1 Wednesday, 28 April 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
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
9 Good morning to everyone. May we have the appearances, please.
10 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours, good morning
11 everybody. On behalf of the Prosecution, Alex Demirdjian, assisted by
12 Case Manager Crispian Smith, and our Senior Trial Attorney,
13 Mr. Tom Hannis.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
15 Slobodan Cvijetic, Ms. Deirdre Montgomery, and Ms. Tatjana Savic,
16 appearing for Stanisic Defence this morning. Thank you.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For Zupljanin
18 Defence, Igor Pantelic. Thank you.
19 JUDGE HALL
20 Before Mr. Cvijetic -- Mr. Cvijetic, I believe, begins his
21 cross-examination, the -- I intend to take the break five minutes early
22 at 10.25 because I have a meeting during the break. And just to be on
23 the safe side to avoid counsel and the accused being kept waiting, we
24 will resume at 11.00. So in other words, the break will be from 10.20 to
2 MR. PANTELIC: And if you allow me, Your Honour, just a small
3 preliminary issue to put on the record. I was informed by my client,
4 Mr. Zupljanin, that he is waiving his right to be present next week in
5 the courtroom, due to a family visit and religious ceremonies that they
6 will attend.
7 JUDGE HALL
8 MR. PANTELIC: Accordingly, we are going to inform Registry.
9 JUDGE HALL
10 MR. PANTELIC: He already informed UNDU administration. So, just
11 for the record. Thank you.
12 JUDGE HALL
13 Before counsel begins his cross-examination, I would remind the
14 witness that he is still on his oath.
15 Yes, Mr. Cvijetic.
16 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] May I, Your Honours?
17 JUDGE HALL
18 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 WITNESS: MIROSLAV VIDIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Cvijetic:
22 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vidic.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. I am Slobodan Cvijetic, attorney-at-law, and I'm part of the
25 Defence team of Mr. Stanisic. I have a few questions for you, because my
1 learned friend covered completely a lot of the topics I wanted to deal
2 with, and you commented even on a great deal of documents that I intended
3 to put to you, so my work is greatly reduced.
4 You were shown a set of documents yesterday, beginning with a
5 decision, that the acting warden, Mr. Slavuljica, adopted, designating
6 you as a stand-in for him in his absence. Then you were shown a decision
7 whereby the Minister of Justice, Momcilo Mandic, appointed you warden.
8 And also a decision signed by Dr. Radovan Karadzic establishing the
9 district prison in Doboj.
10 I believe in that set of documents, the basic initial act was not
11 discussed. Do you know that there was a decision establishing
12 penal/correctional facilities in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 Do you know it was adopted?
14 A. Yes, I know from the document that we received about the
15 establishment of the facility in Doboj, so I suppose it was the same with
16 all the other facilities.
17 Q. For the record, it's already an exhibit, 1D164.
18 I'd like to go through a couple of provisions with you.
19 Article 1 says that regarding the establishment and functioning
20 of penitentiary/correctional facilities the regulations of the former
21 socialist republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina shall apply.
22 You know that Bosnia-Herzegovina adopted a law taking over as its
23 own all the previous legislation. Do you know that?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I apologise. Is there a mistake in the
1 transcript? Do you know that Bosnia-Herzegovina adopted the law, or did
2 you mean the Serbian Republic
3 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] We'll clear that up in a second.
4 Q. I asked the witness if he knows that Republika Srpska, with its
5 constitutional law, adopted all the formal legislation of the socialist
6 republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the SFRY that were not contrary to the
7 interests of the Serbian people in Republika Srpska.
8 Do you know that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So this provision in Article 1 is clear. The legislation in the
11 area in which you worked was also taken from the previous dates.
12 In Article 2, we can see that you continue to work as a -- as an
13 organ of state administration.
14 And in Article 3, you were placed within the jurisdiction of the
15 Ministry of Justice, as you explained yourself. And the minister of
16 justice was to adopt rules governing this field of work. Correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The reason I opened this document is your statement where you say
19 that your first contact with the Ministry of Justice, you attempted to
20 establish in August 1992?
