1 Wednesday, 17 November 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
6 everyone in and around the courtroom.
7 This is case IT-08-91-T, the Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and
8 Stojan Zupljanin.
9 Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Good morning to everyone. May we have the appearances, please.
12 MR. OLMSTED: Good morning, Your Honours. Matthew Olmsted,
13 Tom Hannis, and Crispian Smith, for the Prosecution.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
15 Slobodan Cvijetic, and Ms. Melody Whittaker, appearing for
16 Stanisic Defence this morning. Thank you.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Dragan Krgovic and
18 Aleksandar Aleksic, appearing for Zupljanin Defence.
19 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
20 I don't know if there are any housekeeping mattering that counsel
21 have before the witness is recalled to the stand, but from the Chamber --
22 from the Bench's point of view picking up from where we left on Friday as
23 to the -- what's going happen the rest of this week. I think counsel for
24 the OTP had raised the possibility of sitting on Friday to complete the
25 witnesses that they had scheduled, but having regard to the -- Friday,
1 the 19th having been previously fixed as a dies non juridicus, it is from
2 the Chamber's point of view impossible to reverse that. So counsel
3 should bear in mind that we have available today and tomorrow, and in
4 terms of the OTP's schedule of witnesses, and we alerted before we took
5 the bench, that the continued examination-in-chief of the witness who is
6 now on the stand is likely to occupy the whole of today. Counsel for the
7 OTP would -- should advise themselves accordingly and so adjust their
8 witnesses list.
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 JUDGE HALL: Good morning to you, sir. Before Mr. Olmsted
11 resumes his examination-in-chief of you, I remind you you're still on
12 your oath.
13 WITNESS: MEVLUDIN SEJMENOVIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Examination by Mr. Olmsted: [Continued]
17 Q. Good morning, Mr. Sejmenovic.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. I want to begin today by clarifying just a few matters that
20 were -- that we questioned you about last Friday.
21 First of all, last Friday when I asked you whether the non-Serb
22 population in Prijedor was attempting to obtain weapons prior to the
23 takeover, you told us that some people strove to come by weapons for
24 their personal safety but this was done in an uninstitutional manner.
25 Can you clarify for us what you meant by "uninstitutional
2 A. Your Honour, before I answer the question, I would like to note
3 that I still owe you the last answer before the recess we had, and the
4 question was that I should briefly describe the atmosphere that reigned
5 in the days preceding the takeover, so if I may in a couple of sentences,
6 I would like do that. I think it would be helpful to all in the
7 courtroom to hear that.
8 Q. I think it would. Let me clarify this particular matter and then
9 we can move right to that because that's actually within the area of my
10 next questions for you.
11 So just to -- focussing on this pre-takeover period, what you
12 meant by uninstitutional manner, which some non-Serbs were obtaining
14 A. The atmosphere I'm referring to was such that the non-Serb
15 population were in a highly insecure situation. Given that, and in view
16 of the fact that they saw that the official authorities did nothing to
17 remedy the situation, they tried to protect themselves. They were left
18 to their own devices. We knew that the army was arming the Serbian
19 population. The non-Serb population of whatever ethnicity was not
20 receiving weapons from anyone. Under the circumstances, some individuals
21 tried to obtain weapons or purchase weapons for themselves either through
22 arms smell smuggling or from members of the reserve force. We did not
23 have any reliable information on this, however. Those were only
24 assumptions that we had.
25 Q. Were these persons, these non-Serb persons who were seeking to
1 obtain arms, were they getting them from Serbs in the area?
2 A. I heard information to the effect that certain individuals had
3 purchased weapons from Serbs, members of the reserve force, or soldiers
4 who returned home and that they were able to purchase weapons from them.
5 Q. And can you tell us what kinds of weapons they were able to
6 obtain through these means?
7 A. I learnt this information as unverified, and it wasn't from first
8 knowledge -- first-hand knowledge. Apparently, a lad from Omarska sold
9 weapons to a lad in Kozarac. I heard stores to the effect that this
10 young man was able to buy weapons from the Serbs in Omarska.
11 Q. Yes, my question is: What kind of arms? Were these any kind of
12 heavy arms or weapons, any artillery or were these just basic weapons?
13 A. No. As far as I remember, it was an automatic rifle that was the
14 case in this instance -- situation, or semi-automatic; I'm not sure
16 Q. All right. Now I want to move to the atmosphere prior to the
17 takeover. Did you want to supplement what you had told us yesterday? Or
18 on Friday, in fact.
19 A. Yes, I wanted to answer the question but we had to adjourn so I
20 was unable to. It may be helpful to the Chamber.
21 I'm referring to the month of April, i.e., the period preceding
22 the takeover. At the time, Serb forces would appear in Prijedor in
23 several formations. Prijedor was milling with reservist, members of the
24 5th Kozara Brigade. It was through the Prijedor and the villages
25 surrounding Prijedor that regular soldiers of the JNA would pass. One
1 could also see members of the Matic's police in Prijedor from the
2 neighbouring Croatia or, rather, the Serbian Krajina, SRK. At the time,
3 a war was waged in Croatia where in these autonomous provinces
4 independence was claimed. There had already been casualties in several
5 towns. And the scenario was always the same. The army or the police
6 would barge in and cause a massacre. I remember one in Bijeljina, in
7 Zvornik, and I think there was another one in Brcko as well. Around
8 Prijedor, the SDS had taken power in most of the municipalities around
9 Prijedor, a coup was carried out in Sanski Most, they took over power,
10 and a neighbourhood in Sanski Most was torched by artillery fire. This
11 was the pervasive atmosphere in mid-April 1992.
12 At the same time, the Republican Staff of Territorial Defence
13 issued an order that the country should be defended and that the
14 population should be defended. At the municipal level in Prijedor, we
15 were unable to carry out the order because the structures arriving from
16 the SDS stone walled and obstructed these efforts.
17 In mid-April, reenforcements arrived to all the various forces I
18 mentioned around Prijedor and around non-Serb territories. We were still
19 operating within institutions but were unable to exercise in the
20 territory of Prijedor municipality and implement the orders arriving from
21 the republican level.
22 There was a possibility for some initiative at the local level
23 and there was also the pressure brought to bear upon us because of the
24 general situation that existed in the area, pressure from the population.
25 There were also tensions where -- in the areas where Serb populated areas
1 bordered with non-Serb populated ones. I also said that overnight
2 certain white flags or markings would be placed on houses and these were
3 Serb houses in -- on -- in the outlying but -- areas close to the
4 boundary. All this pointed to the fact that the Serbs wanted to engage
5 in actions. If you went through a village which was a non-Serb village,
6 pure non-Serb village, during the night, you would see people take --
7 standing guard in front of their houses. So there wasn't a system in
8 place. What they were attempting to do was to comply with the
9 instructions from the republican authorities, and the municipality was
10 supposed to take care of the population's security and to take measures
11 and precautions to possibly protect the population.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm -- I'm sorry for the intervention in the
13 transcript, 6, line 6; page 6, line 6, I believe the -- the witness
14 mentioned Territorial Defence and it was recorded as municipality.
15 Perhaps municipality Territorial Defence. Maybe you clarify
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The Territorial Defence at
18 the level of the municipality of Prijedor.
19 MR. OLMSTED:
20 Q. Last Friday one of the things that you mentioned that you
21 observed in the days leading up to the takeover of the municipality was
22 that women, children, and elderly left their homes during the night and
23 only returned in the morning.
24 What were the ethnicities of these people who would leave during
25 the night?
1 A. They were solely Serbs from the Serb villages bordering with
2 non-Serb villages. The Serbian population was leaving and they would be
3 mostly the elderly, women, and children. They would leave their homes
4 during the night and then come back in the morning. And, of course,
5 people would inquire of them in the morning as to what had happened the
6 previous night. But they would always deny everything. They would say,
7 No, we didn't leave. You are must have -- you must be mistaken, and so
8 on and so forth.
9 Q. Can you explain to us why this phenomenon of people leaving
10 during the night and coming back the next morning was related -- or how
11 you perceive it as being related to the eventually takeover of Prijedor?
12 A. At that point in time before the takeover, as these things were
13 happening, we were quite clear on the fact that the army was getting
14 ready for actions and that that was the reason why they were pulling the
15 Serbian population out of the area, in order to enable them to carry out
16 their actions. And it was only logical to conclude this. However, in
17 the mornings, nothing would really happen. People would come back to
18 their homes, and this is what would happen, once, twice, and we realised
19 that these must have been drills in the event of an actual attack that
20 they should be ready.
21 There were no indications. There wasn't a single reason for any
22 Serbian village to be evacuated in that area.
23 Q. You testified last Friday that you heard public announcements
24 that the non-Serbs were getting ready to attack Prijedor and this was
25 even published in an Official Gazette.
1 Who issued these announcements?
2 A. It was the SDS that published it, or, rather, the public
3 controlling the SDS. It was a component part of a campaign that had long
4 been in the making and been implemented. The SDS created an atmosphere
5 of fear among the Serbian population through their representatives. The
6 SDS took control of all the TV installations in the area, and broadcast
7 its own programme solely, the news from the battle-field in Croatia, the
8 news from Belgrade, their own newscasts, and the news programme was
9 designed deliberately with a view to promoting or implementing a
10 political propaganda which wanted to instill fear with the Serbian
11 population and to simply carry out a propaganda among them.
12 Q. And just to be clear, were there any plans by the non-Serbs to
13 attack either Prijedor town or any part of the municipality at any time
14 prior to the takeover of the municipality?
15 A. Your Honours, at no point in time from anyone person, either
16 civilian or a member of the Territorial Defence, did I ever hear or -- of
17 or see any sort of plan, any mention of it or even any mention of a
18 possibility for a Serbian area or a Serbian home or a Serbian individual
19 to be attacked. The SDA policy, as well as that of all the other parties
20 outside of the Serbian block, outside of the SDS, was to do all in one's
21 power to dispel such unfounded fears. Various peace initiatives were
22 launched, such as ones to set up joint movements, civic fora, joint
23 patrol, mixed military formations which would be composed of the army
24 from the 5th Kozara Brigade, the police, the Territorial Defence in
25 Kozarac, and wherever the army and the SDS agreed, such mixed army units
1 would be set up. But the Serbs refused all of it. Individuals of Serb
2 ethnicity who were committed to peace and civilised life were at risk
3 from the SDS and slowly moved out or withdrew from such civic
4 associations or organisations.
5 Q. Did either the SDS or HDZ leadership in Prijedor receive any
6 instructions from their republican Main Boards to establish Crisis Staffs
7 in Prijedor or separate government institutions?
8 A. The SDS did receive such orders, because it had already
9 established a parallel state by that time.
10 Q. I'm sorry, it was a slip of my tongue. The SDA or the HDZ, did
11 the non-Serb political parties receive any such instructions from their
12 Main Boards.
13 A. No. They had not received any instructions about divisions. The
14 SDA and the HDZ and many of the civic parties of the opposition were
15 operating at the time and had an intention to operate within the bounds
16 of the law, the constitution and institutions that were legitimately
17 elected. What the SDA or non-Serb politicians weren't able to carry out
18 were some of the orders arriving from the state level. They were unable
19 to prevent the SDS from cutting off the financial ties between Prijedor
20 and the rest of the state, because the functionary within the SDK was one
21 who co-operated with the SDS and syphoned off the financial -- the flow
22 of payments from -- from Sarajevo to Banja Luka, to the autonomous
23 province that had, by that time, already been set up there. The
24 mobilisation of territorial staff -- Defence, that is, could also not be
25 carried out although we had received an order from the republican level
1 to do so.
2 Q. In fact, that was my next question. Prior to the takeover, had
3 the TO units in the non-Serb areas of Prijedor been mobilised? And I
4 believe that you have just answered that they could not have been -- you
5 were unable to carry out any instructions to that regard.
6 A. No, they could not have been mobilised because the centre for
7 mobilisation, that is to say the main command in the municipality was in
8 the city of Prijedor. Of course, in that command there were people from
9 the SDS as well, and the order to mobilise the Territorial Defence could
10 not have been implemented in the way it should have been.
11 Q. I want to move now to the takeover itself.
12 Did you go to Prijedor town on the morning after the takeover?
13 A. Yes. I went to Prijedor that morning normally to the meeting
14 that had been agreed, not knowing that what is going on, and at the first
15 stop of the bus, when army troops came onto the bus starting to check
16 papers of the passengers, I realised something out of the ordinary was
17 happening and I saw at the bus-stop sandbags and machine-gun emplacement.
18 The soldiers were checking the IDs of the passengers on the bus. They
19 looked at my ID and returned it to me without a word. They didn't say
20 anything to me or to the other passengers.
21 The bus continued on to Prijedor, and at all the following major
22 intersections we could see soldiers and machine-gun emplacements. And
23 just before the main bus terminal, the railway station at the main
24 intersection in Prijedor near the SUP building outside the town hall, it
25 was the same.
1 Q. And did you also see police guarding these facilities?
2 A. Yes, yes. It was a mixed composition. There were soldiers,
3 police, and military police. Military police wore military uniforms with
4 white belts. So it was a mixed force that carried out this takeover,
5 this military putsch.
6 Q. Now when arrived in town, where did you go?
7 A. When I arrived in town, I went, first, to the party headquarters,
8 because that's where I had planned to go, and there I found some members
9 of the party standing outside. They were trying to get in, but they
10 couldn't because the lock had been changed. A cleaning lady came out and
11 told us, There's nothing for us to do there. She would call the police
12 if we continued trying to get in, so we left, and we set out towards the
13 municipality building.
