1 Friday, 10 October 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- On resuming at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. May we have the appearances, please,
11 starting with the Prosecution.
12 MR. OLMSTED: Good morning, Your Honours. Matthew Olmsted and
13 Thomas Laugel for the Prosecution.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
15 For the Defence, Mr. Zivanovic.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
17 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
19 The record should reflect that we sit pursuant to Rule 15 bis,
20 Judge Mindua being absent.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
23 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 WITNESS: VOJIN SUSA [Resumed]
25 [Witness answered through interpretation]
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Olmsted: [Continued]
2 Q. Mr. Susa, the usher is going to hand back to you your two written
4 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could have 1D2318, tab 261, back on the
5 screen, please.
6 Q. Mr. Susa, yesterday you testified that it was Miroslav Vasic who
7 read back to you in Serbian your January 1998 statement; correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. If you could take a look at your January 1998 statement, I want
10 to draw your attention to the last page of that statement where you'll
11 find a certification by the interpreter employed by the ICTY and approved
12 by the ICTY Registry certifying that she "orally translated the above
13 statement from English language to Serbian language in the presence of
14 Vojin Susa (and all other persons indicated on the first page of this
15 statement) who appeared to have heard and understood my translation of
16 this Statement."
17 Then we see under item 4, the interpreter certifies that:
18 "Vojin Susa has acknowledged that the facts and matters set out
19 in his Statement, as translated by me, are true to the best of his
20 knowledge and recollection ..."
21 And then we can see on the original that the interpreter signed
22 the certification and dated it.
23 Mr. Susa, it was the ICTY interpreter who read to you this
24 statement in the Serbian language, wasn't it?
25 A. No. Successively, as the conversation went on, she interpreted
1 things to me. At the end she did not take any document, written, from
2 beginning to end, to read it out to me again. I confirm hereby that
3 during the taking of the interview she interpreted everything to me
4 correctly. At that time I wasn't able to know it.
5 Q. But this certification doesn't pertain to the interview. It
6 pertains to the written statement, Mr. Susa. Is it your position that
7 what is certified here is incorrect?
8 A. To some extent, at the end of the day, it's not correct. This
9 statement that I read the statement in Serbian and confirmed that it's
10 correct is not true. The interpreter did not have a text in front of her
11 to read back to me.
12 Q. And just to confirm, we see in the first page that a
13 representative of the Office of the Prosecution, Mr. Stefan Waespi was
14 also present when your statement was read back to you.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, sorry for my intervention, but I didn't
16 see that Stefan Waespi was present when the statement was read back to
17 the witness. I cannot see it in the statement.
18 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, it's on the first page. It lists all
19 persons present, and it specifies when that person was present only on
20 one of the days. And we see that Stefan Waespi is listed as a last name.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I did not object -- [Microphone not activated] I
23 did not object because Stefan Waespi was not present to do interview but
24 to read back the statement to the witness. It was not in the statement.
25 Or I cannot see the reference about it.
1 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I don't believe that's a valid
2 objection. I can put to this witness that Mr. Waespi was present when
3 the statement was read back to him, and that is what we believe was
4 indicated on the front page of this statement.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: You may proceed.
6 MR. OLMSTED:
7 Q. Mr. Susa, Mr. Waespi was also present when your statement was
8 read back to you, wasn't he?
9 A. I contend that this statement was not read back to me. I cannot
10 tell you who was in the room at that moment. There were several people.
11 I don't know Mr. Waespi. He must be one of the investigators of the OTP.
12 Q. The person who interviewed you for the statement, that person was
13 there when you signed the statement after it was read back to you?
14 A. It was a long time ago. I cannot really tell you who was there
15 when the end of the statement was put to me. But I repeat emphatically,
16 the entire statement in English was not read back to me. As I was
17 talking, everything was interpreted, both my words and what people said
18 to me.
19 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have P2518, this is tab 1, on the
21 Q. Mr. Susa, I'm now going to return to the SFRY Law on Military
23 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could turn to page 2.
24 Q. I want to draw your attention again to Article 9, which we were
25 talking about at the end of the day yesterday. And you'll recall that
1 you testified that a member of the Territorial Defence could possibly
2 qualify as military personnel under this Article 9 as a civilian carrying
3 out specific military duties.
4 Now, first of all, I agree with you that a member of the
5 Territorial Defence was a civilian under SFRY laws regulating the
6 military, but would you allow for the possibility that "specific military
7 duties" refers to civilians who are under a fixed-term contract to
8 perform certain duties for the military, such as a barber or an auto
10 A. Yesterday you noted quite correctly that I am no expert for this
11 Law on the Army. I encountered it only rarely, perhaps when I was taking
12 an exam at law school. You're asking me now to interpret legal
13 provisions that I am not familiar with. Then allow me to say that a much
14 broader range of people are covered by this provision, not only the
15 barber, the baker, and such in the army. They are not the military. I
16 believe they are commonly referred to as civilians serving in the army,
17 in the JNA.
18 Q. The SBWS Territorial Defence, which you described, I believe,
19 yesterday or the day before, as a disjointed village guard system, was
20 not part of the SFRY armed forces and that is why the SBWS Grand National
21 Assembly issued its 9 October 1991 decision seeking to place the
22 Territorial Defence within the SFRY armed forces; isn't that correct?
23 A. That's correct. You mentioned several stages. At the outset,
24 indeed, we had only village guards. Those village guards, with the
25 arrival of Radovan Stojicic, Badza, were integrated, united into the
1 Territorial Defence of SBWS. That Territorial Defence was later
2 resubordinated to JNA units.
3 Q. You testified -- well, you just mentioned Radovan Stojicic. He
4 was a member of the Serbian MUP. He wasn't a member of the army. Isn't
5 that correct?
6 A. Yes, but at that moment, at that stage, there were intertwined
7 jurisdictions that we didn't know. We didn't know what arrangements were
8 made between the MUP and the army as to what they would be doing on the
9 ground. We accepted them as forces that came from the Socialist Federal
10 Republic of Yugoslavia.
11 Q. And I take it from your last answer that you never inquired about
12 this issue, about jurisdiction, with either the military or the police?
13 You just assumed that one of them had jurisdiction?
14 A. We knew that both of them have jurisdiction, but we didn't know
15 how their competencies were divided.
16 Q. Did you ever discuss the issue of jurisdiction with the Serbian
17 MUP or the JNA command?
18 A. We believed we were not qualified for that and there was no need
19 for that because we felt, still, and it was indeed so, in fact, as a part
20 of the territory of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
21 MR. OLMSTED: Let's turn to page 2 of this law.
22 Q. And, Mr. Susa, I appreciate what you said about not being an
23 expert on military law, but I'll try to keep my questions general so that
24 you'll be able to follow along. I want you to look at Article 13 which
25 enumerates the instances when the military courts exercise jurisdiction
1 over civilians and other persons who do not fall within the definition of
2 military personnel. And if you look at the crimes listed under
3 paragraph 1, we see ten on this page, these crimes were either crimes
4 against the state or crimes against the military under chapters 15 and
5 chapters 20 of the SFRY criminal code; correct?
6 A. I allow for that possibility. I can now not speak to the exact
7 meaning of every law. I cannot reproduce it correctly now. I would have
8 to refresh my memory. It's mainly because this law has not been in force
9 for a long time.
10 Q. I understand that. And we have the SFRY criminal code into
11 evidence, and I won't turn to that for now but I'll accept your answer.
12 Now, under this law, the military courts had exclusive jurisdiction over
13 these crimes regardless of whether they are committed by civilian or
14 military personnel; correct?
15 A. I would think so.
16 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could turn to page 3.
17 Q. The remaining paragraphs of Article 13 describe other
18 circumstances in which the military courts exercised jurisdiction over
19 persons who are not military personnel. And I want to draw your
20 attention in particular to the last paragraph, paragraph 4, of
21 Article 13, which gives the military courts jurisdiction over prisoners
22 of war for war crimes under chapter 16 of the SFRY criminal code. In the
23 context of the conflict in the SBWS, this meant that Croat prisoners of
24 war fell within the exclusive jurisdiction of the military courts;
1 A. Correct.
2 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could look at Article 15, which I think
3 is still on the same page but a little lower.
4 Q. We see that if a serviceman and a civilian commit a criminal
5 offence as co-perpetrators or as accomplices and if the civilian's crimes
6 fall within the jurisdiction of a regular court, that regular court also
7 tries the serviceman, the exception being crimes falling under
8 paragraph 4 relating to prisoners of war.
9 Mr. Susa, this meant that the civilian courts had jurisdiction
10 over crimes committed jointly by civilian and military personnel which
11 did not fall within Article 13; isn't that correct?
12 A. I conclude from Article 15, paragraph 1, that that could be so.
13 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could look at Article 16.
14 Q. If the accused's military status has ceased by the day of the
15 confirmation of the indictment and if the criminal offence did not fall
16 under Article 13, paragraphs 1 and 2, the regular court had jurisdiction
17 over the case, and this meant that non-Article 13 crimes committed by a
18 soldier who ceased to be a member of the army before he was indicted fell
19 within the competency of the civilian courts; correct?
20 A. Yes, and jurisdiction fell to the court that instigated the
21 proceedings. It had to declare itself competent.
22 Q. Now, you testified yesterday that the SBWS judiciary's
23 jurisdiction over crimes was narrowed down considerably because the army
24 had powers, according to legislation, that governed immediate threat of
25 war. What were the laws you were referring to?
1 A. First of all, I meant this law and special provisions relating to
2 the state of imminent threat of war, which is almost the same as the
3 state of war. I believe in that situation, all these provisions have a
4 different meaning.
5 Q. Well, now I've looked through this legislation and I haven't seen
6 any provisions regarding expansion of the jurisdiction under immediate
7 threat of war. Can you point to any other legislation that governs or
8 expands the military court's jurisdiction in the case of immediate threat
9 of war?
10 A. No, at this moment I don't know anything about the operation of
11 such laws. All I know that all crimes that were perpetrated on the
12 ground were handled by military prosecutors and military courts. If
13 there was a problem, they were duty-bound to declare themselves not
14 competent and cede the cases to us, but they didn't do that. They may
15 have thought that we were still not organised well enough. That's a
17 Q. Let's look at a few examples of the application of this SFRY
18 Law on Military Courts.
19 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have on the screen 65 ter 6677, this is
20 tab 165.
21 Q. And I believe you had a chance to look at this document during
22 proofing. It is a 11 June 1992 motion from the military investigative
23 judge to the Belgrade military court, and the motion pertains to the case
24 against Dusan Boljevic and Jagoda Boljevic which you mentioned yesterday
25 during your testimony. Now, you were aware that Dusan Boljevic was a
1 member of the Baranja TO when he committed war crimes against Croat
2 civilians; correct?
3 A. No, I was not aware of that and it was not my duty to know that.
4 It was up to the agencies that handled specific actions regarding these
6 Q. You mentioned in your 2014 statement that the Beli Manastir SUP
7 submitted a criminal report against Boljevic to the military prosecutor;
8 is that correct?
9 A. Correct. That's what happened.
10 Q. And the civilian police had the obligation, didn't they, to
11 report crimes regardless of whether they believed the perpetrator was a
12 civilian or a military personnel; correct?
13 A. In this case that's what they did. Of course, they had to
14 investigate the crime scene and collect evidence about the possible
16 Q. And that wasn't quite my question. My question is: It was their
17 duty, their obligation, if they learned about a crime, they have to
18 report it to the appropriate authorities; correct?
19 A. Yes, yes. That's what I confirmed.
20 Q. Now, on paragraph 1, we see that the military court classified
21 Mr. Boljevic as a civilian. And if we look at paragraph 2, the
22 investigative judge notes that prior -- notes the prior dismissal of the
23 charge of theft of military equipment. Now, that would have been a crime
24 against the military which would have fallen under Article 13 of the
25 Law on Military Courts; correct?
1 A. I must warn you that this is the final document. The beginning
2 of the case against the Boljevics was for a much more serious crime; and
3 that is to say, multiple murder. This passage is not reflective of the
4 entirety. In the investigation, he was charged with much more serious
5 crimes. If it had not been that way ...
6 Q. And I'll get to that. Thank you, Mr. Susa. But just focusing on
7 this more minor crime of theft of military equipment, that was a crime
8 against the military and therefore the military courts had exclusive
9 jurisdiction over that; correct?
10 A. Over this? Yes.
11 Q. Then if we continue in the second paragraph, the investigative
12 judge concludes that because the remaining charges - and those charges
13 would have included, as you were suggesting, the war crimes charges, the
14 murder charges - do not belong to the group of criminal offences that
15 fall under the jurisdiction of the military court regarding civilians,
16 which are stated in Article 13 of the Law on Military Courts. And based
17 on that, he concludes that the military court no longer has jurisdiction
18 over this case. That was a correct application of the law we looked at,
19 isn't it, Mr. Susa?
20 A. It would be correct even if it had been applied much earlier, not
21 11 June 1992, when they returned this case to us but on a grounds that,
22 according to my opinion, was not lawful. They should have taken over
23 this case in order to investigate much more serious crimes. In any case,
24 we accepted this case and we tried Boljevic. We did not cause any
25 conflict of jurisdiction.
1 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted to evidence.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 6677 will be Exhibit P3275.
4 MR. OLMSTED: If we could now have on the screen 65 ter 6679,
5 this is tab 167.
