1 Thursday, 20 November 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 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 Could the witness be escorted in the courtroom because the
11 Chamber understands that there are no preliminary matters to be raised.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Vracar.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, the Rules require that you
18 make a solemn declaration. The text is handed out to you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 WITNESS: NIKOLA VRACAR
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Vracar.
24 Mr. Vracar, you'll first be examined by Mr. Lukic. You find him
25 to your left. Mr. Lukic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
1 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Examination by Mr. Lukic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Vracar. For the record, could
5 you please slowly state your name and surname.
6 A. My name is Nikola Vracar.
7 Q. Mr. Vracar, did you give a statement to the Defence team of
8 General Mladic?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. LUKIC: Can we have 1D1721 on our screens, please.
11 I don't know about the rest of the courtroom, but we do not have
12 this document on our screens. Oh, okay, now we have it.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vracar, you see the document on the left.
14 A. Yes. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Can you recognise the signature on that document?
16 A. Yes, it's my signature.
17 MR. LUKIC: Can we have the last page of this document, please.
18 Q. [Interpretation] On this last page, do you see a signature and do
19 you recognise it?
20 A. Yes, that's my signature.
21 Q. Does this statement accurately reflect what you said to the
22 Defence team of General Mladic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What you said to us and what is recorded in this statement, is
25 that accurate and truthful?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Mr. Vracar, if I were to put the same questions to you today,
3 would you give me the same answers, in principle?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, we would tender this statement into
7 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D1721 receives number D789,
9 Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
11 MR. LUKIC: There was no associated exhibits since all the
12 exhibits mentioned in the statement are already in the evidence.
13 With your leave, Your Honours, I would just read statement
14 summary of Mr. Vracar and then I would have several questions for him.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please do as you suggest.
16 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 As a reserve police officer in Kljuc, Nikola Vracar witnessed the
18 interethnic breakdown, both at the police and the society as a whole.
19 On 27th of May, 1992, Mr. Vracar was wounded when the illegally
20 armed Muslim forces murdered Dusko Stojakovic, the deputy commander of
21 the Kljuc public security station. On that same day, he saw armed Muslim
22 formations at Pudin Han immediately before the ambush and murder of six
23 unarmed young soldiers who were travelling home to Serbia from Knin,
24 having completed their mandatory military service.
25 He knows about the blowing up of the Banja Luka radio and TV
1 signal repeater at the village of Ramici which happened on the same day.
2 That was the beginning of the war in Kljuc. Before the above events, not
3 a single non-Serb in Kljuc was hurt or murdered.
4 He heard about the incident at Velagici as he was still on
5 sick-leave at that time. He has information that proceedings were
6 instituted against the perpetrators.
7 As a member of the police, he took part in the apprehension of
8 individuals who committed criminal offence, which is how the entire
9 police force acted. The police work conditions were aggravated during
10 the night, as there was no power and water in the city. All inhabitants
11 were affected by the lack of fuel, flour, and medications.
12 Nikola Vracar will provide information as to which villages saw
13 no combat actions and why, and testify that the army was mostly outside
14 Kljuc, as the city was not in the zone of combat activities. He claims
15 that the movement of Serb and non-Serb inhabitants out of the area was
16 caused by the fear of war and that it was voluntarily.
17 That was the statement summary, and I would have a few questions.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 We need D789 on our screens. That is the statement of the
21 witness. We need page 3 in both versions. Actually, paragraph 12.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vracar, you see paragraph 12 of your
23 statement before you.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. This is what you said there. You said that you somehow managed
1 to report via radio that you had been attacked and wounded.
2 When was it that you managed that and what kind of equipment did
3 you use?
4 A. After combat, I withdrew into a forest and after about an hour, a
5 bit more than an hour, I went to the village of Ramici and on the road I
6 encountered a police vehicle, and then I said that they should
7 communicate via their own equipment that we had been attacked, that the
8 late Stojakovic was killed, that Kecman and Bajic had been wounded and
9 that I didn't know where they were.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now let us move on to the next page
12 in both versions. We need paragraph 17.
13 Q. In the second sentence here, you say that the Muslim forces chose
14 those days for attacking the Serb forces.
15 When you say "Serb forces," what did you mean?
16 A. The police only. Because there was no army there. The TO units
17 had exercises at Cadjevica, in the area of Manjaca.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. LUKIC: Now we need page 7 and paragraph 35 of the witness's
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vracar, in this paragraph, you speak of the
22 killings of Muslims at the school in Velagici. You said that you had
23 only heard about that. You also said what you knew as to who had
24 committed the killing, or killings.
25 Who arrested these Muslim fighters?
1 A. Well, before the arrest, there was a check-point on the road
2 between Velagici and Sanica. On the same day, the 27th of May when we
3 were attacked in Krasulje, that is to say, our patrol, the check-point
4 was attacked as well. Afterwards, the check-point was disbanded and the
5 police carried out arrests of persons that they thought should be
7 Q. Thank you. Now we need paragraph 36. In that paragraph, you say
8 that everybody was saying that 1941 was being repeated, and you say:
9 "People talked that the same Muslims were attacking the Serbs,
10 just as it had happened at the beginning of World War II in these areas."
11 In order to have a better picture, could you please tell us how
12 many Serbs were killed in Ribnik that you hail from during the
13 Second World War?
14 A. In the Second World War -- well, Ribnik is an ethnically pure
15 village and it had terrible casualties. 1.300 civilians were killed.
16 Many soldiers were killed during the war too but that is not the topic of
17 this conversation. So many people no longer had any male children.
18 Entire families were wiped out. It so happened that up until the 1960s
19 there were certain families that had no military conscripts to send to do
20 their service in the army because there simply were no boys.
21 Q. Thank you. During this war, this last war in Bosnia, from 1992
22 to 1995, did you lose any members of your own family during the
23 breakthrough of the 5th Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina from
25 A. I can say that there were several victims in my family. First,
1 two elderly relatives Dara and Mladjen Vracar, they were 80 years old or
2 even older. They were killed, I don't know how. My aunt was burned
3 alive, and my uncle, her husband, was killed. After the Dayton Accords,
4 we found the mortal remains of my aunt and uncle, and we buried them.
5 Q. Thank you. Let us briefly go back to paragraph --
6 JUDGE ORIE: At this moment at page 6, line 24, the transcript
7 reads, "I don't know." I think I heard, but I stand corrected when I'm
8 wrong, "I don't know how." And usually I'm not dealing with these kind
9 of matters because it will be done overnight but here it could lead to
10 some misunderstanding.
11 Please proceed.
12 Is that what you said, that you didn't know how your two elderly
13 relatives were killed?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know how they were
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it's just that we have your answer correctly
17 on the transcript.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. The Judge just helped us so that the transcript could be
22 So, once again, paragraph 35, where the killings in Velagici are
23 mentioned. What was it that you heard? Who were the perpetrators of
24 these killings?
25 A. After the 27th of May, I was undergoing medical treatment and
1 since Kljuc is a small place, people talked and everybody knows
2 everything. People were saying that these were some kind of paramilitary
3 units that had come and committed that crime. I don't know who they
4 were. Later on, there was also talk about them being captured,
5 prosecuted, and so on, but, again, I don't know whether that actually
7 Q. Were there things that people said in relation to the Second
8 World War and these killings?
9 A. Well, yes. Rumour had it that somebody had done this out of
10 revenge because their own families had fallen victim during the
11 Second World War.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vracar. That is all that we had for you at this
13 point in time. Thank you once again.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
15 Before we'll start with the cross-examination by the Prosecution,
16 I'd like to ask two, perhaps three additional questions in relation to
17 your statement.
18 In paragraph 17 of your statement, you say:
19 "It is important to note that during the above combat action by
20 the Muslim army, the TO battalion of the legitimate municipality of
21 Kljuc was not in the town of Kljuc, but ... training on Manjaca ..."
22 Could you tell us what you exactly mean by "legitimate
23 municipality of Kljuc"? Was there a legitimate one and an illegitimate
24 one? And what made one legitimate and the other not legitimate?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Allow me to say that after the
1 multi-party elections there was a political rift in the municipal
2 leadership, and the SDA Assemblymen proclaimed the Muslim municipality of
3 Kljuc. However, according to the constitution that was in force then,
4 the municipality had its Territorial Defence and they sent them out for
5 military training for an exercise in Cadjevica in the Manjaca area. I
6 meant the Territorial Defence that had remained under the legal organs of
7 government. Because these people from the SDA, they declared this
8 independent municipality.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer.
10 One other question. In paragraph 23, you say:
11 "A decision was made at the level of the municipality of Kljuc
12 that anyone who wished to leave had to surrender his property and get the
13 necessary confirmations."
14 Why did someone wanted to leave, surrender his property?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, property had to be handed
16 over so that it could be recorded and made available to Serb refugees so
17 that there would be no looting of property. At the beginning of the war,
18 during this chaos, there were a lot of looters, bandits, who stole
19 people's property, and that's why all of this was written up. People
20 received certificates to that effect for another reason too. Once they
21 return, after the war, they would be entitled to this property.
22 JUDGE ORIE: When was the decision made?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't remember the exact
24 date but it was sometime in May.
25 JUDGE ORIE: May 1992?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Was that before the 17th, when you said the -- I
3 think you said it was the 17th that -- was it before the 27th?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Believe me, I was not employed in
5 the administration, nor was I in any organs of authority or government
6 organs, so I don't know. But I know that this is what was said, that
7 this was the procedure for the people who wanted to move out.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And that applied to all people who would move out,
9 even if only temporarily?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it applied to everyone.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
12 Ms. Edgerton, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
13 MS. EDGERTON: Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think it's the first time in this case that
15 you're examining a witness. Welcome.
16 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vracar, you'll now cross-examined by
18 Ms. Edgerton. You find her to your right. Ms. Edgerton is counsel for
19 the Prosecution.
20 Cross-examination by Ms. Edgerton:
21 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vracar.
22 A. Good morning to you too.
23 Q. So you can hear me in a language you understand; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. All right. To start your cross-examination, I just want to begin
1 by getting you to confirm, you've actually come to this Tribunal before,
2 haven't you? You testified as a Defence witness in the case of
3 Mr. Brdjanin in 2003; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. All right. So I'd like to actually go back to some of the
6 evidence you gave in that case for us to start out. I want to get you to
7 confirm some of the evidence you previously gave.
8 So maybe just to begin, you can confirm, can't you, that -- your
9 previous evidence that you were mobilised in April 1992; right?
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. And, in fact, you can also confirm that you were a reserve
12 policeman even before April 1992; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, in paragraph 6 of your written evidence, you said, "I
15 performed police tasks," to describe your duties. And, in fact, you --
16 your police tasks were that you were a member of the intervention unit
17 for the Kljuc SJB; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And as a member of the intervention unit, you got some
20 specialised training in Manjaca at the training grounds there; right?
21 A. Well, I have to say at this point that this was general infantry
22 training. It wasn't any kind of special training. It was just infantry
23 training, like any other armed unit.
24 Q. All right. So that training included training in the use of
25 mortars; right?
1 A. That depended. I wasn't involved in that, but there were some
2 squads who had training on mortars, but I was just a shooter, an
4 Q. Well, now, here I'd actually like to just show you what you told
5 the Trial Chamber in the Brdjanin case, and maybe that's going to help
6 you refresh your memory, so to speak.
7 MS. EDGERTON: Could we have a look, please, at 65 ter number
8 31602. And it's going to be in English, unfortunately, but I'll read it
9 to you. 31602; e-court page 33.
10 Q. So, here is a transcript of -- actually, if we could go over and
11 start at 32, please. It's -- it's the transcript of your testimony in
12 the Brdjanin case. And at the very bottom of the page, my former
13 colleague, Mrs. Korner, asks you:
14 "And the training that you received in Manjaca was training in
15 the," and then if we could go to the second page, "in the uses of
16 mortars. That's right isn't it?"
17 And you said, "Yes it is."
18 And then -- I'll just go on.
19 She asked, "Zoljas?"
20 And you replied, "Yes."
21 She asked, "Heavy machine-guns?"
22 And you confirmed, "Yes."
23 And then she asked, "Hand-to hand combat?"
24 And you confirmed, "Yes." And also added that you excelled at
25 that because you're a karate expert. That -- that evidence is correct,
1 isn't it?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Thank you. Now this training that you received was conducted not
4 only by instructors from the police centre in Banja Luka but you also had
5 instructors from the army; right?
