1 Tuesday, 14 July 2015
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 We'll continue to hear the evidence of Mr. Kelecevic through
13 Could you please confirm, Mr. Registrar at the other side of the
14 videolink, whether you can hear me, whether you can see us.
15 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Yes, good morning, Your Honours.
16 We can hear and see you clearly.
17 [The witness takes the stand via videolink]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And we can see and hear you as well.
19 Mr. Kelecevic, before we continue, I'd like to remind you that
20 you are still bound by the solemn declaration you have given at the
21 beginning of your testimony - that is, that you'll speak the truth, the
22 whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Mr. Traldi will now continue his
24 Mr. Traldi.
25 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 WITNESS: BOSKO KELECEVIC [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpretation]
3 [Witness appeared via videolink]
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Traldi: [Continued]
5 Q. Good morning, sir.
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. Sir, I want to follow up briefly on a couple of matters we
8 discussed yesterday.
9 First, regarding the Kosmos facility. You testified yesterday at
10 transcript page 37171 that it was under the Main Staff after the
11 transformation. That refers to the VRS Main Staff; right?
12 A. I might be in a dilemma. It may have been the Yugoslav
13 General Staff that had certain influence over the corps, because it used
14 to be a maintenance institute for rocket technology and weaponry for the
15 entire JNA.
16 Q. So do I understand your answer to be that you don't recall which
17 Main Staff had control of it after the transformation?
18 A. I cannot be certain. It is part of the economic sector that I
19 never became involved in. I never visited any of the maintenance
20 institutes because I did not have sufficient time. As far as I know,
21 from peacetime, the directing authority of the facility was the SSNO.
22 Q. Second, you described at transcript page 37146 how in May and
23 June 1992 General Talic would hold approximately weekly meetings in
24 person with his assistant commanders. You would also attend those
25 meetings yourself; right?
1 A. Yes, for the most part. Sometimes if the situation on hand was
2 an extraordinary one, I wasn't able to come. I can also say that
3 basically every Monday there was a meeting and information was dispatched
4 in terms of when it would occur. In any case, it was customary to hold
5 it once a week.
6 Q. And that group would discuss events throughout the 1st Krajina
7 Corps' area of responsibility; right?
8 A. Right.
9 Q. At any given time, the corps would have a duty team; right?
10 A. The corps always had an operations team that was on duty
11 around-the-clock. It was always headed by an officer who received all
12 reports from the subordinate units.
13 Q. And that team would report to General Talic [Realtime transcript
14 read in error: "Tolimir"] or, in his absence, to you on the basis of
15 those reports; right?
16 A. That is correct. But I can say this: In 99 per cent of the
17 cases, the commander was always in the area of responsibility of the
19 Q. And I've been recorded at transcript page 3, line 12, to refer to
20 "General Tolimir." I'd certainly intended to refer to General Talic, and
21 I think from his answer that's how the witness understood the question as
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And regarding the daily combat reports that the corps would send
25 to the Main Staff, General Talic, or you if he was absent, would always
1 read the daily combat report and be able to speak with the Main Staff
2 about the matters that were discussed in it; right?
3 A. Yes, for the most part. However, after the 28th of April when I
4 left the command post, which is something I explained yesterday, to a
5 separate axis along the corridor with the group I was with, I did not
6 receive those reports from the basic command post regularly from
7 Gradiska. It was more seldom.
8 Q. But General Talic would; right?
9 A. Talic always received them.
10 Q. And if he was absent and you were standing in for him, the
11 important matters that you'd have to be available to speak with the
12 Main Staff about would be communicated to you in another way; right?
13 A. I could always rely on our communication means.
14 Q. Okay. I'm going to turn now to Operation Corridor where we left
15 off yesterday.
16 The corridor was opened by the end of June 1992; right?
17 A. That is correct. But the opening up of the corridor was on the
18 25th of June, I think, and on that occasion a very narrow channel was
19 opened up. I would even dare say it was just a path, a footpath.
20 Q. And the Odzak operation that we discussed yesterday, the purpose
21 of that operation was to widen the corridor -- or the purposes of that
22 operation included, among other things, widening the corridor and
23 securing a northern border for Republika Srpska on the Sava River; right?
24 A. It is partially correct, because from the main road between
25 Modrica and Derventa and on to Banja Luka, Odzak is perhaps 4 or 5
1 kilometres away. That area was widened later on. At this point in time,
2 it was still a footpath. Even when one went through the fields, it was
3 the first column that carried medication and oxygen barely got through.
4 Q. Sir, I hadn't at this point asked you to describe the path. What
5 I'd asked was the purposes of the Odzak operation included, first,
6 widening the corridor; and, second, achieving a northern border for
7 Republika Srpska on the Sava River. Both of those were among the
8 purposes of liberating Odzak as the VRS described it; right?
9 A. Yes. If you will, the immediate goal was to secure the general
10 area of Modrica rather than Odzak, as you assert.
11 Q. You described yesterday there was ten days of combat around
12 Odzak. We saw evidence that it was shelled, that thousands of people
13 left, so certainly one of the goals was to secure that area and the
14 border on the Sava River; right?
15 A. Yes. The goal was to reach the Sava as quickly as possible.
16 Q. And the VRS continued to engage in operations to widen the
17 corridor and secure all of the territory bordering on the Sava River
18 during the late summer and early fall of 1992 including, for instance,
19 taking Brod in October of 1992; right?
20 A. That is correct. However, the part near Orasje, Domaljevac, and
21 Tolisa near the Sava River, that is something that was never achieved by
22 the VRS. It never reached the banks of the Sava in that area.
23 Q. Now, the corridor operation in June and July, one of the units
24 that participated in that operation was Veljko Milankovic's unit; right?
25 A. That unit had not been assigned a separate axis or a zone. At
1 the time, it was not an establishment unit of the 1st Corps. I would say
2 it was a small detachment that for a while was treated as a paramilitary
3 formation, and for a certain period of time we were trying to include it
4 in our ranks but we were never successful. We never militarised it, so
5 to speak, in the full sense of the word so as to be able to consider it a
6 true establishment unit of the corps.
7 Q. I have three follow-up questions. First, Milankovic was, in
8 early June 1992, appointed a battalion commander in the 327th Brigade of
9 the VRS; right?
10 A. It was an attempt of ours. It was a very small unit. We wanted
11 to include it among our scout ranks of the 327th. For a while, it
12 actually worked.
13 Q. Second, you know he was a criminal; right?
14 A. I did know. I would say he was a petty criminal. He wasn't a
15 criminal that would operate at the national level. He operated locally,
16 I'd say, in Prnjavor municipality and perhaps a little further afield.
17 Q. And he also engaged in looting during his participation in the
18 corridor operation, right, among other crimes?
19 A. I don't think he was engaged in looting. But along the axis
20 where he was operational, he did take some personal advantage and stole
21 some items for himself and the members of his group.
22 Q. I'm going to ask now that Mr. Van hooydonk play a video-clip
23 marked as 65 ter 32814b. CLSS has confirmed the transcripts so we'll
24 only need to play it once.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Reporter: ... Serbian people was
2 grieving. In Prnjavor, Lieutenant Veljko Milankovic, commander of the
3 Wolves from Mount Vucjak, was buried, who three days ago in the military
4 medical -- who three days ago in the military medical hospital in
5 Belgrade succumbed to the wounds he received on the 4th of February in
6 the village of Hasici in the Republic of Serbian Krajina:
7 "Lieutenant Veljko Milankovic, commander of the battalion
8 'Vukovi sa Vucjaka,' was buried today with all military honours in his
9 native village of Kremna on Mount Vucjak near Prnjavor. Over 20.000
10 people, young and old, well known and not so well known, came to pay
11 their respects to their legendary commander. Commander Veljko, who
12 immediately at the beginning of the war in the former Yugoslavia, led his
13 Wolves to liberate the Serbian lands.
14 "Martic: Unfortunately we part with the most courageous, the
15 most resolute heros and sons of our people. Today with a gun salvo at
16 the Dalmatian and other battle-fields in the Serbian Republic, we will
17 announce a forceful enemy offensive for the liberation of the Serbian
18 lands. Respected citizens of Prnjavor, brothers and sisters, Serbian
19 heros, invincible heros from Mount Vucjak in the name of all the heros of
20 the Serbian army and Krajina, accept my deepest condolences. This
21 parting is hard for all of us. Let Veljko's descendants be proud of
22 their father, a hero for Vucjak. Let his mother be proud of her son.
23 Let the Wolves from Mount Vucjak be proud of their courageous brave hero
24 commander. We are convinced that the heros will revenge their commander
25 in the defence of the holy Serbian land and the Serbian people. Although
1 such scenes are present in everyday life, when we part from the best sons
2 of the Serbian people, Veljko, I would like to make an oath on your grave
3 that we will endure till the end. We will have enough strength,
4 prudence, and wisdom to finish what we started. We will do everything so
5 that all Serbs live in one state.
6 "Kelecevic: We always had confidence in you and your Wolves. It
7 was so in western Slavonia. It was so during the breakthrough of the
8 corridor when you brilliantly fulfilled all the tasks. All you had to
9 say about our struggle, you said through action with a gun, with your own
10 example. Since that is the only way to defend these people, to help the
11 Serbs wherever they may be.
12 "Reporter: Although Veljko is no longer with us, while there are
13 Serbs and Serbian people, the song will be sung. Veljko's going,
14 followed by the lads, Serbian volunteers of Mount Vucjak."
15 MR. TRALDI:
16 Q. Now, the first speaker that we saw praising Milankovic with the
17 moustache, that was Milan Martic; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. His forces participated in the corridor operation under the
20 command of the VRS; right?
21 A. There was a detachment numbering between 200 and 250 men.
22 Q. Under the command of the VRS; right?
23 A. Under the command of the VRS, yes.
24 Q. And the second --
25 A. Under the command of the 1st Krajina Corps.
1 Q. And the second speaker that we saw praising Milankovic was
2 yourself; right?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender 65 ter 32814b.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the video receives number P7471.
7 JUDGE ORIE: P7471 is admitted.
8 MR. TRALDI:
9 Q. I'm going to turn back to May 1992 now, sir.
10 The 1st Krajina Corps carried out what were referred to as
11 disarmament operations in many of the municipalities of its area of
12 responsibility in late May 1992, very shortly after the transformation;
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And when we say "disarmament," the people purportedly being
16 disarmed, some actually disarmed, some purportedly, were Muslims and
17 Croats; right?
18 A. It wasn't aimed only against the Muslims and Croats. It was
19 aimed against all those who were not authorised to carry personal weapons
20 and who did not hand them over when asked to do so by the authorities.
21 Q. I'm going to test your evidence about that in a number of
22 different ways. But first, the 1st Krajina Corps took a number of
23 prisoners, a large number of prisoners, during these operations; right?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. And those prisoners who were detained in various camps in the
1 1st Krajina Corps' area of responsibility, those were entirely or almost
2 entirely Muslims and Croats; right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And in late May 1992, General Talic formed an exchange commission
5 to facilitate exchanging prisoners; right?
6 A. A commission was established, although I don't know when
7 precisely, that was tasked with exchanges. It involved both the VRS as a
8 whole as well as the 1st Corps.
9 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32732.
10 Q. Now, this is an order by General Talic dated the 29th of May,
11 1992 ordering that a commission for the exchange of prisoners shall be
12 formed, setting out four members, including President Captain First Class
13 Milutin Grujicic, and setting out which office it will be in, the office
14 of the press centre of the Banja Luka Corps.
15 So a commission at the corps level was formed on or about the
16 29th of May, 1992; right?
17 A. As far as I can see, that was the case. Yes.
18 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender this document.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 32732 receives number P7472.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted.
22 MR. TRALDI:
23 Q. The Chamber has heard evidence from Goran Krcmar who served as a
24 member of that exchange commission in 1993 and onwards. He testified as
25 a Defence witness and testified, among other things, that the 1st Krajina
1 Corps had a computerised database of the people it was holding prisoner.
2 Do you recall when that database was created?
3 A. I don't. It was a very modest database. Back then, the
4 electronics and computer technology had not advanced that much.
5 Q. It was used, however, for instance, to provide information to the
6 Main Staff about prisoners; right?
7 A. I can't say with any certainty whether the automatic data
8 processing was used in that regard. In any case, it -- the data provided
9 by the commission was used.
10 Q. And the commission, the exchange commission, would send its
11 proposals for exchange to the Main Staff for approval; right?
12 A. First and foremost, the commission sent it to the corps command,
13 and the corps command sent it onwards. I think it followed the line of
14 the assistant commander for morale up the chain.
15 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32104.
