1 Monday, 6 December 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon 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 afternoon to everyone. May we have the appearances, please.
12 MR. RINDI: Good afternoon, Your Honours. For the Office of the
13 Prosecutor, Francesco Rindi, Joanna Korner and Crispian Smith.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
15 Slobodan Cvijetic, and Ms. Jessica Lacey appearing for the Stanisic
16 Defence this afternoon. Thank you.
17 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours,
18 Aleksandar Aleksic representing Mr. Zupljanin today.
19 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
20 Yes, Ms. Korner.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I raise a few administrative
22 matters before the witness comes.
23 The first is this: Mr. Olmsted asked me to apply for the 92 ter
24 package for ST-223 to be moved into evidence which he omitted to, I
25 gather, last week.
1 JUDGE HALL: Well, the -- if it hasn't been done, then we order
2 it to be admitted and marked.
3 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much.
4 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P01744, Your Honours. Thank you.
5 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
6 Your Honours, the next matter is this: Mr. Zecevic, on Thursday,
7 without notice, I gather, or just before the raised the matters, raised
8 two matters, or, rather, three, I think, in total. One there is nothing
9 that I need to say about it because I'm not sure what Mr. Zecevic's
10 application was in relation to documents relating to a witness that had
11 already testified.
12 Second matter was in relation to disclosure which he alleged had
13 been given to other teams which was material to this case. Namely,
14 relating to somebody called Pecanac, I think it is pronounced.
15 Mr. Hannis was taken by surprise. Your Honours, can I say that
16 certainly I was aware of this disclosure. As I understood it, and we're
17 re-checking it now, the disclosure relates to Srebrenica, disclosed in
18 the case of Perisic and Karadzic. The majority of the documents are 95
19 but some are 93 and 94.
20 Mr. Zecevic averred that there were documents that were relevant
21 to this case, if he -- if he says he has seen the disclosure and I'm not
22 sure how he has seen the disclosure because disclosure is supposed to be
23 limited to each case in which it is made, and he says there are documents
24 which are relevant then would assist us rather than having somebody to
25 sit there to go through every single document as to which documents he
1 says are relevant and why.
2 So, Your Honour, that is that matter.
3 Your Honour, we are, of course, going through it, but it will be
4 quicker if, as I say, Mr. Zecevic tells us where those documents are.
5 Finally, Your Honour, the question of exhumations. Yet again.
6 Your Honour, again, and I really do say this is not a way in which
7 matters should be gone about.
8 JUDGE HALL: Sorry, Ms. Korner. For the continuity of the
9 record, do you mind if I interrupt you to get response from Mr. Zecevic.
10 MS. KORNER: No, of course not, certainly.
11 JUDGE HALL: [Overlapping speakers] ...
12 Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I would first like to state for the
14 record that I informed Mr. Hannis about my intention to make the
15 submission. And also I informed the Registry and the Court Officer about
17 I also, prior to that, we filed -- we sent an e-mail requesting
18 the Pecanac disclosure, so our friends from the Office of the Prosecutor
19 have been notified about my submissions.
20 Now, Your Honours, I -- I have never seen the disclosure of
21 Pecanac. I was provided with the list of one of the Defence teams,
22 where -- where -- where I didn't have the -- the documents but it says,
23 for example, the document of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
24 Sarajevo, 1992. And that is how I understood that some of these
25 documents should be -- or might be relevant to this -- to this case.
1 That is all. I am -- I am still waiting, I officially asked the Office
2 of the Prosecutor to give us, to provide to us the disclosure of the
3 documents according to the Rules of the procedure. And I'm still waiting
4 for that.
5 Thank you.
6 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
7 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] ... still waiting because
8 at the moment we've yet to come across a document that could be said to
9 be relevant to this case. However, we are continuing with the search.
10 And I don't quite understand how -- Mr. Zecevic's assertion that he
11 hasn't seen the disclosure but he has seen a Defence document containing
12 the disclosure. Disclosure is supposed to be confidential to each case.
13 Your Honours, the last matter is the question of exhumations.
14 Mr. Zecevic has gone back again over the same ground as he has
15 gone over before. Your Honours, in addition, he tried to go back over
16 the legal submissions when, if he gave Mr. Hannis notice, it was within a
17 very short period of time which we argued extensively.
18 Your Honours, we say, and I don't want to waste the Court's time
19 by going back over it, that his quoting is selective and does not
20 represent the position in those authorities. But in any event,
21 Your Honours have copies of all the authorities because we referred to
22 them in our original argument.
23 Your Honour, can I -- can I say this: It doesn't really matter
24 whether Mr. Zecevic stipulates to the database or not. It's Your Honours
25 to rule on our application to add that database to our list. All the
1 matter that Mr. Zecevic raised may go to the weight of it, but that,
2 again, is a matter for Your Honours. It's our application which has been
3 before Your Honours for some time now that we may add the database with
4 the information to the 65 ter list and then have it admitted into
6 If Your Honours give any weight to Mr. Zecevic's arguments and
7 consider that it is incumbent on us in a case, a leadership case, to
8 specifically prove the -- each and every entry in the database, then, of
9 course, as I said, we'll do it. But all I'm saying, Your Honours, in
10 which case if that is what is going to be required, then we will have to
11 call some four or five further witnesses, at least, which will have to
12 now be done in January, because all the witnesses -- or nearly all of
13 them are abroad.
14 We do urge Your Honours to make a ruling as soon as possible so
15 that we know where we are on this.
16 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. We are keenly aware of the necessity to
17 give this matter some priority. And I can't promise a ruling before the
18 recess, but the -- it might be possible. Thank you.
19 Thank you.
20 Is the Prosecution's next witness ready?
21 MR. RINDI: Yes, Your Honours. And he has no protective
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE HALL: Good afternoon to you, sir. Would you be so kind as
25 to read the solemn declaration on the card the usher has handed to you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
2 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: OSMAN SELAK
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE HALL: Please be seated.
6 And from your responses so far, I assume that you are hearing me
7 in a language that you understand.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am.
9 JUDGE HALL: Well, first of all, we welcome you to the Tribunal,
10 and I would point out to you that the solemn declaration that you have
11 just made exposes to the pain of the penalties of perjury should you give
12 false or misleading testimony to this Tribunal, which penalties this
13 Tribunal is empowered by its constituent statute to impose.
14 You have been called under an expedited procedure which the Rules
15 of the Tribunal permit, and, therefore, it is expected that your
16 testimony will be completed in the first part of today's sitting, and if
17 I might interrupt myself for a moment, there's a question I should have
18 asked of the Prosecution before I began.
19 And that is, is there an indication as to how long the
20 cross-examination of this witness would take? I don't, on the most
21 recent information I have, have any such indication.
22 Mr. Zecevic.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: I believe not longer than one hour, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Aleksic.
25 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Between half an hour and
1 40 minutes, which will mostly depend on the questions put by my learned
2 friend, Mr. Zecevic.
3 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
4 Well, sir, you would have heard from what has just passed between
5 the Bench and Defence counsel as to how long they expect that they would
6 be in cross-examination. The Prosecution, at whose instance you're
7 called, have indicated that they will spend 45 minutes in their
8 examination-in-chief. And the practice of the Tribunal is that we sit in
9 sessions of no longer than hour and a half, and there are two reasons for
10 this. One is the technical necessity to change the tapes by which the
11 proceedings of the Tribunal are recorded. And that also, secondly,
12 allows for the convenience of yourself, counsel, and indeed the Bench but
13 notwithstanding the set breaks that the -- that I have indicated and
14 those breaks are of 20 minutes duration, the -- if for any reason you
15 need to take a break before that time, if you indicate it to us we would
16 certainly accommodate you.
17 Would you begin by telling us your name, please.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Osman Selak.
19 JUDGE HALL: What is your date of birth, and what is your
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was born on the 20th of May,
22 1935. I'm a Bosniak.
23 JUDGE HALL: And what is your profession?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A military officer by the rank of
25 colonel, retired.
1 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
2 Mr. Rindi.
3 Examination by Mr. Rindi:
4 MR. RINDI: Your Honours, may I begin my reading a short summary
5 of the witness previous testimony in the Brdjanin case.
6 JUDGE HALL: Yes.
7 MR. RINDI: Osman Selak, a Bosnian Muslim, was a professional
8 soldier in the JNA from 1955 until 10 July 1992. By 1992 he had reached
9 the rank of colonel and was in charge of logistics for the Banja Luka
10 area of command. On 27 May 1992 Colonel Selak, participated to a meeting
11 at the forward command post in Stara Gradiska, Croatia. Present at this
12 meeting were, among others, Colonel Vaso Tepsic, Colonel Dragan Marcetic,
13 and General Momir Talic. Colonel Marcetic reported that that day in
14 Kozarac 800 people were killed and 1200 were taken prisoners. When he
15 heard this, General Talic looked at Colonel Selak who was the only
16 Bosnian Muslim present at the meeting and then turned to Dragan Marcetic
17 and said, You mean that 80 persons were killed. This is the information
18 that you're supposed to send to the General Staff. Colonel Selak later
19 learned that there was only a little armed resistance in the Kozarac and
20 that the real aim of the attack was to ethnically cleanse the area from
22 Q. Colonel Selak, did you testify before this Tribunal in the Tadic
23 case on 4 and 5 June, 1996?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. And did you testify in the Brdjanin case on 15, 16, 17, 20, 21,
1 23 and 24 June 2003?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you also testify in the Milosevic case on 12 and 13
4 June 2003?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. And, finally, did you testify in the Krajisnik case on 24
7 May 2005?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Colonel Selak, did you have a chance to review your testimony in
10 the Brdjanin case?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you review, in particular, the portions of your testimony
13 relating to your profession background and to the attack on Kozarac at
14 the end of May 1992?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And if you were asked the same questions on the same topic today,
17 would you give the same answers?
18 A. Yes, I wouldn't change my answers. I would put them the same way
19 I did then.
20 Q. Colonel Selak, you testify that you had served in the JNA from
21 1955 to 1992. In particular, you stated that you handed over
22 responsibilities to another officer on 10 July 1992. Did you voluntarily
23 decide to leave the army.
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Could you briefly explain the reasons why you decided to leave
1 the army.
2 A. I used to be a member of the JNA, which, officially, was in
3 operation until 18 May 1992, when, in the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
4 the VRS was established. I did not wish to be a member of that army.
5 On the 19th of May, 1992, I submitted my request for retirement,
6 which was sent to Belgrade. The decision on retirement was made by the
7 General Staff in Belgrade.
8 I remained in my position until the 10th of July, 1992, when the
9 administrative procedure was completed, and that is when I handed over my
11 Q. Colonel Selak, you told us --
12 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry. Page 10, line 7, I believe the witness
13 said, "I handed over my duties," not "my documents."
14 MR. RINDI:
15 Q. Colonel Selak, you told us that your ethnicity -- that you're a
16 Bosniak by ethnicity. Did you have -- did you encounter any problem in
17 the VRS because of your ethnicity?
18 A. There were problems. Unfortunately, this also included
19 General Adzic, who was the chief of the General Staff. At one of the
20 meetings, he called me a Turk, whereas, I am not. General Uzelac and the
21 corps commander -- who was the corps commander in Banja Luka and I were
22 tasked with resolving the situation in the Krajina and he said, Uzelac,
23 you deal with the Serbs and, Selak, you will deal with the Turks. This
24 is why I say that he declared me a member of that community, whereas I
25 did not feel myself to be a Turk. There were some additional problems
1 later on, in terms of my professional duties. However, this occurred at
2 a later stage. At any rate, it was not an easy period.
3 Q. Colonel, you said that you encountered some problems in the VRS
4 because of your ethnicity. Did those problems influence in any way your
5 decision to leave the army?
6 A. Yes. In February 1992, a group for co-operation with the UN was
7 formed for the territory of the Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia.
8 I was appointed chief of that group in Banja Luka. However, the corps
9 command sent a document to the General Staff stating that I was not to
10 hold that position because of my political views. I was replaced on the
11 18th of March, not even a month after my appointment. The Tribunal has
12 that document in its possession and I invoked that document in the
13 Milosevic case. I don't have it with me here. It is in my hotel room if
14 you wish to see it, but, in any case, the Tribunal has that document.
15 Q. Colonel Selak, in your testimony in the Brdjanin case, you
16 described the meeting to which you participated on 27 May, 1992, in which
17 the attack on Kozarac was discussed. You stated that you didn't know
18 about this attack prior to this meeting.
19 A. Yes, I did not know about it. Although, I was commander of the
20 logistical base which supplied all units in the area of the
21 Bosnian Krajina, as well as the 1st and the 2nd Corps. But, however, I
22 was completely ignorant of what was going to take place in Kozarac and
23 Prijedor. Although, General Talic, a few days before that, had announced
24 that he expected some problems concerning Kozarac and Prijedor. Later
25 on, when I pondered, it became clearer to me that this had already been a
1 preparatory stage to set the scene for the genocide that was to follow.
