1 Tuesday, 2 October 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
8 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 I was informed that there were no preliminaries. Is the
11 Prosecution ready to call its next witness?
12 MS. HOCHHAUSER: We are, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: No protective measures?
14 MS. HOCHHAUSER: There are none.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Hochhauser.
16 Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning. Can you hear me in a language you
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, the Rules require you make
22 a solemn declaration. The text is now handed out to you. Could I invite
23 you to make that solemn declaration.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 WITNESS: FADILA TARCIN
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please be seated.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You will first be examined by Ms. Hochhauser. You
6 will find her to your right, Witness. And Ms. Hochhauser is counsel for
7 the Prosecution.
8 Ms. Hochhauser, please proceed.
9 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Thank you and good morning, Your Honours.
10 Examination by Ms. Hochhauser:
11 Q. Good morning, Ms. Tarcin. Can you please tell the Chamber your
12 full name and date of birth.
13 A. I am Fadila Tarcin. I was born on the 19th of February, 1986
14 [as interpreted].
15 Q. And, Ms. Tarcin, where is it that you're currently living?
16 A. I do apologise. I think you have a mistake here. The year of my
17 birth is not 1986 but it's 1976. So it's 7-6.
18 Q. I see that that is correct. In the running transcript that we
19 have it was recorded as 1986, so that's now been corrected.
20 Can you tell the Court, please, where you're living and if you're
21 currently employed?
22 A. I currently live in Sarajevo, Berkusa Mala 24a is my address and
23 I'm employed.
24 Q. Ms. Tarcin, you gave a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor
25 here at the ICTY on the 24th of February, 2004, and a second statement
1 clarifying the first and providing some additional information on the
2 2nd of November, 2008; is that right?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 MS. HOCHHAUSER: If I could, I would ask that 65 ter number
5 28440, which is the statement dated 24 February 2004, be placed on the
6 monitor in front of the witness.
7 Q. And, ma'am, do you recognise the document on the screen in front
8 of you?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. And if we could turn, please, in the English version to page 5 in
11 e-court which I believe is the second-to-last page.
12 Can you tell us, do you recognise the signature on that page?
13 A. Yes. If you mean my signature, yes, that is my signature.
14 Q. Now, this statement from 2004, did you have the opportunity over
15 this past weekend to review a translation of this statement in your own
16 language, in B/C/S?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And after reviewing it, were there any changes or corrections
19 that you wanted to make?
20 A. No, the statement is correct and everything I said is the way it
22 Q. So if you were asked the same questions today that you were asked
23 when you provided the information that's contained in this statement,
24 would the answers be the same today as it was when you gave the
1 A. Yes, they would be the same.
2 Q. Now, if I could ask, please, for 65 ter number 28441, which is a
3 statement dated 2nd November, 2008, be placed on the monitor.
4 And, ma'am, do you recognise this document that's now on the
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And can you tell us -- if we could also turn in the English
8 version again to the last -- to page 4 in e-court in the English version.
9 And, again, do you recognise the signature on that page?
10 A. Yes, that's my signature.
11 Q. Again, did you have the opportunity prior to testifying today to
12 review a translation of this statement in B/C/S?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And is there anything after reviewing it that you wanted to
15 change or correct?
16 A. No, there's nothing. I've read the statement and everything that
17 is contained there is what I would say today as well, so there's nothing
18 to be changed.
19 Q. Now that you have taken the solemn declaration testifying before
20 this Chamber, can you affirm the accuracy and truthfulness of both of
21 those statements?
22 A. Yes.
23 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Your Honours, at this point I would tender
24 65 ter numbers 28440 and 28441 into evidence.
25 MR. IVETIC: No objection from the Defence.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
2 Madam Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Document 28440 becomes Exhibit P281,
4 Your Honours. And document 28441 becomes Exhibit P282, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: P821 and P28 -- I made a mistake. P281 and P282 are
6 admitted into evidence.
7 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Okay. Your Honours, if I might read a brief
8 summary what is now in evidence from Ms. Tarcin.
9 Fadila Tarcin's testimony is relevant to schedule G as incident
10 G1. On 28 May 1992, 16-year-old Fadila Tarcin lived with her family in
11 the residential Sirokaca area of Sarajevo. On the evening of 28 May 1992
12 her residential neighbourhood came under intense shelling and the witness
13 and her family moved to their cellar for protection. Sometime after
14 midnight that night, the witness was sitting next to the cellar door when
15 there was an explosion and the witness discovered that both of her legs
16 were seriously injured. Due to the intensity of the shelling, Ms. Tarcin
17 was unable to seek immediate medical attention but eventually made it to
18 the hospital. Ms. Tarcin suffers long-term physical effects from her
19 injuries, and the shelling that wounded her also extensively damaged
20 residential houses in the immediate area of her home. Ms. Tarcin recalls
21 in her written evidence hearing a radio broadcast sometime after her
22 wounding on 28 May 1992, concerning an intercepted radio conversation
23 featuring General Mladic in which he was directing the targeting of that
25 That concludes the summary, Your Honours.
1 Q. Now, Ms. Tarcin, as I've said, I only really have about two very
2 brief questions for you because the Chamber is in possession of your
3 written evidence and has carefully examined it. First, in the statement
4 that's now in evidence as Exhibit P281, which is your 2004 statement, at
5 paragraph 2 you say that yours was a residential neighbourhood, the
6 neighbourhood you and your family lived in. Can you tell us what the
7 ethnic make-up of that neighbourhood was on 28 May 1992?
8 A. The population was predominantly Bosniak; that is to say Muslim.
9 Q. Also, in both of your previous statements which are, again, in
10 evidence you detailed as of those dates, as of the dates of those
11 statements, the continuing effects of the injuries that you suffered on
12 28th of May, 1992. Can you tell the Chamber whether you still suffer
13 consequences of that injury?
14 A. Yes, I do. In all likelihood, these consequences will never go
15 away. I was seriously wounded and one organ was permanently destroyed
16 and that is a knuckle on my toe. And over the years it can only become
17 more complicated. I do not walk properly. My spine is curved and
18 increasingly so, so things get only worse.
19 Q. Ma'am, my final question for you is: You reference in your
20 statement hearing a radio broadcast of intercepted conversations with
21 General Mladic. Can you tell us, tell the Chamber, whether you know
22 exactly when it was in relation to your injury that you heard that
24 A. I cannot tell you exactly when this happened, when I first heard
25 that broadcast. I don't know whether it was five, ten, or 15 days after
1 I was injured. I cannot say exactly. You know, those were very
2 difficult circumstances. For five days you'd have electricity and then
3 you could hear something, and then you would not have any electricity and
4 then you couldn't hear anything. And then you'd have electricity again
5 for another two hours. So, quite simply, you lose all sense of time,
6 whether five, ten, or 15 days had elapsed. So I cannot tell you exactly
7 how much time had gone by after I had heard that broadcast for the first
9 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Your Honours, as I said, it was -- I only had a
10 few questions for Ms. Tarcin.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MS. HOCHHAUSER: And that concludes my examination.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Hochhauser.
14 Ms. Tarcin, you will now be cross-examined by Mr. Ivetic.
15 Mr. Ivetic is counsel for Mr. Mladic. And if you only testified only
16 very shortly, have answered only a few questions put to you by the
17 Prosecution, of course the Chamber has read your statement so there's
18 more than what you told us this morning.
19 Mr. Ivetic will now cross-examine you.
20 Mr. Ivetic, please proceed.
21 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
23 Q. Good day, ma'am. I would first ask that you try to pay attention
24 to my questions and try to ensure that the answer you give is the most
25 focused answer possible for my questions, and that way we will get
1 through this as quickly as possible. Is that understood?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Okay. Now, first I'd like to go into some background issues.
4 Were any members of your family taking part in the fighting as members of
5 any armed force at any time prior to the 28th or the 29th of May, 1992?
6 A. No, not in the fighting. But I can say that at the time in
7 different neighbourhoods there were guards unarmed, as a rule, and quite
8 simply during the night they were on duty there in the street. If
9 something unexpected happened, then they could inform other people, but
10 at that point in time they were not [Realtime transcript read in error
11 "in the"] armed.
12 Q. Did you at that time, as a 16-year-old girl, have any knowledge
13 of the front lines; that is to say, where the warring forces were located
14 and fighting with one another?
15 A. I did not know then where the lines were exactly. We knew that
16 the area where I -- I mean, the area where I live is hilly, so we knew
17 that the fighting was taking place above our houses, or rather, that the
18 lines were above our houses, but I didn't know exactly where.
19 Q. In the time-period prior to 28/29 May 1992, did you have occasion
20 to ever eye-witness or see the front line positions so as to know their
22 A. No.
23 Q. When the fighting started, did you have a chance to go outside
24 and walk around the neighbourhood of Sirokaca or did you primarily stay
25 at home, indoors?
1 A. I stayed at home most of the time, and if I went out it was only
2 within 200 or 300 metres around the house.
3 Q. In the weeks leading up to 28/29 May 1992, did you have occasion
4 to go to school or had classes been interrupted by the situation?
5 A. I didn't go to school. Schools were not working; they stopped
6 already in April. So in that period of time, we did not go to school.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, you've identified for us that if you did go out
8 you usually only stayed approximately 200 metres or 300 metres around the
9 house. Could you please tell us, using any type of measurement or
10 parameter that you can, approximately how expansive is the entire
11 neighbourhood of Sirokaca; that is to say, how big is it geographically?
12 A. I cannot tell you exactly in terms of kilometres. The area that
13 we call Sirokaca is not an administrative unit. There is, actually, an
14 administrative unit of Sirokaca, but it basically denotes a broader area,
15 broader than the administrative unit, that is. It is possible that the
16 diameter is 2 or 3 kilometres, but I wouldn't be able to say that for
18 Q. That's fair enough. Did you ever have a chance to venture
19 outside of Sirokaca to go to other parts such as Bistrik or Stari Grad in
20 May of 1992 or the weeks prior to May of 1992?
21 JUDGE ORIE: Is that within 2- or 300 metres, the areas you're
22 referring to, because the witness said she never went out any further
23 than 2- or 300 metres. Now, if Bistrik or Stari Grad is within 2- or 300
24 metres --
25 MR. IVETIC: Well, I'm trying to find out, Your Honour, which
1 part of Sirokaca she's at. I don't know myself. Personally, I've never
2 been to --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Where have you never been?
4 MR. IVETIC: To Sirokaca.
5 JUDGE ORIE: But you know on a map where it is, I take it.
6 MR. IVETIC: Approximately, yes. I understand that Bistrik is
7 right there, but you could have --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Is that within 2- or 300 metres?
9 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, I don't know. They are adjoining
10 areas. So it's possible that a person could be 200 metres from the
11 neighbouring area, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Did you ever go to Bistrik or Stari Grad?
13 And I'll check it on the map, Mr. --
14 Witness, could you tell us whether in those weeks just before the
15 event, whether you ever went to Bistrik or Stari Grad?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember, no.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
18 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
19 Q. In the occasions when you walked around 200 to 300 metres around
20 your home, did you ever have occasion to eye-witness any armed formations
21 of the Territorial Defence, the army, or the police situated or
22 patrolling in Sirokaca?
23 A. Maybe once or twice I had an opportunity to see the reserve
24 police that just passed through the area. I would not say that it's a
25 formation. It would be three to four men, never more than that.
1 Q. Thank you. And apart from your own observations of occasionally
2 one or two times seeing three to four reserve policemen, did you have
3 occasion to hear from other people about the existence of any
4 Territorial Defence, army, or police forces that were situated in or
5 patrolling Sirokaca prior to the date that you were wounded?
6 A. Excuse me. Yes, my neighbours were saying that there is a
7 Territorial Defence, that there is a reserve police, but no one said
8 where they were or how many of them there were. No one mentioned any
9 specific figures.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, if you could tell me after you left the
11 hospital, did you and your family remain living in the same Sirokaca
12 neighbourhood or did you move elsewhere for the remainder of the war?
13 A. No, we lived in the same house throughout.
14 Q. Okay. Now I'd like to focus on the time-period after you
15 returned to your home from the hospital, that is to say from June 1992
16 through 1995, did you at any time become aware of any armed forces of the
17 so-called Armija of BiH being based in Sirokaca or passing through
18 Sirokaca to battle with the Serb forces?
19 A. As far as I know, they were not based there; but as for whether
20 they passed through or not, I really can't tell. I can only assume that
21 it was possible that they did, but I myself never saw them.
