1 Wednesday, 20 February 2002
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody. Mr. Brdjanin.
6 Good morning to you. Could you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin and Momir Talic.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Brdjanin, as usual I'm going to put -- to
10 ask you whether you can hear me in a language that you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED BRDJANIN: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour,
12 yes, I can hear you and I understand you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. General Talic, good morning to you. The
14 same question. Can you hear me in a language that you can understand?
15 THE ACCUSED TALIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour, do
16 I understand you and I can hear you very well.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Now, appearances for the Prosecution?
18 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honours, for the Prosecution, Anna
19 Richterova, Joanna Korner and Denise Gustin, case manager.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you. For Mr. Brdjanin?
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Morning, Your Honours I'm John Ackerman along with
22 Tania Radosavljevic.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman. And for General Talic?
24 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Xavier de Roux, attorney at law from
25 Paris together with my co-counsel, Natasha Fauveau-Ivanovic.
1 Mr. President, my client, General Talic, made me aware of his wish
2 to change his Defence counsel. He doesn't seem to have enough confidence
3 in my health, which I have to say it's not at its best at the moment.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: General Talic?
5 THE ACCUSED TALIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my Defence
6 counsel told me that for reasons of health, he is not in a position to
7 attend the hearings as much as it would be desirable, as far as the
8 Chamber is concerned, and I think that the quality of my Defence would be
9 affected if my Defence counsel cannot attend the hearings always, and it
10 is quite clear that it is of -- because of health reasons that Mr. de Roux
11 cannot regularly attend the hearings. I am aware of the fact that I have
12 to give up a very good and experienced lawyer, much to my regret. I
13 should like to express my gratitude to Mr. de Roux here before the Chamber
14 for the effort that he has so far made in my Defence, and also to thank
15 him for leaving me as me Defence counsel, Madam Fauveau, who has so far
16 participated in the proceedings in a very quality way and has successfully
17 replaced Mr. de Roux when it was necessary. She will remain as my counsel
18 until further notice. I haven't given much thought to my new legal
19 representation. I was not -- I didn't have to and I wouldn't have to, had
20 it not been for the health reasons that were explained to me by
21 Mr. de Roux.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you may sit down, General Talic. Ms. Korner?
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think clearly this matter needs to be
24 discussed in a little more detail. I was unaware this was going to happen
25 this morning. What I would ask is, Mr. de Roux is here today, if we could
1 complete the witness who is giving evidence at the moment, and then I
2 think, Your Honours, we will have to take stock of the situation. Without
3 having been taken somewhat by surprise, although not altogether I have to
4 say, I don't know whether General Talic or Mr. de Roux have considered
5 whether there is anyone else in his firm that may be able to deal with the
6 matter, because otherwise, certain consequences arise which are not
7 particularly happy to contemplate.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Maitre de Roux? Thank you Ms. Korner.
9 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I fully agree, but
10 the wishes expressed by my client, it is evidence that the Prosecution
11 should not have any concerns. My firm will take care of the legal
12 representation of Mr. Talic for as long as Mr. Talic hasn't found a new
13 Defence counsel. The dossier, the case file, will be transmitted without
14 any interruption. I should like to make it clear here that I do not wish
15 to disrupt the proceedings in any way. And I will see that no
16 interruptions are made in any way personally.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner?
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I don't think that's going to be
19 particularly satisfactory because if General Talic -- if -- I'm sorry, if
20 the firm, I think it's Gide Loyal or something like that, but I can't
21 remember the exact name now, is no longer going to represent General Talic
22 at all, then whoever is -- and General Talic effectively is saying he has
23 withdrawn instructions from that firm, then whoever is going to take over
24 will clearly need to become heavily -- well, I wouldn't say involved but
25 will certainly need to have sufficient time to read his way into the
1 papers. Your Honour, as I say, at the moment, I wonder if -- it may be
2 that discussion between counsel when this witness is finished may be of
3 some assistance, but certainly the rules, as I understand them would
4 apply, was that if an accused person effectively is saying, "I no longer
5 have confidence in the particular set of lawyers and wish to instruct new
6 lawyers," then he is not really obtaining proper representation in any
7 evidence that may be called, which can, of course, have an affect if there
8 is an appeal. Your Honour, as I say at the moment --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: We have to delve quite deep in this, and also --
10 MS. KORNER: That's why I'm wondering whether it would be of some
11 assistance if, as I say, at the moment, as I understand it, Mr. de Roux is
12 here, the reason for the withdrawal of General Talic's instructions from
13 Mr. de Roux is because of his health problem so that he can't guarantee to
14 be here. So as I understand it, and perhaps we could confirm that with
15 the general, he is happy to be represented by Mr. de Roux at this moment
16 while he's here in which case we can certainly complete the witness, and
17 then, as I say, it might be of assistance if counsel in this case were
18 able to discuss the matter.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: General Talic, have you understood what the
20 Prosecutor, Ms. Korner, has just stated?
21 THE ACCUSED TALIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I understand the
22 argument. However, I should like to advance an objection, if I may. I
23 have utmost confidence in the firm of Mr. de Roux. That is not a
24 problem. My main concern is the health of Mr. de Roux, and the fact that
25 he can not attend the hearings as regularly as I would like and as
1 regularly as you said it would be desirable. I think that next week, he
2 is due to undergo some examinations and he will have to absent himself
3 from the trial as early as next week. That was the main reason for my
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Usually, the problem, General Talic -- you may sit
6 down because this might go on for a while and I don't want you to stay
7 standing all the time. The problem arose not because Maitre de Roux had
8 to absent himself for a number of sittings because of health reasons. The
9 problem arose because his co-counsel, for the first 12 sittings, showed up
10 for only two times. The whole idea of having a lead counsel and a
11 co-counsel is not to have them always infallibly for each and every
12 sitting here present. They can alternate, and most of the time they do.
13 But that's why you have a lead counsel and that's why you have a
14 co-counsel, but it's not tolerable that you can have a situation whereby
15 both one and the other do not show up. In the case of Maitre de Roux,
16 there was the full understanding of this Tribunal because health reasons
17 take almost precedence over everything else that would happen to myself,
18 it could happen to anyone here and if one is sick, one is sick. You can
19 do nothing about it. But that's why there is a co-counsel. At the
20 present moment, do you have a co-counsel because Maitre de Roux in a very
21 responsible way when the matter was surfacing -- was -- when the
22 circumstances were becoming what they were two weeks ago, he took the
23 initiative of asking the Registrar of this Tribunal to appoint Madam
24 Fauveau as co-counsel, and Madam Fauveau was appointed immediately
25 co-counsel because all the documentation necessary was provided and the
1 Registrar was satisfied with her qualifications and full ability to defend
2 you. Something that Maitre Pitron had failed to do over a period of more
3 than six months with the result that the Registrar was never put in the
4 position of confirming him as a co-counsel. The Tribunal could not allow
5 that situation to obtain because the Tribunal has a duty, has a
6 responsibility to ensure that you are defended, that you have a legal
7 representation, a valid legal representation, which you have now. Now you
8 have a lead counsel and a co-counsel. If there is an assurance, and I
9 don't know because maybe we may have hurried on your part the
10 preoccupation of being defended by Maitre de Roux may have eclipsed all
11 other considerations. If it is a question of having Mr. de Roux absent
12 for the next week or so because of health reasons, the problem that was in
13 existence two weeks ago is not in existence now, does not obtain now,
14 because now there is a co-counsel. Two weeks ago, Madam Fauveau, I
15 couldn't -- in spite of her great ability and capacity as a lawyer, I
16 could not recognise her as co-counsel and therefore I had to go on the --
17 not on the attack, I'm sure that Maitre de Roux understands completely my
18 approach -- but I would have been criticised, my two colleagues would have
19 been criticised had we not taken prompt action to make sure you were
20 adequately defended because at the time you had an unofficial co-counsel
21 who was recognised as a co-counsel but not yet officialised, his
22 appointment was not yet officialised because he had not furnished the
23 documentation as yet, and you had a lead counsel who, for justified
24 reasons, health reasons, could not be present. Had Mr. Pitron been
25 present while Mr. de Roux was not, the Tribunal would have said nothing,
1 because that's why you have a lead counsel and a co-counsel. And the
2 situation now, as it is, if -- I don't know because when we talk of
3 health, you never know what the situation is, and I will not even dare ask
4 Maitre de Roux, but if the possibility is that, for example, we are
5 talking of another week when he will be absent, provided I have the
6 assurance that Madam Fauveau is now co-counsel will be here, I don't think
7 that you should be concerned. If it's a question of Maitre de Roux
8 telling us that, "I can't tell you what it's going to be like. I probably
9 won't be able to make it for the next month, for the next two months, for
10 the next three months," then obviously we will have to make a reassessment
11 of the whole situation, always keeping in mind, however, that the
12 situation is not now as it was a week ago when there was no co-counsel
13 present, because now there is a co-counsel present.
14 So of course, the Trial Chamber has no right to interfere in any
15 of the decisions that you, General Talic, are entitled to take in your own
16 interest and will certainly not try to tell you what to do and what not,
17 but maybe I'm just suggesting to you to reconsider perhaps the position in
18 the light of what I have just told you, and reserve your position until
19 later, until more or less the situation, the position, has crystallised
20 and has become more clear because if this is something temporary -- I mean
21 a year ago this time, I was having some tests myself. I was worried for a
22 week, I was worried for two weeks, I was worried even for the third week,
23 I had things, we checked and we checked, but then it was over. So I don't
24 know what the problem is but if perhaps Maitre de Roux's problem is just a
25 temporary one, which could be -- which could last, I don't know, two
1 weeks, three weeks, even a month, provided that he will be showing up on
2 and off and you are always represented by Madam Fauveau, I would -- I
3 don't know, perhaps, but I would like to suggest to you to reconsider the
4 -- your position and perhaps reserve to come back to us on it and for the
5 time being postpone or suspend your decision to lift Maitre de Roux of his
6 responsibility as lead counsel. It's up to you, as I told you, the Trial
7 Chamber will certainly not interfere with your decision or with what you
8 believe to be in your best interest but I told -- I have said what I have
9 said just in case you had not given thought to these possibilities or to
10 these matters.
11 I know that it's not -- I've worked as a Defence counsel for a few
12 years in my careers and there were instances where -- when my clients were
13 very angry at me, and there were instances when I made them very happy so
14 I don't know. I'm making this as food for thought. I'm telling you this
15 more or less as food for thought. If it's the case of thinking about it,
16 having second thoughts about it, and then postponing your decision,
17 perhaps you would like some more time to rediscuss the matter with
18 Maitre de Roux and more or less he will be in a position to give you an
19 idea of how long this is going to last or whether he himself could come up
20 with some other suggestions. I don't know. Maitre de Roux is a very
21 reasonable man. I have no reason to complain, and he understands why I
22 went on the attack because I was trying to protect you in any case so I'm
23 sure he understands that there was nothing personal between this Trial
24 Chamber and him not being present. He had the full understanding of the
25 Trial Chamber but we could do nothing because the co-counsel was not
1 here. We would not have opened our mouth had the co-counsel been present.
2 Do you want a few minutes? Maybe you could have another
3 conversation with Maitre de Roux? Or are you firm in your decision and
4 you don't want to discuss it any further?
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I wonder if Your Honour would care -- I
6 was hoping we could continue with the witness, but I think it may assist
7 if Your Honours would rise for, say, 15 minutes while we all discuss the
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps you could also, at least for today, at least
10 for today, General Talic, at least for today, while Maitre de Roux is,
11 still -- is here in any case, his presence is certainly not going to
12 prejudice you, his presence today is certainly not going to prejudice you,
13 it's his absence that could prejudice you, but his presence is of
14 assistance to you and perhaps we could have your consent for at least for
15 today or until Maitre de Roux is present here in The Hague, I don't know
16 whether it was your intention to be here tomorrow as well. We could
17 finish this witness and perhaps the next one. We have scheduled for this
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, he won't finish the next witness.
20 That's quite clear. Because we are not sitting Friday, we will be going
21 into next week and he is a witness --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think I take up your suggestion which is an
23 afterthought of mine as well. We will suspend the sitting for a quarter
24 of an hour, if that is -- if you think this suspension can be of any
25 utility, and perhaps you can have a word with Maitre de Roux, General
1 Talic, and then we will be in a better position to know how to tackle this
2 problem. Thank you.
3 --- Break taken at 9.29 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 9.57 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: The sun has come out. I hope we will get some good
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour we are grateful for the time allowed. I
8 think it's best if Mr. de Roux explains the position to you as it now
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Maitre de Roux, please.
11 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that General
12 Talic's position is naturally to continue with this hearing today and do
13 the same tomorrow and to think, to reflect on the matter over the weekend
14 with regard to his new position, but naturally, it is up to him to take
15 the decision.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. General Talic, it's not that I doubt what
17 Maitre de Roux has stated but we would like to have a confirmation,
18 reconfirmation of this from you, please.
19 THE ACCUSED TALIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I suggest that we
20 continue working today and tomorrow in this way and I will think about the
21 matter, but I insist that I would like to insist that Natasha
22 Fauveau-Ivanovic continues to work as my Defence counsel until the end of
23 the hearing.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: What do you mean, the end of the hearing? Is it a
25 question of a translation, interpretation, until the end of the hearing?
1 Which hearing.
2 THE ACCUSED TALIC: [Interpretation] Until the end of the
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
5 THE ACCUSED TALIC: [Interpretation] The end of the end.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. You may sit down, General Talic, I thank you.
7 Shall we admit the witness, Mr. Smailagic? Who is in charge that? In the
8 meantime, General Talic, I mean, in an informal manner, I mean, may I
9 invite you also to consider something very important, that it's in your
10 interest that this trial, once it has started, continues, because if it
11 has to stop and if, as a result, maybe your case will be separated from
12 that of Mr. Brdjanin, you know what that means? It means that it will be
13 another year and a half or two years before your case starts.
