1 Wednesday, 15 December 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, with you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is the case IT-03-69-T, the
10 Prosecutor versus Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
12 The Chamber received a message at that Mr. Groome could not
13 arrive in time today and that he's expected sometime during the first
14 session and that you, Mr. Weber, and you, Ms. Marcus, would take over
16 That's on the record. We're waiting for the witness.
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Stoparic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to remind you that you're still bound by
21 the solemn declaration you've given yesterday at the beginning of your
22 testimony. Mr. Jordash will now continue his cross-examination.
23 WITNESS: GORAN STOPARIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, please proceed.
1 MR. JORDASH: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Jordash: [Continued]
3 Q. Good morning, Mr. Witness.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. I want to move swiftly through the events in SBWS and move into
7 Am I correct that in relation to the attack on Tovarnik, this was
8 a JNA operation?
9 A. Yes. If my memory serves me, it was the Kraljevo Brigade.
10 Q. And it was designed to create a passageway for the JNA?
11 A. The goal was to create a passage to Vukovar and lift the blockade
12 from the Vukovar barracks.
13 Q. And there were 70 of you volunteers under the command of the JNA?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, am I correct that when you moved into Bosnia, you
16 personally, the operations you conducted were also within the
17 subordination of the army?
18 A. At the beginning under the command of the JNA and until a certain
19 moment when the JNA withdrew from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Before that
20 moment, we were always under the JNA command.
21 Q. And is this right: You would -- you would return to Sid, you
22 personally, with a number of volunteers, between operations at various
23 war fronts in Bosnia
24 A. It is correct that I always returned home. I always spent some
25 time there for furlough.
1 Q. For furlough. What does that mean?
2 A. Well, furlough. I needed to take a break from everything that
3 was going on in the war.
4 Q. Right. And the JNA would request volunteers from the municipal
6 A. No.
7 Q. Could you explain what the situation was?
8 A. You mentioned the SPS. I don't know that the SPS ever organised
9 any volunteers. It was the SRS
10 wasn't the Municipal Board of Sid. The JNA did not talk to each
11 Municipal Board separately. They spoke to the Crisis Staff and the
12 Main Board of the Serbian Radical Party in Belgrade, and then at the
13 local level they organised volunteers. The list of volunteers were
14 handed over to the JNA, and the transport of those volunteers was then
15 organised to a place where combat would take place, where we would be
17 Q. Thank you for the explanation. Now, in mid-April of 1992, did
18 you go to Trebinje in Bosnia
19 A. I don't recall the date as I sit here today, but I was in
20 Trebinje in Bosnia
21 Q. And is this how it occurred, that in the first part of 1992, you
22 were asked to find SRS
24 A. You mentioned Trebinje a minute ago, and that's in Herzegovina
25 Q. Well, let me just take you back a bit. Is it correct that during
1 the first part of 1992, Milenko Petric told you to find SRS/SCP
2 volunteers to go to the battle-field in Bosnia?
3 A. On three occasions I was requested to gather the volunteers I
4 knew for engagement in Bosnia
5 was in the first half of 1992. I can't recall the date.
6 Q. And were you asked by Milenko Petric to do that?
7 A. Milenko Petric was the president of the Municipal Board of the
8 Serbian Radical Party, and also for a while he was the president of the
9 district board for Srem, also of the Serbian Radical Party, and, yes, he
10 was the one who conveyed that information.
11 Q. And did you do that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And did you, following that request, then go with a group of
14 volunteers to Trebinje?
15 A. First I went to Belgrade
16 Podgorica, and then from Podgorica to Trebinje.
17 Q. And am I correct that the group of volunteers that you went with
18 then fell under the command of the JNA?
19 A. We joined another unit of volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party
20 which was billeted outside of Trebinje at facility called Grab, and the
21 commander of that unit was Branislav Vakic. And the brigade commander in
22 my view was Colonel Glusalic or something to that effect. He represented
23 the JNA, and the JNA was later on transformed into the Army of Republika
24 Srpska, and he belonged to either/or, but I believe that he served under
25 the JNA at that moment.
1 Q. And let me try to shortcut things. You then went from Trebinje
2 to Nevesinje, is that correct, with your group of volunteers?
3 A. The unit that I belonged to and that was billeted in Trebinje
4 sent me and a few other men to assist the unit in Nevesinje. In other
5 words, not all of the unit went to Nevesinje.
6 Q. And you went there and, again, you were under whose command?
7 A. There was a parachute unit, and the colonel was there,
8 Colonel Magic. That's how he introduced himself to us. He gave us
9 communication means, and he was the -- in charge of the operation and
10 that Colonel Glusalic or Glusic, I'm not sure about the name.
11 Q. Am I correct that you went with the same group of volunteers to
12 Mostar to engage in military operations?
13 A. We were not engaged in Mostar. There was an offensive, and we
14 were actually chased away from there.
15 Q. Were you under the command of a JNA colonel?
16 A. Well, usually the brigade commander is either a colonel or a
18 Q. Well, just factually and actually, were you under the command of
19 the brigade commander whilst in Mostar?
20 A. Well, every location had its commander, and that commander was
21 usually the commander of the brigade that was responsible for the
22 territory. There were also commanders at lower levels, at the battalion
23 level, at the sector level, and so on and so forth.
24 Q. And during -- there are more operations during this period,
25 including, am I correct, in Capljina?
1 A. Around Capljina.
2 Q. And is it correct that during these operations or when these
3 operations finished you would travel back to Sid at times for a break
4 from the war, for furlough?
5 A. If an operation went on for three or four days -- or, rather,
6 let's -- let me put it in very simple terms. I was never anywhere for
7 longer than two months, but if there were five operations within those
8 two months, I didn't go home between the operations. I just took a short
9 break at a temporary base.
10 Q. Right. But after two months you would then head home to Sid?
11 A. Well, approximately two months. After two months, I would ask to
12 be allowed to go home to rest. But that was the system that was in
13 place. The entire volunteer unit would spend a maximum of two months in
14 an area, and then they would be sent home to rest and replaced by other
16 Q. Replaced by other volunteer groups who were also coming from
18 A. I don't know. The Yugoslav People's Army decided who, where, and
19 when, how many reservists they needed. You see, a volunteer is one and
20 the same as a reservist. A volunteer was invited, was called to come,
21 whereas reservists volunteered to come, but they had the identical
22 obligations and rights.
23 Q. And so it was quite normal at that point in time for volunteers
24 to come from Serbia
25 A. Fortunately enough, that's the kind of people we are.
1 Q. What do you mean by that?
2 A. If there's a war going on, we all try to take part.
3 Q. Now, there came a time when you formed your own group of about
4 200 people; correct?
5 A. One of the founders, not independently, not on my own.
6 Q. Who else was involved in forming that group?
7 A. Major Mirko Zugic and a few other men whom I'd not known before
8 that. Major Mirko Zugic from Novi Sad introduced me to those men who
9 wanted to set up a volunteer unit that would not be affiliated with any
10 political party.
11 Q. And where did you recruit from?
12 A. Mostly from Vojvodina.
13 Q. And where did you -- where did you receive your weapons from?
14 A. We received weapons at the Brcko barracks from
15 Colonel Paja Milenkovic.
16 Q. So was the situation that you travelled -- the men who were
17 recruits travelled in small groups into Bosnia and then attended at Brcko
19 A. I was there waiting for them in Brcko, and they had travelled at
20 their own expense, to put it that way.
21 Q. Individually and in small groups?
22 A. Right.
23 Q. And upon arriving at Brcko barracks, you then received, is it
24 correct, all your supplies from the VRS?
25 A. Right. However, before that we received from confirmations or
1 IDs from Djordje Ristanic, who was the mayor of the city, and that was in
2 recognition of our citizenship of Republika Srpska as well as of the
3 state of Yugoslavia
4 Q. Could you explain that a bit further. What do you mean your
5 citizenship of the Republika Srpska?
6 A. Well, that's how it was. That was document showing that I was
7 recognised as a citizen of Republika Srpska, as well as my already
8 existing citizenship of the Republic of Yugoslavia
9 was in recognition of my dual citizenship.
10 Q. And was this offered to you then as a -- if you like, a
11 recognition of your contribution to the war effort in Bosnia
12 A. No. That was a condition for my unit to legally join the Army of
13 Republika Srpska. At least that was one of the conditions that prevailed
14 in the municipality of Brcko
15 Q. So volunteers who went to fight in Brcko had to take on
16 citizenship of the Republika Srpska in order to fight?
17 A. Yes. That was the case with my unit, the unit that I organised
18 together with Mirko Zugic. Maybe there were units of volunteers which
19 did not have to undergo such procedures. We came on our own, of our own
20 will, and we wanted to be equal members of the Army of Republika Srpska.
21 The mayor of the city of Brcko
22 to us, we is accepted it, and that's what we did.
23 Q. And at this point in time, am I correct that you received no
24 instructions from anyone within Serbia
25 unit within Bosnia
1 A. A group of my acquaintances and myself, and the answer's yes, we
2 did it have our own will.
3 Q. And would you accept this: That it was relatively easy for
4 someone, even -and I mean this with no disrespect - a low-level soldier
5 like yourself to do exactly the same, gather men and form volunteer units
6 within Bosnia
7 within Bosnia
8 A. I don't know. You had to be known. Somebody had to know you.
9 You had to have the image of man who had fought before, who had some
10 experience. But, yes, you're right. Different people, different groups
11 could join any of the units along the front line. However, what we did,
12 that was a bit more serious. Two hundred men, citizenship, under the
13 command of the Army of Republika Srpska. We were no paramilitary unit at
15 Q. And let me ask you this: Whilst in Brcko, were you involved in
16 cleansing territory?
17 A. Yes, some villages around Brcko, some parts of the town that
18 hadn't been cleansed before.
19 Q. Now, there are some who think that "cleansing" was a term which
20 implied attacking civilians. What do you say it meant?
