Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 12176

1 Wednesday, 13 November 2002

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.

5 JUDGE MUMBA: Please call the case.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case number

7 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and

8 Simo Zaric.

9 JUDGE MUMBA: This morning -- I take it we are starting with

10 Mr. Blagoje Simic?

11 MR. PANTELIC: Good morning, Your Honours. That's correct. I'm

12 calling the witness, defendant, my client, Mr. Blagoje Simic.

13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. He may take the witness stand and make the

14 solemn declaration.

15 Yes. Please stand up and make the solemn declaration.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


19 [Witness answered through interpreter]

20 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Please sit down.

21 MR. PANTELIC: Prior to beginning, Your Honours, allow me to

22 address the Court with the issue regarding the time consumption or time

23 limitations of the examination-in-chief of Dr. Simic. My understanding is

24 that the list that the Defence provided to the Trial Chamber according to

25 the instructions is related to the order of the Trial Chamber. But also

Page 12177

1 my understanding is that this particular case with the testimony of the

2 defendant will not affect the time limits imposed by the Trial Chamber

3 with regard to the other witnesses. So I just want to clarify that issue.

4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The defendant will be given sufficient time to

5 present his case. So you can start.

6 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honours, for this

7 clarification.

8 Examined by Mr. Pantelic:

9 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Dr. Simic. Can you hear me? Can

10 you hear the interpretation? Did you hear the interpretation of what was

11 just discussed with the Trial Chamber? Is everything all right?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Before we start, could you please be so kind as to explain briefly

14 to the Trial Chamber why you decided to testify, why you decided to give

15 evidence, since you are aware of the fact that this is not compulsory in

16 such proceedings, that the Rules do not make this compulsory.

17 A. I wanted my own views to be heard in these proceedings as well.

18 Q. When were you born?

19 A. On the 1st of July, 1960, Kruskovo Polje, municipality of Bosanski

20 Samac.

21 Q. Kruskovo Polje is part of the municipality of Samac.

22 A. Yes. It is 7 kilometres away from Samac.

23 Q. Which direction? North? South? East? West?

24 A. South, towards Modrica.

25 Q. Tell me, your parents still live in Kruskovo Polje?

Page 12178

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. What is your father, what is his occupation?

3 A. He used to be a financial expert. Now he is a retiree.

4 Q. Please, since we speak the same language, when I finish putting my

5 question, could you pause 45 seconds so that the interpreters could finish

6 doing their work so that we could have an accurate transcript.

7 So your father was born, I assume, also in Kruskovo Polje?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Your grandfather?

10 A. Also in Kruskovo Polje -- my paternal grandfather, that is.

11 Q. And in this case your great-grandfather?

12 A. Also in Kruskovo Polje.

13 Q. So several generations of your family have already been living in

14 Samac, or rather, in that area?

15 A. Yes. At least for 400 years.

16 Q. What is your mother, Dr. Simic? What is her occupation?

17 A. She is a housewife.

18 Q. Where was she born?

19 A. The village Obednik [phoen], municipality of Bosanski Samac.

20 Q. I assume that her ancestors also hailed from that area.

21 A. Yes, yes.

22 Q. Do you have any brothers and sisters?

23 A. I have one brother.

24 Q. When was he born?

25 A. In 1949.

Page 12179

1 Q. Was he also born in Kruskovo Polje?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. What is his occupation?

4 A. He has an MS in agriculture.

5 Q. What does he do now?

6 A. He is Secretary for Economic Affairs in the municipal assembly.

7 He was a member of the mayor's cabinet.

8 Q. I assume that he has a family as well?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. You're married?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. How long have you been married?

13 A. Since 1985.

14 Q. What does your wife do? What is her occupation?

15 A. She has a degree from the higher school of social sciences, and

16 right now she is working in a pharmacy.

17 Q. Is she also studying something from the field of pharmacy?

18 A. Yes. She is studying in order to obtain a degree in pharmacy at

19 the university in Banja Luka.

20 Q. How many children do you have, you and your wife?

21 A. My wife bore four children, four of our children; three are alive.

22 Q. It is my understanding that you lost one child?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. I am not going to go into the details. Of course this is your

25 private affair. How old was your child when it died?

Page 12180

1 A. Five months old.

2 Q. As for your other children, how many daughters, sons do you have?

3 Of what ages are they?

4 A. I have a 17-year-old son and I have two daughters. One is 14 and

5 the other one is 10.

6 Q. Tell me, where did you complete elementary school?

7 A. In Bosanski Samac.

8 Q. What about secondary school?

9 A. In Gradacac.

10 Q. In relation to Samac, where is Gradacac?

11 A. 18 kilometres to the south-east.

12 Q. Is Gradacac now in the territory of Republika Srpska?

13 A. No.

14 Q. What degree do you have from university?

15 A. I completed medical school in Tuzla.

16 Q. When was this?

17 A. 1984.

18 Q. I assume that after obtaining the degree in medicine, you people

19 who are involved in this line of work specialise. What was your

20 specialist training? What did you do in the field of medicine?

21 A. I did several residencies, smaller and bigger ones. In 1987, I

22 was trained for treating chronic alcoholics in Jagomir near Sarajevo.

23 Then in 1990, I was trained as a resident for six months in Tuzla in order

24 to work on chemodialysis. Then in 1991, I obtained a residency in the

25 field of internal medicine. I did this pre-clinical training in 1990, and

Page 12181

1 in 1991 in Doboj and Tuzla; however, due to the war operations, in 1994 I

2 changed my residency to epidemiology, and in 1996 I got my degree as a

3 specialist in Banja Luka. Then, I took a post-graduate course in Banja

4 Luka. I completed my first year of post-graduate studies. And due to

5 what happened then, I did not continue my post-graduate studies.

6 I can say that I am the first physician in Samac who started with

7 chemodialysis who opened this process and introduced this at the Samac

8 Medical Centre for Chemodialysis.

9 Q. You mentioned epidemiology as your specialist training, and this

10 was practically during the time of war?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. What was the reason for you to opt for that field of medicine?

13 A. Because I could deal with that theoretically to a large extent and

14 I didn't have to get that much practical training, because I didn't have

15 enough time to spend at clinical facilities. That meant that I would have

16 to leave town for several years and so on to go to a larger medical

17 centre.

18 Q. This field of medicine, epidemiology, was it of relevance to the

19 town, for example, during the war operations, in terms of providing better

20 healthcare to the population? Please just answer -- just wait --

21 A. It can be said that it is logical for that to be the most

22 important field of medicine in a time of war, in addition to war surgery,

23 of course.

24 Q. You also mentioned this centre for dialysis at the medical centre

25 in Samac.

Page 12182

1 JUDGE WILLIAMS: [Microphone not activated].

2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

3 JUDGE WILLIAMS: [Microphone not activated] I think I have a

4 problem again.

5 Two days in a row, I don't have the button correctly adjusted.

6 Dr. Simic, I -- being that I'm not an expert medical person, I

7 wonder whether you could tell me exactly what epidemiology is and why it

8 would be important in a wartime armed conflict-type of situation.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Epidemiology is a science that

10 previously dealt only with the spread of contagious diseases. However,

11 today it also has to deal with the spread of non-contagious diseases. So

12 nutrition is a very important field, generally speaking. However, in a

13 situation of war, due to poor hygiene, contagious diseases are on the

14 rise. And therefore, it is the task of epidemiologists to propose

15 measures that curb the degree and control the spread of contagious

16 diseases, because then there is no electricity, there is no water, there

17 is poor nutrition, and so on and so forth, poor hygiene.

18 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.

19 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. You mentioned this centre for dialysis at the medical centre in

21 Samac. Please tell us now briefly, why was it necessary to establish the

22 centre for dialysis and what is -- what is it so particular about that

23 region where you lived?

24 A. In the valley of Sava -- or rather, the Sava Valley all the way

25 down to the Black Sea, that area is known for endemic kidney diseases,

Page 12183

1 nephropathy, which leads to deterioration of kidneys. And since this is

2 an endemic area, and we are within that area, we had to open a centre for

3 dialysis in order to treat chronic kidney patients. Their natural kidneys

4 stopped functioning and then they have to use artificial ones. It enables

5 them to extend their life for some ten years. And after chemodialysis

6 becomes impossible, then they can proceed to transplantation of kidneys

7 providing that that surgery is successful, they continue with a normal

8 life. And if it fails, then they have to go back to dialysis. So this is

9 a method that cleans the blood. It's called an artificial kidney.

10 Q. Now, tell me, please, during war operations in Samac, did this

11 centre continue to operate?

12 A. Yes, it did throughout the war, and it provided services to all

13 patients with kidney problems residing in Samac.

14 Q. When you say "all patients residing in Samac," do you mean

15 regardless of their ethnic or religious background?

16 A. Yes, that's correct.

17 Q. Now, tell me, please, when did you complete your military service?

18 A. In 1985 and 1986.

19 Q. In which branch of service did you serve in the army?

20 A. In the medical corps.

21 Q. And upon completing your military service, you became a member of

22 the reserve forces, didn't you?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Can you tell me what reserve forces were you a member of.

25 A. Medical corps within the Territorial Defence in Samac

Page 12184

1 municipality. I think that I was listed there as head of the medical

2 corps.

3 Q. Did you from time to time also perform certain -- did you

4 participate in certain military training, as was mandated by the law?

5 A. Yes. There were regular trainings, and they existed within the

6 framework of National Defence and Territorial Defence.

7 Q. Who was the commander of the unit that you belonged to?

8 A. Ivo Dragicevic was the commander. He was the Chief of Staff of

9 Territorial Defence.

10 Q. How long did he stay in that position?

11 A. Until the -- until he was forcibly removed, until the 16th of

12 April, 1992. He's Croat by ethnicity.

13 Q. Can you please explain what you mean by "forcible removal." Who

14 removed him forcibly?

15 A. He was removed by the coalition of the HDZ and SDA. The

16 then-president or mayor of municipality issued an order that he be

17 removed, and that was done without the consent of Serb representatives,

18 assemblymen, and other official organs of the municipality.

19 Q. Since something was not recorded in the transcript -- you

20 mentioned the name of the president of the municipality.

21 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous translation continues] ... [In English]

22 Just a kind of intervention and suggestion to the Translation Unit. If we

23 are speaking of the chairman of the municipal assembly, that sense is

24 rather different than the term "mayor" -- "mayor of municipality," which

25 you can find, for example, on page 9, line 19. So for the sake of

Page 12185

1 clarity, in the future the proper and correct translation of what

2 Dr. Simic just said was president of municipal assembly or chairman of

3 municipal assembly, et cetera, but it's not mayor, because that's a

4 completely different term. Thank you.

5 Q. [Interpretation] Now, please tell me, Dr. Simic, you mentioned the

6 name of the president of the municipal assembly of Bosanski Samac. What

7 was it?

8 A. Mato Novic -- Mato Nujic. N-u-i-c [as interpreted]. That's

9 right.

10 Q. What was his ethnic background?

11 A. He was a Croat.

12 Q. In view of the fact that at the time a coalition existed, a

13 multi-party coalition, can you tell us what party did the president of the

14 municipal assembly come from?

15 A. I wouldn't call it a coalition. It was more of a partnership that

16 existed between the parties. At the time Mato Nujic, a member of the HDZ,

17 was president of the municipal assembly.

18 Q. Now, since the name of Ivo Kobas was mentioned as well with

19 respect to Territorial Defence --

20 A. No, it was Ivo Dragicevic.

21 Q. And as I took it, he, without applying appropriate legislative

22 procedure, was removed from office.

23 A. Yes, that's right, together with his entire cabinet.

24 Q. Now, instead of those people who then were in the TO staff, who

25 replaced them?

Page 12186

1 A. The SDA and HDZ put their people into office, into TO staff, and

2 they also appointed head of Territorial Defence staff. And then

3 afterwards, it wasn't the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina

4 any more; it was the Territorial Defence of SDA and HDZ. A member of HDZ

5 was appointed head of -- Chief of Staff, and Alija Fitozovic was appointed

6 his deputy.

7 Q. Now, let us go back to the time when you completed your military

8 service and when you started working as a physician. When did you start

9 working as a physician in medical centre in Samac?

10 A. Immediately upon graduation, in 1984.

11 Q. And what was your exact title at the medical centre in Samac when

12 you started working?

13 A. I was head of emergency and general services and ambulances.

14 Q. Can you tell me who was director of medical centre in Samac at the

15 time.

16 A. Mesud Nogic.

17 Q. I suppose that similar to other institutions the medical centre

18 had multi-ethnic staff, didn't it?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And Dr. Nogic, by ethnicity, is what?

21 A. He's a Muslim.

22 Q. And what kind of relationship did you have with Dr. Nogic, both

23 professionally and personally?

24 A. They were correct.

25 Q. Is Dr. Nogic still employed at the medical centre in Samac?

Page 12187

1 A. I don't believe he is any more. However, I think that he still

2 resides in Samac and that he brought his family back to Samac.

3 Q. And until what time did Dr. Nogic remain in the medical centre in

4 Samac as a physician and as an executive? Until what year?

5 A. I couldn't tell you exactly, but he remained director of medical

6 centre for quite a while after the war started, until sometime in 1993, I

7 believe. I could be wrong, but I think that's how it is.

8 Q. So even during war operations, Dr. Nogic continued working in

9 medical centre in Samac.

10 A. Yes. He was director there.

11 Q. I suppose that Samac, just like Bosnia itself, is a multi-ethnic

12 area that nurtured the spirit of ethnic tolerance throughout the time?

13 A. Yes, just like the entire Yugoslavia did.

14 Q. During your youth, while at school, I assume that you had friends

15 among all ethnic groups.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And what was your relationship with your peers from other ethnic

18 groups?

19 A. Very proper, which later led to me choosing a Muslim for a best

20 man at my wedding.

21 Q. But unfortunately after the break-up of Yugoslavia, I assume that

22 tensions started growing in Samac, just like elsewhere in the former

23 Yugoslavia. Please tell me, when was it that you noticed for the first

24 time that up until then tolerant and proper inter-ethnic and neighbourly

25 relations started deteriorating and changing? What was your personal

Page 12188

1 impression regarding all that?

2 A. Well, all of that was initiated in the centres, in large urban

3 centres, Sarajevo, Zagreb, Belgrade perhaps as well, and then it spread to

4 the provinces, elsewhere. With the break-up of Yugoslavia, once the

5 republic started seceding -- and up until then we believed that to be

6 impossible, we believed that it was impossible for somebody to break apart

7 a state that existed for a hundred years, where everybody lived together,

8 went to school together and felt comfortable in. And this led to greater

9 polarisation.

10 And at the time, it was believed that people separated into two

11 groups: Patriots and those who favoured separatism. Patriots wanted to

12 preserve Yugoslavia, and separatists wanted to break it apart. And

13 depending on the method of preserving or breaking apart Yugoslavia, that

14 influenced the events in the field. If the method of break-up was

15 favoured, then that denied the constitution, the system of National

16 Defence, the JNA, and that also basically went against everything that was

17 joint. However, if the system of preserving Yugoslavia was favoured, then

18 people -- then people acted different. There were referendums.

19 There was support expressed to the Yugoslav People's Army and so

20 on. And this spread from the centres to local areas. And in view of the

21 fact that the front was quite near, tensions grew and this in turn led to

22 further polarisation. The war started first in Slovenia, then in Croatia,

23 and then there was a front line some 20 kilometres away in Vukovar. We

24 could hear the combat going on daily. All of this had repercussions in

25 the area of north-western Bosnia. There were refugees streaming in from

Page 12189

1 all ethnic groups. There were soldiers coming to this area. And then the

2 exchanges started between the Yugoslav side and the Croatian side. And

3 all of this frequently went through the territory of the municipality of

4 Bosanski Samac.

5 Q. Doctor, I will interrupt you here and we will come back to that

6 later.

7 You as a young man got involved in politics. You're an educated

8 man, you've read a lot, and so on, so I will put this question to you:

9 You now described patriots to us and those who favoured separatism, and

10 you spoke about one group that wanted their own independent state, and

11 there was another group that wanted to preserve a federal state. And as I

12 said, you read a lot and were involved in politics at the time. Can you

13 tell us whether you can draw any parallels in relation to Northern Ireland

14 in that respect.

