1 THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL CASE NO. IT-94-1-T
2 FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
3 IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER
4 Monday, 13th May 1996
5 (10.00 a.m.)
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Good morning. Mr. Orie, you were questioning Dr.
7 Gow in cross-examination. Before you begin,
8 Defence Exhibit 1 was marked and, of course, you read from portions
9 of it. Do you wish to offer Defence Exhibit 1 into evidence -- I
10 think you do.
11 MR. ORIE: Yes.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection?
13 MR. NIEMANN: No objection.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK, Defence Exhibit 1 will be admitted. Yes.
15 MR. ORIE: Thank you, your Honour, if I may proceed?
16 DR. JAMES GOW, recalled.
17 Cross-examined by MR. ORIE, continued.
18 Q. Dr. Gow, I would like to take you back to one of your answers given
19 last Friday. You say that still some elements were co-operating with
20 the Bosnia-Herzegovina government in order to try to calm down the
21 situation; I am now talking about the situation just at the moment
22 where the JNA was not yet withdrawn, but where there were
23 negotiations how to deal with that situation, I am talking about a
24 situation in March/April 1992. You said still some elements were
25 co-operating. Are you aware of a meeting that took place on 26th
1 April between Mr. Itzebegovic and General Adzic and a Mr. Branko
2 Kostic in Skopje?
3 A. I recall a meeting of that nature -- a meeting which might have been
4 that meeting. I do not recall a specific date of a meeting.
5 Q. Could you tell us who was General Adzic?
6 A. General Adzic had been Chief of Staff of the JNA and at the time of
7 which we are speaking continued, I think, still to be acting Federal
8 Secretary for Defence.
9 Q. Could you tell us, Dr. Gow, who is Branko Kostic?
10 A. Branko Kostic was the representative of Montenegro to the collective
11 federal presidency of the SFRY, as was, and, according to the memoirs
12 of the Croatian representative, was the man who more or less, for
13 formal purposes, was giving General Kadijevic orders through this
14 period to satisfy General Kadijevic's need to have some kind of
15 formal authority.
16 Q. Was he vice president of the presidency in Belgrade?
17 A. He had been vice president of the presidency in Belgrade. At this
18 stage, I think it is very difficult to say that he was probably
19 anything at all -- certainly in terms of the old SFRY structures.
20 Q. Were they representing, General Adzic and Branko Kostic, the
21 government of Belgrade?
22 A. They were representing the rump Yugoslav authorities, that is, Serbia
23 and Montenegro.
24 Q. Yes. Was the subject of that meeting in Skopje to define the role
25 and the eventual withdrawal of the JNA?
1 A. My recollection is uncertain, but I believe that it might have been,
3 Q. Are you aware of any declaration issued at the end of this meeting?
4 A. While I am quite confident that a declaration would have been issued
5 after a meeting of that kind, I do not recall the declaration itself.
6 Q. Was the result of this meeting in Skopje, first of all, that it was
7 the intention of the parties, that means both, I would say the
8 Itzebegovic party and those representing the Belgrade government, the
9 intention for a cease fire and did they agree on the need for a
10 political solution?
11 A. I have absolutely no doubt that statements of that kind were made.
12 Statements of that kind were made throughout the period of the
13 conflict in Croatia and throughout the period of the conflict in
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina, before and after that. Whether or not that
15 means that I would attribute the judgment of good faith to them would
16 be a different matter.
17 Q. Yes. Dr. Gow, to go more a bit in the specific aspects of it, was
18 the need for the end of the blockade of Sarajevo airport also one of
19 the subjects discussed at this meeting?
20 A. I do not recall; again I can imagine that it would have been.
21 Q. Was the lift of the blockade of the army barracks also one of the
22 subjects that was discussed there?
23 A. I give the same kind of answer again; I no longer have a specific
24 recollection, but I can well imagine that it would have been. There
25 were still some continuing problems of that kind.
1 Q. Dr. Gow, are you aware of what Mr. Itzebegovic did just a few days,
2 perhaps one or two days, after this meeting in Skopje as far as
3 accepting the results of that meeting?
4 A. I do not think that I am.
5 Q. Are you aware, Dr. Gow, of the response of the presidency of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the result of this meeting in Skopje? Is it
7 true that they just ignored the result of it?
8 A. Again I do not have an accurate recollection, but I would have no
9 surprise to find that neither side ----
10 Q. My question was ---
11 A. -- acted on and implemented ------
12 Q. how the Bosnia-Herzegovina presidency responded, not what the
13 response may have been of the other parties.
14 A. I think I answered the question already, which was to say both the
15 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the other side, I think,
16 could not be said to have implemented any agreement.
17 Q. Dr. Gow, you have told this Trial Chamber, you have told us, that the
18 Bosnian presidency in that period of time sought to achieve some kind
19 of arrangements with the local command of the JNA; is that true?
20 A. It is both true that I told you that and true that the Bosnian
21 presidency and the commander of the 2nd Military District engaged in
22 discussions on possible measures for trying to prevent a conflict and
23 for the institution of joint patrols between the Interior Ministry of
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina and the JNA.
25 Q. Dr. Gow, you presented this as an initiative of the
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina presidency. Could you please tell us what
2 initiatives were taken from the other side, from the side of the JNA?
3 A. If I presented it purely as initiative at the Bosnia and Herzegovina
4 presidency, then I would not wish to have done so. My recollection is
5 that that is not quite what I did; I simply said that the Bosnian
6 government sought, or the presidency and government of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina sought, to reach an accommodation. I think it
8 should be pointed out, if this is the nature of the question, of
9 course, that General Kukanjac, Commander of the 2nd Military
10 District, also paved the way for a meeting between, not only between
11 himself and President Itzebegovic, but also between President
12 Itzebegovic and Radovan Karadzic -- so the initiative was on all
14 Q. Yes, so it was not just the presidency of the Bosnia and Herzegovina
15 government but all sides were seeking to achieve some kind of an
17 A. All sides that -- certainly there were people in the JNA and people
18 in the presidency and government of Bosnia and Herzegovina who came
19 together, at least ostensibly, to seek some kind of arrangement, yes.
20 Q. You have just mentioned the name Kukanjac, Dr. Gow. You have
21 indicated that he also undertook efforts to achieve some kind of
22 arrangement. Could you please tell us what the initiative of
23 Kukanjac exactly was but, first of all, perhaps, who is Kukanjac?
24 A. I believe I already indicated that General Milutin Kukanjac was
25 Commander of the 2nd Military District of the JNA in Sarajevo at this
1 time. I am not sure of the initiative to which you make reference.
2 Jointly, President Itzebegovic and General Kukanjac, and I do not
3 have a recollection, even if such information was available at the
4 time, which one of them came up with the idea of joint patrols first,
5 but the outcome of their discussions was the idea that the Interior
6 Ministry in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the JNA would set up joint
7 patrols to try to create calm in some areas.
8 Q. Apart from joint patrols, Dr. Gow, was part of the proposals of
9 Kukanjac as well that under certain conditions the army, the JNA
10 army, would be transformed into a legitimate army of the three
11 Bosnian nationalities?
12 A. I do not recall that that was a specific proposal. Certainly I do not
13 recall that was a specific proposal in a discussion of that kind.
14 Certainly at the time there was some discussion of seeking to make
15 elements of the JNA in Bosnia into the army of Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina. My recollection was that much of this discussion came
17 from the Bosnian side because it would be in the interest of Bosnia
18 and Herzegovina to try to win over the support of the JNA in this
19 difficult and transitional situation.
20 Q. You say that was in the interest of the Bosnian side. Dr. Gow, is it
21 true that the presidency reacted on these talks or proposals --
22 usually proposals are made in these kinds of talks; I will not
23 concentrate on whether it was proposal, just a part of a meeting --
24 to the extent that either the JNA to be pulled out completely for the
25 full 100 per cent or to be brought in its entirety under the control
1 of the Bosnia and Herzegovina government?
2 A. I believe that would be the position of the authorities in Bosnia and
4 Q. So either 100 per cent out or 100 per cent in under armed control?
5 A. I would not be certain enough to say 100 per cent in or 100 per cent
6 out, but to say that 100 per cent of those who were in would be under
7 the authorities of the official representatives of Bosnia and
9 Q. Yes. I just asked you whether it was correct that JNA to be pulled
10 out for the full 100 per cent or to be brought in its entirety, and
11 that gives us a different picture, but I would like to leave this
12 subject for this moment, Dr. Gow, and -----
13 JUDGE STEPHEN: I wonder if I could ask a question? I am not clear on
14 what is meant by the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
15 presidency, the authorities. Is there a Prime Minister of that
16 Republic as well as a presidency?
17 MR. ORIE: Perhaps that is my understanding of what it is, but perhaps we
18 can ask the question to Dr. Gow who would know even better the
19 sources because it is my understanding as well, but I am less
21 THE WITNESS: When I made use of the term "authorities", it was as an
22 informal label to apply to both the presidency and the government of
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia and Herzegovina, as was the case also
24 with the other Yugoslav republics, had a presidency, which in the
25 case of Bosnia was a collective presidency, and it also had a
1 government with a Prime Minister. The presidency was the formal
2 representative, in effect, head of state, and the government was in
3 charge of areas of internal policy.
4 JUDGE STEPHEN: But you have called Itzebegovic the President; was he
5 merely the formal head or was he the effective head?
6 A. I think it can be said that he was both the formal head and by this
7 stage the effective head. The presidency was the highest element in
8 the structure, and the role of the government was -- the proper name
9 of the governments in the Yugoslav republics and in the SFRY was the
10 Federal Executive Council, and it was more of an executive body than
11 simply a policy making and forming body, I would say.
12 MR. ORIE: Dr. Gow, I would like to take you back to Exhibit No. 60, that
13 is, the Security Council resolution 757 . (Handed) You drew our
14 attention, Dr. Gow, to the second page of that resolution, certainly
15 the phrase where it says -- perhaps we can put it on the monitors --
16 especially the lines, "Deploring the fact that the demands in
17 resolution 752 (1992) have not been complied with, including its
18 demands", and then you draw our attention to the non-withdrawal of
19 the JNA, that is, I think, under No. 4, "... any units that are
20 neither withdrawn nor placed under the authority of the Government of
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina". So that demand had not been met by that
22 party that was responsible for meeting that demand.
23 Dr. Gow, what was the factual basis of the establishment
24 that these demands had not been met? Do you know what facts were,
25 therefore, made known to the Security Council when they adopted this
2 A. No, I do not know what facts were available to the Security Council,
3 although many facts were available generally. If I were asked to do
4 so, I could imagine that the Security Council was aware of those
6 Q. Yes, I do agree with you that if there was a factual basis that they
7 should have been aware of these facts, I do agree with you, but could
8 you indicate, since you draw our attention to this specific part of
9 this resolution, whether you expect them to have reliable sources for
10 establishing the factual basis for what is written in this
12 A. I am sorry, could I ask you to -- I am sorry, I do not understand.
13 Q. You said that you are not aware of the factual basis for this
14 resolution, the facts known to the Security Council, but would you
15 generally accept that there would be a reliable basis for that?
16 A. Yes, I would accept that there would be a reliable basis for that. I
17 would even go further to say that I do not recall that this was the
18 case, but at the time there were reports to the Security Council and
19 to the Secretary-General, and I would suppose that those reports
20 would form part of the deliberations of the Security Council as well
21 as material gathered from other sources.
22 Q. What was the date exactly of adopting the Security Council
23 resolution, Dr. Gow?
24 A. I believe it was 30th May -- if I may check?
25 Q. It is what it says on the top. Dr. Gow, are you aware of a report of
1 the Secretary-General of the United Nations with the number S/24049
2 of 30th May 1992?
3 A. I may be aware of such a report, I may indeed have read such a
4 report, but I do not recall the report specifically or its content
6 Q. (Document handed). I have to apologise, first of all, for the fact
7 that this is a telefax copy which is less easily readable, but I see
8 from the top of it that it comes from the Sector Headquarters of
9 Belgrade United Nations, so I hope that it is readable. I am not
10 paying much attention to page 1 where there is a spot which is almost
11 unreadable, just two or three lines.
12 Dr. Gow, is this the report I have just referred to?
13 A. I do not recall the exact Security Council document number you gave
14 it, but I believe it is.
15 MR. ORIE: I tender that document, your Honour.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Orie, then this will be marked as Defence
17 Exhibit 2 for identification purposes. Mr. Niemann, you have a copy
18 of that. Is there any objection? The Defence wishes to offer this
19 now into evidence.
20 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, I have not seen it.
21 MR. ORIE: Dr. Gow, is everyone is ready? Dr. Gow, I would like to read
22 to you the introduction of this resolution in order -----
23 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I think Mr. Niemann is still reviewing it. Give him
25 a chance to review it and determine whether he has an objection.
1 MR. NIEMANN: The Prosecution has no objection, your Honour.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Fine. Defence Exhibit 2 will be admitted into
4 MR. ORIE: Dr. Gow, I would like to read for you the first part of it, the
5 introduction first, being a report of the Secretary-General and it is
6 a report which says in its introduction: "The present report is
7 submitted to the Security Council pursuant to paragraph 4 of Security
8 Council resolution 752 (1992)". I take it, your Honours, that where
9 it says in the heading that it is "pursuant to paragraph 4 of
10 Security Council resolution 762", that this is a mistake, because
11 there was no resolution on 30th May yet with the number 762, because
12 at that same date 757 was adopted. So I take it that is a mistake.
13 But this is a report submitted to the Security Council
14 pursuant to paragraph 4 of the Security Council resolution 752, in
15 which the Council demanded that, "all units of the Yugoslav People's
16 Army and elements of the Croatian army now in Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 must either be withdrawn, or be subject to the authority of the
18 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or be disbanded and disarmed
19 with their weapons placed under effective international monitoring;
20 and requested the Secretary-General to consider without delay what
21 international assistance could be provided in this connection". I
22 just read this in order to put this document in its right context.
23 Dr. Gow, I would like to take you to paragraph 4 on page
24 2 of this document -- to section 5. I am making a mistake. It says
25 there ----
1 A. Sorry, which paragraph?
2 Q. Paragraph 5 on page 2. It says: "The bulk of the JNA personnel who
3 were deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina were citizens of that
4 Republic and were not, therefore, covered by the Belgrade
5 authorities' decision of May 4th to withdraw JNA from Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina. Most of them appear to have joined the army of the
7 so-called 'Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina'. Others have
8 joined the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is
9 under the political control of the Presidency of that Republic.
10 Others may have joined various irregular forces operating there".
11 Is this a fair statement of the situation given here by
12 the Secretary-General of the United Nations?
13 A. I am sorry, I am not ------
14 Q. You have some difficulties with the word "fair", but is this a
15 description of the facts that it is adequate at that time, the
16 description of facts as given by the Secretary-General of the United
18 A. I believe that it is not a complete description because it does not
19 indicate that somewhere over 300 tanks, over 800 armoured personnel
20 carriers and over 800 pieces of heavy artillery were left with those
21 people who were part of the JNA structures which continued de facto
22 to be JNA structures in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this was sharply
23 in contrast, as I think I indicated in testimony already, to the
24 position in which withdrawal of the JNA from Slovenia from
25 non-Serbian parts of Croatia and from Macedonia.
1 Q. So you say they still had heavy weapons and the withdrawal was not
2 complete and, to that extent, this report, while not stating in
3 paragraph 5 that the withdrawal had not been complete, that the
4 report is not complete either, is that what you -----
5 A. I would say that the paragraph you have read -- I have not had time
6 to read through the rest of the document -- only indicates a partial
7 picture. At that time around one-fifth of the JNA force in Bosnia
8 and Herzegovina was actually withdrawn because they were citizens of
9 Serbia and Montenegro, but the bulk of the force remained, both
10 people and equipment. So therefore, Belgrade which had taken
11 responsibility for the JNA and which had taken responsibility for
12 withdrawing all equipment in other cases in this case was not.
13 Q. Dr. Gow, I will now take you to paragraph 6 on that same second page
14 of this report. I will read it for you so that it will be easier to
15 comment on it, you having not read it recently: "Those who are not
16 citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina are said by the Belgrade
17 authorities to number barely 20 per cent of the total. Most of these
18 are believed to have withdrawn already into Serbia or Montenegro,
19 some of them having been subjected to attack during their withdrawal.
20 Others, however, remain at various garrisons in Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina, especially in Sarajevo (sic).
22 "A further category consists of personnel who have been
23 blockaded in their barracks by the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina or hostile irregular forces. These are now mostly in the
25 Sarajevo area, where the latest developments have been as follows".
1 I continue, paragraph 6 under (A): "Some 600 to 1,000
2 soldiers are blocked in the Marshal Tito Barracks at Sarajevo, with
3 nearly 200 vehicles. Negotiations on the evacuation of these
4 barracks continued until 27th May 1992, when they broke down
5 following a mortar attack which killed some 16 civilians in central
6 Sarajevo. On 30th May 1992, the barracks came under attack from
7 rocket-propelled grenades and flame-throwers fired by the Territorial
8 Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina".
9 I will continue with 6(B), Dr. Gow: "Several hundred JNA
10 personnel from Jusuf Dzonlic Barracks, a logistic base at Sarajevo,
11 and Victor Bubanja Barracks were in the process of withdrawing from
12 Sarajevo during the night of 27th/28th May 1992. The convoy, which
13 was being accompanied by UNPROFOR, was attacked by Serb irregulars
14 opposed to the terms of their withdrawal and by units of the
15 Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and lost its way.
16 Some elements became separated from the rest. 30 JNA vehicles and
17 their drivers went missing and at least one soldier was killed".
18 I will continue under 6(C): "Several hundred JNA cadets,
19 mainly between 14 and 17 years of age, who were blockaded in Pazaric,
20 some 15 kilometres south of Sarajevo, were evacuated on 29th May".
21 Dr. Gow, does this not give more subtle and more detailed information
22 on what actually was the situation at that time in that region,
23 rather than the mere reporting that the demands for withdrawal had
24 not been met?
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Before Dr. Gow answers that question, I think when
1 you were reading, Mr. Orie, paragraph 6 -----
2 MR. ORIE: I was reading paragraph 6 and then it subdivides in A, B and C,
3 all being part of paragraph 6.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: When you read it, it actually reads "especially in
5 Serb controlled areas"; I think you read it "especially in
6 Sarajevo". It is just that it may be very important if there is a
8 MR. ORIE: I did not do it on purpose, your Honour.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I am sure you did not.
10 MR. ORIE: I missed it.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: No problem. (To the witness): Dr. Gow, can you
12 answer the question? Do you see, Dr. Gow, in the middle of paragraph
14 A. I do.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Does this more accurately reflect, your question is
17 MR. ORIE: More accurately reflect the situation at least in more detail
18 and giving us more information on what the actual situation was?
19 A. Yes, and from that individual piece of information you will note that
20 the discussion of withdrawal, as with many other things, was complex.
21 It would be misleading to be distracted by some elements of detail
22 and to lose sight of the big picture in a situation such as this.
23 You are no doubt aware, as I am sure was the Security Council, that
24 at the time there had been a number of violent incidents throughout
25 the territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina; that some of those
1 incidents we have already referred to in testimony involved action of
2 the JNA artillery outside towns acting against communities in Bosnia
3 and Herzegovina, whether Muslim, Croat or, indeed, Serbs were inside
4 sometimes. But in a situation like that, in which there had been at
5 least a month of severe degeneration into a situation of major armed
6 conflict, that whilst the JNA in its efforts to move some of its
7 units out of certain areas in which they were obviously sensitive and
8 vulnerable, which is why they were facing problems trying to get out
9 and, therefore, it was in the interests of the JNA not to try to
10 leave them there to perform a useful role, but to try to get them out
11 to preserve them, that the actions of the government of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina and, indeed, perhaps of non-official units, whilst not
13 helping contribute to a peaceful situation, might at least be
14 explained in terms of the overall picture of the situation in Bosnia
15 and Herzegovina, including, if you were to move down -- I assumed
16 that you were going to read further down to the point where the
17 shelling of Sarajevo by General Mladic, who by this time was
18 Commander of the 2nd Military District, is being discussed, and I
19 think if you consider that this action is taking place against JNA
20 units inside Sarajevo, at the same time as JNA and other Serbian
21 units outside Sarajevo are shelling Sarajevo, it is a very difficult
22 situation, a very complex situation, but one which cannot be
23 understood by reference to any individual piece of information.
24 You may also note as you read down the assumption -- I am
25 not sure on what basis -- of the Secretary-General that General
1 Boskovic, who I believe at this stage was chief or deputy chief of
2 Air force intelligence, if it is the same General Boskovic I am
3 thinking of, had given an instruction to General Mladic which the
4 Secretary-General or UN forces in Bosnia seemed to have been taken
5 seriously, but notes that General Mladic, I think ---
6 Q. I will come to these parts later, Dr. Gow.
7 A. -- there seems to be an assumption that General Mladic at this stage,
8 on 28th/29th May, should still be following instructions from
10 Q. I will come to that part of this report later, Dr. Gow. You say there
11 was a risk of being misled perhaps on details of this information.
12 Do you think that this risk of being misled is greater than just
13 referring to one line in the Security Council resolution where it
14 says, "the demand of withdrawal has not been met", do you not think
15 that would create a greater risk of being misled?
16 A. No, I do not because the one line encapsulates the overall assessment
17 of the Security Council representing the reports of the
18 Secretary-General of other UN agencies in the area and of the
19 agencies of the governments of the Security Council themselves.
20 Whilst it may be incomplete with reference to every little bit of
21 detail, I do not think it is the role of the Security Council
22 resolution to itemise every piece of detail, rather than to express a
23 broad understanding of the situation and to indicate in what ways the
24 Security Council intends to act and address those situations.
25 Q. Dr. Gow, were the members of the Security Council aware of the
1 information of this report and of this report when they adopted
2 resolution 757?
3 A. I could not say for sure if they were aware of either because the
4 report itself clearly indicates that the decision, at least my
5 reading of the report (which has been rather hurried just now)
6 indicates that the decision to impose sanctions had already been
7 taken. I may have been too quick in reading that to see it. Whether
8 the Security Council was aware of the report before they acted, I am
9 not sure. It may well have been the case that they were aware of it,
10 even if the report itself was issued after the action to impose
11 sanctions had been taken, and I am quite sure that they would have
12 been aware of most, if not all, of the information contained in it.
13 Q. What makes you believe, since you have just told us that you are not
14 aware of the factual basis on which the Security Council members
15 adopted this resolution, what makes you change your mind now saying
16 that they had at their disposal this information?
