Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 14997

1 Friday, 11 April 2003

2 [Prosecution Closing Statement]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning. Please be seated.

7 May we please hear the case.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. This is case number IT-97-24-T, the

9 Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

11 And the appearances, please.

12 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Prosecution,

13 in order of their contribution to the case, Ruth Karper, Ann Sutherland,

14 assisted by Nicholas Koumjian.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning.

16 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and John

17 Ostojic for the Defence.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning. Everybody can see Mr. Ostojic has

19 worked hard during the last weeks.

20 So before we go into the details of the final assessment of that

21 what we have heard during the last year under the rules of logic,

22 unfortunately we have to come back for a very short moment to questions of

23 evidence because how could we assess evidence if we don't know what's in

24 evidence?

25 I'm extremely grateful that Madam Registrar has prepared all the

Page 14998

1 documents for us that we are able to see what is missing.

2 So coming first to the Chamber exhibits. We are aware that the

3 document constitution of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

4 as from the 25th of 1974 was not yet admitted. The suggestion is to admit

5 it as S -- as J34A. Any objections? If that's not the case, admitted.

6 MR. LUKIC: No objections, Your Honour.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence.

8 Then the Prosecution evidence. Document number S8. It's a

9 videotape. And on purpose I say -- I mention the name, the videotape

10 Muharems Resa. I've seen this film four or five times on television or in

11 cinema, and therefore I would ask whether the Prosecution agrees that the

12 word "confidential" is redacted.

13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Well, may I answer in closed session?

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Let's go --

15 MR. KOUMJIAN: Private session for just a moment.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please

17 [Private session]

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

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21 (redacted)

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22 [Open session]

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Madam Registrar, assist me with this. S15-18.

24 I think you told me that it was 142-8; correct?

25 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

Page 15001

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The document S15-8 has to be renamed 162/8.

2 Then related to document S430, we are waiting for the final

3 translation to be provided by the OTP.

4 MR. KOUMJIAN: We are told it will be available today or Monday.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So in any event, before Thursday, that's the

6 final deadline, because then we can conclude if we have everything on

7 board.

8 Let's come now to the Defence exhibits. Documents D114, D115 are

9 still declared missing. Neither Prosecution nor Chamber could find it

10 until now. If Defence would have another copy of these documents, we

11 would be grateful.

12 [Defence counsel confer]

13 MR. LUKIC: Can we provide the Chamber and the OTP during the

14 break?

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Until Monday. Only that that's clarified that's

16 still missing. Yes?

17 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then a more serious question: We have the

19 documents from D264 through D276. These are -- or even 277. These are

20 documents in part being criminal reports on concrete persons or medical

21 reports on concrete persons. For reasons of data protection, I would ask

22 the parties whether we can agree that these documents are treated under

23 seal.

24 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, we agree.

25 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, Your Honour.

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1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

2 Document number 305, there would be a translation to be provided

3 by the OTP.

4 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The 65 ter number would be 543.

6 [Prosecution counsel confer]

7 MR. KOUMJIAN: The translation is done, and we'll try to provide

8 it today or by Monday.

9 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then, at least following this was -- what was

11 as -- has been said by the court deputy, D309 was not yet admitted into

12 evidence. It's one of the long number of documents of the 1st of April,

13 2003.

14 THE REGISTRAR: It's 65 ter number 309, Your Honour.

15 MR. KOUMJIAN: We have no objection to it.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Well, then admitted into evidence. The number

17 would be ...?

18 THE REGISTRAR: D318, A, B.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Related to document D314, the Defence promised

20 to provide us with a translation. Thank you. This would be D14A.

21 Then not admitted were 65 ter number 527.

22 MR. KOUMJIAN: We don't have an objection to it. I don't have the

23 document in front of me, just a short description.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The same is true for us, and in the transcript

25 you can read only Mr. Lukic stated, "We received it from the OTP. We

Page 15004

1 don't know about the original source." And -- okay, we have a description

2 and we know what it's about; therefore, admitted into evidence under the

3 next number. That would be ...?

4 THE REGISTRAR: D319 A, B, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then finally 65 ter number 565. You can

6 find the discussion on this on transcript page 14982.

7 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I don't have the document, and I adopt

8 whatever position we adopted before. I don't have a description in front

9 of me. I'm not sure the date of the document or what it was discussing,

10 other than apparently prisoners and -- prisoners of war and defectors.

11 But generally, it's irrelevant, I don't think it will hurt us, so there is

12 no strenuous objection.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's part of the memo -- a manual for the JNA

14 and --

15 MR. KOUMJIAN: Absolutely no objection.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So admitted into evidence. And this number

17 would then be ...?

18 THE REGISTRAR: D320, Your Honour.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

20 Anything else you can identify from your list what you believe is

21 missing?

22 THE REGISTRAR: No, Your Honour.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. This then concludes the evidence

24 taking. The plan is, if there are no objections, and what I heard, that

25 we will hear today the closing arguments by the Prosecution. It was

Page 15005

1 agreed among the parties in the past that we change the sequence as

2 foreseen under the Rules, that we first hear the oral arguments, the

3 closing arguments, and then later on the final briefs to be filed, and

4 then finally after the date the final briefs are due, the parties have the

5 right to respond briefly but only limited to legal arguments as envisaged

6 in the scheduling order.

7 May I ask the Defence, is my assessment correct that you also

8 would need one day only for your closing arguments? That would be Monday?

9 MR. OSTOJIC: That is correct, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

11 Then a question in the direction of both parties: Would the

12 assessment be correct that in all likelihood we can expect that the

13 response and reply maybe additional questions by the witness, will take

14 another day, or do you believe we need more only for the plan, for a

15 better planning?

16 MR. KOUMJIAN: My guess would be a day, but I see the Court has

17 reserved more than that. That may be a bit precautionary, but I would

18 expect one day for both the rebuttal and the rejoinder.

19 MR. OSTOJIC: That seems reasonable, Your Honour.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. And it, no doubt, depends how many

21 questions follow from the Bench. But as said previously, before then the

22 hearing be declared concluded, the accused enjoys the right of having the

23 last word, which is, of course, nothing -- has nothing to do with evidence

24 but it has something to do that if Dr. Stakic so wants, he may address

25 finally the entire Chamber and whatever he wants to state, whatever his

Page 15006

1 assessment is of the period since his arrest in March 2001 and especially

2 whatever he wants to tell us about the case heard now for one year, he may

3 do so. It's free -- he's free to tell us what he wants. So he enjoys

4 this right, in any event.

5 So that concludes the planning phase, and now the time is ripe for

6 the closing arguments to be given by the Prosecution. Please, I think

7 Mr. Koumjian.

8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Your Honour.

9 Just so I know, the break is anticipated at 12.30 for lunch. So I

10 can take a break, I presume, somewhere in the middle.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Today it's absolutely for you to decide when.

12 But please take into account the 90 minutes for the tape.

13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.

14 When we began this trial a year ago, Your Honours may recall the

15 first witness who testified, and on the very last day of his testimony he

16 was asked about the experience and he said -- he was our first witness

17 from Prijedor -- he told us, "When I was talking on Friday, mentioning the

18 names of my friends, with the mention of every name I would see in my mind

19 the person, and after that I spent a sleepless night. It's so exhausting

20 and so painful that only a person who has been through something like that

21 himself can understand. If somebody asked me, would I go back there? I

22 would say that it is the people who make up a town, and the people who

23 lived there are missing. I can't walk through Prijedor without meeting

24 Nedzad Seric who would take his hat off for me, Osman Mahmuljin,

25 Mr. Sadikovic, Esad. You don't know what it takes me not to cry here,

Page 15007

1 what it costs me."

2 Your Honour, this trial is about -- I have in my hand here one of

3 our exhibits, one of our documents, S282. This trial is about these

4 people that are missing from Prijedor. We've heard the names of a

5 minority of these people even mentioned in the trial. I could probably

6 only remember myself now a handful of them, but the case is about every

7 one of them. It's about the victims of a campaign that one can see from

8 the magnitude of it was organised, it was premeditated, it had the

9 objective of changing forever the demographics of Prijedor. And in just a

10 few months, it had great, great success in doing that.

11 This case is about the role of Dr. Stakic in that organised

12 criminal campaign, a campaign that the evidence has showed involved

13 coordination among many people and principally coordination between the

14 military, the police, and the civilian government, the civilian

15 authorities in Prijedor and above but in Prijedor headed by Dr. Stakic.

16 The objective of this campaign was to forever change the composition of

17 Prijedor. It rises to the level of genocide because the campaign was

18 intended to destroy the Croat and particularly the Muslim communities that

19 had become the majority of persons in Prijedor. In that campaign, Your

20 Honours know that in addition to the thousands of people, many, most of

21 which are mentioned by name in this book, thousands were killed or are

22 missing. The campaign is manifested in the fact that the crimes were done

23 to make sure that community did not exist any longer in Prijedor by

24 destroying the homes, by destroying the places of worship of those people.

25 It was manifested by destroying whole sections of the municipality that

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Page 15009

1 were traditionally inhabited by those people of historical significance,

2 places like Kozarac and Stari Grad, and by even hiding the bodies of those

3 who were the victims, making sure that there were -- would be no reason to

4 return, no homes to go back to, no houses of worship, not even the graves

5 of the loved ones to visit.

6 But this case is not about other things that many people have

7 misunderstood. And I think it's important to mention that. First of all,

8 this case is not a case against the Serbian people of Prijedor or the

9 Serbian people of Bosnia. In fact, in the evidence that we've heard in

10 this case, we've heard of real heroes, Serbs, who did not buy into the

11 campaign, who helped their neighbours, in some cases saved their lives.

12 If you recall Dr. Merdzanic was talking about the bombardment of Kozarac.

13 He mentioned the Serb who was in the hospital at the clinic helping. Do

14 you remember the story of Witness X, and his horrible suffering? He was

15 found and saved by two Serb soldiers. They acted properly as soldiers.

16 It's never been our case that every member of the Serbian army is a war

17 criminal. By no means. There are people who acted nobly. There are even

18 people who fought nobly and according to the rules of war.

19 Nusret Sivac was asked by the Defence about one of their own

20 witnesses what he thought of that person and how he could be friends with

21 them. And he said although this person was a Serb a very proud Serb and

22 believed in the Serbian cause, he said that he was a good man and

23 Mr. Sivac said, one day he wants to write a book "Good people in the time

24 of evil." And many, many of our witnesses have talked about the help they

25 received sometimes in hiding or in fleeing Prijedor from people that they

Page 15010

1 couldn't name because it's still, unfortunately, too dangerous to name

2 some of the people who were against that campaign of genocide and who

3 assisted their neighbours in humane ways.

4 It also has never been our case that Dr. Stakic is alone

5 responsible. A campaign of this magnitude is not carried out by a single

6 individual. A genocidal campaign requires organisation, coordination,

7 military and political cooperation, and no one person is going to be

8 responsible. We do not see this as mitigating the guilt of the accused.

9 In most legal systems, it's recognised that crimes committed jointly in an

10 enterprise are the most dangerous. Many, many legal systems aggravate the

11 punishment for a crime committed with others in a group because society

12 recognises that a group acting together is a greater danger and, as in

13 this case, much, much greater damage can be done.

14 It's not our case that this joint criminal enterprise existed only

15 in Prijedor, and clearly we presented some evidence of orders and

16 instructions that were passed on to Prijedor, usually through Dr. Stakic,

17 from higher political authorities and some military commands passed on

18 from higher military authorities, but these were carried out by the

19 individuals in Prijedor. And we have concentrated our case and our

20 evidence on what happened in that locality. What our case has shown is

21 the close cooperation in Prijedor between the civilian authorities headed

22 by Dr. Stakic, the military, that being the 43rd Brigade, and the Kozara

23 Light Brigade, generally headed by Colonel Arsic, Major, later

24 Colonel Zeljaja, and the police who during our indictment were headed by

25 Simo Drljaca.

Page 15011

1 This case is not about borders, politics, the dissolution of

2 Yugoslavia. That formed the background of this case. Undoubtedly it

3 affected events, and many of the motivations for the crime, the motivation

4 for the campaign, arose out of these political events. But we're not here

5 to decide political questions. We're not here, the International

6 Community, to decide in this Tribunal, this criminal tribunal, on borders,

7 political structures, the constitutional structure of Bosnia and

8 Herzegovina. We're here because the Security Council recognised that

9 horrible crimes were happening in Bosnia. In 1993 the Security Council

10 passed Resolution 827 and talked about -- expressed its grave alarm at

11 continuing reports of widespread and flagrant violations of international

12 humanitarian law, the systematic detention, mass killings, rape of women,

13 and continuance of the practice of ethnic cleansing. It was recognised

14 that there was a need to deter that conduct in order to have peace, and

15 the council said, determined to put an end to such crimes and to bring to

16 justice the persons most responsible with the aim of contributing to the

17 restoration and maintenance of peace this Tribunal was created. We're

18 here because -- not because of politics but because of crimes, not because

19 of an individual's desire to live within one state or another but the

20 means by which that was carried out in Prijedor was criminal. You can't

21 change borders by expelling people from the homes they lived in for

22 generations. You cannot change borders by killing, by raping, by

23 detaining, by destroying the community that had lived side by side with

24 you.

25 We know that when the -- in the SDS convention - and I may have

Page 15012

1 the date wrong, but I believe it was the 12th of May, the sixteenth

2 convention of the SDS party or the Assembly of -- the Serb Assembly of

3 Bosnia and Herzegovina - Dr. Karadzic listed the six strategic objectives,

4 and the very first of those objectives was the separation of

5 nationalities. And our case is about how that objective was carried out

6 in Prijedor and the criminal way in which it was carried out.

7 I'm sure Your Honours have asked and many have asked - I've asked

8 myself - why was Prijedor probably the worst example of a campaign of

9 ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Herzegovina? What is it about Prijedor?

10 We've met in this trial about 90 people from Prijedor, and we know there's

11 nothing barbaric, there's nothing uncivil about Prijedor. We know

12 something about its history. We know that the people from all sides are

13 sophisticated, that they have humanity. How could so much killing and so

14 much cruelty take place in that town? Why was Prijedor targeted for such

15 a brutal campaign? And I think the answer lies perhaps in the fact in --

16 partly in the fact that Prijedor was just the opposite, was such a place

17 where people for so long had gotten along so well, that those who wanted

18 to separate nationalities, those who needed to create hatred and division

19 had a particular challenge in Prijedor, where there was a long tradition

20 of co-existence, intermarriage, friendship between ethnic groups.

21 Prijedor was famous throughout the former Yugoslavia for the events of

22 World War II and for the Partisan resistance in Kozara, Mount Kozara. We

23 know there is a famous movie about the resistance at Mount Kozara. And we

24 know that when Ante Markovic launched his campaign for the Reform Party

25 with the goal of preserving Yugoslavia, it wasn't by coincidence that he

Page 15013

1 chose Prijedor to launch that campaign, because Prijedor was seen as, if

2 not the birthplace, one of the models of brotherhood and unity of the

3 co-existence of people from different ethnic groups living together.

4 And for those with a radical Serb nationalist agenda, Prijedor

5 posed a particular problem because within the Krajina region we know that

6 in the 1990 elections it was only Prijedor that the Muslims or Bosniaks

7 had controlled -- had won enough seats to control the assembly. It came

8 as a great shock to the Serbs, who through all the censuses until that

9 time, through the 1980 census, were the majority, that the Muslims won the

10 majority of seats in Prijedor. And then in the 1991 census, it was

11 revealed that the Muslims had now become a plurality, that they had about

12 44 per cent of the population of the municipality and Serbs were second

13 with about a little over 42 per cent, 42 and a half, and Croats had

14 slightly less than 6 per cent. And also in those 1990 elections, Prijedor

15 distinguished itself from many other places in Bosnia, and particularly in

16 the Krajina, in that the non-national parties had their best showing in

17 Prijedor. They won a third of the seats, while on a national basis these

18 left bloc or non-national parties had only won about 10 per cent of the

19 seats.

20 So to rid Prijedor of that community, it was also necessary to

21 destroy not just a few individuals, not just the people that could defend

22 or resist, but it also became necessary and particularly targeted were

23 those people that represented this long tradition of co-existence, of

24 getting along and of peaceful inter-ethnic relations. And in our case

25 we've seen tragically, ironically, but I think very intentionally these

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Page 15015

1 people who most promoted inter-ethnic relations from the Muslim side were

2 targeted.

3 Dr. Stakic played a key, a crucial role in these events, having

4 the top political position. Dr. Stakic is not, as the Defence sometimes

5 tried to portray him, an innocent, a naive young man at the time. I find

6 it a bit ironic. He was a 29-year-old doctor. At the same time,

7 Dr. Stakic is being portrayed as a naive young man. All evil of the SDA

8 party is purported to be coordinated by Dr. Mirza Mujadzic, who also was

9 29 years old, a 29-year-old doctor. Dr. Stakic was not dragged into

10 politics. He jumped into politics and his career shows great ambition.

11 We know that he started his political career in his home area of Omarska

12 Maricka by being the founder of the People's Radical Party of Nikola

13 Pasic. At the time of the 1990 -- and he became the first president of

14 that party. It became apparent by the time of the 1990 elections that the

15 leading force for the Serb nationalists was going to be the SDS, and at

16 that time it's clear that Dr. Stakic merged his party or himself

17 individually but appears merged his party because we see no other evidence

18 of that party existing afterwards, with the SDS and got himself on the

19 ballot of the SDS party. At times I've found it rather incredible that

20 the Defence has maintained that Dr. Stakic was not a member of the SDS.

21 From the time of the 1990 elections until the time he was arrested, it's

22 quite clear he was a member of the SDS. He appears on the ballot in 1990

23 for the SDS. Following the election and the division of posts, he was

24 made the vice-president of the municipal assembly on behalf of the SDS.