2 Q. From whom did you learn the details about the attack on Kozarac?
3 A. Colonel Vaso Tepic and I attended a briefing with General Talic,
4 the corps commander, who had a forward command post in Stara Gradiska, in
5 Croatia. Before the war, there used to be a penitentiary there.
6 During the briefing, Colonel Dragan Marcetic was also in
7 attendance, who was the duty officer of the head of team at the
8 command -- at the corps command on that day. He briefed us on the events
9 of that day in the area of responsibility of the corps. He said the
10 following: General, today in Kozarac, 800 people were killed and 1200
11 were arrested.
12 At that moment, as he was saying that, General Talic turned to
13 me, because I was the only Bosniak there, and he reacted spontaneously in
14 a way, because he sensed that he made a mistake looking at me. Then he
15 turned his gaze on Mr. Marcetic and he said, I guess you're trying to say
16 that 80 people were killed and that is what you should report to the
17 General Staff. That particular document is also in the custody of the
18 Tribunal. I have a copy of it as well.
19 Unfortunately, Your Honours, far more people were killed than
20 that. Not even today the location of the mortal remains of over 1000
21 people from Kozarac and Prijedor are -- they're still being looked for.
22 Q. Colonel Selak, you just told us that you learned that more people
23 were killed in Kozarac as opposed to what -- what had been reported
24 during the meeting. When was it and from whom did you learn what had
25 really happened in Kozarac?
1 A. Unfortunately, after the 27th of May, a process of physical
2 removal en masse began of Bosniaks and Croats from Prijedor and Kozarac.
3 They were being transported in railway cars towards Banja Luka. Trucks
4 were also used. People were asked for money, in order for them to be
5 allowed to move out of Prijedor and Kozarac and to abandon their
6 property. They had to give away their real estate. They had to sign
7 statements to that effect --
8 MR. KRGOVIC: I object. What is the point of this answer? It's
9 not response to the question.
10 MR. RINDI:
11 Q. Colonel Selak, may I ask you this: From whom -- you just told us
12 what you learned on what happened after the attack on Kozarac. From whom
13 is it that you learned all these details?
14 A. Both during and after the war, from people who survived and who
15 were saved because they paid to be allowed to move out of that area.
16 They did survive but they lost many of their nearest and dearest, and
17 they told me.
18 Unfortunately, Your Honours, there's also a statement when 194
19 from -- people from Prijedor were taken by bus to Travnik to --
20 Q. Colonel, Selak, may I just interrupt you --
21 A. I apologise.
22 Q. -- for a second.
23 You told us that you personally talked to survivors to this -- of
24 this attack and that you learned the details from them. Did you have the
25 chance to talk to any of your colleagues in the army about the details of
1 this attack? And I'm referring to the period after the meeting of the
2 27th of May, 1992.
3 A. Yes. I spoke to my colleagues, Colonel Tepsic,
4 Colonel Mesud Hasotic and somebody else, but I can't remember the name
5 now. I was in contact with the then-Major Radmilo Zeljaja, who later
6 became lieutenant-colonel and subsequently colonel. He was directly
7 responsible for that, and I asked him but he didn't want to reply. He
8 just shrugged and walked away from me. He was a direct participant and
9 the commanding officer of the then-343rd Brigade in Prijedor.
10 Q. Besides having talked to the survivors and to your colleagues in
11 the army about the events in Kozarac, do you remember talking to anyone
12 else in particular about this attack?
13 A. I spoke to Muharem Krzic from Banja Luka, and the mufti, the late
14 Effendi Halilovic. He had accurate information about what had happened.
15 He spoke to me about it, and he communicated a lot with the people who
16 were able to get out of Prijedor and Kozarac.
17 There was also Mr. Adil Medic. He also lived in Banja Luka but
18 he hails from Sanski Most. He also knows what happened there.
19 MR. RINDI: Could the Court Usher please display on the screen
20 65 ter 3644.
21 Q. Colonel Selak, could you please read to yourself the document
22 that is displayed in front of you. And could you please let me know when
23 you're finished reading.
24 A. I've read it.
25 Q. Have you ever seen this document before?
1 A. I see it for the first time, Your Honours. At least I don't
2 remember it. I reviewed a large number of documents, but I don't
3 remember this one.
4 However, this document is false. The information stated in it is
5 not correct. What's contained in item 3, the total strength of the
6 Green Berets 1500 to 2.000 men, that is wrong. I'm now speaking about
8 Q. Colonel Selak, you just told us that the -- that this document
9 it's wrong with regard to the number of Green Berets involved in the
10 fighting in Kozarac.
11 To your knowledge, how many Green Berets were involved in this --
12 in the fighting in Kozarac, if at all?
13 A. Your Honours, the notion of Green Berets is something used to
14 denote the Army of BH. The area around Kozarac, which is in the Prijedor
15 municipality, and in Prijedor, there was the 343rd Motorised Brigade of
16 the JNA with over 2500 men.
17 There was another brigade, the Kozara Brigade, and, in addition
18 to that, there were volunteer units. If we speak about weapons held by
19 citizens before the war the police in Prijedor had accurate information
20 as to the type and quantity of weapons, and that is mostly hunting
21 rifles. Supply of weapons from the outside was impossible, because from
22 the Croatian border, all the way to Banja Luka in one direction and to
23 Gradiska in the other, the entire territory was controlled by the JNA so
24 it was not possible to supply the people with any weapons. So this is
25 not correct.
1 I'm talking -- I'm speaking now as a professional soldier. It --
2 what I'm saying can easily are verified because the entire area was
3 blocked. Individuals procured weapons from Serbs because the army that
4 was withdrawing from Slovenia and Croatia distributed large quantities of
5 weapons to the population. The word Serbian was written on houses so as
6 to make that task easier. Thousands of pieces of weapons were
7 distributed that way. And the Serb Democratic Party was involved, about
8 which there's documentation here in The Hague. People bought weapons
9 illegally from each other and from Serbs, and my personal estimate is
10 that 50 or 70, but not more than 100 people, who had weapons. Those who
11 had legal weapons had to return them because such was an order of the
12 police, and who didn't return was harassed.
13 The objective was to cleanse Kozarac fully of Bosniaks and the
14 same applies to Prijedor and Sanski Most. The Crisis Staff of
15 Sanski Most demanded that all Croats and Muslims leave the area, so this
16 document is a ruse.
17 Q. Colonel Selak, could you please look at point 4, paragraph 2, of
18 this document. It states that 80 to 100 Green Berets were killed and
19 about 1500 were captured. Do you think that this is a truthful and
20 accurate account of the number of person who were -- who were killed in
21 Kozarac, to your knowledge?
22 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Rindi, I have --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
24 JUDGE HALL: [Previous translation continues] ... if I may, sir.
25 Having regard to the previous answers of this witness about this
1 document, what's the point of that question?
2 MR. RINDI: Well, Your Honours, I am -- I'm trying to establish
3 what his knowledge was of the attack in Kozarac, and he was describing
5 JUDGE HALL: You can ask him that directly, without reference to
6 the document.
7 MR. RINDI: Yes, Your Honours.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer the question about
9 those killed?
10 At the meeting with General Talic, Colonel Marcetic officially
11 stated that 800 people had been killed on that day. The operative
12 officer who received the report from Kozarac and this is, what does it
13 say, 80 or something. It is obvious that this is a lie.
14 Your Honour, I have my official notebook from that time where it
15 says what Colonel Marcetic said officially at the meeting with General
16 Talic; whereas this document states something different all together. It
17 mentions 80 to 100 people. Unfortunately, that is not true.
18 MR. RINDI:
19 Q. Thank you. Colonel Selak, did you later learned which forces
20 conducted the attack on Kozarac?
21 A. Yes. The 343rd Motorised Brigade participated in the attack on
22 Kozarac, then the 6th Kozara Brigade, the volunteer units established by
23 the Serbian Democratic Party, and the Prijedor police.
24 Q. Do you know what weapons were used by the army in the attack? Do
25 you know if heavy artillery was used during the attack, in particular?
1 A. Yes. Ground artillery was used, APCs, tanks, mortars and,
2 naturally, all infantry weapons from machine-guns to hand-grenades and
3 everything else. After that, the torching started, the killing and
4 massacring of people, in which, apart from the military, the police also
5 participated and the local Serb population too.
6 Q. Colonel Selak, you mentioned the units of the army that
7 participated to this attack. To your knowledge, were there any non-Serb
8 officers in these units that participated to the attack?
9 A. I haven't heard of one non-Serb officer in the 343rd Brigade or
10 in the Kozara Brigade, and there was certainly none such in the volunteer
11 paramilitary units.
12 So I don't know of any officer or non-commissioned officer there
13 who was a non-Serb. That is my personal knowledge. But I believe it was
14 the case, because they would have tried to prevent the genocide rather
15 than take part in it.
16 Q. And to your knowledge, for what reasons were there non-Serbs --
17 there were no non-Serbs in the military units that conducted this attack?
18 A. This is an order issued by the Main Staff of the VRS that all
19 Muslim and Croatian officers be removed from the units. I was even
20 threatened in the newspapers and the media that I must leave the army.
21 Therefore, it isn't logical at all.
22 Certainly there was mistrust on the part of the Serb army toward
23 Croats and Bosniaks, and it is only logical that there weren't any. I
24 stand by my words.
25 Q. Colonel Selak, do you know what happened to the civilian
1 population after the attack in Kozarac?
2 A. I do. The Crisis Staff of Prijedor municipality organised the
3 removal of all population on various grounds. It went from killings
4 through threats and blackmail to pay with -- in cash or with jewellery.
5 People were forced that they should renounce their real estate, and they
6 were taken to Croatia which was closest, or on railroad carriages toward
7 Banja Luka or on buses to Travnik. But 194 persons from those buses were
8 killed at Koricanske Stijene, and those murders were commited by the
9 Prijedor police which was the escort of those buses. And they were all
10 killed, 194 persons. There were various ways, obviously, but Prijedor
11 and Kozarac had to be cleansed. However, Sanski Most and other places in
12 the area of responsibility of that core and the Banja Luka region were --
13 faired similarly and had a similar destiny.
14 Q. Thank you. You just told us that the Crisis Staff of Prijedor
15 organised the removal of the population of Kozarac. Do you know when
16 this removal took place?
17 A. From May 1992 till October or November of the same year, to my
18 mind. There were percentages stated in the official policy of the
19 Republika Srpska that applied to the remaining shares of population
20 groups. I'm talking about Banja Luka. Out of 50.000 Muslim and
21 Bosniaks, only 2.000 were planned to stay.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: The witness doesn't respond to the question. That
23 is the third or fourth time.
24 MR. RINDI:
25 Q. From whom is that you learn what happened in Kozarac after the
2 A. After the attack, apart from what was heard at the briefings of
3 General Talic's, I heard from the Banja Luka mufti and from
4 Muharem Krzic, Adil Medic and some other citizens from Banja Luka who had
5 family in Prijedor because it's the neighbouring municipality. And I
6 also heard it from other people, even Serbs who did not approve of the
7 killing of people, their neighbours.
8 Q. Do you know what happened to the houses of the inhabitants of
9 Kozarac after the attack?
10 A. I do. No one house was left intact. There were all destroyed,
11 burnt down, blown up. It was -- I was there in 1995 and I was appalled
12 at what I saw there. No one house was left intact.
13 Q. Thank you. And do you know which forces carried out this
14 destruction of houses that you just told us about?
15 A. It was the local Serb population. Some army members, but the
16 police too, with the approval and the support of the police. That was
17 the implementation of the said objective to remove all the Muslim
18 population. It was under the control of the Crisis Staff and the members
19 of the 343rd Motorised Brigade and paramilitary organisations but also
20 the police from Prijedor.
21 Q. Colonel, based on your military knowledge, how would you describe
22 the attack on Kozarac. Was it a small-scale attack, or was it a
23 larger-scale attack?
24 A. Kozarac had about 4- or 5.000 inhabitants, and it was surrounded
25 by the 343rd Brigade which was 2500 strong. There was also a TO brigade
1 which was about 2.000 strong. There were also paramilitary formations
2 established by the Serb Democratic Party. They were totally encircled.
3 They couldn't leave without the knowledge and approval of those who
4 controlled the area. Everything was blocked, roads, forests. It was
5 impossible to leave the local commune of Kozarac.
6 Q. And would you describe this as a large-scale attack?
7 MR. KRGOVIC: I object that. First of all, it is a leading
8 question. And this witness never been in Kozarac or never spoke with
9 anybody who was there.
