1 Thursday, 19 May 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning
6 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-08-91-T,
7 The Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin.
8 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Madam Registrar. May we have the
9 appearances, please.
10 MS. KORNER: Good morning, Your Honours. Joanna Korner,
11 Crispian Smith for the Prosecution. We will be joined by Mr. Demirdjian
12 after the first break.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
14 Slobodan Cvijetic, and Eugene O'Sullivan appearing for Stanisic Defence
15 this morning. Thank you.
16 MR. KRGOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Dragan Krgovic and
17 Aleksandar Aleksic appearing for Zupljanin Defence.
18 JUDGE HALL: We have -- you were about to say something,
19 Ms. Korner.
20 MS. KORNER: I think the same points about whether we could sit
21 an extra session.
22 JUDGE HALL: I was about to say that we have made the necessary
23 inquiries, and bearing in mind Mr. Zecevic's difficulty as he articulated
24 it yesterday, whereas we, of course, do not presume to say how any team
25 divides up his work, we are surprised that the difficulty as expressed by
1 Mr. Zecevic should present a great difficulty, probably being redundant,
2 but -- Mr. Zecevic, the -- why -- all things considered and the support
3 arrangement being in place, why should the Chamber having heard you
4 nevertheless not grant the application to the extended sitting?
5 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, Your Honours, I just expressed my concerns.
6 The concerns are that this is just the situation as it is. The
7 witness -- the current witness is also my witness and his
8 cross-examination has been postponed to this period of time and that
9 was -- and the next witness is again mine, so I need to prepare both of
10 them, but considering all the situation and the request of Ms. Korner and
11 the reasons why she needs to leave on Tuesday, I believe that obviously
12 there is no other way than to have an additional sitting this afternoon
13 and we will make the arrangements necessary to deal with our witness.
14 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Mr. Zecevic.
15 MS. KORNER: I did speak to Mr. Zecevic and I'm very grateful to
16 him for this. I wouldn't have had to ask had we not lost so much time on
17 Monday. I worked up my cross-examination based on having a whole Monday
18 to do it and because of the LiveNote and Mr. Krgovic's half an hour which
19 turned into something rather more, but who am I to complain about that,
20 Your Honours, I would be very grateful if we could sit just one extra
21 session this afternoon.
22 JUDGE HALL: Before we formally rule on that, Ms. Korner, there
23 is a concern that the Chamber has which we think cannot be unexpressed,
24 and we say had with the greatest respect to your experience as counsel
25 and of course to the tactical or strategic methods that you employ in the
1 conduct of your case, but it does seem to us that such time as is being
2 used with this witness might be more efficiently used. Yesterday, for
3 example, it appears to us that, an a inordinate amount of time was spent
4 reformulating the same question with the -- to our mind, the predictable
5 same answer from the witness and the -- we are inclined to -- I think the
6 arrangements would be that we would sit from 2.30 to 3.45 this afternoon,
7 but we would, with respect, ask you to bear in mind the concern that
8 became apparent yesterday.
9 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE HALL: The other point of which I've just been reminded is
12 that arithmetically you have 15 hours left which even with the extra
13 session today it doesn't -- we don't see you finishing by -- we don't see
14 this witness being finished by Monday, but it's something again for you
15 to again bear in mind as we go forward.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, out of caution I asked for 20 hours.
17 And out of caution based on -- not unexpectedly because most of the
18 witnesses are like that, the witness is extremely lengthy answers and his
19 attempt, we would suggest, to say the same thing over and over again.
20 But I've taken on board what Your Honours say. If it has been my
21 impression that my question has not been answered, and Your Honours think
22 it has, well then obviously when one is on one's feet one doesn't get
23 quite the same feel, but I take on board what Your Honours have said.
24 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. So if there's nothing else, the usher
25 would please escort the witness back on the stand.
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 JUDGE HALL: Good morning to you, Mr. Bjelosevic. Before I
3 invite Ms. Korner to continue her cross-examination, I should alert you
4 in addition to reminding you you are still on your oath, I should alert
5 you that you have over your several days here become used to the pattern
6 of sitting of the -- of this trial, but with a view to completing your
7 testimony, it has been decided that today there will be an extra sitting,
8 so when the Court rises at the usual time of 1.45, it will not be for the
9 day. We will return at 2.30 and then sit until 3.45.
10 Yes, Ms. Korner.
11 WITNESS: ANDRIJA BJELOSEVIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examination by Ms. Korner: [Continued]
14 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, I want to just for a moment move away from the
15 topics we were dealing with yesterday and ask you this: During the
16 period from the outbreak of conflict around March/April until the end of
17 June when the corridor was opened, you in Doboj still had access by road,
18 didn't you, to Banja Luka?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In that case I don't think I need to put up the map.
21 Now, I want very briefly, please, to deal with the one document
22 that yesterday we had a slight problem about and that's the full minutes
23 of the 24th of March Assembly meeting which was held in Pale when
24 Mico Stanisic was elected as minister of the interior.
25 MS. KORNER: Can we have up, please, P439. It's tab 11 bis which
1 was, I think, made clear last night [indiscernible] e-mail.
2 Q. And what I was putting to you was that the Doboj Municipal
3 Assembly was set up, I think, two days later, came about as a result of
4 effectively instructions -- Mr. Karadzic. Now, very briefly, did you
5 ever come across or hear about the instructions commonly known now as
6 Variant A and B, at the time?
7 A. No. No, I only heard about that being mentioned, but I have
8 never seen these documents, these instructions that you referred to.
9 Q. Did you hear them being mentioned at the time, during the period,
10 sometime between December 1991 and April 1992?
11 A. No. No, I heard that later when certain processes started,
12 Variant A and Variant B was being mentioned. I think it was after the
13 year 2000, if I remember correctly.
14 Q. Well, I don't want to go into that.
15 MS. KORNER: Can I ask, however, that we have up on the screen in
16 English page 16 and in the Bosnian version it is page 28.
17 Q. Can I point out and I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, that this is
18 the speech, the first speech made by Dr. Karadzic. And it's, in fact,
19 the underlined paragraph in your language and it's the third paragraph in
20 the English.
21 Now, we know from the record of this that your cousin
22 Milovan Bjelosevic was present at this Assembly meeting. Karadzic says:
23 "I now ask you that following some instructions for national
24 defence, information systems, et cetera, that will be given here, the
25 real and sovereign authority of the Serbian Assembly and the Serbian
1 people be established on the ground as soon as possible. As soon as we
2 are informed that we have our own separate MUP, which will probably
3 follow the coming session, all the newly-established municipalities
4 should immediately set up police stations and all policemen should be
5 withdrawn. Because that is, in fact, what life has taught us. Our
6 policemen were forced out of the municipalities of Stari Grad," and I
7 think from Visegrad as well, "policemen simply do not work together
8 anymore and this fact must simply be accepted ..."
9 Now, did you hear about this speech by Dr. Karadzic,
10 Mr. Bjelosevic?
11 A. No. What you read out just now what I see on the monitor, no.
12 Q. But what he was saying that about establishing -- we have to have
13 our own separate MUP and policemen simply do not work together anymore,
14 was he expressing the same view that you have expressed throughout your
15 evidence, namely that the different ethnicities could no longer work
17 A. At the time, people fully worked together in Doboj and in some
18 other stations. Truth to tell there was mistrust, but people did work
19 together and how.
20 Q. So you didn't agree with --
21 A. You said that this was the end of March, right?
22 Q. This is the 24th of March Assembly. The one when -- was the
23 election of Mico Stanisic.
24 A. At the time, it still functioned. There was polarisation, there
25 was distrust, but the police stations in the area of CSB Doboj were still
1 one, as it were.
2 MS. KORNER: Can we quickly please go to the next page both in
3 English and B/C/S. And it's the paragraph -- no, sorry. That's not the
4 next page in B/C/S. The next page should be -- it's page 13 in e-court.
5 Page 30. That's not page 30, or shouldn't be. Yes, thank you very much.
6 And in English, please, to -- yes, that's fine.
7 Q. If we look -- if you look at the penultimate paragraph on that
8 page in B/C/S, and we look, please, at the paragraph at the bottom that
10 "Newly-established municipalities must establish their organs as
11 soon as possible, have their stamps made and start to work. The police,
12 that is, our organs must be positioned at the border."
13 Now --
14 MR. ZECEVIC: I am sorry, the witness doesn't have that on the
16 MS. KORNER: Isn't that the penultimate ...
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it's not that text.
18 MS. KORNER: Sorry. I thought it was. Yes, sorry, can we go to
19 page 31. I hope that's it. Is that it?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's page 30.
21 MS. KORNER:
22 Q. Yes, no, forget that, it's a different number in the commuter
23 system. Does that paragraph at the top say "newly-established
24 municipalities"? I see Mr. Zecevic nodding. Do you see that,
25 Mr. Bjelosevic?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Right. As we saw a few days later, a couple of days later, I
3 think, the Serbian municipality of Doboj was declared, wasn't it?
4 A. Yes, yesterday you showed it, yes.
5 Q. All right. And, yes, the final part I want to show you because
6 it's going to lead into --
7 MS. KORNER: And that is at page, I think it's 32 in English and
8 it is at page 39 in B/C/S, I hope. No. No. English, please, is --
9 should be 00 -- no, 49. Four pages back please at the top, should be
10 02049 at the top. Thank you. Sorry, 2048, I am so sorry, back one more.
11 And the B/C/S, I think that's the right --
12 Q. Does the paragraph there, second paragraph in B/C/S, and it's the
13 middle paragraph in the English start, "You can be sure that numbers the
14 police are quite sufficient." It must be "numbers of the police":
15 "I know that the Serbs cannot do what the HOS is doing, to do
16 things which are not based on law. We have a legal basis in the Law on
17 Internal Affairs. And we have the insignia and at a desired moment, and
18 this will be very soon, we can form whatever we want."
19 I'm going to skip the next two sentences:
20 "At the moment, all the Serbian municipalities, both the old ones
21 and the newly-established one, would literally assume control of the
22 entire territory of the municipality concerned. The Zvornik municipality
23 takes control over everything that constitutes the Serbian municipality
24 of Zvornik. At a given moment, in the next three or four day, there will
25 be a single method used and you will able to apply it in the municipality
1 you represent, including both things that must be down as well as how it
2 to do them. How to separate the police force, take the resources that
3 belong to the Serbian people and take command. The police must be under
4 the control of the civilian authority, it must obey it, there's no
5 discussion about it, that's the way it must be."
6 Now, it took longer than the few days Mr. Karadzic spoke about
7 Mr. Bjelosevic, but it's right, isn't it, in Doboj at the beginning of
8 May, that's exactly what happened, the police and the army took control
9 of Doboj town?
10 A. If you would permit me, I would like to describe the situation.
11 It happened in Doboj between the 2nd and the 3rd of May. But before
12 that, in March, there was the take-over the public security station by
13 the HOS and other paramilitary formations in Bosanski Brod. Then there
14 was the take-over of the station in Derventa, then there was the
15 situation in Odzak, and in some areas, some sort of camps had already
16 been established where civilians were detained. The same thing happened
17 in the Modrica municipality. So we were facing the situation which for
18 us meant occupation of territory. Camps had already been set up,
19 population had already been expelled from certain areas, civilian
20 population, and it was only after all of this that the decision was made
21 that at least Doboj should be saved from that, that the same thing should
22 not happen in Doboj. There were forces that had been trained, equipped,
23 and armed and that were ready to do the same thing in Doboj and that's
24 when this decision was made by the command that Doboj should be taken
25 over, in the military sense.
1 Q. I'm reluctant to repeat the question, but you agree that's what
2 happened, that the police and the army took over Doboj on the 2nd/3rd of
4 A. I already said that it happened, and that it did happen pursuant
5 to the decision of the military command. I also described the
6 circumstances and the situation. All information pointed to the fact
7 that it was only a difference of a few hours as to who was going to do it
9 Q. Yes, and where did that information come from?
10 A. Well, there was a number of intelligence informations dating back
11 from 1991 to that moment. They were becoming more and more frequent.
12 And in April 1992, there was lots of activity of the Patriotic League,
13 Green Berets and other forces that were concentrated around Doboj and
14 that already held parts of some settlements. They were preparing the
15 attack there. You also saw that some military inspectors came there to
16 perform training. I've shown you the documents.
17 Q. Yes, right. So your answer is this had nothing to do with any
18 instruction or plan conceived by Mr. Karadzic and others as to the
19 creation of the Serbian state?
20 A. When we talk about the Serbian municipality of Doboj, I am not
21 saying that it has nothing to do with it, but if we talk about what
22 happened between the 2nd and the 3rd of May, I think that it has nothing
23 to do with it. I really don't think that the commander would yield to
24 some sort of political decisions and positions at that level because the
25 commander was an officer, high-ranking JNA officer, a colonel at the
1 time. And as I told you, it was really only a matter of time. It was
2 really only a matter of who was going to do it first.
3 Q. I hear what you say about that. Was that Colonel Stankovic you
4 are talking about?
5 A. No, it's Cazim Hadzic. Stankovic was a major at the time.
6 Q. So when did he become a colonel?
7 A. I'm not sure whether he ever became a colonel. If he did, maybe
8 1994 or 1995. I wouldn't know. He remained -- and I think that he
9 remained a major. Stankovic was a major at the time.
10 Q. Before the take-over, did you and Major Stankovic have meetings
11 in your office?
12 A. I informed Major Stankovic --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: I met
14 Major Stankovic on a number of occasions.
15 MS. KORNER:
16 Q. And was that in order to discuss how to take over the town most
18 A. It wasn't that kind of conversation. We talked about the general
20 Q. Were you aware that three days before the take-over of Doboj,
21 Prijedor had been taken over in more or less the same manner, on the
22 30th of April?
23 A. I don't know the details about that.
24 Q. Or Sanski Most shortly after the take-over of Doboj, did you know
25 about that?
1 A. No, we had a problem after the 3rd of May. We had a problem with
2 the electricity and with the media, the function of the media, so during
3 a certain period of time, I didn't know what was going on. The radio,
4 the local radio did not work for a period of time. It was on or off, and
5 I really didn't know what was going on.
6 Q. We can leave that document now. Can I just take you through the
7 final documents that deal with the setting up of the Serbian MUP which
8 you weren't asked about before.
9 MS. KORNER: Could we have a look, please, at P353, tab 12A.
10 Q. This is a telegram from Mr. Mandic dated the 31st of 1992 sent to
11 all CSB heads and talking about the session on the 27th of March, the
12 constitution had been proclaimed, the laws were adopted on internal
13 affairs and then, setting out at the bottom of that first paragraph, what
14 are going to be the Security Services Centre: Banja Luka, Trebinje,
15 Doboj, Sarajevo, and at that stage Ugljevik. Did you get that telegram
16 from Mr. Mandic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And what he says further on is that:
19 "The Ministry of the Interior shall establish Security Services
20 Centres at subordinate units. On the day when this law enters into
21 force, the MUP Security Service Centres and public stations. Socialist
22 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina ..."
23 MS. KORNER: Next page please, in English. I think we need to go
24 down the page a bit in the B/C/S version. We've now got two English.
25 Thank you.
1 Q. "... shall cease work on the territory of the Serbian Republic,
2 while their jurisdiction and the duties of Internal Affairs organs shall
3 be assumed by the organisational units of the MUP of the Serbian Republic
4 of the BH. On the day that this law enters into force," et cetera
5 et cetera, and then finally, "inform all employees of the SRBH MUP, with
6 the content of the dispatch in a prompt and objective manner in order to
7 avoid disruptive and undesirable situations."
8 Now, did you understand that, Mr. Bjelosevic, to say that was
9 effectively the end of the joint MUP? There was now a separate MUP for
10 the Serbian Republic?
11 A. That is not how I understood it.
12 Q. How did you understand that then? Let's take the actual words.
13 How did you understand the words, on the day when this law enters into
14 force, the MUP security centres and public security stations of the
15 socialist republic shall cease work on the territory of the Serbian
17 A. You didn't understand me when I said that I didn't understand it
18 that way. Of course, I read what it says here and it's quite clear what
19 it says here, but you should try to understand the situation in which the
20 Doboj CSB and I, as its chief, found ourselves. You should try to
21 understand the general situation. I had to think with my own head at the
22 time. I had to figure out what it meant, and I also had to figure out
23 what exactly was the situation that we were facing. As you had a chance
24 to see, throughout April we functioned as part of the MUP of the
25 Socialist Republic of BiH and we used the communications as long as they
2 So when I said that that was not my understanding, I didn't think
3 that that was something realistic and that it was something that should
4 have been done at the time. Our management structure was, well, what it
5 was, and in the centre itself it functioned quite well. It is true that
6 in the field the situation was rather complex and difficult, especially
7 when it comes to Bosanski Brod and Odzak. Brod had been separated by
8 then, and we were trying to do everything we could in order to keep the
9 system of security stable.
