1 Thursday, 11 March 2010.
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 10.24 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning
6 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case IT-08-91-T, the
7 Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin.
8 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
9 Good morning to everyone. As we all know, the gremlins have
10 ensured that we have a late start this morning, so I would begin by
11 asking for the appearances for the day, please.
12 MR. OLMSTED: Matthew Olmsted and Crispian Smith for the
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
15 Slobodan Cvijetic, and Eugene O'Sullivan appearing for Stanisic Defence
16 this morning. Thank you.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For Zupljanin Defence
18 this morning, Igor Pantelic and Dragan Krgovic. Thank you.
19 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. I would alert counsel and the Court
20 Officers that, having regard to the late start, we will sit through till
21 12.05, which would have been the ordinary time for the second break, and
22 then we should be back on track.
23 Yes, could the witness be escorted into the courtroom, please.
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 JUDGE HALL: Good morning to you, sir.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
2 JUDGE HALL: I expect it has been explained to you that it is for
3 technical reasons that we had a late start this morning, so we regret any
4 inconvenience that would have been occasioned you by just having to wait
6 Before I invite Mr. Olmsted to resume his examination-in-chief, I
7 would remind that you you're still on your oath.
8 Yes, Mr. Olmsted.
9 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 WITNESS: WITNESS ST-179 [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examination by Mr. Olmsted: [Continued]
13 Q. Good morning, sir.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. Yesterday before we recessed, we were looking at a number of
16 payroll records from SJB Vlasenica. Can you tell us where you would send
17 these payroll records?
18 A. The payroll records were sent to the public security centre,
19 because that's where the financial service was housed, which was in
20 charge for the payroll for both the public -- or, rather, Security Centre
21 and station.
22 Q. And just so I have this clear, those payroll records, would they
23 make their way up to the RS MUP headquarters?
24 A. We sent them to the public security centre, and they, in turn,
25 received funds from the Ministry of Interior. In other words, the amount
1 that was set aside for pay had to come from the Ministry of the Interior.
2 Q. Now, during the May through December 1992 time-period, what means
3 of communication did the SJB Vlasenica have with the CSB?
4 A. From May to December. If I may clarify this, the public security
5 centre and the Ministry of Interior had a direct flow of information.
6 Now for the public security station, according to the earlier
7 organisation of the MUP.
8 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Witness, apparently further technical problems
9 developed. Could you pause a moment, please.
10 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
11 JUDGE HALL: [Microphone not activated]
12 Sorry, we are advised that we can proceed because the recording
13 continues. In the meantime, we'll continue to work on the -- I mean, you
14 probably see on the screen, but perhaps, Mr. Olmsted, out of an abundance
15 of caution you should ask the witness to repeat his answer to your last
17 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Your Honour, I'll do that.
18 Q. Sir, sorry for the, again, a technical problem.
19 I'll ask the question again and perhaps you could repeat your
20 answer. During this May through December 1992 time-period, what means
21 were available to SJB Vlasenica to communicate with the CSB
23 A. Briefly, since the public security station under the earlier
24 organisation of the MUP belonged to the security centre in Tuzla, all the
25 rely and communications systems were directed to -- toward Tuzla and
2 On the 24th of April, as early as at that time, Vlasenica could
3 no longer receive its -- electricity supplies from the grid in Tuzla.
4 This problem prevailed for the following year, that's to say, until
5 March of 1993. During that period the conventional communications means
6 such as telephone lines and teleprinter lines and radio lines were --
7 were down.
8 So, for an initial period of a month, roughly, the communication
9 with the public security centre of Romanija and Birac was by way of
10 couriers. In other words, a driver would show up on designated days and
11 deliver mail, collect whatever mail there was in the station to take back
12 with him.
13 Subsequently, power supplies were enabled through two small
14 electric plants that were in the possession of Vlasenica, and they
15 powered certain essential services such as the hospital and the MUP.
16 Therefore, thanks to the efforts of the communications workers of the
17 MUP, first a telephone line was made operational, which could be resorted
18 to, to communicate with the CSB and MUP whenever there was electricity.
19 In parallel to this, the communications workers of the MUP also
20 rearranged the relay system which had previously been directed toward
21 Tuzla and Sarajevo to use them for these communications. This took a
22 month to become up and running.
23 After a period of some three to four months, the teleprinter
24 communications were also made operational so that as of end of July or
25 month of August, the communications systems improved, and, in fact, they
1 continued to improve through to the end of the year.
2 Q. So if I understand from your answer you said the first month
3 after the takeover there was problems with communications but by June, if
4 I calculated correctly, you at least had a telephone line, whenever there
5 was electricity available?
6 A. Whenever there was electricity available, telephone lines were
7 used. But the teleprinter and radio communications, they could also be
8 made operational only when there was electricity.
9 Q. Now, during this same time-period, did you or members of your SJB
10 leadership attend meetings with members of the CSB leadership?
11 A. The meetings were organised periodically and whenever necessary.
12 But we had a meeting at least once a month, and that was a meeting of the
13 chiefs of centres, and the meetings took place in Lukavica. Since
14 Vlasenica is a transit town, occasionally information would be delivered
15 there, whenever somebody happened to be passing in -- through that area.
16 Q. Now, these meetings that you just described, would the SJB chiefs
17 also attend those meetings?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you mentioned that these monthly meetings were held in
20 Lukavica. Were they ever held in Jahorina?
21 A. I don't recall exactly, but we may have had two meetings at
23 Q. And when you met at Jahorina, where would you meet? What
25 A. I recall one meeting taking place in the Hotel Kosuta where the
1 minister's office was temporarily housed at the time.
2 Q. When you say "the minister," would that be the minister of the
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, at these meetings, these monthly meetings, what kind of
6 information would be exchanged between the SJB chiefs and the leadership
7 at the CSB?
8 A. The meeting of chiefs of the public security centre was always
9 held according to a certain procedure. A report was submitted on public
10 law and order. Security and traffic situation that was normally one of
11 the items on the agenda.
12 The other item would be the briefing on specific problems
13 depending on the rapporteur and the area he covered, and the third item
14 would normally be the resolution of certain problems or adoption of
15 conclusions. That was the usual procedure adopted at such meetings in
16 order for the chief of the centre to be fully appraised of the events
17 having taken place in his area and of steps that had to be taken from his
19 Q. And what would CSB Chief Cvijetic do with this information he
20 collected from the various municipalities within his jurisdiction?
21 A. Normally, conclusions would be drawn from the minutes that were
22 taken, which he would examine and forward to the Ministry of the
23 Interior, and to the services directly under the minister, and to the
24 minister himself.
25 Q. Now, I would like to switch to a different topic.
1 In the post-takeover period in Vlasenica - so after 21 April -
2 what restrictions were imposed upon the freedom of movement of Muslims?
3 A. There weren't any explicit restrictions or orders. Any citizens
4 who may still have been there, who did not leave, enjoyed a freedom of
5 movement, though they did make sure to move about as little as possible.
6 But as for any specific restrictions or orders to that effect, they did
7 not exist.
8 MR. OLMSTED: Let's take a look at 65 ter 2808.
9 Q. This is a Crisis Staff document, subject is: "Instruction on
10 General Procedure for Departure." And it's addressed to the chief of the
11 public security station and the commander of the Territorial Defence.
12 So would you have received this document from the Crisis Staff?
13 A. Since it existed there, it must have reached the station, yes.
14 Q. Now, under number 2, it says: "To leave the town, an individual
15 has to sign a statement saying that he is leaving the town and ...
16 territory of the municipality of his own free will; only on the basis of
17 this statement will he be issued with a travel permit."
18 Sir, towards which ethnic group did this particular requirement
20 A. The request was valid for all the citizens who wanted to leave
22 Q. Yes. But in practical effect, who did it apply to?
23 A. Generally speaking, it was valid for all citizens, and I'll tell
24 you why.
25 This, in particular, applied to the departure of the Bosniaks. I
1 presume that this was the idea entertained by the authority issuing this.
2 Q. And what was the purpose of this requirement that Bosniaks would
3 have to get this -- sign this statement that they were leaving the town
4 voluntarily? What was the purpose of this statement?