14 There were non-Serbs standing outside, employees of the
15 municipality who had worked there as recently as the day before but were
16 unable to get in, were not allowed, and the president of the
17 municipality, Muhamed Cehajic, was there. He was also standing at the
18 reception desk not being allowed to get in.
19 Q. Can you tell us, at this point in time who were the main SDA
20 leaders in Prijedor? Obviously we don't want a complete list, but if
21 could you just give us the main SDA leaders.
22 A. You mean SDS or SDA?
23 Q. SDA.
24 A. Well the president was Mirzad Mujadzic, vice-president;
25 Camil Pezo; then myself. I can't remember the third vice-president. The
1 Executive Board included Sefer Krkic, Ilijaz Music, Muhamed Cehajic,
2 Becir Mehdunjanin, Ilijaz Memic, I believe was also on the
3 Executive Board. Rufad Suljanovic, Dr. Rufad Suljanovic was also on the
4 Executive Board. I could actually give you all the names, if given a few
6 Q. That's fine. That will do. Were members of the SDA leadership
7 who held government positions allowed to return to their positions, their
8 jobs in the weeks or months that followed the takeover?
9 A. No one at no time, although they tried to make inquiries by
10 telephone, none of them were allowed to return. What happened the next
11 day, happened in companies and enterprises. Managers of non-Serb
12 ethnicity were refused access to their workplaces. Senior staff in
13 public -- publicly owned companies were also refused access to their
14 workplaces and even ordinary workers were not allowed to go back to work.
15 In some enterprises they were exceptions, I know, for instance, about the
16 service in charge of railway maintenance. There was a non-Serb or a few
17 non-Serbs who were allowed to go on working. As for banks and major
18 companies, major businesses, all non-Serbs who had occupied posts of any
19 importance were refused access and Serbs took over their works -- the
21 Q. So if I understand you correctly, it wasn't simply members of the
22 SDA who were denied the opportunity to return to their jobs, it was all
23 non-Serbs except for the exceptions that you gave?
24 A. Right, right.
25 Q. Can you tell us what happened to the members of the SDA
1 leadership in the aftermath of the takeover?
2 A. After the takeover, the SDA leadership never managed to convene
3 again in full composition. There were one or two attempts but they were
4 never able to meet again, all of them. The first thing we did was
5 approach SDS, suggesting that we talk about the situation and discuss the
6 moves they had made.
7 Q. And I want to move on to that in a second.
8 Did the members of the SDA leadership, did they survive the
9 conflict, did they survive 1992?
10 A. Three men survived from the leadership. And 90 to 95 per cent of
11 municipal and local officials were killed.
12 Q. What happened to the non-Serb police officers in Prijedor, after
13 the takeover?
14 A. On that day, policemen turned up for work. Some were turned back
15 without any explanation, but I heard that some others were offered a
16 statement of loyalty to sign. I'm not aware that anyone actually signed
17 it. In fact, I heard that some did but I didn't know these men. But
18 it's quite certain that within a few days even those who were prepared to
19 sign that statement, were no longer working in the police.
20 MR. OLMSTED: Let's look at 65 ter 2418. This is tab number 1.
21 Q. This a decision on the termination of employment. It's dated 16
22 October 1992.
23 Have you seen this document before?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And without going into any details, who showed it to you?
1 A. I received that document from the man who is named here.
2 Q. As the reason for the decision, it states that the Prijedor
3 Crisis Staff ordered all work organisations to terminate the employment
4 of all employee who is had participated in the armed rebellion around are
5 currently in one of the refugee camps, Omarska or Keraterm.
6 Did you spend any time in Omarska camp?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. Would you classify it as a refugee camp?
9 A. Absolutely not. It was a concentration camp by any standard.
10 Q. Were only non-Serbs detained at Omarska and Keraterm fired from
11 their jobs in state-owned enterprises?
12 A. No. Everyone was fired, regardless of whether they had been in
13 Omarska or Keraterm, even women were laid off. Dismissals from work had
14 nothing to do with Keraterm and Omarska, and that started happening even
15 before these camps were established.
16 MR. OLMSTED: May this be admitted into evidence, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P01715, Your Honours.
19 MR. OLMSTED: I now want to move to events after the takeover.
20 Q. Were any travel restrictions imposed on the non-Serb population
21 in Prijedor municipality, after the takeover?
22 A. Yes. It's not that restrictions were imposed but travel was no
23 longer possible. It was prohibited.
24 Q. Where were you living -- or where were you spending most of your
25 time after the takeover?
1 A. In Trnopolje, in my birth place, my place of residence, and I
2 went occasionally to Kozarac and came back.
3 Q. Other than travelling to Kozarac and that area, the non-Serb area
4 around Kozarac, were you able to travel around the municipality freely;
5 for instance, going into Prijedor town or other locations?
6 A. Not freely. Free travel was possible just the first few days
7 after the takeover. Later on, it was no longer possible because public
8 transport was cancelled and it was based in Prijedor, so there was no
9 more public transport. And travelling in your own car meant that you
10 would be stopped and your papers would be checked at several
11 check-points, and we had also heard that some people had been stopped at
12 these check-points, their cars taken away, and they had to walk back
13 home. That meant practically that it was a total blockade. Several days
14 after the takeover, you were not able to go to Prijedor by any means at
16 Q. And who was manning these check-points?
17 A. The police and reservists.
18 Q. And during this time-period, did you hear about any crimes
19 committed against non-Serbs at these check-points?
20 A. Yes. There were cases at the check-point on the way to Omarska.
21 People were beaten up, their cars taken away. There was also an incident
22 at the entry point to Prijedor, but I don't know the details. The person
23 was probably beaten up as well.
24 Q. And during this period between the takeover and the attack on
25 Kozarac, were non-Serbs in Kozarac allowed to move out of the
2 A. No.
3 Q. Does that include women, children, and elderly?
4 A. That includes everyone. Some people tried, but women and
5 children were turned back.
6 Q. And did you ever seek an explanation for why they weren't allowed
7 to leave the municipality?
8 A. When they stopped people going to Banja Luka the first time, we
9 still had some communication from them. The official explanation was the
10 one that could be heard even earlier in the form of propaganda. Namely,
11 that we were preparing to go to war against Serbs and that we were trying
12 to send our women and children away from Prijedor municipality. However,
13 at the same time, we could see that Serb women and children were being
14 allowed to leave Prijedor. However, no discussion was possible. Their
15 accusations were final. What used to be propaganda turned into an
16 official position that was later published in newspapers and other media.
17 Q. Were non-Serb children allowed to attend school after the
19 A. No. No, secondary schools were based only in Prijedor. From the
20 moment the road from Prijedor to Kozarac was blocked and when there was
21 no more public transport available, non-Serb children from Kozarac were
22 no longer able to attend secondary school.
23 Q. What happened to the electricity and telephone service in Kozarac
24 after the takeover?
25 A. After the takeover, we continued to have electricity and
1 telephone service for a while and then both were cut off. Several days
2 before the attack, they cut off both.
3 Q. Can you explain to us how you know that it was cut off as opposed
4 to simply malfunctioning?
5 A. Kozarac had no electricity. Kamicani and Jakupovici did not have
6 electricity either, all those settlements. However, Petrov Gaj and
7 Omarska and Serb hamlets adjacent to Trnopolje had electricity. If I can
8 remember well, there were two non-Serb houses on the boundary that had
9 electricity and one of the houses had a working telephone. All the rest
10 had no power and no telephone. Now, looking towards the west, across
11 from Ribnjak and Tomasica village, they had electricity throughout, the
12 town of Prijedor as well. You could see that very clearly every evening,
13 every night.
14 MR. OLMSTED: Let's bring up 65 ter 10580. This is tab 22.
15 Q. And while we're bringing that up, what JNA unit did you serve in
16 during your compulsory military service after secondary school?
17 A. I was in an artillery unit. It was a 105-millimetre Howitzer
18 unit; that's how we called it. We called it Howitzer 105. Those were
19 medium-calibre guns, you can call them.
20 MR. OLMSTED: If we can zoom in just a little bit more. And then
21 scroll -- oh, not that much. That's too much as well. Just a little
22 bit, not ... and if we could actually scroll up towards the top. There
23 you go. There you go.
24 Q. Sir, in the first half of May, was any artillery positioned
25 around Kozarac?
1 A. Well, there was artillery even in April, before the takeover at
2 certain positions around Kozarac. As best I can remember, I'll explain
3 where they were.
4 The guns were here.
5 Q. Wait, let's --
6 A. Cannons were here --
7 Q. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Let's skip the image right and then, yes,
8 I would like you to mark with an X where you saw various artillery
9 positions around Kozarac.
10 A. Artillery positions were here. And somewhere here too. Then in
11 this area. A position also at Benkovac overlooking Kozarac, I can't see
12 Benkovac. Here, I think. And then in the area of the quarry and the
13 mine there were some positions, in Orlovci, somewhere here. At the
14 airport at Urije, I suppose it's here. Around here. I'm not quite sure.
15 Again, at Gornja Puharska, it's either here or here.
16 Q. And who -- who put this artillery at these various locations
17 around Kozarac?
18 A. Well, officially, there was the Yugoslavia People's Army, the
19 Yugoslav army, although members of the 5th Kozara Brigade were seen
20 there. People who were coming back from the theatre of war in Croatia
21 returning to their homes were observed in some of these locations after
22 their return.
23 Q. Can you describe for us the kinds of artillery that were
24 positioned around Kozarac. You mentioned you were with a Howitzer unit
25 in a JNA. Were any of those placed around Kozarac?
1 A. Even before these incidents we knew that multi-barrel
2 rocket-launchers were at the Urije airport. Large-calibre cannons were
3 in Urije and in Gornja Puharska. There was artillery in Gorazde. At
4 Benkovci there were regular Yugoslavia army troops and they had several
5 large-calibre batteries. We knew that as well. At the quarry, we
6 supposed there were some because soldiers had been seen hauling something
7 and setting something up. And later when they started to use the
8 artillery, we realised it was a smaller calibre. And when the attack
9 happened, those who had seen artillery fire while serving in the army
10 were aware what it looked like when shells were fired from Howitzers of
11 155 millimetres, the devastation is huge. And with these guns you can
12 hear both the explosion and later, 15, 20 seconds later, depending on the
13 distance, you can also hear the sounds of fire, the firing. Prijedor was
14 shelled with heavy artillery from Benkovac and Omarska and that's it for
15 the heavy artillery. With smaller-calibre artillery from Orlovic,
16 Donji Gorazde and the quarry. The artillery from Tomasica that I'm
17 showing near this fish pond was never used. It fired only twice.
18 Q. And we're going into in the attack on Kozarac in a little bit. I
19 did have one clarification for your last answer. You said Prijedor was
20 shelled with heavy artillery. Did you mean Prijedor or were you
21 referring to Kozarac area?
22 A. Maybe I was speaking too fast for interpreters. Kozarac was
23 shelled with heavy artillery from Prijedor, from the area of Urije or
24 Gornja Puharska.
25 So, the shells were coming from this direction, this direction,
1 and this direction. That's heavy artillery. And lighter artillery and
2 mortars were firing from this direction and this direction and somewhere
3 from this area which I did not mark.
4 Q. And I want to talk about this period of April and early May, when
5 these artillery positions were established around Kozarac. Were you able
6 to observe in which directions these weapons were faced?
7 A. Well, I did not go to any of these places. We knew that because
8 we heard from people who had been there and told us, either people from
9 the party or the municipal structures. We knew some of the reservists
10 who were part of these units, and when they deserted, they told us about
11 it. They told us of the positions. Also, villagers from neighbouring
12 villages saw these positions and told us from the municipality. But when
13 the shelling began, I'll mark the position where I was when the shelling
15 MR. OLMSTED: And just for the record, he just drew a circle as
16 to where he was when the shelling began.
17 Q. Let me focus you on my question though. You've now mentioned
18 these artillery positions were established in late April -- in April and
19 early May. Were you able to determine in which direction, say, the
20 Howitzers were facing? Were they facing away from Kozarac or towards it?
21 A. They were facing towards Kozarac.
22 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Aleksic is on his feet.
23 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise for
24 interrupting, but in his previous answer the witness said I personally
25 didn't go to any of these locations. How can he then know which
1 direction the guns were facing?
2 MR. OLMSTED: Perhaps the witness can --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as responsible
4 people, we were in constant contact with people who came and informed us
5 either because they were afraid and wanted to have answers for what was
6 happening. As for the artillery, everybody said that the artillery guns
7 were facing Kozarac expect for one battery in Urije which wasn't facing
8 in this direction. It was facing at an angle of 90 degrees in this
9 direction, so sort of towards town.
10 MR. OLMSTED: May this be admitted into evidence, Your Honours.
11 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I object to this
12 document. What assistance does it have? The witness didn't see any of
13 these locations, he didn't see whether there was any action from these
14 locations, nor does very any personal knowledge. He said, I heard from
15 some people, but he didn't say the source. And we don't see how this map
16 could assist the Chamber.
17 He doesn't have any knowledge of actions nor does he have
18 personal knowledge. He is merely talking about something that heard from
19 others. This is not even hearsay. It's -- who knows who he heard it
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Allow me, Your Honours, I'm trying
22 to economise with time so I may be speaking too quickly.
23 We had a few reservists who left the 5th Kozara Brigade. There
24 was a lieutenant or second lieutenant who had been at some of these
25 locations and he told me us about what he saw there. He gave us some
1 additional information which I didn't talk about because I wasn't asked.
