1 Wednesday, 3 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is the case
9 IT-03-69-T, The Prosecutor versus Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 Before we continue, the Chamber received a request by the
12 Stanisic Defence to -- that they would like to question Dr. Eekhof
13 regarding his latest medical report. That will not be possible today,
14 because Dr. Eekhof is not on stand by, and he is not supposed to be,
15 because the daily reporting system is functioning only if Mr. Stanisic
16 has declared that he feels not well enough to come to court. So, under
17 the present circumstances, Dr. Eekhof is not -- is not on stand by.
18 There is another matter on -- on whether or not to -- what access
19 there is for the parties to a reporting medical officer who has been
20 appointed by the Chamber, that is -- so, therefore, if you would like to
21 put questions to Dr. Eekhof, then the most appropriate way of dealing
22 with it is to address the Chamber, explaining what the matters are you
23 would like to ask Dr. Eekhof about so that the Chamber can then decide
24 whether or not it will make the reporting medical officer available for
25 further questioning.
1 That is one issue.
2 The Chamber has -- apart from that you wanted to put further
3 questions in relation to the report, the Chamber is totally unaware of
4 whether you want to -- what kind of questions you would like to put to
5 him. And if you would prefer to deal the matter in private session,
6 Mr. Jordash, you know that you can ask for that.
7 If it would be, however, on the basis of apparently problems
8 Mr. Stanisic is having at this moment, medical problems, I will deal with
9 that after we have dealt with the request to put further questions to
10 Dr. Eekhof, because these are two separate issues for the Chamber at this
12 MR. JORDASH: Perhaps could I accept Your Honours' invitation and
13 go into private session, please.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We move into private session.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 3088-3092 redacted. Private session.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
23 Then I'd like to ask the Prosecution whether it is ready to call
24 its next witness.
25 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour, the Prosecution calls
1 Mr. Sulejman Tihic. And the witness will be examined by
2 Ms. Maxine Marcus.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
4 Then could the witness be brought into the courtroom.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon.
7 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tihic, before you given evidence, the Rules of
9 Procedure and Evidence require that you make a solemn declaration, that
10 you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 The text is now handed out to you by Madam Usher, and I would
12 like to invite you to make that solemn declaration.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 WITNESS: SULEJMAN TIHIC
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Tihic. Please be seated.
18 Since we are in open session, I think the curtain
19 shouldn't be ...
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
21 JUDGE ORIE: I'm reminded that the transcript has to scroll so
22 many lines, in order not to be visible from the public gallery. So the
23 curtain will be open soon.
24 Mr. Tihic, you will first be examined by Ms. Marcus. Ms. Marcus
25 is counsel for the Prosecution. You find her to your right. And please
1 proceed, Ms. Marcus.
2 MS. MARCUS: thank you, Your Honours.
3 Examination by Ms. Marcus:
4 Q. Good afternoon, President Tihic.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. Can you hear the translation clearly?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you kindly tell the Court your full name, date, and place
9 of birth.
10 A. Sulejman Tihic, Bosanski Samac, the 26th of November, 1951.
11 Q. What educational studies did you complete, sir?
12 A. I completed elementary and secondary school. I completed in
13 Bosanski Samac. And then I got a degree in law in Sarajevo. After, I
14 worked as an intern in a court of law. I passed the bar examination.
15 And, in that way, it became possible for me to become a judge, lawyer,
16 prosecutor, et cetera.
17 Q. What professional positions did you hold between the completion
18 of your education and the beginning of the war. Just briefly?
19 A. Very briefly, I was a judge of the municipal court in
20 Bosanski Samac. Then the public prosecutor for the municipalities of
21 Modrica, Odzak, and Bosanski Samac. And after that, I was a lawyer.
22 Q. And so what is your current position, please?
23 A. Currently, I am president of the chamber of nations of the
24 parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 Q. What was your political position within Bosanski Samac in 1991
1 and into 1992?
2 A. I held political positions as a volunteer. I did not receive a
3 salary there. I was head of a local community in town and president of
4 the Party of Democratic Action for Bosanski Samac, and then a member of
5 the regional and then Main Board of the SDA for Yugoslavia at the time.
6 Q. President Tihic, that Tribunal has been graced by your presence
7 in numerous prior case. As you know, pursuant to Rule 92 ter of our
8 Rules, the Prosecution has sought leave of the Chamber to tender some of
9 your prior evidence in this case. Do you recall providing statements to
10 the Office of the Prosecutor on the 31st of October, 1994; the
11 28th of February, 1995; and the 21st of August, 2001?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Have you had the opportunity to review those statements before
14 coming to court today in a language which you understand?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you confirm that they are true and accurate to the best of
17 your knowledge?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. If I were to ask you the same questions today as you were asked
20 during those interviews, would you provide the same answers?
21 A. Yes.
22 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, the Prosecution would first like to
23 tender into evidence the witness's statements dated 31 October 1994,
24 28th February 1995, and 21st August 2001.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections? No objections.
1 Madam Registrar, three statements dated 31st of October, 1994,
2 that first one would be.
3 THE REGISTRAR: That would be Exhibit P173, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: P173 is admitted into evidence.
5 The second statement, 28th February, 1995.
6 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P174.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
8 The third statement would be 21st of August, 2001.
9 THE REGISTRAR: And that will be Exhibit P175, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And is also is admitted into evidence.
11 Please proceed, Ms. Marcus.
12 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. President Tihic, do you recall testifying in several prior cases
14 before this Tribunal?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Specifically, do you recall testifying in the Simic case on the
17 13th, 14th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th of September, and the
18 6th, 7th, and 8th of November of the year 2001?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And do you recall testifying in the Milosevic case on the
21 2nd and 3rd of December of the year 2003?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you have an opportunity to review your prior testimony in
24 those two cases in a language which you understand prior to coming to
25 court today?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And do you affirm the accuracy and truthfulness of your prior
3 testimony in those two cases?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. If I were to ask you the same questions today as you were asked
6 then, would you provide us with the same answers?
7 A. Yes.
8 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, for ease of reference, now, as the
9 Prosecution seeks leave of the Chamber to tender these prior transcripts
10 into evidence with the related exhibits, for ease of reference we've
11 prepared a chart. I can hand out paper copies to all those present. We
12 also can call up an electronic one if that's of instance. Similar to --
13 in prior instances we shaded in green the ones that are already admitted
14 into evidence. So these are the associated exhibits to the prior two
16 Your Honours will also note that we've clearly indicated exactly
17 which case each exhibit is associated to and the page reference in that
18 prior days. Especially in light of the length of the prior testimony in
19 the Simic case, we thought that would be of assistance.
20 So the Prosecution seeks leave to tender the Simic transcript,
21 the Milosevic transcript, and the associated exhibits to those two, as
22 well as the associated exhibits to the statements that we've just
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Are there any objections against the admission of
1 the testimonies in the various cases, Simic and Milosevic, and the
2 associated exhibits?
4 MR. KNOOPS: Yes, Your Honours, we don't have any objections
5 expect for a query we have submitted to the Prosecution as to exhibit
6 with ERN number 0582. That's the Kula camp video which was indeed
7 admitted in the Milosevic case. Our query is that we are still in the
8 blind what the relevance of this video could be for this witness.
9 So we would just -- would like to make a reservation as to the
10 tendering of that Kula camp video until the moment arrives that the
11 Prosecution makes visible what the relevance is, if any, and the
12 connection between that video and this witness.
13 For the remainder of the statements and exhibits, we don't have
14 any objections.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now the list reads P61 in our case.
16 Therefore, I do understand that apart from whether that it was admitted
17 into evidence in this case and that, therefore, the question -- did I
18 understand well that green means already admitted in the
19 Stanisic Simatovic case?
20 MS. MARCUS: That is correct, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Which means that -- which is clearly indicated both
22 by the colour and by the P number which is P61. Which means, Mr. Knoops,
23 that the one and only of these documents which is not in need of any
24 decision, you would like us to not yet decide.
25 MR. KNOOPS: [Microphone not activated]
1 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar informs me that three more documents
3 appearing on this list are already admitted into evidence in this case.
4 Madam Registrar, would you please give us the -- I would say the
5 numbers. But one of the problems with the final exhibit list is that --
6 no, let me see. The associated exhibits are unnumbered. But perhaps you
7 could guide us to the --
8 MS. MARCUS: If I may, Your Honour, just to tell you the
9 associated exhibits are in numerical order according to 65 ter number.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MS. MARCUS: [Overlapping speakers] ... that was just --
12 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... not all of them do have a
13 65 ter number --
14 MS. MARCUS: -- not all of them have -- correct.
15 JUDGE ORIE: But to the extent they have, you say they're in
16 numerical order.
17 Madam Registrar, could you guide us by 65 ter numbers to those
18 documents which are already in evidence.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Certainly, Your Honours that. Would be
20 65 ter 647.
21 JUDGE ORIE: One second. 647, which is the patch of
22 Arkan's Tigers admitted in -- patch of Arkan's Tigers. Is that the one?
23 And that is exhibit ...
24 THE REGISTRAR: P31.
25 JUDGE ORIE: P31.
1 The next one, Madam Registrar, would be ...
2 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter 2466.
3 JUDGE ORIE: 2466. One second.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Admitted as Exhibit P127.
5 JUDGE ORIE: That is -- well, that's the Territorial Defence
6 building, I see. May I take it that it's a photograph of that building
7 or -- not the building itself, I take it, Ms. Marcus.
8 MS. MARCUS: Right. Correct, Your Honour.
9 THE REGISTRAR: And the third --
10 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
11 And the third one --
12 THE REGISTRAR: The third document is 65 ter 3567.
13 JUDGE ORIE: 356 ... which is another building. Yes. That would
14 be -- that's the Territorial Defence building 2-5. And that is ...
15 THE REGISTRAR: That is Exhibit P128.
16 JUDGE ORIE: P128.
17 Ms. Marcus, you explained to us what the green items are and the
18 yellow items are?
19 MS. MARCUS: Yes, Your Honour. The yellow items were the
20 remaining exhibits that the Defence had objected to. But upon a brief
21 conversation prior to the hearing, the Defence, Stanisic Defence,
22 informed us that they would not have any objections to those yellow
23 items. So the list goes in as is.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That is then clear.
25 Ms. Marcus, the Chamber is a bit concerned about the volume of
1 material and if it would -- if we would find no repetitions whatsoever,
2 but that appears not to be the case. And there are no objections, so, as
3 such, the Chamber would incline the -- would be inclined to admit it all
4 into evidence. But the Chamber would very much like you to make a great
5 effort to see whether you can considerably reduce the number of pages
6 without loosing content.
7 MS. MARCUS: Yes, Your Honour. We have endeavoured throughout
8 the preparation for this witness to do just that. There was a large
9 volume of exhibits associated with -- with this witness, as we tendered
10 in the 92 ter application. And we have dramatically reduced it both
11 for -- to avoid duplication to ensure that those documents which we are
12 tendering are directly associated such that the testimony cannot be
13 completely understood in the absence of those documents and photographs.
14 And this -- we've also, of course, in that process taken into
15 careful consideration the objections of the Stanisic Defence.
16 And this is the final result of that -- that process,
17 Your Honours. And so the Prosecution submits, respectively submits that
18 this collection that you have before you as the reduced list --
19 JUDGE ORIE: I'm less concerned about the list as I am about the
20 number of pages of the transcripts.
21 MS. MARCUS: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I can see that documents usually are not
23 repetitious, but sometimes you find similar information about the same
24 things in the testimony.
25 MS. MARCUS: Yes, sir.
1 JUDGE ORIE: What exactly happened until the war broke out.
2 MS. MARCUS: Mm-hm.
3 JUDGE ORIE: That's usually the same in the statements and in the
4 testimony. And then, of course, the next question is what kind of
5 details are really necessary, and it's mainly in view of the -- of the
6 testimony rather than in relation to the associated exhibits. And I also
7 see that you can't lose the link. I don't know whether you have
8 considered that already. At least I would like to give you some
9 additional time to consider whether we can do with less pages. And it's
10 not only because of environmental concern, saves half a wood sometimes,
11 but also that we keep our evidence focussed on the case without too many
12 repetitions. So before the Chamber finally decides, the Chamber would
13 like to invite you to further look at this aspect of the evidence you are
15 You are aware, at this moment, that the attestation is there,
16 there are no objections. Of course, if you would make a certain
17 selection then, of course, it could well be that then the Defence starts
18 opposing because of the way in which you selected. But the main concern
19 is that we get a lot of repetition here and there and whether we can
20 avoid that.
21 MS. MARCUS: Yes, Your Honour. We will certainly endeavour to
22 have another look it. I would just briefly point out, just directly in
23 response to your comments, sir, that the first two statements of the
24 witness are associated exhibits to the Milosevic case without which it's
25 very difficult to understand the cross-examination because paragraphs are
1 put to the witness by the accused.
2 But beyond that -- and we did also cut out the Tadic transcript
3 and the Seselj transcript already from this.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I've seen that your initial list was a longer
6 MS. MARCUS: Okay.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Then we will invite, first of all, let's assign
8 numbers already to the documents you had tendered, awaiting final
9 decision on admission.