6 Q. And again, Mr. Susa, you had an opportunity to look at this
7 during proofing. This is a 20 April 1992 decision by the Belgrade
8 military court. Now, we can see that this decision was issued a month
9 before the immediate threat of war was terminated in the SFRY; isn't that
11 A. Yes, that is correct.
12 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could look at the first paragraph and
13 then into the second paragraph.
14 Q. We see that the decision dismisses the case against
15 Mile Stevanovic and Dragan Jocevic [phoen] for the crimes of aggravated
16 theft and murder committed while members of the volunteer detachment
17 Leva Supoderica from TO Vukovar. And they dismiss it based on lack of
18 subject matter jurisdiction.
19 First of all, were you aware of this case?
20 A. No, as you can see, he ended up in the -- or this ended up in the
21 district court in Belgrade via the military investigative organs.
22 Q. But I understand that you are not familiar with this particular
24 A. No.
25 MR. OLMSTED: Now, if we look at page 2.
1 Q. And I think for you it's paragraphs 3 and 4. We see the reasons
2 provided for the dismissal is that the status of Stevanovic, as a
3 serviceman, was terminated before the indictment became legally valid,
4 and because the criminal offence did not fall within Article 13, the
5 court lacked jurisdiction over him under Article 16 of the Law on
6 Military Courts. Now, we can also see with regard to the other accused,
7 because at least one of the co-perpetrators was not military personnel,
8 the case was terminated under Article 15 of the Law on Military Courts.
9 Mr. Susa, this is a correct application of Articles 15 and 16 of
10 the Law on Military Courts that we just looked at a moment ago, isn't it?
11 A. I would really need to look at this in more detail but I don't
12 want to insist because of the time. Let us say that this is correct but
13 perhaps there are some details of dispute in all of this. I think that
14 at the time of the commission of the crime, the person had the status of
15 a military serviceman. Once the status was terminated, I cannot really
16 say whether he immediately fell under the jurisdiction of the civilian
17 authorities. In order to say anything about that, I would really need to
18 look at the law. In any event, this case was not under our jurisdiction,
19 before or after, and I really don't know anything more about the case.
20 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, we tender this document into
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 6679 will be Exhibit P3276.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
25 MR. OLMSTED: Let us look at one more of these decisions,
1 65 ter 6680, this is tab 168.
2 Q. And, sir, you may be familiar with this particular case because,
3 as I understand it, it did make its way back to the SBWS courts or
4 RSK courts. This is a 22 May 1992 letter from the Belgrade military
5 court regarding the case against Risto Buha and others who were members
6 of the Jankovci Territorial Defence. Were you familiar with this case
7 back in 1992?
8 A. Yes, I am aware of the whole event. It's particularly painful to
9 me. I'm also familiar with the case.
10 Q. Now, the president of the military court in Belgrade informs the
11 SBWS court in Vukovar that it had determined that it lacked subject
12 matter jurisdiction in this case on 31 March 1992. Now, this is nearly
13 two months before the immediate threat of war was rendered null and void
14 in SFRY; isn't that correct?
15 A. This is just a decision on the 31 March 1992 and the date of the
16 document is the 22nd of May, 1992. The 31st of March, 1992, is the final
17 date when the decision goes into effect under number 218/92. I am aware
18 of the case. It's painful because it is about the death or killing of
19 friends of mine.
20 Q. You're aware that Risto Buha and the other perpetrators in this
21 case were acquitted and acquitted by the RSK courts?
22 A. I must say that I was tragically surprised when I saw that while
23 preparing for this case, this testimony, and when I saw why this
24 happened. I actually didn't know anything about this until one or two
25 months ago.
1 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 6680 will be Exhibit P3277.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
5 MR. OLMSTED:
6 Q. Now, the decisions we've just looked at demonstrate that the end
7 of the state of imminent threat of war in SFRY had no impact on the
8 jurisdiction of the military courts. Rather, what did have an impact was
9 whether the perpetrator was a member of the JNA at the time of the
10 offence as well as at the time of the indictment; isn't that correct?
11 A. This is only true to an extent. A large number of cases were
12 handed over only after the imminent threat of war was rendered null and
13 void. You cited examples which indicate that this was done in this
14 manner as well, but that wasn't the rule.
15 MR. OLMSTED: Let us look at 65 ter 6672. This is tab 163.
16 Q. This is a bit difficult to read, Mr. Susa, but I'll try to assist
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What this is is a collection of case file documents in a case
20 against Momcilo Vekic. Do you know who Momcilo Vekic was?
21 A. No. No, I don't know the person.
22 Q. Now, pages 1 and 2 are a 10 March 1992 criminal report filed by
23 the Vukovar SUP.
24 MR. OLMSTED: Turn to the next page.
25 Q. And the case involved the theft of a large quantity of corn from
1 the Ludvinci village in February 1992. Ludvinci is near Bobota, isn't
2 that correct?
3 A. I really couldn't say. I don't really know that area very well.
4 Maybe it's a small hamlet.
5 MR. OLMSTED: And if we turn to page -- the next page, page 3 in
6 the English -- actually, if we could stay on page 2 for the original.
7 Page 3 for the English version.
8 Q. We can see that Momcilo Vekic was commander of the TO staff in
9 Ludvinci. Do you see that?
10 A. Excuse me just for one moment, please. Could you please just
11 show me which paragraph that was? That would make it easier for me to
12 find it.
13 Q. Yes. Let me see if I can help you. I don't -- I have it marked
14 in the English.
15 A. Would that not be among the general information on the first
17 Q. No, no, it's a -- thank you for the suggestion, but it's --
18 it's -- it would be -- is it the last paragraph or the penultimate
19 paragraph on this page? Actually -- yes, the last paragraph at the very
20 bottom. It says:
21 "Since the reported person, Momcilo Vekic, is the commander of
22 the TO staff in Ludvinci ..."
23 And it continues from there. Do you see that?
24 A. Yes, yes. Now I see it. But it's -- all right. Very well. I
25 have read it, more or less.
1 MR. OLMSTED: If we could turn to page 16 now in both the
2 original and English.
3 Q. We see that the RSK prosecutor dismissed this case in April 1992.
4 Now, he's not dismissing it due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction
5 but because the accused harvested the corn with the knowledge and
6 approval of the TO staff. Do you see that?
7 A. I don't see it but I believe that what you have read is true, so
8 there is no need for me to look at it. I do see the statement of reasons
9 and the part where it says that the report is being dismissed. And even
10 though it's illegible, I accept that what you read is correct. It's
11 very, very difficult to read the text.
12 Q. Yes, and I apologise for that. But the point being is this is an
13 instance where the SBWS police and the judiciary investigated and
14 initiated proceedings against a commander of a local TO unit; isn't that
16 A. Yes, correct.
17 MR. OLMSTED: May this be admitted into evidence, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 6672 will be Exhibit P3278.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
21 MR. OLMSTED:
22 Q. Mr. Susa, it was the case, wasn't it, that with only a few
23 exceptions, the JNA military courts did not initiate prosecutions of
24 local Serbs in SBWS for crimes committed against non-Serb civilians or
25 hors de combat?
1 A. That is not correct. That assertion is a very general one and it
2 does not correspond to the truth. Perhaps sometimes it happened, but
3 according to what I know, in most cases this does not apply.
4 Q. Can you give us an estimate of how many cases the military courts
5 pursued against Serb perpetrators from SBWS for crimes committed against
6 non-Serbs? Can you give us your figure on that?
7 A. Well, no, that would just be a very approximate generalisation.
8 But this information would have been in the possession of officials who
9 prosecuted these crimes. They would have all of those statistics and the
10 precise figures. We in the ministry did not deal with things like that.
11 I could give you a rough estimate, but it would just be guessing and I
12 don't want to make up any data that I'm not sure of.
13 Q. Fair enough. But let me ask you this: We've talked about the
14 Boljevic case and we've talked about the Buha case. Can you identify any
15 other cases of Serb perpetrators from the SBWS who committed crimes
16 against non-Serbs in the SBWS that were pursued by the military court?
17 And by "pursued," I mean they actually prosecuted it.
18 A. You think that originally they were under the jurisdiction of the
19 military court and then later they were returned to us?
20 Q. Yes. You -- you are representing to us that a large number of
21 these cases came to the RSK judiciary sometime in the early summer of
22 1992, and I'm asking you: Can you identify any other cases other than
23 the Buha case and the Boljevic case?
24 A. I think you misunderstood partially what I said. When I said a
25 large number of cases were returned to us, I did not say that that was a
1 large number of cases with Serbs committing crimes against ethnic Croats.
2 I simply spoke about a large number of cases. In that structure, I again
3 note I don't know how many cases were of this nature. It's something
4 that I didn't need to know. This is something that officials of basic,
5 district, and regional courts would know.
6 Q. But you were aware that the JNA wasn't performing its law
7 enforcement duties properly and in fact JNA officers were engaged in
8 looting and, I believe you testified yesterday, in the expulsion of
9 non-Serbs; correct?
10 A. You can speak about this in general terms, but I don't have
11 specific evidence about the conduct of individuals. That is something
12 that I could not have had. I am just talking about the results of the
13 work of certain organs which reported their work through reports, but I
14 don't have the specific reports to be able to give my comments on them.
15 Yes, there were cases in the field when everybody, including JNA
16 officers, committed abuses; specifically, when I come to that or I can
17 say that already now, I can give you those examples. Unfortunately,
18 those cases, those examples were never prosecuted.
19 Q. And, Mr. Susa, that's precisely my point. You were aware that
20 the JNA itself was -- members of the JNA itself were committed the crimes
21 and yet they weren't being prosecuted.
22 A. I was not talking about crimes. I was talking about abuses,
23 misdemeanors. First of all, talking about Ilok where a large number of
24 material goods were exported. There was no evidence there of any crimes
25 being committed. Perhaps this was transferred to another location under
1 the control of some other organs. Crimes and this, in my view, are
2 completely different things.
3 Q. But you'll agree that expulsions are serious crimes?
4 A. Yes, expulsions are a serious crime. Yes.
5 Q. You testified earlier this week that you attended a meeting in
6 Dalj at the town library, and I think you mentioned it was in August of
7 1991. That meeting was held on the 18th of August, 1991; correct?
8 A. It was an informal meeting. It was not an official meeting, but
9 yes, that would be the correct day.
10 Q. And this town library where the meeting was held, that was
11 Goran Hadzic's government office in Dalj; wasn't it?
12 A. No. At that point in time, we didn't actually have any
13 government offices. The government hadn't even been formed then.
14 Q. But that -- that building became Mr. Hadzic's office in Dalj,
15 didn't it?
16 A. I did not attend any government meetings at that office in Dalj.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It's asked and answered.
18 MR. OLMSTED: Sorry, Mr. Zivanovic, I did not hear what you
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: On the previous question, "And this town library
21 where the meeting was held, that was Goran Hadzic's government office in
23 Answer: "No."
24 "But that building became Mr. Hadzic's office in Dalj, didn't
1 MR. OLMSTED: I don't understand. But anyway, I'll move on.
2 Q. Now, at this informal meeting, Mr. Hadzic appointed you minister
3 of justice as well as appointed Slavko Dokmanovic and others present to
4 their posts in what would become the future government; correct?
5 A. No, not me. Definitely not. What was discussed at the meeting
6 was who in future would be able to perform any function. The function of
7 Slavko Dokmanovic on that day was very controversial. A large number of
8 people were against him because of his conduct in Vukovar when he was the
9 mayor. Here we were just dealing with different matters and how and
10 whether we would be working in certain ways in the future, but nobody was
11 appointed to any posts.
12 Q. If you could take a look at your January 1998 statement, and if
13 you could turn to paragraph 12 of that statement.
14 MR. OLMSTED: In the English it's on page 5, I don't know what it
15 is on the Serbian version. But it's paragraph 12.
16 Q. The first sentence reads:
17 "Mr. Dokmanovic was also appointed with me. I think it was on
18 18 August 1991 in Dalj."
19 That's correct, isn't it?
20 A. Yes, but I would just like to note here that you could not
21 present this quite like this time-wise. You can treat it however you
22 want but we were appointed as members of the government at the assembly.
23 These were just things that later did not have to materialise, and then
24 later we did not even function as a government until after the assembly
1 Q. So your position is until the 25th of September, 1991, there was
2 in effect no government in SBWS?
3 A. That is absolutely clear. It could not have existed until it was
4 confirmed at the assembly. The assembly elects the government.
5 Q. Now besides appointments, what else was discussed at this
6 18 August meeting?
7 A. The meeting of the 18th of August did not function in the way
8 that somebody would speak and everybody else would listen to them. There
9 was a large number of people there who were talking in groups, precisely
10 because they were preparing for something that was waiting for them in
11 the future. I spent the entire meeting in talks with judges from
12 Vukovar, Mr. Vojnovic, Stankovic, perhaps Mr. Jovan Ajdukovic was there
13 as well. We were standing in a corner and we were talking about our own
14 tasks that were ahead of us. There was a group over there among whom I
15 saw Radovan Stojicic, Badza. Later I found out who that was. I think
16 that Mr. Hadzic was in some sort of side room and he was also talking
17 with somebody. At no point during that meeting nothing happened that
18 would, I repeat, mean that everybody was listening to a single speaker.