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. Now, as a member of the intervention unit, your direct supervisor
8 was Vinko Kondic; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And he was the SJB commander, the chief of police, for Kljuc
11 municipality; right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, in terms of the hierarchy within the police, it's correct,
14 isn't it, that the public security station in Kljuc was exclusively
15 linked to the Banja Luka CSB; correct?
16 A. The CSB in Prijedor. Because the police was organised that way.
17 There were two centres: Prijedor and Banja Luka.
18 Q. Now, I'm a little puzzled by that and I'll show you why. If we
19 could have a look at D358, please. It's a document that was prepared and
20 signed by your boss, Vinko Kondic. And it's information on the
21 activities of the Kljuc SJB from July 1992.
22 You see the first page of it there. And if we could go in the
23 English translation to the first paragraph under section 3, and in your
24 language to page 5, that would be great.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have the page number for the English version?
1 MS. EDGERTON: English version, page 3, paragraph -- first
2 section under paragraph 3.
3 Q. Now, here's your boss saying in the second sentence under
4 section III:
5 "After the MUP in the former BH fell apart completely, the SJB's
6 work was exclusively linked to the Banja Luka security service centre
7 from the start. The SJB kept the competent organs of the Serbian
8 municipality of Kljuc informed about its work on a regular basis."
9 So you're not saying your boss got it wrong, are you?
10 A. Well, listen, for -- on several occasions they reorganised
11 things, so this is probably correct, because he can't say things that are
12 not consistent. But up there it says the centre of security services.
13 In other words, all these centres were under the chapeau Banja Luka.
14 That was the police. Now, what transpired during these various
15 reorganisations, I don't know.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, I'd like to go to another document before we
17 sort of leave the area of the police and its operations.
18 MS. EDGERTON: Could we have a look, please, at 65 ter 31605.
19 Q. It's a document you were shown during your Brdjanin testimony.
20 Otherwise possibly duplicated at 15055. Pardon me.
21 MS. EDGERTON: No, wrong document. Could we have 15055, please.
22 Oh, and, Your Honour, I apologise, my first time back in some
23 time, I may have transposed the odd number and I will do my utmost to be
24 careful about this. It was -- I have a bit of a reputation that way, and
25 I always endeavour to have somebody else check my numbers.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Well, for the first day, we're very lenient,
2 Ms. Edgerton.
3 MS. EDGERTON: Understood. And thank you.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, document 65 ter 15055 is not in
6 MS. EDGERTON: That's okay then. Thank you. We'll be able to
7 move on.
8 Q. I actually want to go to the day of the 27th of May that my
9 colleague Mr. Lukic discussed with you, and according to your evidence at
10 paragraph 8, it looks like there were only eight people on the scene.
11 And if you want to, I have a look -- I've got your statement here and you
12 can have a look at paragraph 8. But, actually, the police vehicle that
13 was on the scene with you, that you spoke about in your statement, didn't
14 hold only the four people that you named. It was a kombi van that was
15 containing seven or eight other people; right?
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we D789 on the screen?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were two vehicles: There was
18 a van and a Golf vehicle. There were four of us in the Golf and as for
19 the van, there were eight people. However, there were actually nine
20 people. That's what I learned later on. I thought there were eight of
21 them but that's not correct. There were nine of them. So in total,
22 there were 13 men in the patrol.
23 MS. EDGERTON:
24 Q. Now my colleague Mr. Lukic said that Mr. Stojanovic [sic] was
25 murdered. He was actually killed as a result of the gun battle in the
1 ambush; correct?
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Ms. Edgerton is it "Stojanovic" or "Stojakovic"?
3 JUDGE ORIE: I heard you say indeed say "Stojanovic," but the
4 transcript reads "Stojakovic," which makes me feel better at ease, yes.
5 Mr. Stojanovic is still there.
6 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you for that correction, Your Honours.
7 Q. So Mr. Stojakovic was killed in the gun battle that followed the
8 ambush; right?
9 A. Well, listen, I have to explain this. He was killed because we
10 ran into an ambush and we didn't get out of the car. Now -- we got out
11 of the vehicle but because he was a heavy-set man, he had difficulty. He
12 was slow in getting out. So as he was trying to get out, he was mowed
13 down by machine-gun fire. He wasn't killed in fighting. He was killed
14 without any combat. He wasn't in combat. Do you understand? It's one
15 thing when a person is killed in combat and another when they're just
16 murdered. You understand?
17 Q. I understand. Thank you. Now, in fact, in fact, you were all
18 armed, and you said that in your statement; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And to be more specific, you all had pistols and you all had
21 automatic rifles; right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You also had grenades; correct?
24 A. Yes, some of us.
25 Q. Now, your evidence in the Brdjanin case was not that nobody fired
1 back. Your evidence in the Brdjanin case as to how things transpired was
2 exactly the opposite. You got out of the car. He was killed because he
3 couldn't move fast enough. But you all fired back; right? It's quite
5 A. That's correct. That's correct. That's when the fighting began.
6 They opened fire on us, and then we had to defend ourselves.
7 Q. Now, the wound - because that's how you described the injury you
8 received that day - it would kind of -- just left like it was -- make us
9 think that you were also shot but, in fact, your evidence in the Brdjanin
10 case was that you jumped down a slope just below the road and you hit a
11 rock there and you dislocated your shoulder; right?
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. And that injury actually didn't prevent you from at one point
14 throwing one of those grenades that you were armed with; correct?
15 A. I'm sorry, madam, but I threw those grenades before and then as I
16 was moving backwards, I fell from a rock and my shoulder was dislocated
17 totally, my right shoulder. You can't really fling grenades if your arm
18 is totally dislocated.
19 Q. Now, this --
20 MS. EDGERTON: If we could go to paragraph 12. Oh, we have it on
21 the screen, thank you.
22 Q. This emergency vehicle that came along and helped you, there was
23 a doctor in the vehicle, right, Emir Kapetanovic?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. And your boss also came along, Mr. Kondic; right?
1 A. Yes. He and Omer Filipovic.
2 Q. And Emir Kapetanovic is a Muslim; right?
3 A. Yes. There's nothing questionable there.
4 Q. And he was arrested by the police and later taken to Manjaca.
5 You know that, don't you?
6 A. I don't know about that.
7 Q. Fine. Now, just if we could go over to paragraph 15 in both
8 languages, your statement. That story you recount in paragraph 15 about
9 the attack on the military bus is something you didn't personally see at
10 all; right?
11 A. No, no, I didn't see it. But while I was in hospital --
12 Q. No, no, no.
13 A. -- three dead soldiers and some wounded were brought in.
14 Q. I'm sorry. Mr. Vracar --
15 A. I apologise. I apologise.
16 Q. It's -- I know you're here to tell your experiences and
17 observations, but my question called for a pretty simple answer. Thank
19 And the information that you give us in paragraph 16, about the
20 attack on the repeater, that's also something that you didn't personally
21 see at all; correct?
22 A. That's correct, I didn't see it.
23 Q. Now, for a dislocated shoulder, you went back to work a whole
24 month later, on 28 June, 1992; right? Vidovdan?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You were a duty officer in the op's room. That's your evidence?
2 A. Junior duty officer or assistant duty officer, if you like.
3 Q. And that was at -- in the op's room at the Kljuc police station;
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, with Your Honours' leave I just want to change topics and
7 move on, thank you, to another area.
8 Now I just want to talk, Mr. Vracar, about the killings in
9 Velagici that you've spoken of in paragraph 35 of your evidence.
10 Now, just to be perfectly clear, the information you have is only
11 rumours, the talk of the town; right?
12 A. That was what people were saying. Kljuc is a small town, and
13 people were talking about this. It was a horrible incident for a place
14 that small, so people talk.
15 Q. And the horrible incident that we're talking about is the killing
16 of at least 77 men who were detained in the school house in Velagici;
18 A. I don't know how many people there were there. Somebody should
19 know. And that is who should be prosecuted, the perpetrator, and they
20 must know about this. Now, all I know is what people said about it,
22 Q. Well, you agree it happened, don't you?
23 A. Well, yes. That happened. Everyone knows that.
24 Q. Well -- but -- but you -- I suppose you don't know that the
25 perpetrators, the people you say everyone was describing as
1 paramilitaries, actually identified themselves in a letter to
2 General Talic, the 1 KK commander, just two days after the killing. And
3 in that letter, they all confirmed that they were members of the
4 Bosnian Serb army. You didn't know that, did you?
5 A. No, this is the first time that I hear that. I was on medical
7 MS. EDGERTON: And, for the record, that's P3528, pages 38 to 40,
8 in English.
9 Q. Now, I'd just like to ... go on to the other incident that you
10 spoke about in your evidence, and that's the killings at Biljani and you
11 talked about that in paragraph 37 of your statement. It's on the screen
12 in front of us in English. If we could go over it that paragraph in
14 And, there, you say:
15 "I didn't know anything about the killings at Biljani during the
16 war. I found about the incident afterwards, when I testified in the
17 Brdjanin case."
18 So, now, here again, we're talking about the killing of at least
19 144 males who had been detained in the school house in Biljani; right?
20 A. Well, I don't know where they were detained, believe me. They
21 were detained somewhere, but where exactly, I don't know. This town is
22 about 16 kilometres north-west of Kljuc. And I was in a totally
23 different area. I was being treated.
24 Q. Well, you're not disagreeing that it -- you're not saying that it
25 didn't happen, are you? You agree that this happened.
1 A. Well, yes, it happened. Of course it happened.
2 MS. EDGERTON: Could we have a look, please, at document P2064.
3 Q. And that's an Official Note from the SJB in Kljuc relating to the
4 mopping up action in Sanica on the 10th of July, 1992. It's a document,
5 Mr. Vracar, relating to this incident. And you were actually shown this
6 document during your testimony in the Brdjanin case as well. And if you
7 could go down to about halfway through that large paragraph, you see that
8 the commander of the Sanica station says:
9 "It was planned to put the military prisoners in the area school
10 in Biljani. For these requirements, I received help from the section for
11 intervention of the mobile unit of the Kljuc SJB."
12 That's precisely your unit; right?
13 A. That was the units I was a member of.
14 Q. So who went? Who went, Mr. Vracar?
15 A. Believe me, I don't know. Somebody must have put together a list
16 of people who were supposed to go there, probably the commander.
17 Q. Well, that's -- that's a bit surprising, Mr. Vracar, because your
18 previous evidence in the Brdjanin case was that you were at work the very
19 next day after this incident and you heard about it almost immediately.
20 And you're telling us now you don't know who, from your unit, went on
22 A. Well, the police station had about 300 to 400 men at the time, to
23 be honest with you. I didn't know what the schedules were. The police
24 commander would actually sign off on a shift list, and whom he sent, I
25 don't know.
1 Q. Mr. Vracar, the intervention unit was a small unit of specialised
2 officers. You were a member, and you were at work the very day after the
3 incident as an assistant duty officer. And your evidence today is that
4 you didn't know -- you don't know who went?
5 A. Well, believe me, there were a lot of police there. In Sanica
6 there was a squad of police, a police squad, I don't know how many men.
7 I also don't know how many men from Kljuc went there, or who. Believe
9 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Edgerton, could I just intervene for one second.
10 MS. EDGERTON: Of course.
11 JUDGE ORIE: It was put to you that you testified in the Brdjanin
12 case that you learned about the incident, apart from details and who went
13 there, the day after it happened. Is that still your testimony?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I knew about it on the same
15 day. I mean, the second or third day after it. There were men there.
16 There was fighting and so on. I don't know anything more than that.
17 JUDGE ORIE: But that a lot of people were killed?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, exactly.
19 JUDGE ORIE: That those were people that had been detained at
20 that point in time?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know if they were detained.
22 So somebody brought them there, detained them. What they did, I really
23 don't know.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you learned about a larger number of
25 people being killed at Biljani?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what I learned.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Now, your statement, to which you attested this
3 morning, says:
4 "I found out about this incident afterwards when I testified in
5 the Brdjanin case ..."
6 What you're telling us now contradicts what is in your statement
7 and is in line apparently with what you testified in the Brdjanin case.
