1 Tuesday, 29 June 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 Good morning, everyone in and around the courtroom.
7 This is case IT-08-91-T, the Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and
8 Stojan Zupljanin.
9 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Good morning everyone.
11 May we have today's appearances, please.
12 MR. OLMSTED: Good morning, Your Honours. Matthew Olmsted and
13 Crispian Smith for the Prosecution.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
15 Slobodan Cvijetic, Eugene O'Sullivan, and Ms. Tatjana Savic appearing for
16 Stanisic Defence this morning. Thank you.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For Zupljanin
18 Defence, Igor Pantelic.
19 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
20 [The witness takes the stand]
21 JUDGE HALL: Good morning to you, Mr. Drasko. You may resume
22 your seat.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. Thank you.
24 JUDGE HALL: And before I invite Mr. Cvijetic to resume his
25 cross-examination, I remind you you're still on your oath.
1 WITNESS: LAZAR DRASKO [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Cvijetic.
4 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Cvijetic: [Continued]
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Drasko.
7 A. Good morning, Mr. Cvijetic, and colleague, because I'm also a
9 Q. Before we resume, there's something interpreters asked us to ask
10 you. Please make a pause before answering a question and be close to the
11 mic so that we can hear the answer and let us not overlap. Thank you.
12 We -- yesterday I was showing you -- I was about to show you a
14 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] It's P633.
15 Q. Mr. Drasko, you certainly know that Visegrad SJB belongs to
16 Trebinje CSB; am I correct?
17 A. I believe you are.
18 Q. One can see that in the heading of this document. This is a
19 short review of the military and security situation in the Serbian
20 municipality of Visegrad. This overview was drafted in the Visegrad SJB.
21 Can you see that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Let us now move to the relevant part of the document, which can
24 be found on the following -- on the second page.
25 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] And in English, most probably,
1 it's page 3. So in the Serbian version, it's the following - yes, this
2 one - and if we could enlarge the last paragraph on that page.
3 On both pages it's in the last paragraph.
4 Q. So, please, take a look at this last paragraph. It is stated
5 there that from the very first days when the town was liberated, the
6 Visegrad Public Security Station has functioned. Its senior officers
7 were appointed by the War Presidency of Visegrad municipality.
8 And then it states that the station was manned with personnel
9 from the area, that is to say, former MUP employees and so on.
10 Mr. Drasko, in relation to what we've discussed yesterday in
11 relation to this proposal regarding your appointment, we can see
12 here - and can you please confirm this - that local authorities were
13 rather involved in the personnel policy, not only in the prosecutor's
14 office but also in the SJBs. Am I right?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. OLMSTED: I would object to this question. For one thing,
17 this document is dated July 1992, before this witness came to Visegrad,
18 long before he came to Visegrad. And, secondly, the Defence is asking
19 this witness to comment on personnel issues with regard to the police
20 which, of course, there's no foundation for, at least established at this
21 point, how this witness knows how police officers were appointed.
22 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Cvijetic.
23 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness
24 confirmed what's stated in the document. He obviously is aware of this
25 role of the local authorities. He lived in the municipality in question.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is no doubt that, at the
2 time, attempts were made to create the rule of law, and that is why, at
3 the time of my arrival and before, I know that in Tasovcici, in Bileca,
4 Trebinje, and Visegrad, there were efforts to create the rule of law and
5 to have the government function.
6 JUDGE HALL: So the -- this is another example of a broad pattern
7 of what was going on. But how does it assist us in terms of the issues
8 with which this trial are concerned?
9 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the course of the
10 proceedings so far, you have certainly observed that Defence case
11 involves that during 1992 many appointments in SJBs were made by the
12 Crisis Staffs, War Commissioners offices, and other local authorities.
13 This question of mine is important because it shows de jure and de facto
14 control over such stations.
15 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, this is exactly the objection I'm
16 raising. This document is dated July 1992; it's talking about events in
17 Visegrad early on in the conflict; and this witness is really not in a
18 position to comment on it. To show this witness a document that I assume
19 the witness has never seen before and ask him to comment on something
20 that occurred before he even showed up in the municipality is just not an
21 appropriate line of questioning.
22 JUDGE HALL: And the document, for whatever use can be made of
23 it, speaks for itself.
24 MR. OLMSTED: Exactly, Your Honour. And it's been admitted into
1 JUDGE HALL: Please, let's move on, Mr. Cvijetic.
2 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Drasko, do you know that the local public security station
4 with which you probably cooperated had personnel problems because they
5 were, according to the systematisation or establishment of posts, they
6 were short-staffed, also because of possible involvement of police
7 officers in the fighting and the war?
8 A. Upon arrival in Visegrad, I realised that not only they were
9 short-staffed but that they don't even have enough fighters to defend the
10 area that was in between Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde. Many people
11 deserted the ranks. One can see that from criminal reports I drafted at
12 certain points in time there were not more than 150 men at the front
13 lines. Now I don't know about the police, so -- but the police was
14 forced to strengthen the lines. Many policemen also got killed.
15 Q. Yes. You anticipated my following question. Namely, my learned
16 friend, Mr. Olmsted, showed you a list of police members from the month
17 of October. And we noticed that at the time already four of them had
18 been killed, which is a confirmation of what you just told us. But to
19 finish with this document --
20 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go to the last
21 page of the document.
22 Q. Penultimate paragraph, Mr. Drasko. Could you please find the
23 sentence where 2000 is numbered. It is stated here that:
24 "Through the activity of the Red Cross, over 2.000 Muslims were
25 moved out in an organised manner from the area of the municipality."
1 Now, I would like to remind you that this was done under the
2 organisation of the municipal organs. Can you confirm that the Red Cross
3 was also involved?
4 A. I have heard this from late Baton [phoen]. I can't remember his
5 surname at the moment. That's how people used to call him, Baton.
6 Namely, that they were organising convoys for the movement of civilian
7 population out of the town. I don't know how many people left, but I
8 know that from Capljina, where I used to live, not a person could leave.
9 Q. But my question to you was whether you know whether Red Cross was
10 involved in these activities.
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I want to show
14 another document to the witness, already in evidence; P158, please.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel please switch off his
16 microphone when not using it.
17 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Cvijetic, did you hear the request to switch off
18 your microphone when you aren't using it.
19 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Drasko, this is a report or information on the work of the
21 Trebinje CSB from 1st of July to 15th of August, 1992.
22 I would like to draw your attention to the following page of the
24 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have the following
25 page. I assume, then, the following -- this is just a certificate stamp.
1 Yes, the following page in the Serbian version. It's this
2 paragraph which starts with the words:
3 "Special programme" -- "special problem." In the English
4 version, it's non-functional communication system. Let me just check if
5 we are on the right page. Yes, we are.
6 Q. Mr. Drasko, this information, as we've discussed just now, the
7 chief of the CSB was Mr. Krsto Savic, and here they are enumerating some
8 of their problems: short-staffing -- short-staffed, you mentioned that;
9 then the problems with the communications; lack of equipment; shortages
10 of fuel that are very common; and breakup of communication because of
11 which we are not even now able of processing the information from old
13 In the document which was actually a proposal for your
14 appointment, it is stated, and I pointed that out to you, that the
15 proposal should be sent using radio communications. The document I've
16 shown you before this one, namely, the report on some security problems
17 in the area, it was stated that a courier should be used.
18 Now, this is what I want to ask you: Geographically speaking,
19 was Visegrad physically connected to Trebinje in such a way that one
20 could stay within the Republika Srpska territory?
21 A. No. We needed to go through Priboj and Podgorica, me and my
22 family. And when we were on our way to Sarajevo, we had to go through
23 Sjemac. Through Sjemac.
24 Q. Hold on a second. We have to wait for the interpreters.
25 So you were saying you went through the territory of --
1 A. Serbia. Priboj and Uzice we travelled by train, and then by bus
2 to Trebinje. When I was in Sarajevo to make my pledge of allegiance, I
3 had to cross the Sjemac mountain. This road goes via Rogatica. Since
4 there were constant sabotage actions along that route, on one occasion,
5 when I was travelling with Colonel Luka Dragicevic, he gave me his rifle
6 and he told me, Listen, if Muslims are about to capture me, kill me.
7 Don't let them get me alive.
8 The communication was very difficult.
9 Q. You answered my question in your last sentence, so I won't repeat
11 You mentioned the oath you had to make. That's an oath that has
12 to be made by judges and prosecutors; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Let us now go to the very end of
15 this document. In the Serbian version, the paragraph begins on the
16 previous page.
17 Could we please go back to that page. In the English version,
18 it's also the last paragraph. I don't know if we have it, but we should
19 see it on our screens.
20 Q. Mr. Drasko, this report says the following:
21 "For the well-known reasons of the non-functioning of judiciary
22 organs in this area, reports were not filed in a timely fashion, although
23 most of the cases have been processed and completed, which will be done
24 very soon."
25 And then the author of the report adds that a -- an additional
1 difficulty with the completing of criminal reports is the fact that the
2 perpetrators are impossible to identify, and it's also impossible to
3 apprehend and interrogate the individuals who have taken part in the
4 commitment of those crimes.
5 Now, I would like to know about your experiences in the year
6 1992. One of the basic problems in your work was the inability to reach
7 both the victims and the perpetrators of the crimes, in order to do the
8 work required; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Cvijetic, the last part that you read out
11 from the document, does that also appear in the English translation? And
12 the reason I'm asking is that the paragraph -- the penultimate
13 paragraph seems to suggest that, in the last sentence, that 28 reports
14 were registered against identified perpetrators; whereas, nine of the
15 reports were against unknown perpetrators.
16 This would seem to suggest that, in fact, by far the majority of
17 the reports that were filed were against identified perpetrators. So I'm
18 just confused about the apparent inconsistence between the two parts of
19 the evidence that you have shown us.
20 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a known perpetrator
21 can also be outside of the reach of the law enforcement bodies. I was
22 speaking about the impossibility to reach them physically, and the
23 reasons are stated here.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel please switch off his
25 microphone when he is not using it. Thank you.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: Once again, Mr. Cvijetic, the interpreters are
2 asking that you switch off your mic when you're not using it. Thanks.
3 Now --
4 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] May I continue?
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Well, I'm not sure I completely understood the
6 reasons why you said it was impossible to physically apprehend the
8 I can imagine what these reasons were, but what's -- what is the
9 evidence that you are bringing out to this effect?
10 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it may be best for
11 me to ask the witness.
12 Q. Mr. Drasko, the victims of criminal offences, the witnesses were
13 persons that the police and the prosecutors often couldn't reach;
15 A. That's true to some extent because many perpetrators were
16 volunteers who went to Serbia with their loot, and there were a great
17 many of them. They hadn't come to fight but to loot. As soon as they
18 were able to come by some goods and weapons, they would leave for Serbia.
19 Q. Do continue speaking about victims and witnesses too.
20 A. I, as a prosecutor, worked on a case. A young man by the name of
21 Mitrasinovic killed his father. The mother complained of him mistreating
22 her. And when he came back from the front line, he met his father at
23 home and shot him from a fire-arm. We put him in detention, and the
24 police placed him in remand prison. While I was working on the case and
25 drafting a -- a request for investigation, his brother came back from the
1 front line armed with an automatic rifle. He entered our office, he
2 pointed his fire-arm at me, and said, Let my brother go. He killed my
3 father not yours. And I froze. I did understand that he hadn't come to
4 kill me, and I was able to calm him down. And I said to him that he must
5 leave my office immediately otherwise I would lock him up too.
