1 Tuesday, 11 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.33 p.m.
5 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Good afternoon for everybody. Could the
6 Registrar please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T,
8 the Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: The appearances, please, for the parties.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian,
11 Ann Sutherland, and Ruth Karper for the Prosecution.
12 MR. LUKIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and
13 John Ostojic for the Defence.
14 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you. Unfortunately, Judge Schomburg is
15 still not available to sit in the courtroom this afternoon as he remains
16 unwell. Rule 15 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence permits two
17 Judges of the Chamber to sit for up to five days in the absence of the
18 Judge. Therefore, Judge Argibay and I will again be sitting this
19 afternoon under Rule 15 bis.
20 Following on from the discussion last night on the remaining
21 witnesses for the Defence case, I have a few additional questions. In the
22 light of the documents received from the Defence, can we please go into
23 private session to discuss the names of the witnesses.
24 [Private session]
12 Pages 13339 to 13346 – redacted – private session
18 [Open session]
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Good afternoon, Mr. Travar. The Bench would
21 like to remind you that you are still under the solemn declaration to tell
22 the truth in this courtroom. Please be seated.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Before we start testimony of Mr. Travar, I
25 would like to pay attention to the party that on the page 73 last
1 transcript, line 16, the mistake was -- has been made. In the line 16, it
2 is mentioned that Judge Schomburg is in the courtroom. Maybe his spirit
3 was here, but physically Judge Schomburg was absent from the courtroom.
4 Now, before I give the floor to the Defence, I would like to put
5 some additional questions to Mr. Travar from the Bench.
6 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]
7 WITNESS: RANKO TRAVAR [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Travar, does the term "option 2 government"
10 mean anything?
11 A. No. Government? Are you saying government? No.
12 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: It's -- you know, it relates to the shadow
13 government, to the legitimate-elected government, in Prijedor
15 A. No, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you, Mr. Travar.
17 Now, yesterday you mentioned about the chain of command existed in
18 the sphere of military -- in the military sphere and the sphere of police,
19 in the sphere of civilian authorities. Can you tell us, what will be --
20 what was the chain of command in military sphere?
21 A. As far as I know, there was the general staff at the level of the
22 republic. Then there were subordinate units, those were corps commands,
23 and lower formations. I believe that this was the hierarchy, and it ended
24 with brigades or lower units. I'm not sure about the military structure,
25 but I know that there was a general staff, that there were corps commands,
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13 English transcripts.
1 and lower formations at the level of brigades and such units.
2 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Did the Ministry of Defence existed in
3 Republika Srpska?
4 A. Yes, there was a Ministry of Defence. It was the civilian organ
5 in charge of military issues with the government of Republika Srpska.
6 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And Colonel Arsic, whom he did report to?
7 A. I believe that he reported to the corps command. And at that
8 time, I don't know who the corps commander was. I believe that it was
9 General Talic, but I'm not sure whether he was the corps commander at that
10 time. In any case, Colonel Arsic reported to the corps command.
11 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you, Mr. Travar.
12 And what was the chain of command in police sphere?
13 A. In the police, there was a ministry, the ministry of the police.
14 There were public security centres and public security stations. So the
15 ministry, the centre, and the stations.
16 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And Simo Drljaca, whom he did report to?
17 A. He reported directly to the chief of the public security centre
18 which was headquartered in Banja Luka. I believe at that time, the chief
19 of the centre in Banja Luka was Stojan Zupljanin. I'm not sure, but this
20 is what I believe to be the case.
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And what was the chain of command in your
22 sphere? Who was your immediate superior? Who did you report to?
23 A. Mr. Kovacevic. He was the president of the Executive Board.
24 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And who were your subordinates?
25 A. I said yesterday that my secretariat consisted of four
1 departments. There was the department for economy, the department for
2 budget and finances, the department for agriculture and forestry, and the
3 department for service industries. The head of the department for economy
4 was Mr. Grahovac, Zeljko Grahovac. The head of budget and finances was
5 Mr. Nevenka Lucar. The department for agriculture and forestry was headed
6 by Mr. Milosavljevic. And finally, the service industries department, I
7 can't remember whether it was Mr. Aco Milic or not. I'm not sure. He was
8 an inspector in charge of education and schools. I don't know who his
9 assistant was. I don't know what his name was, but I believe it was
10 Mr. Aco Milic. He was in charge of education and school system, and he
11 was one of my assistants.
12 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Who did Dr. Kovacevic report to?
13 A. The Executive Board is a body of the Municipal Assembly. That
14 means that he reported to the Municipal Assembly and to the president of
15 the Municipal Assembly, and that was Mr. Stakic.
16 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And who did Mr. Stakic, as president of the
17 Municipal Assembly, report to, on the republican level?
18 A. I can try and explain, but I'm not sure whether I will be right.
19 The Municipal Assembly and the president of the Municipal Assembly
20 reported directly to the president of the assembly at the republican level
21 which was a legislative body. I'm talking about the assembly of the
22 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the president of the
23 Municipal Assembly should report to the president of the Assembly of
24 Serbian Republic.
25 Executive Boards were bodies which were appointed by the assembly,
1 and they reported to the assemblies. But their line of communication with
2 the republican organs did not go via the assembly, but via the government
3 and the sectoral ministries. I'm not familiar with the organisation of
4 the state administration, but I believe that this is how these bodies
6 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And at that time, who was the president of the
7 Assembly of Serbian Republic?
8 A. I believe that it was Mr. Krajisnik.
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Did you -- may I ask you the following
10 question: Did Dr. Stakic reported to president of the Republic,
11 Radovan Karadzic?
12 A. I don't know whether he reported directly to the president. I
13 believe that he did. There was such a line of communication, but I cannot
14 say whether this was regulated in formal and legal terms, whether he was
15 supposed to report directly to the president of the republic. But I
16 believe since everybody reported at the end of the day to the president of
17 the republic, I believe that Dr. Stakic was no exception. Here, when I
18 say that, I'm not sure whether he reported directly to him, but I believe
19 that he did.
20 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Have you heard that at that time, a rift
21 occurred between Madam Plavsic and Radovan Karadzic?
22 A. I don't know that it would happen at that time. It occurred later
23 on, I believe. I don't know whether it happened in 1992. I can't say
24 that for a fact. But later on, particularly in 1997, when Mrs. Plavsic
25 dissolved the assembly, this is the period of time that I'm familiar with,
1 I know that she broke off with the SDS, that she dissolved the assembly,
2 and a new government was elected. But this was in the year 1997. And as
3 for the rift between her and Mr. Karadzic, I wouldn't be able to tell you
4 when that happened. I just don't know.
5 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: What side did Dr. Stakic take in this rift?
6 A. I really don't know. I can't tell you. In 1997, I didn't have
7 any contacts with Dr. Stakic.
8 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: What was the relationship between Dr. Stakic
9 and Biljana Plavsic?
10 A. I can't tell you that they had contacts, that they had good
11 relations, because I don't know. Your Honour, I don't know what their
12 relationship was.
13 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Were you ever a member of SDS?
14 A. Yes, I was, but I don't remember the date when I became a member.
15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Approximately?
16 A. I know how the SDS party booklet was handed to me. It was
17 Mr. Simo Miskovic who brought it to my house. I didn't remember that when
18 I gave my statement, but it was my wife who reminded me that Mr. Miskovic,
19 who was my neighbour, came to my house and brought the party booklet to
20 me. I don't know exactly when it was. I believe it was in late 1992 or
21 early 1993. But I am not a hundred per cent sure. I believe that this
22 information exist on the party records.
23 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And why did you decide to become a party
24 member, I mean an SDS party member?
25 A. It was not my decision. At that time the SDS was some kind of a
1 movement, and I believe that most Serbians supported the SDS.
2 Mr. Miskovic told me that it was not appropriate for me to hold a post
3 without being a member of the SDS because this might result in some
4 problems when people are elected to certain posts.
5 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Travar, isn't it true that it was part of
6 political culture in the Republika Srpska that the principal political
7 decisions on the most important issues were initially taken by SDS
8 leadership; and later on, these decisions were implemented by the civilian
9 police and military bodies in accordance with their powers and competence?
10 A. I cannot confirm that this was the case. But I'm sure that
11 important decisions were taken at party meetings. I cannot say whether
12 these decisions were influential with other bodies who -- which were
13 supposed to implement them. But in any case, the influence of the SDS at
14 that time was significant, and the election result showed that the SDS was
15 the most powerful political option and party within the Serbian body of
16 the population.
17 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Travar, isn't it true that the person
18 couldn't be appointed to an important post without prior recommendation of
20 A. Generally speaking, that was the rule, although there were cases
21 at the beginning that people were appointed to certain posts without being
22 members of the party. At the time when I was appointed -- I was not a
23 member of the party when I was appointed the secretary of the secretariat
24 for economy and service industries.
25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Travar, who did belong to the SDS
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13 English transcripts.
1 leadership in Prijedor Municipality? Can you name the most influential
2 political figures in Prijedor Municipality.
3 A. I'm afraid that I won't be able to do it for that period of time.
4 I can't tell you who was the most influential person at that time. But
5 the deputies on behalf of the SDS were Mr. Srdjo Srdic and Mr. Timarac. I
6 don't know his first name. Those were two deputies in the assembly.
7 Simo Miskovic was the president of the SDS at that time. And I
8 would also like to mention Dragan Savanovic, who I believe was a member of
9 the mixed assembly. He was a president of a standing committee or the
10 group of SDS deputies. And during the first multiparty elections,
11 Dr. Kovacevic, Mico Kovacevic, and Mr. Stakic, as the vice-president of
12 the Municipal Assembly, were elected. And I believe, and it goes without
13 saying, that he became the vice-president of the assembly because he was a
14 member of the SDS. I can't remember any more names.
15 There was another man who was the first president, but I can't
16 remember his name. No, I can't.
17 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And what were the most important official,
18 governmental posts in Prijedor Municipality?
19 A. In which period of time?
20 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: In 1992. We are talking about 1992 period.
21 A. Mr. Stakic, as the president of the Municipal Assembly;
22 Mr. Kovacevic, as the president of the Executive Board; Mr. Savanovic, the
23 vice-president. You're referring only to the Municipal Assembly, not to
24 the police structures. And all the members of the Executive Board,
25 including myself as the secretary of one of the secretariats. Mr. Stakic,
1 Mr. Savanovic was his deputy. Mr. Kovacevic was the president of the
2 Executive Board. Mr. Bosko Mandic was his deputy. And then there were
3 the secretaries who were appointed to the Executive Board.
4 I as a secretary of the secretariat for the economic affairs.
5 Pavicic, Budimir, Boro Babic, the head of the tax administration. There
6 was the secretary for general administration, and the secretary was
7 Mr. Svetozar Petrovic. And there was also Mr. Banovic, who was the head
8 of communal services secretariat. I don't know whether I've managed to
9 mention all the secretaries and all the secretariats, but in any case,
10 there must be a decision on appointment of all these people.
11 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you, Mr. Travar. You have an excellent
13 And can you remember, did you receive orders from the republican
15 A. Personally I did not receive any orders from the republican level
16 so that I never did get any such orders. I don't remember. No, I didn't.
17 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Travar, did you wear a uniform in --
18 A. For a short period of time, yes. During a short period of time
19 when the Crisis Staff was in operation, but it was a very short time.
