1 Wednesday, 4 February 2015
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 The Chamber was informed that there were two short preliminary
12 matters to be raised by the OTP.
13 MR. TRALDI: Yes, Mr. President, and good morning, Your Honours.
14 First, one leftover matter from yesterday. We'd discussed
15 towards the end of the day 65 ter 08036. There had been a question on
16 the transcript about whether it was -- that Mr. Lukic had raised about
17 whether it was the same document discussed in a portion of the witness's
18 previous testimony that I showed him. We've looked together at that
19 testimony a little bit more thoroughly. We agree, first, that it was the
20 same document; and second, that it should be admitted into evidence.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And no number was yet reserved for it.
22 Therefore, Madam Registrar, for 65 ter 08036, what number?
23 THE REGISTRAR: Number P07103, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: P7103 is admitted.
25 MR. TRALDI: And the second, very briefly, Your Honour, and I
1 don't think it will take longer than it would take the witness to be
2 brought in.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Then could the witness already be escorted into the
5 MR. TRALDI: Is simply to say that I'm aware that the witness has
6 been advised of his rights under Rule 90(E) in previous cases, and I
7 think the questions I ask him or anticipate asking him this morning may
8 raise some of the issues that prompted that advice.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then you know that the Chamber is guided by the
10 parties who know what questions will be put to the witness, and I'll
11 follow your suggestion to inform the witness about his rights under
12 Rule 90(E).
13 Meanwhile, I also use the time, and I'm addressing the Defence,
14 Mr. Lukic, the Chamber was recently informed by the Victims and Witness
15 Section that the average stay in The Hague for Defence witnesses has
16 increased over the last few months. The Chamber is aware that it can be
17 difficult to arrange for witnesses to be available without interruption.
18 At the same time, this difficulty should not lead to having witnesses
19 stay in The Hague for close to two weeks, and the Defence is instructed
20 to pay closer attention to this matter.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE ORIE: If there's anything to be said, Mr. Lukic, then
23 perhaps we hear from you after we have concluded the -- hearing the
24 evidence of Mr. Pasic.
25 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Pasic. Three Judges again today.
2 Mr. Pasic, before we continue, I'd like to remind you that you're
3 still bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of
4 your testimony. That's one.
5 And, second, having reviewed the transcript and video of
6 yesterday's hearing, I'd like to urge you to answer questions directly
7 and not to stay away from what the question is.
8 Mr. Traldi will now continue his -- yes, no, before we continue,
9 I have to -- the -- I was asked to inform you about Rule 90(E) of the
10 Rules of Procedure and Evidence of this Tribunal. And I'll read it to
12 "A witness," that's, in this case, it's you, "may object to
13 making any statement which might tend to incriminate the witness. The
14 Chamber may, however, compel the witness to answer the question.
15 Testimony compelled in this way shall not be used as evidence in a
16 subsequent prosecution against the witness for any offence other than
17 false testimony."
18 I think yesterday you were -- it was mentioned that you are a
19 trained lawyer, and therefore, may I take it that you understand this
20 rule and that you'll not hesitate to, if you are afraid that a truthful
21 answer might incriminate you, to address me if you would rather not
22 answer that question because you are under no obligation to answer
23 questions which would incriminate you -- if the answers would incriminate
25 Mr. Traldi, you may proceed. And I do understand there's another
1 half-hour to go.
2 MR. LUKIC: Only, Your Honour, if I may.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. LUKIC: We provided clean statement for this gentleman since
5 he really had a problem with reading from the screen.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's -- then it can be provided to him.
7 Meanwhile, Mr. Traldi, you may already start.
8 WITNESS: RADOMIR PASIC [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Traldi: [Continued]
11 Q. Good morning, sir.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. Now, to start, I noticed we had a small difference in terminology
14 yesterday. Do you know -- or do you agree with me, yes or no, that your
15 municipality was known as Bosanski Novi before the war and was renamed
16 Novi Grad after the Muslims had left?
17 A. Sometime in 1992 its name was changed to Novi Grad. Actually, it
18 happened to be the old name of Bosanski Novi.
19 Q. And so when I refer to Bosanski Novi and you refer to Novi Grad,
20 we're talking about the same municipality; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now we were talking yesterday about the Japra valley. And
23 because there was a war on, all of the Muslim citizens of the
24 Japra valley were disarmed; right?
25 A. Yes, there was a number of operations involving disarming. It is
1 difficult to say, though, whether everyone was disarmed.
2 Q. Well, let's look at very briefly 65 ter 31937, page 97; this will
3 be another portion of your OTP interview.
4 MR TRALDI: And if we could scroll down just slightly.
5 Q. So you were asked first:
6 "My question was and you -- you -- you're free to talk, but my
7 question was why this particular group of people, the citizens of the
8 Japra valley, been completely disarmed, because if ... because they were
9 Muslims, right?"
10 And you said:
11 "They were disarmed because it was a war."
12 And you explained in your next answer that in your view Bosanski
13 Novi couldn't exist as an oasis. And then you were asked:
14 "All right. So because there was a war on, all of the Muslim
15 citizens of this area, Japra valley, were disarmed?"
16 And you answered:
17 "Of course."
18 So do you stand by the truthfulness and accuracy of the answer
19 you gave in 2003?
20 A. Of course I do. I didn't say anything otherwise. I wanted to
21 say that it is difficult to say that whether 100 per cent of them were
22 disarmed. There was always this possibility that someone hid their
23 weapons. It was an option. It actually proved to be true, because some
24 people could later on still be found with weapons.
25 Q. We saw yesterday you said that you couldn't guarantee the
1 Muslims' safety in that area, and it was because of actions like those
2 taken by the Territorial Defence and the police that we looked at
3 yesterday, the shelling of these Muslim village, the crimes committed by
4 the special unit of the Banja Luka CSB, that you were not in a position
5 to guarantee these Muslims safety; right?
6 A. That is not so. The special unit, if we mentioned it yesterday,
7 we mentioned it regarding Kostajnica. It's a different area. There were
8 some incidents there and we asked that the special police be withdrawn to
9 Banja Luka. In the Japra valley there was no special police, at least to
10 my knowledge, ever.
11 Q. So let me ask the question very simply: It was because of crimes
12 being committed at -- by the TO and by the police that you couldn't
13 guarantee the Muslims safety in the Japra valley. Do you agree, yes or
15 A. No, that is not correct. Security could not be guaranteed to due
16 to the presence of paramilitary formations, small groups and individuals.
17 MR. TRALDI: Can we have page 91 of the same interview.
18 Q. Now, you're discussing here Muslims from the Japra valley coming
19 to the Bosanski Novi Municipal Assembly, and you're asked what you did in
20 those negotiations. And you answered:
21 "This is exactly what the Muslim representatives were asking to
22 leave the area because they didn't feel safe and secure. Because they
23 were asking, because they were asking us, the municipal authorities, they
24 were asking us to guarantee them full security and safety, whether we
25 could do that. And unfortunately we told them the truth, which was the
1 truth, that we were in no position with this formation of the SJB unit
2 and the TO Staff, that we were not in a position to guarantee them full
3 safety and security."
4 Now, what you were saying was it was because of the police and
5 the TO that you, the Crisis Staff, didn't feel in a position to guarantee
6 them safety and security; right?
7 A. No. We could not guarantee their safety for the simple reason
8 that it was impossible to engage sufficient numbers of people that
9 could -- who could guard every Muslim house and defend it. That is why
10 we did not guarantee their safety. It's not a matter of the police or
11 the TO. They were not the ones committing crimes. Let me repeat: There
12 were some paramilitary formations that were very difficult to suppress
13 and monitor. That was the problem. The police was not the problem. The
14 TO was not the problem.
15 Q. Well, I have a couple of follow-up questions.
16 First, we looked at the Crisis Staff report yesterday. We saw
17 that members of TO units had been the ones shelling these villages in the
18 Japra valley and expelling Muslims, according to the report of your
19 Crisis Staff. So, clearly, the TO wouldn't have been who you would have
20 call on to protect the Muslims under those circumstances, knowing that.
21 So I'd put to you that what you were talking about here, what you were
22 saying here, was that you were concerned, and the SJB unit and the TO,
23 your inability to stop them from committing crimes against the Muslims,
24 was what you meant here. That's the truth, isn't it?
25 MR. LUKIC: I would object here. I think that it misrepresents
1 the evidence and we can watch -- look at the document, and I will point
2 to the exact portion of this document. In B/C/S version, it's page 3,
3 penultimate paragraph; and in English, it's page 5, paragraph 2, when it
4 is talking about --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, before you do so, I noticed that if --
6 what you could do is you could invite Mr. Traldi to specifically refer to
7 specific portions in his question, and if there's any other matter still
8 to be considered, you can do that in re-examination.
9 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
11 MR. TRALDI: Sure.
12 Q. Sir, when I referred to crimes by the TO appearing in your report
13 on the work of the Crisis Staff, what I specifically was referring to was
14 the language in that report saying members of the TO units in Agic,
15 Rujinka, and Krsalj, had conducted armed activities which included the
16 use of mortars and caused the expulsion of Muslim civilians from a number
17 of villages. And what I'd put to you was that under those circumstances,
18 knowing that at the time, the only plausible explanation of what you were
19 saying here was that the TO in its expulsion of these Muslims was part of
20 why you didn't think you could guarantee their safety. That's the truth,
21 isn't it?
22 A. It is a very long question and not easy to answer. There is a
23 string of questions, actually. Let me repeat: First of all, the TO was
24 not involved in the commission of crimes in the way you present it.
25 There were no such operations. You simply perhaps do not wish to
1 understand that on the other side too there were formations that would
2 then change into civilian clothes. There were Muslim paramilitary
3 formations being active --
4 Q. Sir, I'm going to stop you.
5 MR. LUKIC: Objection. He cannot be stopped now. He is
6 explaining exactly why he does not agree with Mr. Traldi.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: If you close -- we close his mouth, he cannot explain
9 the position.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I think the witness moves away, and it's
11 not for the first time, from what he was asked, whether there were
12 opposing parties.
13 What Mr. Traldi did is he put a specific portion of a report. He
14 was not talking about crimes anymore but he was talking about operations.
15 To that extent, he has more or less adapted the language in view of
16 apparently what you objected to. And now the question is what the
17 witness meant, whether it's the only reasonable explanation of what the
18 witness said.
19 MR. TRALDI: Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Traldi.
21 MR. TRALDI: I hesitate to intervene at this moment, but just to
22 clarify: The part I'd put was that these operations caused the expulsion
23 of those civilians, and so I don't think that we would agree that that's
24 not criminal.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that's -- that's argument, or rather debate.
1 I stick strictly to what you read to the witness. And apparently the
2 witness says that this is not the only reasonable explanation of his
4 Witness, you explained to us earlier that it was the SJB and TO
5 shortage of persons that you referred to here. That is what you wanted
6 to further explain?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely. We had a problem
8 during that period with the size of those formations of the TO and the
9 civilian police. They were simply not there in sufficient numbers to be
10 able to guarantee safety.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So when Mr. Traldi again insisted on his
12 interpretation of your words, you say you still disagree. It's still
13 your old explanation.
14 Let's move on, Mr. Traldi.
15 MR. TRALDI:
16 Q. Sir, I'm going to turn now to the train taking the Muslims from
17 Blagaj out of Bosanski Novi that we left off with yesterday. I'm going
18 to ask whether you agree with a couple of simple propositions to start.
19 First, do you agree that after the train departed Novi it was
20 stopped, the men were taken off, and several hundred of them were
21 returned to Bosanski Novi?
22 A. Yes. They were moving in the direction of Banja Luka, Doboj, and
23 Zenica. They were supposed to leave the area of Doboj and move further
24 to Zenica which was under Muslim forces' control. That is how they were
25 supposed to go to the other side.
1 A certain number of people in Doboj, whom I don't know, took a
2 part of that population - that is to say, able-bodied men - and returned
3 them to Novi Grad.
4 Q. And those men were detained in the Mlakve stadium after they were
5 returned to Bosanski Novi; right?
6 A. Yes, they were held in the stadium at Mlakve for safety reasons.
7 It was the assessment at the time that should they return and they were
8 able bodied, there were some fears on the part of the Serbs in terms of
9 whether we would be again able to protect our population if they returned
10 to the area of Japra.
