1 Tuesday, 18 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning. Please be seated. Could you
6 please call 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, please, for the
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian, Ann
12 Sutherland, and Ruth Karper.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the Defence.
14 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and John
15 Ostojic for the Defence.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Could we please have the door
18 As mentioned already yesterday, we have to continue with the
19 question of witnesses and the question how to proceed during this week.
20 Trial Chamber did not yet decide on the question whether or not to impose
21 sanctions. We are expecting submissions by the Prosecution, and later in
22 the day I think we'll hear whether or whether not senior counsel from the
23 OTP will be here tomorrow or on Thursday. But I think it should be
24 decided and discussed in a balanced way. May I then ask with absolute
25 priority, what about the possible witnesses for Thursday and Friday this
2 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, our investigator is in contact with
3 the -- our case manager, and it should be solved during the day whether
4 that witness can come or not.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So you would let us know immediately.
6 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for these efforts. Then we have to be
8 aware that when next week is dedicated primarily to hear video testimony,
9 we can't afford to proceed in the way that we get the proffer the day
10 before or the same day because the cross-examination, no doubt, has to
11 follow immediately. Therefore, we want to remind the Defence that the
12 amended proffers for the video witness for Monday is due Wednesday this
13 week, that's tomorrow. The one for Tuesday, on Thursday. The one for
14 Wednesday, this week Friday. The one for Thursday, Monday next week. And
15 for next Friday, Tuesday next week. Of course, no doubt, we would
16 appreciate if we could have these amended proffers even earlier.
17 Based on the experience that there will be always the one or other
18 gap or even the impossibility to hear a witness by videolink due to bad
19 weather conditions or other conditions we can't influence, we would hereby
20 order the Defence to present and to call two additional witnesses for next
21 week. It would then be the case that we have three remaining weeks and 13
22 witnesses and two expert witnesses to come. And therefore, we hereby
23 order the Defence to call five witnesses per week. No doubt, there is
24 some discretion in case there would be a cross-examination on experts that
25 then if this would be the last week, and I took it from your statements
1 that the two experts would appear during the last week, that during the
2 last week we could hear three witnesses and two expert witnesses.
3 We had to go in some more details of the defendant's Milomir
4 Stakic motion for leave to introduce written witness statements pursuant
5 to Rule 92 bis. As indicated already yesterday, the first threshold is,
6 no doubt, Rule 73 ter (D) whether or not it's in the interest of justice
7 to have additional witnesses or not. We found that based on this, and
8 this is the overall decision, we would, with the reservation - details
9 will follow - we grant additional or we accept additional witnesses Milan
10 Cuk, that is (a) on page 3; Zorka Cuk, (b); Nada Ratkovic, that's lit (e);
11 Mira Stakic, that's (l); Bozana Stakic, that's lit (m); and as mentioned
12 yesterday, a written statement by Mr. Timothy McFadden from the United
13 Nations Detention Unit.
14 Before ruling on this, I want to ask the Defence on behalf of the
15 Chamber, what about the children of Dr. Stakic? Do you insist or do you
16 want to withdraw?
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Good morning, Your Honour. We would withdraw the
18 request for the children to give a statement.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this protection of the children of
20 Dr. Stakic. I think it's in the sound interest of the children, and we
21 take their testimony in principle as given. Nothing else can be expected
22 from children.
23 All the other remaining witnesses, this is Dr. Slavko Tomic, this
24 is Aleksandar Radakovic, this is Jovan Ratkovic, this is Marija
25 Vukadinovic, this is Miroslav Kamsak, this is Jasminka Kneginjic, this
1 would be more appropriate for Judge Vassylenko, Mr. Milorad Loncar, and
2 Marijana Nikolic, and the other unnamed witnesses we can find on page 3 of
3 Appendix 1 under (p) and (q), they are not admitted as additional
4 witnesses because it's not in the interest of justice to hear these
5 additional witnesses, in part that is what is expected as their testimony
6 is already proven. It would be repetitive. And in part, not relevant for
7 the outcome of this case.
8 So therefore, all in all, it means that we have, based on this
9 list, five additional witnesses admitted. They all are in agreement with
10 the statements of the Prosecution from yesterday. In principle, witnesses
11 whose testimony can be admitted under 92 bis, but as to the fact that the
12 documents provided for us, especially Appendix 1, is not sufficient for a
13 final decision, be it under Rule 73 ter or 92 bis, we have to make the
14 reservation that the admission is only an admission in principle and can
15 always be reversed, and the same is true when we are stating that in
16 principle it can be admissible to hear these five witnesses under Rule
17 92. Also this decision is subject to a decision to reverse the question
18 of admissibility under 92 bis. The final decision can only be taken when
19 we have the statements as such.
20 In result, it means that during the next week, ten 92 bis
21 statements have to be taken and five video conferences to be conducted for
22 five witnesses. We would appreciate if as soon as possible we could have
23 the calling order for the next three weeks in advance that at least based
24 on the names, we can be prepared what will happen in this courtroom.
25 The next question to be resolved is the translation of exhibits,
1 at least in part. With some concern, we see that a number of translations
2 are still missing. We already several times ago offered our assistance if
3 there would be a problem with the translation, but yesterday we heard that
4 in part, there would be translations available. May I ask, are they
5 already provided to the Prosecution, and would they also be available for
6 the Chamber, those translations already provided by the translation
8 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Perhaps to clarify the
9 point, I could give the Court just a brief background so that we're
10 discussing the exact same issues, if the Court permits. On November 18th
11 of 2002, the Defence submitted a specific list of exhibits of articles
12 that we requested to be translated. Approximately six weeks thereafter,
13 after the new year, we were asked to highlight specifically which articles
14 it was that the translation unit was to have translated from B/C/S into
15 English. We thought our index was clear enough because it identified by
16 the title of the article that which we requested to be translated.
17 Subsequent to that, we did highlight the sections which we
18 requested, and we were returned approximately two fifths of the documents
19 that we requested. We then submitted that to the OTP and to the Chamber
20 of the documents that were translated. Since that time, we have requested
21 orally and I believe once in writing that they continue to advise us as to
22 the status of the translation. We have not completed -- or they have not
23 completed that task, and we are still awaiting the completed translation
24 of all the Defence exhibits as forwarded on November 18th, 2002.
25 We are asking to the extent it's possible for this Chamber somehow
1 to assist the Defence in expediting that translation. We're unaware of
2 the specific procedure outside of asking for an order compelling them to
3 translate it by a certain given date.
4 So once again, that's the status. We don't have the documents
5 completely translated. Those that have been translated have been
6 forwarded to the OTP and to the Chamber. And we're still awaiting any day
7 for the balance of the documents to be completed.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I'm a little concerned because we
9 don't have any recollection of receiving any documents, and I don't trust
10 my own recollection but Ms. Karper tells me we haven't received any
11 documents. Obviously, this is a problem that could delay the whole case,
12 and I think I would encourage the Court or ask the Court to contact CLSS
13 and find out what is the problem with these translations.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We received -- the Chamber received a stack of
15 documents, but only in part translated. Based on the experience, and this
16 is one of the flaws in this Tribunal, a number of documents are translated
17 and then never used in Court. For the reputation of this Tribunal, I
18 don't want to give figures how many documents being translated and then
19 later not used in Court.
20 Therefore, being relatively close to the end of the Defence case,
21 I would invite the Defence, if possible, to concentrate on those documents
22 Defence really wants to use in Court. But I asked several times in the
23 past who is the person responsible for this work, who is your contact
25 MR. OSTOJIC: We hesitate to always identify that person, Your
1 Honour, for fear of any retribution against them, but our contact quite
2 frankly was through the Registrar's office and a gentleman by the name of
3 Laurent Wastelain was the person with whom we continued to and have
4 consistently since November, he has been our intermediary. In essence, we
5 have given him the list, have made the request through him, and he has
6 gotten back to us with, as I mentioned, the issue of highlighting
7 articles. And when the translation was completed he was the individual
8 who transferred that to us. So he is our only contact. We don't have
9 contact specifically with anyone at the translation department.
10 The gentleman has been working and has been cooperating with us.
11 I must say he has been extremely helpful. It is not his specific
12 department I gather in the hierarchy. So I hate to say that it's his
13 fault and I don't want to suggest that it is. It is my understanding
14 yesterday, Mr. Laurent Wastelain was in not in the office and I'm not sure
15 if today he is here because yesterday it was my understanding that he was
16 taken ill. So although we tried calling his office yesterday, that was
17 the information that we obtained.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think we are all aware that there is a
19 hierarchy, but we need the first point of contact that we can continue.
20 We'll try and assist you and find out what is possible. But I think there
21 was also an offer from the side of the Prosecution related to some
22 documents when identifying the 65 ter number. Based on this, maybe the
23 translation is already available from the side of the Prosecution.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, Ms. Karper identified for the Defence
25 the translations that were already done. So that was provided -- CLSS
1 says there are some. We can provide that. There are some that are
2 already translated. We can make sure that CLSS has that. They should
3 have that already. But we'll make sure that the Defence has that to give
4 to CLSS.
5 But I would reiterate, since we received the 65 ter set of
6 documents which I think were almost all untranslated, I don't know if
7 there were any translations in there, we have not received any documents.
8 There may be some misunderstanding. We have not received a set of
9 translations. We have received nothing since November or December when
10 the original 65 ter list was provided.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Maybe there was then a mistake because to the
12 best of my recollection, we are all bad witnesses, as we know. We
13 received in any event 100 or 200 pages at the beginning of this year.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: We will certainly take the request and follow up on
15 in. Mr. Cirkovic our case manager is the one who advised me that it was
16 distributed to the Chamber and the OTP. To the extent that it was not, or
17 even if it was, we will provide them with another copy as soon as
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So I would invite the parties to get in contact
20 and to find out. Maybe in other cases, some documents have already been
21 translated, and therefore they can be available without any additional
22 translation. This is another shortcoming in this Tribunal, that
23 apparently some documents are not only translated twice. So please
24 contact and find out where you can be of assistance, mutual assistance, on
25 translation. We will find out what other problems in the CLSS.
1 One additional problem is for the Trial Chamber how to introduce
2 the results of the CD-ROM tendered by the Defence, admitted into evidence,
3 and then it was only yesterday that we received the figures and the result
4 what we can find out based on this CD-ROM. We are hesitant to order
5 during the Defence case the Prosecution to give a summary or affidavit of
6 the person who provided these figures.
7 On the other hand, from our understanding of general principles in
8 criminal law and in criminal procedure, it seems to be extremely difficult
9 to order the Defence to produce evidence because from our point of view,
10 we never know whether this could be of self-incriminatory nature or not.
11 Therefore we would be absolute hesitant save the Defence would state, We
12 believe this is a reliable source and we believe that we can live with the
13 outcome of figures here and we can't just introduce the figures. Of
14 course, we would need an affidavit. Therefore, it would be the question
15 whether first the Prosecution would be prepared to give such an
16 affidavit. We would not order this. And then it would be for the Defence
17 to answer the question whether or not they are prepared to accept this
18 summary of the results of the figures to be found on this CD-ROM.
19 May I please first hear the Prosecution on this issue.
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, an affidavit has been drafted at my
21 request. I asked for a few changes for the person who prepared it to
22 explain his own background a bit. It's about a page long, and it should
23 be ready today. My suggestion is the Defence can look at it. If they
24 want to put it into evidence or they want to admit it by stipulation, we
25 would agree. If not, the Court could order it produced by the Prosecution
1 under Rule 98 or we could 98 bis it for our rebuttal, if that would be of
2 assistance. Whatever procedure is agreeable to the Defence and the Court.
3 We could 92 bis the affidavit in our rebuttal case if necessary.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No doubt we would appreciate to have these
5 figures in evidence as soon as possible. What is the submission by the
6 Defence related to this?
7 MR. OSTOJIC: We would like to naturally first see the affidavit,
8 and then we would like to do our own verification on the numbers. And the
9 question we have is the three categorisations within that exhibit if it
10 actually comports with what's on the CD-ROM. And specifically we would
11 like to just mention that it's the testimony of the witness Mrs. Kovacevic
12 who brought the CD which we think it's important to classify that last
13 third category. The question unfortunately is not when the OTP think
14 certain people became refugees and came to the Prijedor Municipality.
15 Those documents reflect when they registered.
16 So it should be clear, although made in argument, that it does not
17 state as they allege, as they have with other subjective witnesses whether
18 it's Sebire, Inayat, or O'Donnell, it's a question of that these people
19 came prior to the date but only registered on the date that's identified
20 in those exhibits. So again, we would like to reserve the right to
21 examine the affidavit, verify these numbers, and then we would ask the
22 Court, of course, that they take that exhibit consistent with and
23 incorporate it with Mrs. Kovacevic's testimony which I believe, as I've
24 stated in summary, was accurate.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think before the Defence gives a final
1 assessment, you should rethink, because it could be to the disadvantage of
2 your client questioning some of these figures. And I think already during
3 the testimony, we reflected these numbers or these figures in part, and it
4 was to a certain extent agreed by this witness what we saw immediately
5 based on our laptop first perusal that this would be the outcome of this
6 calculation. But I would invite the parties to discuss this affidavit.
7 Maybe you can find another form to introduce this.
8 In this case, no doubt, as it's the Defence case, it would be for
9 the Defence to give additional evidence or additional assessment if they
10 don't believe that those figures we have before us reflect that what can
11 be found on the CD-ROM. And it's a relatively easy exercise. But I
12 expect that this problem be solved during this week.
13 Yesterday, we asked the Prosecution to produce the Official
14 Gazette of the Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, year 1, number 3, dated
15 Monday, the 16th of March, 1992. We intend to admit these documents under
16 J27. Are there any objections by the parties? Defence, first.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: No objections, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Prosecution?
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: No, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence as J27A and B
22 May I ask, in order to avoid any kind of misunderstanding, the
23 Defence, do you have any questions related to the order when to provide
24 proffers and when to call witnesses?
25 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, we do, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: We had envisioned unfortunately a slightly different
3 schedule than the Court had ordered. Mr. Lukic is leaving Thursday to go
4 to the field in order to meet and prepare with the witnesses. We
5 anticipated that with respect to the first videolink witness, that we
6 would provide the Court and the OTP with the proffer on Friday, and then
7 we anticipated that by no later than Sunday, we would be able to provide
8 the proffers for the balance of the four witnesses who will be giving
9 testimony via videolink.
10 We think it's necessary for one of the attorneys of record to meet
11 with the witnesses so that the proffers are consistent with that which the
12 testimony will be so that again we don't be put in a position to have
13 second-hand information which may be somewhat inaccurate. That has been
14 our plan, to be perfectly candid with Court. We will try and we will
15 endeavour to comply with the Court's order of this morning. It is
16 somewhat taxing for us because we're both here, and Mr. Lukic is planning,
17 as I stated to, leave on Thursday. We have scheduled to meet with these
18 witnesses this weekend so that we should have all the proffers, as I've
19 stated, to the Court no later than Sunday for the balance four. But we
20 hope to give to the OTP and the Court the proffer on Friday for the
21 witness that will testify on Monday via videolink.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Submissions by the Prosecution, please.
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Is that Friday morning, may I ask?
24 MR. OSTOJIC: That would be Friday morning, Your Honour.
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, we could live with that.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But to be serious, we warned the Defence a
2 number of times, and these proffers we are fighting for now, they are due
3 since December, if not November, last year. And to be honest, we are not
4 prepared to fight on a daily basis for each and any proffer. It's your
5 obligation. And I am more than surprised once again to hear even the
6 proffers for the video witnesses, and we know the names for a long period
7 of time, we had a break of one week for preparation, so we really cannot
8 understand this.
9 Let's put it this way, that based on the submission by the OTP and
10 it's first of all the right of the OTP being more or less the master of
11 all our archives and therefore having the best possible access to the
12 necessary data, if the Prosecution in this exceptional case is prepared to
13 continue, then of course we would not interfere. But it's not
14 satisfactory at all. So let's fix for the video witness of Monday,
15 Friday, 12.00 sharp. But no later than 12.00 sharp. My understanding is
16 that Prosecution can live with this.
17 What about the witness for Tuesday?
18 MR. OSTOJIC: The balance of the proffers will be prepared Sunday
19 afternoon, Your Honour, and would be tendered to the Court and to the OTP
20 Sunday afternoon.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: All the four other video witnesses.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: Correct, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And when can we expect the names of the two
24 additional witnesses to be called next week?
25 MR. OSTOJIC: I believe we can expect that by Thursday of this
1 week, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the proffers?
3 MR. OSTOJIC: Those proffers will also be tendered by Sunday --
4 sorry, by Tuesday morning, no later than 12:00 p.m., Your Honour, if
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: For the additional two witnesses we have to hear
7 in this courtroom, in addition to the video witnesses, I'm speaking about
8 these two witnesses we have to hear starting from Monday next week.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, I understood the question. And we expect the
10 videolink to proceed Monday with the five witnesses to be carried
11 continuously, and then as time permits, we would call those two additional
12 witnesses. And --
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Maybe you misunderstood my remarks, even though
14 I believe it was clear enough. We always have problems with videolinks,
15 and it may be that even already on Monday, a videolink could not be
16 established for the one or other reason. And therefore, it's mandatory
17 that as from Monday afternoon, next week we are sitting in the afternoon
18 shift, as from Monday afternoon we have the first witness available.