10 That is -- let me now -- we are, at this moment, for the 92 ter
11 material, we are, first of all, and I don't know whether you want to make
12 them one exhibit, that is the sequence 13th of September until
13 20th of September, 2001, and 6 November and 7 November are related to
14 that, although of a later moment but in the same case.
15 6 to 8 of November, same year.
16 Would you like to have them all as one exhibit, or would you like
17 to have them split up in what would it be, nine exhibits.
18 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, we would be very pleased to have it
19 all as one exhibit. In fact, the entire testimony in the Simic case with
20 your leave.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 Madam Registrar, could you please assign a number to the
23 following transcripts of previous testimony by this witness:
24 13 September, 14 September, 17 September, 18 September, 19 September,
25 20th of September, although a limited portion of that date.
1 6th of November, 7th of November, and 8 of November, 2001.
2 That would receive number ...
3 THE REGISTRAR: That will be number P176, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: P176 is marked for identification. And we'd like to
5 hear further from you, Ms. Marcus.
6 Then the transcript of previous testimony in the Milosevic case,
7 which would be 2nd and 3rd of December of 2003. That would receive
8 number ...
9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P177, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. To be marked for
12 Then I would like to invite you, Madam Registrar, not now
13 immediately but on the basis of the list provided by Ms. Marcus which,
14 especially then the associated exhibits starting on the third page of
15 that document, to already prepare assignment of numbers for those so that
16 we then have them all together. And, of course, with the exception of
17 those that are already in evidence.
18 And could you distribute, once you have provisionally assigned
19 numbers, distribute them to the parties.
20 Ms. Marcus, please proceed.
21 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. President Tihic, in your prior evidence, you describe the
23 creation of parallel structures in Bosanski Samac. Can you explain to
24 the Court what you meant when you described parallel structures being
1 A. These were parallel structures to the legally elected authorities
2 in Bosanski Samac and Bosnia and Herzegovina in general. These
3 structures were necessary in order to create the Serb Autonomous Region
4 of Northern Bosnia as well as the Assembly of the Serb Municipality of
5 Bosanski Samac and the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 When it comes to municipal structures, it meant the formation of
7 the Serb police and the Serb Territorial Defence staff, as well as the
8 Serb Secretariat of National Defence, the tax revenue service, and so on
9 and so forth.
10 Q. Can you tell us to your knowledge when these parallel Serb
11 structures were established?
12 A. Concerning the Serbian Autonomous Region of Northern Bosnia,
13 covering the area of Doboj, it took place in the fall of 1991. Perhaps
14 in October or November.
15 As regards the Serb municipality of Bosanski Samac, it took place
16 in February, in late February, of 1992, I believe.
17 Q. How did you -- how did you come to know that parallel Serb
18 structures had been established?
19 A. We could learn that from the media, from the various communiqués
20 for the public. This was no secret at all. The message was clear: In
21 future, there were not going to recognise any legal authority. That is
22 to say, the institutions of the Bosanski Samac municipality and the
23 authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina in general.
24 Q. So what -- what did happen, then, to the constitutional
25 structures, the legal structures, which had existed previously?
1 A. They resumed their work. In difficult conditions though. They
2 could not function fully and efficiently across the territory. They
3 could not efficiently do that because parallel to the legal structures
4 there were the illegal structures in place, which in any which way tried
5 to hinder the work of the legal institutions, starting with the police.
6 For example, the Serb police said that the Bosnia-Herzegovina police
7 could no longer enter in the Serb villages or control traffic in those
8 areas or collect taxes for that matter. This actually meant that they
9 stopped attending any meetings of the legally elected and appointed
11 Q. Were you present at any meetings where the establishment of these
12 parallel Serb structures was discussed?
13 A. I didn't participate at the meetings which drafted such
14 proclamations and adopted decisions because such meetings mainly
15 comprised SDS representatives or possibly from some other smaller
16 parties. However, I did attend another type of meetings at which those
17 decisions were being commented on. One of such meetings took place on
18 the eve of the attack on Bosanski Samac, when we were all called in to
19 the municipal assembly building.
20 The president of the SDS, Blagoje Simic, proposed that in the
21 area of Posavina, in the four municipalities concerned, there should be a
22 division. Two were supposed to go to the Croats, Odzak and Orasje; and
23 one municipality to the Serbs, that is to say, Bosanski Samac; and to the
24 Muslims, the municipality of Gracac. We did not agree do that. We said
25 that municipalities cannot be controlled or influenced by only one
1 nation, but, rather, that the population was mixed and their institutions
2 should reflect the ethnic makeup, irrespective of who was in the
3 majority. That is to say, it should have comprised Serbs, Croats, and
5 I believe we were given a deadline of seven days to accept their
6 proposal. They said that if we refused, they had their means of
7 achieving what they wanted.
8 Q. And what do you -- what was your understanding of what those
9 means of achieving what they wanted? What was it what they wanted, based
10 on your understanding at the time?
11 A. At that time, I was still hoping that this was an interim
12 tactical move on their part. I knew that in order to divide
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina along ethnic lines would be impossible, or, rather, it
14 would be possible but then it meant war. I still believe that their
15 proposal was a tactical play in order to achieve some of their goals. I
16 could not believe at the time that it was possible to divide
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina along ethnic lines and solely based on that criterion.
18 I was proven right, later on.
19 All locations contained mixed populations. There were very few
20 areas with only one ethnic group represented. It's like a leopard skin
21 pattern. There were representatives from all sides, and such a concept
22 of theirs could simply not be implemented, unless there was a war.
23 MS. MARCUS: Could I ask the Court Officer to please call up
24 65 ter 747.
25 JUDGE ORIE: When waiting for that, Ms. Marcus, your last
1 question confused me because there were two different questions which
2 were put, more or less, as one.
3 You asked, What was your understanding of what those means of
4 achieving what they wanted, which is a clear question, seeking what the
5 witness understood would be the means to enforce what they had on their
7 And then you continued by saying: What was it they wanted, based
8 on your understanding at the time, which is what they wanted to achieve,
9 apparently, and not the means.
10 Now, you phrased it in such a way that -- you pronounced it in
11 such a way that it looks as one question, but there are two different
12 questions. And apparently the witness answered only the second question
13 and not the first one. If are you interested to know the answer, and I
14 would be interested, perhaps you ask the witness again what the apparent
15 means of achieving meant, of how we understood that.
16 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour. I will do.
17 Q. President Tihic, can you explain to us, based on that meeting,
18 what you understood to be the means that were going to be used?
19 JUDGE ORIE: If they would not do what they were requested to do.
21 A. Firstly, they proposed an agreement. But once they received our
22 response to the effect that we did not wish to accept that, they imposed
23 a deadline, and they concluded with an implicit threat. They said that
24 if we refused that, they had their own ways and means to bring it on. It
25 was our conclusion that they were ready to use force. Although still, at
1 the time, I was not convinced that they were actually going to use it. I
2 knew what that would entail. It meant a lot of suffering.
3 MS. MARCUS: Would it be possible to call up 65 ter 747, please.
4 Q. President Tihic, is the subject matter of this document familiar
5 to you?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 This comes from the Serb Autonomous Region of Northern Bosnia,
8 the proclamation of the Serb Autonomous Region. Various SDS deputies met
9 as well as representatives of certain other parties. There were seven or
10 eight municipalities included in that area, like Modrica, Bosanski Samac,
11 Derventa, Bosanski Brod. They declared the whole area to be the Serb
12 Autonomous Region, although, according to the census, in the area there
13 were one third Croats, one third Serbs, and one third of Muslims. They
14 simply said that that was going to be a Serb Autonomous Region. This was
15 a way of sending a message to the effect that in that territory there was
16 no room for others, non-Serbs. This is completely illegal and outside
17 the constitution.
18 Q. Thank you, sir.
19 MS. MARCUS: Could I now ask the Court Officer to call up
20 65 ter 748.
21 Q. Is the subject matter of this document familiar to you, sir?
22 A. Yes. I am familiar with it. This is a decision on the
23 establishment of the Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac and the
24 Serbian Municipality of Pelagicavo. Again, this was following the ethnic
25 principle used to form a municipality with its seat in the town of
1 Bosanski Samac, encompassing several municipalities. It included the
2 territory of Bosanski Samac as well as Orasje, Gradacac, and Odzak, those
3 four municipalities. The area was not ethnically pure. By necessity,
4 such a territory included settlements and villages of other ethnic groups
5 who were not Serbs. That is to say, Croats and Muslims, or Bosniaks, as
6 they were referred to at the time.
7 Q. Thank you, sir.
8 MS. MARCUS: Could I now ask the Court Officer to please call up
9 65 ter 749.
10 For the information of the Court and for the record, the prior
11 two documents were on the list of associated exhibits, whereas this one
12 now is not.
13 Could I ask for page 3 in B/C/S, please, and page 4 in the
15 Q. President Tihic, is the subject matter of this document familiar
16 to you?
17 A. Yes. This is the decision to establish an assembly of the
18 Serbian people of the municipality of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo.
19 I just commented on it. Now we see it published in the
20 Official Gazette of the municipality of Bosanski Samac. This is a bit
21 illogical, you know. There is no such a thing as political unions of
22 nations but of citizens residing within a certain territory, irrespective
23 of their ethnic background. This is also illegal, unconstitutional, and
24 there were only SDS representatives in attendance.
25 MS. MARCUS: Could I ask the Court Officer to turn in this
1 document to page 10 in the B/C/S and page 21 in the English.
2 Q. President Tihic, may I draw your attention to the two sets of
3 conclusions which we see. What do these paragraphs signify to you?
4 In English, just for note, the first conclusions are on page --
5 the page that we see here, which I believe is 21. And they continue onto
6 the next page, to 22.
7 A. These were the conclusions which served as precursors to indicate
8 that their project was to be implemented by force. They were to form the
9 Serb police institutions, the Serb staff, et cetera. This was a written
10 confirmation or an impetus for the attack which came after two days, the
11 attack on Bosanski Samac.
12 MS. MARCUS: Could I tendered this document into evidence,
13 Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections.
15 Madam Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P178.
17 JUDGE ORIE: P178 is admitted into evidence.
18 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. President Tihic, what did all this mean with respect to the
20 non-Serb population in Bosanski Samac?
21 A. It meant that there was no room for the others in the territory
22 where they hailed from, where their ancestors were from. That, in the
23 future, it was all supposed to be Serbian only. This was not possible in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It had never been, it never will be, and, of course,
25 it isn't possible in any other civilised part of the world, that within a
1 territory, there is an political association of only one nation and not
2 of all citizens residing there. The same happened not only in the area
3 of Samac and Northern Bosnia; this was a political project which
4 encompassed the entire territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In that way,
5 they tried to create their own political preconditions, preceding the use
6 of force and ethnic cleansing of the population and the removal of all
7 non-Serbs, which, in turn, was to be followed by a division in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina in order to create a parastate which would later on be
9 annexed to Serbia.
10 Of course, it had to have a backup by means of force, which was
11 necessary in order to implement the project. This was a very clear
12 political project. They would never have been able to do this had they
13 not had Belgrade support. They had the support of the armed forces, of
14 the then-JNA, as well as the police of Serbia. Of course, they also
15 enjoyed financial and logistical support.
16 MS. MARCUS: I'd like to call up Prosecution Exhibit P60, which
17 is a map from the Court binder, map 28. And perhaps I could give the
18 hard copy on the ELMO so that as the President indicates what he is
19 speaking, we could see what he is pointing to.
20 President Tihic, as they prepare the map, I'm going to ask you to
21 explain briefly to the Chamber the strategic importance of Bosanski Samac
22 at the time.
23 A. I would kindly ask the interpreters to speak a bit louder from
24 now on. Thank you.
25 Bosanski Samac was --
1 JUDGE ORIE: One second, yes, Mr. Knoops.
2 MR. KNOOPS: Mr. Tihic is a witness of fact and not an expert.
3 And we have -- we didn't notice any expertise on military strategical
5 JUDGE ORIE: Was it about military strategy that the question was
6 about or.
7 MR. KNOOPS: Well, even if it is just strategic importance of
8 Bosanski Samac, we would submit that is not something for a witness of
10 JUDGE ORIE: Well, the question is phrased in a way which does
11 not primarily elicit facts, but we could invite the witness that, if he
12 has ever formed an opinion about the strategic importance, and then on
13 what facts he based such an opinion so that we know what the relevant
14 facts for this witness were. And then, of course, it is for the Chamber
15 to consider whether or not the opinion formed by the witness is something
16 that is relevant for the Chamber to consider.
17 Ms. Marcus, if would you have asked, Have you ever formed an
18 opinion about the strategical importance, and then the answer would have
19 been yes or no. If the answer would have been yes, you could have asked
20 to -- for a fact, that is, what that opinion was, because that's a
21 factual question. And then could you have asked --
22 Mr. Knoops, this also demonstrates that by rephrasing the
23 question, you can seek exactly the same information in a factual way
24 rather than in -- in opinion matters.