10 MR. RINDI: Your Honours, this witness clarified that he did
11 speak to survivors of the attack in Kozarac. And he did also speak to
12 colleagues or him -- of his in the army about the attack on Kozarac.
13 Furthermore, he is a professional soldier and he's able to make an
14 assessment as to, you know, whether or not this is a large-scale attack.
15 He is fully competent to give an answer to this.
16 JUDGE HALL: Of course, large-scale is relative. And, so
17 phrased, the question does appear to be leading. I suppose that a more
18 carefully phrased question would elicit the answers that you are seeking
19 to get, which this witness is competent to give.
20 MR. RINDI:
21 Q. Colonel Selak, in military terms, how would you describe the
22 attack against Kozarac?
23 A. As commander of the 343rd Brigade, if I had been in that
24 position, it would have been an easy task for me because there was no
25 resistance. There's no opposing military force that would prevent me
1 from -- from accomplishing my mission.
2 Q. At what level of the military hierarchy would a decision for such
3 an attack have to be made?
4 A. The corps commander, in agreement with the regional Crisis Staff
5 in Banja Luka, and the Prijedor Crisis Staff, in order to implement
6 ethnic cleansing, they would assign tasks to the army and to the civilian
7 authorities in the area.
8 Q. You described to us that the houses of the inhabitants of Kozarac
9 were destroyed. Are you aware of what kind of weapons were used to
10 destroy the houses?
11 A. I don't know what kind of weapons were used. But it wasn't
12 necessary to use weapons, really. There was arson, there was -- but the
13 first thing was to loot property from the houses and then there was arson
14 and destruction of the houses with bulldozers or any other tools. And
15 there was -- there wasn't any need to use artillery or other weapons.
16 The population and the police went about it, and I'm sure that
17 members of the army and paramilitary formations also took part in it.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. RINDI: Your Honours, this concludes my examination-in-chief.
20 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
21 Yes, Mr. Aleksic.
22 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Aleksic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Colonel.
25 A. Good afternoon.
1 Q. You reiterated today that you testified before this Tribunal in
2 four cases: Brdjanin, Krajisnik, Tadic, and Milosevic.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Apart from that, you gave several statements to the OTP. I
5 believe five in all. And you gave your first statement over a longer
6 period of time from the 23rd to the 25th of September. Then, on the 30th
7 of September, 1995; and then also from the 29th to the 31st of January,
8 1996, when that statement was read out to you in a language you
9 understand and you signed it.
10 Do you remember?
11 A. I know that I gave statements in that period, yes.
12 Q. Following the first statement, you gave the next statement
13 between 19th and 23rd January 2000 and the 13th of July, 2000. Next, on
14 the 10th of March, 2001, on the 22nd of August, 2001, and the last
15 statement was on the 22nd July, 2004.
16 On all those occasions, the same procedure was followed. That is
17 to say, once the taking of the statement was completed, the translator
18 would put it in your language, whereupon you would sign, affirming that
19 the statement in question contains everything you have said to the best
20 of your recollection; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In addition to that, during the proofing for the Brdjanin case,
23 as well as the Krajisnik case, you had occasion to see the statements and
24 offer amendments or corrections caused by typographical errors.
25 A. I remember the discussions, but I don't know whether I made any
1 corrections and changes because it's been a while. In any case, my
2 signature is there, and I stand by it.
3 Q. As regards the meeting at the forward command post, that day you
4 went to Gradiska to attend a briefing, together with Colonel Tepsic; is
5 that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And I suppose you returned to Banja Luka the same day or the
9 A. We returned on the same day.
10 Q. You said that, in addition to Colonel Tepsic, you discussed these
11 events with Colonel Hasotic as well, if I understood you well?
12 A. Mesud Hasotic, who was the assistant commander for morale in the
13 Banja Luka Corps.
14 Q. Mr. Hasotic was in Banja Luka at the time; right?
15 A. He was in the corps command. He was the assistant to the
16 chief -- sorry. Assistant to the commander of the corps in charge of
18 Q. You were just shown a combat report sent by the corps to the
19 Main Staff, and you said that you see that document for the first time.
20 You will -- have also stated your opinion. However, as the logistics
21 base commander, you did not take part in the drafting of corps reports
22 that were to be sent to the Main Staff.
23 A. No, I was not part of the corps. I was directly under the
24 command of the Main Staff. The corps command sent their own reports;
25 whereas, I sent my own.
1 Q. That means that you did not personally participate in the
2 drafting of combat documents of the corps, such as orders and like.
3 A. No, I did not.
4 Q. Today you also said -- sorry. First of all, tell me this. Do
5 you know whether Colonels Tepsic and Marcetic are still alive?
6 A. Unfortunately, Colonel Tepsic was killed in a car accident during
7 the war. Colonel Marcetic, as far as I know, is alive. However, we
8 haven't been in contact for over ten years, so I have no reliable
9 information on him, and I don't know of his whereabouts.
10 Q. You also stated today that you discussed these events with
11 Mr. Krzic as well as the mufti, Halilovic.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And the two of them were both in Banja Luka at the time. They
14 resided there?
15 A. Yes. Krzic, however was often on the move, but he did live in
16 Banja Luka.
17 Q. And you said that -- well, you didn't say that, but Mr. Krzic was
18 a president of one of SDA boards in Banja Luka?
19 A. He was a member, although I don't know his position. I was never
20 a member of any party. I only know that he was a member of that party
21 but I don't know what his position within it was. I can't answer that
23 Q. Neither yourself not your colleagues, Colonel Tepsic; Hasotic;
24 Marcetic; nor Mr. Krzic; the mufti, Halilovic, none of these that you
25 discussed these events with at the time was in Kozarac at the time, in
1 the course of those few days?
2 A. Everyone except Colonel Marcetic, who was in the corps command as
3 operations officer had no knowledge about that. Only he could know about
4 it. He must have been present there, because he was also in charge of
5 planning operations.
6 Q. At the briefing of the 27th of May at the forward command post,
7 did you report to anyone along your professional line? Did you report
8 this to any of your superiors about what you heard?
9 A. I didn't report this officially to anyone because I was
10 subordinated to the Main Staff of the VRS. They received their corps
11 report. Hence, there was no need for me to report anything to any of my
12 superiors and I did not, at least not in official terms.
13 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Could we have 65 ter document 09135
14 which is tab 1 of the Zupljanin Defence.
15 Q. Colonel, I have a hard copy for you as well. That is the first
16 statement you provided, and I'm interested in a single paragraph. On
17 page 9 in the English; in the B/C/S, it is at the bottom of page 10 and
18 at the top of page 11.
19 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] In the English, it's page 9.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You said page 10 for me.
21 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Yes. The end of page 2 [as interpreted], the beginning of page
23 11 for you. For the Judges and others who follow it in English, page 10;
24 page 9 in e-court.
25 On the last page 10 and on page 11 you say, among other things:
1 "It was possible that the 343rd Brigade drafted all of the
2 plans which were then submitted for approval to the corps commander. In
3 that case, General Talic only had to call General Arsic and tell him that
4 the plan was approved. In the attack on Kozarac, the 343rd Brigade took
6 And, as you said, it was 3- to 3.500 soldiers strong, two TO
7 units previously mobilised and attached to the 343rd Brigade, as well as
8 some paramilitary units. In terms of the amount of ammunition kept on
9 hand by units, the corps carries with it three combat sets. This is your
10 explanation of the amount of ammunition.
11 Do you recall having given this statement in 1995 and early 1996.
12 You also signed it, most likely, before you appeared here for the first
13 time in the Tadic case.
14 A. Yes. I don't see a problem here. The 343rd Motorised Brigade
15 was one of the strongest brigades in the Banja Luka Corps. The TO
16 brigade units at Kozara that were mobilised participated as well as the
17 paramilitary or volunteer units established by the SDS, comprising Serbs
18 from that area. I don't see what the point in question is.
19 Q. And you stand by the statement you provided then in 1995 and
21 A. I do. There's one thing I would like to add, Your Honours.
22 The plan of operations as well as the orders arrived from the
23 corps command, and the brigade implemented them, and other units, save
24 for the brigade. There were other units taking part as well.
25 The brigade itself and its commander could not attack or engage a
1 single position without an approval or knowledge by the corps commander.
2 Q. Based on your military experience, you drew that conclusion, as
3 things should have been, but regarding this event, you were not familiar
4 with any ideas of Colonel Arsic and you did not see any orders or
5 approvals by the corps commander. You did not see any of those?
6 A. I did not. But the corps commander would be held responsible if
7 he did anything without the knowledge or approval of the corps commander.
8 The goal was clear, which was to -- to ethnically cleanse Prijedor and
9 Kozarac of Bosniaks and Croats.
10 Q. Did you know that a few days before the event in Kozarac, there
11 was an incident when a military column was attacked? First, there was an
12 incident in Hambarine, and a day or two later in Jakupovici, the JNA
13 column was attacked.
14 A. I do know about that. I know that a soldier was killed. But an
15 incident can take place even between people manning check-points because
16 there were barricades on the road. People were quite upset, angered.
17 They were not allowed to move freely or to travel, and in such a
18 situation, incidents can occur. However, that is no excuse for killing a
19 few thousands people.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Witness.
21 MR. ALEKSIC: Thank you, Your Honours, I have no further
22 questions of this witness.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: I have one clarification question. On page 27,
24 line 18, the witness answers:
25 "The corps commander would be held responsible if he did anything
1 without the knowledge or approval of the corps commander."
2 That's obviously a mistake and I suppose the witness has said
3 something else.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The brigade commander. If he would
5 dare do anything without the knowledge of the corps commander. I may
6 have misspoken. In any case, the commander of the 343rd Brigade was
7 Mr. Arsic.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: May I, Your Honours?
10 JUDGE HALL: Yes, please.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Zecevic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, before you were retired, you had a career
13 with the JNA spanning over 40 years; correct?
14 A. No. I began working in 1958 after having received my university
15 degree in Zagreb. I submitted my request in 1952, which makes me 37 at
16 the time, and I had some modest previous experience.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
18 1D0-0471 [as interpreted], tab 5.
19 MR. RINDI: Your Honours, I just have a small correction to the
20 transcript. It says at line 28 -- sorry, page 28, line 24, I submitted
21 my request in 1952. I believe there might be a mistake.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1992. 1992. 19th of May, 1992.
23 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: I asked for the -- for the document 1D04-4771.
25 It's tab number 5 of the Defence [indiscernible] documents.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, this is a decision on your retirement dated
2 7 October 1992.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Does this concern you personally?
5 A. Yes, it does.
6 Q. Towards the bottom it says that he was relieved of military
7 service on the 30th of September 1992 by decision of the appropriate
9 Then it says according to the data registered in personnel
10 records, he has 40 years, eight months and three days of employment.
11 A. Your Honours --
12 Q. Please allow me to put my question first.
13 When I mentioned the 40 years, I meant to say that you, as an
14 active-duty officer, had an accelerated employment history in the way you
15 gathered your experience and years of service.
16 A. Yes. But not active duty.
17 Q. Sir, we have interpreters here; hence, I'd like to ask you to
18 pause before answering so that we would have my question and your answer
19 recorded correctly.
20 For every year of service as an active-duty officer, instead of
21 12 months, you received more credit; correct?
22 A. No. Your Honour, in the JNA, officers and non-commissioned
23 officers in command positions had accelerated length of service up to
24 three months. Command officers, military educational institutions, and
25 commands starting from the level of corps and up, did not have
1 accelerated length of service. I worked at the Military Academy in
2 Banja Luka for over 15 years, and I had no accelerated service because I
3 was in the technical department. The commanding personnel, COs and NCOs,
4 had accelerated length of service. I did not, however.
5 Q. In any case, during at least a leg of your career, you did enjoy
6 the status of having an accelerated length of service awarded; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] If there's no objection, I seek to
9 tender this document into evidence.
10 JUDGE HALL: But I thought this witness explained that he didn't
11 fall in this category.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours, my first question was
13 that -- does he recognise this as his retirement -- decision on his
14 retirement and he said yes. That's my --
15 JUDGE HALL: [Overlapping speakers] ... yes, admitted and marked.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D00400. Thank you.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Sir, during your career, you were in various positions, as you
19 told us, in the JNA; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Tell me, which positions did you hold in 1990 and 1991?
22 A. I was commander of the logistics base in Banja Luka. In the
23 993rd Logistics Base in Banja Luka.
24 Q. That's the same position which you occupied until your retirement
25 in 1992; correct?
1 A. Yes. Apart from one month when I was chief of group for
2 co-operation with the UN forces, but then I was removed from that
3 position for political -- because I was up -- I was politically not apt
5 Q. Sir, in 1991, and during the conflicts in the territory of
6 Croatia, that logistics base commanded by you had a certain role to play
7 in that; right?