5 A. I presume that the purpose was -- well, in that period of time
6 nobody forced anyone else to leave. However, tensions were such that
7 people were leaving, Serbs and Bosniaks alike.
8 Now, I presume, since I'm not the author of the document, that,
9 already at the time, the International Committee of the Red Cross had
10 been present in the area and exerted pressure on the Crisis Staff, i.e.,
11 on the leadership, to provide an explanation for the fact that the people
12 were leaving.
13 Q. Well, I just want to be clear here. If I understand what you
14 told us before, is that the practical effect of this instruction was that
15 it applied to Bosniaks and not to Serbs; is that correct?
16 A. Mostly to Bosniaks. As for the Serbs, it applied mostly to
17 able-bodied men and that's already we're dealing with item 3 of this
19 Q. Certainly. But we're only talking about item 2. Now, I assume
20 that number 3 is an effort to keep Serbs in the municipality so that they
21 can be mobilised.
22 Number 3 talks about leaving and it's specifically saying that
23 the individual has to sign a statement saying they're leaving of their
24 own free will. And my question to you is: Was that or was it not
25 applied to Bosniaks?
1 A. It applied to Bosniaks. The statement was signed in the
2 municipality and we received the document. Whoever wanted to leave had
3 to go and sign a statement in the municipality. They would be provided
4 with a document, and could go wherever they wanted to.
5 Q. Now, in what numbers were Muslims leaving Vlasenica during this
7 A. Well, the stages of departure of citizens of Bosniak ethnicity
8 from Vlasenica - yesterday we spoke about the Serbs and now we're
9 focussing on the Bosniak population - was several.
10 One of the stages of departure occurred shortly before the 21st
11 of April. Already, as of the month of March, groups and individuals
12 started leaving in the direction of Sarajevo and Tuzla, and some even
13 ventured abroad. And in the period prior to the 21st of April, the
14 process would be more intense at some points and less intense at others,
15 because it depended on what was happening at the political level.
16 Whenever a political compromise was achieved, then the intensity of
17 departure would be lower, et cetera.
18 So around the 21st of April the levels of departure intensified
19 and the Crisis Staff organised buses for those who wanted to the leave.
20 They would go to the bus station and would be transported to what -- at
21 the time was still not a separation line in the direction of Tuzla, but
22 it was a point that was already manned by the Green Berets or the BH
23 police who would take the leaving population from there.
24 Q. And who would escort these buses from the municipality to the
25 BiH-held territories?
1 A. The buses were escorted by the police. There would be a police
2 vehicle at the head of the column and a police patrol at the rear. If
3 there was several buses in the column, that is. They would escort them
4 to the place where they would be taken over by a different authority.
5 Q. Now, what happened to the homes of the Muslims who left the
7 A. If nobody occupied these homes any longer, they were closed,
8 abandoned, and empty.
9 Q. Were Serbs moving into the municipality as Muslims were moving
11 A. You mean into the houses or into the municipality?
12 Q. Both.
13 A. After these events, after the 21st of April, refugees, as we
14 could already call them that at that time, began flocking in under the
15 control of what is now the Federation. Initially, this reciprocity was
16 not that marked but later there was a marked reciprocity in this exchange
17 so that later a large number of refugees came from what is now the
18 territory of the Federation but then from the municipalities where
19 Bosniaks were a majority. So they left those municipalities and sought
20 accommodation in Vlasenica, Zvornik, et cetera.
21 Q. And let's answer the second part of the question is: When they
22 would move to Vlasenica, where would they live?
23 A. There already existed a body in the municipality to receive this
24 population. I don't know what it was called at the time. This organ had
25 already made a list of the deserted, abandoned houses and flats, so by a
1 kind of a decision they would assign them for temporary residence into
2 those houses and flats.
3 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, may we tendered this document into
5 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
6 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit P1063, Your Honours.
7 MR. OLMSTED:
8 Q. Now, after the Serb takeover in Vlasenica on 21 April, were there
9 takeovers in the surrounding Muslim villages?
10 A. In the first days, on the first day and in days that followed
11 immediately, the taking over happened in the city of Vlasenica proper.
12 Namely, according to the plan of those who did the taking over, on the
13 first day, they occupied all the institutions and put them under their
14 control. The SJB, the public security station, the municipality, the
15 court, et cetera, in other words.
16 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I want to focus you because we do
17 have limited time.
18 My question was after the takeover on the 21st. So let's go
19 beyond the takeover in Vlasenica town itself.
20 After that occurred, were there other takeovers in the villages,
21 the Muslim villages that surrounded Vlasenica town, within the
23 A. Yes. The Territorial Defence Staff had prepared a plan for
24 taking over and establishing control of villages in Vlasenica
25 municipality with emphasis on the seizure of illegally procured weapons.
1 Q. And what -- or which Serb forces participated in these takeovers?
2 A. The protagonist of this task was the newly established
3 Territorial Defence Staff which was set up on the 19th of April,
4 according to a decision of the Crisis Staff. Then the forces of the JNA
5 that were present in the area which we already have referred to. And the
6 police had the task or, rather, the Territorial Defence Staff and the
7 army had the task of providing conditions for listing and seizing
8 weapons, and this was done by the police which took the weapons to the
9 station, because this was within police jurisdiction; namely, records on
10 weaponry were.
11 Q. Now when you say "police," do you mean the active police or the
12 reserve police?
13 A. At that particular moment, as we said yesterday, this was mostly
14 the active police force. There was a transformation in process, so a
15 number of the reserve police force was also involved.
16 Q. And could you tell us, what was the role of the special-purpose
17 unit that we were discussing yesterday in these operations?
18 A. The special-purpose unit did not exist in the MUP. At that time
19 it was part of the Territorial Defence. And it also participated in this
20 mission of creating conditions for weapons to be handed over, collected,
21 and put on a list, recorded.
22 Q. Okay. But did these takeovers continue past the point where the
23 special unit became part of the SJB; in other words, mid-May did these
24 operations continue into the rest of May and also into June?
25 A. For the most part, according to the documents that I have
1 available, this activity lasted until the end of May, on the basis of the
2 plan of the Territorial Defence Staff.
3 Q. Now, did the Crisis Staff, the Serb Crisis Staff, play any role
4 as far as organising, conducting these operations?
5 A. It did play a role, because on the 19th of April the Crisis
6 Staffs set up the Territorial Defence by its decision and assigned these
7 tasks to it. Namely, to create a plan of activities for the ensuing
9 Q. Now, how was the SJB notified about plans to take over a
10 particular Muslim village?
11 A. As this task was organised by the Territorial Defence, usually it
12 would be within a specific time-period. Usually not longer than half a
13 day. Information would be submitted to the SJB, to the effect that there
14 would be activities undertaken in such and such an area. This was done
15 for reasons of secrecy, or confidentiality.
16 Q. Would you receive these notifications by fax?
17 A. Sometimes by telefax. Mostly by fax. Sometimes it would be
18 brought by courier.
19 MR. OLMSTED: Let's take a look at 65 ter 10290.
20 Now, if the usher could just flip through the B/C/S pages, just
21 one by one. Go to the next page. And just continue to go through that,
22 just so that the witness can take a look at them very briefly.
23 Q. Sir, --
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted, is this document which obviously
25 is -- well, I should is not on your 65 ter list, is it on your list of
1 documents to -- for use with this witness?
2 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, this is the series of documents that
3 we discussed at the beginning of the session yesterday, that Your Honours
4 admitted onto our 65 ter list. These were the ones that were turned over
5 during proofing.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Oh. We didn't get the 65 ter numbers for those
7 documents then.
8 MR. OLMSTED: I apologise, yes. The correct number is ... yes
9 the correct number is the one we just provided, 10290.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you.
11 MR. OLMSTED: Yeah.
12 Q. Sir, we flipped through these documents. Are these the documents
13 that you recently provided to us?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, again, did you -- where did you find these documents
17 A. In the same archives that I had.
18 Q. At the SJB building in Vlasenica?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. Let's take a look at the first page.