25 Let's try -- it's inevitable, now and then, especially in this
1 kind of cases, that perhaps sometimes a bit of opinion slips in, but, at
2 the same time, it should be clear, whatever a witness says and if it
3 contains any elements of opinion, that we would know on what facts that
4 it is based so that the Chamber is in a position to see whether it would
5 draw similar conclusions.
6 Please proceed.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Bosanski Samac is at the confluence
8 of the Bosna and Sava rivers. There's a railway going through
9 Bosanski Samac as well as a highway. On the other bank of the Sava river
10 is the Republic of Croatia that is linked to Bosanski Samac by a bridge
11 and --
12 MS. MARCUS:
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I'm sorry I'd just like to
14 interrupt you, sir. The map that you see on the table next to you, if
15 you point to it, we can see what are you pointing to on our screens.
16 That's why I requested -- I'm sorry I didn't explain that to you, sir.
17 The one on the table next to you. Yes, sir.
18 A. Well, Bosanski Samac is here, at the confluence of the Bosna and
19 the Sava river. And you will see here the markings for railways and a
20 highway that goes through Bosanski Samac. There is a bridge on the Sava
21 river, which links Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, the Republic of
22 Croatia. Bosanski Samac has a port of its own on the river and that is
23 of significance as well. From an industrial point of view, it was a
24 rather well developed, affluent municipality. All the main roads from
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina go via Bosanski Samac towards Croatia and towards the
1 rest of Europe. And that is why I made that assessment, perhaps, about
2 its importance, strategically economically, and perhaps in other ways as
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all other
5 microphones please be switched off when the witness is speaking. We
6 barely hear him anyway. Thank you.
7 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, sir.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At any rate, it is far more
9 important than Odzak or Orasje or Modrica, you see, in the surrounding
10 area and the area around Bosanski Samac. And that's why Samac was the
11 first to be attacked because it's more important, due to all these
12 elements, than these other towns. I mean, the neighbouring
13 municipalities. That's what I meant.
14 Q. Thank you. President Tihic, in your prior evidence you discussed
15 the formation and arming of the Fourth Detachment. Could you tell the
16 Chamber when the Fourth Detachment was formed?
17 A. The Fourth Detachment was formed sometime in the beginning of
18 1992. I think that's the way it was. It was established within the JNA,
19 within the 17th Tactical Unit, and we were informed about that by
20 Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic. We opposed that because we thought that the
21 JNA could not have that kind of a detachment, this kind of form, as it
22 were, that it was a matter pertaining to the Territorial Defence and that
23 the matter had to be dealt with within the TO staff, not through the JNA.
24 Q. You mentioned a Colonel Nikolic. Can you tell us who that was?
25 A Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic.
1 A. Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic was part of the military garrison, one
2 of the top people in the military garrison in Brcko. Again, he had
3 certain units that were outside the barracks, and part of these units
4 were in the territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac. His
5 headquarters were in a village in the municipality of Bosanski Samac that
6 was called Obudovac.
7 Q. Based upon your position in the community at the time, what was
8 your view of the reasons for the formation of the Fourth Detachment?
9 A. In my view, that Fourth Detachment shouldn't have been
10 established. But this is what we were told, what the reason was for
11 doing that.
12 Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic said then that the aim was to prevent
13 inter-ethnic conflict and to possibly defend the town of Samac from these
14 conflicts and possible incursions from the Republic of Croatia,
15 incursions by armed groups, individuals. This detachment, in terms of
16 its ethnic structure, was predominantly Serb, but there were a number of
17 Bosniaks and Croats as well.
18 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, I'm aware of the time. And I wonder,
19 because this is a pausing point in terms of subject matter, if you would
20 like to --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then it would be an appropriate moment to -- because
22 we have sessions of 75 minutes.
23 We'll have a break, and we'll resume at 4.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 3.29 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 4.05 p.m.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
2 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. President Tihic, at what point did you first notice the presence
4 of these "special forces from Serbia" to whom you so often refer in your
5 prior evidence?
6 A. I noticed that sometime in the beginning of 1992; perhaps the
7 month of February or March in the town of Samac which is a relatively
8 small town with a population of 5.000. So as soon as there is an
9 stranger in town, you're bound to notice him.
10 Since these people spoke Ijkavian, it meant that they had come
11 from Serbia. Now, who they were, I found out only in relation to my
12 political party, because I worked as a lawyer, and then an ethnic Serb
13 told me that Batkusa and Obudovac, his village, was where the members of
14 the Red Berets were brought to.
15 As soon as they arrived there, they started setting up an order
16 of their own, inter alia, they beat up the Serb guards, or, rather, the
17 policemen who stood guard there facing the Croatian villages of
18 Ostra Luka and Orasje. Now why did they beat them up? Because they sat
19 in a tavern together and did some drinking together; that was the reason.
20 Also they wanted young men to have haircuts, they assaulted women. So
21 they were setting up some order of their own there.
22 Others heard about that as well, that these people had arrived.
23 MS. MARCUS: As I'm finished using the ELMO, would it, please, be
24 possible to lower the top of the ELMO? It sort of blocks the view to the
25 witness. Thank you.
1 Q. Sir, in your prior evidence, you describe the attack on
2 Bosanski Samac. Can you the Chamber, to your knowledge, who attacked
3 Bosanski Samac?
4 A. To the best of my knowledge, Bosanski Samac was attacked by these
5 specialists from Serbia who had arrived. I think that they were the
6 fist, as it were, of this attack, together with the police of the
7 municipality of Samac, then also the Serb staff of the
8 Territorial Defence of Samac, and also the JNA was there. Perhaps they
9 joined the attack against Bosanski Samac somewhat later.
10 Q. Did you ever get a clear sense of who was in command during the
12 A. I don't know exactly who was in command. Probably there was some
13 kind of coordination. However, I do know who the person in charge was
14 there, at the time. It was these specialists. They were the masters of
15 life and death, as it were, in Bosanski Samac. I also know that they
16 were the first to enter Bosanski Samac and they took the police station
17 and the municipality building. One could see that these were people who
18 knew how to wage war, who knew how handle weapons, as opposed to the
19 locals, who carried weapons as if they were wooden beams, or sticks. You
20 could see that these other people were professionals, warriors, who knew
21 their business.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all other
23 microphones please be switched off while the witness is speaking.
24 Thank you.
25 MS. MARCUS:
1 Q. Sir when you refer to specialists, it might be a point of
2 translation, but could you clarify, just for -- for the sake of the
3 record, what do you mean when you say specialists?
4 A. Special units. Special units that took part in the attack
5 against Bosanski Samac, or who led the attack against Bosanski Samac and
6 who were the masters later. I know full well that nothing could have
7 been decided without them afterwards. We, who were detained, were so
8 afraid of them. Also, the local Serbs were afraid too, because you could
9 see straight away that these were persons who were prone to crime and
10 that killing someone meant nothing to them. Perhaps the local Serbs
11 disagreed with that. They would -- those who would show some tolerance
12 towards us detainees had problems then with the specialists from Serbia.
13 Also, they did not trust Serbs who had mixed marriages with
14 members of other ethnicities from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 When they took me prisoner, when they brought me to the police
16 station, when they brought me into the duty service, Djordjevic, Crni,
17 the captain who was there, everybody was standing around him, and he was
18 issuing orders to them. And then a man from the Fourth Detachment walked
19 up to him, Simo Zaric, and he simply dismissed him. He couldn't even
20 address this man because he was so important. Zaric wanted to say
21 something to him, but no way.
22 Q. Now, sir, your prior evidence describes your experiences while in
23 detention in several locations in both Bosnia and in Serbia. Due to the
24 admission of all that prior evidence, we will not need to delve into your
25 ordeal in great detail. However, I will ask you a few certainly aspects
1 in relation to your time in detention.
2 When were you first detained?
3 A. I was detained on the 18th of April, 1992.
4 Q. Who was it who detained you?
5 A. Well, at that moment, when I was arrested, I was in the apartment
6 of a colleague of mine, a lawyer, Borislav Pisarevic. One of these
7 specialists came to get me, one of the members of the special units from
8 Serbia, and another local policeman was there. So they took me to the
9 police station there, and they immediately handed me over to this
10 Djordjevic, Crni, the captain, who asked me to speak on Radio Samac and
11 to make a certain statement, which I had to do, of course.
12 I was taken to the radio station by one of the specialists of
13 his. One of them asked me questions, and he give me a statement that he
14 had written up, to read, and I read it, indeed. After that, they
15 returned me to the police station, and I was put in a room there and was
16 interrogated by two men who introduced themselves as being Arkan's
17 Tigers. They beat me. I can tell you of the details, but I don't know
18 how necessary that is. I know that they called someone in Valjevo, a
19 girl; I remember that very well. And while he was beating me, he called
20 her so that she could hear how they were doing their jobs and things like
22 Q. Sir, two brief follow-up questions to your answer, just to be
24 You mentioned someone named Crni, Djordjevic. Do you know his
25 full name?
1 A. Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, Captain Crni, Kapetan Crni. That's what
2 he was called. He was the man who was issuing orders, and there were
3 some others there as well who I got to know through these beatings.
4 Zvezdan Jovanovic, for one, who later murdered Djindjic. And then
5 Slobodan Miljkovic, Lugar, and some Musa, Bokan. Laki, Beli, and so on.
6 We knew their nicknames, mostly.
7 Q. Sir -- you said --
8 A. You know what? None of the local Serbs hit me. These were the
9 people who hit me, you see? And they tried to affect these friendships
10 of ours that existed traditionally in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And this
11 tolerance, they tried to destroy it. Whoever tried to show some mercy
12 towards the detainees had problems with them. I know, for example, if
13 they'd go somewhere, to Gradacac, to the front line, or something, then
14 the commander of the police station, Sabotan Carovic [phoen], would take
15 me out. He'd bring a doctor to see me. He'd give me food, water,
16 whatever, everything that we did not have.
17 Q. Sir, when you described the moment of your arrest, you said that
18 one member of a special -- of the special units was there. How did you
19 know that this person was from the special units?
20 A. Well, you see, they had different uniforms in relation to the
21 others. I mean, the locals, regardless of whether it was the Serb
22 Territorial Defence or the Serb police or the JNA. The Serb
23 Territorial Defence had olive-green grey uniforms, the uniforms of the
24 Former Yugoslav People's Army; whereas these people had camouflage
25 uniforms, that is to say, different uniforms. They had different
1 insignia, and they spoke Ijkavian, you see. So that's how we could tell
2 that they were not from Bosnia.
3 Q. President Tihic, can you briefly tell us each location where you
4 were detained, how long you were detained there.
5 A. Well, you see, first I was brought into the police station by
6 those people who introduced themselves as Arkan's Tigers. After that I
7 was transferred to the Territorial Defence staff premises, which is
8 opposite -- on the other side of the street. I found some 50 people
9 there, roughly, who had been already detained. After two days, I was
10 returned to the police station for integrations. And I was in a room
11 that was perhaps 1 metre 80 centimetres by 1 metre 20 centimetres. There
12 were dozens of us there and we were there -- we just had this one bench;
13 we slept there. Everything happened there. We were tortured physically
14 all the time. You couldn't even go to the toilet, let alone exercise
15 some other rights.
16 After that, we were transferred -- I mean, I can move on faster
17 or slower, whatever you prefer.
18 Afterwards, we were transferred to the JNA barracks in Brcko;
19 that is where we were treated decently, if I can put it that way, under
20 the circumstances. We weren't beaten there. After that, we were taken
21 to the barracks in Bijeljina, Fadil Jahic Spanac. We were there for two
22 or three days. And then, after that, a few of us were singled out of
23 this Samac group that involved about 50 or 60 men, and then we were
24 transferred by helicopter to Batajnica.
25 I remember very well that in this helicopter there was one of
1 these specialists and there was a coffin and a man from the military
2 security, I think. We were in Batajnica from the 3rd until the
3 27th of May. From Batajnica, we were transferred to Sremska Mitrovica
4 when we were exchanged on 14th of August, when this large-scale exchange
5 was effected. Panic from Serbia and Greguric from Croatia had agreed on
6 that. It was on the 14th of August that this took place in
7 Remetin [phoen].
8 Q. Sir, could you just tell us where is Batajnica?
9 A. Batajnica is a military airfield near Belgrade.
10 Q. And Sremska Mitrovica?
11 A. Sremska Mitrovica is also in Serbia. More precisely, the
12 Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. It's about 50 or 70 kilometres away
13 from Belgrade.
14 Q. Thank you, sir.
15 MS. MARCUS: Could I ask the Court Officer, please, to call up
16 65 ter 2466.
17 Q. President Tihic, can you tell us what we see in this photo?
18 A. This picture was taken from the courtyard of the
19 Territorial Defence Staff. Across the street, you see the police
20 building. There were detainees in both the police building as well as
21 the TO Staff. So these two buildings are vis-à-vis each other along the
22 same street.
23 Q. To your knowledge, who was in charge of the detention centre in
24 Bosanski Samac in the police station and the TO building?
25 A. I don't know who was in charge formally. We were guarded by the
1 regular policemen of the security station of the Serb municipality.