20 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And can you explain me why did you wear a
22 A. I don't know why people wore it. Mr. Kovacevic I think told us as
23 members of the Executive Board that we had to wear uniforms. And I wore
24 it for about ten days or so, perhaps even less. I didn't think that as
25 the secretary of that secretariat I should wear the uniform, and I took it
1 off in no time.
2 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Did Dr. Stakic wear a uniform?
3 A. Yes, he did.
4 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Did Dr. Stakic carry a weapon?
5 A. I don't know. I believe he did carry a weapon for a while, at
6 that time, late May, early June; that is, at the time of fighting in the
7 area of the Prijedor Municipality.
8 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Did you start wearing uniforms when Crisis
9 Staff was formed?
10 A. No, not straight away, not as of day one. But immediately after
11 that, I mean, when the conflict started in the municipality of Prijedor.
12 I think it was then that people started wearing uniforms.
13 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: What were your relationship with Dr. Stakic?
14 A. Well, it was correct. I wasn't directly subordinated to
15 Dr. Stakic because I was part of a body which accounted to the assembly,
16 and we -- and in view of the kind of work that I did, even he couldn't
17 order anything directly to my body, directly. He would have to go through
18 the Executive Board so that we didn't meet or communicate frequently.
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Did you socialise with Dr. Stakic during
20 working hours?
21 A. No, not in particularly. I didn't socialise. I'm a man who
22 usually went home after working hours so that I didn't. I can't say that
23 I socialised or that we spent together any time after the working hours.
24 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you, Mr. Travar. I have no more
1 Judge Argibay? It's time for the Bench.
2 JUDGE ARGIBAY: I'm sorry, I was thinking that the Defence was
3 going to continue.
4 I have a question that I couldn't find just now. So I don't have
5 a question at the time. Please.
6 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Okay. So the Defence will now continue with
7 their line of questioning. Mr. Lukic, the floor is yours.
8 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
9 Questioned by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon once again, Mr. Travar.
11 A. Good afternoon.
12 Q. I will first go back to some of the questions you were asked today
13 by His Honour Judge Vassylenko. I know that you never worked in a
14 legislative body, that you only worked in the executive branch. Is that
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Were the members of the assembly -- of the Municipal Assembly,
18 were the council of the municipality elected by direct vote, in elections
19 that in a direct vote in which the inhabitants of the Prijedor
20 Municipality participated?
21 A. Do you mean the councilmen by what you are saying?
22 Q. Yes, I do.
23 A. Yes, they were.
24 Q. Do you know as a matter of fact, could the republican parliament
25 dismiss any municipal councilmen?
1 A. No, it couldn't.
2 Q. Can we then conclude that the municipal councilmen accounted to
3 their electorate rather than the republican parliament?
4 A. Well, I said in my testimony that I didn't really quite grasp the
5 organisation of government, especially that part of the legislative
6 authority. But yes, the assembly, the parliament, and the councilmen were
7 responsible to their electorate. That is how it is. But when I was
8 talking about this, I meant the communication which would be natural if it
9 followed the line of legislative authority rather than the subordination,
10 that somebody in the assembly, somebody in the Municipal Assembly, could
11 issue orders to somebody in the municipal executive agency. That is what
12 I was trying to explain.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 In the spring and summer of 1992, we've established that you were
15 not a member of the SDS. Is that correct?
16 A. I don't think I was. I described it and said how I came by my
17 membership card. But when was it entered in the records, what date is
18 there, that is something that I don't know. And I never asked for that
19 information, nor did I know it. All I know is when I quit the SDS. I
20 know that date. But when I became its member, that, I don't know.
21 Q. Mr. Budimir wasn't a member of the SDS either at that time, the
22 spring and summer of 1992?
23 A. That's right. I think he wasn't a member either, but I'm not
24 quite sure.
25 Q. Is it true that Mr. Vojo Pavicic was not a member of the SDS
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13 English transcripts.
1 either? Do you know that?
2 A. No, I do not know that, but I think that the majority of the
3 Executive Board members who were elected were not members of the party.
4 Q. Are you aware that Mr. Stakic was a member of the People's Radical
5 Party Nikola Pasic?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Do you know that the People's Radical Party Nikola Pasic
8 participated in the elections in coalition with the SDS?
9 A. I really do not know that. In 1992, I was completely outside any
10 political developments, and I really don't know. I knew that there were
11 those three ethnic parties were the HDZ, SDA, and the SDS. And yes, there
12 was at that time also the party which had been founded by Mr. Ante
13 Markovic. I know that it was one of stronger parties, if I may put it
14 that way, but at least a party which was better known than others. But I
15 didn't know of this people's -- what did you say it was called? People's
16 Radical Party Nikola Pasic, isn't it?
17 Q. Well, feel free to tell me whenever you don't know something, just
18 tell me that.
19 A. No, I don't know that.
20 Q. You told us that your secretariat was responsible to the Municipal
21 Assembly. Was the whole Executive Board responsible to the Municipal
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. And did this -- was this responsibility of a political nature,
25 whereas the secretariats were free in discharging their tasks?
1 A. Well, the responsibility was reflected in the assessment of the
2 performance of every individual body on the Executive Board. And that
3 performance was assessed by the councilmen. The assembly could dismiss
4 the whole Executive Board or any one of the secretariats if it had fallen
5 below the expected performance or whatever.
6 Q. Did the Municipal Assembly meddle in the day-to-day work of
7 individual agencies of the Executive Board?
8 A. No, it did not.
9 Q. Now I will have only a few questions related to yesterday when you
10 were answering the questions of the Chamber. I will quote the lines and
11 pages, but don't get confounded by this, because it's only for the record.
12 His Honour Judge Vassylenko asked you how could it be that
13 Milomir Stakic be elected the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly,
14 leaving aside various other more prominent, better-known people at the
15 time. And you explained, at this 131st trial day of the transcript, page
16 10, line 21 onward, you said that it was an act of political compromise
17 presumably. But let me just clear this up.
18 Did the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly and the president
19 of the same, could they be elected only from amongst the councilmen, from
20 the municipal councilmen, or could somebody who wasn't?
21 A. I think that the vice-president, the vice-president had to be
22 elected from amongst the councilmen in the Municipal Assembly. But I'm
23 not quite sure about that. I think that is how it is.
24 Q. Very well. Thank you.
25 A. So only from amongst the ranks of the councilmen could the
1 president and the vice-president be elected. I think that's how it is.
2 Q. My next question, perhaps you will know what the answer is,
3 perhaps you won't. Page 11 of yesterday's transcript, line 25 continuing
4 on the next page, you spoke about the moment when it was decided to
5 establish Crisis Staffs. And you said, "I don't know why it happened,
6 seeing that there were no combat operations in Prijedor." Are you aware
7 perhaps if at that time there were any combat operations in Bosnia and
9 A. I think there were. But I said that the Crisis Staffs were set up
10 on the basis of the position and instructions issued by the presidency.
11 And pursuant to a decision on the organisation and work of the Crisis
12 Staff, as laid down by the government of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina. That is how I put it yesterday. But operations had already
14 started in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time.
15 Q. Likewise yesterday, page 47, line 10 onward, you mentioned a
16 person whom you succeeded as the secretary of your secretariat. It is
17 Mr. Milovan Dragic. What is Mr. Dragic's ethnicity?
18 A. Serb, Serb ethnicity. His ethnicity is Serb.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 Now I'd like to ask you something from the military area, and I
21 believe it has to do with common knowledge. But once again, if you don't
22 know, just tell me so. Are you aware that the military had the right to
23 mobilise materiel if such a need arose?
24 A. Yes, I'm aware of that.
25 Q. So did the military have the legal right to mobilise the premises
1 of the iron ore mine in Omarska?
2 A. Yes, the military had the right to mobilise all the materiel that
3 the enterprises used, both private and those state-owned. I'm aware of
4 that. And that is -- and they did that through the Ministry of Defence.
5 Q. And the Ministry of Defence, in the beginning of the conflict, was
6 called the municipal secretariat of all people's defence of the
7 Municipality of Prijedor?
8 A. Yes, that is correct. Yes, it was the municipal secretariat for
9 people's Defence.
10 Q. Did the Crisis Staff -- was the Crisis Staff authorised to
11 mobilise anything?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Did the army and the police submit any reports directly in
14 relation to mobilised things? Do you know that?
15 A. No. To the Executive Board or the Crisis Staff, they did not
16 submit such reports. Whether they did submit such reports to their
17 superior commands, that is something that I do not know.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 Was the maintenance of public law and order and prevention of
20 crime within the jurisdiction of the police? Do you know that?
21 A. Before, during that period, and after, it has always been within
22 the competence of the law enforcement agencies and the police. That is
23 their exclusive task.
24 Q. In the spring and summer of 1992, did the municipal public
25 prosecutor's office function in Prijedor?
1 A. Yes, there was the municipal public prosecutor. I think -- I
2 think it existed. I'm not sure. I think -- I think it did.
3 Q. In the spring and summer of 1992, did the municipal court function
4 in Prijedor?
5 A. Yes, it did.
6 Q. Was there the military police in Prijedor at the time?
7 A. Yes, there was.
8 Q. Did the military police -- was the military police's duty, to your
9 knowledge, to look after the conduct of the army?
10 A. Yes, the civilian police looked after the maintenance of public
11 law and order when it comes to the civilians and those others, I mean, not
12 engaged individuals. And the military police was to keep order amongst
13 the members of the army.
14 Q. Could the civilian police arrest a soldier and place him under
15 custody, civilian custody, or could a member of the army be arrested only
16 by the military police and put him under military custody?
17 A. Well, I tried to explain it in the previous question. That is, it
18 was the exclusive competence of the military police to arrest and take
19 under custody military persons.
20 Q. In the spring and summer of 1992, if you know, were there any
21 military prosecutor's offices in Republika Srpska?
22 A. Yes, I assume there were. They existed throughout the war.
23 Military prosecutor's offices, yes, they did.
24 Q. And those military prosecutor's offices, were they responsible for
25 investigations and proceedings against -- and charges against members of
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13 English transcripts.
1 the army?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In the spring and summer of 1992, were there any military courts?
4 A. Yes, there were.
5 Q. Were the military courts responsible for investigations and
6 proceedings conducted against members of the military?
7 A. I do not know whether that was their task. But it sounds logical
8 to me, because the military and the police were tried by military courts.
9 I know that.
10 Q. Could the Crisis Staff punish anyone for any crime?
11 A. The Crisis Staff, and I said it yesterday, was not responsible
12 either in legal terms or in any other way, because these structures, that
13 is, the Ministry of the Interior, the prosecutor's office, and courts were
14 responsible for proceedings and for the punishment of perpetrators for
15 crimes. Rather, the Crisis Staff or any other municipal agencies under
16 the then-legal regulations, that was not the responsibility of any
17 municipal agency.
18 Q. Could any municipal agency be responsible for the conduct of
19 investigations, I mean some administrative agency in the municipality?
20 A. I do not know if the prosecutor's office, the public prosecutor's
21 office in a municipality is a municipal agency. But when I talk about
22 other municipal bodies, the Executive Board, secretariats, the Crisis
23 Staff, the Municipal Assembly, they could not conduct any investigations
24 or pronounce any punishments.
25 Q. Now we shall go back to the Crisis Staff. You told us that the
1 Crisis Staff meetings were at times attended by representatives of the
2 army and that it, by and large, happened when they were short of supply,
3 whether it be materiel or clothing or...
