1 Thursday, 4 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone in and around this
8 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
10 This is case number IT-03-69-T, the Prosecutor versus
11 Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
13 Mr. Knoops, are you ready to continue your cross-examination?
14 Mr. Tihic, I'd like to remind you that you're still bound by the
15 solemn declaration that you'd given yesterday, that you'd speak the
16 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 WITNESS: SULEJMAN TIHIC [Resumed]
18 [The witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Knoops, you may proceed.
20 MR. KNOOPS: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Knoops: [Continued]
22 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Witness. Mr. Witness, I would like to finish
23 some questions which I left yesterday with respect to the position of the
24 Crisis Staff.
25 Now, in your statement of 1995 - that's P174 - on page 3, you
1 have stated that you once asked Mr. Blagoje Simic why he wanted a war, as
2 one of his sons could be killed. Can you remember asking him that? And
3 Mr. Simic's answer was that he was prepared to sacrifice all three of his
4 children for war, and you stated that he would change his eyes -- his
5 eyes would change, and he would look like mad man when he spoke like
6 that. Do you remember saying that in your statement?
7 A. I remember it roughly the way you quoted it, and he looked more
8 and more like Milosevic, in terms of his conduct and behaviour, and also
9 his unwillingness to settle in any way.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. KNOOPS:
12 If, please, Exhibit 1747 could be pulled up,
13 Prosecution Exhibit 1747; 65 ter, of course.
14 Q. Mr. Tihic, before you, you see a document which is signed on the
15 15th May, 1992. Are you familiar with the signature of the author of
16 this document?
17 A. I can't see the signature here yet, not on the screen.
18 MR. KNOOPS: Is it possible --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could we move the picture in such a way that
20 we see a signature, if there's a -- yes, there we are.
21 MR. KNOOPS: Thank you.
22 Q. Mr. Tihic, you see the signature of the author?
23 A. Yes, I see it.
24 Q. You agree this is a document signed by Mr. Blagoje Simic?
25 A. I think it is his signature. I've forgotten a bit what his
1 signature looks like, but it was something like that.
2 THE INTERPRETER: If Mr. Knoops could please switch off his
3 microphone when he's not using it. Thank you.
4 MR. KNOOPS:
5 Q. Mr. Tihic, do you agree that if you look at the top of this
6 document, it's issued by the Crisis Staff of Bosanski Samac; you agree
7 with that?
8 A. Yes, I see the date is the 15th of May. By then, I was already
9 in Batajnica, in the camp in Batajnica.
10 Q. Yes, that's correct, sir. Well, according to this document, on
11 the 15th of May, 1992, the Crisis Staff, i.e., Mr. Simic, requested for
12 combat use of aviation and armoured mechanised equipment?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And can you see to whom this request was addressed?
15 A. The Government of the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
16 prime minister personally.
17 Q. So you agree with me that this document actually shows that
18 Mr. Simic, on behalf of the Crisis Staff, requested military support?
19 You agree with that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, would you agree with me that the Crisis Staff was, in those
22 days, empowered to direct and co-ordinate or at least request for
23 military support?
24 A. He had the right to ask for military assistance.
25 Q. Do you agree that the Crisis Staff had the responsibility for
1 directing and co-ordinating the work of the police in Bosanski Samac,
2 including also the work of the TOs?
3 A. I think that that's the way it was, roughly, as far as the local
4 police was concerned and the local Territorial Defence.
5 Q. Yes. Would you agree, Mr. Tihic, that under Yugoslavian law at
6 that time the TO units and staff came under the JNA in times of emergency
7 and war and were subsumed under a unified system of command of the JNA?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Knoops, could you please, before you ask a
9 rather legal question, explain exactly what you understand, in terms of
10 time, what you understand to be Yugoslavian law, apart from -- I do not
11 know, of course, the witness is a trained lawyer, although he did not
12 appear as an expert, but mid-May, in a situation which is described as
13 Serbian Republic
14 know exactly what he should orient upon, in terms of what kind of law was
15 applicable at the time. Because you're talking about the JNA, was the
16 JNA still the armed force of this state? It raises a huge number of
17 questions which I would like you to go through one by one, rather than to
18 ask the witness a short question which he might answer, but leave the
19 Chamber in doubt as to what exactly the gist of his answer -- what the
20 basis for his answer is.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. KNOOPS: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Tihic, in general, in times of war or emergency, a state of
24 emergency, the JNA conducting combat operations in a certain area, is it,
25 as far as you know, the case that in such a scenario the TO units and
1 staff commandeered the command of the JNA?
2 A. I think the Territorial Defence units of Republika Srpska were
3 illegal, you see. There was only the Staff of the Territorial Defence of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, not of Republika Srpska. So that institution was not
5 legal. Also, what was illegal was the presence of the JNA in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina after the European Union recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina
7 on the 6th of April. Now, to discuss who could issue orders to who
8 amongst them, well, they're all illegal.
9 Q. Mr. Tihic, with all due respect, my question is not about issuing
10 orders. My question is simply: Do you know whether, in times of war or
11 emergency, the TO units come under command of the JNA?
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Knoops, if you are under the command of someone,
13 the commander can give orders. Would you agree with that? Yes. So to
14 say it's not about who's giving orders to whom, that is an implicit
15 element of command. Therefore, you are invited to rephrase your question
16 and questions.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. KNOOPS: Yes.
19 May I please pull up Defence document 2D00044, page 12608.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Could the counsel please repeat the number.
21 MR. KNOOPS: 2D00044. It's a 65 ter number.
22 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 We'd just like to state that we were, to my knowledge, not
24 notified of the documents that the Stanisic Defence was going to be
25 putting to the witness. So we were informed -- if I'm not mistaken, I
1 believe we were informed that some of the Seselj documents -- evidence
2 was going to be put to him, but we -- so far for 1747 and for this
3 document now, to the best our knowledge, we were not informed that they
4 were going to be put to him. So we're not objecting to them -- to their
5 use. We're just asking for the Defence, please, to let us know in
6 advance what documents they're going to use.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Knoops.
9 MR. KNOOPS: Apologies, if that's not being correctly done.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Well, there's no objection against using them at
11 this moment, at least, I take it, as far as you know until now.
12 MS. MARCUS: Thus far, no objections, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
14 MR. KNOOPS: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Tihic, I'll ask you to look at line 15 'til 19.
16 A. I'm not in the Bosnian language here.
17 MR. KNOOPS: If it's a non-translation, I will read it out to the
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Usually, it's not the task of our
20 interpreters, although they now and then greatly assist us to translate
21 written documents. However, it happens now and then that we have a small
22 portion of a document which you would then read. So, therefore, if you
23 leave it to a very small portion, and if you would be so kind next time
24 to perhaps submit, even on an urgent basis, any written text which you'd
25 like to put to a witness in his own language, where the original is in
1 another language.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. KNOOPS: I will, Your Honour. Thank you.
4 Q. Mr. Witness, the specific portion I'm referring to reads:
5 "Q. All right. Fine. Now, you know that in case the JNA
6 conducted operations in a certain area, that all the units of the
7 Territorial Defence came under the command of the JNA, and that was
8 according to the concept of then total national or All People's Defence?
9 "A. Yes, that's logical, when it comes to an external enemy, an
10 external foe."
11 A. The JNA operates in case of an external enemy, not internal
13 Q. Okay. I'll move on.
14 Mr. Witness --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could we just -- I'm trying to -- I can't see which
16 page this is. Could it be scrolled up so that I have the page number.
17 Yes, thank you.
18 MR. KNOOPS:
19 Q. Mr. Witness, in your statement, P173, page 6, you stated, in
20 1994, that some of the Muslim members of the 4th Detachment called you to
21 ask you to call the JNA and ask for help, since Arkan and Seselj's men
22 were already killing people in the town. Can you remember making that
23 statement, sir?
24 A. I did not state that these were members of the 4th Detachment,
25 but members of my party. It must be a mistake. They called me, and they
1 asked me to talk, to have members of the JNA come and prevent these
2 killings. That was the kind of information that was there. However, I
3 could not make any contact then. I was not able to communicate. And it
4 is a fact that by then the JNA was already in town with this combat
5 vehicle. That's why I received that call. And I know that by my
6 neighbour's house this vehicle went by with a long gun.
7 Q. Mr. Witness, I put it to you that it was the local community that
8 called in the JNA. Would you agree with me?
9 A. I don't know. I cannot agree, because I don't know. I don't
10 think that was the case. I was part of the local community, too. I
11 should know.
12 Q. Were you part of the Crisis Staff, sir?
13 A. Yes, and also within the political party. I was on the
14 Commission for Protection and Security. So within the local community,
15 there was a forum where we used to meet. It wasn't called the
16 Crisis Staff. It was a body consisting of representatives of all
17 parties, and then there was the representative of the 4th Detachment,
18 that is to say, Mr. Simic, on behalf of the SDS -- on behalf of the SDS
19 Filip Pajevic [phoen], then Simo Zaric, on behalf of the 4th Detachment,
20 and then -- or, rather --
21 Q. Mr. Witness, sorry to interrupt you. Would you please be
22 disciplined in answering the questions. Please answer my questions as
23 short as possible because of the time, sir. If we ask you to elaborate
24 on an answer, I will ask you. So would you please confine to my
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Knoops, one of your previous answer -- questions
2 and one of the documents you've shown to the witness was the Crisis Staff
3 of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. If a couple of lines
4 later you just refer to the Crisis Staff, then the witness says, Yes,
5 but... and then he starts thinking about that it wasn't the real
6 Crisis Staff. It's partly due to the way you put the question to the
7 witness. The first question was, Was there a Crisis Staff before the
8 Crisis Staff we just referred to, that is, the Crisis Staff of the
9 Municipality of Bosanski Samac, of the Serbian Republic
10 have a clearly-defined Crisis Staff. If you want to ask about any other
11 Crisis Staff, unless you'd want to ask him whether he was a member of the
12 Crisis Staff of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Is that what
13 you had in mind, because he was --
14 MR. KNOOPS: I believe you're speaking about the Crisis Staff of
15 Bosanski Samac?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But apparently in terms of time, there has
17 been a Crisis Staff of which you just asked the witness about, and now
18 you're asking him about a Crisis Staff -- I take it, then, a different
19 one, or?
20 MR. KNOOPS: I will rephrase my question, sir.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
22 MR. KNOOPS:
23 Q. Mr. Tihic, were you a member of the Crisis Staff of
24 Bosanski Samac we referred to yesterday, of which Mr. Simic was the
1 A. No, I was not.
2 Q. Okay. Now, the attack on Bosanski Samac took place on the
3 17th April, 1992
6 A. I did not mention the government from Belgrade, and I have no
7 idea how familiar they were with the situation.
8 MR. KNOOPS: If document P174 could be pulled up, please, page 4
9 of the English version. It's the second-last paragraph of page 4 of the
10 English version, and the bottom of page 5 of the B/C/S version.
11 Q. You have it before you, sir?
12 A. Could you please tell me which part? The one-but-last paragraph,
13 was it?
14 Q. Starting with:
15 "On 10th April, 1992
16 liberation of Bosanski Samac after the Second World War."
17 And I especially ask you to pay attention to the last sentence:
18 "He replied that even people in the Presidency in Belgrade
19 know who was doing what."
20 A. That was the celebration of the liberation of Bosanski Samac
21 after the Second World War. It was a big event. I walked up to Andjelko
22 and said hello to him, and this is the reply I got from him.
23 Q. So he actually told you that within the Presidency in Belgrade
24 nobody knew what was going on or who was doing what; is that correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Thank you. I move on to the next topic, and that relates to the
2 support you mentioned yesterday. I have before me the draft transcripts.
3 Yesterday, you testified, on page 27 of the draft transcripts, line 14:
4 "They would never have been able to do that --"
6 "They would never have been able to do this had they not had
8 My question is: Who do you refer to with the words "they"?
9 "They would never have been able to do that without Belgrade
11 A. I have in mind those who attacked Samac.
12 Q. And what do you refer to with the words "Belgrade support"?
13 A. Well, Belgrade
14 the JNA and the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia. Such support could
15 not have arrived from Sarajevo
16 How else could they have been given weapons, and who else could have
17 been -- could have ordered the special forces to come in? These orders
18 must have come from Belgrade
19 Serb Territorial Defence?
20 Q. So you are guessing. Have you any basis for your guess, other
21 than maybe a book you've read?
