Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 12812

1 Monday, 3 March 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.10 a.m.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning to everybody. Please be seated.

6 May we hear the case number by Madam Registrar, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T, the

8 Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the appearances, please.

10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian, Ann

11 Sutherland, and Ruth Karper for the Prosecution.

12 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Branko Lukic for the

13 Defence.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask, before we start with today's witness,

15 is there anything to be discussed beforehand? A number of deadlines are

16 set for today.

17 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. That's why Mr. Ostojic will not be

18 in the courtroom with us today. He is trying with the case manager to

19 meet all the deadlines, and we hope that we will fulfill all the Chamber's

20 requirements for today.

21 Also, I would like to state that we withdraw Witness 055 and

22 Witness 083 from the list of the witnesses. Those witnesses are scheduled

23 for this week. And during the day, we'll ask the Chamber to approve two

24 new witnesses which would probably --

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Microphone not activated] Let me start step by

Page 12813

1 step.

2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry. Thank you for the hint.

4 Witness 055, Witness 083, you mentioned scheduled for this week,

5 this would mean that Defence has no witnesses this week?

6 MR. LUKIC: Defence has Witness 006 and 043.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So this is -- may be misleading on the

8 transcript. Therefore, my question on line 22.

9 MR. LUKIC: I have to answer something?

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No, because it should only be transpired from

11 the transcript that you did not withdraw a witness scheduled for this

12 week.

13 MR. LUKIC: No, no, not all of them.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. So this is the final decision related to

15 these two witnesses. What about the I would say already famous 058,

16 trying already twice?

17 MR. LUKIC: This witness is scheduled for the last week, so I have

18 to admit that we didn't contact him yesterday. And we can instruct our

19 investigator to contact him, but not during this day because he is already

20 overburdened with the task we gave him.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think in the moment, we are all overburdened

22 with the tasks. And I really can understand your point.

23 Additional remarks from your side?

24 MR. LUKIC: No, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: For the moment.

Page 12814

1 MR. LUKIC: During the day, we'll submit the list of the witnesses

2 for the next week.


4 What about Prosecution, anything special for today?

5 MR. KOUMJIAN: No, Your Honour. We do have the English-language

6 copy of the constitution to distribute today, but are still looking for a

7 B/C/S copy.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And please, let's try to settle as soon as

9 possible the problem with the different copies of the statute.

10 Then before the witness arrived related to the admonition in this

11 concrete case, a special question to the Prosecution, in another context,

12 we discussed this previously. I have to admonish this witness under Rule

13 90, no doubt.

14 This would mean that the Chamber has under the rules or seem to

15 have the power to compel a witness to answer a question which might tend

16 to incriminate the witness. I think as to the fact that this person, in

17 fact, appears as a witness but let's call it, it's a borderline case to

18 being an accused, and this Tribunal doesn't have the power to stop any,

19 say, national court to make use of the statements given in this Tribunal.

20 I think the general principle applies that a person cannot be compelled to

21 give any kind of self-incriminatory testimony.

22 Do you accept this, or do you have a different view?

23 MR. KOUMJIAN: I do have a slightly different view. If Your

24 Honour prefers, I'd rather wait and see if this theoretical question

25 actually arises. I'm not sure the witness is going to invoke any right

Page 12815

1 against self-incrimination.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Then may I ask the usher, please, to

3 escort the witness into the courtroom.

4 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just on that point, Your Honour, at that point, I

5 would ask that we go into closed session if that arises, and then we can

6 address the issues.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think the admonition has to be in open

8 session. And as for the moment, I have no request by the witness to start

9 in closed session.

10 MR. LUKIC: We don't have such a request, of course, Your Honour.

11 [The witness entered court]

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning, Mr. Budimir. Can you hear me in a

13 language you understand?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated for a moment.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.


18 [Witness answered through interpreter]

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You are called as a witness of the Chamber. And

20 therefore, opposed to a witness called by any party, we didn't have any

21 possibility of contacting you beforehand. So therefore, my first

22 question, from your point of view, do you have reasons that your testimony

23 is taken not in public session or under certain to-be-defined protective

24 measures?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

Page 12816

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Then it is my duty to give you a

2 general information on your rights. In this Tribunal, as it is true in

3 all the courtrooms of the world, a witness is expected to tell the truth

4 and nothing but the truth, and the entire truth. This means also an

5 omission to tell something one would expect you to testify in a concrete

6 context could be seen as a false testimony.

7 On the other hand, we have to act based on that what we have in

8 evidence until now. And as to the fact that this is already Day 126 of

9 the case, you will believe that we have heard a lot, and we maybe know

10 already a lot. But until the end of the case, we have to listen carefully

11 and to try to come closer to the truth. This means we are, to a certain

12 end, dependent on the truthfulness of your testimony. On the other hand,

13 there's a general principle of nonself-incrimination. In our Rules of

14 Procedure and Evidence, Rule 90, paragraph (E), it reads: "The witness

15 may object to making any statement which might tend to incriminate the

16 witness. The Chamber, may however, compel the witness to answer the

17 question. Testimony compelled in this way shall not be used as evidence

18 in a subsequent prosecution against the witness for any offence other than

19 false testimony." To be quite clear, you are here not as an accused but

20 as a witness. But it might be that there are such questions, and in this

21 case, the Trial Chamber takes a slightly different approach one could

22 summarise as follows: Any witness may refuse to answer any questions, the

23 reply to which would subject him or one of the relatives to the risk of

24 being prosecuted for a criminal offence. And it's my duty to inform you

25 on your right to refuse those answers.

Page 12817












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Page 12818

1 On the other hand, in addition, once again, due to the fact that

2 prior to reaching this courtroom, none of the parties had had the

3 possibility to give you the advice and the admonition under Rule 91.

4 Before we start, and not for a concrete reason based on your testimony, I

5 have to advise you that any false testimony under solemn declaration in

6 this Tribunal is punishable, and the maximum penalty for false testimony

7 under solemn declaration shall be a fine of 100.000 Euros or a term of

8 imprisonment or seven years or both. Did you understand this information?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understood everything.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Then it's time to take your solemn

11 declaration. Would you please stand up and give us your solemn

12 declaration.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

14 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Please be seated again.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

17 Questioned by the Court:

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then let us start immediately with your personal

19 data. May we hear your name, your first names, if more than one, and in

20 case there is such a nickname, also your nickname.

21 A. My name is Slavko Budimir, last name is Budimir. And my nickname

22 is Budo.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And your father's and mother's name,

24 please.

25 A. My father's name is Rade and my mother's name is Bosiljka.

Page 12819

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And you were born when and where?

2 A. I was born on the 20th of August 1953 in Prijedor.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You are married, and do you have a child or

4 children?

5 A. Yes, I am married. My wife's name is Gordana, and I have two

6 children. My son's name is Dragan, and my daughter's name is Sanja.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask you, what is your current address?

8 A. My current address is Kralj Aleksandra Street number 13 in

9 Prijedor.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Your occupation today?

11 A. I am employed in a public state enterprise, the Serbian post

12 office in Banja Luka -- the post office of Banja Luka, and I am working as

13 the director of the work unit in Prijedor.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: For a better understanding, can you tell me what

15 is a work unit, or the work unit, how many people are working there, and

16 what is the objective of your work?

17 A. The public state company of the Serbian post office is organised

18 as a centralised state company at the level of Republika Srpska. The work

19 unit of Prijedor, where I am the director, employs about 202 workers, and

20 it covers the region of the municipalities of Prijedor, Dubica, Nov Grad,

21 Kostajnica, Srpski Sanski Most, and Krupa Na Uni. The main purpose or

22 function of the company is to provide postal services in the region that I

23 have just mentioned.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this detailed answer.

25 The next question is already a kind of borderline question. May I

Page 12820

1 ask, when asked in the 1991 census, what did you declare as your

2 ethnicity?

3 A. A Serb. I want to add that during that census, I worked as an

4 instructor for the people conducting the census at the municipality level

5 of Prijedor because I was a professional in this area.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: From this I understand that you were also

7 involved in the preparation of this census. Correct?

8 A. Yes, in the preparation and the implementation of the regulations

9 as a technical expert associate of the committee for the census.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Tell me, you recall the ballot paper. What was

11 it? Was there -- were there some alternatives, say, Serb, Bosniak, Croat,

12 or also maybe related to the religion of people where they just had to

13 crossmark one answer, or was it to the liberty to fill in whatever citizen

14 in Prijedor Municipality wanted to fill in?

15 A. I don't remember this ballot paper very well now. But as far as I

16 can remember, it provided a number of possibilities for the people to

17 declare themselves as Muslims, Serbs, Croats, or Yugoslavs. And there was

18 also the possibility in this questionnaire for people to say which faith

19 they belonged to.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Maybe we have to come back later to

21 this census. This was only a first question on this issue.

22 Mr. Budimir, did you hear during the last week or even the last

23 month about the guilty plea of Ms. Plavsic?

24 A. Yes, I've heard about it.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you also hear about the outcome of the case,

Page 12821

1 the sentencing of Ms. Plavsic, 11 years' imprisonment?

2 A. Yes, I did.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Tell me, what is your personal opinion on this

4 outcome of the case and the mere fact that Ms. Plavsic decided to plead

5 guilty?

6 A. If you allow me, I graduated from the school of political sciences

7 at the university in Zagreb. And in the times when these events took

8 place, in view of my personal world view, I refrained from getting

9 involved in politics, and I would now like to refrain from answering this

10 question because it would require me to enlarge on certain issues in order

11 to give an answer that would be satisfactory to the Trial Chamber, as an

12 expression of my personal view.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to insist, but do you regard in principle

14 such kind of guilty plea a way to come to reconciliation in former

15 Yugoslavia?

16 A. If you allow me, I will insist on refraining from answering this

17 question.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Nevertheless, I want, please -- I want you to

19 give me an answer, if it's only a yes or no. Do you believe this approach

20 is assisting that what is our mandate, to bring and maintain peace in the

21 area that when later on, a person arrives to that point saying "that what

22 I did in the past was actually wrong, and I have to accept the foreseeable

23 consequences"?

24 A. Conditionally speaking, yes, but with the proviso that I mentioned

25 before; namely, that it would require me enlarge on the events in

Page 12822

1 which -- in the times concerned and provided that it applies to all the

2 parties involved in the conflict. Then I believe it could have favourable

3 impact in the context of the work of this Tribunal and in the context of

4 the developments in the area in question.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Maybe when answering the now-following questions

6 today, it could be helpful to bear this in mind. And no doubt, this

7 Tribunal and this Trial Chamber doesn't see the events in 1992 and the

8 years immediately before and afterwards in a black and white way. There

9 is not the good and there is not the evil; we have to find out, and this

10 is our mandate, who is individually criminally responsible for certain

11 acts. And therefore, now, the following line of questions: For a better

12 understanding of your personality, let's go through in a context your

13 professional career. And by leading questions, we can go through as soon

14 as possible this career. But before I start this line of questions, could

15 you please tell us, have you ever been approached by one or the other

16 party in this case? That is, on the one hand side, the Office of the

17 Prosecutor by one or more persons, investigators, counsel, or, on the

18 other hand, Defence counsel, Mr. Lukic, Defence counsel, Mr. Ostojic, who

19 is absent in the moment, or one of the members of the Defence team?