21 A. Yes. Earlier, I tried by telephone, but, in August, I actually
22 went to Pale.
23 Q. But you did not succeed in any of these attempts.
24 A. No, I did not.
25 Q. When you were shown a document from Mr. Mirko Slavuljica - it's
1 65 ter 3528 - whereby he designated you as his stand-in, you said this
2 was a forced decision, and I'm using your words, would you agree with me
3 if I say that I inferred that your hand was forced by the general wartime
4 situation, in which you all were, especially Doboj?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Mr. Slavuljica had been mobilised; he had to go to war. And
7 obviously somebody had to stay behind and do his job.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. While we're on the subject, would you briefly describe the
10 situation in which Doboj found itself in 1992, especially in the early
11 days? I wonder if you would agree with my definition. From all I know,
12 Doboj was a town almost entirely under siege?
13 A. It was encircled; it was surrounded from three sides.
14 Q. Yes. And there was only one point of contact on one side with
15 the rest of Republika Srpska?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In the initial period, and throughout 1992, it was also
18 constantly shelled by Muslim forces that kept the town under siege.
19 A. Yes. 40 to 50 residents of Doboj were killed by the shelling.
20 Q. So it was unsafe to move around town, and I believe it was even
21 restricted in a certain period.
22 A. In the beginning, we regular citizens called it curfew. Movement
23 was allowed from 8.00 until 11.00.
24 Q. That applied to all -- everyone, to all the citizens, and it was
25 for reasons of their personal safety?
1 A. Yes, for all citizens.
2 [Defence counsel confer]
3 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. I need to clear up one more matter. I believe I noticed in your
5 statement when you said that, in August 1992, you set out to Pale using a
6 route you had never used before in your life.
7 Do I remember this correctly?
8 You can repeat your answer now.
9 A. I think now it was a lunacy.
10 Q. Could you explain that, elaborate? Why was it lunacy?
11 A. The driver, the head of the accounting department of the court,
12 and I, set out to Pale in a car on a road we had never travelled before,
13 and the territory controlled by the Muslims was just 2 or 3 kilometres
14 away. There were many bends on the road. There were frequent signs
15 designating the corridor. Somewhere behind Zvornik and Vlasenica and
16 Han Pijesak we almost strayed in enemy territory.
17 Q. Do I understand it correctly that even after the military
18 breakthrough, when the corridor was made, movement was still unsafe?
19 A. Yes, correct.
20 Q. We yet have to deal with the matter of communications, means of
21 communication. You've already told us that your attempt to contact Pale
22 by telephone was futile --
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Cvijetic, about the curfew, about the curfew,
25 the witness -- the witness said -- you asked the witness and he answered
1 yes on your question whether that curfew was imposed on all citizens in
3 This is -- and the witness said, yes, it was for all citizens.
4 This is contrary to a fact -- adjudicated fact number 1268, that
5 says the curfew is only -- was only imposed on Muslims and -- Muslims and
7 So I take it that you challenge that adjudicated fact by this
8 line of question? Could -- could the witness confirm that the -- the --
9 the -- the curfew was for all citizens, Serbs and non-Serbs?
10 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, maybe I failed to
11 ask this question directly, but obviously the witness has heard your
12 question. I will repeat it to him.
13 Q. Mr. Vidic, was the curfew selective, in terms of ethnicity? Did
14 it apply only to Muslims and Croats and not to Serbs?