14 Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Before the witness comes in, Your Honour, may I
16 just make a very brief statement? Just to give you experience, I went
17 into the Celebici case at about this same stage, the case had already
18 started. I went in as lead counsel. There was a co-counsel who had been
19 there from the beginning, just like Madam Fauveau is from the beginning of
20 this case. We had a two-week break. That give me time to read the
21 transcripts and the pleadings in the case, and we went forward from that
22 point. So if this situation is to cause a delay, I wouldn't think it
23 would exceed more than that amount of time, which would not in my mind be
24 grounds for any severance of Mr. Brdjanin's case, if that were the only
25 extent of the delay. The longer this situation goes, of course, if we
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 wait for a month, then it takes longer for new counsel to get up to the --
2 up to date. If it appears inevitable that there is going to be a change,
3 I think it should happen now rather than a month from now, because it just
4 makes it more difficult as we get deeper into the case but that's just the
5 benefits of my experience and take it for what it's worth.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman, but the question is whether
7 Mr. -- Maitre de Roux's problem is a problem that ought to be considered
8 or looked at on the long haul, in the long haul or in the short haul. I
9 mean if it's something which will no longer be a problem in two weeks time
10 or in a month's time, and Madam Fauveau now is co-counsel and has been
11 active in these proceedings in the Pre-Trial as well as in the trial
12 stage, I don't see why there should be a problem. So any way we will
13 bring in the witness and we start with the witness, because this can go on
14 and on. I'm sure that General Talic is a reasonable man. He will give
15 what we have said his considered thought, all due consideration, and I'm
16 sure that at the end of the day, we will find a solution.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Before we start the interpreters, now it's 10.00, I
19 don't know when you will require the break. Will you please let me know
20 roughly about 20 minutes in advance that you would like a break so that we
21 can organise ourselves accordingly? Thank you.
22 Yes, good morning, Mr. Smailagic.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: The gentleman next to you will ask to you repeat the
25 solemn declaration that you made yesterday.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
2 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: ZIJAHUDIN SMAILAGIC [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Ackerman: [Continued]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: You may sit down. Thank you. And we will be
7 continuing with the cross -- with your cross-examination now from
8 Mr. Ackerman, counsel for Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: May I proceed, Your Honour?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly, Mr. Ackerman, thank you.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
12 Q. I would like the Prosecutor to supply the witness with the
13 statements that he had before him again yesterday.
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Smailagic.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. You now have before you, I believe, each of your statements, both
17 in English and B/C/S, and I'd just like you to confirm that for the
18 record, that you have them both there.
19 A. Yes. I do.
20 Q. On page 3 of the English version of your statement, I see the
21 language regarding the change of names. You said, and you repeated it
22 yesterday in your testimony, "I think they managed to influence a thousand
23 Muslim men to change their names to Serbian names." And then you said, "A
24 document showing this does exist, and I think I can obtain such a document
25 from our archives." I have at least three questions regarding that
1 statement. My first question is: Have you found the document you refer
2 to in your statement?
3 A. I didn't receive it. But the document does exist in Banja Luka in
4 an institution. I can't say where.
5 Q. When you say "our archives," what archives is it your referring
7 A. Sorry? We have the information for the men of Bosniak nationality
8 who changed their names and other archives.
9 Q. You say in the statement that you think you can obtain that
10 document from "our archives." When you say, "our archives," whose
11 archives are you talking about? What archives are you talking about?
12 A. I'm talking about our archives where we gathered information on
13 the people who changed their names and where we had registered them.
14 Q. And where are these archives?
15 A. I can't tell you. In Banja Luka.
16 Q. Do you know where in Banja Luka?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. And where would that be?
19 A. I couldn't say.
20 Q. You couldn't say because you don't know?
21 A. No, but for security reasons.
22 Q. Why are there security reasons regarding your archives?
23 A. Because of the fear that people who take account of these
24 archives, who govern these archives, they could be maltreated, they could
25 be misappropriated, destroyed, et cetera.
1 Q. Have you given the representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor
2 access to these archives? Have they managed to look at them and go
3 through them?
4 A. No, they haven't.
5 Q. Have they asked for access to them?
6 A. They asked if they could have access to them. I said I would try
7 but that was -- I wasn't able to achieve this.
8 Q. Who is the person who is responsible for maintaining this archive
9 and who would have custody of these documents?
10 A. I can't tell you that.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour I ask that the witness be required to
12 give that answer. He can give it in private session if he wishes. I have
13 no objection to that, but I think it's an area of investigation that I
14 have an obligation to my client to pursue. There is law from this
15 Tribunal that says that I must.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner?
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, at the moment I'm not clear, I hear what
18 Mr. Ackerman says, that it's an obligation to his client, but what's the
19 relevance of archives showing people who have changed their names to this
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman? What's the relevance?
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I have the impression that the
23 archives go beyond a list of people who changed their names, even if it
24 doesn't. It is a document that the witness has indicated that he would
25 obtain, which he has not done, and a document that I think would be
1 important regarding, if it's just one document, which is not likely to be
2 what one would describe as archives, that it is extremely relevant to the
3 credibility of this witness. And the credibility of this witness is very
4 important in this case.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner?
6 MS. KORNER: First of all, Your Honour, it sounds to me remarkably
7 like a fishing expedition. There must be other things although we don't
8 know what they are. Secondly, how can the existence of these archives be
9 of relevance to the credibility of the witness?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: The existence or otherwise of these archives may be
11 relevant because if there are no archives and he is saying this document I
12 can obtain, I can bring forward from the archives, and there are no
13 archives, then obviously he's not saying -- telling the truth but the
14 thing is that he is stating not on oath here, in solemnly declaring in his
15 evidence, that there are such things, there is such a thing as these
16 archives, that he is confirming again in his statement that this document
17 exists, and that it is -- can be found in those archives. However, he
18 doesn't want to tell us where these archives are kept in custody, and I
19 don't think that I can see any relevance beyond that, and I will not
20 insist on him giving information beyond that. We have established that
21 he's confirmed here again that this document exists, that it is in those
22 archives and that he wouldn't like to be forced to give further
23 information on that because of security reasons. I will not insist with
24 the witness any further.
25 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I mean it's a question the credibility or otherwise
2 is not going to be established by an in-depth investigation on whether
3 these archives exist or not. If he is pleading a security issue.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour how could this witness plead a security
5 issue? He's not a government. He's an individual. These are individual
6 archives. What you're saying is that I am going to be deprived of the
7 ability to investigate and properly represent my client when I find that
8 there is valid area of investigation, it will be cut off.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Which valid area of investigation, that there are
10 archives, that there is an archive? He's telling you that there is an
11 archive. And he doesn't want to give you further information because of
12 security reasons. Of course there may be security reasons.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Then there is a way to fashion a solution to the
14 security reasons that would give me access to those documents.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Closed session, he will tell you that there is an
16 archives but I will never reveal where they are and he will be protected
17 in that.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: The Tribunal could then order the witness to
19 deliver those archives to the Tribunal.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you in possession of those archives,
21 Mr. Smailagic?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you any control on those archives?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, because I live in Zenica and the
25 archives are in Banja Luka.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: But he has stated that he knows who is in control
2 of them and what I'm asking now is that he give the Tribunal that name so
3 that I can then ask you to subpoena that person, to bring the archives to
4 this Tribunal.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I still don't see the relevance, Mr. Ackerman. The
6 whole point resolves around the statement that he made here, that these
7 archives do exist, that he knows that this document is in those archives.
8 That should be enough. Whether we are going to believe him or not is
9 another matter.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Would you then order him --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Taking into consideration that he doesn't want to
12 reveal where these archives are and who is in charge of them.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: With you then order him to produce that document
14 which he says that he can get from that archive?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Not if he hasn't got control over these archives any
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm helpfully informed by Ms. Richterova
18 who is the expert on these matters that there is a document in the Banja
19 Luka collection referring it this change of name, which we've disclosed.
20 So if the point started with "you've mentioned change of names," and
21 that's all this point is about. In our submission it's tangentially
22 relevant if at all to the main issue.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I frankly don't see the relevance except in so far
24 as the credibility of the witness is concerned. There, I think,
25 Mr. Ackerman has scored a point but beyond that, there is little if any
1 relevance at all to the issue, because I don't think the question has ever
2 been doubted as to some or more Muslim men or women in Banja Luka changed
3 their name because they felt safer if they did that. That has been
4 stated. Now, whether it's a thousand or whether it's less, it's not going
5 to change the picture much. Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
6 MR. ACKERMAN: The point is this, Your Honour: It's not just this
7 document. The statement --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: This is when Ms. Korner rightly, very rightly
9 pointed to. This would not be turned into a fishing expedition.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand that.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you think I'm going to open the door so that you
12 will ask me to force the witness to give details on these archives before
13 I first know what's going to be relevant and what's not?
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: It would be a fishing expedition.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, when the Prosecutor requested a
17 subpoena to take all the documents from the Banja Luka municipality would
18 I have succeeded in stopping that by saying it's a fishing expedition?
19 It's an investigation and what I want to do is an investigation. It's not
20 a fishing expedition. It these are archives. This witness has indicated
21 it's not just one document, these are archives that his group collected
22 and it's very likely that they are relevant to the issues in this case.
23 If they are not, what's hurt? It's not a fishing expedition, it's an
25 JUDGE AGIUS: This very likely is how can the Trial Chamber
1 proceed on "it's very likely"? How -- what justifies you in stating that
2 it is very likely? What do you know about these archives or these
4 MR. ACKERMAN: I only know what he said and you won't make him
5 answer any further than what he said.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: He referred to these archives only in relation to
7 this document that purports to prove that there was about 1.000 Muslim men
8 who changed the names from Muslim names to Serbian names. I mean
9 that's -- in actual fact in his evidence yesterday he even said that in
10 reality most of them were women rather than men. If I remember him
11 saying, if I remember him correctly.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: You're correct, Your Honour, that's what he said.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour in the Banja Luka binder, exhibited as
14 P135, disclosure number 1.112, there is a long list of change of names,
15 starting in all the municipalities beginning with Banja Luka.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Which?
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honours will find it in binder number 1, I
18 think. I'm told yes. The number is Prosecution Exhibit 135.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't have binder number 1 here because I told my
20 secretary to bring me only 2 and 3 because those were -- contained the
21 documents that you were going to refer to or that we were going to refer
22 to. So yes, Maitre de Roux? Yes, please.
23 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't want to
24 extend, prolong this exchange, but I think that the only question that is
25 raised now is to know what these archives are, when he says, "Our
1 archives," are they his personal archives? Are they the archives of the
2 SDA? Are they the archives of a group that he belonged to? I think this
3 is the only relevant question at the moment.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: That is a very relevant question. Thank you, Mr. --
5 Maitre de Roux. I think I will direct that question straight to the
6 witness who is kindly requested to answer it. What kind of archives are
7 we talking about? Are these official archives of the Banja Luka
8 municipality? Are these archives that were collected by someone
9 specifically or by some organisation specifically? What are we talking
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These archives are the archives of
12 the Party of Democratic Action.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And you want me to force him to bring them over,
14 Mr. Ackerman? You still do?
15 MR. ACKERMAN: No, that's really the answer that I needed.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. May I ask the Registrar to show the witness
17 this document, please, and he will then be asked to confirm whether this
18 is the document that he referred to in his statement or whether this is
19 some other document? I would imagine that that is the public registry
20 civil status official document, from the looks of it. It's not.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had no access to this. I don't
22 know about this document. But we had our information and citizens would
23 come to us and they would tell us who had changed their names. They would
24 tell us this themselves. They probably wanted to justify themselves
25 before us. We never received from the MUP, the Ministry of the Interior
1 in Banja Luka, information on people who had changed their names and we
2 were in no position to ask this of them.
3 MS. KORNER: Just for Your Honour's information we have only
4 translated parts of it because it's just a list of names
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you Ms. Korner. Mr. Ackerman I think
6 I can call upon to you proceed with your next question.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
9 MR. ACKERMAN:
10 Q. We are still on page 3, Mr. Smailagic, and at the bottom of that
11 page, you mention a gentleman by the name of Muharem Krzic as the only SDA
12 member who met with SDS board members after November, 1991. The first
13 question I have is: Do you know Mr. Krzic well?
14 A. Yes, I know him very well. He was the president of the Party of
15 Democratic Action in Banja Luka.
16 Q. When was the last time you talked with Mr. Krzic?
17 A. When did I speak to him for the last time?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. Do you mean in Banja Luka or --
20 Q. No, anywhere.
21 A. In Banja Luka, towards the end of 1993, before he left Banja
22 Luka. And I was with him on two occasions, in 2001, in 2001, in Sarajevo.
23 Q. And you have not spoken to him since you saw him in 2001 in
25 A. No, I haven't, because at the time I think he went to Washington,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 to take up a post in the consulate. He went to work there, he was
2 employed there. That is to say he still works there.
3 Q. Have you had any conversations with him about testifying here at
4 the Tribunal?
5 A. No. We never mentioned it. We had some other problems of a
6 personal kind, because I was a refugee and this was also something, a
7 matter that dominated our conversations.
8 Q. Do you know Mr. Krzic well enough to tell us whether or not you
9 believe him to be a truthful man?
10 A. I could say that this is something I can confirm at any time.
11 Q. That he is?
12 A. Didn't understand that.
13 Q. You can confirm that he is a truthful man. Is that what you're
15 A. Yes. That's what I knew him to be.
16 Q. And if it is the case that Mr. Krzic made a statement to the OTP
17 which he signed, in which he said that Radoslav Brdjanin was very
18 frequently on the radio, TV, and in the newspapers, especially in 1993,
19 before that, he was obviously not considered respectable as a spokesperson
20 of the SDS, in 1991, and 1992, he was rarely interviewed -- if Mr. Krzic
21 said that, that would be correct, would it not?
