Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 17491

1 Wednesday, 12 October 2005

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number

7 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik. Thank you.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

9 I already asked the usher to escort the witness into the

10 courtroom, on the assumption that there are no procedural matters to be

11 raised at this moment.

12 At this same time, I'd like you -- yes, but first, Mr. Registrar,

13 could you already prepare exhibit numbers, provisionally, for the Defence

14 exhibits that have been used during the examination of Mr. Vasic. If you

15 prepare it and we'll hear later from you.

16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.

18 MR. TIEGER: Good morning, Your Honour.

19 [The witness entered court]

20 MR. TIEGER: Two procedural matters: First an inquiry. I just

21 wanted to ask precisely what time the Court intends to adjourn today.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Approximately --

23 [Trial Chamber confers]

24 JUDGE ORIE: We'll finish 55 minutes earlier than usual, that's 10

25 minutes to 1.00.

Page 17492

1 MR. TIEGER: And secondly, the Court asked yesterday about the

2 census, and may recall that the Prosecution volunteered to provide that

3 exhibit. We have that today and are prepared to tender it at this time.

4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's there. I think we had better at this

5 moment first use our time, because we are close to the end of a couple of

6 days, and if there's any time left, we can distribute it, but it's good to

7 know that it's there and ready to be submitted and ready to be admitted.

8 Mr. Tieger, are you ready to cross-examine Mr. Vasic?

9 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.

10 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Vasic, you'll now be cross-examined by

11 Mr. Tieger, who is counsel for the Prosecution.

12 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.

13 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.


15 [Witness answered through interpreter]

16 Cross-examined by Mr. Tieger:

17 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vasic.

18 A. Good morning.

19 JUDGE ORIE: I have to remind, Mr. Vasic. Mr. Vasic, you're still

20 bound by the solemn declaration you made last Monday at the beginning of

21 your testimony.

22 Please proceed.

23 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, the process may be expedited by the

24 distribution of a binder containing certain documents that may be used

25 during the course of the cross-examination, including one that should be

Page 17493

1 presented to the witness.

2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you may proceed.


4 Q. Mr. Vasic, the binder that has just been placed on the table in

5 front of you contains certain documents that we may be referring to during

6 the course of this examination. I will, of course -- it's tabbed with

7 certain numbers, and when necessary, I'll refer you to a particular tab

8 and then you can direct your attention to the document.

9 I'd like to begin by asking you about some of the factors that

10 might have led to the departure of Muslims from Prnjavor. First of all,

11 acts such as harassment at gunpoint, being stopped on a discriminatory

12 basis at checkpoints, and various forms of abuse would be the kinds of

13 events that would encourage people to leave the municipality; correct?

14 A. Yes, but this was not something that was done selectively.

15 MR. TIEGER: I'm having some trouble hearing the translation,

16 although I'll play with the equipment now and see -- and continue, see if

17 that works.

18 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear us better now?

19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, you're now asked whether you would hear

20 the interpreters better, but it seems that you do not.

21 MR. TIEGER: Let me try that one more time, Your Honour.

22 THE INTERPRETER: One, two, three, testing.

23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger smiles, so that's on the record.


25 Q. The types of activity that I just catalogued represent exactly

Page 17494

1 what Veljko Milankovic and the Wolves of Vucjak were doing in 1991 and

2 1992; isn't that right?

3 A. I'm aware of the fact that checkpoints were set up by the police

4 and the armed forces. And as to people being stopped by the Wolves or any

5 other formations, probably yes, but I'm not aware of that. But yes, of

6 course I can say that your claim would be correct.

7 Q. And that would certainly represent a reason why Muslims in

8 Prnjavor would be encouraged to leave the municipality; is that right?

9 A. Muslims from Prnjavor left mostly in 1995, and in the meantime,

10 Muslim refugees actually used to come to Prnjavor. We have it documented.

11 350 refugees from another place came along and I took the risk upon myself

12 and got the Crisis Staff to decide to accept them.

13 Q. Irrespective of the exodus of Muslims in 1995 and the reasons for

14 that, it is correct that the kind of activity that I indicated earlier

15 would make the Muslims of Prnjavor feel insecure and would encourage them

16 to leave the municipality; isn't that right?

17 A. Everybody felt unsafe, and whoever could leave, left. Some

18 Muslims amongst them, but I explained that in my testimony earlier on. At

19 any rate, illegal checkpoints would cause fear and would cause fear to

20 Muslims as well, amongst others.

21 Q. And more specifically, Veljko Milankovic and the Wolves of Vucjak

22 were provoking and harassing the Muslim population; isn't that right?

23 A. There were individual cases which were documented, but sanctions

24 were imposed on those people who were reported, of course.

25 Q. Well, we'll get to that a bit later, but rather than bearing the

Page 17495

1 brunt of sanctions, it's correct that Veljko Milankovic became a hero who

2 was praised and lionised by the leaders of the SDS and Republika Srpska;

3 isn't that right?

4 A. Veljko Milankovic, as a fighter, was well-liked by the Serb

5 people, because he made his name on the battlefield. And it was an

6 incredible burden to us, because almost the entire unit, in the end, was

7 seen to have been killed, and most of those killed from Prnjavor were from

8 that unit, and they were mostly young men between 18 and 20 years of age.

9 Q. Well, let's focus for a moment, if we can, not on his activity in

10 legitimate forms of combat but on his activities directed toward the

11 Muslim population. And in that connection, I'd ask you to turn to tab 2

12 of the binder, which contains a report by CSB chief Stojan Zupljanin in

13 September of 1991. And if I could direct your attention to various parts

14 of that document.

15 A. I've already read it before.

16 Q. When was that?

17 A. Yesterday, the day before, three days ago maybe.

18 Q. So I take it you noted in the report the information about

19 gunfire, illegal searches, provocations, senseless acts of malice on

20 innocent citizens, and the report that particularly characteristic in that

21 respect was Veljko Milankovic's group; is that correct?

22 A. Only during that initial period, and we have already talked about

23 the arrests of people from that group. The authorities of the

24 municipality of Prnjavor fully cooperated with the police force in

25 imposing sanctions. Because at that point, they were not a military

Page 17496

1 formation as yet. This happened after their return from training in Knin.

2 Q. And as noted, approximately the eighth paragraph, Milankovic and

3 his group provoked and harassed the Muslim population with the aim of

4 precipitating inter-ethnic fighting during that period of time; right?

5 A. It could be interpreted that way. And in the same way they

6 provoked and disturbed the Serb population as well, because here, in the

7 first paragraph, it says in villages and at religious meetings, and this

8 is a reference to what was happening in Serb villages, in fact, and they

9 were arrested for that type of behaviour.

10 Q. Well, I certainly wasn't suggesting that Mr. Milankovic was

11 incapable of engaging in criminal activity toward Serbs, but the report

12 couldn't be clearer, Mr. Vasic, could it, that Milankovic's activities

13 were primarily directed toward or selectively directed toward the Muslim

14 population?

15 A. The person who drafted this report obviously thought so. In these

16 cases described here, I agree.

17 Q. Now, you've talked not only about his criminal activity toward

18 Muslims, but also some similar conduct toward Serbs. It's true, in fact,

19 that the Wolves were characterised by and replete with people of, let's

20 say, low morals; isn't that right, led by Milankovic, who was a repeat

21 criminal offender.

22 A. According to the information that I received initially, no, but at

23 a later stage, when volunteers came from other municipalities as well, at

24 that stage, yes. But at that stage, they were already turned into a

25 military formation.

Page 17497












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Page 17498

1 Q. And in fact, these were people who displayed hatred of non-Serb

2 people and who reflected a genocidal element; isn't that right?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Those aren't my words, Mr. Vasic; those are the words of Colonel

5 Tolimir of the VRS. Let me ask you to turn to tab 18 of the document --

6 of the binder, rather. As you can see from the first pages, this is a

7 report to the Main Staff, VRS Main Staff, dated July 28th, 1992, and it's

8 signed by Colonel Zdravko Tolimir, as reflected on the last page.

9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, you are referring to the tabs. Perhaps

10 for the record it would be wise that if a document like tab 2 is already

11 in evidence, that for the record you would just remind us under what

12 number is has been admitted, because it will not be admitted again. So

13 tab 2 was P364.

14 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE ORIE: It's clearly listed, but perhaps for the record, if

16 anyone later on has to read it, knows exactly where to find the document.

17 MR. TIEGER: Of course. And thanks for that reminder. In that

18 connection, I should note that tab 18, the document to which I just

19 referred, is P529, tab 463.

20 Q. Now, as you can see from the first paragraph, Mr. Vasic, this is a

21 report on paramilitary formations in the territory of the Serbian Republic

22 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this report, as the last page indicates,

23 was directed, in addition to the president of the Presidency, to the Prime

24 Minister, and as I indicated, to the Main Staff commander. Colonel

25 Tolimir describes the main characteristics of these groups in the second

Page 17499

1 full paragraph of the report, noting "They are mostly comprised of

2 individuals of low moral quality, and in many cases, of persons previously

3 prosecuted for crimes and offences and even convicted for various crimes

4 ..." that he lists, including murder.

5 He goes on to note that: "Many formations of this type display

6 hatred of non-Serbian peoples, and one can conclude without reservations

7 that are the genocidal element among the Serbian people."

8 And finally, let me direct your attention to the page number 4 of

9 the English, which would be, I believe, your same page as well in the

10 original B/C/S. Tolimir goes on to note the most important of these

11 groups, indicating that: "The detachment of Veljko Milankovic from

12 Prnjavor has about 150 men and is, as of recently, formally under the

13 command of the 1st Krajina Corps. Members of this detachment are involved

14 in extensive looting and recently attacked the Tactical Group 3rd Command

15 Post -" or 3 Command Post - "arresting one Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina

16 Army colonel in the process."

17 Colonel Tolimir is directing his attention and the attention of

18 the Main Staff, the president of the Presidency, and the Prime Minister to

19 the same group we've been talking about, correct, the group led by Veljko

20 Milankovic, which operated out of Prnjavor?

21 A. This document tells you to what extent the military was

22 disorganised, because this is a report which is drafted by the Main Staff

23 and this is already the time when Wolves from Vucjak were incorporated

24 into one of the formations of the Republika Srpska army. I think it was

25 within the 1st Corps, commanded by General Talic. And even before that,

Page 17500

1 orders were issued by General Uzelac. As far as I know, military never

2 issued orders to paramilitary formations, and Colonel Tolimir does say

3 here that they were formally already included in the armed forces of the

4 Republic of Srpska. And this attack on the commander of the Tactical

5 Group 3, as far as we know, happened on the front line, not in Prnjavor

6 itself. And that tells us something about disagreements within the army

7 amongst themselves.

8 As to whether there was any other reason or any other background

9 to that conflict, I do not know, but this already is an example. And even

10 before that time and even on the basis of the records referring to the

11 soldier that we looked at yesterday, that they were already incorporated

12 within the armed forces, and Tolimir does not argue with that.

13 Q. There's nothing in Tolimir's report that disagrees with what you

14 said. He said that the Wolves of Vucjak were recently formally

15 incorporated, and we'll look at that document later. And as you noted, he

16 doesn't seem to dispute the fact that the army, prior to that time, was

17 willing to use Veljko Milankovic and the Wolves of Vucjak in their

18 operations; right?

19 A. I see this as a reflection of how misinformed he was of what was

20 going on within the 5th Corps of the Republika Srpska armed forces.

21 Q. Well, Colonel Tolimir seems to be very well-informed about quite a

22 number of groups, as you look through the report. He certainly knows

23 about the recent subordination of Milankovic and the Wolves of Vucjak, and

24 he knows a great deal about the composition of the group and their

25 character; isn't that right?

Page 17501

1 A. Yes, and he does say that the other formations are paramilitary

2 formations, and he says that this one is a part of the military. And I

3 myself said in my statement that initially when they only had 20 to 30

4 members, and when they stayed on the territory of the municipality, apart

5 from Veljko, others were mostly young men who were not criminals. And

6 afterwards, when they joined the army and when the unit was enlarged and

7 more volunteers joined in, criminals as well joined in from other

8 municipalities. But that was within the area of competence of the

9 military, and in my statement yesterday I did say that the biggest problem

10 to the civilian authorities was the fact that basically on a daily basis,

11 at any given moment on the territory of the municipality of Prnjavor, we

12 had more than a thousand fighters fully armed, and we never managed to

13 obtain for them to have to leave their arms and weapons behind when they

14 came and leave.

15 Q. I'm going to turn your attention next to an article that appeared

16 in --

17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.


19 Q. Sorry. I want to turn your attention to an article that appeared

20 in Javnost, but I wonder if you would first confirm that Javnost was the

21 publication of first the SDS, that it was established by the SDS and later

22 became the publication of Republika Srpska.

23 A. I believe that you are right. However, I cannot say that for a

24 fact, because I did not participate in all this, and I may have seen one

25 or two issues of the publication.

Page 17502

1 Q. Veljko Milankovic, in fact, was rather closely associated with the

2 SDS, and in fact made financial contributions to the SDS in the period

3 1990 through 1992, let's say.

4 A. Veljko never gave, and he never asked for anything from the SDS,

5 because the SDS did not have its own funds at that time.

6 Q. Let me ask --

7 A. How can somebody who has just come out of prison give money to

8 somebody else?

9 Q. Let me ask you to take a quick look at tab 21, please.

10 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I believe this is a new document, if you

11 want to give it a number.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Registrar, would you assign a --

13 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 21, Your Honours, would be P945.


15 Q. Mr. Vasic, this is a July 1996 -- excuse me. This is a 1993

16 article from Javnost, discussing Mr. Milankovic and the Wolves, and it

17 indicates in the first paragraph that he was a financier and connected to

18 the local SDS leadership. It also goes on to note the training that he

19 participated in and his own training of young men from Prnjavor and

20 surrounding areas.

