1 Monday, 4 May 2015
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you. And good morning, Your Honours. This
9 is case IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 I was not informed about any preliminaries. Therefore, could the
12 witness be escorted into the courtroom.
13 The Chamber received notice of extended cross-examination for
14 this witness.
15 MR. ZEC: Yes, Your Honour, we did inform the Chamber.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that, Mr. Zec.
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Vujic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. Good morning to all.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, I would like to remind you that
21 you're still bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the
22 beginning of your testimony on Thursday.
23 Mr. Zec will now continue his cross-examination.
24 Mr. Zec, you may proceed.
25 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 WITNESS: DRASKO VUJIC [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Zec: [Continued]
4 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vujic.
5 A. Good morning.
6 Q. You say in your statement that you were working as a lorry driver
7 in a company in Prijedor in 1991 when you were mobilised and sent to
8 Croatia as a part of the 5th Battalion of the 343rd Prijedor Motorised
9 Brigade. The commander of the 5th Battalion was Slobodan Kuruzovic;
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 MR. ZEC: Can we have up on the screen, 65 ter 32003.
13 Q. And, Mr. Vujic, this is an article from Kozarski Vjesnik from
14 May 1994 about appointment of Slobodan Kuruzovic to manager of
15 Kozarski Vjesnik. In the text below the photo, you will see it says on
16 16 September he joined the 343rd Motorised Brigade, also says that he was
17 in command of the 5th Battalion, commander of Serbian TO, member of the
18 SDS. So this is Slobodan Kuruzovic, your commander in Croatia; correct?
19 A. Yes. This is a Slobodan Kuruzovic who was then a member of the
20 brigade. He still hadn't become the commander of any Territorial
21 Defence. He was a member of the war-time 343rd Motorised Brigade.
22 MR. ZEC: I tender this article, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P7363, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
1 MR. ZEC:
2 Q. While you were in Croatia, member -- commander of the
3 343rd Prijedor Motorised Brigade was Vladimir Arsic; right.
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. After you returned to Prijedor, you say upon orders of
6 Commander Arsic, you formed a unit composed of mainly Serb-dominated
7 areas of Prijedor. This unit, Mr. Vujic, later became battalion of the
8 43rd Prijedor Motorised Brigade of the VRS; correct?
9 A. It is not correct that I was given the task to establish a unit
10 where there were Serbs only. Puharska was also in my area of
11 replenishment and the population was 98 Muslim, and there were a few
12 villages that were also almost purely Serb populated.
13 Q. That's in your statement. I was more referring to that battalion
14 which later became part of the 43rd Prijedor Motorised Brigade of the
15 VRS. That's right; correct?
16 A. It wasn't later practically. Rather, from the first soldier who
17 was given the task to establish it joined the 343rd Motorised Brigade,
18 practically automatically whoever responded to mobilisation became a
19 member of the 343rd Motorised Brigade.
20 Q. And you already told us you were commander of this battalion.
21 That's correct?
22 A. Yes, of course, I was commander.
23 Q. Arsic, he was commander of the brigade; correct?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. Your command post, you say, was in Serena [phoen] tile factory,
1 that's across the road from Prijedor hospital and about half a kilometre
2 away from Keraterm; right?
3 A. Everything you said now is incorrect. My command was in an
4 abandoned building of a ceramic tile factory called Serena, so that has
5 nothing to do with rubber or tires. It is correct that it was perhaps a
6 bit less than a kilometre away from Keraterm.
7 Q. In your dealings with military issues prior to the conflict and
8 establishing your unit, you were engaged in activities to provide weapons
9 to Serbs in Prijedor; right?
10 A. That, among other things. That is to say, all of those who
11 wanted to join the war-time unit were supposed to be equipped and armed.
12 My logistics base was the garrison. That is to say, all of those who
13 came and became members of this unit had to be armed and were armed. I
14 personally handled some of that, as well as my assistants, because from
15 day one, I set relations of hierarchy within that unit.
16 Q. You were in contact and you worked on these issues together with
17 SDS and JNA officials, such as Kuruzovic, Arsic, and Zeljaja; right?
18 A. My superior command was the command of the 343rd Motorised
19 Brigade, as it was known at the time, and I co-operated with the
20 population that were SDS members to a large extent, so it was impossible
21 to do anything there without the presence of members of the SDS and even
22 their officials at different levels, that is to say, at local commune
23 level and municipality level.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you were not asked who was in command.
25 Could you please answer the whole of the question. Did you work together
1 with SDS? I think you dealt with that.
2 Did you work together with JNA officials in that respect?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, of course. That was my
4 superior command.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And did those include Kuruzovic, Arsic, and Zeljaja?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
8 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. And you also attended meetings with SDS officials to discuss this
10 military organisation; right?
11 A. I already had an opportunity to answer this question. I said
12 that I was not a member of the SDS and on that basis I never attended.
13 However, as for military matters, I did attend certain meetings that were
14 attended by the top people of the SDS.
15 MR. ZEC: Can we have 65 ter 10842. And this is a book of
16 minutes of the SDS Prijedor Municipal Board. We need English page 100,
17 B/C/S page 141. There is no date for this meeting but we know it is from
18 this December 1991 because, in this book, the meeting held prior to this
19 one was held on 2nd December and the one after was on 27 December 1991.
20 The title is: "Meeting of the representatives of the Prijedor
21 municipality sector for military matters."
22 It starts by noting that 18 members were present. Simo Miskovic,
23 president of the Prijedor SDS Municipal Board, opened the meeting with a
24 presentation of the instruction from the Assembly of the Serbian People
25 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. There is a list of ten items, and below number 10
1 it says:
2 "The above represents the first stage of preparations ..."
3 Q. These tasks, Mr. Vujic, also appear in a document called A and B
4 instructions issued by the Bosnian Serb leadership on 19 December 1991,
5 and at this meeting these instructions were introduced in Prijedor;
7 A. I had the opportunity to see this document so now I'm in a
8 position to give an exact answer to this. You can see that this is a
9 meeting of the representatives of the representatives of the authorities
10 with regard to military matters and that is the basis upon which I was
11 present there. I do not recall the political issues that were dealt with
12 there, but I see that this had to do with instructions that were adopted
13 by the People's Assembly of Republika Srpska and the chairman
14 familiarized all present with that, so I was included.
15 Q. And just to be clear, Mr. -- you already answered the question.
16 You were present at this meeting. That's clear; right?
17 A. At first I couldn't remember whether I attended this meeting, but
18 as I saw this document I realised that I was present. It is possible
19 that I even came during that part of the meeting when the military
20 organisation was being discussed, so that's the reason why I don't
21 remember the meeting from the very beginning.
22 MR. ZEC: Your Honours, I would note that this excerpt of this
23 meeting is in evidence as P3960.
24 Can we have on the screen 65 ter 32523. And this is an article
25 from bulletin of the 43rd Brigade. In English just below middle of the
1 page, in B/C/S in the middle of the left column, it says:
2 "Commander of this battalion, Drasko Vujic, a man who was among
3 the first who felt the fascist vibrations of the centuries-old enemies
4 said, People of Potkozarje know very well how it feels to suffer the war
5 atrocities and fascist evil deeds. This is why we had to avoid the fate
6 of our grandfathers. We had to be ready for when they come. The old
7 mistakes had to be avoided."
8 Q. Mr. Vujic, the reference to the war atrocities and the fate of
9 our grandfathers is the reference to the Second World War and crimes
10 against Serbs; right?
11 A. Yes, yes. It is only the Second World War that is being talked
12 about and the crimes against Serbs.
13 Q. And when you say "we had to be ready for when they come, the old
14 mistakes had to be avoided," so you were referring to the process of
15 arming and forming units that we were discussing a moment ago; right?
16 A. Everything that happened at the time indicated that unfortunately
17 this unfortunate war was in the making. And only those who didn't want
18 to understand this and could not understand this had to prepare. All
19 normal people had to prepare, knowing the horrors that civil war brings.
20 MR. ZEC: I tender this article, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P7364, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted.
24 MR. ZEC:
25 Q. You say in paragraph 7 that your unit participated in mopping up
1 of Kurevo and that -- and you say you did not go to Brisevo. Apart from
2 your unit, Mr. Vujic, other units of the 43rd Brigade, the 5th Brigade
3 from Prijedor, and 6th Brigade from Sanski Most were also involved in
4 these activities; right?
5 A. This axis where I took part as well, the units that you mentioned
6 did not take part there. This axis was given this task. It was the 2nd
7 Battalion and a smaller unit of mine had been attached to them. It was a
8 reinforced platoon. It wasn't even a full company. Since it was being
9 attached to other officers and placed under their command, I, as
10 commander, did not allow them to go there without me, afraid of some kind
11 of abuse for any reason, and that is how I happened to be in Kurevo
12 during those two days during the mop-up operation there. We moved from
13 the village of Ljeskare through Hambarine to Kurevo and went to the
14 village of Raljas. Further on -- we didn't go any further. That was in
15 the direction of Brisevo, but Raljas to Brisevo there's another
16 2 kilometres approximately. Brisevo on the other date -- yes, go ahead?
17 Q. I appreciate your attention to give all the details, but my
18 question was more general, about operations in the whole area, including,
19 Kurevo, Brisevo, other units also were involved in these operations, 5th
20 Brigade from Prijedor, 6th Brigade from Sanski Most, among others; right?
21 A. As far as I know, the 5th Brigade did not participate. Had you
22 an allowed me to finish that one single sentence, what I meant to say was
23 that Brisevo was under the 6th Sana Brigade, and that is a complete
24 answer to your question.
25 Q. And these operations took a place in July 1992; right?
1 A. Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And the 6th Brigade took part. Is that well
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the direction of Sanski Most
5 and Ostra Luka to the village of Brisevo. That's where the 6th Brigade
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Apart from Brisevo, in late July 1992, other areas of Prijedor
11 were mopped up, including Carakovo, Zecovi, Biscani and other locations;
13 A. As far as I can remember, yes. But I don't know any details
14 because I didn't participate there.
15 Q. And you were aware, were you not, that large numbers of non-Serb
16 civilians were killed in these operations by members of your brigade,
17 among others; right?
18 A. That I didn't know at the time. I found out about many things
19 later when I spoke to my colleagues and also at a briefing at the brigade
20 commander's. That operation was mentioned, too, where quite a few
21 civilians fell victim as well. Also, quite a few people from that area
22 were taken to Keraterm and Omarska and some were taken to Trnopolje as
24 Q. And when you say that there was a briefing at the brigade
25 command, that's in 1992, shortly after these operations; is that right?
1 A. Probably not as soon as you think, but I'm sure that it happened
2 after two months. And that thing was also mentioned during our briefing.
3 Q. And you are also aware, were you not, that the court of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina confirmed conviction against members of the VRS and
5 police, including Dragoje Soldat, member of your brigade, for the killing
6 of Muslims in Carakovo in front of the mosque after which they burned up
7 the mosque; right?
8 A. The Soldat et al case is something that I've been familiar with
9 for half a year. Now, at the time when things were happening I didn't
10 know anything. Knowing Soldat, I can say that he was one of the military
11 policeman. I couldn't believe that he would have been capable of
12 participating in any --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, no one asked you whether you believed to be
14 true what the court had decided. Just whether you were aware of it, and
15 you've answered that question.
16 Please proceed, Mr. Zec.
17 MR. ZEC:
18 Q. Similarly you are aware, are you not, that 15 other members of
19 Serb forces currently awaiting trial for the killing of 29 Muslim
20 civilians in Zecovi in late July 1992 which were killed as part of this
21 operations; right?
22 A. I'm not aware of that.
23 Q. This Chamber has received evidence that after the event of
24 30th May, which you referred to as the attack of Prijedor, Serb forces
25 attacked the nearby area of Prijedor called Stari Grad, destroyed a
1 mosque, demolished houses, rounded up civilians and took them to camps.
2 Were you aware of this?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, before you finalize your question.
4 Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, we were pretty patient with this --
6 "this Chamber received evidence." How could this witness know which
7 evidence this Chamber receives. If he wants to [overlapping speakers] --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, Mr. Lukic, it is an announcement. I
9 think that --
10 MR. LUKIC: But it's just confusing because after the testimony
11 of many my witnesses, they were so confused with this statement. They
12 didn't know what they were supposed to answer, whether they should know
13 that. And then they blamed me, why I didn't introduce what Chamber knows
14 to them so --
15 JUDGE ORIE: And then you explained to them that they were not
16 expected to know what evidence had been led and you explained them what
17 that question aimed at, isn't it?
18 Mr. Zec, if there's any confusion -- and you interrupted already
19 immediately when Mr. Zec had only started to put to the witness what he
20 wanted to put to the witness.
21 Let me see. Your question, "were you aware of this," Mr. Zec, is
22 ambiguous. You should clearly ask whether the witness was aware that the
23 Chamber received such evidence or whether the witness was aware of the
24 events having happened on which the Chamber had received evidence. And
25 it would always be good to -- if you refer to evidence to assist
1 Mr. Lukic by just briefly referring to what evidence you are pointing at.
2 So what would you like to hear from the witness? Whether he was
3 aware that the Chamber received that evidence; or whether he was aware of
4 these events having happened? Make it clear to the witness.