16 Q. And we see here a document coming from then Colonel Tolimir to
17 the 1st Krajina Corps exchange commission, dated the 21st of January,
18 1993, and he says:
19 "Your proposal for the exchange of prisoners dated 12 January
20 1993 has been considered and we give our consent for you to do as you
22 And this is a reflection of the Main Staff's authority over the
23 exchanges conducted by the 1st Krajina Corps; right?
24 A. That is accurate. As I said, the 1st Corps sent it to the
25 Main Staff, and the Main Staff approved or did not approve.
1 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender this document.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, document 32104 receives
4 number P7473.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted.
6 MR. TRALDI:
7 Q. Now, many of the prisoners at the 1st Krajina Corps held in 1992
8 were not members of enemy military forces, they were civilians; right?
9 A. The 1st Corps just had, how do I put this, I mean, that's what
10 the control of the 1st Krajina Corps was, Manjaca and Stara Gradiska. I
11 cannot speak about other camps now, because I don't know.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could you also please answer the question, whether
13 many of the prisoners were not members of enemy military forces but
14 rather civilians. Could you answer that question?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot give an answer to that
16 question, whether somebody was a member of the enemy force. In order for
17 somebody to be an enemy, a lot of investigation is necessary so that I
18 could say that somebody is an enemy. There were a lot of Muslims and
19 Croats in our units, too. I cannot say that all of them were enemies.
20 MR. TRALDI:
21 Q. Now, you say investigation was necessary to determine if somebody
22 was an enemy because the circumstances in which these people were taken
23 prisoner didn't indicate they were enemies. They were taken prisoner in
24 their homes, on their fields, non-selectively; right?
25 A. I cannot assert now how it was that they were taken prisoner,
1 whether it was in a field or whether it was at some barricade or
2 somewhere. I cannot assert anything now. And I could never, I mean,
3 confirm that kind of thing, that they had been taken prisoner in a field
4 or somewhere, in a house.
5 Q. In fact, the guards at the Manjaca detention camp told the
6 1st Krajina Corps' security and intelligence organ that that was how
7 people were being picked up, non-selectively, in their homes, on their
8 fields, people who couldn't be treated as prisoners of war.
9 Colonel Bogojevic knew that and he would have had an obligation to tell
10 you and General Talic; right?
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you repeat the name of the Colonel.
12 MR. TRALDI: Bogojevic, I've -- that's come up a few times. If I
13 say -- if I mean "Blagojevic," I'll say it very slowly, but otherwise the
14 court reporter can assume that I'm talking about Colonel Bogojevic.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Also pronounce it also very slowly.
16 MR. TRALDI:
17 Q. Sir, do you recall the question?
18 A. I do recall the question. It is Bogojevic, Colonel Bogojevic. I
19 already told you that yesterday as well.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And could you --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, what was that? You
22 wished to say something, didn't you?
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I invited you not to confirm the correction,
24 but I wanted to invite you to answer the question.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I started answering that question
1 in relation to what it was that the guards from these camps said. These
2 guards, I can just speak about the Manjaca camp and Stara Gradiska. I
3 cannot say what the procedure was in these other camps, especially
4 Prijedor, Omarska, Kozarac, Keraterm, Trnopolje.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you would tell us what you do know about
6 the camps you say you have knowledge about and then answer in that way
7 the question put to you by Mr. Traldi.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know about camp Manjaca. The
9 commander ordered that it should be a camp for POWs, and that camp was
10 regulated on the basis of all of those regulations. At least in my view
11 I could say, as far as I know, that there was a full record of who went
12 in, who went out. I believe that there will be other questions about
13 life in the camp, so I will provide answers if that is what you're
14 interested in.
15 MR. TRALDI:
16 Q. Yes --
17 A. But I am just speaking about the Manjaca camp.
18 Q. Yes, sir. First I'd like an answer to the question that I asked.
19 The people who were detained there were picked up in their homes, on
20 their fields, unselectively, as both Colonel Bogojevic and you yourself
21 knew; right?
22 A. I did not know that anybody had been picked up in the field. I
23 just knew from the reports that there was such and such a number of
24 prisoners and they were in the area of the Manjaca facility.
25 I did not go into that, how people were picked up or how
1 prisoners were brought to the Manjaca camp.
2 Q. You were meeting with Colonel Bogojevic regularly during this
3 period. He knew - and the reference for the parties is P220 - from the
4 guards that people were being picked up that way. It was his obligation
5 to tell you and to tell General Talic; right?
6 A. I did not know. I never received that kind of information, that
7 somebody was captured in a field and brought to the camp.
8 Q. There were thousands of prisoners at Manjaca; right?
9 A. From the month of August 1992 when the supreme commander issued
10 an order, Radovan Karadzic issued an order, to the effect that -- I mean,
11 from the broader area of Prijedor they should be transferred to Manjaca.
12 Then, in Manjaca, as for work and life of these prisoners, it was --
13 Q. Sir --
14 A. -- the 1st Krajina Corps that was responsible.
15 Q. Sir, I'm going to interrupt you --
16 A. Excuse me, what was that?
17 Q. You have not answered a very simple question. There were
18 thousands of prisoners in Manjaca. And just to clarify, that's beginning
19 earlier than August when people from Kljuc and Sanski Most had been
20 picked up and brought in. You know that; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And is it your evidence that an excellent corps chief of staff
23 has no idea who the people -- who the thousands of people being held
24 prisoner by his corps are?
25 A. It's not that I had no idea. I know that there was a camp there,
1 I know that they were being treated fairly. I didn't go into anything
2 further because there were the organs for morale, et cetera. There was a
3 commission. There were people who took care of their safety, security,
4 life, and work. I, as chief of staff, did not have the time to deal with
5 that subject matter, how they were brought there and so on and so forth.
6 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P2886.
7 Q. While it comes up, sir, you said a moment ago that the commander
8 ordered that Manjaca should be a camp. Which commander did you mean?
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: He gave a name.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the commander, I meant the
11 corps commander Talic.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: But at paragraph 15, I don't know whether this is
13 the answer you're referring to, line 1, the witness said:
14 "From the month of August 1992 when the supreme commander issued
15 an order, Radovan Karadzic issued an order, to the effect that ..."
16 MR. TRALDI:
17 Q. Sir, just so we have the chronology right and to address
18 Judge Moloto's question as well, it's right that General Talic ordered
19 the camp set up at the beginning of June. Prisoners were brought in from
20 municipalities other than Prijedor in June and July, and then in August,
21 pursuant to the Karadzic order that you've described, the prisoners from
22 Prijedor camps, many of the prisoners from Prijedor camps were
23 transferred to Manjaca as well; right?
24 A. That is right, exactly. But until the month of August, I
25 personally did not pay any visits to that camp. I cannot remember
1 exactly now, but maybe it was August or September, I cannot say now, I
2 did visit a facility and I can speak to you about that, if you're
3 interested. As for the period before August, I did not have any
4 knowledge about life and work in that part of Manjaca, in that facility.
5 Q. I'll have a few questions about that. But first, what we're
6 looking at on our screens right now, this is the 1st Krajina Corps'
7 analysis of activity concerning elements of combat readiness in 1992.
8 This is a report to the Main Staff; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. It is the main overview of the 1st Krajina Corps's work in 1992;
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. TRALDI: Can we have the bottom of page 12 in English and
14 page 17 in the B/C/S.
15 Q. Now returning to the topic of the exchange commission, the
16 1st Krajina Corps is telling the Main Staff:
17 "We achieved significant results in activities related to
18 prisoner-of-war exchanges. Within the 1st Krajina Corps' zone, over
19 9.200 prisoners were exchanged of which 2.300 were military personnel
20 from the former BH plus the bodies of around 250 individuals who were
22 Now, this means, first, that 6.900 prisoners were exchanged by
23 the 1st Krajina Corps commission that were not military personnel from
24 the former BH; right?
25 A. I don't remember these figures. After all, it's been a very long
1 time. And my health hasn't been that good, so I really cannot recall any
2 of these figures. But I believe that since this is contained in the
3 report, I stand by the report.
4 Q. You must have reviewed the report at the time; right?
5 A. I must have. But I don't remember the report because there are
6 five elements of combat readiness there, and now you are just asking me
7 about this particular piece of information and that there is combat
8 readiness, training, policy involved, and so on and so forth.
9 Q. Yes, sir. I understand there are other elements of combat
10 readiness. I am asking you about this one. And to be perfectly fair,
11 what I'm putting to you is, setting the specific numbers aside, you can't
12 possibly have forgotten that, according to this report, 75 per cent of
13 the people who had been exchanged were not military personnel. You can't
14 possibly have forgotten that, can you?
15 A. Well, all right. I don't know whether it's 70 per cent or
16 whether it's some other figure, but I do know that there were those who
17 were not military-age or military conscripts -- no, not military
18 conscripts. Of military age, able-bodied.
19 Q. You knew there were civilians who were detained, first collected
20 in their homes and on their fields, then detained by the 1st Krajina
21 Corps, then exchanged by the 1st Krajina Corps exchange commission;
23 A. Well, again, I'll telling you I have no way of knowing whether it
24 was a civilian or a military conscript until certain checks were
25 completed. And on the basis of these checks and if that information was
1 provided to the command, then I could have found out. But I had no way
2 of knowing before that, and now I cannot state whether these were
3 civilians or whether there were some people who were military conscripts
4 as well.
5 Q. You were trained in the laws of war; right?
6 A. I do not understand that question.
7 Q. As a JNA officer, you were trained in the laws of war, weren't
9 A. Well, yes, of course. At school I studied international law and
10 everything else.
11 Q. What do the laws of war say about detaining thousands and
12 thousands of people and 23 years later having no way of knowing whether
13 there was any basis to detain them?
14 A. Again, I cannot tell you how it was that they were taken
15 prisoner. I do not know how they were taken prisoner.
16 Q. You've been quite clear about that, sir. What I'm putting to you
17 is the corps was knowingly and unlawfully detaining thousands of people
18 that it had no basis to detain; right?
19 A. I cannot claim that certain units were not doing that, too, but I
20 personally am not aware of anything being done in that way. Because I
21 had 48 units. Do you understand that? The equivalent of a brigade,
22 regiment, and independent battalion.
23 Q. And it would have been your responsibility and General Talic's if
24 those units were committing crimes; right?
25 A. If they were doing that - that is to say, if there were civilians
1 there who were not putting up any resistance and who were not disobeying
2 the civilian and military authorities - then, of course, that is
4 Q. And what we see here, 6900 people exchanged that weren't enemy
5 military personnel, that's exactly the sort of people you described,
6 people who weren't putting up any resistance, people who were civilians,
7 people who there was no basis to detain; right?
8 A. Well, now I cannot say how long they were detained, but this is
9 also a measure taken by a unit; that is to say, if they said that they
10 were detained unlawfully, then they would be released.
11 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P230.
12 Q. While it comes up, you knew, in fact, before August that there
13 were reports from the Red Cross and elsewhere that people were being
14 abused in Manjaca camp; right?
15 A. I cannot put it that way. This was a small number. I mean, they
16 were in the Manjaca camp and it was only in August that there was a
17 larger number that merited particular attention; that is to say, having a
18 triage screening carried out, et cetera. I, as chief of staff, did not
19 go into that and did not know of any abuse against these people in this
20 camp. However, if that did happen, I personally believe that these were
21 individual cases.
22 Q. This is a report by the 1st Krajina Corps dated the 16th of July
23 to the Main Staff and the Doboj operative group labelled for
24 General Talic. It's a report on a visit by the Red Cross to the Manjaca
1 MR. TRALDI: And could we see the end of the document, please.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Before we do so, what makes you believe that these
3 were individual cases if you at the same time tell us that you don't know
4 anything about it?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not saying that I don't know
6 anything. I am saying that I don't know of such cases, that this was
7 abuse en masse, because I believe that the corps command would have taken
8 appropriate measures to stop that, prevent that.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Now, we looked at a document a minute ago that more
10 than 6.000 persons not being members of the opposite forces apparently
11 were exchanged as if they were prisoners of war. Wouldn't you have
12 expected that measures would have been taken in respect of those?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not hear this question very
14 well, and I did not quite understand it.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Well, you said if it would have been massive abuse,
16 it couldn't have been because otherwise measures would have been taken.
17 That's what I heard you say explaining why you considered those cases of
18 abuse individual cases.
