1 Monday, 28 July 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Good morning. Madam Registrar, could you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good morning, Your Honours.
8 This is the case number IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am.
11 Mr. Brdjanin, can you follow in a language that you can
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, I
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Appearances for the Prosecution.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, Joanna Korner, assisted this morning by
17 Timothy Resch, who will be calling tomorrow's witness, who is also going
18 to be a witness in another trial in which Mr. Resch is engaged. And he's
19 here this morning to see how Your Honours operate and also as usual,
20 Denise Gustin, case manager.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, and good morning to you.
22 Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin.
23 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Good morning, Your Honour. David Cunningham with
24 Aleksandar Vujic.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you.
1 Any preliminaries, yes, Ms. Korner.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, only one thing. Your Honour asked on
3 Friday for a chart, as it were, of the documents that came from AID, which
4 this witness is able to authenticate. That will be available after the
5 first break for Your Honours.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I realised also, Ms. Korner, after I asked you, I
7 mean, it was a lapse of memory for -- which is not usual with me, but I
8 did realise after all that I had already in my possession this list.
9 MS. KORNER: Yes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: But it was not complete. In other words, it does
11 give me an indication of the provenance of many of the documents that have
12 been made use of by this witness, but not all.
13 MS. KORNER: I think, Your Honour, we -- I know there were ones
14 where originally Mr. Inayat could not --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, exactly.
16 MS. KORNER: But we changed that because we were able to obtain
17 the same documents from a traceable source.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I see.
19 MS. KORNER: I think we can provide Your Honours with an updated
21 JUDGE AGIUS: That's better, yes.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, what we're going to do is we've done two
23 things in this trial. The first is that we've identified the documents
24 which this witness has authenticated. Equally, we've identified the
25 documents that Mr. Hidic also himself had copies of so that they
1 came -- the identical documents but which came from a separate source.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Did Mr. Hidic testify in open session?
3 MS. KORNER: Yes, he did.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay.
5 MS. KORNER: So Your Honour, there are two -- the chart will have
6 two columns. Now, Your Honour, the only other things, I have to ask Your
7 Honours this. Clearly, because of time constraints, I have not taken him
8 through every document that he could authenticate. There are lots more
9 that come from AID but which I haven't shown him. Your Honour, if I do
10 that, if Your Honours feel it important enough, that's going to take up
11 more time. So Your Honour, I'm hoping that Your Honours will regard his
12 evidence on some as strong enough to draw an inference on the others.
13 Otherwise, I will have to take --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't expect me or my colleagues to comment on
15 that. We're definitely not going to tell you whether we are prepared to
16 do that.
17 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it will be overstepping the limits.
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, with respect, I don't think you are. I
20 think there must come a stage where these objections which are just
21 delivered, because they happen to come from AID, either the Defence
22 properly withdraw them, which they ought, because this is just a waste of
23 Court time, or alternatively, I think Your Honours are entitled to say
24 where Court time comes into consideration and where there is no real
25 foundation for anything that's been suggested about those documents, other
1 than they came from AID, that Your Honours ought to be able to say, in our
2 respectful submission, to the Defence, enough is enough.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: There is another solution, Ms. Korner. I don't know
4 how much more questions you have left. I think the gist of the
5 witness's -- or the substance of his testimony is already there. Perhaps
6 you could stop here with questioning, tender his statement or his
7 interview in evidence, we'll suspend the sitting for -- I don't know, half
8 an hour or whatever, you give him all the documents that you require him
9 to authenticate, and we'll reconvene when he has finished going through
10 them, and he will just confirm authentication, or not confirm. I mean, I
11 don't know. I mean --
12 MS. KORNER: Well, the other thing I can do, Your Honour, I can
13 certainly tender the rest of the interview. He needs to explain a couple
14 more entries in his diary.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: That's understandable.
16 MS. KORNER: Yes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: The other thing is I read over the weekend the
18 statement of the next witness, BT93.
19 MS. KORNER: Yes.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Originally it was scheduled to -- for two days.
21 MS. KORNER: That's right.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Frankly, I don't -- I think we don't even require a
23 day to tell you the truth.
24 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I don't think he'll take two days
25 either, which is why I've indicated to Mr. Cunningham if this witness goes
1 a little longer then of course he can go into tomorrow.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Which basically means this: If you agree with me,
3 and if Mr. Cunningham agrees with me that we can finish that witness -- I
4 don't know, Wednesday or --
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the witness who is following would
6 certainly finish by Wednesday. We hope in time to do a little bit of what
7 we call in general, I think, housekeeping.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. But I'm flexible. See what you prefer, and I
9 think we will accommodate you.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can we see how we go, then, and if
11 necessary, what I will do is ask the witness to remain when he's completed
12 his evidence and make -- just go through all the --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Ms. Korner. What I certainly -- I
14 mean, I'm just making myself clear. What I certainly do not intend to do
15 is to deprive Mr. Cunningham from even one minute of cross-examination if
16 he thinks he needs it with this particular witness.
17 MS. KORNER: I understand that.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm making myself clear.
19 MS. KORNER: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So let's bring the witness in. Still in open
21 session now, aren't we?
22 MS. KORNER: Yes.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cunningham, will you be taking the next witness?
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I will, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: You will. All right.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. CUNNINGHAM: And I don't think it's a two-day witness either.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. I think it's -- anyway.
3 Unless he's got things to say which are not in his statement, but ...
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, usher.
6 Good morning to you, Judge.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I hope you had a nice weekend and that you recharged
9 your batteries and are ready for your final day in the Tribunal, let's
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Please make the declaration and we can start again.
13 WITNESS: JOVICA RADOJKO [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please take a chair.
18 Yes, Ms. Korner.
19 Examined by Ms. Korner: [Continued]
20 Q. Good morning, Judge. Could you have your diary back for a moment,
21 or for more than a moment.
22 MS. KORNER: And if Your Honours would like to go, please, to the
23 2nd of July entry. I dealt with the document for the 2nd of July, that
24 is, the actual minutes of the Crisis Staff meeting, on Friday. And I'll
25 just tell Your Honours what the number was. It was, in fact, P1841. But
1 I want to ask a couple of questions about your diary entry. It's page 122
2 of the document.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Did you say 2nd of June or 2nd of
4 July? I'm sorry.
5 MS. KORNER:
6 Q. 2nd of July, please. Are these your notes of the -- of what was
7 said to happen at the Crisis Staff meeting?
8 A. These are my notes, except that I'm wondering the way the order in
9 which this is put, it could have been the 1st of July. But yes, they are
10 the notes. It was the 42nd meeting, if that is what you have in mind.
11 Q. Yes. I want to ask you about a couple of things, please, in your
12 notes. We see, and does it have a tick next to it, to call Pero Dosen,
13 "sorting out relations, plan definite"? Now, can you just tell the Court
14 who Pero Dosen was?
15 A. Pero Dosen was a chief in Radio Petrovac. That is Pero Dosen.
16 Q. And can you now tell us what "sorting out relations, plan
17 definite" referred to? If you can't remember, say so straight away.
18 A. I can't quite remember, but it could have been the matter of
19 funding the radio station, and new personnel, or perhaps to see to the
20 labour relations, to see how they would be hired. So it was probably it,
21 but I cannot really vouch that that was so.
22 Q. The next says "convoy organisation." Do you know what that refers
23 to? Under that, Djuro Bulic, the MUP of Krajina.
24 A. This is a convoy that was to be organised to take some merchandise
25 to Serbia and bring some other merchandise from there. It was at the time
1 when the corridor to Serbia through Posavina was opened.
2 Q. Can you tell us what you were receiving from Serbia?
3 A. In Serbia, we were mostly buying foodstuffs that were in short
4 supply, that is, all flour, edible oil, all of the quantities needed.
5 There was spices, fuel was also coming from there, but it wasn't the
6 first-hand supply.
7 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... whether from Serbia were
8 being received supplies and equipment relating to the police or the army?
9 A. Insofar as they were supposed to guard it, that is, the police was
10 to guard it against possible theft or plunder, and the army was to provide
11 escort through the areas where there were still combats going on.
12 Q. Sorry. Do you know from your own knowledge whether the army
13 and/or the police were obtaining equipment and materiel from Serbia?
14 A. I believe so. For the major part of the war, we had old uniforms,
15 and I know that ways and means were sought to pay to some textile
16 factories to somehow come by new uniform, because the old were already
17 worn and torn. Because in Bosanski Petrovac, I think that there were
18 these remains of the army even in 1995, when we left. Those were huge
19 stocks for a war that could last many years.
20 Q. Can we just concentrate on 1992? If you don't know the answer,
21 say so straight away, Judge. But do you know whether or not Serbia was
22 supplying equipment to either the police or the army?
23 A. I have no direct knowledge of that, but my impression is that it
24 was quite possible, because people came from there or went there. But
25 military commands would know more about that.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner, one moment, if I may interrupt you.
2 Please forgive me if I am interrupting you. But I would like to know
3 whether there is any connection at all between the first part of this
4 entry and the second part of this entry. You have convoy organisation,
5 Djuro Bulic, MUP of Krajina, with his telephone number, and then there is
6 intelligence centre, with the telephone number of the MUP of the ARK,
7 Autonomous Region, and also reference to Nikola Erceg with also his
8 telephone number. Is there a relation between, connection between the
9 organisation of this convoy and the intelligence unit of the MUP of the
10 ARK, and Nikola -- and the president of the Executive Council?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there is. It is all connected,
12 because this is one note. One had to organise the convoy, and the
13 merchandise which was already ready for the market had to be loaded. Then
14 the number of vehicles and their registration numbers had to be supplied
15 to the police, and this is the number of the contact. And also to inform
16 the ARK government that our convoy would be on its way so that they could
17 lend it support when it goes to their region. So it's all related.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. And my apologies,
19 Ms. Korner.
20 MS. KORNER: Not at all, Your Honour. I fully understand.
21 Q. I think we've dealt with that, but can we just go over to the
22 other side of the page under the 3rd of July. A request to Milorad Sajic
23 for the delivery of cigarettes and you've written in brackets member of
24 the Crisis Staff of the ARK. Do you remember why Mr. Sajic, or as he was,
25 in fact, Lieutenant Colonel Sajic, had anything to do with cigarettes?
1 A. Cigarettes were in a very short supply at the time, and it was
2 very difficult to procure them. The stocks in the Banja Luka factory were
3 very small and insufficient. The pre-war reserves had already been spent
4 and there was a major pressure coming from the army to provide with
5 cigarettes. And that is why we communicated with the Crisis Staff and
6 asked them to help us find some connections so that we could buy them.
7 Q. And do you know why it was Lieutenant Colonel Sajic in particular
8 that you were contacting? If you don't, say so, please.
9 A. I do. Late President Novakovic always gave me such numbers at the
10 time and told me who to communicate with and what to ask for.
11 Q. Thank you. All right. We can move then, please, in your diary
12 still, to the 20th of July.
13 MS. KORNER: That's page 138, Your Honours.
14 Q. Now, that day, did you go to Banja Luka?
15 A. According to these notes, it was either that day or perhaps a few
16 days later. These notes just are a list of things I have to do.
17 Q. And one of the first things we see is that you were going to see
18 Rosic about Svabo. Was that Rosic, the judge?
19 A. Mr. Rosic was a judge. At that time, he held a high office in the
20 judiciary, and the president had told me to talk with him in relation to
21 Svabo. Svabo is that Nikola Kovacevic's nickname. He was another judge.
22 So he told me to speak with Rosic and the president told me literally to
23 ask him whether Svabo was a suitable person for the office of a judge,
24 because at that time the court was being set up.
25 Q. So Rosic was in charge, was he, of appointments of judges for the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Petrovac court?
2 A. No. It was the assembly which appointed judges. But we simply
3 didn't know those people enough, and people who work in the judiciary
4 usually know one another. So all we needed was some information whether
5 that man would be good for the job.
6 Q. Now, then if we go down that note, we see, it states: "To drop in
7 to the Crisis Staff at 1100 hours." And if you go, then, to the next
8 page, you've headed it "The meeting of the War Presidency of the
9 Autonomous Region of Krajina." And you were shown this in interview.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, this is at page 83 of the interview.
11 Q. Was this the one and only time that you actually attended a
12 meeting of the War Presidency of the Autonomous Region?
13 A. As far as I can remember, I attended it only once, and I've
14 already told you that it was my impression that it had not been prepared
15 properly. But on that day, I must have been present. And it is also
16 quite possible that I was present on two occasions, once that there was a
17 specific reason for me to go there, that I went there with a specific
18 purpose in mind, and on another occasion I just happened to be doing
19 something else in the vicinity. But it seems that I was present at that
20 meeting that day.