2 That's one of the things that I'm talking about.
3 The second is that shells can't just fall out of the sky. They
4 come from certain directions and they hit certain locations. And you
5 know exactly whether the whistling sound is above your head or whether it
6 is coming from the opposite direction. Those who had served in the army
7 and had some training knew very well that it wasn't difficult to
8 establish where artillery shells were coming from. Only very exceptional
9 geographic circumstances is a -- difficult to establish when, for example
10 you're in the hills and the sound reverberates, so it's difficult to
11 orient yourself.
12 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I think he --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And one other very important thing.
14 We didn't get the information for any of these places from only one
15 person. The head of the municipality and the party was visited by people
16 on several occasions. Ten people had come from Gornja Puharska to
17 complain about these guns. And I can't have any doubt if people come to
18 complain every single day.
19 JUDGE HALL: It seems to me, Mr. Krgovic, that, if anything,
20 the -- an argument could be made about weight, but I see no reason why
21 the document shouldn't be admitted based on this witness's testimony.
22 Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P01716, Your Honours.
24 MR. OLMSTED:
25 Q. Sir, I think you mentioned this in response to one of my prior
1 questions, but did you and the other members of the SDA leadership
2 attempt to meet with the SDS leadership in Prijedor following the
4 A. Yes, we did. There was several attempts and several meetings
5 were held. The police, after the takeover of power, called the police in
6 Kozarac so I know there were some contacts there, and I know that a team
7 from the police went to negotiate. I know that a delegation went to a
8 meeting to Banja Luka to meet with Kupresanin and Zupljanin, and I know
9 that another delegation went to the SUP in Prijedor to the police, one
10 went to the barracks and this was more or less unsuccessful. The SDA
11 tried, at the level of the SDS party which was in control of everything,
12 to set up a meeting and we managed to convince the SDS to hold this
13 meeting. The meeting was held in Prijedor and I was personally there at
14 the meeting.
15 Q. I'm going ask you about that meeting, but before I do, you
16 mentioned this meeting in Prijedor with Kupresanin and Zupljanin. Was
17 that Stojan Zupljanin, the CSB chief at the time?
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, had this is the first
19 time that the Prosecutor has mentioned this. We were not informed about
20 this. The witness didn't talk about this at all, nor did the Prosecutor
21 inform us about this. I would like this to be stricken from the record
22 and not to be -- and I would like the Prosecutor not to be allowed to go
23 along this line. This is not professional behaviour. The Prosecutor
24 never informed us about this and they didn't supply with us a proofing
25 note that would contain this information.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
2 MR. OLMSTED: Before you answer, sir, just a moment.
3 Your Honours, this is the first I heard about this too and that's
4 why it is not in any proofing notes but he has now given an answer.
5 He's mentioned someone by the name of Zupljanin and I think it is now my
6 right to ask him which Zupljanin it was.
7 JUDGE HALL: Yes, we'll have to see where this goes, the witness
8 having volunteered that information. We will see where it goes because
9 it may very well in result in counsel for Zupljanin being given time to
10 deal with this in their cross-examination. But as I said, the witness
11 has volunteered it, so let's proceed.
12 MR. OLMSTED:
13 Q. Sir, can you tell us which Zupljanin you were referring to who
14 attended this meeting with members of the Kozarac police?
15 MR. KRGOVIC: It is misleading. The witness never mentioned a
16 meeting in Kozarac. What is going with you?
17 MR. OLMSTED: No, I didn't say there was a meeting in Kozarac.
18 I'm reading from the record. Let's let the witness then explain to
19 clarify that.
20 Q. Sir, you mentioned there was a meeting in which Zupljanin and
21 Kupresanin attended or participated in. First of all, can you tell us
22 which Zupljanin you meant by that?
23 A. That was the chief of police, that Zupljanin.
24 If I can provide some details because some of the parties are
25 contesting this. Let me explain how this meeting happened.
1 Vojislav Kupresanin was the president of the autonomous region of
2 Krajina and he had a brother. His brother's wife was Hamdo Balic's
3 sister, who was from Kozarac. And along that personal line Hamdo Balic
4 from Kozarac, the brother-in-law of Kupresanin, was asked for -- and told
5 for Kupresanin to ask Zupljanin to meet with a delegation from Kozarac
6 which would explain that we were not armed, that we had no bad intentions
7 towards the Serbs, that they were prepared to solve issues together and
8 then this delegation went to Banja Luka. Becir Mehdunjanin led the
9 delegation, and I think Hamdo Balic was also there, who was Kupresanin's
10 brother-in-law. In a way he was his brother-in-law.
11 Q. And can you tell us approximately when this meeting took place?
12 A. Some time between the 15th and 20th of May, I think. It was the
13 second part of May, not later than the 20th of May. I'm not completely
15 Another piece of information. Dusan Tadic from Kozarac was also
16 supposed to be a member of this delegation, together with some other
17 Serbs. Dusan Tadic is the person whose case was heard before this
18 Tribunal. This delegation went to Banja Luka and had some talks but
19 there were no positive results. The explanations provided by the
20 delegation were not recognised.
21 Q. I want to move on to the meeting that you attended with other
22 members of the SDA leadership with the SDS leadership.
23 First of all, can you tell us when that meeting occurred?
24 A. That meeting occurred sometime in mid-May.
25 Q. And --
1 A. I was never sure of the exact date because lots of things were
2 happening at the time.
3 Q. And can you explain to us why you and the other members of the
4 SDA leadership wanted to have this meeting with the SDS leadership?
5 A. There were several reasons. First, we were under complete
6 blockade. Normal life was completely interrupted. People were terribly
7 afraid. They were locked up in that area. We were afraid of an attack.
8 We were not preparing any sort of an attack. We didn't even have any
9 defence prepared. We wanted to talk to the SDS about the situation. We
10 wanted to offer some solutions out of this situation. Everything that
11 the SDS mentioned as reasons for a military coup we wanted to convince
12 them that these reasons didn't exist.
13 Q. And where did this meeting take place?
14 A. On the premises of the SDS in Prijedor.
15 Q. And other than yourself, who from the SDA leadership was present
16 at this meeting?
17 A. I was there; Becir Medunjanin was there; Mustafa Tadzic, from
18 Kozarac; Islam Bahonjic; Professor Ilijaz Music; Meho Tursic.
19 Q. Who from the SDS leadership was present at this meeting?
20 A. On behalf of the SDS, it was President Simo Miskovic; Dragan or
21 Dusan Kurnoga; Slobodan Kuruzovic; some security officials from military
22 security and also from public security; Commander Arsic, he was a
23 lieutenant-colonel, or colonel; and Major Zeljaja, who was the garrison
24 commander in Prijedor and Arsic was the commander of the 5th Kozara --
25 Q. Can you now tell us briefly what happened at this meeting with
1 the SDS leadership and representatives from the military and public
3 A. After a few jokes made by the SDS and the officers, I must tell
4 you first that Simo Miskovic, the president of the SDS, refused to start
5 the meeting until the officers were there, and the meeting started only
6 after the officers had arrived. Professor Music spoke first, I believe.
7 He talked about the difficult situation. He said that people needed to
8 be reinstated in their jobs, something to that effect. However, then the
9 officers took over. Simo Miskovic hardly said anything. Arsic, Zeljaja,
10 and some of the security officers were the ones who talked, as did
11 Kuruzovic. They talked about war. They said we didn't know what war was.
12 They recommended that we all got in a vehicle and they could drive us to
13 the front so we could finally see what war meant.
14 Zeljaja then took over. And he gave an ultimatum, saying that
15 the weapons needed to be surrendered. It was an impossible ultimatum.
16 Beco said that we weren't armed in a way that they thought we were armed.
17 They said they knew exactly how many weapons we had. And they mentioned
18 certain numbers. Arsic or Zeljaja gave us one number, then somebody from
19 the security gave another figure. Somebody said there were 10- to 11.000
20 barrels in Prijedor, 5- to 7.000 in Kozarac, and either way, they wanted
21 these thousands of weapons to be surrendered. They said that
22 conversation could continue only after that.
23 Q. How many weapons did the non-Serb population have at that period
24 of time?
25 A. Very, very few. In a military sense, nothing. As far as
1 infantry weapons are concerned, there might have been a few dozen pieces.
2 But there were quite a few hunting rifles, because during peacetime, a
3 lot of the people were hunters. There were quite a few personal pistol,
4 personal weapons, rifles from the Turkish era and some improvised devices
5 that look like a rifle. However, when you put it all together it
6 wouldn't have been more than a thousand pieces.
7 Q. Did you and the other members of the SDA delegation explain this
8 to the members of the Serb delegation at this meeting.
9 A. Beco gave this explanation, Bahonjic was also explaining things.
10 However, they interrupted us in our explanations and at one point Zeljaja
11 was very aggressive in saying, We know exactly how many weapons you have.
12 If Kozarac doesn't return - I can't remember whether said 5- or 7.000
13 pieces - I will flatten Kozarac with the ground. Serbian police must be
14 in Kozarac and the Serbian flag must be in Kozarac. Run your weapons,
15 and when the Serbian police and Serbian flag are in Kozarac, we will sit
16 down and talk. Beco of course said, People is it clear to you that we do
17 not have those weapons? And he said, Well, that's your problem.
18 Q. During this meeting, how did the members of the Serb delegation
19 refer to the Kozarac TO and the Kozarac police? Did they use any
20 particular names to refer to them?
21 A. Zeljaja, the man I talked about, and Arsic, they talked about the
22 Green Berets. They said, We know how Green Berets there, how many
23 weapons there are, and so on. He was using only that term, Green Berets,
24 or the Muslim army.
25 Q. Were there any Green Berets in Kozarac?
1 A. No, there weren't. There weren't any Green Berets. There wasn't
2 any army. It was the -- an attempt to create the Territorial Defence, so
3 to speak.
4 Q. And how did the meeting end that day?
5 A. It ended with this ultimatum, the threat; namely that we had to
6 return these thousands of pieces of weapons than the Serbian army or the
7 Serbian police had to take over Kozarac and the Serbian flag had to fly
8 over Kozarac. A key problem was that at the very same moment we knew
9 that there was no theoretical chance for us to meet this ultimatum
10 because we didn't have that number of weapons, and if we returned fewer
11 weapons than in the ultimatum, that would have meant that we failed to
12 meet the conditions.
13 Q. After this meeting, did you and the other SDA leaders convey what
14 happened in this meeting to the community leaders in the Kozarac and the
15 surrounding non-Serb areas?
16 A. Yes, we did. We informed them. People were given the
17 information in the atmosphere that I already described. There was no way
18 out, and we were given an impossible ultimatum. We told this to the
19 people. We discussed it. And the people saw only one single problem
20 with this, which was how to protect the lives of the people.
21 There wasn't anything positive that we could say about the
22 conduct of the Serbs. There were these types of ultimatums. However, we
23 knew that there were not even minimal guarantees provided by those who
24 had issued the ultimatum.
25 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I see it's almost time for a break.
1 Perhaps it's a good time.
2 JUDGE HALL: Yes. Yes, we would resume in 20 minutes.
3 [The witness stands down]
4 --- Recess taken at 10.24 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Olmsted.
8 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Prior to the break, we were talking about a meeting that you
10 attended with the community leaders in Kozarac following this meeting you
11 had with the SDS leadership and members of the military and police in
13 Can you tell us what actions the leadership in Kozarac decided to
14 take at this point in time, having learned what went down at this
16 A. The leadership continued to try to keep in touch and to try and
17 talk to the SDS leadership and the valid municipal structures again.
18 There were attempts to contact them in Banja Luka and from what was done
19 in the field, it was clear that the threats were serious, so attempts
20 were made to increase the security of the population.
21 There were attempts to organise the Territorial Defence in a way
22 that would reduce tensions and reduce fear among the population.
23 However, there were attempts during the entire time not to cause any
24 provocations, not to provoke the SDS structures and the powers that it
1 Q. [Microphone not activated] It was on. I don't know why it didn't
2 work that time. You mentioned that there were attempts to organise the
3 TO in the Kozarac area. Can you tell us what attempts were made? What
4 was the first thing that the people of Kozarac tried to do?
5 A. The people from Kozarac, at the time that it became clear that it
6 was impossible to answer an ultimatum of that type, the only thing that
7 remained was to take all measures in order to protect the lives of the
8 civilians and of the population. The only structure that existed and for
9 which there were orders on the republican level, were the remains of the
10 TO located in the Kozarac area and in a small area outside of Prijedor in
11 the area of Hambarine, Rizvanovici and Ljubija. These were the only
12 territories where some indirect structures of Bosnia-Herzegovina existed
13 at the time. The conclusion was that the TO had to expand and be
14 organised in a way to protect the population from being massacred, should
15 that ever happen.
16 Q. And you've said that the decision was made to try to expand the
17 TO. What was the first step in that process?
18 A. In an establishment sense, in peacetime conditions, the TO had a
19 minimal number of men. It was necessary to expand this, in order to be
20 able to achieve at least minimal protection and to organise the people
21 who were able to obtain any sort of weapons, in order to protect the
22 population. The only legal way was to expand the TO in an establishment
23 sense, and this was done during those days; however, not through
24 mobilisation but through volunteering. People weren't ordered to join.
25 People reported on their own, or they asked to join the
1 Territorial Defence because they were not able to sit at home afraid and
2 in the uncertainty without any organisation that that would serve to
3 protect their homes.
4 Based on the records that we had, lists were very soon put
5 together, and since we didn't know what number of people we had, and we
6 had no vital information in relation to the defence, people were told to
7 put themselves on the list, as well as the weapons that they had, if they
8 had any, and then various formations were put together from this pool of
9 people, based on the structure of the TO, with the Main Staff in Kozarac
10 and with regional staffs in the various local communities, or at -- or at
11 even lower levels if the local communities were large.