21 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, with respect to my learned friend, it

22 really is, in my submission, no good to ask a question as the witness is

23 trying to read the documents. If he hasn't read this one before, he needs

24 to be allowed to read it. Because asking a question through the

25 headphones as he's reading it is really asking too much of any person.

Page 17503

1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, I take it that you'll take into account

2 that if the witness first reads, that he should not be confused, unless

3 you would like to read a certain portion of it. That, of course, would be

4 different.

5 MR. TIEGER: It was more in the nature of directing the witness's

6 attention to a certain portion, but I certainly accept counsel's comments

7 and I appreciate it.

8 Q. Mr. Vasic, let me indicate I'm only going to be asking you a

9 couple of questions --

10 A. I can say that I see this for the first time. This is a very

11 poetic description of things, written by people who attended a funeral,

12 which is obviously an event loaded with emotions. It is indisputable that

13 Milankovic was considered a hero. He died in battle and he is still

14 respected and loved by the Serbian people. But it is also indisputable

15 that only the best things are said about people at their funerals and many

16 things are exaggerated. I have not been able to find the place here where

17 it says that he financed the SDS. However, at that time, the SDS was a

18 movement of the Serbian people, and everybody funded it and supported it.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, if you would listen to Mr. Tieger's

20 question and answer those questions. Please proceed.

21 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.

22 Q. Mr. Vasic, didn't the endorsement and acceptance and use of Veljko

23 Milankovic and the Wolves of Vucjak send a clear message to the Muslim

24 population of Prnjavor and the surrounding areas that the kind of

25 treatment they received from Milankovic and the Wolves reflected their

Page 17504












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Page 17505

1 level of security in the areas that he operated in? In other words, sent

2 a clear message to them that they were unwelcome and unsafe in those

3 areas?

4 A. Again, you are looking at Milankovic and the Wolves, and they were

5 just members of some other formations. Their popular name was the Wolves.

6 And the non-Serbian population probably found it equally uncomfortable to

7 see any soldier of the Republika Srpska army if they were thinking

8 differently than a citizen of the Republika Srpska should have been

9 thinking. And everybody is afraid to see somebody carrying arms. I don't

10 think that they found it any different in terms of how they felt when they

11 saw a member of the Wolves or when they saw a member of any other unit.

12 But I agree; I also found it very uncomfortable to see a group of ten

13 drunken people carrying arms, and there were plenty of such scenes at that

14 time.

15 Q. I believe you mentioned earlier that Milankovic and the Wolves

16 were praised by various Bosnian Serb leaders. That would include, would

17 it not, Mr. Krajisnik and yourself?

18 A. I don't remember ever having awarded or gave praise or anything

19 else. I'm proud that such a fighter was amongst the ranks of the army and

20 everything that he gave on the front line, because he gave his life to

21 defend the Serbian people. I don't want to comment upon his criminal past

22 before the war, though, and I'm not saying that there's anything

23 disputable about that.

24 Q. Let me just look quickly at a couple of the tabs. First tab 20,

25 which contains an article from Glas Srpski dated 18 February 1993.

Page 17506

1 MR. TIEGER: That will need a number, Your Honour.

2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.

3 THE REGISTRAR: The original and B/C/S, Your Honours, of tab 20

4 will be P946, and the English translation will be 946.1. Thank you.


6 Q. And just noting quickly, that article reflects remarks by you

7 about Mr. Milankovic at his funeral, in which you said: "For everything

8 he did, Veljko deserved to be a hero of Republika Srpska. Let us wish

9 that he rests in peace and pray to God that his soul reaches the heavenly

10 kingdom. We promise that many names and institutions shall bear his name

11 in his hometown of Prnjavor, as well as in other Serbian towns."

12 That was an accurate reflection of your remarks at that time,

13 Mr. Vasic; is that right?

14 A. Yes, that is right. And the authorities that replaced me gave a

15 name to -- the name of Veljko Milankovic to a street in Prnjavor.

16 Q. And I misdirected you to the tab number earlier. If you could

17 turn to tab 26.

18 MR. TIEGER: Your Honours, that's P749, tab 7.

19 Q. And that's an event that took place on the fifth anniversary of

20 the establishment of the Wolves, according to the article. And again,

21 it's an article from Javnost dated, in this instance, 27 July 1996, and it

22 reflects, among other things, the remarks of Commander Mirko Sikarac,

23 about whom you spoke earlier, talking about the training in Knin and the

24 first operation of the Wolves in taking over the relay station on Kozara.

25 I believe you see that in the third paragraph. And it also reflects the

Page 17507

1 remarks of Mr. Krajisnik at that event, stating that: "Since 1991 when

2 you lighted a fire of freedom by defending the people of Serbian Krajina

3 ..." and then going on to state that: "Your deeds are immortal. You are

4 the heroes of the third Serbian uprising and you belonged to the whole

5 Serbian nation! We were the Wolves and we will remain the Wolves, for all

6 those who want to take away freedom and Republika Srpska from our people."

7 And did you hear those remarks or read about them at the time,

8 Mr. Vasic?

9 A. This was the election rally of the SDS. The party would use any

10 religious gatherings or other rallies when there were a lot of people, and

11 that's where they held their election campaign. It was well known that

12 the anniversary of the Wolves would gather a lot of people, and the

13 leadership of the SDS asked us to help them with the election campaign. I

14 was informed of that. I don't know whether I've already told you that or

15 not, I was a candidate for an MP on behalf of the Assembly of Republika

16 Srpska.

17 Q. I want to return to the factors that caused people to -- caused

18 Muslims to leave Prnjavor a bit later, but while we're on the subject of

19 Milankovic, I want to talk about some events in Prnjavor, including Lisnja

20 and disarming.

21 First of all, I wanted to ask you a question about one of the

22 tabs, one of the exhibits you produced for the Court during the course of

23 your examination-in-chief, and that was initially tab 7, which depicts a

24 series of photographs.

25 JUDGE ORIE: Has the witness the other binder in front of him? If

Page 17508

1 not, he should be provided with it.

2 Mr. Tieger is drawing your attention to the photo documentation

3 under tab 7, dating from June 1992, in relation to Lisnja.


5 Q. First of all, looking at the cover page, entitled "foto

6 dokumentacija," I'm not sure that there's a section marked Predmet and I'm

7 not sure that you read what the title of this photo documentation is. Can

8 you just read that to the Court so it can be translated?

9 A. It says: "Trenches and shelters."

10 Q. Okay. Now, I take it this was not part of your personal

11 collection of materials, or was it?

12 A. No.

13 Q. And did you gather these materials in preparation for coming to

14 Court?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And from whom did you obtain them?

17 A. From the chief of the public security station, the then-chief of

18 the public security station. Yes, he was actually chief at the time. His

19 name is Radislav Vincic.

20 Q. And what did you ask him for? Did you ask him specifically for

21 photographs of shelters or did you ask him for all documentation he had

22 related to the events in Lisnja?

23 A. A few people who were in certain positions during the war have

24 already come here to testify in the Brdjanin case. Some expected that

25 they would be called as witnesses, and obviously they collected some

Page 17509

1 documentation that might have come useful in this Court. I did not

2 contact only Mr. Vincic, but also others, to see what they have and that I

3 did not have. I wanted my evidence to be as complete as possible. That's

4 how he told me that, with regard to the Lisnja case, he had some

5 documents, and this is what he gave to me.

6 Q. So as far as you know, this represents the total of all the

7 relevant information - photos or otherwise - about events in Lisnja?

8 A. No. These documents are part of the investigation that was

9 conducted by the public security station of Prnjavor. According to the

10 chief, another part of the investigation was conducted by the military

11 services, because a military unit was involved in the investigation and

12 they were in charge of one part of it. I don't know how they split the

13 job amongst themselves. I don't even know who was re-subordinated to whom

14 during that investigation.

15 Q. Apart from these photographs, are you aware of any other photos or

16 videos depicting preparations -- depicting what you called preparations

17 for possible combat operations, or whatever, by Muslims in Lisnja?

18 A. Could you repeat the beginning of your question, please.

19 Q. Sure. Are you aware of any other photographs that show

20 preparations other than these?

21 A. No, I'm not.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, the witness had not answered one of your

23 previous questions.

24 What did you ask for, Mr. Tieger asked you; all of the

25 documentation? And then you gave a long answer saying that you also, in

Page 17510

1 order to have the material as complete as possible, you also addressed

2 others. But what did you ask for to Mr. Vincic? That was the question.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For Mr. Vincic, you mean?


5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I asked him to show me what he has

6 and what he could give me that could help me with my testimony. And he

7 told me that these are the documents that he has about the Lisnja case,

8 and this is what he gave me.

9 JUDGE ORIE: Have you ever seen any other photographs, as asked by

10 Mr. Tieger? Not whether you have them in your possession, but whether you

11 have ever seen them.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I've never seen any other

13 photos.

14 JUDGE ORIE: And what did the other people who you said might have

15 other sources you addressed? Did they give you anything, any material on

16 the Lisnja events?

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The other people are the president

18 of the executive board, who obviously --

19 JUDGE ORIE: I'm asking whether --

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they didn't, because nobody can

21 have more material than the chief of the police station.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Why did you then address them, if no one could have

23 any additional material, after you had addressed already the chief of the

24 police station?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not address them only with

Page 17511












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Page 17512

1 regard to the Lisnja case. I wanted my material to be as complete as

2 possible in every other aspect. The president of the executive board

3 might have had some minutes that I didn't have of some meetings. I did

4 that in a haste, because it was only seven days prior to my coming here

5 that I actually learned that I would be called as a witness.


7 Mr. Tieger, please proceed.

8 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.

9 Q. Mr. Vasic, I know you don't purport to be a military expert, but

10 wasn't it plain to you when you received these photographs that they

11 depict efforts by people to protect their homes or themselves against

12 attack?

13 A. This happened much before the beginning of the conflict in Bosnia

14 and Herzegovina, and every type of armament - illegal arming, that is -

15 was a crime. And the same applies to digging trenches. I didn't know

16 about the trenches before, nor was I supposed to know, but there was

17 intelligence data about a large-scale arming of the population of Lisnja.

18 Before the beginning of conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there could be

19 no word about any defence. I don't know what kind of defence could one be

20 talking about. I don't know who the aggressor might have been.

21 Q. You mentioned large-scale arming. Didn't the SDS arm Serbs on a

22 large scale, allegedly to protect against an impending genocide?

23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, could you please specify whether your

24 question relates to Prnjavor or has a wider context.

25 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour. I appreciate that.

Page 17513

1 Q. Let me ask the question in two parts, if I may. Didn't the SDS

2 arm Serbs on a large scale all over the territory of Bosnia and

3 Herzegovina, and also specifically in Prnjavor?

4 A. The SDS did not arm the population. Maybe some people did that,

5 but not with the approval or under the auspices, so to say, of the SDS. I

6 also received information that a group led by the SPO distributed arms,

7 but I never learnt the details of this.

8 Q. Let me ask you about a couple of speeches by top officials in the

9 SDS concerning that very issue that this Chamber has had the opportunity

10 to see. First of all -- and these are both documents contained in the

11 Treanor material, I believe, at binder 64 and binder 65. I may have to

12 get this -- I may have to clarify the specific tab number for the Court

13 later, but it refers to two Assembly sessions, first the 34th, and later

14 the 50th, which were -- which Mr. Treanor directed his attention to.

15 The first are -- represent remarks by General Gvero at the 34th

16 session of the Assembly of the Serbian people, held in September of 1993.

17 General Gvero noted initially that "for more than a year and a half, the

18 Serbian people in Republika Srpska have been waging a defensive and

19 liberation war." He talked about the Serbian Democratic Party, which

20 "politically awakened and homogenised the Serbian people, formulated the

21 political and social goals, and prepared all the important prerequisites

22 for a successful struggle," and then noted in addition, or among other

23 things, that "the Serbian Democratic Party and the established state

24 institutions also have the most credit for the initial arming of the

25 Serbian people with small arms."

Page 17514

1 And if I could also direct your attention to the remarks of

2 Dr. Karadzic at the 50th session of the Assembly, held in April of 1995,

3 and during a part of his remarks he noted that when war broke out, the SDS

4 was in power in municipalities where Serbs were a majority and had

5 everything under their control. And then, as part of that, he noted that:

6 "Thanks to the JNA, weapons were distributed to the Serbian people, but it

7 was the SDS that created the army and organised the people."

8 And finally, let me direct your attention to -- first of all, let

9 me ask if you are aware that, first, Bosnian Serb leaders acknowledged and

10 indeed boasted about the arming of Serb people before the war and whether

11 that refreshes your recollection that such arming took place.

12 A. I was not a member of the Assembly. I never attended any sessions

13 of the Assembly of the Serbian People. What General Gvero said obviously

14 was meant to explain that the SDS homogenised the Serbian people and

15 Radovan Karadzic said that there were no Chetniks or partisans, and the

16 purpose of those words was to try and reconcile a vast number of the

17 supporters of the SDS with the Serbian communists in order to unify them

18 in defence of that area.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, may I draw your attention to the question

20 put to you. The question is whether you were aware of these things having

21 been said. You did not answer the question. You told us that you are not

22 a member of the Assembly, which then perhaps we should understand to be --

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not -- I'm not aware of

24 anything. Maybe this applied to the municipalities where the Serbs were

25 not in power. We did not need that. The Serbs were in power and we could

Page 17515

1 always distribute the arms of the regular TO. I've answered your

2 question.

3 JUDGE ORIE: You were asked whether you knew about it. Whether

4 you are a member of parliament, sometimes I even know what happens in my

5 parliament in my own country without being a member of parliament. So the

6 question was whether you are aware what you did is at length interpret

7 what might have been meant by those who are speaking. That was not asked.

8 If there's anyone who would be interested to know your interpretation of

9 what's said at that time, they'll certainly, whether it will be Defence,

10 whether it will be Prosecution, whether it will be the Judges, they'll ask

11 for it. Please focus on the questions and answer them.