5 MR. ZEC: I will and thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Mr. Vujic, this Court has heard evidence about the events in the
7 area of Prijedor called Stari Grad - some of which can be found in P3414,
8 paragraph 20; P480, pages 9 to 12 - that after the events of
9 30th May 1992, Serb forces attacked Stari Grad, destroyed the mosque,
10 demolished houses, rounded up non-Serb civilians, took them to the camps.
11 So were you aware of this happening in Prijedor at the time?
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: We would object again, Your Honours. How would these
14 numbers should help the witness understand what he was asked? If --
15 JUDGE ORIE: The numbers are to assist you, Mr. Lukic. I invited
16 the Prosecution, I said it would be good that you --
17 MR. LUKIC: I'm not answering the question, Your Honour. Why
18 should he assist me --
19 JUDGE ORIE: So you that have an opportunity to prepare for
20 re-examination and that you are able to follow whether Mr. Zec accurately
21 or not accurately points at evidence this Chamber received, Mr. Lukic.
22 So that you have an opportunity to intervene on a proper basis. That's
23 why it is said and that is why I invited Mr. Zec to do that so that you
24 can verify whether Mr. Zec when putting to the witness what evidence this
25 Chamber received, that you have an opportunity to -- to respond -- to
1 tell us that Mr. Zec, if he would do so, is not properly presenting that
2 evidence. Because that would be a proper reason for an objection. This
3 is my ruling.
4 Could the witness please answer the question: Were you aware of
5 these events happening at the time, the events Mr. Zec described as
6 having been brought to the attention of this Chamber through the evidence
7 he identified? And you don't have to worry or bother about the numbers.
8 That was for Mr. Lukic.
9 Were you aware at the time that these events were happening or
10 had happened?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I answer by just yes or no, I
12 can say yes, I knew. But a short explanation will not take up that much
14 It is incorrect that after that the Serb forces attacked
15 Stari Grad. The fighting started from the centre and continued across
16 Stari Grad and that's where they ended. The Muslim paramilitary
17 formations that had attacked the town were also engaged in fighting and
18 they were withdrawing through Stari Grad, they opened fire from there,
19 and that's why fighting continued there and ended there. That's the
20 whole truth.
21 MR. ZEC:
22 Q. And to be perfectly clear what you're saying -- I'm sorry.
23 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: I think that the Rules are changing now. If we
1 wanted to present with the Prosecution witness during our
2 cross-examination, we had to show the evidence we want to use. We were
3 not able just to give a --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic -- Mr. Lukic --
5 MR. LUKIC: -- sweeping statement about the evidence.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, if there's any reference which you
7 consider not to be accurate, then, of course, you can invite Mr. Zec.
8 Mr. Zec, would you please be so kind as to put the evidence or
9 this or that evidence to the witness and then we'll decide on it.
10 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, that's exactly what we asked, to follow
11 the same rules we had to follow during our cross-examinations. If
12 something is used --
13 JUDGE ORIE: What would you like to be shown to the witness at
14 this moment --
15 MR. LUKIC: Whatever they use with the witness. Whatever -- they
16 cannot be sweeping statement. "This Chamber is -- heard the evidence,"
17 that is just confusing the witness every time.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Are you saying that the Defence never did that and
19 that the Defence was always stopped when doing that? Is that your
21 MR. LUKIC: We always showed the evidence. We would say "this is
22 our position" --
23 JUDGE ORIE: That's not my --
24 MR. LUKIC: -- but not "the Chamber received the evidence." We
25 never used that. And it was just imported from the Karadzic case when
1 the part of Karadzic OTP members joined our trial. That's when this
2 practice is introduced to this trial. Never before. Not by the OTP, not
3 by us.
4 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you're referring to what the Defence did
7 during its case. Of course, the Defence is -- as a starting point, free
8 within, of course, the context of whether it's examination-in-chief,
9 whether it's cross-examination, to put to the witness as they wish. I
10 asked you when were you stopped doing that. The Chamber would be
11 assisted, because you say we changed the rules. So therefore I would
12 like to receive an answer to my question at what point in time you did
13 put such references to the evidence to the witness and when you were
14 stopped so that we can review that.
15 MR. LUKIC: We never stopped because we never started.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well, that's your own free choice to do that,
17 isn't it. You can put the questions -- you put a question to a witness.
18 Then that question is not objected to or objected to. If it's not
19 objected to then you just proceed. If you have chosen never to put such
20 a question to the witness, then it's difficult to say that we changed the
21 rules because it never happened. And therefore if you say, We were never
22 stopped because we never put such a question to the witness, within, of
23 course -- I must be clear, of course, within the context of what can be
24 put to a witness in examination-in-chief and cross-examination as far as
25 leading is concerned. That's, of course, a matter which should still be
2 Mr. Zec at this moment is cross-examining the witness.
3 Mr. Lukic, if you want to further follow up this, you can make
4 submissions, either brief oral submissions or written submissions, on
5 this subject in which you substantiate your objections.
6 We'll now move on, Mr. Zec, to the extent possible. Where
7 Mr. Lukic considers it fair to the witness to put some of that
8 evidentiary material, you're invited to consider whether that would be
9 wise to do so.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. LUKIC: Can I add something, Your Honour. I can add maybe --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, one more line --
13 MR. LUKIC: One more line.
14 JUDGE ORIE: -- and then we will continue.
15 MR. LUKIC: We were instructed to present to the witness the
16 evidence we want to use or to confront the witness with.
17 JUDGE ORIE: In examination-in-chief or in cross-examination?
18 MR. LUKIC: In cross-examination. We were always instructed and
19 I think I -- we can find that ruling [Overlapping speakers] ...
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I answer him --
21 JUDGE ORIE: It also depends on what exactly is put to the
22 witness. But Judge Moloto would like to add a word.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed it is part of cross-examination in the
24 adversarial system, that during cross-examination you've got to put your
25 case to the witness. And what Mr. Zec is doing is precisely that. He's
1 putting the position of the Prosecution to the witness for the witness to
2 comment on that, if he knows anything about it.
3 Now, how do you it, is your choice. If you do it by giving him a
4 piece of paper or you do it by telling him that the Chamber has received
5 a certain kind of evidence, that's a stylistic situation. It depends on
6 the counsel who is doing the case.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And also depends on the subject matter. If it is a
8 detail in a document, then, of course, you put that document to the
9 witness. If it is a more overall picture of events which occur during a
10 couple of days, then you may choose another -- another technique. And
11 there's always an opportunity for the other party to object to that, and
12 then depending on the situation we find ourselves in, the Chamber will
13 rule on that.
14 We said one more line as I -- I invited you to make further
15 submissions, if you wish to do so. We'll now continue to hear the
16 evidence of the witness.
17 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zec.
19 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Your Honours.
20 Q. Mr. Vujic, sorry for this long delay. On page 13 of today's
21 transcript, you explained what you knew about the Stari Grad operation on
22 30th May 1992. But my question was: Were you also aware that during the
23 course of these operations, the mosque was destroyed, houses were
24 destroyed, civilian -- non-Serb civilians were rounded up and taken to
25 camps? Were aware of these events as well?
1 A. Yes, yes, when that happened and immediately after that I didn't
2 know. Later, when I toured the area, I saw the consequences of fighting
3 in Stari Grad.
4 Q. You talk in your statement about the mosque in Puharska. This
5 mosque was destroyed in late August 1992; right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You say in paragraph 9 that the mosque was destroyed in a strong
8 explosion which you could hear from your home a kilometre away. That's
9 what you say and that's what you could hear; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Shortly after, there was another explosion in which the Catholic
12 church in Prijedor town was destroyed, and you could hear that explosion
13 as well; right?
14 A. Yes, I heard it, but I didn't know where it was coming from and
15 what it was all about.
16 Q. But you learned shortly after that the Catholic church was
17 destroyed in the same night as the mosque; right?
18 A. In the morning hours of that day, I learned that the Catholic
19 church had been destroyed.
20 Q. Zekerijah Kusuran, who you say was among those who organised the
21 handover of weapons - this is transcript page 34961 - and his wife died
22 in the explosion of the mosque; right?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Rasim Dzafic was injured in the explosion; right?
25 A. He was seriously injured by the pieces of glass that had
1 shattered in his house.
2 Q. Let me show you photographs of the mosque which you have seen
4 MR. ZEC: Can we have --
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I --
6 MR. ZEC: -- 65 ter 31821?
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: While this comes up, I would like to put one
8 question to the witness.
9 A minute ago, you said:
10 "I saw the consequences of fighting in Stari Grad," and that was
11 in response to Mr. Zec's information about the mosque destroyed, houses
12 were destroyed, non-Serb civilians were rounded up and taken to camps.
13 Would you qualify these events as normal consequences of
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw that there was fighting. You
16 could easily see that on the houses and on all the other features.
17 That's why I said that I had seen consequences of fighting. I don't know
18 what happened to the population. I really don't.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You started your responses to Mr. Zec when he
20 asked you:
21 "Were you aware of these events as well."
22 And then you said: "Yes, yes."
23 And then later you referred to the consequences of fighting, of
24 combat. So this is -- again, do you consider this -- these events to be
25 normal consequences of combat?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To Mr. Zec's question, as if I
2 knew -- or, rather, he said that the Serbian forces after the attack on
3 Prijedor attacked Stari Grad, and my answer was that that was not after
4 but during the fighting. And I said that I knew that there was fighting
5 going on there. That was my answer.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
7 Mr. Zec.
8 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 This -- on the screen, we have file related to the destruction of
10 the mosque in Donja Puharska and, for the record, 65 ter 31821.
11 Can we have English page 12, B/C/S page 11.
12 Q. So we see here the house of Rasim Dzafic after the explosion;
14 A. I had an occasion to see this photo during my previous testimony
15 and my answer then was that I thought that indeed was Rasim Dzafic's
16 house. Although I had to say that there were hundreds of such houses in
17 Puharska. However, my answer was yes and still is yes, this is Rasim's
19 MR. ZEC: Can we have English page 13, B/C/S page 12.
20 Q. So this is the house of Zekerijah Kusuran after the explosion;
22 A. The interpreter says "Zekerijah Kusturan" but his name was - just
23 a moment - Kusturan, Kusturan, yes. And this is his house, indeed, yes.
24 MR. ZEC: Can we have English page 6, B/C/S page 5.
25 Q. This is the mosque in Donja Puharska before it was blown up;
2 A. Yes, this is the mosque.
3 MR. ZEC: Can we have English page 9, B/C/S page 8.
4 Q. And this is the mosque after it was blown up; right?
5 A. I can't say that this is that particular mosque. Not based on
6 this picture. But I can say that parts of the mosque were destroyed,
8 MR. ZEC: Can we have English page 11, B/C/S page 10.
9 Q. And, here, we see remains of the mosque being cleared away by the
10 Prijedor public utility company; right?
11 A. You can see a building machine clearing the rubble. I don't know
12 when that happened. I've not seen this photo before.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, earlier you said parts of the mosque were
14 destroyed. Which parts were -- remained intact?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. -- yes, one second.
17 MR. LUKIC: If the witness can remove his headphones.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If the witness -- he said, "I said," so it may
19 be that he now resolves the matter, Mr. Lukic, there's a chance.
20 Could you please repeat what you started to say. You said what?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that that photo shows parts
22 of a mosque. You can see a minaret. But based on that photo, I couldn't
23 tell you which mosques those part belonged to, which mosque that is.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. So when you were using the words "part of the
25 mosque," then you were referring rather to what can be seen on the
1 photograph, then that it refers to what you say happened to that mosque
2 and you don't even know whether the pictures are about that mosque in
3 Donja Puharska.
4 Please proceed.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is exactly what I was saying,
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zec.
8 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President. Can we have English e-court
9 page 5, B/C/S -- English e-court page 7, B/C/S e-court page 6.
10 Q. Can you recognise on this photo remains of the mosque and in the
11 background is the house of Zekerijah Kusuran? Can you recognise that?
12 A. I can't recognise the things that you have mentioned in this
13 photo, but it is very obvious that the photo depicts a site of major
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please Mr. Zec -- please, Mr. Lukic, is there any
16 dispute about whether the photographs, apart from how it all happened,
17 but these photographs depict the mosque of -- after destruction. I'm
18 just limiting it to that.
19 MR. LUKIC: We cannot confirm that, Your Honour. I --
20 JUDGE ORIE: You say it could be any mosque, not necessarily this
22 MR. LUKIC: Yeah, I'm not familiar and we did not have any means
23 to check.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please -- please proceed.