20 A. Yes. I had interviews with the team of OTP investigators. I

21 think it was about a year ago in Banja Luka at the Intercontinental

22 Hotel. These interviews lasted from about 8.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. After,

23 that I had no more contact with the OTP, nor am I aware of the contents of

24 that statement or the way in which it was later used by the Office of the

25 Prosecutor.

Page 12823












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Page 12824

1 In addition to that, I had a brief contact with Mr. Ostojic, a

2 short interview, on which occasion the Defence counsel asked me and my

3 colleague, who is supposed to come in the days that follow, Mr. Travar, to

4 testify as Defence witnesses. But we refused because we had these earlier

5 contacts with the OTP. Further to that, I had no more contact with either

6 party.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So in conclusion, there would be one

8 meeting is it correct, the 23rd March, 2002, from 9.00 until 5.00 in

9 the Intercontinental Hotel in Banja Luka with the OTP. No other contact

10 with the Prosecution. Any contact with domestic --

11 A. No, no I didn't --

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: -- Domestic judges?

13 A. No, I have never been in a courtroom, nor have I ever been held

14 responsible for a misdemeanour or a crime.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And to be -- are you sure that you met

16 Mr. Ostojic and not Mr. Lukic who is present here in the courtroom?

17 A. I apologise if I said Mr. Ostojic. I wanted to say Mr. Lukic. I

18 don't know Mr. Ostojic. This is the man whom I met with.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you go into some details during the

20 discussion, into details of the case with -- when speaking with the

21 Defence?

22 A. No.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then, please, let's come to your professional

24 career. Is it correct you completed the secondary technical school in

25 Zagreb as well as the political sciences within the university of Zagreb?

Page 12825

1 A. Yes.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You graduated from the university of Zagreb, be

3 it in 1984 or 1986, it doesn't matter for the purposes of this case. You

4 did your military service in 1974 and 1975.

5 A. Yes, also in Zagreb.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then please tell us in context, what was

7 then your professional development since 1986 until 1990?

8 A. Well, if you'll allow me to say this much, I started my career

9 much before that, before I graduated from the university. After I

10 completed the secondary technical school --

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please understand, for the purposes of this

12 case, we are interested only in this period of time, and especially the

13 then-following period. So therefore, if you could concentrate first on

14 the period between 1986-1990, and then continue telling us what you did

15 since 1990.

16 A. From 1986, after I graduated from the university, I found a job in

17 the municipality of Prijedor in the municipal committee for the economy

18 and social planning as an independent expert assistant for planning and

19 development. Within its purview, this committee, as a municipal organ,

20 covered the area of the economy, transport, communications and services,

21 public services such as education, health care, information. And I was

22 working on the development of long-term and medium-term plans.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Were you subordinate to the president of the

24 Executive Board, Mr. Vujic?

25 A. No, the president of the executive council was then Mr. Vujicic,

Page 12826

1 and I was subordinate to an official who was in charge of that committee,

2 Mr. Ilija Ecim. Mr. Ilija Ecim as the public servant in charge of that

3 commission was subordinate to Mr. Vujicic.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: At the beginning of today's testimony, you

5 mentioned that you were involved in taking the 1991 census. Could you

6 very briefly -- we have known a lot about this, the outcome of this

7 census.

8 A. I was not a member of the elections committee that had the task of

9 consolidating all the data collected during the census. And as an expert,

10 I covered only one part of the municipal territory.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In general terms only, the outcome was what?

12 What was the majority in Prijedor Municipality in 1991?

13 A. The outcome of the census in 1992 in the Prijedor Municipality was

14 as follows: There was an approximately equal number of Serbs and

15 Muslims. I estimate that the Muslims were -- that the Muslims outnumbered

16 Serbs by one or two hundred perhaps. There were much fewer Croats, and

17 those people who declared themselves as Yugoslavs. And the number of

18 those who declared themselves as Yugoslavs was much lower in 1991 compared

19 to 1981.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Microphone not activated] Do you regard the

21 outcome of this census --

22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry. Do you regard the outcome of this census

24 as a legal or legitimate one?

25 A. From my point of view as an expert and from the point of view of

Page 12827

1 other technical and expert assistants who were involved in the census, I

2 believe there were many irregularities in the work and method used.

3 Primarily because the national parties engaged people to conduct the

4 census who did not meet the basic professional standards for this job. As

5 a result, there were many irregularities that occurred due to lack of

6 knowledge, lack of competence, qualification as well as conscious

7 manipulations committed by certain members of the committee with regard to

8 the way the census was conducted.

9 However, since the committee was established by the municipality

10 as a legal and legitimate one, I, as a law-abiding citizen, regarded the

11 outcome of this census as a legitimate one despite my reservations as an

12 expert who noticed the irregularities and deficiencies I have mentioned.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you ever been a member of a political

14 party?

15 A. I was a member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia from the

16 time I was in high school until 1989. And after that, until 1994, I was

17 not a member of any political party.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sometimes we heard in this courtroom a witness

19 saying he would be a passive member of a party. Would you regard yourself

20 as a passive member of any party, or what would be your first political

21 choice and what was your first political choice in 1991, 1992?

22 A. I was not a member of any party, and I don't think we can divide

23 people or members into passive or active. If somebody's not involved in a

24 political party at all, as is my case, then we cannot make these

25 distinctions.

Page 12828

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the second part of the question, your first

2 political choice in 1991, 1992?

3 A. If I had a choice, I would have made it. But since I didn't, I

4 would not like to talk about it.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Just try to understand your answer. Did you

6 participate in the elections prior to April 1992?

7 A. I did take part in the elections in 1990 as a voter.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Because I don't want to go into details that's

9 a secret vote, and therefore you have the right not to answer.

10 Did you feel closer affiliated to one of the parties, to put it

11 this way?

12 A. Well, if you really insist, considering the way the nominations

13 were formed for elections at various levels, my votes depended on the

14 ballots. And I can't say that I had strictly one political choice, that I

15 opted clearly for one party in favour of another. It depended on the

16 post.

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Were there people in Prijedor in the beginning

18 of 1992, or even at the end of the 1991, not accepting the outcome of the

19 census and to a certain extent, then also not accepting the outcome of the

20 elections in 1990?

21 A. I can't talk on behalf of other people. I accepted the legality

22 of the elections of 1990 and the status that resulted. All of the other

23 estimations on my part and judgements would be purely arbitrary.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To be quite concrete, did you ever know that

25 some persons try to establish a so-called second option, or others would

Page 12829












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Page 12830

1 call it "shadow government" in the beginning of 1992 because they were not

2 satisfied with the actual political situation in Prijedor Municipality?

3 A. I wasn't involved in politics in that period. And I wasn't close

4 to the source of information that you are referring to so that I cannot

5 clearly respond to your questions so as for my answers to really reflect

6 the truth. But this would be more of citing information from some

7 unreliable sources rather than providing evidence.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the usher to show the witness

9 Document S394B. And always, please, put on the ELMO at the same time the

10 English version.

11 Have you ever seen this document before or heard about the

12 contents of this document?

13 A. No.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then tell us, please, briefly, what was your

15 concrete occupation in the beginning of 1992, from January to April 1992?

16 A. From January to April 1992, I was employed at the municipal

17 secretariat for national defence as an expert for planning, and then later

18 I was the assistant secretary for the civilian affairs, for civilian

19 defence.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please explain, what were the

21 functions of this secretariat for national defence or secretariat for

22 people's defence?

23 A. The municipal secretariat for national defence based on the law of

24 national defence forms -- is formed by the municipality so that it could

25 carry out all the tasks relating to the administration of all issues

Page 12831

1 relating to defence. It is an organ which is -- has its powers over the

2 territory of the municipality for all issues relating to national defence.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Such as? Could you please give us some

4 examples.

5 A. Yes. In accordance with the competencies and the powers

6 prescribed by law, this organ carried out the following tasks: Placing

7 military conscripts into the records so registering the military

8 conscripts as of the age of 16 and maintaining these records of military

9 conscripts up until the age of 60 for each individual military conscript

10 or up to the age of 65 for the military conscripts who had the rank of

11 officer. The organ also conducted medical examinations and the

12 recruitment of military conscripts. Also assessed their ability to serve

13 the regular military term.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To whom had you to report until the 1st of April

15 1992? What was the chain of command?

16 A. The municipal secretariat for national defence was a municipal

17 organ for defence. And it was subordinated to the Executive Board of the

18 Municipal Assembly. But in view of the fact that this organ operated

19 exclusively under the regulations adopted at the republican level and at

20 the federal state level, our second-ranking organ regarding the

21 decision-making actually was the republican secretariat for national

22 defence.

23 De facto, we were a municipal organ, but we operated according to

24 regulations of the republican organ. And they were our monitoring body in

25 terms of our implementation of those regulations.

Page 12832

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Were you a member of the Executive Board in

2 Prijedor?

3 A. I was a member of the Executive Board in the period from the 30th

4 of April until the 1st of August formally, although a change of

5 regulations in this area, according to which we were to act, took place on

6 the 1st of June 1992 so that formally, according to the regulations, I was

7 a member of the Executive Board until the 1st of June, 1992. But in terms

8 of the restructuring of this organ, from the municipal level to the

9 republican level at the level of the defence ministry, we completed these

10 tasks within two months, so by the 1st of August 1992.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In this courtroom, it is an agreed fact that the

12 30th of April 1992 is the day of the takeover in Prijedor. You just a

13 minute before told us that you were a member of the Executive Board as

14 from the 30th of April 1992. Can you tell us, when did you learn for the

15 first time that you would get this post and by whom did you learn it?

16 A. I heard that two days before the Executive Board was elected. And

17 Mr. Mico Kovacevic informed me about this during a conversation we had.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When was the Executive Board elected?

19 A. I cannot remember the specific date, but I think that it was

20 sometime in mid-April or in the first half of April, in that period

21 sometime.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was it a conversation on the four eyes you had

23 with Mr. Kovacevic, or were others present?

24 A. Only Mr. Kovacevic was present.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did he tell you when it was decided and why it

Page 12833

1 was decided to elect a new Executive Board?

2 A. No. Mico Kovacevic was a simple man. And our conversation didn't

3 last that long. He told me that there were no choices or proposals for

4 the secretariat -- secretary of the municipal secretariat for national

5 defence.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And what about the reason --

7 A. May I finish, please. But he asked me to accept this post in any

8 case.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Why was it necessary to have a new Executive

10 Board as from the 30th of April?

11 A. I don't understand the formulation of the question in terms of the

12 word "necessary."

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When you obtain a new function in the Executive

14 Board, it would be to replace another person in this position. Why was it

15 necessary to replace another person, and whom did you replace?

16 A. About why this was necessary, I think that the people who formed

17 the Executive Board should give their reasons for that. As far as I'm

18 concerned, I replaced the to then secretary of the secretariat for

19 national defence Mr. Medunjanin.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was Mr. Becir Medunjanin not good enough to

21 exercise these functions, and wasn't it the result of previous elections

22 and the decisions taken by the three main parties about the distribution

23 of power in Prijedor Municipality?

