1 THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL CASE NO. IT-94-1-T
2 FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
3 IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER
4 Friday, 31st May 1996
5 (10.15 a.m.)
6 (Hearing in closed session-released by Trial Chamber II on 13 October 1996).
7 WITNESS P, recalled
8 Examined by MR. TIEGER, continued.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, are you ready to proceed?
10 MR. TIEGER: Yes, your Honour.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We are in closed session. I will ask the persons in
12 charge of maintaining this in a closed session technically to confirm
13 that fact. Very good. OK, thank you. You may proceed, Mr. Tieger.
14 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour.
15 (To the witness): (redacted), just before yesterday's adjournment you were
16 discussing methods of achieving greater Serbia through ethnic
17 cleansing which were advanced by Serbian nationalists and successfully
18 implemented in 1992. I had asked you just before the adjournment
19 about Stevan Moljvic. You indicated that he, among other things, had
20 identified the borders of a proposed greater Serbia. I believe you
21 were about to look at Exhibit 2, a map, to indicate the borders
22 identified by Stevan Moljvic. Can we have that exhibit placed in
23 front of the witness, please? May we have that placed on the elmo?
24 (redacted), can you indicate the borders identified by Stevan Moljvic as his
25 propoSAO for greater Serbia?
1 A. In his work "Homogenous Serbia" of 1941, Stevan Moljvic proposed the
2 areas which
3 would be included in greater Serbia outside the borders of Serbia in
4 the Kingdom of Yugoslavia before World War II. These areas are both
5 on the east and west side, that is, on the north and south part of
6 Serbia, but the south western borders are more important as they were
7 borders that the war of '91, that is, 92 was all about.
8 Stevan Moljvic says that those areas which Serbia conquered in
9 Balkan Wars in 1912 and 1913 should be joined to Serbia, and these are
10 in Macedonia or, rather, part of Macedonia which was in the former
11 Yugoslavia, so this is it. So, Macedonia, then part of Sandzak which
12 was conquered during Balkan wars, it is here roughly, Sandzak, which
13 is a region which in the post World War II Yugoslavia was divided
14 between three republics, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro. So
15 this part was to become part of Serbia, then Montenegro as a whole and
16 then -- so in the south and south east, northern parts of
17 Albania here, parts of Bulgaria in the Danube Valley, that is,
18 Wallachian lowlands and part of Romania called Banat which is up here.
19 As for the western borders, the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina in its
20 present frontiers should have been annexed to Serbia, the whole of
21 Dalmatia, Dalmatia here from, that is,
22 the border with Montenegro to roughly up here to Zadar, so this whole
23 area; parts of Lika which is here, parts of Banija and Kordun which
24 are here, west Slovenia. These are areas north of the Sava River and
25 in Vance Owen plans, they were called sector north, that is, west
1 Slovenia. Parts of this area, Pakrac and Nova Gradiska, parts round
2 Bjelovar, whole Srijem which goes as far as, stretches as far as,
3 Vinkovci and then Baranja and the areas towards the Sava.
4 These western borders are of paramount importance in this particular
5 case, because JNA define them as -- it defined as its border, that
6 is, the border on which it would establish its front line would be
7 Karlovac, Virovitica, Karlobag. They are here. Karlobag is on the
8 coast. Karlovac come here in this narrow spot between
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia and Croatia, and Virovitica is up
10 there, up above the "Croatia", where it says "Croatia".
11 Q. So, in addition to the other territories, you indicated the whole of
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina was to be included in a homogenous and expanded
13 Serbia, according to Stevan Moljvic?
14 A. Yes, yes, the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina, except that in his
15 programme Moljvic
16 suggested to grant autonomy or special status to some areas. Special
17 status was to be granted to the city of Dubrovnik and the surrounding
18 area as Dubrovnik was known in its history as the Republic of
19 Dubrovnik. So it is this area here, and Dalmatia north to north,
20 north west of Dubrovnik should also be granted special status. It is
21 this part here, and part of west Herzegovina which is inhabited mostly
22 by Croats or, rather, Roman Catholics and they were also to be granted
23 autonomy, according to Moljvic.
24 Q. I noted in the extracts you prepared concerning historical advocates
25 of greater Serbia the name Milan Nedic appears; can you tell us who
1 Milan Nedic was?
2 A. Yes, Milan Nedic was in the kingdom of Yugoslavia, he was an army
3 officer of the
4 Kingdom of Yugoslavia and he was the Prime Minister of the puppet
5 state of Serbia under German occupation. He developed further
6 Moljvic's propoSAO because Moljvic did not explain how the non-Serb
7 population would be moved out. In his work "Homogenous Serbia",
8 simply said that the matter had to be solved. Nedic elaborated it in
9 much greater detail.
10 He says that from this area, that from the territory of greater
11 area, about 2,600,000 people should be moved out and another 2 million
12 something should be moved in from other
13 areas. He is very specific in his propoSAO and even says from what
14 district, from what municipality, should be sent away, should be moved
15 out, and how many should be moved in. He calls his work
16 "ethno-graphic problem of Serbia", and he emphasises in this work that
17 the Muslims constitute a special, a particular, problem and that it
18 has to be solved at the first stage.
19 Q. Did Nedic indicate what an acceptable level or percentage of Muslims
20 would be in an expanded Serbia?
21 A. Nedic did not mention any specific figure, what allowance, what number
22 of non-Serb population would be tolerated in greater Serbia. He
23 simply developed and explained the model according to which the
24 movement of the Muslims should be solved in three stages
25 as part of the overall solution of greater Serbia, but the number of
1 non-Serb population,
2 that is, not only Muslims but all the others that were specified in
3 this war; and so,
4 therefore, the area of Krajina it was said that about two per cent, up
5 to two per cent, of the total population could be tolerated, according
6 to the Crisis Committee of the SAO Krajina -- not more than two per
8 Q. Who was it that said in 1992 that the upper tolerable limit on the
9 presence of Muslims in Krajina would be two per cent?
10 A. In '92 this was said by the President of the Crisis Committee,
11 Radoslav Brdjanin.
12 Q. That would be a reduction in that region to two per cent from
13 approximately what percentage of the population?
14 A. In the region of AR Krajina where there were about 500,000 non-Serbs,
15 it would mean a drop from about 30 to 40 per cent to be reduced to two
16 per cent. I believe that this region, AR Krajina was developed in, AR
17 Krajina, Autonomous Region of Krajina, was
18 developed in two versions; under one project it would have about 2
19 million population and under another one about 1.half a million, but
20 in both the percentage of the population was not more than 500,000
21 which was the existing figure.
22 JUDGE STEPHEN: Can I ask a question? The region of Krajina you talk of,
23 looking at this map in front of us, is partly in Croatia and partly in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina along the borders between those two, is that so? I
25 wonder if you could just indicate the Krajina that you are talking of?
2 A. There are two Krajinas and it can give rise to confusion. In the
3 territory of the Republic Serb Krajina, that was Krajina in Croatia
4 and it is this area here, Lika, Banija and Kordun, part of east
5 Slovenia up here and west Slovenia. This was before the summer of
6 '95, that is, until last summer when the army of the present Croatia
7 occupied these regions, so this would be the territory of the Republic
8 Serb Krajina, and that is, one might think that it is the same area,
9 but the Autonomous Region of Krajina that I am referring to is the
10 area of Bosanska Krajina, Bosnian Krajina, so this is this part, with
11 the exception of Bihac, and it was not in Croatia. The Autonomous
12 Region of Krajina was entirely in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
13 excepting the area around Bihac.
14 MR. TIEGER: The area that you have just referred to in Bosanska Krajina,
15 that was the area which the President of the Crisis staff indicated
16 where the Muslim population should be reduced to two per cent?
17 A. Yes, but not only Muslims. I am talking about the tolerable number of
18 non-Serbs which means both Muslims, Croats and others. In this area,
19 especially around Prnjavor, there were about 20 different ethnic
20 groups before this war. So that the tolerable number up to two per
21 cent refers to all of them, not only Muslims. It is that area, that
22 is correct, the Autonomous Region of Krajina, which was under the
23 jurisdiction of the Crisis Staff.
24 Q. You indicated that Nedic talked about the reduction of the population,
25 the non-Serb population, in three stages. What were those three
2 A. According to his ideas, the problem of non-Serbs was to be solved by
3 creating impossible conditions for them so that some would leave on
4 their own, that is, the attitude of authorities towards them, various
5 forms of pressure and terror; and then another one was to
6 be deported, to be banished, expelled; and the third part which would
7 remain there, those who would not fit into the joint plan were to be
8 liquidated. Those were the three stages.
9 Q. (redacted),I would like to ask you now about the elections of 1990. First
10 of all, let me ask you to identify the parties principally involved in
11 that election.
12 A. The elections of 1990 brought about very many new political parties
13 which were at republic levels, that is, parties which wanted to win
14 seats in the Republic Assembly and there were also parties which had
15 only local ambitions, that is, in municipalities. In
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the level of the republic, that is, parties
17 which were contesting seats in the Republican parliament, were SDA,
18 SDS, HDZ, the League of Communists, SDP, it was called the League of
19 Communists, the Party for Democratic Changes, the Alliance of
20 Reformist Forces of Yugoslavia, the Liberal Party, the Civic
21 Democratic Alliance, that is, Democratic Alliance of the Socialists
22 which is the same thing.
23 During the campaign or, rather, at the outset of the electoral
24 campaign, a part of SDA split off and formed a new political party
25 called MBO, Muslim Bosniak Organisation, which
1 also took part in the elections.
25 Q. At the time of the elections in 1990 in terms of their public
1 platforms and pronouncements, were the leading parties, the SDA, the
2 SDS and the HDZ, relatively similar or different at that time?
3 A. As regards political programmes, the political programmes of these
4 parties, very similar for a simple reason, that the law on (redacted)
5 associations, on citizens' associations, (redacted) served as a legal
6 ground for the foundation of political parties, and their filing of records
7 explicitly prohibited any nationalistic provisions or parts in the
8 political programmes and statutes of the parties, and explicitly
9 prohibited any reference to the possibility of disintegration of
10 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
11 In other words, no party could include any reference to any part
12 that would mean such assumptions, such as references, because then it
13 could not be registered nor take part in the elections. But offers
14 made during the electoral campaign were quite different and on the eve
15 of the elections, that is, one to two months before the elections,
16 when the campaign escalated, those offers were made at organised
17 meetings or rallies or again publicised, or in the media, and there
18 one could already observe significant difference among the political
19 parties -- all of them, I mean, not only those three.
20 However, there was an evident difference between these three parties
21 on the one hand and other parties on the other.
22 Q. Despite the facial similarity of the three leading parties, did they
23 have extremist wings at
24 the time of the elections?
25 A. Yes, all three parties had their radical extremist wings.
1 Q. What was the position of the extremist wing of the SDS?
2 A. The position of the extremist wing of the SDS was what happened later
3 on. The formation of a Serb state from Bosnia-Herzegovina or a part
4 thereof, and the joining of all Serb lands to form one country; that
5 was the radical position of the SDS.
6 Q. Was there an SDS in Croatia before the formation of the SDS in
8 A. Yes, there was. That party existed, I think, ever since the winter of
9 January 1990, or maybe December 1989. I do not know exactly when they
10 were founded or, rather, the exact date of their foundation and entry
11 in the court register, but the SDS of Croatia participated in the
12 elections in Croatia held more than six months before those in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the elections in Croatia were held at the end
14 of April 1990.
15 At the time the Assembly of the Republic of Croatia was elected,
16 which was
17 organised in the same way as it was before 1990 because the
18 constitutional changes had
19 still not taken place, the leader of the Serb Democratic Party in
20 Croatia was Jovan Raskovic, and extremist members of that party were
21 Dusan Zelenbaba and Jovan Opacic.
22 Q. What was the position of Mr. Raskovic concerning greater Serbia?
23 A. Dr. Jovan Raskovic fully subscribed to the idea of a greater Serbia
24 according to the maps of Stevan Moljvic. He wanted the unification of
25 Serb regions, that is, regions in Croatia inhabited by Serbs, should
1 be joined to Serbia or, rather, the joint states of all Serbs on the
2 territory of the former Yugoslavia. Those are the regions I
3 indicated, Lika, Banja Kordun, western and eastern Slovenia with
5 Q. By 1992 had the views advocated or espoused by Jovan Raskovic become
6 the predominant views of the SDS party in Bosnia?
7 A. I think that in 1992, I am not sure, but I think he died in Belgrade
8 in 1992 or at the end of 1992. However, his positions were present
9 within the SDS party in Bosnia, especially the views of the two
10 extremists, Zelenbaba and Opacic or, rather, Zelenbaba -- he was the
11 most extreme of the two. Jovan Raskovic was a mythical figure by then
12 for the SDS of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. His positions were
13 very important and highly esteemed.
14 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, may I have this document marked as Exhibit 143
15 for identification, please? (Document handed). (redacted),do you recognise
16 this document as an article from Kozarski Vjesnik which contains a
17 reference to Jovan Raskovic?
18 A. Yes, Jovan Raskovic is mentioned here in the way in which he was, in
19 fact, present in the Serbian Democratic Party of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I would tender that exhibit for admission.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection?
22 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection, your Honour.
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 143 will be admitted.
24 MR. TIEGER (To the witness):(redacted) although the date of the article may
25 not appear in the portion of the Serbo-Croat original which you have,
1 can you see the date of the article on the English translation?
2 A. Yes, July 15th 1994.
3 Q. In this article are the views of Raskovic characterised as extreme or
4 instead as visionary?
5 A. This article talks of the visionary policies of Jovan Raskovic, but I
6 must say -- not admit,
7 but say -- that Jovan Raskovic was not too extreme in his positions.
8 He did not present
9 the platform in the way in which it was presented by his deputies like
10 Dusan Zelenbaba. It is Dusan Zelenbaba who is the extremist in the
11 Serbian Democratic Party of Croatia who insisted on arms, war and a
12 conflict with Croatia.
13 Jovan Raskovic supported the platform of a greater Serbia and he
14 wanted an independent Serb state in the territory of Croatia, but he
15 did not insist on war as the one and only way
16 of achieving such a state. War was one of the possibilities, but he
17 gave priority to a peaceful solution.
18 The extremists who were far stronger than he in the Serbia
19 Democratic Party of Croatia changed many of his positions, and
20 provoked the war in Croatia. They even forced him
21 not to accept the offer made to become Vice President of the Croatian
22 Assembly in the summer of 1990. He rejected this offer because he was
23 forced to do that by the extremists in his party in Croatia because
24 they said that, "If you accept, you will be against us".
25 JUDGE VOHRAH: Mr. Tieger, do you think we could have the article on the
1 elmo, please?
2 MR. TIEGER: Yes, your Honour, I am sorry.
3 JUDGE VOHRAH: Could the witness refer to the portions?
4 THE WITNESS: Yes, the positions of Jovan Raskovic are contained in the
5 first paragraph.