2 As for those who made decisions on detention and the release of
3 detainees, I think those were the so-called special forces. I know that
4 after two or three days, when they initially wanted to release me, Crni
5 said, Tica, you mustn't release anyone without my approval. So I guess
6 he had the last say, the final say.
7 Q. When you said "Tica," what did you mean?
8 A. He said, Tihic, you musn't release anyone without my approval.
9 You mustn't release Tihic in particular. It was clear to everyone that
10 there was nothing to be done without him, although the locals among them
11 thought that I should be released. For as long as I was in
12 Bosanski Samac, every day and every night, they were beating up
13 prisoners. I was beaten on a daily basis. The local Serbs did not beat
14 us at the time. Later on, they began doing so. But in the initial
15 period, they were not doing that. The others were beating us and
16 stealing stuff from us. I was made to go to my house to bring money, and
17 my brother had to bring in money for Djordjevic for Crni. He brought in
18 15.000 German marks and then the money was handed over through a Serb.
19 Allegedly this was supposed to assist in my release, but obviously it
21 Q. Now you mentioned earlier that you were detained among 50 to 60
22 others. Can you tell us what the ethnic composition was of the group of
23 those detained?
24 A. Their ethnic background was Muslim and perhaps 20 per cent of
25 them were Croats. That was the only criterion used to detain people, and
1 that's something that I cannot understand and I cannot justify that.
2 I was brought in as the SDA president, and that was a good enough
3 reason. But most other people were brought in just because of their
4 ethnic background. Some of them were even members of the
5 Fourth Detachment, and, still, they were brought in.
6 Q. What was the relationship, or the connection, let's say, between
7 those who were in charge of your detention and those who were involved in
8 other aspects of the attack on Bosanski Samac?
9 A. Well, you see, I know that the local Serbs, irrespective of
10 whether they belonged to the Serb police or the TO Staff or the
11 Fourth Detachment, they did not hold these special forces from Serbia in
12 high esteem. They wanted them to withdraw. They posed a threat to them.
13 I was in an office after Slobodan Miljkovic, Lugar, a member of
14 the special forces, killed someone from -- with a handgun; and
15 Simo Zaric, one of the commanders of the Fourth Detachment, called
16 Colonel Nikolic to come and save the prisoners because he feared they
17 would all be killed. But no one could order them about. They didn't
18 care about Nikolic or anyone else. They had their own authority, and it
19 was the only that could issue any orders to them. I do think that there
20 was some coordination, though, during the course of the attack on
21 Bosanski Samac. There were things in common between these two groups.
22 Q. For clarification, sir, between what two groups?
23 A. The two groups. The special forces, on the one hand; and the
24 locals, on the other. So one group are the special forces; and the
25 second are the local Serbs and various armed entities such as the police,
1 the TO Staff, or the Fourth Detachment. The Fourth Detachment tried to
2 pass off as a part of the JNA, saying that they were there to prevent any
3 inter-ethnic conflicts, but, in the end, they only served as part of the
4 project to the benefit of only one people. And somewhere in between,
5 there may have been the JNA. I don't really know how to describe their
7 In any case, without them, none of it would have been possible.
8 They provided logistics and other kinds of support. Their vehicles,
9 their combat vehicles, entered Samac when it was occupied.
10 Q. Can you describe how your transfer out of the camps in
11 Bosanski Samac to Brcko was organised?
12 A. After the murder of a Croat by Slobodan Miljkovic aka Lugar and
13 following Simo Zaric's request, Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic sent a unit or
14 a group of his with vehicles so that we would be transferred to Brcko.
15 Before that, however, there was much fuss about who was to be put on the
16 list to go to Brcko and who was to stay. We felt that whoever stayed
17 behind would be killed and those who were to go to Brcko and taken care
18 of by the army would survive. I know that at a point in time when the
19 list was completed, Simo Zaric came to see me, he hugged me, kissed me on
20 the cheek, and he said, I managed to put you on that list; you're going
21 with the JNA.
22 Most of us boarded the Pinzgauers and were taken to Brcko. When
23 we arrived at the Brcko barracks, the soldiers or the military police had
24 prepared for us. They were ready to beat us. But once they realised
25 what state we were in and once they saw the wounds and bruises of those
1 daily beatings, they gave up. In Brcko, they didn't hit us. There were
2 certain threats; there was a member of the Red Berets who came and said
3 something to the effect that he would slaughter us, but he was driven out
4 by the military police there.
5 Q. Were Crni and the other special forces from Serbia, were they
6 present when you were transferred from Bosanski Samac to Brcko?
7 A. I don't think they were there. I know that they were in a hurry
8 to have us go to Brcko before they returned. The special forces went
9 somewhere at that point in time. They would go and leave Samac for a few
10 hours. I don't know, though, where they went, whether they went to the
11 front lines or to loot, but that's how it was. And in such -- during
12 such an interval, we were taken out. Had they come back at that time, it
13 would have been questionable whether our transfer would be successful.
14 Q. Now, after Brcko, you were held in Bijeljina. Who was the
15 commander of the detention centre in Bijeljina?
16 A. I don't know. It was JNA-controlled. There were some officers
17 there. It was also a Muslim whom I remember.
18 Q. Did you see any special units from Serbia during your detention
19 in Bijeljina?
20 A. No, I did not. A guard threatened us though. He said, Arkan
21 will return and you'll get what's due to you. But no one did.
22 Q. During your transfer from Bijeljina to Batajnica, did you see any
23 special forces?
24 A. As I said a moment ago, when we got into the helicopter, there
25 was a coffin containing the body of a killed Serbian soldier. We were
1 seated around that coffin and handcuffed. There was a member of the
2 special forces there. He a black woolen cap, balaclava-type that can be
3 pulled over your face. That's how we recognised him.
4 There was also a civilian in that helicopter. The special forces
5 guy wanted to throw us out of the helicopter, but the civilian prevented
6 him. Later on when we arrived Batajnica, a few days later, I met the
7 civilian who turned out to be a major from the security institutions. He
8 was the one who conducted an interview with me.
9 Q. Did you see any special forces during your detention in
11 A. I did not. There were soldiers there, and some reserve forces.
12 Regular soldiers and reservists.
13 Q. What about during your detention in Sremska Mitrovica?
14 A. In Sremska Mitrovica, I didn't see them, save for one occasion
15 when we were taken outside for a walk in the yard. There were some
16 people shouting at us from one of the top floors. They said they were
17 Arkan's Men, threatened to slash our throats. But the guards told us
18 that those Arkan's Men had committed crimes in Bijeljina and were
19 temporarily imprisoned there. They were there for two or three days
20 because the next time we were taken out for a walk, they were no longer
21 there. They were up on one of the windows threatening us.
22 Q. As --
23 A. We didn't have any direct dealings with them though.
24 Q. President Tihic, during your attention between 18th of April and
25 the 4th of August of 1992, in which of the detention centres would you
1 say you suffered the worst mistreatment?
2 A. Bosanski Samac was the worst. Imagine if someone locked you up
3 in a room two by two metres, nine of us, and only one bench and
4 constantly you are being beaten up, hit, threatened to be killed. I
5 explained all that in detail. I explained how we were taken out at night
6 and firing squads.
7 Bosanski Samac was the worst by far. At any moment they could
8 come in to kill you, and we were constantly physically abused. Although,
9 I was beaten up the most in Sremska Mitrovica. But there was some kind
10 of system or order there. We were beaten up, and it usually happened
11 after breakfast and dinner. But, still, people could not just come in
12 with a -- a pistol and kill you or take you out the way they did in
13 Samac. Samac was the worst.
14 Q. President Tihic, how many times during those months in detention
15 did you give media interviews?
16 A. I think five times. The first time for Radio Samac; the second
17 for the television station in Novi Sad, when we were transferred from
18 Brcko to Samac only for that statement. The third time in Batajnica.
19 This Lazanski, Miroslav Lazanski guy, the journalist, was there to
20 take -- to have that interview. The fourth time it was Sky News in
21 Sremska Mitrovica. I was interviewed alongside another person of the
22 Croatian army in Vukovar. And the fifth time, a Borba newspaper
23 journalist who spoke with me and some other people one day before we were
25 Q. Were these interviews voluntary or involuntary?
1 A. They were not voluntary. You had to say what they wanted you to.
2 In Bosanski Samac, for example, I had to say that no one beat us and that
3 there were no problems whatsoever. They always told us what to say. In
4 Sremska Mitrovica, they also told us that we were supposed to say that we
5 had sufficient food, exercise, showers, everything else required by the
6 Red Cross. These were messages that were supposed to be sent to Sarajevo
7 or someone else. In that atmosphere -- well, when I provided that
8 statement in Samac, that captain said, After the interview, bring in
9 Tihic; I want to interrogate him. It was all clear to us what we were
10 supposed to say. And then one of the commanders of the
11 Fourth Detachment, Simo Zaric, participated in that interview. The
12 journalist who was there was just as an ornament. He put only one
13 question and even that one question was something that he was told to ask
14 us by the police station commander. And he did so, despite the bruises
15 he could obviously see.
16 Q. Okay. So let us take it, briefly, one by one.
17 The first one you said was a radio interview. Can you recall the
18 date of that?
19 A. On the 18th, when I was arrested. And when -- when I went to see
20 captain Crni, that is to say, Djordjevic, he wanted me to go to
21 Radio Samac and to say publicly that weapons should be handed over and
22 that the Serb authority would guarantee everyone's safety. I was handed
23 over a printed statement that I was supposed to read out, and a member of
24 the special forces was there all along.
25 Q. Now, in relation to the second interview, who obliged you to do
2 A. It was in the Brcko barracks. No one asked you anything. They
3 just told me that I was to go to Samac, that there was a captain there,
4 and I was told that I should give a statement to -- for the TV. When I
5 arrived there, I came across some other people who were detained with me.
6 Some of them came from Brcko. In the room where we gave the statement,
7 the chief of police, Stevo Todorovic was present as well as Simo Zaric
8 who was one of the commanders of the Fourth Detachment who actually
9 interrogated me and conducted that interview.
10 That would be it, more or less.
11 Before the interview, I was taken home to shower and put on fresh
12 clothes to appear decent. Those who took me said that I should be fair
13 in my statement about the questions I was going to be asked, that I
14 shouldn't accuse anyone, and that there was a possibility of our release
15 on the 1st of May. This was late April. And they said, Well, if you
16 watch your mouth, you may be released soon. Don't say something that
17 people wouldn't like to hear.
18 Q. I'd like to show a short clip of the interview to which the
19 witness is referring. It's 65 ter 125. And I'm going to ask our
20 Case Manager, Mr. Laugel, to play the short excerpt.
21 [Video-clip played]
22 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Journalist: Mr. Tihic, please tell
23 me, frankly, what is your impression of the present authorities on the
24 territory of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina; in other words,
25 how are the Serbian police treating the Muslim people, yourself and all
1 other citizens? But please be completely frank.
2 "Tihic: Well, as for the attitude of the Serbian police, members
3 of the Serbian police themselves, I personally had no problems. I can
4 say that they treated me fairly."
5 MS. MARCUS:
6 Q. President Tihic, can you describe yourself here in terms of your
7 condition, as you recall?
8 A. Well, you see, if you would take a closer look, you can see a
9 bruise on the right-hand side of my face. By that time, it had gone
10 yellow because it were -- there were a few days since the last beating in
11 Brcko. I was exhausted. And the statement I gave, I didn't lie as part
12 of that. I said that I was not beaten up by any members of the Serb
13 police from Bosanski Samac. But I was beaten up by others. Of course, I
14 could not say that, that I had been beaten up by the special forces.
15 Q. Can you describe, briefly, the circumstances of your transfer
16 back from -- after this interview, back to the detention centre in Brcko?
17 A. After the interview, we were rushed back to Brcko because the
18 local Serbs and Vlado Sarkanovic who was there, as well as Simo Zaric and
19 Simo Krunic and so on, all of them wanted us onboard those vehicles asap
20 to be taken to Brcko. Because, during the interview, the special forces
21 left again, and the locals were afraid that they would return in the mean
22 time and beat us again or commit a crime. So the soldiers who had
23 brought us there took us back to Brcko.
24 MS. MARCUS: For the sake of the record, I would like to indicate
25 that 65 ter 758 is the witness's interview in Sremska Mitrovica and
1 65 ter 1022 is his Borba interview.
2 Q. Sir, I'd like to go back to the special forces that you are
3 describing throughout your evidence. Can explain again how you knew that
4 these special forces were from Serbia?
5 A. I knew because before the arrest I had information of their
6 arrival from my party. I was told that the Red Berets had arrived by
8 How did I recognise them? By their speech. They used the
9 Ijkavian dialect and wore different clothes. They had camouflage
10 military uniforms, whereas the others had olive grey uniforms or police
11 uniforms. They also had different insignias on their sleeves, different
12 patches. Anyone could recognise them as different. If you took ten
13 armed people with arms at that time, a local person would immediately
14 recognise a special forces member by their dress and appearances as well
15 as behaviour. And one could especially be able to recognise them if you
16 enjoyed the treatment, the way they arrested people, beat them up, and
17 torture them.
