1 Tuesday, 23 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 Good morning everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case
7 number IT-08-91-T, the Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and
8 Stojan Zupljanin.
9 JUDGE HALL
10 Good morning to all. May we begin in the usual manner by having
11 the appearances, please.
12 MS. KORNER: Good morning, Your Honours. Joanna Korner assisted
13 by Jasmina Bosnjakovic.
14 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
15 Appearing for Mr. Stanisic, Slobodan Cvijetic and Case Manager
16 Tatjana Savic.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Good morning, Your Honour. For Zupljanin Defence
18 this morning, Igor Pantelic and Dragan Krgovic. Thank you.
19 JUDGE HALL
20 us, would the usher please escort the witness back to the stand.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, this isn't going to delay you so the
22 usher can bring the witness in. We applied for protective measures for
23 Witness 213, who is coming next week. I understand from speaking to
24 Mr. Krgovic there's no objection. I don't know whether anybody else has
25 got any objection. So if we could have a decision on that, that would be
1 very helpful.
2 MR. KRGOVIC: We don't have an objection, Your Honours.
3 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] No, me neither.
4 JUDGE HALL
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 WITNESS: DRAGO BOROVCANIN [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE HALL
9 continue, I would remind you that you're still on your oath.
10 Yes, Ms. Korner.
11 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
12 Examination by Ms. Korner: [Continued]
13 Q. Mr. Borovcanin, can I, this morning, before we continue with the
14 documents in this case, just deal with two slightly separate matters.
15 Firstly, we've seen that Mr. Cvijetic was chief of the CSB during the
16 relevant period. Is he still alive?
17 A. No. He was killed in 1993, in January.
18 Q. All right. And secondly, I just want to deal with the topic of
19 intercepts very briefly. You were asked to listen to a number of
20 intercepts, and can I just deal with them in this way:
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, this was listed on the proofing note
22 which was supplied to the Trial Chamber.
23 Q. Were you able to recognise the voice of Mico Stanisic - and don't
24 worry about the -- the numbers I'm about to read - on intercepts which
25 had the numbers 2695 -- 65 ter numbers 2695-1088, and 1090, on which
1 intercept 1090 you were also able to recognise the voice of someone
2 called Miljenko Borovcanin, and also on 1054 you recognised
3 Mico Stanisic's voice?
4 Can I just ask you, who is Milenko Borovcanin? Is he a relation
5 of yours or just somebody who has the same name?
6 A. Milenko is no relation of mine. I don't know how you understood
7 it, but in the Orthodox faith, if your patron saint is not the same -- we
8 are not related. We just share the same last name.
9 Q. Do you know who he was, what position he held in 1992?
10 A. Just before the war, he was in the police station of Novi Grad,
11 and during the war I believe he was assistant commander of a police
12 station in the process of being established in Rajlovac.
13 Q. And I think you also heard, recognised the voice of Karisik, the
14 head of the Special Police on intercepts which were numbered 1091 and
15 1095. Is that right?
16 A. I can't recall precisely whom he was talking to, but I recognised
17 his voice.
18 Q. Yes. Yes. Thank you, sir. That's all that I want to ask you
19 about those matters. I'm sorry, I should have asked you one further
21 Were you aware of the -- called the Serb autonomous areas, in
22 particular the SAO Romanija-Birac?
23 A. I didn't know that until later when it was reported in the media,
24 when I understood that it was an area that the centre was covering, if I
25 understood that correctly.
1 Q. All right. So you never heard about anybody who was president of
2 that Serb autonomous region or any kind of Assembly that was ever held?
3 A. Certainly not.
4 Q. All right. Can we return, then, please to some of the documents
5 you looked at. Not all, you'll be happy to hear. We dealt with,
6 although I said we were going to go back to it, I think we've done
7 everything we need to with that, the 11th of July meeting in Belgrade.
8 Could you have a look now, please, at 6 -- I'm sorry,
9 Exhibit P610, which will come up on the screen again, but quite slowly,
10 I'm afraid.
11 This is a report on the implementation of the conclusions from
12 the meeting of senior personnel in the MUP held on the 11th of July, and
13 these minutes are headed "Sarajevo, August 1992."
14 Did you see this document at the time?
15 A. Well, as far as I remember, we went through this document
16 yesterday. I attended that meeting, and that implies I've seen the
18 Q. Right. Can I ask you to look, please, at the -- in English it's
19 the second page, and I think it's the same in the B/C/S version.
20 Now, it appears that the ministry had sent out a telegram on the
21 17th of August, asking for responses to certain questions, and this is a
22 document issued by your CSB
23 number 6, I think the question was - unfortunately we don't have the
24 document here - about the investigation of war crimes, and here it's
1 "They have started with video cassettes on processed war
3 War crimes against whom were being investigated?
4 A. Well, you see, by that time, war crimes were really being
5 committed in an area called Birca, in the area of the police station
6 Bratunac, and some in the area of the police station Milici. And if I
7 remember well, a scenes of crimes officer team went out onto the scene to
8 document these war crimes, and there are photographs. They tried to do
9 their best to conduct a professional on-site investigation with the
10 personnel and the inspectors that were available, so I know that for a
11 fact those were war crimes against the Serbian population in the area of
12 Podrinje, mainly in the municipality of Bratunac, including the village
13 of Kravica and some other places I've forgotten.
14 And I have to add, I'm sorry, if there had been any crimes
15 committed by Serbs and we had known about them, I believe they would have
16 been treated in the same way as these crimes.
17 Q. Yes. Well, you've anticipated my next question. As far as you
18 know, was any investigation carried out into war crimes committed against
20 A. I just said that. On-site investigations were carried out. Oh,
21 you mean against non-Serbs? At that time, you have to believe me, I was
22 engaged in other work. It would not be good for me to answer that
23 question without proper information and statistics. People from the
24 crime department should be asked that question. They did their job day
25 to day, and they had all the documents. I was engaged in operations work
1 with uniformed police, and I spent a lot of my time in the field doing
2 specific jobs. Without proper information, it would not be a good idea
3 for me to give you an answer.
4 Q. Yes, but you were able to give me detail -- or give us details of
5 the investigations in crimes into Serbs, what was alleged to be war
6 crimes against Serbs. Are you saying that you don't know of any
7 investigations against Muslims? Of war crimes that had taken place as
8 against non-Serbs, sorry.
9 A. I her later that there had been a few such investigations, and I
10 believe it's documented somewhere, but I cannot speak in a substantiated
11 way about these things because I was not involved in those
13 Q. As far as you were concerned, during that period of 1992, were
14 there any investigations into any of the events that had taken place, for
15 example, in Hrasnica, Susica camp, for example?
16 A. I think I partly answered that question yesterday when I said
17 that when we heard about Susica, a lot of water had passed under the
18 bridge, and I learned more about it from the media than we had official
19 reports, because there were many incidents going on; I was in the field a
20 lot; it was difficult to keep up with these things. I can't say I knew
21 about it at the time.
22 Q. All right. That's all that I want to ask you, thank you, about
23 that document.
24 Can we move next, please, to --
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Witness, could I just ask a question for
1 clarification of this, because I'm not sure I fully understood your
2 testimony in respect of your involvement in the investigation of war
4 You said that you were aware of the fact that the war crimes
5 prevention service had gone out to investigate crimes in three different
6 police stations where allegedly crimes -- war crimes had been committed
7 against Serbs, and you told us that videos were taken and some
8 preliminary investigations were made, and then when Ms. Korner asked you
9 about similar war crimes committed against non-Serbs, you said that you
10 were not involved or had no information about this.
11 So my question is why is there a difference between your
12 involvement in crimes against Serbs compared to crimes against non-Serbs?
13 Or have I misunderstood your testimony?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] there's probably a
15 misunderstanding. I said that employees of the crime department led by
16 inspectors conducted on-site investigations into crimes against the Serb
17 population. And that has been documented, as I said. I added later that
18 I was sure that if there had been reports about crimes against non-Serbs,
19 knowing my colleagues, I believe they would have treated these reports in
20 the same way, gone out and investigated. Also, I did not participate
21 directly in these on-site investigations, but I looked at some of the
22 photographs, for instance, when there were massive crimes involving
23 hundreds of victims, and I also participated myself in the investigation
24 in a village. I believe it was called Pantici near Zvornik. I just
25 happened to be in the field with that team.
1 As for other reports and on-site investigations into crimes
2 against non-Serbs, I can't say I was directly involved. But I have to
3 say, again, I believe my colleagues were professionals and they would
4 have dealt with it.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: So, just to be sure, when, later on, you learned
6 that crimes, in fact, had also been committed against non-Serbs, you
7 heard of no investigation being made to investigate those crimes. Is
8 that your testimony?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In one unofficial informal
10 conversation, and I believe there's even a document about it, it says
11 that investigations had been carried out into crimes against non-Serbs.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
13 Back to you, Ms. Korner.
14 MS. KORNER:
15 Q. Can I just continue for one moment on this theme. One of your
16 duties was to -- to send inspectors to the various SJBs you've told us
17 yesterday; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And one of their jobs, looking at that checklist of what they had
20 to do, was to look at the books to see what crimes had been record and
21 what investigations had been carry out; is that right?
22 A. Certainly. Every crime had to be recorded in the books that were
23 prescribed by the regulations.
24 Q. And their reports should have contained references, particularly
25 to, for example, major killings, shouldn't they, and what was happening
1 about the investigation?
2 A. Certainly. Every serious crime, especially murder, had priority
3 in our work above all other crimes such as theft and robbery and
4 suchlike. I don't really understand what you're asking me. Everything
5 was documented. Everything was processed.
6 Q. But from what you say, you don't recall any reference in any
7 reports to any war crimes committed in particular places against
9 A. Let's try to distinguish between two things. If a police
10 inspector came to carry out an inspection at a police station, he was to
11 inspect the internal organisation, the keeping of records, operative
12 work, security plans, the engagement of policemen. He was to inspect
13 solely the work of uniformed policemen.
14 My colleagues in the crime department were much more involved in
15 this other area of work that you're asking me about now. And I think
16 people who were involved in that work know much more about it.
17 Q. And just but finally then, Vlasenica did come under the CSB that
18 you were employed in; is that right?
19 A. Organisationally speaking, yes.
20 Q. Well, do you want to -- to add a caveat to that? In other words,
21 you say, "Organisationally speaking, yes." Are you trying to say that
22 practically it didn't?
23 A. Well, you see, if you look at the organisational scheme of the
25 head of the centre and the police stations below, that's what I mean.
1 Organisationally, they fell under us. There's no dilemma there, that
2 that's implied. They were under our jurisdiction.
3 Q. I don't want to pursue this any further.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, can I just mention, and we should
5 perhaps have put it in for completeness sake, the document that's
6 referred to, the 17th of the 8th, 1992, was the request. It is actually
7 on our 65 ter list just so it links up. So it's numbered 217, and I wish
8 to put it in for completeness sake but just so it links. Thank you.
9 Right. Can we move now, please, to document, continuing in the
10 chronological fashion, 2879, please.
11 Q. Now, this is a document from the CSB crime prevention department
12 to the SJBs, and we see "Vlasenica" in the second line. And it's
13 addressed to the chief, and it's signed by somebody called
14 Simo Tus -- Tusevljak.
15 Sorry. There are occasions when I have serious problems.
16 Did you know him?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And this was a request to forward information about the period
19 from the 1st of April to the 30th of July about crimes, and did you know
20 about this -- this document at the time?
21 A. Of course. As in the CSB
22 meetings, and each department chief would brief the head about the
23 priority tasks that lay ahead. My colleague Mr. Tusevljak, in accordance
24 with the request and the dispatch from the meeting, did this because the
25 minister gave outstanding orders that this information should be provided
1 to the information listed in this document. This was a professional
2 approach to the job in those times of chaos.
3 Q. Well, thank you very much, sir. That's all I want to ask you
4 about the document.
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, may that be admitted and marked,
7 JUDGE HALL
8 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P991, Your Honours.
9 MS. KORNER: Could we now have, please, up P730.
10 THE REGISTRAR: I do apologise. It's Exhibit P992.
11 MS. KORNER: Right. Thank you. Can we have P730 up, please.
12 Q. Now, this is a report to the ministry, dated the 3rd of August --
13 in fact, it's actually addressed to the minister himself - on the
14 realisation of an order dated the 27th of July, 1992, and the document
15 itself appears to be unsigned. I think that's because, in fact, part of
16 the document is missing. But if we look at the first paragraph, it says:
17 "Acting in accordance with your order and the working agreement
18 with ... the CSB
19 in that area except for Skelani and Bratunac, which were visited, as
20 agreed, by the chief of the police department in the CSB,
21 Drago Borovcanin."
22 So are you able to say, when you look at this document, who it is
23 likely to have been written by?