10 Q. That's two different things. I'm not asking you what you did,
11 and I accept what you did. I asked whether it was clear to you that that
12 was the end of a joint MUP, that there were to be two separate MUPs from
13 what Mr. Mandic's telegram said? Not what you did, we'll come on to what
14 you did.
15 A. It's quite clear what it says here, but I also have to tell you
16 that after this dispatch, there was a series of dispatches. Yes, it was
17 agreed and there was a collegium with the minister, Mr. Delimustafic,
18 then there was denial that it didn't take place. So the situation was
19 quite -- quite confusing. So at that moment it wasn't really possible to
20 come to the clear conclusion that that was the end of it. Something was
21 going on, something was possible, but --
22 Q. Believe you me, Mr. Bjelosevic, I'm not going to ignore what then
23 happened. You will go through those documents very clearly. But that
24 instruction on its face, can we just -- could you just answer this yes or
25 no, clearly was the signal and was the end of a joint MUP if that
1 instruction was followed? That's all I've asked.
2 A. Yes, if you look at this document in isolation, then, yes.
3 Q. Now, before you got the telegram sometime between the meeting in
4 February in Banja Luka and this telegram from Mr. Mandic, had you
5 attended a meeting in Sarajevo with other senior members of the Serbian
7 A. No.
8 Q. In which you had attended with other members of the MUP from
9 Doboj? Anything like that ever happen? Any kind of meeting in Sarajevo?
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: I think the witness just answered no.
11 MS. KORNER:
12 Q. I said -- but I'm changing slightly, the question was other
13 senior members of the MUP, so I'm asking any kind of meeting in Sarajevo?
14 A. During February and March, if I remember that well, I think that
15 I did go to Sarajevo to the headquarters of the MUP. That was the
16 Borisa Kovacevica at the time.
17 Q. Right. And who did you see there, did you see Mr. Stanisic?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Or Mr. Mandic?
20 A. It's possible that I met Mr. Mandic because we had a number of
21 problems related to crime in the area of the Doboj centre, so I often
22 communicated with him related to this issue. And also with Amir Mladic,
23 he was the chief of the narcotics bureau. I think that that was his
25 Q. So did you attend -- sorry, when you saw Mr. Mandic, were there
1 other senior members of the Serbian joint MUP, Socialist Republic MUP,
2 present at the meeting?
3 A. It's difficult for me to remember the names, but certainly
4 somebody was there. And if I'm not mistaken, I think that there was
5 Dazdarevic, I don't remember his first name. He was the chief of the
6 crime prevention administration while Momcilo Mandic was assistant
7 minister, so the two of them communicated often. I also used to go to
8 the police department at the same time and I talked to some of the
9 inspectors and the chief there.
10 Q. Was Mr. Zupljanin there at any meeting in Sarajevo?
11 A. You mean us together in the MUP, I can't remember anything like
13 Q. Because there's no mystery to all of this, Mr. Bjelosevic.
14 Mr. Zupljanin, when he spoke at the meeting in Belgrade in July, which
15 you went to and which you have got notes, says it seems a long time since
16 we met in Sarajevo. So can you give us an idea of when you had a meeting
17 in Sarajevo?
18 A. I don't remember that we met in Sarajevo under such
19 circumstances. I really don't remember that.
20 Q. All right.
21 MS. KORNER: Can we have up, please, on the screen, the document
22 which is 20002. Seems somewhat improbable, but it's tab 12.
23 Q. Now, same day as Mr. Mandic's telegram:
24 "We hereby inform you that a meeting will be held at 1100 hours
25 on the 1st of April at Doboj CSB at which the current security situation
1 and upcoming tasks will be discussed."
2 I take it, Mr. Bjelosevic, that that meeting was as a direct
3 result of Mr. Mandic's order that all employees should be informed of the
4 contents of his dispatch; is that right?
5 A. No. This has absolutely nothing to do with that dispatch. This
6 is a working meeting of the police station commanders convened by
7 Vojo Blagojevic who was chief of the police in the centre. So it was
8 something that had nothing to do with it. Something quite separate.
9 Q. All right. You were asking the SJB chiefs or the SJB to the SJBs
10 for all those places to come to a meeting, and it was a sheer coincidence
11 that it was the same day that the new Law of Internal Affairs was coming
12 into effect and Mr. Mandic had ordered you to tell everybody about it.
13 Sheer coincidence, is that what you are saying?
14 MR. ZECEVIC: I am sorry, I believe the witness said that -- gave
15 the name of the person who convened the meeting. And, Ms. Korner, on
16 page 17/3, you were asking -- if we can have the base on that, for that
17 question. She said to the witness, you were asking the SJB chiefs to
18 come to a meeting, and the witness explained who convened the meeting.
19 MS. KORNER:
20 Q. Sorry, if the meeting had nothing to do, Mr. Bjelosevic, with
21 anything that was happening as a result of Mr. Mandic's telegram and this
22 was a standard meeting that Mr. -- Mr. -- what you said his name was --
23 the gentleman who signed on your behalf, why did it go out under your
25 A. Well, when something was sent on behalf of the CSB, the name of
1 the chief of the centre had to be written at the bottom, as a rule. But
2 also chief departments in accordance with their own lines of work, in
3 this particular case we are dealing with line 01, police, they also
4 worked and held meetings with their subordinates in their hierarchy.
5 This has to do with Vojo Blagojevic, chief of police in that period, and
6 he is inviting the commanders of police stations to a working meeting.
7 If I was the one inviting them, it isn't logical that I would be inviting
8 the station chiefs. So it wasn't me. It was the chief of the police
9 department who did that in accordance with the line of work of the
10 police. He invited them to a working meeting and this is something quite
11 ordinary. Now, the fact that there is a coincidence about the date, you
12 have to believe me that it had really absolutely nothing to do with that.
13 You can be absolutely certain about that.
14 Q. All right, Mr. Bjelosevic. Did you ever hold a meeting at the
15 CSB with the personnel from the SJBs under the Doboj CSB to tell them
16 what was happening about Mr. Mandic's telegram?
17 A. No, I never held such a meeting.
18 Q. So it would be totally wrong to suggest to you that you did hold
19 such a meeting, you told the police officers that there was going to be
20 this divided MUP and that the CSB Doboj would now be under the
21 Serbian Republic, that the non-Serb police walked out, and, thereafter,
22 the police were divided on ethnic lines in Doboj. Nothing like that ever
24 A. That kind of meeting with that kind of agenda, that kind of
25 topic, no, I never held a meeting like that.
1 Q. Let's just move, then, if we may speedily through the remainder
2 of the documents that dealt with this period.
3 MS. KORNER: Have a look, please, next at tab 14 which is ...
4 Sorry, Your Honours, I've just lost my note for a moment.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: I am sorry, Your Honours, perhaps it needs to be
6 clarified 17, 24, 25, it is recorded as:
7 "If I was the one inviting them, it isn't logical that I would be
8 inviting the station chiefs."
9 I believe the witness said something else. Perhaps this can be
10 clarified with the witness for the purposes of clear record, please.
11 MS. KORNER:
12 Q. Yes, Mr. Bjelosevic, can you just tell us again what you said
13 about --
14 A. I was explaining what it was about. The police chief in
15 accordance with his line of work invited --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone off, please.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Invited the commanders of police
18 station. And I said if I was the one sending out the invitation, it
19 would be logical. So I didn't sign the dispatch and I didn't invite
20 anybody. It was Vojo Blagojevic who invited the commanders. That's what
21 I wanted to explain.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, the interpreters didn't hear the part of the
23 witness's answer, so if I can kindly ask the witness to speak slowly into
24 the microphone and then we have a clear answer because we are losing time
25 like this.
1 MS. KORNER:
2 Q. Can we ask -- Mr. Bjelosevic, can you just repeat your answer but
3 please, please, please, try and keep your answers short.
4 A. I will try to be as brief as possible. I was explaining the
5 dispatch which you claimed had do with Momcilo Mandic's dispatch, and my
6 point was that the two didn't have anything to do one with another. So I
7 explained who the signature belonged to that we can see in the dispatch
8 that was sent to -- from the CSB Doboj out into the field. I said that
9 it was Mr. Vojo Blagojevic who signed the dispatch. He was chief of the
10 police department in the CSB Doboj at the time. As can be seen in the
11 dispatch, he invited commanders of police stations within the area of the
12 CSB Doboj to attend the meeting and I made a comparison. I said, had I
13 been the one inviting them, would it not have been logical that I would
14 have invited chiefs of stations, but this isn't my signature nor are the
15 chiefs of stations invited, rather, it was the way I explained it.
16 MS. KORNER: Are you happy now, Mr. Zecevic?
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Bjelosevic, I would be interested to know if
18 you attended the meeting which had been called by Mr. Blagojevic?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think so. It was within
20 their line of work and that was the nature of the meeting. That was why
21 he called the commanders so it was only one part of the service that was
22 supposed to meet and it was standard practice.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Were you informed of the agenda of
24 Mr. Blagojevic's meeting?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You can see it in the dispatch.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Bjelosevic, just to make it absolutely clear,
3 when you said he invited chief of police, the chiefs of police, that is
4 chief of police as opposed to chiefs of station; is that right? That's
5 how I understand the transcript, that you make a difference between
6 chiefs of police and they were the persons Mr., whatever his name is,
7 Blagojevic, invited, and you said would I have invited people, then I
8 would have invited the chief of station, the chiefs of station; is that
9 correct in the transcript?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Obviously wishing to be as clear as
11 possible, I quite unfortunately inserted this hypothesis about me and the
12 chiefs of stations, and I have this feeling that I should perhaps give
13 you the structure again and how it worked. There were public security
14 stations within the area which had their chiefs, and these chiefs were
15 directly subordinated to the chiefs of centres. So, my aside was an
16 unfortunate one.
17 In terms of the line of the work the police stations, which were
18 part of public security stations, were uniformed police. At the time it
19 was called milicija, and Mr. Blagojevic was their direct superior and
20 would invite them to working meetings which had to do with their line of
21 work, i.e., the line of work of uniformed police. And this is what the
22 meeting had to do with.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 MS. KORNER: Right. Could we have up on the screen, please,
25 document 1D00136, tab 12B.
1 Q. Now, this is actually the radio version of -- it was apparently
2 sent to Radio Sarajevo on the same day, 31st of March, but also sent to
3 the CSB chief and it's the response by Mr. Delimustafic to Mr. Mandic's
4 telegram. Did you get that as well?
5 A. I think I did receive it. As I'm reading it, I think it is one
6 of the dispatches I referred to as having arrived one after another.
7 Q. Well, wasn't it shown to you by Mr. Zecevic when he showed you
8 all the documents?
9 A. I don't know, but I'm reading it through to be sure of what I'm
10 telling you. Yes, we did receive the dispatch, whether it was on the
11 same day or on the following day, but they arrived one after another.
12 Q. Urging everybody to ignore Mr. Mandic's attempt, as it was put,
13 to divide the MUP, do you agree with that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And as you pointed out when you were giving evidence to
16 Mr. Zecevic, for the next month until the 2nd/3rd of May, you did in fact
17 report, didn't you, to both MUPs, the socialist republic and also to the
18 RS? That's right, isn't it, Mr. Bjelosevic?
19 A. Either not everything was interpreted to me or what was it that I
20 didn't put into the report that I sent to the MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina
21 and the Serbian Republic?
22 Q. I will rephrase the question. No, I won't. I'll ask the same
23 question again very slowly. During the next month, that is of April,
24 until the take-over on the 2nd/3rd of May, you as chief of the Doboj CSB
25 reported to both the old BiH MUP, headed by Alija Delimustafic, and the
1 Serbian Republic MUP, headed by Mico Stanisic?
2 A. Now the question is clear. Thank you. Until the end of April,
3 reports were sent to the Ministry of the SRBiH. If I remember correctly,
4 in the second half of April, two reports were sent -- or, rather, after
5 the 16th of April, after the events in Derventa and at Cardak, a report
6 was also sent to the Ministry of the Serbian Republic of
8 Q. Right. The answer to my question is yes; is that right? You did
9 report both to BiH MUP, the old one, and to the RS?
10 A. Well, after the 16th of April, after the events at Cardak, as I
12 Q. It was at that period that according to you, you stopped taking
13 notes in your notebook of whom you met, the meetings you attended; is
14 that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I don't know whether this expression translates into Serbian,
17 I'll try to find out, but do you know an expression such as someone who
18 tries to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds? I don't know if it
19 translates at all into the Serbian language. In other words, that a man
20 cannot serve two masters? Is that an expression you are familiar with,
21 Mr. Bjelosevic?
22 A. That you can't serve two masters; is that right?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. Well, Your Honours, allow me to express my dissatisfaction with
25 the way the honourable Prosecutor is treating me. On Monday, although in
1 a somewhat embellished form, she said that I was lying. If you translate
2 what she said, it means that I was lying, and what Mr. Stanisic and I
3 were doing at the time was just a screen, it was just a front that we
4 were window dressing and suppressing things. Yesterday, she was
5 undermining my intelligence, and I think that that is quite irrelevant as
6 to whether the witness is intelligent or not for his evidence. So I
7 would like my dignity to be respected here.
8 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Bjelosevic, please rest assured that it is a
9 part of the duty of the Trial Chamber to ensure that witnesses are
10 treated fairly. But in terms of these proceedings, it is the duty of
11 counsel without, to use your words, disrespecting the intelligence of a
12 witness, to probe and test a witness's evidence, particularly in
13 cross-examination, and that is all that Ms. Korner is doing. If she
14 crosses over the line, the Chamber would remind her of that, but so far I
15 haven't heard anything which is offensive and which you -- which is an
16 improper question.
17 MS. KORNER:
18 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, what you were trying to do for that first month
19 was to serve two masters, I suggest to you, because you weren't sure at
20 that stage what was going to happen, which was going to be the right
22 A. I wouldn't agree with that. In that period of time, I invested
23 to all my efforts to maintain the situation stable and to preserve peace,
24 and you can call it whatever you like. I had by that time occasion to
25 see what happened in the areas caught by war. I saw what happened to the
1 victims and refugees and all the evil that comes with the war, and I
2 wanted to preserve a state of peace.
3 Q. But, Mr. Bjelosevic, how could you possibly remain with one foot
4 in the old MUP and one foot in a MUP which on your own assessment from
5 Mr. Mandic's telegram and from what happened thereafter was a totally
6 separate police organisation?
7 A. In that case, allow me to give you a broader answer to that. In
8 some of your questions you seem to be proceeding from a view that at the
9 time Bosnia-Herzegovina was an isolated and independent state, and that
10 somebody tried to forcibly separate from that state. This wasn't true.
11 Yugoslavia was still in place at the time. There had been hostilities in
12 Croatia by that time, and it was already obvious what war meant.
13 Pragmatic solutions were sought to preserve peace. At the time
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina was politically divided.
15 At that time in April, Bosnia-Herzegovina did not have all of its
16 legitimate representatives starting from the Presidency to the Assembly
17 to the government. All of these were already divided. Try and picture
18 yourself in such a situation where you are in charge of a service under
19 those circumstances surrounded by a large presence of the military,
20 paramilitary, and, if you will, rogue groups, et cetera. I don't see
21 that there is anything bad in the practice of informing both parts of
22 what were the authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina. To me, they were
23 legitimate and legal. Both Mr. Alija Izetbegovic and Mr. Koljevic, as
24 well as Madam Biljana Plavsic, Mr. Boras and all the members of the
25 Presidency, all the deputies who were lawfully elected in 1990, all of
1 them were, to my mind, lawful representatives.
2 I'm telling you this to understand my position. When you say
3 that I'm keeping my feet in different positions, let me tell you that I
4 didn't want to side with politics in 1997 and the same applied to 1992.
