ljubija, but whatever there were they were open.
4 One could not feel in Ljubija any tensions. The situation was
5 normal, so to speak. I came across a few Croats, a few Muslims. My house
6 is very close to a -- the house of a Muslim family who are my
7 acquaintances. I often visited them. Like I've already said, my
8 Ljubija -- my town Ljubija is very closely connected with the mine, and
9 the people had enjoyed support from each other. It was a mixed
11 It was impossible that things were organised in Kurevo, and an
12 attack would be launched from Kurevo, for those people to be fed up there
13 and had arms there. It was impossible that all -- such things were
14 organised by one person. After all the operations had taken place, it
15 turned out that Mr. Alagic had been chased by police for five or six
16 months, and he had his allies up there. So Mr. Alagic was not alone.
17 There were other people with him up there.
18 Q. In Ljubija, is the population still mixed?
19 A. Yes, the population is still mixed to this very day, although
20 there's not much joy. There are a lot of refugees in Ljubija, but still
21 people visit each other. There are a lot of returnees as well, people who
22 have returned. And a lot of people had remained in Ljubija. Some people
23 did leave, but a lot of them have returned. And I can say that Ljubija is
24 again Ljubija as it used to be.
25 As far as the composition of the population, people are still the
1 same. None of the houses have been burned down. People who have returned
2 were able to return to their own homes, and I don't think that anybody in
3 Ljubija had any problems. There was no terrorism, there were no problems
4 in Ljubija. I can give you the example of a place which is ethnically
5 Croatian. And in that area, there were never either Serbs or Muslims.
6 That's the village called Gornja Ravska. Nobody ever touched these
7 people. Why? Because they never attacked anybody; they never touched
8 anybody themselves. Children went to school.
9 I can't say that people worked when all these things started
10 because the mine had been closed, but they did stand guard in their
11 respective companies, and they were involved in the protection of their
12 own property. That's what they did. I know that they also participated
13 in the mobilisation, that they responded to mobilisation calls which were
14 sent to them as to everybody else. Those were mobilisation calls sent by
15 the Territorial Defence. They didn't go to war because at that time there
16 was no war. And these people still live there. They work in companies.
17 They work on their farms. Those people are still there.
18 Q. You say that some people have returned. When did people mostly
19 leave Ljubija, in 1992 or 1995?
20 A. In 1995. Some people left in 1992, but those who left in 1992,
21 they had some place to go, somewhere where they were better off than they
22 would have been in Ljubija where there were some problems. But mostly
23 people left in convoys in 1995. They went abroad. I can give you an
25 One case that happened in October or November 1992. A family that
1 I knew very well, the Causevic, Dzevad's family who -- he himself worked
2 in the electrical company for ten years. He called me one day in 1992. I
3 got into my car and went to his house. He said that he was afraid. He
4 said: "My children are young. I have a brother in Slovakia. I would
5 like to go and live with them." I told him: "Don't go. There's no need
6 for you to go. My family is also here. My mother and father still live
7 in Gornja Ljubija." Still he decided to leave. I couldn't persuade him
8 to stay.
9 On the following day, I again came in my car, and I drove him and
10 his wife and his two children in my car to Prijedor. They spent the night
11 in my place in Prijedor. And on the following day again I took all of
12 them to joined the convoy that left via Novska. So they went abroad and
13 eventually I believe they took residence in the Netherlands. His father
14 and his mother had remained living there. People have returned, those who
15 had stayed on, nothing happened to them. Nobody had anything bad happen
16 to them if they didn't participate in war operations.
17 Those people who manned the checkpoints, who were there, nobody
18 touched them. And their houses also were not burnt down. I don't know
19 whether they were plundered or not. I can't say anything about that. I
20 didn't see anything like that personally. But I know that all the houses
21 remained standing. None of them was burned down.