4 Through which civilian body -- which civilian body could they use
5 as a channel to express their needs in materiel and the rest?
6 A. They did it through the municipal secretariat for national -- for
7 people's defence, that is, through the secretariat which was engaged in
8 mobilising people and requisitioning all the materiel that they needed.
9 But let me just explain something: Yesterday, when I spoke about this,
10 they often came -- I mean, those meetings were not frequent, but they
11 came. And when they came, those were problems which had to do with
12 meeting the obligations put by the army to companies and the rest. That
13 is, the army could, through the municipal secretariat, mobilise or
14 requisition everything that it needed to conduct its operations in its
15 area of responsibility.
16 But the army -- the supply of military units went through their
17 logistics basis. And whatever could not be delivered to them, they had
18 contracts, especially when it comes to basic necessities, to foodstuffs,
19 that the contracts between companies who at that time made bread and other
20 things, that is, companies who supplied the town such as Velepromet or
21 Energopetrol, who supplied the oil, they had contracts. And they as a
22 rule never met their obligations, and then problems arose in those
23 enterprises because they could not cover all the quantities that the army
24 had taken and they interceded with us to help them to get the claims from
25 the army because on the basis of the contracts, they were taking over
1 those goods but were not paying for them.
2 So this was part of the debate that we had with the army, and the
3 part which refers to the number of people needed so that the companies of
4 special interest for a municipality such as the supplies of the town with
5 basic foodstuffs, that is, people who are responsible for the maintenance
6 of the waterworks or the electric or the power-supply system, so that we
7 could have them released from the army or exempt from their military duty
8 and so that they could be sent back to work so that we could have more or
9 less a normal life in the town. So they could issue out their normal
10 duties in the town and the town could operate. So this was the gist of
11 our discussions for which the military were invited to those meetings or
12 when the military came, when those questions were to be discussed at the
14 Q. Before the break, just one more question which is directly related
15 to this: Did the army ever inform you how and for what it used this
16 materiel and other things that were requisitioned?
17 A. No, they did not.
18 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Mr. Travar.
19 Would it be a convenient time, Your Honour?
20 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: It would a time for the break. Trial stays
21 adjourned until 4.15.
22 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 4.18 p.m.
24 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Please, Mr. Lukic, do continue.
25 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 I would like the usher now to show the witness Exhibit Number
2 S180, please.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Travar, would you please turn to page 38, and
4 at the beginning, at the very top of that page, you will see Item Number
6 MR. LUKIC: And the same pagination is in English, I guess.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Item 22, the bottom of the page reads: "The
8 Crisis Staff of Prijedor Municipality issues the order to defend Serbian
9 TO, Territorial Defence, Crisis Staff of Prijedor Municipality, which was
10 dissolved," did you in May 1992 know about the existence of this Crisis
11 Staff, that is, the Crisis Staff of the Serbian Territorial Defence of
12 Prijedor Municipality?
13 A. There were all sorts of Crisis Staffs, in companies and in other
14 institutions, in local communes. There were a number of the bodies which
15 called themselves "Crisis Staffs" or "staffs affiliated with various
16 institutions." So I can't remember exactly what the Serbian Territorial
17 Defence Crisis Staff was or what its purpose was.
18 Q. Mr. Simo Miskovic speaks about a Crisis Staff that he headed. Do
19 you know what Crisis Staff did Mr. Simo Miskovic talk about?
20 A. No, that is what I heard on the audiotape yesterday, but I don't
21 know what Crisis Staff he was talking about.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. LUKIC: Now I would like the usher to show the witness the
24 Exhibit Number S141, please.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Travar, could you please turn to page 44, to
1 the very top of this page --
2 MR. LUKIC: [Previous translation continues]... In English
3 version. I don't think that it's necessary for this document to be put on
4 the ELMO, so Mr. Travar can read the first paragraph in this document, and
5 I will ask him only one or two questions.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Kindly read the first paragraph --
7 A. Which starts with Momcilo Krajisnik?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. "Momcilo Krajisnik, we have to adopt these amendments. Who is in
10 favour? Is anybody against? Abstaining? So these are the amendments to
11 the constitution which have now been adopted. Discussion at the session
12 held on 25th May 1992, the amendments to the law on national defence have
13 been adopted.
14 "Article 1: The law on national defence officially exempt 4/92
15 of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in all the provisions
16 of the law the words 'Territorial Defence' and 'armed forces' will be
17 replaced by the words 'the army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
19 "Article 2, paragraph 2, of the Article 10 is deleted. That is an
20 article, and the paragraph which regulated something with regard to the
21 Territorial Defence.
22 "Article 3, and articles from 37 to 53 also relative to the
23 Territorial Defence are hereby deleted.
24 "Article 4, this law shall come into effect on eight days after
25 its publication in the Official Gazette of the Serbian People of Bosnia
1 and Herzegovina."
2 Q. Can you please read the heading of this document on page 1 so we
3 know what date we're talking about.
4 A. This is the minutes of the session of the Assembly of the Serbian
5 People of Bosnia and Herzegovina held on 12 May 1992 in Banja Luka.
6 Q. Does this document say that the Territorial Defence of the Serbian
7 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was abolished on the 12th May 1992?
8 A. Yes, this is visible.
9 Q. The 12 May 1992?
10 A. Yes, that is what transpired from this document.
11 Q. After the establishment of the Crisis Staff, did you continue
12 sitting in your office occupied by the secretary of the secretariat of
13 economy for the municipality of Prijedor?
14 A. Yes, after the establishment, yes, I did.
15 Q. When there were no sessions of the Crisis Staff, did you continue
16 discharging duties pertaining to your area of activity?
17 A. Yes, that is what I did most of the time. I discharged the duties
18 pertaining to my area of responsibility.
19 Q. Do you remember that during the attack on Prijedor in the
20 municipal building, there was a sniper shooting on that building, and that
21 some windows were shattered and the glass was broken on some of the
23 A. Yes, I remember, and then we moved. From then on, a few meetings
24 were held in the basement of the municipal building. That was in late May
25 or early June when these armed attacks started. And that is when we
1 introduced the duty in those basement rooms which housed the early warning
2 and information centre, or some sort of a service like that. That was in
3 the basement of the municipal building.
4 Q. Since you mentioned the 24-hour duty, can the usher show the
5 witness the Document Number S106, please.
6 In this document, this duty and introduction of this duty is
7 mentioned. And the document also speaks about the tasks and information
8 to be collected. I believe that this corresponds to something that you
9 have already said, but can you please read this document, because I am
10 going to have to ask you some questions connected with this document?
11 A. Do you want me to read the document aloud?
12 Q. Yes, please.
13 A. "To all the economic subject, the introduction of a permanent
14 operative duty: In keeping with the decision of the Crisis Staff of the
15 Autonomous Region of Krajina, in all the municipalities of the Autonomous
16 Region of Krajina, there is a duty. The purpose of introducing permanent
17 operational duty by the Crisis Staff is to provide continuous monitoring
18 of the situation in the civilian sector on the territory of the
19 municipality; the giving of additional instructions for the implementation
20 of conclusions, decisions, and orders of the Crisis Staff of the Prijedor
21 Municipality; and that at any given moment outside working hours,
22 government agencies and commercial bodies can be activated.
23 "The permanent operational duty of the Crisis Staff shall be
24 organised on the premises of the Municipal Assembly, and it will be on a
25 24-hour basis. Any important occurrences and events shall be reported to
1 the following telephone number: 22-055.
2 "In order to ensure that the main purpose of the introduction of
3 permanent operational duty is achieved, it is vital that all commercial
4 and social subjects inform the person on operational duty of any
5 occurrence, event, problem, or situation in their immediate area. The
6 duty Crisis Staff should mainly be informed of the following occurrences
7 and events:
8 "Problems in implementing decisions of the municipal Crisis Staff;
9 incidents in the manufacturing process; absenteeism; intentional
10 disruption of the manufacturing process and provision of services;
11 inability to pay salaries; problems in the acquisition of raw materials
12 and the sale of finished products; forcible migrations of population;
13 arrivals of refugees; problems with supplies of groceries, medicines, and
14 petrol and petroleum derivatives; outbreak of contagious diseases; cases
15 of food and water poisoning; traffic disruptions; a need for an urgent
16 meeting, et cetera.
17 "The information should be provided by the director of the
18 commercial enterprise or a person authorised by him. These persons must
19 identify themselves and state the telephone number where they are calling
20 from because only information provided in such a way shall be considered
22 "We are also hereby informing you that it is your obligation to
23 give your home and work telephone numbers to the Reporting Centre as well
24 as the telephone number to be used when you are not at the numbers given
25 to the information centre (this is relevant for the management of
1 commercial enterprises).
2 "President, Dr. Milomir Stakic."
3 Q. In this document, do you see the issues that the Crisis Staff
4 dealt with and for which it obtained information during the permanent-duty
6 A. Yes, this was more or less what the Crisis Staff did at that
7 time. I already spoke about that, either yesterday or on the first day of
8 my testimony. I can't remember.
9 Q. Did you sometimes have to be on duty in the Crisis Staff?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. Were some other members of the Crisis Staff on duty as well?
12 A. Yes, there was a -- some sort of a rota. It was not just one
13 person who was on duty. All the members of the Crisis Staff took turns,
14 but I believe that myself and Mr. Budimir were there most often. We were
15 the ones who were on duty most of the time.
16 Q. Did Mr. Milomir Stakic also have to take duty sometime?
17 A. Yes, he was present downstairs. All the members of the Crisis
18 Staff took turns according to the rota.
19 Q. Did Ostoja Marjanovic sometimes drop by to visit you while you
20 were on duty? Do you remember that?
21 A. No, I don't remember. I cannot confirm that I remember. I know
22 Mr. Ostoja Marjanovic. But whether he dropped by to those rooms at that
23 time, I can't remember. I can't confirm that.
24 Q. Very well then. Thank you.
25 Can you please tell us how long was this duty in place?
1 A. I really don't know. I believe that it lasted for some time. I
2 can't give you the exact duration, whether it lasted up to the moment when
3 the Crisis Staff stopped existing or whether its duty was abandoned
4 earlier than that. I really can't remember.
5 Q. We are no longer talking about this duty service. I would like to
6 ask you something else, this time about the army and mobilisation of
7 materiel and technical equipment by the army.
8 As a Crisis Staff, could you issue an order to the army not to
9 mobilise some materiel or technical equipment?
10 A. No, we couldn't do that.
11 Q. You, as a Crisis Staff, could you issue an order to the army to
12 return somebody from the army for that person to take the work obligation?
13 A. No, we couldn't issue such an order, but we could send a request
14 for a certain number of people to be released from the army. And we did
15 that through the department of national defence, and these were mostly my
16 contacts with this particular secretariat when we had to send a request
17 for the release of some people from the army.
18 Q. And did the army always meet your requests, or sometimes, or
19 never? What would you say?
20 A. It was unfortunately only very rarely that they met our requests.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 During your testimony, you also mentioned the establishment of the
23 intervention platoon, a joint intervention platoon, by the army and the
24 police, and a decision was mentioned which was the Exhibit Number S79. In
25 this decision, the Crisis Staff asked the army and the police to provide
1 them with information on the people who were earmarked for this
2 intervention platoon so that the Crisis Staff could approve the selection
3 of these people.