19 Now I ask you that if you've seen a minute ago a report saying
20 that 6.000 persons not being members of the armed forces of the opponent
21 were exchanged as if they were prisoners of war rather than just be
22 released and sent home, would you not have expected then where this was a
23 massive exercise that measures would have been taken there as well?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is correct that 6.000 is a
25 massive figure, but then for as long as that number was there, we did not
1 know that most of them were civilians. Once it was established that they
2 are civilians and other categories, then they were released.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it's if we would have known, they would have
4 been released, that's a theoretical answer. Because if you say if we
5 would have known, we would have released them, at the same time there is
6 a report that the 6.000 were not released but were exchanged as if they
7 were prisoners of war.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am talking about an exchange as
9 well, because in other theatres of war outside the corps there were such
10 cases. And then of course, I mean, we would exchange -- well, not to say
11 with total reciprocity, but let us say that there were exchanges in other
12 parts of the theater of war of Republika Srpska.
13 JUDGE ORIE: So you would exchange civilians rather than to
14 release them, is that how I have to understand your answer?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not that way. It's sort of a
16 phenomenon and good will exchange. Somebody for somebody else, whether
17 it was one-for-one, one-for-five, whatever. I never made any decisions
18 of that sort, and I cannot say that that was the proportion involved. If
19 there was good will on one side, then the other side was supposed to
20 express good will for exchanges of persons who were not military
22 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I'm not talking about proportions and
23 one-to-one or one to more. I am talking about civilians being detained
24 and where you claim that once it would have been established that they
25 were civilians that they would be released, that the documentary evidence
1 at least suggests that in early stages the corps command was informed
2 about how they were captured and that the corps command was aware of
3 civilians being exchanged and not being released. I am talking about
4 civilians. Any comment on that? If not, we'll move on.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have no comment to offer.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then we move --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that --
8 JUDGE ORIE: No --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- the issue of exchanges of
10 civilians is something that I'm not familiar with.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed -- oh no, Mr. Traldi. I think it's
12 time for a break.
13 Witness, we'll take a break of 20 minutes. We would like to see
14 you back after the break.
15 Mr. Traldi, where are we time-wise?
16 MR. TRALDI: I'd say roughly on track. I do expect to be the
17 rest of today.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but you expect to finish today?
19 MR. TRALDI: I expect to be the rest of today, and whether I'll
20 require some or all of the first session tomorrow, it depends on how it
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll resume at 5 minutes to 11.00.
23 [The witness stands down via videolink]
24 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
25 [The witness takes the stand via videolink]
1 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: I would first like to seek confirmation that the
3 videolink is functioning well. Can you hear us -- well, can you hear me,
4 can you see us?
5 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Yes, Your Honour, I can hear you
6 and see the courtroom.
7 JUDGE ORIE: We can hear you and we can see you as well.
8 Mr. Traldi will now proceed.
9 MR. TRALDI:
10 Q. Sir, we're returning now to this document on our screens, P230.
11 MR. TRALDI: Can we have the end of the document in both
13 Q. Now, we saw it was sent to the Doboj operations group,
14 General Talic, as well as to the Main Staff. We see it's received on the
15 17th of July in the morning. That's a time that you were at Duge Njive
16 at the headquarters of the Doboj operations group, as well as the forward
17 command post of the 1 KK; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And we see it's sent by Colonel Vukelic, he's one of the officers
20 who'd remained in the Banja Luka command post; right?
21 A. Now, whether he was in Banja Luka at the time or in Gradiska,
22 well, he could have been because he was visiting the units, but the
23 headquarters were in Banja Luka, actually.
24 Q. And at this point, the middle of July, that's where he was,
25 Banja Luka; right?
1 A. Yes. Well, I can't say precisely whether he was there at the
2 time, but he should have been.
3 MR. TRALDI: And if we can turn back to the first page, second
5 Q. Now, this is in the context of reporting on a visit by the
6 Red Cross to the Manjaca camp, and Colonel Vukelic is reporting that the
7 Red Cross team had broken off the discussion and visit because they
8 hadn't been allowed to meet with four prisoners who Colonel Vukelic
9 refers to as criminals. And he says the Red Cross team had made
10 observations about the quantities of food, loss of weight by the
11 prisoners and, among other things, that they had claimed to have seen
12 fresh traces of blood on prisoners.
13 So this is a report from the 1st Krajina Corps to the Main Staff
14 sent, among other things, to General Talic at OG Doboj while you were
15 present there. In fact, at a time when General Mladic was visiting you.
16 You were aware no later than this point, the 16th of July, that there
17 were allegations by international organisations of abuse at Manjaca camp;
19 MR. LUKIC: I would object at this point.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
21 MR. LUKIC: Really it should be read to the witness what this
22 document says, not just take something out of context.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr. Traldi may put to the witness. He doesn't
24 have to present the whole of the document to the witness --
25 MR. LUKIC: Okay, then --
1 JUDGE ORIE: -- and then --
2 MR. LUKIC: We should be able to read the document then, at least
3 this part.
4 JUDGE ORIE: If that part -- if there's -- let me see -- if the
5 witness needs a bit more time then, of course, he could read the relevant
6 lines. You perhaps, Mr. Lukic --
7 MR. TRALDI: I think the reference --
8 JUDGE ORIE: -- or Mr. Traldi, if you either slowly read the
9 portions you're interested in or if you would point at what paragraph it
10 is so -- and then to invite the witness to read the portions you want to
11 ask questions about.
12 And, Mr. Lukic, there is no need for the witness to read the
13 whole of it. If you think it's important, then in re-examination you can
14 give him an opportunity to read the rest, and then, may I take it,
15 demonstrate that there is more in the document which you consider to be
16 relevant, whereas Mr. Traldi is focusing on a specific portion.
17 Mr. Traldi.
18 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, the question is then wrong.
19 MR. TRALDI: The question is entirely accurate --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
21 MR. TRALDI: -- based on the document.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I think Mr. Traldi pointed at parts of the -- let me
24 MR. LUKIC: In line --
25 MR. TRALDI: Sorry, Your Honour --
1 JUDGE ORIE: I'll re-read the question. No further debate at
2 this moment. Give me just an opportunity to --
3 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I'd just ask that the witness's
4 headphones be taken off before anything further.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 One second, please.
7 The objection is overruled.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, I -- it says here --
10 JUDGE ORIE: I gave a ruling, Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: But --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic --
13 MR. LUKIC: -- it's misrepresentation of the evidence. It says
14 here [B/C/S spoken].
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic --
16 MR. LUKIC: And the question is [B/C/S spoken]. He reported
17 that -- I -- I cannot --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic --
19 MR. LUKIC: -- sit down --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you have to sit down now --
21 MR. LUKIC: Then you can punish me now. Either way -- or I can
22 misrepresent the documents as well. You have to rule that I have the
23 right to misrepresent the documents.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Mr. Lukic, you know exactly how it works.
25 First of all, I do not accept that you interrupt me and that you continue
1 like you did. Let that be perfectly clear. That's one.
2 MR. LUKIC: You have to start to be impartial in this trial
3 once --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you are again interrupting me.
5 MR. LUKIC: Once --
6 JUDGE ORIE: If you do it again, measures will follow. And
7 Mr. -- well, I saw Mr. Mladic was seeking contact. I leave it to that.
8 Mr. Lukic, you know exactly if there's any misrepresentation,
9 what you say is -- could I invite Mr. Traldi to read the portions --
10 MR. LUKIC: Yes, please.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- he wants -- again, you're interrupting me,
12 Mr. Lukic, because I fear that it does not reflect exactly what the
13 report says. That's the appropriate way of doing it.
14 I have overruled your objection. Mr. Traldi has heard the
15 discussion which I wished would not have taken place. I leave it in his
16 hands how to proceed. And in re-examination, you have all opportunities
17 to further explore the matter.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. TRALDI: Can we have the top of page 2 in the B/C/S. I think
20 that will include the text that Mr. Lukic is interested in.
21 Q. Now, sir --
22 MR. LUKIC: No, no, no. Your question was in connection with
23 paragraph 2 --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... 1.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, this is not a way to intervene. I told
2 you what you can do later.
3 Mr. Traldi, please proceed.
4 MR. TRALDI:
5 Q. The portion I'm directing your attention to now, sir, in the
6 context of this report about the Red Cross visit to Manjaca camp, reads:
7 "They claimed to have seen fresh traces of blood," which I put to
8 you is on the prisoners.
9 It then adds:
10 "They had no answer to the question of the prisoner commander as
11 to why they had not allowed a doctor (one of the prisoners) to establish
12 that immediately."
13 What I'm putting to you is as of this point, the 16th of July,
14 1992, when this report was sent to OG Doboj, where you and General Talic
15 were present, General Mladic on that day, too, it's clear the 1st
16 Krajina Corps and the Main Staff knew there were allegations by the
17 Red Cross that prisoners were being abused at Manjaca; right?
18 A. You're asking me?
19 Q. Yes, sir.
20 A. Please let me explain. I was at the command post in Duge Njive,
21 some 20 kilometres from Doboj. I do not recall having had this contact
22 or having received this report with this content. I did not leave -- it
23 wasn't a command post per se. It was an observation post where one could
24 observe the battle-field from. I wasn't at the command post so as to be
25 able to read the reports of commissions. My main task was to control the
1 unit; specifically, I cannot recall this situation involving this
2 Red Cross team.
3 Q. Now, the Chamber has received evidence that just days later,
4 between 10 days and two weeks later, the guards at Manjaca reported in
5 one of their regular reports to Colonel Bogojevic that two of the
6 prisoners, Omer Filipovic and Esad Bender, had been killed. Do you
7 recall that evidence being discussed among the corps command?
8 A. I remember that they were killed, that the perpetrators were
9 found, prosecuted, and sentenced. That's what I know.
10 Q. Sir --
11 A. I don't know, though, how it all came to be.
12 Q. When you say the perpetrators were prosecuted and sentenced, that
13 happened in 2007, approximately; right?
14 A. I can't say when it happened.
15 Q. It certainly didn't happen during the war and it certainly wasn't
16 done by the 1st Krajina Corps; right?
17 A. As far as I know, proceedings were initiated but I don't know
18 when they were completed.
19 Q. In fact, no soldiers in your corps served terms of imprisonment
20 for crimes against Muslims and Croats, did they, during the war?
21 A. There were some cases. I don't know whether judgements were
22 handed down and proceedings completed. That I don't know.
23 Q. So you can't name one soldier in the 1st Krajina Corps that was
24 sentenced at the conclusion of a trial to a term of imprisonment that
25 they served during the war for crimes against Muslims or Croats; is that
2 A. Now and here under these conditions, I'm not able to do that.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put one question to the witness.
4 Mr. Kelecevic, you just said: "There were some cases."
5 What do you mean by that? Can you give some more details?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can. I can say something about
7 this case because the last name Filipovic rings a bell. I know that the
8 case was processed, the person was sentenced, and the case was closed. I
9 learned about that from an officer of mine who at the time was -- excuse
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You already told about that case. You said:
12 "There were some cases."
13 Can you please explain which cases do you mean?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know. I can't
15 enumerate individually some 25 years later. To be honest, my memory
16 isn't the best anymore.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You said you learned about the case of Filipovic
18 from an officer of yours. Which officer was that and when did you learn
19 about that?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I heard about the case. I
21 think it was this Major or Lieutenant-Colonel Lukajic, Dane Lukajic.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: When did he tell you about the Filipovic case?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wouldn't be able to say. I can't
24 tell you now in terms of date. I don't know when he told me about it,
25 but I do remember it.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: During the war or after the war?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it was after the war.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
5 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P221, not to be broadcast.
6 Q. Just returning to what the corps knew, and we don't need it
7 for -- we just need it on the screen here.
8 MR. TRALDI: Because it's under seal, I'd ask that we just keep
9 page 1 in front of the witness.
10 Q. Now, this is a report from Manjaca camp to the 1st Krajina Corps'
11 intelligence and security section dated 22 July 1992. It would have gone
12 to Colonel Bogojevic as part of the camp's regular reporting to him;
14 Sir, did you hear the question?
15 A. I did not.
16 Q. Now, this would have gone to Colonel Bogojevic as part of the
17 camp guards' regular reporting to him; right?
18 A. Yes, I can see that it was sent to the intelligence and security
20 Q. So what we read here is it should be noted that:
21 "Every new group of prisoners from Kljuc and Sanski Most is less
22 and less incriminated, so we suggest that cases are selected, i.e., that
23 this way of bringing of 'prisoners' is stopped, because if they did not
24 have weapons, did not participate in activities and give any form of
25 resistance, then such people cannot be treated as war prisoners, nor be
1 brought to the POW camp. Incidentally, this camp can be considered as a
2 detention camp, i.e., a camp for segregation of Muslims and Croats, which
3 history will not forgive us."