12 And let me just say this: This was only an attempt because we
13 didn't manage to put together a list of all those people who volunteered
14 to join the TO.
15 Q. Did you --
16 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Olmsted, if I might interrupt briefly. You're
17 probably aware of this, as is the Chamber, but the -- when we take the
18 usual break at 12.05, would you have left only seven minutes of your
19 total allotted time.
20 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Just to clarify, you mentioned these lists of volunteers were
22 created. Did you sign the list?
23 A. I did sign the list and everybody from my village signed, or at
24 least the majority did. And I must say that people of other ethnicities
25 also signed this list.
1 Q. Did you own a weapon at that time?
2 A. I did not.
3 Q. Now, you mentioned that this was merely an attempt to expand the
4 TO. Were the non-Serbs in Kozarac area, in the end, able to really
5 organise a defence before the Serbs attacked that area?
6 A. They were not. The time was very short, and we failed to
7 complete the organisation which could have been effective. It was broken
8 up practically within a few hours.
9 Q. Can you explain why you weren't able to mobilise in that
10 time-period. Obviously it a limited time-period of a week or two. But
11 what other barriers were there with regard to mobilising the TO.
12 A. We were completely isolated. Communication was very poor or
13 impossible. There were no communications devices. There were no
14 weapons. You would be able to defend half of a village and then there
15 would be an open area of several kilometres completely unprotected and
16 then again a few rifles in a part of a village. There weren't enough
17 weapons, there weren't enough professionals who would be able to do this.
18 There were only two or three officers for the 20.000 or so people. There
19 wasn't enough time. There wasn't any fuel. We simply didn't have the
20 available resources to do this, not even in a longer period of time, let
21 alone such a short period of time.
22 Q. By the time of the Serb attack on Kozarac, at maximum, how many
23 men had been mobilised into the Kozarac TO?
24 A. I don't know the exact number of people. There might have been
25 2- or 3.000. But the vast majority of them were unarmed, including
1 people who had very old style pistols and personal weapons, the maximum
2 number of people who were armed in the TO would have been about a
3 thousand for the entire area.
4 Q. And that is for the entire Kozarac area, including Trnopolje? Or
5 which areas are you covering with that?
6 A. I think the entire area of Kozarac, all the local communities,
7 this entire non-Serb area.
8 Q. Were any plans made to attack Prijedor town or any of the Serb
9 areas in the municipality during this period of mobilisation?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Were any plans made to attack any Serb military, VRS, or TO units
12 in the Prijedor area during this period?
13 A. No.
14 MR. OLMSTED: May we look at P653.
15 Q. What you have before you is a dispatch from SJB Prijedor to
16 CSB Banja Luka dated 18 May 1992. We see that listed in this -- and we
17 need to zoom out a little bit. Listed in this dispatch are a number of
18 local communes. Can you tell us what are the ethnicities or the ethnic
19 majorities of these communities listed here, just generally?
20 A. It is the non-Serb ethnicity who are in a majority, so in
21 Rizvanovici, Hambarine, and Biscani, mostly there were Bosniaks. In
22 Carakovo as -- too. Now the areas of Kozarac and Kozarusa was inhabited
23 mostly by the Bosniak population, though some local communes had mixed
24 population, but all in all this was non-Serb population.
25 Q. Now we see in the first paragraph it is written that -- or refers
1 to paramilitary units present in these local communes.
2 Can you tell us other than the -- first of all, were there any
3 non-Serb paramilitary units in the Kozarac area?
4 A. Absolutely not. There was only the Territorial Defence and
5 nothing else. And there was the police, with its reserve force. That
6 was it. However, the Serb authorities referred to all of them as
7 paramilitaries in relation to their own structure, the para state
8 structure that they set up.
9 Q. Now, for Kozarac and Kozarusa, the report states that there this
10 is a unit the size of a company with rifles and mortars.
11 Can you tell us how big is a company?
12 A. I wasn't in the infantry, but a company can number several
13 hundred men, at the most.
14 Q. And was this an accurate estimation of the size of the TO units
15 in the Kozarac area before the attack on Kozarac?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now your previous answer --
18 A. Excuse me. Let me just add that, so far as the weapons are
19 concerned, this isn't accurate. If hunting rifles and such-like are
20 meant under weapons, then it's true. As far as I know, there were no
22 Q. Now in your prior answer you mentioned -- that prior to the
23 attack on Kozarac, you mentioned the number of 2.000 -- I think you
24 mentioned about 1.000 persons. A company is less than a thousand
25 persons. Can you explain the discrepancy? What were you referring to
1 when you said that a thousand people were in the TO?
2 A. There were quite a few people without weapons. There were very
3 many of those who had pistols. A significant number of people had
4 old-fashioned pistols or makeshift contraptions. So if we added all of
5 these together, pistols, and old-fashioned pistol, whatever could be used
6 for combat, and if we add all the people together, and some of them were
7 unusable in war, then we could have a thousand people. But as for the
8 proper infantry weapons, there were a few of those.
9 But if I can make an observation. This document, dated the 14th
10 of May, does not tally in any of its elements with what they were telling
11 us at the meeting where we were issued with an ultimatum. From what I
12 can see, there is an official document. The people who were members of
13 this structure are asked that we should give back 5- to 7.000 rifles.
14 Evidently, they knew what the situation was like when it came to the
15 number of weapons, but they deliberately placed before us impossible
17 Q. And I want to make sure we understand you properly on this issue.
18 If I understand you correctly, in the Kozarac area, there may
19 have been somewhere around a thousand weapons. However, for the Kozarac
20 TO itself, there was only units about the size of a company which is, I
21 think you said, several hundred people at most that had been mobilised by
22 the time of the attack?
23 A. The Territorial Defence was attempted to be put together based on
24 the list of volunteers who signed their names on that list. There was no
25 time to take it a step further from that list. What we knew, based on
1 these lists, was that when we factored in all these makeshift contraption
2 old-fashioned pistols, M48 rifles, automatic or semi-automatic rifles,
3 when we put all these together we couldn't have more than a thousand men.
4 As for the conventional formation of a unit with automatic
5 weapons I don't think we had more than a -- several hundred of those.
6 However, in the documents you have before the Tribunal, you can easily
7 find out what the numbers were.
8 MR. OLMSTED: Let's look at 1D312.
9 Q. This is an intelligence report dated 3 June 1992. In the first
10 part, it lists members of a -- four squads that purportedly made up the
11 Trnopolje platoon of the Patriotic League. Was the Patriotic League in
12 the Trnopolje-Kozarac area at this time, prior to the attack on Kozarac?
13 A. No, no. Some of the people mentioned in these lists were members
14 of the Territorial Defence. Some of them were; others were not.
15 Q. Are there any minors or elderly listed here?
16 A. No. Well, Suad Sivac was a minor and he is listed as having an
17 automatic rifle, and I know for a fact that he did not have a weapon
18 because he is my friend's brother.
19 Q. It mentions in this report a Kozarac Crisis Staff. Was a
20 Crisis Staff ever established in Kozarac?
21 A. No, it wasn't. Some referred to the TO Staff as the
22 Crisis Staff. It was a term that was widely used to refer to all these
23 structures in that period of time. But in proper legal terms, a
24 Crisis Staff was never set up, one that would have a stamp, powers, and
25 order issuing authority.
1 Q. During the three-week -- well, first of all, I think you have
2 already mentioned that after the takeover the meeting was --
3 A. Excuse me, one other thing I would like to observe. There are
4 people listed here as having weapons who did not have them at all.
5 Huso Trnjanin, the friend of mine and a neighbour, didn't have any
6 weapons. And he was about to come of age. And he is listed here as
7 having had an automatic rifle.
8 Q. I think you mentioned this, but after the takeover, who
9 controlled the media in Prijedor?
10 A. For the most part, even before the takeover, it was the SDS that
11 controlled the media. The main television outlets were held by the SDS
12 months before the takeover. As for the local media, after the takeover,
13 they were taken by the SDS and were under their exclusive control. All
14 the non-Serb employees were prohibited from working at "Kozarski Vjesnik"
15 and other such media.
16 Q. In the three-week period between the takeover the Prijedor and
17 the attack on Kozarac, how were members of the SDA and HDZ leadership
18 portrayed through the media in Prijedor?
19 A. Before the takeover, they started referring to us as extremists.
20 They referred to the Territorial Defence as the Patriotic League at
21 first, and later as the Ustasha forces, as the Muslim Mujahedin forces,
22 as the Muslim army, regardless of the fact that there were people of
23 other ethnicities in them as well. At the point when they took over the
24 power by force, they referred to us as the Ustasha, as the Ustasha
25 Mujahedin forces. They referred to the politicians as the
1 fundamentalists, the extremists, et cetera. These were all manner of
2 derogatory terms from the vocabulary of the propaganda that had been
3 employed previously.
4 Q. Prior to the attack on Kozarac, were there any serious acts of
5 violence against the non-Serb population in this area?
6 A. No, no. There were speculations or accusations from the Serbian
7 authorities that somebody had killed a Serb policeman in an area of
8 Prijedor. It was alleged that this individual fled to the area inhabited
9 by the Bosniaks. However, details were never shed light on by the
10 police. Still the allegations remained that it was the Muslims who had
11 done it.
12 Q. I think you misunderstood my question. Prior to the attack on
13 Kozarac, was there any incidents of violence against the non-Serb
14 population? Were there any shelling incidents or such before the attack
15 on Kozarac?
16 A. No. No, never.
17 Q. Now, on what date was Kozarac attacked?
18 A. Kozarac was attacked, I believe, on the 24th of May. I think it
19 was the 24th of May.
20 Q. In the days prior to the attack on Kozarac, were there any
21 ultimatums issued to the people of Kozarac?
22 A. There were several ultimatums of sorts. After the meeting I
23 attended, I know that another team went to Prijedor to negotiate the
24 modalities of surrender. They went there twice. Shortly before the
25 attack when they went there, they never returned. We learnt at later
1 date that they had been liquidated. After this, there were no more
2 contacts, and a day or two later, an attack followed.
3 Q. This delegation that went to Prijedor to negotiate, who was a
4 member of that delegation?
5 A. The delegation was led by the chief of police in Kozarac, that's
6 to say of the regular police. His name was Osman. We referred to him as
7 Osmo. I don't remember his surname. We all knew him as Osmo. He was
8 the Kozarac police commander.
9 Q. And at this -- this delegation, at this point what were they
10 prepared to do? What were they prepared to offer the Serb authorities?
11 A. The last time they went, they did so in order to discuss the
12 modalities of the arms surrender. They wanted the police to come visit
13 and see for themselves what the quantities of weapons involved were.
14 That was the basic reason why they went to Prijedor.
15 The previous discussions in Banja Luka and discussions with the
16 SDS failed, and this was the only thing that was left to be done. The
17 last-ditch chance to prevent an attack. But they did not succeed. They
18 simply never returned from this meeting.
19 Q. So, at that stage, the Kozarac TO was prepared to surrender any
20 weapons they had. Is that what you're telling us?
21 A. Yes. The last-but-one time when Osman and the Bahonjic led this
22 delegation, I don't know what the substance of their discussions back
23 there was but when they returned they told us that we simply will to meet
24 their demands. They gave their proposal that they should come and visit
25 these areas and see for themselves. They had hoped that the proposal
1 would be accepted. We don't know what they discussed subsequently. We
2 only know that they were liquidated.
3 Q. Now, at what time on May 24th did the attack on Kozarac begin?
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted, I would like to clarify something.
5 At 39, line -- no at 40; 40, line 2, the witness seemed to have
6 said when I read the record that the delegation, "They simply never
7 returned from this meeting." And that's in clear contradiction with what
8 he says a few lines after that.
9 Could you please clarify whether the witness meant -- really
10 meant this?
11 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, Your Honour.
12 Q. Sir, you've mentioned that a delegation went to Prijedor to
13 negotiate the arms surrender and that they were liquidated. You also
14 mentioned that a delegation returned to Kozarac and told you that -- that
15 the Serbs refused to discuss it and that they -- they demanded that their
16 demands be met.
17 Can you kindly explain that contradiction for the Trial Chamber?
18 A. Your Honours, I first wanted to describe for you the time-line
19 and then the two delegations.
20 Both delegations, on both occasions, were led by the police chief
21 Osmo. When Osmo went with Bahonjic and some others to Prijedor for the
22 first time, they had their meeting, they had their discussion and then
23 returned. They had consultations locally, and then a day or two later
24 they went there again to negotiate the modalities of surrender, and it
25 was after that second visit that they never returned. But it's always
1 the time group of people.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Witness, you say after the second meeting
3 they never returned.
4 Mr. Olmsted said something about liquidation, were they -- was
5 that what was happening -- happened to them?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were not sure that they had been
7 liquidated. We didn't have any information. We presumed that they were
8 detained or put in prison. They did not return to Kozarac and we didn't
9 have any contact with them. It was only later on that we found out that
10 they had been liquidated. The remains of some of them have not been
11 uncovered to this day.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 MR. OLMSTED:
14 Q. Sir, at what time on the 24th of May did the attack on Kozarac
16 A. On the 24th of May, the attack began at around noon. At 11.00, I
17 think, I set out for Kozarac. There was short lull in the shelling,
18 which resumed after noon and it was an all-out shelling from all
19 directions. At that point, I was about to enter Kozarac. I was there
20 for about a half an hour and went back to Trnopolje.
21 Q. If I understand your last answer, did the shelling begin before
22 11.00 a.m.? Because you said there was a lull in the shelling. Can you
23 explain that a little further.