22 A. It is crystal clear that if weapons are being distributed and if
23 helicopters were there bringing in special forces, it must have arrived
24 on some orders. Blagoje Simic could not have ordered that a helicopter
25 should arrive and weapons be distributed. It could have only been done
1 by the General Staff of the JNA or the Serbian Ministry of the Interior,
2 no one else.
3 Q. Sir, do you have any idea how much weapons were distributed in
4 those days in Bosnia
5 A. In the course of those several months, you should say, because
6 the JNA was distributing weapons for a period of time. More or less each
7 and every Serbian person received a piece of weapons, and they were
8 simply issued with weapons free of charge.
9 Q. I put to you that according to facts and figures in those months,
10 as you mentioned, approximately 60.000 guns were distributed in Bosnia
11 whereby the SDP
12 Would you agree with me that considering these amounts of
13 weapons, that this could have only been distributed by the JNA?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Knoops, according to facts and figures, you said
15 approximately 60.000 guns were distributed in Bosnia; whereas, by the
18 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honours, 17, 17, 1-7.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, 17.000 weapons. Could we hear of your source,
20 Mr. Knoops?
21 MR. KNOOPS: You'll find that, Your Honours, on page 77 of the
22 pre-trial Defence brief, whereby the sources are mentioned.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll have a look at that.
24 MR. KNOOPS: Page 77, where also the documentation on which the
25 Defence relies is mentioned.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honour, may I continue?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
4 MR. KNOOPS:
5 Q. Mr. Witness, do you agree that these amounts of weapons could
6 only be distributed by the JNA?
7 A. First of all, could you clarify for me what you meant by "the
9 Q. The Socialist Democratic Party. It could be the SDS?
10 A. Well, the SDS
11 such data. I think that the weapons came from the JNA. As for what the
12 figures were, that is something I don't know.
13 Q. That's fair enough, Mr. Witness. Would you agree with me that,
14 actually, in the time-frame of April and the month thereafter, all
15 assistance whatsoever, in terms of finances, fuel, weapons, everything
16 logistically thinkable was delivered by the JNA?
17 MS. MARCUS: Objection, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus.
19 MS. MARCUS: I'm not sure that my learned friend has established
20 a basis for the witness's knowledge of the answer to that question.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please establish such knowledge,
22 Mr. Knoops.
23 MR. KNOOPS: Yes.
24 Q. Mr. Witness, do you have any direct knowledge on the source of
25 the logistical assistance, apart from the weapons you mentioned?
1 A. I don't have any direct knowledge. As regards the distribution
2 of weapons to the 4th Detachment in Bosanski Samac, I know, though, that
3 the JNA gave them weapons. There may have been between 3 and 400 pieces.
4 That's what I know directly.
5 Q. Thank you, that's fair enough.
6 Mr. Witness, do you know whether, apart from the JNA, the
7 channeling of weapons also went through the intelligence services within
8 the military, i.e., the JNA?
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. On several occasions in your statements, you have mentioned the
11 name of Mr. Petrovic of KOS
12 in helping the 4th Detachment and was also present when you were brought
13 to a detention camp. Do you have any knowledge whether the KOS was
14 involved with the paramilitary units?
15 A. Mr. Petrovic was in the Brcko JNA Garrison. He had contacts with
16 the 4th Detachment, which, in turn, was part of the military structure.
17 I did see him there on one occasion when I was detained in Brcko. He
18 introduced himself to me as the chief of KOS in that particular garrison.
19 As for his contacts with any paramilitary formations, that is something I
20 don't know about. I do know that he had contacts with the 4th Detachment
21 and that he came to ourselves a number of times with Zoran Simic.
22 Q. Mr. Witness, can you confirm that the military police was working
23 with the paramilitary units?
24 A. I can't. I don't know that.
25 Q. You can confirm, though, because it's in your statement, that the
1 military police was involved in the beatings of prisoners; is that
3 A. Not in Brcko, not the military police. They even prevented one
4 of the Red Berets from doing so. They drove him out of the building. We
5 were there hit by other soldiers, but not the MPs. In Mitrovica and in
6 Batajnica, that, yes, perhaps. We were escorted by military policemen
7 from Mitrovica to Batajnica, and the military policeman escorting us did
8 hit me twice on the head with his baton, but that was all. Later on, we
9 were handed over to the regular JNA forces.
10 Q. So you, therefore, can confirm that the JNA military police was
11 involved in certain locations with beating prisoners?
12 A. They transferred us from Batajnica to Mitrovica, and on that
13 occasion, I received two blows. And as we were being thrown out of the
14 Pinzgauers, perhaps they hit us once or twice again. Then they handed us
15 over to those in charge of the Sremska Mitrovica prison, and the
16 mistreatment continued but there were no more MPs around. Those who beat
17 us there were plain soldiers, I think, not military policemen.
18 Q. Mr. Witness, I put to you that Dragoljub Djordjevic, alias Crni,
19 was under the command of the 7th Tactical Group, the commander of the
20 group, the then-Colonel Stefan Nikolic of the JNA.
21 A. I don't think so. He was outside that chain of command.
22 Q. In the Seselj case, you testified that the JNA actually
23 controlled the paramilitary units. Can you remember giving that
25 A. I don't. I don't remember having said that in those words. To
1 me, even the TO Staff of Republika Srpska was paramilitary because it was
2 illegal. The JNA did provide support, though, but --
3 MR. KNOOPS: Could we, again, please pull up Defence document
4 2D00045, transcripts in the Seselj case, 4th December, 2008, page 12679,
5 especially line 16 to 18.
6 Considering the absence of a B/C/S translation, if Your Honours
7 allow me, I will just read out these three lines.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so, Mr. Knoops.
9 MR. KNOOPS: Yes.
10 Q. So, Mr. Witness, the question is put to you there:
11 "Do you know that some units of the JNA also wore red berets?"
12 That was the question put to you. Your answer on the
13 4th of December, 2008, is:
14 "I don't know, but they came as part of the JNA, as part of the
15 army. Whether they were formally under the control of the JNA or the
16 police, that's something I don't know."
17 A. But this is not the way you originally put the question. I know
18 that they did not agree with Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic and that there
19 were issues. I could see that myself. And this is what Simo Zaric said,
20 as well as others, that they were not respecting the law, and they were
21 in no one's control. That's why Nikolic sent his unit. They were
22 beating us and mistreating us. Had there been any co-ordination, that
23 would not have happened.
24 Q. Yes, but --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus.
1 MS. MARCUS: Excuse me, sir.
2 Learned counsel is taking this out of context, which, normally,
3 of course, he has the right to put which ever part he wants to the
4 witness; but in light of the fact that the witness does not have the full
5 translation of the question and answer which preceded this question and
6 answer, it seems to me to be rather misleading, in terms of the witness's
7 prior evidence, respectfully.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Let's first check that.
9 I'm just checking the context and the way in which the question
10 was phrased.
11 Mr. Knoops, on page 15, line 18, you said that the witness
12 testified that the JNA actually controlled the paramilitary units. Then
13 you referred to a portion of the transcript which reads:
14 "Do you know that some units of the JNA also wore red berets?"
15 And this was in the context of a discussion on who was who in
16 certain activities. I think the witness correctly said that what you put
17 to him is not the same as what was covered by your first question. First
18 of all, your question was far wider, and, second, the witness apparently
19 testified in the context of a specific discussion not about
20 paramilitaries, but about units of the JNA who wore red berets, and he
21 didn't say anything about the command of paramilitaries. He said what he
22 said, and that is that some units of the JNA, apparently wearing red
23 berets, came with the JNA as part of the army, and whether they were
24 formally under the control of the JNA, that's something he doesn't know.
25 So, therefore, a rather -- certainly not what you've put to him in your
1 last question.
2 MR. KNOOPS: Could I rephrase the question, Your Honour?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
4 MR. KNOOPS:
5 Q. Witness, the words "they," mentioned in this answer, "but they
6 came as part of the JNA," to whom are you referring to with "they"?
7 A. I'm not sure who I had in mind out of everyone included. I know
8 those who were there, Djordjevic and the rest, who were not under
9 Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic's control. He couldn't issue orders to them.
10 They were a separate force. Simo Zaric was, however, under Nikolic's
11 control, as a part of the 4th Detachment.
12 As to the extent of Djordjevic's and Nikolic's co-operation, and
13 the manner of that co-operation, that is something I'm not familiar with.
14 I only know that they disagreed on many things. That's why
15 Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic sent his unit to take us out of the Samac camp
16 to Brcko. He disagreed with the methods they used and the beatings.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. KNOOPS: Could we please go to Defence document 2D00044, the
19 testimony of Mr. Tihic in Seselj, 3rd December, page 12548.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Before you put any question, I'd like to read the
21 relevant portion. Could we -- it is 12548. Which lines, Mr. Knoops, you
22 would like to ask questions about?
23 MR. KNOOPS: In line 17, Your Honour, 'til 19.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. KNOOPS:
1 Q. Mr. Witness, the question is put to you there that:
2 "If the Red Berets did come with a helicopter from the JNA, this
3 seems to demonstrate that the army does control these units. What can
4 you say about this?"
5 Your answer is:
6 "Yes, of course. The army controlled all those paramilitary
8 What do you mean with the words "all those paramilitary units"?
9 MS. MARCUS: Objection, Your Honours. Please, the --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could we then read the whole of the answer?
11 Let me slowly read your answer in its entirety, Mr. Tihic. When
12 Judge Antonetti asked you what you could tell about the army controlling
13 a unit, "Red Berets ... come with a helicopter," you said the following:
14 "Yes, of course. The army controlled all those paramilitary
15 units. Those were not paramilitary units; they were special units either
16 of MUP of Serbia
17 as such, but nobody else could have arrived on a JNA helicopter and have
18 so much weapons. So these were special units operating pursuant to
19 orders of either the police, the military, or security services; and they
20 wore military uniforms with some other insignia other than that of the
22 That was your answer to the question.
23 Mr. Knoops, if you, please, ask the witness what you intended to
24 ask him.
25 MR. KNOOPS:
1 Q. Mr. Witness, did you give this statement after -- or the
2 testimony after reading the book of Simo Zaric which you mentioned
4 A. No. I read Simo Zaric's book only a fortnight ago, and this was
5 much earlier, perhaps two years ago.
6 Q. Yes. But you agree that the book of Simo Zaric is from before
7 your testimony in the case of Mr. Seselj; is that correct?
8 A. It is possible, but I didn't read it then. I read it perhaps 10
9 to 15 days ago.
10 Q. Mr. Witness, you have testified yesterday about the special
11 forces from Serbia
12 understanding of those special forces?
13 A. My definition would be that these were skilled and trained
14 members of the armed forces, with a certain amount of war experience and
15 war skills. You could clearly see that difference when compared to those
16 local forces of ours who picked up their weapons for the first time and
17 who were not familiar with the whole thing. These people behaved
18 differently, moved about differently, they spoke differently. You could
19 see that these were special forces who could wage war, who knew how to
20 shoot, and who had no difficulty killing. That's why they were special
21 forces, as opposed to those who were, in a certain way, mobilised and who
22 took up weapons for the first time.
23 Q. Well, did they ever introduce them to you, yourself, as special
24 forces from Serbia
25 A. I told you how they introduced themselves. I think I mentioned
1 that yesterday; Arkan's men, Tigers with those four Ss. And I could only
2 see their insignia when they showed it to me. They didn't come
3 especially to introduce themselves to me. But when they interrogated me
4 and beat me, they showed me their insignia, and I saw that these were
5 Arkan's Tigers. And the TO Staff, I was shown other insignia; I saw some
6 other insignia as well, but these are the ones I remember, because I saw
7 them when I dared look. On occasion, I would raise my head, trying to
8 see around me.
9 Q. But, Mr. Tihic, is it correct that nobody of those groups you
10 mentioned ever told you that they were special forces from Serbia; is
11 that correct?
12 A. They did not introduce themselves as such, but you could tell
13 that from their conduct, from their speech, and from what Djokic told me.
14 He told me who they were when they arrived in that helicopter. I knew
15 they were from Serbia
16 Q. Mr. Tihic, is it correct that the name "Special Forces Serbia"
17 was actually a name given by the local population to them? Is that
19 A. In the camp, we called them "specijalci," "special forces."
20 Before the camp, people from Batkusa and from my party, told me that
21 these were special forces who had come from Serbia in a helicopter. And
22 they also said that they were Red Berets.
23 Q. So it is correct that the local people named them
24 "Special Forces;" is that true, sir?