24 A. When going through the document with the investigator, I had a
25 dilemma. I see that it is quite well written with quite a lot of
1 information from the ground, and if my name wasn't mentioned here where
2 it said I visited only Bratunac and Skelani, I might have thought I had
3 written it myself. A colleague of mine did this very well. But I'm not
4 sure; I don't know who did this. I can only assume it was someone from
5 the MUP, from the police administration.
6 Q. All right. Can we just look at a couple of parts of the
7 document, and we'll come on to the report you did next.
8 MS. KORNER: Firstly, it's in paragraph -- second page in
9 English, and it's still the first page, I think, in B/C/S.
10 Q. Where it says:
11 "The majority of the public security stations in the territory of
12 this centre established good co-operation with the units of the army of
13 the Serbian Republic, especially in the plan of integral defence, where
14 members of the police are filling up the crisis areas at the defence
15 line, joint work with the military police, and so on."
16 Now, can we pause there for a moment because I just want to ask
17 you something about this co-operation between the military and the
19 To your knowledge, did the -- were police units sent to assist
20 the military?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And who would be in command of the police unit that assisted the
24 A. In practice, it was like this in those days: If we received a
25 request from a military command that we should provide assistance in
1 manning one of the demarcation lines, then with the approval of the
2 ministry and the chief of the centre a dispatch would be prepared which
3 would contain the following information: For example, we need a company
4 of a hundred men. And then we would write to all the SJBs asking them to
5 provide a few policemen depending on their manpower levels so that they
6 would not be depleted too much, and the unit that would be formed in this
7 way would be commanded by a local company leader, someone with
8 experience, who would take that unit to the demarcation line. When this
9 was done, he had to report to the military command in the combat zone in
10 question. And after that, they would be resubordinate to the
11 Army of Republika Srpska, and they would carry out their tasks jointly
12 with the military while their shift lasted.
13 Let me just add why it was we who appointed the company leader.
14 We wanted to remain in contact with them, and it was their responsibility
15 to draw up a report on what was happening, to check on the discipline of
16 the officers on the front line, to report on any casualties, and so on.
17 That was their task, but they were resubordinated to the
18 Army of Republika Srpska in compliance with the law then in force.
19 Q. The -- you've told us who -- that the -- it would be commanded by
20 a local company leader. In practice, what sort of rank would that
21 company leader hold?
22 A. Well, you see, the minister gave that a lot of thought, and in
23 both situations we were duty bound to have a military sort of structure
24 so that we would know who could be a company leader, and they were people
25 who had experience. We also looked at their military specialties that
1 they had had in the JNA. If they had any kind of military speciality, we
2 would take that into account. If someone had been a reserve officer, for
3 example, in Bileca, which was a barracks that was held in high esteem
4 where people were well trained, and we had then confidence in people who
5 had been trained there. If they happened to be in the police, we would
6 appoint such men to be company leaders.
7 Q. But they were still -- they were still police officers; they
8 weren't military -- they weren't in the VRS. They were still part of the
10 A. Of course they were, yes, but while they were at the demarcation
11 line, we didn't have contact with them. If anything dishonourable
12 happened there, it would be military security that would deal with that.
13 If there was something like a crime, God forbid, something really
14 atrocious, we would suspend them even before they returned to the base.
15 And, of course, disciplinary proceedings would be instituted. And as for
16 criminal prosecution, that would be in the purview of the court. The two
17 processes would run in parallel. That's how it was.
18 Q. So that's the situation if there had been a request for police
19 assistance, as you put it, on the demarcation line. Where the situation
20 was that in a particular area the army were operating but also obviously
21 police were carrying out their duties, would the police there, if there
22 were just ordinary work going on, be resubordinated to the army, or would
23 they be responsible to their own MUP chain of command?
24 A. I'll try to illustrate this with an example. Imagine a
25 demarcation line cutting through the territories of one or more SJBs.
1 This was the case around the city of Sarajevo where there was not a
2 single station that was not in a combat area. If the military was active
3 on the territory of an SJB, we had nothing to do with that. They did
4 their work, and we did our regular work, unless they expressly asked for
5 a squad or a company to assist them and then we would provide that.
6 Q. Thank you, sir. That's fairly clear.
7 All right. Can we just go back to the document for a moment. In
8 this document at --
9 MS. KORNER: It's paragraph 3 on that -- the English page, being
10 a special problem. In the B/C/S we need to go to the next page, please.
11 Q. Here your inspector is dealing with the paramilitary formation
12 problem. He says:
13 "True as I was informed, they were responding and helping the
14 units of the Serbian Army and police, but obviously they have some
15 special motives for war, and they don't want to put themselves under the
16 army command," et cetera.
17 "In some areas, for example, in Ilidza and Pale, they are
18 staying in separate buildings and are often on the move and in different
19 areas. On the route Sarajevo-Zvornik and in the course of leaving the
20 field, also when leaving as a group, they make problems for the local
21 public security stations, ignoring them or even threatening to attack the
22 policemen at the check points. And this was recently the case with the
23 so-called 'Carlijevci' in Vlasenica."
24 Now, can I just ask you first of all about were you aware of the
25 problems of paramilitaries before you -- you even saw this report?
1 A. Of course. I wish they hadn't helped us. As soon as the war
2 broke out, quite a lot of these groups arrived. They were
3 self-organised. And there were all sorts of groups. And for you to
4 understand this completely, in the very beginning there were groups who
5 very well equipped with the new uniforms and they were tidy and neat so
6 one thought they might have been trained, but very soon we came to
7 understand that their motivation was not to help and to be active on the
8 lines. They were a mixture of criminals, people prone to looting, and
9 all sorts of people. So they did a lot of damage to us, and I wish they
10 hadn't arrive. They were everywhere, especially in the Podrinje area,
11 because Serbia was nearby and they saw it as a sort of gold mine. And
12 they visited that area daily. I can expand on that if you like.
13 Q. No, don't worry. We might -- I just want to ask you one further
14 question about that. Are you aware of any request being made by your
15 chief to the minister that there should be some kind of assistance from
16 the Special Police or -- or anybody else or the army to get rid of these
18 A. At that time, we didn't know whether they were in the composition
19 of the military commands. There were quite a few of these renegade
20 commands who would simply declare themselves to be some sort of unit, but
21 in the very beginning we didn't really understand what was going on. We
22 thought they were part of the army. And to tell you the truth, at the
23 very beginning we were happy when helped -- when help arrived. But when
24 we saw what their real motivation was and what their contribution was,
25 very few of them were killed and those that were not killed in combat but
1 during looting.
2 I moved around in areas such as Bratunac, Skelani, Ilidza, and
3 Sarajevo, and you asked me whether we had information and passed it on.
4 At the collegium meetings, we continually discuss these topics. We knew
5 these groups existed, and it was very dangerous to take any sort of
6 thoughtless action against them. These people numbered more than a
7 hundred in some cases. And as an experienced policeman, I thought we
8 should talk to these people to avoid bloodshed, because I was responsible
9 for the policemen under my command. Those were very difficult times, you
10 know. And the way they took the bridges in the Podrinje area, for
11 example, where they had policemen to act as a front, they were reserve
12 policemen whom they used to conceal their smuggling activities, and it
13 was very difficult, very difficult to get these people out of our area.
14 Q. You see, this report says they were responding and helping the
15 units of the army and police. Was that a view, as you've told us, that
16 early on was held, that they could help the police in carrying out their
18 A. Well, I'll illustrate this with an example to help you
19 understand. For example, Carli's men were mentioned here. They were in
20 Sarajevo and Grbavica and Lukavica before. And in April - it was still
21 early on - we were expecting an attack according to some security
22 information we had, intelligence we had. And there was a leader - I've
23 forgotten his name - they all had some sort of nicknames. And I, "Well,
24 you're experienced. Let's act together on this line, separating the part
25 of Sarajevo in question from Lukavica," and in the morning they called me
1 up on a Motorola and said there was an attack, a policeman was killed. I
2 went up there and I saw that the policeman had been hit by a piece of
3 shrapnel from a mine, from a shell, and the police wanted to attack me.
4 They said, "You should be ashamed of yourself. You brought these men
5 here, but they weren't on the front line. They went to a house nearby
6 where they gambled and spent the time there, and I saw this with my own
8 Q. You've told us there was these -- this problems was discussed at
9 various collegiums, was Mico Stanisic present when these problems were
10 discussed in collegiums at any stage?
11 A. Well, of course, all the initiative came from the minister. He
12 wanted to create a professional MUP. He was facing a situation of chaos.
13 I wondered how we were able to survive at all. He kept insisting that
14 the law be respected, but you know how it was in early 1992. I'm just a
15 small pebble in the entire mosaic, but there were Crisis Staffs, the
16 civilian authorities, military security, and you didn't know who was
17 doing what. And in that sort of situation, it was very difficult to
18 enforce the law. And this was a long and difficult process.
19 Q. All right. These paramilitaries, the crimes that they were
20 committing, were they against all nationalities, whether Serbs or
21 non-Serbs, or were they limited to non-Serbs?
22 A. I'm sorry, I didn't hear the beginning of your question.
23 Q. These paramilitaries who you've told us were criminals, were the
24 crimes that they committed against all nationalities or simply against
25 those who were non-Serbs?
1 A. I'm sure they committed crimes against all nationalities. I have
2 to illustrate with another example. When I was in Skelani -- when I was
3 in Skelani, the man in whose house I spent the night told me I shouldn't
4 go out at night because I would be killed by someone. There was a
5 paramilitary group active in the area.
6 A man went out to create order. He was a politician, and he was
7 very naive. He tried to remove this renegade check-point at the bridge
8 in Skelani, and they beat the living daylights out of him.
9 Whoever stood in their way would get killed. That's how it was.
10 Q. All right. Thank you very much. Can we just look at a couple of
11 other things in this report.
12 MS. KORNER: Next page in English, and I think it's still the
13 same -- yes, same page in B/C/S. Yeah, sorry, it's the next page in
14 B/C/S as well. Sorry.
15 Q. The paragraph at the top of the page in B/C/S, but the second
16 paragraph in English:
17 "The chief and commander in CSB Pale informed me that about
18 20 Arkan's men were staying in their area ... in the 'Panorama' Hotel,
19 and they would discuss with them leaving the area of Pale, and they were
20 convinced there shouldn't be any problems about it."
21 Were you aware of Arkan's men staying in the Panorama?
22 A. Not at that time. I do know, however, and this is something
23 characteristic of that paramilitary unit, they were all neat and tidy and
24 disciplined. Some of them may have represented themselves as Arkan's men
25 because Arkan was a name that inspired awe at that time. I don't know
1 whether they were actually Arkan's men or not, the people in Panorama,
2 but I know in other areas units would represent themselves as Arkan's
3 men. And they all had false names. They acted in secrecy.
4 Q. And then finally, please, on this report, could we go to the
5 fourth page in English, and in B/C/S it's the next page, dealing with
6 Vlasenica again.
7 In Vlasenica it says:
8 "There are 16 active and 70 reserve policemen. There's a special
9 unit with 25 members for which it is already agreed they will be put
10 under the command of the Army of the Serbian Republic."
11 This is a special unit of the police, is it, they're talking
12 about, the inspector's talking about?
13 A. Well, it's like the situation we discussed yesterday. For
14 example, the Ilijas special unit. But what it says here about the
15 Vlasenica area shows only the continuous attempts to introduce order,
16 because, you see, bringing the reserve force up to manpower level, well,
17 we would know how many policemen and reserve policemen a certain area had
18 to have in proportion to the population. But during the war, the numbers
19 burgeoned. People would come and report to the police stations, and some
20 sort of order had to be introduced. The regulations had to be respected.
21 I don't know what the standards were exactly, the norms, but per thousand
22 inhabitants there would have to be a certain number of police officers,
23 and we tried to act in accordance with those regulations.
24 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Borovcanin, my simple question was are we talking
25 about a special unit of the police, because it just says "special unit"?
1 A. Well, I said yes.
2 Q. Right. Now, it goes on to say, however:
3 "Finally, taking into account the specificity of the area, I
4 suggest that an intervention group should be formed within the SJBs duty
5 service or the police station."
6 Now, isn't an intervention group effectively the same as a
7 Special Police Unit?
8 A. Well, the lines were very fuzzy. You know who a Special was. He
9 was a man who had to have training for all sorts of situations, from rock
10 climbing to diving and so on. Someone can declare themselves to be a
11 Special, a member of a Special Police Unit, but it was far from reality,
12 especially in police stations where there was combat on a daily basis,
13 where the situation was very volatile. All sorts of units would spring
14 up. Some would call themselves a guard. There were lots of
15 paramilitaries in the area. And in May and April, there was general
16 chaos. We couldn't know who was establishing what sort of unit, what the
17 quality of the men was, whether they were qualified to be members of the
18 MUP. That's what the situation was like. These units did exist, there's
19 no doubt about that, but we attempted to introduce some sort of order
20 into all that.