4 Do you remember whether the army and the police ever acted on this
5 request and whether they provided the list of people to the Crisis Staff
6 for their approval?
7 A. I've already said in my testimony that -- about this particular
8 document. This document was an order for the establishment of the joint
9 intervention platoon, and yesterday, I tried to explain what the motives
10 were behind the decision made by the Crisis Staff. And the motive was
11 exclusively to prevent the overall chaos and plunder of all the stores in
12 town. And our discussion culminated at one of the sessions of the Crisis
13 Staff at which we tried to ask from the police to restore order, that is,
14 the police and the military -- police to restore order to the town. And
15 that document was the result of that discussion.
16 Later on, this document got the title "an order," although I'd
17 like to say again that the Crisis Staff could not issue any orders to the
18 police or to the military. However, this document was called an order to
19 give it a somewhat bigger weight. Unfortunately, the police and the army
20 never established any such intervention platoon. What they did in order
21 to prevent those unfortunate incidents, we don't know, because they never
22 submitted any reports to us so that we could find out what actions had
23 been taken by them.
24 Q. In the spring and summer of 1992, was there any unit, either an
25 army unit or a police unit that would be commanded by the Crisis Staff?
1 A. No, there was no such unit.
2 Q. As a member of the Crisis Staff, did you have a pass which enabled
3 you to move about during the curfew?
4 A. Yes, we had to have a pass issued by the police.
5 Q. Now I would like to ask you something about the decisions relative
6 to the proclamation of the abandoned property, state property.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can I ask the usher to show you the
8 document S192, please. And 193 at the same time, please.
9 Q. Will you please be so kind as to read for us the first paragraph
10 of article S -- in the document S192 entitled "Decision of proclaiming
11 abandoned property property of the state."
12 A. Article 1 of the decision says, "Abandoned property, real estate,
13 and moveable items of persons who have left the territory of the Prijedor
14 Municipality, and persons who participated in the armed rebellion, is
15 temporarily proclaimed state property and the Prijedor Municipality
16 becoming entitled to all possession rights."
17 Q. As you see from the text of the decision, does it refer to all the
18 persons who left the territory of the Prijedor Municipality regardless of
19 their ethnic origin?
20 A. Well, yesterday when I spoke, I said that all the persons who had
21 left the territory of the Prijedor had their property accorded the same
22 status. And here it is proclaimed the state property -- I mean, it
23 applies also to enterprises.
24 Q. The decision shows that this is a provisional decision.
25 A. Yes, yes, it is only temporarily proclaimed. That's what it says.
1 Q. And does this corroborate your view that this was done to protect
2 this property?
3 A. Well, I said yesterday I don't know if it's necessary for me to
4 repeat it. I think that the purpose that there is on that behind all such
5 acts was to protect this property against all further destruction because
6 it was abandoned. And in order to attempt to prevent the further
7 plundering of this property, that was the reason behind it.
8 Q. Now I'd like to ask you to look at Document S193.
9 From this decision, I'd like you only to read out the title.
10 A. "Decision on the allocation for temporary use of immoveable
11 property that has been proclaimed state property."
12 Q. So the use of real estate could be allocated to somebody
14 A. That is what the text of the decision says.
15 Q. Was that the intent of the author of the decision, to temporarily
16 allocate this property to somebody?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. We've finished with this document. Thank you.
19 Generally speaking, the property that was allocated for temporary
20 use, was it protected to a much higher degree than the property which was
21 not given to somebody for temporary use?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You've told us that you knew when Dr. Stakic was expelled from the
24 Municipal Assembly, that he was no longer active in politics. Was
25 Milomir Stakic called up after he quit the office of the president of the
1 assembly? Do you know that?
2 A. I don't know. But I did not speak about that yesterday. It is
3 true that towards the end of 1992 or in early 1993, Dr. Stakic was
4 relieved of his duty. But whether he was called up or not, that is
5 something that I don't know.
6 Q. Did you personally have an argument with Srdjo Srdic?
7 A. Well, you could call it a conflict, but it was a conflict that
8 originated on his side rather than on mine. But we were not on friendly
10 Q. On the 27th of July, 1992, the Crisis Staff submitted its
11 decisions to the Municipal Assembly for ratification. On the 24th of
12 July, 1992, the last decision of the Crisis Staff was taken. Did these
13 dates also mark the end of the Crisis Staff of the Municipal Assembly of
14 Prijedor, if you remember?
15 A. I do not know if the dates are correct. I know that after the
16 adoption of the decisions taken by the Crisis Staff, because this was in
17 agreement with the instruction on the work and organisation of the Crisis
18 Staffs, I know that after that, after those decisions were adopted, the
19 Crisis Staff stopped functioning. It did not meet again. But I don't
20 know -- I think it was late July, but I cannot recall the dates.
21 Q. I understand that you cannot, and that is why I tried to prompt
22 your memory. But as you tell us, it is exactly the end of July, isn't it?
23 A. Yes, it was sometime in midsummer when the Crisis Staff ceased
24 functioning, and it was no doubt after these decisions were confirmed by
25 the assembly, that is -- that, I know.
1 Q. Do you know where the fiercest fighting took place on the 30th of
2 May, 1992, when Prijedor was attacked?
3 A. That day, on that date, I was at home. That is, I wasn't in the
4 municipal hall building, and I did not have precise information. I know
5 that there was a lot of fighting in the town, that I could see smoke from
6 the house that I used to live in at the time. So for those two days, I
7 couldn't even make it to the municipal hall, and I was at home with my
8 wife and daughter.
9 Q. In 1991, you were called up for the 5th Kozara Brigade. Is that
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. And during your tour of duty on the Slavonian front, was your
13 house burgled, the house that you lived in?
14 A. Yes, it was.
15 Q. So isn't it in 1991 already, anarchy and lawlessness set in in the
16 Municipality of Prijedor?
17 A. I was called up on the 16th of September, 1991, and I was a member
18 of the 5th Kozara, which at that time was on the Slavonian front. At that
19 time, I was living at Dubicka Cesta. Namely, I already said I arrived in
20 Prijedor in 1984 for the first time, and I was always subletting, that is,
21 I was moving from one place to another. So at that time, I was living at
22 Dubicka Cesta, which is a street leading to Dubica. And then sometime in
23 October, I don't remember the exact date, that flat was burgled because my
24 wife and daughter did not live there all by themselves and had instead
25 moved to my cousin who had a house near Zitopromet. Since I was on the
1 front, that is, I was away for a long time, I couldn't visit all that
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now I'd like the witness to be shown
4 Document S96. [In English] And if this document in B/C/S could be put on
5 the ELMO, please. The bottom part, please, the signature part.
6 Q. [Interpretation] The image is pretty poor on the screen -- oh, it
7 is much better now.
8 Here it again says that Dr. Milomir Stakic is the signatory, but
9 do you recognise his signature?
10 A. On the first day when I was talking about signatures and
11 identifying them, I confirmed two -- that is, three signatures.
12 Dr. Stakic's wasn't one of those. But this signature here doesn't look
13 like the signature on the document that I saw earlier so I cannot say
14 whether this is Dr. Stakic's signature.
15 MR. LUKIC: Very well. We won't be needing this document any
17 Q. [Interpretation] I would also like to ask you something to do with
18 stamps, whether in the Municipal Assembly and the Executive Board, were
19 their stamps kept in the secretariats in the Executive Board or were they
20 kept by the technical service? Do you remember that?
21 A. No, I don't know. I don't know who kept them in these
22 departments. But in my secretariat, every department has its own stamp
23 with a number attached to it. So the budget had its own, the economy
24 department had its own, so we had four stamps. And the stamp of the
25 secretariat was with the secretary -- I mean, with my secretary in her
1 room. But I -- how things were done in the Executive Board and the
2 Municipal Assembly, I don't know.
3 Q. But can we also assume safely that every dignitary had to have a
4 stamp with his number?
5 A. No. No. I don't know what do you -- what is it that you're
6 asking me. I didn't have a seal of my own, a stamp of my own. I wasn't
7 issued with one. It was issued to the technical service. The secretary
8 kept it, the lady secretary kept it. And the stamps of individual
9 departments were kept by the heads of these departments. At least, that
10 is what I think happened.
11 Q. In order to identify every service, its stamp should have a number
12 that was on it, and that is how you identified them. Is that how it was?
13 A. Well, that would be reasonable to have it that way, although I do
14 not exclude the possibility that somebody else who did not come from a
15 particular department to put this stamp and -- but in principle, everybody
16 had his own stamp, and everybody was issued a stamp which had a number on
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Travar. For the time
19 being, I have no further questions. My learned friends from the
20 Prosecution will take over, I guess.
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Please, Mr. Koumjian, the floor is yours.
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.
23 Questioned by Mr. Koumjian:
24 Q. Mr. Travar, prior to testifying, did you review the interview you
25 gave with the Office of the Prosecutor? Did you get any tapes or review
1 any notes of that interview?
2 A. No.
3 Q. In your position as the secretary of the economy, were you
4 superior to the director of the Ljubija mine company?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Sir, you mentioned today that you knew Mr. Marjanovic,
7 Ostoja Marjanovic. Mr. Marjanovic testified in this case on page 11.736
8 of the transcript, line 18: "I myself went to the secretary for the
9 economy. I think it was Ranko Travar. In a manner of speaking, he was my
10 superior minister in the municipality. So that was the reason why we had
11 contacts throughout that period."
12 Would you say, sir, that -- would you disagree with that
13 characterisation by Mr. Marjanovic of your relationship?
14 A. I do not agree with it in no way because I couldn't be his
15 superior, and I couldn't order Mr. Marjanovic anything. In my statement
16 and in my testimony today - that is, not today but yesterday, I think - I
17 said what was the role and the function of the secretariat for economy.
18 So only in -- so it was only information, and there was no way in which we
19 could order anything to any enterprise, least of all to the manager of the
21 And there is no order which I could issue to that effect.
22 Q. Thank you. And I believe you also testified that you didn't
23 forward any orders to these enterprises from either the Prijedor or
24 regional Crisis Staffs, the ARK Crisis Staff. Is that correct?
25 A. I do not remember if I did because documents which came from the
1 Crisis Staff of the AR Krajina either went directly to enterprises, and
2 those which came to the municipal hall came to the secretariat or the
3 president of the Crisis Staff. It could have happened perhaps that I was
4 on duty or that I was simply present, and therefore, perhaps, happened to
5 see a document. But I really cannot say yes or no. I don't think that I
6 ever gave any documents or that I received any documents directly as the
7 secretary of the secretariat, except naturally those which had to do with
8 the terms of reference of my secretariat.
9 Q. Did you order private- and socially-owned enterprises to dismiss
10 anyone who wasn't loyal to the Serbian state, or did you pass that order
12 A. No. I never ordered any such thing. I am quite confident that I
13 never did that.
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: Could the usher please distribute a document with
15 the English ERN -- 65 ter number 235. It has the English ERN of
16 03024820. And the B/C/S ERN of P0054018. And Ms. Karper will take copies
17 to the booth.
18 Q. Mr. Travar, please take your time in reading this document to
19 yourself. Perhaps so the record is clear, you could read it out loud,
20 beginning with the heading. Could you, sir, please read it out loud
21 slowly so that the interpreters can follow.