6 For a while he was pointing his rifle at me, and then he put it
7 down and left, and I never saw the man again.
8 This is an example of the situation we were in as prosecutors.
9 We were always risking losing our lives. There was no judiciary police,
10 there was no regular police to protect us, or the military police for
11 that matter.
12 Q. We'll get there, but we owed an answer to Judge Harhoff.
13 Do answer the following question though: The victims of criminal
14 offences and witnesses and now -- I'm -- now I'm referring to non-Serbs,
15 Muslims, very often could not be reached because they were in a territory
16 that didn't belong to the RS?
17 A. That is correct. I only -- I was only able to find ten persons;
18 all of them were in prison at Uzamnica.
19 Q. So while working on criminal offences where the victims were
20 non-Serbs, that is, Muslims, a problem was also procuring evidence if it
21 involved the participation of witnesses who are relatives or whatever but
23 A. Yes. It is impossible to work when you have no idea of what
24 happened and you have no information.
25 MR. OLMSTED: I'm objecting to this line of questioning because
1 it seems purely hypothetical. I think the witness has stated during
2 examination that there were no cases involving non-Serb victims that were
3 reported by the police. So I'm not sure where this is leading us. This
4 witness is simply speculating how hard it would be to investigate a crime
5 against a non-Serb when there are none. So I'm not sure this is helpful
6 evidence to the Tribunal.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: And if I may add, Mr. Cvijetic, I thought that
8 your line of questioning was designed to explain to us why the
9 perpetrators could not be apprehended or investigated. And so far,
10 I'm -- I'm being presented with evidence to show that the focus really
11 wasn't on the perpetrators, but, rather, on the victims, and since the
12 victims had fled, you couldn't investigate. But -- but that's taking the
13 whole story from behind, if I may say so.
14 So where are we going?
15 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the line of
16 questioning about this is not yet finished; I have only just started.
17 And I'll finish with a relevant topic, and that is the issue of war
18 crimes and working on war crimes.
19 I'm moving toward that topic, possibly in an unorthodox manner,
20 but I'll get there relatively soon. And I will discuss it with this
21 witness by showing him some documents.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: That's very good. I look forward to that. But
23 may I add that I would have wished that you started with this issue
24 rather than in the end because then we could have saved the time.
25 Please move on and get to your point, Mr. Cvijetic.
1 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see Exhibit P166.
2 Q. Mr. Drasko, let us take a look at the heading so we know what
3 this is about before we go to the last page.
4 This is a dispatch of the CSB of Trebinje which was sent out on
5 the 9th October -- of October, 1992, and it was sent to the MUP of -- in
6 Bijeljina to the Crime Prevention Department.
7 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Let us go to the last
8 paragraph immediately. Yes.
9 Q. This is the last paragraph. I don't know if you can read it.
10 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps we can enlarge it.
11 Q. Mr. Drasko, here, the chief of the centre points out problems in
12 their work and in the uncovering of crimes; that is, the perpetrators
13 thereof. He speaks about personnel shortage, the use of personnel at the
14 front line, the impossibility to bring in persons that have some
15 connection to crimes for interviewing, which is something we have just
16 discussed, and he says:
17 "For a longer time, judiciary bodies have not been functioning,
18 military and regular prosecutor's offices and courts, and in some areas
19 such as Visegrad, such a situation still persists."
20 Of course, at the time when he was writing this. And on-site
21 investigations were conducted in the absence of the investigating judge,
22 the prosecutor, and so on.
23 Furthermore, he goes on to speak about problems when military
24 bodies are supposed to work on a crime. He says that they don't go to
25 the site; whereas, the civilian police assists them in collecting
2 Now, here's my question to you concerning these allegations:
3 Mr. Drasko, the prosecution and processing of war crimes is in the
4 jurisdiction of Military Prosecutor's Offices and the military judiciary
5 in general; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In a situation when all able-bodied men in the territory covered
8 by, let's say, the CSB of Trebinje and your municipality became
9 conscripts, they came under the jurisdiction of military courts if they
10 committed other crimes in that territory; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You will agree with me, then, won't you, when I say that the
13 military judiciary bodies processed them even if they commit crimes
14 against persons of other ethnicities, regardless of the nature of the
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You will agree with me, won't you, that this is the source of the
18 problem? Because the military judiciary only started working in 1992,
19 but from the point of view of manning and equipment, they were not able
20 to work on such a large number of cases that now was in their
22 A. Yes. I called military judges and prosecutors parade horses
23 because they only paraded about but they didn't really do their job,
24 although they were receiving their salaries from Serbia.
25 Q. Let us continue discussing the topic of war crimes then.
1 You will agree with me, won't you, when I say that for the
2 processing of war crimes - now that we have clarified the matter of
3 jurisdiction - it was necessary to create the required preconditions;
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You will agree with me, won't you, when I say that one of the
7 basic preconditions was that all three peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina
8 understand and accept the fact that they must make it possible for a
9 member -- for members of their people to be tried for the crimes they
10 committed; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In addition to the fact that national consciousness had to come
13 to its germination, another precondition was to make sure that the
14 judicial system within a state has all the staff, all the expertise, and
15 all the equipment necessary for processing crimes, such as war crimes; is
16 that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Furthermore, you will agree with me, won't you, that it was
19 necessary to have general safety preconditions in place, both for victims
20 and witnesses and for law enforcement organs so that they can carry out
21 their job without any bias and in a focussed manner; am I correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Mr. Blasko --
24 A. It's Drasko.
25 Q. My apologies. You will agree with me, won't you, that in 1992,
1 unlike in other war years, not one of these preconditions was in place
2 for proper processing of war crimes; am I correct?
3 A. Mostly.
4 Q. Do you know that in some larger military courts, prosecutors were
5 conducting the processing of the case, and once encountering any of the
6 problems mentioned before, such as inability to interview victims or
7 witnesses, or could not do the technical, let's say, excavation of mass
8 graves, they decided to suspend investigation until the conditions were
9 available and ripe; are you aware of that fact?
10 A. That's what I did in all of my cases.
11 Q. And there was a practical reason behind that. Had the prosecutor
12 been insistent in processing the cases, it could have happened that many
13 of the perpetrators would have been found not guilty because of the lack
14 of evidence?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. [No interpretation]
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The risks were obvious. Had they been acquitted, they would be
19 under the non bis in idem principle. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Let me just repeat. These people could never be tried again; am
24 I correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Which was according to this principle of non bis in idem?
2 A. Yes. There was a case such as that in Trebinje.
3 Q. So you will agree with me, won't you, that in a situation like
4 that it was more useful to document the criminal offences, to collect
5 whatever evidence that's available at the time, and then wait for the
6 conditions to be present for processing of criminal cases in question?
7 A. Yes, that would be the normal procedure. But all my criminal
8 reports were dropped by Rajko Bojat [phoen] in Sarajevo because of lack
9 of evidence, and the process was stopped.
10 Q. Yet all the criminal offences remained live, and investigation
11 could have been continued at any point?
12 A. Unfortunately, the prosecutor's office in east Sarajevo does not
13 wish to do so, it seems. They haven't done anything so far, at least.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Witness, your testimony is that
15 investigations were given up because of the risk that the perpetrators
16 would have been acquitted in case of a Prosecution because of the lack of
18 Now, would you not, under such circumstances, ensure that at
19 least a registration was made of the investigation and then a note that
20 the investigation was temporarily suspended until such time as the
21 investigations could be resumed?
22 Do you know if such registrations or notes were made in each of
23 these cases?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when I found out
25 about this case, I informed the prosecutor of Bosnia-Herzegovina; the
1 Prosecutor was Mr. Jucevic [phoen]. And cases -- and I copied all the
2 files that I had with me and sent them to the court in question, which
3 was done also by other lawyers. In Simsic case was Mr. Karkin, Fahrija
4 and a prosecutor of Bosnia-Herzegovina - since they knew about the
5 cases - was the body in charge of further processing them, especially
6 when one is talking about, for instance, Jelesic case where the victims
7 were children, and there were plenty of such cases.
8 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. What nationality were the -- or what ethnicity were the children?
10 A. They were Serbs. I apologise, may I add something?
11 Q. Yes, go on.
12 A. Upon my arrival in Visegrad, I was made aware of this case, but
13 none of the investigative judges could go there because it was in the war
14 zone, and only a misdemeanour judge went there, together with a film
15 team. They made an on-site investigation. And upon his return, I helped
16 him to file or draft a report. And this was only 30 days after the event
17 itself. In other words, before my arrival, there hadn't been anyone
18 there who could have made such a report on the on-site investigation, and
19 the military prosecutors refused to go there.
20 In my yearly report, I stated that in Serbia conditions are such
21 that those who are afraid are glorified, and heros are being laughed at.
22 Because this situation showed that if somebody dies on the front line,
23 the military police -- the Military Prosecutor's Office do not go and
24 conduct on-site investigations.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE HALL: Yes, please continue, Mr. Cvijetic.
2 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Q. Mr. Drasko, I failed to mention another condition that was
4 necessary, namely, to have all the regulation within the state adjusted
5 to processing war crimes; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. For instance, at the time, in 1992, there was no law or act on
8 protection of witnesses; is that correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. Only with the reform of the judiciary in the 2000s things were
11 organised in such a way -- or, rather, in a way that is organised before
12 this Tribunal; is that right?
13 A. That's right. Unfortunately, this is something that applies only
14 to this Tribunal. It does not happen in such a way in Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina. There, the witnesses are really at risk. The law you
16 mentioned is only on paper, but it's not really being implemented.
17 Q. Mr. Drasko, let me round up this topic by giving you an example.
18 You spoke about the facts that your wife was a prisoner in
19 detention camp called Dretelj in the municipality of Capljina. Let's
20 just make it clear: Geographically speaking, of course, this area was
21 under the control of the Croatian forces.
22 A. That's correct. At the time, it was -- this area was held
23 jointly by Muslims and Croats. At the time they were together.
24 Q. You told us that there, in the area under their control, there
25 were 2- to 300 such centres for holding Serbs, some of them of private
1 nature even. Did I understand you well?
2 A. Yes. And this was also a privately held detention facility.
3 Q. With your permission, I would like to speak about what was being
4 done in the camp of Dretelj. Namely, what I want to propose is that you
5 decide whether we will discuss this issue on closed -- in closed session
6 or in public session, because one can find that in your statement.
7 A. I believe this is not relevant for this trial. There is a trial
8 going on in Norway and in Sweden, and I -- I think that the perpetrators
9 in that case who are neo-fascists should be tried in other countries, not
10 only Norway and Sweden.
11 Q. What I wanted to ask you really was when were such cases
12 processed? How many years after the war?
13 JUDGE HALL: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Cvijetic,
14 Mr. Olmsted is on his feet.
15 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you. Thank you. The witness is a
16 prosecutor, and I think he thinks along the same lines as I do, on
17 relevancy grounds. We're about to go into war crimes committed against
18 Serbs and a case that involves this witness's spouse. It's tu quoque,
19 it's not relevant to this case, and I think it's just not going to be a
20 good use of cross-examination time.