8 A. Yes. It provided logistics support to the units of the
9 5th Krajina Corps, the 50th Partisan Division, and all units in the area
10 of Bosanska Krajina and some parts of Croatia, across the river Sava,
11 that took part in the combat operations in Croatia.
12 Q. Sir, I'll show you a document, 1D04-4814, which is under tab 16.
14 Sir, this is a proposal put to the Federal Secretary of National
15 Defence, which says: For exceptional services rendered to the armed
16 forces of the SFRY, for the competence and courage in command and control
17 of units during wartime assignments, we recommend the following active
18 duty military personnel be awarded some decorations. And you are
19 mentioned under (b) 2 to be decorated with the order of the People's Army
20 with a laurel wreath; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So this applies to you, this proposal?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. If I understand correctly, your superiors at that time were more
25 than satisfied with the way you carried out your tasks and felt that you
1 carried them out excellently and that's why they are proposing that you
2 be decorated; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. This document is dated 3 December 1991.
5 A. Yes. But the proposal was not accepted.
6 Q. But your commander Colonel-General Nikola Uzelac made the
8 A. He was not my commander. I was subordinated to the command of
9 the army and not to the command of the corps. I know of this proposal,
10 but it was not accepted. I don't know for which reasons, maybe because
11 subsequently the situation changed completely. However, I was not
13 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] I seek to tender this document.
14 JUDGE HALL: To what end, Mr. Zecevic? Is the proposal that he
15 be decorated and he was not? We have his answer on it's record. Do we
16 need the document?
17 MR. ZECEVIC: Okay. I understand, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE HALL: Before you move on, it seems to be a convenient
19 point to take the break.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, thank you very much.
21 JUDGE HALL: Yes, we would resume in 20 minutes.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 --- Recess taken at 3.43 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.08 p.m.
25 MR. RINDI: Your Honours, just for the record,
1 Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio joined the Office of the Prosecutor.
2 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Mr. Rindi.
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, since you were commander of the logistics
6 base, I suppose that you're familiar with the decision or the order of
7 the Presidency of the SFRY from the end of 1990 about the removal of
8 equipment and weapons from the warehouses of the TO.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. That order was adopted by the Presidency of the SFRY and since
11 the TO of every republic was subordinate to the Presidency of that
12 respective republic, the Presidencies of these republics adopted a
13 similar decision that applied to the territory of that particular
14 republic; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. That decision about the removal of weapons and equipment from the
17 warehouses of the TO was applied in the entire territory of the SFRY;
19 A. No.
20 Q. Very well. Let us show the witness 1D04-4791, please. It's
21 under tab 11.
22 While we wait, sir, do you know that the decision was applied in
23 the territory of the Socialist Republic of Serbia?
24 A. Yes. I did not have the document, but I had information that it
25 was applied. I have no documents that corroborate this statement. I
1 believe it was applied. Whether it was applied entirely, I don't know.
2 Q. This is the reply of the Ministry of Defence to a question asked
3 by one of the deputies in the Republican Assembly of Serbia of 26
4 February 1991 and the question was about the removal of weapons and
5 equipment. And the then-minister of National Defence in the cabinet of
6 the Republic of Serbia 1991, vice-admiral, Miodrag Jokic, drafted the
7 reply of the Ministry of Defence and says: The decision of -- to remove
8 weapons and equipment from the warehouses of the Territorial Defence was
9 adopted for -- exclusively for security reasons.
10 A. I do not see that document.
11 Q. It is on page 3, but I suppose you didn't have a chance to see
12 the document before coming here?
13 A. No.
14 Q. That's why I'm reading it out to you. Whether the justification
15 for the decision of the Presidency of the SFRY were security
17 A. No.
18 Q. When I say "decision," I mean the decision to remove weapons and
19 military gear from the warehouses of the TO and other entities in the
20 system of the -- of All People's Defence and social self-protection.
21 The reasons for the decision on that removal were security
22 considerations; right?
23 A. No. Can I explain?
24 Q. Do it briefly, please.
25 A. The reason was to take away weapons from Bosnia-Herzegovina,
1 Croatia, and Slovenia because the political situation in Yugoslavia was
2 such that a breakup was expected: The breakup of Yugoslavia. That's why
3 weapons were taken away from the TO, in order to make it impossible for
4 the republics of Slovenia Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina to defend
5 themselves in -- if there should be the need to do so. But the reason
6 was not the security of Yugoslavia. That is not correct.
7 Q. But we see here that the same was done in Serbia, in the
8 Socialist Republic of Serbia.
9 A. Yes. But the weapons were returned to the warehouses of the
10 logistics bases of the JNA, and the JNA later on distributed these
11 weapons only to the Serb people when Yugoslavia began to break up. And
12 that's -- that was the reason why this was decided to make it impossible
13 for these three peoples to come by weapons.
14 Q. Sir, please limit yourself to answering my questions and do not
15 volunteer any comments.
16 You will have the opportunity to make comments. I asked you
17 whether it was enforce in the territories of SFRY. You said yes. And I
18 showed you a document that it was also done in the Socialist Republic of
19 Serbia. Then you said that these weapons were transferred to the
20 logistics bases of the JNA?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And this transfer of weapons in the entire territory of the SFRY
23 from the warehouses to the -- of the TO to the logistics bases of the JNA
24 was carried out wherever that order was carried out; right?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Here's my question: The weapons and military gear that were
2 removed from the warehouses of the TO, were they put in the warehouses
3 and the bases of the JNA?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we show the witness
7 1D04-4778, please.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Last two digits 98.
9 It's tab 12.
10 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Sir, I put it to you that in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
12 the decision to remove weapons and military gear from the warehouses of
13 the TO and the placing of the same in the warehouses of the JNA were --
14 were a decision of the Presidency of the Socialist Republic of
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. We see that it is confirmed in this document which is an order
18 signed by Colonel-General Milos Bajcetic?
19 A. Yes, I have the document myself.
20 Q. Is this the document?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Let us sum up. The Presidency of the SFRY took this decision at
23 the federal and at the level of the -- of -- of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
24 Presidency of the Socialist Republic of BH issued the same order and we
25 can see it now in front of us.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Tell me, this Milos Bajcetic, what did he command, the TO?
3 A. Yes, the TO of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was a general.
4 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] I seek to tender this document.
5 JUDGE HALL: I suppose whereas it -- it appears somewhat
6 illogical as going in through this witness. Inasmuch as he challenges
7 the contents, there's no -- the relevance of it, in the context of his
8 evidence, is obvious.
9 Is that your position, Mr. Zecevic?
10 MR. ZECEVIC: That is my position, Your Honours, and I don't
11 think that -- that he challenges the contents of it. He confirms all the
12 contents and says he has this same order and it was -- it was signed by
13 the commander of the TO at the time of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia
14 and Herzegovina.
15 JUDGE HALL: Perhaps I misspoke when I said he challenged the
16 contents. But he challenges the operation.
17 Admitted and marked.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D00401, Your Honours.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Sir, tell me, in the area of responsibility of a military unit,
22 the commander of that unit also issues permits to persons who are not
23 members of that unit to be allowed to move about.
24 A. I don't understand the question.
25 Q. In the area of responsibility of a military unit, the commander
1 of that unit, among others, also issues permits to individuals in that
2 area to move about.
3 A. No.
4 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Let us show the witness 1D04-4801.
5 Tab 13.
6 JUDGE HALL: Before we go on, I just want to point out at
7 page 37, line 10, the -- what is attributed to Mr. Zecevic about the --
8 in response to his application to tender document was a comment that I
9 would have made.
10 Yes, Mr. Zecevic, please continue [Microphone not activated].
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, I have a document here and that is why I
13 asked you, it's dated the 26th June 1992. It's a permit. And we see in
14 the signature block Major-General Momir Talic and it's a permit issued to
15 a person or a delegation to travel along the Doboj-Prnjavor-Banja Luka
16 route. It's a delegation that comprised of nine persons and I believe
17 that this document was shown to you in the Brdjanin trial?
18 A. Yes. Can I answer?
19 Q. Yes, please.
20 A. This is about an official delegation. You asked me about
21 individuals but a corps commander has no need to do that. However, in a
22 zone of combat operations where there is military activity, it is normal
23 for such permits to be issued, but only in zones of combat operations,
24 not elsewhere, and for -- for the purpose of prospecting human lives.
25 Q. Thank you. I apologise. I made a mistake. I should have been
1 more specific and mentioned zones of combat operations. I merely
2 mentioned the areas of responsibilities of military units. Thank you,
4 Sir, you mentioned the assistant commander for moral education
5 and propaganda activity, Colonel Hasotic, who worked in the 5th Corps
6 command, right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Sir, I show you a document dated 21 April 1992, signed by Mr. --
9 or, rather, Colonel Hasotic. And 1D04-4765, tab 4.
10 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Let us show page 3 to the witness
11 so he may see the signature.
12 Q. Can you see the signature, assistant commander for MV and PP,
13 Colonel Mesud Hasotic. Do you recognise the signature of Mr. Hasotic?
14 A. No, I don't recognise the signature but I know about this
15 document, and I understand.
16 Q. This is -- this information is dated 21 April which we will see
17 if we go back to page 1. It is meant to inform the command of the 2nd
18 Military District about the situations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And on
19 page 2, some incidents are mentioned. You said that you have seen this
21 A. Yes, I have.
22 Q. Do you recall that there's a mention made of an attack by the
23 Red Berets and MUP special forces on the Pretis factory in Vogosca
24 between the 17th and 18th of April during the night? Next there was an
25 attack on the military factory at Igman on the same date. Do you recall
1 that? And it goes on.
2 A. I do recall that. Can I answer?
3 Q. Well, let me put the question first: Colonel Mesud Hasotic is a
4 Bosniak, is he not?
5 A. Yes, he is.
6 Q. In response to my learned friend's question, you discussed your
7 position as a member of different community or ethnicity while you were a
8 member of the VRS until you were retired. Do you recall having discussed
9 this with my learned friend?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. At page 3, item 5, signed by Mr. Mesud Hasotic, there is
12 something I wanted to show you. It has to do with the situation in which
13 the Muslim and Croatian active servicemen and civilians employed in the
14 JNA have found themselves in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 Do you see that?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. He states that they are treated the same as everyone else. Their
18 status has not changed. And he also states that those who stayed make us
19 especially happy and that is the way they should be treated in all
20 subordinated commands and units.
21 A. Yes, can I see that. But could we please go to page 1 again.
22 Q. Yes, certainly.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Let's go to page 1 for the sake of
24 the witness, please.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this document only
1 conveys information of the 2nd Military District command. It wasn't
2 drafted by Colonel Hasotic. He is simply passing on information. He
3 copied it. He was obliged to do so as a corps member in order to forward
4 that information to the corps subordinate units. This is not his
6 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Sir, you were directly subordinated to the Military District
9 A. Yes, the 2nd Military District of Sarajevo.
10 Q. But you were not directly subordinated to the 5th Corps.
11 A. No, I was not.
12 Q. So your directly superior command was the command of the
13 2nd Military District. And you assert that what the assistant commander
14 of the corps, Mr. Hasotic, is conveying in his dispatch is untrue. Is
15 this what you say?
16 A. No. I'm saying that this was not his document. He merely passed
17 it on to the corps subordinate units, and he signed it as the person who
18 had that obligation. And he specifically says, We hereby forward to you
19 the information of the command of the 2nd Military District. The first
21 Q. Sir, I believe it is not in dispute that in the armed forces
22 hierarchy is of utmost importance.
23 A. Yes. Otherwise, it wouldn't function properly.
24 Q. So, the command of the 2nd District which was your directly
25 superior command, as it was in the case of the 5th Corps as well,
1 asserted this. Mr. Hasotic conveyed that information to the 5th Corps
2 subordinate units.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you are trying to tell us that -- you are trying to tell us
5 that what your superior command of the Military District stated in the
6 document is untrue.
7 A. I'm not saying it is not true. Parts of it were not true because
8 the JNA, at the time, was against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
9 It was in favour of creating the -- a Greater Serbia. It sided with only
10 one people, and it was no longer Yugoslav. It was a Serbian army.
11 Q. I specifically asked you about item 5. We read it together and
12 we commented upon it. Are you stating that the Military District Command
13 stated something that was untrue in passing this information on to the
14 corps and its subordinate units?
15 A. Yes, I assert that it is not true.
16 Q. Given your long experience in the JNA, is it not a fact that it
17 is of essential importance to report precisely?
18 A. Yes. There was such an obligation, and one could be held
19 accountable for providing inaccurate or untrue information. There would
20 be disciplinary measures taken.
21 Q. Sir, at the beginning of today's hearing, with my learned friend,
22 you discussed your duties as commander of the logistics base. Do you
23 remember that?
