1 Tuesday, 4 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning to everybody. Please be seated.
6 Before we continue the line of questions to our current witness, we have
7 to discuss some administrative matters which deserve to be treated with
8 some priority.
9 Yesterday, we received based on the copy of the watch of
10 Mr. Ostojic in time some documents. I think we should take care not to
11 confuse them. In the moment, we are confronted with two expert
12 statements, and I think Prosecution should as soon as possible comment on
13 the question of cross-examination, especially related to the one new
14 proposed statement in writing on the third expert. Pavle Nikolic,
15 Professor Pavle Nikolic which it was sought to be introduced under Rule 94
16 bis as well. These are not the main problems.
17 The main problem in the moment is the motion of 3 March 2003,
18 defendant Milomir Stakic motion to reconsider the Court's prior decision
19 on experts for leave to amend his witness list. We discussed it a long
20 time yesterday. We compared it with your previous motion. We compared it
21 with what has been described as the parameters for admitting new experts
22 and new witnesses. The motion as such is of a quality that we first have
23 to ask the Defence in all seriousness, do you believe this is a serious
25 MR. OSTOJIC: Good morning, Your Honour. The motion with respect
1 to our request for experts is indeed serious. And we think it's most
2 serious. We --
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Discussing -- reconsider the decision on experts
4 and for leave to amend his witness list where you have a mixum compositum
5 of experts, witnesses, names, nobody knows what the real meaning should
6 be. To be quite frank with you.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: And I appreciate that, Your Honour. I can go
8 through it because our subsequent motion to that filing immediately
9 clarified the issue with respect to the two lay witnesses that we wanted
10 to substitute. Initially we were going to incorporate the motion as one.
11 We broke it out. But in that motion we highlight the fact that there will
12 be other witnesses that we will be seeking leave such as the 92 bis
13 witness Dr. Pavle Nikolic as well as the two other witnesses who we
14 specify in a separate motion. But in this motion it was basically giving
15 the Court an overall picture of the three issues that we were mainly
16 concerned with, and just to repeat: One, the experts; two, the
17 substitution of witnesses; and then three the exhibits that we also under
18 separate cover and separate motion sought leave to admit.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This Trial Chamber outlined several times what
20 are the parameters for admission of new evidence and amending the witness
21 list. And this is, of course, primarily the question of added value,
22 higher quality, higher experience, and finally relevance. And just to
23 write down the words "pathologist," "exhumation expert," it doesn't
24 help at all.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: I can explain that, Your Honour, if I may.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it should be normally readable from the
2 motion as such. And to be honest, this Trial Chamber is no longer
3 prepared to cure the mistakes of Defence in the past. We did what we
4 could to assist you since December when all these motions should have been
5 brought in. But apparently, they aren't. You are just substituting kinds
6 of experts without making any hint on superior experience, relevance.
7 Just one example, why should we need an exhumation expert, pathologist?
8 And then you had some other -- now you use the term "ethics and
9 procedure amongst others [phoen]" and instead of previously "police
10 expert" now "police academy expert." And then out of the blue, we see a
11 name of a Father Milorad Loncar. Maybe we are wrong based on that what we
12 have heard since the last 126 days, that this person was once mentioned.
13 Unfortunately, we are not aware who is Father Milorad Loncar.
14 So to conclude, in the moment, we can't see the seriousness, and
15 more and more, the motion tends to be frivolous.
16 MR. OSTOJIC: If I may reply, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
18 MR. OSTOJIC: With all due respect, we filed a specific
19 application seeking experts in this case. The Court summarily denied our
20 request. Limited the Defence to two, despite the fact that the OTP had
21 numerous experts on with a we considered to be critical points in the
22 fourth amended indictment. Despite, that we disagreed with the Court's
23 decision respectfully, and there was nothing else we could do. The Court
24 invited us and gave us a deadline of Monday to reconsider and if we wanted
25 additional experts to bring it to the Court's attention. We never
1 withdrew our request or our position and we continue to maintain that we
2 have been prejudiced by not having experts which are necessary for this
3 case, specifically with respect to the pathologist, just so that the Court
4 is aware, we cannot at least in the United States of America retain an
5 expert without a retainer before I can actually identify him. So the OLAD
6 will not give us that authority unless the Court grants us that leave. We
7 are caught in a catch-22 where we can't retain an expert, but believe an
8 expert is important.
9 We stress to the Court the superiority of what we consider to be
10 constitutional law experts which the OTP failed to present. We stress to
11 the Court the fact that we need a police expert, whether we call him a
12 police academy expert, someone from the academy himself, or a police
13 expert to determine what the hierarchical structures and duties and
14 obligations were of the policemen in the Prijedor Municipality. We
15 stressed that, and we reiterated solely for the purpose of preserving our
16 right to be perfectly frank with the Court on appeal. The Court's
17 invitation based on the decisional authority clearly states that we must
18 act other than to say that the Court rejected our request. The Court
19 invited us to reiterate our request. We did that. The proffers of those
20 experts we don't have. In order to get their reports, we must pay them.
21 We haven't been given the funds to pay those experts. Clearly we believe
22 on all those issues including exhumation and pathology it's important
23 because the expert or so-called expert Mr. Nicolas Sebire, we heard his
24 testimony, and we can recollect that what the OTP -- how many exhumations
25 they were involved in. And he himself said the standards are different
1 from what the OTP does on exhumations versus what the federation did on
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slow down.
4 MR. OSTOJIC: Sorry. We broke down during his second time he
5 testified after his initial cross-examination, he concluded that out of
6 approximately 270 such exhumations, the OTP was involved in approximately
7 five of them. And then when we further inquired as to what the standards
8 were for exhumations by the Federation, he was unaware of them but felt
9 that his standards, and the standards of the United Nations, and OTP were
10 superior, although he could not explain them. We believe, and we have
11 been in contact with various pathologists who can assist us in evaluating
12 the credibility of this submit and the veracity of the ultimate
13 conclusions that both the Federation and the OTP submit with respect to
14 the pathologist.
15 With respect to the police expert, once again, Your Honour, I have
16 been in contact with three separate police academy officials who can
17 testify, who were willing to testify as early as last summer. I have
18 their resumes, I can find their correspondence. Our request was rejected,
19 so I merely told them they will not be retained in this case. Those
20 experts based on their expertise we hope would have been able to enlighten
21 us since there are specific charges in the indictment, although we
22 strongly feel that the OTP has not proved that. At this stage, since it
23 all passed the 98 bis portion of the case, we believe we have a right and
24 should attack and attempt to refute those allegations in the complaint.
25 Namely, the relationship between the police and the civilian municipal
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 authorities. We believe there has been no evidence of that. But I will
2 not advise my client that therefore we do not need an expert on that
3 issue. Those are the reasons in essence, Your Honour.
4 Finally, with respect to father Milorad Loncar, if I may, his name
5 appears conspicuously for the first time on or motion for leave to obtain
6 certification by the Madam Registrar in our annex. He's an individual who
7 visited Dr. Stakic. We submitted his background report. He's an
8 individual who we believe is a fact witness and also a character witness
9 for Dr. Stakic. We ask that his statement be given via 92 bis. That was
10 rejected. Our application with respect to Father Loncar is simply to have
11 the Court reconsider and admit a 92 bis statement from him which I believe
12 we have now in final form at our apartment or in the alternative to allow
13 us to bring him live so he can testify about the time he met Dr. Stakic,
14 namely in 1992 and in subsequent years.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Dear Mr. Ostojic, we have several times we
16 reviewed the transcript, told the Defence what are the prerequisites for
17 the admission of new evidence. And this would be to demonstrate the added
18 value, the superior knowledge, and first of all the relevance. Nothing of
19 this is mentioned in your motion at all.
20 You will receive the answer in writing, but before I just wanted
21 to give you a chance to be heard on the question of seriousness and
22 frivolousness of your motion. You gave your comments, and it's now for
23 the Prosecution to respond. I don't know whether the Prosecution is
24 prepared today already or if the Prosecution prefer as to the seriousness
25 and, no doubt, the Defence is preparing since weeks not this case but
1 preparing the appeal of this case. We are fully aware of this. In the
2 light of this, I think it might be better that we are extremely precise in
3 our words, and therefore submit your response in writing.
4 But, of course, if you have already a statement ready, please do
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: Well, Your Honour, I believe that the Defence's
7 candid admission that the purpose of the motion to add the experts is to
8 preserve their rights on appeal goes to the heart of the matter. I think
9 it's very clear that both in the written motion and in the oral arguments
10 that we've just heard, the Defence has failed to show the relevance and
11 the probative value of the offered testimony. So we are very confident
12 that on appeal, the record is very clear that no proffer of the relevance
13 of this evidence has been made and that the Court certainly is not in
14 error in denying this very late request. Admittedly, some of these were
15 asked for earlier, but again a late reiterated request to add experts on
16 issues such as exhumations that are really not at issue in this case.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And finally, we have to ask the Defence, you
18 yourself made the comment that you're acting here as officers of this
19 Tribunal. Please, stick to the truth and don't write in a misleading way
20 that the Office of the Prosecutor called so and so many witnesses or
21 expert witnesses when it was, in fact, a decision under Rule 98. It was
22 the order in part, for example, handwriting expert. It was not the
23 Prosecution asking for this handwriting expert; it was this Chamber
24 ordering the Prosecution to do this work.
25 So please, stick to the truth.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Let me just reply, Your Honour, to the comment by
2 the OTP and the Court. If I may. If it's not obvious why a police expert
3 is necessary after our exhaustive arguments, no one can compel this
4 Chamber to understand the seriousness of it. The OTP can take a position
5 which it does not. It can withdraw their baseless allegations relating to
6 the nexus between the police and the civilian authorities, or it can set
7 forth for the Court in honesty and in truth what the hierarchy was of the
8 police in the Prijedor Municipality and how it goes to the republic level
9 and ultimately to the federal level. The truth of the matter is they
10 don't have that evidence. Only because they can't produce evidence that
11 there's a nexus. Instead, what they do is to make a bald allegation and
12 hope that no one notices and hope that no experts will be brought forth
13 and hope that it will all go under some sort of cloud of confusion. The
14 constitutionality issues, the Court itself in the transcripts mentioned,
15 referred, and clearly stated in my opinion that it is necessary and
16 important, and invited the OTP to give us the Official Gazette where those
17 constitutional law issues are. What better person than a constitutional
18 law expert to help us understand and get to the truth of what the actual
19 duties and obligations of various functionaries were at the time at issue.
20 Obviously an expert.
21 The Court is suggesting that we offer -- make a proffer. An offer
22 of proof is made at the end of the Defence case. We will if necessary
23 make an offer of proof of what these experts will state. In my motion I
24 clearly state it will not only refute and rebut the allegations of the
25 OTP which we feel are far afield but ours will also show the substantial
1 doubt that exists with respect to what under de jure or de facto the
2 obligations and responsibilities allegedly were of Dr. Stakic. If we
3 didn't have de jure, I could understand the position of the OTP. If we
4 didn't have joint criminal enterprise, I could perhaps understand their
5 position. If we didn't have widespread and systematic attack, perhaps we
6 could understand and pare down the list of experts in order to establish
7 that. Instead, they throw all these alternative and multi-crooked
8 theories and leave it for us to try to understand and to obtain experts on
9 that. We cannot bring an expert without having leave of Court and payment
10 to retain that expert. I can identify the experts, truthfully to the
11 Court who contacted. We can identify for the Court specifically those
12 individuals. The Court denied our request --
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry, but now you are overstepping. You are
14 really overstepping, Mr. Ostojic. You know that it was your duty since at
15 least November last year, and you failed to do the necessary what a
16 Defence should do in this trial.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, with all due respect, and I apologise
18 if the Court feels I overstepped, the Defence made an application --
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No, I don't want to hear any longer these
20 submissions. You repeatedly and repeatedly and misleading the public by
21 stating that you had no chance. You failed to do what was necessary, and
22 you yourself admitted that you failed. And all the time we used to cure
23 that what you failed to do, and please don't come now after the deadline
24 and complain about all the assistance we gave not the Defence but
25 Dr. Stakic, because this case is on Dr. Stakic and not on Mr. Ostojic and
1 not on Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: If I may just clarify, Your Honour, with respect to
3 what I perceive as the Defence counsel's failings it was on the specific
4 proffers and statements of summaries. However the misguidance that we had
5 were based on other Chambers and what was accepted there. We do
6 appreciate the Court's assistance and the patience by the OTP with respect
7 to those. We do not agree, and I do not personally agree, that the
8 Defence failed in their obligations respectfully in any manner in this
9 case. I can cite, and I'm not trying to be misleading at all, I know how
10 many experts were called by the OTP, how many in-house witnesses were
11 called by the OTP. We made our request. We're not going to go back and
12 reiterate the request. We have to live with the decision --
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Ostojic, we are not in kindergarten here
14 saying the Prosecution has ten witnesses and therefore you have also the
15 right to have ten witness. They have three experts and then you have the
16 right to --
17 MR. OSTOJIC: I agree, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This is the content of your motions. The
19 quality, sorry.