6 MR. TIEGER: Is it the President of the Prijedor municipal board of the
7 SDS who is speaking about Raskovic and his visionary policy?
8 A. Yes, it was visionary in the sense of the creation of a Serbian
9 nation or the joining of all Serb lands, as it was referred to then,
10 and from the positions of SDS this was a visionary policy.
11 Q. Did Raskovic's deputies, Zelenbaba and Opacic, continue to exert an
12 influence on members of the SDS in Bosnia?
13 A. Not only instigated but they insisted directly on arming, on the war
14 of Serbs, against the Ustasha, as they described all Croats. That is
15 one of the major problems because for SDS all Croats were Ustashas.
16 Dusan Zelenbaba and the founding meeting in Banja Luka, the founding
17 meeting of SDS
18 for Banja Luka, said that all Serbs must purchase arms, if they cannot
19 obtain them in other ways. He said that even he has only one car on
20 which his life depends, he must sell it and buy a rifle. Nothing was
21 as valuable as a rifle with which to fight for the freedom of the Serb
22 people. That was his position, the position of Dusan Zelenbaba.
23 Q. What was Zelenbaba's position on the continuing presence of non-Serbs
24 in the territories envisioned as greater Serbia?
25 A. He held an important political position in SDS. He was considered the
1 leader of the extremist radical wing of the SDS of Croatia, and he was
2 the leader. Thanks to his activities, Jovan Raskovic had to go to
3 Belgrade and give up his post of President of the SDS for Croatia.
4 With him at the time in 1990 on that extreme end were Milan Babic and
5 Milan Martic. Their positions were even more important in view of the
6 duties they performed.
7 Q. In addition to an extremist wing of the SDS party both in Croatia and
8 in Bosnia, were there also extremist Serbian parties which advocated a
9 greater Serbia?
10 A. Yes, in Serbia there were political parties advocating this idea
11 because the elections in Serbia were held after the elections in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the course of 1990, the party advocating
13 openly a greater Serbia with its western borders along the line
14 Karlobag, Karlovac, Virovitica was the Serbian renewal movement headed
15 by Vuk Draskovic. That party at the time was known for its extremist
17 In the course of 1990 a division occurred within the Serb renewal
18 movement into two political parties, that is, Vojislav Seselj withdrew
19 from that party and founded his own, the Serb Radical Party, whose
20 positions after it became independent were extremely radical, the most
21 radical on the whole region of Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.
22 There was another political party in Croatia which was very radical,
23 and which had similar views to those of Seselj's party, and that was
24 the Croatian Rights party of Dobroslav Paraga. Vuk Draskovic also
25 advocated the line of greater Serbia up to the elections in Serbia,
1 counting on such a policy winning him the votes of the electorate.
2 However, when his party did very poorly at the elections he
3 radically changed the positions of the Serbian renewal movement which,
4 immediately after the elections in Serbia, started to criticise the
5 radical views of the formation of a greater Serbia and to criticise
6 the political parties that were continuing to advocate such a goal.
7 Q. Was there also a party of Serbian Unity?
8 A. Yes, there was a party of Serbian Unity headed by Zeljko Raznjatovic,
9 Arkan, but that
10 party in the political sense in Serbia was quite marginal. It only
11 participated in the area of Kosovo in Serbia in the elections, but it
12 was important because of the formation of the
13 Serb National Guards as a military formation of that political party,
14 and that Serbian National Guard later participated in the war in
15 Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It
16 exists to this day.
17 Q. Were the views of Seselj's Serbian Radical Party or Draskovic's
18 Renewal Party, extremist views of these groups, disseminated to or
19 made known to Serbs in Bosnia?
20 A. Yes, the positions of the Serbian Renewal Movement of Draskovic in the
21 course of the 90s and the elections were well known in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, even before the political parties were formed in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina. After the division that occurred within the party
24 and the withdrawal of Vojislav Seselj and the formation of the Serbian
25 Radical Party, both parties were present in the territory of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, both the Serbian Renewal Movement and the Serbian
2 Radical Party.
3 Q. Through what means were the views of the Serbian extremists made known
4 to the Serbian public in Bosnia?
5 A. Serbian Radical Party had one way of spreading its political views and
6 positions, and that was rallies, public rallies, with large numbers
7 attending -- at times tens of thousands of people. At those rallies
8 those present were fanned with fiery speeches. In those fiery
9 speeches which were catching for the masses, Seselj was particularly
10 prominent with his calls for war and the formation of a single state
11 in which all Serbs would live or, rather, the state of all Serb unity,
12 as he called it.
13 Q. Were there historical symbols or other symbols of Serbian nationalism
14 displayed at these rallies?
15 A. The Serb Radical Party had as the official insignia the Chetnik
16 symbols, the Chetniks of the Balkan wars and the Second World War.
17 After all, Vojislav Seselj himself was officially known as a Chetnik
18 duke, a Chetnik leader, because he was appointed Vojvode by clergyman
19 Momcilo Djujic, a war criminal, living in Chicago. I think this
20 appointment occurred somewhere in 1989.
21 Momcilo Djujic was Commander of the Dimara Chetnik division during
22 the Second World War which was based in Strimica near Knin and where
23 the Chetnik movement was most powerful, not counting Montenegro, in
24 the Second World War.
25 Q. During these rallies, the fiery speeches you mentioned, with respect
1 to those speeches, did they include portions designed to incite fear
2 or hatred of other national groups?
3 A. Yes, of course. That was the basic meaning of those speeches,
4 specially those of Vojislav Seselj. To instigate hatred and war; that
5 was the only thing that he had to offer -- endless and unlimited
7 Q. You mentioned that these parties had a presence in Bosnia ultimately.
8 Who was the Bosnian leader of the Serbian Radical Party, of Seselj's
10 A. At the time, that is, at the time of the elections in 1990, the
11 Serbian Radical Party did not spread too much into
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The seat of the Serbian Radical Party for
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time was in Banja Luka, and the President of
14 the Serbian Radical Party was Cavic for Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbian
15 Radical Party for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 Later, the Serbian Radical Party for Bosnia-Herzegovina went through
17 some transformation. It was enlarged. There was an increase in
18 membership. The territorial organisation was spread out, and all this
19 happened in the course of '92 and '93 and at the end of '93 the
20 process of organisation was completed on the territory of the Republic
21 of Srpska.
22 What is important is that the Serbian Renewal Movement was also
23 present in Bosnia-Herzegovina with its extremist positions, and the
24 Serbian Renewal Movement had the greatest influence in eastern
25 Herzegovina, that is, the region of Trebinje, Bileca and Gacko, and it
1 was quite powerful in Bosnian Krajina. But in the course of the
2 elections in 1990, in the region of Bosnian Krajina, both the Bosnian
3 Renewal Movement and the Serbian Radical Party decided not to
4 participate in the elections for the Municipal or the Republic
5 Assemblies. But they advised their members and supporters to vote for
6 the Serbian Democratic Party since, in their view, the Serbian
7 Democratic Party was the best advocate of the interests of the Serb
8 people in Bosnia-Herzegovina and they fully
9 supported it.
10 Q. Just to clarify the geography of these parties, if I may: The Serbian
11 Radical Party was led
12 by Vojislav Seselj and was headquartered in Serbia; is that right?
13 A. The Serb Radical Party had its headquarters in Belgrade and it is a
14 political party of the Republic of Serbia, as one of the Republics of
15 the former Yugoslavia. In 1990,
16 Yugoslavia had still not disintegrated or, rather, Croatia and
17 Slovenia had not seceded
18 from Yugoslavia. Belgrade was still the capital. The Serbian Renewal
19 Movement for Bosnia-Herzegovina had its headquarters in Sarajevo, for
20 eastern Herzegovina in Bileca, I think, and for Bosnian Krajina in
21 Banja Luka.
22 Q. There was a Bosnian branch of the Serbian Radical Party which was led
23 by Mr. Cavic; is that right?
24 A. Yes. It was a part of the Serbian Radical Party for
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, because in the former Yugoslavia political parties
1 could be formed in that way for as long as it was a single state. It
2 was possible for a political party to be formed in Serbia and to have
3 its branch in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. In the same way, the
4 Croatian Democratic Community was formed in Croatia and it had its
5 branch in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 Q. Instead of directly seeking political offices in the elections of
7 1990, the Serbian Radical Party and the Serbian Renewal Movement threw
8 their support behind the SDS?
9 A. Yes, they called on their members and supporters to vote for the SDS?
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Excuse me. May I ask a question? Was there a
11 radical wing of the SDA party? You have talked of the radical part of
12 the SDA party.
13 A. Yes, there was a radical wing of the SDA which immediately before the
14 elections formed
15 its own Bosniak Muslim organisation. It was a more radical part of
16 the SDA. However, in SDA radical and extremist members remained who
17 had radical and rightist views, and they uphold them to this day.
18 Q. In the elections did the members of the radical wing of the SDA
19 prevail or were there more moderate members of the SDA who won the
20 elections of 1990?
21 A. The SDA won the elections without having publicised the differences
22 within the party. Those problems emerged to the fore at a party
23 Congress held after the elections in the autumn of 1991, when a
24 division occurred, a rift, within the SDA with a highly radical
25 position, but which was not right wing extremist, was Fikret Abdic as
1 a member of the SDA party and heading the other radically extreme
2 position was a group formed around Omer Behmen and they remained in
3 the party.
4 With time in the developments within the party itself in the course
5 of '91, I think, yes, the moderate current had a stronger influence,
6 particularly after the open withdrawal from the party by Fikret Abdic
7 and his group which later formed the Autonomous Region of
8 western Bosnia.
9 Q. Where was that region? Near Bihac?
10 A. Yes, north of Bihac, the municipalities of Cazin, Velika Kladusa --
11 they are in this part. Bihac is roughly here and the municipalities
12 are in this part. Cazin and Velika Kladusa.
13 Q. What were the views of the radical or extremist wing of the SDA? What
14 did they advocate, if you know?
15 A. Yes, I know that a part of them, the views advocated by the leaders of
16 the Muslim Bosniak organisation, even during the election campaign,
17 Mohamed Filipovic, known as "Tumjo", professor of philosophy from the
18 Sarajevo Faculty of Philosophy, and Adil Zulfikarpasic, who was a
19 member of the immigration in Switzerland -- I think he is still living
20 in Switzerland -- their view was that Bosnia-Herzegovina should be a
21 unified state in which the Muslims would gradually acquire dominance
22 over other political parties with
23 the growth of the number of inhabitants.
24 In any event, the problem of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time in '91
25 was that all three of these political parties wanted the whole of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina for themselves. The extremist Croatian orientation
2 or policies or parties, such as the Croatian Rights Party, to this day
3 in its premises have a map of Croatia with its borders along the Drina
4 River which includes the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 SDS wanted the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to include it in greater
6 Serbia and SDA wanted its place for the Muslims throughout the
7 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. For all three such extreme and
8 radical options, there was simply no room in such a small area.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you.
10 JUDGE VOHRAH: Just a point of clarification: You mentioned earlier on
11 about a group called the MBA which split up from the SDA, is this the
12 radical group, radical Muslim group, as far as you know?
13 A. It was a radical wing which existed right at the outset, at the
14 foundation of the SDA and it wanted SDA to become an extremist
15 organisation right at the beginning. This group did
16 not like the policy of the SDA when it was founded and during the
17 electoral campaign, and that is why they left this party, founded the
18 Muslim Bosniak organisation, and took part in the elections upholding
19 its own views. But then the Muslim Bosniak organisation again split
20 into two later on and Tumjo Filipovic left it and set up the liberal
22 organisation and the Muslim Bosniak organisation headed by
23 Zulfikarpasic remained.
24 JUDGE VOHRAH: Thank you.
25 MR. TIEGER:(redacted),if I can pursue this a bit further? You described the
1 position of the
2 extremist members of the SDS and of SDS extremist parties concerning
3 greater Serbia and the methods of achieving that greater Serbia. What
4 was the position of the extremist wing of the HDZ?
5 A. The extremist -- the extreme wing of HDZ was made of several high
6 ranking political officials of that party in Croatia, in the state of
7 Croatia. Those were Anton Vrdoljak, Sime Djordan, Vladimir Seks.
8 They wanted to create a greater Croatia in a very radical manner, that
9 is, not only Croatia within the borders it had in the former
10 Yugoslavia, but expand it including parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina
11 Since this was an erroneous political concept during the
12 elections, that is, the voters
13 in Croatia might resist it, Franjo Tudjman imposed stricter discipline
14 on the extremists in
15 his own parties, so the much milder attitude, much milder policy, of
16 HDZ won. But the Croat Rights Party of Dobrosav Paraga was prominent
17 with its extremist views, of these radical views, and they never
18 renounced their radical views.
19 Moreover, it was already 1990 that it formed its armoured units
20 wearing black uniforms
21 and were known under the name of HOS, Croat liberation forces, H-O-S.
22 Very extreme views of some HDZ members are still present today.
23 Some three or four months ago, I saw on (redacted) television an address
24 by Anton Vrdoljak, who is now the Chairman of the Croatian Olympic
25 Committee, and who is asking young sportsmen of Croatia to win over
1 Serbian athletes, saying that it is more important to -- that this is
2 more important than winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games, or I do
3 not know, a world title, and this is still incitement to hatred.
4 JUDGE STEPHEN: While we are on this topic, can I ask you, in relation to
5 the Muslim power in Bosnia, did it have or does it have a distinct
6 Islamic association beyond the borders of former Yugoslavia? I ask
7 you this really because I have read of what President
8 Izetbegovic has said in the past about this.
9 A. Yes, there were such associations. I was surprised in 1993 when some
10 people were explaining to me why the sports hall in Sarajevo intended
11 for ice hockey and chief
12 Olympic events in Sarajevo was called Zetra. Zetra means green,
13 transfersal, that is,
14 Zelana transferzala, green thoroughfare, and this was an indication
15 of the association of the link with the Islamic Fundamentalist
16 movement in Iran, that is, Homeini.
17 However, this was not particularly evident in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
18 not even in 1991. (redacted)
23 That influence was not felt either during the elections, that is, it
24 was not significant, or in
25 the course of 1991 even though it was present among some SDA members.
1 Unfortunately, that radical stand, that radical position, has won,
2 and today it is very powerful.
3 JUDGE STEPHEN: Thank you.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Since we started late, we will continue for another
5 10 minutes.
6 MR. TIEGER: Thank you.(To the witness):(redacted)if extremist Serbs sought
7 a unified state with Serbia and extremist Croats sought a unified
8 state with Croatia, where did that leave the Muslim citizens of
10 A. The extreme SDA, the presence of the radical SDA wing was not much
11 felt during 1991. I think that common sense prevailed at the time.