11 Q. And, sir --
12 A. Because they had lent armed resistance before.
13 Q. None of them were armed at this point obviously; right?
14 A. Yes. But there were concerns that they still had hidden weapons
15 in their villages that they left behind. That was the reason for the
16 assessment. It was for the reason -- for reasons of their safety and the
17 safety of the rest of the population, the Serb population, so that they
18 would not cause additional incidents having caused them previously, such
19 as armed clashes. So, simply put: They were not to be trusted.
20 Q. And they were detained in the stadium until the 22nd or 23rd of
21 July, 1992; right?
22 A. I really have to say I don't know.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. Some people left --
25 Q. Sir --
1 A. -- others came within a certain period of time.
2 MR. LUKIC: Objection. He was exactly answering the question.
3 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
4 MR. TRALDI: Once the witness says "I don't know," I think I'm
5 well within my rights to call up his previous statement on the subject
6 for efficiency if nothing else, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If the witness says he doesn't know --
8 MR. LUKIC: But he explained what happened, why he does not
9 know exactly how long.
10 JUDGE ORIE: No. But the question was not why do you not know,
11 the question was what happened. And if the witness says, "I don't know,"
12 then you -- in re-examination, you can further explore the reasons why he
13 may not have had any knowledge which you -- where the reasons are
14 considered by the Defence to be relevant.
15 We move on.
16 MR. LUKIC: I'm sorry.
17 JUDGE ORIE: No, Mr. Lukic --
18 MR. LUKIC: There was audio record of what the witness said. We
19 asked for that to be entered into the transcript. What he said. He
20 answered further than it was recorded in the transcript.
21 JUDGE ORIE: That's -- that's a totally different matter.
22 Whether --
23 MR. LUKIC: Then I'm raising a different matter.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, these are two different matters. You
25 objected to the question, that's first of all, and if there's anything
1 lost which was not translated, then you know how we proceed; that is,
2 we'll have it verified on the basis of the audio and we'll take care that
3 our record will be complete.
4 Apparently you heard what he said. You can make any request to
5 have the transcript be completed. And since you know what he said, you
6 can still address the matter in re-examination.
7 MR. LUKIC: But I'm afraid that it could cause confusion on the
8 part of the witness since he already said that and nobody knows what he
9 said. I would rather have it -- him repeat how he finished his answer.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Let's -- let's perhaps, in order to avoid
11 confusion, Witness, apparently your last words were not put on the
12 record. Could you repeat them? After you said that you didn't know
13 whether they were detained until, what was it, I think in the 22nd or
14 23rd of July. You said you don't know. And what did you then add? No
15 new answers. Just to repeat what you said then.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I believe that some
17 people left and others came to the reception centre at Mlakve. I cannot
18 say with any certainty whether all those people remained until the date
19 specified by the Prosecutor.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
21 MR. TRALDI:
22 Q. One reason you can't say with certainty is you were never at the
23 stadium yourself; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you --
1 A. And I wasn't involved in such operative work later on.
2 Q. Now, during that period, however, you were negotiating with
3 representatives of the international community about the movement of
4 Muslims from Bosanski Novi. During those negotiations, they warned you
5 that it was against international humanitarian law to forcibly displace
6 people from their homes based on ethnic reasons, didn't they?
7 A. I had several conversations to that effect, and such issues were
8 raised during those meetings. Given the fact that you keep interrupting
9 me, I cannot elaborate it any further, because you wouldn't let me talk.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You've answered the question that matter was
12 Please proceed.
13 If Mr. Traldi wants further details, then he'll ask for it.
14 MR. TRALDI:
15 Q. And they expressed reluctance to assist with the Muslims leaving
16 because they didn't want to be part of what they considered to be ethnic
17 cleansing; right?
18 A. That's not right. They were not reluctant. They talked for days
19 and then they agreed when they realised that they did want to go.
20 Q. Well, let's look at two of the statements by one of the
21 negotiators you mention in your statement, Jean-Claude Concolato, at the
23 MR. TRALDI: Can the Prosecution please have 65 ter 11607.
25 Q. Now, this is an article published by Reuters on the 27th of
1 July 1992. In the third paragraph, we read:
2 "More than 10.000 Muslims from Bosanski Novi in Bosnia were
3 evacuated to Croatia by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
4 last week, telling of killings and terror at the hands of Serb militias."
5 Now, that's the evacuation that you were referring to that the
6 United Nations eventually agreed to assist with; right?
7 A. This text does say who did what and what happened.
8 Q. So, yes, that's the evacuation you were referring to?
9 A. That's what I assume. I don't know what Reuters wrote. The UN
10 evacuating the Muslim population. That is what is referred to, is it?
11 UNPROFOR that existed at the time?
12 Q. And what Mr. Concolato says about why they assisted is not that
13 they were convinced that the Muslims wanted to leave. He says at the end
14 of the fourth paragraph:
15 "They were blackmailed by Serb militiamen into evacuating them."
16 And in the fifth paragraph, it quotes his words explaining:
17 "The blackmail was very simple, he said. It consisted of saying
18 to us that if you don't evacuate these people, bad things will happen.
19 While we were there, bad things did happen - two explosions and a Muslim
20 was killed by sniper."
21 Now, that's the message you and other Serb leaders delivered to
22 the UN representatives: If you don't evacuate them, bad things will
23 happen; right?
24 A. That's not right. You did not read that somebody from the
25 paramilitaries threatened Jean-Claude Concolato. I never belonged to any
1 paramilitary formations, and you compared me to them now, and that is not
3 Q. Let's look at another of his statements.
4 MR. TRALDI: 65 ter 31968.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Just to understand your testimony fully, are you
6 saying that what is reported here was said during conversations with
7 paramilitaries and not with any of the -- any of your people?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The interpretation I received was
9 that Jean-Claude Concolato was blackmailed by the paramilitaries, not by
10 me or any of the official municipal organs. At least that's the
11 interpretation that I received.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I think that's not what you read, Mr. Traldi.
13 MR. TRALDI: I'm not sure how the word "militiamen" would have
14 been translated --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Militiamen, yes.
16 MR. TRALDI: -- Your Honour. But I think to be of --
17 JUDGE ORIE: But let me just ... let me just -- I'm trying to
18 find where you used the expression "militiamen."
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please. Yes, that was one of the
21 previous paragraphs.
22 Now, this conversation where it was said that bad things would
23 happen if they would not evacuate, was that part of your conversation you
24 had with -- with the UNHCR representatives, the UN representatives?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We talked to the UNHCR and I
1 certainly cannot give you an exact quote as to what was said, but we did
2 explain to them the reasons, the needs, that existed in Novi Grad, and
3 that we were explaining the safety of the population there. That was the
4 conversation. However, I cannot quote it unambiguously now. That I
5 cannot recall.
6 JUDGE ORIE: That was the gist of it, that if they wouldn't leave
7 that you couldn't guarantee their safety and that bad things would
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I repeat, I cannot say
10 whether that's exactly the way we had put it. But unfortunately in a war
11 only bad things happen. That is logical. That such variance had to be
12 taken into account, that some unpleasant things could happen. And I
13 repeat, certain paramilitary formations that were not under the command
14 of the municipal authorities or the military authorities --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Everyone accepts that bad things can happen during a
16 war. That is when you evacuate and also when you do not evacuate. War
17 is war. That's fully understood by everyone in this courtroom. Did you
18 make any link between bad things would happen if they would not evacuate?
19 If you don't remember, tell us, but that's the simple question.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but we always chose the lesser
21 evil, and in that way we wanted to meet the needs of the population so
22 that they would feel safer wherever it was that they were. That was the
23 aim of these conversations and talks.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Did you urge them to leave in order to avoid the
25 lesser evil?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, we did not encourage them or
2 urge them to go. And I keep saying that. What is being said all the
3 time is that we expelled them. The point was that they themselves
4 decided to leave, and there were several motives why they asked to leave
5 the area at the time.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Even if at the very end they decide that they want
7 to leave, that doesn't necessarily mean that they were not urged to leave
8 being warned about bad things that could happen to them. If you don't
9 see that, we'll have to move on. But if you agree with that, then ...
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not quite understand that
11 question. Could you kindly repeat it, please, if you can.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You emphasise again and again that they
13 decided to leave. Now, that is still possible if you're urged to leave
14 because bad things may happen to you, you may finally decide that you
15 hardly have any choice and that the only thing you can do is to leave.
16 So the one doesn't exclude the other. That's what I'm putting to you,
17 and I'm asking you whether you agree with that or not, irrespective of
18 what may have happened.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, look, we did not make these
20 assessments by ourselves. When I say "we" I'm talking about the Serb
21 organs. There were some Muslim representatives that were involved too,
22 and all this is supported by previous statements that were given,
23 including Muslims who said that they wanted to leave. So I believe that
24 there is no contest there. At first they even said that that was their
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I noticed that you stick to emphasise the
2 decision-making by the Muslims and more or less avoiding what may have
3 happened before and the possibilities of that.
4 Mr. Traldi, you may proceed.
5 MR. TRALDI:
6 Q. Sir, I'm just going to point you to one thing in this document.
7 This is Mr. Concolato giving a statement in the press again. You said
8 the UN wasn't reluctant to assist because they considered it ethnic
9 cleansing. They were happy to do it because the Bosnians wanted to
11 In the third paragraph, Mr. Concolato is quoted from an interview
12 with the Associated Press and he says:
13 "We have been forced to take part in this monstrous policy of
14 ethnic cleansing."
15 And then he describes in the next paragraph the convoy of Muslims
16 out of Bosanski Novi on the 23rd of July. In fact, the United Nations
17 publicly stated that they considered what was happening there to be
18 ethnic cleansing. That's the truth, isn't it? Yes or no?
19 A. What they stated, I don't know, and I cannot give you just a yes
20 or no answer. Now whether they committed the crime of ethnic cleansing,
21 that is for you to determine.
22 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I tender 65 ter 11607 and 31968.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Document 11607 receives number P7104.
25 And document 31968 receives number P7105, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: P7104 and P7105 are admitted.
2 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I have one more topic. It -- starting
3 it will require us briefly to go into private session.
4 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
5 [Private session]
11 Pages 31126-31128 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
6 MR. TRALDI:
7 Q. Now, sir, this is the testimony of a witness in the Krajisnik
8 case named Emin Puric, and he's asked by the Presiding Judge in that case
9 if the issue of the Muslims in Bosanski Novi returning to the places they
10 lived was ever discussed during the negotiations with you.
11 He replies, beginning at line 19:
12 "No, it was pointless to even mention this to them. It was a
13 question that had no sense at all at that point. We wanted to leave, to
14 save our lives ..."
15 When you say the Muslims in Bosanski Novi wanted to leave, when
16 you say they left voluntarily, what you mean is they wanted to leave to
17 save their lives. That's the truth; right?
18 A. Well, now you've just read out the statement of Mr. Puric who
19 said in that statement, if it was interpreted properly, yet again, and I
20 did not want to offend anyone, I repeat that yet again, he stated that
21 they wanted to leave and I believe that this statement is contradictory
22 in relation to the previous questions that we discussed. Nobody knew how
23 long the war would go on. Nobody knew whether the safety and security
24 situation would be all right. It was a time of war, chaos, killings,
25 et cetera, when indeed people did not know that safety in the territory
1 of Novi Grad or in the former Bosnia-Herzegovina would be restored. It
2 was impossible to establish that.
3 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Traldi.
5 Mr. Lukic, we have five minutes until the break. We could also
6 take an earlier break.
7 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, I would prefer to have a break now.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Have a break now. Could you give us an indication
9 as to how much time you would need?
10 MR. LUKIC: I noticed Mr. Traldi that after introducing document
11 P7103, that I will have then to have lengthy re-direct.
12 MR. TRALDI: And just to put clearly on the record, I'd used one
13 specific part of the document during cross-examination and would expect
14 that re-direct related to that portion.
15 MR. LUKIC: No. It will not relate only to that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: We'll see to what extent the questions in
17 re-examination are related to what was asked during cross-examination.
18 There are certain limits --
19 MR. LUKIC: But, Your Honour, but I can vouch that it will relate
20 only to cross-examination.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Therefore, I'm not ruling. Not knowing what
22 your questions will be, Mr. Lukic, it's useless for us to further discuss
23 that. We'll wait and see what happens.