20 MR. OSTOJIC: It's not. But I think it's necessary because we
21 have principles and we have in the actual statutes equality of arms is
22 always mentioned. The Court mentioned it themselves. It's perhaps my
23 misunderstanding what that means but equality of arms means that we will
24 both be able to go in there on the same playing field, on the same basis
25 with the same amount of resources available to us. We were not given
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that. I am not trying this case for appeal. I am confident, and I am
2 saying this very truthfully to the Court, that this Trial Chamber at the
3 end of the day, when you review and revisit the testimony of the witnesses
4 that were proffered here, you will find in favour of Dr. Stakic. I'm very
5 confident of that. I am not trying this case on appeal. I resent the
6 comments by the OTP that I am. However, as a lawyer, I'm obligated to
7 preserve my rights and to preserve the rights of my client. I think that
8 this Court will find in favour of Dr. Stakic on all those counts. Why we
9 didn't get it earlier, I don't know. I believe that if the Court examines
10 all the witnesses, once again, you'll find that they are -- the witnesses
11 offered by the OTP on critical essential elements such as widespread and
12 systematic, they will find that there is absolutely no evidence of that,
13 none whatsoever. Therefore, they fail in their burden of proof. So I'm
14 not trying this case on appeal, and I don't want anyone to think that we
16 The Defence I think has done a remarkable job based on the
17 resources given to us. We once again appreciate the Court's patience with
18 us, and the Court's assistance when it came to the proffers and other
19 issues. On the experts, it takes six to nine months to retain these
20 individuals. There's an enormous amount of material. Once the Court
21 denied our request, we were left with just proceeding with the two and
22 working to obtain those and that's the issued that remained. We didn't
23 understand why the Court reinvited us to present the expert issue, we
24 thought it was a moot issue at that point. So in order to preserve, and
25 at the Court's invitation --
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Once again, I have to interrupt you. This is
2 not the truth. Since it's reflected on the transcript, since our first
3 statement related and decision related to witnesses and experts, we
4 clearly expressed our view that when the Defence, if the Defence feels
5 necessary to hear additional experts, then they have to demonstrate the
6 criteria set out before and already at that time.
7 So let's conclude this dark chapter of this hearing. A final
8 question to the Defence: Yesterday, Mr. Lukic was kind enough to tell us
9 that you would search for a replacement of the witnesses 055 and 083. I
10 think the one is related to replacement of the priest, but until today, we
11 don't know. You just mentioned this priest once visited Dr. Stakic. We
12 don't know when. We don't know where, what's it about, what about the
14 What about the second witness to be replaced? We can't find
15 anything on this in the motion. We can't wait for this. May I ask the
16 Prosecution, are there any comments on the four filings pursuant to Rule
17 94 bis as of yesterday related to Mr. Nikolic, General Dumat [phoen], and
18 Dr. Trifkovic?
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, Your Honour. We just received the filings,
20 and we have not yet received the expert reports ourselves, the OTP. Just
21 one comment on the motion for leave to amend the witness list, the two
22 witnesses given at least on what I was just handed, there's no indication
23 of what they will testify to, no proffer. I don't know if the Defence has
24 a proffer. But in order to add witnesses at this time, I presume that
25 they have some idea of what relevant evidence the witnesses will be
1 adding. I don't know if that's available.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But this has to be demonstrated, and it's not
3 yet demonstrated. Therefore, in the moment, there is nothing to decide.
4 We expect additional comments by the parties, taking into account that the
5 deadline was set for yesterday.
6 Anything else for the moment on administrative measures? This is
7 not the case. May I then ask the usher to escort the witness into the
8 courtroom, please.
9 Finally, I'm grateful that Madam Registrar gave me the hint,
10 Prosecution reserved the right to comment on the one additional 92 bis
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes. The testimony that was offered, we have no
13 objection to that 92 bis statement.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then this is admitted into evidence. Madam
15 Registrar, the number --
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: Perhaps we should specify --
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I just wanted to have the number from Madam
18 Registrar, please.
19 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 74.
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: All right.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then there was a request for the admission
22 of a transcript.
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, as to 74, we have no objection to the
24 admission of that transcript under Rule 92 bis and do not seek to
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence as such.
2 So, please.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning, Mr. Budimir. Your headphones are
5 functioning; you can hear me. So please be seated.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you. Thank you.
7 WITNESS: SLAVKO BUDIMIR [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask you, did you have any contacts with
11 any of the parties or any other witness by chance since we met yesterday?
12 A. No, I did not have any contact with the parties or witnesses.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then we can proceed immediately. And may I,
14 having reviewed yesterday's transcript, may I ask you in order of taking
15 into account the limited time available for us to answer briefly if
17 Yesterday, when I make reference to the transcript, please don't
18 be confused because it's only for the parties and for the transcript that
19 when later we are coming back to the transcript of another day, we can
20 find where you made this statement. So I want to follow up with that what
21 was said yesterday on page 70, 7-0. We discussed Crisis Staff, working of
22 the Crisis Staff. And my question was, line 3: "Was there any separate
23 group within the Crisis Staff holding separate meetings, maybe as often
24 happens in political circles, inner circles?" Your answer was: "As
25 regards informal meetings and the internal side of its work, I can't
1 remember that Mr. Stakic socialised with Mr. Drljaca. He socialised with
2 Mr. Travar and me, but he socialised more with Mr. Arsic, Simo, and
3 especially with Mr. Kovacevic."
4 Sorry for my omission of yesterday not to ask you, Simo, when you
5 mentioned "Simo," what would be the second name of this Simo? We have a
6 lot of Simos as acting persons in this case.
7 A. If you allow me to comment, I don't know whether the translation
8 was good, but I think that the first part of the statement that you
9 repeated does not correspond to what I said. I said that Mr. Stakic -- I
10 said that I do not dispute that Mr. Stakic socialised more with Mr. Arsic,
11 Mr. Drljaca. Specifically, this relates to Mr. Simo Drljaca. And that he
12 socialised less with myself and Mr. Travar, and I also said that
13 Mr. Travar and I mostly spent time receiving and processing information
14 which we received from the civilian sector which was then passed on to the
15 staff. This top part would suggest as if he socialised more with myself
16 and Mr. Travar, but actually it was with Mr. Arsic and Mr. Drljaca that he
17 socialised with more. In informal and daily contacts, Mr. Stakic spent
18 much more time with them than he did with me and Mr. Travar.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So I don't want to give you the answer of my
20 question. My question was when you mentioned yesterday "he socialised
21 more with Mr. Arsic, Simo, and especially with Mr. Kovacevic" just to fill
22 in there, what was the second name of this Simo you mentioned?
23 A. Drljaca, Drljaca. I said that.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I didn't want to put it on your tongue.
25 Therefore, this second question.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Were Mr. Arsic, Mr. Drljaca, Mr. Kovacevic, and Mr. Zeljaja also
2 members of the Crisis Staff?
3 A. Mr. Arsic and Mr. Zeljaja were not members of the Crisis Staff
4 while Mr. Drljaca and Mr. Kovacevic were.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did Mr. Arsic and Mr. Zeljaja attend meetings of
6 the Crisis Staff on a regular basis?
7 A. I don't think that they attended regularly. They were there
8 occasionally, there to discuss certain questions that were discussed at
9 the Crisis Staff meetings.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who attended, Mr. Arsic, Mr. Zeljaja, or both?
11 A. The first part of the work of the Crisis Staff was something that
12 Mr. Arsic attended, and then Mr. Zeljaja attended later. I think there
13 was some kind of an organisational change in the functional sense relating
14 to the duties they were carrying out. So this was probably the reason why
15 Mr. Arsic was replaced by Mr. Zeljaja.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What was your, and especially where was your
17 office during the entire year of 1992? Yesterday you mentioned the
18 building where you worked initially in April, May. Was there any change?
19 A. During that time period that you are talking about, I worked at
20 the building across the street from the Municipal Assembly building where
21 the ministry for internal affairs and the municipal secretariat for
22 national defence were located. And later, that was reorganised into the
23 Defence ministry of the municipality of Prijedor. I'm talking about that
24 period. Later, during the war, the Ministry of Defence, the department of
25 Prijedor, relocated to a different part of the town.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Isn't it true, sir, that - maybe there's a
2 misunderstanding - that your office during 1992 was in the municipal
4 A. No, my office in the course of 1992 was in the building across the
5 street from the municipal building where the ministry for internal affairs
6 was. In another part of the building, in an annex, the Ministry of
7 Defence was located, and that's where the secretariat was for national
8 defence, and that is where my office was. All duties from the
9 jurisdiction of the organ that I headed were performed in that place, and
10 that's where all the staff was.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Maybe it assists you when I put to you what you
12 said at the meeting in the hotel, together with Mr. Koumjian. There, you
13 were asked on page 41 by Mr. Koumjian: "Was your office during 1992 in
14 the municipal building?" And then you said: "In the municipal
15 building?" Mr. Koumjian asked: "Yes." And then once again you said:
16 "No, no."
17 So your testimony would be that it was only when you were on
18 the -- on duty, and please correct me if I am wrong, that only when you
19 were on duty - and yesterday you mentioned that you took this work
20 extremely seriously, and therefore you were often on duty - that then you
21 worked in the basement of the municipal building. Would this be correct?
22 A. Allow me to be precise. The work hours --
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Previous interpretation continues] ...
24 A. Was from 7.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m., and that period I spent at my
25 workplace at the premises which I talked about a little earlier in the
1 ministry of the internal affairs i.e., in the annex of that building where
2 the municipal secretariat was located. That's where I spent my work time,
3 from 7.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. After that, I had a short break, it was an
4 hour or two depending on the time and my family obligations. Since at
5 that time I was living in a village which was about 6 kilometres away from
6 town, so occasionally I would go home. Upon my return to town, I would go
7 to the premises of the centre for reporting where all the information from
8 the civilian sector was collected and which were processed and then passed
9 on to the Crisis Staff for review and resolution of the problems that had
10 cropped up in the civilian sector in the town. So these were my
11 movements, my work hours during the day.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You mentioned once again unfortunately only the
13 premises of the centre for reporting. But this centre was located in the
14 basement of the building of the Municipal Assembly. Correct?
15 A. Yes, undoubtedly, they were in the basement of the Municipal
16 Assembly building. This was located there before the events, after the
17 events, and to this very day, the centre is still in the same location.
18 And all the equipment and the technical means that are required for it to
19 work are located there.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Whom would you meet there during your shift?
21 Let's limit it to members of the Crisis Staff first.
22 A. Before that, I have to say that the people who worked there were
23 from the organ that I headed. They maintained the shift, maintained
24 contacts, received the information, wrote them down. But as far as the
25 members of the Crisis Staff are concerned, and I've said that before,
1 other than myself, most of the time that was spent there was spent by
2 Mr. Travar in view of the nature of the information which were received
3 and processed. I'm not ruling out the possibility that all the other
4 members of the Crisis Staff also came there. In exceptional
5 circumstances, it would also be somebody from the military. But this was
6 only dropping by for about half an hour or so to see what was going on,
7 whether there were any problems in town and so on. Otherwise, the other
8 members went there of the Crisis Staff as well as Mr. Travar, who would
9 spend two to three hours there while the others would only stay there from
10 half an hour to an hour and did not stop by every day, but did so
11 depending on their duties and if they needed to stop by and to find out
12 what types of information were arriving at the reporting centre.