21 Q. All right. So the -- sorry, but this report's dated August, but
22 this special unit, which it's agreed they'll put under the command of the
23 Army of the Serbian Republic, is this right, from what you're saying, was
24 not an authorised special unit, which is why the author was suggesting
25 there should be an intervention platoon?
1 A. What do you mean authorised? Authorised officers were only
2 professional policemen who were employed full time. They were authorised
3 officers. A reserve officer did not have an official ID, did not have --
4 he could not be an authorised officer.
5 Q. You're quite right. I'd forgotten about the specific meaning of
7 This special unit had not been set up with the authority of the
8 minister or anyone else, had it, because that's why they're being sent to
9 the Army of the Serbian Republic?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. Thank you. All right. That's all I want to ask you about that
13 MS. KORNER: Can we look next, please, at document 2398. Oh, no,
14 sorry. It's not 2398, is it? Yes, it is.
15 Q. The last report mentioned that you would be doing the report on
16 Bratunac and Skelani, and if we go to the last page in both, we can see
17 that this is your report.
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Right. Now, as we can see, if we go back, please, to the first
20 page in each, you carried out the inspection from the 1st to the
21 3rd of August. And in paragraph beginning "The police officers are
22 mainly engaged on the front lines ..." which we can see halfway down the
23 page, and it's -- it's the penultimate paragraph there.
24 "Lately, a great deal of police officers are engaged in cleaning
25 the ground from Muslim extremists."
1 What are you describing as "Muslim extremists"? Who do you mean
2 by that?
3 A. Well, at that time, combat activities were very frequent there in
4 that part of the Bratunac municipality, and policemen had no choice but
5 to be actively involved in protecting the citizens in rural areas, in
6 villages, to prevent crimes, because great crimes had been committed in
7 the past there, precisely where you see the reference to the police
8 station in Kravica. There were many other villages and hamlets that were
9 targeted throughout the war. Sometimes those were incursions by sabotage
10 groups and suchlike. So the police had no choice but to get involved in
11 that kind of work to protect the citizens and their property.
12 Q. I simply want to know, sorry, sir, who do you mean by
13 "Muslim extremists"? Do you mean the army? Do you mean paramilitary
14 forces? Do you mean ordinary Muslim citizens protecting their homes?
15 Who do you mean?
16 A. Well, imagine a group of people which bursts in, killings
17 11 policemen, and douses them in petrol. Is that a normal soldier? What
18 would you call him? A criminal, war criminal, what? We were afraid of
19 them. And these investigations are still going on, and one day the truth
20 will emerge.
21 Q. Yes. So by "Muslim extremists ," you mean criminals, murderers
22 of Muslim nationality? Is that what you mean?
23 A. Well, I don't know about the precise composition of those groups
24 and what profiles these people were. I don't want to make any claims.
25 Q. No, but you -- the suggestion in this report is that there are a
1 number of these groups, aren't there, because you say "a great deal of
2 police officers are engaged in cleaning the ground from Muslim
3 extremists"? So you're not talking about one isolated incident there,
4 are you?
5 A. Well, imagine a police station with 20 active-duty and
6 20 reserve policemen and their rural area is forbidding, villages and
7 hamlets scattered all about, difficult to defend. That's how you should
8 understand it.
9 Q. All right. Well -- and then the remainder of this report deals
10 really with the problem, does it not, of the paramilitary formations that
11 were in both of these municipalities? That's right, isn't it? Both of
12 these police stations.
13 A. Yes.
14 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour. That's all I want to ask him.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Can I just put an additional question in relation
16 to this report, sir, because I was wondering whether the police officers
17 to whom you refer in the part that has been read out to you by
18 Ms. Korner, whether these police officers were under the command of the
19 police chief at the SJBs involved, or whether these police officers had
20 been resubordinated to the army. Do you understand my question? You say
21 in the report that:
22 "Lately, a great deal of police officers are engaged in cleaning
23 the ground from Muslim extremists."
24 Now, Ms. Korner has clarified what you meant by the expression
25 "Muslim extremists," but my question goes to whether these police
1 officers, during those cleaning operations, had been resubordinated to
2 the army or whether they were acting under the command of the police.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I believe that they did, in
4 part, act together with the army but sometimes also independently. Why?
5 Sometimes an attack would happen, and there's no -- not much time to
6 report it, to send a dispatch. And by the time you get a feedback, many
7 ugly things could happen in between. So there were no -- there was not
8 time for -- for the usual steps, reporting, approval, et cetera. The
9 command would say, "This is critical line here. You have to send me
10 10, 15 men, whatever you can spare." And that's -- that's an actual
11 situation. Sometimes, out of necessities, you couldn't go through all
12 the formalities of seeking approvals, et cetera. That is the real take
13 on the situation at the time.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand, sir, and I realise that the
15 situation must have been extremely difficult for all parties involved,
16 but from -- you may see -- you may, perhaps, think that this is an overly
17 legalistic question, but I'm interested in clarifying whether the police
18 officers during those cleaning operations were acting under the command
19 of an army officer who was present in the area and governing the
20 activities of the VRS or whether the police officers were acting under
21 the command of the local chief of the SJB.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, let's try to clear that up
23 too. I'm sure, since the military command at in that area was at brigade
24 level, they were much more numerous, they were on the defence line all
25 the time. There was combat nonstop. And whenever police was asked to
1 join them, they were -- they were certainly under military command. You
2 couldn't go solo there. How would the policeman know the situation on
3 the ground unless they reported to the military command to find out and
4 to be assigned somewhere. So that was clear co-operation with the
5 Army of Republika Srpska.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand that this is a way in which things
7 should be done, but as we all know, this was not always the way that life
8 played out in practice. So my question is whether police units would
9 occasionally would engage -- would engage themselves in a cleaning
10 operation under their own command. Maybe they would report to the local
11 army officer that they now intended to clean this area, but -- but they
12 were acting during such a cleaning operation under the command of the
13 local SJB chief or somebody else representing the MUP. Did that ever
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the general answer to that
16 question is no. Definitely they would always be in co-ordinated action
17 with the army. Whether someone ever took it upon themselves to go solo
18 and play Rambo, I don't know. The best way to act was to be in
19 co-operation with the army, because then they would have communications,
20 medical services, logistics, et cetera. And plus what could you do with
21 a small group of men, unless they had happened upon a crime in a hamlet
22 and reacted immediately, impromptu. That I cannot say, but normally not.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, sir.
24 MS. KORNER:
25 Q. Sorry, can I just, again, continue on -- on the theme raised by
1 Judge Harhoff.
2 Co-operation with the army is different, isn't it, from the
3 resubordination you've described which comes as a result of a request and
4 then an order?
5 A. What do you mean different? Maybe you can expand.
6 Q. Yes. Where you talked about the operation, and we'll see in the
7 next document I want you to have a look at, it's not the same, is it, as
8 where the army takes over a unit at its request of police, an order is
9 issued, and then the police officers are, as it were, for these purposes,
10 part of the Serbian Army. What you're talking about and what your report
11 is talking about is the police co-operating in the sense of helping, as
12 you put it, get rid of Muslim extremists. "Mopping up," I think, is
13 another term.
14 A. I understand the question. "Co-operation" is a broader term than
15 "co-ordinated action." Co-operation can be an everyday exchange of
16 information, meeting, et cetera, whereas co-ordinated action is something
17 different. For instance, one police unit is engaged within the area of
18 one military command on the ground. Maybe this term "cleaning" or
19 "mopping up" is an unfortunate choice, but even that would fall under the
20 narrow definition of co-ordinated action. That term cropped up in the
21 war. When you are capturing a part of the territory, you have to take
22 all of it. It can't be a leopard skin. It's the doctrine shared by
23 every army in the world. The demarcation lines moved all the time.
24 Q. But if the army, for example, had been carrying out an action
25 somewhere within your territory and had got -- moved on and the police
1 came in, and when I say "mopped up," I use it in it's ordinary sense of
2 arresting people, tightening the -- establishing the security in the
3 area, that would still leave, would it, the police under its own chain of
4 command as opposed to the army chain of command?
5 A. Not really. You -- you're talking about arrests. Who would you
6 arrest during a military operation unless you are taking -- capturing a
7 part of the territory and then there are some prisoners taken?
8 Otherwise, there's no logic to making arrests.
9 Let's go back to this "mopping up," this unfortunate term. It's
10 just a small part of co-ordinated action in a certain territory, because,
11 in practice, the situation on the ground was such that we had no time
12 to -- to establish proper communication with the command. But once
13 communication is established, then we exchange reports, which territory
14 has been captured, how many people were killed, how many were captured.
15 Those who haven't -- people who haven't lived through that find it
16 difficult to understand. But I had many opportunities to -- to see these
17 ugly scenes.
18 Q. Sir, all I'm trying to establish is whether -- if the police
19 officers as you say in your report were carrying out cleansing operations
20 of Muslim extremists, and the incident you described seemed to talked
21 about an ordinary crime where people burst into the police -- burst in,
22 killing 11 people and doused them in petrol. Now, that's what you
23 described as something these officers were doing. That had nothing to do
24 with army operations, had it?
25 A. I don't know if you understood me properly. I mentioned an
1 indent in a different context when 11 of our policemen were ambushed and
2 killed. They were doused in petrol and set on fire. I gave you an
3 example for you to understand what kind of people we were fighting. Of
4 course, normal servicemen would not do something like that. These
5 people, the assailants, must have been sick. And I was the one who
6 collected the victims. I saw that with my own eyes. We had to identify
7 the bodies by their teeth. I couldn't eat for three days after that.
8 I'm talking about that as an inhumane act, something I'm trying to
10 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a correction for the
11 transcript. He said "These people, they are extremists, these
12 assailants." "They are extremists." And that part is missing from the
14 MS. KORNER:
15 Q. All right. Well, one last try at this. When you wrote this
16 report and you said - and I better go back to it because I'd moved on
17 already. There it is.
18 "... a great deal of police officers are engaged in cleaning the
19 ground from Muslim extremists."
20 Just tell us, one more time, what did you mean they were doing?
21 A. I think we've discuss the matter. Mopping up or cleaning the
22 ground means securing one locality from further incursions by such
24 Let me try to make it clear to you from the military point of
25 view. There is a skirmish, for instance. Somewhere around there is a
1 group that had not had time to withdraw in time, and the skirmish is
2 still going on. Who will attack who first? Now, if the policeman from
3 the next shift comes to the line, he has to be secure. He has to know
4 that his back is safe, that he won't be ambushed again, that that part of
5 the territory is now safe. That's what cleaning the terrain meant, from
6 these pockets, these groups that were still shooting here and there.
7 That's how I understand it.
8 Q. I'm sorry, sir, you're not talking about the police in this --
9 being resubordinated to the military. You're talking about police
10 officers acting as police officers. That's what the report says.
11 Because you actually, in the next line, distinguish between the
12 engagement of the police on the front lines and in cleaning the grounds.
13 So there's a difference, isn't there?
14 A. Well, then that's my omission if I didn't stress it. You know,
15 you can't be focused all the time, especially at that time to -- it was
16 difficult to put it all on paper and include everything. I know that you
17 are looking at the legal side, but my side was closer to life.
18 Q. No, I'm not looking at the legal side at all, sir. All right.
19 Just one other question, please. This incident you described of the
20 police officers who were ambushed and set on fire, can you tell us when
21 that happened, as you remember it so vividly?
22 A. Well, you don't forget a thing like that, and time does nothing
23 for it. At that time, the police were supposed to go into --
24 Q. No, no, sorry, sir. I just want to know the date, the month and
25 the year and the place where this happened.
1 A. It happened in Skelani municipality. That is in Podrinje. I
2 forgot the place. Oh, it's Kragivode. It's a village road that goes
3 through the woods. And these 11 policemen were ambushed. They were shot
4 at at the same time from two areas. It was a very clever ambush. None
5 of them had time to react. And then they were doused in petrol and set
6 on fire. It was in Skelani --
7 Q. You told us. You told us. I just want the date, please.
8 A. April. I can't tell you the exact date. April 1993.
9 Q. 1993. I see. Yes. Thank you.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Korner --
11 MS. KORNER: Oh, certainly.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- if I may.
13 Witness, sir, still about cleaning the grounds from Muslim
14 extremists, in the beginning when you were telling us about this you said
15 that this was done to protect rural citizens. Could you clarify that for
16 me? What rural citizens? Let's -- would that be Serbian hamlets or
17 Muslim hamlets, or would it make no difference?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those were villages and hamlets
19 populated mainly by Serbs. I can't tell you the exact statistics. Maybe
20 there were some mixed villages. But when the war broke out, everyone who
21 was smart enough left the area of their own will. And even if there had
22 been any Muslims, they might have left before the war, too, but I'm not
23 sure. Some of these villages were ethnically purely Serb. But if police
24 had information that a village was in danger, whether they had received
25 the report from the military commander or some other source, they would
1 have come out to prevent crimes that had already happened before in that
2 area oftentimes, and, of course, there is appropriate documentation.