18 Q. Sir, you've referred several time to the Ijkavian dialects. Can
19 you explain what that is?
20 A. I apologise. I didn't hear the question.
21 Q. Yes, several -- several times you said "Ijkavski," Ijkavian
22 dialect. Can you explain to the Court what that means?
23 A. In the former Yugoslavia, we used a similar language. It used to
24 be called Serbo-Croatian. The Serb language had certain differences to
25 what we used in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They did not have the IJ syllable;
1 we would say "Mlijeko" for milk, whereas they said "Mleko." Or Vrijeme
2 and Vreme. They also had a different accent. We could understand them,
3 but we could tell them apart immediately. The same goes from anyone
4 coming from Zagreb. You could recognise that person immediately as
5 someone who is not from Bosnia-Herzegovina. I don't know if I have
6 managed to explain sufficiently.
7 Q. So just to be clear, sir, the Ijkavski dialect, the Ijkavian
8 dialect that you're describing is from which region?
9 A. Ekavica is Serbia, Ijekavica is in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The
10 distinction is clearly felt. There's no mistake about that.
11 Q. Sir, at what point did you first notice the degree of influence
12 that these special forces from Serbia had over the local Serb authority
14 A. I felt that immediately, as soon as I was brought to the police
15 station, as soon as I was taken into duty service. There were a lot of
16 there, Captain Djordjevic, Dragan, Crni were sitting there and all the
17 rest were around him. He was issuing orders, that is to say that he was
18 issuing orders to his own men and to the others in uniform, to the
19 policemen, to Simo Zaric who was from the Fourth Detachment, that is to
20 say, all of those who were around him who wanted to ask him something.
21 But he was the man in charge who was issuing orders, and he is the one
22 who ordered me to go to the radio. They brought me to him, not to anyone
23 else. They didn't take me to the chief of police or someone from the
24 army or someone from the Fourth Detachment. I was brought to him.
25 Q. Sir, in your -- in your evidence, both your prior evidence and
1 today in court, you've mentioned several different terms such as you've
2 mentioned the Red Berets. You've mentioned Arkan's Tigers. You've
3 mentioned special forces from Serbia. Can you explain, to your
4 knowledge, based on your experiences, if there was any relationship
5 between these groups?
6 A. Well, you see, I don't know -- well, usually when we'd speak to
7 them, we would have to lower our heads. We were not supposed to look
8 them in the eye. I see that they introduced themselves by way of showing
9 their insignia. When Arkan's Tigers interrogated me, they showed their
10 own insignia. Then there was this other man at the staff who showed us
11 different insignia. The four Ss that mean it is only concord that saves
12 Serbs. But it's four Cyrillic Serb Ss facing each other.
13 Regardless of whether it is Arkan's Tigers or someone else or
14 whoever else was there, Djordjevic, Crni was the commander of all. He is
15 the one who issued orders.
16 MS. MARCUS: Could I ask the Court Officer to call up 65 ter 647,
17 which is one of the associated exhibits.
18 Q. President Tihic, can you tell us if you recognise this insignia?
19 A. Yes, I do recognise this insignia. It's Arkan's Tigers. I saw
20 them at least twice. The first time when I was brought to the police
21 station, on the 18th of April; and the second time -- I mean, because the
22 man himself showed it to me and he said that they were Arkan's Tigers.
23 The second time was when I was at the TO Staff when, again -- well, there
24 were several of us there, 50 or 60, and this man came and showed us his
25 insignia and asked us to sing Glorifying Arkan's Heroism and Greatness.
1 There were different songs glorifying the Serb people, then there were
2 Chetnik songs. I don't know how familiar the Trial Chamber is with this,
3 but the Chetniks are those who fought on the side of Hitler in the Second
4 World War, on the side of the fascist forces. For the most part, that's
5 the type of songs that was sung. Sowing hatred towards other
6 ethnicities, calling for slaughter, glorifying the Serb people. They
7 asked us the same way to glorify Arkan, and these insignia were shown.
8 MS. MARCUS: Could the Court Officer keep this on the screen but
9 next to it pull up 65 ter 3680, if possible. 3680 is -- yes, sir.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus, your previous reference to a 65 ter 647
11 should have been P31, because that was one of the documents which is
12 already in evidence, and in order to avoid others to have to search for
14 So the previously -- Arkan's Tigers was P31, the badge -- patch I
15 should say.
16 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, sir.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
18 MS. MARCUS: I apologise.
19 Q. President Tihic, can you tell us whether you recognise this patch
20 which is on the right side in front of you?
21 A. That's what I was talking about a few moments ago, when one of
22 the specialists came. You see these four Ss, Cyrillic Ss, in the corner
23 over there; and then on the right-hand side, where you see
24 Arkan's Tigers, and you see how the Ss are placed there, the other way
25 around. He explained to us that there was no concord among the Serbs
1 because these four Ss had their backs turned to one another. However,
2 they turned it the other way around so there was more harmony and
3 concord, there was more unity, and that is how they would prevail because
4 they are facing each other.
5 I remember the insignia because of this story that he told us and
6 that he showed this to us.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MS. MARCUS: Now, could the Court Officer replace these, please,
9 with Prosecution Exhibit 141.
10 Q. President Tihic, did you see this patch at any time during your
11 experiences in Bosanski Samac?
12 A. I probably did see it. But these two cases that I explained a
13 few moments ago, well, I remember that better. I remember them better
14 because of what these people who were interrogating me said and showed.
15 There were other insignia too. Yet other ones as well. I cannot
16 remember when it was that I saw this specifically. I cannot remember a
17 specific occasion. But I can remember those previous two because I link
18 them to the interrogation and the explanation that was provided by this
19 member of the special unity. Grey Wolves. This is the Grey Wolves.
20 You know, when you're that afraid, you don't dare look very much
21 at all. And also -- well, there were lots of these uniforms. I cannot
22 remember when it was that I saw this exactly.
23 Q. Sir, you have explained numerous times that a man named
24 Crni, Dragan Djordjevic, was in charge. Do you have any knowledge of
25 whom he reported to?
1 A. Well, of course, I wish to tell the truth and it is my duty to
2 speak nothing but the truth, but I cannot be very specific as to who it
3 was that I actually heard this from. Was in Djordjevic who said it when
4 I was brought there or was it someone else who said that it was a member
5 of the federal MUP who had been pensioned off earlier on and was then
6 reactivated? Now who he reported to, I can assume that he reported to
7 someone in Belgrade. Certainly not to the locals. None of the locals.
8 He also did not report to the army, the locals, the Nikolic or Zaric or
9 Todorovic who was the commander of the Serb police in Samac, or the
10 Serbian staff or anyone in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He -- he reported to
11 someone in Belgrade. He was answerable to someone in Belgrade, but who,
12 I cannot say.
13 He behaved in such a way that all of this was nothing, as far as
14 he was concerned. All of these were locals, and he had all this power.
15 And that power emanated from somewhere outside Bosnia-Herzegovina, as I
16 could conclude or infer or assume. The Ministry of the Interior of
17 Serbia or something like that, state security. I don't know. I cannot
18 say. I know who it could possibly -- who it could have been possibly in
19 the structure of our society. The army; it wasn't the army, on the basis
20 of everything that I experienced and heard. It could only be somewhere
21 up in Belgrade. Well, some police structure within the
22 Ministry of the Interior.
23 MS. MARCUS: Could I request private session, please.
24 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
25 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in private session.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
3 MS. MARCUS: Could I ask the the Court Officer to please call up
4 65 ter 4866, the first pages in both English and in B/C/S, please.
5 Let me ask for the second page in B/C/S, please.
6 Q. President Tihic, do you recognise any name that we see on the
7 page in front of us?
8 A. Probably this Dragan Djordjevic, the one who was in Samac.
9 Q. The date of birth next to Dragan Djordjevic on this page is
10 listed as 14 November 1962. Would that correspond to your knowledge of
11 his age, approximately, at the time?
12 A. Well, approximately, that could be it. He was certainly younger
13 than me. I was born in 1951, and this says 1962, and he must have been
14 ten years younger than me.
15 Q. And is this the Dragan Djordjevic whom you've been referring to
16 with the nickname Crni throughout your evidence?
17 A. Possibly --
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic.
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on the basis of this
21 document that we see here, I really do not understand how the
22 distinguished witness can make any kind of conclusion. There is a --
23 this is a document that mentions a particular person with a certain name
24 and surname. As far as I understand things, the witness never saw this
25 document expect perhaps during the proofing before his testimony. I
1 really wonder how, on the basis of a name and surname that is very common
2 in Serbia, this witness can conclude who this actually is.
3 With all due respect to the distinguished witness, I really think
4 that he cannot do more than speculate as far as this document is
5 concerned. Perhaps we will discuss other aspects of this document later,
6 when we discuss it once it is perhaps being tendered into evidence.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, what's your objection against the
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my objection is
12 First of all, the witness is being asked to speculate and it is
13 this line of questioning that leads to speculation, guess-work, that is
14 the first objection. And also, indirectly through these question what is
15 sought is admission into evidence on the basis of this speculation.
16 So there are two troublesome aspects to it.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not say --
18 JUDGE ORIE: One second.
19 Whether the witness is speculating or not and whether that should
20 affect our decision on admission is still to be seen.
21 At the same time, Ms. Marcus, if you could further explore how
22 common the name is and what other -- apart from approximately the same
23 age -- there may be other matters in this document which would -- which
24 would give a -- a solid factual basis for any conclusions you asked the
25 witness to draw from this document. Because, although it is a mixed
1 matter, fact, and whether it's the same person, we should know exactly
2 what the factual basis for it is, and where it is just making that last
3 step and saying it's the same person.
4 Could you please further explore that. By the way, Mr. Petrovic,
5 it is it matter which you could have thoroughly explored in
6 cross-examination as well. And to say that the witness is asked to
7 speculate is certainly too strong.
8 Ms. Marcus, please proceed, and please consider my guidance.
9 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour, I will do.
10 For the information of the Court, this document is part of the
11 Prosecution's first bar table motion. It's number 329 in the bar table
12 motion which was filed on 23rd of November, 2009. It was received
13 pursuant to RFA 1382 from the MUP archives in Serbia.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MS. MARCUS:
16 Q. Yes, now, President Tihic, can you tell us whether you were aware
17 of any other person by the name of Dragan Djordjevic in Bosanski Samac at
18 the time?
19 A. I don't know. I don't remember now. I've already said that in
20 terms of age and name and surname, it could be that person. I know that
21 he had finished high school. I know that when he was appointed brigade
22 commander, that people from the staff of the Army of Republika Srpska
23 complained as to how someone who only had a secondary education could be
24 appointed commander. He also got married in Samac. You can check the
25 records there. He married a local girl, so you can check whether that's
1 the same person. It's a part of the official books there of the register
2 of marriages.
3 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, the Prosecution would seek to tender
4 this document, not necessarily based on the witness's testimony only, but
5 based because it was received pursuant to RFA 1328 from the MUP archives
6 from -- from Serbia.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections in relation to this document?
8 MR. KNOOPS: Yes, Your Honour, we would object to the admission
9 of this document on two reasons, basically two reasons. First,
10 authenticity; second, the speculation the witness has shown to the Court
11 as to the nature of the person mentioned in the document.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Where is this speculation, Mr. Knoops?
13 MR. KNOOPS: Well, I think after Your Honours instructed
14 Prosecution to be more clear in -- in delivering a factual foundation,
15 the witness, I quote, said "It could be that person."
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and what did he say before that?
17 MR. KNOOPS: He did say that probably this is it
18 Dragan Djordjevic, a second type of speculation. And he also speculated
19 as to the potential age of this person. He was not able to identify any
20 whereabouts of this person --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Now, again, what was his speculation about the age
22 of this person?
23 MR. KNOOPS: I believe it's in line 12.
24 It's, Your Honours, on line 14 running to 16 on page 53.
25 "Well, approximately, that could be it. He was certainly younger
1 than me. I was born in 1951, and this says 1962, and he must have been
2 ten years younger than me."
3 So, speculative, I would say --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Well, whether that is speculation or -- I know that
5 it's -- I wouldn't -- I wouldn't, every observation as to a difference of
6 age, call that speculation. If you would say that -- and I think the
7 witness only said that he should have been younger and that looking at
8 the difference of age that he considered this in line with what he
9 observed. So whether that's speculation or not is still to be seen.
10 But let's -- you say -- well, first of all, let's see, this
11 document was bar tabled as well.
12 I don't know whether you have responded already to the bar table
13 submission in relation to this document.
14 MR. KNOOPS: Yes, Your Honour, we did.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And on the basis of ...
16 [Defence counsel confer]
17 MR. KNOOPS: We didn't deal with this specifically yet,
18 Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And what now is the authenticity issue, because that
20 is apparently for -- is -- is whether it is through this witness or on
21 the basis of the bar table submission, that would be important to know --
22 MR. KNOOPS: [Overlapping speakers] ... right, right.
23 Your Honour, if I may conclude the first submission as to the
24 speculation. The witness also clearly was not able to recollect whether
25 there were other names with the name Dragan Djordjevic. He said, I
1 simply do not know.
