1 Friday, 15 April 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
6 everyone in and around the courtroom.
7 This is case IT-08-91, the Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and
8 Stojan Zupljanin.
9 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Good morning to everyone.
11 May we have the appearances, please.
12 MS. KORNER: Good morning, Your Honours.
13 It's Joanna Korner, Alex Demirdjian, Tijana Kaletovic, and
14 Crispian Smith for the Prosecution this morning.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
16 Slobodan Zecevic, Slobodan Cvijetic, Eugene O'Sullivan,
17 Ms. Tatjana Savic, and Ms. Deirdre Montgomery appearing for
18 Stanisic Defence this morning. Thank you.
19 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
20 For the Defence of Mr. Zupljanin, Aleksandar Aleksic,
21 Kieran Rigney, and Monica Feltz.
22 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
23 Your --
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, with respect to the question of timing
25 that I raised yesterday afternoon.
1 I've spoken to Mr. Zecevic this morning, and I understand his
2 revised -- his estimate as to how long he's going to be, and I think,
3 perhaps, I'd better let him tell you. Your Honours, the only other
4 suggestion I have is, as Your Honours will recall, when we were asked
5 about timings, I suggested we should sit next week for the three days
6 between Easter and the Queen's holiday, and as far as we're concerned, if
7 that's possible with the Court, we could deal with cross-examinations,
8 start this week, and go over until next week. It's the huge gap that we
9 wouldn't want.
10 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I'm sorry. Yesterday I wasn't really
11 accurate at all, because after I revised -- re-checked my notes and the
12 documents, I saw that only one-third of the documents have been produced
13 so far. So, therefore, I'm pretty sure that I would need all 20 hours,
14 as suggested at the beginning. I'm sorry for creating this --
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Which more or less means that at the actual pace
16 it will take next week.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, I'm sure that not before Wednesday, but it
18 depends how the situation develops, because this week we didn't -- the
19 three days, I had only seven hours of direct examination.
20 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Aleksic, did you wish to say something? I see
21 you were getting to your feet.
22 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I just wished to
23 add that Mr. Krgovic said that we would need an hour and a half. Perhaps
24 his examination of this witness is going to be a bit shorter than that,
25 but of course it depends on how the direct examination goes. So far, we
1 stick to the original hour and a half. Thank you.
2 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
3 So it seems to me that the pace at which we are moving is such
4 that we need -- it would be imprudent to attempt to make any new decision
5 now, and we would assess the situation, say, at the -- when we rise on
6 Tuesday, perhaps.
7 Yes. Could the Usher please -- if there are no other matters,
8 could the Usher please escort the witness back to the stand.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry.
10 Mr. Registrar, can I inquire whether the drawing is available,
11 that we can deal with the map today? Thank you. A different courtroom
12 today, so that's why I ask.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 WITNESS: ANDRIJA BJELOSEVIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE HALL: Good morning to you, Mr. Bjelosevic. You may be
18 And before I invite Mr. Zecevic to resume his
19 examination-in-chief, I remind you you're still on your oath.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Should I sit down now? I cannot
21 hear any interpretation, you see.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: The witness says he doesn't have the
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again, I can't hear it.
25 I think it's all right now.
1 JUDGE HALL: Can you hear me now? In which case I --
2 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
3 JUDGE HALL: So I would remind you that you're still on your
4 oath, sir.
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Zecevic: [Continued]
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bjelosevic, could we please look at document
7 1D46, tab -- oh, I see, I'm sorry.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry. Mr. Usher, can I ask you for ...
9 [Interpretation] Tab 47. The document is 1D46.
10 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, a few questions -- a few questions before we
11 comment on this document.
12 You have a degree in National Defence, a university degree;
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I think that you told us that for nine or ten years you worked at
16 the Secretariat for National Defence.
17 A. Seven years.
18 Q. During the war, you said that you spent some time in the
19 military. Tell me, do you hold some rank in the military?
20 A. In 1991, I was promoted to the rank of captain first class. That
21 is my military rank. And at the end of the war, I was a colonel of the
23 Q. However, at that time in 1992, there were no ranks in the police
24 force; right?
25 A. No. In 1992, no. But later on they were introduced.
1 Q. When you said "captain first class," did you mean reserve captain
2 first class?
3 A. Yes, reserve captain first class. That is to say, I was not an
4 active-duty officer; rather, I was a reserve captain.
5 Q. Thank you. Sir, please take a look at the document in front of
6 you. This is a document dated the 15th of May, 1992. It is an order
7 signed by the minister of the interior, Mico Stanisic.
8 Tell me, had you received this order in 1992?
9 A. Yes. I mentioned that yesterday; this document, among others.
10 That is what the members of Parliament brought to me from Pale when they
11 attended the Assembly meeting there, when they flew on that helicopter.
12 We received this document, this order.
13 Q. Tell me, Mr. Bjelosevic -- actually, could you give us your
14 comments on paragraph 7 and 8 of this order? Tell us how you see them
15 and understand them. That is page 2 of the document.
16 A. What is being ordered here -- or, rather, what is being stated
17 here is what should be done; namely, that the use of ministry units in
18 co-ordinated actions with the armed forces can be ordered by the minister
19 of the interior, the commander of the police detachment of the ministry,
20 and the chief of the CSB.
21 I have to note that at that point in time we did not have any
22 communication whatsoever. I'm actually referring to May and June. This
23 order dates back to May. We did not have any communication whatsoever
24 with the minister or the ministry. However, this document was something
25 that we went by.
1 It was pointed out here that when carrying out combat actions the
2 units of the ministry should be subordinated to the command of the armed
3 forces; however, the ministry units shall be under the direct command of
4 a designated ministry official. That was in accordance with the
5 Law on Defence. And you can see here that the minister, himself, is
6 observing the law and issuing instructions on that basis.
7 Paragraph 8 speaks of regular duties and tasks. And what is
8 called for is the strict observance of the Law on the Ministry of the
9 Interior and other relevant regulations. And as for the military,
10 military regulations and rules should be enforced, which is fully in
11 accordance with the then relevant law.
12 Q. Just a few questions, if I may. Could you please explain to us
13 what this means, because if I understood you correctly, you actually
14 carried this out in practice. What does it mean when units of the
15 ministry are under the direct command of designated officials from the
16 ministry, in accordance with paragraph 7?
17 A. That means that if the police was supposed to be used on the
18 basis of an order, and we already said that the military commanders had
19 the right to issue such orders, then a company is established. A
20 commander of that company is appointed from the ranks of the police.
21 However, such companies, together with their commanders, once they go out
22 to carry out an assignment, they are under the command of a
23 higher-ranking command, say a battalion. The battalion has its own
24 command. However, again, they are subordinated to the higher military
25 command whose tasks they carry out and whose organic structure they
1 belong to.
2 Q. [Microphone not activated]
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 MR. ZECEVIC: [Microphone not activated]
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: Sorry. Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Does that mean that the commander of that police
8 unit - let's say it's a company - is then subordinated to the command of
9 that battalion, part of which the unit had become?
10 A. Precisely. Let me try to be even clearer.
11 I have already mentioned that a few times I was appointed
12 commander, myself. For Operation Corridor, they established ad hoc
13 troops for me. It was not a set wartime unit. There were four companies
14 of the police, or "milicija," within it. Every company was headed by a
15 commander who was a police officer. I also had a military police
16 company, and this military police company had a commander of their own
17 who was an officer. I also had two companies of the Krajina police.
18 Every one of those companies had its own commander, and I was the
19 commander of them all.
20 However, I, as the commander of that formation, was subordinated
21 to the command of the tactical group. That is to say that we all
22 operated in accordance with plans and orders issued by Tactical Group 3
23 at that point in time. I assume that it is well known that the army is
24 established according to the principle of subordination and singleness of
1 Q. Sir, I would like to invite you to comment upon the last part of
2 the sentence in bullet point 8, where it says that military rules and
3 regulations are applied in military operations. Can you explain that?
4 A. Bullet point 7 or 8?
5 Q. Eight.
6 A. "Any violation of regulations and failure to carry out tasks
7 which have been ordered shall be subject to severe punishment ..."
8 Q. No, I meant the first paragraph in bullet point 8, the last
9 sentence, where it says.
10 "... whereas in military operations, military regulations and
11 rules shall be enforced."
12 A. Yes, that's how it was. From that moment when the police is
13 deployed in combat, it represents an element of the armed forces and is
14 subject to all rules and possible disciplinary measures applied by the
15 military, because they are engaged in combat by the military.
16 Q. Thank you. Let us now look at 1D406, tab 58.
17 A. Yes, I can see that.
18 The Command of the 1st Krajina Corps, Duga Njiva
19 Forward Command Post, the same one that we talked about yesterday. This
20 is a commander's order.
21 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, before the 30th of June, did you spend some time
22 at that forward command post in Duga Njiva?
23 A. Yes. Once -- when my combat force was dismantled, I was there.
24 Q. Can we please look at page 2, the third and second paragraph from
25 the bottom. And the sentence starts with: "The exclusive right of
1 command ..."
2 A. "The zone commander shall have the exclusive right of command, as
3 per this order. In the conduct of combat activities, all police forces
4 shall be placed under the command of the zone commander, who shall decide
5 how they are used."
6 I'm absolutely clear about the contents of this document, and I
7 believe that the order is clear. In the army, orders are usually
8 formulated so as to be clear.
9 It says here that the commander of the zone shall have the
10 exclusive right to use the units in his zone. And it says here that all
11 police forces shall be placed under the command of the zone commander,
12 who shall decide how they are used. And this is also clear, and this is
13 even more precise, and this is exactly how we operated.
14 Q. In your opinion, was that in keeping with the regulations that
15 were in effect at the time?
16 A. Fully. Fully in compliance with the rules that were in effect at
17 the time.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at 1D -- D1552.
20 That's tab 105.
21 Q. Sir, this was sent on the 7th of September, 1992, by the
22 command of Tactical Group 3. This is an order to attack. The order was
23 signed by Colonel Slavko Lisica. Are you familiar with this document?
24 MS. KORNER: Can I have the tab number again? I'm sorry.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: 105, 105. 65 ter -- Defence 65 ter 552D1. It is
1 the document that we have on the screen.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm familiar with this
3 document because the Command of Tactical Group 3 regularly copied us with
4 the orders that concerned the police. Sometimes they were sent in their
5 integral form, sometimes in the form of excerpts. In any case, we
6 received those orders regularly. Therefore, I am familiar with this one.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. When you say "to us," who do you have in mind?
9 A. I mean the centre and the public security stations.
10 Q. I would like to invite your comment upon bullet point 5.2 or
11 paragraph 5, bullet point 2.
12 A. The Doboj police battalion is attacking, and then the topographic
13 features are set out. Yes, an order is hereby issued by the police
14 battalion to engage in attack.
15 Q. Tell me: Mr. Lisica, the commander of Tactical Group 3 at the
16 time, was he also the commander of the zone?
17 A. Yes. Let's be very clear on this.
18 Every unit is assigned its zone of responsibility.
19 Tactical Group 3 was assigned its own zone of responsibility. Therefore,
20 whatever was happening in the area of responsibility of Tactical Group 3
21 was within the purview of the command and the commander of that zone. In
22 this case, they would be Tactical Group 3.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Unless there are objections, I
25 would like to tender the document into evidence.
