1 Friday, 12 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.25 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
6 everyone in and around the courtroom.
7 This is the case number IT-08-91-T, Prosecutor versus
8 Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin.
9 JUDGE HALL
10 Registrar. Good morning to everyone.
11 Again, we have a late start due to technical problems.
12 Apparently, the next step is going to be for us to arrange for an
14 Could we have appearances for today, please?
15 MR. OLMSTED: Good morning, Your Honours. Matthew Olmsted and
16 Crispian Smith for the Prosecution.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
18 Slobodan Cvijetic, Eugene O'Sullivan, and Ms. Tatjana Savic, who is at
19 the moment missing but will be back in the courtroom, appearing for
20 Stanisic Defence this morning. Thank you.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For Zupljanin Defence
22 this morning, Igor Pantelic and Dragan Krgovic. Thank you.
23 JUDGE HALL
24 into court.
25 [The witness takes the stand]
1 WITNESS: WITNESS ST-179 [Resumed]
2 [The witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE HALL
4 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
5 JUDGE HALL
6 cross-examination, I would remind you you're still on your oath.
7 Yes, Mr. Cvijetic.
8 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. Thank
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Cvijetic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Witness. That's how I'll have
12 to call you. My name is Slobodan Cvijetic, and I appear here as
13 co-counsel for Mr. Stanisic. I have a few questions for you.
14 But before I do, let me ask the usher -- let me ask the usher,
15 please, to hand to you a file with exhibits that I intended to show to
16 you. However, I don't know what's going on, on the Prosecution side.
17 Lately, they are leaving us short of work and we have fewer and fewer
18 documents and exhibits.
19 They have already shown you most of the exhibits and asked most
20 of the questions that I had on my list, so I believe, ultimately, we will
21 finish this sooner than we had planned.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: The Chamber appreciates the co-operation between
23 the parties.
24 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Witness, you don't have to open documents now. We'll look at a
1 few of them towards the end. First, I have a few general questions.
2 In view of the fact that you are not a lawyer and you are not
3 even a trained policeman, you have not been to the School for Internal
4 Affairs, I will skip questions related to interpretation of legislation,
5 although they are my favourite. Instead, I will try to elicit from you a
6 summary of your evidence so far.
7 To begin with, the arming of civilians in the area of Vlasenica.
8 You said that there was an escalation of tensions, resulting in an
9 atmosphere where you could feel already that war was in the offing and
10 civilians of both Bosniak and Serbian ethnicity started arming
11 themselves; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. When you explained the operation of arms distribution, in
14 answering the Prosecutor's question you distinguished between the
15 legality and illegality of this operation, saying that this operation was
16 geared mainly at the Muslim population?
17 A. No, I don't think I said exactly that. This operation was geared
18 at the entire population at first. However, later it turned out that it
19 was mainly Muslims who handed over weapons, even those who had licenses
20 for their weapons, and those who did not have licenses did not hand over
21 weapons in great numbers.
22 Q. That's precisely what I would like to define. What does "illegal
23 possession" mean? Serbs received weapons by responding to the
24 mobilisation call-up and being issued with weapons; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The Muslims obtained weapons by buying them or procuring them
2 through other channels that had nothing to do with the mobilisation or
3 response to the official military authorities?
4 A. Yes, and I would add that military-aged Muslims also had the
5 possibility to obtain, legally, military equipment, including weapons,
6 but in 1991 their own authorities forbade them to respond to
7 mobilisation, and they abided by that decision. So they procured weapons
8 by other means.
9 Q. Now, concerning the legality or illegality of this arming, I
10 believe an opinion -- a legal interpretation was even required from the
11 Court before this operation proceeded in order to get a definitive view
12 on what legal and illegal arming is.
13 A. Yes, that happened a bit later, when, in keeping with our duties
14 under the Law on Internal Affairs, we wanted to file criminal complaints
15 against people for illegal possession of weapons. We consulted the
16 president of the Court, what exactly we should do, and he gave us the
17 explanation that we've just heard; namely, that members of the army who
18 responded to the mobilisation call-up legally and legitimately obtained
19 army-issue weapons, and these were mainly Serbs, whereas Muslims who did
20 not want to respond to the mobilisation call-up but were found to own
21 automatic weapons or other illegal equipment, were qualified as owners of
22 illegal weapons and, thus, subject to prosecution.
23 Q. Thank you for this explanation. Let me just invoke the orders
24 that the Prosecution had exhibited. These are materials that you
25 provided to the Prosecution upon your arrival in The Hague. This
1 concerns the operation from the early April days, which you said was
2 carried out without any casualties, without application of force. You
3 said that it was done on the orders of the Territorial Defence Staff and
4 that, basically, that, too, was a military action; am I right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Pursuant to that order, the task was given also to the civilian
7 police. But if I read the order well, it was within the purview of the
8 civilian police only to make a record of illegally-owned weapons and
9 owners, and that was your job, that was the way you proceeded?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. There was a subsequent action that you discussed, the attack on
12 Drum village on 16 June. You said it was a very different and purely
13 military operation; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Let me ask you now about the escalation of tensions in the
16 Vlasenica municipality. Let me ask you specifically: Along the
17 information and news you received from other parts of Bosnia and
19 communications with Tuzla
20 Muslim-held territories, contributed to this escalation of tensions;
22 A. Yes, tensions grew, and this balance of departures and arrivals
23 soon reached 50:50. Muslims were leaving and Serbs were coming in, but
24 as time passed ever larger numbers of Serbs arrived in Vlasenica. And
25 the Crisis Staff thereupon formed an agency that provided accommodation
1 for them in now vacant houses.
