1 Wednesday, 1 October 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.36 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
6 courtroom. Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Just a brief message about P6680, the --
10 initially --
11 [The witness takes the stand]
12 JUDGE ORIE: 65 ter 08611 was the exhibit which was to be
13 replaced and it now should be 65 ter 8611a and that replacement has
14 taken -- has been done so there's no -- should be no concerns about that.
15 Good morning, Mr. Bubic.
16 WITNESS: OBRAD BUBIC [Resumed]
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Before we resume, I would like to remind you that
20 you are still bound by the solemn declaration that you gave yesterday
21 that you will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
22 Mr. Traldi will now continue his cross-examination. Mr. Traldi,
23 you may proceed.
24 MR. TRALDI: Thank you Mr. President. Good morning,
25 Your Honours.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Traldi: [Continued]
2 Q. Good morning, sir.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. Sir, I want to ask first this morning very briefly about the time
5 when you were captured. There was fierce fighting between the VRS and
6 Muslim forces in Kotor Varos at that time; right?
7 A. Well, yes.
8 Q. And as for the operation in which you were captured, you heard
9 suggestions after the war or after your captivity that the Serbs had
10 collaborated in that operation; right?
11 A. I heard that from people with whom I was detained. The
12 information has never been checked so most of it is hard to believe but
13 as you know, anything is possible.
14 Q. And you're not personally certain if it's true or not; right?
15 A. No. There's no way I can be certain of any of that.
16 Q. Now, I want to turn to one of the other things that you heard
17 while you were in captivity. You explain in paragraph 5 of your
18 statement that: "On the 11th of June, 1992, the Muslims and the Croats
19 were preparing a celebration at Borje to which they invited all prominent
20 Serbs. The Serbs did not respond to the call since they had learned that
21 they were to be killed there."
22 Now, you also heard this from Sprzo during your captivity; right?
23 A. Correct. And he was the only one who told me that. When I was
24 set free, and allowed to go, I was very curious to find out how true that
25 was. Unfortunately, I could never obtain the exact information and find
1 out whether it was true or not. If it was true, that's awful. If it
2 wasn't, that's good.
3 Q. So you presently don't know whether that's true or not; correct?
4 A. No, I don't.
5 Q. And you mentioned yesterday that you'd been interviewed a number
6 of times by the military police during the war. You didn't provide this
7 information to them, did you?
8 A. That's correct, yes. In my view, it would have been stupid of me
9 to provide them with -- with information that wasn't checked, that I
10 wasn't sure of. The information that you hear during the war and that
11 you can be absolutely sure of is few and far between so it shouldn't be
12 shared, in my view.
13 Q. Now, related --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
15 MR. TRALDI: Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you said it would be stupid to tell
17 something which was not verified when you were interviewed at the time.
18 Well, in your present statement, where it is still not verified, you have
19 apparently no hesitation to tell us even without telling us that it's
20 just what you heard and not what you know has happened. Would you
21 consider that stupid then as well?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I hesitate to say that it is stupid
23 but yes, it is because sharing information that is not reliable,
24 speculate on things is useless. It doesn't make much sense.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course therefore, I ask you why you
1 apparently did it to inform us. Did you tell the Defence that it was
2 just what you heard and that you're not certain about what happened, that
3 is, that Serbs did not respond to the invitation and that they even had
4 found a list of those who had to be killed. Did you tell the Defence
5 that it was just what you heard from one person?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not only the Defence. Whenever I
7 had an occasion to talk about that, I told everybody that that was what I
8 heard. I repeat, yet again, that this information has never been
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It doesn't appear in your statement that it's
11 just what you heard which is unverified. But let's move on.
12 But for -- whenever you're questioned about any matter, always
13 tell us if it is your personal knowledge or personal observation or
14 whether it's something you heard and, if so, from whom you heard that.
15 Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
16 MR. TRALDI:
17 Q. Sir, in this respect, you also discuss in the same paragraph the
18 meeting of the Serb Municipal Assembly on the 11th of June at which you
19 say the decision was taken to take over power in Kotor Varos. Did you
20 attend that meeting?
21 A. No.
22 Q. The Chamber's received evidence, and I refer, for instance, to
23 exhibit P4235, that the takeover was planned at least several days in
24 advance. Do you know whether that's true or not?
25 A. I know nothing about that.
1 Q. Now, I'm going to turn to events on the 11th of June. I'm going
2 to ask you about three people first. Anto Mandic, the chair of the
3 National Defence Council in Kotor Varos before the war; Nedeljko Maric,
4 the police commander; and Miro Petrusic, the secretary for national
5 Defence. They were all arrested on the 11th of June, 1992; correct?
6 A. I apologise, what was the third name? I did not hear you well.
7 Q. The third was Miro Petrusic.
8 A. I knew the first two by sight. As for Miro Petrusic, the name
9 doesn't ring a bell, or rather I heard that they were taken for an
10 interview to the Kotor Varos police station. Why they were taken there
11 and by whom, how long were they kept there, I know nothing of those
13 Q. Now, at this time you were guarding Kocka 1, 2 and 3 in
14 Kotor Varos; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Those buildings were about 200 metres away from a place called
17 the Pilana sawmill; right?
18 A. Yes, more or less.
19 Q. Now, do you know if any of the three men I just mentioned were
20 taken to the sawmill?
21 A. I really don't know.
22 Q. And to complete my questions about them, Mr. Mandic, Mr. Maric
23 and Mr. Petrusic, do you know their ethnicities?
24 A. Mandic was a Catholic, the second person was also a Catholic and
25 as for the third one, I don't know. But it would be my assumption that
1 he was too, but I'm not sure.
2 Q. Why would that be your assumption?
3 A. Well, you judge by the first and last names. If you look at
4 their names, you can more or less guess which ethnic group they belong
5 to. That's why I assumed that they were all Catholics.
6 Q. And you say Catholic, that means they were Croats; right?
7 A. Yes. Yes. But over there in our popular lingo, we call them
8 Catholics. As a matter of fact, they're Croats of Catholic provenance,
10 Q. Turning to the sawmill briefly, you knew there were people being
11 kept in the sawmill; right?
12 A. Honestly, I didn't. But I did hear that people were brought
13 there after having expressed a wish to move out, to go somewhere. It was
14 some sort of a collection centre where they would be safe, where nobody
15 would touch them before they left the territory of Kotor Varos. Again, I
16 heard that. I wasn't there. You couldn't see that location from the
17 building where I was although it was not that far. However, what I'm
18 telling you is only what I heard.
19 Q. Just to follow up a little bit on the answer you've just given.
20 The people who you heard were brought there after having
21 expressed a wish to move out, those were civilians; right?
22 A. I think so.
23 Q. And do you know how long they would stay there?
24 A. A day or two. Until the transport was organised for them.
25 Q. Now, the transport, what you heard was that was to take them out
1 of Kotor Varos; right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And it would take them into Muslim territory.
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. Now, there were also soldiers from the 22nd Brigade of the VRS
6 active in Kotor Varos around this time, right, while you were standing
8 A. I am sorry, I did not understand your question.
9 Q. Sure. At the time you were standing guard in front of buildings,
10 Kocka 1, 2, 3, there were also members of the 22nd Brigade moving around
11 in Kotor Varos; right?
12 A. Soldiers did move about, but I can't tell you what brigades they
13 were from. However, it would have been logical if they were only
14 soldiers from the Kotor Varos Brigade. I'm not ruling out a possibility
15 that there were also soldiers from the 22nd.
16 Q. Were those soldiers also standing guard in front of buildings?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Could you tell what their task was?
19 A. I don't think they had a specific task. They saw each other in
20 passing, I believe. I don't know whether they went to apartments,
21 houses, whether they moved about from there. But none of us who were
22 there had any other tasks.
23 Q. Well, some people were tasked with going into buildings; right?
24 Going into apartments, going into houses.
25 A. Yes. There were things of that kind but again, I think that it
1 was done only when it was found out that people had weapons and they were
2 not supposed to have them, and things like that. But this is just me
4 Q. You do know that people were tasked with going into buildings,
5 going into apartments, going into houses, and that you could see
6 individual people being taken out of the buildings; right?
7 A. I did not know that that was their task. Nobody told me that.
8 However, there were cases when I saw that people were indeed being taken
10 Q. You saw people being taken out by soldiers; right?
11 A. It was done by the police, both the civilian and military police
12 forces together. I did not see any soldiers taking people out of the
14 Q. So turning to a different topic, sir, there was also a Catholic
15 church less than 50 metres away from the buildings you were guarding;
17 A. Yes, right to the building where I resided, at a distance of some
18 30 metres or so. It is still there.
19 Q. You say it's still there. In fact, it burned down on the 2nd of
20 July, 1992; right?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. When you say it's still there, what you mean is it was rebuilt
23 after the war; right?
24 A. Yes, I'm sure of that. And it was restored to its original
25 state. It's functioning, Catholics gather there during their church
1 rituals and services and so on and so forth.
2 Q. Now, I'd like to turn now to your evidence about Muslims and
3 Croats who were able to stay in Kotor Varos. First, in fact, many
4 Muslims and Croats left Kotor Varos during the war; right?
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. You mention Muslims and Croats who were able to stay from three
7 villages, Zabrdje, Garici and Siprage. Now the people in every one of
8 those villages had surrendered their weapons to the Serbs; right?