19 So it would be for the Defence to call the first witness for
20 Monday, and let's say the second witness for Wednesday. But we need in
21 any event two additional witnesses; otherwise, we would have the same
22 disaster as we have it this week.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: I do understand the Court's request now, and thank
24 you for the clarification. We will certainly endeavour to bring the two
25 witnesses here Sunday. Of course, in part, it's out of our hands. We're
1 waiting to get the visas and the transportation arranged. To the extent
2 the Court can assist us with the Victim and Witness Unit to coordinate
3 that and expedite that, we would be in advance grateful for any
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: First of all, the prerequisite is that you give
6 us the names, 65 ter numbers, coordinates of this these witnesses as soon
7 as possible. But for the witnesses to come next week as ordered, normally
8 even the amended proffers should be due tomorrow for the witness to come
9 on Monday next week. Therefore unfortunately, I have to take it that
10 nothing has been prepared yet.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: No amended proffers have been prepared, Your
12 Honour. That's correct, Mr. Lukic who was in the field last week, was
13 unfortunately taken ill and was hospitalised or went to the hospital for a
14 day, as I believe he reported to the Chamber through a telephone
15 conversation. So that has unfortunately delayed the process. But to the
16 extent possible, we will endeavour to get the proffer of the witness --
17 the live witnesses by Friday. And we'll -- again, once we meet with them
18 on Saturday and Sunday, immediately thereafter, we'll notify OTP of any
19 additional comments or statements they may share with us. But it's
20 difficult for us to do that via telephone with the witnesses, and as we
21 have seen in the past, the reliability of third-hand information sometimes
22 is not as helpful as we would like.
23 So to the extent that we can, we will provide an amended proffer,
24 and once we physically meet in person with the witness, we will notify the
25 OTP and the Court immediately of any additional statements or areas the
1 witness wishes to cover consistent with the fourth amended indictment.
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, frankly, I'm a little less concerned
3 with the proffer than getting the names so we can begin our computer
4 search, and that's my main concern. If we can get by tomorrow the names
5 of the possible witnesses for next week, then we can do our computer
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: That's also our concern, that also the Bench is
8 able to prepare, and when only we have the names, then it's easier to
9 prepare. So therefore, we hereby order the Defence to give us the two
10 names for the live witnesses to come next week no later than tomorrow,
12 In order once again to avoid repetitive situations, we want to ask
13 the Defence to give us the names of the witnesses to come for the week
14 from 3 to 7 March no later than Tuesday next week. Names, this is -- this
15 includes dates and place of birth and father's name. Is this agreeable
16 for you? Is it feasible?
17 MR. OSTOJIC: We will comply with that order, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Prosecution can live with this?
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the same would then be true for the next
21 week, once again, on Tuesday the week in advance at least the names, for
22 the week 10 to 14, and then 17 to 21 March.
23 Anything else which could cause any obstacle or impediment for the
24 ongoing procedures? Please, Mr. Ostojic.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: If I many. Perhaps I'm not understanding the
1 Court's question, but in the invitation generally speaking we expect to
2 have our academic historian testify during the week of March 10th,
3 specifically the 12th, 13th, and 14th if that's the Friday, although I
4 think it might be court maintenance day. That's the schedule we have now
5 envisioned, and we were leaving the last week for our military expert to
7 Again, we're at the Court's obviously discretion how you'd like to
8 proceed. I do note the Court mentioned that you're going to have both
9 experts and three witnesses in the last week. Just to advise the parties
10 that that is our plan now to call, as we have indicated before on the
11 record, that we were going to call Mr. Trifkovic on the week of March
12 10th, and that's how I scheduled with him. At the Court's instruction, to
13 schedule in advance with the experts, because of their schedule and et
14 cetera. So that's our plan now, if that doesn't work --
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No, correct. Then we would, say, for the week
16 10 to 14 March, four witnesses and one expert. I take it that the
17 Prosecution has already indicated that they want to examine both --
18 cross-examine both experts?
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: We haven't seen the report, but I think it's --
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It goes without saying. So then for this week,
21 10 to 14, four witnesses plus one expert witness. And the same would be
22 true, 17 to 21, four witnesses plus one expert witness. Only this
23 schedule allows us to concentrate and this Chamber will additionally work
24 with the time limitations, and therefore please when you provide the
25 amended proffers, be extremely careful because we will take you by your
1 word. If we read the testimony will take you two and a half hours, it
2 will be two and a half hours.
3 MR. OSTOJIC: Just if we may comment, yesterday we hesitated to
4 just jump on our feet. The Court mentioned with the witness that's on the
5 stand that we had initially stated it was two hours in the amended
6 proffer, but quite candidly the amended proffer states it was going to
7 take four hours. And the --
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I can give you the reason why. Because the
9 amended proffer I had access to my computer, and there we could only find
10 the amended proffer only during the first break.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: I just wanted it to be clear we --
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This is the reason. And I hope you can
13 understand that we can't continue this way, that we find during the first
14 break the amended proffer because it was sent via e-mail to the Presiding
15 Judge only, and -- yes.
16 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, we don't have the other e-mails. How
17 would -- when we went through the Court officer, the Court instructed that
18 we e-mail it directly to Your Honour so --
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But please not in this last-minute way. You
20 have read the order. The order clearly states two working days in
21 advance, not last-minute. The e-mail system was checked the last time
22 last Friday, 6.00, and there was nothing available. No amended proffer,
23 to be quite clear.
24 Anything else from the side of the Prosecution also in
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: No, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Only one clarification, on the Defence list
3 updated the 17th of February, 2003, it reads: "The 65 ter number 025
4 would be a possible 92 bis witness." Following already our order in
5 writing, and the discussion of yesterday, we decided that this witness has
6 to testify live and not under 92 bis. Therefore, I would kindly ask Madam
7 Registrar to delete the words "92 bis" on the list of comments. If any of
8 the parties identify the one or other maybe mistake, please let us know.
9 We are all aware how difficult it is for Madam Registrar to follow these
10 gallop through the list of witnesses which normally should have been done
11 in November of last year.
12 So I think the time is ripe for cross-examination. I heard
13 yesterday the Prosecution is prepared. May I therefore ask the usher to
14 escort the witness into the courtroom.
15 We would schedule the first break at 10.30.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning, Mr. Prastalo. You are prepared to
18 continue with the cross-examination now?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Then the floor is for Mr. Koumjian.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: May ask the usher to move back the ELMO a little
22 bit. Thank you.
23 WITNESS: ZORAN PRASTALO [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Koumjian:
1 Q. Good morning, sir.
2 A. Good morning.
3 Q. You told us that you first met Dr. Stakic when he was the
4 vice-president of the Municipal Assembly and liked him immediately, that
5 you socialised with him in 1992, and that again, you socialised with him
6 in Belgrade in more recent times. In page 71, line 10 of yesterday's
7 transcript, you said: "Whenever we had spare time, maybe once, two, three
8 times a month, depending on the extent of our professional activities.
9 Sometimes we would see each other four or five times a month; sometimes
10 once a month depending. Lately, we have been spending more time
12 Sir, in all of these contacts you had with Dr. Stakic, you
13 mentioned his interest in business and in his family. Did Dr. Stakic ever
14 express or manifest to you any interest in the well being of the citizens
15 of Prijedor, other than his interest in business and his own family?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you -- can you tell us, for example, you mentioned the tragic
18 shooting of your friend Goran Dragojevic on the 30th of May, the ambulance
19 driver. Did Dr. Stakic express his concern with what happened to
20 Mr. Dragojevic?
21 A. At that moment, I was not with Dr. Stakic, and I couldn't discuss
22 that with him. It was only after five or ten days that I saw him, and it
23 was not only Dr. Stakic but everybody who knew Mr. Dragojevic, who -- they
24 were all concerned. Dr. Stakic knew him from the workplace, from the
25 place where they worked before all of these events.
1 This man was very professional in his job, and by accident on that
2 day, he had a task to do this humanitarian job. He didn't know what would
3 happen. He set off like every other day to do his job professionally, the
4 job that he did in the health centre. And it was -- I apologise.
5 Q. Sir --
6 A. Dr. Stakic felt very sorry for him, and other people as well felt
7 very sorry for him, not only Serbs, but everybody that Goran socialised
8 with, like I socialised with him. Everybody felt sorry for Goran and for
9 what happened to him.
10 Q. Did Dr. Stakic simply express to you that he felt sorry for
11 Mr. Dragojevic, or did he do anything to help Mr. Dragojevic, to your
13 A. Mr. Dragojevic, as far as I know, was hospitalised in Prijedor. I
14 didn't see Dr. Stakic visiting him. I did go to see what had happened.
15 There was a state of chaos there. All of us who knew Goran went to see
16 what had happened to him. All of us went to the hospital to inquire as to
17 what had happened.
18 Q. And in fact, Mr. Dragojevic was transferred, given medical care
19 not just in Prijedor but in Banja Luka and Belgrade. Correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Sir, did Dr. Stakic trust you even though you were not a member of
22 any political party? Did you feel you had his trust?
23 A. Well, I didn't ask for his trust, trust is something that is built
24 over a long period of time. I never attended any political meetings,
25 attended any negotiations. I was not a member of any political parties.
1 Our conversations had nothing to do with politics. We would discuss my
2 job, we would discuss his life, my private life. We never -- in a manner
3 of speaking, he never interfered with my -- what I did and I never
4 interfered with what he did.
5 Q. Aside from Mr. Dragojevic, did Dr. Stakic express concern with the
6 well being of the citizens of Prijedor to you in 1992 or afterwards?
7 A. As far as I know Dr. Stakic, I know that he didn't feel very
8 comfortable with all that. He experienced hard moments like we all did.
9 I don't distinguish between the president of the Municipal Assembly and a
10 common citizen like I was. We all went through difficult times. Like I
11 said yesterday, we were not in favour of a war against our fellow citizens
12 because we all lived together. And if we people who meant something in
13 the town, we know who was behind all of that, we knew all these people. I
14 knew them personally. So we felt really bad about all that, not only
15 Dr. Stakic, but everybody in the town of Prijedor and in the territory of
16 the municipality. This is a small municipality. We all know each other.
17 We used to work together before the war.
18 As far as I know, Dr. Stakic worked in a village that is about 25
19 kilometres away from Prijedor. The name of the village is Omarska.
20 Different people came to see him as patients. There were Serbs, there
21 were Muslims. As far as I know, Dr. Stakic was a humanitarian person in
22 his profession. As far as his work in the Municipal Assembly is
23 concerned, I know that he was appointed in the way people are appointed to
24 a position like that. I believe that this was not a good position for
25 him. I think that the best position for him would have been to open a
1 private surgery, but he didn't have the money for that.
2 Q. Excuse me. Sir, we won't finish if you continue to answer things
3 that are not related to my question. The question I asked you only
4 related to Dr. Stakic and to whether he expressed any concern for the well
5 being of other people besides Mr. Dragojevic. Can you give the names of
6 any other people in 1992 that you recall Dr. Stakic speaking about and
7 expressing his concern for?
8 A. No, we didn't mention any names. I already said that I knew
9 Mr. Dragojevic and Dr. Stakic knew him also. We did not discuss
10 Mr. Dragojevic's case at great length. We just exchanged a few words, and
11 I know that he was very sad. Dr. Stakic was very sad about what happened
12 to Mr. Dragojevic. But we didn't mention any other names because we
13 didn't know at the time who else was killed or injured. I personally know
14 the name of a policeman, an active-duty policeman from the village of
15 Lamovita. He had been killed. I don't know whether Dr. Stakic knew him
16 or not. We never mentioned him in a conversation.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you. I stopped you because you were talking about a
18 policeman you knew and my question was related to what Dr. Stakic said.
19 You said on page 61 of yesterday's transcript: "Dr. Stakic found
20 himself there by mistake." And I understood you to be referring to the
21 position of president of the municipality. Page 61, line 21, you said:
22 "I think Dr. Stakic found himself in that place by mistake." Were you
23 referring to the position of president of the Municipal Assembly,
24 president of the Crisis Staff? Are those the positions that you were
25 referring to?
1 A. When we are talking about Dr. Stakic, I'm talking about him as a
2 person, but I'm not making a distinction between the different positions.
3 I did mention the Crisis Staff, and I know that he was a vice-president of
4 the Municipal Assembly who received me. I can't say that he directly
5 helped me, but he expressed interest in my case.
6 When I say the president of the municipality, I meant the
7 president of the Municipal Assembly. And what I meant was that he is not
8 a person who was -- whose place was in politics. But I believe that he
9 thought that his knowledge, his cool head, and his moderation would result
10 in a normal life in Prijedor. But personally, I know that in our system,
11 the president of the municipality could not make any decision. President
12 of the municipality was a legislative power, and the Executive Board was
13 the executive power. And the president of the municipality could not make
14 any decisions. Decisions were made by the Municipal Assembly, and the
15 president of the assembly in our system --
16 Q. Sir --
17 A. -- was a person who --
18 Q. Sir, I'm not asking you to discuss the powers of the president of
19 the Municipal Assembly right now. We will not finish if you get off
20 the -- if you go beyond the questions that I'm asking you.
21 Do you know that Dr. Stakic -- you say he was there by mistake.
22 Did Dr. Stakic put his name forward? Was he on the election as a member
23 of the Municipal Assembly? Did he accept the position of vice-president
24 of the Municipal Assembly? Did he accept the position of vice-president
25 of the SDS? Did he accept the position of president of the Crisis Staff
1 all in 1992, sir?
2 A. We're talking at crosspurposes. What I said was that it is my
3 opinion --
4 Q. Sir, I'm not asking you --
5 A. -- and I wasn't talking about whether you accepted that or not.
6 Q. Sir, this is an examination where I ask the questions and, please,
7 if you could just give your best answer to the questions. Did Dr. Stakic
8 accept those positions or are you aware that Dr. Stakic accepting those
9 positions in the 1990 election and in 1991 and 1992?
10 A. Yes, he accepted that. He accepted as soon as he found himself in
11 these positions. That means that he had accepted the positions.
12 Q. In 1997, after going through the experiences of 1992, at the end
13 of the war in 1996 or 1997, did Dr. Stakic again put himself forward as
14 president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor?
15 A. I don't know.
16 Q. You don't know if Dr. Stakic was president of the Municipal
17 Assembly of Prijedor a second time at the end of the war?
18 A. I know, but I don't know whether he himself put himself forward
19 for that position. I don't know what the procedure is like. But I know
20 that he was appointed.
21 Q. Sir, you talked about someone's telling you that Dr. Stakic was
22 not a member of the SDS. Do you know that Dr. Stakic founded a political
23 party, the radical party -- People's Radical of Nikola Pasic? Are you
24 aware of that, before the 1990 elections?
25 A. Yesterday, I said that I had heard, and I said who I had heard it
1 from. Jokingly, I asked him about that. I heard that from the people
2 that Dr. Stakic was a member and the founder of that party, the radical
3 party Nikola Pasic -- the main founder was actually Veljko Guberina.
4 Dr. Stakic was on the founding committee.
5 Q. Thank you. Dr. Stakic later became the vice-president of the SDS,
6 and when he came back as the president of the municipality a second time,
7 he was again -- it was again a Municipal Assembly controlled by the SDS.
8 He was proposed as a candidate by that party -- excuse me. I'll withdraw
9 the question. You said you were not aware of him coming back as president
10 a second time, so I'll withdraw that question.
11 Sir, in my language we have an expression about someone's
12 membership in a group where we use the expression "card-carrying member."
13 Would you have any explanation -- do you believe that Dr. Stakic was a
14 member of the SDS party from April 30th, 1992, onwards?
15 A. I know that he did not have a party card. Whether he was a member
16 of the party, whether he could have been the president of the Municipal
17 Assembly if he was not a member of the SDS, I don't know. But I know that
18 he was a member of the Nikola Pasic party, and that he became the
19 vice-president of the Municipal Assembly without being a member of the
20 SDS. But a little while ago, we didn't understand each other.
21 I didn't say that I don't know that Dr. Stakic was the president
22 of the Municipal Assembly for the second time. The way I understood your
23 question was whether he himself put himself forward to become the
24 president. That, I don't know. But I do know that he was the president
25 for the second time. So when you say that I didn't know that he was the
1 president of the Municipal Assembly for the second time, that is not
2 correct. What I don't know was whether he put himself forward, whether he
3 volunteered to become the president for the second time.
4 Q. Okay, thank you. And I thank you for correcting my
6 When did you work in 1992 after the 30th of April? What were your
7 working hours during the rest of the spring, summer, and fall of 1992?
8 A. My working hours?
9 Q. Yes, sir.
10 A. I worked around the clock. The petrol station was open until 2200
11 hours, and I travelled all over the place day and night. This had nothing
12 to do with the working hours of the petrol station. It was very difficult
13 to obtain derivatives under those very difficult conditions. One needed
14 to do all sorts of paperwork, customs, clearance, and things like that.
15 So I worked a lot, and I didn't have any specific working hours.
16 When you are a private entrepreneur, you work all sorts of hours. I
17 didn't work for a socially-owned company; I worked for myself. Everything
18 that I did was for myself. I was the one who determined my working hours,
19 and as far as my health served me and as far as I was fit, I travelled at
20 all kinds of hours, all the time, around the clock.
21 Q. Okay, thank you.
22 I gather then that when you met with Dr. Stakic and your other
23 friends and played billiards and those things, that would have been after
24 the gas station closed at night. Is that correct?
25 A. No. I did not work at the petrol station. I had workers working
1 there. I was their boss. It was not up to me to be there physically all
2 the time. I had other things to tend to. I also had time off. I had my
3 leisure time. And when we are talking about billiards, I didn't play
4 billiards just with Dr. Stakic. There were other people I socialised
5 with. I said that from time to time, I would also play billiards with
6 Dr. Stakic. When we were both free at the same time.
7 A huge difference was between me and Dr. Stakic, and it laid in
8 the fact that Dr. Stakic had a family in Prijedor and I didn't. My family
9 was in Belgrade so that I spent very little time at home in my parents'
10 house or in my sister's apartment in Prijedor. I was not a family man.