17 A. I have not changed my mind. What I said before was that I did not --
18 you asked me if I knew the information that they had at their
19 disposal, and I said I did not know that information, but I supposed
20 they would rely on reports of UN agencies, perhaps of Secretary-
21 Generals' reports -- you have indicated that the Secretary-General
22 was preparing a report at the time -- and of the reports of the
23 officers and agencies of their own governments; I have no doubt of
24 other sources of information as well. So, all I said was I suppose
25 they would act on this basis, although I did not know (and I still do
1 not know) the information that they used.
2 Q. I thought that you said you did not know what information was
3 available to them, at least not in detail, and not whether they used
4 it or not?
5 A. Forgive me, yes, I did not know -- I did not know what -- because I
6 did not know what information was available, also it follows that I
7 did not know what use they made of the information that I do not know
8 that they had.
9 Q. Do you know, Dr. Gow, what was the reason for first adopting
10 resolution 757 and only afterwards releasing this report of the
11 Secretary-General, because since it refers to resolution 757 in
12 paragraph 1 -- it is not giving the number, but in the last
13 paragraphs it is referring to the adoption of the resolution -- do
14 you know what was the reason for this chronological order, first
15 adopting the resolution and only afterwards releasing the report of
16 the Secretary-General?
17 A. No, I do not, but it does not strike me as being terribly unusual.
18 Q. I do not understand this last part of your answer, Dr. Gow. Could
19 you please explain what is not unusual?
20 A. It does not strike me as being abnormal that there might be a
21 Secretary-General's report released after a decision of the Security
22 Council; the two do not necessarily go in tandem. For example, there
23 was a report of the Secretary-General released on 30th May 1995
24 assessing the situation of UN peace forces on the territories of
25 former Yugoslavia and assessing its mandate just at the point that I
1 think the international UN position was changing, and immediately
2 after two days of the most significant use of air power by the UN and
3 NATO. Therefore, all I am saying is that whilst, no doubt, the
4 report came out afterwards, I am not sure that you can attribute any
5 particular significance to it.
6 Q. Is it not more usual, Dr. Gow, that the first the Secretary-General
7 presents its report and the decisions are taken then, when we talk
8 about what is usual in the Security Council. Is it usual that they
9 first take the decision and do not ask for the information on which
10 they might base their decision, or is the usual way the other way
11 round? You did introduce the word "usual", Dr. Gow, I did not.
12 A. My recollection was that I said "abnormal" but maybe I said "unusual"
13 as well, usual, unusual; if I did, then what I mean is that not
14 basing the statement on an assessment of the majority of cases but on
15 the understanding that there are occasions on which Security Council
16 and other actions may take place, and on which Secretary-General's
17 reports appear and the two are not necessarily -- the appearance of
18 the Secretary-General's report after action of the Security Council
19 is something which happens and is not necessarily indicative of
20 anything in particular, I would think. The -----
21 Q. To be quite clear to you, Dr. Gow, I did not suggest anything; I just
22 asked you what was the order and I did not ask any other question at
23 that time on whether this was a usual order or an unusual order or a
24 normal order or a not normal order, so my question has been answered
25 as far as this is concerned.
1 Dr. Gow, since I do understand that you do not know the
2 reason for that -- whether it is usual or not is a different question
3 -- did any of your sources, you indicated before, ever tell you that
4 this report was withheld because it might have frustrated the
5 determination of the United States of America to impose sanctions on
6 Serbia? My question is whether any of your sources ever told you
7 that this was the reason?
8 A. I do not recall if any of my sources ever told me or indicated
9 through writing that that was the case.
10 Q. Thank you. Dr. Gow, when we are talking about the JNA, after 19th
11 May, what exactly should we understand the JNA to be after 19th May?
12 A. That is a very difficult question because on a formal level the JNA
13 itself was being disestablished, although it was recognised that even
14 after the date of 19th May some elements of the JNA, as described,
15 remained in Bosnia and Herzegovina partly because of some of the
16 problems you identified in trying to withdraw certain units. The JNA
17 structures continued to be used after the transformation. So, for
18 example, the 2nd Military District command was moved from Sarajevo to
19 Han Pijesak and the army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina was based around the JNA structure.
21 The command of the 2nd Military District continued,
22 according to what I understand, to maintain its links with Belgrade.
23 You can see in this initial period around two weeks after the formal
24 disestablishment of the JNA, as understood, that there was still an
25 expectation that General Mladic's commander of the 2nd Military
1 District or, by this time, Commander of the Army of the Serbian
2 Republic, which was, in effect, the same thing, was taking orders
3 from Belgrade, but some doubt as to whether or not he was following
4 those orders. I think there would also have been some doubt as to
5 whether -- I think this is reflected in the Secretary-General's
6 report -- some confusion as to whether or not he was following
7 orders, not following orders, or whether there was simply some kind
8 of masking of the real situation going on.
9 I think when the Security Council resolution makes
10 reference to the non-withdrawal of the JNA -- and this may be at the
11 heart of your question -- then what you can understand is that the
12 decision of the Belgrade authorities, not only to leave behind
13 personnel who were citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but to leave
14 behind the overwhelming bulk of the armed capability of the JNA, as
15 well as the presence of some elements from Belgrade, is what was
16 taken to constitute the presence of the JNA in Bosnia and
18 Q. Dr. Gow, let me take you a bit back in the history of the JNA. Was
19 not the JNA already disintegrating in the end of 1991?
20 A. The JNA, even before the end of 1991, was disintegrating in the sense
21 that its character as a multi-ethnic armed force in which all the
22 peoples of the territories of the SFRY were represented was being
23 lost. It was not necessarily disintegrating in terms of having a
24 command and control infrastructure, the command and control
25 infrastructure, although elements of it changed with the withdrawal
1 of troops from certain areas in Slovenia and Macedonia and parts or
2 the whole, eventually may be the whole, of Croatia, but that does not
3 alter the fact that the infrastructure which made it an army remained
4 in place and was being used.
5 So to make it clear, the disintegration on one level in
6 losing its multi-ethnic character and losing many of the people in it
7 was the case, but the disintegration in terms of having an
8 infrastructure was not the case.
9 Q. So the infrastructure still perhaps could be used although the JNA as
10 a whole was in a state of disintegration?
11 A. That is the case and I believe parts of it were being lost by the
12 forces to which I have made reference in testimony so far.
13 Q. Who was in late 1991 in command of the JNA, Dr. Gow?
14 A. The Federal Secretary for Defence at the end of 1991 and, therefore,
15 overall in command of the JNA was General Veljko Kadijevic, to whom I
16 have made reference a number of times in testimony already, and his
17 memoirs have been submitted in evidence.
18 Q. When did General Kadijevic retire, Dr. Gow?
19 A. General Kadijevic left his post, resigned from his post, at the
20 beginning of January 1992, I believe-- it may be 7th January -- I do
21 not recall the exact date.
22 Q. But it was in January ------
23 A. It was in early January 1992.
24 Q. So it is before the war really started in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in
25 the area specifically mentioned in the indictment against Mr. Tadic
1 in the western northern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, far before the
2 war broke out, two or three months?
3 A. General Kadijevic left his post approximately two to three months
4 before major armed hostilities broke out on the territory of Bosnia
5 and Herzegovina, but not before the idea of the political project for
6 creating new territories had been discussed, decided upon and begun
7 to be implemented.
8 Q. Dr. Gow, who was succeeding General Kadijevic?
9 A. General Zivota Panic succeeded General Kadijevic eventually, but for
10 a period Kadijevic's effective deputy, the chief of staff, General
11 Blagoja Adzic, was acting Federal Secretary for Defence. We
12 mentioned Adzic already this morning and you discussed his meeting at
13 Skopje with Itzebegovic.
14 Q. When was Adzic removed, do you remember when he was removed?
15 A. My recollection is that Adzic was probably removed in May, May 1992;
16 it might have been a little earlier.
17 Q. Yes. Dr. Gow, when was Mr. Mladic appointed in a new capacity? I do
18 understand, but if I am wrong you will please correct me, that he was
19 the Commander of the Krajina Military District; is that right?
20 A. General Mladic at one stage was Deputy Commander of the Knin corps of
21 the JNA. I am not sure what it would mean to say that he was
22 commander of the Krajina Military District.
23 Q. I am not an expert; if you say it is called the Knin corps, what I,
24 as a matter of fact, would like to ask you is what his position was
25 in the JNA and how his position changed later on. Could you tell us
1 what new position he took in May 1992?
2 A. Possibly in May 1992 he replaced General Milutin Kukanjac (to whom I
3 have made reference already) as Commander of 2nd Military District
4 of the JNA in Sarajevo. Following the formal disestablishment of the
5 JNA, he became commander of the VRS, the Army of the Serbian
7 Q. When was that, Dr. Gow?
8 A. To be honest, I do not recall the exact date. I would suppose, to be
9 consistent with the decision to disestablish the JNA formally on 19th
10 May, the 19th May or 20th May would be the appropriate date, but I am
11 not certain about that answer.
12 Q. Yes. I will not concentrate on that exact date, whether it was 19th
13 or 18th or 16th, or it might even be 13th, but let us say between
14 10th and 20th May 1992. By whom was he appointed in his new function
15 after the dissolution or while the JNA being dissolved?
16 A. If by his new function you mean as commander of the VRS ---
17 Q. That is what I mean, yes.
18 A. -- then again that is a very difficult question to answer. I believe
19 there were instructions to General Mladic following the instruction
20 to move the headquarters from Sarajevo to Han Pijesak to convert the
21 headquarters into the general staff of the VRS. So, on one level the
22 instructions would be coming from the JNA command in Belgrade but, of
23 course, on another level it would be appropriate in formal terms for
24 the leader of the Bosnian Serb Republic, Radovan Karadzic, to make
25 the appointment. I am not clear exactly what it is that you want to
1 know, but I would think somewhere between those two points you would
2 have an answer.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I think the question related to a date. Let me see
4 if I understand the testimony. General Mladic, according to your
5 testimony, was appointed commander of the 2nd Military District in
6 Sarajevo in May 1992, but he also became commander of the VRS in
7 Serbia in May 1992; am I correct or incorrect?
8 A. General Mladic, perhaps in May, perhaps at the end of April -- I do
9 not recall the precise timing -- was appointed to be commander of the
10 2nd Military District of the JNA based in Sarajevo.
11 The JNA command gave instructions to move 2nd Military
12 District headquarters from Sarajevo to Han Pijesak in Bosnian-Serb
13 controlled territory. The 2nd Military District command at Han
14 Pijesak was then converted formally into the general staff of the
15 army of the Serbian Republic, that is not the Republic of Serbia with
16 Belgrade as its capital, but the Bosnian Serb state entity on the
17 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I hope I have made that clear.
18 Q. No, well, you have added something, but in any case, when did he
19 become commander of the VRS in Serbia?
20 A. I am sorry, my answer was that he did not become commander of
21 anything in Serbia; that he became commander of the army of the
22 Serbian Republic in Bosnia and Herzegovina. So he was not commander
23 of anything in Serbia.
24 MR. ORIE: Dr. Gow, I would like to take you back to the report of the
25 Secretary-General we just discussed. I would like to draw your
1 attention to paragraph 7 first. I will read it for you.
2 Paragraph 7 on page 3 reads: "It will be apparent from
3 the foregoing" -- these were the parts I quoted before -- "that the
4 issue of the deblocking and safe withdrawal of the remaining JNA
5 troops from their barracks at Bosnia and Herzegovina has become
6 linked to other problems which have caused continuing conflict in
7 that Republic and has in particular been complicated by problems
8 relating to the withdrawal of heavy weapons from those barracks and
9 from Bosnia and Herzegovina. UNPROFOR has received indications that
10 the JNA leadership in Belgrade is willing to leave the bulk of its
11 weapons behind upon withdrawal, but the leadership of the army of the
12 'Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina' is unwilling to permit
14 Does this part not clearly indicate, Dr. Gow, that if
15 there was no complete withdrawal, it was mainly because of the
16 opposition by the leadership of the army of the Serbian Republic of
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
18 A. I am not at all clear that it does indicate that. It makes reference
19 to indications -- and the basis for them is not given but I am sure
20 there was some basis for it -- that JNA command in Belgrade was
21 prepared to leave weapons behind. Quite clearly, it was prepared to
22 leave weapons behind with the newly designated army of the Serbian
23 Republic in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
24 It would not be consistent with earlier behaviour to have
25 made a decision to leave weaponry in barracks which would then come
1 under the control of the Territorial Defence or the government
2 authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Had such a decision been
3 taken, it would still only make reference to small amounts of
4 weaponry relative to the bulk of weaponry which had been left in the
5 hands of the army of the Serbian Republic in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 There was an agreement, I might point out, in May over
7 Sarajevo when the Territorial Defence forces of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina had blocked the JNA in the Marshal Tito barracks and on
9 which and in response the JNA had taken the President of Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina, Alija Itzebegovic, at the airport. Part of the
11 negotiations by General McKenzie, the Sarajevo commander of UNPROFOR
12 at the time, part of the negotiations arranged by General Mckenzie
13 were that the two individuals, the Commander, the Military District
14 Commander, General Kukanjac, and Itzebegovic, would be swapped as
15 individuals, and that the JNA would then later, discussions would be
16 there later for the JNA to withdraw but leave its equipment. But the
17 JNA moved out with its equipment creating an incident which was only
18 settled by the intervention of Itzebegovic who was in the convoy with
19 the UN with Kukanjac at the time.
20 Q. Dr. Gow, my question did not involve any suggestion of consistency
21 and behaviour of the parties at that time, but let me ask you another
22 question then on this specific part I have just read to you. You
23 said: "Well, the issue of whether weapons should be left behind or
24 not", as I understand you well, "was the issue of whether they would
25 be in the hands of the army of the new Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina or not".
2 I may draw your attention to the last few lines, it says
3 that the "leadership in Belgrade is willing to leave the bulk of its
4 weapons behind upon withdrawal", it also says, "the leadership of
5 army of the 'Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is unwilling
6 to permit this'."
7 Am I right when I draw the conclusion that the Serbian
8 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina would never have opposed against
9 leaving behind major parts of its weapons if it would fall in their
10 own hands? Would it not be logical to say that the Serbian Republic
11 of Bosnia and Herzegovina was unwilling to permit the leaving behind
12 of arms because they feared that they might come into the hands of
13 the Bosnia and Herzegovina government?
14 A. I am sorry, I am not sure I followed the question; it was rather
16 Q. I will try to rephrase it then. As far as I read the report of the
17 Secretary-General, the army of the Serbian Republic, at least, the
18 leadership of the army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina were unwilling to permit the JNA to leave behind its
20 weapons upon withdrawal. It sounds totally illogical to me that they
21 would oppose if these weapons that would be left behind by the JNA
22 would fall into their hands; it sounds perfectly logical to me that
23 they opposed because they feared that part of this willingness was
24 that the weapons would come into the hands of the Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina government. Can you follow me in these logical
1 deductions, Dr. Gow?
2 A. I am not sure that I can, but if I can try to understand and if the
3 way I have understood what you say is correct; you are saying that it
4 is logical that the command of the army of the Serbian Republic of
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina would oppose the withdrawal of JNA weapons if
6 it was going to fall into their hands?
7 Q. No, the leaving behind of the JNA weapons upon withdrawal of the JNA
9 A. Sorry, they would oppose the leaving behind of weapons if it was
10 going to fall into their hands; that does not seem logical at all to
11 me, if I have understood correctly.
12 Q. Yes. So the report says that the leadership of the army of the
13 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, let us say the new
14 government, that they opposed against leaving behind the arms of the
15 JNA. It is my suggestion that this is only logical if you understand
16 the willingness to leave weapons behind as being the willingness of
17 leaving them behind for the official government of Bosnia and
19 A. Right, I think I might have got you. It would be logical, certainly,
20 that if the JNA was prepared to leave some of its weaponry behind in
21 areas which would be under the control of the government of Bosnia
22 and Herzegovina, that those opposed to the government of Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina would also be opposed to such a decision. It seems to me
24 that that is not an unreasonable statement to make, but it would
25 still not be consistent with the behaviour of the JNA at any other
1 stage and it would not have made any significant difference in the
2 overall balance of forces.
3 At the time you were talking of a situation in which
4 after the disestablishment of the JNA, there were perhaps around
5 80,000, perhaps more, members of the army of the Serbian Republic in
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina and certain other groups attached from time to
7 time which constituted, which had over 300 main battle tanks, as I
8 have already said, somewhere over 800 armoured personnel carriers and
9 over 800 heavy artillery pieces, at the same time as which the forces
10 of the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the kind of
11 paramilitary forces to which you made reference on Friday, comprised
12 something short of that, perhaps up to 60,000, of which most 40,000
13 could be armed and could be armed only with man portable weaponry,
14 that is, perhaps man portable, shoulder-launched anti-armour weapons.
15 So you are talking about a radically different kind of capability.
16 Even if the JNA had left weaponry behind in barracks, and I actually
17 think in a few cases that might have happened, it might have had to
18 leave without the weaponry, it still did not make much difference to
19 the overall balance of the situation in which the armed conflict was
20 taking place, in which there was an overwhelming abundance of
21 weaponry on one side, thanks to the command of the JNA, and because
22 of the situation and, in a different sense, thanks to the JNA, there
23 was not weaponry on the other side.
24 Q. Dr. Gow, I will leave paragraph 7 for the time being. I will go to
25 paragraph 8. I will read it for you first. "Uncertainty about who
1 exercised" -----
2 JUDGE STEPHEN: I wonder, he has had the document now for half an hour or
3 so, can he not just look at the document without reading it out? We
4 have all read paragraph 8.
5 MR. ORIE: One of the reasons, your Honour, why I am asking -----
6 JUDGE STEPHEN: If you think it necessary, do so, but it just seems to me
7 to be taking an awful lot of time.
8 MR. ORIE: I am aware of that. I would not propose if Dr. Gow reads it,
9 but if it takes us then 10 minutes to find out what it exactly says,
10 then it might even save time. But I follow your suggestion and
11 invite Dr. Gow to read paragraph 8.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Or you might, if you wish, put it on the monitor and
13 then everyone can see it.
14 MR. ORIE: Yes, if that is possible, that would be fine so that everyone
15 can read it.
16 Have you read paragraph 8, Dr. Gow? Does this paragraph
17 not indicate that General Mladic was just ignoring what Belgrade
18 wanted in respect of the issues we just discussed, withdrawal,
19 leaving behind weapons, whether or not shelling Sarajevo?
20 A. It indicates that there was still an assumption both in the
21 leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina and on the part of the UN
22 command that General Mladic would be following instructions issued by
23 Belgrade. It indicates that, as had been the case throughout the
24 conflict in Croatia and was to be the case throughout much of the
25 conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in a formal and open sense, the
1 UN could not express certainty about political control or even
2 military control at certain times, but that was entirely consistent
3 with the example I gave from General Kadijevic's book, saying that
4 "we cannot express things in an open way because that would lead to
5 judgments being made". Of course, many of those judgments were being
6 made, or at least half made, on the basis of events.
7 Therefore, I think the paragraph indicates, first, that
8 there was still an assumption that the command, that instructions
9 would come from Belgrade; secondly, that there may well be consistent
10 with earlier times an intention to try to create a degree of
11 confusion, if not deception, with regard to the judgments of
12 international agents present or international observers in more
13 distant places; and the continuing presence of Belgrade troops
14 rotating in and out throughout the three and a half years of
15 conflict, those troops being paid for by Belgrade seems to me
16 entirely consistent with that perspective.
17 Q. Dr. Gow, am I right in understanding that you say this is still in
18 line with the policy as indicated by General Kadijevic who left
19 already three months before, and it is even true that where the
20 Mladic forces or irregular forces attacked JNA units withdrawing that
21 this was all still part of this master plan how to deal with this
22 situation months after General Kadijevic left his post?
23 A. Given that I do not think a decision of that kind anyway would have
24 been entirely subject to the personality of one individual commander
25 -- of course, I cannot be, I might be wrong about that; sometimes in
1 history particular generals have such a strong personal influence,
2 the moment they are gone everything changes, it is more often the
3 case that generals are part of an organised planning framework
4 that they share broadly common perspectives and that they begin to
5 implement operations in a similar way. This, as I understand it,
6 would also be entirely consistent with the Soviet style of communist
7 military style policy of maskirovanja, the idea of disguising actions
8 for purposes of deception.
9 Q. So you do not exclude that it might have been the personality of
10 General Mladic that finally created this situation described as doing
11 several things in direct contravention of instructions issued by
12 General Boskovic and the JNA leadership in Belgrade; you do not
13 exclude that possibility?
14 A. It would be consistent with my previous answer.
15 Q. I am asking whether you exclude that possibility, Dr. Gow?
16 A. I think I am answering your question, if I may, that it would be
17 consistent with my previous answer to say that I could not exclude
18 that possibility, but the weight of my previous answer also went to
19 indicate that Generals are usually part of an organised corporate
20 structure and, therefore, do not usually exercise undue personal
21 influence, but there have been occasions where that can happen.
22 Q. So you say there are ---
23 A. But the weight of my answer is -----
24 Q. -- you are telling us that there are other possibilities as well?
25 A. The weight of my answer is that Generals usually form part of a
1 corporate structure, but that means -- but also consistent with my
2 first answer is that in absolute, logical, theoretical terms, I do
3 not exclude the possibility.
4 Q. Dr. Gow, I would like to take you now to paragraph 10 and I would ask
5 you to read it. It is partly on page 3, partly on page 4, certainly
6 the first part, the first sentence. That is just a very short line,
7 your Honours. It does not take much time to read that. It says:
8 "As regards the withdrawal of elements of the Croatian Army now in
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina, information currently available in New York
10 suggests that no such withdrawal has occurred." Is that a reliable
11 description of the situation?
12 A. I would regard it as being a reliable description of the situation,
14 Q. Were any sanctions imposed specifically on Croatia at the time, Dr.
16 A. Not at that -- the only sanction which was specifically imposed
17 against Croatia was along with the sanctions on the transfer of arms
18 against all the territories of the SFRY which was in September 1991.
19 No further sanctions at this stage or any other stage were applied
20 against the Republic of Croatia.