9 A. Yes, they surrendered the weapons to the police organs and of
10 these three villages, none were literally ever engaged in any activities,
11 combat activities. I think that in the village of Zabrdje not a single
12 person lost their life during the war with the exception of one man, a
13 Croat, who, according to what I heard, opened fire at an ambulance
14 travelling in the direction of Banja Luka and the worst thing of all was
15 that in the ambulance was a little girl of a Croat, the girl was wounded
16 on that occasion and later died of those wounds.
17 So this was the story that circulated around and it's still being
18 told today, that is, that a Croat from that village killed a child, which
19 is worst of all, who was from his own ethnic community.
20 Q. Now, another village in Kotor Varos that the Chamber has received
21 evidence swore loyalty to the Republika Srpska, another non-Serb village,
22 was Hanifici. Now, in fact, in Hanifici the residents weren't as
23 fortunate as the residents of Zabrdje, Garici and Siprage, were they?
24 A. Probably they were not. Probably not. Although I hardly know
25 anything about that village. I had some acquaintances there.
1 Q. Did those acquaintances tell you that a group of Muslim civilians
2 there were gathered in the local mosque, were shot, and the mosque was
3 then set on fire. Were you aware of that?
4 A. Unfortunately, I heard about that. I heard about that. But I
5 don't know exactly when that happened, who did it, how many victims there
6 were. I know nothing about it. After all, even if there was a single
7 victim, that would be too many and if there were multiple victims then
8 it's really regrettable.
9 MR. TRALDI: Can we please have 65 ter 02566.
10 Just for the sake of the transcript, 02566.
11 Q. Now returning to the issue of whether Muslims and Croats stayed
12 in Kotor Varos, this is an assessment of the security situation in the
13 area of Kotor Varos from the Banja Luka state security department.
14 In the first paragraph, we read:
15 "The security situation in the area of Kotor Varos wartime
16 department has significantly improved compared to the situation at the
17 end of May and the beginning of June 1992, which is evident from the
18 balance of power on the ground."
19 "Since 11 June 1992, when the war in the Kotor Varos municipality
20 broke out, the Muslim-Croatian forces have been defeated and the Serbian
21 population, gaining the upper hand, established Republika Srpska. From
22 the last population census in 1991, out of 10.640 Croats, around 1.000 or
23 5 per cent remained, out of 11.161 Muslims, around 4.500 or 23 per cent
24 remained, while there are 14.000 or 72 per cent Serbs."
25 And I should point out it's dated the 10th of May, 1993. Do you
1 see that text?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. It then says:
4 "Croats remained in the villages of Zabrdje, Podbrdje, Sibovi,
5 Bastina, Novo Selo. There is a small number of them in Vrbanjci and
6 Orahova and a few in Kotor Varos. These are predominantly elderly people
7 who do not pose any real threat. Out of a total number of Muslims who
8 remained in the municipality, most of them are in Siprage and the
9 surrounding villages ..." and then it lists several of those where "where
10 they number about 3.500. They are also in Garici and Curkici. A very
11 small number of them are living in Vrbanjci and Kotor Varos itself. The
12 elderly and children are also predominant in this category but there are
13 also a good number of able-bodied men. We assess that around 400 people
14 are up to 35, and another 250 to 300 up to 55 years old."
15 So my --
16 MR. TRALDI: Sorry, Your Honour. Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. So, sir, were you aware that most of the Muslims who were left in
18 Kotor Varos were elderly people or children? Muslims and Croats.
19 A. Well, frankly speaking, I didn't know that because this kind of
20 information never reached me and it was impossible for me to receive it.
21 However, based on logic, it is possible that those who remained within
22 their homes were either old or very young because this middle group of
23 the range of age, who were of military age, in fact, went and joined
24 certain units. However, as I said at the beginning, this is the
25 information that I am not aware of.
1 Q. You single out in your statement three villages where you say
2 Muslims and Croats could stay in Kotor Varos. I'd put to you that what
3 this document shows is, in fact, the great majority of Muslims and Croat
4 had, in fact, left Kotor Varos by early 1993. That's true, isn't it?
5 A. I'm not sure that that is true because it seems to me, according
6 to what I learned by talking to the locals, the majority of Croats left
7 Kotor Varos after the combat activities ended in the area of the
8 municipality, that is to say, after the signing of the Dayton Accords.
9 You don't have to take my word for it, but I heard that Franjo Komarica,
10 the bishop of Banja Luka called upon Croats in the aftermath of the
11 Dayton to leave Kotor Varos to their homeland of Croatia, that there was
12 enough room for all of them there.
13 After talking with a couple of people --
14 Q. We're beyond I think the question I asked. This document here,
15 the Banja Luka state security department is clearly reporting that out of
16 10.640 Croats, around 1.000 remained as of May 1993; right?
17 A. I cannot say either yes or no. This is what the document says.
18 Supposedly it is authentic and then that's it. As I say, this type of
19 document never reached me. I never had an opportunity to see something
20 like that.
21 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I tender 65 ter 02566.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Document 02566 receives number P6808,
24 Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
1 Mr. Traldi, I take it that at some point in time, you'll explain
2 to me how 1.000 out of 10.000 is 5 per cent, how 4.500 out of 11.000 is
3 23 per cent. That's still mathematics which is apparently refers to
4 something different from what I can read here.
5 MR. TRALDI: I agree, Your Honour. I think it may be that those
6 percentages relate to the percentage of total people who remain but I'd
7 want to at least use a calculator before expressing that for certain.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's possible.
9 MR. TRALDI: It seems at least --
10 JUDGE ORIE: The total number is not given here and I can already
11 tell you that it could not be the explanation because 14.000 Serbs
12 remaining whereas the total population was at least -- I'm not talking
13 about Hungarians or Yugoslavs, is at least 14.000 plus two times 10.000
14 which makes 34.000 and I cannot come up with the 72 per cent Serbs unless
15 it is the new population.
16 MR. TRALDI: I had meant the population as of 1993 but we'll look
17 into it further.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then so that we at least understand what you
19 have put to the witness.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. TRALDI:
22 Q. Sir, remaining in that paragraph, I just direct your attention
23 for a moment to the number of Muslims -- it says around 4.500 remain --
24 and ask you to remember that for a moment.
25 MR. TRALDI: Now if we can turn to exhibit P3217.
1 Q. This is a note from the Republika Srpska Ministry of the Interior
2 dated June 27th, 1994.
3 At the top we see the prewar ethnic distribution and then looking
4 lower on the page, we see Serbs, 14.000 approximately, Muslims, 1.800.
5 So looking at those two reports, we've seen another 2.700 Muslims left
6 Kotor Varos between May 1993 and June 1994.
7 There was no combat in Kotor Varos at that time; right?
8 A. I'm sorry, which period? Which period did you refer to?
9 Q. Between May 1993 and June 1994.
10 A. I don't think so. I don't think there was any combat operation
12 Q. Now, the people who left generally left on convoys headed for
13 Travnik; right?
14 A. Yes, for the most part. Although some of them even walked up
15 there towards Travnik.
16 Q. Now, you mentioned you, yourself, saw one such convoy passing
17 through the village of Zabrdje in September 1992. And you say in
18 paragraph 19 of your statement that you recognised some neighbours of
19 yours on the convoy. Those neighbours were Muslims and Croats; right?
20 A. Right.
21 Q. Now, some of the people on the convoy eventually were able to
22 continue to Travnik, some were taken off and taken to Manjaca camp;
24 A. I heard some allegations and speculations on that subject, but my
25 strict task assigned to me by my command was to go there in order to
1 recognise the people that I had seen in the course of my captivity, that
2 is to say, the people who tortured me and ill treated me while they were
3 holding me prisoner. Honestly speaking, I saw only one of them, but
4 since he treated me fairly, I did not want to report him because that
5 would not be a humane act. I didn't want to say anything against that
7 However, I came across a lot of civilians, among other things,
8 behind the building where I was residing or where I still live, there's a
9 female neighbour of mine who had one under-aged son and one son who was
10 of age. She met me and she asked me by saying, Obrad, can you find bread
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... material, I think that's in
13 your statement and beyond the scope of the question I asked you. So I'm
14 not challenging your evidence about having given these people bread. I'd
15 simply ask you to focus on the question that I'm asking. Is that all
17 Now, you say that -- you describe a task assigned to you by your
18 command. This was an order from the corps command relayed to you via
19 your brigade command; right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Your task was to look not just for people who'd ill treated you
22 but also individuals who used to have weapons and were on the other side;
24 A. No. No. No. No. My sole task was should I identify someone
25 who maltreated me, to report this person to the police officer who were
1 present on the spot.
2 MR. TRALDI: Could we have 65 ter 31374, page 40.
3 Q. And while it comes up, sir, the police officer you were supposed
4 to report people to, that was military police, right, as you testified
6 A. There were both military and civilian police officers.
7 Q. What brigade were the military police from?
8 A. From the light Kotor Varos brigade.
9 MR. TRALDI: Now, if we could scroll down to -- starting at
10 line 20. You testified in the Stanisic Zupljanin case about this group
11 and you said, beginning at the end of line 20:
12 "My task was to have a look at these individuals and identify
13 among them those who tortured me, if any of them were, and to see if
14 among them were individuals who used to have weapons and were on the
15 other side."
16 Now, was your testimony in the Stanisic Zupljanin case truthful
17 in this respect?
18 A. Well, time goes by and it has its effects. Now frankly speaking,
19 I don't even remember any longer whether that referred only to those who
20 had ill treated me or perhaps that included some other persons as well.
