1 Monday, 12 October 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused Stanisic entered court]
4 [The accused Zupljanin not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.11 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning
7 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-08-91-T.
8 The Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin.
9 JUDGE HALL: Good morning, everyone. And so we resume. We
10 observe and we have heard some -- we have been informally told outside
11 the court that the accused Zupljanin is not present today.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. He waived his
13 right to be present because he is unable to be here for religious
14 reasons. And we will soon get his written waiver from the
15 Detention Unit.
16 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
17 MS. KORNER: Morning, Your Honours, it's Joanna Korner and
18 Crispian Smith again for the Prosecution. I thought his waiver was here.
19 We can't start until we've got his waiver.
20 JUDGE HALL: I understand it will be filed once it's processed
21 and registered.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can confirm that my
24 client verbally and in written form sent his waiver already last
25 Thursday, and I received information from the Detention Unit that this
1 document had been sent to the Registry, so as far as the Defence is
2 concerned, we can start with the proceedings while waiting for the
3 document to be officially filed.
4 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
5 Ms. Korner, I would have thought that it would be -- having
6 regard to what counsel has said and what the Registry has confirmed, that
7 notionally his waiver is here. It's just that physically we don't have
8 the document in front of us, and I think that what we presently know is
9 sufficient. I would have thought.
10 MS. KORNER: Well, it's a matter for Your Honours, obviously.
11 I'm surprised if he knew he wasn't going to be here today that the waiver
12 wasn't sent earlier, like on Friday. But having said that, if
13 Your Honours are content with what Mr. Krgovic says, then certainly I'm
14 not going to raise any problem.
15 JUDGE HALL: Yes, thank you. May we have the appearances please.
16 MS. KORNER: I've given them, but I'll say them again
17 Joanna Korner and Crispian Smith.
18 JUDGE HALL: Yeah, I'm sorry, you did.
19 MR. ZECEVIC: For the Stanisic appearing Slobodan Zecevic and
20 Slobodan Cvijetic. Thank you.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: For the Zupljanin Defence Dragan Krgovic, myself;
22 and Eric Tully.
23 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
24 MS. KORNER: Do Your Honours want to take any note of the motion
25 that was filed at 2.00 this morning by the Stanisic Defence before we
1 start? I'm quite happy to carry on, but theoretically it affects what I
2 ask this witness.
3 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, we were notified on Saturday by the
4 Prosecution on the number of the documents which are going to be used
5 with the witness ST-203 which is to be established over the videolink.
6 When we checked the list, the following -- there is seven documents which
7 are not included on the 65 ter list, and it is our understanding that the
8 ruling of this Trial Chamber is that the Prosecution must ask leave to
9 amend its 65 ter list before it can be allowed to present these documents
10 to the witnesses, and that is why we filed this motion. Thank you.
11 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, it was Friday that we sent the list.
13 The only extra on Saturday was -- Friday afternoon was the maps that we
14 were going to use, and, in fact, I'm not sure we will be using. As far
15 we're concerned, I accept Your Honours ruling, and I've been abiding by
16 it. Any documents not on our 65 ter list are not sought to be admitted
17 in evidence. I simply ask them to be marked for identification. And if
18 we want them admitted properly we will file a new motion.
19 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: And otherwise the principle which is established
21 in the guide-lines is that documents that have not been included in the
22 65 ter list can be put to the witness, but cannot be admitted into
24 MR. ZECEVIC: I understand, Your Honours, but it is my
25 understanding that what Ms. Korner is saying is that she will put the
1 documents to the witness, have them MFI'd, and then after that, seek
2 leave to amend the 65 ter list, which would be in fact after the fact
3 when the witness was presented with these documents. And in case the
4 Trial Chamber will decide to admit these documents, to give permission to
5 the Prosecution to amend the 65 ter list, then I would assume that there
6 might create a prejudice for the accused. That is my understanding.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Zecevic, unless I'm missing something, aren't
9 you anticipating? Shouldn't you wait to see what the specific
10 application is when it arises?
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, Your Honours, I just wanted to act diligently
12 in order not to -- not to leave the matter, not to address before -- at
13 the moment when I realised what in my opinion is happening. That is why
14 we filed this motion. Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE HALL: Well, the Prosecution has been alerted, and we'll
16 see where we go.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: I understand. Thank you, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Ms. Korner.
19 MS. KORNER: I think that's Colonel Basara sitting there. At
20 least I hope its. I've never seen him, but I hope that is Colonel Basara
21 sitting in front of Your Honours in the Belgrade office.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Via videolink] Yes.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Good morning, Mr. Witness.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
25 JUDGE HALL: Are you able to see and hear us here in The Hague
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE HALL: Well, thank you very much. And thank you for making
3 your way to the ICTY office in Belgrade
4 Sir, I would like you, first of all, to make the solemn
5 declaration to the Court.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
7 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much, sir.
9 WITNESS: BRANKO BASARA
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 [Witness testified via videolink]
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Now, would you be so kind as to state your name.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am Branko Basara, father's name
14 Petar, born on the 3rd of October, 1939.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, sir. And where were you born?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was born in the village of Otis
17 near Sanski Most, Bosnia
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much. And you also told us that
19 you are a colonel. Are you currently employed as a colonel?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I'm retired.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.
22 Colonel Basara, have you ever testified as a witness before this
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: And have you ever testified in national
1 proceedings relating to the armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.
4 Now, Colonel, what is going to happen today is that you will
5 first be examined in chief by the Prosecution who -- but you cannot see
6 this, but she is sitting in the -- to your right side of the courtroom.
7 And Ms. Korner is going to examine you in chief for -- how long time,
8 Ms. Korner?
9 MS. KORNER: I'm not going to give an estimate after the last
10 time, but I hope something in the region of two and a half hours. Two to
11 two and a half.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well. So, Colonel, you understand that you
13 will be examined in chief for the Prosecution for approximately two or
14 maybe two and a half hours. Then when the Prosecutor has finished her
15 examination-in-chief, you will then be cross-examined, first by the
16 counsel for the accused Mico Stanisic, who is Mr. Cvijetic.
17 And Mr. Cvijetic will use how long time, approximately?
18 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, around three hours.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Right. You have asked for three hours for
20 cross-examination. And the next cross-examination will be by counsel for
21 Stojan Zupljanin, Mr. Krgovic.
22 And, Mr. Krgovic, how much time are you asking for?
23 MR. KRGOVIC: Your Honour, I think one hour.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: One hour. Thank you very much.
25 MS. KORNER: I don't think we got any estimates from the Defence,
1 and I hadn't appreciated that Mr. Cvijetic was going to take three hours.
2 We may run into witness problems again.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Korner, am I to understand that we have this
5 witness reserved through videolink today and tomorrow?
6 MS. KORNER: For the moment, yes, we do, but I was clearly hoping
7 that we would finish him, if not today then early tomorrow. As I say, I
8 had no idea that Stanisic Defence wanted so long with him. And we've got
9 the witness who is still to be cross-examined, plus, is it another two
10 lined up or one? One. It's quite clear we'll never get to Ms. Hanson
11 this week.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Cvijetic, you are aware of the fact that we,
13 as a general rule, would expect the two Defence teams together to spend
14 approximately as much time for cross-examination as the Prosecution has
15 been given for examination-in-chief. Now, this is just a main rule but
16 can I ask you if you think you can cut down your cross-examination a bit?
17 Three hours seems to me to be quite long. Is that possible?
18 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will do my very
19 best to comply. When I said three hours, I was careful, and I have
20 experience with videolink, I was careful to take into account that
21 videolink examinations are a little slower. If the witness were in the
22 courtroom, it would have been two or two half-hours, so I included a
23 margin of 30 minutes, the net time I need.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Counsel. I trust that you will both
25 do your best to get through your cross-examination with as little delay
1 as possible.
2 Well, Colonel Basara, there we go. We are ready to start. Do
3 you have any questions that you wish to raise before the floor is given
4 to the Prosecution?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well then. The floor is yours, Ms. Korner.
7 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
8 Examination by Ms. Korner:
9 Q. Colonel Basara, I want to start by just setting out the history
10 about how you come to be testifying. Is it right that you were
11 interviewed as a suspect by the Office of the Prosecutor, first of all on
12 the 31st of August, 2002?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Were you interviewed again on the 31st of March of this year?
15 A. Right.
16 Q. And yesterday at the Belgrade ICTY office, did you have a meeting
17 with Mr. Pantelic?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And I think you were also given by an investigator from the
20 Office of the Prosecutor a copy of the documents which you may be asked
21 about today to look at?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Yes, thank you. Can I deal briefly, please, with your military
24 career. Did you originally join, as it then was, the Yugoslav National
25 People's Army, the JNA?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you -- how long -- well, in fact, perhaps I can deal with
3 this in leading form because I don't think it will be under dispute. Did
4 you complete the military academy in November of 1962?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And then in 1973, did you also complete the command staff
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you, in fact, retire from the army before the events of 1992?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And did you then hold the rank of colonel when you retired?
12 A. Colonel.
13 Q. Yes. Were you brought back into the army in 1992 -- sorry, 1991?
14 A. I did not return. I was not brought back. I was mobilised as a
15 reserve officer.
16 Q. Can you tell us when that was?
17 A. 29th October, 1991.
18 Q. When you were mobilised back into the JNA, where were you sent?
19 A. I was sent to Jasenovac to assume the duties of the commander of
20 the 6th Krajina Brigade.
21 Q. And under what command did the 6th Krajina Brigade come?
22 A. The 6th Krajina Brigade was under the command of the
23 10th Partisan Division and the 5th Krajina Corps.
24 Q. And in October 1991, who was the head of the 5th Krajina Corps?
25 A. At that time it was General Uzelac.
1 Q. Just to jump ahead for one moment, after the 12th of May when the
2 Bosnian Serb army was established, did the 5th Krajina Corps of the JNA
3 become the 1st Krajina Corps of the Bosnian Serb army, the VRS?
4 A. He did stay, but I can't tell you the exact time.
5 Q. Sorry. I don't think you understood the question. When the VRS
6 was established at the 12th of May assembly, was the 5th Krajina Corps
7 renamed the 1st Krajina Corps?
8 A. It did. It was renamed, but I can't remember the date.
9 Q. All right. And by that stage had General Uzelac been replaced,
10 and it was General Talic, General Momir Talic who was in charge of the
11 1st Krajina Corps?
12 A. I know that General Talic assumed the command of the 1st Krajina
14 Q. All right. Now --
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Korner, would you please also elicit from the
16 witness his rank when he was -- when he was called back.
17 MS. KORNER:
18 Q. Colonel, when you were mobilised in October 1991, did you still
19 hold the same rank, that of colonel, or did you hold a higher rank?
20 A. I had the same rank of colonel, and I kept it throughout because
21 I didn't want to become active duty.
22 Q. Now, I want to ask you next a little bit about command issues.
23 You say that the 6th Krajina Brigade was part of the Partisan --
24 MS. KORNER: Can we just get back for a minute on the LiveNote so
25 I get this right.
1 Q. The 6th Krajina Brigade was under the command of the
2 10th Partisan Division which came within the 5th Krajina Corps. As you
3 were in charge of the brigade, from whom did you get your orders?
4 A. From the establishment of the 1st Krajina Corps I received orders
5 from the commander of the 10th Brigade, Colonel Joskovic.
6 Q. And from whom would he receive his orders?
7 A. He received orders from the 5th Corps.
8 Q. Would you ever receive orders direct from the commander of the
9 5th Corps, General Talic later but General Uzelac in October?
10 A. I never received orders directly from General Uzelac, nor
11 assignments, but I did from General Talic.
12 Q. And why was there that change?
13 A. The change occurred because General Talic knew me well, and he
14 knew that he could give me short orders verbally.
15 Q. You say he could give you short orders verbally, how would orders
16 then normally be transmitted?
17 A. The normal procedure would be to issue written orders and send
18 them by mail to the commander of the brigade.
19 Q. You say they were sent by mail. What methods of communication
20 did you have with your superiors, first of all in October 1991? How
21 would you send reports?