3 There's no question about it.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: And when you said that it's normal in any war
5 that when you take a territory you take it all, am I to understand that
6 when you say "cleaning the grounds from Muslim extremists" means removing
7 all Muslims from a territory you take?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's not the way I see it,
9 and that's not the way I explained it. When I say "mopping up," I mean
10 in the course of a military operation. Small pockets of enemy forces
11 were still active, were still firing. It's in that sense that we tried
12 to reinforce the line and protect our own forces, remove those pockets.
13 It was a purely military confrontation.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
15 MS. KORNER: Yes. That's all I ask on that document.
16 JUDGE HALL
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Exhibits?
19 MS. KORNER: Is this document an exhibit? No it's not.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 JUDGE HALL
22 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P993, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE HALL
24 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I've been given the depressing news by
3 the Court Officer that I've only got five minutes left of my original
4 three hours. So could I ask for the extra hour I asked for yesterday?
5 JUDGE HALL
6 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much.
7 MR. PANTELIC: And in the meantime, Your Honours, if we are going
8 to be depressed the same way as Ms. Korner, we could also rely, on, I
9 believe, your gratitude sometimes.
10 JUDGE HALL
12 MR. PANTELIC: Much obliged, Your Honour.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 MS. KORNER:
15 Q. Mr. Borovcanin, I thought we'd left the document, but I'm afraid
16 over the break I've had an opportunity to think a bit more. Firstly,
17 when I asked you to describe what you were talking about in respect of
18 the term "Muslim extremists," the incident you described happened in
19 1993, but this report is August 1992. What incidents come to mind, if
20 any, in August of -- up until August of 1992?
21 A. I'm referring to events that had already taken place against the
22 civilian population, war crimes, slaughtered bodies, and so on. I don't
23 know what normal person could do that, slaughter someone so as to make
24 the corpse unrecognisable. Only extremists can do that. I illustrated
25 this with an example from 1993, but those were the kinds of things that
2 Q. Yes, but can you think of any particular incident that led you to
3 talk in your report about Muslim extremists in 1992?
4 MS. KORNER: And, Your Honour, can I just say my screen's gone
5 blank in front of me. I don't know if somebody can get a technician.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's a very long time ago.
7 If you're thinking of an isolated incident, a specific incident, I can't
8 recall any such thing at the moment. But such crimes did happen, and
9 that is the explanation of the term I used, "extremists."
10 Q. All right. Next thing, you told us that you personally went to
11 inspect this scene. You told us earlier that it wasn't your job to
12 inspect the scene; that was for the crime police. Why were you going
13 down in 1993 to inspect the scene?
14 A. In 1993, I happened to be on the ground. I was a commanding
15 officer at the time, and I spent some 20 or so days in the area, and
16 while I was there, the incident happened, the ambush I mentioned
17 occurred. I happened to be in the vicinity, and I carried out the
18 on-site investigation with a representative of the crime prevention
19 department, and this man was unfortunately killed a year later in an
20 ambush. So we did the inspection together, and we had to inform the
21 families and so on, because there were all sorts of rumours going round
22 that they had been tortured and so on. So we went to document this on
23 the spot, on site, and you can find the records.
24 Q. On that topic of the crime police, in fact, where there was a
25 crime scene, the area was secured by the uniformed police, wasn't it, as
1 in everybody else's jurisdiction?
2 A. Well, you see, to go back to this incident, it happen in the
3 depth of the territory -- sorry.
4 Q. No, no. Not the incident. Generally speaking. If a crime was
5 being committed and was being investigated, was it the uniformed police
6 who secured the area?
7 A. Of course. The crime prevention department collected traces and
8 clues, photographed the scene, and did everything else that belongs to
9 the investigation, whereas the uniformed police secured the site. This
10 would be a broader area covering one, two, or three villages, and the
11 police would secure the area while the inspection was going on.
12 Q. And it was the uniformed police that came within your
13 jurisdiction; is that right? Because that's what you told us yesterday.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And finally this on this particular aspect: This report that you
16 wrote or your inspectors wrote, was that given to the chief of the CSB,
17 Mr. Cvijetic?
18 A. Yes, that's understood. We were always duty-bound to report to
19 our superior officers in the MUP and in the centre. We had instructions
20 on urgent ongoing and interim reporting which regulated all this.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I'm sorry. I'm going to pause while
22 they check to see why my screen's not working.
23 Q. And would your reports be included in the monthly reports that
24 the CSB
25 A. Yes. I just mentioned the instructions we had on urgent
1 reporting, if there was a murder or something, ongoing or regular
2 reporting, and interim reporting when an analysis was being carried out.
3 And all this is prescribed in detail in the instructions. And, of
4 course, we followed those instructions.
5 Q. Yes. Thank you. That's all I do ask on that particular aspect.
6 Now could you have a look, very quickly, please, at the document which is
7 number -- sorry. Yes. 318, 65 ter 318.
8 This is a response from Vlasenica SJB, dated the 6th of August,
9 to the request that we looked at earlier for information. I don't know
10 what the number is, but it was the document forwarded by the CSB chief of
11 the 25th of July that we looked at, and I think this is a document whose
12 contents you are aware of, is that right, and you know Mane Djuric, the
13 chief of the SJB who signed it?
14 A. Yes, I know him.
15 Q. Right.
16 MS. KORNER: Could we look, please, at the bottom of the first
17 page in English, and it's the second paragraph in B/C/S.
18 Q. "Combat activities of paramilitaries units were not registered in
19 the area of this station, whilst there were several cases of crimes
20 committed by members of the 'Red Berets,' i.e., the unauthorised transit
21 of stolen cars throughout this area."
22 MS. KORNER: Sorry, we need to go to the next page in English.
23 Second page in English, please. No, not in B/C/S, in English. All
24 right. Anyhow, that's what it says.
25 In the light of --
1 MS. KORNER: Could you go back to the first page in B/C/S because
2 that's what he's looking at.
3 Q. In the light of everything that we've seen in your reports and
4 that of your inspectors, when you saw this report back in 1992, was it
5 any surprise to you that apparently the only crime that was being
6 reported by the paramilitary group was the theft of cars -- or, sorry,
7 the unauthorised transit of stolen cars?
8 A. Of course that wasn't the only sort of crime that occurred, but
9 if you look at the heading, it says:
10 "Joint action between the MUP and the army information," and the
11 date is August 1992.
12 So this is a request for information relating exclusively to
13 joint action carried out by the army and the MUP. So what it says here,
14 Red Berets, theft of cars, and so on, the focus was on police activity
15 jointly with the military.
16 Of course other crimes occurred, but they were mentioned in other
17 reports that you have available.
18 Q. I see. All right.
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, may that be marked and admitted,
21 JUDGE HALL
22 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P994, Your Honours.
23 MS. KORNER: Sorry, I just want to check whether [indiscernible]
24 I want the next document in.
25 Q. Yes. Could you now look, please, at document 3 -- 65 ter 394.
1 Now, this is Pale police station's response to the request again that we
2 looked at earlier today for information about paramilitaries from the
4 "In connection with your document number above, we hereby inform
5 you of the following:
6 "a) there were no paramilitary formations on the territory of
7 this SJBs nor are there any now."
8 Now, this is on the 7th of August. On the 3rd of August, we look
9 at the report that says Arkan's men were stationed in the Panorama Hotel
10 in Pale. Now, can you understand how Pale SJB could have put in this
12 A. It's illogical. It was probably an omission by the local
13 commander. Pale were a place through which everybody passed, so I'm
14 really surprised that the local chief didn't mention that here. Maybe
15 they were no longer there at the point in time. This was already in
16 August. But this is certainly an omission, an error by the person who
17 wrote the report.
18 Q. Well, this is something like four days after the inspector's
19 report, and this report is denying that there had ever been any
20 paramilitary formations in Pale, if you look at (a). It says:
21 "There were no paramilitary formations ... nor are there any
23 A. That's what it says here in this document. I agree with you.
24 Okay. But my comment on this is that most probably the chief omitted to
25 include the fact that they had been there previously. You can establish
1 that by looking at a number of other documents or other testimonies. I
2 don't wish to speculate whether he simply omitted to mention this. Most
3 probably yes, but I have reservations in this respect.
4 Q. But it's not an omission, is it? It's an outright lie. Did you
5 point this out to either your chief or to Mr. Stanisic at any of the
7 A. Well, I didn't mention this particular incident, but this was
8 being continuously discussed. I am surprised by this statement here.
9 Well, let's look at it from a different angle. Why would he have
10 a reason to say these people weren't there if they were causing problems?
11 I know that this chief was a very active person, and he wouldn't allow
12 just anyone to wander around his area stealing and looting. I'm really
13 surprised by this. I have no other comment to make.
14 Q. Of course, Pale was where the government was stationed, wasn't
15 it? Mr. Karadzic and all that lot.
16 A. Yes. The seat of the government was there in the Panorama for a
17 while and then in some improvised sheds where the ministry sat. All the
18 more reason to remove such negative individuals. That's why I'm
19 surprised by this statement that there were no paramilitary formations
21 Q. All right.
22 MS. KORNER: Can we look at number (d), please, and then we need
23 to go to the second page in English only. In English only, not in B/C/S.
24 Thank you.
1 Q. "We had no prisoners brought in by the army, but we had prisoners
2 brought in and guarded by the police. We have no prisoners at the
3 moment, and we have not had any for any while."
4 Now, here there's no question about it. The prisoners are being
5 brought in by the police, not the army.
6 Did you -- yesterday I asked you about the Dom -- the
7 Kulture Dom, Dom Kulture, and you said that you were aware, you had heard
8 that there were prisoners there or there were people being kept there.
9 Were you surprised by item (d)?
10 A. I repeat that I heard about it, but I didn't see those people
11 myself in the period when they were in the Dom Kulture. And this other
12 statement here -- just a moment. I want to be precise.
13 "We had no prisoners brought in by the army, but we did have
14 prisoners brought in and guarded by the police."
15 It's hard for me to comment on what he meant by that, but I can
16 guess that people from the surrounding villages, Bosniaks or Muslims as
17 they were called at the time, would turn up from the combat area and
18 expected police protection, and the police guarded them for a while.
19 That's how I understand this, although I wasn't there when this was going
20 on. And they -- then they would transport them to the demarcation line.
21 That's how I understand your question.
22 Q. I'm sorry. You understand the word "prisoners" to mean refugees
23 looking for protection? Is that really what you're telling the Court?
24 A. Well, look here, prisoners in the military sense. I don't know
25 what the local chief meant when he used the word "prisoner" in this
1 document, but all those who were being escorted or guarded by the police
2 were in some manner, in one way or another, were deprived of their
3 freedom, because imagine if someone had let those people wander around
4 and they might run into some sort of renegade paramilitary group and a
5 crime might occur and then that would be a stain on the police. There
6 may have been military prisoners, but I'm not aware of that.
7 Q. Yes, well, I don't know if you've her the expression,
8 "Pigs may fly," Mr. Borovcanin. Anyhow, that's all I ask on that
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, may that marked -- admitted and
11 marked, please.
12 JUDGE HALL
13 technical reason why it shouldn't be through this witness, but I see the
14 logic of it, so it's admitted and marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 995, Your Honours.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, the police chief who signed, that is
17 not a witness.
18 Q. Right. Could I ask you now, please, to look briefly at
19 document 1573, please.
20 MS. KORNER: Can we pull it down. No, sorry. No, no. Yes.
21 Q. Okay. This is a -- the -- a report from the
22 Sarajevo Romanija Corps command, and I accept entirely you wouldn't have
23 seen it before. I want to ask there about one aspect of what's reported
24 under 4, "Morale." The last three sentences of that paragraph:
25 "Paramilitary formations that are still not disarmed are causing
1 big problems, they behave more violently and are arrogant. Disarming
2 these formations will not be possible without armed clashes with them,
3 especially as they are supported and established by certain organs in the
4 local authorities and the police."
5 Now, were you aware from your inspections of the area within this
6 military command of the police supporting and establishing
8 A. What it says here, I'll quote two sentences:
9 "All the more so as they're supported by some organs of the
10 local authorities and the police."
11 This is absolutely not true what it says here, "and the police."
12 I'm sure of that because we never authorised them to act in any way, and
13 I don't know how the military could write something like this.
14 As for the local authorities, I would be speculating if I were to
15 claim that they were the people under whose auspices they were there.
16 People did say that. There were some rumours to that effect going round,
17 but I can't assert that. However, this simply doesn't hold water, no
19 Q. Yes, but you see, we looked earlier at a report relating to --
20 I've forgotten which SJB it is now, where there was a -- I'm going to say
21 unauthorised, but not officially approved unit of the Special Police who
22 had been taken into the army. Weren't they paramilitaries? Because they
23 were neither police nor army.