13 And I am saying this relating to the military and the police
14 because their communication centre was separate. They had independent
15 communication centres for their own needs. This was exclusively a centre
16 for the civilian needs, for the needs of the Crisis Staff.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you meet there Dr. Stakic, Mr. Dragic?
18 [Technical difficulty]
19 A. Yes, occasionally.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Dragic?
21 A. I don't remember whether Mr. Dragic went there in the functional
22 sense. There was no need for that and I believe that he didn't really
23 drop by there. I don't remember noticing anything like that, perhaps on a
24 couple of occasions but I don't remember that. I'm not ruling out the
25 possibility that he did drop by, perhaps I wasn't there at the time. But
1 I don't remember anything like that.
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: Transcript is frozen, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry, I can't control everything at the same
4 time. Is it a serious technical problem or...? No, I think we are fine
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: We did miss the last I believe -- it did come out.
7 Okay, thank you.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Technical miracles happen.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not a technical expert, Your
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's safe so...
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: Is that true? I don't see Mr. Dragic's name?
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's only in part. So let me repeat. The
14 question was would you have seen Mr. Stakic, Mr. Dragic there?
15 A. I said that I would see Mr. Stakic, that he did drop by
16 occasionally to the premises of the reporting centre. But I don't
17 remember Mr. Dragic coming. I'm not ruling out the possibility that he
18 was there at the premises, but I think that in the functional sense, he
19 didn't need to be there. I don't know whether he dropped by informally
20 and perhaps talked with somebody there. I'm not ruling out that
21 possibility in view of the fact that I did not spend all of my time there
22 at the premises.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I just ask, did you discuss with Mr. Dragic
24 his own testimony here in The Hague during the last four weeks?
25 A. I did have informal contacts with Mr. Krejic and Mr. Dragic, but
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 this was with coffee in a restaurant, so we didn't go into any details. I
2 just asked them how they felt and how did it go. But I didn't discuss
3 anything with them in details. And they didn't show any willingness
4 either to talk about that topic.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you remember playing cards together with
6 Dr. Stakic in this centre?
7 A. No, I don't play cards. I don't know that much about cards. As
8 far as card playing goes, I know some very simple games, but I don't know
9 gin rummy or any other games. So I'm not ruling out the possibility that
10 they did play cards.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. And this brings me to the next question,
12 what is "they"? Who else appeared there? Would Mr. Drljaca, Mr. Srdic,
13 Mr. Zeljaja appear in their coordinating functions as set out in the rules
14 on the establishment of the Crisis Staff?
15 A. I don't know if the rules provided for them coming to the
16 reporting centre. I think that as far as Mr. Srdic and Mr. Zeljaja came
17 by very rarely. Mr. Drljaca stopped by occasionally, just like
18 Mr. Stakic, to the premises of the reporting centre, if this is what we're
19 talking about. Because you had said "they," so I wasn't quite sure
20 exactly who and where.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You have answered this question because I wanted
22 to know what is "they" in your last answer.
23 But let's now concentrate, please, on the meetings of the Crisis
24 Staff, the formal meetings of the Crisis Staff, as such during this
25 relatively short period Crisis Staff replaced other organs, especially at
1 this period of time when there was no meeting of the Municipal Assembly.
2 The decisions taken in the Crisis Staff, were they taken
3 unanimously or with majority or with a qualified majority?
4 A. I couldn't tell you specifically. I think the decisions of the
5 staff were not adopted by a vote, a majority, or so on. It was a
6 discussion which was concluded at the end, the question was asked whether
7 anybody had anything to add or to rule out relating to the topic that was
8 discussed. There was no vote. There was no raising of hands. There was
9 no affirmative vote. Mostly, it was discussion on a certain topic,
10 perhaps we voted very rarely. I'm not ruling out the possibility that
11 there was an occasional vote. But the actual way we worked was to this
12 effect. Even when we were formulating the agenda, I believe that there
13 wasn't a precise agenda. There was a broad item, political security
14 situation. And within that item, all of the different questions were
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What was then the procedure once a decision
17 taken? What would be the next step with this decision?
18 A. By adopting a decision, a conclusion, or any other document which
19 the Crisis Staff was performing in view of the fact that it had taken over
20 the functions of the Municipal Assembly, which was not able to function,
21 then the way a decision would be implemented or formed or if it would be
22 forwarded to other legal entities. This was something that was managed by
23 the expert service or administrative service of the Municipal Assembly
24 which served the Municipal Assembly. If and when the Municipal Assembly
25 was not working, this expert service was working for the Crisis Staff. So
1 I don't know exactly how these decisions or other conclusions or documents
2 that were adopted at the Crisis Staff were processed further. I had
3 information only about the duties that I was performing. I shaped only
4 one regulation as far as I remember. I participated in its preparation
5 and adoption, and it related to the introduction of 24-hour duty in the
6 Crisis Staff. And I think I talked about that earlier.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right. Take this example: Did you receive
8 later the decision taken in a formal way, this would say, in a signed and
9 stamped way, that you would have a basis for the implementation of this
11 A. No, we didn't, at least I didn't receive decisions in a formal
12 written form. Any decisions that would be relative to what was discussed
13 and considered at the session of the Crisis Staff. Maybe I have a slight
14 disadvantage, and that is that I see these decisions for the first time.
15 And as far as I know, they were ratified by the Municipal Assembly of
16 Prijedor, all the decisions made by the Crisis Staff. But due to the
17 nature of my job, I did not attend that session of the Municipal Assembly
18 where these decisions were ratified. But given my job in the inspection
19 and state administration, when I talk about the formality of these
20 decisions from the formal and legal point of view, as you said, I don't
21 want to discuss that. This is something that I find surprising. I don't
22 know why these decisions were worded in this way, why they were shaped in
23 this way. It is up to the secretary of the staff or the president of the
24 Municipal Assembly who was supposed to implement the decisions without
25 derogating the prevailing laws, so it was not up to me.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Within the Crisis Staff, who played the leading
3 A. By his function, the president of the Crisis Staff, Mr. Stakic,
4 presided over the sessions of the Crisis Staff. He was the one who
5 chaired the sessions, and he channelled the discussion on various issues
6 that were discussed at the sessions. I'm not talking about power; I'm
7 talking about the leading role in the Crisis Staff.
8 As for the further dispersion, this is not relevant to what I was
9 talking about.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's stick, in fact, to facts. And therefore,
11 the question, it's true that Dr. Stakic not only in theory but also in
12 practice presided over the meetings of the Crisis Staff. Correct?
13 A. That is correct.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever visit Dr. Stakic in his office in
15 the municipal building?
16 A. Only when I had to talk to him about my job and only when I had to
17 discuss matters within the purview of the secretariat that I headed. It
18 was not very often in that period of time. I don't remember exactly how
19 many times it was, but I believe it was two or three times that I went to
20 his office to discuss the matters pertaining to my area of competence.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you go directly to his office, or did you
22 make an appointment previously?
23 A. There was no formal need to schedule an appointment, but in any
24 case, given our mobility, mine and the president's, we did make a prior
25 contact. But it was not a formal announcement. I would just call him to
1 see when he was free. Then he would tell me: "Come in 10 or 15 minutes.
2 I have some people sitting in my office. And then when they leave, you
3 can see me." So I didn't have the need to make any formal announcement.
4 I would just go to see him.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you call him directly or through his
7 A. I believe that I used the secretary's number. That number I knew
8 because I had used it all the time, even Dr. Stakic was out of the
9 office. The secretary was always there. That's why I used her number. I
10 did not know his direct number. I never used it as far as I remember. In
11 addition to telephone numbers, there was some functional numbers with
12 three digits. And those were direct lines between the president of the
13 municipality, the chief of SUP. But those we used very rarely. I don't
14 remember that we ever used it because our communication was at such a
15 level that we could work normally. There was no need for us to use those
16 functional connections, connections between various functions.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you also have access to this three-digit
18 contact numbers or functional numbers, you used this term?
19 A. Yes. I did have access to them. In my office, the number was
20 132. The president or other people had 134. There were seven or eight
21 such numbers and telephones. But people never got used to using those
22 numbers. And I was no exception. I really didn't use those three-digit
23 numbers at all.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did Dr. Stakic, when you met in the Crisis
25 Staff, often express a dissenting opinion or protest against the one or
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 other decision taken by the Crisis Staff?
2 A. I've told you that the Crisis Staff did not really make decisions.
3 We usually discussed current issues. We tried to reach consensus on what
4 should be done. There was no voting or making decisions as such. During
5 those discussions, there were different opinions heard from those who
6 attended the sessions. And I believe that Dr. Stakic also expressed some
7 different opinions. He had, to put it this way, he would get into some
8 sort of conflicts when discussing things with Mr. Drljaca. But
9 unfortunately, I can't comment on that part, on that relationship, because
10 I don't know what these people knew, what information they had. So I
11 didn't have the same information. It would be wrong for me to pass a
12 judgement on any of these discussions between these two individuals,
13 between Dr. Stakic and Mr. Drljaca.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This leads me to the next question. Do you
15 recall a special incident that a group of members of the Crisis Staff
16 being not SDS members put forward a proposal to try to form a special unit
17 because of the abuses there were being carried out by some military and
18 police authorities in Prijedor, a special unit to control those? Do you
19 recall this?
20 A. I believe that we touched upon that yesterday. And I said when
21 there were problems in town, when they increased, when they could no
22 longer be contained by the army and the police, and when the Crisis Staff
23 started talking about the situation in town, about order and plundering
24 and killings, then there would be conflict regarding the authority of the
25 police and the authority of the army. The army was supposed to control
1 the movements of all the conscripts and military personnel, and the police
2 was to -- supposed to keep order among the civilians. And when we asked
3 from the chief of the police to introduce some order into town, he would
4 just say that he couldn't do that because everybody in town was wearing
5 uniforms and that they should be under the jurisdiction of the army. Then
6 the army would say that they controlled their men and that the unruly
7 behaviour should be ascribed to the civilians, not to the army. And what
8 remained as a question was who was it that behaved in that way? We would
9 reach a dead end when we discussed those questions. And when that
10 situation culminated, we asked about --
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I asked you about a very concrete incident;
12 let's call it maybe even a dispute, maybe even between Dr. Stakic and
13 Mr. Drljaca, on a very concrete issue of abuses carried out by military
14 and police authorities, and there was a proposal to form such a special
15 unit. Isn't that true? Yes or no.
16 A. Yes, that is true. But I just wanted to give you a more elaborate
17 introduction. I apologise. Sometimes I go into too many details, but I
18 believe that it is in the interest of this Court to explain things. So
19 let me be more direct. So when these things culminated, then the Crisis
20 Staff was asked to prevent all that because the army and the police
21 couldn't do that. Then there was a requirement to form a new, special
22 unit, and there was a suggestion that came from the Crisis Staff and from
23 the president of the municipality that people should be appointed to a new
24 unit and that everybody in the Crisis Staff should appoint one honest
25 person who would be a member of that new unit. A discussion followed, and
1 the army and the police did not allow the Crisis Staff to interfere with
2 the way decisions were being made, and they said that the Crisis Staff
3 should not interfere with the appointment of these people because it
4 should be under the exclusive authority of the police and of the army. A
5 verbal conflict followed. And finally the Crisis Staff did not have a say
6 in the forming of that unit. It was the police and the army who had an
7 independent say in the setting up of that unit. And as a result of all
8 that nothing was achieved. We couldn't do anything.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
10 You mentioned just briefly "everybody in town wore uniforms." May
11 I come to the question, did you yourself wear a uniform and pistol, and in
12 which period of time?
13 A. I didn't say that everybody wore uniforms in town, but that the
14 majority of people were assigned either to the police or to the army.
15 We're talking about 70 per cent of the people who were engaged either in
16 the police or in the army, and the remainder of the able-bodied men were
17 either in the civilian protection or had work obligation. Those who were
18 in the army and the police did wear a uniform.
19 As for me personally, I did wear a uniform for a short period of
20 time, and I had my own personal pistol, a small 765 Bereta pistol. But to
21 be honest, I didn't like that. This was my position. I'm just a foot
22 soldier. I didn't have a rank. And my attitude towards the army and
23 towards all that was not one of strong inclination toward that. I was
24 offered to join the army, to be given a rank, but to this very day, I have
25 remained a foot soldier and I have never really wished to join the army.