22 A. In October 1991 communications were mainly by telephone and
24 Q. Were your methods of communication secure ones?
25 A. There were secure communication systems.
1 Q. How often would you have to report to your superiors?
2 A. As far as reports are concerned, there was a duty officer at the
3 brigade whose job it was to send short daily reports to the command of
4 the division at the beginning, and later to the command of the corps.
5 Q. And what would have to go into those daily reports?
6 A. Important developments or incidents, if any occurred that day,
7 and at the outset while we were in Jasenovac, they concerned mainly the
8 materiel supplies available to the unit because there were no particular
9 combat operations.
10 Q. And I should have asked you this before just for the benefit of
11 the Trial Chamber, can you tell them where Jasenovac was -- is?
12 A. Jasenovac is across the Sava
13 right on the bank of the Sava
14 Q. It's now in what -- sorry. It's now Croatia; is that right?
15 A. In Croatia
16 Q. All right. Next can I turn, please, to disciplinary matters. In
17 1991, who was responsible for the disciplinary aspect in the brigade, the
18 6th Krajina Brigade?
19 A. In 1991 in Jasenovac, of course I was responsible as brigade
21 Q. And if someone was suspected of having committed a disciplinary
22 offence, what would be the procedures?
23 A. No, there were mostly misdemeanours, disciplinary misdemeanours
24 of not so great importance, and I would usually be the one who pronounced
25 disciplinary measures, because it was the state of war.
1 Q. Right. What would happen -- you say it was misdemeanours. What
2 would happen if it was more than a misdemeanour? For example, supposing
3 an officer or a soldier refused to obey a direct order?
4 A. I never encountered such a case. Soldiers and officers alike
5 respected me and carried out my orders.
6 Q. Well, you may not have in Jasenovac, but in your previous career
7 - because we are still talking about the JNA - what were the procedures
8 if someone refused to obey a direct order?
9 A. I never had a case in my whole military career where somebody
10 would refuse to obey my orders.
11 Q. Were you aware of any other officers who were not in the same
12 fortunate position as you, Colonel, who did have to take such measures?
13 A. You asked me so I replied. As for others, I can say that the
14 procedure is such that then you would go to the superior officer, submit
15 a report, and then go -- and then the higher command or the court under
16 whose jurisdiction the matter was would deal with this matter.
17 Q. All right. Was there a legal procedure involving military
19 A. The military prosecutor joined only in the case of serious
20 violations or some grave crimes such as wounding or killing. In that
21 case, this would be a matter for the military prosecutor.
22 Q. Right. In 1991 October the JNA was engaged in fighting in
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you take any part in any combat operations in Croatia
1 A. My brigade was deployed in Jasenovac securing the monument
2 marking the place where many Serbs perished in World War II. We were not
3 in active actions in that area. We were just guarding that monument.
4 Q. Were you aware of any situations where police and the army were
5 engaged in combat operations in Croatia
6 A. I believe that I really am not authorised to provide any
7 assessments of the things that I heard and so on.
8 Q. When you say authorised, what do you mean; it's a military secret
9 or that you simply don't know?
10 A. These are matters that I am not entirely familiar with. It's
11 just what I heard on the basis of stories, somebody telling somebody
12 else, that kind of thing.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: Colonel, can I just ask you a question in order
14 to be sure that we have understood fully your functions during the
15 period. You said that the 6th Brigade had been ordered to defend the
16 monument for fallen Serbs during the last world war. Are you saying that
17 an entire brigade was ordered to defend a monument during a period of an
18 armed conflict? It seems to me to be a bit excessive.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not just my brigade, but -- it was
20 like this: It was not only my brigade that was there because we are not
21 just talking about the monument as a building that can be defended. The
22 area that was being defended was a broader area. There was a brigade
23 from Dubica also deployed in that area because we had taken up the
24 periphery of Jasenovac and an area a little bit beyond that.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much for this clarification. Just
1 to have an idea, how many troops, approximately, were in your brigade at
2 the time?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were about 1.000 men in my
4 brigade, but the situation varied. Some would leave, then they would
5 return, and so on.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much, sir.
7 MS. KORNER:
8 Q. All right. Returning to what I was asking you about, which was
9 combat operations involving the police, what I want to know, Colonel, is
10 in your experience, in your very great experience as a JNA officer, under
11 -- if there was a combat operation involving the military and elements of
12 the police, who would be in control? Who would have the authority to
13 issue orders?
14 A. The authority lay with the military depending on the rank of the
15 commander, or the rank of the person who was in command.
16 Q. Sorry, can you explain that a bit further. What do you mean by
17 "depending on the rank"?
18 A. It depends if it was a person of a higher rank and higher level
19 units that were engaged, then the units were -- of the police were in a
20 minority, so then the unit and the commander of the police would be
21 resubordinated to the military. If the police units were more numerous
22 and the military contingent was smaller, then the police would take
24 Q. Right. In time -- perhaps I should ask you this, apart from the
25 conflicts that began in 1991 in Slovenia
1 operated before that in a time of war or imminent threat of war?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Right. As far as you were concerned, however, in this period,
4 staying for the moment in October to December 1991, other than combat
5 would the military have authority over the police in the course of the
6 police's normal civilian duties, keeping order and the like?
7 A. I was not responsible for that so I really couldn't tell you how
8 it was regulated in the field because I was in Jasenovac constantly
9 dealing with my own problems that I had in Jasenovac.
10 Q. All right. Let's move, then, to the period of 1992. I'm going
11 to jump ahead for a moment where there was, in the area of Sanski Most
12 where you were based, a civilian authority made up of the Crisis Staff
13 and the police and the military presence. Did you as the commander in
14 that area of the brigade give orders to the police?
15 A. No, I did not issue orders to the police because the state of war
16 had not been declared.
17 Q. Even if a state of war had been declared, would you have given
18 orders to the police about how they should carry out non-combat duties,
19 in other words, civilian duties?
20 A. I would not order them to carry out regular duties, but I would
21 issue orders that had to do with combat actions.
22 Q. Right. Thank you. All right, Colonel, I want to move now,
23 please, into 1992. Did you -- were you on the 1st of April, 1992
24 to the area of Sanski Most?
25 MS. KORNER: And we can look, please, at the order. It's 65 ter
1 number 592, and you will find it behind divider 2 in the bundle you've
2 got there, Colonel. Sorry, Colonel, I'm waiting just until it comes up.
3 Is it up? Yes.
4 Q. Okay, Colonel, is this an order signed, if we look at the third
5 page, by Major-General Momir Talic, and dated the 1st of April?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And does that order which is sent to the command of the
8 10th Partisan Division -- says that the 6th Partisan Brigade is to be
9 pulled from combat, and it gives the names of the places, and then orders
10 you to be deployed in the Sanski Most-Kamengrad village, to mean a
11 village area; is that right? That's on the first page.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. It says you were in combat or the 6th partisan Brigade was in
14 combat, whereabouts was that?
15 A. This was just a term. It was considered that we were in combat
16 because we were armed, we were in Jasenovac where from time to time there
17 were provocations from the Croatian forces so that's what this would
18 refer to then.
19 Q. All right. Then it says that your tasks once you had been
20 redeployed were to achieving full control of the territory preventing
21 inter-ethnic conflicts, setting up roadblocks, and securing features of
22 special importance.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Korner, for some reason we were still at
24 page 2 on the screen, so I would be grateful if we could see actually the
25 page that you are reading from.
1 MS. KORNER: Sorry, page 1.
2 Q. [Microphone not activated] Colonel, did you actually -- were you
3 sent a copy of this order, or was it simply transmitted verbally to you
4 by the command of the 10th Partisan Division?
5 Colonel, did you hear the question?
6 Did you see a written copy of this order, or was it -- were you
7 simply told verbally by the 10th Partisan Division that you should
9 A. I received a written order from the 10th Partisan Division, and
10 on the basis of that order, I transferred the brigade from the 3rd to the
11 4th April in the Sanski Most sector.
12 Q. Right. And were you told that you were to achieve full control
13 of the territory?
14 A. This is a phrase usually used in peacetime during exercises, but
15 until the state of war is declared, the army cannot take control over the
16 territory. Only in the places where the units are deployed.
17 Q. So did you query why, as there wasn't a time of war, you were
18 meant to be achieving full control of the territory?
19 A. I didn't query it, but I just did the best that I could in the
20 field where I was located.
21 Q. Did you ever, during this period that we are now dealing --
22 starting to deal with, that is April through until the end of July 1992,
23 ever query any of the orders that you received from your superiors?
24 A. I cannot remember right now if I ever did that. I probably
25 reacted to each order that was not entirely clear, but I really couldn't
1 tell you right now exactly which those orders were.
2 Q. So what, if an order wasn't completely clear, you are saying you
3 reacted? You mean you would try and get clarification?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Right. Yes, thank you.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, may that be admitted as an exhibit,
8 JUDGE HALL: I understand it's already in evidence.
9 MS. KORNER: Oh, so it is. Thank you.
10 Q. All right. Colonel, now, when you redeployed to the Sanski Most
11 area, did you still have, as you explained to His Honour, 1.000 men in
12 your brigade roughly?
13 A. Once we came to the Sanski Most area, there were 1.000 men.
14 However, later people came who had not responded to the call-up when we
15 went to Jasenovac. These people started turning up so that the strength
16 of the brigade increased.
17 Q. And where were you based once you had redeployed?
18 JUDGE HALL: There seems to be and --
19 MS. KORNER: No, I think it's a mistake.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My command was stationed at
21 Lusci Palanka which is 20 kilometers from Sanski Most.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Sorry, Your Honours, for interruption, but the
23 exhibit number wasn't called. It says it was already in evidence, so we
24 don't know which exhibit number is that. I'm sorry, it wasn't announced
25 by the Registry.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: No, but --
2 Madam Registrar, please announce.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P60.3 was tendered on 1st October, 2009.
4 MS. KORNER:
5 Q. [Microphone not activated] Just to get an idea of what the
6 terrain looks like --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 MS. KORNER: Sorry. Can you go to your binder, divider
9 number 28, and can we have up, please, 65 ter number 3110. Is it up?
10 Q. All right. Colonel, I don't think it is marked on this map, can
11 you tell us where Luska Palanka was, is still?
12 A. Lusci Palanka in this map would be here where it says
13 Bosanska Krupa; that's what it says here on the map. It's quite close to
14 the boundary that has been marked. There is Skucani Vakuf, and it's that
15 road that leads towards Bosanska Krupa.
16 Q. Right. So you were based on the boundary of the municipality of
17 Bosanska Krupa and Sanski Most; is that right? That's where your base
19 A. Yes, but it's more on the -- belonging to Sanski Most.
20 Q. Thank you. What was your area of responsibility there?
21 Obviously Sanski Most. Any of the other municipalities that border
22 Sanski Most?
23 A. According to the order that was issued, none other than
24 Sanski Most.
25 Q. However, did your brigade eventually, and I'm jumping ahead a
1 little, also carry out operations in other municipalities?
2 A. My brigade, the whole brigade never carried out any combat
3 actions anywhere. Certain battalions, however, did pursuant to orders of
4 the corps command, and they were sent to other fronts throughout Bosnia
5 and Herzegovina
6 tactical and operational groups in those relevant sectors of the front.
7 Q. Did battalions -- and just remind us how many men in a battalion.
8 A. Depending on the battalion and the part of the municipality where
9 it was formed, depending on the density of the population, it ranged from
10 350 to 500 men.
11 Q. All right. And did battalions from your brigade in fact carry
12 out operations, for example, in Krupa, Bosanska Krupa?
13 A. No, none of the battalions as a whole carried out actions in
14 Bosanska Krupa except for a number of men who did participate of their
15 own initiative in the first day of combat in Bosanska Krupa.
16 Q. Men who were under your command of their own initiative went off
17 to Bosanska Krupa?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did you do anything about that?
20 A. I didn't because they expected, just like in World War II that
21 Muslims from Bosanska Krupa could come to their village and kill people
22 there again, just as they did in World War II, so they of their own
23 initiative went to provide help to the Krupa brigade.