2 Q. During this escalation of tensions, you continued to work with
3 your Muslim colleagues. Did they ask you how they should act in a
4 situation like that? Did you discuss it with them?
5 A. I cannot put a precise date on it, but the last night we had a
6 joint patrol was around the 20th of April. I was in that patrol with two
7 Bosniak colleagues, and we were carrying out these checks that I
8 discussed already. And we discussed the general situation, because
9 something was in the offing, something was in the air. Everyone could
10 feel it. Already on the 9th of April, there was an incursion by Arkan's
11 men not far from us, and it was logical to expect it might happen to us
12 as well. We were still hoping that we would come out of it unscathed,
13 but we were still thinking what to do.
14 Q. Did they ask you for advise, as a friend and a colleague?
15 A. Well, my family was still there, unlike many other Serbs who had
16 already moved their families to safety. They asked me, Are you going to
17 move your family? I said, Well, I don't intend to so far. And, indeed,
18 I moved my family only one month into the war.
19 Q. Well, did you advise them to sort of move away, just in case,
20 until you see what exactly is going to happen?
21 A. Yes, yes. I said that's what they should do.
22 Q. After all these years, would you give them the same advice? Just
23 a, Yes, or, No, please.
24 A. Yes, yes, because one needs to place one's family in a safe place
25 before anything else.
1 Q. We'll move to the next subject. That's the take-over of power on
2 22 April 1992
4 Who, specifically, disarmed the police station, including you and
5 Muslim officers?
6 A. That group or paramilitary group, whatever I should call them. I
7 only later learnt that they were members of the Serbian Guard from
8 Sekovici. Whether they were legally recruited and mobilised and attached
9 to a proper military unit, I don't know, but it was them who carried out
10 that action.
11 Q. The night before that, you were on patrol with your Muslim
12 colleague, and you had no inkling of it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So you were also taken by surprise when this happened?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. You should observe a pause between question and answer so the
17 interpreters can follow. We should not overlap.
18 It follows from your statement that you claim that up to the 15th
19 of May, 1992, you had absolutely no control whatsoever, including
20 physical control, over the developments in the Public Security Station in
21 Vlasenica; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. In mid-May, when you turned up at the station, you found two
24 closed packages. A platoon of military police that the government had
25 renamed from the TO Detachment into the Special Police Platoon, that's
1 one package, and you find a mobilised unit of the police reserve;
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You had no influence over either of these units; correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. You said that you noticed those reserve policemen were completely
7 unusable for regular police work?
8 A. Yes, but I meant, rather, the special unit.
9 Q. You started coming regularly to work from mid-July 1992; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you got a formal decision from the minister on the 8th of
12 August, 1992, appointing you chief of the station?
13 A. Yes. It was a provisional decision, pending the adoption of the
14 enactment on internal organisation.
15 Q. The person who was chief until then, Mr. Bjelanovic, on the
16 orders of the government of the Serbian Autonomous Region Birac-Romanija,
17 is tasked with establishing a public security station in Milici or,
18 rather, co-ordinating this establishment?
19 A. Yes. He was appointed, although I didn't see the appointment,
20 co-ordinator for the Birac region.
21 Q. So, formally, the Public Security Station of Vlasenica was
22 chief-less until the 8th of August, formally speaking?
23 A. Well, in July, I did some work --
24 Q. I'm asking you about the formal side of things.
25 A. Formally, there was no chief.
1 Q. You also touched upon another subject; namely, the strength of
2 the local authorities in SAO Romanija, from the point of view of a
3 regular citizen. You will agree with me that it was a period when the
4 central authorities of Republika Srpska, and that includes the hierarchy
5 and the subordination within the MUP, had a hard time reaching the grass
6 root level in all areas of Republika Srpska, due to the resistance by
7 local authorities and their wish to hold on to positions they had
9 A. Yes, and that's what I explained previously.
10 Q. You will agree with me that quite some time was needed for the
11 central authorities to take on and to reach every last public security
12 station on the ground?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In order to achieve that, the ministry first had to deal with the
15 large number of problems, starting with the decision on the seat of the
16 ministry, providing adequate equipment and staff, establishing an
17 efficient system of communications, financing, et cetera; am I right?
18 A. Yes, this was a very tall order, but intensive work was done at
19 that time and the results were finally achieved.
20 Q. All right. Can we agree that only when the MUP seat was moved to
21 Bijeljina, optimal prerequisites were provided for the ministry to work
22 efficiently throughout the territory?