21 I don't think that's too relevant. The important point is that I didn't
22 see any such persons.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, what is relevant and is not relevant will
24 be determined by the parties and by the Bench. You don't have express
25 yourself on relevance.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Now, sir, people, regardless of who had selected them, people
4 were taken off this convoy in Zabrdje as part of this search; right?
5 A. No, nobody was taken off at Zabrdje. They only boarded the buses
6 and continued their journey onwards.
7 Q. So they weren't on the buses, were there people that weren't --
8 let me rephrase that.
9 I'd put to you there were people that weren't allowed to get back
10 on the buses. That's true, isn't it?
11 A. I don't know. I am not aware of such instances.
12 Q. Were you aware of what would have happened if you'd identified
13 one of the persons that you were tasked with identifying, what would the
14 military police have done? Or the regular police.
15 A. Well, I suppose they would take them for questioning, maybe they
16 would be prosecuted before a court of law or something like that.
17 MR. TRALDI: Now finally, could we have 65 ter 31394. And out of
18 caution I'd ask that it not be broadcast.
19 Q. Now, this is an indictment filed in November 1993 and it refers
20 to a group of soldiers in -- all of them are identified by military post
21 VP 2233 Kotor Varos. That was the military post for the Kotor Varos
22 Light Brigade; right?
23 A. I think that's right but since it's changed quite a few times, I
24 think that by looking at these names, they were members of the Light
25 Kotor Varos Brigade.
1 Q. Now looking below the names, we see the words for the following
2 acts and it reads:
3 "On 28 June 1992, at 1600 hours, upon prior agreement, they came
4 together into the house of" - and then it names a person - "the village
5 of Orahova, drove her to the village of Dubrovci into the house of
6 Obrad Bubic from Maslovari and threatened her with firearms. They raped
7 the victim."
8 And then it gives more details. Now your house in Dubrovci is
9 the weekend cottage you mentioned yesterday; right?
10 A. Yes, unfortunately.
11 Q. Now and it says they'd gone to Orahova, that was a majority Croat
12 village; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, were you aware of this crime that had been committed in your
15 home in Dubrovci?
16 A. No. I learned about it three years ago. The principal accused,
17 Cicmanovic either died or got killed during the war. Anyway, he is no
18 longer living. Bozic is still alive. Markovic one and Markovic two are
19 also still alive.
20 Immediately after I had learned of this crime, I met
21 Ostoja Markovic listed here under number four. As luck would have it, he
22 managed to escape because I had an intention of choking him. And they
23 were or they are currently again the subject of court proceedings for
24 this same war crime and I believe that the main hearing is scheduled for
25 the 7th of October and I received summons to attend as a witness at this
2 You can rest assured, because Ostoja admitted to having committed
3 this crime, he and the others. I don't think it's enough to say that he
4 is a completely sick person, but whatever may be the case, I personally
5 would ask the court to impose the most severe sentence and punishment
6 upon him because my house was built up there for completely different
7 things. It was not made as a place where such heinous crimes would be
9 I condemn that even if they had been committed by my own child.
10 Believe it or not, after all of this, we stopped going there altogether.
11 In addition to that, we had floods in the area, so this house is
12 completely rendered unusable.
13 Q. Sir, just two brief questions to follow up. First, you say
14 proceedings are going on now. So it's true that none of these people
15 were punished during the war for this crime; right? If you know.
16 A. I know, or rather I heard that during the war, they were on
17 trial. There were proceedings instituted against them. How, where, when
18 and how it ended, I don't know. I did hear that there were proceedings
19 against them. I'm glad to hear that they are on trial and that they will
20 be brought to justice.
21 Q. And sir, I'd put to you that it was crimes like this and other
22 crimes that made Muslims and Croats feel they had to leave Kotor Varos.
23 That's true, isn't it?
24 A. I don't know. I can't speak for them and what they believed or
25 didn't believe.
1 In any case, any normal person will stand on its end when they
2 start thinking about war. Many fled without thinking twice in order to
3 save themselves and their families. And of course, if one hears of
4 things like that, the situation gets compounded because whoever heard of
5 a crime of that kind doesn't really think of who the victims were. The
6 most important thing was that the crime happened.
7 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender this document and that
8 complete my cross-examination. I'd ask that it be placed provisionally
9 under seal.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Registrar, the number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Document 31394 receives number P6809,
12 Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted under seal for the time being.
14 We'll take a break.
15 Mr. Lukic, could you tell us how much time you'd need after the
17 MR. LUKIC: I need probably five minutes, six minutes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then you could consider to cross-examine the
19 witness now if you say it's just five minutes and then we would --
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 MR. LUKIC: We can finish then.
22 JUDGE ORIE: And then if it's five minutes, then there may be a
23 sixth or seventh minute for a question by Judge Moloto. Let's try to see
24 whether we can conclude the examination of the witness before the break.
25 Well, no --
1 MR. LUKIC: Judge Moloto wants to ask first.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Bubic, you say these people that were
3 mentioned here on this document are on trial right now as we speak; is
4 that correct?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This must be correct because I
6 received an invitation to appear before the court.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you know what happened to the proceedings that
8 were initiated by this indictment which was in 1993?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, I don't.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you know this current proceedings that are
11 taking place, when they were initiated?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. Some 10 or 15 days
13 ago, I received an invitation to appear at a hearing on the
14 7th of October or perhaps the 8th of October. Please don't hold me to
15 the date. I'm not sure.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: And earlier than that, when the proceedings of
17 1993 had been initiated, you had never been invited to come and testify
18 at that time.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I knew nothing about that.
20 If I'd known anything about that, I would have done something, rest
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not at all.
25 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Bubic, once again.
2 A. Good morning, Mr. Lukic.
3 Q. Earlier today, you were asked about paragraph 5 of your statement
4 which deals with that plan and the plan was, according to you -- please
5 bear with me.
6 "On the 11th of June, 1992, the Muslims and the Croats were
7 preparing a celebration at Borje to which they invited all prominent
8 Serbs. The Serbs did not respond to the call since they had learned that
9 they were to be killed there."
10 And according to you, Sprzo told you that, that's what you said.
11 Do you remember?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. When Sprzo was telling you that, were there any other people
14 around you, anybody, for example, from his unit?
15 A. Believe me, I don't remember.
16 Q. In that case --
17 JUDGE ORIE: That's pretty leading, not only asking whether
18 others were present but already identify who possibly would have been
19 there. That's an examination in chief is not what we expect you to do.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. On transcript page 17, lines 8 through 10, my learned friend
23 Traldi asked you I will read the question in English and it will be
24 interpreted [In English]: "I put to you that there were people that
25 weren't allowed to get back on the buses. That's true, isn't it?
1 Your answer was: "I don't know. I'm not aware of such
3 [Interpretation] Did you personally see that anybody was banned
4 from getting on the bus?
5 A. No, I didn't.
6 Q. And as for the last document which is no longer on the screen, we
7 were looking at it. It was an indictment which was issued in 1993 by the
8 Military Court in Banja Luka.
9 Did anybody ever tell you about the requirement from you as a
10 member of the TO or the military to plunder, rape, loot, did you ever
11 receive an order of that kind?
12 A. God forbid.
13 Q. Was rape part of the policy of either the political or military
14 leaderships of Kotor Varos?
15 A. I don't think so. Not only do I not think so, but I think that
16 it would be insane to find that as part of a specific strategy of either
17 a military or a municipality or anybody.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to call up a document which
19 is 65 ter 31394. [In English] Thanks.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. LUKIC: Then can we go to the private session.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we move into private session.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 26485 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
4 Mr. Bubic, this concludes your testimony in this Court. I'd like
5 to thank you very much for coming to The Hague and for having answered
6 the many questions that were put to you, put to you by the parties, put
7 to you by the Bench. I wish you a safe return home again.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE ORIE: You may follow the usher.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it, and I'm asking the -- those who
12 understand the language, that what the witness said at the end was.
13 MR. LUKIC: That he has some health issues and that's why he is
14 walking like this and he wishes everybody a good day.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's understood. I just wanted to verify
16 that it was irrelevant for the proceedings and it seems to be irrelevant
17 for the proceedings.
18 We'll take a break and perhaps we take a break a little bit
19 longer than usual since we went on for quite a while. We'll take a break
20 and we'll then resume at 20 minutes past 11.00, so a break of a little
21 bit over half an hour.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.47 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 11.23 a.m.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy.
25 MR. JEREMY: Good morning, Mr. President, good morning,
1 Your Honours. I did have one administrative preliminary which I think
2 you're already aware of but I'd like to put it on the record.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Is that -- is it a matter which requires
5 MR. JEREMY: No, no, no.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then, please.
7 MR. JEREMY: The Prosecution has requested and received revised
8 English translations for --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you would not mind I have a list of all
10 that and whenever we have a spare moment, we'll deal with that if you
11 don't mind.
12 MR. JEREMY: No problem.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I have about three documents, I think that needs to
14 be addressed. We do that at a lost moment because it's not that urgent
15 at this moment.
16 MR. JEREMY: Understood.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then could the witness be escorted into the
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Davidovic.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Before you testify, the rules require that you make
23 a solemn declaration. May I invite you to make the solemn declaration of
24 which the text is now handed out to you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly swear that I will speak
1 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
2 WITNESS: BRANKO DAVIDOVIC
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated.