19 Q. You testified that prior to this meeting, that you had met
20 Goran Hadzic once at the home foundation in Belgrade.
21 A. That is correct, yes. That is correct.
22 Q. Was that the association of Serbs from Croatia?
23 A. Yes. That is officially the home association of Serbs, and it
24 is -- it's based in Belgrade. And emigres from all parts of the world
25 would come to that association.
1 Q. And at that time who was the head of that association?
2 A. Mr. Brana Crncevic.
3 Q. And can you tell us, was this meeting in July 1991 or this
4 gathering that you saw Mr. Hadzic at?
5 A. It was not really a meeting. We just saw each other in passing.
6 He didn't come because of me and I wasn't there because of him.
7 Q. Was it in July?
8 A. It's possible. I cannot really be certain.
9 Q. In paragraph 26 of your 2014 statement, you state that at the
10 invitation of Milos Vojnovic, you became engaged in the establishment of
11 the civilian government in SBWS under Serbian control. You further state
12 that several other colleagues joined you "with whom we had daily
13 meetings." This is -- sir, this is your 2014 statement.
14 A. Could you repeat the paragraph number, please.
15 Q. Certainly. It's paragraph 26. And you state again, I'll repeat,
16 that at the invitation of Milos Vojnovic, you became engaged in the
17 establishment of the civilian government in SBWS under Serbian control,
18 and you further state that several other colleagues joined you with whom
19 you had daily meetings.
20 And my first question to you is: When did these daily meetings
21 take place?
22 A. Back since the beginning of July -- no, in fact, in July 1991, I
23 was still in Vinkovci. It should be sometime in the beginning of August
24 when they visited me in the apartment where I was recovering.
25 Q. And who participated in these daily meetings?
1 A. They were not daily meetings. They would just come to discuss
2 our future work in the Ministry of Justice. Mr. Kovacevic,
3 Jovan Ajdukovic. I'm not sure about Sremac. Maybe I mentioned him, too.
4 And I believe there were one or two colleagues whom I didn't know until
5 then. With these people whom I knew before, I remembered them.
6 Q. And at the end of paragraph it states that at one of these
7 meetings, which now you're saying weren't daily but nevertheless they
8 occurred, the attendees told you that Goran Hadzic, who had a mandate to
9 form the government, had great faith in you; is that correct?
10 A. Probably. We knew each other from before.
11 Q. Now, as SBWS minister of justice, you had one deputy minister and
12 three assistant ministers who reported to you; is that correct?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. Can you give us their names?
15 A. Jovan Ajdukovic, Sinisa Puskar, Vojo Ore. They were not the same
16 people all the time. They rotated. Nenad Stankovic. I can't remember
17 them all. There were a number of people within a short period.
18 Stevo Pulic got involved later as the man who enforced criminal
20 Q. I'll ask you to put your statement away for now, and I want to
21 turn your attention to L1.
22 MR. OLMSTED: This is tab 31. And this is the Official Gazette
23 for SBWS. And if we could turn to page 63 of the English, page 21 of the
25 Q. And I believe you testified that judges and prosecutors were
1 appointed by the SBWS Grand National Assembly in October of 1991, and we
2 see here a list of those who were appointed. With the exception of
3 Bela Bolsek [phoen] in Beli Manastir, they're all Serbs, aren't they?
4 A. Yes, they remained there.
5 Q. And this reflected the policy of both the SBWS and RSK
6 governments to appoint Serbs to positions within the judiciary, isn't
7 that the case?
8 A. No, that's not the case. We would have gladly taken advantage of
9 the knowledge of our colleagues who were Serbs [as interpreted], but
10 unfortunately there were none. One of my ministers later at the ministry
11 was a lady who was a Croat.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic. I see it as well.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, there is a problem in transcript with the
15 translation. In line -- in line third, page 25. It is said that:
16 "We would have gladly taken advantage of the knowledge of our
17 colleagues who were Serbs, but unfortunately" --
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: And the witness said?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Who were not Serbs.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. It's on the record now. Thank you.
21 MR. OLMSTED:
22 Q. You said that you had a minister who was a woman, Croat? What
23 was her official title?
24 A. She was my deputy in charge of administration. For a while she
25 was the secretary of the Ministry of Justice while she was in Ilok.
1 Q. Now, we can see from this decision that Milos Vojnovic was
2 appointed president of the SBWS Supreme Court based in Vukovar. Now, as
3 supreme court president, he supervised the work of the courts and he also
4 issued legal opinions to the courts; correct?
5 A. That's right.
6 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could turn to 1D1008. This is tab 232.
7 Q. We can see that he was also your assistant.
8 A. Yes, that's what I said. If you mean that because of the fact he
9 was made president of the district court his role in the ministry should
10 have been cancelled, we couldn't do that. We had a shortage of
11 personnel. And later he became exclusively president of the court.
12 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 1D1008 will be Exhibit P3279.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
16 MR. OLMSTED:
17 Q. Once the SBWS judiciary began functioning at the beginning of
18 November 1991, the focus of its work was on investigating and prosecuting
19 crimes committed by non-Serbs, wasn't it?
20 A. Quite the contrary. We focused very quickly on daily life and
21 the crimes in daily life were mostly committed by Serbs, and I would not
22 say that we had already established a system. Those were only the
23 beginning. We were still very far from being fully operative as the
24 Ministry of Justice.
25 MR. OLMSTED: Let us look at P3228.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Microphone not activated].
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Microphone, please.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: We have again a problem in the translation. The
5 witness did not say:
6 "We were still very far from being fully operative as the
7 Ministry of Justice."
8 He -- he used another term.
9 MR. OLMSTED:
10 Q. Mr. Susa, did you hear that? Could you correct, if necessary?
11 A. I didn't mean my ministry. I meant the judiciary system as a
13 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have P3228 on the screen. This is
14 tab 187.
15 Q. This is a 10 December 1991 memorandum from the district public
16 prosecute to the SBWS government. Mr. Cosic reports that the public
17 prosecutor's office started working effectively at the beginning of
18 November 1991, and he then writes:
19 "Presently, it is mostly working on identify and prosecuting
20 Ustasha criminals, the protection of property primarily in Vukovar but
21 also in the entire district. Today we have received over 70 criminal
22 reports and we have processed most of them. And it is therefore
23 realistic to expect that the first trials will open soon before the
24 courts of the Serbian District."
25 He then writes:
1 "As our work is not static and tied to one location ..."
2 And then he requests additional fuel and vehicles.
3 Now, first of all, the judiciary was carrying out investigations
4 and prosecutions in the entire district as reported by Mr. Trosic, wasn't
6 A. Yes, yes. They prosecuted in the entire territory of the
7 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. In fact, they acted upon the
8 criminal complaints filed by the prosecutor's office.
9 Q. And the judiciary was mostly working on identifying and
10 prosecuting Ustasha criminals because that was the priority advanced by
11 the SBWS government, wasn't it?
12 A. No, no. Definitely not. It was not any priority of the
13 government. But Trosic [Realtime transcript read in error "Cosic"] as
14 the district prosecutor could in a way direct the work of the
15 prosecutor's office. They did collect a lot of information about crimes
16 perpetrated, but there were no clear perpetrators. They had nothing to
17 do. It was a strategy of the prosecutor's office that I had nothing to
18 do with. They were doing it independently. But in operative daily
19 terms, proceedings were taken against Serbs and they were in detention.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, I will just say that the name, Mr. Cosic,
21 is not correct in the transcript. It is in line 22 of page 27 and in
22 line 6 of page 28.
23 MR. OLMSTED: That's correct, it's Mr. Trosic, we are talking
24 about, T-r-o-s-i-c.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again it's not good. It's
1 T-r-o-s-i-c, Trosic. Now it's good.
2 MR. OLMSTED:
3 Q. Yes, and please excuse my pronunciation.
4 MR. OLMSTED: If we could play a video now. This is
5 65 ter 4882.1. This is tab 113. And I believe the interpreters have the
6 transcript in both English and in B/C/S.
7 Okay. If we can begin.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] The Croatian Television ... echoing
10 Franjo Tudjman and the Croatian leadership's call to the Croatians to
11 return to the places they had left, is yet another attempt by Tudjman and
12 the Croatian leaders to show their well-known cynicism, meaning that they
13 want to let the European public know, actually, they want to reverse the
14 thesis about a people's exodus and depict the Croatians as the ones who
15 are being purged, when we, Serbians, know that it is not true. I want to
16 say that Franjo Tudjman's statement in his own personal affair -- is his
17 own personal affair, and that one cannot implement the Croatian
18 government and the Croatian authorities' jurisdiction in our territory.
19 We are a Serbian region, where the Serbians have explicitly chosen to
20 live in a single federal unit, a single federal community, together with
21 any other nation wishing to remain in Yugoslavia, and here we implement
22 our own regulations and laws, not the laws prescribed by the Croatian
24 "Do you have a record of how many and which specific Croatians
25 have compromised themselves?
1 "So far we have no records about this. However, we know that a
2 majority of the Croatians in our Serbian territories have compromised
3 themselves and have actively co-operated with the Ustashe, and we shall
4 try them for their crimes. Therefore, they can return, but they will be
5 put through a regular court procedure. However, there are substantial
6 numbers of those who have not compromised themselves. These are mostly
7 people who never even left these territories. They continue to live in
8 peace with their Serbian neighbours and other people."
9 MR. OLMSTED:
10 Q. Rade Leskovac, he was deputy SBWS minister of information and
11 he's the one giving this interview; correct?
12 A. Correct. I don't know if he was the deputy or an assistant of
13 Mr. Ilija Petrovic.
14 Q. And when asked about the number of Croats who had compromised
15 themselves, he responded that:
16 "... a majority of the Croatians in our Serbian territories have
17 compromised themselves and have actively co-operated with the Ustashe,
18 and we shall try them for their crimes."
19 That was the official position of the SBWS government, wasn't it?
20 A. I am not quite sure about that. I believe that is his personal
21 view. Whether it's a majority or a minority, we never made any official
22 declarations. Nobody could have known it at the time.
23 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the video will be Exhibit P3280
1 [Realtime transcript read in error "P2380"].
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
3 MR. OLMSTED: If we may have on the screen 1D846. This is
4 tab 190.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, I don't know -- ah, no. I don't know if
6 the number of exhibit is correctly transcribed.
7 THE REGISTRAR: The number should be P3280. Thank you to
9 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
10 Q. What we have in front of us, Mr. Susa, is a 21 November 1991
11 memorandum from the district public prosecutor, again Mr. Trosic, to the
12 SBWS Ministry of Interior and all SBWS courts. And Mr. Trosic requests
13 all case files, documents, and evidence testifying to the genocide
14 against the Serbian people and instructing that all accused and witnesses
15 be questioned with regard to the genocide against the Serbian people
16 without fail. Now, here again this reflects the priority of the
17 judiciary was to prosecute non-Serbs for crimes against Serbs; correct?
18 A. This doesn't come even close to prosecutions yet. It was one of
19 the segments of the prosecutor's office. Certainly not the first thing
20 on the list and not the decisive one.
21 Q. But it's clear from this letter it was a priority of the
22 judiciary, wasn't it?
23 A. From this letter it's evident that it's one of the tasks of this
24 body, but I can't see from a single sentence that it's a priority. It's
25 certainly one of the affairs they're dealing with.
1 Q. The SBWS and RSK courts only charged non-Serbs with the crime of
2 genocide; isn't that correct?
3 A. I don't know we issued any indictments for genocide. I believe
4 we issued more indictments against Serbs for crimes against Croats than
5 vice versa. Maybe this indictment is correct [as interpreted]. We'll
6 have to check that with the competent bodies. But you cannot say in any
7 case that we only indicted Croats for crimes against Serbs.
8 Q. That wasn't my question and perhaps it wasn't translated
9 properly. My question is with regard to the crime of genocide. And with
10 regard to the crime of genocide, only non-Serbs were investigated or
11 prosecuted for that particular crime. Serbs were never prosecuted for
12 genocide by the SBWS or RSK courts; isn't that correct?
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. Again, I don't know if the witness -- if
15 it is correct. I didn't listen that -- it is in line 17:
16 "Maybe this indictment is correct."
17 I don't know what -- I don't believe that the witness said it and
18 I don't know what indictment is correct.
19 MR. OLMSTED: Well, Your Honours, I'm re-asking my question
20 because he really didn't answer it in the first case. And so if I could
21 just ask again.
22 Q. Mr. Susa, I asked my question to you a second time and it -- I'm
23 only referring to the crime of genocide.
24 A. I understand. Speaking of the crime of genocide, I don't believe
25 there was a single investigation for that crime. You will correct me if
1 I'm wrong.
2 Q. Well, we'll come back to that. Now, in -- you mentioned in
3 paragraph 153 of your 2014 statement - and you don't need to look at it
4 unless you need to refresh your memory - but you state that the first war
5 crimes trial in RSK was conducted in the Beli Manastir court against
6 Dusan Boljevic. That's correct, isn't it?
7 A. I believe so. Maybe there was something before that, but I know
8 about this one.
9 Q. And he was convicted in 1995; correct?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. And you're not able to name a number -- another Serb who was
12 prosecuted for war crimes by the SBWS or RSK courts, are you?
13 A. If I had worked on it, I would have that information. Nobody
14 told me that it was important. But I remembered this case because it's
15 the most drastic one, the most impressive one. I am not qualified,
16 really, to make a judgement.
17 Q. You testified this week that the RSK criminal code abolished the
18 death penalty for general crimes. However, under the SFRY criminal code,
19 which continued to apply in the RSK, genocide and war crimes remained
20 punishable by death; isn't that correct?