21 You've already been discussing the creation of the Territorial
22 Defence. Do you recall when the VRS was established in the RS?
23 A. If we follow the orders, the order was for the Army of the
24 Republika Srpska to be set up on the 12th of May. However, it was done
25 somewhat later. I cannot remember exactly when. But I believe that it
1 was after the 19th of May, after the decision according to which the JNA
2 had to withdraw. So it was in the period until -- for instance, the 15th
3 of June. Because I know that on the 28th of June, the Army of Republika
4 Srpska emerged on the combat line towards Crska for the first time at a
5 place called Logosi [phoen].
6 So if this happened on the 28th, they must have been organised at
7 least seven days before that.
8 Q. And what happened to the Territorial Defence once the VRS was
10 A. As far as I can recall, following this idea of the establishment
11 of the Army of Republika Srpska, at a certain point an order was received
12 from the level of either the Ministry of Defence or the President of the
13 Republic to the effect that all Territorial Defence units should be
14 transformed into the units of the Army of Republika Srpska.
15 MR. OLMSTED: Now if we could go to page number 2.
16 Q. And, sir, could you tell us if this is the kind of faxed
17 notification that the SJB would receive prior to the takeover of a Muslim
18 village? In this case, I think it's Turalici?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. And you had a quick chance to review the ones that follow this
21 one. Are they also examples of these kind of faxed notifications?
22 A. They are.
23 Q. Now what would happen to the Muslims who would turn in their
24 fire-arms to the police. What would happen to them next.
25 A. They could remain there. They could stay on and live there?
1 Q. During these takeover of Muslim villages, were there any
2 paramilitary groups participating?
3 A. Well, most frequently, the Territorial Defence and the army unit
4 would say be accompanied by a group - how shall we call it? - the
5 Serbian Guard. Occasionally, a smaller group featured. They introduced
6 themselves as men from Vukovar. With them, we, as the police, had
7 problems. And after several days, we literally drove them out, expelled
8 them from the area.
9 Q. And what were these groups, these groups such as the Serbian
10 Guard and the men from Vukovar, doing during the takeovers?
11 A. Initially, when they first came, they would say that they were
12 this special unit or something like that, but later when we saw that
13 their only motive was looting and different crimes we decided to expel
14 them, and we literally expelled them at gunpoint.
15 MR. OLMSTED: May this document or this series of documents be
16 tendered into evidence.
17 JUDGE HALL: I assume there is no objection. Admitted and
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: All of them at one time?
20 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, I believe he -- we talked about the first one
21 and the second one and those that followed, he said, were simply other
22 examples of notifications that he would receive with regard to operations
23 in Muslim villages.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
25 Mr. Olmsted, I'm still not -- still a little bit confused about
1 those numbers. If I am right, the new documents you sent us by e-mail
2 were 0674-7111, till 7115 and then other number -- till 116. And I don't
3 see 110, which is the first one you showed the witness.
4 How come I miss that?
5 MR. OLMSTED: I don't know, Your Honour. In the e-mail we sent
6 to everyone on the 9th of March at 5.35 p.m., we attached the documents
7 and we note -- we said it was ERN 0674-7110 through 0674-7116. So that
8 would include the whole range.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Then I missed one. Sorry, my mistake.
10 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours, I note that that Your
11 Honour said there is no -- no objection, but we objected to these
12 documents at the beginning of the session yesterday.
13 JUDGE HALL: Yes, I realise that [Overlapping speakers] ...
14 MR. ZECEVIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
15 JUDGE HALL: I haven't forgotten your position on principle.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes.
17 JUDGE HALL: [Overlapping speakers] I haven't forgot than at all.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you very much. And, Your Honours, I believe
19 for the sake of clarity maybe it would be wise if we could have like
20 100.1, 2, 3, 4, because they are different documents, in order to
21 distinct them, in a sense.
22 JUDGE HALL: Yes. I was going ask whether the -- it's being
23 admitted as a batch or as a series.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE HALL: And I --
1 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
2 JUDGE HALL: So they're seven pages we understand. They will be
3 given one exhibit number because otherwise it would simply complicate
5 MR. OLMSTED: And we --
6 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours, the documents are --
7 are -- are different -- with a different dates and everything. I mean,
8 it's not one document. It's -- it's a set of documents with different
9 dates and -- referring to different places and -- they might be of the
10 same nature, I agree with that, but I think it -- it should be -- it
11 should be divided in -- in a -- by the numbers.
12 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: We don't need to -- to spend much time on this,
14 but it's -- it's -- apparently it's either giving them seven individual
15 consecutive exhibit numbers, or, since the documents are related and on
16 the same subject, then put them altogether in one number.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I don't -- I don't think that it is
18 achievable that we give them one number because those are the different
19 documents. We might be challenging some of them with the -- with -- in
20 our Defence case.
21 So what I'm suggesting that we give it one number and for the
22 each page we give it .1, .2, 3, 4.
23 JUDGE HALL: I inquired about that. That would create its own
24 set of problems.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry. I was trying to be helpful.
1 JUDGE HALL: So it seems that [Overlapping speakers] ... give it
2 seven different numbers.
3 MR. OLMSTED: May I make a suggestion, Your Honours, and I
4 apologise, we got it at such a last minute that we weren't able to
5 individually -- we call it MIF them, assign them separate 65 ter numbers,
6 but what we can do is when we assign it one 65 -- one P number today,
7 then we'll go back, we can fix it all, and we can notify the parties and
8 we can sort it out that way.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Then would you have to reserve seven consecutive
10 exhibit numbers.
11 The decision is we reserve seven numbers and then you get back to
12 us with the correct ERN numbers and 65 ter list numbers.
13 THE REGISTRAR: So 65 ter 10290 becomes P1064 through P1070, Your
15 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
16 MR. OLMSTED:
17 Q. Now, do you recall whether the police participated in the
18 collection of weapons from the Muslim population in the villages of Drum
19 and Piskavice?
20 A. One of these documents says that that activity also unfolded at
22 Q. I want draw your attention to a particular incident. Were you
23 aware that during the takeover Drum, Muslim civilians were killed?
24 A. I was aware of the fact that it happened, but since you are
25 insisting on this document, could you please tell me what date it is --
1 what date is on it, because I do not remember.
2 Q. I'm not referring to a particular document. I am just referring
3 to an incident.
4 Were you aware that Muslims living in the village of Drum were
5 killed during the takeover of that village?
6 A. Specifically, in these actions, in these activities, there were
7 no casualties. Only later, perhaps in June, there was a wider ranging
8 army or Territorial Defence and army action, which encompassed,
9 Piskavice, Drum, and Gradina and that is when such incidents happened.
10 However, as part of these activities which are referred to in these
11 documents, there were no consequences, there were no people killed. It
12 was done in a peaceful way. Only later, perhaps on the 10th June there
13 was a broader army and Territorial Defence action, purely military
14 action, covering this entire area, because there were problems at the
15 spot named Gradina which borders on Crska. Whereas in these activities
16 referred to in these documents, there were no victims, not in a single of
17 the villages.
18 So we can say that that was so until the 30th of May. Only later
19 in this action subsequently in June, we can check the exact date and that
20 was a purely military operation. That is when there were victims in Drum
21 and Piskavice.
22 Q. Thank you very much for that very thorough explanation, but,
23 again, please focus on the question, and perhaps I could have been a
24 little clearer. I was moving on from the documents we looked at and just
25 talking about Drum in particular.
1 Now, who told you -- first of all, how soon after the killings in
2 Drum did you learn about those killings?
3 A. Perhaps on the following day. A Bosniak came whom, by dent of
4 circumstance, I happened to know. He worked at the forestry estate in
5 Birac. He was in charge of occupational safety. He came about 9.00 or
6 10.00 in the morning to the station, and he knew me. And he told me what
7 had happened. He told me that there were - I cannot say exactly at this
8 point - eight or nine victims, and he sought police protection for a
9 dignified funeral of the victims at the local cemetery. I talked to the
10 commander, the komandir, and we provided such protection to them and this
11 funeral took place at the local cemetery. He told at that moment, It is
12 only the police that I can trust at this moment. And we really respected
13 his request and this funeral went on in a dignified way. The surname of
14 this person was Begic. I cannot recall his first name, but his last name
15 was Begic.
16 Q. Did you send a criminal investigation team down to Drum to look
17 into this incident?