25 He was elected on the 11th of September, 1991 the vice-president of the

Page 15016

1 SDS party. He received - and I believe the document for later reference

2 is S94 - he received by far the greatest number of votes in that election

3 and he was made the vice-president.

4 We know that, as I'll come to later, that he represented the SDS

5 with higher authorities, with republic-level authorities. He attended

6 meetings of the main board of the SDS. In 1996, he came back to power,

7 was named again president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor with the

8 backing of Dr. Karadzic, again as a member of the SDS. Mr. Kuruzovic,

9 himself an SDS member from the very beginning and to this day, expressed

10 surprise at Mr. Lukic's question that Dr. Stakic had been in the radical

11 party. He had forgotten all about it. Dr. Stakic, not just throughout

12 the indictment period but since the 1990 elections, all the way -- the

13 evidence which suggests until his arrest was a member of the SDS - and

14 when I say the evidence suggests until his arrest, I'd ask to have the

15 computer monitor be turned on and refer Your Honours to a couple of the

16 items found with Dr. Stakic at the time of his arrest. This first -- it's

17 two different documents. I'm referring to one on the top. It was a card,

18 an SDS card that was found on him. This is Exhibit S235-12. There were

19 other cards. If we could have the next exhibit.

20 S235-21, we see three different cards, all showing on his person

21 at the time of his arrest Dr. Stakic was -- well, at least there's an

22 expression in American English, a card-carrying member, of the SDS party.

23 In document S101, Dr. Stakic was elected to represent Prijedor to

24 the Autonomous Region of Krajina Assembly. S100 is a document that shows

25 that Dr. Stakic reported to the Prijedor SDS regarding a meeting he

Page 15017

1 attended of the republic-level main board. Document S94 shows Dr. Stakic

2 being selected to attend an SDS republic-level convention.

3 Ms. Sutherland tells me it's S93, but I'm sure Your Honours will

4 find it, whichever one.

5 Many people, many of the witnesses have described Dr. Stakic's

6 personality. What we know about him is that he was not a person -- he was

7 not loud. He was a person of measured words. He was intelligent. His

8 career shows he was ambitious. All the evidence would suggest he was

9 diligent in carrying out his duties. He kept himself informed. He

10 attended meetings. We learned from his driver that he travelled

11 throughout the municipality to Banja Luka. We know many individuals came

12 to meet him in his office, such as Mr. Marjanovic, Mr. Travar used to go

13 to see him. Everything that we know about Dr. Stakic suggests that he was

14 aware, he was independent, he was functioning in real power in the

15 positions that he held.

16 And I want to talk briefly about those positions, but I'd like to

17 briefly mention that we have talked a lot in this trial about the legal

18 powers of these various positions, and we've looked at statutes of the

19 municipality, we've looked at the decisions on the formation of the Crisis

20 Staff. But I'd caution Your Honours to remember we're not dealing with

21 the regime that respected the rule of law. We're talking about a time of

22 conflict and a time when the worst violations of law were occurring,

23 coordinated by the top authorities. The law was not respected. Law was

24 used at the time to give legitimacy to those who were abusing the law.

25 But anyone with experience in totalitarian regimes knows that the law can

Page 15018

1 be changed, it's flexible, it will be used and abused by the authorities

2 to their wishes. Prijedor was not a place where the rule of law was

3 respected. Power came from political power and the barrel of a gun, not

4 from words written in a statute.

5 We know that Dr. Stakic was the president of the Serbian Municipal

6 Assembly, created in January of 1991. The documents would be S6 and S47.

7 We know that he was president of a very important body, in this case --

8 due to his position as president he became also president of the National

9 Defence Council of Prijedor. And we know he was president of the Crisis

10 Staff, later renamed the War Presidency, but clearly the same body, the

11 same members. Most of the crimes, probably the majority of the crimes

12 that we've talked about in the indictment, were carried out during the

13 period of this Crisis Staff/War Presidency existence. The authority of

14 that body, I think, is best expressed by S109, which was a decision of the

15 Autonomous Region of Krajina Crisis Staff, in which it declared that the

16 Crisis Staffs of the municipality were the highest authorities in the

17 municipality.

18 According to the statute itself or the decision on the formation

19 of the Crisis Staff - it appears in S307. It's also the first decision

20 printed in the Official Gazette in S180 - the Crisis Staff was formed, "To

21 defend the territory of the municipality, ensure the safety of the

22 population and property, establish authority and organise all other

23 aspects of life and work." That is a very, very broad mandate and clearly

24 puts a responsibility on that body for the crimes that were committed.

25 Article 5 of that decision states that the Crisis Staff should

Page 15019

1 "act in accordance with the assessment of the political and security

2 situation." And Article 6 outlines the role the Crisis Staff in the

3 domain of defence of the municipality.

4 If we look just at the legal -- the statutory or decisional

5 authority, as far as the positions and powers of Dr. Stakic, both as the

6 president of the municipal assembly, the president of the Crisis Staff/War

7 Presidency, and the president of the National Defence Council, we can see

8 the importance of his role, much of which is outlined by himself, by

9 Dr. Stakic, at the very beginning of that interview with Channel 4, that

10 interview that appears to have taken place in late December or early

11 January, probably late December, of 1992 because the reporter refers to

12 events in early December. And Dr. Stakic says it's been seven months or

13 more since he took power. That's the video Your Honours have seen many

14 times, portions of it. It's about 45 minutes long. But in the beginning

15 he's asked about what his position is, and he's asked, "Is that like the

16 mayor?" And he says, "Yes, precisely that."

17 We know that the Crisis Staff, the municipal assembly, the

18 National Defence Council would not meet without being convened by the

19 president. It was the role of the president, Milomir Stakic, to convene

20 these bodies. And the witnesses we had from the Crisis Staff or who

21 attended its meetings indicated that their understanding was that they

22 would receive a call from the secretary, who they understood it was the

23 president who had called them indirectly to these meetings. A critical,

24 critical role was that the president set the agenda. Subjects that should

25 have been discussed and were not discussed are the responsibility of Dr.

Page 15020

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Page 15021

1 Stakic because he's the one that decided what would be on the agenda. He

2 proposed the agenda for these meetings. Over and over again we've asked

3 witnesses: Why didn't you discuss the crimes? Why didn't you discuss the

4 camps, the disappearances? It wasn't on the agenda. We didn't discuss

5 it. It was Dr. Stakic that set the agenda.

6 And if you look at the agenda of these meetings, you'll see that

7 everything was on the agenda to support the campaign. As I'll discuss

8 shortly, we'll see how often on the agenda disarmament, which clearly was

9 directed to disarming the population that was being targeted to be removed

10 or destroyed, was on the agenda of the bodies headed by Dr. Stakic.

11 Dr. Stakic told us in S187, in that video, he said it was his duty

12 to sign the decisions. And we've seen that, that he signed the great,

13 great majority of the decisions of the Crisis Staff. And in the gazette,

14 the decisions of the municipal assembly and Crisis Staff, it's indicated

15 that these were -- we have the name of Dr. Stakic SR, signed by

16 Dr. Stakic.

17 Dr. Stakic presided over the meetings, as he told the journalist.

18 In a response to a question from Your Honours, Mr. Budimir said on page

19 12919 -- I'm speaking slowly to allow the French interpretation to catch

20 up -- "Mr. Stakic presided over the sessions of the Crisis Staff. He was

21 the one who chaired the sessions, and he was the one who channelled the

22 discussion on various issues that were discussed at the sessions." Every

23 witness who was present at those meetings, who testified, has told us the

24 same thing.

25 The witnesses have also told us, and we've asked how decisions

Page 15022

1 were made, that there was very little formal let's take a vote. The

2 decisions were generally formulated by the president, by Dr. Stakic, and

3 adopted by acclamation. On rare occasions there would be a vote.

4 Mr. Travar, Mr. Budimir both told us that. I believe Mr. Kuruzovic, I

5 believe the same.

6 In his interview, Dr. Stakic said it was his job to implement the

7 decisions of the Crisis Staff. We know that the role of the president of

8 the municipality was a full-time job. The municipal assembly didn't meet

9 daily -- I don't know if we got an estimate, but it clearly didn't meet

10 daily. It met, I'm sure, less than weekly. We have only occasional

11 meetings of the municipal assembly, but somehow those decisions had to be

12 implemented and someone had to coordinate that, and that was why the

13 president was a full-time job. We know that people would come to see him.

14 He had regular meetings. People like Mr. Travar, who headed that very

15 important Ministry for the Economy, control of the budget, told us he

16 would often have to go to see Dr. Stakic.

17 But another critical, critical role of the president of the

18 municipality was that this was the person seen by the public as the

19 representative of the civilian authority. In the videotape S11, Zivko

20 Ecim, before he introduces Dr. Stakic, he introduces him as, "Tonight we

21 have with us the first man in the municipality of Prijedor."

22 In his testimony, Mr. Beglerbegovic, Dr. Beglerbegovic, on page

23 4084 was asked about whether he heard much about this Crisis Staff. On

24 line 18 he said, "Yes. Most of what was happening in the positions of

25 power was on behalf of the Crisis Staff. Whenever there was some sort of

Page 15023

1 proclamation, it was always by the Crisis Staff. If a rally was

2 organised, if there was a warning, a public warning to the citizens, most

3 of the decisions that were made at the time when the Crisis Staff was

4 founded came from the Crisis Staff or on behalf of the Crisis Staff."

5 He was then asked, "During 1992, did you ever see Dr. Stakic

6 mentioned in the media?" And the doctor answered, "There were a number of

7 such cases in the newspapers, on TV, whenever something was happening,

8 rallies, he was present by virtue of his position because he was the first

9 man in Prijedor. It was logical for him to appear whenever these events

10 were covered in the newspapers or on TV, the radio stations, of course, he

11 was always there."

12 Mr. Murselovic, you recall, who was a deputy for the Party of

13 Private Initiative, he testified on page 2693 of the transcript, line 7,

14 he said, "After the takeover, the Crisis Staff frequently made

15 announcements under that name, the Crisis Staff. They asked the Bosniaks

16 to surrender their weapons. They also asked that the TO posts held by the

17 Bosniak Muslims in villages be turned over as well. They simply issued

18 proclamations through mass media, through radio, and the local papers."

19 It's interesting that when Ivo Atlija from Brisevo testified, at

20 one time he met the bishop, the bishop who was travelling -- the Catholic

21 bishop with Mr. Kupresanin. Mr. Kupresanin was the president of the

22 Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. Brdjanin was president of

23 the Crisis Staff, but Kupresanin was president of the assembly. And

24 Mr. Atlija asked them for help. He asked, on page 5647, he said, "I asked

25 him again to help us to move out from there and just to go just about

Page 15024

1 anywhere," and that, on page 5648, Mr. Kupresanin told him, "He asked us

2 to address Mr. Stakic, president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor."

3 We also know how much the press was controlled by the civilian

4 authorities in Prijedor. We saw the meetings of the Crisis Staff National

5 Defence Council how often the Minister of Information and members of the

6 local press Kozarski Vjesnik were present. I recall Your Honour asking

7 Mr. Kuruzovic about the decision of the Crisis Staff, setting the hours of

8 work for the employees of Kozarski Vjesnik. And the Defence made the

9 point, "Well, doesn't the civilian authorities all over the world set the

10 hours for restaurants and catering establishments, as they did in

11 Prijedor?" Well, of course all over the world governments set hours for

12 public establishments, establishments that are open to the public,

13 restaurants or discotheques or -- but they don't set work hours of

14 companies. There's a great difference between setting the hours of

15 public -- when you can have your doors open to the public and telling a

16 company what hours your employees work. The employees of Kozarski Vjesnik

17 wanted to change their hours. If I want to change my hours, I go see my

18 boss, and they did the same thing; they went to the Crisis Staff for

19 permission to change their hours.

20 I think another aspect of Dr. Stakic's contribution to this brutal

21 campaign -- it's a bit subtle, but I think it's not only -- he was in a

22 unique role to contribute to that campaign because he had been, unlike all

23 of the others involved, he had been elected in the 1990 elections. Yes,

24 he had been elected by the municipal assembly to the vice-presidency. No

25 one elected him president. The SDS takeover made him president. But at

Page 15025

1 least among the Serbian population -- and it was so important to this

2 campaign, the brutal campaign against their Muslim and Croat neighbours,

3 that the authorities convince the Serbs of Prijedor, who had lived

4 peacefully for so long together with the Muslims and Croats, to convince

5 them of the necessity, of the righteousness of this campaign, and to the

6 legitimacy of the authorities that were in power. In reality, a one-party

7 dictatorship, the SDS. But in Dr. Stakic they had a person that they

8 could offer as a symbol who had been elected, elected by the assembly to

9 the position -- to the municipal assembly and as the vice-president.

10 We also know that Dr. Stakic in that role as the first man in

11 Prijedor, the head of the civilian authorities, played a very important

12 role in representing these authorities to international organisations.

13 International organisations, reporters, aid workers, didn't go to see Simo

14 Drljaca or Vladimir Arsic. They went to see the president of the

15 municipality. We learned about the ECMM mission to Prijedor, and they met

16 with Dr. Stakic. We know that he gave interviews in the S187 interview to

17 Channel 4 of the British Television, the interview he gave to Monica Gras

18 from the German television. And these are -- I'm now only speaking about

19 international interviews. We know that he was in the centre of the table,

20 he met with that critical, critical delegation that went to Prijedor on

21 the 5th of August with Penny Marshall, Ian Williams, and Ed Vulliamy.

22 And I think one interesting document, it's outside of the

23 indictment period, but it shows the power of the position and the

24 importance in relation with internationals is S9. If that could be put on

25 the screen. Your Honours could take a look at it. I don't know if it's

Page 15026

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Page 15027

1 possible to blow it up a little bit. There's a section highlighted which

2 we'll now go to.

3 And this was a article -- can you go back, please. This was an

4 article, "Prisoners in Manjaca should be released on 26 October," that

5 appeared in Kozarski Vjesnik. It's Exhibit S9. And apparently, as

6 indicated in this paragraph, this was agreed polling a meeting of a

7 representative of the International Red Cross with Dr. Stakic and

8 associates. Most -- we know that most of these prisoners in Manjaca at

9 this time came from Prijedor, and the issue was whether they'd be released

10 and allowed to go back to Prijedor. We know that they were -- we know

11 from testimony of some of the people that were there that the agreement

12 was that they were released to go out of Bosnia through Croatia and had to

13 agree not to come back. Although, Manjaca was a military prison in Banja

14 Luka municipality, it was Dr. Stakic, the representative, the president of

15 the municipal assembly, and I think the word "mayor," which Dr. Stakic

16 agreed to in his interview is appropriate, the major of Prijedor, was the

17 one who had to give permission for these people to be released on the

18 condition that they not return to Prijedor.

19 Dr. Stakic played a critical role linking the local authorities to

20 the broader republic and regional authorities. In document S93, we see he

21 was elected to represent the Prijedor municipality at the SDS convention,

22 republic level, on the 9th of July, 1991. S99 is a letter from Karadzic

23 to the presidents of the municipality ordering them to set up these

24 24-hour information centres, if I recall that document. In document S100,

25 we see that Dr. Stakic reported to the Prijedor Municipal Assembly on his

Page 15028

1 meeting with the main board of the party at the republic level. S139, I

2 believe, is a letter in May 1992 to the presidents of the Municipal

3 National Defence Councils, Prijedor, Dr. Stakic, regarding travel permits

4 and implementing work obligations. In S140, we see there's a conclusion

5 of the ARK Crisis Staff regarding collecting illegal weapons and

6 restricting employment to persons absolutely loyal to the Serbian

7 Republic. It's addressed at the top in handwriting addressed to the

8 president of the municipality personally.

9 We also see other documents where particular responsibilities and

10 duties were given to the president. In S109, the ARK Gazette decision

11 number 17 on page 29 says that the "Presidents of municipalities should

12 immediately recommend judges and prosecutes for the local courts."

13 Decision number 6 in that Gazette says that the National Defence Council

14 presidents, again in the case of Prijedor, Dr. Stakic, should take

15 immediate steps to disarm paramilitaries.

16 So, Your Honour, what our evidence shows that - and I'll discuss

17 this more after the next break - our evidence shows that the campaign that

18 took place in Prijedor was coordinated among three principal bodies: The

19 military, the police, and the civilian authorities. The centre of that

20 coordination was the civilian authorities. It took place, this

21 coordination, through bodies such as the Crisis Staff and the National

22 Defence Council, headed by Dr. Stakic, presided over by Dr. Stakic, with

23 the agenda set by Dr. Stakic. The public explanations, the excuses for

24 the crimes, the exhortations to people to support an army and police that

25 were committing these crimes, the entire political campaign that was so

Page 15029

1 crucial to the military and police operations were headed by Dr. Stakic.

2 And he, together with the other members of this enterprise, people that

3 you've heard mentioned, such as Mr. Drljaca, Mr. Zeljaja, and Mr. Arsic,

4 carried out this plan, and certainly Mr. Kovacevic contributed. But one

5 thing I'd like to mention about the executive board: First, we know that

6 the executive board was the body that was to implement the decisions

7 carried out by the municipal assembly. So clearly the executive board is

8 subordinate to the municipal assembly and the Crisis Staff, when that

9 existed. There is no doubt that the president of the municipal assembly

10 is superior in fact to the president of the executive board. The most

11 obvious evidence of that is the interparty agreement in Prijedor, as

12 throughout Bosnia, the party that won the most seats, that controlled the

13 assembly, obtained the most powerful position, and that was president of

14 the municipal assembly.

15 We also know from Mr. Travar and from some documents that

16 Dr. Stakic also attended some of the meetings of the executive board when

17 they existed. But it's also important to remember that apparently during

18 this period of the Crisis Staff, when most -- the attack on Kozarac and

19 most of these cleansing operations were taking place and the establishment

20 of the camps, the executive board was not meeting. This is as that body,

21 many of those people were members of the Crisis Staff.