21 A. I've answered this question for countless times now. "Cleansing"
22 is a strictly military term, that is cleansing or mopping up, which means
23 you go out in the field and you want to mop it up and clear it of any
24 enemy soldiers. Now, whether you capture individuals, take individuals
25 prisoner, or kill anyone in the process, whatever you do, at the end of
1 that process, you will say that you will have mopped up the area and
2 cleared it of any enemy soldiers. Civilians have nothing to do with that
4 Q. Thank you. And when you were interviewed by the Prosecution, not
5 necessarily this Prosecution -- let's forget this Prosecution for a
6 moment, but when you were interviewed previously to testify, were you
7 being pushed to define "cleansing" in a different way? Is that why you
8 were kept being asked about cleansing?
9 A. Well, nearly everyone asked, and nobody asked me to define it in
10 any different way or that I should change my definition. They merely
11 wanted to know what "cleansing" or "mopping up" was, and I always
12 provided the same definition. I know there is a term "ethnic cleansing."
13 Now, the term we use in the army, which is that of mopping up, in that
14 sense it has nothing to do with that other term.
15 Q. Now, whilst you were in Brcko, you came across a man called
16 Zika Crnogorac; is that correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And am I correct that you joined the group he had to assist with
19 taking over Brcko?
20 A. No. No. No. We had a joint mop-up operation, but not in the
21 town of Brcko. The place was called Fazanerija or something like that.
22 And I didn't join his group. We each had our own groups, and we jointly
23 mopped up the area called Fazanerija. That's something that I do
25 Q. And am I correct that from what you observed, Crnogorac acted in
1 a professional manner whilst commanding his group?
2 A. They were special units, and they were an elite unit.
3 Q. And did you observe him acting in any improper manner toward
5 A. I was billeted in the barracks, and they were billeted elsewhere.
6 There were some stories surrounding Zika Crnogorac involving problems
7 with the civilian authorities, but I, myself, didn't observe anything,
8 and I can only speculate. That wouldn't be relevant, would it.
9 Q. Well, let me take you to your statement so we can shortcut this.
10 MR. JORDASH: Could we have on the screen, please, 1D1720.
11 Q. Whilst that is happening, did Zika Crnogorac arrive in Bosnia
12 form his own unit, as far as you're concerned?
13 A. Well, he had a unit. I don't know how it came into existence,
14 who put it together. Perhaps he wasn't its commander at all. I just
15 remember the name, that's it.
16 Q. Well, don't you know, Mr. Witness, that he came to the area of
17 Brcko and selected men to join his unit?
18 A. That's possible. When he left, there was a special unit called
19 Pesa. He may have trained them. I'm not sure.
20 Q. Well, did Crnogorac's men that you saw him with have any
21 equipment that others didn't have?
22 A. Their gather was better, yes.
23 Q. Which gear was better?
24 A. Well, these fellows'.
25 Q. Which gear that these fellows had was better, and how was it
2 A. Well, I don't know. It resembled NATO gear. I don't remember
3 anymore, but at any rate, it was much more practical and better than the
4 one I had.
5 Q. Are you talking about the uniforms?
6 A. Yes, uniforms. Oh, well, as far as weapons are concerned --
7 perhaps you thought of weapons. I don't remember that. I think they had
8 weapons of our local make. I'm not sure.
9 Q. Right. So --
10 A. You have to bear in mind that it was 1992, and I forgot a great
12 Q. Well, there is -- there's nothing, then, that sticks in your mind
13 now concerning any difference between the weapons that Crnogorac's men
14 had and those that other groups, such as your own, had? Is that fair?
15 A. Visually they appeared different, and I don't remember about the
17 Q. Okay. Let's actually go to your -- another statement, the first
18 statement, P1702.
19 While that's coming up, are you suggesting that Crnogorac had a
20 separate unit to the Pesa unit, or are you saying they're one and the
22 A. I am not quite sure myself, but I don't think that they existed
23 at the same time. Perhaps Pesa's unit grew out of the other one. I'm
24 not sure. At a time when Pesa's unit was popular, the man Crnogorac was
25 no longer mentioned. He had probably gone by then. I don't know.
1 Q. Okay. So, let's just deal then with Crnogorac before Pesa's
2 unit. Am I correct that you do not know where Crnogorac or his men were
3 trained, the location?
4 A. No. I'm not sure that I do know.
5 Q. Do you know where Pesa's men were trained?
6 A. They were always training in their own camp. As for their
7 earlier training, well, I knew Pesa personally -- or the late, Pesa, I
8 should say. He was killed. And on several occasions I carried out some
9 operations with them jointly, and they were very good fighters. They did
10 have training at some location in a camp. They told me, but I've
12 Q. And am I correct that you do not know whether Crnogorac's men,
13 prior to Pesa, were from Serbia
14 A. I cannot state with absolute certainty either way. I don't know.
15 Q. Let's go to paragraph 61 of this statement, which is page 12 in
17 JUDGE ORIE: Could I seek clarification on one issue.
18 You said that you knew Pesa personally. Where did you get to
19 know him?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Brcko.
21 JUDGE ORIE: You didn't know him from before you went to Brcko?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. He was born in the area
23 around Brcko. I also know his deputy, Pantic, as well as -- well, I knew
24 the names of some of his best commanders as well.
25 MR. JORDASH: Could I just take instructions, Your Honour,
2 [Defence counsel and accused confer]
3 MR. JORDASH:
4 Q. And Pesa's men were from Republika Srpska?
5 A. All.
6 Q. And -- sorry.
7 A. I apologise. One of them was from Croatia.
8 Q. And who did Crnogorac take orders from whilst he was in the area?
9 A. I told you that there was this one action where his men and my
10 men jointly worked in the mopping-up of Fazanerija. Now, I suppose the
11 order came from Commander Milenkovic. I'm not sure. I don't know. At a
12 later date, there was Kutlasic, so it must have come from some of them.
13 Q. Well, let's go back, then, to Milenkovic. Did you receive your
14 orders from him concerning this mopping-up exercise?
15 A. I would often go to Paja Milenkovic's office for meetings
16 whenever we would be summoned, because we had a phone in our quarters,
17 and he'd ring us up and tell us that we should come see him. And he
18 would tell us then what the plan was for a job that needed doing.
19 Q. And were you summonsed along with Crnogorac prior to the
20 operation in Fazanerija?
21 A. No. We met up in a meadow next to a forest. We looked at maps
22 on the hood of a car, made a plan, formed a skirmish line and headed into
23 the mop-up operation. That was all.
24 Q. All right. And Pesa's unit was a special unit of the VRS, is
25 that correct, subordinated to the VRS?
1 A. Commander Kutlasic would spend more time with Pesa's men in the
2 school building where their base was than in his own office in the
3 barracks. Yes. It was a legendary special unit.
4 Q. And was Zika Crnogorac very close to Pesa when they were -- were
5 they close together as people, I mean?
6 A. That's possible. I don't know.
7 Q. Okay. Did it -- did there come a point when Crnogorac tried to
8 subordinate the VRS to him rather than the reverse?
9 A. That's something that I referred to initially when you asked me
10 about Brcko, when I said that there were problems with local authorities.
11 Some individuals were expelled from the territory of Brcko
12 Q. And at that included Crnogorac?
13 A. I'm not absolutely sure, but it's possible.
14 Q. Let me take you, before I move on this subject, to one paragraph.
15 I apologise to Madam Registrar for jumping from statement to statement,
16 but can we go, please, to 1D1720. And to page -- before we go, we move,
17 can you have a look at that and just confirm that your signature is on
18 that document, and it relates to statements taken -- or interviews you
19 had with the Prosecution between the 20th of February, 2004, and 15th of
20 November, 2005?
21 I apologise again. I'm going to leave this for my co-accused to
22 deal with.
23 Let's move on to the Skorpions, and I'll just leave that topic
24 there for now.
25 Now, am I correct that when you joined the Skorpions, you
1 regarded that new post as a promotion in part because the Skorpions were
2 considered to be a disciplined unit, unlike some that you'd been part of
3 prior to that?
4 A. It was the commander himself who approached me and invited me to
5 join the unit. Now, as for whether I felt the way you say I did, well,
6 perhaps you're right. Yes. It was a different level of discipline.
7 Q. And that was the reputation of the Skorpions when you joined?
8 A. Well, I don't know. They were held in high repute in the area.
9 Q. For what reason?
10 A. Well, you see, Western Srem, because that's where they were, in
11 the area of Western Srem, Djeletovci. It's a small community. Everybody
12 knows one another. There were some select men from the area and from
14 there and made themselves a name through it.
15 MR. JORDASH: Could I have on the screen, please, D00205. And
16 not to be shown to the public, please. In fact, perhaps we could go into
17 private session for this, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 10413-10416 redacted. Private session.
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
24 You may answer the question whether, to you knowledge, there was
25 anyone else than Boca behind the unit.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Who was behind Boca? I think that
2 was the question. Who stood behind Boca, right?
3 MR. JORDASH:
4 Q. The question was -- well, I hope the question was: When you
5 joined the Skorpions -- let me break it down a bit. Boca comes to you,
6 and he asks you to join the Skorpions; correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And at that point when he requests that you join, did you know
9 anything about the Skorpions other than they guarded the oil wells?
10 A. At the moment when I joined, I knew that they were a special
11 unit, and that amongst other tasks, it was also tasked with guarding the
12 oil wells.
13 Q. And the special unit, what did you know about its creation?
14 A. What did I know then, or what I learnt subsequently? When I
15 first joined, I didn't know much.
16 Q. What did you know -- I know it may be tricky to put yourself back
17 into that position, but what did you know then when Boca asked you to
19 A. Honestly, I knew that they were well equipped, that they were
20 well paid, that they were a special unit not far from my home. That's
21 all I pretty much knew.
22 Q. And when he asked you to join, did you answer right away, or did
23 you take some time to think about it? How did it happen that you agreed?
24 A. As far as I can remember, he took me to Djeletovci in a jeep. He
25 wanted to show me the terminal and everything else. We spent three hours
1 together inspecting the area, and then I told him that I agreed.
2 Obviously, we discussed the matter of my salary, and three days later I
3 was there.
4 Q. And did you come by any information thereafter concerning who
5 Boca reported to or who the special unit belonged to?
6 A. Well, as far as I could understand at that moment. However,
7 things were -- I'm absolutely certain that he reported to
9 Q. And did you learn at that time who had created the unit and for
10 what purposes?