23 A. Yes, conditions were much better once they moved to Bijeljina and
24 the ministry was able to operate throughout the territory.
25 Q. I shall now move to another subject that you also talked a lot
1 about yesterday, answering the Prosecutor's questions. It is about these
2 collection centres, the holding centres. You were quite precise in that
3 regard, but we need to clarify some things.
4 You already said that they were not within the jurisdiction of
5 the Ministry of the Interior, nor in your jurisdiction. There is no
6 dispute about that; right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You said that the local Secretariat of National Defence, which
9 was later renamed the Ministry of Defence, had mobilised the reserve
10 police force and directed it to you; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I noticed on the payrolls that these reserve policemen were given
13 their salaries according to the days spent at work; that it was not a
14 regular pay like the regular policemen received, but it depended on the
15 number of days spent at work. Is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Cvijetic, can I just ask a clarifying
18 question here.
19 Your last question was that the Ministry of Defence had mobilised
20 the reserve police force and directed the local police force to the
21 witness, and the witness answered, Yes. Is that a correct interpretation
22 of your question and the answer? I mean, the question that I have is:
23 Why would the Ministry of Defence suddenly have the power to
24 re-subordinate the reserve police force to the MUP? I thought that the
25 reserve police force, in any case, would be under the authority of the
1 MUP. So maybe I have missed the testimony yesterday and misunderstood,
2 but I need a clarification of: Why would it be the Ministry of Defence
3 who would suddenly have the authority to re-subordinate the reserve
4 police force to the MUP? That sounds to me to be backwards somehow.
5 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will not testify.
6 I shall let the witness explain. I believe that the witness did clarify
7 this yesterday, and I shall ask him to do it once again. I understood
8 what he said yesterday. I shall now ask him to kindly repeat.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Perhaps there was a misinterpretation or a mistranslation, but
11 basically in order for a reserve policeman or reserve policemen to be
12 mobilised into the station, the Ministry of Defence, at the request of
13 the Public Security Station, to the effect that the station needs five or
14 ten or so policemen, the ministry -- the police sends to the ministry
15 this number of policemen who become reserve policemen. And when they are
16 taken over by the Ministry of the Interior, i.e., by the police, they
17 become members of that Public Security Station. The essence is that the
18 Ministry of Defence sends to us, at our request, as many policemen as
19 they can, some reserve policemen that already possess certain knowledge
20 about work in the police, because they had served time in the military --
21 served in the military as reserve policemen or something similar, and
22 people who, of course, are not criminals or anything similar.
23 So the ministry would thus respond to a request of the Public
24 Security Station. Once they were assigned to the Public Security
25 Station, they would become a member of that security station's reserve
1 police force, and they would from then on be under the jurisdiction of
2 the Ministry of the Interior.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you for this clarification, and, obviously,
4 I have misunderstood. But let me just ask one question more.
5 Was this related to the fact that a state of imminent threat of
6 war had been declared?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I understood your question
8 correctly, this procedure of mobilising reserve policemen also existed
9 prior to the declaration of imminent threat of war. The same procedure
10 was applied, and we continued to apply that procedure in order to obtain
11 a certain number of members of the reserve police force.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: So, in essence, just to be clear now, any
13 mobilisation of reserve police forces would, in any case, be determined
14 by the Ministry of Defence, upon the request from an SJB or a CSB?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Exactly.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.
17 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now it is completely
18 clear to us as well.
19 Q. So we were talking about the DSAs and the payrolls. Please
20 assist me. It was the Secretariat of National Defence that mobilised
21 these reserve policemen. Who actually provided the funds for them? You
22 talked about the salaries of regular policemen yesterday, how you would
23 send a request to the financial section of the ministry, et cetera. But
24 for these --
25 A. It was also the Ministry of the Interior that provided the wages
1 for these policemen. Once they became members of the reserve force of
2 the Public Security Station, their wages would be paid by the Ministry of
3 the Interior.
4 Q. Was there a possibility -- was there a provision made for funds
5 to be remunerated from the Ministry of the Interior to the other
7 A. I don't know about that.
8 Q. In connection with the security provided for these collection
9 centres, the need arose for guards to be provided to secure the prison,
10 and you say that you were not -- that you were not in charge of that.
11 And later a similar need arose in connection with the Susica camp. You
12 never stated that you had assigned the reserve policemen to provide
13 security at these facilities by an order, so was it the ministry, on the
14 basis of a request of the people in charge of the camp, that assigned
15 some guards to provide security there?
16 A. As regards the security for Susica, the police never provided
17 security, nor assigned any members to guard -- any of its members to
18 guard this facility. The Susica camp was set up by the municipal organs
19 initially, and later it was taken over by the army, meaning that the
20 Territorial Defence Staff assigned the people to provide security for
21 that facility.
22 Q. All right. You also referred to the fact that patrols of the
23 police station escorted the buses with the people who expressed a wish to
24 leave the territory. Namely, up to Kladanj there existed groups which
25 recognised no authorities, including the military authorities, and the
1 danger was that they could attack the convoys?