5 Mr. Davidovic, you will first be examined by Mr. Lukic. You find
6 him to your left, and Mr. Lukic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
7 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Examination by Mr. Lukic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Davidovic.
10 A. Good morning, Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to call up 1D1623 in
12 e-court, please.
13 Q. Mr. Davidovic, in front of you on the screen, you should be able
14 to see on the left-hand side of the screen --
15 A. I can see it.
16 Q. -- a document. First of all, I'm going to ask you whether you
17 provided a statement --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to wait until
19 the question is put to him. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you always make a short break between
21 question and answer. You're speaking the same language and the
22 interpreters first have to interpret it for us.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Do you see a signature on the document that is before you?
1 A. Yes, I can see a signature.
2 Q. Do you recognise it?
3 A. Yes, I recognise it. This is my signature.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now let's look at the last page of
6 the same document.
7 Q. Do you see a signature and do you recognise it?
8 A. Yes, I can see a signature and I recognise it as mine.
9 Q. Did you have an opportunity to revise your statement before you
10 signed it?
11 A. Yes. I did have an opportunity to read my statement before I
12 signed it.
13 Q. What is recorded in the statement, is it truthful?
14 A. Everything that is recorded in the statement is what I said and
16 Q. If I were to put the same questions to you today, would you
17 answer them in the same way?
18 A. Yes, in principle, I would answer the same questions in the same
19 way or rather in similar way because I would not be able to repeat my
20 answers word for word, but in essence, my answers would be the same.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And now we would like to tender
22 Mr. Davidovic's statement into evidence.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just a point, Mr. Lukic. The date of birth in
24 paragraph 1 of the statement is different from the cover sheet by ten
1 MR. LUKIC: In B/C/S it's not.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: In the English it is.
3 JUDGE ORIE: The difference is between the B/C/S and English
4 version so you cannot say it is not in the B/C/S. It's ten years.
5 MR. LUKIC: The gentleman signed the B/C/S version so obviously
6 there is a mistake in the English translation.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: So what is the correct one.
8 MR. LUKIC: The correct one is 1947.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Well, the witness can tell us which is the correct
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let him tell us.
12 JUDGE ORIE: In which year were you born, Witness?
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you hear the question?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Did you hear the question, Witness? I haven't
15 received an answer yet.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is waiting for the interpretation.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I heard the question and I can
18 answer that I was born on the 18th of March, 1947.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
20 MR. LUKIC: Thank you to Judge Moloto for helping us.
21 MR. JEREMY: No objections, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: No objections. Madam Registrar, the number would
23 be ...?
24 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D1623 receives number D675,
25 Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
2 Mr. Lukic, before we continue, I would have one item which I'd
3 like to briefly deal with in private session.
4 [Private session]
11 Pages 26492-26499 redacted. Private session.
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
24 Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: Finally. I will not have any questions for this
1 witness. I'll just read his short summary.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll --
3 MR. LUKIC: Statement summary.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll listen to that summary. You've explained
5 to the witness what it is for.
6 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
8 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Branko Davidovic testifies about the political situation, ethnic
10 structure, political parties and their programmes in Sanski Most in early
11 1992. He also speaks about the details regarding the organisation of the
12 referendum for secession and about the plebiscite to stay in the then
14 Branko Davidovic states that mobilisation was carried out and the
15 6th Krajina Light Infantry Brigade was formed in accordance with the law
16 on the national defence.
17 In June 1992 [sic], the 6th Krajina Light Infantry Brigade was
18 deployed in Jasenovac area with a task to protect the local population.
19 On 2nd April, 1992, the 6th Krajina Light Infantry Brigade was
20 transferred from Jasenovac to Sanski Most area. Mobilisation was carried
21 out in Sanski Most. Davidovic was mobilised and deployed in the
22 6th Krajina Light Infantry Brigade as assistant commander for morale.
23 Davidovic will testify that the media fabricated the role of the
24 Serbs in the events in Sanski Most in the named period. The media
25 reported that the Serbs had seized the power, but the truth was quite the
1 opposite: the truth was that in the elections, the Serbs had won the
2 majority of the seats in the municipal assembly.
3 On the 25th of May, 1992, the unit launched a legitimate search
4 and control of the municipality Sanski Most with the aim to identify and
5 disarm paramilitary units.
6 Some individuals publicly misrepresented this operation, like
7 other similar operations: they depicted it as the Serbian attack against
8 the villagers. But, the intensity of combat and the VRS losses show that
9 Hrustovo village in Sanski Most municipality was a stronghold of the
10 Muslim units.
11 Davidovic underlines this historical context of the events in
12 Sanski Most and speaks about the great number of Serbs killed in
13 World War Second. He also talks about the repeated creation of the
14 similar ethnic formations, which caused the Serbs to fear for their
15 existence. He explains the character of the war in the B and H 1992
16 until 1995 by depicting the post war ethnic structure of Sanski Most.
17 And that was the short summary of the statement of this witness.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy, are you ready to start your
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before Mr. Jeremy, I just wanted to check with
23 Mr. Lukic. Mr. Lukic, if you look at page 41, lines 12 to 17, you say in
24 June 1992, the 6th Krajina Light Infantry Brigade was deployed in
25 Jasenovac area with the task to protect the local population.
1 The next paragraph says the 2nd April 1992, the 6th Krajina Light
2 Infantry Brigade was transferred to Jasenovac. It looks like you said
3 something differently here but I'm not sure whether you are corrected.
4 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour it should say in June 1991.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: In June 1991. Okay.
6 MR. LUKIC: The 6th Krajina Light Infantry Brigade was deployed
7 in Jasenovac.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: And then in April 1992.
9 MR. LUKIC: It was transferred from Jasenovac to Sanski Most.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, this being clarified so the public is now aware
11 as well. Mr. Jeremy, if you're ready, you may cross-examine the witness.
12 Mr. Davidovic, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Jeremy.
13 You'll find him to your right and he's counsel for the Prosecution.
14 And could I already ask you to refrain from too much opinion in
15 your answers, that your statement is full of a lot of opinion.
16 Mr. Jeremy will ask questions of fact and you're invited to stick to
17 facts rather than to opinions, judgements, et cetera.
18 Please proceed, Mr. Jeremy.
19 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Jeremy:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Davidovic.
22 Now, I'd like to begin by making a few clarifications in my --
23 for myself in your statement. If we can begin with paragraph 1 you
24 provide some details about your background.
25 Now, in the statement that you provided in the Karadzic case in
1 which you testified earlier this year, you provided some additional
2 details and I'm just going to read those additional details to you now
3 and ask you to confirm whether they are correct.
4 So you stated: "Until 1990, I occupied the following positions,
5 commander of the police station, president of the municipality, chief of
6 public security service, and a director of kindergarten."
7 Now, that is what you said in your Karadzic statement. Is that
8 correct? Do you stand by that today?
9 A. Yes, all of it is correct.
10 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 15 of your -- of the statement in this
11 case, you say that you responded to the call up on the 10th of April,
12 1992 now at that time you became a battalion commander; correct?
13 A. Yes, that is correct. And I have this call-up papers here with
14 me should you like to see it.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, in paragraph 14 you say two months after your
16 call-up, you were appointed assistant commander for morale, legal affairs
17 and information. So that appointment was made on approximately the
18 10th of June; correct?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. Now, as assistant commander for morale, you reported to the
21 1st Krajina Corps on for morale issues as they related to the
22 6th Brigade; correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. And on the basis of the reports that you provided, the 6th corps,
25 Krajina Corps Command would report to the VRS Main Staff on the state of
1 morale in the Sanski Most municipality; right?
2 A. Well, that's how it's supposed to be. I don't know whether it
3 was. I sent my reports to the command in charge on the state of morale
4 in the 6th Light Brigade. I assume that they compiled the reports from
5 other units and sent them all to the Main Staff.
6 Q. We'll now look at a document you discuss in paragraph 16 of your
7 statement and at various other points as well. This is the combat report
8 of the 6th Krajina Light Infantry Brigade for 1992.
9 MR. JEREMY: Could we please see P3851 on our screens.
10 Q. Now, Mr. Davidovic, this document is undated and it's unsigned.
11 Nevertheless, this is the 1992 combat report that you refer to in your
12 statement; correct?
13 A. Yes, that's a combat report for the year 1992, the one which I
14 made reference to in my statement.
15 Q. And this document clearly explains the activities of your brigade
16 over the course of 1992; yes?
17 A. Yes, that is correct.
18 Q. Now, in paragraph 13 of your statement, we read: "On returning
19 to Sanski Most, the brigade command installed itself in the village of
20 Lusci Palanka. The brigade command thought that in this way it would
21 help to calm tensions between the divided citizens."
22 MR. JEREMY: Now, in connection to that I'd like to look in page
23 3 of this combat report, page 3 in the English, please, page 4 in the
25 Q. Mr. Davidovic, I'd like to focus your attention on the subheading
1 "The brigade from 3 April 1992 to 1 September 1992."
2 Now, below this we read, "When the brigade arrived in the
3 territory of Sanski Most municipality, the Serbian people greeted it with
4 enthusiasm and a feeling of security. They were attached to their army
5 and viewed it as their true protector. Contrary to the Serbs, the
6 Muslims viewed the arrival of the brigade with suspicion, resented its
7 presence, and closed ranks around the SDA, forging plans of retaliation
8 against the Serbian population."
9 Now, Mr. Davidovic, this combat report and the section that I
10 just read out sets out the true picture, yes, the brigade did not calm
11 tensions but rather the Serb population viewed it as their true protector
12 and the Muslims viewed it with suspicion, didn't they?