24 Q. Yes, but, sorry, these were -- I'm just trying to understand
25 this. These were men who came under your command who, without any
1 orders, you say, went off to help in Krupa. Did you take any action for
2 this breach of discipline?
3 A. Well, you need to understand that I didn't have all of those
4 people together under my command. They were staying at their homes.
5 They were not mobilised. They were staying at their homes and when they
6 heard that combat was going on, they left of their own initiative, so I
7 couldn't establish how many people went, their names, but I did find out
8 that a number of the men did participate.
9 Q. But, I'm sorry, Colonel, military discipline, as you've explained
10 to us, wouldn't that be something that was a serious breach of
12 A. At that point, no.
13 Q. Why not? Men acting without orders?
14 A. If you were in danger and your family was in danger, then a
15 person has the right to try to prevent something like that from
17 Q. Maybe so, but nobody asked your permission, did they, to go and
18 do this?
19 A. No, no, they didn't.
20 Q. And they should have, shouldn't they?
21 A. Had they asked for permission, then probably the entire unit
22 would have been mobilised and sent there, but nobody asked. So they just
23 went spontaneously of their own initiative to join. I don't know to what
24 extent they actually participated. I have no information about that.
25 Q. But, therefore, if what you are telling us is right, Colonel, men
1 who went off on their own initiative, you have no idea how many people
2 you have under your command?
3 A. At no point in time could any commander know how many men were
4 under his command because the state of war had not been declared, so that
5 people after executing a certain assignment would be dismissed to go home
6 and then would be mobilised again, so that the commander often did not
7 have one single battalion in place except at the front. Once they
8 returned from the front, the men would be released and they would go
10 Q. All right. Well, my interest -- the interest of this case is not
11 in Krupa, so I'm going to leave that. But one other question, then. You
12 said they went off there in case the Muslims attacked. What proportion
13 of the men in the battalion were non-Serb in April of 1992? Roughly. I
14 don't expect an exact figure.
15 [Technical difficulties]
16 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, while we are waiting
17 for the connection to be re-established, I'd like to use this
18 opportunity. I've been thinking and I would like to add to my objection
19 of this morning. You probably did not quite understand me at first. I
20 do not see the point of the 65 ter list if the Prosecution can at any
21 rate show documents outside of that list to the witnesses. The Defence
22 was informed that day or the day before that the document would be used,
23 and the document is not on the 65 ter list. This is, of course,
24 prejudicial to the Defence because we design our Defence based on what is
25 on the 65 ter list. If the Prosecution now uses some documents that they
1 did not put on the 65 ter list or will only include later, then we don't
2 have the time, and we don't have the resources to counter with our own
3 documents. That was the point of my objection, Your Honours, and I think
4 this creates a really serious situation for the Defence.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Zecevic. May I suggest that we
6 take this issue up for a closed discussion when we have the 65 ter
8 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] I agree. I agree. [In English]
9 Your Honours, I just wanted to amend my objection in order to be clear on
10 the record what is the essence of my objection. Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
12 Mr. Witness, Colonel, the line has now been re-established. It
13 was broken for a short while and the Prosecution will now resume its
14 examination-in-chief. But, Colonel, may I remind you that given your
15 medical condition, which is the reason why you are testifying today
16 through videolink, the Court would like to invite you to indicate to us
17 immediately if at any point you wish to have a short break. Normally the
18 sessions run for 90 minutes, and so since we started at 9.00, we will
19 have to adjourn at 10.30. And the reason for this is that the
20 technicians need to replace the tapes for the recording of these
22 So every 90 minutes there needs to be a break so that the
23 technicians can change the tapes, and the breaks are of 20 minutes
24 length. So in 10 minutes we will have the first break which will last 20
25 minutes and then we will resume and go on for another 90 minutes, but if,
1 as I said, if at any point you need to take a break irrespective of the
2 regular breaks, you just let us know. Is that understood?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.
5 MS. KORNER:
6 Q. Colonel, the question I asked you before we lost contact was what
7 proportion roughly of the men under your command were non-Serb at the
8 beginning of April 1992?
9 A. Around two to three per cent of the complement of units; however,
10 they received a directive from Sarajevo
11 possible so that the units remain ethnically pure, Serbian.
12 Q. Sorry. What, the non-Serbs received an order from Sarajevo
14 A. Through their authorities in Sanski Most the Muslims, the SDA,
15 they were invited to leave the units of the 6th Brigade and go home.
16 Q. These were men who had been mobilised?
17 A. They had been mobilised earlier, but since the state of war had
18 not been declared, they basically came and went as they pleased.
19 Q. Right. And is this right, so we understand it, no state of war
20 was ever declared during the period that we are concerned with in 1992?
21 A. No. It was not declared until the bombing of Republika Srpska.
22 Q. Well, yes, considerably later. I want to look at, please, now
23 your interaction, please, with the municipal authorities in Sanski Most.
24 When you had been redeployed to that area, did you deal with the
25 authorities who were in charge of Sanski Most, then the
1 Municipal Assembly?
2 A. I had contacts with the Municipal Assembly in Sanski Most as
3 required. If I had something to settle with them, to warn them about
4 anything or perhaps if they invited me officially to attend an assembly
5 session or a session of the Executive Board.
6 Q. When you first arrived in Sanski Most, who was president of the
8 A. There were Serbs and Muslims in the Municipal Assembly,
9 50 per cent of Serbs and the remaining 50 per cent were Muslims and
10 Croats because that reflected the composition of the municipality.
11 Q. Yes, sorry, you misunderstood. I asked the -- do you know the
12 name of the person who was president of the Municipal Assembly?
13 A. The president of the Municipal Assembly was Nedeljko Rasula, and
14 the president of the Executive Board was Mirza Karabeg.
15 Q. I want to ask you to look at a record of a meeting that was
16 apparently held on the 20th of April with yourself and General Talic and
17 members of the civilian authorities.
18 MS. KORNER: Now, that is 65 ter -- it's already in evidence.
19 It's P60.13.
20 Q. It's behind divider 3 in your binder, Colonel, and you will need
21 to go to a page, I believe, that's 0 -- in the B/C/S, 0379441.
22 MS. KORNER: And in the English for the purposes of coming up on
23 the screen, it's page 15, and then on to page 16. Can we go to page 15,
24 please, in. English. One-five.
25 Q. All right. Is that a record - I think you had a chance to read
1 again yesterday - of a meeting that you attended, together with
2 General Talic, Major - is that - Zekaj?
3 A. Zeljaja.
4 Q. So Major Zeljaja, was he based in Prijedor?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And it says representatives of the SDS, SDA, and HDZ. Now, was
7 this the only meeting before the take-over that took place where
8 General Talic attended?
9 A. I think it was the only one attended by General Talic, but I can
10 hardly remember what was discussed and how the meeting ran.
11 Q. I'm just going to ask you about two matters. But that was only
12 one attended by General Talic. Can you remember why General Talic had
13 come to Sanski Most that day?
14 A. Well, it was part of his work as commander to inspect units and
15 to maintain contact with the leadership of the municipality in
16 Sanski Most.
17 Q. There's a reference there to -- if you go a few lines down, it's
18 the next page, page 16 in the English.
19 MS. KORNER: All right.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Korner, it's time for the break. Do you want
21 to --
22 MS. KORNER: I gather it's now being displayed apparently. I
23 see, you want me to take a break, fine.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: We will then take the break now and adjourn for
25 20 minutes and resume at 10 minutes to 11.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
3 MS. KORNER:
4 Q. Colonel, we were just waiting for the document to come up on our
5 screen here, but I just want to ask you to look, please, at the part
6 where somebody called, I think it's Redzo speaks, which is the top of our
7 page 16 in English. And he says he reads the proclamation of the parties
8 from the 15th of April, 1992, an agreement to carry out divisions in the
9 municipality. And then there's a demand. And before we move to the next
10 part, who was Redzo?
11 A. Redzo was the president of the SDA party.
12 Q. So that's Rasula, is it?
13 A. No, no, Rasula was the president of the SDS, the Serbian
14 Democratic Party. And this one, Redzo, was the president of the Muslim
16 Q. And what was his surname?
17 A. Redzo Kurbegovic.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, further down that page, on page 16, we see
19 Mirzet speaking, where he says, "The result of the cooperation is last
20 night's success. We received a telex from the Territorial Defence about
21 its mobilisation, but we were in the process of reaching agreement..."
22 "... ignore the national structure percentage..." "The SDS party is
23 taking the SUP building, and the president says, 'You have no place here
24 any longer.'"
25 Now, you were aware that the previous day, Rasula had
1 effectively, and the SDS had, taken over the municipal building?
2 A. I don't know which day it was --
3 Q. This is the 20th of April.
4 A. -- but there was an agreement.
5 Q. Yes, but were you aware that there had been, in fact, a take-over
6 that the previous day, previous evening, of the municipal building by the
7 SDS and indeed the SUP?
8 A. Well, let me answer you briefly. I was present when they agreed
9 to divide the MUP. There was a meeting between them, I don't know which
10 day it was where they agreed to divide the MUP. The Serbs were supposed
11 to stay in the MUP building, whereas the Muslim part of the MUP was to be
12 relocated into the premises of an enterprise called Sana, and when they
13 dispersed, nobody was arrested. The Muslims [Realtime transcript read in
14 error "Serbs"] went to the municipal building and took it over. That's
15 how it happened.
16 Q. What was Mr. Karabeg -- that's Mirzet, Mirzet was Mr. Karabeg,
17 wasn't it?
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Sorry, Your Honours, there was a --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mirzet Karabeg was the president of
20 the Executive Board, which means Rasula's assistant.
21 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Witness, can you pause a moment, please, there's
22 a matter we have to deal with internally here in the courtroom.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, page 28/20, I believe the witness
24 said different. It says here, "The Serbs went to the municipal building
25 and took it over." I believe the witness says other thing.
1 MS. KORNER:
2 Q. Colonel, so there's a query. In the end of your last answer, you
3 explained how the Muslim part of the MUP was to be relocated into Sana
4 And then you said, according to our note, the Serbs went to the municipal
5 building and took it over. Is that what you said?
6 A. No, no, I didn't say the Serbs went to the municipal building and
7 took it over. I said the Muslims did that. The Muslim part of the MUP
8 went to the municipal building and took it over.
9 Q. All right. So you are saying, what, after the Muslim MUP had
10 been dispossessed of the SUP, they took over the municipal building?
11 A. The municipal building, yes.
12 Q. Really. So what is Mr. Karabeg talking about last night's excess
13 for? What did he mean by that? Excesses, I should think it must be.
14 A. He meant to say that it was a success for them, taking over the
15 municipal building.
16 Q. A success, is that what the word is in -- in the original
17 language, in the Serbian language, in that part that you are looking at?
18 What does it say that Mr. Karabeg said? Can you read it out, please.
19 A. Let me just see where it is.
20 Q. I think you'll find it -- all right. I tell you what, Colonel,
21 don't worry. I can deal with this with other evidence. Leave that
23 I want you to find, however, the part where you speak which is a
24 bit further on. Do you see your name? You will find it, I can assist on
25 this. I think you'll find it on page 00379442. And in the English it's
1 on page 17, sorry.
2 Have you front the part where you've spoken, Colonel Basara?
3 A. I haven't found it. I'm just telling you what I experienced.
4 Q. I don't --
5 A. The MUP of the Muslims went to the municipal building and took it
7 Q. Yes, so you say. All right. Can you, however, please look at
8 the part where you spoke. It's after that part that you just looked at.
9 It's on page -- whatever page number I gave earlier, 00379442 stamped on
10 that page. And you are recorded as saying something, and I just want to
11 ask you about that, please.
12 MS. KORNER: You've only got part of the B/C/S on the screen.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I haven't found it.
14 MS. KORNER: Can whoever is with you find, please, in the
15 original B/C/S.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here, I found it.