24 A. The shelling started at about 11.00 in the morning. We could
25 hear shells landing on Kozarac. Then there was a pause of perhaps half
1 an hour or an hour, I can't be sure, which was followed by fierce
2 unrelenting shelling from all directions on Kozarac and the villages
3 beyond Kozarac. The area across from the road, across from Kozarac, was
4 not shelled. I was, by that time, very close to the area that was hit by
5 shells. I was there for half an hour and then went back to Trnopolje
6 because I could not reach the TO staff in Kozarac.
7 Q. Before the shelling begin, did the Serb authorities in Prijedor
8 or the military issue -- or, first of all, did they allow the non-Serb
9 women, children and elderly to leave Kozarac before the shelling began?
10 A. No. No. As the first shells impacted, there were victims in the
11 yards and on the roads. Later on, people started fleeing, and as they
12 did so, many perished under artillery fire. Actually, there was chaos,
13 people fleeing in all sorts of directions and crossing their paths, one
14 another's path, and the shelling of Kozarac lasted for two days and two
15 nights, with some short interruptions.
16 Q. Did the non-Serb population, either the Kozarac TO or the
17 population in general, offer any resistance to the shelling? Did they
18 fire shells back or do anything?
19 A. None. They didn't have anything to resist with. They didn't
20 have infantry weapons, let alone artillery. Not even trenches had been
21 dug to protect people from artillery fire.
22 Q. And where did you go after the shelling ended? You said the
23 shelling lasted for two days and two nights. Where did you go after the
24 shelling ended?
25 A. When the shelling ended, the population started fleeing from
1 Trnopolje because the infantry troops were on their way from Prijedor to
2 Trnopolje and killing people on their way. The population was fleeing in
3 the direction of Kozarac. I followed them.
4 On the second night I was in the village of Suhi Brod, on the
5 Trnopolje-Kozarac road, quite close to the vantage point from which I was
6 able to observe shelling two days earlier. In the evening hours of that
7 second day, the mass torching of non-Serb areas began from the direction
8 of Prijedor. In a very short span of time, along the length of several
9 kilometres, several villages and hamlets were set on fire. Houses in the
10 village of Mujkanovici, Kozarusa, and the suburbs of Kozarac were on
12 Q. And who way torching these villages, these non-Serb villages?
13 A. The Serb infantry advancing from Prijedor. They followed
14 artillery and killed off the elderly who weren't fast and able to flee.
15 They set houses on fire even where inhabits were still in the homes. We
16 had eye-witnesses who fled that area and we know for a fact that the
17 infantry that was advancing killed Asim Melkic, an elderly person who was
18 unable to walk fast. They would first hurl hand-grenades into those
19 houses where they presumed there was still people and then they would
20 hurl special sort of bombs that were able to set houses on fire. So the
21 two villages were on fire in a very brief period of time.
22 Q. You mentioned you saw the infantry there. Did you see any member
23 of the civilian police participating in these operations in these
24 non-Serb villages?
25 A. I did.
1 cleansing, there were several formations that were part of these groups,
2 including soldiers in blue, and I mean dark blue uniforms; there were
3 soldiers wearing conventional military uniforms; there were those who --
4 who had only parts of uniform and the rest were civilian clothes. There
5 was a blue APC which I was able to see from quite close-up. It wasn't in
6 the olive-drab colour. It was purple-blue in colour and I could see
7 soldiers wearing different insignia. I don't know which units they
8 belonged to establishment-wise. I can only tell you the sort of uniform
9 I saw them wearing.
10 Q. How many of these operations following the shelling of the
11 Kozarac area did you personally witness? You were around the Kozarac
12 area during this time-period. Which ones did you actually see for
14 A. Since I was at a boundary where three villages coming together, I
15 was able to saw [as interpreted] from quite close-up the ethnic cleansing
16 as it was taking place and I was able to observe it on three occasions.
17 Naturally, I was hidden. I was hidden in a way that I could possibly be.
18 The scenario was more or less identical. They would encircle the area
19 from three sides, from an intersection from meadows and then fire would
20 be opened from all directions, all at once. People would start fleeing.
21 They would kill individuals, one or two individuals per village or hamlet
22 normally. Then they would then advance whilst shooting. They would
23 gather the population normally next to one of the larger houses. Next,
24 they would take the men to the vehicles that were already standing ready
25 on the road. In the situations where they didn't have vehicles, they
1 would escort them either toward Kozarac or toward Trnopolje on foot. In
2 all these three instances, things happened the same way. There would
3 always be a couple of dead bodies left behind. During the night, one or
4 two houses would be set on fire, and then the remaining women and
5 children frightful -- frightful, had to pack their belongings and leave
6 the area in droves.
7 Q. Can you name the three villages that you personally witnessed
8 these operations being conducted?
9 A. Sivci, Gornji Sivci, Mujkanovici, and Dergici [phoen] and part of
10 Suvi Brod or Ornici, and another hamlet I can't remember right now,
11 Muranovici, I think.
12 Q. And you mentioned that after they encircled these villages and
13 opened fired on them, they were rounding up the men. Were the non-Serb
14 villagers in these locations offering any kind of resistance to their
15 arrest or to these attacks?
16 A. No. No. No one anywhere in the area where I was. Because in
17 the days before, after the ultimatum, people gathered the arms that they
18 had and they turned them over at the municipality building in Trnopolje
19 where the Serb police and the army had already entered.
20 I know one of our neighbours was collecting the weapons, Redzo
21 together with a man from Sivci village whose name I don't know. And
22 already on the second day after the shelling of Kozarac, the weapons had
23 been turned over. These were purely columns of refugees. There was no
24 resistance but still the cleansing continued. Villages were emptied and
25 people ran away.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted, just one minute, please.
2 Mr. Witness, you said you were observing things from a place
3 where you were hiding. Did you see all this happening in this -- in
4 these different hamlets from the same hiding place? Were able to see all
5 that from one hiding place?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was moving around
7 within an area, within a diameter of, say, 300 metres. Within those 300
8 metres, there was the boundary between three villages. There was an old
9 barn some 10 metres from the road from --
10 [French interpretation on English Channel]
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
12 continues] ... so I had not-- had time to -- farther away.
13 The second time I tried to run. Soldiers on APCs had already
14 come and I managed to run just a bit further away into the berry bushes
15 next to the road, and I watched through the berries people being led,
17 And the third time I watched from the house of Dzemal Sivac. As
18 this operation of theirs had begun, I had not time to run away. I lay on
19 the roof of the house and watched. I saw the Mujkanovici village being
20 surrounded and when they took away 17 men, first these men were gathered
21 outside one of the houses and then they were led along the roads that I
22 was watching. They all passed by that house and I even heard what the
23 soldiers were ordering them to do. They ordered them to sing some songs.
24 They beat some of the men. But all of them with their arms raised were
25 taken away in the direction of Kozarac.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, sir.
2 MR. OLMSTED:
3 Q. You mentioned soldiers. Did the police also -- the civilian
4 police also participate in these arrests of these non-Serb men in these
6 A. In one case that I watched all of them were wearing regular army
8 In another case, it was a mixed group, a few police uniforms and
9 about ten soldiers. So ten soldiers and perhaps only two police
11 There were also two or three Martic's policemen from the Serbian
12 Krajina in Croatia. The rest were wearing regular army uniforms.
13 And the third incident I mentioned, apart from the uniforms I
14 already described, there were two men who were wearing only parts of
15 military uniform. One was wearing jeans, if I remember well, with an
16 army shirt. And the other one was wearing trainers, not army boots. And
17 I was so close that I could even hear them talking to each other.
18 Q. You mentioned that during the operations non-Serb homes were
19 torched, set on fire. Were any Serb homes destroyed during these
21 A. No, no, by no means. Not a single one.
22 Those Serb houses which were inside non-Serb territory had been
23 given instructions to mark their houses in white paint with a large
24 letter S, and that was a sign to the soldiers who were involved in this
25 operation that I described to pass that house by, to leave it alone.
1 Q. And during these operations, what happened to non-Serb movable
2 property, their possessions that they had in their houses?
3 A. After the expulsion of women and children and the last
4 stragglers, the next day began the looting. In fact, at first, I thought
5 those were robberies, but two days into it, I realised it was systematic.
6 Teams arrived carrying out only one type of property, such as a team
7 taking away household appliances. Then another team would arrive taking
8 different sorts of items, televisions, VCRs, technical equipment. Then
9 other teams came, taking away woodwork, chandeliers, whatever was of good
10 quality. But they all stored it in one and the same place. And then
11 trucks would arrive and take it in the direction of Kozarac.
12 So this plundering was selective. And only when that was
13 finished, individual looters would come and take what remained in the
14 houses, or they would come with carts and take it all away.
15 Q. What happened to your own home in Trnopolje during this period?
16 A. My house was not torched. It was rifled and plundered, yes. It
17 was ransacked, but it was not torched.
18 In the very centre of Trnopolje, the army did not torch or
19 plunder houses. In the very centre, within a diameter of about 500
20 metres houses were left intact, but the population was expelled, and very
21 soon afterwards, some Serbs took over these houses.
22 Q. And can you tell us, you said you personally observed three of
23 these probations but you were in the community for quite some time. How
24 long did these cleansing operations last?
25 A. At least a month.
1 Q. And by the end of these operations, how many non-Serbs remained
2 in the Kozarac area?
3 A. As far as I know, no one remained.
4 MR. OLMSTED: Let's look at 65 ter 476. This is tab 2.
5 And if we can turn to page 2 of the B/C/S.
6 Q. We see this is a dispatch from SJB Prijedor to CSB Banja Luka
7 dated 5 July 1992.
8 If you look first at item number 2 it states that:
9 "According to the disarmament plan, the search was supposed to
10 start on 22 May 1992?"
11 Were you aware that two days before the attack on Kozarac the
12 Bosnian Serb police had intended to enter Kozarac and search for weapons?
13 A. No, we didn't know that. I saw that for the first time when this
14 paper was shown to me.
15 Q. If we look at item number 3, it provides as a reason for the
16 start of the war in Kozarac, as it says:
17 "... was the blockade of the Prijedor-Banja Luka main road as
18 well as the attack on the military column during negotiations on the
19 unconditional returns of weapons belonging to paramilitary formations."
20 You already mentioned there was a couple last-ditch efforts to --
21 by a non-Serb delegation to surrender the TO weapons. At the same time
22 did the Kozarac TO mount an attack on the VRS column along this
23 Prijedor-Banja Luka road?
24 A. Your Honours, to be quite honest, I don't believe it. I don't
25 know believe it for two reasons.
1 Sometime before this, the Serb army put up a tank at the entrance
2 to Kozarac. No one even tried to come near those soldiers in the tank
3 crew, let alone hurt them. I heard that there were some forces from
4 Jakupovici but they were coming in shooting and the orders were not to
5 shoot except in self-defence. I don't think anyone opened fire at the
6 Serbs without being fired at first. And another thing, that road had
7 been blocked for a long time before by the Serb army and when these
8 combat operations of theirs started people probably had to defend
9 themselves. What exactly happened there, I don't know. I wasn't there.
10 But we had at that point no more co-ordination for me to be able to find
11 out the details. I only heard on the Serb radio that the army had been
12 attacked in Jakupovici and that because of that, the army was taking
14 Q. This item further states that the fighting started with an
15 artillery attack and then members of the army and police embarked on
16 mopping up the terrain.
17 Are these the cleansing operations that you described for us a
18 moment ago?
19 A. I think so.
20 Q. And then it states that in the course of these operations,
21 citizens collected weapons themselves and handed them over to the army
22 and police.
23 I think you mentioned that you witnesses this in at least one
24 village. So the non-Serb population was co-operating with the army and
25 the police during these operations?
1 A. Your Honours, it was not one village. That happened in Hadzici
2 in Sivci in Kenjari village, in Trnopolje. That was the pattern in a
3 large number of villages.
4 I was present during one such collection of weapons in Sivci
6 Q. Now item number 7 lists the number of weapons collected and
7 seized as of the date of this July dispatch. And I have added them up
8 myself, and I arrived at a total of about one thousand weapons seized not
9 only in Kozarac but Hambarine and other non-Serb areas in Prijedor.
10 So that is, would you agree, consistent with your estimate that
11 there was less than a thousand weapons or around a thousand weapons at
12 most in the Kozarac area in the possession of the non-Serbs?
13 A. Yes, Your Honours. That is consistent with my estimate.
14 Q. Did anyone from the Prijedor SJB confirm to you that they knew
15 that the citizens of Kozarac did not have many weapons?
16 A. Yes. The inspector in Omarska confirmed it by the name of
17 Dragan Radakovic. He is the one who interrogated me in Omarska camp. In
18 fact, that is the first thing he said when I came in to be questioned.
19 He said verbatim, listen, Sejmenovic, we're not interested in weapons, we
20 know you didn't have weapons. There was a very small amount, negligible.
21 We're interested in Sarajevo. We're interested in SDA policy, the
22 government, et cetera.
23 MR. OLMSTED: May this be admitted into evidence, Your Honours.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE HALL: On what basis, Mr. Olmsted?
1 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, we just went through a number of the
2 items and this witness could confirm certain information and clarify and
3 contradict other information in it. Therefore, I think since he has been
4 able to speak about it - there is probably no objection on authenticity
5 grounds - we move to admitted it at this time.
6 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Aleksic.
7 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do not mean to
8 object immediately to the admission of this document, but it is precisely
9 as you said. We have the evidence of this witness, second-hand hearsay
10 in some cases. At the time when this document was drafted, he was in
11 hiding. He had nothing to do with the writing of the document. He
12 doesn't know to whom it was sent, nor had he seen it before proofing. We
13 have thus his evidence on one of the facts mentioned here.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P01717, Your Honours.