1 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D468, Your Honours.
3 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, can we now look at 196D1,
5 tab 59. [Microphone not activated]
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
7 JUDGE HALL: Microphone, Mr. Zecevic.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry.
9 Q. [Interpretation] The document was issued on the
10 3rd of July, 1992. In the heading, you can see that it was drafted by
11 the Ministry of the Interior, Security Services Centre Doboj. The
12 typed-up signature is that of Andrija Bjelosevic. There is also a stamp.
13 Is this your document? Can you confirm that this is your
14 document, and can you also tell us what the document refers to?
15 A. Yes. This is a document that I drafted, that I created. It
16 bears a stamp and my signature. I signed it. And let me explain how the
17 document came about and when it was drafted.
18 On the 1st of July, I was injured and driven from Teslic to a
19 hospital, and I signed this document in hospital. My associates paid me
20 visits while I was in hospital. And since we had plenty of time to
21 engage in discussions, we did that. I was under a strong impression of
22 what I had seen and experienced in Teslic, and I talked with my
23 associates about their own impressions with regard to the work of the
24 police, and so on and so forth.
25 And then I ordered them to go and inspect those units which were
1 still units, not regulated police stations. That's how the police were
2 deployed. And we could already get in contact with Modrica and Derventa.
3 And they inspected all those areas, they collected information, and they
4 put me abreast of the situation, so I could understand from that that the
5 police did, indeed, act illegally, and the order is a result of that.
6 I'm ordering the police to start the training regarding the use
7 of authority, particularly regarding the use of force, and I also
8 emphasised that the use of force had -- truncheons and fire-arms had to
9 be used according to the rules. And I drew special attention to the
10 conditions for the necessity to justify the use of force.
11 Q. Could you please explain how the use of force is justified in the
12 Ministry of the Interior? What rules and regulations are used for that?
13 How is that regulated?
14 A. That was regulated by the law and the regulations that were both
15 in force, and I'm referring to both of them in this order, the
16 regulations on service in the enforcement agencies. That means that if
17 the police issued an order and if that order was not obeyed by the person
18 who was caught in committing crimes or they had already committed a crime
19 and they are resisting arrest, then the use of force is in order, which
20 can include restraining or the use of truncheons. And in the most
21 drastic cases, when the lives of the police officers or other citizens
22 were at risk, in keeping with those regulations, the police officer had
23 the right to use fire-arms.
24 If only physical force was used, then, obviously, police officers
25 had to write a report about the physical force having been used, when it
1 was used, and why, and that report was read and taken under the
2 advisement by the chief of the police station. If other means of force
3 were used, like, for example, truncheons or, God forbid, fire-arms, then
4 the police officers who had used those had to report to the chief of the
5 Security Services Centre. The policeman would write a report, the report
6 would then be inspected first by the commander of his police station, and
7 then the report would be sent to the chief of the Security Services
8 Centre. When the report was put in the context of the prevailing
9 regulations, he could judge whether the use of force had been justified
10 or not. In practice, I encountered both situations.
11 In Petrovo, in my view, the use of fire-arms was not justified,
12 and that policeman who used fire-arms was sentenced to a prison sentence.
13 Q. You have given us an example in your last sentence. If you, as
14 the chief of the Security Services Centre, deemed that the use of force
15 or additional forms, including fire-arms, was not justified, what
16 measures could be taken?
17 A. A criminal report is filed against the policeman who used that
18 force and sent to an investigating judge, because at that time in 1992,
19 investigations were conducted by investigative judges.
20 Q. And what about the Ministry of the Interior; were measures taken
21 by the ministry or not? I'm talking about disciplinary measures.
22 A. Absolutely. When criminal proceedings were initiated, the
23 subject of those criminal proceedings would be suspended until the end of
24 those criminal proceedings. If the person was found guilty and charged,
25 then the measure would be pronounced. And if he was acquitted, in that
1 case his job would be reinstated and he would suffer no other
2 consequences or disciplinary measures.
3 Q. Please comment on the penultimate sentence of the document. It
4 concerns who this order shall not be applied to.
5 A. It was not supposed to be applied to those parts of the police
6 which were included in immediate combat.
7 Q. Can you tell us why this was inserted in your order and for what
9 A. I think the reason was already explained, but I will repeat.
10 The police, if used in the exercise of combat tasks, it was
11 re-subordinated to the army and respective military commands. It was
12 considered part of the armed forces, and military regulations were
14 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] There seems to be a problem with
15 the translation of this document. The CLSS translation seems to be
17 Q. Could you please read out that sentence slowly from the document.
18 A. "This order shall not apply to parts of the police which are
19 involved in actual war operations."
20 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
21 Looking at the English translation, the double negative was
22 somewhat confusing, and --
23 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes. It's obviously a mistake, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE HALL: Yes. So I suppose the document should be referred
25 back to CLSS for --
1 MR. ZECEVIC: That is what I intend to do.
2 JUDGE HALL: Yes, thank you.
3 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 If there is no objection, I seek to tender this document; MFI'd,
5 though, pending a revised translation.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I said yesterday, in order to prevent
7 me having to get up each time and ask whether this was a document
8 provided by this witness, I could be provided with a list. I was told I
9 would be. I haven't been yet. Am I going to be provided with a list?
10 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, I thought it was already done, because I
11 gave the instructions that the whole list will be provided to you.
12 MS. KORNER: All right.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: I was told that this document is both from the
14 disclosure from the Office of the Prosecutor and we received it from the
15 witness as well.
16 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
17 JUDGE HALL: So it's marked for identification, pending the
19 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D469, marked for identification,
21 Your Honours.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we look at 5531D. That is
23 tab 106. It is a document of the Command of the Tactical Group 3, dated
24 the 8th of September, 1992, signed by Colonel Lisica, commander, at least
25 his name appears in the signature block.
1 Q. Can you tell us whether you are familiar with this order and what
2 it pertains to?
3 A. Yes, I am familiar with this order by Commander Lisica. As
4 usual, military orders are clear, and so is this one. The commander, or
5 the TG-3 Command, introduces military administration in the municipality
6 of Derventa. Military organs' orders are the only orders to be
8 Prior to this document, there already had been a military
9 administration in Derventa, but the commander, if I recall correctly, was
10 Jankovic, I believe. Here we have another person being appointed, which
11 is Captain First Class Pero Stojakovic. I think the order is perfectly
12 clear. And it is legitimate.
13 Q. Can you clarify what such an introduction of a military
14 administration means, or setting up a town command, if you know?
15 A. By way of introducing a military administration, a town commander
16 is appointed, as we can see here when Captain First Class Pero Stojakovic
17 was appointed. And he, in turn, chooses a number of associates of his to
18 help him with the exercise of his duties in respect of fields or areas.
19 As the order mentions, the command decides on a whole range of
20 things, meaning the commander is in charge and there is a military
21 administration in place.
22 Q. When you say that they decide on a range of things or they decide
23 about everything, can you be more precise?
24 A. You can clearly see that in item 3. It reads:
25 "The commander of the defence of Derventa is responsible for and
1 has the duty to regulate, together with his organs, life and work, and
2 everyone is expected to comply with his orders and instructions."
3 There seems to be a grammatical error, but in any case, his
4 instructions. It is as it says. This includes the entire population,
5 and he was in charge of organising life and work in the area.
6 If I may, I wish to remind the Chamber, or perhaps help them
7 understand the situation better, of something that one needs to bear in
9 Part of the municipality of Derventa was still at war. It had
10 not been liberated by that time. And the town had been destroyed and
11 parts of it set ablaze. The infrastructure was in ruin, and people were
12 trying to get back to their homes. It was a situation of chaos. That is
13 why the commander decided to introduce a military administration, in
14 order to deal with the situation as efficiently as possible, so that
15 people would not return any which way and that chaos would not prevail.
16 Q. Such an introduction of a military administration, what impact,
17 if any, does it have on the work of the police and the Ministry of the
19 A. Officially speaking, there had already been a public security
20 station in Derventa by that time. The building where it was housed was
21 torched. Only the walls were left, and the rest was destroyed, including
22 all the documents. For the initial period of time, the police station
23 was situated in the local primary school, and later on it was transferred
24 to the Institute for the Blind. Basically, they started from scratch,
25 although they did have a number of personnel.
1 On top of that, Commander Lisica issued an order by which he sent
2 all police personnel from Derventa to combat. By virtue of this same
3 order, he introduced a police force from Prnjavor, and he tasked them
4 with policing in the town itself. He justified that decision by his need
5 to -- of the Derventa population to gain greater confidence in the
6 Derventa police force, and that is why he said he sent them to combat,
7 because he believed they would enjoy greater respect with the population
8 once they returned.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] If there is no objection, I seek to
11 tender this document into evidence.
12 JUDGE HALL: This relates exclusively to Derventa. Why should it
13 be exhibited?
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Well --
15 MS. KORNER: To save -- Your Honours, we don't object, and we say
16 we can see it's relevant, and we're going to be dealing with it. In
17 fact, I think it came in in an earlier -- under an earlier witness, at
18 some stage.
19 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D470 [Realtime transcript read in
21 error "170"], Your Honours.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: I think the number should be 1D470.
23 THE REGISTRAR: That is correct.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: It was recorded something differently in the
25 transcript. I'm sorry.
1 [Interpretation] Could we look at 1D407, MFI, which is tab 109.
2 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, in this document it says "Security Services
3 Centre Doboj." The date is the 10th of September, 1992, and in the
4 signature block we see "Andrija Bjelosevic," with a stamp and signature.
5 Can you confirm whether this is your document and what it
6 pertains to?
7 A. Yes. I signed it and sent it to the public security stations.
8 If you look at the introduction, you can conclude what it has to do with.
9 It was issued based on an order of the operational group.
10 By this time, the situation was somewhat improved in the area,
11 although I must repeat that still the situation was quite chaotic. There
12 were masses of exiled population, people moving about in uniform,
13 thousands upon thousands of refugees. They arrived in uniform, with
14 weapons, looking for a place to stay for themselves and their families.
15 The front-lines were in immediate vicinity, and the area was daily
16 shelled by enemy artillery.
17 Those people who came in uniform resembled members of the army,
18 whereas many of them did not belong to any military units. They were
19 trying or looking for ways to deal with their own refugee situation. In
20 doing so, they frequently resorted to violence. They looked for goods,
21 something that they could live on. They looked for a place for their
22 family to stay.
23 Once we diagnosed the problem, stronger controls were required in
24 order to have all the people moving about in uniform who were not members
25 of certain units and those who did not have their wartime disposition and
1 who were not on leave, to have their uniforms taken away, seized, and
2 returned. That is why we ordered more stringent controls at
4 Q. Thank you for your clarification. I can see that the document
5 speaks for itself. I'm interested in the introduction. We see that the
6 order of the operational group is attached.
7 Since you were forwarding that order, did you expect the public
8 security stations to implement that operational group order? And if so,
9 on what basis?