24 Mr. Pasic, you're invited to follow the usher. We'll take a
25 break and we'd like to see you back in 20 minutes.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, if I could address one brief matter in
3 private session before we break.
4 JUDGE ORIE: We'll briefly turn into private session.
5 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 We'll take a break, and we'll resume at ten minutes to 11.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
24 JUDGE ORIE: We are waiting for the witness to be escorted into
25 the courtroom.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 [The witness takes the stand]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, you'll now be re-examined by Mr. Lukic.
4 Mr. Lukic, you may proceed.
5 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Pasic.
8 A. Good morning.
9 Q. We are nearing the end. My learned friend Mr. Traldi asked you
10 about paragraph 43 of your statement. You can go to it, or yet it's
11 necessary. I will just tell you it involves the destruction of a mosque.
12 In the paragraph itself you said that it was not an organised way that
13 mosques were destroyed in, and in a sentence after that you say the
14 government had a lot of problems with paramilitary formations.
15 These paramilitary formations appear later on in your statement
16 as well. In order to fully appreciate your testimony, please tell us
17 where those paramilitary formations came from to the area of Novi Grad
18 municipality or Bosanski Novi.
19 A. Thank you, Mr. Lukic. Thank you for protecting me previously.
20 The paramilitary formations --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, would you refrain from such statements.
22 Mr. Lukic puts questions to you, and Mr. Lukic now and then objects to
23 what the Prosecution does, just as the Prosecution objects sometimes to
24 what the Defence does. It's not for you - and I repeat that now - to
25 make implicit comments on who is doing his job well or not well and why
1 they are doing it.
2 Would you please keep that in mind? And, again, you are at risk
3 to invalidate your own testimony, and that's certainly not what you want,
4 I take it.
5 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
6 Perhaps we invite the witness to answer the question.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Pasic, please tell us where the paramilitary formations came
10 A. When discussing the topic of paramilitary formations and some
11 small groups and individuals. Unfortunately, those formations for the
12 most part came from the area of the then-Krajina, which is now in
13 Croatia. The war had begun there a year before the war in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina. People became armed and there was a proportion of
15 the people who illegally obtained weapons. Their only motive was
16 material gain. They had criminal motives and they began creating
17 problems. I have to say that we had a lot of such paramilitary
18 formations causing problems. Oftentimes they didn't choose their means
19 and didn't care whose property it was. Their only goal was to get to
20 some booty.
21 Q. Thank you. Next I'd like to show you P7099 - it has already been
22 shown to you - from the municipal TO Staff. It requested additional
23 ammunition and weapons on the 16th of March, 1992.
24 At the time in mid-March 1992, were the staff of the TO and the
25 TO itself under the command of the Sarajevo TO Staff or were they outside
1 of the system of the TO Bosnia-Herzegovina, if you know?
2 A. I don't think it was outside of the system. It was still at the
3 time of much turbulence. At the time, the JNA was still formally in
4 existence and the TO was supposed to be a part of it. In that period of
5 time, I think, there was still the single TO Staff in operation. I
6 apologise. At the time, there was still Muslim personnel in the
7 TO Staff.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Let us look at P7100
10 Q. This is the document you were unable to read. It is the document
11 of the Crisis Staff of Bosanski Novi municipality dated the 8th of June,
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let's look at another document in
14 relation to this one. It is P7101. It is a document of the
15 Bosanski Novi municipality Red Cross of the previous day, which is to say
16 the 7th of June, 1992.
17 Q. The first paragraph reads:
18 "For several weeks now, the Serbian army has been involved in war
19 operations against Muslim extremists in the Bosanski Novi area."
20 Do you recall any wartime operations in the area of your
22 A. Of course. It was the worst period in May and June. That is
23 when these war operations took place. For some operational reasons,
24 these paramilitary groups would often change into civilian clothes;
25 hence, the confusion and belief that we were going after civilians. It
1 wasn't true. These people would change between their military uniform
2 and civilian clothes to mutate, so to speak, thus causing confusion and
3 coming from the rear, endangering safety.
4 Q. The next sentence reads:
5 "The result of these operations is a large concentration of
6 Muslim people in Blagaj. Their accommodation in Blagaj is temporary
7 because representatives of the displaced Muslims have asked for voluntary
8 resettlement in Croatia."
9 Let me ask you this: How did it happen that the Muslims became
10 so concentrated in the area of Blagaj, if you know?
11 A. If I remember well, they believed that a smaller area, such as
12 the village of Blagaj, was safer for them. They believed that there
13 would be no incidents or uncomfortable situations. In the meantime,
14 there had already been attempts with the high commissioner for refugees
15 in Dvor Una and Topusko. So they were already participating in it. I
16 won't go into their reasons again, but they wished to go towards Croatia
17 and further on to Europe. It was their plan.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. LUKIC: We should go into the private session, Your Honours,
20 for a second to protect --
21 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 31136-31140 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Pasic, in the third paragraph of this document that is before
11 us -- you don't have to read it. I know that you have trouble reading
12 from the screen. It says:
13 "Also, operations are under way to cleanse the area around Blagaj
14 of Muslim extremists who are hiding in the surrounding woods. Due to
15 these operations, there is a real danger of some groups getting out of
16 the command and control ... and threatening the safety of people in
18 At Crisis Staff meetings, did you discuss military operations
19 taking place in and around Blagaj?
20 A. Well, the rule was that usually the chief of police, who was on
21 the Crisis Staff, and the TO Staff commander would briefly inform us
22 about the situation on the ground because they were the operatives who
23 had the most adequate information from the field. And, of course, they
24 did inform us about things like that, that were a threat from this or
25 that side.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, could I put a question.
2 MR. LUKIC: Sure.
3 JUDGE ORIE: When you read this document, you're not the author,
4 could you tell us how you understand the reference to certain -- "some
5 groups getting out of the command and the control mechanism." What
6 groups? Are you thinking of in terms of Bosnians, are you thinking in
7 terms of Serbs? When you read this.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I stated yesterday that at
9 one point in time -- I don't know exactly what the time reference would
10 be. But at one point in time, some people from the regional staff did
11 not act in accordance with the instructions of the TO Staff and measures
12 were taken, so this did happen from the Serb side but there were also
13 these Muslim groups that did not want to surrender their weapons, that is
14 to say, they put up a resistance, and of course this created tension and
15 fear among the rest of the population; that is to say, on both sides
16 there were such problems, both on the Serb and Muslim sides. So some
17 people had already surrendered weapons and were not putting up a
18 resistance, but part of the Muslim population that even wore civilian
19 uniforms or rather civilian clothing did put up this resistance in these
20 woods, thickets, forests, hills around their own houses or neighbours'
21 houses and --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, let's keep matters simple. So apparently
23 you understand "groups" here to refer to Muslim groups, not Serbs. Here,
24 in this document.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think, well, I'd have to read the
1 entire text in order to see what the author was trying to say. But my
2 assumption is that there were problems on both sides in my view.
3 Actually, this is my conclusion. I mean, as I've said, I would need to
4 read the entire text in order to understand the meaning that the author
5 of the text had in mind.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Let us look at P7103 now, please. This is a report of the -- on
9 the work of the Crisis Staff of the municipality of Bosanski Novi.
10 Q. We've seen this document. Your name is at the end, it hasn't
11 been signed, but now it is in evidence, and I'm going to ask you
12 something about what you knew at the time.
13 In line 13 in this text from the top, in the English version it
14 is line 10, this is what it says:
15 "It was requested that the TO units in the field be linked up and
16 systemised in terms of formation, that a command be established," and so
17 on and so forth.
18 Do you know which period is being referred to here and whether
19 the situation was like this in the TO, whether things were disorganised?
20 A. I think it's the very beginning. Perhaps one could say May,
21 June probably, and that speaks of the technical capacities of the
22 TO Staff; namely, they were not properly equipped -- I don't know. This
23 was information, if I understood it correctly. I don't know whether this
24 document was sent further up to higher-ranking organs to improve the
25 technical situation because often in the field one felt that the
1 communication system was not functioning adequately and, of course, at
2 the time there weren't such technical things like mobile telephones and
3 so on and so forth. So this was the request made to make this kind of
4 improvement, so there would be synchronisation among units so that these
5 kind of unpleasant things would not happen. If we would informed on
6 time, then we could take action in order to put a stop to any problem in
7 the field. I mean, that is the point of this kind of report.
8 Q. Thank you. Now let us take a look at the next paragraph, further
9 down, line 4.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Page 2 in English; again, line 4 from
11 the top of the page.
12 Q. This is what this report says:
13 "Would it be possible through negotiations to defuse the danger
14 of war and find a peaceful solution to the crisis?"
15 And then further down, please, line 6 from the bottom. In
16 English, it is the fifth line from the bottom of the page. It says:
17 "One has to speak to representatives of the SDA all the time and
18 find a peaceful solution."
19 Which period is this, Mr. Pasic? And, in practice, did this
21 A. Well, that is confirmed by my entire testimony. We thought all
22 the time that these were official political representatives at that time.
23 At that moment, the SDA was the party that Muslims belonged to, and we
24 believed that they were legitimate representatives and that they could
25 legitimately in a way influence the rest of the Muslim population. I
1 think that this is precisely the period that I mentioned; that is to say,
2 before and after these unfortunate conflicts, May, June, even part of
3 July, I think.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please slow down.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Pasic. Now let us look at the last sentence on
8 this page, and it is page 2 in English, the very last sentence in
9 paragraph 1. It says:
10 "The Crisis Staff pointed out that all armed individuals outside
11 the TO are paramilitaries and that they must either be placed under
12 control or disarmed."
13 Do you remember who you meant here?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
15 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'm going to object on several
17 First, I think this has been leading and leading on portions of a
18 document that didn't come up during cross-examination.
19 Second, the disarmament order that comes up in the witness's
20 statement and he wasn't crossed about that, but it's clearly discussed in
21 the statement and wasn't cross-examined about.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic how --
23 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, this document is allegedly composed by
24 this gentleman. I don't know whom else should we discussed with the
25 documents that are in the evidence introduced by the Prosecution.
1 MR. TRALDI: If -- Your Honours, the Defence was clearly on
2 notice from the witness's previous testimonies that he was able to
3 comment on this document. If the Defence chooses not to use their court
4 time in direct examination on a document, going through it in detail in
5 re-direct because one portion of it has been used on cross-examination, I
6 would submit, is neither an efficient nor a proper use of the Court's
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, there seems to be a dispute about whether
9 your right to re-examine the witness is focusing on the subject matter of
10 cross-examination or whether it's just a formal link with a document
11 which was used, although not in those respects.
12 Let me just confer with my colleagues for one second.
13 MR. LUKIC: If I may say something, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: If it's undisputed between us and the Prosecution
16 that there was intention on Mr. Pasic's side of the Crisis Staff of
17 Novi Grad at that time to disarm everybody who was illegally armed, we
18 would not have -- it wouldn't be necessary for us to pose this question.
19 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, of course that matter is disputed.
20 The point is that to ask that question by pointing to a document the
21 Defence is on notice of for the first time on redirect examination is
22 simply not, in my submission, proper. It's increasingly improper to do
23 it when similar assertions are in the statement.
24 MR. LUKIC: We received this document when the cross started from
25 the Prosecution.
1 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, this is document, aside from being
2 discussed in both of the witness's previous testimonies, has been on our
3 65 ter list, so the Defence has had access to it since at least February
4 of 2012. To say they received the document for the first time yesterday
5 is misleading --
6 MR. LUKIC: [Overlapping speakers]
7 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... Let me stop you there at
8 this moment. I don't think that the claim by Mr. Lukic is that he had no
9 access to this document. It's just that he says that it really would be
10 used. And of course, we often find long lists. A 65 ter list is pretty
11 long. Then the lists which are provided for documents to be used in
12 cross-examination indeed are relatively long as well and are received
13 only briefly before.
14 But let me, as I announced earlier, briefly confer with my
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ORIE: The parties have to be selective some way in what
18 they can deal with in the limited time provided. The Chamber has tried
19 to analyse the situation.