11 Q. Would you see Dr. Stakic playing billiards in the middle of the
12 day, the middle of the work day, or would you play billiards with him and
13 see him out during the evening?
14 A. Sometimes we would play during the day; sometimes late in the
15 afternoon; sometimes on weekends we play at different hours. During the
16 working days, from Monday to Friday, we did not play billiards before 2.00
17 in the afternoon. If we did, we played after 3.00 or 4.00 in the
18 afternoon. Sometimes we also socialised, playing billiards, sometimes we
19 would have a coffee in the evening and a drink around 7.00 or 8.00 in the
20 evening. Again, I would like to say that I socialised with other people,
21 directors of other companies, and this was very closely connected with
22 business interests, if you know what I mean.
23 Q. I'm not asking about your socialising with other people now. When
24 you saw Dr. Stakic, who else would Dr. Stakic be with?
25 A. Sometimes he was on his own, and very often, he was accompanied by
1 his son. We didn't hang out with a lot of people. There were just a few
2 of us.
3 Q. Who were the few of you that hung out together?
4 A. Dr. Stakic, myself, Mr. Rajko Stupar. There was another young man
5 whose name I don't know. But he played billiards with us quite often. I
6 know his nickname. If you want, I can give you his nickname.
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. Shall I give you his nickname?
9 Q. Please.
10 A. We called him Burgija. I don't know what his name is. He's a
11 young man, maybe in his early 30s, around 35 maybe.
12 Q. Did you ever play --
13 A. So it was not a huge crowd.
14 Q. Did you see Dr. Stakic with Mr. Kovacevic and Mr. Drljaca?
15 A. I know Mr. Kovacevic. He came to me on several occasions to ask
16 for derivatives from my petrol station for the medical centre.
17 Q. Sir, the question is: Did you see Dr. Stakic with Mr. Kovacevic
18 and Mr. Drljaca? I'm not asking you about your relationship with
20 A. I did see him with Dr. Kovacevic. I didn't see him with
21 Mr. Drljaca. I saw Stakic, Kovacevic, and Drljaca in the same restaurant,
22 but not sitting at the same table. I saw Stakic and Kovacevic sitting at
23 the same table in the restaurant which I often went to take my meals. So
24 I would see Dr. Kovacevic and Stakic together on several occasions sitting
25 at the same table, and at the same time there was Drljaca sitting with
1 some other uniformed men, men belonging to the same profession sitting at
2 a different table.
3 Q. Thank you. Was that the Kod Pale restaurant?
4 A. Yes. I said that I went to that restaurant very often. The name
5 of the restaurant is Pale, and it is the name of the owner.
6 Q. Okay. Thank you. I wasn't asking you that.
7 Sir, did you socialise with Mr. Budimir and Mr. Travar?
8 A. Sometimes.
9 Q. Did you play cards with any members of the Crisis Staff in the
10 Municipal Assembly basement?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did you ever see Dr. Stakic go into the Municipal Assembly at
13 night, see him there or did he tell you that he was going there at night?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did Mr. Budimir or Mr. Travar ever tell you that they had to go
16 and do a night duty and be at the Municipal Assembly building all during
17 the night?
18 A. No. I have already said that I didn't discuss their job. When
19 they went there, what they did there, I don't know. I know that
20 Mr. Travar was a member of the Executive Board or what have you. I don't
21 know. But I never discussed that with them, and they were not supposed to
22 account for their doings to me, were they?
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Sir, I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
25 Q. This morning, sir, you gave an answer - and I cannot -- I do not
1 have it in front of me right now - regarding I believe you said Dr. Stakic
2 did not have a membership card to the SDS. Is that right?
3 A. I didn't see it. I've said and I shall repeat it that yesterday
4 in private session, I said that people whom I mentioned yesterday in
5 private session told me that he was a member of the Serbian Radical Party
6 Nikola Pasic. Dr. Stakic never showed me his membership card for any
7 party, for the SDS or any, and I never asked him to do that.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Mr. Usher, would you please put this on the ELMO.
9 Q. Sir, do you recognise this? Does this appear to you to be a
10 membership card for the SDS?
11 A. As far as I can see, and as far as I can tell, this is an identity
12 card. This is Dr. Stakic's identity card. This is not an SDS party
13 membership card. I've never seen it, though, but this is an identity
15 Q. What about the card that's above the identity card?
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: It does appear, Your Honours perhaps on the ELMO it
17 is not clear that these are two separate documents that are photocopied on
18 the same page.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Maybe we can invite the witness to read what the
20 witness can see on this document that we have it on the transcript.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes.
22 Q. Sir, the top card, the top rectangular document, can you read out
23 what that says before the exclamation point.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think we should have the entire document on
25 the transcript.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Free democratic Srpska.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then we can see a broken chain. Correct?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then three letters. What are they saying?
5 Is it SDS?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can see a chain, and it says here
7 "Serbian democratic party," and it also says "SDS." And underneath that
8 is the identity card. I've never seen this before, nor is this an SDS
9 party membership card. We all had identity cards like this. I have never
10 been a member of any party. I've never seen anything like this before. I
11 don't know what this means.
12 This looks more like a photocopy of an identity card. So these
13 are probably two documents. In the upper right-hand corner, there is a
14 number, 02017201, and this does not correspond to the number at the bottom
15 where it says RS00237577, so these must be two different things. And I am
16 not familiar with any of them.
17 MR. KOUMJIAN:
18 Q. Sir, I think we should treat these as two separate documents. I
19 believe you are correct that these are two separate documents photocopied
20 on the same page. You said that "we all had these." I presume you are
21 referring then to the identity card. You all had identity cards. Is that
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you have a card that you carried with you like the top
25 rectangular saying -- that has the SDS logo and the name of the Serbian
1 democratic party?
2 A. I never had that. I had what you see in the lower part because
3 that was an ID. But not with the upper part.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's an appropriate time for a break,
5 and maybe it's possible to have the underlying documents where these
6 photocopies stems from --
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: Some of those were the ones returned. We'll try to
8 determine if this is one of the ones that was returned.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So please find out whether it's possible or not
10 to find the originals. The trial stays adjourned until 11.00 sharp.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. May I ask the witness to be
14 brought in immediately.
15 Mr. Koumjian, you may proceed. Did you find the originals or is
16 it just a miscopy, to put it this way?
17 MR. KOUMJIAN: Well, I believe those are part of the documents
18 that were returned to the Detention Unit, so we do not have the original.
19 And we don't have any other copy other than what the Court has, at least
20 that we have found so far.
21 May I proceed, Your Honour.
22 Q. Sir, yesterday, on page 36 of the transcript, you were talking
23 about Hidraflex. And you said beginning on page -- line 18, "Since I was
24 speaking about the enterprise, perhaps I should finish. I may leave the
25 time frame we were talking about, but there was something else that was
1 important that happened, too. While I was still down there, I enjoyed the
2 support of the --" and then there's a question in the transcript about
3 what word you used, legally- or illegally-elected government.
4 What was it when you were talking about the Hidraflex company, you
5 said, "I enjoyed the support of the" -- did you say legally- or
6 illegally-elected government?
7 A. I don't understand. I was talking about how I was putting
8 together resources to set up Hidraflex. I wasn't talking about the
9 support, be it legal or illegal. At the time when we were looking for a
10 plot of land where to build the factory, and I wrote to the municipality
11 of Prijedor because they were authorised by the Executive Board to put up
12 certain plots of land for sale. That is to allow Hidraflex to build its
13 factory there, and I addressed the Executive Board of the Municipal
14 Assembly of Prijedor. And as -- and I asked to meet the mayor of the
15 municipality, the municipal mayor, on several occasions. But I asked for
16 that, yet we were not fortunate enough to meet and discuss it. That is
17 what I said yesterday. I never mentioned any legal or illegal government.
18 Q. Let me read a little further in your answer, and perhaps we can
19 see if that refreshes your recollection.
20 Again, the question in the transcript is whether you used the word
21 legally-elected or illegally-elected. You said: "While I was still down
22 there, I enjoyed the support of the -- legally or -- illegally-elected
23 government. I only requested to keep on working normally. When there was
24 a changeover in Prijedor, when one government left, one government
25 arrived. And now I'm speaking about the Serbian government. I ran into
1 significant problems because of the new government, and I am convinced of
2 what I am saying was much more radical than the previous one."
3 So when you're talking about this changeover in Prijedor when one
4 government left and one left arrived, would I correct if I assumed you're
5 talking about the change from Dr. Stakic's government to Mr. Kurnoga's
7 A. Yes, that is when I meant. I was not saying whether it was legal
8 or illegal. I simply said that when the new authority took over in the
9 municipality of Prijedor - that is what I called them - that problems
10 started. I considered them opposition, but I also saw them from time to
11 time. I also said that yesterday. So that authority, yes, caused me a
12 lot of trouble. So yes, I was meaning Mr. Kurnoga's cabinet.
13 Q. Would you --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please come closer to the
16 MR. KOUMJIAN:
17 Q. Sir, if you could perhaps move your chair a little bit closer to
18 the microphone. The interpreters are having a bit of trouble.
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
20 Q. Sir, would you consider or did you consider in 1992 Dr. Stakic's
21 government to be legally elected or more legitimate than the government of
22 Mr. Kurnoga? Was that a perception that many individuals in Prijedor had
23 because Dr. Stakic had been elected in the 1990 elections?
24 A. No, I do not think that. Both governments were elected lawfully
25 as far as I can gather. I have nothing against any government. All I
1 said was that I had certain trouble with the other government, and I spoke
2 about them yesterday. But otherwise both of them, to my mind, were
3 elected lawfully if they were elected by the councilmen in the
4 municipality. How that came about, I don't know, and it was none of my
6 Q. Well, as a citizen of Prijedor, who elected -- who do you believe
7 elected Milomir Stakic to be the president of the Municipal Assembly of
9 A. The councilmen, the assemblymen at the session of the Municipal
10 Assembly as I know. That is, they voted to place their trust in them. I
11 was never a member so that I cannot really explain it to you precisely,
12 but I think that is how they elected him. And Mr. Kurnoga's government
13 was also I think elected by the majority vote. I think that was the same
14 thing. And I said that to my mind, both governments were elected lawfully
15 except that I had certain problems with the latter government. And
16 yesterday, I explained which problems -- what kind of problems they were.
17 Q. And both of those governments were elected by an assembly that
18 only included representatives of the Serbian people. Correct?
19 A. I didn't understand the question.
20 Q. Okay. I'll move on.
21 Sir, when you talked about the changeover of governments from
22 Dr. Stakic's to Mr. Kurnoga's government, on page 70 in answer to one of
23 His Honour Judge Schomburg's question, on line 4 you said: "Yes, I said
24 the radical group. The people had been in power before them I think were
25 moderate. Those people who had been before them tried to deal with the
1 economy to do something about it, and the new people that replaced them
2 were radical people. They wanted power at all costs."
3 So would it be correct the difference you saw between the two
4 groups in their policies was how they dealt with the economy, and that's
5 why you labelled one group more radical -- or radical and the other group
6 moderate. Is that correct?
7 A. Well, in a way, I burnt my fingers with the second government, and
8 I know -- well it was some time ago so I know what happened. And I stand
9 by what I said 100 per cent and I said what I thought.
10 Q. You said on page 68 of yesterday's transcript, beginning on line
11 15, I'll read in several lines:
12 "Yes, I do know about that. That group, and I think I am
13 well-placed to know it, because that was more my concern than his, that
14 was the opposition who told me even before they came to power that they
15 would take my factory away from me. They tried, but they failed. They
16 had Dr. Stakic removed. I think the chief of the SUP was also removed at
17 that time. People from the municipality were removed, and they appointed
18 their own people."
19 My question is: The chief of the SUP who was removed at the same
20 time as Dr. Stakic was Simo Drljaca. Correct?
21 A. It is, but I'd like to make a correction. He was removed from his
22 position from what I heard, from what I knew, from the position of the
23 chief of SUP, that is, the Secretariat of the Interior. I think he left,
24 but I believe he was promoted. He became an assistant minister, and his
25 office was in Bijeljina as far as I know. As far as I know, and I think
1 that I know it. And Dr. Stakic, I think I said that yesterday, too, from
2 what I know was mobilised.
3 Q. Let me read again the words you used yesterday and you tell me if
4 they are accurate or not. "They had Dr. Stakic removed. I think the
5 chief of the SUP was also removed at that time." Is that correct, or do
6 you now feel that you have to change that testimony?
7 A. No. I was talking about the municipality of Prijedor that
8 Dr. Stakic was dismissed, but he wasn't the only one. The whole
9 government in the Prijedor Municipality changed. I would merely like to
10 add to it. I don't want to change my statement, but I wish to add to it
11 that Mr. Simo Drljaca was appointed Assistant Minister of the Interior.
12 Q. At the same time that Dr. Stakic and Drljaca were removed,
13 Mr. Kuruzovic -- excuse me, Dr. Kovacevic was removed as president of the
14 Executive Board. Correct?
15 A. Well, I said all of them. A new government, a new group of people
16 took over from the president of the Executive Board to the mayor of the
17 municipality, secretariat of economy, and so on.
18 Q. And the secretary of the economy would have been Mr. Travar. He
19 was replaced at that time. Correct?
20 A. I think so, but I'm not quite sure. I think he was replaced. I
21 think that at the time when the change took place, that they were -- that
22 they all lost their offices. But once again, I repeat, I wasn't really
23 into politics, and I wasn't much interested in that. But since I was in
24 the town all the time, I was there, I heard, and I heard quite a lot of
1 Q. Well, and you also told us in the answer I've just read that you
2 were in a position to know. Correct?
3 A. Yes. As I said, I moved around. I was at work. I was in
4 restaurants. And I repeat it once again, you can learn everything in a
5 small town. Now what of it is true and what isn't is up to everybody to
6 weigh, both -- every side. What I'm saying now, and I believe you are
7 aware of it, is what 90 per cent of the population knew, because it was no
8 secret. But Radio Prijedor also broadcast programmes about it. Kozarski
9 Vjesnik wrote about it. So it was quite regular, and I could learn and
10 hear all these things, if from no other source than from the media.
11 Q. And you did follow the media, Radio Prijedor and Kozarski Vjesnik,
12 during that time period?
13 A. I did. Yes. I followed as much as my work allowed me because I
14 also travelled a great deal, so that I wasn't always there. Our paper was
15 a weekly, I think, I believe it was on Fridays that it came out, a couple
16 of times there were problems with this publication because the paper was
17 not available. But I followed it, yes, I read it when I had time to do
18 that and when I was in our town. That is it.
19 Q. Sir, in 1992, you were one of the economic elite in Prijedor;
20 isn't that correct? You managed an important factory, the Hidraflex
21 factory. You were a partner in a gas station during a time when petroleum
22 products were extremely valuable and in short supply, and you were a
23 person who even travelled abroad during times when any travel was
24 extremely difficult. Correct?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. Sir, you said that you sent your wife to Belgrade, and I'm a
2 little confused about the time. Can you tell us when it was you sent your
3 wife and family to Belgrade.
4 A. Well, my wife and children were in Belgrade as of 1990. I had
5 found a private apartment for them, but they also came to Prijedor.
6 Q. Were you the only Serb as far as you know who sent his family out
7 of Bosnia and Herzegovina during this time period? Or were there other
8 Serbs -- well, first, excuse me because the record. I haven't established
9 that fact. I think no one has asked you. Sir, is your ethnicity -- did
10 you consider yourself -- do you consider yourself a Serb?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Were you the only person of Serbian ethnicity to send his family
13 outside of Prijedor and outside of Bosnia during that time period, or was
14 that something that other people also did?
15 A. Well, I can't really give you any name right now. But I do know
16 that whoever could do it did it. Some for economic reasons, and of course
17 we have to speak about specific years. If somebody did it in 1992, when
18 these things were happening in those territories in the former Yugoslavia,
19 then I suppose there were people like that. But as I mentioned yesterday,
20 I'm a man -- I was a man who was married with two small children, and I
21 had to decide where to make my life in 1992. I had no other reason for
22 that. I simply wanted to live in a big -- in a proper city so that my
23 children could have something that perhaps I did not have, and I was able
24 to offer it to them.
25 So that was the chief reason. But then things happened, and so
1 they stayed in Belgrade. They still live there. My children were small
2 then. Now my son is 17 and my daughter 15. And they have been attending
3 Belgrade schools from day one. So I had made my plans before everything.
4 Whether people were leaving in 1992, I suppose that people who had where
5 to go and were able to afford it, yes, I suppose there were people who did
7 Q. Thank you. You told us that when you and I believe it's
8 Mr. Popovic were planning on starting this business, a private factory,
9 you needed the approval of the government of Prijedor, and you went to see
10 President Cehajic. Why is it that you went to see the president of the
11 Municipal Assembly?
12 A. Well, I said, and I repeat it, I said it yesterday and repeat it,
13 I did that because we had applied to the Executive Board or the Municipal
14 Assembly, and the Executive Board did not reply for a few months. And we
15 always applied then -- submitted our requests to the Executive Board. But
16 they did nothing. And then we tried to establish contact with the
17 president of the municipality, with the municipal mayor, to see what was
18 wrong, why nothing was happening because -- and this is something that I
19 forgot to mention yesterday.