22 Q. At that time, in spring and summer of 1992, did you hear of the
23 existence of a body called the Crisis Staff of the Municipal Assembly of
25 A. Yes, I did hear that.
1 Q. Did you know who its members were?
2 A. I knew some of its members. Some people whom I met when I applied
3 for my business programme. That's when I met Mr. Stakic. I also knew
4 Ranko Travar who was a member of the Crisis Staff. Before that, he was
5 the head of sales in Zito Promet. I also knew Mr. Slavko Budimir who was
6 a teacher in the school in Cela. I went to that school for a year myself
7 while the school in Prijedor was being refurbished. That's how I met
8 Mr. Slavko Budimir. I met him in 1976. I also knew Ranko Travar from
9 1986 or 1987. I don't know exactly.
10 Q. Did you ever --
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In the past, the Defence always corrected the
12 transcript when Prosecution counsel spoke about Crisis Staff of the
13 Municipal Assembly. And it was your submission that it was on purpose to
14 confuse the words "Municipal Assembly" and "municipal." I think the word
15 correct on page 60, line 5, in your question should be "the Prijedor
16 municipal Crisis Staff." Correct?
17 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Prastalo, did you personally attend any of
19 the meetings of the Crisis Staff?
20 A. No, I never attended a meeting of the Crisis Staff. I don't know
21 why I should be. I was not a member of any party ever. Why would I then
22 attend a meeting of the Crisis Staff? I was not interested in that. I
23 was not interested in its work, what they were doing.
24 Q. At that time, did you socialise with some of the members of the
25 Crisis Staff?
1 A. Yes. I would see Slavko from time to time. I would also see
2 Mr. Travar from time to time. I would see Dr. Stakic as well. As I say,
3 Dr. Stakic received us in his office to discuss the company that we were
4 trying to incept. That's how I met him. I immediately liked him as a
5 person. He was fighting for the things for which I'm fighting to this
6 day. He wanted things to be privatised. He wanted people to be paid
7 according to their work. He didn't want anybody to work for free. He
8 wanted the work of an individual to be valued. And that's what I liked
9 about Dr. Stakic.
10 That's when I met him, and after that we socialised quite often.
11 And this was mostly to do with sports. We would talk about football. I
12 was quite familiar with things that were taking place in football.
13 Sometimes we would even play together. We would also exchange opinions on
14 business, on work, when we had time. I think - I don't know for sure -
15 but I think that Dr. Stakic found himself in that place by mistake. I
16 don't think that this position is influential. Nobody sitting in that
17 position had any real say because if he had had a real say, he would have
18 done something for me. He would have given me a permit to move about. He
19 would have given me a permit to leave the country. He would have given me
20 a building plot where to build my factory. But he couldn't do that. But
21 he still fought for things. We were talking about the oil for -- that was
22 needed for the sowing. We were talking about whether that oil could be
23 obtained or not, things like that.
24 The two of us, we fought for the same things, and we were also
25 rivals in sports. We would play football together if we had time,
1 whenever we had time.
2 Q. I apologise. Did you play football together or something else?
3 A. No, we played pools, but we talked about football because I spent
4 a lot -- a number of years playing football, and we talked about football
5 and we played billiards together.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please be so kind and concentrate your
7 questions on the time relevant under the fourth amended indictment or, if
8 you want to touch on other time frames, please ask the witness what he is
9 discussing right now. From the last two pages, it does not transpire when
10 this was, when you socialised with Dr. Stakic, for example.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. I will ask you, according to His Honour Schomburg's instructions,
13 when you socialised with Dr. Stakic, did that take place when Dr. Stakic
14 was a member of the Crisis Staff, that is, in spring and summer of 1992?
15 A. Let me tell you, I met Dr. Stakic when he received us in his
16 office to discuss the building of our factory and the purchase of the land
17 where we were going to build the factory. At that time, Dr. Stakic was
18 the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly, and sometimes we would see
19 each other socially. But we were -- we would play billiards. And that
20 continued later on, a bit more intensively.
21 There were a few of us private entrepreneurs who worked at the
22 time who were members of the business community and the door to the
23 Municipal Assembly building was always open to us. But whenever we came,
24 we went to the Executive Board because it was the Executive Board who
25 could do things for us and who could make decisions in our favour. It was
1 not the president or the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly that
2 could do that.