21 JUDGE HALL: I was about -- before Mr. Olmsted rose to intervene,
22 I was about to observe, having regard to the witness's comment about
23 relevance, that whereas matters of relevance are for the Bench and not
24 the witness, this is, in my view, so painly [sic] irrelevant,
25 Mr. Cvijetic, that you should desist.
1 In other words, please move to a different line of questions.
2 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe you may
3 have focussed on what the wife of this witness went through. But the
4 essence of what I'm saying is this was -- these cases were not processed
5 until this day by the organs of the Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours, we'll move to a
17 different topic. I only wanted to discuss the conditions necessary for
18 processing of a case with the witness.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Drasko, you spoke about moving out of a Muslim
20 population, about crimes during the direct examination. In one of the
21 reports presented to us - and I think it was a military report - it was
22 stated that the Serbian population was also moving out of the area. And
23 what I'd like to hear from you is an answer to the question whether this
24 was connected with the wartime operations, because I guess we'll agree
25 that Visegrad was in the zone of the combat activities throughout the
2 A. Let me explain.
3 When my wife, myself, and the three children of ours came to
4 Visegrad, I heard a story, according to which there was a judge and a
5 doctor coming to Visegrad and everybody else moving out of Visegrad.
6 Q. I'm asking you this because I have a document with your signature
7 on it, and, if necessary, I will show it. I hope you can confirm that
8 you remember the document, in which you state that from 1990, in the area
9 of Visegrad, inter-ethnic relations had been disturbed, which was
10 reflected in the events described in this report signed by you, at least
11 I assume, in March of 1993, and they refer to the events from 1990 till
12 1992. Do you remember the document?
13 A. Yes, I wrote it, and there's no doubt that families from Uzice,
14 Obrenovac, that is, relatives of Visegrad people who lived there,
15 protested against the terror that prevailed after the election victory by
16 the SDA party.
17 Q. You mentioned that some people had been driven out. Which
19 A. Serbs.
20 Q. After the multi-party elections in that area, the SDA had the
21 majority, certainly, because the ethnic makeup of the municipality was
22 such. And then the Serbs, as the minority at the time, were being
23 persecuted. Was that the subject of your report?
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. OLMSTED: I have to raise a foundational objection again.
1 This witness stated during his examination-in-chief that I think he said
2 he was through Visegrad once prior to moving there in late August 1992.
3 Now my learned friend is asking him a number of questions of what
4 happened after the 1990 elections and the SDA power in the Visegrad
5 before the conflict.
6 I think there has to be at least a degree of foundation here
7 before we proceed any further to establish where this witness is getting
8 this information. Is he getting it from word on the street when he
9 arrived in Visegrad, from literature that he read. I mean, we just don't
10 have any foundation to establish that this witness can talk about this
11 subject matter in a credible and helpful manner.
12 JUDGE HALL: I had the impression though, Mr. Olmsted, that the
13 foundation on which Mr. Cvijetic was relying was the witness's own
15 MR. OLMSTED: Well, again, I mean, this witness was not in
16 Visegrad until the end of August 1992, and we're talking about events
17 that preceded that date significantly. So I'm not sure how this is --
18 this is going to be useful evidence.
19 JUDGE HALL: Well, I tend to agree with you there. But the -- to
20 the extent that Mr. Cvijetic is relying on the witness's report, such
21 challenge as you have -- as you are able to make to the basis on which he
22 came to those conclusions is a different issue than the immediate
23 question as to whether Mr. Cvijetic can base his questions on the
24 witness's report.
25 And, Mr. Cvijetic, you would have gathered from my response to
1 Mr. Olmsted that, to the extent that you're relying on this, it is only
2 such of it as is relevant for our purposes, that we need hear about.
3 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, and that is,
4 indeed, my intention. I will show the exhibit. It's Exhibit D034304.
5 [Defence counsel confer]
6 Q. Mr. Drasko, do you recognise the introduction of this document?
7 A. Yes, I wrote it.
8 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber how you made this chronological
9 sequence of events from 1990 until 1992 in the Visegrad municipality, on
10 what grounds? And you mentioned dates, names, and events here.
11 A. The prosecutor Sahim Muhic and Ms. Tanaskovic were in charge of
12 the investigation of these cases. Furthermore, it was well-known in all
13 of Yugoslavia that Murat Sabanovic tried to blow up the dam on the Drina.
14 Then there was the destruction of the statue erected to Ivo Andric. And
15 then there were Croatian extremists and Muslim extremists who were killed
16 in Hercegnovi. In Visegrad, Murat Sabanovic destroyed the statue erected
17 to Ivo Andric. His brother, Avdija, was the vice-president of the SDA,
18 and he was behind all that.
19 In Visegrad, to establish law and order, the district attorney,
20 Rato Ruljevac [phoen] I believe his name was, to do that -- one wanted to
21 do that and went there, and the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina also
22 wanted to establish peace there.
23 The SDA had its plans called Brijest and Jelen. Those were like
24 the plans of Fascist Germany. And the departure of Serbs from the town
25 was an element of those plans. Even a fleet on the Drina was organised,
1 consisting of armed vessels, and it was all about a system of arming and
2 seizing power in the town. But it was prevented by the arrival of the
3 Uzice Corps. Even then, tunnels were dug for them to be prevented to
4 come. In April 1992, the units of the Uzice Corps entered Visegrad, and
5 when they withdrew, the war started.
6 Q. Do confirm to me that you got all this information from official
7 documents that you found in archives.
8 A. Yes. If necessary, I can show a police report which I have on
9 me, but I haven't used it. It's from that period, and it's about the
10 conduct of -- conduct of Murat Sabanovic. I can find it. It must be
11 here somewhere.
12 Q. We believe that you have it. Let me just ask you, on page 5 of
13 the document, I would like to know how you got this information. You say
14 here that the SJB - do listen to me, please - distributed weapons and
15 ammunition to Muslim extremists and that's why all Serbs left the SJB in
16 March 1992. The exact date is mentioned too. How did you get that
18 A. There are documents to show that, official documents. And also
19 we can see an order issued by the Visegrad Crisis Staff for
20 Avdija Sabanovic to be tasked with establishing peace, and he takes
21 charge of the police.
22 Q. Do repeat the name.
23 A. Avdija Sabanovic, the brother of Murat Sabanovic, is tasked with
24 establishing law and order. And police and law enforcement were
25 duty-bound to obey him. I have the document here.
1 Q. So, basically, we're talking about Muslim extremists that -- who
2 were the authority in Visegrad and who ran things there?
3 A. Yes. I found it here. This is a criminal report against
4 Murat Sabanovic and Senad Kahriman, because on the
5 20th of September, 1992, they attacked police officers on duty.
6 Q. Mr. Drasko, you are proceeding in chronological order, and you
7 mention incidents in which Serbs were victims; they were being killed.
8 And they -- you also mentioned the incident where children were killed.
9 Did you have official information about that?
10 A. Yes. There was some video footage, and Miroslav Kojic was -- was
11 on site to investigate. There is a report about that. The footage was
12 also shown.
13 Q. Mr. Drasko, you are a civilian prosecutor, and you sent this
14 document to the Military Prosecutor's Office at Sokolac because you
15 believed that if some of these offences are war crimes, that they should
16 be dealt with by the military prosecutor; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is about the
19 general context of events from 1990 till the end of 1992. This context
20 is dealt with by the indictment, and it was dealt with by the OTP in the
21 pre-trial brief. This Trial Chamber, too, has adopted a package of
22 adjudicated facts that have to do with the general context in the
23 Visegrad municipality. In order to grasp the overall context and all
24 events, I seek to tender this document as a Defence exhibit because the
25 author of the document is present and has confirmed the authenticity and
1 correctness of the allegations in the document. He signed it, and he
2 stands by it. And this also is part of his perceived credibility as a
3 witness because he fairly deals with the matter of war crimes and wartime
4 events in the Visegrad municipality as viewed from both sides.
5 MR. OLMSTED: The Prosecution would object to the admission of
6 this -- this document.
7 It's a -- a report to the state documentation centre for the
8 investigation of war crimes against members of the Serbian People. By
9 its very title, it's tu quoque. It's dealing with war crimes committed
10 against Serb victims.
11 The Prosecution is not challenging the idea that law enforcement
12 and the judicial system were reporting war crimes committed against
13 Serbs, and so this really isn't relevant to this case --
14 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Olmsted, subject, of course, to the general
15 rule of -- the overriding principle of relevance, isn't the rule that
16 cross-examination is, at large, and as I understand Mr. Cvijetic's
17 position, is that, whereas the contents of this document may, in their
18 detail, relate to matters that do not counter what -- facts in which the
19 Prosecution are relying, they are -- it is admissible because it is an
20 item which would assist the Chamber in assessing the credibility of the
22 I believe that's a fair summary of Mr. Cvijetic's position.
23 Mr. Cvijetic?
24 MR. OLMSTED: Well, Your Honours, if that is -- if that is the
25 case, if it's for going to the credibility of the witness, of course, we
1 wouldn't object on that grounds, of course.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE HALL: So the document is admitted and marked.
4 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D333 [Realtime translation read in
5 error "1D33"], Your Honours.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm pretty sure that cannot be 1D33, I'm sorry.
7 THE REGISTRAR: That is correct; it's 1D333.
8 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I note the time. I
9 believe it's time for the break.
10 JUDGE HALL: Yeah, I was going to suggest, whereas we're about
11 two minutes early of the break, perhaps this is a convenient point.
12 And I would remind you, Mr. Cvijetic, when we return, that, if I
13 remember the Registry calculations correctly, you would have about
14 40 minutes left.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 --- Recess taken at 10.23 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.
18 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, just for the record, the Prosecution
19 is now joined by Tom Hannis and Alex Demirdjian.
20 And before the witness is escorted in, if I could just seek a
21 clarification on the Trial Chamber's ruling on the last document that was
22 admitted, 1D333. It is unclear to the Prosecution whether the Defence
23 purports this document bolsters the testimony of the witness or
24 challenges the witness's credibility. We're entitled to know this to
25 determine whether the Defence sees this witness as telling the truth or
1 to lack credibility. If it's for the purposes of enhancing his
2 credibility, bolstering his credibility, then the relevance of it -- or
3 the purpose of the document really is -- is not necessary because there
4 is no challenge by the Prosecution at this point to the credibility of
5 this witness.
6 JUDGE HALL: Of course, in order to deal with the last part of
7 your observation, Mr. Olmsted, the -- the Chamber's already ruled on the
8 admissibility. In terms of the first part, I would have thought that
9 this is something that you would deduce from the line of questions that
10 the other side frames.
11 And then, of course, to the extent that it has now been made
12 an -- I shouldn't say be made an issue, to the extent that they are
13 relying on it for such purposes as you may deduce, you do have a right to
15 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, Your Honour, I see your point. But we simply
16 want to know whether the Defence challenge the credibility of this
17 witness and whether that's the purpose of this document, is to challenge
18 his credibility or to bolster it.
19 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Cvijetic did say what he -- what his purpose
20 was, and we had an understanding of it. And I don't know what your
21 appreciation of it would be, but we'll see where we go.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Cvijetic, please continue.
25 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Mr. Drasko, we'll now finish with the last document I intend to
2 show to you.