21 Q. All right. Perhaps I can deal with this by reminding you what you
22 said in your interview so we can deal with it fairly quickly. Did you in
23 fact, when you put down analyse, number 1, analyse implementation of the
24 previously adopted measures and decisions, and you were asked whether that
25 was the regional Crisis Staff or War Presidency, analysing the
1 implementation of its decisions by the municipalities. And your answer
2 was: "Probably. Most probably, because I don't see what other decisions
3 there would be." Do you still think that was right when you said that?
4 A. I do, absolutely, yes. That's correct.
5 Q. And then the report on the shortage and surplus of strategic
6 products in the Autonomous Region. I think that's fairly clear. Then a
7 report by the agency on the moving of material goods and people. I don't
8 know whether you remember. Do you remember what that agency was, or what
9 that agency was called?
10 A. I can't quite recall. Many bodies were established. And then
11 they did only one or two tasks, and formally there were never disassembled
12 and there were many bodies that were set up ad hoc. But bearing in mind
13 this report on moving material goods and people, it says here that a
14 thousand people -- I can't see any further. It is possible -- it is
15 possible that this refers to either the movement of the population that
16 had arrived in our region, because this used to be called -- this
17 settlement used to be called a colony, kolonija, and there were many
18 buildings still left which could have been adapted for accommodation of
19 population. Several hundreds of people used to live in this place.
20 Q. All right. As I say, I don't want to spend too long on this,
21 because we've still got a little bit to get through. We see conclusions.
22 One reporter, it says, for Petrovac Krupa, and is that Bihac? Can you
23 just tell us what that means?
24 A. It says that a conclusion is that one report from the session
25 should be sent to the relevant organs of these municipalities, for their
1 deliberation. Because further on in this report there is also a remark
2 where the borders are, which means that it is for these municipalities, it
3 was asked up to which border should the army hold the positions.
4 Q. And then composition. Members of the SDS regional board,
5 deputies, and members of the ARK or Presidency. Was that the composition
6 of the meeting you were -- attended or does it refer to something else?
7 A. No. No. That was not the composition of the meeting. It is
8 obvious that here it is about who will be the member or who will be
9 sending this report, which means that this should have been held certainly
10 before the BH assembly, so that then this should be discussed in a joint
11 assembly. That was one thing. The second thing was that in this body,
12 this body should include members of the SDS regional boards, deputies, and
13 members of the War Presidency of the ARK. So this composition should have
14 worked out the proposal.
15 Q. Now, finally, as to who was at this meeting, who was presiding in
16 the meeting that you attended?
17 A. The session that I attended, I remember well that it was
18 Mr. Brdjanin that chaired the session. I don't know whether it was this
19 session or it was a session that, as far as I recall, took place earlier
20 in the year. But before the war clashes started in Krajina, in general.
21 I know that on one occasion I went, either it was in the assembly of Banja
22 Luka assembly, whether it was in their building, I'm not certain. At one
23 session that I attended, Mr. Brdjanin chaired the session.
24 Q. All right. Can you remember, and was there anybody else there
25 that you recognised, first of all, from the regional Crisis Staff?
1 A. Well, I'm not sure individually. It is possible that
2 Mr. Kupresanin attended. I didn't know these people. I arrived in this
3 region just before the war started, and I had heard about most of the
4 people. I personally knew from Banja Luka, I knew Dr. Lukic, as far as
5 politicians are concerned, I also knew another one, a director of a rubber
6 industry. These were presidents of the SDS. They were all replaced. I
7 don't know when.
8 Q. All right. You said -- or it was translated Dr. Lukic. Did you
9 mean Dr. Vukic?
10 A. Vukic. Vukic.
11 Q. All right. That's all that I need to ask you about that.
12 Now, I want to move in a moment to the way in which the Muslims
13 left Bosanski Petrovac. But before that, I'd like you to have a look at a
14 document, please, that was produced by someone else, and that is Exhibit
15 1878, which you were given a chance to look at last week.
16 MS. KORNER: And Your Honour, that's referred to in his statement,
17 at page 6.
18 Q. Now, this was not a document written by you or that you had seen
19 before, but did you have an opportunity to read through it when the
20 investigator showed it to you?
21 A. I had the opportunity, and I read it carefully.
22 Q. In your view, is this an accurate account of events as it affected
23 the Muslims in Bosanski Petrovac?
24 A. This is a -- an accurate account of events. It's possible that
25 certain details are not quite accurate, but not deliberately, but simply
1 because they didn't know the facts. But yes, it is correct.
2 Q. And I think you yourself were aware, for example, of the incident
3 which happened on the 18th of June, where two people were killed by a bomb
4 being thrown into their bedroom, and I think, in fact, you described it to
6 A. Yes, in the house of these people was located in the neighbourhood
7 that I lived in. In the morning when I set off for work, I saw police,
8 and I saw that they were conducting an on-site investigation. And when I
9 came to work, I asked what happened, and I was told that a grenade had
10 been thrown through the window of the bedroom where these people had been
11 sleeping in at the time. These were elderly people, or rather, they were
12 50 to 60 years old. And they died.
13 Q. Now, under the incident for July 14th, we see the reference to two
14 mosques being blown up. Were all the mosques in Bosanski Petrovac either
15 destroyed or damaged, that is, in the municipality itself?
16 A. In the area of Petrovac, as far as I know, there were three
17 mosques. All three of them were in the town area, or rather, the wider
18 area of town, and all three of them were destroyed. They were not just
19 damaged; they were completely destroyed.
20 Q. Then if we go, please, to the page -- the following page, we see a
21 reference to meetings between the Muslims, Mr. Novakovic, and then
22 UNPROFOR. And I want to deal with those, because you recorded them in
23 your diary. Could you turn, please, first of all, to the -- I'm sorry.
24 Before we get to that, can you look in your diary at the 10th of August.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, it's at page 150.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. You talk about the Balic family being liquidated by Muslim
2 extremists. This is a press release, apparently. And then the propaganda
3 is under way to expel all Muslims, which is unacceptable. First of all,
4 where was the Balic family?
5 A. According to the president's instructions, I was the person in
6 charge of the contact with the media, generally speaking. And I was in
7 charge of conducting these tasks in relation to the movements and
8 departures. As far as Balic family is concerned, this is to do with the
9 Biscani incident. It is always referred to as an incident. The murder of
10 this family really struck the rating of the leadership. This is the
11 family which never in any way expressed disloyalty to the authority.
12 These were people, citizens, who did not express their animosity or
13 suspicions. Balic was a well-to-do man, and the chief of police, in
14 secret, so people wouldn't know, although this can be found in the
15 documents, had given him a Kalashnikov to defend his property, because
16 there was a danger that he would be attacked because of his wealth. But
17 in spite of that, somebody went into his house in a peaceful way and
18 killed his family and him. And it was never established who had done
19 that. This incident has been referred to time and time again, because it
20 influenced a great deal the decisions of the leadership.
21 Q. So -- I'm sorry. Do I understand this: You were told to arrange
22 for a press release to say that the Balic family had been liquidated by
23 Muslim extremists, even though that wasn't the case, or you didn't -- or
24 the policemen didn't know that to be the case?
25 A. To start with, in the initial information, the police suspected
1 that some of the Muslims might have done that, because Mr. Balic publicly
2 stated that he had nothing against Serbs, Serb army, et cetera, and he had
3 even bought a large bull and given it as a present to one of the
4 representatives of the command to be used for -- by the army as food. And
5 that was the first. But it was not found out. It was not known at the
6 time who had killed him. There were only suspicions.
7 Q. All right. And then the propaganda is under way to expel all
8 Muslims, which is unacceptable. From whom was the propaganda coming?
9 A. I can't recall who this referred to, but the propaganda in this
10 direction came from certain of their representatives, perhaps because
11 people were scared, which was to be expected in these circumstances. But
12 probably it came from other sides possibly as well.
13 Q. I'm sorry. Are you -- is what you're saying, it came from them,
14 that the Muslims themselves were putting up propaganda to expel all of
15 their own nationality?
16 A. Here, the expression propaganda, in my opinion, is too strong a
17 word. As far as I recall, this was not about propaganda. It was about
18 the fact that people spoke to each other and came to the conclusion that
19 under these circumstances, they should move out.
20 Q. I'm sorry. Is the word that you used in your diary "expel"?
21 A. No. No. To move out. Is that what you mean?
22 Q. Yes. Can you read out, please, so we can get a translation, the
23 exact words that you wrote underneath the word -- the sentence underneath
24 the Balic family.
25 A. "Propaganda is under way for all the Muslims to move out, which is
2 Q. Okay. Who was saying that all the Muslims should move out, which
3 you were writing down as unacceptable?
4 A. This is about a language barrier. This note is a crude
5 observation, a crude note. These are instructions that I had been given
6 by the president so that I would work them over and then pass them on to
7 the press. But what it means is that for the press, what I should say,
8 that there is propaganda under way, obviously, not specifying who it was
9 coming from, that all the Muslims -- for all the Muslims to move out and
10 that this propaganda was unacceptable.
11 Q. Yes. But it's not that difficult a question, Judge. Was it the
12 Muslims who were putting out this propaganda, in inverted commas, that
13 they should move out, or was it Serbs putting out propaganda that all
14 Muslims should be moved out?
15 A. Here, that's precisely the problem. What the idea was, it was to
16 tell the press that the Muslims themselves were authors of this
17 propaganda, with the objective of them moving out, or rather, some of
18 their representatives.
19 Q. Was that true, that the Muslims themselves were putting out the
20 propaganda that they should move out?
21 A. My impression was -- is that they were not carrying on with this
22 propaganda, but because of the circumstances, they were asking for
24 Q. Can we move in your diary, please, to a couple of the meetings
25 with the internationals. 13th of August, please.
1 MS. KORNER: Page 153 for Your Honours.
2 Q. Did you attend a meeting at UNPROFOR with what looks like a French
3 captain, Philippe Lavergne and then Mr. Odobasic, Mr. Druzic. Can you
4 remember, please, what the first name of Mr. Druzic was?
5 A. As far as Odobasic is concerned, I know he's Husein, but as far as
6 Druzic is concerned, I can't recall at this moment. But I believe he only
7 had one leg.
8 Q. The chief of the SJB, was that Mr. Gacesa?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. And Mr. Odobasic was explaining the problems which we needn't go
11 through, ending up with remaining in Petrovac is a catastrophe for us.
12 And then if we go, please, to the 17th of August in your diary, page 156,
13 was there a meeting on the 17th of August with UNHCR and some military
14 observers? Was it clear that UNHCR was saying they will not participate
15 in the resettlement of population?
16 A. Correct. This is an accurate transcription of their opinion.
17 Q. All right. And can we just go, please, to the 21st of August, and
18 then I'm going to go to the other documents that relate to the movement
19 out. On the 20th of August, you're making some notes, and I think -- is
20 this a reference to the letter we saw on -- I'm sorry - on the 21st of
21 August, reply to the SIP, which is the letter we looked at -- I'm sorry.
22 MS. KORNER: Would Your Honour forgive me.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I recall that letter. I wrote it
24 personally. And I was given the instructions to do that by the president
25 of the Executive Board. This is a letter which talks about -- it's a
1 response regarding the decision to sack Muslims from the firm.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, it was P2452.
3 Q. All right, now can we look, please, at what happened in September.
4 First of all, can you have a look at Exhibit 1848. And that's apparently
5 a news item put out by Mr. Dosen, who you spoke about earlier, which is
6 dated the 13th of September. The mass departure of Muslims from the area
7 of Bosanski Petrovac is handwritten -- sorry, still continuing. A column
8 of seven buses with a special escort departed from the village of Biscani
9 in the direction of Travnik. According to information from the Petrovac
10 office for the exchange of population and property over the last three
11 days, more than 900 men, women, and children of Muslim ethnicity have
12 moved from the area of Petrovac. According to Serbian and municipality
13 War Presidency sources, the departure of the Petrovac Muslims can in no
14 way be compared with ethnic cleansing. Not a single Muslim from this area
15 has left under pressure but of their own free will.
16 Now, you dealt with this in the statement that you made last week.
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, this is at page 5.
18 Q. In your view, the expression "not a single Muslim from this area
19 has left under pressure but of its own free will," was that accurate?
20 A. Of course it's not true.
21 Q. Now, let's have a look, please, at what happened on the 13th of
22 September, because you were intimately concerned with those events. Can
23 you look, please, at P1849. You had a chance to read through that
24 document, again when you made the statement, and if you look at the second
25 page, there's a description of what happened when you arrived. This was a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 report -- I think it should be not Sacesa but Gacesa who wrote that
2 report. Is that an accurate report of what happened on that convoy?
3 A. Well, it is.
4 Q. The people who tried to leave that day, were they able to leave?
5 A. They were not able to leave because there were combat operations
6 along the route that they were supposed to travel on.