5 I don't know if you now understand my position.
6 Q. All right. Just one final question and then it's time for the
7 break. In your mind, is this what you are saying, the declaration of the
8 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the constitution of the
9 Serbian Republic, the passing of the Law of Internal Affairs, that had
10 absolutely no effect on legitimacy of the Bosnian -- the old
11 Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Is that what you are saying?
12 A. I'm not talking about the legitimacy of the old Republic of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, as you put it. I'm talking about the legitimacy of
14 the Presidency members, the legitimacy of the Assembly men, the deputies,
15 and the legitimacy of the ministers who were members of the government
16 and who subsequently were divided. The legitimacy conferred upon them by
17 the peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina had not been taken away from them in
18 the meantime. That's what I'm talking about.
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, you can it's time for the break. I'm
20 not going to pursue this any further.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Bjelosevic, one follow-up question: So you
22 were reporting to both MUPs, let's say, during the second half of April,
23 and then at the end of April or at the beginning of May, you stopped
24 reporting to the Bosnia-Herzegovina MUP. What triggered that decision in
25 your mind? There must have been something that made you decide not to
1 report anymore to the Bosnia-Herzegovina MUP. What was it that made you
2 take that decision?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What happens was that all the links
4 and communications were severed, and between the end of April, up until
5 the period when the communications were up and running, no reports were
6 sent out, and then in early May --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: In late May.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The centre basically closed down,
9 as I said. And then it was practically non-existent until sometime in
10 July when it was reinstated. So there was a period of some two months or
11 two and a half months when the centre was non-existent and when no
12 reports were sent out.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: So then what you are saying then is that the
14 decision not to send reports to the Bosnia-Herzegovina MUP has been taken
15 in July when things started working again?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It wasn't a decision on my part to
17 discontinue communications, it was force majeure. And the same went for
18 the CSB and its closing down. The fact of the matter was that we didn't
19 have a territory to speak of, we didn't have the personnel, and the
20 centre, as such, didn't exist. You didn't have the police department or
21 the crime police, personnel service, law affairs. In other words, the
22 centre, as such, wasn't there. It didn't function. Later on when the
23 communications system was restored as you said in July, everyone
24 established their own communication system in their respective areas of
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Are you saying now that the fact that you stopped
2 reporting to the Bosnia-Herzegovina MUP and only reported to the Serbian
3 MUP anymore, to the Republic of Serbia MUP was only something that had to
4 do with communication lines? Are you saying that if you would have had
5 communication lines with the Bosnia-Herzegovina MUP, you would have
6 continued to report to them, even in July and afterwards?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what would have
8 happened. It's a hypothesis. But I know what happened and that's what
9 I'm describing. The communications system was non-existent. Every side
10 had by that time taken up their respective areas militarily. And as for
11 the centre itself, I think I've already explained in detail how the
12 matters stood, and if need be I can repeat. It was the state of affairs
13 as it existed in the field, as it developed.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, again there is -- I can see that
15 there is confusion, but that is because a part of his answer was not
16 recorded and it's not in the -- it's not in the record, in transcript.
17 And it obviously was not translated to you. Perhaps after the break I
18 can explain what it is before the witness is brought in and then you
19 can --
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: -- verify that with the witness. Thank you.
22 JUDGE HALL: So we take the break and resume in 20 minutes.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Korner, this morning when we were speaking
2 about the time that was used by the OTP, there was a little error in the
3 calculations. It seems to be something more than seven hours, rather
4 than five but you realise that.
5 MS. KORNER: Yes, I did, Your Honours. In any event, not just
6 for the reasons that I've expressed, I would be concluding my
7 cross-examination well within the 20 hours, of course subject to what I
8 put answering the questions shortly. But, Your Honours, I know
9 Mr. Zecevic wants to address you before he comes in on what was or was
10 not said, but there is one point that I should have dealt with earlier
11 this morning. When Your Honour Judge Delvoie yesterday asked me about
12 exhibiting documents, of course I just had the intercepts in mind, which
13 I didn't intend, but I forgot I also put to him his diary entry and I
14 would like, obviously, to exhibit that. It's the diary entry for the
15 10th of February. 65 ter 20103.01.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: No objection, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that would be Exhibit P02323.
19 MR. ZECEVIC: I am wondering if -- because Ms. Korner showed to
20 the witness also the entry on the 11th of February.
21 MS. KORNER: No, I didn't. Mr. Krgovic did, but I'm perfectly
22 happy for that also to be exhibited as well. I see, the 10th and the
23 11th run together, it's one document.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: That's why I was just making sure that it's one
25 document, yes. Thank you.
1 May I, Your Honours?
2 JUDGE HALL: Yes.
3 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, just before the break His Honour
4 Judge Delvoie was posing a couple of questions to the witness. However,
5 the witness answered that due to the severance of the communication lines
6 between the -- at the end of April or beginning of May, he wasn't sending
7 any reports either to BiH MUP, the SR BiH MUP or MUP of Republika Srpska,
8 so no reports to either of the MUPs were sent, and that part wasn't
9 recorded in the transcript. I don't know if it was translated because I
10 didn't have my earphones on.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Perhaps it isn't explicitly in the transcript,
12 but that's how I understood it.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Okay. Well, I'm sorry, I just wanted to be of
14 assistance. Thank you.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Korner, on the documents again, this morning
16 you showed the document under tab number 12. Do I take it you don't
17 tender it?
18 MS. KORNER: I do tender it. Your Honours, for some reason I
19 thought this has always been an exhibit but hasn't, and I would like to
20 have that made an exhibit as well.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: If I correctly remember, this is the 1st of April,
22 the meeting.
23 MS. KORNER: Yes.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, I think I offered it as exhibit and actually
25 was asked by the Trial Chamber what is the relevance and then Ms. Korner
1 said that she is not objected and I think it was admitted, but I have to
2 check. I think it was admitted as Defence document already during the
3 direct examination of this witness.
4 MS. KORNER: Well, I thought so too but if we are both --
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: During the direct?
6 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Under 65 ter number 2002?
8 MR. ZECEVIC: No, no, I don't think so. I think we uploaded the
9 document as our -- but I will have to check, Your Honours, and come back
10 to you about it.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, while we are waiting we'll just check.
13 Mr. Smith thinks --
14 JUDGE HALL: So we can have the witness back in now, can we?
15 MS. KORNER: Yes.
16 [The witness takes the stand]
17 JUDGE HALL: Yes.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, it was exhibited as 1D455 and I do
19 remember I said, for the reasons that we can all see, that I didn't
21 Had Your Honour finished asking questions?
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, thank you.
23 MS. KORNER:
24 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, just came up on the screen before but just let's
25 confirm, please, which is --
1 MS. KORNER: Could I have up, please, Exhibit P1410, tab 14.
2 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, that's your appointment, isn't it, as the -- for
3 the moment temporary chief of CSB Doboj in the Ministry of the
4 Internal Affairs of the Serbian Republic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And were you -- did you get a copy of that?
7 A. Yes, you can see at the top of the page that it was sent on the
8 19th of April.
9 Q. Was it at that stage that you decided that you would go with the
10 RS MUP?
11 A. I think I already answered that question but I'll repeat it.
12 Q. No, all right. Don't, please. During the course of April, did
13 you set up police stations in, first of all, a place called Kalenderovci
14 in the Derventa municipality?
15 A. No. The war time schedule envisaged a war police station there,
16 and at that place they assembled both the war police and the personnel
17 that had left the police station in Derventa. That's when they joined
18 this station that had been envisaged by the war organisational chart.
19 Q. Whether it was envisaged or not, was it you who were responsible
20 for the establishment of that war police station?
21 MS. KORNER: And I hope Your Honours won't think that I'm
22 unnecessarily repeating the question.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to underline that this had
24 been envisaged by the war time organisational chart and that particular
25 police station had been mobilised and fully functioning. And during the
1 events that took place in and around Derventa, the personnel from the
2 public security station in Derventa joined that station and the station
3 goals in Osinja. They are all the stations envisaged by the plan and
4 they existed. They had the personnel. Everything had already been set
6 Q. Did you issue the necessary orders and instructions for the
7 establishment of this police station envisaged by a war plan?
8 A. That had been done much earlier, before I was appointed the chief
9 of the CSB in Doboj.
10 Q. Did that police station start operating in April?
11 A. I think it was even before. When all the war police station were
12 mobilised, when the reserve forces were mobilised, that's when that
13 station began working.
14 Q. Was that station entirely staffed by Serb members of the MUP or
15 reserve MUP?
16 A. That is one of many stations and it's difficult for me to
17 remember that now. But if I'm not mistaken whether it was Mehmedovic or
18 Subasic I remember that there was a Muslim in the reserve police. I
19 remember that because of the name. And as for the rest of the personnel,
20 I really don't know. It was just one of the many reserve police stations
21 in the territory of the Doboj CSB.
22 Q. Did you also in April form or put into operation a police station
23 at a place called Osinja also in the Derventa municipality?
24 A. No. I did not form that one. It had also been envisaged by the
25 previously-established plan about the organisation and systemisation of
1 the reserve police stations.
2 Q. During April, was that police station brought into full operation
3 by you?
4 A. It had become operative even before, as far as I can remember,
5 when all other stations became operative. And I have to underline that
6 the order about the mobilisation of the reserve police stations was
7 issued by the MUP of the RS BiH -- SR BiH.
8 Q. I understand that, the Socialist Republic as opposed to the
9 Serb Republic. In April, was that police station entirely manned by Serb
10 members of the MUP or reserve MUP?
11 A. I don't know but because Osinja and the neighbouring villages are
12 inhabited only by Serbs, I assume that probably the manpower was also of
13 Serb ethnicity. That's my assumption.
14 Q. Now, I won't go over with you a few matters concerning the
15 Law on Internal Affairs. Before we do that, when you were giving
16 evidence in response to questions by Mr. Zecevic, you were shown a
17 document which is the Defence document tab 36. I'll give you a number in
18 a minute, but you can turn it up if you've still got your bundle. It had
19 the number, I think, 1D004779. I think it's now an exhibit.
20 A. Did you say tab 36?
21 Q. I did. It's document 8th of April, 1992.
22 MS. KORNER: It's 1D257. Thank you.
23 Q. And you told Mr. Zecevic at page 19549 that you were familiar
24 with this dispatch, it comes from the department from defence
1 "Another flagrant example of the violation of the basic laws and
2 regulations governing Internal Affairs ... inconceivable and incompatible
3 with all rules and regulations in force at the time that
4 Territorial Defence units should be subordinated to the police stations
5 contrary to all republican and federal regulations."
6 Now, do I take it from that that you are familiar with republican
7 and federal regulation, Mr. Bjelosevic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Right. I would like you, please --
10 MS. KORNER: Or I would like to have up on the screen, it's the
11 document at tab 1A and it's L0026. It's part of the law library,
12 Your Honours. I'll find my own copy of it. We have Article --
13 Your Honours, I'm so sorry, I keep doing this. We moved the document at
14 the break and now I can't find it again. Yes. It's page 12 in English
15 and page 16 in B/C/S.
16 Q. Now, this deals -- these articles of the law on -- law on
17 something. All People's Defence. Thank you. Dealing with the
18 Territorial Defence. Article 105 says it's the widest form of organised
19 All People's armed Defence. Article 106 describes what the
20 Territorial Defence is about. And then Article 107, please, is that the
21 whole page, probably is. All right:
22 "The Presidency of the Socialist Republic pursuant to a decision
23 of the Presidency of the SFRY under Article 5 of the federal law, shall
24 order the use of the Territorial Defence units to carry out tasks of
25 public peace and order and to carry out other tasks of social
2 Next part:
3 "The Territorial Defence units shall be subordinated to the
4 interior affairs organ in charge whilst performing duties and tasks from
5 Article 105.1 of the federal law."
6 Were you familiar with that provision, Mr. Bjelosevic?
7 A. Article 105 of the federal law is referenced here.
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. And we are looking at the republican law.
10 Q. Yes. Appreciating that there are all sorts of preconditions and
11 there are other laws involved, I'm asking you in the light of your
12 assertions to Mr. Zecevic the other day, that this was a completely and
13 utterly illegal order, whether you were familiar with the provisions of
14 this law that in certain circumstances the Territorial Defence could be
15 subordinated to the Ministry of the Interior?
16 A. But we should take a look here about the particular
17 circumstances, what exactly is stipulated by Article 105. That's one
18 thing. And the other thing, here we see that the Presidency of the
19 SR BiH is mentioned, the Presidency of the Socialist Republic of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, pursuant to a decision of the Presidency of the SFRY,
21 et cetera, and here we have an order that was not issued by the
22 Presidency of the SR BiH. If you find that particular dispatch, you will
23 see that it wasn't the order issued by the Presidency but that it was a
24 decision made by the government.
25 Q. Yes. Mr. Bjelosevic, all that I'm asking you at this moment is
1 whether you were familiar with this provision, leaving aside its bringing
2 into effect in this day, did you know about this provision?
3 A. Yes, I did know about this provision.
4 Q. So you don't know, do you, whether this particular dispatch being
5 signed by Mr. Pusina, I think it was, wasn't it? Sorry, I better get it
6 out again. Yes. You don't know on the 8th of April from this dispatch
7 whether or not the required steps had been gone through?
8 A. I'm not quite sure what kind of required steps you are referring
10 Q. Whatever steps were required to bring this legal -- this law into
11 effect, you don't know whether or not when Mr. -- sorry, Mr. Jasarevic
12 sent out this dispatch, whether or not the legal requirements had been
13 complied with?
14 A. The conditions stipulated by the law were not met. There was no
15 order issued by the Presidency, and secondly, volunteers as a category --
16 and take a look at the dispatch at its last line, I mean, it's even more
17 open here. It says here "volunteers or other military conscripts
18 subordinated to the SJB," so anybody can walk in and say, Hello, I'm
19 going to be a member of the police. This has absolutely no foundations
20 and I definitely -- I still claim that this is unlawful. There are at
21 least two reasons for that.
22 Q. All I'm concerned about is the assertion that you made: It is
23 inconceivable and incompatible with all the rules and regulations in
24 force at the time that Territorial Defence units should be subordinated
25 to police stations.
1 Would you agree that was an exaggerated statement in the light of
3 A. We would have to take a look at the federal laws and make a
4 connection between the federal and republican laws if we were to obtain a
5 proper and correct answer to this question. What comprised the armed
6 forces of Yugoslavia? At the top of the pyramid there was one unified
7 command and that was the Supreme Command.
8 Q. No, I am going to stop you, Mr. Bjelosevic. I agree we've spent
9 a long time talking about how these laws came into effect. All I'm
10 asking you is whether you accept what you said earlier was an exaggerated
11 statement of the position? If you don't accept that, you can simply say,
12 No, I don't accept it.
13 A. I don't agree. I still claim that this is unlawful.
14 Q. All right. That's all I was asking. Can we look, please, for a
15 little bit at the Law on Internal Affairs that was passed.
16 MS. KORNER: That will be, please, it's P530 and we put it in at
17 tab 10A.
18 Q. The law was actually passed on the 28th of February, published in
19 the Gazette, as we can see, on the 23rd of March, 1992, and came into
20 effect, I think it was seven days later. Yes, the 30th of March.
21 Now, you were familiar with the old BiH law, weren't you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And in most respects this law promulgated by the Serbian Assembly
24 of Bosnia-Herzegovina was the same although there were some differences?
25 A. Yes, it is quite similar, yes.
1 Q. And in Article 5, the minister is in charge of Internal Affairs
2 listed in Article 3 which are the tasks and activities related to public
3 security, national security, and then identity cards and all the rest of
5 MR. ZECEVIC: I am sorry --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have that article.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: Sorry, Ms. Korner, the question was:
8 "In Article 5, the minister is in charge ..."
9 MS. KORNER: Yes.
10 MR. ZECEVIC: But the reading of the Article 5 says "the
11 ministry," not "the minister."
12 MS. KORNER: All right. I accept the correction.
13 Q. Do you see that in front of you?
14 A. Yes, I do now.
15 Q. Right. The minister of the interior was the head of the
16 ministry; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The hierarchy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was the
19 minister, under that, if there was one, a deputy minister - there wasn't
20 in this case - the assistant ministers, the chiefs of the CSBs and the
21 heads of the SJB. That was the hierarchy, wasn't it?