25 MR. LUKIC: We'll have an expert on this issue.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I have a question. Can I ask the witness a
3 Sir, Mr. Vujic, apart from this photograph, are you aware of the
4 extent of the destruction of the mosque after the incidents that are
5 being discussed here? And if so, can you tell us how -- what that extent
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The best answer would be that the
8 mosque was completely destroyed.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
10 MR. ZEC: Your Honours, I tender this into evidence.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P7365, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
14 I'm looking at the clock, Mr. Zec.
15 MR. ZEC: It's the right time. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Time for a break.
17 Witness, we'd like to see you back after 20 minutes. We'll take
18 a break first. You may follow the usher.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at ten minutes to 11.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
23 JUDGE ORIE: We're waiting for the witness to be escorted in the
25 Mr. Zec, as far as timing is concerned, another -- little bit
1 over half an hour? Is that what --
2 MR. ZEC: I believe so. In my time -- certainly I won't go above
3 my estimated time.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and you said you needed another one hour and a
5 half, I think, today.
6 MR. ZEC: Certainly won't go over that. I hope I will be
7 finished even shorter than that.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Welcome back, Mr. Vujic. Mr. Zec will now continue
11 his cross-examination.
12 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Mr. Vujic, before you break we were talking about Donja Puharska
14 in the summer of 1992. Last week when Mr. Lukic asked you about
15 Puharska, you explained that people continued to live there and you said
16 that Puharska was densely inhabited area with some 5.000 people living
17 there. You said 98 per cent of Puharska population were Muslims. This
18 is transcript page 34964 through -67.
19 So, to be clear, these 5.000 Muslims in Puharska, you were
20 referring to Donja Puharska in the period after the Serb take-over of
21 Prijedor. That's correct; right?
22 A. Is this a mistake in translation or interpretation? But that's
23 not correct. I said that Puharska had a population of almost 5.000. 35,
24 no way.
25 Q. It may be translation. I said 5.000. I think we are on the same
1 page. Thank you.
2 You also talked about mopping up of Puharska after the Muslim
3 attack on Prijedor. In paragraph 12 of your statement you say upon
4 orders of the brigade, your units searched Puharska for suspects of the
5 attack and for unknown Muslims from Hambarine and Kozarac who were
6 seeking refugee with their relatives in Puharska suspected of having
7 taken part in clashes.
8 These searches for suspects, Mr. Vujic, resulted in rounding up
9 of Muslims in Donja Puharska. Men were taken to camps while women,
10 children and elderly were taken to Muslim-held territory in
11 Central Bosnia. That was the reality; right?
12 A. Only one day after the attack of Muslims on Prijedor, Puharska
13 was searched. The reason why is precisely what you referred to just now.
14 Part of their armed forces had withdrawn through Donja Puharska. They
15 fled. Because that's the way they came when they carried out the attack.
16 The estimate was that many of them stayed on there and that they found
17 refuge there. Even before that, those who were fighting in Kozarac
18 reached Puharska in some way and found refuge there. That was the main
19 reason for the search of Donja Puharska. Some of our units took part in
20 that. My unit had the task of securing part of the zone that links
21 Puharska to another part of the local commune of Prijedor too, where the
22 small river of Puharska is.
23 Q. And the reality was that those who were seeking refuge in
24 Puharska, they were rounded up, taken to camps. Women, children were
25 taken to the Muslim-held territory. That's was happening there; right?
1 A. That did not happen then.
2 MR. ZEC: Can we have 65 ter 31822.
3 Q. And I'm going to show you a local statement of Fikret Hodzic
4 dated 15 July 1997. It's on the screen.
5 At the beginning of the statement he talks how at the end of
6 May 1992, he moved from Kozarac to Prijedor. Page 2 in English, he said
7 he was in Donja Puharska in his aunt's house for about a month. In the
8 middle of the page he explains how initially only Bosniaks who had found
9 refuge in Donja Puharska were expelled, leaving the local population
10 alone. He said:
11 "They took the men from these settlements to the Trnopolje camp
12 and the women, children and elderly were sent in the direction of
13 Travnik. They took us to Trnopolje by bus."
14 He said:
15 "When I came to the Trnopolje camp, I found several thousands
16 imprisoned Bosniaks and Croat there."
17 So, Mr. Vujic, this was the reality: Muslims in Puharska, Donja
18 Puharska were rounded up, detained, and expelled. That was happening;
20 A. This statement says things that are the direct opposite of your
21 first question. The first time you said that they were expelled from
22 Puharska somewhere to Central Bosnia. Now, in this statement, this is
23 not mentioned at all. Because men -- please do allow me to explain so
24 that I could be ready to answer your further questions.
25 Q. [Microphone not activated].
1 Travnik was in Central Bosnia area. People were taken there.
2 Whether it's Travnik or somewhere else, that's not relevant. People were
3 taken into this direction; correct?
4 A. Do allow me to respond in two sentences.
5 That day when the search was carried out, part of the men were
6 taken away. In a previous statement I corrected myself. My first
7 knowledge was that they were about 30 of them, but later on I received
8 some information and I received convincing information that there were
9 about 60 of them. They were taken on two buss to the camp of Omarska.
10 Civilians, women, children, they were not touched then.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Were they touched at any later point in time?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the best of my knowledge,
13 civilians were never expelled in that way. Rather, an action took place
14 and they had the opportunity to say whether they wanted to leave. Some
15 of them wished to go to Trnopolje because from there they could go very
16 easily and quickly to third countries, and some stated other views, how
17 they wished to leave. There were many reasons. But there was not a
18 single reason that they were intimidated, beaten, et cetera. However, it
19 was hardship. They were without money, they were not -- okay.
20 JUDGE ORIE: The only thing I asked you is whether they were
21 touched at any later point in time. What I do understand is that you say
22 they were never touched. They were free to go. If they wanted to go to
23 Trnopolje, fine. If they wanted to go elsewhere, that was fine as well.
24 You followed their wishes. Is that what happened?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, of course. That is what I
1 took part in.
2 JUDGE ORIE: No, I'm not asking only about what you took part
3 that but what happened. Were there any members of the civilian
4 population which were not free to choose where they wanted to go? Apart
5 from -- irrespective of whether you were involved.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the best of my knowledge, there
7 was no such thing.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. You told us that they -- they left because
9 they wished to do so. When did that happen? Because that the whole
10 starting point of my question. When did that happen?
11 And let's start with Trnopolje. When did they, who wished to go
12 it Trnopolje as you told us, when did they go there?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Trnopolje was established during
14 combat operations in Kozarac.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I didn't ask you when it was established. I asked
16 you when the population you were referring to went to Trnopolje.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Never did the entire population go
18 at one point in time, so it's very hard to answer that question of yours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. When did the first ones -- when did the
20 majority go?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That I don't know because they left
22 without me knowing about this. In the month of September, I was no
23 longer in Prijedor. All of those who left after September -- well, of
24 course, I had no contact with them. I was at the front line with my
1 JUDGE ORIE: But before September, wasn't there a large number
2 that went to Trnopolje before September? If you know.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly how many left,
4 but some did leave. I knew that. But I was never present when they were
5 leaving and they didn't ask for my assistance to get to Trnopolje.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Now, earlier you said -- you took part in -- if they
7 want to go to Trnopolje, fine, you said. If they wanted to go
8 elsewhere - that's what my question was - that was fine as well. You
9 followed their wishes, and then you said:
10 "Yes, of course, that is what I took part in."
11 Now could you tell us exactly then what you took part in? What
12 did you do.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My task as a soldier did not have
14 to do with anything that related to civilian affairs. When they were
15 leaving, it was the civilian authorities with -- that were organising
16 with the assistance of the police these buses in Donja Puharska, and
17 those who wanted to leave left.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you told us, first of all, that they
19 didn't leave at the time but later you told us that you don't know, as a
20 matter of fact, who left before September in what numbers. And then I
21 asked you whether I understood you well that they were all free to go
22 wherever they wanted to go, Trnopolje, elsewhere. And then you said:
23 "Yes, of course, that is what I took part in."
24 I asked you what you did. If you say, I take part in this, then
25 I'm a bit puzzled if on my next question you say, I had nothing to do
1 with it because it was all civilian affairs.
2 So tell us what you meant when you said that you took part in
3 this voluntary moving-out either to Trnopolje or elsewhere. What did you
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember that I ever stated
6 that I took part in that part --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Witness -- Witness, stop --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please -- please do allow me to say
10 JUDGE ORIE: No, no, you've said it. We'll verify it. If you
11 say, That's not what I said, then we'll listen to the audio and we'll
12 have it verified that -- whether you said or not and we'll fully accept
13 if you didn't say so. Usually the Defence is also listening to the B/C/S
14 channel so usually if there's something mis-recorded, they will inform
16 But if you say, It's not what I said, then we'll verify it. Is
17 that what you want us to do?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's no need for checking this.
19 I trust you. But also I have the right to say that I do not remember
20 having said that. However, of course, if there is proof that I said
21 this, I will explain what I meant. When I said that in some way I did
22 take part, it did not pertain to this, that I was directly transporting
23 these people to Trnopolje or elsewhere.
24 My participation in Donja Puharska was constant communication
25 with the population. That is how I knew who wished to leave, who kept
1 silent and perhaps did want to go, who wanted to intimate to me that they
2 would leave as soon as they were given the opportunity to do so.
3 I remember this one organised departure in front of the local
4 commune centre of Puharska. Those who wished to leave gathered there and
5 the civilian authorities organised transportation and I know of that
6 event. So --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Transportation to where?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Transportation to Trnopolje. To
9 the collection centre of Trnopolje.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And when was that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot recall the exact date.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Approximately.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maybe, maybe, the month of August,
14 beginning of August. I know it was warm. It was hot. But I cannot
15 remember the exact date.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zec.
17 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Mr. Vujic, as a result of these activities and, as you say,
19 wishes of the people to go, out of total of 5.000 people, Muslims who
20 lived in Donja Puharska in mid-May, as you say, by 1993 this number was
21 reduced down to 1.000; correct?
22 A. I never said that.
23 Q. That's my question. Out of 5.000 Muslims in Puharska in
24 mid-May -- in mid-1992, as you say, by 1993 there was only 1.000 Muslims
25 in Donja Puharska; correct?
1 A. I don't agree with that. My knowledge says the direct opposite,
2 that most of them remained in their homes until 1993. Although, as I
3 said, after September 1992 I was not present there in Prijedor. However,
4 I came to Prijedor from time to time and that was not the impression that
5 I got, that so many of them had left.
6 MR. ZEC: 65 -- actually P number, it's P7126. And this is an
7 overview of the 1993 census in Prijedor broken down to local communities
8 prepared by the Serb authorities in Prijedor.
9 Q. And if you see item number 5 --
10 MR. LUKIC: I'm sorry --
11 MR. ZEC: -- it's Donja Puharska --
12 MR. LUKIC: Which authorities in Prijedor, if we can hear?
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, do you -- could you give us more
14 information about the document, who --
15 MR. ZEC: It's in evidence. We can pull out more information but
16 my understanding it was even seized from Prijedor authorities in --
17 within government offices in Prijedor.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It is in evidence. I don't know whether you
19 objected at the time, Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: Yes, we did, Your Honour, because there is no any
21 trace what this is.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Apparently I don't remember, as a matter of fact,
23 but apparently we admitted into evidence. That means that on the basis
24 of that decision Mr. Zec can put questions. If there's anything to be
25 revisited in terms of authenticity or source, then, of course, new facts
1 we would hear from you.
2 MR. ZEC:
3 Q. Mr. Vujic, item number 5 --
4 MR. LUKIC: I'm sorry -- I'm sorry. Only it was presented that
5 it was done by authorities from Prijedor, so it has to be presented
7 MR. ZEC: [Microphone not activated]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, this is in evidence, so Mr. Zec can put this
9 document to the witness.
10 Witness, this is a report about the numbers of people living in
11 the various parts of Prijedor municipality, I do understand. Carefully
12 listen to the question Mr. Zec will put to you.
13 MR. ZEC: And in response to Mr. Lukic, Mr. Traldi just reminded
14 me that was Mr. Lukic's witness, Vladimir Lukic, who confirmed that this
15 census was conducted as a response to request from the government. So --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Any recollection, Mr. Lukic? We'll check that.
17 You'll understand that if you elicited that evidence yourself, then it's
18 not the best way of -- yes.
19 MR. TRALDI: I apologise, Mr. President, but --
20 JUDGE ORIE: No, no, you elicited the evidence but from a Defence
22 MR. TRALDI: That's correct. I'd elicited on cross-examination
23 from Vladimir Lukic the evidence that the government had conducted a
24 census in 1993, that he was aware, he and his government were aware of
25 the results and the demographic change and the extent of it in
1 municipalities specifically including Prijedor. The Chamber has also
2 received Kozarski Vjesnik publishing the results of this census, though
3 not on a location by location basis, which I informed Mr. Lukic when this
4 issue came up during Witness Puhalic's testimony and I understand that
5 the matter had been resolved at that time. But in case there is any
6 further question about it, I can provide him specific references at the
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, sufficient information about the
10 MR. LUKIC: Still I have a problem presenting this, "this is done
11 by Prijedor authorities," because I cannot see it from the document.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Well, let's leave it.