15 A. Yes. There probably are some similarities, however, I'm not an

16 expert and I would not like to go into that now.

17 Q. Let's go back to the atmosphere that you described in Samac. I am

18 specifically interested in the following, since you spoke about this in

19 considerable detail: I am now interested in your personal knowledge and

20 your experience about that period in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Samac, that is

21 to say, 1990. As we know, in 1990 in Bosnia-Herzegovina the first

22 multi-party elections were held. Is that right?

23 A. Yes. The first democratic multi-party elections.

24 Q. Why were these elections different from the previous elections?

25 A. Because it was the first time that we had political parties.

Page 12190

1 Q. So what was it like before?

2 A. Before that, for 50 years we had one party. That is to say, that

3 we did not have a multi-party system. That was the League of Communists,

4 for 50 years.

5 Q. Just one suggestion: I have a feeling that the interpreters have

6 a problem. Slow -- speak slower, please. I know that you and I speak the

7 same language, but I think that for the same of the transcript it is

8 important for you to speak calmly, slowly, so that the transcript will

9 make sense. You have time. Thank you.

10 So in 1990, if my math doesn't fail me, you were 30 years old. Is

11 that right?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Before 1990, were you engaged in any kind of political work?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Were you engaged politically in Communist groups, companies,

16 whatever? Please wait for five seconds before you give an answer.

17 A. I did not have any political experience. I was not involved in

18 any kind of political work. However, from 1985 I was a member of the

19 League of Communists, until 1989.

20 Q. Tell me, at that time could a person take up any kind of major

21 position, say, in a company, if he or she was not a member of the

22 Communist Party?

23 A. It would be with great difficulty, but there was no absolute rule.

24 Q. For example, if there were two doctors applying for the same

25 position -- of course, I don't want to generalise, but, say, on the basis

Page 12191

1 of your own experience -- with the same grades from university university,

2 et cetera, et cetera, one is a member of the Communist Party, the is other

3 one is not. Which one would be admitted?

4 A. Advantage would be given to the one who is a member of the League

5 of Communists.

6 Q. Tell me, are you a believer?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Were you baptised?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Now, in 1990 you became a member of a party. Isn't that right?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Which party is that?

13 A. The Serb Democratic Party.

14 Q. Can you give an approximation in terms of time, not necessarily

15 the accurate date or month but, say, the time of year when you became a

16 member of the SDS?

17 A. The summer of 1990.

18 Q. This municipal board of the SDS, was it founded in Samac?

19 A. No. Later, yes. But it was established in Gornje Slatina,

20 St. Peter's Day in 1990.

21 Q. Gornje Slatina is near Samac, isn't it?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And who was among the founders of the SDS? Just give a few names

24 if you remember.

25 A. Dr. Stanko Pivasevic is one of the founders of the Serb Democratic

Page 12192

1 Party. And nowadays he is president in Samac of the municipal board of

2 the SDS. Then there was Stevo Tosic, Marko Tubakovic, et cetera. I was

3 not present. I entered a few months later.

4 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours, please, I'm just a bit confused by

5 this portion of the evidence. Is the witness saying that this was the

6 founding of the entire party within Bosnia or whether it was a local

7 founding of the party in that area? That might be of some assistance to

8 us.

9 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure Mr. Pantelic will --

10 MR. DI FAZIO: It's not quite clear on that point.

11 JUDGE MUMBA: Counsel will clarify that with --

12 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. There is quite precise explanations in page

13 16, line 20 and 21. But I would -- I could clarify that. No problem.

14 Q. [Interpretation] So let's clarify this for the Prosecutor and

15 ultimately for the transcript as well. The founding assembly for that

16 municipality was in Gornje Slatina. Is that right?

17 A. It was the founding assembly of the branch of the Serb Democratic

18 Party for the municipality of Bosanski Samac. It was associated with

19 Jovan Raskovic, because that is the period - this should be known - when

20 there were five democratic parties that were founded. They had different

21 leaderships. And these five Serb Democratic Parties exist until the

22 present day; they were never a single party.

23 Q. All right. You mentioned Dr. Jovan Raskovic. Is that the founder

24 of the SDS in Krajina, in Croatia?

25 A. Yes, that is the man who created, who invented the Serb Democratic

Page 12193

1 Party. It can be said that he was the first president of the Serb

2 Democratic Party, its founder and ideologue. He established his branches

3 in Krajina, in Bosnia, and in Serb.

4 Q. Very well. One way or the other, we are talking about a municipal

5 branch, about a municipal board of the SDS. Is that right?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Which was established in Gornje Slatina in 1990 on St. Peter's

8 Day. Is that right?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. We know which date this is, but could you please say which date it

11 is.

12 A. I don't know exactly. I just know it was St. Peter's Day, but I

13 don't know the exact date. It was the summer of 1990.

14 Q. So you were not one of the founders of this municipal board?

15 A. No.

16 Q. A few months later you entered the party?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. How? Did somebody approach you from this municipal leadership, or

19 was it that you made this decision in some other way? Could you explain

20 your motive. Could you explain to us why you joined the Serb Democratic

21 Party.

22 A. Dr. Stanko Pivasevic, who was the founder, talked to me - and he

23 is my younger colleague - and the idea was that they needed a man who

24 could win the election and who, together with other parties would create

25 relations of partnerships so that communism could be toppled after 50

Page 12194

1 years. The first idea, in terms of establishing the Serb Democratic Party

2 and the Croat Democratic Union and the SDA, was to topple communism.

3 Perhaps naively, perhaps not, I accepted to enter the Serb Democratic

4 Party, and they put me at the head of the list for the first elections in

5 the municipality of Samac in 1990.

6 Q. All right. On that occasion did you acquaint yourself with the

7 programme orientation or, rather, the contents of certain party principles

8 of the SDS?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Please, always pause before answering my question. Pause for a

11 few seconds. Because we have to have the question finished. We have to

12 give the interpreters the opportunity to interpret that so that the Trial

13 Chamber can hear this and the Prosecution. And it is only then that you

14 should answer. Please. I know that you have greatly been looking forward

15 to this moment so that you can give your views in respect of all of this

16 after one year of trial, but as you have heard, the Trial Chamber has been

17 very fair and you will have enough time to present everything. So please.

18 I'm asking you the following now: In which way and how did you

19 acquaint yourself with the programme orientation of the SDS in 1990?

20 A. The programme orientation was brought to me -- no, it wasn't the

21 programme orientation that was brought to me. It was the programme of the

22 SDS that was brought to me. And it was published in all newspapers as,

23 all newspapers that were published then. And there was also a separate

24 bulletin in Bosnia-Herzegovina that published the programmes of all the

25 parties that participated in these first elections.

Page 12195

1 The programme of the Serb Democratic Party was, as the name itself

2 says, was democracy; the preservation of Yugoslavia; the preservation of

3 the unity of Bosnia-Herzegovina; the preservation of Bosnia-Herzegovina

4 within Yugoslavia; respect for the Yugoslav People's Army as the only

5 legitimate and legal force; respect for laws and the constitution of

6 Yugoslavia and the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina; private ownership,

7 because until then private ownership was very scant, barely existent --

8 private ownership over means of production, until then, that was not the

9 case there was barely any; and denationalisation. That means returning

10 property to their former owners. All the property that was taken away

11 from them when the League of Communists came to head the country in 1945.

12 At that time factories, land, houses, other facilities were

13 nationalised and everything that constituted private property. There was

14 a nationalisation that was carried out, and we advocated

15 denationalisation, that is to say, the return of such property.

16 Q. All right.

17 A. And -- and anti-communism was present as well.

18 Q. So as a young man and as a professional, you found yourself in all

19 of this, in this programme?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. So you headed the election list for the municipal assembly of

22 Bosanski Samac in 1990. Is that right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. From a few testimonies, we've already heard quite a few details

25 and we've also looked at Official Gazettes. We're not going to go into

Page 12196

1 all of those details now. But tell me briefly - if you remember, of

2 course - what was the outcome of these multi-party elections at local

3 level in Bosanski Samac in 1990?

4 A. The national parties won a convincing victory. The list of the

5 Serb Democratic Party won almost 98 per cent of the vote, of the Serb

6 vote, that is. The Croat Democratic Union, the HDZ, won a convincing

7 victory among the Croatian population, while the SDA in Samac had a very

8 poor result because the Muslims in Samac primarily voted for the reformed

9 Communist, the SDP, and also for the reformists. So the SDA in Samac did

10 not fair well at all at these first multi-party elections. They won only

11 two seats in the municipal assembly, in the municipal parliament; they did

12 very badly.

13 Q. Tell me, and what was the situation at republican level, for the

14 republican parliament? What was the outcome there?

15 A. Approximately that's the way it was in almost all municipalities.

16 So in the republican parliament, the majority of seats was won precisely

17 by the national parties, the SDA, the SDS, and the HDZ. Very few seats

18 were won by the reformed Communists, by the reformists, by the Liberals,

19 et cetera, the SPO, also.

20 Q. What is this party the SPO?

21 A. That is the Serbian Renewal Movement. It was the second or third

22 largest party, headed by Vuk Draskovic, and he managed to win one seat in

23 the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina during these first multi-party

24 elections.

25 Q. All right. One way or the other, at municipal level after these

Page 12197

1 elections, how were the municipal authorities established and among which

2 parties?

3 A. Everything that happened at municipal level was reflected from

4 Sarajevo; that was a reflection from what was going on in Sarajevo. So

5 the leaderships of the SDA, the HDZ, and the SDS agreed to have relations

6 of partnership, not coalition but relations of partnership for a division

7 of power, which then was supposed to constitute the first non-Communist

8 government after 50 years. Agreement was to share power among the three

9 national parties according to the criteria that they established, and then

10 it depended on the number of seats won in each municipality by one party

11 or the other or the third national party. But one of the principles was

12 that if one party would get the post of the president of the municipal

13 assembly, then the other party would get the office of prime minister of

14 that government, head of the municipal government. And that is how these

15 posts were rotated.

16 So when this agreement was reached, then the municipal parliament

17 was constituted and then there would be a secret ballot on the basis of

18 the rules of procedure of the municipal assembly of Bosanski Samac. And

19 at the proposal of the commission for proposals, namely, the proposals of

20 the national parties, because the national parties established their clubs

21 of MPs in the Municipal Assemblies.

22 In the republican parliament, there was the Club of Deputies of

23 members of parliament as well.

24 Q. Very well. Did I understand you well when you said that this

25 principle of rotation of posts in this partnership -- was the power

Page 12198

1 basically divided according to a certain principle?

2 A. Yes. According to a principle established among the parties.

3 Q. Yes. But this principle of key or of quotas was present in

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina anyway, precisely because there are three constituent

5 peoples there in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

6 A. The concept of key was introduced by the League of Communists, and

7 based on that principle, in Bosnia-Herzegovina all offices were shared

8 between the members of these three peoples. So in one term, president of

9 municipality would be a Serb; in the next term, he would be a Croat; and

10 in the third term, he would be a Muslim; and then we would come back to

11 the beginning of this rotation, so that interests of all three peoples

12 would be satisfied at all times.

13 Q. All right. Now, tell me, please, after the 1990 elections at the

14 local level, who started inter-party negotiations concerning the

15 organisation of government? Maybe you've already mentioned, but let us

16 say again. These three parties, the SDS, the HDZ, and the SDA, did they

17 have certain instructions coming from the republican level as to how the

18 government should be set up?

19 A. Those were not really instructions, directions; they were more in

20 the nature of recommendations as to how should the power be shared. And

21 it was addressed to all three parties at the municipal level, and we

22 upheld this recommendation in Bosanski Samac municipality. The clubs of

23 MPs decided about the division of power among themselves. We had a vote

24 and agreed that the president of municipalities should be a member of HDZ,

25 Mato Nujic; vice-president on a voluntary basis of municipal assembly was

Page 12199

1 me; president of the executive council, which means head of the executive

2 government at the municipal level, was Mirko Jovanovic, who described

3 himself as a member of the SDS. However, I never saw his membership

4 booklet, nor did I ask to see it. And his vice-president came from the

5 SDA, and his name was Izet Izetbegovic. And then within the executive

6 branch, the Secretary for Construction came from the HDZ; the Secretary

7 for People's Affairs was a candidate proposed by the SDS, Milos

8 Bogdanovic, who was not a member of the SDS; and then the Secretary of

9 Internal Revenue was Mirko Lukic, who was again nominated by the SDS,

10 although he was not a member of that party, and so on and so on.

11 One of the posts that had to be agreed between the parties was

12 also the Chief of Staff of Territorial Defence, and that post was awarded

13 to the SDS, because in the past that post was held by a Croat, Ivo

14 Dragicevic. And we didn't ask that he be replaced. We supported his

15 appointment as commander of the Territorial Defence in 1990, and he had

16 our support all the way until the beginning of the war.

17 I haven't finished yet. And as regards the chief of police in

18 Bosanski Samac, that office was awarded to HDZ -- or rather, they

19 appointed Ivo Dragicevic head of police. He was a Croat. And Ivo Kobas

20 was commander of the TO staff. So I made a mistake. I got them confused.

21 And I would like to set this clear now. Ivo Dragicevic, although he was

22 a member of the HDZ had the support of the SDS; however, before the war

23 broke out, he was forcibly removed from office and that office was taken

24 over by Dragan Lukac forcibly, who became chief of police then, who

25 testified in this court.

Page 12200

1 Q. All right. These are all political issues, but they --

2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic.

3 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.

4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Dr. Simic, you used the word "forcibly" in terms

5 of the removal of the one person, Mr. Dragicevic, and then you used the

6 word "forcibly" again in terms of the office being taken over by

7 Mr. Dragan Lukac. Could you just explain very briefly what you mean by

8 "forcibly" in those two circumstances.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As regards every executive post

10 within the municipality, head of police was a political appointee who had

11 professionals working under him. So he was a political appointee and then

12 professionals performed various duties. And parties wanted Ivo Dragicevic

13 to take that office, and without party's approval no executive can be

14 removed from office. Sometime around 12th of April, and perhaps even

15 earlier, the leadership of SDA and SDS [as interpreted] coalition started

16 persecuting Ivo Dragicevic and appointed Dragan Lukac to the office

17 without consent of the third party. And at that time that represented

18 forcible takeover of the police station, because Dragan Lukac did not have

19 a consent from the Serbian side to take that office.

20 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.

21 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. Let's just make a correction and to remind you. Were you, in

23 fact, referring to Vinko Dragicevic?

24 A. Yes, that's right. Vinko Dragicevic. I apologise.

25 Q. All right. In order to set the transcript clear, let's put it

Page 12201

1 this way: Mr. Vinko Dragicevic, a Croat by ethnicity, was head of

2 municipal SUP, wasn't he?

3 A. Yes, that's right.

4 Q. Mr. Ivo Kobas, a Croat by ethnicity, was commander of TO staff.

5 Is that right?

6 A. Yes.

7 MR. PANTELIC: It's just clarification for the transcript so that

8 we have proper names and titles here.

9 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, perhaps to assist

10 Mr. Pantelic, I wonder if he could look at line 17 from page 25. Did the

11 witness mean to say that around the 12th of April, the leadership of the

12 SDA and SDS started persecuting Ivo Dragicevic and appointed Dragan Lukac

13 to the office?

14 MR. PANTELIC: I'm grateful to my learned friend, although in

15 politics everything is possible, you know, so that this combination too.

16 But I will clarify that.

17 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Simic, there's an error in the transcript, so

18 let's clarify that as well. You spoke about the time period around the

19 12th of April, prior to the breakout of hostilities in Samac. Which two

20 parties basically in an illegal way, in contrary to the municipal statute,

21 put Dragan Lukac into the office?

22 A. It was the coalition of the SDA and HDZ. Thank you for your

23 assistance.

24 Q. All right. So there were certain principles that were set out.

25 The SDS, the HDZ, and the SDA had a sort of a local agreement regarding

Page 12202

1 the distribution of posts. Is that right?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And this inter-party agreement, was it basically founded on a

4 consensus?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. In reality, does that mean that when one party has a candidate for

7 a post in the municipal administration and a third party is against that

8 nominee, that that person cannot be appointed? Is that right?