10 A. Yes. On the basis of order-issuing authority, on the basis of
11 the fact that it is the area of responsibility of the command that had
12 issued the order.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could this document not be marked
15 for identification any longer, because the previous witness could not
16 deal with it, the previous witness who it had been shown to.
17 JUDGE HALL: So we would remove the MFI qualification.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, just for the record, this is
20 Exhibit 1D407.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] 2291D [as interpreted]; that is,
22 tab 127. Could we please have a look at that document. Could we please
23 have page 2. [Microphone not activated]
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, this is a document of the Doboj CSB. The
2 date is the 21st of September, 1992. It is sent to the Command of the
3 Operations Group of the Serb Army in Doboj. On the third page, we see
4 the name of "Andrija Bjelosevic, Chief of Centre," typed out, and we see
5 a signature.
6 Can you confirm for us, Mr. Bjelosevic, that this is your
7 document, and can you please explain what this is all about? Can you
8 explain what it is that you were asking for by way of this document?
9 A. The document was signed by me; that is to say, I signed this
10 document. It is sent to the Command of the Operations Group of Doboj.
11 And we are asking for certain persons, those listed under numbers 1
12 through 14, to be freed from the military and sent to a course for police
13 training that was organised from the 21st of September, 1992, onwards.
14 As far as I can remember, the command allowed us to do this, and they
15 freed these persons so that they could attend the course. The
16 Public Security Station of Maglaj was in Jablanica, and that is where
17 this happened.
18 Q. Tell me, there is a reference to these 14 candidates here, and it
19 says at the moment they are in the Serbian Army. These 14 candidates,
20 were they reserve policemen?
21 A. There were reserve policemen among them, but there were also
22 others who were subsequently asked for within this number but who had not
23 been policemen to begin with. So there were both.
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I'm sorry, that was a horribly leading
25 question, because it's exactly the point that needed to be clarified by
1 way of a non-leading question.
2 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise. My mistake. It's
3 to my own detriment, isn't it?
4 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, if some persons who are members of the police are
5 serving in the military at a given point in time, what possibilities do
6 you have, as chief of the CSB, in relation to such persons?
7 A. This is a situation that we had in the territory of several
8 police stations; Derventa, among others. I am pointing it out with good
9 reason, because the entire police personnel in Derventa at one point in
10 time quite literally joined the army. They were re-subordinated to the
11 army. As a matter of fact, they didn't even operate as a separate unit,
12 headed by their own commander. They were deployed in different units.
13 Some were deployed in the scouts units, some in the military police, some
14 were -- well, the military police also had a crime investigation
15 department, so some of them were deployed there too.
16 When Derventa was liberated, when the Public Security Station
17 there was established, there were major problems involved in order to
18 have the command allow us to enable all the policemen to return to the
19 Public Security Station. They did not have sufficient personnel either,
20 so little by little they let them go, they let them return to the police
22 Q. And what were your possibilities in terms of reacting to that
24 A. I could write, asking for them to be freed from the military and
25 asking for approval to be given for them to return to the police station.
1 Q. Did you say "I could write," or did you say that you could not
3 A. I said I could write. I could write and ask for that.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at 556D1,
6 tab 128.
7 MS. KORNER: Do you want that exhibited?
8 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, I thought that you, Ms. Korner, would object.
9 Well, if not, then I would gladly have that exhibited.
10 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D471, Your Honours.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: Just for the record, 65 ter Defence 229D1 is 1D471.
13 Thank you.
14 [Interpretation] 556D1, could we have that document, please,
15 tab 128A.
16 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, yet again, this is an order of the command of
17 Tactical Group 3 from Banja Luka on the 23rd of September, 1992. On
18 page 2, there is a signature of the commander, Colonel Lisica. Since
19 this is a copy from a book, there is another document that follows after
20 this one.
21 Are you familiar with this document, sir?
22 A. Yes. This is an order for further combat operations. And it is
23 clear from this order that this task was being issued to the combat group
24 of the police, the "milicija" as well, that was engaged under the command
25 of Tactical Group 3. It acted in concert with the brigade --
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the name of the
3 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Could you please repeat the name of the brigade because the
5 interpreters did not hear you.
6 A. It's not brigade. This actually means "combat group." Combat
7 group. Combat group. So the equivalent would not be the strength of a
8 brigade, but it would be a combat group.
9 Q. Sir, it says here "in concert or in co-ordination with a
11 A. Oh, yes, I see, the Osinja Brigade; that's what you meant. The
12 brigade was named after a town called Osinja, and that is why it is
13 called the Osinja Brigade.
14 Q. Since there is a reference here to co-ordinated action, acting in
15 concert, can you briefly explain this word to us, what this co-ordinated
16 action means as a military term, and whether certain prerequisites had to
17 be met in order to have co-ordinated action?
18 A. Yes, that means acting together, carrying out a task together,
19 acting in concert together, carrying out a task by way of co-ordinated
21 Q. A specific question -- let me put a specific question to you now.
22 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] In a non-leading form.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
24 Q. [Interpretation] The authority that is issuing an order related
25 to co-ordinated action, what should be the relationship between that
1 order-issuing authority and the units that the order is being issued to?
2 A. That is the commanding order-issuing authority for the units to
3 whom or to which the order is being issued for co-ordinated action.
4 Well, it depends. It depends on the territory involved. If the
5 territory is cut up, in a way, if there are barriers of any kind,
6 artificial, man-made, or natural barriers, and if different units are
7 being engaged, nevertheless, these units have to act under a single
8 command, in concert, so that a single objective could be attained.
9 I would like to underline that this is something that probably
10 exists in all armies worldwide. Singleness of command and unity of
11 command are a prevailing principle.
12 Q. Thank you. I see number 3 here. It says "Combat Group
13 Mesa Selimovic."
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment, please.
15 Mr. Witness, in co-ordinated action, such a co-ordinated action,
16 is that the same as re-subordination? Does this mean that the police
17 combat group was re-subordinated?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now there were three questions
19 there, and could I please be allowed to explain that.
20 Re-subordination is something that goes without saying by virtue
21 of the fact that one comes and is made available to a particular command.
22 That means that re-subordination has already taken place.
23 Then you refer to the word "co-ordination." This word
24 "koordinacija" does not work in the army, whereas "sadejstvo," as
25 "co-ordination," does.
1 So when a commander has subordinates within the combat order,
2 then he issues orders to them and then says what the elements involved
3 are for co-ordinated action. It's not that one unit is given just one
5 MR. ZECEVIC: If I may be of assistance, Your Honours.
6 I believe there was a problem with the -- in the terms, because
7 during the --
8 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated]
9 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Would you please take off your
11 [In English] During the examination of a military expert, we had
12 the same problem of translating the word "sadejstvo," and I believe it
13 was concluded at the end, with the help of the interpreters, that
14 "sadejstvo" should be interpreted as "co-ordinated action." And that is
15 the term that is used in this Tribunal, because "sadejstvo" is one thing
16 and "koordinacija," "co-ordination," is the other. So in order to
17 distinct between the two, we -- let me remind you that we agreed that
18 "sadejstvo" would be translated always as "co-ordinated action," whereas
19 "co-ordination" will be translated -- or "koordinacija," will be
20 translated as "co-ordination."
21 And I believe that might be the reason, according to my
22 understanding of the witness's answer, why he's -- because he said the
23 co-ordination does not exist in the military, and I believe, Your Honour,
24 meant the actual word which was used in the document.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm still -- no, no. Yes, please.
1 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated]
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm still not completely sure, Mr. Bjelosevic.
3 This order is about two groups, the police combat group and the
4 Osinja Brigade - the brigade is obviously military - and asks -- or
5 orders them to work together; right? Okay.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, they are ordered to
7 carry out a particular task involving co-ordinated action.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Now, my question is: As far as the police
9 brigade concerns -- the police combat group, sorry, the police combat
10 group is concerned, is this order addressed/given to a police combat
11 group that previously was re-subordinated or not?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me try and explain things in a
13 more plastic [as interpreted] way. Let's be clear --
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just, could you first, if possible, give me a yes
15 or no and then explain? Was this order given to a police combat group
16 that was previously re-subordinated?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, okay. Please go ahead.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let's make things very clear.
20 Let's see how things looked on the ground.
21 In the military and in military units, there are several ways how
22 units work in combat. One unit can be given a task on its own. The unit
23 is given an axis of action, and they execute the task on its own. That
24 unit may be reinforced by different means. And if that happens, then the
25 unit is expanded. Also, the superior command can add a certain unit, or
1 a group, to that original unit or attach another unit, and then they act
2 in concert. However, both units are subordinated to that higher command.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 JUDGE HALL: I suppose we may as well take the break at this
6 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE HALL: There is something I neglected to do at the
8 beginning and that is to note for the record that today, again, we
9 convene under Rule 15 bis, Judge Harhoff being absent.
10 So we would return in 20 minutes.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Recess taken at 10.24 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 10.48 a.m.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, while the witness is ushered, I would
15 just like to inform the Trial Chamber of two things.
16 I was informed by the Registry, and I'm very thankful for that,
17 that the map got recovered, the map which was drawn yesterday by Mr. --
18 by our witness, Mr. Bjelosevic, and so I would suggest that the Registry
19 just repeats the number, for the record, of that exhibit so we can have
20 it admitted.
21 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That was Exhibit 1D462, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: And the -- thank you, Your Honours.
25 And the second thing is: I was advised that 1D460, which was
1 MFI'd yesterday, we received a revised translation, and request the MFI
2 be removed from the -- it was up-loaded, the new translation has been
3 up-loaded, and we request that the MFI be removed from that.
4 JUDGE HALL: So ordered.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 MR. ZECEVIC: May I continue? Thank you.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bjelosevic, we're still talking about the
8 same document, 556D1, tab 128A.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: [In English] I'm sorry, Your Honours. I was
10 inquiring whether Your Honours want me to pursue the questions
11 Your Honour asked or --
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated] We're satisfied.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: You're satisfied. Thank you very much.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Just one clarification, if you can.
15 Under 3: "BG, Mesa Selimovic BG"?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Since Mr. Mesa Selimovic was a well-known writer, Bosnian writer
18 I should say, and a member of the Muslim ethnicity, I would like to
19 know --
20 A. You mean how come that he is -- his name has found its place in
21 the military?
22 Q. Yes, among the Serb soldiers.
23 A. This "BG" was established and soon became a company. It was a
24 unit which was mostly composed of Bosniaks and some Croats. When that
25 unit was established, although it was not very customary at the time,
1 they went to see Commander Lisica and asked him to be the godfather of
2 their unit, and he gave it the name Mesa Selimovic, and they kept the
3 name until the end of the war. Later on, they became part of the
4 327th Brigade. They were volunteers.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Unless there are objections, I
7 would like to tender the document into evidence.
8 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D472, Your Honours.
10 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Let's look at 560D1, under tab 141.
11 Q. Sir, yet again, this is an order issued by TG-3 on the
12 7th October, 1992. On the second page, the order was signed by
13 Colonel Slavko Lisica, who was the commander of that group. There is a
14 stamp and a signature there.
15 I would like to know whether you're familiar with this order.
16 And I'm especially interested in paragraphs 1(c) and (d). This is an
17 order. It has several bullet points. Could you please comment upon it.