22 A. "Copy - extracts from the conclusions of the Krajina AR Crisis
24 "At the session of the 3rd May 1992, of the Krajina Autonomous
25 Region Crisis Staff adopted the following conclusion:
1 "Production in all socially- and privately-owned enterprises shall
2 follow wartime plans.
3 "An appeal -- managers are called upon" -- I can't see what is
4 this word "again" or "not." "Managers in Krajina enterprises are called
5 upon to submit their wartime plans immediately to the Secretariat for
6 National Defence - the National Defence Council - for analysis and
8 "Management positions in enterprises in the Serbian Republic of
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina must be filled with people who are absolutely
11 "President, Radoslav Brdjanin.
12 "The authenticity of this copy is certified by Ranko Travar."
13 Q. Sir, I think the copies you have the stamp is extremely faint, and
14 we will try to get a better copy of that.
15 Having reviewed that document, Mr. Travar, how do you reconcile
16 that with the testimony you have given about not giving any orders to
17 private- or socially-owned enterprises or passing on orders from the ARK
18 Crisis Staff?
19 A. I confirmed here -- well, I don't know if I confirmed it. I do
20 not know whether I had this document ever. This is the first time I see
21 this document. I cannot recall that I had such a document. At that time,
22 whether the -- the technical service or somebody in the Crisis Staff
23 copied these fragments from the conclusions and I happened to be there as
24 duty officer, I really don't know, and I cannot recall this. Yes, it does
25 say "secretary, secretariat for economy, Ranko Travar," and says that I
1 authenticate this copy, which means that this is a true copy of what has
2 arrived from the AR Krajina's Crisis Staff. But I don't know if you have
3 the original document perhaps.
4 Q. We'll try to get a better copy of what we have.
5 MR. LUKIC: If possible to provide the witness with a copy with
6 the signature.
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I'd appreciate not being interrupted
8 in my cross-examination. Counsel can ask that after the examination.
9 Obviously, we don't have a copy with the signature available at the
10 moment. We don't have a copy with the signature. I will stipulate to
11 that fact -- Excuse me, I will stipulate that we do not have a copy with
12 the signature.
13 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Yes, Mr. Lukic. I ask you not to interrupt the
14 OTP without the Court's permission.
15 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, we have the right to object.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The counsel's microphone is off.
17 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I'll move on. But counsel has the
18 right to object, but not to make arguments during my examination.
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Please, Mr. Koumjian.
20 MR. KOUMJIAN:
21 Q. Sir, when Dr. Stakic was replaced - you told us that was in late
22 1992 or early 1993 to the best of your recollection - you were replaced at
23 the same time. Is that correct?
24 A. It is.
25 Q. During -- your relationship with Dr. Stakic, did you socialise
1 with him yourself during 1992?
2 A. No, not too much. We met at work, but outside of working hours,
3 very seldom. Almost never.
4 Q. Did you see Dr. Stakic, Dr. Kovacevic, and Mr. Drljaca
5 socialising, spending time together, outside of work?
6 A. I didn't really move much around town. I told you I'm a family
7 man, that is, I used every minute I had free to go and be with my family
8 who were living privately so that I cannot confirm it confidently. All I
9 know is that Dr. Stakic and Dr. Kovacevic were close friends because they
10 worked together. And what I also knew from what my colleagues talked
11 about was that Dr. Stakic and Mr. Drljaca at times shot pool together.
12 But I wasn't present on such occasions, and I wasn't present when they met
13 privately so that I cannot say whether and how much they socialised
14 outside work. But I know that with Dr. Kovacevic, he often -- that he
15 often saw Dr. Kovacevic.
16 Q. Thank you. Moving on to the National Defence Council, that was a
17 body that you said you don't recall ever functioning. You don't remember
18 that body. Is that still your testimony?
19 A. After the interview with yourselves, I tried to refresh my memory
20 with my colleagues, and I tried to remember what that body meant. And to
21 this very day, believe me, I don't know what it was, what its function
22 was. I saw the minutes from those meetings, and I know that I was there,
23 and I am not disputing that fact. I attended a number of meetings by a
24 number of different bodies because the issues that we dealt with, that is,
25 my secretariat and me, was budget and finances, and that's why I was
1 invited to a number of meetings in order to try and explain to the people
2 what things could be funded from the budget.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN: If the witness could be shown just S28, S60, and
6 Q. I believe you've seen at least two of these documents already
7 during your testimony, Mr. Travar, but these are three minutes of the
8 meetings of the National Defence Council dated the 5th of May, the 15th of
9 May, and the 29th of September.
10 You told us during Mr. Lukic's examination that you were not a
11 member of this body, but attended. In each of these minutes, you're
12 listed as being in attendance. Can you explain why you attended all of
13 these sessions of a body that you were not a member of?
14 A. I've already said that. I said that in the interview, and I say
15 it before this Honourable Chamber. I attended because I was invited by
16 the chairpersons of those bodies, and I would respond to those
17 invitations, and I would attend those meetings. So every time I was
18 invited to attend those meetings.
19 Q. Thank you. So the chairperson of the National Defence Council in
20 Prijedor was Dr. Stakic. Would you have been invited by Dr. Stakic or by
21 his secretary? Do you recall how you received the invitation?
22 A. I don't remember. I don't remember who invited me. In any case,
23 my secretary would tell me that I was expected at one meeting or the
24 other. It was usually my secretary who received those invitations.
25 Q. Now, you told us that you never discussed at the Crisis Staff any
1 police or military matters. You've also acknowledged that you were in
2 attendance at this National Defence Council. Would you have recalled if
3 you discussed military and police matters in a meeting with Dr. Stakic,
4 Dr. Kovacevic, Mr. Drljaca, and others at the National Defence Council?
5 In other words, did you discuss those matters in that body?
6 A. I can't remember whether I was involved in any of the discussions
7 relative to the police or military issues. I really do not dispute the
8 fact that I did attend those meetings. But after 11 years, it is very
9 hard for me to remember any of the discussions. I did contribute to the
10 discussions, but mostly relative to the issues that were within the
11 purview of my secretariat. What I'm saying is that I only talked about
12 those subject matters that I knew something about, that were close to me,
13 because my motive is always to talk about those things that I understand
14 and that I am familiar with, and nothing else.
15 Q. Thank you. I wasn't precise enough in my question. I didn't mean
16 did you personally speak about them, about whether these topics were
17 discussed at the meeting, the meetings that you attended of the National
18 Defence Council with Mr. Drljaca and people from the military, such as
19 Arsic, Zeljaja, and Pero Colic. Were those matters discussed? Did you
20 discuss police and military matters? Did you discuss the conflict? When
21 I say "you," were those subjects discussed in the meetings?
22 A. I can't remember. There were all sorts of discussions dealing
23 with issues touching upon the work of the police and the army. But I
24 can't remember the details of those discussions. But in any case, we
25 tried to discuss the subject matters that were on the agenda that were
1 proposed for the agenda of those meetings.
2 Yesterday, I said that whenever I wanted to learn something from
3 the police or the military, although at that time very few of us dared ask
4 any of the military or police commanders about anything that pertained to
5 the authority of the police, the answer would be more often than not that
6 this is something where we shouldn't concern ourselves with. This was the
7 job of the army, and the army had its line of reporting. So it was very
8 difficult for any of us to obtain any information on what was going on
9 from any member of the police or the army.
10 Q. Sir, there was a curfew enforced in Prijedor in May and the summer
11 of 1992. Correct?
12 A. Yes, there was a curfew.
13 Q. To refresh your recollection, looking at the minutes of the 5th of
14 May, the second session of the National Defence Council, do you see that
15 that order -- that that curfew was ordered in point number 6 by the
16 National Defence Council in a meeting chaired by Dr. Stakic?
17 A. Yes, I can see that under number 6.
18 Q. Do you see in number 7 that at this meeting which took place with
19 both the police and military commanders present that in point number 7,
20 there is an order for persons and paramilitary formations possessing
21 weapons to surrender them immediately? And it indicates they have until
22 the 11th of May. Finally, that after this period, the relevant organs
23 were start searches and seizures for any such weapons and ammunition and
24 will apply the most rigorous sanctions.
25 Do you recall now this discussion on the 5th of May, just a few
1 days after the takeover of power?
2 A. No, I can't say either yes or no. I can't remember. I can see
3 that this is what it says here, but I cannot remember the course of that
4 discussion. Whether this is something that the Council for National
5 Defence could do or not, I don't know. I cannot confirm that this is
6 really what happened. I can see that this was confirmed at this session,
7 but I can't remember who took part in the discussion on this issue. It
8 says here "Milomir Stakic," but again, as I say, I can't remember.
9 Q. When was the first time that you recall seeing or meeting with
10 Dr. Stakic after the takeover on the 30th of April?
11 A. I can't say for a fact, but I believe that I saw him on that very
12 morning in the municipal building. However, I'm not sure of that.
13 Q. To the best of your recollection, when was the first formal
14 meeting that you had with him and others?
15 A. It transpires from this that I was at this first meeting of the
16 National Defence Council on the 5th of May. This transpires from this --
17 from these minutes. But if I didn't have this document in my hands, I
18 would not be able to recall exactly when it was that I saw Dr. Stakic for
19 the first time formally. I don't know whether this was the first time
20 when I saw him formally, but on that morning, on the 30th, I believe that
21 Dr. Kovacevic chaired the meeting of the Executive Board. On that
22 morning, we were meeting in Mr. Kovacevic's office as far as I can
24 Q. Sir, isn't it true that once the Crisis Staff began to operate,
25 the Executive Board was no longer functioning?
1 A. The Crisis Staff replaced the Municipal Assembly. It could not
2 stand in for the Executive Board at the same time. Now, how often did the
3 Executive Board meet at that time, I can't remember. But judging by the
4 position that the Crisis Staff had after its appointment, it could not
5 make any decisions pertaining to the terms of reference of the Executive
6 Board. It could only make decisions from the purview of the Municipal
8 But I can't answer that question because I said it already on the
9 first day, that the organisation and the functioning of administrative
10 bodies are not clear to me, and they were not clear to me at that time.
11 Q. Well, sir, didn't you testify - and I'm sorry, I don't have the
12 page in front of me - I believe yesterday that you asked Dr. Kovacevic to
13 abolish the Crisis Staff so the Executive Board could start functioning?
14 And let me read also -- didn't you say in your summons interview, in the
15 interview --
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. And in the interview that you gave with myself and Mr. Malik in
18 Banja Luka on page 22 -- excuse me, on page 22, line 22, you said: "I
19 don't know. I don't think it did. I think that once the Crisis Staff was
20 abolished, then actually the Executive Board started functioning. And I
21 don't recall any different body between those two instances."
22 So would that be correct that the Crisis Staff when it was
23 functioning replaced any meetings of the Executive Board, that you
24 reported to the Crisis Staff and not to the Executive Board in a separate
1 A. I remember this interview with yourself in Banja Luka, and I
2 remember that I said that the Crisis Staff functioned and discharged all
3 of those duties. However, after that interview, I tried to refresh my
4 memory because it had been a long time ago. And together with my
5 colleagues, I wanted to clarify to myself the position of the Crisis Staff
6 and the Executive Board.
7 In my first interview, I didn't have a clear picture because I'm
8 not a lawyer by profession, and I was not familiar with the organisation
9 of the state administration. That's why I tried to clarify these two
10 things for myself. And I am sure that the Crisis Staff, according to the
11 regulations and according to the enactment that regulated its work, could
12 not stand in for the Executive Board. But I'm sure that some of the
13 issues overlapped, that is, the issues that were discussed at the Crisis
14 Staff which pertained to the area of responsibility of the members of the
15 Executive Board who were also members of the Crisis Staff. This would be
16 my explanation.