17 MS. KORNER:
18 Q. Right, you say the army did not act well in connection with the
19 SUP. Now, what did you mean by that, please, sir?
20 A. I don't see that, the army.
21 Q. Can you read out -- do you see your name?
22 A. What I see here -- yes, it says "Branko Basara," and then in
23 brackets, it says "Moja Redzo" --
24 Q. No, no, further up the page from there. There's a line which
25 says: "Colonel Basara."
1 A. I don't know. I can't find it.
2 Q. It's ten lines down from the top of a page of this diary which
3 has the number 4 at the top. Which is copied on ERN number 00379442.
4 A. I don't know what he wrote down. I said that the army didn't do
5 the best thing in relation to the SUP. We couldn't prevent them from
6 splitting up. They split up as per agreement. I don't know what the
7 person who wrote this was thinking.
8 Q. Yes, but did you -- no, this is allegedly something you said
9 first. Did you say something like that?
10 A. How can I remember now whether I said something then or not? So
11 many years have passed since then. This person wrote whatever they
12 wrote, and now I am supposed to remember whether I really said that or
13 not. I'm just giving you my opinion.
14 Q. All right. Were you of the opinion on the 20th of April, 1992
15 that the army should have prevented the split of the MUP?
16 A. I wasn't because we didn't have the right to that. They could
17 split up if they decided to do that.
18 Q. Now, can you look, please, at what General Talic said which is on
19 the same page of the B/C/S, ERN number, but it's 5 on the diary. Fourth
20 line from the bottom. It's page 17. On the same page as the last quote.
21 On the bottom of page 17. General Talic said:
22 "The JNA will guarantee the peace of the citizens, citizenry, and
23 the security of property. We are asking for your help. Don't call
24 anyone for help, otherwise you will have Kupres, Bosanski Brod and
1 Do you see those words?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What did General --
4 A. But I couldn't really say.
5 Q. Couldn't say what?
6 Colonel, when General Talic said that, "Don't call anyone for
7 help, otherwise you'll have Kupres, Bosanski Brod, and Vukovar," who was
8 he saying don't call anyone for help?
9 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one moment, I'm
10 not receiving the interpretation anymore.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really cannot say because I don't
12 recall him saying that at all.
13 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Can the interpreter say something,
14 please, so that we can check if we are getting the interpretation, if
15 they can please say anything. Can they just do a test, say 1, 2, 3, 1,
16 2, 3. They can perhaps say something so that I can see if I can hear
18 JUDGE HALL: The counsel is by asking the interpreters to say
19 something so that he can confirm that he is receiving -- okay, apparently
20 the problem is corrected. Thank you.
21 MS. KORNER:
22 Q. All right. Colonel, sorry about that. Now, look, "don't call
23 anyone for help." To whom was he speaking? The Serbs, the Muslims, the
24 Croats, or everybody?
25 A. I think that he was addressing, but I cannot say on his behalf
1 what he was thinking, but I assume that he was addressing everyone.
2 Q. Well, "you will have Kupres, Bosanski Brod, Vukovar." What had
3 happened in those places?
4 A. There was combat action carried out. There were conflicts
5 between Croat and Serbs at Kupres, then at Vukovar. It's well known what
6 happened, and there were major casualties, so he was warning the sides to
7 try to resolve something by reaching an agreement. This is what it
8 seemed to me to be said at that meeting.
9 Q. So it didn't seem to you that this was a threat directed in any
10 way at the Muslims and Croats only, is that what you are saying?
11 A. I told you that I don't remember him saying it at all, so I
12 really cannot now say to whom he was addressing this as a threat.
13 MS. KORNER: All right. This document is already an exhibit.
14 Can you move, now, please, to in your bundle divider number 4. It's 65
15 ter 605. And that's already -- sorry, it's admitted in evidence already
16 as P60.6.
17 Q. Now, this is a conclusion of the Crisis Staff of the 28th of
18 April ordering people to hand in weapons and dealing with aircraft. In
19 fact, ordering apparently the shooting down of aircraft. Were you ever
20 ordered by anybody to shoot down aircraft that didn't bear a JNA symbol?
21 A. No, I didn't receive any such orders, nor did I do anything like
23 Q. Right. And then item number 4:
24 "That the Crisis Staff of the Serbian municipality for
25 Sanski Most meet with the commander of the 6th Krajina Brigade,
1 Colonel Basara, and start regulating the relationship between the armed
2 forces of the Serbian Territorial Defence and the Yugoslav army."
3 Now, was there such a meeting?
4 A. I don't remember that it took place, so I have no idea about
6 Q. What sort of regulating needed to be done between the JNA, as it
7 still was, and the TO?
8 A. What probably needed to be resolved was -- well, the TO staff
9 commander was Musli Novic [phoen], he was a Muslim so they probably
10 wanted to appoint a Serb as TO commander. So that's probably what the
11 idea was, but I didn't take part in that, so I don't really recall that.
12 Q. Well, was the Muslim commander of the TO replaced by a Serb?
13 A. Yes. This did happen later. I just don't recall the exact date.
14 Q. All right. I want to move, then, please, because that document's
15 already exhibited, to another meeting that took place, this time on the
16 14th of May. It's behind divider 6, and it's 65 ter number 796. Right.
17 Now, you had a chance to read through this yesterday, didn't you,
18 Colonel Basara?
19 A. I didn't look at this document yesterday. I'm seeing it now for
20 the first time.
21 Q. Well, didn't you go through the documents in the presence of
22 investigator Paul Grady yesterday?
23 A. Yes, I did look at a lot of documents yesterday, but I don't
24 recall seeing this one yesterday. Perhaps I flipped it over together
25 with another document, but I don't have the impression now that I saw
1 this document yesterday.
2 Q. All right. But you were asked about this document, weren't you,
3 in interview way back in 2002? Anyway, don't worry.
4 This is a meeting on the 14th of May with presidents of
5 municipalities in the zone of responsibility of the division, that's the
6 30th Partisan Division. Present at the meeting Colonel Stanislav Galic.
7 Is that the colonel who subsequently became General Galic and was
8 involved in the siege of Sarajevo
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you. And then there's yourself present, the commander of
11 the TO staff in Kljuc?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. The president of Kljuc municipality, of Donji Vakuf,
14 Mrkonjic Grad, Sipovo, Bugojno, and then Mr. Kalabic. As a matter of
15 interest, why wasn't Mr. Rasula present, anybody from Sanski Most?
16 A. Mr. Rasula didn't attend because Sanski Most is outside of the
17 region from where this division was formed because Rasula is in the area
18 that was under the command of the 10th division, whereas this is the 30th
19 division here.
20 Q. Okay. So why -- why were you attending the meeting?
21 A. I don't know why I was summoned. Probably because they expected
22 that I would be able to be of some assistance in that meeting.
23 Q. Well, wasn't it because you were actively a battalion -- as we
24 see under the Kljuc heading of the 6th Partisan Brigade was actually
25 operating in Kljuc? Two battalions, in fact. If you go to the part
1 where Kljuc is underlined, and that's on the second page of the English.
2 And it's the second page also of the B/C/S.
3 A. I can just explain. I can explain that I was probably called
4 because there were about 100 men in Jasenovac from Kljuc under my
5 command, and that's why they asked me for help when they were taking
6 power. That's why I went there. I knew they were about to take power.
7 I went there and provided security so that there wouldn't be a conflict
8 or bloodshed. The whole thing happened without any bloodshed or anyone
9 being arrested or anything like that. After that I was no longer engaged
10 in the Kljuc area.
11 Q. Yes. Well, let's take that in stages, shall we. If we look at
12 the recording of what was said about Kljuc, units from the 5th Corps, the
13 9th Corps, a battalion of the 6th Partisan Brigade, and a battalion of
14 the 1st Partisan was securing Kljuc, and as you say, you went there to
15 help, didn't you, the SDS take power?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Were you ordered to do that?
18 A. I didn't receive an order from anyone, but in the desire to
19 prevent inter-ethnic conflicts, I wished to contribute to a painless
20 process because I knew they were about to take power. Had I not come,
21 there probably would have been bloodshed. So with the help of one
22 battalion, I managed to prevent something like that from happening.
23 Q. So this was the Serbs illegally seizing power in Kljuc, wasn't
24 it? The SDS, I should say.
25 MR. KRGOVIC: Objection. It's a leading question. It's not
2 MS. KORNER: I think the Colonel has already said it. It's not
3 cross-examination, nor is it a leading question.
4 Q. Is that right, Colonel? Colonel, did you hear --
5 A. I really am not able to assess this matter.
6 Q. All right. But what -- you didn't receive any orders, you say?
7 You sent your battalion in to prevent bloodshed in Kljuc. Why would
8 there have been bloodshed, in your view?
9 A. Most probably there would have been bloodshed because the Muslims
10 would put up resistance or some paramilitary forces that I didn't know
11 about, but I believed that they probably existed, could have committed
12 some crimes. It would have led to retaliation or arrests, but nothing
13 like that happened, so I felt that it was my humane duty, the duty as a
14 human being to do that.
15 Q. You obviously felt that you ought to send your battalion into
16 Kljuc to help in the taking of power. Was it your view that -- well,
17 sorry, what was your view as to whether the SDS --
18 A. I sent a battalion not to take over power.
19 Q. No, to assist. I said assist. Would the SDS --
20 A. Objective was not to send a battalion to take over power, but to
21 prevent bloodshed.
22 Q. All right. Two days earlier it's right you were aware that there
23 had been the declaration of the Army of the Serbian Republic
24 A. I don't remember.
25 Q. All right. Well, were you aware --
1 A. No.
2 Q. -- and if you don't remember the dates, that the Bosnian Serb
3 Assembly had taken the decision to create its own army?
4 A. I found out later, but at that time I didn't know.
5 Q. Well, all right, but hang on a moment. You say that, let's go on
6 in meeting.
7 MS. KORNER: Page 3 in the English, and I think it's page 3 in
8 the B/C/S as well.
9 Q. A paragraph that begins: "At that meeting..."
10 "A decision was taken to name the armed forces of Krajina the
11 Army of the Serbian Republic
12 And then further on skipping the rest of it:
13 "The strategic goals formulated at the meeting in Banja Luka
15 Do you remember presenting or hearing about the six strategic
17 A. I don't remember those goals, and I don't remember that meeting.
18 Only on the basis of what I am reading and talking about it with you. I
19 mean, it was a long time ago so I really couldn't say what was said, what
20 was written down, because it just wouldn't be true.
21 Q. All right. I just want to ask you one thing about that. In your
22 view as an experienced officer in the military, was it possible to be a
23 state separation of three national communities without bloodshed?
24 A. In the beginning, I did think that this could happen, and I tried
25 in Sanski Most to agree, and I propose that I would secure the Podgrmec
1 area so that people could live there just as they had lived until then.
2 However, when what happened in Dobrovoljacka, Ulica, and Sarajevo with
3 General Kukanjac and the rest and with those losses or casualties that
4 occurred there, it became evident that this was something that would not
5 really be possible.
6 Q. And became evident, did it, fairly quickly? I mean, this is May
7 we are talking about.
8 A. I'm just saying that from that point on that's how it was. Until
9 then, I was trying to make sure in the field that no bloodshed would
11 Q. All right.
12 MS. KORNER: I'm not sure that's an exhibit. I don't think it
13 is. So could that be exhibited, please.
14 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P105, Your Honours.
16 MS. KORNER:
17 Q. Now, that was the 14th of May. I want you to look, please, at a
18 document for the 21st of May, which is behind divider 5. So if you go
19 back one, and it's 65 ter number 1597. That's a document from the
20 1st Krajina Corps command, dated the 21st of May, signed by the assistant
21 commander for moral guidance, which is on the third page in English, you
22 needn't turn it up for the moment, Colonel Vukelic. Did you know
23 Colonel Vukelic?
24 A. I knew him by sight. I'd seen him a couple of times at meetings,
25 but I had no direct contact with him.