8 Any comment to that?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you know what, Mr. President?
10 I testified 13 years ago. Human memory is not all that certain. People
11 forget. I cannot remember all the details of things that happened
12 13 years ago or 20 or 22 years ago. I do apologise.
13 JUDGE ORIE: We're not talking about details. We're talking
14 about when you learned for the first time about the incident in Biljani.
15 That's not a detail.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, a day or two after that
17 happened, a day or two later. I don't know whether it was the first or
18 the second day after that.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Why do we not find that in your statement? Why is
20 it now, where apparently your memory serves you sufficiently to remember
21 what you remembered at the time you gave to Brdjanin testimony, what
22 makes it that you -- that we do not find that information in your
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us when you signed that statement?
1 It was quite a while after you had been interviewed, isn't it?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A long time ago.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You mean you signed it a long time ago?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I gave the statement -- you
5 mean the Brdjanin case? Or this last one?
6 JUDGE ORIE: This last one I'm talking about.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That was in January last year
8 and in July this year. January, July.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Well, were you interviewed twice in -- before July,
10 or were you interviewed once before July?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Twice, twice. I think once in
12 January and once in July.
13 JUDGE ORIE: You were not interviewed a year before on the
14 23rd of January, 2013? That would be close to two years ago.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps -- when were you, for the first time,
17 interviewed by the Mladic Defence?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] January.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Of this year, that is, approximately a year ago?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now was it this year or last year?
21 I'm not sure.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. You were --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 2013 or 2014, not sure. But it was
25 JUDGE ORIE: You were not interviewed in January 2013 and in
1 January 2014 with a year interval?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. No. Just one January, one
3 July. The year I do not remember.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Was that in January? Were you interviewed for one
5 day or for -- on several days?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One day. Mr. Lukic.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, one day. Now, you signed your statement in
8 July. Were you interviewed again in July, or did you just come to sign
9 your statement?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just signed the statement.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And where did you do that?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Banja Luka.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you not, at that time, carefully read the
14 statement so that you would find out that there is apparently a mistake
15 in when you learned about the Biljani incident?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Believe me, I didn't pay attention
17 to such details. I thought that everything was okay.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Does that mean that you did not carefully and
19 thoroughly read through your statement?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I read the statement, but I
21 didn't pay attention to that detail. One sentence, when I did this or
22 that. It's a detail, after all.
23 JUDGE ORIE: You consider it still not to be very important?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, possibly it's an oversight on
25 my part.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Edgerton -- well, I say please
2 proceed, but we'd rather take the break first.
3 MS. EDGERTON: Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Fluegge would have one question for you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You were member of an intervention unit. How
6 many people were members of this intervention unit?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me. The unit consisted of
8 three platoons; that's to say, about a hundred men.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And your platoon, how many people?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thirty, approximately.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Before the break, I have one additional question.
13 Were all these three platoons men from Kljuc or was it just your
14 platoon or -- could you tell us how many Kljuc members there were in this
15 intervention unit?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All the people were from our
17 municipality, the municipality of Kljuc. That is to say, all members of
18 the reserve police, or, rather, the milicija, came from the municipality
19 of Kljuc.
20 JUDGE ORIE: That means all hundred in your --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Approximately three platoons of 100
22 men, yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. We take a break. We take a break of 20
24 minutes. You may follow the usher.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 JUDGE ORIE: We'll resume at 11.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.39 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Meanwhile, I use the time for the following:
6 Perhaps I should address you, Mr. Tieger.
7 The Defence has filed a motion yesterday for an extension of time
8 for the deadline to respond to the Prosecution's 45th 92 bis motion. The
9 Defence seeks 30 days extra. Has the Prosecution already taken a
10 position on that? I think when you asked for the re-opening of your case
11 that you said that you would have a reasonable request for further time.
12 Would -- would not find any opposition.
13 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, at this point, I see no reason why we
14 wouldn't abide by our customary approach and not oppose, but if you'll
15 give me until the end of this session to confirm that there's nothing
16 special about the circumstance that warrants a change, I will confirm
17 that position.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we hear from you later today.
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Edgerton, from body language, I understood that
21 the missing document in e-court had been uploaded meanwhile.
22 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, thank you.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please continue.
25 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
1 Q. Mr. Vracar, I would just like to stay on the subject of the
2 massacres at Biljani for a few moments.
3 MS. EDGERTON: Now, Mr. Vracar, in your Brdjanin testimony -- and
4 we could pull it up on the screen for the gentleman. It's 65 ter 31602.
5 And I think probably e-court page 49, if I'm not mistaken. Your
6 indulgence for just a moment.
7 If you could scroll down the page. I omitted to write the
8 e-court page number. And go to the next page, please, page 50. Thank
10 Q. In fact, Mr. Vracar, what your testimony was in the Brdjanin case
11 is on the screen here in front of you. I'm going to read it to you and
12 I'd like you to confirm it.
13 You were asked by my former colleague, Mrs. Korner:
14 "You heard, didn't you, almost immediately that there had been a
15 massacre of some 60-odd Muslims by members of the military and the
17 And your response was:
18 "Yes, I heard about that, but I don't know how many people fell
20 Can you confirm that evidence?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MS. EDGERTON: If we could just now go back to the document we
24 had on the screen just before this P520.
25 Oh, sorry, a new document, P520. It's an order for further
1 operations in respect of this same incident from Dragan Samardzija and
2 it's dated 9 July, 1992. And if we could just have a look at 2d in both
4 Q. Mr. Vracar, it says here, that:
5 "The Sanica police platoon is to move along the
6 Sanica-Jabukovac-Donji Biljani route and establish a check-point in the
7 sector of the Donji Biljani school for processing suspicious persons.
8 Extreme cases should be sent to the Kljuc SJB for further processing."
9 Now, Mr. Vracar, what you said you were actually doing on the day
10 after this incident in the Brdjanin case is that you were doing guard
11 duty in front of the police station that day. Do you remember that
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And not only were you doing guard duty in front of the police
15 station, you remembered that prisoners were brought there for
16 questioning; right?
17 A. Some people were brought in, but I don't know where from. Do you
18 understand that? Because the territory of the municipality is quite
19 large in geographical terms.
20 Q. So on the 11th of July, you were on guard duty in front of the
21 police station, you saw prisoners brought there for questioning, and your
22 evidence in the Brdjanin case was that you also heard those prisoners
23 being beaten; right? You can confirm that?
24 A. You know what? There was one guard in the station, inside, and I
25 was outside. I didn't know all of the insignia and so on. But later on,
1 I found out in the Adamovic case - was that the name? - Mr. Dzafic's
2 statement, so the guards in front -- I mean, I as a guard in front could
3 not know at all what was going on inside.
4 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... no one asked
5 you. The simple question was: Whether, like in the Brdjanin case,
6 whether it's your testimony today that you heard those prisoners being
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you know what? There were
9 beatings. That's true.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You heard that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: What did you hear? Did you hear the blows, or did
13 you hear the persons, when beaten, perhaps using their voice, screaming,
14 whatever. What did you hear?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I heard that some people
16 moaning but you see what I mean?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
18 That is an answer to the question. All the rest you said does go
19 around the question rather than respond to it.
20 Please proceed.
21 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
22 Q. In fact, Mr. Vracar, the people, what you heard in the police
23 station on the 11th of July were the people who were brought from Biljani
24 on the bus, according to the order by Mr. Samardzija. You heard those
25 people being beaten as they were questioned at the station, didn't you?
1 A. You see, I was outside standing guard, and I could not hear and
2 see everything. Actually, I didn't see anything, but I heard what I
3 heard as I said to the Presiding Judge a moment ago.
4 Q. All right. Thank you. I just want go back to one area related
5 to the 27th of May.
6 Now, you made the point a couple of times that you were on
7 medical leave after the 27th of May. You were on medical leave at the
8 time of the Velagici massacre. Do you remember that? You just said that
9 earlier today.
10 A. I assumed my duties on the 1st of July.
11 Q. So when you talked at paragraph 17 about the whereabouts of the
12 Serb TO on the 27th of May, and you talked about that at temporary
13 transcript page 9 today, you were simply on medical leave. You had no
14 personal experience of their whereabouts; right?
15 A. Well, I wasn't with that unit, but I know that it was out there
16 for exercises because I was not a member of the TO. A TO unit was sent
17 to the area of Cadjevica for military exercises, training, because some
18 of my relatives and neighbourings went there.
19 Q. So is it your evidence that all the Serb military forces in Kljuc
20 on that day were not in the municipality. They were sent for training at
22 A. I'm sorry, what day?
23 MS. EDGERTON: Perhaps we could have a look at the witness's
24 statement, D789, one more time, paragraph 17.
25 Q. So here you said talking about incidents on the 27th of May, as
1 you did in the previous paragraphs, by the way, not accepting for a
2 moment that you have the date right in paragraph 16, but here you said in
3 paragraph 17 that during those combat actions by the -- as you describe
4 it the Muslim army, the TO battalion of the legitimate municipality of
5 Kljuc was not in the town but they were in Manjaca.
6 So I want to know what are you saying? Are you saying there were
7 no Serb military forces in and around Kljuc that day?
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you saying military forces or police forces?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No there weren't any.
10 MS. EDGERTON: My question relates to military forces,
11 Your Honour.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There weren't any military men
14 there but the police were there of course.
15 MS. EDGERTON: Let's have a look at another document. It's 65
16 ter number 03117. And it dates from 2 November 1993. It's a supplement
17 to monograph of the 1st Krajina Corps, and it talks about the Kljuc
18 Battalion. All right. We could go over to page 3 in both languages.
19 Q. And I want you to have a look at the -- towards the bottom of
20 page 3 in your language, Mr. Vracar, and it's the third full
21 paragraph after the list of names. And in English, of course, the same.
22 And, Mr. Vracar, that says that when the armed conflict in Kljuc
23 began, the entire battalion, and it refers to the Kljuc Battalion was
24 relocated outside Kljuc from where it was deployed to mop up the town and
25 the surrounding settlements and the decision to assign this task to the
1 battalion was issued on May 27th. And units were deployed to the village
2 of Reizovici, Hadzici, and Pudin Han. And anti-tank platoon attacked
3 from their positions in Brezcice. And then it goes down further and
5 "The task of the companies was to disarm all the paramilitary
6 formations in the direction of the attacks and to arrest members of these
8 And it continues on in English, but in your language we would
9 have to go to the following page, I think, where it says:
10 "The following day, the Kljuc battalion was deployed to carry out
11 the same task in the area of the village of Pudin Han, Vukovo Selo,
12 Humici, Plemence, Vrhovo, and Peci."
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should slow down by reading from a document,
14 especially names of places.
15 MS. EDGERTON: I apologise, Your Honours.
16 Q. And it indicates that a mopping-up operation in two more
17 villages, Kamicak and Vrhpolje ensued. Those are all mixed or
18 predominantly Muslim areas I've just named, aren't they?
19 A. What is it that you wish to ask me?
20 Q. My question was, first, that those locations I've just named are
21 all mixed or predominantly Muslim areas, aren't they?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. And this directly contradicts the evidence that you've just given
24 that there was no military in Kljuc that day. The military was there,
25 they had a task, and the task was to go and mop up non-Serb areas.
1 That's what the document says; right?
2 MR. LUKIC: We would object as [Overlapping speakers] ...
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Overlapping speakers] ... I'm
4 sorry, I --
5 JUDGE ORIE: One second. One second.
6 MR. LUKIC: We can read the document. And if it's all that my
7 colleague wants this witness to confirm --
8 JUDGE ORIE: No --
9 MR. LUKIC: -- we see the point.
10 JUDGE ORIE: The question is whether the witness agrees that the
11 document contradicts his evidence. That's the question.
12 Could you please answer the question.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is written in the document that
14 the decision was made on the 27th of May to mop up the terrain. That is
15 to say after what had happened in Krasulje. It is only then that the
16 TO Staff decided on the mop-up operation. Do read this again. Only a
17 decision was made and the mop-up occurred later on, on the 30th, the
18 31st of May. There is a difference of three to four days.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Edgerton, next question, please.