11 A. Well, I learned from other senior Skorpion members who were also
12 war commanders and who were privy to such details. The way I understood
13 it was there had been a meeting in Novi Sad. Zivko Sokolovacki, Mrgud
14 and I knew some other names at the time, and that Zivko Sokolovacki seems
15 to have been the director of the Serbian oil industry. I don't know. In
16 any case, that's where the agreement was reached for the oil wells to be
17 reactivated and for a unit to be set up in order to secure the fields,
18 and Mrgud personally put forth Medic as the organiser and commander of
19 that future unit.
20 Q. And Sokolovacki was the chairman of the Main Board of the oil
21 company of Serbia
22 A. I think so. Not in Nis
23 Q. Yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Apparently you're using an acronym for the oil
25 company; is that correct?
1 MR. JORDASH: Yes, that's right.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Whereas the witness understands your reference to
4 The oil company, was it called NIS? And was Mr. Sokolovacki as I
5 read it, but that's not what I heard, I think, was he the chairman of the
6 Main Board of this oil company?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the oil company is indeed
9 was, as far as I know, supposed to be the CEO or the director of the
10 general board of that company.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It seems that the question has been answered.
12 Please proceed, Mr. --
13 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I think it's time for a break within the next couple
15 of minutes. Keep that in mind.
16 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, this would be a good moment.
17 JUDGE ORIE: This would be a good moment for a break, then we
18 will have a break and we will resume at quarter to 11.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, please proceed.
22 MR. JORDASH: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Could we have on the screen, please, P1708.
24 Q. Now, you'll recall this from yesterday, and to paraphrase, you
25 said, Well, I don't think June is correct, because I was a member -- or I
1 was engaged by the MUP of Serbia from August 1995 until December 1995.
2 Do I summarise correctly?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Had you seen this document before yesterday?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And when did you see it?
7 A. In the Prosecutor's office.
8 Q. And what did you tell the Prosecutor when you saw it in the
10 A. The same as I'm telling you, that I -- I believe that it was
11 between the 11th of August and 22nd of November -- or December, rather.
12 Q. So when you were first shown this document, you told the
13 Prosecution that their understanding of this document wasn't correct;
15 A. It was a woman, a lady Prosecutor, and that's what I told her.
16 Q. When was that? Do you remember?
17 A. Well, during proofing.
18 Q. When, roughly?
19 A. A couple of hours before I entered the courtroom.
20 Q. Before you entered the courtroom yesterday. Right. And was that
21 lady writing notes?
22 A. I don't know.
23 Q. Well, you must know whether she had a piece of paper or a laptop
24 in front of her and was either writing or tapping away on the keyboard
25 while you were talking.
1 A. I was sitting a bit further away from her. She was sitting at
2 her desk, and I was sitting a bit further away from her, and an
3 interpreter was next to me.
4 Q. What, did she have a pen in her hand?
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, let's get to the core of what you want
6 to establish. That's clear to all of us now, so let's get direct to
8 MR. JORDASH: Okay.
9 Q. So that's one correction you gave to the Prosecution. Let's have
10 a look if there's anything else. How long did the proofing sessions last
11 before you came into court yesterday? I'm specifically talking about
12 your proofing sessions in relation to your evidence yesterday and today.
13 A. It was very brief yesterday. I spent more time waiting for the
14 proofing session to start. And the proofing session itself, I suppose it
15 lasted for an hour.
16 Q. And there was a proofing session the day before; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How long did that one last?
19 A. A few hours.
20 Q. And were you taken through your 2003 statement?
21 A. Yes. We went through a couple of statements and some lists.
22 Q. Paragraph by paragraph?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And this -- the lists were payment lists; is that correct? Lists
25 indicating payments.
1 A. Yes. Yes, payrolls.
2 Q. Did you make various corrections to your statement during that
3 proofing session or during both proofing sessions?
4 A. Well, yes, there were corrections.
5 MR. JORDASH: All right. Can we -- can we have on the screen,
6 please, 65 ter 1D1733.
7 Q. Now, what's going to come up, I hope, is the transcript of your
8 testimony in the Belgrade
9 MR. JORDASH: And I want, please, page 30 of the English and
10 page 21 of the B/C/S.
11 Q. Now you recall this testimony, Mr. Witness? That was a question.
12 Perhaps it didn't sound like one. Do you recall this testimony?
13 A. I remember that I testified.
14 Q. Now if we look at page --
15 MR. JORDASH: Actually, can we go back one page to -- no. Let's
16 stay with that page.
17 Q. Now, if we look towards the bottom of the page in English, at
18 least, there's a discussion which you can read concerning supplies to the
19 Skorpions, and you are asked at the bottom of the page -- or you make the
20 comment -- sorry, the Presiding Judge asks you:
21 "Tell me, did you have there some kind of magazine, there in
22 that part where you were in Djeletovci? Was there some kind of
24 And then you talk about constructing a few houses, and one of
25 those houses was used as a magazine:
1 "Presiding Judge: Well, what was in the magazine?
2 "Witness A. Well, weaponry, equipment, fuel.
3 "Presiding Judge: Do you know?"
4 Going over the page.
5 "Witness A: Ammunition.
6 "Presiding Judge: Do you know where those weapons came from?
7 "Witness A: I was not a warehouseman.
8 "Presiding Judge: Do you have any information about that?
9 "Witness A: I can only guess, and I must not do that.
10 "Presiding Judge: I'm asking if you have information. I know
11 that you were not a warehouseman.
12 And a couple of lines down:
13 "Presiding Judge: From Yugoslavia but where from Yugoslavia
14 mean who would give that to you? Who -- what would that be called?
15 "Witness A: Well, probably both military and police."
16 Am I correct that you were saying there, I actually don't know
17 who supplied these -- this equipment which was stored in the magazine.
18 Probably the police and the military. Is that a fair reading of what was
19 happening during this testimony?
20 A. You saw that I answered the Judge that I didn't know. However,
21 she insisted, and then I answered both the military and the police
22 provided supplies, and I still believe that.
23 Q. I'm not criticising you, but your position was you didn't know,
24 and then the Judge put pressure on you and you expressed your belief;
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And is it now, without pressure, your position that you just do
3 not know who supplies the weaponry and other equipment to the Skorpions?
4 A. Well, the answer will be the same. I don't know for sure. I can
5 only assume, and I do assume that the supplies came both from the army
6 and the police.
7 Q. Okay. Now, let me ask you then about your statement.
8 MR. JORDASH: Could we have on the screen, please --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, if the witness makes an assumption, I'd
10 like to know on the basis of what he makes that assumption. If you're
11 going to touch upon that matter, fine, if not --
12 MR. JORDASH: I am.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, okay.
14 MR. JORDASH: I am, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And I'm a bit hesitant, not having been present and
16 just on the basis of the reading, to -- to accept that pressure was put
17 on the witness. Certainly the question was not put once to him. If you
18 call that pressure, it could suggest that it is -- I would say a kind of
19 pressure which should not have been put on a witness, and I would avoid
20 such a judgement already at this moment without having looked at all of
21 it. If you have good reasons for it, then we'd like to hear more about
22 it, or perhaps after we've read all of it, but --
23 MR. JORDASH: I was asking the witness if that was the case, and
24 the witness said yes. I mean, we didn't -- I didn't have a position. I
25 was trying to clarify what it was that made the witness turn from not
1 knowing to expressing something more certain, and I asked him if there
2 was pressure and he said yes, and that's as it is, according to the
4 JUDGE ORIE: Well, let me have a closer look at it, but
5 meanwhile, please continue.
6 MR. JORDASH:
7 Q. Could you, Mr. Witness, please, tell us what you base your
8 assumption on that it was the military and the police who provided the
9 weaponry and other equipment?
10 JUDGE ORIE: The problem is, I can tell you now, Mr. Jordash,
11 what triggered my observation.
12 Your question was:
13 "And then the Judge put pressure on you, and you expressed your
14 belief; correct?"
15 The answer was:
17 That is two questions in one.
18 He certainly expressed his belief, as you says, which is still
19 his belief at this moment when he's not under pressure, which raises
20 serious questions as to whether the witness felt that pressure was put
21 upon him where he says, "I still believe that today." I hope that you
22 are aware that you did ask two questions in one, and this is certainly
23 not the best way of getting an answer.
24 I don't think we have to explore the matter any further, but I
25 thought it was on a rather light basis that you accepted this answer as
1 an admission that pressure was put upon him. He certainly has expressed
2 his belief where he said did he not have accurate knowledge. That seems
3 to be clear.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. JORDASH:
6 Q. Did you feel pressure, Mr. Witness, during that trial, in
7 relation to this particular issue?
8 A. Well, everything is clear, because I can read my own language.
9 The Judge asked me whether I know who had armed the unit. I said that I
10 didn't know precisely, and then the Judge said, "Of course. You didn't
11 work in a depot. You're not in a position to know." And then I said, "I
12 can only assume." And then either he or she, I don't know who the Judge
13 was, asked me to share that assumption with the Bench, and then I said
14 that I assumed that both the military and the police had supplied us
15 with -- with weapons.
16 Q. And what was that assumption based on?
17 A. Well, you see, we had members of the Krajina Army and the
18 Yugoslav Army coming to the base as -- as well as members of the MUP. On
19 one occasion we received a certain amount of pistols and were told that
20 we received them from the MUP. On another occasion we received
21 binoculars, and we were told again that they came from the MUP. We
22 received lorries from the army though. It was based on this information
23 that I concluded that both parties provided us supplies, but I didn't
24 work in the warehouse to be sure of it.
25 Q. And how did you know they were from the MUP? Did they come in
2 A. No. I didn't see anyone bring these supplies, but when pistols
3 were being distributed, we were told that it was a gift from the MUP.
4 Q. And which MUP?
5 A. Well, nobody was explicit enough. Which other MUP was there save
6 for the Yugoslav or the Serbian MUP? Well, yes, of course, we had the
7 MUP in the Krajina, but where would they have come up with pistols from,
8 and new ones at that?