3 Yesterday, in response to a question put to you by my learned
4 colleague, you spoke about the kidnapping of either 17 or 18 Muslims, and
5 you were also asked whether Republika Srpska authorities took any
6 measures to clear up the events surrounding this criminal offence.
7 Do you remember this question put to you by the Prosecutor?
8 A. I think so. It's not a very clear recollection that I have of
9 the question, but it's a well-known question.
10 Q. What you made certain in your response -- in response yesterday
11 was that the kidnapping took place in Republika Serbia -- Republic of
12 Serbia and that the victims were also citizens of Republic of Serbia?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. The role of the organs of Republika Srpska in relation to that
15 case would be only at the level of assistance in resolving the case?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. [Microphone not activated]
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Cvijetic.
19 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. I will show you a document now, 1D00-2433.
21 I don't know whether you have the magnifying-glass still.
22 A. I returned it.
23 Q. But you can still read. Now it's enlarged. Maybe it will be
24 easier to read it now.
25 This is a dispatch by the SJB Visegrad, dated
1 25th of October, 1992.
2 You will also notice that in handwriting one can see the words:
3 "Re: Dispatch link them together 26th of October."
4 Can you see that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Have I read properly what's written in the handwriting?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Just to clarify, Visegrad and Rudo are the municipalities closest
9 to the location where the crime took place; am I correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Also, one can see from this dispatch that the Visegrad SJB is
12 referring to a dispatch by the Ministry of the Interior, dated
13 25th of October, 1992, and that, for all practical purposes, they are
14 just giving a response to the said dispatch - if you want, you can read
15 it in the document - and in relation to the activities of the SJBs
16 concerning these events; can we see this in this dispatch?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. At the bottom of the document, one can see that the minister of
19 the interior was -- has shown personal interest in this case. And the
20 chief of the SJB, Risto Perisic, mentions that in the bottom part of the
22 Can you see that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Before showing you the next document, can you please tell me
25 whether you were aware that the Visegrad SJB was involved in clearing up
1 the case?
2 A. Well, based on this document, it was. Since, at the time, I was
3 member of the army, the only thing I knew was that the army was also
4 involved. At the relevant time, I read the dispatch sent by
5 Colonel Ranko Kuljanin. I read it in the command of the Visegrad Brigade
6 2nd LPB. And in his dispatch he is asking them to try and clarify the
8 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the issue of clearing
9 up events surrounding this case was something that my learned colleague
10 examined the witness about. The Prosecutor asked a specific answer
11 whether anything was done to clear up the case, so that's, according to
12 me, the relevance of this document. We have an answer to that question
13 put by the Prosecutor, and I would like to tender this into evidence.
14 And I also have a report regarding this very case because, on the
15 very next day, some actions were taken following the dispatch. And I
16 believe these two documents are really important, in relation to a
17 serious crime, and I think this is sufficient foundation for tendering
18 this and then the following document into evidence.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Cvijetic, the only thing I can read on the
20 English translation of this document is that it says that the Visegrad
21 police station continues to carry out the operative activities in the
22 investigation of the kidnapping but no Visegrad SJB members participated
23 in this case. And the persons were not brought into the Visegrad SJB.
24 That's basically what it says.
25 Do you still think it's necessary to have this document admitted
1 into evidence?
2 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in the translation I
3 heard -- I'm -- I may have misunderstood you. The dispatch here is
4 stating that no Visegrad SJB members participated in this case, nor were
5 the persons, persons who had perpetrated the crime, were brought in. And
6 also it's stated that the case is being processed. But I'm trying to
7 provide the complete picture; namely, this dispatch provides a foundation
8 for the work of the SJB. And we will see that in the following document.
9 This following document is a broader report about what has been achieved
10 by that time.
11 I cannot put both documents at the same time on the screen. I
12 have to show them to you one by one and then ask them to be tendered.
13 But I can ask for this document to be enter into evidence later on, once
14 I've shown the other one.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, the Prosecution doesn't object to this
17 particular document coming into evidence as it certainly shows
18 communication between the SJB Visegrad and the RS MUP.
19 But having said that, this is probably not the appropriate
20 witness to admit any more documents on this issue, because, as the
21 witness has just said, he wasn't aware of any activities of the RS MUP or
22 the SJB Visegrad in any investigation or reporting on this particular
24 So if it stops here and it's just this document, then the
25 Prosecution has no objection.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: Let's see -- let us see the other document before
2 we take any position on whether or not to admit them.
3 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we please have
4 1D00-2769 on the screen.
5 Q. Mr. Drasko, you can see here --
6 MR. OLMSTED: I'm sorry, which tab is this under?
7 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Under tab 18.
8 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you.
9 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. You can see here that two stations, Rudo and Visegrad, cooperated
11 on this case, and that already by the 26th of October they had some
12 initial information or indicia. It is obvious that it was not possible
13 at the time to clear up the case completely, but they put into writing
14 what they had. The event took place on 22nd of October, and already four
15 days after the event this information was drafted.
16 Can you see that, Mr. Drasko?
17 A. Yes, I see from the document that they worked on it.
18 Q. From the document you can also see that through operative work
19 and mainly by examining the bus driver, policemen obtained the present
20 information and a description of the perpetrators and the events.
21 Can you see that?
22 A. Yes, yes, I've read it.
23 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Can we please see the last part of
24 the document. In the English version as well; we need the last
1 Q. The last sentence where it is stated that:
2 "The ministry will be duly informed of all further information,
3 measures, and activities which will be undertaken."
4 Can you see that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Mr. Drasko, if I -- I'd like to draw your attention to the date
7 on the dispatch sent by the ministry, namely, the 25th of October; and
8 then, on the 26th of October, we see that actions were taken. And I
9 believe that shows that Republika Srpska organs took this as something of
10 importance. Would you agree with me?
11 A. Yes. But I see these documents for the first time only today.
12 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have nothing to
13 add in relation to tendering these documents. It's now upon you to reach
14 your decision.
15 MR. OLMSTED: Again, the Prosecution raises the same objection,
16 that this is not the appropriate witness to seek to tender and admit
17 these documents. The witness has repeated now three times he has never
18 seen these documents before; he knows nothing about any sort of work,
19 operative or otherwise, on this case by SJB Visegrad or SJB Rudo.
20 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Cvijetic, what is your response to Mr. Olmsted's
21 objection that the witness -- not having any connection with these
22 documents? To the extent that they may be useful to you, they perhaps
23 should be tendered through somebody else.
24 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I must remind my
25 colleague that it was he who started discussing the issue, who asked this
1 witness whether he knows anything about the investigation, whether police
2 was involved in the case in question. So now we have an answer to a
3 question that the Prosecution put. And I think the issue is now closed
4 thanks to these very documents, documents that are relevant, important
5 for clearing up the case. I believe the conditions are there.
6 MR. OLMSTED: But, Your Honours, the witness's answers still
7 remains: He doesn't know. That's exactly the Prosecution's point.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 JUDGE HALL: In the Chamber's view, the documents are admissible
11 but not through this witness. So they would be marked for
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will become Exhibit 1D334 and
14 1D335, marked for identification.
15 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
16 Q. Mr. Drasko, thank you for your evidence. I have no more
17 questions of you.
18 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have finished with
19 the witness.
20 MR. KRGOVIC: We don't have questions for this witness,
21 Your Honour.
22 JUDGE HALL: Re-examination?
23 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Re-examination by Mr. Olmsted:
25 Q. Mr. Drasko, yesterday you recall we were looking at the
1 Visegrad Prosecutor's Office KT log-book. And do you recall that the
2 log-book showed that you received the first criminal reports from
3 SJB Visegrad on the 9th of September, 1992?
4 Do you recall seeing that in the log-book?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So from that date forward, you were performing the function of
7 basic prosecutor in Visegrad?
8 A. Yes, certain activities. I did take certain measures, which
9 means that the official authorities in Visegrad authorised me, although
10 technically I wasn't yet elected; they authorised me to do what I was
11 doing in order to prevent crimes and to establish the rule of law.
12 Q. If the SJB --
13 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm --
14 MR. OLMSTED: Go ahead.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, it might be my knowledge of English, but
16 in Serbian there is a significant difference between what witness said
17 and what was recorded. I believe the witness says -- said --
18 MR. OLMSTED: Let me just ask him again and --
19 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes.
20 MR. OLMSTED: -- to clarify.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, it goes -- the second part of his answer.
22 MR. OLMSTED: Okay.
23 Q. Just -- Mr. Drasko, if you could clarify the second part of your
24 answer as far as your authority to act as prosecutor pending your formal
25 appointment by the RS Assembly?
1 A. I was completely familiar with the processes and the regulations
2 because I'm a lawyer after all. And I was aware that my activities were
3 temporary only. But in such a situation, I agreed to draft a request for
4 an investigation because I expected that I would be elected once the --
5 once the investigating judge does everything he had to do, and that I
6 would be in a position to write an indictment, which, indeed, happened.
7 My -- the justification for acting this way, to my mind, was the war.
8 Q. Now we saw from the KT log-book that the SJB Visegrad filed three
9 criminal reports with you in 1992. If the police had filed more criminal
10 reports than three with your office, would they have been recorded in
11 your log-books?
12 A. Certainly.
13 Q. And if they came acrossed [sic] a case where they could not
14 identify the perpetrator and they filed with you an unknown perpetrator
15 criminal report, would you have logged that into your KTN log-book?
16 A. Certainly. Into the KTN log-book with entries about crimes
17 committed by unknown perpetrators.
18 Q. And if you received these criminal reports from the police, would
19 you have taken it upon yourself, either as acting prosecutor or when you
20 were formally appointed as the prosecutor, to take measures to pursue
21 those cases through the criminal justice system?
22 A. I certainly would have. I can give an example.
23 In Gorazde, in ten years, I also worked on cases against Serbs
24 for crimes committed against Muslims. It was the prosecutor's office of
25 the Gorazde canton. I didn't actually -- I wasn't immediately involved,
1 but I was chief prosecutor and I was familiar with the cases.
2 Q. My learned friend, during his cross-examination, brought up this
3 principle of non bis in idem. Did this principle prevent the police from
4 filing criminal reports with the prosecutor's office?
5 A. No.
6 Q. The Defence asked you some questions about the jurisdiction of
7 the military courts, and I want to show you 65 ter 2003 -- or, I'm sorry,
9 MR. OLMSTED: And just for the record, it has already been
10 exhibited as P1287.07 [sic].
11 Q. Mr. Drasko, are you familiar with this law?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And was this -- this law, which is entitled: "The Law on Military
14 Courts," and it's from the SFRY, but is this the law that applied to the
15 Republika Srpska in 1992?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. OLMSTED: If we could turn to page 2 of both the B/C/S and
18 the English and take a look at Article 13.
19 Q. We can see from Article 13 that it enumerates the Articles under
20 the SFRY Criminal Code and the circumstances under which the military
21 court has jurisdiction over one of these crimes when they are committed
22 by a civilian.
23 Would you agree with that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. For example, if we look at item number 4, it's citing
1 Article 123; and it states that this is -- that:
2 "The military court has jurisdiction over civilians who commit
3 this crime if it is directed against servicemen or the destruction of
4 property of greater value that is a part of the equipment owned by the
5 armed forces of the SFRY."
6 Do you see that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. If we could look at -- later on in this Article...
