1 Monday, 17 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, case number IT-95-9-T, the
7 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic and Simo Zaric.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic, you're continuing.
9 WITNESS: MIROSLAV TADIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Examined by Mr. Lukic, continued:
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Tadic.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. Is this chair more comfortable?
16 A. Yeah. This one is better.
17 Q. We shall continue where we left it off on Friday. I will remind
18 you that we spoke about April the 18th, and about your tasks. Do you hear
19 the interpretation?
20 A. No. I don't have interpretation.
21 Q. Can you hear it now? Can you hear me, Mr. Tadic? Can you hear me
23 A. No.
24 Q. What about now, Mr. Tadic?
25 A. Not on my right ear.
1 Q. Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now? Test, can you hear me
2 now, Mr. Tadic? My assistant is telling me that she can't hear it
3 either. Channel number 6. Can you hear me now, Mr. Tadic?
4 A. I think so.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Can Mr. Di Fazio say something or somebody else.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Testing, testing.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. We can now proceed.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. All right. So on Friday, we completed our day describing the 18th
10 of April. You told us about your tasks that had to do with establishing
11 and setting up the kitchen. Do you remember talking about that?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. You also said that you had heard that some parts of the 4th
14 Detachment were given orders to take positions on the outskirts of the
15 town and that certain parts of the 4th Detachment had an assignment
16 concerning the voluntary surrender of arms.
17 Tell us, please: In view of this assignment concerning the
18 voluntary surrender of arms, did you have any particular tasks related to
20 A. I believe that there is something wrong with interpretation again
21 but I'll try and respond and then we'll see. Commander, Mr. Radovan
22 Antic, also said that while touring town and searching for people who
23 could work in the kitchen, I should also, in case there are some issues in
24 the 4th neighbourhood where the arms were collected, that I should see
25 what was going on there, along those lines but nothing more specific than
2 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, unless I'm mistaken and
3 looking at the transcript from Friday, the witness did not mention any
4 voluntary surrender of arms. The portion of his evidence that I see is
5 simply that Radovan Antic ordered the rest of the 4th Detachment to start
6 collecting the weapons, so I don't recall anything relating to voluntary
7 collection of weapons and it's inherent in Mr. Lukic's question, I think
8 that we should be clear about that.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. Since I was reading
10 parts of Mr. Tadic's interview I could have mixed these two things up.
11 Q. Please tell me, what did Radovan Antic tell you specifically and
12 what kind of arms collecting was this all about? What was the role of the
13 4th Detachment and its members in that campaign?
14 A. Some of the witnesses here have mentioned that the surrender of
15 arms was a voluntary one, there was no force used, and the 4th Detachment
16 members were not tasked with checking whether somebody possessed weapons
17 or not. Their task was to go door-to-door and inquire whether people had
18 weapons and if they had weapons, they would surrender it but without any
19 use of force. So as far as the 4th Detachment is concerned, this campaign
20 was strictly voluntary, meaning there was no force used.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wanted to use the map
22 of Samac in order to mark some of the facilities that are important in
23 this case. However, I can see that we do not have an ELMO here, I was
24 told an Elmo would be brought in later and therefore I would probably like
25 to do that later on in order to mark the sites where he moved and in order
1 to better describe the events of that day.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: I think you can leave that part of the evidence
3 until we get the equipment required.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Could we turn to a private session for a brief period of time,
6 please? Because I would like to mention a protected witness.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we move to private session, please?
8 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Tadic, on that day, did you enter the building known as the
25 62nd building or building number 62, did you go into any of its entrances,
1 did you see anybody there and what was going on there?
2 A. It would have been much better if I could show it on the map but
3 since we do not have a map, I will try to describe this and then later on
4 we can perhaps point it out on the map. The building number 62 is in
5 Edvard Kardelj Street. Several houses further on from my house, in the
6 direction of Modrica. The work organisation SIT, where the cafeteria was
7 located is across the road from building number 62. Some ten metres in
8 the direction of my house. So if I was in the cafeteria of the SIT
9 entity --
10 Q. You mean the administrative building of SIT and cafeteria, are
11 they in the same building?
12 A. No. The administrative building is closer to my house, whereas
13 cafeteria or restaurant is further away from my house so the restaurant is
14 a bit further away than the administrative building and the restaurant is
15 across the road from the building number 62. And if one stands in front
16 of the restaurant, one can easily see what's going on across the street,
17 and I suppose that I was standing there, and I saw some people there, and
18 a friend of mine, Djordje Tubakovic lived in that building. He used to
19 work in the Secretariat for National Defence for a long time and then
20 retired from there and then I simply crossed the street --
21 Q. Just a minute, you said you saw people, what people?
22 A. I saw soldiers of the 4th Detachment in the yard, perhaps seven or
23 eight of them.
24 Q. Continue.
25 A. So I crossed the street and I saw them in front of the entrance
1 leading to Djordje Tubakovic's apartment. As far as I can remember, that
2 building has eight entrances and I think that Djordje's entrance is the
3 last one to the right. While I lived in Samac, that was the only entrance
4 I ever entered in that building. So I got there and there were several
5 soldiers standing there and I asked them what was going on and they said
6 I -- we had heard that there are some weapons with Witness E. That was
7 the information they had received. So I entered the entrance with them
8 and I believe that Djordje Tubakovic lived on the first floor. As we got
9 to his door, the soldiers and myself, there were two or three soldiers
10 following me so as we got there, I saw a lot of footwear in front of
11 Djordje's door. It is customary where we come from to leave shoes in
12 front of the door before entering somebody's house. And then in the
13 meantime, Djordje came out and I asked him, what was going on? Why is all
14 this footwear in front of your door? And he said that all of the
15 neighbours had come to his apartment because they believed there to be
16 safer than in other places since he had worked in the Secretariat for
17 National Defence. And then in the meantime, this Witness E came out, and
18 then I asked him, "Do you have any weapons?" And he said no. And I asked
19 Djordje whether that was right, and Djordje said, "I believe that's
20 right." And I told the soldiers, "Guys, you've heard what the man said"
21 and they went on. And we stood there for a few more minutes in front of
22 Djordje's door and I said to him, Djordje, it's not a good idea for all
23 the tenants of the building to stay in your apartment because should a
24 shell land, there could be great trouble caused if you're all gathered in
25 one location. So he took it as a warning of some sort. I don't know
1 whether they followed my advice but we part -- we parted and I went on
2 with my business.
3 Q. While you were in that building, in that entrance, did the
4 soldiers enter apartments, the soldiers that were there, did they search
5 the apartments?
6 A. First of all, the soldiers were not ordered, nor were they
7 authorised to enter apartments. They didn't enter the apartments because
8 nobody told them to do it. If somebody said they had no weapons, they
9 would simply believe them, because they were not tasked with confiscating
10 weapons by use of force.
11 Q. Did you personally enter the apartment of Witness E?
12 A. No. I think [redacted]
15 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, perhaps privacy protections
16 ought to be exercised over that last sentence and indeed anything that
17 might tend to identify where in the building Witness E lives or lived.
18 Because that might be a clue as to his identity. The building is a large
19 one with lots of apartments, I know, but if we get to anything that might
20 tend to indicate what part of the building Mr. Tadic is talking about,
21 then it becomes risky for Witness E.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I agree. We can move into a private
23 session. I wanted to avoid being in a private session for a long time but
24 I agree. I agree. If that could lead to --
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, we will go back into private session and the
1 redaction will be made of any identifying material.
2 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Do you know Jelena Kapetanovic, whose last name then was Stanisic?
1 You heard her testify here. Do you know -- did you hear whether anything
2 happened to her the way she had described it?
3 A. Yes, I know Jelena Stanisic, I don't know her very well but I am
4 acquainted with her. She used to work as a receptionist in a hotel many
5 years back and she always -- and she also lives in that apartment, in that
6 entrance. I think that she is a floor below Tubakovic, and I think that
7 as I was going down, I saw her standing in front of her door.
8 Q. Did you enter her apartment?
9 A. No, because the soldiers had already gone through that area and
10 inquired about weapons. She said she had none so I saw her as I was
11 leaving the building, as I was going down, I saw her standing in front of
12 her door.
13 Q. Did you see any armoured vehicle in front of the entrance on that
15 A. There was no armoured vehicle there on that occasion, although
16 later on, I heard that BOV a different kind of an armoured vehicle, had
17 been there. It is some kind of an armoured automobile, something like
19 Q. Did you or any of the soldiers standing there threaten Jelena
20 Kapetanovic in any way?
21 A. I wasn't present when the soldiers saw her initially, and -- but
22 since they didn't threaten anybody, I assume they hadn't threatened her
23 either. At least I didn't hear any threats being issued as we were
24 leaving the building. There was absolutely no reason for them to threaten
25 her in any way.
1 Q. You've already told us that you didn't enter any other entrances
2 in that building, number 62. I will ask you pointedly: You have heard
3 the testimony of Subasic Hasan. Did you enter his entrance? Were you
4 accompanied by Zaric on that day, on the previous day, or on the following
6 A. I can tell you about that day. Now, as to whether I had seen
7 Zaric on the 17th, no, I didn't. On the 18th, I didn't see him. He
8 wasn't -- wasn't around me. Perhaps he visited the building earlier but
9 he wasn't there with me then. However, here, during this trial, I saw
10 where Subasic lived. He lived in the part of the building facing Edvard
11 Kardelj Street so he was able to see through his window what was going on
12 in the yard. Even to see what was going on in Edvard Kardelj Street. So
13 he could have seen me both in the yard in front of Djordje's apartment, as
14 well as on the other side. He could have seen me in the street, in front
15 of Tekstilac because his apartment is much closer to Tekstilac than is
16 Djordje's apartment.
17 Q. But you never entered that entrance, that's what you said?
18 A. Yes. I didn't enter any of other entrances. There was no need
19 for them to do that because the soldiers completed the search of other
20 entrances very quickly and it took them five to ten minutes at the most.
21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Lukic. Mr. Tadic, I wonder
22 whether you can remember what you were wearing that day when you went into
23 number 62, Edvard Kardelj Street, if you can remember?
24 THE WITNESS: I remember I had a military jacket on, because it
25 was quite cold on the 18th. I think it was even snowing a little, and
1 this was a wind cheater and it was rather long, down to the knees. It was
2 olive grey and it was appropriate to wear it on that day. I also had a
3 pistol, a belt and a pistol. This was what I had to wear at that time,
4 according to my establishment.
5 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And this military jacket, was it a cloth jacket
6 or a leather jacket? What was it made of?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was canvas, olive grey in colour,
8 and it was waterproof.
9 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. On that day or on the following days, did you ever carry an
12 automatic rifle around?
13 A. No. I hadn't been issued with an automatic rifle so I didn't
14 carry one.
15 Q. Tell us: Where is the waterworks building in relation to the
16 cafeteria of Tekstilac? Later on we will show it on the map but could you
17 describe it now for the Judges?
18 A. The wall of the kitchen was adjacent to the area of the
19 waterworks. So that when the kitchen wall stopped, the waterworks area
20 began. One might say that it was directly opposite building number 62.
21 Q. Tell us: When did a tank arrive in Samac? Was there more than
22 one tank? And when did you see a tank arriving and from what direction?
23 A. I'm not sure but I think the tank arrived around the 19th of
24 April. I didn't see it but I heard about it. My people told me that it
25 had arrived from the direction of Crkvina. That's in the direction of
1 Modrica so that from the direction of the waterworks, it went in the
2 direction of my house, it passed by my house and then went on towards the
3 embankment, the embankment of the River Sava at the mouth of the River
4 Bosna. That's where it went.
5 Q. On the 18th or the day before, although you've told us what you'd
6 been doing the days leading up to the 18th and on the 18th, did you go to
7 Pere Bosic Street and did you see where the Dagovic brothers lived?
8 A. Yes, I know where the Dagovic brothers live. It's Pere Bosic
9 Street on the corner of Edvard Kardelj Street, going from my house, it's
10 the second or the third street to the right, and on that occasion, I was
11 not in that street. I didn't go there. I may have passed down Edvard
12 Kardelj Street but I didn't enter Pere Bosic Street on that day because
13 there was no need for me to do that. The woman I was looking for to work
14 in the kitchen she lived further down.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I was just waiting for the
16 witness to finish his answer. If Your Honours please on Friday the
17 witness said that on the 17th he did nothing, he stayed at home. The
18 question by Mr. Lukic is on the 18th or the day before, did you go to this
19 street and then the witness answers. So it's from that answer, it
20 might -- one might take it that he's saying that on the 17th, these things
21 happened, but on Friday, he said he stayed at home.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: On the 17th and I'd just like that to see -- see if
24 that position is maintained or if there is any change to that.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. I think that maybe -- well, I did not want to cause any
2 confusion. I wanted you to tell us whether on the -- well, tell us first
3 of all whether you left your house on the 17th?
4 A. I didn't notice at first that you mentioned two dates, the 17th
5 and the 18th. I thought your question referred to either one of those
6 dates. But what I said refers to the 18th of April and this has nothing
7 to do with the 17th. So that what I was describing that I did has nothing
8 to do with the 17th of April.
9 Q. Very well. You have already said but I have to ask you again,
10 because of Mr. Dagovic's testimony, you remember what he said about the
11 tank. Did you and Zaric enter Pere Bosic Street on either on the 17th
12 or the 18th of April?
13 A. I remember what Mr. Dagovic said from this chair, and I think that
14 it's nonsense. First of all, a tank is not a vehicle that can move
15 through streets that are relatively narrow, and I think there is no need
16 for a tank to go into streets such as that one, and destroy things. We
17 know what the width of a tank is and how heavy a tank is. So to drive a
18 tank through town in order to collect weapons, that would be really
19 stupid, and it would also be stupid to imagine me driving a tank. First
20 of all, at that time, I was considerably older than all the men in the 4th
21 Detachment. They were young men. So what would I be doing with a tank at
22 that period? So that Mr. Dagovic's stories are inappropriate.
23 Q. I'm not asking you to comment on his testimony but only on the
24 facts. Dagovic didn't say that you were around the tank. He said you
25 were on the tank. Did you -- you and Zaric ever climb on to the tank?
1 A. No. I never climbed on to a tank and I'm sure that Zaric didn't
2 either. I don't know how I could have climbed on to the tank. I never
3 even came near it. And looking at films and so on, I have never seen
4 anyone on top of a tank, only behind a tank. There is only someone with
5 his head sticking out of the turret but there is never anyone sitting on a
7 Q. You heard Mr. Salkic's testimony, who said that you said that the
8 barrels were to be moved away from his brother's house because you had
9 heard that he was a good man. Do you remember ever making such a comment
10 in those days to anyone?
11 A. I know Salkic's brother. I know his entire family, from Meho
12 Paprikas to his brother and sister and his cousins. I know them all. In
13 the building in which his brother lives, there are two flats. It used to
14 be a family house and then Tekstilac bought it. On the ground floor,
15 Salkic's brother lived and upstairs, my relative, Milan Vujic lived. If
16 someone wanted to shoot at Salkic's flat, it would not be logical for them
17 to shoot while -- because Vujic's flat was there and he was a member of
18 the 4th Detachment. He was a company leader in the 4th Detachment and
19 everybody knew that. And if these soldiers were around the tank, why
20 would they shoot at that building? I wasn't there but I'm sure that had I
21 been there, I would have said don't shoot at the house because they were
22 able to go in.
23 Q. Did you see any members of the 4th Detachment shooting or aiming
24 at buildings?
25 A. I never saw anyone, and there was no need for anyone to do that.
1 Q. When we get the ELMO, we shall go back to the map, and point to
2 the locations that you have just described, but now I wish to ask you
3 something about the chronology of the period we are talking about.
4 In those days, did you have occasion to listen to the radio and
5 were there regular broadcasts and I'm referring to that period that you
6 are discussing in 1992.
7 A. I didn't listen to the radio so I don't know about radio
8 broadcasts. I don't usually listen to the radio. So I wasn't familiar
9 with radio broadcasts. If we link up the radio with the electric power
10 supply then broadcasts would have been intermittent because there were
11 power shortages all the time and there was a period when there was no
12 electricity at all. In order for a radio station to operate, it needs
13 electricity. And how was I to guess when they would have electricity and
14 when they wouldn't? So I didn't listen to the radio.
15 Q. Very well. We have heard quite a lot of testimony about white arm
16 bands. What do you know about white arm bands and carrying white -- or
17 wearing white arm bands?