9 A. Yes, it's right.

10 Q. Therefore, in April of 1992 there were at least two examples where

11 that inter-party agreement was violated at a municipal level in Bosanski

12 Samac. Is that right?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. You mentioned that you held the post of vice-president of

15 municipal assembly as a volunteer. Please tell me, what was the scope of

16 your responsibilities, and what did you do as vice-president of the

17 municipal assembly in Bosanski Samac?

18 A. I did this on a voluntary basis, meaning that I did not have an

19 office in the municipal assembly building, since in 1991 I worked in

20 Doboj, which is 70 kilometres from Samac, I was attending a residency

21 training there. And in 1992 I worked in Tuzla, which is some 100

22 kilometres away. Due to my professional responsibilities, I seldom found

23 time to come to the municipal assembly and acquaint myself with what was

24 going on there regularly. However, there was no need for that at all

25 because I had no duties other than being an assemblyman in the assembly

Page 12203

1 because representatives of Serb people were in various committees and

2 secretariats, and they were able to duly represent their electorate.

3 Q. Can you tell us who was the member of the municipal board of SDS

4 in 1990?

5 A. In 1990 it was Stevo Tosic and Dr. Stanko Pivasevic; both of them

6 held that post. And in 1991, I was elected to that post, namely,

7 president of the municipal board of the SDS.

8 Q. When was that in 1991?

9 A. I can't give you the exact date.

10 Q. I'm not asking you about the exact date, just what season it was.

11 Summer? Fall?

12 A. I think it was fall of 1991.

13 Q. While performing your volunteer duties as vice-president of the

14 municipal assembly, did you as an executive of the municipal assembly have

15 any perks? Did you have a limousine, a bodyguard, a driver? Did you have

16 any particular privileges that went with that office?

17 A. No, there were no benefits or privileges attached to that office.

18 I didn't have any.

19 Q. So basically you continued doing what you used to do before. You

20 continued living like you lived before, except that you, due to your

21 political activities, also were appointed to that post as well. Is that

22 right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Now, could you please briefly explain to us this: After the

25 municipal assembly was established in 1990 between the three parties -

Page 12204

1 HDZ, SDA, and SDS - an agreement was reached between them and then

2 sessions of the municipal assembly were held. Can you tell us something

3 about those sessions. Who prepared the agenda? Who prepared material

4 that was to be analysed at a session and so on? Can you please describe

5 what a typical session looked like. How was everything prepared for it?

6 Can you just give us an idea as to how that looked at a municipal level.

7 A. President of the assembly would convene a session and send out

8 agenda and material for that session. The work of the assembly was

9 regulated by the statute of the municipal assembly, and the municipal

10 assembly at the time and later on as well had very few authorities, mostly

11 those that had to do with infrastructure, utilities, and so on. Whereas,

12 everything else boiled down to just formal reports, and I will explain

13 what I mean by this.

14 The municipal assembly was not allowed to interfere into affairs

15 of the Ministry of the Interior because there was a government at

16 republican level and there was a Minister of Defence at that level, which

17 regulated these affairs. The municipal assembly was not allowed to

18 interfere in financial matters and revenue administration because at the

19 republican level there was a Minister of Finance, who through municipal

20 offices and financial police regulated all of these matters. So the

21 entire financial sector was the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

22 Healthcare was regulated by the Minister for Health. Primary and

23 secondary health services were organised by him as well; meaning that he

24 organised medical centres, hospital, the healthcare network as well. The

25 financing for the healthcare services was performed at the republican

Page 12205

1 level.

2 Education was organised and controlled by the Minister of

3 Education. He appointed principals in schools. He paid out salaries for

4 staff. He organised schools, faculties, kindergartens, and so on, so this

5 area was organised by the ministry at the republican level as well.

6 Agriculture, which is one of the most important spheres in

7 Posavina was regulated by the Minister of Agriculture. Waterworks --

8 there are two rivers in our area -- were regulated by the Minister for

9 Waterworks. Forestry, once again, was regulated by the Minister for

10 Forestry. The economy was regulated by the Minister for Economy. So

11 there was basically not a single sphere that wasn't covered by government

12 at the republican level, and therefore the scope of responsibilities of

13 municipal assembly was very narrow.

14 Q. However, I'm interested in what a session of the municipal

15 assembly looked like. First of all, tell me what -- you say that the

16 president of the municipal assembly sends the agenda, et cetera, et

17 cetera. Now I'm asking you who in the municipal assembly prepares

18 materials, drafts decisions, various documents, et cetera. Tell us about

19 the staff of the municipality.

20 A. These are the organs within which is the secretariat, and it takes

21 care of all the operative work. There is always a secretary employed

22 there who is a lawyer, and he always bears in mind the fact that these

23 decisions have to be in accordance with the law. It is almost always the

24 municipal government, the members of the municipal government, that

25 propose these bills and these documents to the assembly because the

Page 12206

1 assembly is the legislative branch of government and it needs to -- and

2 the executive needs to coordinate with the legislation so that it can

3 carry out its functions. Individual assemblymen can also propose the

4 agenda.

5 The agenda is first adopted by the municipal parliament. And if

6 it obtains a democratic majority, that is to say, 51 per cent, then that

7 particular agenda is adopted. Then there is a discussion, there are

8 answers, there are conclusions, and then the president of the municipal

9 assembly asks for a vote to be taken. The assemblymen say whether they

10 want to vote in public, that is to say, by raising their hands, or if they

11 want to have a secret ballot, and then voting is organised.

12 If a democratic majority is obtained, 51 per cent, then such a

13 decision is considered adopted. It is the organs - that is to say

14 secretariats - that write this out. Lawyers are there on the staff, and

15 it is their duty to have everything kept in accordance with the law. Then

16 they bring it to the president of the municipal assembly for his

17 signature. Then this decision is further channelled to the executive

18 authorities.

19 In the executive authorities, there are professionals. In every

20 secretariat there had to be highly educated professionals who were in

21 charge of bearing in mind in accordance with the law on the administration

22 whether every decision is lawful or not. If a decision is not lawful,

23 then it was returned to parliamentary procedure again, or they asked for

24 an opinion from the competent legal services. Legal people know this

25 better than I do, in which way this is done. And they were quite

Page 12207

1 literally in charge of having every decision of the municipal assembly

2 sufficiently lawful.

3 Q. Let us show this by way of an example. A certain municipal tax is

4 introduced. Now, in the municipal government, in the municipal executive

5 committee, which service, which staff, is in charge of drafting a proposal

6 on municipal tax?

7 A. In the situation of Samac - because this is a small municipality

8 and the administration was always kept at the lowest level possible - this

9 was done by the Secretary of the Economy. The proposal for this kind of

10 tax -- for example, companies were taxed. Then also outdoor cafes were

11 taxed. Then also the number of chairs in various cafes and restaurants

12 was taxed, and so on and so forth. This proposal of the Secretariat for

13 Economic Activities is put forth to the administration organs, and then

14 administration organs make a proposal to the assembly. If the assemblymen

15 agree that this decision can be passed, it is then returned to the

16 executive once again. They look at how lawful it is, and then the

17 decision is implemented.

18 Q. So the president of the municipal assembly is an office that is

19 not directly related to the preparation, analysis, and the adoption

20 procedure for certain documents from the domain of the activity of the

21 municipal assembly?

22 A. No.

23 Q. How often after 1990 in this multi-party parliament of the

24 Municipality of Bosanski Samac did you have sessions of the municipal

25 assembly, approximately?

Page 12208

1 A. Approximately once every two months.

2 Q. And during that same period of time, how often were sessions of

3 the executive council held?

4 A. Far more often. I think every seven days. Sometimes even more

5 often; sometimes even every day.

6 Q. Did the executive council have certain powers by way of adopting

7 certain decisions or regulations from its own provenance of work?

8 A. Yes, everything that is regulated by statute and law. However,

9 the municipal executive council was responsible to the parliament, but

10 according to certain enactments it also had its responsibilities towards

11 the republican government and the ministries. So there is this line

12 within the executive branch of government.

13 Q. The decisions of the executive council, were they also binding for

14 the population, or rather, various sectors of the society and economy?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Can we say that this is a kind of, conditionally speaking, in

17 order to give an illustration -- that this would perhaps be a kind of

18 by-law in the sense of a decree, decision, or conclusion?

19 A. At the municipal level these are already legal matters, and I

20 cannot say much about that. This is the municipal government, the

21 municipal authority. Everything is regulated by laws and decrees, and

22 they indeed have a broad scope for action within the municipal government.

23 Q. Tell me - we have a minute until the break - tell me, the way in

24 which the vote takes place in the municipal assembly, tell me, after how

25 many members of parliament were there in the municipal assembly?

Page 12209

1 A. I think about 40 assemblymen, but I'm not absolutely certain. Not

2 approximately, it was 40.

3 Q. A decision required a majority?

4 A. Yes, 21.

5 Q. Tell me, why did you, the SDS, not immediately make a coalition

6 with the Serb parties?

7 A. I wanted to correct myself first. At that time the municipal

8 parliament had 50 members, 50 assemblymen.

9 Q. I asked you why you did not form a coalition with Serb parties

10 immediately. The SDS, why didn't it do that, the SDS and other parties?

11 A. Parties cannot be divided into Serb parties and other parties. I

12 could only divide them into patriotic parties and some other parties.

13 However, relations of partnership between the national parties were

14 primarily based on anti-communism and agreement was reached between

15 these -- among these three parties to establish the first government after

16 50 years between and among the three parties.

17 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we take our break?

18 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Just last question before the

19 break. If you have another question, maybe --

20 JUDGE MUMBA: No. It's already 11.01. Think of the interpreters,

21 please. They need their break.


23 JUDGE MUMBA: We'll take our break and return at 11.30 hours.

24 --- Recess taken at 11.02 a.m.

25 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.

Page 12210

1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Examination-in-chief continues.

2 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honours.

3 Q. [Interpretation] So before the break we were talking about the

4 principles of work of the municipal assembly and how preparations are

5 carried out. We also discussed some aspects of political partnership

6 among the SDA, the HDZ, and the SDS at local level.

7 From the multi-party elections in 1990 onwards in the municipality

8 of Bosanski Samac until the autumn of 1991, how would you describe your

9 inter-party relations and the atmosphere in carrying out your political

10 duties, that is to say, among these three political parties, what is your

11 view regarding this?

12 A. I would like to explain what the real situation was in the

13 municipal parliament in 1990. That is to say, the municipal parliament

14 had 50 assemblymen; the HDZ had 21 MPs; the Serb Democratic Party 17; the

15 SDA [Realtime transcript read in error"17"] had 2; the Liberals had 1; the

16 Reformists had 4; and the Reform Communists had 5. I am mentioning all of

17 this so that I could show that the patriotic bloc, that is to say the bloc

18 that advocated Yugoslavia could have formed a government on its own,

19 without the HDZ and the SDA, because we had almost 30 assemblymen. So we

20 could vote in favour of any decision basically and we could appoint

21 officials from the SDS, the Liberal Party, the Reformist party, and the

22 Reform Communist Party only.

23 MR. LAZAREVIC: Intervention. It's on page 35, line 15. It has

24 the 17 had 2. It has no meaning, so I believe it was the SDA, but maybe

25 it should be corrected.

Page 12211

1 MR. PANTELIC: I will clarify that, Your Honour.


3 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. You said that the SDA had two members of parliament in the

5 municipal assembly. Is that correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Please proceed, Dr. Simic.

8 A. So we could have formed a government on our own, and the HDZ and

9 the SDA would not have had a single official in the municipality of Samac.

10 However, respecting our relations of partnership at republic level, we

11 made it possible for them to share power on a footing of equality with the

12 Serb Democratic Party, expecting this anti-Communist bloc to achieve some

13 results and that we would not destroy what was most important to us, and

14 that was the state.

15 However, the situation started changing as time went by. Some

16 witnesses spoke about this here as well. However, polarisation in the

17 municipal parliament between the HDZ and the SDA, as opposed to the

18 patriotic bloc, became ever-more pronounced. And when they could not

19 carry through decisions at the level of the municipal parliament, they did

20 not even convene any sessions, because it is the president of the assembly

21 that convenes the municipal parliament sessions. They made decisions on

22 their own. So inter alia, they themselves reached a decision on changing

23 the head of the staff of the Territorial Defence. On their own, they

24 passed a decision on changing the head of the Public Security Station and

25 so on.

Page 12212

1 Q. In 1991 the political situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina became

2 highly tense. The war in Croatia started. And bearing in mind the fact

3 that Bosanski Samac is on the banks of the Sava River, only about 50

4 metres away from Croatian territory, what did you personally notice during

5 the year of 1991 as regards transportation and also certain incidents in

6 Bosanski Samac? What were your personal observations?

7 A. I believe that the co-accused will speak to a greater extent about

8 this, but I can say that already in 1991 Serbs no longer crossed the

9 bridge in Samac and none of the Serbs went to Croatia any longer. From

10 Croatia though, every day Serb refugees were coming in en masse from all

11 parts of the Republic of Croatia, notably from the zone of war operations.

12 Q. Did you want to say something else?

13 A. In addition to that, there was traffic primarily between Croats

14 and Croats, and Muslims on the one hand and Croats on the other hand, or

15 Muslims and Croats together, but the Serbs could not use that bridge or

16 road in Croatia, not even for their private companies or did they dare go

17 on behalf of socially-owned companies.

18 Soldiers of the ZNG already started coming across; that's what the

19 Croatian army was called at the time. They were crossing in uniform and

20 with weapons. They appeared in the town of Samac. All of this gave rise

21 to tensions, major tensions among all three ethnic groups; among the Serb

22 people for the most part.

23 Then information was coming in that Croat volunteers were going to

24 the front line in Croatia en masse, that they were being trained there to

25 participate in the war, that they were obtaining uniforms and weapons,

Page 12213

1 that they were training officers, and that all of this is then returned to

2 the area of Posavina. Then information came in to the effect that all

3 Croat villages already have established units, their own units armed,

4 linked up with officers of their own, and then also people were talking in

5 town about this and then checkpoints were set up in Croat villages in the

6 territory of the municipality of Samac and throughout Posavina. So Serbs

7 could not longer go to Croat territory or could they cross through Croat

8 villages, absolutely not at nighttime.

9 Then also bunkers were cropping up like mushrooms at the

10 boundaries of all Croat villages. I saw this with my very own eyes. This

11 was particularly pronounced between Hasici and Kruskovo Polje. When the

12 inhabitants of Kruskovo Polje asked the inhabitants of Hasici: "Why are

13 you building bunkers that are so obvious, that are so striking" --

14 Q. Let me interrupt you.

15 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, could we have the Exhibit P9. This is

16 a map of Samac and surrounding villages, so that maybe Dr. Simic can show

17 us the exact positions.

18 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. Pantelic, which particular map would you

19 require?

20 MR. PANTELIC: I think A. A will be fine.

21 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you.

22 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. Could you please take the pointer. Not the felt pen but the metal

24 pointer.

25 MR. PANTELIC: The pointer.

Page 12214

1 JUDGE MUMBA: Is there a problem?

2 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. You don't have to mark this, but when you are telling us what you

4 saw, please just point to it with a pencil.

5 A. This is the area of Hasici, and it is around this village in the

6 direction of the Serbian villages that quite large bunkers were erected,

7 and these were visible from the road. Towards the end of 1991,

8 information arrived to the effect that the Croatian Community of Bosanska

9 Posavina had been established. It covered the territory of eight Bosnian

10 municipalities, and I cannot indicate this territory on this map. These

11 were Bosanski Brod, Derventa, Odzak, Modrica, Samac, Orasje, and Gradacac.

12 After this, tensions mounted even more because this resembled a

13 sort of state that wanted to annex itself to Croatia.

14 Q. Just a moment.

15 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous translation continues] ... Take P9A and

16 we could have Exhibit P12, which depicts the area of Posavina, so that we

17 could better follow the testimony.

18 Q. [Interpretation] Please continue. You were talking about the

19 Croatian Community of Bosanska Posavina. Could you please show us what

20 municipalities made up this community.