13 A. In order for this to be correctly understood, the essence is that
14 the Serbs were frightened as a result of the situation in Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina, Yugoslavia and especially in Croatia, that the crimes that
16 took place in 1941 and 1942 would be repeated in Sanski Most, that is
17 during World War II and I describe that in my statement.
18 Therefore, that is why the Serbs were delighted and according to
19 what we saw, this is not how the Muslims perceived it.
20 Q. Okay. Now, in paragraph 20, you also talk about the worsening of
21 interethnic relations between Serbs on the one hand, and the Muslims and
22 Croats on the other. And you make a reference to a historical event at
23 Sisinja [phoen], in fact you say: "The post-war generations would see
24 for years the blood that had poured out of the graves in which the
25 perished Serbs had been buried which added to the fear that the Serbs
1 might suffer the same fate again."
2 Now, in connection with this, I'd like to look at another portion
3 of this combat report.
4 MR. JEREMY: Could we please go to page 4 in the English and 5 in
5 the B/C/S.
6 Q. Now, Mr. Davidovic, I'm going to read a quote from this document
7 and it relates to documents allegedly found by the Sanski Most CSB which
8 we referred to in the preceding paragraph. We read:
9 "The documents found show that they intended to commit genocide
10 against the Serbian people, kill them and expel them, and create a Muslim
11 state in these parts; all renowned Serbs and their families were to be
12 killed and hanged in the park in Sanski Most; Serbian girls and women
13 were to be put in brothels to bear offspring to the Mujahedin and
14 Janissaries; Sharia laws and government were to be introduced as in Iran,
15 male Serbian children were to be circumcised and brought up according to
16 Islamic laws and principles."
17 Mr. Davidovic, this is the information which you provided to your
18 troops as commander for morale; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And rather than calm interethnic tensions and fears for the past,
21 this sort of language, the language that you use in your statements and
22 the language that we saw in this combat report that you helped draft that
23 actually manipulated those fears and increased those ethnic tensions;
25 A. We didn't speak to our troops in the same style as written here.
1 This was copied by the public security and national security services
2 from the documents and these were submitted to our security organs. So
3 we copied this verbatim and sent it upward to our command. However, in
4 talking to our troops, we never used this kind of language. On the
5 contrary, we did our best to convince them to forget what had happened in
6 the past and that in the present, it will not be repeated. Therefore,
7 whenever I was able and as well as other officers and especially me as
8 assistant commander for morale to speak to my soldiers, I always spoke to
9 them as a human being, and I always requested that they behave in every
10 possible situation as human beings and not as evildoers.
11 Q. Mr. Davidovic, on the basis of your answer to my question, it
12 seems that you would agree that this language would stoke ethnic tensions
13 between Bosnians and Serbs in Sanski Most; correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. But it's your evidence that this language was not used with your
16 troops; correct?
17 A. Correct. Never. Never was this language used. Quite the
18 opposite. Let us forget what had happened. Let us preserve as much as
19 can be preserved in terms of peace in the area, and let us leave it up to
20 the politicians and the state to regulate other things, because the Serbs
21 wanted to remain the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, whereas
22 the Croats and Muslims did not want that to happen.
23 Q. And it's also then your evidence that this combat report for the
24 6th Krajina Brigade was not made available to the members of that
25 brigade; correct?
1 A. No, no, it was not made available to brigade members. It was
2 drafted for the eyes of the superior command.
3 Q. In paragraph 21 of your statement, you state: "I know from some
4 polemics in the media that attempts are being made to present false
5 claims that the Serbs seized power in Sanski Most municipality which is
6 not true."
7 Now, on page 5 of this report, we read the following:
8 "In order to protect socially owned property on the
9 20th of April, 1992, the brigade took control of all the more important
10 facilities and localities in town."
11 Mr. Davidovic, as your combat report states, the 6th Brigade
12 played a key part in a pre-existing plan to take over power in
13 Sanski Most, didn't it?
14 A. Things came to a head. Everybody was dissatisfied. And one
15 could sense that palpably, it was very clear. The brigade command
16 pursuant to an order of the superior command decided to take the most
17 important features and facilities in the town and in the municipality in
18 order to protect themselves from possible sabotage activities. Whether
19 that was conducive to the takeover of power or not, I don't know. If you
20 would allow me, perhaps I can explain in detail.
21 I would like to start by saying that I don't understand the term
22 "takeover of power by the Serbs," in view of the fact that that
23 administration or that power was established already in December 1990 and
24 it was functioning throughout 1991 and continued to function until the
25 month of April.
1 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you but we read that in your statement and
2 I will explore with you what I mean by the "takeover of power by the
4 Now, in your last answer, you say that -- I'm just going to find
5 it -- that pursuant to an order of the superior command, it was decided
6 to take the most important features and facilities in the town and in the
8 Now, in paragraph 34 of your statement you say that you're
9 puzzled by the suggestion that your brigade took part in an attack on the
10 Sanski Most municipality. Now, when you speak of your brigade taking
11 important features and facilities in the town, this was on the
12 19th of April, 1992; correct?
13 A. Yes, that is correct.
14 Q. But you would not characterise this as an attack but you agree
15 that important facilities were taken over by your brigade; correct?
16 A. I don't consider that an attack. There was nobody to attack. An
17 order arrived to prevent sabotage activities which were quite possible
18 under such circumstances.
19 JUDGE ORIE: What the witness states he was puzzled about might
20 not be that much interesting for others. What is important, what this
21 Chamber is puzzled about upon the presentation of the cases by the
23 Again, let's avoid that a witness who says that the takeover of
24 power, that it didn't happen, and then to say that he doesn't know what
25 is meant by a takeover of power, if we are discussing attacks and say
1 well, it was not an attack, we end up in a linguistic battle rather than
2 in an exploration of the facts and that's what the Chamber needs most.
3 And the Chamber is fully able and it also explains my warning to the
4 witness in the beginning of his testimony that is the Chamber is fully
5 able to make a distinction between opinion, judgement, et cetera and a
6 presentation of clear facts.
7 Could you please keep that in mind when you continue your
8 cross-examination, and you are invited to do that after the break.
9 MR. JEREMY: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Witness, we'll take a break of 20 minutes.
11 We'd like to see you back in 20 minutes from now.
12 You may follow the usher.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 JUDGE ORIE: We'll resume at quarter to 1.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.22 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.49 p.m.
17 JUDGE ORIE: We're waiting for the witness to enter the
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Davidovic, Mr. Jeremy will now continue his
22 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Q. Mr. Davidovic, shortly before the break, we were looking at the
24 combat report from the 6th Brigade and we looked at some language in
25 there that referred to, among other things, genocide against the Serbs
1 and you agreed with me that that sort of language would stoke ethnic
2 tensions between Bosnian Muslims and Serbs in Sanski Most; yes?
3 A. Yes, if things were done that way.
4 Q. Now, you said that in respect to the -- to the combat report that
5 we looked at, that language, that that wasn't distributed to members of
6 your brigade. In connection with that answer, I'd like to show you a
8 Now, before I do, your superior officer in the 1st Krajina Corps
9 was Milutin Vukelic, correct, once you became commander for morale and
10 religious affairs in your brigade?
11 A. Yes, he was a colonel. He was a corps member, yes.
12 MR. JEREMY: Could we please see P2874.
13 Q. Mr. Davidovic, we see that this is a report of the 1st Krajina
14 Corps command. It's dated the 21st of May, 1992. And if we go to the
15 last page we see that it is signed by the assistant commander for moral
16 guidance, Colonel Milutin Vukelic.
17 Now, in paragraph 2 of this document, we read, "In such
18 conditions, the Serbian people in BH and Croatia found themselves in the
19 most difficult situation. Even though the oldest and a constituent
20 people, they are exposed to unscrupulous deprivation of their rights:
21 transformation into a national minority and genocide."
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could we please note the reference in the B/C/S
23 text, where you're reading from, thank you.
24 MR. JEREMY: Paragraph 2, and I read the first sentence.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: On the bottom of the page.
1 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Could we please go to the --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Whoa --
4 MR. JEREMY: Could we please go to the second page in each
5 document, in fact, in the final page, please.
6 Q. Mr. Davidovic, just above the signature, we read: "Inform all
7 members of the Army of the Serbian Republic of BH about the contents of
8 this report in the most suitable way."
9 Mr. Davidovic, on the face of this document, it appears to
10 contain the language which you agreed would stoke ethnic tensions between
11 the Bosnian Muslims and the Serbs and we see that -- we see this
12 instruction to inform all members of the army of the Serbian republic of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So would you agree with me that this report by
14 Colonel Vukelic would, in fact, stir those tensions?
15 A. Well, it could have happened as a matter of fact, but when
16 additional explanations were provided to the combatants, that means that
17 one should not necessarily expect any escalations. We were duty-bound to
18 proceed and treat every document from the superior command the same,
19 which means that we were duty-bound to inform our men of the contents of
20 this document. I don't know how we did it, but in general terms I can
21 guarantee you that every document was additionally explained to our men.
22 We told them exactly what was contained in the document and what the
23 contents of the document meant for them.
24 Q. Okay. Let's move on.
25 Now, immediately before the break, you spoke about your brigade
1 securing key facilities in Sanski Most on the 19th of April, 1992. Now,
2 it is correct, is it not, that this securing process had been planned
3 well in advance of the 19th of April, 1992?