20 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you, Your Honours. Nothing further about
21 this document. And I'd like to have this document marked as a
22 Prosecution exhibit, please.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
24 MR. LUKIC: Only if we can know what's the date of this document.
25 Does the Prosecution have any idea when it was created?
1 JUDGE ORIE: I think Ms. Edgerton mentioned it's from -- no,
2 perhaps I'm ... let's have a look. Ms. Edgerton, could you tell us --
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we go to the first page.
4 MS. EDGERTON: You're correct, Your Honours. I did mention it
5 and the date appears on the top left-hand corner of both versions,
6 2 November, 1993.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That was my recollection that Ms. Edgerton --
8 MR. LUKIC: Is that handwritten date or there is anything
10 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Edgerton --
11 MR. LUKIC: Because in English version -- yeah, it says
13 JUDGE ORIE: It says handwritten. The document in the date is in
15 MS. EDGERTON: That's correct, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any idea who wrote that on the document?
17 MS. EDGERTON: No. I have no personal idea who wrote it on the
18 document. But reading the document which reports, for example, on the
19 very last page on events at the end of August and September 1993, one is
20 certainly --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Okay --
22 MS. EDGERTON: One recognises that the date is likely to be an
23 accurate one.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well, accurate or not, but at least it most likely
25 is not any earlier than the last date mentioned in the document and the
1 2nd of November is later.
2 Does this sufficiently clarify the questions you have? I think
3 the parties would agree that on the basis of the content of the document,
4 it was created considerably after the events described in 1992 because it
5 also describes events in -- if you would agree, in August 1993.
6 MR. LUKIC: We can agree on that.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then Madam Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Document 3117 receives number P6932,
9 Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
11 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
12 Q. Now, Mr. Vracar, you also said in your statement, and I want to
13 go back to that for a bit, in paragraph 4 that the victory of the SDS in
14 Kljuc during the multi-party elections was followed by a split in the
15 police force because Muslim police officers were refusing to wear Serb
17 Now, you mean the multi-party elections in November 1990; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And the refusal to wear Serb insignia that you referred to didn't
20 happen until the MUP split in Kljuc on the 7th of May, 1992; right?
21 A. Yes, it was then that the Muslims left the service because they
22 didn't want to express their loyalty to the newly elected authorities, so
23 most of them went on leave which was then followed by these incidents and
24 the war broke out, and so on and so forth.
25 Q. But, sorry, when you talk about the newly elected authorities,
1 you're talking about the authorities that were elected in November 1990,
2 and in Kljuc, while the SDS won the elections, what was elected in
3 November 1990 was a coalition. Isn't that the case?
4 A. Now, look, I didn't participate in those political games. I
5 don't know who was in coalition with whom and probably they parted their
6 ways at the end. Now why that was, that's a question for the politicians
7 and their disagreement led to everything, on the entire territory and
9 Q. Well --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Edgerton, I'm a little bit puzzled by your
11 question that was a coalition elected where the SDS had won the elections
12 or did the SDS win the election and was then a coalition formed after
14 MS. EDGERTON: In an effort to speak efficiently, perhaps if I've
15 caused confusion, Your Honour, but, in fact, the SDS won the elections
16 but according to the decisions on the distribution of power. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: No, I see your point, but I was a bit confused by
18 your question.
19 Please proceed.
20 MS. EDGERTON: Apologies.
21 Q. So what -- Mr. Vracar, you talked about political gains but
22 you've given evidence about the inter -- what Mr. Lukic described as the
23 interethnic breakdown in society. You've given evidence about an
24 increase in interethnic tensions in Kljuc. Now, in fact, that happened
25 over the course of that whole year and a half you skipped over in your
1 statement, didn't it?
2 A. Madam, that's not a year and a half. This conflict had been
3 going on for centuries. You understand? You cannot accomplish the two
4 ethnicities or three, get on those quarrelling terms in a year and a
5 half. No. This happened over centuries, you understand? The first
6 great wear, the second great war, and then the last war. This is --
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
8 A. -- inherited. This is something inherited from history.
9 Q. My question isn't about history. My question is about the year
10 and a half that preceded the split of the MUP. And I'll ask the question
11 in a different way. Since you actually do seem to be following -- have
12 been following politics, you would know that the Autonomous Region of the
13 Krajina was proclaimed in September 1991. You must know that?
14 A. Yes, I do know it.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Previous translation continues] ... too late but
16 witness was talking about the history not about politics and the claim
17 that since this witness was following politics and the question arose
18 from that, but he exclusively said that did he not.
19 JUDGE ORIE: No, this is comment rather than any objection.
20 Let's leave it to that. The comment is on the record.
21 Please proceed.
22 MS. EDGERTON:
23 Q. So are you saying that the proclamation of the Autonomous Region
24 of the Krajina didn't increase interethnic tensions in Kljuc
1 A. Well, of course it increased the interethnic tension among the
2 non-Serb people.
3 Q. And you would be --
4 MS. EDGERTON: Actually, let's look at a document. Could we see
5 65 ter 06877, please.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could I also seek clarification.
7 Witness, you said:
8 "Well, of course it increased the interethnic tension among the
9 non-Serb people."
10 Would you say interethnic tension between those who were not
11 Serbs, that would mean Croats and Muslims, or was it interethnic tension
12 between Serbs and non-Serbs?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, there was tension
14 between Serbs and those who are non-Serbian; in other words, Muslims and
15 Catholics. And this proceeded -- this incident was proceeded by a
16 referendum in March -- all right.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I just wanted to fully understand what you said,
18 interethnic tension among non-Serbs. No, it was interethnic tension
19 between Serbs and non-Serbs.
20 Please proceed.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
22 MS. EDGERTON:
23 Q. So here in front of you is a document dating 29 October, 1991,
24 and that's when Mr. Brdjanin, whose trial you appeared at, circulated an
25 order from the Sarajevo SDS which had been circulated or presented at a
1 meeting between Dr. Karadzic and all the mayors, and accepted by the ARK
2 presidency. And this document -- have a look at point number 1. This
3 document that Mr. Brdjanin circulates says to the municipality
4 authorities: Establish commands, set up duty round the clock. And then
5 at point number 2 it says: Mobilise the TO. And at point number 3 it
6 says: Form field units. And then if you go down to number 5 it says:
7 Take over power -- take over management, pardon me, in public enterprises
8 by all means.
9 So are you saying that this didn't contribute to interethnic
10 tensions in Kljuc?
11 MR. LUKIC: Objection.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: I think the document should be read properly. Point
14 2 was not read. It says, "Establish full mobility ...," and it was
15 presented it was mobilisation. So I don't think that's said.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if it is ...
17 MR. LUKIC: Mobilise the TO.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Apparently you say the way in which it was
19 read does not reflect the actual text of the document.
20 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Edgerton, could you please -- of course, the
22 Chamber could not prepare for this. But you see that there seems to be
23 an issue about mobility or mobilisation. Could we -- and is it a
24 translation issue, Mr. Lukic, or is it --
25 MR. LUKIC: No, it's not in the --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Ms. Edgerton, now you know what problem
2 Mr. Lukic had. You relieve him from those problems and you put the
3 question again to the witness and you refer to the document in such a way
4 that even Mr. Lukic would not have any problems with it any further.
5 MS. EDGERTON:
6 Q. What I'll do is I'll read, again, the first five passages of the
7 document, and I'd like to have you, Mr. Vracar, read aloud for us point
8 number 2 when we get to it.
9 In this instruction, Mr. Brdjanin says the following, point 1:
10 "Immediately form a command of the town and set up
11 round-the-clock duty."
12 Could you now read point 2 for us, please.
13 A. It says:
14 "Establish full mobility of the Territorial Defence."
15 In other words, the full mobility of the Territorial Defence.
16 JUDGE ORIE: You're not -- you're just invited to read not to
17 further explain.
18 Please proceed.
19 MS. EDGERTON:
20 Q. Point number 3:
21 "Form units for the front and designate their replacements?
22 Number 4 reads:
23 "All men under the age of 40 to be reassigned from civilian
24 protection to the Territorial Defence, and the Territorial Defence to be
25 resubordinated to the corps as war-time units."
1 And, finally, number 5:
2 "Take over management in public enterprises, the post office, the
3 SDK, the bank," and so forth.
4 Now, I'll ask the same question. Are you saying that this didn't
5 contribute to interethnic tension in Kljuc municipality?
6 A. Well, I don't know how to answer your question. This is a
7 political document. I cannot analyse or figure out what kind of
8 ramifications did -- this had and -- among the people.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, what Ms. Edgerton apparently is seeking is
10 the following: In your statement, you give a picture in which, after the
11 1990 elections, suddenly a problem arises caused by the Muslims in early
12 1992; whereas, Ms. Edgerton puts to you certain documents which shed a
13 different light on what happened and, that is, that there was a
14 development in which documents like the one shown to you may have
15 contributed to interethnic tensions which came not or certainly not
16 exclusively from the non-Serb side.
17 Ms. Edgerton, is that what you want to put to the witness?
18 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you, Your Honour, yes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please comment on that rather than to tell
20 us that this is a political document. It is. Could you explain why you
21 gave a different picture compared to what is now shown to you on the
22 basis of documents?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This document for sure contributed
24 to interethnic tensions. That's correct. It did contribute to the
25 tension among all the ethnic groups.
1 JUDGE ORIE: So is that to say that your picture at least is
2 incomplete about what caused tensions at that point in time?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I explained a moment ago that I
4 wasn't involved in politics. I only know fragments about certain
5 thing -- of certain things. As for this topic, I'm no expert, really.
6 It was just the things that I could hear or see as your regular citizen
7 because politics is something that's really miraculous, in a way. And
8 I'm not involved in politics. I wasn't then and I'm not to this -- and I
9 am not today, and giving any assessment on my part would be, well, not
10 serious enough.
11 JUDGE ORIE: No. So you say you have only fragmented
12 information. Do you have any explanation as to why the fragments you
13 were familiar with are mainly favourable to the Serb side and unfavorable
14 to the non-Serb side?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you know how it is. You
16 receive all kinds of information through the news. We received
17 information via the media, TV, and so on. Now, on the basis of that
18 information, well, my position is what it is. Some people like one
19 thing, other people like another thing. It's a question of choice, you
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. This Chamber is not interested in what kind of
22 information you like but about the facts that occurred.
23 Ms. Edgerton.
24 MS. EDGERTON: Could I have that document as a Prosecution
25 exhibit and then I'll change topics. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Document 6877 receives number P6933,
3 Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
5 MS. EDGERTON:
6 Q. Now, you said at paragraph 27 of your statement that the moving
7 out of the civilians was not a policy of the RS or the VRS. So can I
8 understand that, or can we understand that to mean that you're trying to
9 say that the moving out of the non-Serb civilians from Kljuc was not a
10 government or a military policy? Is that what you're saying?
11 A. That was not a municipal policy or the government policy, to
12 expel people by force.
13 Q. So you're saying that forcible expulsions -- no, actually, let's
14 go back to the words you used. You said "moving out of the civilians."
15 What are you talking about?
16 A. The war broke out, and then there was chaos. People were
17 afraid --
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
19 A. -- and --
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Vracar, what did you
21 mean to explain when you talked about moving out? Are you talking -- are
22 you limiting your statement to forcible expulsions of non-Serbs?
23 A. No. Voluntary moving out. They just were moving out.
24 Q. So you're saying that that is not a policy. It wasn't a policy
25 anywhere in the Autonomous Region of the Krajina; right?
1 A. Well, you're asking me about the entire Krajina. I don't know
2 about that.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Edgerton, you should put this part of the
4 statement of the witness on the screen again. And it's -- this sentence
5 not referring to the Autonomous Region of Krajina but Republika Srpska.
6 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, that's correct. Could we have D789 on the
7 screen again, please.
8 Q. So, Mr. Vracar, you said in your statement it wasn't a
9 government -- the moving out of civilians wasn't a government policy
10 across the whole Republika Srpska. And you said it wasn't a military
12 A. It wasn't that policy. That's correct. It wasn't anyone's
14 Q. So even to take that down from -- from the whole entity that
15 you're talking about to the region you lived in, you're saying that that
16 wasn't a policy anywhere in Kljuc, in Prijedor, in Sanski Most. The
17 moving out of civilians wasn't a policy anywhere in the country and
18 particularly in these locations.
19 Is that what you're saying?
20 A. That is not what I'm saying.
21 Q. Well, do you want to explain? Did they -- were people moved out
22 as part of a state and military policy or not?