24 A. Yes, that was the result of the division of power in the territory

25 of Prijedor amongst the parties which won a certain amount of votes in the

Page 12834

1 elections and formed the government at the municipal level. So as not to

2 use the word "good" or "not good," in terms of carrying out the function

3 and acting in accordance with the law, but I can responsibly state that

4 Mr. Medunjanin never worked in the organs of the state administration

5 before that time. He did not know what the state administration was, what

6 laws and regulations were, and what they mean for the functioning of a

7 state of the rule of law and equal regulations for all citizens. And he,

8 for a year before that, since these events began to unfold in the

9 territory of the former Yugoslavia did not implement the regulations which

10 were in force by law which regulated the work of the municipal secretariat

11 for national defence.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think we shouldn't waste too much time with

13 these kind of answers. Do you know what was the fate of Becir Medunjanin?

14 A. I think that he was a casualty of the events during the war, but I

15 do not have specific information about what happened to him. This is all

16 I know.

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you read Kozarski Vjesnik?

18 A. Very little, in view of the job that I was performing, which was

19 very dynamic with lots of duties. So that I devoted very little time to

20 reading Kozarski Vjesnik as well as to contacts with people from the

21 Kozarski Vjesnik, the journalists.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Didn't you, in fact, read in Kozarski Vjesnik

23 that Becir Medunjanin was arrested alive together with other members of

24 his family?

25 A. No, I didn't read that.

Page 12835












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Page 12836

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Didn't you know that he had been taken to

2 Omarska, was tortured, and then killed?

3 A. No, I didn't have that information, nor did I know anything about

4 the movements of Mr. Medunjanin.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you hear later of the -- about the fate of

6 Mr. Medunjanin?

7 A. I've already said that, that I found out that he was a casualty of

8 the events during the war. But under which circumstances and when, I

9 really have no information about that.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Where did you spend the evening of the 29th of

11 April 1992?

12 A. The evening of the 29th of April 1992, I spent in my family house

13 in the village of Mrakovica which is about 6 kilometres away from the town

14 of Prijedor.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it your testimony here that you haven't been

16 at Cirkin Polje on that evening, that night?

17 A. You used the word "evening," so I responded precisely to that word

18 "evening" which implies the time period until midnight. After midnight,

19 around 4.00 a.m. or 4.25 a.m. that night, I was collected by a police

20 patrol, two young men, one of whom I knew, and they told me to go with

21 them to town. And on the way they explained to me that there was a

22 takeover of power and that I should report to Cirkin Polje. I arrived

23 Cirkin Polje at about 20 to 5.00 a.m., and I saw a large number of people

24 there, most of whom I didn't know. I only knew a small number of people

25 there.

Page 12837

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Will you please be so kind and give us the names

2 of those persons you knew.

3 A. The people whom I knew were the following: Mr. Srdic,

4 Mr. Miskovic, and if I remember well, Mr. Kuruzovic, as well as this young

5 man from the police, Mr. Jovic, the one who brought me.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You are aware that there are a number of Jovics

7 in Prijedor. Could you please give us the first name of this Mr. Jovic.

8 A. Zika Jovic. He worked at the SUP.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you know Dr. Stakic beforehand?

10 A. No, I didn't know Dr. Stakic from before.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Until the 30th of April, where did you have your

12 office?

13 A. My office was in a building where the municipal secretariat for

14 national defence was, and the ministry for internal affairs. This is

15 immediately across the street from the municipal building.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you at least ever seen the vice-president

17 at that time, before the 1st of May, the vice-president of the Municipal

18 Assembly of Prijedor Municipality Dr. Stakic?

19 A. Yes, I saw him. I understood the previous questions as contacts

20 and my acquaintance with him. But I did see Mr. Stakic. Of course, I

21 would see him on the street, over the media. I don't know. I did see

22 him. It's not that I didn't know his face, but we didn't have any

23 contacts before that.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I appreciate your precise answers. But let me

25 come back to Cirkin Polje. Did you see Dr. Stakic as well at Cirkin

Page 12838

1 Polje?

2 A. No, I didn't notice him in the crowd. I spent a very brief amount

3 of time there. I think that I was the last person to arrive there. I was

4 the farthest away also, so I was there for about 20 to 40 minutes. And

5 then in the crowd created in this way, I didn't know the majority of the

6 people. So in these milling about -- in this milling about, I didn't

7 notice Mr. Stakic.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you learn later by chance and through others

9 whether or whether not Dr. Stakic was present at Cirkin Polje that night?

10 A. No, I didn't hear of it, nor did I discuss this topic specifically

11 with anyone. I didn't feel that this was necessary for me for the

12 carrying out of the duties that I was carrying out.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you tell us in some detail what happened

14 at Cirkin Polje when people were assembled there? Did anybody take the

15 floor, give a speech, and give an address what should happen on the next

16 day, or actually, the same day, the 30th of April 1992?

17 A. No. The previous question relating to this date and about what

18 was going on up there, I don't have any information because I told you I

19 arrived there the last. It was about 20 to 5.00, and already at 5.30, we

20 set out for our jobs. And the time that I spent there, from 20 to 5.00 to

21 5.30, there were no talks or contacts. I believe that all the things had

22 been clarified previously so that I did not take part in any of these

23 conversations. There were no speeches, instructions, specific content or

24 anything to that effect.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please explain the meaning of your

Page 12839

1 sentence "I believe that all the things had been clarified previously."

2 A. This is what I meant, what you were talking about, whether there

3 were any meetings, speeches, or such things.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What had to be clarified previously?

5 A. I don't know. I didn't participate in the preparation or the

6 working out, so I don't know what it was that needed to be clarified.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I just had quoted your own answer. And it is

8 not self-understanding or it's easy to get access to any kind of

9 understanding when you immediately out of the blue tell us that you

10 believe any of these things have been clarified previously. And then I

11 have to insist to ask you, what were the things that had been clarified

12 previously? To be quite concrete, the takeover?

13 A. If you allow me, in your question, you asked me the question were

14 there any meetings, agreements, talks about any issues. And I said I

15 arrived at 20 to 5.00. And then after that, from the moment I arrived,

16 there were no meetings, agreements, or conversations. And my answer

17 wholly was directed in -- directed to replying to your question whether

18 there were any meetings, agreements, or conversations.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think the transcript speaks for itself.

20 What happened with you, then? You told us you were there 20 to 40

21 minutes. Did you leave at your own or accompanied by others?

22 A. The people who brought me, since this was in the same building,

23 these people worked in the same building as I did, also took me back to my

24 workplace. So I got there at about a quarter to 6.00 or 20 to 6.00, I got

25 to the place where I was working.

Page 12840

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was it the same place as before?

2 A. I was the assistant secretary of the secretariat for national

3 defence for civilian questions previously. And at the meeting, I was

4 elected as secretary of the municipal secretariat for national defence.

5 So I came to the workplace for the secretary of national defence.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So when arriving at about 6.00 or 20 to 6.00,

7 you immediately took over the chair of and the office of this secretary

8 for people's defence. Correct?

9 A. Yes, I went to the premises of the municipal secretariat for

10 national defence, and -- but I didn't go to that office immediately. But

11 I went to the office where I used to be up until that time. I moved to

12 the other office maybe two or three days later. It didn't mean anything

13 much to me. The job could be conducted from either office, so it wasn't

14 important to me which office I was in, and it didn't have anything to do

15 with the actual performing of my work duties. So that time, I didn't

16 actually go directly to that office.

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When taking over the work of a predecessor, one

18 normally has a discussion, files are handed over, and there is some kind

19 of introduction. Did you discuss these issues with Becir Medunjanin?

20 A. No, I didn't discuss those issues with Becir Medunjanin because

21 that day, he didn't come to work. But I talked to those people who did

22 report to the work, with the deputy, Josip Gotvald and with the other

23 assistants for military affairs as well as other expert staff.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever see Mr. Becir Medunjanin once

25 again?

Page 12841












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Page 12842

1 A. No.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until 5 minutes past

3 11.00.

4 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.

5 --- On resuming at 11.06 a.m.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.

7 Mr. Budimir, to repeat: Based on your previous testimony, you are

8 invited by the late Mico Kovacevic to take over the new position. At the

9 same time, you mentioned later that there was a previous meeting. Was

10 this the meeting of the Serbian Assembly of Prijedor Municipality?

11 A. My talk with Mr. Kovacevic was two days before the meeting of the

12 Serbian Municipal Assembly of Prijedor where the Executive Board was

13 elected in that composition headed by Mr. Kovacevic where I had the post

14 of

15 acting municipal secretary for national defence.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And you were invited by Mr. Kovacevic to attend

17 this meeting of the Serbian Municipal Assembly of Prijedor. Correct?

18 A. Yes. Mr. Kovacevic invited me to attend the session which was

19 supposed to elect the Executive Board.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And where was this meeting held and who

21 participated?

22 A. That session was held on the premises of the public utilities

23 institute in Prijedor, and it was attended by the deputies of the

24 Municipal Assembly plus the nominees for the Executive Board. I attended

25 that session together with Mr. Mico Kreco, president of the court in

Page 12843

1 Prijedor, because most of the people there were unknown to me. And Mico

2 Kreco was the only one I knew from before.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You mentioned the deputies of the Municipal

4 Assembly were there, plus other nominees. Was among these persons

5 Dr. Milomir Stakic?

6 A. If I remember well, I think he did, but I can't say exactly. I

7 know Mr. Kovacevic was there who told us about the nominees from the

8 roster. I think Mr. Stakic was there, but I can't claim it with any

9 certainty because there were many people there and they were not seated in

10 any particular order. So I didn't really remark upon it.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When you state "the deputies of the Municipal

12 Assembly" were there in fact all the members of the Municipal Assembly, or

13 wasn't it true that there were only the members of the SDS?

14 A. I think this session was attended by all the deputies to the

15 Municipal Assembly of Serb ethnicity, regardless of their party

16 affiliation.

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Previously you mentioned that there were, in

18 addition to these deputies being of Serb ethnicities the nominees.

19 Nominees for what? Only nominees for posts like yours, or also nominees

20 for other functions be it in the area of your own job or in a broader

21 area, maybe including the Executive Board, the president of the Municipal

22 Assembly, and so on?

23 A. Well, there were nominees who already held certain posts and who

24 made up the Executive Board, the secretary for defence, secretary for the

25 economy, secretary for town planning, secretary for property-related and

Page 12844

1 legal affairs. Vice-president of the Executive Board, vice chairman of

2 the assembly, et cetera.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: How come that you are with a surprising

4 precision know about these persons, but being hesitant whether one of the

5 higher ranking persons in Prijedor, the at that time vice-president of

6 Prijedor Municipality, attended this meeting?

7 A. Since the Executive Board was already established, I don't

8 remember the people. I remember their posts. And I remember the holders

9 of those posts were present. And ex officio, they were required to

10 attend, and I wasn't. I knew only a part of those people. So I'm not

11 speaking here about specific individualities or faces. I'm talking about

12 the offices that had to be represented on the Executive Board and were

13 required to attend.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Since when was it planned that this Serbian

15 Assembly should be established?

16 A. I don't know. This question does not sound very specific to me,

17 and I can't answer it. I didn't take part in any planning.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When exactly it took place?