22 Q. That's fair enough, ma'am. Did you have occasion to ever see or
23 hear about any artillery forces of the Army of BiH being positioned in or
24 near Sirokaca in that time-period, again after you were treated and
25 released from the hospital?
1 A. Specifically in Sirokaca I didn't hear anything about that and I
2 definitely never saw anything to that effect, and I never heard that
3 there was any artillery weaponry positioned in Sirokaca.
4 Q. Now I'd like to ask you some questions about parts of the
5 statements that you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor. First, I would
6 like to look at P281, which is your statement dated the
7 24th of February, 2004, and I'd like to ask you about paragraph 2 of the
8 same which is on page 2 in the English and page 2 in the B/C/S in
9 e-court. And I believe it's up on the screen.
10 Madam, there you identify that the only military establishment
11 near to your home was the barracks some 1.5 kilometres away at Bistrik.
12 For the record, can you tell us what force occupied these barracks; that
13 is to say in May of 1992?
14 A. I'm not sure. I think that until May this barracks were occupied
15 by the JNA; however, I don't know exactly when they left it. It might
16 even have been as early as in May.
17 Q. Okay. That's fair enough. And after they left, were these
18 barracks occupied by someone else or were they empty, if you know?
19 A. I don't have any exact knowledge at to who went there and when it
20 happened exactly.
21 Q. That's fair enough. If I can now ask to direct your attention to
22 paragraph 11 of this statement. This is on the third page in English and
23 the fourth page in B/C/S. And we earlier talked about the front lines
24 and you answered as you answered, so now I want to ask you: Here in
25 paragraph 11 you indicate at the end of the paragraph:
1 "We were also at least a kilometre from the front lines."
2 Could you explain that answer for me in light of what you said
3 today about your knowledge of the front lines. Is this an estimate on
4 your part? Or did you definitely know which front line is referenced
6 A. I don't know exactly, and in my statement I just expressed my
7 opinion. Therefore, I don't know exactly. As I said, those were edges
8 of the area which means that the lines were above our houses. However,
9 how many kilometres away they were, I don't know. My estimate was that
10 it was 1 to 2 kilometres, but I really cannot tell you the exact
12 Q. When you say "above our houses," were the front lines between
13 Bistrik and Sirokaca or between Sirokaca and another suburb or area?
14 A. Bistrik is located below Sirokaca, which means that the lines
15 were not between Bistrik and Sirokaca but rather above Sirokaca.
16 Q. Thank you for clearing that up for me. As I indicated, I have
17 not had the opportunity to visit Sirokaca so it's unclear to me --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, you can see it on the map. It's quite
19 clear that Bistrik is further down and Sirokaca is further up the hill
20 and then it goes further up and that's where the -- at least on maps we
21 find front lines.
22 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honour, and her answer of "above our
23 houses" needs to be cleared up and that's why I asked them the way I did
24 without --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and then you asked whether it was further down
1 as you can see on the map, because there are indications there on what
2 goes uphill and what goes -- there are altitude lines so it's just a
3 question which doesn't make sense. And usually rivers are further down.
4 Miljacka river is further down in the direction of Bistrik.
5 Please try to deal with the information available as
6 intelligently as possible. Please proceed.
7 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Now, Madam, while we're still on paragraph 11 I'd like to ask you
9 about the other words that are recorded there, including:
10 "... there were no troop concentrations, military positions, or
11 other such places that could have been construed as military targets."
12 Are all of these your words or were they words that were
13 suggested to you by perhaps the person interviewing you, in particular
14 "construed as a military target"?
15 A. These are my words and my opinion. I don't know how familiar you
16 are with Sarajevo and how these neighbourhood look like. You have small
17 family houses which are clustered together next to one another with
18 almost no gap between them. Therefore, I don't know what major troop
19 concentration there could exist. All these houses were varying between
20 one-storey to three-storey houses. In a word, those were regular family
22 Q. Would you agree with me that you can only know what you saw or
23 heard about in regards to troop concentrations or military positions?
24 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Judge --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hochhauser.
1 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Yeah, I'm going to object to that question. I'm
2 not sure what it --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I think what Mr. --
4 MS. HOCHHAUSER: What it's asking.
5 JUDGE ORIE: -- Ivetic is asking: Can you only see what you see,
6 can you only know what you've either seen or heard.
7 That's your question?
8 MR. IVETIC: I can rephrase it.
9 Q. Is the -- is the --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Do you think it would assist the Chamber in itself
11 to have these kind of general statements? You can only see something if
12 you don't have your eyes closed, isn't it, Witness --
13 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honours, I'm trying to see for
14 paragraph 11 what the basis of that was -- if it was --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, do that --
16 MR. IVETIC: If it was beyond her own knowledge. That is what
17 I'm trying to find out.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Do that directly then, please.
19 MR. IVETIC:
20 Q. Madam witness, with respect to paragraph 11, are the conclusions
21 stated therein based on your own personal observations and what you heard
22 or on other sources?
23 A. Partly it is based on what I saw because I had an opportunity to
24 see it, but as much as I was able to see I didn't see any concentration
25 of military troops. I never heard anyone speaking about concentration of
1 major military forces. Therefore, that's what it is based upon.
2 Q. You have twice now used the term "major military forces." I'm
3 asking about forces in general. Would your answer be the same with
4 regard to forces in general as opposed to major military forces?
5 A. I may have misspoken. I was referring to any military forces.
6 Q. Thank you for that clarification. Now, since we're at this page,
7 I'd like to ask you about paragraph 12 which regards the broadcast on the
8 radio that you heard that you believe was General Mladic giving
9 directions. First of all, am I correct that the locations that you heard
10 from this radio broadcast, none of them were the location of Sirokaca
11 where you were injured on the 28th of May -- 28th/29th of May, 1992?
12 A. As far as I can remember, there was no mention of Sirokaca.
13 Q. And apart from the fact that the radio identified the voice as
14 that of General Mladic, did you have any independent knowledge yourself
15 to permit you to identify that voice as belonging to General Mladic?
16 A. I'm not an expert of any sort. I cannot tell you, therefore,
17 exactly whether that was his voice or not, but I established a connection
18 between this voice and some later statements made by General Mladic.
19 Q. I appreciate that. With regard to those later statements, how
20 many later statements are we talking about?
21 A. I cannot give you an exact number. If I heard something in
22 relation to Srebrenica, I cannot tell you exactly how many times it was
23 mentioned because I didn't keep any record of that.
24 Q. Okay. Fair enough. Now I'd like to show you a document. It's
25 already in evidence as Exhibit D39, and this is an intercept of a
1 conversation between General Mladic and another individual dated
2 29 May 1992. And I would like to turn to page 5 in e-court in the
3 English and page 4 in the B/C/S. Again, page 4 in the B/C/S and page 5
4 in the English version. And, madam, in the B/C/S it's the part spoken by
5 Mr. Mladic towards the last half of the page, near the middle but not
6 quite in the middle. And I will read for you the English so that you can
7 locate it. And, again, this is reported to be Ratko Mladic saying as
9 "I agree. I want the same thing. If they want peace, they can
10 have it. I ordered yesterday evening as soon as I arrived, there was
11 that attack not only against the units but also against you. This
12 shooting, somehow I managed to calm down the men here, to get them under
13 control, to stop them from firing. This thing they are doing now, they
14 probably have good pantomimes or good impressionists who probably
15 successfully imitated our voices, mine, yours, everybody's."
16 Madam, did you happen to know of any such possibility of people
17 imitating the voices of General Mladic prior to today?
18 A. No, I have no knowledge about that.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, to the extent you want to draw the
20 attention of the Chamber to the basis on which the witness testified that
21 what she heard on the radio - whether that was Mr. Mladic's voice, yes or
22 no - that point is perfectly clear to us now. The witness, as far as we
23 understand, had no personal knowledge of Mr. -- she never met Mr. Mladic.
24 If you refer to other statements given by Mr. Mladic then of course we
25 could explore to what extent those were authentic or not. We could deal
1 with that for another two or three hours. The point you want to make is
2 perfectly clear to the Chamber. Please proceed.
3 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
4 Q. I'd like to now turn to your other statement briefly, and that
5 is, I believe, P282 which is dated the 2nd of November, 2008, and I have
6 just a few brief questions about this relating, I think, to only one
7 paragraph. And I think it is the second page in English and the second
8 page in the B/C/S. And it is paragraph 3. And now we have that on the
9 screen, madam.
10 First of all, can you confirm whether or not the incident wherein
11 you were wounded was reported to the local police?
12 A. As far as I know, it wasn't.
13 Q. Okay. Would it be accurate to say that no one, in fact, be it
14 police, army, or any international bodies, performed an investigation of
15 the shelling site where you were injured?
16 A. Not that I know of and, as I said in my statement, that was not
17 common procedure because there were so many shells falling down, which
18 leads me to believe that it would have been difficult to achieve.
19 Q. Okay. I understand your general answer, but I have to ask about
20 specific items. Did anyone take any measurements or pictures of the
21 scene, either at the time or at any time thereafter?
22 A. No, as far as I know.
23 Q. Did anyone preserve any of these shell fragments or casings?
24 A. Not that I know of.
25 Q. Now, you mention men in the neighbourhood saying that it was
1 "large-calibre howitzer shell." Am I correct that we're talking just
2 about regular civilians or are we talking about anyone with specific
3 knowledge of these things?
4 A. Yes, these were civilians who had previously served in the JNA,
5 just like the majority of men in our country did; and on that basis they
6 were able to form some opinions of theirs.
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. But I cannot say that they were experts, in fact.
9 Q. Thank you, madam, and I appreciate that. Now, in this paragraph
10 you also state:
11 "According to the locals, the shell came from Borije to the east
12 of us."
13 First of all, are these locals the same neighbours that we're
14 talking about?
15 A. Yes, the neighbours.
16 Q. And this site that they had mentioned, Borije, could you tell us
17 how far away Borije is from that location, from the site where you were
19 A. I really have no idea. One can see them, but I really have no
20 clue as to how many kilometres was the distance.
21 Q. What about in relation to the front lines? Where would Borije be
22 situated in regard to the front lines you earlier indicated as being
23 somewhere located above your houses?
24 A. Opposite of us, due east. If you view it from Sirokaca, it would
25 be opposite, to the right.
1 Q. Thank you. And am I correct that this area of Borije was held
2 mainly by the forces loyal to the Izetbegovic government?
3 A. I honestly don't know that.
4 Q. That's fair enough. I'd like to then move to another topic.
5 First of all, are you familiar with the area of Sirokaca where there is a
6 primary school located?
7 A. Yes, I am. I attended that primary school.
8 Q. And, again, since I'm not from Sirokaca, is there only one
9 primary school in Sirokaca or are there multiple primary schools within
10 that neighbourhood?
11 A. There's only one in Sirokaca.
12 Q. Okay. And how far is that one primary school from the place
13 where your home was located in Sirokaca?
14 A. I can only suppose that it was 3- to 400 metres as the crow
15 flies, but I cannot tell you exactly.
16 Q. Did you have any knowledge or did you hear that that particular
17 school during 1992, 1993, and 1994 was used by the army of the BiH forces
18 to billet their soldiers?
19 A. I have no knowledge about that, therefore I cannot say either yes
20 or no.
21 Q. And just to clarify since you said it's about 3- to 400 metres as
22 the crow flies, did you have occasion to visit the school during the
23 time-periods when you were walking around your house, 200 to 300 metres
24 around your house, in the time-period of May 1992 or the weeks prior?
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Ivetic, if the school is about 400 metres as
1 the crow flies and I walk only up to 300 metres, how do I get to the
3 MR. IVETIC: Because she said 300 to 400 metres, Your Honours.
4 I'm trying to clarify to see if it's more 400 or 300 if she would have
5 had an occasion to see the school on the occasions that she travelled.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
7 MR. IVETIC:
8 Q. Madam, perhaps I can simplify the question: Did you ever have
9 occasion to get a glimpse of the school during the time-period when you
10 would have walked 200 to 300 metres around your house?