23 A. People followed their armies. Muslims went one way; Serbs
24 another way; and the Croats went the third way. That is correct.
25 JUDGE ORIE: We're mixing up at this moment what happened and
1 what policy was. Now to link the events to the policy would be the next
2 step but let's start with the beginning.
3 Was there any -- a formulated policy by the Republika Srpska that
4 non-Serbs would move out?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, there were some
6 instructions - and we were told so - that people should not be compelled
7 to leave, that they shouldn't leave. And this is then -- this was
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. First of all, in your statement, we do not
10 find anything about that. But then could I ask you, people should not be
11 compelled, should they be encourage, or should they be put in a position
12 where it was -- hmm?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Compelled, forces.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, there's no need to interrupt me at that moment.
15 But were there any other means to be used to make them move out
16 other than force?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, no.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. These answers, are they true, both for
19 government policy and for military policy?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Are you aware of any local policy which would be
22 different? And we start with Kljuc.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All local authorities had to
24 implement the government decisions, the Republika Srpska government, and
25 in that sense, there were instructions issued. The Defence counsel also
1 showed me some documents, and I knew that also from our life, that there
2 shouldn't be mistreatment and forcible moving out of people, and so on
3 and so forth.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You're again rephrasing the issue. My question is
5 whether you were aware of any local policy which would be different from
6 what you just described and we start with Kljuc. Was there, in Kljuc,
7 ever any policy developed different from the one you described at the
8 government level?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Are you aware of any other municipality where a
11 different policy would have been adopted?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To be honest, believe me, I don't
14 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Edgerton, please proceed.
15 MS. EDGERTON:
16 Q. In point of fact, Mr. Vracar, in every one of these
17 municipalities that I named, including Kljuc, municipalities that had
18 significant Muslim populations, the Serbian authorities took the decision
19 that non-Serbs had to leave. And that's what's happened. And they took
20 that decision as part of a policy. Isn't that the case?
21 A. I never saw any decision of that sort. That would be completely
22 outside any normal thinking, you know, that anyone should take a decision
23 like that.
24 MS. EDGERTON: Could we have a look, please, at P3753.
25 Q. This is a document dated 7 June, 1992, and it's a set of
1 conclusions adopted at a subregional meeting of the political
2 representatives of the municipalities of Bihac, Bosanski Petrovac,
3 Srpska Krupa, Sanski Most, Prijedor, Bosanski Novi and Kljuc.
4 And if we can go down to paragraph 6 in this document.
5 Paragraph 6 says that:
6 "All seven municipalities in their subregion agree that Muslims
7 and Croats should move out of our municipalities until a level is reached
8 where Serbian authority can be maintained and implemented on its own
9 territory in each of these municipalities."
10 And if you go back to the first page, you see that the
11 conclusions from this meeting were sent to the ARK Crisis Staff and to
12 the Bosnian Serb leadership in Sarajevo.
13 So not only have your government authorities taken a decision
14 like that in the subregion you lived in, you agree that this is a
15 completely abnormal -- a decision that is completely outside any normal
16 thinking; right?
17 A. That's correct.
18 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: I understand that Ms. Edgerton was not with us
20 before, but you know that we objected to this document and we would like
21 to be presented to the witness that there is no known source who --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, is it admitted or is it not admitted?
23 MR. LUKIC: It is admitted.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. If there's a decision, we don't have to make
25 the witness familiar with whatever details. If the witness has any
1 comments on it, the point, of course, is that the witness, from what I
2 understand, at least, it's logically follows from his answers, that he
3 was not familiar with this document, but we could ask him.
4 Witness, have you ever seen this document before in your life?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Unfortunately, not.
6 JUDGE ORIE: So the witness could not assist us in any way. What
7 Ms. Edgerton was doing, she was quoting from a document which is in
8 evidence, and the authenticity of the document seems not to be within the
9 purview of the knowledge of this witness. Therefore, Ms. Edgerton may
11 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
12 Q. Now --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Next time, Ms. Edgerton, if you say, next time, the
14 decision as stated in this document, then you resolve the problem.
15 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you. Understood, Your Honours.
16 Q. Now, you pointed out in your written evidence, Mr. Vracar, that
17 requests to move out of Kljuc municipality came after the attacks of the
18 Muslims and Croats and it's at paragraph 27. We could display it in
19 D789. To be exact, you said:
20 "The requests to move out by the Muslims and Croats increased, in
21 particular, after the military actions carried out by the Muslim and
22 Croat forces."
23 But, in fact, what exacerbated the situation and put fear into
24 all of the non-Serb inhabitants of Kljuc was that after the attacks by
25 the Muslim and Croat forces, Muslim and Croat settlements not only in
1 Kljuc but across three municipalities were shelled, civilians were
2 killed, and massive arrests of non-Serbs were taking place, arrests by
3 the military and the police; right?
4 A. Yes, after the 27th of May, 1992.
5 Q. And, as you said yourself, word of the massive killings in
6 Velagici and Biljani were the talk of the town; correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. So --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Edgerton, let me -- your previous question gave
10 a number of matters, and the witness said as an answer, "Yes, after the
11 27th of May..." Now I would like to remove any possible ambiguity.
12 After the attacks by the Muslim and Croat forces, were --
13 civilians were killed in Muslim and Croat settlements? You agree that
14 that happened?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That happened only after the
16 27th of May. On the 27th of May --
17 JUDGE ORIE: No. I'm just seeking whether after the 27th of
18 May this is what happened. Were Muslim and Croat settlements not only in
19 Kljuc but across three municipalities, were they shelled?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Were massive arrests of non-Serbs taking place?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I just wanted to be sure that you're --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just for me to be completely clear, who were these
25 Muslim municipalities shelled by?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] TO. The Territorial Defence.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And then you are referring to what I think you
4 earlier called the legitimate or the Serb TO. That's ... not any
5 competing Muslim TO.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes. Oh, no, no, no.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Exactly.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Edgerton, if we have such a composite question
10 which contains quite a few rather important elements then a simple yes,
11 there's always a risk that a witness responds to what he heard last and
12 that's what I tried to repair.
13 MS. EDGERTON: Of course and understood, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Let me clarify the last thing, were, after the
16 27th of May, also civilians, Muslim civilians, killed?
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's a question for you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Oh, for me. Sorry. There were
20 sporadic cases. You see, there was a lot of gangs there, renegades, who
21 were looting, torching killing. Of course, yes. It was very hard to
22 introduce law and order in such a big area. With so few forces --
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... thank you,
24 thank you.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated] the question was: Were
1 civilians killed.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've just answered that, yes.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And we went through -- we heard earlier from you
5 that it may have been men being killed also not by gangs of renegades.
6 We went through that in quite some detail, isn't it, about what happened
7 in Biljani, for example? So the killing of civilians was not exclusively
8 committed by those gangs of renegades, was it?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That I don't know. Believe me.
10 JUDGE ORIE: No. Earlier you said that you did know that they
11 did it, but -- let's take a break.
12 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
13 MR. TIEGER: Just in respect of the Court's inquiry at the outset
14 of the session, there is no objection to the extension.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then could the witness leave the courtroom.
16 We'd like to see you back in 20 minutes, Witness.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you asked for an extension of time to
19 respond to the 45th 92 bis motion. You asked for 30 days. That request
20 is granted. The new deadline is now set for Monday, the
21 22nd of December, 2014.
22 We take a break, and we resume at 20 minutes past midday.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.23 p.m.
25 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Edgerton, based on your request for time and
2 your later correction, the Chamber wonders whether you would finish
3 within the next session?
4 MS. EDGERTON: Oh, Your Honour, that's actually why I was on my
5 feet and I've been able to benefit from the reflection of the break, and
6 I won't be having any further questions for the witness, so ...
7 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then, Mr. Lukic, how much time you think you
8 would need for re-examination?
9 MR. LUKIC: Half an hour, 40 minute, probably.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then we wait and see. But...
11 MR. LUKIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
12 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ...
13 MR. LUKIC: I didn't expect the cross to finish this soon, so I
14 didn't organise perfectly, so ...
15 JUDGE ORIE: It's not your first day, Mr. Lukic, so -- but, we'll
16 nevertheless try to extend the leniency to you as well.
17 Ms. Edgerton.
18 MS. EDGERTON:
19 Q. Mr. Vracar, thank you very much. I won't have any further
20 questions for you in your cross-examination.
21 A. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ORIE: But there will be more questions in re-examination
23 by Mr. Lukic. So he will now start his re-examination.
24 Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Can we have - and I -- give me one second, please.
2 [Defence counsel confer]
3 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Once again, good day, Mr. Vracar.
5 A. Good day.
6 Q. My learned friend asked you something about paragraph 8 of your
7 statement in relation to the killing of Dusan Stojakovic.
8 This is what I'd like to ask you: Did anyone open fire from your
9 side at the Muslim army and their positions before they started firing at
11 A. No, we were the regular patrol, and we were driving by in a car,
12 and they ambushed us. They fired at us, from an ambush.
13 Q. You started saying something to us today. Page 18 of today's
14 transcript, line 3, the question was -- let us look at paragraph 15 of
15 your statement. And this is what you were asked: Did you not see the
16 attack on the bus in which there were unarmed soldiers that attacked the
17 Muslim forces?
18 You confirmed that you had not seen that.
19 And then you started out by saying: While I was in hospital,
20 three dead persons were brought in and a few wounded persons. You didn't
21 finish what it was that you had wanted to explain. Do you have anything
22 to add to this?
23 A. I was given medical aid there. They brought three dead soldiers
24 in and three wounded soldiers. However, the three wounded persons, three
25 wounded soldiers, succumbed to their wounds eventually and died.
1 Q. On the same page of today's transcript, you were asked about the
2 attack at the repeater, and you said that you hadn't seen that
3 personally, you confirmed that, did you see the consequences on the
4 ground, the consequences of the destruction of that repeater?
5 A. Yes, the citizens could no longer watch television because the
6 repeater was on top of a hill that is dominant in that area. So once the
7 repeater was destroyed, the entire area was under an information
8 blockade, both in terms of radio and television. There was no signal.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: That's all in the statement. The consequences.
11 MR. LUKIC: But, still he had -- I wanted to show still he had
12 some personal knowledge, not only that he heard about it.
13 JUDGE ORIE: No. But it's clear from the statement as well.
14 MR. LUKIC: I will move on any way.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
17 Can we see P2538 on our screens, please.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Did I hear 3528?
19 MR. LUKIC: 3528.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. My colleague just mentioned this document today during her
23 examination, and the questions pertained to the killings in Velagici and
24 paragraph 35 of your statement. This is a file cover.
25 I would like to ask for page 7, please, in both versions.
1 This is a criminal report that was submitted on the
2 5th of June, 1992, by an authorised officer of the military police. The
3 persons against whom this criminal report was filed are listed there. We
4 see eight persons in B/C/S, but in the English version we can see just
5 one. However, the total is 12 persons who have been charged.
6 I would like that ask for page 8 in B/C/S and page 10 in English,
8 The reasons are mentioned. It says, "because."
9 "Because" is the word that is used in English and in the original
10 it is "sto je."
11 In the second paragraph, we see a description of what happened on
12 the 1st of June, 1992; that is to say, the criminal report was filed for
13 something that happened four days before the report itself was filed.
14 In the text, there is a description of what was found during
15 those four days, in addition to the 12 perpetrators whose names and
16 surnames are referred to.
17 Since you are not aware of any details, I'm not going to torment
18 you with any of that. The instructions that you received in the course
19 of police work, did they say that crimes should be concealed or
21 A. The police dealt with all sorts of crimes that were committed:
22 Beatings, lootings, killings, theft, all kinds of police work. I have
23 been unaware of this document until now, and now I see this criminal
24 report, and I actually know some of these persons or, rather, I knew
1 Q. I understand that you're unaware of this because this was done by
2 the military police.
3 We will be needing page 9 in B/C/S and page 11 in the English
4 version. The last paragraph before the attachments.
5 MR. LUKIC: We have to move to another -- to the next page in
6 English, please.
7 Q. [Interpretation] We see that a criminal report was filed against
8 these persons for the crime of war crime against the civilian population.
9 In the course of your work, were you in charge of uncovering
10 crimes, you, personally, or were you just a member of the intervention
12 A. I was just a member of the intervention platoon. This was done
13 by inspectors.