19 A. Well, I can't tell you in the sense in which you used the term

20 "plan." I'm talking about the day when the session was held in the first

21 half of April. And when exactly plans were made and how, I really can't

22 know because I have no first-hand information about it, having had nothing

23 to do with it myself.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: How long were you present during this meeting?

25 A. For the duration of the session.

Page 12845

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And it took how long in hours?

2 A. I can't be very precise. I don't think, however, that it was a

3 long one. Don't remember simply.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But, sir, can't you understand that I have to

5 ask you that it -- wouldn't it be quite natural to discuss with other

6 persons being present there, what about this Serbian Assembly? What's the

7 reason for creating this assembly? What is the history or the

8 background? Because such a huge meeting can't come out of the blue.

9 A. I agree with what you say, but I have already told you that at

10 that time, I had already made my decision to stay away from politics. I

11 had no information about the background, and I concentrated simply on

12 doing my job in keeping with the regulations and the law believing that

13 adhering to the current legislation is the best I can do.

14 As far as politics were concerned, since I had decided to keep

15 away from them, I can't make any comments or draw conclusions. I believe

16 the effort was focussed at the time on preserving the status quo. But I

17 can't tell you any more than that because I was not an active participant

18 at any level of political decision-making at the time.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So to conclude this question, because you

20 mentioned that the late Mico Kovacevic two days prior to the session

21 offered you this new job, and apparently you accepted, that this meeting

22 with the late Mr. Kovacevic would be in the beginning of April, correct?

23 A. Yes. As I have already said, it happened two days before the

24 session. I was offered to do that part of the job, and I had very little

25 time to decide whether to take it or not. That was difficult. I think

Page 12846

1 that in the party of which Mr. Kovacevic was a member, they had no other

2 candidate for this post. I'm talking now about the municipal secretary

3 for national defence. Since in that period and in the period that

4 followed, this particular office wasn't very popular. Therefore, it had

5 to be.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: During this meeting, did Mr. Savanovic also

7 participate?

8 A. If you mean my meeting with Kovacevic, he wasn't there. But I

9 believe he attended the session of the assembly, the session held in the

10 public utilities institute.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When and by whom did you learn that you would

12 have to take over the new position as of 30th of April, by Mr. Kovacevic

13 or only two days later during this meeting of the Serbian Assembly?

14 A. Mr. Kovacevic told me two days in advance that I would have to

15 take over that office, but I learned officially about it at the session of

16 the assembly which elected me.

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And was already a date fixed for the new working

18 period during this meeting?

19 A. No, there was no mention of the term of office at that meeting,

20 and I believe the ballot papers said that people would be elected for a

21 provisional period of six months. But there was no particular reference

22 to it at the session.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: For a period of six months as of?

24 A. Well, the ballot papers did not indicate the starting date. It

25 was probably implied that time began to run as of the date of election,

Page 12847












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Page 12848

1 but that was an inference. There was no specific date indicated.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But let's now go to the 29th of April. At that

3 date, in the afternoon, say, you knew already that as from the next day,

4 you would be in a different position?

5 A. On that day, the 29th, I did not know that I would be taking on

6 that job. I learned about it on the 30th at 4.30 when I arrived in town

7 together with the police patrol that gave me a lift.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it's your testimony that you were absolutely

9 surprised that not at midnight, but during the night police arrived at

10 your home?

11 A. Let me tell you one thing: I had been previously elected, as we

12 discussed just now, by the provisional composition of this assembly. But

13 I can't say that I was absolutely surprised because due to this prior

14 election, I wasn't completely taken aback. But the first

15 information -- the first real information I received was when these people

16 came to pick me up on the 30th at 4.30 in the morning.

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But then, please understand the following

18 question: Why was it necessary to bring you first to Cirkin Polje and not

19 immediately to your office the next day?

20 A. I don't know about that. The person who organised all that

21 probably had their reasons. As far as I'm concerned, they could have

22 easily taken me straight to my new office. It made no difference to me.

23 I would have been as happy if they had driven me to my new job at 5.30.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Isn't it true that you received at Cirkin Polje

25 a new ID?

Page 12849

1 A. I did not receive any ID.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We have to come back to this later.

3 Did you receive - I know you are very precise with your answers -

4 did you receive any other, say, permit or document allowing you

5 to enter the premises of your office?

6 A. I don't remember clearly now if there had been any permits or,

7 let's say per se, handed out at the moment. But in view of the situation

8 at the time, I do not rule out the possibility. But since I already had

9 been an employee there, I don't think I needed anything extra to go to my

10 new job. I really can't remember precisely whether I was issued a new

11 document. But looking back, I don't think I needed anything of the sort

12 because as an employee, I had already been able to go in and out of the

13 building.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sir, if I would ask you about what happened the

15 24th of April, say, 1997, I'm quite sure you couldn't answer this. So

16 would I. But this was a very special moment. I think it didn't happen

17 that often that you were taken during night hours by police to such an

18 assembly and telling us now that you are not quite sure, that you don't

19 remember precisely whether you received a new document. Can't you

20 understand that we can't understand this?

21 A. You know, the circumstances and the times were different. In your

22 situation and from your position, you may well believe what you believe.

23 But if you are wakened up at 4.30 in the morning and taken to a strange

24 room and you know only two or three people, and you don't really

25 understand what's going on, commotion reigns, and at a certain point they

Page 12850

1 tell you go to your new jobs and start working, I don't know whether you

2 can appreciate my answer and accept it, but I can't change anything about

3 it. I really can't remember, and I would hate to say one way or another

4 about something I'm not certain of.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: That's just what I was trying to say. These 20

6 to 40 minutes were extremely special event during your life. So please,

7 try to tell us, to the best of your recollection, first, did you receive a

8 new document?

9 A. I have to go back again to the events in my life. Since this, I

10 had at least ten more serious events in my life than this one, more

11 serious situations as well. But let's come back to this. I don't

12 remember specifically whether I received any document because when I look

13 back from today, I don't think that I was given any document, but it's

14 possible that I was if such a document was given to others. If other

15 people as secretaries of some other organs received such a document, then

16 I probably received it, too. But I at the moment cannot remember whether

17 I received any kind of document, a decision, any kind of pass or anything

18 like that. Really, I don't remember.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Were there guards in front of the premises of

20 the building where you had your office?

21 A. In the morning when I came to the office, to my place of work,

22 there was only one police officer at the entrance because the entrance was

23 the same as the entrance to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. So at the

24 entrance, there was only one police officer sitting there. From the

25 moment that I entered the building, the police officer went back to his

Page 12851

1 own place of work. There was no need for the people to be there because

2 the situation was such that there was no need for such people.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did the guard grant you immediately entrance, or

4 did you have to present any kind of ID when entering the building?

5 A. Nothing, as far as I can remember. I didn't show anything to the

6 guard. There was just one room where all the people of the Ministry for

7 Internal Affairs worked. They all worked together in the same room.

8 There was no need for me as I was coming in to show them any kind of

9 document because those people knew me.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. A more general question: This 30th of

11 April 1992, who else was replaced in the Municipality of Prijedor by

12 whom? Let us start with your own office, and then go to other areas.

13 A. In the organ that I worked in, only Mr. Medunjanin was replaced.

14 And I came to the post of the municipal -- to the post of secretary of the

15 municipal secretariat for national defence. In the rest of the hierarchy,

16 nobody else was replaced from the post that they were performing. If

17 we're thinking about the municipal secretariat for national defence, which

18 is where I worked.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What about the Municipal Assembly?

20 A. As far as the Municipal Assembly is concerned, I think all of the

21 officials of Muslim or Croat ethnicity were replaced. I'm not quite sure.

22 I'm only talking about the officials now. But the deputies of those

23 officials, I think, were not all replaced. I don't have the specific

24 information, but I don't believe that all of the deputies were replaced at

25 that point.

Page 12852

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What about the presidency of the Municipal

2 Assembly?

3 A. There was no presidency of the Municipal Assembly. There was just

4 the president and the vice-president. I think the vice-president took

5 over the functions of the president.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And why this? Why was this necessary?

7 A. I don't know why. I don't know why this was necessary. Probably

8 those people who organised that should be asked.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you know Professor Cehajic as a resident in

10 that area?

11 A. Yes, I knew him. I knew Professor Cehajic as a professor from the

12 high school, even though I didn't go to that high school. I knew him; I

13 knew his face; I knew what he looked like. But nothing more than that. I

14 didn't have any other contacts with Mr. Cehajic.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sir, do you want to tell us as you sit here

16 today that you didn't know at that day Professor Cehajic was replaced by

17 Dr. Stakic?

18 A. I didn't say that. Perhaps the translation was wrong. I said

19 that the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly took over the post of

20 president.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever see Professor Cehajic after the

22 30th of April again?

23 A. No, I did not.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you hear about his fate?

25 A. I heard that he came to a tragic end in those events, but I don't

Page 12853












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13 English transcripts.













Page 12854

1 have information as to the circumstances, when and where and so on.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Just a moment ago, you emphasised that you

3 discussed the replacement of officials in the Municipal Assembly only.

4 What about officials in other areas in the Municipality of Prijedor? What

5 about replacement in these other areas?

6 A. I didn't say that I talked about the replacement, but I just noted

7 which replacements had been made. I didn't have any discussions or

8 conversations about that. I don't know which other replacements do you

9 mean? Could you please be more specific. And if I have any knowledge

10 about that, if I know anything about that, then I can answer.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it's the best way to put to you your own

12 answer, you said: "But I just noted which replacements had been made."

13 So please, tell us which replacements had been made? What did you note?

14 A. I noted that all officials from the municipality, at the

15 municipality level, had been conducted, and I said that I was not sure

16 whether any of the deputies of those officials at that point were

17 replaced or all of them.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Once again, what was the reason that these

19 replacements happened, based apparently on a night meeting immediately

20 after that the next morning and prepared on the meeting you participated

21 of the so-called Serbian Assembly of Prijedor Municipality? Why was this

22 necessary?

23 A. In that context, I can answer with some general and generally

24 accepted reasons. But I would like to refrain as far as any of my own

25 personal qualifications and political assessments are concerned. As far

Page 12855

1 as the general matters are concerned, probably the Serbs wanted to

2 maintain the status quo of the existing situation. They believed it was

3 legal and legitimate for them to apply the existing legal regulations.

4 And in that context, they held the referendum about remaining in the

5 existing state, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. While on the other

6 hand, members of the other two ethnic groups held a referendum on the

7 independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and later in that context, the

8 Lisbon talks were held where the generally accepted position was about

9 some type of cantonisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina which would imply the

10 satisfaction of the interests of all of the three peoples.

11 This agreement was signed by all the participants. And then

12 later, the representatives of the Muslim people withdrew their signature

13 which in a way, in the light of all the previous events from 1991, was an

14 introduction into the way things would go in the territory of Bosnia and

15 Herzegovina. And in that context, also the events that were talked about.

16 But once again, let me say I am a politologist by profession, but at that

17 time I did not wish to be active in politics and I would kindly request

18 this Chamber not to -- to allow me to abstain from answering questions or

19 providing answers on political matters. Thank you.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You're here not as an political expert; you're

21 here as a witness on concrete facts.