12 Please proceed.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.


15 Q. Let me ask you again -- please.

16 A. I was not aware of that because I was not present, and we received

17 the Official Gazette; however, the Official Gazettes did not carry any

18 speeches. They only carried conclusions and decisions.

19 Q. And were you aware from any other source about arming of Serbs in

20 order -- for the purpose of -- or for the alleged purpose of preventing

21 genocide, or for any other reason?

22 A. There were rumours, always, and if anything was done, it was done

23 illegally. But I don't know anything about that. In Prnjavor, the SDS

24 did not do any such thing.

25 Q. All right. And setting aside Prnjavor for the moment, were you

Page 17516

1 aware that more generally, the Bosnian Serb leadership was ensuring that

2 the Bosnian Serbs were armed?

3 A. No. I didn't have any official contacts in that sense. And

4 rumours are not something to be talked about before this Court. If I need

5 to comment on rumours, I can do so, if you ask me to.

6 Q. Well, Mr. Vasic, we looked at comments by Dr. Karadzic and General

7 Gvero, talking retrospectively about the arming of Serbs. Did you also,

8 after 1991 and 1992, praise the SDS for having armed the Serbs?

9 A. I don't believe so. I can't remember, but I don't think so.

10 Q. Let me direct your attention, please, to tab 23, which contains an

11 article from Nas Zavicaj of September 1993.

12 MR. TIEGER: And I believe this needs a new number, Your Honour.

13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.

14 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 23, Your Honours, will be P947, and the

15 English translation will be P947.1.


17 Q. Mr. Vasic, this contains an introductory speech by you at the 16th

18 session of the Prnjavor Municipal Assembly. I'll give you a moment to

19 cast your eye on it, but I will indicate to you that I'll be directing

20 your attention to the first full paragraph under the heading "Good

21 personnel policy."

22 And there, Mr. Vasic, you say: "We are aware of the fact that the

23 SDS played a key role in bringing down the previous authorities, as well

24 as in the prevention of a genocide against the Serbian people by having

25 armed it on time, and by bridging a period between the transformation of

Page 17517

1 the army from the JNA to the Serbian army."

2 Mr. Vasic, you not only knew about such arming, but you praised

3 the SDS and, indirectly or impliedly, yourself by having done so; isn't

4 that right?

5 A. Yes. And I myself and the SDS authorities who made the decision

6 for the TO defence weapons to be distributed to the population, mostly to

7 Serbs. Because I was not referring to any illegal arming of the

8 population; I was referring to the TO weapons that had been distributed

9 before the breakout of any conflicts, at the time when there was an

10 imminent danger of war.

11 Q. Mr. Vasic, I raised that for a couple of reasons.

12 A. I do apologise.

13 Q. I raise that for a couple of reasons, Mr. Vasic, but in part in

14 response to your comment about the shelters that are depicted in the

15 photos. And I understood you to ask rhetorically why people would build

16 such shelters, what did they have to be apprehensive of, who was armed?

17 The Serbs were armed in Prnjavor, weren't they?

18 A. I suppose I made myself clear when I said that the TO -- that the

19 Territorial Defence weapons were distributed to everyone, not in a

20 selective manner. Those weapons were distributed to both Serbs and

21 Muslims at the time when there was an imminent threat of war. It was the

22 weapons that were under the control of the Territorial Defence, and

23 according to the legal provisions, they were supposed to be used in order

24 to guard and ensure safety of property and people, et cetera. But they

25 were not building shelters; they were building trenches. You might not be

Page 17518












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13 English transcripts.













Page 17519

1 familiar with the military terminology, but behind every trench there is a

2 shelter.

3 Q. I didn't understand you before to be claiming that kind of

4 military expertise, so we'll go into that in just a moment. But let me

5 ask you first: It's correct, isn't it, that the Serbs in Prnjavor had

6 overwhelming military superiority?

7 A. Officially, the Territorial Defence weapons, according to the

8 relevant rules and regulations, was distributed to all the Territorial

9 Defence units. But illegal arms were very much present in the village of

10 Lisnja, according to all the intelligence reports from both the police and

11 the army. And it turned out to be correct afterwards.

12 Q. We've had an opportunity to see some of the judgements against

13 persons for illegal possession of arms and other crimes. Are you

14 suggesting to this Court that, in light of the existence of the JNA and

15 then later the VRS, in light of the number of Serbs in Prnjavor, and in

16 particular, the number of Serbs you told us were walking around with

17 weapons, that there was any question about who had military superiority in

18 Prnjavor?

19 A. Before the conflict broke out, people were not thinking about

20 possible conflict, but the arms were distributed according to the

21 Territorial Defence law of a need such as of guardian of facilities and

22 infrastructures, such as bridges, et cetera, and also people, individuals.

23 That's what it says in the legal provisions. I can't remember it, I don't

24 know it by heart, but considering that -- I can't remember the exact

25 figure, but I think about 2.000 people were members of the Territorial

Page 17520

1 Defence units in the municipality, and therefore it is only natural that

2 more Serbs had weapons than Muslims. But that is the weapons under the

3 control of the Territorial Defence. The problem was not the Territorial

4 Defence weapons, in fact, but illegal weapons.

5 Q. Did Serb villages have shelters, sandbags at their windows, holes

6 to crawl in by their houses?

7 A. Nobody was building shelters, and the trenches were being made in

8 the village of Lisnja, trenches for the purpose of fighting.

9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, could I ask for a few clarifications on

10 the document P99 147. You explained to us that in your speech you

11 referred to general distributions of TO arms to, well, the population, or

12 from whatever. I'm trying to understand your explanation. In this

13 speech, as we find it written down in this document, you said that: "...

14 the SDS played a key role in the bringing down the previous authorities,

15 as well as in the prevention of a genocide against the Serbian people by

16 having armed it on time ..." which I read to be that you armed the Serbian

17 people on time.

18 Now I understand that your reference was to arming the population

19 in general, not specifically Serbs, although that's what the speech seems

20 to say. But what if other population, other members of the population,

21 were armed, I take it Muslims then as well, what role could that play in

22 the prevention of a genocide against the Serbian people? I mean, were you

23 expecting Muslims to protect the Serbs against the genocide?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were afraid that the genocide

25 would be perpetrated precisely by the Muslims, in case conflict broke out

Page 17521

1 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. SDS party played a crucial role in

2 reconciliation with the JNA. That's what I had in mind. And then they

3 reached a decision through the Territorial Defence about the distributing

4 the arms to the population. I meant it globally and not locally, as it

5 were.

6 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that the fear from Serbs was a

7 genocide committed by Muslims or -- and you would not, in order to protect

8 the Serbs against such a genocide, arm the Muslims, would you?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We had to act according to the

10 Territorial Defence law and its provisions, and that's what we did. In

11 case an imminent threat of war is proclaimed, the Territorial Defence

12 units are to receive the Territorial Defence weapons, and that's what we

13 did.

14 JUDGE ORIE: I go back again to your speech, in which you say:

15 "We armed the Serbian people in time to prevent a genocide." You

16 explained to us now that what you meant was a general distribution of

17 arms, not only to Serbs but to others as well, and at the same time, you

18 tell us that the fear was that Muslims would commit such a genocide.

19 I'm trying to reconcile the logic of your speech, the logic of

20 what had happened, and I asked for your assistance in that. Apart from

21 that your language seems to be clear in respect of who, under the SDS key

22 role, who was armed in time.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said here earlier on that I made a

24 kind of global statement. Muslims in Bosnia were the majority.

25 JUDGE ORIE: So you -- then do I have to understand your testimony

Page 17522

1 to be that you made general reference to the key role of the SDS arming

2 the Serbian people on time to prevent genocide, not specifically Prnjavor

3 but as a wider thing that happened in some areas of Bosnia and

4 Herzegovina? Is that how I have to understand it?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I had in mind was precisely the

6 fact that the SDS, by virtue of the fact that they supported the JNA,

7 managed to obtain the possibility of distributing these Territorial

8 Defence weapons and for the Serb people to be armed. But with reference

9 to the village of Lisnja, we're not talking about any conflict, any war,

10 because war had not broken out in Bosnia. So it was the breaking of the

11 law and illegal arming, to a significant extent.

12 JUDGE ORIE: So what you now say, and I'm trying to reconcile that

13 with one of your earlier answers, that the SDS was active, played an

14 active role, in arming the Serbs. Because you said distributing these

15 Territorial Defence weapons and for the Serb people to be armed, and that

16 the SDS was active in that, whereas earlier you said that the SDS was

17 never involved in any way in arming Serbs, also outside Prnjavor.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All that refers to political

19 activities, and the decision to embrace the idea of the JNA as an armed

20 force that could grant us protection, and then it was up to them to make

21 decisions. Because those of us at the municipal level could not issue

22 orders to the Territorial Defence. I'm talking about the political

23 activity that led to certain orders, that led to certain events. So the

24 Territorial Defence weapons could be distributed only on the basis of a

25 decision that came from the Territorial Defence staff at the district

Page 17523

1 level in Banja Luka. But the political mediation on the part of the SDS

2 with regard to the JNA played a key role. That's what I had in mind; the

3 political activity on the part of the SDS, which eventually led the army

4 to do what they did.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Now, do I then have to understand your testimony to

6 be that the SDS politically played an active role in finally achieving

7 arming Serbs in order to protect them against a possible genocide?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the basis of this decision,

9 everybody was armed, but in the part of the country where we were, Serbs

10 were in the majority, and to a significant extent, it played a role in

11 calming the population down, in allaying their fears, since, apart from

12 this group that came back from training in Knin, Serbs did not have any

13 weapons. But those are rumours, and there were other rumours which are

14 later confirmed with regard to the Muslims in Lisnja, who had more

15 weapons.

16 JUDGE ORIE: It's not an answer to my question, but, Mr. Tieger,

17 please proceed.


19 Q. I'm going to be returning to the subject of Lisnja after the

20 adjournment, but I wanted to ask you before the break about your comment,

21 your repeated comment concerning the TO, the relationship of the municipal

22 authorities to the TO, their ability to give orders and their relationship

23 with them. And in that connection, let me ask you to turn quickly to tab

24 11, which is P529, tab 413. I know you've seen this document before,

25 Mr. Vasic. It reflects the conclusions from the 2nd Session of the

Page 17524

1 Prnjavor Crisis Staff, held on May 19th, 1992. And in particular, let me

2 direct your attention to agenda item, or conclusion, number 8: "As

3 regards the use of vehicles required for the needs of the Prnjavor TO, the

4 Crisis Staff of Prnjavor Municipality hereby orders the commander of the

5 Prnjavor TO to act in accordance with the previously adopted conclusion

6 and to limit the use of vehicles to the necessary minimum due to

7 difficulties in obtaining oil ..." et cetera.

8 You told us more than once that the municipal authorities couldn't

9 order the TO, basically were not linked to the TO, which had a vertical

10 chain of command. How is it that on May 19th you were ordering the

11 commander of the Prnjavor TO to do something?

12 A. This entire set of conclusions that you submitted to me means we

13 request. Every single item begins with "we request" but not "we order."

14 We were in charge of providing logistical support. So we can order

15 because we don't have sufficient quantities of fuel or anything else which

16 is necessary, and we don't want them to squander the existing resources.

17 So it was a kind of order, because unless they acted in line with our

18 orders, we would not be able to provide sufficient resources. We don't

19 want the military to be driving around for no reason at all. That was

20 that bit of the text. Perhaps it was a mistake in terms of the right

21 expression to be used.

22 Q. And in agenda item 2, you ask the TO and the chiefs of public

23 security to prepare and submit an internal security plan so that it can be

24 reviewed by the Crisis Staff; correct?

25 A. Yes. We had to take care of the security of our municipality,

Page 17525












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13 English transcripts.













Page 17526

1 since the front line in the direction of Derventa was at a distance of 30

2 kilometres, and we also had to take care of our own internal security and

3 it was up to the police to do that, and we wanted them to do their job and

4 to submit to us what they were doing so we could inform the citizens about

5 the security situation and to let them know that we knew what the security

6 situation within the municipality was, to what extent we were safe, since

7 the Derventa front line was at a distance of 30 kilometres and therefore

8 we needed internal, in-depth security within the municipality, as it were.

9 Q. So the effort to ensure the security of Prnjavor and the

10 responsibility for ensuring the security of Prnjavor was discharged by

11 close coordination and cooperation between the Crisis Staff, the municipal

12 authorities, the TO, the police and the army; is that right?

13 A. Yes.

14 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I note the time.

15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If this would be a suitable moment to have a

16 break. Well, let me just have a look at -- we'll have a short session.

17 No, we need a second break anyhow, so therefore we'll have a break until

18 11.00.

19 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.

20 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.

21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.

22 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour. If I can note at this time,

23 the Prosecution would ask for approximately five minutes at some

24 convenient point today to address a certain procedural issue.

25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Would you mind -- I have to deliver a few

Page 17527

1 decisions as well. It might be, since one of my colleagues has to leave,

2 that for these practical and technical matters, such as reading decisions,

3 and also perhaps hearing something that the other Judge could read, that

4 we'd then sit the two of us and continue a bit at a later stage.

5 MR. TIEGER: It seems very sensible, Your Honour. Thank you.

6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.


8 Q. Mr. Vasic, let me ask you to turn your attention now to events in

9 Lisnja. I understand that you were -- that you arrived late in the

10 vicinity of Lisnja and were some distance from there, but I want to ask

11 you what you might have learned subsequently, or not have learned

12 subsequently, about events there.

13 First of all, you indicated that both the police and the TO,

14 including the Wolves of Vucjak, were involved in that operation; correct?

15 A. The police and the Territorial Defence participated in that

16 operation. In the Territorial Defence, there were some 20 or 30 men,

17 mostly the men who were on the strength of the Wolves, who at the time

18 were under the Territorial Defence.