21 At the time in question, the suggestion was that the
22 forces of the Republic of Croatia were there to assist the government
23 of Bosnia and Herzegovina which would, therefore, be consistent with
24 the demands of resolution 752. There was some kind of formal defence
25 arrangement between the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina agreed and, I believe, signed at the end of May, or maybe
2 in June, when the forces of the Republic of Croatia clearly and
3 overtly took action against the forces of the government of Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina in 1993. There was considerable discussion of the
5 issue of sanctions being imposed against Croatia, and the United
6 States, in particular, clearly indicated to President Tudjman of
7 Croatia that if Croatian action did not desist, then a sanctions
8 regime would be called for and, presumably, decided upon and
9 implemented against the Republic of Croatia.
10 Of course, the formal statement at the time that the
11 forces of the Croatian army on the territory of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina were to assist the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 was always ambiguous, because there was much discussion of an
14 arrangement between President Milosevic of Serbia and President
15 Tudjman of Croatia; that both of them would seek to annex parts of
16 the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the arrangement which was
17 part of the whole situation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the
18 dissolution, in the period of dissolution, of the SFRY.
19 So the position of those Croatian forces was ambiguous
20 and clearly at the same time local Croats, no doubt relying in part
21 on the presence of the Croatian army, were beginning to establish,
22 shall we say, at best autonomous arrangements in that area.
23 Q. Dr. Gow, how did international observers look upon the situation?
24 Did they think that there were still portions of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina under the control of the Croatian military units?
1 A. I am sorry, I am not clear, did they still think? Was that the
3 Q. Would they think that a portion -- let me just read it. One moment,
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The next sentence, I suppose, says that
6 "international ----
7 MR. ORIE: I would like to draw your attention to the observation of
8 international observers on the control of Croatian military army
9 units on military still present at the territory of
11 A. I am sorry. If you asked me a question, I missed it.
12 Q. It says that the international observers do not doubt that portions,
13 etc. etc., as you can read it. Do you think that this is an
14 observation that is correct?
15 A. Yes, I do. I think my previous answer clearly indicated that.
16 Q. Thank you. Dr. Gow -----
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: May I ask just one question at this point, Dr. Gow?
18 Where it states, "International observers do not, however, doubt
19 that portions of Bosnia and Herzegovina are under the control of
20 Croatian military units, whether belonging to the local Territorial
21 Defence, to paramilitary groups or to the Croatian army", at that
22 time, and this would have been, the date of the report is May 30th
23 1992 ---
24 A. This would be the period April/May 1992.
25 Q. -- April/May 1992, at that time were Croatian military units that are
1 referred to in this sentence there, based on your information and
2 opinion, to support the Bosnians or were they there as aggressors
3 against the Bosnians?
4 A. As was the case with the Serbian side, my own opinion is that there
5 was a degree of ambiguity and deception involved, that there were
6 formal initiatives to indicate that Croatian forces would assist the
7 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and these were confirmed by
8 formal arrangements maybe late May, maybe in June, and to some
9 extent in this first phase of the war that could be said to be the
11 I think there is little doubt -- I stand to be corrected
12 on this -- among external observers that following from the reported
13 agreement of the two, of the President of Croatia and the President
14 of Serbia, that they would both seek to annex parts of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina, that the real purpose of the Croatian military in this
16 area was to take control of territory with a view, possibly or
17 probably, to annexing it to the Republic of Croatia at some future
18 stage, as was the intention to annex the Bosnian/Serbian territory to
19 the Republic of Serbia.
20 Q. What was the day of this report that you have referred to? You said,
21 "following the report of conversations or an agreement between the
22 President of Croatia and the President of Serbia there was an
23 intention to divide Bosnia and Herzegovina", what was the date of
24 that report, approximately?
25 A. I do not remember a precise date; there have been so many reports of
1 the meetings. There was an initial meeting between the President,
2 the two Presidents, at a former residence of Tito, the old SFRY
3 President, at Karadjordjevo, at which reports indicate that this was
4 discussed. I think this was in the spring of 1990 or, sorry, maybe
5 the spring of 1991, but I am not clear about the date. Certainly
6 after that there were a series of other meetings between
7 representatives of the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Serbs which
8 took place, among other places, in Graz in Austria. If your Honour
9 wishes, I can provide some detail about this at a later stage.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That is enough. Thank you very much.
11 MR. ORIE: Dr. Gow, you were just referring to the Graz agreement, Graz
12 in Austria?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. ORIE: Your Honours, I would like to view some parts and some other
15 parts of video clips as well, but I do not know whether it is wise to
16 start with that. I am a little bit reluctant to ask you to adjourn
17 or to make a break two minutes earlier than scheduled but -----
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: After Friday, two minutes is acceptable, that is for
19 sure. That is better than an hour and a half. We will stand in
20 recess, please, for 20 minutes.
21 (The hearing adjourned for a short time)
22 (11.30 a.m.)
23 (11.50 a.m.)
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Orie?
25 MR. ORIE: If I may proceed, your Honours. Dr. Gow, I would like to show
1 the video clip to you that is also taken from the programme Death of
2 Yugoslavia, and it deals with part 5 of Exhibit 31. I will show it
3 to you again. I think it is a bit more than the part shown to you as
4 part 5 of Exhibit 31. It is in the tape that we have given to the
5 Registry. It is scene No. 4, your Honours. I would like to tender
6 that. We have presented a tape with four scenes. I only use three
7 of them. I will indicate that it is clearly indicate on the tape
8 where scene four starts, where scene one starts, so there is a
9 division between these different scenes, indicating the number I am
10 referring to now.
11 So I would like this video tape, scene 4 of the tape, be
12 presented to the Registry, show it to Dr. Gow, and I will ask now and
13 then to stop it to put questions to Dr. Gow on this scene. The first
14 scene, just a rough indication, is the speech of Mr. Karadzic made
15 in the Parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Excuse me, have you shown to the Prosecutor part 5,
17 scene 4? I am sure they have seen it since they have offered a
18 portion of that same film, five-part film.
19 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, we are familiar with the whole tape, and I
20 assume that we are being shown a part of the tape which we did not
21 display. I have not specifically seen the part they are about to
22 show, but we have seen the whole tape.
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: But you have no objection?
24 MR. NIEMANN: No.
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: This I suppose will be Defence 3?
1 MR. ORIE: Yes. That will be Defence Exhibit 3, yes.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Fine, Defence 3 will be admitted.
3 MR. ORIE: So that is scene 4 of the video clip we have presented.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes.
5 MR. ORIE: I would like to ask you to show it on the screen, so that I can
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Have you communicated with the gentlemen in the
8 booth, they know?
9 MR. ORIE: Yes. They even know by now that we are starting with four and
10 not with one, so we are prepared for it, your Honour.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Very good. You may show it then.
12 (The video clip was shown).
13 MR. ORIE: I would like to start your Honour a bit back, if possible. Yes
14 a bit forward now again. I will try to stay "stop" at the right
15 place. I would like to stop here, your Honour.
16 Dr. Gow, could you please tell us who is the gentleman
17 sitting right in the front of that room so where Mr. Itzebegovic is
18 walking behind him? Could you tell us who this is?
19 A. I am afraid that I cannot identify clearly. It looks as though it
20 might be Bogic Bogicevic who was a representative to the SFRY
21 presidency, but I do not see clearly.
22 Q. Well, to avoid any other loss of time, it is the assumption of the
23 Defence as well, your Honours, that this is Mr. Boljkovac. Could we
24 then, please, continue a tiny little bit and stop again with the next
25 person sitting in front. Could you tell us, Dr. Gow, who is the lady
1 sitting, seen from this point of view to the left of him, but
2 actually sitting on the right of the first person I mentioned?
3 A. This is Mrs. Biljana Plasvic, one of the Serbian representatives of
4 the collective presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 Q. Thank you. Could we then move on a bit further. May I ask you, Dr.
6 Gow, who is sitting next to her? The question might not surprise you.
7 A. Again I do not see clearly, but from the appearance I assume that it
8 would be Professor Nikola Koljevic, again one of the Serbian
9 representatives to the collective presidency of Bosnia and
11 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow. I would like to look at the rest of the video
12 without interruption from now on, your Honour.
13 (The video clip continued).
14 That is the end of this first scene, your Honour. Dr.
15 Gow, are you aware of any other words spoken at that occasion
16 following the words that have been indicated on the screen by Mr.
17 Karadzic? So, what did he say next to what has been shown to us in
18 this video clip and that is not on the tape?
19 A. I am sorry, what did Mr. Karadzic say next?
20 Q. Yes, Mr. Karadzic said next.
21 A. I do not recall what Mr. Karadzic said next.
22 Q. Do you know anything he said just before this part of the -- are you
23 aware of the content of the rest of his speech?
24 A. I have been aware of the speech and its content, but I am not sure
25 that I recall, I would be able to recall it now.
1 Q. OK. I come to that later Dr. Gow. I first would like to concentrate
2 on the date of this meeting of the Parliament. You were in some
3 doubt when you said in your testimony that as far as you remember it
4 was March '92. Perhaps reconsidering the pictures and having seen
5 them again, could you be more precise on whether this was a mistake
6 that it was in March '92 or that you know another date on which this
7 event took place?
8 A. Well, as I indicated, there was a degree of uncertainty in my mind at
9 the time I was giving evidence. It is not always easy instantly to
10 recall things perfectly in this situation which is not one of the
11 easiest in the world. That uncertainty I think, I was justified in
12 expressing that uncertainty because my understanding is that that
13 statement was actually probably made earlier than that in the autumn
14 of 1991. At the time, and I express this again with a degree of
15 uncertainty, but on reflection that it may make more sense in trying
16 to situate the context of everything, in October'ish, around the time
17 in the autumn of 1991, at the time of the discussions on the
18 statement of sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but again I say
19 that expressing a degree of caution because sometimes it is not
20 possible in a situation like this to recall precisely.
21 Q. Do I understand you well if you say now that it is more probable, I
22 note you are making some reservations that it is more probable that
23 it is the autumn of 1991 when the sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 was discussed in parliament?
25 A. That would be fair, it would be fair to say that, yes.
1 Q. Would it be of any help if I draw your attention to the presence of
2 certain persons sitting in front? Would that be of any help in being
3 more certain about a period of time, especially all these Serb
4 representatives were sitting there? Were they still in parliament in
5 1992, Dr. Gow?
6 A. I find it difficult to make a precise recollection of that. The
7 Serbian delegates after, I think after November but again this part
8 of events and the chronology, the internal politics of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina, is less central to my particular field of expertise, but
10 my recollection is that they began to boycott the parliament,
11 although both Mrs. Plasvic and Dr. Koljevic remained members of the
12 collective presidency, and I think I already indicated that at the
13 time of incident in Bijelina Mrs. Plasvic was part of the collective
14 presidential delegation which was sent there ostensibly to
15 investigate the matter.
16 Q. Do you think, Dr. Gow, that it is of any relevance to whether you
17 situate this meeting and the words spoken either in a discussion on
18 the right of self-determination of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 or that we situate it in the context of a war to break out within one
20 month afterwards? Do you think it is of any relevance, do you think
21 the difference is relevant as to whether these words have been spoken
22 let us say in October 1991 or in March 1992?
23 A. I am not sure. It is possible that there might be some relevance,
24 although I think the essence would be, the essence of the words being
25 spoken would remain the same, because whether in the context of
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina, whether this was a statement, in effect a
2 threat, being made in October or in March, the content would remain
3 the same and the overall situation would remain the same, that is a
4 dispute, a political dispute, between one element, the government and
5 the Muslim party and the Croat party in Bosnia and Herzegovina and
6 the main Serbian party in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that dispute
7 was the same dispute in October and in March; and at the same time
8 the statement in October, if I am right in supposing that it was
9 October, that if I am right in supposing that that statement was in
10 October, then it would also be subsequent to the declaration of
11 Serbian autonomous regions in four locations or four areas of Bosnia
12 and Herzegovina and, therefore, consistent with the programme of
13 action to create Serbian controlled areas which would not be part of
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina unless Bosnia and Herzegovina agreed to remain
15 part of a new federal Yugoslavia which would be de facto Serbian
16 dominated and which the President of Bosnia and Herzegovina had
17 already indicated he would not be prepared to do.
18 Q. Do I understand you well, Dr. Gow, that the words are the same and
19 the meaning of the words might be the same, but the different context
20 might be relevant?
21 A. I find it -- I do not see that there would be any particular
22 relevance in the words being expressed in a difference in time
23 because they are pertinent to the same political dispute, but again
24 not being in a position to say that I can imagine all possibilities,
25 then it may be that there is some relevance which escapes me, but I
1 think the essence of the problem remains the same.
2 Q. You do not think it is relevant that the words when spoken in October
3 1991 would be part of a discussion on the self-determination while
4 in March/April the situation was totally different, independence
5 being declared already, you are dealing with a state that considered
6 itself to be a sovereign state by then?
7 A. Bosnia and Herzegovina was always sustained as a sovereign state.
8 The platform on sovereignty reasserted or reaffirmed the formal
9 sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a state. That formal
10 reaffirmation of sovereignty followed the declaration of the four
11 Serbian autonomous regions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The suggestion
12 that -- the only significance that I possibly could attach, now I
13 think about it, to the different time periods is the fact that Mr.
14 Karadzic was uttering these words in October might -- I stress
15 "might" -- be taken as a justification for whatever limited measures
16 others in Bosnia and Herzegovina were to begin to take to protect
17 themselves through the use of armed force, although those were
18 extremely limited. But the suggestion of President Karadzic that the
19 Muslim people, that this action could end up resulting in the
20 non-existence of the Muslim people -- the word is "nestanak",
21 non-existence -- then I think there might be significance in that
22 sense and a significance which would be slightly different if it were
23 at a later stage when the situation were more developed. But I think
24 I would still go back to my original response, that there is no real
25 major difference between the two situations but, I say again, with
1 the caveat that again I may miss the significant difference.
2 Q. OK. Dr. Gow, let us then concentrate on the words of Mr. Karadzic.
3 Are you aware of the existence of an organisation that is called the
4 FBIS, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service?
5 A. Yes, I am.
6 Q. Could you explain to this Trial Chamber what the task of this
7 organisation is, where it is based, tell the Trial Chamber what you
8 know about the FBIS?
9 A. It is the Foreign Broadcast Information Service which has attached to
10 it a joint publications research service. It is an agency working
11 for the United States government, I believe, based in Virginia, which
12 uses information gathered through international monitoring,
13 particularly in the UK Caversham and Cheltenham monitoring centres,
14 monitor the FBIS, in particular monitors radio and television
15 transmissions in certain areas of the world organised in certain
16 designated regions.
17 Q. Dr. Gow, would you regard the FBIS generally as a reliable source of
19 A. Given that the FBIS, as with the BBC SWB, which I think has already
20 been discussed, monitors broadcasts and, therefore, reproduces in
21 translation what is broadcast, yes, it is, because apart from any
22 editorial decision as to which extracts to put into the published
23 version of the FBIS or the SWB, it is simply reporting things that
24 were said.
25 Q. Dr. Gow, would you please have a look at this document? (Handed).
1 Again, your Honours, I have to apologise for the bad quality of it
2 but we received it by telefax. (To the witness): Dr. Gow, do you
3 recognise this document as a document that looks as if it comes from
4 the FBIS? I do understand that you cannot confirm this for sure, but
5 is this the kind of documents the FBIS -----
6 A. I would see absolutely no reason to doubt that this was taken from
7 the FBIS Eastern Europe edition.
8 Q. Dr. Gow, would you, as far as possible with this bad text, read the
9 part especially the right side, the right column, of this page, would
10 you please read if carefully?
11 A. I am afraid it would take a great deal of care to read it. I find it
12 very difficult to distinguish.
13 Q. I will try to draw your attention to the relevant part.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Niemann, do you have any objection to this
15 exhibit being offered into evidence?
16 MR. ORIE: I would like to tender that.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I gather it will be Defence 4.
18 MR. NIEMANN: We have no objection, your Honour.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Defence 4 will be admitted. My colleague has
20 suggested that perhaps if it is put on the screen, the overhead
21 projector, we will have better luck with being able to decipher its
22 print here.
23 MR. ORIE (To the witness): I would like to draw your attention to exactly
24 that part that is on the screen now, Dr. Gow. I will read it just
25 to be sure that our understanding of what it says is -- a little bit
1 more to the left perhaps. That is fine. So I start reading after
2 where it says, "Boots and whistles". It then continues : "Let there
3 be great words. Great situations demand great words. How will you
4 prevent everyone from being killed in Bosnia?"
5 Dr. Gow, would not this additional text spoken by Mr.
6 Karadzic change considerably what he said before, even if he
7 expressed a threat against Muslims, does he not say that the problem
8 is how to prevent every one from being killed, not paying attention
9 whether they are Muslims, Croats, Serbs or whoever?
10 A. It is certainly the case that those words appear on the screen, the
11 words that you quoted; there may be, and they would add some
12 qualification to the statement that was put before. In the context,
13 I am not certain the degree of qualification that they would add, and
14 I am not sure how you would come to judge that qualification. The
15 essence of the situation, I think I should point out again, was one
16 in which Serbian autonomous regions had been declared in September
17 and, indeed -- something which I have not mentioned before, I do not
18 believe -- in April certain, prior to the declarations of autonomous
19 regions, associations and municipalities had been declared as well.
20 At the time of the declaration of those associations and
21 municipalities in April, they were already felt by some in Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina to be clear indications of the situation in which the
23 Muslim population would find itself later. For example, and I admit
24 that this would only be an indication of the character, the
25 assessment of the character of a situation by one individual but, for
1 example, I think, in the Bosnian newspaper, Bosanski Pogledi, in
2 April -- I think it was 18th April -- at the time these associations
3 of municipalities were being declared, whatever was going on at the
4 time certainly led the cartoonist on that newspaper to draw a cartoon
5 which indicated a street scene I think in Banja Luka in which the
6 Muslims would be walking around with arm bands and wearing crescent
7 and star arm bands in a reference, obviously, to the situation of the
8 Jews in Nazi Germany.
9 As I say, it is an indication from one cartoon at the
10 time certain things were taking place. It cannot tell you
11 everything, but sometimes something like that gives you a little bit
12 more a message than other things. Therefore, the threat of
13 non-existence for the Muslim people might be seen in that context and
14 the context which would, whatever the qualification provided by the
15 quotation you read, would not -- I do not think that -- sorry,
16 whatever that qualification is, I do not think it would significantly
17 diminish the sense that that was the situation which was emerging on
18 those territories, and one which, I think, was to see some greater
19 manifestation in the months and years to come.
20 I might also point out, that newspaper to which I made
21 reference was owned by a man called Adil Zvlfikarpasic who was a
22 Muslim who had been part of the Party of Democratic Action.
23 Initially, had been -- he was a businessman in Switzerland who had
24 provided a lot of the funding, but by this time was entering into
25 negotiations with the Serbian communities and with Belgrade trying to
1 see if there were other ways in which this situation might be
3 Forgive me, it is a long answer to what was ostensibly a
4 very simple question, but I think it is very difficult to take one
5 line as a significant qualification of the statement made before when
6 there is a broader context, but I meant that that one moment in
7 itself only gives again one partial reflection of the developing
9 Q. Dr. Gow, the only thing, as a matter of fact, was asking you but
10 perhaps I will rephrase -----
11 JUDGE STEPHEN: I think the witness has answered "yes" to a degree. That
12 is about what it comes to, is it not?
13 MR. ORIE: Your Honour, then I will not go into further detail as far as
14 the text and meaning of it is concerned. (To the witness): The only
15 question I would like to ask, Dr. Gow, were you involved in making
16 the selection for that film of those parts that really came into it?
17 You said that you were a consultant in the -----
18 A. I indeed said that I was one of the consultants involved at various
19 stages in the making of the series. I was not the only consultant.
20 The series consultant was Laura Silber, the Belgrade correspondent
21 for the Financial Times, but the responsibility for the making of the
22 programme lay with the series producer, Norma Percy, with the two
23 programme producers and directors, Angus McQueen and Paul Mitchell.
24 Although they would show -- they would have discussions with me and
25 with others before making the programme and would show fine cuts of
1 the programme to check certain things afterwards, the selection of
2 material was theirs. It was their programme, not mine.
3 Q. It was their programme. Thank you. Dr. Gow, I would like to take
4 you then to another part, that is, scene 1 of the video tape we
5 presented to the Registry. Actually, it is a copy but it is an
6 easier way for us to handle. It is a copy of some remarks made by
7 Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Kucan. It is scene No. 1 in our video tape.
8 I would like you to look at it first, if I can have that on the
9 screen, please?
10 (The video clip was played)
11 Dr. Gow, would you be able to reproduce the words of Mr.
12 Milosevic in its original language? Perhaps I should give you a text
13 in Serbo-Croatian of what is our understanding of what Mr. Milosevic
14 says in the original language. Could you please, when this part is
15 replayed, check whether this is correct, that you see whether these
16 really are the words as used by Mr. Milosevic in this video tape?
17 A. I will gladly do so. I can already tell you that they are not, but
18 that is -----
19 Q. This is just our transcript of what he said in Serbo-Croatian.
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That, I think, should be marked and would be Defence
21 5, if you are going to offer it into evidence.
22 MR. ORIE: Your Honour, what we intend to do is to produce a few more
23 things on this and either we use it as one exhibit or as three
24 separate exhibits. It is the same to me. We have a practical
25 problem. They have been stapled so they are one at this moment.
1 Logically, I would say, it is one exhibit, but it will give first the
2 Serbo-Croatian language. It then will give the text of the
3 subtitles to check whether this is correct and then the third one I
4 will ask a question of Dr. Gow, and I would say it is another text
5 related to this part of the video film.
6 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, might we be favoured with a copy if they are
7 going to be introduced one after the other like this because we do
8 not know what is coming up. If we could possibly see them, it would
10 MR. ORIE: I do not mind to separate them, your Honour. This would be
11 then exhibit -----
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You can separate it and call it Defence 5; if you
13 want to, you could say Defence 5(A), then (B), (C).
14 MR. ORIE: 5(A) until (C) would be fine, as far as the Registry is
15 concerned. (To the witness): So, Dr. Gow, I would like you to look
16 at it again -----
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Niemann, are you still waiting for your copy?
18 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Bos, are you going to mark this as Defence 5(A)?
20 MR. BOS: I will mark it as Defence 5(A).
21 MR. ORIE: So, Dr. Gow, I would like you to view again the tape that has
22 been, well, it is identical to what the Prosecution has shown us
23 last week, and see whether the text we gave you is a correct version
24 of what has already been said by Mr. Milosevic. Scene 1 again. Could
25 we please see scene 1 again?