18 A. I'm familiar with this order by Commander Lisica. When Brod was
19 liberated, that order was issued on the same day, on the
20 7th of October, 1992.
21 You can see that military administration is being introduced, and
22 the person who was appointed the commander of the city is
23 Lieutenant-Colonel Mikic, and also a deputy is appointed. And
24 Commander Lisica, as you can see, issues this order to establish a public
25 security station, and he is the one who appoints who the chief of the
1 Public Security Station would be. It would be Nenad Milicic, who up to
2 then was the commander of the Brod Battalion. He also appoints his
3 deputy the chief of the station. It did not exist under the
4 establishment, but since the commander established the Public Security
5 Station, he also appoints personnel and organises its structure. And
6 further on in his order, the commander elaborates how people should
7 behave within the organisation that he established.
8 Most interesting of all this, bullet point 4, where it says that:
9 "All appointed organs and individuals shall be subordinated to
10 the town commander."
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Unless there are objections, I
13 would like to tender the document into evidence. I know that this
14 document concerns Bosanski Brod, but it illustrates the authorities of
15 the TG commander with regard to all civilian organs, and that's why I
16 believe that this document is also relevant for these proceedings.
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I accept that. My objections so far
18 have been to leading evidence about events, and the like, outside the
19 area. For the purposes for which Mr. Zecevic wishes to put it in,
20 namely, to show their theory of the relationship between the military and
21 the police, I accept that documents such as this are admissible.
22 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D473, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE HALL: As a matter of curiosity, though, Mr. Zecevic: Of
25 the number of documents which you've indicated you propose to tender, how
1 many of them are merely illustrative? That wasn't a question inviting an
2 answer. It was merely an observation that at some point the utility of
3 these merely illustrative documents would cease to have any purpose.
4 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, I'm glad to inform Your Honours that this is
5 my last document which is of that illustrative nature concerning this
7 JUDGE HALL: So noted. Thank you.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, could you please look at 245D1, tab 158.
10 The document was issued on the 3rd of November, 1992. I believe that it
11 is a dispatch which was delivered to the MUP of the Republika Srpska.
12 The signatory is "Chief of Centre, Andrija Bjelosevic." There is a
14 Can you please just confirm for us whether this is, indeed, your
15 document, and what does it refer to?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Just a moment. There is something added by hand, so I would like
18 to invite your comment with this regard. Who was it who added the words
19 in hand?
20 A. This is a dispatch that I sent, and this is information for the
21 ministry about what had happened. Nenad Milicic was appointing the chief
22 of the Bosanski Brod Station by Commander Lisica, as we've just seen, was
23 found in Doboj, and he was in the process of stealing, together with some
24 other uniform personnel from Bosanski Brod, and they were robbing a
25 house. The family of Nenad Milicic was housed there while they were
1 displaced. They had all fled Brod. And then on their way back to
2 Brod -- or, rather, when they returned to Brod, they repaired their
3 house, they made it possible to live in, and then he and a group of his
4 associates went back to the house where they had stayed as displaced
5 persons in order to take the household items and bring them back to
6 Bosanski Brod and furnish his house there.
7 With all due understanding for the hardships of the Milicic
8 family, there was certainly no way to procure household items for their
9 own goods. The police intervened, they prevented them in carrying on
10 that activity, and then Colonel Lisica, who had been informed, and
11 Milicic was within his authority, Colonel Lisica reassigned him to a duty
12 in Benkovac. And I proposed somebody else to perform the duties as the
13 chief of the Public Security Station. My proposal was subsequently
14 accepted, and the person was, indeed, appointed.
15 Q. When did that proposal of yours arrive?
16 A. Immediately following this event. I can't recall the date, but
17 it was as soon as I had agreed with Commander Lisica that the
18 Public Security Station ought to be made part of the Security Centre of
19 the ministry. That is when I initiated that proposal.
20 Q. Well, that was the gist of my question, which was whether, at the
21 moment when you made that proposal for appointment of a new chief of the
22 Public Security Station in Bosanski Brod, the Military Administration was
23 then abolished. In other words, what happened with the command in the
25 A. Well, the Military Administration stayed in place. But since
1 Commander Lisica and I had discussed the situation, I successfully
2 managed to argue my position that the security station should be within
3 the ministry hierarchy, just under the Security Centre. And I told him
4 that in that way we would be able to control the situation. He agreed
5 for the station to start operating as a proper public security station
6 outside the structure which was under the town command.
7 Q. You say that Colonel Lisica agreed. Had he not, would you have
8 been able to --
9 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry. I was about to rise to my feet to object
10 to the leading question before that as well, because the question that
11 Mr. Zecevic said that he asked was that the gist of his question, which
12 was not the gist of his question, and in the form in which it was asked
13 is leading, the way this question is going to be asked now is also a
14 leading one. So before he can ask it, I'm objecting.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm withdrawing. Thank you very much, Ms. Korner.
16 Your Honours, I misspoke. This document -- I called this
17 document by our 65 ter Defence number, but I was reminded that this
18 document is already in exhibits as 1D408, and it was MFI'd because the
19 previous witness couldn't authorise the document.
20 Now, Mr. Bjelosevic confirmed that this is his document, and I
21 propose that this document be de-MFI'd.
22 JUDGE HALL: Yes, so ordered.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 1D410, which
24 is tab 167. [Microphone not activated]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Sir, this is an operational group document, signed by
3 Commander Colonel Slavko Lisica. The date is the 11th of November, 1992.
4 It is an order. In item 2, there is a reference -- your name appears,
5 that is.
6 Could you please comment.
7 A. Let me say, briefly, that following the liberation of the
8 Posavina area, Commander Lisica was appointed commander of the
9 operational group in Doboj. Here, we can see it mentioned. I am
10 familiar with the order. The command planned for certain combat tasks to
11 be executed.
12 In item 1, it says:
13 "Form a mixed battalion ..."
14 Et cetera.
15 And you can see that, again, this formation was an ad hoc
16 formation with the company of the military police and a company of the
17 regular police. I don't recall how many companies there were exactly,
18 but Teslic is also mentioned.
19 I am being appointed battalion commander by virtue of this order.
20 He also decided on my deputy. And in item 3, he mentions certain
21 elements of combat readiness.
22 Q. Did you abide by this order by Commander Lisica?
23 A. I did.
24 Q. Thank you. [Microphone not activated]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Microphone, please.
2 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bjelosevic, let us move on to another topic.
4 But, first of all, let me ask you something.
5 What was the situation like in Doboj in 1992, and how far was
6 Doboj from the separation line or the front-line? What consequence did
7 it have for the people living in Doboj?
8 A. At the beginning of the war, that area, together with the area
9 that is westwards towards Krajina, had been surrounded completely. There
10 was no traffic, the economy was in shambles, and there was no possibility
11 of supply. Just to illustrate that, I will remind you that in the
12 Banja Luka Clinical Centre, 12 babies died because there was no oxygen
13 that could be provided to them.
14 So the area was encircled. The proximity of the front-line to
15 the east went along the Bosna River, which is right next to the urban
16 settlement, the town itself. To the south, there was the Bosna and the
17 Usora. Therefore, it was adjacent to the front-line. The situation was
18 chaotic because the front-lines were so close and because the area was
19 exposed to enemy artillery fire. There were thousands of refugees from
20 different places as well, and I have already mentioned that there were
21 many uniformed and armed people moving about.
22 When the JNA withdrew, certain groups and even units ran amok.
23 They were no longer under the unified command, and acted as paramilitary
24 structures. I believe I can freely say that the Doboj population was
25 terrorised during that time.
1 Q. When you say that the population was terrorised, who do you have
2 in mind? Who was terrorising them?
3 A. The paramilitary groups I just mentioned, as well as individuals.
4 There were also people who were refugees who recognised no orders or
5 commands. They took it upon themselves to find accommodation for them
6 and to provide for themselves, even if it meant appropriating other
7 people's property, breaking into other people's homes, et cetera.
8 Q. As the chief of the Security Centre, did you take any measures
9 against such behaviour?
10 A. We always took measures. Whenever we received information of
11 such events, we established an on-site investigation team which attended
12 the scenes of crimes, upon which a prosecutor and an investigative judge
13 were always informed. Documentation was filed and case files opened
14 alongside investigations. Of course, there were instances when
15 perpetrators were identified and proceedings instituted, but some crimes
16 had not been resolved during my stay there. In other words, the
17 perpetrators were not found.
18 Q. Sir, was Doboj town and the municipality shelled from positions
19 held by Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats?
20 A. Yes, almost daily. There were numerous reports about that.
21 I think there were 94 civilian casualties as a result of that, including
22 people of different age, such as children, women, men, and people of
23 different ethnicities among the victims.
24 Q. I'll show a document, which is 267D1, tab 187, and I'd like you
25 to comment. It's a dispatch from the CSB Doboj to the RS MUP on the
1 27th of November, 1992.
2 A. Yes, it is a dispatch sent to the Ministry of the Interior. It
3 was supposed to inform them of what was going on. We were under an
4 obligation to provide such information for their bulletin.
5 We can see that on the 26th of November there was shelling in
6 town, causing property damage. Then in Samac, the situation was similar,
7 which is something we can see in the next paragraph, and so on and so
9 Q. The victims in Samac are enumerated in paragraph 2. If we look
10 at the names, can you tell us what their nationality was, what was their
12 A. Yes, I certainly can. They were Muslim, Mustafa and
13 Zeina Kapetanovic.
14 Q. This dispatch was sent from the CSB, on your behalf, to the
15 RR MUP; correct?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] If there is no objection, I seek to
18 tender this document into evidence.
19 MS. KORNER: I'd like to know about the handwriting, please, and
20 where it comes from, this document.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Can you comment on the handwritten annotations, since I am not
23 allowed to do that, in the right-hand side corner in the top.
24 A. Yes, there is a signature which I don't recognise, and the date
25 is when it was received and processed so as to include it in the
1 information bulletin issued by the minister of the interior.
2 Q. Can you read what it says.
3 A. The Analysis Department, it was forwarded to them. They gathered
4 and collated all the information included in the information bulletin.
5 That is to say, they had field information.
6 Q. Do you recognise the handwriting?
7 A. I don't.
8 Q. Do you recognise the signature?
9 A. I don't.
10 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry. My second question was: Where does the
11 document come from?
12 MR. ZECEVIC: I think it's a batch -- I have here it's a
13 batch 170, document 70, so that's a disclosure from the Office of the
15 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
16 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D474, [Realtime transcript read in
18 error "470"], Your Honours.
19 MR. ZECEVIC: Sorry, I believe we passed the number 470.
20 THE REGISTRAR: I think I said "474," just to correct the
21 transcript. Thank you.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I'm going to show you another document, 260D1, tab 180. It's
24 also a dispatch of the CSB Doboj, sent to the MUP of Republika Srpska on
25 the 23rd of November, 1992.
1 Your name is typewritten at the bottom of the page, in your
2 capacity of chief of centre?
3 A. Yes. This is information provided to the ministry. It has to do
4 with the following event:
5 "On the 23rd of November, 1992, between 1100 and 1410 hours, five
6 shells fell on the area of the town of Doboj, causing severe injuries to
7 six persons and killing a child."