22 To come to other concrete questions, what was the function of the

23 Council for National Defence and who were the members?

24 A. In accordance with the law on general people's defence, which was

25 adopted in 1983, the Council for National Defence is an advisory body of

Page 12856

1 the Municipal Assembly. And therefore, in accordance with the law, it

2 deals with the relevant questions pertaining to national defence. And in

3 that sense, provides its positions and its recommendations to the

4 Municipal Assembly.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who were the members?

6 A. Members, in accordance with the regulations of the law, members of

7 the executive council were the president of the Executive Board; and in

8 accordance with that law, because there were no amendments which regulated

9 the body of -- the work of this body, the members were the members of the

10 municipal council of the League of Communists, the president of the

11 socialist council -- alliance, also the president of the veterans'

12 association, the president of the youth association, the commander of the

13 Territorial Defence, and other members appointed by the Municipal

14 Assembly.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Were you --

16 A. The secretary --

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: -- A member?

18 A. The secretary of the municipal secretariat by his function is the

19 secretary of that body in accordance with this law that I'm referring to.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you participate in a meeting of the Council

21 for National Defence, any of them or several of them?

22 A. I did participate in the body -- in the work of this body. I

23 think I participated in the work -- several meetings. I cannot specify

24 how many, but in some way by my function I was a member of that body.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May the witness please be shown Exhibit S60,

Page 12857

1 6-0.

2 Can we please see this document in a way that we can start from

3 the top of the entire document. Could you please comment on this

4 document. Is it correct that there was the 4th meeting of the Council for

5 National Defence of the Prijedor Municipal Assembly held on 15 may 1992

6 starting at 1000 hours? Do you recall this meeting?

7 A. I think that this is a meeting of the 15th of May, according to

8 the minutes that I have in front of me. Whether this was the fourth

9 meeting or not, I don't know. I don't know when you would count this body

10 as starting its operation, but the minutes do state that it is the fourth

11 meeting of the Council for National Defence of the Municipal Assembly.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Previous translation continues] ... my

13 question. Because this is our minutes of the fourth meeting. When was

14 the first meeting of this Council for National Defence, to the best of

15 your recollection only, of course?

16 A. This question requires a slightly longer answer. When I told you

17 something about the constituting of this body and what it states in the

18 law about this body, I cannot specifically tell you when the first meeting

19 was held of the Council for National Defence because this body, I don't

20 remember this body being formed at a meeting of the municipal council

21 after the multiparty elections. I even think that it was not formed at

22 that point, but by analogy and the order of events, it was multiparty

23 Municipal Assembly and the previous president, Mr. Cehajic, held some

24 meetings of the council which I did not attend at the time because I was

25 not a member of that body then. So that I cannot specifically tell you

Page 12858

1 when which meeting was held. And I cannot talk about the chronology of

2 the events, whether it was the fourth meeting, when the previous meetings

3 were held, and what exactly was discussed at those meetings.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And please, in the next line, you can read:

5 "Dr. Milomir Stakic, president of the council, chaired the meeting." Why

6 was it that Dr. Milomir Stakic was the president of this Council for

7 National Defence?

8 A. In view of the law that I have referred to and which was not

9 changed in the meantime, the president of the Council for National

10 Defence, by his position, was the president of the assembly. So probably

11 that is why he chaired the meetings of the Council for National Defence.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So let's go through the persons who attended

13 this meeting. Dr. Milomir Stakic, Dr. Milan Kovacevic. What was his

14 position?

15 A. President of the Executive Board.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Simo Miskovic.

17 A. Yes.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please always help us with the function of these

19 persons. Simo Miskovic.

20 A. Simo Miskovic was the president of the executive council of the

21 Prijedor SDS.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Vladimir Arsic.

23 A. He was the commander of the 43rd Motorised Brigade which had its

24 headquarters at the Prijedor garrison.


Page 12859

1 A. Colic was the commander of the 5th Brigade which was also based in

2 Prijedor.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Slobodan Kuruzovic.

4 A. I think that at the time, Mr. Kuruzovic was the commander of the

5 municipal staff of the Territorial Defence.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Radmilo Zeljaja.

7 A. Radmilo Zeljaja I think had the rank of captain at that point, but

8 I don't know whether -- what function he was performing at the 43rd

9 Motorised Brigade in the Prijedor garrison. He was an assistant of Arsic,

10 so I'm not sure what function he was performing at the time.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Rade Javoric.

12 A. Rade Javoric was also the commander of the Territorial Defence.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then your name follows. After this, Simo

14 Drljaca.

15 A. He was the chief of the public security station in Prijedor.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Cedo Sipovac.

17 A. He was the chief of the military territorial organ for

18 mobilisation at the Prijedor garrison.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Vojo Pavicic.

20 A. He was the secretary of the municipal secretariat for housing and

21 urban affairs.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Bosko Mandic.

23 A. Bosko Mandic was the vice-president of the Executive Board and

24 commander of the municipal staff of the TO, as a member of the staff. He

25 was the commander of the municipal staff for civilian defence. Mr. Bosko

Page 12860

1 Mandic was the commander of the municipal staff for civilian defence.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Ranko Travar.

3 A. He was the secretary of the secretariat for economy and social

4 affairs.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Milenko Rajlic.

6 A. He was the secretary for information in the Executive Board.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Dragan Savanovic.

8 A. He was the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Spiro Marmat.

10 A. He was an expert in the secretariat for national defence.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you meet one of these persons we can see

12 starting with Dr. Stakic, concluding with the name of Spiro Marmat, during

13 the last four weeks, see or meet, that there's no misunderstanding?

14 A. Over the past four weeks, I met Mr. Ranko Travar, Bosko Mandic,

15 and Dragan Savanovic. And allow me once again just to check. I see

16 Mr. Pavicic, but I'm not sure whether in the time period that you are

17 talking about that I had been with him. But I do have contacts with him,

18 and over the past month or two, I did meet him. But in the relevant

19 period, I don't remember that I had any business or any other contacts

20 with him.

21 As far as the other people are concerned, I did meet them

22 frequently. Mr. Savanovic and Mr. Travar, I do have contacts with them.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you discuss with them your testimony here in

24 The Hague?

25 A. No, except with Mr. Travar.

Page 12861

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you prepare your testimony together with

2 Mr. Travar?

3 A. No, we did not particularly prepare for testifying. But we did

4 exchange information.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What kind of information, please?

6 A. Well, we contacted each other when we received this paper. We

7 received it together. We went together to the police station. We

8 prepared the records together with the girl who was the interpreter. We

9 filled in the questionnaires together. And the text is identical,

10 both -- almost identical for both of us.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: On page 42, line 8, you mentioned that Mr. Spiro

12 Marmat was an expert in the secretariat for national defence. He

13 participated in this meeting in this capacity?

14 A. Yes.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And at the same time, he kept the minutes.

16 Correct?

17 A. I believe so, because that's what it says in the -- on the paper.

18 I don't see why it would be written there otherwise.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When did you see or meet Mr. Spiro Marmat the

20 last time?

21 A. Well, in the last three or four or even five months, I didn't see

22 him. He worked until recently in the ministry in Prijedor. He's now

23 retired, and his family lives in Belgrade. So he commutes between

24 Prijedor and Belgrade. In the past six months, I had no contact with him

25 in particular, apart from perhaps seeing him in passing in the street. We

Page 12862

1 had no contact in the period in question. While we worked together, of

2 course, we saw each other every day. I stopped working in 1997, 1998.

3 Since then, we haven't seen much of each other.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We have to come back to this later.

5 May I ask the usher, please, to forward the document a little bit

6 that we can read the lower part. You can see the agenda, that due to this

7 paper, was confirmed. First, decision on the organisation and functioning

8 of the Crisis Staff. Could you please explain what was the reason to

9 organise and function the Crisis Staff. Apparently, it was Dr. Milomir

10 Stakic and you yourself participating in the debate as the only

11 interventors.

12 A. I think this is about a draft decision which came from upstairs,

13 probably from the level of the president or the presidency to form Crisis

14 Staffs on the municipal level. This decision said what exactly a Crisis

15 Staff is supposed to do and indicated recommended members. I think it was

16 a document which came down from higher up. I had nothing to do with it,

17 and I, as a secretary, had to accept this and forward this decision in

18 that form to the assembly without giving my own opinion on it. The

19 assembly was supposed to consider and deliberate on it.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So you received this order to establish a Crisis

21 Staff and forwarded it to this group meeting there, the 15th of May.

22 Correct?

23 A. No, I did not receive the decision on the organisation and

24 functioning of the Crisis Staff. It's the president who receives such

25 decisions from higher organs. I mean, the president of the Municipal

Page 12863

1 Assembly. We were only supposed to forward it to the assembly for review

2 and adoption.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it would be Dr. Stakic receiving this order,

4 and it would then for you and the other participants to forward this

5 order. Correct?

6 A. Dr. Stakic received instructions in the form of that decision.

7 The board reviewed the decision and decided that there was nothing to

8 change in it, but rather that it should be forwarded to the assembly for

9 adoption.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You vaguely mentioned that apparently this came

11 from persons in higher places. Wasn't it the president of the state who

12 gave this order?

13 A. I already said it was the head of the state or president of the

14 presidency. I can't say exactly, but it is my estimate that it must have

15 come from that level because as far as I know, there was the president of

16 the state and a presidency consisting of three members. Who the head of

17 the presidency was at that time, I can't remember.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When you were asked by the Prosecution during

19 the interview the 23rd of March 2002, on page 11, you stated, line 15:

20 "After the Executive Board was disbanded, the Crisis Staff of the

21 Municipal Assembly was formed by the decision of the president of the

22 state, and I was a member due by virtue of my position of secretary of the

23 secretariat."

24 At that point in time, you spontaneously answered that "It was the

25 decision of the president of the state." Does this refresh your

Page 12864

1 recollection?

2 A. Well, I have to tell you that even if I said so at the time, I'm

3 still not sure whether it was the head of state or the presidency. I

4 cannot recollect that with any certainty, but I don't see what it changes

5 anyway, whether it was the president or the presidency. I only meant that

6 it came from the highest -- from the supreme body and that we, as lower

7 organs, had to abide by it and put it into practice.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you yourself see this order establishing the

9 Crisis Staff?

10 A. I believe the president of the municipality held it in his hands

11 and read it out to us. I never held the paper myself. I can't remember

12 now exactly who was it who read the decision and signed it. I believe the

13 president read it out to us. There were no comments, and there were no

14 proposed amendments before adoption.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then how did you achieve the goal to forward

16 this order to other persons, as you mentioned just beforehand? Wasn't

17 this document copied, and isn't it true that this document was signed by

18 Mr. Karadzic?

19 A. I don't rule out the possibility that Dr. Karadzic signed it. I

20 said it was either Dr. Karadzic or the presidency, but even if it came

21 from the presidency, it had to be signed by Dr. Karadzic, either in his

22 capacity as head of state or in his capacity of president of the

23 presidency. It was forwarded, in any case, to the municipal level, to the

24 president of the Municipal Assembly and the secretary, and the technical

25 bodies involved because it was their job to review it and forward it for

Page 12865

1 adoption.