24 A. I do.
25 Q. If I understood properly, as the commander, you provided supplies
1 for all units in the Bosanska Krajina. You supplied weapons, equipment,
2 ammunition, et cetera; correct? It all came from your base.
3 A. Yes, to all JNA units.
4 Q. And when, on the 19th of May, the JNA withdrew --
5 A. On the 18th of May.
6 Q. When, on the 18th of May, the JNA withdrew from Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina and when the VRS was formed, that logistics base continued
8 supplying equipment, weapons, and ammunition to the units of the VRS;
10 A. Your Honours, I must respond to this.
11 The JNA did not withdraw from Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was simply
12 renamed. Instead of the JNA, it was called VRS. All of the units that
13 had been in that area were simply renamed. My base was too. My base too
14 was renamed to become the 14th Logistics Base instead of the 993rd. Not
15 a single unit withdraw. Actually, it was the units from Slovenia and
16 Croatia which had withdrawn and came to Bosnia-Herzegovina were renamed
17 as well.
18 MS. KORNER: [Previous translation continues] ... Your Honours
19 are on this.
20 Your Honour, I don't see what any of this has got to with the
21 adjudicated fact about which this witness has been called to testify.
22 Your Honours have very strictly limited what we can lead from witnesses
23 to the adjudicated fact, and while I appreciate that cross-examination
24 may go further, this is miles from anything to do with Kozarac.
25 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Zecevic.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: I totally disagree and if my learned friend will
2 have a bit of patience, my next question will very clearly establish the
3 connection between my first question and the -- the actual adjudicated
4 fact that this witness is -- is coming to testify.
5 Your Honours, I cannot be held responsible for witness giving the
6 answers way beyond what was the scope of the question. I just want to
7 interrupt him because I guess it is not looked favourably by the
8 Trial Chamber to interrupt the witness. That is why -- that is the only
9 reason why I don't interrupt the witness, otherwise I would have.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, in fact, this has been going for some
11 time because documents have been put to him too, we would suggest have
12 very little to do with it. But I'm merely mentioning it, Your Honours.
13 And if Your Honours feel it's relevant then I won't take it any further.
14 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
15 Mr. Zecevic, you would move rapidly to your question that links
16 it to the adjudicated fact which the witness is here to testify to.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, for any larger scale operation or offensive
19 in the territory of Bosanska Krajina, you, as the logistics base
20 commander in charge of supplying weapons and ammunition, must have been
21 informed of those; correct?
22 A. I should have been, but I was summoned to attend such meetings
23 when plans were made half an hour later, precisely so that I wouldn't
24 know exactly what was being planned and I mean the meetings with
25 General Uzelac.
1 Q. Irrespective of the fact whether you were called to the meetings
2 or not, even if you were called to a meeting without a written order, I
3 presume you would not have allowed any equipment, ammunition or weapons
4 to leave your logistics base?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Therefore, for any larger scale operation, you received a written
7 order to supply a quantity of ammunition, military equipment, et cetera.
8 A. No. May I explain?
9 Q. Briefly, please.
10 A. Because the corps had three combat ammunition and fuel kits which
11 were there to satisfy any operation between five and ten days. I wasn't
12 privy to it -- individual requests. We only reacted to such wholesale
13 requests, as a base.
14 Q. Sir, on two occasions, you discussed a meeting, that was during
15 examination-in-chief and during cross-examination of Mr. Aleksic, you
16 discussed the meeting of the 27th of May with General Talic.
17 Apologies. Your answer was not recorded. Please pause. Please
18 repeat your answer.
19 A. Please repeat your question.
20 Q. I said this: On two occasions today, you responded to both the
21 Prosecution and Defence about questions on the meeting of the 27th of
22 May, 1992, and your answer was affirmative in both instances.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Sir, that meeting was actually a daily briefing, was it not?
25 A. It was a briefing with the corps commander, which I attended as
1 the base commander, in order to receive information on the logistical
2 needs of the corps so as to shorten the time needed for passing that
3 information through the pipeline. That's why I was called to such
4 briefings as that one.
5 Q. And such briefings took place daily with the corps commander,
6 irrespective of whether you were called to them or not?
7 A. I suppose so.
8 Q. That daily briefing was chaired by Colonel Marcetic.
9 A. No. Colonel Marcetic was the head of the management team which
10 received information from subordinate units and he passed the commander's
11 orders to those units. Such chiefs changed daily. They were in charge
12 of receiving and passing on information.
13 Q. Let's clear this up.
14 The management team was part of the corps command, and each day
15 another officer was in charge of it, for that day.
16 A. Yes. The title was the chief of the management or control team
17 for a particular day.
18 Q. And that chief, as well as the team itself, received information
19 from the field and informed the corps commander.
20 A. Not from the field. From the subordinate units. We need to be
22 Q. When I said "from the field," that what's I meant, the
23 subordinate units.
24 A. The field is one thing. The units are -- is another. He
25 received unit reports.
1 Q. Therefore, all information provided by Mr. Marcetic about the
2 events in Kozarac is information he had received, I suppose, from the
3 command of the 343rd Motorised Brigade from Prijedor?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In its daily report, the 343rd Brigade reported to the corps
6 about the attack in the area of the village of Kozarac on the 27th of
7 May, 1992.
8 A. I suppose it was so. Although he did not mention the
9 establishment of the camps of Keraterm and Omarska, because they were
10 formed at that very same time, and they had over 5.000 inmates.
11 Q. The gist of it is, that Colonel Marcetic conveyed information to
12 you and to the command which he had received from a subordinate unit.
13 A. Not to me, to General Talic. However, I was in attendance, and I
14 noted down in my notebook what he briefed on. He briefed General Talic
15 on what took place during the day, and among other information there was
16 this piece of information about Kozarac. I have it all in the notebook.
17 You can see all of the other issues he briefed on.
18 Q. The entries you made in your diary more or less reflect the
19 document shown to you which was 65 ter 3644.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps we can have another look at
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is it a document --
23 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Please wait.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 Q. Can you see the document?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You said today that you haven't seen it before, although I'm sure
4 that it was shown to you in the Brdjanin trial and that you commented on
6 A. I don't remember.
7 Q. Ms. Korner even asked you about this document. But that is not a
8 disputed issue. In this document, as well as in your diary, I believe
9 you remember a diary, I needn't show it to you now, the same thing is
10 mentioned, that 1500 were captured in the wider area around Kozarac. You
11 made such a note in your diary too. Do you remember?
12 A. That 1500 were captured?
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. Here it says: Green Berets forces of an overall strength of 1500
15 to 2000 men without heavy weapons.
16 Q. Sir, up there, under item 4, the second bullet point, 80 to 100
17 Green Berets were killed and about 1500 captured.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. If I remember well, your diary speaks about 800 killed and 1500
21 A. Your Honours, this is my official notebook, the original. And on
22 27 May, I entered what Colonel Marcetic stated. What the document states
23 is wrong. Talic ordered that the Main Staff be informed that 80 people
24 were killed, and the report can be found here in this Tribunal.
25 I can prove that in information is wrong. This is my -- my own
1 notebook which was here for five years. Can I show the relevant page?
2 Q. Certainly, go ahead. You needn't show us the page. I don't
3 contest the contents of your diary.
4 A. But I contest the document.
5 MR. RINDI: Your Honours, this -- if I may, this document is in
6 the 92 ter package of the witness.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here it is.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: If we can have the reference number so maybe we can
9 put it on the ELMO.
10 MR. RINDI: Certainly. It's 65 ter 6348. 3648; I apologise.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: I don't -- 36 --
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Tab 16? [Microphone not activated] sorry, that's
13 not right. There's no tab number.
14 MR. RINDI: Tab 13, Your Honours.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I didn't prepare this,
16 because I didn't expect the witness to contest to the contents of his --
17 his notebook, his diary. Perhaps the OTP can give us a precise reference
18 so that we can put the adequate page of his diary on our screens.
19 MR. RINDI: Your Honours, the witness is not contesting the
21 JUDGE HALL: I didn't understand -- I thought he was setting his
22 diary on which he relied against the -- the report which has conflicting
24 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, that is correct, Your Honours. But when I
25 read to him the -- what he said in his diary, he said, No, let me see
1 the -- let me -- let me show you the -- the exact document, the exact
2 book and so on. That is why I say that there is -- there is apparently
3 something -- some sort of misunderstanding between me and the witness.
4 And that is what I want to clarify. I don't want to -- to put the
5 witness in a situation that he doesn't understand what [Overlapping
6 speakers] ...
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This document, yes, yes.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Sir, is this the page from your diary?
10 A. Yes, it is. 27 May. Page 223, yes.
11 Q. And it says here, at Kozarac, because of a roadblock 800 dead,
12 1200 captured.
13 A. Yes. Unfortunately, more people got killed. This is wrong as
15 Q. But what are you saying now? That this information, that 800
16 were killed, is wrong as well?
17 A. Exactly. More were killed, unfortunately.
18 Q. And you say that it happened on that day, the 27th of May?
19 A. Yes. That -- that was stated by Colonel Marcetic, the corps
20 commander, because he was the chief of the executive team on that day.
21 Q. And you remember that he said 800 killed, and then General Talic
22 corrected him, et cetera.
23 A. But why would I have other figures than the ones that he put
24 forward? Because General Talic ordered me to inform the Main Staff that
25 80 people were killed and the relevant document can be found here at the
1 Tribunal, and that's a report of the corps command which states 80
2 people. I -- I saw it in the Brdjanin trial.
3 Q. Sir, the document you're mentioning, the report of the corps,
4 please take another look at 65 ter 3644.
5 Sir, I put it to you that this is the very document, the report
6 of the corps, and in this report, under item 4, we see bullet point 2, 80
7 to 100 Green Berets were killed and about 1500 captured.
8 Is this that report of the corps?
9 A. No. The report of the corps to the Main Staff was very short.
10 It was almost like a dispatch. This is not the document. And this
11 document is false. Because over 1.000 people were killed on that date.
12 Colonel Marcetic, because of my presence, reduced the number of those
13 killed and Talic ordered that only the information about 80 killed be
14 mentioned. I don't have the document on me, but I can procure it within
15 a few days and send it to you. But it can be found here in the Tribunal.
16 I saw it in the Brdjanin trial.
17 Q. Sir, as far as we know, and according to the information we got
18 from the OTP, you reviewed this very document that was shown to you by
19 Ms. Korner. Let us scroll down to the bottom of the document so that the
20 witness may see the incoming stamp and the signature block.
21 Sir, I put it to that you that is the report of the 5th Corps
22 which you saw in the Brdjanin trial, and Ms. Korner asked you
23 specifically -- can you see that it is entered here that the document was
24 received by the General Staff at 2130, or 2100 hours, on the 27th of May,
25 and she continued to ask you whether that meanings that this was after
1 the meeting that -- that you attended, because you gave testimony that
2 the meeting with General Talic was at 1900.
3 A. Yes. Because Colonel Tepsic and I went from Banja Luka, to the
4 command post, to the briefing, but the exact number of those killed is
5 what we see in my diary. Actually, it's more than that. And this is
6 a -- this is a deliberate act of deceiving the Main Staff.
7 Q. Now -- we know that you remember that this was the report that
8 the 5th Corps sent to the General Staff of the VRS where, according to
9 you, the number of persons killed is false. It states 80 to 100 people.
10 Whereas you claim that the original information put forward was 800 and
11 that this false information was sent to the General Staff because
12 General Talic ordered Marcetic to do so.
13 A. Yes, that's how it was. He ordered him to reduce the number of
14 800, as put forward in the briefing, to 80. And here we see 80 to 100.
15 But my official notebook from that time can prove how it was, because I
16 kept a diary about my work daily.
17 Q. Sir, we do not contest the authenticity of your notebook or
18 your -- or that entry. We only contest the accuracy of the information
19 entered there.
20 A. No, no, no, no, no. I stand by it, and I've made an oath, too.
21 Q. Sir, it is highly probably that you heard Mr. Marcetic say from
22 80 to 100 men were killed, but you made a note of 800, because the
23 figures are similar.
24 A. Sir, I wish that you were right, but, unfortunately, you're not.
25 The number was much greater. There's more documentation that can prove
1 that the number of persons killed was far greater, and more people got
2 killed later, too.
3 Q. We are now speaking about the 27th of May when we're referring to
4 a specific fact. Let's not go beyond that. And you say that on the 27th
5 of May you heard Marcetic say 800 people got killed, and you made a
6 relevant entry in your diary.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Let us focus on that, please. You go on to say that this
9 document, which is an official report, is not correct in that part but
10 that the number of persons killed was forged as ordered by General Talic,
11 to Colonel Marcetic?
12 A. Yes. Because they wanted to hide the number of persons killed
13 because otherwise somebody would have -- would have had to be -- to be
14 held responsible for the deaths of so many people. Because that is in --
15 an infringement on the -- the international law of war.