8 Again, you can see that it is being sent to the
9 Analysis Department, so it's taking the same path, as it were.
10 Q. All right. Thank you.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] This is a document that was
12 disclosed by the Prosecutor, batch 170, and it was number 68. If there
13 are no objections, I would like to tender this document as well.
14 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D475, Your Honours.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: [Microphone not activated]
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours. I keep forgetting that I
19 switch off the microphone, as instructed by interpreters, because I'm
20 shuffling the papers and they can't hear the witness.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Since we are discussing Doboj now, I'm going to
22 go back to that and I'm going to ask you about some facts that were
23 proffered here by the Prosecution and accepted by the Trial Chamber.
24 Tell me -- I think that we discussed this on the first day. We
25 discussed check-points that were put up in the territory of Doboj. Tell
1 me, when were these check-points put up in the area of the town of Doboj,
2 who kept these check-points, who manned them, and until when?
3 A. Could you please be more specific? When you say "the territory
4 of Doboj," do you mean the territory of the municipality or the
5 check-points in town? I spoke about check-points that were placed in the
6 surrounding area. That is also the territory of Doboj.
7 Q. Let me just explain: In town and in the territory of the
9 A. Both. Check-points in the territory of the municipality were put
10 up by different forces as far back as March. I, myself, came across a
11 check-point once in the village of Jekovac [phoen]. It was manned by HDZ
13 Q. When you give us the month, could you please provide the year as
15 A. 1992. Also, now was this the end of month or the beginning of
16 April? In the territory of the municipality of Doboj Istok, check-points
17 were put up as well, and weapons were seized from JNA members when they
18 arrived there. Vehicles were also taken. There were such check-points
19 in other places as well; around Modrica and Derventa too, I think. But
20 let's go back to Doboj.
21 It is precisely because of such occurrences that the Council for
22 National Defence of the municipality of Doboj, together with the
23 commander of the Doboj Garrison, Colonel Cazim Hadzic, and the
24 representatives of the police, all agreed that check-points manned by
25 joint teams should be established within the town of Doboj, itself, that
1 would keep the situation stable and under control.
2 In addition to that, in the area towards Susnjari, where Gradina
3 is in Doboj, and further on, there were check-points there as well.
4 People could not enter the area whenever they wanted to. Even the
5 police, the "milicija," could not enter unannounced. And everyone knew
6 who could get in and when.
7 Q. These last check-points where the police could not enter
8 unannounced, who manned these check-points?
9 A. These units are under the command of the SDA.
10 Q. Tell me, when you say "the Council for the National Defence of
11 the municipality of Doboj," did that body consist of representatives of
12 all the national parties or was this something different?
13 A. The council was made up of certain officials. Ahmet Alicic,
14 president of the municipality, was a member ex officio; then the
15 president of the Executive Council, I think it was Boro Paravac; then the
16 secretary of National Defence; then the commander of the garrison; and
17 the representative of the MUP. So it didn't really have to do with
18 persons' names. The MUP was always represented by someone at these
20 Q. At any rate, this organ was a multi-ethnic one, if I can put it
21 that way?
22 A. That's right, it was multi-ethnic.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] For the Trial Chamber, this is an
24 adjudicated fact; 1265 is the number.
25 Q. Sir, were you present at the last session of the
1 Municipal Assembly of Doboj in 1992, the last joint session of the
2 municipality of Doboj, and could you please tell us when that happened?
3 A. I cannot remember when the session of the Municipal Assembly was
4 held, and I was not present.
5 Q. Do you know what was discussed at this session of the
6 Municipal Assembly?
7 A. It was certain basic issues that we had information about that
8 were dealt with. I think that what was discussed was the division of the
9 municipality. I don't know whether it was the last session, but, anyway,
10 at one of the sessions that is what was discussed.
11 Q. Do you know what the result was of the political agreement?
12 A. If I remember correctly, something was agreed upon, after all.
13 However, I'm not familiar with the details, really.
14 Q. When you say "agreed upon," do you mean in relation to what was
15 discussed about the division of the municipality, or something different?
16 A. The division of the municipality.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] It is Adjudicated Fact 1266. 1266.
18 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, do you know about the arrival of a large group of
19 paramilitaries, if I can put it that way, or the White Eagles, in the
20 territory of the municipality? If so, can you tell us when that
21 occurred? Do you have any information to the effect that it happened in
22 the beginning of 1992?
23 A. No. To the best of my knowledge, there was no such formation in
24 the territory of the municipality of Doboj. A smaller group, although
25 they weren't called the White Eagles either, that could be reminiscent of
1 that was Luis's Group that was in the territory of the municipality of
2 Modrica. In the area of the municipality of Doboj, there were no such
4 MS. KORNER: Sorry, Mr. Zecevic. You may want to correct the
5 spelling of "Luis" on the screen. Page 43, line 3.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: I think it's been corrected already.
7 MS. KORNER: That's still wrong, but never mind.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: I can make the reference to the exhibit before, but
9 I think it's not needed.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bjelosevic, we have already seen how many
11 members this group, Luis's Group, had. Now I'm going to ask you about
12 the following fact: Do you know that a group of about 500 men, members
13 of the White Eagles, arrived in the municipality of Doboj in January and
14 February of 1992 and that they came to the Doboj Military Barracks to
15 take lunch, to have dinner, et cetera?
16 A. No, I have never received such information. I have never heard
17 of any such thing having happened. If a formulation like that had
18 arrived in Doboj, people would have to know about it.
19 Q. When you say "people would have to know about it," I assume that
20 the police would have to know that a big group like that had come to the
21 territory of the municipality.
22 A. Well, imagine a formation of 500 men. It wouldn't only be the
23 police; it would be generally well known. Five hundred men is a
24 battalion, a strong battalion at that.
25 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, do you know of an area close to Doboj that is
1 called Ankara or Ankaran or something like that?
2 A. There is a hill called Ankaran above Doboj. And there were
3 repeaters there, different ones used for different purposes.
4 Q. When you say "repeaters," you are referring to communications
5 equipment; right?
6 A. Yes, yes. Communications repeaters, yes.
7 Q. [Microphone not activated]
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Do you know that there was a group of people on that hill,
11 Ankaran, that they had taken over that hill and forced the inhabitants
12 from the area to move out? Are you aware of any such thing having
14 A. No, I'm not.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] This is Adjudicated Fact 1267, for
17 your reference.
18 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, you told us about the situation on the
19 3rd of May, 1992. I think you also said that you had scheduled a meeting
20 of the collegium.
21 A. I tried to schedule it.
22 Q. And this collegium meeting was not held. Why not?
23 A. It wasn't possible to get all the personnel there, all the
24 persons who made up the collegium of the chief of the centre. They did
25 not respond to telephone calls.
1 Q. The members of this collegium, or the members of the MUP who made
2 up that collegium, were they ethnic Muslims and Croats and Serbs, that is
3 to say, belonging to all three ethnic groups or peoples?
4 A. Yes. I think I spoke about the ethnic composition over these
5 past few days. It was heterogeneous, yes.
6 Q. As for policemen who were ethnic Muslims, were any of them
7 arrested on the 3rd of May, 1992?
8 A. I think so. During the night, when the town was taken over, and
9 the police building too, I think that the operations officers were there,
10 were taken prisoner by the military. Yes, yes, taken prisoner, arrested.
11 Q. And what about all the other members of the police who were
12 ethnic Muslims; were they arrested on or around the 3rd of May in Doboj?
13 A. No. When the building was being taken over, the persons who
14 happened to be there were. As for everybody being arrested, or, I don't
15 know, whatever you said in your question, no, that was not the case. And
16 the police were not all there in a single place, so it was not possible
17 for that kind of thing to happen. I'm trying to say that even if
18 somebody had wanted to do that, it was simply impossible to do.
19 Q. Do you have any knowledge to the effect that perhaps there were
20 individual arrests of such persons because they were members of the
21 police; ethnic Muslims?
22 A. As to what happened subsequently, who was brought in and why, I
23 don't know well, for well-known reasons. I was not there all the time.
24 And also at that time I did not deal with arrests and custody cases.
25 Q. Sir, do you know that a curfew was introduced in Doboj? If so,
1 what do you know about it?
2 A. Yes, a curfew was, indeed, introduced about that time. The
3 curfew was introduced by the Crisis Staff. I believe that it was
4 primarily introduced for the safety of the citizens. That, at least, was
5 the explanation that I heard. The safety of the citizens was at risk
6 from shelling. The curfew was applied to all citizens, and the police
7 controlled the implementation of the curfew.
8 Q. Do you remember, when were citizens allowed to move around the
10 A. If I remember it properly, that was between 8.00 and 11.00.
11 I think that the curfew was lifted at 8.00 in the morning. That's when
12 the citizens could go out and tend to their various businesses.
13 Q. When you said that it applied to all citizens, what did you mean?
14 A. When I said that, I meant all generations, both genders, all
15 ethnic groups. The only people who were exempted from that were
16 officials from the police or the military or ambulance services. They
17 were the only ones to whom the curfew did not apply.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] This is Adjudicated Fact 1268.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zecevic, mentioning adjudicated fact, and
20 being impossible to have all adjudicated facts in our heads, would it be
21 a problem for you to add, Well, this is a challenge to the adjudicated
22 fact? Or is it, when you mention an adjudicated fact, is it, by
23 definition, a challenge?
24 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, this is a challenge to adjudicated fact.
25 Your Honours, if you want me to, I can read the adjudicated fact
1 into the record, but --
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: No, no. It's just to make sure that this is a
3 challenge. It's not just a reference to an adjudicated fact; it is a
4 challenge to the adjudicated fact?
5 MR. ZECEVIC: That's a challenge, yes. I thought that it was
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you. That's -- that's okay.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, my understanding is that each and every
10 one of the adjudicated facts is now being challenged, in total.
11 That's right, isn't it?
12 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, concerning Doboj. We have the witness who --
13 MS. KORNER: Yes. No, I understand that. I just want to know,
14 Your Honours, because it has consequences for what we have to do.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, do you know where Dragalovci is in Doboj
18 A. Yes, it is a village on the regional road between Doboj and
20 Q. What is its ethnic composition?
21 A. The Croatian ethnicity prevailed. There were also a few Serbs.
22 Q. Do you know of any operation by the Serb forces which took place
23 in that village on the 20th of May, 1992?
24 A. I don't know of any operation and when it took place. However,
25 as I was passing through the village, I did notice some traces of damage
1 on the buildings there, probably as a result of some operation. But I
2 don't know when the operation took place.
3 Q. That village, Dragalovci, does it have a railway station?
4 A. Yes. It is on the railroad which connects Doboj and Banja Luka.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] This is Adjudicated Fact 1272.
6 Q. Sir, do you know of the existence of a hangar in the town of
8 A. Hangars, hangars? This is a very general term. I don't know
9 what it could mean in Doboj, unless you are referring to military
11 Q. Were there any military hangars in the town of Doboj?
12 A. Yes. In the southern part, in the area known as Usora
13 neighbourhood, very close to the Bosanka factory that existed at the
14 time. It was a fruit and vegetable processing factory, Bosanka.