7 Q. And what was it that caused you to start this argument with the
9 A. Because of the impossibility -- due to the impossibility that our
10 convoy was to pass, we were informed about this five to six hours before I
11 managed to get to Karanovac. President Novakovic on that day was in Lika
12 somewhere. He was escorting our church delegation or something like
13 that. And I managed to get in touch with him on the phone, and he said
14 that by hook or by crook I should go there, get them out, and certainly,
15 with the assistance of the president in the municipality over there,
16 Knezevo, protect them and once the combat operations died down on the
17 front, that they should then cross.
18 When I got there, I found the police and those buses with the
19 refugees in Karanovac. It's a place near Banja Luka. Around the buses,
20 there were various men, some in uniform, some in part uniform, some
21 without uniform. They were armed, mostly with older army weapons. But
22 there were quite a few automatic weapons. I saw that the buses were
23 surrounded. Police were standing aside and they were speaking to some
24 people who were not armed. Immediately I headed for the buses to see
25 whether there was -- if there was anyone who was killed or wounded. And
1 I went through the buses, and I was being cursed by those people who were
2 standing by the buses. I mean, they were cursing my everything. It's
3 useless for me to actually quote them. Literally, it's just the worst
4 things I've heard. But they said that I was defending, protector of
5 Muslims, traitor and what not, and that I was very bitter. I did tell
6 them that they should be ashamed of themselves, that if they wanted to
7 fight, they should go to the front rather than terrorise unarmed people,
9 And once I went through the buses, I knew a few men among the
10 Muslims, and I know that I spoke briefly with our head of accounting,
11 Senada, and she looked at me. Her eyes were full of tears. She had two
12 small children with her and she said: Jovo, are you going to kill us all
14 Q. So that's what led to the argument that's described?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. That was the 13th of September. Now could you have a new
17 document, please, and that is --
18 MS. KORNER: It's got the number 7.283 on it, Your Honour,
19 something that he -- a new document, something that he brought with him.
20 It's dated the 23rd of September.
21 Q. Now, of these notes you made, apparently, it looks like on the
22 back of a restaurant bill, of a meeting on the 23rd of September of the
23 War Presidency.
24 A. No. No. The bill had nothing to do with this. It just happened
25 to be there. But it was done in a small notebook. We just -- we just
1 there happened to be in the office. And that evening when they summoned
2 me to a meeting, it was an urgent, ad hoc meeting of the War Presidency
3 which had to do with the transfer of the population, relocation of the
4 population, after the violence escalated.
5 Q. Right. And can we just summarise the escalation, the violence,
6 because we've heard about it before, and you spoke about it at the
7 interview. Some Serbs had been killed on the front line by some Muslims,
8 and as a result, were Serbs in Petrovac taking revenge on the Muslims in
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. So you had this urgent meeting on the 23rd of September at just
12 before midnight, 2345. Present, Mr. Novakovic. Was that Mr. Gacesa as
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Bogdan --
16 A. Bogdan -- shall I give you the names.
17 Q. Yes. Give us all the names, please.
18 A. So Rajko Novakovic, the president; chief of the police, Dragan
19 Gacesa; Bogdan Latinovic, president of the Executive Board; Jevto Kecman,
20 police commander; Nenad Dragisic, chief of the military security in
21 Petrovac; and Drago Sepa, he's the father of Jovica Sepa who was in the
22 TO command, the TO units which are local units.
23 Q. And the meeting was about the security situation, and
24 Mr. Novakovic apparently condemned the killing of innocent civilians and
25 said he would submit his resignation unless the authorised organs prevent
1 the pogrom, and believes it is not accidental, et cetera.
2 Do you know what he meant by using the words "believes it is not
4 A. I've already said that together with the police and other
5 competent agencies, Mr. Novakovic and the rest of us tried to do
6 something. That is, Mr. Novakovic requested that some people be arrested,
7 and some of them were. But in the very early days of that campaign, their
8 friends and allies abducted them from the police, and before that,
9 Mr. Novakovic was saying that he might resign. But he said that
10 privately, in a narrow circle. However, he thought that then the
11 situation would only get worse. I believe that his appraisal was right.
12 He was quite an influential figure and he could keep things under control.
13 And this is when he says this in public. What the gist of this is is that
14 he believed that these were organised groups, because he knew those people
15 before the war, I mean those who were engaged in violence, and he knew
16 what they could do. So presumably that was why he thought that they were
17 not acting quite on their own.
18 Q. Organised by whom? Did he know that?
19 A. Personally, at that time, and now, I think that he was making some
20 guesses. He had some hypotheses as to who could be behind those people.
21 But he never told me that, and in the war he was killed on our side, on
22 the Serb side, under pretty vague circumstances. But he never said
24 Q. All right. I don't think, other than to note that if we look
25 at -- for our page 6 of the translation, at one point the chief says:
1 All services had indications as to who are the perpetrators. And then the
2 president states: Arranging a meeting for tomorrow morning, and if order
3 is not established, the entire civilian leadership shall submit their
5 MS. KORNER: And Your Honours, there's various discussion.
6 Q. Now, was the upshot of all of this that arrangements were made to
7 get buses -- you were ordered to arrange for buses to effectively
8 transport all the Muslims out of Petrovac?
9 A. Yes. It was the chief of the police saying that the police had
10 some indicias as to who could be the perpetrators of this violence. And
11 again, the chief of the military security does not contest that, and says
12 that his service will see to it that all the army members, that is,
13 uniformed men, bearing weapons, be removed from the town, in order to
14 eliminate the danger threatening those who -- to the convoy. And my task
15 was then to tell all the firms and companies, and especially hauliers
16 transporting companies, all those who could provide us with a means of
17 transportation, that they should set off early in the morning with full
18 guards to the places -- to the meeting points and to also provide some
19 security on the way and to head towards Travnik. And I talked with the
20 transport companies. Some complied with the agreement and provided the
21 vehicles, others didn't, but the convoy left on the 24th, in the morning.
22 Q. Right. Now, I think, again, if I can deal with this fairly
23 quickly, you told us in interview - this is page 87, Your Honours - that
24 somebody proposed that their money and jewellery be taken from them, but
25 you objected, saying that it was illegal. And that was accepted.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. The suggestion was, and it came mostly from the military command.
2 I think it was Mr. Vrzina who presented the views of the troops on the
3 front line. He did not attend this meeting, because it was an emergency
4 meeting, so he simply couldn't make it. Of course, others disagreed with
5 this, but they kept silent, because it would have been embarrassing for
6 them to refuse their proposal. They knew it was nonsense. But since he
7 was not present at the meeting, it was not discussed at all. And
8 technically, it was unfeasible, not to mention that it was unlawful, and
9 everybody understood that. And he was trying to say that they would use
10 that money to buy the weapons and then wage war against the Serbs.
11 Q. All right. Now, I think you accompanied that convoy.
12 A. True, yes.
13 Q. And I think it's also right that there was, in fact, an attack on
14 the convoy.
15 A. Correct. There was an attack on the convoy.
16 Q. And some people were killed, and others wounded.
17 A. According to what I know, what I learnt during the escort, four
18 people were killed and eight sustained wounds.
19 Q. All right. Finally, Judge, can I just ask you, please, to look at
20 a couple more exhibits that are in the binder. First of all, P1850.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's not on my list, but it deals with
22 this period.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Before we do that, Ms. Korner, are you tendering
25 MS. KORNER: Oh, yes. Can I exhibit that document, please, which
1 will be P2453.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
3 MS. KORNER: That's the minutes of the 22nd of -- 23rd of
4 September. I'll just confirm, that has the disclosure number 7.283.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
6 MS. KORNER:
7 Q. This was a public announcement made, apparently -- is it signed
8 again by Mr. Novakovic?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. And was -- it was a public announcement to be made. Was that in
11 connection with the killings that were going on which he was trying to
13 A. It had to do with the murders which happened after the soldiers
14 were killed on the front, wanton killing of Muslims started, as it is
15 indicated in that other document, and that is why he tried to make this
16 announcement, to do something about it, that is, to stop that. And that
17 is, he talks about the knightly traditions and also calls upon people not
18 to waste ammunition. But this is again for propaganda purposes, so Serbs
19 would accept it, to understand that even from that particular point of
20 view it would do damage. Because it was largely firing without any
21 particular target. But also shots were fired to kill people.
22 Q. All right. Thank you. You can put that away. Now can you have,
23 finally, documents 1852, 1853, 1854, and 1855, 1856, and 1857. That's
24 it. Well, actually, you had better have 8 -- the whole lot, Your Honour.
25 It's just one small point but I'm just going to get this all done. 1858
1 and 1859.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: And again, Judge, while you look at these documents,
3 if you have reason to doubt the authenticity of any them, please draw our
4 attention to that.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if I think that something is
6 not authentic, yes, I will tell you so.
7 MS. KORNER:
8 Q. I think the point is this and then you can just confirm it because
9 you have already dealt with it. After the assembly had met and verified
10 the decisions, were all those decisions reissued in October -- on October
11 the 28th? Because they all, in fact, are copies of earlier decisions.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honours may recall that when the witness was
13 here, it wasn't clear why all these decisions were being made.
14 A. I've already spoken about organisational inconsistency. The names
15 of the Crisis Staff and War Presidency were often interchanged, or the
16 presidency of the assembly, or whatever. I worked for those agencies, but
17 I really don't know what they were called, because they kept changing
18 them. This document that I'm looking at is the decision on the
19 appointment of the Crisis Staff, as a document where such matters were
20 cleared up. Most of the people listed here are there ex officio and
21 because of the offices and jobs that they held.
22 Q. Yes. Do not worry about that. If you look at the dates on all
23 these documents, they're all the same date, the 28th of October, by which
24 time, as you've explained to us, there was hardly a Muslim left in
25 Petrovac. All I'm trying to establish, particularly if you look at P1857,
1 the date at the top is the 18th of June. It refers to a meeting of the
2 Crisis Staff on the 17th of June and then a date has been added, the 28th
3 of October. Was this simply a formality, to reissue the decisions that
4 had been taken after their verification by the assembly?
5 A. Let's see. The two decisions that I'm looking at on the 28th of
6 October 1992, now I know why they were taken. All these decisions of the
7 Crisis Staff, or the War Presidency, had to be under the then regulations,
8 had to be submitted to the assembly of the municipality for verification.
9 And these are working papers prepared for the councilmen. So that
10 regardless of when the decisions were taken, they had to be submitted to
11 the assembly for verification, and that is why they were done in this
12 sequence and in a series.
13 Q. Yes. Thank you very much, Judge. That's all that I want to ask
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner, going back, returning to what we
16 discussed in the beginning of the sitting, any further documents that you
17 would like the witness to authenticate?
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, no. What I'm going to do is when he's
19 finished being cross-examined, I'm going to ask him to make a further --
20 to go through all the documents that he hasn't been shown and ask him to
21 authenticate them.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Would you have any objection to that,
23 Mr. Cunningham?
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM: No, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Perfect. Do you want to start now or
1 shall we have the break now?
2 MR. CUNNINGHAM: If we could have the break now, I'd appreciate
3 that, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thought you would agree to that. So we'll have a
5 25-minute break starting from now. Thank you.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.22 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry about the delay. Mr. Cunningham. Judge,
9 you're going to be cross-examined by Mr. Cunningham now, who is appearing
10 for Mr. Brdjanin.
11 MR. CUNNINGHAM: May I proceed, Your Honour?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Please go ahead.
13 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Cunningham:
15 Q. Good morning, sir. I know, obviously, you are a lawyer, and at
16 least where I come from, lawyers tend to be long-winded and talk a lot. I
17 know it's your wish to be home with your family as soon as possible, and
18 it's my goal to get that accomplished as soon as possible. So before we
19 start, I want to remind you of several things. First of all, when you
20 started testifying last Thursday, the President of this Chamber asked you
21 to answer the questions that I ask you, or any other lawyer asks you, as
22 precisely as you can, so I'd like for you to do that. Secondly, if you do
23 not understand my question, please let me know. The third thing I'm going
24 to ask is: I know that you have looked over your tape-recorded statement
25 that you gave to the OTP in June of 2003, but I'd ask that, out of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 fairness to you, that you be provided with a copy of your statement, your
2 tape-recorded statement, as well as the statement you gave last week, so
3 that you can look at them if the need arises. So I'd ask that he be
4 provided with a copy.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Madam Registrar. These two statements, or
6 rather, the statement plus the transcript of the interview, are to be
7 handed or to be made available to the witness straight away. I suppose
8 that's the B/C/S version that you gave him.
9 MR. CUNNINGHAM: And if at any time you need to refer to your
10 notes, either be they your diary, the interview with the OTP, please do so
11 and take as much time as you need to do that.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: In fact, Mr. Cunningham, if I may interrupt you, I
13 think it's wise to have also the photocopy of his diary available.