12 They realised they were caught between and betwixt two strong
13 nationalisms, Croat and Serb, so the Muslim extreme nationalism was
14 rather suppressed, suppressed owing to good thinking. It was always
15 there, but it was insignificant in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina
16 during the election, at the time of the elections, and in 1991.
17 Q. During the rise of Serbian nationalism, just prior to the elections
18 and around the time of the elections, was there any single charismatic
19 figure around whom feelings of Serbian nationalism revolved?
20 A. Yes, the most prominent charismatic Serb figure was Slobodan Milosevic
21 and he is indubitably a person who could mobilize the masses, was
22 trusted infinitely, as only Tito
23 was trusted in the former Yugoslavia, whose pictures, whose
24 photographs, were on the trucks, on buses, window shops, badges,
25 flags, large placards, posters. I think he became such a charismatic
1 figure, such a powerful charismatic figure, in the course of 1988
2 suigeneris political tourism was organised in the form of all sorts of
3 rallies held in Serbia,
4 in Vojvodina and part of Bosnia, and the finale of that rallying part
5 was Gazimestan, and
6 the celebration of the 600th anniversary of the battle on Kosovo, 28th
7 June 1989, when Slobodan Milosevic in his address (which was the
8 central event of the whole
9 manifestation) said that Serbia was represented by all areas inhabited
10 by Serbs, and that
11 the Serbs would resort to arms to defend themselves if need be. After
12 that, his importance had no limits, had no boundaries.
13 Q. Did Milosevic's political appointments reflect his views on greater
15 A. Yes, they did, they did, although at that time or, at least in 1989,
16 in 1988 and '89, Milosevic was only the executor of the idea. He was
17 only putting it into practice. The brain fathers were Dobrica Cosic
18 and Vasa Cubrilovic. Later on, especially after Vasa Cubrilovic died
19 in 1990 that, Milosevic rose above them, and after Dobrica Cosic was
20 removed from the office of the President of the Federal Republic of
21 Yugoslavia, and towards the end of 1991, Milosevic was the only figure
22 of importance in that area, that is, the only figure behind which all
23 the others rallied.
24 Q. You mentioned Cosic as one of the persons who put into practice the
25 philosophy for which Milosevic was the ultimate executor. What were
1 Cosic's nationalistic views or his views on greater Serbia?
2 A. Dobrica Cosic, I have to say something about him. Dobrica Cosic was a
3 prewar communist, I mean, preWorld War II. During World War II, he
4 was, I believe, the commissar of the Kosmaj partisan detachment,
5 novelist, story writer, and a very radical communist, especially as
6 the political commissar with unlimited political authority in partisan
7 detachments, frequently much more important, with much more say than
8 the Commander of a particular unity. His work about that period is a
9 novel "Far is the Sun" in which he describes a true event about his
10 wartime days.
11 After World War II, sometime in the 50s, there was a disagreement
12 between him and the central committee of the Communist Party of
13 Yugoslavia, political disagreement, so that
14 he was ousted from the League of Communists and fell into disgrace and
15 remained so for some 15 years. He was almost in a kind of a house
16 arrest. The pressure, I think, relented somewhat in the 70s. His
17 views about greater Serbia, about its territories, were identical with
18 Moljvic's. He is one of the brain fathers of the memorandum of the
19 Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
20 Q. You mentioned earlier that a kind of coalition was formed between the
21 three major parties, the SDS, SDA and HDZ, before or at the time of
22 the elections. What was the nature of the agreement reached by these
23 parties prior to the election?
24 A. Those three parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina and before the elections,
25 these three parties agreed to form the ruling coalition after the
1 elections, to assume the power. The elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 were anti-communist above all and they were expecting that within this
3 manner they would win very many votes. Their expectations were
4 justified; they did win indeed.
5 After the elections, they did form their coalition which was to be
6 the ruling coalition of political parties in the Republic Assembly.
7 Those three parties together had over 80 per cent of all the seats in
8 the Assembly. However, the only thing that their coalition managed to
9 do was to divide offices, to divide post, in the government, that is,
10 to distribute ministerial posts in the government of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina and executive posts in individual ministries. In
12 everything else, the coalition failed. Quite the reverse; in this
13 ruling coalition, the coalition of three parties, two blocks emerged.
14 One was the SDS and the other HDZ and the SDA.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We will stand in recess for 20 minutes, please.
16 (11.40 a.m.)
17 (Adjourned for a short time)
18 (12.05 p.m.)
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, you may continue.
20 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour. (redacted), just before the recess you
21 mentioned that the coalition between the SDS, SDA and HDZ succeeded
22 only to the extent that positions
23 were distributed and thereafter the work of the democratically elected
24 government was not advanced by the coalition. Was the work of the
25 Assembly frustrated by the failure of the coalition beyond the simple
1 distribution of positions?
2 A. The work in the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina and relations within
3 the ruling coalition, not only in the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 but also in the municipal assemblies in which a similar distribution
5 of departments was carried out at the municipal level, did not
6 function. Problems could be felt already at the very beginning of
7 1991, three or four months after the beginning of the work of the new
8 Assembly. Tension was always in evidence among the three parties of
9 the coalition; differences of views on which they could not come to
10 agreement, various outvoting on important issues, such as the passage
11 of important laws, on the government, on the budget for instance, on
12 internal affairs, because internal affairs were important as they
13 included the police, responsibility for the police. Frequently,
14 clashes flared at Assembly meetings at the republic and municipal
15 levels. So that the general impression was that each of those three
16 parties in the ruling coalition was following its own tracks, heading
17 for its own goals.
18 Q. Let me ask you about the structure in this case of the SDS party. How
19 was it organised?
20 A. All the political parties represented in the Republic Assembly, who
21 had deputies in the Republic Assembly, were organised at the level of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a whole. SDS
23 as one of these powerful political parties and a member of the ruling
24 coalition, assumed in its entirety the model of territorial
25 organisation applied by the League of Communists. It simply had a
1 good example and a principle which, in that respect, functioned
2 extremely well. So that the SDS was a political party in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina throughout its territory, and it had its municipal
4 organisations at the level of each municipality as a territorial unit.
5 The highest body of the Serbian Democratic Party was the Assembly
6 which was meant to meet once in four years. In between two Assembly
7 meetings, that is regularly, on a permanent basis, the highest organ
8 of authority was the main board of the Serbian Democratic Party for
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was a political body which decided on
10 everything, everything in the area of political decisions. At the
11 level of the municipalities, that is as the lower level of territorial
12 organisation, were the municipal organisations of the Serbian
13 Democratic Party headed by an Executive Committee of the party and
14 this Executive Committee or Board was also the highest body at the
15 municipality level and it was the decision-making body.
16 Q. You indicated that the SDS had as a model for its organisational
17 structure the system which had existed in former Yugoslavia prior to
18 the elections and the communist system. Did the SDS organisation both
19 at the republic and local levels hold regular meetings?
20 A. Yes, the main Board of the Serb Democratic Party held regular meetings
21 once a month, at least once a month, and many times more frequently
22 depending on whether there was a need for them to meet more often.
23 But they were obliged to meet at least once a month.
24 Q. Were members of the SDS obliged to attend?
25 A. The members of the main Board of SDS, of course, had to attend those
1 meetings. Also in the case of lower level meetings, that is the local
2 Executive Committees, of course the members had to be present. When
3 talking about the lower level below the municipal committees, that is
4 the local SDS organisations which usually apply to the local commune,
5 and when they held meetings of the local committee and meetings of all
6 members of the party in that local commune, all members of the party
7 should be present. The SDS, like other political parties in those
8 days, had in its documents, that is its Statute and rules, an
9 elaborated model of party discipline, so that it was possible to expel
10 members if they are not active and if they do not attend regularly.
11 Q. What would be the effect of repeated unexplained or unjustified
12 failures to attend
14 A. According to the rules there was a warning first and then exclusion
15 from the party, expulsion from the party.
16 Q. Now you indicated earlier that the main board decided, made decisions
17 on virtually everything. Would that include significant actions to be
18 taken by local SDS party members?
19 A. Yes, the main board took decisions which were to be implemented in the
20 municipal organisations of SDS. These were either decisions or
21 instructions or orders or rules of behaviour. It passed decisions at
22 the highest level, because the main board is the highest body of the
23 Serbian Democratic Party for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Similarly, the
24 Executive Board at the municipal level took its decisions. It also
25 took decisions having to do with the municipality within its
1 competencies or following instructions or decisions of the main board,
2 and those decisions obliged local organisations and members.
3 Q. So, significant actions taken by local SDS officers would have to be
4 either directed or approved by the higher offices including the main
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. For example, could a local SDS office undertake the arming of
8 citizens, of Serb citizens without the direction or approval of the
9 SDS hierarchy?
10 A. No. No, they would have to have such a decision taken by the main
11 board to apply generally. Such a decision had to be taken by the main
12 board and then in its implementation, if we are talking about the
13 distribution of weapons specifically, then they could give arms to one
14 particular community or if they had enough then to everybody.
15 Q. Could a local SDS party undertake the military takeover of an opstina
16 without either the direction by or approval of the SDS hierarchy?
17 A. No. No, a decision had to be taken by the higher level body, either
18 the main board or a regional body, though within the SDS there was no
19 direct communication according to Statute between the main board and
20 regional boards, but in fact there was a regional board for the
21 autonomous region of Krajina and this regional board did take
22 decisions within
23 SDS which were obliging for the municipal SDS committees.
24 Q. With respect to an action of that significance, would the regional
25 board have undertaken responsibility to order the local SDS to do it
1 without approval by or a direction from the main board?
2 A. I think that there were such several such cases, but they were always
3 covered subsequently; subsequent approval was given for it. In any
4 event, higher bodies always knew what was happening or gave
5 instructions, directions or took decisions. They would never exclude
6 it. I do not know of any example of a municipal organisation doing
7 something without
8 higher instant bodies in the party knowing of it.
9 Q. Could a local SDS office establish and maintain concentration camps or
10 detention camps without the direction or approval of the SDS
12 A. No.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: May I ask just one question? I understand that the
14 headquarters then of SDS regional, the regional headquarters of SDS in
15 the Bosnian Krajina region would have been in Banja Luka. Banja Luka
16 is 50 kilometres from Prijedor and Prijedor then would be a part of
17 that region, is that so?
18 A. Prijedor at the beginning when the community of municipalities of
19 Bosnian Krajina was formed and when it was transformed in the
20 autonomous region of Krajina was not a part of that region. Prijedor
21 joined the autonomous region of Krajina I think in May 1992. I do
22 not know the exact date. Some other municipalities were not part of
23 the autonomous region of Krajina. For example, Kotor Varos joined in
24 June 1992. Joined the autonomous region of Krajina.
25 Q. So at least after they joined the SDS party in Prijedor would then be
1 under the regional headquarters in Banja Luka; am I understanding you
3 A. No, I was not thinking of the party. I was thinking of the
4 municipality as a territorial unit from the standpoint of the
5 authorities. As for the political party of SDS, it was always a
6 member of SDS for Bosnia-Herzegovina and when the regional board was
7 formed I think
8 it was in February 1991, February or March 1991, SDS Prijedor was then
9 already a
10 member of the region or SDS organisation for Bosnian Krajina.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you.
12MR. TIEGER:To complete the circle,(redacted), after Prijedor was taken over by
13 the SDS in the military coup, was it then that it joined the
14 autonomous region?
15 A. Yes, as a municipality.
16 Q. As time moved on from the elections did the SDS move towards the
17 development of a separate political structure outside the existing
18 democratic institutions?
19 A. I am sorry, I did not understand the question quite?
20 Q. Following the elections of 1990, did the SDS move toward the
21 development of a separate Serbian political structure outside the
22 existing democratic institutions?
23 A. Yes. SDS started to form regional structures or regional
24 organisations or actually it started to work on a different regional
25 organisation for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina did not have any compulsory forms of organisation
2 of regions in
3 terms of the administration, the executive authorities. There was the
4 municipality as the lowest organ and the municipal executive
5 government, and directly above it was the republic authorities.
6 Regional forms of organisation were not compulsory. They had no
7 authorisations, no executive powers. SDS in the course of '91 or
8 already the beginning of '91, January and February, immediately after
9 the elections, started to form Serb autonomous regions. So that
10 several such Serb autonomous regions were formed such as Romanija,
11 eastern Herzegovina, Semberija and Majevica, and this process was
12 completed with the formation of the autonomous region of Krajina in
13 the course of '91.
14 Q. What was the first step in the development toward the establishment of
15 an autonomous region in Krajina?
16 A. The first stage was a demand addressed to the Republic Assembly for a
17 new territorial organisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina with a prepared
18 layout for the organisation of communities of municipalities in
19 Bosnian Krajina. This community of municipalities was formed by
20 agreement of the municipalities to join this community in the course
21 of March and April 1991. At the time this community of municipalities
22 of Bosnian Krajina was joined by all the municipalities which formed
23 the municipality of Banja Luka before, and several communes that
24 belonged to other communities such as the communes of Jajce,
25 from which the communes of Sipovo and Kljuc joined this community.
1 Then out of the community of communes of Bihac the communes of
2 Bosanski Petrovac, Bosanski
3 Grahovo and Drvar joined. Out of the community of communes of Mostar
4 the communal assembly of Glamoc and out of the Prijedor community of
5 communes Bosanski Novi, Bosanski Dubica. Out of the community of
6 communes of Bihac Bosanski Krupa also joined, and out of the community
7 of communes of Doboj, I think this was in May '91, the communal
8 assembly of Teslic joined.
9 Q. Your Honour, perhaps we could call for exhibit 73 which might aid the
10 witness in identifying the opstinas he is referring to.
11 A. As I said, this community of opstinas of Banja Luka before '91
12 consisted of the opstina of Banja Luka which is here, Banja Luka,
13 Laktasi, Prnjavor, Srbac, Bosanska Gradiska, Celinac and Skender.
14 Kotor Varos did not join the community of opstinas of Banja Luka
15 because when Banja Luka joined this community they took a decision to
16 join the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna. Prijedor remained
17 outside as a separate community of opstinas, but from that community
18 Bosanski Dubica, Bosanski Novi joined this new community, Kljuc.
19 Mrkonjic Grad and Sipovo, here it is, they also joined. They belonged
20 to the community of opstinas of Jajce. Jajce itself did not. Bosanski
21 Petrovac, Drvar and Bosanska Grahovo and Bosanska Krupa, is here, they
22 were the opstinas from the community of opstinas of Bihac that joined.
23 Bosanski Novi, Bosanski Dubica, belonged
24 to Prijedor community, and Glamoc, there is Glamoc, belonging to the
25 community of opstinas of Mostar. Though Glamoc was linked with many
1 ties to Banja Luka even
2 before this formal joining of the community of opstinas of Bosnian
3 Krajina, it had some links with Banja Luka, others with Mostar,
4 depending on what was being organised. For example, the Chambers of
5 Commerce, there were six in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Glamoc belonged to
6 the Chamber of Commerce of Mostar. In terms of defence of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it belonged to the zone of Banja Luka. So that it
8 was even before
9 this linked in some way to Banja Luka and others to Mostar, and in '91
10 it joined the community of opstinas of Banja Luka.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, we are receiving a lot of detail and
12 perhaps you can explain why we are receiving all of this detail. We
13 have heard from other witnesses, I do not know, it may have been Dr.