15 Q. Do you know that those hangars, in mid-June 1992, were used for
16 the accommodation of some individuals who had been arrested?
17 A. As far as I know, yes, for a while the military did keep
18 detainees in those facilities.
19 Q. Let's clarify, let's clarify. What place are we talking about?
20 What hangar do you have in mind when you speak about hangars?
21 A. Those were military facilities or military hangars which used to
22 house vehicles and personnel.
23 Q. What is the name of that part of town?
24 A. I believe that the entire area is known as Usora.
25 Q. Do you know that there was a camp in Bare at the beginning of
1 July 1992 in Doboj municipality?
2 A. There were military facilities in Bare as well. As far as I
3 know, there were sub-ground -- or underground and ground depots for
4 equipment. I was never there, but I know that there were some military
5 facilities there. I believe that even to this day the armed forces of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina use those facilities as military facilities.
7 Q. I'm going to read a number of geographical terms --
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zecevic, as to your previous question, you
9 ask about a camp and the witness answered about military --
10 MR. ZECEVIC: Facility.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- facilities. Was that what you meant with your
12 question when you asked for a camp?
13 MR. ZECEVIC: I don't know if it was recorded, but the witness
14 said that there was a -- that he knows there was a military facility, but
15 was never there. So, therefore, I didn't see any point in pursuing any
16 more, because obviously he wasn't aware of the fact.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: The fact that he wasn't there does not
18 necessarily mean that he wasn't aware. So if you mean -- if, by asking
19 for a camp, you meant something else than a military facility, I would
20 like you to clarify that with the witness.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: I appreciate Your Honour's suggestion.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bjelosevic, did you ever hear -- do you know
23 that there was a camp in Bare, a detention camp or a collection centre,
24 from sometime in July to mid-August 1992?
25 A. I'm not sure when I heard that, but I did hear rumours about
1 prisoners of war being detained as they were in Usora.
2 Q. In those military --
3 A. Yes, in those military facilities in Bare.
4 Q. With regard to collection centres, do you know that in 1992 there
5 was a collection centre where Muslim and Croat civilians were kept in the
6 4th of July Barracks, in a place called Miljkovac.
7 A. The name of the barracks in Doboj was the 4th of July, but I
8 really don't know that civilians were ever kept there, I really don't.
9 Q. Do you know that there was a collection centre where Muslim and
10 Croat civilians were kept in 1992, in Doboj municipality, and that camp
11 was known as Seslija camp?
12 A. No, the name doesn't ring a bell. I don't know anything about
14 Q. Do you know where Seslija Camp is at all?
15 A. I've just told you that I don't even know that there was a camp
16 of that kind. Seslija is a crossroads. Actually, it is a place on the
17 road between Doboj and, further on, Samac and Brod. And at S eslija, the
18 road forks off to the right, and there it leads to Samac. And if you go
19 on straight, you get to Brod. I'm not aware of any military facilities
20 that ever existed there. I'm not aware of any camps having being set up
21 there. I really don't know. I've never heard that before.
22 Q. Thank you. Do you know that the railway station was used for the
23 same purpose?
24 A. No, I don't know. I've never heard that before. I've never
25 heard the railway station being mentioned as used for that purpose.
1 Q. Do you know that something that was known as the SRC Ozren was
2 used for the same purpose, i.e., as a collection centre for Muslim and
3 Croat civilians?
4 A. The SRC Ozren, in our language the "SRC" could stand for
5 Sports and Recreation Centre, but I didn't know that such a centre ever
6 existed in Ozren at the time. Therefore, I really don't know that people
7 were ever kept at such a place.
8 Q. Do you know that the secondary school was also used for that
10 A. The secondary school, who bore the name of Djuro Pucar, was the
11 place where refugees were billeted. And now, whether I have time, maybe
12 it would be of some interest for me to tell you.
13 Q. Just briefly.
14 A. In very brief outline: Sometime in November 1992, a journalist
15 came to visit me from Munich, Germany, the TV house Zoller and the
16 journalist's name was Martin Rettmayer [phoen], and he asked me the same
17 question you have just asked me now. He asked me about that locality,
18 and some others, and said that those were camps, as far as he knew. And
19 we went and checked those places. And I know that at the time I spoke to
20 either the president or the secretary of the Red Cross, and he brought us
21 the lists of those people who had spent some time in the secondary
22 school. There were refugees from various regions, of different
23 ethnicities. And later on, that journalist published a book about what
24 he had learned, and he sent me that book from Germany. It has been
25 translated. In the book, he described what he found on the site visit,
1 as opposed to what he had heard before he came to Bosnia. In other
2 words, there was nothing there.
3 Q. Do you know that the factory of tyres in Bare was also used as a
4 collection centre?
5 A. I've never heard that before. I apologise for laughing, but I
6 assure you that there has never been a tyre factory in Doboj. There
7 never was and there isn't now.
8 Q. Do you know that the mine in Stanari was also used as a
9 collection centre?
10 A. No, I don't know that. I absolutely don't know anything about
12 Q. And the primary school in Stanari?
13 A. No, I've never heard that.
14 Q. The handball pitch?
15 A. No, I didn't hear that. That is, indeed, a stadium where all
16 sorts of tournaments, international, national, are held every year. But
17 I've never heard that prisoners were ever kept there, that the place was
18 used as a camp.
19 Q. And something that is known as either Bosanska or perhaps
21 A. The only thing that was called Bosanska in Doboj was
22 Bosanska Street, and I've never heard of Bosanka. That may be a mistake.
23 Somebody may have put it in the context of those hangars, and also
24 because the two are close, but I've never heard of anything like that.
25 Q. What about electricity poles factory in Rudanka?
1 A. Yes, there is such a factory there. But I've never heard of it
2 being used for that purpose.
3 Q. The village of Kotorsko?
4 A. I know where it is. It is to the north, towards Derventa. I
5 don't know of any collection centre or camp being there. I simply never
6 heard of anything of that sort. It was actually a stronghold where there
7 were armed formations placed during the Corridor Operation. A unit that
8 was deployed there was from the so-called Handzar Division, a famous
9 unit, but I don't know of any camps in that direction.
10 Q. The "Piperi" shop?
11 A. I don't know even what it is.
12 Q. Have you ever heard of such a shop?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did you ever hear of the elementary school in the village of
15 Grapska, used for that purpose?
16 A. There is such a village, but I never heard of the school there
17 being used to that end.
18 Q. Podnovlje?
19 A. Podnovlje is next to the main road that goes to Modrica and
20 Samac. There was a school there where an army command was housed for a
21 while, but I don't know of any camps there.
22 Q. And, lastly, a military barracks at Sevarlije?
23 A. The village of Sevarlije is located to the south of Doboj, on the
24 right bank of the Bosna River. There were certain military facilities
25 and warehouses there, but I don't know of their use for any detainees.
1 Q. What about Putnikovo Brdo?
2 A. Putnikovo Brdo also had military facilities. There was a firing
3 range there, with a number of buildings, but I don't know of it being
4 used for any prisoners.
5 Q. Was there a separation line at Putnikovo Brdo or was there any
6 combat there?
7 A. Yes, the lines were established there. And later on there was
8 combat. I know of the 12th of July, for example, when the Muslim forces
9 attempted an attack towards Doboj. There was fierce fighting there at
10 the time.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: For ease of reference, it is Adjudicated Fact 1279.
13 I'm looking at the clock, Your Honours. Is it a good time for a
15 JUDGE HALL: Yes. We would take the break now and resume in
16 20 minutes.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 --- Recess taken at 12.05 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.28 p.m.
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, just before the witness comes back in
21 again, I've informed Mr. Zecevic I'm going to raise it:
22 Your Honours have heard for the last hour or so, effectively,
23 every single adjudicated fact being challenged through this witness.
24 Your Honours, I simply wish to observe this: As I've already remarked,
25 that doesn't even remotely occur in the 65 ter summary that we got about
1 this witness. The closest I suppose you could say it is that he will
2 describe the situation in CSB Doboj and the SJBs in the territory after
3 the outbreak of hostilities.
4 Your Honours, I'm simply raising it at this time. There's
5 nothing we can do about it. But for future reference, because we don't
6 have statements from these witnesses, other than our interviews, which
7 didn't deal with this at all, on the basis the Defence don't have
8 statements, we would ask that we get proper 65 ter summaries which
9 outline the specific issues that the witness will deal with, not in a
10 general way, as put here.
11 And if matters come to light after proofing has taken place,
12 well, then we should be given an amended 65 ter summary so that we have
13 some advance notice of the evidence that the witness is going to give.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours --
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Zecevic, do you have a response to what
17 Ms. Korner has just said?
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, Your Honours.
19 It is entirely my fault; I agree. The point of the matter is the
20 following: The issue of these adjudicated facts concerning Doboj came
21 out only when the witness arrived over here, so after we filed our
22 65 ter -- our 65 ter submission. And we discussed it during the
23 proofing. And I entirely accept I failed to put the Office of the
24 Prosecutor on notice that this was discussed during the proofing of this
1 And I will keep that in mind, to inform the Office of the
2 Prosecutor and the Trial Chamber of the events that -- or the issues that
3 pop up during the proofing of the witnesses. However, I don't think that
4 the office -- I mean, considering, in this case, I don't think that the
5 Office of the Prosecutor would be prejudiced, because the
6 cross-examination will be postponed after ...
7 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, that is the point, of course. I
8 accept - and that's why I'm not taking any point on this - because of
9 postponement. But in normal circumstances, we would be going straight
10 into cross-examination and we would have no idea at all that this was
11 something we would have to deal with.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: So, Mr. Zecevic, basically you do agree that it
13 would be good practice to mention this in the witness summary?
14 MR. ZECEVIC: No, by all means, Your Honours, I accept that it's
15 entirely my fault. I just -- I just failed -- forgot to prepare the
16 proofing note.
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE HALL: I must add that I'm relieved that you agree with
19 Ms. Korner that this is the correct approach.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 May I continue?
22 JUDGE HALL: Yes, please.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, please look at 16D1, tab 59A. Sir, it is a
25 letter of the Ministry of the Interior from July 1992 to the security
1 services centres, signed by Minister of the Interior Mico Stanisic. We
2 see a signature there as well as a stamp.
3 Please comment: Did you receive this document; and what it
4 pertained to.
5 A. Yes, this was an invitation to a collegium meeting that was to
6 take place on the 11th of July, 1992. We received this notification, and
7 I attended. It was the first collegium meeting since the outbreak of the
9 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] If there is no objection, I seek to
10 tender this document into evidence.
11 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D476, Your Honours.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Sir, did you attend the collegium meeting on the 11th of July?
15 A. I did. I can tell you that I was happy to see this notification.
16 I prepared for the meeting because I was supposed to brief on the
17 situation in the field. I thought about the situation, because a number
18 of times before that I was toying with the idea of leaving the service.
19 Having received this notification, I decided to attend to see what the
20 situation will be like at the meeting, to see what the position is of the
21 minister and the entire collegium, upon which I wanted to decide whether
22 to stay with the MUP or leave and join the army.
23 Q. Where did the collegium meeting take place?
24 A. In Belgrade, in Villa Bosanka.
25 Q. Can you tell us what it all looked like, how many days it lasted,
1 and what did you discuss?