22 In S11 we have the -- it's a television interview with Dr. Stakic,

23 and he says during that interview with Mr. Ecim, "During combat

24 operations, the Crisis Staff existed but the Serb Republic Presidency's

25 decision, renamed the War Presidency --" excuse me. "By the Serb Republic

Page 15030

1 Presidency's decision, renamed the War Presidency, but from the moment

2 real war actions calmed down, we activated the work of the Executive

3 Board," showing, obviously implying, that the executive board was not

4 activated during these combat operations. The Crisis Staff was meeting in

5 its place. This is corroborated by the testimony of Mr. Travar, who said

6 that he objected to the work of the Crisis Staff and urged Mr. Kovacevic

7 to reinstitute the executive board. But just so our position is clear,

8 our position is that Dr. Stakic was superior to the executive board and

9 that during the time when most of these crimes were committed the

10 executive board wasn't even meeting and virtually all of the important

11 decisions that were made, that affected these crimes, were always made by

12 the Crisis Staff.

13 This would be an appropriate time for a break.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until 11.30.

15 --- Recess taken at 11.03 a.m.

16 --- On resuming at 11.36 a.m.

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.

18 Only that you know, we may continue now until 1.00, and we'll then

19 move over to Courtroom I because there are some complaints that no public

20 gallery is available for the closing arguments, and so we will do, if

21 possible, also on Monday.

22 Mr. Koumjian, please proceed.

23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honours, the evidence in this case shows very

24 close cooperation between the civilian bodies, headed by Dr. Stakic and

25 the army, the army that became -- went from the JNA to the Army of

Page 15031

1 Republika Srpska in the middle of May, 1992.

2 I'm sure Your Honours recall the video S11, in which Colonel Arsic

3 is interviewed, and the interviewer says, "Here we are with the man best

4 informed about events in Prijedor," and Colonel Arsic answers, "It is not

5 only me being the best informed on events in Prijedor. All authorities

6 and their bodies are very well-familiarised with events in Prijedor, and

7 as I, maybe more than others, cooperate with them, I am very familiar."

8 We know that there are many meetings between bodies headed by

9 Dr. Stakic and members of the military. If you recall, it was, according

10 to the testimony of Mr. Kuruzovic, before the takeover it was Dr. Stakic

11 that called for a meeting at the barracks in which Colonel Arsic was in

12 attendance to plan the takeover. We have the minutes of the National

13 Defence Council. We have three of them, S28, S60, I believe, and S90.

14 S28 is the 5th of May, and I believe that's the second meeting. And S60

15 is the 15th of May, and that's the fourth meeting, I believe, indicating

16 that there was at least one in between. At those meetings Colonel Arsic

17 was there, Vladimir Zeljaja was there, Pero Colic. We also know that

18 there was a call for a member of the garrison to be a member of the Crisis

19 Staff, and witnesses such as Mr. Baltic told us that members of the army

20 regularly attended meetings of the Crisis Staff.

21 Mr. Zeljaja was interviewed in the document S274, a newspaper

22 interview, and he said, "The brigade command was, because of that,

23 immediately linked to the leadership of the SDS, giving them important

24 support, as they do for all decent Serbs, to organise themselves for

25 defence in case of an attack by the Muslim forces." And he was speaking

Page 15032

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Page 15033

1 of the period before the takeover when the elected government,

2 multi-ethnic government of Professor Cehajic was still in power. He went

3 on to say on the next page, ending in the ERN number 2749, "I must

4 emphasise here in this region and more or less everyone knows that, the

5 very close cooperation between the army and police. Such cooperation was

6 also established with the leaders of the party, the Crisis Staff, and all

7 decent Serbs who were and still are of importance for this town."

8 Your Honours, we know that in the former Yugoslavia there was a

9 particular philosophy of national defence called All People's Defence, in

10 which the civilian and military were organised to cooperate to the maximum

11 extent possible. And we know that the former Yugoslavia feared invasion

12 by stronger forces and the concept was to have units operating on a local

13 level that could do so autonomously in cooperation with civilians, with

14 the Territorial Defence, the military all working together.

15 All the decisions that we see of the Crisis Staff and the

16 municipal assembly when we look at the events that happened, we see the

17 very close cooperation between the political and the military in Prijedor.

18 So, for example, it was the Crisis Staff that would issue the demands and

19 the threats if you do not disarm, if the weapons are not surrendered, you

20 will be attacked. And in fact, when that didn't happen, they -- the

21 attacks took place. The evidence was, I believe, that there was a 12.00

22 noon deadline for the surrender of weapons in Kozarac. And I think in the

23 military's own documents it indicates that at about 12.10 or 12.20 - I'm

24 not sure of the exact time - the attack began.

25 I think one example of the cooperation and the interplay, the

Page 15034

1 blurring of lines between civilian and military in the time of conflict,

2 was the document S432. That was the document, Your Honours will recall, a

3 fairly recent document, which indicates in the document that on the 3rd of

4 May the Crisis Staff -- there was an order for uniforms for key political

5 leaders, including Dr. Stakic. And we know that when these uniforms

6 arrived, the members of the Crisis Staff and including Dr. Stakic would

7 wear those uniforms. The testimony of many of the witnesses is that this

8 was mandatory, I think they said, in June. But we have a picture from

9 August when the journalist visited. And you'll recall that you saw the

10 videotape of the visit on the 5th of August of the foreign journalist to

11 Prijedor. And we can show again to remind you, hopefully in a moment,

12 that photograph of Dr. Stakic wearing a uniform, which is now -- should be

13 on your screens. We see him leaning forward in a camouflage uniform with

14 a gun on his right hip.

15 And remember I asked Colonel -- General Wilmot, the Defence

16 expert, how do you distinguish military and civilian? And he answered,

17 "The uniform is the first thing." And here we see that the Crisis Staff

18 was in uniform because in -- in accordance with that doctrine of All

19 People's Defence, the Crisis Staff was part of that military effort, was a

20 key coordinator, supported the military politically and logistically, and

21 in the planning of operations. This was not a case where the 43rd Brigade

22 was fighting in another country or in a front hundreds of kilometres away.

23 In this case, the 43rd Brigade was attacking Prijedor. The people that

24 were the subjects of the attack were the citizens of Prijedor that

25 Dr. Stakic was purporting to represent. So clearly he was informed, and

Page 15035

1 the evidence shows he cooperated in those military -- in that military

2 campaign.

3 I'm not going to go through all the documents, because Your

4 Honours are aware of them, but we know from the evidence and the documents

5 how key the logistics support was of the Crisis Staff and the municipal

6 assembly for both the military and the police. At this time we know that

7 fuel was precious. One of the Defence witnesses said it was more precious

8 than gold. There was an international blockade, trade blockade, against

9 Yugoslavia. The fuel that was reaching Yugoslavia was smuggled in. And

10 the Crisis Staff controlled the distribution of that fuel, made sure that

11 places like the army, that the police and people like the camps at Omarska

12 received the fuel they needed for military operations, fuel that was used

13 to transport prisoners to camps, between camps, fuel that was used and

14 buses from Autotransport Prijedor to not just take people to the camps but

15 to transport tens of thousands out of Prijedor, deported and forcibly

16 transferred across international frontiers and the front lines to areas

17 controlled by the government and Sarajevo.

18 We have decisions showing that the Crisis Staff and municipal

19 assembly assisted with the pay for soldiers, for reserve police. There

20 are decisions regarding the use -- the confiscation and use of illegally

21 acquired material. And if Your Honours recall the decision -- or excuse

22 me, the document S433 regarding the logistics based at Cirkin Polje, it

23 was recently discussed with Major Kuruzovic. We saw that that document

24 which was entitled "Report on mobilisation of vehicles," we saw that in

25 that document - it's on page 5 - it indicates, "We have also provided the

Page 15036

1 weapons and ammunition for sector staffs and secured about 100.000 meals

2 to members of the police and Serbian army TO units." That document shows

3 food for the guards going to the checkpoints, food for the guards going to

4 the camps, logistics support for those that were actually perpetrating the

5 crimes that we heard about in this case.

6 It's never been our position that Dr. Stakic is in the formal

7 chain of command of the army, but we see in the evidence that the lines of

8 authority were blurred and there was great influence of the Crisis Staff

9 and civilian authorities over the army. I'm not going to repeat now what

10 you can read in our brief but even in our 98 bis response on pages 18 and

11 19 we list 18 decisions directed to the army, decisions such as replacing

12 the logistics commander, the mobilisation commander, confiscating

13 illegally acquired material, continuing the blockade of the town, setting

14 up the intervention, the joint intervention platoon, and the decision that

15 the brigade would provide security at Trnopolje. All of those decisions

16 were carried out. But I think the most telling example of the cooperation

17 and coordination were the demands of the Crisis Staff for the surrender,

18 the threats to attack, and in fact these threats were carried out by the

19 army according to the schedule that had been announced by the Crisis

20 Staff.

21 There was equal or greater cooperation between the civilian

22 authorities and the police, as one would expect. Again, formally, very,

23 very formally, the chief of the police reports, is appointed by the

24 minister in Pale at the republic level, and that is his superior. But the

25 reality of the situation, even before these events, we know that this is a

Page 15037

1 local politician that's normally appointed to this position. All of the

2 witnesses have said that all of the chiefs of police were appointed on the

3 nomination of the local political leaders, the local assembly. No one

4 could give any example in Bosnia of a local police chief selected by the

5 local leaders who had been rejected by the minister. That was a

6 formality. I imagine maybe this occurred at some time if the person

7 lacked a basic qualification or had a criminal record. It's possible.

8 But the practice was this person was nominated by the local politicians

9 and it was accepted by the minister. Mr. Talundzic was not a professional

10 policeman. He obtained the position because as part of the interparty

11 agreement, the winning party, the SDA, was entitled to nominate someone,

12 and they nominated Mr. Talundzic.

13 Mr. Drljaca, similarly, was not a professional policeman. And

14 I'll come to him in a moment.

15 We know that there was a direct phone, one of the witnesses for

16 the Defence told us, between the office of the president of the municipal

17 assembly and the chief of police, the chief of the SUP. And again, we

18 have many, many examples of decisions by the civilian authorities, the

19 Crisis Staff in particular, and the municipal assembly to the police that

20 were carried out. We even have a report from Mr. Drljaca to show -- that

21 shows so strongly how he subordinated himself to the civilian authorities

22 and the Crisis Staff. We have his report sent to Mr. Baltic reporting on

23 the implementation of decisions by the police, the SJB, on the decisions

24 of the Crisis Staff and the executive board how those decisions had been

25 implemented by the police according to those instructions. The Crisis

Page 15038

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Page 15039

1 Staff, for example, established a curfew. The police enforced the curfew.

2 One of the Defence witnesses - I think it was Mr. Prastalo, the person who

3 was managing Hydrofleks company, came and started - I remember he was

4 saying the civilian authorities had no authority over the police at all.

5 They could not tell the police to do anything. But in his own testimony

6 he told us that his company had been seized following a decision of the

7 civilian authorities that the property had been abandoned. Apparently the

8 owner was a Croat, so the civilian authorities decided to seize it, and

9 the police showed up and implemented that decision.

10 Throughout Prijedor we have many, many examples. It was clear

11 that the decisions of the Crisis Staff were not worthless pieces of paper.

12 These decisions were enforced by the police. And when they were directed

13 to the army, they were enforced by the army.

14 The Defence has raised many times the question of the --

15 Mr. Drljaca. They talked about Mr. Drljaca's personality. The evidence

16 that we have received in this case makes it absolutely clear that Simo

17 Drljaca was a killer, he was a ruthless killer and a thug. Everyone knew

18 that in Prijedor. Certainly the president of the municipal assembly and

19 the Crisis Staff knew that. It's clear Simo Drljaca was a killer and a

20 thug, but he was Dr. Stakic's thug. They worked together. They

21 complemented each other. They shared the same goals, and each played

22 their own role in coordination in that genocidal campaign that took place

23 in Prijedor.

24 We have the decisions of the election of Simo Drljaca on the 16th

25 of April. That didn't come from the Interior Ministry. It came from the

Page 15040

1 local SDS party or the assembly controlled by the SDS party. They had

2 admitted a few other Serb deputies from other parties, but it was an SDS

3 assembly. Simo Drljaca needed Dr. Stakic. He wasn't a professional. He

4 wasn't elected. He was a political appointee. And when Dr. Stakic lost

5 power, not surprisingly Simo Drljaca lost power. When Dr. Stakic came

6 back to power in 1996, Simo Drljaca came back to power.

7 We've seen a lot of interviews with Dr. Stakic to foreigners and

8 the local press in Kozarski Vjesnik and on television. We've heard people

9 who were present in meetings with him. We've never heard one word that

10 Dr. Stakic criticised the work of Simo Drljaca. Dr. Stakic did nothing to

11 remove Drljaca or to stop him from the ruthless killing that he was

12 taking -- carrying out. And the only logical inference from that is that

13 was what Dr. Stakic wanted.

14 In the interview in January 1993, I believe, with Monica Gras from

15 German television. I'd like to play a short excerpt of that. And I'd ask

16 you to focus on the brief comment that Dr. Stakic makes about the chief of

17 the SUP. Recall this is after the discovery of the camps. This is after

18 thousands have been killed. This at the end -- after the indictment

19 period, following the room 3 massacre, following the Vlasic massacre.

20 Listen to how Dr. Stakic describes the work of Simo Drljaca.

21 [Videotape played]

22 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] People are refugees now in camps, in

23 Germany mostly. If they wished to return, could they now return?

24 In the whole of this war, even if the war is not over yet, it was

25 all about jihad, because the aim of the war was to establish a Muslim

Page 15041

1 state in Europe and the Balkans is part of Europe in geographical terms.

2 Now, how the whole thing will turn out, we'll see. Islam, that is, jihad,

3 won because many Muslims moved out of these areas and went to Germany.

4 Actually, they went all over Europe. Now, why am I saying this? Because

5 all the Muslims from this area were in a position to choose whether they

6 would go to Zenica, Sarajevo, Travnik, or Western Europe, and they opted

7 for Western Europe. They didn't want to leave. They didn't want to even

8 hear about Zenica, Travnik, or Croatia. They didn't even want to go to

9 Croatia because they knew that they were not welcome there. They wanted

10 to go to Western Europe for economic reasons and because their jihad tells

11 them to do so. Let me now return to your question. Regardless of all of

12 this, here in Prijedor what has been done is exactly what the chief of SUP

13 told you. In such a pedantic manner that even some countries in peacetime

14 would be envious of that. About 50 experts worked on this, crime

15 inspectors, around the clock, and we have accumulated so much material so

16 that all those who have blood on their hands will never be able to return.

17 Those others, once the war is over, will be able to return.

18 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, most of those would not be able to

19 return because thousands were killed by Simo Drljaca, the chief of the

20 SUP, in the very neat way that Dr. Stakic describes.

21 I think I'd also just like to briefly comment upon the general

22 attitude shown in this brief -- these brief comments by Dr. Stakic towards

23 Islam, comments very -- that remind me very much of the testimony of the

24 Defence expert witness, the paranoia and intolerance towards the religion

25 of Islam that's displayed by Dr. Stakic in this brief interview.

Page 15042

1 In this interview he particularly -- it's interesting he's

2 speaking to a German reporter and trying to provoke, I would say, the

3 prejudice that these -- that the Muslims were bringing jihad to Germany by

4 going there. If Dr. Stakic spoke like that to sophisticated reporters

5 from Germany, imagine how he spoke to Serbs from Prijedor. We know how he

6 spoke to Serbs from Prijedor. He appealed to paranoia. He made

7 historical references to the genocide that did occur, the horrible

8 killings that occurred in World War II, and he portrayed those who were of

9 the Muslim belief. In fact, in Bosnia many of the Muslims hardly

10 practiced their religion. Many of the Bosniaks hardly practiced their

11 religion. But Dr. Stakic portrayed all of them as religious fanatics,

12 zealots, intent on jihad, and a threat to their Serbian neighbours.

13 Stakic spent a lot of time with Drljaca. Drljaca was a member of

14 the Crisis Staff. He was a member of the National Defence Council.

15 Witnesses have talked about seeing them together, seeing Drljaca in

16 Stakic's office, seeing them at restaurants. They may not have been close

17 friends, but they clearly were close associates and worked closely

18 together in this campaign, the criminal campaign that took place in

19 Prijedor.

20 Your Honour, I want to briefly now review these events somewhat

21 chronologically, the crimes, the planning that took place, and then the

22 crimes that were carried out.

23 We know that the plan to take over municipalities, to make them

24 Serbian municipalities, came -- started in 1991. There is the very famous

25 document, the Variant A and B document from the 19th of December, 1991,

Page 15043

1 and there was testimony about that being discussed in the Prijedor local

2 SDS. Mr. Miskovic reported on it. We know that the goal was, as Dr.

3 Karadzic said at that 12th of May assembly, the separation of national

4 communities. From the document S430, which was the interview about -- I

5 believe entitled "Memories of April's events," that we discussed with Mr.

6 Kuruzovic. Mr. Kuruzovic is interviewed and, I forget, but someone is

7 interviewed before him. I forget the individual. But they talk about how

8 separate Serbian police stations were established back in November of 1991

9 by Mr. Jankovic. We know that the takeover itself was planned in detail

10 in coordination between the police and the army. There's not a need, I

11 think, to play it again, but we have the interviews from S91 on the radio

12 with Simo Miskovic with Slobodan Kuruzovic, with Dr. Kovacevic, talking

13 about the careful planning that went into that takeover.