25 A. I don't know what the local people named them. We called them
2 Q. In your statement -- please pull up P173, page 13. It's the
3 third paragraph from the bottom. I'm not sure whether -- starting
4 with -- no, it was, sorry:
5 "Grga Zubak was already unconscious ..."
6 Page 13. Mr. Witness, you see your statement before you,
7 starting with:
8 "Grga Zubak was already unconscious ..."
9 And --
10 JUDGE ORIE: I see two pages 13 at this moment, both in English.
11 Could we wait until we have found the relevant page in B/C/S so that the
12 witness is able to read with us. And I think we have it -- yes.
13 It's the semi-last paragraph on your screen at this moment,
14 Mr. Tihic. Do you see it?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see it.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
17 MR. KNOOPS:
18 Q. Mr. Tihic, you see the sentence starting:
19 "During our stay, members of the Red Berets, who were Arkan
20 soldiers, were threatening us"?
21 A. It's an awkward expression, but I told you there was that one
22 with a red beret who came to the prison and threatened that he would
23 slaughter us, kill us, but the police removed him. I know that, and I've
24 already told you that several times. And I also saw those in the
25 courtyards through a small window. I saw similar people, Specials, as we
1 called them, who stood out from the rest of them who wore olive-drab
2 uniforms. That's why I thought they were Arkan's men or something to
3 that effect.
4 Q. Mr. Tihic, my question is simply: Is it correct that the -- that
5 Arkan's soldiers were mentioned by the local population as "Red Berets"?
6 A. Arkan's men is one thing. Red Berets is another thing.
7 Q. Mr. Witness, looking at the clock, I'm trying to finish on that
8 before the session is over.
9 Yesterday, you testified about the probability that there was
10 some kind of a co-ordination between the separate groups. You remember,
11 Mr. Witness, that in the Seselj case, you gave a statement or, actually,
12 a summary of all your statements, in which you -- and that is our Defence
13 document --
14 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honour, may I put it already to the witness?
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I don't know what you want to put to the
16 witness, apparently a statement of him?
17 MS. MARCUS: If it would assist counsel, I can give you the
18 ERN in English and in B/C/S, if you're talking about Mr. Tihic's Seselj
19 92 ter statement in the Seselj case.
20 MR. KNOOPS: Yes.
21 MS. MARCUS: Okay. It's 0635-0160 to 0635-0181. It has the same
22 ERN for English and the B/C/S.
23 MR. KNOOPS: I'm grateful for the assistance, Ms. Marcus.
24 Page 12, paragraph 38, last sentence --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Knoops, this document has been made available to
1 the Chamber because apparently there once has been a thought of tendering
2 it as a 92 ter document. Now, unfortunately, the page after page 11
3 states "Page ID 91576." That page could not be found, or "file type not
4 supported." Therefore, we -- and therefore we are missing page 12, and
5 we are also missing, therefore, paragraph 38.
6 Is there any way in which we -- do we have the same in the --
7 under the same 65 ter number? If you could assist, please, Ms. Marcus,
8 to provide us with the 65 ter number under which it was up-loaded. We
9 can even see that from -- let me have a look. It was on one of your
10 previous lists; not on the last one anymore. If you could give us the
11 65 ter number, then we can look at it on our screen.
12 MS. MARCUS: Just a moment, Your Honours. We're checking that.
13 Your Honours, I'm sorry, we don't seem to have a 65 ter number.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I think it has been found by Madam Registrar on the
15 basis of its ERN number. Paragraph 38 apparently starts at the previous
17 I don't know what portion you would like the witness to look at,
18 Mr. Knoops. If it's the beginning, we have to go down one page.
19 MR. KNOOPS: No, Your Honour, it's actually the last sentence of
20 page -- of paragraph 38.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, yes.
22 MR. KNOOPS: The very last sentence.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you please read the last portion of
24 paragraph 38. It's the paragraph preceding paragraph 39.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have read it. Yes, I've
1 read it, yes.
2 MR. KNOOPS:
3 Q. Mr. Witness, do you agree that speaking about the Grey Wolves, of
4 which you say some were Red Berets, some were Chetniks with long beards,
5 some JNA soldiers, you have no idea in what way the co-ordination was
6 done and who had to obey whose orders?
7 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, if possible, for the sake of the
8 completeness of the record, perhaps the paragraph could be read into the
10 JUDGE ORIE: Would you like the whole of the paragraph to be read
11 into the record?
12 MS. MARCUS: The part that the learned counsel directed the
13 witness to read before answering the question, Your Honour, if possible.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I think he -- well, he did not literally quote from
15 it, but -- I think it's important to read it, Mr. Knoops, because what
16 paragraph 38 says is:
17 "I noticed many different soldiers there. Some were Grey Wolves,
18 some were Red Berets, and some were Chetniks with long beards. Also some
19 JNA soldiers were there. They had operated together in the attack on
20 Bosanski Samac."
21 And then:
22 "Firstly, members of the Serbian Territorial Defence and the
23 paramilitary units attacked. The JNA joined in later, around 11.00. In
24 what way the co-ordination was done and who had to obey whose orders, I
25 cannot say, but they were all together there."
1 That gives the full context.
2 Please put your question to the witness.
3 MR. KNOOPS:
4 Q. Mr. Witness, is this, indeed, your position? Could you please
5 answer the question with yes or no .
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Mr. Witness, what is your understanding of Red Berets? Could you
8 give us a definition of "Red Berets"?
9 A. I perceived and experienced all of them as enemies who were
10 there -- who were simply there, who looked dangerous, who looked
11 intimidating. Some sported beards. They were full of hatred, and it
12 looked to me as if I had returned to the Second World War, to some movies
13 about partisans, and I could almost see all of them epitomised there.
14 The Red Berets were nothing special, the Grey Wolves, Arkan's men; they
15 were all one and the same enemies, full of hatred, hostility.
16 Q. Mr. Witness, my final question is the following: You never,
17 before 2008, in any statement you gave to the Office of the Prosecution
18 or in any of the trials you testified, you never mentioned anything about
19 the Ministry of Interior Affairs, yet yesterday in your statement before
20 this Court - it's draft transcript page 52 - you suggested or assumed
21 that -- asking to whom those special forces were answerable, you said:
22 "The Ministry of Interior of Serbia or something like that, state
23 security. I don't know. I cannot say."
24 I put to you that since you never testified about the Ministry of
25 Interior Affairs before, that your testimony before this Court was simply
1 here to suggest that the Ministry of Interior was involved, and that that
2 suggestion was based on sources which were made available to you by third
3 persons and books, like the book you mentioned yesterday. And I suggest
4 that you don't have any direct knowledge and you're just speculating
5 about who potentially would have directed those special forces. What is
6 your answer to this, sir?
7 A. Well, you see, I'm trying to tell you all I know. I've not heard
8 a question like that on any of the previous occasions. This is the first
9 time somebody's asking me, and I'm just giving you my assumption. I
10 didn't -- never said, expressly, that they received orders from the
11 Ministry of the Interior of Serbia or some other Defence ministry. I
12 only assumed that that's where they could receive their orders from. I
13 did not hear questions of that kind before, but let me assure you that I
14 will never say and speak about anything that I did not either experience,
15 personally, and/or came to a conclusion, personally. I can only tell the
16 truth. Sometimes I can't be very concise in my answers because
17 sometimes, although you may ask me to answer with either yes or no, it's
18 impossible. You know, there are a lot of shades between black and white,
19 there are a lot of shades of grey in between.
20 Q. So, Mr. Witness, we can conclude, therefore, that you do not
21 know -- you have no knowledge on the whereabouts of the special forces
22 you mentioned, whatsoever?
23 MS. MARCUS: Objection. Unclear question.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please rephrase, Mr. Knoops.
25 MR. KNOOPS:
1 Q. You have no direct knowledge on the special forces you mentioned
2 in your testimony; is that correct?
3 MS. MARCUS: Sorry, Your Honours, objection again. It's still
4 not a very clear question.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I do agree with you, Ms. Marcus.
6 Mr. Knoops, please -- are you talking about existence as a unit,
7 or could you please be precise, because the witness explained what he
8 understood to be special forces, though that knowledge he has, but that
9 appears not to be -- he appears not to be -- well, not to talk in terms
10 which you do understand or which are in line with your understanding.
11 And, therefore, if you'd please put the question in such a way that the
12 answer can assist the Chamber.
13 MR. KNOOPS:
14 Q. Mr. Witness, you don't know -- have knowledge on the answer to
15 the question by whom these special forces were directed; is that correct?
16 A. I told you what I know, and I told you about my assumptions, who
17 they were answerable to, who they were not answerable to, and I can only
18 repeat the same words again.
19 MR. KNOOPS: Thank you, Your Honour. No further questions.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Knoops.
21 We'll first have a break. Could the witness already be excused.
22 We'll have a break of half an hour or approximately. We'd like to see
23 you back after the break.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 Mr. Knoops, I several times noticed that if you summarise or
1 refer to a part of a statement, that sometimes precision is lacking at a
2 level, which could create confusion. Let me just give you one example.
3 Page 24, line 18, of today's transcript, you said:
4 "Mr. Witness, do you agree that speaking about the Grey Wolves,
5 of which you say some were Red Berets, some were Chetniks with long
6 beards, some JNA soldiers, you have no idea in what way the co-ordination
7 was done and who had to obey whose orders?"
8 Now, if you look at the line of the statement, the witness is
9 talking about soldiers of several kinds. Some were Grey Wolves, some
10 were Red Berets. So you misrepresented what the witness said there,
11 because in your phrase "Red Berets," "Chetniks," and "JNA soldiers"
12 were -- or at least the Red Berets were Grey Wolves, and that's not what
13 that line says. And it's not the first time.
14 I also would like to invite you to, if you ask the witness to
15 agree with you on a certain matter, to split it up, not to tell him the
16 full story of Cinderella and then ask whether he agrees or not. It could
17 be that he agrees that Cinderella is called by that name or that part of
18 what happened in that story is true or not. Please split that up clearly
19 so that we know what the witness agrees with and what the witness does
20 not agree with, that that is clear, and that it's not a kind of a all-in
21 bargain to accept or not to accept. Could you please keep that in mind.
22 We'll have a break, and we'll resume at 10 minutes past 4.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 3.39 p.m.
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic or Mr. Bakrac. Who is it? Yes, but
2 Mr. Knoops has another matter.
3 Mr. Knoops.
4 MR. KNOOPS: Yes, Your Honour. I'm sorry to interrupt, but we
5 would like to tender the first document I presented today,
6 Rule 65 ter 1747, as -- Defence exhibit.
7 JUDGE ORIE: That was the letter or was it the --
8 MR. KNOOPS: It was the letter from the Crisis Staff to --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, seeking for support, military support.
10 MR. KNOOPS: Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Any objections?
12 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, we will not object to the tendering.
13 I just wanted to say that it seems to us that the witness didn't
14 authenticate that document. However, we have no objections as to
15 relevance or reliability or authenticity. So if the Defence is seeking
16 to tender it from the Bar table, we would have no objection to that,
17 Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: As well, of course, the document was introduced to
19 the witness, but all the questions in relation to this document asked to
20 the witness, I could have answered them myself. Of course, the witness
21 could have known something, but whether it came from here, whether it
22 went to there, whether it dealt with this subject, apparently the witness
23 had no knowledge about it, and therefore bar tabling the document would
24 be perhaps the most appropriate way of dealing with it, because I think
25 there were six or seven questions, and all of them I had no difficulty at
1 all to answer them, in a position not to have any further knowledge than
2 the letter and its content.
3 Madam Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document will become
5 Exhibit D16.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
7 Mr. Petrovic, will it be you who will cross-examine Mr. Tihic?
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, it's me, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tihic, you'll be cross-examined by Mr. Petrovic.
10 Mr. Petrovic is counsel for Mr. Simatovic.
11 Please proceed, Mr. Petrovic.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Petrovic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Tihic, I have a few
15 questions for you in relation to your overall testimony. I'd like to
16 start with something that you said in your statement from 1994. P173 is
17 the number of that document. You say that Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic
18 organised small groups of armed men, that he distributed weapons, that
19 these groups were deployed in villages around Samac. Do you remember
20 having said that? I would like to hear whether you know why it was that
21 Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic did that.
22 JUDGE ORIE: One second. If you refer to the statement, would
23 you always refer to page or paragraph number so that we are able to
24 verify whether the reference to the statement is accurate.