1 Q. All right. And he is obviously issued as apparently part of his
2 duties, this particular document. Can you look, please, at the second
3 page in English, and I think it's also the second page in -- no, sorry,
4 it's the bottom of the first page in B/C/S.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Korner, the transcript on my screen has
6 stopped. I don't know if --
7 MS. KORNER: Oh, it has, too, yes, and mine as well.
8 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
9 MS. KORNER: What is the answer to that? Do we know why it
10 stopped? No. All right. I presume that it's still being typed up, so
11 we will get it eventually, Your Honour.
12 Q. So it's the bottom of the first page in B/C/S, and it's the top
13 of the second page in English.
14 "The constituent Serbian people who live on around 65 per cent of
15 the area and represent more than 35 per cent of the population of Bosnia
16 must struggle for complete separation for the Muslim and Croatian peoples
17 and form their own state. Only after that will they be able to decide
18 with whom and how they will unite and associate. They do not want
19 anything that is somebody else's, anything that has not been theirs for
20 centuries, but they will not give an inch of their own territory."
21 Now, first of all, in your position as commander, did you receive
22 this document? Because it says --
23 A. I did not get it personally, but it's probably my assistant for
24 political work in the brigade received it, and he must have informed me
25 of the contents.
1 Q. Right.
2 A. Because it pertained to my brigade.
3 Q. Exactly, it says "sent to all corps units." The commander for
4 moral guidance, Colonel Vukelic, would he require the authority of
5 General Talic to send out a document like this?
6 A. He needed authority from Talic, and he must have received it, and
7 it must have been the position of the entire command. That position was
8 advised by the superior leadership probably.
9 Q. The view that is expressed there, "the constituent Serbian people
10 who live on around 65 per cent of the area," et cetera, et cetera, whose
11 view was that?
12 A. That was the view of the political leadership of the
13 Republika Srpska that was passed on down to units.
14 Q. Was it a view that you personally agreed with?
15 A. I did not agree with the war and all of it, but I had to accept
16 this view because it was ordered from above.
17 Q. And you say this was the political -- I can't read LiveNote, can
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Yeah, the political leadership. What was the relationship
21 between the political leadership and the army?
22 A. I don't know that because I did not cooperate with the top layers
23 of the leadership of Republika Srpska, so I can't answer that question.
24 Q. But was the army obliged, from your experience as a long serving
25 army officer, to carry out the will of the political leadership?
1 A. Well, the army was duty-bound to obey because the president of
2 the SDS, Mr. Karadzic, was at the same time president of Republika Srpska
3 and the Supreme Commander of the army.
4 Q. All right. And then one other paragraph please, quickly. It's
5 on page 3 in the English, and I think it's at the bottom of page 2 in the
6 B/C/S. It's the paragraph that begins, "It will protect and defend its
7 people..." Do you see that paragraph?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. "... from all threats and help them in distress. It will beat
10 the enemy in armed struggle and will conduct itself towards captured and
11 wounded members of the enemy, as well as the civilian population, in a
12 soldierly, civilised, and humane manner, in keeping with the norms and
13 international laws of war."
14 First of all, who was the enemy?
15 A. Well, who was the enemy. It was obvious who was in conflict with
16 the Serbian people.
17 Q. Yes, well it may be obvious -- [Overlapping speakers]
18 A. Those were practically Muslims and Croats.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters request: Could the speakers
20 please not overlap.
21 MS. KORNER: Sorry, it's my fault. I'm not watching when he is
23 Q. "... and in conducting itself towards captured and wounded
24 members of the enemy as well as the civilian population in a soldierly,
25 civilised, and humane manner..."
1 Was that actually what happened, Colonel Basara? And let's
2 particularly deal with Sanski Most.
3 A. That depended on each individual commander and certain
4 authorities on the ground, such as authorities in municipalities. It
5 depended on everyone's personal attitude toward the task.
6 Q. I'm dealing with events, please, in Sanski Most directly within
7 your area of responsibility. Did your troops conduct itself towards
8 captured and wounded members of the enemy, as well as civilian
9 population, in a soldierly, civilised, and humane manner?
10 A. As far as I know. The overwhelming majority of those who were
11 real members of the brigade conducted themselves in that way. However,
12 there were certain exceptions that were well known, and certain steps
13 were taken to sanction them.
14 Q. Right. Will you tell us about some of these incidents that, as
15 you say, are well known. First of all --
16 A. For instance, there was a notorious case in the hamlet of
18 Q. What happened there?
19 A. In that village, the battalion commander who covered that area
20 talked to the Muslims and 17 or 18 of them accepted to come to the
21 battalion. He had promised them uniforms and weapons. However, what
22 happened was that the village Hrustovo was disarmed. Two soldiers were
23 killed immediately when they approached the village, and in the meantime,
24 those Muslims who had been waiting for him to come back were killed. One
25 managed to escape, and he must have said to others the battalion
1 commander knows who did this. The perpetrators were arrested, and turned
2 over to the SUP of Sanski Most.
3 Q. Wait a minute, these people who killed the people in Hrustovo,
4 the people killed were civilians, weren't they?
5 A. They were civilians who were waiting to be given uniforms and
6 weapons to join the battalion.
7 Q. But instead they were killed by men under your command, weren't
9 A. Well, yes. They were killed by the men who had stayed there to
10 guard them from that battalion.
11 Q. And you say you arrested -- you had the perpetrators arrested and
12 turned them over to the SUP?
13 A. Yes, they were turned over to the SUP because we didn't have a
14 prison to hold them.
15 Q. And what happened to them thereafter?
16 A. I don't know that.
17 Q. Well, did you take steps to ensure that these killers were
19 A. I thought that once they were turned over to the professional
20 authorities of the MUP, things would run their course. I did not
21 intervene any longer because I was busy with other duties in the brigade,
22 activities had intensified, and I had no time to pay attention to
23 particular cases rather than other duties.
24 Q. All right. That's Hrustovo. What happened at Vrhpolje bridge?
25 A. At Vrhpolje bridge, from what I was able to find out, when
1 civilians were withdrawing from Hrustovo -- because that battalion
2 commander whose two soldiers were killed said that the civilian
3 population should withdraw to Sanski Most. One group, however, from
4 Kljuc or wherever, happened to be there and killed a number of those
5 civilians, but I came late to that bridge, and when I did come, I brought
6 my police officers and they prevented further killing.
7 Q. Just a moment, let's take this in stages, please.
8 A. Whereas these other people, they escaped towards Kljuc or
10 Q. All right. I am afraid that's not very clear. What happened was
11 that, as you say, civilians had run away from Hrustovo because it was
12 being attacked by members of your brigade, wasn't it?
13 A. I didn't say that it was attacked.
14 Q. I know you didn't.
15 A. I said two soldiers were killed when they started disarming
16 people. Then the commander pulled out his troops and gave time to those
17 civilians who wished to leave, to go towards Sanski Most. So the
18 civilians who didn't want to fight, set out towards Sanski Most across
19 that bridge. And one of these groups was intercepted by some sort of
20 paramilitary unit, and they killed those people.
21 Q. Right. Now, the commander pulled out his troops and gave time
22 for the civilians to leave because a Hrustovo was about to be attacked,
23 wasn't it? Otherwise why would the civilians have to leave?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Right. And when these civilians got to the bridge, were there
1 any police around the place?
2 A. There was a check-point manned by maybe people from those
3 villages around, but in any case, they belonged to the MUP of
4 Sanski Most.
5 Q. And when they belonged to --
6 A. They were around 100 metres from the bridge.
7 Q. And the members of the MUP of Sanski Most, what ethnicity were
9 A. Mainly Serbs.
10 Q. So there was a check-point near --
11 A. I don't know if there were any Muslims among them.
12 Q. So there was a check-point, you said, 100 metres from the bridge.
13 These Muslims from Hrustovo went through the check-point, did they?
14 A. Well, those who wanted to leave who were going towards
15 Sanski Most and the villages around Sanski Most.
16 Q. Sorry, so they did go through the check-point?
17 A. Well, one group certainly didn't because they were killed at the
19 Q. All right. And who do you say did the killings?
20 A. I was not able to establish, and even the police at the
21 check-point did not know the perpetrators who escaped into the woods
22 towards Kljuc. As soon as they heard I was coming, they dispersed, and
23 we were not able to catch any of them.
24 Q. As I said, you arrived there, didn't you, to actually see people
25 being killed?
1 A. I arrived, but late.
2 Q. Yes. Did you arrive in time to see people being killed, having
3 been forced to jump in the river and being shot at?
4 A. I was perhaps 200 metres away when people were being shot at in
5 the water. Somebody shouted, The colonel is coming, and then the
6 perpetrators started running away, and by the time I reached the bridge,
7 they were gone.
8 Q. When you arrived, did you have men with you?
9 A. Only the driver was with me, and there were two soldiers from the
10 brigade at the bridge, escorts of the Chief of Staff of the brigade. The
11 weapons were on their shoulders, and they did not participate in the
12 shooting, but they were insistent that they did not know the
14 Q. Did you call on the police to apprehend these men?
15 A. Well, they could not apprehend them after they had run into the
17 Q. I am sorry, why couldn't the police, who presumably had vehicles
18 there, chase after them, either on foot or in vehicles?
19 A. Well, they could not give chase because my police force arrived
20 later after I had summoned them, and those who were at the check-point
21 did not have a vehicle. They didn't have anything.
22 Q. Did they have weapons at the check-point?
23 A. Yes, they had weapons.
24 Q. Did, as far as you could see from whatever distance you were, the
25 police make any attempt to stop the murder of these civilians?
1 A. Well, look, it was completely impossible. It all happened in a
2 second. They just identified this group as extremists because there was
3 one Muslim on the bridge. It seemed that these people were singled out
4 because they had not given up their weapons and it all happened before
5 the people at the check-point could react. It was all of a sudden and
6 the perpetrators ran away before anyone had time to do anything.
7 Q. If you weren't present and you only saw this from a distance, how
8 do you know that these people were singled out apparently because they
9 had not given up their weapons?
10 A. Well, that Muslim who remained standing on the bridge told me so.
11 And he also said he did not know the people who committed this. They
12 were not from the area.
13 Q. And how many people, roughly, were killed on that occasion?
14 A. Around 15, I think.
15 Q. Not more than that?
16 A. I don't know exactly. That's what I was told.
17 Q. Well, what did you do about the bodies?
18 A. Sanitisation was carried later and the civilian protection of
19 Sanski Most buried the corpses.
20 Q. And where were they buried?
21 A. They were carrying out the sanitisation of the battle-field. I
22 did not check where they were buried.
23 Q. So you never heard anything about the bodies being exhumed from a
24 mass grave under the bridge?
25 A. No. They must have been buried on the spot, but I never heard
1 any more about it.
2 Q. All right. I want to ask you please about one last incident.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Excuse me, Ms. Korner.
4 Mr. Witness, how many perpetrators were there, more or less?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Seven or eight from what I could
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Were they uniformed?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They had camouflage uniforms on.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you.
10 MS. KORNER:
11 Q. What happened in a place called Klijevci? Have I got this right,
12 Klijevci, in a garage?
13 A. There is a place a called Kijrci [phoen], but I don't think
14 anything about a case in a garage.
15 Q. Where members of a family were killed, extended members of a
16 family? I'll just get the right name. Do you remember anything about
18 A. I can't remember. Nobody told me anything like that. But when I
19 heard from investigative authorities that a crime had been committed,
20 what I heard was that these people had not left the area, but instead hid
21 in a garage, and if any fighting men came across them or perhaps those
22 people who later went around the area looking for something to loot,
23 these people might have thrown a grenade into that basement or a garage
24 and killed those people. That's all I can tell you.
25 Q. Anything might have happened, but was that an incident that you
1 became involved in? Because the persons who had committed this, were
2 part of the brigade.
3 A. Not that I know. Not that I can remember. I don't even know
4 exactly when it happened.
5 Q. I'll come back to that after the break.
6 A. You see, whatever -- whatever happened, they would say the troops
7 of the 6th Brigade, but often times it was not the troops of the
8 6th Brigade but those who took advantage of the presence of the
9 6th Brigade.