14 Mr. Kuruzovic -- Mr. Kuruzovic, in S430, the article about the

15 memories of April's events, told us that the timing was moved up. It was

16 originally planned for the 1st of May, and then because of this telegram

17 Dr. Stakic called a meeting at the barracks and the decision was made to

18 move it up, to do the takeover between the 29th and 30th, and in fact in

19 the early morning of the 30th the town was taken over.

20 Immediately upon the success of that takeover, it was reported to

21 Mr. Kupresanin, president of the ARK assembly.

22 Your Honour, the takeover itself is interesting in how it was

23 carried out. The takeover clearly, the 30th of April, was just the first

24 step of the plan because the town was taken over, an area without a large,

25 large Muslim -- certainly there was not a Muslim majority there. Clearly

Page 15044

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Page 15045

1 those planning it wanted to take over the key institutions. And what were

2 they? The police and the municipal assembly. The first person mentioned

3 by the witnesses as being denied entry is Mohammed Cehajic. According to

4 the Defence, he held a position of very little power. But clearly that

5 wasn't true. Clearly those doing the takeover didn't see that. He was

6 the first person, the president of the municipal assembly, that they

7 denied entry to. Because of the overwhelming force that was in the hands

8 of those doing the takeover, there was no resistance, and Prijedor was

9 occupied, the town, but the areas that were predominantly Muslim, Bosniak,

10 and Croat remained in the hands of the local leaders of those communities.

11 People who resisted the takeover, the disposal of the elected multi-ethnic

12 assembly by the authorities representing a single party. And life began

13 to change immediately once the takeover happened.

14 Witness P testified on page 3322 of the transcript. He was asked:

15 "What happened? How did life change for you and for others in the

16 Kozarac area, your neighbours, after the takeover on the 30th of April?"

17 And he answered, "Well, we became prisoners. It became a ghetto

18 in a territory, the telephone lines were cut off from the rest of the

19 world. Physically, we were also cut off because all the roads were

20 blocked. So we felt this insecurity. We felt that we were in some kind

21 of a prison."

22 People from the town talk about dismissals, first of the

23 directors -- first of the political leaders, then shortly after, the

24 directors, people like the director of the SDK, in the hospital,

25 dismissals of doctors at a time when conflict was -- medical care was

Page 15046

1 needed at that time as much or more than any other. But doctors were

2 being dismissed. Although there wasn't an attack in Prijedor town like

3 there was in Kozarac or Stari Grad, in the main town, in areas like the

4 Brdo, Brisevo, Ljubija, life in Prijedor town itself became what Witness Z

5 described on page 7556, "Prijedor itself was like a camp." Other

6 witnesses, doctors, Beglerbegovic, the first witness I talked about who I

7 won't name, talked about that period of time of waiting, waiting for what

8 they sensed, what they knew would be the next act against them. Both of

9 them I eventually arrested; neither of them political; neither of them

10 involved in any politics, certainly not in any military events, but

11 leading people arrested and taken to camps, as were judges, lawyers,

12 leading professionals, many of them women not involved in politics, some

13 of them even married to Serbs, taken to camps like Omarska, once it was

14 established.

15 Your Honour, once the takeover happened and these ghettos were

16 created or these areas that were outside of control were created, it was

17 clear that the plan was never to live like that, for the Serbs to simply

18 allow the Muslims to sit in Kozarac with their own community, in places

19 like Ljubija and the Brdo. Immediately decisions, preparations for

20 conflict, began. And as in most genocides, the first thing you do is ask

21 the victims to please disarm on the order of the authorities, disarm. You

22 know, you're a threat to us if we see you have weapons. So we have

23 decisions from the ARK Crisis Staff, I believe, on the 4th of May

24 instructing the municipalities to order the disarmament of what they call

25 paramilitaries. At the same time we know that the Serbs had been arming,

Page 15047

1 as Dr. Stakic said in one of his interview, arming their own citizens in

2 villages.

3 In the National Defence Council meeting of the 5th of May, point

4 7 - I think if we can have that on the ELMO -- on the computer screen,

5 S28 - you will see that point 7 of that meeting, just a few days after the

6 takeover, dealt with paramilitaries, individuals possessing weapons in

7 order to surrender them to the police.

8 On S67, there is an order -- this is the order from the ARK that

9 the "Presidents of the National Defence Councils are to report." And

10 again the president in Prijedor was Dr. Stakic -- "to the War Staff of the

11 ARK about actions to disarm paramilitaries."

12 On the 15th of May we have S60, another meeting of the National

13 Defence Council, again in the presence of the military and police, and

14 point 4 again deals with the disarmament of paramilitary formations.

15 Preparations had begun right after the takeover.

16 S345 is a report from the 1st Krajina Corps military. And we see

17 in the highlighted paragraph, if that can be blown up, that on the 2nd and

18 3rd of May, 105-millimetre Howitzer battery and one Anti-Armour Artillery

19 Battery were relocated from the front in Croatia where there was a

20 cease-fire but no peace to the Prijedor area in order to strengthen the

21 units in the wider Prijedor-Ljubija-Kozarac area. The units have taken up

22 their positions." These are the units that were used to attack the

23 civilian populations of Hambarine and Kozarac just a few weeks later.

24 The Defence would like to rewrite the history to say that the

25 conflicts in Prijedor began with the incident in Hambarine. This was the

Page 15048

1 excuse used by the authorities and promoted by people like Dr. Stakic for

2 the deaths of hundreds and thousands. If you recall the Hambarine

3 incident, first let me say that I don't know exactly what happened in that

4 incident. Clearly there was high tension, a group of Serb soldiers passed

5 along, there was a -- shooting, one Muslim was wounded, two Serbs were

6 killed, the other -- other occupants of the car were wounded, slightly

7 wounded. The closest eyewitness that we have, who was not present during

8 the actual shooting, was Dr. Mujadzic. He talked about treating the

9 wounded, including the Muslim who had a shot in the hip, in the back,

10 consistent, I would say, with someone turning when they saw a gun being

11 pointed or when fire started opening, trying to run. But I do not say

12 that I know what happened, and I would have to say that if -- in our

13 pre-trial brief, if we say that this was a pre-planned provocation, that's

14 overstated from the evidence. But what's clear is the incident was used

15 by the authorities as an excuse for actions that far exceeded anything

16 that could have been justified by what did occur. Remember, even one of

17 the Defence witnesses who testified had passed through that checkpoint

18 that morning, spoken himself to Aziz Aliskovic, had a uniform on and a gun

19 in the car and was allowed to pass by. What did those four or six

20 soldiers in the car do to provoke the shooting? Did they point their

21 guns? Did they first shoot their gun actually at the Muslims first? I

22 don't know. As Dr. Mujadzic said, the situation called for an

23 investigation. What it certainly didn't call for is an attack upon the

24 entire Hambarine region against people who had nothing to do with what

25 happened at that checkpoint.

Page 15049

1 According to Witness DD, when he passed by there were two or three

2 people manning that checkpoint.

3 The Crisis Staff used that incident. And if we look at S389-1,

4 the article from Kozarski Vjesnik, this is an article signed in the name

5 of the Crisis Staff, dated the 23rd of May. And the Crisis Staff wrote,

6 "The Crisis Staff hereby wishes to warn that there will be no cautionary

7 operations in the future, but that the territories where perpetrators of

8 such crimes and members of the paramilitary formations are hiding will be

9 targeted directly."

10 They then ordered the surrender of Aziz Aliskovic and give a

11 deadline of noon on Saturday, the 23rd of May. In fact, we know, I think

12 from the witnesses, that it was about 15 or 30 minutes later that

13 artillery, tank fire was opened from several directions on Hambarine.

14 The Crisis Staff went on to say, "This crime has exhausted all

15 deadlines and promises and the Crisis Staff no longer can, nor is it

16 willing to, guarantee the security of the population of the

17 above-mentioned villages."

18 Your Honour, you don't target a population because a crime may

19 have occurred in an area. You don't target everyone who happens to live

20 in the same town.

21 The Defence witness who testified, Witness DD -- well, let me

22 first point out a few other documents. Excuse me. S152, on page 2, was

23 the report of Mr. Drljaca to the CSB in Banja Luka. And he talked about

24 the events in Prijedor and he said, "Since the residents of the village of

25 Hambarine did not abide by the decision of the Ministry of People's

Page 15050

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Page 15051

1 Defence of the Serbian Republic --" and that would be in Prijedor at that

2 time, Mr. Budimir's ministry -- "and did not surrender their weapons,

3 refused to cooperate with the legal authorities regarding the attack

4 against the soldiers and rejected the demand set by the army, the Crisis

5 Staff of Prijedor Municipality decided to intervene militarily in the

6 village."

7 And then if we go to S240. Okay. Yes, it's now on the screen,

8 S240. The transcript is 1-A, on page 1, line 26. In that -- that's that

9 television broadcast that -- it's one of the tapes that Mr. Sivac brought.

10 And in that broadcast of the Prijedor Television, it said "The Crisis

11 Staff of Prijedor Municipality requested the people from Hambarine to

12 surrender, former policeman Aziz Aliskovic and his group, who carried out

13 the attack on soldiers. The twelve o'clock deadline was not observed.

14 Half an hour after the deadline expired, the Army of the Serbian Republic

15 of Bosnia and Herzegovina launched an artillery attack at Hambarine and

16 cleaned up the area."

17 How did they clean up the area? Witness DD was a Defence witness,

18 and he told us about how this incident was provoked at the checkpoint by

19 the Bosniaks, by the Muslims. And then he talked about driving through a

20 day or a few days later. On page 9558 he's asked what he saw, and he

21 said, "Well, first of all, houses were destroyed, as I said yesterday.

22 From about the midpoint in the Prijedor field onto the highest peak in

23 Hambarine, mostly to the left and right of the road, as I said yesterday,

24 about between 40 and 50 houses. After several days, I learned that those

25 houses had been shelled by a tank." So that was just from one person

Page 15052

1 driving down that main road, not going off the road. He could see the

2 results of that shelling; 40 or 50 houses from the road visible destroyed,

3 no evidence that these people, these families, had anything to do with

4 what happened at that incident in Hambarine checkpoint. The military's

5 own report - it's even footnoted in General Wilmot's report - indicates

6 that the shelling of Hambarine went on for six or seven hours and

7 witnesses, such as Dr. Mujadzic, talked about the -- how shells were

8 coming indiscriminately at civilian homes, civilian areas. It wasn't a

9 military -- it wasn't an attack on any military operation -- any military

10 target. It was an attack on the people the Crisis Staff had threatened,

11 the people of Hambarine, the Bosniak population of that area.

12 Then in a further attempt to create their own history, Dr. Stakic

13 and his authorities would like to say that Kozarac was a result of a Serb

14 soldier being shot on a convoy, the ambush of a convoy. Stepping back and

15 looking at this in context, we see how ridiculous that was. This shelling

16 of Hambarine happened on the 23rd of May. Negotiations had been taking

17 place. Mr. Kuruzovic was one of those who negotiated. You also heard

18 from Mr. Sejmenovic who was present during those negotiations. The

19 Serbian authorities were demanding that the people of Kozarac surrender to

20 the authority that is had illegally taken power, to the SDS, to the

21 Serbian army that had been created. It was a horrible situation for those

22 people. There was debate among them. Obviously they were out gunned,

23 they were outmanned. But at least a significant section of that

24 population of Kozarac did not want to surrender, and they maintained their

25 positions, their defensive positions, their barricades and dug trenches to

Page 15053

1 defend themselves, arm themselves with what little weapons they had and

2 the very, very slight ammunition they had. We saw that in some of the

3 reports, the 1 KK reports, ammunition that one of the policemen had said

4 at one of these meetings, "We can fire for about five minutes. We've got

5 enough ammunition to last for about five minutes."

6 I don't doubt that a Serb soldier was killed on the approach to

7 Jakupovici, but that was not a convoy that was ambushed. It was an

8 attack. Witness P talked about it, seeing it, seeing the tanks with

9 infantry spread out in what he called "a classical military attack."

10 Samir Poljak lived very close to that checkpoint, and his cousin was at

11 the checkpoint. His family fled, but at one point before his capture, he

12 saw his cousin -- or perhaps it was after his capture - I'm not sure - he

13 saw his cousin and his cousin told him about the attack, how the tanks

14 fired, they returned fire. We know that the resistors were able to damage

15 two tanks. According to the Serb military reports, the 1 KK reports,

16 you'll see that two tank treads were damaged and repaired. Whether that

17 was done with a Zolja, a hand-held rocket, whether that was done just by

18 hitting a trench or by a tree log, it's unclear. It's undoubtable there

19 was some resistance. There's no dispute about that. This case -- it's

20 never been our position that there was not an armed conflict in Bosnian

21 Prijedor. It's an element of our offences. There was an armed conflict.

22 People resisted. And on the 30th of May, one group of people, led by

23 Slavko Ecimovic even tried to counterattack with 80 to 100 men, according

24 to the 1 KK report. There was an armed conflict. That's part of the

25 elements of our offence.

Page 15054

1 Samir Poljak's cousin could not testify because he was taken to

2 the Omarska camp and killed, but he told Samir Poljak that the Serbs

3 opened fire first. And we know that after that, when the tanks approached

4 Jakupovici, almost immediately artillery fire began on the whole area of

5 Kozarac, from several directions, from Mount Kozara, from other areas of

6 Serb villages that surrounded Kozarac, grenades, tank fire, artillery

7 fire, apparently Howitzers were used, targeting the entire area. Shells

8 were falling. I recall -- I'm not going to read it again. I think I read

9 it recently. One of the witnesses -- Mr. Poljak -- Samir Poljak talked

10 about the shells falling everywhere. They seemed to be targeting

11 everyone. People in the fields, houses. Every place. Shells were coming

12 from all directions targeting everyone. There were no military targets

13 there. It was just indiscriminate shelling of the civilian population.

14 Dr. Merdzanic was present in the clinic when this shelling took

15 place. And he was asked about the events that he witnessed, and his

16 attempt to contact the Serbian authorities to evacuate some of the

17 wounded, and I'd like to remind you of his testimony and the response that

18 he received. If we could play that video, which is S -- it's his

19 testimony, the testimony of Dr. Merdzanic.

20 [Videotape played]

21 MS. KORNER:

22 Q. Did you treat any children who were injured as a result

23 of the attack?

24 A. We did have children who were injured. Some children

25 were wounded during the attack, but we admitted them only the

Page 15055

1 next day, after the clinic had been relocated.

2 Q. And what about women?

3 A. We had women too, wounded women, but also at the other

4 location, on the following day, while we were still there at

5 the clinic we had another civilian who had been brought in

6 dead.

7 Q. Now, you say that you went to another location on the

8 following day. How did you achieve that?

9 A. We noticed and were told by the people who had managed to

10 reach us, that it was actually very difficult to get to the

11 clinic. We heard that the majority of the civilian population

12 was afraid and that most of them had left Kozarac and gone to

13 the woods in panic, and this is why we tried to leave that

14 area ourselves. We went to -- towards the Mount Kozara.

15 Q. And where did you establish your second clinic, as it

16 were, the second location of a clinic?

17 A. The second location of the clinic was at the outskirts of

18 Kozarac town, on the left side of the main road. It was

19 sheltered by a small wood and a hill. It was housed in a

20 building which was not finished. It was located near a creek.

21 The building itself did not have any doors or windows, but it

22 was naturally protected so that from the direction of Prijedor

23 and from the Kozara Mountain there could be no shells that

24 would eventually hit this building.

25 Q. All right. And did you yourself try and speak to the

Page 15056

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Page 15057

1 authorities in respect of the wounded?

2 A. At the time, we had two children at the clinic who were

3 dying. We were practically unable to help them, and I was

4 very upset by the fact. We had other wounded people, of

5 course, but -- well, at any rate, we were located on the

6 ground floor. On the first floor, there was a police vehicle

7 and several police officers there. They were in contact with

8 the military via radio communication, and I asked whether I

9 could try and negotiate the passage of the wounded, and this

10 is what they enabled me to do.

11 Q. The police officers, were they Muslim police officers?

12 A. Yes, as far as I know.

13 Q. Okay. You were allowed -- or you tried to negotiate the

14 passage of the wounded. Do you know who you spoke to?

15 A. I don't know who was contacted for that purpose in

16 particular, but the same radio station, the same frequency,

17 was used for that purpose, the same as the one which was used

18 for the purposes of negotiating the surrender of Prijedor and

19 the departure of the population from Kozarac. I think that

20 the contact was -- had been established with the military

21 command that was actually attacking Kozarac.

22 Q. What did you -- the person to whom you spoke, what did

23 you say to him that you wanted to do or wanted to happen?

24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The surrender of

25 Kozarac, page 25, line 2.

Page 15058

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I introduced myself, and I told

2 them that we had two children with us. There was a little

3 girl there whose lower legs, both of them, were -- were

4 completely shattered. She was -- she was dying. And then we

5 had another child.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until 11.20.

7 MS. KORNER:

8 Q. Doctor, I realise this is distressing for you to recall

9 these events. Perhaps we can just deal with this fairly

10 quickly. Were you given permission to take these injured

11 children out of Kozarac?

12 A. No, I wasn't. I couldn't evacuate the children or the

13 other wounded who were there. The reply we received was not

14 very specific. The only thing they told us is, "Let all of

15 you balija," derogatory for Muslims, "die there. We'll kill

16 you all anyway." So that's what the conversation was about.