25 MS. MARCUS: And, Your Honours, to add to that, it seems to be a
1 compound question, first asking, Do you remember, but there's no answer
2 from the witness, and then the second question.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do agree.
4 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is P173, page 3
5 in B/C/S. This is how it starts:
6 "Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic was commander of the
7 17th Tactical Group."
8 That is what it says at the beginning of that paragraph. It is
9 page 2 in English, the one-but-last paragraph. It says:
10 "... Nikolic was commander of the 17th Tactical Group which
11 covered the Posavina region. The 4th Detachment was a part of this
12 group ..."
13 And so on and so forth.
14 "Nikolic organised small groups in different towns. He gave
15 weapons to the Serbian civilians in different towns, but he was actually
16 the deputy commander of the JNA in Brcko, and one part of this unit was
17 displaced into villages around Bosanski Samac."
18 Q. Mr. Tihic, does this reflect your statement, what I read out just
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. My question to you is whether you have an explanation as to why
22 Nikolic did that, what you described here in your statement.
23 A. When the 4th Detachment was established for the town of
24 Bosanski Samac, we were then told, and it was Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic
25 who said that, or Simo Zaric, that they were doing that, that they were
1 establishing detachments and distributing weapons in order to prevent
2 inter-ethnic conflicts, especially as far as Samac is concerned, because
3 it was on the border with Croatia
4 the possible entry of groups or individuals from Croatia. He mentioned
5 HOS members, for instance.
6 Q. From today's vantage point, do you think that it was Nikolic who
7 was preparing an attack on Samac and the other towns in the region?
8 A. From today's point of view and on the basis of the knowledge and
9 information that I have, I don't think that that was the case.
10 Q. Tell me, in the area that we are talking about, the area of
11 Posavina, what was the strongest force there, who had the best equipment,
12 who had the most manpower, who controlled the area in April 1992?
13 A. The strongest force was the JNA, by far, and then the police.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, if I could take you back to your
15 previous question, you asked whether, from today's point of view and on
16 the basis of the knowledge and information that, I take it, you have --
17 no, he said, I have -- no, you asked the witness:
18 "Do you think, from today's vantage point, it was Nikolic who was
19 preparing an attack."
20 That question asks for a judgement rather than for a fact.
21 That's one. And, second, refers to "today's vantage point." For the
22 Chamber, totally unknown what would be included in this judgement or what
23 would not be included.
24 So I would like to emphasise, again, let's try to ask witnesses
25 of fact about facts and try to refrain from directly asking for a
1 judgement, an opinion. Not to say that it won't slip in now and then and
2 that sometimes it will be a bit mixed. But as soon as any portion of
3 judgement or opinion slips in, it should be perfectly clear what the
4 factual basis of such, of that part of the testimony is. And to be quite
5 honest, it's totally unclear to me in relation to your last question --
6 your semi-last question.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] The same document, that is to say,
9 P173, page 4, page 4. I'll tell you what page in the English version.
10 Page 3 -- at the very beginning of page 4 in English, rather. The very
11 beginning of page 4. I'm referring to that sentence:
12 "At some meetings, I tried to convince Simo Zaric to organise the
13 Territorial Defence, and it seemed to me that Zaric wanted to give up
14 organising the 4th Detachment. However, he was pressured by Nikolic and
15 the JNA."
16 Q. Tell me, Mr. Tihic, to the best of your knowledge, what kind of
17 pressure was this that Zaric did not manage to resist? What was that all
19 A. At meetings, I proposed that this 4th Detachment that was within
20 the JNA be incorporated in the Territorial Defence of the town of
21 Bosanski Samac, of the municipality of Bosanski Samac. Simo Zaric could
22 not accept that. He claimed that the question of the 4th Detachment was
23 within the authority of the JNA, that he was not entitled to pass that
24 kind of decision. The JNA was his command -- its commander, and Nikolic
25 was the commander, specifically.
1 Q. So Zaric acted in accordance with what JNA orders said; right?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. And Zaric could not oppose what came from the appropriate JNA
5 A. Yes. He was part of those structures.
6 Q. On page 5 of the same document, you mention the arrival of the
7 Red Berets by helicopter.
8 I'll give you the exact reference in a second. Page 5 in B/C/S,
9 the last paragraph. It is page 5 in English, the first paragraph.
10 I would be interested in the following. We know how you came
11 about this piece of information, but I would like to ask you the
12 following: Is it correct that you do not have any direct knowledge as to
13 who was in that helicopter that your client mentions in this situation?
14 A. I don't have any direct knowledge, except for what I heard from
15 my client.
16 Q. Is it also correct that you do not know whether there were people
17 from Samac in that helicopter or some other people?
18 A. Well, what I know is that it was people who had come from Serbia
19 that they were not from Samac. I was not present as they were
20 disembarking from the helicopter, of course.
21 Q. Is it correct that you do not know about these people from the
22 helicopter; namely, whether they had gone through any kind of training?
23 A. I don't know. But they were trained, that's for sure.
24 Q. I would just like to go back to your previous reply, when you say
25 that you know that they were not from Samac. I would like to remind you
1 of your testimony in the Seselj case. 2D45.
2 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber, nor the witness, has direct access to
3 65 ter numbers. Would you like to have it on the screen, Mr. -- yes,
4 there we are.
5 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, could it please
6 be called up on the screen, 2D45.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And could you give a page number.
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] 12678 and 12679.
9 Q. On this first page that I mentioned, at the very bottom of the
10 page, the witness says:
11 [In English] "... whether that included people from
12 Bosanski Samac who had gone to some special training, I don't know."
13 [Interpretation] Is that correct, Mr. Tihic; namely, that the
14 only thing you can say about this is assume this and that, but you don't
15 basically know it?
16 A. I can only say what I found out from my client. I've already
17 referred to that. He told me that they were from Serbia, how they
18 behaved in the village and what they did there. I don't know anything
19 more than that, more than what he had said to me.
20 Q. Thank you. Mr. Tihic, what did you think at the time of the
21 war -- what did you think -- which structure, which formation did these
22 persons with the red berets belong to during the war?
23 A. Well, you see, at the first moment when I received this
24 information, I thought that since they had arrived by helicopter, well,
25 for me helicopters are linked to the JNA. However, later, when I was in
1 the camp, I realised that there was a difference between the JNA and
2 these specials, that it was not one and the same thing. That is what
3 I can say. The specials were somewhere else.
4 Q. I'm asking you what you thought during the war. Did they belong
5 to the military or someone else?
6 A. At one moment, at first, I thought they belonged to the military,
7 but later on I was convinced that they belonged to someone else, that
8 they were attached to another command. When I was in the camp, then I
9 got another impression.
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please call up 2D44.
11 That is the Seselj transcript. Page 12549. That is, line 9:
12 [In English] "They wore military uniforms, so I thought they were
13 part of the military. But after the war, I learned that the Red Berets
14 had been part of the police of Serbia
15 [Interpretation] I understand your statement in the following
16 way: that you heard these stories about who these people belonged to
17 only after the war.
18 A. Who they exactly belonged to, I found out only after the war.
19 But during the war, I saw - I'm talking about the second part of my
20 knowledge, as it were - that they did not belong to the military. But I
21 didn't know who it was that they belonged to. After the war, I heard who
22 the Red Berets actually belonged to.
23 Q. Do you know that in the JNA and later on in the
24 Army of Yugoslavia
25 way of headgear? Do you know that?
1 A. I don't.
2 Q. Have you perhaps heard of the 63rd Air-Borne Brigade from Nis,
3 that they wore red berets, and there is a great deal of indicia that they
4 took part in various territories of the former Yugoslavia that we are
6 A. I don't know.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Since we have this page on our screen, page 12549 in
8 the Seselj testimony, Mr. Knoops, could I invite you to read what we see
9 here what the witness says about the MUP, because I might at a later
10 stage remind you that you earlier put something to the witness, that he
11 never had spoken about certain matters. And since it is on the screen, I
12 would like you to read it at this moment.
13 MR. KNOOPS: I know, Your Honour. I said before "2008." I know
14 what is in the Seselj transcripts. My question was, to the witness in my
15 own cross-examination, whether he -- whether it is correct that he never
16 mentioned the MUP before 2008.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I'll have a look it -- at the exact way in which the
18 question was --
19 MR. KNOOPS: That was the reference to this portion in the Seselj
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you.
22 Please proceed, Mr. Petrovic.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Yesterday, at page 3122, you said - at least that's what I
25 understood - that the people who had come from outside to Bosanski Samac
1 wanted to destroy the tolerance among the peoples in that area. I may
2 have misunderstood, but it seemed to me that you shift the entire blame
3 onto those who came from outside.
4 A. Yes, they carry most of the blame. The local Serbs, the local
5 formations were not in favour of what they were doing and the means they
7 Q. Then please explain the ultimatum that was in place which was
8 given -- issued to you by SDS
9 Bosanski Samac. They said, Samac must be Serbian and no one else's. It
10 is clearly an ultimatum. What did it mean, and where did it come from?
11 A. I said that it was issued by Mr. Blagoje Simic and the SDS. I
12 referred to the crimes they committed, that they beat people and killed
13 people. I said that those who guarded us there condemned that. People
14 were trying to get us out of there. They didn't like Simo Zaric because
15 his wife was Muslim, but he did try to help us.
16 Q. Please focus on my question. Who issued the ultimatum?
17 A. I did tell you already. Blagoje Simic.
18 Q. Is Blagoje Simic a local, or did he come from elsewhere?
19 A. He's a local.
20 Q. What did that ultimatum mean? Could it be imposed without
22 A. Not in the way he presented it. First, he tried to have us agree
23 to it, and then he said that they would resort to force. They, indeed,
24 tried. He participated in the attack on Samac. There was no other way;
25 only to use force.
1 Q. So the core and the cause of the conflict was local as well as
2 general in Bosnia-Herzegovina; that is to say, a wish of one structure,
3 without qualifications, to create a state within a state and perhaps
4 annex it to another state?
5 A. Well, the local structures could not have done anything without
7 that support, in any case.
8 Q. What I'm asking you, therefore, is the following: Did the
9 conflict arise from the relationships in the field?
10 A. The causes of a conflict cannot be limited only to one
11 municipality, to Bosanski Samac, but it was across Bosnia-Herzegovina and
12 beyond in the entire former Yugoslavia
13 Q. Well, that would be a matter of a long discussion, but we won't
14 do that now.
15 When you were brought to the police station on the 18th of April,
16 in front of the station, as far as I understand, you saw a number of
17 people whom you describe as the Grey Wolves, Arkan's men, Red Berets,
18 members of the JNA. Correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Tell me this: Out of the number of people and units
21 there - Arkan's men, Seselj's men, the Grey Wolves, Red Berets - at the
22 moment of your arrest, how could you distinguish between them? How could
23 you tell who belonged to whom? How is that possible?
24 A. Well, there is a space inside the police station building where I
25 waited for Djordjevic to see me for a while. In that area, there were
1 people with JNA uniforms, people with special forces uniforms, people
2 with or without beards, policemen.
3 Q. My question -- or, rather, almost an assertion, is that: It is
4 impossible to ascertain who belonged to the Grey Wolves, who belonged to
5 Arkan's men, to Seselj's men, or to the Red Berets, for that matter;
7 A. Well, I described them as such, because later that day some of
8 those people introduced themselves as Arkan's men, and I simply put all
9 of them on the list based on the knowledge I had when I met Djordjevic
10 and when I was taken for interrogation, et cetera.
11 Q. I do not dispute that. But the essence is this: When you saw
12 all those people together, you don't know who was from where?
13 A. Well, one of them beat me there, and he was from the special
14 forces. He spoke Ikavian.
15 Q. That's another matter I wanted to ask you about. How can you
16 distinguish between the specials from Serbia and others? What makes a
17 special forces member from Serbia
18 April 1992?
19 A. I explained a number of times. I can do it again. Their
20 uniforms were camouflage military uniforms. Next, their appearance and
21 behaviour was different. You could tell they were trained. And their
22 speech was Serbian.
23 The second thing: Samac is a small town, and I know almost
24 everyone. I can tell you who comes from what village. If someone came
25 from Serbia
1 Q. If I understand well, the basic points of distinction between the
2 two groups were the camouflage uniforms and the Ikavian dialect.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You couldn't notice any other distinctions?
6 A. Well, the appearance of assertion of power.
7 Q. Let's go back to the beginning of this topic. You will agree,
8 won't you, that once in front of the station you were no longer able to
9 distinguish who belonged to what unit; correct?