22 A. Well, if we are talking about spokesman, as far as I know he was
23 never a spokesman of the SDS.
24 Q. The assertion is that in 1991 --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, I think I would invite you first to
1 explain to the witness, if -- in case he doesn't know it, the difference
2 between saying the truth and being precise.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
4 Q. Mr. Witness, what we are quoting from here is a statement that was
5 made by Mr. Krzic in writing that he signed, and what I'm mostly
6 interested in in that statement is the one sentence referring to
7 Mr. Brdjanin, "In 1991 and 1992, he was rarely interviewed," and my
8 question is, just very simply, do you agree with that statement?
9 A. No. He was -- that he was never interviewed? No.
10 Q. Rarely interviewed, maybe the translation wasn't correct.
11 Mr. Krzic says he was rarely interviewed. Not never.
12 A. That's correct. That's true. He wasn't constantly a guest.
13 Q. You would accept the word "rarely," would you not?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. On page 3 of your statement, and I don't know if it's the
16 same page in the B/C/S version, I hope it is, you make the statement down
17 toward the bottom of the English version at least, that the SDS was in
18 charge of everything that was happening in the area. Military and the
19 police were receiving their orders from the SDS.
20 A. Don't find that here. But it was like that.
21 Q. And then you told the OTP investigator that you never saw any
22 orders of that kind. So my question is: How do you know that the SDS was
23 in charge of everything that was happening in the area?
24 A. Well, if it had control, if the SDS had control in the municipal
25 staff and the regional one, the Regional Crisis Staff, then it's quite
1 normal that they took the decisions.
2 Q. All right. You spoke to us yesterday of Dr. Vukic and I think you
3 told us that Dr. Vukic was the president of the SDS in Banja Luka,
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And if it's correct, as you say, that Mr. Brdjanin was a member of
7 the Banja Luka SDS, Mr. Vukic as president would have been Mr. Brdjanin's
8 superior in the SDS hierarchy, correct?
9 A. Yes, he was his president.
10 Q. I want to change to another subject now. In your original
11 statement, what appears in English, and you acknowledged this yesterday,
12 was that you told the investigator that Brdjanin's wife Perka formed an
13 agency for immigration in Banja Luka. Right?
14 A. Well, that's exactly what I wanted to correct when I saw the
15 Bosnian text. I realised that it was a mistake, that I had been
16 misinterpreted or maybe it was a typing error. I said that the woman that
17 he saw frequently was the head of the agency, together with Mr. Glogovac
18 and over the weekend when I had the opportunity to see the Bosnian version
19 I made the correction. I think that I made two or three corrections
20 altogether. It may have been misinterpretation or just error in typing.
21 Q. So your position is that you never took the position that this
22 Perka person was Mr. Brdjanin's wife, correct?
23 A. No, because I actually knew his wife.
24 Q. If you go to your second statement, Mr. Krzic -- the one from June
25 and August of 2001, apparently the OTP brought this to your attention and
1 so you cleared it up at that point by saying the following. This is on
2 page 3 in the English version, about two-thirds of the way down. "I
3 mentioned in my previous statement that Brdjanin's wife Perka formed an
4 immigration agency in Banja Luka. In fact, I'm not sure that his wife is
5 called Perka. What I do know is that his wife was involved in organising
6 one of these agencies, although I don't know which one. I cannot recall
7 her name nor can I remember who told me that." That's what you said the
8 second time you were given an opportunity to talk about that, correct?
9 A. I cannot exactly recall that, what I can tell you now is that
10 while looking at the statement, I found this mistake and I drew their
11 attention to that.
12 Q. Well, have you found the part that I'm quoting from your second
13 statement, where you talk about Brdjanin's wife Perka again?
14 A. Just a moment. I cannot find it.
15 Q. It's on the third page, it's actually the second actual page of
16 your statement, the page 2 starts with, "Witness statement," at the top.
17 If you turn over to the next page, you should find a paragraph that starts
18 with, "I mentioned in my previous statement."
19 A. Yes. I found it.
20 Q. Would you go ahead and just read that to yourself and tell me when
21 you've finished reading it?
22 A. Yes. This was taken after the first statement, when I spoke about
23 Ms. Perka, I made a mistake there. You see, in Banja Luka, there was a
24 story that went around that Perka with the help of his wife established
25 this agency. I cannot confirm that. Those were just rumours, however
1 this agency did exist and people knew about it. Everybody spoke about the
2 fact that it was his agency, that is that the agency was under his
3 control, and it was only logical that we should accept it as true at the
5 Q. My question is: Is what you told the investigators the second
6 time you had a chance to talk about Perka, did you tell them the truth the
7 second time?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So it's true that your position then is that Brdjanin's wife
10 formed this agency and ran this agency, you just don't know what her name
11 is, and it may not be Perka. Is that your position now?
12 A. Yes, but I did not have any document to base myself on. That was
13 what I knew on the basis of the stories of my friends and relatives, when
14 this agency was established, people said that there was this Perka who was
15 involved there together with his wife and that formally speaking -- that
16 formally speaking, they were in charge of this agency.
17 Q. Do you now know as you sit here today who Perka is?
18 A. Frankly speaking, I really don't know much about her, I don't know
19 any other details.
20 Q. You told us that you know Mr. Brdjanin's wife. Do you know what
21 her name is?
22 A. I don't know her name, but I know where she worked, at the Kozara
23 company, at the finance department, where I had a number of friends and
24 acquaintances and I frequently visited the place.
25 Q. It's your position that she worked at the Kozara company; is that
2 A. Yes. Later, I think that she moved to the prison during the war,
3 at least that's what I heard from a lady who used to work with her at the
4 Kozara company.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I have this problem that I need your
6 guidance in how to deal with. I just received two -- they are actually
7 photos, not photo copies, but photos of original documents that I got from
8 Banja Luka that bear on this matter. All I have are what are photos of
9 these originals, right now. I think maybe the first thing to do is just
10 have the Trial Chamber look at them.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Should we be discussing this in the presence of the
12 witness, to start with?
13 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't see any problem with that.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: But do you see any problems with that, Ms. Korner,
15 not knowing what these documents are.
16 MS. KORNER: Exactly, Your Honour that's going to be my first.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I would suggest that the witness leaves the room for
18 a moment, that he is kept outside at -- very much at hand, near at hand,
19 while we discuss, see what kind of documents we have and then we will
20 proceed with there.
21 MS. KORNER: The other answer is Your Honour is of course I don't
22 think he speaks English. Does he?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't take risks, Ms. Korner, I'm sorry.
24 MS. KORNER: All right.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I had many clients in my life who told me they were
1 illiterate and they didn't know how to sign and put their signature and
2 then I came across documents signed by them.
3 So Mr. Smailagic, please may I kindly ask to you leave this
4 courtroom for a little while, for a few minutes, you will be called again
5 very soon. In the meantime we have a short discussion on some documents
6 that have arrived, which may have absolutely nothing to do with you. But
7 we would like to discuss these in your absence. Thank you.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman? What are we talking about?
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, these are documents that I received
11 via email. They were colour scanned. I believe them to be original
12 documents from official sources, that's what they were represented to me
13 to be. I want the Trial Chamber just to look at them to see the official
14 nature of them.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Are they in B/C/S?
16 MR. ACKERMAN: They are.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: How do you -- I mean we were not quite sure whether
18 the witness knows English or not but I can assure you that I don't know
19 B/C/S. So can you at least tell me what kind of documents these are?
20 MS. KORNER: Can we see them, Your Honour?
21 MR. ACKERMAN: I want everyone to see them.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Obviously, and everyone will see them, but in the
23 meantime you can tell us what they are.
24 MS. KORNER: Just a moment.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Before I see them.
1 MS. KORNER: Yes. Your Honour, will recall yesterday Mr. Ackerman
2 complained when Ms. Richterova said that some -- the witness was going to
3 refer to some documents, which had in fact been disclosed.
4 Ms. Richterova -- or it was the day before yesterday, I think, simply we
5 had omitted to tell the Defence we were going to be using them. Now, one
6 of the points that has already been touched upon is this: There has been
7 reciprocal discovery in this case. Mr. Ackerman has known for sometime
8 that this witness was going to be giving evidence. Presumably he had
9 instructions that there were documents from Banja Luka which the --
10 strangely enough, the Office of the Prosecutor in the view of the
11 complaints that are made about the seizures, haven't seen, and we have not
12 been given sight of this document in advance. Your Honour, I'm merely
13 raising -- I don't want to go on doing this, but I'm raising this as a
14 matter --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You are perfectly in order and I suppose
16 Mr. Ackerman himself acknowledges that you are perfectly in order, but we
17 will handle this regularly. First, I would invite you to inform the Trial
18 Chamber and also the Prosecution what kind of documents they are,
19 according to you, then we will of course see them, and then of course we
20 will go through the usual procedure of having copies made and handed to
21 the Prosecution, and if the Prosecution requires time to gather
22 information on those documents, before you proceed with presumably
23 questioning the witness on them, we will have to consider that. But
24 obviously, mean, we are preempting several issues before we see what these
25 documents are. Can you inform the Trial Chamber what documents you have
1 just received from Banja Luka.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours may have noticed that a few moments
3 ago, the security guard handed my assistant here a couple of pieces of
4 paper. That's what these are. I got them by email, I believe it was
5 yesterday morning, along with some birthday wishes that came from Banja
6 Luka for Mr. Brdjanin, whose birthday was yesterday. I can't read this so
7 I had no idea what they were. I handed them to my co-counsel who then
8 handed them to Mr. Brdjanin, and it was late yesterday evening that I
9 learned actually what these were, that they were not part of his birthday
10 documents but something else entirely. So I ask that they be brought back
11 to court and I just got them back in my hands this very morning. I would
12 have given copies to the Prosecutor, I do that regularly.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: We don't doubt that, Mr. Ackerman.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: If I had had them. And I can tell you what my
15 understanding of them is. One of them is a marriage certificate which
16 shows that Mr. Brdjanin is married to a woman named Mira and not Perka.
17 And the other is a statement from the director of a company called Kameni
18 Agregati which shows that Mr. Brdjanin's wife Mira has been steadily
19 employed in that company since 1 July of 1980. And that's what I
20 understand the documents to be, and I can hand them to the Prosecutor. I
21 can do whatever you suggest I do with them.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the Prosecution can have a look at them even
23 before the Trial Chamber does. And we'll have copies made. Do you
24 require time, please? This is what the Trial Chamber would want to know
25 from you, not necessarily immediately.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, even if these documents are what they
2 say they are, and I have no reason to doubt that they are, and I'm not
3 going to go into why if they were yesterday morning and Mr. Ackerman's
4 co-counsel -- I'm merely raising this in the future because I don't want
5 this to go on happening -- who can read this language and will have known
6 from the moment she received them what they were, Your Honour, my concern
7 is what is the purpose of putting them to the witness who will never have
8 seen the documents before and inviting him to comment upon them? Now,
9 Your Honour, I didn't interrupt Mr. Ackerman's cross-examination when he
10 was putting things that Mr. Krzic said in his statement to this witness
11 and effectively inviting a comment. It is not a proper way in our
12 submission to cross-examine but I didn't want to interrupt.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I didn't stop him because you did not raise an
15 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I have a dislike of constant
16 objections because I think it interrupts the proceedings and unless it's
17 really vital I try not to.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: That's very nice.
19 MS. KORNER: But, Your Honour, this I do, now that we have
20 stopped, Your Honour, all these witnesses -- these documents may or may
21 not be genuine, and I have a recollection that when Mr. Brdjanin applied
22 for bail, we heard about his wife and I have no reason to doubt this is
23 correct. I cannot see the purpose of putting them to the witness and
24 inviting him to comment on documents he couldn't have seen.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: There may be a relevance, Ms. Korner, as I see it.
1 It's again touch and go, but the Trial Chamber would rather favour being
2 forthcoming rather than closing on the parties at this stage. The
3 question is this or the problem is this: That you have the first
4 statement where the witness stated categorically, Mr. Brdjanin's wife
5 Perka formed this organisation, together with Glogovac or whatever. He
6 eventually corrected that obviously because someone must have drawn his
7 attention that they -- that may not have been correct. He corrected
8 himself in the second statement.
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can I just, that's what was put to him
10 and he was never asked if that was right. My understanding of the
11 situation is that before the witness has seen it for the second time, the
12 original statement is read back to him so we don't -- because he was never
13 asked, we don't know whether he brought it to the investigator's attention
14 or it was the other way around.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, he was asked yesterday. I asked him
16 if the investigator brought to his attention matters from his prior
17 statement that were not correct and he said yes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: That's, yes. I remember him saying this. This is
19 why I've just stated it. And then what he stated in the second statement
20 is, first, that he knows Mr. Brdjanin's wife. Knows in a very generic
21 sense. Secondly, that Perka is -- when he referred to Perka, he was not
22 necessarily correct or precise because he is not in a position to confirm
23 whether Mr. Brdjanin's wife is called Perka or not. And then he makes an
24 affirmation that -- and now he in order to convince us that he knew who
25 Mr. Brdjanin's wife was in his testimony this morning, he's gone beyond
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 what perhaps was necessary, telling us where she worked and where he
2 obviously saw her, because he used to visit this place where he had many
3 contacts. So I think from that point of view, given the circumstances,
4 now that he has gone beyond what was actually needed of him, I would allow
5 the question related as to the name. I don't think he is not going to
6 confirm or deny that marriage certificate because he's not in a position,
7 but at least the document itself should be allowed to be admitted in the
8 records. Just to prove that Mr. Brdjanin's wife is not called Perka.
9 Secondly, he wants to make a point that when Perka was mentioned
10 as having organised this, couldn't have been possibly Mr. Brdjanin's wife.
11 So that becomes relevant.
12 The second point is to establish whether he could possibly be
13 telling us the truth or whether he is inventing. It doesn't mean to say
14 that this is going it prove that Mr. Smailagic is not saying the truth.