1 This was just not something I've been attracted to.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Understandable.
3 Could you please be a little bit more concrete. When did you
4 receive a uniform and pistol and by whom?
5 A. The pistol that I carried was my own pistol. And as for the
6 uniform, I received that because somebody had ordered those uniforms.
7 Either it was a secretary of the economy or somebody else, and that's how
8 I got it. And later on, I received uniforms from the army and from -- I
9 don't know. When we went to make rounds of military units, we had to wear
10 a uniform because it was part of my job description. I was supposed to
11 wear a uniform.
12 And it was my official duty to have a Heckler pistol in my office.
13 I kept it in a safe in my office. This pistol had been obtained by the
14 head of that organ, and that pistol had been kept in the office. I never
15 used it. There was no need for me to use it. It is a big, ugly piece of
16 weapon. And maybe only when I went to inspect war units I would carry
17 that piece of weapon. But that was on really very rare occasions.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You mentioned previously you received uniforms
19 from the army and from -- you said: "I don't know who would be this
20 person." Can you try to recall who was in charge of distributing
21 uniforms? Because based on the testimony of several persons we heard
22 here, apparently a number of persons wore uniforms at that point in time.
23 A. I don't know. Somebody from the Executive Board. Whether it was
24 the vice-president or the president or maybe the secretary for economy. I
25 believe that it should have been their job. Whether it was Mr. Travar or
1 Mr. Dragic, they were the ones who were involved in the procurement and
2 the obtaining of these because these had to be paid for. I really don't
3 know they obtained uniforms from. I believe it was from a Prijedor-based
4 textile factory. But I really wouldn't be able to tell you more about the
5 circumstances of how the uniforms were obtained and who they were obtained
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's try to fix the exact point in time by some
8 incidents. Was it immediately after the takeover, say, the 30th of April?
9 A. I believe that it was in the period between May and June. But to
10 be more precise on that, it is very difficult for me to remember. I
11 believe that it may have been in May, but I really cannot be precise. I
12 can't even give you the part of a specific month when it happened.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it would be your testimony it was not related
14 to any concrete incident happening at that time in Prijedor Municipality.
16 A. That is correct. Given the nature of my job, it would be very
17 difficult for me to be precise on the way uniforms were obtained. At that
18 time, I just didn't find it important, and I didn't think it would be
19 important for me to pay any attention to that.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And may I finally ask, who was it that gave you
21 the additional Heckler? I know it's a heavy weapon.
22 A. Nobody gave me the Heckler. The Heckler was simply sitting in my
23 office in the safe. And that piece of weaponry was obtained before any of
24 the incidents had happened. So while there was still the League of
25 Communists and when the secretary of that organ was a different person,
1 then weaponry was obtained for all the secretaries of various
2 secretariats. Some of these weapons had been returned, and some had
3 remained in the offices. So nobody gave me the Heckler. I just found it
4 sitting there in my office when I was appointed to my position.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And did you need any certificate for your
7 A. No, no. I had a license for my pistol. I got it from the
8 competent body. This pistol was my private property. I had had it before
9 any of the incidents took place. So I didn't need any additional
10 license. As for the second piece of weaponry, this was an official pistol
11 that I had in my office, if that is what you're asking me about.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did everybody or did all the members of the
13 Crisis Staff at this certain period of time wear uniforms and pistols?
14 A. Most of the members of the Crisis Staff, at least for a short
15 period of time, wore uniforms. I'm talking about the stormy period when
16 all the incidents took place. It was not a prescribed obligation, so
17 everybody did it according to their own decision. There was no
18 obligation. Some people wore civilian clothes; the others wore uniform
19 for a longer or shorter period of time. Every member of the Crisis Staff
20 made their own decision on wearing a uniform. So some wore it for a
21 longer period of time; some for a shorter.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did Dr. Stakic wear a uniform and a pistol?
23 A. Yes, for a certain period of time. But I believe that he was also
24 one of those who had taken off the uniform quite quickly and changed into
25 civilian clothes.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did the Crisis Staff change the name, or just in
2 the form of a leading question, was there ever a change to "war
3 presidency" and/or "war commission," and why was this?
4 A. Well, let me tell you, later on I did see a decision made by the
5 president of the state about the establishment of the war presidency. And
6 I believe that this is relevant to that particular period of time. I
7 don't know whether a war commissioner was appointed later on. But during
8 the period when this staff was active, I can't remember the exact period
9 of time when this presidency was appointed. I don't think -- I think that
10 there was some sort of a gap, a time gap, in all these events. I don't
11 know what the regulations were at the time, whether these regulations were
12 amended, whether the decision came from the president. But as far as I
13 can remember, there was no particular session at which the Crisis Staff
14 would be officially reappointed as a war presidency. I only know that
15 later on when sessions continued taking place, that those were the
16 sessions of the National Defence Council.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it would be more or less a mere change of
18 name and no change of members, and no change of the work? You can see it
19 reflected on the Official Gazette, that once it was called "Crisis Staff"
20 and then later on "war presidency." But de facto, it was no difference.
22 A. What you're saying is correct, but I don't remember that it was
23 ever discussed at any of the sessions, that the change of name was on the
24 agenda of any of the sessions, that this body was ever officially renamed.
25 I don't remember.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And then one final question when
2 reviewing your testimony of yesterday, what about a so-called option 2
3 government? You can hear? Okay. Fine.
4 A. Now, I can. At the beginning I did not have the sound.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So to start again: Could you please explain to
6 us the meaning of that what we heard previously under the notion of
7 "option 2" government as of January 1992. What does this notion "option
8 2" government mean?
9 A. I must repeat that during that period of time, I was not close to
10 any of the parties. I did not have any insight into this matter, the
11 matter that you're talking about, the establishment of the second option
12 government during 1992. I really don't have any information on that.
13 Therefore, I cannot answer your question.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until 11.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
18 Only during the last break we received defendant Milomir Stakic's
19 motion for leave to amend witness list. As to the unclarity of this
20 motion, I have to ask the Defence, they make the statement under point 1:
21 "Stakic Defence wishes to use in lieu of three prior witnesses the
22 following witnesses..." Who are the three prior witnesses who are for
23 various reasons unavailable to participate in the trial proceedings in
24 this case that we have the transcript -- the record correct?
25 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm not sure why the Court
1 received that only during the break. We filed it yesterday with a number
2 of other exhibits -- or motions. But that's neither here nor there. The
3 witnesses which we would replace are 034, who we cannot locate as we
4 advised the Court, I think a couple of weeks ago that we kept looking for,
5 and are unable to locate and maintain contact with him.
6 Also --
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour. And also Witness 055, the
9 Court assisted us, as you may recall, in having the OTP provide us with
10 information because we did have contact with the witness at one point, and
11 then we've lost contact, and it was based upon information and belief that
12 he left the area. The OTP provided us with his full name, his date of
13 birth, his father's name, and generally that he's living in the Prijedor
14 Municipality. We didn't have a specific address or a phone or other
15 contact number, so it would be for those two witnesses that we would be
16 asking the Court's permission to substitute the two that we identify in
17 our motion to amend the witness list.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Surprisingly enough that you are not able to
19 have the phone number of this witness you can read in the phone book of
20 Prijedor. But okay, proceed.
21 MR. OSTOJIC: The point being, Your Honour, the phone book isn't
22 published daily. That phone number that we had, we did establish contact,
23 and the Court invited us to get the most recent information from the OTP,
24 and they didn't even have the address of the witness. So we were left
25 with not being able to contact this witness any further. If the Court has
1 information and they contacted him at that number, the number that we have
2 from the phone become is no longer being responded to by this individual.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It was only yesterday that we learned by the
5 current witness that this witness would commute from Prijedor to Belgrade
6 because the family is living in Belgrade. Okay. 055. And the third one
7 would be?
8 MR. OSTOJIC: [Microphone not activated] We believe the third one
9 would be, Your Honour, 025.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour. My mike was off. 025.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then under 3, you mentioned two names. Is it
13 correct that maybe some -- we all make mistakes, that there is an
14 attachment missing on the issues and -- or a proffer what they
15 are -- these witnesses are expected to testify about? Is there any such
17 MR. OSTOJIC: That attachment was not attached, so it was not a
18 mistake that the Court doesn't have it. We're in the process of preparing
19 and completing that for the Court. We don't have one prepared at the
20 present, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: We hope to get that to the Court by the end of the
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In addition, we received also only during the
25 last break defendant Milomir Stakic's motion to admit written statements
1 of Professor Pavle Nikolic under Rule 92 bis. Is it correct that you want
2 to introduce the statement of this expert under Rule 92 bis?
3 MR. OSTOJIC: Well, Your Honour, the rules seem to suggest that
4 the report is under 94 bis as we've introduced the other two experts.
5 Since we didn't have leave of Court for this individual, we are asking
6 that it simply be admitted under 92 bis as a statement like we have some
7 prior statements that were introduced. As I think we outlined in our
8 motion, that has previously been accepted and identified as an exhibit in
9 a different Trial Chamber. That may not have any weight. I'm not
10 suggesting it does or doesn't. I'm merely providing that information to
11 the Court. And we would be asking that statement be brought in, although
12 I thought we covered it this morning, be admitted in as evidence.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The question what should be the legal basis,
14 Rule 92 bis or Rule 94 bis?
15 MR. OSTOJIC: Well, first we would have to have leave of Court, so
16 we're asking that we get leave of Court to introduce this witness. And
17 then we won't be calling him live, so therefore, we would be requesting
18 after filing it under 94 bis that it be accepted under 92 bis as his full
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Prosecution reserved the right to comment on
21 this. We then will let you decide on this.
22 May I ask the usher to escort the witness into the courtroom,
23 please. Thank you.
24 We are about to conclude the issue of Crisis Staff as such. Just
25 to cover the entire area of decisions made by Crisis Staff, would it be
1 for the Crisis Staff to issue permits for movements?
2 A. Who do you mean? Whose movements? Who does that refer to?
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Individuals or citizens, say, of Prijedor, or
4 would this be for the --
5 A. No, this was not in the jurisdiction of the Crisis Staff.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
7 A. Movement on the territory of the municipality was not in the
8 jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence either. This was in the
9 jurisdiction of the ministry for internal affairs.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the usher to show the witness
11 Exhibit S126B. And also today, please, the English version on the ELMO
12 and the B/C/S to the witness.
13 THE REGISTRAR: We don't have an English version, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please put the B/C/S version on the ELMO, and
15 may I ask the witness to work with the ELMO. I know it's not that easy,
17 Could you please explain to us what you can read there.
18 A. It states: "Permit for movement issued by the public security
19 station of Prijedor." And it's signed by Mr. Simo Drljaca.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can you identify the stamp?
21 A. Yes, I can identify the stamp. It's the centre for security of
22 Banja Luka, public security station Prijedor.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: On the top, there you can read the ministry
24 having issued this document. Could you please read out what we can see on
25 the headlines on the top of this document.
1 A. "Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ministry for internal
2 affairs Sarajevo, Security Services Centre Banja Luka, public security
3 station Prijedor." This was a unified organ on the territory of the
4 republic, and these are just lower organisational unit of the unified body
5 of the ministry for internal affairs.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was this the rule that such a document would be
7 issued on the level of Prijedor and why this?
8 A. I don't know about the rules from the jurisdiction of the public
9 security station or the ministry for the internal affairs. I didn't have
10 access to such regulation, so I really couldn't say based on what
11 regulations this permit for movement was issued.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you yourself have such a permission for
14 A. No, no.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And why was it that Mr. Beglerbegovic needed
16 such a permit?
17 A. I don't know that.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you ever discussed in the Crisis Staff the
19 need of having a permit for movement?