4 A. No command would be serious if it didn't plan its activities in
5 advance and those activities which are indeed or were indeed planned in
6 advance were carried out. There was a group of people which was assigned
7 to secure certain facilities, not entire units. It was done according to
8 our estimates. We estimated how many men were needed to protect a
9 facility from any sabotage actions and destruction.
10 Q. And this securing was carried out in coordination with the
11 Crisis Staff; correct?
12 A. I wouldn't know that. I don't know whether that was coordinated
13 with the Crisis Staff or not. In any case we received an order from our
14 commander to do that. Whether the commander was in communication with
15 the Crisis Staff or not, I am not in a position to tell you because I
16 don't know.
17 Q. And in securing these facility, you acted in coordination with
18 the TO and the SJB; correct?
19 A. Of course for a territory to be cares free [as interpreted] there
20 should be a certain level of coordination. That coordination did exist
21 to a certain extent. However, we carried our own tasks and I mean us
22 lower-ranking officers and brigade members only pursuant to an order of
23 our chief and commander, I suppose that they issued order to us based on
24 the orders that they, themselves, received from their superior commands.
25 Q. Now, I'd like to take a look at a document in connection with
1 these events. Before I do, Nedeljko Rasula, he was the president of the
2 Sanski Most municipality; correct?
3 A. Yes. His party won the most votes in the multi-party elections
4 and then --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, please answer the question and leave it to
6 that. A "yes" is an answer to the question. Whether he was married, was
7 elected, it's not asked. Just limit yourself to the question.
8 MR. JEREMY: Could we please see P3294. And could we take a
9 look, please, at page 19 in the English, and page 16 in the B/C/S. I'm
10 looking at the bottom half of the English page and the top right side of
11 the B/C/S.
12 Q. Mr. Davidovic, as I mention, this is the diary of
13 Nedeljko Rasula. Before us we see the heading: "Course of action in
14 taking over power and establishing the Serbian municipality of Sanski
15 Most." We see that it is dated the 14th of April, 1992.
16 MR. JEREMY: If we could go to the next page in the English,
18 Q. Now, Mr. Davidovic, towards the bottom of the page in the
19 English --
20 MR. JEREMY: In fact I think we'll need to go to the next page in
21 the B/C/S, it appears. We see "Security measures to forestall any
22 resistance by the opposite side are given below ..."
23 If we go to the next page in the English, please.
24 And the bottom half of the B/C/S that you're looking at and the
25 top half of the English we see, "Providing security from outside we see
1 there's a reference to the 6th Krajina Brigade, the reserve police units,
2 and we see civilian territorial units.
3 Q. So the units that you've already mentioned, Mr. Davidovic, but
4 you would agree that this diary entry does suggest coordination with the
5 Crisis Staff in respect to the takeover on the 19th of April, 1992, in
6 Sanski Most.
7 A. The president of the municipality could plan whatever he wanted
8 and whenever he wanted and although the president of the municipality
9 tried sometimes to give us certain orders and instructions, we never
10 accepted any of those.
11 At that time, during the takeover of power, as you call it, in
12 Sanski Most, the 6th Krajina Brigade did not take part. Our units were
13 deployed at certain facilities and they were in reserve which means that
14 most of the men were actually at home.
15 Q. Mr. Davidovic, this entry that we are looking at is entitled
16 "course of action in taking over power and establishing Serbian
17 municipality of Sanski Most," hence my use of the word "takeover".
18 MR. JEREMY: Let's look at another entry in this document. Could
19 we please go to page 22 of the English and 14 of the B/C/S, please.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Davidovic, we've already discussed your evidence in
21 respect to, you say, the brigade's aim was to prevent interethnic
22 conflicts and I'd like to look at an entry relating to this.
23 MR. JEREMY: Are we at page 14 in the B/C/S? Can we go to the
25 One moment, Your Honour, I need to find the right page.
1 JUDGE ORIE: We see that it's half a page. If you would move to
2 the left, you may see something else. You see something else but
3 apparently not what you are seeking, Mr. Jeremy.
4 MR. JEREMY: If we go forward by -- can we go forward a page,
5 please. And another page, please. And by four more pages, please. I
6 think it's page 19 in the B/C/S. And by one more page, and with a thank
7 you for your patience to everyone.
8 Q. Now, Mr. Davidovic, we see that this is a meeting dated the 20th
9 of April, 1992, so that's a day after the takeover of the municipality
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We don't have the right one in English.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I think it is at the very bottom, it says, "Meeting
13 20th of April". And we now look at the next page where apparently it is
14 reported about that meeting.
15 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. JEREMY:
18 Q. So we see those present at the meeting is General Talic,
19 Colonel Basara, Major Sarkic [phoen] and representatives of the SDS, SDA
20 and the HDZ.
21 Could we go to page 26 in the English, please, and if we can go
22 to the next page in the B/C/S.
23 MR. JEREMY: I see it's the right side I'd like to focus on.
24 We'll need to go one page back in the English, please.
25 Q. Mr. Davidovic, we see here concluding remarks from General Talic
1 at the bottom of the page. And we read: "The JNA Yugoslav People's Army
2 will guarantee the peace of the citizenry and security of property. We
3 are asking for your help."
4 MR. JEREMY: If we can go to the next page in the English,
5 please. We read:
6 "Don't call anyone for help, otherwise you will have Kupres,
7 Bosanski Brod, Vukovar."
8 Q. Mr. Davidovic, it's correct, is it not, that General Talic here
9 is issuing a threat at this meeting between representatives of the
10 various parties?
11 A. I did not attend that meeting. I don't know when that meeting
12 took place, who the attendees were. I don't know what was discussed. So
13 I would not be able to tell you what the general had in mind when he said
14 what he did.
15 Q. All right. Let's move on.
16 Now, in paragraph 40 of your statement, you say that
17 Colonel Basara was not a member of the Crisis Staff; correct?
18 A. No, he was not a member of the Crisis Staff. Colonel Basara
20 Q. I mean Colonel Basara.
21 MR. JEREMY: Could we go to page 40 in the English, please, and
22 it should be 30 in the B/C/S. Yes. Sorry, can we focus on the right
23 side. Thank you.
24 Q. Sir we see this is a meeting of the Crisis Staff, it's dated the
25 11th of May, 1992. Item number 1, we see: "Basara awaiting orders from
1 above to become a member of the War Staff, as the Crisis Staff is to be
2 referred to until further notice."
3 Now, Mr. Davidovic, General Talic was Colonel Basara's corps
4 commander; yes?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, on this issue of Basara's membership of the Crisis Staff,
7 I'd like to look at another document.
8 MR. JEREMY: Could we please see P404.
9 Q. I can tell you Mr. Davidovic, coming up on our screens will be
10 conclusions of the Crisis Staff of the Serbian municipality of
11 Sanski Most dated the 30th of May, 1992.
12 Now, we see the conclusions and we see A, towards the top of the
13 page, "The Crisis Staff consists of the following 12 persons, each one
14 having a clear domain of activities."
15 And if you look at number 10, we see Colonel Basara,
16 6th Krajina Brigade commander.
17 Now, Mr. Davidovic, it's clear from this document that
18 Colonel Basara did get those orders from above and in fact he was a
19 member of the Crisis Staff; yes?
20 A. As far as I know, and Colonel Basara told me several times
21 himself, that he wasn't a member of the Crisis Staff but that he did,
22 from time to time, attend the Crisis Staff meetings, as did I. I don't
23 know if he was actually a member of the Crisis Staff but I do know that
24 he claimed that he wasn't and I am convinced that he wasn't a member of
25 the Crisis Staff.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: The OTP is aware and they have those documents as
3 their evidence where it is clear that Mr. Basara was not a member of
4 Crisis Staff. The documents --
5 JUDGE ORIE: This is not a matter to be discussed in the presence
6 of the witness.
7 MR. LUKIC: This is misrepresentation of the evidence.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I think as a matter of fact what is presented
9 to the witness is this evidence. If you in re-examination would like to
10 put other documents to the witness, you are fully entitled to do so, but
11 this document is, as far as I hear, is not misrepresented in the
12 questions put by Mr. Jeremy. The question being whether this document
13 demonstrates something and well, whether there are other documents that
14 demonstrate other things is another matter, Mr. Lukic, but I do not see
15 any misrepresentation of the evidence at this point in time.
16 MR. LUKIC: I would ask -- my colleague is it an issue that they
17 have the documents in which it was noted who from the Crisis Staff is
18 absent and whether among those is ever mentioned, for example, Basara.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that's -- you're discussing the content of
20 that evidence. I take it that in final argument you'll say that this
21 document doesn't say that much because you have other documents which
22 says the contrary. That's all fine, but Mr. Jeremy has not
23 misrepresented this piece of evidence which he now puts to the witness.
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
1 MR. JEREMY: Could we see another document, please, P4161 and it
2 relates to this issue about whether Colonel Basara was a member of the
3 Crisis Staff.
4 Q. Mr. Davidovic, we see that this is another Crisis Staff document
5 containing conclusions. It's dated the 19th of June, 1992. And we see a
6 list of names. Immediately above that list, we read: "Permanent members
7 of the Crisis Staff are the following," and at number 7, we read
8 Branko Basara.
9 Mr. Davidovic, it's clear on the basis of this document that
10 Branko Basara was not just a member of the Crisis Staff but a permanent
11 member; correct?