11 A. I didn't have such occasion. Well, speaking about walking within
12 the radius of 2- to 300 metres, I'm not talking about a stroll but rather
13 about the area that we had a chance to find some water springs. In other
14 words, the walk involved going to fetch water if you didn't have it on
15 the specific day. That was not a recreational walk.
16 Q. I appreciate that, madam, and I did not mean to imply otherwise.
17 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I see we're at the time for the break
18 and I have another approximately 30 to 35 minutes and I would be moving
19 on to a different topic, so it would be a convenient time for the break.
20 JUDGE ORIE: It would be a convenient time for the break. We
21 will take the break after the witness has left the courtroom.
22 We'd like to see you back in approximately 20 minutes and then
23 we'll continue for as Mr. Ivetic indicated approximately another half an
24 hour. You may follow the usher.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right. Thank you.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, Mr. Ivetic, could you tell us
3 where apparently you are linking a school with a military object? Could
4 you tell us where that school is in Sirokaca? There seems to be only one
5 and I take it.
6 MR. IVETIC: [Microphone not activated]
7 That's why I asked if there was only one. It was discussed in
8 the Galic trial with another witness who was from the same region and
9 that's where the information I have comes from.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You have not investigated where that school is --
11 MR. IVETIC: No.
12 JUDGE ORIE: -- so it all remains vague and --
13 MR. IVETIC: Well, it's for me to track it down and bring Defence
14 evidence then if that, in fact, is proven true to demonstrate. All I
15 know is there is one primary school in Sirokaca and that in the Galic
16 proceedings there was some evidence that there were forces billeted
17 there. This witness said she had no knowledge of that so I don't think I
18 can explore further with this witness that. I don't have any documents
19 to --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but where that is, that is within 500 metres
21 from her house or 700 metres from her house -- I mean, a witness of
22 course is usually not very good at assessing distances.
23 MR. IVETIC: Oh, I see what you mean to say. It's an objective
24 distances. No, I do not have that, Your Honours. I could -- I think I
25 should investigate that and find some objective standard to present to
1 Your Honours, either through another witness or from the bar table.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We take a break and resume at ten minutes to
4 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
7 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, Mr. Ivetic, the Chamber would
10 have a few questions for the witness.
11 Could we have P3 on our screen, page 76 in e-court. Could we
12 zoom in on the further to the right top corner of this, even a bit more
13 on the word "Sirokaca." Yes.
14 Witness, can you see on the map, can you orient yourself? I see
15 that the Berkusa Mala seems to be indicated just above the word
16 "Bostarici." Do you see that?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I see that.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Was that the street where you used to live?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Would you be able to mark on this map the exact
21 place of your house, orienting yourself to the other names of the streets
22 and I think at the top you see the road that goes through from east to
23 west. Do you see that? I think it had a specific -- has a specific name
24 or hasn't it? You see that on the top? Perhaps we could slightly move
25 out and go a little bit. Wait with marking until you get instructions.
1 Are you better able now to orient yourself? You still see
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, now it's better.
4 JUDGE ORIE: If we zoom in again on Sirokaca and especially on
5 the street I just referred to, would you be able to mark on this map
6 where your house was? The usher will give you a ...
7 What happens? Could we have the same ...
8 Mr. Usher, could you assist the witness in using the right
10 Take your time to orient yourself again. If you mark it with a
11 letter K, which would stand for Kuca I think for you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now on this map are you able to find the
14 street where the school was? If you would like to have it zoomed in more
15 or zoomed out more, please tell us and we'll do as you indicate. Yes,
16 we'll not zoom in and out because then we lose the marking, but are you
17 able to find the street where the school was and the approximate location
18 of the school?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we could zoom in once again.
20 This way it's difficult.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then we have to re-mark later the K because
22 it will be lost. But we know where it is, it's just to the M of Mala,
23 the name of your street.
24 Could we zoom in again.
25 Perhaps you repeat your marking of your own house with a K, which
1 was just at Berkusa Mala just near to the M.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, maybe last time I marked too
3 high. It's closer to this intersection we see on the map.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please correct it as you consider accurate. If you
5 want to change it, the usher can help you to remove whatever you want to
6 change. Because if you said it was too high, it's now even a bit higher
7 than you did it for the first time, I think.
8 Could we remove the --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, it's not all right, not
10 even now.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We take it out.
12 Mr. Usher, could you -- yes, so it's wiped out.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could we erase this too.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand your marking is now a bit further
16 down the street compared to the first one, a little bit closer to the
17 centre of Sirokaca?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In fact, the house is in the street
19 itself on the line marking the street, and you enter the house from the
20 street. So it's not removed from the centre of the street.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I was not talking about the centre of the
22 street but the centre of the settlement of Sirokaca. But you have now
23 marked the house. Could you mark the place, to the extent you're able to
24 do so, where the school was? And if you do it with the S of Skola,
25 then ...
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I'm able to tell on the
2 map, I think it was there -- it is still there.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 Could this receive a Chamber exhibit number. It would be,
5 Madam Registrar ... ?
6 THE REGISTRAR: It would be C1, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. C1 is admitted into
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic.
11 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Q. I'd now like to take a look at 65 ter number 1D00318, which is a
13 statement dated the 25th of March, 1996, of Sl Sljivo Jasmin, a member of
14 the BH army. First of all, we will not be seeking to admit this
15 statement through the witness, but portions are relevant in relation to
16 the neighbourhood of Sirokaca and I'd like to see if the witness has any
17 knowledge or if it assists us in getting to the truth of the matter. At
18 this time I think we need to go to the fifth page in English and also the
19 fifth page of the B/C/S in this document. And the portion that I would
20 like to direct the attention to would be immediately under the heading of
21 "amendment to the statement."
22 And, Ms. Witness, if I can direct your attention to the portion
23 that begins as follows:
24 "As a member of the Muslim people, immediately after the SDA was
25 formed I joined it. At the beginning of January 1991 at one of the SDA
1 meetings in the Cultural Centre at Sirokaca I heard from Faik Avdibegovic
2 for the Green Berets as a military formation of the SDA. On that
3 occasion we were told that the commander of the Green Berets in BH was
4 Svrakic Emin and Avdibegovic Faik was appointed for the area of Sirokaca.
5 About 200 people at the very beginning joined the military formation of
6 the Green Berets of Sirokaca. The code for Fadil Avdibegovic and our
7 unit was 'Bosna 27.' At the very beginning of January 1991, Emin Svrakic
8 sent 70 A rifles to our unit, which were immediately distributed by Faik
9 at his own discretion. On that occasion Faik issued the order for us to
10 organise ourselves and to control the terrain from Sirokaca to the hotel
11 'Osmice' by patrols."
12 First of all, ma'am, did you happen to hear or know of a
13 Mr. Faik Avdibegovic being in Sirokaca either in 1991 or after the war
15 A. The name Faik Avdibegovic is familiar, but I don't know the man
16 personally. I don't know where he was in the period you mentioned.
17 Q. You say that the name is familiar. Is it familiar to you in the
18 context of him being the commander of a group of 200 persons in Sirokaca
19 or in some other context?
20 A. I know the name as a name I have heard, not in the context of his
21 being a commander, not in that sense. I just heard the name but not in
22 the context you mentioned.
23 Q. Okay, fair enough. Are you familiar with the cultural centre and
24 did you have occasion to hear of any meetings of any military formations
25 in the culture centre in 1991?
1 A. I know where the cultural centre was, but I never heard of any
3 Q. Can you tell us -- are you surprised to learn of the alleged
4 existence of a 200-person-strong unit controlling the terrain from
5 Sirokaca to the Osmice hotel, as alleged by this document?
6 A. I don't quite understand your question.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Whether the witness was surprised or not,
8 Mr. Ivetic, do you really think it would assist the Chamber? You could
9 ask her whether she had any knowledge. Because surprise is --
10 MR. IVETIC: [Overlapping speakers] --
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- if you have a different impression, isn't it? So
12 if you ask about it and I think until now the witness said she didn't say
13 anything -- she didn't know anything -- she never observed any troops,
14 apart from this was all 1991, as far as I understand.
15 MR. IVETIC: That's correct.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. IVETIC:
18 Q. Did you have any knowledge of any troops organising patrols in
19 Sirokaca, controlling the terrain from the Osmice hotel to Sirokaca in
21 A. No.
22 Q. And could you help us again with the geography. Where is this
23 terrain, this Osmice hotel? Where would it be situated in relation to
24 Sirokaca and in relation to your home? And if you think you would be
25 assisted by the map, we could go to the map.
1 A. Maybe it would be clearer to you if I showed it on the map.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you: Was it further away from your home
3 than the school was?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Considerably further?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot tell you really in any
7 unit of measurement, but the school is approximately at the same level as
8 my house, whereas Osmice hotel is above my house, above the entire
9 neighbourhood of Sirokaca in fact.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You mean higher up the hill?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: If -- proceed as you wish, Mr. Ivetic.
13 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
14 [Defence counsel confer]
15 MR. IVETIC: If we can have P3 and I believe it was page 76 in
16 the same map that we just had up on the screen before. And if we could
17 perhaps again zoom generally in the area where the words "Sirokaca" are
18 displayed. Thank you.
19 Q. And with the assistance of the usher, madam, I would ask, perhaps
20 in some colour that would be distinguishable from the text that's on the
21 map, when the usher gets there, if you could identify for us generally
22 the location of the hotel. I understand that you perhaps cannot be
23 precise with this map and this equipment, but the general location of the
24 hotel that is mentioned in this document, the Osmice hotel.
25 A. Could we zoom in a bit on the map because this way I can't see
1 the area.
2 MR. IVETIC: If possible, can we zoom in for the witness.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps a little bit further down because the
4 witness said it was higher up the hill. A little bit more, a little bit
6 MR. IVETIC:
7 Q. Is this position of the map helpful, Madam Witness, to identify
8 the approximate location of the Osmice hotel?
9 A. No. I think the hotel is still further above, that means lower
10 on the map. A bit further to my left. No, the other way, the other way,
11 my left. This is really difficult for me. I can only suppose where it
12 was, but I can't mark it exactly on the map.
13 Q. That's fine. If you could perhaps describe for us in reference
14 to either the -- any of the other printed text on the map where the
15 general area is, that should suffice I think.
16 A. That should be in the area of Brajkovac probably. I really
17 cannot say for sure now. I cannot tell on the map.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you. I see that the witness has indicated somewhere
19 near the bottom of the map where -- Brajkovac is in the bottom portion of
20 the map we now have. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: There are two Brajkovacs, Mr. Ivetic.
22 MR. IVETIC: I apologise if there's two.
23 JUDGE ORIE: There is one in the real bottom but a little bit
24 further -- higher up to the left there is another Brajkovac.
25 MR. IVETIC: I see.
1 Q. Madam, when you say "Brajkovac," do you mean the one that is near
2 to Lipe or the one that's near to Cicin Han, for the same of clarity?
3 A. Lipe.
4 Q. Thank you. Now if we could return to the previous document which
5 was again 1D00318.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, if it is the Brajkovac near Lipe, could
7 you agree with the Prosecution that the distance to the house is anywhere
8 between 400 and 450 metres.
9 MR. IVETIC: Of that location, yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 Now, you need two to agree.
12 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Judge, I would have to just take a closer look
13 but I'll come back prepared to --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it's just using the scale on the bottom of the
15 map and looking at the map and what the distance is, isn't it? If you
16 take the original one, sheet 11, and then take a small pice of paper,
17 mark the distance and then match it with the --
18 MS. HOCHHAUSER: I'm sorry, Your Honour, you have the advantage
19 on me because I didn't have the actual map book out so I can't see the
20 scale as listed.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I see that. On my little piece of paper we are
22 coming close to 500 metres, please proceed. But please let me know at a
23 later stage whether there is any agreement with the Defence.
24 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, can I just say, because it seems to be
1 relevant now, that the Prosecution does have a computer software that has
2 a capacity to get very, very precise measurements between locations, and
3 perhaps the better way to proceed is that any location or distance that
4 the Chamber feels is important to the trial, we'll sit down with the
5 Defence at that software, review it, and I think we'll be able to more
6 confidently agree to distances once we've both had the benefit of that.