9 Q. Where did the MUP in Krajina get its weapons from?
10 A. I don't know how the MUP of Krajina got hold of weapons.
11 [Defence counsel and accused confer]
12 MR. JORDASH:
13 Q. Did Mrgud obtain weapons from a factory in Serbia, as far as you
15 A. Well, I don't know. It's possible.
16 Q. Now, you were told that weapons -- let's leave the military out
17 of it for a moment. You were told that weapons were coming from a MUP,
18 and from that you concluded that the police were providing some
19 equipment. You -- am I understanding you correctly?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You were never told anything about the DB, whether the MUP
22 referred to the DB or referred to the public security side of the MUP,
23 whichever MUP was involved?
24 A. You know that at the time the Ministry of the Interior and the
25 ministry -- and the minister had a public and state security sector.
1 Now, the MUP can mean either. Of course, there were the well-known
2 stories surrounding the DB. In my mind, I cannot use a more proper term
3 than that of the MUP.
4 Q. "In my mind, I cannot use a more proper term than that of the
5 MUP," meaning exactly what? I'm not trying to catch you out. I'm just
6 trying to clarify what you mean by --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to get through this.
8 Did I understand you well in your last answer that you wanted to
9 say that when these weapons were distributed that when it was told that
10 they came from the MUP that there were no further details, neither what
11 MUP nor what part of the MUP or what section of the MUP? Is that
12 correctly understood, that such details were not provided?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they weren't to me, and if
14 they were, then I forgot them.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
16 MR. JORDASH:
17 Q. And when you went through your statement with the Prosecution
18 during proofing, did you talk about this subject?
19 A. About this trial in Belgrade
20 Q. Here. Did you tell the Prosecution here in the last few days of
21 your two days of proofing that you didn't know one way or another which
22 MUP was involved and whether, if it was the MUP, it was the state
23 security or the public security? Did you tell the Prosecution that
24 during the proofing sessions?
25 A. Well, I don't recall any such conversation, but we did discuss
1 the DB and the MUP. I don't think we discussed the MUP of Krajina at
2 all. I'm not sure. Or if we did, only slightly, but we did talk about
3 the Serbian MUP and the DB.
4 Q. Did you tell the Prosecution that the equipment you assumed had
5 been provided by the MUP and the military, but you were not able to
6 define who except in that general way?
7 A. Well, I do think I said that. That's to say that we received
8 supplies from both the army and the MUP.
9 Q. Yes, but did you also say that you couldn't define it any
10 further? Did you tell the Prosecution that?
11 A. Well, I don't remember. I can't remember if the Prosecutor went
12 into such detail. What happened yesterday and the day before, well, it
13 had to do with the MUP and the army. I don't remember the bit you're
14 insisting on. Perhaps I was explaining it and can't remember.
15 Q. Well --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, it's clear to me what your link is to
17 the Belgrade
18 not discussed, because the Prosecutor informed us that he wasn't even
19 aware that it was in their possession.
20 Where exactly are we referring to, as far as the statements are
21 concerned? I mean, that would be logical that -- to find a link anywhere
22 in the statement where this specific issue would have come up.
23 MR. JORDASH: The Belgrade
24 Prosecution, because I've got the document here. This is on a different
25 occasion when the witness testified.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, this is a different --
2 MR. JORDASH: Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes. Then I was confused by that.
4 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, would Your Honour mind if I refer you
5 to -- well, I can refer you to -- to the paragraph 73 of D1702, and if
6 Your Honours --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes. Let me just have a look. And I was
8 exactly asking where.
9 MR. JORDASH: Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: That may also make it possible to be more focused in
11 your questions. Yes.
12 MR. JORDASH: Well, I was hoping to put various things from the
13 statement directly to the witness but not at this stage. I just want to
14 go through a few other matters if I can.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you're mainly referring to the first two
16 lines then.
17 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's perfectly clear.
19 MR. JORDASH:
20 Q. Now, Mr. --
21 MR. JORDASH: May I continue, Your Honour?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
23 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
24 Q. Am I correct that you were also visited by men from Sid and told
25 that they were members of the MUP from Sid?
1 A. I know every single member of the MUP of Sid. I didn't
2 understand your question. Some people from Sid who were members of the
3 MUP of Sid whom I didn't know, well, the town has 16.000 inhabitants.
4 Q. Were you visited by anyone from Sid in an official capacity?
5 When I say "you," I mean the Skorpions.
6 A. There were policemen arriving from Sid, and every morning,
7 Commander Medic would go to Sid himself.
8 Q. And do you know why they were attending, these policemen from
10 A. Well, I can't remember at this time.
11 Q. You were not visited by anyone from the DB, as far as you're
12 aware, were you, from Sid?
13 A. Yes. The -- there were individuals from the DB there. They were
14 present also at the time when we had to cross the bridge at Raca.
15 Q. Let's leave the crossing at Raca out of it for the moment. There
16 are individuals from the DB there. What does that mean?
17 A. I don't know what it means. They would come.
18 Q. For what?
19 A. Sorry. They didn't meet up with me. I was just a platoon
20 commander. They would go to the commander's office.
21 Q. And how many would come and how often?
22 A. I had certain tasks in Djeletovci. I didn't have a sentry post
23 or stand guard in front of the commander's office. I can't tell you how
24 often they would come, but they would come, various people.
25 Q. How did you know they were DB?
1 A. Well, because soldiers who were there would say that there were
2 DB people. I saw cars which I assumed were from the DB.
3 Q. Did you ever see an identification saying that they were from the
4 DB, the DB card?
5 A. Not at the base, but I saw that card of an official of the DB.
6 Q. And what did it say on it to indicate that it was a card of the
8 A. It was a small booklet which said "DB." I didn't flip through
9 it, but an official showed me that card when he was talking to me, and I
10 can explain it to you how this came about. An operative of state
11 security from Sremska Mitrovica spoke to me in Sid when a murder was
12 committed in Kukujevci. Oskumic family was killed in Kukujevci. This
13 individual knew that I was at the front line and knew some individuals
14 who were at the front line, asked me if I had any information about the
15 murder. Ultimately, the murder case was solved and a trial followed.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, do you speak any English?
17 THE WITNESS: Not so well, but not that bad.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Well, good enough, apparently.
19 Well, I don't think there's any major problem in -- nevertheless,
20 I would invite you to take your earphones off for a second.
21 Mr. Jordash, what happens is the following: You ask, "How did
22 you know that people coming were DB?" And the witness said, "Well, I was
23 told they were DB," which is a clear indication that they did not
24 identify them with the ID cards, because otherwise he would say, Well,
25 they identified themselves by their ID.
1 Then we move on with the IDs, and then, Have you ever seen such
2 an ID, and the witness starts talking about an ID I have seen somewhere
3 ever at another place, at another time, in another context. If we move
4 on, we'll end up somewhere in Texas
6 From that first answer, I don't know how you think our mind is
7 working. If the witness says, We were told these were DB men, then
8 unless some compelling evidence comes up, it is clear that no IDs were
9 shown at the time. IDs were not the basis of the assumption or
10 knowledge, call it whatever you want to call it, of the witness that this
11 was delivered by the DB people.
12 And this is not for the first time that this happens, and I want
13 you to know that we are carefully listening and that we are not a jury,
14 who, without having been explained, that this answer is most likely
15 implying that no identity cards were shown at that time. We would not
16 assume that unless there is any compelling evidence.
17 MR. JORDASH: Well, according -- sorry.
18 JUDGE ORIE: And that's -- and now we are in a totally different
19 place, totally different context. We are talking about whether he ever
20 saw an ID.
21 If you want to know whether he ever saw ID, but then unrelated,
22 if you want, are you interested in knowledge of this witness on what is
23 written on an ID, then ask him.
24 MR. JORDASH: Well, I'm interested in paragraph 73, which has
25 been admitted as evidence.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the witness has said, "The only thing I
2 know is that I was told that they were DB," which for me, but I'm looking
3 at my colleagues, whether they would do the same, means that there was no
4 identification. It's just hearsay. Others said, "These are DB people."
5 Then you can explore why these others would have said this if the witness
7 MR. JORDASH: But I'm seeking to impeach the witness. In the
8 evidence he's just given, no IDs; in his statement, IDs. And if -- if I
9 leave it with the witness saying only that he --
10 JUDGE ORIE: I think, Mr. Jordash, that I had not carefully -- I
11 focused so much on the first two lines of 73 that I wrongly stopped you
12 here, and I apologise for that, and you're invited to continue. It is
13 due to my colleagues, but your words should have been enough. I would
14 not have needed my colleagues to come to your assistance. I should have
15 listened to you more clarify, and I should have read more carefully. My
16 apologise for that.
17 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness -- could you put up your earphones
20 MR. JORDASH:
21 Q. Let's try to shortcut things. I'm not interested, Mr. Witness,
22 in members of the DB coming to investigate a particular crime. I'm not
23 interested at this point in time, at least. What I'm interested in is
24 whether you ever saw a DB identification card in the possession of
25 somebody coming to visit the Skorpions, whether Boca or Mrgud or someone
1 connected in that way.
2 A. I apologise for the fact that I wanted to give you an
3 illustration when I told you of that instance when a DB representative
4 showed his ID card to me. So I did see the card, but back at the
5 Skorpions' base, nobody identified themselves to me. I suppose that
6 they -- their arrival would normally be announced. I don't know.
7 Q. Okay. Are you able to give a more detailed description of what
8 the card looked like, the ones that you did see, the Serbian DB cards?
9 Besides the words "DB" written on them, was there everything else?
10 A. Well, yes. It was like a booklet. You would open it up.
11 Q. Anything else indicating it belonged to the DB?
12 A. I didn't have the ID card in my hands. The individual flapped it
13 open in front of me, said that he was a DB official and asked that we
14 have a word. The booklet did appear to me --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness repeat what he just said.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Would you please repeat your answer. The
17 interpreters did not catch it.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't have the DB official's ID
19 card in my hands. The operative or representative of the DB took out his
20 card, introduced himself, and asked me to talk to him. And that was it.
21 That's how I saw what the card looked like.
22 MR. JORDASH:
23 Q. What colour was the card, Mr. Witness?
24 A. I think it was red.
25 Q. Okay. But basically a once-only affair. You caught a glimpse,
1 and you're unable to say much else.