14 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I think he has it right in front of him.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think so. I think what he has there is the
16 diary -- he has already. Okay. Thank you. Let's proceed.
17 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
18 Q. And finally, sir, when I talk about an exhibit, I will do my best
19 to get that exhibit in front of you so that you can review it so that we
20 can talk about the exhibit and communicate properly.
21 I'm going to start now, and I understand that the Office of the
22 Prosecutor no longer considers you to be a suspect, but when you were in
23 that tape-recorded interview in June of 2003, and you were warned that you
24 were a suspect, what thoughts came to your mind when you heard that?
25 A. Well, I can frankly say that I was surprised. I was concerned,
1 and I was wondering what the reasons for that would be. I carried out
2 different tasks. I was at different posts, as secretary of the Executive
3 Board. Later on I was a judge. While doing these jobs, I had necessarily
4 done certain things that some people may not have liked. Also, I was in
5 conflict with certain representatives of the command and the police, as
6 you were able to see from the documents, and I thought that it could have
7 been somebody's report, information, but I kept going over it in my mind,
8 and I couldn't quite work out what that would be, and I was simply
10 Q. Worried because, in your mind, I take it, you feel that you had
11 done nothing wrong?
12 A. I was worried as to how to prove that I haven't done things. At
13 the time, I did not know that there were certain documents also that had
14 been presented here, and I didn't know people very well in that region,
15 and I was simply wondering who I could propose as a witness to confirm
16 that I hadn't done anything that would be considered as illegal or against
17 the rules. Here, there was no discussion. On one or more occasions I was
18 a negotiator trying to help the Muslims to provide protection for them,
19 and I was going to propose one of them as a witness for me, but I didn't
20 know their names. So I wasn't afraid because of what I may have possibly
21 done, but I was worried that I wouldn't be able to prove that I hadn't
22 done anything.
23 Q. You then came to The Hague, and I don't recall if you were in
24 Court when it was announced to this Chamber that you were no longer
25 considered a suspect. Did the Office of the Prosecutor tell you why they
1 had changed their status, that is, at first you were a suspect and then
2 you were not considered a suspect? Did they give you a reason why?
3 A. They told me that they had studied the case more carefully, that
4 they had studied the documents, and that they believed, according to their
5 new information, had no reason to suspect me, and that they would only be
6 questioning me as a witness. I was told that by Mr. -- Mr. -- I'm sorry.
7 That was Mr. Grady who had told me this. I have to stress that here I
8 have a version in English of the transcript, so if it is necessary for me
9 to follow, I would need to have a version in Serbian.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Yes. That's what I
11 thought too, and that's why I --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you for pointing that out. It was my
14 suspicion from the beginning, and that's why I said it needs to be in
15 B/C/S. So the --
16 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Your Honour, I have a clean copy.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We have a clean copy too. I mean, so let's -- the
18 transcript --
19 MS. KORNER: -- has one as well, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: The transcript of your interview, is that -- Judge,
21 let's go through what you have over there. You have a copy of your diary,
22 or your notebook, and that, I suppose, is in its original, in your own
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: You also have a copy of the interview, the long
1 interview, in other words. Is it in English or in your own language?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's in English.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to replace that with the B/C/S. That's the
4 thick -- the 80 --
5 THE REGISTRAR: The registry only provide with the English
6 transcript. We don't have the statement here. We have never been
7 provided with the statement.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I can provide the witness with my own, so let's not
9 waste time. I don't understand why the Registry shouldn't have one, while
10 I, who doesn't read the language, should have one. But anyway --
11 MS. KORNER: Correct, Your Honour. That's what I just said. It's
12 I would say highly unlikely that we would give to Your Honours something
13 that we don't give to the registry.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: What I can't -- where I can't help is with the then
15 statement of the 22nd and 23rd of July. I have it -- I have two copies of
16 that, but they're both in English.
17 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Again, Your Honour, I have a ready, clean copy.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. If you can assist us there,
19 Mr. Cunningham, please make it available to the witness, who will then
20 return it back at the end of his testimony. All right. I think we can
22 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
23 Q. When we had our short break dealing with these exhibits, I had --
24 you had told us how you were informed by Mr. Grady that you were no longer
25 considered a suspect. My next question is --
1 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry. I hate to interrupt. It's right to say,
2 so Mr. Cunningham knows, he was informed of this by me with Mr. Grady
3 present and a full note was taken of what I said by Mr. Grady and I
4 think -- but I think Mr. Cunningham deserves to know that.
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM: And I apologise.
6 Q. My question, sir, is simply this: Once you were informed by the
7 OTP, how did that make you feel, that you were no longer a suspect?
8 A. Well, to be frank, I didn't feel anything in particular, because I
9 believe that there would be no grounds for any charges and that there
10 would never be any. While I started giving my statement and when
11 Ms. Korner came and told me that, this was mentioned almost in passing
12 with Mr. Grady there. For me, nothing had changed. It was only later
13 that I started thinking about it, and I thought: Well, they had really
14 suspected me seriously.
15 Q. Well, when they told you you were no longer considered a suspect,
16 did you feel any sense of relief whatsoever?
17 A. No, not at that time, or later. Simply, I know what had been
18 going on, and I know what I did at the time, what I undertook, and not
19 just myself; there's only a part of that in the documents, and only one
20 part is encompassed in the statement because it's simply impossible to
21 have all that in one case. But I knew that there couldn't be any
22 well-founded charges. So I simply accepted this as something that was
23 said in passing.
24 Q. In your statement, the tape-recorded statement, and our page
25 numbers may be off between the English version and the Serbo-Croatian
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 version, but on page 4 of the English version, you make the following
2 statement, and on the English version it's on lines 9 and 10 of page 4:
3 "I remember quite a lot, but then again, memory can be deceiving, and
4 I'd like to tell you why I believe that."
5 Now, obviously, here you're talking about, in that passage, you're
6 talking about how you had to flee Petrovac, but that statement causes some
7 concern on my part, because you're saying in this statement that at times
8 your memory may deceive you. How can you allay my concerns and those
9 concerns of my client that your memory is intact?
10 A. Well, in the nature of things, it is impossible for memory to be
11 complete. I made a solemn declaration before this Court that I would be
12 telling the truth, and I know that this is my duty. Certainly, memory can
13 be deceptive, but this statement, this initial part of the statement, I
14 made until -- or rather, before my minutes and records, diaries were
15 presented to me, and I have to frankly say that I would have had trouble
16 remembering a lot of what I had stated if I hadn't seen these notes and
17 diaries, particularly the names and the functions. Certainly some tasks.
18 You were able to see for yourself, for instance, that the so-called
19 incident in Biscani, it is only before the Court that I remembered what
20 this was about. Throughout this time, I had thought that this was about a
21 completely different location. I wasn't sure what had gone on. But it
22 was only later that I realised that it was the murder of that family, of
23 that businessman.
24 Q. And I appreciate and understand and respect the fact that looking
25 at your notes and other documents, your memory has been refreshed, and
1 some things become clearer to you now, but I would ask you if you're not
2 sure of an answer, would you please tell us so, or if you're not sure of
3 specific events, please tell us so. Okay?
4 A. Of course.
5 Q. I want to start my substantive questioning with you by looking at
6 a passage at page 91 of the English transcript, and it's at line -- starts
7 at line 14. And to put this in the proper context for you, sir, this
8 question, this passage, comes up near the end of your interview, when
9 you're asked by Ms. Korner and her assistants if you would be willing to
10 appear before this Tribunal voluntarily, and you agree to do that, and you
11 give your reasons. And I want to read you one of the reasons and I'm
12 going to quote what you said. This starts actually at line 13: "Because
13 of the general situation and -- was going on, I believe that the municipal
14 authorities there did whatever was possible. The essential goal, the
15 essential intention, was for people to be removed from danger, and
16 unfortunately, if you look at it from the outside, we seem exactly the
17 same, in a way, as the municipalities that organised the persecution of
18 their population and organised their removal."
19 Do you remember saying that?
20 A. I remember that. I remember saying that.
21 Q. I wonder, and I'd like to ask you if you agree with this
22 proposition, that things may not always appear -- things may not always be
23 what they appear to be; that is, while it may appear that your
24 municipality and people like you involved in that municipal government
25 were involved in cleansing and persecution, it really was not that way.
1 Do you agree with that proposition?
2 A. To claim that the situation in Petrovac was not like in other
4 Q. I think my question really was this: Judging by what you said at
5 page 91 of your interview, that is, "if you look at it from the outside,
6 we seem exactly the same, in a way, as the municipalities that organise
7 the persecution of the population and organise their removal," if you look
8 at that passage, it seems to me what you're saying is some people might
9 draw that conclusion that Petrovac was involved in persecution, in
10 organised removal for cleansing purposes, but that really wasn't the case
11 in Petrovac. I want to see if you'll agree with that proposition.
12 A. I agree. It wasn't like that. The situation wasn't like that.
13 Q. Okay. You -- although you -- I'm going to ask you some questions
14 now about your background, and taking the job in Petrovac. Although you
15 were born in the municipality of Bosanski Petrovac, you were largely
16 raised and educated in other municipalities; correct?
17 A. Partly in the municipality of Petrovac.
18 Q. But you have told us in your statement and in your testimony that
19 you were, in effect, in 1990, 1991, when you came to Petrovac, you were
20 new to the municipality, that you really did not know a lot of individuals
21 in that municipality; is that correct?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. This was, for all intents and purposes, a new municipality for
24 you, with very few contacts within the municipality itself?
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. Going back to your training, obviously you're a lawyer and you've
2 told us about your training in administrative matters, having received a
3 degree from the higher administrative school in Zagreb, and that's
4 correct; correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And after you received your law degree, you remained in Zagreb,
7 where you were working at a Croatian school; correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. And it was there, I guess in 1990, where you learned and
10 experienced first-hand interethnic conflict when you had to leave that
11 school because of the hostilities directed towards you, a Serb, from the
12 Croats at that school; correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. With the assistance of some friends, you received a job offer from
15 the municipality of Bosanski Petrovac; correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And that offer came from the president, Mr. Novakovic; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And I take it from reading your statements, hearing your
20 testimony, that you admired and respected Mr. Novakovic; correct?
21 A. I respected him, but I didn't admire him.
22 Q. Getting back to -- coming to the municipality, in your English
23 statement, in your tape-recorded statement in the English translation, is
24 what I should say, near the bottom of page 7, in talking about going to
25 this new job with the municipality, you stated, on line 29: "It was not
1 your intention at all to go there." Could you explain to me what you
2 meant by that?
3 A. I said that on that occasion. I was an active member of the
4 orthodox community in Zagreb, religious community, and a large number of
5 younger people gathered there. And when I had suffered verbal attacks for
6 being a Serb, I confided in some of them from the community, and some of
7 them who were in good relations with the bishop, a group of us spoke about
8 it. It is the metropolitan from Zagreb himself said to me that he would
9 be able to ensure a job for me in Belgrade. Although I had thought about
10 staying in Zagreb further on. I didn't want to accept the Belgrade
11 option, because it was an environment that I wasn't used to. And when I
12 went to see my parents, it was the holidays. I met some friends from
13 school and we spoke a while about all this, about me thinking about
14 leaving Zagreb or not. And one of them had spoken - I don't know who
15 exactly. Perhaps several of them had spoken to this president who was a
16 director of a company at the time - and when I returned to Zagreb, we
17 agreed that we would meet for a drink. So I stopped by a cafe. But on
18 that occasion, this Mr. Novakovic, who at the time was not the president,
19 they introduced me to him and he started talking me into coming to
20 Petrovac. I didn't agree then. He was saying that after the elections,
21 most probably his party would be the first and that he would be able to
22 ensure a position for me.
23 However, I didn't accept. I said I didn't know what I would do,
24 and so on. It didn't please me to go to an environment that I didn't
25 know. A small environment, and that I wouldn't be able to find many
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 things in that I had been used to.
2 After that, Mr. Novakovic called me on several occasions. He
3 called me while I was in Zagreb, when I was there, and when I wasn't
4 there. And on a couple of occasions a friend of mine in Zagreb, Ivica
5 Bezer, received these calls and told me I should return these calls
6 because Mr. Novakovic was very persistent. And at that time it became
7 quite probable that he would become the president, because the elections,
8 I think, may have already passed. And finally, because of his
9 persistence, I returned his call. And again, I didn't accept, and it was
10 only on the third or fourth occasion when we spoke I said I would go and
11 see. And then in December 1990 I went there and he then introduced a
12 large group of assemblymen, and said we had several positions for lawyers
13 and that I should say myself what would suit me most and suit my
14 qualifications and my wishes.