2 I did not have anything with the review of this decision because

3 that was in the competence of the appropriate bodies of the Municipal

4 Assembly.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: On the document, it reads, after the name

6 participating in the discussion, Dr. Stakic and you, Mr. Budimir, "The

7 following conclusion was adopted: First, the draft on the organisation

8 and functioning of the Crisis Staff is approved under the proviso that a

9 representative of the garrison in Prijedor be added to the proposed lists

10 of members of the Crisis Staff."

11 Why this? Why was it necessary to go even beyond this order and

12 to add a representative of the garrison in Prijedor?

13 A. I don't know. It was probably not my proposal as an expert. It

14 was probably the proposal of an official who thought that it was important

15 to do so. But in view of the instructions that came from upstairs, this

16 proposal was not accepted, and these people were not appointed to the

17 Crisis Staff. I don't know for what reasons, and I don't know whether

18 there had been any additional consultations. This proposal may have been

19 made, but the Executive Board was not allowed -- was not authorised to

20 change the composition of the Crisis Staff as proposed by the presidency

21 or the president.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Wouldn't it be logic -- then when you state that

23 it was not your proposal and only two persons participated in the

24 discussion, that this proposal was one of Dr. Milomir Stakic?

25 A. Well, it turns out to be logical, but I can't claim that with any

Page 12866

1 certainty. I don't know with what accuracy the records were made. I'm

2 not sure that only two persons participated in this discussion. There may

3 have been more. And only on the basis of the record, I can't draw the

4 conclusion that it was Mr. Stakic's proposal if it wasn't mine.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever have reasons to believe that

6 Mr. Spiro Marmat kept the minutes not in the most appropriate and

7 conscientious way?

8 A. That's not what I meant. But I believe that every person who is

9 making notes or taking a record of a meeting is writing down only the most

10 important things and not covering absolutely all the details of a

11 discussion.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then let's go to the second point of the agenda,

13 please. "Mobilisation in the municipality."

14 You can see from this document that apparently you participated,

15 and you were the first one taking the floor during the meeting. And then

16 we see the conclusions noting that also Dr. Milomir Stakic participated in

17 the discussion.

18 So here, it reads: "No Crisis Staff can be formed in companies or

19 other legal entities." Was this decision enforced?

20 A. To be quite honest, many decisions of the Crisis Staff were never

21 enforced. The Crisis Staff made its decisions in the form of conclusions

22 and recommendations and all the other forms taken over from the Municipal

23 Assembly. But it had no instruments to ensure the implementation of its

24 decision, even as regards companies. I certainly took part in these

25 discussions because that was part of my job, and it falls within the

Page 12867

1 competencies of the secretariat for national defence. But all issues that

2 had to do with mobilisation are very specific to that time when the

3 mobilisation took place. Mobilisation was carried out within the JNA much

4 earlier, in 1991, in September. The way they were mobilised, through

5 callups, through military territorial bodies, and sent to Slavonia where

6 they spent from September 1991 to March or April 1992. Also there was

7 mobilisation of the Territorial Defence that was carried out from

8 September 1991 to April 1992, plus the mobilisation of the reserve force

9 of the police.

10 So practically mobilisation covered all the structures and

11 included all the people employed in companies who had wartime

12 assignments. So mobilisation was completed within that period. And at

13 this point we are talking about, it was only a matter of reviewing the

14 strength of units that came back from Slavonia, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th

15 unit, and units were not complete for the reasons you are already aware

16 of, because Muslims and members of other ethnic communities did not

17 respond to mobilisation callups. And also because these units had

18 suffered losses. So the actual strength was only 50 per cent of what it

19 should have been, according to establishment. And these units had to be

20 reinforced and supplied with military conscripts and materiel and

21 equipment. That's what we were talking about at this session.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would Muslims and members of other ethnic

23 communities be welcomed in JNA or TO in 1992? We are speaking now about

24 the 15th of May 1992.

25 A. Well, as for being welcome or not, I worked in a body that worked

Page 12868

1 strictly in keeping with the law. The law said that all the people in the

2 territory covered by that organ were required to respond to the callup,

3 and that applied in 1991 during the first mobilisation and during the

4 entire period when conscripts were mobilised. Upon the return of these

5 units from Slavonia, the units still included members of other ethnic

6 communities, Muslims and Croats, although in smaller numbers. As far as

7 the Territorial Defence and the police are concerned, we did not resolve

8 the matters completely at all because until the outbreak of the conflict,

9 these units included a half of Muslims and the rest were Serbs and Croats.

10 At the moment when the conflict broke out, the composition of the units

11 changed. These units were in charge of taking control of the territory

12 and were maintained in the new percentage.

13 But there were, again, rifts along ethnic lines.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Tell me, coming to point 3 of the agenda, what

15 was the reason to start the transformation of both TO staffs and form a

16 unified command for control and command of all the units formed in the

17 territory of the municipality?

18 A. Well, to explain the reason in detail would take time. It is my

19 opinion that sometime around that time, the system of the Territorial

20 Defence in Bosnia and Herzegovina broke up. According to the law, these

21 units were formed on the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina and were

22 commanded by the commander of TO along the principles of single command

23 and absolute obedience from lower levels. However, when this general rift

24 occurred in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was reflected also

25 on command and control. And the units of the Territorial Defence which

Page 12869

1 remained in the territory held by Muslims were used to form the BH army,

2 and the TO units remaining in Serb territory were resubordinated to the

3 JNA, later the VRS. And that is the subject of that discussion at the

4 session of the assembly which discussed the need to resubordinate these

5 units because it is a well-known fact that you cannot have two or more

6 armies operating in the same area. That is one of the basic principles.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So in conclusion, you regard it as the

8 responsibility to decide on this issue on the level of the municipality of

9 Prijedor. Correct?

10 A. No, that is not what I thought, nor is it true. For this level of

11 command and control, it was within the purview of the higher organs such

12 the assembly. The assembly through the competent body, the national

13 defence secretariat, dealt with it, and conducted reorganisation,

14 transformation, and resubordination of these units, whereas the municipal

15 level had nothing to do with it. It was too low for this sort of

16 decision.

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: How was it, then, possible that you during this

18 discussion on Prijedor level took the conclusion to start the unification

19 of both TO staffs?

20 A. Well, we were just reviewing events in our area. And in view of

21 the decisions from higher organs, we issued decisions to implement

22 instructions from higher bodies. We could not be separate from the

23 overall system of organisation and we couldn't review in Prijedor and

24 Banja Luka and other municipalities different issues. We all reviewed

25 mainly one and the same thing. We are the body who -- we were the body

Page 12870

1 who had the right to make proposals to the assembly and come up with

2 initiatives about the implementation of conclusions and decisions from

3 above in the most efficient manner.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's please turn to the next issues on the

5 agenda, briefly. May I ask the usher to change the document.

6 You can see on agenda point 4, it is disarmament of paramilitary

7 formations. These were paramilitary formations of all ethnicities?

8 A. As regards the disarmament of all paramilitary formations, this is

9 what I can tell you: With the return of units from Slavonia, namely, the

10 43rd and the 5th Brigade, there appeared a large concentration of armed

11 men of all ethnicities in our area. There were about 1.950 people,

12 according to establishment, half Muslims, half Serbs approximately. And

13 if you add to that the police which had a force of about 1400 people,

14 again, according to establishment, it was considered that we had a large

15 number of armed men in our territory counting only those who were legally

16 mobilised. And our desire was that these people, who were mobilised as

17 the reserve force, should be downsized. In addition to that, again, there

18 were uncontrolled groups that could not be controlled by either the army

19 or the police. And our wish was to disarm these people and to have only

20 the army in the barracks with a strength envisaged by the establishment,

21 the regular members of the Territorial Defence staff, and reserve

22 policemen as envisaged by the establishment which was significantly

23 increased from 1991 to 1992, from 700 to 800 hundred to 1500, and we

24 also wanted to downsize the number of the reserve policemen because we

25 thought it was enough for law enforcement in the municipality. And we

Page 12871

1 thought the large number of armed men could cause problems and was an

2 accident waiting to happen.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's finally turn to the last point of the

4 agenda. "Taking over the duties of the military department. Slavko

5 Budimir and Dr. Milomir Stakic participated in the discussion. After the

6 discussion, the following conclusion was adopted: The municipal

7 secretariat for national defence is requested to prepare for the Municipal

8 Assembly executive committee a draft staffing table for the secretariat

9 which shall include the tasks taken over from the military department."

10 And then signed by the president of the National Defence Council.

11 A. Regarding the terminology here, the military department is

12 actually a military territorial organ formed by the former JNA sometime in

13 1991 while the mobilisation was being carried out, when members of other

14 ethnic groups did not respond to the callup and when the authorised body

15 of the municipal secretariat headed by Mr. Medunjanin at that time did not

16 act in accordance with the regulations which were then in force. So they

17 did not carry out the mobilisation, even though they were supposed to do

18 that under the law. And they didn't do it for reasons known only to them.

19 So in order to staff the units, the army formed military territorial

20 organs whose tasks were the same as those of the municipal secretariat for

21 national defence. Actually, they took over those duties and conducted the

22 callup independently with the documents that they had at their disposal,

23 with the appeals of the Crisis Staff and the Municipal Assemblies,

24 appealing to the conscripts to report to their places of assembly. Since

25 this was not enough, the secretariats also conducted the tasks of

Page 12872

1 mobilisation and resupply. Since the municipal secretariat for national

2 defence continued to act in accordance with the existing laws in that

3 territory because the other organs were not acting in accordance with the

4 regulations, there was no need for two bodies to be carrying out the same

5 work. So the documents and -- which were at the military body were

6 transferred to the secretariat which continued to carry out all the

7 mobilisation duties until the systematisation draft proposal was made

8 which would then be submitted to the Municipal Assembly for adoption to

9 the Executive Board.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Finally, nobody objected to this part of the

11 agenda and the conclusions adopted. Correct?

12 A. Are you thinking about this last topic that I talked about? No.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then it is necessary to take a short break now.

14 The trial stays adjourned until 10 minutes to 1.00.

15 --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m.

16 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.

18 We're still with the same document where the agenda, point 1,

19 decision on the organisation and functioning of the Crisis Staff. Could

20 you please tell us, was this the first point in time when it was discussed

21 to establish a Crisis Staff in Prijedor Municipality?

22 A. I think that they are. I don't have any other information. It's

23 true I don't remember, but I don't think so.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you at this meeting already take conclusions

25 about the final composition of this Crisis Staff, not only in terms of

Page 12873

1 functions but also with concrete names?

2 A. I don't remember whether at that point, along with the decision,

3 there was also the list of the functions comprising the Crisis Staff. But

4 I know that one of the documents, whether in the follow-up regulations

5 or -- I don't know if that came together with the decision. But there was

6 a document there which specified the posts comprising the Crisis Staff.

7 And of course, the people who carry out those functions by the very nature

8 of that are part of the Crisis Staff.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May the witness then be shown, please,

10 Document S180B. A to be put on the ELMO. And may I at the same time ask

11 the audio-video unit, is the video to be played - this would be Exhibit

12 S7 - prepared?

13 Please start the video.

14 [Videotape played]

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Stop. Could you please try to fix the video a

16 little bit that we can identify -- yes.