20 A. As far as I can recall, from the meetings that I attended, I don't
21 remember any discussion about limiting movement or about permits for
22 movement for certain citizens. I don't know. However, whether bodies who
23 had that in their jurisdiction from the ranks of the police or the army
24 dealt or issued such permits, that is something that I don't know.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May the witness please be shown Exhibit S387B.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, just for the Court's information, we
2 did discover that S387B is the same as S4. And the translation is
3 attached to S4. I don't believe we had the translation for 387.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this information. May I ask Madam
5 Registrar to add this to the list of exhibits.
6 Please be so kind and read this article. And does it reflect the
8 A. Should I read everything, or can I just glance over it?
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Just glance over it, and if you think that --
10 A. Yes, just to take a look at it, then.
11 I've read it.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You yourself are mentioned in person in this
13 article. Once again the question: Does this article from Kozarski
14 Vjesnik, if I'm correct, 24 April 1992 reflect the reality, the political
15 scene in Prijedor, about the elected government of the Serbian
17 A. The reality of the political situation is a broader term, but what
18 it states here, that the government of the Serbian Municipality was
19 elected is something that does correspond to the facts at the time. The
20 people who are mentioned here were elected to these posts, and amongst
21 them I was also elected as the secretary of the secretariat for national
22 defence. In the bottom part of the text, however, I would like to note
23 that I don't know whether it was the journalist or those who prepared the
24 meeting were aware that some of the people who are mentioned on the bottom
25 of this text were elected by the assembly with the approval of the leader
1 of the state body. And the people, the president of the court, the public
2 of the Prosecutor, and the magistrate judge, according to me, they should
3 only have made a draft proposal. And this was something that should have
4 been determined by other bodies. But in the context of how it was put
5 here, yes, those people were elected. And even though a number of those
6 elected were actually in the jurisdiction of some other bodies, so draft
7 proposals were established here, but these other people, Drljaca,
8 Kuruzovic, Goronjic, and the other people who were officials of state
9 bodies could not have been elected by the assembly without prior approval
10 of the leaders of the bodies at the republican level. And I think that
11 the judges were actually under the jurisdiction of the assembly at the
12 republican level. But most of the things that are stated here are true,
13 even though I'm not going into how the journalist understood what is
14 actually stated here. But I'm not disputing the actual text of the
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Just to be not misled by previous testimony, you
17 yourself participated at this meeting Thursday, 16th of April. Correct?
18 A. Yes, I was present at the meeting when the executive committee of
19 the Municipal Assembly was elected in this composition. We need to keep
20 in mind the following -- well, if I were to comment on the text as it is,
21 there was never an actual government at the municipal level. So these are
22 some variations which perhaps we shouldn't be spending any time on at this
23 point. But it is something that I wish to point out.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We are aware that there are some problems with
25 the terminology, especially when used by journalists. But what was the
1 procedure at this meeting of the Prijedor Serbian Municipality, Thursday,
2 the 16th of April? Were all these persons mentioned here elected in the
3 same way or was there a separation that there was only a proposal for some
4 persons? You mentioned especially Mr. Kuruzovic, Mr. Goronjic, Mr. Kreco,
5 Mr. Tomic, and Mr. Milojica?
6 A. As far as I recall those events, relating to myself because
7 probably I was focussed on myself and my own duties, I believe that
8 Mr. Mico Kovacevic addressed the meeting and proposed members for the
9 executive committee. And I think then there was a vote on some kind of
10 ballot. I don't remember exactly what was written on these ballots, and
11 now I don't remember whether Mr. Mico Kovacevic proposed these other
12 people or whether it was someone else. I don't know. I know only that
13 the members of the executive committee were proposed by Mr. Kovacevic,
14 which refers to these people here. But I don't remember who proposed
15 these others and whether they were all on the same ballot or whether these
16 two groups of names were separate. I don't remember that in view of the
17 fact that I wasn't the one who voted, even though I did see this.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did the assembly follow all proposals given by
19 Mr. Kovacevic or were there proposals not obtaining the necessary
21 A. There were no other proposals, other than what was proposed by
22 Mr. Kovacevic as far as I recall.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So in fact, the assembly endorsed all the
24 suggestions made by Dr. Kovacevic. Correct?
25 A. The suggestions pertaining to members of the executive council, I
1 can state that with certainty. As far as this other part, I did express
2 my reservations about the election or the appointment of those people.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Correct.
4 Who could decide on the dismissal from the post of commander of
5 logistics, security?
6 A. It's not a precise term "commander." There was in that sense -- I
7 can perhaps reformulate the question. There was no commander of logistics
8 and security. I don't know of any such term. As part of the 43rd
9 Brigade, there was an assistant commander for logistics. And as part of
10 the 5th Kozara Brigade, there was an assistant commander for logistics.
11 Also, as part of the municipal staff of the TO, which we spoke about
12 earlier, the unit for space and structure, there was also a logistics
13 person. As far as the 43rd Brigade is concerned, the commander of the
14 brigade was the one who decided on that with the approval of his
15 superiors. As far as the TO is concerned, this was done by the commander
16 of the TO, probably with the approval of his superior officer.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you know a Mr. Iso Bucan?
18 A. I know Mr. Iso -- I don't know Mr. Iso Bucan. I know Mr. Iso
19 Bucan. He worked in the municipal staff of the TO as an assistant.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May the witness be shown Exhibit S26.
21 Could you please comment on this decision.
22 A. As far as regulations go, I've told you already about the
23 competencies and authorities of various bodies. I did not have an
24 opportunity to see this document. I don't remember that this was
25 discussed at the Executive Board or that such a decision was made. If I
1 had been present and if I had been familiar with this issue, I probably
2 would have asked for the action in accordance with the prevailing laws.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So your assessment would be that this would be a
4 decision in judicial terms ultra vires, not within the powers of
5 Dr. Kovacevic. Correct?
6 A. Correct.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. The final question as to the Crisis
8 Staff: We heard a lot about the Crisis Staff. We heard a lot about the
9 secretariat for national defence. We heard a lot about Council for
10 National Defence. We heard a lot about TO. And we are aware that related
11 to the acting persons, there was to a certain extent an overlap,
12 especially between counsel for national -- Council for National Defence
13 and Crisis Staff. Could you please be so kind - I know this can't be done
14 within one minute - explain the relationship of these four institutions,
15 and especially the overlap between Council for National Defence on the one
16 hand side and Crisis Staff on the other.
17 A. I've already said that the Council for National Defence was the
18 advisory body of the Municipal Assembly, and that it was established by
19 the Municipal Assembly and that it is his duty to discuss the issue
20 pertaining to national security and give proposals to the Municipal
21 Assembly relative to these issues. And these competencies are prescribed
22 by the defence law when it comes to the municipality and the authorities
23 of the municipality in that area. So this is a body established by the
24 Municipal Assembly, and it is an advisory body that gives proposals to the
25 Municipal Assembly about the duties and tasks that are to be performed by
1 the Municipal Assembly.
2 And Crisis Staff, on the other hand, is a newly established body
3 which took over the competencies and authorities of the Municipal
4 Assembly. Because in a given situation, the Municipal Assembly could not
5 meet, and in that part, I would rule out the term "overlapping" of
6 authorities or competencies because the Crisis Staff took over the
7 competencies and authorities of the Municipal Assembly, and the National
8 Security Council is a body established by the Municipal Assembly. While
9 the Municipal Assembly existed during the time of peace, it was duty bound
10 to establish that body, but I don't think that it was ever established
11 properly but that the situation called for the -- for a certain body to
12 gather. So Mr. Stakic and Mr. Cehajic remembered that there was a body
13 that gathered all the heads of various sectors, and that's why they
14 started calling the sessions of this National Security Council. At the
15 moment when the Crisis Staff took over the authorities and competencies of
16 the Municipal Assembly, the duties of the Security Council stopped, and
17 for a month or two, while the Crisis Staff existed and National Security
18 Council didn't exist - didn't work that is - only when the situation was
19 stabilized and when the assembly could again meet, after that first
20 session of the assembly, the Security Council continued its work.
21 I don't know whether I should elaborate on the relationship
22 between the Territorial Defence and the municipal secretariat. But I
23 believe that you can find that in documents, and I don't think I should go
24 over and repeat what the regulations say about these authorities. And
25 I've already explained how the heads of these organs are appointed and
1 with whose consent they are appointed.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let us now turn to another issue, your concrete
3 work in your secretariat. Did you have files about the persons which were
4 to be mobilised?
5 A. Yes. To the first stage, we had complete record for every
6 able-bodied man. Everybody had their own file containing his personal
7 details. And immediately after these events, since I had very few
8 employees, we managed to buy some PCs, and then we kept records on
9 able-bodied men in the computers. That was the official record of that
10 organ for all the able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 and up to
11 65 for officers.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Does the file include personal data on the
13 ethnicity and nationality of a single individual?
14 A. Yes. The files were comprehensive. All that information was
15 recorded. I believe that there were 25 or 26 different pieces of
16 information. All the personal data including the family status, and where
17 the family was during the previous war, the Second World War.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So the question is -- the answer is yes, there
19 would be access to the ethnicity and nationality of a single individual?
20 A. Absolutely, yes.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And did it happen during 1992 that people you
22 wanted to mobilise were regarded as missing?
23 A. In terms of the implementation of mobilisation, we had our own
24 files. And then we called up people to the army and other military
25 structures. One of them being work obligation. We did that through our
1 courier service. Mobilisation papers were printed, and couriers would
2 deliver them. And if they couldn't find the person at the specific
3 address, if the conscript was not there, the courier was supposed to make
4 a note of that. He was supposed to say "absent," "not at home," and the
5 courier could not do anything else. He couldn't investigate. All he
6 could state was that somebody was not at home, but he could not claim that
7 somebody was missing. He could only state that the conscript, the person
8 who was being called up, could not be found at home at the moment when the
9 delivery of the callup papers were attempted.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Were you ever asked or did it spontaneously to
11 print out lists of people based on ethnicity that we would have a list of
12 Serbs, a list of Muslims, a list of Croats?
13 A. No, nobody asked me to do that. That was not done. And I would
14 not have allowed that while I was in my office because it would have been
15 contrary to the law. Laws had to be applied, and I believe that if one
16 applied laws across the board, it makes one's job easier. My job was not
17 easy in any case, and I thought that the only thing that would make it
18 easier was to apply laws equally across the board.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You mentioned just a minute ago the concrete
20 procedure. A person couldn't be found at home. Could you then make the
21 attempt to find out whether such a person would be detained in Omarska,
22 Keraterm, Trnopolje?
23 A. No. In keeping with our regulations, we would send the courier
24 again to the same address. The courier would return with the information
25 whether he found the conscript at that address or not, whether the
1 conscript was willing to be served with the callup papers or not. And
2 that is the only information we got from the courier.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So you would never make follow-up attempts to
4 find out where this person actually lives?
5 A. It was not up to me. I was just the head of the body that kept
6 the records on a huge number of conscripts. Calling people and the
7 organisation of couriers, the feedback that the couriers gave us was under
8 the authority of other people. I was just in charge of the legality of
9 all that. There were other people, Serbs and other people who had run
10 away, who failed to respond to the mobilisation. And I don't have any
11 information on who they were, who was it. I just -- I did my job, and
12 there were other people who would inspect the callup papers that the
13 couriers brought back. I was only in charge of the plan. I was asked to
14 prepare the mobilisation paper for a certain number of troops. Whether
15 it's going to be Pero, Petar, Simo, Faruk, or somebody else, I found that
16 absolutely irrelevant. It was my job just to prepare -- according to the
17 plan, prepare the mobilisation of a certain number of troops.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you have, in fact, people enough to -- for
19 the purposes of mobilisation?
20 A. No, we didn't have enough staff. The requirements of the army and
21 other structures were beyond any needs; that is, at least my opinion. It
22 was their desire to mobilise everybody. There was such a situation in
23 1992. I was talking about the mobilisation up to April 1992. And then
24 sometime in June, or May or June 1993, the army adopted a territorial
25 principle, and they inspected all the conscripts in villages and towns,
1 and they formed battalions. So every able-bodied person was assigned to a
2 certain job in the army which paralysed the life in the town. And that's
3 why we insisted with the army to give us back some of the professionals,
4 engineers, and other professionals who were essential for maintaining a
5 certain level of life in the town. In any case, we never had as many
6 people as they asked for. This is where the biggest problems arose from.
7 Directors wanted a certain number of men; the army wanted a certain number
8 of men; the police wanted a certain number of men. Some would get killed,
9 some would run away, and they all turned to me to solve their problems.