7 JUDGE ORIE: First of all, Mr. Groome, I take it that Mr. Ivetic
8 will respond to this invitation, but it certainly would have saved a lot
9 of time in court if Mr. Ivetic would have oriented himself on the
10 locations which were already known to him; that is, the school and this
11 centre. I mean, must be able to find out where approximately it is and
12 see how relevant it is. So I'm not saying this moment having the
13 impression, a provisional impression, that the distance to the place
14 mentioned by Mr. Ivetic is approximately 4- to 500 metres -- so the
15 relevance is for Mr. Ivetic to consider. And we'll then of course think
16 about it.
17 Mr. Ivetic, please proceed.
18 MR. IVETIC: Thank you. If we could return to -- oh, we're
19 already there. If we could turn to I believe it is page 6 in both
20 languages. I'll just verify that. Yes, it's 6 in both languages.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The previous document you used, do you intend
22 to --
23 MR. IVETIC: This is the same document, I think, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: It's the same document?
25 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just see.
2 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
4 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
5 I think the part I want is beginning on the second paragraph of
6 the page in English and also in the B/C/S and it starts as follows,
7 beginning quote:
8 "After the training was completed we took the oath and, as far as
9 I can remember, it consisted of the following words: 'I will swear that
10 I will defend BH with all my heart and especially Sarajevo from the Serbs
11 and Croats.' After that we said 'alah uegber' three times.
12 "After the return to Sarajevo we were tasked by Faik to patrol
13 with weapons through Sirokaca and to establish check-points. We carried
14 out those activities from some time in March 1991 until April 1992."
15 End of the selection.
16 Q. Now, Madam Witness, do you have any knowledge or recollection of
17 check-points being armed -- being set up by armed men in existence in
18 Sirokaca from 1991 March until April 1992, as described in this document?
19 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 MS. HOCHHAUSER: If I might just object to the manner in which
22 these -- this questioning is proceeding with the reading of passages from
23 this document that don't ultimately reflect the point of the question,
24 which is: Does the witness have knowledge of check-points.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MS. HOCHHAUSER: It's preceded by a lengthy recitation of
2 information that the witness couldn't possibly have knowledge of.
3 JUDGE ORIE: We do not know.
4 Do you have any knowledge of check-points in the area between
5 March 1991 and April 1992, in Sirokaca of course?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never saw any such check-points
7 and no one ever told me that they saw something like this. I must say
8 that I really am surprised now.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic --
10 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- the witness never saw anything of the kind
12 apparently. Please proceed.
13 MR. IVETIC: Thank you. Then I move on. Again, I will not be
14 seeking to admit this document at this time through this witness.
15 I would like to now take a look at another document that's been
16 marked as 1D00317 --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, could you also again first explore with
18 the witness whether she has any knowledge about the matter you later will
19 show to her in this document. I don't know what it is about --
20 MR. IVETIC: Absolutely.
21 JUDGE ORIE: -- if you just ask her.
22 MR. IVETIC:
23 Q. Do you have any knowledge of artillery located in Sirokaca being
24 used to strike at Vraca and Serb positions in April of 1992?
25 A. No.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
2 MR. IVETIC: I'd like to look at 1D00317.
3 Q. While we wait for that, madam, for your information this is an
4 intercept that was disclosed by the Office of the Prosecutor purporting
5 to be dated the 22nd of April, 1992, and it is between -- it claims to be
6 between Radovan Karadzic and a man named Momo. Again, we will not be
7 seeking to introduce this through this witness but believes that it deals
8 with matters relevant to the witness's testimony --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could you first ask the witness whether there's
10 anything -- you may have a subject on your mind you want to ask questions
11 about, whether she knows anything about what you want to touch upon.
12 MR. IVETIC: Well, I just asked if there was shelling in April of
13 1992 from Sirokaca on Vraca and this is what this intercept deals with,
14 Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay.
16 Do you have any knowledge about shelling from Sirokaca to Vraca
17 in April 1992?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
20 MR. IVETIC: Can we first look at page 2 of this document in the
21 English and page 3 of the B/C/S.
22 Q. And if you could look there, madam, there's a section where
23 they're talking about 50 to 60 shells falling on the territory of Vraca
24 and it's -- the inference is that those are coming from Zlatiste. Could
25 you tell us where Zlatiste is located in relation to Sirokaca and the
1 neighbourhood where your home is.
2 A. Zlatiste, well it's an area like Osmice and Brajkovac, on the
3 outskirts. We've already seen all of that on the map. It's above
4 Sirokaca. So that line that you are talking about and is
5 Brajkovac-Osmice-Zlatiste. That's on the outskirts. Now, what the
6 actual distance is, I really don't know.
7 Q. That's okay. There's a specific part of the document where Momo
8 begins --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could we first ask: What is Zlatiste? Is that a
10 hill or is it a village or is it a river? What is it?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the most accurate thing we
12 can say is that it's a hill. There were a few houses at Zlatiste, but
13 not enough to call it a settlement. I mean, I don't know how many houses
14 there were there, but it wasn't a big settlement.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Ivetic, we see Zlatiste on sheet 11. Is
16 that what you're exploring?
17 MR. IVETIC: I was exploring the locations that are identified in
18 this intercept, Your Honours, yes. So Zlatiste being one, the other
19 being Vraca. I'd like to ask about Vraca, where Vraca is located.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, any effort made to agree with the Prosecution
21 where Zlatiste and where Vraca is? I mean, if you start asking a witness
22 where Paris is, I would suggest that you first ask whether you can agree
23 with the Prosecution where Paris is, that's the same for London and could
24 be for Zlatiste and Vraca as well. I mean, this witness is called for
25 other reasons, I think. And, of course, if you would be a great
1 geographer, and if it's close to her house I can imagine that you use the
2 testimony of such a witness. If it is further away from the house. But
3 she said Zlatiste, but we see it on the map. Now, if that is what the
4 witness intended to say, she said it was further from Brajkovac. I, by
5 the way, now see that there are three Brajkovacs on the map. Proceed as
6 you wish, but try to find the most efficient way of establishing facts.
7 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
8 Q. Let me skip right to the middle of the page then of this
9 document --
10 JUDGE ORIE: And if we're talking about Vraca, is that Vraca
11 or -- because I see Vraca on the map which is -- well, at least some few
12 kilometres away from where the witness said she lived, I think, as the
13 crow flies, 3 kilometres. Is that the Vraca you're talking about?
14 MR. IVETIC: There's a Vraca identified in this intercept and I
15 believe it is that one, yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: So how could the witness know which Vraca they refer
17 to? So I take it you have formed an opinion about whether that is the
19 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Now, would you agree with the Prosecution that Vraca
21 is on this same sheet 11, approximately 1 kilometre from the left of the
22 margin of the map, close -- if that's what you think it is.
23 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Well, Judge, I can't agree that that's the Vraca
24 that's being referred to in this intercept --
25 JUDGE ORIE: No.
1 MS. HOCHHAUSER: -- but I can agree that there's a Vraca that's
2 indicated on the map close to the left-hand border such as you've
3 indicated. And I would also in response to your earlier question of
4 whether there's been any effort to agree, we would agree that all of
5 these neighbourhoods as depicted on the map are such as they are on the
6 map in terms of their relationship to one another, that this is the
7 correct geographical layout.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
11 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
12 Q. Now, if I can direct your attention, again it's the middle of the
13 page of this document where it starts "half an hour ago." And if you
14 read those -- it's at the top -- I'm sorry, it's right there at the top
15 of the page in the B/C/S, middle of the page in the English. If you read
16 the next one, two, three, four, five, six -- 15 or so lines, they're
17 talking about artillery fire and artillery pieces located at Sirokaca.
18 And the original name Momo is reported as saying:
19 "At Sirokaca. And as for the urban part, most probably down
20 there from the 'Zeljeznicar' stadium."
21 From the Zeljeznicar stadium.
22 "Yes, yes."
23 Are these -- is that an area that is familiar to you as being
24 near Sirokaca -- the Sirokaca neighbourhood where you lived; and if not,
25 where is it located?
1 A. I am a bit confused because here it says Sirokaca and the
2 Zeljeznicar stadium. So I don't understand. What does the question
3 actually refer to, which part? Both Sirokaca and the Zeljeznicar stadium
4 are mentioned.
5 Q. I'm asking about Sirokaca as a site that was identified in
6 addition to the Zeljeznicar stadium. Is there only one area known as
7 Sirokaca in Sarajevo?
8 A. As far as I know, there's only one.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know where the Zeljeznicar stadium is?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And could you tell us where it approximately is. Is
12 it near to your house? Is it in Sirokaca? Or is it elsewhere?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it's not nearby. It's the area
14 of Grbavica.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
16 Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
17 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
18 Q. If we could take the time to look at 1D00315. This document,
19 madam, you'll see is a combat report of Commander Sipcic of the
20 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps of the VRS, and it is dated 19 June 1992, just a
21 few weeks after you were wounded. And if we can look at item 1 of this
22 report --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, again, first explore with the witness
24 whether she has any knowledge about the matter that you want to address.
25 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
1 Q. Do -- madam, now I know that you were probably recovering from
2 your wounds, but did you have occasion in the weeks following your
3 wounding to have any knowledge of any attacks conducted by Bosnian Muslim
4 forces originating from Sirokaca and being directed at surrounding areas,
5 including towards the -- originating from Sirokaca towards Zlatiste?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Okay. With respect -- with respect to item 1 we see here that
8 the document purports to state that the enemy used mortar fire. Are you
9 familiar or did you have occasion to hear of mortars being either
10 transported through Sirokaca or being stationed in Sirokaca in the weeks
11 following, again in June 1992, following your release from the hospital?
12 A. No. After I was wounded, for at least six months I did not leave
13 the basement. So really, all information from that period is very scant,
14 I mean the information I had.
15 Q. And what about -- you say you were off for six months. And what
16 about the period of October 1992 specific --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, the Chamber wonders whether you want to
18 go through the whole of the conflict, all of the -- everything that
19 happened around Sirokaca. What is the relevance of that at this moment?
20 And second, where the witness has told us again and again and again that
21 she has no knowledge of military, that she hadn't seen them, et cetera,
22 what would you expect to continue this line of questioning?
23 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honours, it goes towards the credibility
24 and the reliability of the witness's testimony where she talks about
25 there not being any military installations nearby or military
1 concentrations nearby --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Well --
3 MR. IVETIC: -- and this shows that they were ongoing at every
4 stage. There is military in and around Sirokaca is the Defence's
6 JUDGE ORIE: Well, then the witness apparently has not seen that,
7 has not observed that. Well, now being in the basement for most of the
8 time, moving out of the house now and then for 2- or 300 metres would --
9 it might not surprise that she didn't see mortars passing through
10 Sirokaca, if there were any at any point in time. It seems that what
11 you're asking the witness doesn't bring much what would assist the
12 Chamber at this moment. To the extent you have challenged any opinion
13 about military presence, I think that point is clear and we don't have to
14 go through all of the years of the conflict to further explore that with
15 this witness. This witness testifies primarily on being wounded when her
16 house, or at least the neighbouring house, was shelled on a certain date
17 and what the effect of that attack to that area was. That is where the
18 Chamber considers the importance, the primary importance, of this witness
19 to be. You have explored a few other things, not to much avail, because
20 the witness just doesn't know. And you should not continue that unless
21 there's any specific matter where you could have a reasonable expectation
22 that the witness could tell you anything about that.
23 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honours, then I will heed Your Honour's
24 instruction and will not ask about other reports of interactions between
25 the military forces in this region.
1 Q. And at that point then, madam, I thank you for your testimony.
2 MR. IVETIC: I have touched all the topics that I wanted to with
3 this witness.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Before I give an opportunity to re-examine the
7 witness, Ms. Hochhauser, I would have one question for you. I do
8 understand from your statement that you were wounded by shrapnel when a
9 neighbouring house was hit by a projectile. Is that correctly
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Now, have you later seen the impact on that house of
13 your neighbour's, the impact of that shell, if it did hit the house
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it hit the house itself and,
16 yes, I did see that.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Now, could you tell us, was the impact on the side
18 of the house facing the hill, uphill therefore; or was the impact from
19 downhill? Or neither of the two, that's also a possibility.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was facing downhill, that is to
21 say facing town.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Facing town. Which means that the impact -- if I
23 would take the house and look from the impact, that it would be rather
24 the -- from the direction of the river, from the valley, rather than from
25 uphill. Is that correctly understood?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
3 Ms. Hochhauser, any further questions for the witness?
4 MS. HOCHHAUSER: I only have one question which may, in fact, be
5 more of a transcription error, but I'd like to clear it up while she's
6 still here. And I would refer Your Honours to page 8 beginning at line 1
7 going through 8.