19 Q. And it's also correct that before those forces entered Lisnja,

20 that Lisnja was shelled; isn't that right? Or don't you know?

21 A. I was informed subsequently that from a hand-held rocket launcher,

22 three rockets were launched onto a meadow as a sign of a warning. There

23 were no buildings there, as I was told. This was just to intimidate those

24 who refused to return their weapons.

25 Q. You don't have any personal knowledge from your own observation,

Page 17528

1 do you, to dispute the testimony of any eyewitness that Lisnja was

2 shelled?

3 A. No, because I arrived when the operation had been well under way,

4 and this happened towards the end of the negotiations about the return of

5 weapons, or, as I was told, when the extremist group bust into the culture

6 hall and seized some of those weapons that had been returned. As I've

7 said, I arrived much later, when the operation was well under way.

8 Q. I think the answer to my question was correct; it is not

9 necessary, although I appreciate or understand the impulse to repeat what

10 you've said before in response to such a question, I'd appreciate it if we

11 could move forward a little bit faster.

12 The two mosques in the area were destroyed, and approximately 75

13 homes were burned down; isn't that right?

14 A. There were a lot of fires. I saw a mosque ablaze. As I've

15 already told you, I was standing with the president of the village some 50

16 metres away from the mosque. Two soldiers approached us and they

17 attempted to put the fire out. That mosque burnt down. Another mosque

18 also burnt down. I didn't see that. That also happened during that

19 operation. I don't know about the number of houses that were set on fire.

20 Not all of them burnt completely. But there was a lot of damage. I'm sure

21 you can find the number of those houses in one of the reports.

22 Q. Isn't it correct that those mosques were primarily constructed of

23 stone and brick and were destroyed not exclusively through fire but also

24 by being blown up by explosives?

25 A. The one that I saw had a wooden upper part, and it burnt to the

Page 17529

1 ground, literally. I don't know how fire was set to it. I was never

2 informed. We were just informed, me and the president of the village,

3 even that the mosque was on fire, and we also saw that the upper part of

4 the building was made of wood. We had not heard any particular explosion.

5 There was shooting all around the place, but I can tell you that at that

6 moment, we did not hear a detonation of any bigger explosive device. I

7 apologise. What I'm saying is that it did not burn down to the ground;

8 only the upper, wooden part burned completely.

9 Q. And were those mosques then, according to you, subsequently

10 destroyed by being blown up?

11 A. I don't know whether there was any subsequent destruction or not,

12 but that mosque burnt. I did not stay there any longer, and I did not

13 return to Lisnja afterwards.

14 Q. And the Muslim population of the area of Lisnja village was

15 expelled; isn't that correct?

16 A. No. I have already testified that the Muslim population, as well

17 as the Serbian population, had left at the beginning of the war for

18 economic reasons. From Prnjavor, nobody left before 1995. A lot of

19 refugees arrived in Prnjavor, and I have proof that we were the only

20 municipality that received all those refugees. I'm talking about the

21 Muslim refugees from Derventa. I'm sure that you will find that decision

22 in your documentation, and I would kindly ask you if we can look at that

23 decision. I would be very grateful to you if we could do that.

24 Q. We will turn to a decision concerning refugees shortly, but before

25 we do, I'd like you to turn your attention, please, to tab 12.

Page 17530

1 MR. TIEGER: Your Honours, tab 12 contains P892, tab 87, and P --

2 excuse me. That's the only entry.

3 Q. This is a secret report, military secret, top secret, strictly

4 confidential report, from Major General Talic to the Serbian Republic of

5 Bosnia and Herzegovina Army Main Staff, dated the 2nd of June, 1992, and

6 in particular, Mr. Vasic, let me turn your attention to item number 2 and

7 to the last sentence contained there, which states: "In the area of

8 Derventa there continues to be occasional artillery fire, while because

9 Muslim extremists have failed to hand in their weapons, the Muslim

10 population of the area of Lisnja village has been expelled."

11 That's in fact what happened, isn't it, precisely what General

12 Talic reported to the Main Staff?

13 A. I can see this written, but this is not correct. This is not what

14 happened. But I'm sure that reports in the army are drafted both on

15 verified as well as on non-verified information. I claim with full

16 responsibility that this did not happen. A convoy was formed of some 20

17 or so vehicles. There were people sitting in it, men, women, and

18 children. I approached them. I told them, "Go back to your houses, and

19 if your house is ablaze, try to put the fire out." All the people

20 returned on that day. On the following days -- during the following

21 months, the population of Lisnja did not leave Lisnja, and I claim with

22 full responsibility that this sentence is nothing but a lie, a

23 fabrication.

24 Q. How many people from Lisnja or the surrounding area ended up

25 confined or detained in the Sloga shoe factory?

Page 17531

1 A. This job was carried out by the police. I am not aware of the

2 exact number, but you have the documents and the documents tell you

3 exactly what the number was. All those who were arrested in that

4 operation and who were in possession of illegally obtained weapons were

5 arrested. And if you look at the list of the weapons that were seized,

6 you can see that it was not the Muslim members of the TO that were

7 arrested. We're talking about M-48 rifles. There were not many of them.

8 Maybe people had some other weapons which were kept illegally, which was a

9 crime. I don't know any of the details. This is what I could tell from

10 the documents. It was not up to the municipal authorities to do that job.

11 It was the police who did it, and the judiciary afterwards.

12 Q. You told us about Muslims who were arrested for possessing M-48s

13 or other rifles. You told us about Serbs who were arrested for selling

14 weapons to Muslims. How many Serbs were arrested for possessing an M-48

15 or some other rifle?

16 A. What are you asking me? Are you asking me about the Serbs who had

17 sold weapons or about the Serbs who were found in possession of illegally

18 obtained weapons or hunting rifles that they hadn't turned in? What are

19 you asking me about? I didn't understand your question.

20 Q. Let me change the question slightly. How many Serbian villages

21 were attacked by Bosnian Serb forces because of suspicion that they had

22 weapons?

23 A. All the villagers returned their hunting rifles and TO weapons,

24 save for the village of Lisnja, and the only place where the operation was

25 carried out was the village of Lisnja. There was individual disarmament

Page 17532












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13 English transcripts.













Page 17533

1 on a case-by-case basis if the police station had been informed that they

2 kept weapons. Many people failed to return their weapons, both Muslims

3 and Serbs. And from testimony of your witness here, you could see that in

4 1994, the police had seized from him, from his father and from his

5 brother, three hunting rifles. This was in 1994. They also did not obey

6 the order, and they lived in Prnjavor.

7 Q. You've referred on a couple of occasions to testimony before this

8 Tribunal and to witnesses, in fact. Did you actually watch the testimony

9 of these witnesses or were you provided with transcripts of what those

10 witnesses had said?

11 A. I saw a picture of the witness on TV, and then I saw his statement

12 among the documents when I arrived here.

13 Q. Well, in your previous -- in your testimony earlier, you spoke

14 about -- well, you spoke about Mr. Odobasic and you compared what he said

15 in one part of his testimony to what he said in a later part his

16 testimony. At another point in your testimony you said, about some

17 information: "Like some witnesses claimed here."

18 I believe that was at page 49 of yesterday's transcript. You also

19 said: "A lot of witnesses had said that if they didn't join the army,

20 that they were fired." That was at page 52.

21 Since only one witness testified in this Court concerning

22 Prnjavor, is it correct that you also watched the testimony of witnesses

23 in the Brdjanin case or obtained the transcripts of testimony of witnesses

24 from the Brdjanin case related to Prnjavor?

25 A. Yes, there was some coverage on TV. Some parts of the testimonies

Page 17534

1 were shown. But I received the testimonies and statements of the

2 witnesses only here, when I arrived here. For example, I only heard of

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 Q. Did you also -- well, I take it you're aware that Mr. Vidic and

11 Mr. Savic testified in the Brdjanin case; is that right?

12 A. I know that Mr. Vidic testified in the Brdjanin case.

13 Q. And can you explain to the Court briefly who he was.

14 A. Mr. Vidic was the president of the Serbian Democratic Party of the

15 municipal board of Prnjavor, and he was also -- he was the first president

16 of that party, and he was also a deputy in the People's Council of Bosnia

17 and Herzegovina.

18 Q. You've focussed on the testimony of a number of witnesses. You

19 were aware that Mr. Vidic said that Lisnja was ethnically cleansed,

20 weren't you?

21 A. Lisnja was a Muslim village. Actually, there were two villages by

22 the same name. There was a Serb Lisnja and a Muslim Lisnja, and the

23 Muslim Lisnja was 100 per cent uniform Muslim village, and it could not be

24 ethnically cleansed because it was already ethnically uniform.

25 JUDGE ORIE: The question was whether you were aware of the

Page 17535

1 testimony by Mr. Vidic. You are not invited to give your own

2 interpretation of the facts, but the question was clearly whether you are

3 aware that Mr. Vidic said that Lisnja was ethnically cleansed.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. All I know from his testimony

5 is a two-minute clip that I saw on TV.


7 Q. And were you aware that Mr. Savic, the former chief of police in

8 Prnjavor, testified?

9 A. No. I hear it for the first time now from you.

10 Q. When was Mr. Savic removed as chief of police of Prnjavor?

11 A. He was removed -- I don't know exactly when. At the time when a

12 few people from the Wolves of Vucjak were arrested. There had been a

13 conflict prior to that, and I believe that the Banja Luka centre of

14 security services found a compromise or some sort of a solution. In any

15 case, those men were arrested, and I believe that, in their view, he was

16 not capable of controlling the situation. And then Chief Stojan Zupljanin

17 decided to replace Savic by Radislav Vincic.

18 Q. Mr. Savic disputed that, and you're aware that he has said that he

19 was removed because he wasn't an SDS member or follower and because he

20 didn't agree with the policy of a mono-ethnic police force?

21 A. The SDS had an absolute power in the municipality and they could

22 remove people or have people removed if the personnel committee and the

23 leadership thought that that was necessary. When this was being

24 considered, he was appointed chief. If he had not been suitable for the

25 position, he would not have even been appointed in the first place. He

Page 17536

1 was removed after having been chief of police for as long as a year and a

2 half, although he was a Communist and his term of duty fell under the SDS

3 leadership of the municipality. However, he was a professional and he was

4 under the authority of the Banja Luka security services centre. And even

5 if we had wanted to remove him, without Banja Luka, we could not have

6 removed him.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, may I ask you to answer to the question.

8 The question was that Mr. Savic has said, and the question was whether

9 you're aware of that, that he was removed because he wasn't an SDS member

10 or follower and because he didn't agree with the policy of mono-ethnic

11 police force.

12 You have not answered that question. First of all, are you aware

13 of that he said so?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not aware that he said that.

15 JUDGE ORIE: My next question, then, would be --

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I do apologise, but we --

17 JUDGE ORIE: You said you are not aware of it. My next question

18 would be: Was there a policy of mono-ethnic police force?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. If I may elaborate. There was

20 a huge conflict between SDS and SDA, and we had a coalition government,

21 even though there wasn't any need for that, but that was the political

22 agreement that was reached, because the SDA asked for the police chief to

23 be one of them. And we only allowed them to have the deputy commander,

24 and we did appoint a deputy commander.

25 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that you have a different view on

Page 17537

1 what happened at that time. What I'd like to -- my question to you was

2 whether there was a mono-ethnic policy for the police force.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

4 JUDGE ORIE: What was, if you know, approximately the percentage

5 of non-Serbs in the police force, let's say by mid-1991?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know in percentage terms,

7 but I do know that there were at least three Croats, and this is much more

8 than according to the population make-up throughout the war. And I'm

9 certain that there were at least five Muslims, including the deputy

10 commander that we ourselves appointed.

11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now --

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is to say, following our

13 request, he was appointed.

14 JUDGE ORIE: What was the whole of the police force? How many

15 people, approximately? Fifty, a hundred?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1991, 1992, maybe 50. And I'm

17 talking about active police officers, the ones on active duty, not the

18 reserve police officers. They had not even been mobilised at the time.

19 So about 50, I would say, roughly speaking.

20 JUDGE ORIE: Did these three Croats and five Muslims remain in the

21 police force; and if so, until when?

22 JUDGE ORIE: There were Ukrainians as well, and I think there was

23 one Italian. And the others --

24 JUDGE ORIE: I'm asking about the five Muslims you talked about

25 and the three Croats, so let's leave alone the Ukrainians and the

Page 17538

1 Italians. Did they remain --

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All these indications are

3 approximate numbers, because this was not within my area of competence.

4 But I do know as a citizen. I believe that the Croats stayed until the

5 end, until the end of the war, all of them. And as to Muslims, I think

6 they stayed until 1992. After 1992, I don't think there were any left in

7 the police force.

8 JUDGE ORIE: And would you have any idea when in 1992? Because

9 that covers 12 months. Mid-1992, early 1992, autumn 1992?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The end of 1992, I believe in the

11 fall of 1992. I think they received the instructions from their party to

12 leave this institution. I mean their party, the SDA.

13 JUDGE ORIE: They voluntarily left on their own, without any -- no

14 one was fired, no one was -- I'm just trying to find out. So they all

15 went because they wanted to leave the police force?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm afraid I might go wrong if I try

17 to give you a specific answer, because I'm not sure. Perhaps they were

18 not particularly keen to be members of the police force. I can't give you

19 a specific answer because I might go wrong there and I'm not sure. I know

20 they were not fired. That I do know.

21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, if you don't know, please tell us,

22 because it's of no use to hear any evidence unless the witness --

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know the exact answer.

24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, please proceed.


Page 17539












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Page 17540

1 Q. We were talking about events in Lisnja. You had an opportunity to

2 look at General Talic's report of June 2nd. If we can turn to the next

3 tab number. That would be tab number 13. That's a report by General

4 Talic on the following day.

5 JUDGE ORIE: That would need an exhibit number, I take it,

6 Mr. Tieger, because we have an exhibit number, but only in Brdjanin, isn't

7 it? At least --

8 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, that is correct, at least as our records

9 indicate.