17 MR. OLMSTED: I now want to show you a video that you had an
18 opportunity to review during proofing. It's 65 ter 3598. And it's an
19 ABC "Nightline" programme. And if we can go to 5 minutes and 40 seconds.
20 [Video-clip played]
21 "Dave Marish: ... we visited the ethnically cleansed Kozarac in
22 northern Bosnia last week. We were closely supervised by the local Serb
23 militia, restricted to just a few blocks of the town" --
24 MR. OLMSTED: Pause right here, about 5 minutes and 53 seconds.
25 Q. First of all, do you recognise this village that is depicted in
1 this footage?
2 A. This is one house that you see just as you come into Kozarac from
3 the road to Banja Luka. It's at the first intersection.
4 Q. Do you recall, is this a non-Serb house or a Serb house?
5 A. There were no Serb houses there. Only Bosniaks live there. I
6 think it's either in this house or the -- the house next to this one that
7 the Lovic family lived. In any case, in this case there was no Serb
9 MR. OLMSTED: Can we continue with the video.
10 [Video-clip played]
11 "Dave Marish: ... home to about 15.000 Muslim men, women and
12 children. Today there are no Muslims there, none, and none of their
13 X-marked homes is intact. Other homes in Kozarac" --
14 MR. OLMSTED: Pause at 6 minutes and 8 seconds.
15 Q. First of all, the houses that we looked at before, the ones that
16 appear to be damaged, were those non-Serb houses as well?
17 A. They were not. Some houses that were torched later were either
18 Serb houses or houses that the soldiers appropriated. With Serb houses,
19 the rule was that they would mark them. This Mirko Djurdjevic may be the
20 name of the soldier who took over the house, or it was originally owned
21 by a Serb, Mirko Djurdjevic. It's one of the two.
22 Q. I want to clarify your last answer. It says here in the
23 transcript that Serb houses were torched. Were any Serb houses torched
24 in Kozarac?
25 A. No, no. There were a few non-Serb houses but were not torched.
1 Q. Again, the record says:
2 "There were a few non-Serb houses but they were not torched."
3 Do you mean there are were a few Serb houses that were not
4 torched? Because your answer is confusing based on what you said
6 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry. This is exactly what the witness said.
7 It was properly interpreted.
8 MR. OLMSTED: Then I just need the witness to explain that a
9 little bit better.
10 Q. Your answer was that:
11 "There were a few non-Serb houses," so Bosniak or Croat houses,
12 "that were not torched."
13 I see, I misread your answer.
14 So you're saying there were a few non-Serb houses that were
15 preserved, that they weren't actually destroyed?
16 A. Your Honour, maybe there is a confusion in interpretation.
17 When the infantry came into Kozarac, they torched almost all the
18 houses. When they came to a house that they knew was owned by a Serb,
19 they spared it. They didn't set it on fire. So Serb houses were not set
20 on fire. Some of the army troops that came into Kozarac included
21 residents of Kozarac, Serbs, so they preserved some houses in the centre,
22 mainly Serb houses. Or, they appropriated them. And they also did not
23 allow some non-Serb houses to be torched because they wanted to take
24 these houses for themselves.
25 Q. Thank you for that clarification. I think it was my confusion.
1 If we can continue a little bit further.
2 [Video-clip played]
3 "Dave Marish: ... have been marked to survive. This one with
4 the colours of the Serbian flag. This --"
5 MR. OLMSTED:
6 Q. We just paused at 6 minutes and 14 seconds, but just a moment
7 before we saw a house with the Serbian flag painted on it. And here we
8 are, we have it in front of us at 6 minutes, 11 seconds. Why would
9 someone paint a Serbian flag on a house?
10 A. This is a house where a Serbian family lives, or a Serb, at this
11 moment in any case, and then that Serb would either put up a Serbian flag
12 or write on the house, This is Serbian, because, at the time, non-Serb
13 houses were being torched and looted to protect himself from the torching
14 and looting, this owner wrote on the house that it was Serbian or put up
15 the flag and/or would also put a board with his Serbian name on it.
16 Q. Can we continue with the footage then.
17 [Video-clip played]
18 "David Marish: ... with the colours of the Serbian flag. This
19 one says: 'This is Serbian!' They stand undamaged like the remaining
20 Serb" --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
22 [Video-clip played]
23 "David Marish: -- residents of Kozarac surrounded in silence,
24 deadly silence."
25 MR. OLMSTED: All right. Can we stop it there.
1 Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
2 MR. ZECEVIC: Sorry, can we have the indication of the date when
3 this was filmed, if it's known?
4 MR. OLMSTED: Yes. It was filmed late in 1992, was when it was
5 filmed. I think in the transcript there's reference that this footage
6 was a few months after -- after the attack on Kozarac.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, if it's late in 1992 how would the answer --
8 how would the -- this witness be able to comment on this?
9 MR. OLMSTED: Well, he just commented on it. He was describing
10 the destruction in Kozarac. We saw some of the destruction in this
11 video. We saw the painting of a flag on a Serb -- a house that was
12 occupied by a Serb so it would not be destroyed, and, in fact, was not
13 destroyed. So it corroborates his evidence as to what was happening in
14 Kozarac during the attack, after the attack.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, if you're -- Mr. Olmsted, with all due
16 respect, if you are trying to -- to rephrase the -- what the -- what the
17 newspaper person or the journalist was saying, we heard that. Now,
18 the -- the witness cannot only confirm what we saw here. He wasn't
19 there. He doesn't know -- he knows one -- I believe one house he only
20 recognised it.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Zecevic, I thought I heard the journalist
22 saying at the very beginning of the footage that we saw that he and his
23 team visited Kozarac a few days after the attack. But maybe you could
24 hear it again.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: That is precisely why I asked when this was filmed.
1 Because it -- it might be significant. Thank you.
2 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, we can go back -- why don't we go back to the
3 beginning. It's at 5 minutes and 40 seconds and play it from there.
4 [Video-clip played]
5 "Dave Marish: ... area dominated by two cities, Prijedor and
6 Banja Luka and a once thriving Muslim town called Kozarac. We visited
7 the ethnically cleansed Kozarac in northern Bosnia last week. We were
8 closely supervised by the local Serb militia, restricted to just a few
9 blocks of the town, once home to about 15.000 Muslim men, woman and
10 children. Today there are no Muslim there, none, and none of their
11 X-marked homes is in tact. Other homes in Kozarac have been marked to
12 survive. This one with the colours of the Serbian flag. This one says
13 'This is Serbia!' They stand undamaged like the remaining Serb residents
14 of Kozarac surrounded in silence, deadly silence.
15 "Where are all the ..."
16 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, I believe in the transcript which
17 covers the entire ABC "Nightline" programme, Ted Koppel states at the
18 beginning that the footage was -- I believe I will have to look for the
19 reference, it was a few months after the attack actually occurred. But I
20 can simply clarify this matter with this witness as to whether he saw
21 this kind of damage in Kozarac itself and whether it was during that
22 time-period that this damage occurred, if that's the objection by the
23 Defence as to what -- what this witness particularly knew had happened in
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted, in your list of documents, the video
1 is dated November 1992.
2 MR. OLMSTED: And that would be consistent with what I was
3 assuming. I have to -- I would have to read through the entire
4 transcript to confirm that, but I think that is my recollection as well.
5 Q. But let me ask you, sir, before we break: You were in -- in the
6 area of Kozarac. You saw this footage. Was this level of damage to the
7 non-Serb property what you witnessed yourself in Kozarac and the
8 surrounding areas, after the -- after the shelling that took place at the
9 end of May?
10 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, I'm sorry, I think this is leading. We would
11 need an open question for this witness, if we are to satisfy the
12 requirement properly.
13 MR. OLMSTED: I'll rephrase, Your Honours.
14 Q. How did what you saw on this video compare to the damage that you
15 saw in Kozarac and the surrounding areas during and after the shelling in
16 May and June 1992?
17 A. Your Honours, I really want to be of assistance. Houses were
18 marked like this and we saw it practically the day after the ethnic
19 cleansing. The army walked through and some -- it would leave marks
20 behind. The Serbs would receive information that they needed to mark
21 their houses, and they did so.
22 Another important fact, in order to understand this issue, the
23 woman who helped me hide in Gornji Sivac [phoen] told me something that a
24 mobilised soldier, a Ukrainian, had told her; namely, that she need to
25 put the letter S on her house, as well as the soldier across the road, so
1 that when the army passed through they would leave her house alone. And
2 this was really what happened. There was a large letter S on the house
3 across the road. The wife of Dzemal Sivac also put a large S on her
4 house, and the houses around were torched or fire was opened on them.
5 However, the soldiers left her house alone. The same markings happened
6 in other villages, in Trnopolje where I lived, in Trnjani. Similar
7 markings were made by the Serbs who moved into those homes in the recent
8 days. And what I remember is similar to what's on the footage. And what
9 was done here is similar to what was done in Trnopolje.
10 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry -- I'm terribly sorry, I just ... have an
11 intervention, 58, line 8. I believe I heard the witness saying, "The
12 mobilised soldier who was Ukrainian."
13 Can you clarify that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The place where I was hiding is on
15 the boundary of three villages, and in one of those villages there are
16 some non-Serbian families where Ukrainians lived. Since Trnopolje was
17 very mixed ethnically. And these Ukrainians had received very serious
18 threats that they were either to be mobilised into the Serbian army or
19 they would encounter the same problems as others. And the neighbour of
20 the woman who helped me hide accepted to be mobilised. He took a rifle,
21 he put on the uniform, but he asked not to be included in operations and
22 instead to be allowed to be on duty service around houses, and he did
23 that for a few days until he was told the following, verbatim: You are
24 not loyal. When you kill a few Muslims we will know that you are loyal
25 to us. He was very frightened by this. There was a family in the area
1 that was Bosniak. And I remember that a few times he went out and opened
2 fire on -- in the corn field when he heard a noise, hoping that he would
3 hit somebody who was hiding there.
4 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I think the main point with regard to
5 this video is this witness was able to identify that this is Kozarac --
6 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Olmsted. My initial hesitation was that I
7 was trying to remind myself as to how we would have dealt with these
8 news -- bits of news footage previously, but clearly the purpose of
9 tendering it is that it is illustrative of the witness's testimony. And
10 the witness's explanation at 58, line 16 through 18, what I remember is
11 similar to what is on footage and what was done there clarifies
13 So the matter -- the footage may be admitted and marked.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P01718, Your Honours.
15 MR. OLMSTED: And, Your Honour, I see it's time for the break.
16 JUDGE HALL: Yes. And you will wind up when we return.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 --- Recess taken at 12.09 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.41 p.m.
20 JUDGE HALL: We have a brief oral ruling which we would deliver
21 while the witness is on his way in.
22 In its oral ruling of the 12th of November, 2010, the
23 Trial Chamber, inter alia, denied the Prosecution's motion to admit the
24 evidence of ST-223, pursuant to Rule 92 bis. The Trial Chamber ordered
25 ST-223 to be called viva voce and granted the Prosecution 45 minutes to
1 conduct its examination-in-chief.
2 On the same day, the Prosecution orally requested the
3 Trial Chamber to reconsider its decision as to time and to allow the
4 Prosecution to examine the witness for the full four hours, as requested,
5 arguing that the witness is called to cover a huge all encompassing fact
6 and that he comes at it from a different angle than ST-224 who will cover
7 the same denied adjudicated fact.
8 The Trial Chamber is still not persuaded that the Prosecution
9 needs four hours to address the contents of Fact 193, considering that
10 similar evidence has been already elicited from other witnesses.
11 Nevertheless, in the interests of justice, the Trial Chamber has
12 reconsidered its decision in light of the Prosecution's new submission on
13 the unique vantage point of ST-223. The Trial Chamber will therefore
14 accept the evidence of ST-223 pursuant to Rule 92 ter and admit those
15 portions of ST-223's prior testimony that it considers relevant and
16 unique to the contents of Fact 193, found on the following pages of the
17 transcript tendered: 4398, to 4400, 4402 to 4407, 4409 to 4421, 4427,
18 4433, and 4436 to 4439.
19 The Trial Chamber finds that the pseudonym sheet of the witness
20 is inseparable and indispensable for his testimony and will therefore
21 also be admitted. The remainder of the proposed associated documents are
22 not admitted. Pursuant to the guide-lines issued in October of 2009, the
23 Trial Chamber grants the Prosecution an additional 25 minutes to examine
24 ST-223, for a total of 45 minutes, to be absorbed within the total time
25 allotted for hearing that denied adjudicated fact witnesses. Pursuant to
1 Rule 92 ter, Witness 223 shall be available for cross-examination.
2 [The witness takes the stand]
3 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Olmsted, you may continue.
4 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Your Honour. May we have P1357 on the
5 screen. This is a video. This is ITN footage from August 1992.
6 Q. Sir, please keep your answers short. I only have about eight
7 minute with you left. We are at 1 minute and 34 seconds, and we see --
8 if we can just play a few seconds of this footage without the sound.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 MR. OLMSTED:
11 Q. There's a man and a woman. Do you recognise the man?
12 MR. OLMSTED: You can pause it.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw that man on a few occasions.
14 I believe he was present at the one of the meetings in Prijedor, but I
15 didn't know him personally. Very unique voice.
16 MR. OLMSTED:
17 Q. Was he at the meeting in mid-May 1992 with Simo Miskovic and the
18 other SDS leadership members that you attended?