20 We were offered to set up companies, being told that everything
21 would be private, but nobody was giving us anything. And we were looking
22 for the plots where to build. We were accommodated in a building before
23 that paying an exorbitant rent, yet we had enough money to build a
24 factory, and that is why we wanted to meet with the mayor of the
25 municipality, with the president of the municipality. But it never took
1 place. And the Executive Board very artfully dodged issuing it at the
2 time when everything was legal.
3 And I told you how it all ended up then, that it was put on the
4 agenda of the Municipal Assembly, and the councilmen then voted for it,
5 and I affirm that a number of councilmen didn't know what they were voting
6 for because it was -- it had been read out to them. I think there were 41
7 to 45 items on the agenda. The councilmen were already tired. And
8 unfortunately, that's how it is, so they voted just like that.
9 When the president of the municipality found out --
10 Q. Thank you, but my question had dealt only with why you went to see
11 the president of the Municipal Assembly. So there's no necessity to
12 repeat your testimony from yesterday if it does not relate to the
14 Would it be correct, then, sir -- thank you. Would it be correct,
15 then, sir, that because of inaction of the Executive Board, you went to
16 see the president of the Municipal Assembly in the hope and in the belief
17 that he could influence the actions of the Executive Board?
18 A. Yes. Yes, that was the only reason, yes. Because he could pull
19 some weight, he could have a say with some members of the Executive
20 Board. And the Executive Board, if you want me to explain, the Executive
21 Board - and I know this because I was in all the -- this question because
22 of our case - the Executive Board was made of two --
23 Q. Thank you. If I need an explanation of that, I'll ask you. Thank
24 you. Thank you for offering.
25 Sir, your decision, you finally received approval when this item
1 was finally put on the agenda of the Municipal Assembly. Would it be
2 correct that you couldn't get action without someone putting on the agenda
3 the decision that you needed, that that was a key step in obtaining this
4 approval? Correct?
5 A. Yes, without this putting on the agenda, we wouldn't be able to
6 get our factory, that is, we could either be given a negative answer or
7 then a favourable answer.
8 Q. Thank you. Do you recall to the best of your recollection now
9 when it was that this land sale was actually approved? Do you know the
10 date of the decision or the date when you received a document approving
11 the sale of the land?
12 A. Well, I can't remember the exact date. We set up this factory in
13 1991, so it was three months. In September it started running, so it
14 could have -- let me see. May perhaps, thereabouts. Around May.
15 Q. Of 1991? I just want to be clear about the year.
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. Who signed -- do you still have the document that you received
18 with the approval?
19 A. I don't have it. The owner has it in the factory; Mr. Popovic has
20 all these documents. I wouldn't be able to give you the exact dates. It
21 was a long time ago.
22 Q. I think the dates you've given are sufficient. Thank you.
23 Do you know who it was that signed this decision? Was it
24 Dr. Kovacevic? Was it the president of the Municipal Assembly Professor
25 Cehajic? Who signed the document you received?
1 A. The president of the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly of
2 Prijedor signed the document. That is, the decision. We received that
3 decision, and then based on that decision, we purchased the building
4 plot. It went via the Executive Board. The decision was made by the
5 Municipal Assembly. I don't know who the signator is, whether it was the
6 president of the Municipal Assembly or the president of the Executive
7 Board. I don't know what the procedure actually looked like, but I really
8 didn't care, as long as we had the decision.
9 Q. But it would be correct then that the decision was made by the
10 Municipal Assembly and implemented by the Executive Board. Correct?
11 A. That is what I think happened. The Municipal Assembly made the
12 decision at one of its regular sessions, and then the decision was made.
13 Who signed it, I don't know, whether it was the president of the Municipal
14 Assembly or the president of the Executive Board. I don't know, and it
15 really didn't matter. I know that everything, all of our activities, went
16 through the Executive Board.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 A. Can I correct something. Looking back now, I remembered something
19 maybe to make things easier for you. The decision was made at the session
20 of the Municipal Assembly, and then I believe that this decision should
21 have been signed by the president of the Municipal Assembly because the
22 decision was made by the Municipal Assembly. I'm saying that because we
23 did not receive the decision in due time because the president of the
24 Municipal Assembly was embittered with some people who voted in favour,
25 and that is why I think it was signed by the president of the Municipal
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 12223 to 12235.
1 Assembly who at the end of the day had to sign it because the decision had
2 been made.
3 What I'm saying is that the decision did not reach us in due
4 time. It was belated. It took a while for the decision to reach us
5 because of this dispute. I believe that even some deputies were removed,
6 not only because of that case but because of some other cases as well.
7 You can verify that, some deputies who had been sitting in the Municipal
8 Assembly before that.
9 Q. Thank you for that clarification -- explanation.
10 I want to move now to the subject of the petroleum station, petrol
11 station, excuse me, that you were a partner in. First, can you tell us
12 where was that located?
13 A. The petrol station is across the bridge on the Sana River on the
14 road to Sanski Most and further on to Ljubija. The crossroads closest to
15 the petrol station is the crossroads towards Ljubija and Sanski Most. So
16 the petrol station is on the right-hand side immediately after the bridge
17 across the road from the Prijedor Hotel which is on the corner there.
18 Q. Is that street called --
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I just interrupt. I think it would be
20 helpful for all of us because we have to mark a number of locations in
21 Prijedor that we have as a basis a map of Prijedor where all these
22 locations can be marked. Unfortunately, I don't know in the moment the
23 exhibit number of the map of Prijedor.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: Perhaps S14.
25 Q. While that's being prepared, sir, was that on Djuro Djakovic
1 Street? I may be minspronouncing it. A crossroad in Tukovi or the road
2 just after you cross the bridge going out of town toward Sanski Most
3 A. I can't remember the name of the street. It was in the
4 neighbourhood called Tukovi. As soon as you cross the bridge, on the
5 right-hand side, it is one of the exits from the town.
6 Q. Okay, thank you. We'll have a map to show. But I understand.
7 Crossing the bridge that's opposite the Prijedor Hotel in the
8 Tukovi neighbourhood going towards Sanski Most, you would take a right on
9 that first major street. Is that correct, and then you would see the gas
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do we have another copy that --
12 A. No.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: -- perhaps could be marked?
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: Perhaps we could -- if you want another copy we can
15 get that after the break and take care of it. We have our copy of S3.
16 Can we give that up? Yeah, we can give up our copy and we will submit
17 another one.
18 Q. So handing you, sir, for the record what has been marked as S3 a
19 town map of Prijedor. We'll put that on the ELMO. And take a moment to
20 orient yourself. And then if you could take the red marker, perhaps the
21 big one will show up better, and just place an X where the petrol station
23 Perhaps if the map could be moved up and to the right a little
24 bit, and if we could focus down on the area of the river. Move it up a
25 little bit, please. And perhaps we could closer up -- close in. Could we
1 move the video in. Very good.
2 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: The witness has drawn a circle.
4 Q. Sir, that would be just across the river from Stari Grad and from
5 the Prijedor Hotel. Correct?
6 A. Correct. A hundred metres or 150 metres as you cross the bridge
7 on the right-hand side. So you don't have to take any other road, any
8 side roads. The petrol station was on the main road, and I believe that
9 the name of the street was Djuro Djakovic.
10 Q. Okay, thank you.
11 Sir, who was your partner in that enterprise?
12 A. Mr. Slobodan Grahovac. He was the main partner because it was his
13 company who took the lease. I said yesterday that I was his partner in
14 that business.
15 Q. Mr. Grahovac was a member of the SDS party. Correct?
16 A. I don't know.
17 Q. Who did you lease the petrol station from? Who was the actual
19 A. I did not lease it. I just started working with him. I did not
20 lease it. As far as I know, this petrol station was the property of INA
21 Zagreb up to the year 1990.
22 Q. So no rent was paid as far as you know for this? You didn't pay
23 any rent, you and your partner, to anyone?
24 A. Yes, we did, of course we paid. We paid to the Municipal Assembly
25 of Prijedor. That is, to the Executive Board. We paid the rent as far as
1 I know. He had taken the lease earlier on. I don't know whether there
2 was a bidding or not. I'm not familiar with that. But I just joined
3 him. We made an agreement, and we started working together. He already
4 leased it, and I know that he paid rent regularly to the Municipal
5 Assembly. He paid a monthly rent. I know because I saw the financial
7 Q. Sir, what was your contribution? You didn't own the land. You
8 said you didn't go and work at the station yourself. What was your
9 contribution to this partnership?
10 A. I controlled the work of the petrol station. I was in charge of
11 purchasing the oil derivatives. It was a complex activity, required a lot
12 of travelling. And one man alone could not do it himself. There were
13 long distances between the place where the raw material was and the petrol
14 station. So I was in charge of the organisation of work to control the
15 petrol station, drivers, the purchase of petrol, reports of all kinds. I
16 had a lot of work to do.
17 Q. Thank you, sir. The petrol station, do you know what -- when
18 Mr. Grahovac began to lease this station and pay rent to the Municipal
19 Assembly? When was it that he was given the right to operate that
21 A. I don't know. The gentleman had another private petrol station.
22 That was his own petrol station, and I really don't know when he leased
23 this particular one. And let me just clarify one thing: I participated
24 in a bidding for another petrol station, and let me explain it because it
25 is very important. It is very important how the two of us forged this
2 I participated in a bidding for a petrol station of Energopetrol,
3 and I participated in that bidding. And that petrol station was the
4 property of Energopetrol from the year 1960 or 1965, in Ljubija in my
5 native village. I took that petrol station, and that's how I formed
6 partnership with him. So we did not form partnership just like that. We
7 joined the -- or merged the work of these two petrol stations. He had his
8 means of transportation. I didn't have them. And that's how he helped
9 me. And after a certain time, this is a very small petrol station in
10 Ljubija, and we also paid -- I paid regular rent to Energopetrol. It
11 was -- it is a very small petrol station, and it was not viable. And
12 after a certain time, I returned that petrol station to Energopetrol, and
13 it is still run by Energopetrol.
14 Q. I'm going to concentrate now on the station in Tukovi. When was
15 it that you became involved in the partnership with Mr. Grahovac? During
16 what period of time were you involved as a partner with him in the running
17 of that station?
18 A. Late 1992. In 1992, I can't remember the exact date when it all
19 started. It lasted between 1992 and 1997. For five years we did that.
20 Q. And sir, so did this begin, this partnership, during the time that
21 Dr. Stakic was the president of the municipality in 1992?
22 A. Yes, yes. Dr. Stakic had nothing whatsoever to do with our petrol
23 stations. I formed partnership with Mr. Grahovac because I had this other
24 petrol station. And from then on, we worked together.
25 Q. Sir, where did you obtain the fuel? You said you were in charge
1 of purchasing the fuel. Where did the fuel come from?
2 A. Yes, from Pancevo, from Pirot, which is in the south of Serbia
3 close to the border crossing called Gradina, some 15 kilometres away from
4 that border crossing is Pirot, and I also obtained it from Novi Sad
5 sometimes. It all depended on the situation and on the supply at various
6 places. Pirot is about 900 kilometres away from Prijedor.
7 Q. Are all these places you mentioned in Serbia? Would that be
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. At that time, fuel was very difficult to obtain. Correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. You said that you travelled abroad to several countries in order
13 to make purchases. And I believe you named some of these countries. Was
14 that again during 1992?
15 A. 1992, 1993, 1994, I went to Bulgaria.
16 Q. And I believe you mentioned Hungary and some other -- I believe
17 you mentioned Germany. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes. No, I didn't mention -- I mentioned Hungary as a place where
19 I met with Mr. Popovic, and I also mentioned Hungary when I went to
20 Croatia via Hungary. And then I, on that same occasion, went to Slovenia,
21 and I cross to Croatia at Ilirska Bistrica. And when I went to Germany, I
22 went to purchase raw materials for Hidraflex. I would go to Vienna, to
23 Frankfurt. I can give you the names of the suppliers that I visited if
24 you want me to. I can give you the name of the companies that I had
25 contacts with in order to purchase production materials and raw
1 materials. I was also in the Netherlands.
2 Q. During 1992, in order to get these products, both the fuel and the
3 products you needed for Hidraflex to Prijedor, did you transport them
4 through Serbia, through these locations that you mentioned in -- earlier,
5 a few moments ago?
6 A. In 1990 and 1991, I travelled until the war started in Croatia.
7 Before that, we never went via Belgrade because Zagreb is 90 minutes away
8 from our town, and then it is easy if you go via Slovenia, you can go to
9 Austria. That's the route we used.
10 Later on, after the year 1991, 1992, we used different routes via
11 Serbia, all of them. In 1991, I was among the last who crossed the bridge
12 in Jasenovac before the offensive. I experienced all sorts of abuse. I
13 had some money on me. I had a lot of problems because of that. But I
14 managed to deal with that on the spot. And after that, we had to take
15 other routes. And the most common route was Republika Srpska, Serbia. In
16 Serbia, we would go towards Bulgaria or we would go towards Subotica
17 further on to Hungary. Very often I would meet with Mr. Popovic as I have
18 already said, and the meetings took place in Hungary.
19 Q. In order to recall how difficult it was to obtain fuel and how
20 valuable petroleum was among other products at that time, is it correct
21 that in 1992 the border to Croatia was impossible to cross commercially or
22 very difficult and that in transporting goods through Serbia, from the
23 30th of May, 1992, there was a United Nations embargo against trade with
24 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia except for food and humanitarian goods,
25 so that the combination of the conflict and the international embargo
1 imposed by the United Nations made fuel a product of extreme value and
2 very difficult to obtain?
3 A. Yes. It was difficult to obtain it. But we had fuel, and our
4 petrol station was not the only petrol station in the republic or in the
5 federation that had fuel. Some of that fuel was from Serbia, some of it
6 from Sisak. Once I also had cisterns working for the United Nations and
7 obtained that fuel from Sisak.
8 Q. You obtained fuel from the United Nations. Can you explain that?
9 I didn't understand your answer.
10 A. No, no. There were some commodity reserves of the Republic of
11 Srpska Krajina, and they asked for some cisterns that would take the fuel
12 from Sisak in the territory of Croatia. And that was organised via
13 Slavijatrans based in Petrinja, so that was a tanker -- a fuel tanker that
14 was given to them. It was not a fuel that finally reached Republika
15 Srpska. They just asked for the services of transport. They asked for a
16 tanker, and they paid us for the transport of fuel from Sisak.
17 MR. KOUMJIAN: This would be an appropriate time. I do have quite
18 a few questions remaining.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Same is true for the Judges.
20 The trial stays adjourned half past 1.00.
21 --- Luncheon recess taken at 11.57 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 1.34 p.m.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
24 I thought, Mr. Ostojic, you wanted to deliver a message on the
25 witnesses to come for Thursday and Friday. Do you have any news about
2 MR. OSTOJIC: We actually did call during the lunch break, Your
3 Honour, but we have not confirmed that yet. So as soon as we hear, we
4 will advise the Court accordingly, and the OTP.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The question was just because --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the President, please.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we ask the witness to be escorted into the
8 courtroom, please.
9 You are ready to proceed?
10 Mr. Koumjian, the floor is yours, please.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN:
12 Q. Sir, yesterday on page 45 of the LiveNote, you talked about your
13 attempts to go see the President Cehajic, and you said beginning on
14 page -- line 20: "My attempts failed on some dozen occasions.
15 Mr. Cehajic never saw me. It was his secretary who would always make
16 excuses for Dr. Cehajic. She would say 'he's not here. He's in a
17 meeting. He is with a delegation.'"
18 On page 71 of yesterday's transcript, you talked about
19 seeing Dr. Stakic in the newspaper Kozarski Vjesnik. Beginning on line 7,
20 you said: "In our municipality, we have the Kozarski Vjesnik newspaper.
21 Dr. Stakic once, when there was a formal or a ceremonial occasion, when a
22 factory was being opened or a production floor, or maybe there was some
23 humanitarian action, so holding the position that he was holding at the
24 time, of course, he appeared as a representative of the Municipal Assembly
25 of Prijedor."
1 My question is: Based on your experiences, sir, living in
2 Prijedor, including interactions with Mr. -- Professor Cehajic and
3 Dr. Stakic, would it be correct that the duties of the president of the
4 Municipal Assembly would include representing the Municipal Assembly with
5 delegations and with -- in public functions?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Would you agree that the principal representative of the
8 municipality was the president of the Municipal Assembly?
9 A. I wouldn't.
10 Q. Okay. Who represented the municipality more than the president of
11 the Municipal Assembly?
12 A. Well, I think in economic terms, that is in matters of business,
13 it would be the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor.
14 And the president of the Municipal Assembly, I've already said that if
15 there was a social function or a reception at the president's -- that is,
16 the president. And as for life itself in a municipality, that is under
17 the jurisdiction of the Executive Board of a Municipal Assembly, in our
18 case, the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor.
19 Q. Well, sir, on all of these occasions that you talked about where
20 you saw Dr. Stakic in the newspaper, it was Dr. Stakic who was
21 representing the assembly and not Dr. Kovacevic at formal occasions and
22 public celebrations. Correct?
23 A. Well, I think that there were Dr. Stakic and Dr. Kovacevic and
24 whoever came after them. Before them, it was Mr. Cehajic. The president
25 of the municipality and the president of the Executive Board, they would
1 be invited both. That's what I know about it. It can happen, say, that
2 the president of the municipality is asked about a holiday or something,
3 to give an interview to the newspapers about the life in the town or
4 preparations for wintertime or some campaign or other. That is what I
6 Q. Was it part of the duties of the president -- was it within his
7 competence to comment publicly on issues concerning life in the town?