3 When we had business to discuss with anybody, we had to discuss it
4 with the Executive Board. When you asked me about the Crisis Staff, I
5 believe that I've already told you that. I've already answered that
7 Q. Did Dr. Stakic ever talk to you about the purchase of fuel for
8 sowing and for harvest and how was that done?
9 A. Yes. Since my business was also oil derivatives and at that time,
10 there was no cash, and at one point Dr. Stakic told me that he would try
11 and obtain fuel from the commodity reserves. And that that fuel would be
12 used for sowing and for harvest. He asked me if I could help him and if
13 we could do that without any commission or fee. This oil from commodity
14 reserve was sold at 55 and 50 Phennigs a litre. One price was for sowing
15 and the other was for harvesting. He put that proposal forward before the
16 Executive Board. The Executive Board approved that.
17 We obtained the derivatives from the commodity reserves. Then we
18 distributed that oil at some places where it was very difficult for the
19 population to obtain it. We transported that oil by our own system. We
20 did not consider that a lucrative business, but we thought it was a good
21 thing to do. We did that one year for the sowing and harvest season. And
22 this was all thanks to Dr. Stakic who asked us to do that and who
23 organised everything.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask --
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Can you please tell us --
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the witness, was this before the 6th
3 of June, 1992, or after the 6th of June, 1992?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The oil was purchased before the 6th
5 of June, a certainty quantity. That was for the harvest of that year.
6 Some oil was obtained in winter and some in spring. There were two rounds
7 of distribution. There may have been a delay in the distribution, but
8 that delay was only for about 10 or 15 days. So there were two
9 distribution rounds for the oil that was distributed for the harvest and
10 sowing seasons.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So the first round of distribution would be
12 before the 30th of April, 1992, or after the 30th of April, 1992?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before the 30th of April, there was
14 a distribution of derivatives, and there was a certain schedule. First,
15 we would go to the Executive Board. The Executive Board would allocate
16 oil by the local communes, and the local communes apply for the oil based
17 on the acreage of land. So the quantity of oil depended on the acreage of
19 The second distribution was for the sowing season which was
20 sometime in June of that year. In that area, sowing usually takes place
21 in July. So we obtained fuel both for the sowing period and for the
22 harvest period. The secretaries of the local communes were supposed to go
23 to the Executive Board with their lists of requirements, and then the
24 Executive Board would allocate vouchers for the oil in different local
25 communes based on the list of their requirements which were submitted to
1 them by the secretaries of the communes.
2 The oil was then obtained by Serbs, Croats, Muslims. Everybody
3 who had proof that they had arable land were in the position to obtain
4 that fuel from the commodity reserves at my petrol station. For the
5 period of five years that I leased that petrol station, everybody could
6 obtain oil from my petrol station regardless of their ethnic background.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask a third time, you mentioned on page
8 33, today's LiveNote, line 20, "he - it is Dr. Stakic - put that proposal
9 forward before the Executive Board. The Executive Board approved that."
10 When was it in 1992? As precise as possible. I know it's difficult ten
11 years ago, more than ten years ago.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1992, that was -- are you asking
13 me to give you the exact date? I'm afraid I can't remember the exact
14 date. It was sometime in April. I can't remember the exact date. I
15 don't remember whether it was the end of April or the beginning of May. I
16 said a little while ago that there was a slight delay in the purchase of
17 the derivative in that first round. There was a slight delay, so I don't
18 know whether it was in the -- in late April or the beginning of May. But
19 I don't think it's important.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May it assist you. I asked you for a concrete
21 point in time you mentioned in your own testimony, and it's for us to find
22 out when this point was exactly in time. So was it in a period of time
23 Dr. Stakic was still the vice-president or was he already the president of
24 the Municipal Assembly?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was the president. So that
1 was -- I believe that was before the 5th of May or the 6th of May.
2 Because the first quantity of fuel -- this was the first intervention on
3 the part of the Municipal Assembly that was in favour of the agricultural
4 sector. So the delivery of these derivatives and the distribution that
5 was for the sowing was almost at the time when there was already the
6 harvest period.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
8 Mr. Lukic, please proceed.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I believe that the confusion arose from the following: Is the
11 company owned by Mr. Popovic and the petrol station that you leased, are
12 these two different things? Maybe that is the source of the confusion.