15 Just as much as Mr. Smailagic's statement is not going to disprove or
16 prove the authenticity of this document. I mean we are going to remain
17 where we are at the end of the day but rather than taking the risk of not
18 admitting questions and have problems later, I would rather admit the
19 questions at this stage and play it safer. I mean, I think you
20 understand what I mean, Ms. Korner, but I can read it in your eyes.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the proper question in my view -- in our
22 submission, would be that the document -- if the document is to be put,
23 having seen these documents, do you still adhere to your previous
24 statement? But, Your Honour, I'm mindful of the fact that the rules here
25 are not quite as strict and therefore --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: If you ask me whether we are wasting our time on
2 this, I will tell you, yes, unless these documents will get us where
3 Mr. Ackerman is trying to arrive, that is that this witness is not
4 reliable. As far as that goes, yes, they may be relevant. Otherwise,
5 they may be relevant only in establishing that this Perka, who organised
6 this organisation, was not Mr. Brdjanin's wife, and if she wasn't, then
7 maybe it's not correct to state that Mr. Brdjanin had anything to do with
8 this immigration organisation. Still, I mean, basically we are going to
9 get no where because the essence of Mr. Smailagic's testimony in this
10 regard is that these were rumours and the Trial Chamber is not going it
11 rely on rumours.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I have nothing further to add on the
13 matter. Thank you.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think we can bring in the witness now.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour I think we need to mark them and I
16 believe our next numbers are --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I think.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: 45 and 46.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: That is correct? I think we are up to 44, aren't
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm afraid I can't tell you whether you are correct
23 or not because I'm not following the sequence myself. That is being taken
24 care of for me by others. So I wouldn't know. Yes, please, bring in
25 Mr. Smailagic.
1 THE REGISTRAR: The next number I have is 44.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: 44? We took it back? Okay. I will then, Your
3 Honour, mark each of these with DB44B and DB45B. At some point copies
4 will have to be made, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I see no urgency in that at least from the Trial
6 Chamber's point of view.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Could they be taken to the ELMO, please?
9 Q. Mr. Smailagic, I'm going to ask you to look at two documents and
10 the usher has them in the order I'm going to ask you to look at them. We
11 are going to put them on the ELMO so everyone can see them at the same
12 time you do. Take your time and look at them carefully before we put on
13 the ELMO and then I will ask you the couple of questions I have. Okay.
14 Let's start with. Put the first document on the ELMO, please. Yes. Now
15 this first document that's marked it says "D44B," it should say "DB44B."
16 Mr. Smailagic, that is a, as I understand it, it's a marriage certificate;
17 is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And it shows, does it not, that Mr. Brdjanin's wife is named Mira?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And does that appear to be an authentic certificate to you?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't want him to answer that.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I won't ask it.
24 Q. I want you to look now -- put on the ELMO the second document,
25 please, which would be DB45B. And Mr. Smailagic you've had a chance to
1 read that document?
2 A. I've just read it just now.
3 Q. And that document says, does it not, that Mira Brdjanin has been
4 employed by Kameni Agregati since 1 July of 1980?
5 A. As far as I know, that is, I have never heard of a company called
6 Kameni Agregati in Banja Luka. She worked in the Kozara Agricultural
7 company. They had several departments there. The so-called basic
8 organisations of associated labour. As for this Kameni Agregati company,
9 maybe it's just another name, but I'm not sure. At least I have never
10 heard of this company, Kameni Agregati.
11 Q. So it's your position that your testimony about where she worked
12 is correct and this document is wrong?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: It doesn't necessarily follow. Ask him whether he
14 still stands by what he stated in his previous statement. But it's not --
15 it doesn't necessarily follow that this document is wrong.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: I'll ask that.
17 Q. Do you stand by what you stated a few moments ago with regard to
18 the company that you testified that she worked for and what you saw her
19 at? And I can't remember the name of the company.
20 A. Yes. At the GIK Kozara, which is a construction and industrial
21 company involved in construction business. It consisted of several
22 departments and it originated from a merger of two or three companies in
23 Banja Luka, Krajina company, the 1st of May company, the brick yard in
24 Zjalozjani. Mermer, another local factory which also entered this merger
25 so maybe that is the company in question, which eventually changed its
1 name into this one. Several other companies that were joined and merged
2 into this company. Some of them were originally from Banja Luka, some
3 were from Prijedor.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: All right. These documents can now be returned to
5 the Registrar.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, could I ask that we be supplied with
8 JUDGE AGIUS: That will be taken care of. I don't need to stress
9 the importance of it but it will be taken care of, by, I suppose,
10 Mr. Ackerman.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: If the Registrar doesn't do it, I will. We will
12 certainly have it done quickly.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: It's your duty to do it in any case.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, I will do it the first chance we get to get to
15 a photocopier.
16 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, if there is any problem if they
17 are supplied to us over the break, we can do the photocopying ourselves.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: We have a very nice photocopier available to the
20 Defence that sometimes works.
21 Q. So let me ask you what your position is as you sit here today.
22 This travel agency that you talk about, is it your position that it was
23 run by a woman named Perka or that it was run by Brdjanin's wife, whose
24 name we now know to be Mira? Which position is it that you now take?
25 A. I say that it was run by Mrs. Perka and Radovan Glogovac.
1 Q. You spoke yesterday about the ARK Crisis Staff. You don't know,
2 do you, when that Crisis Staff was formed?
3 A. I think it was formed around May or June, 1992. It was in 1992.
4 That's when it was formed.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, can you be more specific, Mr. Ackerman, which
6 Crisis Staff your questioning the witness about?
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Whether it's the ARK one or whether it's the
9 municipality of Banja Luka.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: It's the Crisis Staff of ARK that I think I'm
11 talking about, Your Honour. I'm referring to the statement of the witness
12 on page 4, the paragraph right under the one about Perka. Where the
13 witness says, Mr. Smailagic, this is what your statement indicates that
14 you said. "I am unable to say when the Crisis Staff was formed in Banja
15 Luka. I only know that Brdjanin was the person in charge of this Crisis
16 Staff." I assume that you are speaking there about the Crisis Staff of
17 the Autonomous Region of Krajina; is that correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. You say, "I am unable to comment on the way the Crisis Staff
20 operated or what level of authority it had. I only know that he was in
21 charge of everything." Is that what you said?
22 A. He was responsible for -- the Crisis Staff of the Krajina was
23 responsible for all the organisation. Everything that happened in Banja
24 Luka, and in Krajina, the Crisis Staff would take decisions for this. And
25 then subordinates would implement the decisions of the Regional Crisis
2 Q. And on the previous page, you told us that the SDS was in charge
3 of everything that happened in the area. So you've got two organisations
4 being in charge of everything that happened in the area, correct?
5 A. I said that the SDS had taken power, but as a political party it
6 had its organs, and the SDS formed the Crisis Staffs too. So that it
7 governed the Crisis Staffs.
8 Q. It's your position that the ARK Crisis Staff was an organ of the
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. You don't know that it was an organ of the Assembly of the
12 Autonomous Region of Krajina?
13 A. The Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina was under the
14 control of the SDS, after all.
15 Q. It's true, is it not, that that assembly contained delegates who
16 were not members of the SDS but were members of other parties, wasn't it?
17 A. I don't know. Maybe there were two other parties.
18 Q. And don't you know --
19 A. I don't know the exact number.
20 Q. Don't you know that the ARK Crisis Staff was created by
21 appointment signed by a Nikola Erceg, who was the president of the
22 executive board of the Autonomous Region of Krajina? Do you not know
24 MS. KORNER: I am going to object to the form of that question
25 because our case, this is -- the document is there for all to see and to
1 use the words created by Nikola Erceg we submit is not a proper way of
2 describing it.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, I suggest to you to rephrase your
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
6 Q. Do you not know that the ARK Crisis Staff was created under the
7 authority of Nikola Erceg who was the president of the executive board of
9 A. I don't know that.
10 Q. All right. Thank you. Then in the very next sentence, after you
11 tell us that Brdjanin was in charge of everything, you say, "I think that
12 Brdjanin and Kupresanin were the main people in charge of things happening
13 in the area." Correct?
14 A. Yes. That was my opinion. My opinion was that Mr. Brdjanin and
15 Kupresanin and Stojan Zupljanin who was the chief of police, I thought
16 they were most responsible for what was happening in Banja Luka by virtue
17 of their function as the president of the Crisis Staff.
18 Q. Well, what happened to Vukic? You told us a little while ago that
19 Vukic was president of the SDS and that they were in charge of
20 everything. You have now taken Vukic out of power, have you?
21 A. Vukic was the president of the SDS and he was responsible to the
22 higher organs, the higher authorities within his party and he implemented
23 the decisions that, the orders that he received from them.
24 Q. But if you're correct that the Crisis Staff was a SDS
25 organisation, and Brdjanin and Kupresanin were members of the SDS, then
1 they would have been subordinate to Dr. Vukic, wouldn't they? Because he
2 was the president.
3 A. In terms of the party, yes, they were subordinate to them.
4 Q. Yes. There came a time, did there not, Mr. Smailagic, when you
5 received a notice to report for a work obligation or something of that
6 nature; is that correct?
7 A. Yes. I was called up to carry out a work obligation.
8 Q. And you tell us in your statement that when you received that
9 notice, you went to complain to the Ministry of Defence and a person by
10 the name of Djukic -- who is Djukic?
11 A. I didn't go to complain to him, but I responded to his invitation
12 and he was an officer -- an official in the Ministry for Defence for
13 sending people to work obligations. As I was a disabled pensioner, I had
14 a document, a decision, from the Disability Commission stating that I was
15 a pensioner. When I provided him with this document, with the decision,
16 on being unfit for any sort of physical work, he simply said that he did
17 not admit this, that he wanted a certificate from a Serbian doctor stating
18 that I was unfit and the deadline he set me was for the following
19 morning. I went to the clinic and I told the doctor what the situation
20 was. He wrote down what was necessary and I took this to the gentleman on
21 the following day. I gave him the certificate. He simply took it and he
22 tore it up. He didn't want to admit this, accept this, and I was in
23 Mr. Djukic's office at the time. He was a very big man. Unfortunately I
24 don't know his surname. He hit me several times. He was a strong man.
25 When he hit me the first time, I fell down between the desk and the door.
1 He maltreated me quite badly.
2 Q. I think the question that I asked you was who is Djukic?
3 A. He was an official for the work obligations in the Ministry. It
4 used to be called the Military Department and then it became the Ministry,
5 then the name changed to the Ministry of Defence. And he was employed
7 Q. When you told the investigator from the OTP, "When I received my
8 notice, I went to the Ministry of Defence to complain," is it your
9 position that you didn't use the word "complain" and that that's another
10 area where the translation is wrong?
11 A. I didn't even -- I didn't complain because I couldn't have
12 complained. Until I had replied to the call-up because I thought that
13 when I provided him with this decision I would be released. I wouldn't
14 have to carry out the work obligation.
15 Q. What did you mean when you told the OTP investigator, "When I
16 received my notice, I went to the Ministry of Defence to complain"? If
17 you find that statement, please, it's on page 5 of the English version,
18 it's at the very top of that page?
19 A. Yes, yes. I didn't receive an order. It was an invitation. I
20 went to the Ministry of Defence - perhaps there is a mistake in the
21 translation - I went to complain about responding, but one might think
22 that I was complaining because I had the decision stating that I was unfit
23 for any kind of physical work and I also had to respond to this notice.
24 Q. I want to talk to you for a moment about the SOS barricades.
25 A. I would like -- could I ask the Presiding Judge to allow me to
1 state some more details about this call-up and to explain on what basis?
2 If you would allow me to do so?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Smailagic, are you going to give us more
4 information [Microphone not activated].
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Smailagic, are you saying this or are you making
7 this request because you want to give more information than is contained
8 already in your statement? Because I think in your statement, you gave
9 enough information with regard to the call and with regard to what
10 happened to you when you went to the Ministry of Defence, how you were
11 beaten up. I don't see the relevance. If there is anything else that is
12 so important for us to know, then I will let you say it. But if it's a
13 repetition of what you have already stated, there is no need for it.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't want to repeat anything but
15 I would like to add something, because I didn't make any statements about
16 how I was released from the work obligation, and I would like to clarify
17 this matter for Mr. Ackerman and for you. But I continue.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, Mr. Smailagic. Please keep it short.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try. After this meeting, when
20 they tore up the statement from the doctor, I was ordered to come the
21 following day in front of the automobile company where I would be sent for
22 the work obligation. I didn't respond to this call-up. No one looked for
23 me for three days. On the fourth day the military police came in the
24 afternoon. About after 3.00, and they had an order to take me to the
25 Ministry of Defence. I and Emir Djemesivic [phoen], a neighbour of mine,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 and another person from the Ministry of Defence, we were welcomed, we were
2 met by Mr. Seva and he said that he was carrying out these duties, that he
3 was replacing Mr. Djukic who had left, who had gone on holiday. When I
4 told him what had happened, he said, "Come to see me tomorrow and we will
5 see about this." When I turned up, he said, "I can see that you're unfit
6 and that you cannot work. The only thing I can suggest is go, deregister
7 at the Ministry of Defence" and in order to do that I had to deregister
8 with the Ministry of the Interior and to tell them I was leaving Banja
9 Luka. That was in 1993. I had to tell them that I was leaving Banja Luka
10 and it was only then that I could be released. I went there and I was
11 then released. I told them that I was going to Slovenia, that's how I
12 deregistered. So for a year or so, I walked around Banja Luka with a
13 certificate of deregistration, because whoever didn't respond to this
14 call-up was not allowed to remain in Banja Luka.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Ackerman, you can proceed --
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: -- with your question, please. Thank you.