20 Mr. Traldi, do you want the Chamber to rely on any other portion
21 of this document you did not deal with in cross-examination? And are
22 you, for example, willing to limit even or to -- to make a selection of
23 matters you consider it to be important? Because if you are not, then of
24 course all of it is in evidence, and then Mr. Lukic should have an
25 opportunity to ask further questions about it. But if you limit yourself
1 to the portions you dealt with, then we might decide otherwise.
2 MR. TRALDI: In this case, Your Honour, we would rely on the
3 document, and --
4 JUDGE ORIE: In its entirety?
5 MR. TRALDI: In its entirety.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then Mr. Lukic has an opportunity to put further
7 questions to the witness about the content of the document.
8 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
10 MR. LUKIC: And I warned Mr. Traldi if he is going to introduce
11 this document that I will have to have lengthy re-direct.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I take it you brought to his attention.
13 MR. LUKIC: Yes, not warned.
14 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, Mr. Lukic has developed this very
15 unfortunate practice of threatening me lately.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I know that you're a strong man, Mr. Traldi,
17 so --
18 MR. LUKIC: I have that -- [Overlapping speakers].
19 JUDGE ORIE: As long as Mr. Lukic --
20 MR. LUKIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... really threatened by me.
21 JUDGE ORIE: As long as Mr. Lukic is not an overlapping speaker
22 and still laughs, which does not appear on the transcript, then we take
23 it that we might move in the right direction.
24 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Pasic, what was the intention that you
2 had at the Crisis Staff? Do you remember that there were discussions
3 about this, that all armed persons who were outside the TO should either
4 placed under control or disarmed?
5 A. Yes, that is absolutely what the thinking was, and that can be
6 supported by a great many other things; namely, that we insisted that all
7 these paramilitary formations should be neutralised. They should be
8 disarmed or perhaps part of these people should be mobilised in military
9 terms and become part of the TO or the civilian police. Irrespective of
10 ethnic background, that's what we insisted upon.
11 I don't know whether you're going to ask me about this, but I
12 would just like to present this argument; namely, that we had a great
13 problem with part of these small groups. And there was even a killing
14 that occurred, a Serb was killed. I think that that was documented
15 during my previous testimony when a man who belonged to a paramilitary
16 formation and who resisted the law had to be liquidate physically by the
17 civilian police.
18 Q. The person who was killed is of what ethnicity?
19 A. He's a Serb.
20 Q. Just a moment, please. What was his name?
21 A. If my memory serves me correctly, I think it was Miroslav Petic.
22 He belonged to, how do I put this, a criminal group that operated there.
23 They also called them Suva Rebra, dry ribs, and unfortunately he had to
24 be liquidated because he resisted the civilian police and they had no
25 other choice. But he is an ethnic Serb.
1 Q. Thank you. We are moving chronologically now we are dealing with
2 the 20th of April. It says here that on the 20th of April part of the
3 Novi Battalion that was stationed in Jasenovac came to Bosanski Novi and
4 raised a Serb flag there using the threat of force.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We need page 2 in B/C/S. Page 2 in
6 English, the third paragraph, that's where that is all stated.
7 Q. It says this was assessed to be a certain incident and the Crisis
8 Staff could not agree to that. What was your reactions? Do you
9 remember, Mr. Pasic?
10 A. Well, yes, I do remember that moment. I don't know the exact
11 date, but I think it was precisely on that date the Crisis Staff thought
12 that this kind of forceful raising of the flag could be disproved of by
13 the other part of the population, the Muslim population, and our
14 assessment was that in this way people could be irritated in a way, and
15 we simply thought that that was not the right move. That was the
16 thinking of the Crisis Staff. That is to say, our view was that that
17 should not have been done.
18 Q. All right.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Page 3 in B/C/S now, page 4 in
20 English. In the B/C/S version, we need paragraph 3 from the top.
21 Q. You will see that it starts with the words: "While
22 implementing ..."
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And in the English version, we need
24 the paragraph -- page 4, paragraph 2 from the bottom of the page.
25 Q. So this is what it says:
1 "Regarding the implementation of the government decision on
2 disarming in the time-period from the 5th to the 11th of May, the Crisis
3 Staff representatives invested a lot of effort in negotiations with the
4 SDA representatives in order to implement the disarming action
6 These negotiations for the SDA, could you tell us who took part
7 in that, just briefly, and what kind of agreement was reached, if you
9 A. I'm not going to say 100 per cent, but for the most part I took
10 part in this and other members of the Crisis Staff; those who were
11 involved in particular topics, if I can put it that way. Our aim was to
12 prevent a conflict, to establish some kind of peace although there was a
13 war waging around us already, and we made all conceivable efforts to try
14 to prevent a conflict in Novi Grad. That was the aim of all of these
15 talks and --
16 Q. Do you remember who took part in these talks from the SDA side?
17 A. Well, it was Izet Mehmedagic, their president, in say 90 per cent
18 of all cases. Some people would also come along. I mean, their
19 hierarchy was a bit stronger. They respect the fact that somebody is
20 their president. Unfortunately, the Serbs don't really feel that way.
21 So he attended all of these meetings. I have to admit, and I have to
22 say, unfortunately this man lost his life after that. At that moment, he
23 did show, I don't know what his inner thoughts were, but he did show that
24 he wanted to have peace. And very often he said that at these talks. If
25 there is a conflict -- now, I mean, was he aware of the situation that
1 the Muslims were in? He said that their plan was to leave the territory
2 of the municipality of Novi Grad.
3 Q. Thank you. The next paragraph which is the last in the English
4 version and the following in the B/C/S reads:
5 "On the 11th of May after the deadline for the surrender of
6 weapons had passed and after the incident involving military police
7 patrol in Blagaj, armed conflict started on town territory."
8 What was this incident involving the military police a patrol,
9 what is it about?
10 A. It happened on the main road between Novi Grad and Prijedor, some
11 6 to 7 kilometres away from Novi Grad. It was sometime in the evening
12 hours, as far as I know between 10.00 and 12.00 in the evening. In that
13 Muslim location of Blagaj, some unknown perpetrators - unknown to us,
14 that is - opened fire at the police patrol from the TO Staff. There were
15 no victims but one person was lightly wounded. Of course, the vehicle
16 was also damaged. It was the first armed incident that took place.
17 Unfortunately, it proved to be fatal because that is when all those
18 difficult operations and days ensued following that date.
19 Q. The next paragraph.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Page 5 in the English, paragraph 2,
21 line 4.
22 Q. It reads -- and this is something Mr. Traldi asked you about
23 concerning the shelling and the TO and whether it was the reason for the
24 people to depart from the territory.
25 It says as follows:
1 "The TO Staff didn't issue order to open fire on Bosanski Novi
2 territory, except for Blagaj where warning shots were fired when the
3 military police was attacked."
4 Are you familiar with the sequence of events? Was there first
5 the attack on the military police, or first were these warning shells
6 fired first?
7 A. Well, logic dictates that there must have been an incident first
8 involving the military police for the shells to be fired.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Would you not tell us what logic is but would you
10 tell us what you know about it. If you have specific information, tell
11 us; if you don't have, then tell us as well.
12 Mr. Traldi.
13 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, just to preserve a very specific
14 objection: These matters are all addressed in the witness's statement,
15 and we continue not to consider this an efficient use of court time.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: So now I cannot even re-direct on something that was
18 directly crossed, cross-examined.
19 JUDGE ORIE: No, if you --
20 MR. LUKIC: I don't think that's the position of the Prosecution.
21 JUDGE ORIE: No, I think that it's the position of the
22 Prosecution that it's mainly repetitious in that respect.
23 MR. TRALDI: I would agree with that and say while the document
24 came in -- using parts of the document that weren't asked about to
25 restate evidence in this statement is perhaps not what the Chamber
1 intended to address in its decision.
2 JUDGE ORIE: No, at the same time, Mr. Traldi, this, of course,
3 relates now to how it was described in the document. That is a new
4 element in the -- it's not just the what the witness tells us. But at
5 the same time the witness often, as he showed in his answer to the last
6 question, is talking about logic. We're not interested in -- well, we're
7 interested in logic but not necessarily the witness's logic.
8 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, I correctly noticed, and my question was
9 if this witness has knowledge.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and he doesn't have it. He says -- he starts
11 explaining about logic, so apparently he has no knowledge. Otherwise, he
12 would have told us.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pasic, it is the Judges' impression that you
16 have no knowledge of this. Do you have any personal knowledge about
18 A. No, I apologise for having caused confusion. It was not my
19 intention. I received that piece of information. It was reported to me
20 immediately after those events. First, there was the incident involving
21 the attack on the military patrol of the TO Staff and then the warning
22 shells were fired. We used radio communication at the time since the
23 telephone lines were down and I lived outside of the centre of Novi Grad.
24 They got in touch with me, and I came to the town. At around 1.00 in the
25 morning that day, we called Mr. Muhamedagic to try and calm the situation
1 down. He responded to it and was quite co-operative in an attempt to
2 deal with the problem.
3 Together with the TO Staff commander, I was there, as well as
4 Mr. Muhamedagic, SDA president, at the TO Staff. We were trying to come
5 up with a solution in order to put a stop to what was going on. I think
6 I mention it in my statement. Mr. Muhamedagic even issued a written
7 statement and made a statement on Novi Grad radio. It was in the morning
8 at around 4.00 or 5.00 a.m. It was an extraordinary broadcast.
9 Mr. Muhamedagic called upon the Muslim population, those who were armed
10 and who were extremists, to abstain from any opening fire so as to be
11 able to deal with the problem during the day. Once the night was over,
12 we hoped to be able to find a solution during the next day.
13 That is the extent of my knowledge. I partially participated
14 directly in what was going on but only in that part. I participated in
15 those events in terms of specific things. In other words, I was not in
16 the area of Blagaj but I was at the TO Staff command down-town. Blagaj
17 is 6 to 7 kilometres away from Novi Grad.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Thank you. In the same paragraph --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, could I take the witness back to one of
22 his previous answers.
23 There was a -- it was read to you that -- that Mr. Traldi had
24 asked about shelling.
25 Now, Mr. Lukic, I think you are talking about warning shells?
1 Could you tell us exactly --
2 MR. LUKIC: Yes, I can. It's page 9, line 22.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes -- no, but you are talking about warning shells,
4 isn't it?
5 MR. LUKIC: That's what the document is talking about.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
7 Now, could you tell us, Witness, exactly whether these warning
8 shells, did they -- did they hit any persons or houses or that they just
9 explode in a meadow without any damage apart from damage to the meadow
10 and perhaps one or two cows? Could you tell us about the warning shells,
11 how many were there? Could you tell us where they landed?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yesterday already I said that
13 the then-TO Staff formation had that type of infantry weaponry at its
14 disposal. I think they were 60-millimetre mortars. These warning shells
15 were fired on a meadow, as you said yourself. There was no destruction
16 or human casualties, unless you consider the meadow itself. But they
17 weren't fired at any houses or at people.
18 JUDGE ORIE: And they also did not hit any houses, did not hit
19 any people?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is what I was told.
23 JUDGE ORIE: But do you know? Do you have any knowledge apart
24 from what others told you?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the second or third day, it -- I
1 would have found out had they lied to me, but they hadn't. They told me
2 that they did it for psychological effect. They fired those shells on a
3 meadow close to the village.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You say you were told that they never hit any
5 house or no person was affected by it, and you said what you saw a few
6 days later would confirm that information.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I didn't see it. Please.
8 When I queried what had happened the day before and even before that,
9 people told me that nothing was damaged.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you verified that because you said on the
11 second or third day, I would have found out if they lied to me but they
12 hadn't. How were you able to establish that they had not lied to you?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, some things could be
14 subsequently checked, not perhaps at the same time with any reliability,
15 but --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, tell us, then, what you checked.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely that. I spoke to
18 Mr. Muhamedagic. I asked him whether he knew of anyone being hurt or
19 killed or somebody's house being destroyed. He confirmed that,
20 fortunately, it was not the case. So at that point in time there was no
21 destruction, no damage. That was the knowledge I obtained.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you first received information and a few
23 days later you heard from -- I always have difficulties in pronouncing
24 his name, but the SDA representative you received information that,
25 indeed, no house was damaged, no person was hit by any shell, but you
1 didn't observe it personally. You didn't go in the field and you saw
2 that all the houses were intact?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely so.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
5 MR. LUKIC: I think it's the break time, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: It is. Could you tell us how much more time you
7 would uses -- you would need, Mr. Lukic?