4 So the corps command knew as of the 22nd of July, 1992 and
5 contrary to what you said earlier about not knowing what was going on in
6 Manjaca until August, knew that the guards at the camp were reporting
7 that this was a detention camp, a camp for segregation, and a camp full
8 of prisoners who didn't have weapons and didn't give any form of
9 resistance. The corps command knew all that; right?
10 A. They should have known. I cannot say specifically for this
11 document whether it was presented as such to the corps command or whether
12 it was conveyed to them ad lib.
13 Q. I have just three quick questions to close the topic of Manjaca.
14 We entered into this, in part, discussing exchanges. The people who were
15 held at Manjaca that were exchanged, they were exchanged out of
16 Republika Srpska into the Bosnian-held territory; right?
17 A. I didn't hear the question. I did not hear the question. I
18 can't hear you.
19 Q. Sir, can you hear me now?
20 A. Now I can hear you. I can hear you now.
21 Q. Thank you. I can hear you, too.
22 The people who were held at Manjaca --
23 A. I did not hear the question.
24 Q. Wait a moment and I'll repeat it.
25 The people who were held at Manjaca that were exchanged, they
1 were exchanged out of Republika Srpska into Bosnian- and Croat-held
2 territory; right?
3 A. Well, I didn't -- I don't know whether it was territory
4 controlled by the Bosniak or Croat forces.
5 Q. But out of Republika Srpska; right?
6 A. I'm not sure, but most probably. I don't know where they were
7 sent to. Perhaps -- well, I don't know if it concerns the POWs handed
8 over in December 1992.
9 Q. Those were sent out of the country entirely into Croatia; right?
10 A. Across the Sava and into Croatia. They weren't sent out of the
11 country because Slavonia, for the most part, is inhabited by Serbs.
12 Q. And that's the ones who were sent across the Sava. Hundreds of
13 other detainees at that time were instead transferred to Batkovic; right?
14 A. Yes. That is correct.
15 Q. And you testified earlier that General Talic ordered the camp to
16 be set up. Now as a matter of principle, is that something he would have
17 done on his own or something that he would have consulted with his
18 superior, General Mladic, about?
19 A. I don't know whether he consulted Mr. Mladic, but I suppose with
20 regards to the principle of subordination that it was the case.
21 Q. It would have been his obligation; right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And the prisoners that were sent out of the Republika Srpska, of
24 course, even if there had been any desire to send any of them home, it
25 would have been impossible because many of their homes and villages had
1 been destroyed by VRS units in Kljuc and Sanski Most; right?
2 A. I suppose all of that was possible because many houses had been
3 destroyed. I suppose that these persons could no longer go back.
4 Q. Many houses had been destroyed in Kljuc and Sanski Most in Muslim
5 villages by VRS forces; right?
6 A. Please, let's make a distinction here. Kljuc was not in the area
7 of responsibility of the 1st Corps, whereas Sanski Most was.
8 Q. Sir, can you answer the question?
9 A. Yes, I can.
10 Q. Many houses had been destroyed in Kljuc and Sanski Most in Muslim
11 villages by VRS forces; right?
12 A. Again, I can't speak about Kljuc because it was outside the AOR.
13 As for Sanski Most, there was combat and forces on both sides
14 contributed to the destruction of the area. I cannot assert that only
15 the Serb forces were involved.
16 Q. Destruction of homes in Muslim villages, Mahala, Vrhpolje,
17 Hrustovo, Lukavica, that was done by VRS forces, the 6th Brigade under
18 the command of the 1st Krajina Corps; right?
19 A. Most probably most of the Muslim houses were destroyed during
20 those combat operations. Yes.
21 Q. And --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, again you are evasive in your answers.
23 The question clearly focuses on whether the destruction was done
24 by the VRS. Now, you again and again then say it happened during combat
25 operations. Could you please specifically in relation to the villages
1 mentioned, Mahala, Vrhpolje, Hrustovo, Lukavica, could you tell us
2 whether, to your knowledge, the destruction of houses was done by Serb
3 forces or by any other force?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't be specific in answering
5 that question because I was at least 150 kilometres to the east away from
6 that area.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Earlier you said that you couldn't tell us anything
8 about Kljuc because it was not your area of responsibility. Now you're
9 saying you can't tell us anything about these villages because you were
10 away. Sometimes you may gain knowledge of events even if you're not
11 personally present.
12 Did you ever learn anything about the destruction of houses in
13 the villages mentioned?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did learn about that through
15 reports that there was combat in that area.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Just that there was combat, nothing about
17 destruction of houses by VRS forces or by any other force?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot say who it was that
19 carried out the destruction. There was combat and we know what things
20 are like when there is combat. In a built-up area, there has to be
21 destruction, destruction of buildings. I know that in that area, as far
22 as Sanski Most is concerned, Kljuc was not in the area of responsibility
23 of the 1st Corps. These are municipalities that are adjacent.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Now you're talking about destruction of buildings.
25 Destruction of houses inhabited by families, persons?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm talking about destruction
2 during combat.
3 JUDGE ORIE: For one reason or another, you seem to be hesitant
4 to answer the questions that are put to you. I invite you to be less
5 evasive and rather focus your answers on the questions put to you.
6 Mr. Traldi will now continue.
7 MR. TRALDI:
8 Q. Just to close the topic of Manjaca for the moment, sir.
9 You'd used the term "individual cases" when you were describing
10 the abuse that the corps knew to have occurred there. The detention of
11 more than 6.000 civilians and their eventual removal through exchange,
12 that's a massive operation. It's a policy not an individual case; right?
13 A. I would not say that that's a general policy. I mean, quite
14 simply, that was a camp that took people in. And, as far as I know,
15 9.000 or 6.000, whatever it was that you said, I mean, it -- I do not
16 remember that there were ever that many persons there.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It again doesn't answer the question, Witness. I
18 really urge you to answer the questions as they are put to you and not to
19 answer questions that were not put to you. It may have an impact on the
20 evaluation of your evidence. Please be aware of that.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. TRALDI:
23 Q. Sir, I'm going to turn now to Kljuc now.
24 The 30th Partizan Division, that was a 5th Corps unit in the JNA;
1 A. It was but later it was resubordinated to the 2nd Corps.
2 Q. But in late May 1992, it was a 1st Krajina Corps unit in the VRS;
4 A. I cannot recall the date, but yes.
5 Q. Its commander, both before and after the transformation, was
6 Stanislav Galic; right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. He later became commander of the SRK. That was a promotion;
10 A. I didn't hear that very well.
11 Q. He later changed positions from commander of the 30th Division to
12 commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. That was a promotion; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. One of your assistants, Dragan Marcetic, he was promoted to serve
15 in the SRK with Galic; right?
16 A. Yes, he was chief of staff in the corps then.
17 Q. And that 30th Division in late May 1992 carried out large
18 operations in Kljuc municipality; right?
19 A. I claim that then it was not within the 1st Krajina Corps.
20 Q. Well, the Chamber has received evidence that it was reporting to
21 the 1st Krajina Corps' duty team. It's seen communications about the
22 30th Partizan Division in that duty team handbook. That's the structure
23 you'd expect if it was still -- and the communication chain you'd expect
24 if it was still part of the 1st Krajina Corps; right?
25 A. That's the way it should be.
1 Q. During those operations, Muslim villages were shelled; right?
2 A. I cannot assert that.
3 Q. Those operations in Kljuc, they never came up in any of the
4 weekly meetings of the corps command dealing with subjects throughout the
5 corps' area of responsibility which you testified that you attended?
6 A. I attended these meetings. But as far as Kljuc is concerned, I
7 did not have any knowledge as to when these operations were carried out.
8 Q. At the end of these operations on or about the 1st of June,
9 approximately 80 Muslim civilians detained in a school at Velagici were
10 massacred. You're aware of that massacre; right?
11 A. I just heard of that case. Again, Velagici is not within the
12 area of responsibility of the 1st Krajina Corps.
13 Q. But the perpetrators were arrested; right? The people who
14 murdered the prisoners.
15 A. I don't know that.
16 Q. Military post 4022 in Banja Luka, what was that?
17 A. Military post of the corps, as far as I can remember now.
18 Q. Corps command?
19 A. 4250.
20 Q. And what was 4022?
21 A. I didn't understand that.
22 Q. Post 4022, what was that?
23 A. Well, that's a military post code. That is a code for a unit,
24 and I cannot say now -- I mean, how could anyone expect me to know
25 military post code numbers after all these years.
1 MR. TRALDI: Let's have P3528.
2 Q. This is going to be the Velagici case file.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think you said P3528.
4 MR. TRALDI: I did. I was recorded differently and I apologise
5 for my speed.
6 And could we have page 5 in the English and 6 in the B/C/S.
7 Q. This is an Official Note from the military police at post 4627 in
8 Banja Luka. It says it's compiled on the gathering of evidence about the
9 killing of a large group of persons in Velagici in Kljuc on the 1st of
10 June, that the information was received from security chief of Banja Luka
11 military post 4022 command. That would be Colonel Bogojevic; right?
12 Sorry, at that time Colonel Stevilovic?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We cannot understand the
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know about this
16 investigation of the military police in Velagici. I don't know about
17 that. Well, look, I mean, the police territorial jurisdiction does not
18 have to be the same as that of the command of the unit. A certain unit
19 of the military police can carry out an investigation in another
20 territory as well, so this case, no. I know that Velagici was within the
21 2nd Corps.
22 MR. TRALDI:
23 Q. Now, the lead defendant in this case was named Amidzic as a
24 military policeman. He's in the 1st Corps; right?
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: By 1st Corps you mean the 1st Krajina Corps?
1 MR. TRALDI: I do, Your Honour.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1st Krajina Corps.
3 1st Krajina Corps. As for this man, Amidzic, I don't know. I don't know
4 whether he's a military policeman. I only know of Colonel Amidzic,
5 Colonel Bosko Amidzic.
6 MR. TRALDI: Okay. Can we have page 38 in the English and 28 in
8 Q. Now, this is part of the case file. It's a letter by the
9 detained persons to Corps Commander Talic.
10 MR. TRALDI: Turning to page 40 in the English and 29 in the
11 B/C/S, the end of the letter.
12 Q. We see that they write:
13 "We are prepared to fight for the Serbian people in Krajina
14 anywhere and any time, to the very end. Please, Comrade General, try to
15 understand our situation and let us fight for the Serbian people and for
17 MR. TRALDI: If we now turn to the next page of the case file.
18 Q. We see that it's a request for an investigation, March 1993, nine
19 months later. Nothing had happened for those nine months because the
20 soldiers had been released back to their units after they wrote to
21 General Talic; right?
22 A. Are you asking me?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. I mean, I see this, but that is why I'm speaking with a lack of
25 certainty, and I don't want it to seem that I'm hesitating again.
1 This is Kljuc, then also Laniste, Velagici, Kljuc, all of that is
2 outside my area of responsibility. However, the investigation organs,
3 they work for that 2nd Krajina Corps, and I really cannot say anything
4 about this case. I think that these soldiers are addressing
5 Commander Talic, quite simply, so that he could take him [as interpreted]
6 into his unit, as far as I can see, but they are not within Talic's
8 Q. You don't not have any personal knowledge as to what corps these
9 soldiers were from. That's what you said a moment ago; right?
10 A. No, I'm looking at this again now. No, I don't know. I mean,
11 how could I know individual soldiers given the thousands -- tens of
12 thousands, hundreds of thousands of soldiers that there were.
13 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P3817.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you say the number again.
15 MR. TRALDI: 3817.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: 3817. Thank you.
17 Q. This is a report signed for Colonel Galic dated the 19th of July,
18 1992, from 30th Partizan Division to the command of the
19 19th Partizan Brigade.
20 Turning to the bottom of page 2 in the English and B/C/S, at the
21 bottom we read that:
22 "At the last briefing, Generals Mladic and Talic commanded the
23 30th Partizan division for their results in combat operations and their
24 high combat morale, requesting that all soldiers be informed about this
1 I have two questions for you about this. First, General Talic is
2 commending the unit because it's a 1st Krajina Corps unit; right?
3 A. If General Talic is commending this unit, it is probably a unit
4 of the 1st Corps. I was not present, I mean during the commendation.
5 During what it was that happened then.
6 Q. And he and General Talic are both commending this unit -- sorry,
7 he and General Mladic are both commending this unit that committed
8 massive crimes against Muslims in Kljuc at the end of the month of May;
10 A. I cannot say which unit it was that did that, but I'm talking
11 about the territory concerned, Velagici, Laniste, et cetera. That is not
12 the area of responsibility of the 1st Corps. That I do know. I can see
13 on the basis of this now that I was in a completely different position,
14 and I could not have been present there when they were commending someone
15 and things like that. I simply have no way of knowing.