18 MR. ACKERMAN:
19 Q. Yesterday, Mr. Smailagic, you were talking about statements that
20 you claimed to have heard Mr. Brdjanin make and one of those statements
21 was, I think you said, at a rally, where he said something to the effect,
22 "You are standing on holy Serbian land," or something like that. Do you
23 recall what I'm talking about?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Would you agree that you're mistaken and that it was Vojo
1 Kupresanin who made that statement, in fact, made it on numerous
3 A. Well, you see, that statement that this was holy Serbian land,
4 most people would say that, but I remembered Mr. Brdjanin saying that
5 because he said it on several occasions.
6 Q. And what I'm asking you is wasn't it Vojo Kupresanin and not
7 Mr. Brdjanin who said it on several occasions? You can just say yes or
9 A. I can't remember now. Believe me.
10 Q. All right. Thank you. I want to speak to you just very briefly
11 about these SOS barricades that you talked about yesterday. That were set
12 up in May of 1992. And one of the things you told us about the people in
13 these barricades is that they were from all three ethnicities, that there
14 were Croats, Serbs and Muslims in that organisation; correct?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. And that these people manned the barricades between May of 1992
17 and November of 1992, when they were then taken over by regular soldiers;
19 A. They were there at the very start, in the month of May. I said
20 they were well-known Banja Luka criminals, who were involved in crime
21 before the war, too.
22 Q. I think you maybe didn't understand my question. Let me repeat
23 it. The only question I'm asking you was, the SOS people remained this
24 these barricades until November when they were taken over by regular
25 soldiers. I think that is your statement, is it not?
1 A. I think it's November, I'm not sure whether I said that or not.
2 I'm not sure about the time. I don't know how long they were there, but I
3 know that they were removed.
4 Q. Well, I'm willing to accept approximately November, if that's okay
5 with you.
6 A. I couldn't agree with that exactly.
7 Q. Okay. So can you then be precise and say when it was? If it was
8 not around November, approximately November, when regular soldiers took
10 A. I know when they were -- when they were placed there. And I know
11 that they gradually left, that they were gradually removed. I know that
12 one man was killed at the barricade. He had problems with the police. He
13 had probably robbed someone, who wasn't a Muslim, a Serbian citizen. He
14 stole something from him, and he was reported to police and there was a
15 conflict and I know that one person was killed. And then they started --
16 they were removed. Whether it was October, September, I really don't
18 Q. All right.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, a break is planned for ten minutes
20 from now so that you regulate yourself.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. In your statement on page 6 you speak of a person by the name of
23 Djordjo Babic. That is someone you know, is it not?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And Djordjo Babic is a Serb; correct?
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. And he lived in the same neighbourhood that you lived in, Pobrdje;
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And what you say in your statement, that he was dismissed from his
6 job for being a Muslim sympathiser. Do you stand by that statement?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You say that he came to your house and told you that Muslims
9 should not provoke Serbs. Do you stand by the statement that he came to
10 your house?
11 A. I don't know if he said to my house or maybe -- but I can't find
12 it right now. I just want to remind myself.
13 Q. If you look at -- it's on page 6 of the English version. It's in
14 a paragraph that starts with the language, "Weapons were being handed out
15 to all Serbs." And further down in that paragraph, you talk about Djordjo
16 Babic coming to your house. It's in your first statement.
17 A. First statement?
18 Q. Yes. It's the 6th page, so that would be more than halfway
19 through it. It would be just the last couple of pages.
20 A. Where mention is made of distributing weapons; is that right?
21 Q. That's the paragraph.
22 A. Yes, that's what I was looking for. I never said that he came to
23 my house, but he came up to my house, so that was in the street after all.
24 My house is in a street and I have a yard and a fence. That's correct.
25 Q. All right. And you stand by the proposition that he said to you,
1 "Muslims should not provoke Serbs"?
2 A. Yes. When we spoke, he said, "You see what the situation is
3 like? "Don't let us allow" - we called this street Mahala - "don't let
4 them allow something happen in this street as things have happened in
5 other places." He was very fair and he tried to help us and that's why he
6 was replaced. But otherwise he was an official of the SDS for that part
7 of the town
8 Q. If you look at the next paragraph I just want to draw your
9 attention to one sentence there, in which you say, "I only know of one
10 incident of looting." Is that a true statement?
11 A. One that I saw. I was able to see it through the window of my
12 house. I also had other opportunities to see this, but I know about other
14 Q. But in your statement, what you said was, "I only know of one
15 incidents of looting." That's the language that appears there, is it not?
16 A. I didn't say that I heard about it. I said that I saw it.
17 Q. You're saying that's what you said in your statement, that you saw
18 an incident of looting?
19 A. Yes, yes, that's right.
20 Q. Is that what -- is that what the translation, the B/C/S
21 translation says? Read -- just read that paragraph, will you please n
22 B/C/S, it starts with, "I remember soldiers searching homes," so it can be
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Read it out loud so that the translator can translate it into
1 English for us, "I remember seeing soldiers." Just read that in B/C/S.
2 A. "I remember that I saw soldiers, how they were searching homes in
3 my neighbourhood. My neighbourhood -- my neighbour, Midhat Djumisic who
4 was visited by 15 soldiers all of a sudden. I think that the soldiers
5 thought that they would find something. And that is why so many of them
6 came. I only know of one example of looting and that is the one that I
7 saw, but I heard of numbers of such cases."
8 Q. Did you add to what is in the statement? Or is that language
10 A. That's what is stated there. Repeat that.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you just read the last six words of that
12 paragraph in that statement? The last six words?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "I know of only one case of
15 JUDGE AGIUS: That's it. That answers your question.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. Let me stop here, if
17 I may.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Ackerman. We will have a break of
19 about 25 to 30 minutes. Resuming at noon. How much longer do you think
20 you have Mr. Ackerman?
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, it's very difficult for me to
22 tell. I'm on page 9 of 23 pages of notes. I'm not halfway through yet.
23 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I'm taking it that the next
24 witness -- I hope still to get the investigator in very briefly today but
25 I am going to take it that the next witness will not be starting today.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what I figure.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: I think it will go a little faster, I hope so. It
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you.
5 --- Recess taken at 11.28 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.02 p.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Please try to bring us to a happy ending, the sooner
10 the quicker.
11 MR. ACKERMAN:
12 Q. Mr. Smailagic, we've made it to page 7 of your -- the English
13 version at least of your report. And on the English version you talk
14 about a person named Sadeta Cardzic who you talk about being found dead of
15 strangulation. You say in that paragraph that you have no other
16 information regarding killings in Banja Luka in the year 1991 or 1992,
18 A. As regards Ms. Sadeta Cardzic the information is correct,
19 she was found strangled in her apartment, the strangulation was performed
20 with a so-called police wire. Nothing was missing from the apartment. It
21 was not robbed. The body was found by her neighbour, Meliha Filipovic a
22 few days later, they were colleagues. As for any other information
23 regarding killings, I did have some but I was unable to confirm where or
24 when, but there were cases of murder. However, I have no accurate
25 information about that. As for Nermin Mesinovic, what is what his father
1 told me so that is one case that I know for sure, and I know of other
2 cases of people having been beaten up, for example, but I didn't want to
3 mention any other case of murder because I was not sure. I did not have
4 any reliable information of that.
5 Q. Did you hear any bombs going off in Banja Luka in 1992, at night?
6 A. Yes. Yes. There were several such incidents. As for shooting,
7 that was a daily occurrence.
8 Q. I didn't ask you about shooting. I asked you if you heard any
9 bombs going off at night and you say you did, yes?
10 A. Yes. Explosions, hand grenades going off.
11 Q. How many nights during 1992 would you say you heard bombs going
13 A. Several times. I couldn't tell you whether it was five, ten or 15
14 times. We didn't count them. We almost got used to them at the time.
15 Q. 15 nights would be an outside number, in terms of the most you'd
16 have heard? Would you even say maybe 20 nights?
17 A. If you mean one after the other, in sequence, no. When I say that
18 there were explosions I am referring to a probably greater number than the
19 one you stated.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Ackerman. This period of time,
21 where were you actually living in Banja Luka? What was your place of
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I lived in my house in
24 Hadzihalilovic [phoen] Street.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: In Banja Luka or in --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Pobrdje is in Banja Luka.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: That's why I wanted to know exactly which part of --
3 the suburb of Banja Luka, no?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not exactly a suburb. It is
5 relatively close to the centre of the town, as I said, I am perhaps five
6 minutes walk away from Hotel Palace, for example.
7 MR. ACKERMAN:
8 Q. What I'd like you to do and I don't need you to be accurate about
9 this, I only want your best estimate and just the best you can do, I don't
10 expect you to be accurate, I don't expect you to have made a list or
11 anything like that. How many nights during the year 1992, would you say
12 that you heard bombs going off?
13 A. I don't want to exaggerate so I shall say between 15 and 20, if
14 not more than that.
15 Q. All right. Thank you. There were mosques and churches that were
16 destroyed in Banja Luka. Those destructions all happened in the year
17 1993, didn't they?
18 A. The mosques, yes, but not all of the churches. There were
19 orthodox churches and Catholic churches. As far as I know, one of them --
20 one such church was in Petricovac. That church, I know, was destroyed. As
21 for the other two, they were not destroyed, these two Catholic churches,
22 that I know of.
23 Q. The only question is, you say in your statement that the -- there
24 was one Catholic church in Banja Luka destroyed in 1993. That's the one
25 you're referring to, is it not?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And my question really is that it happened in 1993.
3 A. I couldn't confirm that, whether it was in 1993 precisely.
4 Q. Well, you think you had it right in your statement to the OTP back
5 in 2001, when you told them that it was in 1993?
6 A. Most probably that was the case. However, in view of the fact
7 that many things were going on at the time in Banja Luka, it is easy to
8 get confused. But I am almost certain about that, because the mosques
9 were being destroyed throughout 1993, so it is possible that this church
10 was also destroyed in 1993.
11 Q. When you gave this statement to the Prosecutor in April of 2000,
12 you were making an effort to tell the truth, were you not?
13 A. Yes. To the best of my recollection.
14 Q. All right.
15 A. Of course, with the possibility of getting mixed up in respect of
16 dates, even years. But I was not confused about the event itself. I'm
17 sure that that was indeed done.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm skipping a bunch of material
19 here. That's why it's taking me a moment to get organised.
20 Q. I want you to look, Mr. Smailagic, at page 3 of your second
21 statement. This is the one where you were correcting some things from
22 your first statement. And on page 3, you indicate that there were two
23 Crisis Staffs operating in Banja Luka, a municipal staff and an ARK Crisis
24 Staff; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. With regard to the municipal Crisis Staff, you indicate that the
2 members of the municipal Crisis Staff included Brdjanin, Vukic, Radic,
3 Zupljanin, Kupresanin, Cavic, Kasagic and others; correct?
4 A. I said that the municipal Crisis Staff was headed by --
5 MS. KORNER: I haven't got the LiveNote here. Those were the
6 people he identified part as the ARK Crisis Staff and part as the
7 municipal. I don't recall him saying that Brdjanin, Vukic and Zupljanin
8 were members of the municipal. But I may be wrong. I don't have the
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I think, Ms. Korner, I think Mr. Ackerman is
11 reading, referring specifically to a three line paragraph there is in the
12 middle of the page.
13 MS. KORNER: I see. I'm sorry, I thought he was referring to the
14 evidence he gave yesterday. I'm sorry.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Second statement.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Page 3 of the second statement, actually it's the
17 second page of the statement but it reads, "I think that the entire SDS
18 executive board were members of the municipal Crisis Staff, including
19 Brdjanin, Vukic, Predrag Radic, Stojan Zupljanin, Vojo Kupresanin, Cavic,
20 Rajko Kasagic and others." So the question, if you please, repeat it,
21 Mr. Ackerman?
22 MR. ACKERMAN:
23 Q. You say in your statement there, do you not, Mr. Smailagic, that
24 Brdjanin was a member of the municipal Crisis Staff? Correct?
25 A. I said he was the president of the Regional Crisis Staff.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Would you please look at a paragraph that the Judge just read
2 beginning with the words, "I think that the entire SDS executive board
3 were members of the municipal Crisis Staff." Do you find that paragraph?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. In that paragraph, you name Mr. Brdjanin as a member of the
6 municipal Crisis Staff, don't you?
7 A. Well, yes, that's what is stated here, but when I was giving my
8 statement, I was referring to the composition of both Crisis Staffs, and I
9 offered the names that are stated here. Some of them were members of the
10 municipal, and the others members of the regional staff. There may have
11 been a mistake, either in recording or in translation. I don't know.
12 Q. Well, does your signature appear at the bottom of that page?
13 Well, actually it would be in the English version. It was read to you
14 before you signed it, wasn't it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And then after it was read to you, and you were satisfied that it
17 was correct, you signed it; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is it your position that somebody has changed this document since
20 you signed it and put Brdjanin in there as a member of the municipal
21 Crisis Staff when you didn't say that?
22 A. I don't think that anybody has changed the document. Maybe I was
23 misunderstood. You must understand the situation I was in at the time,
24 and the situation I'm in today. It's possible that I confused something,
25 but as far as I am concerned, it was not important whether they were
1 members of the regional or the municipal staff. What was important was
2 the fact that they were involved in the decision-making process, both in
3 the municipal and the regional staff. In the municipal Crisis Staff
4 carried out the orders, instructions of the Regional Crisis Staff.
5 Whether someone was a member of the regional or a municipal staff, as far
6 as I am concerned, was one -- amounted to one and the same thing.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. If my memory doesn't fail me, Mr. Ackerman,
8 you put the same question yesterday and you had the same answer
9 yesterday. Or if it wasn't you, it was someone else, but definitely, the
10 witness has already stated before what he's just reiterated now.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: I think your memory is of a similar question I put
12 to Mr. -- the other witness, the previous witness, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. This witness. In other words, that he told
14 you that for all intents and purposes, it was an interchanging persons.