18 A. Yes, I did. But, at the time the crime police, rather, recorded
19 all these cases, there were no conditions for a quality on-site
20 investigation to be undertaken by the police at the time.
21 Q. Now, did you write a report, an information report, about these
22 killings, to submit to the CSB?
23 A. I believe that a dispatch or a report was also sent to the CSB
24 reporting that there had been such and such action undertaken and that
25 such and such things had happened in this specific area.
1 Q. To your knowledge, were the killings in Drum ever properly
2 investigated and prosecuted?
3 A. In that period, we tried to document some things. But one must
4 appreciate the fact that it was very difficult for a proper and intensive
5 investigation to be undertaken at that time. The cases were registered.
6 But later when the military organs, the military judicial organs were set
7 up, we investigated a number of cases that we had collected. We actually
8 submitted them, rather, to the Military Prosecutor's office for their
9 action because we had problems at that time. If we wanted to
10 interrogate, to question a member of the army, they would protest. They
11 would say that we had no jurisdiction for that work because they were
12 members of the army, so that all the reports that we had along these
13 lines in July or August, when the military court and the Military
14 Prosecutor's Office with their headquarters in Sokolac were set up, we
15 submitted all these reports to these organs for their further action.
16 The ministry, i.e., the police station, actually dealt only with
17 cases, mainly with cases having to do with civilians.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Page 21, lines 10 and 11, there is no distinction
19 between question and answer. I would know it would be remedied after,
20 but just to draw the attention. Thank you.
21 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
22 MR. OLMSTED: Let's take a look at another document. This has
23 been admitted as 1D183.
24 I believe you might have had the right document. If you could
25 bring that up. I thought it was the incorrect one. And perhaps turn to
1 the second page of the B/C/S.
2 Q. Sir, if you could take a look at this document. Do you recall
3 receiving this reminder in 1992?
4 A. Well, since the document was found in the archive, the answer is
6 Q. Can you tell us, was this TAS, T-A-S, vehicle theft issue a
7 priority for the RS MUP back in 1992?
8 A. One of the tasks of the Ministry of the Interior, i.e., the
9 police, is to prevent crime. One of the occurrences that was quite
10 prominent was the theft of vehicles from the TAS factory. The Golf
12 Q. What level of resources did you devote to carrying out this task
13 of confiscating the TAS vehicles?
14 A. Can you please repeat your question.
15 Q. Yes. In 1992, what level of resources from the SJB did you
16 dedicate to this task of investigating and confiscating these TAS stolen
18 A. Well, the police confiscated these TAS vehicles at check-points.
19 Now, as for the records and analysis of documents, this was
20 something that the crime service of the police did. In other words, the
21 policemen manning check-points had to find out if a vehicle which was
22 suspected of having belonged to the TAS was, indeed, that one, and if so,
23 then it had to be taken to the police station.
24 If it was found that a vehicle was rightful property of a private
25 citizen then it would be given to the citizen. Otherwise, if it was
1 found that it had belonged to the TAS factory, it would be confiscated
2 and regulations that were in place would be applied from there on.
3 Q. Was this considered dangerous police work, to confiscate these
4 TAS stolen vehicles?
5 A. Since there were dangerous combat activities taking place in an
6 area, the confiscation of these vehicles was part of that dangerous work.
7 However, the police had to perform their duties regardless of the risks
8 involved. There were even attempts on the part of several paragroups to
9 attack the policemen manning the check-points, and we had to engage in
10 operations aimed at disarming them. I was involved in one such as well,
11 et cetera.
12 Q. Now, during the May through December 1992 time-period, were the
13 crime service police at SJB Vlasenica filing criminal reports with the
14 basic prosecutor in Vlasenica?
15 A. The crime service police compiled documentation for all the
16 occurrences of crime it could and wrote reports.
17 Since, in the former BH, the court in Vlasenica had jurisdiction
18 over places such as Milici, Sekovici, et cetera, from the period between
19 April and August, there was only the President of the court appointed.
20 Once the prosecutor's office was set up as well, and this was the case as
21 of the month of August that the prosecutor was appointed, whatever we had
22 of the potential case files, we handed them over to the prosecutor's
23 office. Part of it was handed over to the Military Prosecutor, based on
24 the agreement that had been reached on this issue with the army.
25 MR. OLMSTED: Let's take a look at 65 ter 2880. And if we could
1 please not broadcast this document.
2 Q. Sir, can you tell us - and perhaps we have a to scroll down a
3 little bit - is this document signed by you? Or actually it's not signed
4 by you.
5 But was this report done by you?
6 A. It probably was. Whenever such documents were transmitted via
7 teleprinter, they would be transmitted without my signature. But I
8 suppose I did, yes, write it.
9 Q. Now, on the final line it says: "There have been no criminal
10 reports against NN perpetrators."
11 What does "NN perpetrators" mean?
12 A. Unknown perpetrators.
13 Q. Now, according to this report, through the end of the July the
14 SJB processed 108 illegal weapons cases. Against which ethnic group were
15 these illegal weapons cases brought.
16 A. For the most part, illegal weapons possession involved members of
17 Bosniak ethnicity, if one looks at the case register. Though there were
18 others involved, most of them were Bosniaks.
19 Q. Well, we're going to take a look at that crime register in a
20 second. But you said "most." When you reviewed the crime register
21 during proofing, were you able to find any illegal weapons cases against
23 A. I was not, not on that occasion. I said the majority of the
24 cases. What I meant was that the overall cases involved a number of
25 members of other ethnicities, like Serbs, but as for the cases involving
1 illegal weapon, they involved Bosniaks.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. OLMSTED: Can we tender this document under seal.
4 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked, under seal.
5 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit P1071, under seal, Your
7 MR. OLMSTED: Can we bring up what's been marked for
8 identification as P1050. It was 65 ter 3563.
9 Q. Sir, I think we've touched on this, but when the police would
10 conduct investigative work into a crime, where would that matter be
12 A. In the crime register kept by the relevant station where the
13 crime service was located.
14 Q. Now, as we mentioned during proofing on Tuesday, you had the
15 opportunity to review the crime register for Vlasenica. Well, can you
16 tell us whether this is, in fact, the SJB Vlasenica crime register
17 covering at least the period of April through December 1992?
18 A. Yes. This is the conventional crime register which had to be
20 MR. OLMSTED: So if we could -- please take a look at page 43 in
21 the English and B/C/S. And just in advance, perhaps we should not
22 broadcast the portions of this book that are inside of it because it
23 lists victims and such.
24 Yes, and page 43 -- 43 of the B/C/S.
25 I'm sorry, try 42. My numbering is off. There we go. And if
1 you could zoom in on the writing -- yeah, exactly there.
2 Q. The portion we're looking at right now, it states: "182
3 concluding for 1992."
4 What does this number, 182, signify?
5 A. This means that 182 crimes were recorded and processed. And this
6 applies to various types of crime.
7 MR. OLMSTED: Can we now turn to page 2 of the B/C/S and the
9 Q. Now, this page contains the first ten entries of the registry for
10 the RS MUP, Vlasenica SJB.
11 Can you just tell us generally, very briefly, what kind of
12 information is contained in the various columns in this register?
13 A. I cannot read it because the print is too small. But this is the
14 typical information about who submitted the report, when, and against
15 whom, type of crime, and reference to the relevant articles of law.
16 MR. OLMSTED: And if we can just keep it on the big B/C/S. Can
17 we scroll down and look at the perpetrators that are listed here.
18 Q. Can you tell me for these ten entries what their ethnicity is?
19 A. Bosniak.
20 Q. Now, I think that you mentioned the criminal article on which
21 they are charged is here, is that in column 12.
22 MR. OLMSTED: Maybe go up to the top and over as far right.
23 There you go.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 213.
25 MR. OLMSTED:
1 Q. And what is an Article 213 case.
2 A. That's under the criminal law of the former BH which was in
3 application at the time, illegal weapons possession, manufacture and sale
4 of weapons, ammunition, and such-like.
5 Q. So are these examples of the 108 illegal weapons cases that you
6 reported in your 30 July 1992 letter that we just looked at?