18 A. I have heard quite a lot of testimony about white arm bands, but
19 all I can say is that members of the 4th Detachment, in the beginning,
20 wore white arm bands as a distinguishing sign. Everybody pointed to their
21 shoulders. There is no need for me to point now. There was pinned to
22 their shoulders and it was a kind of badge of identification. And this
23 didn't last long. I think that later on they even changed the colour
24 because everybody started wearing white arm bands in order to say that
25 they belonged to the 4th Detachment, but this lasted for a short time and
1 then it fell into disuse. I have even heard testimony here from some
2 witnesses to the effect that this resembled the arm bands worn by Jews in
3 World War II. I think that this didn't even look the same, and the Jews
4 who lived in Samac in World War II, there were about 50 of them, they
5 probably did wear arm bands so one of the witnesses remembered that, but
6 he doesn't remember what happened to those Jews. At the very beginning,
7 there was a raid at Skela at the ferry, and the father of one of the
8 witnesses operated the ferry. 100 Serbs and 16 Jews were killed. And
9 later on, they were all -- the remaining Jews were taken to the camp in
10 Jasenovac where they were all killed.
11 Q. What period are you talking about?
12 A. I'm talking about 1941 in the park in Samac, there is a monument.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic can we -- can you lead the witness to
14 the evidence which is relevant to the case?
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. We shall proceed. You simply wanted to give us your position as
17 to the testimony of witnesses.
18 A. Yes. I only wanted to mention the monument in the park in Samac
19 with all the names on it, because this was mentioned, this -- these events
20 were mentioned here.
21 Q. A rally was mentioned here in front of the Buducnost building.
22 Did you attend that rally?
23 A. No. I didn't, but I know that there was a rally. And those
24 people who were not -- who did not have any assignments were invited to it
25 but because I had things to do, there was no need for me to go to the
1 Buducnost building.
2 Q. What kind of work are you referring to?
3 A. Well, I was in the 4th Detachment so there was no need for me to
4 declare whether I wanted to join the 4th Detachment or not. That's what I
6 Q. Do you know whether members of all three ethnic groups attended
7 the rally? Do you know anything about that?
8 A. The announcement or rather the invitation was for everybody.
9 People passed by my house and I noticed that all my acquaintances passed
10 by. They were all going towards the Buducnost building because they all
11 had to pass by my house to get there. It was about 400 metres away from
12 my house, in the direction of Crkvina.
13 Q. I would now ask that we move into private session again so that we
14 can mention the name of a protected witness.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, can we move into private session?
16 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. We are going to speak about the period before the 23rd of April,
12 which had been mentioned in an interview, and we had some evidence
13 regarding -- relating to this date. So let us stick to this date. Had
14 anyone invited you before that date to the Secretariat for National
15 Defence? What happened there and what did you talk and with whom about
17 A. It was sometime after the 17th of April, but before the 23rd of
18 April. I was asked to come to the Secretariat for the National Defence.
19 That's how we used to call this institution. And there I was told that
20 there was a possibility for me to take over the civilian protection
21 staff. I said that I already had other commitments but they told me that
22 there wouldn't be any problems, that somebody else was already discharging
23 these duties, a captain. We used to call him Pile. And I had already
24 seen him, that he had some kind of offices in Tekstilac, when I worked
25 there, I used to see him there in Tekstilac. We knew each other and not
1 quite well but we just said hello to each other. I spoke briefly with him
2 and asked him what he was doing. He said I was doing something about the
3 logistics. So that was the man Tovirac known as Pile. There was another
4 man with me, I think his name was Dragan Pivasevic [phoen]. So they were
5 already working there. This man Tovirac used to be in the logistics
6 section of the TO before these events took place in Samac. Therefore, he
7 knew what it was all about and what was necessary to be done.
8 Q. Just tell us your full name. You just mentioned his nickname but
9 just tell us slowly?
10 A. His name was Mihajlo Tovirac.
11 Q. First tell us where were the offices of the Secretariat for
12 National Defence? We shall look that into the map -- in the map?
13 A. That was in the downtown, where the secretariat was, on a floor
14 above a bank, across the hotel, more or less.
15 Q. Just tell us generally. We shall give details later. Who did you
16 talk to? Who asked to you come? And who told you --
17 A. At the time, the secretary of the Secretariat for National Defence
18 was Milos Bogdanovic, and I had this conversation with him. I already
19 said that I had known Milos for many years, that we were on rather good
20 terms, and that he had a certain attitude towards me as to his senior and
21 his teacher.
22 Q. What did Bogdanovic tell you about your assignment? What were you
23 supposed to do regarding the establishment of the civilian protection?
24 A. He told me that the civilian protection staff should be formed to
25 operate in those newly emerged circumstances and those circumstances were
1 rather specific, that that wouldn't be the staff as usual, it would deal
2 with immediate tasks deriving from the circumstances that we had been
3 currently living in. He also told me that he -- that the secretary -- the
4 staff secretary normally appointed other members of the civilian
5 protection staff under normal circumstances but he told me that the
6 secretariat under those circumstances would not appoint the members but
7 that I should choose people for that who had no military assignment. In
8 other words, I should select some elderly people, pensioners, but if any
9 military conscript was necessary to be on the staff, I was to ask for
10 permission from the Secretariat for National Defence for such person to be
11 assigned to the civilian protection staff.
12 Q. Did he then or later tell you where the premises would be and who
13 should you address this issue to?
14 A. He told me that the civilian protection offices were inside the
15 building for -- of the National Defence Secretariat, as they had always
16 been, and there was an officer for civilian protection. I'm speaking
17 about normal conditions. The head or the commander of the civilian
18 protection was a volunteer who only run those actions but the officer just
19 prepare the material and the paper and to him we referred later as the
20 secretary of the staff. Since most probably this secretary was
21 overcrowded, he told me that the new staff, which would have quite new
22 tasks, can take offices in the local commune, that there were already some
23 people working there and there was ample space there and I had no
24 objection to that.
25 Q. Who did you tell -- who did he tell you to appeal about this
2 A. Zeljko Volasevic the secretary of the local commune was there, and
3 he was also the secretary of the local commune before the war, and he --
4 and he had the key to the premises.
5 Q. Concerning the Secretariat for National Defence, I think it's
6 important for the testimony, was there anything in the building there that
7 you went to frequently and what was the purpose of those offices?
8 A. In the building of the Secretariat for National Defence, apart of
9 what I already mentioned, there were offices for various areas, drafting
10 officer, civilian protection officer. There was also a centre --
11 communications centre. That was all on the same floor, and that was under
12 the jurisdiction of the secretary of the secretariat. That was this
13 communications centre that had been mentioned here where I used to come
14 later in order to get in touch with some people who reported from the
15 other side.
16 Q. What happened on the 23rd of April? Who called you? Where did
17 you go?
18 A. On the 23rd of April I went to Uniglas, where the municipal
19 authorities were temporarily seated or relocated because the former
20 municipality was exposed to constant gunfire from across the River Sava
21 because the building is on the very banks on the Sava so they thought that
22 Uniglas building will be safer, and the municipal organs were there. And
23 I was invited to come there.
24 There was the President of the municipal assembly, there were
25 certain section heads, the President of the executive committee, so
1 generally the municipal authorities worked there and that is where I went
2 and met Mr. Simic.
3 Q. Mr. Simic who?
4 A. Mr. Blagoje Simic, there was also Milan Simic there but this time
5 I didn't have any contacts with him. There was also Mirko Jovanovic and
6 some other personnel.
7 Q. Tell us: You didn't tell us who called you to come there. Do you
8 remember that?
9 A. I went to Mr. Blagoje Simic, that was the first time that the two
10 of us had a more direct contact, so to say, and he told me that Milos had
11 suggested for me to be the chief of the civilian protection staff to which
12 he did not have any objection. I agreed. He told me that a proper
13 decision would be issued and that I should start establishing the civilian
14 protection staff. I stayed there just briefly. I had a cup of coffee,
15 and after that, I went to Volas at the local commune.
16 Q. When you say "Volas," who are you referring to?
17 A. I was referring to Zeljko Volas, who was the secretary of the
18 local commune.
19 Q. Did Mr. Simic on that occasion or later tell you anything about
20 the Crisis Staff?
21 A. Later, I received an invitation to go to the Crisis Staff, but it
22 wasn't in the Uniglas any longer. It was relocated to the heating plant.
23 Q. Were you told that based on this function of the commander of the
24 civilian protection staff?
25 A. Later Mr. Simic told me that given the fact that that was a
1 specific function that would rather influence the civilian life in the
2 town, that I, as the chief or the commander, would be a member of the
3 Crisis Staff.
4 Q. Tell us just on the 23rd of April, did you receive this decision
5 appointing you to the commander of the civilian protection staff? We
6 don't need to show you this document. You know what I'm referring to.
7 A. I don't know whether I received it on the 23rd or 24th but of
8 course it hadn't been ready on the date when I came but I did receive it
9 during this period, dated the 23rd of April, although I didn't have much
10 choice, of course, this kind of decision could not have been made in
11 advance, because that was a kind of assignment, war assignment, for me,
12 given to me by the secretary of -- for Defence, and there was not much
13 choice in that matter.
14 Q. Before you first came to the session of the Crisis Staff, had you
15 ever heard about the Crisis Staff from whom and what did you hear?
16 A. Since the municipal assembly was not operating and it wasn't even
17 in its building, it was all relocated to Uniglas, later I heard that that
18 was the municipal Crisis Staff acting in lieu, temporarily, of -- instead
19 of the municipal authorities and that the Crisis Staff was acting as
20 civilian authorities under certain circumstances. That is more or less
21 what I learned about the Crisis Staff.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, it's not clear from that
23 answer whether the witness is saying that the Crisis Staff stood in for
24 the municipal assembly that existed before the 16th or whether he's
25 referring to some other municipal assembly, the way one reads the answer
1 is -- it's almost as if the Crisis Staff took the place of the municipal
2 assembly which had never operated again after the 16th. It might just --
3 for the sake of clarity, I think that should be made clear.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. I think this is more a question for cross-examination but I will
6 ask you: Do you know when the Crisis Staff started operating, not what
7 you heard here in the Court but just what you heard about the Crisis
8 Staff, when it started operating?
9 A. At the time, I didn't even know or had any information but I do
10 now -- know now from the documents but at the time I didn't know whether
11 the Crisis Staff was operating or was it the municipality that I thought
12 as about municipal personnel but later when I came to the first session,
13 I learned that there was a Crisis Staff acting instead of the civilian
14 authorities, normally discharged by the municipality of Samac.
15 Q. We'll go back to the Crisis Staff but let's follow the chronology.
16 After this meeting with Mr. Simic, what did you do after that regarding
17 the civilian protection staff?
18 A. I went to the local commune and there I looked for Zeljko Volas
19 to go and see the premises. There I found one room which was vacant and
20 he told me that we can put the protection civilian staff in that room.
21 Then we sat together and talked a bit and I was thinking about who could
22 be on this protection -- civilian protection staff because I didn't have
23 any recommendations to that effect or guidelines from Milos, let alone
24 from Simic, and thinking about that, I remembered some of my
25 acquaintances, and I discussed this with Volas, and I took a piece of
1 paper and wrote the names of the people I think could be on the staff. I
2 remembered that the President of the local commune of Samac before the war
3 was Safet Hadrialagic, aka Pop, he was the President of the local commune
4 and I thought he was an appropriate personality and that he could be
5 capable of doing the things that we were supposed to do.
6 Q. What was his ethnicity?
7 A. He was a Muslim. Then I remembered a neighbour of mine, Trivo
8 Lukic, who also used to be the President of the municipality. He was the
9 manager of some companies, of a bank but he was a pensioner there, an
10 elderly person, and I also thought that he could be useful. I also
11 remembered another acquaintance of mine, Popovic.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, the interpreter didn't get the first
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Just a moment, please, could you speak more slowly? Can you
16 repeat the first name of Mr. Popovic and please speak more slowly?
17 A. His first name is Aleksandar - Aco - Popovic but I didn't mention
18 his first name at all.
19 Then I thought that some other guys could be there, like Ismet
20 Ramusovic, Mate Antunovic, a retired police officer, who was a family
21 friend of Lukic's. Zeljko Volasevic was also there. Trivo later
22 suggested to me that we should also invite Ljubo Vukovic. So that is how
23 more or less this staff was -- of civilian protection was established. So
24 those were all people who had no military assignments but could have
25 been -- could be helpful under certain circumstances.
1 Q. Mr. Mate Antunovic, what was his ethnicity?
2 A. He was a Croat.
3 Q. Ismet Ramusovic, what was his ethnicity?
4 A. A Muslim.
5 Q. Was he one of the brothers that mentioned earlier?
6 A. Yes. One of the six Ramusovic brothers.
7 Q. All right. Did those people respond to your invitation? How was
8 the staff established? How did you get together?
9 A. I asked Zeljko because he was already versed in this kind of
10 jobs. He knew how to get the people together, how to invite them, and he
11 proceeded with doing that. He got those men together. We met there and
12 agreed what to do in the future.
13 Q. When you came to those premises that were assigned to you, what
14 other agencies did you find there? Do you remember people you saw there?
15 Do you remember their names?
16 A. In those premises, in those offices, where local commune used to
17 be housed before, where the secretary of the local commune worked, we
18 found Zeljko Volasevic and then later on, when Ljubo Vukovic joined in,
19 they shared an office, or he had an office there as well. The first
20 office next to them was vacant and that's the office that I took for
21 myself. And the offices before those had already been taken by the Red
22 Cross, and social work centre, I'm not sure what they were called but I
23 saw Anka Jovanovic there, Milka Petkovic, Sveto Vasovic, Veljo and some
24 other people who worked in that service. They had entered those premises
25 a day or two before the civilian protection staff. I'm not quite sure.
1 Q. You said Veljo who did you have in mind?
2 A. Velimir Maslic.
3 Q. You mentioned these premises so perhaps could we find this out as
4 well? Where was the telephone located in those premises, the telephone
5 that had been mentioned?
6 A. The telephone used to belong to the former local commune so it had
7 been there from before, and it was moved from one office to another
8 office, and occasionally it would be in my office as well if I needed to
9 make phone calls they would bring the phone into my office, and it would
10 be there. But normally, it was in the office of the person who spent the
11 most time there. If it was the Red Cross, then it would be in their
12 offices. If the Red Cross people went out to do some work in the field,
13 and didn't lock the phone before leaving, then the phone would be
14 transferred to the offices of the local commune either in Zeljko's office
15 or Ljubo Vukovic's office, or perhaps they would just leave an office
16 open, unlocked so that we can access to the phone. At any rate, all of us
17 had just that one phone at our disposal on that floor.
18 Q. And that telephone, did that operate the entire time, even when
19 other phones were not working?
20 A. Yes. It operated continually but of course if other phones were
21 not working then that one couldn't work either but I think that that phone
22 had a priority or was linked to a priority telephone line and if only
23 several phones were operational, then this phone was among them.
24 Q. Do you remember when was the first time you attended a Crisis
25 Staff session? Where was it held, what went on there and who did you find
2 A. It might be a good idea to say what the Crisis Staff -- or the
3 civilian protection staff was involved in.
4 Q. Yes. Tell us, what were the first tasks of the civilian
5 protection staff?
6 A. In the Official Gazette, shown to me by Milos, it said what were
7 the approximate tasks of the staff in peace time. Given the fact that we
8 didn't have peace time conditions any more, the staff had a more limited
9 kind of tasks that were important in order to organise civilian life in
10 Samac. When we reviewed our activities, they were to be our main tasks,
11 we concluded that we had to engage a certain number of people who would
12 assist us with this. So therefore, in the beginning, we engaged
13 commissioners. Since we were from different neighbourhoods, those of us
14 who were there, and we knew the residents, we engaged commissioners from
15 local communes or rather from neighbourhoods. Also commissioners from
16 large buildings. So from some geographical entities, and we did it -- we
17 tried to do it in a logical way. Those commissioners were mostly
18 retirees, the senior citizens who were able to assist us in this. Their
19 primary task, given that the shelling was quite intense, was to see what
20 the situation was like with shelters that could be set up in certain parts
21 of town. Therefore, they researched this issue to see what could be used
22 as shelters. Since Ismet Ramusovic had a technical background, he made a
23 list, together with another man. They drew up arrows and set up shelters,
24 made a list of them, and then marked the shelters so that in any
25 particular area, there was a shelter that could be used should there be a
1 need for that. Those shelters were in residential buildings, apartment
2 buildings, where there was a possibility to set them up, and there were
3 also some shelters in private houses. So basically, any site that could
4 be used was turned into a shelter.
5 The shelters were set up in order to protect the population, and
6 there was no force used. People were not forced to use -- to go to a
7 shelter. Whoever wanted could go to a shelter and those who did not want
8 to go to a shelter exposed themselves to a risk of getting killed by a
9 shell. Naturally, people gladly used shelters whenever there was a need
10 for that.
11 Yesterday, as we have mentioned, my house was also one of such
12 shelters. The commissioners also had some task relating to raising aid
13 for refugees, finding housing for refugees. The commissioners in their
14 areas made a list of those residents who were able to put up a certain
15 number of refugees in their homes. So there was frequent activity of
16 ours. People were drawing up such lists of neighbours living in the area
17 who were willing to put up refugees in their homes.