8 Re-examination by Ms. Hochhauser:
9 Q. And I would just ask you, Witness, you were asked a question
10 earlier where you said -- where the question was -- I'd like -- excuse
12 "Were any members of your family taking part in the fighting as
13 any members of any armed force at any time prior to the 28th or the
14 29th of May, 1992?
15 And I'll -- I'm going to skip the first three lines of your
16 answer, but the last line of your answer was -- the last line of your
17 answer as recorded is:
18 "If something unexpected happened, then they could inform other
19 people, but at that point in time...," and you were referring to guards
20 in the different neighbourhoods, "... at that point in time they were in
21 the armed."
22 Can you clarify whether your testimony was whether they were
23 armed at that point in time or unarmed?
24 A. As far as I remember, I said that they were unarmed. But it is
25 possible that at that moment I misspoke. So they were not armed. The
1 guards in my neighbourhood were not armed, at least those that I saw.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MS. HOCHHAUSER: That's my only question, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
5 No further questions from the Defence.
6 Ms. Tarcin, this concludes your evidence in this court. I'd like
7 to thank you very much for coming to The Hague and for answering the
8 questions that were put to you by the Prosecution and by the Defence and
9 by the Chamber. I wish you a safe return home again.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 JUDGE ORIE: We'll take a break.
13 May I take it that the Prosecution is ready to call its next
14 witness after the break?
15 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll take a break and we'll resume at ten
17 minutes past 12.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 11.51 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.12 p.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: If the Prosecution is ready to call its next
22 MR. TRALDI: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Then could the witness be escorted into the
25 MR. TRALDI: And while the witness is being brought in,
1 Your Honour, we've reviewed the adjudicated facts related to
2 Mr. Sejmenovic's testimony and we've made certain redactions in his
3 92 ter statement on the basis of facts 855, 972 through 74, 983 through
4 87, 1063, 1066, 1070, and 1071. I'd also note that a chart of
5 clarifications to the statement has been prepared, which we provided
6 directly to the Defence and Chamber by e-mail yesterday pursuant to the
7 Chamber's instructions of last Friday.
8 Finally, regarding 65 ter 22696, a video associated with
9 Mr. Sejmenovic's statement, I'd just advise the Chamber that I will be
10 tendering the video as an associated exhibit.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Sejmenovic, I take it.
13 Mr. Sejmenovic, before you give evidence, the Rules require that you make
14 a solemn declaration. It's handed out to you. May I invite you to make
15 that declaration.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I solemnly declare
17 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 WITNESS: MEVLUDIN SEJMENOVIC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Sejmenovic.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 JUDGE ORIE: You'll first be examined by Mr. Traldi. Mr. Traldi
23 is counsel for the Prosecution.
24 Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
25 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Examination by Mr. Traldi:
2 Q. Sir, could I ask you to please state your full name for the
4 A. My name is Mevludin Sejmenovic.
5 Q. And, sir, where did you live in April of 1992?
6 A. In April 1992 I lived in the village of Trnopolje, close to
7 Kozarac, which is in Prijedor municipality.
8 Q. And do you recall providing a statement to this Tribunal on
9 13 August of this year?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 MR. TRALDI: I'd ask the court officer to please
12 display 65 ter 28437 on our screens. It's a statement by Mr. Sejmenovic
13 signed on 13 August 2012.
14 Q. And, sir, now that the document is on the screen before you, I'd
15 ask that you view this first page, in particular the signature at the
16 bottom, and I'd ask you if you recognise that signature.
17 A. Yes, that's a document that I signed and the signature at the
18 bottom of the document is my signature.
19 Q. And I'd ask that we turn now to page 14 of the English. And once
20 that comes up, I'll ask you to indicate again whether you recognise the
21 signature, this time at the top of the page.
22 A. Yes, I recognise it. At the top of the page is my signature.
23 Q. Have you had an opportunity to read and review this statement in
24 preparation for your appearance here today?
25 A. I have read my statement, and after reading and considering it I
1 signed it.
2 Q. And did you read it again recently in preparation for your
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I'd ask the court officer to now please display 65 ter 28445, a
6 document entitled: Clarifications to statement of RM094.
7 Did you also review this document in preparation for your
9 A. Yes, I read this document as well.
10 Q. And does it accurately reflect clarifications to your statement
11 which you made after reviewing that statement?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. If the Chamber were to consider your statement in conjunction
14 with these clarifications now before us, will they have an accurate
15 record of your evidence?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And if I were today to ask you questions similar to those you
18 were asked in the taking of this statement, would you give the same
19 answers in substance?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And, sir, now that you have taken the solemn declaration, do you
22 affirm the truthfulness and accuracy of this statement?
23 A. Yes, I do, Your Honours.
24 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, having established the foundational
25 requirements necessary, the Prosecution at this time tenders 65 ter 28437
1 and 28445 into evidence pursuant to Rule 92 ter.
2 MR. LUKIC: No objections, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
4 28437, Madam Registrar, receives number ... ?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Becomes Exhibit P283, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
7 28445 receives number ... ?
8 THE REGISTRAR: Becomes Exhibit P284, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: P284 is admitted into evidence.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
11 I think I still have to put on the record because it's not yet
12 that the leave requested to reply to the response to the 92 ter motion,
13 that that leave was granted.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, at this time I would also tender
16 associated exhibits 65 ter 06908, 18244, and 22696.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections?
18 MR. LUKIC: No objections, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Traldi, could we have a look at
20 65 ter 18244. Yes. I think that earlier there were redactions in it
21 which are now not there anymore in the English version. Having verified
22 this, Madam Registrar, 65 ter 06908 receives number ... ?
23 THE REGISTRAR: P285, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: P285 is admitted into evidence.
25 65 ter 18244 receives number ... ?
1 THE REGISTRAR: P286, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: P286 is admitted.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Becomes Exhibit P287, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence. Again looking at --
6 let me have a look. Yes, there is some handwriting on the original which
7 is not identified as handwriting in the English translation, but perhaps
8 the parties could look at it to see what it presents. It doesn't seem to
9 be very important. Yes, then please proceed.
10 MR. TRALDI: Yes, Your Honour.
11 I will now read a brief oral summary of the witness's evidence
12 for the public record.
13 Mevludin Sejmenovic was one of the founders of the Party of
14 Democratic Action, or SDA, and served as a representative from Prijedor.
15 Sejmenovic observed the development of the Serbian Democratic Party, or
16 SDS, and its pursuit of ethnic separation. In Prijedor he saw the SDS
17 demand the large majority of the land for Serbs. On 29 and
18 30 April 1992, Prijedor town was taken over by Serb soldiers and
19 policemen. In May 1992, Sejmenovic and other SDA leaders met with
20 military officers and the Prijedor SDS president at the Prijedor SDS
21 building. The officers did almost all the talking. They demanded that
22 the Muslims surrender several thousand weapons, and when the Muslim
23 representatives said they did not have that many weapons one officer
24 said, "That's your problem. If you do not do that, I will raze Kozarac
25 to the ground."
1 Sejmenovic observed an organised campaign of expulsion in
2 Prijedor, including the attack on Kozarac foreshadowed by this meeting
3 and charged at Schedule A6.1 of the indictment. Throughout Prijedor he
4 saw the same pattern: Serb forces would surround an area, open fire from
5 all directions, and send the survives to Omarska and Trnopolje. Numerous
6 Muslim villages were destroyed.
7 Eventually Sejmenovic entered Trnopolje. He heard about killings
8 and rapes. Then six people who had helped him were killed, relevant to
9 Scheduled Incident B13.5 and he escaped. He later snuck back into the
10 camp but soon surrendered to save the lives of other detainees. He was
11 then sent to Omarska. Mr. Sejmenovic's evidence about these camps is
12 relevant to the counts of torture and cruel treatment charged at
13 Schedules C15.2 and C15.4 of the indictment.
14 While at Omarska, Sejmenovic was interviewed by two Serb
15 journalists. One of them brought him a script to read and told him if he
16 did so it would save his life. He was forced to give a false statement
17 implicating Muslim leaders in the conflict in Prijedor.
18 And, Your Honours, that concludes the public summary of the
19 witness's evidence.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Traldi.
21 MR. TRALDI:
22 Q. Sir, in paragraph 9 of your statement - now Exhibit P283 - on
23 page 3 of the English and page 4 of the B/C/S you described the SDS
24 claiming 70 per cent of Prijedor municipality as Serb land. How did you
25 learn of this claim?
1 A. Your Honours, if I may just say one sentence about the document
2 that was previously on our screens that is an ID document with a
3 photograph. The Judge asked why there was a word handwritten in the
5 MR. TRALDI: And, Your Honour, I believe that's 65 ter 18244, now
6 P286, if it would assist the witness to have it in front of him again.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but the Witness -- it was only one very small
8 thing. If you would briefly explain, then please do so.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can do that. When I was given
10 that document in Banja Luka, I noticed there was a grammatical error in
11 the sentence. The word "da" was missing and when I received this
12 document I added the word "da" in Cyrillic in order to make this sentence
13 sound sensible. That's why it appeared there. And now I think I can
14 answer the question that was put to me earlier.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Serbs' territorial claims were
17 explicitly declared and became abundantly clear as soon as a Serb
18 official in a municipal paper ordered a cadastral map of Prijedor to be
19 printed depicting, according to them, that over 70 per cent of territory
20 of Prijedor municipality was owned by Serbs. Seeing that map, the
21 non-Serbs were in shock, but they didn't have either a possibility or
22 capability to refute this map officially. The entire state assets were
23 described as belonging to the Serbs, including natural resources, sports
24 facilities --
25 MR. TRALDI:
1 Q. Sir, I apologise for interrupting. Can you tell the Chamber in
2 what paper that map was published?
3 A. That was "Kozarski Vjesnik," which is the Official Gazette of
5 Q. And why would you think that a map published in
6 "Kozarski Vjesnik" was published by the SDS?
7 A. Because this SDS official was at the head of this paper, and the
8 SDS had full control of it. There was only one journalist,
9 Muharem Nezivovic, who worked for "Kozarski Vjesnik," but at that point
10 he didn't have any influence at all.
11 MR. TRALDI: And, Your Honours, I'd ask that the court reporter
12 bring -- sorry, the court officer bring 65 ter 18281 to our screens.
13 It's a report from the Prijedor SJB.
14 Q. And, sir, in preparation for your testimony here, did you review
15 this report?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And does it accurately describe the events of the evening of
18 29 to 30 April 1992 which you discuss in Exhibit P283, your statement?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender 65 ter 18281 into evidence
21 as the next public Prosecution exhibit.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Document 18281 becomes Exhibit P288,
24 Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: P288 is admitted into evidence.
1 MR. TRALDI: I'd now ask that the court officer please call
2 65 ter 06951 to our screens.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: 06?
4 MR. TRALDI: 06951. And, yes, that's the correct document.
5 Q. And, sir, could you look at the B/C/S version of this document on
6 the left and read below the letter I, the first paragraph, and we're
7 going to need to slide a little bit to the left on the document. Perhaps
8 if there are technical difficulties showing him a large enough version to
9 read, if I read the English and he gets the translation, that would be
11 In this paragraph, sir, it says:
12 "All executive posts, posts involving a likely flow of
13 information, posts involving the protection of public property, that is,
14 all posts of importance to the functioning of the economy may only be
15 held by personnel of Serbian nationality."
16 My question to you, sir, is: Was the policy discussed in this
17 order implemented and followed in Prijedor municipality?
18 A. Yes, and even before the date when this decision was written. It
19 is dated the 22nd of June --
20 Q. Yes --
21 A. -- whereas this process had already started in Prijedor before
22 that date.
23 MR. TRALDI: And, Your Honours, I'd now tender 65 ter 06951 into
24 evidence as a public Prosecution exhibit.