15 At that time, the secretary of the assembly hadn't been named, or
16 of the municipal board. I don't know, chiefs of various services. And I
17 thought that --
18 Q. I think you have answered my question as to what your intent was,
19 and it sounds like, to me, that Mr. -- your president, Mr. Novakovic,
20 ultimately convinced you to join the municipality and that you did so.
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. You were officially appointed as secretary of the executive
24 committee; correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. However, at times you performed the function of the secretary to
2 the Municipal Assembly; correct?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. You certainly had the experience and training in administrative
5 matters to do that; correct?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And you also lived very, very close to the municipal building, so
8 you were there readily available if they needed you; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. I also get the impression that you're the sort of individual that
11 will help out if asked. Is that a fair assessment?
12 A. Well, if it is not too difficult or impossible, yes, I am.
13 Q. And another reason why you, I take it, got involved with being the
14 secretary for the Municipal Assembly is that your colleague, Mr. Sikman,
15 was not really a hard worker, and you just assumed many of his
16 responsibilities; correct?
17 A. Well, yes, that is correct too. As a matter of fact, he was
18 involved in other things beyond that office. One cannot say that he did
19 not work, but he did not work there enough to be able to do everything.
20 Even because he continued performing the tasks that he used to perform in
21 the company for which he worked earlier.
22 Q. You also, in addition to having these two tasks, being the
23 secretary -- at times the secretary to the Municipal Assembly, the
24 secretary to the executive committee, later on in your tenure at Bosanski
25 Petrovac, you also served on the Crisis Staff; right?
1 A. Right. Formally at times I was appointed to the Crisis Staff.
2 Q. And we'll get to your time with the Crisis Staff. Let's -- let me
3 stay focused and talk to you about your early tenure at Petrovac. Now, I
4 know from reading your transcripts and hearing your testimony, that there
5 was a time that you were actually mobilised and called to the front lines.
6 Do you remember the effective dates of your mobilisation, the days that
7 you were in the military during this time period?
8 A. Well, I can give you some dates, but I can't really say that it is
9 quite accurate. So the first time I was called up in early -- the first
10 third -- no, was it March or April? I think it was March 1992. And I
11 was called up to join the engineering regiment, as a lawyer. However --
12 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... remember just to confine
13 your call-ups to the time period of 1991 through 1992. Were there any
14 more call-ups or mobilisations in 1992?
15 A. In 1992, I stayed one month on the front, and then in 1992 I was
16 mobilised on three more occasions. Once I was on Kupres, and twice on the
17 Bihac front.
18 Q. And I understand you cannot remember the specific dates, and I'm
19 not asking you to. But during these four mobilisations that you had in
20 1992, roughly speaking, how long were you in the military?
21 A. All together -- all in all, between two and a half and three
23 Q. And how much of that two and a half and three months were you away
24 from Bosanski Petrovac?
25 A. Well, that's as long as I spent outside Petrovac.
1 Q. So it's safe to say during the time period that you were
2 mobilised, that you were not tending to your obligations with the
3 municipality because you had your obligations with the military?
4 A. Yes. That would be correct, by and large. Namely, once I was
5 with the engineering regiment during that first month when I'd be given a
6 leave there was such an understanding with my boss, Bogdan Latinovic, to
7 return then to the municipality and then I would do -- I would finish
8 those jobs, those things, which would not suffer delay. And on those
9 other occasions, because of the distance, I was away. I was on the front
11 Q. During the time that you were in Bosanski Petrovac, were you a
12 member of the Sokol society?
13 A. Formally speaking, yes, I was a member of the Sokol society, and
14 formally, I was even its president for Petrovac, although it never really
15 began to function. I did my best, but it was simply to no avail.
16 Q. Could you, very, very briefly, and I emphasise briefly, tell us
17 what the Sokol society is.
18 A. Sokol is a cultural and sports organisation. It's part of the
19 tradition of the Slavic people, dating back to Austria Hungary. And we
20 were trying to bring it up to date, to breathe a new life into this
21 organisation. That is why local organisations were set up in large
22 numbers, so that the regional organisation with the seat either in
23 Sarajevo or Banja Luka - I'm not quite sure - was set up. But I
24 communicated with Banja Luka in matters relating to Sokol, to Falcon.
25 Q. When you -- I'm going to change topics on you now. I want to talk
1 to you about your early days working in the municipality of Bosanski
2 Petrovac. And I want to ask you about some of your observations, and I'll
3 warn you in advance: I'm going to ask you about certain things, but I'm
4 not necessarily taking them in a chronological order. I'm not putting
5 them in a chronological order because I'm trying to confuse them. I don't
6 want to confuse you. I'm just doing it for my organisational purposes.
7 So bear with me, please.
8 The first observation, the first area that I'd like to talk to you
9 about, is the economic situation in Bosanski Petrovac when you arrived.
10 Would it be fair to say when you arrived there, the economy was in very
11 poor shape? In fact, at page 11 of your tape-recorded interview, you
12 stated that the economic situation had crumbled completely in the
13 municipality. Is that a fair statement?
14 A. Yes, I think it is a correct statement, as I saw it.
15 Q. In fact, you've told us in testimony, and in your statement, that
16 there were fewer jobs and fewer job opportunities in 1991 than there were
17 in 1931; correct?
18 A. That is correct, yes. This is a statistical information.
19 Q. You also would agree, or would you agree, that the economic
20 infrastructure within that municipality was in very poor shape?
21 A. It was in a very poor shape.
22 Q. And then with the conflicts in Slovenia and Croatia, that also
23 adversely impacted the economy in your municipality; correct?
24 A. It is, especially the conflict in Slovenia, because, for instance,
25 the most profitable factory, the best racket factory was exporting its
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 products through Slovenia, so it affected us. And the export to the
2 United States, for instance, went through the port in Sibenik. So that
3 again had an adverse effect.
4 Q. And obviously, events like you're just talking about here
5 involving this profitable factory, losing away to export their goods, that
6 obviously affected the employment of many people within the municipality;
8 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I am not aware that they lost their
9 jobs, but that their economic standing deteriorated, yes, that is true.
10 Q. Well, if you agree with this next statement, fine; if not, let us
11 know. But during this time period, 1991, 1992, because of the war, a
12 number of people within the community lost their jobs; correct?
13 A. Well, it is correct, and I indicated the reasons during my
14 testimony, especially since you are relating it to -- relating 1991 to
16 Q. Well, let me -- and that was a poor question on my part. Let's
17 focus in before December 31st, 1991. Let's just talk about the economic
18 situation in Bosanski Petrovac before then. We can agree, can we not,
19 that the economic infrastructure was poor and backwards? Correct?
20 A. Absolutely.
21 Q. That there were -- that there was inflation during this time
23 A. Correct. The steep inflation started in early 1992. Until then,
24 it was acceptable for the circumstances that prevailed there.
25 Q. The municipality of Bosanski Petrovac had for many years been
1 aligned to Bihac, and then a move was made to join the community of
2 municipalities for the Bosnian Krajina, and you know what I'm talking
3 about there; correct?
4 A. I understand you. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. And you were asked during your interview with the OTP a month
6 ago: Was this move based on political or economic means? And I believe
7 that around page 11 you stated: It's difficult for you to say because you
8 were a relative newcomer to the municipality. Do you remember telling
9 them that?
10 A. I remember saying it, and I know why I said what I said.
11 Q. And you also told them, and I want you to confirm today that the
12 economic reasons given for this new alignment could stand on their own.
13 Can you confirm that?
14 A. I said, and I indicated the reasons. It is correct.
15 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry. If you're going to read the answer, could
16 you read the full answer, please.
17 MR. CUNNINGHAM: His full answer, for the record, was, when asked
18 if this was a political rather than economic decision is as follows:
19 "It's difficult to say. I was not -- I had not lived there, and I
20 didn't know, even though I believe that the economic -- that the economic
21 reasons could stand on their own, but there were probably also political
22 reasons with ideas of -- we're better on the other side, which also is
23 ridiculous without hard work and the leadership, I'm sure, was aware of."
24 Q. Despite the fact -- and here's my next question, sir. Despite the
25 fact that technically the ties with the Bihac community, Bihac community
1 was cut and that Bosanski Petrovac was part of the Bosnian Krajina, your
2 president still cooperated closely with Bihac; correct?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. The decision to join the Bosnian Krajina was implemented -- only
5 implemented functionally up until the time that the war broke out?
6 A. Basically, it was done only formally. In my answer, you will see
7 it. I described it, and if necessary, I can repeat it.
8 Q. I don't think it's necessary for you to repeat it, because
9 basically, is during the time period up until the war, your president
10 still cooperated closely with the Bihac municipality in trying to develop
11 the economic infrastructure and on other issues; correct?
12 A. Yes, it is correct.
13 Q. So even though your president, your municipality, I should say,
14 had changed an alignment, in fact, a lot of time and energies -- I'll
15 rephrase that.
16 More time and more energy was associated in dealing with
17 Bihac than in dealing with the Bosnian Krajina; correct?
18 A. Why, yes, yes, it is correct.
19 Q. So while on paper it may look as though Bosanski Petrovac, during
20 this time period, before the war, is aligned more closely with the Bosnian
21 Krajina, the reality was it was still following the traditional ties to
22 the Bihac municipality; correct?
23 A. Well, I've already said why cooperation continued, not only with
24 Bihac but also with a company in Cazin, in terms of how these things
25 functioned, and we also had good cooperation with the representatives of
1 the Kladusa municipality.
2 Q. And when you're talking about the company in Cazin, is that a
3 reference to the company from a -- Muslim company from a Muslim area that
4 your municipality was doing business with during this time period?
5 A. Well, the company was state-owned, but the population of Cazin is
6 over 90 per cent Muslim. So they were basically Muslims, as far as I
7 know. I'm not really familiar with these things.
8 Q. And the same thing with Kladusa municipality, which is a Muslim
9 municipality; correct?
10 A. Kladusa, yes, is a Muslim municipality, but President Novakovic
11 was on good economic and political terms with their leadership.
12 Q. And that's a good lead into my next topic, because I want you to
13 talk about President Novakovic. You described him as someone who worked
14 on a need-to-know basis, that is, basically, he told you -- well, describe
15 what you mean by working on a need-to-know basis.
16 A. What I mean is that he said that unless one needed some
17 information, there was no need for him to know that particular thing.
18 That is that heads of individual services or departments should not meddle
19 into the affairs of other departments, and generally speaking, that unless
20 one needed some information for work, should not ask for that information.
21 I understood it to mean an instruction, an advice not to ask about things
22 that I'm not being told.
23 Q. You have described your president as someone who was influential.
24 You would agree with that; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And as an example of that influence, you would talk about --
2 you've told us how he could pick up the phone, call Dr. Karadzic or
3 Plavsic, and speak with them on the phones as if he had known them for a
4 good while; correct?
5 A. Correct. It wasn't with them only. I know that that is how he
6 communicated with high-ranking Muslim representatives. I know he would
7 call individual members of the cabinet, of the government. That is how he
8 acted in communication with other people. He was quite direct.
9 Q. And he was well-respected, as we can tell from this ability to
10 make phone calls, by people in circles of authority and just -- and also
11 respected by the people within the municipality; correct?
12 A. Well, you see, when you have a local community, it is easier to
13 bring into question somebody's authority. But it is my impression that he
14 also enjoyed authority in the municipality. Of course, there was
15 opposition to him, and they were just as impassioned as those who
16 supported him.
17 Q. One of the jobs that I assumed you did, one of the tasks that you
18 had while you were at this municipality is that you would give your
19 president advice; correct?
20 A. Well, if he asked me to. That was the rule. It would usually be
21 an informal opinion because he was the president of the assembly. And my
22 official opinions I presented to the president of the Executive Board.
23 But now and then he would ask me what I thought. Not only me; he did
24 it -- he asked other lawyers too. At times he asked me to talk with other
25 colleagues of mine with whom I was on good terms, so that we could take a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 joint view on something, so as to make sure that the decision would not be
2 a wrong one.
3 Q. And in addition to seeking advice from you, for example, on legal
4 matters, he would also listen informally to advice from other people in
5 other areas, such as the economy, things of that nature; correct?
6 A. Yes, especially with regard to economic issues. He never stopped
7 looking for ways and means of ensuring the development.
8 Q. And after listening to advice - and I'm speaking just in general
9 terms - do you think that your president was devoted to making the best
10 decision -- making the decision that he thought was the best for the
12 A. Well, it's difficult for me to say what is the best, but he tried
13 to take the best possible decisions.
14 Q. Would you characterise him as an independent thinker or someone
15 who just automatically followed the party line?