18 Then we collected or rather the commissioners collected blankets
19 for the army in their neighbourhoods and so on. So those were the tasks
20 of the commissioners of the civilian protection staff.
21 In addition to that, we also had to set up a first aid team.
22 Previously, the emergency aid was set up in Samac in neighbourhoods, and
23 that was the system before, the system of all peoples defence and self
24 defence. That was the part of our general, system. And people simply had
25 to be reengaged in order to join the teams of people that could provide
1 assistance to people in trouble.
2 Before the war, that was led by Dr. Stanimirovic. Therefore he
3 knew the people involved in this and he took this task upon himself to set
4 up these teams in the neighbourhoods and in the buildings as quickly as
6 Q. I will interrupt you here because we will come back to tasks of
7 civilian Defence but I'm interested in these initial tasks. You said that
8 the initial tasks was to set up shelters and to find commissioners. We
9 will -- was there anything else in those first days that you organised
10 within the civilian protection?
11 A. Yes, yes. Another important activity was to set up a team to
12 provide emergency repairs to damages created by shelling, so we needed a
13 plumber, an electrician and all other kinds of specialists that could do
14 these repairs.
15 Q. Let's continue chronologically, it will be easier for us to follow
16 this. Let us go back to the Crisis Staff sessions. When were you invited
17 and when did you arrive on the 23rd of April, when you formally became
18 commander of civilian protection staff?
19 A. A day or two or perhaps three after the 23rd, I didn't remember
20 the date, I was asked to come to the heating plant, to Toplana, so not
21 Uniglas any more but rather to Toplana and I went there.
22 Q. Who did you find there?
23 A. That was the first time I came to Toplana. I had never been there
24 before. I found some people there at the very entrance. There were two
25 guys whom I didn't know. I told them why I was there. And they sent me
1 upstairs in the Toplana building, and there, upstairs, in an office I
2 found a large group of people sitting and the meeting had not begun yet
3 obviously. They were having coffee, talking about general matters so the
4 meeting had not yet been called to order. And as I've said, I found quite
5 a number of people in that office.
6 Q. When you say quite a number, how many?
7 A. About ten, about ten, were sitting there having coffee and talking
8 general stories.
9 Q. And then what happened?
10 A. I knew some people better than others. Some people I didn't know
11 at all. So I was introduced to some people. I greeted some people as
12 acquaintances. There was Mr. Blagoje Simic there. I had met him before.
13 There was Mirko Jovanovic. I didn't know him before. That was the first
14 time I met him. Then there was Stevan Todorovic. I also had no
15 encounters with him before. That was my first contact with him. There
16 was Simeon Simic there and I had known him for a long time. There was
17 Bozo Ninkovic. I also knew him from before. There was Cedo something.
18 I knew him by sight only. Then there was somebody called Milan, I
19 believe. Then there was Mitar Mitrovic. I had also never met him prior
20 to that and that was the first time I saw him. I don't know if I omitted
21 any names but those were the people that I found in that office.
22 They asked me whether I wanted a coffee. I said yes, and then a
23 woman there brought me a coffee. That was the first time I saw that woman
24 too. And then after we had coffee, some people left, and one group
25 remained, Bozo, Cedo left, and some other people, whereas the rest of us
1 remained there. And that was then the meeting of the Crisis Staff.
2 Q. And what happened then?
3 A. Those people, and I believe them to be members of the Crisis
4 Staff, although I never received any official information concerning that,
5 either concerning their appointment or concerning my appointment, I had
6 never seen any document appointing me to that post. So before anything
7 started, they asked me whether I had found people for the civilian
8 protection staff, and they asked me how things were going with that. And
9 I described it in general terms. I told them that I had done something,
10 that we had found some people, and had done some indispensable actions,
11 and there was visible dissatisfaction there. Mirko Jovanovic and Stevan
12 Todorovic were particularly vociferous.
13 Q. Let me interrupt you there. What people did you have in mind?
14 A. Well, when I told them about the people I had chosen for the
15 civilian protection staff, they didn't like my choices because they
16 believed those people to be communists. They -- all of those people had
17 been long-term members of the Communist Party, secretaries of
18 municipalities, secretaries of local and communes, and they didn't approve
19 of my choice. I told them, well, I'm not among them. I don't know if
20 that will please you. In addition to that, they simply didn't like the
21 composition as such, but they accepted it and let it stand for the time
23 The other issue they were interested in was the situation with
24 Novi Grad, because at the time, the situation in the Odzak area was
25 already quite complex and since I hailed from that area, they believed me
1 to possess the best information, and I believe that that was the case
2 indeed, I had some information, and I told them the situation was
3 complex. I told them what had contributed to making the situation
4 complex, and since I had information indicating that there were
5 representatives of the international community there, I also told them
6 that there were members of the international community there negotiating
7 with the authorities in Odzak to have the Serbs leave the area and cross
8 over into Samac municipality. That was the information I had, and this is
9 what I conveyed to them. I didn't try to make it -- to sound more
10 dramatic. I tried to use mild terms in order not to escalate tensions,
11 because at the time, there was quite a number of people from Odzak area
12 who had arrived in Samac. And there was a lot of concern about people in
13 Odzak municipality.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now have a break, Your
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will continue at 11.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic. You're continuing.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. While this is still fresh in our memory and I see that the ELMO
22 has been brought into the courtroom, I would like to comment on the map
23 with the witness. I have a fresh, unmarked copy of Exhibit D88/3. It's a
24 map of Samac, and I would like the usher to put this on the ELMO so that
25 the witness can mark the map.
1 Mr. Tadic, you can put it on the desk but you can also put it on
2 the ELMO and mark it there.
3 Put it in front of you.
4 A. There is no problem.
5 Q. Could you mark your house with number 1?
6 A. [marks]
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could the technician zoom in so that
8 we can see the map better? Thank you.
9 Q. Would you please mark the command, or rather the administration
10 building of the SIT company? Could you mark that with number 2?
11 A. [marks]
12 Q. Where is the Tekstilac kitchen? Number 3.
13 A. [marks]
14 Q. Where was the waterworks building?
15 A. [marks] The waterworks building was a bit away from the road,
16 maybe some 30 metres away from the road, and the other buildings were
17 adjacent to the street.
18 Q. Where is building number 62, the residential building we talked
20 A. [marks]
21 Q. Where is the entrance that you entered, on what side is it?
22 A. [marks]
23 Q. And where is the entrance where Witness Hasan Subasic lived?
24 Could you mark that with number 7?
25 A. That entrance would be somewhere here. [marks]
1 Q. Tell us: Where was the later headquarters in connection with the
2 logistics of the 4th Detachment or rather the 5th Battalion where
3 Mr. Tovirac worked later?
4 A. This is the building adjacent to my building. So that would be
6 Q. Would you mark it with number 8?
7 A. [marks]
8 Q. I'm interested in a few more houses. Where approximately is the
9 Dagovic family house?
10 A. This is Pere Bosic Street and the Dagovic family lived
11 approximately here. There was one house right next to the door -- right
12 next to the street, and the other one was a bit away from the street,
13 number 9.
14 Q. Where is the old folks home building, the pensioners home?
15 A. It's this one here which has been shaded. It's this building
16 here, you see, number ten.
17 Q. It says so on the map, doesn't it?
18 A. Yes, it does. It says the retired persons' home.
19 Q. Where was the building of the Secretariat of National Defence and
20 the communications centre?
21 A. It should be here, the communications centre building.
22 Q. Would you mark that with number 11?
23 A. [marks] Across the street from the hotel, this is Marsala Tita
24 Street. There was a bank on the ground floor and upstairs where the
25 entrance was from this side here, there was the Secretariat for National
1 Defence, in which besides the people taking care of the secretariat, there
2 was also the civilian protection staff. It had always been there. It was
3 there before the war, during the war and after the war. The person
4 employed in the civilian protection was there, and the communications
5 centre was in the same building, also upstairs.
6 Q. Would you please tell us where the 4th neighbourhood or area, the
7 fourth quarter was, that you mentioned, where your zone of responsibility
8 was of the 4th Detachment?
9 A. The fourth quarter stretched from Edvard Kardelj Street towards
10 the River Bosna. This is the River Bosna here, and this is Edvard Kardelj
11 Street which set apart the fourth neighbourhood, the River Sava is up here
12 and this whole area in the direction of Crkvina belonged to the fourth
14 Q. This is the embankment that you mentioned?
15 A. Yes. This is the embankment of the River Bosna and this is the
16 fourth quarter.
17 Q. Can you please indicate where the tank was when it appeared, under
18 number 12?
19 A. The tank came from this direction and it went toward the fire
20 station. I'm not sure which of these three streets, I wasn't there, but I
21 heard it was somewhere near the bridge. This here is the bridge leading
22 to the River Bosna, and it was somewhere here. Whether it was next to the
23 fire station or one of these streets, I don't know.
24 Q. Would you mark this with number 12, please?
25 A. [marks]
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Di Fazio?
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Perhaps if the witness could complete that task and
3 mark it with the number 12, then I have a matter to raise concerning his
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Would you please mark with number 12 the location where you think
7 the tank was?
8 A. [marks]
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. If Your Honours please, it's more of a
10 concern with a question asked by Mr. Lukic. My colleague, Mr. Lukic said
11 to the witness, "Please tell us where the fourth neighbourhood or area
12 was, that was your zone of responsibility in the 4th Detachment" and the
13 witness went on to indicate the area. On Friday, Mr. -- the witness
14 testified that Mr. Radovan Antic was to -- ordered that the 4th Detachment
15 was to collect weapons not from the whole of the town but only from the
16 neighbourhood marked as the fourth district. I understood from his
17 evidence on Friday that the 4th Detachment was confined, the whole 4th
18 Detachment was confined to collecting weapons from that one area of town,
19 the fourth district, whereas now the question -- the implication in
20 Mr. Lukic's question is that well only Mr. Tadic -- only his section, so
21 to speak, of the 4th Detachment was operating in this fourth neighbourhood
22 and it implies that the 4th Detachment was in fact operating in other
23 areas of the town in addition to this specific area and it's that that I
24 wanted to be clear about because I understood from Friday that the 4th
25 Detachment, the whole 4th Detachment was confined to that one small area
1 of town, and that's important to know.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. My question must have been confusing. Mr. Tadic, where was the
4 4th Detachment tasked with collecting weapons and where was it to take up
5 positions in defence of the town?
6 A. The witnesses that will come after me will probably be able to
7 answer this in greater detail but I can say the following to clarify
8 this: The 4th Detachment and the fourth district have nothing in common.
9 The districts represent a division of the town. There were four such
10 districts. The first, second, third and fourth. The 17th Tactical Group,
11 which in the area of Samac had certain detachments, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and
12 4th Detachment, that has nothing in common with the districts. The 4th
13 Detachment covered the entire area of Samac. So the men in the 4th
14 Detachment were not just here. It had, I think, three companies. So the
15 first company, let's say, would be here. The 2nd company was, let's say,
16 in this part of town. The 3rd Company, in this part of town. So that the
17 men of the 4th Detachment were not just in the fourth district, they were
18 all over Samac. But this is the fourth district where a part, and I've
19 already said that, it wasn't 500 men that went there to collect weapons
20 but only a certain number, maybe some 30 of them. So a part of the 4th
21 Detachment went to the fourth district to collect weapons, only one part
22 of the 4th Detachment, while the remainder had other tasks and this will
23 be clarified later on. They went to take up positions on the River Bosna,
24 on the edge of town, and the River Sava up here in this area, all the way
25 to Donja Mahala. That's where Donja Mahala is that Ljubu Vukovic talked
1 about. This is where the 4th Detachment took up positions on the edges of
3 Q. Has this now been clarified for the Prosecution?
4 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, it has, and I'm grateful to my learned friend
5 and I'm glad that the evidence is now absolutely clear on what the 4th
6 Detachment was doing. Thank you.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Will you please draw an arrow and mark with number 13 the
9 direction from which the men in camouflage uniform came who shot -- who
10 fired shots in the direction of your house and from where approximately
11 they fired shots?
12 A. You see, this is the health centre. Is that what it says here?
13 Yes. It was in front of the health centre. They came from this direction
14 and it was here that I saw them. It was from here that they fired shots
15 in the direction of my house. Then they went back here and went off in
16 this direction.
17 Q. Would you mark this with number 13?
18 A. [marks]
19 Q. What was then the name of this street?
20 A. This is the Bulevar Revolucije -- revolution boulevard. That's
21 what it says here and this street passes by my house and goes as far as
22 the embankment on the Bosna. On the other side it goes as far as the
23 memorial home. I don't know what its name is now.
24 Q. Well, what is important here is the then location.
25 A. There are some other elements that are important here. [redacted]
1 [redacted] is here.
2 Q. Just a moment. I would like us to move into private session now.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we move into private session?
4 [Private session]
5 [Open session]
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. So you want me to read
7 the numbers and say what they indicate?
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. Number 1, Miroslav Tadic's house.
11 Number 2, the command of the 4th Detachment.
12 Number 3, the part of Tekstilac where the kitchen was.
13 Number 4, the waterworks compound.
14 Number 5, residential house number 62.
15 Number 6, the entrance to the Tubakovic flat.
16 Number 7, the entrance to the Subasic flat.
17 Number 8, the logistics base of the 4th Detachment, and later on
18 of the 5th Battalion, after the 23rd of April, 1992.
19 Number 9, the Dagovic house.
20 Number 10, the pensioners' club.
21 Number 11, the secretariat for National Defence and the
22 communications centre.
23 Number 12, the position of the tank.
24 Number 13, the place from which the special purpose unit fired
25 shots in the direction of the house, the Tadic house.
1 Number 14 --
2 Number 15, the house of Delic and Jasarevic. I think they are not
3 protected witnesses.
4 And number 16, the house of Stojan Damjanovic.
5 Perhaps we might add number 17 to show the direction from which
6 the tank arrived.
7 Q. Yes. Please do.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for counsel.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. We may come back to this map but for now I wish to tender it into
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have it marked?
13 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D145/3.
14 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Lukic, we don't have anything for
15 number 14. It's just blank.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That was left out in order to avoid
17 the identification, but during the private session, the witness indicated
18 which this number referred to so we didn't want to mark this.
19 A. I said that was the house of a protected witness.
20 JUDGE WILLIAMS: That's fine. Thank you.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Tadic, you can put aside the map.
23 Let us go back to what we discussed before the break. You talked
24 about your first meeting or your first visit to the seat of the Crisis
25 Staff in the heating plant. You said who you found there. Now I'm going
1 to ask you who were the members of the Crisis Staff. You testified to
2 that during the interview but will you tell the Court now who were members
3 of the Crisis Staff?
4 A. According to what I experienced then, although I didn't receive
5 the written decision that I was a member of the Crisis Staff, nor had I
6 ever heard anyone receiving such kind of document, nor did I ever see the
7 list of members of the Crisis Staff, I concluded that members of the
8 Crisis Staff were men who were so to say regularly or very frequently
9 present at those meetings.
10 Q. Can you tell us their names?
11 A. All those that I enumerated already, do I have to repeat it
12 again? Only the first time Savo Popovic was not present there. I
13 probably didn't mention his name because he wasn't there at the beginning.
14 Whether he arrived later or I don't know but afterwards, I saw him at all
15 subsequent meetings.
16 Q. On page 57 of your interview, dated 26th of March, 1998, you
17 mentioned these men, and I'm going to repeat that you mentioned then the
18 names of Blagoje Simic, Stevan Todorovic, Mirko Jovanovic, Simeon Simic,
19 Milos Bogdanovic, you also mentioned the name of Fadil Topcagic at the
20 time. Do you know if he was a member of the Crisis Staff as well?
21 A. Yes. I know that he was appointed member of the Crisis Staff, but
22 I never attended any meeting together with him, neither on that occasion
23 when I came, nor on any other occasion was he at the meeting when I was
24 there. Whether he attended any other meeting when I wasn't there, I
25 wouldn't be able to say.
1 Q. Now you mentioned that on that occasion, you saw Mr. Mitar
2 Mitrovic, however, you didn't mention Mitar Mitrovic during the
3 interview. So let us make it clear. Did Mitar Mitrovic have any function
4 on the Crisis Staff?
5 A. From later activities, I deduced that Mitar Mitrovic was so to say
6 the secretary of the Crisis Staff. That means an administrative officer
7 or maybe a recording clerk or he was the one who read out loud the
8 decisions so these were the things that he used to do.
9 Q. At the meetings that you attended, in addition to the men that you
10 just mentioned, were there any other people -- what was the composition of
11 the meetings when you were there?