8 MR. LUKIC: I hope I'll finish in the next 20 minutes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. LUKIC: And we have only two witnesses today and tomorrow, so
11 we'll finish both of them.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We take a break.
13 Witness, you are invited to follow the usher, and we'll resume at
14 quarter past 12.00.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 --- Recess taken at 11.54 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.18 p.m.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, please proceed.
21 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pasic, we do not have much time and yet we
23 have a number of topics to deal with. I would kindly ask you for precise
24 answer, and if you believe it necessary to explain some things, do go
1 MR. LUKIC: I will need P7103 on our screens again. We were on
2 page 3 in B/C/S and on page 5 in English. So paragraph 2 in English on
3 the page 5, and the second-last paragraph in B/C/S.
4 Q. [Interpretation] In addition to what we have already discussed,
5 we also see here that the TO Staff commander says as follows. It was his
6 estimate that he could not preserve control over the entire municipality
7 and that some groups are distancing themselves from the chain of command,
8 are not obeying orders, and are acting on their own initiative. Such
9 large number of armed people should be placed under control.
10 He adds by saying that certain groups of people are engaging in
11 looting, and various armed groups introducing themselves as regular
12 units, whereas in fact we they operate under no one's control and command
13 and are engaging in looting activities.
14 Next it is stated on the same page, it is the second
15 paragraph from the bottom in the English, that:
16 "The Crisis Staff analysed the situation and distanced itself
17 from the activities carried out by such illegal groups and that this
18 conclusion was reached on the 13th of May."
19 You proposed the following, and I will ask you about how much of
20 it was implemented. It reads -- it is on the next page in the B/C/S.
21 "Simultaneously, all bodies have been instructed" --
22 MR. LUKIC: Sorry, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: We have lost our English version. Thank you so
25 MR. LUKIC: Mm-hm.
1 Q. [Interpretation] "At the same time, all the bodies have been
2 instructed and fully authorised to undermine the work and activity of the
3 aforementioned illegal individuals, that is, to remove them from the
4 territory of the municipality."
5 During the same session, a binding conclusion was issued to the
6 municipal TO Staff to have its military police units, with the assistance
7 of the police units from the SJB, and if need be with engaging the
8 military police from the Banja Luka Corps, carry out an assessment of the
9 situation and undertake specific measures of mopping up terrain in the
10 parts of town where there had been incidents.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could we have the last page that was here, please.
12 This is not the right page.
13 MR. LUKIC: Then we have to go to page 6.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I think it's on page 5 in English, the lower part of
15 the page.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could it be enlarged by deleting the frame on the
18 right side? Thank you. And the same perhaps in B/C/S.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. "They should also introduce public law and order and ensure the
21 possibility for civilians to return to the area."
22 Mr. Pasic, following the 13th of May, were you successful in
23 bringing the tensions down and in disarming these groups, or did the
24 situation become worse?
25 A. This does refresh my memory. I remember that we asked for the
1 situation to be calmed down but it did not, it wasn't, as can be seen
2 from a number of documents. There were groups beyond anyone's control as
3 specified here. However, we tried our best to introduce normal life and
4 law and order. Unfortunately, the war was already under way, and there
5 were incidents on both sides making the situation worse from one day to
6 the next. It became worse by the day. We really tried to ask those
7 competent bodies, such as the TO Staff and the civilian police, to
8 intervene. The basic problem was the one we've already mentioned. There
9 was a shortage of personnel, operative personnel, and also equipment. We
10 discussed that issue a moment ago when we talked about weapons and
11 equipment for the needs of the military and the police. That was the
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let us briefly look at page 5 in the
15 B/C/S and 7 in the English, the last paragraph in the English, meaning
16 we'll need to go to the next page there as well.
17 Q. Have a look at the third paragraph from the bottom, where it
19 "On the 20th of May, a session of the Municipal SDS Board was
20 held, where an analysis was taken of the political and security situation
21 in the field -- in the municipality, and three important positions were
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Lukic, do we have the right page in English?
24 MR. LUKIC: We have to turn it to another page.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, it's page 7 that was asked for.
1 MR. LUKIC: Yeah. Until now we were on the right page. Now I
2 can continue. We just need the last --
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated] Can we see the bottom
4 of this page. Thank you so much.
5 MR. LUKIC: Yes, that's what I just read. And we have to go to
6 the next page.
7 Q. [Interpretation] So, three important positions were taken,
8 according to the document. Let's see what they are.
9 "1: All citizens who want to move out voluntarily from the area
10 of Bosanski Novi must be allowed to do so unobstructed."
11 "2: Strictly forbid any measures and activities that would be
12 directed at the -- the forceful moving out of the citizens.
13 "3: All the citizens who decided to reside in the area of the
14 Bosanski Novi municipality must give their unambiguous insurances of
15 total loyalty to the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
16 I need to read out the following paragraph in relation to this
17 and then I'll have a question.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In the English, it the first full
19 paragraph; and, in the B/C/S, it goes on.
20 Q. "We saw the conclusions of the SDS but it seems that the
21 Crisis Staff met on May 27th. At its session it acknowledged the stands
22 of the SO SDS on relocation and conclusions from the SDS and SDA
23 representatives' sessions held the previous day, at which stands and
24 political decisions on voluntary location were accepted
25 [Realtime transcript read in error "excepted"]."
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: "Accepted," which means something different.
2 MR. LUKIC: Accepted, yes. Thank you, Your Honour. Not
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: They were made an exception of?
5 MR. LUKIC: No, no, no. They accepted it.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Oh. Well, if you look at the English.
7 MR. LUKIC: Yeah, you noticed actually the wrong translation.
8 Q. [Interpretation] So, in the original, it says "where the
9 positions were accepted."
10 Mr. Pasic, did you take part in this meeting of the SDS
11 Crisis Staff and the meeting with the representatives of the SDA when
12 this was discussed on these dates, the 20th, the 22nd of May 1992?
13 A. Well, yes, I did take part in the Crisis Staff, that's for sure.
14 I think that I was at the SDS meeting too. I'm -- I was a member of the
15 SDS. I belonged to this political orientation, so as part of the
16 leadership. So 90 per cent of the meetings I did attend. As for this
17 other one, I'm not going to claim with 100 per cent certainty that I was
18 there at all meetings with the SDA, but I was there at most of the
19 meetings. So I'm aware of this subject matter as referred to here in
20 this written text.
21 Q. In talks during those days with the representatives of the SDA or
22 anybody else during those days, did they accept, did they -- did they
23 express their views regarding these conclusions?
24 A. Well, one can say that this was more and more pronounced by the
25 representatives of the SDA and these people who represented the Muslim
1 people; namely, that they wanted to leave the area. I mentioned that in
2 my statement too, what the reasons were, what the motives were for them
3 to leave the area of the municipality of Novi Grad.
4 Q. Let me briefly remind you of something else.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We need page 9, paragraph 2 in the
6 English; and page 6, paragraph 2, in the B/C/S.
7 Q. You see the second paragraph here underneath the long one? It
9 "The population in Blagaj remained without a solution so one was
10 sought for its migration. Negotiations were held with the organs of the
11 Autonomous Region with the government of the Serbian Republic of Krajina
12 and UNPROFOR. The remaining possibility was to expedite a voluntary
13 emigration towards Banja Luka and that a return to the valley of Japra
14 was definitely impossible, but this population showed no willingness for
16 Did you take part in the negotiations when this proposal was
17 refused by the population of the Japra river valley, when they refused to
18 move in the direction of Banja Luka?
19 A. In that time-period, attempts were made in respect of the
20 territories that were under Serb control, if I can put it that way, that
21 this part of the population should be moved to that area in depth because
22 we thought they'd be safer there. It would go on for a day or two. We
23 thought that by then the situation would have been normalised.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, the question was did you take part in the
25 negotiations. Could you please answer that question.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's what I've been trying
2 to say. I am aware of this fact and I am saying what the intention was
3 of that.
4 JUDGE ORIE: No, but that wasn't the question. The question was
5 not what intentions there were. The question was whether you
6 participated in those negotiations.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am aware of that. I think I did
8 take part.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Did you take part or not? Think? I mean, we're not
10 interested in your thoughts. We're interested in what your recollection
11 is as to whether you took part or not. If you know, tell us; if you
12 don't know, tell us as well.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is hard to give that kind of
14 answer, simply because there were many questions that interacted in that
15 period. I think that I am a participant in this situation, but --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, next question, please. The witness
17 apparently is not inclined to give a direct answer to the question.
18 Next, please.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Do you know who conveyed the proposals to the population of
21 Blagaj, these proposals to move? How did this function? Tell us
22 briefly. Who tells their representatives, who are these representatives,
23 who conveys this to the population?
24 A. They had their own representatives from their own ethnic
25 community and they attended these meetings when conclusions would be
1 agreed upon. So they were supposed to move to the interior, and the
2 representatives of the Muslim population were there and they conveyed it
3 to them. So it's not that we directly went out into the field and that
4 we talked to the masses. Rather, we spoke to the representatives of
5 these people, and then they were the intermediaries, they were the ones
6 who conveyed this further, who explained to these people what the
7 proposals were, what the proposals and conclusions were.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
10 In view of these answers, could you tell us -- we're talking
11 about thousands of people, if I understand well. Was it verified that
12 everyone who was leaving agreed with that, or was it just that you
13 accepted that they all wanted to leave without verifying whether that
14 would be true for all individuals?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was impossible to go from house
16 to house and from individual to individual. We worked with their
18 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, again, I'm not asking what was possible. I
19 asked whether it was verified, and I do understand your answer to be that
20 it was not verified on an individual basis. Is that correctly
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You understood that correctly.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Now, could you tell us how many remained in the
24 area, where most of people left or all of them left? Could you tell us
25 how many households still would remain -- remained in the area at the
1 time? I mean Bosnian households.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Approximately then. Was it ten, was it 100, was it
4 500? Households; I'm talking about households.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, households, it's very hard to
6 say. Perhaps it's easier to speak of the number of inhabitants. I think
7 about 500 so or remained, but how many I really wouldn't dare say. I
8 don't think it would be an accurate answer if I were to give you any
9 particular figure now. I think it was somewhat over 500 but that is not
10 a reliable or accurate answer.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Did they originate from specific villages or was it
12 from all villages, a very small number.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think it was from several
14 villages, not just one village. Several.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And why do you think that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think, in view of the
17 situation that later -- I mean, over a period of time, that is to say,
18 during the war some people appeared who were not only from Blagaj but
19 Suhaca, Agici, some of these typically Muslim villages. How many of them
20 were there, it's hard to say. I mean, later, in that period, you
21 couldn't know where they came from or how many were there, but in view of
22 the sequence of events that followed in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 we would
23 learn, say, that there is somebody there from Gornji Agici who is living
24 there, who stayed on ...
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you give us a few examples which -- do
1 you remember Mr. X, Mr. Y who stayed and in what village he stayed, or,
2 if it's a she, where she stayed.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know, really. I mean, I
4 don't know because I was not prepared for that. Perhaps that could have
5 been the case if some checks were to be carried out.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, at this moment I'm asking what your
7 recollection is. Could you tell us whether there's still -- those who
8 stayed, are they still living in the same municipality, to the extent you
9 know. If you don't know, tell us as well.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean nowadays whether they're
11 living there now?
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Or whether you know what happened to them in
13 the last, well, let's say, 20 years? Whether they stayed after the war,
14 whether they -- do you have any knowledge about that?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, certainly part of that Muslim
16 population stayed on during the war then and after the war, too. And I
17 think they're still living there. Now, I mean, biologically, whether
18 somebody died a natural death, that I don't know. But I know that there
19 are some people there and that there are people who had left the area and
20 who returned and who are living there right now although they left during
21 the war. You can see that on the basis of renovated houses in these
22 villages that these people returned, and now they live a most normal
24 JUDGE ORIE: How many did return, to your knowledge.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have an exact figure.