13 Witness, this is a 1993 census. We leave out at this moment the
14 details. And it is local, about Prijedor. Carefully listen to Mr. Zec's
16 MR. ZEC:
17 Q. Mr. Vujic, item number 5 is entry for Donja Puharska. Number for
18 Muslims is 1.073. So this was the result of the reduction of Muslims in
19 Donja Puharska. Out of 5.000 in mid-1992, down to 1.073 in 1993; right?
20 A. It's hard for me to start answering because you're not allowing
21 me, but this was no census in 1993. This is analytical information that
22 was compiled by someone on the basis of memory or a free estimate. You
23 asked me about Donja Puharska and here's the proof. It says here that in
24 Donja Puharska, the population was 3.107, and just now we said that there
25 were 5.000. Now from 5.000 it should have fallen to 1.000, not 3.000.
1 Obviously this information is not correct. And I'm sure and I claim that
2 there was no census carried out in 1993. There was no one to go from
3 house to house and --
4 Q. Mr. Vujic, let's be clear. You told to Mr. Lukic that there was
5 5.000 Muslims in Donja -- in Puharska and you said 98 per cent of them
6 were Muslims. I asked you today to confirm that and you confirmed that
7 5.000 of Muslims lived in Donja Puharska. Now, I presented you with this
8 census and it says 1.000 of Muslims in Puharska. And I'm telling you
9 this is the result of the reduction of Muslims in Puharska that was
10 conducted in the matter of several months. That was the reality at the
11 time; right?
12 A. I'm putting it to you that this document is not relevant.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Witness --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not relevant. And I'm putting
15 it to you like you're putting things to me.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, relevance is for us to decide. What can
17 you tell us about the document? You say it was not -- who drafted it?
18 How was it done? Because you say it's not valid. What do you know about
19 the document?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have never seen this document
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, fine --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have told you that there was no
24 census --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you told us a minute ago that this document
1 was based on the recollection of individual persons giving an assessment
2 of numbers. Now, in view of the detail, that is, to say the least, not
3 very plausible, but because you told us that that is what it is, I asked
4 you what do you know about -- who drafted this document; do you know?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't know.
6 JUDGE ORIE: On the basis of what data was it compiled? If you
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again, I don't know. But I know
9 that it is not based on a census. And it says in the title that this is
10 a census, the 1993 census. Sir, there was no census.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Well -- I leave it to the parties to discuss whether
12 or not there was something which you could or could not call a census.
13 But at this moment it's clear that you don't know who authored it and you
14 don't know on the basis of what it was compiled. The only thing you're
15 telling us is you know that there was no census so it must be wrong.
16 That's clear.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just ask a question, please.
20 Sir, based on your own knowledge, what's your estimate of the
21 population numbers in 1993 in Puharska?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you insist on me giving an
23 arbitrary assessment, I will be honest and I will tell you that, all in
24 all, there were about 1.000 people who left Puharska in 1993. Not more,
25 according to my assessment.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: So by simple arithmetic, according to you, having
2 told us that before that there were 5.000, is it your position therefore
3 that by 1993 there were 4.000 Muslims in Puharska?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, about 4.000.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
6 MR. ZEC:
7 Q. Mr. Vujic, this reduction of Muslims and Croats in Prijedor is
8 the result of crimes committed against non-Serbs by members of your
9 brigade, among others, crimes of killings, destruction of property,
10 communities, non-Serb religious sites. That was the reality; right?
11 A. None of this can apply to Puharska since no such thing happened
12 in Puharska. Houses were not torched. People were not ill-treated.
13 There were no crimes of that kind. I'm not ruling out some individual
14 cases and we tried to prevent those as much as possible. Puharska is the
15 same today as it was before the war. I believe that there is no more
16 than 5 per cent of the total of newly built houses there.
17 Q. [Microphone not activated]
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Prosecutor.
19 MR. ZEC: Thank you.
20 Q. During the course of the conflict, members of your unit publicly
21 expressed hatred against other ethnic groups. You were aware of this;
23 A. It's not an easy question to answer. My combatants realised that
24 there was an enemy on the other side, an opponent. It was only logical
25 that they were not supposed to love them or be kind to them. It was only
1 logical for them to think how to save themselves from the enemy.
2 Q. Let's look at an example.
3 MR. ZEC: 65 ter 32522. This is Kozarski Vjesnik from
4 October 1995.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, may I urge you to answer the question. The
6 question was not what internal feelings your people had but how they
7 expressed themselves publicly. That was what the question was about.
8 Carefully listen to the next question and try to answer the questions as
9 put to you by Mr. Zec.
10 MR. ZEC:
11 Q. If you look towards the end of the page in B/C/S, there's an
12 article entitled: "We will make them disappear."
13 In the second paragraph it says:
14 "Vujic's soldiers told us that they were impatient to come to
15 this front and defend the town [sic]."
16 Several lines below in the same paragraph:
17 "One of the officers, Petar Gagic said ... 'my Prijedor, our
18 town. There is no longer any reason to be afraid. The men from Kozarac
19 and many others have arrived and this will be a Serbian land once again.
20 There is no more fear. We are chasing the Balija out. We will make them
22 So, Mr. Vujic, this is an example of your officer expressing
23 attitude of your soldiers towards other ethnic groups, in this case,
24 Muslims; right?
25 MR. LUKIC: We would object at this time. First, who is the
1 author of the text. Second, was this confirmed by somebody who -- this
2 is --
3 JUDGE ORIE: A lot of question -- lots of questions for
5 MR. LUKIC: It's not even hearsay. This is fourth.
6 JUDGE ORIE: This is all nice questions for re-examination to
7 rely on --
8 MR. LUKIC: Who is the author, first, if we can know?
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I said questions for re-examination.
10 What -- Mr. Zec introduced this document as a publication in a newspaper.
11 And I can imagine that there were a lot of questions about that and you
12 certainly can put them to the witness.
13 So, therefore, could you please answer the question, Witness?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood the question. Could
16 the relevant part be zoomed in? I'd like to be able to see it better.
17 And it is true that this was a member of my unit. I am familiar with the
19 MR. ZEC:
20 Q. Please go on. He said --
21 JUDGE ORIE: But could we zoom in in such a way -- and I do
22 understand that it must be the first column of this. So if we could
23 highlight that.
24 MR. ZEC: Correct, correct.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, can you see better now?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Much better.
2 MR. ZEC:
3 Q. Your officer, Petar Gagic, said:
4 "My Prijedor, our town. There is no -- no longer any reason to
5 be afraid. The men from Kozarac and many others have arrived and this
6 will be a Serbian land once again. There is no more fear. We are
7 chasing the Balijas out. We will make them disappear."
8 So this your officer expressing attitude of your soldiers towards
9 other ethnic group; right?
10 A. I understand your question fully. If you will allow me, we
11 arrived to defend Prijedor. Before that, already 13 municipalities fell.
12 We were certainly determined to defend our town to the last man. Such
13 were times. I told you how it happened. We were fighting against the
14 Muslim forces aided by NATO pact. There were beasts, and it was only
15 normal that my soldiers said that we would crush them. And I repeat that
16 at this very moment. I share that.
17 MR. ZEC: I tender this into evidence.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
19 MR. LUKIC: We object.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
21 MR. LUKIC: We need more data. Who wrote this --
22 JUDGE ORIE: It's a publication in a newspaper and that I have
23 no --
24 MR. LUKIC: Maybe we would call the --
25 JUDGE ORIE: -- hesitation to --
1 MR. LUKIC: -- newspaper guy who wrote this, how he composed the
2 text. What is his words, what is words from the guy who quoted here.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, your objection is denied. The -- this
5 document of which is not much more known than that it was a publication
6 in Kozarski Vjesnik of the 16th of October, 1995, because that's what it
7 says, is a newspaper article. We'll consider the probative value of this
8 newspaper article in the context of the totality of the evidence and some
9 of the observations you made, that is, that the author is not known, are
10 all part of our assessment of what probative value should be given to
11 this document.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, did I say -- if I said the 16th, then it's
14 because I have difficulties in turning my head to read the original date.
15 18th of October, 1995. Still, mid-October.
16 Mr. Registrar, the number would be?
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P7366, Your Honours.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask for an
19 opportunity to say another sentence.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, Witness, would you first not interrupt me,
21 to start with. Once I've spoken, once Mr. Registrar have given the
22 number, then you can ask whether you can add something.
23 Mr. Registrar, I missed your -- the number you gave.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P7366, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
1 Witness, you wanted to add something. If it's brief and if it is
2 directly related to -- to the questions that were put to you, you don't
3 have to bother about authenticity or whether we should it admit or not
4 because that decision has already been taken.
5 So, briefly, please.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to add two more sentences
7 on this issue.
8 The Prosecutor asked me whether my fighters expressed hatred
9 towards an ethnic group. An ethnic group implies both women and children
10 as well as children and men and elderly, the whole ethnic population. We
11 were attacked by women and children. We were attacked by men at arms.
12 And this statement is relative to them, not to an ethnic group.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, first of all, you were not asked to give
14 this comment. Second, if you say it's Serbian land, that reflects
15 what -- that all non-Serbs apparently are not welcome at least, it's
16 Serbian land. And that is not limited to men. That is not limited to
17 soldiers. That is related to non-Serbs. That's at least my
18 understanding. I give it to you so that you have an opportunity to
19 comment on my understanding, that Serbian land is apparently for Serbs
20 and not for non-Serbs, irrespective of gender and age.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please ...
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE ORIE: A similar observation could be made as "Balijas to
25 disappear." But I leave it to that. Mr. Zec will put his next question
1 to you.
2 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. And, in fact, Mr. Vujic, consistent to this attitude of your
4 soldiers, remaining non-Serbs of Prijedor were rounded up and many
5 expelled, including, Dr. Ibro Beglerbegovic, who you mention in your
6 statement, as well as your soldier Jasmin Zahidic and his family members;
8 A. I had an occasion to speak about Dr. Beglerbegovic and the events
9 surrounding him. I don't know what happened to him at the time. In my
10 statement I explained the relationship that existed while I was still in
11 a position to communicate with him.
12 As far as my soldier Jasmin Zahidic, I didn't know that at the
13 time he was taken away in that way. What I knew then was that they
14 wanted to leave Prijedor as soon as possible because they were members of
15 the Roma, their life was not easy, and the majority of them wanted to go
16 to a western country where they could enjoy benefits and live better.
17 You asked me about Zahidic and that's why I'm telling all this.
18 Q. And last week when I asked about Zahidic, you said he was your
19 soldier and you were sure no -- none of your soldiers were ever expelled.
20 Now you are telling to us that he was expelled. That's what you're
21 saying to us; right?
22 A. I don't have a document before me so I can't tell you how long
23 Jasmin remained my soldier. When -- once he was demobilised, he was no
24 longer my soldier, so I don't know what happened to those who were no
25 longer members of my unit. Zahidic provided his statement in Zenica and
1 he never mentioned that he was a soldier. He said that he was a member
2 of a work platoon which is a lie. In this list there is no single Muslim
3 name of anybody who was a member of the work platoon. They were not
4 registered as members of a war-time unit. They were registered in a
5 different place as parts of a different record. He was not a member of
6 the work platoon.
7 Q. Mr. Vujic, regardless of your soldier or Dr. Ibro, thousands of
8 non-Serbs were rounded up and expelled from Prijedor area. That was the
9 fact; right?
10 A. They did leave Prijedor but I don't know under what
12 MR. ZEC: Very quickly, P6925. And this is an article from Vreme
13 dated 16 October 1995.
14 Q. Vreme, that's a Belgrade-based weekly magazine. You know that;
15 right? Can you confirm that Vreme magazine, that was Belgrade-based?
16 You know that; right?
17 A. No, I don't know.
18 Q. If you look in the article in front of you, it talks about
19 Arkan's presence in the area of Krajina in 1995. English page 2, B/C/S
20 first row, towards the bottom it refers to the operation launched in late
21 September in which the area around Prijedor was cleansed of Muslims and
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please indicate where that can be found
24 in the B/C/S version.
25 MR. ZEC: In the B/C/S, it's first row, towards the end of the
1 first row. Still down.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Shall we scroll down.
3 MR. ZEC: Scroll down. Okay.
4 Q. And if you look towards the bottom of that box, Mr. Vujic, you
5 will see it says:
6 "According to the UNHCR reports, members of the Serbian Volunteer
7 Guards expelled about 5.000 people to the territory under the control of
8 the BiH government within only a few days.
9 "According to the UNHCR, people were forced to swim across the
10 river and many drowned during the attempt. Others died of exhaustion and
12 So this is an example, Mr. Vujic, of public awareness of
13 expulsions of non-Serbs from Prijedor area. So that was the reality at
14 the time; right?
15 A. As I've already told you, I'm not aware of this publication. I
16 also claim that at least 90 per cent of the population of Prijedor are
17 not aware of it. Perhaps people in Belgrade were aware of it, if it is
18 published in Belgrade. I don't know where the author of the article got
19 his information from. I really never had an opportunity to hear or see
20 what people in Belgrade wrote and read about Arkan and his army. In
21 other words, I'm not familiar with this document at all.