17 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, now I'd like to play a video of

18 Dr. Stakic talking about the same events, his report from the Prijedor

19 Television about the attack on Kozarac. And that would be S240.

20 [Videotape played]

21 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]

22 Reporter: The information regarding the fighting in Hambarine,

23 Kozarac, Kozarusa and Kamicani is accessible only through the

24 announcements of the Crisis Staff and the Secretariat for Informing, which

25 are being broadcast on hourly basis on the local radio station. This way

Page 15059

1 the public has been informed that a considerable number of hirelings from

2 the other parts of country, who had already fought in HOS and ZNG have

3 been fighting on the side of Muslim extremists, as well as a number of

4 former officers and non-commissioned officers of the former Yugoslav

5 People's Army who have had the most responsible commanding positions and

6 duties in those battles. The announcements also informed the public that

7 the members of the Green Berets have used all means to force local

8 population into the fight until extinction using the innocent local

9 population, women and children as human shield. The army, however,

10 managed to pull part of population out of the encirclement and house them,

11 and also to put out of the fire, which Muslim extremists had set around

12 their own camp in the Kotlovaca mountain lodge. Once the resistance of

13 the Muslim paramilitaries in Kozarac was quelled, many things became

14 evident and many assumptions came true regarding the long and fateful

15 preparations for the war of extermination, into which Alija Izetbegovic

16 first called up his own people encouraged by the support of the numerous

17 European and world administrators for churning out states. This way

18 several large underground shelters and depots were discovered, equipped

19 with radio stations and supplied with huge provisions of food and

20 beverages, in addition to more than a ton of medications sufficient for

21 one year of warfare have not been on the market for several years. This

22 Crisis Staff has also stated that all the information and documentation

23 found shall be timely announced. With reference to the number of

24 casualties, on both sides they have not been presented yet but it is

25 certain that there were many on both sides.

Page 15060

1 Stakic: Well, I can tell you and the viewers that the whole

2 territory of Prijedor municipality is under our control, which I can

3 confirm following the liberation of Kozarac. The town, Serbian

4 settlements, and smaller enclaves with Muslim population have been under

5 our control since the takeover of power on the 30 April, and now, after

6 the fall of Kozarac, the entire municipality is under our control. In

7 Kozarac itself, the operation of "cleaning," as the military call it, is

8 still ongoing because those who have now stayed behind are the most

9 extreme ones and the professionals.

10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I believe when we first played this

11 tape we talked about the word used by Dr. Stakic as the word -- the

12 "ciscenje," as the military call it, the cleansing. We saw on that tape

13 the obvious attack upon the civilians of Kozarac. There were houses

14 burning throughout that videotape. We heard from witnesses about what

15 this cleansing operation amounted to. Most of the houses, as you can see,

16 a lot of them are spread out, were not hit directly by artillery fire but

17 were burned, were arsoned after the military moved in. The population

18 wasn't used as human shields by -- as stated in that report but as those

19 who were part of that population testified, they were ordered to surrender

20 and the Serbian authorities divided them, many, especially women and

21 children, were taken to the Trnopolje camp, some through Prijedor, at the

22 sports hall I think they were briefly detained. Men were separated, taken

23 to Keraterm and Omarska.

24 It's also interesting on that videotape to see again the close

25 coordination between the Crisis Staff, Dr. Stakic, and the military

Page 15061

1 operation. He says, "We'd taken power in Prijedor town on the 30th. Now

2 we control the whole municipality." The operation was coordinated, the

3 media announcements, the justification was given by the political

4 leadership, by Dr. Stakic. This political aspect is important because the

5 people of Prijedor, the Serbs of Prijedor, were not any different from

6 people from other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, other parts of Europe.

7 It's never been the Prosecution case that there was a genocidal intent by

8 the average Serb of Prijedor. They had to be deceived. They were victims

9 of Dr. Stakic and the political campaign, the media campaign, portraying

10 themselves as being in danger themselves of a genocide. This propaganda

11 campaign, this political leadership, misleading of the Serbian people,

12 paid -- played a key role in the crimes that were committed.

13 I'd like to briefly mention that the crimes, the attacks on areas

14 did not stop with Kozarac. There's also an operation, one of the

15 bigger -- there's several other operations, but one of the biggest was the

16 cleansing of the Brdo region in the -- late July. We heard about that,

17 and we saw a newspaper headline about one Serb soldier, again the same

18 type of excuse was used. There's a newspaper headline "One Serb soldier

19 killed. Army plans ciscenje." And about a Serb soldier being killed in

20 the Brdo region, somewhere not too far from Hambarine.

21 Witness DD for the Defence talked about that, his recollection.

22 He heard two Serb soldiers, I believe he said, were invited in for coffee

23 somewhere and were killed. He didn't know by who, but that's what he had

24 heard. And in response, the army did a ciscenje, a cleansing of Brdo.

25 Brdo was about seven villages. I don't remember all the names but places

Page 15062

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Page 15063

1 like Hambarine, Rizvanovici, Rakovcani, Carakovo, all those places were

2 cleansed. Witness DD was -- told us he was asked to participate to a

3 limited extent to guard one of the buses. He claimed nothing bad happened

4 on his bus, but he said he was on the second-to-last bus from that area

5 when the cleansing of the Brdo region.

6 Several of our witnesses - and I do not recall the names now -

7 talked about all of the killings that happened during that cleansing

8 operation, bodies that were in many, many locations, and how all the men

9 were taken away. Witness DD corroborated that. He was trying to excuse

10 it because of these Serb soldiers who got shot having tea or coffee, but

11 he said he was on the second-to-last bus. They went to Omarska, Omarska

12 was full, and then they were told to go to Trnopolje. And Your Honour

13 Judge Schomburg asked him, "How do you know you were the second-to-last

14 bus? How can you know that?" And he answered, "Because there was nobody

15 left, because everybody was taken from Brdo. We were the last two buses.

16 Every other man had been taken away from those seven villages."

17 The testimony of the Prosecution witnesses, such as Mr. Sivac,

18 corroborates that, that in late July we know that about 20 buses, 12 or 20

19 buses, came to Omarska. We know from the witnesses who were at Keraterm

20 about these people from Brdo region in late July arriving at Keraterm.

21 Witness B was at least one of those. I recall talking about it. And he

22 talked about the particularly brutal treatment that these young men --

23 generally young men but men from Brdo received, how they were all packed

24 into room 3, how they were taken out that day, forced to disrobe and

25 engage in some kind of sexual humiliation, pretend that they were having

Page 15064

1 sex with each other, put back in room 3. We know that a machine-gun was

2 set up that day outside of room 3, and we know that throughout the night

3 for hours machine-guns were fired, automatic weapons were fired into that

4 room, killing an unknown number but well over 100, well over 100 of those

5 men from Brdo, massacred in room 3, in Keraterm in front of the guards,

6 the police guards from Keraterm, by a military unit, loud enough, Keraterm

7 being right in the town, on the edge of the town, loud enough for

8 thousands of residents of Prijedor to hear, to know, for word to get out

9 that there had been a massacre in Keraterm that night. Even Mr. Travar

10 who lived nearby talked about hearing the fire for hours.

11 Again, the political leadership tried to mislead and justify

12 crimes like that by pointing to a crime, the shooting of a Serb. It's

13 never been our position that no crimes were committed by other sides.

14 Throughout this war in other regions it's clear - it's the position of the

15 Office of the Prosecutor - crimes were committed by all sides. Even in

16 Prijedor we do not say that no crime was committed against a Serb. That

17 would not be true. But it's not only a principle of international law tu

18 quoque, forgive my pronunciation, but it's a fundamental principle of

19 humanity. You can't kill innocent people in revenge or in response to an

20 act that they had nothing to do with. And that's what was happening in

21 Prijedor.

22 And clearly, given the minor nature of the crimes that allegedly

23 justified these attacks, they were simply -- simply a pretext for attacks

24 that were long planned. The plan was to change forever the demographics

25 of Prijedor, and that's seen in the scale of the crimes, in who was

Page 15065

1 targeted in the crimes, in the destruction of homes so that there would be

2 no place for people to go back to, religious institutions.

3 The -- one of the key aspects of this genocidal plan, of course,

4 were the camps that were set up. And I think Your Honours in one of the

5 questions you asked was -- I forget the exact question -- in the questions

6 you've submitted to us to be addressed in our brief was about whether we

7 equate all of the camps. Obviously the camps were different. They are

8 not all on the same scale. People were not held in the same numbers, for

9 the same duration. And there was a difference between a camp like

10 Trnopolje and Omarska and Keraterm. Trnopolje camp was generally a

11 place -- it was like a place where you herd in cattle before you ship them

12 off, because that's in fact how many of them were shipped off, in cattle

13 cars. It was located a few hundred yards from a train station. People

14 were brought there for the purpose of making sure that they left Prijedor

15 and left Prijedor for good. They had to sign over their property. They

16 left with what they could carry. And most of them gladly left because

17 they were facing the possibility of death if they stayed. I don't call

18 that a voluntary departure. They left because they were threatened. They

19 had nothing left in Prijedor. Many of them, their homes had already been

20 burned, many of them their jobs had been taken; all of them were under

21 terror because of the campaign of killings that was going on in Prijedor,

22 and they left assisted by the Crisis Staff, the one assistance the Crisis

23 Staff and Dr. Stakic gave was to make sure to organise the buses, the

24 trains, the trucks and cattle cars that were used to take people out of

25 Prijedor. But Trnopolje itself was not a nice place. And Your Honours

Page 15066

1 have heard evidence of that.

2 I would like to just briefly, though, remind -- show you

3 photographs that Dr. Merdzanic had given to the foreign journalists on

4 August the 5th. And you see this young man, one of the men he treated in

5 the clinic in Trnopolje. Trnopolje -- and now I'm talking about, of the

6 camps before the arrival of the foreign journalists and before the arrival

7 of the International Red Cross. There was very little food. There was

8 very little hygiene. People dug holes in the ground outside, and I think

9 Mr. McLeod and the foreign journalists -- foreign monitors who visited

10 talked about the extreme risk of disease due to the lack of sanitation.

11 And people, as we see here, were beaten in Trnopolje, people were raped,

12 and people were killed, but not on the scale of Omarska and Keraterm. But

13 this is one of the rooms that were used for interrogations in Trnopolje, a

14 photograph taken by Dr. Merdzanic.

15 The Defence military expert told us that the camps were completely

16 run by the military. The Defence through other witnesses has tried to

17 imply that the camps were completely the responsibility of the police.

18 But, in fact, the evidence is overwhelming that the camps were controlled

19 by the Crisis Staff. They set it up. They administered it through the

20 police, through the help of the army. The army had to provide security at

21 Trnopolje. The army provided the outer ring of security in Omarska. The

22 police were the guards in Keraterm and Omarska. But clearly under the

23 control of the Crisis Staff. And why do I say that? Well, first we have

24 the documents from Mr. Drljaca, where he talks about first his decision

25 setting up the Omarska camp, which I believe is S107. We know that the

Page 15067

1 camp was set up right after Kozarac was cleansed. People started arriving

2 right after that attack. On the 31st of May Mr. Drljaca set out an order

3 talking about how the camp would be administered. And he said the camp

4 was established "in accordance with the decision of the Crisis Staff."

5 Now, the Defence -- we also have a document after the visit of the

6 journalists, where Mr. Drljaca reports to the CSB in Banja Luka and in

7 which he says that Omarska and Keraterm were set up according to the

8 decision of the Crisis Staff. The Defence would argue that Mr. Drljaca

9 was trying to shift blame. But, in fact, if you look at those documents,

10 he clearly says the police were running the camps. In no way do those

11 documents exonerate himself.

12 And the first one I've mentioned, the 31st of May document, about

13 the establishment of the camp was -- he would have no reason to be

14 covering up his own role. This was dated the 31st of May. It wasn't to

15 any superiors. It was about how the camp would be administered. And he

16 said "in accordance with the decision of the Crisis Staff."

17 We also have S151. In that document, we -- it's a video. Excuse

18 me. In that video, the reporter indicates that "Colonel Arsic expressly

19 told the press today that the army had nothing to do with the collection

20 centre of Trnopolje and the investigation centre of Omarska. These are

21 under the sole jurisdiction of the municipal civilian authorities ..."

22 Then we have, we recall, the visit of the foreign journalists to

23 the municipal assembly building on the 5th of August. If you recall, the

24 people at that meeting -- the meeting began with Colonel Arsic and others,

25 but particularly Colonel Arsic trying to encourage the journalists to go

Page 15068

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Page 15069

1 to Manjaca. Why? Well, we heard from some of the witnesses who were

2 transferred from Omarska to Manjaca, that as bad as Manjaca was, where

3 people were kept in horse stables, Manjaca was a hotel compared to

4 Omarska. The military and the people at that meeting, Dr. Stakic was in

5 the centre of the table, Dr. Kovacevic, Drljaca, Arsic, they tried to

6 convince the journalists to go to Manjaca, but the journalists insisted on

7 Omarska. And finally, Mr. Vulliamy testified Colonel Arsic gave up. He

8 said -- told them on the transcript on page 7923, Mr. Vulliamy said --

9 Colonel Arsic said, "If you want to go to Omarska, these are the people

10 you need to talk to." And Mr. Vulliamy gestured to his right and he said,

11 "That's how Mr. Arsic gestured towards Stakic and Kovacevic." And then

12 the conversation was taken over by Kovacevic and Stakic. They're the

13 people that they needed to give permission for the visit to the Omarska

14 camp.

15 Finally, we have not only Mr. Drljaca saying Omarska is run by

16 the -- established and controlled by the Crisis Staff, Mr. Arsic saying

17 it's controlled by the Crisis Staff, we have Dr. Stakic himself saying

18 that the Crisis Staff controlled the camps. Your Honours have seen this

19 video several times. It's S187. But I want to read the words again, and

20 particularly the question that he was asked about the camps.

21 The journalist said, "Thank you. There have been reports in the

22 British press about the centres of Omarska and Trnopolje and places like

23 that. Do the authorities in Prijedor have any control, or have they had

24 control over places like that? So twice you see the journalist use the

25 word "control." It wasn't a question of just setting up the grounds or

Page 15070

1 the canteen. "Control."

2 And Dr. Stakic answered, "These places, such as Omarska, Keraterm,

3 and Trnopolje, were a necessity in a given moment and were formed

4 according to a decision of the civilian authorities in Prijedor."

5 "The reporter: So these three camps, or how are they ...?

6 "Dr. Stakic: Reception centres.

7 "Reporter: ... Reception centres were formed according to the

8 decision of your civilian authorities?

9 "Dr. Stakic: Yes, yes. As I have said, this was a necessity in

10 the given moment."

11 So clearly Dr. Stakic indicates twice when asked about who

12 controlled these camps that these camps were under the control of his

13 civilian authorities.

14 When he goes on to talk about Trnopolje, he says, "Trnopolje was

15 something quite different. Those people had fled from the ravages of war,

16 from the invasion of those extremists, who pushed their own children,

17 women and children, in front of weapons and tried with them to break

18 through, to pull out across Kozara. They are even known to have fired at

19 their own column of refugees in Kozara and so on. And we simply received

20 them down there in Trnopolje in order to supply them with food, for them

21 to get international aid, for transport to be organised for them to places

22 where they wished to go and to protect them against both Muslim extremists

23 and revanchism by members of the other peoples who had lost their closest

24 kinfolk, their dearest, to prevent these revanchist relations and further

25 bloodshed among innocent civilians."

Page 15071

1 Several things in here are obviously deceptions, knowing

2 deceptions by Dr. Stakic. First they set up Trnopolje to give

3 international aid. We know the International Community was denied access

4 to Trnopolje until the visit of the foreign journalists, which I will come

5 to briefly, which happened because of events at a level far above

6 Prijedor.

7 But I see the time is about up.

8 Let me finish this one quick point. He also -- he says that it

9 was provided to give international aid, but the International Community

10 was denied access. He said that people were free -- went there freely,

11 but in fact we have a decision of the Crisis Staff that no individuals

12 could be released from Trnopolje without their permission.

13 Thank you for your patience.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We thank you. Before we adjourn, let me please

15 announce that there will be on Monday a slight change in the schedule.

16 We'll start only at 9.30 and continue until 1.00 sharp in Courtroom II,

17 and then continue half past 2.00 until 5.00 in Courtroom II -- Courtroom

18 I. And the same procedure will take place today. We will resume at half

19 past 2.00 in Courtroom I.

20 The trial stays adjourned until then.

21 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.05 p.m.

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Page 15072

1 --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon. Please be seated.

3 Let us now hear the third part of the closing arguments of the

4 Prosecution. Mr. Koumjian, please.

5 MR. KOUMJIAN:

6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.

7 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. We were talking this morning about the

8 detention camps in Prijedor and the fact that these camps were controlled

9 by the Crisis Staff by the bodies of authority headed by the accused

10 Milomir Stakic. The evidence we have shows that the logistics for those

11 camps were provided by the Crisis Staff. It shows the orders for

12 establishment were done by the Crisis Staff.

13 S84, if we could have that document on the screen, is yet

14 another -- more proof of the knowledge and intent of the Crisis Staff and

15 Dr. Stakic in setting up these camps. This is a decision signed by

16 Dr. Stakic from the Crisis Staff, and it indicates in paragraph 1 that

17 "All businesses, enterprises, and communities are ordered to terminate

18 the employment of those currently in Omarska and Keraterm."

19 A document Your Honours are well familiar with is S110 or 316. I

20 believe it appears twice. And that document provides - if we can have it

21 blown up, the particular paragraph - this is the confirmation document

22 indicating that the conclusion of the 2nd of July, forbidding the

23 individual release of persons from Trnopolje, Omarska, and Keraterm.

24 Excuse me. What this document is is a report on the implementation of

25 Crisis Staff decisions and orders to the police. And one of the

Page 15073

1 conclusions listed is the conclusion regarding forbidding the individual

2 release of persons from Trnopolje, Omarska, and Keraterm. So again, this

3 shows the police obeying the orders of the Crisis Staff who were the ones

4 holding the keys to the prisons, the concentration camps at Omarska and

5 Keraterm.

6 We heard testimony from some of the witnesses of the kinds of

7 people that were taken to these camps, not just those who happened to live

8 in the areas where the ciscanjes were conducted, the largely Muslim,

9 Bosniak, or Croatian communities, places like the Brdo or Kozarac. We

10 know that people from the town, professionals, were taken, people with no

11 connection to any paramilitaries, people without any connection to

12 national parties, people like Mr. Murselovic, who headed an independent

13 multi-ethnic party, the Party of Private Initiative. Judges, women, we

14 heard about disabled persons, persons who could not take part in combat.