13 A. Yes, these are two different things.
14 Q. When you applied for a permit to purchase the land to build the
15 factory owned by Mr. Popovic, what was Dr. Stakic at that time?
16 A. Dr. Stakic at that time was the vice-president when we applied for
17 a permit to build the factory, because we built that factory in 1991.
18 Q. When you applied for the fuel, that is, when it was asked from you
19 to help with the distribution of fuel for sowing, what was Mr. Stakic at
20 that time?
21 A. The president of the municipality. We talked about all that even
22 before, and I didn't know on that same day what would happen. We were
23 talking about fuel, about oil. We discussed general business matters. So
24 when I said that for the first time there was an intervention, I'm talking
25 about the delivery of oil both for sowing and for other harvest. And this
1 was distributed across the board to the entire population, to Muslims,
2 Croats, and Serbs alike, whoever could obtain fuel was able to obtain it.
3 They came with pieces of papers stamped by the Executive Board and by
4 their respective local commune, and they would arrive at the petrol
5 station with buckets and what have you to obtain the petrol that they were
6 entitled to.
7 Q. The first round of distribution of fuel for the sowing, according
8 to you, may have been towards the beginning of May?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. Which year?
11 A. 1992.
12 Q. We spoke about you socialising with Dr. Stakic. You discussed
13 football. You played pool.
14 A. Only when we had time.
15 Q. When you spoke about business, whenever you discussed business,
16 did Mr. Stakic ever tell you about the activities of the Crisis Staff or
17 what it did?
18 A. No, not really. I told you what we talked about. I should be
19 able to assume what the activities of the Crisis Staff might be, general
20 needs of the population, the economy, communal infrastructure. We had
21 problems with the water lines, with different kinds of cisterns. I told
22 you already what the Crisis Staff was doing when I lived over there. I
23 think it was like a central office, a headquarters, where the different
24 Crisis Staffs from the local communes and different companies were
25 organised. I think the Crisis Staff, the Crisis Staff made such decisions
1 as far as I believe.
2 We never -- we always tried to as much as we could, like I said,
3 to stick to our business. I had my own things to follow, and the doctor
4 had his own business. We often discussed private initiative in business.
5 The doctor wanted to have a private surgery, so we talked along those
6 lines. But that was really all we ever discussed. We never discussed
7 politics, and I was myself never a member of any party.
8 Q. Talking about party membership, I would like to ask you something
9 about the events following September 1992. You spoke about this group -
10 we shall not name them now - the group who tried to take away from you the
11 enterprise which you now ran. Do you know anything about the attempts to
12 remove Dr. Stakic from the autumn of 1992 onwards?
13 A. Yes, I do know about that. That group, and I think I am
14 well-placed to know it, because that was more my concern than his, that
15 was the opposition who had told me even before they came to power that
16 they would take my factory away from me. They tried, but they failed.
17 They had Dr. Stakic removed. I think the chief of the SUP was also
18 removed at that time. People from the municipality were removed, and they
19 appointed their own people. Should I say who held the different
20 positions? Should I give you the names? The names of the people who were
21 subsequently appointed.
22 Q. As long as you don't have a problem with that, please do.
23 A. No, I don't. Quite the contrary. Dr. Stakic was replaced and Mr.
24 Kurnoga was appointed. In what way -- exactly what the procedure was -
25 whether there was a municipal decision or whether this was voted on - but
1 I know that Kurnoga became the president of the assembly.
2 I know that Dr. Stakic was mobilised after he had been removed to
3 the army probably. I was never mobilised myself, and I was quite
4 surprised not to be. That was something out of the ordinary. I suppose
5 Dr. Stakic was not much to their liking because I find I have to repeat
6 this for the umpteenth time, he was a person who was more into business
7 actually all the way, whereas the more radical group, the radical group
8 had no understanding for this. They denied everything. And I think it's
9 quite obvious what they did and what they were good for. I think they are
10 going to be remembered for that. Money ran out. Companies went bankrupt
11 or were ruined. No care was taken of them. People's companies and pubs
12 were taken from them.