21 A. Bosanski Brod, Derventa, Modrica, Odzak, Samac, Orasje, and

22 Gradacac. This is the area that the Croats in Bosanska Posavina

23 considered to be theirs and which they wanted to annex to the Republic of

24 Croatia. In several conversations I had Mato Nujic told me this. He was

25 the president of the municipal assembly. And Filipovic, who was the

Page 12215

1 president of the Croatian Democratic Union --

2 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, the witness has --


4 MR. DI FAZIO: -- just gone some way to answering the query that

5 I'm about the raise. But I wonder if Mr. Pantelic could clarify whether

6 the position -- when the witness says "Croats in Bosanska Posavina

7 considered this area to be theirs," this Croatian municipality or

8 whatever, is the witness referring to a political programme on the part of

9 the HDZ? Is it his assessment of the general consensus amongst the Croat

10 population? Is it a certain group of Croats? Does he know specifically

11 when he says "Croats" who he's talking about in particular? That might be

12 of interest to the Chamber and certainly of interest to the Prosecution.

13 Thank you.


15 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Certainly my assumption is that

16 Dr. Simic will explain that, because he mentioned the president of HDZ,

17 Croatian party, in Samac as well as the president of municipal assembly,

18 also Croat. And probably during this conversation we shall hear more

19 about that. But I will direct the -- Dr. Simic towards that.


21 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.

22 Q. [Interpretation] Please continue, Dr. Simic, as regards these

23 meetings and what my learned friend has just asked.

24 A. These were conversations held in the office of the president of

25 the municipal assembly. He used to work in the health centre with me. He

Page 12216

1 was employed as a lawyer there, and he worked with my father as well, so

2 he had a paternal attitude toward me.

3 Q. Would you please tell us his name.

4 A. Mato Nujic. He treated me like a son. He was a lawyer and I was

5 a doctor, so I don't know enough about law, but he advised me or else he

6 tried to justify his actions. He told me that this was Croatian territory

7 and that they had established the Croatian Community of Bosanska

8 Posavina. He also said that at the head of this community was Iko Stanic,

9 that its seat was in Derventa, that they had established their own army

10 which they then called the Croatian Defence Council, and that they

11 considered this to be sovereign territory of the Republic of Croatia.

12 I thought that this was an overambitious line of thinking of an

13 overambitious local politician and that something like this was

14 impossible. I thought it was impossible for Yugoslavia to break up. I

15 thought it was impossible for Bosnia and Herzegovina to break up, and I

16 thought it was especially impossible for a territory to be broken up into

17 such small local areas. However, in early 1992 everyday events showed

18 that their intentions were serious. Relatively soon in early 1992, the

19 Serb population were dismissed from their jobs in all these municipalities

20 and little by little they moved out. They moved to areas which they

21 believed to be safer, and many of them moved in the direction of the Samac

22 municipality.

23 In early 1992 the Serbian population of Orasje, Brod, Derventa,

24 and especially Odzak, where they were grouped in Serb local communes, many

25 of them no longer went to work. Then road blocks were set up, skirmishes

Page 12217

1 broke out. There were conflicts, and there was forcible takeover of

2 towns. Bosanski Brod was taken over, and the Serbs were expelled and made

3 to go to the Serbian part of the territory of Bosanski Brod. After this

4 part of the Croatian army crossed the River Sava and perpetrated the

5 massacre in Sijekovac, and this was on the territory of Bosanski Brod,

6 very close to Samac as the close flies.

7 Q. We'll come to this, doctor, but could you please indicate on the

8 map which is on the ELMO where Bosanski Brod is.

9 A. Here is Sijekovac and here is Samac.

10 The town of Bosanski Brod was taken over by the Muslim Croat

11 forces and the Serbian population was expelled from that area or else they

12 were imprisoned. After that the town of Derventa was taken over and there

13 were clashes there. In Odzak there was a large percentage of Croats, so

14 that there were no conflicts in the town. The Serbs simply didn't enter

15 the town any more. And as for the villages, in Orasje there was a large

16 percentage of Croats, so that the Serbs moved out of that town and crossed

17 over to the territory of the municipality of Samac, to Batkusa and

18 Obudovac. In Gradacac the Serbs also moved out and the town was taken

19 over by Croatian and Muslim forces.

20 Q. Dr. Simic, I have to interrupt you. This was in the spring of

21 1992, was it not?

22 A. Yes, yes.

23 Q. Well, let us go back to an earlier period of time chronologically,

24 and then we shall come back to this later, simply for the sake of a

25 logical narrative and in order to present the facts.

Page 12218

1 I wish to ask you specifically what your opinion was about the

2 atmosphere in Bosanski Samac itself. I'm speaking of late 1991 and early

3 1992. What was the relation between neighbours and friends? What were

4 their relations? Were there any ethnic divisions that were noticeable?

5 A. Unfortunately, tensions mounted daily. There was ethnic division,

6 and people were concentrated in Croatian or Serbian municipalities. From

7 day to day there was less and less confidence because some thought that

8 Yugoslavia should collapse, that there should no longer be a JNA, while

9 the patriotic side believed that Yugoslavia should survive, that a

10 political solution should be found, and that the JNA should be the only

11 army securing peace.

12 Q. Speaking of this, please tell us in late 1991 and early 1992, were

13 you called for military exercises as a JNA reservist?

14 A. Yes. Yes, I was. I was in the medical corps, and I was called

15 for exercises on a regular basis ever since I completed my army service.

16 I received call-up notes, and I responded every time there was an

17 exercise.

18 Q. In relation to the previous period, did you notice any changes in

19 the ethnic make-up of the reservists who responded to these calls for

20 exercises?

21 A. There were far fewer Croats now, and this was very noticeable.

22 The Muslims responded as they had before. One couldn't say that there

23 were no Muslims in the JNA and that they did not perform all the tasks

24 assigned to them.

25 Q. In early 1992, were you called up to the 4th JNA Detachment?

Page 12219

1 A. No.

2 Q. Were you ever a member of the 4th Detachment?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Let us go back to October 1991, when in the middle of that month

5 there were certain tensions and a serious split in the republican

6 parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina. What I would like to know now is what

7 you know about this personally, and later on I will put a few more

8 questions in connection with the impact of this event on political

9 developments and political relations on the local level in Bosanski

10 Samac. So in brief, what do you know about this?

11 A. I think that a great deal of us followed this on television. This

12 was a very difficult situation in which two people were -- two peoples

13 were outvoting the third nation. They were denying something that existed

14 for almost 100 years, and that was the state of Yugoslavia, and at the

15 same time trying to create something that never existed before, because

16 Bosnia and Herzegovina never existed as a state before, especially not

17 within those borders.

18 At the same time, they completely ignored the fact that there was

19 another nation living there from ancient times, perhaps a nation older

20 than any other nation with that status nowadays. So it was a very

21 difficult situation which led to a great many divisions on the ground and

22 provoked dissatisfaction among the population and at the same time led to

23 polarisation between patriots and separatists. I am using the term

24 "patriots" because it wasn't only the Serbs that wanted Yugoslavia to

25 remain intact, but there were also those from the category of Yugoslavs.

Page 12220

1 Then there were Jews, Romas, and a great deal of Muslims in Bosanski

2 Samac, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a portion of Croats who supported

3 Yugoslavia.

4 Q. At a local level in inter-party contacts in October and November

5 of 1991, what were you able to observe? Was your cooperation regarding

6 assembly affairs the same, or were there any changes there?

7 A. No. The atmosphere wasn't the same as before. People started

8 rooting for their causes. They commented on the issue of whether

9 Yugoslavia would continue to exist or not, on who would win in Croatia,

10 whether this army or that army would win in Vukovar, who had greater

11 casualties on a daily basis, was it this army or that army, and so on

12 people started splitting into two blocs and it was evident.

13 Q. [Microphone not activated]

14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.

15 MR. PANTELIC: I apologise.

16 Q. [Interpretation] At that time, were you able to notice any changes

17 in surrounding villages on the roads and so on?

18 A. Barricades, or rather, checkpoints were set up on the roads in all

19 Croat villages. Some unknown soldiers manned those checkpoints, wearing

20 insignia that wasn't familiar, and they also had a particular type of

21 conduct that wasn't known until then. Residents avoided those villages

22 and those checkpoints.

23 Q. I wouldn't like to go into historical topics, but do you have any

24 information and could you tell the Trial Chamber who held the power in

25 1941 in the territory of Bosanska Posavina, as well as during the Second

Page 12221

1 World War.

2 A. During the Second World War, this was -- this area was ruled by

3 Independent State of Croatia, NDH, Independent State of Croatia. It is a

4 well-known fact that during World War II they sided with Hitler and that

5 their units were called Ustasha units.

6 Q. Based on your daily contacts with people, could you tell us what

7 was their impression regarding the emergence of uniformed individuals,

8 barricades, checkpoints, and so on.

9 A. This reminded them of the Second World War, when Ustashas tried to

10 destroy the population en masse, and this took place some 70 -- or rather,

11 70 to 80 kilometres as the crow flies from Samac was a site where some

12 700.000 Serbs, Jews, and Romas were executed.

13 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic --

14 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yeah, the sufficient time does not include history,

16 which is not relevant to the issues in the indictment.

17 MR. PANTELIC: I agree, Your Honour --

18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yeah, it's to be cut down.

19 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. All right, Dr. Simic, I asked you a specific question: In 1991

21 can you please describe to us what was the predominant feeling among the

22 Serb residents. How did they feel about this increasing arming of the

23 other nations?

24 A. They felt threatened.

25 Q. All right. On the 9th and 10th of November, 1991, as far as we

Page 12222

1 know, a plebiscite of Serb people was held. Can you tell us what was the

2 purpose of this plebiscite and what was decided then.

3 A. The plebiscite of Serb people was held. Other nations also could

4 have participated. And the question that was to be decided was whether

5 they wanted to remain in Yugoslavia or not. I have to say that in that

6 area in Serb local communes, Serbs in -- almost -- Serbs almost fully

7 voted in favour for remaining in Yugoslavia, whereas in the territory of

8 Bosanski Samac itself, the town, 75 to 80 per cent of all citizens who

9 voted, voted in favour of remaining in Yugoslavia.

10 Q. Can you tell me, please, in the beginning of January was there

11 something created in the Serb community in Samac?

12 A. The Serb assembly in Bosanski Samac was created at that time, and

13 then later on the Serb republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was proclaimed

14 in Sarajevo.

15 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, could you just bear with me for a

16 second. I have some notes from my colleague regarding the transcript.


18 [Defence counsel confer]

19 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. There is an error in the transcript, page 47,

20 line 9. It was not Serb assembly in Bosanski Samac that was created at

21 that time. It was the Serb assembly on a level of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

22 But I will clarify that for the transcript.

23 Q. [Interpretation] For the sake of the transcript, let's clarify

24 this. After the plebiscite in the beginning of January, you said that

25 something was created. Can you tell us again what.

Page 12223

1 A. On the 9th of January, 1992 the Serbian republic was created and

2 proclaimed, the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in fact. And

3 later on it was named Republika Srpska.

4 Q. And prior to that, what was established?

5 A. The people's assembly of the Serbian Republic.

6 Q. Was that at the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

7 A. [No interpretation]

8 Q. Now, tell us, please, how was the Serbian municipality of Bosanski

9 Samac in Peligecevo established at the end of February 1992? How did that

10 come about? And specifically --

11 JUDGE MUMBA: Before that answer, if you look at the transcript,

12 page 48, line 3, at 4 we haven't got the answer interpreted. Maybe he

13 wasn't clear enough.

14 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. I'm grateful for your

15 assistance.

16 Q. [Interpretation] I will repeat my question. So at the level of

17 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the People's Assembly of the Serb people was

18 created. Is that right?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. All right. We are now focussing on the end of February 1992.

21 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Mr. Pantelic.

22 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.

23 JUDGE LINDHOLM: What is meant by the expression "at the level of

24 Bosnia and Herzegovina"? What ...?

25 MR. PANTELIC: I will clarify that.

Page 12224

1 JUDGE LINDHOLM: I hope so.

2 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. We have to clarify the English expression, which doesn't seem to

4 be quite precise. Let me ask you this way: Was the People's Assembly of

5 the Serb people created for the territory of the entire

6 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

7 A. It was created for the territory of Republika Srpska.

8 Q. And in that decision on creating the People's Assembly of the Serb

9 nation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was defined that that organ was

10 associated with a certain territory.

11 A. Yes. I think it was defined in that way; however, this is a legal

12 issue, and I cannot go into that.

13 Q. Do you know about a certain recommendation of the People's

14 Assembly of the Serb People in Bosnia-Herzegovina on creating Serb

15 municipalities?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And now we are dealing with the end of February 1992. And can you

18 tell us, please, how was the Serb Municipality of Bosanski Samac in

19 Peligicevo created?

20 A. So first there was a plebiscite of Serb people held and the Serb

21 population voted in large numbers in favour of remaining in Yugoslavia.

22 After that a recommendation was adopted by the People's Assembly of Serb

23 People in Bosnia-Herzegovina to establish Serb municipalities on the basis

24 of the right to self-determination and secession. Following that, in all

25 Serb local communes in that area town meetings were held, as they were

Page 12225

1 called in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time. I'm not sure that that can be

2 translated.

3 Q. Well, perhaps you could elaborate on that.

4 A. All right. That means then residents of every local commune or

5 village would be called to gather, usually in culture halls, and a

6 proposal was presented to them and they were asked to vote on it.

7 Residents voted by raising their hands. The question they were asked was

8 whether you are in favour of remaining in Yugoslavia, and they would vote

9 in favour or against it. And then the second question put to them was

10 whether the citizens were in favour of creating Serb municipalities in

11 Serb areas, and they would have, again, to vote in favour or against it.

12 Based on their votes, in the territory of Posavina,

13 representatives of Serb local communes gathered and created Serb

14 municipality Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo in formation. They created

15 municipal assembly, elected executive council, appointed assemblymen who

16 participated in elections, and that parliament has existed since then and

17 exists even today with a certain change in territory, because later on

18 Pelagicevo was proclaimed a municipality, as was Srpsko Orasje, whereas

19 Odzak remained a different municipality, as did Vukosavlje.

20 Q. Can you tell us when was the founding session held of the Serb

21 municipality of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo and where.

22 A. It was held at the memorial centre in Bosanski Samac at the end of

23 February 1992. The exact date can be seen in the decision that was

24 adopted then.

25 Q. Who attended this founding assembly?

Page 12226

1 A. It was attended by Serb assemblymen who were elected at the first

2 parliamentary elections in 1990 from the municipalities of Bosanski Samac,

3 Odzak, Orasje, and Gradacac.

4 Q. And these Serb assemblymen, from which political parties did they

5 come from?

6 A. They came from the Serb Democratic Party, the Serbian Renewal

7 Movement, the SDP, the Liberals, the Party of the Reform Forces, and I

8 think that there were representatives of citizens who were not in any

9 party.

10 Q. On that occasion were rules of procedure for the work of this

11 assembly adopted?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. On that occasion was the president of the municipal assembly

14 elected?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Who was elected president?

17 A. As president of the first assembly, it was Ilija Ristic -

18 Dr. Ilija Ristic who was elected.

19 Q. Now we're going to look at this Official Gazette. You have these

20 decisions here, so we can deal with these questions more easily.

21 MR. PANTELIC: Madam Usher, Exhibit P124 and ter. This is the

22 Official Gazette of the Municipality of Samac, where a certain number of

23 decisions were published, including the general decision of the

24 foundation, establishment, of Serbian municipalities. So we can go

25 through.

Page 12227

1 Q. [Interpretation] Is that Official Gazette number 1, Dr. Simic? Do

2 you have number 1 in front of you?

3 A. Yes, yes.

4 Q. Very well. Let us look at page 4 of the B/C/S version. Please

5 take a look at the upper right-hand corner, number 4. Is that it?

6 A. Yes.

7 MR. PANTELIC: It's ERN number 00479560.

8 Q. [Interpretation] Very well. So tell me, Dr. Simic, who was then

9 elected vice-president of the assembly of the municipality?

10 A. Dusan Tanasic was elected. Dusan Tanasic, T-a-n-a-s-i-c.

11 Q. Please take a look at Article 8 of this decision on the

12 establishment of the municipal assembly.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Tell me, what would you have to say by way of comment with regard

15 to Article 8? Do you remember whether this was discussed and what the

16 objective was of adopting this kind of formulation? What did this pertain

17 to?