24 A. No, they weren't paramilitaries. They were citizens of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina a hundred per cent. Most of the paramilitaries were
1 citizens or nationals of another state, which at that time was the
2 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
3 Q. Well, not all -- well, sorry, you're saying paramilitaries were
4 those who were not citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
5 A. Of course I'm not saying that local paramilitary units could not
6 be established on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Criminals who
7 were under nobody's command, they would also be paramilitaries. But what
8 I'm talking about now is those groups in the area. Ninety-five per cent
9 of them arrived from Serbia, and that should be seen in that context.
10 As for Vlasenica and the other areas you mention, those were
11 local people, reservists. But we've already discussed that.
12 Q. All right. And we can see at the bottom of the document -- in
13 the English it's over the page, but it's dated the 18th of August.
14 MS. KORNER: If you can just pull down, please, the bottom of
15 the -- yes. That's fine.
16 Your Honours, obviously I can't have it admitted, but could I
17 have it marked for identification, and we'll ask for it --
18 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
19 MS. KORNER: Oh, is it? I wasn't going to do ones that have been
20 exhibited. Sorry about that. Can I just check, Your Honour. The next
21 one is exhibited as well, the one I was going to do, but I just want to
22 see if there's anything I needed to ask him.
23 Yes. Very briefly. Could we have a look at a document that has
24 been exhibited, which is another one of the reports, P632.
25 Q. This is another inspection on the 10th of August. In fact, an
1 inspection of the CSB
2 see that in the third paragraph, and it's -- you were involved in it.
4 It's signed by a Mr. Rade Radovic, chief of the police duties and
5 tasks department. Did you know him?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. Now, can we just look at one aspect again of this.
8 At Ilidza, there was a discussion about paramilitaries, the bottom of the
9 first page in English --
10 MS. KORNER: And then can we go to the second -- the second page
11 in English and also the secretary page in B/C/S.
12 Q. In the second paragraph on both pages:
13 "The problem of Special Units in Ilidza will be resolved through
14 an Act of Systemisation, which has been drafted and harmonised at the
16 What was the problem with the special units in Ilidza?
17 A. The problem was similar to the one you mentioned in Vlasenica,
18 but, again, it was specific because the area was surrounded on all sides.
19 Those special units were necessarily established while combat was going
20 on at the police station, at the collegium meetings, when we decided that
21 order should be introduce. As regards these units, we had only a special
22 squad. These were men who had done such work in the former MUP, and we
23 wanted to introduce order into this situation, to have them under only
24 one command and so on. It's a long story, but you can put specific
25 questions to me and I'll do my best to answer them.
1 Q. All right. I've just got one specific question, Mr. Borovcanin,
2 and that's this: Were these Special Police Units out of control and
3 committing crimes?
4 A. They were under the control of the local SJB, if we're talking
5 about police reservists who were attached to them in terms of
6 organisation. But let me remind you, in the former plans that were drawn
7 up regarding the former All People's Defence for some sort of war where
8 we would be attacked from outside, it was envisaged that such units would
9 be established in areas such as Rakovica. That's on the territory of
10 Ilidza and so on. And there were quite a few of reservists who attached
11 themselves to the police station because that was their military
12 deployment there. So that professionals, active-duty policemen, were
13 mixed with them. And they called themselves a Special Police Unit. And
14 they were active in the very beginning, in May when there was fighting
15 going on at Ilidza every day and so on. At that time, we didn't have any
16 sort of communication, not even phone lines. So we were unable to
17 prevent this situation or introduce order there in a timely manner.
18 That's what the situation was like then.
19 Q. We're talking about August -- I'll come on to communications.
20 I'm talking about August of 1992. You dealt with this in your interview.
21 You had proper communication by August of 1992, didn't you?
22 A. Yes, certainly. I'm aware that we were talking about August, but
23 I was trying to explain how it happened that those units were
24 established. And later on in some 20 or 25 SJBs, we had to go there,
25 inspect the station, see what was going on, and then deal with it. So
1 this was an ongoing process.
2 Q. Yeah, I just -- you didn't actually answer the original question
3 I asked. Were you aware that these so-called special units were actually
4 committing crimes, and that's what was meant by the problem?
5 A. No. I never heard about that.
6 Q. All right. And who was the police chief in Ilidza in
7 August 1992?
8 A. I'm not sure. I know it was Tomislav Kovac in the beginning, but
9 in August was it Budisa Petko? I'm not sure. I've forgotten. I know
10 Tomo Kovac later went on to other posts in the MUP.
11 Q. Yes. He later became, didn't he, the minister of the interior?
12 A. That was at a later stage, but it went gradually. I think he was
13 first assistant.
14 Q. One other thing on this report.
15 MS. KORNER: Can we go, please, to the third page in English, and
16 I believe it's also -- no. It's still the second page in B/C/S.
17 Q. This is the -- this report is the 10th of August. The report
18 from Pale police station was the 7th of August, and we discussed what was
19 said. And in this report, three days later:
20 "It was stated while inspecting the Pale Public Security Station
21 that a group of Arkan's men are still present at the Panorama Hotel.
22 Chief Koroman presents that as a solved problem because he's expecting
23 their commander in a couple of days with whom he would solve it without a
25 So it does appear, doesn't it, that Mr. Koroman, for whatever
1 reason, was telling lies in his report of the 3rd of -- 7th of August.
2 A. Is that what you're asking me?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. I can't say he was lying. Maybe he just failed to include that
5 they had been captured. I really dare not speculate.
6 Q. All right. As you touched on it, can we just deal with
7 communications generally. Can you look, please, at document 1859,
8 65 ter.
9 This is the CSB
10 dealing with the period July to September of 1992.
11 A. Correct.
12 MS. KORNER: And if we go in English, please, to page 5, and in
13 B/C/S to the fourth page -- no, fifth page as well, although it says 4 at
14 the top. Yes. No. Fifth page, I'm sorry. I want the 4 at the top.
15 Q. And I don't want to read through it, but we can see in the second
16 paragraph in -- in the English, and I think it's down there somewhere in
17 B/C/S there's a long part about how the communications had been
18 established, shortwave telephone, telefax established in each SJB,
19 teleprinter, and so on and so forth. I don't want to go through it.
20 Do you agree that's an accurate description?
21 A. Well, I think so, because there were numerous problems,
22 especially at the outset, until things settled in a bit,
23 things [as interpreted] who were directly involved in this work knew more
24 about it. But I know that at the beginning we had great problems.
25 Q. Well, you were -- all right. Let's deal with it in -- there were
1 no problems, were there, in delivering these reports, weekly, monthly,
2 quarterly reports?
3 A. Well, there were problems. It didn't always run smoothly. There
4 were many hitches. As far as I remember, my attempts to communicate with
5 people, sometimes the fax machine wouldn't work, sometimes there would be
6 a breakdown in communications, but we made do.
7 Q. All right. As you say, in fact, although I accept -- I think
8 nobody would seek to dispute that there were occasional breakdowns, there
9 was never any time, was there, where you were wholly unable to
10 communicate with any of the SJBs within your area of responsibility?
11 A. Well, you said it yourself. We had every intention to
12 communicate properly and report properly. Sometimes we even used
13 couriers. So there's nothing disputable about that. We had the best
14 intention to inform and communicate, and we did. I don't see the
16 Q. Thank you very much. That's all I wanted to ask you about
17 communications. Can we just go through a few more documents and then we
18 will be finished.
19 MS. KORNER: Sorry, Your Honours. Can I -- I'm just -- I'm just
20 trying to cut out as many as I can.
21 Q. Yes. Could you have a look, please, again fairly briefly, at
22 12 -- oh, it's all right an exhibit.
23 MS. KORNER: No. Your Honours, forget that. I see these
24 documents are already exhibits.
25 Q. Yes. Could you have a look, please, at document 2882. Document
1 dated the 24th of August, 1992, from the CSB, referring to a document of
2 the same date from the Ministry of the Interior, requests that the
3 following information be gathered for the needs of the
4 Ministry of Health, Labour, and Social Welfare.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: No translation.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Sorry?
7 MS. KORNER: No interpretation.
8 MR. KRGOVIC: There's no interpretation.
9 MS. KORNER:
10 Q. Can you understand me now, Mr. Borovcanin? Are you getting
12 A. Yes, I've heard you all this time.
13 Q. Right. This is asking for the names of camps, prison collection
14 centres, who ordered the establishment, who ordered individuals, et
15 cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
16 You were aware, were you, of this document of the
17 24th of August, 1992, signed by Mr. Cvijetic?
18 A. Yes. In fact, this document just paraphrases the dispatch
19 received from the MUP that Mr. Cvijetic refers to of August 1992. What
20 the minister requires from us, regardless of jurisdiction, because the
21 original request came from the institute for social security of
22 Republika Srpska, to collect this data because it was considered
24 Q. Had you become aware of the international outcry over the
25 so-called collection centres, in particular those in Prijedor?
1 A. Well, you know, when those images were broadcast on TV, of course
2 everyone was able to see it, and the institutions that were in charge of
3 those camps had to do their best to protect those people from
4 mistreatment, et cetera. It was, of course, in the jurisdiction of
5 Republika Srpska, all these camps. And we were just collecting data,
6 because police stations cover the entire territory, and they are able to
7 gain insight into the entire area controlled at the time by the army. So
8 this information is collected and collated. That's how I understand this
9 dispatch from the minister and this other dispatch later from our centre.
10 Q. When you saw the footage on television, how did you react to it?
11 A. It was harrowing, horrible to see. I can't think of a normal
12 person who would approve of that.
13 Q. Did you know Simo Drljaca?
14 A. Maybe only superficially before the war. I'm trying to think
15 back, because I had gone on field trips, inspection trips, before the
16 war, and each station would be visited at least once a year, and you have
17 to multiply that by 100 which is the number of stations, and I believe I
18 met him before the war, in Prijedor, but I don't know when that was. But
19 during the war, I did not meet up with him.
20 Q. Yes, thank you.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, may that be admitted and marked,
23 JUDGE HALL
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P996, Your Honours.
25 MS. KORNER:
1 Q. All right. Can I then ask you to look now, please, at the
2 document which is 319.
3 This appears to be a report about a visit to Vlasenica again,
4 signed by a gentleman called Sasa Blagojevic.
5 MS. KORNER: If we look at the second page. Third page in
6 English, second page in B/C/S.
7 Q. Did you know this gentleman?
8 A. Briefly and superficially. He was an inspector in the crime
9 department. I believe that sometime in 1992 he just vanish. He went to
10 Serbia. I've never heard of him since then.
11 Q. All right. Was this a sort of inspection, this report?
12 MS. KORNER: If we go back to the -- please, can we go back to
13 the first page in English and -- the first page in B/C/S and the first
14 page in English as well.
15 Q. Was this a kind of inspection?
16 A. Yes. There was an inspection report, very terse, but I can
17 conclude that this Blagojevic was inspecting the crime department. I can
18 deduce that from the references to Sargic, Milenko, chief of the crime
19 department, but if you ask me, it's a very scant report.
20 Q. All right. I just want to ask you about one other aspect of this
22 MS. KORNER: Page 2 in English. It's the first page in -- no.
23 Second page in English, and second page in B/C/S as well.
24 Q. At the bottom of the page in English, yes:
25 "They are also striving to deepen the existing operative
1 information about Serbs who sold weapons to Muslims in the Vlasenica
3 Was this a problem that you'd come across before, that apparently
4 Serbs had sold weapons to Muslims?
5 A. I don't know. I find it hard to believe now that I'm reading it.
6 It must have happened at the time, but I can't claim anything one way or
7 another. People are sometimes prepared to sell their souls for money.
8 Everything is possible.
9 Q. Yes. All right.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, that's all I ask on that document.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MS. KORNER: Oh, sorry. Could it be admitted and marked, please.
13 JUDGE HALL
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P997, Your Honours.
15 MS. KORNER:
16 Q. Next could you have a look -- no, that's not -- yes, at
17 document 373.
18 Now, earlier we saw the document forward by the CSB to the SJBs
19 about what prisons, what collection centres, et cetera, existed in these
20 municipalities. This document from Mico Stanisic, although I think it's
21 signed on his behalf, isn't it? It's a "za," is it not?
22 A. Someone else signed this.
23 Q. Addressed to the CSB
24 "We've been informed by the Presidency of the Serb republic that
25 a delegation of the commission for European security and co-operation is
1 coming on Sunday. They would like to visit the prisons in Pale,
2 Bijeljina, Trebinje, and Bileca, and Foca.
3 "The delegation is arriving in Lukavica ..."
4 So that's where you were based, wasn't it?
5 A. Yes, we were in Lukavica.
6 Q. And then it -- and so on about it organising police escort and
8 Now, were you aware of this visit by the OSCE people?
9 A. I can't remember that. The thing is I was very often absent from
10 the centre because a large number of police stations had to be visited.
11 This could have arrived when I was somewhere in the field, but I can't be
12 sure one way or another. But knowing what I did at the time, I would be
13 asked to secure the road because there were some critical sections
14 targeted by snipers and a byroad would be used to be safe and make safe
15 these people who were coming. But the real answer to your question is I
16 can't remember.