16 A. He was a very independent man.
17 Q. I want to talk to you about some events involving your president.
18 Again, these are not chronological. I'm not trying to confuse you. But I
19 want to talk about some of these events. At page 13 of the English
20 transcript you recount a - and that's of your tape-recorded statement -
21 you recount an incident where prior to the war you had two companies from
22 basically a pure Muslim area working in your municipality. You recounted
23 how the Muslim workers were attacked and your president acted very
24 strongly. Do you know the incident that I'm talking about?
25 A. These companies were building a road in our area. President
1 Novakovic had managed to get through the road fund in Sarajevo to start
2 building a road which should have been built 20 or 30 years earlier. And
3 there was an understanding to hire companies which had available
4 capacities in our region, and this was Krajina Putevi, in Bihac, and
5 Rad, in Cazin. Of course, many of the workers were Muslim.
6 Q. I just want you to -- there was an incident where these Muslim
7 workers were attacked and your president reacted very strongly to the
8 attack on these workers; correct?
9 A. It is. I went out to investigate the incident.
10 Q. In fact, your president told the chief of police he would replace
11 him if these attacks were not stopped; correct?
12 A. It is, and they were stopped.
13 Q. That's an example of your president trying to do the correct
14 thing; correct?
15 A. I think so.
16 Q. You also -- another example that I want to talk to you about. You
17 discuss at page 13 and 14 of your English statement, and this is an event
18 that happens when you were at a religious event, I think involving the
19 Bihac/Petrovac bishop's promotion in Belgrade, and while you were in
20 Belgrade you had heard about how armed men had come into town and
21 frightened the Muslim populace. I'm not asking you to describe this
22 incident, but do you remember the incident?
23 A. I do remember it.
24 Q. And I believe in the wake of that incident, the representatives of
25 the Muslim population came to him and were trying to get reassurances that
1 such an event would not happen again; correct?
2 A. It is.
3 Q. And your president assured them that he could -- he would do what
4 he could do to try to prevent that; correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And at this stage he's trying to do the correct thing, that is, to
7 help the citizens within his municipality; correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. I'm jumping ahead a little bit, because I want to talk to you
10 about one of the constant problems, recurring problems you had in your
11 municipality, and what your president tried to do to stop this. During
12 the time that you were in Petrovac during the war your municipality was
13 plagued by looting by armed individuals stealing things; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And during the time that you were in the municipality, obviously
16 your president called the commanders of the local army units, trying to
17 get them, I take it, to either rein in or control the troops; correct?
18 A. Yes. He did this continuously.
19 Q. And he tried to get the military and local police to work together
20 to prevent the problems of looting and destruction of private property;
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And I trust that you will agree with me that your president was
24 trying to do what was right; correct?
25 A. I believe he did.
1 Q. But through circumstances beyond his control, that is, because of
2 the power of the military, he could not get the looting, the acts of
3 violence against person and property, stopped; correct?
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. There was -- do you recall, and I believe this is Prosecutor's
6 Exhibit --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cunningham, sorry to interrupt you, but with
8 regard to this looting and whatever else you and the witness described,
9 since you are referring to a period when there was war, perhaps the
10 witness can be more specific and indicate to us which year he is referring
11 to and which part of that year or years he's referring to when there was
12 looting and all these other phenomena taking place.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This period is in the spring and
14 summer of 1992.
15 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
16 Q. Your president was also at least open to the possibility that
17 during the spring and summer of 1992, that the Muslims within the
18 government who were performing their jobs should not be dismissed merely
19 because of their ethnicity; correct?
20 A. Yes. I explained that.
21 Q. And he was trying to find a way, he, your president, was trying to
22 find a way around directives that Muslims in government or in companies
23 should be dismissed; correct?
24 A. Yes. It was explained the consequences if this was pursued.
25 Q. And so rather than fire them, what he did was basically issue an
1 order telling them to go home without pay, to take leave without pay;
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. We've talked about some examples about your president, the head of
5 the municipality, trying to do the right thing during a difficult time
6 period. Would you agree with this observation of mine, that during this
7 time it was hard for the government, the municipal government, to always
8 do the right thing, because there was just too many obstacles do that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And my perception, and I want to see if you would agree with
11 this: The primary obstacle, the overriding obstacle to doing the right
12 thing in municipal government was the military?
13 A. Well, in fact, not the command, but simply the units that were out
14 of control. Soldiers -- soldiers who had left their units mostly.
15 Q. And we're going to talk about that in a minute, because one of the
16 problems that the president had to deal with was the fact that informal
17 delegations from communes, from areas of the municipality, came to him, in
18 effect demanding that they be armed by the municipality; correct?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. And in addition to dealing with the informal demands from the
21 citizens, he had to deal with units, and I'm going to call them renegade
22 units, who would come to town and make demands upon the government;
24 A. Yes. He also had problems with them.
25 Q. It was not at all unusual for these delegations from units to come
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 in to try to pressure him and the municipal government into taking certain
2 steps; correct?
3 A. Correct. They often came to the offices armed.
4 Q. And you even had an example that you talked about in your
5 statement while you were at the front lines about an entire battalion of
6 the army going to the front of the municipal building, being loud,
7 demanding to see the municipal authorities, to have them replace, and I'm
8 using your words, because I guess they were not Serb enough. You saw that
9 and heard of that -- saw that with your own eyes and heard that with your
10 own ears; correct?
11 A. I was not there. I was at Kupres. When I returned, I was told
12 about this by President Novakovic, by Mr. Latinovic, my colleague the
13 secretary of the municipality -- of the Municipal Assembly. Everybody was
14 telling me the same. That's why I believed it. And I also learned from
15 other people that bullet cases from ammunition had been gathered or had to
16 be gathered in droves in front of the building. So it was a very large
18 Q. And another recurring problem dealing with the military that you
19 had is trying to get something done about the soldiers who would come to
20 town and cause acts of violence to person and properties; correct?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. And your president did what he could in communicating with the
23 military to try to stop this; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Why couldn't he stop them? Why couldn't your president stop first
1 of all these renegade troops that would come to town? Why couldn't he
2 stop them?
3 A. For two reasons. The military command did not have a strong
4 internal structure of the chain of command. I shouldn't give you the
5 reasons now, but in any case, they were unable to keep their soldiers
6 under control. The second reason was that formally they were under a
7 military jurisdiction. If they were arrested by civilian police, and
8 there were several cases of this, and they were detained, they had to be
9 then released immediately because the military police were supposed to
10 take over from that. Sometimes military police would take them away and
11 some of them did have to go through disciplinary proceedings. But all
12 this did not stop such behaviour.
13 Q. What I don't understand is if your president is the head of the
14 municipal government, why couldn't he just enforce it? Why couldn't he
15 keep, for example, these people in gaol?
16 A. I explained this. It was not within his competence to order the
17 police. If he told the chief, for instance, that he would replace him,
18 that was just an example. But in fact, he would have to ask from a
19 superior to have the chief replaced. He did not have direct jurisdiction,
20 not over police organs or military organs.
21 Q. One of the other problems that you talked about in your statement
22 is your municipality had the problem of paramilitaries who managed to
23 infiltrate the community and were under nobody's control. Do you remember
24 talking about that?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. Why is it that the president, as the head of civilian authority
2 within the municipality, or any other member of the civilian authorities,
3 couldn't control these paramilitaries?
4 A. In essence, such units were small groups of soldiers. They were
5 not units in the proper sense of the word. These were mostly soldiers on
6 their way to somewhere else. We were a very large traffic crossroad, and
7 the soldiers passed through our region going to different fronts. And
8 small groups simply were escaping from their command. They would spend
9 the night in the town. They would loot. They would break in. They would
10 spend a lot of money in bars and restaurants and they wouldn't pay the
11 bill. And then on their way out, as they were about to leave, certain
12 measures would be taken, but there was little use. We had to bear the
14 Q. There was little use, I take it, because there would either be
15 military intervention or intervention by the paramilitaries to force these
16 people to be released?
17 A. I only know of one case that such renegades had liberated their
18 comrades from prison. But in most cases they would escape once people
19 were after them.
20 Q. And that one instance that you had -- one case where the renegades
21 came and liberated the individuals, was that the Topalovic - and I hope
22 I'm pronouncing that correct - incident?
23 A. Topalovic. Yes, that's correct. That's the incident when one
24 group was arrested, yes.
25 Q. And I'm going to try to summarise that. That is the incident
1 after Topalovic and his colleague, who I think went by the name of Rambo,
2 were arrested, the chief of police came in, said that he was forced to
3 release them because their colleagues had forced a pistol down his mouth
4 and literally forced them -- forced him at gunpoint to release them;
6 A. It's all correct, except that there were another two persons. So
7 in total, four of them were arrested.
8 Q. Okay. And I guess the point I'm just trying to make is: We've
9 got the military being an obstacle to the good governance of Bosanski
10 Petrovac, we've got these paramilitaries being an obstacle to the good
11 governance of Bosanski Petrovac; correct?
12 A. Yes. These were obstacles, among others.
13 Q. And you bring up others. Briefly tell us what comes to mind when
14 you talk about that.
15 A. Well, what comes to mind is the high level of politicised
16 population, people in ethnic communities were poisoned, in terms of their
17 minds. A lot of people who should have been doing their jobs, they were
18 dabbling in politics. So it was a generally bad situation.
19 Q. And we'll come to that a little bit later on. I want to visit
20 with you now. Again in the same vein about the military. And I'm going
21 to jump ahead a little bit, and I'm not trying to confuse you with this.
22 I'm going to talk about the times that the Petrovac, the municipal Crisis
23 Staff was meeting. Did the military always attend Crisis Staff meetings
24 when you were present?
25 A. Not always.
1 Q. If you were to put a percentage on their attendance, what would it
2 be? Did they attend half the time, 75 per cent of the time? How, in your
3 best estimate, how would you characterise their attendance?
4 A. In certain periods, they did not attend at all. Like, for
5 instance, in 1994. Or they came very rarely, when it was absolutely
6 necessary. But during this crisis period, which is -- when my testimony
7 is referring to, so you can see from the minutes how frequently they
8 attend. Whenever there was anything to do with the army, relations with
9 the army, getting soldiers out of town, with those who had the control of
10 the soldiers, that's when they always attended.
11 Q. Okay. And they would avoid meetings at time because your
12 president, and others, would ride them, criticise them for not doing
13 anything about the plunder and disorder within the community in 1992;
15 A. Well, I don't know whether they avoided, but those people who
16 didn't come to the meetings were those that were are invited. They would
17 send, for instance, representatives of a lower rank. But in any case,
18 they reacted in a negative way in relation to the criticism of the
19 discipline of the soldiers and at any requests to prevent the looting and
20 the attacks.
21 Q. I want to follow up on something about whether the military would
22 attend. If you could look at your diary for the 28th of May, 1992.
23 A. I've found it.
24 Q. Is it correct that on that date you were told by the military that
25 they did not want to attend?
1 A. Yes, that's correct. I noted down that they had said that they
2 were unable to attend. I was supposed to call this meeting.
3 Q. And you told us last Friday, on page 18 of the LiveNote, that the
4 reason that they were -- didn't want to attend is that they were tired of
5 being told by the municipal Crisis Staff that the military was responsible
6 for the disorder; correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And during this time period in 1991 to 1992, isn't it true that
9 your municipality was approached by two retired military officers from
10 Belgrade that offered their services in setting up a court system to deal
11 with disciplining soldiers for criminal acts?
12 A. There were certainly two, if not three. I think they all had the
13 rank of the colonel. They were in the legal service. That's correct.
14 They wanted to set up in the region, at the level of the region, including
15 the Petrovac part, they wanted to have a military court set up. They were
16 proposing this, and in order not to waste time, I can just tell you that
17 we rejected this and this never became topical again.
18 Q. And why is it, briefly, that you rejected it?
19 A. Well, they were retired officers, and allegedly they came, as they
20 said, to help us. But none of us lawyers wanted to be part of such a
21 court. Personally, I was called to be a judge at this court, and I said I
22 would find a way to escape, but not to do this -- rather than do this.
23 And I also informed Mr. Novakovic in detail what kind of court that would
24 be and what its use would be. After that, the municipal leadership was
25 decisively against the setting up of such a court.
1 Q. So for whatever reason, and I know from reading your testimony
2 that you give it in detail in your statement, but the decision was made to
3 say thanks, but no thanks. We don't want that sort of court under your
4 terms in our municipality.
5 A. Correct. In fact, this was going to be a court martial. In fact,
6 it wasn't even defined in terms of what level this court would be at, or
7 whether it would have an Appeals Chamber and so on.
8 Q. So it's fair to say that there was an opportunity to have some
9 sort of court system for the discipline of criminal behaviour committed by
10 the troops, but your municipality chose not to join in?