7 A. Yes. Possession of the illegal automatic weapons or devices
8 prohibited under the law.
9 Q. Now, prior to filing one of these illegal weapons reports against
10 a Muslim, would the police interrogate the Muslim?
11 A. For the most part, the evidence underlying criminal reports
12 consisted of illegal weapons about which the police was notified.
13 According to the criminal law procedure, the individuals involved would
14 give a statement and the weapons would be confiscated, in order to serve
15 as evidence in subsequent proceedings.
16 Q. And where would these statements of the suspects be taken?
17 A. At the police station in the crime service premises.
18 Q. Were you aware of instances in which some of these suspects,
19 Muslim suspects, who were brought into the police station were either
20 beaten or otherwise abused during their interrogations?
21 A. In the period when we were able to take control of matters, which
22 was as of mid-June, all the actions taken had to in be in conformity with
23 the criminal law procedure.
24 As of the 21st of April through to mid-May or thereabouts, the
25 station was predominantly under the control of paramilitaries and other
1 groups. We were unable to take control. Until communications were
2 established with the MUP of Republika Srpska and instructions received
3 about the application of the Law on Criminal Procedure, this wasn't the
4 case. But from then on, these provisions of law, like Law on Internal
5 Affairs and criminal procedure law, had to be applied, and all these
6 individuals that were brought in and interrogated had to be treated in
7 accordance with the legislation.
8 Q. So prior to middle of May, were there instances where Muslims who
9 were brought into the police station were beaten or otherwise abused?
10 A. I cannot assert that, because I didn't have either the influence
11 or the decision-making power. I didn't see anyone being mistreated,
12 which does not rule out that possibility that it may have happened when I
13 was away.
14 In that time-period, paramilitaries would come there and do
15 certain things until conditions were created for the station to be
16 properly set up and act in accordance with the Law on Internal Affairs.
17 Q. You say that you didn't see any instances of beatings. Did you
18 receive reports that Muslims were being beaten or abused at the SJB
20 A. In the period up until the 15th of May, I didn't have an
21 incentive to submit any reports, because I was a nobody.
22 Q. I'm not talking about submitting reports. Did you receive
23 reports? Did you hear reports? Did anyone come to you and say, Muslims
24 are being beaten or abused at the SJB building? Up until May 15th.
25 A. Yes. There were stories around about people being beaten up,
1 et cetera. We, who were members of the service, insisted with the
2 President of the Crisis Staff, or wherever -- or, rather, not. We
3 insisted with the president of the municipality that a way should be
4 found for these groups that drew closer to the public security station to
5 be removed.
6 Q. Now, between the 15th of May and the middle of June, were you
7 aware whether Muslims brought into the police station were being beaten
8 or abused?
9 A. I think that, in this time-period, this was not the case. If
10 such a case did occur, it wasn't either I or the co-ordinator from the
11 crime service or the commander of the station who were informed of it,
12 who knew about it. It was --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please repeat the last sentence
14 he said.
15 MR. OLMSTED:
16 Q. Could you repeat your last sentence, please.
17 A. It could have happened in the absence of any one of us who had,
18 at that time, had authority at the station; the komandir, me, as the
19 co-ordinator, or the head of the crime service.
20 This may have been facilitated by some reserve policemen who, as
21 soon as we found out about these cases, would be chased out of the
22 station and turned over to the Army of Republika Srpska. This was the
23 only thing we could do with these individuals.
24 Q. When you received any information about these incidents of abuse
25 at the SJB building, would you report these incidents to the CSB?
1 A. You see, once the communications system was up and running, via
2 the teleprinter, every day information relating to the events of the
3 preceding day would be sent out. It was called the bulletin of daily
4 events, and these bulletins must certainly contain all the events of the
5 previous 24 hours. In other words, they would be informed about any
6 unlawful events and pressure experienced by the station and its forces,
7 which was constant, because these were groups who wanted to flout the law
8 and exercise their own law. They felt that now the time has come -- had
9 come for them to be the law, when the war was on.
10 We always had the threat from them. We would come into conflict
11 with them. The station would be surrounded and attacked by them.
12 However, we never gave up on the principle that we should abide by the
13 law and that the station should be part and parcel of an institution
14 which aspired to do its job professionally in the service of all
15 citizens. This was how we conducted ourselves.
16 All the anomalies that occurred - and I'm referring to your
17 earlier questions - they may have occurred. But we responded to each and
18 every one such occurrence. From processing any possible policeman who
19 may have been involved, applying procedures and sanctions that were in
20 place against such policemen who considered themselves to be prominent
21 Serb fighters. It was very difficult, you see, to apply any measures
22 against them because they enjoyed the support among the population at
23 large and those who stood behind them, and we were confronted with them.
24 Q. Thank you for that thorough explanation, but please, please, try
25 to focus on the question. The way the procedure works here is I ask a
1 question and you focus on the question.
2 At the end of these proceedings, I think that the Trial Chamber
3 will give you an opportunity to say whatever you want. But for now,
4 please, limit your answers to the question.
5 MR. OLMSTED: Can we look at the next page of this log-book, this
6 register, or, actually, look at page 4. And if can you look at the
7 second entry and if you could scroll over to the right of the B/C/S.
8 Q. It says it's an Article 36 case. What kind of case is that?
9 A. Believe me, when I tell you that I don't recall what is regulated
10 by Article 36.
11 Q. Okay. After 21 April what kinds of crimes were being committed
12 against the Muslim population in Vlasenica? Just very generally.
13 A. After the 21st of April, most of the Bosniaks citizens had left
14 Vlasenica. In the first and critical month or two, there were attempts
15 at crime, such as murder, et cetera. The police took any and all
16 measures it had within its competence.
17 Q. Excuse me, sir.
18 A. However, despite the circumstances prevailing, we tried to
19 prevent crime.
20 Q. Again, please, focus on the question.
21 You had a chance to review the crime register that's in front of
22 you for the April through December 1992 time-period. Were you able to
23 identify in this register any criminal reports where the victim or
24 injured party was a Muslim or Croat person?
25 A. No, not in this crime register. The reason being that when
1 the -- as I already said before, when the military court and the Military
2 Prosecutor's Office were set up, we sent all these reports to them for
3 their further action.
4 This part of the crime register refers to civilians.
5 MR. OLMSTED: May we tender this crime register under seal.
6 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
7 THE REGISTRAR: P1050 is admitted, under seal.
8 MR. OLMSTED: Let's take a look at 65 ter 2886. And, again,
9 please don't broadcast this document.
10 Q. Sir, can you look at the signature. And can you tell us whose
11 signature that is on this document?
12 A. It is my signature.
13 Q. Now, in the first paragraph you write:
14 "Please find attached forms RZ and RZ-1 with information about
15 war criminals and the act of genocide committed against the innocent
16 Serbian civilian population in the territory of Vlasenica municipality."
17 Was this letter that you wrote in response to a particular
18 request for such information?
19 A. This document came from the ministry or from the security centre,
20 and this is a covering letter with the RZ and RZ-1 forms, meaning that
21 the covering letter is accompanied by these forms which were filled in,
22 which I do not have now.
23 Q. So if I understand, your answer is that you were asked to collect
24 evidence of war crimes against Serbs?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, it states in the second paragraph that you filed three
2 criminal reports against perpetrators of war crimes against the Serbian
4 With whom did you file those criminal reports?
5 A. These criminal reports were filed with the prosecutor's office in
7 Q. That would be the basic prosecutor's office in Vlasenica?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. OLMSTED: May we tender this one under seal.
10 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked, under seal.
11 THE REGISTRAR: That would be Exhibit P1072, under seal,
12 Your Honours.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Madam Registrar, the previous document in the
14 record is P1050? Is that right.
15 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: It was MFI'd before. Thank you.
17 MR. OLMSTED: I want to move on to another topic now.
18 Q. Was there a municipal prison in Vlasenica in May, June, July of
20 A. In view of the fact that the municipal court in Vlasenica was --
21 had jurisdiction for the area, Sekovici, Han Pijesak, et cetera, even
22 before the war, there was a prison facility attached to the court.
23 Q. Now just focussing on the May through December 1992 time-period,
24 members of what ethnic group were being detained at that facility?