16 Q. So according to you, General Talic wanted to hide from
17 General Mladic and the command of the General Staff that 800 people were
18 killed on 27th of May, 1992, on the occasion of the military operation
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And he did so because he was afraid of the consequences of that
22 act and his accountability for the deaths of so many people.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. That means that he was afraid of the consequences he may have had
25 in the military hierarchy of the VRS; right?
1 A. Yes. Because he committed genocide over the Bosniak people and
2 he should have faced the consequences. I'm sorry that he died before the
3 Court could -- could pass judgement on him.
4 Q. Sir, tell me, a few moments ago I asked you as an officer who
5 served in the JNA for a long time, and you answered in the affirmative
6 that it is the -- that -- that there's the duty to report accurately in
7 the army, and that it's a rule.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And that, apart from it's being a duty under military rules and
10 regulations, there's also responsibility in place for a person who passes
11 on false information to his superior command.
12 A. Yes, but you know that the end justifies the means.
13 Q. Sir, with regard to the Main Staff of the Army of
14 Republika Srpska, the corps and your unit, the logistics base, are at the
15 same level; right?
16 A. No. The corps is a higher-ranking unit and it's a larger unit.
17 We were subordinate to the command of the Main Staff of the Army of
18 Republika Srpska, but a corps is a corps and a base is a base. Our tasks
19 were different.
20 Q. I agree fully. But here's the essence: Both for you and your
21 logistics base and for the corps, the immediately superior unit or
22 command is the General Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.
23 A. Yes, the Main Staff.
24 Q. And you were sending your daily reports to the Main Staff of the
25 Army of Republika Srpska rather than to the corps; right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you are trying to say to us here that Mr. Talic, the late
3 General Talic, knowing that you were present, actually exactly for that
4 reason, in order to hide the number of persons killed, ordered another
5 officer of the Army of Republika Srpska to forge a report that was sent
6 to another unit of the Republika Srpska.
7 A. I still cannot report his exact words. He said, You really mean
8 to say that 80 people were killed. I won't forget these words as long as
9 I'm alive.
10 Q. Sir, I understand you fully. Every casualty is reason for --
11 reason for us to feel pity. Every man killed is one man too many. But,
12 in the archives of the 5th Corps, or the 1st Krajina Corps --
13 A. Yes, the 1st Krajina Corps.
14 Q. -- there is the daily report dated 27 May 1992 from the
15 343rd Motorised Brigade; right?
16 A. I suppose so. I haven't seen it. There should be a report, but
17 I don't remember seeing it.
18 Q. So, if that report of the 343rd Motorised Brigade says 800
19 killed, 1200 captured, then you're absolutely right. But if it doesn't
20 say that, then -- or, rather, if it says 80 to 100 killed and 1500
21 captured, then it's possible that Mr. Marcetic, a military officer, made
22 a permutation of the figures and you put it down that way. You made an
23 inadequate note.
24 A. No. I'm sure that Colonel Marcetic reduced the number of persons
25 killed right away, because I'm sure that more than 800 got killed. I
1 have information to that effect, on that day and later on. Who gave this
2 information to Marcetic, I don't know. I haven't seen the document. But
3 he briefed General Talic orally.
4 Q. Sir, your information about the number of persons killed comes
5 from two sources mainly. The sources you have mentioned. Mersa, Muharem
6 Krzic, who is one source, he was in Banja Luka and your other source is
7 mufti Halilovic. And they gave you that information; right?
8 A. No. The situation after the war was recorded. Since 1995,
9 graves have been discovered and some remain as yet undiscovered.
10 Investigations are ongoing. The mortal remains of missing persons have
11 not all been found yet and that is this information.
12 Q. Sir, let's please focus on the question and the reason for your
14 I assert that in the archives of the 1st Krajina Corps there's a
15 combat daily report of the 343rd Motorised Brigade which states the
16 number of killed, captured, and the number of killed VRS soldiers, as
17 well as the number of those wounded. It has all of the items a combat
18 report should have. Based on that report, Colonel Marcetic reported to
19 General Talic and you were attendant during that report. However,
20 despite that, you are asking us to take your word for it when you say
21 that General Talic intentionally ordered that information be falsified to
22 go against the information contained in the combat report. He said so in
23 front of you to the effect that false information should go to the
24 superior command. That command was superior to both you and him.
25 Is that your assertion?
1 A. I don't know who provided information to Colonel Marcetic or
2 whether it was in oral or written form. The commander reacted
3 spontaneously. He didn't think specifically of me, of Selak being
4 present here. He was primarily concerned with the fact that he might be
5 held responsible for the number of killed. That is why he reacted in
6 that way.
7 Q. Sir, if what you are telling us is true, why did you not inform
8 General Mladic, the Chief of Staff, that his subordinate officer is
9 intentionally fabricating information in a report submitted to him? You
10 could have informed General Mladic or the chief of security of the VRS or
11 any other staff commanding officer. Was it not your duty as an army
13 A. No. I had submitted my retirement request on the 19th of May,
14 and I was there pro forma when it took place. There was the chief of
15 security and the assistant commander for morale there. They were
16 supposed to react. Why didn't they? It wasn't up to me. And they
17 wouldn't take my word for it. I was -- I am a Bosniak.
18 Q. Well, maybe they wouldn't. But if you had reported to them, they
19 would have checked, as you did subsequently. And they would have
20 established the exact number of victims and then they would know that the
21 late General Talic falsified information sent to the General Staff. If
22 you allow me, within an armed force, it is an unforgivable sin in times
23 of war.
24 A. I -- I suppose you're trying to prove that there were less
25 killed. Unfortunately, there were many more. My conscience is clear
1 when I say that, and you should exam yours.
2 Q. Sir, since you're on that topic, you handed over your duties on
3 the 10th of July.
4 A. Yes, of 1992.
5 Q. But you were still on the list of active-duty officers until 30th
6 of September, 1992.
7 A. Yes. Under the former JNA law, an officer, prior to retirement,
8 has the right to be paid for three months. I had handed over my duties,
9 but I was still receiving my salary for another three months.
10 Q. And that paid leave was used by you by -- to become the
11 resistance staff commander in Banja Luka; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So, sir, according to your statements, without putting them to
14 you now, since you do not dispute them, you were still an active-duty
15 officer with the VRS. However, when you were on annual leave, guaranteed
16 to you by the law, and after you had handed over your duties, you took
17 upon yourself the role of resistance -- of a resistance commander,
18 opposing the very same armed force. So you switched sides while you were
19 still officially a member of the army.
20 A. No. The resistance movement in Banja Luka was formed to use
21 non-violent means. We were trying to advise people to flee Banja Luka,
22 especially men, because they were mistreated and killed. We tried to
23 tell them to get out of Banja Luka and save their property. It was our
24 conclusion that we wouldn't do anything by force. The mosques were mined
25 and you provoked Muslim resistance. You provoked such incidents to have
1 an excuse. We didn't take up arms.
2 Q. Sir, in your statement you provided to the OTP between the 10th
3 and 23rd of January, 2000, and in July 2000, and you also repeated that
4 two sometimes subsequently, you say that you were elected commander of
5 the resistance staff in Banja Luka, although, based on the assessment of
6 the situation in Bosanska Krajina and in Banja Luka, that resistance was
7 planned but not a single action was undertaken:
8 "I even suggested that no sabotage activities be performed in
9 Banja Luka."
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel either provide references or slow
11 down when reading. Thank you.
12 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Zecevic, the interpreters have asked you to slow
13 down, please, or provide necessary references.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Oh, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, I apologise to the
16 Q. [Interpretation] I apologise.
17 In your statement, at page 9 of your statement of 2000, in the
18 last sentence:
19 "Furthermore, I suggested that no sabotage activities be carried
20 out in Banja Luka. That decision was adopted to protect non-Serbs who
21 had nothing to do with the planned resistance."
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Sir, as of the moment of the handover the duties, you became the
24 commander of the resistance movement in Banja Luka. That is to say, the
25 side opposing the army which you still belonged to as an officer at that
1 moment in time. In that resistance movement, there was a plan for some
2 kind of resistance which you prevented from occurring. You prevented any
3 sabotage, in order to protect non-Serb population.
4 A. Yes. It wasn't planned. We prevented the planning of armed
5 resistance, because the Banja Luka Corps at that time was 1.100 men
6 strong which is the size of five regular corps.
7 Q. Sir, after 1995, you had private contacts whereby you requested
8 that some things be explained to certain factors in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
9 that you had done everything that you could have and that you believe
10 your conscience was clear and that you did nothing that would be to the
11 detriment of Bosniaks and Croats and that you were ready to face the
12 courts of both peoples to stand -- to be held accountable for the period
13 you served with the Serb army.
14 A. Yes. But not only the two peoples. Any people for that matter,
15 even the Serb side.
16 Q. Well, this comes from a letter to your cousin.
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. And only two peoples are mentioned, not the Serbs.
19 A. Well, I'm adding the Serbs now, because I did nothing that would
20 harm them either.
21 Q. Sir, it is a fact that it was held against you that you were an
22 officer of the JNA and VRS; correct?
23 A. Yes. Because in Sarajevo they didn't know I had submitted a
24 retirement request. Your Honours, when I handed over my duties,
25 General Talic called me to a meeting and thanked me for moving out of
1 Banja Luka and I do not hold it against him.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: He prohibited me from
3 moving out of Banja Luka.
4 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Is it not a fact that you gave away some military secrets to the
6 Muslim side when you were still an officer?
7 A. It had to do with the military secrets which had to do with the
8 destruction of Croats and Bosniaks in order to prevent -- or, to prevent
9 the events which occurred when the camps in Omarska, Keraterm, and
10 Trnopolje were created.
11 Q. Sir, but you didn't forward that information. You were provided
12 that information by Mr. Krzic and the mufti Halilovic subsequently. You
13 passed on some other information to them.
14 A. Yes, about the event and what was planned in the ensuing period,
15 in order to protect the two ethnic communities.
16 Q. Thank you, sir. I have no further questions.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm told that the break is -- thank you.
18 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Rindi, it's just a minute before the scheduled
19 break. I suppose you would wish to wait until after the break to begin
20 your re-examination?
21 MR. RINDI: Yes, Your Honours. That's fine. Thank you.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 --- Recess taken at 5.19 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 5.44 p.m.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, just one matter before the -- the --
1 the witness is ushered in.
2 I used approximately 45 minutes establishing that the 65 ter 3644
3 is, in fact, the document which the witness saw in Brdjanin, and that it
4 is the official report of the 1st Krajina Corps to the -- to the
5 General Staff of the -- of the VRS. And I didn't ask that to be
7 But I'm -- I'm -- I failed -- it is in a 92 ter package. I'm
8 sorry. Thank you.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zecevic, I have a question, and more or less
10 in that regard as well.
11 You put it to the witness that there is an combat report from --
12 to people who -- who did the attack on -- on Kozarac, on the basis of
13 which, General Talic informed the Main Staff.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, that is correct --
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: With -- with a certain indication on casualties
16 and people captured or arrested.
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: I -- did you -- you didn't show that document to
19 the witness, did you? But did you indicate what exhibit number for that
20 document is or where it is?
21 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I'm not in possession of that
22 particular document nor have I ever seen that document. But according to
23 the military -- military rules, there has to be a daily report by all the
24 units to their superior command. So the -- the 343 Brigade, Motorised
25 Brigade, is subordinated to the 1st Corps. So they, on the basis of the
1 normal military rule, they have to submit the daily report for each and
2 every day to their superior command which is the 1st Krajina Corps.
3 Then the corps level informs in their daily report, they inform
4 their superior command which is the General Staff of the army.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: So you suppose there should be such a report but
6 you don't know what it is in there, whether it says 80 to 100 or 800
8 MR. ZECEVIC: No, I don't. No, I don't, Your Honours. But we
9 will try to find that document, definitely.
10 Re-examination by Mr. Rindi:
11 Q. Colonel Selak, you testified, you told us that you didn't
12 encounter problems because of your ethnicity in the army during the
13 examination-in-chief. And during the cross-examination, you stated that
14 you were summoned to attend meetings where plans were made half an hour
15 later so you would not know what was being planned. And this is in line
16 45 [sic].
17 Do you know why you should have not been informed about what was
18 being planned?
19 A. Your Honours, the commander of the 5th Corps JNA, General Uzelac,
20 in November of 1991, requested weapons for TO units, which could not be
21 mobilised. It was not allowed. I did not provide those weapons because
22 the legal threshold was not met. That brigade was 100 per cent Serb. I
23 knew exactly what it was about, and the legal prerequisites were not met.