17 Q. But whether you can remember whether you did the security,
18 although you would have been asked to, but Mr. Cvijetic make you aware,
19 because of your position, of this impending visit? Whether you were
20 there or not at the time.
21 A. In my absence, the inspectors at the police station were trained
22 to develop a mini plan for escorting the delegation, because there was
23 one road, the one I mentioned, and another back-up road via Trebevic. I
24 don't know how they moved, but I'm sure that one of the inspectors made a
25 plan of security.
1 Q. All I'm asking is whether -- not whether you made the plan or one
2 of your inspectors, but whether Mr. Cvijetic let you know that this
3 dispatch had come from Mr. Stanisic.
4 A. I believe he did, because after I would return from a field trip,
5 we would sit down and have coffee and brief each other. And that
6 happened all the time, regularly. It's just that I can't remember this
7 particular time. After a while your memories fade.
8 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, this document has, in fact, already
9 been MFI
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE HALL
12 quality or character of the document as an exhibit?
13 MS. KORNER: Because, Your Honour, he says, although he
14 personally now can't remember whether he was told about this or not, he
15 would have had to or one of his subordinates set up the security, as he's
16 put it, for the snipers and whatever. And, Your Honours, there's no
17 argument this visit took place. You're going to hear a visit -- but this
18 is the only, really, the only witness who can deal with any part of it
19 and he's dealt with it.
20 JUDGE HALL
21 document, but, again, I see the logic of your application. And inasmuch
22 as I suppose there's no other witness who can do it, it's admitted and
24 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
25 Q. And just before we move on to the next --
1 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
2 MS. KORNER:
3 Q. How often would you and Mr. Cvijetic have, sort of, coffee and
4 talk about what was happening in the -- in the area? Was that a regular
6 A. I just said a moment ago there were days when I would be gone for
7 a month if I was to inspect several police stations and stay away for
8 days and nights, and then I would come back to a back-log of mail and
9 documents to peruse, and we would meet up whenever we were there both.
10 There also were times when I was there but he wasn't. The circulation
11 was very high, but we did try to maintain normal communications. We did
12 sit down whenever possible.
13 Q. All right. Can I ask you now quickly, please, to look at 1931.
14 Again, it's something [indiscernible] dealt with.
15 This is a report dated the 8th of September, 1992, to the CSB,
16 from Bratunac, and it's apparently in accordance with an order by
17 Mr. Cvijetic and yourself. Do you remember why you asked for this
18 particular report?
19 A. Well, that fell within the purview of the inspectors, the
20 department, to tour police stations from time to time. I can't remember
21 this particular time, but it was a regular activity for inspectors. And
22 Logo must have gone to the Bratunac police station for the same purpose.
23 Q. All right. Just two or three aspects of this report. On the
24 first page, in the second paragraph, it was stated that:
25 "As for the combat activities, it can be concluded that great
1 successes were achieved considering the Muslim population was in a
2 majority in the territory of the Bratunac municipality."
3 And that's right, wasn't it? The Serbs -- this was not a Serb
4 majority municipality, Bratunac?
5 A. Well, you know, for you to understand this and have a picture,
6 every police station had its files which the leaders of the patrol
7 sectors were in charge with, and if it was in an urban area, it would be
8 the leader of the beat area. All villages would be covered, and we
9 always knew what percentage of Muslims were there, what percentage of
10 Serbs, what percentage of others, and there was no doubt about that. So
11 I can believe that in Bratunac there was a majority Muslim population,
12 and I seem to remember that. But I couldn't tell you the exact
14 Q. All right.
15 MS. KORNER: Then could we look, please, at paragraphs 8 and 10
16 of the document. That's the second -- sorry, one, two, three -- fourth
17 page in English. Third page in B/C/S.
18 Q. Your inspector concluded that:
19 "The police station submits all the information, responds to
20 documents to the CSB
21 That's paragraph 8. And paragraph 10:
22 "As for the documenting of war crimes against the Serbian people
23 committed by the Muslim extremists, 46 cases were documented."
24 Again, in relation to Bratunac, there were no cases reported to
25 you, were they, where the police in Bratunac were investigating
1 allegations of war crimes against non-Serbs?
2 A. Well, I can only confirm that this is indeed the case, because I
3 don't have any other information available. Fourty-six cases are
4 mentioned here. As I tell you, there was a lot of that in Bratunac, and
5 this report refers to a particular period of time. Whether in that
6 period of time there were any crimes committed against non-Serbs, I'm not
7 aware. But knowing the people there, that would have been dealt with if
8 that occurred. And that's all I can say about it.
9 MS. KORNER: All right. Your Honours, may that be admitted and
10 marked, please.
11 JUDGE HALL
12 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P998, Your Honours.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I'm aware that I've come to the end of
14 my extra time. I just want to see if I can squeeze in one more document,
15 and I don't think I can. Your Honour, just one -- may I just check.
16 Yes. I'm sorry. Just one more, Your Honour.
17 Can I ask that 10276 be put up on the screen. Your Honours, I
18 say straightaway that this was not -- it's one of the ones that was not
19 on our 65 ter list. So all I can do is ask if you're happy with it to be
21 Q. It's the 9th of August. We've gone back a bit in time, but this
22 again is the CSB
23 memorandum from the Ministry of the Interior saying that a report shall
24 be prepared on the Serbian authorities' treatment of and conduct towards
25 prisoners of war.
1 MS. KORNER: And if we go over to the second page in B/C/S -- in
2 English, sorry, not in B/C/S.
3 Q. "All senior CSB
4 persons immediately, which implicitly entails all persons, irrespective
5 of age, who have not been members of enemy formations, i.e., to allow
6 them free movement."
7 Now, first of all were you aware of this order coming from the
8 ministry and then Mr. Cvijetic sending it out?
9 A. If you had asked me without showing me this document, I don't
10 know whether I'd have been able to recall that. But I see that prompt
11 was action taken. And as soon as the dispatch arrived from the MUP,
12 steps were taken to respond.
13 Q. Now, it says:
14 "... ordered to release civilian-category prisoner immediately,
15 which implicitly entails all persons, irrespective of age, who have not
16 been members of enemy formations, to allow them free movement."
17 Now, you've said on a couple of occasions that these persons who
18 were being -- being described as prisoners or being kept in
19 Pale Dom Kulture were people who had come in from surrounding areas and
20 were being kept there for their own safety. Does this paragraph refer to
21 these people?
22 A. I think so, yes, because these are displaced persons gathering
23 there from the territory of Pale which had been a multi-ethnic community
24 before the war. There were quite a few Muslims and Serbs there and some
25 Croats. I think the people mentioned here are those people. And they
1 had to be escorted, according to their wishes, for their own security to
2 the demarcation line. Most of them wanted to go to Sarajevo.
3 Q. Well, it doesn't say that they should be escorted to the
4 demarcation line. It says that they should be allowed free movement, if
5 the English translation is right. Doesn't it?
6 A. That's what it says here, but it's understood they had to be
7 escorted. Certainly that's how it was done. Buses probably had to be
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, may that just be marked for
10 identification, and then we'll apply formally to add it to our 65 ter.
11 JUDGE HALL
12 MR. KRGOVIC: No.
13 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P999, marked for
14 identification, Your Honours.
15 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
16 Q. And then the final question, Mr. Borovcanin, is this: In 1993, I
17 think it's right, isn't it, that you were recommended for an order?
18 MS. KORNER: This is already an exhibit, but perhaps we should
19 have it up. P732, please.
20 Q. We can see that this refers to -- it doesn't have a date at all
21 or anywhere, but it refers to a -- the "Official Gazette" number 4 of
22 1993, and indeed because Mico Stanisic is described as former minister of
23 the Republika Srpska.
24 In your case --
25 MS. KORNER: Can we go, please, in the English first of all to
1 page one, two, three -- four, and in the B/C/S to page 3, just to show
2 the order.
3 Q. This is the Milos Obilic commendation?
4 MS. KORNER: And we need to move on in the B/C/S to the next
5 page, fifth page, and in the English also to the next page. Sorry, in
6 the English we need to go one further page. Number 87. Yes. Thank you.
7 Q. Mr. Borovcanin, is that you, number 87?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you get your award?
10 A. You might laugh at this, but halfway I was proposed for an award,
11 nominated, and perhaps I'm one of the few who said that we were acting
12 too fast with these decorations. They were decorations from those
13 unfortunate former wars that the Serbs had waged, and I felt that they
14 were being devaluated in this way, and I at first refused to accept the
15 decoration I was nominated for. Then I was invited again, and to avoid
16 being seen as apolitical, I responded. And all I received was a piece of
17 paper, a certificate. But there was no medal; it had got lost somewhere.
18 So I never actually received it.
19 Q. I'm sorry to hear that, Mr. Borovcanin. Thank you very much,
20 that's all I ask.
21 JUDGE HALL
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Korner, in regard to the previous document
23 that was not on your 65 list, that was a five-digit number, and I --
24 that's what indicates that it's not on your 65 list?
25 MS. KORNER: Yes. If you see a 10.000 something number that's
1 not --
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes. Additionally, your list used to have them
3 in red digits, and I see that on the last two ones they are in black.
4 And it's very helpful if they are in red, so if you can --
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think that Mr. Smith had to leave
6 suddenly. What happened was we had a whole lot of marking, so I simply
7 said to Ms. Bosnjakovic, and I take full responsibility, remove all the
8 red markings. Because they weren't just the numbers; there were other
9 things. But, Your Honours, I hope Your Honours will accept that we would
10 always tell Your Honours that it was not on our 65 ter list. And
11 anything that's, as you say, 10.000, is not.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 JUDGE HALL
14 break, so we rise now and resume in 20 minutes.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.37 p.m.
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 JUDGE HALL
21 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Cvijetic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Borovcanin. My name is
24 Slobodan Cvijetic. I am a counsel in the Defence team of Mico Stanisic,
25 as co-counsel.
1 A. Good afternoon.
2 Q. Before I move on to the topic of your testimony before this
3 Chamber, unfortunately I have to say something about procedural matters.
4 There was some suspicions voiced yesterday about our contacts in the
5 course of the week -- or, rather, on Sunday, so before I deal with that,
6 I'll put a direct question to you.
7 Before last Sunday here in The Hague, had the two of us ever met
8 or had I ever communicated with you in any way concerning your testimony
9 here in The Hague?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Thank you. I never called you up on the phone; is that right?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. Tell me, when someone in the Defence team, and this is the fourth
14 Defence team that Mr. Stanisic has had because he was not fortunate
15 enough to have one and the same team all the time, so when someone from
16 the Defence called you up and asked you to testify, you said you would
17 think about it and that you hadn't reach a decision yet. Is that
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. My question to you is the following: At that point in time, did
21 you know that you would be a witness here before this court?
22 A. At that time, I didn't know it.
23 Q. Thank you. And one more question about this. I looked at the
24 transcript of your interview with the investigators, and at the end when
25 asked by the investigator as to whether you wanted to testify before this
1 court, you said, quite decidedly, "If I don't have to, I don't want to
2 testify." Is that correct?
3 A. Yes. That, too, is correct.
4 Q. So I would like to know why you changed your decision and why you
5 decided to come and testify after all?
6 A. At that time I didn't know about the rules of the court, the
7 rules of procedure. I'm not familiar with them today, but in a
8 conversation with one of the investigators a few months ago - I can't
9 recall the name - I was asked whether I wish to testify for the
10 Prosecution. I said I would be happy if I didn't have to testify for
11 either the Prosecution or the Defence, and then he said to me, Yes, but
12 we have a legal means to make you come. We can have a court order
13 issued. So when he said that, I said, All right, I'll come and testify.
14 They asked me if I want to be a protected witness, and I said no.
15 I said I wanted to see the other people in the courtroom and that I would
16 do my best to say what I know truthfully.
17 Q. Thank you. And, very briefly, about our meeting on Sunday, my
18 colleague Mr. Krgovic and I talked to you from 9.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m.
19 Can you just confirm that this conversation was held in the presence of a
20 representative of the Victims and Witnesses Unit? There was a lady there
21 whose name I don't recall. She said she would sit there and wait because
22 she had to take you to your interview with the OTP after that?
23 A. Yes, that's correct. While we were talking, she was sitting
24 there at the side. I don't recall her name either.
25 Q. Yes. She did introduce herself, but I've forgotten her name. It
1 doesn't matter.
2 Furthermore, we agreed we would meet after the OTP had finished
3 interviewing you, and I did not set a specific time. I hadn't completed
4 my interview with you because there was still lots of documents to go
5 through, and I said that I would continue only after you had finished
6 your proofing with the OTP. Is that correct?
7 A. You may have said at 1700 hours. You may have assumed we would
8 be finished earlier. But it took quite a long time; it took longer here,
9 so we met later. I may be a layperson, but I was quite surprised that I
10 could see both the Defence and the Prosecution. I understood this to be
11 a very transparent process, and in that context we talked, yes.