15 We heard about one prosecutor who was practically blind, who would have to

16 be led around, put his hand on the shoulder of the -- of someone else in

17 order to go to the meal of the day to find his way. We know that they

18 came for people such as doctors, dentists, judges, and women who were held

19 at the camp.

20 We asked one of the witnesses, Witness B, about the presence of

21 elderly in the Keraterm camp, and I would like to remind Your Honours of

22 his testimony so long ago. But if we can just look at this brief clip of

23 what Witness B told us.

24 And just again for the booth, we're waiting for the clip of the

25 testimony of Witness B. I don't know if there's a problem. If they could

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Page 15075

1 signal -- okay.

2 [Videotape played]

3 MR. KOUMJIAN: We're getting no sound. I don't know if we can try

4 again, but we're getting no sound. If we could rewind to the start and

5 perhaps see if we can get sound.

6 [Videotape played]

7 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'm trying to move quickly so we can finish

8 your testimony, but I want to ask you:

9 Q. In the camp, were there women that you saw in the

10 Keraterm camp?

11 A. There were no women, except -- well, women did come.

12 They would leave women at the camp, those who were

13 waiting for some transport or vehicles to transfer them

14 to Omarska. Two women even spent the night in our cell.

15 But as a rule, they didn't stay there for long.

16 Q. Were there minors, people under 18 or even under -- well,

17 were there people under 18, minors in the camp?

18 A. Yes, yes, there were. I even met a boy. He introduced

19 himself to us. And through our conversation he said

20 that -- in the conversation he said that he was 14 years

21 old. You could see that he was a child, but we were

22 really amazed that -- when we heard that he was so

23 young.

24 Q. Did you see any people that were older, past the normal

25 retirement age?

Page 15076

1 A. Yes. There were older people there, much older than

2 retired people, because I think you could go and retire

3 after -- once you were 60. But there were people who

4 were much older than that. There was even a person who

5 we thought perhaps was even over 70 years old. This was

6 an old man from Kozarac. He wasn't very tall, but he was

7 quite fit and you could see that he was healthy, he was

8 alert. And every morning when we would get up, he would

9 do some exercises, which we found a little silly at that

10 time because he was the only one who did that. But he

11 happened to be the oldest amongst us. So while we were

12 talking to him, he even told us that I -- that he was in

13 Hitler's camp. That's what he told us. He said, "I was

14 in Hitler's camp too, during World War II." So then we

15 asked him, "Which one is worse?" And he laughed and he

16 said, "This one is 100 times worse," because he was in

17 Germany in a labour camp, and he said, "Nobody beat me.

18 I had food to eat. I had my own bed." So he said that

19 this one was much, much worse.

20 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, we heard many witnesses from the

21 camps talk about horrific, horrific events that it make sense

22 now to recall the events that happened in the camp. The

23 number of tortures, killings, and the sexual assaults that

24 took place.

25 But I think it's important sometimes to reflect and to see

Page 15077

1 from an individual what that was like, and I recall when we

2 were in this very courtroom the testimony of Samir Poljak, who

3 was asked about just in this brief clip I'd like to play,

4 about his first ten days in the Omarska camp being held in a

5 garage that summer in Omarska. So this is the testimony, a

6 brief clip, of Samir Poljak talking about those first days.

7 Before we start, I'd also like to remind you Samir Poljak came

8 from Kevljani. And one of the witnesses for the Defence

9 talked about Dr. Stakic having worked as a doctor in Kevljani,

10 about how Dr. Stakic was well treated and well -- according to

11 the witness, well loved by the people, the Muslim community

12 village of Kevljani. It's not going to be on this tape, but

13 we know from his subsequent testimony Mr. Poljak's father was

14 killed in this camp, his cousins were killed, and he lost, I

15 believe, his uncles from Kevljani, all from Kevljani. And

16 here he's just describing the first ten days in the garage.

17 [Videotape played]

18 MR. KOUMJIAN:

19 Q. Can you tell the Judges what the conditions were like in

20 that garage that you were kept in in Omarska.

21 A. It was just an ordinary garage, as far as I could notice,

22 for cars to be kept in, and that's where they put us, all

23 of us. There must have been around 150, 160 of us or

24 whereabouts -- or thereabouts. So there was not enough

25 room inside this garage for us to sit down. We were all

Page 15078

1 standing from that moment on, like sardines, packed like

2 sardines.

3 Q. How many days did you spend in that garage with the group

4 of about 150 men?

5 A. I spent about ten days there, ten days.

6 Q. What was that like?

7 A. It was dreadful. When they shot us up, inside it was

8 very hot. There wasn't enough air. I remember that

9 within half an hour or one hour I was soaking with

10 sweat. Everything I was wearing, my shirt, my trousers,

11 it was all soaked in sweat. It was unbearable. I

12 remember that I pressed my hand against the wall and I

13 saw that the paint on the wall began to melt. The

14 ceiling was full of drops of sweat. Sweat was dripping

15 from the ceiling. And then someone -- someone asked to

16 have the window opened. I think someone did. I have no

17 idea. But I remember that someone jumped up and smashed

18 a window in order to get some air inside the room, but

19 that didn't improve the situation because even after

20 that, it was very stuffy and very hot. We asked for

21 water because we were parched, and they said, "Okay,

22 we'll give you some water, but first you have to sing a

23 song." So we sang at the top of our voices. And then a

24 jerrycan filled with water was brought to us and then

25 people started fighting over the jerrycan. It was

Page 15079

1 awful. It was a fight to survive, as simple as that. No

2 one really cared about the person next to them. We

3 fought like animals over the water they had brought us.

4 It was really awful. I remember the first evening two

5 young men suffocated. I remember them very well. They

6 were just lying there on the floor. They were dead. No

7 one flicked an eye. No one paid any attention. That was

8 the state we were in. And everyone just looked after

9 himself. No one had any sympathy for the dead body lying

10 there. Until a day ago, we were still talking -- we had

11 still talked to each other, and now this person was

12 dead. But it made no difference. It was really awful.

13 Q. And in those ten days, were you fed?

14 A. We arrived on Friday, and they gave us nothing until

15 Sunday. They only threw jerrycans of water into the

16 room. And then on Sunday I remember clearly they opened

17 the door and threw in some bread, and then there was

18 chaos because people started struggling for that bread.

19 Everyone was trying to get to it.

20 Q. What happened to the two bodies, those that had died the

21 first two days?

22 A. The bodies were taken out and put on the grass there. I

23 remember the following day or perhaps after two days they

24 gave permission to go out to that lawn one by one so we

25 could take a leak, and when I came out, I saw one of

Page 15080

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Page 15081

1 those dead lads lying there on the grass. How many days

2 had elapsed in the meantime? Two or three days,

3 perhaps. I can't remember. But I saw his body there on

4 the lawn. I remember clearly what he looked like. He

5 was -- he was bigger than me. He was quite tall, and he

6 had curly hair.

7 Q. You said you arrived Friday night. When was it that you

8 were let out of the room for the first time to urinate on

9 the grass?

10 A. I don't know whether it was the next morning, but it

11 was -- it was either Saturday morning or Sunday morning.

12 I can't remember.

13 Q. Do you remember what you felt like when you were out

14 there and saw the grass?

15 A. It was perhaps 9.00 or 10.00 in the morning. It was a

16 sunny day. I felt wonderful. The smell of the air was

17 somehow pleasant and the sunshine. It was nice. It's

18 beyond words. It was a wonderful feeling. That was

19 something. It stuck in my memory, the morning and the

20 grass, the smell of fresh air.

21 Q. How had your life changed from one week earlier?

22 A. Unimaginably.

23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Samir Poljak was in high school and was at home

24 when the shelling started in the Kozarac area, and his father was taken

25 from the camp and he's never found out what happened to his father.

Page 15082

1 Your Honour, we cannot understand what happened in Prijedor

2 without knowing about the events of the 5th of August and the visit of the

3 journalist, the foreign journalist, to Prijedor. The events that we've

4 talked about and most of these killings, everything I've mentioned in my

5 argument so far, happened, that military attack on Hambarine began on the

6 23rd of May and the journalist visit was the 5th of August. The Omarska

7 and Keraterm camps were set up after the attack on Kozarac at the very end

8 of May. So we're talking about a very short period of time; basically

9 June, July, and a few days in May and August. Thousands of people had

10 been killed in that time, and the world didn't know about it. The

11 International Red Cross was denied access to Omarska, to Trnopolje, to any

12 of these camps. In a small town in Bosnia, that certainly I and most of

13 the people had never heard of, Prijedor. There was impunity because the

14 people in power, Dr. Stakic and the others, controlled the press, they

15 lied to their own people, and the world didn't know what was going on.

16 But somewhat as a matter of chance, of fortuity, we know that

17 these events, this incredible visit, started with an interview of

18 Dr. Karadzic in London. A few days before his interview - and all this is

19 contained in the testimony of Mr. Vulliamy - a few days before

20 Dr. Karadzic's interview, articles had been published, second-hand

21 accounts, that atrocities and terrible things might be happening in

22 Trnopolje and Omarska, published by Roy Gutman man and another journalist.

23 During the interview with British Television, Dr. Karadzic was asked about

24 it, denied the charges, and said, "Of course this is not happening. If

25 you'd like, come and see how we treat our prisoners. We don't treat them

Page 15083

1 the way the Muslims are treating the Serbs. The Serbs are being treated

2 inhumanely. You should visit those prisons." On the way -- while

3 Dr. Karadzic was driving to the airport that day or the next day, ITN

4 contacted Dr. Karadzic and said, "We accept your invitation. We have some

5 journalists who would like to go to Prijedor and see these camps." Put on

6 the spot, he said, "Sure, this will be arranged." At that time you could

7 not travel directly to Republika Srpska. The journalists flew to, I

8 believe it was Budapest, from Budapest they drove to Belgrade, and they

9 arrived in Belgrade, I believe, around the very beginning of August, the

10 first day or two.

11 In Belgrade, one of the members of the presidency of Republika

12 Srpska met them there, Nikola Koljevic, the professor of Shakespearian

13 literature. Nikola Koljevic spoke to them and again encouraged the

14 journalists to visit camps where Serbs were held by Muslims, by Croat

15 forces. And again let me reiterate, Your Honour, these claims that Serbs

16 were abused in camps by Muslims and Croats are certainly not disputed by

17 the Office of the Prosecutor. We've even brought cases this is true.

18 Mr. Vulliamy, in fact, and the other journalists took up an offer

19 Nikola Koljevic to visit some camps in Serbia, where individuals were

20 held, and they did visit those camps and they said while it was not a

21 great place, these were not inhumane, you know, violations of

22 international law camps. The camps were not shocking in Serbia. But they

23 kept reiterating, "We want to see Omarska. We want to go see Trnopolje."

24 The journalists had never heard of Keraterm. There were no published

25 reports about Keraterm. And that was not mentioned.

Page 15084

1 Eventually, I think it would be approximately the 3rd of August --

2 the 2nd or 3rd -- the journalists went to Pale, where they met directly

3 with Dr. Karadzic. Dr. Karadzic again encouraged the journalists, "Please

4 go to Sarajevo and see the places where Serbs are being abused by the

5 government of Alija Izetbegovic and his forces." The journalists

6 explained, "It would take a long time to cross the lines, and, you know,

7 the world is wanting to know about Omarska and Keraterm. We can do you a

8 favour -- Omarska and Trnopolje. Excuse me. We can do you a favour and

9 clear your name. Please let us go to Prijedor. We'll send our colleagues

10 to Sarajevo." And Dr. Karadzic kept telling them, "But you could be in

11 danger." He said, "Journalists are killed all the time and the Muslims --

12 by Muslims and they blame the Serbs. It will be dangerous for you." The

13 journalists insisted, "We want to see Prijedor." He said, "Please there

14 are some camps here that you can see." And they were taken to a camp in

15 Pale where Muslims were held. And again, it was not shocking. It was a

16 detention facility. People were held under less than ideal situations,

17 but not shocking concentration camps like Omarska and Keraterm turned out

18 to be.

19 Finally they were granted permission and they were sent to Banja

20 Luka. They spent the night of August the 4th in Banja Luka and they were

21 given an escort. A major, I believe his name was Milutinovic, a major on

22 the staff of General Talic to escort them to Prijedor. That was the

23 August the 5th, and that is an incredible day in the history of Prijedor,

24 in this case, because unknown to those journalists, the room 3 massacre

25 had happened about ten days earlier. They were not asking about Keraterm,

Page 15085

1 but everyone in Prijedor knew about the massacre in Keraterm. Despite the

2 attempts to delay the journalists, the attempts to dissuade them, to tell

3 them that their lives were in jeopardy, the journalists persisted that

4 they had to see the camps, and so eventually they were given a

5 sanitised -- extremely sanitised version of Omarska and Keraterm -- and

6 Trnopolje. But it's very interesting. We know that the preparations in

7 Prijedor began before the journalists arrived. We have an order from

8 General Talic to the military saying he received an oral order to allow a

9 foreign delegation to go to Prijedor, make sure the conditions were okay.

10 We know from a witness of the Court - I forget if that witness is

11 protected (redacted), that she was contacted by Simo Drljaca about a

12 week before the visit and told that foreign journalists would be coming, I

13 will need you to interpret, I'll call you when they come. And what were

14 the preparations that were done? Well, first of all, the Keraterm camp

15 was closed on the 5th of August. That morning the place where the biggest

16 massacre to that date had happened, widely known in Prijedor, was closed,

17 was shut down. The journalists didn't know about it, and the plan was not

18 to let them know about it.

19 Also we know that the trip of the journalist, that they were given

20 very, very little access, especially to Omarska. The authorities knew how

21 much there was to hide in Omarska, so all they were given was a chance to

22 glimpse a kitchen, a cafeteria, people marching in, eating soup.

23 According to some of the witnesses, one of the better soups. It had a few

24 beans in it, and marching out. They were denied any possibility to see

25 the places where prisoners were kept. They were only tried -- the attempt

Page 15086

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Page 15087

1 was made to have them interview one prisoner that had been selected who

2 understood very well, a very intelligent man, what it was he was supposed

3 to say, and that if he didn't say it, he would be killed. They declined

4 that offer to interview that particular prisoner, who was a witness in our

5 case. Only the Serbian TV that was along with them interviewed that

6 prisoner.

7 Also, in preparation for that visit, it is not a coincidence that

8 that morning one of the prisoners from the Omarska camp was taken out of

9 the camp.

10 If we could see S378, please. We've heard a lot in this case

11 about one individual, Dr. Esad Sadikovic. I believe, Your Honours,

12 although it's always important to put a face - we looked at that book of

13 missing on thousands of dead - to put a face and a personality behind a

14 few of them, Dr. Sadikovic's importance goes beyond just an example of one

15 person who was killed. It's very significant to this case what happened

16 to Dr. Sadikovic and the day that it happened. On that day we know he was

17 taken to the Omarska police station. This record found in the Omarska

18 police station corroborates the testimony of many of the witnesses who

19 said that he was taken out of the camp that day. Why was it so important

20 to keep Dr. Sadikovic away from the foreign journalist? First of all,

21 Dr. Sadikovic had worked for the United Nations in many countries. He was

22 a person who was not a member of any national party. He was married to a

23 Serb. He was a Bosniak by ethnicity but married to a Serb. He was the

24 leader of a peace movement. The Defence witness Marjanovic talked about

25 that, Dr. Sadikovic leading a peace movement. We know from many witnesses

Page 15088

1 that he went around the town trying to avoid conflict, trying to talk all

2 sides out of confrontation. He spoke English.

3 Your Honours, we know that after these small pictures of the

4 Omarska camp were published around the world, the few photographs that

5 Dr. Merdzanic had bravely, bravely given to the journalists, smuggled to

6 the journalists, that we saw earlier of the beaten body that, this had a

7 tremendous effect. We know that the world press descended on Prijedor the

8 next few days. Can you imagine what the effect would have been if

9 Dr. Sadikovic had been allowed to speak to the journalist? It's very

10 difficult to speculate historically, but I wonder what would have happened

11 in the conflict in Bosnia if Esad Sadikovic, who according to all of the

12 witnesses was such a charismatic man, a man of such obvious neutrality in

13 the conflict, and a person who was married to a Serb, had no national

14 agenda, a humanitarian, had worked for the United Nations, what if he

15 would have been on CNN, on the world media, speaking about the Omarska

16 camp? Would the world attention have focussed on Prijedor? Would the war

17 have happened in the same way it did? It took three more years and the

18 massacre of Srebrenica for the world to really focus on the war on Bosnia.

19 The little that was published had a tremendous effect, and it's

20 not because of what was said. It's very much because of what was not

21 said. I'd like to show a few brief clips of what was broadcast, S329. I

22 have a short clip of that. And I think this is actually from two

23 different exhibits, but two short clips.

24 [Videotape played]

25 Inform anything about the conditions in which you are being kept

Page 15089

1 here, or is it difficult?

2 I'm not sure that I'm allowed about that. You know, I -- can you

3 understand me? Before, it was once upon a time, once upon a -- once in a

4 day, before, in the former camp. I don't know. I just came here. We

5 just came here today.

6 Have people here been beaten?

7 Here? No. Here, no. Not here.

8 In other places?

9 I rather wouldn't talk about that. I'm not sure.

10 MR. KOUMJIAN: If we could stop just for a moment that young man,

11 I have no idea who he is, but he obviously came from Keraterm that day.

12 Whether he was one of those who on the 21st of August, 16 days later was

13 on the convoy to Vlasic, I don't know. What he didn't say had tremendous

14 effect, the way he said it -- they're not -- "Are there beatings here?"