10 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 13, Your Honour, will be given Prosecution

11 Exhibit number P948, and the English translation will be P948.1.


13 Q. Again, Mr. Vasic, this is a report by General Talic to the VRS

14 Main Staff. Directing your attention to item number 2, the last sentence

15 indicates: "Measures have been taken to continue -" "ciscenje" in the

16 B/C/S - "the areas of Kozarac, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Kljuc, and Lisnja

17 [as read] village near Prnjavor."

18 So it's correct, is it not, that here General Talic is reporting

19 that this same activity is being pursued in Kozarac, Prijedor, Sanski

20 Most, and Kljuc, are being pursued by the army in Lisnja?

21 A. This is the first time I set eyes on this, and I think it is a

22 lie, pure and simple. And as far as I know, nothing could have happened

23 there without my knowing or having heard of it. I don't know what kind of

24 cleansing he meant. Probably ethnic cleansing. He didn't say it in so

25 many words. But I can claim upon my full responsibility this never

Page 17541

1 happened there.

2 Q. I indicated earlier I wanted to turn to various ways of -- or

3 various activities that might have been involved in the departure of

4 Muslims from Prnjavor, but you asked if we could turn to decisions by the

5 Crisis Staff concerning refugees, and in that connection I'd like to

6 direct your attention to a portion of the document that I think is

7 contained in your materials, and that's a decision of the Crisis Staff

8 from June 22nd, 1992. If you look at the portions of the gazette that you

9 provided, I think it's contained at item number 42. Do you see that,

10 Mr. Vasic, "Decision on an organised moving out of refugees"?

11 A. No, I haven't found it yet.

12 JUDGE ORIE: What tab are we? It's the material that was used

13 yesterday or --?

14 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, if you'll give me one moment to consult

15 with my case manager. This is not in the binder, I know that, or I

16 believe that's the case. But I think it's available for distribution. If

17 not, I'll have the translation placed on the ELMO.


19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. If that's the decision, number

20 42, I've found it.

21 MR. TIEGER: And, Your Honour, we can distribute the English --

22 no? I guess we have to place it on the ELMO, then.

23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do not know where to find it in the material.

24 MR. TIEGER: It's page 9 of these reports, yes. And of course

25 we'll supplement the binder, Your Honour, with the appropriate English

Page 17542

1 translation copy.

2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

3 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to go to private session just for a moment.

4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vasic, I take you back to an earlier portion of

5 your testimony, which was about -- we're not in private session yet?

6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I have to ask the public gallery to be ... It

8 might not take very long.

9 We are not in private session yet?

10 [Private session]

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 17543

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 17544

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 [Open session]

24 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.


Page 17545

1 Q. Mr. Vasic, you were looking at a decision found at item number 42

2 that was taken on June 19th, 1992 and apparently adopted or signed on June

3 22nd, 1992, a translation of which appears on the ELMO. This is a

4 decision on an organised moving out of refugees disloyal to the

5 authorities of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Article 1

6 states that: "All refugees currently residing in the area of Prnjavor

7 municipality who are disloyal to the authorities of the Serbian Republic

8 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the refugees whose relatives are

9 members of enemy formations, are obliged to leave the area of Prnjavor

10 municipality in an organised fashion, and in compliance with the

11 regulations in force in the area of the municipality."

12 Was this the decision related to refugees that you wanted to bring

13 the Court's attention to?

14 A. This decision refers only and exclusively to the Serb refugees.

15 At that moment, we had 9.000 refugees from Western Slavonia, and many were

16 disloyal in the sense that they did not comply with the law according to

17 which all persons between 18 or 60 years of age - all males, that is to

18 say - either had to be in the army or to do the so-called work duty, to

19 work in companies, et cetera. And there were quite a few people who

20 didn't want to do either, and they were a huge financial burden, and we

21 felt that this was disloyal behaviour. And we thus gave them the

22 opportunity to go somewhere else, where maybe such behaviour would have

23 been tolerated. And because of rumours that reached us, according to

24 which some Serb man's parents, for example, reached Prnjavor as refugees,

25 and their son remained -- and was still serving in the Croat armed forces.

Page 17546












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13 English transcripts.













Page 17547

1 In order to avoid any difficulties, we felt it would have been better for

2 them to go somewhere else and not stay in our municipality. And this is a

3 decision that referred to Serb refugees only, because the only refugees we

4 had at the time were Serbs.

5 And I wanted to draw the attention to other refugees, the Muslims,

6 and that's the second decision, if you want to put it on the ELMO maybe.

7 This is the second decision I'm referring to now.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Let me first seek a clarification. You said it was

9 just Serb refugees because "the only refugees we had at the time were

10 Serbs."

11 Was that before the refugees from - I think you told us from

12 Derventa - the Muslim refugees, arrived in Prnjavor?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Muslims, refugees from Derventa,

14 stayed in Prnjavor for about nine to ten hours, and this decision that I

15 tried to refer to earlier on was about the Muslims from Derventa. Since

16 we, that is to say I myself, when I was informed that they would like to

17 come and stay at the municipality of Prnjavor, I took the initiative and

18 decided that they should be allowed to come. And in the meantime, I had

19 organised a Crisis Staff meeting and the decision was made in line with

20 what is indicated here. We had talks with the representatives of the

21 Muslim people, and they were not willing to accept these refugees for

22 economic reasons. They were afraid that they wouldn't be able to have

23 them for a long time, or maybe for some other reasons as well. And in the

24 afternoon, escorted by a police car, and in order to make sure that they

25 should travel safely, I travelled in that police car, and then they were

Page 17548

1 taken to Tesanj and were allowed to cross over into the Federation of

2 Bosnia and Herzegovina.

3 But I would have liked you to take a look at that decision,

4 because in one instance it says, literally, that elderly men, if they --

5 or rather, older men, if they wished to do so, could either join the

6 Republika Srpska army or else they could do the so-called work duty. And

7 it transpires very clearly from this decision that whoever didn't wish to

8 join the army didn't have to do so. It was not a coercive measure. And

9 I've had quite a few problems because of this decision.

10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Tieger, please proceed.

11 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.

12 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know whether you're going to pay any

13 attention to the other decision. We'd like to see it. I don't know

14 whether you have it.

15 MR. TIEGER: I believe the Court does have it. It's not -- and if

16 not, we'll provide it. But I think it's in the materials. The witness

17 has addressed it. In the interests of time, I'm going to move on.

18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.


20 Q. I just want to clarify one issue, Mr. Vasic, in connection with

21 the events at Lisnja and the forces involved. And in that regard, I would

22 ask you to turn to tab 14, which contains P749, tab 3. This is an order

23 dated 5 June 1992, by General Talic. And in item number 1 it states

24 that: "The battalion from the Prnjavor Territorial Defence Command on

25 Mount Vucjak is hereby transferred to the command of the 327th Motorised

Page 17549

1 Brigade and fully incorporated into it."

2 First of all, the battalion from -- the Prnjavor TO on Mount

3 Vucjak refers to the Wolves of Vucjak; correct?

4 A. This popular name is the Wolves from Vucjak, but they were always

5 incorporated within a unit, and officially they were a part of that unit.

6 But amongst themselves, they used to call one another Wolves from Vucjak,

7 and you can see General Talic addressed them in that way as well.

8 Q. Right. And here in Court we've been referring to the Wolves of

9 Vucjak. I just want you to confirm that the reference here to the

10 battalion from the Prnjavor Territorial Defence command on Mount Vucjak is

11 a reference to that group.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And as we can see in item 2, Veljko Milankovic is appointed as

14 battalion commander by General Talic, and as a result of his transfer and

15 full incorporation into the 327th Motorised Brigade, will carry out and

16 receive orders from the commander of that brigade. Is that right?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. So prior to General Talic's order of June 5th, the Wolves of

19 Vucjak were part of the Prnjavor Territorial Defence command; is that

20 right?

21 A. There was a period when they depended on the previous commander of

22 the 1st Krajina Corps, and they were actually incorporated into a Banja

23 Luka unit which was in Western Slavonia, in Jasenovac. The colonel, or

24 the general, as he was later, was General Uzelac. This is something I

25 mentioned before. They were always assigned to a unit. They were always

Page 17550

1 within a Banja Luka unit at the orders of General Uzelac.

2 JUDGE ORIE: The question is quite clear. Mr. Tieger wants to

3 know whether the Wolves were, previous to that appointment, were in a TO

4 unit from Prnjavor, not whether they were in a Banja Luka. Just whether

5 they were -- and I looked yesterday at the document of I think the

6 sub-commander, the name was missing, where I think twice it appears that

7 at least this member of this unit, this sub-commander, was in the TO

8 Prnjavor, isn't it? I mean, that's what Mr. Tieger asks you.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Obviously, you don't understand that

10 the 1st Krajina Corps used this unit all this time and shifted it from one

11 unit to another. And the Territorial Defence was under the command of the

12 army, and the army could use any unit of the Territorial Defence wherever

13 and whenever they wanted. And that's what they did with the Wolves as

14 well. For example, they would send them to one part of the front line for

15 ten days and then to another part for ten days. And the Territorial

16 Defence was not under our command; it was under the command of the army.

17 JUDGE ORIE: No one asked you about the command. The only

18 question was whether the Wolves were part of the Prnjavor Territorial

19 Defence previous to this decision. That's the only thing. You were asked

20 about facts.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then please, next time, just say yes to the

23 clear question of Mr. Tieger.

24 Please proceed.


Page 17551

1 Q. How closely did you coordinate with Veljko Milankovic or any other

2 members of the Prnjavor TO before their operation in Lisnja?

3 A. The day when this would be done, the strategy, the tactics, none

4 of this I was informed about. This was agreed between the police and the

5 army. I didn't even know which unit would be engaged on behalf of the

6 army, or which part of which unit would be engaged in that operation. I

7 tried to be close to Veljko privately, in order to be able to control the

8 situation when it came to a certain problem in Prnjavor, and I tried to be

9 as close to all the other commanders. If, for example, any of their men

10 were responsible for any of the problems, that gave me an opportunity to

11 control that problem.

12 Q. Did you talk to Milankovic after the operation in Lisnja?

13 A. No.

14 Q. I indicated to you that I wanted to return at some point to the

15 factors involved in the departure of Muslims from Prnjavor. We talked

16 earlier about the impact of discriminatory acts or harassment. I take it

17 you would agree that being subjected to discriminatory conduct and to

18 beatings by the police would be a factor in encouraging people to leave

19 the municipality.

20 A. I didn't understand your question. What is it that you're asking

21 me?

22 Q. Beatings or physical abuse by law enforcement representatives of a

23 municipality would encourage the members of any nationality subjected to

24 such conduct to leave the municipality, wouldn't it?

25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, the Chamber wonders whether this is not

Page 17552

1 self-explanatory and whether it might not be more important to see whether

2 such a thing happened, rather than what the results would be. It goes

3 without much explanation, I take it, that you would agree with that,

4 Mr. Josse, as well; that if you would be beaten up by the police officers,

5 that this would certainly not encourage to stay close to them.

6 MR. JOSSE: Well, of course, Your Honour.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then please, let's please proceed.

8 MR. JOSSE: I think the witness may have been having some

9 conceptual difficulties.

10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.


12 Q. Muslims in Prnjavor were taken into custody, were interrogated by

13 police and were beaten by police, weren't they?

14 A. The police did what they were supposed to do. All those who did

15 something against the law were brought in. The police were independent.

16 Whether they overstepped their authority or not, I can't be the judge of

17 that. But in any case, this doesn't happen on a large scale. And this is

18 what I claim, that this never happened on a large scale. I spoke to the

19 chief of police very often, and he would tell me what was going on in the

20 municipality.

21 Q. Did you inspect police facilities or areas -- or locations where

22 Muslims were detained?

23 A. I never heard of any Muslim in Prnjavor being detained. There's

24 no detention facility in Prnjavor. I only know that across the road from

25 the school, in the Sloga factory building, after the operation in Lisnja,

Page 17553












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 17554

1 while they were being interviewed, these people were kept, and then they

2 were released after having been interviewed. I never inspected them.

3 This was the job of the police and the court. They were all interviewed,

4 they were all sentenced. The judge was a lady from a mixed marriage; one

5 of their parents was a Croat and the other Montenegrin. The lady who kept

6 a record was a Croatian. That's what I can tell you.

7 Q. Let me ask you about another way of encouraging Muslims to leave

8 the area or letting them know that they were not welcome in the area. You

9 referred to the departure of Muslims in 1995. Would you agree - and

10 perhaps this is another self-evident question, and if so, I apologise and

11 will withdraw it - that refusing people permission to bury their dead is

12 one method calculated to get people to leave the municipality?

13 A. This was never the case. There was never a ban on burials, either

14 of Muslims or any other ethnic group. There is a decision which was the

15 product of the zoning regulation of the town preceding the war. According

16 to that decision, the Muslim cemetery, which is in the centre of the town,

17 some ten metres away from the hotel, should have been conserved and there

18 should have been a joint cemetery for Croats, Serbs, and Muslims, in the

19 same place where the cemetery for Croats and Serb cemetery had already

20 existed. And part of that cemetery was to be designated for the Muslim

21 population. This is on the outskirts of the city. This decision was the

22 product of previous discussions on the zoning regulation. This decision

23 was issued in 1994. If the goal had been different, it would have been

24 issued in 1991. This decision is still in effect, but it has never been

25 implemented. However, it has never been made null and void either.

Page 17555

1 Q. Let's break that down slightly. First of all, the decision you're

2 referring to was one that you signed; isn't that right?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Okay. And --

5 JUDGE ORIE: Do we have a copy of that decision?

6 MR. TIEGER: Your Honours, you'll find that at tab 25.

7 JUDGE ORIE: It needs a new number. Mr. Registrar.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be P949, and the English

9 translation will be P949.1. Thank you.