10 A. I saw people from different units. As for who belonged to what
11 unit, that I can't tell you. But I knew that these were special forces,
12 these were the police, and so on.
13 Q. Mr. Tihic, did you hear that there were a number of units calling
14 themselves the Red Berets in the same area of Bosnia-Herzegovina, around
15 the time we are discussing, that is to say, in April and May 1992?
16 A. Well, I don't know. One of them was more than enough for me. I
17 don't know whether there were any others.
18 Q. Have you heard of the Micas or Preda's Wolves. They came from
19 the Doboj region, which isn't too far.
20 A. I heard about the Micas later and their crimes in Teslic.
21 Q. Very well. Next, I'd like to go to a portion of your statement
22 having to do with the attack on the town.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] That is page 7, the same document,
24 P173. In the B/C/S, it's page 7, and page 6 in the English version, in
25 the middle of the page.
1 Q. It says:
2 "The town center was being protected by 50 men."
3 My first question: Who were these 50 men protecting the town
5 A. I still don't have the document before me.
6 Q. I apologise.
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Document P173, page 6 in English,
8 and 7 in B/C/S.
9 Q. Mr. Tihic, the second paragraph on the left-hand side of the
10 screen, can you see it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Who were these 50 men?
13 A. Locals. Mostly Muslims, I think, from the TO, from the SDA,
14 et cetera.
15 Q. The next sentence. I suppose those people were armed?
16 A. I suppose so as well. I didn't see them, but I suppose so.
17 Q. The next sentence:
18 "Arkan first attacked the police station, but couldn't get to the
20 My first question concerning this sentence is: It seems that
21 Arkan tried to attack the police station, but failed to occupy it; did I
22 understand this sentence correctly?
23 A. No. First of all, Arkan, in this context, refers to the special
24 forces, and he did take the police station, but didn't dare or couldn't
25 go further towards the center because the other groups appeared. That's
1 what I suppose.
2 Q. So when you, in your statements, say "Arkan," or "the
3 Red Berets," or "the Grey Wolves," you actually mean the specials?
4 A. Yes, more or less.
5 Q. What about the word "Arkan;" how did that get into this sentence?
6 A. Well, I don't know who made the transcript and how it was
7 formulated. Well, it was probably written the way I said it.
8 Q. I put it to you that Arkan and what is usually referred to as
9 Arkan's group were not in Bosanski Samac at all concerning the events
10 that you described.
11 A. Not Arkan, himself, but his men or parts of his unit were there,
12 because they showed their insignia to me.
13 Q. Further down the paragraph, it says:
14 "Arkan's and Seselj's men were already killing people in the
16 Where did you get this information, that Arkan's and Seselj's men
17 were killing people around town?
18 A. I was in Misa Pavlovic's house, who was my neighbour, and there
19 was a phone call. They said that a Croat was killed in Donja Mahala by
20 Seselj's men. That's the information we had. And that's how I conveyed
21 it. Ordinary people didn't know who was who. It was a word of mouth,
22 and that's how I described it in the statement.
23 Q. Mr. Tihic, I wanted to ask you something about an event which I'm
24 pretty sure you are familiar with. Did you hear that in Pelagicevo there
25 were 25 people who were taken out of a bus and taken to the police
1 station in Samac; some of them were later taken to Crkvine, and some of
2 them were killed there?
3 A. I don't know about that group which may have been brought in from
4 Pelagicevo, but I do know that a group of people was killed in Crkvine.
5 Q. They were stopped in Pelagicevo and taken off the bus.
6 A. I don't know about that.
7 Q. If I understood you properly, you know of the event in Crkvine?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. I wanted to show you a document, which is D10. It's a document
10 by the Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, signed by Mr. Amir Ahmic,
11 Office for Co-operation with this Tribunal. I suppose you're familiar
12 with this decree -- with this document -- with this office?
13 A. I don't know about the document, but I am familiar with the
15 Q. In item 3 of the document of the Government of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it says:
17 "Srecko Radovanovic, aka Debeli ..."
18 So your government is informing the Tribunal that according to
19 the date available to them, Radovanovic, aka, Debeli, commanded the
20 2nd Posavina Brigade of the BSA and ordered the arrest of a group of
21 25 passengers from a bus on the road Brcko-Doboj. This incident took
22 place in Pelagicevo, the area of Bosanska Posavina in the beginning of
23 the war. The arrested were transported to the prison of the
24 public security service in Bosanski Samac and spent, there, a few days in
25 detention. Then they were transferred to the prison in the village of
1 Crkvine, near Bosanski Samac. According to the survivors, there were
2 18 detainees killed at the camp in Crkvine during the night between the
3 7th and 8th of May."
4 Does this tally with what you know about the event?
5 A. More or less. I even attended the funeral of the bodies exhumed
6 after the mass grave was found. And then it was said that a number of
7 them were taken off the bus and taken there with other people from
8 Bosanski Samac, where they were killed. I didn't know that they came
9 from Pelagicevo, though. I only remember that mention was made of people
10 taken off the bus.
11 Q. So your government informed this Tribunal that
12 Srecko Radovanovic, aka Debeli, was responsible for that?
13 A. For the stopping of the bus, that he's responsible for the
14 stopping of the bus?
15 Q. Well, we can read it together. It says that he's responsible for
16 the entire incident.
17 A. That cannot be true. Someone else is responsible for the
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could I just -- you're referring that he was held
20 responsible for the whole of it. Where exactly do I find that in this
21 letter, Mr. Petrovic ? I'm just trying to follow your line of thought.
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will try to
23 interpret or explain my understanding.
24 The first sentence says:
25 "Please find below available information about criminal files of
1 the individuals listed here."
2 First we have Abramovic, then Vakic, then Radovanovic, and then
3 Crnic. The way I understand this document is that this entire event is
4 ascribed to the person in item 3. I believe it is clear from the
5 structure of the document, based on the first sentence of the document.
6 That's my understanding. Also --
7 JUDGE ORIE: The document describes what followed -- what
8 followed after Radovanovic, as commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, had
9 ordered the arrest. Now, you can put him responsible for having
10 triggered what happened later. There are several modes of liability.
11 But the document, itself, describes what Mr. Radovanovic did and what
12 then subsequently, by whomever, happened. If that is your
13 interpretation, if you say the document -- if the witness -- you asked
14 the witness -- you say:
15 "Well, we can read it together. It says that he's responsible
16 for the entire incident."
17 Would you please refrain from putting to the witness what is your
18 interpretation of a document, especially if that is an interpretation
19 which is not beyond the realm of dispute.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your leave, may
22 I explain very briefly.
23 I did not wish to go into any detail before this witness. (Redacted)
1 (redacted). I do apologise, but I had to explain how come I --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But, fine, perhaps a perfect argument, but not
3 to put to this witness what is in this letter, because what is in this
4 letter is what there is. And I'm not saying that you have no good
5 reasons to assume a role which goes beyond what is described in this
6 letter, but that's not what the letter tells us. And, therefore, if you
7 put to the witness a letter and the content of the letter, then you
8 should refrain from interpretations which are not clear from the document
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Could the witness please be shown document 2D11.
13 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, sorry, before the document is called
14 up, may I make an objection in private session, please?
15 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
16 [Private session]
11 Page 3227 redacted. Private session.
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in open session.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. I would like to go back to a topic that we abandoned a few
13 moments ago in order to be able to deal with this.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] So the document is P137 [as
15 interpreted], page 7, paragraph 2, and it's page 6. I hope we're going
16 to see it on our screens now. B/C/S, page 7; in English, 6.
17 Your Honour, I may have misspoken or there was a
18 misinterpretation of what I said. The document is P173. I must have
19 misspoken, myself.
20 Q. Mr. Tihic, you see the paragraph that I'd like to deal with on
21 the left side of the screen?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. It says here -- I don't need to read the whole thing. Everyone
24 can read it, if necessary:
25 "At 11.00, the first tanks and APCs arrived, and the members of
1 the SDA fled."
2 Is that right?
3 A. Where is that? I just can't find it. That is probably the case,
4 but I just can't find it.
5 Q. The middle of the second paragraph.
6 A. Yes, yes, I see it now, yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, and in English we find it ...?
8 Because I do not see any paragraph which would correspond with the B/C/S
9 original on my screen in English. I think --
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Petrovic.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, microphone, please.
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon, Your Honour.
14 So it's page 6 of the English version. The next page, at any
15 rate, in order to speed things up. The second part of the page, the
16 second half of the page, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. Tihic, if Their Honours allow it -- well, these people who
18 defended the center of Samac, they handed over their weapons, they handed
19 over the city, itself, as the tanks of the JNA arrived; right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. On that basis, I conclude that the central role there or the
22 predominant role in the struggle for the city was played by the JNA as
23 they brought in the tanks.
24 A. Samac would have been taken anyway, but certainly the combat
25 vehicles and the tanks created the desired psychological effect. Also,
1 people still sort of trusted the JNA. I mean, what can we say?
2 Q. I am going to read to you what you said in the document that is
3 called "Sjecanja," "Memories." This is your own document. Please tell
4 us when you created it; you wrote it. P192 is the number.
5 A. That's the document that I typed out on a typewriter when I got
6 out of camp to document certain things. Somewhere, I presented my views,
7 my assessments, according to the information I had until then, that is,
8 until 1992. There were a lot of emotions there as well, my personal
9 memories, my personal recollections about all these events.
10 Q. So this is a document that was created immediately after these
11 tragic events that we're discussing?
12 A. After I got out of camp.
13 Q. In that document, P192, you say, as you describe --
14 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to follow whatever is quoted. P192?
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could I please have page 18 in
16 e-court in B/C/S.
17 Your Honour, it's very hard for me to find it now. The print is
18 very small. I'm looking for a particular portion. If you allow me, I'm
19 going to read that, and I accept all responsibility for possible
20 misquotes because I simply can't find it here.
21 The sentence I want to read out, with your leave, is:
22 "JNA tanks enter, they shoot around town. That was the end of
23 any idea of resistance."
24 Perhaps Mr. Tihic can help me and tell me whether this is in his
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, along those lines, as I
2 understand it.
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] In e-court, Your Honours, the
4 pages are not placed in the right order for some reason, but I think that
5 Mr. Tihic did agree with what I read out, that it is actually part of the
6 document. If you allow me, I will continue. And if not, I will move on
7 to another topic.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. On the basis of what you said in your statements and what you
11 wrote immediately after this event, I conclude that the activity of the
12 JNA played a predominant role in taking the city.
13 A. What are you asking me?
14 Q. Do you agree with that or not?
15 A. In part, if I can put it that way, as briefly as possible,
16 because by then the police station had already been taken, also the
17 Municipal Assembly, according to the information that I have, and then
18 the army also came with APCs, and how could there be any further --
19 well --
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
21 document -- it's a Prosecution document, 65 ter. The 65 ter number is
23 Q. Mr. Tihic, have you ever seen this document?
24 A. I don't remember. Let me just have a look. I doubt it, no.
25 Q. Can we agree that this is a document which the Command of the
1 17th Corps wrote up on the 18th of April, 1992, and submitted it to the
2 Command of the 2nd Military District? It is a daily operations report,
3 as it says in the upper part?
4 A. Well, that's what's written there.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus.
6 MS. MARCUS: Yes, thank you. In spite of the fact that our
7 colleagues from the Simatovic Defence were -- did provide us with a
8 number of documents that they were going to use in cross, I just wanted
9 to note that this one was not on the list.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, any explanation for that?
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I told our case
12 manager explicitly to do that. I haven't got anything here now. If it's
13 our mistake - it cannot be just his mistake; it's our mistake, if it is
14 the case - I'll just have a look. Well, if that is what my learned
15 friend is saying, I really do apologise, but our colleague received
16 explicit instructions to do that. I do apologise for the mistake. It
17 must be a technical error.
18 JUDGE ORIE: It reminds us that we have to be very precise in
19 every respect, including this one. Are you objecting, for this reason,
20 to the use of this document?
21 MS. MARCUS: Not so far, Your Honour, until I see how it
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you.
24 Please proceed, Mr. Petrovic.
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Mr. Tihic, have a look at the bottom of this page, where it says:
2 "Between the 17th and the 18th of April, the Serb TO units, as
3 well as the units of the police and parts of the units of TG-17, carried
4 out activities against paramilitary formations in Bosanski Samac on the
5 18th of April. Until 11.00 -- by 11.00, the aforementioned forces had
6 the entire Bosanski Samac under their control."