13 It had never before been common practice where we used to live
14 taking other people's things. I never did this myself in my whole life.
15 I never asked anyone for anything. Again, I must say this radical group
16 arrived, and as far as I know, Dr. Stakic was subsequently mobilised to
17 the Republika Srpska army. How he was mobilised or who he mobilised by, I
18 really don't know. His successors obviously didn't like him.
19 Q. Thank you very much.
20 MR. LUKIC: I would like to mention page 69, line 8, it says
21 "whereas the more radical group," and the witness says "the radical
22 group." And in this sentence, we have both, but "more radical group" has
23 never been mentioned. So if you want, I can clarify it with the witness,
24 or it can be checked through the audiotape.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I would ask you to repeat the question.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. You heard what my intervention was about.
3 A. Yes. Yes, I said the radical group. The people who had been in
4 power before them, I think, were moderate. Those people who had been
5 before them tried to deal with the economy, to do something about it. And
6 the new people who replaced them were radical people. They wanted power
7 at all cost. So I told you about my problem with them in the opposition,
8 and then they tried to carry this out once they came to power. But this
9 was not only about myself. I think there must have been other such cases.
10 Q. You said you had talked to them even before they had Dr. Stakic
11 removed. When they were removing him, did they refer to his membership in
12 any of the political parties?
13 A. Well, as I told you, I was socialising with different people. So
14 very often, we would sit together. Sometimes the conversation was
15 pleasant, about pleasant subjects, and sometimes we would clash verbally.
16 But when we talked, they said "how can someone be the president of the
17 Municipal Assembly and not even a member of the SDS"? I heard this. I
18 heard people say this.
19 I didn't know, but I heard that he was not a member of the SDS,
20 Dr. Stakic. I heard that he had earlier been a member of the People's
21 Radical Party Nikola Pasic. I don't know if they were saying that he
22 couldn't be the president of the assembly if he wasn't a member of the
23 SDS, but I didn't understand that. But that's how it goes over there. We
24 must be in power. We are the SDS members. And those were the strongmen,
25 the radical group within the SDS, the people I've already named.
1 Q. You told us when you first met Dr. Stakic and how often and when
2 you socialised with him. Did you ever hear him give a speech on the radio
3 or did you read any of his speeches in the papers or any of his public
5 A. In our municipality, we have the Kozarski Vjesnik newspaper.
6 Dr. Stakic once, when there was a formal or a ceremonial occasion when a
7 factory was being opened or a production floor or maybe there was some
8 humanitarian action, so holding the position that he was holding at the
9 time, of course, he appeared as a representative of the Municipal Assembly
10 of Prijedor.
11 Q. Did you socialise with Dr. Stakic also in Belgrade?
12 A. Yes, not right away, due to the nature of my job. I travel very
13 often, I travel abroad. I travel all over Yugoslavia. But I found out
14 that Dr. Stakic was specialising medicine in Belgrade. I can't remember
15 the name of the hospital, but it is in the part of town called Banjica.
16 It's something to do with the bones. I can't remember the name. I did go
17 looking for him once, and I found him there. So we started socialising
18 there in Belgrade.
19 Whenever we had some spare time, maybe once, two, three times a
20 month depending on the extent of our professional activities, sometimes we
21 would see each other four or five time a months, sometimes once a month
22 depending. Lately, we have been spending more time together.
23 Dr. Stakic's family are all very pleasant people, and he was a family
24 man. He really loved his family. We all love our family, of course. But
25 if I look at myself, I never had enough time to go and speak to my
1 children's teachers at school, to help them do their homework, or anything
2 like that. Dr. Stakic, on the other hand, always made time to do this,
3 and he always did this as far as I know in his family life. His family
4 always came first, and then friends. I can't say we came second, but we
5 were there. He cared about us. He had a normal life. He was
6 specialising in his branch of medicine. I think he specialised in two
7 different areas actually.