8 A. I've already said that I was not a politician, that I was a
9 self-employed entrepreneur. I wasn't the head of his office. I wasn't
10 the mayor, the president of the municipality, or of the Executive Board,
11 so how can I know their duties are? I know it was to the Executive Board
12 in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 with regard to some problems in my enterprise.
13 I never went to the president of the municipality to try to solve these
15 Q. Sir, you told us that Dr. Stakic's door was always open to
16 businessmen like yourself. Were you saying that yesterday just in theory,
17 or did you, in fact, you go to Dr. Stakic and he received you in his
19 A. The door was not open insofar as businessmen were concerned. The
20 door was opened for me only [as interpreted]. But I don't consider myself
21 a major businessman. I worked a lot. There were other prominent people
22 who went to Dr. Stakic or to the Executive Board, so it depended on the
23 nature of the business of what had to be done.
24 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honour. I apologise to my learned
25 friend, but I think that the witness didn't say what was entered in the
1 transcript regarding the open doors. So maybe my learned friend could ask
2 him again for whom the doors were opened. We think that the witness said
3 that the doors were not opened only for me.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN: I understood --
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please repeat the question. Ask him to answer
6 the impression that --
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, I agree.
8 Q. Sir, I heard, is it correct that you said that the door was not
9 open only for you? In other words, it was open for others, not just
10 yourself. Correct?
11 A. Correct, correct. The door was open for all people. One knows
12 what the protocol is when you asked to be received by the mayor or the
13 president of the Municipal -- Executive Board, the door was open to
14 everybody. It wasn't that I was the only one who could go to the
15 president or the Executive Board. Anyone who needed it could go to see
16 them, but there was a procedure to be observed in a municipality.
17 Q. Okay. Let me be concrete and precise. I'm asking now about the
18 time when Dr. Stakic was the president of the municipality of the
19 Municipal Assembly in 1992. Would it be correct, do you have any
20 experiences to know that the door, his door, was always open? Did you try
21 to see him or do you know of other people who went to see him and were
22 received by Dr. Stakic?
23 A. Well, I went to see him two or three times perhaps, and I know
24 other people who went to see him. Some of them. Some of them. I wasn't
25 in the municipal hall. I didn't work there. So I can't know everybody
1 who came.
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just for Your Honours, I believe the reference to
3 yesterday's testimony was page 63, line 3, regarding the door to the
4 Municipal Assembly building.
5 Q. Sir, I'm going to move on to another topic. You indicate you have
6 more knowledge of your own business affairs. As the -- would it be
7 correct to call you the manager of the Hidraflex company, would that be
8 the correct title?
9 A. Deputy owner of the company. We also had a manager for technical
10 affairs and head of our financial department. During a certain period of
11 time, they were under me. I said yesterday that I visited the owner,
12 Mr. Popovic, in Rijeka, so it wasn't those employees who went there. It
13 wasn't they that were responsible to me. We organised production so far
14 as we could do it considering the time. So I was a manager, an executive.
15 Q. Sir, as an executive at Hidraflex, would it be correct your
16 company aided and assisted the army in its operations and in preparing
17 itself for combat?
18 A. No. I mean, I already said, the company was putting out
19 high-pressure piping. And we lost a considerable share of the market. We
20 had no communication with the army, what the army needed from our company
21 because we were highly specialised. We were making the speedometers for
22 vehicles. We didn't have any consumer goods in our product mix so that
23 nobody could take it from us or ask us to give it to him if a citizen
25 We also made metal cords, so people were buying those things from
1 us. But we could not -- we wouldn't have been able to survive had we not
2 charged for our services. So that I didn't give anything to the army and
3 didn't ask for anything.
4 Q. Did you supply essential equipment for the army and for army
6 A. No.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I would ask to have a letter
9 distributed to the parties and the Court. I believe the Defence has a
10 copy already.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is there an extra copy for Dr. Stakic that
12 Dr. Stakic can follow the proceedings?
13 MR. OSTOJIC: We would appreciate that, yes, Your Honour. Thank
15 MR. KOUMJIAN: Ms. Karper has one.
16 Q. Mr. Prastalo, I believe you see on the ELMO next to you -- perhaps
17 we have an extra copy the witness can -- it might be easier for him to
18 have it on the table in front of him. We have a document. And for the
19 record I'm going to identify it by the stamp number P0007964 through 7966,
20 a three-page letter.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would be provisional S399B.
22 MR. KOUMJIAN:
23 Q. Sir, first is it correct that it is a letter on Hidraflex
24 stationery signed by you?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. And is it correct that you sent this letter or that the date that
2 appears on it is the 4th of December, 1992?
3 A. It is. But I have to go through it.
4 Q. Certainly, but before I ask you any questions, I was going to ask
5 you to read the second paragraph.
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't know if the Court or parties want the
7 entire letter to be read. Perhaps we can start then with just the second
8 paragraph. Can you just read that out loud, sir, the second paragraph.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think we should start with the beginning,
10 especially to whom it is sent and the subject and so on.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I don't think it's necessary to read out the
13 entire document, but at least this part.
14 MR. KOUMJIAN:
15 Q. Okay, would it be correct, sir, that the addressee is the
16 Municipal Assembly of Prijedor. And perhaps you can read the addressee,
17 and it will be translated more accurately than I could guess at it. Who
18 did you send this letter to?
19 A. The assembly of the municipality of Prijedor, the Executive Board.
20 Q. And can you read the subject line, please.
21 A. "Complaint against a decision of the Executive Board of the
22 Municipal Assembly of Prijedor number 02-111-388/92 of 26th November,
24 Q. Okay, sir, would you now read out the second paragraph. Read it
25 out loud slowly so that the interpreters can follow. But if you can
1 please read slowly because they have to translate while you're speaking.
2 A. "Namely, I've worked for PP Hidraflex from its establishment
3 performing commercial affairs to this company, was founded in 1990, and in
4 line with the effective regulations has been duly registered and entered
5 in the Court register at the competent Court in Banja Luka. From its
6 establishment to this day, this company has scored very noteworthy results
7 in its operation and its product mix, and the quality of its products have
8 gained it access to the markets of the former Yugoslavia.
9 "Likewise, until the present day, this company has always met all
10 its obligations toward the society and established good cooperation with
11 the authorities. At the time when the war conflict broke out and after
12 that, to the present day, this company has placed itself at the disposal
13 of the army of the Republika Srpska and all the stocks of finished
14 products and production materials which could be used for defence purposes
15 have been given to the army.
16 "It is very well-known that this company is the only company in
17 the territory of Republika Srpska and also the Republic of Srpska Krajina
18 manufacturing hydraulic hoses indispensable for the mechanisation of
19 vehicles, military and civilian alike. We have succeeded to - in
20 cooperation with the army and the elector [phoen] of Prijedor - provide
21 also the necessary quantities of electric energy so we had hardly any
22 interruptions in the production. I think that these are very important
23 facts which needed to be kept in the account when taking the conclusion.
24 I also wish --"
25 No, this is the end of the second paragraph.
1 Q. Thank you. If you need to refer to the letter before answering my
2 next question at time any, you may do so. Sir, I'll ask you now again,
3 did your company supply essential equipment to the army of Republika
5 A. No. I'll explain it. This letter was written to the Executive
6 Board which was to seize the factory, that is, this letter is to the
7 Executive Board because there is no reason to write to the Executive
8 Board, I mean, we were a company which was properly registered and was
9 paying all its dues, and we were corresponding with them to defend our
10 plant. Nothing else.
11 Q. Sir, isn't it a fact that the civilian companies cooperated
12 throughout the war with the army and were essential for the war effort of
13 the army of Republika Srpska?
14 A. Well, it is true that there was cooperation, but they did not take
15 anything from us. There was no need for them to take anything from us.
16 We had high-pressure hoses. We had metal cords. That is, we were there
17 at their disposal, and if they had any need to take anything, they would
18 have taken it surely whether we liked it or not. But this letter which I
19 received -- I mean which I wrote and which I signed personally was
20 addressed to the Executive Board from which I was defending the company.
21 Q. And in the second paragraph that you read out, did you tell the
22 truth, is this true what you wrote in the second paragraph?
23 A. Well, it doesn't say that we gave anything. It says that we
24 placed it at the disposal of the army of Republika Srpska. All stocks are
25 of finished products and production materials which could be useful for
1 defence purposes. I mean, they know, the army knows what we are
2 manufacturing and they can take it if they want to, but they didn't.
3 Q. So if I understand your answer, what you wrote in the second
4 paragraph is true. Correct?
5 A. Yes, it is true that we put it at the disposal because all that
6 you asked me before that, all the companies that were operational
7 naturally had to be used for defence purposes. Therefore, the army could
8 take what they needed, but there was no need for that. And this letter I
9 personally wrote to the Executive Board or the Municipal Assembly of
10 Prijedor because they wanted to seize from me -- I mean from me, who
11 wanted to seize the plant and put it under the jurisdiction of the
12 Municipal Assembly of Prijedor.
13 Q. Sir, the record of your testimony will speak for itself. I won't
14 debate it with you. I want to move to another subject. On page 63, you
15 talked about -- well, I'll read your answer beginning on line 14 -- well,
16 I'll read the question on line 12. "Did Dr. Stakic ever talk to you about
17 the purchase of fuel for sowing and for harvest, and how was that done?"
18 And you answered: "Yes, since my business was also oil
19 derivatives and at that time there was no cash, and at one point
20 Dr. Stakic told me he would try and obtain fuel from the commodity
21 reserves, and that that fuel would be used for sowing and for harvest. He
22 asked me if I could help him and if we could do that without any
23 commission or fee. This oil from commodity reserve was sold at 55 and 50
24 pfennigs a litre. One price was for sowing and the other was for
25 harvesting. He put that proposal forward before the executive board. The
1 executive board approved that.
2 "We obtained the derivatives from the commodity reserves, and we
3 distributed that oil at some places where it was very difficult for the
4 population to obtain. We transported that oil by our own system. We did
5 not consider that a lucrative business but we thought it was a good thing
6 to do. We did that one year for the sowing and harvest season, and this
7 was all thanks to Dr. Stakic who asked us to do that and who organised
9 Is it correct, then, that when it came to the distribution of fuel
10 for the planting and harvesting of crops, it was Dr. Stakic who organised
11 that distribution of fuel?
12 A. Dr. Stakic didn't organise the distribution of fuel. Yesterday, I
13 said that it was the Executive Board which did it. And the system was --
14 and I'll repeat that. But before that, I'll say that he inquired with us
15 because we're engaged in this, I mean the sale of oil and oil
16 derivatives. He asked if the Municipal Assembly managed to procure oil
17 for sowing and harvesting, whether our petrol station could distribute it
18 or perhaps take it to some villages further away from Prijedor so that
19 people wouldn't have to spend the money coming to the petrol station for
20 that fuel. What was the system. The Executive Board of the Municipal
21 Assembly received from the republics commodity reserves certain quantities
22 of oil, and it was given to us, and we distributed it to the people for
23 whoever had a paper entitling him to that oil.
24 Q. Okay, sir, let me ask you one more time to reconcile your
25 testimony today with what you said yesterday. You said today, in this
1 answer you just gave on line 14: "Dr. Stakic didn't organise the
2 distribution of fuel. Yesterday I said it was the Executive Board which
3 did it."
4 Beginning on page 63 yesterday you said, regarding Dr. Stakic on
5 line 20: "He put that proposal before the Executive Board, the Executive
6 Board approved that." And then you ended your answer on page 64, line 1
7 and 2: "And this was all thanks to Dr. Stakic who asked us to do that and
8 who organised everything."
9 So, sir, can you reconcile your answer today that Dr. Stakic
10 didn't organise the distribution of fuel with what you told us yesterday?
11 A. Obviously we did not understand each other. I said that we
12 worked, owing to Dr. Stakic, without any fee or commission when we
13 distributed oil because in our normal business, we make money. But when
14 we were distributing other people's oil, we did not charge any fee
15 although we spent our electricity and although we spent our time. And
16 Dr. Stakic asked us about the system. He never did it before. That's why
17 he asked us. We told him what the procedure was. He told us where the
18 oil would come from and what we did, we redistributed that oil to the end
19 users. That's what I said yesterday, and I am repeating it today.
20 Q. Sir, my question is not focussed on you. Is it correct, then,
21 that Dr. Stakic organised the distribution, put the decision before the
22 Executive Board for their approval? Isn't that correct? I'm not asking
23 what you did; I'm asking what Dr. Stakic did.
24 A. I've answered already. Let me give you some more details.
25 Mr. Stakic came to us before that, and he was very much interested in how
1 oil could be distributed to the population for sowing and harvesting. I
2 wasn't an employee of the Municipal Assembly. I didn't know how it went.
3 Mr. Milosavljevic was in charge of the distribution of oil, and he was in
4 charge of agriculture on behalf of the Municipal Assembly. I never said
5 that Dr. Stakic distributed the oil. Mr. Stakic simply, before all these
6 events took place, before the oil was distributed, asked me and
7 Mr. Grahovac to see how this could be organised.
8 Now, as to how they obtained oil, I don't know, but my obligation
9 was to give money for all the vouchers that I received, and then the money
10 was to be taken to the commodity reserves. I don't know how they
11 organised it. But there was Mr. Milosavljevic who acted on behalf of the
12 Municipal Assembly and was in charge of the agriculture in the territory.
13 Now, what they did, how the decision was made, whether it was Dr. Stakic
14 was the one who proposed things and put the proposal forth for voting, I
15 don't know. I did everything later on with the Executive Board. It was
16 Dr. Stakic who made initial inquiries about our tankers and whether we
17 could do the technical part of the distribution.
18 And I claim that the oil was distributed through regular channels
19 regularly. There was no smuggling. Whoever had a piece of paper
20 entitling them to a certain quantity of oil was given oil from that batch.
21 Q. I'm going to move on to another subject. Sir, did you see
22 evidence in 1992, any time that year, that the police in Prijedor
23 responded to the directions or orders or regulations issued by the
24 civilian authorities, the Municipal Assembly and Executive Board? Did the
25 police enforce those decisions?
1 A. No. That could not happen in Prijedor. Whether this was supposed
2 to be that way, that the police answers to the Municipal Assembly or to
3 the president of the Municipal Assembly or to the Executive Board, I don't
4 know. I know that they are supposed to cooperate. However, the person
5 who was the head of the police was not cooperative. It was not possible
6 to do it with him.
7 Q. Okay. Sir, I'm going to refer you to -- refer the Court and
8 Defence to page 43 of yesterday's transcript. You were talking then about
9 your company being taken over, and you said, beginning on line 15: "The
10 police came on the basis of the decision of the Executive Board or their
11 conclusion. Their conclusion or decision issued by the Executive Board.
12 Since I didn't want to take the first decision, then the police, the
13 regular police, came to move me out of the company. Some seven or eight
14 policemen came."
15 So, sir, isn't it a fact that you had personal experience with the
16 police from Prijedor enforcing decisions of the civilian government of the
18 A. I said yesterday that the group that came into power had already
19 told me before that they would do it. I stand behind my statement. A
20 little while ago, you said that I had given everything to the army. Had I
21 given everything to the army, how would they have then sent the police to
22 take everything from me? They came based on the decision of the Executive
23 Board, and I told you who wrote that. It was Mr. Indzic. A director was
24 already appointed for other people's company. So it was the Executive
25 Board who gave the document to the police. It was not Mr. Dusan Kurnoga,
1 but the Executive Board. And the police came, but they couldn't do
3 Now, whether they had cooperated or not, I don't know. The only
4 thing I know is that the Executive Board issued an order to the police.
5 What system was in place, I don't know. But the police came, seven or
6 eight policemen came. They told me that they had to stand guard over the
7 building. They told me the building is no longer yours, a new director
8 has been appointed pursuant to a decision of the Executive Board, and that
9 is the truth, and there's no other truth but that.
10 Q. Sir, how did you -- sir, how did you travel from Prijedor to
11 Ljubija? What was the route that you took?
12 A. There's just one road from Prijedor to Ljubija. First I had to
13 cross the bridge in Prijedor. Then I passed my petrol station. I drive
14 towards Sanski Most for about a kilometre. There is a crossroads there,
15 and on that crossroads, it says "Ljubija, 12 kilometres," and I take that
16 road. I live in Gornja Ljubija in Toma Peric Street Number 9.
17 Q. That route goes through the Brdo area, through Hambarine. Correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Sir, how far was your office in Ljubija, your company, from the
20 Ljubija football stadium?
21 A. You mean my house in Ljubija? I had a family house in Ljubija.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you, I'm sorry. First, your house, and second the
23 Hidraflex offices. Thank you very much. What were the distances of those
24 two locations from the football stadium?
25 A. My house, my family house in Ljubija, is about a kilometre to two
1 kilometres, a kilometre and a half. 1500 metres from that place.
2 Q. And how far was your -- was the Hidraflex factory?
3 A. About 17, 18, or approximately 20 kilometres, because Hidraflex
4 was on the road to Banja Luka at the exit from the town on the road, on
5 the main road from Novi Grad to Banja Luka, 2 kilometres away from the
6 town on the right-hand side towards Banja Luka.
7 Q. Thank you. I had misunderstood something. Thank you.
8 Sir, how far away was your home from the iron ore mines in the
9 area called Redak? I'm speaking of your home in Ljubija.
10 A. 7 or 8 kilometres, or -- between 5 and 7 kilometres.
11 Q. How far was your home from Jakarina Kosa?
12 A. 10 kilometres.
13 Q. In the extensive travel and business that you conducted in 1992
14 from June through September of 1992, did you travel through Brisevo?
15 A. No, never. Let me just clarify: My house is at the far end of
16 Ljubija. And further on, there's nothing but surrounding villages. And
17 my house is some hundred metres from the main road, and I did not need to
18 go any further.