15 Any way, go ahead.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm finished with the issue.
17 Q. I do want to ask you, Mr. Smailagic, if you are taking seriously
18 this procedure and trying to give us true answers when I ask you questions
19 or if you feel under some kind of pressure and you're just kind of
20 guessing at things.
21 A. Quite the contrary. I'm actually very glad that you're asking me
22 these questions. I'm really doing my best, and I'm trying to provide you
23 with my sincere answers. However, I appeal to your understanding of what
24 I have been through. It is quite easy to mix things up. I would need
25 considerable amount of time to set everything right. I don't think I have
1 this opportunity at the moment.
2 Q. That's fine. Thank you. I understand what you've been through
3 and that that was a difficult period in your life. I want to go to the
4 very end of your second statement now. You talked yesterday about being
5 indicted for espionage. You say in your statement, it's a paragraph that
6 begins with, "The investigating judge Stevo Stupar interrogated me prior
7 to the trial." You say, "He accused me of several charges and I agreed to
8 all of them because I had no choice. The guards were standing next to me
9 and I felt very intimidated." Correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. At the actual trial of the case, then, after that appearance, did
12 you feel intimidated in the same way at your actual trial?
13 A. If you're referring to the courtroom itself, I felt protected. I
14 knew that nothing could happen to me there. However, there were
15 preparations made before that. I was -- that is, before we were taken to
16 the investigating judge, we would be beaten up in the cell before that and
17 we would be warned as to what we would say. They would tell us, "Be
18 careful what you say to the judge."
19 Q. In your actual trial, though you felt tree free to actually state
20 your Defence that you really didn't know what was in the various factions
21 that you were sending to various places? That was basically your defence,
22 wasn't it, that you didn't know the contents, either they were in code or
23 you had not read them?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Okay. We will get to that in a minute. I want to ask you
1 about -- you talked on direct about the lawyers that were assigned to you
2 and the first lawyer, a gentleman named Opacic had actually asked your
3 wife for money and when your wife couldn't pay him, he abandoned you;
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And then you told us about Ms. Maglov being assigned. She didn't
7 ask your wife for any money, did she?
8 A. No. She never met my wife, nor did she ever meet me.
9 Q. You know a lawyer named Meliha Filipovic?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. She was also involved in this case, was she not?
12 A. Yes, she was. She was representing her brother.
13 Q. Safet Filipovic?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. And she is a Muslim lawyer; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And she proceeded in the case in the same manner as Ms. Maglov
18 did, didn't she?
19 A. No. She acted opposite.
20 Q. Opposite in what way?
21 A. Compared to Ms. Maglov, who was supposed to defend me. She did
22 her best to defend her brother, her client, that is.
23 Q. She made arguments in court, she questioned witnesses, she did the
24 kind of things that I'm doing here today? Is that your testimony?
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. Isn't it correct that at the time of this trial, that all of you
2 who were charged in the case, were aware that you were going to be
4 A. No, we were not.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me just a second.
6 [Defence counsel confer]
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I want the witness to be shown one of
8 the exhibits, it's DB0043B.
9 Q. Mr. Smailagic, you now have the Exhibit DB0043B. Do you recognise
10 that document?
11 A. Yes. This is a statement that I gave to the Security Services
12 Centre in Banja Luka in 1994.
13 Q. And you were asked about that document by the investigator from
14 the OTP in your second statement, and I think you told the investigator
15 from OTP that it is only a partly accurate reflection of what you told the
16 investigators in 1994 when the statement was taken. Is that a fair
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. All right. I want to refer you to what is on page 2 of the
20 statement. It's right at the very -- I don't know if it's at the very top
21 of the page in B/C/S but it refers to the two Merhamet organisations the
22 MDD and the MHD. Do you find that reference?
23 A. Is that in the first one or in the second one?
24 Q. It's in the one I just handed you, the Exhibit which is DB0043B.
25 It was just handed you by the usher?
1 A. It's here.
2 Q. I'm sorry, I misdirected. You. It's just right on the top of the
3 second page. There should be some discussion about the two Merhamets, MDD
4 and MHD?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: In B/C/S it's on page 3, the very last paragraph.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour, you're right. That's where
7 it is. As usual.
8 Q. You've read it. Is -- could you tell us about this effort to
9 merge the two Merhamets, and why they were not merged in the first place?
10 A. There were certain internal conflicts in the Merhamet with regard
11 to the organisation of the kitchen. Some were against it. And this is
12 where the first rift appeared.
13 Q. The first rift between who?
14 A. Between the leaders, in the Merhamet itself.
15 Q. Part of the problem, was it not, that one of the Merhamets was
16 registered in Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, and there were people that
17 objected to that?
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. This fellow, Nijaz Karaselimovic you say was a person whom they
20 called a Chetnik. Who called him a Chetnik?
21 A. Well, you see, I had to -- I was forced to write quite a few of
22 these sentences in this statement. They were dictated to me. I just had
23 to sign it. I have to go back a little. To the first interview in the
24 Security Services Centre. My attention was immediately drawn to the fact
25 that I had to answer the questions and to confirm what they told me. I
1 didn't even read this statement. I had to sign it in the Security
2 Services Centre --
3 Q. Mr. Smailagic --
4 A. It was about 2.00 a.m.
5 Q. The reason I asked you at the beginning --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let him finish, Mr. Ackerman.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm sorry. He's talking about a completely
8 different statement, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: He's talking about a statement to the Security
10 Services Centre.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Not this one. He's talking about a his first
12 statement to the security services.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Which statement are you referring to as you give
14 evidence now, Mr. Smailagic?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The one which I made in the Security
16 Services Centre, the one that the gentleman asked me about.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: The one that you have in front of you now?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the one that I just received.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So you were telling us, Mr. Smailagic, that this was
20 not even read out to you, that you were made to sign, that some sentences
21 were even inserted there without you -- without reflecting what you had
22 stated or without you saying those words? What else do you want to tell
23 us, in reply to Mr. Ackerman's question?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this text which is before me,
25 many things were added, many things that I didn't say. The fact that they
1 called Mr. Karaselimovic a Chetnik, I heard this in the security services
3 MR. ACKERMAN:
4 Q. The reason I asked you at the beginning about what you said to the
5 OTP regarding this statement being only a partly accurate reflection of
6 what you said was to be fair to you, and to give you the opportunity, when
7 I ask you about things in the statement, to say that this was something
8 you did not say. And I understand that it's your position that there are
9 things in this statement that you did not say. And what I'm asking you
10 is, if you said these things, and if so, what was meant by them. I have,
11 I think, one more thing to ask you about with regard to the statement and,
12 that is the very next sentence, which says, "Jakirlic claimed that Krzic,
13 intentionally --" well it's actually two sentences. "At this same time,
14 Jakirlic attacked Krzic over an interview that he had given to the media.
15 Jakirlic claimed that Krzic intentionally put all of Banja Luka's Muslims
16 in great jeopardy so that he could get away." Did you say that? Is that
17 part of your statement?
18 A. Well, they were talking about this after Krzic had left Banja
19 Luka, and Krzic's statement was related to talk about a NATO
20 intervention. And when NATO planes started controlling the air space
21 above Banja Luka, and when the planes appeared, he said that he was happy
22 and so on. Jakirlic reacted to this and said for -- "For the sake of our
23 security, he shouldn't have stated something like this."
24 Q. If you look near the bottom, I don't know if it's near the bottom
25 of the page or not, let me see if I can find it for you. It's about one,
1 two, three, it's about the fourth paragraph after the one we've been
2 looking at. It may even be the final paragraph of the document. Let me
3 see. No. It's -- it's a paragraph that says, "I heard that the money
4 earmarked for the Banja Luka Merhamet which Krzic had embezzled was later
5 transferred to Sarajevo." Did you in fact make a statement that Mr. Krzic
6 had embezzled some money? Or was that one of the things that was added to
7 your statement?
8 A. I didn't say that, no.
9 Q. All right.
10 A. I don't even remember this question being put to me.
11 Q. All right. That's fine. There was a question put to you about
12 the organisation Valter and what the statement says your answer was that
13 it was a secret organisation established by Muharem Krzic. Is that true
14 or is it not true?
15 A. It's true that that is what it says in the statement. "I was
16 forced to do this in the security services centre, because one of the
17 documents, one document was found and it was signed 'Valter.'"
18 Q. Could I ask now that the witness be provided with the document
19 P465? I don't know if that was divided properly into P465 A and B. If it
20 was the one I'm looking for is the B version?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: This is the judgement, no?
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, it is, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Of the military court Banja Luka, 1st September,
25 MR. ACKERMAN:
1 Q. I want you to find the B/C/S version and I want to direct you to
2 page 2. Right at the top of page 2, you will see the number 3, followed
3 by your name. Have you found that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I want to ask you if it's correct in that paragraph where it
6 speaks of you having been convicted of an offence in September of 1962 and
7 sentenced to eight months in prison.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And could you tell us what offence that was you were convicted of?
10 A. I wouldn't speak about that now.
11 Q. It's correct, is it not, that you were convicted of embezzlement?
12 A. That's how it was formulated, but that wasn't the matter. That's
13 how it was formulated. Some damage was done.
14 Q. This was not a -- this was way before the war. This was a regular
15 court. And you were convicted and sentenced to eight months. Did you
16 actually serve prison time?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The document also indicates that you were later convicted of
19 another offence and sentenced to three months' imprisonment?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What was that for?
22 A. It was related to the work organisation, but ...
23 Q. These offences both involved offences of dishonesty, did they not?
24 A. According to this, yes.
25 Q. In the beginning of your testimony here, you talked about these
1 meetings that were held in 1961 that you claim that Mr. Brdjanin was part
2 of. These meetings mainly dealt with issues of mobilisation, did they
4 A. Not just mobilisation but other conditions in the town of Banja
6 Q. One of the problems that was going -- perceived as a problem that
7 was going on at that time was that there was a war going on in Croatia and
8 Muslims were resisting mobilisation and resisting fighting in that war
9 because Izetbegovic had told them it was not their war and they shouldn't
10 go fight in it; correct?
11 A. Not that it wasn't their war but that it wasn't a war that they
12 should engage in.
13 Q. And this war was going on before the independence of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina was declared or accepted; correct?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. And there were also Serbs who were refusing to be mobilised? In
17 fact, they were leaving Banja Luka to try to hide from being mobilised,
18 were they not?
19 A. Yes. There was several such cases.
20 Q. And any sanctions that were promised against people who refused to
21 be mobilised applied equally to Serbs and Muslims, isn't that right?
22 A. No.
23 Q. You spoke about these rallies that you attended in 1992. You said
24 there may have been as many as seven of them, and you talked about
25 provocative things that were said by the various speakers at these
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 rallies. These were rallies of the SDS, I think you told us; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And it would have been -
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. It would have been mostly Serbs that were attending those rallies;
7 A. Mostly Serbs, but there were other people too, many people went
8 there out of curiosity, and one always expected to find out additional
10 Q. How many fights or riots or things of that nature broke out during
11 these rallies or immediately thereafter?
12 A. There were no revolts, as far as I know.
13 Q. Were you ever assaulted by anyone for being at these rallies?
14 A. No.
15 Q. You told us about seeing Mr. Brdjanin on TV in 1992. Wasn't that
16 difficult because of the lack of electricity? How could you watch TV with
17 no electricity?
18 A. There is a very simple explanation. In the street in which I
19 lived, there was electricity on one side of the street on one day and on
20 the next day the other side of the street had electricity so as neighbours
21 we would visit each other and watch television.
22 Q. Weren't there large periods of time when neither side of the
23 street had no electricity, when the whole city of Banja Luka was basically
24 cut off from electricity?
25 A. That was later on in 1993, I think, but it was never the case that
1 the entire city of Banja Luka was without electricity. At least as far as
2 I can remember.
3 Q. After the war started, didn't the Bosnian government shut off the
4 electrical supply from Tuzla so that Banja Luka did not have electricity,
5 as part of the war effort?
6 A. I don't know. I know that they had electricity. But in the --
7 later on, around 1993, that was when electricity often disappeared, the
8 whole street lacked electricity. We then used generators and we were able
9 to watch television.
10 Q. Many of the people who were employed in Banja Luka worked at
11 various factories and plants there, did they not?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And when you talk about people not being able to work, not being
14 employed, that arose to a great deal, a great extent, from the fact that
15 factories and plants can't operate without electricity, so there was no
16 reason for people to go to work. They couldn't work. And it was both
17 Serbs and Muslims who were unable to go to work because of the lack of
18 electricity to run the plants and the factories; is that right?
19 A. As far as I know, the factories, the tobacco factory had
20 electricity. The shoe factory had electricity. The regular hospital. All
21 the important institutions and large companies had electricity. Rudi
22 Cajavac also had electricity. Kosmos, especially the two ones that were
23 involved in military production, Vrbas and Kosmos.
24 Q. You told us that at one of these rallies you attended,
25 Mr. Brdjanin said, "Whoever is not with us is against us."
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You actually heard that?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. Did you hear George Bush say that?
5 A. George Bush?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. Yes. After this -- after what happened when he said that whoever
8 isn't with us is against us. Something to that effect, yes, I heard that
9 on television. When he was referring to this coalition.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Someone more important said it also about 2.000
11 years ago, Mr. Ackerman.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: More important than George Bush, Your Honour?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, yes.
14 MR. ACKERMAN:
15 Q. You talked about the restriction of movements in Banja Luka, and
16 that persons without passes would be arrested if they tried to move around
17 the town of Banja Luka, correct?
18 A. Yes. And they were taken away to do work obligations. They were
19 usually taken to do very hard work, digging trenches at the front lines,
20 but even people who had passes and who had work obligations when they
21 would come to Banja Luka and when they would go out, they would sometimes
22 show their passes and the passes would be torn up.