17 Who is sitting around this table, please? Starting from the

18 right-hand side, the person wearing glasses. We are now at 11:36:30:23.

19 A. I cannot identify the first person or the second. The third

20 person I think is Mr. Macura. Next to Mr. Macura, I think, is the

21 vice-president of the assembly, Mr. Savanovic. Next to him, I am sitting.

22 And then next to me is Mr. Stakic.

23 On the left side, it's unclear, so I'm unable to identify the

24 persons. The first person on the right side, it looks like Mr. Pavic, the

25 chief of the civilian defence, but I'm not sure. He's my colleague, and

Page 12874

1 he's like me, and he wears glasses. But I cannot say with certainty

2 whether that is him.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could the video please be winded forward a

4 little bit.

5 [Videotape played]

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Stop. It's now easier to identify the three

7 persons to the right-hand side.

8 A. Yes. Yes. Mr. Bosko Mandic, vice-president of the Executive

9 Board. The first person next to me is Mr. Zeljaja. Behind him, I think,

10 leaning on his hand is journalist Mutic. The person with the glasses is a

11 person who was up at the command of the brigade, and he came together with

12 Mr. Zeljaja. And to tell you the truth, I cannot remember the last name

13 of that man. I think he was a lieutenant-colonel or a colonel. I know

14 him, but I cannot remember his surname.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please wind forward, the video.

16 [Videotape played]

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Stop. And we are now with 11:36:38:03. You can

18 identify the three persons to the left-hand side.

19 A. Yes. Mr. Miskovic, Mr. Kuruzovic, and I think that the last

20 person is Mr. Kovacevic.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

22 Please wind forward.

23 [Videotape played]

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Stop. These two persons would be? 11:36:48:04.

25 A. From left to right, Mr. Kovacevic, Mr. Pavicic, and Mr. Drljaca.

Page 12875

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please continue.

2 [Videotape played]

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Stop. And now, we can see the other end of the

4 same table. From left to right, you mentioned already that you don't

5 recall the name of the person wearing uniform and glasses at the same

6 time. The next person from the left-hand side? At 11:36:56:22. Who

7 would be this person also wearing a uniform?

8 A. Mr. Zeljaja. Next to him is Mr. Travar. And next to Mr. Travar

9 is Mr. Marmat.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would the assumption be correct that this is a

11 meeting of the Crisis Staff of Prijedor?

12 A. I cannot draw such a conclusion about what meeting this is. But I

13 think that it is not a meeting of the Crisis Staff in view of the presence

14 of Mr. Miskovic. And the military member, I think that they did not

15 attend so frequently. Mr. Zeljaja or Mr. Arsic were there more often. I

16 don't remember this other man being there a lot. And I think that I could

17 not really say. I think that this is probably more the council, all the

18 more so because the minutes are done by Mr. Marmat while the meetings of

19 the Crisis Staff were taken down by Mr. Baltic.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Please forward the video.

21 [Videotape played]

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Stop. Thank you. This concludes this video.

23 You still have before you the document S180. If you could please be so

24 kind and open page number 36, item number 19. That's the decision on

25 appointments to Prijedor municipal Crisis Staff at its meeting 22nd May

Page 12876

1 1992 by the Prijedor Municipal Assembly. Does this document, after your

2 perusal, correctly reflect the composition of Prijedor Municipal Crisis

3 Staff?

4 A. Yes, except under number 10, Zeljko Macura. I don't know who

5 compiled the decision later and to what extent this was, but I feel that

6 this man was not in the document setting out the members of the Crisis

7 Staff, nor was he so by his function. He was a doctor in the 43rd

8 Prijedor Motorised Brigade. So I don't know how he ended up here. I

9 believe that he was not a member of the staff, unless this was something

10 along the lines of Dr. Kovacevic or Dr. Stakic with Dr. Macura. I don't

11 know how he ended up on this list, in what capacity.

12 These other names above correspond to the posts and the people

13 appointed as members of the Crisis Staff.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And these documents would be to sign -- to be

15 signed by the president of the Municipal Assembly. Correct?

16 A. Probably, if that's what's indicated.

17 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, if I could just note that on the

18 document, the decision number 19 Your Honour has read, I believe we

19 brought this to your attention before, but the translation is clearly

20 wrong as to the date. The B/C/S has the date May 20th, for some reason

21 the translation says May 22nd.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I'm aware of this problem. I just wanted to

23 come back to this with the follow-up question: When, in fact, was the

24 first meeting of the Crisis Staff in Prijedor Municipality? When you have

25 a glance, please, on the cover page of this Official Gazette of 25 June

Page 12877

1 1992, issue number 18, there it reads that "At the session of 20 May,

2 1992, the decision was adopted on the organisation and work of Prijedor

3 Municipal Crisis Staff," which would be the implementation of the previous

4 decision of 15th of May. Correct?

5 A. This is a decision about the organisation and the work of the

6 Crisis Staff adopted by the Municipal Assembly whereby the Crisis Staff is

7 appointed of the 20th. The previous issue that we talked about was the

8 draft proposal from the council of national defence of the 15th of May.

9 And then this proposal was passed on to the assembly for adoption. I

10 don't know whether the Crisis Staff meeting was held on the same day that

11 it was formed or whether it was held on the next day or so. It's

12 something that I really cannot tell you specifically.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It was very close to this decision of 20 May

14 1992. Correct?

15 A. I believe that the staff meeting was after this decision because

16 the meeting could not have been held until it was appointed by the

17 Municipal Assembly. So whether the meeting was on the first, second, or

18 third day after the adoption is something I really don't know.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: How often did the Crisis Staff meet?

20 A. It's difficult to be specific about that, especially if we're

21 talking about the term "frequently." The staff met as necessary, simply

22 in the -- according to the decision of the person who headed the staff.

23 If he felt that such a meeting was necessary, he would consult with the

24 other people, and then a staff meeting would be scheduled. I don't know

25 whether this was every seven or ten or fifteen days, but generally that

Page 12878

1 was the time period that they were held.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So the president would be responsible for

3 conferring the Crisis Staff and the agenda of the Crisis Staff. Correct?

4 A. The president of the municipality convened the Crisis Staff

5 meetings according to his assessment and after consulting with the other

6 members, particularly members of the Executive Board and members of the

7 secretariat. And that is also how the agenda was prepared, with

8 consultations with those other people, depending on the problems or issues

9 that those people felt should be reviewed by the staff.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Budimir, on the top page of this Official

11 Gazette, it reads, "Year I" even though we have seen Official Gazettes of

12 Prijedor Municipality in the previous years. Why was this, that in 1992

13 started with "Year I"?

14 A. I don't explain it at all. In view of the competencies and duties

15 of the organ that I was, we didn't have any Official Gazettes, so I didn't

16 have any insight into what certain markings meant nor how these were given

17 to the Gazette. I can talk specifically about what was in the

18 jurisdiction of the -- of my organ. But this is really outside of that

19 area, so I cannot really tell you anything specific about that.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Where did you meet?

21 A. Are you thinking of the Crisis Staff or...?

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right, Crisis Staff meeting.

23 A. The staff usually met on the premises -- it met in the small

24 conference hall next to the hall and the office where the president of the

25 assembly was carrying out his functions.

Page 12879

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Where else did the Crisis Staff meet, please?

2 A. The Crisis Staff mostly met in that room. And if you permit me, I

3 would just like to say, besides the fact that the Crisis Staff met and

4 worked in meetings, the Crisis Staff had 24-hour duty call. So there was

5 a reporting centre that was formed in the basement of the Municipal

6 Assembly building where this centre for alerting was situated before. And

7 this centre operated under my jurisdiction. It was part of my job.

8 Information was received there from the civilian aspects of life in the

9 municipality, and those pieces of information that were relevant for the

10 work of the Crisis Staff were passed on to the Crisis Staff.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So would it be correct that there was a night

12 shift and a day shift?

13 A. Duty service in the municipal centre for alerting was permanent,

14 24 hours a day.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And who met there? Only members of the Crisis

16 Staff as such, as we see it from the document, from the Official Gazette,

17 or also other individuals?

18 A. No. They -- the members of the Crisis Staff did not attend in

19 this form, as it is indicated there. The centre for alerting was manned

20 by technical and expert people, employees of the secretariat for national

21 defence, and they did their duties, taking shifts 24 hours a day. I spent

22 the most time there of all the members of the Crisis Staff because it was

23 in the jurisdiction of the municipal secretariat for national defence, and

24 Mr. Ranko Travar was often there. Considering the fact that the

25 information gathered there fell mostly within the province of the organ

Page 12880

1 headed by Mr. Travar, namely, the economy and social services.

2 Information about these aspects of life flowed into this centre, and we

3 together sorted out and selected information trying to remove and redress

4 the problems that we could as soon as possible, whereas other information

5 was processed and forwarded to the Crisis Staff for further action.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did the Crisis Staff have other special

7 buildings in Prijedor dedicated to the execution of the necessary work of

8 the Crisis Staff?

9 A. The Crisis Staff worked in meetings. It had no special premises

10 of its own, apart from this room where they met. All other municipal

11 organs and agencies served the Crisis Staff doing the job that was legally

12 prescribed to them, and everyone had their offices in the municipal

13 building where they carried out their jobs as prescribed by the

14 regulations.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What about the building in Cirkin Polje?

16 A. I don't know. After I left my office in that building, I never

17 again visited Cirkin Polje, and not a single session that I attended was

18 held in that building. What happened to that building, who received it

19 for use later, I have no idea.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you know about the issuing of certificates or

21 vouchers for fuel?

22 A. You have to know the volume of the work I handled, which was very

23 complex and difficult, and I can easily say, very unpopular, so I had lots

24 of trouble doing my job, having a lot of contacts with war profiteers and

25 other abusers. So all these other things such as abuses of vouchers of

Page 12881

1 fuel were not handled by me. It was in the competence of the secretary

2 for the economy and other people. So I don't have enough information to

3 tell you how it was done upstairs and how it was handled. I did not

4 actively take part in it.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In Article 2 on the decision of the organisation

6 and work of the Prijedor municipal Crisis Staff, it reads: "Prijedor

7 municipal Crisis Staff has been established to coordinate the functions of

8 the authorities, the defence of the municipal territory, the protection of

9 safety of people and property, the establishment of government, and the

10 organisation of all other fields of life and work."

11 What about the influence of the Crisis Staff on the military

12 forces?

13 A. The Crisis Staff was set up to coordinate all the functions of the

14 government and defence of the territory, as it says here. From the

15 viewpoint of organisation, we all know exactly what government means and

16 which organs are involved. This organ performed the combined functions of

17 the government, and there were laws and bylaws regulating other aspects of

18 life which remained in force. That means that this staff had no

19 competencies over the army, the police, or other defence structures

20 because they acted in keeping with other laws that continued to be in

21 force and to govern their functioning, that is, the law on national

22 defence and the law on internal affairs. They were required to implement

23 these laws. This decision does not render these laws null and void.