9 MR. OLMSTED: And I think we have to turn the page in both the
10 B/C/S and the English. And if we can zoom in on the last paragraph of
11 Article 13.
12 Q. Mr. Drasko, we see the last paragraph states:
13 Military courts try prisoners of war for any committed criminal
14 act and for crimes against humanity and international law (under Articles
15 141 through 146 of the Criminal Code [sic] of the SFRY).
16 Do you see that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How do you interpret this provision?
19 A. Before that, we must establish who is to be considered a prisoner
20 of war. Unfortunately, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, my wife, too, who was
21 transferred from the medical centre, was considered a prisoner of war,
22 just like medical doctors and others.
23 In Visegrad, the army kept persons prisoner in military camps,
24 although they were -- or, rather -- correction, in military prison
25 although they were civilians.
1 In Bosnia, people used to say -- speak about the exchange of
2 prisoner of war, although they were civilians. So that regular citizens
3 of Bosnian Serbs were considered prisoners of war even though they were
4 not -- or, rather, because they were not organised so as to be able to
5 flee in time. Most times they were not soldiers who put up resistance
6 but, rather, civilians, regular people. That is unfortunate, but that is
7 the reality I came to learn.
8 That is why the treatment of prisoners of war were such. But --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat his last sentence.
10 MR. OLMSTED:
11 Q. Yes, could you repeat your last sentence. And then let me ask a
12 follow-up question.
13 A. I know about these offences where people were treated as
14 prisoners of war and kept in prison. But later on, when proceedings were
15 initiated against them, there was no evidence, and they were acquitted.
16 Q. I just want to clarify something with regard to this particular
17 Article of the Law on the Military Court.
18 This paragraph we just read says the military courts can try
19 prisoner of war; in other words, is this referring to POWs who are
21 A. Mostly, yes, perpetrators of criminal offences.
22 Q. If a civilian who is not a prisoner of war commits a war crime,
23 then who had jurisdiction over that case?
24 A. Speaking about humanitarian law, in that period I think military
25 courts were supposed to try, before the war, under these laws and
1 regulations, because these most serious crimes against the
2 Geneva Conventions - and the reference is mentioned here - crimes against
3 humanity and international law, are under the jurisdiction of military
5 Q. Well, let me ask you this then: Where under this Article 13 is
6 the military court given jurisdiction over civilians who commit war
7 crimes where those civilians who are the perpetrators are not prisoners
8 of war?
9 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I must intervene.
10 I think it will be useful to show the witness Article 9 of this
11 law also, which provides for the basic jurisdiction of military courts.
12 It has already been shown in this trial. And the article that my learned
13 friend is dealing with is only expanding on that jurisdiction as outlined
14 in Article 9. So it may be good if we could read out Article 9 because
15 it states the personal principle.
16 MR. OLMSTED: Well, we can certainly look at Article 9, if we go
17 back to the previous page. I'm not going to read it out.
18 Q. But, Mr. Drasko, you can certainly take a look at it.
19 Mr. Drasko, as I read Article 9, this specifies when a person is
20 considered a member of the military. Is that how you read it?
21 A. Yes, it says here: A civilian -- or, rather, such a person shall
22 be considered a civilian who, and under paragraph 1 of this Article, is
23 not a serviceman or a prisoner of war. That is such -- to such a person
24 that the provisions of this law are not applied.
25 Q. And I want to return to my original question. We've looked at --
1 A. [No interpretation]
2 Q. We looked at Article 13. It specifies when the military court
3 has jurisdiction over civilians. We looked at the provision that deals
4 with war crimes, and it specifies that the court has -- military court
5 has jurisdiction over war crimes committed by prisoners of war.
6 My question to you is: On what basis, under this law, do military
7 courts have jurisdiction over civilians who are not prisoners of war who
8 have committed war crimes?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Let me ask the question again so it's clear. A civilian who
11 commits a war crime but is not a POW, who has jurisdiction over those
13 A. Civilian courts. I think it's civilian courts. Because we're
14 talking about civilians, so civilian courts have jurisdiction. But
15 sometimes it's difficult because persons who didn't meet the conditions
16 to be prisoners of war still were considered as such, and they were --
17 they were to be tried by military courts. But if it's established that
18 they aren't really prisoners of war, then they should be tried by
19 civilian courts as is now being done in Bosnia and Herzegovina, et
20 cetera. My wife, in Norway, isn't considered a prisoner of war, even
21 though she was considered to be one by the HOS.
22 Q. Are you aware of any efforts, either by the military or the
23 civilian police, in 1992, to investigate war crimes against non-Serbs.
24 And let's just limit it to where you have knowledge to the
25 Visegrad municipality.
1 A. Meetings were held, and as a prosecutor who should launch
2 pre-trial proceedings and initiate other activities to solve criminal
3 offences, I invited the district prosecutor of east Sarajevo,
4 Sajko Gojkovic [phoen] to these meetings; then the republican prosecutor,
5 Miroslav Gladanac, I invited him to the meetings in writing; and the
6 meetings were to be about war crimes and their resolution, among others.
7 I invited the command of the brigade too, that is, military personnel, as
8 well as civilian personnel from the SJB. And they all came to the
9 meeting except for those from Sarajevo. We insisted that the issue of
10 accountability for war crimes must be insisted upon.
11 There was this Muslim by the name of Mutapcic [phoen]; there was
12 case against him. And I wrote a criminal report -- or, rather, I wrote a
13 report against the persons I suspected of having killed him. The reports
14 went to the Military Prosecutor's Office in Bileca because he was a
15 prisoner of war, and we processed this case later. The agreement reached
16 at those meetings was that the law must be strictly implemented with
17 regard to the protection of property and protection of people. But my
18 fellow prosecutors didn't come to those meetings, and they said, Well,
19 working on war crimes is your private affair.
20 Q. I want to focus you on my question. I'm only talking about war
21 crimes that were committed against non-Serbs. In other words, Muslims or
22 Croats are the victims of the war crimes.
23 In 1992, are you aware of any investigations by the police -
24 military or civilian - of war crimes in which the victims were non-Serbs?
25 A. No, I am not aware that these crimes were investigated at all. I
1 never received any criminal reports to that effect.
2 MR. OLMSTED: No further questions, Your Honour.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE HALL: [Microphone not activated]
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Judge, please.
6 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Drasko, we thank you for your attendance before
7 the Tribunal. Are you now released as a witness, and we wish you a safe
8 journey back to your home.
9 The usher will escort you from the courtroom. Thank you, sir.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I wish you much success
11 in your work and that you may solve all war crimes cases.
12 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, sir.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, just two matters while we're waiting
15 for the next witness.
16 First, my apologies. I gave the wrong exhibit number for the
17 Law -- the military courts; it's P1284.07.
18 And, secondly, since Mr. Demirdjian is going to lead the next
19 witness and I want him to occupy my chair, is it all right if I may be
21 JUDGE HALL: Certainly, Mr. Olmsted. Thank you.
22 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. No preliminary
23 matters. The next witness is ST-167, Mr. Dragan Raljic. No protective
25 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
1 JUDGE HALL: The -- I understand there's a ten-minute gap before
2 the next witness comes, so we would rise and resume when he's available.
3 --- Recess taken at 11.39 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.23 p.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE HALL: Good afternoon to you, sir. Can you hear me?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Yes, I can hear
9 JUDGE HALL: Please take the solemn declaration.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare to say the
11 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 WITNESS: DRAGAN RALJIC
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. You may be seated.
15 I would begin by pointing out that the solemn declaration that
16 you have just made does expose you to the pain of the penalty for perjury
17 should you give misleading or untruthful evidence to this Tribunal.
18 The first formal question that I have of you is to give us your
19 name, your date of birth, and your ethnicity.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Dragan Raljic. I was
21 born on the 25th of December, 1967. I'm of Serbian ethnicity.
22 JUDGE HALL: And what is your profession?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm an employee of the Ministry of
24 the Interior, working in the police station Kotor Varos, in
25 communication-related field. I'm a civil servant.
1 JUDGE HALL: And how long have you been so attached?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since 1st November, 1990.
3 JUDGE HALL: Have you testified previously, either before this
4 Tribunal or before any of the courts in the countries that comprise the
5 former Yugoslavia?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
7 JUDGE HALL: Well, the -- we -- we thank you for your assistance
8 to the Tribunal and for your attendance as a witness. The procedure that
9 is followed is that the side that calls you as a witness - in this case,
10 the Prosecution - would begin by asking you questions, after which
11 counsel for each of the accused have a right to ask you questions,
12 arising out of -- generally arising out of your testimony in-chief.
13 The Prosecution then has a right to re-examine you, arising out
14 of the cross-examination, and the Chamber -- the Judges who comprise the
15 Chamber may ask you questions on relevant issues relating to the matters
16 with which the Tribunal is concerned.
17 We -- the Prosecution has asked for two hours to conduct their
18 examination-in-chief; counsel for Stanisic -- Mr. Stanisic, two hours;
19 and counsel for Mr. Zupljanin, three hours. The ordinary sittings of the
20 Tribunal - you are beginning in the middle of a working day - is from
21 9.00 in the morning until 1.45 in the afternoon, unless it's an afternoon
22 session, which doesn't arise in your case. And within that day's
23 sitting, the time is broken up into periods of no longer than an hour and
24 a half so that the taping arrangements which this Tribunal follows to
25 preserve its proceedings can be changed and so forth. Notwithstanding --
1 and the breaks are usually of 20-minutes' duration. Now, notwithstanding
2 those breaks, if, for any reason, you are in distress or have a problem
3 continuing, if would indicate that to the Chamber, we would, of course,
4 accommodate you.
5 We are starting unusually -- at an unusual time, so we -- your --
6 the first part of your testimony beginning now would go straight through
7 until we rise for the day at 1.45. And then we would resume your
8 tomorrow morning at 9.00.
9 And with that, I would invite counsel for the Prosecution,
10 Mr. Demirdjian, to begin his examination-in-chief.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Examination by Mr. Demirdjian:
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Raljic. You already provided us your personal
14 details, so I would like to go straight to your educational background.
15 It is correct to say that you went to primary school in
16 Kotor Varos until 1982?
17 A. Yes, that is correct.
18 Q. And that you completed secondary school in 1986, studying, I
19 believe, electrical mechanics; is that correct?
20 A. Mechanical engineer.
21 Q. Thank you. And recently, I believe in 2007, you completed junior
22 college in management; is that right?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. And if I go to your background, in terms of your military
25 service, I think you completed that in 1987 as a radio and telegraph
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. Very well. When you joined the police, you told us earlier you
4 joined the police on the 1st of November, 1990, in the SJB Kotor Varos.
5 That was in the communications section; is that right?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. Prior to joining the police, had you attended any police school?
8 THE INTERPRETER: Would all the unnecessary microphones be
9 switched off, please.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I have not.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I think there was a problem with the
14 microphones. Is it all right now? I'll assume it is.
15 Q. You said you did not. However, it is correct that you followed a
16 training upon joining the police?
17 A. I underwent some training that was organised by international
18 police at the time. These were trainings that lasted several days only,
19 related to human dignity and such issues.
20 Q. And did you receive any training in relation to your line of work
21 in communications at that time?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And just to complete on that chapter, you were also leading a
24 radio club in Kotor Varos, and I assume this exposed you to all
25 terms [sic] of radio devices?
1 A. Yes, that is correct. That was radio club from Kotor Varos
2 called Oblas.