22 MR. ZEC: Your Honours, this is marked as MFI exhibit so I would
23 ask that it be tendered.
24 MR. LUKIC: We object that it could be tendered through this
25 witness after his answers.
1 MR. ZEC: I'll move on.
2 JUDGE ORIE: I want to give you an opportunity to respond to the
3 objection, but if you say you leave it to that, that's okay as well.
4 MR. ZEC: Your Honours, in the interest of time I wanted to move
5 on, but this topic is brought by witness and Mr. Lukic in his
6 examination, so the exhibit relates to the topic and the witness
7 confirmed that people were expelled from the area. In that sense, this
8 exhibit is admissible through this witness.
9 JUDGE ORIE: As related to the events on which the witness
10 himself testified.
11 MR. ZEC: Correct.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: He testified about Arkan and his army and his
14 non-resubordination to his units. That's all he testified about Arkan.
15 I don't remember that he testified about Arkan expelling civilians from
17 JUDGE ORIE: Awaiting a decision on the admission, the document
18 should be marked for identification.
19 The number would be, Mr. Registrar --
20 MR. ZEC: We have [overlapping speakers] --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, we have a number already, yes. It's --
22 MR. ZEC: It's P6925.
23 JUDGE ORIE: It's marked for identification. Please proceed.
24 MR. ZEC:
25 Q. Focusing to Arkan for a moment, Mr. Vujic, Arkan's hostility
1 against other ethnic groups was known many years before these events in
2 Prijedor in 1995; right?
3 A. Yes. Everybody was afraid of Arkan, civilians, soldiers, Serbs,
4 Muslims, everybody feared Arkan and his unit and his actions at all
5 levels and in different places.
6 Q. Already in Croatia in 1991 when you were there, Arkan was making
7 public statements in order to intimidate members of other ethnic groups.
8 Were you aware of that?
9 A. When I was in Croatia, I didn't even know of Arkan's existence.
10 I didn't know anything about him.
11 Q. Well, let me show you a clip depicting what Arkan said to an
12 international correspondent in September 1991.
13 MR. ZEC: Can we have 65 ter 22456b.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 MR. ZEC: And if that can be played. We have provided
16 transcripts. It's very short, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, what are you -- are you establishing that he
18 made such statements?
19 MR. ZEC: Correct.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now this witness doesn't know anything about
21 that. He says that he didn't know even that Arkan exists. So what's the
22 use of -- because I take it that then you would want to put further
23 questions to the witness or ...
24 MR. ZEC: On relation to Arkan and his attitude towards ethnic --
25 other ethnic groups during the war, I want to establish that this Arkan
1 existed in 1991 and that --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but the witness doesn't say he didn't exist.
3 The witness says, "I was not aware of his existence." That's not the
4 same as denying the exist of Arkan. He says, "I was not aware at that
5 point in time of his existence," so there no need to put anything to him
6 that Arkan did exist because the knowledge of the witness is not central
7 here but it is the evidence before this Chamber, which leaves not much
8 room to deny that Arkan existed at that point in time.
9 Is that clear to you? I want ... you don't have to show it to
10 the witness to let him admit that Arkan existed. There's no reason for
12 MR. ZEC: It also has to do with Arkan's attitude toward
13 ethnic -- other ethnic groups that --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's fine, but perhaps that's not the best to
15 do that through this witness --
16 MR. ZEC: Okay, I understand, Your Honours. I will move on.
17 JUDGE ORIE: -- because it doesn't relate to anything the witness
18 told us directly. Please proceed.
19 MR. ZEC: That's clear. I will move on.
20 Q. Last week you told to Mr. Lukic with respect to the arrival of
21 Arkan's Men to Krajina in 1995, that you did not know who they got tasks
22 from and that it was clear to you that they did not -- that they were not
23 receiving tasks from the army. This is at transcript page 34971.
24 Mr. Vujic, this Chamber has received evidence about meetings
25 General Mladic had with the highest police and military officials from
1 the RS and Serbia discussing deployment of Arkan's Men. On
2 22nd September 1995, it was discussed that Arkan's Men were to arrest all
3 those who were fleeing from the front; this is in P364, page 53. On
4 11 October 1995, Arkan's Men were instructed to make arrests in Prijedor;
5 this is in P3094.
6 So I take, Mr. Vujic, that you were not aware of these
7 arrangements with respect to Arkan's activities in Prijedor; right?
8 A. I was not aware of any agreements between the army and Arkan.
9 And I think that --
10 JUDGE ORIE: You've answered the question. You are not aware of
12 Mr. Zec.
13 MR. ZEC: I'm about to finish.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Very quickly then. Very quickly.
15 MR. ZEC:
16 Q. Once you returned to Prijedor by 13 October 1995, your battalion
17 joined Arkan's Men in combat operations in the area; right?
18 A. Again, you're not telling the truth. It's a major lie. I never
19 joined Arkan's Men. I never even knew that his soldiers were engaged on
20 that axis.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec put something to you. If you disagree, just
22 say, I disagree. It's not the truth. Don't uses the word "lie."
23 Mr. Zec presents what, in his view, is in evidence. If you disagree you
24 can tell us. You are invited even to do so, but don't use words like:
25 "That's a lie." It's put to you in order to seek either confirmation or
2 So apparently you disagree. You say your battalion did not join
3 Arkan's Men in combat operations. Is that well understood?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
6 MR. ZEC:
7 Q. Very quickly I'm going to show you two documents in respect to
8 your answer.
9 MR. ZEC: 65 ter 32543.
10 Q. This is an order by the RS Ministry of Interior to Arkan's Men to
11 stop arresting deserters and prepare for carrying out the combat tasks.
12 This is 12 October 1995.
13 Now we're going to show you another document.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Give the witness at least time to have a look at it
16 Please read it, Witness. No need to say anything about it at
17 this moment. Wait for the question after you have seen the next
19 Have you read it?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zec.
22 MR. ZEC: Thank you.
23 Can we have 65 ter 32521. And this is an article from
24 Kozarski Vjesnik from November 1995. In the B/C/S, we need the article
25 to the right side of the page.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In the upper part or in the lower part?
2 MR. ZEC: Sorry, in the first column in the article -- this is --
3 this is -- this is the right article.
4 Q. In the first column of the article it says:
5 "Enemy offensive was stopped. Members of the 43rd, 5th Kozarac
6 and 6th Sana Brigades played a major role in this. Members of the
7 police, part of which were Tigers from the Serbian Volunteer Guards,
8 fought alongside them."
9 So now if you look towards the end of the first column in your
10 language, Mr. Vujic. In English it's at the end of the second column.
11 It says:
12 "We are here with a clear goal and task. For the time being" -
13 and then next page in English - "we have completely carried out tasks."
14 And at the end of this passage, there's a reference to you,
15 Mr. Vujic, as a speaker.
16 So you fought alongside Arkan's Men with a clear goal and task as
17 presented in this article, and that was the truth; right?
18 A. My understanding is that there were two questions here. The
19 first one has to do with the first document that you showed from me and
20 from that I saw that this is a document that was issued by the minister
21 of police on whose orders I cannot act and the army in general cannot
22 act. I saw that it was sent to the Main Staff just by way of
23 information, so that means that I disagree that General Mladic took part
24 in that. Rather, he received this as information.
25 As for this other part, I see that the author of this text is
1 Vukasin Vukadinovic. He is a sports journalist, a commentator, and he
2 has only been involved in sports. So it seems that the time has come for
3 him to write about other things too, and this is his view of how the
4 situation evolved and who took part in things. He certainly wasn't even
5 close to the front line. But I'm going to tell you that I was on the
6 main axis in defending us from enemy attacks. As I told you, I
7 encountered a small unit of Arkan's there. We did not have any kind of
8 co-ordinated action and we were not under a single command.
9 Q. [Microphone not activated]
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Microphone.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Microphone.
12 MR. ZEC: I apologise. I tender these two documents and I have
13 nothing further. Thank you.
14 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: -- I would object to introducing this newspaper
17 article. Regarding the document 32543, since it's signed by,
18 allegedly -- I cannot recognise but signed by Tomislav Kovac, we do not
19 have any objections to have that document.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Let's start then with the first one. Mr. Registrar
21 that document would receive number?
22 THE REGISTRAR: 32543 will be Exhibit P7367, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: That one is admitted. Now the newspaper article,
24 Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: Maybe to wait until I have several questions about
2 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Let's marked for identification and then
3 we'll later decide on admission.
4 Mr. Lukic, that will have to be done after the break because
5 we'll take a break first.
6 Witness, we'd like to see you back in 20 minutes. You may follow
7 the usher. We'll resume at quarter past 12.00.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ORIE: When I say that the newspaper article should be
10 marked for identification, at least we would need a number. We are
11 ignoring your important role, Mr. Registrar. Could you assign the number
12 under which it will be marked for identification.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. 32521 will be MFI P7368.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. We'll resume at quarter past 12.00.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 --- Recess taken at 11.57 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.18 p.m.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We're waiting for the witness to be escorted in the
20 [The witness takes the stand]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, once again, Mr. Vujic.
25 A. Good day, Mr. Lukic.
1 Q. My colleague Mr. Zec, on page 47, line 3, put the following to
2 you. I'm going to read it out in English so that you would get the right
3 interpretation. Just listen carefully to what I'm saying. You cannot
4 read it in English.
5 I quote:
6 [In English] "Mr. Vujic, this Chamber has received evidence about
7 meetings General Mladic had with the highest police and military
8 officials from the RS and Serbia discussing deployment of Arkan's Men.
9 On 22nd September 1995, it was discussed that Arkan's Men were to arrest
10 all those who were fleeing from the front; this is in P364, page 53."
11 [Interpretation] I'd like us to take a look at what it says
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And I would like to call up P364.
14 Q. This is a diary and it is being asserted that it is
15 General Mladic's diary. First I would like to show you page 51 because
16 it's from the same meeting that was held on the 22nd of September, 1995.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It's page 51 in both languages.
18 [In English] There is a typed version of this document in B/C/S
19 as well. If it's possible to have it, please, it's easier.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now we have B/C/S on both sides of the screen.
21 MR. LUKIC: Just -- thank you, Your Honour. We'll wait. We have
22 both versions now, and we need the last paragraph in both versions.
23 Q. [Interpretation] This is what it says --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where do we see that this is a meeting of 22nd of
25 September, 1995?
1 MR. LUKIC: It's on page 49, Your Honour. If you want we can go
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
4 MR. LUKIC: In both versions.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: It would help.
6 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. So --
10 MR. LUKIC: Now can we go back to page 51 in English as well when
11 we saw that it's from the 22nd September 1995.
12 Q. [Interpretation] In the last paragraph down here, General Gvero
14 "Activities of paramilitary formations which are taking away
15 household appliances. The following was seized from the 2nd Krajina
16 Corps: 5 Pragas, 3 tanks, approximately 2 infantry companies, from
17 Arkan's formation. The municipality of Sanski Most is controlled by
18 many" --
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And then the next page, please.
20 [In English] Can we have the next page in English.
21 Q. [Interpretation] "... wearing Arkan's uniform."
22 Mr. Vujic, in relation to this, I would like to ask you the
23 following. You, your men, at that point in time, did you have problems
24 with members of Arkan's unit? Did they take your men? Did they arrest
25 your men? Did they cut the hair of your men?
1 A. I understand your question. I never encountered Arkan myself,
2 but when I was at different fronts at the time when Arkan had certain
3 activities in the area of Prijedor, when he arrested all military-age,
4 able-bodied men. And often those who were not able bodied, he took them
5 to the sports hall of Prijedor. He shaved their heads there. They
6 experienced certain unpleasant things while that happened and then he
7 took them to the front. Within some unit, I don't know which one,
8 probably his, but I think that two of my soldiers were then on regular
9 leave and they experienced that, so then I intervened and these two
10 soldiers were returned to my unit. Had it not been for my soldiers, my
11 intervention, I don't know what would have happened.
12 Q. [Microphone not activated] Thank you.
13 [Interpretation] Let us now go to page 53 that my colleague
14 Mr. Zec mentioned.
15 MR. LUKIC: I don't have this page in my version so ... no, no,
16 that's fine. In the middle of the page.
17 Q. [Interpretation] This is what it says on this page:
18 "300 of Arkan's volunteers arrive and were put into the RS MUP.
19 They were reportedly meant to be behind the lines arresting all of those
20 who are fleeing from the front."
21 Now let us take a look at page 91 from this document.
22 At this meeting from the 15th of October, 1995, that is the
23 time-frame that is being referred to when the fighting is taking place
24 around Prijedor, when the western Bosnian municipalities are falling,
25 this is what Colonel Jakovljevic says, as written here:
1 "People are openly asking who that was brought Arkan, and under
2 whose patronage they are doing this. People are being beaten up, and
3 yesterday they formed a gauntlet and beat everybody who came off the
5 So we see that this is a meeting with the security organs. That
6 is what is written here. And we see that the security organ that is
7 referred to here as Colonel Jakovljevic does not know who it was that
8 brought Arkan.