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. JORDASH: Could we go, please, to P1702. Actually, that's
4 where we are. Could we go to the next page, please.
5 Now, I want you to focus on paragraph 78, and then I'm going to
6 read it:
7 "We built a whole headquarters complex at Djeletovci, including
8 accommodation, gyms, et cetera. Our expenses were paid by the DB and by
9 the Krajina Oil Company which provided most of our funds. I was issued
10 an identification booklet by the Skorpions with my photo and rank. It
11 indicated that I was a member of MUP Serbian state security. My
12 identification booklet did not say SRK
13 also authorised me to requisition vehicles and communication equipment as
14 needed. This was the same authorisation that members of the DB had."
15 A. Should I begin to answer without the question?
16 Q. Well, the question is obvious, isn't it? Why does your statement
17 say this concerning your possession of a Serbian state security card?
18 That's the first question.
19 A. This particular booklet was read, and it said the Skorpions.
20 There was a photo and rank. We had the right to use communication means
21 and vehicles of others. It said the MUP.
22 Q. Yes, but it said the MUP. Your statement says the DB. That's
23 the issue I would like you, if you would, to address.
24 A. Well, I couldn't read in great detail what the actual real DB
25 card said. I suppose that there you could also read the MUP.
1 Q. "I couldn't read in great detail what the actual real DB said.
2 I suppose that there you could also read the MUP."
3 What does that mean?
4 A. Well, because the DB is part of the MUP of Serbia.
5 Q. Okay. Yesterday, when dealing with IDs, you said the booklet,
6 and I'm looking at page 22 of the draft transcript:
7 "All our officers and non-commissioned officers were issued IDs,
8 red booklets with the inscription 'The Skorpion unit.' The booklet
9 depicted the person's name and the rank. And then on the last page of
10 the booklet it said that the owner of the ID could use anybody's
11 communication means or anybody's vehicle."
12 So yesterday you moved away from the suggestion that the DB --
13 that your card recorded the DB. Do you now say, My card - I want to be
14 clear about this -- I did not have a card with 'DB' written on it.
15 Do you say that now?
16 A. I am absolutely sure that the booklet contained stamps, that it
17 wrote "Certified by MUP," followed by certain numbers, and I couldn't
18 give you any more details what with the lapse of time.
19 Q. Well, I don't want to belabour the point and I'm going to move
20 on, but did you ever tell the Prosecution that this part of your
21 statement was in error? Did you ever say it's not correct during the
22 proofing over the last two days?
23 A. Well, I don't know if the paragraph was in the proofing.
24 Q. Okay. If you can't or won't remember, then let's move back to
25 paragraph 73 of this statement.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to get matters as clear as we can.
2 In this statement, you say that your booklet indicated that you
3 were a member of the MUP Serbia State Security DB. Is it that you say
4 now that you're certain that it indicated whether through stamps or
5 another way that the booklet was issued under the authority of the MUP,
6 but that you're not sure any more whether it indicated that you were --
7 that it was the DB of the MUP which certified it or that you were a
8 member of ...
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Let me explain.
10 I gave this statement seven years ago about an event that happened 11
11 years ago. In hindsight, well, this was already, you know, seven years
12 ago, and it's been 18 years since the event, and, in the meantime,
13 perhaps I saw a document that refreshed my memory.
14 What I can remember at this stage is a stamp issued by the MUP.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Without reference to the DB.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my view, but I'm again not
17 absolutely sure. Even if it is the DB, it says the MUP, the security
18 services sector. In other words, the first thing you see is the "MUP."
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Jordash.
20 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
21 Q. Could I suggest, sir, that you understand the picture,
22 Mr. Witness, that you couldn't have had a Serbian DB card, because
23 Serbian DB cards did not exist? If they had, the Prosecution, after
24 15 years of investigation, would have them.
25 A. Yes. This is a bit after provocation, I would say. Well, in
1 that case, it turns out that our commander did it all himself. He
2 designed the booklets. He had them printed. He distributed them of its
3 own will.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You're speculating on the basis of what you just
5 heard, isn't it, whether the commander did it himself?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not me, Your Honour. I did have a
7 booklet. I returned the booklet. And not just me. All the officers,
8 even all the drivers, had the booklets.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You do not accept that they did not exist or
10 at least that IDs with such stamps in it did not exist, because you say,
11 I had one. All of the officers had one, and even the drivers had one.
12 The matter is clear, at least, that there is a disagreement on this, a
13 matter between the Prosecution and the witness. Please proceed.
14 MR. JORDASH: Yes. May we go, please, to 1D1733.
15 Q. We're going back to the transcript of your testimony in the
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, could you help me. The pressure page,
18 I couldn't find it anymore, which one it was, in e-court. The earlier
19 one, you remember, that -- where I was a bit hesitant to talk about
20 pressure. What page was that?
21 MR. JORDASH: That was --
22 JUDGE ORIE: If you would assist.
23 MR. JORDASH: -- page 31.
24 JUDGE ORIE: 31. Thank you.
25 MR. JORDASH: I don't know if that's the e-court number but it's
1 the page of the transcript.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'll find it. Thank you.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. JORDASH: Let's go to page 93 of the English and 61 of the
5 B/C/S. Page 61 of the B/C/S and page 93 of the English. And I want
6 to -- 93 of the English. 93. Sorry, 93 of the English. Ah, that's it.
8 Q. Let me take you to the -- a third of the way down the -- the
9 page. A member of the Trial Chamber asked you:
10 "You said officially we were officially with the Loncar corps,
11 the Loncar corps.
12 "Witness A: Well it cannot be. I beg your pardon.
13 "Yes, yes," says the member of the Trial Chamber.
14 "Witness A: Corps is one huge formation and it has its
15 commander. No one can be in the corps area of responsibility without
16 being subordinated to this particular corps and to this particular
17 commander, in my opinion. Say if we were stationed in Djeletovci, in
18 Djeletovci, regardless of the financing, partly we had to report to that
19 particular corps. Then again, we would receive a part of our orders from
20 this particular corps, not myself personally, but my commander who would
21 then transfer these orders upon us. After all, we hold a large portion
22 of the border, and the corps were supposed to know about that."
23 Do you stand by that answer? Is that a yes or -- do you stand by
24 that answer?
25 A. I've already told you that we had other tasks besides guarding
1 the oil fields, and that was also guarding the border, which was all
2 within the purview of the corps, and in that sense it was the corps that
3 gave us the relevant orders.
4 Q. Did orders come from the Main Staff in relation to the guarding
5 of the border? The Main Staff of --
6 A. From General --
7 THE INTERPRETER: And could the witness please repeat the name.
8 MR. JORDASH:
9 Q. Repeat the name, please.
10 A. From General Loncar.
11 Q. Not from Celeketic?
12 A. Well, there was a man who went by that name also, but I believe
13 that Celeketic was inferior to General Loncar, but I'm not sure. In any
14 case, the name does ring a bell.
15 Q. Okay. Let's deal with the point that I'm really interested in
16 which is underneath that paragraph. When you were asked by the same
17 member of the Trial Chamber:
18 "Yes, did you personally have any identification card confirming
19 that you were actually a member of this unit or anything?"
20 Your answer:
21 "Yes, they -- they did have them. Many a Skorpion showed me
22 their ID cards, but at the time I had been with them, these cards had not
23 been issued yet. I never had one.
24 Member of the Trial Chamber:
25 "So you have in the been in possession of any ID card, is that
2 "A. You see, I left the Skorpioni but I still frequented the
3 areas where they were deployed."
4 A. Well, I suppose so. I did not have an ID or a document from day
5 one. I suppose this refers to a certain period and whether at that
6 moment I had it or not. I received documents towards the very end.
7 Q. Well, you didn't tell the Belgrade court that, did you? You left
8 the distinct impression you never had one. "I never had one." It's not
9 an impression, it's what you said.
10 A. I really don't see -- I'm absolutely convinced that I answered
11 questions about a certain period and whether during that certain period I
12 had a document or not. This is what my answers to the Judge were about.
13 Q. Where is the ID card you say you had? Where is it?
14 A. There came a time when Srdjan Manojlovic took all the documents
15 and some equipment from all unit members. As far as I know, one or two
16 acquaintances of mine did not return their IDs. To this very day they
17 haven't returned them, whereas the rest of us, we did.
18 Q. So you did give the Prosecution your booklet relating to your
19 time with the JNA but were not able to give your ID card for the
20 Skorpions. Were you ever actually a member of the Skorpions?
21 A. I was. I was a member of the Skorpions. My military booklet was
22 in my possession, so I handed it over, whereas the other thing was no
23 longer in my possession, hence I couldn't hand it over.
24 Q. Did you inform the Prosecution that you knew ex-Skorpions who had
25 identification cards still in their possession?
1 A. I think that the investigators -- not the prosecutors, but the
2 investigators did make inquiries, and when they did, I told them.
3 Q. You told them where to find them, did you? Who had them? Where
4 they might be located?
5 A. I repeat, if the investigator asked me that, I'm sure that I told
6 him that I knew who was still in the possession of the cards.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. JORDASH: Can we have on the screen, please, 1D1728.
9 Q. It's your testimony in the --
10 MR. JORDASH: I don't think there's a problem with me announcing
11 any testimony in public, is there?
12 MR. GROOME: I don't believe the witness has ever had protective
13 measures. I can't speak whether the particular portion that you're
14 referring to is in closed session or not, though.
15 MR. JORDASH: Thank you. You're right. It was in open session.
16 Q. It's the Milutinovic trial, Mr. Witness, where you testified for
17 the Prosecution.
18 MR. JORDASH: And could we go to page 693. And it's page 12 --
19 11 of e-court, I hope. Yes.
20 Q. Now, we're moving back to the issue of subordination and other
21 issues, and you can see you're asked the question at line 2:
22 "Now, what kind of organisation or group was the Skorpions? Was
23 it a military unit, a social unit, an army unit, if you know?"
24 You answer there and give some details about its structure, and
25 then at line 9 you're asked the question:
1 "Well, that's my question. You mentioned uniforms. What kind
2 of uniforms did the Skorpions have?