3 Q. Very well. Now, when you joined the police station in 1990, what
4 was the position that you were assigned to?
5 A. I started working at the position that was, at the time, called
6 radio telegraph operator, radio telephone operator, encoding operator.
7 That was the full title.
8 Q. And how long did you remain in that position?
9 A. Until, I think, 1995, after which a new organisation was applied,
10 and the full complement of workers were obtained, four plus one, namely,
11 and then I was -- I became head of the group.
12 Q. Therefore, in 1992, throughout the year that is of interest to
13 this case, you were an operator, as you explained, for radio telegraph,
14 telephone, et cetera?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. I'd like to ask you, in 1990, when you joined the section, did
17 you have a chief at the time? A chief of communications; I apologise.
18 A. No. At the time, there was no chief of communications.
19 Q. And did you have co-workers in the communications section?
20 A. There was another more experienced colleague, Miroslav Kalamanda,
21 who was already employed at the time when I arrived.
22 Q. So in 1990 [Realtime transcript read in error "1992"] there were
23 the two of you in the communications section?
24 A. In 1992? My answer was in relation to 1990. In 1992, there were
25 the two of us plus another worker that started working in July that year.
1 Q. I apologise. I did mean 1990.
2 And up until -- well, during the years 1990 and 1991, who did you
3 report to? Who was your chief?
4 A. At the time when I started working in the police station, or --
5 as it was called, public security station, the chief of the station was
6 Munir Kovacevic. And since mid-1991, Mr. Savo Tepic took up that
8 Q. And in terms of your line of work, who was your superior?
9 A. In the public security station, initially, chief Munir Kovacevic,
10 and then later Savo Tepic.
11 Q. I apologise. What I meant is in your line of work in terms of
12 communications who was your chief or your superior?
13 A. According to our line of work, it was the CSB Banja Luka chief of
14 department for encoding --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the name of the
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
18 Q. The interpreters didn't hear the name, could you please repeat
19 the name of the CSB Banja Luka chief for the department.
20 A. You asked me about the chief of the communications and encoding
21 department. And his name was Rakovic, Dragan, Drago.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 Now you've told us that the chief of the police in the second
24 half of 1991 was Savo Tepic. Again, in terms of mid-1991, who was the
25 commander of the police station at that time?
1 A. I cannot remember for 1991. I think it may have been
2 Bogdan Djurovic who was the commander. At least for a period of time.
3 And then later, this position was filled in by a man whose name I cannot
4 remember who was sort of a stout man, I think a Croat. And then after
5 him, it was Dragan --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Again, could the witness repeat the surname.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
8 Q. The interpreters didn't catch the last name of Dragan that you
9 just mentioned.
10 A. Dragan Bojic.
11 Q. Very well.
12 If you know, can you tell us whether -- what was the proportion
13 of the employees in the public security station, in terms of ethnic
15 A. In the period of 1991, if we're still discussing 1991, the makeup
16 was mixed. During that year, there were Serbs, Muslims, and Croats
17 working for the station.
18 Q. And you mentioned to us that the commander eventually became
19 Mr. Bojic. Do you remember when he became the commander of the police?
20 A. I think that was after the arrival of Savo Tepic and his
21 appointment to the post of the chief of station. It was a few months
22 after his arrival. I cannot be more precise. It may have been in
23 early 1992.
24 Q. Very well. I'd like to take you now to the year 1992. It is an
25 established fact in this case that the takeover took place on the
1 11th of June of 1992. Were you in Kotor Varos at that point?
2 A. Yes, I was.
3 Q. And can you tell us, On -- on the -- in June 1992, in your
4 section, how many staff members did you have?
5 A. In June of 1992, it was Kalamanda, Miroslav and myself.
6 Q. You told us that a third person joined. When did he join?
7 A. As far as I remember, it was in July 1992.
8 Q. And what was the name of the third operator?
9 A. Vujadin Popovic.
10 Q. Now, can you tell us, When the takeover took place, were you in
11 the --
12 I apologise, there seems to be an interpretation --
13 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm really sorry. Line 52 -- I'm sorry, page 52,
14 line 2. Oh, yeah, it was changed. The name of the person was mis --
16 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Misspelt. Okay. It is fine now.
17 Q. Let me go back to my question. In relation to the takeover, you
18 were -- were you at -- were you in Kotor Varos when the takeover took
20 A. Yes, I was.
21 Q. Was there any indication that it was going to take place?
22 A. Well, there were indicia that certain developments were about to
23 occur. One could not exclude conflicts, but nobody to could tell whether
24 there was going to be a takeover or maybe a conflict with the rise. But
25 the situation was tense.
1 Q. Now, can you explain to us, on the 11th of June, what you
2 observed on that day, in terms of the takeover?
3 A. What I observed: The town was full of people in uniforms, some
4 in -- in SNA [as interpreted] uniforms or camouflage uniforms. People
5 were taking up positions in various places in town. There were
6 check-points. On that day, there were no conflicts or there wasn't any
7 shooting. Everything was rather quiet.
8 Q. You told us that you noticed people in SMB uniforms or camouflage
9 uniforms. What happened per se? How did the takeover take place?
10 A. I don't know specifically how. I only saw people at various
11 locations in town. Now, how the takeover or establishment of
12 check-points -- how did that really look, I don't know.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian, is this relevant in view of the
14 Adjudicated Fact 519?
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I'm getting to the forces that were present,
16 Your Honour, to specify that.
17 Q. Mr. Raljic, could you tell us whether you were aware of which
18 forces were present in town?
19 A. At the time, I didn't know which forces were in town. As I've
20 already stated, there were a lot of people in various uniforms, and I
21 didn't know who was who.
22 Q. In the police station itself, did you notice a presence of these
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you come to learn who they were?
1 A. Yes. With passage of time, yes.
2 Q. If you could tell the Trial Chamber, please.
3 A. Yes. After the 11th of June, so in the following day, the
4 subsequent days, various uniformed people were coming to the police
5 station. Some of them wore lighter coloured camouflage uniforms that I
6 hadn't seen before, wearing hats with wider rims. Later on, I saw blue
7 camouflage uniforms that were police uniforms. Again, uniforms I hadn't
8 seen before that. Then there was the regular police. They were people
9 in various other uniforms coming in olive drab or SMB and so on.
10 Q. If we start with the group that you told us were in a lighter
11 colour of uniform, did you come to learn who was their leader?
12 A. Initially I didn't know who they were because they were all mixed
13 in groups. I never saw them lined up in formations, either of the three
14 groups. But according to my information, I think it was the people who
15 were headed by Slobodan Dubocanin.
16 Q. And did you come to learn to which organisation this group
17 belongs to?
18 A. No, I did not find out whom they belonged to.
19 Q. If I go to the second group of people you told us in blue
20 camouflage uniform, that were police uniforms, can you tell us, if you
21 know, who they were led by?
22 A. As far as I remember, Ecim Ljuban and Zdravko Samardzija. I
23 remember them because Zdravko I knew from before. And as for the other
24 names, no, I didn't know what the names of their commanders were.
25 Q. And Mr. Ecim and Mr. Samardzija, do you know from to which unit
1 they belonged to?
2 A. I used to see them in -- or wearing those uniforms, and I believe
3 they were part of the special police unit.
4 Q. And the special police unit belonged to which municipality?
5 A. Special unit was not part of any municipality. It was under the
6 Ministry of Interior. It was the special unit of the police, not a unit
7 of any municipality.
8 Q. And when you say "the Ministry of Interior," which organisation
9 in the Ministry of Interior did it belong to?
10 A. I wouldn't know.
11 Q. Where were they stationed?
12 A. I don't know any specific one location. I think they were
13 stationed at different locations in town. I don't know where they slept.
14 One could see them all over the town. I don't know where they slept.
15 Q. And do you know, on the 11th of June, where they came from?
16 A. No, I don't know.
17 Q. Prior to this takeover on the 11th of June, in the police station
18 did there come a time when the employees were requested to sign a loyalty
20 A. As far as I remember, yes.
21 Q. Were you present?
22 A. I think I was, for at least one part of the time.
23 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber where did this take place?
24 A. In Kotor Varos retirement home.
25 Q. And who convened the meeting?
1 A. I cannot remember who convened the meeting, but it must have been
2 senior officers of the station, either the chief or the commander.
3 Q. And who else was present?
4 A. In addition to the senior officers of the SJB and all the
5 uniformed personnel, I don't think there was anyone else present.
6 Q. And can you just tell us how this signing of the loyalty oath
7 took place. What was -- what were you told?
8 A. I cannot remember the exact formulation of the statement that
9 needed to be signed, but, in general, people were required to sign that
10 they are willing to continue performing their duties under the aegis of
11 the new-formed ministry. That was the basic formulation. I don't think
12 there were any threats made that someone may lose a job. It's a form
13 which you have to sign when you're moving to a different position, to a
14 different organisation.
15 Q. And just to be clear, when you say "the new-formed ministry,"
16 which ministry are you referring to?
17 A. The Ministry of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I
18 think it was called at the time.
19 Q. And do you remember when this signing of the loyalty took place?
20 A. I can be a few days off, but, in general, it was maybe late
21 April or May.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm really sorry, but a part -- part of witness's
23 answer on page 55, 24, and page 56, 4, I saw it first in the -- in the
24 transcript and then it was deleted and now it's not recorded. Because he
25 gave the comment what -- what kind of a -- that -- something along the
1 lines about loosing a job and all that.
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Okay.
3 MR. ZECEVIC: I think this should be clarified.
4 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, I see that.
5 Q. Mr. Raljic, when I was asking you about the signing of the
6 loyalty oath, you explained to us what was told to you. And you said, in
7 general terms:
8 "People were required to sign ..."
9 Can you continue there, because I think a part of the answer is
11 A. People were asked to sign that they will loyally continue
12 performing the tasks that they were already conducting, and I'm not aware
13 of anyone issuing threats to employees to the effect that they might
14 loose their jobs should they not sign the document. I have not heard
15 anyone say that.
16 Q. Now, on that -- at that moment when you were asked to sign the
17 loyalty oath, to your knowledge, did anyone decide not to sign it?
18 A. There was some discussion about that, who would sign it and who
19 wouldn't. But the meeting didn't last long, maybe 20 minutes or half an
20 hour. I can't really say now. Because the meeting was, in fact,
21 forcibly interrupted.
22 Q. And to your knowledge, did some staff members stop showing at
23 work after this meeting?
24 A. I really cannot recall. It's possible, but I'm not certain.
25 Q. And to your knowledge, other than the senior staff of the SJB at
1 this meeting, were there any other superior members of the higher
2 echelons of the MUP present during this signing?
3 A. I don't remember the presence of anyone from the higher echelons.
4 I don't think so. I doubt it.
5 Q. Now, if we go back to the 11th of June, in relation to
6 communications, what effect, if any -- if anything, did the takeover have
7 on your work?
8 A. The communications lines didn't function. Phone lines, teletype
9 lines. Only radio communication was possible. Nothing else.
10 Q. And how long did that last?
11 A. At the moment when the lines were interrupted, this situation
12 prevailed for about seven to ten days.
13 Q. And prior to the 11th of July, were all your communications
14 functioning -- 11th of June; I apologise.
15 A. I believe so.
16 Q. After those initial seven to ten days, were you able to
17 communicate and send dispatches?