12 A. This is a document produced by the Crisis Staff, I suppose that
13 it was their desire to have Colonel Basara, the commander, to be their
14 member and that's why they put his name there.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, while the document, and therefore I invite
16 you again to refrain from speculating and from giving your opinion. The
17 document doesn't say we would wish the following persons to be permanent
18 members of the Crisis Staff. It says "permanent members of the Crisis
19 Staff are the following." So the document itself, and Mr. Jeremy, of
20 course, it's good that you put it to the witness, but to ask confirmation
21 on whether this is what the document says is not -- well, triggers these
22 kind of answers which are not of great assistance.
23 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Davidovic, I'd like to stay with Colonel Basara but will
25 no longer look at this issue about his membership of the Crisis Staff.
1 Instead I'd like to show you his handwritten history of the
2 6th Krajina Brigade which I know you saw during your testimony in the
3 Karadzic case.
4 MR. JEREMY: Could we please see P2365 on our screens.
5 Q. We see at the top of the page, "The war record of the
6 6th Infantry Brigade", and the name Branko Basara.
7 Now, in paragraph 14 of your statement, you say that: "When the
8 brigade arrived in Sanski Most, it carried out an additional mobilisation
9 in cooperation with the Secretariat of National Defence in Sanski Most in
10 the hope that Muslims, Croats and Serbs would respond to their
12 MR. JEREMY: Now, could we look at paragraph 4 of the document on
13 the screen in front of us, please. If we could go to page 2 in the
15 Q. Now, in this paragraph 4, we read as follows --
16 MR. JEREMY: It's page 3 in the B/C/S, please. It's towards the
17 top of the page.
18 Q. A few sentences into paragraph 4 we read, "On the 3rd of April,
19 1992, the 6th was transferred in complete order and with the utmost
20 secrecy from Jasenovac to the area of Sanski Most, so that everyone was
21 surprised. With the arrival of the Brigade on this territory, the
22 Muslims and Croats became afraid, and the Serbs heaved a huge sigh of
24 JUDGE ORIE: You've added the "huge", Mr. Jeremy.
25 MR. JEREMY: Forgive me, Your Honour, it's my mistake.
1 JUDGE ORIE: It's about language and what it results in.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. JEREMY:
4 Q. Now, Mr. Davidovic, I'd like to focus your attention halfway down
5 this paragraph beginning with the words "we had to resort to a trick."
6 We read, "We had to resort to a trick to make it possible for us to arm
7 the Serbs publicly and legally: the story was devised that the commander
8 of the 1st Krajina Corps had ordered the 6th to be promoted from a light
9 to an infantry brigade, and that it could have as many as 15 battalions,
10 that the brigade should be mobilised as soon as possible so that the
11 Muslims and Croats would not enlist in the brigade, it was put about that
12 as soon as mobilisation finished, it was leaving for Kupres."
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Jeremy me, I read the word "demobilised"
14 instead of "mobilised". Some lines.
15 MR. JEREMY: I see that. Thank you for the correction. I've
16 misread again.
17 Q. Mr. Davidovic, according to your own brigade commander, and
18 contrary to your statement, steps were actually taken to discourage
19 Muslims from responding to mobilisation; correct?
20 A. As far as I know, additional mobilisation was carried out in a
21 legal manner, people were served call-up papers in a regular way. I also
22 know that our commander Basara attended talks with Muslim representatives
23 and asked them to influence the men who would receive call-up papers to
24 respond so that the ethnic composition of the brigade would approximately
25 reflect the national composition of the population in the area or, let's
1 say, 50 per cent of the Serbs and another 50 per cent of the Croats and
2 Muslims. This is the proposal that he made but they rejected it.
3 Q. You'd agree, Mr. Davidovic, that this proposal of
4 Colonel Basara's outline is at odds with the text that I've read from his
5 handwritten reports.
6 A. As far as I can see, this relates to 1991. I'm not familiar with
7 this text. I have never read it. But what I told you is the truth, that
8 an offer had been made, that they were invited to respond to the
9 mobilisation in order to prevent interethnic conflicts.
10 MR. JEREMY: Let's take a look at paragraph 6 of this document,
11 please. E-court page 3 in the English --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy, it was clear your question was not
13 focused on 1991 because you put this to the witness and I think you --
14 the questions are -- that were answered by the witness were not focused
15 on 1991 and now you say this, the one contradicts the other.
16 MR. JEREMY: Yes, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: If you don't include the time frame as a relevant
18 element for making such a comparison, I don't know what you had on your
19 mind but ...
20 MR. JEREMY:
21 Q. Mr. Davidovic, the --
22 JUDGE ORIE: I'm asking whether you had 1991 or 1992 on your
24 MR. JEREMY: Your Honour, I had 1992 on my mind and I was seeking
25 to clarify that with the witness.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But then you should have clearly put that to
2 the witness and not of course the witness now said it refers to 1991 so
3 he noticed that. But in all fairness to the witness, you should have
4 done that and I'm saying this because earlier as well, when you are
5 asking questions and where you are putting to the witness about adding to
6 the ethnic tensions, you more or less misrepresented what the witness
7 said because he said the location we had chosen where there were tensions
8 was in order to make tensions less, and then the witness where he had
9 said several times that there were tensions, you put to him another text
10 which again was not fair in the comparison because it dealt with another
12 If you put to the witness some inconsistency, it should be about
13 the same thing and not about different things unless you clearly explain
14 that to the witness.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Could we look at paragraph 4, please, in this document. Page 2
18 in the English, page 3 in the B/C/S.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Davidovic, I've read out a section of this document to
20 you beginning on 3 April 1991. The 6th was transferred in complete order
21 and with the utmost secrecy from Jasenovac to the area of Sanski Most.
22 Now, it's correct, is it not, that this transfer was on the 3rd of April,
24 A. Yes, it is correct. The brigade came to Lusci Palanka in the
25 Sanski Most area from Jasenovac on the night between the 3rd and 4th
1 April 1992.
2 MR. JEREMY: Thank you. Could we please look at paragraph 6 in
3 this document, e-court page 3 in the English, 5 in the B/C/S.
4 Q. Mr. Davidovic, I'm going to start reading three sentences up from
5 the end of this paragraph 6, beginning: "The 6th then prepared the way
6 for the seizure of power and secured the take-over of the territory of
7 the municipalities of Sanski Most and Kljuc. The villages of Hrustovo
8 and Vrhpolje put up resistance. Our units successfully cleared those
10 Now, you were involved in these operations; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you were also involved in the operations against Mahala which
13 preceded the --
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, these were comprehensive operations carried out by the
16 6th Brigade in coordination with the TO; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And they were also carried out in cooperation with the SOS;
20 A. Yes. If I may add, the SOS was incorporated in the TO.
21 Q. Now, let's focus first on the operation in Mahala. Now, the
22 operation to disarm Mahala involved planned and coordinated military
23 attack by the 6th Brigade and the TO; correct?
24 A. There was a plan but not for an attack, but rather putting the
25 territory under control and disarming of groups and individuals illegally
1 armed who, prior to that, failed to voluntarily surrender the illegal
2 weapons in their possession.
3 Q. And subsequent to what you described as the failure to surrender
4 the illegal weapons in their possession, there was an artillery attack on
5 Mahala; correct?
6 A. This is partially correct. If you allow me, I can explain.
7 There was an artillery attack but it took place on the previous night.
8 If I may clarify, with your permission.
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. On the previous night, I and my battalion were more than 10
11 kilometres from Sanski Most whereas the Muslim forces deployed in the
12 area or rather the neighbourhood called Mahala were on the left bank of
13 the Sana River. This is an area predominantly populated by Muslims
14 whereas the right bank of the river Sana was mostly Serb populated.
15 On the previous night, their units or individuals and who else
16 was there also opened fire from the left bank to the right bank. Later I
17 learned that one of our artillery units which was deployed on a hill
18 above the town used mortars and fired a few shells and hit a shed or a
19 barn where there were two thoroughbred horses belonging to a gentleman
20 whom I knew. However, to make the story short the aim was to prevent and
21 thwart any further attacks by the Muslims coming from the right bank --
22 from the left bank against the right bank.
23 MR. JEREMY: Could we take a look at your statement, please, I'm
24 going to quote from it so let's put it into e-court. D675, please.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy, while we are waiting for that document,
1 one further comment on my part. If you would have drawn the attention to
2 the 1991, 1992 issue right away you would have prevented me from
3 intervening and now reading the follow-up questions, I imagine that you
4 were a bit embarrassed by it.
5 You had it on your mind, apparently, but you didn't make it clear
6 to us.
7 And I have another question for the witness. This document where
8 it talks about arming Serbs which cannot be openly done and that
9 therefore you would need a trick, are you aware of any arming of Serbs by
10 a tricky approach to the issue?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't know that. All I know
12 is that we were regularly issued weapons whenever we responded to a
13 call-up. No.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Apparently Mr. Basara looks at it at a
15 different way.
16 Next question, please, Mr. Jeremy.
17 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
18 Could we please see page 8 in the English and page 10 in the
20 Q. Mr. Davidovic, I'd like to focus your attention on paragraph 30
21 of your statement. Now, in the answers you've most recently provided to
22 me, you mentioned that there was indeed an artillery attack against
23 Mahala yet in paragraph 30 of your statement we read that you state
24 categorically that it is a lie that there were civilian casualties in
25 Mahala because there was not even any fighting there, "other than some
1 sporadic rifle fire in passing through and during the search of the area,
2 which was finished in a few hours."