19 Q. And on your business travels, I presume you went to Banja Luka at
20 times, did you travel through Kozarac?
21 A. Kozarac was on the left-hand side. The village of Kozarac. And
22 then Kozarusa. And when I took the main road from Prijedor to Banja Luka,
23 I passed by.
24 Q. Sir, as a person who lived in Prijedor and travelled around the
25 municipality, you saw the destruction in Kozarac in areas surrounding
1 Ljubija. You saw the churches and mosques in Prijedor destroyed. Isn't
2 that true? In fact, isn't that true, you saw that virtually all the
3 churches and mosques in the town and in areas like Kozarac and Stari Grad
4 were destroyed?
5 A. I saw that some houses in Stari Grad had been destroyed.
6 Yesterday I said that I saw that. I didn't enter Kozarac. I did not go
7 to any mosques or churches even before the war, so I did not need to go
8 into Kozarac. The village of Kozarac is 2 kilometres off the main road,
9 and I never entered it. And as for Ljubija, let me tell you that nothing
10 was burnt down in Ljubija as far as I know. Not a single building. To
11 this very day, there is a church in Ljubija, there is one orthodox church
12 and one Catholic church in Ljubija. Nothing has been touched. No --
13 neither any of the churches or any of the houses there.
14 Q. Let me -- sir, sir, please continue.
15 A. And as for the houses, I did see the houses as much as I could
16 from the car during the daylight. It was very rarely that I took that
17 road, but I did. There were some houses that had been destroyed and burnt
18 down, but that was in the area of Hambarine. But I would not -- I'm sorry
19 that this happened because that is the road that I took when I went to
20 school. And earlier on, I would take that road every day. But yesterday,
21 I said that I don't know.
22 Whoever launched the attack on the army, problems ensued, and
23 nobody could influence that. I can even say that this was not just the
24 other people or the -- another ethnic group. But even in my place in
25 Ljubija, we were no experts. We were just normal people. Nobody in
1 Ljubija attacked either the police or the army. We knew that these did
2 their job, and the people who lived in Ljubija remained living there going
3 to school, working there. And they worked on their land. Nobody ever
4 touched them because there had been no incidents.
5 In those places where there were incidents involving the army
6 where soldiers were being killed on their return from the Slavonian front
7 line, and I've already told you who did that. And later it turned out
8 that what happened in Kurevo happened. There was some unit there. I
9 don't know. I just heard, but what I saw I told you. I told you what I
11 Q. Sir, let me clarify some things. Isn't it true that by the time
12 the army began cleansing the Ljubija area, the policy was no longer to
13 burn but to take over the houses and to give them to Serb refugees? Isn't
14 that true?
15 A. I don't know what the policy was. I only know that in Ljubija,
16 nobody ever attacked the army, in Ljubija. These are two different
17 areas. One is Hambarine, and the other is Ljubija. Yesterday, I said
18 that I used to come to Ljubija and to this very day, we know exactly who
19 lives in Ljubija. There are refugees from Grahovo, Glamoc. There are
20 refugees. I can't say that there are no refugees. There are people of
21 different ethnic background who have remained living in Ljubija.
22 When one puts Ljubija in the context of the overall situation in
23 the Republic, I believe that the situation in Ljubija was really good. As
24 far as I know, no single house was burnt down in Ljubija. I didn't go and
25 visit all of them, so I cannot really say with 100 per cent certainty that
1 they were all untouched and remained intact, but that's more or less what
2 I think.
3 Q. Sir, isn't it a fact that prominent persons from Ljubija, such as
4 directors of the Ljubija mine company of Croatian, Muslim, and Bosniak
5 nationality, were taken to camps, many of them killed, that the policemen
6 that you talked about of non-Serbian, of Croatian and Bosniak ethnicity in
7 Ljubija were separated for a while after the takeover of Prijedor were
8 later arrested and taken to the camps and most of them killed? As a
9 person who lived in this small town and followed events you told us, you
10 were aware of this, weren't you?
11 A. I didn't follow the events on the case-by-case basis. I don't
12 know all the people in the municipality. In Ljubija, as far as I know,
13 there were no executives living there. Ljubija is a worker -- working-man
14 village, and I don't know whether you're informed. The mine stopped
15 operating some ten years ago. They were preparing a new mining site, and
16 no directors lived in Ljubija. I don't know who it was from Ljubija that
17 was killed or separated. There are still people living in Ljubija who
18 were in lower managerial positions. And as for the higher executives,
19 none of them lived in Ljubija as far as I remember.
20 Q. How far was your apartment in Prijedor from the Keraterm facility?
21 A. Let me tell you, I lived for a while in Cirkin Polje, and later on
22 I lived in my sister's apartment in Pecani. In the first location, the
23 distance was about 5 to 600 metres. And when I was in town, it was about
24 4 to 5 kilometres.
25 Q. Were you aware either by hearing yourself or from discussions with
1 other people of a massacre that happened at the Keraterm facility in late
2 July when people in the town heard shooting and automatic weapons fire for
3 hours during the night?
4 A. I didn't hear that. I didn't hear any shooting. I can't remember
5 whether I was in Prijedor at that moment or whether I was staying with my
6 parents in Ljubija. I didn't hear anything like that. I never entered
7 any of the investigation centres. I didn't need to, nor was I interested
8 in that. I never took anybody to any of the camps. I never took anybody
9 out of any of these investigation centres. A lot of people came to my
10 petrol station, and they would tell me that they went to the collection
11 centres in order to go abroad, to find it easier to go abroad. But I
12 personally had nothing whatsoever to do with the collection centres.
13 Q. You were not interested in what was going on in the collection
15 A. I only heard that these were collection and investigation
16 centres. In the investigation centres, people were asked questions about
17 weapons, arms, about the war and what was going on. As for the collection
18 centres, I heard that lists are made there featuring people who wanted to
19 travel abroad. I've never been in any of these centres, nor did I ever
20 talk to anybody who was there from those centres.
21 Q. Did you hear of the massacre at Koricanske Stijene about a group
22 of persons being taken from Prijedor escorted by Prijedor police, Prijedor
23 reserve police and massacred on the cliff at Koricanske Stijene, over
24 200? Did you hear abou that in 1992?
25 A. I don't even know where Koricanske Stijene is.
1 Q. Sir, in your socialising with Dr. Stakic all the way up through
2 1997, did he ever express to you regrets for crimes that happened when he
3 was the president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor and the president
4 of the Crisis Staff?
5 A. We never discussed any crimes. I was not even aware that crimes
6 were taking place. If anything like that had happened, we never talked
7 about it. I was not interested in that. I thought then and I still think
8 that in these investigation centres, people were interrogated and asked
9 questions about the attacks on the army and the police and that in
10 collection centres, people were just gathering in order to travel abroad.
11 I know that some people asked me how one could go abroad, because they had
12 heard that I travelled a lot.
13 I personally never took anybody anywhere. I personally never
14 arranged for anybody to travel anywhere. And the only thing that I did,
15 as I've told you yesterday, I took a colleague of mine to my place where
16 he spent the night, and on the following day, I took him to a place where
17 there was some sort of an organisation. I don't know whether it was
18 Caritas or some other organisation that transported people by buses to
19 Novska. And that's where I took him, to that organisation.
20 Q. Sir, I'll ask you the question again as concretely as possible, if
21 you can answer yes or no, please do so. In your conversations, did
22 Dr. Stakic ever express regret for crimes that occurred when he was the
23 president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor? Yes or no.
24 A. Well, I'm saying that we never talked about crimes.
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. No further questions, Your Honour.
1 Questioned by the Court:
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: First of all, may I ask you to correct me if I
3 am wrong related to your place -- to the places where you lived. Is it
4 correct that in 1990, you left -- or your family left to Belgrade?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Your parents remained in Gornja Ljubija?
7 A. That's right.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the usher, please, to present once
9 again the map S3-1. If you could please be so kind and take the green
10 marker, and then mark the place where you had your first apartment in
11 Prijedor. Mark it with a 1, please.
12 A. [Marks]
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And your second apartment. And may I
14 immediately ask you, when did you move from the one to the other apartment
15 approximately? This with a 2, please.
16 A. [Marks]
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can you then please mark with a 3 Keraterm
18 building, the area of Keraterm.
19 A. [Marks]
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We come back to this map immediately. May I ask
21 you, today I didn't understand your answer on LiveNote page 63, line 9.
22 There you said: "Now, as to how they obtained oil, I don't know. But my
23 obligation was to give money for all the vouchers that I received, and
24 then the money was to be taken to the commodities reserves."
25 What are these vouchers, these vouchers you had to give the monies
2 A. These were certificates when people paid in cash for the oil
3 derivative, 50 or 55 pfennigs for selling. That is, the republic
4 subsidized the difference in price because, of course, the oil did not
5 cost that. But we -- you didn't understand me quite when you said that I
6 didn't know how they had come by the oil. You get the oil from commodity
7 reserves for sowing and harvesting and things like that. And I was not
8 the one who wrote letters to the commodity reserves and would receive
9 answers from them. It was the Municipal Assembly who did it.
10 And I knew a man who was in charge on behalf of the Municipal
11 Assembly to do that so that I think the documents from, for instance, the
12 cadastre, from the land register, they would establish how much land
13 everybody had and then he would be entitled to so much fuel. The
14 Municipal Assembly -- I mean the Executive Board had its rules saying how
15 much oil you were entitled per unit of land, and then it would be
16 distributed to neighbourhood communities, to local communities, and there
17 were lists in the neighbourhood communities, and that is how the fuel
18 intended for agriculture was distributed.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: First of all, to be quite clear, I didn't ask
20 you anything. I just quoted from your answer of today.
21 Second, could you please name the person from the Municipal
22 Assembly you had contact with. I just said "I knew a man who was in
23 charge on behalf of the Municipal Assembly to do that so that I think the
24 documents from, for instance, cadastres, the land register, they would
25 establish how much land everybody..." and so on.
1 Who was the man in charge on behalf of the Municipal Assembly?
2 A. Mr. Ratko Milosavljevic.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And why on behalf of the Municipal
4 Assembly? You didn't hear the question, I take it from your gesture.
5 Why on behalf of the Municipal Assembly, as you told us twice?
6 What had the Municipal Assembly to do with this?
7 A. I repeat once again. We are talking at crosspurposes, the
8 Executive Board. I call it that. Perhaps that was the reason. It was
9 the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly was responsible for the fuel
10 distribution, for the oil distribution, and --
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to interrupt. You need not repeat the
12 answer you gave us. It's the same answer several times. But you always
13 stated the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly. Would it then be
14 correct that the Executive Board was part or under the control of the
15 Municipal Assembly?
16 A. Why, I don't know how they are organised. All I know is that in
17 the municipality, there are legislative and executive branches. And that
18 is what the Executive Board did, and all it did was deal with economic
19 matters. So that was organised by the Executive Board only. And the --
20 there were different sections attached to the Executive Board, and one of
21 them was the section for agriculture, and it was headed by Mr. Ratko
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: How often have you been in Prijedor since your
24 family left to Belgrade in 1990?
25 A. Quite often. I cannot say long I would be absent per month, but I
1 was in Prijedor, in Ljubija, I was away somewhere. Visited my family in
2 Belgrade sometimes.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was it once a week, two days a week you had been
4 in Prijedor? Let us focus on the period of time 1992 as from April
5 through September.
6 A. Well, at times I would be away for seven days at a stretch. At
7 times it would be two days travelling somewhere. So there was no rule.
8 But I was spending more time in Prijedor than away from Prijedor.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This facilitates the understanding.
10 You mentioned Dr. Stakic's door was always open. We discussed it
11 already. May I ask, when you tried to contact Dr. Stakic following -- as
12 from May 1992, did you enter immediately the building of the Municipal
13 Assembly or did you first try to get an appointment?
14 A. Well, I've already said how I met him, that it was by chance. But
15 if you want to go, you have to make an appointment to announce that you're
16 coming to the secretary of the president of the Municipal Assembly, to see
17 if he's free. We cannot come and go as we please.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it would be correct that the secretary would
19 make an appointment when you asked for such a date with Dr. Stakic?
20 Please answer, because your nodding is not reflected on the transcript.
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So when you entered the building of the
23 Municipal Assembly, where was the office of Dr. Stakic, when being
24 president of the Municipal Assembly, located?
25 A. Well, on the first floor in - how shall I say it - the middle of
1 the building. You enter first the secretary's room, the door to the left,
2 that is where the president of the assembly sat. And the door to the
3 right, the vice-president. That's how it was for years.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And let's take a concrete example. You
5 mentioned today, transcript page 55, line 6, at about two or three times,
6 it was at this period of time that you visited Dr. Stakic. When you
7 arrived, you had first to enter the office of the secretary. Correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who was this person?
10 A. Well, a lady, middle-aged. I wouldn't really know her name. I
11 think Milica, or Mila. But she was his secretary. I think that his
12 secretary's name is Milica. I'm not quite sure, but I think it is.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I understand. Did you make reference to a
14 previous phone call reminding her or telling her that you had an
15 appointment with Dr. Stakic, that she was sure that you were a person
16 having in fact an appointment with Dr. Stakic?
17 A. Well, we would call her to make an appointment. There was no need
18 to check it, because she had it written down. And it was hers to check
19 and tell us whether we could come or not. She was the one responsible for
20 that because I can't know when the president is in the building or out of
21 the building, whether he has a meeting or not. It's his secretary who
22 knows such things.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it would be correct that his secretary had a
24 book where she had scheduling order or where all the appointments were
25 noted down?
1 A. Why, I don't know what she had when they talk over the phone. I
2 dialed the number. She answers. And we asked for a meeting. And that's
3 it. I don't know what she kept. Whether she kept a diary or just a sheet
4 of paper for every day, how can I know that?
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Maybe, as it would be usual, it could be, I
6 don't know what happened, therefore I have to ask you. When you ask for
7 an appointment, did she, for example, tell you, No, it's not possible. We
8 just can see Dr. Stakic has already an appointment for this period of
9 time. Did this happen?
10 A. Well, yes, it did happen, yes. He's busy. Somebody's coming to
11 see him or he's away. He's not in the building, which is only natural.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When you arrived, and following the appointment,
13 did you see her crossing out your name on a calendar or scheduling order?
14 A. No. If I had to wait, I would have a glass of fruit juice or a
15 cup of coffee or something, if I had to wait at that room with her,
16 unless -- until he would be free. But I didn't look to see whether she
17 crossed out something, whether she crossed out something or put something
18 in. She didn't fill in anything in front of me. The same rules applied
19 to the Executive Board. That was the second floor, and again a secretary
20 and again you call to make an appointment. You come, yes, he can see
21 you. No, he can't. Then you wait. I mean, it was just the same thing.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Are you quite sure that the Executive Board was
23 the second floor?
24 A. Well, a floor above, a floor above the office of the president of
25 the Municipal Assembly. Perhaps a little bit more to the left.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it would be your testimony as you sit here
2 that the president of the Executive Board and his deputy had not his
3 office on the same floor as Dr. Stakic and his deputy?
4 A. Well, when I went there, and I did, I would go to the upper floor,
5 and there was also a secretary there. And again, I think if you had these
6 same kind of the ground plan that there would be to the left would be the
7 president, and to the right would be the vice-president.
8 Now, whether I -- no, I don't think I did. I don't think I got
9 them mixed up. No, I think I'm right. Or perhaps at that particular
10 moment, when I was there, because they were painting the building for a
11 while, putting the building in order. I don't know. But I was up there.
12 Some of the offices in the Municipal Assembly were being painted.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You had been there two or three times during the
14 entire period of the presidency of Dr. Stakic, or maybe I'm confused. I
15 have to go back to your testimony not to quote you incorrectly.
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You said page 55, line 6: "Well, I went to see
18 him two or three times perhaps, and I know other people who went to see
19 him." In which period of time was this, this two or three times, the
20 entire year of 1992 or the period between, say, April and September 1992?
21 A. Why, no. Two or three times, well, let's say three times to see
22 him all together. But I did go to the Municipal Assembly more often
23 because I went to the Executive Board. I didn't go there only to see the
24 president of the assembly. I also went to the Executive Board. I also
25 went to the secretary for economy. I went to see Mr. Milosavljevic for
1 agriculture. I mean, it's not that I was in the municipal hall two or
2 three times. I have been there more times but visiting different people.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Based on your previous testimony, you gave the
4 impression of a person who really knows how to act, how to react, and how
5 to address the correct persons who are in charge of concrete areas, be it
6 in the economic, be it in the political field. For example, the
7 provisional-marked exhibit S399B, the letter of Hidraflex addressed to the
8 Municipal Assembly of Prijedor, and then -Executive Board-.
9 Whenever you had such a problem, and apparently you had at that
10 time some problems with the bureaucracy, as it is always in the world, who
11 would you contact first? When, for example, it was a question of
12 expropriation was at stake, as you mentioned beforehand, whom would you
13 contact first in 1992? I know the situation has changed since then.
14 A. Well, I used the normal route. That is, the Executive Board, the
15 executive branch, which was to do something. If I was to pay my taxes, if
16 I didn't do that, then the Executive Board would order the financial
17 police to come. So I first reported to the Executive Board, and I went to
18 see the Executive Board except that the Executive Board turned a deaf ear
19 on the private initiative. And there were all sorts of problems. I've
20 already said what problems those were. And it was difficult to change a
21 system and start another system, to have an assembly-employed person and
22 to meet somebody who will show understanding for that.