15 "No, not here." And then there's a very brief clip of Dr. Merdzanic

16 being asked similar questions, if this is from S323. Please continue.

17 [Videotape played]

18 Have there been any cases here of people who have been beaten in

19 the camp?

20 MR. KOUMJIAN: So the world saw very little. The broadcast

21 grossly underestimated the terror that was going on in those camps, what

22 we now know.

23 The events of that trip did not end with just the closing of the

24 Keraterm camp, because when the camp was closed, the prisoners were

25 divided into three. A group was sent to Trnopolje; among that, that young

Page 15090

1 man at the fence being among them. A group was sent to Manjaca. And

2 first, that morning, the 5th of August, the camp commander read out a list

3 of 120 names. And the testimony of Witness B, those people were loaded on

4 to buses from Autotransport Prijedor, escorted by the intervention squad,

5 a squad that had been in that camp before, beating prisoners, taking away

6 prisoners who didn't return. One of our witnesses recognised, in fact,

7 Dado Mrdja, as giving orders as the prisoners were lined up. 120 of them

8 were put on two buses that morning. We know that those buses went to

9 Omarska and the prisoners spent the night either on the buses or somewhere

10 in the camp. And that very early -- very late that night or very early

11 the next morning, on the 6th of August, an order came from a member of the

12 Crisis Staff, from Simo Drljaca, with a list of 125 names, including the

13 120 from Keraterm and other names, including Dr. Esad Sadikovic. That was

14 an execution order. They were taken away. They've never been seen alive

15 again. There's one site just beyond the borders of Prijedor municipality

16 in Sanski Most called Hrastovo Glavica where about 126 bodies were

17 exhumed, and I believe one was identified as coming from World War II. So

18 125 bodies were found there. All of the people identified were identified

19 as being from the people of Keraterm, from that group of buses. Those --

20 there were a few identifications of DNA, all of them from those people.

21 Again, why was it necessary to kill Dr. Esad Sadikovic? First I'd

22 like you to play -- I'd like to play a short video putting together what

23 three witnesses said about Dr. Sadikovic, two of them from the Defence.

24 The first two are Defence witnesses.

25 Excuse me. Before I begin, I'd also like to remind you the first

Page 15091

1 time I heard the name -- that we heard the name was Witness A who talked

2 about Dr. Sadikovic. He said that he was an incredible man who kept up

3 the morale of the other prisoners and recounted that he treated them

4 one -- even there were head wounds where the scalp was split and there was

5 no needle and thread to sew. He said Dr. Sadikovic braided the hair

6 together to keep the wound -- to keep the two sides of the wound together.

7 He told us a story about how there was one father and son in the camp, and

8 the -- every day Dr. Sadikovic was popular with the guards. He was one of

9 the few people who had the privilege to move around rooms. Everyone liked

10 him. And this father took advantage of it to save a piece of measly bread

11 ration to give to his son who was sick and he asked every day

12 Dr. Sadikovic to carry it. And Witness A told us that one day

13 Dr. Sadikovic was unusually depressed for him and they asked him what was

14 the matter and he said that this son had died and the father gave him the

15 bread and he didn't know what to do with it. And I think he said --

16 Witness A told us that Dr. Sadikovic offered the bread to all those other

17 hungry men, but no one would eat it.

18 If we could now play the tape. These are, again, two Defence

19 witnesses and one Prosecution witness talking about Dr. Sadikovic.

20 [Videotape played]

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Why was it that Dr. Esad Sadikovic

22 disappeared and is no longer among the living? I think as a

23 colleague of yours, you have given some thought to this

24 question.

25 A. Yes. If I may, I will explain.

Page 15092

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Page 15093

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.

2 A. Dr. Sadikovic was a colleague of mine and also a friend

3 of mine. We visited each other. He was my friend. He was a

4 joker, and he was a very professional skilful doctor. I don't

5 even want to think about his possible crimes. And as of his

6 disappearance and of his tragic lot, I can only say that this

7 has -- had a huge impact on me and I feel -- still feel the

8 sadness for the fact that he's not amongst us, that I don't

9 have the opportunity to be friends with him any longer. I

10 simply was not in the position to help him in any way. I was

11 not in the position to find out where he was at the moment

12 when he disappeared, nor what happened to him. All the

13 information that I have about his lot, I -- I had after the

14 war. Dr. Sadikovic disappeared. I don't know when. I can

15 only assume that it was at the beginning of the war. But

16 to -- but to this very day it will happen to me that I see

17 somebody who looks like him and I will hope that it will be

18 him because we were not just colleagues. We were really good

19 friends. So I always mistake other people for him, wishing

20 that it was him.

21 [Videotape played]

22 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] I remember. We were on our way back

23 from the village and we were standing outside the village after the

24 takeover. Esad Sadikovic arrived and Mico was very fond of this man

25 because they were alike, they were people who had a lot of things in

Page 15094

1 common. So Sadikovic came up to Mico him and said - I'll try to quote

2 him - "You know, those idiots of mine over there in that village, those

3 fools" - I'm not from the area, so I didn't remember the village -

4 "they're creating problems again. They set up a barricade. Let's just

5 go there and talk to these people, for God's sake." Mico, without saying

6 a single word, joined Eso. They drove there in a jeep. They stayed there

7 for a long time. It was almost midnight, and Mico still hadn't come back.

8 I was already scared because I did hear a number of things about Eso, a

9 number of things were being said about him. I wasn't sure, but I had seen

10 him before with other Muslims who insisted on ethnic divisions at the

11 time. And Mico -- the sort of person that Mico believed Esad Sadikovic to

12 be was not exactly how he struck me, but I said, "Okay, if Mico had faith

13 in him, then it must be all right." And just before midnight he came back

14 home. I said, "What did you do there?" And he said, "Well, we sat down

15 with those people, we talked to them, we had brandy together and that's

16 how the whole thing ended."

17 [Videotape played]

18 MR. KOUMJIAN:

19 Q. A couple of times in your testimony, Dr. Esad Sadikovic

20 who treated you and treated Mr. Smail Duratovic, do you

21 recall the last time that you saw Dr. Sadikovic? First,

22 can you tell us what kind of a person was Dr. Sadikovic?

23 A. To talk about Prijedor, the town, to talk about these

24 camps, the tragedy, and to omit the name of Dr. Eso

25 Sadikovic would be a sin. He was a deeply humane person,

Page 15095

1 and he helped everyone, whatever their religious

2 background or colour of skin. He was a UNHCR expert, and

3 he had spent a long time working somewhere in the

4 Pacific, in Libya, in a number of African countries

5 helping people. He was a charismatic person in the town

6 of Prijedor. He knew it and he was proud of it. In the

7 Omarska camp he did his best to help whoever he could.

8 And where no one was willing to go and to help, he was

9 always there to do it. He was even helping Serb guards

10 there who would come to -- to take up their shift. They

11 were dead drunk and sometimes they were wounded and they

12 had skirmishes among themselves and they quarreled over

13 money and how to distribute the money they had looted.

14 And he helped them too. And after most of the Prijedor

15 doctors -- or at least, those who were in the camp, had

16 been killed, the authorities in Prijedor knew very well

17 that a finishing touch was to be added. I'll never

18 forget that night because that was the last night in the

19 Omarska camp. It seemed a quiet night at first, but just

20 before dawn broke, a guard appeared at the door and he

21 said, "Dr. Esad Sadikovic, come out and take your stuff

22 with you." We were surprised because we knew that his

23 name had been called out very often, but this time they

24 told him to -- to bring his stuff, so we knew where they

25 were taking him. Dr. Eso stood up. He took his nylon

Page 15096

1 bag in which he had a handful of cigarettes that the

2 other prisoners had collected for him. He brought his

3 dirty shirt and he headed for the door. We all stood up,

4 we stood quietly, and then all of us started -- all of us

5 spoke out loud and he said -- and we said, "Dr. Eso,

6 thank you. Thank you so much for everything." He just

7 turned back. And he said, "Thank you, friends." We

8 did -- and goodbye. We did not believe that there was

9 such -- such a criminal person in this world who would be

10 able to kill a man like Dr. Eso.

11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour asked Dr. Iglic why, why would someone

12 kill Dr. Sadikovic. And I believe the answer was Dr. Sadikovic was the

13 most dangerous Bosniak to the authorities in Prijedor. He didn't have a

14 gun. He didn't have a military. He had moral authority. He was married

15 to a Serb and he could have swayed the Serbs in Prijedor. He was well

16 loved. He could have swayed the world community because of his complete

17 moral authority, a former doctor for the UN, a medical professional, a

18 colleague of the accused, Dr. Stakic. The idea of a multi-ethnic Prijedor

19 was what threatened the authorities and the SDS. No one impersonated that

20 better, embodied that more than Dr. Esad Sadikovic.

21 The visit, the glimpse into Prijedor that the foreign journalist

22 got, was enough to change the history of what was happening in Prijedor.

23 Keraterm was closed when they were on their way, but immediately after

24 these few photographs were published, the Omarska camp was closed. First,

25 of course, it was turned into the Motel Omarska for a few weeks, beds were

Page 15097

1 brought, most of the prisoners shipped out, and a false Potemkin in

2 Omarska was set up, a false little village. And the killing stopped.

3 When we talk about the ability of the authorities to control the killing,

4 this shows more than anything how much authority they did have. The camps

5 were closed.

6 In Prijedor, the killing stopped, with one exception; that being

7 the largest massacre of the conflict, the massacre over Vlasic Mountain at

8 Koricanske Stijene. This occurred on the 21st of August, but it's not by

9 coincidence, Your Honours, I propose, that this did not happen in the

10 territory of Prijedor. The intent to kill in Prijedor was still there,

11 but so were the eyes of the world. One more killing was planned and this

12 killing was to take place as far away from the world press and the eyes of

13 the world as possible.

14 Your Honours heard the testimony of one of the survivors --

15 actually, we had evidence of two survivors, one by 92 bis. If we could

16 show S246. We have a couple of photographs. I'm not going to go over in

17 great detail the horrors of that crime because Your Honours have, I'm

18 sure, heard it and we cannot forget it. On that convoy thousands -- there

19 was a thousand or so people, far from Prijedor, near the front line, very

20 close to the front line, past Skender Vakuf, the intervention squad who

21 was escorting the convoy separated the men. Most of those were men that

22 came from Trnopolje. Many, if not most, were former inmates of the

23 Keraterm camp. They were put on -- crammed onto two buses to complete

24 capacity, well over 200, and taken to the side, to this little road,

25 ordered to keep their heads down and march to the side of this cliff,

Page 15098

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Page 15099

1 where fire was opened on them, automatic weapons, where they were

2 machine-gunned and thrown to their death over this cliff, except for

3 several who miraculously survived.

4 Was this crime intended by the authorities in Prijedor? Was the

5 room 3 massacre intended? We know that the massacre of Dr. Sadikovic and

6 the 120 men was intended because we know there's an order from Simo

7 Drljaca. The evidence, the clear evidence that this was intended, is that

8 absolutely nothing was ever done to identify the perpetrators. Obviously

9 if you are those, the ones giving the order, you don't want the

10 perpetrators, those who were carrying it out, identified. Room 3 massacre

11 occurred over hours. There were many guards in the camp. There was a

12 unit of the army, widely, widely known in Prijedor, no one ever arrested

13 or investigated.

14 Vlasic Mountain, we know that a squad of the police, the

15 intervention squad, was sent to escort that convoy, dozen or so men, to go

16 from Trnopolje and Tukovi, where this convoy began, to the front line at

17 Smetovi and back was more than an all-day journey. I believe the massacre

18 happened close in the late afternoon. The convoy started in the morning.

19 The buses stilled that to go back. Would there be records of the unit

20 that was sent to escort that convoy? Of course there would be. Of course

21 the commanders knew who it was. Of course Dr. Stakic, if he had wanted

22 to, could have asked, requested, demanded the records of who it was that

23 escorted that convoy. It isn't just a failure to punish and prevent.

24 It's clear from the absolute lack of efforts that it was intentional, it

25 was ordered. The crimes were carrying out the intent of the authorities.

Page 15100

1 One of the Defence witnesses who testified - we'll not further

2 identify to protect him - showed us a record. One of our documents was a

3 record. It wasn't from the indictment period, but just as an example, of

4 a duty roster of the police that was seized by the OTP in -- I'm not sure,

5 1997, something like that, showing where every officer was assigned that

6 day. Clearly such records existed for the convoy that went to Vlasic

7 Mountain, for the squad of police from Prijedor that escorted that convoy.

8 Clearly those records would have existed of what army unit was Keraterm in

9 room 3.

10 Remember that Sarajevo Radio broadcast the massacre, the fact that

11 people showed up in -- in Travnik missing over 200 -- 250 relatives

12 missing. It was broadcast the next day. Dr. Merdzanic talked about how

13 people in Trnopolje had listened to the radio. Penny Marshall had given

14 him a radio on her second visit. And there was another convoy scheduled

15 for that day, and the people were afraid to get on it, and Slobodan

16 Kuruzovic, camp commander, assured them that it was okay, that what

17 happened is that the Muslims had shelled this -- this convoy over Vlasic

18 but it would be safe now. No effort was made, absolutely none, to

19 identify the perpetrators, because they were carrying out the intent of

20 the authorities. You don't have crime after crime, tens, hundreds, and

21 thousands killed with no attempt to stop it unless it is because those who

22 are in power want that result, intend that result.

23 If we could have S281-3 put on the computer screen for just a

24 moment. Your Honour, this was a list, I believe -- this is from Nicholas

25 Sebire's report, and it's a list of court declarations of death according

Page 15101

1 to when the person was known to have been killed or missing. At that time

2 of his report there was 900 or so records that were in his database. We

3 see that the crimes escalated, reached their peak in July, but May, June,

4 July, and then last for August. The reason that that happened is the

5 visit of the journalists. When the eyes of the world focussed on

6 Prijedor, the genocide could no longer be carried out. It no longer was

7 in the interests of the Republika Srpska and the political agenda to have

8 the world know what was going on in these brutal, brutal detention camps

9 and the massive, massive killings that were taking place in Prijedor.

10 I believe the evidence shows that those journalists saved

11 thousands of lives, those people who were in the camp and released because

12 of that visit.

13 Your Honour, the scale of the crimes in this case remove any doubt

14 about the knowledge of the accused. If we could show the short video,

15 S326 for just a moment. Whole sections of Prijedor were completely

16 destroyed. We saw some of that in the earlier video where Dr. Stakic was

17 being interviewed while homes all over Kozarac were burning. This is a

18 short ABC Nightline, I think, video driving down the main road, the one

19 that Dr. Stakic would have taken from Omarska to - I believe it is - the

20 road from Omarska to Prijedor. If we could play this video.

21 [Videotape played]

22 We visited the ethnically cleansed Kozarac in Northern Bosnia last

23 week. We were closely supervised by the local Serb militia, restricted to

24 just a few blocks of the town, once home to about 15.000 Muslim women,

25 men, and children. Today there are no Muslims there, none, and none of

Page 15102

1 their X-marked homes is intact. Other homes in Kozarac have been marked

2 to survive. This one with the colours of the Serbian flag. This one

3 says, "This is Serbia." They stand undamaged like the remaining Serb

4 residents of Kozarac.

5 MR. KOUMJIAN: I believe that may have been inside the town. But

6 we also have some photographs taken from by Mr. McLeod on the road, just

7 the road between Banja Luka and Prijedor, which would have been the road

8 travelled between Omarska and Prijedor. And if those could be put on the.

9 These are just individual shots taken by Charles McLeod, the ECMM monitor,

10 as he drove through that destruction in 1992. This is 186-2. We can -- I

11 believe there's -- how many photos? Five photographs, we'll go through

12 them, S186-2, is 168-3, 168-4, 168-5, and 168-6.

13 We know that Stari Grad, an old historical part of the town, was

14 razed to the ground, the two mosques destroyed, all the houses destroyed,

15 except for one house that a Serb happened to live in. We know from the

16 witnesses that virtually every church and mosque was destroyed in the

17 municipality, certainly in Prijedor and Kozarac, the main church in

18 Prijedor, the main mosque in the town of Prijedor were both blown up and

19 destroyed.

20 We know from a record of the Serbian Red Cross, one that was used

21 during the testimony of cross-examination of Mr. Kuruzovic, 23.000 persons

22 according to the Serbian Red Cross went through Trnopolje, 23.000 people.

23 That's about half of the entire non-Serb population prior to the conflict.

24 We know that the demographics of Prijedor changed so dramatically that it

25 went from the Muslim population went from 49.000, approximately, in the

Page 15103

1 1991 census, to about 6.000, according to an article published in Kozarski

2 Vjesnik in 1993.

3 The lines of women desperate to leave Prijedor would be in front

4 of the SUP building, just across from Dr. Stakic's office.

5 Your Honour, we believe we have shown in this case clearly that

6 the accused had effective control over the perpetrators of this crime, the

7 police and army. He was wide -- the number one man in Prijedor. He

8 appeared often in the media. He had direct contacts with the highest

9 authorities, including the president. We have communications to him from

10 the president of Republika Srpska, direct contacts with Vladimir Arsic and

11 the command of the 43rd Brigade. Never did he denounce or make any effort

12 to stop the crimes. The police and army were dependent upon Dr. Stakic

13 and the Crisis Staff for logistics support, for political support. They

14 always got it. He could have controlled them. He could have disbanded

15 the intervention squad. He could have called for the arrest of people

16 like Dado Mrdja, who were notorious criminals. He could have disbanded

17 the intervention squad. He could have closed the Omarska and Keraterm

18 camps, which he himself has said was set up on the authority of his

19 civilian authorities.