1 Right now, I'm not in the municipal organs. But there are some figures
2 to the effect that part of the population had returned and that part of
3 the population is coming from time to time, coming on vacation, they work
4 in other countries, and then they spend their vacations there, and then
5 they live there.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 Mr. Lukic, please proceed.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. We're getting close to the end, Mr. Pasic. It's not going to
10 take very long. We've come to the stadium now. My colleague Mr. Traldi
11 asked you on page -- LiveNote page 10, line 7. You spoke about this
12 train that went to Doboj, women, children, the elderly continue their
13 journey; able-bodied men return, are put up at the Mlakve stadium. At
14 this stadium, Mlakve, was anybody killed there?
15 A. Not that I know of. As far as I know, no.
16 Q. From the stadium, did these people go away. They did leave at
17 some point, didn't they?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Where did they go?
20 A. I mean, all these reception centres as we called them at that
21 time, so one of them was the Mlakve stadium. I mean, all these people on
22 that last day when the refugees left they all went in the direction of
23 Croatia and to third countries out into the world. Nobody stayed on
24 after that day.
25 Q. Mr. Pasic, thank you. That's all that we had for you.
1 A. Thank you, too.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, do you have any further questions for
4 the witness?
5 MR. TRALDI: Just about five minutes, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
7 Further cross-examination by Mr. Traldi:
8 Q. Sir, if we could stick with this same document.
9 MR. TRALDI: And have the bottom of page 7 in the English and
10 what I believe is the bottom of page 5 in the B/C/S.
11 Q. While that comes up you were asked about shelling, and in that
12 context, you said you heard that there was no destruction or human
13 casualties when warning shells were fired at Blagaj on or around 12th of
14 May, 1992, but you didn't go to the area. You do know that after the
15 mortars fired at Muslim villages in the Japra valley later that month and
16 the disarming operations, many men were killed in the Japra valley, many
17 houses and other structures were set on fire, and those villages were
18 completely looted? You know those things to be true; right?
19 A. That's not right.
20 Q. Well, let's have, then --
21 MR. TRALDI: And, I'm sorry, I'm looking for the bottom of page 8
22 in the English.
23 Q. And this follows immediately on the paragraph about the armed
24 activities including the use of mortars that caused the expulsion of
25 Muslim civilians from the victims of G. Agic, Celopek, Hozic, and Suhaca.
1 The next --
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Where are you reading from?
3 MR. TRALDI: That's the second-to-last paragraph.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
5 MR. TRALDI:
6 Q. And after that it mentions an order by the Crisis Staff. Below
7 that in the final paragraph the very bottom of the page, we read:
8 "The order was not followed through which led to complete chaos,
9 the villages mentioned were completely looted, and enormous problems
10 appeared in relation to ..."
11 MR. TRALDI: Then we turn to the next page.
12 Q. "... Civilian defence. There were men killed, many houses were
13 set on fire, as well as other structures."
14 So in fact you and the rest of the Crisis Staff did know to be
15 true that property in the Japra valley had been looted, that men had been
16 killed there, and that various structures had been set on fire. That's
17 the truth; right.
18 A. That's not true.
19 Q. Mr. Lukic asked you if you knew how the Muslims from the Japra
20 valley got to Blagaj. You said: "They believed that a smaller area
21 would be safer for them." They believed it would be safer because of
22 exactly these events that we read about in your Crisis Staff's report;
24 A. You won't let me talk. I keep giving short answers, and of
25 course that is confusing. I cannot give answers the way you are putting
1 questions, because this is a very big question and it is too big for just
2 a short answer, and that is probably why I'm going to confuse you, you're
3 not going to get the right picture, you're not going to get to the truth
4 of the matter.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, as long as your answers directly relate
6 to what you're asked, then no one stops you. It's only when you start
7 answering all kind of questions that were not put to you, that's where
8 you're stopped.
9 So could you please, instead of criticising the question, could
10 you answer the question. A portion was read to you. The question was:
11 "They believed it would be safer because of exactly these events
12 that we read about in your Crisis Staff's reports..."
13 That that is why they believed that a smaller area would be safer
14 for them. The question was whether you agree with that or not.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, quite simply I don't
16 understand such a lengthy question. And what time-period is involved?
17 Is it the beginning of May, mid-May, the end of May, the beginning of
18 June, is it July? I don't know what you're saying. I don't understand
19 you. I'm not criticizing the question. I'm saying that I don't have an
20 answer --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you did criticise the question, as a matter
22 of fact, and you did criticise us for not allowing you to answer. I
23 think what Mr. Traldi referred to is when the population concentrated in
25 Is that --
1 MR. TRALDI: That's right, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That is in the context of the questions clear
3 to the Chamber, but now it's maybe clear to you as well.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So if we're talking about this
5 period towards the end of May, then this culmination took place, this
6 chaos culminated, if I can put it that way. The situation was indeed
7 very difficult, and the situation was such that certain paramilitary
8 formations caused great problems for us. And of course, at that time
9 there were certain clashes, but there was fire coming were both sides;
10 that is to say, that it wasn't that people were just standing on one side
11 and shooting from the other side. So there was sporadic gun-fire, there
12 was fighting, there were attempts made in certain parts of villages to
13 find out where the shooting was coming from. So all of these are moments
14 that cannot be described in just in two or three words. It is impossible
15 to describe it.
16 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, if I might briefly follow up.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you may.
18 MR. TRALDI:
19 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you just to confirm whether certain
20 proposition that appear in this report are literally true, yes or no.
21 Is it true, yes or no, that the villages in the Japra valley were
22 completed looted as your Crisis Staff wrote in 1992?
23 A. If that is from the report and if the Crisis Staff wrote that, I
24 am not opposed to such statements.
25 Q. Is it true that men were killed in those villages as your Crisis
1 Staff wrote in the report in 1992?
2 A. I don't know where that's written. Can you show me that? Can I
3 see what this is all about? I mean, you are confusing me.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, it was read to you when it was read to
5 you that property in the Japra valley had been looted, men had been
6 killed there, and various structures had been set on fire. That is what
7 is in the report. And it was read to you several times, but that is what
8 Mr. Traldi is asking about, whether it's true that men were killed as
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, look, if men were killed, if
11 the interpretation is right, the question is obviously who was it that
12 left on the 23rd of July, who left then; that's to say, not everybody --
13 JUDGE ORIE: No, we're not talking on a hypothetical basis. The
14 question is whether you can confirm that men in those villages were
15 killed as is stated in that Crisis Staff report.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really cannot confirm that given
17 the time distance involved. I really cannot confirm that.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Fine.
19 Next question, please, Mr. Traldi.
20 MR. TRALDI:
21 Q. Sir, how is it that you can recall there was fire coming from
22 different directions, you can recall details that are -- or that suggest
23 there was combat, but you captain recall the information that your
24 Crisis Staff reported in 1992 that reflects the crimes committed against
25 Muslim civilians in that area?
1 MR. LUKIC: I would object to this type of question.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please. Reason for objection is?
3 MR. LUKIC: Have you -- how is it that you can recall one thing
4 and you cannot recall another.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Well, sometimes there is an explanation for that and
6 Mr. Traldi explores whether the witness can provide such an information.
7 And if he cannot, he will tell us.
8 MR. LUKIC: But -- and I would really suggest that Mr. Traldi
9 reads what he wants this gentleman to confirm. It's -- I read that he
10 would remember or maybe he would -- [Overlapping speakers].
11 JUDGE ORIE: The witness testified in quite some detail about the
12 events at the time, and the witness also told us that due to the passage
13 of time he doesn't remember whether people were killed as was stated in
14 that report.
15 Mr. Traldi explores with the witness whether he has any
16 explanation why on one matter he still knows the details, while on
17 another matter you does not.
18 And that is the question that the witness is now invited to
20 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, but if you -- [Overlapping speakers].
21 JUDGE ORIE: No, Mr. Lukic. This is not a detail. This is a
22 ruling, and the witness is invited to answer the question.
23 Do you have any explanation, Mr. Pasic, as why you do remember
24 some details and whereas on this matter your recollection doesn't serve
25 you anymore?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] An explanation as to why I remember
2 certain details and others I don't is probably the one that has to do
3 with nature. It's normal. Some things I remember, others I don't.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
5 Next question please, Mr. Traldi.
6 MR. TRALDI: I have no further questions, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: No further questions.
8 Then I have one. I would like to address the parties. There was
9 this huge discussion about whether there was an order to the TO, yes or
10 no, which also appears in this document. A date is mentioned for that
11 order. But as far as I remember, we have not seen that order, and I
12 wonder whether, because there was such a discussion about whether it was
13 an order, a request, and who was competent to give orders, whether there
14 is any written version of that document available -- or of that order, I
15 should say.
16 MR. TRALDI: We'll certainly check, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: We'll check as well, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You'll check as well. Okay. Then the Chamber is
21 looking forward to see that. Perhaps the witness could tell us.
22 Do you remember what was so thoroughly discussed whether that
23 order was -- the order of 25th of May, 1992, where this report says:
24 "... issued the order to the TO municipal staff that they should
25 immediately place under its control all its members and units."
1 Do you know whether that was a written order or not?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I knew who issued the order, I
3 could probably be in a position to give a more specific answer.
4 Otherwise, I can't provide you with an answer.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if you carefully listened to what I said and
6 my reference to the discussion, it was the Crisis Staff. As the report
8 "The Crisis Staff reacted briskly and issued the order to the TO
9 municipal staff," and, again, gives a date, 25th of May.
10 Do you know whether that was a written order or whether it was
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. But if there was
13 something, then for the most part it was in written form.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I asked you whether you remembered. Not if
15 there was something. The report says that there was an order. I leave
16 it to that.
17 Mr. Pasic, I'd like to thank you very much at this moment where
18 we have concluded to hear your evidence. I would like to thank you very
19 much for coming to The Hague and for having answered the many questions
20 that were put to you, put to you by the parties, and put to you by the
21 Bench. I wish you a safe return home again, and you may follow the
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you and good-bye.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, what would be -- or Mr. Stojanovic, what
1 we could do is to take the break early again and then we would have -- we
2 would resume at 20 past 1.00 and then have another 55 minutes today. I
3 see Mr. Mladic is nodding yes. So then -- then we'll take the break
4 first, and we'll have the witness --
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] That's fine, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And the Defence will then call its next witness. No
7 protective measures. And it would be Mr. Ubiparip. Is that -- yes.
8 We take a break and resume at --
9 Yes, Mr. Traldi -- oh, you're just standing for the break?
10 MR. TRALDI: Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We take a break and we resume at 20 minutes past
13 --- Recess taken at 1.01 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 1.21 p.m.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, this morning, when the previous witness
16 was about to arrive in the courtroom, you gave the impression that you'd
17 like to respond in some way to what I said about the length of the stay
18 of witnesses here in The Hague.
19 If you'd still want to do that, and if you can do it in a
20 relatively short time, I would give you an opportunity now.
21 MR. LUKIC: I checked with -- actually we checked with the
22 Victims and Witness Unit and actually said that they criticised all three
23 parties. Perhaps you should ask --
24 JUDGE ORIE: I didn't criticise anyone at this moment.
25 MR. LUKIC: And, yes, we brought the first week, that was
1 five-day week, we brought maybe a bit more witnesses. We were cautious
2 maybe we won't have witnesses, and the last week was actually the
3 consequence of that one. But for this week, we envisage that we will
4 finish all the witnesses we called for this week.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The only reason why I specifically addressed
6 the Defence is because you are determining the time when they have to
7 arrive, et cetera, but, of course, it's, I would say, a shared
8 responsibility for all parties to take care that witnesses should not
9 stay too long but since at this moment the Prosecution is not determining
10 when witnesses should arrive but certainly have an effect on how long the
11 examination takes. Therefore, if I gave the impression that I was
12 blaming the Defence for it, I think I asked for closer attention to be
13 given to the matter, and that is exactly what I'm seeking, just to
14 avoid --
15 MR. LUKIC: I can tell you how we organise.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
17 MR. LUKIC: We calculate direct and cross and add some time.
18 Sometime we do not add enough time, obviously.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. As long as it has your specific attention,
20 the Chamber also noted that the Prosecution is indicating at an early
21 stage whether or not they would cross-examine the witness, and therefore
22 it's -- we consider it to be a shared responsibility. Also
23 responsibility of the Chamber to seek to avoid that witnesses have to
24 stay for a minute longer than necessary.
25 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Then could the witness be escorted into the
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
5 MR. TRALDI: If I could address one very brief follow-up matter
6 in private session, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but before the witness?