18 A. Only occasionally because there were constant shortages of power,
19 almost daily. Today we would have power; on the following day, not. And
20 it went on like that all summer long.
21 So the communications lines were unreliable, so we couldn't
22 really be sure that we would be able to send a dispatch at any given
24 Q. Now, when you're saying that the lines were unreliable, I want to
25 go back to those seven to ten days that you were talking about earlier.
1 During those days, was there any damage to your equipment?
2 A. I don't think so, no.
3 Q. And what happened to the telephone lines between the initial
4 seven to ten days?
5 A. The telephone lines were not functional.
6 Q. Did you come to learn why they were not functioning?
7 A. I never learned the real reason, whether there was an
8 interruption somewhere, whether it was up to the post office, but I never
9 really heard what the real reason was why the phone lines didn't
11 Q. Now, in terms of the equipment that you had in your section, can
12 you tell us, first of all, if you kept the same equipment you had prior
13 to the takeover?
14 A. Yes, we kept the same equipment.
15 Q. And what sort of equipment did you have in the communications
17 A. We had a regular phone line, a special dedicated phone line. We
18 had teletype communications for sending out dispatches. And we also had
19 a UHF radio communications.
20 Q. And did you also have a machine for encryption purposes?
21 A. Yes, we did.
22 Q. Now you just told us that after the 11th of July [sic] you had
23 some problems in sending your dispatches; what was it that caused the
24 problem? Was it your equipment; was it the lines? Could you tell us.
25 A. The most important problem was the shortage in -- in electrical
1 power. The teletype machine couldn't function without electricity. If
2 we had no electricity, we couldn't send out dispatches. And if the other
3 side, the recipient, didn't have electricity so they couldn't receive it,
4 so there was no point in sending it.
5 Q. Now the dispatches that you're talking about are those documents
6 that you are typing in -- in the machine itself; is that correct?
7 A. The -- we receive a typed dispatch which is signed, and then we
8 type it into the teletype machine and send it out that way.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Mr. Demirdjian. I don't want to
10 interrupt. But I think we need to clarify one thing.
11 I noticed even before, during the -- the previous -- the two
12 witnesses ago, that on some occasions the "UKT," UKT, was translated as
13 "UHF" radio communications. I believe the "UHF" stands for "ultra high
14 frequency." And actually what the witnesses are talking about are ultra
15 short frequency communication. So just for the -- for the sake of
16 clarity of the transcript, in the future, that we know what we are
17 talking about.
18 It should be stated in each and every answer UK KT. Thank you.
19 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
20 Q. Maybe this is something that Mr. Raljic can clarify for us when
21 you're talking about the radio equipment.
22 A. Yes. UKT is the radio communication that we used, that's
23 actually VHF; whereas UHF stands for higher frequencies over
24 400 megahertz. We worked on the frequency on 157.7 megahertz. That's
25 actually VHF.
1 Q. Now, during the periods of the day where you told us that the
2 lines would be down, were you eventually able to send the dispatches that
3 you were requested to send?
4 A. From time to time, yes. When the system functioned, we were able
5 to send out outgoing dispatches or possibly receive dispatches if there
6 was electrical power.
7 Q. And in terms of electrical power, did you have a generator in the
8 police station?
9 A. Later we did have a small generator, but we didn't use it at the
10 communications centre. It was a small generator which we used for
11 lighting and so on. But that was only later. If we had used a generator
12 for the teletype machine alone, that wouldn't have helped us much because
13 if there was no electricity supply in town, that is, if the phone
14 exchange of the post office was without electricity, then it was no good
16 Q. Therefore, if the electricity is down, you told us that the only
17 means left was the radio communication?
18 A. There was radio communication. The duty officers -- officer
19 could communicate in simplex radio communications without the mediation
20 of a repeater because in such a situation the repeater couldn't function.
21 There was an RU-210 radio station which could function if fed from a
23 Q. Now, this radio communication, what was the range? How far could
24 you reach with this radio communication?
25 A. Well, VHF waves are specific, especially if you have a simplex
1 radio network, that is, if you work without a repeater. Then the waves
2 propagate in a straight line. But it depends on the configuration of
3 terrain. Sometimes you wouldn't be able to communicate over 500 metres
4 if there was a little in between or something. Or -- but, on the other
5 hand, if there was optical visibility, you could communicate over a
6 distance of ten or more kilometres.
7 Q. Now, in terms of the means of communications that were available
8 to the chief of the police station, could you just tell what
9 communications he had available in his office?
10 A. The chief of the SJB has a regular telephone. I believe he also
11 had a fax machine and a hand-held radio station, as far as I remember.
12 Q. And in terms of telephone, are you referring to a special
13 telephone, or was it a regular telephone line?
14 A. The chief had a regular phone line with a number registered with
15 the post office. And if he dialed 8 or 9, he could reach the exchange
16 and then switch to the special or dedicated line.
17 Q. Did anybody else in the police station have a phone line like the
18 police chief, registered at the post office?
19 A. A phone line, yes. Such a phone line was also with the
20 Deputy Commander, the chief of the crime service, the duty officer, and
21 possibly the Deputy Commander [as interpreted], I'm not sure.
22 Q. Now, you told us about dialing 8 or 9 and reaching this special
23 or dedicated line ...
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: While I'm asking the question, if we could
25 display on the screen Exhibit P1471, which is tab 4 on the list that was
2 Q. Mr. Raljic, can you tell us a little bit what is this special
4 A. As far as I know - but I didn't work in the technical service
5 that maintained the lines, so I may not be the most competent person to
6 provide these explanations. But as far as I know it was a closed system
7 used by the ministry. Speaking about the CSB of Banja Luka, those were
8 leased lines; they were leased from the post office. And it was
9 something like an Intranet [Realtime translation read in error
10 "Internet"], if we used today's terms, a closed network that we would use
11 but which consisted of postal lines.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: I believe the witness said, 62, 19, "Intranet."
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Not "Internet."
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, I heard that, too. Yes. Internet.
16 Q. Now, you can see the document displayed on the screen,
17 Mr. Raljic. Are you familiar with the system that is diagrammed on the
19 A. Yes, I've seen this schematic before.
20 Q. And the title here says that it is the special internal telephone
21 network. Is this the special line that you were talking to us about just
23 A. Yes, this is it.
24 Q. And this is the pre-war scheme; is that right?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. And just to be clear, after the split of the MUP, you were still
2 able to use this special line?
3 A. For a while, I think we were only able to work within the CSB of
4 Banja Luka, not beyond. But how long exactly, I'm not sure. It was a
5 brief period, but the lines were interrupted and then didn't function
6 anymore. For what reasons, I don't know.
7 Q. So you're telling us that it was -- the lines were restricted
8 within the CSB Banja Luka region for a little while?
9 A. Yes. It was a very short period. I heard that communications
10 didn't function in other CSBs. I believe that it -- we were able to
11 communicate for a bit longer, but I cannot be specific as to when exactly
12 the lines were interrupted, in which month.
13 Q. After the 11th of June, was that line working between Kotor Varos
14 and Banja Luka?
15 A. Well, as I said, for the following ten days or so, communication
16 wasn't possible. No lines were in function, not even the -- these
17 special lines. Whether it started functioning again after the
18 11th [as interpreted] or 25th of June, I -- that -- I'm not privy to that
19 information. I'm not sure. There may have been a couple of calls, but I
20 really don't remember. At the very beginning, it was mostly
21 Miroslav Kalamanda who worked in the duty officers' office, and so it was
22 him who was there mostly, and I cannot be certain.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: 63, 20, the witness said "20th or 25th of June,"
24 and it was recorded "11th."
25 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, that's correct. I heard that, too.
1 Q. Now, when the lines were -- when the special line was
2 functioning, how easy was it for you to contact Banja Luka? How many
3 codes did have you to type, or how many digits did you have to? Digits.
4 A. It was very simple. You press a button on the phone to be
5 connected to the special line, and, as far as I remember, you only had to
6 dial three digits, possibly four, but I think it was three.
7 Q. And when you dialled those three digits, where does it take you
8 to? Let's say you're calling Banja Luka with those three digits, who
9 answers on the other side?
10 A. The operator at the communications centre.
11 Q. And that operator would then forward the call to the person that
12 is intended to be called?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. To your knowledge, was the police chief, Mr. Tepic, using this
15 line to contact his superiors in Banja Luka?
16 A. Yes, he did.
17 Q. Now, you told us that there was also a fax in the
18 police chief [sic]. You told us that there was a dispatch system. If
19 those don't work, is there any other means to transmit information to
20 your superiors? And when I'm talking about your superiors, I'm talking
21 about Banja Luka.
22 A. The only other way was to send the communication by courier, that
23 is, give it to a driver who would then take it away.
24 Q. And to your knowledge, in 1992, was a courier system used in
25 Kotor Varos?
1 A. Yes. Even before that. And it's used even today.
2 Q. And could you tell us what is the distance between Kotor Varos
3 and Banja Luka?
4 A. 30-odd kilometres, approximately. 32, I think.
5 Q. And, to your knowledge, how often would a courier go to
6 Banja Luka from Kotor Varos?
7 A. The courier carries regular mail once to twice a week at the
9 Q. And, to your knowledge, has it ever occurred that, if you were
10 not able to send a dispatch, that the courier service was used instead?
11 A. I cannot remember any particular instance of that.
12 Q. Fair enough. Maybe if I explain the processing of dispatches,
13 that might clarify a little bit.
14 In your section, what was your main role when you are receiving a
15 dispatch from one of the sections of the police station? How do you
16 process it?
17 A. There is a procedure in place for receiving and sending
19 Upon receiving a dispatch at the communications centre, that
20 dispatch had to contain all prescribed elements. If it didn't, we would
21 place a remark that the dispatch has to be amended.
22 Upon reception of the dispatch, we would check it, whether it
23 contains all these elements. Then we would type it on the teletype
24 machine, and forward it, if it was an open dispatch.
25 Q. Now, when a dispatch reaches your unit, you told us that you
1 would check whether it contained all the elements. What elements would
2 you look for on a document before dispatching it?
3 A. The heading of the dispatch which had to contain the designation
4 of the sender, the number of dispatch, the date, the urgency and
5 confidentiality classification, who it is being sent to, and possible a
6 reference if it refers to another dispatch, as well as the signature of
7 the sender.
8 Q. You told us about the number of the dispatch. Would you assign
9 that number, or was is somebody else who assigned the number of the
11 A. Other services would assign a number, those who sent the
13 Q. And, physically, who would bring down the dispatch to you?
14 A. Usually it was the girl who worked on -- in the administration, a
15 clerical person. But sometimes people from other departments would bring
16 in dispatches, such as the crime police or the regular police. There
17 have been such instances too.
18 Q. And each of these departments, did they have their own coding
19 system, or did it go through a central numbering system?
20 A. I don't understand the question. What do you mean "coding
21 system"? You probably mean something else.
22 Q. Let's look at a document and maybe we can have an example.
23 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Could we pull up, please -- Your Honours, this
24 is a document that is not on the Prosecution's 65 ter list, but I will
25 just use it for illustration purposes, and I will not seek to tender it.
1 Just to understand the numbering system.
2 The number is 10392. Yes.
3 Q. Now, if you look at the top of this document, it says
4 "SJB Kotor Varos." And then we see right below that the dispatch number.