21 A. Unfortunately, we do not have any powers to change federal laws.
22 We were only qualified to change our laws and that's what we did.
23 Q. The RSK courts continued to apply the SFRY criminal code well
24 into 1992, 1993, until the SFRY criminal code itself was repealed
25 subsequently; isn't that correct?
1 A. I don't know whether you know how systems in the SFRY operated.
2 Every republic had its own criminal code, and common crimes were covered
3 by the federal law. The federal law did not govern special crimes. It
4 was done by republican laws. The federal law contained the Federal Law
5 on Criminal Procedure. That was common to all.
6 Q. But my question was very specific: The RSK courts continued to
7 apply the SFRY criminal code in 1992 and 1993; correct?
8 A. No. In the procedural aspect they applied the Law on
9 Criminal Procedure. As for specific qualifications of crimes and
10 sanctions, they applied the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia and
11 that was the first law that we changed and replaced by our own law.
12 MR. OLMSTED: Let's have 1D1029 on the screen. This is
13 tab 141 -- I'm sorry, 241. And I think I could finish this document
14 before the break. And if we could turn to page 2, the first page is just
15 a cover letter or a file cover.
16 Q. And we see this is an 11 December 1991 memorandum from the
17 district prosecutor Trosic to investigating judge of the Vukovar lower
18 court. And in this, Mr. Trosic notes that the JNA identification
19 commission filed a number of criminal reports against Ustasha criminals
20 for the crime of genocide against the Serbian people and requests the
21 report -- the court urgently to start interviewing witnesses regarding
22 these crimes.
23 Mr. Susa, this is yet another example of the SBWS judiciary
24 implementing the priority of investigating war crimes committed against
25 the Serb population; isn't that correct?
1 A. No, this is a tragic proof that victims of Croat crimes had
2 already been identified, so it needed urgent action as soon as possible
3 in order to be able to obtain evidence. So here we already have specific
5 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted to evidence.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 1D1029 will be Exhibit P3281.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
9 MR. OLMSTED: And, I think, Your Honours --
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Is it an appropriate time, Mr. Olmsted?
11 MR. OLMSTED: This would be an appropriate time. Thank you.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 Mr. Susa, we take our first break, 30 minutes. We'll be back at
14 11.00. Court adjourned.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Olmsted.
20 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Mr. Susa, before the break we were talking about genocide
22 investigations, and I would like to show you a couple examples of such
23 investigations that the SBWS judiciary conducted in late 1991 and early
25 MR. OLMSTED: If we could 1D977 on the screen. This is tab 220.
1 Q. This is a 9 December 1991 request to open an investigation, and
2 the case is against Josip Horvat and two other Croats of -- charging them
3 with committing genocide against a number of Serbs in September and
4 October 1991 in Luzac. Now, this is an example of an investigation that
5 was conducted into alleged charge of genocide against Serb victims, isn't
6 it correct?
7 A. Could you please show me the second page.
8 Q. Certainly.
9 A. The following page, please.
10 Q. Certainly.
11 A. Yes, this is an investigation for the crime of genocide.
12 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could pull up 1D1102. This is tab 251.
13 Q. We see that this is a recommendation for investigation issued by
14 the Vukovar district public prosecutor's office to the Vukovar lower
15 court. And under item 3 -- or first I should say this relates to the
16 same case that we were looking at a moment ago. And under item 3, it
18 "Issue a warrant for the arrest for the first accused,
19 Josip Horvat, at the Collection Centre in Sremska Mitrovica and take him
20 into custody to the Vukovar Court with temporary seat in Dalj."
21 Mr. Horvat was one of the Sremska Mitrovica KP Dom detainees,
22 wasn't he?
23 A. I don't know that. It's quite possible, but I don't know that.
24 Q. You testified regarding this list of 20 to 30 Croats who were
25 suspected of committing war crimes that the investigative judge has had
1 with them when they went to Sremska Mitrovica prison was -- you can't say
2 that his name was on that list?
3 A. I don't know any of the names from the list, and I don't know if
4 I was ever shown this. These people were people I really didn't know at
6 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may we tender into evidence 1D977 and
7 this 1D1102.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 1D977 will be Exhibit P3282. And
10 1D1102 will be Exhibit P3283.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you.
13 If we could have on the screen 1D999. This is tab 224.
14 Q. And this is a 13 January 1992 criminal report, which was issued
15 by the district public prosecutor's office in Vukovar. And it charges
16 Nikola Ivankovic and four other Croats with committing genocide in
17 December 1991 in Paulin Dvor against 16 Serbs and a Hungarian.
18 Mr. Susa, this is another example of a war crimes case that was
19 prosecuted by the SBWS courts; correct?
20 A. Evidently.
21 MR. OLMSTED: May this be admitted into evidence.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 1D999 will be Exhibit P3284.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
25 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have on the screen P3262. This is
1 tab 256.
2 Q. And, Mr. Susa, what's going to appear on the screen is your
3 27 November 1991 letter that you wrote to the commander of the
4 1st Military District which you testified about earlier this week. And
5 if you could take a look at the third paragraph, you write, with regard
6 to the Croat prisoners of war held at Sremska Mitrovica KP Dom:
7 "It is certain that in subsequent legal proceedings all persons
8 who committed crimes against the armed forces will be under the
9 jurisdiction of the military courts."
10 Now that, Mr. Susa, is consistent with Article 13 of the Law on
11 Military Courts that we looked at at the beginning of today as crimes
12 against the armed forces falling under chapter 20 within the SFRY
13 criminal code were within the exclusive jurisdiction of the military
14 courts; correct?
15 A. That is correct, yes.
16 Q. You then state:
17 "But it is equally certain that persons who have committed crimes
18 against the civilian population will have to be tried by the civilian
19 courts that have subject matter and territorial jurisdiction, namely the
20 ones that already exist and function in the Serbian District."
21 It was your position and the position of the SBWS government that
22 Croat prisoners of war from Vukovar and elsewhere who allegedly committed
23 war crimes against the civilian population had to be tried in the SBWS by
24 the SBWS courts; correct?
25 A. That was my position. That was my position.
1 Q. It was not only your position but it was the position of the
3 A. I think that most of the members of government didn't really
4 understand this that well, but I allow that that was the position of the
5 government. Yes.
6 Q. And that was the position of Mr. Hadzic, Goran Hadzic, wasn't it?
7 A. Yes, that was his position.
8 Q. And this was your position even though, under Article 13 of the
9 SFRY Law on Military Courts, the military courts had exclusive
10 jurisdiction over these prisoners of war; correct?
11 A. That would be so had we been sure that these were prisoners of
12 war, but at the time of the commission of the crime we were not aware of
13 what they were.
14 Q. Well, let's look at your 2014 statement. If we could look at
15 paragraph 105 of your recent statement. And in this paragraph you are
16 providing evidence about the meeting at Velepromet on the
17 20th of November, 1991, and you begin by stating that you were informed
18 at this meeting about the transfer of prisoners of war during the course
19 of the day to various places in Serbia, including Sremska Mitrovica,
20 somewhere near Nis, and Zrenjanin. And then you state, and I will quote
22 "I would like to make it clear that we, the civilian authorities,
23 did not make any decisions about where they would be taken and how these
24 prisoners of war would be treated. In this initial phase, but also
25 later, the military authorities alone were responsible for questions
1 relating to prisoners of war."
2 You use the word "prisoners of war," and I put to you that you
3 knew that they were prisoners of war.
4 A. At the point in time when they were treated as prisoners of war,
5 nobody could have known. At the time when investigations were being
6 carried out into the crimes, perhaps they were not even supposed to be in
7 uniform. This is something that would have been established by the
8 investigation. Now they were in the group of prisoners of war, but that
9 does not mean that they were persons in uniform bearing weapons.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, it seems that it was quotation --
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: This was quotation -- it seems that it was
13 quotation from his statement given to the Prosecution.
14 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you. If that was how it was interpreted,
15 that is incorrect. This is the statement that was given to the Defence.
16 This is a 2014 statement.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Microphone not activated]
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Microphone, please.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: As far as I know, it was a part of his statement
21 just incorporated in the -- it is a part of his statement given to the
22 Prosecution just incorporated in this statement, and he later commented
23 it as far as I know.
24 MR. OLMSTED: Well, I -- I think we just had Defence counsel give
25 us some evidence here, Your Honours. I think that was totally
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No, it was just -- just an explanation and you
3 can see the reference. It is 117.
4 MR. OLMSTED:
5 Q. Mr. Susa --
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: At the end of the paragraph, sorry.
7 MR. OLMSTED: I see the footnote, Defence counsel.
8 Q. Mr. Susa, this is your 2014 statement that you signed in August
9 of this year; correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. And you -- it was written in the Serbian language; is that
13 A. This one was written in Serbian, yes.
14 Q. And before you signed it, you read through it quite carefully.
15 In fact, we can see from the cover that you spent a number of days
16 putting it together; correct?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. And I assume that you stand by the statement and what's contained
19 in it?
20 A. I do, yes.
21 Q. Now, it was the case that the JNA also considered these prisoners
22 to be prisoners of war, in fact, entitled to the various provisions under
23 international law for the protection of prisoners of war; isn't that
25 A. Yes, correct.
1 Q. And I put to you that under the same logic that you have in this
2 letter, this 27 November 1991 letter, the SBWS courts could have
3 exercised subject matter and territorial jurisdiction over Serb
4 perpetrators who committed crimes against civilians in the SBWS; isn't
5 that correct?
6 A. I didn't understand you properly. My position was that all
7 perpetrators, civilians, who had committed crimes against civilians, were
8 under our jurisdiction. Military officers who committed crimes against
9 civilians or military personnel were under the jurisdiction of the
10 military organs, so I don't see any confusion there.
11 Q. What I'm putting to you is that under the Law on Military Courts,
12 the military courts had jurisdiction over prisoners of war. You stated
13 in your 2014 statement that that's what you knew or believed on the
14 20th of November, and you've also testified that that was what the JNA
15 considered them to be. In this letter you're seeking to -- you're
16 indicating that you have jurisdiction over those individuals and that the
17 courts in the SBWS should be the ones that try them, and my position to
18 you is that the same could be said about Serbs who may or may not fall
19 within the Law on Military Courts. They also could have been prosecuted
20 within the SBWS for crimes they committed against civilians; isn't that
22 A. Unless they were in uniform, members of the TO, and
23 resubordinated to the Army of Yugoslavia. In that case, yes. But that
24 is something that the army had to take care of, the army that arrested
25 them and processed them.
1 Q. So you're seeking an exception for prisoners of war but not for
2 Serbs who may wear uniform; is that correct?
3 A. We are not asking for an exception. These are just examples of
4 political integral nature and nothing is being done by them. If you
5 wanted to do something, then you would have to have quite specific
6 official documents.
7 MR. OLMSTED: May we have P3200 on the screen. This is tab 149.
8 Q. You were shown this memorandum from Colonel Maksimovic to
9 Colonel Gligorevic concerning your visit to Sremska Mitrovica prison on
10 10 December 1991.
11 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could turn to page 2 in both versions.
12 Q. It is reported that you, Mr. Hadzic, and the other members of
13 this delegation "wanted to inspect the prisoners." Now, you testified
14 during direct examination that it was the JNA representatives who
15 suggested and, indeed, even provoked you into visiting the prisoners.
16 You will agree, Mr. Susa, that nowhere in your 2014 statement or, for
17 that matter, your 2008 statement or Dokmanovic testimony did you make
18 this assertion.
19 A. There are numerous facts and then additional facts can be tied to
20 those facts. Each of the things that I said could in another half an
21 hour be interpreted by an additional five or six points. None of these
22 processes are simple and they don't take place in a period of a couple of
23 minutes without having a series of conversations and circumstances
24 appearing there, which I cannot recall right away. Everything that I
25 said in my statement that took days and all my testimony before the
1 Tribunal is something that I consider truthful.
2 Q. In paragraph 125 of your 2014 statement - and you can take a look
3 at that if you'd like - you identify the portions of this particular
4 memorandum that you claim to be untrue.
5 A. I'm sorry. Could you repeat the paragraph, please?
6 Q. 125. Now, this is -- in this paragraph you identify the portions
7 of this particular memorandum that you claim to be untrue. But as I read
8 it, you make no mention of the report's statement that the delegation,
9 the SBWS delegation, wanted to inspect the prisoners; correct?
10 A. The delegation did not want to inspect the prisoners, and what I
11 said actually was much more than what is contained in paragraph 125. I
12 said more than was in that paragraph, but the Defence probably felt that
13 what they have quoted here was enough.
14 Q. Now during this visit to Sremska Mitrovica, you confronted one of
15 the JNA officers about the fact that the prisoners on the list they
16 provided you were no longer at the KP Dom; correct?
17 A. I testified about that indirectly. I wasn't given any list. I
18 had a report about it from my investigators who were at the prison.
19 Q. And Mr. Hadzic was present when you were having this
20 confrontation with the JNA representative; correct?
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. Sorry, I don't know what confrontation
22 the Prosecution refers to.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Olmsted.
24 MR. OLMSTED: Well, I'm referring to paragraph 124 of this
25 witness's statement, which I assume the Defence counsel is familiar with,
1 but I don't think it's necessary for the basis of my question. I think I
2 can put this question to the witness regardless of turning to his 2014
3 statement because in his previous answer he was explaining it.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: In paragraph 125 there is no confrontation at
5 all, and I understood that the Prosecution refers to that paragraph.