2 So we cannot exclude that he was familiar with another person
3 with the name. He is not absolutely clear as to this question.
4 Furthermore, he wasn't able to give any details as to the person
5 he just mentioned. I remember that he underwent high school.
6 So, all in all, we believe there is no basis for admission of
7 this document, simply because it's far from sure whether we are dealing
8 with the same individual. Your Honours --
9 JUDGE ORIE: You would say that the document can be admitted only
10 if, through this witness, we could firmly establish that the person is
11 the same?
12 MR. KNOOPS: Yes, of course. Because the Prosecution is assuming
13 that this witness is speaking about this person. And the whole intention
14 of tendering this document is the presumption that the -- there is no
15 doubt as to the identity of this Mr. Dragan Djordjevic.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Is that a matter of weight, or is that a matter of
18 MR. KNOOPS: Admissibility, Your Honour. Because if we are
19 dealing with a separate person, we are admitting a document under the
20 presumption that we are dealing with the same person.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And would you consider that this Chamber would look
22 at this document as being about the same person if the witness says that
23 he recognises first name, second name, that he sees some similarity in
24 age, that that would, as such, for the Chamber be sufficient to consider
25 that this has now established, through the introduction of this exhibit,
1 that it is the same person?
2 MR. KNOOPS: Not necessarily, Your Honours. I cannot look into
3 Your Honour's mind. But our submission is that the basis for admission
4 should be that there is no doubt that this witness can identify the
5 person in this document. Secondly, as to the authenticity, the
6 signature, which you find at bottom of the document, is -- is disputed by
7 the Defence.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's the authenticity matter then.
9 MR. KNOOPS: Yes. It is not the signature of our defendant.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please respond to this latter -- the
11 first matter -- perhaps we deal with a few -- a few of the other
13 Mr. Tihic, are you familiar with the name of the parents of the
14 person you know as Mr. Djordjevic?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know where he was born?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us whether you know what is -- where
19 Vranje is located?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know where Vranje is, but I don't
21 know anyone from Vranje.
22 JUDGE ORIE: No. But could you tell us where it is? Is that
23 close to Bosanski --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Serbia.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Serbia.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is further away, in the southern
2 part of Serbia. Perhaps it's about 300 or even 400 kilometres away.
3 JUDGE ORIE: From Bosanski Samac, I take it?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then could I ask the Prosecution to perhaps
6 briefly deal with the matters raised?
7 MS. MARCUS: Yes, Your Honours.
8 The Prosecution is tendering this document primarily based on its
9 authenticity resulting from the provision of the document from the MUP
10 archives in -- in Serbia. So the document was received by the Office of
11 the Prosecutor through an RFA, that is, RFA 1382.
12 So in terms of its authenticity, that -- that is the primary
13 basis for its authenticity.
14 As for the witness commenting on it, the witness can only give as
15 much as he can give. And he can only confirm what he confirm. This is
16 the same name that he has referred to throughout, and, therefore, I
17 wanted to show it to him and see whether he could comment upon it.
18 So the primary basis for our submission of tendering the document
19 into evidence is based on its authenticity as a result of having been
20 received pursuant to an RFA as explained in the bar table motion.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Is it your position that every document received
22 through am RFA is, for that purpose, authentic? Or for that reason, I
23 should say.
24 MS. MARCUS: Well, I would say that a receipt of a document
25 pursuant to an RFA from the MUP of Serbia does present very significant
1 indicia of authenticity. But certainly the weight to be given to that
2 document is for the Chamber to determine. Especially in comparison to
3 President Tihic's testimony today, it is up to the Chamber to determine
4 whether or not it is satisfied that this is the same individual that
5 President Tihic has been speaking about.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes you are moving from admissibility to weight to
7 be given, apparently, encouraged by my previous question. But my
8 question was about authenticity.
9 Now, you say we received it through an RFA and therefore
10 that's -- but you have now heard what Mr. Knoops says about the
11 signature, who says that is not the signature of Mr. Stanisic.
12 Have you paid any attention to that yet?
13 MS. MARCUS: Yes, Mr. President, the quandary we're finding
14 ourselves in is that according to our understanding the Stanisic Defence
15 did not contest the authenticity of any documents from the first bar
16 table motion.
17 So it seems to me that they've already -- we will definitely
18 check on this again, sir, during the break, with your leave. We will
19 check one more time to make sure. But that is my understanding, that the
20 Defence for Stanisic did not contest the authenticity of these documents,
21 including this one.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. --
23 MR. JORDASH: Sorry, I know it's -- I'm out of turn, but I can
24 perhaps assist with the bar table motion.
25 Our response was -- in a sense, a non-response. We said we
1 cannot respond until the indictment issue has been settled. Because --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Would that cover also issues like documents being
3 authentic or not because whether or not bearing a signature?
4 MR. JORDASH: Well, we simply took the position that we
5 couldn't -- or wouldn't -- or were not going to respond to the substance
6 of the documents until the Prosecution particularised the link between
7 the documents and a more particularised indictment. I simply stand up to
8 say that it is not correct that we've taken the position that all the
9 documents are authentic. We simply haven't taken a position one way or
10 another in the bar table motion.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We'll have a further look at it.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: The document will be MFI'd. The Chamber will
14 further consider how to proceed. That is, whether we would require a
15 proof of authenticity or not, whether the link with the witness is good
16 enough. We'll further consider admission in all its aspects.
17 Madam Registrar, the --
18 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P179, marked for
19 identification, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
21 I'm looking at the clock. We need a break.
22 Ms. Marcus, could you give us an indication as where you are in
23 terms of time.
24 MS. MARCUS: Yes, Your Honour. I would say I would need
25 approximately another 20 minutes, maximum 30. I will try and keep it as
1 short as possible.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then you will go well beyond the two hours you
3 have asked for. So you are encouraged to -- to try to stay within the
4 two hours of your estimate, and to the extent you're not able to do so,
5 to not go much more beyond that.
6 MS. MARCUS: Understood, Your Honour.
7 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
8 JUDGE ORIE: I think, before we take the break, we return into
9 open session. We are still in closed session.
10 Do we have to remain in closed session after the break?
11 MS. MARCUS: No, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Then we move into open session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
16 We will have a break and resume at ten minutes to 6.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 5.23 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 5.57 p.m.
19 JUDGE ORIE: The document that was MFI'd during private session
20 should have the status of a confidential document, not a public document,
21 even though it's just MFI'd, nevertheless, we have to give it that
23 Please proceed.
24 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. President Tihic, you mentioned in your evidence, your prior
1 evidence, and also you mentioned today some other nicknames in addition
2 to Crni. You mentioned someone called Lugar. You mentioned someone
3 called Beli. You mentioned Zvezdan.
4 Can you tell us, were these individuals members of the same unit
5 or of different units, to your knowledge?
6 A. They acted together. They were the special forces, as we called
7 them. Whether they were a single unit or whether they comprised several
8 units which were merged, that is something I don't know.
9 But it was a joint team, so to say, commanded by Djordjevic,
10 aka Crni.
11 Q. Now, earlier today, you mentioned the name of Zvezdan Jovanovic
12 it was in the -- it was not reflected in the transcript, but I think it
13 was at page 35, line 23, to page 36, line 2, of the temporary transcript.
14 You also mentioned this name in your Milosevic testimony a few times.
15 Could you tell us who was this person, Zvezdan Jovanovic?
16 A. Zvezdan Jovanovic, the public knows this person as the assassin
17 of Zoran Djindjic, the prime-minister of Serbia. I met him during my
18 stay in the Samac camp. He beat me as well. After a number of years
19 when I saw his photographs -- photograph in the daily press in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina under which it said the Serbian PM assassin, I
21 recognised him immediately. I discussed it with some friends of mine who
22 were in Samac at the time, be it in the camp itself or outside, and they
23 all agreed with me that the person in the photograph is Zvezdan Jovanovic
24 who was in Samac as one of the special forces members.
25 A cousin of mine who was not detained and who used to know
1 Zvezdan because they associated, remembers Jovanovic telling him, Oh, by
2 the way, last night I beat up your cousin. And stuff like that.
3 I called him and he confirmed to me that indeed this that was
4 Zvezdan Jovanovic. In Samac he was the master of life and death.
5 Q. Apart from the beatings that you sustained at the hands of this
6 Zvezdan Jovanovic, did you witness any other crimes committed in
7 Bosanski Samac by Zvezdan Jovanovic?
8 A. I know, from what others said, that he was a criminal. He seized
9 vehicles. And I know a person he used who worked in the administration
10 who would change registration papers of those cases -- cars so that he
11 could sell them in Serbia later on. I saw him around as well.
12 Q. President Tihic, I'm going to show you a very short clip from a
13 video in which members of the special operations unit of the Republic of
14 Serbia state security are being introduced to Slobodan Milosevic. I'm
15 going to ask our Case Manager, Mr. Laugel, to play the clip for the
17 MS. MARCUS: It's Exhibit P61.
18 [Video-clip played]
19 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Mr. President, veterans of the
20 Special Operations Unit of the Republic of Serbia State Security are
21 lined up for inspection. Colonel Zika Ivanovic reporting.
22 "Hello, Ivanovic.
23 "Mr. President, allow me to introduce the unit's veteran
25 " Mr. President, Colonel Radojica Bozovic.
1 " Hello, Bozovic, I read those reports of yours.
2 " Thank you ... God forbid there should be more of them, but
3 should there be, I'm here.
4 " Colonel Dusan Orlovic.
5 " Pleased to meet you.
6 " Likewise, comrade president.
7 " Colonel Vasilije Miojovic.
8 " Pleased to meet you.
9 " Colonel Goran Opacic.
10 " Hello.
11 " Colonel Predrag Prica.
12 " Pleased to meet you.
13 " Lieutenant-Colonel Zvezdan Jovanovic.
14 " Pleased to meet you.
15 " Lieutenant-Colonel Sirno Ratkovic.
16 " Pleased to meet you.
17 " Lieutenant-Colonel, pilot, Milutin Radivojevic.
18 " Pleased to meet you.
19 " Good.
20 " Major Nikola Filipovic.
21 " Hello, major.
22 " Major Davor Subotic.
23 " Hello.
24 " Major Miroljub Budimir.
25 " Hello.
1 " Captain, Doctor, Miroljub Savic.
2 " Hello.
3 " Captain Dragan Oljuic.
4 " Hello.
5 " Captain Dragisa Grujic.
6 " Pleased to meet you.
7 " Captain Dragoljub Ratkovic.
8 " Pleased to meet you.
9 " Captain Nikola Loncar.
10 " Pleased to meet you. Welcome.
11 " Captain Djurica Banjac.
12 " Hello.
13 " Captain Dragoljub Popovic.
14 " Hello.
15 " Lieutenant Svetozar Nakarada.
16 " Hello Svetozar."
17 MS. MARCUS:
18 Q. President Tihic, we have heard a man named Zvezdan Jovanovic
19 being introduced to Mr. Milosevic. Is this the same man as the one whom
20 you describe in your evidence as having been the master of life and
22 A. This footage is not perfectly clear, but I'd say this is the
23 person. The footage is a bit dark, but the build is the same, although I
24 cannot see his eyes or face clearly. But I think Zvezdan Jovanovic is
25 this person. That person did what he did later on, and people of
1 Bosanski Samac know him. I'm not the only one.
2 MS. MARCUS: Could the Court Officer please call up 65 ter 3679.
3 I'm sorry, I'm sorry -- no, no, in fact -- that's correct, I'm slightly
4 dyslexic, sorry.
5 Q. President Tihic, can you tell us what we're looking at in this
6 photo, in these photos?
7 A. You can see two houses. It used to be by me and my brother. We
8 used it as business premises and part of -- of which was my legal office.
9 You can see what is left of the inscription that was there.
10 They burned it at the outset, the first or the second day.
11 Q. Can you tell us what was written there before it was destroyed.
12 Can you read to us what is written there?
13 A. It says, attorney-at-law, Sulejman Tihic. Because, at that time,
14 I was a lawyer, and this was my office, across the street from the court
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MS. MARCUS: Could I now ask the Court Officer, please, to call
18 up 65 ter 3769. And the English on -- yeah, thank you.
19 Q. President Tihic, do you have personal knowledge of the contents
20 of this document?
21 A. I see from the text that all persons are refused leave to leave
22 the territory of the Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac without
23 passes. This order was in place, and no one could leave Samac without
24 their approval.
25 Q. How did this impact upon the community in Bosanski Samac?
1 A. It had a negative impact, in the sense that people felt helpless,
2 fearful. Those citizens who remained and who were not Serbs were later
3 used in exchanges.
4 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, I'd like to tender this document --
5 Q. I'm sorry, sir. Did you want to add something, sir?
6 A. And they were constantly exposed to attacks, maltreatment, rapes,
7 thefts. Those of us who stayed, who were unable to leave.