10 Q. And who do you mean by that?
11 A. Well, once the brigade completes an action of disarmament, we
12 withdraw and people would go home, the men would go home. And then armed
13 groups or individuals would come to loot. They would commit a crime and
14 then since it was well known that the 6th Brigade had been in the area,
15 they would blame it on the 6th Brigade. In actual fact, it was difficult
16 to find the perpetrator.
17 Q. Was it your responsibility once you had, as you put it, disarmed
18 a village, to make sure that the property, houses and the like, were left
20 A. Since no state of war had been declared, soldiers would go home
21 after an operation. Nobody wanted or tried to keep them on the ground to
22 secure houses. Since no state of war had been declared, I didn't think
23 it was my duty to secure the territory.
24 Q. Whose responsibility was it after you had disarmed a village or
25 civilians had left because it was about to be attacked to make sure that
1 there was no looting or further killing?
2 A. Well, since civilians were supposed to leave the village, to
3 withdraw ahead of combat operations, it was considered that villages were
4 empty of civilians. That only buildings remained. And the buildings
5 were supposed to be secured by municipal authorities, the municipal
6 authorities who were the only real power in that area.
7 Q. Right. You said withdraw ahead of combat operations," do you
8 mean every case of disarmament, it involved combat operations?
9 A. Not in every case. Only in Hrustovo and in Mahala.
10 Q. I'm going to come to Mahala --
11 A. When --
12 Q. Sorry, I interrupted you. Let's deal with Mahala then. Mahala
13 was shelled, wasn't it? And that is a leading question, but there is a
14 lot of evidence about that. Colonel? Colonel? Can you hear?
15 A. Yes, yes. What is the question?
16 Q. The question was Mahala was shelled, wasn't it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And just -- I'm not sure that the Trial Chamber has had a look at
19 a map of Sanski Most yet.
20 MS. KORNER: Can I have up, please, 65 ter 3152.
21 Q. And, sorry, it's a map, Colonel, at the back of your bundle,
22 number 29. Behind divider number 29.
23 Can you just indicate to us where Mahala -- now, I don't know
24 whether he can do that, of course. Apparently there's an extra copy down
25 there, Colonel. If you can just mark it and then hold it up to the
1 camera, just show us where Mahala was, I think we can actually pretty
2 well see it.
3 A. [Marks].
4 MS. KORNER: Has he marked it in red?
5 Q. That's it. Yes, thank you.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, before we move on, can I ask for
7 various documents to be exhibited. The last document which we were
8 looking at before we moved on which was 1597, could that be made an
10 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P106, Your Honours.
12 MS. KORNER: And then could this map -- I don't think we've
13 exhibited that before, could that be made an exhibit.
14 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: A view of the map with markings is Exhibit P108,
16 Your Honours.
17 MS. KORNER: And I suppose the one that -- well, there's the
18 clean one, and then there's the one he marked.
19 THE REGISTRAR: And the clean map is Exhibit P107, Your Honours.
20 MS. KORNER: Right. Thank you.
21 JUDGE HALL: We are coming up on a break, Ms. Korner.
22 MS. KORNER: Another 10 minutes.
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
24 MS. KORNER: Is that going on or stopping?
25 JUDGE HALL: We'll try for 90 minutes which seems to be our
1 pattern today.
2 MS. KORNER: Right.
3 Q. Colonel, sorry, Mahala, it's -- effectively it's part of the
4 town, isn't it, of Sanski Most?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And was Mahala shelled by troops under your command?
7 A. The units used mortars to shell because two mortars across the
9 that had started to confiscate weapons. Armed resistance was put up from
10 the Mahala.
11 Q. And Mahala was a largely, in fact almost entirely, Muslim area of
12 Sanski Most, wasn't it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And some resistance was put up and so your troops shelled it.
15 With what weapons did they shell it, please, Colonel?
16 A. 82 millimetre mortars.
17 Q. Anything else?
18 A. There are the 82 millimetre ones and 60 millimetre ones which are
19 smaller than these ones.
20 Q. And were they used as well?
21 A. The 82 and 60 millimetre mortars were used, as I said.
22 Q. And what was the result of that?
23 A. The shelling started and the population was given three hours to
24 leave the Mahala. Those who did not wish to fight. And the population
25 left, and they were guarded by fighters from the 6th Brigade. Nobody who
1 didn't wish to fight was harmed. Some buildings were damaged and such in
2 the course of the action, but for the most part the population had three
3 hours to pull out of Mahala, to leave Mahala.
4 Q. Civilians were killed as a result of the shelling, weren't they?
5 A. I didn't understand the question.
6 Q. Civilians, not armed men, not fighters, were killed as a result
7 of the shelling, were they not?
8 A. I have no information about how many were killed. Nobody
9 informed me about that. In any case, they left. Somebody, however,
10 could have been carrying weapons, even though they were in civilian
12 Q. And after the shelling, I think you mentioned it earlier, the
13 houses were set on fire, weren't they?
14 A. They were not all set on fire. A couple of houses caught fire
15 from the shelling, but later in the course of the night probably there
16 was burning after the army left Mahala.
17 Q. Yes. Not probably, Colonel, please. Were you, yourself, aware
18 of the fact that during the course of the night nearly all the houses in
19 Mahala were set on fire?
20 A. Yes. After two days because in the evening I pulled out with the
21 army towards Lusci Palanka, and then a couple of days later or the
22 following day I learned that quite a few houses in Mahala had been set on
24 Q. And who was responsible for the protection of Mahala after you
25 pulled your troops out?
1 A. I've already told you. Since a state of war hadn't been
2 declared, it was not in my jurisdiction to continue to secure and guard
3 the territory. There was the municipality with its organs, so that was
4 under the jurisdiction of the municipality because I was a peacetime
6 Q. Yes, but you were cooperating, weren't you, very closely with the
7 municipal authorities, Colonel Basara?
8 A. I cooperated as much as I had to and as far as there was a need.
9 Q. Yes. Were you, in fact, on the Crisis Staff of Sanski Most as a
11 A. No, I wasn't.
12 Q. So you wouldn't agree that you were a permanent member of the
13 Crisis Staff of Sanski Most; is that right?
14 A. I didn't agree with many things then. I didn't agree with many
15 things, but they happened anyway.
16 Q. No. If there was a document that says you were a permanent
17 member of the Crisis Staff of Sanski Most, is it your assertion that is
18 not correct?
19 A. Anybody could appoint me to whatever they wanted to, but I never
20 agreed to be a permanent member of the Crisis Staff, no.
21 Q. All right. Well, can you just very quickly have a look, please,
22 at -- in the last few minutes before the break. A document 30th of May,
23 which you will find behind divider 8. And it's 65 ter number 614?
24 Do you see there, it says it's a meeting of the Sanski Most
25 Crisis Staff, and there's a list of the following 12 persons having a
1 clear domain of activities. Number 10, do you see your name?
2 A. I can see my name, but somebody put me there without my approval
3 or agreement because sometimes I would be invited to attend the meetings
4 of that Crisis Staff. But I did not authorise anyone to include me in
5 the Crisis Staff because I believed that I didn't belong there.
6 Q. All right. You did attend meetings, but you weren't aware that
7 you were part of the Crisis Staff; that's what you are saying, is it?
8 A. Every time I attended, I considered it as attending sessions of
9 the municipal organs, and not a session of the Crisis Staff because once
10 the Serbian municipality was formed, I no longer considered it to be the
11 Crisis Staff. They could have called it whatever they wanted, but these
12 were municipal organs that were there, and I attended those meetings.
13 Q. When you attended those meetings, was Mirko Vrucinic the chief of
14 the police in Sanski Most present?
15 A. We attended some meetings together, some I attended myself. Most
16 of them I didn't attend, so I really couldn't say. Perhaps he attended a
17 couple of meetings together with me.
18 Q. Because you knew him quite well, didn't you? He was an
19 ex-intelligence officer from the army, from the JNA?
20 A. I knew Mirko very well, and on the whole I believe that he
21 followed along the lines of what he did in the brigade as an intelligence
22 officer and that he continued to properly exercise his duties.
23 Q. Did you ever say to him at any stage, Look, all these places are
24 being destroyed after I pulled my men out. Are you doing anything to
25 protect these areas, such as Mahala?
1 A. I didn't say that to him. Because I didn't even have time to
2 deal with all of the matters.
3 MS. KORNER: [Overlapping speakers] Oh, yes, can I have that last
4 document exhibited, please. It's 65 ter 614.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As a Exhibit P108 [sic], Your Honours.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: And Ms. Korner, may I remind you that you have
8 used two hours and 12 minutes, so you have a little more than 15 minutes
9 left when we come back.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Apologies, Your Honour; it's Exhibit P109.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: We'll adjourn for 20 minutes.
12 --- Recess taken at 12.19 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I've double-checked my note, and
15 although I'm going to leave out a lot of exhibits, I would like, if I
16 may, just have half an hour, I have got four documents but they are all
17 major documents. And as Mr. Cvijetic was quite right, it's much slower
18 when you are doing it through this method. I originally did say
19 four hours for this witness, and I've cut did down.
20 JUDGE HALL: So you need a half-hour more?
21 MS. KORNER: Yes, please. Instead of 15 minutes. 15 minutes
22 more than I originally -- sorry, what I had left. Thank you. Not
23 three-quarters of an hour, no. Thank you.
24 Q. Colonel, I said I'd come back after the break to the name of the
25 village where these people were murdered in a garage, about which you say
1 you do know something. It was Kenjari, do you remember that?
2 A. I think that it is not the village of Kenjari
3 group that were left or abandoned by their commander. This is some
4 village that is not known to me.
5 Q. All right. Then I want to move, please, to the question of
6 paramilitaries which you discussed, which you raised. Did you hear of a
7 group that called itself the Serbian Defence Forces, SOS?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you know who their leaders were?
10 A. I knew that the main leader was a person by the name of
11 Nunija [phoen]. I don't know what his real name was, though, whether it
12 was Shavovic or Savovic or if his first name was Dusan. But, anyway, he
13 did attend the Municipal Assembly meetings. He took part in everything
15 Q. Were you surprised that the leader of a paramilitary group was
16 taking part in sessions of the assembly?
17 A. What could I have done? If the president of the municipality and
18 the others allowed him to participate, I was attending also, but I really
19 couldn't do much there.
20 Q. Are we talking about --
21 A. And I believed since --
22 Q. Sorry, it's my fault, I keep interrupting. Do you mean sessions
23 of the actual assembly or sessions of the Crisis Staff?
24 A. I called them all sessions of the Municipal Assembly. Meetings
25 of the Crisis Staff didn't exist for me any longer once the municipality
1 was formed.
2 Q. And these -- this group, the SOS, were you aware of the SOS
3 committing crimes against non-Serbs?
4 A. I don't have specific proof about the crimes they committed so I
5 cannot really say anything about that specifically.
6 Q. Whether you had proof or not, did you hear that they had
7 committed crimes against non-Serbs?
8 A. All I know is that they made a lot of noise, and they frightened
9 the Muslim population. But specifically, I don't know what crimes are
10 being referred to.
11 Q. All right. Before I show you four further documents which deal
12 with the activities of the brigade, can I ask you this: Mosques. The
13 mosques in Sanski Most were destroyed during this period, weren't they?
14 And I mean in the general municipality, not just the town.
15 A. All the mosques were destroyed because they couldn't be
16 preserved. As for who actually knocked them down, I couldn't prove who
17 it was or establish who it was.
18 Q. Yes, but whether you could prove who it was exactly, were the
19 people who were destroying the mosques members of your brigade?
20 A. I ordered the battalion commanders in whose territory the mosques
21 were to allocate people to guard the mosques, but during the night people
22 would come from the outside. I don't know if they were in the brigade or
23 not. They would place stockings on their heads, disarm the people, and
24 knock down the mosques. And those people who were guarding them, even if
25 they knew who did that, they didn't dare say who it was because they were
1 afraid that some harm might come to their families or that their family
2 members would be killed. So it was never really known who destroyed the
4 Q. Did you have a Chief of Staff called Brajic?
5 A. I did have Veljko Brajic who was the chief, he was the staff
6 commander. He didn't want to admit that he practically -- I actually
7 suspected that he ordered the mosque in Mahala to be knocked down.