7 Then it says:
8 "This town is peaceful, and civilian authorities are being
9 consolidated and assuming authority. The Command of the
10 17th Tactical Group was ordered to secure the results of their success
11 and to stop any further offensive activities."
12 Can we go to the next page, please.
13 In conclusion, it says:
14 "The corps units were engaged in the break-up of paramilitary
15 formations in Bosanski Samac and the establishment of civilian authority
17 Mr. Tihic, can this document assist you in making the conclusion
18 that the role of the JNA in these events was dominant ?
19 A. Well, whether it was dominant or not, we can see that they took
20 part in those events. It's clear. When they took control, they came in
21 to stabilise the situation.
22 Q. So you see here that the Command of the 17th Corps ordered the
23 Command of TG-17 to secure the results of their success?
24 A. I saw that.
25 Q. Thank you. That brings me to the conclusion, with which you will
1 agree, I presume, that the command of the JNA ordered the attack, and
2 that it ordered that the results be preserved in the way they describe.
3 A. Well, I agree with the second part of your assertion, that they
4 ordered that the results be secured. But as for who ordered the attack,
5 that's something I don't know.
6 Q. Can you envisage a situation in which a corps tactical group
7 participates in such an attack, with the consequences we know of, without
8 an order from their superior command?
9 A. No, not without a previous order.
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please show 65 ter 3670
11 to the witness. I hope this was properly marked in our correspondence
12 with the OTP. 65 ter 3670.
13 Q. Mr. Tihic, this is an OTP document that was disclosed to us. The
14 2nd Military District Command, Operations Centre, special report to the
15 Operational Centre of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the SFRJ.
16 The date, the 17th of April, 1992:
17 "The 17th Corps Command has issued information about the
18 take-over of all vital facilities in Bosanski Samac during the night of
19 16th and 17th April 1992
20 Next -- I won't read the whole of it. The 17th Corps as well as
21 Serb Territorial Defence took part in those activities. The conclusion
22 is that there may be a counter-attack by the enemy, and a suggestion is
23 made that they be disarmed. And it seems that the most senior level of
24 the armed forces was advised of the activities of the unit mentioned here
25 on the same day. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And it is unthinkable that this unit could have been included in
3 this operation by their own will?
4 A. Units can only be engaged on someone's orders. That is only
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I seek to tender
7 these two documents, 65 ter 754 and 3670.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus.
9 MS. MARCUS: Yes, Your Honours.
10 Similar to our earlier instance, the Prosecution does not
11 object -- if the Defence is seeking to tender this from the Bar table, we
12 don't have any objections as to relevance or authenticity. However, I do
13 not believe that this witness is able to authenticate this document,
14 so -- but if the Defence is seeking to tender them as Bar table exhibits,
15 the Prosecution would have no objections.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then the result in both cases is the same, that the
17 exhibit is admitted in whatever way.
18 Madam Registrar, the numbers to be assigned would be ...
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit D17 will be assigned to
20 65 ter 754. And Exhibit D18 will be assigned to 65 ter 3670. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: D17 and D18 are admitted into evidence.
22 Please proceed, Mr. Petrovic.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. In one of your statements, you mention that General Boskovic of
25 the JNA was Todorovic's uncle. Is it General Nedjo or Nedjad Boskovic?
1 A. I don't know exactly what his full name is. This is what I
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have P173 again,
4 page 10. Before that, a question for the witness:
5 Q. Who is responsible -- or maybe more precisely, who was the person
6 who could have decided whether you would be kept in detention in
7 Bosanski Samac or released? Who was the person responsible who could
8 have made that decision?
9 A. Well, the real power was in the hand of the special forces, but
10 they consulted the most with Stevan Todorovic, the chief of police.
11 Those were people who made decisions.
12 Q. So who had that decision in their hands?
13 A. As -- I told you what Djordjevic told me, that I couldn't be
14 released without any prior permission. So formal decisions were made by
15 Stevan Todorovic, chief of police.
16 Q. My question to you is this: As far as I could understand and
17 see, and if I'm mistaken, I stand to be corrected by the Prosecutor, but
18 until yesterday you never said that the ultimate decision of your
19 detention or release was in the hands of Todorovic?
20 A. It must be somewhere in the transcript or records. I have been
21 saying that. At the beginning when they released the first two or three
22 persons after two or three days and when I was in the pipeline to be
23 potentially released, this is what I heard.
24 Q. I will read page 10 of your statement, page 9 in the English.
25 I think that we have that on the screen.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Petrovic.
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] The next page in English. I
4 Q. In the paragraph I'm referring to, you speak about the procedure
5 of your release. You say Zaric called Simic. You were in Zaric's
6 office. Simic suggested that you come there with Zaric and Todorovic.
7 "At that meeting, a decision was to be made about my release."
8 Todorovic wouldn't even receive the message, and he concluded by
9 saying that he didn't even want to attend a meeting "where my release
10 would be discussed," and he said, No way. Todorovic supposedly said,
11 No way. And then: "I was taken to a room."
12 A. It was all around 10.00 p.m.
13 day, that without his approval, Tihic was not to be released.
14 Q. The key topic of your testimony is who kept you where and why.
15 You testified to that countless times. There are thousands upon
16 thousands of transcript about that. I may have missed, and I stand to be
17 corrected by my learned friend, but until yesterday, to the best of my
18 knowledge, you never mentioned Djordjevic, aka, Crni's role in your
19 release or detention.
20 A. I assert that he said so.
21 Q. That is a key fact.
22 A. Yes, but he said, During the day, because there was much
23 discussion throughout the day, and I know he said so on ground level in
24 his office. He said, Do not release Tihic without my approval. And then
25 the day went on, and in the evening there was this discussion with
1 Todorovic and the rest.
2 Q. Did anyone else say, Do not release Tihic without my approval, in
3 addition to Crni and Todorovic, as you say?
4 A. These two said that. Crni said that first, and Todorovic rounded
5 off the topic.
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you believe it
7 would be good to have the break now, we may go on that break. Otherwise,
8 I have a few questions left for Mr. Tihic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: How much time would it take?
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, not more than 15 to
11 20 minutes, by your leave.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Then perhaps it's better to first have the break.
13 I again would like to invite the Usher to escort Mr. Tihic out of
14 the courtroom.
15 We'll have a break of approximately half an hour, Mr. Tihic.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic - but it's not exclusively directed to
18 you - I hear by far too much, and I've discussed the matter with my
19 colleagues, the logic of the following kind: And I give an example which
20 is totally unrelated to this case.
21 Q. Was Mr. X a wealthy man?
22 A. Yes, he was.
23 Q. Was he driving a car in a dark colour?
24 A. Yes, he was.
25 Q. Is a Mercedes an expensive car?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. Is it true that on average Mercedes are more often of a dark
3 colour than of a light colour?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. Is it true that wealthy people can afford a Mercedes, being
6 an expensive car.
7 A. Yes, on average, they're better able to buy such a car.
8 Q. My conclusion is that Mr. X was driving a Mercedes. Would
9 you agree with that?"
10 What we see, and I gave this example, is that a lot of facts or
11 semi-facts are put to a witness, and then at the end it's not even asked
12 from the witness whether this allows him to draw any conclusion, but you
13 give him already your conclusion which, well, I would say to the best of
14 it, is not illogical; that is, it may well have been a Mercedes, because
15 there are a few elements which make a Mercedes perhaps a little bit more
16 likely than a Fiat 500; and then you put to the witness.
17 That is not the way in which the Chamber expects
18 cross-examination to be conducted.
19 As I said before -- as a matter of fact, in my example, the only
20 thing that happens is how likely is it, well, 30 per cent for this,
21 50 per cent for that, and then, of course, you can calculate the chance
22 that he was driving a Mercedes. That could well have been 20 per cent in
23 the end result or 50 per cent, but it has got nothing to do with factual
24 knowledge of a witness. This has happened far too oft in this case until
25 now. Therefore, the parties are strongly invited and are urged to
1 refrain from semi-logic.
2 When yesterday a question was put to the witness whether he had
3 served in the army, and then it was suggested to him that he didn't know
4 anything about military matters, all Judges, after they'd left the
5 courtroom, and this is not an example in relation to you, Mr. Petrovic,
6 asked themselves, Were we in the army, how much do we know about military
7 matters, and what is exactly the link of the knowledge between the two?
8 Of course, if you've been in the army, it's pretty certain that
9 you know something about military matters. If you've not been in the
10 army, it requires a logic to assume that you wouldn't know anything about
11 military matters. I have seen ministers of defence who never served in
12 their armies. Nevertheless, I would not deprive them from some knowledge
13 on military matters.
14 Therefore, let's try to elicit, to the extent possible, factual
15 knowledge from the witness. And as I said before, sometimes some
16 conclusions are inevitable. It then always should be perfectly clear on
17 what factual basis such conclusions are drawn. That is one observation.
18 Then another thing that happened too often until now is -- I gave
19 an example before the break. My colleagues have drawn my attention to
20 various other examples as well, that what the witness earlier stated or
21 said is misrepresented or presented in a highly ambiguous way. Let me
22 take the example of whether the MUP was ever mentioned. Let's go through
23 it in detail.
24 "Mr. Witness, my last question is the following: You never,
25 before 2008, in any statement you gave to the Office of the Prosecution
1 or in any of the trials you testified, you never mentioned anything about
2 the Ministry of Interior Affairs, yet yesterday, in your statement before
3 this Court, you suggested or assumed that ..."
4 And then what follows:
5 "I put it to you that since you never testified about the
6 Ministry of Internal Affairs before, that your testimony ..."
7 And then some conclusions are drawn. The ambiguity is clear.
8 The first part of the question says:
9 "You never, before 2008 ..."
10 Apparently a reference to something which is not in evidence and
11 not immediately understood by the Chamber:
12 "... in any statement you gave to the Office of the Prosecution
13 or in any of the trials you testified ..."
14 Now, the "before 2008," is that linked to statements or is that
15 also linked to "any of the trials you testified in"? "Any of the
16 trials," I think the totality would be three. So apparently, if I
17 understood Mr. Knoops well, what he wanted to say is any -- in the two
18 out of the three. But then the following up, where there's ambiguity in
19 this part of the question, Mr. Knoops continued:
20 "I put it to you that since you never testified about the
21 Ministry of Internal Affairs ..."
22 There, no reference is made to "before 2008." And by referring
23 to yesterday he did something different, there is a strong suggestion
24 that the witness now, not in line with what he testified about and what
25 we find in his statements, that he now suddenly moves in another
2 An unambiguous and fair question to the witness would have been:
3 Mr. Witness, in your statements you never received to the MUP. You did
4 that for the first time in the Seselj case. Now, I suggest to you that
5 what you're doing here is, as you did in the Seselj case, blaming this
6 and this and this.
7 That is a fair way of presenting what the witness says. This is
8 one example out of -- I think I discussed with my colleagues at least
9 five or six, where the evidence or documents - I gave earlier the matter
10 of whether the Red Berets were part of the Grey Wolves or not - where we
11 find inaccurate reference to other statements, documents, et cetera.
12 The Chamber is not accepting such an approach and requires all
13 parties, first of all, to: Refrain from quasi-logic; second, to be
14 highly accurate; and to put to witnesses what was really said and not
15 something which looks a bit like that; and also to bring that in proper
17 Just to give one other example, to say, Well, when the JNA came
18 in, I gave up thought on defence. If you look at what the witness said
19 about thousands of TO soldiers, or over a thousand - I think he said
20 "thousands" - coming in, then it is seeking quasi-logic. Whatever the
21 witness under those circumstances will answer, the Chamber will apply its
22 own logic, and that's real logic, to the extent the facts allow for
23 logical conclusion.
24 So, therefore, please refrain from putting conclusions to the
25 witness which are quasi-logic, misrepresent what we find in other
1 documents, and primarily seek factual knowledge of the witness.
2 We'll have a break until 10 minutes past 6.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 5.41 p.m.
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- On resuming at 6.14 p.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic.
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Tihic, I just have a few more questions for you. We are
9 going to continue dealing with the topic of in whose hands your freedom
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have document
12 P192 - those are Mr. Tihic's memories - page 29 in B/C/S and 28 in
14 Q. Mr. Tihic, this is what you typed up as soon as you got out of
15 prison; isn't that right?
16 A. Yes. I just don't know which page.
17 Q. Right. Here it is.
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I need the top of the page in
19 B/C/S. As for the English version, what I'm going to ask about is also
20 towards the top of the page.