14 Greve, it may be even Dr. Gow, about different opstinas joining the
15 autonomous regions. Is there a reason why we have to hear so much
16 detail? Tell me why.
17 MR. TIEGER: I understand the question, your Honour, and I think the point
18 is well taken. The identities of the specific opstinas which joined
19 the community of municipalities is certainly secondary to the creation
20 of the municipality itself, which is the point that I am trying to
21 develop here. In fact, the next question I had was aimed at the
22 original purpose behind the community of municipalities, the
23 difference between that original concept and what was implemented in
24 1991 and its significance. But I certainly agree with the Court, the
25 identification of all the individual members of the community of
1 municipalities is not something that has to concern the Court.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: It might help sometimes if we understand the
3 significance before we receive the detail, if you understand what I
5 MR. TIEGER: I certainly do.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: It is almost like reading the end of the book and
7 you know the conclusion and then you need to go back to decide what is
8 important. So if you ask someone, is there any significance about
9 whatever happened, and then ask him to explain
10 it, it might help us to follow better. It is very interesting,
11 though. I do not mean to cut you off.
12 MR. TIEGER:(redacted), can you tell us what the original concept under the
13 law of the community
14 of municipalities was intended to be? What was a community of
15 municipalities and what was its purpose?
16 A. Community of municipalities and how they came about was a very strange
17 process. It was completely non-constitutional. I am talking about
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was in contravention of the laws of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the reason for the establishment of these
20 communities was also unusual. To begin with, the territory that
21 covered was always larger and bigger than one would expect from such a
22 community. The provisions of such agreements referred to the complete
23 organisation and, to all intents and purposes, those were states. The
24 centre place in the agreement was accorded to all national defence and
25 army. When a decision was taken in Banja Luka to join the community
1 of municipalities (redacted) that agreement the establishment of
2 military Krajina, that is of military frontier, because that was what
3 it looked like, nothing else.
4 Q. So to clarify, if we can, originally the concept of a community of
5 municipality was essentially a form of economic co-operation without
6 administrative power or other functions?
7 A. Yes, economic and cultural, but only in the field of co-operation.
8 There were no binding provisions on anyone. There was no compulsion
9 that would derive from it for municipalities joining in.
10 Q. What was different about the community of municipalities that was
11 formed around Banja Luka that you have just referred to in 1991?
12 A. The significant thing was that they were taking over the functions of
13 the republic; for instance, establishing an autonomous power supply
14 system which was integrated by Bosnia-Herzegovina, it could not be
15 divided. Then national defence for the community of municipalities
16 which was against the defence law of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The defence
17 plan for such a community was also adopted, again in contravention of
18 the law; the joint budget of the community, again in contravention of
19 the budget law of Bosnia-Herzegovina or Yugoslavia. Then economic
20 planning, the taxation system, various dues, the judiciary, the
21 judicial system was rounded off. All this meant the establishment of
22 an autonomous republic, that is an autonomous entity, and under the
23 laws of Bosnia-Herzegovina and its constitution it simply could not be
25 Q. Was the formation of the community of municipalities in this form
1 constitutionally challenged?
2 A. Yes. Yes, it was filed with the constitutional court by some
3 municipalities and political parties, but since the proceedings before
4 the constitutional court were very specific and not everybody can
5 appear either as a plaintiff or anything, as a party before the
6 constitutional court, some specific measures were taken by the
7 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina and it requested the constitutional
8 court to censor the constitutionality and legality of such agreements;
9 not only agreements on the establishment of the communities of
10 municipalities of Bosnian Krajina, but also with reference to other
11 such cases in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
12 constitutional court did pass such a ruling.
13 Q. May we have Exhibit 96 presented to the witness, please? Sir, do you
14 recognise this document as the decision of the constitutional court on
15 the constitutionality of the community of municipalities?
16 A. Yes. This is the decision of the constitutional court. It was also
17 published in the official Gazette of the Socialist Republic of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, because it has to be publicised. This is also by
19 Statute. This is the text of the decision, signed by the President of
20 the constitutional court, Dr. Kasim Trnka was the President at the
21 time. He is the Ambassador of Bosnia-Herzegovina to Croatia at
23 Q. Do you see references in the decision to the illegal military aspects
24 of the community of municipalities to which you referred earlier?
25 A. Yes, here annulment of the decision taken by the Assembly of the
1 municipality of Glamoc, and it says, among other things, that in the
2 territory of the community of municipalities in this agreement, this
3 is chapter 4, the last paragraph, that during the state of war or
4 immediate war danger, the community of municipalities organises all
5 national defence in the territory of
6 the community of municipalities; and it is in charge of it, that it
7 establishes the basic principles of organisation of the Territorial
8 Defence, civilian protection, the intelligence reconnaissance,
9 logistics and the protection of codes that ensures the management and
10 command, leadership and command, of the Territorial Defence in the
11 community of the municipalities.
12 Q. That is the last paragraph before the section marked V?
13 A. Yes, this is it. This is the content of Article 9 of the agreement.
14 That is (redacted) it military Krajina, that is, military frontier.
15 Q. Can I ask you to turn, please, to the last paragraph before (ii)?
16 A. Yes, this is the government position, the government of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which says -- this is in point of fact their
18 request not to implement decisions already taken, and asks
19 those who had not adopted this yet to refrain from the adoption of
20 such decisions. It also says that these communities are organised in
21 a manner which blesses them with attributes
22 of a socio-political community, and a socio-political community means
23 a territorial form
24 of organisation, that is, it is a municipalitive subdivision of
25 powers, because a socio-political community -- both municipalities
1 and republics were defined as socio-political communities.
2 The important thing is that the government says that such unilateral
3 documents and acts committed in the territory of Bosanska Krajina and
4 in other regions, in government's view disrupt the existing political
5 and territorial structure of the republic, aggravate inter-ethnic
6 relations, create prerequisites for the disruption of rational and
7 economical justifiable relations between business entities, that is,
8 companies, prevent the exercise of authority in the entire territory
9 of the republic, and create prerequisites for further escalation of
10 negative trends throughout the republic.
11 Q. Finally, can I ask you to turn to the last page, the first full
12 paragraph on that page? Assuming the translation parallels the -- do
13 you see a paragraph which begins "According to the above listed laws
14 and regulations"?
15 A. 119, yes, I see. The constitution of the Socialist Republic of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina -- is that it?
17 Q. I am actually referring to the paragraph above that. Does that
18 indicate the decision of the constitutional court and its concerns
19 about the creation of an association which assumed military and other
21 A. Yes. Yes, it says: "According to the above listed laws and
22 regulations only the socio-political communities, meaning the republic
23 and the municipality and not
24 associations of municipalities, shall organise all people's defence
25 and social
1 self-protection", and this embraces the whole national defence, the
2 all national defence
3 and self-protection and regulated by law, the regulations and defence
4 plans of the republic; and then the statement, that "the agreement
5 adopted by the ... municipality of Glamoc is at variance with the
6 constitution", and so on and so forth.
25 Q. By the time that this decision holding that the community of
1 municipalities was unconstitutional was published, had the community
2 of municipalities become any other entity?
3 A. Yes, it was published in November 1991, and immediately before that,
4 before the decision was taken, the community of municipalities of
5 Bosanska Krajina was transformed into the autonomous region of Krajina
6 which in conformity with the agreement on the association and its
7 Statute elected its Executive Council, that is, the government of the
8 autonomous region, and its first President was Andelko Grahovac. The
9 second one was, the second Prime Minister of the autonomous region was
10 Nikola Erceg.
11 Q. Did the opstina of Banja Luka become part of the autonomous region
13 A. Yes, on 29th of April, 29th April -- no, sorry, of the autonomous
14 region of Krajina, this is when it became a member of the community of
15 municipalities of Krajina. But under that agreement on the association
16 in the community of municipalities of Bosanska Krajina, any change in
17 its layout had to be confirmed again by the Assembly of the
18 communities of municipalities which were its members. The
19 transformation from the community of municipalities of Bosanska
20 Krajina into the autonomous region of Krajina has never been confirmed
21 by the Assemblies of Municipalities of its members. (redacted)
2 Q. You indicated that there were municipalities in the region that did
3 not join the community of municipalities or the autonomous region.
4 You indicated Kotor Varos, Prijedor and, I believe, Sanski Most. Were
5 those municipalities where the SDS was not in political
6 control as a result of the democratic elections?
7 A. The SDS did have political control over one part where it could
8 participate in the government of these municipalities into the
9 coalition. So, on the basis of the results of the elections or the
10 manner in which the ruling coalition had distributed those posts, the
11 SDS did have some authority in some of these communes according to,
12 under this coalition agreement. But in these three municipalities,
13 Prijedor, Sanski Most and Kotor Varos, the SDS did not have the
14 majority in their Assemblies and, therefore, could not
15 decide without other parties, as was the case in some other
16 municipalities such as Glamoc, Mrkonjic Grad, Celinac and even Banja
18 Q. What eventually happened to those municipalities which did not join
19 the community of municipalities or the autonomous region?
20 A. Well, their absence from the autonomous region of Krajina was
21 tolerated until the spring of 1992, and then after the SDS took over
22 the power, decisions were taken on their inclusion and they became a
23 part of the autonomous region.
24 Q. So they were taken over by military force and then the new officials
25 joined the autonomous region?
1 A. Yes, military force, but SDS took over the majority in these Assembly
2 or won the right to take decisions, and ensured, of course, that these
3 decisions would receive the necessary majority -- and after that took
4 over the power completely.
5 Q. Was the Serbian plebiscite the next step in the development of a
6 separate Serbian political structure?
7 A. Yes, the plebiscite of the Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina was the
8 next step in a series
9 of steps set forth by the SDS of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It took place in
10 November '91.
11 Q. Who organised and conducted the plebiscite?
12 A. SDS.
13 Q. What was the nature of the plebiscite question, the question that was
14 put to potential voters?
15 A. There were two questions. One was meant for Serbs and there was
16 another question for those belonging to other ethnic groups who were
17 ready to come out and vote in the plebiscite. For the Serbs, the
18 question was virtually the association of all Serb municipalities in
19 one state, and for members of other peoples the question was whether
20 they wanted Bosnia-Herzegovina as a whole to join Yugoslavia or to
21 join in some form of a common state which could be established later
23 The campaign for the plebiscite was very interesting. The Serb
24 people were invited -- there were calls, appeals were made to the most
25 delicate, to the most subtle, feelings of the Serbs, and at the same
1 time those who did not plan, who did not intend, to go out and vote
2 were already called the traitors of the Serb people.
3 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, may I have Exhibit 97 placed before the witness,
4 please? (To the witness): Do you recognise Exhibit 97 as containing
5 the two ballots presented to voters during the plebiscite?
6 A. Yes. Yes, these are the ballot papers.
7 Q. Who were the categories of voters that the two different ballots were
8 presented to?
9 A. They were of different colour so as to avoid any possible mistake.
10 The first was intended for Serbs and the second for non-Serbs.
11 Q. Can you show us first, please, the ballot that was presented to Serbs?
12 A. Here.
13 Q. What was significant about the wording of the ballot that was
14 presented to Serbs?
15 A. The significant thing is the mention of areas inhabited by Serbs, that
16 is, Serbia,
17 Montenegro, SAO Krajina, SAO Slovenia, Baranja, and western Srem, and
18 our association in one state. What is remembered is the Serb people
19 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, this Krajina
20 is Knin Krajina.
21 Q. Can you show us the wording of the ballot that was presented to
22 non-Serbs? (The witness indicates) What was the significance of the
23 wording of this ballot?
24 A. It speaks about integral Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is,
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a whole to join together, to associate, with
1 other republics, which also declared themselves willing to do so.
2 Q. Looking back to the wording of the Serb ballot, was there any mention
3 of the existence of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the ballot that Serbs
5 A. Reference to the Assembly of the Serb people in Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina on 24th October 1991, that is the only place where it is
8 Q. Would the proposed common state which the Serbian people were invited
9 to join include Bosnia and Herzegovina?
10 A. No, that is clear. The Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is,
11 areas under the Serb control; that was the distinction between the two
12 ballot papers because the other ballot paper speaks about
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, Bosnia-Herzegovina as a whole.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, I just wanted to share with you a
15 concern that the Trial Chamber has and it has to do with the potential
16 for cumulative testimony. Several times we have heard testimony.
17 Right now, for example, we are hearing testimony regarding this ballot
18 or this plebiscite and the differences in the ballot. As I recall,
19 Dr. Greve, I believe, testified about it. She came at it, perhaps, a
20 little differently. She
21 certainly did not focus on the communities; her focus really, as I
22 recall, her
23 testimony, was the difference in the way that it was worded and, of
24 course, the colour of
25 the ballots and who could vote. I think it was Dr. Greve, was it?
1 MR. TIEGER: I think that is right, your Honour.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: In any case, we have heard it before. I understand
3 the Prosecutor wishes to prove its case of widespread or systematic,
4 and there was some question about the propriety of Dr. Greve
5 testifying and you may want to shore up her testimony from actual
6 factual witnesses. But keeping that in mind, please attempt to avoid
7 offering evidence that would be considered as cumulative. We hear
8 some of the same stories over and over again, perhaps from different
9 perspectives, but some of the facts are the same. I understand you
10 want to convince the Trial Chamber but after a while we have heard all
11 we need to hear on some points.
12 MR. TIEGER: I certainly -----
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: So just please keep it in mind because we are
14 paying very close attention, I think, and remember and recall
15 testimonies. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you about that or give you
16 some warning before we decide to cut off a witness.
17 MR. TIEGER: I appreciate the feed back, your Honour. If I may, we are, I
18 trust, sensitive to this question and we will remain so, even
19 increasingly so. Sometimes, however, it seems
20 to me that revisiting the same area of concern may be useful when we
21 are dealing with a different source, (redacted).
22 That may occasionally account for the same subject matter coming up,
23 but from a wholly different perspective which, I think, can be useful
24 to the court. Nevertheless, I do appreciate the court's feedback.
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: No, as to this, I understand because I do remember
1 the objection to the testimony even of Dr. Greve. I remember our
2 ruling and what we said is that it certainly was relevant and we
3 considered it to be probative, but we take another look at it and if,
4 in fact, it was not, then we might reject it. So I guess you do not
5 know what we are going to do with that, so that is permissible here.
6 Yesterday, and I do not recall the exact testimony, it just seemed
7 like a lot of it was cumulative, and even from your previous witness
8 again, though he was President of the SDA, some of it was cumulative.