8 We went out together in Belgrade whenever we had time. We would
9 go to a pub for a drink. We would go to a football match, that sort of
11 Q. Only one further question: You said you were in possession of a
12 permit to move about freely during curfew.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. To move about freely during curfew.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When you told Dr. Stakic about this, what was his reaction?
17 A. He smiled. I couldn't believe, but I do believe it now when he
18 told me that he didn't have a permit even when he was working in the
19 Crisis Staff. But he said he was not in possession of a permit. The only
20 people who had these permits were people who were pursuing some activity,
21 who were into business. Simo Drljaca issued these. And the SUP only
22 issued these for moving about freely during curfew and for leaving the
23 country. So probably Dr. Stakic never qualified to have one like that
24 issued to him because he wasn't friends maybe with some of those people
25 who were in charge of issuing those permits. That's my understanding at
1 least. But these permits were used to enable one to move about freely
2 around the clock in the town of Prijedor, and they were issued by the MUP.
3 But as far as I heard, none of the members of the Crisis Staff
4 were actually in possession of such permits, and I think altogether
5 perhaps 15 people had such permits. That's we they don't include the
6 professional police units who were free to move about. The whole thing
7 didn't last for too long. Curfew was introduced when the killings in
8 Hambarine took place at the checkpoint set up by Aliskovic. Aside from
9 that, in the town up to that point, you had been able to move about freely
10 and everyone did. Shops were open. There were two open-air markets.
11 Everyone was normal, the hospital. Everyone was business as usual prior
12 to that.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Prastalo.
14 For the time being I have no further questions to ask you. Now you'll
15 have asked a number of questions by my learned friend and colleague from
16 the Prosecution and after that by the Honourable Trial Chamber.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Just to stay in context of family life, may I
18 ask you, when you met Dr. Stakic in Belgrade, did you meet also the family
19 of Dr. Stakic in Belgrade?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That day, when I went looking for
21 Dr. Stakic, I didn't meet his family on that day.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you know whether or not his family was in
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know if they were there at
25 that time. I found Dr. Stakic. I spent some time with him at the
1 hospital where he was, an hour perhaps. That's as long as he could
2 afford. I didn't go anywhere with Dr. Stakic at that time except the
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. It was just for clarification
5 because it was in that context.
6 For procedural reasons, unfortunately we can't continue from the
7 side of the Bench with the cross-examination today. May I ask the
8 Prosecution, Prosecution would be prepared to continue with the
9 cross-examination already tomorrow?
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then you are excused for today. And I have to
12 ask you to come back tomorrow, 9.00, same courtroom. And please, as it is
13 the rule, don't contact one of the parties, Prosecution or Defence, during
14 your stay, and please don't contact other witnesses you may meet here in
15 The Hague, and especially don't discuss issues of your testimony. Thank
16 you for today. And may I ask the usher to escort the witness out of the
18 [The witness stands down]
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Before the break, that the parties know what we
20 have to discuss, it's a question of the admission or the possibility -- at
21 least the possibility of admission into evidence of witnesses under 92
22 bis. We will after deliberations proceed in the following order: That we
23 first revisit the final witness list updated as of today in order to find
24 out whether or whether not a witness on this list can be admitted under
25 Rule 92 bis and whether or whether not the one or other witness in the
1 light of that what we have already heard and which seems to be proven can
2 be deleted from the original witness list.
3 Then following this, we would turn to defendant Milomir Stakic's
4 motion for leave to introduce written statements pursuant to Rule 92 bis.
5 I don't want to comment this motion that has nothing to do with our rules
6 in this moment. No doubt that the first step has to be, following our
7 rules, 73 ter(D), that the Defence would have, if it considers it to be in
8 the interests of justice, file a motion to reinstate the list of witnesses
9 or to vary the decision as to which witnesses are to be called. You are
10 requesting additional witnesses, and this is the first step to decide
11 whether or not we add witnesses to the final -- provisional final list of
12 witnesses following Rule 73 ter(C).