15 A. It applied to all citizens, and in the early days, on the 3rd of
16 May, a gentleman from the Crisis Staff whom I hadn't seen before when I
17 went to the Crisis Staff, came to prison and handed me a laissez-passer
18 to move around town. It was a blank card without any name on it. But,
19 at the outset nobody was able to move around. I can't tell you how long
20 it lasted before movement was allowed from 8.00 to 11.00.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Hold on a minute. The laissez-passer that you
23 were given, do you remember how soon after the imposition of the curfew
24 that you were given this laissez-passer?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that on the morning of the
1 3rd of May, I came to the prison. I was in my office. I was trying to
2 pull myself together, and it must have been before 9.00 that this
3 gentleman came. In the regular life, he was a dentist working at the
4 health centre, and he brought this piece of paper with just two sentences
5 on it, just a laissez-passer.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: And would that laissez-passer enable you to move
7 around freely at all times during the day?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: So anyone who carried a laissez-passer, thus,
10 would not be limited in movement by the curfew; is that correct? So that
11 anyone who had this laissez-passer could move around freely, regardless
12 of the curfew?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. One -- there was one
14 laissez-passer for all of the employees in the building. Not all the
15 employees had their own laissez-passer. There was just one.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Do you know if similar laissez-passers were given
17 to other Serbs outside the SJB -- sorry, outside the prison?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that, but I suppose
19 so, because life had to be somehow organised in town. There was a
20 hospital, there was a fire brigade, there were many other institutions.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: So, sir, how am I then to understand your
22 testimony? Because, on the one hand, you say that the curfew applied to
23 everyone; yet, it seems as if Serbs were given a laissez-passer that
24 would enable them to move around freely, regardless of the curfew.
25 So that, in the end, the curfew was selective, indeed, because it
1 applied, in fact, only to Muslims and Croats; is that correct?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't agree with you.
3 We had to organise food, and how were we supposed to organise
4 food if we were unable to leave the building? How could we go and take a
5 sick man to hospital, anyone who needed medical assistance.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand that. But if the freedom to move
7 around by virtue of the laissez-passer was a freedom given only to Serbs
8 but not to Muslims and Croats, then it seems to me that the curfew was
9 applied, in fact, in such a manner as to be discriminatory.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm telling you only what I know.
11 There was a Croat who worked at the beginning of the war as a guard in
12 our institution. Does that mean that all the Croats felt comfortable in
13 town? I can only tell you what was happening in my institution and in
14 the environment that I had an insight to.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, sir.
16 JUDGE HALL
17 Did the laissez-passer state on its face or do you otherwise know
18 on whose authority it was issued?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot remember. But I believe
20 that these laissez-passers were issued by the Crisis Staff. Because this
21 man who had brought it to us, he was a commissioner for health service.
22 For that reason, that I believe that it was the Crisis Staff who issued
23 those passes.
24 JUDGE HALL
25 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Vidic, I'm going to put you to a more specific question.
2 You did not get this pass because you were a Serb but because you
3 were an authorised official in a very important body, which also applied
4 to other important bodies that had to continue doing their work in that
6 Am I right?
7 A. Yes, you are.
8 Q. Therefore, if an employee of yours who was a Croat had to go to
9 town, this pass would enable him to move freely; is that correct?
10 A. Initially, as I said yesterday, that when I came to the prison
11 building, there were two or three guards, but don't hold me to that. We
12 did our best to organise the work of this institution, but I was not in a
13 position to undertake any measures, because it was Mr. Slavuljica who was
14 in charge of the guard service and he had the addresses of all his
15 employees, and it was Slavuljica gathered them together. As soon as they
16 would come, they would be appointed to certain jobs. I don't know how
17 long it took, but I think it took at least two weeks. All of us slept in
18 prison. We worked for six hours, then we would have rest of six hours.
19 And during the rest time people were allowed to go home and to see
20 whether their families needed anything.
21 Q. Very well. However, you didn't answer my question. This pass
22 was valid for all your employees, including the Croat, provided he was on
23 official business; is that correct?
24 A. If a guard leaves the institution, he was dressed in uniform;
25 therefore, he did not need a pass. The pass was only used by the
1 civilian employees.
2 Q. Therefore, this uniform of his identified him as an authorised
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. Since you mentioned the Crisis Staff, being unable to communicate
6 with the Ministry of Justice during that critical period, you practically
7 had to rely on the Crisis Staff. You even sent reports to them about the
8 situation in the prison, and you also sent them to other local recipients
9 because you were not able to contact the central government authorities;
10 is that correct?
11 A. Yes. And I informed the ministry about that as well. I told
12 them that we had to rely on the Crisis Staff in our work.
13 Q. We have tackled the subject of telephone communication lines that
14 you already described as problematic. Can you tell me, when was it when
15 regular telephone lines, if any, were established in 1992 with the
16 central government authorities?