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I think they are trying to locate it now.
2 (Scene 1 of the video was played)
3 MR. ORIE: Are these the wordings you understood to be spoken by Mr.
4 Milosevic, Dr. Gow?
5 A. They are.
6 Q. They are? Then I would like you to look at another document, that
7 would be Exhibit 5(B), which gives in writing the subtitles as they
8 appear on the screen. Would you please, after having looked at the
9 video, again tell us whether this is a correct -----
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Defence 5(A) then is admitted.
11 THE WITNESS: I think I can already tell you without looking at it that it
12 is not, as I already indicated that I could, but I will look at it
13 just to confirm. Without seeing the film again, this looks like the
14 subtitles as I remember reading them, yes.
15 Q. So you remember having seen these subtitles under the words of Mr.
17 A. Yes, that is the case, and the subtitles are not a representation of
18 the words which Milosevic is uttering at the time.
19 Q. So the subtitles are not really representing a fair translation of
20 what Mr. Milosevic said, is that correct, Dr. Gow?
21 A. I am not sure that that would be correct. They do not represent
22 an exact translation of what he is saying. In the context of
23 the interview with Milosevic, for the purposes of making the
24 programme, he was asked at the time to give his version of the
25 discussions with Kucan, President Kucan of Slovenia, the first scene
1 against -- the two scenes were juxtaposed. The way this kind of
2 programme is made is to interview all the parties at once and then to
3 take one, and then another to tell the story through their own words.
4 This is as far as I understand this method of
5 journalism-come-documentary series making.
6 The interview with Milosevic was asking him about the
7 discussions with Kucan. It is clear that Milosevic, from the words
8 which he actually says, is indicating the need to change the Yugoslav
9 constitution. In the context of the interview, he is saying that he
10 has no objection to Slovenes or, indeed, Croats becoming independent
11 so long as -- I am paraphrasing a recollection -- all ethnic groups
12 -- he uses "narod", but I think in this context it is fair to say, it
13 would be correct to say, that he was making reference to ethnic
14 groups -- are in the same position, that is, the need to change the
15 constitution. The actual words that he utters, as on this frame, are
16 something like, "Go on then, let us change the Yugoslav constitution
17 so that we put all peoples in the same position, that we create a
18 way to exercise the right to self-determination for all peoples on
19 the same level". I am not sure if that is a perfect translation but,
20 something like that. That is in the context of a further discussion,
21 the questions around that, in which Milosevic is making clear that,
22 according to the interpretation that he is giving, the significant
23 problem for the SFRY was the effective power ---
24 Q. Dr. Gow ---
25 A. -- because it was already concentrated in the republics, so in that
1 case, in answer to your question ------
2 Q. Dr. Gow, if would you allow me ------
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Wait, wait. More than one person can speak at a
4 time, but I think the court reporter can only take one down at a
5 time. If you are objecting that the question (sic) is not responsive
6 to your answer, then you make that objection.
7 MR. ORIE: Yes, I would like to object because the only question I put to
8 Dr. Gow, whether this was a fair representation, a correct
9 representation, of the subtitling in the video. What Dr. Gow does,
10 as a matter of fact, is explaining why it is different. I was not
11 that far yet. I only wanted to establish whether these were the
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I think he can answer your question and tell you
14 "yes" or "no"; if he wants to explain his answer, I believe it is
15 only fair to allow him to explain it. I suppose the problem is he is
16 explaining it before he is answering it. Maybe you can say "yes" or
17 "no", Dr. Gow, and then explain your answer. That might help because
18 sometimes it is hard to find your answer among the words that you
20 MR. ORIE: If you would allow me, I then want to present to Dr. Gow what
21 is the correct translation, as far as we understand it, and perhaps
22 then afterwards we come to questions on whether this is
23 understandable, whether there were good reasons for it, or what might
24 be the background of it. But I would first like to establish what
25 has been said in Serbo-Croatian, how has it been subtitled and then
1 what would be the correct translation of what has been said in
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Defence 5A is the subtitle in Serbo-Croatian and
4 that has been admitted. Defence 5(B) will be admitted if no
5 objection. Defence 5(B) then has been admitted and that is the
6 translation of the subtitle that appeared in the video itself; is
7 that correct?
8 MR. ORIE: 5(B) is the subtitles as shown in the video.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes, as appeared, as shown in the video itself,
10 fine. Dr. Gow has confirmed that the subtitle 5(B) is the
11 subtitle that appeared in the video itself.
12 MR. ORIE: Yes.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK.
14 MR. ORIE: I would like present to him now 5(C) and ask Dr. Gow --
15 perhaps he should see the video again or just look at the
16 Serbo-Croatian language that he agreed upon -- to see whether this
17 would be a correct translation of the words that have been spoken in
18 Serbo-Croatian by Mr. Milosevic.
19 THE WITNESS: If I might be permitted first to point out that my
20 recollection of the previous -- my answer in response to the previous
21 question was that I did clearly answer at the beginning, no, it was
22 not fair and I gave the reason why it was not a fair representation
23 to say that, and that was my understanding of the material that the
24 people making the programme had and, therefore, that they were not
25 necessarily unjustified in presenting it.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That is your explanation of why it was not the
2 accurate translation. We understand that.
3 THE WITNESS: But, no, if I may ---
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes?
5 A. -- the question was, was it a fair -- my recollection was that the
6 question was, was it fair to say; and my answer was that it was not
7 fair to say for the reasons that I gave. With regard to the
8 translation with which I have just been provided -----
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Let me interrupt you one moment. Is there an
10 objection to what will be marked as Defence 5(C)?
11 MR. NIEMANN: I do not, your Honour.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Defence 5(C) will be admitted. You may proceed, Dr.
13 Gow, to refer to Defence 5(C).
14 THE WITNESS: Thank you, your Honour. The translation which I have been
15 given is not substantially different from the translation which I
16 think I offered from the Serbo-Croat text being given. The English
17 is slightly -----
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there, in fact, a question regarding this?
19 MR. ORIE: I have questions on two. I am not interested to know all kinds
20 of explanations, how television programmes are made, etc. I wanted
21 to put two short questions to Dr. Gow and then, perhaps, a final
22 third one.
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Would you put the question, please?
24 MR. ORIE: Yes. (To the witness): The first question is, Dr. Gow, is it
25 correct to say that the subtitle translation speaks about
1 republics where in the original language and in the final text the
2 word "republics" is not used at all?
3 A. That is correct and I believe I have already indicated that that is
4 the case.
5 Q. Is it also true, Dr. Gow, that in the subtitles the words "to
6 succeed" are used where the literal translation speaks of "the right
7 to self-determination"?
8 A. That is true.
9 Q. My last question on this subject, your Honour, is have you not
10 explained to us last week, Dr. Gow, that especially the subtleties in
11 these contexts, republics, nations, peoples, self-determination,
12 secession, these were vital importance for understanding the problem
13 in the former Yugoslavia?
14 A. I am no longer able to recall exactly what I said last week, but the
15 meaning of anything that I was saying last week would be that it is
16 very -- that it is of some importance to understand that in the final
17 phases of the SFRY and the process of dissolution there were a number
18 of arguments about these concepts and these terms, and that the facts
19 of the matter were that the republics became independent on the basis
20 of sovereignty and interpretations of the Yugoslav constitution on
21 which all the parties, the Serbian leadership, the Slovenian
22 leadership, all of them, agreed that the argument was on the same
23 questions, the 1974 constitution, just that in some cases there were
24 differing interpretations of the constitution and what their terms
25 might mean, but that the use of those terms in some cases was
1 ambiguous, in some cases elided two meanings. In those cases, the
2 two meanings elided reflected (1) ethno-national interpretation,
3 hence the use of the term "ethnic groups" in the subtitle here, I
4 would believe, and with a second use which is "peoples" as it appears
5 in international documentation.
6 The facts of the matter are that on the basis of
7 conventional, international practice, the republics became
8 independent because conventionally the right to self-determination in
9 the UN era at least has been practised with regard to peoples
10 inhabiting territories rather than the ethno-national groups.
11 So the facts of the matter were -- let me recapitulate to
12 try to be clear -- there were arguments about the 1974 SFRY
13 constitution and what the terms would mean. The SFRY dissolution
14 occurred pursuant to those arguments which everybody agreed were
15 about the same thing, just different interpretations of it. The
16 international independence of those states was based, in part, on
17 interpretations of the constitution, in part on the blending of
18 aspects of public international law as understood by the European
19 Community Arbitration Commission. I think the important fact of the
20 matter is that the states became independent on that basis.
21 Q. Perhaps a final question, your Honour: Dr. Gow, I would like only to
22 pay attention to the linguistic aspects at this moment. Is it right
23 that the subtitle gives a misrepresentation as far as especially
24 these words "republics", "self-determination", "secessions" are
25 concerned, the subtitling given misrepresentations of the precise
1 words spoken by Mr. Milosevic?
2 A. The subtitling gives, the subtitling does not precisely reflect the
3 words spoken either by Mr. Milosevic or Mr. Kucan but, nonetheless,
4 reflects the character of the discussions.
5 MR. ORIE: Your Honour, I would like to take Dr. Gow, I would like to take
6 you now, to the last part of our video presented to the Registry and
7 that is No. 2, scene No. 2.
8 (Scene No. 2 of the video was played)
9 (To the witness): Dr. Gow, could you please tell us whether this is the
10 context in which those parts we discussed earlier are put in this
11 film? The part about Seselj we discussed I think it was Thursday;
12 you have commented on some of these statements of Mr. Seselj. We
13 have then shown to you. Are these the accompanying parts of that
14 film "The Death of Yugoslavia"?
15 A. Sorry, if I have understood your question, then when I was giving
16 evidence there were some extracts of Borisav Seselj making comments,
17 some of those extracts are part of the extended sequence that you
18 have just shown.
19 Q. Is this the context in which these fragments are presented in the
20 original film "The Death of Yugoslavia"?
21 A. Clearly, yes.
22 Q. Dr. Gow, could you please identify a few persons for us I heard the
23 name of Mr. Reihl-Kir; is it true that he was the Chief of police in
24 eastern Croatia?
25 A. That is my understanding, yes.
1 Q. Could you tell us, Dr. Gow, who is Mr. Glavas, whether his position
2 is correctly given in this video?
3 A. I do not recall what his position was given as being in the video.
4 My recollection is that he had the position of being leader of the
5 HDZ, the Croatian Democratic Community, Hrvatska Demokratska
6 Zajednica, the party of president Franjo Tudjman in Osijek in eastern
7 Slovenia, and he was also, I think, a Deputy Commander of the local
8 either police, special forces, or Territorial Defence. I do not
9 recall precisely any more.
10 Q. Dr. Gow, Mr. Susak, could you tell us who he is?
11 A. Gojko Susak is presently Minister of Defence of the Republic of
13 Q. Dr. Gow, Mr. Boljkovac, who is he?
14 A. At the time of which we are speaking, he was, I think, the Interior
15 Minister for the Republic of Croatia. I am not sure what his
16 position is now.
17 Q. Does this clip, Dr. Gow, not clearly indicate that the Croatian
18 government had no intention whatsoever to prevent clashes to occur
19 trying to get rid of someone who tried to prevent them?
20 A. No, I do not think it does that. I think the fact that Boljkovac is
21 testifying here would suggest that it was not a matter for the
22 Croatian government. On the other hand, the role identified for
23 Susak and the role identified for Glavas would indicate that elements
24 within the HDZ certainly would have had that perspective.
25 Q. So there were members of government that had no intention whatsoever
1 to prevent these clashes to occur; you are making a distinction
2 between the whole government and members -----
3 A. Between the government and between members of the government party.
4 Mr. Glavas was not a member of the government but he was a member of
5 the HDZ, which was the party of -- the majority party which was
6 forming the government at the time and the party of the President,
7 Franjo Tudjman.
8 Q. But Mr. Susak was close to Mr. Tudjman?
9 A. Mr. Susak was reported as being very close to Mr. Tudjman and
10 continues to be reported to be close, perhaps even closer, to Mr.
11 Tudjman. Mr. Susak -----
12 Q. He is presented as one of the persons responsible for not preventing
13 these clashes to occur?
14 A. I think I would go beyond that and say that he is presented, not only
15 as a person who was not preventing the clashes, but a person who, as
16 I understand the presentation, was involved in firing rocket grenades
17 at Borovo Selo.
18 Q. Dr. Gow, you answered already my next question which was that does it
19 not also indicate that the Croatian government, while at least Mr.
20 Susak was close to Mr. Tudjman, violently provoked the Serbs by
21 attacking them with rockets, Serbs that at that time were trying to
22 defend themselves?
23 A. I am not entirely clear again that that is exactly what it is
24 showing. It was a very complex situation. The incident in which
25 Mr. Susak is reported, almost shown, to have participated in firing
1 rocket grenades at Borovo Selo, was already in response to actions
2 taken by Serbs in the area erecting barricades. That was part of a
3 very complex situation which had been taking place on the territories
4 of the Republic of Croatia from the summer of 1990 onwards.
5 I believe in testimony and certainly in my writings, I
6 have indicated that in part, those actions taken by the Serbs in
7 those parts of Croatia were in response to government restructuring
8 of the Interior Ministry, for example, closing down the police
9 station in Knin, effectively removing local Serbs from being in
10 charge of the police force, taking it to another location -- in the
11 case of Knin I think it is Benkovac, but I do not remember precisely
12 any more.
13 There were a series of concerns. In response to those
14 concerns, the Serbs in a number of areas began to erect barricades
15 and to create what were, effectively, no-go areas. In the whole of
16 this period, the Croatian Interior Ministry at the time of the Borovo
17 Selo incident, my recollection is it was suggested that there had
18 been 180 armed violent incidents on the territory of Republic of
19 Croatia in the preceding six or nine months -- I forget the exact
20 time frame.
21 The situation in Croatia at the time was very complex, as
22 I say. There were small groups from both ethnic Serbian and ethnic
23 Croatian backgrounds who, I believe, were driving around in certain
24 areas who were harassing houses of those on the other side at night.
25 I cannot say that I have evidence, but my suspicion is that
1 political authorities and official bodies on both the Serbian and
2 Croatian side were, to some extent, indulgent of this. People like
3 Reihl-Kir were doing their best to try to mediate the situation and
4 to mitigate these developments.
5 In that situation, what is clear is that although there
6 were incidents of these kinds, they were on a scale perhaps with
7 incidents in Northern Ireland in my own country, and the reason for
8 an escalation from a situation in which there was low level, local
9 violence of the kind experienced in Northern Ireland to a situation
10 in which barricades were being erected in which large elements of
11 armed force were beginning to be arranged either with local Serbs or
12 with assistance of the JNA in Croatia and later in Bosnia -- I am
13 sorry, it is another of my long sentences; I have forgotten where I
15 If I may try to break it down, the situation in Northern
16 Ireland maybe a parallel to the level of violence which was in
17 Croatia at the time we are talking about; small groups intimidating
18 members of opposing communities. Some people, such as Reihl-Kir, was
19 seeking to calm that situation down. Quite clearly, there was a
20 degree of support or indulgence from the authorities on both sides.
21 It is my suspicion, I cannot say that I have specific evidence for
22 it, but if we take the clips from Death of Yugoslavia for evidence,
23 we see both evidence that Seselj with support from the Serbian
24 Interior Ministry and the support of Susak in this area indicates
25 elements of those in official positions supporting this.
1 The difference between that level of violence and the
2 escalation to one in which you have largely armed populations, the
3 use of the JNA to assist the Serbs in Croatia and in Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina, and the beginnings of a project which is, effectively,
5 to expand the political territory dominated and controlled by the
6 Republic of Serbia, in effect, is the difference made by the presence
7 of the JNA constituting an armed force which would lead from low
8 level violence of the kind in Northern Ireland to major armed
9 hostilities which constitute a war.
10 Q. Dr. Gow, as a matter of fact, to make myself clear to you, the
11 questions I am putting to you at this moment deal with the way the
12 material has been presented by the Prosecution. I am not asking you
13 to go in any detail on whatever may be said on what happened in that
14 territory at that time. I am concentrating on the material that has
15 been presented in examination-in-chief, and that is what my questions
16 are, perhaps for your clarification.
17 A. Forgive me, I thought you asked me about the involvement of Susak and
18 Glavas. I am sorry if I have misunderstood.
19 Q. I will explain to you then that some parts of a video have been shown
20 to us indicating what Mr. Seselj did with his paramilitary groups in
21 Croatia. What I am trying to do at this moment is to put us in the
22 context as it has been presented in the film. That also is my next
23 question, Dr. Gow: Does this video clip in this context not indicate
24 that the reasons, and I remind you that Seselj said that the people
25 in Borovo Selo turned to Belgrade for prosecution, so that the
1 reasons given in this programme for calling Seselj to Borovo Selo
2 were left out in those portions of this programme that has been
3 presented before this Trial Chamber?
4 A. If you are asking me -----
5 JUDGE STEPHEN: I wonder if I can interrupt? Do you really need to get
6 that from the witness? That is a submission you will make and it
7 seems to me pretty obvious that you are correct, but need you really
8 go into cross-examination on this?
9 MR. ORIE: Your Honour, my problem is that what seems obvious to quite
10 many people now and then, does not always seem to be obvious for the
11 witness. That is the reason why I am putting this question, because
12 if it is obvious for you, then perhaps I will leave this question.
13 JUDGE STEPHEN: Perhaps I should only speak for myself.
14 MR. ORIE: Yes, I do understand that.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: It was obvious to me because I asked, I think, the
16 witness a question that was directly related to this. That had to do
17 with the foundation for his testimony Friday, or I guess it was
18 Thursday, that Serbia was supporting paramilitary activities in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I had asked him was it not true that all the
20 video we had seen really related to the conflict between Serbia and
21 Croatia. Then I believe after recess the Prosecution played a
22 portion at the end of either part 3 or part 4 of their Exhibit 30 or
23 31 where there was a single mention of, the Prosecution said, Bosnia,
24 and the witness said that that related to Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
25 when Seselj said that, he said he had checked to verify what he was
1 talking about and he was really talking about Bosnia-Herzegovina. He
2 never told us who he checked with, and I do not know whether he spoke
3 with Mr. Seselj or somewhere else, but he did come back and say that
4 he had checked it. But you are right, everything else related to
5 Croatia and Serbia. I am sorry, I am making it longer -----
6 MR. ORIE: But if it relates to Borovo Selo, first of all, it is Croatia.
7 My major aim at this moment is to make clear that whatever Mr.
8 Seselj did and is said to have done in this screen that there might
9 be reasons for doing so without being shown on this clip.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK, but .....
11 MR. ORIE (To the witness): Dr. Gow, do you think that this information,
12 reasons, why people called him to Borovo Selo is important for a fair
13 evaluation of the pictures you have given your testimony on last
15 A. Do I think it is ------
16 Q. Do you think that the information is important for a fair evaluation
17 of those pictures shown to us, Mr. Seselj telling what he did, he has
18 now given the reasons why?
19 A. I am not sure that it is necessary.
20 Q. I did not ask whether it was necessary; I asked whether it was
21 important for a fair evaluation.
22 A. I am not sure -- I am not sure that it is important for a fair
23 evaluation of the information as was originally presented. I would
24 say two things about that: The first was that it was a decision that
25 myself and the Office of the Prosecutor not to show extended extracts
1 in which commentary appeared; only to show the words of the
2 protagonists themselves.
3 The second is that in that context the words of the
4 protagonist, Vojislav Seselj, were being used to indicate the links
5 of his paramilitary group with official Serbian organs. In that
6 context, I think that is what it did and it is not important to a
7 fair interpretation of that piece of information.
8 When I was asked about it by Judge McDonald in
9 questioning, I indicated, first of all, not that I had gone away and
10 checked, but that Seselj himself said there were Bosnian Serbs there,
11 and so forth; "We were there". The most important groups were the
12 Serbian Interior Ministry forces, and what I said later after the
13 recess was that I had checked and that he was making reference to the
14 town of Zvornik in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which I believe you would
15 see if you were to run the whole of that tape.
16 In saying that, the point was to demonstrate the link
17 between Seselj and Serbian official bodies. I think it did that, and
18 it is not important to understand the context. When Judge McDonald
19 did ask me, I explained that it was referring to an incident at
20 Borovo Selo and I described something of that incident. Had I been
21 asked to do so, I would have been perfectly happy to go on for a lot
22 longer to explain the full context as presented in the film.
23 MR. ORIE: Dr. Gow, you have just told us that the Prosecution would
24 rather not show parts of the film giving comments. Are you aware of
25 any comments taken out in the parts that have been shown last week to
2 A. I am aware that commentary -- and I make a distinction between
3 commentary and comments -- was taken out specifically so that only
4 the words of the protagonists themselves would appear. Occasionally,
5 you will have noticed that the end of the commentary appears and is
6 cut off. That is in the nature of producing these things. I am not
7 aware of the specific portions of commentary which are missing.
8 In many cases, those portions of commentary would have
9 assisted me in giving evidence, for example, on the case of Seselj
10 making reference to Zvornik, because the commentary makes it clear
11 that he is talking about Zvornik. I am not an expert in the practice
12 of either criminal Tribunals or international criminal Tribunals, and
13 in seeking to use evidence I was taking the advice of the Office
14 of the Prosecutor in what would be an appropriate manner in which to
15 behave -- not that I wish to -- I am just trying to make this clear.
16 Q. Dr. Gow, so it was not difficult to take out comments, if necessary?
17 A. I am not sure that that is what I am saying and I am not sure in what
18 sense you use the word "difficult".
19 Q. Is it possible to take out comments if you want to take them out in
20 order to give a fair picture of what happened?
21 A. I was not in the video suite preparing the tape and doing the
22 editing. I would guess that it is not very easy to do all that
23 editing to try to get extracts which are only people speaking which
24 do not have the commentary on them; it would be far easier to let the
25 commentary run, but I think, my understanding of the advice I was
1 getting from the Office of the Prosecutor was that it would be
2 philosophically unsound to allow the commentary to run in a way which
3 would then, perhaps, pre-empt or prejudice what I was going to say.
4 Q. But they finally succeeded in taking out those comments they did not
5 want to be in there?
6 A. I think that there ------
7 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, I object to the question. It is quite clear
8 the witness is indicating that on our advice there were segments
9 taken out which were overvoice or commentary. The witness has said
10 this numerous times. Now it has been put to him, suggested, that we
11 are taking out those parts which we did not want. The witness is
12 clearly indicating that all of the parts which related to overvoice,
13 as it is often referred to, were taken out where it was possible to
14 do so. I object to any question which suggests that it was
15 selectively done, that overvoice was selectively done for some sort
16 of prejudicial reason.