9 Were you informed who it was that brought Arkan and under whose
10 patronage he was at the time?
11 A. I never received any information as to who it was that brought
12 Arkan, but I knew that he was within our police, that he had direct
13 communication with Mr. Simo Drljaca, the chief of the police station, and
14 I know that together Arkan's forces and our police forces intervened at
15 Novi Grad when the time was critical. That is what I know about this
17 As for this other part, that soldiers were wondering who it was
18 that brought Arkan, that's true. Everybody was wondering whether we
19 needed him at all. I'm saying at that time and today and before that,
20 Arkan and his men were not needed by me and my battalion for carrying out
21 any mission whatsoever.
22 Q. Thank you. In this same part, my colleague Mr. Zec says that the
23 Trial Chamber has received evidence that General Mladic at meetings with
24 the top police and military officials discussed the deployment of
25 Arkan's Men.
1 In addition to this document, Mr. Zec offered another document to
2 you to support that, and that is document P3094. That is page 47,
3 line 9. Let us now take a look at document P3094 that was shown to you
4 by way of a general allegation that confirms Mr. Zec's case.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec.
6 MR. ZEC: Since my name is mentioned I should have said that in
7 my question I referred to this document as instruction to Arkan to make
8 arrests in Prijedor. That's what I was referring to this document.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. Lukic: Again, then it's even better, that creates confusion
11 when that's -- this statement: "Mr. Vujic, this Chamber has received
12 evidence," and this is in the same paragraph with the claim from the
13 previous -- actually, the previous claim made by the Prosecution, that
14 General Mladic had meetings with highest police and military officials
15 from the RS and Serbia discussing deployment of Arkan's Men.
16 JUDGE ORIE: So you're challenging that the Chamber received such
17 evidence which would indicate this, and that would be a valid objection.
18 That's not the objection you made at the time. You said that he should
19 spell it out. But what you're telling us now is the evidence referred to
20 by Mr. Zec does not present evidence of what he told us it would
22 Now, that may have been a valid -- but that's not the objection
23 you made. If there's a misrepresentation of the evidence, Mr. Lukic, in
24 general terms or in specific terms you may object to that. Again, that's
25 not what you did at the time.
1 At the same time, I add to this, that there's no need to ask the
2 witness questions about whether the evidence which was presented to the
3 Chamber is supporting what Mr. Zec claims it to be. You can ask him
4 about facts he is aware of, but not to challenge the misrepresentation of
5 the evidence by Mr. Zec unless the witness has any specific knowledge
6 about facts.
7 If you would please keep that in mind, if you continue.
8 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, but --
9 JUDGE ORIE:
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Lukic, led me add just one sentence. What
11 Mr. Zec said at that point in time, page 47, is, I quote:
12 "On 11 October 1995, Arkan's Men were instructed to make arrests
13 in Prijedor; this is in P3094."
14 He didn't say who instructed -- who gave this order. He didn't
15 say anything further and this is not deviating from the text we have in
16 front of us now.
17 MR. LUKIC: I don't know, Your Honours, if you understand that in
18 this same paragraph, this document should not be connected with the first
19 sentence, that this Chamber has received evidence about meetings.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I repeat what Judge Orie said, that was not your
21 claim when you objected.
22 MR. LUKIC: Physically I was not able to object. I did not know
23 which the document is since we didn't see it. I had only the opportunity
24 during the break to print the document, see the document. It was not
25 possible for us to object to those statements "this Chamber has received
1 evidence" and just telling us the numbers because there is a continuation
2 of the examination which I have to follow.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, was this document on the list you provided,
4 that you would use in cross-examination?
5 MR. ZEC: Indeed, Your Honours, and the meetings that Mr. Lukic
6 is constantly referring to, that can be found in P364 in various pages
7 and that was notified to Mr. Lukic.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, if the document was on the list of -- and
9 that list was given to Mr. Lukic when? Let me just have a look.
10 MR. ZEC: On Friday afternoon in the e-mail that we sent to the
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed. Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: So it was sent after this gentleman finished his
14 testimony on Thursday and I learn about it only this morning.
15 JUDGE ORIE: This witness -- this witness continued his
16 cross-examination today and -- Mr. Zec.
17 MR. ZEC: If I just may add that our notification on Friday was
18 as a result of direct -- the direct -- examination-in-chief from
19 Mr. Lukic when he brought the issue of Arkan which was not provided and
20 notified in the statement or 65 ter or anything.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. I think the parties have sufficiently
22 exchanged their -- their views on this matter.
23 Mr. Lukic, you may now continue.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: And just for clarification, Mr. Zec, is -- are we
25 to understand that the meetings that you referred to are referred to in
1 P364 and not in this document?
2 MR. ZEC: [Microphone not activated]
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
4 MR. ZEC: This document [overlapping speakers] --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Because I thought Mr. Lukic is asking -- saying
6 that this is a document that refers to meetings [Microphone not
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, with a lot of additional information,
9 please continue your re-examination.
10 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vujic, I apologise for having possibly
12 contributed to the confusion. Now we've discussed something that may
13 actually not concern you at all. I'm going to be mentioning some numbers
14 you that also don't concern you but this will be done just for the
16 On page 34978 of our transcript, you said that those people who
17 were captured in Kozarac were taken to Keraterm by members of the VRS.
18 How long did that process take?
19 A. As far as I can remember, two or three days. For as long as
20 combat activities were ongoing in Kozarac.
21 Q. Keraterm was in the area from which your fighters hailed. You
22 have told us that. Members of your unit were from that area. Did they
23 guard Keraterm? Did -- when it comes to providing security for Keraterm,
24 who was in charge of that?
25 A. No, Keraterm was under the police exclusively. The military,
1 i.e., the troops, did not have access to Keraterm at all. It was,
2 indeed, in the area from which my members hailed. In the vicinity of
3 Keraterm, the troops carried out their regular activities, but guarding
4 Keraterm was not one of them. Nothing that the army did was relative to
5 Keraterm. That's why my activities were very intense and I made sure
6 that the troops did not approach that facility, that the troops didn't
7 get involved because that would have meant that authorities would be
8 confused and that would not have been in our favour at all.
9 Q. Did members of your unit interrogate those prisoners who were
10 held at Keraterm?
11 A. No.
12 Q. On page 34979 of our transcript - and that was recorded on
13 Thursday - lines 6 through 24, you spoke about a man who had brought a
14 truck-load of people to Trnopolje. You said that he went back to bring
15 some more people after that.
16 Were you in a position to determine the ethnicity of the man who
17 drove that truck and who had gone back to bring in some more people?
18 A. Yes, I did have that opportunity. I could tell who that person
19 was although we spoke only shortly. He was a Muslim. He had his own
20 private truck. His private property. He was either from Kamicani or
21 from Kevljani, I'm not sure. But I know that he had indeed driven a
22 truck-load of women, children, and elderly people. He put some straw
23 into the truck and that's how he drove them. When they left the truck,
24 something impressed me. He said good-bye to a 10-year-old boy that was
25 the exact same age of my son who was at home. I asked him if that was
1 his son, and he said yes. And he also said that, I'm going back to get
2 another truck-load of people because a lot of civilians were fleeing the
3 area because of the conflict. That's how I want to help them, he said.
4 That was some 10 kilometres away. That's all the conversation that we
6 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know the name of that person?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I had not seen the man before.
8 He never introduced himself to me or the other way around. We just
9 started talking without any formal introductions.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Is that the reason why you don't know from which
11 village he hailed?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I couldn't tell that. But I
13 know which village he brought those people from which is why I assumed
14 that he hailed from the same village and that he was helping his
15 neighbours and relatives by driving them.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
17 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. [Interpretation] On page 2 of today's transcript, line 16, you
19 were asked who your commanders were. Perhaps I'm not right, but let me
20 ask you whether Mr. Kuruzovic was one of your commanders?
21 A. Slobodan Kuruzovic was my commander in Western Slavonia; the
22 commander of the 5th Battalion. I was a member of that battalion in
24 Q. When you returned to Prijedor -- or, rather, when he returned to
25 Prijedor, do you know what formation Kuruzovic was a member of?
1 A. I arrived a month and a half before Kuruzovic, and I received the
2 task from the brigade commander to organise the population and place them
3 under our control. When Kuruzovic arrived, he dismantled, disbanded his
4 battalion. A lot of its members became members of our -- my unit and
5 Kuruzovic remained as an operative in the brigade.
6 Q. What about his link with the TO?
7 A. The civilian authorities issued a decision to set up the
8 Territorial Defence. Since Kuruzovic was a prominent member of the SDS,
9 they were of the opinion that he had enough experience, that he was a
10 career officer, and that he could be put in charge as the commander of
11 the Territorial Defence. That was an important role. He was thus
12 appointed as the commander of the Territorial Defence.
13 Q. Can you tell us something about that Territorial Defence? Was
14 there just one Territorial Defence in Prijedor?
15 A. Before the war, there was a Territorial Defence but it was
16 disbanded in all of its segments. It was assimilated into war-time
17 units. The new Territorial Defence was then set up, but its objective
18 was to place both human power and weapons under some sort of control.
19 Q. That new Territorial Defence headed by Mr. Kuruzovic, under whose
20 authority was it?
21 A. He received his tasks from the Executive Board primarily and the
22 president of the municipality, i.e., from the executive powers. He also
23 had good co-operation with the garrison command.
24 Q. You were shown a document, P3960. We saw that you had meetings
25 with SDS representatives and that you discussed military issues at those
1 meetings. That was in December 1991, according to that document. Did
2 you also have meetings with the Muslim side? If you did, when? Did you
3 discuss the same issues?
4 A. I often insisted on holding meetings with the representatives of
5 Muslims from Puharska. Those were their official representatives,
6 members of the former Territorial Defence who never became involved in
7 the war-time units, nor did they ever hand in their weapons. I spoke
8 about those activities on several occasions. There were a lot of
9 efficient talks but some were very hard and any progress was hard to
10 achieve. I tried very hard. Although I was dominant in every respect, I
11 tried to show them that what we were offering them would have been
12 beneficial, mutually beneficial.
13 Q. Thank you. You were also shown a document that I would like to
14 call up as well, P7364.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could I just seek some clarification from your
16 previous answer.
17 I do understand from that meeting which was held in
18 December 1991, that meeting in which it's recorded that instructions were
19 referred to, that that information was not shared with the Muslims. Or
20 was it?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No --
22 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- the information was not shared
24 with the Muslims. That was about organising the Serbian people. The
25 Muslims had obstructed that in every sense. There were none of them
1 present. That was the meeting that was held. And my comment consisted
2 of just one sentence, and I remember that very well.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, the reason why I'm asking this is that in
4 the question and in your answer there's some kind of a suggestion that
5 you meet equally with the Serbs as you met with the Muslims; whereas I do
6 understand from your answer that when you met with the Serbs, it was
7 purely an internal Serb affair. Whereas if you met with the Muslims,
8 then by your mere presence it was already a kind of a conversation
9 between two ethnic or two national groups, which is -- makes it different
10 from your meeting with the Serbs of which the information was not shared
11 ever with the Muslims.
12 I'm putting this to you so as to give you an opportunity that
13 where question and answer suggested that it was more or less the same,
14 that you could look at it also from a different angle, and I would like
15 to give you an opportunity to comment on that.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I understood you properly,
17 obviously this is not about the same meeting. You can see from the
18 minutes who was present and what the topic of the meeting was. However,
19 the other meetings with the Muslims which were held on my initiative were
20 conducted in order to prevent an armed conflict. They had weapons. I
21 went as far as to pleading with their leader to make sure that our
22 patrols got to know each other, to avoid shooting at each other, because
23 once the first bullet is fired, there's no tolerance. There's no talks
24 after that. That's the end.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
1 Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to call P7365.
3 Q. Mr. Vujic, this will be a document about the destroyed mosque in
5 Would you please tell us, to the best of your knowledge, how many
6 houses were either destroyed or damaged in Puharska when this explosion
7 struck; do you know?
8 A. One could say that three houses were destroyed and a dozen more
9 in the close vicinity of the mosque were damaged. I'm referring to
10 shattered window-panes and roof tiles. Those two or three houses that I
11 mentioned first suffered more damage. The walls crumbled. The joinery
12 was damaged. It was obviously a strong explosion, and it was initiated
13 by laypeople who are not experts, then the results are what they are and
14 what they were in this particular case.
15 Q. Apart from the three destroyed and some dozen damaged houses, how
16 many more houses were either destroyed or damaged in Puharska during the
18 A. Now I understand your question. I've already answered your
19 question once. A very small number of houses were destroyed or damaged.