2 A. Yes, but let me just explain. The police escorted the buses not
3 up to Kladanj, but up to a point where there was a tunnel leading to
4 Kladanj, because on the other end of the tunnel the territory was already
5 under the control of B and H forces, whether it was BH Police, or the
6 Green Berets, or somebody else. So the buses would come to the tunnel.
7 The people would disembark and pass on foot through the tunnel and be
8 received on the other end. This happened every day until the 15th of May
9 until the day when the Tuzla
10 tunnel was mined, it was blown up on the Kladanj side, so that people
11 could no longer pass in that direction.
12 Q. All right. I will now show you a document. It is already a
13 court exhibit. It's number is P160, and I believe that it is on page 26
14 in both the English and Serbo-Croat-Bosnian versions.
15 Until we have what we need on the screen: You often refer to the
17 on the military convoy?
18 A. Yes, that is what I'm referring to, because that is when the
19 character of the war in B and H changed.
20 Q. Who attacked whom?
21 A. The members of the then TO Tuzla
22 Q. So the Muslim forces attacked them?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] In the Serbian version, we have to
25 turn to the next page. And in the English, we are on the right page.
1 The next page. We need the conclusion under number 13 to mirror the
2 English page. So it is the next page in the Serbian. That is it.
3 Q. Mr. Witness, please have a look at this section. I will tell you
4 what document is in question. You were not present at the first
5 collegium meeting of MUP officers held in Belgrade, where far-reaching
6 and diverse tasks were actually drawn -- made conclusions about.
7 Inter alia, you see, in item 13, the first bullet, they had noted the
8 problem of the actions of paramilitary formations, and the centres were
9 assigned the task to follow that phenomenon, to submit reports and
10 information to the MUP on it. Do you see that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Are you aware of a meeting of this kind having been held on the
13 11th of July, 1992, in Belgrade
14 A. I heard that it was held. I was not present, and I did not have
15 occasion to study this document.
16 Q. All right. Please tell me now, in that period did you, either
17 through orders, or the ministry's documents, or through your chief, or
18 the chief of the Centre of Security Services, were you informed about the
19 need to combat paramilitary units and that work had to be done along
20 those lines?
21 A. Yes, because there was intensive work going on against such
22 paramilitary units and against all negative phenomena of this kind. It
23 was us from the field, actually, that exerted pressure on the chief of
24 the centre in order for them to find a way for these paramilitary units
25 to be disbanded and sent away, removed, in a legitimate and legal way.
1 Q. If we -- even if we took this date as the beginning of this
2 activity, although we do have evidence that it had started earlier, you
3 will agree that this activity started in the beginning of July?
4 A. Yes, from the beginning of July. As I mentioned yesterday, even
5 before this we had occasion to clash with paramilitary units, to disarm
6 them, and similar.
7 Q. Now I will show you another document. It is also a court
8 document. It is Exhibit P591. It is page 3 in the Serbian version. In
9 the meantime, we shall also see what page in the English version it is.
10 We are unable to find the proper English page, but it is page 3,
11 paragraph 2, in the Serbian version, which says:
12 "Currently in the territory of the Serbian Republic
14 It is also on page 3 of the English, paragraph 1.
15 So: "60 paramilitary units of a total strength of about 4.000 to
16 5.000 men, of which we shall list but the most important."
17 So -- and then it goes on to enumerate them. Among the
18 strongest, in the very next paragraph, they refer to the Yellow Wasps,
19 with 170 people, et cetera. Can you read that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. This is the Intelligence Administration of the Main Staff of the
22 Army of the SR of B and H, and this is their report dated the 28th of
23 July, 1992. Mr. Witness, I showed you this for the sole purpose that we
24 agree that the problem of paramilitary units was not a minor problem and
25 that these were, indeed, well-organised and numerous units. Do you agree
1 with my position?
2 A. Yes, it was a problem.
3 Q. You will also agree with me when I say that in order to deal with
4 such a problem, the ministry had to organise its own ranks well and to
5 undertake thorough preparations, to actually train a special unit for
6 that particular purpose, as well as to co-ordinate this action and link
7 up its efforts with the military police as well as with you in the field.
8 I believe that you told us that you, yourself, gave 30 of your men to
9 participate in one of these actions. Do you agree with me that
10 comprehensive, extensive preparations had to be undertaken?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. This operation, in its preparation, implied a degree of secrecy;
13 it was not to be known that it was being prepared?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can we now have 1D176. In your file, tab 13. Let's just see the
17 Have you found it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. This is an order from the minister of the interior, dated 27 July
20 1992. Please pay attention to page 1. Mr. Stanisic is now carrying out
21 in practice all the conclusions of the meeting in Belgrade. Among other
22 things, in item 2, he recalls his order to remove all those who were
23 responsible for crimes before taking up duty and in the course of their
24 duty. Do you see that in item 2?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In item 3, he says that any surplus of such individuals should be
2 referred to the army, and you said surpluses were turned over to the
3 army, didn't you?