19 A. I believe he was. But he was introduced as one of the security
20 officers. There was one from military security and one from public
21 security. I believe this man was in public security.
22 MR. OLMSTED: If we could move to 18 minutes and 12 seconds.
23 [Video-clip played]
24 MR. OLMSTED:
25 Q. We're seeing some destroyed houses along the road here. Can you
1 tell us where this footage --
2 MR. OLMSTED: Maybe go back to 18 minutes and 8 seconds, just a
3 little bit further.
4 [Video-clip played]
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is the Prijedor-Banja Luka
6 road. I believe it's the area from Kozarac towards Banja Luka.
7 MR. OLMSTED: If we can just play through the video portion now.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 MR. OLMSTED:
10 Q. Can you tell us do you know whether these houses that have been
11 destroyed were non-Serb or Serb?
12 A. They were the property of non-Serbs.
13 Q. And do you recall when they were destroyed?
14 A. They were hit by artillery, then they were torched, and then they
15 were brought down by tanks. And this went on for a few days. All this
16 took place after the attack, seven or ten days after the attack, and the
17 tanks came a little later.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. OLMSTED: That's all I have for this exhibit.
20 Q. After the attack --
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted, the exhibit number didn't get into
22 the transcript. So if could you -- your tab number or the document
23 number, please.
24 MR. OLMSTED: Certainly, Your Honour. It's P1357, tab 17 in the
1 Q. And, sir, after the attack in Kozarac, were the non-Serbs
2 required to wear anything to distinguish themselves from the Serb
4 A. After the attack on Kozarac, I don't know that there were any
5 requests made to the people to wear anything, but I know that there was a
6 request made to groups to hang a white kerchief on a stick and then carry
7 it above their heads. And also they were asked to put a white sheet on
8 their windows if they were at home, as a sign of surrender.
9 Q. And who was issuing this request?
10 A. The Serbian army.
11 Q. Now, given our limited time, I want to go right to your time at
12 Omarska. You have already mentioned you were detained there. For how
13 many days were detained at Omarska?
14 A. For a few days. Seven to nine days, perhaps. I can't recall
15 exactly. I would need a little time to remember it more clearly.
16 Q. And that's fine. Approximately when was it this? Can you tell
17 us what part of the month it was?
18 A. It was around mid-August or the second part of August of 1992, as
19 far as I recall.
20 Q. And who arranged for your release from Omarska?
21 A. The president of the autonomous region of Krajina,
22 Mr. Vojislav Kupresanin, took me out of Omarska. As far as I could tell,
23 based on his contacts with superiors, he had an order from
24 President Karadzic to find the remaining officials of SDA and take them
25 to Banja Luka.
1 Q. Did Kupresanin come to Omarska camp?
2 A. Yes, he did.
3 Q. While he was at Omarska camp, and in your presence, did you
4 overhear a telephone conversation he was having with someone?
5 A. I heard some part of what he was saying. First, he talked to me
6 and then a soldier came who told him that the president needed to talk to
7 him on the phone. He answered the phone in the next-door office, and he
8 said that beds and blankets and hygiene things needed to be provided for
9 the camp as soon as possible. And I later realised that he was, in fact,
10 referring to me.
11 Q. And did you later find out who Mr. Kupresanin was speaking to on
12 the phone?
13 A. I found out when we got to Banja Luka, to his office. He talked
14 to Karadzic on the phone, and he told me that he was talking to Karadzic.
15 He confirmed to Karadzic on the phone that he would provide me with a
16 suit, he would let me rest, he would provide me with food so I could put
17 on some weight, that he would give me money.
18 Q. And did you ever find out why Mr. Kupresanin took you away from
19 Omarska camp? Why were you released?
20 A. He asked about other officials as well. He asked me about them,
21 whether they were in Omarska, whether they were alive. He said that we
22 needed to gather them all together and that we should hold round-table
23 meetings to confirm that these weren't just ethnic structures, that we
24 were also to be included so that the population, the non-Serbian
25 population, could be included or could be participate in normal life, and
1 we would have been the representatives of this non-Serbian population.
2 However, most of the leaders were already dead and some had
3 already reached the free territory. We had knowledge of this through the
5 Q. And, in fact, didn't Mr. Kupresanin make you attend a meeting
6 where internationals were present later on in 1992?
7 A. Yes. He took me to a meeting when international mediators
8 arrived to Banja Luka, Lord Carrington and Cyrus Vance. Karadzic also
9 came to Banja Luka together with the entire leadership. Kupresanin took
10 me from Vrbanja to that building in Banja Luka where all these Serbian
11 officials were staying. He told me that I was to meet with
12 President Karadzic but didn't tell me any further details.
13 Q. And did you meet with President Karadzic?
14 A. I didn't. And he was not happy about. This but, no, the meeting
15 never took place.
16 Q. Who wasn't happy about that. Just to clarify?
17 A. Kupresanin wasn't happy about it.
18 MR. OLMSTED: No further questions, Your Honours.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Witness, you said that Mr. Kupresanin told
21 Mr. Karadzic that you had to put on some weight. Why would he say such a
22 thing? Why -- why did he think you had to weight -- put on weight?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because all of us in the camp,
24 especially those who had spent a longer time there, were practically skin
25 and bone, as we say. Everybody was exhausted and very skinny. He said
1 that he needed to put on weight because I couldn't appear at the
2 round-table meetings looking like that for the purpose of these political
3 goals so I needed to recover and look good and then appear in public.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Did you lose that much weight in seven or nine
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had lost a lot of weight before,
7 because I lived on my own out in nature, and then I was in the Trnopolje
8 camp and finally in the prison in Omarska, so I lost a lot of weight.
9 Although I -- I am of thin constitution, regardless of my weight.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Aleksic.
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Aleksic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Sejmenovic. My name is
14 Aleksandar Aleksic and I am one of the Defence counsel for Mr. Zupljanin.
15 A. Good afternoon.
16 Q. You testified before this Tribunal in six case, if I have the
17 correct information, in the Tadic, Kovacevic, Sikirica, Stakic, Brdjanin
18 and Krajisnik cases?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. In the last case against Mr. Krajisnik, the Defence did not
21 cross-examine you, so only your summary was provided; do you recall that?
22 A. I don't know about that. I didn't know that -- about that in the
23 Krajisnik case.
24 Q. Tell me, in late 1990, elections were held in Bosnia for the
25 Republican Assembly, as well as local elections for the
1 Municipal Assemblies; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And as you said in this case, you were elected to the Council of
4 Municipalities as a deputy from Prijedor municipality.
5 A. That's correct, sir.
6 Q. As for the republican elections, will you agree with me that
7 there were seven electoral unit and that SDS won in Banja Luka and Doboj,
8 if you recall?
9 A. It's possible there must have been some margin but what the
10 margin was, I don't recall. And it didn't have the significance that was
11 ascribed to it later.
12 Q. You testified on Friday, I believe, that after the elections
13 local authorities were established in Prijedor. You, as a republican
14 deputy, and you had the right to attend municipal assembly meetings, and
15 you did; however, you did not have the right to vote.
16 A. No, I did not have the right to vote.
17 Q. Since we speak the same language, we need to pause for a second
18 before -- between question and answer.
19 A. I understand.
20 Q. If I understood your early evidence and what you said on Friday,
21 you personally, on behalf of your party, the SDA, did not take part in
22 the negotiations about the divisions and the establishment of the
23 government in Prijedor.
24 A. No, I was not taking part, but I was kept informed.
25 Q. Your party was represented in these negotiations by
1 Dr. Mirza Mujadzic?
2 A. That's correct. And sometimes the negotiations were led by an
3 authorised delegation.
4 Q. You know that on behalf of the SDS, the negotiations were led by
5 Mr. Simo Miskovic, President of the Municipal Board?
6 A. Correct. When there were talks at the level of the president,
7 then Mujadzic would talk to Miskovic.
8 Q. More than once in previous testimony, including Friday in this
9 case, you said these negotiations failed because the SDS would not agree
10 to the appointment of certain SDA candidates to certain positions. They
11 failed because of the intransigent position of the local SDS.
12 A. I must say, Your Honours, it had nothing to do with specific
13 candidates, specific people. It had to do everything with certain
14 departments, certain areas of government.
15 Q. We will come to that.
16 Last Friday, and in testimony before that, you said that in
17 February -- or, rather, on 17 February 1992, there was an extraordinary
18 session of the Assembly of Prijedor, and on Friday, you mentioned what
19 you said previously in Brdjanin, on page 12307; namely, that the initial
20 demand of the SDS at that assembly session with the assembly be disbanded
21 and that early elections for the municipal assembly be called [as
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Also in Brdjanin, on 12304, you said you couldn't exactly
25 remember who said what, but you knew that there was a record of that
1 assembly session, and that we could check by looking at that transcript.
2 Therefore, could we see, 65 ter D -- sorry, 2D02-2019. And that
3 is tab 26. I have a hard copy for the witness, because this is a long
4 document, 60 pages in B/C/S.
5 And it might be easier for you to follow on paper.
6 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] If I can have the usher's
8 It's page 3 in e-court, in B/C/S; and in English, that's page 2.
9 Q. You see the session was chaired by the president of the
10 municipality, Mr. Cehajic, and that in addition to the assemblymen, 57 of
11 them, there were you, Mr. Mujadzic and Mr. Simo Miskovic?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And you can see lower on the same page the agenda, item 1:
14 "Analysis of the implementation of the conclusions of the
15 Prijedor Municipal Assembly session held on 22 January 1992."
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. In English, that's the same page. But you should turn to the
18 next page. It says in second paragraph:
19 "The first of the conclusions of that session of the 22nd
20 January 1992 was to charge party presidents and the presidents of
21 Deputies Clubs to divide power within ten days, by the 2nd of February,
22 analyse the previous division and inform the municipal assembly at its
23 next session with the participation of all parliamentary parties.
24 Co-ordination is hereby entrusted to the secretary of the
25 Prijedor Municipal Assembly."
1 You probably know that the secretary was Mr. Dusko Baltic, a
2 lawyer by training.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now turn to page 43 in B/C/S. In English, it's 28.
5 Mr. Baltic speaks halfway down the page -- sorry, towards the
6 bottom of the page. And he goes on for a while.
7 He says:
8 "I would like briefly to inform the assemblymen on the results of
9 talking held at the meeting of party presidents and the presidents of
10 Deputies Clubs. I am aware that the assemblymen are familiar with the
11 issue and how it ended but I would like to make a formal report about the
12 outcome of that meeting.
13 "Following those conclusions we called a meeting on the 30th of
14 January, and it lasted roughly from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Anticipating
15 certain problems, we decided to record it all on tape, and later we
16 transcribed that tape. I'll just briefly say that after that exhausting
17 meeting no agreement was reached on the division of power, although the
18 representatives of the opposition had tried to help in this discussion,
19 and the outcome of all that was a joint proposal, made at the initiative
20 of all those present, insisting that it be made on behalf of all parties,
21 not just one party, to initiate the motion for dissolving the assembly at
22 this assembly session. So that after debate on the motion, this assembly
23 should adopt a conclusion, in fact a decision, to be submitted to the
24 Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
25 And then Mr. Cehajic butts in. Because, at this at this point
1 Mr. Popovac, walked out, if you remember.
2 Do you remember that members of the opposition parties, the SDPA,
3 and the liberal party, the former reformists, in other words, were
4 unhappy with the way things were turning out and they walked out of the
6 A. Mr. Popovac, whom you just mentioned was a member of the SDA
7 leadership and he walked out at this moment. Whether he returned later,
8 I don't know.
9 Q. So after that, Mr. Dusko Baltic goes on and says -- next page in
10 English, please:
11 "The proposal was that the assembly, after debating this motion,
12 take a decision to be submitted to the Republic Assembly, which should
13 call early elections. The fourth item" --
14 This was accepted unanimously, and the meeting ended with
15 applause. Do you remember these words of Mr. Baltic from that meeting?
16 A. Now I'm reading the transcript, I -- parts of his speech are
17 coming back.
18 Q. He was followed by Mr. Suad Kolonic, a deputy from the SDA;
20 A. Right.
21 Q. He says:
22 "As far as I know, we, the assemblymen, declared ourselves at the
23 previous session and gave our consent to representatives of
24 Deputies' Clubs, and parties to divide power. We did not, however,
25 authorise them to bid on our behalf on the dissolution of this assembly.
1 In my view, the conclusions that were adopted at their meeting are not
2 binding upon us in any way and finally, Mr. Secretary, who authorised you
3 to send any messages and wires on behalf of all the members of this
5 Now, on the issue of who was present at that session of the 30th
6 meeting, in fact that meeting, we can refer to the contribution by
7 Mr. Stakic. That's page 49 in B/C/S. In English, it's 32.
8 Sorry, it must be the next page in B/C/S.
9 It's towards the bottom of the page where Mr. Stakic says:
10 "I would just like to enumerate the participants in this
11 agreement, Dr. Mirza Mujadzic, president of the SDA;
12 Professor Husein Crnkic, president of the SDA Deputies Club;
13 Simo Miskovic, president of the SDS; Dragan Savanovic, the president of
14 the SDS Deputies Club. I was there in my own name and on behalf of the
15 assembly, just as the vice-president of the party, then was Aiz,
16 Dragan Svraka, Cedo Vila, Milena Vokic, Nebojsa Bogunovic, Jozo Maricic,
17 Silvije Saric," et cetera.
18 I'll repeat: Cedo Vila, Milena Vokic, Nebojsa Bogunovic,
19 Jozo Maricic and Silvije Saric.
20 So it follows from this that that meeting was attended also by
21 the authorised representatives of the SDA, the president of the municipal
22 board of the party, Mr. Mujadzic and Mr. Crnkic; right?