25 A. As that facility was not within the competence of the MUP, the
1 police station, but within the competence of the court, according to my
2 information, in that period, the persons who were detained there were of
3 Bosniak ethnicity.
4 Q. Who provided security at that prison facility?
5 A. Security was the duty of the court. The employees of the court.
6 But, at that time, the only employee of the court was the President of
7 the court, because it was in the process of being set up.
8 There was a lad in the court, Branislav Sokanovic, who had just
9 come from Sarajevo and who was also in Sarajevo in charge of prison
10 security, so here, also, he was immediately put in charge of prison
11 security. He then prepared a plan for the security service, the guards'
12 service. Initially, because of the shortage of staff to be engaged a
13 certain number of policemen were put on guard duty, whereby -- and when
14 the conditions were created for this to be resolved, otherwise we stopped
15 providing that service, because it was under the jurisdiction of the
16 Ministry of Justice and in agreement with the Territorial Defence, or
17 somebody else, they set up a group of lads to provide security for the
19 Q. Did you ever visit the prison during this time-period?
20 A. No, I never visited it.
21 Q. Why not? Your police officers were guarding the prison.
22 A. I did not because from the very moment that I was in a position
23 to exert any influence whatsoever, I was against it. I wrote a letter to
24 the Ministry of Justice asking them to resolve the status of that prison
25 and of security. And after better communication was established with the
1 CSB and the Ministry of Interior, I was given instructions to the effect
2 that that was exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of
3 Justice and that the police were no longer to provide this - shall I say
4 so - service, providing security for the prison and we stopped doing
6 Q. You said you wrote to the Ministry of Justice. When you wrote to
7 the Ministry of Justice, would you provide a copy of your letter to the
8 minister of the interior?
9 A. Probably. A copy was required to be sent to the chief of the
10 security centre, and it was up to him to assess whether to refer that
11 document onwards or not, or to communicate in relation to its content in
12 another way.
13 Q. Well, you wouldn't communicate with the Ministry of Justice
14 without telling your superiors that you were doing so; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. Normally I -- no, I communicated with the chief of the
16 centre, and I told him I'm going to write a letter to the Ministry of
17 Justice and state my problem. Namely, we are discontinuing this form of
18 co-operation. This is their facility and let them state their view, or
19 just abolish the facility or do whatever they pleased.
20 Q. Let's move on to another document.
21 MR. OLMSTED: This has been already admitted into evidence. It's
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Witness, when you pulled out of the guarding
24 of the prison in Vlasenica, who then took over after the police? Who
25 guarded the -- the camp after that, or the prison after that?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Later, after this young man who had
2 been -- taken over, who had experience with prison security, the Ministry
3 of Defence mobilised, assigned a number of people to do that job.
4 Namely, just like I asked for police through the Ministry of Defence,
5 they asked for men to be assigned to them for the purpose of securing the
6 facility. That was the procedure.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: So they were not soldiers or military police.
8 They were just ordinary people who were hired for the purpose?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose that Ministry of Defence
10 assigned those who were less capable, in military terms, to tasks of this
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm not sure what this means.
13 Were the new guards at the prison in Vlasenica military people?
14 Or were they just civilians who were contracted to guard the prison?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. There were no contracts in
16 that period. What could be done was mobilisation through the Ministry of
17 Defence, and I presume that the Ministry of Defence assigned less
18 able-bodied men, maybe elderly men, older men, to these tasks. That
19 would be usual.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, sir.
21 MR. OLMSTED: Just a follow-up question on that.
22 Q. Do you recall what month you wrote to the Ministry of Justice
23 about this prison?
24 A. Well, you see, all the activities aimed at establishing legality
25 as much as possible unfolded towards the end of May and in June when
1 there were already some indications that I and my colleagues would be
2 confirmed by the ministry.
3 So I proceeded, step by step, to try and put the situation in
4 order. So this problem could also have been on the agenda more or less
5 in June -- July. In July.
6 Before that, I also talked to the President of the municipality,
7 Mr. Stanic, and he also agreed. He absolutely agreed that this should be
8 resolved because he realised that we had a problem. We had a problem of
9 the shortage of good quality policemen, and, secondly, this institution
10 was not within our jurisdiction, to begin with.
11 MR. OLMSTED: Perhaps that's a good place to stop.
12 JUDGE HALL: Yes. We resume in 20 minutes.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 --- Recess taken at 12.05 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.27 p.m.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Olmsted, I wonder if there is a possibility
19 that we can clarify just one little issue in relation to the testimony
20 that our witness gave just prior to the break. Because I am not sure I
21 fully understood the reasons why he decided that the police should pull
22 out of the guarding of the prison in Vlasenica. That's one issue.
23 And the other issue was -- that I did not fully understand, was,
24 that, when the police pulled out, was it then the Ministry of Justice who
25 took over, or was it the Ministry of Defence?
1 Mr. Witness, can you clarify those two issues.
2 THE INTERPRETER: We cannot hear the witness.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Firstly, why did we insist for
4 police to pull out as security of this facility? Simply because this is
5 a facility of the judiciary; of another institution, in other words.
6 Prior to the war, this facility was not guarded by the police of
7 the Ministry of Interior but by the court's own security. Every
8 institution, even in those conditions which obtained at that time, was to
9 do its own task. That's one thing.
10 Can you just remind me of your second question. Oh, yes, yes,
11 I've just remembered.
12 After mobilising people to be -- as security guards, this task
13 was taken over by the court. But they just wanted the Ministry of
14 Defence to allow themselves -- them to undertake the necessary procedure,
15 just as I did when I wanted to mobilise policemen for the reserve police
16 force, because these were war conditions.
17 So this was a way in which to obtain extra personnel.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. This is clarified.
19 MR. OLMSTED:
23 Q. And if can you just take note of the -- the document you are
24 responding to, which is 01-127-92.
25 MR. OLMSTED: If we can turn to the second page.
1 Q. And we see on the second page there's a paragraph that states
2 further down. It says: "One centre for accommodation of persons from
3 the combat zone has been registered in the area of the public security
4 station [sic]."
5 Could you tell us what centre of accommodation you're referring
7 A. This is the Susica reception or holding centre.
8 MR. OLMSTED: Let's bring up 65 ter 380.
9 And if we can turn to the second page of each.
13 MR. OLMSTED: Can we turn to the third page of the B/C/S.
14 Q. Could you tell us who this is signed by.
15 A. This is a document of the chief, Zoran Cvijetic.
16 MR. OLMSTED: May that be admitted into evidence.
17 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
18 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit P1073, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours. The previous document,
21 I'm not sure that it -- what is the reference of the previous document
22 that the witness commented?
23 MR. OLMSTED: Well, I think that's clear. He said that this
24 document is a response -- or the prior document is a response to this
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes. But we didn't -- we didn't got the reference,
2 at least in the transcript, of that prior document, and I'm wondering if
3 it has been exhibited or what is the 65 ter number. That's only what
4 I -- what I'm inquiring. Thank you very much.
5 MR. OLMSTED: I'll answer that. It has -- it has been admitted
6 in evidence. It's P994, was the prior.
7 Is this ...
8 [Prosecution counsel confer]
9 MR. OLMSTED: Maybe I misunderstood counsel's question.
10 The one that we're looking at right now was 65 ter 380 and now
11 it's been admitted, I believe, under a P number.
12 Is that what -- Mr. Zecevic, is that what you were concerned
14 MR. ZECEVIC: No, no, no. Thank you very much. My reference --
15 my question was aimed at P994. That is the reference that I was missing.
16 Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
17 MR. OLMSTED: All right. Could we have 65 ter 2810 up on the
18 screen. And please do not broadcast this one.
19 Q. Sir, can you tell us who signed this document?
20 A. I did.
21 Q. And which holding centre does this report relate to?
22 A. Susica.
23 Q. Now you write in the first paragraph that the basic purpose of
24 this holding centre is to receive people, both Muslims and Serbs, who
25 have expressed a desire to leave Vlasenica.
1 Can you tell us, how many Serbs were held at Susica camp?
2 A. The holding centre was established sometime after the 21st of
3 April by a decision of the municipal organs in order to house inhabitants
4 who wished to leave the territory of the municipality according to the
5 principles that we discussed earlier.