17 I was one of those people who asked Dr. Kovacevic to abolish the
18 Crisis Staff because I thought at that time, and that was later on
19 confirmed, that this Crisis Staff as a matter of fact was not the body
20 that had a decisive role in many of the things that encumbered the
21 situation at that time. And however, it was blamed for a lot of things
22 that were happening at the level of the municipality. And that was the
23 only reason for which I asked Mr. Kovacevic to ask the president of the
24 Crisis Staff to abolish that body because we, as a body, could not have
25 any influence on the situation on the ground.
1 And we were all aware of the things that were going on because we
2 lived in the town and we could see that many things were happening that we
3 couldn't control, things that were shameful and that were bad. And that
4 the Crisis Staff is being blamed by the police and by the army for a
5 number of those things whereas we, as a body, did not have any de facto
6 influence on those things. And that is why I asked Dr. -- Mr. Kovacevic
7 to put on the agenda the issue of the abolishment of this Crisis Staff.
8 There were other members of the Crisis Staff including Mr. Pavicic and
9 Budimir who thought the same as me, and we were the ones who raised that
10 sometime in mid-June or thereabouts. I can't remember exactly.
11 In any case, in the latter part of June, in the summer, we asked
12 Mr. Kovacevic to do that because Mr. Kovacevic was the president of the
13 Executive Board, and I was its member.
14 Q. Sir, what were some of the shameful things that everyone knew were
15 going on in Prijedor that summer?
16 A. Looting of people's property. During the war operations, there
17 were killings which were not becoming of an organised army and an
18 organised police force. And the fact is that those who were in charge of
19 looking after law and order did not do their job properly. And when I say
20 that, I primarily mean the police. All the time the police was the force
21 that was supposed to protect law and order, unfortunately, the opposite
22 was the case. Private property was plundered, houses, private shops and
23 stores, and everything else. These were the things that were happening
24 and that I call shameful.
25 And I tried to point to those things, and these things were the
1 basis for me to ask for the abolishment of the Crisis Staff, because if
2 the Crisis Staff could not do anything to put the things right, then there
3 was no point for its existence. If it didn't have any mechanisms to
4 introduce order or to issue an order to the police or the army to do so,
5 then the Crisis Staff was pointless, and still it was blamed for many of
6 the things that were happening.
7 Q. Sir, you know about more specific crimes than those you mentioned,
8 don't you, when you say that there was looting and killing and war
9 operations? Can you talk about some of the specific crimes that you knew
10 were going on in Prijedor that summer?
11 A. Already in Banja Luka, I told you that I knew about Keraterm and
12 about the killings of a number of people because the apartment where I
13 resided, that was very close to that Keraterm. It was some 300 or 400
14 metres away. And in the morning I would hear shooting, and on the
15 following day I would hear from my neighbours that somebody tried to
16 escape from the camp, and then that the army or whoever provided
17 security - the army or the police - committed killings.
18 And I also told you that I had heard of the crime that had
19 happened during one of the transports towards Central Bosnia on
20 Mount Vlasic. I knew of that incident, but I was provided with most of
21 the details much later on. And I also read about the details in the
22 independent newspapers that published the details of those things some
23 three or four years ago. I don't remember exactly.
24 But in any case, I learned some 20 days later after the incidents
25 that had taken place during that transport.
1 Q. Sir, do you think you were one of the few people that knew about
2 these incidents, or were these public knowledge in Prijedor? And I'm
3 talking specifically about the Keraterm massacre and the Vlasic massacre.
4 A. I believe that the majority of citizens of Prijedor knew that --
5 knew about what was going on in Keraterm. And as for Mount Vlasic, I
6 don't know how many people knew about that. But I'm sure that quite a
7 number of people knew about that as well. I learned some 20 days after
8 the incident, and I learned it on the grapevine. It didn't come to me as
9 official information from any of the officials.
10 Q. How many people did you know personally in the Omarska and
11 Keraterm camps who were detained in Omarska or Keraterm?
12 A. I told this Trial Chamber already that I'm not a native of
13 Prijedor, and that I knew very few people of non-Serb ethnicity. The
14 majority of the people I knew were from Zitopromet, the company that I
15 worked for. And luckily for them, quite a number of the people that I
16 knew did not end up in any of these reception centres or prisons or
17 camps. So I can't say that I have a wide circle of acquaintances. I only
18 knew those people that I worked with in the company in which I worked up
19 to the year 1991.
20 One of them was the head of sales. I said that I was the head
21 accountant and the head of the finances. The head of sales was Ahmed
22 Seric. I know to this very day where he is. He is currently residing in
23 Germany. There was another person who was the head of legal affairs,
24 Muharem Harambasic. He also left Prijedor, but currently -- and resided
25 in Norway where he died.
1 After the war, Mr. Anton Bagaric, he stayed in Prijedor. He was
2 the -- a financial operative. And as for other people, I really don't
3 know. I don't know anything about any of them. So these were the people
4 who I knew personally and with whom I socialised at one point or the
6 Q. Sir, it was common knowledge that the Omarska and Keraterm camps
7 existed, and that thousands of people from Prijedor, including very
8 prominent people, were detained in those facilities in 1992. Isn't that
10 A. I've heard that.
11 Q. Well, you heard that. You knew that in 1992 when it was going on,
12 didn't you?
13 A. Yes, I knew that a number of people were taken there, but I didn't
14 know on what grounds. I only knew it as a citizen of Prijedor, and that
15 is what I also told you in my interview.
16 Q. Including people like the president of the municipality, the --
17 Professor Cehajic, the leader of the HDZ party, doctors, directors of
18 companies. These people were known to be interned in the camp. Correct?
19 A. I didn't know these people personally. It was only later on that
20 I found out that these people had been detained. But I don't know when
21 they were detained. I can't tell you exactly when they went to those
22 centres. But during those days, I didn't know it because I didn't know
23 these people personally.
24 Q. And is it your testimony that these camps where thousands of
25 people were being held were not discussed in the meetings of the Crisis
1 Staff or the National Defence Council that you attended?
2 A. What I've said is that you could never propose those issues for
3 discussions at the sessions of those bodies. And that was one of the
4 reasons for which I asked for the abolishment of this body because to my
5 mind, if these issues could not be discussed because they did not fall
6 under the authority of this body, of this organ, then I didn't see the
7 point of -- for its existence. Because every time we wanted to discuss
8 plunder, killings, and other such things, they would tell us that this was
9 not our -- within our competence because there are other bodies who were
10 in charge of that.
11 This was not within the competence of any of the municipal organs,
12 and that's why we couldn't put any of these issues on the agenda. But
13 I've told you that personally as a human being, I wanted to learn more in
14 order to take some measures. But we could never raise those issues, and
15 we could never get proper answers to any of the issues that we may have
16 wanted to raise.
17 Q. My question, sir, is not what you wanted to raise. Let me try to
18 repeat it and make sure I understand your answer. The question is just:
19 Were the Omarska and Keraterm camps discussed in the meetings you attended
20 of the Crisis Staff and National Defence Council or the Executive Board?
21 Any meetings that you attended.
22 A. No. What was going on in these camps or centres was never
23 discussed. And on the agenda of any of our meetings, we never put any of
24 the things that were going on in any of these centres.
25 Q. Who set the agenda for the National Defence Council, the Crisis
1 Staff, and the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor?
2 A. The agenda of the national defence council was set, I suppose, by
3 its president, together with technical services. As for the Crisis Staff,
4 the agenda was set at the sessions of the Crisis Staff. It was proposed
5 by the president, and supplemented by any of the members who felt that
6 something else should be added to the agenda.
7 As for the sessions of the Municipal Assembly, they were chaired
8 by the president of the Municipal Assembly and he was the one who proposed
9 the agenda which was established in advance. So that body was the only
10 one that had its agendas given to it in advance. And those agendas were
11 proposed by the president of the Municipal Assembly.
12 However, even though the agendas were set in advance, every
13 secretary of every secretariat could propose additional issues to be put
14 on the agenda for discussion at the session of the Municipal Assembly.
15 MR. KOUMJIAN: I could either do a few more questions or break
16 now. It's up to Your Honour. Break now. Okay.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: The trial stays adjourned until 6.00 precisely.
19 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 6.12 p.m.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I'm so sorry to interrupt the session.
22 I wonder if you would just give me two minutes to raise the matter of
23 timetabling and one other matter. I appreciate Judge Schomburg is not
24 here, and this is on the basis that I raise it before Your Honours and it
25 can be communicated to Judge Schomburg.
1 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Ms. Korner, of course, it is an important
2 reason that Judge Schomburg is not in the courtroom, but there is another
3 important reason. Given that we are sitting under Rule 15 bis in the
4 interest of justice, in order to finish the testimony of those witnesses
5 who are currently in The Hague and who have been waiting for some time to
6 testify in this case, and it is a very expensive procedure, the Chamber
7 will only grant you an audience when the witnesses who are in The Hague
8 have completed the testimony. Of course, it is always open to the OTP to
9 file a written motion on this issue.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I promise you, it doesn't require a
11 written motion, and it will take one minute. So we won't waste any time.
12 But I think it's important that Your Honours become aware of something now
13 which then can be communicated to Judge Schomburg immediately -- not
14 immediately, but overnight, so it can be dealt with tomorrow. That's all
15 I'm asking, one minute. It shouldn't require a motion.
16 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Okay, please proceed.
17 MS. KORNER: Could I ask if we could go into private session for a
19 [Private session]
12 Page 13403 – redacted – private session
10 [Open session]
11 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Please be seated.
12 Mr. Koumjian, you may continue.
13 MR. KOUMJIAN:
14 Q. Mr. Travar, in going to the meetings of the Crisis Staff, I would
15 like to read to you part of the summons interview on page 29, line 16.
16 You were asked by Mr. Malik: "And who would take the notes? Who would
17 take the minutes of the Crisis Staff meeting when you would have
19 And you answered: "There was a secretary. There were two
20 people. One of them was the secretary of the assembly who used to take
21 the minutes. And there was also one person from the Ministry of Defence.
22 I can't recall his name, but he was grey-haired, and he had -- he wore
23 glasses. He very often used to take notes, minutes."
24 Sir, would it be correct that those two individuals who took
25 minutes were Mr. Baltic and Spiro Marmat?
1 A. I guess, because, of course, after that statement, I talked with
2 colleagues, and I said that I thought that Mr. Baltic attended Crisis
3 Staff meetings. And Spiro Marmat, obviously I see from this record that
4 he was the one who chaired meetings for the Council for National Defence.
5 So I think it is those two individuals. But at that moment, I couldn't
6 really say because I said that I didn't know about the meetings of this
7 council, but I thought also that Mr. Marmat was present at the Crisis
8 Staff meetings.
9 Q. In my earlier questions, I asked you about Omarska and Keraterm.
10 To be complete, did you discuss the Trnopolje camp at the Crisis Staff
11 meetings, or the meetings of the National Defence Council?
12 A. I don't remember. I didn't discuss it with anyone. Understand by
13 my earlier answer that about these things you couldn't really talk with
14 anyone -- except that perhaps informally with my colleagues in the Crisis
15 Staff, I tried to find out about things that were going on in those
16 centres. But officially at the Crisis Staff meetings, these matters were
17 not discussed.