17 A. At first, the telephones were disconnected. Shortly after I
18 called Mr. Slavuljica and told him what the situation in the prison was,
19 the telephone lines were disconnected.
20 It is difficult to -- for me to say after how much time the lines
21 were re-established. However, there was only one telephone line
22 available on the prison premises.
23 Q. You already said that the acting warden had been mobilized and
24 that he had gone to war. Do you know that the chief of the security
25 service centre, Mr. Bjelosevic, had also been mobilized and went to war?
1 Do you know anything about that?
2 A. No, I don't.
3 Q. Can we then agree that, so to speak, the situation in the area of
4 your responsibility normalised only towards the end of 1992, if one can
5 even say that it became normal?
6 A. The situation became normal maybe even slightly earlier than you
7 say. When the paramilitary groups were broken up - I don't know exactly
8 what happened - after that, all the incursions stopped because that
9 created the most serious problem for us. Because we were unable to
10 confront them, to resist them, and we were unable to organise normal
11 work. All the prisoners were afraid all the time.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, all the prisoners
13 were afraid all the time.
14 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. You spoke about this yesterday, but what I'm referring to now is
16 the economic aspect and the funding of the penal/correctional
17 institution. I think that I read somewhere that even from the funds that
18 you received for the convicts who worked at companies, that you used
19 these funds as well to provide food and make it possible for your
20 institution to survive?
21 A. Yes. At the beginning, the convicts and the detainees used to
22 perform labour, and the remuneration that they received were used by us
23 to supply food. I said that the situation improved only after the coming
24 of the UNHCR in Doboj.
25 Q. And I will wrap this up just by saying that this labour performed
1 by the convicts is provided by the law on the execution of penal and
2 correctional sections, and it has its specific purpose in the science
3 that you are an expert in. The purpose of it is to re-socialise these
4 people, to make them feel useful, and to facilitate their inclusion into
5 the civilian life after they had served their sentences. Therefore, it
6 was never meant to be forced labour; am I right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vidic.
9 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
10 Your Honours I have finished my cross-examination.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Vidic, you mentioned that the situation in
12 Doboj improved only after UNHCR had arrived. You may already have told
13 us so, but I simply have forgotten and I was unable to find it.
14 And my question is: Do you remember when UNHCR came around and
15 what they brought with them?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot be very precise about
17 their arrival. But I do know that from the moment that they came, we
18 started receiving from them the entire quantity of flour that we
19 required. We received beans, canned food, cooking oil, sugar, salt.
20 Everything that is necessary for subsistence.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Do you recall if it was in 1992 or was it in
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sure that they were there in
24 1993, but I don't know about 1992. I know that in 1992, the
25 International Red Cross representatives came, and they used to bring
1 clothes, hygiene items, things like that.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thanks.
3 Mr. Pantelic.
4 MR. PANTELIC: We don't have questions for this witness, Your
6 JUDGE HALL
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, Your Honour, just a few questions.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 Re-examination by Mr. Demirdjian:
10 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vidic.
11 A. Good morning.
12 Q. Just a few questions for you.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE HALL
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
16 Q. Mr. Vidic, in relation to the questions put by my learned friend
17 relating to the curfew, you were mentioning that you slept at the prison.
18 Could you clarify for the Trial Chamber until when you were -- you were
19 sleeping at the prison and when did you resume going back to your house?
20 A. From the 3rd of May onwards. However, how long it lasted, as I
21 said, I cannot tell you precisely, the duration of that period.
22 Q. Are you able to give us a ballpark, in terms of months, as to
23 when you would have resumed going back home?
24 A. Between 20 and 30 days. It didn't last too long. As soon as we
25 gathered the guards, perhaps 18 of them or so, we didn't sleep at the
1 prison from that moment on.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Cvijetic put to you that authorised officials received
3 the laissez-passer, and the Judges also asked you who were given those
5 Now, could you tell us who would see that the curfew was
7 A. It was the police.
8 Q. And how do you know that?
9 A. I know that because my mother whose brother fled Derventa with
10 his family after the Croats took over the town, he had been in prison,
11 but when he came to Doboj, we had a garden some 4 kilometres away. My
12 mother used to go there to work the land, in order to maintain this. She
13 would manage to go at 8.00 and come back in time. On one occasion she
14 was a little bit late in coming back, and then a policeman on the street
15 told her that she was overdue in coming back and that she should hurry
17 That's how I know about this.
18 Q. And, roughly speaking, when did this happen?
19 A. Well, immediately, as soon as this three-hour period of movement
20 was permitted. My mother used to go to our garden every day. She's an
21 elderly woman. She was born in 1925, and she needed an hour to get
22 there, an hour to come back, and some time to work the land. And, for
23 that reason, she had to go there every day.