11 Q. And that decision, Mr. Vasic, refers to the Muslim cemetery in

12 Prnjavor, does it not?

13 A. This decision applies to the Muslim cemetery, the only one that

14 existed in the town.

15 Q. And you were aware, were you not, that in subsequent decisions,

16 one dated on 30 August 1998, found at tab 28, and one dated 23 November

17 1999, found at tab 29 --

18 MR. TIEGER: And I'll ask for a number on that in a moment, Your

19 Honour.



22 Q. -- that a Muslim resident of Prnjavor was ordered to dig up his

23 wife's body and remove it from that cemetery because it had been buried

24 without permission. And the Islamic community of Prnjavor was forbidden

25 to bury a particular deceased member of the community in that cemetery,

Page 17556

1 both in response to your decision of 1994; correct?

2 A. I've already told you that this decision is still in force, but it

3 has never been implemented. My decision from 1994 was based on the law on

4 zoning regulation. I still believe that this decision should be

5 implemented, that the town -- the cemetery in the town should be

6 conserved, which is a normal thing in any civilised, urban area, and that

7 the new cemetery should be used, as provided for by the decision.

8 These two documents were issued when I was no longer an official

9 in the municipality. The decision that I issued, that the municipality

10 issued, has not been respected, which means the people who do that

11 actually break the law.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, I'm wondering: We do see a decision

13 where -- it's stated that the burial of the dead shall take place at the

14 new town cemetery located somewhere else. Is it the position of the

15 Prosecutor that if in violation of such a rule, you bury someone, that you

16 should leave the deceased's body in the place where it should not have

17 been buried? And I don't know the other decision, 29, but is it the

18 position of the Prosecution that if 5, 6 years later, someone wants to

19 bury a deceased relative on a cemetery which has been closed in 1994, that

20 that should be -- that it is any expression of discriminatory acts? I

21 have to understand -- I have some difficulty understanding exactly the

22 point.

23 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, that's because if, with all respect, the

24 point is not completed yet, and I think it will -- at least the

25 Prosecution's position will be made clear both with the next document and

Page 17557

1 with the next few questions.

2 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then let's wait. Please proceed, then.


4 Q. In fact, Mr. Vasic, this decision was taken before the human

5 rights chamber in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was it not?

6 A. I don't know which decision was taken before the human rights

7 chamber.

8 Q. Let me ask you a couple of background questions, then. First of

9 all, the decision that you made in 1994 didn't affect the nearby Orthodox

10 or Catholic cemeteries; isn't that right?

11 A. It did indirectly, because in the second part of the decision, we

12 said that people should be buried in the eastern part of the town, in the

13 Catholic and Orthodox cemetery, where, according to the zoning regulation,

14 this should have been the cemetery for all three peoples. The experts for

15 zoning decided that this should be the location of all the three

16 cemeteries. Nobody wanted to touch the existing Muslim cemetery, like

17 this witness said that we decided to build something there and that we --

18 that this was a sacrilege. And I claim with full responsibility that

19 there were no construction sites ever. There have never been any

20 construction works taking place on that Muslim cemetery in the town. This

21 cemetery should have been conserved. That was the idea.

22 Q. One more point before I turn to the decision itself. There was no

23 shortage of space in that cemetery. There was enough space in that

24 cemetery to accommodate Muslim burials for the next 50 years; isn't that

25 right?

Page 17558

1 A. It's not down to the space, but the expert opinion of the people

2 who were in charge of the zoning regulation during the war -- or before

3 the war.

4 Q. Was it -- is it correct that there was more than sufficient space

5 in that cemetery and space enough to bury deceased people for decades,

6 irrespective of anything else you want to tell us? Let's just get an

7 answer to that.

8 A. Yes, that's correct. That is correct. I don't know whether this

9 would last for decades, but in any case, there was still enough space.

10 Q. Let me ask you to turn to tab 30.

11 JUDGE ORIE: Could we perhaps assign the numbers first to 28, 29.

12 MR. TIEGER: I'm sorry, Your Honour.

13 JUDGE ORIE: 28 would be --

14 THE REGISTRAR: P950, Your Honours, with the English translation,

15 P950.1. And tab 29 would be given P951, with the English translation

16 P951.1.

17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.


19 Q. Mr. Vasic, tab 30 contains a decision on admissibility and merits

20 in a case entitled "The Islamic community in Bosnia and Herzegovina

21 against the Republika Srpska." And that's a decision, as you can see,

22 which bears on the issue we've been discussing, the Muslim town cemetery

23 in Prnjavor. I'm going to direct your attention to certain aspects,

24 certain findings by the Court.

25 First of all, in paragraph number 14, the Court indicates that the

Page 17559

1 facts of the dispute are essentially not in dispute. In paragraph 18, the

2 Court indicates that the new town cemetery in the eastern part of town

3 does not exist as of the date of that decision in the year 2000. And if

4 you'll turn, finally, in the interests of time --

5 MR. JOSSE: He needs to read it, Your Honour. He needs to read

6 number 18, at the very least.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let's give an opportunity to the witness to

8 read 18.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I have had an opportunity to

10 see these documents.

11 JUDGE ORIE: So you are familiar with the relevant portions.

12 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.


14 Q. And if I can turn you to essentially the concluding findings of

15 the document at paragraphs 104 and 105. The chamber made the following

16 finding, noting first that: "... the ordinance affected only the Muslim

17 cemetery and not the Orthodox or Catholic cemeteries situated nearby, and

18 that there was no shortage of space for burials in the Muslim cemetery,

19 the space available being sufficient for the next 50 years."

20 And then in paragraph 105: "In the circumstances, the chamber

21 finds the applicant's suggestion that the purpose of the continued

22 enforcement of the 1994 ordinance is to discourage the return of Bosniak

23 refugees and displaced persons to Prnjavor by preventing them from freely

24 pursuing their religious traditions has not been seriously challenged and

25 is the only plausible explanation of that decision. The continued closure

Page 17560












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13 English transcripts.













Page 17561

1 of the cemetery, under an ordinance adopted in pursuance of a policy of

2 ethnic cleansing, involves differential treatment of Muslims and cannot be

3 regarded as pursuing any legitimate aim."

4 Were you aware that after full litigation of this matter, the

5 Court was unable to find any plausible explanation for the ordinance other

6 than that it was adopted pursuant to a policy of ethnic cleansing?

7 A. This decision was adopted -- or this ordinance was adopted in

8 keeping with the law. And as I know, the municipality of Prnjavor

9 appealed against this decision, and what it says here, that the cemetery

10 doesn't exist, is not correct. There is a cemetery. There has been a

11 cemetery for a long time. There is a place for the cemetery. It is true

12 that there was enough space, but when this decision was being issued, this

13 was not an issue. The space was not an issue. It was an issue of zoning.

14 We wanted to have the cemetery in the town conserved and that all new

15 burials would take place in a new cemetery some 500 metres away from the

16 old cemetery, outside of the town. I don't know what other intentions

17 were. I don't want to speculate. I don't want anybody else to speculate.

18 These were not our intentions. If those had been our intentions, we would

19 have issued the ordinance in 1991, not in 1994. And again I repeat: The

20 ordinance was issued based on the discussions that took place before the

21 war, when the Muslim was the president of the municipality, when the party

22 of -- League of Communists was in power. So that's when the discussions

23 took place, and the ordinance was issued based on those discussions, and

24 the intention was to have a joint cemetery outside of the centre of the

25 town.

Page 17562

1 JUDGE ORIE: Now, Mr. Vasic, you said a few things. You said that

2 the decision, where it says that the cemetery doesn't exist, is not

3 correct. The next sentence was: "There is a cemetery." Then you said:

4 "There has been a cemetery for a long time." Then you say: "There is a

5 place for the cemetery." And then, a few lines later, you say: "We --"

6 you're talking about a new cemetery some 500 metres away from the old

7 cemetery.

8 So you said there was a cemetery, there is a cemetery, the

9 decision is wrong, and there was supposed to be a new cemetery. I have

10 some -- I would like to fully understand your testimony in this respect.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I accept that I might have confused

12 the issue a bit. The facts are very clear, however. In Prnjavor, there

13 is a Muslim cemetery, which is the subject of this decision, and there is

14 also a cemetery where, up to then, and even today, Serbs and Croats have

15 been buried. And there is also a plot of land where this second cemetery

16 can be extended to. When I said "new cemetery," I meant a new cemetery

17 for the Muslims. But it is one and the same thing. It is the already

18 existing cemetery for the Croats and the Serbs.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Has this extension been realised? You said there was

20 a plot available next to the Croat and Serbian cemetery which would be

21 available. Has this been, well, prepared as a cemetery, by putting walls,

22 by putting -- whatever way is this plan you had, is it realised?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to the zoning regulation,

24 this plot of the land next to the cemetery has been envisaged for.

25 JUDGE ORIE: And my question was not whether place has been

Page 17563

1 reserved to create such a separate part of a larger cemetery specific for

2 Muslims, but whether this has been realised by either putting a wall,

3 putting gates, making a path. That's the way how you create a cemetery.

4 Has this been done or is it just that it has been envisaged by the

5 planning authority that it could be done there?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You would have to allow me two

7 sentences in order to elaborate and explain. You don't have to, but I

8 would kindly ask you to allow me the two sentences.

9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If they are part of an answer to my question, I

10 will allow it, yes.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, not a single cemetery

12 is properly tended and organised; not the Muslim, not the Orthodox, not

13 the Catholic ones, so we don't have proper paths and et cetera. This is

14 just an area where people get buried. And even today it's like that,

15 unfortunately. But you know what plot of land is for what group. I don't

16 know what the term is it; tradition maybe.

17 JUDGE ORIE: Well, there's more needed to make a plot of land a

18 cemetery.

19 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.

20 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, could I have some insight into the

21 Court's schedule?

22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Not only the schedule, but I have to confront

23 you that you're at least 60 per cent, approximately, for the

24 cross-examination.

25 So therefore, let me just see. We are 20 minutes off from 10

Page 17564

1 minutes to 1.00. Let's first look at the technical side of it.

2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

3 JUDGE ORIE: The technicians could go on for another 20 minutes,

4 but I'm also asking the interpreters. Then we have 20 minutes left.

5 Mr. Tieger, you know that the Defence always insists that the 60 per cent

6 is not a rule but a guidance, but just as good a guidance for the

7 Prosecution as for the Defence.

8 MR. TIEGER: I'm trying to follow that, Your Honour, but I will

9 not make it on this occasion. There is still a considerable number of

10 documents to cover. I will say again that, with additional time to

11 address -- to locate, address these materials, the examination might have

12 been expedited to some extent. We had considerable difficulty arising

13 from the belated receipt of the exhibits. I'm not going to suggest that

14 there aren't ways in which to otherwise expedite the examination, but on

15 this occasion, I am asking the Court's understanding and latitude and the

16 opportunity to present the Court with the documents that we have found.

17 JUDGE ORIE: It would necessarily mean that the witness would have

18 to return.

19 MR. TIEGER: I understand that, Your Honour. I think that's

20 regrettable, but it's certainly not, unfortunately, the first time that's

21 happened.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, any observations in respect of what

23 Mr. Tieger has asked for?

24 MR. JOSSE: No, I don't think I've got any observations in

25 relation to that. Could I, Your Honour, briefly throw one other matter

Page 17565

1 into Your Honour's scales, and that's simply this: In reliance of the

2 Chamber rising at 12.45 today, I need to be out of here by, at the very

3 latest, 1.30, the very latest.

4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, that would not be a problem, because we

5 could not continue anyhow. I mean, this Chamber is, unless -- apart from

6 reading decisions, which is a totally different matter than hearing

7 evidence, we'd prefer to hear it all three of us. And certainly since --

8 let's just see. How much time would you still need, Mr. Tieger?

9 MR. TIEGER: Well, I mean, Your Honour, I want to make it clear,

10 we're not going to finish today. How much time after that, if I were to

11 continue today, it would clearly be longer than if I -- in other words, my

12 estimate for concluding today would be longer than the time it will take

13 when I have a greater chance to review and refine the materials. I

14 suspect that I'd be able to conclude in roughly one session; that is, not

15 a full day, but --

16 [Trial Chamber confers]

17 JUDGE ORIE: We're just considering the possibilities. Mr. Josse,

18 I do understand that you have to leave, and we scheduled -- we know that

19 tomorrow might be a day which you prefer not to work. Are you going to

20 leave The Hague, I take it?

21 MR. JOSSE: I am.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Friday is beyond you.

23 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I am going back to London for the

24 holiday, so to speak.


Page 17566

1 MR. JOSSE: And then I'm going to Bosnia on Friday morning.

2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So that gives no way out for Friday. And today

3 you say you have to leave at 1.30?

4 MR. JOSSE: I do, I'm afraid, because, A, I've got a flight

5 booked, but B, the reason I had to catch the flight at that time was in

6 order to celebrate the holiday in the appropriate manner.

7 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand. And if you would get any additional

8 support in transportation or something like that which would -- I mean, I

9 usually take my time not to miss my flight, but sometimes if

10 transportation is made more easy to me, then I usually take a bit less

11 time. I don't know -- for example, if I would go by train to Schiphol

12 airport, I would know what time it would take me. If my wife would bring

13 it me, it would take a bit more; if my son would drive me, it would take a

14 bit less.

15 MR. JOSSE: Yes. I was going to take public transport there, but

16 I suppose I could look into making other arrangements or Mr. Karganovic

17 could on my behalf.

18 JUDGE ORIE: That all doesn't make any sense at all if we could

19 not finish today. I mean, then it's really useless. Up until now,

20 Mr. Josse, could you give us an estimate on, as matters stand now, how

21 much time you would need for re-examination?

22 MR. JOSSE: Bearing I mind I thought the witness had to leave

23 today, I was going to ask him one question, effectively.


25 MR. JOSSE: I suspect, and given the opportunity, I might spend a

Page 17567












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13 English transcripts.