23 A. Right.
24 Q. Now, at the end of that meeting, page 55 in B/C/S and 35 in
25 English, Dr. Mujadzic takes the floor again. It's halfway through this
1 paragraph, he is, in fact, responding to Mr. Miskovic, whom we will read
2 a bit later, and he says:
3 "As for the negotiations that Mr. Miskovic described so
4 exhaustively, the first negotiations that this commission conducted,
5 nobody from this party questions the moral or the professional quality of
6 the negotiations and the team. But, again, neither the commission, nor
7 the party presidents have the authority to say the final word in
8 negotiations. It always goes to the Executive Committee and the
9 Main Board."
10 And he goes on:
11 "In this case, in these papers, the material that we are
12 submitting to you now --"
13 Just one digression. Just before he and Mr. Crnkic spoke and on
14 the 17th of January, he offered the SDA proposal to the SDS as to how to
15 divide power, and he says:
16 "In these papers that we are offering to you now, this material
17 had previously been agreed in the Deputies Club and they are the right
18 papers. They are not in dispute in any way. This is a comprehensive
19 offer. Now if you don't accept this, you can make a counteroffer and
20 then we will try to narrow our differences until we find common ground.
21 I therefore propose that the SDS consider our proposal and their
22 decision, and possibly their counterproposal can then be included as the
23 third item on the next assembly's agenda after the two items that we have
24 proposed which will be analysed by the expert team in co-operation with
25 the executive committee. So the third item could be discussed -- the
1 discussion on the SDA's proposal with a possible SDS counterproposal and
2 the possibility of their further harmonisation."
3 It follows from this, witness, that on that day, the 17th of
4 January, Mr. Mujadzic, from the SDA, or anyone else from the other
5 negotiating teams you mentioned, was not authorised to agree to a
6 specific division of power department by department because it had not
7 been harmonised at the Main Board of the party. Instead, on that day,
8 for the first time, the Municipal Board of the SDA made a formal offer to
9 the SDS on paper, after running this proposal through the Deputies Club,
10 the -- and other authorities of the party. Do you agree?
11 A. No, no I can't agree. You could get that impress though if you
12 are only looking at this. But various offers circulated even before
13 this. This transcript only reflects the moment when the entire political
14 structure of the municipality came to discuss this proposal.
15 This offer that was made to the SDS here had been made before but
16 out of the public eye, outside of the assembly. And this was a moment of
17 confrontation with the public, because the assembly session was broadcast
18 and it was an opportunity for the people to find out what the SDA was
19 offering and what the SDS was refusing.
20 Q. Sir, look at page 27, where Mr. Crnkic takes the floor, the
21 president of the SDA.
22 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] In English, that's at page 18.
23 Q. Mr. Crnkic speaks of the 30 January meeting where he and
24 Mr. Mujadzic agreed that a proposal should be made for early elections
25 and goes on to explain:
1 "After an exhausting debate, we reached an impasse and said, Very
2 well, if there is no other way out, let's have new elections. However,
3 we - I in my capacity as the Deputies Club president, Mirza as the party
4 president, Simo as the SDS president, et cetera - we all have to check
5 our decisions with our boards. It's normal. Whatever we decide must be
6 approved as a proposal by our respective parties, by our respective
7 clubs, by those who brought us here."
8 And then, in the penultimate line, he says:
9 "In this sense, I feel I must intervene here and tell Mr. Svraka
10 what the state of things is; namely, why these conclusions haven't been
11 signed although they have been accepted in principle."
12 A. Perhaps --
13 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, based on what Mr. Crnkic, the president of the
14 SDA Deputies Club in the municipal assembly, said, he confirms that
15 Mr. Mujadzic and himself agreed on the meeting on the 30 January as to
16 what the proposal to be placed before the assembly should be but that,
17 however, they had not had the authorisation to sign this before all the
18 relevant party bodies have had a chance to look at it. Do you agree?
19 A. Before this particular assembly meeting, there were various
20 interpretations circulating of this particular meeting, depending on the
21 party interpreting the meeting. To the best of my knowledge, at this
22 particular meeting where everyone was present, a definitive decision had
23 not been taken. Rather, it was decided that until -- that unless an
24 agreement is reached with the SDS before the next assembly meeting, then
25 it would be up to the assembly to decide the matter. Those were the
1 interpretations, as far as I know. I also know that following this
2 meeting with the opposition, Simo Miskovic no longer wanted to meet with
3 the SDA leadership in an effort to find a solution. On the other hand,
4 the SDA proposal had not yet been made public and this was an opportunity
5 to rectify that.
6 Your Honours, perhaps it would be helpful if, in addition to the
7 quotation you read from what Mr. Crnkic said, to read another sentence of
8 his that followed, so I'm repeating: Crnkic, the head of the Deputies
9 Club is saying, We are in a very chaotic situation and the dissolution of
10 the assembly would only lead to an ever-greater chaos. Why would we want
11 a chaos that is graver than the one we have right now?
12 Q. Sir, I'm merely telling you and this is something you will be
13 able to see from Mr. Svraka's address on page 26. Mr. Svraka is a deputy
14 for the liberals which is the former party of reformists of
15 Ante Markovic; right?
16 A. No, it was a liberal party and Ante Markovic's reformists were a
17 separate party.
18 Q. At any rate, it was not a national party?
19 A. No. But it was in the opposition at the time.
20 Q. Let me tell you first what happened and what the time-line of
21 events relating to these conclusions was:
22 "First off, it is true that the conclusion was adopted by all the
23 presidents of parties and presidents of Deputies Clubs after several
24 hours of deliberations. There only remained certain reservations in
25 respect of the matters that were signed. So this is the reason why we
1 should place this matter on today's agenda."
2 Two sentences further down, he goes on to say:
3 "I expect Mr. Mujadzic and Mr. Miljkovic," I think this should
4 read Mr. Miskovic, "to take the floor and tell the people in no uncertain
5 terms if they are ready to agree on matters or not. What they said back
6 at that meeting, they were close to tears. Let me tell you once more
7 that we had reached an agreement at a meeting which took place
8 subsequently, that we would forward these conclusions to the president of
9 the assembly. He summoned us later on to see what the state of affairs
10 was and, at this meeting, we agreed that we would be discussing no other
11 matters but this one. In other words, that the only item on the agenda
12 of the meeting of the assembly on the 17th February would be precisely
13 this matter. A firm promise on this was given by presidents of the
14 parties and presidents of the Deputies Clubs. So what they are doing
15 here today is either a lie or a farce. In my view, it is both. If they
16 do have some sort of trust placed in them by their own respective
17 parties, it is their own matter. However, what we saw happen today and
18 the way this meeting or this session unfolded today, what they should do
19 is leave."
20 It follows from Mr. Svraka's speech that the president of the
21 Municipal Board of the SDA and the president of the Deputies Club agreed
22 at this meeting of the 30th January that the only item on the agenda
23 would be the conclusion around which everyone agreed that early elections
24 were to be called.
25 Do you agree?
1 A. Your Honours, firstly, I'd like you to avoid asking me about the
2 details of the meeting because I did not attend it.
3 Q. Pause there, please.
4 Please turn to page 1 of the document.
5 A. You misunderstand me. I am talking about the meeting between the
6 opposition and the ruling parties where power-sharing was discussed. I
7 wasn't present at this meeting. I was, however, present at the session
8 of the municipal assembly, the minutes of which we are reading. Thus,
9 who said what at the meeting between presidents of the parties and
10 Deputies Clubs, both the ruling parties and the opposition, I don't know.
11 I only know what the interpretations of the meeting were given by the
12 party presidents at this session. Whether something was agreed, signed,
13 or not signed at the meeting, I cannot tell, because I wasn't there. But
14 I repeat, there were different interpretations of this particular
15 inter-party agreement.
16 There is another matter which is important for the Chamber. Let
17 me explain to you what the proper was: Regardless of the agreement
18 reached by the parties, there was a parliamentary procedure in place.
19 Members of the assembly were not, under the constitution, or any other
20 law, or enactment, duty-bound to adhere to this agreement. They could
21 reach a new conclusion at this assembly meeting, because the conclusions
22 reached at the earlier meeting were pre-dated.
23 As one of the members of the opposition said at this session,
24 Mr. Mujadzic and Mr. Miskovic, sirs, reach an agreement before us here.
25 Or tell us that you cannot reach agreement.
1 According to this deputy's opinion, there was a certain
2 time-limit that was running within which they would have had to reach an
4 Q. We will go back to what Mr. Miskovic said later.
5 Mr. Miskovic took the floor immediately before Mr. Mujadzic.
6 A. Which page is that, please?
7 Q. Give me a moment to find it.
8 It starts at page 51, continues on page 52 through 54. And in
9 English ... pages 33 and 34.
10 At the beginning of his address, and let me make a small
11 digression, it was shortly before he took the floor that Mr. Mujadzic
12 handed him the paper with the proposal of how power should be divided;
13 that's to say, half/half.
14 Mr. Miskovic goes on to say:
15 "I said another thing and it's that some things were done in this
16 way or that way on purpose. I think that Aiz noted it well, and when I
17 react the immediately I was going to propose to the SDA to take all the
18 various departments in order for us to solve the problem and see if this
19 will continue to be the underlying reason or if some other reason will
20 crop up."
21 So what follows from this is that Mr. Miskovic was even prepared
22 to go as far as to offer all of the departments to the SDA, thus handing
23 them over the entire responsibility; is that right?
24 A. No, absolutely not. Mr. Simo Miskovic seized the opportunity to
25 discuss power-sharing in public because there was a radio broadcast being
1 made of this assembly. He was being ironical. He was -- he wanted to
2 make a point of saying that they wanted to go as far as even handing all
3 of the power to the SDA, but what happened, in fact, was that he had been
4 refusing any SDA proposals all along and even the 50-50 percentage
5 division was difficult for him to accept. So he wanted Mr. Mujadzic to
6 speak out and that's why he said what he said here, which did not reflect
7 his own opinion. It was merely a propaganda-driven -- in the direction
8 that was favourable for the SDS.
9 Q. Mr. Miskovic goes on to say:
10 "If somebody should be laid the blame on, then they should be
11 putting forth some arguments for it. As I see it, all the discussions
12 that have been held here today and that placing the blame on the SDA. I
13 don't know if I'm right, but it has been said that we had not wanted it,
14 that it was obvious who did not want it, that people know who doesn't
15 want it. Now life saving solution has been found proposed by one party.
16 "But let's take things in their proper order. At the beginning
17 of power-sharing, a blockade ensued and therefore we, the SDS, held an
18 ordinary party assembly session electing a new president, and that's to
19 say, myself and my first step was to get in touch with the president of
20 the SDA with a view to removing the cause of the blockade. Talks on that
21 subject were held in the office of the vice-president of the municipal
22 assembly but without the participation the SDA president who had to go
23 away on a trip. However, there was the president of the Deputies Club
24 and the president of the municipal assembly present, and I asked them if
25 they had been given a mandate by their party to negotiate all the various
1 matters and whether the party was going to stand behind our agreement."
2 "There were various discussions on the matter as to whether this
3 was the case or not, and after several hours of discussions the
4 conclusion was that they did not have the mandate. That's number one.
5 These are the facts.
6 "Secondly, when it was established at last that they had not been
7 authorised, we demanded that both parties elect representatives who would
8 be authorised to engage in negotiations who would have the mandate to
9 engage in power-sharing negotiations and thus automatically to lift the
10 blockade of the assembly and who would be the signatories on behalf of
11 their respective parties. That was done. We received a paper stating
12 that among other things, Sefik Krkic would be leading these negotiations
13 on behalf of the SDA, together with the internal revenue service head,
14 Meho and Peso Camil. Right from the start, we defined the criteria based
15 on which we would divide the power. Once the criteria were established,
16 two and a half hours later, without any problems" --
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] "In an amicable atmosphere, we
19 managed to agree on the 50 -per cent division."
20 He goes on to say:
21 "We agreed that this should -- that a clean copy should be made
22 of it and that on the following day we would complete the second part
23 which would be much easier.
24 "And then it would be forwarded and thus" --
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Aleksic, I'm sorry, but is it really
1 necessary to read all this into the transcript? What's the purpose?
2 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do believe it
3 necessary, because it relates to this witness's testimony in this case
4 and in other cases. And it responds to the Prosecution case that the SDS
5 obstructed the process of establishing a government and that it did not
6 take part in the work of the various structures and that all contact had
7 been severed, that they did not take part in government, and that all
8 this happened because of the way the SDS conducted itself; whereas, what
9 I'm just reading out now shows that the story was much different, that
10 the SDA representatives would agree to certain matters but this would
11 later on be reneged because apparently they did not have the adequate
12 authorisation and so on.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: But I suppose you will ask -- you will tendered
14 this document. Do you foresee any objections? Because if -- if you
15 tendered it and we -- [Overlapping speakers] ...
16 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] [Overlapping speakers] ...
17 Your Honour, I have finished with this document. However, in previous
18 cases and on Friday, the witness said that the basic request that the SDS
19 put forth on this assembly session was to call early elections, and I
20 wanted to show that this wasn't a SDS request but a joint request. But
21 I'm finished with this document and I wish to tender it into evidence.
22 JUDGE HALL: Any objections?
23 MR. OLMSTED: No, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: There's not even a question.
25 JUDGE HALL: [Microphone not activated]
1 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 2D00128, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE HALL: Which brings us to the ends of today's sitting and
3 we will resume in this courtroom tomorrow morning at 9.00.
4 [The witness stands down]
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 18th day of
7 November, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.