11 A. According to the law, there were military courts that existed
12 before, but this was something which wouldn't come within the scope of the
13 law, and our municipality had a different information. This was one of
14 the series of the attempts to establish military power, military authority
15 in Petrovac. If it had worked in Petrovac, then it would have been an
16 easy picking to do it, also in the surrounding area. It could have been
17 the command of the town, and so on. Various institutions which are set up
18 in case of the occupation. I don't think that the officers were
19 completely aware of the relevance or importance of their requests. Even
20 before being in contact with these colonels, we were in conflict with
21 these requests, because this was, in effect, a request to establish a
22 military authority, military administration. That's why there were
23 constant attempts to declare a state of war and so on. These officers
24 came from a different time. They were trained according to a different
25 pattern. And they thought: When war comes, they take over everything,
1 the command, the authority. In fact, they couldn't understand at all that
2 civilian authority should exist, civilian authority should exist, but only
3 in function of their orders. That's what they understood.
4 Q. Okay. And another example where we saw the military acting
5 illegally was their mobilisation of material goods and supplies. You
6 talked about how the military would arbitrarily mobilise materials, and
7 particularly material resources, with respect to cars. Do you remember
8 telling us about that?
9 A. I remember telling you about that, and that's true.
10 Q. And they would basically, for want of a better word, the military
11 would steal cars, claim that they were mobilising them, then use them for
12 their own benefit; right?
13 A. They did not steal. That's putting it too strongly. They were --
14 they would commandeer vehicles and they would give the certificate, the
15 receipt, but they did not respect the legal procedure. According to law,
16 there should have been a list of vehicles made in time of peace. And then
17 they could be commandeered or mobilised according to that list. You
18 couldn't have a vehicle that somebody would like and then mobilise it.
19 Q. And you, as a lawyer, knew that this was illegal; correct?
20 A. Of course. Not just me, but the relevant authority also
21 complained, because they were in charge of mobilisation.
22 Q. Well, how come the relevant authority, whoever that might be,
23 couldn't do anything to stop the military from doing this? Was it just
24 that the military was too powerful?
25 A. Many questions seem to touch upon the same subject. I would say
1 that this organ was in fact helpless. Every time when I was mobilised, I
2 was mobilised against the law. I was not a part of those persons who
3 could be mobilised, but simply under pressure they would mobilise me. And
4 not just me, but there were situations when the entire municipal
5 leadership was placed at the front. That's how powerful we were. We were
6 at the front line and we took part in combat.
7 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Your Honours, I'm at a good stopping point and I
8 notice it's 12.29.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Cunningham. We'll have a 25-minute
10 break starting from now. Thank you.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
13 MR. CUNNINGHAM: May I proceed, Your Honour?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Wait.
15 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Just a bad habit.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: The most important man in this trial.
17 MR. CUNNINGHAM: At home, the accused is always in the courtroom
18 before the Judges arrive, so I apologise.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Here the system is a little bit different.
20 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I've found out. May I proceed, Your Honours?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you.
22 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'm going to start out with the usher's
23 assistance showing him two exhibits, P1826, and then the next exhibit will
24 be P229.
25 Q. Sir, what I'm going to do is first show you 1826, ask you some
1 questions, and then show you P229, because I want to suggest to you that
2 these two pieces of documentary evidence and the contents of these
3 documents may actually be different from the actual reality. If you'll
4 look at Exhibit P1826, we'll see that that is a letter addressed from your
5 president to the assembly and the president of the Republic of Serbia;
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. The copy that you have is undated, but it contains the president's
9 signature on it; correct?
10 A. It does, yes. Correct.
11 Q. And this is the document that calls upon the president and the
12 assembly of the Republic of Serbia to take the appropriate measures to
13 protect the Serbian people, and then it lists in the second paragraph, or
14 the very last paragraph, it lists nine different municipalities which are
15 shown, which he states express their readiness and promise to participate
16 actively in the defence. You see that, don't you?
17 A. I do, yes.
18 Q. And this is the document that I believe you said that listing
19 these municipalities, these nine specific municipalities, was an arbitrary
20 decision because I think you told us last Thursday, I don't think that the
21 president could have communicated with all the other presidents in such a
22 short time. Do you remember testifying to that?
23 A. I do. Sorry. That is what I said.
24 Q. And I think you specifically cited at least two municipalities,
25 that is, Bihac and Sipovo; correct?
1 A. I cited Bihac, Sipovo, but I also think I said Mrkonjic, but I'm
2 not sure.
3 Q. I think you might have cited that in one of your statements, but
4 the fact of the matter is that -- and I'm not criticising your president
5 for doing this, is that he arbitrarily, in your mind, made a decision to
6 include these two municipalities, Sipovo and Bihac, that he probably
7 didn't consult with; correct?
8 A. I thought that he arbitrarily said here that he was representing
9 them, but that is an inference that I drew on the basis of the
10 circumstances that prevailed at the time. And as for Bihac, I also said
11 possibly only that part of Bihac that had Serb population. I do not think
12 that he could represent Bihac officially in any way, because the majority
13 was Muslim and their president was a Muslim.
14 Q. I guess here's my point: If we were to look at the face of this
15 document listing those nine municipalities, it appears as if your
16 president is speaking on behalf of those municipalities; correct?
17 A. Yes. He officially refers to it. He said that he's speaking on
18 behalf of those municipalities. That is the message that he's trying to
19 convoy to Serbian authorities.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cunningham and Witness, Judge, I think it's more
21 correct, more appropriate in this case, since before the Novakovic's name
22 or signature, there's also the word "coordinator." Representative is a
23 representative and coordinator, I think denotes a position or an office to
24 which Mr. Novakovic would have been appointed. Because you can't be a
25 coordinator -- you can self-appoint yourself, I mean, as a representative,
1 but coordinator implies the interactivity and decision of the Municipal
2 Assemblies mentioned there. Was he a coordinator? Was there an
3 organisation of these Municipal Assemblies and the SDS, and do you know of
4 any decision taken to appoint Mr. Novakovic as coordinator of this group?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I said that I thought that he
6 had written this offhand, that is what I meant. Mr. Novakovic was never,
7 at least to my knowledge, he was never officially elected a representative
8 of these municipalities, in any matter whatsoever. That is one thing.
9 Secondly, these municipalities were never in one and the same entity,
10 except perhaps in the ARK Krajina, but then we are talking about much
11 larger territory and much broader area. And that is what I said I think.
12 He pursued what is indicated in passage 2 in this letter, and that was to
13 procure weapons.
14 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
15 Q. Following up on the inference that you drew based on the
16 circumstances at the time, that you don't believe that he communicated
17 with two, maybe three of these municipalities, would you agree with me, if
18 someone were to look at the face of this document, it would appear that he
19 was speaking on behalf of all nine municipalities?
20 A. I didn't say he did not communicate with them. He did. But I am
21 not aware that they appointed him officially as their representative.
22 Perhaps they did it informally, perhaps they did it by telephone. Perhaps
23 they agreed for him to write such a letter. But I'm not aware of any
24 official document saying this. So such an organisational entity did not
25 exist officially, and perhaps he did it on his own. When I say that, I
1 mean without the necessary form -- format or the decisions which should
2 have preceded such a document.
3 Q. Now I'm confused by something, because you just told us: "I didn't
4 say he did not communicate with them. He did." Last week, and in your
5 statement, you say: "I don't think he could have communicated with their
6 presidents in such a short time." You specifically cited Bihac and
7 Sipovo. Which one is it? I mean, you told us one time you don't think he
8 communicated, and then today you are telling us he did communicate. Do
9 you know whether he did or did not?
10 A. When I said that he communicated with them, then I mean generally.
11 When I said that he did not do it with reference to this letter, I was
12 being very specific, because of the short time available. Because I'm
13 aware of the immediate cause, immediate reason for which he wrote this
14 letter. So that is the distinction.
15 Q. And I appreciate you, and I thank you for clearing up my
16 confusion. Let me talk to you -- I'm done with that document and the next
17 document I'd like to have you examine, sir, is Exhibit P229. And while
18 that's being presented to you, let me remind you that this is an exhibit
19 that is entitled or deals with the conclusions adopted at a subregional
20 meeting of the political representatives of the municipalities of and it
21 lists a number of municipalities, and in that listing is included Bosanski
22 Petrovac. You remember this document from last week; correct?
23 A. I do. I saw this document and I commented on it.
24 Q. And just to summarise, I think you testified -- I believe you
25 testified last week that you thought that you had been sent to this
1 meeting as a courtesy because your president had been invited. I believe
2 you also told us that you did not take a lot of notes, that you did not
3 remember the conclusions on this sheet of paper, this document, being
4 reached, and that you also believe that these conclusions were reached
5 after the fact, in an arbitrary manner. And your testimony was last
6 Friday: "I think that this was done in one of the municipalities. At the
7 end of the meeting it was probably agreed informally that somebody should
8 draft this document and send it to the relevant authorities. Whoever
9 wrote this, wrote it on his own."
10 Now, this document, if we look at the face of the document, has a
11 number of different conclusions; correct?
12 A. Correct. There are seven items.
13 Q. And if we look at the second-last one, number 6, this is the one
14 that deals with the moveout of the Muslims and Croats. You don't need to
15 read it. I just want to make sure that we're talking about the same
16 document -- the same conclusion. Do you see it?
17 A. Item 2, opening of a corridor?
18 Q. No, no. I'm talking about number 6, the second-to-the-last one.
19 A. Yes. I'm listening.
20 Q. I apologise. That's the one that deals with the removal of the
21 moveout of the Muslims and Croats; correct?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. This conclusion talks about all of the seven municipalities in the
24 subregion agree that the Muslims and Croats should move out until a
25 certain level is reached; correct?
1 A. This you are quoting the contents accurately, but as far as I can
2 remember, it wasn't even discussed in this manner. This is one of the
3 elements which I based my conclusion when I said that these were all
4 arbitrary conclusions, because this conclusion cannot be enforced.
5 Q. And on the face of this document, this appears to be a conclusion
6 whereby the representatives of your municipality joined into it; correct?
7 A. This conclusion was never put to vote. I was at the meeting and I
8 know there was never a vote on this. It was an informal meeting, and as
9 far as I can remember, it was agreed that somebody should write the
10 conclusions down. And I'd say that this was done in the municipality of
11 Sanski Most. One could infer this from the seal. So administratively --
12 Q. I think we agree to the same thing. If we look at the document,
13 what is in that document, in your hand, is radically different from the
14 reality of what actually happened at the meeting; correct? Is that
16 A. What the document says, I cannot recall the whole meeting and the
17 course it took. But what the document says is fundamentally different
18 from what went on in our place, in our area.
19 Q. And if we look at the document, if one were to read that, not
20 knowing really what was happening at the meeting or in your municipality,
21 someone could draw the erroneous conclusion that someone from -- that the
22 representatives of Bosanski Petrovac was in favour of the removal of
23 Muslims and Croats from that municipality. Just looking at it without the
24 benefit of what actually happened at the meeting and the reality in your
1 A. Yes, you're right.
2 Q. Because we know from your testimony and, for example, about
3 Mr. Latinovic, who reported about the meeting to your Crisis Staff, that
4 wasn't the position that your representatives, that your municipality had;
5 correct? Is that right?
6 A. Yes, yes, it is.
7 Q. I apologise. I just didn't hear your answer. I'm done with that
8 exhibit, if you want to hand it back to the usher.
9 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
10 Q. I'm going to ask you some questions, generally speaking, and
11 Mr. Usher, the next exhibit will be P1825. While he's getting you that
12 exhibit, and I want you to have that exhibit in front of you, I'm going to
13 ask you some questions about administrative law and your training in
14 administration, because as I listened to your testimony and watched the
15 way that you peruse look at a document, I can tell that you're putting
16 your background and training at use. The document that you have in front
17 of you is Exhibit 1825, and you talked about this document, Exhibit P1825,
18 in the context of giving -- in talking about the language within a
19 document such as this. Now, my notes say that you testified to this. If
20 a document such as this, and I'm using this only as an example, carries
21 with it the notation "you are instructed" within a conclusion, that
22 means -- that sort of language means it is an order, it's mandatory;
24 A. Basically, yes, although that term was at times used merely to
25 reinforce, to reassert the position of that body.
1 Q. And then I believe you told us that if a document such as this
2 contains language such as "called upon," "requested," or "recommended,"
3 such language is not considered an order.
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. And then you said something in the context of this testimony - and
6 I apologise to counsel that I don't have the specific LiveNote reference -
7 but my notes reflect that though the expression "are instructed to" is
8 used as a rule -- let me back up. That the expression "are instructed to"
9 may be used when an organ that issues it does not have any legal ground to
10 issue the order and is actually trying to appropriate more power than it
11 enjoys under the law.
12 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry. Can you give me any idea where this is in
13 the LiveNote?