18 Q. Did the Crisis Staff or the National Defence Council organise
19 convoys from the Trnopolje camp to take people out of Prijedor, such as
20 the convoy on the 21st of August where the massacre occurred that you
21 mentioned? Did they organise any convoys from Trnopolje, to your
23 A. No, to my knowledge, no. The Crisis Staff and the council -- did
24 you say the Council for National Defence, that they organised it? No. As
25 far as I know, they didn't. Again, once again, I do not know much about
1 the national -- about the Council for National Defence. I don't know what
2 its purpose or its role. I do not know how many times they met. These
3 minutes show that I was present at the meetings, but I don't know what
4 kind of a body it was. And the Crisis Staff didn't organise it, and I
5 don't think that the Council for National Defence did it either because it
6 was not discussed at the meetings that I was present at.
7 Q. Did the Crisis Staff fund Autotransport Prijedor, pay them, for
8 taking people out of the municipality or for taking people to camps?
9 A. The Crisis Staff did not pay that activity or the secretariat.
10 But Autotransport did, like many other companies, turn to us with
11 applications to have certain outlays compensated. So yes, I already said
12 that, Zitopromet, Autotransport, Velepromet, and many other organisations
13 requested that they be reimbursed for whatever expenses, or whatever the
14 army and the police had taken from them and failed to pay for. So perhaps
15 there was some expenditure that was covered for Autotransport, but I do
16 not remember that there was any such outlay paid by the staff for that
17 particular purpose. As a matter of fact, I put it to you that it did not
19 Q. Okay. Sir, before you is S90. That was the meeting of the
20 National Defence Council on the 29th of September, 1992. Looking at item
21 number 2, if you could just read along with me, item number 2, do you
22 understand that item to be a report on the forthcoming activities
23 regarding the open Trnopolje reception centre?
24 "After a discussion, the following was concluded:
25 "The National Defence Council will take on all the essential
1 obligations regarding the unhindered" -- that's translated as -- "arrival
2 of all persons from the open Trnopolje reception centre according to a
3 list agreed by the municipal Red Cross and the International Red Cross.
4 "2. The public security station in Prijedor will provide escort
5 for the convoy, and the secretariat for the economy and social services
6 will provide vehicles and fuel."
7 Sir, when this item refers to the secretariat for economy and
8 social services, would that be -- would you have been the head of that
9 body at that time, the 29th of September, 1992?
10 A. Yes, yes, I was there.
11 Q. And this, by the way, 29th of September, would have after the
12 visit of the foreign journalists to Prijedor and the publication of
13 pictures from the Omarska and Trnopolje camps in the international press.
14 Is that correct?
15 A. I've read it here. I really cannot remember. Even though I see
16 that a discussion about this took place, all I can do is comment on this.
17 And again, I say I had nothing to do with the Council for National
18 Defence. It says that I was present at the meeting. It says up here.
19 But I cannot.
20 The secretariat for economy was responsible for -- to provide
21 vehicle -- means of transportation and fuel. This could mean, I repeat,
22 these organisations were filing many applications because the army and the
23 police were requisitioning various things, and these organisations were
24 seeking compensation. So I suppose here, it's fuel. So that later on, in
25 some normal period of time, transport in the town could be provided. But
1 I don't remember this meeting.
2 Q. Sir, do you remember discussing in any of the bodies in which you
3 were a member the visit of the foreign journalists to Prijedor, the one
4 where they went to the Omarska and Trnopolje camps and published
5 photographs of detainees at those camps?
6 A. I remember those photographs which were carried by media. But I
7 do not remember when this delegation visited the camps.
8 Q. Okay. My question is: Did you ever discuss that visit either
9 before or afterwards? Either before the visit or afterwards, did you
10 discuss the effect of that international publicity in the Crisis Staff,
11 the National Defence Council, or any other body that you were a member of?
12 A. I was a member of the Crisis Staff, but I had no opportunity to
13 discuss this topic in the Crisis Staff. And I wasn't a member of the
14 council except that I did attend the meeting. I mean, I saw it from the
15 minutes, even though I didn't at all know what was the job, what was the
16 field of operation of that body. I've already said that earlier. I do
17 not remember us ever discussing the visit of the International Red Cross.
18 I cannot recall at all.
19 Q. You mentioned that Autotransport Prijedor was not used to take
20 people to the camps or to -- excuse me. I believe I understood you to say
21 that you did not reimburse -- or the Crisis Staff or Executive Board did
22 not reimburse Autotransport Prijedor for taking people to the camps or
23 transporting people out of Prijedor to Croatia or the territory controlled
24 by the Bosniak army. But did the Crisis Staff have any other use of
25 Autotransport Prijedor? Did you use their services for anything else that
1 you can recall?
2 A. I do not remember ever ordering for anything except there was
3 frequently the problem of transport; that is, the normal functioning of
4 the town or interurban transport. And Autotransport, because many of its
5 buses had been taken by the army and the police, they simply could not
6 meet the demand. They were simply short of the buses. And those buses
7 that they had at their disposal, often they didn't have the fuel for
8 them. Because I've already said earlier that possibly on the basis of the
9 contract, both the army and the police used their services or used their
10 fuel stocks. And then they asked the Autotransport to give them diesel
11 for buses, and Zitopromet for the bread that they delivered, and
12 Velepromet for other foodstuffs that the army requisitioned because their
13 higher instances, that is, the ministries which funded them or from
14 military reserves, because they did not pay for those, they frequently
15 came to the municipal authorities to have reimbursed the expenses of the
16 army or the police, or sought our help so that together we perhaps -- we
17 could try to get the money for what the army and the police owe them.
18 I believe there was a military army accounting centre existed in
19 the army which paid for all the expenditures of the army. And for the
20 public security station, that is, for police, it was at the ministry or
21 the centre of public security. So I do not exclude the possibility that
22 Autotransport and other organisations sought to have the expenses
23 reimbursed, I mean the expenses of the army and the police, because they
24 could not regularly perform their job. And since they had no access to
25 those who owed them, that is, those who are financing the army, the
1 military accounting centre at the corps level, the Ministry of Defence,
2 that is, budget, then they came to the municipality seeking -- that is,
3 the municipality reimbursed part of the expenses or that we go together
4 and try to collect the money for the services that they had provided. And
5 that is why it would happen that there were certain applications made to
6 the municipality for the reimbursement or the budget.
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: Could the witness be shown S63, and at the same
8 time perhaps S77.
9 Q. Sir, you testified also earlier, yesterday or today, that the
10 Crisis Staff and your secretariat did not pay the police or army, that
11 they had their own means of payment. Is that correct? Pay salaries.
12 A. I said that the army and the police were under the authority of
13 the republican budget when it came to financing. In other words, that
14 they couldn't be funded from the municipality budget.
15 Q. Well, did you pay part of the salaries for the police from the
16 municipal budget, or the army?
17 A. I don't think so. If you have a document based on which you --
18 one could conclude that, I would like to see it. There were different
19 applications for assistance and for payments from the budget. But if I
20 may have a document, then maybe I could comment on such a document and
21 explain any of the outlays that may have taken place.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you. We'll do that. First let's look at S63, which
23 is a document dealing with Autotransport Prijedor. If the English could
24 be put on the ELMO, do you see this, sir, as a document -- first of all,
25 it appears to be authored by the municipal secretariat for the economy,
1 the department for the budget and finance, which I believe you testified
2 was one of four branches of your secretariat. Is that correct?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. And the subject of this document is: "Autotransport's request for
5 reimbursement of the cost of using buses for the needs of the Crisis Staff
6 in July 1992."
7 Would it be correct that you're talking -- or this document, do
8 you understand it as referring to the Crisis Staff of which you were a
9 member, the one headed by Milomir Stakic in the summer of 1992?
10 A. If I read this document, that's what I could understand. But I
11 see this piece of paper for the first time. Let me just tell you that it
12 was possible that some of the materiel -- I am not denying that this
13 department for budget and finances was one part of my secretariat. They
14 could grant reimbursement of some company's expenses if there were funds
15 in the budget.
16 Here, I can see that this was proposed, and that it was sent to
17 the Executive Board of the Prijedor Municipality. But my only comment
18 would be -- is that I really don't know whether it was the Crisis Staff
19 who commissioned any services from Autotransport. Not to my knowledge, it
20 didn't. But it is possible that this proposal was sent in order to help
21 Autotransport to cover for some of their expenses or for Autotransport to
22 be able to meet the demands for running public transportation, local
23 transportation in Prijedor.
24 Again, I say this is the first time I see this document. I didn't
25 see it before. I can't remember it. I'm not denying that this was
1 drafted by one of my departments. I can only comment on this document as
2 the desire of this secretary or secretariat or my department for budget
3 and finances to help Autotransport to cover some of the expenses that it
4 had as an attempt to enable Autotransport to provide its regular services
5 of transporting passengers in Prijedor.
6 I really don't know whether there was the Crisis Staff requirement
7 for any buses. There were no such orders or requirements to my knowledge,
8 and that is all I can say about this document. And I really don't know
9 what kind of expenses would be reimbursed by this, but I'm not denying
10 that this proposal was drafted by one of my departments. And as for the
11 decision being approved and taken by the Executive Board, I don't know. I
12 really don't know what happened with this document and whether this sum of
13 money has ever been paid to the Autotransport as stated herein.
14 Q. Sir, reading the first two sentences, it says: "Prijedor ATP has
15 sent an invoice for reimbursement of the cost of using buses for the needs
16 of the Crisis Staff in July 1992." They enclosed records on the transport
17 provided for the needs of the army, the Crisis Staff, and the police."
18 Isn't it quite clear that they're not talking about normal public
19 transportation in this document?
20 A. I didn't mean to say that this was reimbursement of costs for
21 public transportation. I just said that we had a number of applications
22 arriving at our address from different companies, not only Autotransport,
23 but also Velepromet and Zitopromet most often. And that the Executive
24 Board, that is, the department for budget and finances, if there was room
25 to meet these requests, they would meet these requests in order to help
1 these companies to perform their everyday work. It does say here that
2 they did provide some services to the army, the police, and the Crisis
3 Staff. However, who issued the order for the performance of these
4 services, I don't know. I don't know whether there were any grounds for
5 such an invoice to be made.
6 One thing is sure: It was not within the municipal competency to
7 pay any company for the services provided to the army and the police.
8 They did not have to pay those services from the budget. I would really
9 be curious to see what happened with this request for reimbursement,
10 whether any decision was ever taken to that effect by the Executive Board
11 and whether this decision, if made, was implemented.
12 I don't remember this particular application. There were a number
13 of such applications, so I really don't know whether I ever saw this
14 particular application. There were a number of applications, some of
15 which were approved, some of which were rejected. Some of the companies
16 were reimbursed and paid in order to help them to provide their everyday
18 What I'm saying is: I don't know whether there was any order by
19 the Crisis Staff to engage the services of Autotransport for something
20 that the auto -- that the Crisis Staff had to do. I don't know whether
21 there is any document proving that services were indeed requested by the
22 Crisis Staff from this company, from Autotransport.
23 If there is a document proving that the Crisis Staff ordered
24 Autotransport to provide them with their services, then I could comment on
25 that because once again I'm saying different applications and requests
1 came to the secretariat for funding from the budget. And those were
2 usually requests for the reimbursement of these companies that had
3 provided services to different institutions or to the police or to the
5 Maybe it was somebody who acted on behalf of the Crisis Staff and
6 said, "I would like to order these services or other services." In any
7 case, when we were under obligation to reimburse such services, if the
8 services were provided to a municipal body, then if there were funds in
9 the budget, we would reimburse such a company for the expenses that the
10 municipal body incurred.