25 JUDGE ORIE: In the absence of any objections, Madam Registrar.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Document 06951 becomes Exhibit P289,
2 Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: P289 is admitted into evidence.
4 MR. TRALDI: I'd ask the court officer to now call, please,
5 65 ter 03266 to our screens.
6 Q. Sir, did you also review this document in preparation for your
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. And what is reflected in this document, what event?
10 A. This document is a decision dismissing a municipal official who
11 was a non-Serb.
12 Q. And can you offer an opinion on whether this document is
13 authentic based on your knowledge of the municipal government in Prijedor
14 at the time?
15 A. It is certainly authentic because a large number of people were
16 dismissed from work in that same way or prevented from coming to work.
17 In other words, all non-Serbs were prevented from coming to work or were
18 sacked, and after a short period of time nobody was allowed to work in
19 any of these institutions.
20 Q. Do you recognise the stamp at the bottom of the document?
21 A. That's the stamp of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor and it is
22 signed by Dr. Milan Kovacevic, who was the president of the executive
23 committee and --
24 Q. Thank you --
25 A. -- that is when the power was taken over.
1 MR. TRALDI: I now tender 65 ter 03266 as a public Prosecution
3 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Document 03266 becomes Exhibit P290,
5 Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
7 However, Mr. Traldi, the English version shows some handwriting
8 numbers only which does not appear to be on the original. I don't know
9 where they come from. I don't know what the meaning of it is.
10 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, we certainly didn't intend to rely on
11 those, but I'll look into it and report back.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and if need be perhaps a clean copy would be
13 better, but then you would need leave of the Chamber to replace the
14 English translation by a clean one.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, we have several more stamped documents
17 bearing Kovacevic's name and documenting some more cases, so it would of
18 course be my submission this is not an isolated instance. However, to
19 focus the evidentiary record, I will not tender those unless on
20 cross-examination the Defence contests Mr. Sejmenovic's evidence that the
21 policy expressed in what's now P289 was carried out in Prijedor.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, is there any dispute about this not being a
23 unique document, apart from what it further means, et cetera, but is
24 there any dispute about similar documents signed by Dr. Kovacevic to
1 MR. LUKIC: There's no dispute, Your Honour. We'll be using some
2 of these documents from the list.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's hereby on the record that the parties
4 agree on the existence or more similar documents.
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. TRALDI:
7 Q. Now, Mr. Sejmenovic, I want to turn to a meeting between SDA
8 leaders and leaders of the Serb community held in Prijedor which you
9 discuss in your statement, now P283, beginning in paragraph 4.
10 For Your Honours' reference that begins at the bottom of page 5
11 of the English and page 8 of the B/C/S.
12 And, sir, I'm going to ask you a series of focused questions
13 about this meeting. You say here the meeting was held at the SDS
14 headquarters. When you arrived outside headquarters, who did you first
16 A. First we ran into several policemen, and although we had been
17 announced and the SDS has approved our arrival and ordered the
18 check-points to let us through because we were coming from Kozarac
19 surrounded by police and military forces, the police still intercepted us
20 before the premises of the SDS, asked to see our IDs and check us. They
21 were facing people whom they knew very well, officials, but they were
22 just intimidating us. At that point Simo Miskovic came out and invited
23 us in. He told the policemen to stop checking our IDs.
24 Q. And then, I take it, you went inside. Can you describe for the
25 Chamber the room where you and Miskovic and the others went?
1 A. It was a large room with two smaller rooms on the side, including
2 a kitchenette, Dusan Kurnoga was sitting there and SDS officials,
3 Slobodan Kuruzovic also an SDS official, one person I didn't know.
4 Q. Let's skip with the room for a moment. Were you all at one long
5 table or were there a group of chairs distributed around the room?
6 A. There was a long conference table. The people I enumerated were
7 already sitting on one side. And an acquaintance of mine, Dusan Kurnoga,
8 was in a smaller room off to the side and a girl who worked there as a
9 secretary. We started talking but --
10 Q. Before we get into the conversation, where at the table was
11 Mr. Miskovic sitting?
12 A. Mr. Miskovic was sitting facing the rest of us. He occasionally
13 stood up and walked to the smaller room, sometimes of his own accord,
14 sometimes summoned by Mr. Kurnoga. They were expecting a fax.
15 Q. And about how far away from you was he at the time?
16 A. Very close.
17 Q. And you describe in your statement that then some military
18 officers arrived and joined the meeting. Where did Major Zeljaja sit at
19 the meeting?
20 A. Major Zeljaja was sitting in the second chair behind the table.
21 Colonel Arsic was sitting in the first chair, next to him Major Zeljaja.
22 And next to Zeljaja the third person they brought in sat down and he was
23 introduced as their military security officer. Then there was Miskovic,
24 next to Miskovic a person whose name I didn't know from the police, and
25 next to Miskovic Slobodan Kuruzovic was sitting. On the other side of
1 the table we were sitting in this order.
2 Q. Now, you say in paragraph 24 of your statement, on page 6 of the
3 English and page 8 of the B/C/S, that the Serb military and political
4 figures at the meeting took identical positions. Did one of them, one or
5 the other - the military or the politicians - seem to be more in charge
6 during the meeting, seem to be taking the lead?
7 A. Miskovic as the president of the SDS spoke very little and he did
8 not want to begin the meeting before Colonel Arsic and Major Zeljaja
9 arrived. We wanted to begin but he said he couldn't begin the meeting
10 without them. When the meeting began Colonel Arsic was taking the floor
11 most of the time in the first part of the meeting and then Major Zeljaja
12 took over and he ended the meeting.
13 Q. And, sir, you discuss many of the details of what was said in
14 your statement. So I just want to ask you one more question about this
15 meeting. Based on your observations and the conversation during the
16 meeting, did you develop an impression of what the Serb authorities in
17 Prijedor intended to do next relative to Kozarac?
18 A. Not only did we get an impression, we were told so in so many
19 words. At the beginning of the meeting they were playing cat and mouse
20 with us and they made some jokes in very bad taste, at our expense; and
21 we were very anxious, fearful, and we were hoping to -- we were looking
22 for some hope at that meeting. However, they gave us an ultimatum. They
23 told us how many troops they had under arms and what kind of weapons.
24 But obviously they had not agreed beforehand so they gave us different
25 figures. One said that there were 5.000 armed men, Zeljaja said that
1 Kozarac had 7.000 weapons, and this security officer said he had the best
2 information and he said in fact we have 10.000 pieces of weapons --
3 Q. I'm going to interrupt you just for a second. When you say "they
4 had not agreed beforehand," are you referring to agreement on how many
5 weapons the Muslim community had?
6 A. Correct, correct --
7 Q. Thank you --
8 A. -- the military security officer said.
9 Q. Then I want to return to the question I'd asked you a moment ago:
10 Did you develop an impression of what they intended to do next relative
11 to Kozarac?
12 A. Major Zeljaja said in so many words, I quote, "Unless you
13 surrender 7.000 weapons, I will raze Kozarac to the ground." He repeated
14 that several times, and that was the last thing he said. And he also
15 added, Unless you surrender 7.000 weapons and unless the Serbian flag is
16 flying over Kozarac and the Serb police have control, I'll raze Kozarac
17 to the ground. And he said at the end, When you return those weapons
18 then we can go on talking. Becir Medunjanin answered, How can we return
19 them if we don't have them? And to that he only said, That is your
20 problem, gentlemen, this meeting is over.
21 Q. When he said, "That is you problem gentlemen," did you get an
22 impression of what was going to happen next?
23 A. He repeated he would raze Kozarac to the ground unless we handed
24 over the required --
25 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
1 A. -- number of weapons. He said we shouldn't play with him, the
2 Banja Luka Corps.
3 Q. Next, sir, I'm going to ask you three focused questions about the
4 attempts to expand the Kozarac TO after the meeting which you describe in
5 P283. First, as best you can tell at its highest, about how many men
6 were in the Kozarac TO?
7 A. Do you mean the number before the expansion of the TO or after?
8 Q. The most at any point.
9 A. In peacetime it could have numbered several hundred at most,
10 1- to 200, that's my rough estimate, although I'm not really qualified to
11 make it. But in the attempt to enlarge the Territorial Defence we were
12 still not able to boost it over a couple of hundred and this process of
13 expansion was never finished because we neither had time nor the
15 Q. And in paragraph 28 of P283, on page 6 of the English and page 9
16 of the B/C/S you talk about Serb leaders making reference to the
17 Green Berets. As far as you knew, were there any Green Berets in
18 Prijedor in May and June of 1992?
19 A. No, there were no Green Berets or any other formation. The term
20 "Green Berets" was used by Serb officers as propaganda without any
21 substance to it.
22 Q. Now, sir, have you heard of a village named Radmilovo in the
24 A. Radmilovo village does not exist in the Prijedor municipality and
25 it never did. I heard that the Serb army had renamed Kozarac into
1 Radmilovo village after their successful operation offensive and the
2 razing of Kozarac. It was done by Zeljaja. I heard that Zeljaja's name
3 was Radmilo and that they renamed Kozarac after him. I was not there to
4 see it, but I was informed that there was even a [indiscernible] at the
5 entry into Kozarac with that name.
6 Q. And, sir, at paragraph 40 of your statement, on page 9 of the
7 English and page 13 of the B/C/S, you describe the destruction of
8 non-Serb villages and say Serb-populated villages experienced little or
9 no damage. I have only one question: Is what you say about this the
10 distinction that I just repeated, is that based on your personal
12 A. Yes, I was able to see that myself as I was being taken out of
13 Trnopolje to be taken to the prison in Prijedor, and when I was taken
14 from the prison in Prijedor to Omarska.
15 Q. And, sir, was your own property damaged in Prijedor during this
17 A. I did not have any property in Prijedor. At the time I had -- I
18 lived in an old house and it was partly damaged.
19 Q. And, I'm sorry, when I said "Prijedor" I meant to refer to the
20 municipality rather than the town. That old house you referred to, that
21 was within the municipality of Prijedor; right?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. And do you know during this period what happened to the mosques
24 in Prijedor municipality?
25 A. The mosques were destroyed, usually by tanks or they were blown
2 Q. And when did you hear about the mosques being destroyed?
3 A. We heard about that often from people who were deported to
4 Trnopolje camp from various parts of Prijedor, and we heard it
5 practically first-hand because some of those people were witnesses to
6 that destruction. And I was able to see it myself as I was being
7 deported from the prison in Prijedor towards Omarska. There had been a
8 lot of mosques along that road, but not anymore.
9 Q. And do you know the name of any of the specific mosques that had
10 previously been along that road?
11 A. Along that road was the mosque in Mujkanovici, Kozarusa,
12 Kamicani, Jakupovici, and I've listed only some of them.
13 Q. And, sir, I'd now like to turn to your time in Trnopolje.
14 MR. TRALDI: And I'd ask the court officer to please call up
15 65 ter 11338.
16 Q. And, sir, in your statement you described entering Trnopolje.
17 Can you describe the physical condition of the people you saw who were
18 held there?
19 A. In the camp I first heard only hearsay information, but when I
20 came closer, like 700 metres from the camp, I could see people inside.
21 They looked exhausted. They moved slowly, gazing with dull eyes. Some
22 of them were lying on the grass because they had no accommodation, not
23 even improvised. Later I went in and had contact with some of the people
24 and I got more specific information.
25 Q. And does this picture of the detainee in the front of this
1 picture, does this accurately reflect the state of health of the people
2 you saw in Trnopolje?
3 A. This is what they looked like most of the time, most of them,
4 because of the starvation, the beatings, and the constant fear.
5 MR. TRALDI: And, Your Honours, I'd ask that 65 ter 11338 be
6 admitted into evidence as the next public Prosecution exhibit.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Document 11338 becomes Exhibit P291,
9 Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: P291 is admitted into evidence.
11 MR. TRALDI:
12 Q. I only have one more question about your time in Trnopolje, sir.
13 In paragraph 47 of your statement, P283, on page 10 of the English and 15
14 of the B/C/S, you discuss the killing of six people with the family name
15 Foric. Do you know the first names of any of those six people named
17 A. Three times two brothers or the children of three brothers
18 Jasmin, Zijad, Zilhad, I cannot remember the rest. Perhaps I'd need a
19 bit more time.