20 Puharska still looks identical to how it looked before the war, during
21 the war, and today. I've already stated in one of my statements that, as
22 far as I know, less than 5 per cent of the houses are new. The rest are
23 all old. This is yet another proof that property was not destroyed, that
24 there was no destruction in Puharska whatsoever, and the main reason for
25 that is that no active combat took place there, ever.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Who caused the explosion; could you tell us? Who
2 did it?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Many people in Prijedor including
4 myself don't know that. If you're interested if my opinion, I personally
5 don't understand how come that so many services from all over the world
6 have not been able to establish that. I only know that the person who
7 did it was not an explosives expert. If I look at myself from the
8 military point of view, if that had been done by an expert, there would
9 have been a minor explosion causing the same effect.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If that was intended, but you don't know
11 whether it was a layperson or an expert who wanted to achieve that larger
12 effect. You apparently do not know. Is that well understood?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know who did it and what
14 the intention was. I'm telling you that according to the way I see, it
15 was not done by an expert but by a layperson.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That's opinion and conclusion.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
19 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. [Interpretation] On page 26, line 18 of today's transcript,
21 something was not recorded. You started explaining why people were
22 leaving. It was recorded that people had no money and then you were
24 Could you tell us why people left Prijedor? What do you think?
25 A. Almost overnight the situation became dramatic in Prijedor. Life
1 became very hard. There was no electricity, there was no water.
2 Companies closed down. Nobody received any salaries. The little that
3 they brought from front lines was enough just for the bare necessities to
4 provide for the families whereas the soldiers were fed by the army. The
5 situation was very difficult. And if there had been a pool among the
6 Serbs, I'm sure that 90 per cent of them would have also left. They
7 would have gone looking for a new destination for themselves and their
8 families. However, that was our reality and we took the crisis in our
9 stride, and we made do as we best could.
10 Q. [Microphone not activated]
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Your microphone is off.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. The only thing recorded here is what they brought from the front
14 line, but it wasn't recorded what it was that they brought that was
15 enough to provide for the livelihood of their families.
16 A. At first soldiers received salaries, and during devaluation it
17 could only be used on the first day or second day. The third day already
18 you could only buy a pack of cigarettes or a loaf of bread for that
19 entire salary. So soldiers were in a hurry. They didn't really receive
20 the salary at the front. Specifically the personnel department of my
21 battalion, they took this to the homes of the soldiers so that they could
22 buy basic necessities so that people could survive for at least a week.
23 But as I've already said, the soldiers themselves were receiving military
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let us take a look at P7366 now,
2 please. So we need the bottom of the page, the left-hand side in B/C/S.
3 [In English] Bottom. Bottom left side, please. No, I need that.
4 [Interpretation] I can't find it now.
5 Q. You were told who it was that said this, Petar Gagic. Was there
6 a man like that?
7 JUDGE ORIE: That's the second paragraph of --
8 MR. LUKIC: Yeah, that's right, the second paragraph.
9 Q. [Interpretation] So was there a Petar Gagic in your unit?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you know whether he gave an interview to this journalist?
12 A. Yes, he gave an interview to this journalist. Not to him. Could
13 you have this moved a bit so that I could see the author of this text?
14 Q. There is no name.
15 A. Ah, there is no name. He gave that at the moment when we arrived
16 in Prijedor and the Ostra Luka front. The statement was made at that
17 moment and you can see here that I'm speaking as commander, that the
18 enemy had quite a large appetite, that we stopped then on time, that
19 there is no need to be afraid and so on. I remember that Petar Gagic
20 spoke in a very emotional way then. He said, Prijedor, home town of
21 mine, don't be afraid. The men of Kozara are here. We are here. We are
22 expelling the Balijas and we are not going to allow them to do this to us
23 and we are going to destroy their seed. So we are defending ourselves
24 from those who are attacking us.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could we move the B/C/S version to the left a bit
1 so that we can see the right column. Further, please. Further. Stop.
2 You see initials below the article. Are you familiar with these
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it is Zoran Sovilj because
5 in the previous text it said Z. Sovilj. But it's possible that it's him.
6 I don't know anybody else who could have written this kind of text, with
7 these initials at that.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: How has the family name of that person be
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] S-o-v-i-l-j.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This text dated the 18th of October,
13 you said that this was an interview that was given at the moment when you
14 arrived Prijedor. At that moment where were the Serbs from Grahovo? So
15 when you arrived in Prijedor, when you fought the Muslim units that were
16 trying to enter Prijedor, at that moment where were the Serbs from
17 Grahovo? Are they still in Grahovo?
18 A. What I found out from the commander, and that was the task I was
19 given, that Prijedor is not being defended by a single unit, that there
20 was general disarray, that 30 municipalities fell in a very short period
21 of time, and that the army and people were withdrawing. Those who
22 remained could not or did not want to fight, unfortunately, ended their
23 lives in the most tragic possible way. Prijedor was not defended on this
24 side by a single unit, on the side of Sanski Most, and I asked the
25 commander what the main axis was of the enemy attack and the answer I was
1 given was that that is the main road between Sanski Most and Prijedor.
2 Since my battalion was the first one to be coming in and I said I am
3 going to go on that axis, and I was determined to defend it to the very
5 Q. In a nice way you tried to tell us here, these Muslim soldiers
6 who were attacking Prijedor, how did they behave towards Serb civilians
7 who remained in the areas that they were taking? Do you have any
8 knowledge about that?
9 A. At that moment, I did not have any knowledge. I just had
10 assumptions. However, later on, the people of Sanski Most who fled at
11 the very last moment, they saw those who could not move fast or could not
12 run, they saw how they lost their lives. Believe me, it is hard to
13 describe this in words.
14 Q. Mr. Vujic, thank you. This is all that we had for you at this
15 point in time.
16 A. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
18 Mr. Zec, any matters? But I'm first looking at my colleagues.
19 No questions from the Bench. Has the re-examination triggered any need
20 for further questions.
21 MR. ZEC: Only one question if you allow.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, one question. Please proceed.
23 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Zec:
24 Q. Mr. Vujic, Mr. Lukic asked you whether members of your battalion
25 participated in interrogation of prisoners at Keraterm, and you were
1 explaining they were not there. But this task of interrogating prisoners
2 at Keraterm, that was in fact responsibility of the members of the
3 43rd Motorised Brigade for -- organ for security and intelligence. So
4 that's -- that's was, in fact, the task assigned to this organ of the
5 brigade; right?
6 A. I am going to answer you in the way that the Trial Chamber has
7 requested me to do.
8 I will say that I disagree with that. The crime prevention
9 police of Prijedor was carrying out the interrogations in Keraterm. Only
10 those interrogations that were carried out by the military service took
11 place during their arrest. And then on the basis of the statements, it
12 was assessed whether they would be sent home or whether they would be
13 sent to Keraterm or Omarska. So the army did not take part in any kind
14 of interrogation in Keraterm itself.
15 Q. Defence witness Miso Rodic testified here about how the
16 interrogations would handle the situation and in contact with people held
17 in Keraterm, including civilians, how they had visible signs of beatings
18 and physical violence. I take it that you don't have any knowledge about
19 this; right?
20 A. I watched the testimony of Mr. Miso Rodic, and he said to you
21 that he had this interrogation in the offices of the military police
22 where his office was too and on two or three occasions at the brigade
23 command. Again, this does not pertain to Keraterm at all. You probably
24 confused things there a bit.
25 Q. And, finally, this office of the military police, that was just
1 the location across the road from Keraterm; correct?
2 A. Could you please repeat that question. There is something that
3 is unclear to me there in what you said.
4 Q. The military police, they were located in the building across
5 from Keraterm camp.
6 A. I disagree with that as well. It was the military command that
7 was opposite. And the military police building was right by the Keraterm
8 building but it could not have been entered from the Keraterm yard.
9 Rather, only from the then-brick factory direction.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. ZEC: Nothing further, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Moloto has one or more questions for you.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, from where did you watch the testimony of
14 Mr. Miso Rodic?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the Internet. I found his
16 testimony. And I know that he testified via videolink and --
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. No further questions.
20 Mr. Vujic, this concludes your testimony. I'd like to thank you
21 very much for coming a long way to The Hague and for having answered all
22 the questions that were put to you, that were put to you by the parties,
23 were you put to you by the Bench. I wish you a safe return home again.
24 You may follow the usher.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that the Defence is ready to call its
3 next witness after the break?
4 MR. LUKIC: Yes, we are, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll take the break and we'll resume at
6 25 minutes to 2.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 1.14 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 1.39 p.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: We're waiting for the next witness to be escorted in
10 the courtroom.
11 Meanwhile, there was one document remaining MFI'd where you
12 announced, Mr. Lukic, that you would deal with it in -- in
13 re-examination. That was P7368. But I think you didn't do that. Which
14 means that it's still now then pending a decision on admission.
15 MR. LUKIC: Yeah, I don't have answer to that, Your Honour. But
16 with help of my colleague, Kandice Ardiel, who is with us today, I'm able
17 to respond to this P7126 that was actually -- said that Mr. Lukic, who
18 testified on the 9th and 10th September, 2014, confirmed that there was a
19 census. He was never shown this document and the document was introduced
20 only on the 12th of February, 2015, through the witness Puhalic.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Well, first of all, it is in evidence, and let me
22 just try to remember what happened with Mr. Puhalic. The document was
23 tendered through Mr. Puhalic.
24 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: You then did not object. And then after it was
1 already admitted, you suddenly said, Sorry for being late but I want to
2 object. Then Mr. Traldi said -- well, at least it was clear that it was
3 provenance and authorship, and then Mr. Traldi would give you that during
4 the break. And we gave you a possibility to revisit your objections, to
5 substantiate them after the break once you had received that information
6 and we never heard from you again.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 MR. LUKIC: Only -- but the same witness, Mr. Puhalic, through
9 this document was introduced said that he was not aware of any census
10 [overlapping speakers] --
11 JUDGE ORIE: All fine. Let me just first --
12 MR. LUKIC: Okay. Sorry.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness put his earphones on.
14 Whatever is the case, you had an opportunity then to raise it.
15 You were invited to do so and you didn't say anything about it any
17 Good afternoon, Mr. Trkulja, I take it? Mr. Trkulja, I'm
18 speaking to you, that is the Presiding Judge, just in front of you.
19 Before you give evidence, the Rules require that you make a solemn
20 declaration of which the text is now handed out to you. May I invite you
21 to make that solemn declaration.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
23 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 WITNESS: NEDELJKO TRKULJA
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Trkulja.
2 Mr. Trkulja, you'll ... Mr. Trkulja, you'll first be examined by
3 Mr. Stojanovic. You find Mr. Stojanovic to your left. Mr. Stojanovic is
4 counsel for the Mr. Mladic.
5 Mr. Mladic, you know the rules. No greeting. And your
6 invitation for Mr. Stojanovic to move a little bit further away so that
7 you could have direct eye contact with the witness is not what you're
8 supposed to do, once again, and you know that that will be the
10 Mr. Stojanovic, you may proceed.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Trkulja.
14 A. Good day.
15 Q. I kindly ask you to state your full name and surname slowly for
16 the record.
17 A. Nedeljko Trkulja.
18 Q. Would you please tell the Trial Chamber where and when you were
20 A. The 17th of July, 1942, village of Grkovci, municipality of
22 Q. Could you please just tell the Trial Chamber in which republic of
23 the former Yugoslavia Grahovo is.
24 A. Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber where you live today.
1 A. I live in Leskovac, the Republic of Serbia.
2 Q. Mr. Trkulja, could you briefly describe your professional
3 education and your military career until you retired.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We can barely hear the
5 witness. Could all other microphones please be switched off and could
6 the witness please be asked to speak louder. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could we -- Witness. Witness, we had difficulty --
8 the interpreters had difficulties in hearing you. Could you therefore
9 restart your answer, speaking at a bit higher volume, and you were
10 asked -- you were invited to briefly describe your professional education
11 and your military career until retirement.
12 Could you restart.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And, Mr. Stojanovic, you are requested to switch
14 off your microphone while the witness is answering.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I graduated from the command staff
16 academy and before that the school for non-commissioned officers. I
17 started my military career as platoon leader in Skopje, then commander of
18 a company, then deputy commander of a battalion. I was a battalion
19 commander then. Then assistant Chief of Staff for operations and
20 training, then Chief of Staff. Then chief of armoured units of the
21 Kumanovo Corps, then the Leskovac Corps, and then finally chief of
22 armoured units of the Army of Republika Srpska. After that, I retired.
23 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber when you
24 joined the Army of Republika Srpska.
25 A. On the 10th of December, 19 -- no. 1993. 1993.
1 Q. How did that happen? How come in December 1993? How come you
2 were sent to the Army of Republika Srpska then?
3 A. That's when I received an order from the 30th Personnel Centre
4 and that was linked to the position I had there. The brigade was
5 disbanded and until it boiled down to zero, they wouldn't let me leave.
6 Q. The fact that you were sent to the Army of Republika Srpska, did
7 it have anything to do with your origins and the place where you were
9 A. That alone. That is what all the people who were born in Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina got.