4 A. I did.
5 Q. Read also item 4. All the units set up during the war -- all
6 special units formed during the war should be immediately disbanded and
7 placed under the command of the army. You said that was the case with
8 that special unit, didn't you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Then the same item further below, as well as item 5, speaks of
11 the replenishment of the Special Detachment of the Police and the way it
12 will be manned.
13 Now we need item 7 on the next page. In English, too, we need
14 the next page. We still don't see the English.
15 Please read item 7, sir. You will agree with me that within the
16 framework of activities from the beginning of July until 27 July, the
17 action to disband and eliminate paramilitary units continues, and a
18 direct order is now issued that they be removed from the territory of
19 Republika Srpska; am I right?
20 A. Yes, and I was directly involved in this work.
21 Q. Thank you. We don't need the document anymore.
22 Now, tell me, even before the action in Zvornik, you personally
23 disarmed a paramilitary unit called Charlie's Men?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. You did that before the action in Zvornik; right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. The action in Zvornik followed after this order; right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. That is to say, after the 27th of July, the action in Zvornik
5 occurred; right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You said yesterday that after the action in Zvornik, that special
8 unit went to Bratunac and then to Foca with the same assignment -- on the
9 same assignment; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Are you aware that before the action in Zvornik, this unit had
12 been in Brcko and Bijeljina on the same assignment?
13 A. I'm aware, but I didn't have particular information. I know that
14 it worked in other areas as well.
15 Q. You will now agree with me that this was, in fact, a systematic,
16 comprehensive operation to eliminate a negative phenomenon, namely, the
17 paramilitary units, and it cannot be associated with individual
18 incidents; it is, on the contrary, a result of a general intention to
19 remove this negative phenomenon?
20 JUDGE HALL
21 Mr. Cvijetic, because that was a combination of a question and
22 submissions and a number of things. But I suppose he'd have a go at it.
23 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Well, I can divide the question
24 into a number of questions. I'm sorry, but the witness answered already.
25 Q. Witness, I'll have to rephrase. You will agree with me that this
1 action in Zvornik was just one in a series of planned actions aimed at
2 eliminating paramilitary formations in a broader area; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now part 2. You will agree with me that we cannot associate it
5 with any individual incident caused by a paramilitary unit; correct?
6 A. Yes. All the incidents that occurred can just be cited as an
7 example of their negative impact.
8 Q. But the point is, it was the general position of the ministry
9 that they should be eliminated and removed from Republika Srpska, either
10 by placing them under the command of military authorities or by expelling
12 A. Precisely, because without a definitive decision and position of
13 the ministry, the ultimate goal, to expel them, would not have been
14 possible to achieve.
15 Q. You will agree with me that the ministry displayed persistence,
16 courage, and consistency, and the action continued throughout 1992?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. I believe I will be able to finish before the break. Let me just
19 try to clarify something that left me in confusion yesterday.
20 Could you just confirm that there was never any incident between
21 Mr. Stanisic, personally, and any paramilitary units, specifically the
22 Yellow Wasps? And the incident you described yesterday is known to us as
23 an incident involving the minister of information, Velibor Ostojic. I
24 would therefore ask you: Do you allow the possibility that you were
25 slightly confused about this? The young man who came to you and said
1 that the minister was experiencing problems, did he perhaps mean his
2 minister, whereas you understood it as meaning your minister?
3 A. Well, now I'm confused too. I know that I had reports. There
4 was a series of incidents, beginning with citizens who were intercepted,
5 beaten up, their cars and their money were robbed, up to members of the
6 leadership who were the victims of such incidents. I remember something
7 like that with Velibor Ostojic. This was at a stage of preparation of
8 these activities. That young man who came by told this story, that this
9 intensive activity will follow, and he said even the minister had
10 problems of the kind. And that's how I understood it -- or misunderstood
11 it. If Mr. Stanisic had been mistreated, himself, then that would have
12 been the straw that broke the camel's back, but I wasn't necessarily
13 right in that understanding.
14 Q. So I understand that you allow the possibility the young man
15 meant another minister, and you understood him as referring to
16 Minister Stanisic?
17 A. Possibly.
18 Q. And just for your information, I will tell you that the young men
19 who were Mr. Stanisic's bodyguards in 1992 - he had one driver and one
20 security man - were called Zoran Jasarevic and Goran Abazovic. Do you
21 know that?
22 A. I know Goran -- I knew that he had a security detail at the time,
23 but I didn't know these young men personally, although, of course, I
24 appreciated them and they appreciated me.
25 Q. For procedural reasons, I have to put to you another fact before
1 I conclude.
2 It was only in 1994 that a young man by the name of Dusko Malovic
3 was employed in Mr. Stanisic's security detail; do you allow for that
5 A. I allow for that possibility.
6 Q. I have to mention this because you were there when the minister
7 came back in 1994, and you were able to see that young man by his side?
8 A. Possibly.
9 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Just before the break, I have
10 concluded. Thank you, Witness. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE HALL
12 Mr. Pantelic, do you have any questions of this witness?
13 MR. PANTELIC: No, Your Honour, we don't have a question for this
14 witness, thank you.