9 Keep it in the mind. Please do the best that you can and keep it in
10 mind because we are concerned just about the time. Very good. We
11 will stand
12 in recess until 2.30.
13 (1.05 p.m.)
14 (Luncheon Adjournment)
15 (2.30 p.m.).
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, would you like to continue?
17 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour. (To the witness): (redacted), you
18 indicated earlier that prior to the conducting of the plebiscite
19 appeals were made by Serbian authorities to what you referred to as
20 the "most delicate feelings" of the Serbs and, further, that those
21 Serbs who did not vote were labelled traitors. In that connection, I
22 would like to show you an exhibit I would asked to be marked as
23 Exhibit 144 for identification. (Document handed). Sir, do you
24 recognise this exhibit?
25 A. Yes. Yes, this is one of the posters used for the plebiscite and on
1 all the other occasions but the largest number of them appeared at the
2 time of the plebiscite. The text, as I have already said, is such
3 that it appeals to the inner most feelings and invites people to come
4 out to the plebiscite and vote against the Serb people who were again
5 facing the decisive fateful battle, "Remember the battle of Kosovo and
6 the yet unborn generations. Rally your numbers and summon all your
7 strength to avoid the curse of ancient Czar Lazar and make your end
8 become invincible" and, I do not know, "everlasting hatred" and things
9 like that, "May you be united by your everlasting love for freedom,
10 peace and justice" and, finally, "The Serb Democratic Party is your
11 shield and your sword".
12 MR. TIEGER: I tender this exhibit for admission and ask that the poster
13 be displayed to the court and the translation be displayed on the
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection?
16 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection, your Honour.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 144 will be admitted.
18 MR. TIEGER (To the witness): One quick point of clarification, (redacted):
19 In the translation it said that the people were invited to come out to
20 the plebiscite and vote against the Serb people who were again facing
21 the decisive fateful battle. Is that what you meant?
22 A. No, it was wrong.
23 Q. OK. What is the display, the hand display, on the poster? What does
24 it symbolise?
25 A. This appeal, this invitation is for something that can best
1 encourage, urge the Serbs on, because this reference to Serb, to Csar
2 Lazer and things like that, it is aimed at mobilizing the masses, so
3 they are directly encouraging them to participate in the plebiscite
4 rise, save the Serb people, "The Serb Democratic Party is your shield
5 and your sword". It means only the Serb Democratic Party can defend
6 them as a shield, that is, and a sword, of
7 course, is a tool which is used to cut, to fight, for the goals and
8 interests of the Serb
10 Q. What is the three finger display, what does that signify?
11 A. The three fingers is a traditional Serb greeting and in the Serb
12 orthodox church epitomizes the holy trinity, father, son and the holy
13 spirit. Only Serbs use such three fingers in a greeting, nobody else
14 but the Serbs. So it is distinguished from anything else. When such
15 three fingers are shown, it means that they mean only Serbs.
16 Q. Is it correct that most Serbs voted in the plebiscite?
17 JUDGE STEPHEN: I may have missed it, but have you connected this with the
18 plebiscite at all? It does not say anything about voting.
19 MR. TIEGER: I think he did, your Honour, but I will clarify that again.
20 (To the witness):
21 (redacted), was this poster prominently displayed in Bosnia just before the
22 plebiscite was
23 conducted in an effort to encourage voter or Serbian voter
25 A. Yes, of course, that was the whole purpose of it, of the poster.
1 That was the invitation, the invitation for SAOvation.
2 JUDGE STEPHEN: No translation -- that is only because I had the wrong
4 MR. TIEGER: Were Serbian officials successful at getting most Serbs out
5 to vote in the plebiscite?
6 A. Yes, yes. The majority of Serbs. There were very few of them who
7 did not come out and vote.
8 Q. Those that did not were branded as traitors?
9 A. Yes, of course, and afterwards it was a big obstacle if one wanted to
10 achieve it, that is, there was the record of those, there were a list
11 of voters so that they knew precisely who had and who had not come out
12 and voted.
13 Q. Is it also correct that most non-Serbs did not vote in the
15 A. That is correct. The majority of the non-Serb population did not
16 come out, but SDA and HDZ members did not feel in any way whatsoever
17 that they had any moral or any other obligation to turn up because
18 they saw it as an invitation to the Serbs to state their minds, and
19 they were already preparing a referendum for independent
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The decision about this was taken by the Assembly
21 of Bosnia-Herzegovina some two or three months later, and it took
22 place towards the end of February '92. So that in this particular
23 case everybody had his own plebiscite, his own referendum. The Serbs
24 had their referendum in November; the Muslims and Croats had their
25 referendum in February.
1 Q. Did the results of the plebiscite serve as a basis for later action
2 by Serbian officials in the further development of a separate Serbian
3 political structure?
4 A. Yes, from that point of view the plebiscite was very important for
5 the SDS as a political party, because it legalised, it legitimised,
6 all the subsequent moves, notably, the proclamation of the Serb
7 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the departure of the Serb Democratic
8 Party from the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the establishment of
9 the system of power in territories under the Serb, that is, SDS
10 control, and for all the subsequent negotiations conducted either at
11 the Yugoslav or international levels. This plebiscite served as a
12 basis and as an excuse for everything. It was used as a pretext, as
13 an excuse, explanation, for everything that they did.
14 Q. Was the plebiscite regarded by Serbian officials at the time it was
15 conducted as an extremely significant and important event?
16 A. Yes, indeed by the Serbs and the Serb Democratic Party. This was one
17 of the turning points, a decisive vote which determined the behaviour
18 in the years to come. The
19 plebiscite practically legitimized the club of members of parliament,
20 members of
21 parliament in the Republic Assembly to leave that Assembly. It
22 provided a basis for the foundation or the establishment of a Serb
23 state in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 Q. Was responsibility for conducting the plebiscite entrusted to casual
25 or passive members of the SDS?
1 A. To organise the plebiscite, a Republic Commission was set up by the
2 SDS, by the main board of the SDS, and, of course, only SDS members
3 sat on it. In every municipality there were municipal commissions
4 for the plebiscite set up by the SDS, and the task of the municipal
5 commissions for the plebiscite was the appointment of voting
6 committees that were appointed for each balloting unit, ballot unit,
7 and a similar committee was set up, was appointed, by the Republican
8 Commission for the plebiscite. It was very important to
9 know who would be appointed to those commissions. So that they did
10 not want to leave it in the hands of unimportant people or, rather,
11 people who did -- irresponsible people,
12 better to say.
13 Q. Was responsibility for conducting the plebiscite entrusted to members
14 of the SDS who
15 were unaware of its programme or who were not ideologically committed
16 to its programme?
17 A. I do not think so and, if this did happen, perhaps it could have only
18 happened in those places where the Serbs constituted the majority and
19 where they were sure there would be no problems at all. Particular
20 attention was accorded to critical places, that is, what has always
21 been done whenever something like that was taking place, plebiscite or
22 something else.
23 Q. Would those critical places include municipalities or local communes
24 where the Serbs did not constitute a majority?
25 A. Yes. Yes.
1 Q. Under those circumstances, would particular care be taken to be sure
2 that the person or persons responsible for conducting the plebiscite
3 in that area was ideologically committed to the SDS programme and
5 A. Of course, an active SDS member, an individual who was quite aware of
6 what the SDS
7 was and, of course, the behaviour of that particular individual and,
8 among other things, the party discipline that I have already referred
9 to which figured in the rules of every political party, among other
11 Q. During this period of time, between the time of the elections and the
12 outbreak of the conflict, were separate Serbian municipalities also
14 A. There were such instances in Bosnia-Herzegovina, several of them.
15 The general stance of the SDS was the following. Where the Serbs were
16 a majority and where they had a majority in the Assemblies, that is,
17 where the SDS had a complete sway, where it had absolute control and
18 could decide without other parties, it would then decide as it found
19 appropriate at a given moment, that is, without others, without the
20 coalition; and where it was a minority the general stance was that no
21 decision could be taken without its consent. They encountered such
22 problems in the municipality of Bosanski Brod, Zvornik, Srebrenica,
23 and then they formed Serb municipalities of some Serb settlements,
24 that is, there was Bosanski Brod which did exist before war but now it
25 became Serb Bosanski Brod, Serb municipality of Srebrenica, which
1 subsequently changed its name, the Serb municipality of Zvornik and, I
2 do not know, perhaps there were other cases but I do not know.
3 Q. You have already indicated that after the plebiscite the development
4 of a separate Serbian structure accelerated culminating in the
5 establishment of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
6 formation of a separate Assembly, a Serbian Assembly of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina. In April or May, was there a separate organ of
8 the autonomous region which was also created?
9 A. Which year do you mean, '91?
10 Q. In April or May 1992.
11 A. In April and May '92, this process was more or less rounded off. The
12 establishment of the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina was
13 already completed as well as in Serb autonomous regions which I have
14 already mentioned, Semberija, Majevica, Romanija, east Herzegovina.
15 The Assembly of the Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina was also
16 completed some time in mid-March 1992 when the constitution was
17 promulgated of the Serb Republic Bosnia-Herzegovina when the Assembly
18 was proclaimed of the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the
19 state itself.
20 It began as a session of the club of SDS members of parliament
21 in the Republic Assembly which was transmitted live on television, and
22 all the final declarations were also transmitted by television that
23 same day. There were two very strange statements to my mind. One was
24 by Radoslav Brdjanin who was a member of the Republic parliament and
25 who said: "At long last I have lived to see Bosnian Krajina become
1 western Serbia", and Radislav Vukic, who was the President of the
2 municipal committee of SDS in Banja Luka, who stood up and said: "Now
3 the Turks will shake with fear from us".
4 Q. When he used the expression "Turks" to whom was he referring?
5 A. This is a term which was used in Bosnia with reference to Muslims,
6 Bosnian Muslims, that is, Muslims in general.
7 Q. Does it remain a disparaging term for Muslims?
8 A. No, the word "Turk" is not a pejorative term. It is an official term
9 in some republics, in some parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina where those who
10 were Turks stated that they were Turks, that is, citizens of Turkish
11 origin. It depended on the context. In certain context, it could be
12 offensive for Bosnian Muslims because that is not how they felt.
13 There were
14 other terms used to offend Bosnian Muslims such as "balija", "balija",
15 yes, that was the
16 best known term. It was used very often.
17 Q. In April or May of 1992, was a Crisis Staff created within the
18 Autonomous Region
20 A. Yes. Yes, the Autonomous Region of Bosnian Krajina envisaged in its
21 Statute the possibility of establishing a Crisis Staff in case of war
22 or immediate war danger. The state of war or immediate danger of war
23 means to different states, but basically it is the same thing because
24 the consequences are identical with regard to the establishment of
25 different force of adjustment to war or authorities in wartime, which
1 are adjusted to wartime conditions.
2 The Crisis Staff of Krajina began to operate in April 1992, in
3 Banja Luka, and in the early days of May the official decision on its
4 establishment was taken by the Executive Council of the Autonomous
5 Region of Krajina. According to that decision, the Crisis Staff,
6 because the state of immediate danger of war had been proclaimed,
7 practically took over all the functions, all the duties of the
8 assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, of the government, and
9 all other agencies there. It became the highest reckoned decision
10 making body in Bosanska Krajina under those circumstances. Its
11 decisions had to be enforced throughout the territory of the
12 Autonomous Region of Krajina.
13 Q. The Crisis Staff was an organ of the Autonomous Region; is that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And the Autonomous Region had grown out of a community of
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So, between approximately May 1991, when the community of
20 municipalities was
21 illegally formed from an entity which had no administrative power, to
22 May 1992, it had become an entity which exerted total control over the
23 Autonomous Region of Krajina?
24 A. Yes, in the interim, the transformation took place from the formation
25 of the community of municipalities of Bosanska Krajina into an
1 Autonomous Region and, finally, the Crisis
2 Staff and the takeover of all powers at the beginning of May 1992.
3 Q. I would like to ask you some questions about the people who were in
4 power in May of 1992, less than two years after the election. First
5 of all, you mentioned Mr. Brdjanin, the President of the Crisis Staff.
6 Can you tell us what his views were on greater Serbia and on other
7 nationalities in the territory of what was considered greater Serbia?
8 A. He was one of the most extremist, maybe the most extremist, member of
9 this Crisis Staff; a man who was also thirsty for power. His views
10 regarding greater Serbia were identical to those of the Serbian
11 Radical Party and the Serbian Renewal Movement. What is more, in
12 a number of interviews broadcast on radio Banja Luka he said that he
13 was a member of the Serbian Democratic Party, but deep down he was a
14 member of the Radical Party. At the Assembly itself, he said that he
15 had finally lived to see Bosanska Krajina become western Serbia.
16 As for his position regarding members of other ethnic groups,
17 he was the most radical. In the Crisis Staff and in the Autonomous
18 Region of Krajina, his position (which he kept repeating on the media)
19 was that the largest possible percentage of the non-Serb population
20 that were tolerant were two per cent. Then he called on direct
21 struggle; he instigated fighting and killing on radio Banja Luka. He
22 was very demanding regarding the execution of the decisions of the
23 Crisis Staff. In any event, he was a very prominent figure, and
25 Q. Who was the President of the municipal board of the SDS in Banja
2 A. The President of the municipal SDS committee was Radislav Vukic.
3 Q. Was Banja Luka the most influential opstina in the Autonomous Region?
4 A. Everything was happening in Banja Luka ---
5 Q. And was Vukic -----
6 A. -- and SDS members from Banja Luka did have the greatest influence.
7 They were there,
8 all members of the Crisis Staff were there on the spot.
9 Q. Was Mr. Vukic also the President of the regional board of the SDS?
10 A. Yes, he referred to himself as the President of the regional
11 committee for SDS. He convened meetings of the regional board, though
12 very frequently SDS members
13 themselves opposed this because formerly the regional SDS board could
14 not exist, but it was there and it took decisions. Those decisions
15 were binding on the municipal SDS committees and they executed them.
16 I think that after the formation of that regional SDS board,
17 Radislav Vukic was elected to the main SDS board of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was also very extreme in his views, and he was
19 particularly active at rallies where he would speak with passion and
20 call for war and, as for his views which, like Brdjanin, he presented
21 over the media, on the
22 radio and other media, he said he would not allow the gynaecology
23 department (because he was a doctor, gynaecology) any woman to give
24 birth at the gynaecology department at Banja
25 Luka hospital who was not a Serb. He said that all mixed marriages
1 should be divorced and annulled, and he said that children of mixed
2 marriages were good only for making
4 Q. This man who said that the children of mixed marriages were only good
5 for making soap was the regional President of the SDS?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The views of Brdjanin and Vukic were views that you described as ones
8 belonging to the extremist wings of the SDS earlier in your testimony.
9 Had they now by 1992 become the views of the leadership of the SDS?
10 A. Yes, this was a second transformation that SDS went through. The
11 extreme behaviour became the ticket for entry into the exclusive
12 circle of SDS members and also a precondition for climbing up the
13 political and professional ladder. The more
14 extreme one's positions, the more passionate speeches, the easier it
15 was to forge ahead.