21 Q. This is a document that you wrote up just after you got out of
23 "They took me to Savo Cancarevic’s office. Major Bokan was also
25 My first question is: Do you know who this Major Bokan was?
1 A. At the very outset, that is how he was introduced. Allegedly, he
2 had been wounded by a certain person called Hurtic during the attack on
3 Samac. I know that while I was at the TO, they beat this other man,
4 thinking that he had wounded Bokan, but later on it was established that
5 it was Hurtic, and then Hurtic was beaten up. He had this pistol, and
6 once when they were beating me and he said, Why are you beating me -- why
7 are you beating him? You should kill him. And then he took out that
8 nickel-coated pistol. That's how he was introduced. Now, whether he is
9 a major or not, I cannot say.
10 Q. Have you heard of the White Eagles, and do you link Major Bokan
11 to that group?
12 A. I don't know, and I don't know that he was mentioned in that
14 Q. Now let us look at the rest:
15 "Major Bokan was also there. They handed over the documents
16 concerning the SDA and the weapons. The major told Sava that I should
17 not be released from prison until he said so."
18 Now, I'm going to ask you the following: Since you told us a few
19 moments ago that only two persons had said that you should not be
20 released, Crni and Todorovic, how come this document, which was created
21 right after you got out of the camp - this is your very own document, you
22 personally wrote it - how come it says there that it was actually
23 Major Bokan who had said that you should not be released?
24 A. I don't know how come. I remember Major Bokan in terms of these
25 two details, but I don't remember him in terms of the release.
1 Q. Did you write this, Mr. Tihic?
2 A. Yes, I wrote that.
3 Q. Is it possible that when you say "Crni," you actually meant
5 A. Bokan was not the one who was being asked.
6 Q. Just one more question. What do you know about the relationship
7 between Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic and Bokan -- no, Crni, Crni? What do
8 you know about that?
9 A. I know what I heard when Simo talked to Lieutenant Nikolic and
10 when he spoke in general about all these specials.
11 Q. Do you have any immediate knowledge as of --
12 A. No, no, I don't.
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, only part of my
14 answer [as interpreted] is in the transcript, does he have any immediate
15 knowledge of the relationship between Nikolic and Crni, and the witness's
16 answer was, No.
17 Thank you, Mr. Tihic. I have no further questions.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
19 Is there any need to re-examine the witness?
20 MS. MARCUS: Yes, Your Honour, briefly.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
22 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Before I begin, let me just place on the record the time code for
24 the Kula video, which we showed during President Tihic's
25 examination-in-chief. That was Prosecution Exhibit 61. The time code we
1 showed him for that was 9 minutes 1 second to 11 minutes 36 seconds.
2 Re-examination by Ms. Marcus:
3 Q. President Tihic, Mr. Knoops, at page 4 of today's transcript,
4 asked you about KOS
5 term "KOS
6 A. It means the Military Intelligence Service.
7 Q. Also on page 14, in response to a question by Mr. Knoops, you
8 stated, and I quote:
9 "Mr. Petrovic was in the Brcko JNA Garrison. He had contacts
10 with the 4th Detachment, which, in turn, was part of the military
11 structure. I did see him there on one occasion when I was detained in
12 Brcko. He introduced himself to me as the chief of KOS in that
13 particular garrison."
14 Now, my question to you is, sir: Do you recall Petrovic actually
15 using the term "KOS
16 A. Petrovic did not introduce himself to me. I knew that from some
17 previous conversations with Zaric, that he was chief of KOS. He did not
18 introduce himself. I don't know how come that is in the transcript.
19 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, several times during your testimony, you
20 referred to Bosanski Samac by just using the word "Samac." Was the
21 municipality of Bosanski Samac also commonly referred to simply as
23 A. Well, when I mentioned Bosanski Samac, one means the entire
24 municipality, the town and all the villages. Sometimes people would omit
25 saying the part "Bosanski;" they'd just say "Samac." And now they've
1 done away with the "Bosanski," and now it's just called "Samac."
2 Afterwards -- after the war, Republika Srpska did away with the
3 "Bosanski," and now it's just called "Samac." Usually, you see, when
4 people say "Samac," they mean the town, itself. And when you say "the
5 municipality of Bosanski Samac," then that includes the villages as well.
6 I mean, I don't know.
7 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, on cross-examination you were shown some
8 documents, and some questions were put to you which seemed to suggest
9 that the special forces from Serbia
10 testimony, in Bosanski Samac were ultimately under either the JNA
11 authority or the SRS
12 Now, I would like to put a document to you now.
13 MS. MARCUS: It is 65 ter 3761. If the Court Officer could
14 please call that up.
15 Q. President Tihic, can you please review briefly the document that
16 is now placed on the screen in front of you. This is an official letter
17 from the Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac to the
18 Serbian Municipality
19 Now, according to the first line of the letter, who is this
20 document being sent to?
21 A. It says:
22 "To the brotherly Serbian people of Vranje; attention, president
23 of the Municipal Assembly."
24 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus, I don't know what your line of
25 questioning will be, but I think I said something about seven questions
1 in relation to a document which I could answer at the time, and your
2 first question is one I could have answered. And I would strongly
3 discourage you to develop such a line of questioning up to the seventh
4 question. And I would also remind you that it was you who said that one
5 of the documents presented by the Defence would more properly be
6 Bar-tabled than to put all kind of questions to the witness about the
7 content of the document, the witness not knowing anything about it. So
8 would you please focus on personal knowledge of the document, and keep in
9 mind that what is valid for Mr. Knoops is valid for you as well.
10 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 In fact, the Prosecution will be seeking to tender this through
12 the Bar table, in fact, at the end. I will just restrict my questions as
14 Q. As you can see, President Tihic, in the first paragraph there is
15 mention of "Citizen Dragan Djordjevic," and he is placed, in that
16 paragraph, within the Serbian municipality of Bosanski Samac, as part of
17 those whom the document claims "has managed to defend the territory of
18 this municipality from Croatian and Muslim paramilitary formations and to
19 establish their authority."
20 Is this reference to Dragan Djordjevic being present in
21 Bosanski Samac consistent with your own personal knowledge of the
22 presence of someone named Dragan Djordjevic, aka Crni, in May 1992, in
23 Bosanski Samac?
24 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honour, we object.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Knoops.
1 MR. KNOOPS: We object because it's far from clear that we're
2 speaking about the same person.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but that's no what Ms. Marcus is literally
5 MR. KNOOPS: And she's also seeking for an opinion from the
6 witness without the foundation.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it's --
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wanted to add this:
9 It is my understanding that my learned friend says that some questions
10 were put placing Djordjevic in a certain context, but not in the context
11 of the Serbian MUP. This is what I understand. I see this document for
12 the first time, and I don't see any relation between Djordjevic and the
13 MUP or any other structure. It now says that he's a dear son of the Serb
14 people. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see there is any link
15 to any organisations, formations, or structures.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Let's keep matters simple.
17 Whether or not this is the same person, I think we earlier
18 established what the witness knows about Mr. X, to whom he may have been
19 married, et cetera. That's what he can tell us. Whether the person
20 writing this letter was referring to that same person, I take it this
21 witness can't tell us, unless there's any specific matter in it which
22 refreshes his memory. Or -- so, therefore, let's keep matters as simple
23 as possible.
24 Mr. Knoops.
25 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honour, I'm sorry to interrupt. I have another
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. KNOOPS: I don't think this was a matter which was raised in
4 cross-examination as a new point. The issue of Dragan Djordjevic was
5 extensively part of the examination-in-chief by the Prosecution. It was
6 not a newly-raised issue in cross-examination; therefore, not, I believe,
7 subjectable [sic] to re-examination.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, first of all, I do not know what the
9 real questions will be, because until now one question was put in
10 relation to a document, a question which I could have answered, so
11 therefore I do not take that Ms. Marcus would put questions to the
12 witness on matters the Chamber could easily determine itself.
13 For example, there's no need to ask, for example, the date of
14 this document. It's the 2nd of May. There's no need to -- well, now
15 it's not the 2nd of May; it may be the 2nd of May, because one digit is
16 illegible. But the number of the document, that's all not necessary.
17 What would you like to hear from the witness in this context?
18 The witness told us about Djordjevic. He told us what he knows about
19 him. So whether that's the same or not is still to be seen. I take it
20 that the witness, unless he has any specific knowledge about this letter,
21 couldn't tell us whether this is referring to the same or not.
22 If the witness has told us where he saw him, and if this document
23 also puts him in a certain place at a certain time, then, of course,
24 that's a matter which -- that's information which the Chamber will
25 consider in its context, the entirety of the evidence, in order to come
1 to any determinations as to the extent relevant, this is the same or a
2 different person. But let's try to seek what this witness knows and not
3 already let's slip in at this moment all kind of argument or conclusions,
4 et cetera. There comes a time when we will certainly pay a lot of
5 attention to that.
6 Please proceed, Ms. Marcus.
7 MS. MARCUS: Yes, Your Honours. I will just ask the witness one
9 Q. It says, sir, in this document: "Dragan Djordjevic, Vranjanac."
10 It says that also in English. Can you tell us what "Vranjanac" means in
11 English, or can you tell us what "Vranjanac" means? Or maybe we could
12 ask the interpreters to translate that word, since it appears it wasn't
13 translated in English.
14 A. It could mean that he was a citizen of Vranje. You could create
15 similar adjectives for Samac and other places.
16 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, the Prosecution would like to tender
17 this document from the Bar table, not based on any authentication by the
18 witness, but based on the fact that the OTP physically seized this
19 document from the Bosanski Samac Municipality
20 12th of December in 1996. A certified copy of the original of this
21 document from the Municipal Assembly was provided by the mayor,
22 Mirko Lukic, at the time. And consistent with the Bar table documents
23 that were tendered earlier today by counsel for the Defence, I would seek
24 leave to tender this one similarly from the Bar table.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Are there any objections?
1 I hear of -- Mr. Knoops.
2 MR. KNOOPS: Well, Your Honour, with all due respect, I think my
3 objection to -- on procedure grounds that this is not a matter of
4 re-examination still stands.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but it's now a Bar table document, which
6 removes it more or less from the witness. And even if the question about
7 Vranjanac would not have been put, then -- because it doesn't add a lot.
8 But I do understand that the Prosecution, although perhaps a bit clumsy
9 by doing it, where the witness is there, clearly was guided not to put
10 questions to a witness about documents they have no knowledge about. So
11 what then remains is relevance, authenticity, probative value.
12 MR. KNOOPS: Well, we challenge the relevance of the document.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus, what is the relevance of the document?
14 MS. MARCUS: The document places Dragan Djordjevic from Vranje in
15 Bosanski Samac at the time, and it is linked directly to the previous
16 document, which was P179, marked for identification, which Your Honours
17 requested we deal with in a Bar table context, which is the personnel
18 file for Dragan Djordjevic, signed by the accused Jovica Stanisic.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. KNOOPS: Well, then we have -- then we object, because based
21 on our arguments with respect to the personnel file of Mr. Djordjevic, if
22 the Prosecution is trying to link this document to the file, to which we
23 have clearly fundamental objections, I don't think this document should
24 be accepted.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus, would you like to respond to the --
2 MS. MARCUS: All I would like to say, Your Honours, is that it is
3 on the matter of whether or not this is a topic for re-examination, would
4 Your Honours like to hear my response to that particular objection?
5 JUDGE ORIE: No. The re-examination, I think --
6 MS. MARCUS: I'm sorry, that was my misunderstanding.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I think what then remained was relevance and also in
8 connection with the fundamental objections against the other document,
9 which was the personnel file.
10 MS. MARCUS: Thank you.
11 Your Honour, yes, in fact, just to put on the record that
12 yesterday, in fact, was the very first time that we were informed that
13 the Stanisic Defence objects to the relevance and to the authenticity of
14 the Dragan Djordjevic personnel file. In fact, in very lengthy
15 correspondence between the Prosecution and the Defence on this, they had
16 never raised that issue prior to yesterday. So I'd just like to place
17 that on the record, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 Now, Mr. Knoops, let's just, for the sake of argument, assume
20 that the authenticity of that other document would not be sufficiently
21 guaranteed to admit it into evidence. Then this could be -- I'm not
22 saying it is, but this could be a brick for a wall where there are a few
23 other bricks as well. And the mere fact that one additional brick
24 suggested by the Prosecution would be denied to become an element of the
25 construction the Prosecution may want to build is, in itself, no reason
1 not to admit this brick. Again, whether we finally are left with
2 deserted ground with a lot of spare bricks or whether any structure will
3 be visible, a small wall, a big wall, that's still to be seen, but it's
4 not a valid reason not to admit this document into evidence.