2 A. As I said, it took place in Belgrade, in Villa Bosanka. It began
3 on the 11th. And we had a thorough discussion preceded by
4 Minister Stanisic's opening remarks. We all participated and presented
5 our respective problems in the areas we came from. Following that
6 discussion, certain guide-lines were provided and conclusions adopted.
7 The next day, on the 12th of July, we could address specific
8 issues with the Public Security assistant to the minister, as well as the
9 State Security assistant to the minister. So that day was the working
10 day, if I may say so.
11 Q. Did you know Mr. Mico Stanisic before the 11th of July?
12 A. I think we met once in the ministry building, the
13 Ministry of the Interior, that is, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Sarajevo.
14 We also met at a collegium meeting on the 11th of February in Banja Luka.
15 Before that time, we were not closely acquainted.
16 Q. Please look at tab 66, which is P160. [Microphone not activated]
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. It is a document of the minister of the interior of the
20 Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, brief analysis of functioning of
21 the MUP so far and the outlines of its future activities. In brackets,
22 "(Summary of the meeting of the MUP officials of 11th of July, 1992)."
23 It says that it was drafted in Sarajevo in July 1992.
24 Have you had occasion to see this document before?
25 A. Yes, I have.
1 Q. Since it is, of course, a summary, overview, of what was
2 discussed and who said what, does it, in general terms, reflect what was,
3 indeed, said at the meeting, as well as is it accurate as to who attended
4 it and what problems were addressed?
5 A. Yes, it is correct.
6 Q. On page 9 in the Serbian, which is marked as page 6 - it is 9 in
7 e-court - we see your name and title, head of the Doboj CSB. Can you
8 comment on this part, briefly?
9 A. This reflects my contribution to the meeting.
10 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Just for the sake of the
11 Trial Chamber, I wanted to say that the text spills over on the next page
12 and the page following that; that is to say, pages 10 and 11 in e-court
13 are also included.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I opened up my presentation by
15 describing the sequence of events with the area of the centre and how
16 parts of municipalities and public security stations were under
17 occupation. It is accurately reflected in this document. I also spoke
18 about the participation of the police in military operations and its
19 consequences in the number of those killed and wounded who were from the
21 Next, I discussed the problems which I believed were the most
22 important and of which I wanted to acquaint Mr. Stanisic, as well as
23 other associates of his. And I wanted to receive answers to the problems
24 I presented. My decision whether to stay depended very much on my
25 impression of whether I could continue working in such a way.
1 I did mention that for any further participation of the police
2 force in combat activities presents a problem.
3 Perhaps I need not go into each and every sentence. In any case,
4 I pointed out the problems of public security station buildings having
5 been destroyed and that we were lacking personnel, as well as we were
6 poorly equipped. I also pointed out the problem of financing, because
7 the crisis staffs provided funds for the police to the extent possible,
8 which then had an impact on being dependent on those financing the
9 police. That is to say, those crisis staffs influenced the work of the
10 police. Certain chiefs, for example, were appointed by the war staffs in
11 question -- crisis staffs in question.
12 I also mentioned that there was too much intrusion on part of
13 local politicians into the work of the police, which greatly influenced
14 the professional conduct of policemen. Local politics had a significant
15 bearing on the work of the police and it was exercised through station
16 chiefs and other managing personnel.
17 Next, I pointed out the problems surrounding the Public Security
18 Station in Doboj, where members of the army and paramilitary formations
19 arrested people, bringing them into the police station, without any legal
20 basis, first and foremost, and then without any proof or evidence that
21 they should be deprived of liberty and treated in such way. Any
22 opposition to that practice met with strong reaction. I told you earlier
23 that people drew out weapons and that I, too, was threatened.
24 Q. All right. Tell me, Mr. Bjelosevic, at the end of this meeting
25 that was held on the 11th and 12th of July, certain conclusions were
1 made - we can see them on page 23; in e-court, it is marked as
2 page 20 - do you remember that these conclusions were reached then?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Tell me, these conclusions, were they reached on the basis of the
5 consent, if I can put it that way, of the members of the collegium who
6 were there, who were present in Belgrade on the 11th and 12th of July and
7 on the basis of agreed positions, that is to say, as you had agreed at
8 the meeting? Was that the case, or were these conclusions imposed in
9 some other way?
10 A. No, it's exactly the way it says here. On the basis of the
11 discussion, proposals, suggestions, and on the basis of the introductory
12 remarks made by the minister, where he provided certain guide-lines as to
13 what was expected of the MUP. And these conclusions mentioned here were
14 derived from that. It can also be said that these conclusions --
15 actually, that's not written here, but they have the nature of an
16 operative plan, because you see that there are dead-lines that are set
17 there and also who it should be carried out by.
18 So this document is one that truly encouraged me. I have to say
19 that again. These conclusions encouraged me, the minister's position
20 encouraged me, because he said that all the problems that were registered
21 at the meeting, and that did not only depend on the minister and the
22 ministry, would be dealt with by a cabinet meeting, that he would discuss
23 it with the prime minister and other ministers in charge of various
24 fields involved. He said that he would ask the appropriate authorities
25 to have certain things discussed and agreed upon with the Main Staff,
2 Q. After the meeting -- what were your thoughts after the meeting?
3 Since you told us about your thoughts before the meeting, now tell us,
4 finally, how you had experienced the meeting.
5 A. I experienced it as a very constructive meeting. I understood
6 the minister to be a man who was seriously committed to the strengthening
7 of the institution and its further developments and its functioning on
8 the basis of the Constitution and law. This is something that he
9 repeated several times as he made his introductory remarks and took part
10 in the discussion. It was pointed out that regardless of all the
11 complexity involved, as was ultimately proven, he insisted on people
12 acting in accordance with the law to a maximum degree and that the safety
13 of the property of all citizens be ensured, also that certain crimes --
14 or, rather, all crimes that were committed should be uncovered and the
15 perpetrators should be prosecuted. He repeated that, saying,
16 Irrespective of ethnicity.
17 Q. Thank you. After this meeting, did you remain a member of the
18 Ministry of the Interior?
19 A. Yes. As soon as I came back, I spoke to the persons who I wanted
20 to head departments within the CSB, persons I had spoken to earlier on as
21 well. I invited them to come in, and I told them about the meeting,
22 itself, on the basis of my own notes, because we didn't have any other
23 documents at that point. I told them what the position of the collegium
24 was, and then we started establishing the department as envisaged by law.
25 The heads of various offices were appointed, and we started establishing
1 all the elements that a security services centre should have. And all of
2 this started functioning according to the different lines of work.
3 Immediately after that, I called in the different station chiefs
4 and I familiarised them with the same content that I told the future
5 heads of department about.
6 From then onwards, in the CSB we established certain records that
7 are supposed to be kept when these departments are operational. Also, we
8 started with instructive supervision from the centre in respect of
9 individual stations.
10 As for the situation as it was in different stations, we, as a
11 team, discussed all of that and informed the MUP about what the situation
12 was and provided instructions to the stations on the ground in terms of
13 how they should improve things.
14 Immediately after this collegium, somehow the financing started
15 as well. The MUP started financing this along the chain. Money started
16 coming in, and this was an important element on the basis of which
17 subordinates could be required to be loyal.
18 Q. I am going to show you document 1D63. That is tab 69. This is a
19 document of the Ministry of the Interior. This was communicated a few
20 days after the collegium. The date is the 19th of July, 1992. This was
21 submitted to all centres of security services in the territory of the MUP
22 of Republika Srpska, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it has to do with
23 instructions. And there is the RZ questionnaire pertaining to war crimes
24 that is attached.
25 Do you remember receiving this document, and do you remember
1 acting in accordance with this instruction and this form?
2 A. Yes. This followed after the meeting that we discussed. I know
3 that we received this dispatch and this questionnaire, and they were
4 acted upon. Truth to tell, the communications system was not fully
5 operational, but as soon as possible, this was dealt with. But I do
6 remember this letter, specifically, and I know that this questionnaire,
7 this form, was filled out and sent on.
8 MS. KORNER: I really don't want to become boring about this, but
9 these are important matters, Your Honour, and they should be dealt with,
10 because it devalues the evidence, as far as Mr. Zecevic is concerned, if
11 it is all didn't by leading questions.
12 "Do you remember receiving this document," and "Do you remember
13 acting in accordance with this instruction and this form," all of that is
14 leading. The proper question should be: Did you receive the document;
15 what did you do about it? Particularly in the light of his assertion
16 that at an earlier stage he never received any documents at all from
17 Mr. Stanisic.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Again, I'm sorry. You were right, Ms. Korner, to a
19 certain extent, I should say. I will try my best.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, let us look at the next document, 1D76.
21 That is tab 224.
22 A. Let me just try to find it, please.
23 Q. Of course.
24 A. 224, you said?
25 Q. 224.
1 A. I seem to have a problem with this.
2 Q. You can see it on the monitor if you cannot find it in the
4 A. I'm trying, but I cannot find it under that number.
5 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Usher, could you assist him, please.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: Please show this to the Office of the Prosecutor
7 and then provide the document.
8 [Interpretation] Here's the document.
9 Q. Sir, Mr. Bjelosevic, did you receive this document from the
10 Ministry of the Interior?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Just a moment, please. Let us see what the next question is.
13 What did you do in respect of that document?
14 A. Well, we acted in accordance with it. We did what was requested
15 here. We provided all the information we had available at that point in
16 time, and we submitted that to the ministry.
17 Q. This document, in your view, can it be linked to the conclusions
18 of the collegium or not?
19 A. Well, yes. It is derived from those conclusions.
20 Q. What is the date on this document?
21 A. The date is the 19th of July, 1992. Of course, at the end I
22 recognised Minister Stanisic's signature.
23 Q. In relation to this document and the previous document, did you
24 inform the chiefs of public security stations in your area about the
25 content of those documents?
1 A. Of course. There was no other way of collecting the data
2 involved. We had to do it through the public security stations, because
3 every station had records in its own area and they were responsible for
4 the area that they covered. After receiving this dispatch, this was
5 forwarded to the stations. And then at the level of the centre, all of
6 this information was brought together and then sent on to the
7 Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Document 201, D201, tab 70, could we please have that shown.
10 [Microphone not activated]
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. This is a document dated the 20th of July, 1992. It says
14 "Security Services Centre," and then there is your name at the bottom of
15 the page and your position, and then there's a signature and stamp, and
16 then the president of the War Presidency, name, signature, stamp. Can
17 you tell us what this is all about?
18 A. This is a request for deployment in the MUP. I have already told
19 you that after the meeting in Belgrade, I embarked upon the establishment
20 and replenishment of the CSB Doboj. This is a request for
21 Mr. Mirko Stojcinovic to be freed from the military, because he was in
22 the Vucijak Brigade, and be appointed chief of the
23 Public Security Sector. As you can see, this was still being
24 co-ordinated with the local organs of government. The president of the
25 War Presidency, Mr. Paravac, also agreed with this personnel appointment,
1 and he confirms this request by his own signature and stamp.
2 Let me note that after a certain procedure that was followed,
3 Mr. Stojcinovic was, indeed, appointed to that position.
4 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] If there is no objection, I would
5 like to tender this document into evidence.