10 So I was in a very complicated situation, so to speak, between a rock and
11 a hard place. There were pressures on me from all sides. Everybody
12 wanted more men than they could get.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Wouldn't it have been a possibility to mobilise
14 persons detained in one of the collection centres?
15 A. I did not keep any records as to who went where. We just had our
16 records. And according to our records, we sent callup papers. I didn't
17 know where a certain conscript was and what he did. I'm talking about the
18 people who were not mobilised.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So there was no attempt from your side to find
20 out based on lists or based on a personal visit that people being detained
21 in Omarska could be mobilised? And then why not?
22 A. Within the competencies of the organ that I was the head of, I
23 didn't take any actions that would involve the developments and the things
24 that went on in collection centres. I was not in a position to visit any
25 of the collection centres. And let me go back to my job, which I did in
1 accordance with our records and in accordance with the then-prevailing
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it would be your testimony that you never
4 visited one of the detention centres. Correct?
5 A. That is correct. This is what I claim. I have never visited any
6 of the collection centres.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What would you call "collection centre" in
9 A. In the communication that I used, in the correspondence,
10 collection centres were in Omarska, Trnopolje, and Keraterm. They were
11 collection centres or reception centres. Maybe reception centre is a
12 better word for Omarska, Trnopolje, and Keraterm.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Reception centre. Reception centre. Why do you
14 want to call it reception centre?
15 A. Yes, reception centre.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Normally you use this term in a hotel
17 "reception." Reception for what purpose --
18 A. Very well, then.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Budimir --
20 A. We used both terms, reception centre, collection centre. If
21 people gathered in a certain place, then it is probably more acceptable to
22 use the term "collection" centre.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: How many people were killed in these reception
24 or collection centres?
25 A. I don't have any information on that. I've told you that within
1 my job, I did not take any actions, measures, or procedures to that
2 effect. So I don't know anything about the situation in the collection
3 centres in the territory of the municipality. I don't know whether any
4 people were killed, how many, because my organ never kept any records on
5 that, nor did we take any actions to that effect.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What about the Prijedor JNA barracks?
7 A. The JNA barracks was in the same place where it is to this very
8 day, and it accommodated the troops and part of the command, and there
9 also some of the troops who were not stationed in the barracks.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was it used as - using your terminology - as a
11 reception centre, the Prijedor JNA barracks?
12 A. I visited the barracks from time to time. Not very often, and
13 when I went there, I did not see any civilians except for conscripts who
14 had been called up. I don't remember that any people were gathered there
15 so as to make the barracks a reception centre in the sense that we were
16 talking about.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What about Ljubija football stadium?
18 A. I don't have any information about that. Throughout the war, I
19 was in Ljubija only in late 1994 or early 1995 when the troops were moved
20 there. And I believe that it was then that I visited the stadium for the
21 first time throughout the war.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What about Miska Glava community centre?
23 A. I don't know anything about that. I don't have any information on
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Now, what about the SUP building in Prijedor?
1 A. People were brought in to the SUP building in Prijedor. How many
2 and what people, I don't know. But I know that people were brought to the
3 SUP building where they were taken from there and when, I don't know,
4 because I think it was under the authority of the bodies of the interior,
5 but I did see them bringing in people to the SUP building.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you know about detention facilities behind
7 the building as such?
8 A. Behind the building, there is an area used as a parking lot, and
9 there's also a restaurant. And within that restaurant, there are
10 two -- there were two rooms or three rooms which had been used as
11 detention or a prison even before these events. And I believe that they
12 took a certain number of people to these rooms. First, they would take
13 them into their offices, and then they would take them to those rooms
14 where there was the restaurant. And these same rooms that were used as
15 detention rooms had existed even before.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who set up the Omarska centre, the Keraterm
17 centre, and the Trnopolje centre?
18 A. I don't know. I didn't have an opportunity to attend a meeting
19 about those centres. I don't have any precise information as to -- under
20 whose orders and based on what authority those centres were established.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would it be your testimony here under solemn
22 declaration that the question of these centres or camps was never
23 discussed in the meetings of the Crisis Staff?
24 A. I am stating that at the meetings which I attended, the Crisis
25 Staff meetings did not discuss the questions or the jurisdictions relating
1 to the collection centres except towards the end. I don't know whether
2 this was in September or October. There was a request from the Red Cross,
3 and I think on that occasion, something was discussed in terms of a
4 departure of a number of the citizens from the collection centre to
5 Trnopolje in accordance with some kind of list by the Red Cross. So
6 something was discussed relating to this matter, and steps were being
7 asked for. I don't know whether our Red Cross was making a request from
8 us or whether it was the International Red Cross. I don't remember. But
9 something along these lines was discussed. I don't know whether it was a
10 meeting of the council or a meeting of the staff. I'm not sure.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In the decision on the organisation and work of
12 Prijedor municipal Crisis Staff, Exhibit S180, issue 1, it reads under
13 Article 6, "In discharging its functions in the area of defence, the
14 Crisis Staff shall in particular coordinate the work and activities of all
15 components of all people's defence. Consider issues of mobilisation,
16 development, and reinforcement of the armed forces and other organisations
17 and foster their cooperation with other responsible municipal organs. On
18 special request of the commander of the municipal TO staff, deal with
19 issues of supply requirements and funding sources for the TO. Keep
20 abreast of all aspects of the situation in the municipality essential for
21 the waging of armed combat and take appropriate measures."
22 Wasn't the general purpose of the establishment of a Crisis Staff
23 to maintain or to keep public order in Prijedor?
24 A. In accordance with the decision and the instructions and the
25 prerogatives undertaken by the Crisis Staff, the Crisis Staff overtook the
1 functions of the Municipal Assembly and its jurisdictions. So it's normal
2 that the Municipal Assembly deals with all the events on the territory of
3 the municipality relating to law and order. But the Municipal Assembly
4 does not have the organs of power of actually enforcing law and order.
5 And in accordance with the current regulations was not able to order the
6 bodies that are entrusted under the law with preserving law and order.
7 So the Crisis Staff, when they became aware of all of these
8 events, looting, robbery, and other such things, could ask the other
9 organs whose job it was to restore law and order in the territory of the
10 Prijedor Municipality. And I think this is what was actually requested.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I'm just trying to follow the line of thoughts
12 of persons having political responsibility in Prijedor Municipality. It
13 is their case that there was a situation of emergency, and therefore a
14 Crisis Staff was established. And wouldn't it then be only consequent
15 that in case there were incidents of, for example, the taking over of
16 power in Prijedor, that those -- from the view maybe of those being
17 responsible in the municipality of Prijedor it would be necessary to
18 arrest and detain purported or alleged criminals, and wouldn't it then be
19 consequent to set up facilities such as Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje?
20 A. I spoke here about my position and my political responsibility.
21 The jurisdiction of my body did not include this. This was the police --
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I spoke about your participation as a member of
23 a Crisis Staff and whether these issues of public safety and order were
24 discussed in the Crisis Staff, including the situation and the setting up
25 of these camps.
1 A. Issues relating to public law and order, and the events that took
2 place in the municipality of Prijedor, I've already said that we discussed
3 that and constantly warned the police and other organs to maintain order
4 and to try to suppress these unlawful acts. The second part of the
5 question, the meetings that I attended, the staff meetings that I
6 attended, there was no discussion about the collection centre, their
7 establishment, the situation in those centres, nor did any organ of the
8 police or military report or submit any reports to the Crisis Staff
9 relating to these issues.
10 I've already said that once there was a request either by the
11 International Red Cross or our local Red Cross in August or September when
12 they requested certain things. I attended that meeting. This related to
13 the departure of certain citizens from the Trnopolje collection centre in
14 response to a request to that effect from the International Red Cross.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When meeting, say, with Mr. Drljaca, did you
16 ever discuss in the framework of a meeting of a Crisis Staff or elsewhere
17 the situation that public order could be maintained by setting up such
19 A. No. I did not have good relations with Mr. Drljaca because of
20 some prior events. I've stated this in my statement to the Prosecution,
21 that as an inspector, I monitored his work while he was in a company in
22 the basic education centre actually. And since the tasks relating to the
23 defence in that domain had quite a lot of importance, and he was not
24 carrying out those duties in an appropriate way, I and another colleague
25 were given instructions for him to be removed from performing those
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In the moment, your mike doesn't function
3 because I want to ask you to answer my questions, and my question is did
4 Mr. Drljaca report when visiting, you called him yourself as a visitor and
5 not a member of the Crisis Staff. When he visited the Crisis Staff, did
6 he ever discuss with you the issues and the problems emanating from the
7 setting up of these centres?
8 A. No, I did not talk about that topic with Mr. Drljaca.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who was it, setting up these centres, these
11 A. I said that I do not have information or knowledge why and under
12 whose authorisation these collection centres were set up.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And based on your education, on that what you
14 learned at university, you were not interested at all what happened in
15 your own community, in the municipality of Prijedor? Correct?
16 A. I did not say that. I did not have the opportunity to do so. I
17 was performing the function that I was performing, but in a way I was not
18 a part of that area and the process which relates to those events. It's
19 not that I wasn't interested. I did ask for the establishment of law and
20 order on several occasions. But for the reasons I mentioned, the answer I
21 received from the people from the police was "You're looking for order,
22 you're looking for law. But our people are getting killed here." So
23 that's how it would end. And they did not offer us any solutions because
24 they were much stronger compared to my position, and they were also
25 members of the party. And as such, they enjoyed the confidence of the
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May the witness please be shown Exhibit S107.
3 Could it be zoomed in a way that we can read the entire document.
4 Could you please be so kind and read out --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me, could the interpreters have a copy of
6 the document because it's hard to see it from the ELMO. Thank you.
7 A. "In its entirety" --
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think for the purposes of today, we only need
9 the top and the first two paragraphs.
10 A. "With a view to the speedy and effective establishment of the
11 peace on the territory of Prijedor Municipality and in accordance with the
12 decision of the Crisis Staff, I hereby order the following: The
13 industrial compound of the Omarska mine strip mine -- the industrial
14 compound of the Omarska mine strip mine shall serve as a provisional
15 collection centre for persons captured in combat or detained on the
16 grounds of the security services operational information."
17 Under 2: "Together with the appropriate documents, the persons
18 taken into custody shall be handed over to the chief of security, who is
19 duty-bound, in collaboration with the national, public, and military
20 security coordinators, to put them up in any of the five premises
21 allocated for the accommodation of detainees."
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who signed this document?
23 A. Chief of public security, Simo Drljaca. That is what I see here.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So being aware about this actual situation in
25 Prijedor, and based on the testimony we had previously by numerous
1 witnesses, is it your testimony as you sit here under solemn declaration
2 that this issue was never discussed in the Crisis Staff?
3 A. I am stating that this document and these issues were not
4 discussed at the Crisis Staff meetings.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In another document of the Serbian Republic
6 Ministry of the Interior security services, Banja Luka, Document S152,
7 under the heading "reception centres in the municipality," it reads in
8 paragraph 2: "During these conflicts, the army of the Serbian Republic
9 captured many members of hostile formations and other persons who had been
10 in the zones of armed conflicts, and a number of citizens leaving their
11 homes and flats sought help and protection. In order to solve the problem
12 that had arisen, the Crisis Staff of the Municipality of Prijedor decided
13 to organise reception and accommodation in the settlement of Trnopolje for
14 persons who sought protection, and that prisoners of war should be held
15 for processing in the building of the Keraterm RO in Prijedor or in the
16 administrative building and workshop of the iron ore mine in Omarska."
17 So this document issued by the Serbian Republic Ministry of the
18 Interior security services Banja Luka signed by Mr. Bera [phoen], Mr.
19 Kondic, by Mr. Mijic and Mr. Rodic. This would be a flagrant lie when it
20 reads: "The Crisis Staff of Municipality of Prijedor decided to organise
21 all this." They did lie, or who is lying?
22 A. The Crisis Staff was not the one that decided on that. The part
23 which refers to the actual information and when and the time, as far as I
24 know, based on my work in the Crisis Staff, I believe that the Crisis
25 Staff did not work on that, nor did it adopt such a decision, nor did I
1 ever see any such decision relating to the establishment of collection
2 centres. That information, nor the document that I have before me now was
3 never reviewed by a meeting of the Crisis Staff which I attended.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You're aware of my admonition of yesterday, and
5 you clearly understood this. And it will be for you to take -- or to
6 accept the necessary consequences.