16 Q. So that those who aspired to leadership positions within the SDS
17 adopted such views?
18 A. Yes, if they behaved otherwise they would be replaced. A certain
19 number of people kept quiet, and remained so, and held their positions
20 but most of them, those who were not prominent in expressing such
21 views, were replaced.
7 Q. Was pressure placed on persons outside the party who expressed
8 resistance to the increasingly extremist SDS programme?
9 A. Yes, yes of course, immediately.
10 Q. What kind of pressure was that?
11 A. Pressures varied depending on the person involved. There was
12 dismisSAOs from work, of firing of people, of those who opposed or
13 expressed disagreement with the principle political line, and at the
14 time that was an extremist line. For those who could not be pressured
15 in this way, threats were used face to face, by phone, or through
16 third parties; there were even beatings; there were explosives planted
17 in homes or under cars.
18 Q. Were some politicians forced to flee the area in fear of their lives?
19 A. Probably. After May 1992 they were all forced to flee, but even
20 before that, even in Banja Luka, people were being pressured to leave
21 and many did leave. In Banja Luka explosives were put outside the
22 entrance of the home of the town Mayor of Banja Luka who headed the
23 list of SDS candidates of Banja Luka -- his name is Predrag Radic --
24 because on several occasions he publicly expressed his disagreement
25 with such SDS policies. After
1 that he was silenced. He showed no opposition any more.
2 Q. Were politicians from other parties threatened with injury or death
3 for expressing opposition to extremist SDS policies?
4 A. Yes, quite a number. (redacted)
3 Q. What was the red kombi?
4 A. The red kombi existed in Banja Luka. It operated in May, June, July
5 up to the end of
6 1992, and this red kombi was the symbol of fear. Any mention of the
7 "red kombi" would provoke panic. It was a large red kombi, a van,
8 with a crew of eight members of the Reserve police force. It would
9 drive around town with the back doors open, and it would ask for
10 identity papers of citizens.
11 Muslims and Croats usually, in most cases, would be put in the
12 kombi and
13 driven off to a place -- it is the part of Banja Luka on the way to
14 Jajce and they were
15 beaten up there. This was a fur making workshop, and there were quite
16 a number of cases;
20 JUDGE VOHRAH: Mr. Tieger, what is a "red kombi"?
21 MR. TIEGER: I will clarify that, your Honour. (To the witness): First
22 of all, does the word "kombi" mean van?
23 A. Yes, this red kombi was a van, a vehicle, with two front seats and
24 the rest was for freight, closed, a closed cabin. I think its carrying
25 capacity was about, up to two tonnes.
1 JUDGE VOHRAH: Thank you.
2 MR. TIEGER: Because of the vehicle that was used, this group became known
3 in Banja Luka as the "red kombi"?
4 A. Yes. This red kombi, its very mention caused fear and panic. That
5 was one of the ways of exerting pressure, especially since those
6 people were wearing police uniforms and they were members of the
7 Reserve -- of the police Reserve force. They had authorisations to
8 stop people and ask for their ID papers, like any other policeman.
9 They were fully in their right to stop anyone, but taking these people
10 collected in the streets not to jail but to a separate building which
11 was used particularly for the purpose of beating them up.
12 Q. Was that the function and purpose of the red kombi group, to spread
13 terror and fear?
14 A. Yes, yes, fear, with the aim of people moving out.
15 Q. Who was in charge of this unit of the Reserve police?
16 A. These people were attached to the police station of the centre of
17 Banja Luka. The chief of police was Bosko Nanic, also one of the
18 extreme members of SDS in Banja Luka. He originally came from the
19 Knin Krajina. He was particularly extreme in his attitudes towards
20 Croats. For him, there were no Croats, only Ustashas. (redacted)
24 Q. In approximately March 1992, peace marches were organised against the
25 war in Banja Luka; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, they were organised before that. These peace marches were
2 organised in Banja Luka in March 1992 and in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a
3 whole also in March, before the beginning of war operations at the
4 beginning of April, before the beginning of the war in Sarajevo, to be
5 more precise. In Banja Luka, these peace marches were organised by a
6 group of opposition parties and in Bosnia-Herzegovina an independent
7 TV channel called Yutel. These peace marches, those organised by
8 Yutel, were very popular, or peace rallies. (redacted)
21 Q. How were the marches, the peaceful rallies, finally stopped by the
23 A. They were stopped by a blockade on Banja Luka on April 3rd 1992.
24 Banja Luka was totally blocked. One night, the night between April
25 2nd and 3rd, barricades were put up all over town. In the morning,
1 whoever came across those barricades was asked to go home. Nobody
2 could come in or go out of Banja Luka.
3 This was carried out by units who called themselves SOS,
4 Serbian Defence Forces, Serbian Defence Forces, SOS, and their
5 insignia on that day and on the following days were red berets. They
6 wore red berets. They put up checkpoints all over town. They
7 demanded an emergency session of the Municipal Assembly of Banja Luka,
8 and they had certain demands regarding ensuring rights for the
9 participants of the war in Croatia who were in Banja Luka. In any
10 event, after that blockade the checkpoints were taken over by the
11 Reserve police forces, (redacted)
18 Q. The Serbian Defence Force, the SOS, which initiated the blockade, was
19 this a paramilitary unit?
20 A. Certainly in this case it was a paramilitary unit. It was not a
21 regular army unit or a police regular police unit, but many of those
22 people later were part of the Reserve police force (redacted)
1 Q. After the blockade and the turnover of the checkpoints to the Reserve
2 police, was there a reduction in the level of dissent against SDS
3 policies in Banja Luka?
4 A. No, it was one of the turning points in the SDS policy in the town
5 and around it, because after that everybody had to keep silent. It
6 had just become too dangerous. (redacted)
8 (redacted). The media fell completely silent about
9 everything else except this SDS policy. I was going to say on such
10 occasions that blood was pouring from their contributions -- so ugly
11 were they.
12 Q. You mentioned Yutel, the multi-ethnic station, that sponsored and
13 televised some of the peace rallies in Bosnia. Were the broadcasts of
14 Yutel into the Banja Luka area terminated by the takeover of the
15 transmitter on Kozara mountain?
16 A. Yutel was an independent television channel and they used Sarajevo
17 television studios because there were no other television stations and
18 there was enough room for them. It is true in the summer of 1991 the
19 transmitter on the Kozara mountain was occupied by a paramilitary
20 group known as Vukovi from Vucjak, wolves from Vucjak, led by Veljko
21 Milankovic who sometime in the summer '93 was killed in Knin Krajina
22 during the Croatian Maslenica campaign. (redacted)
24 (redacted). They wore the uniforms of the
25 military police.
1 Q. Is it correct that broadcasts from Belgrade then replaced the
2 previous Yutel telecast?
3 A. Yes, before that Belgrade television could not always be seen in the
4 territory of Banja Luka and some other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 After that it could be seen always in the morning and in the evening.
6 They were broadcasting the whole, the entire programme of radio
7 television Serbia and, from the propaganda point of view, I think that
8 the most important were programmes, were talk shows or open channels
9 which made it possible to maintain contact with the guests on these
10 programmes. Those were the programmes broadcast by television Novi
11 Sad and television Belgrade, and they always happened at prime time,
12 at 8 o'clock p.m.
13 Q. In that programming, was there a presentation of extremist views,
14 promotions for war, promotions of greater Serbia and so on?
15 A. Yes, yes, frequent guests on such open talk shows, open channels of
16 Novi Sad TV were Brdjanin and Vukic and they voiced their views.
17 Q.(redacted), I want to ask you now about the weaponry which was available in
18 the Krajina area, and about who controlled or possessed those arms.
19 First of all, can you identify for us the main sources of arms
20 available at that time, the main entities which possessed arms or
21 military equipment?
22 A. In the territory of Bosnia Krajina and in other areas, JNA units had
23 weapons, the Territorial Defence, the police also had weapons,
24 citizens had their hunting weapons and their personal arms, companies
25 also had some, even to a lesser degree and, as of the summer, June of
1 1991, the armament of Serbs in Banja Luka began by the Yugoslav
2 People's Army.
8 (redacted) After that
9 in the newspaper, Glas, there were some articles about the armament.
10 Then some time in the autumn of '91 -- no, I am sorry, in the spring
11 of '92 open armament through local communes started of the SDS
13 In the autumn of '91, that is, after the plebiscite, everybody
14 began to obtain arms; others began also to arm themselves, Muslims
15 through the SDA and Croats through the HDZ. At that point in time
16 everybody realised that war was about to begin, that it would happen
17 shortly and everybody wanted to get ready for it.
16 A. There was a text in Glas in 1991 in which territories they were being
17 armed -- microphone, please; the microphone is switched off -- I said:
18 "Yes, there was a text in the paper, Glas, about that". One of the
19 vice presidents of the SDS who was distributing those weapons had had
20 an accident. A grenade dropped out of his car as he was driving it
21 and it went off, and there was an article about that in the paper,
22 Glas. Those were areas which were Serb, purely Serb villages around
23 Banja Luka.
24 Q. Do you know whether or not there was any arming in areas in the
25 vicinity of the Serb village of Omarska?
1 A. That is Bronzani Majdan, which is in the vicinity of Omarska. It
2 adjoins Omarska, or something like that, Bronzani Majdan in Omarska.
3 Q. Who indicated to you that there was arming by Serbian officials of
4 Serb civilians in that area?
5 A. It was in the newspaper, Glas. The man who did this was Dragan
6 Batar. He was the vice president of SDS and he was arming them.
7 Nearer to Banja Luka arms were also distributed. (redacted)
10 Q. Let me ask you to turn your focus to some of the entities which
11 possessed arms and which you identified a little earlier, first of
12 all, the JNA: In 1991, 1991/1992, was the JNA a well-equipped
13 military force?
14 A. Yes. The Yugoslav People's Army was represented a major force in
15 terms of armament, but not so much so as it comes to its strength, but
16 the Territorial Defence which was a complimentary force could master
17 an army of about 5 million people in the former Yugoslavia. I think
18 that was the quantity of armaments available in the former Yugoslavia
19 of different kinds and sorts, heavy and light infantry, artillery, and
20 so on and so forth.
21 The armaments of the JNA were taken over by the SDS, that is,
22 the army of the Republika Srpska. The weapons stored in the depots of
23 the Territorial Defence in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina were
24 taken by the units of the army of the Republika Srpska or, rather, the
25 TO units controlled by the SDS practically, the units of the patriotic
1 league controlled by the SDA and the units of the Croatian Defence
2 Council controlled by the HDZ.
3 The weapons at the dispoSAO of the police, that is, MUP, the
4 Ministry of the Interior, were issued or, rather, taken in the same
5 way as the weaponry of the Territorial Defence. Moreover, large
6 quantities of weapons were purchased. SDA and HDZ bought weapons in
7 Hungary and received it through Croatia, from other sources.
8 Q. In the area of Banja Luka, in that general region, what was the
9 presence or what corps or units constituted the presence of the JNA
10 there in 1991 to May 1992?
11 A. Banja Luka was the seat of the 5th JNA corps in 1991, and the area
12 around Banja Luka, the region was manned by the 5th corps units whose
13 command was in Banja Luka. The 5th corps had a number of armoured
14 units, tank units, because Banja Luka was the largest centre for the
15 training of officers and NCOs for armoured units, there was a military
16 academy there, and it had the largest training grounds for armoured
17 units on the Manjaca mountain. In one part of those grounds the
18 Manjaca camp was set up later on in 1991. Otherwise, in all larger
19 places there were also active army units.
20 Q. Who was the Commander of the 5th corps?
21 A. In '91 it was General Uzelac. He was then replaced by a General who
22 spent there only a very short while, two or three months -- I cannot
23 remember his name exactly -- and then the Commander of the 5th corps
24 became General Talic. He, after that, came to command the 1st Krajina
1 Q. In May 1992 was General Talic a member of the Autonomous Region
2 Crisis Staff?
3 A. Yes, yes, he was a member of the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous
4 Region of Krajina and the Commander of the 5th corps, and in May '92
5 it was still the 5th corps which was gradually metamorphosing into the
6 1st Krajina corps, that is, JNA was gradually being transformed into
7 the army of the Republika Srpska Reserve units.
8 Q. What was the ethnic composition of the JNA in May 1992?
9 A. In May 1992 the composition of the JNA units stationed in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Serbia, because at that time most of them
11 had already withdrawn from Croatia, were largely Serbian, that is,
12 Serbs accounted for more than 90 per cent of the strength. Before
13 that, the Slovenians and Croats were offered to be demobilized and
14 they had left to their units, to the armies that were made there.
15 Q. You mentioned earlier the transformation or metamorphosis of the JNA
16 into the army of the Republika Srpska. How was that new army formed?
17 Was it started from scratch? A piece of equipment at a time?
18 A. No. No, nothing happened by accident there. Immediately after the
19 war in Slovenia, which lasted for a very short time, I think about a
20 fortnight, withdrew from Slovenia and those units arrived in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina with the exception of the Air Force which withdrew
22 to Serbia immediately. After the war in Croatia, towards the end of
23 1991 when UNPROFOR came to the territory of Croatia and
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Yugoslav People's Army withdrew from Croatia
25 as well. All those units were in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Those units
1 were Reserve forces, were manned by Reserve forces, with the exception
2 of active officers, that is, professional army officers.
3 After the decision on the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
4 that is, after the referendum, JNA began also to withdraw slowly from
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This withdrawal from Bosnia-Herzegovina had a
6 different meaning, was of a different nature, than in Slovenia and
7 Croatia. The units in Slovenia was manned by active duty soldiers,
8 not Reserve forces, and when they withdraw from Slovenia and come into
9 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, soldiers were demobilized, that
10 is, soldiers serving their regular military service. The officers
11 were posted to a new post, to new places, that is, they were sent to
12 new units.
13 In Croatia, JNA included both Reserve units and active duty
14 units. The active duty units had the same fate as those in Slovenia,
15 that is, soldiers were demobilized and the officers were sent to new
17 However, things were different when it came to Reserve units
18 or, rather, the units filled up to their full strength with Reserves.
19 Those were people from Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, soldiers were
20 from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they could not go to Serbia because they
21 had no reason to go to Serbia, but officers were offered this, to go
22 to Serbia. Many accepted. Others remained in the army of the
23 Republika Srpska or, rather, the army of the Serb Republic of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina which was then renamed into Serb Republic and then
25 into Republika Srpska.
1 This army gradually began to be formed in May of 1992, and the
2 process was rounded off, was completed, on 28th June 1992 when the
3 army of the Republika Srpska was confirmed, and June 28th was set as
4 the day of the Republika Srpska and the day of the army and the major
5 holiday of the Republika Srpska, the day of the formation of the army
6 of the Republika Srpska.