6 Their transportation to a specific point in the direction of
7 Kladanj was also organised. However, as the number of those wishing to
8 leave Vlasenica increased, during the day, not all of them could be
9 transported, and someone, the Crisis Staff, or someone else, decided that
10 they should be put up in the Territorial Defence facilities in Susica
11 until there were conditions for their transportation at the latest by the
12 next morning when there would be buses to transport them. So Bosniaks
13 were put up there who wished to leave Vlasenica.
14 Later, when we say that Serbs were accommodated there in the
15 combat, around Gorazde, there was a period, sometime later, when a large
16 number of Serbs started leaving the area, and they, too, were put up
17 there until the time when a -- the political situation was resolved. Let
18 me not belabour the point now. They wanted to go to Serbia but were not
19 allowed and later were, and so on and so forth.
20 Furthermore, during the fighting between Croats and Bosniaks in
21 Bosnia, the political leadership of the then Herceg-Bosna and of
22 Republika Srpska agreed that they can cross the territory of
23 Republika Srpska safely towards Serbia, and from then onwards wherever
24 they wanted to go via Hungary or Croatia and so on.
25 So they, too, were accommodated there until the conditions were
1 created for all of them to be transferred to their final destinations.
2 So at a certain period -- in different periods there were Bosniaks and
3 Serbs and Croats in this holding centre, but not all of them at the same
5 Q. Thank you for your -- again, for your thorough answers. I know
6 that you're really trying to provide as much information as possible, but
7 please keep your answers focussed on the question.
8 Can you tell us in what month the Serbs arrived at Susica camp,
9 if you recall in -- if it was 1992.
10 A. I believe that it was sometime in August or September.
11 Q. Now you write -- and you've just mentioned that holding centre is
12 under the authority of the municipal organs. Can you tell us what
13 municipal organs you're referring to?
14 A. The Crisis Staff and the Territorial Defence, and, later, with
15 the setting up of the VRS, this came under their jurisdiction.
16 Q. Now, the report also mentions that the camp held persons captured
17 in the zone of war.
18 At the beginning of June 1992, do you recall this Susica camp
19 receiving a number of Muslim men from Sekovici?
20 A. Not from Sekovici but from the zone towards Kalesija. I do
21 remember because until then this holding centre was really of a
22 humanitarian nature, to accommodate civilians who wished to stay there up
23 to the time when, in combat operations in June, from the zone towards
24 Kalesija, a number of prisoners -- of military prisoners of war were put
25 there. And, at the time, the army definitely took over all competences
1 over them. Before it was under the Territorial Defence but from that
2 point everything was under the army. I do not have the document, but
3 there were orders on the setting up of what was later called a camp and
4 the procedures to be applied, et cetera.
5 Q. Can you tell us what happened to those prisoners? Were they
6 transferred anywhere?
7 A. Yes. They stayed there for a month or so. I can't be more
8 precise than that.
9 At that point, I insisted, once again, for a way to be found for
10 these individuals to be transferred. In conversations with Mr. Stanic,
11 President of the municipality, I insisted, for reasons of safety and
12 security, that he, as a higher authority, should intervene with the
13 competent military or political structures, in order to have these
14 individuals transferred. A month later, through his offices and higher
15 authority, Mr. Stanic managed to have these individuals transferred to
16 Bijeljina, to a camp there, which went by the name of Batkovic.
17 Q. You said you insisted that these prisoners be transferred
18 somewhere else.
19 Why are you insisting on that?
20 A. Purely for security reasons. Broadly speaking, I could not
21 conceive of the existence of camps in the what was to be the 21st
23 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Olmsted, had you requested four hours with this
24 witness. You have now exceeded that by ten minutes. How much longer do
25 you think you would be?
1 MR. OLMSTED: Half an hour, just because I want to cover a few
2 more documents and a couple more topics with this witness that no one
3 else will be able to cover. I apologise for that. I should have applied
4 for that earlier.
5 JUDGE HALL: [Microphone not activated]
6 MR. OLMSTED:
7 Q. Did you convey your views up your chain of command to the CSB,
8 about this camp?
9 A. Yes. Yes. I conveyed my views to the Chief Cvijetic, and I
10 presume that he informed the ministry or minister accordingly. Because
11 results were achieved. And the idea was that within the public security
12 station [as interpreted], attempts should be made to -- attempts were
13 made to prevent this from happening.
14 Q. Did you ever visit Susica camp yourself while it was in
16 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry to interrupt, but I believe the witness
17 said "the ministry," line 17, page 44. "The idea within the ministry,"
18 and maybe this can be clarified with the witness.
19 MR. OLMSTED: Well, I think that will be corrected once they fix
20 the transcript, so let's move on given my limited amount of time.
21 Q. Were you -- I think you answered that you have never visited --
22 you never visited Susica camp during this time period?
23 A. No. For reasons of principle. I rather tried to solve the
24 problem at levels I believed this could be solved.
25 Q. Were any incidents of beatings or killings at Susica camp
1 reported to you, or did you learn about them from any sources?
2 A. Personally, I didn't have reliable information to the effect that
3 there were such occurrences over there, such as murder or beatings. I
4 heard about these activities subsequently through statements given by
5 witnesses, et cetera.
6 The police didn't have any authority over there. I even -- or I
7 forbade the police from going over there, unless we were required to get
8 involved, according to the scenario produced by the army, in case the
9 camp came under attack or similar situations.
10 MR. OLMSTED: May we tender this document under seal.
11 JUDGE HALL: Yes, admitted under seal and marked.
12 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit P1074, Your Honours, under
14 MR. OLMSTED: Now, we're going to try to move very quickly
15 through the next remaining topic so that we can finish in time.
11 Pages 7517-7518 redacted.
5 MR. OLMSTED: Can that be -- I guess, admitted and marked under
6 seal, for this witness.
7 JUDGE HALL: Yes, admitted and marked, under seal.
8 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit P1075, under seal, Your
10 MR. OLMSTED:
11 Q. Now, do you recall Minister Stanisic ever coming through
12 Vlasenica in 1992?
13 A. On his way to Belgrade, the minister had to go via Vlasenica, but
14 he never stopped by. I never had occasion to receive him in my station.
15 Rather, I would receive reports from check-points that Minister Stanisic
16 had gone past.
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
12 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
13 MR. OLMSTED:
14 Q. Sir, during our interview last year, you mentioned that there was
15 an occasion in either June or July 1992 when Mr. Stanisic came in his
16 vehicle and you had a conversation with his driver.
17 Do you recall that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you describe what happened on that occasion. What his driver
20 told you?
21 A. We discussed paramilitaries. One group of paramilitaries, the
22 so-called Zute Ose were in Vlasenica, Angry Wasps [as interpreted]. The
23 earlier minister had problems with them. They man handled him and so on.
24 On one occasion an individual said that Minister Stanisic had had
25 trouble with them as well and that a decisive step could be expected from
1 the ministry since we had been constantly reporting on problems with
2 paramilitaries and paragroups, and a decisive action was to be expected
3 from the ministry with a view to having these paramilitaries disarmed.
4 This is what I heard from this one chap, and I expected orders to follow.
5 Q. Do you remember the driver's name?
6 A. I can't remember these lads. I know that, for a while, an
7 individual by the name of Malovic was one of the escorts of
8 Minister Stanisic. But later on, when I tried to cast my mind back to
9 when it was exactly that he was there and when the regular special
10 policemen were there, I simply could not set a time-frame on it. But it
11 was one of those chaps.
12 Q. Now, this paramilitary group that manhandled Minister Stanisic,
13 you -- the record says that they were called the Angry Wasps. Were they
14 the Angry Wasps or the Yellow Wasps; if you recall?
15 A. Yellow, Yellow Wasps.
16 Q. And according to the driver, where was Minister Stanisic
17 mistreated by these Yellow Wasps? Where?
18 A. He wasn't the only one who suffered at their hand. This may have
19 been the -- the drop, you know, the straw, the last straw. And, anyway,
20 they would be stopping people, taking their goods and their monies.