6 MR. OLMSTED: No. That -- if that was your understanding, then I
7 apologise. That was not my intention. I'm at this stage not even
8 referring to his statement and I'm proceeding on with my questions.
9 Q. Mr. Susa, you've confirmed about this confrontation that you had
10 regarding the list, and my question simply is that Mr. Hadzic was also
11 present during that confrontation.
12 A. I don't think that he even heard this conversation. We were
13 sitting in a large room of the hotel, four or five tables were put
14 together. The gentleman that I talked to - I don't know his name - took
15 part in the conversation with me, and I think Mr. Jovan Ajdukovic was
16 there as well, when I warned him about the things that the investigators
17 had warned me about. So I'm not even sure that Goran heard that part of
18 the conversation.
19 Q. Well, it -- now let's do look at your 2014 statement and look at
20 paragraph 124. And if you could look at the bottom third of it, you
21 testify or you put in your statement:
22 "I complained to one of the officers but not to Vujic that people
23 from the list were disappearing from Sremska Mitrovica ..."
24 And then you continue about this discussion. And then at the
25 very end you say:
1 "Goran Hadzic was present during this conversation but did not
2 get involved because it seems that he knew what it was about."
4 A. No, no, no. He did not know what it was all about and I said
5 that he didn't know anything about this topic. He was sitting some four
6 or five metres away and he probably didn't hear anything, and I don't
7 think that the topic was something that he was aware of in any case.
8 Q. So your statement -- your 2014 statement is incorrect in that
10 A. My statement on this matter is correct, so I don't know which
11 part you are claiming is incorrect. In this conversation, if you're
12 thinking about the conversation among all of us, there were
13 10 collocutors. So this conversation that I had with the man was also
14 heard by Jovan Ajdukovic who was sitting next to me. We were talking
15 about facts. Goran Hadzic was not participating in this conversation.
16 He was sitting 4 or 5 metres farther away. Perhaps he heard it, perhaps
17 he didn't, but he did not participate in the conversation in any case or
18 know anything about it. Anyway, that is the substance of my statement in
19 this paragraph.
20 Q. Can you read to us your last sentence in paragraph 124.
21 A. "Goran Hadzic was also present during this conversation, but he
22 did not get involved because it seems that he knew nothing about the
24 I repeat, if he heard this conversation, he didn't take part in
25 it. Let's say that he heard it, but he definitely didn't speak.
1 MR. OLMSTED: If we could turn to page 3 --
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted, I want to make sure that this is
3 right in the record.
4 Mr. Susa, this last sentence reads:
5 "Goran Hadzic was also present during this conversation, but he
6 did not get involved because ..."
7 Could you read out what is next, "because ..."?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "... because it seems that the
9 topic was not familiar to him."
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: So then, Mr. Olmsted, there seems to be a
11 translation problem.
12 MR. OLMSTED: It appears to be, Mr. President. Of course, I can
13 only read the English version.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Please proceed.
15 MR. OLMSTED:
16 Q. If we could turn to page 3 of this document that's in front of
17 us, this memorandum, regarding your visit. Page 3 of the English, page 2
18 of the original. Colonel Maksimovic reports that -- that you said that
19 you would bring an armed team to join the work of the JNA investigative
20 team. And then, among other things, the colonel reports that he told you
21 that you would have to discuss this matter with General Vasiljevic.
22 At the time of this meeting, Mr. Susa, on 10 December, no SBWS
23 judges or prosecutors had participated in the operative work at the
24 prison and that is why Mr. -- or Colonel Maksimovic is talking about the
25 future tense, that you have to get permission before the judges come;
1 isn't that correct?
2 A. No, no, no. This is definitely not true. It's not true that
3 anybody invoked any armed force that would participate in this. This
4 statement made by the colonel is completely incorrect. The only thing
5 that's true is that our investigating organs were already involved. They
6 had already received permission to do that from the commander of the
7 1st Military District. They did not ask Colonel Maksimovic's permission
8 for that.
9 Q. As Colonel Maksimovic advised you, you and Mr. Hadzic met with
10 General Vasiljevic at Sremska Mitrovica prison a few days later; isn't
11 that correct?
12 A. No, I did not meet with General Vasiljevic. I don't know whether
13 Goran Hadzic did.
14 Q. Now, after your 10 December visit to Sremska Mitrovica prison,
15 did you write any correspondence to the JNA, to the SFRY Presidency, or
16 to the Republic of Serbia regarding these Croat prisoners held at this
18 A. Before our first visit to Sremska Mitrovica, to the KP Dom, I
19 wrote exclusively to the commander of the 1st Military District who
20 allowed the operative officers to come into the KPD. After that, I
21 didn't write anything to anybody.
22 Q. So you never wrote to the JNA leadership regarding the horrible
23 conditions you saw at the prison, did you?
24 A. I did not deal with it later and I didn't speak about that. The
25 conditions were not horrible. They were bad. They could have been
2 Q. Well, I'll suggest that during your testimony you used much
3 stronger terms. But my question to you is that you didn't feel compelled
4 to write to the 1st Military District about the horrible conditions
5 you -- you saw there or, as you now put it, the mildly bad conditions
6 that you saw there?
7 A. I don't know whether I'm using milder terms now. Let's go back
8 to the word "horrible." To me, all conditions where people are detained
9 are horrible. What I was thinking was that the issue of these POWs would
10 be dealt by the ICRC. I did not have this under my control and I didn't
11 think that I am supposed to write any more about it.
12 Q. And, Mr. Susa, I put to you that the information contained in
13 this memorandum is, in fact, accurate, and that the testimony that you
14 provided during direct examination and just now was crafted by you to
15 avoid responsibility for what you and Mr. Hadzic said and did during this
16 visit to the prison?
17 A. In the course of that visit to the jail, we didn't do anything.
18 What I said before this honourable Court is true and I stand by it. The
19 bulk of this gentleman's report does not reflect real facts and events.
20 Q. Mr. Susa, the evidence presented in this case so far shows that
21 in addition to being the first and only Serb charged with war crimes by
22 the SBWS and RSK courts, Dusan Boljevic was also the only Serb tried
23 before the SBWS and RSK courts for a serious crime committed against
24 non-Serbs in 1991. That was the case, wasn't it?
25 A. I've already told you I don't have the exact information about
1 that. I'm not even supposed to have it. Leaders of various bodies
2 should have that information, such as the higher district court.
3 Q. So as minister of justice, you didn't believe it was important to
4 know whether crimes committed against non-Serbs in 1991 during the course
5 of the conflict were investigated and being prosecuted?
6 A. I have to remind you that the affairs dealt with by the
7 Ministry of Justice are clearly prescribed. It was not our job to get
8 involved in investigating procedures. Any interference in that would
9 have been considered abuse of authority.
10 MR. OLMSTED: Let's bring up 65 ter 6566. This is tab 159.
11 Q. And this is a 9 November 1992 letter from the Knin District Court
12 to the RSK minister of interior.
13 MR. OLMSTED: If we could just flip quickly to the last page.
14 Q. We see that you, the minister of justice, was -- were sent a copy
15 of this letter.
16 MR. OLMSTED: Now, if we go back to page 1.
17 Q. This is a letter from Judge Kresovic, and he writes that:
18 "The Court is investigating Cedo Budisavljevic and four other
19 members of the police station in Teslingrad for the murder of Mane Rakic,
20 his two sons and daughter, and the disposal of their bodies in a pit
21 called Golubnjaca in Sracko Selo [phoen], in October 1991."
22 Now, first of all, the perpetrators and victims of this crime
23 were all Serb; correct?
24 A. Apparently, yes.
25 Q. Now, if we stay on page 1 of the original and turn to page 2 of
1 the English version, Kresovic also writes that when the investigation
2 team checked the pit containing the Rakic family, they discovered that it
3 had served during this war as a dumping ground for another 40 bodies of
4 the citizens of the Croatian nationality. And he reports that he
5 provided this information to the president of the RSK Supreme Court and
6 RSK justice minister about this discovery.
7 Kresovic then asserts:
8 "The issue on hand is how to pull out and identify the bodies of
9 the Rakic family without pulling out and identifying other bodies? Do we
10 take out all the bodies found in the pit? What to do so that the
11 UNPROFOR doesn't learn about the pit and all those bodies that it
12 contains, and what if UNPROFOR does find out and demands to take out all
13 the bodies from the pit? How to justify all that in front of the
14 domestic and international public?"
15 He then asks for a concrete stand on this, which he calls
16 "problem of a political nature."
17 Mr. Susa, it was the policy of the RSK government to not
18 investigate crimes against non-Serbs that occurred before the arrival of
19 UNPROFOR, wasn't it?
20 A. I don't know what the policy of this government was. My policy
21 was to continue working on this, and that perhaps marks the beginning of
22 my conflict with certain persons in this region. I gave my full support
23 to Judge Kresovic and his intention to proceed with this because it's
24 obvious that he had already begun.
25 Q. Those 40 Croat victims, they were never investigated by RSK
1 authorities, were they?
2 A. The authorities of the RSK were not supposed to carry out this
3 investigation. It was the district court in Knin, headed by
4 Mr. Kresovic. I don't know why he failed to carry out this
5 investigation, if he did, and I don't know who stopped him from carrying
6 it out.
7 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, we'll admit this into evidence,
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 6566 will be Exhibit P3285.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment, please.
12 You may continue.
13 MR. OLMSTED:
14 Q. Mr. Susa, in addition to prosecuting non-Serbs for war crimes,
15 crimes of genocide, et cetera, it was also the priority of the SBWS and
16 RSK governments to prosecute non-Serbs for crimes against the state under
17 chapter 15 of the SFRY criminal code; correct?
18 A. It was one of the things they handled. I would not say it was a
19 priority. And it was not an affair of the government but the courts.
20 The government had no powers to prosecute anyone.
21 Q. So the government did not at all interfere with the judicial
22 determination as to whether to prosecute non-Serbs for armed rebellion
23 and other chapter 15 crimes. Is that your testimony?
24 A. That's what I'm saying. The government could not meddle in this.
25 MR. OLMSTED: May we see 1D1022. This is tab 238.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment, please. Well, the document can
2 be pulled up. But before you continue, Mr. Olmsted, one moment.
3 Mr. Susa, you said that:
4 "The authorities of the RSK were not supposed to carry out this
5 investigation. It was the district court in Knin ..."
6 Could you explain what you mean by that?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The judiciary has sole jurisdiction
8 over courts. The government cannot decide on opening investigations and
9 starting trials and the way how these trials would end. The government
10 cannot interfere with this. The Assembly assigned all
11 competencies in this area to courts and their bodies.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. That's all I'll ask for the moment.
13 Please continue, Mr. Olmsted.
14 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. What we have in front of us is a 9 March 1992 mandatory work
16 directive from you to the RSK judiciary. Now, I believe it was yesterday
17 or the day before where Defence counsel showed you an earlier mandatory
18 work directive that you issued regarding the transfer of property. As
19 minister of justice, you issued these mandatory directives from time to
20 time, didn't you?
21 A. Yes, I was able to do that in general, not in specific individual
22 cases. I could not decide how people should proceed in a specific case,
23 but regarding a certain occurrence or phenomenon, I could state my
25 Q. Well, it's more than your opinion. This is a mandatory work
1 directive. And the one we looked at yesterday or the day before was also
2 a mandatory work directive. But let's look at what this one says. You
4 "By analysing the structure of recent crimes, we have noticed
5 that the share of investigations, indictments, and criminal proceedings
6 against persons who have taken part in any way in organising or directly
7 carrying out the armed rebellion against the state of SFRY or the
8 Republic of Serbian Krajina is negligible."
9 You then instruct the public prosecutor's offices to immediately
10 initiate co-ordination committee or co-ordination meetings with the
11 police and request the "accelerated gathering of evidence against all
12 persons for whom there are reasonable grounds to suspect that they have
13 perpetrated or are still perpetrating crimes prescribed under Chapters 15
14 and 16 of the SFRY Criminal Code."
15 Mr. Susa, this directive conveys the position not only of you but
16 also the RSK government; correct?
17 A. Well, I would say that first of all it reflects my communications
18 with the judiciary. If this were transmitting directly the position of
19 the government, then this document would be signed -- we were not yet
20 fully established at that moment. It would have been signed by
21 Zdravko Zecevic.
22 As to your question whether this was an important area of work
23 for our organs, this concerns the gravest forms of very serious crimes.
24 Of course, this was very well represented in the work of the judiciary
25 and it was important for us to deal with it. If you think that it was
1 more important to deal with civil lawsuits at that time, I must say I
2 don't agree.
3 Q. You mention that the RSK government had not been fully formed by
4 March 1992. Was this the position then of the SBWS government? You are,
5 after all, issuing it as minister of justice.
6 A. At this time I was no longer a member of the SBWS -- no, no.
7 Sorry. At this time I was already a member of the government of the
8 Republic of Serbian Krajina. I can't see well whether it's March or some
9 other month. In February 1992, a part of the RSK government was formed.
10 Not all ministries were in place yet.
11 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 1D1022 will be Exhibit P3286.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
15 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you.