24 Therefore, the Crisis Staff had no opportunity to rule these structures.

25 It could only exchange information with the army, not influence it. The

Page 12882

1 same goes for the police.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the usher, please, on the same

3 document, S180, to open page 51, issue 48.

4 How can you bring in conformity your previous answer with this

5 order of the Crisis Staff?

6 A. I'm sorry, I don't have the order in front of me. The monitor is

7 showing the English version.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The B/C/S should be the same pagination.

9 A. Can I start answering now, or do you have any more questions?

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, please.

11 A. I still stand by my view that the Crisis Staff had no authority to

12 take decisions, issue orders, or resolve any matters regarding the army or

13 the police because these structures were governed very precisely by other

14 laws.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I interrupt you. The question is -- may I

16 interrupt you. The question is not what under the law is possible, but

17 what actually happened. And you recall this order of the 17th of June

18 1992?

19 A. I remember it. It was one of the rare occasions of the sort, and

20 I remember the deliberations on this issue. But I don't remember this

21 order, and I'm seeing it for the first time in this form. That's what I

22 wanted to comment upon. From the formal and legal point of view, I

23 explained what was possible and what was not. As for this issue and this

24 issue order, the Crisis Staff, in view of the situation and the problems

25 encountered, and this was one of the rare occasions where we discussed

Page 12883

1 these matters, simply because the problems in town were so bad that this

2 situation could not be tolerated any longer. And we asked from -- people

3 from the army and the police to re-establish law and order and to prevent

4 the looting, the robberies, the disorder, and unrest that was going on in

5 town. Normally, the army and the police should have done so of their own

6 accord. But the practice was different. So we asked the representatives

7 of the army and the police to form teams made up of the existing members,

8 the existing force, who were supposed to enforce law anyway but were not

9 doing it. And we simply urged them to put a stop to it. I don't know why

10 somebody formulated this request in the form of an order. As far as I

11 know, there was no discussion to that effect and nobody had instructions

12 to write such an order, and I don't see how anybody could have taken it

13 upon themselves to do something that they were not required to do by law.

14 We were simply making a request of the army and the police. I

15 don't know why this was written in the form of an order. This question

16 should better be put to the secretary of the municipality whose job it was

17 to take care of the legality of municipal orders -- municipal organs and

18 their work and follow the decisions of the Municipal Assembly in keeping

19 with the law.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When I ask you now the same question related to

21 other documents - may I ask the usher to turn to page 69, issue number

22 97 - would you please be so kind and with a view to the remaining time,

23 please, a brief answer only.

24 How is it possible that by a decision taken in Prijedor, the

25 Serbian TO shall be incorporated into the structure of the region and

Page 12884

1 placed under its command?

2 A. That is not possible either. According to the law and in view of

3 the discussion about this, such a conclusion was not formulated because it

4 was impossible to formulate it in such language. It could only have been

5 done according to a decision of the assembly on the reorganisation of

6 staffs of Territorial Defence. By decision of higher organs to issue a

7 recommendation --

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to interrupt, but once again, I don't want

9 to hear what is possible under the law that we can find out ourselves.

10 The problem is do you recall this -- the discussion on this conclusion?

11 A. There was discussion on the resubordination of TO units to army

12 units, but there was no order or conclusion adopted by us. But we could

13 only make a recommendation to the assembly for this to be put into

14 practice.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You're aware that we are reading from the

16 Official Gazette. May we turn now to page number 54, issue 55, please.

17 Please, also brief comments on this.

18 A. I don't remember whether this happened at a session of the Crisis

19 Staff, but from what the law said about that previously, I really can't

20 answer this briefly. I would have to elaborate my explanation which the

21 time does not allow. But if you want a brief answer, I don't remember

22 that this was said at the session of the Crisis Staff, and I don't

23 remember that such a decision was made. But the whole system worked in

24 such a way that approval had to be obtained from upstairs, including

25 approval of the republican Territorial Defence staff. So it couldn't be

Page 12885

1 forwarded to the assembly without the approval of the competent commander.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So who would be in charge of getting this

3 approval?

4 A. That would be the commander of the republican Territorial Defence,

5 but in this particular case, there was no republican TO commander on the

6 BH level. So the person in question was the Territorial Defence commander

7 in Republika Srpska.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. We don't need S180 any longer.

9 May we please have S173. Please in B/C/S, always the best

10 possible copy, that is, a colour copy.

11 May it please be moved a little bit upwards.

12 You see two signatures on this document.

13 A. Yes.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You are acquainted with the signature of

15 Dr. Kovacevic?

16 A. I can't say. I have seen his signature before, but I can't

17 identify it here. I believe Mr. Kovacevic's signature was a bit longer on

18 certain documents I've seen. So I'm not quite certain.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What about the signature of Dr. Stakic?

20 A. I don't know. I can't identify Dr. Stakic's signature here.

21 There is a variety of signatures by Dr. Stakic that I've seen. This

22 doesn't look to me like his signature. I can't identify it.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who would be the one who would have to sign a

24 document in the absence of Dr. Stakic?

25 A. Ex officio, it would be vice-president of the municipality,

Page 12886

1 Mr. Savanovic.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May the witness please be shown the other

3 document, please, remaining there, S267.

4 Do you recognise this signature "za"? Then followed by a very

5 special signature.

6 A. Yes.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would be the signature of whom?

8 A. I think, because it is rather idiosyncratic with this half circle,

9 it is Dragan Savanovic's signature. Anyway, I had more to do with

10 documents signed by Savanovic than by Dr. Stakic. And judging by this

11 little circle, I think it is his signature. I think he still signs

12 himself this way.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May the witness then be shown, and the others be

14 left there, S70, 7-0.

15 For Madam Registrar, the next one would be S174-1B.

16 Can you please explain the signature and stamp you can see there.

17 A. The stamp is that of the Municipal Assembly, but I cannot identify

18 the signature or explain to whom it could belong. This is, I believe, the

19 old stamp of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor before all these events.

20 But when I compare these two signatures, I am not sure of anything any

21 more. I don't know who -- which one belongs to whom.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you recall the conclusion measures to

23 blockade the town shall continue to be in force? Do you recall this?

24 A. To be quite frank, I really don't know. In what sense do you

25 mean, the blockade?

Page 12887

1 A. I don't remember it. Blockade is a very broad sense. That would

2 mean closing off the entire territory. The way it is formulated here it

3 would have to be more specific.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Previous interpretation continues] ... my

5 question was did you participate in the meeting when it was discussed

6 that the blockade of the town should continue to be in force? Do you

7 recall this conclusion?

8 A. I don't remember this conclusion.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did at any point in time Dr. Stakic not

10 participate in a meeting of the Crisis Staff?

11 A. I can't say that with any accuracy. Maybe he failed to attend a

12 session or two, but if he wasn't there, then Mr. Savanovic took over as

13 vice-president of the assembly and deputy chairman of the Crisis Staff.

14 It may have happened, since it was also regulated by a decision who was

15 his stand-in, and that was Mr. Savanovic as vice-president.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I asked you a concrete question, how often it

17 was that Dr. Stakic did not preside over the Crisis Staff when there was a

18 meeting of the Crisis Staff? Please don't try to circumvent the answers.

19 A. Well, I really can't tell you precisely whether it happened two,

20 three, or five times, if he was away on a business trip or something, he

21 could have missed a session of the Crisis Staff. But how often it

22 happened, two, three, or five times, I don't know, because I didn't keep

23 records about that. It was not my job to keep records of who attended the

24 sessions, who didn't.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The other way around: Dr. Stakic in principle,

Page 12888

1 save the exceptions you just mentioned, presided over the Crisis Staff and

2 was present during the meeting of Crisis Staffs?

3 A. Yes.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was there any separate group within the Crisis

5 Staff holding separate meetings, maybe as it often happens in political

6 circles, inner circles?

7 A. As regards informal meetings and that internal side of its work, I

8 can't remember that Mr. Stakic socialised with Mr. Drljaca. He socialised

9 with Mr. Travar and me, but he socialised more with Mr. Arsic, Simo, and

10 especially with Mr. Kovacevic, because they used to work together at the

11 hospital. Whereas I had no prior contacts, nothing in common with

12 Dr. Stakic before. Regarding this period you are talking about, we only

13 had working contacts about meetings and agreements. Outside of that, I

14 did not meet with Mr. Stakic, with Mr. Simo or the people from the army

15 because our job did not require us to meet in the afternoons or in any

16 nonworking way. I spent my time in the centre for alerting, collecting,

17 and processing information, and I spent most of my time working with

18 Mr. Travar. However, I do not deny that Mr. Stakic spent a lot more time

19 with those other people than with me.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please have a short glance on S174,

21 then be followed by S72 that we can conclude this line today. Please,

22 always the signature. - 1B, S74-1B. You can identify the paraph one can

23 see there?

24 A. No, I can't identify this. I'm completely at a loss about

25 signatures. No.

Page 12889

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So you mentioned previously that you were able

2 to identify with a certain degree of likelihood the signature as it was

3 under the law necessary of Mr. Savanovic. May we please have a look on

4 S80, 8-0. This seems not to be the signature of Dr. Stakic, but can you

5 identify the signature as such? You can see the "za."

6 A. Yes, and I have already told you that I spent time with

7 Mr. Travar, both at work and outside work. And we were close and we had

8 similar viewpoints. I believe that this is the signature of Mr. Travar.

9 It is also quite special, with a little curve on top. And it's as close

10 as I can come to being certain.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And then S74, please. Whose

12 signature would this be?

13 A. From what I see here, it seems there is a DR. You can conclude

14 from this perhaps that this is Kovacevic's signature because I said

15 before, I didn't often contact this person, and I can't remember his

16 signature precisely. But I believe his signature is a bit longer than the

17 one I'm looking at now. That, at least, is my feeling. I can't confirm

18 one way or another. It is not remarkable in any way. I'm much more

19 certain with regard to the other two persons.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then finally for today, because we have to

21 conclude now, S81. Do you recognise this signature? If please the B/C/S

22 version, in this case, could be put on the ELMO.

23 A. I can't identify the signature. If you want me to draw

24 conclusions, Bosko associates in my mind with Dr. Mandic. But I'm not at

25 all certain of this. And I didn't see his signature very often, nor did I

Page 12890

1 spend time with this man. I can't be sure. But I don't know any other

2 Bosko than Mandic.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clear answer.

4 Then this concludes today's testimony. I kindly have to ask you

5 not to contact any of the parties during the afternoon, evening, and

6 night. One has to be quite concrete. This would be counsel of

7 Prosecution or counsel of Defence, and not discuss with any person you by

8 chance would meet here in The Hague, be it in the hotel or elsewhere, and

9 discuss issues related to your testimony.

10 This concludes today's hearing. We are looking forward to --

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I just ask one question.


13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to know the procedure

14 for tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, what am I supposed to do?

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I hope that the line of questions by the Judges

16 can be concluded after the first period of time. This is the first 90

17 minutes. And then it would be for the parties to put additional questions

18 to you. I don't know. I can't foresee what period of time this will

19 take. So I can't exclude definitely that it might be your testimony will

20 only be concluded Wednesday.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until tomorrow, 9.00.

23 [The witness stands down]

24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

25 at 1.56 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,

Page 12891

1 the 4th day of March, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.