14 MR. CUNNINGHAM: If you give me just a second to look in my rough
15 notes. Ms. Korner, I can't find it now. What I'll do is I'll go ahead,
16 because it looks like I'll go into Monday - excuse me - until tomorrow.
17 I'll just move to a different topic and we can come back to that. Because
18 I think it's fair to the witness to have his exact words.
19 Q. I want to talk to you about Crisis Staffs, because you were on --
20 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry. If Mr. Cunningham -- I've actually found
21 it. It's actually page 49 on my version of the LiveNote.
22 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I take it from Thursday?
23 MS. KORNER: Thursday, yes.
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Okay.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: That was in the first part of the witness's
2 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Right. And I apologise for the delay to counsel
3 and the Court.
4 Q. This is what you said, and I'm going to -- I'm reading from the
5 LiveNote transcript from last Thursday, starting at line 12. You were
6 asked: "Was there a difference between a request, as phrased, and an
7 instruction?" And this is your answer and I'm reading it: "Yes, there is
8 a difference. If you use the term `are instructed or ordered,' it means
9 that it's an order. But if you use some other terms such as `are called
10 upon to,' then it is more of a recommendation and a request that does not
11 essentially have to be carried out. But when it is said here `are
12 instructed to,' then it means that's an order, even though the expression
13 `are instructed to' is used as a rule when the organ that issued it does
14 not have any legal grounds to issue an order and is actually trying to
15 appropriate more power than it enjoys under the law."
16 And it's that last part that I'm talking about, the use of the
17 expression "are instructed to" used when the organ that issued it doesn't
18 have any legal grounds to issue an order and is actually trying to
19 appropriate more power than it enjoys under the law. What did you mean by
21 A. In a nutshell, that's what the practice was in our case. When I
22 said this, what I meant was that if we take the example of the police, the
23 public security station is instructed in several places, so-and-so, and at
24 that moment, the police station, whether it was still under the Bihac
25 administration or not, I'm not quite sure, but I believe that it was. But
1 also in relation to the establishment of the Autonomous Region of Krajina,
2 it was probably in the transitional stage. The effective control of the
3 police in our region from the higher level, probably nobody else had it,
4 neither Bihac nor Banja Luka. For that reason, the municipal organ uses
5 this term "instructs," and in fact they are telling them to do that. I
6 have to say they are telling them explicitly, I think it was either in
7 1988 or in 1989, the municipality really was competent to govern the local
8 police, and there was this kind of inertia, this feeling that remained,
9 also in the police that when such an expression is used, such a term, it
10 was expected that the police would accept and carry out this request.
11 Q. Let me now change topics a little bit, because I want to talk with
12 you about crisis staffs and I want to call upon your experience first with
13 the municipal Crisis Staff as a participant or a consultant advisor and
14 secondly as an observer with the ARK Crisis Staff. First of all with
15 respect to the municipal Crisis Staff, when conclusions, decisions were
16 reached, was it following a vote?
17 A. In essence, I almost can't remember the very small number of cases
18 when there was formally a vote. If it happened that an individual or
19 several persons were explicitly against a proposal, it was considered
20 adopted, and the presiding person would say: Can we go on? And I would
21 say yes. And somebody would say they were against, somebody would say
22 they were in favour, and that's how it entered the minutes. But briefly,
23 it would be suggested to me how the conclusion would be phrased. So it
24 was very rarely that there was a formal vote with the lifting of the hand.
25 Q. Okay. And when you were taking the minutes, I take it because of
1 your training and experience in administrative law, you would be very,
2 very careful to make sure that the minutes reflect what happened during
3 the Crisis Staff meeting; correct?
4 A. Correct. Whenever I took the minutes, the following session it
5 would again be reviewed for verification purposes. That is why I always
6 tried to record things accurately, so that there would be no objections.
7 Q. Okay. Now, based on your recollection many years after the fact,
8 do you happen to recall whether anyone on the Bosanski Petrovac Crisis
9 Staff ever opposed, formally opposed, a decision or conclusion made by the
10 Crisis Staff?
11 A. Well, there were instances, several instances that certain members
12 wouldn't agree with a proposal, and often such proposals didn't pass, but
13 something else was adopted, and so on. But it is natural that such things
14 should occur, and they did.
15 Q. You have talked extensively about the pressure that was on your
16 Crisis Staff from the military and other sources. Do you know whether
17 that pressure ever kept members of the Crisis Staff from presenting their
18 true opinion because it wouldn't be politically expedient for them to have
19 their true opinion in the minutes?
20 A. Well, when we're talking about the pressure on the Crisis Staff,
21 what has to be understood is that this was in essence pressure on the
22 people who were carrying out their duties professionally. They were ex
23 officio members of the Crisis Staff from among the members who were in
24 some way -- who had come from the outside in some way. Now, relating to
25 your question: As a rule, such instances or pressure influenced the
1 decision-making process. As a rule, these instances of pressure generated
2 decision-making process. They certainly made it impossible for the
3 members of the Crisis Staff oppose certain things publicly, which
4 factually speaking were accurate. This was not just the fact that they
5 would suffer from negative political consequences, but for security
6 reasons, it would not have been something recommended to them, so to
8 Q. And you're speaking around it, and I'm not going to criticise you
9 for that. The security reasons that you're talking about is for their own
10 personal safety, they couldn't take such a position publicly because it
11 would endanger them; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Let me talk to you now about your personal experience with the ARK
14 Crisis Staff. I believe you were present at at least one, maybe two,
15 meetings of the ARK Crisis Staff. Does that sound correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And while you were careful in your role with the municipality to
18 make sure that the minutes were kept appropriately, in the correct
19 fashion, did you get the impression, based on what you were seeing in the
20 two times you were at the ARK meetings, that they were as careful in
21 recording the minutes as you were?
22 A. I cannot speak about the minutes or on the way that it was kept.
23 I didn't know the mechanism. But in my testimony, I already said that my
24 general impression was that administratively, things were not working
25 properly there. That was my personal impression. I don't know about the
1 factual matters, but what was coming from there made it seem as if this
2 was not the material which was well put, and particularly I don't think
3 that it had been processed by legal services. That was my impression.
4 Q. When you attended the ARK Crisis Staff meetings, were the meetings
5 chaotic? Were they done following the proper procedural guidelines? How
6 would you characterise them? Briefly.
7 A. What I was able to see went according to usual procedures, in
8 accordance with most other rules. But I have to say: I was not a very
9 careful observer. It was only to observe certain key things that I would
10 forward to the president. So I would also try and attend when I went
11 along on some other business as well. So simply, I have to say that I was
12 not a careful observer, but my general impression and I recall that things
13 went according to the rules of procedure. I don't know whether the
14 procedures -- whether the sessions were recorded on a tape. I don't know
15 whether they were or not, and I don't know whether my impression was
16 correct. I may have been present once or twice, probably twice.
17 Q. And I'm fully aware of your statement that you were not a very
18 careful observer. I'm fully aware that it's been a good 11, 12 years.
19 But were you ever present when a vote was taken by members of the ARK
20 Crisis Staff?
21 A. Well, I think that on that occasion they had taken a vote. I
22 can't recall the details. But it seems to me that they did.
23 Q. And I'm not worried about the details in the sense that what was
24 the issue and who voted what, but do you remember if the conclusion was
25 adopted on the basis of majority rule? What can you tell us about that?
1 Any recollection whatsoever.
2 A. Well, as far as I recall, at a meeting, I don't know which one,
3 and whether I had attended to at all. As far as I recall, yes, there was
4 a formal vote, if you mean the actual form of vote. As far as I recall,
5 there was a formal vote. Whether everyone voted, I don't know, because I
6 think that there were other persons who were like me there, who did not
7 have a right to vote, who were in some role of an observer, a reporter.
8 But I think that some people had taken the vote, but I don't know to what
9 extent, whether it was majority, minority. I was not paying attention.
10 I'd just like to add something. At this one meeting, I was given
11 the Official Gazette of the Serb people in BH, and I saw that it was very
12 badly written. And that was my impression that was prevalent at the
13 time. To be honest, to tell you the truth, I was reading the paper during
14 that session, and I thought if such an Official Gazette can be published,
15 then there's no need to talk at all. That's why I didn't really notice
16 any more serious details. Only at the end I think I added, I asked for
17 the floor, I introduced myself, and I said that the Official Gazette
18 cannot be written in this way.
19 Q. And just to jump ahead a little bit: When that happened, the
20 people on the Crisis Staff kind of looked at you and said: Who is this
21 guy and what is he talking about? They didn't really answer your
22 questions; correct?
23 A. I introduced myself, so they knew who I was. They knew that I was
24 not a member, but by the way I introduced myself. But my impression
25 was -- the impression was that their reaction was: What's the matter with
1 him? I knew that would be their reaction, but I did not want to keep
2 quiet, because the Official Gazette must have a proper form.
3 Q. Now, again, recognising that you don't have a complete
4 recognition, that you were reading the gazette at the time, I want to ask
5 you one final question about the voting process. Do you remember if the
6 representatives, the presidents of the municipalities who were present, do
7 you remember whether or not they had a vote in the process?
8 A. I don't remember that. I knew very few people there. I had come
9 there when the meeting was already ongoing, had already started, and I sat
10 in the corner at the end of a very long working desk, in a very large
11 room, or roughly like this courtroom but of a different shape. I don't
12 know, but I think that was in the rules of procedure, whether presidents
13 of municipal assemblies, whether they had a right to vote. I believe they
14 did have, but I don't know. But according to the rules, they should have
15 had a right to vote.
16 Q. I'm going to start talking to you about some specific exhibits,
17 and the first exhibit that I would like to talk with you about is
18 Prosecutor's Exhibit number 22.
19 MR. CUNNINGHAM: So with the usher's assistance, I would like to
20 talk with you about that.
21 Q. And just to help get you oriented, sir, this document is a telex
22 with 14 points on it that was forwarded, and this is a document that you
23 have talked about last week. So I want you to look at it, refresh your
24 recollection with respect to the document, because I want to ask you some
25 questions. And let me know when you have refreshed your recollection so I
1 can start with the questions.
2 A. You can start.
3 Q. If we look at this document, it is attributed to Mr. Brdjanin;
5 A. Well, Mr. Brdjanin signed his name. I don't know who compiled
6 this document.
7 Q. Okay. You don't know who authorised it either; correct?
8 A. In the nature of things, it is impossible to know. On the basis
9 of this, it came from the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
10 Q. And it lists 14 directives to the municipalities; correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And you were asked, both in your tape-recorded statement and in
13 testimony, to ask -- to determine which ones of these 14 were actually
14 implemented. Do you remember that?
15 A. I remember that. According to my recollection, I did say what was
16 implemented and what was not implemented.
17 Q. And basically, what you said was: For the most part, none of this
18 was implemented, except, I believe, number 1, which was implemented for
19 about a week; and number 7, which was something that the municipality was
20 doing before this document anyway. Correct?
21 A. I couldn't have said that number 1 had been implemented, because
22 we had had a conflict because of that with the military command. There
23 was a constant on duty, but not the command of the town. There was a
24 duty in the municipal organs of government. Perhaps that was where the
25 misunderstanding is. The item 7, that's correct. This was done before
1 this even, and throughout the war.
2 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Your Honours, I'm about to go into the specific
3 of the documents.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Cunningham. I think it's a
5 convenient time to stop here. We will resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 in
6 this same courtroom 3.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I just, before Your Honour rises or
8 Your Honours rise, I don't know, was Your Honour going to give a ruling
9 either today or tomorrow on Mr. Ackerman's application, to put the case
10 back --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: No. We agreed that Mr. Ackerman was to spend the
12 weekend amongst other things to think about my suggestion, to give us one
13 week at the end so that we could give him one week in the beginning, and
14 that I said would be in a position to give us a reply on Monday. He
15 said: Can it be Tuesday? And we agreed that it would be Tuesday.
16 MS. KORNER: I thought Your Honours asked for two weeks in
18 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, no, no. I said I'll give you one week if
19 you give us one week. He will be supposedly answering the -- or feeding
20 us back tomorrow morning.
21 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Can I bring up one final point?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. The witness can leave the courtroom, actually.
23 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Just to let the Chamber know and counsel know, I
24 probably have an hour, an hour 15 minutes to go, just for logistics
1 JUDGE AGIUS: That is very nice of you and very kind of you to let
2 us know that. So Ms. Korner can then liaise with Mr. Resch.
3 MS. KORNER: I will have some re-examination. I don't know if
4 Your Honours will have any questions.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I think there are a couple of questions on our side.
6 MS. KORNER: We're working on the basis that the next witness will
7 not start before the first break.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Thank you.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: See you tomorrow.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 29th day of
13 July 2003, at 9.00 a.m.