24 Q. To your knowledge, in relation to authorised officials, were
25 there any non-Serb authorised officials in Doboj after the 3rd of May,
2 A. I don't know. I can only speak about the prison.
3 Q. And could you tell us, on the 3rd of May who was it that took
4 over the town of Doboj
5 A. The Serbs.
6 Q. Who were the members of the Crisis Staff in Doboj?
7 A. Probably the Serbs.
8 Q. And what was the situation of the non-Serbs in Doboj? You told
9 us that many of them were imprisoned. What happened to the rest of them?
10 A. The rest of them remained in their houses, in their homes.
11 Q. I'd like to move to the topic of the telephone lines.
12 You told us that it was disconnected at first. And you did tell
13 us that you eventually were able to speak to Mr. Slavuljica.
14 Could you tell us where Mr. Slavuljica was when you called him on
15 the 3rd of May?
16 A. He was in the army, but I don't know at which location. I really
17 never asked him.
18 Q. So did he tell you roughly -- when you say he was in the army, do
19 you know whether he was at the front lines, was he in the barracks? Do
20 you have any idea where he was, which number you called to reach him?
21 A. He gave me the number at which I can certainly reach him. But I
22 suppose that he was not on the front line.
23 Q. Can you help us in any way -- well, no, I'll withdraw that.
24 The last topic that I'd like to cover with you is the issue of
25 labour for the prisoners.
1 Prior to the war, who was held at the economic unit, also known
2 as Spreca?
3 A. I don't understand your question.
4 Q. What kind of prisoners were held at Spreca?
5 A. All of those who were allowed to leave the compound, with the
6 exception of the persons who, for security reasons, were not allowed to
7 leave the compound of the prison. Everybody else was allowed to go.
8 Q. Were these people serving sentences?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Prior to the war, would persons on remand be taken out for
12 A. No.
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE HALL
16 end. You're released as a witness, and we wish -- we thank you for your
17 assistance to the Tribunal and we wish you a safe journey back to your
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 [The witness withdrew]
21 JUDGE HALL
22 communication we had is that you have -- yes, Mr. Hannis.
23 [Overlapping speakers] ... Witness for the week.
24 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I'm kind of standing halfway so all the
25 Judges can see me around the pillar.
1 We have no more witnesses for this week. I would indicate that
2 we had tentatively tried to schedule ST-189 for the last day of this
3 week. You may recall this was a witness who was unable to travel for his
4 previously scheduled period due to the travel disruptions caused by the
5 volcanic ash. He has a work commitment in -- in his home country next
6 week and because we didn't think we would be able to have him on and
7 finished before the long weekend, we didn't schedule him. That
8 scheduling was made based partly on the Defence estimate of
9 cross-examination time for this witness of five hours.
10 I understand the position that you can't tell exactly how much
11 time you're going to need until you hear what a witness has to say, but I
12 would note, this witness, they had his interview and, frankly, my
13 assessment is he didn't say anything significantly different from what he
14 said in his interview.
15 So I'm not sure why the five hours was estimated.
16 But, be that as it may, we have no other witness for the rest of
17 this week, and we have the scheduled witness to begin on May the 3rd that
18 is -- has been the subject of some previous scheduling difficulties
19 before, but he will be here then and that will be a full week with him, I
21 JUDGE HALL
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE HALL
24 sittings for next week, so we will reconvene in Courtroom I at 2.15 on
25 Monday afternoon, and I certainly wish everyone a safe weekend.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 9.55 a.m.
2 to be reconvened on Monday, the 3rd of May, 2010,
3 at 2.15 p.m.