6 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D477, Your Honours.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. The next document is 207D1, tab 85.
10 A. Yes. This is a letter of mine that I, as chief of the
11 Security Services Centre, sent to the Command of the
12 Doboj Operations Group. After the procedure was carried through for
13 Mr. Stojcinovic's appointment as chief of the Public Security Sector,
14 this was sent to the command, and then the command met our request.
15 Q. So after that?
16 A. The command relieved him of the duty that he held in the army up
17 until then.
18 Q. Was this gentleman truly appointed chief of that sector?
19 A. Yes, yes. Yes, we sent a copy to the command once we received
20 the appointment.
21 Q. Thank you. The following document is 1D58, tab 71.
22 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] Do you want to tender the
23 last one?
24 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, if there is no opposition, I --
25 MS. KORNER: Mr. Zecevic says "if there is no opposition." I'm
1 merely asking if he wishes to tender it. I haven't objected so far.
2 I've only asked for information about the documents.
3 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
4 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D478, Your Honours.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Sir, this is an order by the ministry. Did you receive it at the
8 CSB Doboj? Are you familiar with it?
9 A. Yes. We received it and then we forwarded it to our public
10 security stations with our accompanying letter. The police department
11 was tasked with monitoring the implementation of the minister's order.
12 In other words, we acted upon this order.
13 Q. Thank you. The following document I would like to show you --
14 or, rather, the date of this document is 23rd July; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The following document is 1D59, tab 72.
17 Mr. Bjelosevic, did you receive this document from the
18 Ministry of the Interior? Do you remember it?
19 A. Yes, I remember the document. We also proceeded in accordance
20 with this document. However, we had a problem in the field, as I have
21 already explained in my previous answers. I said that we had public
22 security stations that had been torched or destroyed and that in some
23 places our registers had been destroyed. However, we did act upon this
24 order by the minister.
25 Q. Could you please explain. How did you act upon this order? What
1 did you do?
2 A. All the employees, and especially the reserve forces, because we
3 already knew the status of those who were our staff members and they had
4 already been vetted, so the reserve forces and the
5 newly-appointed personnel were vetted, especially in those stations where
6 the registers were preserved. And if we established that an individual
7 had a criminal record, they would be removed from our war deployment
9 In places where our records were destroyed, we tried to work
10 through police officers who were sector leaders because they knew people
11 by name. Every sector leader knew almost the entire population in their
12 respective areas. And wherever possible and whenever possible, we tried
13 to have them help us in establishing whether an individual had a criminal
14 record, whether they were prone to crime, whether they had ever been
15 engaged in the disruption of public law and order, but still we acted
16 upon the minister's orders.
17 Q. And what about those people against whom proceedings were being
18 conducted at that very moment; what did you do with them?
19 A. They were also removed from the wartime deployment schedule if
20 proceedings were being conducted against them at that moment.
21 Q. If any such individual against whom criminal proceedings were
22 being conducted at that moment and if such an individual was a member of
23 the Ministry of the Interior and if that person was in custody at that
24 moment, what would happen?
25 A. If a person was in custody, he could not have been on duty. So
1 if they were not physically on duty, if they were not physically in
2 service, they would be removed from the deployment schedule, because that
3 would just increase our numbers and the strength would not reflect the
4 numbers on paper.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. And let me just tell you that public security stations were
7 duty-bound to implement the order in their respective territories.
8 Q. Could you now look at document P590, tab 74.
9 Sir, are you familiar with this letter?
10 A. Yes. That letter was sent from the
11 Doboj Security Services Centre. It was drafted based on an order, an
12 order by the minister. The information was drafted by the
13 Security Services Centre, I signed it, and it was sent to the ministry.
14 You can see a link between a certain document that was issued on the
15 19th July, 1992.
16 Let me just add to this that you can see, from the letter, what I
17 have repeated on several occasions in this courtroom, namely, what the
18 situation was like at that time; that chaos reigned, that there were
19 groups of armed individuals, and so on and so forth. I don't want to go
20 over the same grounds yet again.
21 Q. When you say that there was a connection between a certain
22 document which was either drafted or issued on the 19th of July, 1992,
23 what document did you have in mind, precisely?
24 A. Well, you can see its number. We have already commented upon
25 that document that had arrived from the ministry. In other words, this
1 information was drafted pursuant to the minister's order. I don't know
2 if I've made myself clear when I tried to explain which document it is.
3 Q. Could you please look at 1D55, at tab 86.
4 My question is this: Did you receive this document? If you did,
5 did you act upon it? If so, what did you do?
6 A. Yes, we received the document. And you can see a handwritten
7 addition which says: "To the SJBs Doboj, Maglaj, Teslic, Derventa,
8 Modrica, Bosanski Samac, and Petrovo."
9 The minister issues an order reminding us that we had to act in
10 compliance with the law.
11 Q. And what is the date of this document?
12 A. The 10th of August, 1992.
13 Q. Thank you. And now let's look another document, 208D1, tab 88.
14 MS. KORNER: [Previous translation continues] ... could I just
15 ask: Whose writing is that on it?
16 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Can you go back to the previous document, Mr. Bjelosevic. Would
18 you be able to recognise the handwriting at the bottom of the page? And
19 there is also something at the top of the page also in handwriting.
20 A. The Cyrillic handwriting, that is my handwriting, where it says:
21 "Send to all SJBs." And at the bottom, I think that Mirko Blazanovic
22 actually listed all the SJBs to whom the document had to be sent. He was
23 on duty -- or, rather, he was the chief of the police department at the
24 CSB, and this is his handwriting.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] The document that I asked for
2 previously was 208D1, tab 88.
3 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, the document was issued on the
4 12th of August, 1992, and it was sent to the public security stations and
5 the National Security Service. Your name is on the document, and there
6 is a signature as well.
7 Do you remember this document? Is this your document? And what
8 can you tell us about it?
9 A. The document bears the date that you have just mentioned, and I
10 signed it, as the chief of centre. It was sent, as you can see, to the
11 public security stations in the territory of the Security Services Centre
12 in Doboj as well as to the National Security Service. This is an order,
13 an order sent by the minister, forwarded by myself to the public security
14 stations in my territory. This is Minister Stanisic's order.
15 Q. The text of the order that you forwarded to the SJBs, is it
16 identical to the text of the order that you received from the ministry?
17 A. Yes. You can actually see the quotation signs. And it says here
18 that we received the order by fax. There were no teleprinter
19 communications means at that moment. My introduction is:
20 "We have received a fax with the following contents ..."
21 And then I quote it.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Unless there are objections, I
24 would like to tender the document into evidence.
25 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
1 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit 1D479, Your Honours. Thank
3 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. The following document I would like to show you is 1D56, tab 93.
5 A. Again, I have a problem. I don't have it. No, no, I have it.
6 Sorry. Yes, I do.
7 Q. This is a dispatch from the ministry. Did you receive it?
8 A. Yes. This is a repeat of the document. Something with similar
9 contents had already been received, but this one was sent on the
10 17 of August, 1992.
11 Q. The ministry repeated its document. Did you also do the same;
12 did you repeat your instruction to the SJBs in your territory?
13 A. Of course I did.
14 Q. In other words, you acted upon this document?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. Thank you. Mr. Bjelosevic, the Central Prison in Doboj, who was
17 its warden, if you remember, in 1992?
18 A. I know that there were two men. I don't know who -- I can't
19 remember who the warden was and who his deputy was. Miroslav Vidic and
20 Mirko Slavuljica were their names.
21 Q. Let me just briefly show you P1304, at tab 237.
22 Are you familiar with this document? Are you familiar with any
23 of the facts in this document?
24 A. I know that -- or, rather, what I have just said is corroborated
25 by this document and that is that the two of them were the two persons in
1 charge of the district prison in Doboj. And as for the contents of the
2 entire document, I've not seen that before.
3 Q. Thank you. Mr. Bjelosevic, under whose competence functioned the
4 Central Prison in Doboj throughout 1992?
5 A. Prisons, or correctional facilities, as they were called at the
6 time, were under the competence of the Ministry of Justice, as is the
7 case today. The Ministry of Justice is the body competent to regulate
8 the work of those institutions.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown 1D176,
11 tab 75.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Seventy-five?
13 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, tab 75.
14 Q. Are you familiar with this document? On page 2, you can see the
15 signature block.
16 A. I recognise the document, and I recognise Minister Stanisic's
18 Q. It is dated the 27th of July, 1992. Do you recall having
19 received it in the CSB?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What did you do with it?
22 A. I did precisely as I was asked to do, which was to clean up our
23 own ranks. I hope the word won't be taken the wrong way. We had already
24 initiated that activity. It didn't happen overnight. We were carrying
25 out checks, and any surplus staff were put at the disposal of the
1 departments of the Ministry of Defence. In parallel, we carried out
2 training and further education of the police force.
3 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, if you can recall, when did you receive the
4 document we saw containing those conclusions of the 11th of July, 1992?
5 Can you remember, approximately?
6 A. I cannot. I don't know when it came to Doboj. I do know that
7 immediately upon my return, not waiting for the actual minutes to be
8 published, and based on what had been agreed upon, we immediately set
9 about implementing the collegium conclusions. At the time, we had
10 pronounced problems in the functioning of the communications system, and
11 the road between Doboj and Pale, where the seat was, was a complicated
12 one. One had to take different roads at a time, and it was difficult to
13 get through. So I can't tell you anything more precise than that.
14 Q. If you recall, according to all the conclusions of the
15 11th of July collegium, did the minister of the interior receive any
17 A. Well, yes. And later on, supervision was exercised by inspectors
18 from the seat of the ministry over how those conclusions were
20 Q. Did it happen that some of those documents containing
21 instructions were repeated a number of times by the ministry?
22 A. Yes. We saw one such document a moment ago, because we see the
23 words "I order" again. Before we received the minutes in its integral
24 form, we had received segments, individual documents, by way of orders to
25 implement specific measures relating to specific conclusions from the
2 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry to interrupt, but I think there may have
3 been a problem in translation at page 75, line 1.
5 "If you recall," alledgedly we heard in English, "according to
6 all the conclusions of the 11th of July, did the minister of the interior
7 receive any instructions?"
8 The answer didn't seem to bear any relation to that, but I'm
9 wondering if that was a correct translation.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: It should have been
11 "Ministry of the Interior."
12 MR. ZECEVIC: It is, indeed, the wrong interpretation -- wrong --
13 I was recorded wrong. I said "sent from the ministry," Did the minister
14 of interior send any instructions concerning in relation to the decisions
15 of the collegium of the 11th?
16 Your Honours, I think it's the appropriate time, because I'm
17 about to move to another topic, so thank you.
18 Thank you, Mr. Bjelosevic.
19 JUDGE HALL: And so we take the adjournment for the week, and we
20 resume -- I believe we're back in Courtroom I on Monday morning at 9.00.
21 Mr. Bjelosevic, I would remind you of the caution that I gave you
22 at the adjournment the first day; that you aren't to discuss the case
23 with anyone until you are released as a witness.
24 I trust everyone has a safe weekend.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.40 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Monday, the 18th day of April,
3 2011, at 9.00 a.m.