15 JUDGE HALL
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 JUDGE HALL
18 would begin your re-examination when we resume.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 --- Recess taken at 10.24 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 11.08 a.m.
22 JUDGE HALL
23 by our delay in resuming the Bench, but it was occasioned by one of those
24 ancillary matters that invariably engage Judges. Thank you.
25 Yes, Mr. Olmsted.
1 MR. OLMSTED: Shall we wait for the witness?
2 [The witness takes the stand]
3 Re-examination by Mr. Olmsted:
4 Q. Good morning, sir.
5 A. Good morning.
6 Q. Sir, I believe it was the day before yesterday you testified that
7 the SDS
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you tell us, is it legal for a political party to be arming
10 the civilian population?
11 A. Certainly not.
12 Q. And just to clarify your position, is it your position that after
13 the take-over in April 1992, that every Serb who possessed a weapon
14 possessed it legally?
15 A. No, not all of them possessed weapons legally.
16 Q. And just to further clarify your position, is it your position
17 that only persons mobilised into the Serb military were committing crimes
18 against the Muslim population in Vlasenica after the take-over?
19 A. If I understood your question correctly, the persons who were
20 mobilised into the RS Army included the smallest group responsible for
21 such crimes. It is other groups that were mainly responsible.
22 Q. So only military soldiers were responsible for committing crimes
23 against the Muslims; is that what you're saying?
24 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, if I can be of assistance. I wasn't
25 listening to the translation, but apparently the transcript doesn't show
1 what the witness has answered. Maybe you can clarify, because I believe
2 there is a misunderstanding between -- between what the witness said and
3 what is entered into the transcript. Thank you.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Put your question to the witness again,
5 Mr. Olmsted.
6 MR. OLMSTED: Sure.
7 Q. Let me ask you the question again, just to make sure we got the
8 record correct. I want to clarify your position on the issue of crimes
9 against the Muslim population after the take-over.
10 Is it your position that only persons in the military -- persons
11 who were mobilised into the military were committing crimes against the
12 Muslim population in Vlasenica after the take-over?
13 A. No, my position is that most crimes were committed by
14 paramilitaries and informal groups.
15 Q. Now, with regard to the special police unit at SJB Vlasenica,
16 were members of this special police unit mobilised through the
17 Secretariat of National Defence?
18 A. They were mobilised through the Secretariat for National Defence
19 into Territorial Defence. After that, the Crisis Staff made a decision
20 that this unit should be seconded to the Public Security Station after
21 the VRS was established. Why? Because they did not want to join the VRS
22 as an organised unit, and they could not exist as a separate unit outside
23 the army or the police, so they got the Crisis Staff to decide that this
24 unit be seconded to the Public Security Station.
25 Q. After this special police unit was seconded to the SJB Vlasenica,
1 any additional members to join that unit would have been mobilised from
2 the -- by the Secretariat of National Defence into the police, itself; is
3 that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, today the question was asked whether you had no influence
6 over the special unit, and that's at page 8, lines 3 through 4. By this,
7 did you mean that the Crisis Staff imposed upon you the special unit; is
8 that what you meant by "no influence"?
9 A. In the course of mobilisation, and when the decision was made to
10 second this unit to the Public Security Station, I was unable to have a
11 say or influence that decision. It was adopted anyway.
12 Q. And just to clarify, that decision was made by the Crisis Staff
13 in Vlasenica?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And once they were within the SJB Vlasenica, you had the power to
16 discipline them; would you agree with that?
17 A. Yes, but at that time the only measure that could be taken
18 against them was to remove them and send them to VRS units. However, it
19 would often happen that those men whom we wanted to remove and send to
20 the army left Republika Srpska because they didn't want to join either
21 the army or the police.
22 Q. Well, certainly, you could have filed a criminal report against
24 A. Well, you see, we've been discussing this for three days. We
25 were working within the Criminal Code, and we did all we could to
1 prosecute such cases. We documented and filed reports in every case
2 where we were able to. We forwarded a number of such cases to the
3 Prosecutor's Office, and the Prosecutor's Office did not exist until July
4 or August. And it is common practice that the prosecutor could ask a
5 criminal report to be supplemented or rejected, but they had no
6 obligation to inform us of what they decided. We had no feedback from
7 the Prosecutor's Office. We didn't know what happened with our criminal
8 report, whether it was rejected or not. From our viewpoint, from our
9 position in the police, we did all we could to document these cases and
10 file them to the prosecutor.
11 Another line of work -- another aspect of documenting such cases
12 is sending reports. When the Military Prosecutor's Office and the
13 Military Court were established, we did that, too. Anything that could
14 be found in official notes and reports that went to the ministry, these
15 criminal complaints were either sent to the civilian prosecutor or the
16 military prosecutor. If you wanted to see where the thing hit a snag or
17 what failed to work, you should look in the records of these
19 Q. That was a very long answer to a pretty straightforward question.
20 But am I correct that, yes, in fact, you could file criminal reports
21 against members of the special unit if you had information they committed
22 a crime?