22 A. Yes, also the heads of department at headquarters. You omitted
23 that. But that was it. Basically that is the structure involved.
24 Q. And the reporting system through the hierarchy was strictly
25 enforced, wasn't it?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. Because that's one of the complaints that you made that your
3 level of -- in the hierarchy as CSB chief was being ignored by chiefs of
4 SJB stations, some of them who would report directly up to the ministry?
5 A. Yes, they came to the centre as they carried out that activity of
6 theirs. We said what the stations these were and in what sense all of
7 this happened.
8 Q. I understand that. But I mean, I'm just saying that as far as
9 you were concerned chiefs of the public security stations, the SJBs,
10 should report to you, and it was your job then to report up to the
11 ministry itself?
12 A. Yes, yes, but there are situations in accordance with this
13 instruction about current and temporary reporting when a station can
14 directly report. What I complained about had less to do with reporting.
15 It had more to do with this bypassing as it were. The chief, a
16 particular station, and so on.
17 Q. If the minister issued an order which was then sent to a CSB
18 chief via one of the heads of departments or assistant ministers, was
19 that something that you were obliged to obey?
20 A. Yes, it was binding, but if you see that something is unlawful
21 then, as you could see, I reacted. I indicated that this was something
22 that was unlawful.
23 Q. Absolutely. But provided it was in the law, it was a binding
25 A. Yes.
1 MS. KORNER: Can we look, please, at Article 10, which is on the
2 same page. It's the next page in English.
4 A. Which article?
5 Q. Article 10. Can you see it?
6 A. Can it please be enlarged?
7 Q. We'll enlarged it for you. It says:
8 "Public security stations shall assist in the execution of
9 activities and tasks within the remit of other state organs or
10 enterprises and other legal entities exercising public authority as
11 prescribed by law, when physical resistance is encountered or can be
12 reasonably expected in the course of these execution of these activities
13 and tasks."
14 The chief of the public security station shall decide on the form
15 and extent:
16 "If he expects that organised and large scale physical resistance
17 will be encountered in extending the assistance described in paragraph 1
18 of this Article, or that weapons will be used, the chief of the public
19 security station must obtain the consent of the minister of the interior
20 (hereinafter, the minister) before reaching a decision as outlined in the
21 previous -- preceding paragraph."
22 So does that mean if there was a question, for example -- well,
23 perhaps you can give us an example. What is meant here by other state
24 organs or enterprises?
25 A. Yes. In police jargon this was called assistance,
1 "asistencija." For example, other state organs are supposed to carry out
2 a decision, say, of an inspectorate. Let me talk, say, about
3 construction project. The construction inspectorate forbids the building
4 of a particular edifice and then the inspectorate makes a decision
5 stating that what has been built so far has to be destroyed, and the
6 police offers its assistance in that way, allowing the construction
7 inspectorate to tear down what had been built until then. That also
8 happened when people were supposed to be moved out of certain premises.
9 There are various situations of that kind.
10 At the request of a particular organ, an assessment is made and
11 as you saw in the third paragraph of this article, if it is assessed that
12 this is very risky then even the consent of the minister is required, if
13 weapons are to be used, for instance, and so on.
14 Q. Right. Now, let's take another example. If, for example, the
15 Municipal Assembly of Doboj decided that no one should be allowed to
16 carry fire-arms, and issued an order that they were to surrender all
17 fire-arms and the persons ordered was apparent [indiscernible] to do
18 that. And the police were brought in to execute a lawful order made by
19 the Municipal Assembly, if force was to be used in those circumstances,
20 would the consents of the minister have to be obtained?
21 A. I don't know whether you have chosen a good example, even though
22 it is hypothetical. Municipal Assemblies can pass decisions on public
23 law and order referring to the work of the catering industry, for
24 instance. But as for prohibiting the carrying of fire-arms, I'm not sure
25 that the Municipal Assembly did have that kind of authority. If people
1 had licences, then they were allowed to have weapons. They could have,
2 for instance, forbidden people to enter the premises of the Assembly with
3 fire-arms, if that's what you meant.
4 Q. Leave aside the particular thing I just -- but if that was the
5 situation, if the municipal body in charge had issued an instruction
6 which had to be carried out by the police because it was a lawful
7 instruction and there was going to be resistance and that was obvious to
8 everybody, would the consent of the minister before force was used have
9 to be obtained?
10 A. For the sake of clarity, for each and every situation when the
11 police provides assistance, an assessment is made. That is to say, the
12 risk is assessed and also what could possibly happen when a decision is
13 being enforced. If it is established as is clearly stated in paragraph 3
14 of Article 10 that there can be larger scale resistance and use of
15 fire-arms, then it was necessary to obtain the concept of the minister
16 for providing that kind of assistance, "asistencija."
17 Q. Let's move then to specific matters dealt with on this topic
18 about laws made by the Municipal Assembly.
19 MS. KORNER: Article 27, please, which is on page 4 in English
20 and page -- I think it's 4 also in B/C/S, Cyrillic:
21 Q. "In addition to the activities and tasks set out in the rules on
22 the internal organisation of the ministry, a public security station
23 shall implement regulations passed by the Municipal Assembly relating to
24 law and order, road safety, as well as other regulations in the domain of
25 Internal Affairs that have been passed by the Municipal Assembly."
1 Going back to what Dr. Karadzic said in March, he said the police
2 have to be under civilian authorities, and that's correct, isn't it, the
3 police and the executive, they carry out the lawful regulations made by
4 either the Assembly of the state or the Municipal Assembly?
5 A. Yes, you are right when you say that they work in carrying out
6 regulations passed by the Municipal Assembly in accordance with the
7 Law on Internal Affairs in respect of those particular elements.
8 However, as far as public security stations are concerned and their
9 relationship with the Municipal Assemblies and the Executive Boards that
10 existed at the time as the executive organs of the Municipal Assemblies,
11 then there had to be information. The public security station had to
12 function on a horizontal plane as we called it. They had to inform the
13 Assembly about matters that had to do with that area.
14 However, they did not have to submit reports that would have to
15 be adopted ultimately. Also, in certain areas the Municipal Assembly did
16 not have the right to issue any kind of orders, but what is stipulated
17 here specifically, yes, that is indeed the case.
18 Q. I absolutely agree. There were certain areas where orders had to
19 be issued through the line of the chain of command and all that the
20 Municipal Assembly could do was request information?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. And Article 28 merely sets out the CSBs and then
23 Article 31 I think is what we are all thinking of -- sorry, which is --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was enlarged and now you had it
2 removed. Did you say 28?
3 MS. KORNER:
4 Q. No, 31. I mentioned 28 in passing, Mr. Bjelosevic, but it's
5 Article 31:
6 "If so requested by the Municipal Assembly and its executive
7 committee, a Security Services Centre and a public security station shall
8 submit reports, information, and other data relating," I think the word
9 must be missed out, "to the situation and problems in the area in which
10 and for which they have been established."
11 Article 32 on the same lines:
12 "The Municipal Assembly and its executive committee may submit
13 opinions to the ministry at its seat, initiate proposals," and so on.
14 Now, when the Municipal Assembly could not meet because there was
15 a state of emergency or an imminent threat of war and its functions were
16 being carried out by a Crisis Staff, the Crisis Staff had the same
17 abilities, didn't it, in respect of the police as had the
18 Municipal Assembly subject to verification of its decisions at a later
19 stage when the Assembly was able to meet.
20 A. If you were reading that out, could you please give me that
21 provision as well, the article.
22 Q. No, no, I'm putting a question to you whether you accept that the
23 Crisis Staff legislation and discussions do not lie in the Ministry of
24 Internal Affairs. I'm asking you -- sorry, in the Law on Intern Affairs.
25 I'm asking you whether you accept that the powers exercised under the law
1 by the Municipal Assembly when it couldn't meet and a Crisis Staff was in
2 its place, it could also exercise those powers?
3 A. I have to be quite frank and say that as far as I'm concerned
4 Crisis Staffs in that situation and at the time and in the form in which
5 they existed were quite a grey zone because Crisis Staffs, as you could
6 see from various documents, came into being as, say, the Crisis Staff of
7 the Croat people, the Crisis Staff of the Serb people, the Crisis Staff
8 of the Muslim people, and so on and so forth, and then later on, how
9 should I put this, they were re-organised territorially. They were
10 reformulated, as it were.
11 As far as Crisis Staffs or this or that, people are concerned,
12 then, at least as far as I know, and I'm not saying I know everything, I
13 really have to be clear on that, they were not based on law and that is
14 how they started organising themselves. And then, well, that's the way
15 it was. But if you take into account the circumstances involved and I
16 would dare say that it was the entire area of Bosnia-Herzegovina that was
17 involved, the territory was disjointed, there was hardly any
18 communication and there would then be some justification for
19 Crisis Staffs because somebody had to take over the role of governing and
20 organising life in these areas too.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I didn't want to interrupt the answer
22 of the witness but I do object -- I don't object when Ms. Korner is
23 asking the witness about the Law on Interior because being a chief of the
24 CSB it is understandable that he is aware of the law and the provisions
25 of the law. Also, I didn't object when she was asking him about the laws
1 on All People's Defence because, as we heard from the witness, he worked
2 in the national defence office in Derventa before he became the chief of
3 the CSB. But now I must object that what is elicited from the witness
4 are provisions of the law and comments on the law which have nothing to
5 do whatsoever with his professional and his knowledge.
6 I must say that I'm also astonished by the fact that none of the
7 questions which Ms. Korner posed today were not put to the expert witness
8 when he was on the stand over here. Not a single one, not a comments on
9 any of these laws have ever been put by the Office of the Prosecutor to
10 the police expert which we brought as a previous witness. And I'm not
11 entirely sure what is the -- what is the -- the case of the Prosecution
12 anymore because --
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I think this is going into -- I
14 think -- I think this is now going into a discussion of evidence and
15 policy, and I don't think it's proper that the witness should listen to
16 this. I've got a perfectly good reason which I will explain for why I'm
17 asking these questions.
18 JUDGE HALL: Well, it's nearly time for the break, so perhaps the
19 witness can be excused. The usher could escort the witness out a little
20 ahead of the usual time for the break.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, if I may then finish before --
23 JUDGE HALL: In terms of the second limb, Mr. Zecevic, of your
24 objection or observation, wouldn't the -- well, my impression, and I
25 confess I may be wrong, is that the line of question that Ms. Korner was
1 pursuing is in terms of what the law is. She is taking advantage of
2 having the CSB chief on the stand who is working with this and applying
3 it on a day-to-day basis. So whether she pursued the interpretation with
4 the police expert is neither here nor there, but in terms of the first
5 part of your objection, do I understand it to be that the questions that
6 are being asked are outside of the -- are questions on the interpretation
7 of the law which are straying outside of the ordinary work or expertise
8 of this witness? Is that what I understand your objection to be?
9 MR. ZECEVIC: Precisely so, Your Honours. What I tried to
10 explain is the fact that I was not objecting to any comments on the laws
11 which have something to do with his profession or his duties as a chief
12 of the CSB. But then what is happening is that Ms. Korner is putting to
13 the witness her understanding of the law for a comment, and that
14 particular part deals with the laws that have nothing to do with his
15 either profession or his -- or his education, if I may say so. Thank
16 you. That was the point of my objection.
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I may have phrased it rather badly,
18 but, in fact, I was asking for his understanding, not what the law was
19 about Crisis Staffs and whatever, but his understanding on the position
20 he was in during this period of the ability of Crisis Staffs who had
21 taken over from Municipal Assemblies. As regards to the first part, this
22 man is, in the Prosecution's submission, and this is something we will be
23 saying at the end of the case, much more of an expert on these matters
24 than the expert -- the so-called expert that was actually called. And in
25 any event what questions were put to Mr. Bajagic is, as Your Honours have
1 pointed out, entirely irrelevant. But, Your Honours, what I was asking
2 for was his understanding of the powers of the Crisis Staff if they
3 devolved from the Municipal Assembly, which I didn't think was a matter
4 of dispute at all because we've called a lot of evidence about it which
5 has not been challenged including an expert on Crisis Staffs.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Korner, your last remark calls for a
8 reference back to what the presiding judge raised this morning, namely
9 that given the constraints on time, I just wondered whether this is the
10 best possible use of the time that we have with this witness to take him
11 through his understanding of the situation in respect of the
12 Crisis Staffs which are matters that, as you say, are neither contested
13 nor uncovered by the evidence that we already have. So is this really
14 beneficial to your case?
15 MS. KORNER: I don't know whether Your Honours have read through
16 Mr. Stanisic's interview, which I did in preparation for this witness.
17 It's my understanding is that the Defence propose to try and rely on what
18 he said in interview. I'm, therefore, dealing with this witness with
19 some of the assertions that he made in interview and that's why otherwise
20 I would not, may I say, be spending time on the Law of Internal Affairs
21 and the questions such as the questions that I've been asking.
22 JUDGE HALL: So we will take the adjournment now and continue
23 with this in 20 minutes.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 MS. KORNER:
3 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, I just want to deal with a couple of more
4 articles on the Law on Internal Affairs and then we'll move into other
6 MS. KORNER: Sorry, I suppose I better have it back up again.
7 It's P530. And Article 33, which is on the fourth page of the English
8 and I think the same in B/C/S. If we can highlight the B/C/S for you.
9 Q. That deals with the tasks and activities of the ministry at its
10 seat, and in particular as it affected you, monitors directs and
11 co-ordinates the activity of the Security Services Centre. Now, that, I
12 think, was identical under the old Socialist Republic of BiH law; is that
14 A. In essence, yes, I don't have the other text to compare it with
15 this one but I believe that's the case.
16 Q. Can we then just deal, please, with Article 43, which I think
17 encapsulates what you've already told us, which you will find on the
18 sixth page, yeah, page 6 of the English and the same in B/C/S:
19 "Authorised officials must execute orders issued by the minister
20 or by their immediate senior official for the purpose of performing
21 activities and tasks related to national and public security, except when
22 such orders contravene the constitution and the law."
23 Mr. Bjelosevic, effectively that's what you've already told us,
24 isn't it?
25 A. Yes, that's it.
1 Q. And the final article I want to move on to, the events --
2 MS. KORNER: Article 126, please, which is on page 13, I think.
3 126. Of the English.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it's on the screen.
5 MS. KORNER: Not in the English, I am afraid.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do you have it there?
7 MS. KORNER:
8 Q. We'll have to go to the next page:
9 "The centres for public security centres and public security
10 stations the Ministry of the Interior of the Socialist Republic of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the territory of the Republic of the Serbian people
12 shall be closed on the day that this law enters into force and shall
13 resume their work as organising units of the Ministry of the Interior of
14 the Serbian Republic ..."
15 Now, that's what Mr. Mandic's telegram was saying, wasn't it, and
16 that's what the Law of Internal Affairs was saying?
17 A. Yes, that's what it says.
18 Q. And as you've already told us and I don't want to go back over
19 it, you decided, in effect, that you weren't, from what you tell us --
20 you weren't going to comply with that?
21 You have to say yes.
22 A. Yes, we discussed it.
23 Q. Yes. All right. Now, I want very, very briefly, please, to deal
24 a little bit with the events that you have described at length to
25 Mr. Zecevic of Bosanski Brod and Slavonski Brod and to a certain extent
1 Derventa because, as we said -- as you heard me say at the time, this is
2 not a matter that's part of our indictment.
3 Could you have a look, please, at a document which has got the
4 number 20032, tab 88. It's not tab 88 in the Defence bundle. You have
5 to look at it on the screen, I am afraid.
6 MS. KORNER: Now, can we go to the next page, please, in B/C/S
7 and English.
8 Q. This was an article that was published in "Slobodna Bosnia" on
9 the 24th of May, 2001, and it deals with the activities on a trial that
10 had taken place in respect of Taifun.
11 MS. KORNER: And I want you to look, please, at the B/C/S, I
12 think it's the next page, and in English it's the third page. In
13 English, please, the page after that. Fourth page.
14 Q. I just want to confirm either with you, Mr. Bjelosevic, or any of
15 the Defence counsel that we are looking -- you are able to see something
16 headed, "Explosions, Destruction, Incidents"? That is right, is it?
17 Okay. Thank you. So it is.
18 Do you see that heading, "Explosions, Destruction, Incidents."
19 A. That's the only thing I can make out, in fact. The rest is very
20 small print. Can it be enlarged, please?