14 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to ask you kindly to focus on the
15 conversations you had with the members of the Defence team.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, have you done with the --
17 MR. LUKIC: I am.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 In this document, Witness, it is described that the task of the
20 soldiers -- and perhaps we could have a look at page 10.
21 Yes, it reads, under the "because":
22 "The basic task of the unit was to gather civilians who were
24 Were you aware that civilians were either surrendering or were
25 invited to surrender where you would usually expect soldiers to
1 surrender, not civilians.
2 Do you have any explanation for that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'm trying to explain when
4 this incident occurred at Krasulje, then the units, the military units,
5 came from the field. This document was shown, the order of
6 Colonel Samardzija, to carry out a mop-up operation on a the ground and
7 then these arrests occurred. So it was on the 29th or 30th. I cannot
8 remember exactly. It was a long time ago. A Territorial Defence unit
9 came from the area of Cadjevica, and they carried out a mop-up operation
10 and arrests. I mean, I don't know who it was that was carrying out the
11 arrests because I was not there, so I cannot give a precise answer.
12 JUDGE ORIE: What I'm asking you is whether this sounds familiar
13 to you, that you would invite civilians to surrender. Whereas, usually
14 in war operation, you would leave the civilians alone and focus on
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, probably some of the persons
17 who were arrested had been mobilised in the so-called Muslim armed
18 forces. These people were interrogated, checked. That was the
19 procedure. Of course, these people did not have uniforms in the
20 classical sense. They were not an armed force in that way. Quite
21 simply, this was a rebellion of Muslims. They had different weapons and
22 different uniforms. This was a multi-coloured army. I don't know what
23 the system of arrest was. I mean, that's a question that I do not know
24 the answer to, I mean, what the guiding principle was for arresting
25 people. Because in order to arrest someone, someone has to stand accused
1 of something, and so on.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's exactly my question. My question is,
3 and I again put it to you, whether you are familiar with the system where
4 civilians are gathered who have not surrendered. Talking about mobilised
5 soldiers, you wouldn't call them civilians. Civilians are those who are
6 not combatants, are not in the army, but are just out of that.
7 Any explanation for that?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how to explain that
9 system. I just know that we, as the civilian police, on orders, we
10 brought in people who had done something wrong, who had stolen something,
11 had torched property, looted, and so on. I don't know about this.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to put another question to the
14 witness in -- with respect to this report.
15 You said that - it's at the end of end of page 55:
16 "I have been unaware of this document until now, and now I see
17 this criminal report."
18 In your statement, paragraph 35, you say:
19 "I know with certainty that a report on this case was filed."
20 Is that the same report, or was it another report?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just heard that a report had been
22 filed, that our investigation organs had filed a report. I mean, my
23 people in the police told me that a report had been filed against the
24 perpetrators. I hadn't seen this document. I didn't even know who the
25 perpetrators of this crime were. I mean, I know some of them. Some of
1 them were my neighbours and so on. It's not that I saw the document. I
2 mean, I heard when I talked to people that a report, a criminal report,
3 had been filed, but I was unaware of the content of the document.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You now say you heard, "... when I talked to
6 What kind of people did you talk to?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, colleagues. Well, we're
8 human beings, aren't we? And we talk about things, talk about
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Your colleagues in the civilian police?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Earlier you said you're unfamiliar with this
13 report on the screen because it's from the military police.
14 How do your colleagues know that a report by the military police
15 was filed?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You would like me to say something?
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, of course. That was my question.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] People talked about a report being
19 filed, but it wasn't filed by the civilian -- civilian police. We're a
20 small town. People talk about everything that happens. This is the
21 third time I'm repeating this. I haven't seen the document itself. I
22 didn't know who the perpetrators were, although I know some of them.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Why did you say in your statement:
24 "I know with certainty that a report on this case was filed."
25 While, at the same time, you are telling me that you heard it,
1 that members of another unit wrote this report and you see it for the
2 first time today.
3 How could you have been certain about that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'll answer right now. It's
5 very simple. For instance, at our police station, inspectors conducted
6 various investigative actions. Now, if Inspector Gajic, for instance,
7 tells me a report had been filed, there is absolutely no reason for me to
8 doubt his words. He was -- I mean, as an unofficial public official.
9 That's why I was certain.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Although the report was filed not by a colleague
11 of yours; correct?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. I began asking you about these things. Do you know
16 Mikajlo Mitrovic?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Did you ever discusses with him, before you talked with me, about
20 A. Well, Mikajlo and I know each other from the war period, and
21 we're good friends.
22 Q. Do you remember that you had a conversation with him about this
23 case before you talked about it with me?
24 A. Yes. I can't remember the date, but that did occur once. That
25 was a long time ago. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. When you talked about an interview, you weren't referring just to
2 your conversation with me?
3 A. Well, with you, it was official. As with Mikajlo it was more a
4 conversation. We're friends. We see each other from time to time.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Edgerton.
6 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour, I'm not sure how these questions are
7 arising from the cross, and they're quite leading as well.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, they may not arise directly from cross, but I
9 think I put a few questions to the witness before cross-examination which
10 may have triggered some of these questions.
11 Let me just have a look. One second, please.
12 Yes, do I understand that Mr. Mitrovic is a personal friend of
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, a personal friend, that's
15 a -- a term that is pretty broad. We are acquaintances, good
16 acquaintances. He is a neighbour. You know, one person has few friend,
17 but he is a good friend of mine. A neighbour, a good neighbour of mine.
18 JUDGE ORIE: A good neighbour.
19 Mr. Lukic, interviews are conducted by neighbours and friends?
20 MR. LUKIC: Mr. Mitrovic is a member of our team and he is on
21 this statement, mentioned on this statement as somebody who took --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's my question to you. So apparently if
23 you're a member of the team, you just ignore that the investigator and
24 the -- and the potential witness are friends and neighbours and you don't
25 mention that and you just send that person to interview the potential
2 Is that how I have to understand the situation?
3 MR. LUKIC: If I had hundred persons I would probably not do that
4 but if I have only one investigator in the west of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I
5 would send him, yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. That's clear. That's -- that's your
7 solution. And you wouldn't then, for full transparency, inform the
8 Chamber that you were at a situation where you had no other choice then
9 to do that?
10 MR. LUKIC: I informed this Chamber many times that we were
11 understaffed, underpaid.
12 JUDGE ORIE: No, no --
13 MR. LUKIC: And it's something for this Chamber --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you're missing the point.
15 MR. LUKIC: I'm not missing the point.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you're missing the point.
17 MR. LUKIC: I'm not missing the point.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not talking about being --
19 MR. LUKIC: I conducted the interview with this gentlemen myself
20 and we are not friends. That's all I could do. I joined investigator
21 the second time when we interviewed this gentleman.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic --
23 MR. LUKIC: Preliminary conversation was done by only my
24 investigator. Whenever you find that somebody spoke in 2013 with the
25 witnesses and you find it on our statements, it's only investigator.
1 Without me. Because in 2013 I was here on the trial.
2 JUDGE ORIE: You apparently missed the point again, Mr. Lukic. I
3 leave it to that. Think about it, what the point was I raised. My point
4 was not whether you had trouble in finding someone to conduct or to have
5 that conversation and whether you needed further resources. My problem
6 is that apparently, without further explaining or without further
7 consultation, that members of your team are, if even preliminary
8 conversations with persons that are friends of them and are their
9 neighbours, without transparently making that knowledge available to
10 everyone in this courtroom.
11 MR. LUKIC: I --
12 JUDGE ORIE: I leave it to that.
13 MR. LUKIC: For the record, I have to state that this is the
14 first time that I heard that Mikajlo Mitrovic is a friend of this
15 gentleman. Then I would have to inquire about every single witness he
16 talked to.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I leave it to that for the time being.
18 Then your team members perhaps should have informed you about it. I am
19 not saying that you -- I personally express any blame for you but then
20 apparently your team members do not have the professional skills to
21 inform lead counsel of a personal relationship they have with persons
22 they're supposed to interview.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. LUKIC: Can I have P6932 on our screens, please.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vracar, you were shown this document
1 entitled: Supplement to the monograph -- or for the monograph of the
2 1st Krajina Corps. And the date, 2nd November, 1993, is handwritten.
3 And then under on the right-hand side, it says 93.
4 A supplement for a monograph, have you -- did you ever see
5 anything like that as an official document?
6 A. No, this is the first time that I see this. And also this is the
7 first time that I hear that something like this was done during the war.
8 That really doesn't make sense.
9 Q. Do you know anything about this document?
10 A. No, this is the first time that I see it. I'd never even heard
11 about something like this.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now be shown P6933, please.
13 Q. This document was shown to you. It's an order from the SDS in
14 Sarajevo, where it says that it was made public at a meeting of all
15 municipal presidents on the 26th of October, 1991. And under 1, it says,
16 "Immediately establish a command of the town ..."
17 Are you -- do you know whether there was a Town Command in Kljuc?
18 A. In 1991?
19 Q. Yes, in 1991.
20 A. Well, there was only the Secretariat of Territorial Defence.
21 That was a municipal organ. It's not a command of the town.
22 Q. At the time did the SDS command with the JNA?
23 A. No. The JNA was a state army. I mean, what do you mean a party
24 commanding the army? That's -- that couldn't be. A party couldn't
25 command the army.
1 Q. In the field, did you ever see that the -- the SDS commanding the
2 Territorial Defence?
3 A. Well, Territorial Defence was still under the command of
4 secretariats of the Territorial Defence of the municipality.
5 Q. At that time, had management been -- been taken over as it says
7 "Take over management in public enterprises, post office, bank,
8 judiciary, the media."
9 For instance, in your municipality, what was the case?
10 A. Well, each municipality had their own -- had their own
11 management. What do you mean taking over management? There were people
12 who worked there. There were directors, there were people who managed,
13 managers. What do you mean take over authority? If someone was a
14 director of an enterprise, he was a director. He couldn't just be fired.
15 Q. Under 13 --
16 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Lukic, I
17 understood the questions by Ms. Edgerton on this document to point at
18 what may have been policy that was developed. I did not understand it as
19 evidence that it -- this is what then finally happened. There may be
20 other evidence about that, but that's how I understood Ms. Edgerton
21 introduced the document.
22 Is that correct, Ms. Edgerton?
23 MS. EDGERTON: Yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Therefore, the matter of whether this finally
25 happened was not touched upon in cross-examination. It was mainly to
1 test the evidence of the witness that never such policies were formulated
2 or adopted.
3 Therefore, could you please keep this in mind when you are
4 re-examining on matters triggered by the cross-examination.
5 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Now, did anyone ever present any of these items
7 here as a policy that was to be implemented on the ground in 1991 and
9 A. No.
10 Q. Thank you. You were asked whether a document of this nature
11 could cause unrest among people of another ethnicity.
12 A. Well, yes, I went -- if something like this did happen, it would
13 really be surprising. This is a political party document, not official
14 authorities. Parties say all sorts of things. That's their problem. To
15 me, this looks like propaganda of a party.
16 Q. Well, in part, you've already answered my next question now. Do
17 you know whether this document was ever published anywhere?
18 A. No. As far as I know, it wasn't. This is the first time that I
19 see a document of this nature.
20 Q. Thank you. You were asked about paragraph 27 of your statement
21 and about the moving out of the population, and I will ask you this: Did
22 you ever receive an order or instructions as a policeman or as a civilian
23 to forcibly expelling anyone from your town?
24 A. No, never. That was not the practice, and I can say that some
25 200 Serb families left. They left voluntarily. They fled the war. I
1 couldn't go anywhere because my parents were bedridden. They were ill.
2 There was nowhere I could go. I couldn't leave my own country. However,
3 people were afraid. War is a great evil. And now when you don't have
4 normal authorities that can actually maintain order on the entire
5 territory, then -- when you can expect people to perhaps, you know, knock
6 on your door in the middle of the night or torch your house. People were
7 afraid. So people left on their own because it wasn't always possible to
8 maintain law and order. There were 300 or 400 policemen for a territory
9 that was about 800 square kilometres. That's not a small area.
10 Q. Did you ever see -- even if you didn't get such an order or
11 instructions, did you hear from a colleague that that colleague was
12 ordered to persecute civilians?