11 Q. Thank you. Could you please describe to us what the situation
12 was like in December 1993 in the Main Staff of the Army of
13 Republika Srpska as far as the establishment of the Main Staff was
14 concerned and the extent to which it was manned?
15 A. The level of manning was about 40 per cent. For example, there
16 were no desk officers for any one of the chiefs of services. The
17 operations organ did not have a single desk officer so it was only the
18 chiefs that there were. And when I say "40 per cent," that is that,
20 Q. And what was the capacity for accommodation at the Main Staff and
21 where were you staying?
22 A. The capacity for accommodation of the staff organs was such that
23 we stayed there. It was at a very low level. There were three of us in
24 one room, and that was what we had. All the facilities were at a very
25 low level. These were quite old prefabricated buildings.
1 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber who gave you your
2 establishment deployment in 1993 when you came to the Main Staff of the
3 Army of Republika Srpska?
4 A. The personnel officer at the Main Staff. He was the one who did
5 the scheduling. It was -- he was at the hotel in Han Pijesak.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We find it very difficult
7 to understand and hear the witness.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you try to raise your volume and come
9 closer to the microphone because otherwise your words will be lost
10 and ... yes?
11 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber what the specific duties
14 were of the chief of the service such as the service of the armoured and
15 mechanized units of the VRS where you were deployed?
16 A. We all had to have our work cards for the personnel and for the
17 equipment and then there would be review. And then on the basis of that,
18 requests would be made. If it was about equipment, that would be going
19 through the technical organ for repairs, for example. The use of units
20 was done in such a way that we did not have any armoured units that were
21 immediately subordinated to the Main Staff. We would suggest their use.
22 The proposal could be adopted or not. It was up to the superior command
23 to make these decisions.
24 Q. When you say that we proposed how the units should be used, did
25 the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska in the period from
1 December 1991 until the end of the war have anything like these types of
2 mechanised units?
3 A. The staff did not have any immediately subordinated armoured
4 units in their composition. There were armoured units but they were
5 under the command of the 1st Krajina Corps.
6 Q. What about the other corps of the Army of Republika Srpska? Did
7 they have armoured and mechanized units?
8 A. Yes, they did, but they were quite small.
9 Q. And you, as the chief of service of the VRS armoured mechanized
10 units, who were you subordinated to at the Main Staff?
11 A. We were subordinated to the Chief of Staff, General Milovanovic.
12 Q. Thank you. Now I'm going to move to a different topic that is of
13 interest to us.
14 What did you spend most of your time on? What were your duties
15 in the operational sense at the Main Staff of the VRS?
16 A. Since the units were understaffed, we were busy in monitoring all
17 the units, not just the mechanized units. We would constantly be
18 monitoring the combat readiness and the capacities of all the units.
19 Q. And this process of reporting back to the Main Staff of the VRS
20 on a daily basis, how did that go on? How did you report to them about
21 the situation on the front throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina?
22 A. The reports would arrive in the evening -- or they would -- the
23 process of writing the reports would finish late in the evening. And
24 then in the morning, at 7.00, they would be sent to the Main Staff when
25 they would be informed about the situation at the front and about
1 anything that they would need to be informed about.
2 Q. When the reports would arrive from the corps of the Army of
3 Republika Srpska from the field to the VRS Main Staff, what would then be
4 the duty of the operations organ of the Main Staff of the VRS? What
5 would they do then once they received these reports?
6 A. I said from the beginning that the operations organ was fully
7 staffed so that the bulk of those reports were drafted by me. First of
8 all, I would need to report -- receive reports from all the corps. Then
9 I would make a summary for each corps. Then I would put them all
10 together in one report which would then be sent back to all the corps and
11 the president of the republic. And this was signed by
12 General Milovanovic.
13 Q. And these reports that you drafted very frequently, were they
14 summaries of those reports that you received from the corps of
15 Republika Srpska for that day?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please speak up and repeat your answer.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this report would be drafted
19 exclusively on the basis of these other reports.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. And, Colonel, sir, did it ever happen that due to fierce combat
22 in certain sectors of the front, at any point in time, you would receive
23 interim combat reports from any of the corps?
24 A. Sometimes yes, that would happen, but not very often.
25 Q. And when such an interim report was arrived -- would arrive in
1 those rare situations, what would be your duties at the Main Staff?
2 Would you need to pass that on to the president of the republic as the
3 Supreme Commander and to the other corps for their information?
4 A. Well, I cannot specifically say because I never encountered such
5 situations. If any situation -- meaning any situation where a problem
6 needed to be resolved immediately. This was something that went straight
7 to Milovanovic and then I don't know what happened from that point on.
8 Q. And this entire process of compiling information from the corps,
9 summarising them and putting them all into one report which would then be
10 sent to the corps and to the president of the republic, how much did
11 General Mladic participate in this process at all as the Supreme
12 Commander of the VRS?
13 A. No, not at all. The reports would be arriving in starting from
14 7.00 a.m. Somebody would be drafting them. They would be taken to the
15 typist. They would be typed, taken to Milovanovic for his signature, and
16 then they would be messengered over for encryption.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, if you put a question to the witness
18 which is, by the way, very leading, like many of the questions, but then
19 you suggest already when you said, "Would you need to pass that on to the
20 president of the republic as the Supreme Commander," if the witness then
21 does not confirm that, then to continue in one of your next questions as
22 if he would have confirmed that, that means that apparently you're more
23 interested in the questions than in the answers the witness gives.
24 That's not how it should be. So please refrain from leading extremely.
25 Second, if the witness denies something or doesn't confirm something,
1 either seek to clarify but do not just ignore his answers.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I will do my
4 best because this answer denying or negating it referred to interim
5 combat reports and the question was about regular combat reports. So
6 perhaps that's where the confusion comes from and I will try to clear
7 that up.
8 Q. Sir, Colonel --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Whether or not it was just about the interim
10 reports -- I read it differently but you may clarify that. But, again, I
11 think the witness has not at any point in time - but please correct me
12 when I'm wrong - has stated that the normal reports were sent to the
13 Supreme Commander. But I leave it in your hands. But please be aware
14 that we are carefully following how you put questions because that may
15 have an effect on the probative value of the evidence you are leading.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm going to clarify that by
18 putting a question, but I think we'll find the relevant passage.
19 Q. Colonel, sir, to whom were these regular reports sent once you
20 put them all into one report?
21 A. They would go to the Supreme Commander and to all the corps in
22 order to inform them about the situation.
23 Q. Thank you. The last question that I put to you was: How much
24 did General Mladic participate as the chief of the Main Staff in this
25 whole process? Did your answer refer to this process of regular
1 reporting to the Supreme Commander about daily events at the front?
2 A. I explained completely the procedure, how it went from the
3 drafting to the dispatch of it. General Mladic did not participate at
4 all in this process. This was signed by Milovanovic and then it would be
5 sent by messenger to the encryption area. The messenger would then take
6 the typed report that was supposed to be sent out.
7 Q. Thank you. And generally speaking, how much time did
8 General Mladic physically spend at the Main Staff of the Army of
9 Republika Srpska at Crna Rijeka?
10 A. In essence, it was relatively little. Not much.
11 Q. And when General Mladic was not there, who was authorised to
12 issue specific orders then?
13 A. Exclusively General Milovanovic. And no one else.
14 Q. Thank you. I would now like to focus on July 1995.
15 Did you personally, as the chief of the armoured mechanized units
16 of the Army of Republika Srpska, in any way participate or were you
17 acquainted with the course of the Operation Krivaja 95?
18 A. No. I wasn't, and neither was any of my colleagues, the chief of
19 services. Otherwise I would have known about it.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan.
21 MS. HASAN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. I simply rise because
22 we're entering -- counsel is entering into July 1995, and this witness
23 has in the past and I think it is appropriate for him to receive a
24 Rule 90(E) caution. I intended to do that during my cross, but clearly
25 this is going to be the bulk of his testimony from now on.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, I don't know what questions you have
2 on your mind, but if you do not oppose, then I would follow the
3 suggestion of Ms. Hasan.
4 Witness, I'll read to you Rule 90(E) of the Rules of Procedure
5 and Evidence:
6 "A witness may object to making any statement which might tend to
7 incriminate that witness. The Chamber may, however, compel the witness
8 to answer the question. Testimony compelled in this way shall not be
9 used as evidence in a subsequent prosecution against the witness for any
10 offence other than false testimony."
11 Which means, if you think that a truthful answer might
12 incriminate yourself, then you may address me and ask to be relieved from
13 your duty to answer that question. If you answer a question, it should
14 always be truthful.
15 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Q. Colonel, sir, do you personally know whether any chiefs of the
18 services at the Main Staff participated in any actions regarding the
19 planning of the Operation Krivaja 95?
20 A. I said just now that I don't have any information about it. I
21 didn't even know the name. The first time I heard of that name was in
22 1997, and it was in this courtroom here.
23 Q. And where were you physically in mid-July 1995?
24 A. I was at the command post, and it was an underground shelter.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just to clarify one matter, you said you heard
1 for the first time in 1997 when you testified in this courtroom.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, not -- I'm sorry. Not
3 1997. It was 2007. I apologise.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My error.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is the reason why I asked you about it.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Before we continue, I'd like to take you back
9 for a second to one of the previous matters, that was about the reporting
10 system where you said Mr. Mladic hardly had to do anything with it.
11 Now, those reports which you say were sent to -- I think to
12 General Milovanovic and then directly to the Supreme Commander, being the
13 president of the Republika Srpska, does that mean that the -- that
14 Mr. Mladic was not informed about such reports? Did he -- was he not
15 copied on it? Was it just sent to Mr. Karadzic at the time without
16 Mr. Mladic knowing about it? Is that how I have to understand your
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for the reports, that is how you
19 should understand that. I don't know whether he received reports by
20 phone. That's something that I don't know.
21 JUDGE ORIE: But he was not the addressee of a copy of those
22 reports. It just passed by him without him even being made acquainted
23 with it?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, when he went to the operations
25 room, he could ask to see a report if he wanted to. Sometimes it is
1 returned from the encoders.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so the fact that he was not directly addressed,
3 you say doesn't mean that he was not aware of the content. He may well
4 have been.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, he could have found out. He
6 could have gone downstairs the next day and taken a look at it. But the
7 report was not sent directly to him, and he did not participate in the
8 drafting or sending.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Now I'd like
11 to move on to a document. I have several questions in relation to this
12 document so that will take a while, so please tell me whether I should
13 start that now or whether we should adjourn at this point and continue
14 tomorrow morning?
15 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if it would take us beyond quarter past 2.00,
16 then I think it's better to adjourn a bit earlier.
17 Mr. Trkulja, we'll adjourn for the day. We'd like to see you
18 back tomorrow morning, 9.30. But before you leave this courtroom, I
19 would like to instruct you that you should not speak or communicate in
20 whatever way with whomever about your testimony, whether that is
21 testimony you've given today or whether that is testimony still to be
22 given tomorrow.
23 If that is clear to you, you may now follow the usher.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is clear.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Before we adjourn, the Chamber noted that it seems
2 to have become a tendency to increase the time for witnesses where it is
3 rather unclear what exactly causes that, why a witness who is scheduled
4 for one hour now suddenly needs one hour and a half, or one hour and a
5 half suddenly needs two hours. The Chamber is concerned about it, and
6 invites the Defence to either better explain or refrain from adding time
7 where a time has been assessed for the witness previously.
8 We adjourn for the day, and we'll resume -- Mr. Stojanovic.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if this digression
10 pertains to my questioning of the witness Nedeljko Trkulja, I did ask for
11 an extension of about 15 minutes. I believe that I won't even be needing
12 that. However, I had to exercise caution because during the proofing, in
13 view of everything he said, I felt it was necessary to use another
14 document, a Prosecution document, and I thought that it would be
15 necessary for me to inform you that I might be using this additional
16 15 minutes. I apologise for that.
17 I would like to use this opportunity, now that we have time until
18 the end of our working hours today, today is our deadline to respond to
19 the Prosecution motion to include part of the transcript of Grujo Bojic
20 according to Rule 80(C) [as interpreted]. We dealt with the matter and
21 the position of the Defence is to say, for the record, that the Defence
22 is going to oppose this, namely that parts of the transcripts of
23 Mr. Boric be admitted in this way on the basis of Rule 89(C), that is to
24 say, what he stated as a suspect.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, to say that it is entire clear to me, not yet,
1 but I'll re-read the transcript and see.
2 Mr. Stojanovic, if it is -- if this was just an incident, you
3 have explained it, the 15 days. I was more talking about the routine
4 rather than -- 15 minutes. What did I say? 15 days, no, certainly not.
5 15 minutes. I was -- I was expressing the concern of the Chamber by it
6 becoming more and more routine to extend the time. That was what I
7 wanted to draw your attention to.
8 We adjourn for the day. We resume tomorrow, Tuesday, the 5th of
9 May, 9.30 in the morning, in this same courtroom, I.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.16 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 5th day of May,
12 2015, at 9.30 a.m.