Page 17568

1 little bit longer on the subject. But I'd rather he had the opportunity

2 to go home.


4 MR. JOSSE: And not come back.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's, of course, a balance you'll have to

6 make.

7 Mr. Tieger, looking at the clock and taking into consideration

8 that the Bench would be willing even to change its commitments elsewhere,

9 if you would have, well, let's say another 35 minutes, would you be able

10 to finish in that time?

11 MR. TIEGER: I don't believe so, Your Honour, to be perfectly

12 honest. And I would love to say otherwise, but I don't think that's the

13 case.

14 JUDGE ORIE: If we would impose on you to do it in 40 or 45

15 minutes, could we then at the end see whether there would be an urgent

16 need to have the witness recalled?

17 MR. TIEGER: Well, I'm obviously at the Court's disposal for that.

18 I'm more than prepared to do my best, but I don't want to mislead the

19 Court into --

20 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand. But of course I just ask you to at

21 least to prioritise as much as you can for the next 45 minutes.

22 MR. TIEGER: I've just been doing that and considering also

23 potential technical difficulties, and there are at least one video,

24 there's an intercept. I'm pessimistic, Your Honour.


Page 17569

1 [Trial Chamber confers]

2 JUDGE ORIE: Another question would be how much time would we need

3 for the change of tapes? Because we could not continue until a further

4 break.

5 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

6 JUDGE ORIE: Finally, another 20 minutes would be taken by

7 changing the tapes, so that would reduce the time to such that we could

8 not continue.

9 Mr. Tieger, we'll follow the schedule as before. We'll later see

10 -- since you had one question in mind, then we'll have to consider what

11 to do at a later stage, Mr. Josse. I don't know whether this is a

12 question which is the kind of simple one-line question, but -- which could

13 be put -- questions like, "Have you testified to the best of your

14 ability?" I mean, these are the kind of questions --

15 MR. JOSSE: Let me make it clear. If Your Honour is going to cut

16 this cross-examination short, I'm prepared not to re-examine the witness,

17 not because I don't want him to be properly cross-examined, but because

18 I'd like him to have the opportunity to go home and not have to come back,

19 which will clearly be very onerous on him. So I will ask no questions, on

20 that basis.

21 JUDGE ORIE: I can't give any promise on that basis. Mr. Tieger,

22 you can proceed and let's see how far we come until close to 1.00.

23 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.

24 Q. Mr. Vasic, I want to turn to some of the decisions made by the

25 Prnjavor Crisis Staff, and I want to look first, if we can, at the

Page 17570

1 decision which, as you indicated, prompted the disarming efforts and

2 ultimately the events in Lisnja, and that's the 4 May decision. And I

3 believe that's found at tab 9.

4 MR. TIEGER: That is P237, Your Honours.

5 Q. Now, earlier we looked at the decision by the Prnjavor Crisis

6 Staff that referred to a decision by the ARK Crisis Staff, which was

7 number 01-1/92, dated May 4, 1992. I take it you remember that reference

8 in the Prnjavor Crisis Staff decision, sir?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. So now we have before us that decision by the ARK Crisis Staff

11 which indicates that it was pursuant to the decision of the Ministry of

12 the National Defence of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

13 dated 16 April 1992. I'd like to turn to a subsequent decision by the ARK

14 Crisis Staff, found at tab 10. That's a decision dated 11 May 1992, which

15 needs a new number.

16 MR. TIEGER: I'm sorry, Your Honour. That will need to be

17 assigned --

18 JUDGE ORIE: The number will be given soon. Mr. Registrar is

19 doing something else on my request. So the number will be attached to tab

20 10. Tab 30, we need a number anyhow as well, so let me try to take over.

21 Tab 29 was 951, tab 30 is 952, and tab 10 will be 953.

22 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.

23 Q. Mr. Vasic, the decision of 11 May 1992 extends the deadline for

24 surrender of illegally acquired weapons and also indicates that: "After

25 the expiration of that deadline ... the most severe sanctions will be

Page 17571

1 taken against those that disobey the proclamation of the Crisis Staff."

2 Do you know, sir, whether the deadline was extended beyond May

3 14th or whether that was the operative date for Prnjavor and the other

4 municipalities in the area?

5 A. I can't remember whether it was extended. Since there are no

6 other conclusions, probably not.

7 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I'm trying to adjust so we don't find

8 ourselves in the middle of a topic when the end of the session hits, so

9 I'm going to turn to another subject, if I may, at this point.

10 JUDGE ORIE: We'll continue for another 10 to 12 minutes, but

11 that's the bare limit.


13 Q. Mr. Vasic, you indicated, I believe, some of the efforts that

14 you've made prior to coming to Court to obtain information from various

15 sources and some of your proactive efforts to acquire that information; is

16 that right?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Are there other steps that you took that you didn't detail to the

19 Court to get information to bring to the Court?

20 A. I don't know in what sense you mean. I tried to talk to people

21 who used to work with me at the time, in order to jog my memory, because

22 quite some time has passed, so I think I've forgotten quite a few things

23 as well. And I had a long talk with the president of the executive

24 committee, Radivoje Radivojevic, who was in charge of a number of these

25 decisions, as the president of the executive committee, because I didn't

Page 17572

1 have my private archives where I could keep all those documents. And

2 after 12 or 13 years, it is a bit difficult to recall everything.

3 Q. And you've indicated to the Court on a number of occasions that

4 your motivation for doing so was to obtain as much information as possible

5 to present objectively to the Court.

6 A. Yes. To get as much information as possible in order to be able

7 to prove before this Court that there was no ethnic cleansing and that

8 there were no crimes in Prnjavor, the crimes that the accused is accused

9 of. And it can be confirmed, even today, very often both in the

10 Federation and the Republika Srpska, people keep referring to us as those

11 who actually managed to set a good example of how things should be done,

12 under such difficult conditions, of course.

13 JUDGE ORIE: Just for clarity's sake, there's nothing you're

14 expected here to prove. You're just expected to give answers to the best

15 of your knowledge to the questions put to you.

16 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.


18 Q. Mr. Vasic, it would be fair to say, wouldn't it, that at least

19 part of your motivation springs from the fact that you are a long-time and

20 devoted follower of Dr. Karadzic and of Mr. Krajisnik?

21 A. My motivation was to try and prove that the unfair and unjust

22 accusations referred to by this particular witness are untrue, and I would

23 be very sorry if the accused were to be held responsible for this part of

24 the indictment, because what is being said here, that is to say, blaming

25 certain facts in the municipality of Prnjavor on Mr. Krajisnik, that's

Page 17573

1 just incorrect. I mean, I had a choice as to whether I wanted to give

2 evidence or not, but I consented to give evidence because this is simply

3 not true. And I'm trying to protect the municipality of Prnjavor's good

4 name.

5 Q. But it is correct, isn't it, that you are a long-time and indeed

6 devoted follower of -- well, let's start with Dr. Karadzic.

7 A. The ideas advocated by the SDS party, headed by Dr. Karadzic, yes,

8 I embraced those ideas and I'm still a member of the Serb Democratic Party

9 even today.

10 Q. Not just the ideas, but the man as well. You've supported him and

11 continue to support him, don't you?

12 A. I value those men. If there is something that they did, and I'm

13 not aware of it, in that case, I'm wrong. And as to the facts that I'm

14 aware of, I hold him in high esteem.

15 Q. You --

16 A. I do apologise. Perhaps I should complement this. I was a local

17 politician. I was not the president of the party or a member of

18 parliament, so I didn't know enough about these global issues, other than

19 the information that was given to us. According to my knowledge, I'm not

20 aware of them having perpetrated these things. But for a while, we were

21 separated physically, in terms of territories, as to whether other things

22 were going on in Serb Sarajevo or where they were, I do not know and I

23 can't testify to that. And during the war, I went to Sarajevo only very,

24 very rarely.

25 Q. Well, I'm sure you knew I'd ask about this, but you were dismissed

Page 17574












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 17575

1 from your position as manager of the Republika Srpska Roads Directorate

2 last year by the High Representatives for your participation in, according

3 to the High Commissioner, in fostering a culture of silence and deceit,

4 wherein war crime indictees are protected from justice; is that right?

5 A. For four years, I was the director of the Roads Directorate of the

6 Republika Srpska, and on the 25th of June, the public competition was

7 published again, because it was the end of my mandate. I had the best

8 recommendations and references from the World Bank in Washington and

9 that's why I was elected again, and I got so much praise that I couldn't

10 even recognise myself. But six days later, I was removed, together with

11 other 59 men, but the rationale was not the one that you're referring to,

12 but it said it was because I was holding a position which would make it

13 possible for me to assist and abet indicted war criminals and that I was

14 doing so. But it is incorrect, and there's no proof of that, and I'm not

15 in a position to do that. Because since 1997, I have never had any idea

16 of the whereabouts of Radovan Karadzic, who is a war crimes indictee.

17 And I am expecting to be reinstated very shortly.

18 JUDGE ORIE: Is there a copy of that decision available for the

19 Chamber? Is it in the tabs?

20 MR. TIEGER: It is not in the tabs, and I apologise for that.

21 We'll --

22 JUDGE ORIE: Because if the decision is not there, we would have

23 to rely on the witness who said what is in the decision, and especially if

24 there are any written documents, the Chamber prefers to directly be able

25 to read the document.

Page 17576

1 MR. TIEGER: I quite agree, and we will certainly get the full

2 text of the decision, Your Honour.

3 MR. JOSSE: Not unless it's put to the witness, I submit. It

4 needs to be put to him.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Of course, the witness, I hardly could expect the

6 decision not to be known to the witness. But of course there could be

7 different versions, but that's a rather --

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do know about it. I received a

9 copy of that decision.

10 JUDGE ORIE: That's what I expect under those circumstances,

11 Mr. Josse.

12 Mr. Tieger, we are close to 1.00. On this subject, if you would

13 have one or two more questions, you could put them to the witness.

14 Otherwise we'll stop at this moment.

15 MR. TIEGER: I'm at the Court's disposal, Your Honour. I wouldn't

16 want to run over, and we are getting close to a video, in any event.


18 [Trial Chamber confers]

19 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour --


21 MR. TIEGER: I do have one -- there's one area I could explore

22 with him. It involves a document. It's tab -- I'm at the Court's

23 disposal.

24 JUDGE ORIE: I have another matter on the agenda.

25 Mr. Vasic, the Chamber regrets that we're not today in a position,

Page 17577

1 because the Chamber itself might have some questions for you as well,

2 we're not in a position to finish your examination. Could you return, and

3 when could you return? This Court will not sit until the 25th. Would

4 there be any possibility -- of course I'm also looking at you, Mr. Josse,

5 whether the 25th would be the right time or somewhat after that. I can

6 imagine that you made arrangements already.

7 MR. JOSSE: Well, I'd be happy for him to return -- I see

8 Mr. Harmon laughing. I'd be happy for him to return on the 25th, Your

9 Honour. If he is able to. I mean, clearly we're going to need another

10 witness here that day, and I know it's something Mr. Harmon wishes to

11 address with the Chamber.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Vasic, would there be a possibility for you

13 to be back in this courtroom on the 25th of October? As I said, I regret

14 that we have to ask you.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Considering the reason why I'm here,

16 I'm going to come back on the 25th, although I would have preferred to

17 have finished today.

18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's what the Chamber would have preferred as

19 well. You'll get further information from the Victims and Witnesses

20 Section. We'd like to continue on the 25th with this witness. That would

21 be in Courtroom II, and also at 9.00 in the morning. The Victims and

22 Witnesses Section will give you further information. Meanwhile, you're

23 supposed not to speak with anyone about the testimony you have given and

24 you're still about to give, and that's perhaps even more difficult to do

25 that if you're away for a considerable period of time, but nevertheless,

Page 17578

1 that's how you are instructed to behave.

2 Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness out of the

3 courtroom.

4 MR. JOSSE: We're going to need a limited amount of communication

5 with him through a -- we'll do it through the Victims and Witnesses

6 Section.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. For practicalities, I take it also for the

8 Prosecution that's accepted.

9 We have to stop -- yes. The witness is excused, can leave the

10 courtroom, preferably leaving all the Court documents in here.

11 Thank you very much also for coming back.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, we have problems with the tapes. The

14 Chamber suggests, since Mr. Josse told us that he would have to leave not

15 later than 1.30, to have a break as short as possible, if everyone would

16 be standby, well, let's say after 17 or 18 minutes, so that we -- usually

17 we're told that 20 minutes is the minimum. But let's try to start

18 immediately. We could then deal with the procedural issue.

19 [The witness stands down]

20 JUDGE ORIE: If there's any time left before Mr. Josse leaves, I'd

21 also like to read out two decisions.

22 We'll stand adjourned for as short as possible, and we'll restart

23 certainly not later than 20 minutes past 1.00.

24 --- Break taken at 1.00 p.m.

25 --- On resuming at 1.20 p.m.

Page 17579

1 JUDGE ORIE: It might not surprise the parties that I have to

2 announce that Judge Hanoteau is, for urgent reasons, absent. We'll only

3 deal with procedural matters at this moment.

4 Mr. Josse, in view of the time, did I understand well that you

5 thought that you could delay your observations on the problems you

6 discussed earlier in private session until we resume after the ten days'

7 break?

8 MR. JOSSE: That would be ideal, from my point of view.

9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. We'll then hear from you. Any issue,

10 procedural issue, to be raised by the Prosecution at this moment?

11 MR. HARMON: Yes, Your Honour, there is. I have raised this with

12 Mr. Josse yesterday in an e-mail, I raised it this morning in the first

13 recess, we had a conversation about it. The problem is this: We have

14 struggled mightily with the late disclosure of a proper 65 ter summary and

15 the identification of a witness, and even more difficult for us was the

16 late receipt of documents, untranslated, that made our preparations almost

17 impossible.