21 Q. Yes. This is describing what is alleged to be one of the first
22 operations of Taifun led by Branko Ratic, still a JNA officer -- was to
23 destroy the bridge near Bosanski Brod in the autumn of 1991. The bridge
24 was shelled from Mahala village on the Bosnian side. Three shells hit
25 the bridge and an tanker truck on it and five shells fell on the centre
1 of Slavonski Brod. Ratic was given logistical support by the then chief
2 of the Doboj secure services centre, Mr. Bjelosevic, Andrija Bjelosevic.
3 First question is: Is that right that there was a shelling? There was a
4 destruction of the bridge in autumn of 1991?
5 A. Not at all. The bridge was blown up only sometime in 1992 but
6 there was an incident of sorts at the time and an on-site investigation
7 was carried out. I went to Brod to attend the scene personally, but the
8 bridge wasn't destroyed. Later on, the administration got involved in
9 the matter, the administration from the Ministry of the Interior of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina. They took charge of the investigation into who
11 opened fire on from where. They took me, what I -- they took me to the
12 place where the mortars were opening fire from, whereas from what I read
13 here it's a bit preposterous. And we went to examine the place.
14 However, had mortars opened fire from that particular spot, then the
15 window panes on the house nearby would have been shattered. Furthermore,
16 the tanker truck, I don't know what happened with it, but had it been
17 full of gas, it would have been blown apart. So there were quite a few
18 unknowns in my mind around this event, but there was an incident, that's
20 As for the press coverage, that was very tendencious. I was even
21 accused of causing the death of the chief of the public security sector
22 in Doboj. Senad --
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the last name.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And Jasmin Halilovic, who was the
25 head of the economic crime department, they perished in a traffic
1 accident near Kakanj, and I had the long grown accustomed to such press
2 coverage and tried to be impervious to it.
3 MS. KORNER:
4 Q. All right. Is your answer, Yes there was some incident when the
5 bridge was shelled, but you don't accept -- let's take that first part of
6 the question. There was an incidents in autumn of 1991 when the bridge
7 was shelled?
8 A. Yes, there was some sort of fire there.
9 Q. You do not accept that it was done by Mr. Ratic who was then a
10 JNA officer?
11 A. I don't know if it was he who did it. I don't know who caused it
12 and what the motives were, but there was an incident. There was various
13 circumstantial evidence at the time as to who was behind it. If you want
14 to talk about the various versions, we can do that. What we read here is
15 one of the versions but there are others, and I really don't know what is
16 the truth of the matter.
17 Q. Did you give logistical support to Mr. Ratic?
18 A. That's absurd. What sort of logistical support would it have
20 Q. Why didn't you mention this incident when you gave your evidence
21 about what was the events of Bosanski Brod and Slavonski Brod?
22 A. Believe me when I say that I don't know. This was an incident
23 that engendered several versions. One of the versions is that the
24 Croatian forces staged the whole thing in order to close off the bridge.
25 The second version was that it was this JNA officer who was behind it. I
1 really don't know what the truthful version is. However, what followed
2 next as of 15th of September were serious events, and I'm speaking about
3 15th of September, 1991. Since it was the administration that got
4 involved in the case, they simply took the matter from our hands. As far
5 as I remember, we had never received an official version of the events.
6 Q. This happened, didn't it, long before the events that you've
7 described which you say were the Croats attacking from a division between
8 Slavonski and Bosanski Brod, or a division the other way around?
9 A. That wasn't long before. The first armed incident where shells
10 were landing in the Slavonian part dated back to the 15th of September,
11 whereas this was early September. I think that those events happened
12 before the event we are just discussing now. As for my earlier testimony
13 when I was being examined by the Defence, I didn't even mention the
14 Slavonski Brod incident in the neighbourhood of Bjelis and it somehow
15 cropped up yesterday.
16 Q. All right. That's all I want to ask you about that. The only
17 other matter I want to put to you, again it's only, I suggest, that you
18 didn't mention when you gave your evidence, it's right, isn't it, that in
19 Bosanski Brod the Serbs proclaimed yet another Serbian municipality in
20 late February, early March?
21 A. I don't know the date, really. However, in early March there
22 were armed clashes taking place. When the Serbian Brod municipality was
23 declared, I don't know.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: During the direct examination I hope you will
25 remember that Ms. Korner was complaining and objecting to my line of
1 questions concerning these municipalities, Derventa, Bosanski Brod and
2 the like, saying that it is not in the indictment. And, therefore, on
3 the suggestion of the Trial Chamber, I shortened the presentation of that
4 particular part -- portion of my presentation in chief because it was the
5 objection from the Office of the Prosecutor which to a certain extent the
6 Trial Chamber accepted.
7 Now, the witness -- it is put to the witness that he failed to
8 mention these incidents in his direct examination, testing his
9 credibility when, in fact, I didn't have the opportunity to ask the
10 witness about this because there was an objection. I don't think that
11 this is appropriate. Thank you very much.
12 MS. KORNER: Well, of course, if Mr. Zecevic tells me that he had
13 every intention of asking him about the first incident that we've seen in
14 this article and the fact that a Serbian municipality was declared, then
15 of course I would immediately withdraw any suggestion I had that he
16 deliberately didn't mention it. So if Mr. Zecevic says he would have
17 asked that had he been given further time, then I certainly won't make
18 that suggestion.
19 JUDGE HALL: But, Ms. Korner, I'm not sure where this is going
20 because my recollection of the point in examination-in-chief to which
21 Mr. Zecevic refers is that upon the Prosecution's -- well, first of all,
22 basically, it is always of doubtful assistance to ask the witness why
23 didn't he volunteer something in as much as the procedure is usually one
24 of a witness only answers a question that's asked. But coming back to
25 the objection, my recollection is, and please correct me if I'm wrong --
1 is that the -- upon the Prosecution's objection to these municipalities
2 who are not in the indictment, the witness's explanation was that the --
3 well, the explanation was that this arose because there was an overlap
4 between the municipalities mentioned in the indictment and his areas of
5 responsibility, and for that limited purpose, based on the objection, the
6 basic objection of relevance, the limited questions were asked. So like
7 Mr. Zecevic, I confess, I wonder why you are going down this road.
8 MS. KORNER: I think the witness better leave court, Your Honour.
9 I may say I'm somewhat surprised at Your Honour's remarks just now. I
10 think I better explain because it's not in the way that Your Honour has
11 expressed it.
12 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Usher, could you please escort the witness from
13 the court.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honours will recall that Mr. Zecevic was asking
16 questions specifically about the events of Bosanski and Slavonski Brod,
17 and when I first raised my objection and said I did not see the relevance
18 of this, and I let it go on for some time and I can turn up, I can get
19 Mr. Demirdjian to turn up the relevant pages, Mr. Zecevic explained,
20 Your Honours accepted it and we went on. And I raised the objection a
21 second time because, in particular, you will recall he gave a very, very
22 long answer which bore no relationship to the question that actually
23 Mr. Zecevic asked and went over again the Serb version of events in
24 Bosanski Brod and Slavonski Brod.
25 At the end I said that I was being put in a very difficult
1 position because I didn't consider it relevant, and otherwise I would
2 have to cross-examine on it. Your Honours left court at that stage
3 saying they didn't -- you didn't consider it relevant and I didn't have
4 to cross-examine or Judge Hall said that, and I'm paraphrasing. However,
5 the next morning you came back and said, No, it was a matter for me.
6 Now, Your Honours, I don't expect to -- this is literally the only two
7 questions that I'm going to deal with because I do consider it's relevant
8 and that is he we are going to be addressing you. But he was allowed to
9 give his evidence, Mr. Zecevic was allowed to ask the questions on this
10 basis, and, therefore, I'm in entitled to cross-examine, to point out
11 that when Mr. Zecevic was going through it with him and asking the
12 questions about this, that not once did he mention this incident, whether
13 or not he was involved where the bridge was attacked before the events he
14 described, nor did he mention at any stage, and he was the one coming out
15 with most of the evidence -- that we would suggest part of the problem
16 was caused by the fact that they had declared a Serbian municipality in
17 Bosanski Brod. Those go directly to -- those are matters that go
18 directly to the relevance or not of this evidence -- his own credibility.
19 But as I say, if Mr. Zecevic asserts and of course I accept his word for
20 this, that he would have asked about that early incidents, that he would
21 have asked about the creation of the Serbian municipality, then I
22 withdraw any suggestion that he deliberately avoided telling us.
23 JUDGE HALL: I hear what you've just said which is -- the only
24 slight difficulty I have with that, though, is that in terms of the
25 evidence which I appreciate you leading in terms of the testing the
1 witness's credibility, but the -- I don't know that anything that counsel
2 for Stanisic says whether what he would have done and therefore your
3 withdrawing the question becomes evidence on which we can act. I'm a bit
4 uncomfortable. I see you being permitted to explore the area to the
5 limited extent that it came into the body of evidence in terms of testing
6 the witness's credibility. But the last part of your terms of Mr. -- any
7 representation Mr. Zecevic would give, I don't know that we can
8 necessarily accept it.
9 MS. KORNER: I think this goes back perhaps very much to domestic
10 practice, Your Honour. But quite often, you will hear people saying,
11 You've never said that before, have you, and that will get counsel for
12 either side, usually the Defence, and say, In actual fact it was in my
13 instructions but I didn't consider it relevant, so that's why I didn't
14 put it. So the suggestion that you make that someone has literally
15 deliberately done something or invented something was immediately
16 withdrawn because you accept what counsel says. So that's the basis on
17 which I'm proceeding.
18 I've just asked Mr. Demirdjian to do a check and he says there
19 were 40 pages of questions about Brod during the course of
20 examination-in-chief, so I think my couple of questions are pretty
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, the gist of my objection was the fact
23 that Ms. Korner was putting to the witness that he didn't mention this
24 particular incident. I don't have a problem if she is exploring all
25 this. She can ask the question, but the problem of putting that to the
1 witness is not -- is not appropriate because it was Ms. Korner who was
2 objecting for these line of questions. And if I had the opportunity,
3 Your Honours, I would have -- I would have gone into the matter of who
4 created the Muslim municipality of Bosanski Brod, the Croatian
5 municipality of Bosanski Brod, the Serb municipality of Bosanski Brod,
6 but it was -- it is not in our indictment, I agree, and it was the
7 objection by Ms. Korner.
8 Now, Ms. Korner is objecting, Your Honours accepted, I went very
9 limited for the very limited purpose, like Your Honours said, because the
10 Bosanski Brod was covered by the territory of the CSB Doboj. That is the
11 only purpose, to show the situation in the territory of CSB Doboj prior
12 to break-out of the hostilities. And, therefore, I wasn't in a position
13 to put all the questions that I wanted to put or could have put to the
14 witness. And now Ms. Korner is using that to state that the witness
15 never mentioned it or testing his credibility on that. I don't think
16 that's appropriate. That was the gist of my objection. Thank you.
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, as I said I'll accept that Mr. Zecevic
18 had have been allowed to continue in the face of my objections would have
19 dealt with those matters, and I'm not -- I withdraw the suggestion that
20 the witness deliberately avoided dealing with them.
21 JUDGE HALL: So we continue. Could the witness be escorted back
22 to the stand.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 Ms. KORNER:
25 Q. Yes. In fact, just to put a date to this, I think you have a
1 note in your diary for the 24th of February, 1992, about a meeting that
2 took place, in fact a major meeting.
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, this is one of the translations that
4 came through yesterday but I just want to make one small point on it.
5 Q. If you turn up your diary, please, 24th of February, 1992, in
6 Derventa. There was a meeting, was there not, another one of these major
7 meetings at which you attended, Mr. Delimustafic, Mr. Zepinic,
8 Colonel Kolecevic [phoen] and others, do you see your note?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. And there was a man called Radovanovic who was there, was there
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: I am sorry, I must intervene again, Your Honours.
14 If we can have the document on the monitor for the benefit of our
15 clients. And for the benefit of the interpreters as well.
16 MS. KORNER: I'm going to put one small point and you've got the
17 diary there.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, but the accused don't, and I believe they are
19 entitled to have before them what is referred to.
20 MS. KORNER: All right. We'll see, I don't know whether we can
21 find it. 20103 is the diary. It's page 174 of that document. There's a
22 bit where he has noted Delimustafic speaking. Yes. Could we go to the
23 next page, perhaps.
24 Q. Yeah, we can see Mr. -- there's -- you can see the list of
1 MS. KORNER: Do Your Honours want to have it up in English as
2 well? I just want to put one small point. No, thank you.
3 Q. Then Mr. Delimustafic speaking. Could you go, please, to the
4 next -- we can see him at the bottom. Stay where you are.
5 Mr. Radovanovic, who was he?
6 A. Radovanovic was, if I remember correctly, well, yes, yes,
7 president of the municipal board of SDS from Brod. Yes.
8 Q. And he says:
9 "Nobody wants to understand the Serbs in Bosanski Brod, no Serb
10 can cross the bridge."
11 MS. KORNER: I think you need to go to the next page.
12 Q. And does he say there somewhere or in your note:
13 "The government of Bosnia-Herzegovina should reflect on how to
14 protect the border. People have become so agitated they, themselves,
15 have become an army. At the wish of these people, yesterday,
16 Bosanski Brod was declared a municipality"?
17 Is that a correct translation of what you've written?
18 A. I'm reading what Radovanovic said, but I haven't come to this
19 point yet. Part of his remarks have to do with what I spoke of a moment
20 ago, who had benefit from having the bridge closed down and who suffered
21 because of it. I'm looking for it. Is it on the second page or third
23 Q. Did he -- can you see a part where he apparently, according to
24 the English translation, said that yesterday the municipality had been
1 A. That's exactly what I'm looking for. That's what you said. It's
2 after this, "The government of the BH should look into ...," right? Yes,
3 yes, it's that paragraph, yes:
4 "Yesterday, the municipality of Bosanski Brod was proclaimed
5 according to the wishes of that people."
6 Q. And that was -- we are talking about, just so there's no
7 misunderstanding, a Serb municipality; is that correct?
8 A. Let me read out the whole thing once again, I'm not sure.
9 Q. No, don't, please, just tell us --
10 A. "The revolt of the people is on the rise. They are going to
11 become an army themselves. Yesterday, the municipality of Bosanski Brod
12 was" -- I really don't know who this refers to.
13 Q. Well, this is the head of the SDS, isn't it? He is referring to
14 a Serbian municipality being declared?
15 A. That is not what is written here. It doesn't say Serbian.
16 Q. All right.
17 A. Let's try to look at the context once again, but it really does
18 not say Serb. That is not what is written here. How to protect the
19 border, revolt among the people is on the rise, they are going to turn
20 into an army themselves, yesterday the municipality of Bosnia Brod was
21 proclaimed according to the wishes of that people, I don't know who this
22 refers to.
23 Q. You are not suggesting, are you, that it was a declaration of a
24 Croat municipality of Bosanski Brod?
25 A. No, I'm not trying to say that either. I'm just trying to
1 decipher this. I mean, to place it into a context to be sure of what I'm
2 saying. Because you see here at the beginning he says that none of the
3 Serbs can cross the bridge in Brod, and then further on he says well
4 possibly --
5 Q. Stop, stop. Look at, please, your entry for the
6 10th of March, 1992, which is -- move it through the diary to the 10th
7 of March.
8 MS. KORNER: 107B, 20103.02. Tab 107B. Okay. Can we go,
9 please, to Radonovic [sic] again which is on the next page, please, in
10 English. No, there's that's fine. Yes.
11 Q. Item number 5:
12 "In case legal authorities begin to function, the Serbian
13 municipality of Bosanski Brod will be put on ice ..."
14 Do you agree that's what you wrote?
15 A. Wait a moment, are we talking about the 10th or the 24th now? A
16 moment ago you took me back to the meeting of the 10th, what I wrote down
18 Q. The 10th of -- no, I didn't. The 10th of March, please.
19 A. Oh, the 10th of March, sorry, I went back to the 10th of
20 February. I'm really sorry.
21 Q. You can look at it on the screen, Mr. Bjelosevic.
22 A. Found it. The 10th of March, Radovanovic.
23 Q. It's just one simple question, Mr. Bjelosevic, don't go into
24 anything else: Do you agree that clearly at that earlier meeting and
25 this meeting, Mr. Radovanovic is talking about the establishment of a
1 Serbian municipality in Bosanski Brod? That is the only question.
2 A. Yes, but I would like to look at this in its entirety, in the
3 entire context. I attended the meeting and I have to tell you that the
4 municipality was full of uniformed people and --
5 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Bjelosevic, I'm going to prevent you because, as
6 you know, we say that is irrelevant. All that I'm trying to establish is
7 that there was a Bosanski Brod Serbian municipality.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Korner, is this contested by the Defence.