8 Actually, ultimately I was not able to determine whether he did issue
9 such an order or not.
10 Q. What made you suspect, if nothing else, that he was the person
11 who had ordered the destruction of the mosque in Mahala?
12 A. I suspected it because I was there at the time and I gave -- or I
13 charged him with signals at that time so when the mosque was knocked
14 down, he laughed. So I thought that perhaps he knew that it would be
15 destroyed before it happened.
16 Q. Well, did you order any investigation into this deliberate wanton
17 destruction of a mosque by a man you suspected was your Chief of Staff?
18 A. I didn't order anything like that, and I didn't have people who
19 would be capable of conducting such an investigation. These are all
20 reserve forces. I didn't have enough professionals who would be able to
21 carry that out.
22 Q. All right, Colonel. Can you look, please, now at a document
23 which you will find behind your divider 16. It is 65 ter 644. And can
24 you turn, please, in the B/C/S to -- it's page 2300491737, and in the
25 English we want page 37.
1 Is that headed -- the whole document is something called the
2 "Informator" of the SDS Sanski Most published on St. Peter's Day, 1992.
3 As a matter of interest, do you know when St. Peter's Day is or was in
5 A. I'm an atheist, so I don't really pay attention to these
6 holidays. I don't know what day it is.
7 Q. So part of this document is headed "The Activities of the 6th
8 Krajina Brigade After Their Arrival in Sanski Most." Stay where you are
9 on the same a page and go to the third paragraph from the bottom.
10 MS. KORNER: In the translation we need the next page, please,
11 number 38.
12 Q. Do you see the paragraph that begins:
13 "The brigade has participated in the following operations: The
14 liberation of Bosanska Krupa; the liberation and mopping up in
15 Hambarine;" that's in the Prijedor municipality, isn't it?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. "Creating conditions for the take-over in Kljuc; confiscation of
18 weapons across the municipality; the military defeat of the Muslim
19 extremists in Vrhpolje and Hrustovo; involvement in mopping up all the
20 areas on the left bank of the Una; involvement in mopping up the areas of
21 Sanica, Krasulje, Hrustovo, Vrhpolje. Currently it is carrying out
22 assignments at the Una river..." Accurate description?
23 A. This is incorrect, because, for example, some 30 to 40 men took
24 part in the Krupa thing. One platoon of the military police went to
25 Hambarine. The commander from Prijedor asked me to send a platoon of
1 military police; however, the commander of the military police platoon
2 was in Prijedor with them, so the person, whoever wrote this, said that
3 the brigade took part in activities there in Kozarac, but only one
4 platoon actually participated in that. It's true that the brigade
5 disarmed the Muslims in that area. That is correct. But as for these
6 actions, this is not correct.
7 Q. Which actions are not correct?
8 A. Well, if one platoon was in Prijedor, you cannot say that it went
9 to Hambarine, Kozarusa, and Kozarac. One platoon of military police was
10 in Prijedor only, whoever wrote this was not aware of the fact that the
11 platoon had left, so that's what they wrote down, so this is not correct
12 that it was actually the 6th Brigade.
13 Q. All right. But it was the platoon of the 6th Brigade; is that
14 right? That's all you are being asked, participation, not how many.
15 A. A platoon of the military police which the platoon was in
16 Prijedor. I'm not aware that it participated in combat because I sent it
17 to secure the town of Prijedor
18 platoon was supposed to secure the town.
19 Q. Yes. So at this moment I'm not asking about combat. It simply
20 says the brigade has participated in the following operations, leave
21 aside how many and who, is that correct, that in some form or other the
22 brigade participated? That's all I'm asking.
23 A. There are accurate bits of information, but 80 per cent is
24 incorrect. This was written by some journalist.
25 Q. All right.
1 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honours, may I ask the whole document be
2 exhibit. It's going to be used for other witnesses as well, so I may as
3 well get it exhibited now.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: How long is it?
5 MS. KORNER: It's in all -- in English it's 54 pages. But as I
6 say other parts are going to be dealt with but any other witnesses, this
7 is simply giving it an exhibit number now.
8 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour, the witness as far as I
10 heard did not confirm the authenticity of the document. He said there
11 are some true stuff inside and some stuff which is not true, and that it
12 was done by a journalist. I don't think this is proper that it is
13 tendered through him.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Zecevic.
15 Ms. Korner, what is the providence of this document?
16 MS. KORNER: It was seized after -- from the offices, I think, of
17 the SDS immediately after the Operation Storm when they moved back into
18 Sanski Most.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: What is it, and who authored it?
20 MS. KORNER: I think it's -- right. It's -- I can't tell you who
21 authored it. It's obviously a document issued by the SDS, and as can be
22 seen, the publisher is the SDS information and promotion centre. It's on
23 the first page. Printed in 300 copies. It's a bit like the document you
24 saw with the last witness. It's obviously -- the majority of it deals
25 with the Crisis Staff.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, can I assist, it was also an exhibit
3 in the Brdjanin trial. It was admitted there.
4 JUDGE HALL: Ms. Korner, we see the practicality of your
5 suggestion, and I'm not unmindful of your answer to Judge Harhoff's
6 questions about providence, nevertheless we are of the view that in this
7 stage it should be marked for identification, and we assume that from
8 what you would have -- from what you intimated that at some point the
9 sufficient of a nexus between it and a witness to come would allow it to
10 be tendered and admitted as an exhibit.
11 MS. KORNER: Well, sorry, for once it's actually on our 65 ter
12 list which is something, I would have thought. But all right, I'll deal
13 with it through another witness then.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: [Microphone not activated] Then we can MFI it.
15 MS. KORNER: Sorry?
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: We can MFI it.
17 MS. KORNER: Yes, or I would like it MFI'd. Yes, please.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document will be assigned
19 Exhibit P110, and it will be marked for identification.
20 MS. KORNER:
21 Q. All right. Very quickly, can you turn now please to the document
22 behind your divider 18. This is 10123 can you identify while we are
23 waiting for it to come up, this is a document with your signature typed,
24 is that your actual signature on it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. Then can you turn, please, to that in this document
2 which is a report in December of 1992 on the brigade to paragraph 5
3 headed "Situation in the Territory." And that's on page 2 of the English
4 translation. And it's on page 3 of the B/C/S.
5 MS. KORNER: Can we get there, possibly. No, that's not the
6 right page. Sorry, could the page go up, please. Because paragraph 5 is
7 not visible in the English now. The English page, please. I want
8 paragraph 5. Thank you.
9 Q. You are reporting on the situation in Sanski Most, Colonel.
10 "Muslims and Croats are calm and do not create any problems
11 except all measures undertaken by the authorities. However, the biggest
12 problem in the territory are groups of armed Serbs who are terrorizing
13 the Muslims and Croats, and looting anything in their way. There have
14 been killings so that some of these groups have been arrested. There are
15 a lot of cases involving smuggling, appropriation of vehicles,
17 Did you do anything to prevent these groups of armed Serbs,
18 paramilitary organisations, terrorizing the Muslims and Croats?
19 A. I did everything that was in my power, but it couldn't be
21 Q. Well, did you --
22 A. I asked for assistance in this report from my Superior Commander
23 and from other.
24 Q. Did you in any way try and involve your friend Mr. Vrucinic, head
25 of the police, in preventing all of this?
1 A. I did not involve Vrucinic. I can't recall precisely, but I
2 think when we met, we discussed what we could do to stop this and what we
3 could do in general. He did what he could and so did I to counter this,
4 but it was very difficult because people were dispersed across a large
5 area, they were armed, it was very difficult to establish who they were,
6 and so on and so forth.
7 Q. So that really is your answer to virtually everything, isn't it,
8 Colonel, that it was terribly difficult to establish who anybody was in
9 order to stop them?
10 A. It was impossible to stop them from doing this. We tried to
11 reduce the incidents of these things, but to completely put an end to
12 them, we couldn't.
13 Q. Right.
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, that was not, I am afraid on our
15 65 ter. Can I ask that that be marked for identification.
16 JUDGE HALL: [Microphone not activated] So marked.
17 MS. KORNER: Then could you turn, please, next --
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document will be assigned
19 Exhibit P111, and it will be marked for identification.
20 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
21 Q. To your divider 19, Colonel, Exhibit 65 ter number 10124.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I'm sorry. I need to -- I need to
23 ask one other thing. I already objected to this, and we agreed that we
24 will talk about that at the 65 ter conference. Now, the question is, was
25 this -- was this document ever disclosed to the Defence? I'm pretty sure
1 I never saw it before. P111. I mean, those are the -- one problem
2 creates another thousands of problems because if the documents which are
3 not offered on the 65 ter list are shown to the witnesses like this
4 without the leave to amend the 65 ter list in a proper way, then we are
5 faced with these issues. I'm pretty sure, and Mr. Cvijetic, that we
6 never saw these documents before, and it wasn't disclosed to us. It
7 might be, I'm not saying it was done deliberately by the OTP, but it's
8 just an enormous amount of documents. Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Your observation is taken note of and as I said,
10 we'll have a thorough discussion of this issue at the 65 ter conference.
11 Ms. Korner.
12 MS. KORNER: I can answer that straight off, it's part of the
13 first what we call the 1st Krajina Corps collection; it was seized in
14 1998. All that together with the CSB, the Banja Luka collection, as they
15 are called, are all in EDS. Whether we specifically disclosed this
16 document, probably not because it's -- everything that's in EDS is -- we
17 don't do so on everything, but most things we don't do specific
18 disclosure of. What we tend to disclose is documents that are aren't
19 immediately available.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand, but I do appreciate the objections
21 made by the Defence. I mean, they are being prejudiced by suddenly being
22 faced by this document that they could have discussed with their client
23 if they had been aware of the fact that it would come up.
24 MS. KORNER: I suppose the remedy to that is earlier disclosure
25 by -- earlier giving of the lists by us of the documents we intended to
1 use and pointing out where they could be found. I accept that.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: And that would be one of the issues that we will
3 discuss at the 65 ter conference. We need to, simply -- and I'm
4 addressing myself also to counsels, we need to get a better grip on this.
5 This is getting out of hand.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: We would welcome that, Your Honour.
7 MS. KORNER: Sorry, I want to finish -- I'm sorry, it is
8 actually -- luckily for us, it was disclosed in batch 41 on the 2nd of
9 May, 2008
10 today. They say it was disclosed to them. So it's a rather odd
11 objection, all things considered.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Okay. Carry on.
13 MS. KORNER: All right.
14 Q. Colonel, I'm sorry, yes. This is the 6th Krajina Brigade wartime
15 newsletter, dated the 15th of December. Now, is it right that in
16 December of 1992, you actually retired again from the army?
17 A. No, that's not correct. I was already retired, and I could not
18 be retired again.
19 Q. All right. Well, if you turn to the part and we go to the next
20 page, page 2 of this document, and I think both documents, actually,
21 English and B/C/S. Is that headed: "Good Luck Commander."
22 "Our former brigade commander, Colonel Branko Basara, has
23 expressed his will, due to health reasons, to leave the 6th Krajina
25 Is that what it says, Colonel?
1 A. It says so here, but I'm not particularly confident about this.
2 It must have been written by another journalist who doesn't even know
3 what the brigade was called. He said -- he says here the 6th Light
4 Infantry Brigade. That was not our name. Our name was the 6th Krajina
5 Brigade. He doesn't even know as much, and he takes -- he arrogates the
6 right to use my name and the name of Kajtez, and all the other people.
7 He just wrote this offhandedly. I don't know about any of this, and he
8 never consulted me.
9 Q. How do you know it was written by a journalist as opposed to a
10 member of your own brigade?
11 A. A member of my brigade could not have written this because a
12 member of my brigade would have known the name of the brigade.