12 Q. Very well. And this second meeting of ours was supervised by
13 another lady from the Victims and Witnesses Unit. She was there at the
14 beginning of our conversation. And all this took place in the lobby of
15 your hotel; is that correct?
18 JUDGE HALL
19 much time on this. The nature of Ms. Korner's observation, I wouldn't
20 even use the word complaint, in respect of this witness was, as I recall,
21 merely the issue of the amount of the witness's limited time between his
22 arrival in The Hague and his -- the commencement of his testimony that
23 was spent in the course of these pre-trial interviews, for want of a
24 better expression. But the -- that complaint, I'll use that word now, is
25 not something which could be resolved by these questions that you're
1 putting to the witness in open court.
2 You may recall that what the Chamber said yesterday is that it
3 had heard what the Prosecution's observation was and the response, I
4 think it was particularly from Mr. Pantelic, but it was not something
5 that the Chamber -- on which the Chamber was prepared to say anything
6 more definitive at that time. So I don't know how -- how this trial is
7 being progressed by your going into this with the witness.
8 MS. KORNER: I was going to say, there was no suggestion in
9 relation to this witness and Mr. Cvijetic of any impropriety. As
10 Your Honour rightly says, it was simply the length of time. If I can
11 make that absolutely clear.
12 JUDGE HALL
14 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
15 JUDGE HALL
16 that inadvertently you, in response to a question put by counsel, you
17 would have in your answer given the name of a member of staff on the
18 record, and that is the order that I have just made redacting that from
19 the transcript. So in the future, that is something that should be
21 Thank you, Mr. Cvijetic.
22 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, these introductory
23 questions were leading up to the last question in this area, and that's
24 precisely what Your Honour mentioned. Ms. Korner mentioned yesterday
25 that she had information to the effect that the witness, after the
1 interview with me, was under stress and was fatigued. Well, I to
2 interview the witness.
3 Q. Mr. Borovcanin, did my interview with you cause you to be
4 stressed and exhausted? Was I responsible for your fatigue? Did you
5 find it unpleasant to talk to me?
6 MS. KORNER: No, sorry. Just a moment. Your Honour --
7 Mr. Borovcanin, don't worry.
8 Your Honour, it was the combined effect of the two interviews
9 with Mr. Cvijetic and the OTP, and I don't really think that Mr. Cvijetic
10 need worry. There is no suggestion that he behaved improperly.
11 JUDGE HALL
12 earlier than the usual time yesterday, I was careful to choose language
13 which didn't convey the impression that any physical difficulty he had
14 was the cause of the early adjournment.
15 Please begin your cross-examination proper, Mr. Cvijetic.
16 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honours. And I
17 did this -- in future I will be more cautious, and we will co-operate
18 better with the OTP and the Victims and Witnesses Unit.
19 Q. Mr. Borovcanin, yesterday during the examination-in-chief,
20 Ms. Korner made a small digression and tried, so to speak, to throw light
21 on a fact concerning my possible relatedness to Mr. Cvijetic, and, yes,
22 he was my brother, but he was a mechanical engineer, and he is
23 fortunately still alive. His name is still the same as this --
24 Mr. Zoran Cvijetic who was killed, but we have no relationship. So I do
25 have a brother called Zoran Cvijetic, but he is alive and well, and he is
1 a mechanical engineer and has nothing to do with these events. That's
2 the explanation.
3 Very well, Mr. Borovcanin, I will proceed in the same way that
4 you proceeded with Ms. Korner. So let's discuss your departure from
6 You said at one point that as you were a police officer, your
7 neighbours asked you what was going on, and you said that you couldn't
8 see the forest for the trees. Could you please explain to the
9 Trial Chamber what it is that you couldn't see?
10 A. I didn't have information about what was in the offing. I was on
11 the sidelines. So when my neighbours, who viewed me with suspicion
12 thinking I was concealing something from them, questioned me -- I was
13 taken aback by the events that occurred. I decided it was for me to
14 leave Sarajevo. I illustrated this with some examples. Shots were fired
15 at my windows. My wife realised it was too dangerous for her to continue
16 to go to work at Ilidza, and this event was a message to her as well that
17 we should finally agree to leave town. We had a house in a village where
18 my late parents had lived. We wanted to take our children to safety.
19 Q. Very well. I'll ask you directly. Did you observe the arming of
20 the Muslim population and Muslim paramilitary units near the place where
21 you lived? Were you able to see this with your own eyes?
22 A. Well, I already mentioned this in the interview. Across the road
23 from my flat in the Mojmilo neighbourhood, there was a kindergarten. One
24 day, I think it may have been the 7th of April or maybe the 6th, but it
25 was around that time, a black Golf drove up. I peeked out behind the
1 curtain, and I saw automatic weapons being taken from the boot of the car
2 and handed over to some young men who carried it into the building of the
4 Prazina, Jusuf Prazina, whom I knew from before the war - he was
5 a criminal with a fat file in the police service - got out of the car,
6 and this told me that nothing good was going to happen. I was worried
7 about my own security, as I was a police officer in the MUP with certain
9 Q. When you observed the adherence of the Patriotic League, which is
10 a Muslim paramilitary formation --
11 A. Yes, I was working in the night-shift.
12 Q. You don't have to go into details. Let's just establish that the
13 members of the Patriotic League were members of a paramilitary formation.
14 A. Yes. We didn't know about those insignia at the time. We had
15 our own insignia.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Gentlemen, you are overlapping, so make sure that
17 you wait with your answer to Counsel Cvijetic's question so as to allow
18 the interpreters to catch up.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right. Thank you.
20 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Later on, did you learn from your colleagues in the police that
22 three members of the Patriotic League got identity cards from the police
23 service of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
24 A. I wasn't aware of that at the time, but most probably they were
25 given police IDs to provide them with credibility. So they were acting
1 under the auspices of the service.
2 Q. So common criminals were provide a credibility by means of an
3 official document, official identification?
4 A. Yes. I'm telling you that as regards the Ministry of
5 the Interior, the system was falling apart, both at a local level and
6 higher levels, and my colleagues from the federal MUP can confirm that it
7 was the criminal underground that had taken over the town practically.
8 Q. When you mentioned this sidelining of the real police, did you
9 notice that Serb officers were sidelined in the MUP?
10 A. Of course. I still can't understand why, after so many years of
11 service, from commander of the largest unit in the republic, I was
12 demoted to the night-shift. I still can't understand who humiliated me
13 in that way, because I was the man with the greatest experience and the
14 longest service.
15 Q. Sredoje Novic was one of those nominated for the post of -- for a
16 post in the federal MUP, and he didn't get it. He was demoted in the
17 same way as you.
18 A. Yes. He was secretary of the SUP, in today's terminology,
19 assistant minister, and he was in charge of the crime department. And,
20 of course, I was astonished when I heard that he been transferred in a
21 small -- to a small police station in Novi Grad. That's a demotion by
22 two steps on the ladder.
23 Q. In that period while you were in Sarajevo, did this violent
24 takeover of some police stations occur by paramilitary units when one
25 Serb policeman was killed?
1 A. Yes. It was just before the war broke out. I know of that
2 incident. It was at the police station of Novo Sarajevo. One of our
3 colleagues, late Petar Petrovic, was killed while on duty at the police
4 station, and he was leader of the duty service at the time. It was an
5 incident that instilled fear in all of us Serbs. It was bad a writing on
6 the wall.
7 Q. And you got another similar message, the killing of a member of a
8 Serbian wedding party in the churchyard.
9 A. Well, that happened outside one of the oldest places of worship
10 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the killing of an innocent man. It was not only a
11 warning, it was -- this shooting took place against the background -- how
12 shall I put it? It was a shot fire at all Serbs. Anyone who was Serb
13 had great reason for concern.
14 Q. So there are some of the most important reasons why you decided
15 to walk out. At that time, you were probably not even thinking of
16 getting involved in the establishment of the Serbian MUP. I believe you
17 said you weren't even aware that one was being established. Am I right?
18 A. The last time I talked with Mr. Bakir Alispahic at one meeting
19 where I didn't even bother to sit down, when I said I was no longer going
20 to go to work and I didn't want to be a clay pigeon, he said, Where are
21 you going now, Drago? And I said I was a cosmopolitan. I did not want
22 to get involved in anything. For security reasons also, because as I was
23 going back to Mojmilo, it may sound strange but I took a completely
24 different route. Those who know Sarajevo will understand if I say I took
25 road by the tobacco factory. Because everything was ruled by criminals,
1 and I fear for my safety, and when I finally reached my apartment, I told
2 my wife that we should leave town immediately.
3 Q. We'll leave this topic there. Your departure from Sarajevo was,
4 in fact, flight. You were fleeing to save your life?
5 A. Well, we were rather naive. We were totally unprepared. I
6 forgot to take all my important documentation, jewellery, some things of
7 sentimental value. I don't know what I was thinking. I was thinking we
8 are coming back seven or ten days later. But -- and only when we were
9 gone did we realise that things were very serious. There was a war going
10 on. And fortunately I had some very honest neighbours who returned all
11 my documentation to be when I came back eventually.
12 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] May I ask the usher to hand this
13 to the witness.
14 Q. Wait, Mr. Borovcanin.
15 Mr. Borovcanin, I'll begin with a meeting held in Belgrade on the
16 11th of July, 1992. It's P160. In your binder it's tab 6.
17 A. All right.
18 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Can we put on the screen the
19 17th page in B/C/S and page 19 in English.
20 Q. You were at this meeting, and you will agree with me that it was
21 the first real meeting or collegium of senior officers of the MUP held
22 from the moment the war began?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. You will agree with me that the venue was the only one possible
25 and the best, Belgrade. Because, from the point of view of geography, it
1 was easily accessible -- equally accessible to those from Trebinje and
2 from everywhere else.
3 A. Well, I personally wondered why Belgrade, and then it was explain
4 that it was at an equidistance from Banja Luka and Trebinje more or less,
5 although it was farthest from Trebinje because Trebinje is at the south
6 of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 Q. On this occasion, the minister of the interior saw some of his
8 underlings for the first time, but it was also an opportunity for him to
9 hear for the first time about the problems that police stations and CSB
10 encounter on the ground every day.
11 A. Yes. He not only met some people for the first time, but also
12 some of us met each other from the -- for the first time, because in the
13 meantime there had been some appointments of -- some new appointments.
14 Q. And after this meeting, after having received his first
15 information about certain problems, the minister could begin to respond
16 and react to these problems to ensure that the law on the Ministry of
17 the Interior be properly enforced.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You will agree with me that it was not easy at that time and that
20 creating a Ministry of the Interior is a process that cannot be completed
21 within five months.
22 A. Of course. I've said several times in my interview it's a very
23 arduous process.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel and witness please make pauses
25 between question and answer.
1 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I think the witness is being asked
2 to repeat his answer. Okay.
3 Q. Sir, we were talking about a process, and year 1992 was not quite
4 a normal year, was it?
5 A. Certainly not. War time cannot be normal.
6 Q. Now, I'll invoke some of the contributions of those who attended,
7 and in this way I'll try to show, to highlight certain areas that we will
8 later look at through documents to try to see how Mr. Stanisic reacted to
9 some of this information.
10 The Prosecution already showed to you the contribution by
11 Mr. Zupljanin. I have so far selected just one passage, and that's by
12 Mr. Planojevic.
13 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] It's actually page 17 -- no. It's
14 actually page 20 in B/C/S. In the witness's copy it's 17. But it's
15 page 20 in e-court in B/C/S, and in English it's 19.
16 Q. So Mr. Planojevic speaks. This is the right page. Have you
17 found it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Mr. Planojevic says:
20 "The priority is to document war crimes with complete
21 documentation (on-site investigations, photographs, expertise, medical
22 reports) and it's necessary to draw up lists of war criminals to be
23 exchanged among centres."
24 Of course, we should not this -- understand this as exchange of
25 war crimes, but exchange of lists.
1 A. Right.
2 Q. Another person speaks on the same topic, and that's why I chose
3 him, and he is from your area. Mr. Simo Tusevljak.
4 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] The English page is 20, and
5 B/C/S is 21. It's paragraph 3, begins with the words "So far" or,
6 "Thus far." Have you found it? He says:
7 "Thus far, the job of documenting war crimes and filing criminal
8 reports has been a priority. War crimes are documented also if committed
9 by Serbs."
10 Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. We will later show documents that confirm what is said here. But
13 I would like to clear up one point before that. You police officers,
14 when you come across a crime and you find the victim of a killing, you
15 are not able to say at first glance what the motive for the murder was?
16 A. Of course not, because the on-site investigation reveals
17 step-by-step every aspect, whether the person was killed for gain or
18 profit or some other reason. Until you complete the entire investigation
19 procedure, you cannot know.
20 Q. You sometimes simply have to opt for the qualification of murder
21 that implies, among other things, the death sentence, but the final legal
22 qualification is selected by the prosecutor?