9 MS. KORNER: I don't know, Your Honours. I haven't the faintest
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Could the Defence let us know?
12 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, that is precisely why I don't see
13 what is the point. There is no contention that there existed throughout
14 the Bosnia-Herzegovina the different municipalities, the Muslim
15 municipality, the Croatian municipality and the Serb municipality, within
16 the same territory of the previous municipality that existed in Bosnia
17 and Herzegovina.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: So how much further do we need to --
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, we don't -- but -- I am sorry. I
20 really -- all I'm asking is a simple, straightforward question which the
21 witness at the moment is not particularly keen on answering. I made my
22 objections about this. If the evidence had gone untested or unchallenged
23 in the 40 pages of evidence this witness gave, you would never have known
24 that there was a Serbian municipality of Bosanski Brod set up. Now, I
25 don't want to take it any further, and, Your Honours, I didn't want to
1 take it any further even with the diary, but I couldn't get the witness
2 to agree with me, as you saw, and only Your Honours can decide this case
3 on the evidence and not counsel's suggestions.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 MR. ZECEVIC: If I may have a constructive solution, perhaps,
6 Your Honours. The Defence is ready to stipulate that this is the diary
7 of Mr. Bjelosevic. We can stipulate. The diary talks for itself. It's
8 written here what is written, and then the Prosecutors may rely on
9 certain portions of this diary and the Defence may rely on the other
10 portions of this diary, and, therefore, we can avoid all these questions
11 about it, about the contents of the diary. We are ready to stipulate,
12 this is his diary, we believe that the Office of the Prosecutor checked
13 the contents of the diary, they had it -- they are taking it each and
14 every day, they want to make a photocopy of it, so we believe that is --
15 and the witness confirms that its his diary, so we don't have to contest
16 that. We are not contesting it. Therefore, we are ready to stipulate
17 the diary.
18 JUDGE HALL: Which stipulation you would accept, Ms. Korner.
19 MS. KORNER: We are talking about -- sorry, Your Honour, we are
20 talking about two completely different things. I'm not interest in his
21 diary entries on this matter. The only reason I referred to his diary
22 entries was because I couldn't get him to admit that there was a Serbian
23 municipality of Bosanski Brod declared at this particular date. And you
24 can't just stipulates to the diary. The diary entries on their own may
25 be meaningless and we can't interpret them unless we ask him about them.
1 You can't just stipulate, of course we agree that's his diary, but the
2 importance of the entries only relates to the evidence. Mr. Zecevic's
3 suggestion is so wholly irrelevant on this particular point.
4 JUDGE HALL: Let's proceed in the manner we are going. We may
5 find at the end of the day that that is a shorter course.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, no, no, I don't want to waste my
7 valuable time on this, but we may have to have an argument. This diary
8 in itself is utterly meaningless. It's his own notes, it's only when
9 it's related to the events or he explains them.
10 JUDGE HALL: I heard you, Ms. Korner. I fully understand what
11 you are saying.
12 MS. KORNER: Yes. Right. Your Honours, I have, in fact,
13 completed -- and can I say, it's quite clear, I would never have referred
14 to this diary if he had simply answered the question directly, yes, there
15 was such a declaration. Right.
16 Q. Can we leave, please, Bosanski Brod, which is all I intend -- the
17 two questions, or the only two questions that I intend to ask you, and
18 just deal with the take-over of Doboj, the allegation you make that --
19 and you made in answer to the Judges, that the only armed people who were
20 coming into Doboj back from the Croatian front were those who had joined
21 the Croatian forces, is that what you say?
22 A. I don't think that that is what I had said, that the only ones
23 who were coming were Croats, as you had put it, no. What I was saying
24 was that people were coming, people in uniform and with weapons, coming
25 from the front and Croatia.
1 Q. Now, what you actually said because you were specifically asked
2 about this by one of the Judges --
3 MR. ZECEVIC: Can we have the reference, please.
4 MS. KORNER: Just wait. That is exactly what I'm looking for.
5 Right. 19443.
6 Q. Judge Delvoie:
7 "Mr. Zecevic, before we go to that one, Mr. Bjelosevic, you said
8 that it would happen that members of all sorts of formations would come
9 back from Croatia, the Croatian front, I suppose to their home areas in
10 the Doboj area, they would come wearing uniforms and they would often
11 carry weapons. They would come wearing uniforms and all different sorts
12 of formations, you said. Am I correct by taking that generally the
13 uniforms were JNA or would that be other uniforms as well?
14 "A. Of course some wore JNA uniforms, those that belonged to JNA
15 units. However, what I meant here was they were primarily members of the
16 Croatian National Guards, the HOS units from Croatia and the other units
17 that had been established there. People from the Doboj region went and
18 joined these units as volunteers."
19 Now, it may be that I misunderstood and if so I withdraw the
20 suggestion that's what you said, in fact it wasn't just members of HOS,
21 as you put it, who were coming back armed, it was also Serbs who had
22 responded to the mobilisation for the war in Croatia, wasn't it?
23 A. Well, I did say other units as well, and on another occasion I
24 said that of course Serbs responded to the JNA call-up and that there
25 were those who were armed. And there's no denying that. They moved
1 about and I don't know what your specific question is. I did not deny
2 that there were Serbs who were uniformed, armed and who were in the army.
3 Q. And by May of 1992 not only there were Serbs who had been in the
4 JNA, but there were paramilitary organisations actually moving into the
5 Doboj area, weren't there, Serb paramilitary organisations?
6 A. Let me try to answer this question as clearly as possible so that
7 there's no confusion. As for paramilitary formations, I'm talking about
8 paramilitary formations now, although we were talking about arming. In
9 the second half of 1992, in the beginning of 1992, actually, all the way
10 up until the beginning of May, as far as Doboj was concerned at least,
11 Serbs responded to the JNA call-up. Please try to understand this very
12 carefully now. In that period until May, to the best of my knowledge,
13 there were not any Serb paramilitary formations in the area. When the
14 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed and when the JNA withdrew
15 from the area, what happened was that certain units, smaller ones,
16 started behaving outside the system, as it were, and they assumed the
17 nature of paramilitary structures. I think that I had said that before
18 as well.
19 Q. I'm putting to you, let me put this quite clearly, and I'll give
20 you the names, that the White Eagles, a group that are well known to you,
21 turned up in Doboj before May of 1992?
22 A. I'm sorry, but I am not familiar with that group. I really would
23 want to see who these White Eagles were before the month of May. I
24 really do not know about them.
25 Q. A group calling themselves Predo's wolves came into Doboj?
1 A. Do you mean Pedro's or Preda's wolves?
2 Q. I think I mean Predo's, but anyhow you know perfectly well who
3 I'm talking about. They were there, weren't they?
4 A. This is what I was telling you a moment ago. It was a unit which
5 was part of the JNA, so it's one of those units that were part of the
6 JNA. They were mainly individuals from Ozren. However, in early May, as
7 the JNA started to withdraw, the unit started operating quite
8 autonomously and if they have wrestled themselves out of a system, then I
9 suppose you could call them a paramilitary unit. And they weren't the
10 only ones but they weren't the White Eagles.
11 Q. What action -- sorry, and these people were terrorising, weren't
12 they, the non-Serb population?
13 A. Yes. According to my knowledge, they engaged in rogue behaviour
14 in May.
15 Q. I am sorry. My specific question --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Criminal behaviour, interpreter's addition.
17 MS. KORNER:
18 Q. My specific question was they were terrorising the non-Serb
19 population, but you said yes to that even though you got the
21 A. Well, I said yes.
22 Q. Now, let me deal with some of the facts for the take-over. At
23 the last session of the Doboj Municipal Assembly, Mr. Ninkovic, who was
24 head of the SDS, proposed a division of the Doboj town, didn't he?
25 A. I had information to that effect. I don't know who proposed
1 that, but that there was talk of Petar Uric street which divides the
2 urban core of the town from Orasje and so on.
3 Q. The SDA members of the Assembly did not agree with that division
4 and they left, didn't they?
5 A. I don't know the details, I didn't attend the Municipal Assembly
7 Q. All right. But you did know, didn't you, that there was no
8 agreement that was arrived at at the Assembly about any division of
10 A. My information at the time was that they were trying to reach an
11 arrangement to divide the town by reference to that particular street.
12 Where these discussions took them, I don't know.
13 Q. Right. Well, before the take-over on the night of the 2nd to the
14 3rd of May, there was no agreement reached. You knew that, didn't you?
15 A. I knew that no final agreement was reached. However, to make it
16 easier for you to understand, the fact of the matter was that just beyond
17 that street it was the Muslim forces which held that part of town,
18 whereas this other end of town, the urban core of the town, were under
19 the control of the police.
20 Q. So, what are you calling the Muslim forces?
21 A. There were certain forces of theirs which held that part of town
22 under their control. You have the reports that I sent on that issue.
23 There were Green Berets and members of the Patriotic League, and some of
24 it was from the Territorial Defence that was under their organisation.
25 Q. Weren't they just Muslim citizens who you were calling
1 Green Berets, members of the Patriotic League? Weren't they just Muslims
2 who happened to live in that part of the town?
3 A. There were armed formations. You can see that in those
4 documents. There were squads, platoons, companies. They had their
5 commanding structures. They had military instructor come to train the
6 forces over there, and now that we are discussing it, at Gradina itself,
7 sometime in April, I can't remember the exact date, they hoisted a flag
8 which caused quite a bit of anger and there were threats that the area
9 would come under attack from the army. I went to see Mr. Alicic, the
10 president of the Municipal Assembly at the time and he used his authority
11 to calm the situation down. The flag was taken down and no major
12 incident happened.
13 MR. KRGOVIC: What is this line of question because I think it's
14 educated fact. All this events was covered by adjudicated fact. For
15 example, adjudicated fact 1 to 66 cover all this split of Doboj and all
16 this [indiscernible]. So what is the purpose of asking this question?
17 MS. KORNER: I read that to him deliberately, Mr. Krgovic, and
18 the purpose of asking the questions is because, so far, every adjudicated
19 fact that we have, this witness has challenged. So I'm trying to find
20 out what he does accept. But thank you for the helpful intervention,
21 Mr. Krgovic. I rather think the Judges had realised I was reading the
22 adjudicated fact.
23 Q. This was, wasn't it -- this was your excuse, your and the Serbs'
24 excuse for taking over the town of Doboj, as you've already told us, the
25 alleged attack that was about to happen an alleged attack?
1 A. It wasn't an alleged attack. That's how it was. It was just a
2 matter of time and of who would keep the town under their control and
3 there was information gathered at the time both by national security and
4 public security, and I do believe that the information is true.
5 Q. Let's deal with what actually happened.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: Sorry, Ms. Korner, just one matter. The witness's
7 answer on 71/25 was recorded as part of your question. There's no answer
8 recorded of the witness.
9 MS. KORNER: From the words, "That's how it was." Yes.
10 Q. What happened was this: The CSB was taken over and all non-Serb
11 officers were -- police officers were expelled, weren't they?
12 A. I don't know that they were expelled. How do you mean
14 Q. Thrown out of the police station.
15 A. Well, expelled and fled is not one in the same thing.
16 Q. All right. Some fled, many were arrested, weren't they?
17 A. What followed next, the arrests around the town is not something
18 that I took any part in or was specifically informed of, and I've already
19 said as much.
20 Q. But, Mr. Bjelosevic, I understand that, but you were there for
21 the take-over, your CSB could not have been taken over without your
22 consent and knowledge, could it?
23 A. Between the 2nd and the 3rd, I was not in the police building.
24 It was at around 8.00 or 7.30 in the morning on the 3rd that I arrived
25 there. But I'm not denying what you are saying that there were people
1 arrested, including members of the police. If that's what your question
2 is about, then you are right.
3 Q. Right. That was the first part of my question. I need to go
4 back then, please. You were involved, Mr. Bjelosevic, weren't you, in
5 the planning of this take-over?
6 A. No.
7 Q. The whole take-over was planned without any reference to you or
8 input by you, is that what you are telling the Court?
9 A. I know that it had been planned and that an order had been issued
10 for the engagement of the army on that particular task, and it was
11 carried out on the night between the 2nd and the 3rd of May.
12 Q. By the army, and particularly in respect of the CSB by the police
13 as well, wasn't it?
14 A. One of the buildings that were taken over at the time was the
15 centre or the station. It comes down to the same thing.
16 Q. Yes. Taken over by police officers with the assistance of the
18 A. I would say that it was taken over by the army. The army. It
19 was in the morning that the police took over the building. I was able to
20 see that some offices in the building were forcibly entered. I don't
21 think that police officers would have done that had they been there.
22 Q. But I just want to get this quite straight, Mr. Bjelosevic. You
23 are saying, are you, that you knew what was going to happen but you stood
24 back from it and took no part?
25 A. Let me be quite specific and clear. I was at the place from
1 where the action started. Lipac on the slopes of Mount Ozren. I knew
2 that the military action would go ahead. I stayed up there until the
3 morning. I was up at Lipac until the morning. Once the action was
4 carried out, I came to town to the police building.
5 Q. Final question before we break: Who do you say was in charge of
6 the police forces that is were involved in this take-over?
7 A. What the extent of the police forces participated in that was, I
8 don't know, but there is a letter which I obtained at a later date which
9 was also addressed to the command of the operational group and the
10 Municipal Assembly. I handed it over here where the individuals who
11 signed themselves as the defenders of Lipac say that Obren Petrovic had
12 gathered them and was in command. You have that document.
13 Q. Yeah. So we are back to this, aren't we, everything that
14 happened in Doboj for the next two months or so, the fault is that of
15 Obren Petrovic? That's what you are saying, isn't it?
16 A. No, no, I'm not claiming that Obren is to blame for everything.
17 The circumstances were the way they were. I only told you what I knew
18 about it and what the letter said.
19 MS. KORNER: Can I just finish this, Your Honour, and then
20 we'll --
21 Q. Obren Petrovic was your inferior. You were his superior officer.
22 We went through that. Are you telling this Court that of his own bat,
23 without any input from you, he was in charge of the police that night?
24 A. That's not what I said. I only said what the letter said. I
25 said where I was up until the morning.
1 Q. Right. Did you -- Mr. Bjelosevic, did you put Mr. Petrovic in
2 charge of the police that night?
3 A. No sort of authorisation was requested of me, nor did I give any,
4 and I said at the beginning, according to the information I had, it was
5 the army that took over the building. As far as I know, the police
6 participated in the taking over of some other buildings in terms of
7 providing security until the morning.
8 Q. Again without any instructions or input from you?
9 A. Well, allow me to make it quite clear, when the action was
10 launched, the commander who was in charge of it and who ordered it,
11 Major Stankovic, assessed the situation in the way that the police force
12 should not be the one involved in the taking over of the police building
13 of their own members. The police force engaged on that night was mixed.
14 There were Serbs, Muslims, and Croats among them. I know that the
15 arrangement was that these people should be treated fairly and that there
16 should be no violence. There is no doubt that the town was taken over.
17 This is not in dispute. I'm merely trying to explain through various
18 details how it all played out.
19 MS. KORNER: Right. Thank you.
20 JUDGE HALL: I would let everybody have their five minutes back
21 so we'll reconvene at 2.35
22 [The witness stands down]
23 --- Break taken at 1.50 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 2.38 p.m.
25 [The witness takes the stand]
1 MS. KORNER:
2 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, just before we adjourned when you were explaining
3 that you had nothing whatsoever to do with the take-over, the planning,
4 or the execution thereof, you said at page 74, line 5:
5 "What the extent of the police forces participating in that was,
6 I don't know, but there is a letter which I obtained at later date
7 addressed to the command of the operational group. I handed it over here
8 with the individuals who signed themselves as the defenders of Lipac say
9 that Obren Petrovic gathered them and was in command. You have that
11 Now, this is a document you've not given certainly not to us
12 before. Is this a document you'd given to the Defence before? You had
13 given it to the Defence? Sorry, you have to say yes.