8 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, I would like to tender this document
9 into evidence. It's not one of the related exhibits.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Are there any objections?
11 I hear of no objections.
12 Madam Registrar, the number would be ...
13 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P180, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: P180 is admitted into evidence.
15 MS. MARCUS:
16 Q. President Tihic, that document that we just saw, which -- which
17 restricted freedom of movement for non-Serbs in Bosanski Samac, was this
18 policy part of what you referred to earlier today as the political
20 A. The restriction of movement served primarily to retain a portion
21 of the population who were Muslims and Croats, in order to have people
22 for exchanges, who could be exchanged for the Serbs who were on the other
23 side and who had been detained or captured. The ultimate goal was for
24 all of them to leave the area finally, to move out.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus, you refer to the document as the
1 document which restricted freedom of movement for non-Serbs.
2 Was the document talking about all persons or about non-Serbs?
3 MS. MARCUS: Perhaps I should put the question to
4 President Tihic, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: No. I'm asking what the document says. So,
6 therefore, let's look at the document.
7 It disappeared from my screen, but ...
8 I don't see any -- any restriction in the document. Apart from
9 how it was used, how it was practiced, but you refer to the document as
10 the document which limited the freedom of movement on non-Serbs. And I
11 think, as a matter of fact, that the document talks about no individual
12 without any reference to ethnicity.
13 MS. MARCUS: You are correct, Your Honours, and it was -- I was
14 referring back to the comment by President Tihic as --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But could you please clearly distinguish
16 between -- well, and even in the testimony of Mr. Tihic, I don't think
17 that he said that this was -- he said that those citizens who remained
18 and who were not Serbs were later used in exchanges. That is non-Serbs,
19 apparently, who were subject to this rule were exchanged. It doesn't
20 say -- even the testimony in that respect doesn't say how it was
21 specifically applied to the various ethnicities.
22 May I ask you to be very precise in referring to documents.
23 Please proceed.
24 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. A final question for you, President Tihic.
1 Can you tell the Court how your prior experiences have affected
3 A. Irrespective of everything that had taken place, even at such
4 times you could come across what I would say humans and non-humans. Even
5 after all this, people will go on living together in Bosnia-Herzegovina;
6 Croats, Serbs, and Muslims, because it's a society of that type, despite
7 the conflicts and suffering.
8 The project, which was aimed at separating the peoples and which
9 aimed at arousing conflict, failed.
10 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
11 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, that concludes the
12 examination-in-chief, but I am prepared to make a brief submission in
13 relation to Your Honours' original query as to the quantity of documents
14 being tendered and the quantity of prior statements and transcripts.
15 I could make it now; I could make it after the close of the
16 cross-examination; or in written submissions, as Your Honours please.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber would prefer if, at this moment, we
19 would further hear the evidence of the witness and delay that other
20 matter. And we'll consider what's the most appropriate way in dealing
21 with it. It could be that if we have time that we invite you to do it
22 orally, and if no time remains, we might ask written submissions for that
24 The sequence of cross-examination. Mr. Knoops, you will be first
25 the first one to ...
1 So it is the Stanisic Defence who will start to cross-examine the
3 Mr. Tihic, you will now be cross-examined by Mr. Knoops.
4 Mr. Knoops is counsel for Mr. Stanisic.
5 Please proceed, Mr. Knoops.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Knoops:
7 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Tihic.
8 A. [In English] Good afternoon.
9 Q. Mr. Tihic, I will try to follow the line of questioning my
10 learned friend of the Prosecution has followed, so I'd first like to
11 start with some of your background information, if you don't mind.
12 Sir, is it correct that you never served in the military?
13 A. [Interpretation] I did not.
14 Q. Is it --
15 A. For health reasons.
16 Q. Yes. So, it's fair to say that you have no knowledge on military
17 structures of command and control; is that correct?
18 A. I know about the military structure, to the extent of what I was
19 familiar with as a lawyer. But in terms of command, no, I don't know
21 Q. But as a lawyer, were you involved in military cases?
22 A. No, I was not.
23 Q. So it's fair to say that what you have testified about, in terms
24 of your observations, in terms of who's commanding individuals, is purely
25 based on your subjective feeling; is that correct?
1 A. I base that on what I could see, on what I felt, and on the
2 things I discussed with others or learned through conversations with
3 others. People did not introduce themselves to me.
4 Q. Yes. But if you had to describe in those days, in April 1992,
5 the military structure of the JNA, were you able to set up a structure?
6 A. The Yugoslav People's Army was representative through the
7 Ministry of Defence in the federal government. In terms of command, at
8 the top there was the General Staff, then Military Districts, corps,
9 brigades, detachments, and so forth.
10 Q. And this is based on your knowledge through other sources; is
11 that correct?
12 A. My knowledge is similar to the knowledge of any person who dealt
13 with politics, and the structure of the JNA was part of the legal system.
14 I knew the basic legislation pertaining to it.
15 Q. But it's correct that if it would come to details how a military
16 unit would operate, you would have no knowledge, isn't it?
17 A. How they operated. I know the basic things like others. The
18 principle of subordination and command, superior/subordinate
19 relationship. That's what I know specifically.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Tihic. You introduced today, again, the name of
21 Mr. Simic. Could you give us a brief description of Mr. Simic?
22 Let me be very specific: Is it correct that he was part of the
24 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, perhaps learned counsel could specify
25 which Simic he is talking about.
1 MR. KNOOPS: Blagoje.
2 JUDGE ORIE: The question is about Blagoje Simic and whether he
3 was part of the SDS.
4 MR. KNOOPS: Yes.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Blagoje Simic was the president of
6 the SDS and deputy speaker of the legally elected Municipal Assembly in
7 Bosanski Samac. After that, he was president of the Serb municipality of
8 Bosanski Samac. I knew him before the war, I knew his brother, his
9 father, if that's what you want to note.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all the other
11 microphones be switched off while the witness is answering. Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He also commanded the Crisis Staff.
13 MR. KNOOPS:
14 Q. Would you agree with me, Mr. Tihic, that he was a hard-liner in
15 terms of a member of the SDS?
16 A. Approximately, yes.
17 MR. KNOOPS: Maybe we can pull up Exhibit P180; Prosecution
18 document just shown to the witness.
19 Q. Mr. Tihic, you have in front again before you document P180.
20 Could you explain to the Court who issued this document?
21 A. I don't know. It says the Crisis Staff of the municipality. I
22 can suppose, although I don't see the first and last name and I don't
23 recognise the signature, but I assume it was signed by the president of
24 the Crisis Staff. The president was Simic.
25 Q. So you would agree with me that it is likely that this document
1 was issued by Blagoje Simic; is that correct?
2 A. It is likely. Although it -- his name is not there. But it is
3 only logical that the president signed Crisis Staff documents.
4 Q. Yes. Now, you testified that you were privy to some of the
5 conversations with Mr. Simic. Is it correct, sir, that he actually
6 enforced these kinds of decisions without approval of anyone?
7 A. I don't know how he enforced these decisions. At that time, I
8 was detained. On the 21st of May, I was already in Batajnica in the
9 military prison.
10 Q. Yes. Could you have a look at Article 2 of that decision,
11 mentioning the public security station.
12 You see that? Yes. Have you any idea why it's --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Have you any idea why the public security station is mentioned
15 here in Article 2?
16 A. The public security station is in charge of civilians, and the
17 military command was in charge of conscripts. That's why I believe this
18 is here.
19 Q. Yes. At the bottom of this document you see that it is copied to
20 the public security station as well as military commands.
21 My question is: Do you know what military commands are referred
22 to here, or meant?
23 A. I can presume again. This is the 21st of May. I think it has to
24 do with certain military commands of the Serb TO or the armed forces, the
25 commands which existed in the field at the time. I suppose these were
1 local commands, because the Municipal Crisis Staff could not issue orders
2 to larger military formations. I can only guess, but it would be
3 illogical for a Municipal Crisis Staff to issue orders to senior
4 commands. They presumably could do so in the case of local units, such
5 as the Territorial Defence Staff of Samac, and the units -- Serb units
6 which were under that staff.
7 Q. But you would agree with me that this document is actually an
8 order to the military command? Apart from whether it was a bigger unit
9 or a smaller unit. It is directed to the military command.
10 Is that a fair reading of the document, Mr. Witness?
11 A. That's what it says --
12 Q. So --
13 A. -- but there's no logic in a municipal level issuing orders to
14 commands of Military Districts, corps, or brigades. I think this had to
15 do with the local population which was organised as part of the Serb TO.
16 Q. Yeah. Mr. Tihic, do you agree with me that at that time it was
17 not uncommon for a Crisis Staff to issuing orders to military commanders;
18 is that correct?
19 A. I don't think a Crisis Staff could issue orders to military
20 commands. Military commands were senior to Crisis Staffs in my
21 assessment. And I mean the Crisis Staffs of municipalities.
22 Q. Yeah, but we're not dealing with ordinary situations, sir, we're
23 dealing with a state of emergency.
24 Is it correct, that, in the state of emergency, the Crisis Staff
25 was empowered to issue orders to military units?
1 A. I don't think so. Military structures issue orders to military
2 units. They can only issue orders to local military units that are
3 within a Territorial Defence Staff, whereas, the others get orders from
4 the minister, from their commander.
5 Q. But this is your assumption. You just testified that you have no
6 knowledge on military structures. But can you exclude the possibility
7 that this order was issued from the Crisis Staff, i.e., Mr. Simic, to the
8 local military command, at that time present in Bosanski Samac?
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Knoops, the witness cannot exclude that on the
10 basis of his previous testimony, I can answer the question.
11 The witness has said, in many respects, that he has to guess; he
12 doesn't know precisely this and this and this; and then to say, Can you
13 exclude ... I could answer that question for him.
14 The witness, apparently -- you can ask him what he knows. You
15 earlier objected against seeking opinion. You will ask five, six, or
16 seven questions, we're all seeking opinion not with a proper factual
17 basis. The only question which was really of a factual character was the
18 question whether it was common at the time that a certain thing happened.
19 The witness did not answer that question.
20 Let's -- let's try to get --
21 Mr. Tihic, when did you see this document for the first time?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Today, perhaps. I don't know.
23 During this session or during proofing. Perhaps this was one of the
24 documents that was shown to me.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, do you have any knowledge of -- you said
1 earlier that you were in prison. Do you have any knowledge gained in
2 whatever way about who were addressed, how it was distributed, how it was
3 enforced? Do you have any factual knowledge of -- of that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have no factual knowledge. I can
5 just assume how things may function, you see.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because, you see, a military unit
8 is rather -- or, rather, it functions at a far broader level than a
9 municipality. And now if every municipal staff were to issue orders to
10 that military unit that pertains to ten municipalities, there is no
11 logic. These order can be different.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I think you already told us a couple of times of
13 what you considered to be logic and not. Now sometimes facts are not
14 always in accordance with logic. Sometimes they are, sometimes they are
16 Mr. Knoops, we've heard a lot of logic and conclusions. And if
17 you don't -- if have you no idea about in which way this was distributed,
18 to whom it was addressed, whether it's logic, et cetera, et cetera, to
19 address it to A, B, or C, then, of course, with that level of knowledge
20 of what happened, you can't exclude anything.
21 Therefore, I think that question is answered, although not by the
22 witness but by me.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. KNOOPS: I'm grateful for that answer, Your Honour.
25 Q. Mr. Tihic, it's correct that Mr. Blagoje Simic made the proposal
1 to divide -- to make the division of the Serbs from the non-Serbs; is
2 that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And is it correct that he would threaten you and your colleagues
5 in that time with the JNA?
6 A. He did not say it specifically, but he said that, unless he got
7 an answer, a positive answer, a favourable answer within seven day, he
8 knows in which way to achieve --
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the rest.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He did not say whether he would do
11 it through the JNA or in some other way, but we took it as a threat of
12 use of force.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all other
14 microphones please be switched off while the witness is speaking.
15 Thank you.
16 MR. KNOOPS: May I please ask the Court Usher to pull up P174,
17 please. It's page 2, the English version, fourth paragraph.
18 Q. And it reads in line 7 -- sorry, 9. Line 9.
19 Mr. Tihic, you have before the B/C/S version of your statement of
20 28 February 1995, page 2, fourth paragraph, line 9, saying:
21 "Every time I had some private contact with him," referring to
22 Blagoje Simic, "he would threaten us with the JNA."
23 Do you see it sir?
24 A. I don't see that.
25 Q. The paragraph starts with -- after four days before the attack --
1 sorry. About four days after the attack, I believe it was the Monday
2 before, the Serbs insisted on having a meeting of municipality
3 representatives, et cetera.
4 You see that paragraph, sir. Yeah?
5 A. I don't see that. But I remember that I have already spoken
6 about that. Maybe you could scroll back.
7 JUDGE ORIE: There we are. I think have now the right page in
8 front of us.
9 The first long paragraph.
10 MR. KNOOPS:
11 Q. You see, Mr. Tihic, you say, in 1995:
12 "Every time I had some private contact with him, he would
13 threaten us with the JNA?"