13 A. No, I don't know of such a case, that anyone ever ordered anyone
14 to gather their family, to pack their stuff and leave, no, I never heard
15 of anything like that happening.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now have P3753, please.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you give the number again.
19 MR. LUKIC: P3753.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
21 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. [Interpretation] We have a document before us where -- in the
23 heading, can you see which organ issued this document?
24 A. No, I can't see that.
25 Q. We can also see that there is no number for this document. We
1 see the date, 7 June, 1992. And this document says that these are
2 conclusions adopted at a subregional meeting and then:
3 "(Of political representatives of the following municipalities:
4 Bihac, Bosanski Petrovac, Srpska Krupa, Sanski Most, Prijedor,
5 Bosanski Novi and Kljuc...)."
6 In the course of your work, did you ever come across something
7 called subregional -- subregion that would encompass these
9 A. No, this is the first time I heard of this. What kind of
10 subregion? It was an autonomous region or Autonomous Province of
11 Krajina. This was someone fooling around.
12 Q. At this time, on 7th of June, 1992, was Bihac under the control
13 of Serb or Muslim forces? That's the first town mentioned here.
14 A. Bihac was under the control of the BH army 5th Corps at that
16 Q. You mean Muslim forces?
17 A. Yes. In fact, our army never entered Bihac.
18 Q. Very well then. Did you ever receive a document or see a
19 document that would come from a subregion, as is mentioned here?
20 A. No, never.
21 Q. Let us look at the next page in both versions. This is a
22 paragraph that was put to you by my colleague the Prosecutor. It says
24 "All seven municipalities in our subregion agree that Muslims and
25 Croats should move out of our municipalities ..."
1 Did you know at the time when the war started that political
2 communities were established of municipalities that were under the
3 control of the Muslim forces, like Bihac, and partly Serb municipalities,
4 like the other six mentioned municipalities?
5 A. I didn't know that such political organisations were being
6 developed at municipal level. This is the first time I see this. What
7 kind of political community of the municipalities is this? Nothing. Who
8 felt like anything like that at the time. There was a war going on and
9 then somebody trying to invent some kind of associations. I mean,
10 somebody just invented this. This never existed.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, whether it existed or not, you have no
12 knowledge about it, isn't it?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. No. Thank God.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then refrain from saying, I mean, somebody just
15 invented this. This never existed. Because you don't know.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, I don't know.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 Mr. Lukic, please, next question.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Actually, you do not know of the existence of this subregion.
21 A. No.
22 Q. Is that correct?
23 A. Correct. This is the first time I hear of any such thing.
24 Q. All right. Now, in conclusion, I'd just like to ask you
25 something else --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, the witness clearly stated and by your
2 last question, you ask him to contradict himself and you apparently
3 accept that.
4 The witness said, "This never existed."
5 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: That means that he has knowledge about the
7 existence; namely, that it did not exist. That's what he claimed --
8 MR. LUKIC: Yes --
9 JUDGE ORIE: And when I said, So you don't know anything it, then
10 you had a follow-up question that he -- that he did not know of the
11 existence, whether that's correct -- okay. I leave it to that at this
12 very moment.
13 MR. LUKIC: I follow --
14 JUDGE ORIE: The witness --
15 MR. LUKIC: It was follow-up question on your question,
16 Your Honour, on page 68, line 21, when you proposed that this witness
17 have no knowledge about it.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. LUKIC: I just wanted to see if he has no knowledge at all or
20 he does not know about the existence.
21 JUDGE ORIE: That's the same for me. But please proceed.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
23 Q. [Interpretation] You were also asked whether civilian settlements
24 had been shelled. Do you know whether civilians were shelled, or
25 military formations of the other side that were in civilian settlements?
1 A. Military formations were shelled, those that had positions in
2 villages. Now, whether there were civilians there, I don't know.
3 Q. All right.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could we ask the witness to give a few clear
5 examples. Could you give us the name of a settlement? Could you tell us
6 what -- whether that settlement was shelled, when, and what target was
7 then engaged?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know the answer to that
9 question. There are many details involved. I was not involved in these
10 events, but there was shelling, that's for sure. When the terrain was
11 mopped up, there was certainly fighting between the Muslims and the
12 Serbs. And then there was firing from anything that people had. They
13 fired at Serbs, and Serbs fired at them.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, in your explanation, you more or less
15 deny your previous answer. May I take it that you have no knowledge
16 about what targets specifically were engaged in those settlements, not
17 being able to give any example of that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I'm not able.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Then your previous answer was inaccurate, and you
20 should not have given it.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. You were also asked about mass arrests. What is your knowledge
24 about these mass arrests? What does it have to do with? Why was it the
25 people were arrested en masse?
1 A. Well, the Muslim side was called upon to surrender their weapons,
2 and then people were bringing in these weapons. And then people were
3 being interrogated, arrested, and so on. Probably on account of having
4 had these weapons and also for armed rebellion. Because that's how it
5 was taken. Armed rebellion against the legal authorities of government.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vracar. That's all we had for you. Thank you.
7 A. Thank you too.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Edgerton, any further questions?
9 MS. EDGERTON: No, thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: I have one question.
11 Questioned by the Court:
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us anything about the return of Serbs
13 and non-Serbs after the hostilities had taken an end?
14 A. I'm sorry, you mean after the war?
15 To tell you quite frankly, about 20 persons returned to Kljuc;
16 from 20.000 Serbs, that is. And when Muslims took over Kljuc, then all
17 the Muslims returned to Kljuc. The Serbs moved to a variety of places,
18 from Republika Srpska, Serbia, to America. Unfortunately, there are no
19 Serbs left there.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Apart from the 20, I do understand?
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know what happened to the Serb houses that
23 were -- were they occupied later by Muslims or -- if you know?
24 A. For the most part, Serbs sold their houses at a very cheap price,
25 at that; for example, 100 euro per square metre of housing. That is a
1 ridiculous low price. It is basically seizure of property. Quite simply
2 people did not have any living conditions there because there is no point
3 in going back if you haven't got a job, you see, and if you do not
4 receive a salary for a month, for another month, for a year, what can you
5 live on? And nobody will give you employment there, unfortunately.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Now, in the agricultural sector, would people, if
7 they had a plot of land, would they -- in the agricultural sector, if
8 people would have a plot of land, they did not return?
9 A. I have to inform you of the following: The municipality of Kljuc
10 was divided into two municipalities, the urban part came to belong to the
11 Muslims, the north-west, the villages where they were majority to, those
12 villages that gravitate towards town. The other part where I was born,
13 Ribnik, that belongs to Republika Srpska and most of the people there are
14 involved in agriculture and finishing, then about 700 people -- 7.000
15 people returned there and are involved in agriculture. They have
16 livestock, et cetera, but they did not go back into town.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.
18 This concludes your testimony in this court, since I do
19 understand that the parties have no further questions for you. I'd like
20 to thank you very much for coming to The Hague, it's a long way, and for
21 having answered all the questions that were put to you and I wish you a
22 safe return home again. You may now follow the usher.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I wish to thank you
24 and the entire staff of this court. If my statements were of any use and
25 if they will contribute to unraveling this entanglement, I will be
1 gratified. Thank you.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE ORIE: We take a break. Is the Defence ready to call its
4 next witness after the break?
5 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, we -- we are ready.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then we take a break, and we resume at 20 minutes to
8 --- Recess taken at 1.19 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 1.42 p.m.
10 JUDGE ORIE: We're waiting for the witness to be escorted in the
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE ORIE: No speaking at an audible level, Mr. Mladic. No
14 speaking at an audible level, Mr. Mladic.
15 Mr. Mladic, would you please now stop talking.
16 Good morning, Mr. -- good afternoon, Mr. Barasin. Before you
17 give evidence, the Rules require that you make a solemn declaration. The
18 text is now handed out to you. May I invite you to make that solemn
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 WITNESS: OSTOJA BARASIN
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Barasin.
25 Mr. Barasin, you'll first be examined by Mr. Lukic. You'll find
1 him to your left. Mr. Lukic as you most probably know is counsel for
2 Mr. Mladic.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Examination by Mr. Lukic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Barasin.
7 A. Good afternoon.
8 Q. Could you please tell us for the record your first and last name.
9 A. My name is Ostoja Barasin.
10 Q. Mr. Barasin, did you give a statement to members of the Defence
11 team of General Mladic?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 1D1660 on our
15 Q. You see a document before you on the screen. Can you see that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you recognise it?
19 A. Yes, that's my signature.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see the last page of
21 this document, please.
22 Q. Do you see the signature on this page?
23 A. Yes, and that's my signature.
24 Q. Thank you. The information recorded in your statement, were they
25 recorded correctly?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What we see in your statement, is that true?
3 A. Yes, I stand by every word that's written there. It's all true.
4 Q. And if I were to put the same questions to you today, would you
5 provide the same answers?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We would like to tender Mr. Barasin's
8 statement into evidence, please.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D1660 receives number D790,
11 Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
13 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, with your leave, I would just read
14 statement summary of Mr. Barasin and then I will have only one question
15 for him after that.
16 May I? Thank you.
17 Upon the formation of the 1st Krajina Corps, Mr. Barasin, Ostoja,
18 joined the information office. The task of the office was to inform the
19 public about the events in the AO replenishment, or area of -- of
20 operation replenishment of the corps. The office organised the reception
21 of local and international journalists and took them to the theatre of
22 operations. The office hosted BBC, SkyNews, Paris Match. The
23 journalist, Mehmed Dizdar, a Muslim, and contributor, Anton Kasipovic, a
24 Croat, worked at the press centre from the beginning until the end.
25 Mr. Barasin directed several documentaries, such as "Ratlines"
1 and "Genocide Again."
2 The documentary "Ratlines" is about a group of the armed forces
3 of the Republic of Croatia named Berbir who crossed the Sava river in
4 Gradiska area in August 1992 in order to make a beachhead for the
5 military operations in the Republika Srpska.
6 A documentary, "Genocide Again" is about an atrocities committed
7 by the Muslim-Croatian forces in Kupres, Brod, Derventa, village Serdari,
8 et cetera, in 1992. The movie also features several witnesses depicting
10 From 1993 until the end of 1995, Mr. Barasin was Chief of Staff
11 and commander of the 5th Kozara Brigade and the 14th Light Infantry
12 Brigade. As commander, he always took care of prisoners of war, and they
13 were always treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. He did
14 not allow either physical or mental abuse of prisoners.
15 That was the short -- the statement summary.
16 JUDGE ORIE: When you spoke about "Ratlines," is that the same as
17 what we find in the statement as "Red Canals"?
18 MR. LUKIC: "Red Canals," "Ratlines," yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And -- yes. If you have -- you said you had
20 one more question. Please put it to the witness.
21 MR. LUKIC: One question. Yes, Your Honour.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Barasin, these two video-clips that you
23 provided to the Defence and we tendered, in some of those videos we see
24 also presenters speaking, not just witnesses. Whose text is that, their
1 A. The text read by the narrator, that's my text, and it's based on
2 the various documents that I received from the security and intelligence
3 organ, but also from civilian sources. So not only military but also
4 civilian sources.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We would now tender six documents,
7 six associated exhibits with Mr. Barasin's statement, including two
8 video-clips, but we would like to say at this point that we will only
9 rely on the transcribed versions of the video. In other words, the
10 portions of the video-clip that have transcripts attached to them. But
11 we would also like to rely on the words of the narrators, as well as
12 those of the interviewed witnesses.
13 We came up to six exhibits because we had to actually divvy up
14 two transcripts into four different transcripts because there was a
15 confusion about the order in which they follow. So, at this point, we
16 would normally have wanted to tender four documents but we will actually
17 tender six exhibits, which, in fact, boils down to two video-clips with
18 their accompanying transcripts.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
20 MR. TRALDI: We have no objection to any of the exhibits. I
21 understand that Mr. Lukic is relying on only the -- the portions of the
22 videos for which this are transcripts, only relying on the narrators'
23 speech when it is transcribed.
24 We spoke about this today, and we reserve the right to tender
25 additional portions for context, but we have no objection to proceeding
1 as Mr. Lukic has suggested.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Under those circumstances, Madam Registrar, the
3 first one, 02924, would receive number.