7 Complete equipment, armaments of the Yugoslav People's Army
8 which was available to those regular units remained in the hands of
9 the army of the Republika Srpska, not only the armaments, but depots
10 as well, equipment and armaments and ammunition.
11 Q. You mentioned that active duty soldiers returning from Croatia were
12 sent on new assignments. Do you know what happened to their weapons?
13 A. The weapons of those units also remained in Bosnia-Herzegovina and
14 these arms were distributed among SDS members and a part of it was
1 Q. Did the soldiers who were members of the JNA and then who became
2 members of the army of the Republika Srpska regard the change as
3 anything other than pro forma?
4 A. Yes, that is how they behaved and that is how it was in fact, because
5 nothing virtually changed. Everything remained the same except that
6 in the military booklets, instead of the name of one unit, another
7 unit was entered, the name of another unit.
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We will stand in recess for 20 minutes.
21 (4.00 p.m.)
22 (Adjourned for a short time)
23 (4.20 p.m.).
24 JUDGE STEPHEN: I wonder if could I fill in time by asking you, I remain
25 confused about the Krajinas. There seem to be three Krajinas or three
1 districts, two in Croatia and one that we have heard a great deal
2 about in Bosnia. Do any of the maps actually identify the areas? If
3 they do not, perhaps that is something that you might in the course of
4 the evidence deal with.
5 MR. TIEGER: I cannot think offhand of a map which does precisely that,
6 although we will look to see if something like that is in evidence and
7 can be handled directly in that way.
8 JUDGE STEPHEN: When I say "three", there seem to be two different not
9 joined together parts in Croatia which are referred to as "Krajina" as
10 well as the Bosnian Krajina.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Would you begin, please, Mr. Tieger?
12 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour. (To the witness): (redacted), just to
13 round off that quick discussion about the JNA: After the departure
14 of the JNA from Bosnia and the declaration of the army of Republika
15 Srpska on June 20th, the JNA continued to pay officers in the army of
16 the Republika Srpska?
17 A. Yes. Yes, they paid them, paid the officers who were assigned to
18 barracks or military posts, as they were called, in Serbia and were
19 temporarily in the army of Republika Srpska, or officers who were
20 permanently assigned to Bosnia-Herzegovina and they were paid out of
21 the budget of not the JNA, because it was no longer the JNA, but the
22 Yugoslav Army until the end of '92 and even later.
23 Q. Let me ask you about two of the other armed entities you identified,
24 first of all, the police. Who was the head of the Police Force in
25 Banja Luka?
1 A. Banja Luka was the base of the centre of security services as a form
2 of regional organisation of the internal forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina
3 and Zupljanin was in charge of the security forces.
4 Q. What was the structure of the police services in Bosnia and
5 specifically within the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina as it
6 became created? What was the top level of the police, what was the
7 regional level and what were the local levels?
8 A. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, after the elections, the Ministry was formed
9 on the basis of the law on government. Before it was called the
10 Republic Secretariat for Internal Affairs, it became the Ministry.
11 This Ministry had three most important sections, one was the service
12 for State Security, the other was public security and the third was a
13 department for administrative affairs, dealings with the citizens,
14 through which citizens exercised their rights regarding various
15 records, identity cards, driving licences, licences for arms,
16 certificates for citizenship for those who were not from the same
17 region, and so on. That is the republic level with three segments.
18 The administrative affairs were conducted exclusively at the
19 communal level, but they were a part of one whole, a part of a
20 vertical structure, and at the regional level there were centres of
21 security services, centres for security, which also had these three
22 groups of activities. At the level of the commune or the opstina,
23 there was a public security station which performed the activities of
24 the police, public safety and administrative affairs in dealings with
25 citizens. The State Security was the concern of the republic level
2 After the formation of the Republic of Srpska and its
3 proclamation, a Ministry of Internal Affairs was formed of the Serb
4 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which had the same organisational
5 setup. In Banja Luka, there was a centre of security services for the
6 region of Bosanska Krajina, and this centre engaged in State security,
7 public safety and administrative affairs. Each commune or
8 municipality or opstina had a public security station in which active
9 police officers were employed, professional policemen, in other words,
10 and also they engaged in these administrative affairs.
11 At the time in '92 when the Ministry of the Interior of the
12 Republic of Srpska was formed, there were many Reserve policemen who
13 continued to work in the Ministry of Interior as Reserve policemen.
14 At the time the insignia were changed. In the Ministry of the
15 Interior of the Republic of Srpska, they all had to put on their caps
16 and elsewhere where insignia were normally worn the Serbian tricolor,
17 which was the official emblem of the Ministry of the Interior of the
18 Republika Srpska.
19 At the same time a statement of loyalty had to be signed by
20 all members of the Police Force, Serbs or non-Serbs -- it did not
21 matter. All those who did not sign such a statement were dismissed or
22 their work ceased, their employment ceased. The non-Serbs who were
23 necessarily employed as policemen before the formation of the Republic
24 of Srpska roughly corresponding to the share of the ethnic group in
25 the population; if there were 14 per cent Croats, for instance, then
1 there should be 14 per cent Croats in the Banja Luka Police Force, if
2 we are talking about Banja Luka. So all non-Serbs who signed the
3 statement of loyalty, their employment ceased, I think in June 1992,
4 with the exception of a few individual cases in Banja Luka, because
5 there are several Muslims and Croats who are working there to this
7 Q. So local police, that is, police of the municipalities or communes,
8 were at the bottom level of a larger vertical structure?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Above the Police Forces at the municipal level was the centre for
11 security services in this region in Banja Luka?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Above that, the Ministry of Internal Affairs which is sometimes
14 referred to, as we may have heard here, as MUP; is that right?
15 A. Yes, its official name is MUP, Ministry of Internal Affairs.
16 Q. There was a regular communication system to enforce the hierarchal
17 structure of the MUP, the centre for security services, in the local
19 A. Yes, there was a system of communication or, rather, the obligation
20 to send daily reports and to receive orders. The municipal public
21 security stations had to daily report to the centre of security
22 services in Banja Luka about their activities in the course of that
23 day or the previous day. Usually, reports would be sent between 00
24 hours and 24 hours covering that period, from 00 to 24. The centre of
25 security services would send its report to MUP and the centre of that
1 Ministry was in Bijeljina for the Republic of Srpske. In the same
2 way, orders were received or handed down from MUP to the centre of
3 security, to the local police stations.
4 Q. Were any significant actions undertaken by local police departments,
5 therefore, undertaken at the direction of or with the approval of the
6 centre for security services and the MUP?
7 A. No, I do not think so, everything had to be reported or approved so
8 that the centre of security services and MUP were familiar with
9 everything that was happening at the local level that day or the
10 previous day.
11 Q. Just to clarify, would an action like participation in the armed
12 takeover of a municipality by local police have to be directed by or
13 approved by the centre for security services and the MUP?
14 A. I think that operations of that significance were never undertaken
15 without appropriate orders or approvals that would be too much.
16 Within such a system only minor operations were tolerated or something
17 that could not be covered in advance. The takeover of power in
18 Prijedor could not have been undertaken without previous approval.
19 Such an operation by the police could not be carried out without
20 previous approval.
21 Q. What about participations in ethnic cleansings by local police would
22 that also have to be directed by or approved by the CSB and the MUP?
23 A. Yes, it was approved or rather nobody opposed it because if somebody
24 had opposed it people would have got fired, but as this did not happen
25 it was all okayed.
1 Q. Let me ask you now about the presence of paramilitary forces in the
2 Banja Luka area in approximately May 1992. Were paramilitary forces
3 active in the area at that time?
4 A. There were paramilitary groups not only in Banja Luka but in the
5 surroundings as well and throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina. In Banja Luka,
6 among the larger paramilitary groups, there was the armed unit of the
7 Serbian Radical Party which were on the territory of the municipality
8 of Banja Luka and they operated in other municipalities as well.
9 In Banja Luka, there were also a number of independent
10 paramilitary groups of up to roughly 100 people who were, to all
11 intents and purposes, private armies -- they mainly protected private
12 buildings and engaged in robbery and plunder -- outside Banja Luka, a
13 well-known larger group known as Vukovi from Vucjak, the wolves from
14 Vucjak, headed by Milankovic, it was quite numerous, I think it
15 numbered some 400 people; in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there were units of
16 the patriotic league; in Sarajevo, the green berets, the group of Juka
17 Prazena; in Herzegovina, the HVO, the Croatian Defence Council.
18 Q. You mentioned the armed unit of the Serbian radical party, Seselj's
19 party. How large was the paramilitary force of the Serbian Radical
20 Party in the Banja Luka area?
22 (redacted), about 3,000 people, but they never liked to be called
23 "Seselj's men" in Banja Luka. They called themselves the Serbian
24 Chetnik movement or Chetniks.
25 Q. What was the function or purpose of the Serbian Chetnik movements,
1 these paramilitary forces in the Banja Luka area?
2 A. The purpose was roughly the same as that of the red kombi, the red
3 van, though they did not engage in such activities in Banja Luka.
4 They spread terror and persecuted Muslims and Croats and plunder, and
5 that was also one of their aims. In this way they obtained funds for
6 the activity of their party.
7 Q. Did they operate wholly independently or did they co-ordinate with
8 the JNA or were they under the control of the JNA?
9 A. At first, they acted completely independently, alone. During
10 individual terrorist operations -- these were, after all, typical
11 terrorists operations. Later, I think at the end of May and in June,
12 they placed themselves under the command of JNA units in the region in
13 which they were operating. This was so in most cases or, rather, they
14 were most numerous in the regions of Derventa and Posavina when the
15 corridor was broken through and in Bosanska Krupa.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: What year would this have been, Mr. Tieger, May or
17 June 1992, 1991?
18 MR. TIEGER: When you mentioned May or June, the time when they came under
19 the control of the JNA, what year did you mean?
20 A. Serbian Chetnik movement or this paramilitary unit, I had them in
22 Q. What year did you have in mind?
23 A. '92.
24 Q. Beginning in May of 1992, or at least around the time of the
25 establishment of the Crisis Staff in the Autonomous Region of Krajina,
1 did Serbian officials begin to impose restrictive measures on
3 A. Yes, the Crisis Staff when it was formed immediately started with
4 such activities and it started to take decisions which were binding.
5 First, they started to supervise the mobilization, then with
6 dismisSAOs, first, from executive posts of all those who were
7 non-Serbs, then firing of those who did not respond to mobilization
8 calls, and then all workers who did not respond to mobilization were
9 prohibited from entering their firms and then they were fired because
10 they were absent for five days in continuum, and that was a legal
11 provision for dismisSAO, if you were absent from work for five days,
12 but they could not go in because a guard was outside, an armed guard
13 was outside, who would not let them in.
14 Then checks were carried out by Crisis Staff regarding the
15 implementation of their decisions, and these checks, those responsible
16 for implementation, were the municipal Crisis Staff or war
17 presidencies or war staff. They too had to report on a daily basis on
18 what had been done to implement decisions of the Crisis Staff.
19 Q. So can you describe the situation then that existed for Muslims and
20 Croats in the Autonomous Region area by May of '92, the kinds of
21 restrictions that existed and the kinds of risks they faced?
22 A. At first, there was a common risk for all, that was the prohibition
23 of freedom of movement. You could not move freely without permission.
24 Such permissions had to be given for both Serbs, Croats and Muslims,
25 and this was not an easy matter because all those who did not respond
1 to mobilization were withheld such permissions.
2 The mobilization that was carried out in April 1992 on the
3 territory of the Autonomous Region of Krajina was not responded to by
4 Croats or Muslims or, rather, by very few, very few of them. Most of
5 those who did come when they were called up were turned back. So that
6 was one of the ways of getting permission for freedom of movement, to
7 be mobilized, to be a member of the military unit, and to have a
8 certificate from that unit that you had been assigned a war post,
9 although the other people could not move freely.
10 Secondly, was the curfew. In Banja Luka, the curfew was
11 enforced from 22 hours until 6 a.m. and during that time nobody could
12 move about unless they had a special permit. The measures taken
13 exclusively towards non-Serbs were dismisSAOs from work, prohibition
14 for private businesses or shops, or their closure, attacks carried out
15 on certain buildings, planting explosives or bombs, prohibition of
16 treatment. Because people were not regularly employed, they were not
17 covered by social or health insurance, and those who were on a waiting
18 list for employment -- this applied to a certain category of dismissed
19 workers or laid-off workers -- did not receive any remuneration
20 though, according to law, they should have received some relief.
21 Q. Did this situation begin to track the restrictions and burdens
22 recommended by Cubrilovic to achieve a greater Serbia many years
24 A. Yes, I spoke yesterday about the instructions to the authorities
25 given in the work, the resettlement of the Albanians by Cubrilovic.
1 All decisions of the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina
2 can be fitted within the context of those instructions, all, even the
3 last decision, the one we looked at yesterday, the last paragraph,
4 according to which those asked to implement this were the Academy of
5 Sciences and the University. The Crisis Staff of the Autonomous
6 Region of Krajina replaced the Chancellor of the University and his
7 two deputies and appointed new ones to those posts. The Chancellor
8 who was dismissed was a Serb, but he refused to dismiss his two
9 deputies, one of whom was a Croat and the other a Muslim, and because
10 he refused to do this, then the Crisis Staff dismissed all three.
11 Q. You mentioned the restrictions on travel. What was the situation in
12 May of '92, May and June of '92, with respect to travel between Banja
13 Luka and Prijedor or vice versa?
14 A. There were a large number of checkpoints in May going from Banja Luka
15 towards Prijedor in the territory of the Banja Luka municipality
16 itself, and no-one could pass through these checkpoints without a
17 permission for movement. When the attack on Prijedor started and when
18 war operations started in the region of Prijedor and Kozarac, no-one
19 could pass through those regions except people within the military
21 Q. If somehow someone got to Banja Luka from Prijedor, would it then be
22 an easy thing to stay?
23 A. No, the decision of the Crisis Staff was that all refugees have to go
24 back to their municipalities and to fight. It was quite strictly
25 implemented because all refugees had to report to the headquarters for
1 the reception of refugees. They were registered as refugees and they
2 received little cards, and they had to report to the Secretariat for
3 National Defence, or that Secretariat had a record of their names
4 itself. These refugee cards for a time did serve as permits for
5 movement but, after the decision of the Crisis Staff, it was
6 prohibited to move about on the basis of this refugee card. It was no
7 longer a pass.
8 Q. If someone was fleeing from the mobilization, would that person be
9 able to remain in Banja Luka?
10 A. Yes, if he hid, but if he was regularly registered as a refugee he
11 could not.
12 MR. TIEGER: May I have these documents marked as Exhibit 145 for
13 identification, please? (Documents handed). For the benefit of the
14 Defence, these documents were marked as document 3 among the Greve
15 documents. The Greve documents, you had them marked as document 3, I
17 (To the witness): (redacted), do you recognise document 143 as
18 decisions of the Crisis Staff -- 145, excuse me?