23 At that time it was very difficult in our case because some people
24 who had come to hold certain offices, they thought that that was it, that
25 was the high point of their career and that was that. But I was never a
1 politician, I was never a member of any party.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When your attempts failed on this level, to
3 whom -- whom would you contact then to get assistance?
4 A. I tried to establish contact with somebody else in some other
5 office, if he could help me. If not, then I would continue further up to
6 the republican level if need be. But let me tell you, during that
7 struggle that I waged, I also paid other newspapers to write something so
8 that --
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We'll come back to this at a later point in
10 time. Within Prijedor, when you had problems with bureaucrats in the area
11 of the Executive Board, what was the hierarchy? It would be quite normal,
12 and you are apparently a strong person, to whom would you go when your
13 attempt to receive the one or other assistance, who would be the next
14 superior? I'm always discussing now 1992 only, after the 30th of April.
15 A. Let me tell you something: Unfortunately, and it is much to my
16 regret that that is so, the president of the Municipal Assembly could not
17 resolve anything in my case. Not the first one, not the second one, nor
18 the third one because that is the rule with us. The executive branch
19 regrettably assumed the right to be at the legislative authority, whereas
20 the legislative branch couldn't do anything. So the president of the
21 assembly, it would -- perhaps a friend who was not in the government could
22 perhaps help me more if he knew some people on the Executive Board. Such
23 a friend could perhaps help me more than ex officio the president of the
24 Municipal Assembly. Why that is so, I do not know, but that is how it is.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What do you understand when using the term
1 "government"? Who is the government in Prijedor?
2 A. Well, I mean -- well, I look at it graphically. I look at the
3 municipal hall and I say: "Well, those people in power won't let us do
4 this or that." So when I say "government" and people who can take a
5 decision and I cannot take a decision. So they are in a way people who
6 are in power. They are the authorities. And -- all of the businesses in
7 Prijedor, it wasn't only my company, it was everything, that was all
8 accountable to the Executive Board.
9 So be it myself, or be it the iron ore mine, they will apply with
10 whatever requests to the Executive Board. Nobody would go to the
11 president of the Municipal Assembly. You will go to the president, I
12 repeat, to invite him to a social event, to add to the celebration. That
13 is how it has always been with us, and I believe it's like that today.
14 The president of the Municipal Assembly, the municipal mayor, can make
15 suggestions, can talk with his colleagues, but they need not follow his
16 advice. They can do that, but are not duty-bound to do that.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please answer the following question with a
18 clear yes or no: Did you ever go to Dr. Stakic complaining about the work
19 of bureaucrats in the building of the Municipal Assembly, for example,
20 those ones working with the Executive Board? Did you ever complain about
21 their work with Dr. Stakic?
22 A. No.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever see Dr. Stakic in uniform?
24 A. No.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When have you been the first time in the office
1 of Dr. Stakic after the takeover?
2 A. A few days later, two or three. Less than five. I can't remember
3 exactly, but I did go. I didn't stay long, a few minutes.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you go to the Municipal Assembly after
5 you -- immediately after the 20th of May?
6 A. No, not immediately. You mean the 21st, 22nd. No. No.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Not immediately. That would mean how many days
9 A. After what date? After --
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: After 20 to 22nd of May, as you mentioned
12 A. Perhaps, again, five, six, or seven days later. I didn't pay too
13 much attention to that detail. I didn't consider it important. I went to
14 see him two or three times all together. I visited the offices of the
15 Executive Board more often than that. Sometimes they would invite me.
16 Sometimes I would ask for an appointment with somebody from the Executive
17 Board. It was not very much in line of my business to see the president
18 of the Municipal Assembly. I had more to do with the Executive Board.
19 That's why I went there more often.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you see by the end of May people of the
21 Executive Board wearing uniform?
22 A. No, I don't know all the people in the Executive Board. I told
23 you whom I knew. I saw Dr. Travar wearing civilian clothes, Mr. Ranko
24 Travar, that is. I also saw Slavko Budimir in civilian clothes --
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry. Would you please be so kind and answer
1 my question. The question was: Did you see by the end of May people of
2 the Executive Board wearing uniform? Yes or no.
3 A. No. No.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you see the end of May 1992 Dr. Stakic
5 wearing a uniform and a pistol?
6 A. No, I didn't. If he had worn a uniform, maybe I wasn't in
7 Prijedor at the time to see him. I didn't see him. When we saw each
8 other in town, he wore a suit and a tie. On weekends, he would wear a
9 track suit. I never saw him wearing a uniform.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: A last attempt the other way around: Did you
11 see when entering the building of the Municipal Assembly people wearing
12 uniforms at all in the entire building?
13 A. I did. There were all sorts of people entering the building.
14 There were army members, police members. I don't know all the people who
15 worked in the Municipal Assembly, but there were people entering the
16 building wearing uniforms. That is correct.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Apparently one has to be more concrete. Did you
18 see and meet persons you previously saw in civil clothing now wearing
19 uniforms? Civil servants working in this municipal building.
20 A. People who worked there and whom I knew, I didn't know all of
21 them. I did know some people. But all of all those that I knew, I didn't
22 see any of them wearing uniforms. But let me tell you again, I didn't
23 work in the Municipal Assembly. I would only go there for half an hour,
24 and then I would go back to my own work or I would go away on business. I
25 wasn't there all the time. I saw people in civilian clothes, but I also
1 saw people wearing uniforms who entered the building. Whether they worked
2 there or not, I don't know.
3 As for the people who were in power in the Municipal Assembly, Dr.
4 Stakic and members of the Executive Board, those whom I knew, I didn't
5 know everybody in the Executive Board. Those wore civilian clothes. They
6 came to their offices wearing civilian clothes. That's as much as I can
7 tell you.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until half past 3.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 3.08 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 3.32 p.m.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The usher may escort the witness in. The same
12 question in your direction as usual, any news from your investigator?
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, again, we have called but we have not
14 received any news confirming it. We called again both to our case manager
15 and our investigator in the field. We just don't have any definitive
16 news, so I apologise for that.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In case, you know my phone number, and you know
18 my e-mail address. Please, let me know. I'll be here until 10.00.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: We'll call you. Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I hear from the Prosecution, is there a
21 delegation to be expected tomorrow or on Thursday?
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: To be frank, I'm a little confused. I believe
23 there's a possibility Ms. Korner will be here tomorrow. Ms. Sutherland
24 spoke to her. There -- I also had heard that the Prosecutor was
25 requesting to speak to the Court on Thursday morning. She's not here
1 tomorrow, Ms. Del ponte.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So if we could get a final answer by the end of
3 the day or by phone or by e-mail later.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN: Actually, we understood that Ms. Sutherland was
5 going to speak to Mr. Johnson after Court. So we can -- perhaps not in
6 Court, but we can call the Defence and Your Honours and tell you the
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would be nice. Thank you. Sorry, we had
9 to discuss the one or other issue.
10 Let's now continue with our line of questions. How often did you
11 meet Dr. Stakic in his own home?
12 A. In Prijedor, never.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I want to refrain from comments. In Omarska?
14 A. In Omarska, I was there once. It was his patron saint's holiday,
15 actually, his father's patron saint's holiday. That's where I was. But I
16 was never in his apartment in Omarska. I only know that he rented an
17 apartment in Omarska, and I was in Maricka only once in his father's
18 house, and that was on the day when his father celebrated his patron
19 saint's day.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So I have a two-fold answer before me. "In
21 Omarska I was there once, and then I was in Maricka only." Have you
22 been -- to be quite concrete, have you ever been in the apartment or the
23 house - I don't know - of Dr. Stakic in Omarska?
24 A. No.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So as I understood, in his father's house.
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you meet the family of Dr. Stakic there?
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can you please tell me who are the members of
6 the family you met there, please, by name.
7 A. His father, his mother, his brother, his sister-in-law,
8 Mr. Stakic. His father's name is Milan. His wife's name is Bozana. His
9 children. Neighbours who were there, some of their relatives were there.
10 When there is a celebration of the patron saints, then people are
11 invited. Relatives, acquaintances are invited to come to the house.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I know about this custom. I have myself
13 participated in such events in Berlin as well. But you mentioned nearly
14 all the names, and you mentioned in addition that also Dr. Stakic's
15 brother was there. What was the name of Dr. Stakic's brother?
16 A. I know him well, but I can't remember his name. I only know his
17 nickname, his nickname was Baco. That's all I know. We are not that
18 close. And I don't have to remember all the names in his family. This
19 guy's nickname was Baco. Everybody called him that. That's how I called
20 him as well. That's the name I knew him under.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I don't know why you emphasised that you don't
22 have to remember all the names in a family. I only asked you whether you
23 knew the names of all the other members of the family. Yes.
24 You mentioned that you would know where Baco is living.
25 A. Somewhere in Prijedor. I also think that he rents an apartment
1 there. I was never in his apartment, in Dr. Stakic's brother's house. I
2 was never there. I know that he rents an apartment from a private
3 landlord, but I've never been to his apartment.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was he employed?
5 A. He had a workshop or a store selling electrical goods. It was a
6 retail store actually in Prijedor. And I also heard in a conversation
7 from him that he used to drive a lorry, that he was a hauler.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you remember exactly that it was the -- a
9 special day. Do you recall the year, only if you know, please. Was it in
10 1992, 1993?
11 A. I believe it was in 1993. In 1993, it was, but I can't remember
12 the month. But I'm sure that the year was 1993.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was this the only time you saw the family or
14 members of the family of Dr. Stakic?
15 A. During that period of time, yes.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And later?
17 A. Sometimes I would meet his closest members of the family
18 downtown. And as I've already told you, I quite often played billiards
19 with Dr. Stakic and his son. And I also saw him -- as I was driving my
20 car, I would see him or his wife bringing the child home from the
21 kindergarten. That's when I saw members of his family.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But you didn't socialise with other members of
23 the family; you never had any additional meetings, be it in, to be quite
24 concrete, be it in Prijedor, be it in Omarska, be it in Maricka, be it in
25 Ljubija, be it in Belgrade?
1 A. Other members of the family, I didn't understand the question.
2 Are you asking me about whether I socialised with other members of his
3 family? The answer is no, I didn't need to. I didn't socialise with any
4 of them.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And did you ever have meetings in one of these
6 locations with other members of the family when you, for example, met
7 Dr. Stakic, was he ever accompanied by another person? You mentioned this
8 one special meeting, and then in addition the occasions when you played
9 with Dr. Stakic's son together billiards. Were there any other occasions?
10 A. I can't remember. I didn't find it that important at the time. I
11 told you when I saw them, where I was when I saw them. To my mind, it
12 wasn't that important. I didn't pay that much attention to the occasions
13 when I actually saw them because I didn't socialise that intensely with
14 them. I've already told you that I spent a lot of time in Ljubija with my
15 parents when I didn't have things to do in Prijedor. So I didn't spent
16 all that much time with the family of Dr. Stakic. I held Dr. Stakic in
17 high esteem because we shared the same opinion of business matters. But
18 that doesn't mean that I socialised very intensively with his family. No,
19 I didn't.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May I now come to another area. In
21 yesterday's transcript, page 51, line 4, when asked, you mentioned, quote:
22 "I heard there was a Crisis Staff and that they were distributing vouchers
23 for petrol, for flour." I think we shouldn't discuss flour because your
24 work was first of all on petrol and derivatives of petrol. So no doubt,
25 you saw these vouchers. Correct?
1 A. No, I didn't see those vouchers. I only heard that vouchers were
2 being distributed. I am just talking about the things that I heard, and I
3 knew where it took place. It took place in Cirkin Polje. There was a
4 Crisis Staff there. Mr. Kuruzovic, Slobodan, was the head of that Crisis
5 Staff. And from there, people would bring flour, sugar, cigarettes, and
6 stuff like that. I never went there to take anything. I didn't need to
7 do that.
8 I only heard that vouchers were being distributed, and then I saw
9 long lines of vehicles at the Energopetrol station. When you look from
10 the direction of Banja Luka at the entrance of Prijedor or the exit from
11 Prijedor, the main road, it is some 150 metres from the crossroads.
12 That's where I saw the long lines of vehicles of people with vouchers.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You are anticipating my questions. Could you
14 please be so kind and mark the building where these vouchers were
15 distributed by the Crisis Staff, once again, with a green marker. I think
16 the next would be number 4.
17 A. [Marks]
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was this a building especially for the purposes
19 of the Crisis Staff?
20 A. Yes. Yes, at that moment. Before that, it used to house a
21 company based in Slovenia. I think I've already told you that.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You told us. I only wanted to put it to you --
23 A. At that moment, it was --
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Was there any insignia on this building,
25 or was there any name on this building, for example, "Crisis Staff" or
1 insignia for the one or other group?
2 A. No. I didn't see anything like that. I would pass by in the car,
3 but I didn't see any inscriptions on the building. I didn't see anything
4 that would say the Crisis Staff or anything like that.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You mentioned the same page, line 21, that you
6 often saw Slobodan Kuruzovic there. Did you only pass by or did you enter
7 the house?
8 A. I didn't enter the house. I didn't need to. I told you where I
9 lived for a few months. So I had to pass. I had to take that road. It
10 was Milan Vrhovac Street, I don't remember the number. Close to the
11 Crisis Staff on the right-hand side is the road where I used to live.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was this the only building of the Crisis Staff?
13 A. I don't understand the question. The only building of that Crisis
14 Staff? Was that the only building that have Crisis Staff?
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Of the Crisis Staff of Prijedor Municipality.
16 A. I don't know. I know that there were a number of Crisis Staffs in
17 companies. I believe that it was the Crisis Staff of that particular
18 local commune because every local commune had a Crisis Staff which was
19 housed in a building of the local commune. So every local commune had a
20 Crisis Staff. Almost every company had a Crisis Staff. It was not the
21 Crisis Staff for the territory of Prijedor Municipality. I believe that
22 this was the Crisis Staff of the Cirkin Polje local commune or whatever
23 the name of that local commune was at that time. For example, nobody from
24 Ljubija could come to that particular Crisis Staff to obtain petrol
25 vouchers. It was impossible.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry, I have to come back to your yesterday's
2 testimony. You mentioned: "I would often see Mr. Slobodan Kuruzovic
3 there." Apparently, based on your testimony some minutes ago, only when
4 passing this building. Now apparently it's your testimony that this --
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: -- This building way tailor-made for Cirkin
7 Polje. Yesterday on page 51, line 21, you added: "I think Mr. Slobodan
8 Kuruzovic was the head of that Crisis Staff." The head of the Crisis
9 Staff of Cirkin Polje?
10 A. Yes, that's what I said, Cirkin Polje. That's where I resided,
11 and I heard from my neighbours that people went there to get cigarettes,
12 to get petrol vouchers, and they told me that Slobodan Kuruzovic was the
13 main person of that Crisis Staff. I believe at the time that it was the
14 Crisis Staff for the Cirkin Polje local commune. In my own village, there
15 was also a Crisis Staff for that village.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We are coming closer. Where would the Crisis
17 Staff of the Prijedor Municipality meet?
18 A. It would be logical that they would meet in the municipal
19 building. I don't know. I never went to any Crisis Staff, either to a
20 Crisis Staff of a local commune or to the Crisis Staff of the Prijedor
21 municipality. But it would be logical that if they were the Crisis Staff
22 of the municipality, that they would meet in the municipal building.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the head of that Crisis Staff was
24 Dr. Stakic. Correct?
25 A. Yes, that's what I heard, that Dr. Stakic was the head of the
1 Crisis Staff of the municipality.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So "that's what I heard." Is it really your
3 testimony that you never discussed with Dr. Stakic his capacity as, in
4 this case, head of the Crisis Staff? Do you really want us make believe
5 that you never discussed with Dr. Stakic that he was the head of the
6 Crisis Staff in Prijedor?
7 A. Let me explain. I was not interested in a single Crisis Staff
8 because there is no single Crisis Staff that could help me in my business,
9 in what I did. I believe that Crisis Staffs were dealing with problems in
10 the local community, such as water supply, electricity supply, which was a
11 big problem in Prijedor, and the supply of food-stuff to the town. That's
12 what it was. I never received a request from any Crisis Staff, nor did I
13 ask for anything from a Crisis Staff.
14 It was the same as the Crisis Staff in Cirkin Polje. They just
15 distributed vouchers for petrol and flour and sugar. What would I have to
16 do with them? I didn't need them. That's why I never discussed that with
17 him. And believe me when I told you that I had socialised with him.
18 Don't take that very literally. I didn't socialise with him to benefit
19 from that friendship. I socialised with him because I needed to spend my
20 leisure time with somebody. Everybody needs rest from time to time, and
21 whenever we had time, we would socialise. But we socialised around
22 sports, not around work or politics.
23 I also told you that the president of the Municipal Assembly has
24 never been in the position to help me in any way. And Dr. Stakic was no
25 exception. And that's why I never asked for any special favours from him,
1 especially not in the conditions of war that prevailed at that time. I
2 tried to protect myself in every possible way. I never got involved in
3 any dodgey business, so I never sought any protection from the president
4 of the Municipal Assembly. I didn't need to ask any favours. I didn't
5 need to ask any assistance from him or the MUP or anybody.
6 I wasn't interested in those things. I lived my life. I worked
7 as much as I could. I had enough of my own problems, and I informed you
8 about these problems in the course of the past two days. And what else
9 can I say? That was that.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You have never been in the basement of the
11 Municipal Assembly?
12 A. Never.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: How many competitors did you have in Prijedor as
14 an owner of a petrol station?
15 A. You mean other petrol stations?
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right.