3 "A. They weren't always the same. As far as I know, they
4 always had better uniforms than the Serb army. It was more up to date,
5 more modern.
6 "Q. Were the Skorpions a part of the JNA?
7 "A. No.
8 "Q. Who did they belong to, if anyone?
9 "A. From what I know, officially they were supposed to be part
10 of the Army of the Republic of Serbian
11 of influence over this unit was wielded from the MUP of Serbia, although
12 I don't know how this came about or how it was materialised."
13 Do you stand by that, that you don't know how the influence of
14 the MUP of Serbia came about or how it was materialised?
15 A. We've been talking about this the whole morning. I know that
16 there were contacts with the MUP, but I can't say whether they sent us
17 orders or not. I received my orders from my commander, and I executed
18 them, but as to what you have just now read, what I had previously
19 stated, I adhere by that.
20 Q. Right. You don't know if anyone from the MUP of Serbia had any
21 commanding role over the Skorpions, do you?
22 A. Mrgud or Milan Milanovic gave us orders. Sometimes
23 General Loncar did as well. And Mrgud is the one who travelled to
25 receive his instructions there.
1 Q. You don't know who he met there, do you? You don't know?
2 A. I don't know. Only once I heard from him that he had met with a
3 high-ranking officer known as Badza.
4 Q. Apart from him, you don't know if he met anyone else at all,
5 other than this one occasion when he met Badza?
6 A. I know that because he said that once in the office, that he had
7 met with Badza. But I believe that when he went to Belgrade, he met with
8 everybody from the MUP. At the end of the day, that's what he told us.
9 Q. Well, I suggest that Mrgud never told you that he met with
10 Stanisic. Could that be right?
11 A. No, not to me. He never said any such thing to me. He may have
12 said it to Medic, I don't know.
13 Q. Well, let's not deal with what you don't know. If he never said
14 it to you, then we can move on.
15 MR. JORDASH: Let's go to page 696 of this transcript, and page
16 14 of e-court. Actually, let's not. Let's leave that point.
17 Q. Now --
18 MR. JORDASH: Can I just briefly take instructions, Your Honour?
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
20 [Defence counsel and accused confer]
21 MR. JORDASH:
22 Q. Let me ask you briefly about registration plates. Am I correct
23 that at the time you were in the Skorpions, M601 was a registration plate
24 which indicated nothing more than the vehicle was registered in Serbia
25 A. I don't know what that meant, but I don't think it was 601. It
1 was either 602 or 606, but that was a long time ago.
2 Q. Okay. So your understanding, then, is that 602 or 606 indicated
3 nothing more than the vehicle came from Serbia; correct?
4 Let me break that down for you. 602, I suggest, indicated that
5 the vehicle came from Croatia
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. 606, what did that indicate to you?
8 A. All police registration plates seemed identical to me, but
9 rumours had it that those numbers were reserved for the DB vehicles.
10 Q. Well, Mr. Witness, you travelled into Serbia on many occasions,
11 didn't you, during these years? You must have known, I suggest, that
12 M601 indicated not that the vehicle belonged to the police, but that it
13 just was a vehicle registered in Serbia; isn't that correct?
14 A. Well, I don't know. I never studied the police vehicles'
15 registration plates. And if DB officials were in the car, then they
16 probably had civilian registration plates. I don't know. I'm just
17 telling you what I heard in Krajina, what stories had at the time.
18 Q. Okay. Let's go to -- while we're on this transcript, let's go to
19 page 111 of e-court and page 793 of the transcript itself. And we're
20 going to return very briefly to the subject of ID cards, something you
21 said here.
22 I just want to ask you for some clarification on some
23 cross-examination by Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. JORDASH: Can we go down the page, please. Not that far. A
25 bit further up. That's fine there. Thank you.
1 Q. You were asked the question:
2 "Mr. Stoparic, are you aware of the fact, or do you know what
3 kinds of military service booklets the other members of the Skorpions had
4 and was it connected with the places from which they came?
5 "A. I see that there is a misunderstanding here. I said simply
6 if you were Serb from Serbia
7 Serbian in the sense of Serbia
8 written whether it --
9 "Q. Who actually issued these booklets?
10 "A. Manojlovic brought them. As far as I can remember, they had
11 been made in Vukovar, and it had something to do with the Krajina."
12 Could you explain that last answer, please:
13 "As far as I remember, they had been made in Vukovar, and it had
14 something to do with the Krajina"?
15 A. Well, that's probably what I remembered at the time. I remember
16 at the time that Manojlovic told us they were from Vukovar, and the
17 connection with Krajina is the fact that Vukovar was the capital of
18 Krajina. And as I sit here today, yes, I believe that he did bring them
19 from Vukovar.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. JORDASH: I'm having "Break" shouted out from behind me.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's time we had a break. We will take a
23 break and resume at 25 minutes to 1.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.08 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
1 JUDGE ORIE: It's now the second time that we return so late. I
2 can assure the parties that at least this time we spent all of this time
3 on this case. So if that would be of any consolation, may it be so.
4 Mr. Jordash, are you ready to proceed?
5 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, yes. Thank you.
6 Q. Do you know anything about special units of the VRS and the
7 relationship between them and the DB of Serbia during the war, during the
8 time you were in the Skorpions?
9 A. The Army of Republika Srpska or of the Serbian Krajina?
10 Q. Of the Republika Srpska.
11 A. The Army of Republika Srpska was much more serious than that of
12 the Republic of the Serbian Krajina. They had many special units.
13 Q. Do you know anything about them and their relationship to the
14 Serbian DB?
15 A. I need to be prompted by a specific unit to remember anything.
16 Q. Well, I don't have any units in mind. I just want to know if you
17 do, because you do make a connection with them in your statement, and I'm
18 wondering if you actually have any knowledge about that.
19 A. Well, I do have some knowledge, though not direct one, that these
20 units had some ties with the Red Berets or -- either because they were
21 trained in their camps or by their instructors. I know that there were
23 Q. So it's just the training, is it? Is that the ties you have in
25 A. Well, I'm 100 per cent sure about training. Such a unit could
1 only have provided the best possible training for anyone.
2 Q. Which units do you have in mind of the Republika Srpska -- Army
3 of Republika Srpska? Can you name them?
4 A. I think that Pesa's unit underwent such training, as did some
6 units bearing such names.
7 MR. JORDASH: Okay. Can we have, please, page 55 of the
8 transcript we have on the screen.
9 Q. I want to ask you about something else. And you're being asked
10 here during this trial, just to remind you, this is the Milutinovic
11 trial, and you're asked about the CSB Doboj, and you answer there at
12 paragraph 16 -- or just have a look at the top page -- top of the page,
13 sorry, just to get your bearings.
14 A. Everything I have is in English.
15 Q. Of course it is. Sorry. Let me read something to you then.
16 You're asked the question:
17 "Do you want to say that the CSB Doboj was a satellite auxiliary
18 unit of, I think, the DB?"
19 And you answer:
20 "No, probably only their special platoon or special company.
21 "Q. One part of the CSB
22 "A. Please, I apologise if I made a mistake somewhere in these
23 acronyms. Whenever I heard over the communication lines 'CSB' or words
24 to that effect, I thought that they referred to their specialists. I
25 know that, generally speaking, in police terms the CSB is something
2 Do you remember that evidence?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And am I correct that your knowledge of the CSB Doboj is limited
5 in the way suggested by this evidence?
6 A. Well, yes. I don't know much about them. I met them out in the
7 field around Sarajevo
8 Doboj specialists under the command of an individual they referred as
10 Q. Right. And apart from that, you don't know who they reported to;
12 A. Well, probably to the Ministry of the Interior of
13 Republika Srpska.
14 Q. Okay. Now, let's read on. You were asked a question about your
15 statement, your statement of 2003, and it says this:
16 "Paragraph 73 on page 19, that's page 14 in the English version.
17 You state: 'The state security of the RSK did not exist. There was only
18 the state security of Serbia
19 "You're speaking of the structure of the MUP in the Republic of
20 the Serbian Krajina?"
21 Going over the page. The question then is at line 1:
22 "Paragraph 73 of your statement states there was no state
23 security of the RSK."
24 You answer:
25 "Yes. That's as far as I know.
1 "Q. Do you know that for a fact or as a rumour?
2 "A. I wasn't a responsible duty holder there. You could say that
3 I heard that."
4 Now, were you effectively saying that you didn't know one way or
5 another, you heard there was no state security of the RSK, but you didn't
7 A. And that's how I answered the question, i.e., that I truly didn't
8 know. I said what I knew. I didn't think that there existed a structure
9 called the state security of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina or
10 Republika Srpska.
11 Q. Now, further down the page you -- I'm not taking issue with this
12 at all, I'm just trying to understand your evidence. At line 21, you say
13 in relation to this issue:
14 "You see, sir, if something is said 100 times, even if it is an
15 untruth, it will being the truth. To me, as an ordinary person, a
16 soldier, I simply had to grasp pieces of information and make conclusions
17 on the basis of that."
18 And do you stand by that? There's lots of information you heard
19 effectively as rumours, repeated rumours. This is in large part, when
20 you speak about the state security of the Republic of the Serbian
21 Krajina, that's what you base it on.
22 A. Well, yes. There was a lot of confusion and rumours around, and
23 I can claim what I said then even today. If something is -- that is a
24 lie is stated for a hundred times, it will become the truth.
25 Q. Right. Thank you. And it was -- there was lots of rumours about
1 the state security of Serbia
2 A. Well, most of it, yes.
3 Q. And am I correct that you heard rumours that the CSB of Doboj was
4 connected to the DB? That was rumours.
5 A. If I heard something of the sort in company over a cup of coffee,
6 then I would call it a rumour. It's not an official information, a
8 Q. And did you hear of a connection over a cup of coffee between the
10 A. Well, over a cup of coffee or without it, well, I had this
11 knowledge about the connection existing, and to tell you the truth, I
12 don't see anything strange in that. After all, we are a one people.
13 Q. Well, let's just leave out of it for the moment whether it's
14 strange, but you didn't know who the CSB
15 indicated two or three minutes ago? You assumed the MUP of
16 Republika Srpska; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Would that be the case also in relation to, let's say, the Wolves
19 from Vucak? Who did they report to?