24 I did not provide the weapons and an argument ensued between me and
25 General Uzelac. After that, I started being called to the meetings half
1 an hour late, so as not to be aware of certain orders and plans, and the
2 same applied to General Galic later on.
3 Q. You just mention a fact that that brigade was 100 per cent Serb.
4 A. Yes, the TO.
5 Q. Was the reason why you were called -- you were -- you were
6 summoned half an hour later to these meetings have anything to do with
7 your ethnicity?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. RINDI: Could the Court Usher please display on the screen
10 65 ter 3643.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Excuse me. While the document is coming up, I
12 would like to clarify something in the transcript.
13 On line 63 -- page 63, line 3, where there was overlapping, I
14 said where it says "80 to 100 or 800 persons killed." Thank you.
15 MR. RINDI:
16 Q. Colonel Selak, this is a document dated 15 March 1992 from the
17 5th Corps command and it's signed by Lieutenant-General Vladimir Vukovic.
18 Could you please take a look at point 1 and could you please read it to
20 A. [No interpretation]
21 Q. I have a question relating to the last sentence in point 1.
22 And I'm going to read it to you:
23 "We considered that at this moment this would not be an
24 appropriate appointment."
25 And it is a reference to a possible appointment to the
1 co-ordination logistics services with UN forces. And you mentioned this
2 during your examination-in-chief. If I understood correctly, you were
3 proposed for this position.
4 Could you please clarify this sentence that I just read to you?
5 Why would it have not been an appropriate appointment?
6 A. The chief of group for co-operation with the UN is the position I
7 was subsequently appointed to. That person was in charge of
8 co-ordinating between the UN and the VRS, or the then-JNA. I was not an
9 appropriate person to appoint because the municipal president, Mr. Radic,
10 asked for over 2 million dollars for facilities that were to be used by
11 the UN, and I offered other facilities. That is why, as part of that
12 arrangement, they wanted to have me, as a Bosniak, removed and to appoint
13 Colonel Tepsic. Unfortunately, as it happened, one month later, I was
14 removed from that position and returned to the position of the logistics
15 base commander.
16 Q. You told us that you have encountered problems because of your
17 ethnicity in the army. Are you aware if any other Muslim officers
18 encountered problems because of their ethnicity in the army?
19 A. In 1992, an order arrived stating that Bosniak and Croat officers
20 be relieved of duties in the units of the JNA and the VRS because there
21 were doubts about how they would perform their duties. They were indeed
22 removed and told to go to Belgrade to resolve their status of army
23 members. The same exercise was conducted with simple soldiers as well,
24 but that's a different story.
25 MR. RINDI: May the witness please be showed 65 ter 3641.
1 Q. Colonel Selak, could you please read the documents which is in
2 front of you to yourself.
3 And please let me know when you are finished reading.
4 A. I'm done.
5 Q. Is this the order you were referring to just a moment ago?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. RINDI: Your Honours, I don't have any further questions.
9 And, Your Honours, at this point, I would like to move for the
10 admission into evidence of the 92 ter package of this witness. And I
11 would also like to move for the admission into evidence of these last two
12 documents that I showed to the witness. Those are 65 ter 3641 and 3643.
13 And, Your Honours, may I just point out that the Prosecution had
14 sent a notification of the documents part of the -- of the 92 ter
15 package, and I would just like to make a clarification that there was a
16 document that should not have been there, and this is 65 ter 10588.
17 So that's not part of the package; I just wanted to specify.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE HALL: So the package is admitted with the variations, as
20 indicated by counsel.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The package is admitted with
22 the prefix of Exhibit P01745. The sub numbers will be circulated in a
23 subsequent internal memo. Thank you, Your Honours.
24 MR. RINDI: Your Honours, may also the documents bearing the
25 number 65 ter 3641 and 3643 be admitted. Those were not originally part
1 of the package.
2 JUDGE HALL: That's what I said, with the variations included.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, for the record, I would like to
4 indicate that 65 ter 03643 shall be given Exhibit P01746; while 65 ter
5 03641 shall be given Exhibit P01747. Thank you, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can -- can we have 65 ter 03644 back on the
7 screen, please. Yes.
8 Questioned by the Court:
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Witness, you were shown this document where
10 it is said, and we're coming back to the -- to the numbers, 80 to 100
11 killed and 1500 captured.
12 But I don't want to come back to the discussion on the numbers.
13 I want to ask you something about the qualification of those captured and
14 those killed. Here it is said Green Berets. Green Berets, sorry. You
15 speak in -- in your diary, it is said "people," and I understand
16 Green Berets to be combatants, soldiers, while "people" is less precise.
17 What was said in -- during the meeting about the 800 killed?
18 Were that soldiers, combatants, Green Berets?
19 A. May I reply?
20 What I understood and what was said was that citizens, that is,
21 civilians were killed. There were no organised military units on the
22 enemy side. It was reported that so many people were killed in Kozarac
23 who were locals, the inhabitants of that village.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: And you seem to agree with this document on -- on
25 one figure. That is, number of people arrested; right? 1500 captured.
1 Is it -- would it be possible that -- that -- that that would
2 have been Green Berets, 1500 Green Berets captured?
3 A. Your Honour, I said that there were no armed formations,
4 especially not of that strength, 1500 to 2.000 people. We're actually
5 talking about the inhabitants of Kozarac against whom genocide was
6 committed. There were no Green Berets whatsoever. This is false
7 information deliberately included in this report to justify what was
8 done. Unfortunately, many more were killed than the numbers entered in
9 the notebooks. But the people killed were local population and all of
10 Kozarac was actually vacated. Nobody was left. Only after the war did
11 some people return to Kozarac. What is said here is wrong.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 And then when asked whether you reported about what you heard on
14 this meeting, you said you did not, at least not in official terms.
15 Did you unofficially?
16 A. No. I only commented on it with my friends of citizens in
17 Banja Luka. I didn't inform anybody officially, nor was I in a position
18 to do so. I informed nobody except my friends in Banja Luka with whom I
19 communicated. Unfortunately, I didn't report it to anybody.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: Sorry, Your Honours, just -- just one
23 Your Honour, on page 67, line 13; 67, 13, you said to the
25 "You speak in your diary, it is said 'people' and I understand
1 Green Berets and ... to be combatants and soldiers, whereas 'people' is
2 less precise."
3 However --
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: You're right.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: However, the "people" does not appear in the diary.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: No, that's right. It's just numbers. I'm sorry
7 about that.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you. Thank you.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Colonel, can I just follow up on a question that
10 was just put to you by His Honour Judge Delvoie.
11 Namely, regarding the number of combatants of the Army of BiH in
12 Kozarac, if I understand your testimony correctly, you just told the
13 Chamber that there were no ABiH combatants in Kozarac at the time of the
14 attack on 27 May 1992; is that correct?
15 Did I understand you correctly? There simply were no Green
16 Berets or other soldiers belonging to the ABiH?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: My question is therefore: Do you know whether
19 there were any armed formations in the area around Kozarac which belonged
20 to the ABiH? That is to say, not only in Kozarac town or village, but in
21 the general area of Kozarac, around Kozarac.
22 Do you know?
23 A. Your Honour, there were no military formations in
24 Bosanska Krajina. From Banja Luka to Prijedor, Kozarac, and so on, there
25 were no military formations of the ABH. There may have been individuals
1 or groups who defended their families or their farms and who had weapons.
2 I allow for that possibility, but there were no military formations.
3 This is a complete fabrication, the purpose of which is the
4 justification of -- of the genocide that was committed. This is -- this
5 was simply written to justify the killings and the genocide and ethnic
6 cleansing. There were no formations.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you for this clarification.
8 My second and last question to you is in relation to your
9 testimony today, that the attack on Kozarac was carried out by the
10 343rd Motorised Brigade, along with some units from the 6th Kozarac
11 Brigade, and some SDS volunteers, some paramilitary units, and, finally,
12 the Prijedor police.
13 Now, you didn't mention the police in your -- in your first
14 statements. But could you tell us what was the role of the police in
15 that operation?
16 A. The police didn't take part in the operation itself. Once the
17 operation was completed, the police entered to organise life. They had
18 their own tasks. They didn’t take part in the military operation itself, at
19 least according to the information I had. Serbs from Croatia, refugees,
20 arrived to settle the area, so the police had to organise things from
21 their remit. But the military didn't interfere. I suppose because there
22 was no need. They may have assist the police. But the police organised
23 life and they were responsible for setting up the authorities in the area
24 and so was the Crisis Staff of Prijedor municipality. Except -- I
25 apologise. The camps that were established in Prijedor, four camps
1 holding over 5.000 people and Manjaca, those were organised by the
2 police, not the military.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: I see.
4 How soon after the attack on Kozarac did the police move in; do
5 you know?
6 A. I don't know. They did move in, probably when the army had no
7 need to do anything anymore and once Serbs from Croatia started arriving.
8 But that must have been a few days ago. Because there was destruction,
9 there was looting, arson, and so on. This may have happened a day or two
10 after the operation itself. Because they arrested people and took them
11 to the camps. That's what the police did, not the military.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Do you know if the army was still present in
13 Kozarac by the time the police moved in?
14 A. The brigade did not withdraw from the area. They were still
15 present. Because there was a problem with Sanski Most and other places,
16 and the brigade remained in the area to carry out other tasks, other than
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, sir. I have no more questions for
20 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Colonel Selak, for your attendance before
21 the Tribunal. Your testimony is now at an end. You're released as a
22 witness, and we trust you'll have a safe journey back to your home.
23 Thank you, sir.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, if I may be excused.
2 JUDGE HALL: [Microphone not activated]
3 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you very much.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, if that's all right, Mr. Rindi and I
5 will also leave Mr. Di Fazio. We think he can probably manage on his
6 own. Not that Mr. Rindi can't.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honours ...
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, while they're bringing in
10 this witness, you know that there's been an application for protective
11 measures that was filed, and the Defence responded some days ago in
12 court. And I -- I just wanted to let Your Honours know that initially in
13 the application for protective measures, the Prosecution sought facial,
14 voice distortion, and a pseudonym. Yesterday, when I spoke to the
15 witness, he informed me that he would be happy with just facial
16 distortion and a pseudonym. He doesn't seem to require voice distortion.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much, Mr. Di Fazio.
18 And could I ...
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes, you can bring in the witness.
21 We have one oral ruling which we would like to give at the end of
22 today's session because it concerns the witness for tomorrow, so if
23 counsel would be good enough to round up five minutes before time --
24 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll do that.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Cvijetic, sorry, would you have an indication
1 as to how much time you would need for your cross-examination of
2 Witness 257?
3 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we would need very
4 little time. Only if the witness should speak about a potentially
5 interesting topic. So I'll be conservative and make an estimate of 30
6 minutes or so.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: And you, Mr. Krgovic?
8 MR. KRGOVIC: Your Honour, we will not have questions for this
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well. Thank you.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Good afternoon, Mr. Witness.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Do you understand me through the interpretation?
15 THE WITNESS: Yes.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well. We welcome you to the Tribunal to
17 give your testimony today. And we would like to start by asking you to
18 read the solemn declaration which the usher will hand to you now.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 WITNESS: KEMAL HUJDUR
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, sir. You may be seated.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: Sir, before we begin your testimony, the Chamber
1 has been alerted to your request for protective measures. As you can
2 see, we are currently in open session, but the screens behind you have
3 been blinded so that no one from outside can see you, but they can hear
4 what is going on inside.
5 So I'd like to suggest that we move into private session.
6 [Private session]
11 Pages 18175-18177 redacted. Private session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session. Thank
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well. Let's continue.
23 Sir, can I start by asking you to state your name and your date
24 of birth and your place of birth.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Kemal Hujdur. The 25th of May,
1 1967. The village of Renovica.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much. And what is your occupation
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have a degree in electrical
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Can you tell us what your occupation was in 1992?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1992, I worked as an electrician
8 in a catering company called Balkan.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: And where was that?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Sarajevo.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: I see.
12 Mr. Hujdur, have you ever testified before this Tribunal before?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This is the first time.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: And have testified before any other courts in
15 your home country about the matters that relate to the war?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Could you briefly explain to us which trials and
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was in 1998. The proceedings
20 were held in Sarajevo before the basic court in the case against
21 Miomir Tepes. Judge Jaganjac was in charge of the proceedings, I
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well.
24 Sir, you are being called here as witness by the Prosecution, who
25 is sitting to your right, and you are being called under an expedited
1 procedure by which the Prosecution will briefly take you through your
2 statement, and they have been given 45 minutes to do so.
3 And then the counsel for the Defence, which is sitting to your
4 left, Mr. Cvijetic, who is representing the accused Mico Stanisic, will
5 then have questions for you in cross-examination, and Mr. Cvijetic has
6 indicated roughly 30 minutes for that purpose.
7 We understand that the counsel for Mr. Zupljanin will not have
8 any questions for you in cross-examination.