13 MS. KORNER: All right. So you see, let's look at the warpath of
14 the 6th Krajina Light Infantry Brigade on page 3 of this document in
15 English. And it's, I think, the second page in the B/C/S.
16 Q. Paragraph:
17 "The basic tasks of the 6th Krajina Brigade were as follows:
18 Keeping under control the territory of Sanski Most municipality;"
19 et cetera, and the corridor operations. "Under the command of
20 Colonel Basara, 6th Krajina Light Infantry Brigade participated in the
21 following operations: Bosanska Krupa liberation; liberation in
22 sweeping," cleaning I mean; "cleansing of Hambarine, Kozarusa, Kozarac;
23 creating of conditions for taking of the authority in Kljuc; confiscation
24 of weapons across the municipality; the military defeat"--
25 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down.
1 MS. KORNER: Sorry.
2 Q. "The military defeat of the Muslim extremists, Vrhpolje and
4 Almost exactly what we saw in the "Informator," so this is wrong
5 in this publication as well, is it?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Did you have a farewell --
8 A. If this were true, you know that I would have ...
9 Q. Would have? Would have what?
10 A. I was about to say that this is as incorrect as that piece about
11 the informer. It must have been written by the same journalist. What he
12 says here that I did, if I had done that, I would have so many
13 decorations, I would not have been able to fit them on my chest. These
14 are things that must have been written with a purpose, probably the
15 purpose of boosting the morale of the Serbs. That's the usual instrument
16 of the media.
17 Q. All right. Did you have a farewell reception at which speeches
18 were made?
19 A. It was no reception. Kajtez organised something at the command.
20 We had a discussion, he expressed his best wishes. Now, whether a
21 journalist was present or not, I couldn't say because I never wanted to
22 give any statements for journalists, and if a journalist was present, he
23 wrote about it the way he wanted to, the way he saw it, included whatever
24 he saw fit.
25 Q. All right. Finally, did -- on this document, because I've got
1 one more, Colonel Basara, you are quoted as making a speech. Just read
2 it to yourself and tell us if that's an accurate depiction of what you
3 said, which we see on the fourth page of the translation, and it's on the
4 sixth page of the B/C/S.
5 A. This is roughly what I said at the time very briefly. I wouldn't
6 say that it was word for word correct, but it does reflect my opinion.
7 Q. All right.
8 MS. KORNER: Can that be marked for identification, please.
9 JUDGE HALL: So marked.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P112, marked
11 for identification.
12 MS. KORNER: Final document and final series of questions, it's
13 behind -- it's 65 ter number 10125.
14 Q. Behind divider 20, Colonel, in your bundle. This is a document,
15 Colonel, in your handwriting, isn't it?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And it says, "The War Record of the 6th Infantry Brigade." Can
18 you turn to paragraph 4, please, which is on page 2 of the translation,
19 and God only knows where in your own be -- I think you'll find it on the
20 second page of your own handwritten. It's the paragraph that begins, "in
21 the course of March 1991, clashes between the nationalities..." Do you
22 see that?
23 A. I do.
24 Q. Right. Halfway through that paragraph, or about five lines down:
25 "With the arrival of the brigade on this territory, the Muslims
1 and the Croats became afraid, and the Serbs heaved a sigh of relief."
2 Then we see about the battalion being brought up to strength:
3 "We ordered the Serbs to arm themselves quickly and replenish the
4 units. Since our task as a JNA unit was to prevent conflict between the
5 nationalities, that is, to prevent the slaughter of the Serbian people,
6 we could not publicly arm the Serbs. We then worked along two lines.
7 The first was organising and arming the Serbian people. The second,
8 negotiating and persuading the Muslims and Croats to remain loyal and
9 that we could live together. We had to resort to a trick to make it
10 possible for us to arm the Serbs publicly and legally..." and so on and
11 so forth.
12 Did you write that?
13 A. That's my handwriting, true.
14 Q. Right. Was it true?
15 A. But I don't see what you are reading. No, that was not correct.
16 It was my intention then to arm Muslims as well and to let them join
17 units, but they did not go along with that because they had different
18 orders from Sarajevo
19 MR. ZECEVIC: I am sorry, Your Honours, again the transcript,
20 71/13. I believe the witness said something else after that. "That's my
21 handwriting true," but -- and then Ms. Korner interrupted him. So she
22 should re-address that, please.
23 MS. KORNER: Not sure what I'm supposed to re-address. I asked
24 him, Did you write that; and he said, That's my handwriting, true.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, and then after that he says, But I can't find
1 what you are reading to me. This is not what is written in here.
2 MS. KORNER: Yes, it is.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Can the part in the original B/C/S version be
4 highlighted by the Registrar, in yellow, for instance.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: It's page 71, 13. Line 13.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: In two lines down is
7 exactly the phrase Mr. Zecevic is looking for.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Registrar, could you, for the benefit of the
9 witness, identify the lines that Ms. Korner read out in English. Find
10 those lines in the original B/C/S version and highlight them in yellow so
11 that the witness can find them.
12 MS. KORNER: Sorry, I think we've found it. It's page 00478674,
13 and it's four lines from the top of the page, paragraph 4 begins. And
14 it's the third page of the B/C/S with that number. We can see
15 paragraph 4. But the colonel can't see that in Belgrade.
16 Q. But have you now found that, Colonel?
17 A. Yes, I found it.
18 Q. So my question was, if it wasn't true, why did you say it?
19 A. Well, look, it was written at the time because the authorities --
20 quite simply, I was labelled as a pro-Muslim element when I suggested
21 that Muslims should join the brigade, and then I had to do something lest
22 I remain remembered as a pro-Muslim, and that's what I wrote.
23 Q. All right. And, finally, and this is the last question,
24 paragraph 6, which you will find on the fifth page of your own document,
25 five lines from the top, and it's the third page of the English
2 You describe in that paragraph how, "... the 6th Brigade left the
3 forces of the JNA and became the VRS. It's task changed, then the
4 Muslims and Croats became adversaries and the brigade was given the tasks
5 of disarming them and preventing the slaughter of the Serbian people.
6 The 6th then prepared the way for the seizure of power and secured the
7 take-over of the territory of the municipalities of Sanski Most and
8 Kljuc. The villages of Hrustovo and Vrhpolje put up resistance. Our
9 units successfully cleared those areas."
10 Was that true, Colonel?
11 A. This is true, and it is written because the presence of the
12 brigade in itself in that area created those conditions. We didn't do
13 anything in particular to create such conditions, but with the arrival of
14 the brigade and with its presence, because the Muslims did not wish to
15 take arms and join the brigade, then the brigade itself created those
16 conditions, and this is why I wrote that.
17 Q. Yes.
18 MS. KORNER: Thank you Colonel, that's all I ask. Your Honours,
19 may that be marked for identification as well.
20 JUDGE HALL: So marked.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number P113, Your Honours,
22 marked for identification.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
24 Mr. Cvijetic.
25 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Cvijetic:
2 Q. Colonel Basara, good day.
3 A. Good day.
4 Q. I am attorney Slobodan Cvijetic, and I am representing the
5 accused Mr. Stanisic as co-counsel.
6 Since you are the first military officer of the former JNA,
7 Colonel Basara, to appear in this case as a witness, just like
8 Madam Prosecutor, I'm going to deal a little bit with specifically the
9 concept and the mandate of the Yugoslav People's Army.
10 However, before I do that, I'm going to put a short question to
11 you. Before this case, did you know or did you hear of the existence of
12 Mr. Mico Stanisic?
13 A. Never heard of him, and I never met him. I heard about the
14 Stanisic in Serbia
16 Q. You would agree with me that you heard his name only when you
17 were called to testify in this case?
18 A. Yes, that is correct.
19 Q. Thank you. I'm now going to go back to the introductory question
20 I had about the Yugoslav people's army. I'm going to remind you of the
21 provisions of the constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic
23 preserve the territorial integrity of the Socialist Federal Republic
25 and in particular cessation of any part of its territory, and the
1 changing of its external borders, am I correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The concept of the Yugoslav People's Army was basically founded
4 on its unprofessionalism. We didn't have a professional standing army;
5 is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The army comprised military officers who were employed, if I may
8 put it that way, by the state in essence by the Secretariat for national
9 Defence of the SFRY. And it also comprised of a non-professional force
10 of military conscripts who were recruited from the ranks of men fit for
11 military duty of a certain age group; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. The Yugoslav People's Army shared the fate of the entire country
14 and it was multiethnic, included several ethnic groups, and this applied
15 both to the officer cadre and the rank and file, am I correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. With the unilateral proclamation in favour of an independent
18 state, the Republic of Slovenia
19 integrity of Yugoslavia
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. This was an anti-constitutional act and something that was
22 subject to sanctions by the federal constitutional law; am I correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. The boundaries of the Republic of Slovenia
25 boundaries but administrative internal borders; am I correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So the Yugoslav People's Army did have a mandate to intervene in
4 A. Yes, but not that well.
5 Q. However, with the quick recognition of Slovenia by the
6 international community, the Yugoslav People's Army was declared the
7 aggressor on its own territory; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. There was no problem with Slovenia
10 agree with me, because its ethnic composition was more or less homogenous
11 and it only had one nation, the highest percentage of its population was
12 of one nation. The problem occurred with Croatia because in its
13 composition, there was a large section of Serb citizens who were one of
14 the constituent peoples in the Republic of Croatia
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. There is a historical problem as well that follows this is ethnic
17 problem in Croatia
19 During World War II, during the fascist occupation, thus in the
20 territory of Croatia
21 was declared with a fascist Ustasha regime at its head; is this correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. During this regime, continual war crimes were conducted against
24 the Serbian population in Croatia
25 other ethnic groups being killed in Jasenovac which was the biggest
1 concentration camp in Croatia
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Mr. Basara, the symbols of the Croatian state were the red
4 checkered flag and the letter U on the uniforms of soldiers of the
5 Ustasha army of the independent state of Croatia; am I correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. These symbols, Colonel Basara, did they re-emerge again in the
8 multiparty elections in Croatia
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Cvijetic, the interpreter is having a little
11 difficulty keeping up.
12 MS. KORNER: I suppose one could also ask what the relevance of
13 all this is, but ...
14 MR. CVIJETIC: Your Honours, very quickly we will enter
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina. We are just approaching that now.
16 Q. Colonel Basara, other than the victorious HDZ party, some extra
17 missed pro-Ustasha a parties appeared in Croatia such as the Croatian
18 Party of Rights of Mr. Paraga, which did not conceal the fact that it was
19 following the path of former pro-Ustasha formations by the adoption of
20 their symbols and philosophy; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Mr. Basara, was this something that could create justified fear
23 among the Serbian population in Croatia
24 A. Well, it did create a certain extent of fear in the Serbian
25 population about what could happen.
1 Q. The only force that could protect those Serb citizens in Croatia
2 were members of the Yugoslav People's Army; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. However, you received an assignment, orders that you must
5 withdraw Croatia
6 forces were to take your place; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Your unit, Colonel Basara, was precisely in the area of
9 Jasenovac, it's not just one monument, it's a memorial complex located on
10 a large territory that you had to cover; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. International forces arrived and were deployed, but you will
13 agree, Colonel Basara, they did not succeed in saving the Serbian people,
14 400.000 Serbs were expelled.
15 A. You mean from the whole of Croatia, not Jasenovac?
16 Q. Of course. But is what I said correct?
17 A. Yes, if you are speaking about all of Croatia.
18 Q. Right. Will you tell us, where did these people go for the most
20 A. For the most part to Serbia
21 Q. Where did they go? Which path did they take?
22 A. Via the northern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 Q. You mean Republika Srpska?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Mr. Basara, your brigade received orders to go -- I'm sorry,
1 Mr. Basara, the Judges signal that it's time to finish for today. We'll
2 continue tomorrow.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Basara.
5 Colonel, we will continue tomorrow morning, as indicated by
6 counsel Cvijetic, and I shall therefore remind you that you are still
7 under oath and that you are not allowed to discuss your testimony today
8 with anybody outside the -- sorry, with anybody else at all. We will
9 adjourn until tomorrow at 9.00 in this courtroom.
10 [Witness stood down via videolink]
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.
12 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 13th day of
13 October, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.