18 A. This pertained to the following: Everything that was being

19 established by the Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina can be withdrawn if

20 the decision on the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina is withdrawn. If,

21 on the other hand, there is no such decision, then the Serb people ask

22 that there is separation by peaceful means between the Serb territory and

23 other territories. Until such a moment when there would be this

24 separation, all officials in joint assemblies would remain at their posts.

25 Q. Will you be able to comment upon Article 9, in terms of the

Page 12228

1 technical aspect, as to how it was envisaged. For certain separations to

2 take place in a material, legal, and property sense.

3 A. This Article 9 is self-explanatory. It was envisaged that mixed

4 commissions be established, that there should be peaceful agreement, and

5 that these mixed commissions should do whatever was supposed to be done by

6 way of documents and everything else that both sides were interested in.

7 Q. At this gathering, was there any mention of a forcible takeover of

8 power, any armed actions, or revenge against members of other ethnic

9 groups in Samac?

10 A. No. That was never discussed.

11 Q. Was the basic point of these mixed commissions an attempt by the

12 Serb and Muslim and Croat sides to divide by peaceful means the funds and

13 the material assets in this specific municipality of Bosanski Samac?

14 A. I do not understand your question.

15 Q. I'm interested in the principle governing these mixed

16 commissions. Who was supposed to be a member of these mixed commissions,

17 those mentioned in Article 9?

18 A. I am being asked to comment on Article 9. I'm not a lawyer, and I

19 did not write these decisions of the mixed commission. I assume that it

20 is the representatives of all three peoples.

21 Q. Article 6, can you comment on the objective of the adoption of

22 this Article 6 within this decision. If you recall, of course.

23 A. I would like legal people to comment on this.

24 Q. Tell me, on page 7 of that Official Gazette, you see the decision

25 on the election of members of the executive board.

Page 12229

1 MR. PANTELIC: The English version should be -- yes, ERN number

2 00479568.

3 Q. [Interpretation] This decision, as its title says, refers to the

4 election of members of the executive council. Tell me, since it was

5 adopted at the second session on the 28th of March, 1992 -- have you found

6 it?

7 A. Yes, yes.

8 Q. At this first founding meeting at the memorial centre towards the

9 end of February, do you remember was there any reference to the

10 establishment of an executive council, or was this just the founding

11 assembly?

12 A. What is most important and what happens at an assembly is written

13 down as conclusions and published in the Official Gazette. So now I can

14 only comment upon what is written in the Official Gazette.

15 Q. At that time, towards the end of February 1992, was any reference

16 made to annexation to some Serb autonomous region?

17 A. No.

18 Q. Tell me, were you elected vice-president of the Serb autonomous

19 area of Northern Bosnia towards the end of 1991?

20 A. I attended that meeting; however, I must say that this SAO

21 district, as far as I know, was not constituted at all, nor did it ever

22 function, nor did it ever pass any decisions. Nobody ever handed me a

23 decision stating that I was its vice-president. The municipality of Samac

24 did not adopt any decision either to the effect that it would belong to

25 any one of the SAO areas.

Page 12230

1 Q. As you say, this SAO Northern Bosnia practically never functioned.

2 A. To the best of my knowledge.

3 Q. What was the activity of the Serb Municipality of Bosanski Samac

4 in Pelagicevo after the founding assembly? Were there any sessions? Were

5 there any meetings? What do you know about this?

6 A. Well, the next session after February was held in March, and then

7 the one after that was held in March 1992, and the one after that was held

8 in December 1992.

9 Q. So practically from February --

10 A. March.

11 Q. February, from the end of February, when the founding assembly was

12 held, until March 1992, there were no assembly activities. Is that right?

13 A. There weren't any.

14 Q. So more or less this was a mere declaration, rather than an

15 effected decision?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Do you have a problem with translation that you see?

18 A. No. My answer had not been typed in yet.

19 Q. So what was the reaction of the other two constituent peoples in

20 Samac? I mean, on the basis of some of the personal contacts you had, in

21 respect of the establishment of the Serb municipality.

22 A. I think that the policy was unchanged. Regardless of the

23 consequences, the policy at local level of the HDZ and the SDA worked in

24 the direction of creating an independent state of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

25 That is to say, regardless of what the Serb people did and the extent to

Page 12231

1 which they protested and complained, they never deviated from the

2 establishment of an independent state.

3 Q. What is your personal knowledge regarding the activities of the

4 International Community, precisely at that time, in 1991, in December 1991

5 and January and February 1992, from the press or from some other

6 contacts? Are you aware of the Lisbon negotiations and a certain

7 agreement?

8 A. Yes. That time, the beginning of 1992 all the way up to the

9 summer of 1992, is a period of time when the Lisbon agreement was being

10 referred to as well as the Cutilheiro plan.

11 Q. Who did you discuss this with at the municipal level?

12 A. Well, at the outset this was published by all newspapers. It was

13 on TV. It was discussed among people at all levels. And this was a ray

14 of hope that we in Bosnia-Herzegovina would perhaps be smart and that

15 there would not be a war. The European Community worked rather

16 intensively on this plan, on the Lisbon agreement, and at that time it

17 represented a solution for all three peoples. We heard yesterday as well

18 that three years later the Dayton Agreement was signed, which differs very

19 little from the Lisbon Agreement.

20 Q. Dr. Simic, let us focus on your personal knowledge and on

21 testimony concerning the time that we are discussing, so that we would not

22 deviate from the line of testimony. What you referred to are generally

23 known facts, and we're going to leave that for some other

24 occasion. So now I'm asking you once again: Among the parties that

25 constituted the government at local level, the HDZ, the SDA, and the SDS,

Page 12232

1 was any reference made to the resolution of certain political tensions,

2 both at political level and beyond?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. How often and with who did you communicate for the most part? I

5 assume that you then, as the president of the municipal board of the SDS.

6 A. Physically I was absent, so I took part in these discussions to a

7 lesser extent. But the president of the executive council and other

8 assemblymen of the Serb Democratic Party had the opportunity of conducting

9 such talks.

10 Q. Where were you when you were physically absent?

11 A. I was doing my residency in Tuzla at the time, so that means this

12 is 1992.

13 Q. All right. But to a large extent your co-workers gave you

14 information as to what was going on. You were president of the municipal

15 board of the SDS, weren't you?

16 A. These were unofficial talks at micro level, and basically nothing

17 depended on that because the kind of agreement that is reached at top

18 level is usually transmitted to micro level. There was only one

19 inter-party discussion at an official level.

20 Q. At that time the president of the executive committee of the

21 Bosanski Samac municipality, which was established after the elections of

22 1990, was Mirko Jovanovic, was he not?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Do you have any knowledge and did he inform you of how cooperation

25 in his institution, the executive committee, was functioning in those

Page 12233

1 first few months of 1992?

2 A. He informed the entire municipal assembly and all the deputies.

3 There were very few personal contacts.

4 Q. Did he or did others who were active in the municipal organs of

5 this municipality at that time, did they draw your attention to certain

6 issues or problems or to tensions they were faced with in their work?

7 JUDGE MUMBA: Do you still need --

8 MR. PANTELIC: Oh, no. Thank you. Thank you. Sorry, Ms. Usher.

9 Sorry.

10 Q. [Interpretation] Tell us, did you find out from your colleagues or

11 friends anything about the way in which business was conducted, whether

12 there were any political tensions and what people thought and what your

13 personal observations were?

14 A. Individuals meant nothing at the time. Their work was made very

15 difficult, and starting from the 10th of April, they didn't even go to

16 work because they didn't feel safe. The undermining of their work took

17 place at all levels. The decisions they were supposed to be implementing

18 on the territory influenced by the HDZ and the SDA simply could not be

19 implemented. Then they stopped going to those areas at all. I am

20 referring to secretaries, inspectors, and so on.

21 Q. What inspectors?

22 A. The inspectors working in the municipalities, inspectors mostly of

23 the Internal Revenue Service.

24 Q. I assume there were no police inspectors employed in the

25 municipality?

Page 12234

1 A. No.

2 Q. At the second session of the Serb municipality of Samac and

3 Pelagicevo, on the 28th of March, 1992, certain members of the executive

4 council were elected. Do you remember this?

5 A. Yes. This is in the Official Gazette.

6 Q. Were you there?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Did you nominate Stevan Todorovic as chief of the Public Security

9 Station?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Who nominated him, if you remember?

12 A. He was nominated by Lazar Stanisic. But I think he was also

13 supported by Ilija Ristic, the then-president of the municipal assembly.

14 I can say that the Serb Democratic Party opposed Stevan Todorovic being

15 appointed to any post.

16 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.

17 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Mr. Pantelic, on page 58 and where you have an

18 answer, "Individuals meant nothing at the time," what does the --

19 Dr. Simic mean by "individuals"? It's a very diffused concept. Could you

20 clarify that.

21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Yes, Your Honour. I'll do that. By all

22 means.

23 Q. [Interpretation] Because of the way this was interpreted into

24 English, when you were asked as to whether your colleagues informed you of

25 their problems at work, you said this did not take place on an individual

Page 12235

1 level but through institutions. Could you explain this to Judge

2 Lindholm. Can you explain how this functioned at the local level in

3 relation to these various secretariats and people's posts and the

4 difficulties they had at work, who they informed of this and how all this

5 functioned while you were the deputy president of the municipal assembly

6 elected at the elections.

7 A. The president of the executive council chaired the meetings of the

8 executive council, and this was a body in which information was exchanged

9 among the members. Then the president of the executive council informed

10 the assembly, which numbered 50 assemblymen, and he presented his

11 impressions and suggestions to the assembly. If he wanted to inform the

12 party, he would come to the deputies club, the meeting of the deputies

13 club, when invited by a political party, and this took place in the

14 municipal assembly building. The Serb Democratic Party had 17

15 assemblymen, and then he would inform them of his impressions, his

16 conclusions, his suggestions, and so on and so forth.

17 MR. PANTELIC: The sense, Your Honour, was of -- of course that's

18 my understanding of the previous answer of Dr. Simic that individuals were

19 not in charge to do anything at the same time when the institutions were

20 there. That means that there were no private lines of professional work,

21 I mean, between one department of the -- one municipal functioner and

22 someone from the authorities of the municipality. It's, rather, a

23 relation between -- ex officio between the functioner in one department

24 and the next level, which is executive board or municipal assembly. That

25 was the sense of his explanation previously, if that satisfied your

Page 12236

1 inquiry. Thank you.

2 Q. [Interpretation] Let us go back to the assembly of the 28th of

3 March, 1992, when you said that the SDS opposed the appointment of

4 Stevan Todorovic as chief of the Public Security Station. I am a little

5 bit confused when you say that. Was he a member of the SDS?

6 A. The Serbian Democratic Party expelled him after the first

7 parliamentary elections. He was expelled from the party. He was not

8 allowed to participate on the list of candidates. And from that time, the

9 party did not count on him in any way whatsoever. The proposal, or

10 rather, the nominees of the Serb Democratic Party were professionals.

11 Pero Stevic, Milan Stankovic, Petrovic - I've forgotten his first name -

12 men like that, but not Stevan Todorovic.

13 Q. When the list was drawn up in 1992 for the local elections, was

14 there -- I won't call it a conflict, but were there any tensions between

15 you and Stevan Todorovic? Can you explain that?

16 A. That was one of my conditions. I said if I was at the head of the

17 list, he could not be in it because I knew him -- I had known him for a

18 certain time as a patient, and I didn't want him anywhere.

19 Q. How do you mean as a patient?

20 A. As an alcoholic, a drug addict, someone addicted to pills.

21 Q. Wait a minute. At this session of the 28th of March, what group

22 nominated him? Was this a fraction among the Serb deputies or

23 assemblymen? Were you outvoted? Did you remain in the minority? Can you

24 explain this process. How did this happen?

25 A. At the Serbian assembly there were 50 assemblymen from different

Page 12237

1 parties, and within the Serbian Democratic Party there were also various

2 groups. Whether interest groups or other factions, it was impossible to

3 have a unanimous opinion, so that some people insisted that it should be

4 him. And during the secret ballot, he was elected.

5 Q. Tell me, please, in the period during the first few months of

6 1992, did you continue to be the deputy president of the Bosanski Samac

7 Municipal Assembly elected in 1992?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Were there any sessions of this assembly in that composition?

10 A. Unfortunately, no, unless I've forgotten.

11 Q. And why not? Do you know?

12 A. Because the HDZ and the SDA did not have a parliamentary majority,

13 and they could not push through the decisions that suited them. That's

14 why the president never convened the assembly.

15 Q. How, then, did the executive council of that municipality elected

16 in 1992, where the vice-president was Izet Izetbegovic and where others

17 were in the municipal secretariats, how did it function? Do you know

18 that?

19 A. Well, it functioned with ever-greater difficulties throughout this

20 period.

21 Q. In this period, as the president of the SDS municipal committee or

22 board, did you together with the other Serb assemblymen or other circles

23 of people of Serb ethnicity draw up any plans about takeover of power in

24 Bosanski Samac? You personally, I mean.

25 A. No.

Page 12238

1 Q. Do you have any knowledge of any of your close associates from the

2 SDS or from the Serb Municipality of Bosanski Samac drawing up plans which

3 would include a takeover of power by forcible means in the Bosanski Samac

4 municipality?

5 A. No.

6 Q. Did you have any secret talks or relations with the JNA units that

7 were stationed in the territory?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Did you have any contacts or any plans with the Ministry of the

10 Interior of Serbia?

11 A. No.

12 Q. In those first few months of 1992, did you recruit your

13 acquaintances or certain young people as members of commando units?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Did you, together with Stevan Todorovic in these first few months

16 of 1992, have any meetings or talks about establishing a Serbian police in

17 Bosanski Samac?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Did you put forward any initiatives in connection with the

20 establishment of a Crisis Staff of the Serbian Municipality of Bosanski

21 Samac?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Can you explain briefly what your role was. First, explain to us

24 what the Crisis Staff was, in fact, on the basis of what you know, of

25 course.

Page 12239

1 A. The Crisis Staff is actually the municipal assembly under

2 conditions of war.

3 Q. In the previous period, during the former Yugoslavia, would there

4 have been a Crisis Staff at the local level and under what circumstances?

5 A. It was always established in times of crisis, when there was an

6 earthquake, a flood, a big fire, whenever there was any sort of emergency.

7 Q. And what in essence was the purpose of that body?

8 A. To get through the period until conditions were created for the

9 convening of the entire assembly. All decisions would then have to be

10 tabled before the entire assembly and re-adopted by it.

11 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honours, I think it's time for a break. And

12 then in the afternoon we shall start with another part of --

13 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. We shall have our lunch break and

14 continue our proceedings at 14.30 hours.

15 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.

16 --- On resuming at 2.32 p.m.

17 JUDGE MUMBA: Examination-in-chief is continuing with

18 Mr. Pantelic.

19 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.

20 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Simic, before the break we touched upon the

21 Crisis Staff. Now, please tell me, based on your information, how was the

22 Crisis Staff of the Serb Municipality of Bosanski Samac established?

23 A. After the founding -- after one of the sessions in March, it was

24 decided that should it be needed, a Crisis Staff should be established if

25 the war breaks out in the territory of Bosanska Posavina. President and

Page 12240

1 vice-president of municipality and the chairman of the municipal board of

2 SDS were tasked with implementing this. However, we believed that there

3 wouldn't be a war, and therefore we didn't do much in terms of making

4 consultations with respect to the Crisis Staff.

5 Then there was a meeting of the executive council of the Serb

6 Municipality of Bosanski Samac in Pelagicevo under formation was held, and

7 the situation was described as dramatic there. And based on that

8 information on the 14th and 15th of April, I believe, it was insisted that

9 a Crisis Staff should be established if there are any war operations in

10 the area. Possible appointees to the Crisis Staff were discussed, and its

11 general structure, however, the Crisis Staff itself was not established.

12 The war broke out on the 16th and 17th of April. We did not have

13 a Crisis Staff, nor did we have a stamp of the Crisis Staff. And

14 somewhere between the 17th and 19th of April, we had consultations with

15 assemblymen of the municipal assembly and -- with participation of the

16 people from the Ministry of Defence, because people had been mobilised and

17 they were sent to the front line, which was some 70 kilometres long. And

18 with consent of patriotic political parties, the Crisis Staff was

19 established.