17 A. There was a petrol station towards Kozarac. There was a petrol
18 station there. All the Energopetrol stations operated. They also
19 supplied people with petrol. From time to time, they would have
20 shortages. It depended very largely on the situation.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please mark with a green 6 the
22 location of Energopetrol on the Banjacka Road. You mentioned this
23 yesterday in your testimony, page 50, line 15/16.
24 A. Yes.
25 I can't see the crossroads or the entrance to the town.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Approximately.
2 A. It would be here.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This is marked as number 5. Correct?
4 A. Number 5, yes.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Any other petrol stations in Prijedor of
7 A. Yes. There was another Energopetrol station at the bus terminal
8 and at the railway station.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please mark the bus terminal as number
11 A. [Marks]
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever sell fuel to Sanatrans?
13 A. Maybe. I don't know. My petrol station was open to the general
14 public. Everybody could go there and buy petrol. I don't know whether
15 this particular agency used my petrol station to refuel their cars. There
16 were different vehicles that came, and whoever came could buy petrol. I
17 don't remember. There were a number of buses and other vehicles who came
18 to my petrol station to get fuel. But I wasn't there all the time like
19 I've told you already. And that would be that.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But in your petrol station, one would not need
21 vouchers. Correct?
22 A. Yes, that is right.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Opposed to other petrol stations where you would
24 need these vouchers?
25 A. All I know is that private petrol stations and state-owned
1 stations sold fuel for cash. I know that at the Jugopetrol petrol
2 stations that I know from stories, that they issued it for vouchers. But
3 at my pump, that was not allowed. You had to pay cash, and I think that
4 other private petrol stations also sold it only for cash. What vouchers?
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I come back to your answer of today on page 63,
6 line 10. "I don't know, but my obligation was to give money for all the
7 vouchers that I received." Can you please describe us this voucher. By
8 whom were they issued?
9 A. I say once again, there was a misunderstanding. At my petrol
10 station, only twice was the subsidized oil distributed, that is, the oil
11 or diesel which I had received through the Executive Board from the
12 commodity stocks reserves of the republic. And then I was given lists. I
13 can't say it was a proper voucher or a list. It looks like a bank note
14 with the name of the person, the quantity to be issued, and there was a
15 stamp of the Executive Board there. But that happened only when the
16 Executive Board decided to distribute this oil. So I wasn't doing it for
17 voucher when we talk about the Executive Board's vouchers.
18 Now, all I had to do -- the Executive Board had organised this
19 campaign for sowing and harvesting because -- I mean, that oil cost 50 and
20 55 pfennigs, and they subsidized the difference. So a person who came to
21 buy this diesel oil had to pay 50 or -- that is 55 pfennig, and the rest
22 was subsidized by the Executive Board.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to repeat. It was you mentioning today
24 "giving money for all those vouchers."
25 Could you describe us these vouchers? Who issued these vouchers?
1 You yourself mentioned this.
2 A. Yes. I'm saying, since the diesel, the fuel that reach the petrol
3 station was not property, it was the property of the republican commodity
4 reserves, and we were bound to pay the money to the republic. If we had
5 issued 10 tonnes at 50 pfennigs, then we had to pay into their account
6 50.000 marks. And the fuel that I issued, I could do that only if I
7 accompanied the bills with these vouchers. But these vouchers, these
8 certificates or whatever, were typed on a typewriter from an individual
9 who came, and they had the full name of that person and the number of
10 litres. And if it said 50 litres, I could issue -- I could give that man
11 only 50 litres, collect the cash from him. But then I had to pay the
12 state for that quantity of fuel. So it was based on the decision of the
13 Executive Board which was then sent to all local communities.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I'm awfully sorry if we don't understand each
15 other. My only question was when this was an official voucher, a voucher
16 or certificate, whatever you want to call it now, it was issued by whom?
17 A. The Executive Board. The Executive Board then sent -- had those
18 vouchers done, sent them to local communities. And the secretary of the
19 local community had to account for these vouchers to the Executive Board.
20 That is, say that he had distributed them. And we, if we had a tank of
21 100 tonnes of fuel, we had these vouchers or certificates or receipts or
22 whatever, we had to account for that. But they came from the Executive
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Once again. We are coming closer. They came
25 from the Executive Board. Could you read the words "Crisis Staff" on
1 these vouchers or certificates? Yes or no.
2 A. No. No. The Executive Board of the assembly of the municipality
3 of Prijedor, the full name. I told you what it said, the stamp, and the
4 number of litres.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I only want to -- that there is no
6 misunderstanding, I am just discussing the period of time as from the
7 beginning of May until the end of December 1992. Could one read on these
8 documents the words "Crisis Staff"?
9 A. No, no. My documents didn't. I told you where one could see it.
10 One could see it if the Crisis Staff distributed vouchers to people, then
11 it had to say the Crisis Staff of the Municipal Assembly. If they were
12 the ones who distributed such vouchers. But such vouchers did not reach
13 me nor did anybody intercede on anybody's behalf.
14 I'm telling you once again, people bringing those vouchers or
15 whatever you care to call them intended for farming, and people came from
16 local communities without that Crisis Staff. It only said Executive
17 Board, Municipal Assembly of Prijedor, and then the full name of the
18 person, and the number of litres that one was entitled to buy at 50
19 pfennig a litre.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What was the car you drove at that time?
21 A. I had a Mercedes 123, an older Mercedes 123, 12, 13 years old.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When you had to refuel your car, where did you
23 go to get the fuel?
24 A. I don't understand.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When it was necessary to refuel your Mercedes,
1 where did you buy the necessary petrol for your car?
2 A. At my petrol station, at my petrol pump.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And you never needed a voucher?
4 A. No. But the rest of the population did not need vouchers. The
5 petrol station was open, and everybody could buy fuel without any
6 vouchers. I said it was a campaign meant for agricultural works, and it
7 lasted for three or four days only. Apart from that, it was sold freely,
8 the fuel at my petrol station and everybody came. And of course I had my
9 fuel. Of course, not everybody who came to the petrol station came with a
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Opposed to, for example, Energopetrol station on
12 the Banjacka Road. Correct?
13 A. No, the Energopetrol station was no different from my station
14 because they sold the same kind of fuel to the citizenry, and one knows
15 the prices were standardised, uniform. And they were also selling it
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I put to you your answer yesterday, page 50,
18 line 15. "Yes, the Energopetrol station on the Banjacka Road where
19 vouchers could be used to obtain petrol. It was a state-owned petrol
20 station. It was the only place as far as I know where you could get
21 petrol for vouchers." This was a different kind of petrol station opposed
22 to yours, correct?
23 A. Well, up to a point, but perhaps we were again talking at
24 crosspurposes. I'm saying that the petrol station received vouchers from
25 that Crisis Staff for the fuel. So I said that the difference, you could
1 not come to our station to tank it. But at other petrol station, apart
2 from the vouchers, also sold fuel to other citizens. But those who
3 came -- the bearers of vouchers could get the fuel without money. I am
4 quite clear about that so I cannot make a mistake and say that this was
5 this way or the other way. So that is what you could do. I think
6 Jugopetrol station, you could tank that fuel for the vouchures, buy that
7 petrol on the free market, when they had it, of course, they didn't have
8 it always. And at my station, you could tank the fuel apart from what I
9 distributed during the agricultural campaign. That is, at my petrol
10 station, you could get fuel for cash only. There was no vouchers or
11 anything apart from these vouchers that I said which were intended for the
12 sowing and harvesting campaign.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you distribute fuel for Autotransport
15 A. Yes. I was selling it to Autotransport. I worked with them. But
16 we worked through the -- through our bank account. They did not pay
17 cash. They would pay to the bank a certain amount of money for a certain
18 quantity. And that was that. And at certain times they would order me to
19 take a whole truck tanker to their vehicle depot which is at
20 [indiscernable], their depot is there. And I think they called us two or
21 three times in three years' time. Between 1992 and 1995, I think they
22 bought two or three tankerfuls which we would then drive to their vehicle
23 depot. And at times they would also do a favour to us with their tankers,
24 but of course they would charge us for that.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Normal give and take.
1 To the best of your recollection, when was the first time that you
2 provided Autotransport Prijedor with fuel in this -- how did you call it,
3 sometimes two or three tankerfuls. When was it the first time you sold a
4 tankerful for Autotransport Prijedor?
5 A. Well, I think it was in late 1992, and that before that, they
6 would buy it only as the buses would come along. Towards the end of 1992
7 or perhaps January 1993, I think that was the first time that we sent them
8 a tankerfull of fuel. They asked for it because they had to pay for it.
9 And it was their tanker which was used, so we simply deducted the price of
10 the transport but filled it. And they also took off fuel to fill in
11 buses. I don't know, of course, whether they would stop at other petrol
12 stations. They had a number of buses and trucks, so I presume they did.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please understand for our case, we are
14 interested only in this special period of time, beginning of May until the
15 end of September 1992.
16 When was it the first time that a bus of Autotransport Prijedor
17 was refuelled in your station, that Autotransport Prijedor became your
19 A. Well, sometime around July or August. It was summertime. July,
20 August. I can't pinpoint the date. I know it was summer. It was the
21 summer of 1992. Therefore, July or August.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you call Autotransport Prijedor as one of
23 your good or excellent customers?
24 A. Well, I can't say. One of the better, but not the best. The best
25 were the citizens since businesses were not particularly well off, those
1 transport trucks -- shipping companies and transport companies who worked,
2 and Autotransport was the only one such company passes the petrol
3 station. It is a good location, at the crossroads leading in various
4 directions. The citizens were actually taking more fuel than
5 Autotransport. And also, the iron ore mine, they had their own buses
6 which were -- which commuted to the mine and from the mine, and also
7 served -- and also transported citizens between Ljubija and Prijedor.
8 They also bought fuel from us.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did they pay in cash? I think you mentioned it
10 already, but to be on the safe side, or was there any special bank account
11 with Autotransport Prijedor?
12 A. As far as I know, yes, they paid through a bank account. They are
13 also a public company. They had money on their account. At times, they
14 wouldn't have any money there for about five or ten days. But we would
15 then wait for it, wait, it would be a loan to them. But they paid
16 regularly. There were not any particular payments, and the price was the
17 regular one, as if -- as when you buy petrol at the petrol station less,
18 of course, the amount when their tanker would transport our oil. So we
19 would deduct the price of transportation from the complete -- from the
20 total price.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you know for which purposes the buses of
22 Autotransport Prijedor were used in 1992?
23 A. To transport passengers, buses. As far as I know, they travelled
24 to Prijedor, Dubica; Prijedor, Novi Grad; Prijedor, Banja Luka; Prijedor,
25 Omarska; Prijedor, Ljubija. Those were the itineraries. Perhaps -- no,
1 not perhaps, but I'm sure that the number of rides was cut shorter as
2 against the situation -- before the situation that occurred because
3 earlier, there were buses leaving Prijedor in all directions every 30
4 minutes. But that was cut shorter. That was reduced to the minimum. I
5 know that by the fuel they consumed.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever hear that these buses were used to
7 bring voluntarily or unvoluntarily persons from Prijedor out of the area
8 of Prijedor?
9 A. Yes, I've already mentioned. I already said yesterday in my
10 statement that I took a family out, that is, took them into my home and
11 told them they could stay at my place. They didn't have to go, and nobody
12 would harm them --
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This wasn't my question. May I ask you to
14 answer my question. My question was related to the buses only. To the
15 buses of Autotransport Prijedor.
16 A. Well, I was about to explain that. When I took that family out, I
17 saw two Autotransport buses. And I can't claim this with certainty, those
18 were people who wanted to leave, and those buses went to Novska.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you refuel cars of the police?
20 A. No.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you refuel --
22 A. I did -- I'm sorry. Once they had paid in advance, I think it was
23 550 litres, I don't remember, but this was paid. So yes, I did give fuel
24 for the police cars, that is, during the time that I worked with the
25 petrol station, I sold them 550 litres, which were paid in advance. And
1 that was it.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When was this?
3 A. Well, it lasted until about the new year, between August and the
4 new year.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Previous interpretation continues]...
6 A. Yes, I gave them the fuel, and it lasted for three or four
7 months. That is how long it took them to use up all that fuel.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you provide cars of the army with fuel?
9 A. No. I did not sell any fuel to army vehicles that were not buying
10 it from me or from what I know from other petrol stations as well. They
11 had their own bases, and they had their own petrol station.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Final question on this line: Did you ever sell
13 fuel for the Omarska investigation centre?
14 A. No.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the usher to present to the witness
16 Document S180, and there, issue 24.
17 Before asking a concrete question on this, have you been a reader
18 of the Official Gazette of Prijedor?
19 A. Never. No.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Never. May I then ask, please, the witness to
21 be shown S399B, page 2. And ask the witness to read out the third
22 paragraph starting with --
23 A. "I point this out --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please slow down so the interpreters
1 can follow you. Thank you.
2 A. "I'm pointing this out because Hidraflex may not be considered
3 abundant property in the sense of the decision to proclaim the abandoned
4 property, the state property, the Official Gazette of Prijedor 3/92. The
5 fact that some property has been abandoned is established by the decision
6 of disposition of the relevant body, and only after that a property may be
7 proclaimed state property. It is likewise --"
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You need not go in further details. But when
9 asked whether you read the Official Gazette of Prijedor, whether you were
10 a reader of the Official Gazette, you answered three minutes ago "never."
11 Here you are making reference to the Official Gazette of Prijedor.
13 A. Well, I say it again, that I never read the Official Gazette.
14 What I wrote, I also had a team of people in my company who did their
15 job. I'm not a lawyer. I had a woman who did that and who did what I had
16 ordered her. But I never read the Official Gazette. I've never read a
17 single issue of the Official Gazette.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So may I then ask you whether or not you have
19 ever seen the document that you have before you?
20 A. The Official Gazette.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And there, page --
22 A. The Municipality of Prijedor.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Page number 39, issue 24.
24 A. I've never seen it and never had it in my hands. I've never read
25 it, never. I only gave a statement, so I see that this is it, where the
1 army got its fuel supply which means that I was not wrong. But they had
2 their petrol station at the barracks, and where they got the fuel for it
3 from, well, they did not get fuel from me. Who supplied them the fuel, I
4 do not know, nor did we use our tankers to supply them with fuel because
5 they had their own.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And this second point in this order, who owned
7 this petrol station?
8 A. Why, Energopetrol. What I just said. When I spoke about the
9 Crisis Staff in Cirkin Polje, that's the petrol station that I marked with
10 the number 5.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please, then, turn to issue 28. As an expert in
12 this field, could you please comment what is the meaning of this order?
13 A. Krajinapetrol, I can't even recall where that petrol station is.
14 Oh, yes, perhaps when the name was changed, when Energopetrol became
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can you please read out --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the president, please.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry.
19 A. I don't understand this. I mean, I've never seen it, and I don't
20 understand it. "Krajinapetrol is prohibited to issue oil without the
21 authorisation of the Crisis Staff. The secretary of the secretariat for
22 economy is made responsible to" -- I don't understand this.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please go on reading.
24 A. Yeah, sure. It says: "Krajinapetrol Prijedor is hereby
25 prohibited from giving, from giving -- from issuing oil without the
1 authorisation of the Crisis Staff.
2 "Item 2, the secretary of the secretariat for economy is hereby
3 tasked with arriving at a uniform price for oil and oil derivatives at the
4 Autonomous Region of Krajina level.
5 "Item 3, this order shall enter force on the day of its adoption
7 "10th of June, 1992. President of the Crisis Staff. Milomir
9 I've read it, and I still don't understand it.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Your testimony is you never saw this order; you
11 never were aware of the content of this order, especially related to a
12 standard price for oil and oil derivatives at the Autonomous Region of
13 Krajina level? You never heard about this, and you never discussed this
14 with Dr. Stakic?
15 A. Never.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we then finally turn to issue number 29.
17 Have you ever seen this order?
18 A. Never.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you be surprised to see this line of three
20 orders in an area where apparently you were an expert in the area of
22 A. I repeat, I am not a politician. I am a businessman. I never
23 needed this, nobody ever showed it to me. It is not that I am surprised.
24 I only know what petrol stations had fuel, which were supplying fuel.
25 Some of them were supplying fuel against vouchers. I don't know what this
1 is. Nobody ever asked me at my petrol station to supply fuel to the
2 police or the military. I could supply whoever I wanted to supply. I had
3 my friend and relatives that I had to help. And sometimes I would give
4 them small quantities of fuel without payment. I have never seen this. I
5 repeat, and I state that I have never seen this before.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And you have never seen this before --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Presiding Judge, microphone, please.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And you have never seen these documents during
9 the last week?
10 A. No, never.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you see any other document during the last
12 week contained in this issue of the Official Gazette of Prijedor?
13 A. No, I didn't see anything like that. Do you mean during the last
14 week, whether I saw something like that? The answer is no, I didn't. No,
15 I haven't.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You have not seen any issue or any order in this
17 volume of the Prijedor municipal gazette during the last week?
18 A. I've said I didn't. No.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This is a clear answer. And this concludes
20 today's hearing. The trial stays adjourned until tomorrow -- wait a
21 minute, before we break. We will stay then adjourned until tomorrow. But
22 first let us hear -- again, I repeat, I invite both parties to inform me
23 as soon as possible when they know the Defence what will be the witness,
24 will the witness be available Thursday, Friday, and what about the
25 statement to be expected from the side of, put it this way, senior counsel
1 of the Prosecution.
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: I understand from Ms. Sutherland that Ms. Korner
3 would like to address you after the witness has finished tomorrow.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Let's call it a day. The trial
5 stays adjourned until tomorrow, 9.00.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
8 at 4.40 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
9 the 19th day of February, 2003,
10 at 9.00 a.m.