16 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P4052.
17 Q. This is a document sent by then Colonel Galic to the 1st Krajina
18 Corps command on the 9th of June, explanation of the resubordination of
19 one battalion. And he explains that on the 6th of June, 1992 in the
20 Kljuc municipal assembly building a meeting had been held with the
21 2nd Corps chief of staff who, on behalf of the command of the 2 KK, had
22 informed the commander of the 30th Partizan Division, Galic, that Kljuc
23 and the units deployed there were being resubordinated to the 2nd
24 Krajina Corps.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should slow down while reading.
1 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Up to that point when that meeting was held, those units were
3 under the 1st Krajina Corps; right?
4 A. Well, I see the date there, that is the 9th of June, and I cannot
5 say that's the exact date when it started. I see the date here and
6 that's when it was resubordinated then, this unit, to the 2nd Corps. And
7 that is what I've been saying all along. And that's also what I have to
8 say about Velagici, Laniste, Kljuc, that is the area of responsibility of
9 the 2nd Corps. And that is why I, as the chief of staff, did not have
10 any knowledge about these things.
11 Q. Just to be totally clear, sir, and fair to you, what I'm putting
12 to you is the operations and the crimes that we've been discussing, those
13 occurred before this date, before this transfer of authority, were
14 conducted by the 30th Partizan Division, which was under the
15 1st Krajina Corps. Those crimes were General Talic's responsibility.
16 That's the truth; right?
17 A. I cannot confirm that, because, I mean, these dates, well, I've
18 been saying carrying out combat operations does not mean that it starts,
19 say, from this particular day. It could have started a day or two before
20 that. I cannot say exactly that it was under the 1st Corps. I cannot
21 confirm that. Because I was very, very far away from that area, I mean.
22 That zone.
23 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I see we're at the time for the break.
24 JUDGE ORIE: We are at the time. Well, we started five minutes
25 to 11.00.
1 MR. TRALDI: I'm happy to go on then.
2 JUDGE ORIE: No, it's okay if we take the break now.
3 Witness, we'd like to see you back in 20 minutes. We take a
4 break now and we'll resume at 10 minutes past 12.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 11.51 a.m.
6 [The witness stands down via videolink]
7 [The witness takes the stand via videolink]
8 --- On resuming at 12.11 p.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: We can hear you, we can see you. Unless it's
10 otherwise at the other side, we'll immediately now continue.
11 Mr. Traldi.
12 MR. TRALDI:
13 Q. Turning now to Prijedor. The brigade responsible for Prijedor
14 before the transformation was the 343rd Motorised Brigade of the JNA;
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I see on my screen that the far end microphone
17 is switched off to start with. It's now switched on.
18 Could we check whether you can hear us? Apparently you can't
19 hear us. At the far end again I see on my screen that the microphone is
20 switched off. Could you switch it on again and speak a few words.
21 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Your Honours, we're having
22 difficulty with the telephone line. The witness can hear what's being
23 said in court, but I cannot.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That means that one of the connections - that
25 is, the English one - is not functioning well, whereas the B/C/S
1 apparently is functioning. And I again see that the far end microphone
2 is -- and it's now switched on again.
3 Can you now hear us?
4 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Yes, Your Honour. We can hear you
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then we can continue.
7 Mr. Traldi.
8 MR. TRALDI:
9 Q. Sir, turning to Prijedor, the brigade responsible for Prijedor
10 before the transformation was the 343rd Motorised Brigade of the JNA;
12 A. Yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, you are speaking very fast and the only
14 result is that you then have to wait for a while until it is translated.
15 If you speak slower, then it will go as fast but it will be easier for
16 the interpreters.
17 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll endeavour to do so.
18 Q. The 343rd Brigade's commander was Vladimir Arsic; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. His deputy was Radmilo Zeljaja?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And after the transformation, the largest VRS brigade in Prijedor
23 was the 43rd Brigade; right?
24 A. No. If you will, the largest brigade, and I don't know what your
25 criterion is for measuring it -- well, yes, in Prijedor. Yes, it's the
1 biggest one there.
2 Q. And the biggest one was the 43rd Brigade, Colonel Arsic was the
3 commander, Zeljaja was his deputy; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, you testified yesterday at transcript page 37151 that in
6 late May 1992 the 43rd Brigade's command was still in Croatia. Did you
7 mean to suggest that the brigade command was in Croatia during the
8 operations in Hambarine and Kozarac?
9 A. Well, right now I cannot tell you exactly whether the commander
10 or the chief -- well, one of them must have been with the brigade, and
11 the chief most probably could have been in Prijedor.
12 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 31652.
13 Q. Now, this is an evaluation of Colonel Arsic by General Talic
14 dated the 20th of July, 1993. Now, if we turn to page 2 in both
15 languages, we see his scores, a lot of 5s with a couple of 4s, and the
16 conclusion "particularly exceeds." Now, this reflects Talic's positive
17 assessment, his endorsement of Arsic's work; right?
18 A. I can see it. His grades are excellent. As far as I'm
19 concerned, I met Arsic for the first time and started working with him
20 for the first time in 1992 upon my arrival.
21 Q. Sir, I asked you: This reflects General Talic's positive
22 assessment and endorsement of Arsic's work; right? Yes or no.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Turning to page 3 in both languages, at the top of the page we
25 see the descriptive assessment, and in the third paragraph we see
1 General Talic write that Arsic "led an operation on Kozarac." That's the
2 operation in late May that you mention in your statement and that I asked
3 you about a moment ago; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And clearly he had to be in Prijedor municipality to do that;
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I tender this document.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, document 31652 receives
11 number P7474.
12 JUDGE ORIE: P7474 is admitted.
13 MR. TRALDI:
14 Q. Now focusing in on the late May period, you mention the incident
15 at the Hambarine check-point in your statement, and you describe it as "a
16 typical example of armed Muslims attempting to seize power."
17 This incident occurred on or about the 22nd of May, 1992; right?
18 A. Well, I don't know the exact date of that. But, yes.
19 Q. And, in fact, armed Serbs had seized power in Prijedor several
20 weeks earlier; right?
21 A. I didn't understand. What did Serbs do?
22 Q. They took over power in Prijedor on the 30th of April, 1992, as
23 you well know; right?
24 JUDGE ORIE: And you are talking about armed Serbs, that's --
25 MR. TRALDI: Yes. Armed Serbs.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in Prijedor the Serbs had had
3 power, even before that. I don't know. Why would they be trying to
4 seize it?
5 MR. TRALDI:
6 Q. Well, they seized it on the 30th of April, took over the
7 municipality building. You know that; right?
8 A. Yes. But it doesn't mean that they took over the entire town and
9 environs of Prijedor.
10 Q. Now, several of those environs, those were only taken over once
11 the VRS was formed through VRS operations; right?
12 A. I don't know which villages or areas you have in mind.
13 Q. Well, first Hambarine. You state that after the check-point
14 incident, the army carried out an action to disarm the armed Muslim
15 population. Now, the attack on Hambarine, that was led by the
16 43rd Brigade of the VRS just like the Kozarac attack; right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And the 43rd Brigade had communications with the corps command
19 about negotiations with the residents of Hambarine about the ultimatum
20 that was given them before the attack; right?
21 A. I know that from reports because I wasn't there at the time. I
22 told you where I was. You know I was at the corridor.
23 Q. But you know from reports, just like the corps command knew from
24 reports, what was happening there; right? That's the basis for the
25 information you provide in your statement.
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P3946, page 139 in the English and 162
3 in the B/C/S.
4 Q. This is part of the 5th Corps' war diary for the western
5 Slavonian front, and we're looking at the 23rd of May. And directing
6 your attention to 1715 hours, we see a report from Major Zeljaja. He
7 mentions negotiations, a dead-line for the killers of the two soldiers on
8 the 22nd of May to be handed over --
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can the B/C/S portion be enlarged with respect to
10 item 372.
11 MR. TRALDI: Yes, it's in the middle of the page.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think we don't need the right side of the --
13 no, we don't need all of that.
14 MR. TRALDI:
15 Q. So looking at the second asterisk, we see a note that the
16 cleansing, and it uses the word "ciscenje" "of Hambarine has begun." So,
17 first, this is a reflection of the communications between the corps
18 command and the 43rd Brigade during that operation; right?
19 A. I can confirm that. But I wasn't in a position to read the war
20 diary or to be present at the command post. All of this was happening in
21 Croatia in Slavonia, but, yes.
22 Q. Now, this information is coming from Major Zeljaja because he was
23 in Prijedor too; right?
24 A. I don't know if he was in Prijedor at that time or in Slavonia.
25 I can't confirm that.
1 Q. So when you said yesterday the command wasn't in Prijedor, it was
2 in Croatia, your actual evidence now is that the brigade commander was in
3 Prijedor and you don't know where his chief of staff was; is that right?
4 A. No. You asked me if he was in Prijedor, the commander. I don't
5 know whether Arsic was in Prijedor on that day or if he was in Slavonia.
6 I can't confirm that. I know that the commander is always the commander,
7 wherever he is.
8 Q. Let's look at the bottom of the page.
9 MR. TRALDI: And we have to scroll down a little bit in B/C/S.
10 Q. The first entry on the 24th of May, the 5th Partizan Brigade,
11 that's another brigade in Prijedor; right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And it says it sent soldiers and a Pinzgauer and two armoured
14 combat vehicles to Major Zeljaja in Prijedor. He, like Arsic, was in
15 Prijedor commanding the Hambarine and Kozarac operations; right?
16 A. Again, I can't confirm or deny that. I was not in the area. I
17 can't confirm anything on the basis of this report. All I can see is
18 that in all likelihood they were both in Prijedor, and perhaps the
19 operations officer or a deputy remained in Croatia.
20 Q. And you know, as you sit there today, that Hambarine during
21 what's referred to here as the cleansing of Hambarine was massively
22 shelled and you know that Muslim civilians were killed; right?
23 A. I know about that from the report.
24 Q. And turning then to Kozarac, the 43rd Brigade again had
25 communication with the corps command about preparations for that attack;
2 A. It had to do with the commander exclusively because I was in a
3 different sector. They had no contact with me.
4 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32000.
5 Q. This is a summary of a conversation intercepted by the Croatian
6 authorities on the 25th of May, 1992. It starts by referring to
7 Prijedor. It says:
8 "Negotiations are still ongoing with the Crisis Staff of the
9 Kozarac village."
10 It describes what Major Zeljaja is saying about the negotiations.
11 And then it says that:
12 "At 0910 hours, General Talic reported to General Milovanovic
13 that the place Kozarac was completely surrounded and blocked and the
14 place should fall by noon tomorrow."
15 Now, this is a reflection that the corps command also had
16 communications with the VRS Main Staff about preparations for the attack
17 on Kozarac during the lead-up to that attack; right?
18 A. I can't confirm that. The commander talked to the Main Staff. I
20 Q. It would have been his responsibility to talk to the Main Staff,
21 say, Okay, there are preparations ongoing to attack this village; right?
22 A. I am not familiar with the contents of their discussions.
23 Q. Speaking in principle, I understand your evidence is that you
24 didn't participate in those conversations yourself. Speaking in
25 principle, General Talic wasn't running around attacking villages on his
1 own; right?
2 A. He definitely wasn't running around. I suppose he was either in
3 Banja Luka or in Prijedor. I suppose.
4 Q. And he also wasn't attacking on his own before the corps
5 undertook an activity like that. As a matter of doctrine and principle,
6 he would consult with the Main Staff; right? Just like we saw in the
7 Corridor documents yesterday.
8 A. Well, if you ask me, perhaps in such extraordinary circumstances
9 he needn't need to ask for approval. He was a very experienced
10 commander, capable of self-initiative in making decisions on his own. He
11 may have been engaged in consultation process. In any case, I don't
13 Q. He was an experienced commander. General Mladic trusted him a
14 lot; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. But as an experienced commander who General Mladic trusted, he
17 would have obeyed the chain of command and kept the Main Staff in the
18 loop on preparations for this operation, like we saw here; right?
19 A. He should have. I can't say whether he did.
20 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender this document.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
22 MR. LUKIC: Objection.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: We always object to these type of documents, since
25 those words were not recorded. It's Croatian intercept, I guess. So I
1 don't know why would we accept this document.
2 MR. TRALDI: I understand Mr. Lukic's objection. For the record,
3 my understanding is the issue is controlled by the Chamber's decision on
4 P7198, a similar Croatian intercept that Mr. Lukic and I dealt with. The
5 Chamber issued a decision admitting it into evidence.
6 JUDGE ORIE: The objection is denied. The document will be
7 admitted into evidence.