20 Sometime around the 19th of April, Miroslav Tadic joined the

21 Crisis Staff - perhaps it was on the 20th of April - and he joined it as

22 the commander of the TO staff [as interpreted]. And I think that we could

23 take the 19th of April as the starting date for creation of the Crisis

24 Staff, and it went on working until mid-1992.

25 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, could I have just a second, because I

Page 12241

1 have one document to possibly tender into evidence, please.


3 MR. PANTELIC: For the benefit of my friends from the Prosecution,

4 this is our internal number -- it's a page for Crisis Staff for the month

5 of May --

6 JUDGE MUMBA: I see Mr. Lukic on his feet.

7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can see an error in

8 translation, page 65, line 23. The witness said that Miroslav Tadic

9 joined as the commander of the civil protection staff, whereas it says

10 here that he joined as commander of the TO staff. So I would like that

11 clarified, please.

12 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. When you mentioned Miroslav Tadic, Dr. Simic, you meant to say

14 that he was commander of civil protection. Is that right?

15 A. Yes.

16 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. For the benefit of my colleagues from the

17 Prosecution, it's our -- well, internal number KS1. It's a payroll list

18 for the month of May 1992. And maybe we could have some comments from the

19 witness.

20 Mr. Usher, please. This is the B/C/S version and English

21 translation.

22 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, we are wondering whether we could have

23 clarification. What is the difference between civil protection and the

24 Territorial Defence?

25 MR. PANTELIC: Well, I can -- I can --

Page 12242

1 JUDGE MUMBA: Ask the witness, please.

2 MR. PANTELIC: Clarify with the witness, yes.

3 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Simic, can you please, if you know, explain

4 the difference between the Territorial Defence and civil protection.

5 A. Both components are regulated by the law on National Defence.

6 Territorial Defence is a military component that is armed and takes part

7 in a war, whereas civilian protection consists mostly of retirees and

8 veterans, disabled veterans who are involved in solving various issues

9 within civilian protection, funerals, exhumation, protection of windows,

10 and so on and so forth. Miroslav Tadic would be able to explain this in

11 greater detail. All of this is regulated by the law on National Defence.

12 Q. Please take a look at the document in front of you.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Can you please tell me what is this document about.

15 A. This is a payroll list of the Crisis Staff for May of 1992.

16 Q. When you said that at that gathering of Serbian assemblymen and in

17 the presence of the members of the executive board of the SDS in that

18 municipality there was some talk about creating Crisis Staff, do you see

19 on this list the same people that were then at that occasion mentioned as

20 possible members of the Crisis Staff?

21 A. Yes. That mostly corresponds to that, yes.

22 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I wonder if Mr. Pantelic

23 would be interested in confirming whether or not this is an exhaustive and

24 complete list of the Crisis Staff, because that would be of use to the

25 Chamber, I submit.

Page 12243

1 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. That's also my intention. But first let me

2 correct the transcript. Page 67, line 18, I think it was not correct to

3 say that that was the executive board of SDS.

4 Q. [Interpretation] Please tell me: The meeting in which Serb

5 assemblymen participated, were members of the executive council of the

6 Serb municipality of Bosanski Samac present as well?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. So it wasn't the executive board of the SDS that you had in mind?

9 A. No.

10 Q. And once you recollect what took place during that meeting, and if

11 you compare that with this list, in April of 1992 when the Crisis Staff

12 started functioning, can you tell us did it have more members than we can

13 see listed here or what? Can you please give comment.

14 A. While we had our consultations, more people were proposed as

15 members. But later on, due to the war developments and so on, a number of

16 people couldn't join the Crisis Staff. And by this I mean first and

17 foremost Matan Asijovic [phoen] who was mobilised, then a possible

18 candidate mentioned was also Ilija Ristic, who did not participate later

19 on in the work of the Crisis Staff because he headed the veterinary

20 service. And there were other people involved in similar circumstances.

21 Q. And does this list in fact reflect the situation and the

22 membership of the Crisis Staff in April of 1992, when according to you it

23 started functioning?

24 A. Yes, it does.

25 Q. Can you tell us who manufactured the stamp of the Crisis Staff.

Page 12244

1 A. Administrative organs of the municipal assembly. Physically it

2 was manufactured by Marko Kuresevic.

3 Q. When was that?

4 A. It was between the 17th and 18th of April.

5 Q. I'm not going to go into details, but if you remember what did

6 that stamp look like? What text did it have?

7 A. In the middle it had four Cyrillic S's, and then it also had this

8 text on it: "Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo Under

9 Formation."

10 Q. If we take a look at the English version of this document, we'll

11 see that the copy is very bad. So could you please put your copy on the

12 ELMO so that we can see what this stamp looked like.

13 A. It is not very clear.

14 Q. But can you actually read what it says on that stamp.

15 A. It says here - at least the part that I can see - "the Executive

16 Council."

17 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic, page 69, line 11. I'm

18 sure there must be something a little incorrect there, because there is no

19 stamp on the English version. Just for the sake of the record.

20 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, yes, you are right. As I said, there is no

21 stamp on the English version, and my idea was just to check on the B/C/S

22 version.

23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes. No, I understand that, but at the moment it

24 looks as though there's a stamp on the English version, and it isn't very

25 clear, which doesn't make any sense.

Page 12245

1 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Yes, Your Honour. We shall take some steps

2 to maybe ask the assistance of the interpreters' unit.

3 Q. [Interpretation] Please tell me, why is there a stamp of the

4 executive council here on the left side if this is a payroll list.

5 A. Because the financial department was within the executive branch

6 of the government.

7 MR. PANTELIC: If there is no objection, I would like to tender

8 this document into evidence, Your Honours.

9 MR. DI FAZIO: No objection, if Your Honours please.

10 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Can we have it numbered, please.

11 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. This will be marked Defence

12 Exhibit 55/1, and that's for the English. And Defence Exhibit 55/1 ter

13 for the B/C/S.

14 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I make that clear though,

15 on the basis that there is no concession by the Prosecution on

16 authenticity at this stage, of course. I raised that point initially at

17 the pre-Defence case conference the other day, and I'll reiterate that

18 position.

19 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.

20 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. Pantelic, I have just a little question here.

21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.

22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I'd like to find out from Dr. Simic whether the

23 payments in dinars, being that I don't know the value of the dinar in

24 1992, whether the payment for the month of May, whether this reflects a

25 real salary of substance or whether it was more like an honorarium of some

Page 12246

1 description. So to have a sense of how much and, as I've said, was it a

2 real salary or some type of honorarium.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time the worth of this was

4 very low. I don't think one could pay a drink in a coffee bar with this

5 amount. And we had daily inflation of 10 per cent. We had a

6 hyperinflation at the time, so this amount in dinars was practically

7 without any worth. However, we did receive this payment.

8 JUDGE WILLIAMS: So what would, for example, the equivalent -- if

9 you can recall. I mean, we've seen in the trial so far often times the

10 equivalent has been put into Deutschmarks. If it's easier for you to

11 maybe give us an equivalent in Deutschmarks or any -- any -- any sense for

12 us, rather than simply to say that there was a high rate of inflation. I

13 think we just need to get a sense of, shall we say, the financial worth of

14 the job of being on the Crisis Staff.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The republic government issued a

16 decree in the Official Gazette which reflected that there was a daily

17 inflation of 10 per cent. Financially there was no sense in doing this

18 because the municipality had no funds, and it couldn't distribute

19 salaries. No tax was levied. There was no budget. There was no

20 financial assistance coming from outside either.

21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: So if I understand you correctly, then,

22 Dr. Simic, you and the other members of the Crisis Staff, including

23 presumably Mr. Tadic, were not doing this for financial reasons but for

24 political reasons -- in any event, you were almost volunteering your

25 services. Is that the sense that I have?

Page 12247

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.

3 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. What's the equivalent? Was it 300 Deutschmark? 150? Or 10

5 Deutschmark? Can you remember approximately what the equivalent would be?

6 A. About 10 German marks.

7 Q. At that time, what about the salaries of other employees in other

8 companies? Was it roughly at that level?

9 A. All of that can be seen from payrolls. Approximately everything

10 is at that level.

11 Q. All right. Tell me, you mentioned Mr. Marko Kuresevic, who

12 manufactured stamps. Do you know how many stamps contained the words:

13 "the Serb Municipality of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo Under Formation,"

14 how many stamps of this kind were made?

15 A. As far as I was informed - I did not take part in this; it's the

16 administration that dealt with these matters - three stamps of this kind

17 were made.

18 Q. You mean with the same content?

19 A. The same content.

20 Q. And who used them? I mean, which institutions.

21 A. One was at the Crisis Staff, and two were in the municipal

22 assembly.

23 Q. Now, could you explain to us: The decision to appoint you

24 president of the Crisis Staff, how come it was dated the 17th of April?

25 A. They agreed at the Crisis Staff that this should be covered, this

Page 12248

1 period of two days, and that the documents should be written from the 17th

2 of April. That includes this decision to appoint me president. Actually,

3 it was from the 19th of April, but it said the 17th of April.

4 Q. You mean because of your years of service and things like that?

5 A. I don't know why, but that's the agreement that was reached then.

6 Q. Tell me, how were you elected president of the Crisis Staff? In

7 which way? What did this look like?

8 A. The members of the Crisis Staff amongst themselves decided who

9 their chairman would be.

10 Q. So you were practically voted president?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Tell me, as a military reservist, according to the law on defence

13 and the law on the army, you had your own war assignment, didn't you?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Could you please explain to the Trial Chamber whether "war

16 assignment" means at any rate that you should have a military function or

17 does that -- can that also imply some public offices and things like

18 that? Do you know about that?

19 A. War assignments applied to political positions -- to public

20 positions and to military positions depending on what the Ministry of

21 Defence decides.

22 Q. As for work duty --

23 MR. DI FAZIO: Just for the purposes of clarification --


25 MR. DI FAZIO: -- is the witness speaking about the situation

Page 12249

1 prior to the creation of this Serb municipality, or is he speaking about

2 the period of time well before, mid-April of 1992? I'm not sure which

3 ministry he's referring to and which laws he's referring to and so on.

4 Thank you.

5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think that can be clarified with the

6 witness.


8 Q. [Interpretation] So on the basis of what you know, was this

9 principle applied in the former Yugoslavia in accordance with these laws

10 and in Republika Srpska in accordance with these laws that were in force,

11 those that had to do with war assignments?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. All right. Tell me, please, the concept of work duty, if one does

14 not engage in active military service, if one does not go to the front

15 line, to put it that way, do then civilians have some other options, to be

16 in another position in accordance with the law on defence?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Is that then work duty?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Did you have some kind of work duty?

21 A. My work duty was member of the Crisis Staff, or rather, president

22 of the municipal assembly.

23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me. Dr. Simic, what about the members of

24 your family? Did your wife have work obligation as well, your brother and

25 the other members of your family that were mentioned earlier on this

Page 12250

1 morning?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My brother had military duty and

3 work duty. That is to say, when he was off, he went to the front -- I

4 mean, when he was not off he went to the front. And then he was here, he

5 was on work duty. And my wife at that point in time, at the beginning of

6 the war, was very pregnant and she had a baby on the 20th of June in

7 1992. That was her fourth delivery. My parents are very old, so they did

8 not have military duty or work duty.

9 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Just two questions: How old were your parents

10 then? And secondly: If your wife had not been pregnant, would she have

11 been assigned a work obligation?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Later already in 1993, she was

13 assigned a work obligation and she worked at her own workplace, at the

14 centre for social welfare. That is to say, when her maternity leave had

15 expired. As for my parents, my father was born in 1925, and my mother in

16 1930, so at that time they were very old people.

17 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.

18 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. Did your parents till their land? Were they engaged in

20 agricultural activity?

21 A. Yes, yes. They are always engaged in agricultural activity. But

22 these are private activities.

23 Q. In this local environment in that village, did they give their

24 contribution through their harvest and other things that they dealt with

25 for the civilian population and for defence needs?

Page 12251

1 A. Like every household in a war situation, they helped by way of

2 food. They gave what was required.

3 Q. Who required this from them?

4 A. For the most part, it was the local staffs or the civilian

5 authorities in the local communes, and they further organised help --

6 assistance to soldiers at the front line.

7 Q. Was this regulated by some regulations in a particular field?

8 A. This was regulated by various regulations. It was also left to

9 one's own initiative.

10 MR. PANTELIC: I have a document here which I would like to tender

11 into evidence; it's a kind of certificate, our 36. It's a certificate

12 issued by the Ministry of Defence, municipal department of the war

13 assignment for Dr. Simic. I have the original also -- document here, as

14 well as B/C/S and English translation.

15 Ms. Registrar, we need only one copy for our records, so ...

16 Q. [Interpretation] Very well. So this document shows that it was

17 issued by the Ministry of Defence, Department of Samac. Is that right?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. I also see that your war assignment was head of the medical

20 service in the TO staff in Bosanski Samac?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Further on I see that your war assignment was at the position of

23 vice-president of the Bosanski Samac Municipal Assembly in 1990?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And you remained at that war assignment until the 17th of April,

Page 12252

1 1992?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. From the 17th of April, 1992 onwards, you held the position of

4 President of the Municipality of Samac and you remained with that war

5 assignment until 1995. Is that right?

6 A. Yes.

7 MR. PANTELIC: Assuming there is no objections from the

8 Prosecution, I would like to tender that into evidence, please.

9 MR. DI FAZIO: No objection, if Your Honours please.

10 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Can we have the number, please.

11 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. That will be Defence Exhibit

12 56/1 for the English and Defence Exhibit 56/1 ter for the B/C/S.

13 MR. PANTELIC: The next document, Mr. Usher, please. I have the

14 original, too. It's the decision on work -- of assignment on work

15 obligation, issued by Ministry of Defence, Samac department.

16 I have also the original document to tender also.

17 Since the B/C/S copy is not so legible, could we have the

18 original, please, Mr. Usher, so that Dr. Simic can give us certain


20 Q. [Interpretation] So this was issued by the Ministry of Defence,

21 Municipality of Samac, Department of Samac. What's the date on the

22 left-hand side?

23 A. The 8th of June, 1993.

24 Q. All right. And it says that you hold the position of President of

25 the municipal assembly from which date?

Page 12253

1 A. The 17th of April, 1992.

2 Q. Could you please place that document on the ELMO.

3 MR. PANTELIC: Because, Your Honour, I see in English translation

4 that due to the bad copy, I would say, it was translated the date of 7 of

5 April. But instead of 7, it should be 17. And you can -- you can -- you

6 can see by yourself that number 1 in front of 7 is quite shade, but ...


8 MR. PANTELIC: So that's a correction, I mean, just for the

9 transcript.

10 JUDGE MUMBA: So it should be 17th April, 1992.

11 MR. PANTELIC: That's correct.

12 And I would like to tender this document into evidence too, if

13 there is no objections.

14 And please, Mr. Usher, could you please be so kind to provide this

15 B/C/S version to our friend from the Prosecution just to take a look at

16 this particular part.

17 JUDGE MUMBA: I just want it to clear with this document. The

18 date on the left-hand top is 8th June, 1993?

19 MR. PANTELIC: That's correct. Correct. Because I believe that

20 the person -- head of this department will come to testify here and he can

21 maybe clarify why this document was issued on 1993 and he'll give details.

22 So could we have a number, please.

23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. Your Honours, this will be Defence Exhibit

24 57/1 for the English and Defence Exhibit 57/1 ter for the B/C/S.

25 MR. PANTELIC: [Microphone not activated]

Page 12254

1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

2 MR. PANTELIC: Excuse me.

3 Q. [Interpretation] Let's go back to the period now of when the

4 Crisis Staff began working, as you said. Where were you personally in the

5 night between the 16th and 17th of April, 1992?

6 A. I was -- in the evening hours, I was in Kruskovo Polje in my

7 family home on the 16th, in the evening. And on the 17th in the morning,

8 I was called to work in the outpatients department as a doctor in Crkvina.

9 Q. Who called you?

10 A. I was called up by the duty officer in the army, from the army,

11 the military. And several other doctors were called as well; not only

12 me. I was the only one that responded.

13 Q. And what did you do?

14 A. There were several wounded persons whom I had to see to; I had to

15 bandage their wounds.

16 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic.