21 There was this earlier minister, I think Minister Ostojic, who was asked
22 to lie on the ground and whatnot, and I suppose that this was then what
23 tipped the scales and what made the ministry decide to engage in this
24 confrontation with the paragroups and paramilitaries.
25 I reported to Chief Cvijetic about these groups. On the one
1 hand, we had the army established as an institution. On the other, we
2 had the MUP established as an institution. They were the only force
3 controlled by the local politicians who sponsored them.
4 Now it was through the ministry, I don't know through which
5 channels, that the decision was taken to engage in a showdown with these
7 Q. Thank you. We're getting off-track. My question is: What
8 municipality were these Yellow Wasps operating in?
9 A. Zvornik.
10 Q. And when you had this conversation with Minister Stanisic's
11 driver, where was Minister Stanisic?
12 A. He was in passing. Normally, there would be one extra vehicle
13 carrying his escort. But he was in passing because he was there on some
14 other business. They would normally stop by only to have -- to take fuel
15 and so on, and we spoke -- it was an informal conversation because he had
16 heard of some developments.
17 Q. And this incident with the Yellow Wasps and Minister Stanisic,
18 when did that occur in relation to this conversation? Was it just the
19 day before or -- when?
20 A. The incident could have happened on that same day in the morning
21 or the day before. I don't know.
22 Q. And --
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: And what was the incident? Can we just have that
24 clarified briefly. Briefly.
25 MR. OLMSTED:
1 Q. Yes, can you -- once again, for the Trial Chamber's sake, could
2 you clarify what the driver told you had happened to Minister Stanisic at
3 the hands of the Yellow Wasps?
4 A. As I said, they mistreated citizens, took their property from
5 them, and the minister I spoke of was literally manhandled. They --
6 according to what I was told, they were telling him, So you, the
7 minister, we're not going to let you go through. Go back to where you
8 came from. And so on.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: [Microphone not activated]
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 MR. OLMSTED:
12 Q. And, in fact, after this conversation you had, was an operation
13 conducted against the Yellow Wasps?
14 A. Whether it was on that same day or a day or two later, that an
15 order was issued that decisive action would be organised with a view to
16 fighting the Wasps with the engagement of the special forces of the MUP
17 with the participation of the Zvornik police station forces and some of
18 the forces of the Vlasenica station, some 30 policemen I could spare and
19 who were able to face up to the task.
20 Q. All right. Last topic.
21 Were you aware of the destruction of any mosques in Vlasenica in
22 the summer of 1992?
23 A. I knew that this would happen some two or three hours earlier,
24 since it was done by the engineering forces of the army. We were given
25 advance notice of some two to three-hour, in order to make sure that the
1 population living in the surrounding area was evacuated.
2 As soon as we received notice of it, I instructed the policemen
3 to go and inform the population in the surrounding area to leave the
4 general area since we didn't know when the explosion would ensue.
5 Q. And do you remember, was this the VRS army of engineers, or was
6 this the JNA, at this stage?
7 A. The Army of Republika Srpska. And the JNA was no longer there
8 officially by August.
9 Q. And how did the Muslim population react to this situation where
10 the VRS was planning and organising the destruction of a mosque in
12 A. Well, they couldn't know what was in offing, probably. But I
13 suppose they were embittered. But there was only a handful of people
14 there of Bosniak ethnicity by that time. But they must have been bitter.
15 Q. And could you tell us at approximately what time the mosque was
16 actually destroyed that day?
17 A. In view of the fact that it was summertime, it was perhaps 8.00
18 or 9.00 in the evening, at dusk.
19 Q. Did you inform the CSB about this incident?
20 A. Yes. The information was released of this event. It had
21 disturbed some of our -- or, rather, it is produced some work for us,
22 since we received notice from citizens of their window-panes having been
23 smashed and houses damaged, as a result.
24 MR. OLMSTED: I just have a few minutes left. I'd actually show
25 him one more question and at -- one more document and ask him two
1 questions, essentially. Can we look at P866.
2 Q. Sir, we showed you this document during your interview last year
3 and perhaps you had a look at it again during your proofing. It's a
4 report from SJB Milici, Chief Bjelanovic, to CSB Romanija-Birac regarding
5 killings near Nova Kasaba and is dated 3 August 1992.
6 Were you aware of this incident concerning the killing of around
7 25 Muslims in Nova Kasaba?
8 A. When I gave it some thought after reading the document, I made
9 some connections and recalled that early on - I don't remember the date
10 now - the TV reported on an incident in Kasaba, so everything I learned
11 about it was from the TV.
12 Q. What it -- was that in the -- what TV station? Was that
13 international media or Serbian media or BiH media; do you recall?
14 A. I think that by that time Serbian TV was in existence, but the
15 footage was broadcast by the BBC or something like that.
16 Q. And how many days after the incident itself was this broadcast?
17 A. On the following day, perhaps, or a day or two later.
18 At any rate, in the days that followed. Since that was the speed
19 at which information was transmitted.
20 Q. Are you aware whether this incident was ever investigated and
21 prosecuted in the 1992 or 1993 time-period?
22 A. I don't know, because this was already within the area covered by
23 the Milici police station, and they would have been the ones to take
24 action, if necessary.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. OLMSTED: No further questions, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Witness, can I just have one follow-up
3 question before we give the floor to the Defence.
4 In relation to the action that you told us was taken against the
5 Yellow Wasps after having intimidate Mr. Stanisic, you said that a few
6 days later action was taken. They were disarmed, I believe, and
7 disbanded. And my question is: Do you know if they were subsequently
8 prosecuted also?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. As far as I know, the
10 individual, his -- he was called Zuco, I don't know his full name, and
11 his brother also called Repic, he was convicted and imprisoned; I know
12 that much.
13 And if I may add, by your leave, the action was carried out
14 efficiently in Zvornik. Similar problems existed in Bratunac and later
15 on in Foca. This was a point in time when these paragroups and
16 paramilitaries and local warmongers, if you will, were given a clear
17 message that lawful institutions would take charge, and this was a period
18 which I regard as one where institutions were being fully formed in order
19 to make life easier. In that context, the Ministry of the Interior took
20 decisive steps. It was difficult to take such a decision but we
21 prevailed, and this was a turnaround in terms of institutions and their
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: When did the -- when was the turnaround
24 completed? So -- can you give us an approximate time of -- of when all
25 these paramilitary groups were put to order?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was process but this was the
2 start. The strike there in Zvornik and then the next municipality was
3 Bratunac. I couldn't follow closely the events further on. The unit was
4 formed. The special unit of the police brigades of Republika Srpska, and
5 then the next municipality was Foca. Wherever paramilitaries were
6 present, interventions were made in order to normalise the situation.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: And so how were they normalised? Was the results
8 of this attempt to discipline the volunteers and the paramilitary groups,
9 was the result of that process that these groups were brought under the
10 control of the VRS or were they simply disbanded and disappeared?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, some of these groups were
12 driven away because they came from Serbia or wherever, and another part
13 of members of these groups who remained in the area of Republika Srpska
14 were mobilised into the Army of Republika Srpska.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours, I believe the witness on
17 page 56, line 2, said something about the municipality of Foca being next
18 where the action was conducted and it was not recorded in the transcript.
19 Thank you.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Zecevic, the -- or Mr. Cvijetic, you had alerted
22 the Chamber yesterday that you would wish to defer your cross-examination
23 either in whole or in part to Friday. Having regard to the events of the
24 day which has thrown the schedule out, would you -- could you usefully
25 make use of the remaining 25 minutes, or would you apply now to begin
1 tomorrow morning?
2 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for the sake of
3 continuity, I would like to start interrogating the witness tomorrow, and
4 we shall be done with the witness tomorrow. My cross-examination will be
5 much shorter. So we shall not be keeping the witness over the weekend
6 because my learned colleague has asked a lot of the questions which I
7 also intended to ask.
8 So we will be done tomorrow.
9 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. You answered the second question that I
10 was about to ask. Thank you very much.
11 So we will take the adjournment till tomorrow morning. And,
12 Mr. Witness, I would remind you of what I did at yesterday's adjournment,
13 that you are not to discuss the case with anyone.
14 Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.21 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Friday, the 12th day of March,
19 2010, at 9.00 a.m.