8 Madam Registrar, the number would?
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the number would be P7475.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. TRALDI:
13 Q. Now, large numbers of Muslims were killed during the Kozarac
14 operation; right?
15 A. It is correct that people were killed, but I don't know how many.
16 Q. Civilian property in the village was massively destroyed?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Mosques were --
19 A. In terms of houses and other buildings.
20 Q. Mosques were destroyed; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And the prisoners taken during these operations -- well, first,
23 the 1st Krajina Corps, its subordinate unit, the 43rd Brigade, took large
24 numbers of prisoners during the Hambarine and Kozarac operations; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And those were taken to the Prijedor camps that you mention in
2 your statement, Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje; right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you mention in paragraph 15 of your statement a Muslim
5 counterattack on the town of Prijedor in late April 1992. That was, in
6 fact, on the 30th of May; right?
7 A. If you have in mind the attack on the municipal assembly
8 building, it was on the 30th of May as far as I remember.
9 Q. And the 43rd Brigade again had communication with the 1st Krajina
10 Corps command during that operation as well as the ones in Hambarine and
11 Kozarac; right?
12 A. Yes. That should have been the case.
13 Q. And a Muslim neighbourhood called Stari Grad was destroyed by the
14 43rd Brigade; right?
15 A. To tell you the truth, I don't know what part of town that is,
16 but, yes, in all likelihood.
17 Q. Now, the Chamber has received evidence, P2243, that that day
18 Zeljaja called General Talic, told him that he was cleansing everything,
19 and he wouldn't spare women and children anymore. That's a reflection,
20 first, that Zeljaja was also in Prijedor overseeing the operations on
21 the 30th; right?
22 A. As I said, I can't confirm if they were there. Perhaps both of
23 them were, but I don't know that. As the operation was underway, the
24 commander was informed about it. And as I said, I was on a completely
25 different axis.
1 Q. Now, cleansing everything, not sparing women and children, surely
2 Major Zeljaja was removed from his position or replaced after telling
3 General Talic that; right?
4 A. I don't recall him being replaced. Until the end of the war, he
5 remained chief. Actually, later on he became the commander of that
6 brigade. I'm not aware of his removal.
7 Q. And he was promoted to colonel too; right?
8 A. He was promoted to the rank of colonel later on, although I don't
9 recall the date. It was sometime later.
10 Q. Turning back to the prisoners, you know that, in fact, as you sit
11 there today, a large proportion of the male population of Kozarac and
12 Hambarine were rounded up and taken to the Prijedor camps; right?
13 A. I know that, for the most part, the Prijedor Crisis Staff did
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: I have a problem with the previously mentioned
17 P number, 2243. Not shown to the witness, claiming from that something,
18 and I cannot find it in the e-court.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it is in e-court, Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: I tried to open it --
21 JUDGE ORIE: I looked at it and I can tell you that what
22 Mr. Traldi quoted is indeed said.
23 MR. LUKIC: Okay. So -- but obviously our system is not working
24 then. I would object.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I do not know. Perhaps -- let me just check. I can
1 tell you that, and I'll look at the source, the original, because I
2 looked at the English translation, as you will understand. It -- at
3 least on my computer it opens perfectly well.
4 If you have any problems with your computer and having access to
5 e-court, then of course -- and are you sure that you typed in the right
6 date and --
7 MR. LUKIC: I am. It is not working.
8 JUDGE ORIE: It is P0 --
9 MR. LUKIC: I have it in my hands now. So it's again intercept.
12 completely confusing.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Let me see what -- one second, please. 54. Yes, we
14 received evidence. I think that's correct. And that is admitted
16 MR. LUKIC: Still.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Whatever your objection is.
18 MR. LUKIC: My objection is that it's not words of Zeljaja, that
19 somebody else is claiming.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you may revisit that in re-examination.
21 It doesn't say anywhere that these are -- the Chamber received evidence
22 that, and that is exactly what is found in that evidence. Whether you
23 consider the source such that it should be dealt with in a different way,
24 you can explore that. This is what the evidence says, among others. You
25 may deal with it later.
1 Mr. Traldi, you may proceed.
2 And if you have any problems in your e-court access, then of
3 course we'll seek to have you assisted to get it again.
4 MR. LUKIC: Still, it's not working.
5 JUDGE ORIE: It's still not working. Then we'll seek assistance
6 for you.
7 Mr. Traldi, meanwhile, proceed.
8 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, before I do, I'd just request a
9 redaction at lines 15 and 16 of page 56, and I'm happy to explain the
10 reasons in private session or out of the presence of the witness.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Registrar, will you please prepare the
12 redaction. And I think for everyone who has followed the proceedings
13 know more or less what the reason is.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. TRALDI:
16 Q. Now, sir, you said, for the most part, the Prijedor Crisis Staff
17 did that when I asked about the rounding up of the male population --
18 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] [Overlapping speakers] ...
19 proceedings, we've lost sound again?
20 JUDGE ORIE: Apparently we have a sound problem again.
21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
22 JUDGE ORIE: I'll give a few words to see whether the sound is
23 now received.
24 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Your Honours, we seem to have a
25 technical problem. We cannot hear you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 [The witness stands down via videolink]
3 [The witness takes the stand via videolink]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Can you now hear us? The microphone at the other
5 side is off from what we see on our screens. Is the audio still not
6 functioning at the far end of the videolink?
7 Witness, can you hear us in your language? I think I saw the
8 witness saying something but since the microphone was switched off --
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Your Honours, we have a technical
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I hear you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so it's only the English channel, despite
13 having established the connection again, what we saw a minute ago, it's
14 not --
15 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] We have a technical problem. I
16 mean, I've been trying to say that. We can't hear anything that's
17 happening in the English.
18 Okay. Can you let the court officer know because they seem to be
19 continuing. Yeah, but they seem to continue because I can't hear what
20 they're saying, the Court. Okay, thanks.
21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
22 [Technical difficulties]
23 JUDGE ORIE: We take a break now of 20 minutes.
24 Madam Registrar is requested to inform the far end of the
25 videolink by telephone that we take a break of 20 minutes and that we
1 would like to see, but perhaps even more important hear them back at 20
2 minutes from now.
3 We take a break.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.51 p.m.
5 [The witness stands down via videolink]
6 [The witness takes the stand via videolink]
7 --- On resuming at 1.13 p.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Before we try to continue, I'd like to verify
9 whether the videolink is functioning well, both video and audio.
10 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Yes, Your Honour. We can hear and
11 see you clearly.
12 JUDGE ORIE: We can hear and see you as well.
13 Mr. Traldi may therefore proceed.
14 MR. TRALDI:
15 Q. Sir, we were talking about Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje.
16 Now, during the operations at the end of May, the VRS had rounded up
17 thousands of people who were taken to those three camps; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Muslims and Croats; right?
20 A. Yes, Muslims and Croats.
21 Q. You mention in your statement that Omarska and Keraterm were
22 under the civilian police. The commander of Trnopolje was
23 Slobodan Kuruzovic. He was under the command of the 43rd Brigade of
24 the VRS; right?
25 A. I do not know Kuruzovic personally. I know that the Crisis Staff
1 was in charge of these, well, camps, I mean.
2 Q. Now, Kuruzovic was a member of the Crisis Staff. He was also
3 under the command of the 43rd Brigade; right?
4 A. Well, I mean, he was recorded as such, but I don't know whether
5 he was in the unit. I wasn't there.
6 Q. And in Omarska -- let me start the question differently.
7 Do you know who Colonel Majstorovic was?
8 A. I know him personally. He was a colonel who had come from
9 Varazdin. He was born there near Prijedor -- Majdan.
10 Q. And I ask about him in the context of Omarska because he was one
11 of the people who supervised the teams interrogating prisoners there;
13 A. I personally do not know what his purview was as far as prisoners
14 were concerned, because I did not come across him. Although I know him
15 personally well because he was an officer under my command before.
16 Q. Now, a Defence witness named Miso Rodic testified that
17 Majstorovic was sent to Omarska by the 1st Krajina Corps command. Were
18 you aware of that?
19 A. I'm not aware of that, that the command sent anyone to TO staffs.
20 Q. Sir, we're not talking about a TO staff. We're talking about
21 Omarska camp. That's where Majstorovic was; right?
22 A. No, sorry. Sorry. Yes, yes. Not TO staffs. Crisis Staffs.
23 The corps command did not send anyone to Crisis Staffs.
24 Q. Again, we're not talking about a Crisis Staff. We're talking
25 about Omarska camp. That's where Colonel Majstorovic was sent. You know
1 that, don't you?
2 A. I know that he was there, but I don't know whether he was at
4 Q. Who sent him to Prijedor?
5 A. Prijedor, most probably -- well, I'm not sure about that. Let's
6 be clear on that. I'm not a personnel officer, so I have no way of
7 nothing. But most probably since he was born in the area, maybe he was
8 sent there. Because he was very ill at the time and he died soon
10 Q. Sir, you've answered a number of possible questions, I'm sure,
11 but not the one I asked. Who sent Majstorovic to Prijedor?
12 A. I don't know. I don't know who sent him. It certainly wasn't
14 Q. The Chamber has received evidence from an RS MUP official named
15 Predrag Radulovic, who was in Omarska at the time, that already in June
16 1992 prisoners were being abused and some were killed. And it would have
17 been Lieutenant-Colonel Majstorovic's responsibility to inform the corps
18 command of that too; right?
19 MR. LUKIC: Just a second.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Overlapping speakers] ...
21 JUDGE ORIE: One second, Witness.
22 Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: We have a name here of a dead man, so I think it
24 would be fair at least to tell us what Prosecution thinks that the
25 Chamber receives as an evidence.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have a reference?
2 MR. LUKIC: This gentleman never testified in front of this
3 Chamber. I don't know if he's a 92 bis witness.
4 MR. TRALDI: He's a 92 quater witness. So it's that evidence I'm
5 referring to.
6 MR. LUKIC: Can you give us the number, so I can follow?
7 MR. TRALDI: I'll pull it up while the witness answers the
9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Let's move on. Mr. Traldi will provide
10 Mr. Lukic with the information he is requesting.
11 MR. TRALDI:
12 Q. Sir, the Chamber has received evidence that RS MUP officials
13 present in Omarska at the time knew that prisoners were being abused
14 there, some were killed. It would have been
15 Lieutenant-Colonel Majstorovic's obligation to inform the corps command
16 of that too; right?
17 A. I have no personal knowledge about his reporting. If he was
18 reporting to Bogojevic, who was his security organ, I don't know about
20 Q. So your evidence is: Did you or did you not know that prisoners
21 were being abused and killed in Omarska in the summer of 1992?
22 A. I did not know.
23 Q. So one of your subordinate units takes 7.000 prisoners to the
24 camps in Prijedor. Did the 1st Krajina Corps command do anything to
25 check on the conditions?
1 A. I don't know if the corps command did something with regard to
2 that matter. I was not informed about that.
3 Q. So, again, your view, as an excellent chief of staff, is you have
4 no idea what conditions 7.000 prisoners taken by your corps were being
5 held in; is that right?
6 A. As far as I know -- well, this is what I know: The units of the
7 343rd Brigade, they did that, what you refer to just now, handed it over
8 to the civilian authorities, and then they were responsible for
9 everything else that was done in relation to these people. The 1st Corps
10 practically had, I mean, well, it's not that they did anything with
11 regard to these prisons that were under the authority of the civilian
13 Q. If these prisoners had been of any security interest, then you
14 would have kept an eye on them. You would have wanted to know what they
15 said during interrogations, you would have wanted to ensure that the
16 camps were guarded so they couldn't get out; right?
17 A. Well, I was no longer the security organ. And I did not work in
18 operative terms so that I could know, I mean, what was going on in a
19 security sense.
20 Q. The entire corps command, including the chief of staff, if there
21 were 7.000 prisoners of legitimate security interest, it would have been
22 an enormous issue for the corps to know how thoroughly they were being
23 secured and to know what information they were revealing when they were
24 interrogated; right?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They should know, but I
2 physically - physically or mentally - I could not --
3 MR. LUKIC: It's the same question as previous one, long
4 question, so it's not verbatim but it's the same.
5 MR. TRALDI: I'm afraid I don't have any real idea what Mr. Lukic
6 is suggesting.
7 JUDGE ORIE: What is it? There is nothing verbatim, but the
8 question was --
9 MR. LUKIC: The same. Whether there was any interest in those
10 prisoners by the army.
11 MR. TRALDI: The -- and I have the right to insist on an answer
12 to the question that the witness had evaded the first time.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Lukic, is your objection: Question asked,
14 question answered? Is that the gist of your objection? If that's the
15 case, Mr. Traldi has responded to it.