17 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.

18 JUDGE WILLIAMS: But before you go on with this line of

19 questioning, I'd just like to ask Dr. Simic whether the person, Mr. Bozo

20 Ninkovic, who signed D57/1, is the same Bosko Ninkovic on Exhibit D55/1,

21 number 11, in charge of information.

22 So on the first exhibit, D55/1, he's a member of the Crisis

23 Staff. And on the second exhibit, D57/1, he is now in the Ministry of

24 Defence for Republika Srpska. I just want to know whether it's the same

25 person.

Page 12255

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

2 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. Thank you.

3 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Let's clear up this point. Was he a member or, rather, the head

5 of the Ministry of Defence, the Samac department, Bozo Ninkovic I'm asking

6 about.

7 A. Yes, that's right. After Milos Bogdanovic, the minister was

8 Bozo Ninkovic, and he was head of the Ministry of Defence in the Samac

9 department.

10 Q. In the payroll dating back to May, he worked in the field of

11 information. What did they do exactly?

12 A. Well, he worked in the field of information, but he wasn't the

13 head of the Defence Ministry because that was Milos Bogdanovic at the

14 time.

15 Q. And what did the field of information mean? What did this cover?

16 A. Well, at that time we tried to come by as much information as

17 possible, because we were in a media vacuum. We had no electricity. We

18 received no newspapers. We weren't able to watch television. We listened

19 to the radio very rarely. So somebody tried to -- so people tried to get

20 as much information as possible to be able to tell the people what was

21 going on in the surrounding parts.

22 Q. What party was he in?

23 A. He was a member of the Liberal party of Rasim Kadric [as

24 interpreted].

25 Q. Did you say Rasim Kadic?

Page 12256

1 A. Yes, Rasim Kadic.

2 THE INTERPRETER: K-a-d-i-c, interpreter's note.

3 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. And by nationality, I assume he's a Muslim, right?

5 A. Yes.

6 MR. PANTELIC: Mr. Usher, could we have Exhibit P79.

7 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me whether you recognise this document.

8 A. Well, I don't know how to answer that.

9 Q. Let me help you. Perhaps you're worried about whether I'm asking

10 you whether you recognise the form of the document or the content, so let

11 me say whether you've ever seen it.

12 Do you recognise it by virtue of us form?

13 A. Yes. I have seen it.

14 Q. Who is the author of the document?

15 A. Stevan Todorovic.

16 Q. Is he alone or with somebody else? Who worked on this document?

17 Did he do so alone or with the assistance of others?

18 A. I think that the document was compiled under his control. Now,

19 who actually helped him, I don't know.

20 Q. Were you ever consulted yourself or in any way did you take part

21 in the compiling of this document?

22 A. No.

23 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher. You can take this.

24 Q. [Interpretation] Tell us briefly, please, or rather, give us a

25 description of those first days. What were they like when the Crisis

Page 12257

1 Staff began functioning? And this was, as you say, about the 20th of

2 April, and it went up to the end of April. So what were the activities of

3 the Crisis Staff? How were the decisions taken? How were the decisions

4 prepared? What was the runner-up to the decisions, and what was your

5 working day like in those few weeks?

6 A. Well, first of all, I should like to describe the atmosphere that

7 prevailed, which was an atmosphere of war. There were shells falling from

8 all sides. We were under total encirclement with no electricity, no

9 water. It was a very dark and dismal atmosphere, and even the sky looked

10 dark under conditions of that kind. And in that general chaos and anarchy

11 and everything that civil war brings with it - deaths, funeral, woundings

12 and so on - we tried to introduce a certain measure of law and order or to

13 establish some sort of civilian authority which would at least in the

14 civilian sector introduce a little bit of law and order.

15 The executive board did what it could. It was the first to take

16 steps in that direction, and they tried to organise public kitchens. The

17 Crisis Staff was in the process of being formed, and then it was looking

18 for some premises to set up its headquarters. And the municipal premises,

19 the upper floors of the building, were bullet-ridden and they were on

20 the -- up at the front line itself. And we had to collect the necessary

21 legal staff and create the necessary conditions for us to be able to

22 function. So we started out from scratch. We had nothing to begin with,

23 but little by little we were able to round up the people and to start

24 resolving some of the problems that faced up.

25 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I wonder if there could be

Page 12258

1 a clarification in the transcript. The witness just referred to the

2 Crisis Staff, and early activities, and said, "The municipal premises, the

3 upper floors of the building were bullet-ridden." I wonder if we might

4 get some more precision as to precisely which building he's talking about

5 and its location and when they were there in that particular building.

6 It's of some significance, I think.

7 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure, Mr. Pantelic, you'll get those details

8 from the witness.

9 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, yes, Your Honour. Certainly.

10 Q. [Interpretation] Tell us first, please, where was the municipal

11 building located?

12 A. We saw it here in some of the material we had.

13 Q. Describe it to us, please.

14 A. It is opposite the Territorial Defence building, right next to the

15 Public Security Station building, and the Crisis Staff was never in that

16 building. It was the municipal government that was housed there and the

17 organs of administration.

18 Q. Is the building on the banks of River Sava?

19 A. Yes. That building is on the banks of the River Sava and the

20 lower floor is protected by an embankment, whereas the upper floor is

21 exposed to the bullets coming from the Croatian side, so that they pierced

22 the building, hit the building with their ammunition, that part of it, at

23 least.

24 Q. And where was the first headquarters of the Crisis Staff located,

25 physically speaking? Where were you? Where did you have your meetings in

Page 12259

1 those first days?

2 A. Well, we would meet for several hours in those first few days in

3 the building of the agricultural combine, the Poljara Privredna Binat

4 [phoen], and then the Uniglas building, and then we went into some of the

5 empty rooms of the municipal heating system plant. And that's where we

6 were while we were in existence.

7 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have Exhibit D27/3 ter. This is -- I

8 believe it's a map of Bosanski Samac. So maybe Dr. Simic can quickly

9 point out the positions.

10 Q. [Interpretation] We discussed these positions at length, but let's

11 see the diagram on the ELMO once again so that you can point out the

12 different location where the Crisis Staff had its meetings. First show us

13 peak -- perhaps it was towards the Sava River bank.

14 A. Here it is.

15 Q. Yes.

16 A. The municipal assembly building is over here for you to be able to

17 orientate yourself better.

18 Q. What about Uniglas?

19 A. For a few days it was here, and then it moved to this area, to a

20 commercial building where the municipal heating plant was located.

21 Q. Thank you. And we started talking about how you made the

22 decisions you took, what this process was like in the first few weeks up

23 until the end of April, how the Crisis Staff worked until that time.

24 A. At all the meetings of the Crisis Staff, as this was a municipal

25 parliament, we always had the president of the municipal government

Page 12260

1 present and a representative of the Defence Ministry as well. All the

2 decisions in the regular work of the municipal parliament and in these

3 wartime conditions, extraordinary conditions, all the decisions are put

4 forward by the executive council, the municipal authorities, or the

5 president, if he is putting them forward himself, the president of the

6 executive council. And the organs of administration prepare a decision

7 and draft a decision in conformity with the law and then offer it up for

8 adoption.

9 If the voting, which can be secret ballot or public -- if the

10 majority votes in favour - and we always wish to achieve a consensus - for

11 a decision to go through, then the decision would be made public. It

12 would be written, printed, and then brought to me to sign, and then sent

13 out to the executive organs for them to check it out, to see that it is in

14 conformity with the prevailing laws because the executive power had the

15 responsibility of checking to see whether the decision was in conformity

16 with the law. If not, it would be taken back to undergo the same

17 procedure again. And if it didn't, that decision would be revoked and

18 another one written in its place. That's what we did then and that's how

19 we work today.

20 Q. On the professional side, who prepared the decisions? Who drafted

21 the decisions?

22 A. Every secretariat in the executive organs had professionals as

23 members of the team. So every secretariat in every ministry has its

24 professionals, well versed in their particular professional field. The

25 draft is then sent on to the legal men to see whether they -- the decision

Page 12261

1 is in compliance with the law, and then it is offered up to the municipal

2 parliament. Once it reaches the municipal parliament, people of different

3 professions, ranging from farmers to tradesmen, engineers, physicians,

4 whatever, they are there to vote on the decision, whether they understand

5 it or not.

6 Q. May I interrupt you there so that we can move on a little faster.

7 JUDGE LINDHOLM: I'm sorry, but on page 85 and line 14, "printed

8 and then brought to me to sign and then sent out to the executive organs

9 for them to check it out, to see that it is in," and so on and so on. By

10 saying so, do you mean that you had a personal responsibility for those

11 decisions?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't pass any decision

13 personally. All of the decisions were passed by the institution. I, as a

14 chairperson, as any other chairperson, only had to sign those decisions.

15 JUDGE LINDHOLM: But you told us that they were brought to you to

16 sign and then sent out and so on. What does it mean?

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said first that those decisions

18 went through the municipal assembly first. They were debated there and so

19 on. After the discussion, there would be a vote, either public or

20 secret. If we had a majority, then a decision would be adopted and then

21 technical organs, administrative organs, would type up the decision that

22 had been adopted by the municipal assembly. And once they processed it,

23 they would bring it to me to sign.

24 And then after that, the decision would be sent out to executive

25 organs because executive organs are one thing, administrative organs are

Page 12262

1 quite another. And once they receive this decision and the executive

2 branch is staffed by professionals only, by people who had been trained

3 for that job by either the Ministry of Defence or Ministry of Agriculture

4 or whatever. And then they would verify that decision once again to make

5 sure it's in compliance with the law. And if it was, they would implement

6 it. If they didn't think it was in compliance, they would send it back to

7 go through the parliamentary procedure once again.

8 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you. Why was your signature required?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Somebody had to sign it. That was

10 the procedure in place. Somebody had to sign decision in addition to the

11 stamp in the legislative procedure, there also had to be a signature.

12 This was regulated by the statute of the municipal assembly and the

13 same -- it is regulated in the same way at the republican level when it

14 comes to the republican parliament.

15 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. All right. Let us now go down to our local level. So on behalf

17 of the body that adopted the decision, you signed it. Is that right?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Did you have a lawyer in your Crisis Staff?

20 A. We had a lawyer in the Secretariat of the Municipal Assembly, or

21 rather, in the administration.

22 Q. Did you have a lawyer in the Crisis Staff itself?

23 A. I don't think -- I don't know whether we had a lawyer in the

24 Crisis Staff. However, administrative organs had to have a lawyer.

25 Q. What lawyer did you most often cooperate with?

Page 12263

1 A. With Mitar Mitrovic.

2 Q. And what was his task --

3 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, there. So if that was the case,

4 Mr. Mitar Mitrovic, whose name I was trying to recall, is in fact listed

5 as number 2, member of the Crisis Staff on the May 1992 payroll. I'm

6 sorry. That isn't a question. I was just offering that bit of

7 information.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. He was the only lawyer,

9 qualified lawyer there and the secretary of the municipal assembly.

10 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. Very well. Can you tell me, please: During those first few

12 weeks, what did you personally do at the Crisis Staff? Please describe

13 one of your days. I know that no days are the same, but briefly can you

14 describe one of your typical days in terms of your professional and other

15 responsibilities.

16 A. The working day would start by first ensuring that we had all the

17 necessary preconditions for the work of the Crisis Staff, and it wasn't

18 easy to ensure that. After that, we would convene the session of the

19 municipal assembly, and we would have to send out notices to people to

20 attend sessions of the Crisis Staff on such and such date at such and such

21 time. And it wasn't an easy task when there was no electricity for

22 example telephone lines and so on.

23 Later on, I would try to find Official Gazettes because the

24 republican assembly at that time passed quite a number of decrees and

25 other enactments. I think more than 300 of them were passed at the time.

Page 12264

1 And we had to receive all that, analyse all that, read it, and so on. I,

2 as a physician, had especially difficult time dealing with these legal

3 documents. I had to read them and so on and to prepare myself as much as

4 possible for meetings.

5 Later on, we would have consultations with assemblymen of the

6 municipal assembly; there were 50 of them. And each one of them insisted

7 on being well informed and find out what various opinions were, and so on,

8 and therefore president of municipal assembly had to inform various

9 assemblymen on the situation on the ground and on the work of municipal

10 organs.

11 Q. Let me please interrupt you for a second.

12 MR. DI FAZIO: And perhaps --

13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.

14 MR. DI FAZIO: Before Mr. Pantelic proceeds to that question. I

15 have certainly no objection to this evidence coming out. But to be of

16 assistance to you, I think we should know what period of time the witness

17 is speaking about. Particularly, as there's reference to a republican

18 assembly and decrees being passed. Is this during the months and weeks

19 immediately following April 17th? Do we have an up-and-running republican

20 assembly at work passing laws and decrees? Something like that should be

21 clear to the Chamber, I submit.

22 He might -- the witness might be talking about 1993 or a later

23 period of time. Is this during the Crisis Staff period, during the War

24 Presidency period, when the municipal assembly got up and running again?

25 That sort of matter should be made clear to the Chamber, I submit.

Page 12265

1 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, yes. That's my intention to --

2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.

3 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Dr. Simic, let's simplify this as much as possible. All of us are

5 familiar with these procedures and so on. Let me ask you this first:

6 Where did you sleep during those first days immediately after you were

7 appointed president of the Crisis Staff? Where was your family?

8 A. My family was in my family house in Kruskovo Polje [as

9 interpreted], and my immediate family, my wife and children, were in --

10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the name of the

11 place where his immediate family was.

12 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. Could you please repeat this. Your wife and children were where?

14 A. They were with my wife's mother in the village of Koprivna near

15 Modrica.

16 Q. How far is that from Samac?

17 A. Some 40 kilometres.

18 Q. So you would come to work in the morning to attend meetings of the

19 Crisis Staff. Is that right? And then you would ask your professional

20 aids about your agenda for the day. Is that right?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And how often during those first few weeks the Crisis Staff met?

23 Did it meet daily? Once a week? Once a fortnight? Tell us about that,

24 please.

25 A. During those first days, it met almost daily. And later on, it

Page 12266

1 wasn't that frequent, or they met when necessary, although it existed for

2 some two months. So that period passed quite quickly.

3 Q. I know that it was wartime. Shells were landing nearby. It

4 wasn't easy to live and work under those conditions. But you were tasked

5 with coordinating and organising what? You and several others in the

6 Crisis Staff, what was your task? Could you explain it to me, the Trial

7 Chamber, what your work in there entailed?

8 A. We had to organise in wartime the functioning of the legislative

9 bodies of the municipal assembly -- or rather, the legislative body of

10 civilian government.

11 Q. So you had to pass various decisions enactments. Is that right?

12 A. Yes.

13 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have --

14 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please.

15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.

16 MR. DI FAZIO: Again, we're just not getting anywhere. We have to

17 understand this evidence. It's important for the defendant as well to

18 make his position clear. Mr. Pantelic asks -- sorry, the witness said

19 that he had to organise in wartime the functioning of the legislative

20 bodies of the municipal assembly, or rather, the legislative body of the

21 civilian government.

22 Next question: "So you had to pass various decisions. Is that

23 right?"

24 "Yes."

25 Well, who passed them and secondly, what was this organisation of

Page 12267

1 the municipal assembly? Was there a municipal assembly functioning,

2 handing over work to the Crisis Staff and to this witness? Because I

3 understood, and I heard the witness say earlier, that the Crisis Staff was

4 the municipal assembly. So was it -- did it have an office? Did people

5 gather and debate things and pass laws and so on? This needs to be

6 clarified, I submit, otherwise the evidence can't be understood. And it

7 can be easily done by just asking the witness.

8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution is right. We need

9 clarification. And also time perspective, what periods were these.

10 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely, Your Honour.

11 Q. [Interpretation] All right, Dr. Simic. Let's put this briefly.

12 We are now focussing on the first few weeks of April 1992 up until the end

13 of April of that year. Is that the period you were referring to?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. All right. The Crisis Staff during that period of time met almost

16 daily. Is that right?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. You were the president of the Crisis Staff?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And in addition to you, there is a number of permanent members, to

21 put it that way. Is that right?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Did you invite experts from other areas to the meetings of the

24 Crisis Staff in order to coordinate the work and the conditions for

25 civilian life? Is that right?