14 Do you remember that statement, sir? Is it a correct statement?
15 A. It is correct. Whatever is written there is correct.
16 Q. So --
17 A. Are you asking me about a specific date, just before the attack?
18 You asked me whether he threatened with the JNA on that day by presenting
19 an ultimatum to us a few days before the attack when he was asking for a
20 Serb municipality of Samac. That is how I understood your question.
21 Whether he then made threats concerning the JNA. He did not mention the
22 JNA on that occasion.
23 Q. Doesn't matter. So -- but he did threaten with the JNA,
24 irrespective of the time; is that correct?
25 A. I understood your question to pertain to that specific meeting,
1 and that is why I gave the answer I gave.
2 Q. I'm sorry to be unclear. But -- so, Mr. Simic threatened you in
3 the days before the attack with JNA. Is that correct? Yes or no.
4 A. Well, that's what is written here, that that's what I said, that
5 he then made threats involving the JNA. We didn't know of anybody else's
6 existence then.
7 Q. Sir, I'm asking you not to elaborate on what you think. Just
8 please stick to the question.
9 Mr. Simic did threaten you with the JNA. What do you refer --
10 what you mean with the wording "every time."
11 A. Well, look, if we're going to see what I said with full
12 authenticity, he said that the Serbs have the support of the JNA. There
13 is a difference there. Isn't there? He didn't say the JNA would do
14 that. He said that he had the support of the JNA. And that can mean
15 providing them with weapons, securing logistics.
16 Q. Mr. Tihic, is it correct that --
17 A. [No interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Tihic, that Mr. Simic threatened to say, If you are not
19 agreeing with the proposal, I will call in the JNA; is that correct?
20 A. No, no, he did not say that he would call the JNA. He didn't say
21 that. He said that he knew a way in which he could resolve that.
22 Q. And is it correct that he threatened you and the people who were
23 with you at that time to get support from the JNA, in terms of weapons,
24 logistics, forces, et cetera?
25 A. Not on that day. On that day he did not mention the JNA or
1 support or anything else, but he did say that he knew in which way he
2 would achieve that. He didn't mention anyone.
3 Q. And on how many occasions did he elaborate on this JNA
5 A. Well, you see, Blagoje Simic spoke less about the JNA. It was
6 Simo Zaric who spoke more of the JNA and Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic and
7 this Fourth Detachment. He generally spoke about the general support of
8 the JNA. The Serbs have the support of the JNA. And the representatives
9 of the JNA were Simo Zaric, Radovan Antic who were in the structures
10 there. They spoke about the JNA.
11 Q. Is it correct that Zaric was also a member of the SDS; is that
13 A. No. No. Zaric was the League of Communists, the
14 Socialist Party, whatever; he was never SDS. They didn't like him. His
15 wife was a Muslim.
16 Q. Did you, at any time, notice that Mr. Simic did speak to
17 Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic about the support of the JNA?
18 A. I don't know whether he did speak. But as a rule,
19 Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic came to meetings with Simo Zaric and
20 Radovan Antic. Those were the persons that Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic
21 relied on in Bosanski Samac, at least at the meetings that I attended.
22 And it was Simo Zaric more than Antic. And they were the commander and
23 assistant commander of that Fourth Detachment of theirs in Samac.
24 Q. Is it correct, sir, that the decision to attack came from
25 Mr. Nikolic?
1 A. I don't know exactly who it was that took the decision to attack.
2 I can just guess, on the basis of other sources. But I don't know --
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the rest.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat the last part of your
5 answer. You said: But I don't know ... and what did you then say?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know who specifically made
7 the decision to attack Samac. I can just guess, on the basis of the
8 information that I have. It wasn't Nikolic. That's it.
9 Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic was not the one who did it.
10 MR. KNOOPS: Could we please pull up P173. Referring to page 5
11 of the statement of the witness in -- in English version, starting with
12 the paragraph reading:
13 "The night before Samac was attacked, Bozanovic Fitozovic,
14 Simo Zaric and the presidents of all the parties had a meeting to decide
15 ..." et cetera.
16 I ask the witness to look at that paragraph, in specific the
17 14th sentence -- 14th line starting with:
18 "I think the decision to attack came from Nikolic" --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Let's first get the right page in B/C/S on the
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Page 6 in B/C/S, Your Honours.
22 MR. KNOOPS:
23 Q. You see, Mr. Witness? The paragraph in which it's mentioned,
24 14th line:
25 "I think the decision to attack came from Nikolic in Brcko, but I
1 don't know who gave Nikolic the order."
2 A. I can't find that.
3 "I think the decision to attack came from Nikolic in Brcko, but I
4 do not know who gave Nikolic the order. It could be ..."
5 I said I think. However, later, on the basis of some information
6 that I received --
7 Q. My question is -- my question is --
8 A. I don't think it came from Nikolic. I think that Nikolic was
9 also taken by surprise.
10 Q. But on what basis you stated in 1995 that you thought that
11 decision to attack came from Nikolic? What was the basis of the
12 information which led to you think that?
13 A. Well, you see, in 1995, the war was still under way. And now,
14 after the war, just look at Simo Zaric's book. Read it. And you will
15 see from whom the attack -- the order to attack came from. He was taken
16 by surprise too. Some other information showed that the army got
17 involved in the attack on Samac, only several hours after these other
18 units, the special units, and the Territorial Defence Staff of
19 Republika Srpska entered the town.
20 I said that, because that's what I thought at the time. In the
21 mean time, I hadn't had any contact with some people out there in the
22 field. Hadn't seen them in quite a while. And then I came to realise
23 that what I had thought at the time was not correct, that the order had
24 come from another side, not down the military line. That is clearly
25 stated in Simo Zaric's book. You can buy the book. He was involved in
1 the Simic/Zaric case, and he explains that very specifically where the
2 attack came -- or, rather, where the attack order came from.
3 Q. Mr. Witness, I have to interrupt. So you are saying that on the
4 basis of a book you're now withdrawing your statement from 1994 in which
5 you informed the investigators of the Prosecution that you, at that time,
6 were of the opinion that a decision to attack came from Nikolic.
7 Is that correct?
8 A. I'm not withdrawing my statement. You see that I said then
9 "I think" and so on. I didn't say I assert. I said I think. On the
10 basis of what I had available at that point in time. To think and to
11 assert are two different things.
12 Q. We leave that point for now. We go page 4 of your statement of
13 1994 which, in the second paragraph of the English version, states -- if
14 you please have a look at it, the English version, page 4, second
15 paragraph starting with:
16 "The Territorial Defence was not made up of professional
17 soldiers ..." et cetera.
18 The last line of that paragraph reads:
19 "I do not personally know from where Nikolic got his orders, but
20 only the military command in Belgrade could give orders or have authority
21 over the JNA."
22 Do you see that, sir?
23 A. I can't see that. But it is only logical that Nikolic can get
24 his orders from the command up there in Belgrade.
25 Of course. I mean, the page hasn't opened yet, so I can't see
1 what is written there.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Could we always try to find the version that the
3 witness can read. I think it is --
4 Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
5 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Page 4 in B/C/S. The last lines
6 on page 4 and the very beginning of page 5 in B/C/S.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think the -- I think Mr. Knoops specifically
8 referred to the last part of that paragraph which is on the next page.
9 Could you please take your time to read the first paragraph as it
10 appears on your screen now.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've read it.
12 I have said that I personally do not know where Nikolic got his
13 orders from but it was only the military command in Belgrade that could
14 give orders and have authority over the JNA.
15 That is a general statement, a general position, on the basis of
16 the knowledge that I had. As I said a few moments ago, what I know about
17 the military structure, that superiors give orders to their subordinates.
18 So it's only logical that Nikolic who was in Brcko gets his orders from
19 someone above him.
20 MR. KNOOPS:
21 Q. Mr. Witness, I didn't yet pose a question to you. Would you
22 please wait for the question and not elaborate on logic or illogical
23 things, please, sir.
24 Now my question is: Do you agree with me that you're not speaking
25 here of thinking but you are specifically referring to Nikolic getting
1 his orders which is a different thing from that you thought that he was
2 involved in the attack; is that correct?
3 You, in other words, don't -- you do not make any reservation
4 here except that you don't personally know it, but you say --
5 A. It's the most important thing there. I'm saying I don't know.
6 Q. Okay. Not going to discuss this point.
7 I'm putting to you that Mr. Simic called in the JNA through
8 Nikolic to attack Samac; is that correct?
9 A. No. No, I don't think so.
10 Q. There's a difference between no, and I don't think so, I believe.
11 So what is it? You don't know, or you --
12 A. No. No. No. Simic cannot call Nikolic to attack Samac, no.
13 JUDGE ORIE: So let's -- let's try to get -- let's try to get
14 matters straight.
15 You say you do not know from whom Nikolic got his orders.
16 Secondly, you say it would not be very logic that he would have
17 received his orders from Simic.
18 That's your answer.
19 I agree with Mr. Knoops, and I said before, logic is -- is not --
20 I can imagine that you describe that, but we -- you are a witness of fact
21 and you say, I do not know from whom he got his orders.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't, no.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Knoops.
24 MR. KNOOPS:
25 Q. If you don't know, did you see, at that time -- point in time,
1 any documents indicating how exactly Mr. Simic was communicating with any
2 other individuals or politicians?
3 A. Documents? Whether I saw any document? I don't remember.
4 Perhaps if you have some document that I could comment upon?
5 Q. We are not putting, yet, a document to you. I put to you that
6 the attack on Bosanski Samac was effected by the 7th [sic] Corps of the
7 JNA that belonged to the 2nd Military District in cooperation with the
8 local authorities, i.e., Mr. Simic. Is that correct?
9 A. It's not correct, rather.
10 MR. KNOOPS: The transcript reads "7th Corps." It's
11 "17th Corps," sorry.
12 Q. Do you know, Mr. Witness, that the local authorities of
13 Bosanski Samac had, at that time, intensive communications with the
14 Serbian Radical Party?
15 A. I don't know.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Witness, and this may be my last question, Your Honour,
17 for this topic, then we could potentially adjourn.
18 In your statement of 1995, which is P174, page 3, English
19 version, page 3, the --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Let's always wait until we have the document in both
21 languages on our screen.
22 MR. KNOOPS: It's the seventh paragraph.
23 Q. You find it, Mr. Witness? You see it? Starting with the line:
24 "I consider the following people to be the most responsible for
25 the planning of" --
1 JUDGE ORIE: And we wait until we have the document -- now we
2 have it. And, as a matter of fact, not the right page yet, as far as I
3 can see. No, it's still not -- there we are.
4 Do you see it at the bottom of the page in your own language?
5 Please proceed, Mr. Knoops.
6 MR. KNOOPS:
7 Q. Mr. Tihic, you see, there, the paragraph starting with the words:
8 "I consider the following people to be the most responsible for
9 the planing of and executing the attack on Bosanski Samac."
10 Do you see that, sir?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you read, please, the first name, the first names?
13 A. Simo Zaric and Blagoje Simic. Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic,
14 Captain Petrovic, chief of KOS for the attack on the town, Radovan Antic
15 and Mirko Jovanovic, Stevo Todorovic.
16 Q. That will do, witness. Sorry. Just the first line.
17 So you -- so you agree with me that you blame
18 Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic, Simic, Zaric, Petrovic, chief of KOS, for the
19 planning of and the execution of the attack.
20 Did you -- do you still stand to this statement, sir?
21 A. According to the information I had then, I made that statement
22 then. They all did take part in the attack on Samac, after all.
23 Especially, well, both Zaric and Simic.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Witness. Thank you, Mr. Witness. We will deal
25 with the separate names later.
1 MR. KNOOPS: I think, Your Honour, if I may suggest, to finish
2 this topic.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. KNOOPS: Thank you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could I inquire with you, Mr. Knoops, and with the
6 other parties on the timing of cross-examination?
7 MR. KNOOPS: Sorry? I had my microphone off. Sorry.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I would inquire with the parties how much time
9 they think they would need for cross-examination.
10 MR. KNOOPS: I would, say from the Stanisic Defence, maximum one
11 hour left.
12 JUDGE ORIE: One hour left.
13 And the Simatovic Defence?
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that it
15 will be one hour, perhaps a bit more than one hour. Of course, it
16 depends on the questions that my colleague will put. But I believe that
17 one hour would be an optimum and the most realistic from our point of
18 view. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I'm asking which would mean that we would start the
20 next witness tomorrow, somewhere in the second session, most likely,
21 possibly at the beginning of the third session. If the parties would
22 please keep that in mind that -- and it also is clear that, for planning
23 purposes, it's also important to know whether the next witness has to
24 remain stand by or not. So that's one of the reasons why I'm asking.
25 Mr. Tihic, I would like to instruct you that you should not speak
1 or in any other way communicate with anyone about your testimony, whether
2 that is testimony you have given already today, or whether that's
3 testimony still to be given tomorrow.
4 We would like to see you back tomorrow, at a quarter past 2.00,
5 because we adjourn. And we'll resume tomorrow, Thursday, the
6 4th of February, quarter past 2.00, Courtroom II.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 4th day of
9 February, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.