4 THE REGISTRAR: D791, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted. Then 05992.
6 THE REGISTRAR: D792, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted. Then the first portion of the "Red
8 Channels", part 1, 1D06005.
9 THE REGISTRAR: D793, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted. Then same number, with a small a added to
11 it, being the second part of "Rat Channels."
12 THE REGISTRAR: D794, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted. Part 1 of "Genocide Again," being number
15 THE REGISTRAR: D795, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Same number, with a small a added being part 2 of
17 "Genocide Again".
18 THE REGISTRAR: D796, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: These are also -- both of them are admitted.
20 I see that the title is here "Genocide Again" whereas, in the
21 statement it's "Genocide All Over Again," but I take it that that's all
22 the same.
23 You have no further questions, Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: No, I don't. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Before I give an opportunity to the Prosecution
1 to -- to cross-examine the witness, I would have one question for you.
2 These videos you -- you created, was it your purpose to
3 specifically focus on the suffering of the Serb -- of the Serbs, or was
4 it your intention to give an overall view of the suffering of people of
5 all ethnicities during the war? Or was -- did you have another
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my only objective in
8 "Genocide Again" was exclusively to document the suffering of the Serbian
10 JUDGE ORIE: And for the other video?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The other video dealt with a
12 specific incident. It deals -- the "Ratlines" deals with a war-time
13 incident in Kotor Varos when a group of Muslims, infiltrating a territory
14 that had not been at war yet, tried to urge the Muslim population to
15 rebellion, and this film, as mentioned before, has to do with Gradiska
16 and Berbir.
17 These two events are related because the incursion into Gradiska
18 in August 1991, the objective of that incursion was to move against
19 Banja Luka from the territory of Croatia, whereas "Ratlines" had to do
20 with actually fermenting rebellion among the Muslim population --
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the last part.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat the last part. It is due to
23 your speed of speech that parts of your answer is missing. Could you
24 please repeat the last part.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I see. The Gradiska events in
1 August 1992 are related to the film "Ratlines" that was produced in early
2 July 1993. They're linked because the incursion of the Muslim Croatian
3 forces from Croatia into the northern part of Bosnia had as their
4 objective an attack on Banja Luka and the capturing of that part of
5 Republika Srpska, whereas the "Ratlines" incident has -- was in
6 Kotor Varos. A group of Muslim soldiers infiltrated Kotor Varos or,
7 rather, Siprage and Kovacevici village with the intention of fermenting
8 among the population, the Muslim population that lived there and that did
9 not take part in the fighting, to ferment rebellion so that, then, they
10 could attack Kotor Varos, Celinac and continue their operations towards
11 Banja Luka.
12 From a military perspective --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But from what I understand, is that your
14 videos were focusing on operations activities, whatever, directed against
15 the Serbs by the Muslims and do not pretend to give an overall view of
16 what happened in the conflict areas in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a whole.
17 Is that well understood?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just to make it abundantly clear, these videos
21 were your creation. They are not the recording of what took place on the
22 ground. They are entirely your creation. I'm asking.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I created them but within the
24 context of the events that are discussed -- shown there.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
2 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I'll first introduce you to the witness.
4 Mr. Barasin, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Traldi. You'll
5 find him to your right, and Mr. Traldi is counsel for the Prosecution.
6 Please proceed.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Traldi:
8 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
9 A. Good afternoon.
10 Q. Sir, today, in fact, just now, at temporary transcript page 79,
11 lines 12 through 14, you testified: "My only objective in 'Genocide
12 Again' was exclusively to document the suffering of the Serbian people."
13 You made this documentary in the course of your service in the
14 organ for legal, morale and religious affairs of the 1st Krajina Corps;
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. Who provided you with that objective for your work?
18 A. Well, I proposed this, the production of this video, and I did it
19 at my own initiative.
20 Q. To whom would you have had to propose it?
21 A. I proposed it to the chief of the organ for morale, the corps
22 organ for morale.
23 Q. He was your superior officer; right?
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. At that time, what was his name?
1 A. Colonel Milutin Vukelic.
2 Q. He was a Serb; right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, you say in paragraph 4 of your statement that from 1991
5 until the establishment of the VRS, you worked at the JNA 5th Corps press
6 centre. As of the beginning of May 1992, who was your superior officer
7 in the 5th Corps?
8 A. Colonel Milutin Vukelic.
9 Q. Was there not a point when the head of the organ for moral
10 guidance in the 5th Corps was Mesud Hasotic?
11 A. He was there briefly, but I didn't work with him. But I know
13 Q. You say he was there briefly. He was there in the 5th Corps but
14 stopped being present around the time that the 5th Corps was transformed
15 in the 1st Krajina Corps of the VRS; right?
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. And Colonel Hasotic was a Muslim; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, where were you yourself based as an officer in the organ for
20 legal, morale and religious affairs?
21 A. At the time, it was the JNA club. Today, it is the municipal --
22 the Assembly of Banja Luka. So it's in Banja Luka.
23 Q. It is in Banja Luka. When the 5th Corps was transformed into the
24 1st Krajina Corps, did you continue to be based in the same office?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were you, during the period of 1992 up till July 1993 when you
2 joined the 5th Kozara Brigade, were you out in the field on the front
3 lines during combat, or were you based in Banja Luka in that office?
4 A. No, I was in the field but in various areas depending on our
5 planned activities. I was in all those positions which were in the area
6 of responsibility of the 5th originally and then later on the 1st Krajina
8 Q. And the purpose of the organ for legal, morale and religious
9 affairs, among other things, is monitoring, analysing, planning and
10 organising moral education in the subordinate units; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And, in simple terms, that means part of your job is telling the
13 soldiers what they're fighting for; right?
14 A. That was not my job. My job was informing the general public on
15 the developments on the front lines, the areas where combat was ongoing.
16 There were other people within the morale organ who were in charge of
18 Q. And I spoke imprecisely, I think, sir, but you've clarified any
19 ambiguity, and I appreciate that.
20 MR. TRALDI: Could we look briefly at Exhibit P2874.
21 Q. Now this document is dated the 21st of May, 1992, and it's coming
22 from Colonel Vukelic, your superior. And it reports here on page 1 of
23 the English and B/C/S in the second sentence that a major transformation
24 of the army has taken place.
25 Turning to page 2 of the English and at the bottom of page 1 in
1 the B/C/S, the document reads:
2 "The constituent Serbian people, who live on around 65 per cent
3 of the area and represent more than 35 per cent of the population of BH,
4 must struggle for complete separation from the Muslim and Croatian
5 peoples and form their own state."
6 And if we turn to the end of the document in both languages -- I
7 apologise. The end of the text so the previous page in the B/C/S.
8 We read:
9 "Inform all members of the Army of the Serbian Republic of BH
10 about the contents of this report in the most suitable way."
11 So this is part of what we just discussed, the organ for legal,
12 morale and religious affairs telling the soldiers what they're fighting
13 for; right?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. The organ for legal, morale and religious affairs wouldn't set
16 those political goals themselves. From whom would they receive them, or
17 information as to the political goals of the conflict?
18 A. Well, every army, including that of Republika Srpska, has a chain
19 of command, so the corps command received their orders from the
20 Main Staff of the Republika Srpska army, whereas, the Main Staff received
21 their orders from the main command. Command in-chief.
22 Q. And so the purposes -- what the soldiers were fighting for, would
23 you disseminated down from the Main Staff to the corps through the organ
24 for legal, morale and religious affairs to the soldiers; right?
25 A. Inter alia, that way too.
1 Q. Now, the 1st Krajina Corps press centre - and I'm done with this
2 document, Your Honours - published a magazine called "Krajiski Vojnik"
3 during the war; right?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. Who was in charge of determining the content of that magazine?
6 A. Well, there was an editorial board, and certainly it was the
7 editors that prepared that periodical, and together with the chief for
8 morale it was reviewed in the final version, and that's when we had it
10 On the other hand, the content of the periodical reflected the
11 current situation at combat positions and, in that way, we made sure that
12 our soldiers were informed about what was going on, both at the front
13 line and on the political scene.
14 Q. Was "Krajiski Vojnik" distributed then to units within the
15 1st Krajina Corps?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. TRALDI: Can 65 ter 11820 be brought to the screen.
18 Q. As it comes up, you mentioned a moment ago that the chief for
19 legal, morale and religious affairs would review the content of the
20 periodical with the editorial board. Were the members of the editorial
21 board also soldiers in that organ?
22 A. Not only military personnel. We had journalists who worked there
23 too. And a number of journalists had been mobilised, actually, into the
24 Army of Republika Srpska. Other journalists volunteered to work there.
25 They were not under any kind of obligation. So they wrote as freelance
2 Q. Now, this is one article that was published in "Krajiski Vojnik"
3 in the fall of 1993. I'm looking for page 3 in the English and the third
4 column on the left side, the second full paragraph, in the B/C/S. And
5 this is portions of a speech by President Karadzic to the VRS officers'
6 school. And I'm looking for the third column in the -- so ... yeah.
7 I'm obliged.
8 Now, President Karadzic is speaking. And he says:
9 "The Republic of Serb Krajina shares our fate and we, when we
10 speak of ourselves, do not set that apart, because we speak of people as
11 a whole. I would already tomorrow consent to unification with Serbia.
12 Not into a federation but into a unitary state, with districts as Serbia
14 And he continues. But at the end of the paragraph, he says:
15 "For Serbs, there is only one capital: Belgrade."
16 So my question for you is just: It's correct, isn't it, that
17 "Krajiski Vojnik" published articles arguing that all Serbs should live
18 in one state?
19 A. First of all, President Karadzic at that time was the Supreme
20 Commander of the armed forces and I, as a soldier at that time - and
21 today - I cannot comment upon what the Supreme Commander says. A soldier
22 is a soldier.
23 Secondly, I wish to say that what he said has to be viewed in a
24 broader historical context and, of course, I wouldn't have the time to
25 explain all of that now.
1 What happened to the Serb people -- and also what happened has a
2 broader historical context and --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, first of all, you're saying that you cannot
4 comment on what President Karadzic said. You were not invited to do so.
5 The simple question was whether you agree that the
6 "Krajiski Vojnik" published articles in which it was argued that all
7 Serbs should live in one state. And I think that Mr. Traldi used this as
8 a specific example of such a publication.
9 Do you agree that that is the case?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Krajiski Vojnik" published an
11 interview with President Karadzic. So it was not the views of the
12 editors that were reflected here. It was the interviewee himself,
13 President Karadzic.
14 JUDGE ORIE: You were not asked that question, but you do agree
15 that in this interview that we find that -- and which was published, that
16 we find an opinion expressed which argued that all Serbs should live in
17 one state?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree that that is written here,
19 yes, that is correct.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
21 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I tender 65 ter 11820. And I think I
22 may suggest that I not proceed for the moment.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it's a good suggestion. Let's first ask
24 Madam Registrar for a number for the document.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Document 11820 receives number P6934,
1 Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
3 Mr. Barasin, we'll adjourn for the day. We'd like to see you
4 back, not tomorrow because we're not sitting but Monday, the 24th of
5 November, 9.30 in the morning. But before you leave this courtroom, I'd
6 like to instruct you that you should not speak or communicate in whatever
7 way with anyone, whomever, including Defence, Prosecution, no one, you
8 should not communicate with anyone about your testimony, whether that is
9 testimony still -- given or still to be given.
10 Is that clear to you?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, yes.
12 MR. LUKIC: Sorry, I have to interrupt. We have fixed videolink
13 in the morning. And I cannot contact this witness anymore, so just to
14 inform him that it will not be 9.30.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then that videolink is scheduled for how
16 long; do you know? Half an hour for chief.
17 MR. TRALDI: I think our cross estimate was one and a half, Your
18 Honour --
19 MR. LUKIC: One and a half. Two hours in total.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'd like to you to make yourself available
21 during the second half of the morning. We cannot assure you that we are
22 ready then to re-start your examination. But you don't have to be here
23 at 9.30. If that is all clear to you --
24 And thank you, Mr. [Overlapping speakers] ... Then you may now
25 follow the usher.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic, I had lost that totally out of
4 my mind which should not have happened, but ...
5 We adjourn for the day, and we'll resume, Monday, the 24th of
6 November, 9.30 in the morning, in this same courtroom, I.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.19 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Monday, the 24th day of
9 November, 2014, at 9.30 a.m.