12 A. Since at the time the Crisis Staff, in addition to the executive
13 committee, which was sort of discharging certain powers, that was so to
14 say the most superior civilian authority or organ, and all other segments
15 of authority or better to say life came and presented their problems. For
16 example, if there were any social welfare or humanitarian problems,
17 agricultural problems, and other issues like finances, everybody --
18 representatives of these institutions so to say would come and present
19 their problems. So that the sessions and the meetings of the Crisis Staff
20 were always held in a broader circle in the attendance of people who came
21 occasionally. Some other people would come to other meetings.
22 Q. We are now talking about the period before the end of April or
23 May. How often were these meetings held and how often did you attend the
24 Crisis Staff meetings in this initial period?
25 A. In this initial period, the meetings were more frequent because
1 the problems were more complex and bigger, until the civilian authorities
2 consolidated and the life in Samac consolidated. Later on, when things
3 fell into place, the meetings were not so frequent. They were held only
4 when the situation required that. Initially, it was held every other
5 day. For example, but later, the meetings were held every three or four
6 days or maybe once a week.
7 Q. Did you go to the Crisis Staff of your own accord or were you
8 invited to go and attend these meetings?
9 A. I was always invited by telephone or in any other manner, that the
10 meetings was to be held at this and this time, so I used to go there when
11 it was necessary. Maybe there were meetings that didn't require my
12 presence were held in my absence or while I was away on a trip or had, for
13 negotiations or if I had an interview at the communications centre at the
14 time the meeting was held, I always gave primacy to the communications
15 centre because I always had an opportunity to say what I had to say to the
16 Crisis Staff on another day.
17 Q. Okay. We'll discuss this further on about what you did on the
18 Crisis Staff but we are still in the period in late April of 1992, and in
19 connection -- and these questions refer exclusively to this period before
20 the end of April, from the 17th of April. In that period, did you hear
21 that any arrests were made? Who told you about these arrests and what
22 information you had concerning this?
23 A. Probably it was really difficult for someone who was constantly in
24 the town and with the people not to hear that there were arrests.
25 Therefore, I learned about this in various manners, that somebody had been
1 arrested, and in the civilian protection staff were people who told me. I
2 also heard it from either well-intentioned or ill intentioned citizens
3 with whom I had contacts and on occasion, I heard this from Stevan
4 Todorovic, not officially but I did hear, and I sometimes tried to discuss
5 with him this topic. However, he always denied that, saying that that was
6 not my job, that I should concentrate on my duties, because that was his
7 area of responsibility, and I agreed with that, but I did think,
8 nevertheless, that I -- I was allowed to discuss this in a certain manner
9 as with a colleague of mine. From my point of view, I thought for some
10 people that they shouldn't have been detained. That was my opinion. I
11 didn't have details but knowing some people for a long time, I was really
12 surprised that those people got arrested. However, I always got the reply
13 that I didn't have all information and that I should allow the informed
14 people to do that.
15 Q. Can you remember any specific names that you inquired about?
16 A. Yes. I remember some of the names. For instance, the case of
17 Dragan Delic. Since I knew him ever since he was a child so to say, I
18 thought, and since in my view he was not involved in any murky business, I
19 believed that he wasn't in this group of armed men or had some other
20 intentions. However, he told me not to worry, that he did something else,
21 something to do with the money, which I also didn't believe at the time.
22 I also remember a man Zaim -- Esef Zaimbegovic. At the beginning he was a
23 commissioner representing an enterprise but later, he was also arrested
24 and I, as a citizen, did not believe that Esef Zaimbegovic didn't have
25 anything to do with arming, and that he wasn't part of that group. So I
1 also remember a surveyor, I can't remember his name now, was among those
3 Q. Did Todorovic inform the Crisis Staff about these arrests and the
4 reasons for these arrests? Did you attend any such session where you
5 heard it officially?
6 A. No. Just in this form that I just described. If anyone asked
7 him, he just told that there were such people but that there was not --
8 there was none of our business, that he was taking care about everything,
9 and that if necessary, he would provide papers and rationale for every
10 arrested person. Quite simply, he believed that that was his job and that
11 is -- and he acted accordingly.
12 Q. Did the Crisis Staff -- do you know and were you present at the
13 meeting or have you ever heard, did the Crisis Staff give any order to
14 Todorovic concerning these arrests, in order to either arrest someone or
15 to release someone?
16 A. Even if I hadn't been present there, I would have certainly known
17 about that, and I'm quite sure that the Crisis Staff never said to anyone,
18 "This person should be arrested or this person should be released." Maybe
19 there were individual interventions, someone to be released, but I say
20 individual, just sporadic, but there were no orders to arrest anyone.
21 Q. As a member of the Crisis Staff, and the commander of the civilian
22 protection staff and the man who was participating in the power at the
23 time, have you ever issued an order for anyone to be arrested?
24 A. No, and for anyone and ever. I didn't do that.
25 Q. Did you personally endorse someone's arrest after somebody had
1 been arrested? Did anyone ask for your approval?
2 A. No. I wasn't asked to give my approval, nor was I in a position
3 to give approval because according to what my duty was, that was beyond my
4 jurisdiction to give this kind of approvals and as a human being, I would
5 never concede to giving such things.
6 Q. According to the information that you were receiving, not only
7 from Todorovic but possibly from other persons, did you -- were you given
8 any more detailed reasons for these arrests, both from the official
9 figures and both through rumours?
10 A. From the very beginning, and from before the 17th of April, I knew
11 that certain groups in Samac were armed. That was no secret, that they
12 had been secretly armed and that [as interpreted] -- therefore, the main
13 reason for -- that Todorovic offered as a reason for the arrest was
14 possession of arms, resistance, and things like that.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The witness said, and it was not
16 included in the transcript, page 48, that those men were armed secretly or
17 through TO.
18 Q. That is what you said.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you hear that questionings were conducted by the police? Did
21 you -- do you know the information acquired by the police?
22 A. No. I don't know these details but it would be only logical that
23 these people who were detained would be questioned. I presumed there were
24 questionings held but I didn't know the details.
25 Q. Did you hear, and if you did, when was that, for the first time,
1 that there was beating and maltreatment of the detainees?
2 A. The best confirmation I received through exchanges, and I also
3 heard from citizens, that somebody had first been maltreated and then
4 released, so such person would tell other people that he had been
5 maltreated and then released. However, those who were in detention, I had
6 no contacts either with the police or with them, but later, when I had
7 contacts with the so-called more moderate policemen, just like Simo
8 Krunic, Savo Cancarevic, Ranko Popovic and many others, Mirko Pavic then I
9 heard some details from them, that -- to the effect that unauthorised
10 personnel, mostly while they were drunk, were -- maltreated the detainees.
11 Q. Did the names of those people in camouflage uniforms were
12 mentioned or it was unknown who did it?
13 A. Most frequently, those men did it, but with them they had some
14 locals as well.
15 Q. Tell us: Who took the decision to establish a detention --
16 detention units? I'm asking about the secondary and elementary schools.
17 What information you have? Who was it to make a decision for these
18 detention units to be formed?
19 A. All the information available points to the police. The police
20 were the ones who made the arrests and of course they didn't ask either me
21 or anyone else if they thought that SUP was overcrowded they would take
22 the TO building or if the TO building was overcrowded, they would take the
23 school. As far as I remember, there was never discussion about this issue
24 on the Crisis Staff or that they had any -- at any time asked for
25 permission for this. I never heard about that.
1 Q. I suppose this will not going to be leading question but I guess
2 you knew where the detention units in Samac were and where those people
3 were held?
4 A. I knew about these detention units, not maybe from day one, but as
5 soon as it happened, I learned about that. That was no big secret.
6 Q. Did you enter those detention facilities, and if so when, and
7 which ones, you personally?
8 A. I never once entered any detention facility. Because the
9 situation in those facilities did not suit me. A lot of my friends and
10 acquaintances were detained there, for whom I had no explanation to
11 offer. And I think that it was the easiest for me not to go there. If
12 you have in mind the visit to Mato Perkovic, I do not consider that as
13 visiting the detention facility. Is that what you're interested in?
14 Q. We will get to that episode chronologically later on. I was just
15 interested in hearing whether you had ever entered detention facilities
16 and you gave your answer.
17 Mr. Tadic, did you hear that at the end of April, I believe that
18 the first indictment gives that date as the 26th of April, 1992, so let us
19 uphold that date, that on that date, Dikan Brandic was killed, and if you
20 did hear about this, who did you hear it from and what did you hear in
22 A. I heard about this case. I didn't know that it involved Dikan
23 Brandic. I simply heard that a man was killed. The first information I
24 received came from Mr. Zaric, I believe, because he in a way was taken
25 aback by that event. On that day, I took him somewhere in my car. We
1 were looking for Nikolic, and on the way there, he told me why they were
2 looking for Nikolic. I took him to his driver because at the time he had
3 a driver, I believe, and he continued on with that driver, and did the
4 things that have already been described here. So either on that day or on
5 the following day, I learned more about the murder of this man. That man
6 was killed in the evening, and I heard of this the following afternoon,
7 which means the following day I learned a bit more about it.
8 Q. On the following day, did you receive information that other
9 detainees had been transferred to Brcko?
10 A. Yes. After that, I learned that they had been transferred to
11 Brcko and I believed it to be a good solution for that particular period
12 in time.
13 Q. I will read out to you part of the testimony of Tihic, Sulejman
14 Tihic, given on the 19th of September, before this Trial Chamber. Page
15 1441, where he describes him being present while Simo Zaric conducted a
16 conversation. [In English] "And then Simo said he wanted to see the
17 Lieutenant Colonel and he called for Miroslav Tadic to come, who was a
18 sort of -- who was his assistant. Some kind of person who usually
19 accompanied him. And then Miroslav Tadic came. They then went to Utva, I
20 think in the car, to talk with Nikolic."
21 [Interpretation] This is the evidence Mr. Tihic gave concerning
22 what you just described to us. Do you remember going to the police
23 station to get Zaric?
24 A. First of all, I was no assistant of Simo's, nor his deputy. As
25 far as I can remember, I drove Simo to the command of the 4th Detachment,
1 not to the Uniglas company.
2 Q. Very well. As you've said yourself, these people were transferred
3 to Brcko and you said that you approved of it. You personally approved of
5 A. No. I didn't approve of it. Nobody asked me for my approval. I
6 was simply in accord with that.
7 Q. Well, that's what I meant. I was interested in your personal
8 attitude regarding that. Was Dikan's murder ever discussed at the Crisis
9 Staff or was the transfer of detainees discussed? Did you attend any such
11 A. No. I never attended any sessions where any murder was discussed,
12 not even the murder of Dikan, whose name I learned much later. At the
13 time, I didn't know who had been killed.
14 Q. I would like to follow chronological order and will now turn to a
15 completely different topic, but relating to this period of time. I
16 believe we should analyse it in greater detail because it is important for
17 the Defence's case.
18 I'm interested in what you knew about problems with your fellow
19 countrymen, relatives and friends from Odzak municipality. What did you
20 know about what took place before the 8th of May incidents and so on?
21 What can you tell us about that?
22 A. I've already said that the first time I attended the Crisis Staff
23 meeting, I informed them about some of the details about events that had
24 taken place in that area. One could say that it all started developing
25 sometime around the 19th of April, when Rajko Djuric was killed from an
1 ambush. His nickname was Truman. A young man, Bozic, was wounded. He
2 was captured and transferred to Slavonia, to Croatia, to a prison there.
3 Later on, he was exchanged, and I will mention that later.
4 On the same day, when we heard about the incident, another team
5 started out from Novi Grad headed by Milan Rakic, Djokin's son, because
6 there are several people called Milan Rakic, therefore I have to indicate
7 that his father's name was Djokin. There was another man with him and his
8 wife, who was a nurse. They believed that there was some wounding
9 involved and they wanted her to assist. Her name is Milena Dragojlovic.
10 Two other young men came with them. All of them were civilians at the
11 time, wearing civilian clothes. As they approached Prud, they were
12 stopped by armed men. They were taken out of their car and captured.
13 Milena, her husband and Rakic were transferred to Slavonski Brod, to
14 Croatia, to a prison there, whereas the two young men were killed on the
15 banks of the Sava River. I have to say that because their bodies have not
16 yet been found or rather there is no indication of where their bodies
17 might be, and this despite the fact that a lot of work was put in, in
18 order to locate them.
19 This event had a great impact on people in that area. Serbs from
20 Dubica, as well as Serbs from Trnjak which was completely encircled, were
21 very much afraid because of this, as were people from Lipik, and all of
22 them fled to Novi Grad, believing that they would all be safer there if
23 they were together. All of them were members of the Territorial Defence
24 and the JNA, but they belonged to the 11th tactical group, which means
25 that they were completely unrelated to our tactical group as they were on
1 the other side of the Bosna River. So they put up some kind of resistance
2 but it was completely hopeless because they had been completely
3 surrounded. Shelling started, mostly from Croatia, Slavonski Samac,
4 Slavonski Novi Grad, they found themselves in a hopeless situation and
5 they requested the authorities in Odzak to let them leave the area, and at
6 that time, in late April, an international team arrived. I don't know
7 whether they were people from the European Union. I don't know. People
8 later told me that they had little stars on their sleeves so this is why I
9 believe them to be representatives of the European Union. They negotiated
10 with authorities in Odzak and in Ograce [phoen] about letting them go to
11 the Samac area. The condition was to surrender weapons after which they
12 would be released and they accepted this condition. However, this was not
13 implemented. Representatives of the international community left the
14 area, having promised that they would implement this. However, this was
15 not implemented and the time went on and the situation became increasingly
16 difficult for these people.
17 On one occasion, they called me from the communications centre
18 because the operators there, who worked around the clock, had contacts
19 between themselves before the war, they were all part of one single
20 system. So they were in contact with each other and the guy from the
21 communications centre told me that somebody from Odzak had called, who
22 would like to talk to me. So the following day, I went there and he told
23 me that the authorities in Odzak had agreed and that they had made an
24 arrangement according to which they would let the people from Novi Grad go
25 under the same conditions that had been arranged with the European Union
1 and that they would let them come to the territory of our town.
2 Q. And when was this going on?
3 A. In early May. That was the only request they had for me. They
4 simply wanted to inform me that they were going to cross over into Samac
5 municipality. I couldn't say either yea or nay. I said to them, "If
6 that's what you agreed, then that's fine."
7 Q. We will continue but tell us first, is this what you informed the
8 Crisis Staff about, this story that you just told us?
9 A. No. This hadn't happened yet when I attended the first session of
10 the Crisis Staff. There were just negotiations going on at that time, and
11 none of this had happened yet. All of this happened after that first
12 session of the Crisis Staff.
13 Q. Well, tell us what happened next.
14 A. On the following meeting of the Crisis Staff, I informed them
15 about what the people from Odzak told me about, and they had nothing
16 either pro or contra. They were simply surprised by this and they said,
17 we should organise accommodation for these people who were supposed to
18 arrive on the 8 the of May, because that's what they told me, that that
19 was the arrangement. So the civilian protection staff in cooperation with
20 the Red Cross, with the health centre, and all of those other organs that
21 were able to assist, organised accommodation for these people. They were
22 supposed to happen on the separation line between Garevac and Milosevac
23 which is some 15 kilometres from Samac. All of us went to that site. We
24 expected that to take place in the afternoon hours because that had been
25 the initial information so all of us went there, the first aid squads,
1 doctors, people from the civilian protection staff, people who were able
2 to assist in any way, the Red Cross, with their people. And a lot of
3 other people from Novi Grad who were waiting for their closest relatives.
4 And we stayed there waiting for them until 10.00 p.m. Nothing happened.
5 I even went with another man to the separation line, because there was a
6 watch guard there. There were guards there. And the guard who was a
7 Croat told me that he knew nothing about that, that nobody informed him of
9 After that, I returned to Samac and I went to the communications
10 centre to see if we could establish communication with them. The operator
11 managed to establish it. However nobody responded from the other side.
12 He tried several times but didn't succeed because nobody replied on the
13 other side.
14 In the meantime, a policeman came by, who was also originally from
15 Novi Grad. So he was there out of curiosity and he told me that they had
16 old frequencies, the ones that they used before the war to communicate, so
17 that he was willing to use his Motorola to connect with a colleague whom
18 he knew from before, and he managed to get the man on the other side, and
19 he asked him about what was going on with these people, and the man on the
20 other side said that everything was going according to the plan, and that
21 the column was some nine kilometres long from Novi Grad to Odzak and that
22 they wouldn't get there until noon on the following day.
23 We parted. We all went back. And then the following day, we
24 waited again. Again there was no radio communication, not even the man
25 with the Motorola was not on the line. This is how two or three days went
1 by. We were unable to establish communication, and when we didn't know
2 what had happened.