23 Q. This had to do, did it not, with the mobilisation issue, that
24 people were being found who had not responded to mobilisation and then
25 forced into some kind of public service, and that that included both
1 Muslims and Serbs and Croats?
2 A. I don't know how the work obligation was organised, but as far as
3 I'm concerned, I know how this worked. I know that all Muslims and at the
4 time the -- all Croats too, had an obligation, and they had to respond to
5 this summons to carry out work obligations.
6 Q. And you know that Serbs who were called up were sent off to the
7 front to fight in the war?
8 A. The Serbs who received this summons for work obligations, they
9 remained in the town, they took up the positions, these work positions,
10 for which there were an insufficient -- there was an insufficient number
11 of people. As far as the Muslims are concerned, I know for sure that at
12 the beginning, it was provocative, they first started trying to get Banja
13 Luka intellectuals to work. They would send them to a little river and to
14 clear the bottom of the river and this was often very humiliating.
15 Q. You knew that Serbs were being mobilised into the army and being
16 sent to Croatia to fight in the war in Croatia, didn't you?
17 A. Yes, they went there.
18 Q. And you knew that Muslims and Croats did not want to go fight in
19 the war in Croatia for whatever reason, and that a substitute for that was
20 a work obligation that did not require them to go fight in the war, Croats
21 against Croats, or Muslims against Croats. That's true, isn't it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Could you drive your car? Do you have a car? Did you have a car
24 at that time?
25 A. I didn't.
1 Q. Could people drive their cars freely around Banja Luka at that
2 time, go wherever they wanted to?
3 A. People could drive their cars around freely, if anyone had a car.
4 But at the time, they were -- the Muslims had started selling their cars.
5 Q. What would happen if you were driving your car around Banja Luka
6 and you went to one of these checkpoints?
7 A. They would probably seize the car and this happened. In quite a
8 few cases they mobilised the car. They seized the car.
9 Q. Talking about these SOS checkpoints again, I think you told us
10 that you really never had any dealings with the SOS checkpoints because
11 they weren't set up in Pobrdje, the village that you lived in; correct?
12 A. That's not the village of Pobrdje. I have to make a correction.
13 As I explained a little earlier on, it's quite close to the centre. You
14 could consider it to be the centre of the town. There were no barricades
15 or obstacles in that part.
16 Q. And that's a heavily Muslim area, is it not?
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. And it's true that you didn't really have any encounters with the
19 SOS people that were manning the barricades, did you?
20 A. No direct encounters, no.
21 Q. How is it that you are able to tell the Chamber that these were
22 all well-known Banja Luka criminals, if you didn't even see them?
23 A. I didn't say that I never saw them. I saw them. Let's say from
24 the centre of the town, if you head towards the Rebrovac neighbourhood or
25 towards Mejdan, on that side of the bridge, there is a barricade, on that
1 side of Vrbas, and you could easily approach that place and see them on
2 the other side of the river. They would walk around the town. I would
3 come across them. They had caps on their heads with the letters SOS on
4 the caps. And they were very arrogant. They would shoot in the centre of
5 the town, and no one would do anything to them. They shooted in an
6 uncontrolled manner.
7 Q. How would you know who was a well-known criminal in Banja Luka? I
8 mean, were there photos put up around town of well-known criminals? Or
9 how would you know that?
10 A. Well, let me tell you, I was born in Banja Luka. I knew almost
11 everyone in Banja Luka. These people were people who had grown up in
12 Banja Luka, the people that I knew personally.
13 Q. And the police just let well-known criminals wander around Banja
14 Luka at will? They didn't arrest them?
15 A. They were arrested before the war. However, during this war,
16 nobody touched them, nobody bothered them. That's exactly what they were
17 used for.
18 Q. So are you saying these are people who before the war had been
19 charged with crimes, had been arrested, had been charged, perhaps had been
20 in prison and now were part of this SOS group? Is that what you're
21 telling us?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I'd like the witness to be provided with Exhibit
24 P254, please.
25 Q. You looked at this exhibit yesterday, I think, Mr. Smailagic;
2 A. Yes, not until yesterday. I saw it when it was published in the
3 newspaper. That's what I said.
4 Q. Yes. And one of the things you told us yesterday about the faxes
5 you were sending and the work your group was doing, was that you were
6 doing it because you were loyal to the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina
7 and felt in connection with that loyalty, that you needed to provide this
8 information to various people. That's true, isn't
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. This document that you're looking at is dated 22 June, 1992;
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. The war was going on then; correct?
15 A. Yes, the war had already started.
16 Q. The Serbs were fighting basically against the Muslims and Croats
17 and sometimes against -- with the Croats against the Muslims and sometimes
18 with -- against Muslims and Croats. But in any event there was a war
19 going on involving Serbs and Muslims, correct?
20 A. [No interpretation]
21 Q. And one of the things that happens in a war is that the parties in
22 a war will try to protect their various assets, the information, their
23 public property, their plants and facilities important for the economy,
24 from infiltration and sabotage by the other side during a war. That's
25 what happens in wars, isn't it?
1 A. Yes, more or less. It is just that, if I may add, we never
2 considered this war to be a war of Serbs against Muslims but a specific
3 group of people, of terrorists, who terrorised both Muslims and Croats
4 alike in 1993 and who endeavoured to undermine the officially recognised
5 state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That is to divide it up.
6 Q. Well, this group of terrorists, as you call them, were the SDS,
7 which comprised most of the Serb population of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who
8 declared an independent state, just like Bosnia-Herzegovina did, of
9 Republika Srpska, and were in the process of trying to protect the
10 independence that they had declared with the will of all of their people.
11 Now you can call them terrorists, if you want, but that's exactly what
12 happened, is it?
13 MS. KORNER: No. Exactly what happened, Your Honour, is a matter
14 for you, the Judges, to decide. Mr. Ackerman can put this in the form of
15 a question but cannot assert as a fact that the SDS and the Serbs who
16 voted in the referendum were exerting the will of their people and so on
17 and so forth.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, I think Ms. Korner's objection is
19 correct and I would invite to you rephrase your question.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I guess I don't understand
21 the objection. I think I asked a leading question that he could either
22 affirm or deny and I think I'm permitted to ask a leading question on
23 cross but I'll try to ask it in a different way.
24 MS. KORNER: If it's not clear, the objection is that to assert as
25 a fact the SDS which comprised most of the Serb population, I don't know
1 whether there is any evidence of that, of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who declared
2 an independent state and so on and so forth, and were in the process of
3 trying to protect the independence they had declared with the will of
4 their people. Your Honour, this case is exactly concerned with whether
5 that is a correct assertion, an incorrect assertion.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: That's absolutely right. And this is a witness who
7 has knowledge with regard to that.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: But --
9 MR. ACKERMAN: I should be able to ask him.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: But actually, you wrote there -- it's as if you have
11 written your version of the history of the events that formed the
12 background of this case. I mean, just put the question, rephrase it,
13 divide it and subdivide it, and if it's the case of the witness answering
14 those questions, he will be allowed to answer those questions. If it's
15 the case of an opinion that being -- that is being sought from the
16 witness, which the Chamber thinks the witness is not the best qualified or
17 is not even qualified at all to answer, then he will not be allowed to
18 answer the question. That's the position. That's why I think
19 Ms. Korner's objection is --
20 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I should have objected
21 earlier because this whole line of questioning is going to lead to this
22 sort of answer. This witness thinks they are terrorists. Mr. Ackerman's
23 case for his client is that they are not, that they are protecting, but
24 neither is in the position to deal with this. The whole line of
25 questioning is it started with, "Isn't it right that people in war are
1 allowed to do that?" This is asking for opinion and he got the opinion.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: But you did not object then.
3 MS. KORNER: I know and I wish I had.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: There were some questions which -- I mean, would
5 have taken for granted that Mr. Smailagic was sitting in my place rather
6 than where he is sitting now. Mr. Ackerman.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I just want for the record to say that
8 I think I asked a proper, leading question and that I should be permitted
9 to ask it. I will do as the Court directs and try to rephrase it in a way
10 that's acceptable.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Ackerman
12 MR. ACKERMAN:
13 Q. Mr. Smailagic, the question I want to ask you is this: There was
14 a declaration of independence of what came to be called Republika Srpska
15 in 1992, isn't that correct?
16 A. Yes, but it was an illegal declaration and it was not recognised
17 by the world.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Smailagic, please don't add more trouble to what
19 we have already. Are you a lawyer by profession? Are you a
20 constitutional lawyer? Are you deciding the case? So please refrain from
21 making such statements that it was an illegal declaration of independence
22 or whether it was an illegal decision and political act. Just answer the
23 question, yes or no.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 MR. ACKERMAN:
1 Q. And that entity called Republika Srpska was involved in a war with
2 an entity called Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992; correct?
3 A. It was not an entity at the time.
4 Q. It was recognised -- well, I don't want to get into this. I'm not
5 going to go to that. The question that I want to ask you is this: Isn't
6 it true that just as this document removes people who are not loyal to
7 Republika Srpska from important positions, like access to information,
8 protection of public property, positions of importance for the functioning
9 of the economy, just as this document does that, the government of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina was removing Serbs from the same kinds of positions in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, doing exactly the same thing. Isn't that correct?
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I thought we'd already dealt with
13 whatever other governments may have been doing, the question is what was
14 this particular organisation in Banja Luka doing? And as I understand,
15 Your Honour said earlier on we were not concerned with whether or not the
16 Muslims or the Croats had done things as well.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, what do you have to state?
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I think we must be very concerned with that. This
19 is just the kind of thing governments do when they are in war. This is
20 being portrayed to you, Your Honour, as some kind of ethnic cleansing
21 conspiracy, and it's just what governments do when a war is going on. My
22 government does it. Your government does it. Any government I know
23 that's ever been at war removes people from sensitive positions that could
24 be a threat to the war effort. It happens all the time. And this is not
25 some grand conspiracy and that's all I'm trying to show is that the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Muslims did the same thing with Serbs.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you aware, Mr. Smailagic, Mr. Ackerman asked
3 you -- asked you whether you were aware that the government of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina was, on its part, also removing Serbs from the same
5 kinds of position in Bosnia-Herzegovina, doing in other words, exactly the
6 same thing that Republika Srpska was doing. Are you aware of this event?
7 Are you aware that this was being done by the government of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Just answer yes or no.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot give you a simple answer. I
10 know that they didn't, and as a proof, I know that Mr. Mirko Pejanovic and
11 Tatiana Lujic [phoen] were members of the presidency and they were both of
12 Serb ethnicity. And as for Sarajevo, and this is something that I learned
13 recently in Zenica, Tuzla and Travnik, wherever there were appropriate
14 conditions Serbs were working along side Muslims and there was no
15 difference whatsoever.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So your answer is no. Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. I want to ask you about the red Kombi that you talked about. Did
19 you ever see it?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. Okay. Do you know how much territory was covered by what was
22 called the Autonomous Region of Krajina?
23 A. Approximately, I cannot tell you how many kilometres the territory
24 was wide but it included quite a number -- quite a few municipalities,
25 Prijedor, Kotor Varos, Sanski Most, as regards the western part of the
2 Q. Do you have any idea how many municipalities were actually members
3 of the Autonomous Region of Krajina?
4 A. I would have to enumerate them.
5 Q. I don't need you to do that. There were several; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. When you were giving your testimony yesterday, you were asked by
8 Dr. Richterova about the members of the ARK Crisis Staff, and your answer,
9 as I recall it, was Brdjanin, Kupresanin, Zupljanin and persons from
10 neighbouring towns. Do you remember the names of any of the persons from
11 neighbouring towns who were members of the Crisis Staff, ARK Crisis
13 A. I cannot remember, believe me, I just cannot.
14 Q. Do you remember the neighbouring towns that people on the ARK
15 Crisis Staff were from?
16 A. My main interest, of course, was Banja Luka. Whether the person
17 was from Prijedor, for example, that's quite possible, or from Sanski
18 Most, Drvar, I couldn't tell you their names, though. But all
19 municipalities were represented.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes. I thank you very much. I have no further
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Now, the position is as follows: We
23 resumed the sitting at 12.00. Usually we stop after an hour and a half.
24 I would like to know from the interpreters whether we could, rather than
25 stopping at 1.30, which would be an hour and a half, whether we could go
1 right through a quarter to 2.00, which is the time when we usually finish;
2 that's number 1. And secondly, from Maitre de Roux, how long he
3 anticipates his cross-examination of the witness to last.
4 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in view of the
5 cross-examination of Mr. Ackerman, I can say that my cross-examination
6 will be significantly shorter. I will deal with certain specific issues
7 that were not covered. I cannot promise you that I will finish in a half
8 an hour, but I will cover a certain number of issues within that half
10 JUDGE AGIUS: And the interpreters, please can we go on until
11 quarter to 2.00? Okay. Thank you.
12 So Mr. Smailagic, you are now going to be cross-examined by
13 Maitre de Roux, the lead counsel for General Talic. Thank you.
14 Maitre de Roux, please.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. de Roux:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Smailagic, you testified that the SDA, of
17 which you were a member, was in favour of a preservation of Yugoslavia,
18 that is, of a federal state initially. My question is as follows: Why,
19 therefore, while you were preparing the referendum for independence, you
20 identified -- that is, you attempted to identify Muslim voters of the
21 Banja Luka region?
22 A. It was not our intent to establish that. This is something that
23 happened when we received the lists from the state government. We
24 couldn't organise the referendum without receiving this from the electoral
25 commission. And as we couldn't obtain the paper in Banja Luka, we
1 requested the same paper from Sarajevo, and that is how we ended up with
2 this list of names, and in particular, the list of Muslim voters. As for
3 the referendum itself and what you mentioned initially, though I should
4 like you to repeat your question, that is the part that concerned
5 the SDA and Yugoslavia.
6 Q. By all means. Speaking of the referendum that was under way, we
7 referred to two specific figures, and the way that some of the citizens
8 declared themselves as Muslims in 1991, and also another figure which you
9 established, that is the figure of 52.000 Muslims or Bosniaks in 1992.