16 If we could have on the screen now 1D1020. This is tab 236.
17 Q. Mr. Susa, what we have in front of us is a 7 April 1992
18 memorandum from the Republican Prosecutor Milorad Trosic to the RSK
19 Supreme Court. And if you can look at the first couple of paragraphs,
20 you can see that Mr. Trosic is writing with regard to your mandatory
21 directive and reports that the Vukovar SUP has so far compiled a large
22 number of criminal reports against about 2.000 Ustasha in absentia. A
23 month after your directive, the judiciary and the police had compiled a
24 substantial number of cases against non-Serbs, hadn't they?
25 A. No, I wouldn't say that it happened after -- a month after my
1 dispatch. This is combined information at the time when this was
2 written. The process of collecting information about crimes against
3 Serbs had by that time lasted for a year.
4 Q. Well, I'm a little bit confused by your last answer. As I
5 understand it, the SBWS courts came into existence or began to function
6 at the beginning of November 1991. This is dated five months later. So
7 these reports were gathered or investigated and submitted within those
8 five months; correct?
9 A. I was not talking now about the investigations conducted by
10 courts. I was talking about the documentation available on crimes that
11 were perpetrated, and police bodies and other bodies and organisations
12 had been working on it for more than a year.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were investigating murders,
15 arsons, and other crimes. The courts did not pursue all this all at the
16 same time. On that date in April 1992, the number of these
17 investigations and cases was about 2.000. And let me add: Based on all
18 the information that we have here, only a small number was found to be
19 relevant and was pursued by issuing indictments.
20 MR. OLMSTED:
21 Q. He then notes that the processing of these criminal reports is a
22 huge task. That's correct, isn't it? That this kind of activity,
23 investigating and filing criminal reports against Ustasha, in absentia,
24 was a tremendous amount of work. It required a lot of judicial
1 A. If it was to be done seriously, establishing facts, then it was a
2 very serious job and that's how we treated it.
3 Q. Mr. Trosic next raises the issue that your directive was not a
4 sufficient guarantee that the RSK courts will conduct criminal
5 proceedings against Ustasha for crimes pursuant to chapters 15 and 16,
6 noting that:
7 "They are crimes which are strictly within the jurisdiction of
8 the military judiciary."
9 Mr. Susa, that's a correct interpretation of Article 13 of the
10 SFRY Law on Military Courts, isn't it?
11 A. Yes, I'm glad to know that my organs know the regulations very
12 well and interpret them properly.
13 Q. Mr. Trosic then requests the supreme court to provide its opinion
14 on whether the RSK courts can conduct criminal proceedings against
15 Ustasha for chapters 15 and 16 crimes as soon as possible.
16 "Considering that criminal proceedings against the majority of
17 Ustasha who are beyond our reach now should commence before the arrival
18 of UN forces."
19 The goal was to complete the processing of non-Serbs for
20 chapters 15 and 16 crimes before the UN arrived, wasn't it?
21 A. I don't know what the goal was. I did not take part in this
22 communication between the two of them.
23 Q. The RSK authorities knew that the UN forces would perceive these
24 kinds of criminal proceedings as a veiled attempt to prevent non-Serbs
25 from returning under the Vance Plan, didn't they?
1 A. You are making a drastic and rough mistake which I need to point
2 out to you. You neglect the fact that there was a large number of
3 victims. You are dealing here with numbers of potential perpetrators
4 that we are not sure of. At no point in time do you introduce the
5 category that is important to me, and that is the number of casualties.
6 So please, because of them and because of their families, this is
7 something that we really do need to take into account.
8 We did not have 2.000 people in our hands so that the UN would
9 free them. Why would we be bothered about the arrival of the UN in this
10 case? You need to ask Trosic about this. I would have been glad to have
11 seen the UN and to have shown them the number of the missing.
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the last sentence.
13 MR. OLMSTED:
14 Q. Mr. Susa, if you could repeat your last sentence. The
15 interpreters missed it.
16 A. I would have liked for the UN forces to have taken part in all of
17 this, to have reviewed all the facts that we had at our disposal, and to
18 have assisted and helped us to have all the perpetrators before the face
19 of justice regardless of whether they would have been tried in Croatia or
20 before military courts.
21 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is kindly asked to slow down.
22 MR. OLMSTED:
23 Q. And, Mr. Susa, I don't know if you heard from the interpreters,
24 but if you could please slow down so that they can catch everything that
25 you say.
1 A. I apologise. Thank you.
2 Q. Under chapter 15 of the SFRY criminal code, which covers crimes
3 against the state, which is referenced in your directive as well as
4 Mr. Trosic's memo to the supreme court, those crimes include things such
5 as Article 119, service in the enemy armed forces; Article 124, which is
6 armed rebellion; and Article 136, creating a joint enterprise for the
7 purpose of hostile activities. These sorts of crimes, the victim is not
8 persons lying in grave-sites. It's the state, isn't it? It's either the
9 RSK or the FRY; correct?
10 A. I did not understand the interpreter. What does it have to do
11 with all of this, how many people are lying in grave-sites? Perhaps the
12 interpreter did not understand what you were saying.
13 Q. Your last answer was with regard to the victims, which I
14 appreciate. But what I am asking you about is under chapter 15 of the
15 SFRY criminal code, crimes against the state, in those crimes the victim
16 is not persons but rather it's the state itself. In this case, it was
17 the RSK; isn't that correct?
18 A. You are now putting me in the position of commenting on the
19 position of the Republican Prosecutor, Milorad Trosic. I cannot do that
20 at this point. And I do not know what he meant to when he referred to
21 chapters 15 and 16 of the SFRY. I really don't know at this point if I
22 could comment on something like that.
23 Q. Well, it wasn't just Mr. Trosic who brought up chapter 15. You
24 did in your mandatory directive which we looked at a moment ago, didn't
1 A. If that is so, then we have a position which is very simple.
2 This is not then a question of the most serious crimes but crimes against
3 the armed forces, against the order of the Socialist Federative Republic
4 of Yugoslavia. That is the same principle that we apparently applied in
5 relation to each other. At that point in time in the territory of the
6 Republic of Croatia, there was a large number of cases like this that was
7 being conducted. Perhaps I don't remember that. All of this was some
8 kind of reciprocity.
9 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 1D1020 will be Exhibit P3287.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 MR. OLMSTED: And just to complete the picture, if we could
14 1D1021 on the screen. This is tab 237.
15 Q. What we have before us is a 14 April 1992 memorandum from the
16 president of the RSK Supreme Court to the republican prosecutor's office.
17 And we can see that Mr. Vojnovic responds to Mr. Trosic's memorandum from
18 a week earlier authorising the prosecutor's office to start proceedings
19 Chapters 15 and 16 criminal reports until final resolution of the issues
20 as agreed with the assistant minister of justice on 9 April this year.
21 Which assistant minister is Mr. Vojnovic referring to?
22 A. I think that that was Mr. Lukovic at that point. I'm not sure
23 but I think that it was him.
24 Q. Consistent with your mandatory directive and the supreme court's
25 decision that we are looking at, criminal proceedings were initiated
1 against tens of thousands of non-Serbs for chapter 15, crimes against the
2 state; isn't that the case?
3 A. I'm not sure about the number that you have just mentioned. We
4 did not have the documents for so many people or even paper. I don't
5 know how many people this particular investigation encompasses. I don't
6 know where you got this information from.
7 Q. Well, we'll come back to that perhaps, Mr. Susa.
8 MR. OLMSTED: But, Your Honours, may this be admitted into
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 1D1021 will be Exhibit P3288.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 MR. OLMSTED: By way of just a few examples of these chapter 15
14 cases, may we have on the screen 65 ter 6668. This is tab 161.
15 Q. This is a 5 February 1992 criminal report.
16 A. I'm sorry, I can't see anything.
17 MR. OLMSTED: Perhaps we can zoom in a little bit on the original
18 version. It's a little bit dark. The date is obviously on the upper
19 left-hand corner.
20 Q. And we see the name of the first accused, who is identified as a
21 Croat, and then it proceeds to list a number of them.
22 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could turn to page 3 of the English,
23 page 12 of the original.
24 Q. We see that the number of accused non-Serbs is 173. And then we
25 can see from the paragraph that follows the listing of the perpetrators,
1 that these non-Serbs are charged with committing the crime of association
2 for hostile purposes against the Serb nation in 1990 to 1991 under
3 Article 136 of the SFRY criminal code.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, I didn't see where it is stated that they
6 were accused.
7 MR. OLMSTED: Well, they were charged, let's say. This is a
8 criminal report and --
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes.
10 MR. OLMSTED: This is a charging document, Your Honours. If I
11 misspoke --
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I -- I think that they have the status of
14 MR. OLMSTED: Certainly. Innocent until proven guilty. And by
15 the way, by no means do I or the Prosecution represent that these charges
16 were properly filed, and that they had a basis for charging these
18 Q. But let's look at the charges as is reported here at the end of
19 this charging document, they are charged with Article 136 under
20 Chapter 15 of the SFRY criminal code. This is consistent with your
21 mandatory directive as well as with the supreme court's memo to
22 Mr. Trosic, isn't it?
23 A. You are completely in the wrong. What you are showing me is a
24 criminal report of the Secretariat for Internal Affairs. This is the
25 police. We do not have to act pursuant to these reports unless there is
1 sufficient evidence on the existence of reasonable grounds. You can have
2 150.000 people on such a criminal report, but that does not mean anything
3 to the court. It depends. I would need to know whether criminal charges
4 were actually filed and criminal proceedings initiated on the basis of
5 this report, but I am not the minister of the interior. This is
6 something that I did not know.
7 Q. My question to you is that it is consistent with your directive
8 which stated that these cases, these types of cases, should be
9 investigated, and in fact, I'll quote from it, your directive. It says:
10 "In connection with the above and in addition to carrying out
11 activities related to the submitting of criminal reports, conducting
12 proceedings against suspects and passing judgements," et cetera,
13 et cetera.
14 This is a criminal report that's consistent with what you were
15 seeking in your directive; correct?
16 A. This report cannot be submitted on the basis of my directive
17 because this organ is not familiar with the content of my directive.
18 Precisely because of the fact that there was a large number of such
19 reports, we were snowed under, and I was being asked to start considering
20 them. So in a way, I encouraged the prosecutor's offices and the courts
21 to look into what is happening here. I did not encourage the police to
22 submit such a large number of criminal reports. Or if there were really
23 elements for suspicion, they needed to submit them in the same or an even
24 greater number.
25 MR. OLMSTED: I see the time, Your Honours. Just one question
1 before I --
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Go ahead.
3 MR. OLMSTED: -- lose the stream.
4 Q. You said that you were asked to look into this matter. Who asked
6 A. The organs of internal affairs who were telling us that they were
7 delivering a large number of criminal reports that we were not beginning
8 to work on. In principle that was true, but we were in a position to
9 think about all of these things in a slightly different way.
10 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: We will take the second break or it is -- yeah,
12 the second break, of course, 30 minutes. We will be back at 12.45.
13 Court adjourned.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, before the witness enters the
18 courtroom, I found the one error in either in translation or in the
20 [The witness takes the stand]
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: At page 52, line 16 and 17, he stated that -- it
23 "The government assigned all competencies in this area to courts
24 and their bodies."
25 He didn't say "the government" but "assembly."
1 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I'm wondering if it would be better
2 if the Defence simply submits a request for a translation --
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: I think, indeed, that would be -- that would --
4 or verification of the audio. That would be indeed appropriate,
5 Mr. Zivanovic.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: All right.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted, let's ask how -- what is your
8 planning for the cross? How long will you still need?
9 MR. OLMSTED: I'm going to use the full amount of time,
10 Your Honours.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: You intend to need to use the full amount.
12 Okay. Five minutes before 2.00 you should interrupt then,
13 because the Defence wants to raise an administrative matter. Thank you.
14 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. Mr. Susa, I want to show you just a couple more of these criminal
17 MR. OLMSTED: If we can take a look at 65 ter 6669. It's
18 tab 162.
19 Q. And this is --
20 MR. OLMSTED: If we can maybe zoom in a little bit on the
21 original because it is a bit dark.
22 Q. This is just, Mr. Susa, another criminal report. This one from
23 10 February 1992. And it's of similar nature to the last one we looked
24 at. We can see that the first suspect charged in this criminal report is
25 a Croat.
1 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could just go to page 6 in the English,
2 page 13 of the original.
3 Q. We can see that the report is against 176 suspects, and the
4 paragraphs that follow the list of names indicates that this is another
5 example of non-Serbs being charged under Article 136 of Chapter 15 of the
6 SFRY criminal code for association for hostile purposes in 1990, 1991;
8 A. Yes, I agree, even though the document is hardly legible.
9 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could look at one more of these. It's
10 65 ter 6674. This is tab 164. And just zoom in a little bit on the
12 Q. We can see that this is a 5 May 1992 criminal report against,
13 again we can see from the first names, Croats.
14 MR. OLMSTED: And if we can turn to page 3 of the English, 100 of
15 the original. Yes, and I think if we can turn to the next page in the
16 English. I'm sorry, if we could just advance one page in the English.
17 Let's see. There we go. Now we're on the right page. Thank you.
18 Q. We see that this one is against 1.432 suspects, and we can see
19 from the text that follows that this is another example of non-Serbs
20 being charged under Article 136 for association for hostile purposes in
21 1990, 1991.
22 MR. OLMSTED: Can we zoom maybe a bit into the original. I think
23 the first paragraph will suffice.