23 A. That's how things should be. We prepare our documentation and
24 submit it to the prosecutor's office, and the prosecutor then does his
1 Q. So if we find in one of the reports that in the area of a certain
2 police station ten murders had taken place, it may happen that two or
3 three resulted from war crimes, but that can only be established in the
4 course of prosecution and trial.
5 A. Of course. Nobody can claim anything before all the facts are
7 Q. Now, in practice, you will agree with me that most of individual
8 murders that we see in the reports, regardless of the identity of the
9 victim, in murders outside combat zones we mostly find that these were
10 traditional murders and the motive was profit.
11 MR. PANTELIC: I think it should be corrected on page 73, line 1.
12 Instead of question, it should be answer. And then next line, in front
13 of word "now," should be question. Just for the sake of accuracy of the
14 transcript. Thank you.
15 JUDGE HALL
16 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Let me start again. I was asking you about the percentage of
18 individual crimes and motives regardless of the identity of victims. Is
19 it the case that most crimes fall into the category of general crime?
20 A. Yes, most of them do. Motivation such as profit, et cetera.
21 Q. Any suspicion of a war crime arises mainly when there is a large
22 number of victims.
23 A. Yes, if we're talking about civilians.
24 Q. All right. I'll come back to this when I get to the documents,
25 but I'll stay with this meeting for a while.
1 Apart from this issue raised by Mr. Zupljanin and followed up by
2 Mr. Planojevic and Mr. Tusevljak, many other problems were raised and it
3 was said that they had to be dealt with in the following period. Most of
4 the speakers also mentioned the engagement of the police in combat
5 operations. It was emphasised as a problem, because with the reduced
6 manpower, the police were unable to do their regular police work.
7 A. Yes, or they were able to but with great difficulty.
8 Q. They also emphasised the problems they experienced with
9 paramilitary units?
10 A. Yes. That was one of the most important problems stressed at
11 that meeting.
12 Q. And I'll mention only one, although there were many more:
13 Organisational personnel and financial problems?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. You will agree with me that if the minister of the interior were
16 to grapple seriously with these problems, you had first to complete the
17 creation of the ministry and enable it and equip it properly to come to
18 grips with these problems?
19 A. Yes. It's a very arduous process, as I said. And we started
20 from scratch as far as the Sarajevo centre is concerned, because we were
21 literally tenets in the former offices of Energoinvest. Can you imagine
22 a very large centre starting from scratch? It was truly hard work.
23 Q. The minister had the same problem, because his headquarters was
24 in Vraca, then he moved to Pale, then to Hotel Bistrica at Mount Jahorina
25 and then in the second half of the year to Bijeljina.
1 How correct is my information which I heard from other witnesses
2 that the MUP in all its lines of work started functioning properly only
3 after the headquarters was moved to Bijeljina? Is this correct?
4 A. Yes. The headquarters were now in one place, and we knew where
5 to send dispatches, reports, and exchange information.
6 Q. Very well. You will agree with me that the minister had to
7 ensure that internal mechanisms were in place for him to be able to have
8 all his orders and decisions implemented. He had to create an internal
9 organisation and discipline in order for him to make decisions with
10 authority. Is that correct?
11 A. Well, the ministry would not be able to function without such an
12 approach. Staffing, respect for regulations, order, all that is
13 necessary for it to become a proper institution.
14 Q. But you will agree with me that he inherited a ministry in which
15 there were those who had been appointed by the local authorities, and
16 later on, as it turned out, those who had broken the law, and that he
17 also had problems because of this and had to clean up the ministry.
18 A. Yes. That is also correct. On more than one occasion in the
19 early days, May, June, I would see a person I had never seen before, and
20 I thought I knew all the -- all the people who were in positions of
21 authority in the ministry because I'd been there for quite some time, and
22 I would see a new person. There was chaos. The River Drina was nearby,
23 and this was something that criminals found very convenient, because it
24 was very easy for them to cross the bridge into Serbia. So they had an
25 excellent opportunity to get rich quick.
1 Q. What municipality were you referring to? It's not on the record.
2 Were you referring to Zvornik municipality?
3 A. Yes. I mentioned Zvornik as the most glaring example of this.
4 Q. And you will agree with me that in solving these huge problems,
5 Mr. Stanisic had to have support, both political and every other kind of
6 support from Republika Srpska, in order for him to succeed. He could not
7 succeed on his own; is that correct?
8 A. Of course it's correct. I'd like to see what individual could
9 deal with all that on his own without any sort of support. But very
10 often he didn't get support from the local authorities because they were
11 states within a state, so to speak. The local structures would be
12 consulted about everything while the MUP was marginalised in these
13 places. They probably had their reasons for behaving in this way.
14 Q. Very well. I'll put a general question about each area, followed
15 by some documents so that we can see whether the documents confirm what
16 we say.
17 So as you were a police officer on the ground, you received
18 orders from the chief of the CSB
19 assume you also had opportunities to see orders emanating from
20 Mr. Stanisic, so I'll ask you the following: In the area of attempts to
21 pull the police out of combat operations so that it could devote itself
22 is to police work, did you notice that there was continuity and
23 persistence in the minister's efforts to achieve this goal? I'm speaking
24 about practical moves, not in general terms.
25 A. Well, of course I was able to notice that through administrative
1 dispatches and also directly on the ground. His overall efforts were
2 aimed at creating a professional MUP as soon as possible composed of
3 professional experienced police officers, but this was a drawn-out
4 process. It was very difficult. There were many problems with the local
5 authorities. We can talk about that later, but I know that it was a
6 powder keg in many places.
7 Q. All right. Let's move on to another area, the fight against
8 paramilitary formations.
9 Did you observe that there was continuity and persistence on the
10 part of the MUP and the minister, Mico Stanisic, in attempting to
11 eradicate such paramilitary formations?
12 A. Certainly, yes. I said that in my interview two or three times.
13 That was a standing task, in police terminology.
14 Q. Very well. In the attempts to clean up the police, to get rid of
15 persons who had criminal records or who had committed crimes in the
16 course of their duties, did you observe in this area that Mr. Stanisic
17 was making efforts to remove them from the police force?
18 A. Yes, certainly. There's more than one dispatch showing this. I
19 hope the accused will not misunderstand it when I say that it was already
20 a pain in the neck, because a dispatch would arrive and two or three days
21 later it would be followed by another one repeating the same things. He
22 was really and truly trying to create a professional MUP amidst that
23 full-time chaos.
24 Q. Very well. Let's move on to the problem of war crimes. Did you
25 receive any instructions and documents from the ministry on the ground as
1 to how war crimes should be documented, and was there any discrimination
2 according to who the victim was?
3 A. We did receive instructions. Of course my colleagues from the
4 crime prevention department will be able to say more about that, because
5 it was they who had to fill in certain forms, but of course there had to
6 be no discrimination, because every human being had to be treated in the
7 same way and given the same protection. There was no dilemma in that
9 Q. I'll ask you the following, as you were on the ground: Do you
10 know of a single instance of a crime that you learned of which was not
11 documented and dealt with whether the perpetrator was known or unknown?
12 A. I'm not aware of any such instance. I don't know if it would be
13 possible for anyone to overlook a serious crime without documenting it
14 and dealing with it.
15 Q. Very well. And now we come to the problem of camps, collection
16 centres, reception centres, and so on.
17 The Ministry of the Interior had only one competency when it
18 comes to facilities where persons are deprived of their liberty, and
19 these are places where persons are remanded in custody and can be kept
20 for no longer than three days.
21 You will agree with me that all other similar facilities were not
22 under the jurisdiction of the police. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes. Let me just explain. You mentioned detention units. Every
24 police unit had one, two, or three, depending on its area, cells where
25 persons could be kept for no longer than three days. They would all be
1 given a decision on custody, and there would be records of the condition
2 in which the persons arrived, whether they had injuries, what their
3 psychological state was, and so on. As for collection centres and camps,
4 they came within the purview of the military of Republika Srpska.
5 Q. Very well. We'll come to that. Sometimes it was civilian
6 municipal organs that set up these collection centres, but when we look
7 at the documents, we will deal with that.
8 And one more topic remains, the organisational staffing,
9 financial, and other aspect of the MUP. Did you observe continuity in
10 Mr. Stanisic's work in attempting to deal with the enormous problems in
11 this area?
12 A. Well, of course. First of all, we had huge problems with
13 staffing. I'm referring to professional police officers who could
14 shoulder the responsibility of holding certain posts in those difficult
15 times in leadership positions in the CSB and the SJBs. We tried to find
16 qualified, well-trained personnel to carry out this work, because in
17 those times there were people who did not answer that description and who
18 didn't really understand what was going on.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Borovcanin, I don't want to make a mistake, but I think that
22 on the 11th of July at this meeting, Mr. Zupljanin raised an issue, the
23 issue of financing the work of the organs of the MUP, because at the
24 beginning this was not properly regulated. Do you know anything about
1 A. I know that there was no unified system. I think that in the
2 Ilijas police station there were some people going solo, so to speak, and
3 whether he was the president of the municipality or the
4 Executive Council, I can't remember, but he would say, I'm providing the
5 funds; I want to issue the orders. That was a fundamental problem,
6 because he said, I'm providing uniforms for the police, equipment. So
7 this was a terrible problem in the beginning, and Mr. Stanisic wanted
8 this problem to be overcome. He wanted the financing, equipping, and so
9 on of the MUP to be carried out from a single centre, and that was the
10 truth of it. So he was continuously attempting to create a professional
12 Q. Very well. You anticipated my next question, which had to do
13 with these problems of funding, and now only one area remains to be
14 covered in this introductory part and that is the problem of the attitude
15 of the local authorities, Serb autonomous provinces, Crisis Staffs, and
16 municipalities and their influence on the work of the local police
18 Did you come across this problem in your practical work on the
20 A. Well, of course I did. Imagine the situation in
21 1992 in May/June. Check-points would be set up, and we had no idea who
22 had set them up. Some were set up by Crisis Staffs, others by military
23 security, some by paramilitaries. I can give you examples of how they
24 did this. And, of course, the priority was to establish who had the
25 authority to do this and who was in charge of these check-points.
1 We were on the margins. We couldn't believe this was going on.
2 So more than once I would say at meetings, Okay, people. Let's draw up
3 an instruction about check-points, who can man check-points, what powers
4 they can have. For example, when checking goods, because there was a lot
5 of theft. So there were attempts to set up a system, and to have order
6 introduced. But the MUP was pushed to the sidelines because we were
7 encountering great difficulties in trying to establish our organisation.
8 Q. Very well. And can you tell us now something about the problem
9 of communications, the physical accessibility of some parts of
10 Republika Srpska, the problem of lack of information due to poor
11 communications? Did you run into these problems as well?
12 A. Yes, of course I did. I'll give you an example which I'm not
13 sure you'll fully understand. There was a police station called
14 Nedzarici. It was actually a reserve police station attached to the
15 Ilidza SJB. So imagine coming to that station which I visited only once,
16 by night because I had to pass through that road, and then you would go
17 through walls which had been broken through in a building. You had to
18 pass through several holes in the wall in order to reach that station
19 which was in the very heart of the combat area. In western Sarajevo when
20 going towards Vogosca, Ilijas, Ilidza, there were screens set up in many
21 places to protect from sniper activity, mortar fire, and you would be
22 risking your life every time you set out to go there. And if electronic
23 communications, telephones, and so on were not working, you can imagine
24 the kind of problems we faced in 1992 in the beginning.
25 Q. And I think we're coming to the end of today's session, so I'll
1 just put a general question and later we'll see specific documents. Did
2 you observe whether Mr. Stanisic had the absolute support of other organs
3 in the government, politicians, and so on?
4 A. Well, I can only give you my opinion. Imagine people trying to
5 get rich quick, all those who were engaged in criminal activities. Of
6 course establishing a professional MUP was hindering their activities.
7 So of course they were not all enthusiastic about setting this up,
8 especially those who wanted to appropriate property that didn't belong to
9 them. So this was a huge problem.
10 Q. Tell me, which post did you occupy in 1994?
11 A. In 1994, I fell ill in the combat area, and then I underwent
12 treatment for six or seven months until sometime in 1995. And when I got
13 better, I returned to the SUP
14 inspector. I believe that's where I spent a few years.
15 Q. Do you remember that in 1994 Mr. Stanisic became minister of the
16 interior again for a short while before he resigned? Just tell me if you
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have finished with
20 this introductory part. My next segment will be a long display of
21 documents. Shall I start now, or shall we leave it for tomorrow? For me
22 it's a completely new area, so maybe it would be better to start
24 JUDGE HALL
25 before the time for the adjournment. So we would take the adjournment
1 now and. Mr. Borovcanin, I would remind you of what I said yesterday at
2 the adjournment, not to discuss the case with anybody outside the court
3 and to have no communication with counsel from other side.
4 So we resume in this courtroom tomorrow morning at 9.00.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.43 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 24th day
7 of February, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.