7 May the witness please be shown Exhibit S250.
8 [The Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If the witness could be so kind and go through
10 this document, please. You mentioned already in your testimony that the
11 decisions taken by the Crisis Staff were later confirmed by the Municipal
12 Assembly. And now we have this document before us, and if you could be so
13 kind to go through this document and until you find a conclusion of 2nd
14 July, 1992.
15 May I ask Madam Registrar to find the following document.
16 Did you find the decisions of 2nd July 1992?
17 A. Yes, I did. It's on page 10, the last paragraph.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you would be so kind and read out what you
19 can read under XVII and then 4.
20 A. "Conclusion number 01-023-45/92, prohibiting the individual
21 releases of persons from Trnopolje, Omarska, and Keraterm."
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If I'm not wrong, the entire title continues
23 without the approval of the Crisis Staff. Did you ever discuss the
24 individual release of persons from, Omarska, Keraterm and Trnopolje?
25 A. At meetings at the Crisis Staff which I attended, this was not
1 discussed, so I don't know whether this was discussed perhaps at a meeting
2 that I did not attend. But it is the right of the organs entrusted with
3 maintaining law and order to know who the people were there that were
4 taken there and why they were taken there. But this was not something
5 that was in the jurisdiction of the Crisis Staff. And I don't see why
6 this would be discussed at Crisis Staff meetings. This was under the
7 jurisdiction of the security services and the police.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the Prosecution, having a database,
9 what is the exhibit number of this document mentioned there, please? In
10 the meantime, may the witness please be shown Document S84.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: If I understood Your Honours' question about the
12 decision prohibiting the individual releases of persons from the camps,
13 interestingly, that decision, that actual order, was never seized. It was
14 never found.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The question was, then, in addition, we
16 discussed it previously, when going through the Official Gazette, may I
17 ask the usher to -- or Madam Registrar to hand over to me issue 3 of 1992
18 of the Official Gazette.
19 But in the meantime, let's concentrate on the document the witness
20 is just reading, another decision of 2nd July.
21 Did you participate in this meeting, the 2nd of July?
22 A. I don't remember whether I participated at this meeting or not. I
23 didn't have the opportunity to see an order formulated in this way
24 relating to the loss or discontinuation of employment. I know that there
25 were instructions relating to persons who did not respond to the callup or
1 mobilisation in accordance with the law would have their job suspended
2 unless they reported to work within five days. So I did not have anything
3 to do with any issues relating to what is said in this document.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But isn't it true, Mr. Budimir, that in fact the
5 Crisis Staff of the Prijedor Municipality, 2nd of July 1992, discussed the
6 issue of the termination of the employment of workers "currently in
7 Omarska and Keraterm"?
8 A. I am not disputing the authenticity of this document, but I'm
9 saying that I don't remember whether I attended a session where -- at
10 which this was decided or whether this was decided at any of the sessions
11 that I attended.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May the witness be shown, then, Exhibit S90,
14 Coming back for a moment to the previous document, S250, there you
15 saw that at the same date following this adoption of decisions taken by
16 the Crisis Staff, apparently this -- on this, the same day, 2nd of July
17 1992, a decision of the Crisis Staff was taken prohibiting the individual
18 release of persons from Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje. Did you discuss
19 this, because it was the approval of decisions taken by Crisis Staff, all
20 the decisions of Crisis Staff in one decision? Do you recall the
21 discussion of the question of the individual release of persons from
22 Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje?
23 A. I don't remember that we discussed those matters. Maybe I didn't
24 attend that particular session. But if there had been a discussion, then
25 I was not one of the attendants. Or in a different case, this was not
1 discussed. Given my way of work, my profession, my education, my
2 experience, I would have reacted if these issues had been discussed
3 because if one body discusses issues that pertain to the authority of
4 another body, that is wrong. And I don't think that this happened. What
5 I'm saying is that either I didn't attend the session at which this was
6 discussed or the Crisis Staff never discussed these issues at any of its
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then finally let's go to these minutes you have
9 before you. Do you recall this meeting of 29 September 1992?
10 A. There were a number of meetings. I will remember things if I
11 attended a meeting. But obviously, some things I will not remember.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it correct that it reads in the beginning,
13 the session was attended by inter alia Slavko Budimir?
14 A. That is correct.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Dr. Stakic, Simo Drljaca, Milan Kovacevic, and
16 that it reads on the agenda: "Report on the forthcoming activities
17 regarding the open Trnopolje reception centre"?
18 A. Yes.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the usher to go to the next page of
20 the same document.
21 Do you recall being present during this meeting? Is it reflected
22 correct that it was in your presence and the session was presided over by
23 the president of the National Defence Council, Dr. Milomir Stakic?
24 A. I believe that this is correct.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So isn't it true that at this occasion, you
1 discussed issues related to Trnopolje?
2 A. When we were talking, I believe that there was some sort of a
3 discussion about the reception centre in Trnopolje, and one can see that
4 either it was the International Red Cross or the local Red Cross, and you
5 can see that it was decided that these people could leave the reception
6 centre. And I've already said that when it comes to these collection
7 centres, that I attended this meeting and that there was a discussion on
8 the request of either the International Red Cross or the municipal Red
9 Cross for the release of a certain number of persons from this open
10 reception centre.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So I will have only one additional question
12 immediately after the now-following break, and then as it was custom in
13 the past, because we are now in the Defence case, it would be for the
14 Defence to continue with their questions, and then for the Prosecution to
16 The trial stays adjourned until 5 minutes to 1.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 12.38 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 12.59 p.m.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Budimir, did you attend meetings with one of
20 the following persons: Ms. Biljana Plavsic, Mr. Karadzic, or Mr. Mladic?
21 A. No, I didn't attend meetings together with the persons that you've
22 mentioned, nor I had the opportunity during the performance of my duties
23 and tasks to meet any of these persons. I only met with the defence
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the name of the defence minister at that
1 time was, please?
2 A. Mr. Bogdan Subotic, and after him, Mr. Kovacevic. After
3 Mr. Kovacevic, Mr. Ninkovic.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And what was the issue you discussed with the
5 minister of defence?
6 A. When the minister came to Prijedor for the first time, I didn't
7 discuss any of the concrete issues. We, rather, talked with the families
8 of the fallen soldiers, and invalids, so we had meetings with those
9 families in the big hall of the municipal building. These were the issues
10 that we discussed because this was something that was added to our scope
11 of duties, the burials of soldiers and those who were killed in all sorts
12 of incidents and accidents and other such things.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Same question related to meetings or contacts
14 with General Momir Talic, Mr. Stojan Zupljanin, Mr. Krajisnik? Did you
15 ever meet one of these persons? Did you have contact with one of these
17 A. No, I didn't have contacts with any of the persons you have
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
20 May I ask you whether one of the following issues would fall into
21 the area of your competence: The formation of a committee to receive
22 captured goods?
23 A. No.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The recruitment of persons born in 1974?
25 A. Yes.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The obligation for the secretariat for economic
2 affairs regarding salaries?
3 A. No.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Recognising time served in the Serbian
5 Territorial Defence and the police as time spent in military training?
6 A. The Territorial Defence and the police, yes, that was one of the
7 competencies of my body. All the recognition of the participation and
8 administrative procedures relative to the defence was under the authority
9 of my body.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The coordination of wartime disposition of the
11 military and police?
12 A. No. My organ did not coordinate anything. It only worked
13 according to rules and regulations. We were not a coordinator between the
14 army and the police. We only carried out mobilisation of personnel and
15 materiel and technical equipment. We did not have the role of a
16 coordinator in those things.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The obligation to pay military and police
18 members, you mentioned, and the request to the Red Cross to check the
19 possibility of interested persons crossing over into Croatia via Bosanska
21 A. These are two different issues. Could you please take each of
22 them at a time so I can focus on them separately. The first question, the
23 salaries, my secretariat did not have any authority in that area. As for
24 the second part of your question, in keeping with the decree on the
25 movement of goods and military conscripts, we issued permits for the
1 movements of conscripts and citizens in the territory of the republic and
2 outside of the territory of the republic. That is what my body did.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you recall the discussion within the Crisis
4 Staff of the recruitment of persons born in 1974?
5 A. I don't remember. But I don't think that there was any need for
6 the Crisis Staff to discuss that because it was under the authority of a
7 certain organ, and there was no need to discuss it at great length. This
8 was a prescribed duty that was under the authority of my body, of my
9 secretariat. So there was no need for us to discuss anything.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I mentioned these points, these three points,
11 where you stated that this would fall under your area of responsibility.
12 These were enactments passed by the Crisis Staff on 2nd July 1992 and
13 confirmed the 24th of July 1992 by the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor. So
14 in fact, enactments of the Crisis Staff on this 2nd of July 1992.
15 To be even more concrete, these enactments passed this 2nd of July
16 1992, these previous decisions, they were presented to the Municipal
17 Assembly of Prijedor by a document of 24 July 1992, that is, Exhibit S250,
18 and then the decision followed that "All acts" -- emphasise "All acts
19 (decisions, orders, rulings, and conclusions) adopted by the Crisis Staff
20 of the Municipality of Prijedor or the war presidency between 29 May and
21 24 July 1992 are hereby ratified." Dr. Milomir Stakic, signed. Date 27
22 August 1992, Official Gazette, year 1, Monday, 31 August 1992, number 3 of
23 1992, Exhibit S181. So apparently on this 2nd of July 1992, three
24 enactments passed the Crisis Staff in your area of responsibility
25 following your own testimony. Correct?
1 A. I don't have it in front of me.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the usher once again to present
3 Document S250, and XVII. I don't know whether the pagination in B/C/S is
4 the same as in English, but in English, it would be page 9. And 10 in
6 A. I apologise again. I don't see it in front of me. I don't have
7 it in front of me. I can't find it in any case.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Microphone not activated] XVII --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honour, microphone, please.
10 A. I've found the XVII.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: At the bottom of page 10 B/C/S, and continuing
12 at the top of page 11.
13 A. Yes. Yes, conclusion under 2, salaries; under 3, requesting the
14 Red Cross to check the possibility of interested persons crossing
15 to -- crossing into Croatia via Bosanska Dubica. In this specific case,
16 I've already told you that we issued permits in keeping with the decree.
17 And it says here that possibility should be checked for the interested
18 person to cross, but this was not under my authority. It was under my
19 authority to issue certificates and permits, and the recognition of the
20 time spent in the Territorial Defence under military training, I said that
21 this was in keeping with legal regulations that were prevalent at the
22 time. The issue of the military exercise was under the authority of the
23 secretariat for the defence. And here, the conclusion on the intake of
24 the year 1974, those born in 1974, this was also under the authority of
25 the secretariat of defence. Maybe this was just information or -- I can't
1 really say what this is exactly. But this was under the authority of the
2 secretariat of defence.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then, please, issue number 5.
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You also testified previously that this would
6 fall in the area of your responsibility.
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the same is true with number 7?
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Does this now refresh your recollection whether
11 or not you were present during this Crisis Staff meeting the 2nd of July
13 A. If these issues were discussed, that doesn't mean that I attended
14 this session. I can't tell you whether I attended this session or not
15 because these issues were not of any significance for the organ that I was
16 affiliated with, save for the recruitment. But I believe that this issue
17 was just given in the form of information on the number of conscripts who
18 were recruited throughout the year. I believe that just information was
19 given, but this does not help me recollect, doesn't help me remember
20 whether I attended this particular session or whether I participated in
21 the discussion at that particular session.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let us now see, please, video Exhibit S240. And
23 before we start, please distribute the transcript, S240, I believe it must
24 be -1.
25 I think it starts on page 3 of the transcript, but we can hear it
1 both in English and B/C/S, I think. So please, start the video now.
2 [Videotape played]
3 [Please refer to Exhibit S187-1 for video
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. You may stop the video here.