20 A. I don't know. I don't know.
21 Q. What about -- do you know a group called the Gumars -- sorry, the
22 Vipers commanded by Gumar? Do you know of them? Do you know if this
23 group existed?
24 A. As for the name Gumar, I did hear of it, and I heard of a group
25 called Horned Vipers, if that's got to do with this. Poskoci. I suppose
1 that he did have something to do with the state security of Serbia
2 Q. Well, what do you suppose? What did they have to do with the
3 state security of Serbia
4 A. Well, I don't know. They were organised, trained, equipped,
5 along those lines.
6 Q. By who in the state security of Serbia?
7 A. I don't know how they were organised. The story was that
8 Simatovic was the boss for these things.
9 Q. You never saw anything to indicate that you heard rumours; am I
11 A. I saw Mr. Simatovic after all these events, on television. We
12 knew his nickname. There's nothing that would enable me to state that
13 with a hundred per cent certainty.
14 Q. Well, you've watched the Kula video, haven't you? The video with
15 Mr. Simatovic giving a speech; correct?
16 A. Yes. Once, a long time ago, investigators showed me the video.
17 Q. When were you shown that video? Can you remember? You'd seen
18 it, hadn't you, before the 2003 statement, your first statement on the
20 A. I can't be precise, but it was a long time ago that I saw the
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, could I ask you, could we ask one
23 additional question.
24 You said, "Once, a long time ago, investigators showed me the
1 Now, which investigators? Were these ICTY investigators?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I remember the names of the
3 investigators. The investigators of the ICTY, yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Did they show it to you before they interviewed you,
5 during the interview, after the interview? Do you remember? Or in the
6 course of the interview?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that it was during an
8 interview. I am sure that I saw the video-clip in Belgrade.
9 MR. JORDASH: Could I refer Your Honour to paragraph 70.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. JORDASH: Could we have on the screen P1702, which I think
12 might cast some light on it.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. JORDASH:
15 Q. That is your statement of 2003. And I don't think we're in
16 dispute here at all, Mr. Witness. I just want you to see something
17 specific in your statement.
18 MR. JORDASH: Paragraph 70, 14 of e-court, please. Fourteen.
19 JUDGE ORIE: The issue may be that it's a bit unclear about the
20 course of the interviews during these days. One thing is for sure, that
21 it was signed on the 24th, I think, but two -- quite a couple of days.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. JORDASH:
24 Q. Paragraph 70. You invent a theory that:
25 "The Red Berets were the base, the skeleton of all the DB special
1 units. The other units such as the Skorpions were satellites. The other
2 satellite units I know of were the Grey Wolves from the Zvornik, CSB from
3 Doboj, Arkan's Tigers, the Wolves from Vucak and the Vipers commanded by
5 Can I try to shorten things. Given your answers concerning such
6 groups as the CSB
7 that this statement is based on nothing more than rumours, people
8 talking, whether at the time or since then?
9 A. Well, you see, I always drew a distinction between what I knew
10 first-hand and hearsay or my opinions. So that's how I formulated my
12 Q. Well, this paragraph doesn't read like that. It doesn't indicate
13 that you knew this from what you were told, what you picked up from
14 rumours. It indicates something a bit more certain than that. Did you
15 tell the Prosecution you had gathered this information from rumours, from
16 what people told you rather than something more concrete?
17 A. Well, the investigators would always put questions to me: How
18 did this work? Where did you hear of it? And I would give my answers
20 Q. Well, let's just read on in the paragraph to the section which
22 "Apart from the special MUP units, there were also special units
23 of the VRS that were supplied by the DB."
24 We dealt with that a moment ago:
25 "Whenever special units in Bosnia were formed there was at least
1 one guy from the Red Berets and he would give them equipment from the DB
2 as a 'gift.' Frenki basically says as much on the Kula ceremony video."
3 So am I correct that you saw that video prior to giving the
4 substance of this paragraph to the Prosecution investigators?
5 A. Well, this unambiguously shows that I had seen the video.
6 Q. And did you -- did you express any doubt to the investigators
7 when telling them about this theory concerning the Red Berets and the
8 satellites? Did you say where that information had come from?
9 A. They would ask that as a rule, because they wanted to satisfy
10 themselves of it, and I would answer depending on the question where I
11 heard it, where I saw it, or whether it was an inference I made based on
12 a number of pieces of information I had, and that was how I answered.
13 Q. Would it be fair to say that this paragraph is a combination of
14 rumours and what you saw on the Kula video, or do you have more direct
15 evidence than that?
16 A. Well, I don't know what to tell you. It contains what I, at that
17 point, thought of the subject involved. It contains what I knew, and it
18 may include rumours. In fact, stories that I heard, and you call them
19 rumours. I don't know what to tell you.
20 Q. Okay. Let's -- just before we leave this subject, let me go back
21 to 65 ter 1D1728.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I notice at this moment that apparently the
23 definition of what a rumour is, where the witness earlier said that if it
24 was not official information but matters he heard, that is hearsay
25 information, that he called all of that rumours. Now, at the same time,
1 in his last answers where you, I don't know whether you intended to adopt
2 his definition of "rumours," but if you did so, then the witness now in
3 his answer is a bit more limited in what he calls rumours. It's what he
4 heard that includes all, I would say, informal hearsay evidence. He
5 would not necessarily and automatically accept that as being rumours.
6 There is a bit of a conceptual distinction.
7 I'm not seeking at this moment to further clarify that, but I
8 just noticed it, and thought it appropriate to put it on the record.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. JORDASH:
11 Q. Let me just try to wrap up this subject, Mr. Witness. Did you
12 ever see anything to indicate a relationship from the Grey Wolves from
13 near Zvornik and the DB of Serbia? Did you see anything?
14 A. I must tell you that I had never been involved in any operations
15 with the Grey Wolves, or if I had, then I was unaware of it. In respect
16 of the Grey Wolves, the only information I could provide you is, as
17 His Honour the Judge said, rumours.
18 Q. And does that also apply to Arkan's Tigers?
19 A. In my view, the Arkan's Tigers were the most serious paramilitary
20 unit and had most certainly enjoyed some sort of state sponsorship.
21 Q. Well, had most certainly enjoyed some sort of state sponsorship.
22 Is this what you were told at the time, and, if so, by whom?
23 A. Well, a moment ago you showed us a document which need not be
24 shown to the public. Am I allowed to talk about it now then?
25 Q. Certainly, but perhaps we should go into private session if it is
1 something we already dealt with in private session.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then we move into private session out of an
3 abundance of caution.
4 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
9 MR. JORDASH: Could we have, please, 1D1728, please. I think
10 that might be what we're looking at. And could we have page 12 of
12 Q. And I want to just give you -- or just seek some clarification.
13 Now, you're speaking here about -- well, let's go back one page so that
14 we get the context.
15 And what -- if we go to line 16, and I'll remind you we've gone
16 through this already, but just so there's context. You say:
17 "From what I know, officially," this is the Skorpions, "they were
18 supposed to be part of the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
19 also know that a lot of influence over the unit was wielded from the MUP,
20 although I don't know how this came about or how it was materialised."
21 And then over the page, line 11, you say:
22 "Some other group. To my knowledge when we had meetings with the
23 commander and he gave us assignments and from conversations with other
24 members of the unit, they always said it was the ... state security that
25 was behind that unit."
1 MR. GROOME: I believe you missed a word, "Serb state security."
2 MR. JORDASH: Oh, sorry. That really was unintentional.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let's not speculate about whether it was
4 Freudian or not, but please proceed.
5 MR. JORDASH:
6 Q. "... they always said it was the ... state security that was
7 behind that unit?
8 "Q. And there's an abbreviation for the Serb state security that
9 you use in your statement?
10 "A. It wasn't used by me, it was used by everyone, and it was the
12 Now, are you suggesting that in this testimony that every time
13 you were given an order, you were told it was directly from the state
14 security of Serbia
15 A. No.
16 Q. What were you saying then or trying to convey?
17 A. Well, you see, on one occasion Medic told me this: The border
18 belongs to the military and the oil wells to the state security, because
19 the latter facility was of a strategic importance. That's what he meant
20 when he said that.
21 Q. Okay. Just reading further down, and the question is then asked:
22 "In your statement in paragraph 10, you mention the Red Berets as
23 being the skeleton of all DB ... units. You mention the Skorpions as
24 being a satellite. Were you aware of other satellite units?
25 "A. According to the stories at the time and based on what I
1 know now, those were Arkan's Tigers, too, and there were some other units
2 in the Republika Srpska, yes, in Bosnia
3 And my question is: What did you mean when you said "and based
4 on what I know now"?
5 A. Well, it is no secret that trials had already started in Serbia
6 I took part in some of them. Judgements were passed, final judgements
7 were passed, and I concluded based on that, that that was why
8 Arkan's Tigers were the first, that there must have been a link there.
9 Q. Thank you for the answer. Let's move now to Trnovo.
10 Now, are you able to identify now for the Trial Chamber which men
11 were responsible for shooting the prisoners? Can you just name them so
12 that we're clear on who it was shot the unfortunate men?
13 A. Yes, I can.
14 Q. Yes, please, would you.
15 A. Are you going to show me a document, or do you want me to just
16 give you the names off the top of my head?
17 Q. Please excuse me if I ask you to do it off the top of your head
18 because I'm not quite clear myself yet and I want to be clear before I
19 start. I'm not trying to trick you, and I will almost certainly have no
20 dispute with you on the issue.
21 A. Slobodan Medic had the command responsibility because he ordered
22 the executions, and the executors were Pera Petrasevic, Medic --
23 actually, there were two names by the name of Medic. I may even confuse
24 them now. Okay, let me take them in different order. Pera Petrasevic;
25 Milorad or Miodrag Momic; Branislav Medic, also known as Zekan; and
1 Aleksandar Medic; and that guy from Croatia, Bodo. What was his name?
2 Sometimes I just seem to forget his name.
3 Q. [Microphone not activated]
4 A. No. No. Miodrag or Milorad was Momic. There is a man who was
5 convicted in Zagreb
6 his name was -- it will come to me.