20 Q. And for Zijad and Zilhad, are those different people or a
21 different way of saying the same name?
22 A. Two different persons. They are the children of two different
23 brothers. They themselves were not brothers.
24 Q. And, sir, I want to turn now to your time in Omarska.
25 MR. TRALDI: And I'd ask the court officer to call up
1 65 ter 10894.
2 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, as you'll see, the photograph is of a model.
3 What does the model you see here represent?
4 A. This is the Omarska work camp. At that time it was actually a
5 concentration camp. This is a model.
6 Q. And in your statement you mention seeing people sitting in an
7 asphalt area when you arrived at Omarska. Where were you taken from that
8 asphalt area?
9 A. I was taken inside, into this building on the right, in this
10 photograph, or rather, the smaller building. My name and surname were
11 recorded and then I was taken out to this small white house that is in
12 the upper part of the photograph.
13 Q. And what were the conditions of the detainees you met in the
14 white house?
15 A. The white house was covered in blood, the floors, the walls,
16 totally covered in blood. In one room near the entrance there were a few
17 people there lying on the floor moaning. The left room was empty,
18 though, and the soldiers took me to the room on the left; and then a
19 beating followed administered by the soldiers. If I remember correctly,
20 there were five of them. They did not enter as a group, they entered one
21 by one. And then a civilian entered the room and his task was also to
22 administer the beating. After that they took me out, and in the meantime
23 they called a man from the other building to wipe the blood off my face
24 because it was covered with blood, and then they took me to this smaller
25 building upstairs to the third office, if I remember correctly, on the
1 right-hand side. In the office there was a man wearing civilian clothes
2 who had arrived from Prijedor on the same bus on which they brought me,
3 and in addition to him there were two other men in uniform there.
4 Q. Is that where the interrogation you describe in your statement
5 took place?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And when the interrogation ended, did the inspector who
8 interrogated you say he was going to share information about that
9 interrogation with anyone else, any person or institution?
10 A. When the interrogation was over, they -- he said that officers of
11 the military security were coming from Banja Luka on the following day
12 and that they would continue the interrogation and then I would sign the
13 statement. Indeed, on the next day, two officers of the military
14 security arrived from Banja Luka. One of them was an older man, the
15 other one was a younger man. They were in uniform, they interrogated me,
16 they interviewed me, but it was rather short.
17 After that the inspector said to me, Now all of this will go
18 before the military court. I'm done.
19 Q. And --
20 A. What will happen to you will follow after the judgement of the
21 military court, whatever that says.
22 Q. And, sir, did you remain in the white house for your whole time
23 in Omarska; that is, were you housed there?
24 A. No. After the first interrogation I was taken to a room in
25 between that was called the glass house. It's sort of round the middle
1 of this smaller building --
2 Q. Thank you --
3 A. -- it's surrounded by glass and it doesn't have a roof.
4 MR. TRALDI: And I'd ask that the witness be provided with a red
5 pen for marking. Thank you.
6 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, I'm going to ask you to mark three spots on the
7 photograph. Please do not mark anything until I ask you to do so.
8 First, do you see the asphalt area where people were being forced to sit
9 when you arrived at Omarska?
10 A. It's this part here.
11 Q. And, sir, I'd ask that you wait to mark until I ask you to do so.
12 But within that area could you mark a number 1, please.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. And do you see the white house that you mentioned where you were
15 taken early in your time at Omarska?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. And could you mark a number 2 next to the white house?
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. And, finally, do you see where the glass house you mentioned
20 would be?
21 A. I do.
22 Q. And could you mark a number 3 in that area?
23 A. [Marks]
24 MR. TRALDI: And, Your Honours, I'd ask that 65 ter 10894 as
25 marked by the witness be admitted into evidence as a public exhibit.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Document 10894 as marked by the witness in court
3 becomes Exhibit P292, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: P292 is admitted into evidence.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may just get some clarification.
6 Mr. Sejmenovic, you made a rectangle on the blue-coloured area
7 and -- as number 1. My question to you is: Is the asphalt only inside
8 that rectangle you made or is the asphalt the entire blue area that we
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The entire area was asphalt, but
11 there was this one area that was chained off and that was a square. And
12 within that confined area people sat crouching, one next to the other.
13 So that's why I marked it as a square.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
15 MR. TRALDI:
16 Q. So, sir, is it correct to say from your answer, based on your
17 answer, that the entire blue area was asphalt but the rectangle
18 represents the area described in your statement, in P283?
19 A. That's right. At that point in time people were only within that
20 square and the entire area was covered with concrete.
21 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, in paragraph 56 of P283, it's page 12 of the
22 English and page 18 of the B/C/S, you mention that Islam Bahonjic,
23 Becir Medunjanin, and Mr. Medunjanin's wife were killed in Omarska. I
24 only have one question about this paragraph. Do you know the first name
25 of Mr. Medunjanin's wife?
1 A. Becir Medunjanin.
2 Q. His wife, sir.
3 A. Sadeta Medunjanin.
4 Q. And, Mr. Sejmenovic, the last thing I want to talk to you about
5 is your release from Omarska. First, can you tell the Chamber how you
6 were feeling when you were first brought to meet with Vojo Kupresanin?
7 A. Your Honour, it is difficult to express this feeling. You are in
8 a pot where everything is death and death alone. And then a person
9 appears from top political echelons and it's as if nothing had happened,
10 tries to talk to you only about politics. Of course I was in fear, I was
11 tense, and I thought that this was another thing I had to face before my
12 death. I kept silent for the most part and Vojo Kupresanin spoke and
13 this was not really a conversation it was more of a monologue.
14 Q. And, sir, you say in paragraph 63, on page 13 of the English and
15 20 of the B/C/S, that you heard Kupresanin say that he was going to
16 provide you with some things, a suit, some money, and other things. Do
17 you know to whom he was speaking when he said that?
18 A. Yes, he was speaking to Karadzic and he told me that he had
19 Karadzic on the line. He confirmed to him on the telephone once he
20 brought me to Banja Luka that we had arrived to Banja Luka and Karadzic
21 told him to get a suit for me for sure and that I should put on some
22 weight, get proper nourishment and get some proper rest. I didn't know
23 the actual reasons for that but very soon I found out why that was
25 Q. And why did you conclude it was happening?
1 A. Actually, I did not conclude that. A soldier who was a driver
2 walked up to me and said, This is a good thing for you, having become a
3 member of the Serb Assembly; however, you have to be careful because the
4 Muslims are going to kill you. It was only then that I actually found
5 out what was going on. Karadzic and Kupresanin needed that then, namely,
6 through me and through other survivors, possibly, they could simulate
7 multi-ethnic government and show that in government there were some
8 persons who were not Serbs and that the accusations levelled by the
9 international community were wrong; and that way they were trying to get
10 rid of the blame for all the atrocities they had committed even until
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, I'm looking at the clock and I think you
13 asked for one hour.
14 MR. TRALDI: That's right, Your Honour. I have three questions
16 JUDGE ORIE: Three brief questions, please proceed.
17 MR. TRALDI:
18 Q. First, sir, in paragraph 66 at the bottom of the same page you
19 mention 65 ter 18244, now P286, and I just ask that that be called back
20 up to the screen. And if we could zoom in on the top left-hand corner,
21 the relevant information is the same in the English and the B/C/S. In
22 your statement, sir, you say you received this document in January 1993.
23 The document itself reads January 1992, and I'd just ask you to clarify
24 which is the correct year.
25 A. It is 1993 and this date -- well, I focused on it only many, many
1 years later. Actually, it was the court here that indicated that to
2 me --
3 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
4 A. -- they put a question and that was the first time I saw that
5 this said "1992," mistakenly.
6 Q. Based on your contacts with Kupresanin and other Serb
7 authorities, did you develop an impression whether they were aware of the
8 true state of affairs in camps like Omarska and Trnopolje?
9 A. They knew fully and some of them had personal insight and they
10 were well-informed for the most part.
11 Q. When they spoke to you, did any of them ever express regret over
12 those conditions or express the intention to punish the people at the
13 camps who were directly abusing detainees?
14 A. Your Honours, what I find puzzling to this day is the following:
15 Not at any point in time did I see any negative feeling in anybody's
16 face. They were not appalled. They were not surprised. Nothing. They
17 were facing these facts as if this were a "normal" development in war and
18 that is how they behaved when I was in Banja Luka too. So my impression
19 was that they all did accept what was going on.
20 MR. TRALDI: And, Your Honours, that completes my examination.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Traldi.
22 We'll take a break, but we'd like to see you back in 20 minutes
23 from now.
24 Could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 JUDGE ORIE: We take a break and we'll resume at 20 minutes to
3 --- Recess taken at 1.17 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 1.42 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
6 Mr. Traldi.
7 MR. TRALDI: Just one brief matter, Your Honour. We haven't
8 received an exhibit list yet from the Defence and I imagine it's on its
10 JUDGE ORIE: And the Chamber wondered what you wanted to do with
11 65 ter 10894. You have to remind me of what exactly it was.
12 MR. TRALDI: The marked model, I believe, Your Honour. And if I
13 neglected to tender that, then I apologise and I'd ask permission to do
14 it now.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
17 JUDGE ORIE: There is no problem because the marked version has
18 been saved and the 65 ter number I referred to was only the clean copy of
19 that map.
20 [The witness takes the stand]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Welcome back, Mr. Sejmenovic. You'll now be --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: You'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, just for clarity, since I mentioned it,
25 we have just received the exhibit list for this witness from the Defence.
1 JUDGE ORIE: You'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Lukic. You'll
2 find Mr. Lukic to your left. Mr. Lukic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
3 Please proceed.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Sejmenovic.
6 A. Good afternoon, sir.
7 Q. I will begin in a reverse order by asking you a few questions
8 about what you spoke last and then we'll move to your statement. You
9 mentioned the map that was published and that the SDS claimed that
10 70 per cent of the land belonged to the Serbs. Did you, yourself, study
11 the cadastral registers?
12 A. No, I didn't but I do have some limited knowledge on that
14 Q. According to you, what were the respective percentages of the
15 Muslims, the Serbs, and the Croats? Can you just tell me the
16 percentages --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Short pause between answer and question, please.
18 And could you do the same, Mr. Sejmenovic. Could you just pause for a
19 second between question and answer.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Do you have any specific percentages?
23 A. My supposition in that regard is as following.
24 Q. Supposition. You have no knowledge?
25 A. That is in the domain of expertise of the professionals.
1 Q. All right. Let's move on.
2 A. Please, Your Honours, allow me to say this. Seventy per cent of
3 the land on the Prijedor map was socially owned property of all ethnic
4 groups. The rest was in the private hands, and then this rest can only
5 be divided into Muslim, Serb, and Croatian property. That was the actual
6 state. At that time, the Serbs claimed all this common property as being
7 their own.
8 Q. Is that what they say explicitly?
9 A. All the areas of Urije, of Kozarac, the industrial complexes were
10 also marked in colour red on the maps and all these things were socially
11 owned property.
12 Q. Concerning Kozara [Realtime transcript read in error "Kozarac"],
13 is it correct that there were large properties covered in woods belonging
14 to --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please do not overlap and
16 the witness is kindly asked to begin his answer from the beginning.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I -- Mr. Lukic will now repeat his question.
18 Could you only start answering it when you see the letters on your screen
19 are not moving any further, because otherwise the interpreters will miss
20 part of your answer.
21 Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. You say that non-Serbs could not refute what was published --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you were invited to repeat your last
25 question which has not been answered. You said: "Concerning Kozarac, is
1 it correct" --
2 MR. LUKIC: Kozara, Kozara, that's mountain Kozara.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Kozara.
4 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, concerning Mount Kozara, whether it was correct
6 that there were large properties covered in woods belonging to -- and
7 could you then complete that question, belonging to --
8 MR. LUKIC: Serbs.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Belonging to Serbs.
10 And could you now answer that question, Mr. Sejmenovic.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course there were pieces of land
12 belonging to the Serbs, but the by far biggest part of the land was
13 socially owned. This gentleman is insisting on title deeds that date
14 from some previous and earlier period, but this is to be debated
15 elsewhere. I know that in 1918 and 1928 as a result of agricultural
16 reform a lot of the land had been confiscated, including parts of Kozara
17 and were given to the Serbs. For example, one such place is
18 Pasino Nikonaci [phoen] but this is not the subject here. At the time
19 when this map was published, the categories of ownership were socially
20 owned and private property. The map depicted at the time showed the huge
21 part of common or socially owned property as being the ownership of the
22 Serbs, which was in contravention of reality and the actual state.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic, I think you remember my instructions.