24 Q. Correct, Mr. Susa?
25 A. I agree. I don't see anything, but I think it's all right. I
1 think they're all in the same -- I think they're all drafted in the same
2 context. I think that it's quite dark, the text, so I don't know that
3 there would be any problem if we zoomed in.
4 Q. Well, we could try zooming in a little bit. I'm interested in
5 the first paragraph. I think it indicates that it's under Article 136 on
6 the third line.
7 MR. OLMSTED: Maybe we could zoom in on Article 136.
8 Q. Well, Mr. Susa, can you see that its charging in Article 136 --
9 oh, there we go. 136. There we go.
10 A. I see it. 136, paragraph 1, item 1, and then Article 24,
11 paragraph 1, and so on and so forth.
12 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may we tender into evidence 6668,
13 6669, and 6674.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: They will be assigned Exhibit Numbers P3289,
16 P2 -- pardon me, P3290, and P3291, respectively. Thank you.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 MR. OLMSTED:
19 Q. Mr. Susa, I have one more document in this same vein that may be
20 a little bit difficult to read but we'll try our luck.
21 MR. OLMSTED: It's 65 ter 6698. This is tab 294. And you'll
22 need to zoom in on the original.
23 THE REGISTRAR: There is no translation for this one.
24 MR. OLMSTED: Okay. We'll come back to that, then.
25 It's been released now, Your Honours.
1 In the meantime, perhaps while it's being released, we could zoom
2 in on the original just so that the witness has an opportunity to take a
3 closer look at it. Okay.
4 Q. Mr. Susa, what we have in front of us are -- this is the first of
5 three 20 December 1993 rulings releasing Croat detainees indicted or
6 convicted of serving an enemy army, and they are being released for
7 prisoner exchange.
8 MR. OLMSTED: If we can scroll down a little bit on the original,
9 and if we could turn to the next page. Zoom in on the original. And if
10 we could just turn to the next page.
11 Q. We see the -- by the way, that the prisoner exchange occurred on
12 the 28th of -- well, I stand corrected. That an agreement on prisoner
13 exchange was reached on the 28th of November, 1993, in Zagreb.
14 MR. OLMSTED: We can turn to the next page in the original just
15 to show the second one of this. And zoom in on the original.
16 Q. We see that this is also a 20 December 1993 ruling ending custody
17 of a Croat charged with serving in the enemy army. And I know it's a
18 little bit hard to read, Mr. Susa, at least in the original, but it
19 pertains to this prisoner exchange that was arranged. And my question to
20 you is: That was the situation, wasn't it, Mr. Susa, that non-Serbs who
21 were convicted of Chapter 15 crimes, such as serving in an enemy army,
22 they were -- after they were detained and prosecuted and served a
23 sentence for a while, many were subject to prisoner exchange; correct?
24 A. Possibly. I can't really make out this text, but let's say it's
1 MR. OLMSTED: Well, let's turn to the first page of this
2 document. And zoom in to the bottom half of the document.
3 Q. Perhaps now you can see that this is a release from detention for
4 the purposes of a prisoner exchange.
5 A. Yes, please, Mr. Prosecutor, let's go ahead. I could spend
6 another futile hour.
7 MR. OLMSTED: I'll just note that this first ruling in the
8 second -- or, actually, it's the third paragraph indicates that this
9 person was indicted on the 17th of March, 1993, for crimes under
10 Chapter 15 of the SFRY criminal code.
11 Q. Based on the fact that that indictment occurred in 1993, would
12 you like to revise your testimony that the criminal code of the FRY did
13 not apply to the RSK in 1993?
14 A. After the creation of a joint state, this law could be used only
15 in the absence of regulations that we still didn't have. If at this
16 moment the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was already formed consisting
17 only of Serbia and Montenegro and we had no other piece of legislation
18 for this area, then we had to use this.
19 Q. Okay.
20 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
22 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit Number P3292.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you.
25 MR. OLMSTED:
1 Q. Mr. Susa, you were aware that members of the RSK police were
2 participating in crimes against the remaining non-Serb population in 1992
3 and 1993, weren't you?
4 A. If this was covered by criminal reports in all the other cases, I
5 didn't know that.
6 MR. OLMSTED: Let's look at P2847. This is tab 287.
7 Q. And what I'm about to show you is a United Nations report dated
8 27 July 1992.
9 MR. OLMSTED: And I would like to turn to page 5 of the original,
10 page 4 of the Serbian version.
11 Q. And I want to draw your attention paragraph 15.
12 MR. OLMSTED: If we could zoom in on that a bit in the Serbian
14 Q. We see that this is a Secretary-General report to the
15 United Nations, and he reports that non-Serbs with property were being
16 targeted for expulsion through threats and other acts of intimidation and
17 that the property they left behind was looted, demolished, or occupied.
18 He then reports that UNCIVPOL monitors have received reports that police
19 or "milicija" involvement directly or indirectly in these incidents.
20 Mr. Susa, that was the situation in the SBWS, as well throughout the
21 RSK, wasn't it?
22 A. This is not a typical situation. It would be very important for
23 me to see the names of possible perpetrators here. And there is a
24 contradiction here: Nobody could be moved into torched houses or
25 destroyed houses. Such cases were in the smallest minority.
1 MR. OLMSTED: Let's take a look at P1957.1. This is tab 88.
2 Q. And what I'm about to show you is a 12 October 1992 Official Note
3 by DB Serbia.
4 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could turn to page 3 of the English,
5 page 4 of the original.
6 Q. We see that the note discusses an RSK Assembly session held in
7 Vukovar on the 28th of September, 1992, at which many questions were
8 asked concerning the work of the police and the judicial system over
9 which you and Milan Martic were called to account. And it goes on to
10 state that the fiercest attacks were by Eastern Slovenian Assemblymen
11 against Martic "concerning the illegal conduct of the police which was
12 accused of looting and other crimes."
13 First of all, do you recall this debate at the RSK Assembly
14 session in September 1992?
15 A. No, I can't remember the details. I know that people were called
16 out because of failures in the Ministry of the Interior and also our
17 work, wherein I managed to explain what problems we were facing and there
18 occurred a conflict between us and the Ministry of Defence. We were just
19 called out. There were no attacks. I believe it was Martic who was
20 attacked. When I was called out as responsible for some failures, I
21 think I managed to make our case well. But he also had to explain the
22 failures in the work of the Ministry of the Interior, Martic.
23 Q. And those failures included crimes being committed by the RSK
24 police, and in particular, they were committing crimes against the
25 non-Serb population that remained in the RSK, weren't they?
1 A. This assembly session did not discuss that in these terms. I
2 accused the Ministry of the Interior and Martic more because of the
3 shortcomings in their work. I didn't have any particular information
4 that I could attach to a particular person and accuse him or her. I
5 cannot accept such generalised assessments, because I cannot find that
6 one single person was responsible.
7 Q. You mentioned failures on the part of the police. The police
8 were failing to report crimes committed against the non-Serb population,
9 weren't they?
10 A. Again, I repeat that I have no precise information about that. I
11 didn't know about a particular case that I could lay at their door. I
12 knew that their criminal reports were sloppily done, that records of
13 events were -- or incidents were not properly done, and we could not
14 proceed on the basis of them, and that they did not follow the law
15 strictly in putting people and keeping them in custody. That's all I
16 could do. I didn't know of any particular offence committed by a member
17 of the police.
18 MR. OLMSTED: Let us look at 1D2991. This is tab 271. And this
19 is the report on the work of the Ministry of Justice and administration
20 for the period between 28 May 1992 and 1 March 1993. If we could just
21 turn to page 8.
22 Q. This is your report, isn't it, Mr. Susa?
23 A. Yes, that's my report.
24 MR. OLMSTED: If we could turn to page 3 in both the English and
25 the original. I think if maybe perhaps we can move to the earlier page
1 in the English version. All right. All right.
2 Q. Now in this report you write:
3 "In certain areas, such as Vukovar, the judicial organs have not
4 always had real co-operation with the organs of the interior. The
5 judicial organs are being told that the police would not be a service for
6 the courts or the prosecutor's offices in that area."
7 You then further note:
8 "Reports are not being filed and known perpetrators of crimes are
9 not arrested because they are the 'great liberators.'"
10 That was a real problem in 1992 and 1993, Mr. Susa, wasn't it?
11 And not just in the SBWS but throughout the RSK.
12 A. Yes. Yes, that was a problem everywhere.
13 Q. And one person who was considered to be a great liberator was
14 Slobodan Jurisic, which I believe you mention in your 2014 statement.
15 A. Yes, that's the person who committed crimes and we prosecuted
17 Q. Well, he was accused of the murder of two Croat members of the
18 Alicic family -- or, I'm sorry, the Alic family, back in February 1992;
20 A. I think so. I can't be sure about the date. I believe that the
21 last name Alic is correct.
22 Q. And the case never made it to trial in the RSK, did it? In fact,
23 it was only in 2000 that the Belgrade District Court, under a separate
24 indictment, convicted Jurisic; correct?
25 A. I don't think that's true. We conducted proceedings against
1 Jurisic. I don't have any information about that now, but I believe
2 proceedings were taken in our territory. I believe Jurisic escaped and
3 then he was later recaptured in Serbia, but I know eventually he was
4 convicted of this crime.
5 MR. OLMSTED: Let us look at 1D102 -- I'm sorry, 1D1086. This is
6 tab 250. And if we could zoom in on the original.
7 Q. This is a petition for the release of our comrade and friend
8 Slobodan Jurisic, and the petition states:
9 "We should not allow resistance fighters, such honourable and
10 decent people like Slobodan Jurisic, to be in prison, to be charged with
11 things he did not do, to have a staged trial, which could then be the
12 basis for trials against some other resistance fighters too."
13 And then the petition ends by demanding the release of Jurisic.
14 This is an example, Mr. Susa, isn't it of the attitude towards
15 great liberators that was demonstrated by the police throughout the RSK;
16 isn't it correct?
17 A. No, you've drawn the wrong conclusion. This is a petition by a
18 certain number of people. It's not a petition from the police force. I
19 would not infer from this that the police was not doing its job. I think
20 that somebody was bothered by the fact that this man was in prison.
21 Q. Because he was considered a great liberator; correct?
22 A. I don't know that. I don't know this man, Jurisic.
23 Q. If you can look at the sixth signature on the list.
24 MR. OLMSTED: Scroll a little bit over to the left.
25 Q. Whose signature is that?
1 A. I can't really see.
2 MR. OLMSTED: Can we zoom in to the sixth signature.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whose signature is it.
4 I'm sorry.
5 MR. OLMSTED:
6 Q. Mr. Susa, that's Goran Hadzic's signature, isn't it?
7 A. I allow that it's possible. I don't know his signature, but I
8 allow the possibility. If he said it himself and confirmed it and you
9 are repeating it to me now, I'm not going to dispute it.
10 Q. I'm putting it to you, Mr. Susa, and you would be familiar with
11 his signature having worked for him for a number of years.
12 A. Well, just because I worked with him I don't necessarily know his
13 signature. I've seen so many signatures. I cannot recognise a signature
14 in this form unless it is also typewritten. And this is pretty
15 illegible. I can recognise some of the signatures. In fact, I can make
16 out what is written.
17 Q. Can you tell us who else signed this document of people you know?
18 A. I think I know Vladimir Nudic [phoen]. That's the brother of
19 Goran's wife. These are all people from Vukovar. I don't know them,
21 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may we tender into evidence 1D2991,
22 which was the previous document, and 1D1086.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
24 THE REGISTRAR: They should be assigned Exhibit Numbers P3293 and
25 P3294, respectively. Thank you.
1 MR. OLMSTED:
2 Q. The judiciary was also susceptible to political influence, wasn't
3 it? And I'm talking about the 1992, 1993 period in particular.
4 A. Yes, there was pressure, but not influence. It was hard enough
5 to work under pressure, but we were not influenced in our judgements by
6 politicians. I always supported all the personnel of the courts and I
7 congratulated them on their persistence and their high principles in
8 abiding by the law. But pressure, yes, there was pressure.
9 Q. And that pressure also manifested itself in the appointment of
10 judges and prosecutors; correct?
11 A. To what extent? What do you mean? What kind of pressure in
12 making appointments?
13 Q. Well, let's look at an example.
14 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have P3081 on the screen. This is
15 tab 81.
16 Q. And what I'm about to show you is the transcript from the
17 20 April 1993 RSK Assembly session. I think you looked at a bit of that
19 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could turn to page 10 of the original,
20 page 15 of the English.
21 Q. We can see that you are speaking, Mr. Susa, and you proposed the
22 election of a number of judges. And included on this list --
23 MR. OLMSTED: If we could turn to page -- oh, it's still on this
24 page. Page 10 of the original.
25 Q. Josip Nikolajevic. I pronounced his name probably incorrectly.
1 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could turn to the next page.
2 Q. Djuro Pavlica.
3 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could turn to page 18 of the English,
4 page 11 of the original.
5 Q. We see that one of the assembly members present at the session
6 stated that he could not accept the proposal of Josip Nikolajevic, an
7 ethnic Croat.
8 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could turn to the next page on the
10 Q. You responded that: Nikolajevic authorised texts that spoke
11 affirmatively of our whole struggle.
12 MR. OLMSTED: And I believe we could stay on the same page here
13 for the original, but if we could turn to page 19 for the English.