16 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. But I think that the witness
17 answered on the page 63, lines 23 to 25, about his knowledge.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then Mr. --
19 MR. LUKIC: I don't know what he can assist any further.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr. Traldi wants to test, I think, that
21 evidence, and to a certain extent that's allowed in cross-examination.
22 Please proceed.
23 The objection is denied.
24 MR. TRALDI:
25 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask the question again just for the clarity of
1 the record.
2 The entire corps command, including the chief of staff, if there
3 were 7.000 prisoners of legitimate security interest, it would have been
4 an enormous issue for the corps to know how thoroughly they were being
5 secured and to know what information they were revealing when they were
6 interrogated; right?
7 A. Well, interested. I'm not saying I wasn't interested, but
8 through my logistics assistants and others for security, in a way I did
9 learn that they were there and that this was under the control of the
10 civilian authorities. Now, that is what I can say.
11 Q. No, sir, you haven't again answered my question. Let me put it
12 to you very simply: The only way that you could sit there today and
13 suggest that you didn't know and you weren't interested in what they were
14 being questioned about is if, just like in the Manjaca documents we saw
15 before, these prisoners were picked up non-selectively, were not of any
16 security interest, and so the VRS, after rounding them up, could just
17 hand them over to the police that were securing Omarska and Keraterm;
19 A. Please. I had information that my commander, General Talic, was
20 informed in detail by his subordinate organs, and he was there. And why
21 should I be checking on my commander? I never did any such thing.
22 Q. So your evidence now is General Talic knew in detail about the
23 conditions at Omarska and the people being held there; is that right?
24 A. I did not say in detail, but I believe that through the chain of
25 command he was informed about these things. I was much further away and
1 I was attending to other tasks, specific tasks.
2 Q. When I put --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you are recorded as having said that
4 General Talic was informed in detail. Now, if that is a mistake, of
5 course, we could verify whether the interpretation and the transcription
6 is correct or not. If you, however, say I may have said that, then --
7 and, Mr. Lukic, you may have followed the evidence in the original
8 language, then of course there is no need to do that. But if you think
9 that you are misinterpreted and you are misrecorded, then we'll check it
10 and then we'll find out whether you said that General Talic was -- knew
11 in detail about the conditions.
12 What is it you'd like us to do, to verify?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, not that word "in detail,"
14 because I could never say "detaljno," I don't know whether it's been
15 interpreted in a different way, but I'll telling you now that he was
16 informed because --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, we are just checking the accuracy of the
18 interpretation and the transcription. It will be checked.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. TRALDI:
21 Q. Sir, one of the ways he was informed, as I had started off
22 putting to you, was through Colonel Majstorovic who was deployed to
23 Omarska to assist in overseeing the teams of investigators or
24 interrogators; right?
25 A. That's not what was supposed to be done. Now, I don't know
1 whether he did actually do that. Majstorovic was supposed to inform his
2 first superior officer and that was Bogojevic, if that's the way it was.
3 Stevo Bogojevic then reports to his commander, Talic, because he is his
4 immediate superior.
5 Q. And just to ensure that my questions have been clear, sir, a
6 moment ago, I talked about handing over the people taken to Omarska and
7 Keraterm to the police that were securing those facilities. You're aware
8 that VRS units assisted in securing the facilities, even though the
9 commanders were from the police; right?
10 MR. LUKIC: Objection.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: I want this evidence where it was proven that in
13 Omarska and Keraterm military officers were guarding prisoners.
14 MR. TRALDI: In --
15 JUDGE ORIE: It's -- yes.
16 MR. TRALDI: There is substantial evidence. Among it, we can
17 find P2900, which is the report up to the CSB on the camps in August
18 1992. For Keraterm, Zigic's unit's participation is reflected.
19 Mr. Lukic and I are both familiar with that from Witness Rodic's
20 examination. From Omarska, I think the external ring of security being
21 done by the VRS is not even disputed.
22 MR. LUKIC: The external ring --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Apart from that --
24 MR. LUKIC: External ring outside --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Apart from that, Mr. Lukic, Mr. Traldi may suggest
1 whatever he wants in his question. It's not that in cross-examination
2 the examiner is limited to what specific evidence he was specify. This
3 is what Mr. Traldi puts to the witness, this is leading, that's what is
4 allowed in cross-examination. So, therefore, your objection is apart
5 from that Mr. Traldi, as he explained to us, apparently has a good basis
6 for suggesting this to the witness, but he doesn't need that. Let that
7 be clear before you raise another objection.
8 The objection is denied.
9 MR. LUKIC: Were those rules in force when we were
10 cross-examining --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: I will show you that they were not.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please make a written submission. And we've earlier
14 seen that the claim for, and I checked it always very carefully, the
15 claim that we changed the rules depending on what stage of the case
16 presentation we are is not accurate. But make whatever submissions you
17 would like to make in this respect, Mr. Lukic.
18 Of course, if that's what you want to refer to, of course you
19 should not, at the detriment of a witness, make a totally unfair
20 suggestion. There are limits also in there. That's the only thing I add
21 at this moment to what I said before.
22 And Mr. Traldi may now proceed.
23 MR. TRALDI:
24 Q. Sir, I'm going to re-ask the question very quickly: Are you
25 aware, yes or no, that VRS soldiers assisted in securing Omarska and
1 Trnopolje [sic], although the camps were commanded by members of the
2 civilian police?
3 A. I do not know that members of the VRS provided any kind of
4 security for securing the camps. Those two camps. We can discuss
5 Manjaca, though.
6 Q. I'm going to turn now to the events of late July 1992 in
8 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32733.
9 Q. This is a daily combat report from the 1st Krajina Corps to the
10 Main Staff dated the 19th of July, 1992.
11 MR. TRALDI: If we could have point 4 on page 2 in the English
12 and 1 in the B/C/S.
13 Q. We see that Colonel Vukelic, who's drafted the report or who has
14 signed the report, is reporting that the Banja Luka area is relatively
15 stable and Prijedor, Sanski Most, and Kljuc are "fully under our
17 It's correct that Prijedor municipality was fully under the VRS's
18 control as of the 19th of July; right?
19 A. Yes, if we are talking about the town itself. But as for the
20 camp facility itself and whether it was under full control, I can't say.
21 Q. I'm talking about the municipality, though. So let's set the
22 camps aside for a moment. The territory of the municipality.
23 A. The municipality? Yes, yes.
24 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender this document.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document receives number P7476.
2 JUDGE ORIE: P7476 is admitted into evidence.
3 Mr. Traldi, could I ask perhaps a few questions to the witness,
4 especially in relation to Omarska.
5 Witness, in your statement, you say that you know that disarmed
6 members of the Muslim forces were taken mostly to Keraterm and Omarska.
7 Were those prisoners of war?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were not prisoners of war.
9 They were, as we called them, prisoners or those who were captured but
10 not prisoners of war.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Could you explain to me that when armed forces
12 capture members of the opposing forces and disarm them and deprive them
13 of their liberty how they could be anything else than prisoners of war?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that the participation of
15 VRS units consisted only of bringing in those people and handing them
16 over at the camp. Any further interrogations were conducted by civilian
18 JUDGE ORIE: Well, you said we disarmed them and they were
19 members of the armed forces, but what was then the title under which they
20 were detained if they were not prisoners of war?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I can't say that they
22 were soldiers. Some may not have been. But they held on to their
23 weapons and they did not hand them over when there was a request made to
24 do so.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Now I read your statement.
1 "What I do know is that disarmed members of the Muslim
2 forces ..."
3 Are you now telling us that members of the armed forces which
4 were carrying weapons were not soldiers?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It needn't be someone sporting a
6 weapon. They hid weapons in their homes and elsewhere. So a weapon in
7 and of itself does not indicate that someone is a soldier.
8 JUDGE ORIE: No, but your statement doesn't say "persons having
9 hidden weapons were disarmed." You say members of the Muslim armed
11 So a member of an opposing armed force carrying a weapon, is that
12 not a soldier?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I said that they were members of
14 armed forces, then I misspoke. They were members who were armed and had
15 weapons or were suspected of having weapons.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, you said that you disarmed members of the
17 Muslim forces. That's what is in your statement.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I stand by the fact that the people
19 who were disarmed were the ones who had weapons but did not have an
20 authorisation to do so.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Were they civilians then?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Even if one is a civilian carrying
23 a weapon, they still must have a licence or approval.
24 JUDGE ORIE: That was not my question. My question is whether
25 they were civilians. If you explain to us why they were carrying weapons
1 but were apparently not soldiers.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In that case -- sorry. I can't
3 tell you if they were soldiers or not. We would need to check registers
4 or documents to see whether they were members of an armed formation or
5 not. I can't say whether specific cases, specific people were civilians
6 or soldiers.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Now you've given that same explanation for Manjaca
8 camp. You said, Well, it needed to be investigated whether they were
9 members of the opposing armed forces. Apparently you captured them. Did
10 you think that capturing them brings any responsibility for finding out
11 whether or not they are or they are not soldiers, combatants?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My opinion in any case is that it
13 needs to be established whether they were fighters or not. In the
14 specific case of Omarska, I think it should have been established, and
15 that should have been done by civilian authorities.
16 JUDGE ORIE: If they were fighters, if you arrested them, if you
17 disarmed them, why do you consider them not to be prisoners of war?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If they were fighters and were
19 disarmed, then of course they were POWs.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And then you handed them over to the civilian
21 authorities if you would have arrested what you say may have been
22 prisoners of war?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They should have been handed over,
24 and the ministries of defence needed to establish through records whether
25 they belonged to the armed forces or to a unit belonging to the Muslim
1 Croat formations.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
3 MR. TRALDI:
4 Q. You say you can't tell us if the prisoners were soldiers or not.
5 You also don't know whether they were civilians who didn't give up arms.
6 You don't know who because they were picked up non-selectively, civilians
7 detained along with members of what Muslim formations existed in
8 Prijedor; right?
9 A. It couldn't be established straight away, as I said, whether the
10 person in question was a civilian or someone who had been assigned to a
11 unit. I can't tell you now whether anyone in particular was a civilian
12 or not.
13 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I am going to move away from the camps
14 now. Before I do, just a quick correction to the transcript. At
15 temporary transcript page 69, lines 2 and 3, I'm recorded to have
16 referred to Omarska and Trnopolje. I certainly intended to refer to
17 Omarska and Keraterm, and I think that was how Mr. Lukic understood me, I
18 hope, when I was referring to camps where soldiers assisted but the
19 police were in command.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, any concern that the witness may have
21 been confused by it? If so, then please --
22 MR. LUKIC: We have to ask him, really.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could you verify, Mr. Traldi, if there is any --
24 MR. TRALDI: Sure.
25 Q. Sir, when I was asking you about camps where the commanders were
1 members of the civilian police but I suggested to you the military
2 assisted in securing -- or members of the military assisted in securing,
3 did you understand me to be referring to Omarska and Keraterm?
4 A. When you mentioned Trnopolje, I think you were confused because I
5 don't know how to describe Trnopolje but I think it was more of an
6 open-type facility with less stringent controls, and basically the people
7 were being taken care of.
8 Q. Sir, I'm going to cut you off.
9 A. As for --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please, Mr. Traldi.
11 MR. TRALDI:
12 Q. Sir, I'd asked you a very simple question.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And I'd ask for a direct answer. When I asked you about camps
15 where the commanders were members of the civilian police but the military
16 or members of the military assisted in securing the facilities, you
17 understood me to be talking about Omarska and Keraterm; right?
18 A. Basically, yes. Because I know Trnopolje only as the facility
19 that I've just tried to explain.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 Before we continue, I have last -- one final question for you in
22 relation to the matters we have discussed over the last hour,
24 If there is doubt as to whether a person is a civilian or a
25 combatant, how should you treat him?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I need to treat them
2 humanely. It needs to be established through an interview without any
3 mistreatment or applying physical force.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could he be deprived of his liberty just to find out
5 whether he is a civilian or not?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, depriving of liberty is not
7 necessary. The person may be brought in.
8 JUDGE ORIE: If he has no choice than to be brought in, that's
9 what we call depriving of liberty or detention.