24 This is the last warning. No speaking allowed. Communication by little
25 notes. Consultations during the breaks.
1 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. You keep saying "at the time," "at the time when the map was
4 published." When was the map published?
5 A. I don't know the date, but that was shortly before the take-over
6 of power that the map was published.
7 Q. And are you trying to say that at the time in "Kozarski Vjesnik"
8 there were no Muslims employees?
9 A. At the time my friend Muharem Nezirovic worked for
10 "Kozarski Vjesnik." And according to the information that I had, neither
11 he nor anyone else had any impact on editorial policies and he was unable
12 to either refute or retract any published material.
13 Q. As for Dr. Kovacevic, you said that he was the vice-president of
14 the executive committee?
15 A. He was the president of the executive committee. I do apologise.
16 Q. Did you, yourself, take part in the work of the
17 Assembly of Republika Srpska?
18 A. No, I didn't.
19 Q. You said then that the military investigators told you that your
20 fate depended on the conviction or the judgement that was to be rendered
21 by the military?
22 A. That's not what I said.
23 Q. Well, that was how it was recorded. What were you told by the
24 military investigators?
25 A. Your Honours, that's not what I said. I'm going to repeat what I
1 said, and I have to react to your observation in terms that you said
2 today I am inserting the army. Now, when I first appeared before this
3 Tribunal in Tadic case I said that after being interrogated by
4 Mr. Radakovic, two military security officers came from Banja Luka and
5 they stayed there for a short period of time. You can find reference to
6 this in at least two cases. So I'm not offering any new information
7 today. That's the first thing.
8 Secondly, I already spoke about this, and you can find it on
9 record, that the investigator who questioned me, Mr. Radakovic, literally
10 said: I am done. This is now going to be deferred to a military court.
11 End of quotation.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Sejmenovic, would you please focus your answers
13 on what is asked and not refer to any records which are not known to this
14 Chamber because the parties have not provided us with it. Just try to
15 leave comment out and only answer the question.
16 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 Can we please have in e-court the witness's statement which is
20 JUDGE ORIE: Which page and paragraph, Mr. Lukic?
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let's start with paragraph 6.
22 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, in this paragraph you speak about how the SDS was
23 established. Did you ever take part in the work of any SDS organs?
24 A. No, I didn't, but I was able to hear about the existing SDS
25 organs, either from the media or from my friends and colleagues who were
1 holding different positions within the SDS.
2 Q. Is it a fact that you don't know the inner workings of the SDS,
3 how the decisions were being made and implemented?
4 A. I'm not familiar with the detailed procedure, but basically the
5 procedure was as I described it. There was the president who was the
6 main person, there was municipal board, sometimes there was an
7 Executive Board. Whether the SDS had an Executive Board, I don't know.
8 Q. Let's now move to paragraph 7. You speak here about new
9 reorganisation [as interpreted] requested by the SDS and you say that
10 this was in the contravention of the B&H constitution.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Just in order to avoid any misunderstanding, it was
12 "regionalisation" and not "reorganisation." Please proceed.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Q. Which BH constitution are you referring to, the one that was in
15 force at the time?
16 A. Yes, the one that was in force at the time with all the inherited
17 laws that were not readopted in the meantime and were simply adopted from
18 the previous period.
19 Q. Which particular constitutional provision were you referring to
20 when you said that it was in contravention -- this regionalisation was in
21 contravention of it?
22 A. The regionalisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina could definitely not be
23 based on an ethnic principle. At the moment I cannot tell you the exact
24 article of the constitution because I'm not an expert.
25 Q. Let me interrupt you. Are you familiar with chapter 5 of the
1 BH constitution?
2 A. I don't remember. You can read it out if you believe it's
4 Q. In that chapter we read, among other things, the working people
5 and citizens - that was the language used at the time - are free to unite
6 into associations or other socio-political organisations.
7 A. Yes, but it doesn't say on ethnic grounds.
8 Q. It says "free," free to associate. Let me go on with my
10 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I just wanted to check if this has a
11 Defence 65 ter number. It wasn't on the list we got for the witness, but
12 if it's in e-court it would be helpful for us to be able to review it.
13 MR. LUKIC: I'm sure it does have your 65 ter number, but I
14 haven't marked it here.
15 MR. TRALDI: We'll look around then. Thank you.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: So, Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: Yes, sir.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand the witness to be talking about
19 regionalisation of the geographic area of the country. You're talking
20 about freedom of association [indiscernible] associate whatever way you
21 like but not appropriate land to yourselves as owned by that specific
22 ground other than what is provided for in the constitution, as I
23 understand it. What I'm trying to say to you is what you are quoting to
24 the witness as freedom of association doesn't address what you are
25 discussing with the witness which is regionalisation of the geographic
1 area of the country.
2 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, as I know but I cannot testify here,
3 that was actually the base where that regionalisation would take place
4 on. It has nothing to do with the property, ownership, but about the --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, sure --
6 MR. LUKIC: -- joining of municipalities. There was base for --
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's not what the witness is testifying about.
8 The witness is testifying about the fact that SDS was appropriating vast
9 areas of land, 70 per cent of it, to the Serbs. That has nothing to do
10 with freedom of association. It has got to do with how you divide the
12 MR. LUKIC: I'll try to clarify, Your Honour, but --
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please do.
14 MR. LUKIC: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Sejmenovic, in paragraph 7 are you talking
16 about ownership of land or are you talking about the joining of
17 municipalities together into a region? Can you see this paragraph?
18 A. A moment. Bosnia and Herzegovina was already regionalised at the
19 time. The regionalisation was already in place. The SDS was asking for
20 the regionalisation to be effected in a different way, along ethnic
21 principles, although these processes should have been regulated at the
22 republic level, not the municipal level. The republic leadership should
23 have taken those decisions, whereas it was done on municipal level, in
24 Serb municipalities, and it was even called Serb autonomous region. The
25 municipalities were not the ones who had the freedom to associate.
1 Q. What is the right to associate? Do you have any legal training,
2 by the way?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Would you agree with me that you cannot interpret the
5 constitution or the constitutional provisions of the
7 A. Your Honours, already at your first question I made this
8 reservation and I said I'm not qualified in these matters. But I do have
9 some experience of work in the parliament, five years' experience, more
10 precisely, and I know what this is about. Also, knowing that it has to
11 deal with these issues at the state level, the SDS raised this issue in
12 the republic assembly. They substantiated their proposal at several
13 sessions. They tried to push through this new regionalisation at state
14 level. These attempts were opposed for the reasons I already described
15 here, because they wanted to round off certain ethnic territories, and
16 this regionalisation was just a pretext.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, Mr. Lukic, before we end up in a
18 colloquium on constitutional law, paragraph 7 expresses as the view of
19 this witness who is not a trained lawyer, certainly not a constitutional
20 lawyer, that what he describes as a matter of fact that he thinks it's
21 against the BH constitution. Now, since he is not an expert, let's leave
22 it for the time being with that and let's not enter in further debates on
23 whether or not it's the view of this witness at this moment. Perhaps
24 there are other moments where we could further explore that.
25 Second, the freedom of association and the freedom to reorganise
1 constitutional structures and administrative structures may not be
2 exactly the same, but again not a subject perhaps to be discussed at this
3 moment with a witness who seems not to be an expert in this matter.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Q. We'll just clear up some facts now. Is it true that at that time
7 the party you belonged to, the SDA, was advocating the secession of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina from Yugoslavia?
9 A. The party to which I belonged at the time was advocating a
10 reorganisation of Yugoslavia from which one republic, Slovenia, had
11 already seceded. In the eyes of the party to which I belonged,
12 Yugoslavia was a state with its -- all of its republics, but when, for
13 different reasons, various republics started seceding, the president of
14 our party advocated that negotiations should be held to make some sort of
15 state again and to avoid conflict and tensions.
16 For the party to which I belonged, Yugoslavia without Slovenia,
17 without Croatia, was not really Yugoslavia anymore. It was the remnant
18 of a country in which all the balance that it had rested upon was upset.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could I -- you have not really answered the question
20 put to you by Mr. Lukic. Could you please tell us whether it's true that
21 at the time the SDA was advocating the secession of Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 from Yugoslavia; that is, that they wanted Bosnia and Herzegovina to
23 become independent, an independent state from Yugoslavia? Is that what
24 at the time was advocated by the SDA leadership?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since it was a process, could
1 counsel please pin-point the period he is referring to, the month and the
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. We were talking about 1991 regarding regionalisation. So I asked
5 you at the time, that means in 1991.
6 A. That was a time of intense negotiations. We were in favour of
7 staying within Yugoslavia, however, in a Yugoslavia with all of its
8 republics. We were against staying inside a Yugoslavia that would have
9 only three or four republics.
10 Q. In 1991 were all the republics still part of Yugoslavia, yes or
12 A. Towards the end of 1991, no.
13 Q. So when I ask you about 1991, you're talking about a situation
14 when not all the republics were there. And in that situation, was your
15 party in favour of secession, of a separate state of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 A. Our party held the following position: If other republics
17 proclaim independence, we want our republic to become independent too.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a reference to Mr. Traldi, the
19 constitution of BH is 65 ter 15207, and the 1974 BH constitution is
21 MR. TRALDI: Thank you.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
23 Q. In paragraph 8 you state:
24 "The SDS justified its attempt to create ethnically separate
25 regions based on its goal of keeping ethnic Serbs in Yugoslavia and did
1 not take into account the views of other political parties."
2 At that time did the SDA take into account the positions of the
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you gave up on secession because the SDS wanted it to remain
6 one state; right?
7 A. The SDA had a basis for its activity and any activity it pursued,
8 it pursued through parliamentary procedure.
9 Q. Thank you. That's enough. I've let you talk around quite
10 enough. Even the Prosecutor kept you focused on his questions --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, that's not the language -- I've let you
12 talk around quite enough -- you can interrupt, but no problem. But most
13 important, take a short pause between answer and question.
14 MR. LUKIC: I have no time to take a pause, Your Honour, because
15 the witness is --
16 JUDGE ORIE: If you take --
17 MR. LUKIC: -- talking all the time. I have to stop him.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you do that with one or two words, Stop here,
19 please, or I have to interrupt you. And then leave it to that until the
20 witness stops. If he doesn't do that, I will assist you in achieving
21 that aim.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Sejmenovic, if your answer is not sufficiently
24 focused on the question, Mr. Lukic may interrupt you and then you'll have
25 to stop and then you should listen to his next question as you have to do
2 Mr. Lukic.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. So you say the SDS justified its attempt to create ethnically
6 separate regions by its goal of keeping ethnic Serbs in Yugoslavia and
7 did not want to take into account the views of other political parties.
8 My question is: Did the SDA take into account the efforts of the SDS to
9 remain within Yugoslavia or not?
10 A. Everything was taking place in the parliament of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The SDS did not have a majority in the parliament
12 and its proposals were against the will of the parliamentary majority.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I'm looking at the clock --
15 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: -- and unfortunately we have to stop for the day.
17 Mr. Sejmenovic, I'd like to instruct you that you should not
18 speak or communicate in any other way with whomever about your testimony,
19 whether that is testimony you've given today or whether that's testimony
20 you will give tomorrow. We'd like to see you back tomorrow morning at
21 9.30 and you may follow the usher.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that there is a practical problem
25 with 65 ter 22696 which was admitted, but it being a video I think
1 there's a problem that the CD is not provided to the Registrar. So we
2 have to pay further attention to that. But let's do that -- yes, perhaps
3 under those circumstances we should change the status in P287 to be
4 marked for identification until the matter has been resolved, preferably
5 out of court.
6 If there's no other matter, we adjourn for the day and we'll
7 resume tomorrow, Wednesday, the 3rd of October, at 9.30 in the morning in
8 this same courtroom, I.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.15 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 3rd day of
11 October, 2012, at 9.30 a.m.