8 MR. TRALDI: Before.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then the witness could remain standby behind
10 the door, but we'll briefly move into private session.
11 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
25 I don't know whether someone is waiting behind the doors. If so,
1 then perhaps they could be given a signal that we're ready to continue.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Ubiparip, I assume.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, the Rules require that you
6 make a solemn declaration. The text is now handed out to you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I solemnly declare that
8 I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I
9 would also like to greet everyone present.
10 WITNESS: VOJIN UBIPARIP
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please be seated, Mr. Ubiparip.
13 Mr. Ubiparip, you'll first be examined by Mr. Stojanovic. You'll
14 find Mr. Stojanovic to your left, standing, and Mr. Stojanovic is counsel
15 for Mr. Mladic.
16 Please proceed.
17 Examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Ubiparip.
19 A. Good afternoon.
20 Q. I have to apologise for keeping you waiting so long. According
21 to our standard procedure, kindly tell us your first and last name for
22 the record.
23 A. My name is Vojin Ubiparip.
24 Q. Thank you. Mr. Ubiparip, did you at some point give a statement
25 in written form to the Defence of General Mladic?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may we have
3 document 65 ter 1D01755 on our screens.
4 Q. Mr. Ubiparip, hopefully in front of you, you will have the
5 possibility to see your statement. My question is: Do you recognise
6 your signature on the first page of the document?
7 A. I do, this is my signature.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Let us go to the last page of
10 the document, please.
11 Q. Mr. Ubiparip, tell us, please, whether on this page of your
12 statement you recognise your signature and was the date written in your
13 own handwriting?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Let us now focus on paragraph 3
17 of the statement.
18 Q. Mr. Ubiparip, during proofing for your testimony today, did you
19 tell me that you wanted to add something to item 1 in the very first
20 sentence of your statement? In other words, following the full stop, a
21 number of words should be added: "I physically took over my duties on
22 the 25th of August, 1992."
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Stojanovic, first you said we should focus on
1 paragraph 3, and then you said to add something to item 1. I take it
2 that you are referring to paragraph 3 of the statement?
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Actually, sentence 1. I
4 apologise, Your Honours, if I used the wrong term. So the first sentence
5 of the third paragraph. I correct myself for the record.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Q. Mr. Ubiparip, being in this courtroom today, having solemnly
9 declared that you will speak the truth, with this addition to your
10 statement, if the same questions were to be put to you, would you provide
11 the same answers and would they reflect the truth and would they be to
12 the best of your recollection, in terms of accuracy?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd like to tender
16 the statement of Witness Vojin Ubiparip, 65 ter number 1D01755.
17 MR. MacDONALD: No objection, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: No objections.
19 Madam Registrar, the number would be?
20 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D01755 receives Exhibit D891,
21 Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: D891 is admitted.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] With your leave, Your Honour,
24 I'd like to read out Mr. Ubiparip's summary.
25 Witness Vojin Ubiparip is a professional military officer. He is
1 a colonel. When the war broke out in BiH, he was in Serbia on his tour
2 of duty. Given the fact that he hails from BiH, having been invited to
3 do so, he reported to the Main Staff of the VRS on the 19th of August,
4 1992. As of the 25th of August, 1992, he took over the duty of commander
5 of the 1st Battalion of the 22nd Light Infantry Brigade of the
6 1st Krajina Corps in the sector of Vlasic. Between late January and
7 June 1993, he held the position of Chief of Staff of that brigade. As of
8 June 1993 until the end of the war, he was the commander of the
9 Kotor Varos Brigade of the VRS.
10 In his testimony, the witness will discuss the relationship
11 between the VRS and his unit and paramilitary formations, as well as to
12 resistance lent against the intention to politicise the army, as well as
13 the fact that his unit also included officers who were of Muslim or Croat
14 ethnicity. He will point out his good relationship and co-operation with
15 his colleague, officer of Bosniak ethnicity, who at the time was the
16 security organ of the 1st Krajina Corps Command.
17 He will further testify that he was in contact with persons of
18 Muslim ethnicity who told him that the leadership of the SDA ordered them
19 to leave Kotor Varos. If they failed to do so, they would be killed.
20 That way, the SDA leadership, making use of fear and panic, exercised
21 pressure on the Muslims to leave the area of Kotor Varos.
22 There were prisoners of war taken by his unit in the operations
23 it participated. They were treated in keeping with the laws and customs
24 of war. The prisoners of war were, for a while, located in the village
25 of Siprage, and a list of the POWs was handed over to the Red Cross as
2 In terms of an incident in the village of Vrbanjci, this witness
3 has only indirect knowledge about the events there. When General Mladic
4 visited his unit, he constantly pointed out that it was necessary that
5 the army respected the laws, customs, and rules of war, and the
6 Geneva Conventions.
7 This, Your Honour, concludes the summary of this witness's
8 statement, and I have only a few questions in order to clarify a couple
9 of points from the statement.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please put your questions to the witness,
11 Mr. Stojanovic.
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we please have
13 D891, paragraph 7, in e-court.
14 Q. It is your statement, Mr. Ubiparip. In paragraph 7, you say
15 that, under your command, you had subordinate officers who were Muslims
16 and Croats. Given our courtroom practice, try to be specific and tell
17 the Chamber, to the best of your recollection, if you can, how many such
18 commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers were there, and, if
19 possible, their first and last names?
20 A. It was a long time but I remember it well. There was
21 Major Asim Adembegovic, who was my assistant commander for logistics for
22 a while. From the then TO Staff in Kotor Varos, there was an NCO of
23 Croat ethnicity, I've forgot his name. Later on, that person was in the
24 technical department of my unit. On top of that, in terms of lending
25 assistance, we sporadically engaged somebody whose name eludes me for the
1 moment, but later on this person became the minister of justice in
2 Republika Srpska as well.
3 Q. Thank you. Can we now look at paragraph 23 of your statement?
4 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, the situation you described was
5 the situation in June 1993?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: You mentioned two officers or non-commissioned
8 officers, out of how many officers in the brigade all together?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember two. One of them was a
10 friend of mine, the logistics man, and this other one, well, you know.
11 Mr. President, there has been so many of them. So many names. I've
12 simply forgotten. And --
13 JUDGE ORIE: No, I'm asking you two out of a total of how many
14 officers and commissioned officers?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the brigade? Well, in the
16 brigade command, there were over 20 that were linked to the staff,
17 logistics, and operative work. Operations.
18 JUDGE ORIE: And in the brigade as a whole?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that 1st Brigade, it was at
20 first such that it had the form of a company, but eventually it turned
21 into a strong brigade. Towards the end of the war, it reorganised and
22 got stronger.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the end.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I'd like to hear how many officers and
25 non-commissioned officers there were in the brigade at that time. Not
1 how it developed over time but how it was in June 1993.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 15 to 20, not more than that.
3 JUDGE ORIE: But you said only in the brigade command there were
4 20 already, isn't it?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. The total. The total. In
6 the brigade command, up until 8 or 10, when I took over the brigade. As
7 for the other officers, they were company commanders and ...
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Let us look at paragraph 23 in
10 document D891.
11 Q. Mr. Ubiparip, you have before you that document. You can follow
12 it. You spoke about this fact that you had meetings with General Mladic,
13 and I would like to ask you, yet again, to try to spell this out in more
14 concrete terms. To the best of your recollection, how many times did you
15 meet with General Mladic during the war, and if you can tell us where
16 this happened?
17 A. This is the way it was. I first met General Mladic on the
18 19th of August at Han Pijesak, that's where the command of the Main Staff
19 was, and he briefly informed us there and said to us that all of us who
20 came from particular places should take our units to our places of birth.
21 And then after the regrouping, I was transferred by bus to Bijeljina
22 where I spent the night, and in the morning hours of the 20th we set out
23 towards Banja Luka, towards the corps command there.
24 The second time, I saw --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you go to the second time you saw him, you
1 met him the first time on the 19th of August of which year?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes, that's right.
3 August, yes.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: What year?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1992.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
7 You may proceed.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The second time I saw the general
9 was in the month of May 1993. I was Chief of Staff then of the
10 22nd Brigade and Operations Group Vlasic as well. Our commander briefed
11 us about the current situation in the Army of Republika Srpska, the
12 security situation, et cetera. However, what mattered for me was that an
13 aide-memoire was being elaborated for all members of the VRS. And this
14 included an annex that had to do with the Geneva Convention and the
15 Helsinki Agreements as well. I can tell you one thing: When we got that
16 in our unit that I commanded, nothing happened that would in a certain
17 way have the status of something that would be irregular, let alone a
18 crime. Anything like that.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. The next opportunity to meet General Mladic, the next meeting?
21 A. The next one was in 1994, September, October, in Doboj, where
22 there was this meeting that involved an analysis at the level of the
23 Main Staff and all commanders of brigades.
24 The last time I saw the general was around the 5th of May, 1995.
25 I remember that well. In Mrkonjic Grad. A meeting was organised there
1 that had to do with raising combat readiness and taking measures in terms
2 of strengthening in order to prevent erosion. That's the way it was.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ubiparip. I'm just going to put one more question
4 to you in order to make things more precise.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Let us look at paragraph 20 of
6 your statement, D891.
7 Q. If you can see this, you said that you had POWs from these
8 operations that you took part in?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could you be more precise and could you tell the Trial Chamber to
11 the best of your recollection where were these POWs, was that the result
12 of combat, and what was the number involved?
13 A. Well, this is the way it was: Combat took place in the form of
14 defence in the southeastern part of Vlasic in the Travnik area and where
15 the Biljana and Vrbanja rivers are, at Ljuta Greda, Recica, Jasen,
16 Svinjska Glava, that's where we organised defence and since already by
17 then the 7th Corps of the BiH Army had been established with the basic
18 task of carrying out a breakthrough. My brigade was the weakest link in
19 that chain, and it was supposed to take the axis of
20 Travnik-Kotor Varos-Derventa and Bosanski Brod, and then in that way
21 Republika Srpska would be cut in two parts. And then at the second
22 stage - since these were mostly people who were the so-called expellees
23 from Bosanska Krajina, you see - that would follow. However, this
24 objective was not obtained.
25 Q. But the question was --
1 A. In this combat there were these prisoners. I remember that I
2 first took three of them prisoner, and I had contact with the corps
3 commander and until then there weren't any POWs. And I told
4 Mehmedalagic, since he used to my superior officer, I said, "Let us stick
5 to the convention, the Geneva Convention on warfare," and I was the first
6 one to give them first aid and food, these POWs, I reported them to the
7 Red Cross and so on. And I can tell you one thing: That on the other
8 side also there was no abuse as far as our soldiers were concerned who
9 were taken prisoner. So there was general progress.
10 Q. Thank you for your exhaustive answers, Mr. Witness, and at this
11 moment we have no further questions.
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic.
14 Mr. MacDonald, are you ready to cross-examine the witness.
15 MR. MacDONALD: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ubiparip, you will now be cross-examined by
17 Mr. MacDonald. You find him to your right. And Mr. MacDonald is counsel
18 for the Prosecution.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. MacDonald:
20 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Ubiparip.
21 A. Good day.
22 Q. You spoke with my friend Mr. Stojanovic and the Presiding Judge
23 about the number of officers in the Kotor Varos Light Infantry Brigade
24 when you became commander in June 1993. The commander previous to you
25 was Dusan Novakovic; is that right?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 MR. MacDONALD: Can the Prosecution please have P00851 on the
3 screen, please.
4 Q. Mr. Ubiparip, this is a list of officers in the Kotor Varos Light
5 Infantry Brigade, and it has been dated to sometime between the end of
6 August and December 1992.
7 MR. MacDONALD: I believe we only need the B/C/S for my question,
8 Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then ... yes, it's now on our screen. And?
10 MR. MacDONALD:
11 Q. Mr. Ubiparip, there are 21 names on this page.
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. MacDONALD: Can we go to the next page, please.
14 Q. And, Mr. Ubiparip, there are another 21 names on this page.
15 MR. MacDONALD: And if we could move to the final page, please.
16 Q. And there are 15 names on this page. Now, by my calculation,
17 that makes 57 officers at the end of 1992. Are you sure when you took
18 over in June of 1993 that there were only 20 officers in your unit?