17 MR. ORIE: Your Honour, I listened carefully to what the witness told me.
18 Part of his answer was that he was not very clear on that, that
19 perhaps part of the sequence we showed you today has been taken out
20 because they wanted to avoid any commentary in there. So what I was
21 trying to demonstrate, and that was the reason for my questions, is
22 to establish on whether you want to show them something without the
23 commentary, whether you are able to do so and especially whether the
24 Prosecution is able to take out the commentary. We have seen at the
25 end of last week that they successfully achieved that. That is what
1 I want to establish, because the witness suggested, at least, that
2 this part might not have been shown because of the commentary in it.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Your question is -- it is time for lunch, it is 10
4 minutes past actually -- what in this regard?
5 MR. ORIE: My question, since he gave this as a possible reason for not
6 including this part in the video clip that has been presented by the
7 Prosecutor, since he suggested there might have been the reason not
8 to show us part with commentary in it, I wanted to establish whether
9 you can take it out and whether actually the Prosecution has taken
10 out, where necessary, those comments from the video tape.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Whether the Prosecution in the clips they showed us
12 included any commentary?
13 MR. ORIE: Or whether this has been taken out, and that is my suggestion,
14 where they wanted to avoid the commentary in the video clip.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I will ask one more question, then we really must
16 recess for lunch. I think you have made your point though. One more
17 on this point and then we will recess for lunch.
18 MR. ORIE: I think I have four or five or six more questions.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I do not want to make you selectively select your
20 questions, so we will stand in recess until 2.30 for lunch.
21 (1.15 p.m.)
22 (Luncheon Adjournment)
24 (2.30 p.m.)
25 PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Orie, you are standing because you were going to
1 continue with the witness, but I see Mr. Niemann is standing too, so
2 he must want to say something about your intentions. Mr. Niemann?
3 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour. We wish to raise an objection to any line
4 of questioning which, in our submission, amounts to nothing more than
5 an objection to the admissibility or otherwise of the Prosecution
6 exhibit taken at this late stage.
7 In our submission, the line of questioning directed
8 towards the witness prior to the luncheon adjournment was really a
9 comment upon either the lack of completeness or, alternatively, that
10 somehow or other we have unfairly manipulated the presentation of
11 this evidence. If it is either of those grounds, then, your Honours,
12 this is not a matter that should fairly be laid at the feet of the
13 witness. If the Defence wish to object to the exhibit on either of
14 those grounds, then let them raise the objection and we will deal
15 with that.
16 In our submission, your Honour, what we were trying to in
17 the way we presented the evidence was to remove comments by the BBC
18 commentators so that your Honours would be presented with only the
19 words of the particular speaker rather than present what the BBC
20 commentators' views were. If the Defence feels that they should be
21 included, then by all means let them include them, but it is, in our
22 submission, inappropriate and unfair to ask the witness to deal with
23 and contend with matters which really amount to nothing more than
24 prosecutorial decisions.
25 Finally, your Honours, in our submission, the whole
1 basis upon which the Prosecution Exhibit 31 part 2 was tendered seems
2 to have been lost in all this. We tendered the exhibit for the
3 purposes of showing the participation of Serb paramilitary not as an
4 effort to demonstrate that either Serbia or Croatia were responsible
5 for commencement of the war. So we object to it on that ground too,
6 that, in our submission, it seems to be being misrepresented. So,
7 your Honour, that is the basis of my objection to that line of
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Orie?
10 MR. ORIE: Your Honour, first of all, I have to emphasise that the Defence
11 was not aware of taking out some comments of this programme. We have
12 seen the whole five hours of tapes, of course, but we were not aware
13 when we did not object against the admissibility of this tape that it
14 was not exactly what we had before. Apart from that, I hope you will
15 understand that it is a bit difficult if it is just roughly indicated
16 on what part it is, that before having seen it as a whole, it is
17 difficult for us to say, well, it is incomplete or not; perhaps we
18 should do so, but then we should play the whole part of this video
19 before we can express ourselves on whether we think this is a
20 admissible evidence or not because it might be distorted, taken out
21 of its context, et cetera whatever.
22 These are my two main, general observations to that
23 issue. Of course, we were in a rather specific position during the
24 last few days because, on the one hand, of course, I do agree that it
25 is the selection of the Prosecutor's team what to present and what
1 not to present, on the other hand, the witness has indicated that he
2 was a consultant when producing this programme. So it is perhaps a
3 very specific situation that might not be there any more in the
4 coming days and the coming months perhaps.
5 That caused us some problems in what questions could
6 still be put to the witness or not, because he is not responsible for
7 the selection, I do agree with that, but he had some involvement in
8 the producing of the programme and, to that extent, questions about
9 the framework, the context in which certain parts shown to us have to
10 be put, we thought could be validly put to this witness.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I do not know that he was not involved in the
12 selections of the portions to play. I do not know.
13 (To the witness): Dr. Gow, were you at all involved with the Prosecutor
14 in making a decision as to certain portions of the video to play?
15 THE WITNESS: I was, your Honour. I identified areas in which matters of
16 relevance were being expressed by the individuals in question. It
17 was -- again I am not sure if it is, I will do so because your Honour
18 asks, but I am still not sure that it is appropriate for me to be
19 answering the question beyond that, but it was the decision of the
20 Office of the Prosecutor to exclude the portions on which commentary
21 appeared, and to restrict the extracts shown to those in which the
22 protagonists themselves were uttering words.
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I certainly would not ask you to reveal ---
24 THE WITNESS: I was involved in discussions.
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: -- the content of those discussions or anything that
1 the Prosecutor may have told you or what you told the Prosecutor in
2 terms of preparation because I think that would be inappropriate. I
3 was asking you only whether you were involved in the discussions
4 because it seems to me that the question goes to the selection and
5 whether there was some bias in the selection. It seems to me that
6 seemed to be the suggestion of the Defence. If you were involved in
7 the selection, then, of course, it may go to whether or not you
8 potentially may have some bias or why did you make this particular
9 selection? Why did you omit this segment and why did you omit
10 another segment? It seems to me that might be relevant.
11 This is an exhibit, this is a film, a five part film. It
12 seems to me when you offer a portion of it, the other portion or, at
13 least, other portions of it may be offered by the opposing side for
14 completeness purposes.
15 MR. NIEMANN: Absolutely, your Honour.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: So he, of course, is free to do that. Just like any
17 document, if you offer one page, he can then offer the other pages.
18 That is fair game. The question is whether or not he may question
19 this witness about why something was omitted, I gather; is that not
21 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: It seems to me that if that witness participated in
23 that decision, then it may be fair game.
24 MR. NIEMANN: No, but, your Honour, I make it very clear it was my
25 decision to take out the overvoice. I said to the witness at the
1 time the overvoice must be taken out because we only want to present
2 that part of the evidence which relates to the person speaking. It
3 was my decision. Therefore, I submit, your Honour, it was unfair
4 that the witness should be asked to justify that decision.
5 JUDGE STEPHEN: It is really a question as to whose credit this
6 cross-examination goes and it may goes to yours rather than the
7 witness; that is what you are saying?
8 MR. NIEMANN: Exactly, yes, your Honour.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK. As to this question, it appears that we now
10 know that the Prosecutor solely made the decision in question that
11 you are now questioning this witness about. So it is inappropriate,
12 but we did learn that Dr. Gow did make some decisions with respect to
13 which segments to include or portions to include or exclude. So it
14 seems to me if you ask him first and he has participated in the
15 decision, then this line of questioning is appropriate; if he has not
16 participated in the decision, then it is inappropriate.
17 You, of course, are totally free to add any portion of
18 the five part series that you consider is appropriate for
19 completeness sake. But just do not question this witness and do not
20 put it to this witness as to why this decision was made if he did not
21 make the decision. The Prosecutor said that the decision now that is
22 being discussed was not made by the witness.
23 MR. ORIE: Your Honour, I am not aware -----
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: If you want to ask the witness, you may.
25 MR. ORIE: I have no rememberance of specifically asking the "why"
1 question, but the issue has been clarified and the Defence has
2 considered its position during the lunch break. Since we have no
3 further questions for Dr. Gow, it is not a problem for us at this
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Very good, thank you, Mr. Orie. Mr. Niemann, do you
6 have additional questions on redirect?
7 MR. NIEMANN: Just a couple of questions, your Honour.
8 Redirect by MR. NIEMANN
9 Q. Dr. Gow, during the course of cross-examination your attention was
10 drawn to a particular article that you had written entitled "The
11 Hissing Snake". I think the full title was "Serbian Nationalism and
12 the Hissssing Ssssnake in the International Order: Whose
13 sovereignty? Which nation?" Mr. Orie then took you to several parts
14 of the article, some of which have been marked but, in particular, he
15 took you to a paragraph which starts on page 457, the final
16 paragraph: "The hissing snake peculiar to the Yugoslav context, the
17 inspirational serpent, is that of Serbian nationalism", and so forth
18 and goes on. What, Dr. Gow, is the intent and purpose of your
19 article to focus on the issue and question of nationalism?
20 A. The intent of the article is to examine the questions posed for
21 international order of situations in which there are violent
22 manifestations of nationalism following the collapse of the communist
23 order in central and Eastern Europe in particular, although not
25 Often in the course of my testimony so far, discussion
1 has been made of various concepts, the four Ss, to which the
2 "hissssing ssssnake" refers; sovereignty, self-determination,
3 statehood and security. I think you will -- I would have thought, as
4 far as I am able to judge what I wrote myself, that the intent, and I
5 would like to think achievement, of the writing is a discussion of
6 those concepts as issues of international order, and the springboard
7 for that discussion was the Yugoslav context, but the weight of the
8 article was not so much to the Yugoslav context but to the
9 understanding of those issues which has emerged from the dissolution
10 of Yugoslavia and, in particular, with regard to possible
11 interpretations of the position of sovereignty and
12 self-determination, but beyond that the need for security. I hope
13 that is an adequate answer. It was, essentially, a discussion of
14 international order.
15 Q. Was it in any way an expression of your feelings of your likes or
16 dislikes of the Serbian people or their nation?
17 A. I would have thought that it was quite clearly not the case.
18 Q. Why do you say that?
19 A. In part because there is no real discussion that I would characterise
20 as being of that nature. The early parts of the article which
21 indicate the original idea for using the metaphor the four Ss -- the
22 sibilant Ss of my playful "hissing snake" -- was the position of the
23 Serbs in Yugoslavia, that Yugoslavia had been a state in which they
24 would all have the opportunity of ruling together, and dissolution of
25 Yugoslavia provided a situation in which if with the independence of
1 the states as by the time I was writing had long been established --
2 if the independence of the states was established, and that had long
3 been the case by the time I was writing, then this would mean that
4 the Serbs who had seen the formation of the Federation as a framework
5 for all living in one overall community no longer would be in that
7 As far as I recall, and I did have a chance to glance
8 over it while I was looking at it on the table here the other day, I
9 do express the view of the genuine fears, that there were genuine
10 fears, of Serbs in this situation, but this does not mitigate the
11 decisions of those responsible in the Serbian leadership for the
12 things that happened afterwards or in the course of the conflict.
13 Q. Also in cross-examination, Dr. Gow, you were asked by Mr. Orie about
14 a military unit known as the "Green Berets". Do you recall being
15 questioned on that?
16 A. I do, yes.
17 Q. And where, in fact, they were located throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina
18 during the period 1992 and onwards?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Are you aware, Dr. Gow, whether or not they were trained, armed and
21 equipped in an equivalent way or otherwise to the JNA?
22 A. I am certainly aware that they were not equipped or armed in an
23 equivalent way to the JNA or to its putative successor in the VRS.
24 On the question of training, as some of them had no doubt been in the
25 JNA at some stage, it would not be correct entirely to say that they
1 did not have the same training, that they were not the same kind of
3 Equally, I would point out that in the spring of 1992 my
4 recollection is that these organisations, relatively small, were
5 present in a number of locations as I indicated, were not necessarily
6 significantly armed and that, as far as the JNA was concerned,
7 another organisation which I do not think either myself or Mr. Orie
8 mentioned, the Patriot League (which was again, I think primarily
9 Muslim but also had Serbs and Croats in it) was seen as far more of a
10 concern to the JNA. I recall some time in the early part of 1992,
11 The Army Weekly, Narodna Armija, expressing some concern about the
12 formation of the Patriotic League. I cannot say that it did not
13 express any concern about Green Berets, but I do not remember reading
14 about it at the time.
15 Q. Also in cross-examination you were shown a number of Defence
16 exhibits, namely, 5(A), 5(B) and 5(C), which related to a speech, or
17 part of a speech, by Slobodan Milosevic; do you recall that?
18 A. I am not sure to what you refer.
19 Q. You were taken to the commentary or I should say the subtitling that
20 appeared on that speech by Slobodan Milosevic.
21 A. If you are referring to the extract that was played in which
22 Presidents Kucan and Milosevic were juxtaposed, then, yes, I recall.
23 Q. Dr. Gow, with your experience in dealing with translations and
24 interpretations, particularly in your case from the Serbo-Croatian
25 language to the English language, do you understand the difference
1 between interpretation and translation?
2 A. I understand there to be a difference, yes.
3 Q. Are you able to tell us what your understanding of the difference is?
4 A. I find it difficult but, if you wish, I can try. "Translation" would
5 be to give an accurate, as far as possible accurate, and verbatim
6 record of the words uttered. "Interpretation" would be both to use
7 words in the translation which would accurately reflect the nature of
8 the material being discussed, what the person being translated was
9 saying, rather than necessarily the words themselves which are being
10 used. It is a very difficult problem for a translator. I live with
11 a translator. I know it is a problem that is faced all the time; how
12 you deal with these kinds of problems.
13 "Interpretation", therefore, could either on one level be
14 the interpretation of the intent of the speaker and, therefore, the
15 choice of particular words for a particular translation. For
16 example, when we looked at that particular extract, the exhibit you
17 talked about, when I read the original Serbo-Croat, I think I used
18 the word -- did I use the word "implement", I am not sure, or may be
19 "execute" with regard to the right to self-determination, and I
20 think the translation offered said "utilizing". Again, it is a
21 question of the choice of a particular word which in this case, I
22 think, made no substantive difference to the sense; in some cases a
23 substantive difference might arise from the particular choice of
24 words. Therefore, it is important for the translator to interpret the
25 sense which is intended to be conveyed by the speaker.
1 The final level of interpretation -- that was one level
2 -- the other level of interpretation, of course, is simply to take
3 what is said and to give it interpretation rather than interpret
4 within the translation being made.
5 But I am not a translator myself, so excuse me if I do
6 not understand the practice correctly.
7 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions, your Honour.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Orie?
9 MR. ORIE: We have no further questions of Dr. Gow, your Honour.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Do you have any objection to Dr. Gow being
11 permanently excused?
12 MR. ORIE: No objection, your Honour.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you, Dr. Gow. You are excused. Thank you for
14 being here.
15 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I call Dragan Lukac.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Niemann, while we are waiting for Mr. Lukac to
17 come in, I reviewed your witness list, your proposed witness list, of
18 "will call" and "may call" and tried to add up the time. The time
19 comes to a potential of four months to six months, assuming five hour
20 days, four days a week; six months if it is a maximum, four months if
21 it is a minimum. I would like you to take a check on those figures
22 for me and we will talk about it before we adjourn tonight.
23 The witness DRAGAN LUKAC was called.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Sir, there should be in front of you an oath which I
25 would like you to take.
1 THE WITNESS [in translation]: I solemnly declare that I will speak the
2 truth, the
3 whole truth and nothing but the truth.
4 (The witness was sworn)
5 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, might I ask Miss Sutherland to close down the
6 machine because my view of the witness is obstructed?
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes.
8 Examined by MR. NIEMANN
9 Q. Mr. Lukac, would you state your full name, please?
10 A. My name is Dragan Lukac.
11 Q. When were you born?
12 A. I was born on 16th October 1956.
13 Q. Where was that?
14 A. I was born at Bosanski Samac in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
15 Q. Did you study philosophy and sociology in Sarajevo from 1975 to 1979?
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. Upon graduation did you go back to Bosanski Samac to work where you
18 continued to work up until the commencement of the war in 1992?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. For a period of time did you work as a political consultant where you
21 counselled various socio-political organisations?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. Were you also in the military, Mr. Lukac?
24 A. I was.
25 Q. For what period of time were you in the military?
1 A. I was in the military from 1982 till 1983.
2 Q. Did you attend the reserve officers school in Karlovac?
3 A. I did.
4 Q. Did you acquire the rank of reserve Lieutenant?
5 A. The reserve 2nd Lieutenant which is the lowest officer grade -- rank.
6 Q. Are you able to tell us the way that the Yugoslav military forces
7 were structured during that period of time, and I am speaking during
8 the 1980s up to 1992?
9 A. You mean the whole organisational structure of the JNA or in a
10 particular area?
11 Q. No, I am just asking you very generally what was the way it was
12 structured? There was the JNA and was there any other form of
13 defence system operational in Yugoslavia?
14 A. You probably mean of the armed forces of the Socialist Federal
15 Republic of Yugoslavia at that time which had two parts, the JNA and
16 the Territorial Defence.
17 Q. Can you tell us the different roles that were played by either arm of
18 the military forces?
19 A. The JNA was the active military, active army, mostly professional,
20 and the Territorial Defence represented a second aspect of the armed
21 forces, the reserve forces of the armed forces of Yugoslavia, which
22 was preparing for the defence of the country in case of an outside
24 Q. Apart from your involvement in the military, were you also involved
25 in the police?
1 A. Yes, since 16th February 1982, that was the date when I started to
2 work for the Secretariat of the Internal Affairs in Bosanski Samac.
3 Q. Is the Secretariat of Internal Affairs commonly referred to as the
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. Were you an inspector in the criminal investigation in Bosanski
8 A. Yes, I was an inspector in the criminal police of Bosanski Samac.
9 Q. Then did you rise to the position of Acting Chief of police?
10 A. From 1st January 1987.
11 Q. Were you then subsequently proposed for the position of Chief of
13 A. Yes, I was, that is on 17th December 1986, the previous secretary of
14 the SUP of Bosnia, of Bosanski Samac, was dismissed. He was the
15 Secretary of the League of the Communists of Bosanski Samac. He was
16 a Croat and so somebody else had to be on this post. I was a
17 candidate because a Croat was needed, but certain forces were against
18 and prevented me to becoming the head of the SUP. Instead of me on
19 1st July 1987, a Serb, Radovan Antic, was chosen to be at that
20 particular post.
21 Q. I think from what you said your nationality is Croatian?
22 A. Yes, I am.
23 Q. Instead of being appointed to the position of chief of police, were
24 you subsequently appointed to the position of Chief of the Public
25 Security Station?
1 A. I was the Head of the Public Security which is the second commanding
2 post in the police structure.
3 Q. Did you maintain that position then, there and after?
4 A. I remained in that position up until 1989 or 1990 when the
5 restructuring of the police in Bosnia-Herzegovina occurred.
6 Q. What happened then?
7 A. Then there was restructuring. The Republic Secretariat for Internal
8 Affairs was changed into the Ministries of the Internal Affairs of
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and up until then the Municipal police was
10 under the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
11 Q. What happened then when this change took place, this restructuring
12 took place, what happened to you?
13 A. I was then appointed the Chief of the Criminal Division in the police
14 station of Bosanski Samac.
15 Q. I want to turn now, if I may, to the events of 1992 and beyond, but
16 leading up to the commencement of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
17 were you still working at the police station in Bosanski Samac?
18 A. Yes, I was.
19 Q. Were you in a position, being a member of the community, to observe
20 what was happening in Croatia?
21 A. Yes, I was in a position because I was following the media on both
22 sides, and you have to know that Bosanksi Samac is at the border
23 between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia. That was
24 why I had some information concerning the events on the territory of
25 the Republic of Croatia.
1 Q. Are you able to tell us what the position was with respect to the
2 position with the JNA and its leadership in relation to the Croatian
3 and Serbian conflict?
4 A. During 1991 the JNA committed aggression on to the Republic of
5 Croatia with the aim to realise the plan of creating a greater Serbia
6 on the territory of the former Yugoslavia.
7 Q. Did this have any impact upon the area where you were located in
8 northern Bosnia, in the Bosanski Samac area?
9 A. Yes, the consequence of this was that the JNA acted on the territory
10 of Bosnian Posavina, which is a territory in the north east of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, especially in the latter half of 1991.
12 Q. Can you tell us what their involvement was there?
13 A. As it is known, the attack by the JNA on to the Republic of Croatia
14 came from various directions. The basic aim was to cut the territory
15 of the Republic of Croatia because of its shape in several parts, and
16 in that way it would have been easier to occupy particular areas.
17 This attack was especially intense in the eastern part of the
18 Republic of Croatia. So there was the front line going from the
19 towns of Zupanja, Vinkovci, in Vukovar and in Osijek.
20 Taking into account that the JNA was not able to clench
21 the defence and the resistance of the Croatian defenders and in that
22 area from Bosnia and Herzegovina tried to create a way to enter the
23 Republic of Croatia and to cut off certain parts of these areas.
24 So, some pockets were created, as it is known in military
25 terminology, and so these pockets were created to quench the
1 resistance by the Croats. One of those pockets was envisaged by the
2 JNA in the area where I lived, that was in the area of Bosanksi
4 What is important is that that particular area was chosen
5 because at that time on the River Sava which divides, which
6 represents the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina,
7 there were only two bridges left on which the equipment, military
8 equipment, and weaponry could have been transferred. One of those
9 bridges was at Bosanski Samac.
10 The JNA concentrated certain forces at the end of July
11 and early August 1991 in Bosanski Posavina. That came from the Tuzla
12 corps, the headquarters of which was in Tuzla, and the commander of
13 the Tuzla corps was Sava Jankovic, a General.
14 Q. Tuzla is in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is it?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. The bridge at Bosanski Samac bridges the Sava River from Bosnia-and
17 Herzegovina into Croatia; is that right?
18 A. Yes, it is also a bridge which carries road communications, that is,
19 vehicles and railways, a railway bridge.
20 Q. In addition to the headquarters in Posavina, was there also a
21 garrison in Brcko?
22 A. Yes, in that larger area where we were, the only barracks, that is, a
23 garrison, the only barracks, was in Brcko.