19 A. Yes, yes, these are the official gazettes of the Autonomous Region of
20 Krajina which carried all the decisions the Crisis Staff. They were
21 all published in this official gazette and entered effect either after
22 the publication or entered effect immediately and would be published
24 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I would tender 145 for admission.
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection?
1 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 145 will be admitted.
3 MR. TIEGER (To the witness): (redacted), are some of the restrictions and
4 conditions which you referred to a few moments ago reflected in the
5 decisions of the Crisis Staff contained in document 145?
6 A. No, those restrictions were the effect of the decisions taken by the
7 Crisis Staff. The Crisis Staff ordered the implementation of those
8 measures of the restrictions and they would be implemented after such
9 a decision was taken.
10 Q. Can I ask you then to take a look at the decision by the National
11 Ministry of Defence which is contained in No. 1 of the document before
12 you? Can we put the translation of that document on the elmo, please?
13 Does paragraph 1 of that decision indicate the general mobilization
14 to which you referred?
15 A. It says, "General public mobilization is ordered", so this is an
16 order and it has to be respected.
17 Q. Who was that order aimed at? Who was included in that order?
18 A. This order includes all military conscripts, regardless of their
19 ethnic origin.
20 Q. Turning to document 2 of the gazettes, does this contain the decision
21 establishing the Crisis Headquarters?
22 A. Yes. Yes, this is a decision of the Executive Council of the
23 Autonomous Region of Krajina, that is, the government of this
24 Autonomous Region on the establishment of the Crisis Headquarters and
25 its composition. Its terms of reference, its jurisdiction was set
1 forth in the Statute and -- no, I mean the Statute of the Autonomous
2 Region of Krajina.
3 Q. As you indicated earlier, Radoslav Brdjanin was the President of the
4 Crisis Staff. Can you tell us who Lieutenant Colonel Milorad Sajce
6 A. Milorad Sajce was the Secretary for National Defence of the
7 Autonomous Region of Krajina, so we might say the Ministry of Defence
8 of the Autonomous Region, and Commander of the municipal staff of the
9 Territorial Defence of Banja Luka.
10 Q. On entry No. 6 indicates Dr. Vukic to whom you have referred earlier.
11 Entry No. 10 indicates Stojan Zupljanin, who was he?
12 A. Stojan Zupljanin was the chief of the security services centre in
13 Banja Luka.
14 Q. No. 8 is General Momir Talic, the Commander of the 5th corps?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So the Commander of the army in that area, the Commander of the TO
17 and the head of the security services were members of the Crisis
19 A. Yes, yes, that was how the Crisis Staff was set up.
20 Q. Turning to entry No. 3 in the gazette, paragraph 8?
21 A. Yes, this is an order issued to the media to inform the citizens of
22 the Autonomous Region of Krajina of all the events in the territory of
23 the Serb Republic Bosnia-Herzegovina. On the basis of this order a
24 change of the executives in radio Banja Luka was carried out and in
25 other media in the territory of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. So
1 that the Crisis Staff placed the media under its control by virtue of
2 this decision.
3 Q. Can I ask you also now to turn to entry 4 and look first at paragraph
4 4? Is that a further explanation or does that provide a further
5 explanation of what you have just referred to?
6 A. Yes. Yes, this is, in fact, the order to the Krajina media to
7 operate according to a war schedule, which means passing on to the
8 wartime organisation which becomes an exclusively military
9 organisation or, rather, a system of orders, a command system is of a
10 military nature.
11 Q. I note in paragraph 5 the JNA is ordered to immediately embark to
12 certain areas of Bosnia, including Bosanski Brod, Kupres, Glamoc,
13 Bosansko Grahovo and Derventa. (redacted)
15 A. Yes, this is a request that the JNA units moved to the front line of
16 Bosanski Brod, Derventa, and this was a breakthrough through the
17 corridor. In that part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the most numerous
18 ethnic group is the Croat and that was along that line, Bosanski Brod,
19 Derventa, towards central Bosnia, that is the Lasva Valley, and with
20 armoured paramilitary formations which Croatia, that is, HDZ had at
21 that time had interrupted the communication between Banja Luka and
22 Belgrade. So that at the time, in May, Banja Luka was completely cut
23 off. It was surrounded and it was impossible to establish
24 communication from any side or pass through.
25 So this was the operation intended to break through and create
1 a corridor. The fighting there lasted for about a month. So there
2 was a breakthrough. A corridor was established towards Belgrade and
3 it still figures on the Bosnian Herzegovina maps as adopted in Dayton
4 by Dayton Accords. (redacted)
8 JUDGE STEPHEN: Is that a correct translation where it says "the JNA
10 MR. TIEGER: Looking at paragraph 5, can you read the text of paragraph 5
11 as it appears in front of you?
12 A. "It is requested from the military territorial authorities of the
13 JNA". The JNA was still there. This was the beginning. These were
14 the early days in the formation of the army of the Republika Srpska.
15 JUDGE STEPHEN: It was really the word "authorities" rather than "forces"
16 I was querying.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: It is on the first page, what was it, June of '92?
18 MR. TIEGER: Can you read the date of this decision?
19 A. May 8th 1992. 8th May 1992.
20 MR. TIEGER: If we can show the top of the page on the elmo?
21 (To the witness): Looking at paragraph 8, the last three paragraphs,
22 does that reflect the calls for persons to respond to mobilization and
23 to fight that you referred to earlier?
24 A. Yes, this was the order of the Crisis Staff to the refugees ordering
25 them to immediately run to their own homes, all the refugees who were
1 from the Republic of Croatia, this is the republic Serb Krajina, and
2 then from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina but outside the
3 Autonomous Region of Krajina, and the territory of the Autonomous
4 Region of Krajina, if they happened in some other municipalities.
5 The order is very clear here. All have to return to their
6 municipalities within five days' time and help their fellow citizens
7 in the struggle against the enemy. If in case they failed to do so,
8 they would be denied the hospitality in the Banja Luka region and the
9 surrounding area; and if they failed to respond to these calls to
10 return to the Autonomous Region, they will be banned from returning to
11 their homes and all their movable and immovable property will be
13 Q. So persons who were in the Banja Luka area from other regions were
14 ordered to return to their own localities to fight upon pain of
15 confiscation of their property, for failure to do
17 A. Yes, yes, that is true, and all those who were outside the Autonomous
18 Region were invited to come back. This refers only to those who were
19 in Banja Luka and in the territory of the Autonomous Region.
20 Q. Can I ask you to direct your attention to paragraph 9 of the May 8th
22 A. Yes, it says that all executive posts in companies may be held by
23 persons absolutely loyal to the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 Q. Was this the beginning of the terminations from employment of the
25 non-Serb population of the Autonomous Region?
1 A. These were only executive posts.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: May I just ask a question regarding 9, the first
3 line, the first paragraph? What was the National Defence Council?
4 What was the War Staff of the Krajina Autonomous Region once again?
5 A. The National Defence Councils which existed in municipalities and
6 which are mentioned here are municipal bodies operating in the field
7 of national defence, which existed even before the war, that is in the
8 former Yugoslavia. They were set up but they were never active. They
9 were to be activated in case of an immediate danger of war or
10 proclamation of war. Their duty was to assume complete control over
11 the implementation of wartime plans in the territory of the relevant
12 municipality, that is the defence plans, mobilization, operation of
13 businesses, economy in wartime conditions, civilian protection.
14 Q. The War Staff?
15 A. The War Staff of Krajina Autonomous Region was the Crisis Staff. It
16 discharged both those functions.
17 MR. TIEGER: Can I ask you to direct your attention now to the decision of
18 May 9th, entry 6 in the gazette. Can you look, please, at paragraph
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Does this reflect further conditions for retaining employment and an
22 indication of the conditions which had to exist in order to retain
24 A. In this case one could not keep the employment, even though it is
25 indicated specifically security jobs, so janitors and guards, but it
1 also said that those people could not take part in the decision making
2 about work or anything, that is they practically enjoyed no rights in
3 that particular company.
4 Q. I noticed that again the order or conclusions refer to only persons
5 loyal to the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Did the Crisis
6 Staff ultimately define the meaning of "loyalty" in the context of
7 employment or participation in decision-making posts?
8 A. Yes, a problem arose with regard to a number of such decisions. A
9 number of such decisions raised the question of loyalty, and this
10 loyalty was interpreted in different ways: What does it mean to be
11 loyal to the Republika Srpska? Does it mean signing of a statement of
12 all Serbs or what? The Crisis Staff clarified it by adopting a
13 decision in June 1992 wherein it defined this term, the loyalty, to
14 the Republika Srpska. The decision says that loyal are only those
15 citizens, that is only Serbs and not all Serbs at that, but only those
16 Serbs who are ideologically quite clear about the fact that the only
17 true representative of the Serb people is the Serb Democratic Party.
18 This resolved the question of loyalty, that is not all the Serbs but
19 only SDS members were deemed loyal.
20 Q. Can we have Exhibit 104 presented to the witness, please?
21 A. Yes, that is this decision.
22 Q. Can that be displayed briefly on the elmo.
23 A. This first part is a part of a newspaper article, and an attachment
24 to it is a copy of the decision. It was published in the official
25 gazette of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. Here in the decision
1 itself in paragraph 1 it says that all leading positions, positions
2 involving access to information, therefore positions of any
3 significance, protection of public property and other positions of
4 importance for the functioning of the economy, of an economic subject,
5 a firm or an enterprise can be occupied exclusively by personnel of
6 Serbian nationality. This applies to all socially owned enterprises
7 or state enterprises, joint stock companies, state institutions,
8 public enterprises, the Ministry of the Interior and the Army of the
9 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, such
10 positions cannot be occupied by workers of Serbian nationality who
11 have not confirmed that in the plebiscite or to whom it is not yet
12 clear that the only representative of the Serbian people is the
13 Serbian Democratic Party.
14 Q. Thank you. I think the court can see it on the screen and it is in
15 evidence. Thank you (redacted). I know in one of the earlier portions of
16 the decisions you referred to there was the call on Banja Luka Radio,
17 the hourly call on Banja Luka Radio, for return of weapons. Is it
18 correct that there are repeated references to the demand for surrender
19 of weapons and disarming of people with weapons throughout the
20 decisions of the Crisis Staff?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. To whom or to which groups were those orders directed; against whom
23 were they enforced?
24 A. The orders for the surrender of arms were addressed to all, but Serbs
25 were not deprived of weapons in the territory of the municipality of
1 Banja Luka.
2 Q. So that order was simply not enforced against Serbs?
3 A. No, in the territory of the whole region, the whole Autonomous Region
4 of Krajina, and all the orders of the Crisis Staff were to be
5 implemented throughout the Autonomous Region.
6 Q. Can I ask you to turn to entry 7, a decision of May 13th? I am
7 sorry, I would like to return to document 145. I realise we are on
8 104. Looking at paragraph 6, I am sorry, entry 7, and again paragraph
9 6 of that decision ----
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What is the effect of this part of the Crisis Staff decision?
12 A. It is stated here that all able bodied men from 18 to 55 years of age
13 who have fled from the Krajina Autonomous Region are to return to
14 their municipalities immediately and come to the aid of their fellow
15 citizens in the fight against the enemy. Ignoring the above mentioned
16 calls shall result in the ban on the return of the said individuals to
17 their homes, that is to the area of the Krajina Autonomous Region, and
18 all of their movable and immovable property shall be confiscated.
19 Q. So, does that mean that any man between the age of 18 and 55 who left
20 his municipality was required to come back to that municipality and
22 A. Yes, this applies to all those who left the municipality and the
23 Autonomous Region in this period, but those who were employed abroad
24 and who had regular residence and labour permits abroad were not
25 affected; they could remain abroad. But they had to pay a tax to the
1 Autonomous Region of Krajina amounting to 100 marks a month, that was
2 the tax in Banja Luka. (redacted)
3 (redacted); 1,200 marks a year, deutschemarks.
4 Q. Would this order have applied on May 24th 1992, the order to ----
5 A. No, this decision came into effect immediately.
6 Q. Would it have remained in effect on May 24th 1992?
7 A. I do not understand. Which decision of 24th May are you referring
9 Q. I am sorry, I will clarify that question. You have indicated that on
10 May 13th the Crisis Staff ordered anyone who had left his municipality
11 within the Autonomous Region to return immediately and fight in that
12 municipality. Is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. The penalty for failing to do so was a ban on return and confiscation
15 of homes?
16 A. Yes, movable and immovable property.
17 Q. Would that decision, that is that people who fall within the
18 mobilization age are to stay in their municipality and fight, have
19 applied on May 24th 1992?
20 A. Yes. Yes, it applies to all persons.
21 Q. Would it have applied in the Prijedor municipality?
22 A. Yes, it applied for the entire region of the Autonomous Region of
24 Q. Can I ask you to turn to entry 10, please, paragraph 3?
25 A. Yes, this is that in enterprises the counsellors of directors cannot
1 be replaced. This applies to a previous decision of the Crisis Staff
2 when all non-Serbs were dismissed and, of course, many in those firms
3 wanted to protect them. They protected them by dismissing them from
4 managerial posts to implement the decision of the Crisis Staff, but
5 then they appointed them as counsellors to the managers retaining
6 their same SAOaries. When the people in the Crisis Staff realised
7 that in this way they were bypassing their decisions, then they passed
8 a new decision clarifying what they meant, that this could no longer
9 be done, that replaced managerial staff members cannot act as counsel
10 to the directors.
11 Q. Were there other decisions by the Crisis Staff attempting to prevent
12 the circumvention of those orders against non-Serbs?
13 A. Yes, there were several.
14 Q. Can I ask you turn to entry 14?
15 A. Decision No. 14?
16 Q. Yes. Is paragraph 3 an attempt to prevent any kind of circumvention
17 of the Crisis Staff orders?
18 A. Yes. Many people tried to avoid or to circumvent decisions of the
19 Crisis Staff by going on sick leave. Again, as in the case of
20 directors and managerial staff, doctors would grant them sick leave.
21 The Crisis Staff wanted to prevent this too and ordered strict control
22 of all approved sick leaves if there were any indications that these
23 were being used for avoiding general mobilization or work obligations.
24 This is again a clarification of a decision which people had tried to
25 bypass, because it is quite normal that many Serbs tried to protect
1 their friends, Muslims and Croats. They were not all like Radoslav
2 Brdjanin. They did not all want to kill. They were not all extremists.
3 They did not all want to have an ethnically pure Bosnia-Herzegovina or
4 Banja Luka or Krajina.
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We will adjourn until Tuesday at 10 a.m.
6 (Closed session not released)
13 page 1719 redacted – closed session
13 page 1720 redacted – closed session
9 We will adjourn until Tuesday at 10 a.m.
10 (The hearing adjourned until Tuesday 4th June 1996)