3 Q. And what happened in fact, what did you learn later?
4 A. A few days later, I don't know whether it was two or three days,
5 the duty operator in the communication centre, he was constantly trying to
6 establish communication, and in the first few days, he was unsuccessful
7 but then later on he did establish communication, and they said, those
8 people over there, that on the following day, at about 9.00 a.m., I should
9 be there and that somebody would be on the other side, and we could talk.
10 So on the following day, I went to the communication centre and a
11 man on the other side from the Odzak side was also there. I think his
12 name was Pero. I knew him by sight. We weren't friends but I knew him
13 and I'm sure he knew me in the same way, and he said that there had been
14 an unfortunate incident, that the people there had been arrested, that he
15 had nothing to do with it, and he was letting us know that they had all
16 been arrested but he said everything was all right and the situation was
17 under control.
18 As he didn't know more than that, or rather he was not authorised
19 to tell me more, that's where the matter ended and in this way, we were
20 finally able to establish what happened to these people. One of the
21 witnesses has already described what happened so I won't go into any
23 Q. Just please tell us the date when these people were detained in
24 the Odzak municipality and not permitted to cross over into Samac?
25 A. The 8th of May, 1992.
1 Q. I now ask that this photograph be shown to the witness, which I
2 would like to tender into evidence.
3 Mr. Tadic, what can you tell us about this photograph?
4 A. This photograph was taken on the 8th of May, the day we talked
5 about. It was taken by the Croats, who were there escorting. They used a
6 camera but they also used a video. There was a video which we later
7 managed to get hold of, as we did of this photograph. This is part of the
8 column. This is my sister. And this is a man called Miljenko Topic, her
9 brother-in-law, and they were part of the column. He probably did not
10 have a car. In fact, I know he didn't have a car. So he put his
11 belongings on a bicycle and my sister, her son was already detained in a
12 camp, a group of people from Novi Grad were taken prisoner around the 28th
13 of April, some ten days before this date. He was already in detention,
14 and her husband didn't want to surrender and he fled to the woods, and hid
15 there. He suspected something was wrong so he didn't want to go. He took
16 refuge somewhere, and she set out because she wanted to see her son. And
17 they arrived in Odzak in this column, and as the man before me said, they
18 were taken prisoner there.
19 Q. You said that you got hold of this photograph later on. We don't
20 need any details but tell us when.
21 A. We got hold of this photograph and the videotape some two or three
22 months later because my sister had two Croatian brothers-in-law and they
23 managed to get this.
24 Q. Is she your sister?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can this document be given a number,
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
4 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D146/3.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Tadic, do you need a break?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Tell us, please, on Friday, when your house and the AS cafe were
9 discussed, we heard that a lot of people from Odzak gathered around there
10 and this probably refers to the period we have just discussed. What were
11 the stories going round in that period about the Serbs who had been
12 detained at Odzak? What did you hear about this?
13 A. After that date, the stories that went round were terrible. Even
14 some newspapers wrote about the sufferings of the Serbs there, although
15 they had not been able to verify their information. Some newspapers even
16 wrote that at that time 1.500 Serbs had been killed in Odzak. I was sure
17 in a way that this was not true and --
18 JUDGE MUMBA: We have been through this before. What is the
19 relevance of this to the charges against the accused?
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that we have not
21 heard this before the Court, and I think they are relevant because of the
22 motives of Mr. Tadic for getting involved in the exchange. I think that
23 even the rumours of the time and the stories are important because we
24 heard about things that did happen, about the letter to the Secretariat of
25 National Defence and the letter sent by the Crisis Staff to various
1 addresses, but we have not yet heard why they did so. I at least have not
2 heard the sort of things that Mr. Tadic is talking about now, and this is
3 important for subjective reasons because I wish to show why my client did
4 certain things. So I think some things are relevant and should be heard
5 before the Court.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: [Microphone not activated] When you talk of the
7 reasons why your client --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: When you talk of the relevance of what is to be
10 discussed or what your client did, what did he do?
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm referring to his being involved in
12 the proceedings, the procedure related to the exchanges. All this led to
13 his getting involved in exchanges and this is an action that the
14 Prosecutor describes as part of persecution. So this is mentioned in the
15 indictment, saying that persecution was carried out through exchanges.
16 This is what the Office of the Prosecutor says. Persecution through the
17 so-called exchanges. I wish to show not only what his personal motives
18 were but why he wanted to work on exchanges.
19 I do not wish to go into what others did. I only want to touch on
20 some topics which are relevant to show why Tadic did what he did in the
21 exchanges. I believe that he was doing something positive. The
22 Prosecution thinks that exchanges were meant to conceal ethnic cleansing,
23 were just a cover for ethnic cleansing but I want to show why Mr. Tadic
24 was involved. How can the Chamber establish what his motives were and
25 his reasons if we do not know what he heard at the time? I think it's
1 very relevant for us to establish what he heard. Otherwise, we will only
2 have the claims by the Prosecution that what Tadic did was meant to be
3 ethnic cleansing. You may have noticed when we were questioning witness
4 TW 1/3, we never asked what actually happened there. I just wanted to
5 establish why exchanges were conducted. I am not asking Mr. Tadic as to
6 what he knew that happened there. He's only talking about the rumours
7 that he heard but these rumours are relevant in order to show the
8 psychology and why something was done.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. You have explained that but do go
10 through it briefly, Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. You said briefly what you heard. Did you believe the stories that
13 you had heard?
14 A. I was just about to say that not for a single moment did I believe
15 these rumours. I thought in human terms this could not be correct, and
16 that these were malicious stories, and that's how it turned out to be.
17 There were individual incidents but nothing on this large scale. I tried
18 at all possible levels, in all my conversations, to mitigate this picture,
19 created by malicious media.
20 Q. Thank you. Let us proceed.
21 Did you, Mr. Zaric and the third gentleman join an activity in
22 that period in connection with the detained Serbs?
23 A. After this event, the situation in Samac was very tense. Many
24 people arrived, apart from the ones who were there from the very
25 beginning, new people were constantly arriving and they were concerned.
1 They brought news which were bad, which were ugly. We had to keep an eye
2 on all this, to keep it from getting out of control, and try to create an
3 impression of all these events. First of all, nobody knew for certain
4 what number of people were involved, how many people were in detention
5 over there, who these people were and so on. In this state of panic, when
6 everybody was exerting pressure and everybody thought their own problems
7 were the most serious and the most pressing, we concluded, and I made
8 several attempts at the Crisis Staff to draw attention to Novi Grad, we
9 concluded that what was most important was for us to draw up lists of
10 people who may be detained there so that we could intervene through the
11 ICRC or some other organisation. That's how we started drawing up these
12 lists. I from Novi Grad, because I was already somehow in the centre of
13 these events because people from Novi Grad were already there, Bozo
14 Ninkovic from Dubica knew the situation concerning the people of Dubica.
15 And Simo Zaric knew the situation in Trnjak.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please it might be useful for you
17 to know whom the witness is talking of when he says, "we concluded" and
18 "we intervened" whether the witness is talking of himself, Mr. Zaric, the
19 Crisis Staff as a collective body, or any other group, because he keeps
20 saying "we" and it would be important for you to understand this evidence
21 who precisely is involved in this process.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. You talked about this in your interview. Who was it who reached
24 this decision? How was it decided?
25 A. It was not a decision. We were not a formal group appointed by
1 someone. Because we knew the situation on the ground, it was suggested by
2 members of the Crisis Staff, someone said, "Well it might be a good idea
3 if these three men," although we were not all there, I was the only one
4 who was present, neither Bozo Ninkovic nor Simo Zaric were actually
5 present on that occasion and they were not members of the Crisis Staff but
6 they said that because we knew the situation, the three of us should
7 gather information on the names of people who had been detained.
8 Q. And what happened with this information once you collected these
9 names, what did you do with them?
10 A. First, the problem of collecting names. There were over 2.000
11 people there between 2.000 and 3.000 so it wasn't a simple task.
12 Especially not in the case of Novi Grad, which had the largest number of
13 people, and of course I didn't know them all, so the people who were there
14 and who were more familiar with the situation, we all entered names into
15 the list. Bozo entered the names that he knew and that he heard from
16 other people in relation to Dubica, and Simo did the same in relation to
17 Trnjak. A same -- a group of the same sort was established in Belgrade,
18 where people also organised themselves into an association gathering
19 information that was known in Belgrade. Family members would report the
21 Q. We have the interview, Mr. Tadic, what did you do with these
23 A. All these lists were handed over to the International Red Cross in
25 Q. Did you have any role in connection with appeals made to the
1 general public?
2 A. Well, these appeals -- these lists were a kind of appeal, but I
3 have to say that although this is also in the interview, a far larger
4 number of people, of names, reached the International Red Cross than was
5 actually realistic, because many names turned up again and again in
6 different lists, and they didn't know this so that in Belgrade, the number
7 of people reported to the ICRC amounted to about 4.000. And this cry for
8 help was then raised to a higher level. Letters were written and sent to
9 all sides asking for help. In Belgrade, an association was established of
10 detainees from the area and they sent appeals for help to certain
11 addresses. I remember they wrote to a congresswoman in America, her name
12 was Bentley and then to the world organisation of Serbs in Geneva, and in
13 the end I went to see the patriarch but that was later. So that everyone
14 people thought might help was an addressee. They thought that someone
15 might be able to help. So they wrote letters.
16 Q. After the 8th of May, was there any mention on the Crisis Staff
17 about the situation and how frequently? Can you tell me that?
18 A. After this situation took place and I mentioned that we discussed
19 Novi Grad earlier but after these developments, always at the Crisis Staff
20 meetings, the item number 1 on the agenda was the situation in Novi Grad.
21 Q. Who informed the Crisis Staff on that?
22 A. Mostly I provided information relating to Novi Grad. We often
23 concluded the sessions with this item, as soon as that problem was
24 resolved the sessions were concluded and after I made my presentation, I
25 would leave the session and go elsewhere to do other jobs. So that was
1 the situation which was very important and crucial and could not have been
2 avoided at any level.
3 Q. What happened with the houses of those people, of the houses of
4 your family, at the time when they were detention? When did you find out
5 about that?
6 A. Well, the houses -- after the 8th of May, the houses were mainly
7 set on fire. Most of them were burned. I could even say about Dubica,
8 the village that used to have 210 houses that in mid-July, 1992, there
9 were no more than a dozen or to be more precise, 18 houses that were
10 left intact that were not burned which means that 102 [as interpreted]
11 houses had been burned.
12 Q. When did you find out that?
13 A. We found out about that after the first exchange, about one part,
14 and that was done officially, but with every subsequent exchange we
15 received more information. But the major part of information arrived
16 after -- the major when the 1st Krajina Corps took over.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Is this the time for a break, Your
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will have a break for 20 minutes.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic. You can continue.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the Presiding
24 Judge are we going to have our next break at quarter to 2 just so I can
25 plan my topics.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: We are supposed to have our next break at 13.30 and
2 then continue in the afternoon from 1500 hours to 1630 that was the new
3 schedule for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday only and then on Thursday, we
4 revert to the mornings only.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you. I would like
6 now document with internal marking PDB2/3, to be shown to the witness.
7 Q. Mr. Tadic, can you tell us briefly about this document? Do you
8 know who drafted it and what it pertains to?
9 A. Based on the title, it is clear which organ drafted it, Ministry
10 of the Interior, municipal secretariat for internal affairs, Odzak
11 municipality. I would just like to say that next to the numbers 3/0203,
12 there is a date, 11th of April, and the date is incorrect.
13 Q. What do you base that on?
14 A. It's a typing error, because the events described took place in
15 May, and this can be clearly seen in the fourth line of the explanation
16 where it says that on the 11th of May, 1992, from 1500 until 1800 hours,
17 they toured the area of Donja Dubica and Novi Grad. So it means that the
18 date in the upper corner was a typo, because in April, around the 11th of
19 April, there were no hostilities and there couldn't have been a situation
20 described in the text of the document.
21 Q. The names that are mentioned here, whose houses are these? What
22 is the ethnicity of the owners?
23 A. You can conclude that based on the last names, that these are the
24 houses of the Serbs from Donja Dubica and Novi Grad.
25 Q. Just give us a yes or no answer. Do you know any of these people?
1 A. Yes. I know most of the people from this list. Under number 3,
2 the name is Jefto Kovacevic.
3 Q. We don't have to go into names. We don't have to spend so much
4 time on this document but if you think it's important go ahead and say it?
5 A. I think it's important. Jefto Kovacevic is the father of my
6 brother-in-law and my brother-in-law was the President of the municipality
7 in Odzak. Fortunately, on the 8th of May, he was not in Odzak. He had
8 left earlier. And he was held to be responsible. Under number 24, is the
9 name of Djuric Rajko, called Truman. Under number 26 is the name of Sreto
10 Minic who will be mentioned later. I don't want to keep you any longer
11 and I'm sorry that this document was not placed on the ELMO. I didn't
12 need it in front of me to mention the names. And the rest of the people
13 in the courtroom didn't see the document.
14 Q. Everybody will get the opportunity to see this document.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we be given a number for this
16 document, please.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
18 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D147/3. And ter for the
19 B/C/S version. Thank you.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a correction for the record.
21 Before the break, you mentioned on page 65, the number of the houses
22 destroyed in Dubica, and written here there was 102, whereas you mentioned
23 a different figure.
24 A. I mentioned the figure of 192.
25 Q. Could now the witness be shown two photographs, please, together?
1 Can you tell us what is depicted on this photograph?
2 A. This photograph shows the house of my daughter in Novi Grad.
3 Q. When was this picture taken?
4 A. This is my daughter on the stairs here. This photograph was taken
5 before the 17th of April, 1992. As I've said, my daughter lives in
6 Switzerland and she only comes to the area occasionally, or she used to
7 come occasionally.
8 Q. Can we see the next photograph, please? What can we see on this
10 A. This photograph shows the same house, and nowadays, this house
11 doesn't even have this front facade because the time has taken its toll.
12 Q. Can we please be given numbers for these two photographs?
13 THE REGISTRAR: The photograph showing the house will be D148/3.
14 The photograph showing the burned house will be 149/3.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I have two more photographs but I will give them one by one so
17 that the identification goes more smoothly, and then we will complete with
18 the photographs. What can we see on this photograph, Mr. Tadic?
19 A. This is the house of my wife and me the way it looked about a year
20 ago, and it is in a worse shape today. This is just a view from one
22 Q. Where is this house located?
23 A. In Novi Grad.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we be given a number for this
25 document, please?
1 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D150/3.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. And the last photograph, Mr. Tadic, for the present time, what is
4 shown here?
5 A. This is the house of my brother, also located in Novi Grad. He's
6 been living in Germany for more than 30 years and when the house was set
7 on fire, he wasn't there. The house looks the same nowadays.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we be given the
9 number, please?
10 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D151/3.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Tadic, please tell me when the information reached Samac about
13 what was going on in Odzak municipality, was there any desire to -- for
14 revenge in Samac municipality? Was there any desire among the population
15 to avenge for these events? What do you know about that?
16 A. I am fully informed about this, and there was no such thing taking
17 place. Nobody's house was destroyed on purpose, nor set on fire, but some
18 houses were damaged by shelling and there were no other instances of
19 revenge-taking. I regret that we did not see the picture of my sister's
20 house because it is in a very bad shape.
21 Q. We do have that photograph ready. Perhaps we can tender it in
22 later on. No, let's put another photograph before the witness. Is that
23 the picture?
24 A. Yes. And it is self explanatory.
25 Q. And this is the house of the sister whose photo we have seen?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. Can we get a number for this photograph as well, please?
3 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D152/3.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Tadic, at that time, when you learned about what had happened
6 to your property and the property of your family, relatives, did you have
7 any desire to avenge with respect to your Croat neighbours or friends?
8 A. No, not then and not now [as interpreted].
9 Q. You in fact said not then and never?
10 A. Yes, that's right. That's what I said.
11 Q. We will return to events in Odzak later on when we get there
12 chronologically but I'm interested in another issue that has been
13 discussed here before this Trial Chamber, relating to the crime in
14 Crkvina. In the interview conducted with you, the OTP mentions the date
15 of the 7th of May, 1992, and I can see that date mentioned in some other
16 indictments before this Tribunal. So we will abide by this date. Do you
17 know something about this event? If so, what? And whom did you learn it
19 A. I learned of the event that took place and clearly that was an
20 atrocious matter. There were whispers about it around town. There was --
21 the rumours were whispered around town regarding that. However, I never
22 heard anybody say anything publicly regarding that. I talked to Mr. Zaric
23 regarding this. And I think that it was from him that I heard for the
24 first time about that terrible event. But there was also tete-a-tete.
25 Q. Did you learn some other information from Zaric regarding the
1 event and his activities?
2 A. I later found out from Zaric that he had been in Belgrade. He
3 went there because of this event. However in Belgrade, they were shocked
4 and unwilling to comment on this. And they didn't do much about it.