24 Q. Brcko is in Bosnia-Herzegovina, is it?
25 A. Yes, it is. It is also on the border with the Republic of Croatia
1 below the Sava River.
2 Q. What was the name of the JNA's group that was located in Brcko?
3 A. The Tuzla corps deployed the commanding structure in our area in the
4 village of Pelagicevo in the Gradacac municipality. The, name, the
5 working name, that was given to this commanding place was the 17th
6 Operational Tactical Group.
7 Q. What municipalities, if you can recall, were the 17th Operational
8 Tactical Group responsible for?
9 A. The 17th Operational Tactical Group of the JNA from the Tuzla corps
10 had the responsibility for the zone of six municipalities in our
11 areas, that is, the municipalities of Brcko, Orasje, Bosanski Samac,
12 Modrica, Gradacac and Gracanica.
13 Q. Who was the Commander of the 17th Tactical Group?
14 A. The commanding structure was in the village of Pelagicevo which
15 belonged to the municipality of Gradacac.
16 Q. Do you know where he was born or where he came from?
17 A. The Commander of the 17th Operational Tactical Group was the
18 Lieutenant Colonel Stevan Nikolic, Lieutenant Colonel of the JNA, and
19 he was located in the village of Pelagicevo. He was born in Sombor
20 and lived in, was resident of the town of Kragujevac.
21 Q. Where are those two towns, Sombor and Kragujevac?
22 A. Sombor and Kragujevac are towns in the Republic of Serbia.
23 Q. Why was the town of Pelagicevo chosen for the headquarters of 17th
24 Tactical Group?
25 A. I have got an opinion about why Pelagicevo was chosen. I think it was
1 for three reasons. First of all, the village itself is located in
2 the centre of the area of responsibility of the six municipalities
3 covered by the 17th Tactical Operational Group; the second reason
4 being that some 20 kilometres from this village was the barracks
5 belonging to the Brcko garrison, and at the same time this village is
6 located nearby the main road, Orasje Tuzla, because of the rapidity
7 of the logistic support coming that had to be ensured from the Tuzla
9 There might have been another reason, that is, while
10 during the Second World War in this particular village the Chetnik
11 headquarters were located, and I think that from morale reasons of
12 the members -- it was chosen because of the morale reasons of the
13 members of this particular group.
14 Q. Was there any military establishment in Bosanski Samac itself?
15 A. The Commander of the 17th Operational Tactical group created a
16 military structure on the territory of all these six municipalities.
17 So, on the territory of the municipality of Bosanksi Samac, there
18 were units created at the level of the brigade in three Serbian
19 villages. In the first phase there were the commanding structures of
20 battalions. They used to be called the 1st, the 2nd and the 3rd
21 Company. At the end of January 1992 and beginning of February 1992,
22 a fourth company was created in Bosanski Samac.
23 Q. In 1991 was there a change by the headquarters of the JNA in the
24 structure of the JNA?
25 A. In May 1991, the General of the JNA, the General of the JNA in
1 Belgrade, took a decision concerning not taking -- exclusion of all
2 the Registry evidence concerning Bosnia and Herzegovina, concerning
3 all the conscripts in a particular municipality. Such a decision
4 taken by the general headquarters of the JNA was against the
5 constitution because, according to the constitution, these
6 administrations were in the responsibility of a particular republic.
7 In July 1991, JNA had implemented this decision by the
8 general headquarters of the JNA, and they did so by taking by force
9 from the Secretariat of the Defence in Bosnia-Herzegovina and for
10 various municipalities it took all the documentation, including
11 Bosanksi Samac as well.
12 Q. Just tell me where was the headquarters of the JNA that you are
13 referring to?
14 A. In Belgrade.
15 Q. When you say the decision taken, are you referring to the fact that
16 the recruitment or conscription of people for the JNA was from that
17 time on to be handled directly by the JNA itself rather than through
18 the Republic?
19 A. Yes, that is correct.
20 Q. And that prior to that time, I take it then, that whenever conscripts
21 for the JNA were required, this was a matter that was organised
22 through the Republic's government in Sarajevo?
23 A. It was done through the Secretariat for Defence, that is, the
24 Ministry for Defence. That was an integral part of the government of
1 Q. We have touched on just a moment ago the two tiers of the military
2 forces, the JNA and the TO. Are you aware from your experience in
3 the military of Yugoslavia what the intended purpose of the TO was to
5 A. Practically, by taking the register, the register of the JNA in the
6 way that I have just described, the Territorial Defence structure was
7 abolished in Bosnia and Herzegovina. That means that the JNA had all
8 the register of all the conscripts, and so they could create a
9 structure of the army on the territory of every municipality and that
10 is what they did precisely in the area of Bosanski Samac.
11 The units that were formed exclusively contained the
12 members of the Serbian people, and the structure that resulted from
13 it, the military structure, was drawn from the people, from the
14 people from the villages with Serbian population.
15 Q. You have answered the question I was going to ask you. I would like
16 to go back, if I may, to the original purpose, as you understood it,
17 for the Territorial Defence in terms of what the military strategy of
18 this organisation was to be in the defence of Yugoslavia. Can you
19 help me with that?
20 A. You mean the Territorial Defence before all these changes and
21 decisions taken by the general headquarters of the JNA?
22 Q. Thank you, yes. If you could answer that question in relation to
23 prior to the events of the JNA taking the process of conscription
24 into its own hands.
25 A. The purpose for the existence of the Territorial Defence that existed
1 in the previous period as a part of the armed forces of Yugoslavia
2 was the use of these forces in the case of an external aggression on
3 Yugoslavia, which would have meant that, together with the JNA, the
4 Territorial Defence had to defend the territory of Yugoslavia.
5 Q. Was the TO subordinate to the JNA?
6 A. The Territorial Defence in the previous period was organised on a
7 Republican basis. In the commanding post, it had the Republican
8 level, a regional level and a municipality level. On a Republic and
9 a regional level, there was always an active officer from the JNA who
10 was in command.
11 Q. Do you say that it is through the infusion of this position of the
12 JNA officer at this level that meant that ultimately the TO was
13 commanded by the JNA?
14 A. It was practically under the command of the organs of the Republic,
15 that is, the government and the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but
16 in state of war it would have been under some subordinate command to
17 the JNA, especially if the JNA would have been on the same territory
18 as the Territorial Defence and they would act together, then the JNA
19 would have a higher commanding level than the Territorial Defence.
20 Q. How was the Territorial Defence financed, or perhaps I should say --
21 yes, who financed the Territorial Defence, might be a better
23 A. The Territorial Defence was solely financed from the budgets of the
24 municipalities, that is, first of all, from the tax that is paid by
25 the people who lived in that particular area.
1 Q. What sort of weaponry was the Territorial Defence equipped with?
2 A. The Territorial Defence at the level of municipality in our area had
3 infantry weapons and lighter artillery.
4 Q. Can you just assist us for those of us who do not know these terms
5 too well what this consists of?
6 A. That was semi-automatic and automatic infantry weapons.
7 Q. Where was this weaponry of the Territorial Defence stored?
8 A. This weaponry up until 1990 was in the storage houses of the
9 Territorial Defence in every municipality, and in 1992 it was, that
10 was organised by the JNA and all the weaponry was taken out from the
11 storage houses and taken to an unknown location without any
12 consultation with the authorities of the municipality.
13 Q. Did you say that this happened in 1992?
14 A. No, it was done in 1990.
15 Q. Was this seen by you and others in the local areas as an unusual step
16 to be taken by the JNA?
17 A. It was not only an unusual step, it was also against the law. Such a
18 decision could have been taken only by the municipality organisation
19 for the Defence.
20 Q. What effect did taking these weapons from the TO have on the local
22 A. First of all, the peoples who lived in that territory, on the
23 territory of our municipality, interpreted precisely in the following
24 way this decision that it was not legal and the weapons belonged to
25 the people which was illegally taken from the people who lived in
1 that area, and that was done without any decision of the legitimate
2 representative of those peoples at the level of municipality and, in
3 any case, it introduced a level of uncertainty in the area of our
5 Q. Can you recall approximately what the population of Bosanski Samac
7 A. On the territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac, according to
8 the last census from 1991, there were some 34,000 inhabitants.
9 Q. Just very approximately, are you able to tell us what the ethnic
10 breakdown of the population was of the municipality?
11 A. According to that census, there were 45 per cent Croats, 41 per cent
12 Serbs and 6.8 Muslims and the rest belonged to other peoples.
13 Q. Do you recall when the first democratic elections were held in
15 A. The first democratic elections were done, multi-party elections, were
16 done at the end of 1991.
17 Q. Are you aware of the names of the political parties or the major
18 political parties that participated in this election?
19 A. The elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina participated a large number of
20 political parties that had been created. I think that it is
21 important to speak about six political parties that after the
22 elections had received more votes.
23 First of all, the Croatian Democratic Union, then the
24 party of Democratic Action, the Serbian Democratic Party, the Social
25 Democratic Party, the Liberal Party and the party of Reform. In the
1 municipality of Bosanski Samac the six parties were represented in
2 the municipal government.
3 Q. And by "municipal government" what do you mean by that?
4 A. It was not the town but it was the municipality government. They had
5 a municipality government and a municipality parliament. One should
6 say that the municipality of Bosanski Samac was made out of the town
7 of Bosanski Samac plus the 26 villages that belonged to it.
8 Q. The political parties that you just mentioned a moment ago in your
9 evidence, were those political parties also represented on a
10 Republic-wide level?
11 A. Yes, they were represented also in Republican level; they might not
12 have been in the same proportion at the level of the national
13 parliament, but as it was the case in Bosanski Samac.
14 Q. What was the party to receive most of the votes in the 1990 election?
15 A. According to the election results in the territory of Bosanki Samac
16 Municipality, members of the Croatian Democratic Union took up most
17 of the seats in the municipal assembly. Out of 50 members of our
18 municipal assembly, the Croatian Democratic Union had 21
19 representatives; the second best represented party was the Serbian
20 Democratic Party which had 17 representatives; the third party was
21 the Social Democratic Party with six representatives; the fourth one
22 was the Reform Party with three representatives; the fifth was the
23 Party of Democratic Action with two representatives;,and then the
24 Liberal Party with one representative.
25 Q. How were these people then represented in the municipal government in
1 terms of representatives from each of the political parties?
2 A. The ratio of seats distributed in Parliament I have just mentioned,
3 and at the municipal level the party, that is, at the local level,
4 the parties agreed how to distribute individual posts among them in
5 the territory of the municipality so that the President of the
6 municipality became Marto Nujic representing the Croatia Democratic
7 Union, Dr. Blagoje Simic of the Serb Democratic Party became his
8 deputy, Mirko Jovanovic, representative of the Serb Democratic Party,
9 became the head of the local government, and then his deputy became
10 Mr. Itzebegovic representing the Party for Democratic Action, and so
11 on and so forth.
12 Q. The last gentleman you referred to, Itzebegovic, was he in any way
13 related to the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
14 A. Yes, they are relations, rather, their fathers are brothers.
15 Q. Is that fathers and brothers or father and son?
16 A. They are sons of two brothers.
17 Q. Apart from the political structure there, apart from the
18 representatives of the political parties, were there any other
19 representatives that were involved in the local municipal
21 A. I do not quite understand your question. Will you repeat it, please?
22 Q. Was the police in any way represented in the local administration of
23 affairs in Bosanski Samac?
24 A. In the territory of Bosanski Samac municipality, as I have said, as
25 of 1989, there was a police Station as a part, as a unit, of the
1 Ministry of the Interior of Bosnia-Herzegovina. During the
2 multi-party elections, the parties, the multi-political parties,
3 agreed to designate a representative of the Croat Democratic union as
4 the head of the police, and the security, I mean the uniformed
5 branch, its head was designated by the Serb Democratic Party.
6 That was in agreement with the orders of the Ministry of
7 the Interior of Bosnia-Herzegovina or, rather, the understanding of
8 the political parties at republican level, which was that on the
9 basis of the results of elections at the republican level and on the
10 basis of the local agreement at the local level should appoint only
11 two head officers in the local police.
12 The Commander of the police Station became Vinko
13 Dragicevic. He was appointed by the Croat Democratic Union and Milan
14 Jekic became the head of the local uniformed branch of the police on
15 behalf of the Serb Democratic Party.
16 Q. How long did these two gentlemen continue to retain office? For how
17 long did these two gentlemen continue to retain office?
18 A. They remained both in the office until 30th March 1992. Then they
19 submitted their resignations to these officers and that was when the
20 term of office ended.
21 Q. Prior to this, in December 1991, was action taken by the Serbian
22 representatives in the Opstina of Bosanski Samac with respect to the
24 A. Before I answer that question, and it relates to the establishment of
25 the Serb Opstina of Samac in the territory of the Bosanski Samac
1 municipality, I believe it needs to be pointed out that a Serb
2 parliament was set up in the territory of the so-called Serb Republic
3 of Bosnia and Herzegovina established at the time, and in conformity
4 with the decisions of the so-called Serb parliament in Serb
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serb Opstina Bosanksi Samac was founded in the
6 municipality of Bosanski Samac in December 1991.
7 The Serb parliament, the Serb government, and some
8 departments were established which the municipality needed which
9 meant, to all intents and purposes, the establishment of parallel
10 authority in the territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac.
11 Q. When you say "parallel", are you referring to the fact that the
12 municipal government established as a consequence of the election as
13 opposed to a special Serb municipal government side by side with that
14 which took place in December 1991?
15 A. Yes, on the basis of the results of the elections, all the official
16 bodies were set up in the municipality of Bosanski Samac, so that
17 parliament, the government, and they were, and all the political
18 parties, rather, all the three peoples living in the territory were
19 represented there; so that the establishment of the Serb parliament
20 and government in Bosanski Samac Opstina meant setting up a parallel
21 system of authority there.
22 Q. Did this act and other matters create tension between the ethnic
23 community in Bosanksi Samac?
24 A. It did create a certain atmosphere by which showed mistrust, mutual
25 mistrust, because the other two peoples living in the area, the
1 Muslim and the Croat peoples, were caught unawares by this move of
2 the representatives of the Serb people, and such a move or other
3 disestablishment of such parallel authority, it was thought could
4 serve no purpose. That is what was thought at the time.
5 Q. As a consequence of this tension, was the police Force of which you
6 were a member given any special orders?
7 A. At that time, no, no special orders were received. They were not
8 ordered to take any special, any specific measures, but as the
9 tension grew in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1991, late 1991, all of the
10 police Force was mobilized throughout the territory of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina and, therefore, including the territory of
12 Bosanski Samac.
13 Q. Was this a decision by the government of the Republic of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina and did it include the calling up of the reserve
15 police Force or the activation of the reserve police Force?
16 A. The decision to mobilize or to activate the reserve force or the
17 police was taken by the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
18 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the decisions were enforced by
19 the Ministry of the Interior, rather, the Commander within the
20 Ministry of Interior, and so members of all three peoples were
21 recruited, were mobilized, for the reserve police Force.
22 Q. About the same time, did the JNA itself become active in the Bosanski
23 Samac municipality?
24 A. Slightly before that, the reserve police Force were mobilized. It
25 was on 20th September 1991, we have already indicated some time
1 towards the end of July 1991, JNA began to form its units in Serb
2 villages, distribute weapons among them, uniforms for them, and begin
3 to train those units in those villages. I have already indicated it,
4 and I think it needs to be pointed out, that these units were made
5 exclusively of members of the Serb nationalities and they were set up
6 in villages exclusively inhabited by Serbs.
7 Q. Were there any incidents involving the JNA that you yourself were
8 involved in investigating in the Bosanski Samac area; I speak
9 specifically of the time late November, say, from 1991 through until
10 to, say, April 1992?
11 A. From 28th November 1991 to 1st April 1992 in the territory of the
12 Bosanski Samac municipality, there were 23 subversive actions when
13 explosive devices were used to destroy the facilities in
14 (indecipherable) in the territory of the municipality of Bosanski
15 Samac. These were the destruction of transmission pylons or, rather,
16 atom bomb shelter which was in one of the enterprises in Bosanski
17 Samac, a bridge across the Sava between Bosanski Samac and Slavonski
18 Samac which links both Bosnia-Herzegovina with the Republic of
19 Croatia and some other facilities.
20 During their onset investigation by the police, some
21 evidence was found indicating that the perpetrators of the crimes
22 could be, could be, among the members of the JNA.
23 Q. What sort of evidence are you referring to that was relied upon to
24 make this conclusion?
25 A. Because some tracks, some evidence, was found on the side, on these
1 spots, indicating that these acts were committed by JNA people, first
2 beginning with the explosives used for the purpose, then footprints
3 or, rather, boot prints, boots worn by JNA men, and then the observed
4 movements of some JNA members observed by the villagers, by local
5 inhabitants, in our municipality.
6 Q. Were you in any way interfered with in your attempt to investigate
7 these incidents?
8 A. If you mean JNA, no, they did not interfere with the investigation of
9 the facilities demolished. To begin with, they realised if they had
10 interfered that they would show evidently that they had been
11 perpetrators and besides they realised that there were very slight
12 chances that the police would be able to identify the perpetrators.
13 Q. Was there any attempt by anyone to interfere with the police
15 A. I do not think so. I do not think there was any interference with
16 our work in that regard. I am referring to the onset investigation
17 of all these events.
18 Q. You mentioned a moment ago the incident relating to the atomic
19 shelter, I think, and the explosives used in relation to that. Do
20 you recall when that event occurred, approximately?
21 A. I cannot remember the date, but it could have been in December 1991
22 or, perhaps, early 1992 -- too much time has elapsed since.
23 Q. Do you recall an event involving a bridge across the Sava River in
24 Bosanski Samac in early February 1992?
25 A. Yes, I do remember that event. The bridge was demolished on 5th
1 February '92 at 8.43. On that same, on that occasion the part of the
2 bridge above the ground was demolished because, of course, part of
3 the bridge spans the river itself. But the explosives placed there
4 damaged the part which is above the ground, and then the pavement or,
5 rather, the railway tracks that go across the bridge were damaged.
6 Q. Were you responsible for the investigation into this incident?
7 A. Yes, I was one of the team which investigated the event.
8 Q. Were you able to make any findings of who was responsible for this
9 particular incidents?
10 A. On the basis of information we came by, there was no dilemma that the
11 bridge was destroyed by JNA.
12 Q. In your position with the police Force, did you make any assessment
13 as to why the JNA was involving itself in this activity?
14 A. To my mind, there are several reasons which made the JNA commit those
15 acts in the territory of Bosanski Samac and in the territory of some
16 other municipalities as well. To begin with, they wanted to justify
17 in the eyes of the citizens the presence of JNA in our territory or,
18 rather, to create chaos, to create a chaotic situation, provoke
19 excesses in order to create an atmosphere of insecurity among the
20 citizens to show that the public peace and order, or law and order,
21 were imperiled there, and the police were not able to control this
22 situation in the territory of their municipality, and that they,
23 therefore, JNA needed to be present in the area so as to maintain
24 peace and order, or prevent conflicts between inhabitants or between
25 local inhabitants.
1 Also, some concrete activities of that kind went in
2 pursuit of other goals, for instance, demolishing the transmission
3 lines, I mean, the high voltage network, and thus had cut off power
4 supply to the Republic of Croatia, and when it comes to a demolition
5 of the bridge across the Sava, I believe that the purpose of this was
6 to prevent Bosnian and Herzegovinan citizens who were working as
7 migrant workers in west European countries and thus prevent them to
8 take part in the referendum which was to take place on 28th February
9 1992, and was being organised by the government of
11 Q. Do you know what the purpose of this referendum was?
12 A. The purpose of the referendum was to ask the citizens of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina whether they were for Bosnia-Herzegovina as an
14 independent state.
15 MR. NIEMANN: Do your Honours wish to take an adjournment?
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: It is 4 o'clock.
17 MR. NIEMANN: It is 4 o'clock, I am sorry. (To the witness): Do you
18 recall whilst you were in the police Force in Bosanski Samac
19 attempts, well, a move to establish a military organisation known as
20 the "Fourth Detachment"?
21 A. I already said that in the municipality of Bosanski Samac, JNA began
22 military organisation in Serb villages and appointment of commanders
23 of detachments, rather, battalions in some of these villages. They
24 began this activity as early as July 91. The first detachment was set
25 up in the village of Obudovac which also had the municipal JNA
1 command. This is the largest Serb village in the municipality of
2 Bosanksi Samac. Another detachment was set up in Gornja Slatina,
3 which was another Serb village.
4 Also, I should say in early August '91, at roughly the
5 same time, a Third Detachment in the village of Gornja Crkvina, which
6 is also a village with a Serb population, was formed. Then some time
7 later, I should say, in early February '92, the Fourth Detachment was
8 formed in the town of Bosanski Samac itself. The Commander of that
9 detachment, and I think its strength was about 500 men, its Commander
10 became Radovan Antic, the former Secretary of SUPA Bosanksi Samac and
11 his deputy for security was Simo Zaric, retired head of state
12 Security Department for Bosanski Samac, (indecipherable). These are
13 three adjacent municipalities.
14 Q. Did Simo Zaric have political connections or involvement?
15 A. I am sorry. Could you please repeat the question? I did not
16 understand it.
17 Q. Did Simo Zaric have any involvement with politics?
18 A. In the territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac, no, he did
19 not have any particular political office. He was a member of the
20 Social Democratic Party in the municipality. That was in early 1992.
21 Before that, some time between 1974 to 1978, he was the Secretary of
22 the Interior of the Municipality of Bosanski Samac. After that, in
23 1983, he was hired by the State Security Department of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina and that is where he remained until his retirement
25 in 1991.
1 Q. What was the relationship between the Fourth Detachment and the JNA?
2 A. The Fourth Detachment is a JNA unit.
3 Q. Do you recall at some stage a road block being set up on the road
4 leading into Bosanski Samac? I am sorry, I will withdraw that
5 question, your Honour. Do you recall a period of time when a number
6 of road blocks were established in and around your area?
7 A. In communication access towards the town of Bosanski Samac, JNA began
8 to set up checkpoints, I would not call them road blocks, I would
9 rather call them checkpoints. The first such checkpoints were set in
10 place by JNA about one kilometre out of town on the main
11 communication access between Bosanski Samac and Orasje towards the
12 end of '91.