20 We're not saying that Dr. Stakic knew of every single crime that

21 happened. Of course that's not true. But the impunity that reigned in

22 Prijedor because of his rule facilitated those crimes. No one would be

23 punished. A Muslim would be victimised, a Bosniak, a Croat, and the

24 perpetrators could be assured of no punishment. There was Dr. Stakic who

25 was supposed to, according to his mandate, provide for the security of the

Page 15104

1 citizens. He did not do that, for those who were Bosniak and Croat. Your

2 Honour, we heard live in this case one rape victim, only one, and the

3 Defence made the point that Dr. Stakic probably didn't know -- wouldn't

4 have known about the rape and asked repeated questions of the victim. And

5 I'm certainly not criticising the Defence, but -- whether she had reported

6 it to the authorities in Prijedor, and she said no, she did not. And on

7 redirect we asked her why. And she answered - and this was a woman who

8 had lost almost all of her family, had been killed, brutally killed in her

9 village and in surrounding villages - she said, "To whom would I report it

10 to? What sort of authorities were there, I'd like to know? Should I go

11 and tell them and have my head cut off?" Why is Dr. Stakic responsible?

12 Why does he bear criminal responsibility for that rape and all of the

13 others? Because this is the atmosphere that was created, this atmosphere

14 of complete impunity, that Muslims and Croats could be victimised because

15 they were the proponents of the jihad, they had the plan. In one of his

16 interviews, Dr. Stakic says that they found lists that every Serb -- every

17 non-Serb had a list of the neighbour, the Serb they were supposed to kill.

18 This kind of propaganda and paranoia reigned rather than any order or any

19 attempt to dissuade any crime against non-Serbs.

20 The accused had the power to name prosecutes and judges. He had

21 access to the press. What would have happened if Dr. Stakic had in those

22 interviews said, "Well, the Omarska camp, the police are -- have detained

23 innocent individuals like Esad Sadikovic, like women who are doctors,

24 professionals, judges, who have nothing to do and are no threat"? Would

25 that camp have remained open? Would the citizens of Prijedor have allowed

Page 15105

1 it? I don't believe so.

2 Why is it that these crimes happened in Prijedor so much more than

3 in any other part of the country, particularly of the Krajina? If you

4 look at a document - I believe it's S281-3, which is the -- from

5 Ms. Tabeau's report - she lists killings in the Bosnian Krajina in 19

6 different municipalities. 60 per cent of those killings took place in

7 Prijedor, although Prijedor was a smaller municipality than Banja Luka,

8 for example. There were about a half a million people in the Krajina, so

9 Prijedor had only a little over 20 per cent of the entire population but

10 over 60 per cent of the killings happened in Prijedor.

11 Why couldn't Dr. Stakic have removed Simo Drljaca, told the

12 Interior Minister to get rid of him, Simo Drljaca who signed the death

13 warrant for these 125 men on the 5th of August? He didn't get rid of him

14 because he was his ally, because they were engaged together in the same

15 criminal enterprise. Dr. Stakic not only didn't try to get rid of Simo

16 Drljaca, but when he came back as president, Simo Drljaca was brought back

17 with him to serve again as chief of police. Simo Drljaca who had ran for

18 Dr. Stakic the Omarska camp. And when Simo Drljaca in 1997 was killed

19 resisting arrest, despite the time that by then so many of these crimes

20 had been discovered, were widely known, Dr. Stakic spoke at his

21 commemoration - this was corroborated by Ranko Travar, who also is

22 mentioned in S375, the very short article, as being present and said he

23 was there and Dr. Stakic was there and Dr. Stakic spoke - and what did

24 Dr. Stakic say about the mass murder of Simo Drljaca? He said, "Although

25 Simo Drljaca was killed, his great work will live on for the benefit of

Page 15106

1 future generations."

2 This would be an appropriate time for a break. I don't have a

3 whole lot more, Your Honour. I think about a half hour more.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned only till ten minutes

5 past 4.00.

6 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.

7 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. And let us now hear the final

9 closing arguments by the Prosecution. Mr. Koumjian, please.

10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Your Honour. If S64 could be put on the

11 computer screen.

12 Your Honour, the civilian authorities and Dr. Stakic exercised

13 authority to arrest, to hold, and detain people regularly when they were

14 Muslims and Croats. This document, S64, also shows that the

15 authorities -- this is a document signed S. Milomir in the familiar

16 signature with a seal on it. It's directed to Simo Drljaca. It indicates

17 "All Serbs who have been imprisoned by mistake are hereby released from

18 further imprisonment." And I think later in that document it indicates

19 that Simo Drljaca is delegated with authority to decide who would be

20 released. So instead of Dr. Stakic exercising authority, encouraging

21 using his influence, encouraging that perpetrator, that killers be brought

22 to justice, he hands to the infamous Simo Drljaca the authority to release

23 Serbs imprisoned by mistake. Clearly an intent, again, to allow impunity

24 for those who are committing crimes against non-Serbs, against Muslims,

25 and against Croats.

Page 15107

1 The Crisis Staff, the SDS authorities, and Dr. Stakic could see to

2 it that a person as high as Mohammed Cehajic, the elected president, was

3 arrested, the president of the multi-ethnic assembly. Surely they could

4 have seen to the arrest, the detention, the minimum for -- a minimum the

5 dismissal of the police and army members who were perpetrating tortures

6 and killings, such as Zoran Babic and Dado Mrdja from the intervention

7 squad and so many others, including Simo Drljaca himself.

8 Your Honour, what was going on in Prijedor in those few months

9 before the journalist visit was on such a scale that even Dr. Stakic in

10 one brief reference refers to it and calls it -- refers to the word

11 "genocide." And I'd like to -- it's part of his S187 interview. It's

12 when he's talking about why they're arranging for transport, so the

13 Muslims will leave Prijedor.

14 And if we could listen to this portion of the transcript of S187,

15 again, a small portion, but something we might have missed in this

16 45-minute interview, but focus on the end of this segment when he talks

17 about what in Europe is called "genocide."

18 [Videotape played]

19 When we came here, we drove past the town of Kozarac. I

20 understand there was a big battle there. What happened in Kozarac?

21 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] That is precisely where that Muslim

22 extremism escalated because Kozarac, with its surroundings, had around

23 20.000 Muslims. And in Kozarac itself, which has 10 to 12 thousand, we

24 found original lists with three and a half thousand, or to be precise,

25 3.791 members of the legal Muslim Territorial Defence, the number of each

Page 15108

1 gun, and the date on which they were issued, and other light and medium

2 heavy weapons. We had indications that this existed before. However, the

3 fact and the moment when they came out to the Prijedor-Banja Luka main

4 road and blocked around 10 kilometres of it at the entrance to and exit

5 from that territory and all local access roads, the army -- actually, we

6 made a decision that the army and the police go up there and lift the

7 blockade of that road and that they withdraw at least 100 metres from the

8 road into the depth of the territory that, nobody would enter deeper into

9 their territory there. But that road not only links these two towns but

10 even broader, these regions, and at the approach of the first police and

11 military vehicle they opened fire without warning. After that, clashes

12 followed and all that happened subsequently. You also saw a large number

13 of destroyed houses and so on.

14 Slowly life is returning to normal up there too. We have some

15 people who were up there who barely managed to survive, who took refuge

16 and who have now returned. We have a small number of people, refugees

17 from the rest of Bosnia-Herzegovina who fled, and so we offer them

18 accommodation. There are some Croats, there are some Ukraines and

19 Ruthenians who do not mind anything, either these new authorities or the

20 politics, and who stayed up there to live in their houses. A lot of them

21 have also had their family homes destroyed. And I, as the mayor, and with

22 my executive authorities, we are trying to compensate them for this,

23 either with another house or an apartment, to secure a roof over their

24 heads. We have managed to repair both the electric power network and the

25 waterworks to an extent so that they may have electricity, along with the

Page 15109

1 same power cuts, of course, as the other citizens of Prijedor

2 municipality.

3 And where are the Muslims who used to live in Kozarac?

4 Well, Trnopolje was mainly filled with Muslims from Kozarac. A

5 good part of those extremists were from Kozarac and they went to

6 Trnopolje. The 1.500 and some men who were moved with the help of the

7 International Red Cross to Karlovac were mostly from Kozarac. Then comes

8 the reuniting of families in keeping with the Geneva Convention. And

9 their families follow them and join them and so on. The rest, because

10 their family homes had been destroyed, were accommodated either in the

11 territory of Prijedor municipality or went, were transferred to -- some

12 did go to Central Bosnia, those who expressed this wish. We organised

13 buses and a train for them, and this was for free, just so that they go,

14 so that there should be no casualties, that the genocide that we have

15 already been blamed for in Europe should not occur. It is better that

16 they leave, and tomorrow, when the war ends, and depending on the

17 agreement of the level of the newly-formed states, which I am convinced

18 will be created in this

19 territory, those among them who want to return here will be able to do

20 so."

21 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, the genocide that Dr. Stakic is

22 referring to are all those actions that took place before the eyes of the

23 world began to focus on Prijedor.

24 There's a couple of other interesting - if I could regress a

25 moment - a couple other interesting portions of the tape that we just

Page 15110

1 played that again show the close cooperation of Dr. Stakic with the army

2 and police. In talking about the attack on Kozarac, he says, beginning at

3 the very top of 8485, the page ending in that ERN, "The army --" and then

4 he stops and says, "actually, we made a decision that the army and the

5 police go up there and lift the blockade." It's also interesting that he

6 refers to himself again as the mayor. And he said, "I as the mayor, with

7 my executive authorities," and he talks about using those authorities to

8 compensate individuals, apparently Ukrainians and Ruthenians and refugees

9 from other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, presumably Serbs, and to take

10 care of them. At the same time that the only thing he's doing for the

11 Muslims and making sure that they leave. As he says, "It is better that

12 they leave." He goes on to say, "And tomorrow when the war ends,

13 depending on the agreement, they might be allowed to return." But clearly

14 his policy was to cleanse that territory of Prijedor.

15 Your Honour, in these few months, Your Honours, what we have

16 observed is what we call genocide. We saw that tens of thousands of

17 peoples lost their homes. They were destroyed not in fighting but they

18 were destroyed by arson, by intentional destruction. Many thousands of

19 people were detained under horrific conditions in camps. You know, bodies

20 are very difficult to count -- to mean anything when you get into numbers

21 as high as we're talking about. We know that over 100 died in the room 3

22 massacre, 125 on that August 5th convoy, buses that left the Omarska camp,

23 that came originally from Keraterm, 220 or so in Vlasic Mountain, and a

24 total of over 2.000, maybe 3.000 people dying during the indictment

25 period, dying basically until the journalists came and the world attention

Page 15111

1 focussed on Prijedor. The numbers don't mean much to us. Obviously to

2 those people in that book of missing and their relatives it means a lot.

3 The people who testified, so many of them, lost -- Mirza Mujadzic lost his

4 grandfather and uncles. (redacted) carried his father's headless body

5 from the Ljubija stadium. Ivo Atlija talked about hiding in the bushes

6 while his father was killed a short distance away and later burying his

7 body, the body of his father and so many members of this little village

8 that he came from, Brisevo, so many of his neighbours and family members,

9 including women, children, and invalids.

10 Because of the nature of Bosnian society, we don't know how many

11 women were raped but we know that rapes were happening in these camps and

12 outside of the camps, and we know that tens of thousands of people were

13 forced to leave Prijedor under the terror that was reigning. They were

14 forced to believe that everything that was possible was done to make sure

15 that community was destroyed and would not to return. Not only were their

16 houses destroyed, their property was confiscated. There did become a

17 point where I think the authorities realised they were better off

18 confiscating a house and giving it to a Serb refugee than destroying it,

19 and they began to do that. But they confiscated all of the vehicles and

20 personal property. They destroyed the places of worship, virtually all of

21 them in Prijedor, the churches and mosques. And in a particular --

22 particularly cruel method, so many people were taken away without any

23 indication of where they went. Their loved ones do not know what happened

24 to them. Their graves are not discovered. Their bodies are not known.

25 So people like Witness X testified the last touch from his father was when

Page 15112

1 his father pushed him on the back over the hill at Vlasic Mountain, saved

2 his life, and he's never seen his father again. He doesn't know for sure.

3 He presumes his father died in that massacre. Samir Poljak never saw his

4 father after he was taken out of the Omarska camp. And Minka -- Dr. Minka

5 Cehajic never knew what happened to her husband for sure after he was

6 taken to the Omarska camp.

7 Thousands of people in Prijedor are like that. They don't have a

8 grave to visit for their loved ones. They don't even have the complete

9 certainty of knowing where their bones lie or even the complete certainty

10 of knowing that they are dead, although all reason tells them that.

11 It's interesting, Your Honours, that the Defence case started in

12 November and they presented approximately 45 witnesses. The Defence

13 attorneys, I'd like to say, fought very hard in this case, and I did not

14 always agree with them but I respect the professional job and the -- and

15 the very active advocacy that they did and professional advocacy on behalf

16 of their client. They presented a lot of witnesses, but throughout all of

17 those months of the Defence case we have not heard of one single Muslim or

18 Croat that Dr. Stakic, the president of the municipality, helped in

19 Prijedor during this reign of terror, not one single instance when he used

20 his power to do anything for an individual, to do anything to stop the

21 crimes that were happening.

22 We've seen many interviews with the accused on the television and

23 the newspapers talking about the events, but we haven't heard him utter

24 one word of regret for the crimes that happened under his leadership, for

25 the thousands of people in Prijedor, the citizens of his municipality, who

Page 15113

1 were killed, not one regret. All we heard were excuses, shifting the

2 blame to the victims.

3 And throughout the 11 years since these crimes happened we haven't

4 heard -- we've talked to many people, many Defence witnesses, who knew

5 Dr. Stakic, relatives, friends. We only heard evidence one time that I

6 recall, and it was a 92 bis declaration, of Dr. Stakic indicating emotion

7 and regret. And that was the 92 bis statements regarding his in-laws who

8 wanted to avoid military service. And according to the statement,

9 Dr. Stakic -- the statements, Dr. Stakic's eyes filled with tears from the

10 fact that, in one case it was someone in 1991, and the other case was, I

11 believe, an individual outside of Prijedor -- that Dr. Stakic could not do

12 anything to help these in-laws avoid military service. His eyes filled

13 with tears about that. But for the thousands of people in Prijedor who

14 died, who lost their homes, who were raped, tortured, we haven't heard one

15 word of empathy from the accused in the 11 years that have passed since

16 this crime happened, even in the months of the case of the Defence that

17 has been presented and all of his friends and associates who testified.

18 The logical conclusion is Dr. Stakic does not regret the crimes.

19 He planned the crimes. He coordinated with those perpetrating the crimes.

20 They were his intent.

21 There's one man, the man who Dr. Stakic replaced, Professor

22 Mohammed Cehajic, that we asked many witnesses about, and Dr. Stakic never

23 expressed -- never talked about him, never expressed a word of regret or a

24 question of what happened to him. Professor Cehajic, all the witnesses

25 say, was an admired man. I recall the secretary, who obviously wanted

Page 15114

1 very much to testify in favour of Dr. Stakic but also said that Professor

2 Cehajic was very polite, very proper. All of the witnesses have said that

3 he was polite, generous. We even have an interview with Dr. Stakic where

4 he talks about the planning for the takeover. It's S47. And he mentions

5 in that article - it's a 1994 Kozarski Vjesnik article - he mentions

6 Professor Cehajic congratulating him after he is made the president of the

7 new Serb assembly in January. And Professor Cehajic says, "I congratulate

8 you with all my heart. Now we're both presidents." And Dr. Stakic said

9 in the interview, "But I knew what was behind the smile, the plan, the

10 terrible plan that the Muslims had for us." And yet Kozarski Vjesnik and

11 many of the other evidence we have and witnesses say that the only thing

12 that Professor Cehajic advocated after the forcible takeover and overthrow

13 of the elected government that he headed was a Ghandian resistance. Even

14 in one of the Kozarski Vjesnik articles he's identified in 1994 as one of

15 the leaders of the Ghandian resistance.

16 Professor Cehajic was a simple professor of a high school. He

17 liked to spend time with his son and his wife. There's never any --

18 there's not one bit of evidence that he advocated any violence, and he was

19 the person who was elected. And unlike myself, he was a person chosen by

20 the people of Prijedor to speak on their behalf, and he suffered like so

21 many of them did. So I think it's appropriate to hear a little bit of his

22 words. This is a portion, a small portion, of the letter he wrote to his

23 wife, delivered from an inmate from the Omarska camp.

24 [Videotape played]

25 "Since my departure, since that 23rd of May when they came to my

Page 15115

1 house to get me, I have been living in another world. It seems to me that

2 everything that is happening to me is just an ugly dream, just a

3 nightmare. And I simply cannot understand how something like this is

4 possible. My dear Minka, Almira, and my son, you know how much I love

5 you, you know how much I love you all. And because of this love, I have

6 never done anything nor would I ever do anything that would cause you any

7 pain. I know that you know that what they're trying to put on me has

8 nothing to do with me whatsoever. I just keep wondering whom and how much

9 I have offended so that I have to go through all this. But I still

10 believe in justice and I believe in truth, and I believe that this will

11 all be cleared up."

12 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honours, the evidence in this case shows that

13 the accused played a key role in crimes of just tremendous magnitude, the

14 deaths of thousands, the deportations of tens of thousands.

15 Your Honours, this Tribunal was created to bring justice for these

16 kinds of crimes, and crimes of this magnitude, a person who played the key

17 role -- a key role in those crimes, such as Dr. Stakic, it is our position

18 that the justice requires a sentence of life in prison for these crimes.

19 Thank you.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This concludes today's hearing. And we will

21 hear the closing arguments Monday morning, 9.30, presented by the Defence,

22 starting in Courtroom II and then later in Courtroom I in the afternoon.

23 The trial stays adjourned until Monday, 9.30.

24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

25 at 4.39 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,

Page 15116

1 the 14th day of April, 2003 at 9.30 a.m.

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