10 What was the reason of this work that was done to -- in that respect?
11 What was the objective of that work?
12 A. Various steps of manipulation started at that time involving these
13 figures, 28.000, 52.000. It was because of that that we wanted to
14 establish the exact number of Muslims living in Banja Luka. If I tell you
15 that Banja Luka, the Banja Luka town, was a predominantly Muslim town,
16 that is true. I am certain about that. As for what you stated about the
17 SDA and its politics in favour of Yugoslavia, I addressed the issue in my
18 statement yesterday. Yugoslavia was the best possible option for Muslims
19 initially. However, after the secession of Croatia and Slovenia, that
20 country no longer existed so we had to focus ourselves and orient
21 ourselves towards Bosnia and Herzegovina.
22 Q. I understand that position. However, there is a problem there.
23 Other witnesses have addressed the issue of second-class citizens because
24 they had refused mobilisation. The mobilisation concerned the front line
25 in Croatia. However, at that time, Bosnia still was part of this federal
1 state. So why did Bosniaks prefer to take this position in favour of
2 Croats than in favour of Yugoslavia? Why was it a better option for them?
3 A. As far as I know, Bosniaks did not commit themselves in any way.
4 They did not side with Croats. In the meantime, Croatia had already been
5 proclaimed as a republic, and there was nothing left for us. I mean, we
6 didn't see any other option, as far as we were concerned in Bosnia and
8 Q. Precisely. The three constituent peoples were represented in
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Didn't you think it dangerous that at the time
10 when the federation was disintegrating because of nationalism, rampant
11 nationalism, were you not afraid that the same thing might occur in
12 Bosnia, that the same thing might happen to Bosnia?
13 A. Frankly speaking, maybe we were naive. At the beginning of the
14 war in Croatia, we didn't believe that the same thing could happen in
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the time we trusted the former Yugoslav
16 People's Army because of its rhetorics and its origins, the way it was
17 established. We believed that the army would prevent the worst from
18 happening in Bosnia. Unfortunately, that's not what eventually happened.
19 Q. However, in 1992, that is during the relevant times, the time
20 period indicated in the indictment, the year of 1992, I think that
21 yesterday you agreed with what Mr. Gutman, the journalist said, when he
22 spoke about 50.000 Muslims and Croats living in Banja Luka in September,
23 1992. My question in relation to that would be as follows: According to
24 you, when did this exodus of Muslims begin?
25 A. As early as late April, early May, 1992. The first mass departure
1 occurred in mid-May. It was an organised departure. I don't know who
2 participated in the organisation thereof. I cannot say anything about
3 that. All I know was that military vehicles and transporters arrived and
4 whoever wanted to leave Banja Luka was given opportunity to do so.
5 Trouble started in Banja Luka as early as 1991, it was caused mainly by
6 the members of the army. It consisted of various forms of intimidation.
7 There were several departures from Banja Luka on buses. They were not
8 prevented from leaving the town. So that was probably the reason for the
9 significant decrease in the number of population, because a lot of
10 citizens had already left the town.
11 Q. I'm interested in the dates, because we agreed, actually you, you
12 yourself, mentioned the number of 52.000 Muslims in Banja Luka, as opposed
13 to the official number which was, I think, 24.000. That number concerned
14 the year of 1991. However, you expressed your agreement with the
15 statement made by Mr. Gutman, who spoke about 50.000 Muslims and Croats
16 living in Banja Luka in September, 1992, which means that by the month of
17 September, 1992, very few citizens had left. So let me ask my question
18 once again: When do you think the exodus actually commenced?
19 A. It commenced in 1992, and continued for a while. People left the
20 town in waves.
21 Q. Very well. Do you think that the arrival of Serbs who had been
22 expelled from Croatia could have affected the situation in Banja Luka?
23 A. Yes. It affected it considerably. It caused unrest. It
24 instilled unrest amongst the population of Banja Luka, both the Croatian
25 and Bosniak community.
1 Q. How many Serbs in your opinion found refuge in Banja Luka?
2 A. I don't know the exact figure. But I know that a large number of
3 them came. They started arriving from Slavonia in 1991. I remember
4 discussing the issue with some friends of mine, when the first group, such
5 group, arrived. They were accommodated in a gym near the place where I
6 live, and we took pity on them. We went to buy some food and we took that
7 to them. We wanted to alleviate the situation for them as much as we
9 Q. Prior to the proclamation of independence of Croatia, there had
10 been certain events in Croatia involving the federal army, which was
11 ethnically mixed. This army was at one point in time encircled in their
12 barracks and they suffered considerable losses in Croatia. Don't you
13 think that the refusal of mobilisation was a sign of defiance vis-a-vis
14 the federal army?
15 A. I don't think that, no.
16 Q. You played an active role in local Banja Luka politics. You
17 testified about informing the relevant authorities in Sarajevo, your
18 ambassador through the United Nations and the representatives of the
19 international community, of the way you perceived the situation as it was
20 on a daily basis. Do you really think that it was a merely political role
21 that you played at the time, the fact that you forwarded this type of
23 A. No. My role was not only political. It was also a humanitarian
24 role. In particular, I am referring to the international humanitarian
25 organisations to that effect.
1 Q. However, the messages that you endeavoured to transmit, according
2 to the transcript, were coded messages. They were done according to a
3 system which was developed by Mr. Krzic. Did it not seem strange to you
4 that it was necessary to transmit this type of information through coded
6 A. In view of the times, nothing seemed strange to me. The gentleman
7 in question was my superior, so to speak, and I didn't feel any need to
8 inquire further what it was all about. I thought that it was perfectly
10 Q. When you say that Mr. Krzic was your superior, what does this mean
12 A. He was the president of the Party of Democratic Action in Banja
14 Q. But when Mr. Krzic asked you to count, to go to the cemetery at
15 Seva regularly and to count the Serbian soldiers that had been buried
16 there, didn't you think that this -- don't you think that this information
17 -- do you think that this information had only a humanitarian objective?
18 A. First of all, Mr. Krzic didn't tell me or order me to go to the
19 cemetery to count bodies. And secondly, I think I said this yesterday, my
20 house is in a street through which you have to pass to get to the new
21 cemetery, and I've said this. Whenever you would pass by -- whenever they
22 were transported, they were transported in refrigerators. You know, there
23 was war propaganda and we always thought that this was an aggression
24 against us, which it was. And we felt the moral obligation to inform our
25 government of everything. Of all the events, whatever they concerned.
1 Q. But the burial of Serbian soldiers was not an act of aggression
2 against you.
3 A. I didn't understand.
4 Q. I will ask that question again. It was more comment. In your
5 opinion, where were these Serbian soldiers?
6 A. In various battlefields, I don't know which battlefields they were
7 brought from but mainly from the battlefields.
8 Q. Was the battlefield far away from Banja Luka?
9 A. There were -- there was a lot of combat in the area of Travnik.
10 There are several routes. I will try and tell you what the quickest route
11 is. From Banja Luka to Travnik, it's about 90 kilometres and in the
12 Bihacska and Krupska battlefield, that's about 160 or 150 kilometres away.
13 Q. In the group that you frequented in Banja Luka, there weren't only
14 members of the SDA, according to your statement, there were also members
15 of a workers union. What sort of workers union was this?
16 A. They were from almost all companies, the presidents of the unions,
17 I didn't know about them but they had responded in 1991 when they were
18 starting to dismiss people. They organised a well-known protest in Banja
19 Luka under the auspices of the union and they fought for workers' rights.
20 It wasn't until 1994 or at the end of 1993 that I saw one of them. One of
21 them came to my place and that's how I met him.
22 Q. That was Mr. Durakovic, I think, according to your statement. Was
23 it Mr. Durakovic?
24 A. Durakovic. I met him in unfortunate conditions. On one
25 occasion -- should I explain this?
1 Q. Yes. Do tell us. On which occasion did you meet Mr. Durakovic?
2 A. On one occasion, while I was on the premises of the Merhamet
3 organisation, one of those present asked me, since I had a larger house,
4 whether I would receive Durakovic for one night, put him up for one
5 night. Some unknown people had entered his house and beaten him. I
6 accepted this. He spent about 15 or 20 days in my house, and then went to
7 a third country.
8 Q. On page 6 of the English version of your second statement, it's
9 the paragraph before last, you say that Mr. Durakovic said that he had
10 enough explosives to cause a great explosion in the city. What do you
11 think of this statement that Mr. Durakovic made? In the Croatian version,
12 I'll give you the -- it's page 7, the first paragraph, in the
13 Serbo-Croatian version, page 7. At the top, after the first two lines,
14 there you are. You have your finger on it.
15 A. It was correct. Because, look, in Banja Luka, we were mostly
16 engaged in this, that was to calm the situation and not to allow the
17 population to provoke a conflict. Because explosives, hand grenades,
18 weapons of any kind, all this was easily obtainable in Banja Luka. You
19 could get it on the market from Serbian soldiers who would sell it. They
20 were offering this. We did all we could to prevent this, to prevent
21 weapons from being bought. We didn't want to die for nothing, because
22 Banja Luka had no chances of any kind.
23 And a second thing, he bought a pistol a rifle, or a bomb, in the
24 afternoon, on the market. In the evening we came to the house and took
25 this away. This was provocative. People wouldn't allow this to happen.
1 It wasn't necessary. We always prevented such incidents from happening.
2 And whether he had this or not, I'm not sure, these explosives.
3 Q. But Mr. Durakovic said he had enough explosives to blow up the
4 city. He asked you to put him up, he took refuge with you, took shelter
5 with you. Do you think that this was an act of resistance on your part,
6 an active act of resistance?
7 A. No, no, I don't.
8 Q. In the group consisting of your friends, you were also in contact
9 with Mr. Osman Gojacic. In your opinion, what was Mr. Gojacic's role in
10 this group?
11 A. He was part of this group. I think he was a member of the union
12 in the hospital, the president of the union in the hospital. So there was
13 a certain Ivo, I don't know, I'm not sure. I have just explained about
14 Durakovic. These were senseless ideas. So I met him towards the end of
15 1993 or 1994. And I'm glad that this all ended and they didn't undertake
16 anything, but I doubt that he had this and that he could have done
17 anything. So you should note that there were daily searches in the houses
18 and I met him because they beat him up in his house.
19 Q. You yourself, I'm still talking about 1992, you were very active
20 with this group of friends of yours. You had a fax at your home. You
21 sent coded information. How many times were you searched by the police in
23 A. Twice.
24 Q. Twice. And did the police find anything?
25 A. No. They didn't find anything. There was nothing to be found.
1 Q. And you remained in your house until you were arrested in 1994?
2 A. I'm sorry, I didn't understand the rest.
3 Q. I will put that differently. How long did you stay in your house
4 in Banja Luka, until when?
5 A. Until I was arrested.
6 Q. Which year was that?
7 A. That was in 1994.
8 Q. And you put up Mr. Durakovic in which year?
9 A. I think it was towards the end of 1993 or at the beginning of
10 1994, just before he left. He soon left. He went abroad.
11 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that it is
12 time, and I can continue, if you like, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... even I can
14 continue and we would be prepared to continue and to finish, but if you're
15 not in a position to conclude, say in two minutes' time, then I would
16 rather not ask any more indulgence from the interpreters. They have
17 worked more than enough already for today. Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, as we were discussing, the question
19 that I had asked the witness about the archives that he talked about in
20 Banja Luka, you may have seen me searching through this book which has a
21 very bad index and I finally found the part I was looking for and I just
22 want to put in the record a statement from the Appeals Chamber in the
23 Aleksovski case. The Chamber observed that there is a firm obligation
24 placed upon those representing an accused to make proper inquiries as to
25 what evidence is available in that person's Defence. I believe that's
1 what I was trying to do.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: That was never in dispute. What was in dispute is
3 that in the opinion of the Trial Chamber you were trying to go beyond what
4 you were expected to do. Yes, Ms. Korner?
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, just two matters. Firstly, may I
6 respectfully remind Your Honours that we haven't had a decision yet.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: On the humanitarian. We have discussed it finally
8 and unfortunately I have one of my legal assistants who is away for the
9 whole week. Another one was working very hard and I don't think I can ask
10 her to do anything else in addition to what she is working upon at the
11 moment. More or less we have agreed on how it's going to be decided.
12 It's a question of having it formulated now, drafted, and but it's in
13 hand. We have also -- it's in hand. And let's leave it at that.
14 MS. KORNER: Before Mr. Ackerman, I haven't sat down yet. And it
15 relates to Mr. Ackerman's cross-examination. I can see we are being urged
16 to get a move on. I'm sorry about this. Mr. Ackerman challenged various
17 statements that were made allegedly by Mr. Brdjanin. He didn't, however,
18 challenge the evidence given, for example, that Mr. Brdjanin said, for
19 example, that only 2 per cent of Muslims were allowed to remain in Banja
20 Luka. Can we take it --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: 3 to 5 per cent.
22 MS. KORNER: 3 to 5. That it's accepted that Mr. Brdjanin made
23 those remarks?
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Of course not. Just because I don't ask a question
25 on cross doesn't mean that I agree with the witness. Everything else the
1 witness said. That's absurd.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we can raise it tomorrow. I think it is
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So we will rise now. We will reconvene
5 tomorrow. I'm sorry, Mr. Smailagic. I thought that we may have concluded
6 your examination and cross-examination today. You will come here again
7 kindly come here again tomorrow morning at 9.00 so that we will resume and
8 finish your cross-examination. In the meantime, I understand Ms. Korner
9 you're bringing over Mr. Inayat or Mr. -- not Mr. --
10 MS. KORNER: No, Your Honour, Mr. Dupas because he actually took
11 the statements from Mr. Smailagic so he seems to be an obvious one.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Tomorrow morning, 9.00. Thank you.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 21st day of
15 February, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.