14 A. No, not to the Defence. When I went home, that was submitted
15 with all the other copies. I didn't deny so categorically that I didn't
16 know anything about that and that I was in no way involved. If I have to
17 repeat, I can say that I knew that that would happen that evening.
18 There's no doubt about that. And I sent this document with all the other
19 copies of all the other documents.
20 Q. It's one of the documents you say which you gave to VWS. I may
21 say I'm not interested in the contents but I want to ask you about the
23 MS. KORNER: We've only just had it translated, Your Honours,
24 because it was only given to us at the beginning of the week. We've done
25 the translation and it's on Sanction if that can be put ...
1 Q. Is that the document you referred to earlier this morning, or
2 this afternoon, rather?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Right. Where did you get the document?
5 A. That document was sent to several addresses. You can see the
6 list of the addressees at the bottom, and I received the document at the
7 time when it was sent all those addresses, somebody gave it to me, but I
8 don't remember who it was.
9 Q. And when was that? There's no date on this document.
10 A. That was in the course of 1993, if my memory serves me properly.
11 Q. The document is not signed?
12 A. Well, yes, it was signed with the words combatants of the Lipovac
13 company, that's how it was drafted. There were a lot of such letters
14 with similar contents and I don't mean in terms of the facts but in terms
15 of various demands, but there were no signatures. Those documents would
16 be signed in general terms by combatants of this or other group or
18 Q. Nothing to show where it was sent, any stamp, any receipt. Would
19 not these people have stamped a receipt on it? Received on such and such
20 a day, the operations group or the municipal board or the president of
21 the Municipal Assembly or the president of the Executive Board? Wasn't
22 that standard practice in 1993?
23 A. I really don't remember who gave it to me, and as for the list of
24 the addresses to which it was sent you can see that, and I know that I
25 already discussed this document with some people at that time. At that
1 time the address -- the signatories of this document were mentioned. I
2 don't know how relevant it is, but persons like Slobodan Devic and others
3 were mentioned as being the authors of the documents. But let me go back
4 to my service, that was the objective of this letter, that was its goal.
5 Q. Yes. Of course you know what evidence Obren Petrovic gave, don't
6 you, in this Court?
7 A. Yes, I know some of it.
8 Q. [Did you watch him giving evidence?
9 A. I read the summaries that are published by the SENSE agency at
10 the end of the day so I know more or less what was said.
11 Q. That's the last question I want to ask about this, the tenor of
12 your evidence when asked questions by Mr. Zecevic is that effectively
13 Petrovic was in charge and certainly during the months of May, June --
14 May and June? That's correct, isn't it?
15 A. I beg your pardon?
16 Q. Your evidence to this Court when asked questions by Mr. Zecevic
17 has been to the effect that you were not there and Mr. Petrovic was in
18 charge of the police activities in Doboj?
19 A. That's correct, and if we are familiar with the structure of the
20 police, the police would be in the public security station, not in the
21 Security Services Centre.
22 Q. All right. That's all I want to ask. Thank you. Now, can we
23 deal, please, with the events in Doboj. The Muslim population was
24 ordered to surrender its weapons, wasn't it, in the town of Doboj during
25 the take-over?
1 A. Yes, there was an appeal. By a certain time in the afternoon on
2 the 3rd of May, they were invited to surrender their weapons and not
3 engage in any combat, in any armed conflicts. I don't know what the
4 dead-line was, it may have been 1700 hours, but I am not sure. I know
5 that about an hour and an hour and a half before that dead-line, strong
6 fire was opened in the -- along the stretch parallel to the Petko Djuric
7 street, as we have mentioned.
8 Q. Is that strong fire by the Muslims, is that what you are
10 A. Well, it was on both sides that the fire was open and what ensued
11 was an armed conflict. Up to then, there were no victims, no
12 destruction, nothing. However, about an hour or an hour and a half
13 before the expiry of that dead-line that was contained in the appeal to
14 surrender weapons in order to avoid any armed conflicts, there was strong
15 fire opened on both sides.
16 Q. Isn't the truth that from the expiry of the dead-line, the JNA
17 units, the army units shelled the Muslim districts of Doboj town, in
18 particular a place called Kasija -- Carsija. Thank you.
19 A. I was in town at the time. I was in the police building and
20 first I heard fire being opened from infantry weapons and then I heard
21 artillery explosions as well.
22 Q. During the course of the shelling, isn't it right that the mosque
23 and the Roman Catholic church were badly damaged?
24 A. In the course of that armed conflict, in the course of that
25 combat, the Privedna Banka building was damaged and it caught fire, and I
1 suppose there was damage inflicted on the other buildings that were close
2 to that front line. As for the Catholic church, I can say that it is at
3 the end of Petko Djuric street and one of the mosques, or, rather, two
4 mosques are right above the Catholic church. I don't know how heavily
5 damaged they were because I did not inspect the area at the time, I was
6 not near the area.
7 Q. At the end of this shelling, large numbers -- the troops moved in
8 and large numbers of Muslims were arrested and taken to prison; weren't
10 A. The combat lasted on until very late. It was already very dark
11 when the shelling subdued. I don't know how late it was, I can't say at
12 the moment, but there were no street lights so I don't know who moved
13 around the town and what was going on. I stayed in the police building
14 until very late that night and I could hear the shattering of the shop
15 window glass. Then I called the police station and asked them to see
16 what was going on. There was no more gun-fire but I could hear the sound
17 of the breaking glass. A few police officers were sent out and it was
18 established that some groups had broken shop windows on a goldsmith's
19 shop and on a department store, I believe. The two were both very close
20 to the police building and that's what I heard. I don't know what else
21 was happening, it was dark, I did not move about the town so I don't
23 Q. You say that you heard artillery. The only people who had
24 artillery that night were the Serb troops, weren't they, the JNA?
25 A. Smaller calibre cannons mortars had also been obtained by all the
1 sides that were preparing for future conflicts, but the truth is that the
2 JNA was best equipped, that it had the best artillery tools and armoured
3 equipment. Whether fire was opened on both side or just one side, I
4 don't know, but I know that immediately thereafter shells started
5 falling, or rather, that it started happening in early May from Tesanj
6 and other places, shells started falling on Doboj.
7 Q. Can I move to some of the other areas. Vukovace [phoen] Civcije?
8 A. Civcije. Let me help you. Civcije.
9 Q. That was occupied by the Serb troops on the 4th of May after a
10 surrender of weapons had been ordered?
11 A. I don't know exactly when that happened. I don't know the date,
12 but I know that a demand was issued for every place that was known to
13 have weapons that it was requested that the weapons be surrendered. I
14 don't know what exactly happened there. I only know what I heard
15 subsequently. I don't know have any firsthand knowledge about what
16 happened there.
17 Q. And after that, during the course of May and June, people from
18 that village were arrested, taken to camps, and mistreated, weren't they?
19 You know that, don't you?
20 A. I subsequently heard about that, yes.
21 Q. Houses in that village were blown up as was the mosque; isn't
22 that right?
23 A. The mosque was blown up. I don't know when, I don't know on what
24 date. And fire was set to a number of houses. I know that houses were
25 not destroyed, but some were set on fire, I know that.
1 Q. What about Grapska, let's deal with that. On the 10th of May,
2 there was an ultimatum, wasn't there, to hand over their weapons?
3 A. I'm not sure about the date. Again, I don't want to confirm that
4 that was on that a date, but there was a demand to surrender weapons.
5 There were a lot of armed people there. I, myself, sometime in April
6 passed through that village from the direction of Modrica. There was an
7 accident so I took the regional road and to my huge astonishment as I was
8 passing through the village, there was a machine-gun nest. In the centre
9 of the village there was a shelter made of sand bags, and there was
10 53-millimetre machine-gun and there was a crew of several people. So,
11 yes, they were armed, as you said.
12 Q. But the village was then shelled, wasn't it? I am sorry, I
13 should -- this one I can be rather more specific. It was subjected to
14 fire from tanks, anti-aircraft missile mortars, wasn't it?
15 A. Well, I'm familiar with the weapons, and when you get something
16 wrong I'm bothered. There's no anti-aircraft missile mortars there,
17 anti-aircraft guns. I know there was a demand on Grapska to surrender
18 weapons, and I know that demand was never complied with. There were some
19 armed activities over there later and those are very fierce activities.
20 I wasn't there, so I wouldn't be able to furnish you with any detail,
22 Q. You do know the aftermath, don't you? People that were taken
23 prisoner were killed, weren't they, by a man called Nikola Jorgic?
24 A. Nikola Jorgic, again I can't give you any detail, I don't know.
25 However, during that period of time some ugly comments were heard about
1 Jorgic's comport and conduct. Now that we've mentioned that, that was
2 one of the reasons why I had a strong argument with the Petrovic Defence
3 because that Jorgic turned up in the army and then he turned up in the
4 police station as a member of the reserve police, he appeared with his
5 group. And that's what I found from the very beginning, something that
6 bothered me, something that I couldn't agree with. And when I spoke to
7 the Defence about that, his Defence was that he had been issued with an
8 order to welcome those units and volunteers as TO members, and I
9 continued to assert that. There was no foundation for that pursuant to
10 the Law on National Defence, Territorial Defence could be engaged in
11 protecting public law and order, but this was not the case. This was an
12 armed conflict.
13 Q. Sorry, I am not quite clear. It may be that something went wrong
14 with the translation. You are recorded in English as saying:
15 "... something that bothered me, something I couldn't agree with.
16 And when I spoke to the Defence about that, his Defence, what he had been
17 issued was with" --
18 A. Not the Defence, Obren, Obren Petrovic.
19 Q. Right. Okay. We'll come to Jorgic in a moment, but it's right
20 also, wasn't it, that during the shelling, people were actually killed,
21 during the shelling of Grapska?
22 A. Probably there were some casualties.
23 Q. And after the army went in, they separated, didn't they, the
24 women and children from the men and the men were taken to camps and also
25 the prison in Doboj?
1 A. It's possible that that is how it happened. I was not there and
2 I don't know. And at the time I did not have any specific information on
4 Q. I'm going to look at some of the information that was available
5 to you at the time. Can I just finish with one other place. Sevarlije,
6 was that shelled in mid-June?
7 A. Sevarlije.
8 Q. Yes. I agree, I have enormous difficult with words that have Cs
9 and Js in it. But that's the one I'm talking about, was that shelled in
11 A. I don't know when there was combat at that place. There was also
12 an appeal to surrender weapons there as well, as far as I know, and there
13 were some combat there, some fighting going on, but what happened to
14 those weapons, whether it was taken or surrendered or not at all, I don't
15 know what was the outcome. But I know that something was going on there.
16 Q. So in each of these cases, you are saying that the shelling and
17 firing on these villages was justified because, as you understand it
18 because you say you weren't there, people were fighting, that the
19 villagers were fighting? Is that what you are saying?
20 A. Excuse me, I never mentioned what was justified or unjustified or
21 whether the force was proportional. What I know is that there was
22 fighting there. I never justified any burning, any setting on fire, and
23 I don't know how it came to be, whether it was through the action of
24 weaponry or whether things were set on fire. What I do know is that in
25 some villages there was combat, what I don't know are the details.
1 Q. All right.
2 MS. KORNER: Can we have a look, please, then there's a few
3 reports that you say you would -- you had intelligence. Let's see if you
4 knew about these. Can we look, first of all, please, at -- no, we can't.
5 16B, please, which is document 20122. Yes.
6 Q. This is a report signed "Milos" dated the 12th of May:
7 "According to insufficiently verified reports, an artillery
8 attack on the Muslim village of Grapska, Doboj municipality, caused very
9 many civilian casualties, including children. The Serbian defence forces
10 were forced to carry out the attack since there were strong Green Berets
11 forces in the village which were firing on villages inhabited by Serbs."
12 Were you aware of this kind of intelligence?
13 A. No. I haven't received this information and I never used to
14 receive information directly from the operatives who gathered information
15 in the field. I would get compilations and mostly the information
16 relating to the enemy forces and then I compared that with the
17 information collected by the military intelligence and that way when we
18 combined the two, we were able to improve the quality of our
19 intelligence. But trust me, I never requested any of the operatives to
20 tell me anything, nor did I know their operative names.
21 Q. All right. But did you get -- whether you saw or received this
22 one in particular, did you hear that there were -- through your
23 intelligence, very many civilian casualties, including children?
24 A. It was later, after the events when I heard that there were
25 casualties. I don't know their number, I don't know how many civilians,
1 how many members of armed formations, and I don't know whether there were
2 any children, and if so, how many. I really know nothing about that.
3 Q. All right.
4 MS. KORNER: Can we look, please, at a report of the following
5 day, which is document, please, 20004. Tab 17:
6 Q. "According to the latest reports," says Milos, "there is no
7 imminent danger of a direct attack on Doboj by units of HOS and the
8 Muslim armed force, although the security situation is still difficult
9 since units of the JNA and SOS do not control large parts of the Doboj
10 municipality, primarily those inhabited by Croats and Muslims."
11 Who was SOS?
12 A. I don't know. The author of this report ought to know. I don't
14 Q. Do you agree that on the 13th of May, there was no imminent
15 danger of a direct attack on Doboj by units of HOS or the Muslims, the
16 Patriotic League, the Green Berets, whatever you call them?
17 A. At that time there was a concentration of forces in the north,
18 that is from the direction of Derventa. At Kotorsko and in Johovac.
19 There were parts of the Croatian Army brigades there, the
20 64th Rijeka Brigade, there are documents about that, then one brigade
21 from Osijek, from Slavonska Pozega, and I think also parts of the brigade
22 from Slavonski Brod. And we observed that area constantly. We were on
23 alert because you have to understand, it used to be one state, the
24 service was very well developed, it used to have great network of
25 informers and we used to receive good intelligence both from Croatia and
1 from the areas controlled by Muslim forces. An option to attack along
2 the national road was seriously considered; that is coming from north,
3 from Johovac, in order to connect with Tesanj and in that way to control
4 the Bosna river valley.
5 Q. The short answer is no you don't agree with that assertion that
6 there's no imminent danger on May 13th?
7 A. Well, I wouldn't know about the specific day, it's very difficult
8 for me to speak about specific days from where I sit now. I mean, it's
9 been quite awhile ago, but there was definitely a possibility of an
10 attack coming from the north and the possibility of those forces linking
11 up with the forces along the Bosna river. We permanently followed the
12 situation and that problem was definitely very much present at the time.
13 MS. KORNER: Can we look finally on this part of the events at
14 document, please, which is already an exhibit, P1337.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: Sorry, tab number?
16 MS. KORNER: Tab 20.
17 Q. Now, this is by the same author, Milos, and the report is dated
18 the 17th of May.
19 MS. KORNER: Perhaps we ought to go to the second page so you can
20 just confirm that. Sorry, can we go to the next page, please, in both
21 the B/C/S and in English. Yes. Okay, let's go back, please, back to the
22 first page, please.
23 Q. The report begins that:
24 "In the Doboj region, the Serbian Territorial Defence in
25 co-operation with police units have started offensive operations against
1 the armed formations of HOS and the Green Berets." Pause there. Do you
2 agree that is a correct summary of the situation?
3 A. 17th of May?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. I don't know about which direction this man speaks. I can see
6 that he mentions Doboj, Brod, and Derventa, but it doesn't quite agree
7 with the date and also the Territorial Defence because on the 12th and
8 the 13th of May, the VRS had already been established, so maybe, I don't
9 know. Listen, it's hard for me to remember things by days. I also know
10 that sometime in May, I don't know exactly on which date, I went to
11 Belgrade. I took off from the Banja Luka airport. But let me tell you,
12 in this northern part, there were constant skirmishes, or to put it
13 militarily, the front was continuously active. There was fire contact
14 all the time. Well, I suppose that both sides were testing the forces on
15 the other side and I assume that there was some combat as this man wrote.
16 Q. I actually only want to deal with two small parts of this. In
17 the middle of the first paragraph, the author says:
18 "Many flats in Doboj were searched, many Muslim and Croatian
19 citizens were arrested."