5 Therefore, the objection is denied, and due to the lack of direct
6 relation with the objections made in relation to another document.
7 Madam Registrar -- I should ask - we have now had several
8 objections - are there any more objections? I hear of none.
9 Madam Registrar, the number would be --
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this Exhibit will become P223.
11 JUDGE ORIE: P223 is admitted into evidence.
12 MS. MARCUS: President Tihic, one final question for you, sir.
13 Q. Is there any doubt in your mind that the special forces from
15 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honours, I think this is one of the questions
16 Your Honours have directed us not to ask anymore to witnesses. It's a
17 matter of speculation.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Of course, I do agree with you, Mr. Knoops. It's
19 intelligently done, because you asked for a fact whether there is any
20 doubt on the mind of the witness. However, whatever his answer is will
21 always be based on opinion and conclusion rather than anything else, and,
22 therefore, the Chamber is not assisted by an answer to this question.
23 Any further questions, Ms. Marcus?
24 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any need --
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Has the re-examination triggered any need for
3 further questions to the witness?
4 MR. KNOOPS: Not for the Stanisic Defence, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Petrovic.
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave, only
7 two questions concerning the last document.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You may have noticed that I discouraged
9 Ms. Marcus to put questions to the witness which are just asking for
10 reading the document and telling us what is in there, because this
11 Chamber is able to read. But if you have any specific questions in
12 relation to the document within the knowledge of the witness, please put
13 them to the witness.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I have two questions, Your Honour,
15 which I believe go beyond sheer interpretations.
16 Further cross-examination by Mr. Petrovic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Tihic, if this Djordjevic was a member of
18 the MUP or sent by the MUP - and we can see that this letter of thanks
19 was sent to the Municipal Assembly -- and let's see who signed it;
20 Blagoje Simic - how come he wasn't thanking the MUP for sending him but
21 to the municipal president of Vranje?
22 A. Because they probably hail from the same municipality.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions,
24 Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
1 This concludes your testimony in this court, Mr. Tihic. I'd like
2 to thank you very much for coming the long way to The Hague and to answer
3 all the questions that were put to you by the parties and by the Bench,
4 and I wish you a safe return home again.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness out
7 of the courtroom.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 JUDGE ORIE: We have a few leftovers.
10 Yes, Ms. Marcus.
11 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, I'd like to make a very brief
12 submission in private session, with your leave.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll move into private session.
14 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in open session.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
17 First of all, Madam Registrar, we had a rather long list of
18 associated exhibits. Have you prepared numbers for them?
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Have the parties received a copy of the list which
21 is now printed out for me, prepared by Madam Registrar?
22 MR. KNOOPS: We did, Your Honour. Sorry.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I took -- in this case, I took silence for
24 approval. And that's true for the Simatovic Defence as well?
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
2 If my recollection serves me well, we established that there were
3 objections only against one document, which was already in evidence, and
4 that there were no further objections; that I announced that the
5 documents would be admitted into evidence, but we were awaiting for
6 numbers to be assigned to them.
7 I see that Madam Registrar has proficiently assigned numbers from
8 P173, 174, and 175. They're all admitted. However, for P176,
9 Madam Registrar is still waiting for the merged document to be up-loaded;
10 that is --
11 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar informs me that the merged versions
13 of the transcript, first in the Simic case, P176, and then testimony of
14 the Milosevic case, P177, have been up-loaded into e-court during the
15 last session. Therefore, they are also admitted into evidence.
16 Then, further, numbers were assigned only to those documents
17 which were not yet admitted into evidence and which were not tendered
18 separately, the numbers being P181 up to and including P222. They are
19 also admitted into evidence, with the exception of P179. P179 was
20 already -- was a document which was already announced to be MFI'd, and
21 keeps that status for the time being.
22 I think we have now given all the decisions needed to be given.
23 Mr. Groome.
24 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I could be mistaken, but I thought that
25 one of the reasons why P176 and 177 -- well, there were two reasons,
1 I think, why they were MFI
2 thought the other one was that the Chamber was waiting for the
3 Prosecution to make submissions on how to deal with such large amounts of
4 92 ter. I am prepared to do that, if the Chamber wishes me to.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you're invited to do so. I first wanted to get
6 rid of my MFI
7 make further efforts to reduce the size of these documents.
8 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, as I make the submission, I think it
9 will assist if I could hand out just - if I ask the Usher's assistance -
10 to hand out a sample document to the Chamber to all of the parties. And
11 I'll proceed while that's being done.
12 Your Honour, the Prosecution's general position that it should
13 not take upon itself to censoring the prior written evidence of a witness
14 it tenders under Rule 92 bis or 92 ter, unless the evidence constitutes
15 two distinct subject areas, only one of which is relevant to the instance
16 case. The Prosecution believes the Chamber should have before it the
17 entirety of that witness's evidence on a particular subject for
19 Having said that, the Prosecution recognises the large volume of
20 material that is the prior written evidence of Mr. Tihic. Although this
21 volume of material is somewhat unique to Mr. Tihic, the Prosecution
22 accepts the validity of the concerns raised by the Chamber. In witnesses
23 who have given several statements and have testified more than once,
24 there is a significant likelihood that some portions of that evidence may
25 be duplicative and even unnecessarily cumulative.
1 The Prosecution also recognises the Chamber's authority, under
2 92 ter, to admit, in whole or in part, the prior testimony and written
3 evidence of a witness.
4 I also note that if the Prosecution only tenders portions of
5 prior written evidence, it is inevitable that Defence teams will tender
6 other portions, and I wonder whether having the written evidence in
7 piecemeal fashion, in possibly three different exhibits, might not create
8 unnecessary confusion. Therefore, the Prosecution makes the following
9 submission as one way of addressing the concerns expressed by the
10 Chamber: The Prosecution proposes to submit to the Chamber a detailed
11 chart indicating those portions of Mr. Tihic's prior evidence which it
12 believes are critical to establishing its burden of proof. It will also
13 categorise the portions of his evidence, indicating where the same
14 subject matter is dealt with in different exhibits. For example, the
15 chart would indicate the particular passage that we seek to rely on with
16 respects to events leading up to the conflict. A second column would
17 indicate the locations where that same subject matter is addressed in
18 other exhibits.
19 The Defence, in their cross-examination and final submissions,
20 may indicate other portions of the testimony that they request the
21 Chamber consider in assessing Mr. Tihic's evidence.
22 With respect to the remainder of the evidence, that being that
23 portion of the evidence which neither party has indicated it seeks to
24 rely on, the Prosecution makes the following submission: While the
25 Prosecution believes all of this evidence should be exhibited and the
1 Chamber should be free to, on its own accord, read any portion of it, or
2 all of it, or compare different portions, the Chamber would also be free
3 to disregard these portions based on the failure of either party to
4 notify the Chamber that it seeks to rely on these portions of Mr. Tihic's
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. You come with a practical proposal.
7 Any immediate response, or would you consider to work on finding
8 a solution in which it is not this portion tendered by the Prosecution,
9 that portion, to give context by the Defence, but rather to come to a
10 consolidated version of what the Prosecution wants to rely upon, what the
11 Defence would want the Chamber to specifically consider in context, or is
12 there any other observation you'd like to make? So my question actually
13 is: Do you want to further discuss with the Prosecution their
14 suggestion, or would you want to give your position now?
15 MR. JORDASH: I think we can give our opinion now, if it's okay
16 with Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please do so.
18 MR. JORDASH: We would disagree quite strongly with the
19 Prosecution approach. Firstly, it's over-complicated. It creates a
20 whole new kind of litigation which is ongoing in relation to each witness
21 which is called, which creates a whole new range of complications. With
22 that complication comes extra work, which we would submit we don't have
23 the resources to do on an ongoing basis. But the main submission would
24 be that it's complicated and there's a much simpler solution. And the
25 simpler solution is for the Prosecution to simply take out the
1 duplication and to leave in what is the relevant bits of the evidence.
2 As I understand it, this is done in other cases, where a summary
3 of the relevant statements are given to the Trial Chamber or, as we
4 suggest, the Prosecution simply reads its own evidence and takes out what
5 is, as I've said, a duplication.
6 The alternative is -- as the Prosecution have suggested, is that
7 we enter into what will amount to submission in relation to each witness.
8 The Prosecution will highlight the bits that they say that Your Honours
9 should take into account, undoubtedly with some surrounding comments.
10 The Defence will then end up having to do exactly the same, putting own
11 perspective on the evidence, and before we know it we're into a whole
12 range of new argument on an ongoing basis, when it can be done in a
13 simple way as I've suggested.
14 Those are my submissions.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Jordash.
16 Mr. Bakrac.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I fully agree with my
18 learned colleague Mr. Jordash and what he suggested. I'm also concerned
19 about the next witness that I will be dealing with, who testified in two
20 cases before this Court already.
21 We know that our time for cross-examination is limited, and we
22 would appreciate it if we could have a decision as soon as possible as to
23 how we are going to deal with such matters. Obviously, if these
24 transcripts are not to be admitted - I mean the ones that are not
25 mentioned - we have to elaborate on them with the witness, and that may
1 take up our time that we'd like to use for other questions. So I am
2 worried already about the next witness, how I'm going to conduct my
3 cross-examination, especially in view of the fact that he has already
4 testified in two major trials here.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm a bit concerned about your last
6 observation, Mr. Bakrac, because whatever the case will be, I think
7 Mr. Groome, and to that extent in line with Mr. Jordash, are seeking to
8 reduce the number of pages tendered under 92 ter which are either
9 irrelevant or repetitious. Now, it doesn't make any difference for
10 cross-examination, if it's repetitious. If you deal with the one, then
11 you have dealt with the repetitious as well. If it is irrelevant, I
12 would save my time for cross-examining witnesses on irrelevant matters.
13 So, therefore, I'm a bit puzzled by your observation. I saw that
14 everyone was on his feet.
15 Mr. Groome.
16 MR. GROOME: I just want to correct what might be one
17 apprehension by Mr. Jordash. I'm not proposing that this be done with
18 every witness, but only with the very few witnesses who have multiple
19 written evidence that the Prosecution is tendering. It could possibly be
20 only at the invitation of the Chamber, where the Chamber advises the
21 parties it would be assisted by this procedure.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand that.
23 I also make one observation, Mr. Jordash, whether the litigation
24 is about what is repetition or whether the litigation is about the
25 matters suggested by Mr. Groome might not make that much of a difference.
1 I do not expect any solution without the risk of some litigation staying
3 You have also 30 seconds for a last --
4 MR. JORDASH: I just wanted to add one matter, which was: The
5 advantage of our suggestion is that when the Defence do put, at
6 inevitably we will, sections back in, we do it on a cross-examination
7 basis, which will assist Your Honours in the final judgement deliberation
8 stage, of being able to say, Well, this is what the Prosecution are
9 relying upon, this is what the Defence say assists in terms of assessing
10 credibility. So you have the advantage there of --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You'd say it's a mixed system and other
12 portions would come in anyhow in cross-examination, and then we could try
13 to merge them again with the original document.
14 MR. JORDASH: Well, really the point I'm making is that when the
15 Defence reintroduce bits of the testimony, it comes in on the basis of
16 cross-examination, and we'll ask you to take that bit into account and
17 the witness's response to that bit, so Your Honours will have a clear
18 division between the Prosecution case and the Defence case as per the
19 attempt to undermine credibility or reliability.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Chamber thanks the parties for their
22 Mr. Bakrac, 15 seconds.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I will try in 20 seconds,
24 Your Honour.
25 I don't know if I understood things properly, or perhaps maybe
1 it's my mistake, or maybe the Trial Chamber did not understand me
2 properly. If I were to know in advance that certain portions of the
3 transcript are being admitted into evidence, then in cross-examination I
4 would not deal with them at all. That was my point.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But we first then have to define what is
6 repetitious, what is relevant. And in order to determine that, you have
7 to read it anyhow. But let's -- certainly, you'll not get a decision on
8 that before Monday, the 8th, because we'll adjourn, and we'll resume on
9 Monday, the 8th of February, quarter past 2.00, Courtroom II.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.
11 to be reconvened on Monday, the 8th day of
12 February, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.