18 JUDGE ORIE: That's fully understood.

19 MR. HARMON: So the reason I bring this to Your Honours'

20 attention: We will be starting court again in 13 days. I yesterday sent

21 Mr. Josse an e-mail asking to have the identification of the next witness

22 and a 65 ter summary and copies of the exhibits, and could he inform me as

23 to when. I just inform the Court that we have not received that. I know

24 Mr. Josse and I talked and he was prepared to make submissions on that,

25 but we have not received that, and I don't want to repeat the difficulties

Page 17580

1 that we had on the 25th.


3 Mr. Josse, could you give us any idea on when you think you could

4 disclose the summary, 65 ter summary, the updated one, and a list of

5 exhibits for the next witness?

6 MR. JOSSE: If I'm being honest, not really. Yesterday we had a

7 meeting, and we set in train a system to try and, as best we can, to

8 alleviate this problem. And Mr. Karganovic and another B/C/S speaker on

9 our team are going to work on this immediately. It's an absolute priority

10 for them, of course, and they'll be able to liaise with me. But

11 realistically, we won't know the name of the witness, I wouldn't have

12 thought --

13 JUDGE ORIE: Until when?

14 MR. JOSSE: I would have thought at least 48 hours.

15 JUDGE ORIE: 48 hours means that -- I do understand that you'll

16 travel Friday to Bosnia, and I take it that you'll meet some persons, and

17 that by Friday you could --

18 MR. JOSSE: That is part of the idea, Your Honour.


20 MR. JOSSE: And we've set in train some efforts to try and get the

21 exhibits at least to me, and if they can get to me, then I can get them

22 here, so on and so forth.

23 [Trial Chamber confers]

24 MR. JOSSE: Could I just say, it is a desperately unsatisfactory

25 situation, and I can only apologise to my learned friends and their staff.

Page 17581












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 17582

1 JUDGE ORIE: Let me cut this short. I am a bit aware of your

2 programme of the days to come. I do understand that tomorrow is not a

3 working day for you. Friday you'll travel to Bosnia. From Friday on,

4 although I'll not be in the country, I want to be kept informed on a

5 day-by-day basis on any developments in this respect. That means that by

6 Friday I want to be kept informed whether you have already identified the

7 next witness, how many exhibits you expect to use, and if you don't know

8 yet, how many you have identified up until that moment, whether you did

9 send it by fax to the Prosecution. I want to be kept informed on a

10 day-by-day basis on every single progress made in this respect. Because,

11 as you said, and of course I could hear from you how unacceptable it is

12 and how much you regret it, that I can imagine what you'd like to say, and

13 I've heard it already several times. The thing now is what we have to

14 do. For the first witness it went not the way it should have gone, that

15 is, exhibits just the day before, approximately.

16 The next witness should show a huge improvement. That means even

17 if we -- and we can't meet the two weeks' deadline, it should at least be

18 far better than the first one. I also take it, Mr. Josse, that when

19 you're travelling in Bosnia, that you would also prepare for the next

20 witnesses to come. So I want for every following witness, I want an

21 improvement of the performance.

22 MR. JOSSE: That's the idea, Your Honour.

23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand. It's, however, a bit late to

24 start creating processes for this at this very moment. But let's not --

25 let me not be -- let me try not to focus on criticising you, but let me

Page 17583

1 focus extremely on the improvement of the present situation.

2 Anything else to be said about this?

3 MR. HARMON: Nothing, Your Honour. Thank you.

4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The way in which you'll communicate with me

5 when I'm not in The Hague, you'll be informed about that.

6 Then any other procedural issue to be raised?

7 MR. JOSSE: No.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Josse, I'm looking at the clock. You said

9 you had to leave not later --

10 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, could I mention something about what the

11 Court is about to do?


13 MR. JOSSE: This is a rather bizarre request. If the Court is

14 about to find in the Defence's favour on the certification for the 98 bis,

15 could I ask that not be done today? Because that will then cause a --

16 JUDGE ORIE: To be in favour, yes. Well, to be quite honest to

17 you --

18 MR. JOSSE: If it's against --

19 JUDGE ORIE: You might be shocked by it, but the decisions are

20 there, but are not in favour of a certification.

21 MR. JOSSE: Then they can be given now.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I have the following: I have one decision

23 on Zvornik contextual exhibits, which is a relatively short one. Then I

24 have two decisions to be read. Keeping in mind, Mr. Josse, that you'd

25 like not to miss your plane, one of the practical ways of doing it would

Page 17584

1 be that if you'd say, "I'd rather leave, but if the Chamber would have a

2 copy for its own use for these decisions, let me rather catch my plane and

3 read it on my way to the plane," because there will be no opportunity for

4 you anyhow to discuss it with Mr. Krajisnik any more, then exceptionally,

5 the Chamber would provide you with the text I've got in front of me and

6 which I'll read at a later stage.

7 MR. JOSSE: That would be desirable from my personal point of

8 view.

9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. Then I'll just first read the decision

10 on Zvornik contextual exhibits, then I'll give you the decision which I'm

11 about to read on the other matters and leave you a copy of that.

12 I start with the admittance of Zvornik contextual exhibits. I

13 take it that it's distributed to the transcribers and to the interpreters.

14 THE INTERPRETER: It is not, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE ORIE: It is not. Well, it was available, so I'm a bit

16 surprised that it's not. I'll start reading very slowly.

17 On the 12th of July, the final version of the Zvornik contextual

18 exhibits was tendered. The Defence did not object to the admission of any

19 of these exhibits. The Chamber admitted the exhibits as a package,

20 together with a large number of other exhibits, on the 19th of July.

21 However, the Chamber kept one particular exhibit, the witness statement

22 made by Branko Studen on the 11th of July, under further consideration. If

23 the Prosecution wishes to have such a witness statement given to the

24 Prosecution team in 2003 admitted into evidence, it should, in principle,

25 follow the Rule set out for admission of these witness statements, namely,

Page 17585

1 Rule 92 bis.

2 The statement of Branko Studen tendered by the Prosecution cannot,

3 therefore, be admitted into evidence as a contextual exhibit. Noting that

4 in the index to the Zvornik contextual package, the Prosecution has called

5 Branko Studen's statement a Rule 68 statement, which we understand to be

6 an exculpatory statement, the Chamber recalls that any material the

7 Prosecutor deems to fall under Rule 68 should be disclosed to the Defence

8 and the Defence may then decide whether it does in fact consider the

9 material to be exculpatory and whether or not it wishes to tender the

10 material into evidence.

11 This concludes the decision of the Chamber regarding the

12 admittance of the Zvornik contextual exhibits.

13 Then the two decisions I'll read out, Mr. Josse. The first one is

14 you were asking for an extension of time to apply for certification to

15 appeal the Chamber's decision on the motion for acquittal, and an

16 application for certification is attached to the extension of time

17 application. Extension of time is denied, which of course also means that

18 the application for certification is implicitly denied. Nevertheless, the

19 Chamber gives some reasons why it would have denied that motion as well,

20 even if the extension of time would have been granted.

21 Then the other decision is the application for a certificate to

22 appeal the Chamber's denial of the Defence motion for extension of time in

23 which to comply with the Rule 65 ter (G) requirements, and that motion is

24 -- that application for a certificate is denied as well.

25 You can be provided with a copy of the reasons so you can read it

Page 17586

1 for yourself. I'll read it out now in Court and then we'll adjourn until

2 the 25th of October.

3 MR. JOSSE: Thank you. Your Honour will excuse me?

4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, of course.

5 I now will read out the whole of these decisions. The first is on

6 the Defence's application for an extension of time to apply for

7 certification to appeal the Chamber's decision on the motion for

8 acquittal. An application for certification is attached to the extension

9 of time application.

10 The Defence missed the seven-day deadline for certification. The

11 Defence explains that it misunderstood the Rules, thinking that

12 certification was not required in this case. The Defence relies on the

13 decision in the Blagojevic case. However, in Blagojevic, what was at

14 stake was a judgement of acquittal. It stands to reason that a judgement

15 of acquittal, being final, does not require certification.

16 In the present case, there was no judgement of acquittal. In the

17 present case, the Chamber simply denied the Defence's interlocutory

18 motion. There was no final judgement in any sense.

19 In extending the Blagojevic ruling to the circumstances of the

20 present case, the Defence misinterpreted that decision. The Defence

21 should have proceeded on the assumption that the procedure for appealing

22 interlocutory motions applied in this instance. The Blagojevic decision

23 does reveal that there had been some confusion on this point in the past.

24 The Defence could have raised the matter for clarification with the

25 Chamber within the seven-day limit.

Page 17587

1 The Defence has not shown good cause for an extension of time, as

2 required by Rule 127. Therefore, we would deny this motion.

3 The Chamber has also considered what its decision would have been

4 had the Defence applied for a certificate in good time. The Defence

5 submissions in favour of certification of the Chamber's 98 bis decisions

6 are insufficiently detailed. The Chamber has consulted the Defence

7 document that went before the Appeals Chamber in an effort to see what the

8 arguments for certification might be. In that document, the Defence makes

9 two complaints.

10 One is the question of prejudice resulting from the Rule change.

11 The Defence asserts that it would be, and I quote, "absurd and

12 impractical, under the new Rule, to go through the contents of the

13 indictment line by line."

14 The Defence further asserts that, I quote: "The Trial Chamber

15 would have correctly prevented such a course as being contrary to both the

16 spirit and the letter of the new Rule."

17 This conclusion about what the Trial Chamber would have done is

18 entirely speculative. The fact is that the Defence did not make any

19 request for line-by-line submissions. The lines in the indictment which

20 the Defence did specifically attack, namely, the lines extending the

21 charge of genocide to Bosnian Croats, were indeed considered by the

22 Chamber, in the Defence's own specific terms.

23 Clearly, the Chamber is in no position to certify a question about

24 prejudice resulting from an imaginary ruling of the Chamber. The Defence

25 simply does not know how the Chamber would have ruled in the face of a

Page 17588

1 concrete request for detailed submissions.

2 The Defence makes other assumptions too. It asserts that, I quote

3 again: "It was incumbent upon the Trial Chamber itself to look at each

4 and every part of the indictment, including the schedules, and see if

5 there was evidence in support. This undoubtedly they did not do."

6 Again, this is speculation. As a matter of fact, the Chamber has

7 been doing, from the very beginning of this case, precisely what the

8 Defence claims the Chamber has not done, so the Defence is simply wrong.

9 In addition to this, the Defence clearly does not have to worry

10 itself with unsupported allegations, the formal deletion of which would

11 not have led to acquittal on any of the counts. The possibility that a

12 limited number of such very specific, unsupported, factual allegations in

13 the schedules has been carried past the 98 bis stage and into the Defence

14 stage of the case, does not raise an issue of fairness or expeditiousness

15 that meets the threshold of the certification test.

16 The Defence's second complaint in the document it put before the

17 Appeals Chamber is that the Trial Chamber did not cite sufficient evidence

18 to justify keeping in place the allegation of genocide committed against

19 Bosnian Croats. However, contrary to how the Defence sees it, the Trial

20 Chamber merely presented a few illustrations, not the whole of the

21 relevant evidence, in support of the allegation. The Trial Chamber is not

22 obliged to specifically cite all the relevant evidence. Without doubt, it

23 must take into account all the evidence when reaching its decision, but it

24 need not to cite it specifically.

25 Therefore, the Defence has not shown that the Chamber so exceeded

Page 17589

1 its discretion in matters of factual appreciation as to have given rise to

2 an issue appropriate for certification in accordance with the applicable

3 test.

4 Moreover, the presence or absence in the indictment of the

5 allegation of genocide committed against Bosnian Croats is a variation

6 that, in the Chamber's opinion, has little impact on the expeditiousness

7 of these proceedings. The certification threshold is not met in this

8 respect by them.

9 Finally, the Defence claims that the Chamber erred in law in

10 respect of the legal elements of genocide. This claim is completely

11 without cited support. It cannot be the case that by merely questioning

12 an aspect of the law, a party can create a ground for certification. The

13 Defence's claim does not give rise to an issue that requires the

14 intervention of the Appeals Chamber.

15 This concludes the decision in relation to the first matter before

16 us.

17 The second decision concerns the Defence's application for a

18 certificate to appeal the Chamber's denial of the Defence's motion for

19 extension of time in which to comply with the requirements of Rule 65

20 ter (G). This extension of time entailed a delay in the commencement of

21 the Defence case. In its original motion, the Defence had asked for three

22 things: That its list of witnesses be received on the 12th of October;

23 that the Defence not be obliged to file a list of exhibits by that date;

24 and that the Defence case be rescheduled to commence on the 25th of

25 October.

Page 17590

1 The Chamber, in its decision, which the Defence now seeks leave to

2 appeal, set the following schedule: A provisional list of witnesses, to

3 be finalised progressively, was to be filed on the 3rd of October. The

4 list of exhibits was not to be filed by that date but was to be disclosed

5 progressively. And the Defence case was to commence on the 10th of

6 October, for three days only, and then to restart on the 25th of October.

7 Moreover, at the 73 ter conference last week, the Chamber further

8 mitigated the burden of the Rules on the Defence by giving the Defence

9 more time to produce acceptable summaries of the expected testimony of its

10 witnesses. A necessary condition for the grant of a certificate is that

11 the impugned decision gives rise to an issue which would significantly

12 affect the fair and expeditious conduct of the proceedings or the outcome

13 of the trial. The threshold is high. Considering the small differences

14 between what the Defence requested and what it received through the

15 decision in question, and considering also the point we have reached in

16 the proceedings, namely, that the provisional list of witnesses has been

17 filed and the Defence case has commenced with its first witness, in the

18 Chamber's view, there does not exist an issue which justifies

19 certification.

20 Therefore, the Chamber will not allow the Defence's application.

21 This concludes the Chamber's decision on the two Defence motions.

22 We'll adjourn until the 25th of October, 9.00 in the morning,

23 Courtroom II.

24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.,

25 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 25th day of

Page 17591

1 October, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.