11 Q. Sir, one of the witnesses who testified for the Defence in this
12 case talked about an operation in July in the Brdo region where
13 Autotransport buses took all of the men from Brdo to the Omarska camp, and
14 then when that was full, to Trnopolje. Were you aware of the use of
15 Autotransport buses in July for this operation?
16 A. No, I was not aware of that. I don't know what you mean when you
17 say "Brdo." Which part of the area is that? Are you referring to the
18 area around Hambarine?
19 Q. Yes, I mean Rizvanovici, Hambarine.
20 A. At that time, I remember it well, together with Mr. Savanovic, I
21 was in Belgrade. I was away on business. I was not in Prijedor at the
22 time when this incident in Rizvanovici happened.
23 Q. Sir, why were you in Belgrade in July of 1992?
24 A. In July 1992, the corridor was opened towards Serbia, that is,
25 towards Yugoslavia. So I went there to fetch my sister who was a refugee
1 from Sarajevo. She took the last plane out of Sarajevo in May, and she
2 managed to reach Belgrade. And she was there staying with some distant
3 relatives of ours. I went to fetch her and bring her to Prijedor from
5 Q. Okay, thank you.
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: If the witness can now be shown S77.
7 Q. Sir, S77 is a document dated the 16th of June, 1992. On the
8 bottom, it appears: "President of the Crisis Staff, Milomir Stakic"
9 signature and stamp. And you see in this document entitled "Conclusion,"
10 referring to a session held that day, the 16th of June, in the first point
11 it indicates, "Simo Drljaca, Ranko Travar, and Radovan Rajlic are charged
12 with making a comprehensive review of the possibilities and set criteria
13 and recommend to the Crisis Staff the manner of payment to and catering
14 for the army and police in the Prijedor municipality area."
15 Do you recall being assigned this task?
16 A. I believe that I have answered this question already. I can't
17 remember this specific conclusion and this specific task. But I have
18 already said that the problems piled up in our relations with the army and
19 police in terms of their supply with food. So what do we have here?
20 Payment of and catering for the army and police? So the manner of payment
21 and the obligations that -- the commitments that they had for taking food
22 and other stuff from companies.
23 I was assigned the duty, and I believe that this is exactly what
24 this conclusion means, I was assigned with the task to find the
25 possibilities to compensate those companies for the outlays that they had
1 towards the army and the police. And as for the payment of salaries, I
2 believe that this implies the reserve police and the army, that is, those
3 people who were mobilised by the army and the police and who were not
4 professional soldiers and as such were not paid by the army.
5 Their companies, the companies that they worked for, were not in
6 the position to pay their salaries regularly. And I was assigned the task
7 to try and help the families of those people who were mobilised and who no
8 longer received salaries from their companies. It was my task to find
9 ways of finding the manner of paying them, either through their companies
10 or through some other ways. I can't remember this document. I don't know
11 whether I ever received it. But in any case, this was something -- a task
12 that I was assigned with, and I don't remember this commission ever
13 meeting in this composition to discuss this issue. But in any case, at
14 the meetings of the Crisis Staff and in my contacts with the competent
15 bodies of the police and the army, I always tried to find a way to
16 compensate the companies who were in turn paying people who had been
17 mobilised by the army and the police.
18 I'm talking about those who were not professionally engaged by
19 either the police or the army. And thus, they could not receive their
20 monthly salaries from the police and the army. Still, these people had to
21 be paid, these people who were mobilised from various companies. They
22 were entitled to receive salaries either from their companies or they were
23 entitled to receive some compensation from the municipal budget. These
24 people did not have any other source of income, neither them nor their
1 Q. So, sir, if you could answer this question just yes or no, did
2 you, your secretariat, pay the salaries of the reserve police in 1992?
3 A. I can't remember whether there were any such payments. If there
4 had been, I believe that they were compensations paid to the families of
5 those people. I really can't remember if there is a decision to that
6 effect, I can comment upon it. There may be -- may have been such
7 instances. But the budget was what it was, and I believe that in most
8 cases, we solved the problem by their companies taking loans from
9 commercial banks, and then paying salaries to these people.
10 In more specific terms, I can't remember whether there were any
11 payments to the reserve police or the army. I can't remember. I'm sure
12 that there are documents held by the Ministry of Defence and the police
13 that will show whether there were any such payments. But the whole point
14 of this activity and the task that I was given by the Crisis Staff was to
15 resolve the problem of the payment and the catering for the army and for
16 the police.
17 Q. Sir, isn't it a fact that the reserve police were among those who
18 were the guards at Omarska and Keraterm and were involved in combat
19 activities committing what you called some shameful deeds in Prijedor in
20 1992? Weren't many of these members of the reserve police?
21 A. They were mobilised soldiers, just like I was a member of the army
22 in 1991 when I responded to the mobilisation call. When these people were
23 mobilised, they were under the authority of the army, but they were not
24 its professional members. They were not employed by the army. They had
25 to carry out tasks, but they were not professionally engaged. They were
1 mobilised and placed under the command of either the police or the army,
2 depending on whose reserve force they were on.
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: Could the witness be shown S181, please.
4 Q. Sir, while that's -- while that's being prepared, if I could
5 perhaps switch topics and ask you a couple quick questions: Did
6 Pero Colic attend meetings of the Crisis Staff, the commander of the
7 Kozarac Light Brigade?
8 A. He occasionally came to the municipality, just like all the other
9 army representatives. But not often. Whether he attended any of the
10 sessions, I don't know. I know that Mr. Arsic and Mr. Zeljaja attended
11 those sessions, but I can't remember whether Pero Colic was one of the
12 participants also.
13 Q. Okay. On --
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: If the witness could be shown an English page 34,
15 it would be item number 400. On the B/C/S, I could try to help you find
16 the page. In the B/C/S version, I believe would be -- the page with the
17 ERN number ending in 734.
18 Q. Sir, do you recognise this Section 15, this document S181 is from
19 the Official Gazette of Prijedor. And in appearing in that Gazette is the
20 budget for the Prijedor Municipality. On item 400, it is part of
21 Section -- excuse me, I gave you the wrong item number. Yes, excuse me.
22 Section 15 -- I see there are several 400s, so I apologise. Section 15 of
23 that, which would be on page --
24 A. 106.
25 Q. In English, it's on page 34. I'm not sure -- Section 15 is
1 entitled "Public security station." Do you have that page, sir?
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: If Mr. Lukic could help me, I'd be very grateful.
3 MR. LUKIC: We really cannot find, under 15, it says here:
4 [Interpretation] "The municipal board of the party of private initiative."
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: Okay, I'm referring to Section 15. You'll see the
6 budget is divided into expenditures -- into sections, Section 10 is
7 municipal court; Section 12, public attorney; Section 15, public security
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Koumjian.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, Your Honour. Can you help me?
11 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: How much time do you need to finalise?
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: Perhaps I could finish with this question on this
13 section and come back to the document. I'll finish in a minute, Your
14 Honour. Or actually, perhaps we can come back tomorrow, because the
15 answer may take longer than that.
16 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you. I have two small issues to address
17 to the parties.
18 Mr. Koumjian, I understand that you tendered the document ERN
19 number P00540818?
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, Your Honour. And that was 65 ter number 235.
21 Yes, we do tender that.
22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Objections on the part of the Defence?
23 MR. LUKIC: We do object, Your Honour, on the basis of
24 authenticity. It's not signed. It's not stamped.
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: There is a stamp. We have the original -- or the
1 best-evidence copy in Court. This is not a copy, but we could get a
2 colour copy made. But I would like to have that shown to the Defence and
3 the Chamber.
4 MR. LUKIC: Yes, there is a visible stamp. But still we do object
5 because none of these purported signees are not signed on this document.
6 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Following the policy of this Bench, this
7 document is admitted provisionally as S406A/B.
8 Thank you, Mr. Koumjian.
9 And I have a question to the Defence in relation with the
10 statement of Father Milorad Loncar. When this statement was issued? The
11 date of this statement?
12 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm going to have to get back to the Court on that.
13 I understand that the statement was issued or sent to us sometime after
14 the beginning of the week of the 3rd of March, this year.
15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: How it come that on the upper part of each
16 page, we have the date 10 March, year 2000?
17 MR. OSTOJIC: I don't know why it says the year 2000. That might
18 be from my office faxes that to us on the 10th of March. Our office faxed
19 that to us on that date.
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: It could be that the fax machine date --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: My microphone is not working.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: It also could be -- I think my learned friend is
24 trying to perhaps help me, is that it might be the date of the fax machine
25 in the Defence counsel room, that it might have to be reset from time to
1 time. And we have no control over that. But it was faxed to me in the
2 Defence counsel room. But again I'll verify that, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Please do. But when this statement was issued,
4 signed by Father Loncar?
5 MR. OSTOJIC: It hasn't yet been signed. I spoke to -- personally
6 to Father Loncar well before the 3rd in preparation of that and we were
7 trying to obtain it. He had other duties, and obviously we were in Court
8 during that time period. I was in the United States the weekend
9 immediately prior, so we were trying to coordinate that. So it was
10 immediately sometime on or around the 3rd, but I'll get the answer to that
11 specific question for the Court tomorrow afternoon.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: I would just point out that the bottom indicates
13 the date of March 11th, 2003, so I think one of the fax machines just did
14 not have the year set correctly.
15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you, Mr. Koumjian. And one more
16 question. On page 4 of this document, statement, we read that "After the
17 events during the spring of 1992, I met Dr. Stakic in the village of
18 Omarska." But as far as we are aware, at that time, Dr. Stakic hasn't
19 been in Omarska.
20 MR. OSTOJIC: I don't have the statement in front of me. The only
21 copy I gave --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: I did give my only copy this morning to the Court
24 officer who promised to give me a copy of it. I haven't received our copy
25 back. I think in the prior paragraph, it's more specific as to where
1 Father Loncar met with Dr. Stakic.
2 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Please --
3 MR. OSTOJIC: And he was there I think --
4 JUDGE ARGIBAY: -- Because it's confusing.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: And we will tell you, as you know, that he was at or
6 near there until the 30th of May, 1992. So that might be that general --
7 but we will clarify it. April --
8 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Spring 1992, "After the events during the
9 spring of 1992, I met Dr. Stakic in the village of Omarska."
10 MR. OSTOJIC: We will obtain a clarification on that. Thank you
11 for pointing it out.
12 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Yes, do that.
13 I have no more questions to the parties. And Mr. -- no questions,
14 no issues to raise with regard to the witness? Then I have objections and
15 no submissions.
16 Mr. Travar, as we discussed on Friday and Monday, until your
17 testimony here has concluded, you may not contact representatives of
18 either the Defence or the Prosecution. Please be back tomorrow at 2.15 to
19 continue with your evidence in this case.
20 The trial stays adjourned until 2.15 p.m. tomorrow.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
23 at 7.04 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
24 the 12th day of March, 2003,
25 at 2.15 p.m.