9 After the cross-examination of counsel for Mr. Stanisic, the
10 floor goes back to the Prosecution, who will then have final questions
11 for you in re-direct examination.
12 In and between all of this, the Judges might put questions to you
13 at any time. And so that is going to be roughly the course of your
14 testimony here.
15 We adjourn today at 7.00, which means that we have little less
16 than half an hour to go now, but when we resume tomorrow at 2.15 in the
17 afternoon, we will go by sessions that stretch 90 minutes, and after the
18 90 minutes we have to have a short break because the staff need to change
19 the tapes of these proceedings.
20 So we will have a 20-minute break and then move on to have
21 another session and that should then be the conclusion of your testimony.
22 Mr. Hujdur, if at any time you need to have a break or if you
23 want to put a question to us, then do not hesitate to indicate and we
24 will accommodate you in whatever way we can.
25 Finally, I need to remind you of a few things. First of all,
1 that, as you can hear, everything we say is being interpreted and I
2 would, therefore, like you to - and this is relevant especially when you
3 are being cross-examined by Mr. Cvijetic - that you observe a small pause
4 between question and answer, because otherwise the interpreters who are
5 sitting here won't be able to pick up what you are saying. So please do
6 allow for a short pause and speak slowly, in any case, and speak clearly
7 so that the interpreters can follow you.
8 Finally, Mr. Hujdur, I should remind you that as a consequence of
9 your solemn declaration, you have to tell the truth and I also have to
10 remind you that there is a severe penalty for perjury in case you provide
11 false or misleading information to this Chamber.
12 Do you have any questions?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Let's get on with it.
15 Mr. Di Fazio, the floor is yours.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honours.
17 Examination by Mr. Di Fazio:
18 Q. Witness, yesterday I mentioned to you the desirability of short
19 answers, I repeat that. I've got 45 minutes with you. We have quite a
20 bit of area to cover, so keep your answers brief.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness pleases be shown 65 ter 3121.
22 Q. That's a fairly simple map and can you see your home village of
23 Renovica on that map?
24 A. I can see it. It is there.
25 Q. All right. And can you tell the Trial Chamber how long it took
1 to commute from Renovica into Sarajevo itself when you were working back
2 in 1992.
3 A. By bus, it took around an hour.
4 Q. What sort of village was Renovica? By that, I mean what ethnic
5 group predominated.
6 A. There were 90 per cent of Muslims and around 10 per cent of
8 Q. I'm going to put some names to you of villages, or, rather,
10 Can you tell us if these hamlets were located close to Renovica:
11 Petovici, Strane, Kaljani, Prespica [phoen], Turkovici, Ljunja,
12 Priboristi [phoen]?
13 A. Yes. All these are hamlets surrounding Renovica.
14 Q. Thank you. And one last hamlet or village that I want to ask you
15 about. A place called Vinca or Vince. It might be divided into upper
16 and lower, Donja or Gornja Vinca. Is there such a place close to
18 A. Yes, there is. Donja Vinca is 1 kilometres away from the centre
19 of Renovica, and Gornja, about 2 kilometres.
20 Q. This place Donja Vinca, which is an about a kilometre away, if
21 you were an inhabitants of Donja Vinca, would be able to see Renovica?
22 A. Renovica could not be seen because - how should I explain it - it
23 is in a depression of sorts. It's not on an elevation. I don't know if
24 this explanation suffices.
25 Q. It does, thank you. In 1991, were you a member -- and 1992, were
1 you a member of the SDA?
2 A. Yes, I did become a member. Most of us from Renovica did,
3 because we were Muslim. I believe that some 90 per cent of the
4 inhabitants were members of the SDA.
5 Q. In your village back in 1992, was there a chap named Alija
6 Parzina [sic] residing there?
7 A. Alija Prazina. He lived there.
8 Q. I apologise for my mispronunciation. Thank you for that.
9 Did he hold any office in the SDA?
10 A. Since I didn't attend any meetings, I can only say that I think
11 he was one of the leading persons. He must have held a position, but I
12 don't know which.
13 Q. Okay. I want you now to turn your mind to April and May of 1992,
14 and I'm going to ask you some questions about that period of time.
15 Firstly, in April and May of 1992, did Renovica have a large army
16 barracks in or close to the village?
17 A. In Renovica, there had always been a barracks. As for its size,
18 since we associated with them as children and young men, I think there
19 were some 30 JNA soldiers. In Donja Vinca, or close to it, there were
20 some 20 depots storing weapons in that area, as far as I recall.
21 Q. Thank you. In either April or May of 1992, were those weapons
22 taken away?
23 A. Since during that period, between the 4th of April and the 22nd
24 of May, I was in Renovica all the time, I could see daily JNA vehicles
25 taking those weapons towards Pale and Sarajevo, although I don't know
1 where exactly.
2 Q. Try and give Their Honours an idea of the size of these barracks
3 and the amount of weaponry that was there. You talk about trucks on a
4 daily basis. Was it really necessary to have trucks coming in on a daily
5 basis to remove weapons? Were there that many?
6 A. Well, you see, the statement I gave is -- contains something that
7 any resident of Renovica could tell you. I cannot say for certain
8 whether it was daily. Maybe there were even up to two trucks every day.
9 But I think it was almost every day. I lived there, and any Renovica
10 resident could tell you the same thing, if they were there at the time.
11 Q. Did there come a time when the weapons were -- when the barracks
12 and the warehouses and the depots holding the weapons were emptied?
13 A. I had no access to the depots. Therefore, I can't say for
14 certain whether it was emptied. But given the fact that the trucks left
15 daily, I'd say that most of it was taken from the Renovica depots.
16 Q. And did the trucks eventually stop taking away weapons from the
18 A. As far as I recall, that didn't stop until the 22nd of May, when
19 Renovica was attacked. It was a daily occurrence up to that time. I
20 don't think they stopped.
21 Q. During this period of time that the trucks were emptying the
22 barracks of weapons, did villagers in Renovica, including yourself, form
23 any sort of defence organisation?
24 A. You see - how shall I say it - there was no particular defence.
25 We had a few weapons and for the most part, people guarded their own
1 homes. There were attempts at creating some sort of defence but people
2 distrusted each other. What it boiled down was people guarded their own
3 houses individually. I'm not sure one can see that as an organised
5 Q. Okay, we'll just get a bit more detail about this, if we can.
6 You mentioned this fellow Alija Prazina earlier. Did he ever purchase
7 any weaponry in April of 1992?
8 A. I think that through some channels of his, some weapons came,
9 although I don't know how many exactly, perhaps 15 to 20 pieces of M48
11 Q. And what did he do with this 15 to 20 M48s?
12 A. He probably distributed them to some people. There were people
13 in the neighbourhood who had such rifles. He probably distributed them
14 to them, although I don't know on what basis.
15 Q. Was there any attempt at organising Renovica villagers into a
16 group, some sort of village defence?
17 A. Well, you see, since there was already a war in Sarajevo at the
18 time, things did take place in way of organisation. I attended some such
19 situations. But, as I said, people were distrustful of each other and
20 weren't sure what was going on. So it was very difficult to do anything.
21 There were attempts, but nothing much was done in the end.
22 Q. Okay. Well, we need more detail, so think about it and start to
23 tell the Trial Chamber what level of organisation was involved, what the
24 organisation was, who organised it, numbers involved, and give a lot more
1 You've already told us that people were distrustful of each
2 other. We've heard you. But now I want to hear all about the level of
3 organisation of any village defence. How successful was it; how far did
4 it go?
5 A. I attended one meeting. Perhaps some of my friends told me that
6 there was going to be a meeting in the village of Stubice. It is
7 actually a meadow nearby and we were supposed to assemble there. The
8 late Rasim Misirevic left the barracks at the time. He used to work as a
9 military personnel in the former JNA barracks. At Stubice is where we
10 gathered and there could have been between 150 and 200 of us. The late
11 Rasim Misirevic was present and he was supposed to become the commander
12 of Renovica defence. He tried to organise us in a military fashion,
13 although I have no such experience and I can't explain it exactly. I
14 think he wanted to have certain detachments or platoons organised. He
15 also appointed some platoon commanders or detachment or squad leaders.
16 Since I lived in Turkovici, Mujo Muminovic was supposed to become our
17 platoon commander. He also assigned him specific tasks because Rasim
18 couldn't deal with all of us individually. Mujo Muminovic called a
19 meeting following that, trying to make guard shifts, guard locations,
20 et cetera, but these neighbours of mine and cousins trusted no one. And
21 we simply were not on the same page. People were saying, I can't, I'm
22 not able to, and it ended up with everyone just staying close to their
23 homes. I don't know whether this suffices by way of explanation.
24 Q. Thank you. You are starting to explain things.
25 Can you tell us if any patrols were organised by this group of
1 100 to 200 men? Any patrols in and around the village of Renovica and
2 surrounding hamlets.
3 A. I really can't answer that. I can only tell you about Turkovici
4 because I was there the most. As for the other villages, Petovici,
5 Ljunja, et cetera, that was some distance away, so I don't know how they
6 organised themselves.
7 Q. Thank you. Were any trenches dug?
8 A. No. Not a single trench.
9 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber if in Renovica or any of the
10 surrounding hamlets that we've mentioned this afternoon, there was any of
11 the following: Mortar positions, heavy machine-guns, sniper positions,
12 whether you possessed any heavy military vehicles, radio communications
13 systems. Any of those things?
14 A. I didn't see any of that and I didn't hear of anything of that
15 sort being there.
16 Q. You've mentioned weaponry so far, and you told us that this
17 Prazina fellow managed to get his hands on some M48s. Now, apart from
18 these rifles, and I think you mentioned 15 to 20 of those, were the 150
19 to 200 men in possession of other rifles?
20 A. In Renovica at that time, as far as I recall, save for the rifles
21 mentioned and some hunting rifles, there weren't any others. I don't
22 know how many hunting rifles there were exactly, but my guess is between
23 10 and 15. I don't know of any other weapons.
24 The hunting rifles were held by those who used to be hunters and
25 had licences for them. I don't know anything else about any others.
1 Q. Okay. And the last question for this evening for me.
2 In the period of time right up to the morning of the 22nd of May,
3 1992, had you or any of those 150 to 200 men engaged in any form of
4 combat, military engagement with any other force at all?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I think it's just about
8 time, I think. So this is a convenient point.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much, Mr. Di Fazio.
10 Mr. Witness, you are now released for tonight, but you are not
11 finally dismissed. You will be taken back to this courtroom tomorrow
12 afternoon at 2.15. And we wish you a good evening, and we look forward
13 to seeing again tomorrow.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes. And, sir, Mr. --
17 Excuse me, I forgot to instruct you that, having been sworn in as
18 a witness here today, you are not allowed to have any communication with
19 any of the parties involved in the trial, and, in such conversations as
20 you may have with people outside this Tribunal, that is to say, with your
21 family at home, you are not allowed to discuss your testimony here with
23 Is that understood?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did understand it. Thank
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much. See you tomorrow then.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
4 The Chamber has just one short ruling to make before we adjourn
5 for tonight, and it concerns the motion filed by the Prosecution on the
6 2nd of December, in relation to three documents and two video-clips which
7 should be added to the exhibit list for use with General Milovanovic
9 In view of the urgency of the matter, also on 2nd December, the
10 Chamber ordered the Defence to respond by 3rd December, but no responses
11 were filed on that issue.
12 On 3rd December, the Prosecution filed a corrigendum to the
13 motion stating that proposed Rule 65 ter 3592.1 should have referred to
14 notebook covering the period from 27 January 1995 to 5th September 1995.
15 Now, the Chamber finds that the Prosecution has not acted with
16 due diligence in filing this motion. As the Prosecution notes, the
17 material formed part of its 5th November motion to admit
18 General Milovanovic's evidence, pursuant to Rule 92 bis. The Prosecution
19 does not make any argument as to why it elected to file the motion close
20 to a month later, and only a few days before calling the witness. Such
21 behaviour, absent justification, really falls far short of the due
22 diligence with which parties are required to act.
23 However, the Chamber does consider that the material in question
24 is, prima facie, relevant to the subject-matter in respect of which
25 General Milovanovic is called to testify. The material will assist the
1 Chamber in determining the authenticity of the notebooks, and, moreover,
2 the Chamber holds that the Defence will not suffer undue prejudice if
3 this material is added to the exhibit list, since the Defence has been
4 aware of the material at least since 5th November.
5 For these reasons, the Chamber finds that it is in the interests
6 of justice to add the material to the Prosecution's exhibit list, and the
7 motion, as amended by the corrigendum, is, therefore, granted.
8 Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Judge Harhoff.
10 So we take the adjournment to 2.15 tomorrow afternoon.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 7th day of
13 December, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.