10 Could you please answer my question. I didn't ask whether it's
11 necessary or not, but my question was whether you can deprive someone of
12 his liberty just to find out whether he's a civilian or not. And you may
13 include bringing him in.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
15 JUDGE ORIE: You should not deprive him of his liberty. Is
16 that --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. He shouldn't be deprived.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. He should also not be brought in against his
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would be in favour of
21 establishing the identity. Now, whether we call it bringing in or not is
22 a matter --
23 JUDGE ORIE: No. Let me be very clear. Bringing in someone
24 against his will and then to keeping him for, well, let's say more than
25 one, two, or three days against his will, I consider that to be
1 deprivation of liberty. Is that -- if you don't know whether he is
2 civilian or not, would that be admissible?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not acceptable to keep
4 someone that long for that reason. It is not an optimum solution.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Do you agree with me that people, you said you would
6 have to find out whether they were civilians or not, that they were kept
7 for far longer than two or three days in camps? And I'm specifically
8 referring to Keraterm and Omarska.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And that decision should have been
12 made by those engaged in that work.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
14 MR. TRALDI:
15 Q. Now, sir, before we turned back to the camps, we'd confirmed that
16 as of the 19th of July, Prijedor municipality was fully under VRS
17 control. You're aware that there were large cleansing operations by the
18 VRS in the Brdo and Ljubija areas of Prijedor over the next approximately
19 a week; right?
20 A. Well, I can't confirm. I have to repeat that again. I cannot
21 confirm that because I did not receive regular reports from the command
22 because of the task I had been assigned previously. I can't recall that.
23 Q. Well, for instance, the 1st Krajina Corps command was well aware
24 of the massacre at Brisevo; right?
25 A. I don't remember at all the area of Brisevo. I don't even know
1 where it is now that you ask.
2 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32810.
3 Q. And as it comes up, the Chamber has received evidence that the
4 attack on Brisevo occurred during the week that I described, roughly the
5 20th to the 25th of July.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, your last answer says you don't remember
7 the area of Brisevo. You don't even know where it is. Did you ever hear
8 about the massacre at Brisevo?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not hear about that.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And to tell you the truth, even if
12 I had heard about it, I may have forgotten.
13 MR. TRALDI:
14 Q. So this is a letter from Bishop Komarica to General Talic dated
15 the 22nd of August, 1992, entitled: "Prevent further crimes against
16 defenceless Catholics in Ljubija area, Prijedor municipality." Turning
17 to page 2 in the English and the B/C/S, we see at the top of the page in
18 the B/C/S a reference to the panic that people were in because of the
19 terrible massacre of innocent residents of the nearby village of Brisevo
20 where dozens of men, women, and children were killed. The 1st Krajina
21 Corps command was --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where should we look in the English?
23 MR. TRALDI: It's about halfway down the first paragraph,
24 Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
1 MR. TRALDI:
2 Q. This is one of the ways that the 1st Krajina Corps command was
3 informed of the massacre that had happened in Brisevo; right?
4 A. You're asking me something?
5 Q. Yes. What we see here, this letter from Bishop Komarica to
6 General Talic is one of the ways in which the 1st Krajina Corps command
7 was informed of the massacre in Brisevo; right?
8 A. I cannot confirm anything with regard to this specific case,
9 because I don't remember Talic informing me about it.
10 Q. Now, the Chamber has evidence, P3820, that the corps command knew
11 that people were murdered, crimes were committed by VRS soldiers in
12 Carakovo during the same week. You're aware of that, aren't you?
13 A. No.
14 Q. The Chamber has received evidence, P161, that the 1st Krajina
15 Corps command informed the Main Staff of the murder of prisoners in
16 room 3 at Keraterm again that same week. Is it your evidence that you
17 also weren't aware of that?
18 A. I don't know about those murders at Keraterm.
19 Q. And a Defence witness named Vojo Kupresanin testified that he
20 went to Brisevo after the massacre with officers from the
21 1st Krajina Corps who audio-recorded the surviving residents talking
22 about the massacre that had happened there. Is it your evidence that you
23 somehow missed the information then too?
24 A. It's not that I missed it. I objectively could not have known
25 about it. That's what I've been trying to tell you.
1 As far as for what Kupresanin did, I cannot accept your assertion
2 because I wasn't aware of that.
3 Q. Sir, just so that I'm completely clear with you, what I'm putting
4 to you is at regular meetings you received reports on what was happening
5 throughout the corps' area of responsibility, you confirmed that, and
6 your evidence that somehow the corps command was aware of these massive
7 crimes against Muslims and Croats in Prijedor but you managed to avoid
8 any knowledge, your evidence is not the truth. Do you have any comment
9 on that?
10 A. I do. I do not accept that I'm not telling the truth. If I
11 don't remember something or if I wasn't informed of things, then I can't
12 say "yes" or "no." I allow for the possibility that since I was at the
13 command post I did not attend each and every meeting, and that's why it
14 can happen that I wasn't present. I know about Keraterm. As for the
15 rest, I either don't know or don't remember.
16 Q. You know about the massacre at Keraterm?
17 A. I don't know about the massacre at Keraterm. There were two
18 killings, but I don't know under what circumstances. As I said, the
19 military police did not interrogate anyone inside the camp nor did any
20 other military body.
21 MR. TRALDI: Could we have 65 ter 31653.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, you've shown to the witness the letter
23 by the bishop, which is still a 65 ter number. At the same time, it
24 looks as if it's taken from a collection and not the original letter. I
25 don't know whether you want to tender it. But if you wish to do that,
1 then the Chamber would like you to explain to us why you consider this,
2 published in a book apparently at page 370 or 372, why you consider this
3 to be corresponding with a real letter that has been sent.
4 MR. TRALDI: It's Bishop Komarica's book that it comes from.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well, you hadn't explained that to us, as a
6 matter of fact. And he then says that this is the letter he sent.
7 MR. TRALDI: Yes, and I'll find the page references for how he
8 describes that and speak with Mr. Lukic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so that we -- another matter is, do you tender
11 MR. TRALDI: Yes, though now given the Chamber's questions, I'm
12 willing to postpone that if it suits. But I would intend to tender it.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, or have it marked for identification for the
14 time being pending your discussions with Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. TRALDI: Yes, let's do that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 32810 receives number P7477.
18 JUDGE ORIE: P7477 is marked for identification.
19 MR. TRALDI:
20 Q. Now, this document we see in front of us reassigns Colonel Arsic
21 to be commander of the Doboj operations group. It's dated the 27th of
22 May, 1993. As an operations group involves several brigades, this is a
23 promotion for him; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender this document.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, document 31653 receives
3 number P7478.
4 JUDGE ORIE: P7478 is admitted.
5 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P358, page 151 in the English and 155 in
6 the B/C/S original, not transcript.
7 Q. Sir, we see here the beginning of a meeting on the 27th of May,
8 1993, in one of General Mladic's notebooks from the war, 27th of May, the
9 same document we saw for the date of General Arsic's - then
10 Colonel Arsic's promotion, a moment ago.
11 Turning to page 154 at the bottom in English and 158 in the
12 original B/C/S, we see Colonel Bogojevic speaking. That's a reference to
13 the 1st Krajina Corps' assistant commander for security at the time;
15 Sir, I asked you a very simple question. That Colonel Bogojevic
16 we see referred to there, that's the 1 KK assistant commander for
17 security; right? Yes or no.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. At that time, May 1993, you would have been in very regular
20 contact with him; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Meeting daily?
23 A. Doesn't have to mean that. Why would we have to be in contact
24 every day?
25 Q. How regularly were you in contact with him at the time?
1 A. Well, I said when necessary. Usually once a week. The security
2 organ is personally responsible to the commander. Not the chief of
4 Q. Did Colonel Bogojevic attend General Talic's morning meetings?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, the Chamber has heard evidence from Bosko Amidzic, a Defence
7 witness, who is the assistant commander for logistics at this time, that
8 there was a morning meeting daily. You attended those meetings with
9 Colonel Bogojevic; right?
10 A. Meetings were not held every morning. Usually it was Monday when
11 the command would meet, if necessary. There weren't meetings held every
13 Q. I'll leave that point aside for the moment. What we see
14 General Mladic record here is that Simo Drljaca -- or Colonel Bogojevic
15 is informing him that Simo Drljaca arrived, that he'd been sent by the
16 minister of the RS MUP about the Tomasica mine.
17 Turning to the next page in both languages, General Mladic
18 records this is near Prijedor where earlier they'd buried around 5.000
19 Muslims, and Colonel Bogojevic records -- or sorry, General Mladic
20 records under Colonel Bogojevic's name that they want to get rid of it by
21 burning, grinding, or some other way.
22 Now, first, you knew, just like General Mladic and
23 Colonel Bogojevic, that large numbers of Muslims had been killed in
24 Prijedor municipality; right?
25 A. I knew that a larger number of people were killed in --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We didn't hear the end of
2 the sentence.
3 MR. TRALDI:
4 Q. Sir, can you repeat where you heard that a larger number of
5 people were killed.
6 A. Well, as far as I know, it was Kozarac and Omarska. But as for
7 numbers, I mean, I cannot deal with that now. Tomasica, as we see here,
8 now, I was not aware of any of that at all. I wasn't aware of Tomasica
9 at all as a place where that happened.
10 Q. So we see here there are all kinds of bodies, they have involved
11 Subotic in this. "The team includes Drljaca. He was in charge even
12 while this was being done at the meeting where General Subotic, Arsic,
13 Drljaca, me, and Mile Matijevic."
14 So Colonel Bogojevic, he's had meetings about this in Prijedor,
15 he's informing General Mladic, it's your position he never told you?
16 A. That is not a position. But it is possible that something like
17 that was done too because he's the security organ and he thought -- well,
18 I don't know, maybe he didn't trust us.
19 Q. He would have told Talic though; right?
20 A. Well, I cannot assert that either.
21 Q. Sir, what I'm putting to you is it's impossible that the corps
22 command was ignorant of this and that it reflects that you're
23 understating today the massive human consequences of the VRS's campaign
24 in Prijedor, that a huge number of Muslims were killed in Prijedor
25 municipality, not just in Kozarac and Omarska but in the many, many
1 massacres that the corps command knew about and you claimed a moment ago
2 you'd avoided knowledge of. That's the truth, right?
3 A. I would not put it that way. First of all, because I am saying
4 what it is that I know. I don't want people to put words into my mouth
5 or into my head. I know what I spoke about. What I don't know about, I
6 am not going to speak of. So I would totally disagree. I do not agree
7 that I was not telling the truth. Throughout my life, I've just been
8 telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 May I just say one more thing?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if it is in direct answer to the question, you
11 may. Otherwise, you should refrain.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I shall refrain.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then it's time to adjourn for the day.
14 Witness, I give you the same instructions as I did yesterday -
15 that is, that you should not speak or communicate with whomever about
16 your testimony, whether that is testimony already given yesterday and
17 today or still to be given tomorrow.
18 Perhaps we already disconnect the videolink. I would have a very
19 short question to the parties.
20 We would like to see you back tomorrow morning.
21 [The witness stands down via videolink]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I see the videolink is disconnected.
23 Mr. Traldi, as far as time is concerned?
24 MR. TRALDI: I'll certainly stay within my estimate, and I
25 haven't checked exactly what that is or what that leaves me, but I
1 will -- I'll be within my estimate.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. There is some concern that some of the
3 evidence you are eliciting from this witness is repetitious. It overlaps
4 with evidence we've seen before. You apparently are aware of it because
5 you often have referred the witness to it. And the second issue is to
6 what extent it's necessary to push the witness if he says he doesn't have
7 knowledge about certain things, also in view how the cross-examination
8 developed until now.
9 Would you please keep that in mind when further preparing.
10 Mr. Lukic, any indication as to how much time you would need, as
11 matters stand now, having heard the bulk of the cross-examination, how
12 much time you'd need for the re-examination?
13 MR. LUKIC: I'll have a lot.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. LUKIC: I cannot tell you exactly, but I know that -- I am
16 sure that we will not finish tomorrow with this witness.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And then, of course, the question arises whether we
18 will finish with the next witness on Thursday. I mean, what happens,
19 Mr. Lukic, is that you present a witness which gives rather blank
20 statements about events with a very broad picture, and that of course
21 triggers the Prosecution to find out what the witness really knows about
22 all that. And I think already at the beginning of this testimony, I said
23 something about sources of knowledge being all pretty unclear in the
25 So part of what happens, I would say, is also triggered by the
1 way in which you take and present statements.
2 Therefore, I would urge you to see whether we can conclude the
3 evidence of this witness and the next witness by this Thursday, and I
4 would further like to add that the Chamber needs some time to deal with a
5 few procedural matters. I think we could deal with them in approximately
6 half an hour, perhaps up to 40 minutes, and the parties are invited to
7 seek an agreement on how to use the hours in the remaining two days.
8 We adjourn for the day and will resume tomorrow, Wednesday, the
9 15th of July, 9.30 in the morning, in this same courtroom, I.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.19 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 15th day
12 of July, 2015, at 9.30 a.m.