3 Mr. Davidovic, on the basis of your previous answer we should
4 also add in this artillery attack; correct?
5 A. This artillery attack took place on the previous night, not on
6 the day when we went to carry out the cleaning of Mahala, so the night
8 Q. Okay. Thank you for that clarification.
9 Now, the mopping up operations carried out by your brigade that
10 followed this incident in Mahala also included attacks on the villages of
11 Hrustovo and Vrhpolje; correct?
12 A. This operation was conducted later. So the mopping up of Mahala
13 took place on one day and Hrustovo and Vrhpolje were mopped up a few days
15 Q. Now, the Trial Chamber has heard extensive evidence regarding
16 these operations and you cover them in some detail in your statement. So
17 I just want to focus on the role you played in them.
18 Now, during these operations, you were a battalion commander;
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. And during the disarmament operation in late May, you and the
22 unit you commanded were based in Kljevci; yes?
23 A. The village of Kljevci.
24 Q. Forgive my pronunciations. That was a Serb village next to
25 Hrustovo; yes?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. And people from Hrustovo and other villages in the area handed
3 over their weapons to you personally; correct?
4 A. No, that's not correct. I heard some statements that they made
5 to that effect, but it's not true.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, don't comment on statements of others. We
7 do not know what you have read. Tell us what it is and do not comment on
8 others. Please proceed.
9 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours. Can we please see --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps the witness can answer the question.
12 No weapons were handed over to you by villagers from Hrustovo and
13 other villages in the area. Is that your testimony?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Only the people from Hrustovo
15 failed to do that. The other villages surrendered their weapons but that
16 was earlier in the preceding days.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Days preceding what? The mop-up operations or what?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Prior to the mopping up operation
19 of Mahala and Hrustovo.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Jeremy.
21 MR. JEREMY:
22 Q. Now, Mr. Davidovic, it's correct, isn't it, that despite the fact
23 that the citizens of Hrustovo handed over their weapons to you, that
24 village was shelled by your brigade regardless; yes?
25 A. I said a moment ago the weapons were not handed over to me and
1 that applies to any other member of the brigade. I think I provided a
2 detailed explanation of that in my statement but if you wish, I can
3 explain again.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy, indeed the witness said that those in
5 Hrustovo had not handed over the -- their weapons. There may be some
6 discussion about when they had not done that or whether they did it at a
7 later stage, yes or no. But you should clarify that rather than to put a
8 question to the witness which is inconsistent with what he testified a
9 moment ago.
10 MR. JEREMY: Yes, Your Honour, I'll do that.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do.
12 MR. JEREMY:
13 Q. Witness, for my own understanding, weapons were handed over to
14 you by certain villagers in your area of responsibility but persons from
15 Hrustovo did not hand over their weapons to you. Is that your evidence?
16 A. That is correct. I can give you the names.
17 Q. Now, in connection with that answer, I'd like to show you an
19 MR. JEREMY: I'm not sure if we are close to break time or ...
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well -- what I would suggest, as a matter of fact,
21 to have a -- because it if we take a break now we have 10 minutes left
22 after the break. Another way of proceeding would be not to take the
23 break now, to take another ten minutes but I leave it to the Defence
24 whether that would find any objections because otherwise we take a break,
25 continue for 10 minutes and then adjourn for the day. Or take the break
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 MR. LUKIC: We can continue, Your Honours. We can continue.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Then Mr. Jeremy, you can continue for another ten
5 minutes. By the way, how much time do you need?
6 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours, I estimated two hours for this witness
7 and I think I'll use my time.
8 JUDGE ORIE: We'll check that with Madam Registrar, at least the
9 next ten minutes you can use and meanwhile Madam Registrar will inform me
10 about the time.
11 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Could we please see P2502. This is the witness statement of
13 Witness RM708.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Any protective measures, Mr. Jeremy, or not?
15 MR. JEREMY: The statement is under seal, Your Honours, but that
16 relates to sensitive material in certain paragraphs of the statement.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but if it's under seal, it should not be shown
18 to the public.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 Could we please go to page 3 in the English --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then again, if something is confidential,
23 Mr. Jeremy, only if there's need, if there's a necessity to use it for
24 the further presentation of your case or for preparing of it, then you
25 can do it. But if, for example, you could quote from that statement
1 given the P number to the parties so that we are able to verify, then --
2 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours, it's my mistake, the document is not
3 under seal.
4 JUDGE ORIE: That's confirmed by Madam Registrar by now.
5 Please proceed.
6 And you have some time left, Mr. Jeremy, you have used
7 approximately one and a quarter of an hour, where you asked for two
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Davidovic, on the screen before us we see that this is
12 the witness statement of Adem Seferovic. Did you know this person?
13 A. No.
14 MR. JEREMY: Could we go to page 3 in this document. Page 3 in
15 the English and the B/C/S.
16 Q. Mr. Davidovic, in the B/C/S I'd like to focus your attention on
17 the paragraph that's four sentences up from the bottom. And we'll get
18 the English page shortly.
19 In the English, I'm looking at the paragraph that's three
20 paragraphs up from the bottom.
21 Now we read that the shelling of Hrustovo commenced on the
22 27th of May, 1992, and it resumed until the 31st of May. "Every day a
23 new ultimatum was given on the radio to surrender our weapons. The name
24 of our village was mentioned in the announcements. On the 30th of May
25 1992, we decided to surrender our weapons. We took all our weapons to
1 Kukavice hamlet from where Husein Merdanovic transported them to Kljevci
2 by tractor. There was no fighting before handing over the weapons
3 because Serb infantry was not present in the village at that time."
4 The next paragraph we read, "When Husein returned he spoke with a
5 Serb Brane Davidovic. I think that Davidovic was a reserve officer and
6 had come Kljevci to collect weapons. Husein and Davidovic knew each
7 other from before. He had promised the people in Hrustovo can return
8 back to their homes and nothing will happen to them. However, the
9 shelling resumed after some hours. I had a feeling that the shelling
10 originated from several directions. We could see that the village of
11 Vrhpolje was shelled simultaneously."
12 Now, Mr. Davidovic, the two paragraphs that I've read out suggest
13 that the people from Hrustovo did surrender their weapons to you but
14 despite that, Hrustovo was shelled regardless. That was the case;
16 A. That statement is not correct. If you read my statement, you
17 will see what happened and how. If you just follow the logic. I can
18 give you a detailed description of the events if you will only allow me
19 to do that.
20 Q. You described these events in your statement, Mr. Davidovic.
21 What I'm asking you is whether it's correct that weapons were from
22 Hrustovo were in fact surrendered to you but you shelled that village
24 A. That's not correct.
25 Q. Now, in paragraph 29 of your statement, referring to Hrustovo,
1 you say that there can be no talk of unarmed civilians as the other side
2 likes to portray it."
3 Now, this Trial Chamber has received evidence that the
4 6th Brigade members shot dead unarmed women, one of whom was pregnant,
5 and children who were sheltering in a garage in Hrustovo on the
6 31st of May, 1992. Were you involved in this attack on these unarmed
8 A. No. When they failed to surrender weapons, and when the superior
9 command issued a decision to start the mopping up operation, our
10 combatants did what was done in any other village and a few days before
11 that, I talked to them asking them to surrender their weapons. And you
12 will see it in my statement at the moment when they launched that mopping
13 up operation, three of our fighters were killed and then we started the
14 shelling campaign.
15 JUDGE ORIE: The question was about a different thing. The
16 question was about the killing of an unarmed woman in a garage with the
17 children on the 31st of May. Did that happen as far as you know?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that that happened,
19 but it is possible that it did. I was not there.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You don't know about it. Next question, please,
21 Mr. Jeremy.
22 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Davidovic, this Trial Chamber has also heard evidence about
24 events on Vrhpolje bridge on the same date, 31 May 1992, there soldiers
25 rounded up inhabitants of Begici near Vrhpolje, took the men to Vrhpolje
1 bridge, beat them, forced them to jump off and shot them with automatic
2 weapons as they did. You were aware of these events; yes?
3 A. No, no, not at all.
4 Q. So is your evidence that you've never heard of this particular
6 A. I did hear of this instant if it did happen, but I also heard or
7 rather this Trial Chamber has heard and in that same way I heard. I
8 wasn't there but I only subsequently heard that some Muslims were saying
9 that it was an armed group of people who supported beards who had
10 different uniforms or clothes on them.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, save us to tell us what witnesses told us.
12 We are fully aware of what witnesses have told us. There's no need that
13 you will give your version of what the witnesses testified about here in
15 Mr. Jeremy, part of the problem was in your question where you
16 say: were you aware? Of course that always raises the question when.
17 MR. JEREMY: That would have been a follow-up question,
18 Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you needily limit it in time, you avoid --
20 but I leave it to you. Please proceed.
21 MR. JEREMY: I think we're at the end of the day.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we are at least at a time to adjourn for the
24 We will adjourn but, Witness, first I'd like to instruct you that
25 you should not speak or communicate in any way with whomever, whether
1 that evidence is already given or whether that evidence is to be given
2 tomorrow. We'd like to see you back tomorrow morning, 9.30, in this same
3 courtroom I think. You may follow the usher.
4 [The witness stands down]
5 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn for the day and we resume tomorrow,
6 Thursday, the 2nd of October, 2014, Courtroom III, 9.30.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.57 p.m.
8 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 2nd day of
9 October, 2014, at 9.30 a.m.