14 Q. The assembly member then responded:
15 "I simply would not allow for a Croat to be administering
16 judgement in this situation and there can be no question about this
18 MR. OLMSTED: Now, if we can turn to page 13 of the original,
19 page 21 of the English.
20 Q. We see that you say, towards the bottom, I believe:
21 "As far as Mr. Nikolajevic is concerned, I can't judge on that
22 matter. However, please let it not be the definitive and principled
23 position that people who are not of Serb ethnicity cannot work in the
24 judiciary. It wouldn't be good. There are some among us who may have
25 been a better choice. Perhaps they still are and they are Serbs and
1 Hungarians. It wouldn't be good for there to be any sort of connotation
2 from which one could perceive that we would be going with eliminating
3 such people."
4 Now, as the government's attorney, you were concerned about the
5 international perception of rejecting a judicial candidate because of his
6 ethnicity; correct?
7 A. In my entire work from the beginning until this thing that you
8 just quoted, I defended my positions and I'm still proud of them and
9 proud of my work as a lawyer and counsel. I was not a judicial candidate
10 because we never had that position. I always advocated the admission of
11 qualified and professional cadres even when that was not easy. And I can
12 confirm that before this Court. It was not easy. Many people couldn't
13 accept it because they were victimised by various things in the war, but
14 finally I managed to push this through.
15 I was not afraid of any international forces here. This reflects
16 my personal approach to this whole problem and my world view.
17 Q. Well, as a solution, you recommended they come up with a better
18 qualified Serb or Hungarian; correct?
19 A. No. What I said here was that there were people who were perhaps
20 better than we are and that we need to think about that regardless of
21 whether they were Croats or Hungarians, perhaps. And then in spite of
22 that, already at the next assembly Mr. Nikolajevic was elected judge. I
23 don't see that part of the text, but I know what I was thinking at the
24 time. In the context of everything that I said. It's not that I was
25 praising Serbs. Some people here think that Serbs are, by the very
1 virtue of being Serbs, the best. Unfortunately, here that is not
3 Q. Well, the transcript, Mr. Susa, reads -- I guess it's at the very
4 bottom of the original, you stated:
5 "... it wouldn't be good. There are some among us who may have
6 been a better choice ..."
7 And I think we have to turn to the next page. And you continue:
8 "... perhaps they still are and they are Serbs and Hungarians."
9 And then you make the statement that it would not be good for
10 there to be any sort of connotation. That's what you said, isn't it,
11 Mr. Susa?
12 A. Yes, but there -- this has been badly written by the
13 minute-keeper. I'm not thinking of Serbs and Hungarians. I'm thinking
14 of the elimination of people such as Nikolajevic. I did not believe in
15 any context that it would be good to believe that we would be going for
16 the elimination of such people.
17 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could turn to page 14 of the original,
18 page 21 of the English. And again, page 21 of the English; page 14 of
19 the original. Good. Oh, it's ...
20 THE REGISTRAR: These are the exact pages you called.
21 MR. OLMSTED: Okay. Then I stand corrected. Is this page 21 of
22 the English, though? It is.
23 THE REGISTRAR: This is e-court page 21.
24 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, maybe I have the wrong page. Oh, yes, it's at
25 the bottom of the English page, I believe.
1 Q. With regard to Djuro Pavlica, another candidate for judge, an
2 assembly member raised the issue that:
3 "This judicial candidate had tried cases against about a dozen
4 Lapac Serbs, it is known what for, at the beginning of our struggle for
5 the Krajina and for the Serb people."
6 Mr. Susa, can you tell us what were those dozen Serbs from Lapac
7 tried for?
8 A. Probably for two reasons: By the Croatian military judicial
9 organs, they were arrested for rebellion --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't there as a lawyer, but I
12 know more or less what was happening from the press.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted, the interpreters asked the witness
14 to repeat the answer.
15 MR. OLMSTED: Yes.
16 Q. Mr. Susa, could you repeat the answer.
17 A. Yes, I will repeat my answer. I'm sorry. Many people, including
18 these Serbs from Lapac, were prosecuted in Croatia parallel on two tracks
19 by the Croatian military judicial organs, prosecuted them all, thousands
20 of other peoples, for armed rebellion. And then other than that, the
21 civilian Croatian judiciary prosecuted us for dismantling of the Croatian
22 constitutional order. This applied also in the case of these Serbs from
23 Lapac and all the other Serbs from the area of Krajina, the Serbian
24 regions, and so on.
25 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could turn to page 24 of the English,
1 page 16 of the original.
2 Q. Now, I'll put to you that at the end of this debate regarding
3 these two nominees, the assembly voted against those appointments. And
4 in fact, they weren't made judges; isn't that correct?
5 A. No. I don't know about Mr. Pavlica. I think that he moved to a
6 different job later. As for Mr. Nikolajevic, he was denied the right to
7 try cases at this assembly but at the next assembly he passed through. I
8 wanted to affirm the humanity and the professional value of these people,
9 and for me nothing here was controversial. The essence was that I could
10 not appoint or replace anybody as a judge of my own initiative. This was
11 something that the assembly was to do. And in this case, the assembly,
12 under the influence of certain people or groups, could not accept my
13 proposal. But for the next assembly session, I managed to prepare well.
14 I prepared better. It's also possible that the tensions were reduced
15 that time, but anyway it all went well in the end.
16 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have 65 ter 6689 on the screen.
17 Q. Sir, you had an opportunity to look at this document during
18 proofing? It was on the Defence's exhibit list.
19 A. I have seen this document, yes.
20 Q. Now, this is a wartime job classification in the RSK Ministry of
21 Justice and judicial body. So it contains a list of all the officials
22 and employees of both the Ministry of Justice as well as the judiciary
23 and prosecution office; correct?
24 A. Yes, that's how it should be. Yes.
25 Q. And this report is dated March 1994 but it generally reflects the
1 positions that existed in the RSK Ministry of Justice and judiciary at
2 the end of 1993; correct?
3 A. I'm not sure about that. I did not work on any kind of wartime
4 classification. This was done by the gentleman who came after me as
5 minister of justice, so that the situation at the end of 1993 and during
6 this period does not have to be the same. No.
7 Q. Now, with the exception of a few possible Hungarians, the
8 officials listed in this document are all Serbs, aren't they?
9 A. This was inevitable because the Croatians had left the area.
10 It's not that they were there and we did not want to elect them.
11 Everybody who was there, somebody at one assembly session or another
12 assembly session, on my assistance, having informed them about it, they
13 began to start to work at the job that they were good at. It's not that
14 they were not being appointed. It's just that they simply weren't there.
15 Q. And having looked through this document, I don't find the name of
16 Nikolajevic on this list. Did you find his name on this list?
17 A. I didn't look for it. Believe me. I know that Nikolajevic
18 worked in the court. Perhaps he was not a judge, he was perhaps a
19 professional associate. But at one point he became a judge. He did
20 remain in the court where he continued to work. I don't know if he
21 worked as a judge or perhaps he remained there working as a professional
23 Q. Can you name any other Croat judges who were employed back in
25 A. I really couldn't say. I think that there were some, but I
1 didn't particularly meet either Serbs or Croats. They were all the same
2 to me. And if they were doing their job properly, I had full respect for
4 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
6 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit Number P3295.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you.
9 MR. OLMSTED:
10 Q. You've testified about your role in abolishing the military
11 courts in 1993. Now, you proposed the abolition of those military courts
12 because forming them usurped Mr. Hadzic's power as president; correct?
13 A. No. Obviously you didn't understand that properly. There is no
14 power involved there. First of all, military courts were never formed as
15 independent organs because we didn't have a sufficient number of cadres.
16 The RSK constitution gave the right to Mr. Hadzic to appoint in wartime
17 circumstances judges, prosecutors, and others judicial organs. This did
18 not have anything to do with his later competencies. The problem was
19 created because at the time of the forming of the organs and the need to
20 form the organs, nobody consulted Mr. Hadzic. The consultation and the
21 elections were carried out at the level of the Ministry of Defence and
22 the Ministry of the Interior. Even the justice minister and
23 administration was not consulted even though the largest part of the
24 cadres were pulled out from his bodies. Another bad thing was that in
25 the work of the military judicial organs formed in this way, you also had
1 some laypersons working there. For me, as far as I was concerned, this
2 was something that was impermissible and it was dangerous.
3 Q. And Mr. Hadzic shared your views regarding the abolition of these
4 military courts that were formed; correct?
5 A. I repeat, I repeat, he agreed only with the indisputable fact
6 that the then election was a violation of the constitution, but we had to
7 say something because that would have drawn us into a whole series of
8 legal violations. And then once that snowballed, you would be in a
9 position where you couldn't correct these matters anymore. The
10 competencies that Mr. Hadzic had were not something that he took upon
11 himself but was granted by the assembly. Once he was granted them, he
12 had to exercise them.
13 MR. OLMSTED: Let's look at 65 ter 6690. This is tab 178.
14 Q. This is a petition from representatives of Banija and Kordun
15 dated 1 March 1993. And if you could turn -- if you just look at the
16 beginning of it.
17 MR. OLMSTED: And then we'll turn to page 2 in both the English
18 and the original.
19 Q. In the petition, the representatives advocate keeping the
20 military court in their area because the court was stamping out smuggling
21 and other crimes and the court was found great -- had found great
22 approval among the people.
23 Now, first of all, the military courts that were, according to
24 you, being established illegally or against the constitution, those
25 courts were located in SAO Krajina; in particular, in Banija and Kordun,
1 isn't that correct?
2 A. To military courts or military courts. It seems that they did
3 begin to operate here. And later I can tell you why that was.
4 Q. Right now all I'm interested in knowing is that these military
5 courts that you had an issue with, they were in SAO Krajina, weren't
6 they? They were not in SBWS.
7 A. Yes, they did not exist in the SBWS. I said in the SAO Krajina
8 only and that only in the region of Banija and Kordun.
9 Q. And it's correct that the municipal or village authorities wanted
10 these courts, these military courts to function because they were
11 stamping out smuggling and other economic crimes committed in their
12 areas; correct?
13 A. And what would you say if I were to tell you that it was actually
14 quite the opposite. If you look at the previous session that we have
15 just analysed what the conduct was of deputy Milos Vukcevic and who is a
16 good judge as far as he's concerned? Only those that he knew. You can
17 compare these two things and then see why this is only happening in
18 Banija and Kordun, because these presidents of municipalities were
19 involved in a very, very good venture that involved smuggling from the
20 Cazin Krajina.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to slow down
22 and to repeat the last sentence of his answer.
23 MR. OLMSTED:
24 Q. Mr. Susa, could you repeat your last sentence.
25 A. The judges that they knew in the field suited them. They were
1 all those from their areas that they knew very well and nobody was
2 complaining about it.
3 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
5 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit Number P3296. Thank
6 you, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
8 MR. OLMSTED: If we could look at 65 ter 6693. This is tab 181.
9 Q. What we have in front of us is a 9 June 1993 dispatch from
10 Milan Martic to all RSK SUPs and SJBs, and Martic is reporting on
11 decisions adopted by the RSK Supreme Defence Council. Mr. Susa, that was
12 the council over which Mr. Hadzic presided over as RSK president once it
13 was formed in 1993; correct?
14 A. He did preside over it and he was in the classic position of
15 primus inter pares, first among equals, and the decisions had to be
16 adopted by consensus. Yes, in a formal sense he did preside over it.
17 Q. And if we can look at item 4, we see that it states that summary
18 proceedings for discharging fire-arms will be conducted by civilian
19 courts as agreed with the Ministry of Justice. This is an example of the
20 Supreme Defence Council implementing Mr. Hadzic's presidential decrees
21 giving the civilian courts jurisdiction over crimes; correct?
22 A. No, Goran Hadzic could not change the jurisdiction of civilian
23 courts. All he could do in wartime conditions was to form military
24 courts. Here we are remaining on the matter that I spoke about, that
25 civilian and local courts can decide about everything. There was no need
1 to form any military courts, and then they here say the civilian courts
2 will conduct the proceedings according to military rules.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to slow down.
4 MR. OLMSTED:
5 Q. Please slow down, Mr. Susa, because the interpreters do need time
6 to interpret what you're saying.
7 In January -- late January 1993, and in early February 1993,
8 Mr. Hadzic used his wartime powers to pass a number of decrees and
9 included in those decrees was a decree that gave the civilian courts
10 jurisdiction over military cases; correct?
11 A. If this happened in this case, that would be the legal way, the
12 legal form. I cannot testify to this because I think that, in this case,
13 I was no longer the justice and administration minister.
14 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
16 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit Number P3297. Thank
17 you, Your Honours.
18 MR. OLMSTED:
19 Q. Mr. Susa, Goran Hadzic never exercised his presidential powers to
20 establish military courts and prosecutors' offices in the RSK, did he?
21 A. He did not, but others acted in his name without his
23 Q. And that's what I -- what I was asking, that Mr. Hadzic never
24 established military courts in the RSK while he was president; correct?
25 A. That is correct.
1 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I see the time.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Indeed, Mr. Olmsted. Thank you.
3 Mr. Susa, this is the end of the hearings this week. You will
4 have to come back on Monday at 9.00. I remind you that you are still a
5 witness, that you stay under oath, and that you cannot communicate with
6 either party or discuss your testimony with anybody. Thank you. The
7 court usher will escort you out of court.
8 [The witness stands down]
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 12218-12219 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Court adjourned.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.04 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Monday, the 13th day
15 of October, 2014, at 9.00 a.m.