Page 12268

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Now, give us some examples. Who did you invite to attend those

3 meetings?

4 A. Milos Bogdanovic, Secretary of National Defence; President of the

5 Executive Council of municipal assembly, Mirko Jovanovic. When it came to

6 information, we called Perica Krstanovic, director of the electrical power

7 company, and so on.

8 Q. Could you wait a second, please. I think we had -- we have a

9 mistake here. What does information have to do with the director of

10 electrical power company? Why would you call him to give you information

11 about what was going on?

12 A. So that he could let us know what was the situation with the

13 electrical power in our municipality.

14 Q. What about other public utilities and medical services? It was

15 wartime, after all.

16 A. Yes, it was wartime, and this was within the scope of

17 responsibilities of municipal government. So we would call these people

18 from time to time to inform us about the situation. However, the

19 executive branch of the government was the one that was in charge of daily

20 functioning of various operations -- government operations. By this I

21 mean both the municipal government and various departments of republican

22 ministries.

23 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Could I interrupt you.

24 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Of course.

25 JUDGE LINDHOLM: I beg your pardon. In times of a war, there are

Page 12269

1 always crisis not only for the Crisis Staff but for the community at

2 large. Which was the connection between the Crisis Staff and the head of

3 the police, Stevan Todorovic?

4 MR. PANTELIC: That was my next question, Your Honour, in fact.



7 Q. [Interpretation] So the first question: Was Stevan Todorovic a

8 member of the Crisis Staff?

9 A. Stevan Todorovic was not a member of the Crisis Staff. He was

10 occasionally invited to attend sessions of the Crisis Staff. And much

11 more often he would come on his own, uninvited, and usurp the meetings of

12 the Crisis Staff. There was basically no link between the Crisis Staff

13 and Stevan Todorovic factually, because Stevan Todorovic was within the

14 Ministry of the Interior. He was head of the Public Security Station in

15 Samac. His immediate superior was Andrija Milosevic in Doboj. And then

16 the next step up was the Minister of the Interior. And all of this is

17 regulated by the law on internal affairs.

18 Q. Let us slow down a little bit. Was he a member of the executive

19 council?

20 A. When the executive council was elected at this second session, he

21 was supposed to be a member of the executive council; however, he was

22 invited to attend those meetings ex officio. However, he was not a member

23 of the municipal government. He was on the payroll of the Ministry of the

24 Interior.

25 MR. PANTELIC: Mr. Usher, could we have Exhibit P124. That's the

Page 12270

1 Official Gazette. And we shall speak about the decisions verified by the

2 municipal assembly after the conditions for first session.

3 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Simic, page 9, please. Would you take a look

4 at page 9.

5 MR. PANTELIC: If the usher can put on the ELMO page -- English

6 version page 15, ERN number 00479571.

7 Q. [Interpretation] Have you found it?

8 A. Page 9.

9 Q. Yes, page 9. What does this decision say? Could you read it,

10 please.

11 A. "Decision to confirm (verify) the decisions and other documents of

12 the War Presidency of the Samac Municipal Assembly."

13 Q. And down there on the right-hand side.

14 A. On the 23rd of January, 1993.

15 Q. Do you remember this decision?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Did you sign it in the capacity of president of the municipal

18 assembly?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. So while the Crisis Staff and War Presidency operated, these

21 decisions were practically verified. And during that time, since the

22 municipal assembly could not meet regularly due to the war, you

23 practically performed the functions of the municipal assembly?

24 A. In order to clarify this, this decision was passed on the 23rd of

25 January, 1993, and the assembly was held a month before this assembly,

Page 12271

1 that is to say, in December 1992, when a commission was established that

2 took all the documents of the Crisis Staff, of the War Presidency, and

3 then this commission looked at all these decisions, documents. This was

4 an independent commission. And then finally it reported to the municipal

5 parliament.

6 Q. Item 2 of this decision says the following -- I beg your pardon,

7 Article 2 says the following -- could you please comment on what Article 2

8 says.

9 A. It means that the War Presidency of the municipality is being

10 relieved of its duties and that the municipal parliament will start

11 working on a regular basis and that it will work in its entirety, and it

12 is the presidency that takes over the function of president.

13 Q. Who was that?

14 A. Yes, me.

15 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher. You can take this exhibit,

16 please.

17 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic.

18 Dr. Simic, if I understand therefore correctly, this decision that

19 we've just seen was retroactive confirmation of all decisions that had

20 been made by the Crisis Staff in the period from 17th of April, 1992

21 onwards to the time when this decision was enacted. Is that correct?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.

24 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. This decision was passed at the session of the municipal assembly,

Page 12272

1 and how many MPs were present at that session?

2 A. Well, the majority was present, the majority of assemblymen. So

3 there was a quorum and the assembly could function normally.

4 Q. During those first few days when you started working at the Crisis

5 Staff, on a daily basis how much time did you spend in the Crisis Staff

6 premises? Did you go out into the field, and what were your activities?

7 A. For the most part, I spent my working hours at the Crisis Staff.

8 I tried to do some of my professional work as well, work for my own

9 profession. But for a longer period of time, due to my private problems,

10 I did not come to work at all. This was July, August.

11 Q. All right. We'll get to that. As for your professional domain,

12 what did you do during those days?

13 A. I was still a resident. I was trying to help with chemodialysis.

14 Q. Were you employed at the health centre?

15 A. No.

16 Q. At the medical centre?

17 A. No. I tried to coordinate some things. I tried to offer some

18 help. For a while, I was on duty in the hospital -- only during the night

19 hours, that means, but this was already in 1994.

20 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, could I have just a second to find one

21 exhibit, please.


23 MR. PANTELIC: [Microphone not activated]

24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

25 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, please, Mr. Usher.

Page 12273

1 Q. [Interpretation] Have you familiarised yourself with this document

2 now?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Tell me, when was this document adopted?

5 A. This document has a date here, the 27th of April.

6 Q. Who adopted it?

7 A. It was adopted by the Crisis Staff.

8 Q. Do you recall this document?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And on behalf of the Crisis Staff, I assume that it was you who

11 signed it?

12 A. Yes. Although, we avoided doing this. But well, as far as health

13 is concerned, yes, we did it.

14 Q. I didn't understand this. What was it that you were avoiding?

15 A. We avoided writing such decisions. All of this has to do with the

16 domain of the executive council.

17 Q. All right. Could you explain the motive of adopting this

18 decision, please.

19 A. Mesud Nogic is a doctor, a gynaecologist, an experienced doctor.

20 Previously, he was director. And we only made this proposal to him that

21 he work as director of the medical centre in this situation of war in the

22 Serb Municipality of Bosanski Samac, and he did that up until that point

23 in time until he wished to do so.

24 Q. What is he by ethnicity?

25 A. A Muslim.

Page 12274

1 Q. All right.

2 MR. PANTELIC: Yes my colleagues have just informed me. In my

3 question on line -- on page 98, line 18, actually after the question, the

4 answer should start with the words "Mesud Nogic," because otherwise it's

5 the question and answer are in the same. So I don't know -- do we have

6 technical abilities to split that, just for the record. So the answer of

7 the witness is starting on page 98, line 18 with the words "Mesud Nogic."

8 Thank you, just for the record.

9 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, was one of the most important topics

10 during the war, during the conflict and all these difficulty that is you

11 referred to in view of the civilian population, you are a doctor -- was

12 health protection one of the most important fields?

13 A. It was one of the most important fields, especially during the war

14 for the civilian population, in my opinion.

15 Q. As for you personally, as a doctor, as president of the Crisis

16 Staff, and as a person who is from that town, what did you do by way of

17 improving the organisation of that particular sector that in essence is

18 the one that is closest to you personally?

19 A. It has to be known that this sector is also organised by the

20 republic government, that is to say, the Minister of Health. At municipal

21 level, civilian authority can be assisted, coordinated, they can channel

22 humanitarian aid, but there cannot be much interference because salaries

23 are paid by the Minister of Health.

24 As for funds and the procurement of medicine, that is also taken

25 care of by the Ministry of Health to the best of their ability. But if

Page 12275

1 not, then the municipal assembly helps. I tried in that field in which I

2 could help to indeed give help. This was my obligation as a human being.

3 I tried to coordinate and help, obtain equipment for chemodialysis,

4 although this was a very expensive method. I wanted this process to

5 evolve with the assistance of generators. This is Swedish technology.

6 And I wanted to ensure that there were sufficient spare parts so that

7 people who were on chemodialysis could remain alive in the spite of the

8 war and in spite of the fact that this was such and expensive method. I

9 have to say that chemodialysis was operating all the time. The mortality

10 rate did not increase, and that the pre-war and the post-war average was

11 more or less maintained through the war as well. It also requires a great

12 deal of auxiliary services.

13 Also, a lot of intermediary materials that have to be provided.

14 And we had to obtain oil, which was truly deficient, so the generators

15 could function, because there was not a proper power supply for all this

16 equipment. On the other hand, we had to supply enough blood because in

17 the transfusion system all these patients who are undergoing chemodialysis

18 lose quite a bit of blood. And every 15 days or every month, they have to

19 undergo a transfusion.

20 Q. I have to interrupt you, doctor. This is indeed an important

21 subject, but --

22 JUDGE MUMBA: We have to adjourn. This is 1600 hours.

23 MR. PANTELIC: We are -- my assumption is that we were working

24 until 16.15 or 16.30 today, according to the schedule -- or maybe I am

25 wrong.

Page 12276

1 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I'm informed that we can proceed up to 16.15.

3 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.

4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Sorry, Mr. Pantelic. Just before you ask that

5 question, just for a point of clarification. Dr. Simic has mentioned in

6 connection with the document that we are now looking at concerning the

7 Dr. Nogic and the medical issue that this was signed by the Crisis Staff.

8 Just for the sake of clarification, the English translation doesn't

9 mention the Crisis Staff. It mentions the Serbian Municipality of

10 Bosanski Samac emergency headquarters.

11 MR. PANTELIC: Unfortunately, Your Honour, that's a matter of

12 interpretation or --


14 MR. PANTELIC: So it's -- I should correct that.

15 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes. I mean, I assumed that. But for the sake

16 of the record when we come back to look at these documents perhaps later

17 on, for the sake of the record, could you -- could you clarify that,

18 please.

19 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely.

20 [Trial Chamber confers]

21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. It's just -- it's a matter of the translation

22 of "term," in fact.

23 Q. [Interpretation] So in order to clarify matters, this document

24 that refers to the appointment of Dr. Mesud Nogic as coordinator for the

25 operations of the health centre was actually adopted by the Crisis Staff,

Page 12277

1 wasn't it?

2 A. Yes.

3 MR. PANTELIC: And I would like to tender this document into

4 evidence. If there is no objection, could I have a number, please.

5 JUDGE MUMBA: The Prosecution?

6 MR. DI FAZIO: No objection, if Your Honours please.

7 JUDGE MUMBA: We can have the number, please.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked Defence Exhibit

9 58/1 for the English translation and then Defence Exhibit 58/1 ter for the

10 B/C/S.

11 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Doctor, tell me this --

13 A. May I continue?

14 Q. What do you want to continue on?

15 A. I was talking about my professional involvement during the war.

16 Q. That's right. So I had two questions to ask you along those

17 lines. The first question is this: Did you have any contact with your

18 colleagues in the health centre, because you were president of the Crisis

19 Staff? So personally, did you have contacts with your colleagues?

20 A. Occasionally, yes. But not with all of them, of course, depending

21 on the way in which the war conditions evolved.

22 Q. What was your main -- what was the main area of work of the

23 medical centre in those first few weeks of April?

24 A. Well, as we didn't have a wartime hospital in Samac, it was in

25 Pelagicevo, which was 40 kilometres away. Their task was to see to the

Page 12278

1 wounded, because around Samac was the front and there were casualties

2 every day. There were people killed and people wounded and the town was

3 shelled and each shelling would lead to casualties. So along with all

4 their regular duties that the medical centre normally dealt with, as it

5 did in peacetime, it had to organise an emergency service, a first aid

6 service, which worked round the clock, 24 hours, and so it had to deal

7 with the war casualties and with all the other problems, the chronic

8 patients, et cetera, because all the patients remained in the

9 municipality, the ones who were seriously ill and needed treatment, and

10 those who nobody wanted to look after because it was in this war zone.

11 So the medical centre, as I say functioned normally, the

12 laboratory, the x-ray department, the tuberculosis section, the

13 paediatrics department ward, the gynaecological ward, the pregnant women,

14 expectant mothers department, maternity ward. But what I especially tried

15 to coordinate and facilitate was the following: In the war, conditions

16 were very complex and it was very difficult to come by vaccines.

17 Bosnia-Herzegovina didn't have a factory producing vaccines then or now.

18 And we had very regular programmes for the vaccination of children and

19 adults, and vaccines, when they have to be transported from the factory to

20 the medical centres where they are administered, you have to ensure that

21 you have what is known as a cold chain, which means storage at a

22 temperature of minus 4 or plus 4 degrees, between minus 4 and plus 4. And

23 this temperature must be maintained throughout the period of transport.

24 If the indicator goes above that temperature, the vaccines have to be

25 thrown away.

Page 12279

1 We did our best to ensure regular supplies of vaccines with the

2 necessary kind of transport and the refrigeration devices that were

3 needed. We had bags -- ice bags to keep the vaccines cool, and we had a

4 generator as well, which ensured fresh vaccine supplies, so that this

5 programme of vaccination for all children, regardless of ethnicity, was

6 running normally and up until the age of 18, all the children received

7 their vaccines. The anti-tetanus vaccine was also administered to anybody

8 who asked for it, and it was also administered to all the casualties in

9 the war. The rabies vaccine is a very costly vaccine, but we had that

10 too. And during the influenza epidemic, we managed to secure the flu

11 vaccine as well.

12 What was a particular problem during the war days was ammoniac,

13 because in Samac there was a factory where large quantities of ammoniac

14 stored in their warehouses, in their cold storage --

15 JUDGE MUMBA: I think it's sufficient to say as much possible the

16 accused did try to make sure that necessary facilities were functioning.

17 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely.

18 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Simic, tell us about food for the civilians.

19 How was that first organised in those first few weeks after the conflict,

20 the war conflict, broke out in view of the siege of Samac, et cetera? How

21 did you in the Crisis Staff solve the problem of food and food supplies

22 with the executive organs? How did you feed the population in Samac?

23 A. Well, this is another area. It comes under the competence of the

24 executive organs. Public kitchens were organised in the Sritar [phoen]

25 restaurant and the Utva restaurant and food stores functioned. There was

Page 12280

1 a marketplace. We organised a marketplace and a livestock market, so that

2 anybody with surplus food supplies were able to offer it up in the

3 markets, to sell their food. We were also able to obtain food through

4 humanitarian aid organisations, the Red Cross. They set up their various

5 checkpoints, made lists, and distributed food to the population on their

6 territories, so that everybody -- nobody died from hunger who lived in

7 Samac during the war.

8 Q. And what about water, water supplies?

9 A. Well, the same was true for water. The situation was very

10 difficult. It was a catastrophic situation in fact, because we needed

11 electricity for the water pumps to function and we were cut off from the

12 Tuzla water supply system. And we had no electricity, no power system of

13 our own, so we had to set up this generator in the waterworks supply

14 system to work the pipes, to ensure the necessary pressure for the water

15 supply system so that we would have water on occasion -- not a constant

16 flow of water. We didn't have enough fuel or regular water supplies

17 either.

18 Q. And now my last question for today, and please, a brief answer to

19 it: What about the telephone communications? Did you have problems with

20 that?

21 A. Yes. Telephone communications were completely cut off, and I

22 think that throughout the war and even later on they were not set up

23 again.

24 Q. But did some of the telephones work? Did they work partially?

25 A. Yes, they did. We had five telephone numbers in working order,

Page 12281

1 but the real link system from the Federation -- coming in from the

2 Federation, that was severed. It was cut off. And we had no technical

3 means to set it up, those who were in the executive organs would be better

4 able to tell you about that.

5 Q. Well, thank you, doctor. That is all for today.

6 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I think we are --

7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll adjourn for today.

8 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.

9 JUDGE MUMBA: And continue tomorrow.

10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

11 at 4.16 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,

12 the 14th day of November, 2002, at 9.30 a.m.