13 The second step will then be, and this is the question before us,
14 whether or whether not to grant in principle that it might be a statement
15 under 92 bis. But at the same time, I invite the Prosecution to indicate
16 already now that it might be or it might not be that the one or other
17 witness is precluded from the outset or excluded from the outset under
18 Rule 92 bis because it doesn't meet the prerequisites laid down in Rule 92
19 bis(A). And only then we can decide what has to follow.
20 The final decision whether or not a statement under Rule 92 bis is
21 admissible can only be made when we have this statement. And it's only
22 then for the Prosecution to decide whether or not they request
23 cross-examination and, as indicated in our decision, it is finally for the
24 Trial Chamber to decide whether or not in the light of the then statement
25 we want to hear the witness as a live witness.
1 Before I forget the additional items, I want to ask, (a), the
2 audio unit to check again page 69, line 5 to 9, and to print out what has
3 been said by the witness of today. Then we have before us the question of
4 the -- how to take the videoconference. I'm extremely grateful that the
5 registry on her own initiative made the necessary preparations for
6 interpretation being present in -- I think it will be in Banja Luka for
7 next week. Therefore, the interpretation will be provided by CLSS staff
8 for 92 bis statements.
9 As regards the videolink -- sorry, as regards now the videolink,
10 the rule will be that it will be as it was during the Prosecution
11 videolink in the Prosecution case, that the witness is not allowed to have
12 any kind of statement in front of the witness. And in addition, there
13 should be no other person, no representative of one of the parties present
14 in the same room when the witnesses will be heard during the videolink.
15 The videolink will cause some problems on Thursday as to the fact
16 that we have to conclude the hearings on Thursday a quarter to 5.00
17 because as of 5.00 next Thursday, the election of the new president of
18 this Tribunal will take place. I hope, but this is only a hope, that the
19 video hearings nevertheless can be concluded during the next week, and I
20 already asked the registry to find out whether or not it will be possible
21 to have an additional time frame or window where these video testimonies
22 can be given in and from Banja Luka.
23 So far for the moment, we will start this exercise going through
24 once again the witness list immediately after the break. The trial stays
25 adjourned until 3.30.
1 --- Recess taken at 3.04 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 3.34 p.m.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
4 The point of departure is no doubt the scheduling order from the
5 12th of February, 2003. And the Trial Chamber's decision dated also the
6 12th of December. Let us please first try that we can arrange the
7 necessary especially after the itineraries that we can find out whether or
8 whether not the one or the other witness being on the so-called final
9 witness list can be for the reasons given deleted or this witness can be
10 92 bissed. So we already indicated in our order what are the persons
11 still on the witness list and not yet heard who in any event from the
12 perspective of the Bench has to be heard as live witnesses.
13 So then let us start -- I think the order would be appropriate
14 first for the Defence to give some comments whether they need, in fact,
15 the witness, and then immediately the answer whether this would be
16 appropriate under 92 bis, and the basis that what we call the provisional
17 proffers we received from the Defence. We would start with witness number
18 1, Aleksic Rade.
19 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, we think that he is an important
20 witness because he works for the Ministry of Defence.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, perhaps -- I just want to caution
22 everyone that we're in open session. I don't know if we mention any names
23 that the Defence has not checked on in protective measures.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then let's mention the 65 ter numbers, 001. I
25 understand your contribution. What about Prosecution?
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: We think this witness should be live.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: That's what we said. Then 004.
3 MR. LUKIC: This witness is scheduled to be testifying through the
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And may I ask --
6 MR. LUKIC: He's a non-Serb living in Prijedor in that time.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The question is only relating to the itinerary.
8 It's only related to 92 bis witnesses that some should be heard in Banja
9 Luka, others in Belgrade. And the videolink would be only from Banja
11 MR. LUKIC: Banja Luka.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Only to be absolutely sure. Then 006.
13 MR. LUKIC: This witness is scheduled as a live witness.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And may we ask, as ordered, what would be the
15 correct name? Do we need to go into private session?
16 MR. LUKIC: For this witness, yes, I think that he would be asking
17 for protective measures.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then, please, private session.
19 [Private session]
12 Pages 12152 to 12177 – redacted – private session
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
2 at 4.47 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
3 the 18th day of February, 2003,
4 at 9.00 a.m.