13 An identical checkpoint was set in place somewhat later
14 on the regional road, Bosanski, Samac Gradacac, in the village of
15 Gornja Slatina. Then some time in early March '92, the checkpoint
16 was set up in the village, Gornja Crkvina, between Bosanski Samac and
17 Sarajevo road, so that in this manner they could control any access,
18 the JNA could control all the access to Bosanski Samac from all
20 Q. Who was responsible for the control of civilian traffic in the
21 Opstina of Bosanski Samac?
22 A. Traffic control in the municipality of Bosanski Samac and all the
23 other municipalities in Bosnia-Herzegovina was in the hands of the
24 civilian police, that is, by law. So that JNA in the manner as
25 described by setting up of those check points appropriated the right,
1 which was very wrongful, to control civilians, the flow of goods,
2 passenger traffic and everything else, of course.
3 Q. Were the JNA assisted by the Fourth Detachment in the manning and
4 operation of these checkpoints?
5 A. ... to these checkpoints, JNA was not helping very much the Fourth
6 Detachment. JNA practically armed, organised, supplied uniforms and
7 everything else to the Fourth Detachment as a JNA unit.
8 Q. Were you aware, in your duties as a police Officer, of the
9 distribution of arms to people other than the Fourth Detachment?
10 A. In the town itself, JNA did not distribute any weapons apart from the
11 Fourth Detachment, by the JNA, that is only the Fourth Detachment
12 members have received arms from the JNA. I also wish to point out, I
13 think it is important, that the JNA distributed arms to its members,
14 the members of other units and not only (indecipherable) but even
15 these three former departments wrongfully, because members of these
16 detachments usually went home. They spent the days in training and
17 under law of Bosnia-Herzegovina citizens may not own, may not in
18 possession of any automatic weapons. So this was a wrongful action
19 by JNA.
20 Q. Was any official explanation given for the establishment of the
21 Fourth Detachment, I mean in terms of why was it established?
22 A. Some time in mid February 1992, the local radio station in Bosanski
23 Samac, (indecipherable) Radovan Antic, the commander of the Fourth
24 Detachment and Simo Zaric, his deputy for security matters, they
25 addressed the public and gave some explanations why the Fourth
1 Detachment had been set up as a JNA unit in the town of Bosanski
2 Samac. On that occasion, perhaps the most important thing that needs
3 to be pointed out, they also communicated that unit had been formed
4 in the town in order to forestall, to prevent, interethnic conflicts.
5 Q. Was there a problem with interethnic conflict at this time which
6 would justify the intervention of the Fourth Detachment, so far as
7 you are aware?
8 A. At that time there was no interethnic, there were no interethnic
9 conflicts in the town itself. There was absolutely no need to set
10 up a JNA unit in the area in order to prevent interethnic conflict in
11 the territory of the Bosanski Samac municipality.
12 Q. Were there any incidents involving the police and the Fourth
13 Detachment that you can recall?
14 A. As of the moment of the establishment of the Fourth Detachment in
15 that town, its members and JNA used to organise patrols at night
16 time, patrols which covered some part of the town itself. Under such
17 circumstances, several incidents happened between JNA members and the
18 civilian police. For instance, there was a case when three members
19 of the Fourth Detachment fired at a police patrol in the town and, on
20 another occasion, members of the Fourth Detachment disarmed a police
21 patrol, civilian police patrol, which was again on its regular patrol
22 in the town itself.
23 Q. Were there any repercussions as a result of these attacks upon the
24 police by the Fourth Detachments?
25 A. Well, the result was the anxiety of the citizens because these were
1 the first incidents caused by JNA formation, and its citizens were
2 quite clear that formation had no intention of doing what it was
3 supposed to do, that is, to prevent conflict; that it was there to
4 provoke conflict in the town, as a matter of fact.
5 Q. Do you recall an organisation which had the name Commission for
7 A. As of the moment when JNA and other formations occupied the
8 municipality of Bosanski Samac, the larger part of its territory, the
9 Serb side begin to establish the Commission for Exchange. That is
10 what they called it; actually it was the Commission for ethnic
11 cleansing of Muslims and Croats from the territory of the
12 municipality of Bosanski Samac.
13 Q. Who was in charge of this?
14 A. The Commission had several members and in charge of it was Miroslav
16 Q. You said earlier in your evidence that the commander of the local JNA
17 was Lieutenant Colonel Stevan Nikolic; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did you have occasion to meet with him from time to time in the
20 course of your duties?
21 A. Yes, on several occasions I had the opportunity of talking to him
22 about this dissolution of individual questions or, rather, attempts
23 to solve some questions.
24 Q. Do you recall seeing Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic when he came to
25 Bosanski Samac on 6th March 1992?
1 A. Yes, I do remember it on 6th March together with Captain of first
2 class, Dragicevic -- and he was the State Security, the military
3 intelligence officer in Brcko garrison -- the two of them came for
4 discussion to meet us at the police Station.
5 Q. What was the purpose of the meeting?
6 A. The purpose was to discuss and to agree on the establishment of a
7 checkpoint on the road between Dobje and Sarajevo -- Doboj and
8 Sarajevo, sorry. I said a few moments ago that he was being
9 accompanied by the Captain of the first rank and he was our main
10 intelligence, rather, counter intelligence officer was accompanying
11 him on that occasion which is Kos.
12 MR. NIEMANN: Is that a convenient time?
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We will stand in recess for 20 minutes.
14 (4.03 p.m.)
15 (The court adjourned for a short time)
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Niemann, could you tell the Chamber whether
17 this testimony that you are offering at this time relates to matters
18 that are alleged to have occurred in the Prijedor region, or is it
19 the purpose of this testimony to give the Chamber a picture of the
20 overall picture of what was happening in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
21 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, the evidence is submitted for a number of
22 reasons. Firstly, we submit it goes to the question of widespread
23 and systematic, so that one looks beyond the Opstina of Prijedor
24 itself to see what happened in the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We
25 will not be dealing with this sort of evidence in respect of
1 everywhere in Bosnia-Herzegovina, because obviously we cannot, but
2 what will be tendered will be some evidence in relation to various
3 area across the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina which, we will argue, at
4 the end of the day represents a widespread or systematic attack.
5 In addition to that, some of this evidence will go to
6 corroborate some of the things that Dr. Gow has said, particularly in
7 relation to the JNA and the TO and other participants in the conflict
8 that took place in Bosnia in 1992.
9 Further, if your Honours please, the evidence will go, we
10 submit, to show the involvement of the Republic of Srpske and we will
11 show, in our submission, that by this evidence the Republic of Srpske
12 lent its facilities to this witness, in particular, which is just one
13 small piece of evidence in relation to that.
14 There will be evidence from this witness, your Honours,
15 that will go to -----
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I do not think you have to tell us anything more; I
17 think you have done pretty well already. Thank you.
18 MR. NIEMANN (To the witness): Mr. Lukac, you were speaking just before
19 the break about a meeting that you had with Lieutenant Colonel
20 Nikolic of the JNA at your police station in March 1992. When he
21 arrived at that particular place, was he alone or did he bring with
22 him certain members of his particular military unit?
23 A. I have already said that with him there was Captain Petrovic. He was
24 a security officer in the barracks of the JNA at Brcko. He was an
25 officer of the counter intelligence service of the JNA, and
1 accompanying him was a large number of military police members that
2 were there to secure the vehicles left in front of the police Station
3 as well as the area in front of the police Station where they were.
4 Q. As far as your assessment of the situation at the time was concerned,
5 was there any necessity for these military police to be present?
6 A. No, there was no need for the military police to be present. As far
7 as his personal security was concerned, he could have come alone to
8 that meeting. What is important to say that, apart from the military
9 police that was there to secure him while he was going to the
10 meeting, immediately near the police Station, to be precise on the
11 other side of the street, in a shop, there was a large number of the
12 Fourth Detachment of the JNA from Bosanski Samac that were also there
13 to secure Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic.
14 Q. Was there another incident that occurred later in March at a place
15 called Grebnice?
16 A. Yes, there was at a checkpoint of the civilian police and the traffic
17 control in the village of Grebnice. That checkpoint was on that
18 particular day on the regional road, Bosanski Samac-Orasje. Our
19 police patrol stopped a civilian vehicle during the night when there
20 were two people in there, and they asked their identity papers and
21 they showed the civilian cards, documents, but our police patrol
22 searched the vehicle, and during that search they found two automatic
23 pistols of the make Scorpion used solely by the JNA with silencers.
24 During the conversation with the people who were in the
25 vehicle and upon the question, where they were going and why they
1 were carrying weapons, one of those said that he was a JNA major and
2 that he was on a special mission. As he was wearing plain clothes
3 and he did not carry a military ID, the police Officer took the
4 weapons he found in the vehicle from them and gave them a receipt,
5 and the next day this particular event continued. The same major,
6 accompanied by some 20 military policemen, occupied the police
7 Station at Bosanski Samac because he wanted the weapons to be
8 returned to him.
9 Q. On this particular occasion, was the matter resolved by the weapons
10 being returned to the JNA?
11 A. Yes, some two weeks later the weapons that was returned to the JNA,
12 it was returned at the barracks in Brcko.
13 Q. Was there any attempt made during this period -- I am speaking of
14 February/March 1992 -- for the members of the reserve police to leave
15 the police Force?
16 A. In February/March 1992, members of the reserve police of Serbian
17 nationality left the reserve police structure, and in such a way the
18 overall position and the role of the civilian police was intended to
19 be weakened and that was all an excuse for the presence of the JNA in
20 our municipality.
21 Q. Do you know who was behind influencing these people in this way,
22 these police officers in this way?
23 A. To my mind, the JNA was behind it, probably the security service of
24 the JNA as well as some leaders of the Serbian Democratic Party from
25 the municipality.
1 Q. Do you remember a dispatch on 30th March 1992 being issued from
2 Sarajevo by Mandic?
3 A. Yes, I remember this dispatch. Momcilo Mandic was, by the way, at
4 that time the aid to the Minister of the Interior of Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina, and they sent a dispatch to all the municipalities in
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina in which they informed all the police officers
7 that a Serbian SUP was created in the Serbian Republic of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and he indicated all the municipalities in Bosnia
9 and Herzegovina where there was a Serbian Ministry of Interior that
10 was operating, and on that list was the municipality of Bosanski
11 Samac as well.
12 The next day after the arrival of dispatch there was
13 another official dispatch signed by the then Minister of the Interior
14 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alija Delimustafic, where it was stated
15 that the dispatch about the creation of the Serbian Ministry of the
16 Interior sent by Mandic was wrongful because that meant the creation
17 of parallel police organs in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 Q. Was there a meeting of the police Officers, and what was the result
19 of the meeting of police fficers in Bosanski Samac?
20 A. The next day a meeting was held, a meeting of all the people who
21 worked at our police Station, and I was present at the meeting. Both
22 dispatches were read, the one signed by Mr. Momcilo Mandic about the
23 creation of a Serbian Ministry of Interior, and the dispatch signed
24 by our official Minister for the Interior, Mr. Delimustafic.
25 All the employees of the police Station unanimously
1 declared loyalty to the legal Ministry of the Interior of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so that every employee except one signed
3 personally dispatch, a list, and that list signed by a representative
4 of the Muslim and the Croatian employees was sent to Sarajevo.
5 Q. What about the Serbian employees of the police Force, what happened
6 to them?
7 A. Members of the Serbian, the Serbian employees in our police station
8 also signed their loyalty. There was just one member of the Serb
9 employees who did not sign it and he was appointed by the Serbian
10 Democratic Party to his post.
11 Q. In the latter half of 1992 was there established a particular body in
12 Bosanski Samac, a representative body, in order to deal with issues
13 concerning the JNA the police and other governmental bodies?
14 A. In the latter part of March 1992 in the town of Bosanski Samac was
15 formed a body where there were representatives of all the political
16 parties in the town; the representatives of the municipality of
17 Bosanski Samac, the representative of the police station and the
18 representative of the Fourth Detachment of the JNA in the town. The
19 purpose of forming of such a body was that in this new situation one
20 should monitor the security situation in the town of Bosanski Samac
21 itself, not in the municipality and that, in accordance with the new
22 situation, tries to find adequate and timely solutions for problems
23 that might appear.
24 Q. Did this body meet from time to time?
25 A. This body would practically meet every day, very regularly.
1 Q. Do you recall a meeting in 13th April 1992 at which meeting the
2 gentleman that you referred to earlier, Simic, arrived late?
3 A. The meeting on 13th April 1992 relates not to this body but to the
4 representatives of some political parties. That was held at the
5 President of the municipalities of Bosanski Samac office and was
6 organised by the Deputy President of the municipality of Bosanski
7 Samac. Present were the representatives of the three major political
8 parties of the Serbian Democratic Party, the Croatian Democratic
9 Union and the Party of Democratic Action, not only from the territory
10 of municipality of Bosanski Samac, but of the municipalities of
11 Bosanski Samac, Orasje, Modricia, Gradacac and Osijek. These were
12 all adjacent municipalities. At the same meeting were present the
13 Presidents of the municipalities that I have mentioned, and at the
14 same meeting was present a representative of the JNA, a Colonel
15 Tutavic. He was born in the area of the Bosanski Samac municipality
16 and at that time he was working in the general headquarters of the
17 JNA in Belgrade.
18 Q. What was the purpose of the meeting?
19 A. At that meeting the President of the Serbian Democratic Party of the
20 municipality of Bosanski Samac, Mr. Blago Simic, had practically
21 informed all the present that the Serbian municipality of Samac was
22 being created, and this particular municipality was first created in
23 December 1991. For the first time in public, in the presence of
24 these people, he described the boundaries of that municipality that
25 was about to be formed, and that was called the municipality, the
1 Serbian municipality of Samac and the chief town was to be Bosanski
2 Samac. He gave as well a deadline of seven days to the
3 representatives of the Serb, of the Muslim and Croatian nationality
4 to decide about the proposal on the boundaries of this Serbian
5 municipality and the actual territory.
6 Q. Was there any discussion at the time, questions directed to Simic
7 about what would happen to the Croat and Muslim population in the
9 A. Such a question was put by the President of the Croatian Democratic
10 Union, and the answer was that the Croatian and Muslim population on
11 the territory of the Serbian municipality of Samac had to leave from
12 the area.
13 Q. When you say "leave", was there any discussion about where they would
15 A. There was no particular discussion about it. He simply said the
16 Croatian Muslim population had to move from the area. He did not say
17 where to. That practically meant that some 10,000 Croats and Muslims
18 from the area had to leave as if they had never previously lived
20 Q. On 10th April 1992 were you appointed the Chief of police?
21 A. On 11th April 1992 upon the proposal of the Croatian Democratic Union
22 and the Ministry of the Interior I was appointed Acting Chief of
23 police Station in Bosanski Samac.
24 Q. What were the conditions like in the city of Bosanski Samac at the
1 A. At that time there was quite a lot of concern and anxiety among the
2 population, taking into account a whole situation in the area of our
3 municipality and the presence of the units of the JNA which operated
4 on the territory of the municipality and had checkpoints in all, on
5 all the communication axes that led to the town and in the town
6 itself, but nevertheless there were no inter-ethnic conflicts in the
7 town itself or on the territory of the municipality.
8 Q. On or about the 12th of April, maybe a little earlier, did you in
9 your capacity receive as an Acting Chief of police receive
10 information from a citizen in Batkusa about an event that had
12 A. On 12th April 1992 as the Chief of police I received information from
13 the citizens and from our civilian police patrols that in the Serbian
14 village of Batkusa, which was in the municipality of Bosanski Samac,
15 some 30 people in uniforms had arrived from the Republic of Serbia in
16 that village and that unit which had infantry weapons had been
17 transported by two helicopters of the JNA and put them in the youth
18 centre in that village.
19 Q. Did you understand these people to be part of the JNA?
20 A. It was difficult at that moment to conclude whether they belonged to
21 the JNA or not, but the fact itself that they were transported by the
22 JNA helicopters one could conclude that the JNA organised their
23 arrival in that area. The uniforms they wore at that time were
24 different from the ones that the members of the JNA wore in our area.
25 Those were camouflage uniforms worn exclusively by some special
1 units of the JNA.
2 Q. Did you ever later discover who this group was, the identification of
3 this group?
4 A. In those conditions we had no exact information about the identity of
5 that group, but later on I learned that these were members of a
6 paramilitary group which most probably belonged to the extreme wing
7 of the radical party in Serbia, the head of which is Borislav Seselj.
8 The largest part of the members of those units that later on
9 appeared under the name of "grave wars" came from the Republic of
10 Serbia and mostly from the territory of the municipality of
11 Kragujevac, that is also in Serbia. Among them there was a less
12 important number of members that came from the territory of the
13 Republic of Montenegro.
14 Q. During the month of April 1992 was an attempt made by the government
15 in Sarajevo, the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to reactivate the
16 TO in the Bosanski Samac area?
17 A. What I have described previously, the TO that had existed up until
18 1990 had been disactivated, as Bosnia-Herzegovina did not have its
19 own army and, apart from the police, no official armed forces. The
20 government and the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, after the
21 international recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina on 6th April 1992,
22 they decided to establish a Territorial Defence of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina. By that decision of the presidency and the
24 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina they asked all the municipality
25 bodies to implement that decision as the JNA had previously taken the
1 weaponry, as I have mentioned earlier. All the citizens from the
2 municipality in Bosanski Samac and in all Bosnian municipalities,
3 indeed, could volunteer into the Territorial Defence. It is also
4 very important to decide what was the aim of the creation of the TO
5 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that aim was that the TO unit should be
6 put to protect law and order in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 Q. What was your understanding of how this particular TO unit would work
8 with the JNA?
9 A. Taking into account the fact that the JNA or, more precisely, the
10 Fourth Detachment of the JNA in Bosanski Samac had stated they were
11 there in order to protect law and order, the security of the
12 citizens, to protect the property of the citizens and to prevent
13 national clashes, the same task was given to the TO. From that point
14 of view, if the TO and the JNA were, had the same task and were on
15 the same mission, it was very normal to expect that they would work
16 on the same project, that is the protection of law and order in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the state structures, but obviously the
18 intentions of the JNA were different.
19 Q. What was the reaction to any suggestion that this TO unit would work
20 within either the Fourth Detachment or the JNA?
21 A. At the meeting of the working body which was at the level of the town
22 of Bosanski Samac, I explained previously what was in that body and
23 what this was meant to do, that was the body that was meeting
24 regularly every day. Well, a meeting was held on the evening of 16th
25 April 1992, and that was two days after the implementation of the
1 decision by the government and the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 about the creating of TO in Bosanski Samac. For those reasons at
3 that meeting for the first time were present the newly appointed
4 commander of the TO and head of the headquarters of the TO. At the
5 same meeting was present Mr. Simo Zaric as representative of the
6 Fourth Detachment of the JNA.
7 Q. Was this decision to create this new TO received well by the JNA or
8 the Fourth Detachment?
9 A. That decision was not accepted by the JNA because at that particular
10 meeting on 16th April 1992 the newly appointed commander of the TO
11 offered to Mr. Zaric that the Fourth Detachment should become a part
12 of the TO of Bosanski Samac, that they work together on the
13 protection of law and order, but Mr. Zaric refused that and said that
14 the Fourth Detachment was part of the JNA and, therefore, it could
15 not be part of the TO; it was part of the JNA and so it could not be
16 part of TO.
17 Q. As a consequence of this, was it necessary for your police to provide
18 protection to the TO and their establishment?
19 A. The police was not protecting the units of the TO because the units
20 that had to be formed were of a military character, so they were in a
21 position to protect themselves, but the task was that the civilian
22 police and the formed TO units worked together on the protection of
23 law and order on the territory of the muncipality.
24 Q. Later I think on the same day of the 16th April did you accompany the
25 TO commander to a meeting?
1 A. I as the Chief of police of the police station I was present at that
2 meeting at Bosanski Samac and the head of the TO was there, the
3 representatives of the political parties, Mr. Zaric as the
4 representative of the Fourth Detachment of the JNA. After the
5 meeting the head of the TO who lived in a village in our muncipality
6 asked me to accompany him with my duty vehicle because he had to go
7 through a checkpoint, a Serbian checkpoint, in the village of Srpska
9 Q. Were you able to get through these checkpoints?
10 A. Yes. When we came to the checkpoint, that checkpoint had been there
11 for the previous several months, I noticed that at that particular
12 checkpoint no JNA soldiers were there; nobody was there in fact,
13 except for some iron barricades that were put there in order to slow
14 down the traffic. So I accompanied this man and very near I noticed
15 later on a member of the JNA who was going from the checkpoint
16 towards the interior, the centre of the village.
17 Q. Did you notice anything about the way this soldier was dressed?
18 A. His detail which I had not noticed before on JNA members in our area,
19 he was wearing the JNA uniform of the olive brown colour. As it was
20 a raining he had a cape, a cape made of canvas to protect him against
21 the rain as it was also blowing. As I came to meet him I saw that the
22 wind had blown the cape over his shoulder, and I could see a white
23 ribbon on his shoulder tied to the insignia.
24 Q. Did you know the significance of this white ribbon when you first saw
1 A. I did not know what it was supposed to signify, but such white
2 ribbons tied on the shoulders of the JNA members I had seen on
3 television before as we watched them taking Vukovar.
4 Q. Did you then make any enquiries about the presence of these soldiers?
5 A. Some 300 metres behind that soldier I saw another soldier. He was
6 also wearing a white ribbon on his shoulder and it all intrigued me,
7 that is I wanted to learn the reason why they were wearing those
8 white ribbons tied in that particular way. Around 10 p.m. that
9 evening I came to the police station and there intended to ask the
10 policemen on duty in the police station, I wanted to check the
11 information about the security situation in the territory of the
13 Q. What were you told? What did you discover?
14 A. I told this policeman about the soldier with a white ribbon that I
15 had seen, and he then called Simo Zaric of the JNA Fourth Detachment
16 in the town, we wanted to learn what were the reason for those white
17 ribbons worn on their uniforms. So, Mr. Zaric then in the telephone
18 conversation said that he did not know the reason for those ribbons
19 worn by the soldiers and that he would try to come by some
20 information to learn what it was all about. During that evening,
21 within about an hour or so, he called us again and told us that he
22 had tried to learn something about this and that it was a JNA unit
23 set up in the village of Srpska Tisina, that they were going to have
24 a drill that night, that they were wearing those so they could
25 recognise each other.
1 Q. Had you ever seen JNA personnel ever wearing uniforms with this type
2 of white ribbon that you speak of before on a previous occasion,
3 other than what you have seen on television in Vukovar?
4 A. No. No, I have not seen them before.
5 Q. Now, after you had made these enquiries, did you go back to your home
6 that night and what happened during the course of the night?