19 A. Well, when I personally toured the units, the ones that I took
20 over, from Chief of Staff down to company commanders, that's the number
21 that I got to. However, since everything was following apart, and
22 everything was falling apart, and later on --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We could not hear the end
24 of the answer.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you please repeat the last part of
1 your answer.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: And speak into the
3 microphone, please.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You're invited to come closer to the microphone and
5 speak into it.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I assumed my duty of commander
7 of the Kotor Varos Brigade, when I toured the units and when I took over,
8 on the spot, I identified about 20 of them. It is possible that
9 beforehand they had been built into the establishment, but I don't know
10 where it was that they had been. It is only later that I made additional
11 efforts to reorganise and we created a unit.
12 MR. MacDONALD:
13 Q. Do I understand by your answer, sir, that you accept when you
14 took over there could have been more officers but as commander you were
15 simply unaware of them?
16 A. Yes. Well, I didn't know, I didn't know. I mean, later on, when
17 I really -- I mean, at first, I was supposed to take care of combat
18 operations. And later on when I had time, I looked at our files, our
19 documents, and then I --
21 JUDGE ORIE: By the simple "yes" you have answered the question.
22 Please proceed.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes. All right.
24 MR. MacDONALD:
25 Q. One final question on this document, Mr. Ubiparip. Out of the 57
1 names under the word "nationality" in the second-last column, they are
2 all recorded as Serbian apart from two, and the two that are not recorded
3 are on the page in front of us. You'll see an Azem Aganbegovic [phoen]
4 recorded as Yugoslavia and another name --
5 A. Yes, yes, yes.
6 Q. -- without nationality recorded. Do you accept that of the 57
7 officers only two were non-Serbian?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I'd like to move onto a new topic. You say in your statement --
10 MR. MacDONALD: And we can finish with this document. Thank you.
11 Q. You say in your statement at paragraph 7 you were appointed
12 commander of the Kotor Varos Light Infantry Brigade in June of 1993.
13 What date exactly did you take that position?
14 A. On the 10th of June, I received information. I was on leave, and
15 according to plan, I was to return as Chief of Staff of the 22nd Brigade
16 in Vlasic. My driver met me and he ordered me to proceed towards
17 Kotor Varos, because according to the order of the corps commander I was
18 urgently reassigned -- yes?
19 JUDGE ORIE: You're giving us the whole story, whereas only the
20 date was asked.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, all right.
22 JUDGE ORIE: If we need further details, then we'll ask you for
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 10th of June, 1993.
25 MR. MacDONALD:
1 Q. The Defence has led evidence that the command post of the
2 1st Kotor Varos Light Infantry Brigade was moved from Kotor Varos to the
3 village of Siprage in the second half of 1993; is that right?
4 A. That is right. And that took place at my initiative.
5 Q. When exactly in the second half of 1993 did it move?
6 A. Well, in view of the distance from the front line, it was
7 illogical for the command to be that far away. So I started moving it
8 and gradually it came to the front line at Jasen. Do you understand what
9 I'm saying? Officially it was in Siprage; however, the command was
10 non-stop on the very first positions, and that's where the strength of
11 the unit was.
12 Q. When was it officially in Siprage?
13 A. From October, roughly, 1993. It was in Siprage. Do you
14 understand that? And until the end of the war, it was officially in ...
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We didn't hear the end.
16 MR. MacDONALD:
17 Q. Could you just repeat the very end of your sentence. Until the
18 end of the war, it was officially in?
19 A. In Siprage. The brigade command, the command of the Kotor Varos
20 Brigade. Do you understand what I'm saying? Until the end of the war,
21 it was in Siprage.
22 Q. The Defence has also led evidence that the logistics of the
23 Kotor Varos Light Infantry Brigade was based in Siprage village. No
24 specific date is given for that, although surrounding events are placed
25 in 1992. Do you know exactly when the logistics of the Kotor Varos Light
1 Infantry Brigade was first based in Siprage village?
2 A. I'll explain you the stages --
3 Q. Can I stop you there, please, sir. Just one moment. Can you
4 just tell us if you know when it was first based there; and, if you do
5 know, tell us the date. That is all.
6 A. Say, in late August or in September.
7 Q. Is that in 1992?
8 A. No, 1993. 1993.
9 Q. I'll move on. The 2nd Battalion of the 22nd Brigade moved out of
10 the Kotor Varos municipality by the end of 1992; is that right?
11 A. Right.
12 Q. After that, was the Kotor Varos Light Infantry Brigade the only
13 VRS military unit on the territory of the Kotor Varos municipality until
14 the end of the war?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I'd like to discuss the village of Siprage in more detail now.
17 Siprage village swore loyalty to Republika Srpska and surrendered weapons
18 at the outbreak of the conflict; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that was before my arrival. They were all in their homes.
20 Q. Now, at paragraph 11 of your statement, you say you were informed
21 that the mosque in the village of Siprage was destroyed. That
22 destruction took place around the end of June 1993; is that right?
23 A. Hmm ... July or August? Something like that. In that period in
24 any case. I have to tell you straight away that I was against the
25 destruction of religious buildings. I undertook all measures to prevent
1 that because it was an ugly site --
2 Q. Can I stop you there again please, sir. Thank you for answering
3 my question. July or August, is that in 1993?
4 A. Yes, yes, 1993.
5 Q. Are you aware that other mosques had been destroyed in
6 Kotor Varos municipality since the outbreak of the war?
7 A. When I first came in Kotor Varos to assume my duty on the 10th of
8 June, I was really disappointed by what I saw.
9 Q. Well, sir, were you aware that other mosques had been destroyed
10 previous to the mosque in Siprage since the outbreak of the conflict in
11 Kotor Varos municipality?
12 A. Well, the only mosque that was not destroyed at the time was the
13 one in Siprage. All of the others were destroyed.
14 Q. Turning to the mosque in Siprage. In paragraph 11 of your
15 statement, you say that Mujko Zuhric told you that the paramilitaries had
16 done this?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You didn't conduct any investigation into the destruction of the
19 mosque in Siprage then; is that right?
20 A. This is how it was: I went on leave as planned, and when I
21 returned, Mujko told me that the mosque had been destroyed by
22 paramilitaries and that the civilian police in Kotor Varos was
23 investigating it. I had no authority to launch a separate investigation.
24 Q. And just for the record, you did not launch any kind of
25 investigation, did you?
1 A. I didn't. Because it was within the competence of the civilian
2 police and the local authorities in the municipality where my unit was
4 Q. So your knowledge about what happened to Siprage mosque comes
5 from what Mujko Zuhric told you?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 MR. MacDONALD: Your Honours, I'd seek to call up a document now.
8 I'd ask out of an abundance of caution that it not be broadcast. Could
9 the Prosecution please have 65 ter number 31881. And I'm looking for
10 page 2 in the B/C/S and page 3 in the English.
11 Q. Mr. Ubiparip, this is a statement of a Muslim from Kotor Varos
12 municipality dealing with events in Siprage.
13 MR. MacDONALD: I'm looking for the paragraph beginning: "On
14 25th June 1993 ..." In the B/C/S it is at the top --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 MR. MacDONALD: Yes, we have it in the English. Thank you.
17 Q. It reads:
18 "On 25 June 1993, the mosque in Siprage was destroyed by the
19 Chetniks from Vlasic, commanded by Stanko Trivic."
20 My question, Mr. Ubiparip: There was no officer called
21 Stanko Trivic based in Vlasic in June 1993, was there?
22 A. No. There was Janko Trivic.
23 Q. Yes. And on 25th June 1993, Janko Trivic was the commander of
24 the 22nd Brigade. That's right, isn't it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the 22nd Brigade at this time was based in Vlasic.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you ever hear at the time of these events, allegations that
4 forces commanded by Trivic had destroyed the mosque in Siprage?
5 A. No.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection. I apologise. This
7 question may be confusing. Which Trivic? Because two were mentioned.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and it was also established that there was only
9 one, which was by the name of Janko.
10 Apart from that, the question has been answered. The objection
11 would have been denied.
12 Please proceed, Mr. MacDonald.
13 MR. MacDONALD:
14 Q. If I can take you back to the statement, Mr. Ubiparip, I'm just
15 going to read on. The author states:
16 "After that, we asked to move out and they promised us that we
17 would move our...," I believe that is meant to be the word
18 "out," "... but that we first had to hand over our white goods, cattle,
19 and cars."
20 Did you hear about this, Mr. Ubiparip?
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could we have the exhibit back on the screen,
23 MR. MacDONALD: It was 31881. That is the 65 ter number.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
25 MR. MacDONALD: Page 2 in the B/C/S and page 3 in the English.
1 Q. Do you recall the question, Mr. Ubiparip?
2 A. I do. As far as I knew, never was it even considered that they
3 would hand over their vehicles and household items, nor was it at all
4 within my competence as brigade commander.
5 MR. MacDONALD: I'm going to ask for another document,
6 Your Honours. Again, if it may not be broadcast for the same reasons.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you do, I just want to ask a question.
8 But do you remember this incident that these people had to leave,
9 had to move out?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Were you part of the operation that asked them to
12 move out?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't there personally but some
14 of the leading men came to see me, given the fact that I had helped them
15 before with providing food and securing transport, they told me to
16 complain that they were instructed from the headquarters. What they said
17 was that they had to move towards Central Bosnia and Sarajevo, and if
18 they failed to do that, they were threatened with their closest ones
19 being destroyed. It was awful for me to hear that and I felt very sorry
20 for them.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Headquarters of what? What headquarters were
22 these that ordered them to leave?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My communications officer was this
24 Mujko Zuhric who was also in the corps command. He was a Bosniak. He
25 gave me information about the things going on and who was collecting
1 information and so on and so forth.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me stop you. My question was what
3 headquarters was this that ordered that they leave? Is it the
4 headquarters of the --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know personally, but they
6 said "centrala," the centre or the headquarters, be it political or
7 military. I have no clue.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: And who are these leaders who are telling you
9 this? You said leaders came to tell you that the headquarters said they
10 must leave.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The more prominent people came to
12 see me as a delegation, and Mujko was there as well. They expressed
13 their regrets for having to leave because they were threatened by
14 their --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you very much.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Their people in Siprage. According
17 to my knowledge, the people didn't want to go.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask on one point of clarification. You said
20 you don't know whether they received instructions from the civilian or
21 the military headquarters. Is that correct?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
23 JUDGE ORIE: That's how your words are transcribed.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what I said. I don't
25 know what structures were involved, military or civilian.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time in your statement at
2 paragraph 12 we read that it was the SDA which, as far as I understand,
3 is a civilian structure. Do you have any explanation as to why you refer
4 there to the SDA leadership and tell us now that you don't whether it was
5 military or civilian authority that instructed?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, when I was battalion
7 commander up there at the Vlasic plateau, I was in charge of securing the
8 corridor for the exchange of populations. All those from western Bosnia
9 moving via Vlasic, I asked them and they mostly said that they were
10 ordered by "centrala" in Sarajevo that they had to move out. I asked
11 them whether there were no longer able to live where they lived before,
12 and they all said no, that they had to listen to their "centrala" to go
13 there. That is why I believe there was some SDA involvement in this
15 JUDGE ORIE: That's what you believe, but that's your conclusion
16 on the basis of the word "centrala"?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
19 Well, we are at a point where we have to adjourn.
20 Mr. Ubiparip, we'll adjourn for the day. We'd like to see you
21 back tomorrow morning, 9.30, in this same courtroom. But before you
22 leave this courtroom, I'd like to instruct you that you should not speak
23 with anyone or communicate in whatever way with whomever about your
24 testimony, whether that is testimony you've given today or whether that
25 is testimony still to be given tomorrow.
1 If that's clear to you, you may follow the usher.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Clear. Thank you.
3 [The witness stands down]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you earlier said we would have two
5 witnesses. That means that the witness after this one is on standby for
7 MR. LUKIC: Yeah, the witness after this one is on standby.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Because I do understand that the time estimate
9 was one hour of cross-examination, Mr. MacDonald, and you'll stick to
11 Then we will adjourn for the day, and we'll resume tomorrow,
12 Thursday, the 5th of February, 9.30 in the morning, in this same
13 courtroom, I.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.18 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 5th day of
16 February, 2015, at 9.30 a.m.