6 Having heard this by Dr. Stakic in person, that these centres
7 "were established by the civilian government," having seen the
8 enactments, having seen the decisions, having heard about the report of
9 the Serbian Republic Ministry of the Interior stating that the Crisis
10 Staff of the Municipality of Prijedor decided to organise reception
11 documentation in Trnopolje, Keraterm, and Omarska, Mr. Budimir, is it
12 still your testimony that these issues were never discussed in the Crisis
13 Staff in Prijedor?
14 A. I claim with full responsibility that at the sessions of the
15 Crisis Staff that I attended, there was no decision passed on the
16 establishment of these investigation or collection centres. Also, I claim
17 that the issues pertaining to the authority of these centres were never
18 discussed. If the president who stated so in his statement did so, under
19 what authority, on whose orders, he never said that at any of the sessions
20 of the Crisis Staff in full composition. Whether this was a product of
21 some sort of relationship between Mr. Stakic, Mr. Drljaca, and
22 Mr. Kovacevic, whether some things have been imposed on him from those
23 circles to state what he did, I don't know. In any case, I never attended
24 any sessions where this was discussed and where decisions would be made on
25 anything pertaining to collection centres.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So you feel misinformed by the at that time
3 A. At the sessions where we discussed issues, I was informed. But as
4 for the communication between the president and his superiors,
5 Mr. Karadzic, Mr. Arsic, Mr. Simo and these relationships, I was not
6 informed, and I don't have any information about communication at that
7 level, about discussions among those peoples. I was not informed about
8 that, so I cannot say anything about that segment of that work.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What brings you to the conclusion that
10 Mr. Karadzic, Mr. Arsic, and Mr. Simo were the superiors of Dr. Stakic?
11 A. I didn't say that they were his superiors. I believe President
12 Karadzic was his superior in terms of coordination. And the others were
13 his associates or collaborators, each of them in their segment of work.
14 But I've already said that they socialised more. They spent more time
15 together. And I don't know what they discussed informally. At the
16 official sessions of the Crisis Staff that I was a member of, these issues
17 were not discussed.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What does it mean "superior in terms of
20 A. I didn't say "superiors in terms of coordination." In terms of
21 coordination, there was no superiority relationship.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I quote from your answer, and I will repeat.
23 This is on page 68, line 9. "I didn't say they were his superiors. I
24 believe President Karadzic was his superior in terms of coordination."
25 A. Yes, this is what I said. I said that President Karadzic was his
1 superior, but not Mr. Arsic or Mr. Drljaca. I said that it was
2 Mr. Karadzic who was his superior and that by the line of command on the
3 subordination, it was Mr. Karadzic who delivered documents to Dr. Stakic,
4 one of the documents being the establishment of the Crisis Staff. So I
5 believe that this was the line of communication, and this was the only
6 vertical line of communication that was in keeping with the then
7 prevailing regulations. I believe that it was the president of the state
8 who delivered certain documents to the president of the Municipal
9 Assembly. In the same way, the minister of defence handed down documents
10 to me, in the same way, I believe, that documents were handed down from
11 the president of the state to presidents of various municipalities.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Finally, on page 67, line 12, you made the
13 following statement: "I claim with full responsibility that at the
14 sessions of the Crisis Staff that I attended, there was no decision passed
15 on the establishment of these investigation or collection centres. Also,
16 I claim that these issues pertaining to the authority of these centres
17 were never discussed."
18 The question still is, was there ever any discussion related to
19 those centres or camps, not only related to the establishment but to the
20 fact that in the Prijedor Municipality, there were these centres or camps?
21 Was this discussed in the Crisis Staff or not?
22 A. At the sessions of the Crisis Staff, we never heard the
23 information or report either from the police or the army who provided
24 security there. So in a formal form, in an official form, in terms of
25 report or information, there was never discussion on any of these issues
1 at a session of the Crisis Staff.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. For me it's enough for the moment.
3 Judge Vassylenko, please. Sorry, now it's the wrong order. In
4 this case, Judge Argibay, please.
5 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Thank you.
6 Mr. Budimir, I have a couple of questions for you. Because I'm
7 very surprised at your election as a secretary for defence in the Serbian
8 government of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor because you told us, am I
9 right, that you were not a member of the SDS?
10 A. That's true, I was not a member of the SDS.
11 JUDGE ARGIBAY: In what capacity were, then, you asked to be a
12 part of this government set up by the SDS?
13 A. In my view, I worked in that body, and as part of the structures
14 within the SDS and in a way, all the other posts were filled more easily,
15 they didn't have a proposal because the activities of that organ and the
16 time available as well as the fact that this happened to be the most
17 difficult situation relating to the work of that organ, that they had to
18 send people for military duty, that there were daily casualties almost
19 because I would have to go to at least two families a day to tell them
20 that one of their relatives, their father, brother, husband was killed.
21 So the people in the SDS, none of the people there wanted to accept that
22 post. And when the time had run out, the deadline had expired, then they
23 presented me with a deadline to decide within a period of two days, to
24 decide whether I wanted to take that post or not. And at that time, there
25 was already a lot of dissension and disagreement between the three ethnic
2 JUDGE ARGIBAY: And why did you accept that very difficult,
3 not-likable place?
4 A. Let me say that at that point, I didn't have any choice. After
5 the announcement was made, frankly speaking, I was in two minds about it
6 for two days, and I talked about this with my closest friends and with my
7 brother. But there was no way of going back, you know, because on one
8 side, the population had divided; on one side, there were the Muslims, and
9 on the other side were the Serbs. Had I not accepted that post, I would
10 have been declared a traitor of my people and I would have been abused by
11 those people. So I was in the situation since I was already in that organ
12 simply to continue with my work and to try to base that work as much as
13 possible on prevailing laws and regulations and to make sure that what we
14 did was in respect of the law if possible.
15 JUDGE ARGIBAY: But you stayed after the takeover.
16 A. Yes, I said that -- I said that I was appointed to that post, and
17 I continued to perform those functions until the end of the war. After
18 the war ended, I left that position and I went away.
19 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Okay. I still don't understand why you accepted
20 the first time, but then you stayed over after the takeover in Prijedor.
21 That's correct?
22 A. I accepted for the reasons that I stated. And I remained.
23 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Well, you are speaking all the time that you are
24 staying or you were staying at the office because you wanted to do the
25 things lawful. Wasn't the takeover an unlawful movement at that moment?
1 A. I do not claim that it was not an unlawful act, but in my previous
2 statements and explanations to the Presiding Judge, I explained the
3 preceding events and the things that happened in the territory of the
4 Prijedor Municipality. So this event cannot be viewed outside of the
5 context of the time period and the events. In the context of how you put
6 the question, without any connection with the rest of the events, it
7 probably does seem that way.
8 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Wasn't it -- the takeover, wasn't it a coup to
9 displace the legally elected authorities?
10 A. If you allow me, I would like to say something. I, as a person
11 who worked for a long time in the state organs and who applied the law,
12 from the time of the elections in 1990 when they came to power, the
13 nationalist parties took over, no regulation or law was applied. I
14 understand that if new people come to power and if they need to change
15 regulations, then they should do that. But I cannot understand that the
16 people who are in power while there are existing regulations do not apply
17 those regulations. So from that standpoint, the takeover of power was not
18 something that I could conceive of and all the events that followed. But
19 I, as a person who was caught up in those events, was a person who had a
20 role in all of these events such as it was. I did not participate in
21 political events. And the things that I did do, I tried to do them in
22 accordance with the laws and regulations that were in force at the time.
23 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Thank you. I don't have any more questions.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Judge Vassylenko, please.
25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Budimir, I would like to ask you two
1 technical questions. First one: About the status and position of Spiro
2 Marmat. Who was Spiro Marmat? He was expert of the technical service
3 responsible for taking records during the meetings of people's defence
4 council and Crisis Staff, or he was the secretary of the people's defence
6 A. Mr. Spiro Marmat, if you're interested in that part, I can give
7 you more details, he was a person who was carrying out the duties of the
8 secretary of the secretariat for national defence before I did and before
9 two other people who had fulfilled their mandate. He had performed that
10 function to which I was elected before. After 1990, and after the arrival
11 of the nationalist parties took power, he remained in some capacity as
12 deputy to the previous two persons who did it, Dzihic and Abdulah. When
13 Mr. Gottvald was appointed deputy, then the two of them remained as kind
14 of technical or expert advisors in the body. But their posts were not
15 specifically defined. My post was specifically defined. So when the
16 secretariat held its meetings, not I, as a secretary of that organ, but
17 Mr. Marmat, who had performed that post in earlier mandates, was a person
18 who had sufficient experience to take down the minutes and to make sure
19 that they were as correct as possible. So this is actually what he did.
20 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you very much. The next question: You
21 mentioned -- you told us that the Crisis Staff had 24-hour duty call. And
22 with this purpose, the centre for alerting, collecting, and processing
23 information was set up. And you also called this centre as reporting
24 centre. I would like to know what was the proper, official name of this
1 A. The official name of that body was the early warning reporting
2 centre, and it was not established at the same time that the Crisis Staff
3 was established. The centre existed before that and existed in peacetime,
4 and its duties were clearly defined. At the point in time when the Crisis
5 Staff was established, the reporting centre was placed in the function of
6 a centre for receiving and processing of information from the civilian
7 sector, based on all the events in the municipality of Prijedor. And
8 those information -- that information was received 24 hours a day in the
9 centre. For example, there was a power cut or the water supply was cut
10 off and so on. Similar events that happened in the town. When we're
11 talking about the economic life, I think there is a document which we had
12 prepared listing the duties of that organ in terms of that. I cannot
13 repeat all of those things, but I think this document exists somewhere
15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: My next question: When the work obligations
16 were introduced in Prijedor Municipality, before the takeover or after the
17 takeover? Before the Crisis Staff was set up or after that?
18 A. The work obligation in the terminological sense is as follows:
19 We allocated some people to the military, some to the police, some to
20 companies or institutions. All the persons who were allocated based on
21 the war assignments to companies were on the schedule as being on work
22 duty. When decisions of higher bodies were adopted, that these companies
23 should switch to a wartime production, then this schedule was moved to
24 their -- as their war assignment. And then --
25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: When?
1 A. I don't remember specifically. But I think it was in the May/June
2 time period, but I can't give you a specific date.
3 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Was it the first half of May or the second half
4 of May?
5 A. I'm not able to say. I really do apologise.
6 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And my last question: You were shown
7 Exhibit S250 which in this document, the decisions and other enactments
8 are listed, decisions and enactments which were adopted by the Crisis
9 Staff between 29 May and 24 July 1992. And here in this document, we have
10 19 sections. Documents enumerated in Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
11 and 11 was passed on 3rd, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 June. Does it mean
12 that the Crisis Staff had its sessions every day at this period of time?
13 A. According to what I remember, this schedule of activities does not
14 accord with the actual state of affairs. I believe that the staff did not
15 have so many sessions. But I would like to restrict that to the way
16 things I remember. As far as I recall, the staff did not have daily
17 meetings. I don't think that there were as many sessions, if I recall
18 that rightly.
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you. I have no more questions.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So --
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: May I just for the record, Your Honour, I believe
22 the video that was played was S187. I think it was identified in the
23 transcript as S240 or 246. It was actually S187 that was played, I
24 believe. And that's the video of Dr. Stakic's interview.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This can be clarified immediately. Thank you
1 for your assistance. We have to continue with the testimony tomorrow.
2 And as to the fact that apparently the testimony takes longer than
3 envisaged, the first steps have already been made in order to enable us to
4 sit maybe 90 minutes longer tomorrow and the day after that. This has to
5 be confirmed no doubt by interpreters and Registrar and all others having
6 to do this work.
7 So only for the parties, please be prepared that it might be we
8 sit longer tomorrow. And as for Dr. Stakic, also the necessary
9 preparations have been made that in case he arrives late, he gets his warm
10 meal and, of course, access to the fresh air as foreseen under the rules.
11 Mr. Lukic, please.
12 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I just wanted to ask the
13 Chamber, do we have to bring a second witness for this week?
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think that there is not the slightest problem
15 because the testimony of Mr. Travar, in all likelihood, will not take more
16 than one day. You will see why. So please, kind enough that you ask, but
17 please stick to the schedule.
18 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The same rules apply for you, Mr. Budimir, also
20 for today: No contact with any of the parties and witnesses. So please,
21 come back tomorrow. We are sitting tomorrow at 9.00 in Courtroom number
22 I. This concludes today's hearing. The trial stays adjourned until
23 tomorrow, 9.00.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
1 at 1.50 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
2 the 5th day of March, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.