5 That's what I learned later on.
6 Q. What happened to the other people, the remaining people from that
7 warehouse? Did you learn anything regarding that and is there an event
8 you would like to tell us about?
9 A. It's been mentioned here that the residents of Crkvina intervened
10 fiercely and asked the police to remove those people from their village
11 because they did not agree with what had happened there. So the remaining
12 people were returned to Samac. Now, as to where they were returned, I
13 know nothing about that. First of all, I never knew what people were in
14 Crkvina. A number of 52 was mentioned here. I never learned the identity
15 of the people who were in Crkvina.
16 Q. Let me just interrupt you. You mean people who were imprisoned,
18 A. Yes, the entire group of 52. I never learned of the final list of
19 people who had been killed in Crkvina. What was mentioned were where
20 those people were from but I was never able to get to the exact, final
21 number, the numbers of 15 or 16 are mentioned, sometimes even 17. Not
22 even in the police was I able to get that list. They either didn't have
23 the list or they wouldn't show it to me. The people who were transferred
24 to Samac, they were eye witnesses to that event and they all gave
25 different accounts of the event. There was an eyewitness from the other
1 side, and he also gave a statement which differs from others quite
2 significantly. What I learned about that was as follows.
3 Q. Just a minute, please. The Prosecutor wanted to clarify
4 something, I believe.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, I did, as a matter of fact. If Your Honours
6 please, for this evidence to be of use to you, you should know, I submit,
7 when Mr. Tadic contacted the police to try and get the list of murder
8 victims, and who he dealt with when he was informed that they didn't have
9 the list or that they wouldn't show it to you. Otherwise, the evidence is
10 largely meaningless. He might have done it last week or he might have
11 done it in May of 1992. The people he dealt with is also important. So
12 for you to be able to use that information, you've got to know what he did
13 with some more specificity, I submit.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. I think that this will become clear once the witness fully
16 describes this.
17 Did you, and if so, why, ask for these lists in the police?
18 A. The police kept records or made lists based on the location, so
19 people who were in the TO and the people who were in the elementary school
20 and the secondary school, the lists were maintained. However, there was
21 never ever a list of people who were kept in Crkvina or the people that
22 remained there.
23 Q. Please continue.
24 A. After the first exchange, which took place on the 25th or 26th of
25 May, 1992, Lugar came.
1 Q. Came where?
2 A. Came to see me at the civilian protection staff, and arrogantly
3 said there was an exchange yesterday. I said yes, and then he said did
4 anybody from Crkvina leave? And I immediately said no. Without actually
5 knowing whether somebody had left or not, I just thought that that would
6 satisfy him, and he said, "Well that was well done," meaning that I had
7 something to do with it. I was in charge of it [as interpreted].
8 Make sure that nobody leaves Crkvina in the following exchanges.
9 I said fine, they won't. Although I had no intention of actually
10 following what I said. I didn't know what people were supposed to leave.
11 I didn't know whether in fact they would leave. So those were empty
12 promises. I just said that to placate him.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a correction. The witness said,
14 "I was not in charge of it".
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Page 73.
17 Q. In your work, after that, when you were involved in exchanges, did
18 you have anything to do -- did you have any activities regarding finding
19 the bodies of those who were killed in Crkvina? Please tell the Court
20 about that.
21 A. I will speak on my behalf, and I will say that neither I, from
22 Samac, nor those from the opposite side, had any detailed information
23 regarding Crkvina. The first information received by them, and very
24 superficial information at that, came after the first exchange because
25 later on, it turned out that none of those people who were in Crkvina went
1 in that first exchange, because they were in the secondary school and then
2 later it turned out that they were not in the secondary school but at
3 another site so none of them were exchanged then. It was simply said that
4 they had heard that something had happened in Crkvina. So they were given
5 a -- non-reliable information regarding that. And in the following
6 discussions that we had, which were quite intense, Crkvina was never
7 mentioned as a specific location.
8 Q. When you say in our discussions, what do you have in mind?
9 A. The contacts between the Serbian and the Croatian side, if Veljo
10 and I went and other members of the commission, and negotiated with people
11 from the Croatian side, we never touched upon the case of Crkvina itself.
12 We simply mentioned individual names. We said that individual persons had
13 been sought, and it was discovered that some of those individuals had
14 perished in Crkvina.
15 Q. Despite the fact that there was no specific search for the bodies,
16 did you undertake anything to find them and if you did, why did you do it
17 and how did you do it?
18 A. All the commissions that operated were tasked with collecting all
19 possible information relating to the missing persons. That was both the
20 task vis-a-vis the International Red Cross was also involved in collecting
21 data and also vis-a-vis the opposite side from which you also expected
22 reciprocal data concerning missing persons. So that was part of our
23 regular activities in collecting these data. When we learned more later
24 about the whole affair, I tried to follow certain traces that could
25 possibly lead to a desired goal. However, it was very, very, very
1 difficult to get in touch with people who knew something, especially since
2 everybody was afraid of the situation surrounding this event and this case
3 that in a certain manner at that time aroused fear in people.
4 Nevertheless, I managed to gather together some 40 or 50 people and I
5 talked to them and I found a certain lead and I asked those people to help
6 me in finding these bodies.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, the same problem is arising
8 again. What commissions were tasked with collecting all possible
9 information relating to the missing persons? Furthermore, is that a
10 reference to missing persons in Crkvina? Furthermore, when was this
11 done? And furthermore, if Mr. Tadic managed to gather 40 or 50 people and
12 talk to them and conduct some sort of investigation, when was that done?
13 The evidence is really not going to be of any benefit to you unless you
14 know those sorts of details. Now I know that I can take these issues up
15 in cross-examination but it's beneficial for the Trial Chamber and for Mr.
16 Tadic to -- for his position to be made absolutely clear. Furthermore,
17 it's not a matter that I wish to spend time on in cross-examination,
18 clarifying his story so that we know exactly what he's saying because that
19 eats into and detracts from the amount of time that I have available for
20 cross-examination. So I do suggest that we should be clear about those
21 sorts of details when he's giving evidence like that.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I will clarify this issue, Your
24 Q. Mr. Tadic, you mentioned that all commissions were involved in
25 searching for missing people. Which commissions are you referring to?
1 A. Nowadays, and then, all the commissions in the territory of the
2 former Yugoslavia were entrusted with this task. That means, if I have to
3 enumerate them one by one, those were all the commissions that existed in
4 the former Yugoslavia, including the one in Samac.
5 Q. Are you referring to the exchange commissions?
6 A. Yes, the exchange commissions are still at this very moment doing
7 excavation work and collecting data and this work is still in progress.
8 Q. Do you perhaps know how these commissions are called? What is
9 this commission of Republika Srpska called?
10 A. The commission for searching for missing people. That is more or
11 less the name. I'm not 100 per cent sure. There is such commission in
12 the Serbian part, in the Muslim part, in the Croatian part. It exists in
13 Croatia, in Yugoslavia, and these commissions are still working up to this
15 Q. To be fully clear, do you know that the same people are working on
16 these commissions now that used to be involved in the exchanges?
17 A. There are still people on these commissions who had been involved
18 in this when I was.
19 Q. When you conducted these interviews with some 30 or 40 people,
20 when did that take place and what ensued?
21 A. We started these interviews, let's say as soon as the conditions
22 were favourable, and that is after Lugar had left the area. In other
23 words, these interviews took place, I think, towards the end of 1992, when
24 he left the area.
25 Q. In those activities of yours, did you have an opportunity to bring
1 a large number of forensic experts and pathologists in order to unfind --
2 undiscover this location at the level of the republic or the Republika
4 A. That is exactly what I wanted to say. Once a location has been
5 identified with the aid of witnesses who had some kind of knowledge, then
6 expert teams would come to do the job. I asked the commission of
7 Republika Srpska to come from Banja Luka, having told them that I got
8 certain information and they made efforts to search the area that was
9 marked or identified. Unfortunately, despite the whole day of work, they
10 failed to find anything.
11 I must add something. I have been listening very carefully to the
12 evidence given by Mr. Todorovic, and he mentioned this problem. He even
13 mentioned that he had made a sketch that he delivered to the Prosecutor.
14 I wanted to see that sketch in order to make a comparison with what I
15 knew, in order to find a certain solution. Of course, I did not get this
16 sketch up to this date, so I was unable to make comparison and see if
17 there are any discrepancies with what information I had. I even heard
18 that Mr. Todorovic went on the ground to show this site where these people
19 were. So it would be advisable if he had any information to have them.
20 Q. Finally, what were your motives and why were you so eager to find
21 the bodies of those people?
22 A. One cannot say that my motives were of a professional nature as
23 a member of the commission. Although other members of other commissions
24 and with this I refer to all the commissions, were mainly motivated by
25 professional reasons. In my case, in spite of that motive, there was
1 another one, because a large number of Serbs were also missing, and I
2 thought that others would help find them as well.
3 Q. On Friday, you mentioned Luka [Realtime transcript read in error
4 "Lugar"] Gregurevic, who frequented the AS cafe and this Chamber knows
5 very well that he was one of the men --
6 A. Yes, Luka Gregurevic.
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... Lugar
8 Gregurevic, it is the same mistake that was made earlier.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, it should be corrected.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So we are talking about Luka
11 Gregurevic, who I knew well. Then there was Ivo Tuzlak and he was also
12 mentioned. I also knew him well. He worked together with my wife for 20
13 years. Then there was Josip Orsolic. He had a store in the house of my
14 neighbours. His name was Resakovic and we had coffee on a daily basis,
15 either in the restaurant or I went to his store whenever I needed
16 something. So we lived next door.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Tadic, we will take a break now and I want to ask you, are you
19 capable of continuing this evidence in the afternoon because I see that
20 you are rather upset and excited.
21 A. Since nothing is up to me...
22 Q. Are you capable health-wise to endure this in the afternoon? I
23 think the Chamber would like to know that because we would like to have
24 your testimony be focused and of good quality because that is in the
25 interests of this Chamber and in my interests as your Defence counsel. I
1 see that on a few occasions, you got very excited. So in view of your
2 health condition, do you think you will be able to continue this
3 afternoon? We need to tell this to the Chamber.
4 A. I have put everything -- I put this process above everything.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we have a break now, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We shall take our break and continue at 1500
7 hours up to 1630.
8 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.31 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 3.00 p.m.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic, you may continue.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. We shall go back to a topic that precedes chronologically what we
13 have been talking about. Can you hear me well, Mr. Tadic? Do you hear
15 A. Yes. It's all right. I'll try.
16 Q. You mentioned your contacts and that you went to the communication
17 centre when discussing the events of the 8th of May. Before these events,
18 did you have any contacts with the Odzak municipality through the
19 communication centre? And how did it come about that you turned up in the
20 communication centre so we are probably going back in time. Can you tell
21 us when your contacts through the communication centre began?
22 A. If I remember correctly, I have already explained this. I said
23 that I had the first contacts after the 23rd of April, and that I learned
24 through these contacts that the international community was there and that
25 these negotiations were going on there, and that was on one or two
1 occasions before the 8th of May.
2 Q. I'm interested in the episode you mentioned in your interview
3 concerning the exchanges of Sreto Minic and Milan Stanisic and when these
4 events took place, who did you contact on the other side and who did you
5 talk about in connection with these exchanges?
6 A. Both these events took place in late April, 1992. I think that
7 first Milan Stanisic was exchanged in the circumstances in Novi Grad, he
8 was seriously wounded. I think he was wounded by a shell, and in one of
9 these talks, the people on the other side told me that his condition was
10 extremely serious and that since they are unable to treat him in the
11 hospital in Odzak, it would be a good idea for them to hand him over to
12 our side so that we can take measures to have him treated. I agreed with
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Page 80, line 1, you said Milan
15 Stanisic was surrounded in Novi Grad and that he was seriously wounded.
16 You didn't mention the name exchange -- you didn't mention the exchange
18 A. No, no, I didn't. This Milan Stanisic was seriously wounded and I
19 accepted their suggestion that we should take him over.
20 Q. Do you remember who you talked to on the other side in these
22 A. I can't be sure. I think it was either Stjepan Mikic or Pero
23 Zecevic, one of the two was there at the talks then but I'm not sure which
24 of these two was there. One of them was. So I accepted this proposal,
25 but they asked that a man called Ilija Barukcic go over to their side. He
1 hailed from Prud, and there were no problems provided the man wanted to
2 go. He went to this man. The representative of the Red Cross, Veselin
3 Ivkovic, and he talked to him and after a certain time, they came to my
4 house. We sat in the garden. It was a nice day. And I told him who this
5 was about, and he remembered that this young man was a son of one of his
6 friends, because he was married to a Serb lady from Donja Dubica, so this
7 man Barukcic was married to a Serb lady and this was a son of a friend of
8 his, and he said, "I will go" and someone said no problem, just come back
9 when you want to. And then he got into the car with this Ivkovic and we
10 went to this place that had been agreed upon at the Garevac-Milosevac
11 demarcation line and an ambulance went with us. Dr. Hecimovic was there
12 and a nurse. There was a nurse, but I can't recall her name at the
13 moment. And there was a representative of the Red Cross, and when we
14 arrived there, they brought this Stanisic on a stretcher and the man from
15 the Red Cross took him and brought him over, and put him in the ambulance.
16 His condition was extremely serious. I looked in through the front door,
17 I didn't know him but I said, "Young man, how are you?" And he could
18 barely speak and he said all right. So I asked the doctor what he thought
19 of his condition and the doctor says -- said, if he managed to reach the
20 hospital his life might be saved. The nurse was called Navenka and he
21 told Navenka that that they were going to Pelagicevo right away and then
22 from Pelagicevo he went on to Belgrade and he did survive but he's an
23 invalid today in a wheelchair.
24 Q. This man Sreto Minic?
25 A. [Realtime transcript read in error "certificateeto"] Sreto Minic.
1 Q. Was this in the same period?
2 A. There was in early May, I think. I think it was in the beginning
3 of May. He was an elderly man. Maybe 15 years older than me, and he was
4 ill. He was in the hospital in Odzak. There was a doctor from Samac, her
5 last name was Hecimovic, who was working there, and through the radio
6 connection, she asked or rather she said that she wanted to release this
7 Sreto Minic from hospital and have him cross over to our side, and in
8 exchange she asked that her brother, Aziz Hecimovic, also known as Ciger
9 go over to their side. I knew him. He was a former pupil of mine.
10 Q. Could the witness be shown Exhibit 125/3?
11 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I don't know what your
12 transcript shows but line 17 in page 81 is not very clear to me. As is
13 line 18. Some -- some -- odd words "certificateeto" I just wonder what
14 the question was because I missed it.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: To assist my colleague, I apologise, it was
16 mispronounced the name of a certain person.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. My question was about Sreto Minic?
19 A. There was only Minic and this other word is instead of Sreto.
20 Q. Could you please look at the document on the ELMO? Does this
21 refer to what you have just been talking about? And the date mentioned,
22 the 2nd of May, on the document?
23 A. Yes. And it was Sreto Minic who brought this document along with
24 him when he came. I asked the people from the Red Cross to go and find
25 Aziz. Aziz came and I told him that his sister was looking for him. That
1 she wanted him to go. He wasn't very willing but he said, all right, I'll
2 go and see my sister and then I'll come back here. If you want me to.
3 And then he went to his sister's in Odzak but he didn't come back soon.
4 Later on, his wife and two children went to stay with him in Odzak. He
5 asked for his wife and children to go to him. So his wife and children
6 went to be with him in Odzak.
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: One small correction, in the transcript it's on
8 page 82, line 20. Maybe it was some misunderstanding. The witness didn't
9 say if you want me to. Well, meaning that he wanted the witness to go on
10 the other side. The -- what the witness actually said was that when he
11 asked, do you want. He said all right, maybe, I don't know, I'm not very
12 happy about it, and then he asked him all right, I will do it, something
13 like that. It was not the witness who decided instead.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Tadic, to avoid misunderstandings in the transcript, do you
16 remember what this man Aziz Hecimovic said when you told him that his
17 sister on the other side was looking for him?
18 A. He said he wasn't very happy to be sought but that he would do as
19 his sister wished and go to their side or rather to the side of Odzak.
20 Q. Tell me: Why were you going to the communication centre? Was the
21 other side asking for you to come there? Did you know the people on the
22 other side?
23 A. I knew these people who were talking to me, and they knew me. I
24 knew Stjepan Mikic especially well, who was a colleague of mine. He had
25 worked in the school in Odzak. And we saw each other very often. He
1 lived close to my brother-in-law. So I often went to have coffee with
2 him, if I went to see my brother-in-law and he wasn't at home. And we
3 also knew each other from school. We'd known each other for a long time.