23 A. Yes, we would file such reports, and we did.
24 Q. I need to show you a document. It's 65 ter 1552.
25 And I ask that this not be broadcast, the reason being it's a
1 log-book from the Prosecution's Office in Vlasenica and it contains names
2 of victims.
3 JUDGE HALL
4 MR. OLMSTED: The witness just said that the Prosecutor's Office
5 was not functioning until July or August, and I just want him to take a
6 look at the prosecutor's log-book and see if that's the case. So it
7 arises out of his last answer.
8 JUDGE HALL
9 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, but if he can identify it.
10 JUDGE HALL
11 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you have anticipated
12 my objections. I never dealt with this question at all, and it does not
13 arise from the examination of this witness. The Prosecutor is broaching
14 a new subject which, in fact, was already clarified yesterday, and your
15 intervention is quite appropriate and I subscribe to it myself.
16 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, in his last response, when we were
17 talking about his authority over the special unit, which was raised
18 during cross-examination, he says that he wasn't filing criminal reports
19 because -- against the special police because the Prosecutor's Office
20 wasn't functioning. And I need to show him a document to show that it
22 JUDGE HALL
23 you are seeking to contradict this witness on a document that he has
24 nothing to do with. It may very -- that document, standing on its own,
25 may very well, when put alongside the witness's testimony, indicate that
1 the witness's testimony in this regard is inaccurate, but I don't know
2 that it is -- that you can lay that plank down in the manner that you
3 propose now.
4 MR. OLMSTED: So if I understand Your Honour correctly, the issue
5 is whether he can -- he has the necessary foundation to talk about this
6 particular log-book?
7 JUDGE HALL
8 it, is to challenge or confront the witness as to the accuracy of his
9 last answer to you. When I say "last answer," before this issue has
10 arisen. But you are seeking to do that not on the basis of work product
11 of the witness, but of somebody else. So apart from the fact that you're
12 entering into new territory which wasn't raised in cross-examination, at
13 the end of this exercise all you would have achieved is getting the
14 witness's comment on something that somebody else did. So it isn't going
15 to be of assistance.
16 MR. OLMSTED: Well, Your Honour, respectfully, the reason I'm
17 showing him this document is to see whether he would revise his answer,
18 based upon what he sees in front of the computer screen. If he wants to
19 stick to his position, then that's fine. And, I think, well, at least in
20 the judicial system I come from, that is an appropriate way to approach a
21 topic such as this.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Olmsted, I thought the witness had answered
23 to your question, about whether or not they did file complaints, in the
24 positive. He said, Yes, we did, in fact, file complaints. So that would
25 seem to exhaust the purpose of this extra exercise.
1 MR. OLMSTED: Well, then I'll just move on.
2 Q. Sir, if you did file criminal reports against members of the
3 special police, those would be in your Vlasenica crime register; is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. When you reviewed your crime register the other day, did you see
7 any of those criminal reports?
8 A. As we focused solely on the segment under Article 213, I did not
9 pay attention. But the crime register shows that it was not only illegal
10 possession of weapons that were the crimes, but there were also different
11 offences by members of all ethnicities. As far as I remember now -- in
12 fact, I cannot remember now, of the 182 offences in the crime register,
13 which one was under what article and by whom. It is a fact, however,
14 that in those impossible conditions, the wartime conditions, we did
15 everything in our power to make the institution function properly.
16 Q. Now, we see, from the payroll records for May 1992 that we showed
17 you the other day, that you signed them as chief of the station, and you
18 also paid yourself a higher salary than the other police officers. And
19 you also testified yesterday that these payroll went from you to the CSB
20 and then on to the Ministry of the Interior. Were you misrepresenting
21 your position as chief on those occasions?
22 A. I have clarified over the past two days in what position I had
23 been and at what time, when it was that I was formally appointed chief
24 and from which time I could consider myself a co-ordinator. That was
25 sometime in mid-July, after serious talks and consultations with
1 Mr. Cvijetic. Until that time, I had been seconded by the former
2 Ministry of the Interior and worked there as such.
3 The previous chief, my colleague Bjelanovic, would delegate to me
4 certain powers to enable me to carry out certain tasks which were of no
5 bearing on the strategy, so to speak, of the ministry, i.e., of the
6 police station that he had been in charge of. Why did he do this? Why
7 did he delegate such powers to me? At that time, I was the only
8 worker -- worker taking over from the former Ministry of the Interior of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, with work experience in the Ministry of the Interior,
10 with a proper professional exam, and the only worker with -- with
11 adequate university qualifications. It was in order for me to contribute
12 as much as possible to the establishment of the structure of the police
13 station in order for the police station to start functioning in keeping
14 with the Law on Internal Affairs and in keeping with the rules emanating
15 from that particular law, which I later did.
16 Q. Let's move on.
17 You stated today that there were no police guards at Susica camp.
18 What about Dragan Nikolic? He was a member of the special police unit?
19 A. Dragan Nikolic left when the collection centre started
20 functioning. The TO took him over, as part of their organisation, to
21 provide security for the collection centre. I cannot recall at this
22 point on what grounds he featured on that list, was he retained on it in
23 order for him to be able to receive his salary at that time or was it for
24 another reason, but I claim with full responsibility from the month of
25 May he was not a member of either the reserve force, or of the special
1 unit, or of anything else.