7 Q. Okay. [Microphone not activated] Six, I think you've named.
8 A. That's them.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. JORDASH: And may I, for Your Honours' information, just
11 indicate at this stage that there's an agreement between the Prosecution
12 and the Defence that the names of the Skorpion members identified and/or
13 convicted as direct perpetrators of the killings of the six men at Trnovo
14 in July 1995 are not on the state security payment records provided by
15 the government of Serbia
16 there's another agreement which is that the name of Goran Stoparic
17 appears on the above -- appears on those payment records provided to date
18 during the period starting on the 16th of August and ending on the
19 15th of December, 1995.
20 MR. GROOME: It is agreed, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then that's on the record. I think I did understand
22 you well that we are -- that you agreed what is found on the record.
23 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. JORDASH:
1 Q. Now, let me ask you about these men who were the perpetrators.
2 Am I correct that only Pera Petrasevic was, in fact, a combatant in the
4 A. I'm sorry, I did not understand your question. They were all
5 Skorpion members. Pera Petrasevic, however, was the most willing in the
6 group, in military terms.
7 Q. Well, for example, what -- okay. Let's go through the names.
8 What did Aleksandar Medic do in the Skorpions?
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, you early used the word "combatant."
10 It took me quite a while studying quite a lot of books to understand
11 fully what a combatants is. Apart from newly-developed terminology, if
12 you could keep it as factual as possible in this respect it would be
14 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, yes.
15 Q. Let me try to break this down. This group of men, were they
16 acting at the time of the killings as security to the commander? Was
17 that their principal function at the time of the killings?
18 A. Yes, save for Branislav Medic who was a driver.
19 Q. And so their job was not to attend the front line but to keep
20 Medic secure as he moved around; is that right?
21 A. That is right, yes.
22 Q. So to that extent, they were out of the ordinary chain of command
23 when it came to defending the front line; is that correct?
24 A. Yes. No platoon commander or company commander could issue them
25 any orders. Only the commander could do that. So they held a privileged
2 Q. And did they obtain their position as security because they had
3 particularly good relationships with the commander?
4 A. Save for Pera Petrasevic, everybody else did. They were even
5 godfather's to each other's children and things like that.
6 Q. So this was a group of men who were friends of old, before the
7 Trnovo operations; is that correct?
8 A. It applies to all of them but Petrasevic, yes.
9 Q. And none of them received orders from anyone else other than
10 Medic, is that correct, the commander?
11 A. That is corrected, yes.
12 Q. And none of them gave orders to anyone else; is that correct?
13 A. Sometimes they acted as internal control for the others.
14 Q. Right. So do you mean by that they acted as some form of
15 military police at times, or do you mean something different?
16 A. Sometimes if there was an incident involving two soldiers, any
17 kind of incident, then the commander would send them to investigate, and
18 after that the soldiers sometimes were even punished.
19 Q. And am I correct that where the Commander Medic lived or where he
20 was billeted was at least two kilometres from the enemy lines, from the
21 front line?
22 A. While he resided in Krajina, yes.
23 Q. No, whilst at Trnovo. Where was Medic billeted in relation to
24 the front line?
25 A. Now I understand. Two kilometres as the crow flies, but it was
1 certainly even a bit further away from the front line if you travelled by
3 Q. And when this killing event occurred, were the majority of the
4 Skorpions at the front line? What was the situation?
5 A. Half, plus the Reconnaissance Platoon. Half of the company was
6 on the front line. The other half was in the makeshift base. And that
7 was done on purpose, so we could take shift without waiting for anybody
8 else to replace us on the front line. And for us Reconnaissance Platoon
9 members, we were on the front line all the time.
10 Q. Where was the makeshift base, then, in relation to the front
12 A. With respect to Trnovo, it was a kilometre, 2 kilometres away
13 from town. Before the war, it was a settlement of weekend cottages.
14 Those were actually weekend cottages. We were billeted there, and those
15 weekend cottages served as our base.
16 Q. So half of the Skorpions were at the front line at the time of
17 this killing. And am I understanding you correctly: The other half were
18 at the makeshift base? And sorry if I'm being slow, but how far was the
19 makeshift base from where the killings took place?
20 A. I can't tell you precisely, but I did inspect the area on foot
21 several times, and in my view the execution place was not more than 4 to
22 5 kilometres away from Medic's base, and you had to travel uphill partly
23 by lorry and partly by foot.
24 Q. All right. So just to understand this correctly, the Skorpion
25 group, aside from the security, were not at the killing site; am I
1 correct? They were at the front line or the makeshift base, both of
2 which were several kilometres away, or at least 2 kilometres away.
3 A. Save for the perpetrators, there were some other Skorpion members
4 who, before the execution actually took place, left the front line and
5 then returned to the base, whereas one or two remained at the killing
6 site and attended the act of execution.
7 And let me explain. When we heard the sound of the lorry on the
8 front line, and they brought the prisoners by lorry, then usually the
9 first thing that came to mind was that you were being replaced or that
10 the provisions had arrived, cigarettes or food or something like that.
11 Then the commander would normally send one or two of us to go to the
12 lorry and fetch all that. And if the equipment on the lorry was on a
13 heavy side, then we would haul it by smaller vehicles or animals.
14 Q. So how many Skorpions would you estimate were around or in the
15 immediate vicinity of the killing site other than the direct perpetrators
16 and also you?
17 A. I was not so close to the killing site. Two or three men were in
18 the immediate vicinity of the killing site, and they observed the entire
20 Q. And how many were, say, within your kind of distance, 200 -- 200
21 metres or so?
22 A. There was another man together with me.
23 Q. Okay. So it's six perpetrators, two or three men in the
24 immediate vicinity, you and another man 200 metres away, the remainder of
25 the Skorpions at least 2 kilometres away.
1 A. And the camera guy who was there as well. I forgot to mention
3 Q. Okay. But apart from that, the remainder of the Skorpions
4 2 kilometres away, at least.
5 A. Well, the Skorpions who were on the front line were about
6 2 kilometres away, whereas the others who were on the base at the time,
7 they were about 4 or 5 kilometres away from the site.
8 Q. Okay. Thanks. Now, I want to try to clear up something. Am I
9 correct that when the prisoners were delivered to the -- where were they
10 delivered to, please? The location in relation to the killing site.
11 A. I didn't understand your question. I'm sorry.
12 Q. How far -- now let me go back a bit. Am I correct that you
13 actually didn't see the prisoners being delivered? You actually saw the
14 vehicle which had transported them leaving; is that right?
15 A. No. No, you're not right. The prisoners were brought to the
16 improvised base a bit further away near Trnovo. I was there, and I saw
17 the prisoners being delivered, and then they were loaded onto the truck,
18 and I left. I left before them, because I knew that they would follow
19 me. So when the truck pulled over, there were some 200 -- 2- to 300
20 metres away from me, and there was a distance in height. I was about 20
21 to 30 metres above them on the sloping ground.
22 Q. I want to remind you of something you said in Belgrade, and I'm
23 not trying to catch you out, because I acknowledge it was a long time
25 MR. JORDASH: Can we have on the screen 65 ter 1D1733, please.
1 And could we go to page 49 of the transcript and page 34 of the B/C/S.
2 Q. Now, I'll read from the Presiding Judge in the middle of the page
3 says the following:
4 "Presiding Judge: Let me just ask you: Were you there when they
5 arrived on the spot beside the weekend cottage?
6 "Witness A: Not exactly beside the weekend cottage. They
7 already -- the people already got out, those six ones that we're talking
8 about or seven. I do not know. They were already taken out. They were
9 standing beside the weekend cottage, or they were, I don't know. They
10 were supposed to be taken somewhere already or locked up at that moment.
11 I was already nearby."
12 And then if we go over the page to page 50, 34 of the B/C/S:
13 "And then they continued further with the bus -- with bus, didn't
14 they?" This is the Presiding Judge.
15 "Witness A: Yes, they continued doing their job.
16 "Presiding Judge: Did you see that bus at all?
17 "Witness A: While it was departing.
18 "Presiding Judge: While it was departing?
19 "Witness A: Yes."
20 Further down the page, Presiding Judge who has also taken your
21 answer as the bus leaving says:
22 "All right. You saw the bus that was leaving. Were there any
23 other people in the bus?
24 "Witness A: I gave a look. I assumed that that was it, that
25 they were those prisoners, there were some other people, whether there
1 were only those from the escort inside the bus or there were some other
2 prisoners as well. I think that there were some more prisoners since
3 they looked sort of shabby and miserable."
4 So could it be that you've put together information and, in fact,
5 the reality was that you saw the prisoners standing and the bus leaving
6 rather than anything more in terms of the bus being there, the prisoners
7 getting out, and so on? Could it be prisoners, bus departing?
8 A. I believe that I don't really understand you, or are you trying
9 to confuse me on purpose? I saw the prisoners when they were brought and
10 when the bus left, but I was leaving the base. I was leaving for the
11 front line, and that was what my mind was preoccupied with, and then what
12 I thought about the bus was that that bus was simply transporting people
13 to different locations.
14 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, I'm looking at the clock. I thought
16 five minutes ago when you started introducing your next question that we
17 would finish within time, but I have to interrupt here.
18 We adjourn for the day.
19 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, could I indicate that I've got five
20 minutes left and I've spoken to Mr. Bakrac and he's happy for me to take
21 five minutes tomorrow, and then I've finished.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And will then Mr. Bakrac also finish tomorrow,
23 because that's --
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. My colleague has
25 just saved me some time with asking some of the questions that he did, so
1 I can be generous and give him the five minutes and still finish
3 JUDGE ORIE: And could you also perhaps meet with Mr. Groome and
4 see how much time would be left for him then, and then inform the Chamber
5 so that we would know how much time we still have.
6 Mr. Stoparic, I would like to instruct you not to speak with
7 anyone about your testimony, that is, whether already given yesterday or
8 today or whether still to be given tomorrow. So speak with no one,
9 communicate with no one, and we would like to see you back tomorrow in
10 the afternoon because we adjourn for today and we resume tomorrow,
11 Thursday, the 16th of December, quarter past 2.00 in this came courtroom,
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.
14 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 16th day
15 of December, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.