4 And I knew this man Pero, Pero Zecevic, I knew him well too and he knew me
5 even better. And some other people, Ante Simic, Stjepan Ivankovic, the
6 one who signed this. I knew them well too and they knew me.
7 Q. Very well. Let's move on.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] May the witness be shown document
10 Q. Mr. Tadic, do you know whether a decision was issued at the Crisis
11 Staff on the arrest and isolation of members of the Croatian ethnic group
12 and their placing in important facilities in the town?
13 A. I never attended a session of this nature, nor did I ever hear
14 that a decision was adopted on isolating anyone.
15 Q. During your work in the Crisis Staff, did you ever see this
17 A. No. I have never seen a document like this or anything similar
18 to it. Of a similar content.
19 Q. At the Crisis Staff, in the period mentioned in this document, or
20 at any other time, was there ever discussion of any citizen of any ethnic
21 group be put in a vital facility or isolated?
22 A. No discussion was ever held on this, nor did this ever happen.
23 Q. Thank you. We have finished with this document.
24 In your interview.
25 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Lukic. Mr. Tadic, just one
1 question with respect to your last couple of answers, concerning this
2 document. You said that no discussion was ever held on this, nor did it
3 ever -- nor did this ever happen. Do you mean while you were there? Or
4 do you mean that you know it was never discussed even at meetings of the
5 Crisis Staff that you were not present at? It might be helpful if you
6 could address that.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I said that this was never
8 discussed, I meant of course in my presence. When I was not present, I
9 didn't know what was being discussed, but I also wanted to say that such a
10 measure was never implemented. No one was ever put on a facility as a
11 shield. I would have known about it. I would probably have heard of it,
12 if nothing else. So that's why it's my opinion that this was never
14 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, just arising both from the
16 line of my -- questioning by Mr. Lukic and also arising from Your
17 Honour's question just asked, is -- I wonder -- and for the sake of
18 clarity, I wonder if the witness is saying that, A, no Croats were ever
19 taken to vital facilities, and B, never isolated, that they could be two
20 separate things and I just wonder if the position of Mr. Tadic is that
21 neither of those two things were ever discussed or resolutions passed
22 implementing such actions.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I spoke about this, I was
24 speaking of taking people to vital facilities, and I asserted that no one
25 had ever been taken to a vital facility and while I was in the Crisis
1 Staff I never heard any talk of this. But I was not speaking about
2 isolation. I didn't say anything about isolation.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. At the Crisis Staff, was there ever discussion of isolation?
5 A. No. There was no discussion of isolation either, but it did
7 Q. You talked about this in your interview, and the Prosecutor asked
8 witnesses questions about your statement of the 26th of March. In the
9 second half of May, were there any detentions and what do you know about
11 A. I -- this is not a specific enough question. Can you please
12 remind me of what is contained in the interview?
13 Q. My specific answer [as interpreted] was whether in the second half
14 of May, 1992, Croats were arrested and detained from the surrounding
15 villages and on what grounds it happened? Is it clear -- more clear now?
16 A. Yes, it is. In those days, I knew nothing about that, but later,
17 I heard that a number of Croats from the area of Asici, Donji Asici were
18 arrested including the villages of Novo Selo and Hrvatska Tisina. I
19 believe that was the area. And that took place after the 15th of May.
20 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I don't mean to interrupt you, Mr. Tadic, but I
21 just wonder when you say in those days, I knew nothing about it, but later
22 you heard, how much later did you hear about these events?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A couple of days later, I heard that
24 they had been arrested, but an event that took place before that, I knew
25 about it immediately in fact. I think that that was on either 14th or
1 15th of May. I cannot say specifically. A group of soldiers of the then
2 4th Detachment, the majority of whom were from Novi Grad, and there were
3 some neighbours of mine as well, my next door neighbours, they went to
4 change shift in Grebnice and they took exactly this road that runs through
5 the Srpska Tisina and Hrvatska Tisina via Novo Selo towards Grebnice, and
6 that is where an ambush took place and it had been mentioned before, and
7 when fire was opened at this bus, where some 30 soldiers were on board,
8 plus the driver of the bus, I think that was a master bus, that's the name
9 of the maker, or the company, the driver sustained 16 penetration wounds
10 and a number of soldiers, some ten of them, were either lightly or
11 severely wounded, but thanks to the circumstances that the driver, being
12 wounded, collapsed, and
13 held the driving wheel, and he also pressed the gas pedal with his foot,
14 he simply just went out and brought the bus some 150 metres away up to the
15 line where it was safe. And due to that, no more severe consequences
16 occurred. Only people got wounded. And the soldiers survived. Of course
17 with the consequences that I have just mentioned.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Were there many severely wounded people?
20 A. There were some dozens wounded soldiers, plus the driver, three or
21 four of them were from Novi Grad. Later on, they were hospitalised in
22 Bijeljina and they all survived, I think one of them remained an invalid
23 in the leg. His name was Rakic from Novi Grad. Also the driver is an
24 invalid and a Croat called Kalinic sustained a wound in the throat. The
25 rest sustained light injuries and they survived.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours -- I was going to invite the Trial
2 Chamber to press for an answer to Your Honour's question, which I submit
3 has not been answered.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because I was wondering about these details and
5 the relevance of them to the charges against the accused. Because we are
6 wasting time.
7 JUDGE WILLIAMS: In fact, on the same note as both our Presiding
8 Judge and Mr. Di Fazio, my question related to the incident already
9 referred to, but Mr. Tadic, you then elaborated on some other event which
10 had happened before, which really didn't relate to what we were already
11 discussing. So it's a little bit confusing, therefore.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps I wasn't able to take the
13 floor, but it is quite obvious from Mr. Tadic's interview that he sees the
14 relation between the two incidents.
15 Q. Mr. Tadic, tell us where did this incident happen in the territory
16 under whose control and how was it related to the events that we were
18 A. In my understanding, what I just described was a cause and what we
19 just mentioned earlier was a consequence. I wouldn't like to tell some
20 details and pretend to be an expert, but the background, in the background
21 of this army that was positioned on the line, this undesirable incident
22 took place and to my modest, humble judgement, the army couldn't permit to
23 have a fifth column in its rear, and that is -- that is what resulted in
24 the arrests of those people, in order to avoid these kinds of incidents
25 because on a daily basis, soldiers travelled down this road to the line,
1 not only down this road but other roads as well, and if those incidents
2 were allowed to happen, it would have been dangerous for the army. And at
3 the time, nobody knew who set up this ambush at the time for the soldiers.
4 Only later was it discovered how the ambush was set up.
5 Q. Was that at the time revealed -- first of all, is it the area with
6 Croat populated villages of the municipality of Samac?
7 A. Yes. That is the Croatian area, Donji Hasici, Hrvatska Tisina and
8 Novo Selo villages.
9 Q. Did you hear that people in those villages were armed? Were there
10 any rumours relating to the villagers there? We heard that in previous
12 A. I did not have an insight into this situation but I knew that they
13 were armed and that some of them surrendered their weapons and that is
14 what I also heard here, because at the time I didn't know any details
15 about confiscating of arms, detentions and things like that, but later on,
16 I got the picture.
17 Q. Do you know where these people from these villages were detained?
18 A. They were detained at the education centre, it is sometimes called
19 secondary school but that's one and the same thing.
20 Q. Do you know that in the same period, some other people were taken
21 to the cultural club in Crkvina? Did you hear anything about that? Do
22 you know what was the background of that event?
23 A. I don't know what the reason and the cause was but I know that it
24 did happen because some people who were very close to me helped with
25 providing shelter and food for those people in Crkvina. I know that the
1 Red Cross took food there and a driver, Ismet Kurtic, who worked for the
2 civilian protection staff, drove food stuff every day to those people,
3 whatever else was necessary. Otherwise, I don't know why they were taken
4 there, but according to Ismet's stories and other people from the Red
5 Cross, it lasted for a couple of days and then they were returned to
7 Q. Thank you. Now let us move to another subject, the shelling of
8 Samac. We heard a lot about this in this Court but I would like to
9 establish a connection between this and what you did, but first of all, we
10 would like to hear -- to see a videotape that we have prepared, but
11 before, allow me to explain to the Chamber that this is some 15 minutes
12 footage showing demolished buildings in Samac. I made an excerpt lasting
13 some three minutes because it will take too long to look at every
14 building, but this footage is part of the video cassette that we have
15 already tendered as evidence. The video was shot in 1998.
16 So can we please see this three-minute video and Mr. Tadic, you
17 can comment on it.
18 This is Exhibit D103/3.
19 Could you please play the video?
20 [Videotape played]
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. If you can recognise this facility, can you tell us? It's a paint
23 shop but if you can't see it?
24 A. It is difficult to discern here.
25 Q. Could please the technicians press forward so maybe later you can
1 recognise it. Do you recognise this building?
2 A. Yes. This is one neighbourhood in Samac. The quality of the
3 video is not so good. This building was the one already mentioned. I
4 think that one of the witnesses mentioned this building. This is the
5 place where the shell hit it. This is the building with 18 flats and
6 Sveto Vasovic and an unnamed witness also lived nearby.
7 Q. Could you please stop the film here? Do you recognise this
9 A. Yes, I do. This is very near my house, maybe some 50, 60 metres
10 away. It belongs to my neighbour, Bozica, which was -- who was also
11 mentioned before. It was hit by a shell, and this lady neighbour of mine
12 was Bozica, was severely wounded, and very close nearby, maybe some 5
13 metres away --
14 Q. Now you're going to see it. Can you tell us what do you see next
15 to this building? What is this?
16 A. No, no, no. We have to go, we have to rewind the tape.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Okay, if you could stop here.
18 A. Well, if it couldn't be better than this, I'll try. On the
19 right-hand side, this white part of the building is health centre. It has
20 been mentioned many times here. Two shells hit this house and one of them
21 fell very close to the health centre. You can see from the footage how
22 these two buildings are close to one another. So this health centre has
23 been renovated, thanks to a donation from an international organisation in
25 Q. [In English] We can continue now, please. [Interpretation] Mr.
1 Tadic, what is this? We don't have to stop the video. Just tell us.
2 A. This is the corner of the streets of Edvard Kardelj and Bulevar
3 Revolucije, you can see my house here, also the Mladnost restaurant. This
4 is the entrance to my building, and if you can freeze here, you can see
6 Q. What is this?
7 A. These are the bullet holes from bullets fired at my house on the
8 morning of the 17th of April. This is just one little part. There are
9 holes all over the whole glass plate here.
10 These are all the bullet traces on my house that was hit from
11 firearms on the 17th of April, 1992, in the morning.
12 Q. Are these traces still present on your house nowadays?
13 A. Yes. In some places. The glass bricks or the wall made of glass
14 bricks has been repaired but there are traces in other areas and there are
15 still bullet holes there.
16 Q. Mr. Tadic, we saw practically in every testimony before this
17 Chamber that shellings were frequent. I would like to ask you something
18 that I'm interested in but has not been covered extensively by testimony
19 so far. What was the situation like concerning shellings of villages in
20 Samac municipalities? Once we see this movie, it will become clear to the
21 Chamber what exactly was going on then but please tell us what was the
22 situation like in villages?
23 A. It was similar to the situation in Samac. The villages were also
24 heavily shelled. And one can see that from the list of the civilians who
25 were killed. There were civilians killed in practically every village,
1 women, children and the elderly, every village except for Zasavica. So
2 all of the villages in Samac municipality were shelled except for
4 Q. We will get back to Zasavica later on. Now, regarding the
5 shelling, in early May, 1992, were the shellings particularly frequent and
6 what happened during that period of time, in which the civilian protection
7 staff was especially active? You've mentioned shelters. Now, let's turn
8 to this other activity of the civilian protection staff.
9 A. It is difficult to emphasise a particular period of time and say
10 that shelling was especially heavy during that time. Shelling was
11 continuous and always intense but in the beginning it hits you the
12 hardest. Maybe even a few shells would hit you hard until you get used to
13 that. So people remembered the month of May particularly well because
14 they could tell that it was no joke and it could lead to a serious
15 situation. Following that, an evacuation of the population was organised.
16 People left for Serbia. This has been explained in detail here. I would
17 just like to say that the civilian protection staff attempted to provide
18 vehicles which would transport the people who had applied to the Red
19 Cross, the elderly, women and children, to the holding centre in Serbia.
20 I think it was called Krnjaca or something like that.
21 I would just like to add that some 150 women, children and the
22 elderly left Samac but also from other villages, Crkvina, Obudovac,
23 Batkusa, in these villages, transports were organised for the residents as
24 well. So in that first convoy, some 300 to -- 350 to 400 people left
25 Samac municipality. All of them were housed in the agricultural compound
1 in Krnjaca. I went to visit those people there and I saw where they
2 were housed.
3 Q. Please tell us where Krnjaca is? We omitted to say that.
4 A. It is in Serbia. In the vicinity of Pancevo.
5 Q. We won't put the document before you now but do you remember
6 whether families of members of all ethnicities living in Samac were able
7 to go and be evacuated if they wanted?
8 A. Yes. You can tell so from the list. Everybody who felt the need
9 to leave was able to.
10 Q. Following that evacuation, were there any other people interested
11 in organising a similar campaign and was something done regarding that?
12 A. These people found decent accommodation. It was pretty decent
13 accommodation and the food was good too so that the rumour spread out
14 through Samac. After that, there was a large number of people who wanted
15 to leave too. However, the holding centre, the reception centre, was
16 already full. It couldn't take any more people. Through the Red Cross of
17 Yugoslavia, or rather of Serbia, we managed to find -- we didn't manage --
18 we found another centre but we were unable to organise another evacuation.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
20 photograph D36/3?
21 Q. Other witnesses have commented on this photograph but I know that
22 you have the comments you wanted to share with us as well. What was the
23 role of the Red Cross concerning glazing and funerals, so all of the tasks
24 of civilian protection?
25 A. No, no, you mean the Red Cross?
1 Q. Yes, the civilian protection. We will take a look at the
2 photograph first and then we will turn to the tasks.
3 A. This is the building called the pensioners' club or the
4 pensioners' centre. It's been shown here a number of times. This street
5 here is Pere Bozic's Street and this street on the opposite side is Djure
6 Djakovica Street. You can see there are apartments upstairs, whereas this
7 area here, before April 17th, those were premises of the local commune and
8 then below here is where the pensioners' club was located. This was a
9 coffee bar where pensioners gathered. In this part here, there is a
10 separate entrance leading to several offices, and those were offices of
11 pensioners, hunting club, and I don't know who else had offices there,
12 whereas the entrance into the pensioners' centre is from Djure Djakovica
13 Street, so one had to go first into the courtyard and then enter this
14 office here from the courtyard. On the 17th, or rather after the 17th of
15 April, those who had been mentioned here were housed here, as was the
16 headquarters of the civilian protection staff. This last window here was
17 the window of the secretary of the local commune's office, and this office
18 next to it was the civilian protection staff office. To get to the
19 offices upstairs, as well as to these apartments up here, one had to go
20 from this part here so the entrance was a common entrance, both for
21 offices and for the apartments. So once you got to the first floor, there
22 was a hallway leading here and then staircase going upstairs to where the
23 apartments were. This is where Mersad lived as well. Mersad that was
24 killed in front of Mola.
25 Q. And his nickname was the butcher, Mersad?
1 A. Yes, that's right, Mersad Mesar.
2 Q. Can we please specify for the record that the witness has shown
3 the last two windows on the first floor as those belonging to the office
4 of the secretary of the local commune and then right next to was the
5 office of the civilian protection staff.
6 A. The office of the secretary of the local commune had the same
7 glass window on the other side as well, and these glass windows went all
8 the way to the other room where meetings were held, the conference room.
9 So that it was very dangerous to stay here during shelling. All of it was
10 basically just a glass wall, and it wasn't safe.
11 Q. Can we see the offices of the service for work obligation here in
12 this photograph? Can we see this here?
13 A. Yes, yes. We can. This is the entrance then they used, and these
14 offices did not have the same use they had before the 17th but they were
15 rather assigned to the people who were involved in work obligation. They
16 had their own administration there, their records were kept there, and
17 people usually gathered right here in front of this office here, and as I
18 went into my office, I would normally come from this side because that's
19 where my house was, and I would pass here, I would see these people, I
20 would greet them, and then continue on to my office. So if I happened to
21 pass by on the day when they were there then I would see them.
22 Q. Can we please enter into the record that the witness has shown the
23 entrance which is between the white and the green vehicle and is marked
24 with a red arrow as the entrance leading to the office of the work
25 obligation service?