2 Q. Okay. I think your position on that issue is quite clear now.
3 Would -- while the Susica camp was open, would the police still
4 patrol the Susica area?
5 A. That stems from the organisation and the Rules of Service of the
6 police. Namely, the police worked upon the principle of sector patrols.
7 Every chief of a patrol sector had the task to follow the security
8 situation in his respective sector, meaning that the chief of the patrol
9 sector and the policeman in the patrol in charge of that particular area
10 would occasionally drop in on the guards and inquire about the matters
11 which are within police competence; namely, whether there were any
12 problems, whether they had any information that some attacks had
13 happened, that people were not assembling around the camp, or information
14 to that effect. That was all -- that was in the remit of the police.
15 Q. And if there was a person held at Susica camp that the police
16 needed to interview, they're able to bring those persons to the police
17 station to interview them?
18 A. Only according to a request and a permit issued by the competent
19 authority in charge of the collection centre which later was a camp.
20 Q. Yesterday, you testified that Bosniaks left the municipality in
21 large numbers after the take-over of the municipality. By August, let's
22 say, how many Muslims remained in Vlasenica?
23 This will lead to a question that will directly relate to
24 cross-examination, if I may ask this foundational question.
25 By August?
1 A. By August, I cannot tell you the exact number, but let's say
2 about 30 per cent.
3 Q. Just to clarify, 30 per cent of the Muslim population remained or
4 had left?
5 A. Remained. It is a relevant figure, but approximately so.
6 Q. And this is the question that comes out of cross-examination:
7 There was a lot of talk about the paramilitaries and all these operations
8 to contain them, to expel them from the municipality, or incorporate them
9 into the VRS. Can you tell us, were the paramilitaries -- what were they
10 doing to the Serbian population that was in Vlasenica? Were they causing
11 any problems with the Serbian population?
12 A. Yes, they were. It would happen, for example, that they would
13 disturb the public law and order by shooting, by throwing grenades, by
14 barging into people's flats. When they were no longer interested in
15 Bosniak flats and houses, they would break into Serb houses and flats,
16 and different forms of looting is also what they did, plunder. They
17 created problems of all sorts. Namely, they created problems for
19 Q. Final topic with regard to the Yellow Wasps.
20 During your interview last year, would you agree that without the
21 Prosecution Office asking you a particular question regarding this event,
22 that you told us about Minister Stanisic coming through Vlasenica and you
23 speaking to his driver about what happened to Minister Stanisic at the
24 hands of the Yellow Wasps?
25 A. Yes, but now, in hindsight, taking into account the time distance
1 of some 18 years, and taking into account that I already said yesterday
2 that we did not have -- that we had less communication with Sarajevo than
3 in peacetime, I did not know those guys. It is true that this lad came,
4 and you saw that I actually had mistaken their identity -- I mean, their
5 names, but, anyway, this lad came and he said that an action was in the
6 offing, that was under preparation, and that they had problems in Zvornik
7 with the Yellow Wasps. Within that framework and a series of incidents
8 that I already was aware of, and I have already said that anyone had to
9 pass through Vlasenica, anyone going from Pale to Sarajevo, and people
10 had already complained that they had been looted, their cars and
11 valuables seized and robs, and other problems as well. I knew that a few
12 days particular that, Minister Ostojic had also had a problem. So this
13 man, when he came, he said -- this lad, Even Minister Stanisic has had a
14 problem. An action is being prepared to break up these groups. I didn't
15 want to tell him that I was already aware, that already "au courant" with
16 all these activities, but I told him that I would be only too happy to
17 help disband -- these paramilitary units and for somebody to put an end
18 to their activities, and for them to see that they cannot go on doing
19 what they were doing, and that they would have to either join the army or
20 disband. That is the gist of that matter.
21 Q. And with regard to your interview last year, do you agree that
22 you told us, again without being prompted, that the person -- the driver
23 that you spoke to was by the name of Malovic, and this young man got
24 killed later on in Belgrade?
25 A. They actually mixed up the names of these lads. But as
1 Minister Stanisic had also his second term, this other lad was part of
2 his security guard during his second term in 1993 or 1994. That's why I
3 mixed them up. In 1992, a certain Goran Abazovic, whom I personally
4 know, was part of his security detail, and this other guy whom I don't
5 personally know, and that's how I got things mixed up. So Malovic was
6 part of Minister Stanisic's bodyguards in 1993 or 1994, and later, as far
7 as I know, he got killed somewhere in Belgrade or in Serbia.
8 MR. OLMSTED: No further questions, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE HALL
10 Tribunal. You are now released, and we wish you a safe journey back to
11 your home. Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE HALL
15 in this courtroom at 2.15 on Monday afternoon.
16 I wish everyone a safe weekend. Thank you.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.41 a.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Monday, the 15th day of March,
19 2010, at 2.15 p.m.