5 Can you explain to us, first of all, the first part, 11-9. What
6 does that represent?
7 A. Yes, that's the designation of the organisational unit, namely,
8 the SJB of Kotor Varos.
9 Q. Then we have a backslash and we see 01. What does the 01
11 A. Yes, 01 stands for the organisational unit within the SJB. Here,
12 it's the police.
13 Q. When you mean "it's the police," which section is that?
14 A. I mean the uniformed police and under the commander of the
16 Q. And then we see the number 383. What does that represent?
17 A. It stands for the entry number in the log-book where this
18 dispatch is registered.
19 Q. And which log-book would this number come from? To whom did that
20 log-book belong to?
21 A. It usually belongs to the entire SJB, and it sits in the office
22 of the administrative service. However, some services have their own
23 log-books, so they can enter the number of their own organisational unit.
24 So I cannot say right now whether this refers to the entire
25 administrative service of the SJB or only that section which belongings
1 to the police.
2 Q. So what you're telling us is you're not sure if 383 belongs to
3 the log-book of the general police or whether it belongs to the entire
4 police station?
5 A. No, you didn't understand me. If we have this prefix 01, it
6 means that this belongings to the police. It means that this dispatch
7 came from the organisational unit of the police. But this following
8 number, 383, means that they gave this dispatch to the administration for
9 the girl to register it and she would assign a number. Likewise, they
10 could enter their own number from the -- the log-book of that subordinate
12 This 383 may be a -- an enter number in the log-book that
13 belonged to the entire SJB.
14 Q. And just to be clear, 383 is a sequential number; does it start
15 from 1 at the beginning of the year?
16 A. Yes, that's the usual situation.
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: We can put that document away.
18 Q. Now, in terms of log-books, did your section have log-books?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. How many log-books did you have?
21 A. We had one for sending and transmitting open-type dispatches, so
22 we had two books: One for sending and one for transmitting. And then we
23 had two: One for sending and one for receiving encoded dispatches.
24 Q. And -- so that would be four log-books. Are these log-books
25 still in existence?
1 A. No, they're not in existence anymore.
2 Q. What happens to these log-books?
3 A. These log-books are kept for a period of up to five years,
4 according to the regulations applying to communications and encoding
5 service, these log-books are kept for a period of five years, after which
6 they are destroyed.
7 Q. And how about the dispatches? How long did you keep the
9 A. In principle, the communications centre does not keep the
10 dispatches. After sending a dispatch, we keep it for another 24 hours
11 for the case of some problems detected by the receiving side, if the
12 printout was poor or something like that, so that we could re-send it.
13 And after 24 hours, we returned the dispatch to the sender. We were not
14 filing the dispatches themselves.
15 Q. And how about incoming dispatches?
16 A. Incoming dispatches were submitted to those who they were
17 addressed to, depending on the priority level. In our case, we were
18 sending or forwarding the dispatches to the chief of the public security
20 Q. Now, when a dispatch comes in, and let's say it is addressed to
21 the head of the crime service, you just told us that you would forward
22 the dispatches to the chief of the public security. Did all of them go
23 to him first, or did you direct it to -- let's say, the head of crime
24 service in this example?
25 A. Yes, yes. No, in principle all the dispatches would be forwarded
1 to the chief of the public security station who would review them, and
2 then, having done that, he would, at the bottom of the dispatch,
3 designate who should be getting this dispatch and acting upon it.
4 Q. Now, we saw one dispatch earlier.
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: If we can display a second one, which is 10393.
6 This one, too, Your Honours, I will not seek to tender it. It is
7 not on our 65 ter list. But just for illustration purposes.
8 Q. Now, the first we saw was dated the 1st of August, 1992. This
9 one is the 12th of September, 1992. And right after the 11-9, what
10 number can you see there?
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: If we can maybe zoom into that section up there,
12 the top left-hand corner. Yes.
13 THE WITNESS: After 11-9, we can see 09-387 [Realtime transcript
14 read in error "01"] forward slash 92.
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: And, I'm sorry, it says "01" in the transcript.
16 Q. After the 11-9, what do you have?
17 A. Number 09 at the time was organisational unit called
18 Administration and Legal Section of the SJB. And then number 387 is most
19 probably the number in the log-book where it was entered.
20 Q. Okay. Now, having been in Kotor Varos yourself in -- in
21 August and September 1992, let me ask you the following: We see 09-387,
22 and on the previous document we saw 01-383. Now, there's only four
23 numbers of difference within a month and a half. From that, are you able
24 to tell us whether the sequence of numbers was given by each section or
25 whether it was given by a general section?
1 A. As I've already said, it is possible that -- that the number was
2 off the general section -- or, rather, the administration section, but
3 some of the services had their own log-books. Now, I cannot tell you
4 about there specific number, 387, but my guess would be that this is this
5 general section number.
6 Q. Very well.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: If we could display on the screen 65 ter 3195,
8 which is tab 11 on the list.
9 Q. Witness, I'm going to show you a report which appears to be a --
10 a report of the end of the year.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
12 Q. Do you see a document on your screen?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... tab?
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Tab 11.
16 Q. Do you recognise this document?
17 A. Yes, I recognise the document. This is a yearly report or annual
18 report on organisation and work of the KZ.
19 Q. Yes. It says KZ in the transcript. Do you mean communication
20 and cryptography by that; is that right?
21 A. Yes, cryptography.
22 Q. Now, who drafted this document?
23 A. I drafted this document.
24 Q. This, you said, is an annual report. First, before we look at
25 this document, were there other reports you sent periodically throughout
1 the year?
2 A. Usually the reports were and are sent monthly, but they would
3 only cover the traffic of dispatches.
4 Q. And in --
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: If we can turn to -- if can go to the bottom of
6 the first page in the English version.
7 Q. We can see the first paragraph here seems to give a historic of
8 your section, with a description of the staff members. Is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And we see here that it talks about Mr. Kalamanda, who you
11 mentioned earlier. And it mentions that you joined in November 1990.
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: And if we turn to the second page in the English
13 version and in the B/C/S version as well.
14 Q. We can see that it talks about Mr. Popovic, you mentioned
15 earlier, who was hired that year.
16 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: If we can go to the third page, both in English
17 and the B/C/S.
18 Q. We see, at the bottom of that page, the numbers of telegrams that
19 were sent and received throughout that year. And does that -- is that an
20 accurate description of the situation during that year?
21 A. Yes, it's an accurate description of the situation.
22 Q. And it says here that you received 2530 open dispatches, you
23 received 150 encrypted dispatches, and you sent 837 open dispatches, and
24 you sent 21 encrypted dispatches.
25 Now, I would like to understand the number 837 of sent open
1 dispatches. Can you tell us what kind of dispatches would be sent open?
2 A. All dispatches that did not contain, to put it briefly, any
3 secret information were sent by open dispatch system. For instance,
4 whether there was need for some equipment, if someone from the political
5 structures was passing through Kotor Varos and needed escort through
6 town; whereas, dispatches which required any degree of secrecy were not
7 sent through this open system.
8 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: And if we can go to the last page.
9 Q. And I would ask to you look at the last paragraphs.
10 It reads here that:
11 "All communication and cryptographic protection affairs in the
12 SJB Kotor Varos are conducted successfully and without major difficulties
13 considering the current situation."
14 Do you see that paragraph?
15 A. Yes, I do see the paragraph.
16 Q. So to come back to what you told us earlier. In the initial
17 seven to ten days you were having problems. This -- your conclusion for
18 the year is despite the difficulties you are able to send dispatches. Is
19 that -- and if that's correct, can you tell us, roughly speaking, when it
20 is that the situation allowed you to send dispatches?
21 A. The situation became relatively normal, although it never became
22 fully normal in the few years to come, but relatively normal. It was as
23 of the end of the year onwards. As you said in the last paragraph, we
24 can see that considering the current situation it's conducted
25 successfully. So it means at the time of reporting.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, may I ask for this document to be
3 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
4 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I have one last, short topic before we --
5 THE REGISTRAR: I apologise. This will be Exhibit P1486,
6 Your Honours.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: I just have an observation, Your Honours. I
8 believe it might be important. This document --
9 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
10 MR. ZECEVIC: I believe, Your Honours, that the English
11 translation that -- does not correspond entirely to the Serbian original.
12 Because -- and that is exactly what witness was explaining, and I don't
13 know if it's clear to Your Honours.
14 The English translation uses the -- the Serbian original contains
15 the word "zazada," which means "at this moment." And it's not a part of
16 the English translation. So I think that that is what is creating the
17 difficulty for my learned friend and the witness to comment on the
18 document because the English translation does not -- does not contain
19 that particular part of the original.
20 So I would --
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: The witness concluded that he was at the time of
22 reporting, so I think that clarifies the issue.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes. But the officially translation should contain
24 everything which is in the original. And we need to -- to re-send it for
25 verification of translation.
1 Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE HALL: Yes.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I'll look into it. Very well.
4 One last topic before we resume [sic] for the day, Your Honours.
5 Q. Mr. Raljic, you were telling us about the courier system. I'd
6 like to ask you about the SJB chief, Mr. Tepic, himself. Would he attend
7 meetings with his superiors?
8 A. Yes. The chief would attend meetings with his superiors.
9 Q. And this is in Banja Luka; correct?
10 A. Yes. That was in the CS -- or, CJB [as interpreted].
11 Q. Now, how often, to your knowledge, would Mr. Tepic go to
12 Banja Luka?
13 A. During which period?
14 Q. I'm talking about the year 1992.
15 A. Chief Tepic, in 1992, would relatively frequently go there.
16 Initially - and we are discussing the meetings now - initially, if they
17 had a collegium which was scheduled and announced through dispatches and
18 they would hold a meeting, they would have an agenda for the chiefs to
19 prepare for the discussion and their briefings, and then after the
20 11th of June, I don't remember receiving any dispatches announcing a
21 meeting of the collegium. But the chief would travel often. I think, on
22 the average, two or three times a week. Now, whether he was on these
23 occasions going to the centre or was he going to do some private business
24 of his, that I don't know.
25 Q. And during the first part of the year 1992, do you know who his
1 driver was?
2 A. During the first part of 1992, I was the driver, the chief's
3 driver. And then after the April of 1992, there were two other guys who
4 would alternate.
5 Q. And, generally speaking, when you drove the chief, where did you
6 drive him to in Banja Luka?
7 A. If we would be going to the public security centre, then I would
8 take him to the public security centre -- or, rather, sometimes we would
9 go to Laktasi or other locations in Banja Luka. The chief was not
10 strictly using his official vehicle only to go to the CSB.
11 Q. Very well. And one last question on this topic: When he would
12 attend the meetings at Banja Luka, who would have called for those
14 A. As I mentioned, these meetings would be announced, we would
15 receive dispatches to that effect, and the meetings were convened by the
16 chief of the CSB, Mr. Zupljanin.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: It may be a good time, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE HALL: Yes. It is the time when we would take the
20 adjournment for today.
21 I would remind Mr. Raljic, the witness, that having been sworn as
22 a witness, that you cannot communicate with counsel from either side
23 until you are released, and such conversations that you have outside the
24 Chamber, you cannot discuss your testimony.
25 So we adjourn, to reconvene tomorrow in this courtroom at 9.00.
1 Thank you.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 30th
5 day of June, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.