7 A. Sometime around 2.25 on 17th April 1992 the town resounded with fire
8 from automatic weapons. I wanted to see what was happening and I
9 tried to call by telephone the person on duty in the police station
10 from my flat, but I realised that the telephones had been cut off.
11 That night practically JNA, JNA members and this paramilitary group
12 from Serbia which had arrived on the 11th April to Batkusa that night
13 they took Bosanski Samac, the town of Bosanski Samac.
14 Q. What did you do when this happened, when the town was attacked?
15 A. After that halted attempt to telephone, because, as I have said, the
16 lines had been cut off, I noticed that from a building in a
17 neighbouring street a fire was open towards the building in which I
18 had my flat fired from sniper weapons. So that I realised that I was
19 covered in that building, in that residential building, and that it
20 would not come out. As I was alone in the flat, I moved to my
21 neighbour's flat, who is a Muslim by the way, and I stayed there
22 until the morning when the telephone lines began to function again
23 which was about 5 o'clock. Then I called again the policeman on duty
24 in the police station, but in spite of repeated calls nobody answered
25 several of the numbers that I tried to dial, and it was clear to me
1 that the police station had been taken by those forces. Other
2 neighbours also let us know that a city had been occupied, and that
3 members in camouflage uniforms with some specific insignia which were
4 radicals because they were wearing some white brimmed camouflage hats
5 and some something like that; they were searching the town and
6 controlling some of the vital facilities, so that is the radio
7 station, the police station and the post office, access bridges to
8 the town, etc.
9 Q. Did you then decide to try to escape from the city?
10 A. When I came by a complete information and learned that the town had
11 been occupied by the JNA, I realised they would come to arrest me and
12 I tried to leave the town. I tried to do it in a certain way and I
13 partly succeeded to get out of the town itself, but then the road
14 that I had taken was blocked by JNA members, and in the village of
15 Gornja Crkvina I came across a road block put up by JNA members.
16 There they stopped me and practically arrested me, on 10th April
18 Q. Did you then hand to this person that stopped you your identification
20 A. We were intercepted by a policeman, that is a man wearing a police
21 uniform. On his head he wore a beret with a Serbian tricolour flag.
22 I say this because this was the first time that I saw the flag,
23 tricolour flag, on a helmet. He asked for my ID. I gave him my
24 driving licence. He read it and he read my first name and my
25 surname. He said: "You're the one", and he immediately ordered me to
1 get off the vehicle in this village in front of the, in the yard, and
2 after that we were searched and detained.
3 Q. Where were you detained?
4 A. I was detained in that village for three days. This was the office
5 of the local office, and during those three days there were 10 to 15
6 persons detained. They were mostly citizens whose identification was
7 checked on that road and who were then taken into custody and
8 detained in that room.
9 Q. What happened after being kept there for three days?
10 A. On Sunday which, was 19th April 1992, five of us detained there were
11 put on a truck guarded by five members of the police and army, and
12 they took us to Bosanski Samac to the town. When we arrived in
13 Bosanski Samac the truck stopped in front of the gate to the former
14 military defence facility; that building and these facilities are
15 across the street from the police station.
16 Q. Were you taken inside?
17 A. Then they took us into the yard of that building and there I observed
18 that in front of the metal door that was the warehouse until 1990,
19 the Territorial Defence weaponry was kept there, in front of that
20 door there were two policemen standing on guard. They opened that
21 door. They took us into that depot, into that storage space. When
22 we entered I saw that there were between 30 to 50 men detained there.
23 Those were men I knew, that is I had been seeing them around the
24 town, around Bosanski Samac.
25 Q. What was were the nationality of the men that you knew that you saw
1 that were being kept as prisoners?
2 A. They were all Croats and Muslims.
3 Q. What happened while you were there being held in detention?
4 A. After I came those men were sitting with their backs towards the
5 walls in that storage room, and they had blankets over their knees,
6 they were sitting there. Could I see that some of them had injuries
7 on their faces and I could, therefore, infer that they had been
8 ill-treated. There were also some of my policemen among them who
9 had spent the night on duty and were detained that night. So that we
10 were accommodated there together with them. A year or two later,
11 after we had arrived that metal door of that storage room opened and
12 a man whom I did not know entered, he was wearing a camouflage
13 uniform and he came to the centre of the room, to the middle of the
14 room, and he was holding a police truncheon in his hand.
15 Q. The translation that you have here is "a year or two later". It was
16 not a year or two later; I take it that it was sometime later, about
17 an hour later, was it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. When he entered the room what happened? When this person entered the
20 room what happened?
21 A. When this individual entered the storage room I noted that all the
22 men who had already been there, who were under detention there, they
23 put down their heads and they were looking at the concrete, at the
24 floor, and I noticed that fears, I could sense fear in that room when
25 he entered that room. I concluded, therefore, that this was not the
1 first time that he had entered that room, and that he was, roughly
2 speaking, that he had some kind of power over the men detained in
3 that room.
4 Q. What did he say when he entered the room?
5 A. When he entered he asked who was new among the detainees. So,
6 everybody was silent, nobody said anything, so he repeated the
7 question. I realised then that the five of us who had just arrived
8 were the new ones, the newcomers, that he meant us. Then I stood up
9 and I said I was new there, and he ordered me to come close to him
10 and stand before him and I did that.
11 Q. What happened when you stood before him?
12 A. He asked me then my name. I told him and he asked me what I was
13 doing before I was arrested, and I told him that I was the head of
14 the police station in Samac.
15 Q. Did he then say something to you -- sorry, did he then do something?
16 A. At that very moment he hit me with his police baton he had in his
17 right hand, and they (indecipherable) on the left hand side, on my
18 left side, and he repeated the blow on severa
19 occasions and then he hit me with his boot in the stomach, so I
20 gasped, lost my breath and I fell on the concrete. Then I heard, I
21 was semi-conscious, and he told me "Get up Bre".
22 Q. What do you understand about the word Bre, B-R-E?
23 A. That is a bi-word which is used in Serbia only in the dialect which
24 is the Ekaski dialect in Serbia. I, therefore, concluded that he
25 had come from Serbia and that he was a member of that paramilitary
1 unit who arrived in the territory of our muncipality.
2 Q. What happened then to you?
3 A. With a mechanical aid I got up, I stood up when he ordered me and he
4 beat me again, so I fell and he beat me again. The total lasted
5 about some 10 minutes, after which he stopped, he left, went out and
6 closed the door of that storage room. After that other detainees
7 came to help me and I asked them who was the man, and they told me
8 that he was the person called Lugar which is a nickname which is
9 common in our country, in our part of the country. Then
10 subsequently I learnt also the identity of that person. His name was
11 Slobodan Milakovic and he comes from Kragujevac, that is from Serbia.
12 Q. Now on the next day, this is 20th April, were you then taken out of
13 that building to another place?
14 A. The next day policemen came. They took me out from the storage room
15 and they took me to the building of the police across the street from
16 that facility where we were detained. Then they took me to an office
17 in that police station and there I found a large number of persons
19 Q. Were you able to determine where these people had come from, which
20 organisations and so forth they had come from?
21 A. Four persons were in that office, Stefan Dadorovic, a man who after
22 the occupation of Bosanski Samac by Serb authorities was appointed
23 the head of the Serb police. The second one was Milan Jekic, a
24 former police commander before he resigned prior to the events. The
25 third person was security officer who worked in the command with
1 Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Nikolic of the 17th Operational Technical
2 Group, but he was in civilian clothes and a leather jacket. The
3 fourth person I did not know. It was a plan of about 50 years of age
4 with a long grey beard, in a camouflage uniform. He was sitting in a
5 chair and on his knees he had a rifle, a pumparica rifle.
6 Q. Were you then interrogated about the existence of a radio station?
7 A. I was interrogated by Stefan Dadorovic, the newly appointed head of
8 police. He asked me for a registration which I did not have and he
9 insisted on my telling where that radio station was and I tried to
10 explain to him that I did not have any registration, that outside the
11 police station I had absolutely no registration or did I have
12 anything like that in my flat.
13 Q. Now some 30 to 60 minutes later did a group of men dressed in
14 military uniform enter the room?
15 A. After that interview I was taken back to the storage room in the
16 Territorial Defence, and I joined other people who were there. Then
17 about an hour later after the interview that storage room was
18 entered by a group of persons in camouflage uniform. I would not
19 know how many of them there were, six, seven, up to 10 ----
20 Q. Do you know what ----
21 A. --- entered it.
22 Q. Do you know what particular military unit these men belonged to?
23 A. They belonged to the paramilitary formation Serbia, all of them.
24 Q. What did they do when they came in?
25 A. They ordered a number of detainees to come out into the yard, I think
1 three or four of them and I was among them. So we came out into the
2 yard in front of this storage room, the yard has concrete pavement,
3 and they immediately began to beat us, two or three of them would
4 pick out one of us and start physical, with physically harassing.
5 Q. Did this treatment of you continue over the period of the next few
7 A. Such procedure went on the last days throughout that week. It was a
8 Monday, so daily, day in and day out, sometimes several times a day,
9 but it was more or less an identical way. They would take out men
10 into that yard and physically harassing them, hitting them beating
11 them, dealing them blows with anything that was at their disposal,
12 with rifle butts, boots, metal pipes and various other objects that
13 they probably found around the yard. Then on third or fourth day of
14 that week when they entered they started asking us to sing them
15 Chetnik songs.
16 Q. Were you badly injured during the course of this period yourself by
17 the beatings?
18 A. After that repeated or rather daily ill-treatment I was in a rather
19 bad state; my skull was fractured; I lost several teeth; I was
20 battered and beaten all over. So that my health was very poor.
21 Q. What were the conditions like in the camp, can you give us a
22 description of the conditions in terms of the food and the hygiene
23 and so forth that you experienced there?
24 A. In that room the conditions were very bad. It was the room of about
25 12 metres long, about 6 to 7 metres wide. There were 50 of us in it.
1 We slept on the concrete. There was nothing, there were no
2 mattresses or anything. There were a couple of those army blankets
3 that they had thrown in at the beginning, and they brought us food
4 there, breakfast and supper and for lunch they used to put us on a
5 truck and take us to an enterprise and there in a canteen they
6 provided us with meals. So the sanitation conditions were very bad.
7 They would allow the prisoners to go to the washroom in the next
8 building once or twice a day. The conditions, the facilities were
9 such that it is difficult to describe it to persons who have not
10 experienced anything like it.
11 Q. Do you recall on or about 26th April at about 5 o'clock in the
12 afternoon hearing a shot?
13 A. Around 5.30, 1730 that afternoon we heard, a pistol shot. The bullet
14 penetrated this metal door, the metal plate on the door and hit the
15 wall. It was fired roughly at the height, the chest height of a man
16 in a standing position. After that the door of the storage room
17 opened, and the person called Lugar, Slobodan Milakovic, entered. I
18 remembered well he was wearing a white sweat suit and under his
19 armpit he had the pistol in a case and in a hand he had a wooden
20 stick of about a metre and a half long, and as he entered he began to
21 strike prisoners who were by the wall, by the right-hand wall from
22 the door. His blows were very hard and he struck them in the head.
23 Whenever he would indulge in such bloody orgies that was what he did.
24 He hit several times with that stick and a man who was the fourth or
25 fifth in that row, Branic Anto, and this is a man who is in his 50s
1 and in rather poor health or rather poor physique, and he therefore
2 fell on the floor in a coma and he continued to deal him blows in the
3 head several times till the man was semi-dead. Then he ordered two
4 detainees to take him out and put him in front of the door of the
5 storage room which they did and then he took out the pistol from the
6 case and fired two bullets in the back of his head because the man
7 was lying face to the ground.
8 Q. Later on that evening at approximately 10.30 did you hear trucks
9 coming into the yard?
10 A. That same evening around 22.30 we heard how army trucks entered the
11 yard in front of the building where we were, and after a short while
12 the door to the storage room opened and some five or six military
13 policemen entered. They had those white belts that military police
14 usually are distinguished by. They were JNA military policemen.
15 After that several Serb policemen arrived and then they explained
16 that they would read a list of persons and the persons whose names
17 would be read out should board those parked trucks, the trucks parked
18 right in front of the door of the storage room. Then they read out
19 the lists and the majority of those present were read out so that we
20 were put on those trucks. I remember there were 47 of us. Four
21 persons remain in the storage room they were not on that list. One
22 of them asked why their names had not been called out and why they
23 were not being boarded on to that truck, and they were answered they
24 would stay there and would be used for exchange.
25 Then we drove away and I should like to emphasise that of
1 those four persons who stayed behind two were killed some time later,
2 that is on 7th May 1992.
3 Q. The trucks that drove you away, were they JNA trucks?
4 A. Yes, these were two JNA trucks covered with canvas, and before and
5 after those trucks there was the military police of the JNA that
6 accompanied them.
7 Q. Where did you go in the trucks?
8 A. Those trucks took us to the JNA barrack at Brcko. Upon our arrival
9 we were searched in a hall at the entrance of the prison buildings
10 and then after that our hands were tied by rope behind our backs,
11 each person individually. After that we were put in the cells that
12 were in that military prisons at the barracks.
13 Q. Did anything happen during the course of that first night that you
14 arrived there?
15 A. Nothing more significant happened during that first night, but the
16 next day in the cell where I was with other two people came Mr. Simo
17 Zaric who was the deputy of the commander of the Fourth Detachment
18 from Bosanski Samac in charge of the security. He was wearing a
19 camouflage uniform and on his left epaulette he had a white ribbon
20 tied on it as the soldiers were wearing during the attack on Bosanski
21 Samac. Accompanying him was the prison manager whose name I do not
22 know, as well as Captain Petrovic, the security officers, officer of
23 the JNA in those barracks. I asked Mr. Zaric then why we were held
24 there; it has been 10 days when we, since we have been in prison and
25 abused and nobody gave us any explanation why we were there, no any
1 court proceedings were taken against us in case we were guilty of
2 anything. He answered then that the six of us had the status of
3 political prisoners and we were going to stay on until further
4 notice. Then he gave me the names of the persons who had the same
5 status as myself and I was on the list.
6 Q. Did you observe who was around at about this camp in terms of the
7 personnel that were guarding while you were there?
8 A. That camp, that is that prison was in the jurisdiction of the JNA,
9 and military police were guarding it.
10 Q. On 30th April 1992 during the course of the night did you hear an
12 A. Yes, I did. Very early in the morning, I cannot remember the exact
13 time, but I could hear a very strong explosion and the paint from the
14 ceiling of the frame in the prison where we fell down. So we were
15 aware that something had happened in the town, that some of the
16 objects was mined. Later on we learned that the bridge over the
17 River Sava at Brcko was destroyed, the one that links Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina with the Republic of Croatia.
19 MR. NIEMANN: Is that a convenient time, your Honour?
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Let me just ask you a question, Mr. Niemann, if I
21 may about the time that you expect that you will need for the
22 presentation of the Prosecution's direct case. I have reviewed the
23 list of witnesses that you will call and, looking at the maximum time
24 that you have indicated for those witnesses, my calculation, well,
25 actually it is my secretary's calculation, will be 17 weeks and
1 minimum -- well, the maximum of the "will call" would be 17 weeks;
2 the maximum of the "may call" is 7.5. That is a total of 24.5 weeks,
3 that is about six months. When we met in March I believe you had
4 indicated six to nine weeks. First of all, the reason I mentioned
5 before we began this afternoon is that I wanted you to check my math.
6 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is that terribly off? Is it so far off? 24.5 weeks
8 is your estimate for a maximum of "will call" and "may call". A
9 minimum of "will call" and "may call" is 15.5 weeks, that is about
10 four months.
11 MR. NIEMANN: Yes. I think, your Honour, when we first did our
12 calculation there were a couple of matters that we did not consider,
13 and that was, we did not consider that we would only be sitting for
14 four days. I think our original calculation was for a five-day week.
15 We also had hoped to be able to proceed through the witnesses at a
16 fairly speedy rate, but we had no idea at the time just how long
17 cross-examination was going to be. It is very hard.
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: This estimate does not include cross-examination.
19 MR. NIEMANN: I am aware of that, your Honour.
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Pardon me?
21 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, I know that, your Honour, except that some of the
22 witnesses we are calling in the early part of the case where the time
23 is longer, are witnesses who will take longer to testify, because
24 they are dealing with ----
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: If it is going to take a moment I suppose we can
1 dismiss the witness, if that is acceptable with you?
2 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is it for this evening?
4 MR. NIEMANN: Yes.
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Lukac, you are excused for the evening. You
6 should return back tomorrow at 2.30. We will not begin until 2.30,
7 Mr. Niemann and Mr. Orie, because this Trial Chamber has another
8 matter to consider in the morning and, as you understand, we have
9 one courtroom and you are in it. So we have another matter that we
10 have to handle in the morning. I apologise. So, Mr. Lukac, we will
11 continue with your testimony tomorrow at 2.30 p.m. You are excused.
12 You may leave.
13 (The witness withdrew).
14 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, we have made a very detailed assessment of the
15 Prosecution case in terms of what we believe we require in order to
16 prove the case. Obviously, if down the road we receive indications
17 or something that parts of the case are admitted or that there are
18 stipulations in relation to any of it, that could have a substantial
19 effect on the amount of evidence we have to call. But this is our
20 best assessment based on having to prove the case and carrying the
21 burden which we need to do. I mean we have endeavoured as much as
22 possible to ensure that every piece of the evidence is essential for
23 our case.
24 Now, no doubt there may be from time to time pieces of
25 evidence which may not be absolutely necessary for that purpose. I
1 cannot vouch for being so precise as not to call evidence that is, in
2 some way, viewed as a repetition, but most of it, your Honour, is
3 designed to that end. It is a big case in that sense and it covers a
4 wide perspective. It is to be distinguished, I think, from the
5 ordinary sort of domestic case that we encounter because of the extra
6 burdens that are imposed upon the Prosecution in terms of the
7 international nature of the offence and the widespread or systematic
8 nature of the crimes that have to be proved, and the fact that it is
9 the very first case that we have presented.
10 For all those reasons, it is proving to be a bigger task
11 than we had hoped it would be. But in order to answer your Honour,
12 yes, it may take as long as what your Honour said, but we will use
13 every endeavour to try to ensure that it does not and we will use
14 every endeavour to try to reduce the length of time that the
15 witnesses are in the box, by using such means, if we do not receive
16 objections from the Defence, to try to lead them through parts of the
17 evidence which otherwise might slow down the proceedings.
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Well, I certainly did not mean to cut you off. At
19 this point I suppose I was hoping that our math was off, but I see it
20 is not. So, we are looking at a possibility if it is maximum of
21 "will call" and "may call", we are looking at six months. If it
22 is five days I guess that would be five months, five and a little
23 months, but in any case we are considerably beyond six to nine weeks
24 which was the belief of the Trial Chamber.
25 Let me encourage the parties. You have worked I thought
1 pretty well together or closely together pretrial. We had at least
2 six or so status conferences. I would imagine there has been a
3 sincere effort to provide the Defence with sufficient evidence, I
4 mean, your exhibits and certainly the witness list. Have you
5 attempted to reach any stipulations of fact regarding some of these
7 MR. NIEMANN: We have ----
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You have given the statements, all the statements
9 of your witnesses you have given to the Defence, so it is not a
10 matter of your hiding at least from the Defence. We have not
11 received this of course and do not want it. You are not hiding it.
12 So it seems to me the extent you can stipulate facts, stipulate
13 perhaps as to what a witness might say, I am not suggesting that you
14 not offer the witnesses's testimony because you certainly have the
15 right to. I am just trying to encourage you to --
16 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, we only too pleased to be able to do that. It
17 is a bit difficult for the Prosecution to go out and solicit
18 stipulations from the Defence. If the Defence are willing to
19 stipulate particular matters in the case, we are only too pleased to
20 be able to take that on board and reduce the length of our case; we
21 would very actively encourage that. But we are reluctant to put too
22 much pressure on the Defence in that regard. If the Defence wish to
23 come forward and discuss with us, we are only too willing and
24 hopefully we can resolve it with stipulations if the Defence are so
25 inclined. We have actually written to the Defence on one occasion
1 about the possibility of a stipulation, but it is not something that
2 we have ----
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Can we be of assistance? I am sorry, go ahead.
4 MR. NIEMANN: It is not something we have been trying to pursue too
5 vigorously. If the Defence come to us our doors are open and we are
6 only too willing to discuss it.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Can I be the catalyst? I understand that that is the
8 case sometimes and no one wants to take the first move. Suppose we
9 take the first move and encourage the two of you to meet? Perhaps we
10 can even have a status conference to facilitate that.
11 MR. NIEMANN: We would certainly welcome that, your Honour.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You have provided Defence counsel with the witness
13 list, not the order I gather?
14 MR. NIEMANN: And the order and the counts.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Then you have provided, even though it was filed
16 confidentially you have provided that. So they have then what we
18 MR. NIEMANN: Yes.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Well, perhaps we will set a status conference and
20 see what we can do to encourage further stipulations, not to in any
21 way cut you off because I understand the burden that you have, but to
22 perhaps act as the catalyst to encourage the stipulations that can be
23 made and take a close look at the witnesses who have been listed. I
24 do not want you to think, though, that I am cutting you off; it is
25 just that I was looking at six to nine weeks and Friday I just
1 happened to at a moment in the testimony start fiddling with the
2 numbers and I came up with 16 weeks, and I had difficulty sitting
3 here at that point. Then when I found out it was even longer. I
4 think that is probably what we will do.
5 Judge Stephen is saying that as you have already seen, we
6 do not have the exclusive use of this room. This Trial Chamber,
7 Trial Chamber Two, will be meeting tomorrow in a matter that will be
8 scheduled for trial perhaps right after this trial is completed, and
9 there are two other matters that are pending before the other Trial
10 Chamber. Am I correct? There are two indictments ----
11 MISS FEATHERSTONE: Yes.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: --- where there have been initial appearances before
13 the other Trial Chamber and they are waiting in line and, of course,
14 as I have said, we have only one courtroom. It is very important for
15 us to give as much time as necessary to this case and we will do
16 that, but I just do not want to leave any stone unturned. So, I
17 think maybe we will schedule a meeting where we can all sit and, as
18 President Lyndon Johnson said, reason together. Maybe if we all sit
19 and reason together we can shorten some of the testimony. But we do
20 have another matter to consider in the morning, so we will adjourn
21 until 2.30 tomorrow.
22 (The hearing adjourned until 2.30 p.m. the following day)