20 Is that, to your knowledge, a correct assertion?
21 A. Let me tell you, later on I saw in the files that there was a
22 number of detained persons. How, on what basis, and who was detained,
23 that is something that I cannot comment on, because at the time I didn't
24 know what was going on in relation to this because the security work was
25 performed by the station. But probably, or not even probably,
1 definitely, yes, people were detained in large numbers. That is what I
2 saw from documents later on.
3 Q. We'll come on to the prison log-book in a moment. It goes on to
5 "During searches and arrests, there was incorrect behaviour by
6 so-called Special Forces of the Serbian armed formations. Apart from
7 visible injuries suffered by the arrested persons, there was
8 appropriation of private property by those carrying out the searches.
9 Such behaviour met with the indignation and condemnation of all honest
10 citizens especially the mobilised Serbian TO who threatened to use arms
11 against the Special Forces from Banja Luka and the Special Forces
12 organised by a man called Bozovic."
13 Firstly, who are the special forces from Banja Luka?
14 A. We already discussed this during examination-in-chief, and that
15 is when I told the Chamber what I know about how many people from
16 Banja Luka came and what was their status. And I'm going to repeat it
17 once again. I'm not aware of any special unit from Banja Luka as a
18 separate formation that acted independently, except a number of people
19 who performed security for the inspectors who arrived in order to help
20 the work of the national security. That's all I know about people from
21 Banja Luka. I really know nothing more than that.
22 Q. Okay. Pause there, we'll go on to the next one. So, you know
23 nothing about any so-called Special Police under the leadership of a man
24 called Ljuban Ecim or Samardzija, first name also?
25 A. That they were there as a unit and acted as a unit in the area of
1 Doboj? No. Apart from the people I've already mentioned who had that
2 particular status, and as far as I know they didn't arrive all at once.
3 They had shifts, exchanging shifts. So people who came first went back
4 and then the following team came and I think it was about 15 or 16 people
5 in total. Or maybe in two shifts or in three shifts, I wouldn't know the
6 details, but I think that the number is about 15 or 16 of them.
7 Q. Secondly, the man called -- Special Forces organised by a man
8 called Bozovic?
9 A. As for the presence of Bozovic and the forces ascribed to him, as
10 far as I know, there was 10 to 12 people. I think that Bozovic was a
11 major, and again, I have to emphasise that I do not know the truth but I
12 can tell you what I heard. I heard that they arrived there in order to
13 help the evacuation of the JNA units who were then being evacuated
14 towards Serbia. And then when the territory was cut off and the road
15 towards Serbia were closed, they remained. They organised training camps
16 and what I know, if that's of any relevance here, is that that was
17 training of highest quality. Everybody who underwent that training
18 successfully received a red beret as proof that they had undergone this
19 particular training successfully.
20 So the people who were trained in such a way were then sent to
21 JNA units, sometimes as squad commanders, sometimes in other status.
22 Later, there were people who had undergone this training who joined the
23 police. So according to what I know, the Bozovic's people were 10 or 12.
24 Q. All right. Thank you. That's all I want to ask you about that
1 MS. KORNER: Last document I want to show you on this topic of
2 the take-over, could we have a look, please at a video. It's under tab
3 16A, 202121, and there's a transcript. There is sound for this.
4 [Video-clip played]
5 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Many of them after the furlough
6 wished to continue their way. Every war has its heros. On this
7 assignment, we met Joja, not the one from Mount Kozara, from the last
8 war, but Joja from Krajina.
9 "They call me Joja. I'm known at all front lines, and let's keep
10 it that way.
11 "What front lines have you been at?
12 "Well, all over Serb Krajinas and in Posavina.
13 "Now you are here in Doboj, what has been your role and
14 assignment in Doboj?
15 "To protect Doboj from looting and similar things, along with my
17 "Describe to us what it was it like in Doboj and in Grapska since
18 we are now here near Grapska?
19 "I only arrived in Grapska upon invitation to regarding pulling
20 out refugees who that set off towards our town, and that's where we
21 assisted in the -- in transport of the refugees. But first some people
22 slandered me on the Sarajevo television and radio, saying that at this
23 place, which is also my neighbour's place, my machine men and I had
24 slaughtered and torched women and children. Their inhabitants denied
25 this yesterday and I'm denying it right now again. Neither I, nor
1 Karagic nor Dobrivoje were here at the time of the fighting. We neither
2 celebrated nor built fire, nor did we throw their women and children on
3 to the bonfire, into the fire.
4 "In the meantime, I've learned that before you came to our war
5 affected territories, you had a temporary job abroad."
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I think that's all we need.
7 Q. Now, Mr. Bjelosevic, do you recognise the man there?
8 A. Yes, that's Jorgic. Nikola Jorgic, nicknamed Joja.
9 Q. Where is Mr. Jorgic at present?
10 A. He is in Germany in prison. I think that he was arrested there
11 in 1990-something and there was a trial and he was convicted in Germany.
12 Q. And what was the trial about, do you know that?
13 A. About war crimes.
14 Q. War crimes committed during 1992 in Doboj; correct?
15 A. Yes. As far as I know, that's exactly the period.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, may that be admitted as an exhibit,
17 please. It's tab 16A.
18 JUDGE HALL: Is there an objection?
19 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I note that this document was not on
20 the original 65 ter list.
21 JUDGE HALL: That apart, is there any objection?
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, that is my objection. The only objection I
24 JUDGE HALL: So there would be a double application admitted
25 65 ter list then as an exhibit.
1 MS. KORNER: I'm not sure. If Your Honours think that's right
2 because it's Defence case -- so our 65 ter list is not really an issue
3 anymore, I don't think.
4 JUDGE HALL: Yes, yes, of course.
5 MS. KORNER: But if Your Honours think that it is ...
6 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
7 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P02324. Thank
10 MS. KORNER:
11 Q. Let's move, please, Mr. Bjelosevic, to the question of the prison
12 in Doboj and the prisoners. As I understood your evidence when you were
13 asked about this -- I'll come on to that later. Could you have a look,
14 please, at a photograph of Doboj.
15 MS. KORNER: Which is at tab 95. P1297. And it's at tab 95.
16 Not you, Mr. Bjelosevic.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I close this please to get it
18 out of my way. Yes, I understand what you are saying.
19 MS. KORNER:
20 Q. This is a recent photograph, Mr. Bjelosevic, but can you indicate
21 to us, please, first of all, where the CSB is and then the prison.
22 You'll be given a pen. If you could mark the CSB, once you've got your
23 bearings, as 1 and the prison as 2.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. Thank you. And is that the same position that it was in in 1992?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, may that be admitted and marked,
5 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P02325, Your Honours.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, if I may articulate my objections
8 now. We had a number of the Prosecutor's witnesses from Doboj. These
9 pictures are on their list. If I correctly understand, the purpose of
10 showing the documents at this stage by the Office of the Prosecutor is to
11 test the credible of the witness, not to further their case. That is my
12 understanding. And based on that, all these documents which we never saw
13 before which are having 20.000 something 65 ter numbers have been
14 disclosed to us, and Mr. Hannis, himself, confirmed that these documents
15 are used to test the credibility. They are not introduced for the truth
16 of its contents, but to test the credibility of the witness. Now, the
17 Office of the Prosecutor -- I'm not objecting to this particular
18 document. We've been on the site visit. I think we saw that it's not
19 contested at all. But I must say I'm a bit confused now because the
20 previous video also could have been shown to any of the OTP witnesses.
21 If the video was used for the test of the credibility of this witness, I
22 don't see that he gave any wrong answer. He confirmed everything what
23 Ms. Korner was putting to him concerning that particular issue that we
24 were discussing. This person Nikola Jorgic. Now, I must say that I'm
25 confused. Is this a part of the continuous of the Prosecutor's case?
1 That is my concern, Your Honour.
2 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honours, the general prince -- I don't
3 want to discuss it now because I've got such little time. But in this
4 case, I think this particular photograph has been marked by other
5 witnesses, and I don't imagine its contention. But it's important that
6 the Trial Chamber know that this witness knows, if you see what I mean,
7 but I really don't want to argue the principle of what the purpose of new
8 exhibits is at this stage. We've already been through this and it's a
9 lengthy argument, but this one, I simply don't understand what the
10 problem is.
11 JUDGE HALL: I was going to say that I didn't -- that the
12 cross-examination of the Defence witness includes the testing of the
13 credibility and/or reliability of the witness whether it is limited to
14 that, and I know of no principle whereby the ordinary rules by which
15 evidence comes in excludes evidence at this stage. Nevertheless, I
16 shared not the present exhibit but the previous one -- I -- when I asked
17 for objections from Defence, I, too, was surprised. I share your
18 surprise that it would have been -- that that new bit of evidence would
19 have come in at the instance of the Prosecution at that stage. In terms
20 of the present photograph up on the screen, it isn't remarkable at all
21 that -- and I go back to the practice before we had the electronic
22 photographs, you have an album of photographs in and the witnesses,
23 several witnesses would be shown it and indicate where their
24 recollections were, so nothing really turns on that, it's merely a
25 tidying-up exercise. It may be repetitious but it's ...
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I explicitly say I'm not objecting to
2 this particular document because it's not contested at all. What I
3 expressed is my concern, because you see, Your Honours -- I see that the
4 principle should be in my understanding that the Defence knows -- is made
5 aware of the Prosecution's case, and that is the purpose of the Rule 65
6 and the 65 ter list. Now we are in the Defence case and the Office of
7 the Prosecutor is introducing new evidence which have not been introduced
8 during the Prosecutor's case nor is on the 65 ter list of the Prosecutor
9 initially. That is my concern and that is the concern that I wanted to
10 share with the Trial Chamber. Thank you very much. It doesn't concern
11 the document.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I don't want to waste time arguing.
13 We are actually rehashing the same argument over and over again. But I
14 would like to get on -- the reasons, Your Honour, to finish this witness
15 and we can come back to this at a later stage, if that's all right. I
16 don't actually agree with Mr. Zecevic's assertion, and I've said that
17 before, nor do I agree that's what Mr. Hannis said when he was dealing
18 with this matter.
19 JUDGE HALL: [Microphone not activated] ... so your application
20 is for the --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
22 JUDGE HALL: Your application is for this photograph which we've
23 seen before as marked by this witness to be given an exhibit number.
24 MS. KORNER: Yes.
25 JUDGE HALL: So it may be admitted and marked.
1 MS. KORNER:
2 Q. Now, I want to understand your evidence. Is it your evidence on
3 the prisoner, Mr. Bjelosevic, that you did not know who was in prison and
4 had no control over what was happening --
5 JUDGE HALL: Sorry, Ms. Korner, did ...
6 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours, the document was given number
8 MS. KORNER:
9 Q. Is it your evidence, Mr. Bjelosevic, that you had no control over
10 who was held in that prison or how long they were kept there?
11 A. No.
12 Q. The system, if you like, however, was one that lay within your
13 authority as head of the CSB, didn't it?
14 A. What system and when? Can we be more specific.
15 Q. Yes. The whole -- not part of the Law on Internal Affairs that I
16 took you through this morning, but the fact that there are certain
17 prescribed norms under the law for how long prisoners may be held and the
18 right of prisoners to know why they are being arrested?
19 A. I agree that anybody who is arrested has to know why. A document
20 has to be issued to that effect by the person who arrested him, but I
21 don't know what your question is. If that is your question, then I can
22 say that I agree that that should be the case.
23 Q. Therefore, do you agree as the head of the CSB in Doboj, leaving
24 aside for the moment you say you weren't there, it was your
25 responsibility to ensure that the law was carried out, your own Serbian
1 law was carried out in Doboj?
2 A. Not during that period of time. I don't agree that I was the one
3 who could ensure that, and as you put it yourself in your previous
4 question, that I was the one who had that under my control, I don't agree
5 with that.
6 Q. Well, I am sorry, Mr. Bjelosevic, leaving aside what you say are
7 the special circumstances, as a matter of law, were you not responsible
8 for the proper application of the Law on Internal Affairs as regards
9 prisoners in Doboj?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Okay. You said no, that's fine. Just tell me, because I haven't
12 got that much time --
13 A. Allow me, I have to explain, please. I'm kindly asking the
14 Trial Chamber to allow me to complete my answers --
15 JUDGE HALL: [Overlapping speakers] ... Mr. Bjelosevic.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I took it upon myself to tell the
17 truth and the whole truth.
18 MS. KORNER:
19 Q. Yes, all right. Give me the answer but, please, shortly,
20 Mr. Bjelosevic. Why weren't you responsible?
21 A. Because the prison as an institution was under the control of the
22 Ministry of Justice and not of the Ministry of the Interior. That's the
23 first and most important reason. Secondly, the prison at the time and
24 always -- it has always had its guard service that took care of the
25 safety of the building and of the persons in the prisons. So I don't
1 know how I was supposed to be responsible for the situation in the
2 prison, especially bearing in mind that when once they are handed over,
3 only the person who signed the decision on the detention can then take
4 care of these things and nobody else.
5 Q. Now that's the point, sorry, not who is physically in charge of
6 the prison and the conditions in the prison, but that the law is complied
7 with for how long people may be kept in detention, being given the
8 reasons for their detention, and so on. That was the responsibility of
9 the police, wasn't it?
10 A. If the police arrested someone, then those people who did that
11 had the obligation to issue the decision on detention. And there always
12 have to be some reasons to detain somebody, a procedure has to be
13 followed, such a person has to be informed about what it is all about, I
14 entirely agree with you about that.
15 Q. All right. And for that, Mr. Bjelosevic, you were the senior
16 police officer in Doboj, weren't you?
17 A. I think that we have rehashed this topic on a number of
18 occasions, and yet I have to repeat myself. Both according to the Law on
19 the Interior and other regulations, the public security station is
20 responsible for the security related matters in its area of
21 responsibility. You had a chance to see that the Crisis Staff explicitly
22 ordered that very same thing in its decision. It was the station, or,
23 more precisely, the chief of the station.
24 Q. Right. Let me ask you, please, to look at a document which is
25 P1315, tab 15. Do you recognise that book?
1 A. All I can see is the log-book of extraction of the detainees, but
2 I don't know what book this is. I don't recognise the handwriting, I
3 don't know what's in it, I don't know.
4 Q. Well, have you never seen a book like this before?
5 A. No.
6 Q. All right. Well, let's just have a look and see if you recognise
7 some of the names.
8 MS. KORNER: Can we go to the next page, please, in B/C/S. I am
9 afraid it doesn't help much in English because they didn't translate the
10 names, just what happened to them.
11 Q. Let's deal with number 11, do you know who Jozo Mandic was?
12 A. Number 11? If I'm not mistaken, Jozo Mandic, if that's the
13 person, he was the president of the HDZ in Doboj. I believe that that
14 was his name actually.
15 Q. How old was he?
16 A. I don't know --
17 Q. You sure about that?
18 A. -- but he wasn't young.
19 Q. Over 70?
20 A. I don't know whether he was over 70, but he was getting on. He
21 was elderly.
22 Q. So you don't know, didn't you sign a criminal report against him?
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. All right. We'll come to that later. Number 12, Karlo Grgic,
25 who was he?
1 A. Karlo Grgic was a former commander of the police station in
2 Doboj. If I'm not mistaken during this specific period of time, he was
3 already retired.
4 Q. And what -- I should have asked you, first of all, what ethnicity
5 was Jozo Mandic?
6 A. Well, since he was the president of the HDZ, I assume that he was
8 Q. And Karlo Grgic?
9 A. As well.
10 Q. And number 13 on the list --
11 JUDGE HALL: Ms. Korner, I remind you of the time.
12 MS. KORNER: Yes, can I just finish number 13 and then I'm done.
13 Q. Number 13 on the list, who was he, do you know?
14 A. Ilija Tipura. Ilija Tipura was a member of the department for
15 foreigners. He was a member of the service.
16 Q. And his nationality?
17 A. Well, I think he was a Croat, too.
18 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honours, thank you very much. And thank
19 you very much, Your Honours, for giving me the extra time.
20 JUDGE HALL: Yes, well we take the adjournment for today. We are
21 grateful to the support staff, the Court Officers, the interpreters,
22 security staff, the stenographers for facilitating this, and we are
23 grateful, too, for the co-operation of the accused, Mr. Stanisic and
24 Mr. Zupljanin, in the disruption of their schedule to accommodate the
25 extra sitting. So we reconvene tomorrow morning at 9.00.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.52 p.m.
3 to be reconvened on Friday, the 20th day of May,
4 2011, at 9.00 a.m.