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me. Mr. Lukic, just go back for one
3 second to page 94 -- page 94, lines 14 to 18, and you asked Mr. Tadic a
4 question what was the role of the Red Cross concerning glazing and
5 funerals, so all of the tasks of civilian protection. Mr. Tadic answered,
6 "No, no, you mean the Red Cross?" You responded with a question, "Yes,
7 the civilian protection." And then you went on about this photographer
8 eve just seen. This all seems a little bit incongruous. The Red Cross or
9 the civilian protection staff, which are we talking about? There doesn't
10 seem to be a real rapport between question and answer here. If you could
11 just clarify that, that would be very good.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Tadic -- no. I said Red Cross by
13 mistake when mentioning funerals and then Mr. Tadic corrected me saying,
14 "You meant the civilian protection."
15 Q. Now, let's say a few details regarding that. What was the role of
16 the civilian protection staff when it came to funerals in Samac
17 municipality and what was done regarding that?
18 A. At that time, in Samac, many institutions did not function,
19 especially those which dealt with daily problems. Therefore, all of those
20 services which didn't function were transferred to the civilian protection
21 staff, and this is how it happened that the civilian protection also
22 became a funeral organisation so to speak. In addition to delegating this
23 task to the civilian protection staff, very soon it became clear that
24 coffins also had to be constructed. One couldn't buy them anywhere and to
25 go to Bijeljina which was 80 kilometres away in order to purchase a coffin
1 was ridiculous.
2 Therefore, within the civilian protection staff, a team was
3 organised, a team of people, who built coffins. There was also a need to
4 identify people, not all of the people who had been killed could be
5 identified. Therefore a commission was established called commission for
6 identification. We already had occasion to see here that a large number
7 of civilians were killed by shelling, but a far greater number of soldiers
8 was killed, all of them were buried by civilian protection staff. Not all
9 of them of course but a large number of them, over 450 soldiers were
10 killed in our area, soldiers of the Krajina Brigade, and all of them had
11 to be either buried or sent to their families.
12 Therefore, at the very beginning, we established a morgue which
13 was within the hospital compound near the haemodialysis centre. We needed
14 to supply water, to put up doors and windows there, all of this had been
15 damaged by shelling and then repaired, and it was only after that that a
16 more regular procedure was established to take in the bodies of the dead
17 and to prepare them for burials, in accordance with our customs. First of
18 all, they had to wash and clean the bodies, as much as was possible, in
19 accordance with the customs.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: [Previous translation continues] ... it's sufficient
21 to say they were responsible for collecting dead bodies and preparing them
22 for burial and burying them. Mr. Lazarevic?
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, one small correction in the transcript in
24 page 97, line 25, the witness said, not only soldiers from our area, but
25 soldiers of the Krajina brigade as well. Because this is what I heard
1 that he said.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. You mentioned soldiers that were killed, both those who were
4 originally from Samac and those who were from elsewhere but killed in
6 A. Yes, I said that about 450 soldiers were killed from Samac area
7 and about 100 or so, several hundred, from Krajina Brigade.
8 Q. Can the witness please be shown document D110/3? And while we are
9 getting the document, [In English] 110/3. D.
10 [Interpretation] The people who worked preparing burials and
11 washing the bodies and so on, was that part of their war obligation or did
12 they receive salaries while they worked with the -- or for the civilian
13 protection staff?
14 A. The people who were involved in the technical matters concerning
15 the burials were all senior citizens, retirees, who did not have a work
16 obligation. They were volunteers. They wanted to contribute something,
17 whereas those people who built coffins, they did that as part of their
18 work obligation. That was assigned to them by the Secretariat for
19 National Defence.
20 Q. Very briefly, Mr. Tadic, this document has already been admitted
21 into evidence when we spoke to witness called Vukovic. Does this document
22 refer to civilians who were killed in wartime, during war operations? Did
23 you have this document before you and did you analyse it?
24 A. Yes, I did. And I know that there was talk that this document has
25 no date. I remember this being mentioned. However, this is an excerpt
1 from the records kept in a certain service, in a certain agency, in the
2 municipality, and these records were kept from the very beginning, and are
3 still kept today, even today if somebody should get killed by stepping on
4 a mine, that remained there from wartime, would be considered a civilian
5 victim of war, and would be entered into these records. So this is just
6 an excerpt, this document is just an excerpt from the records kept by a
7 certain agency. If we take a closer look here, we can see that there are
8 a lot of children, well maybe not a lot of children, but according to my
9 records, there are six children here, over 20 women, and some 20 senior
10 citizens, aged 60 and up.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 A. And you can see clearly here that there are people of all
13 ethnicities and that they come both from Samac and from the surrounding
14 villages of the present-day municipality of Samac.
15 Q. What was the civilian protection staff doing in connection with
16 the list of abandoned shops and what did it do in relation to the list of
17 flats? We have heard testimony about this but can you just briefly
18 describe how this was organised?
19 A. Well, this is self-evident. I don't think there is any reason for
20 me to repeat this. There is nothing special I can add. This task was
21 given by the executive board that the list should be drawn up, and it was
22 Mr. Vukovic who worked on these tasks and he described here how this was
23 done. The executive board also set up a commission to make a list of
24 abandoned apartments or flats, and we kept these -- or rather we recorded
25 this and handed it over to the executive board.
1 Q. We will now put before you document D63/3.
2 A. Yes, please do.
3 Q. May the witness be shown document D63/3? [In English] 63/3.
4 [Interpretation] What I'm interested in, Mr. Tadic, and you may
5 add whatever you wish, but in the third paragraph, it says, the civilian
6 protection staff was forced to take urgent action to accommodate certain
7 families. What was the reason for this action? Why did these three
8 families have to be accommodated urgently in appropriate temporary
10 A. Well, these three people, Mujo Tokalic, Stefanovic and Cvijeta
11 Djokic, their flats had been so badly damaged by shells that they could
12 not be repaired immediately. Repairs were made only to housing that could
13 be repaired quickly. We didn't undertake any major reconstruction, and
14 these flats were totally destroyed so the people had to be accommodated
15 elsewhere, and if I'm not mistaken it says here somewhere, yes, down here
16 it says, "Please issue approval for these three families and issue a
17 decision on temporary accommodation." The civilian protection staff was
18 asking the executive board to receive these people as such. And there is
19 a place here as well.
20 Q. Paragraph 2?
21 A. Somewhere in here, I don't know where it is exactly, it says that
22 some people had moved into certain flats unlawfully, illegally, and we
23 were drawing the attention of the executive board to this so that measures
24 could be taken to evict these people. We say, according to our
25 information --
1 Q. Mr. Tadic would you please slow down and speak into the
3 A. We also wish to inform you that according to our information,
4 people have moved or people or families have moved into some flats of
5 their own accord and then these are listed. So we are informing the
6 executive board of all this.
7 Q. Tell me: When this list was made, and I see that the document is
8 dated the 14th of June, 1992, did you list all such flats regardless of
9 the ethnic affiliation of these flats?
10 A. Before I answer this, let me just say on page 2 it says that two
11 applications handed to us are enclosed with this document for the
12 consideration of the executive board, and as for the flats, we registered
13 all empty flats, whether they were Serb flats, Croatian flats or Muslim
14 flats. There was no difference.
15 Q. After this recording of flats and shops, did the civilian
16 protection staff have any further role while you were its member on more
17 lists or updating these lists and so on?
18 A. The civilian protection staff was given many tasks on a one-time
19 basis. They would carry it out and then it would be taken over by others,
20 and this is what happened here. The services, the professional services,
21 or specialist services were not operating properly at the time, which is
22 why the civilian protection staff was given this task. Later on, these
23 services were established. These services of the executive board. And
24 then they carried on the work. So that we had nothing further to do in
25 this connection. So this part of our task was completed with this letter
1 that was written.
2 Q. Thank you. Perhaps we will go back to the civilian protection but
3 now I'm interested in something that is very important for these
4 proceedings, and that is the first exchange at Zasavica as we called it.
5 A lot has been said about it before this Court. The Chamber has already
6 learned a lot about it. I would like you to tell us now what you know
7 about this exchange and what your role, if any, was, and whether there is
8 any important information that you feel the Chamber has not heard yet.
9 A. A lot has been said about this exchange, and I was involved in a
10 certain way in these events. After the 8th of May, when the events of the
11 8th of May took place in Odzak, for a time we -- our relations with Odzak
12 were distant, but then negotiations resumed with the Odzak side and
13 Stjepan Mikic, a colleague of mine by profession, became involved. In
14 view of the fact that we intervened with the International Red Cross, and
15 that there were interventions by others from Belgrade, other associations,
16 the International Red Cross came to Odzak and listed the detainees. I
17 think this was the Red Cross from Osijek because that was its, so to
18 speak, zone of responsibility. After this Stjepan said to me that the Red
19 Cross would also come to Samac. I mean the International Red Cross to
20 list the people in Samac. And this happened. Veljo Maslic spoke of these
21 contacts. I did not have contacts with International Red Cross myself to
22 begin with, in these first contacts. I had contacts with them only later.
23 The other side proposed that we should agree with these representatives of
24 the ICRC that a certain number of these people should be exchanged,
25 especially if they were elderly people or sick people, and they said that
1 the Red Cross would help us with this. I asked what our role in this
2 would be and he said that we would provide the technical conditions that
3 were necessary before the exchange could take place. They already had
4 some experience. This was a little alien to me. I had no experience in
5 these matters and I asked him where this could be done. He responded that
6 this would best be done in the Zasavica area and the Balegovac and Donja
7 Dubica area, and that this should be done through Bosnia.
8 Q. When you say "he," who do you mean?
9 A. I'm referring to Stjepan Mikic.
10 Q. Just to avoid confusion?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And where did you talk?
13 A. Well, we talked through the communication centre.
14 Q. Yes, thank you.
15 A. Our task was at that time to get a cease-fire to take place and
16 then later on there was talk of getting a boat. He told me that he was
17 unable to get a boat and that we should try to get one and we did. And
18 then we had to find the transport, because there are some six or seven
19 kilometres between Samac and the area where we agreed that the exchange
20 should take place. Of course, there were no technical obstacles because
21 all this could very easily be organised.
22 Q. When did you meet the representatives of the ICRC for the first
24 A. I met them for the first time when the list of detainees was drawn
25 up, the list of detainees to be exchanged. They invited me to the school.
1 Q. Who are "they"?
2 A. They are representatives of the International Red Cross invited me
3 to the school where they were conducting a -- where they were drawing up a
4 list of these people. They were in the corridor, and I arrived there.
5 There was a man there and an interpreter. At that point, the girl
6 mentioned here, Catharine, wasn't present. I met her later. This man
7 asked me through the interpreter when the transportation would be
8 provided, and whether everything was all right. I said that it was, that
9 we had found a boat, that we had secured a cease-fire, and that the
10 vehicles would be ready whenever he said they were needed. He said they
11 should come to the school around noon. I left, and I sent the vehicles
12 along. These were the same vehicles taking soldiers to take up their
14 Q. This conversation with the representatives of the International
15 Red Cross, just for the sake of clarification, was conducted on the same
16 day that the exchange took place?
17 A. Yes. On the same day when these vehicles were to be provided. Of
18 course, I had contacted, I think it was the first detachment that was
19 responsible for that area in Crkvina, and told them about this, and they
20 said there would be no problems, that there were no major operations going
21 on at that moment, but that they would make sure that the soldiers would
22 not be near the place where the exchange was to occur. And that's what
23 happened. They did what they were supposed to do and the vehicles went to
24 the school and collected these people and brought them to the place agreed
25 upon for the exchange.
1 Q. At the bank of the River Bosna, did anything happen? What did you
3 A. On that spot, next to me, there were quite a few people who either
4 officially or unofficially, were there, but many of them were simply
5 people who had come there out of curiosity and the police had to keep them
6 away because it was dangerous for such large numbers of people to be
7 present. That's why the police tried to keep order and got the people to
8 stand about a kilometre away from the area: The representative of the
9 International Red Cross was there and there was a man who knew how to
10 operate the boat, and then what happened was what Veljo described, they
11 went there but as for the method, people were -- people's names were
12 called out from the list, they would approach the desk that had been set
13 up there, and they would tell the man there whether they wished to cross
14 over to the other side or not. Those who wished to cross over boarded the
15 boat. Those who didn't want to remained standing by the desk. I think
16 that five or six people got into the boat. They would come up to the
17 desk. So they went to the boat in groups of five or six. And that's how
18 it went on until ten people were left lined who did not want to cross
19 over. He asked them again, are you sure you don't want to go? And they
20 said they didn't want to go. But on the other side, there were also ten
21 people who didn't cross over. I asked him why haven't these people come
22 here? And he said they would have to let them go but maybe they didn't
23 want to go. There was no way we could check this so that's where the
24 matter ended.
25 People were -- I mean the Serbs who had crossed over and the
1 Croats who had stayed behind were put on to trucks and taken to Samac.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have before me the
3 original of document D69/3 ter ID. There is a copy in the file which has
4 been given only an identification number, so I now ask that the original
5 document be put before the witness so that the witness can give us his
6 comment as to authenticity.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Tadic, are you familiar with this document? Do you know about
10 it personally?
11 A. Yes, I do. And what it says up here, exchanged, that's my
13 Q. Next to some names, there is a remark. Do you know that where it
14 says "refused" next to a name that these are people who stayed behind,
15 that did not cross over to the other side?
16 A. Next to every name, there is a tick, and that's for our records,
17 indicating that they crossed over, but those who refused to go over, for
18 example, next to number 24, Ivo Petric, and then 39, Tadija Pejic and so
19 on, these are the people who didn't want to cross over to the opposite
20 side. Under number 3, she is a witness of ours, or he, Osman Jasarevic,
21 who spoke of a list or rather of a list being made in the school, and
22 there is another Muslim here who did cross over to the other side.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here you see number 49, Andrija
25 Petric, he is still in Samac. He came back on that occasion, and he's in
1 Samac still. I can't remember all of these people.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. It doesn't matter but if the Prosecution has no further
4 objections, I now ask that this document be given a number as an exhibit.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: No objections, if Your Honours please.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well, can we --
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I ask that this be adduced into
8 evidence because it's a much better copy.
9 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D69/3 and D69/3 ter for the
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Following the exchange and the completion thereof, did
13 representatives of the ICRC had any objections to your work or how the
14 civilian protection staff handled the matter? Do you know anything about
15 the International Red Cross's opinion?
16 A. After this exchange in this restaurant in Tekstilac mentioned
17 earlier, a dinner was prepared for all the exchanged persons, including
18 the representatives of the International Red Cross and the few of us who
19 took part in the whole affair. I thanked them for their great efforts
20 because they really made tremendous efforts, especially this woman who
21 crossed across -- who went over the River Bosna. She was all covered in
22 mud and really had terrible efforts, and then I learned from them that
23 those people who refused to cross over or to be exchanged, that as of that
24 moment, they were free citizens, they were free to go home or any place
25 they wished. That was a significant revelation because it was
1 particularly this principle that we applied in our work from then on. She
2 also wanted to know if those people went home, I replied, yes they did.
3 And then she explained to me that that was the principle employed or --
4 and required by the International Red Cross to be practised. They had no
5 objections whatsoever, either to our organising means of transportation
6 and the method of work of our local Red Cross organisation. Since my
7 house is in close proximity of the Tekstilac, we later on went to my
8 house, sat in the garden, had a coffee, ate pancakes, and that was it.
9 Q. Obviously, one of the effects of this exchange was that you
10 learned how the principles of the International Red Cross worked in
11 practice. Was there any other aspect of this exchange that helped you
12 acquire some new knowledge?
13 A. From those people who came, and you can see there were lots of
14 relatives of mine and I knew virtually all of them, most of them came to
15 my house later. We sat there and talked there. They described to me the
16 situation prevailing on the other side, meaning in Odzak, and they spoke
17 about some individuals that should have been given -- that should be given
18 priority in exchange because of their condition. Later, I heard from the
19 ten people that were returned, I remember but I didn't show it, so one of
20 the ten people who were returned, a friend of mine by the name of Muskic
21 told me that the significant thing was that he returned, because the
22 making of the list in Odzak went in more or less this order: First, the
23 ICRC representatives from Odzak would come with a piece of paper and a
24 pencil and then they will say who wants to be exchanged. But of those who
25 are over 65 years of age or who are underage should be included in the
1 list. People wanted to know where the exchange was going to take place
2 and they replied that it would take place in Balegovac. That arose some
3 unpleasant memories in people's minds from the Second World War and they
4 felt reluctant to enter their names in this list. It took quite a long
5 time for the list to be made at all. The first people who were entered
6 into the list were those who didn't have any association with these
7 unpleasant events, and finally, my uncle was put on the list and I
8 said -- and he said if that was my destiny I would put my name on the
9 list. The significant thing is that this man who returned to Odzak told
10 the other people that the exchange was completed, that it was done, and
11 that people were not killed, as had originally been thought. So that was
12 of great significance for all future exchanges and for the work of the
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we wrap up for
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Court will adjourn and continue tomorrow
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
19 4.30 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
20 the 18th day of February, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.